[For the Disciple—A Guide]
The Bhagavad-Gita, "The Song of the Lord," is recorded physically, in Sanskrit, using as script the Devanagri—"writing of the Gods." As a method of writing, it is phonetic, thus enabling accurate sound-vibrations to be used in the pronunciation of the words spoken—like the symbols of shorthand. Every word and syllable is known to correspond to notes, rhythms and tones. These form secret codes, (similar to those used in early Jewish Cabalistic scriptures) and keys to them are available only to the wise, who can correctly interpret such inner meanings.
We, in these days, reading the Gita, are limited to the written words. But within those, we are led to search for meanings of a moral, intellectual and spiritual nature. The Gita is to be understood as an epitome of Divine, universal Wisdom. It is a model which we can use to review the many interior discussions, held daily and hourly, sometimes unconsciously, between us, as the embodied Mind, and our always present interlocutor, the Spiritual Higher Self—on the subject of the best choices to make in the pursuit of our life. This, if continued leads ultimately to "finding one's real self," to true happiness and self-improvement. (See Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 172, W. Q. Judge's Articles, I, 273, 580, 583; II, 342, 579)
The rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita that Mr. Judge issued in 1890 includes all of these factors, so that those who use English may benefit from them.
The Kali Yuga Cycle
The cycle for which the Gita was sung is important to note. The principles of the Bhagavad-Gita are the same today, as when 5,000 years ago, Krishna, the primeval teacher, taking shape as a prince, but raised as a cowherd, and employed in the poem as a counselor, while driving a chariot for his friend Arjuna in a war, is seen to open the cycle of the Kali Yuga by a return to Earth. In this the mixture of external apperances that enshrine the inner Man is to be noted. The return to Earth as an avatara is highly significant. The Bhagavad-Gita will resound and reverberate throughout the Kali Yuga. Mr. Judge states that "It is the study of Adepts." (Letters...p. 21, Theosophical Glossary, 100 top; Isis Unveiled, I, 471; Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, pp. 66-9)
At the opening of Kali Yuga, the dark age of confusion, of effects following swiftly upon their causes, are placed events: historical, psychic and spiritual, that form the setting of the war at Kurukshetra (symbolic of the personality–"field" of the Kurus–the passions). "Kali Yuga," an age filled with "dark deeds, and mean ambitions," began at the death of Krishna. This event, The Secret Doctrine states occurred at midnight on the 18th of February in the year 3,102 B.C. The first 5,000 year cycle of this vast period to cover 432,000 years ended in 1897/1898, almost a hundred years ago. (S.D., I, X1iii-iV, 662, 664-5)
The historical battle on the plain of Kurukshetra (some 56 miles north of modern Delhi) took 18 days, and the number of chapters in the Song is 18.