Full text of author Roopa Pai’s talk: Decoding the Gita, India’s book of answers atTEDxNMIMSBangaloreconference.
In this talk, Roopa Pai, the author of award-winning contemporary retelling ‘The Gita For Children’ explores different ways one can enjoy reading this classic more than just as a religious text.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Roopa Pai – Author
The Bhagavad Gita: Our social studies textbooks tell us that it is the Holy book of the Hindus.
Should one read the Bhagavad Gita as a religious book, then?
That would be a little odd, because the Gita predates organized religion itself.
It was written 500 years before Jesus Christ, a thousand years before Muhammad the prophet, and over 2000 years before Hinduism itself was a thing.
Reading it as a book of religion also does not quite explain its consistent sustained appeal over two millennia, not just among people of its own community, but with people across the world.
So reading it as a religious book is a sort of limiting way to read the Gita.
What then is the secret of this?
What is the magic of this slim volume of poetry?
What is it about this age-old conversation between two best friends called Krishna and Arjuna that make people return to it generation after generation, return to its shining moral compass for guidance whenever they are beset by despair or doubt?
Here’s the secret: The Gita’s strength lies in the fact that it concerns itself not just with the metaphysical, but with the very physical; not just with the other worldly, but with the very worldly; not just with the afterlife, but with life itself.