Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You can analyze your mind, your intellect, and your whole system to see whether it is Sattvik, Rajasik or Tamasik. This knowledge is from the Bhagavad Gita.
Bhagavad Gita gives you that much needed bridge between the inner (world) and the outer (world): How you can be successful in the world and how you can be successful in this knowledge of the self as well. It has all that one needs at all the different times of life.
Bhagavad Gita starts from Vishaada Yoga, which means the Yoga of Regret. Many people are stuck there (in feelings of regretful). There are 18 steps in everybody’s life, and you can see where you are stuck (with the help of the Bhagavad Gita). If you’re stuck in regret, that’s when the Guru comes and say, ‘Come on, wake up! Drop the regret'.
Arjuna was talking like an intelligent and clever person, one who knows it all. The first thing Lord Krishna tells him is, ‘You speak like someone who knows everything but when I see you, you look like a wreck.’ That’s how he wakes him up from that state of remorse, sadness and depression, and then he pushes him step by step into knowing the knowledge, and then instills action.
The Bhagavad Gita is not just for one person sometime in the past. It applies to everyone’s lives. So you first start with uplifting yourself, and then what do you do? You do Karma Yoga, you do action. Then you don’t just get stuck in action, you move on to knowledge, and from knowledge you go to meditation (dhyana yoga), and then you go beyond, i.e., love and devotion.
All aspects of live has been attended there, including food: what is sattvik food, what is rajasik food, and what is tamasik food. What are the kind of qualities; there are divine qualities and demonic qualities. There is a one whole chapter on divine qualities and demonic qualities.
First he speaks of the divine qualities, and then he says, 'Now listen to me on the demonic qualities'.
He says, ‘Mind you, you already have good qualities. That is why you are even listening to this.’
Krishna uplifts Arjuna at every position, encourages him and helps him to come out of his stupidity. In the whole Gita he said only once, ‘You talk like a scholar, someone who knows it all, but look at you! You’re shivering. Your talk and your behavior doesn’t match'. This is the only one time that he gives Arjuna a big hit, but later on he only keep uplifting him and tells him, ‘You are great.’ He pulls up the greatness in him. That is where the master pull him up step by step.
Arjuna also had lots of doubts and he asked so many questions. He tell Krishna, 'I know that nobody else can answer these questions. Krishna, only you can answer my questions. I am loaded with this one big questions: that of the mind. This mind is so difficult to control, it is like the wind. I cannot keep my mind still'.
Arjuna had all the difficulties that you have. Any difficulty that anybody can have at any point of time, Arjuna has put forward all those difficulties.
He says, 'I cannot control my emotions. I cannot control my mind, what do I do?'
Then he tells him, ‘I know it is difficult but it is not impossible. Take this step and this step. So step by step Krishna leads Arjuna into a position where he feels complete.