Here a list of key lessons from the Gita and the Bible. These are really difficult lessons to practice in daily life but well worth trying.
– Maintain your poise towards success or failure, pleasure or pain, sorrow or joy (A true yogi is one who has transcended the dualities – Gita)
– Maintain your equanimity at all times. Do not swayed by praise or criticism ( A true yogi is neither elated at praise nor is he upset by criticism – Gita). If we have this attitude we will not crave for recognition nor will fear criticism
– Treat everyone equally without bias or partiality (To a true yogi a brahmin, an outcast or a dog is one and the same – Gita). We should not form opinions or pass judgments on others.
– Repay with love when an act of unkindness (Love your enemy – Bible).
– Never harbor any hatred towards anybody at anytime (Forgive those who hurt you. Pray for those who persecute you – Bible). It never helps to nurse a grudge against anyone. A grudge is an unnecessary burden than be destroyed utterly only through forgiveness.
– Give and give freely. Do not trumpet your acts of charity (Your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing – Bible)
– Avoid finding fault with others or criticizing another (Judge not, lest ye be judged. Condemn not, lest ye be condemned – Bible)
– Perform all actions without any ulterior motive (Do your duty without any desire for the fruits of your actions – Gita)
These lessons from the Gita and the Bible are truly eternal in their concept. They are living lessons that will live till eternity
Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3- 5:48) and (Luke 6:20 – 6:49) is truly sublime in its grandeur. The sermon is awe inspiring and truly majestic in its depth, breadth and philosophical import. The sermon is based on the two fundamental pillars of love and mercy. Christ says that harboring anger against anyone as condemnable as murder itself. One does not need to commit an act to transgress righteous behavior. Evil thoughts by themselves are themselves heinous. Hence hatred, lust, contempt or jealousy is bad in itself. In fact Christ goes on to say “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” We have no right to criticize, pass judgments or opinions about others when we are less than perfect ourselves. There is no point criticizing about the “mote” in another’s eye when you have “beam” in your own eye.
The central point of Christ’s teachings is the need to repay with kindness any act of hatred towards you. This is contrary to the tit-for-tat and the eye for an eye we generally tend to react. For he says “for whosoever smites thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” and give, give freely to anybody who asks anything of you. With regard to charity Christ says “thy left hand should not know what thy right hand is doing”. There is no need to trumpet about one’s generosity and one’s kindness. This is similar to the Gita’s teaching which requires us to involve ourselves in charity without any regard to the expectations or fruits whatsoever.
Where the sermon truly sweeps you off your feet is where Christ asks to instead of loving our neighbor and hating our enemy to “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who despise and persecute you”. This is truly contrary to mankind’s years and years of conditioning where we react with animosity towards people we hate. We react with anger to insults and contempt. Christ asks to repay with love and kindness all acts of enmity and hatred.
With regard to forgiveness and mercy Christ’s response to Peter who asks him “how many times should I forgive my brother if he sins against me. Seven times?” To this Jesus says “Seventy times seven”. This is clearly a figure of speech and the crux is that we have to forgive and show mercy always and as many times as needed, simply because “so likewise shall my heavenly father do also unto you”. As human beings we err many times in our lives and God forgives us always.
What is really inspiring about the Sermon on the Mount is its all encompassing love and forgiveness that it preaches. Rather than behaving with anger and hatred towards people we hate, as we are programmed to react, we are encouraged to show mercy and behave with love and compassion. It really brings forth our human side of nature. The Sermon on the Mount is truly awe inspiring.