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Introduction

After graduating from University College London in 2002, my life path was veering toward the default trajectory. Spiritual hunger, however, was drawing me into dangerous territory. My calling was different and I didn’t want to live with regrets, but finding the courage to follow my heart wasn’t easy. After two failed attempts, I somehow made a leap of faith and re-routed to the road less travelled. Third time lucky! I became a 21-year old monk, slept on the floor, rose before the sun, lived out of a locker, and made scriptural study, selfless service, and spiritual absorption my chosen career. No regrets. Over two decades later I continue to do the same, inspired and enthused, knowing that there is so much more to discover.
Third time lucky rings true indeed. Whether the chanting of mantras, circumambulations of holy objects, or the sequence in spiritual ceremonies, the magic number is definitely three. Aside from the esoteric and numerological explanations of the figure three, there is a very practical benefit. In today’s age of mass distraction we need multiple attempts to bring our full attention to anything. Repeated efforts bring clarity, depth and conviction to any activity. In Gita3, we’ll take you on a scenic journey through the spiritual landscape of the Bhagavad-Gita… three times!
If we had to choose a single book to represent the spiritual wisdom of India, the Bhagavad-Gita would surely top the list. In 700 powerpacked verses it summarises the profound conclusions of the Vedas, the ancient scriptures written over 5000 years ago in the Sanskrit language. It’s a theological and philosophical classic, and its scope is expansive. It covers everything from religion to relationships, science to sociology, leadership to lifestyle management: the keys to all aspects of life, the universe and everything. In every generation, over thousands of years, it has provided unceasing inspiration to thinkers, leaders, and seekers alike.
Since this classic was spoken by Krishna, the Supreme Person, it’s no surprise that the timeless contents are so special. The Bhagavad-Gita’s insights are clear, concise, logical, and scientific — not just appealing to a particular faith, belief, or culture. Those who sincerely study and apply the wisdom will witness how its teachings transform one’s entire being. That is why the Bhagavad-Gita remains one of the most popular books in the world today - a perennial bestseller.
In Part One, entitled ‘Think Different,’ we explore the Gita’s paradigm-shifting principles, confronting and challenging the default worldviews instilled within us. We’ll conduct a series of thought experiments to demonstrate the life-changing impact of these spiritual insights.
In Part Two, entitled ‘How To,’ we’ll share the Gita’s tools and techniques, aimed at transforming us into the best version of ourselves. For each chapter there’ll be life hacks and practical, step-by-step guidance on how to apply the principles and activate the transformation.
In Part Three, entitled ‘Why Not,’ we’ll witness how the justifications we offer to delay or deny our spiritual progress are nothing more than excuses. The sheer practicality of the Gita shines through, and we deep-dive into select verses which dissipate any lingering doubts.
Read on, pause for thought, let the simple but powerful philosophy enter your heart, and see how you begin to look at life differently. Read it from front to back or dive into a section which catches your interest. Cross reference the insights with the original Bhagavad-Gita, discuss the passages with your friends, and experiment with the exercises. Allow us to share with you the principles, process, and practicality of the Bhagavad-Gita. This is wisdom that breathes.
S.B. Keshava Swami