If we were to distill the Bhagavad-gita to one word, it would surely be, “Krishna.” If we were to distill the Bhagavad-gita to eighteen sentences, one per chapter, it might read like this:
Before a just and vital battle, recognizing beloved relatives and mentors among his opponents, the great warrior Arjuna tells his friend Krishna that he will not fight.
Krishna points out that by giving up the battle Arjuna would fail to see the spiritual essence in others, fail in his duty as a warrior and fail to act as an enlightened yogi.
Krishna continues: “One must learn to act in a detached way, with higher purposes in mind, or risk falling prey to self-defeating lust.
For countless years I have come in My divine form to teach mankind how to overcome lust, a teaching that I will now explain to you and is available to all through a lineage of gurus.
Acting for Me perfects one’s detachment, for as God I am the true beneficiary of all work, the proprietor of all, and everyone’s best friend.
Although the difficult paths of mystic yoga and meditation gradually lead one to Me, acting with faith in Me immediately connects the yogi with Me in love and thus is the best yoga.
Acting with faith in Me enables one to avoid self-motivated spiritual and intellectual pursuits as well as atheism, allowing the yogi to see Me everywhere, even in My inferior material energy.
One who acts for Me while living remembers Me while dying, thus avoiding further births and deaths, a benefit greater than any gained from charity, sacrifice, austerity or demigod worship.
Though I create and pervade everything, I remain an individual person, equal to all yet enwrapped in love with devotees who make simple offerings of food and service.
One can see Me everywhere within the best of everything in this world, although it is but a spark of My splendor.
Arjuna, since you’ve asked, take a look at My fantastic, overwhelming cosmic form, including all-devouring death, that is yet inferior to My personal form.
Meditating on Me personally with love is best, a stage you can gradually reach by acting for Me, or at least acting with detachment, a practice superior to self-centered Brahman meditation.
As the Supersoul I am present with every soul, even those who ignore Me and chase after material sense pleasure in body after body, species after species.
An ignorant soul remains bewildered by the three modes of nature until that soul begins to act for Me and thus transcends their influence.
I sit in the heart of every soul, gently guiding them back to Me and My divine abode, even those souls lost in the banyan tree-like labyrinth of this material world.
Saintly people heed My guidance, while others develop nasty qualities of greed, heartlessness and arrogance and achieve hellish births due to their insatiable pursuit of sense enjoyment.
Real spiritual guidance cannot be concocted, for even faith and sacrifice are directed by the three modes of nature.
By fighting today you will act for Me, fulfill your natural duty and become a purified yogi all at the same time, for through your loving service I will relieve you of all material contamination.”
It’s your choice, My beloved friend.