There is a common subtle message/teaching/theme across all core scriptures of Hinduism, be it Puranas, Upanishads or Bhagavad Gita, which I think is the best teaching. Let’s see what is that.
- We have 18 Puranas, each talking about greatness of a different God.
- We have 108 Upanishads, each describing about one or more path of spiritual progress.
- Bhagavad Gita too lists various path of Spiritual progress, including Karma, Jnana, Dhyana, Bhakti and many more.
- Not only that, while at different places BG glorifies different path, but nowhere, any paths are criticized.
- Same is true with Upanishads and Puranas.
So what does it indicate? Why ancient sages of Hinduism didn’t make one book with one message and done with it, like in most other religions.
Simple answer, because Sages knew it won’t work, as each of us have a different personality, different inclinations. We all are different with different levels of curiosity and approach to life. Nature/God doesn’t have a mold to make us all identical, rather it chose to make us different, so the paths of spiritual progress too has to match that. So we need many paths so that it covers everyone, and most importantly, “All the paths of Spiritual progress are equal, on the look of it they may seem different, but all of them reach to same destination”.
- Be it Bhakti of Krishna, Shiva or Shakti or any other God.
- Even Bhakti of Islamic Allah, Christian God is also perfectly fine, if that is the best path for you.
- Be it pure Karma path of ‘Do good, became doing good is Good’, where even believing in God is optional.
- Be it Jnana Marg, where one uses logic and reasoning to find the real meaning of life. Here too believing in a concept of God is optional.
- Be it Dhyan Marg, where one uses various breathing and meditation techniques to reach to the self within. Here too believing in a concept of God is optional.
- Or be it path like Vaisheshika, which conceptualizes whole world is made of smallest particles called atoms (‘anu’) and different manifestation are just because how various atoms have come together.
- Or even mix and match and come up with an individual path.
All these ways are equal, and any fighting on ‘my way better than yours’ goes against the basic teaching of Bhagavad Gita or for that matter Vedic principles. Any fighting with arguments like “My book better than yours” or “My God better than yours” is meaningless, and won’t do any good to individual or society. What’s important is that each of us finds a path which is suitable to ourselves and follows it and evolves as we follow, all this, while respecting others opinion/path of spiritual progress.
This in our mind, most subtle but most important teaching/message of Bhagavad Gita, or for that matter whole of Vedic scripture.