04.02: Not turning back the clock, but turning on the compass

by February 12, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (4.2) describes how its essential message was first revealed at the start of creation and subsequently passed down generation after generation through learned and realized spiritual teachers. The message is passed down not by a verbatim parroting of the original text, but by an authentic assimilation of its essence. The Gita’s core message is not as much about turning back the clock to a pristine, perfect time in remote pre-history as it is about turning on the compass to align ourselves with time-independent universal principles of living and loving that our ancestors were better aligned with.

Gita wisdom is not a static, frozen information that exists in some primeval texts as it is a dynamic, living wisdom that exists in the hearts of those who have aligned their lives according to its compass. That’s why the Gita says that its wisdom is passed down not through the careful preservation of its text, but through the living examples of learned and realized spiritual teachers who love and live the Gita. It is their presence, experience and guidance that demonstrates how Gita wisdom is not abstract but concrete; not outdated but cutting edge; not theoretical but practical; not a matter of the head, but an affair of the heart.

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