This is a continuation of my exploration of The Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is one of the scriptures of yoga and Hinduism. It is turned to by many who are in distress.
In the 17th discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna responds to a question put forth by Arjuna:
“What about those who, even though setting aside scriptural
injunctions yet perform worship with faith?”
Essentially, Arjuna is asking what happens when someone feels faith in the Lord, and in the words of the scriptures, yet doesn’t necessarily follow the practices that are set forth. This is an important question because as human beings, we are all imperfect and have a hard time not acting on desires even when they aren’t in accordance with our faith.
Krishna tells Arjuna that these people are either sattvic (pure), rajasic (passionate) or tamasic (dark), depending on their own nature. The kind of faith they have will also be determined by this nature. Acts done with ‘right faith’ still lead to supreme blessedness.
Line 4 of the commentary reads: The Sattwic or pure men worship the gods; the Rajasic or the passionate worship the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others (the Tamasic or the deluded) worship the ghosts and the hosts of nature-spirits.
It seems to me that throughout the Bhagavad Gita there is an essence of forgiveness; a recognition of our humanness and an expectation that we won’t be perfect. There’s no damnation as long as there is faith. It has lessons that we can just keep coming back to in a spirit of growth as opposed to being oppressive. It’s one of the things I love about the passages.