I rushed home, went to my room, locked the door, and eagerly prepared myself to begin reading. In great anticipation, I was ready to be blown away. After reading a few pages, however, I received a severe reality check! I found the language complex and the concepts too difficult to grasp. I struggled to connect with the text and understand its application in my life. I was only four pages into this book and I was already completely baffled. I didn’t consider it an anti-climax however, and neither was I frustrated. I maintained the conviction that the Bhagavad-gita had something amazing to offer me, but accepted that I would have to explore it with greater effort and scrutiny.
Thankfully, that’s what I did. I asked many questions, attended different seminars, and conversed with experienced practitioners of the tradition. I learned that access to spiritual wisdom in its greatest depth requires more than just personal reading. Books like the Bhagavad-gita are better understood when discussed, debated and imbibed with the input of realised teachers. Many years later, the Bhagavad-gita remains an amazing source of inspiration and insight for me. I can resonate with Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it everyday.”