10.14 – When the shadow of scripture claims to be its light…
Some new Gita students get the question, “Why do some Gita teachers disrespect others who interpret the Gita in a different way?”
Because authentic Gita teachers feel morally duty-bound to ensure that innocent seekers – like those asking this question – who seek the light of the Gita don’t get deviated towards its shadow.
Let’s understand what the light and the shadow of the Gita are.
The Bhagavad-gita offers the inner light of wisdom that can help us choose the desires that bring the best out of us. It thus enables us to achieve life’s greatest success: eternal love and ever-increasing happiness. The Gita demonstrates (10.14) through the example of its original student Arjuna that the way to receive its light is to wholeheartedly accept its entire message.
Unfortunately, many people cherry-pick Gita verses that fit into their worldview and lifestyle. By quoting and professing to follow these verses, they seek prestige in circles where the Gita is respected. Such people may be connected with the Gita, but they are living not in its light but its shadow.
Those who live in the Gita’s shadow deprive themselves of the Gita’s supreme gift. What downgrades many of these people from the category of self-deprivers to social misleaders is their insistent claim that they are living in the light of the Gita. They blatantly quote verses out of context and propagate ideas that differ from, even militate against, the Gita’s teachings. Yet they publically broadcast these hybrid ideas as the true meaning of the Gita.
Authentic Gita teachers long for all souls to be blessed by the Gita’s light. That’s why they assertively point out the difference between its light and its shadow – not out of disrespect for those living in the Gita’s shadow, but out of loving concern for those who seek its light.