Kul Bushan

Gita issue: India says sensible resolution of a sensitive issue


India Wednesday termed as “sensible resolution” of a sensitive issue the rejection of a petition seeking a ban on Bhagvad Gita by a Russian court and said it was glad to “put this episode behind us”, reports Manorama. Indian External Affairs Ministry said the court order demonstrates that Indians and Russians have a “deep understanding” of each other’s cultures and will reject any attempt to “belittle” our common civilisational values. “We are happy to learn that the legal case in connection with the publication, ‘Bhagvad Gita as it is’, has been dismissed by the Honorable Court in Tomsk in Russian Federation. We appreciate this sensible resolution of a sensitive issue and are glad to put this episode behind us,” MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said in a statement in New Delhi.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna also welcomed the judgment and thanked the Russian government for its support. The Russian court rejected a petition that sought a ban on a translated version of Bhagvad Gita.
Prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk had argued that the Russian translation of “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” promotes “social discord” and hatred towards non-believers.
India had conveyed concerns of its people to Russian officials in the past one week and asked the government there to take possible steps to resolve the issue.


Exposed: Bigotry of some Russian Christians trying to denigrate the Gita 


– Kul Bhushan


A crude understanding of the Holy Scripture is clear about the people who have lodged a court case to brand the Gita as ‘extremist literature’. A group of the Christian Orthodox Church members should have never been allowed to file this case in Siberia, Russia, if ‘the learned’ bench had exercised even a minimum of due diligence.


Before entertaining this ridiculous case, the judges should have considered the factual background of this holiest of the holy books of mankind over 5,000 years. The faith and belief of over one billion Hindus across the globe who hold his sacred text as their most precious and divine scripture should have been taken into account. They should have considered the opinion of some of the most eminent philosophers and thinkers about this scripture over many centuries as given in the appendix.


Finally, they should have noted that since the original text is in Sanskrit, they should have ascertained if the version for the court case is correct in translation. For this, they would require inputs from Sanskrit scholars and language experts. All this was steam-rolled to hear the case.


It is easy to imagine the intention of those who filed this case. It is clear that the empty churches in Siberia and the increasing interest by youngsters in Hindu religion have provoked them to take this dastardly course. It seems a question of if you can’t beat them, ban them.


To make their case, they never read beyond the first two chapters of the Gita. Starting with the first chapter of the Gita where two massive armies are lined up on the battlefield, war cries have been sounded and only the order for attack is awaited. Here is a family feud between cousins – the Pandavas and the Kauravas – fighting for the crown.


Chapter one of the Gita sets the scene. Arjuna, the great warrior and commander of the Pandavas, surveys the army before him and sees his cousins, relatives, friends and revered elders and gurus. Overcome by grief and pity, he is in a dilemma. How can he fight and kill them? And what will be the value of his victory if none of them are alive to share his joy? He lays down his mighty bow and arrows, unwilling to fight seeking guidance from his friend and advisor, Lord Krishna.


In chapter two, Lord Krishna responds by asking why is he disheartened and hopeless during this crisis when, as a warrior, his duty is to fight. After these few verses, these Russian appellants abandon the rest of the Gita because the following 16 chapters are all about man’s spiritual quest. They do not matter for them because they want to prove their case – whatever the facts. Here is a case of the saying: my mind is made up, don’t bother me with facts.


They have ignored the divine dialogue that transpires between Arjuna and Lord Krishna. The three paths for enlightenment, the three modes of human nature, the essential attributes of God, the unlimited form of God, the divine nature of man, the path of surrender to the absolute to realise the self. These spiritual topics that have confronted every sensitive being do not matter except that Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to do his duty which, in this case, was to fight evil.


The enlightened master Osho says that the Gita is the first and the original manual of psychology when Lord Krishna becomes a psychiatrist and psychoanalyses Arjuna. From an unsure, afraid, hesitant person, Arjuna is advised and mentally strengthened to perform his duty or dharma.

This divine dialogue ennobles Arjuna’s mind, dispels all his doubts and shows him the path to enlightenment with total surrender. So, how can it be even remotely considered as ‘extremist literature’?


In his 18-volume commentary on the Gita, Osho talks about the spiritual paths outlines in this scripture, the answers to all questions and doubts before embarking on the spiritual path and the reason for full surrender to the master for enlightenment. Lord Krishna is not a warmonger, declared Osho. In fact, the Gita is a master plan of spirituality for your life that will melt away all your doubts and depression.


The Gita was first translated into Russian language in 1788, well over two hundred years ago. If it did not cause any social unrest or violence all this time how can it cause now?


The version by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Maharaj entitled ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ was first published in 1968 and translated into Russian over 25 years ago. It is currently available in over 60 languages around the world and has been published in scores of editions and sold in millions. Now how come that after so many years later, we have this church group trying to ban it? 


Kul Bushan

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