Nirvana is the stage when you learn to block out the noises outside your head to hear the voice inside it. It is simple isn't it?
Not that I have turned into a big fan of religion, but I think reading the Bhagwad Gita again will be a good idea. When you're born into a specific religion, you sort of have no choice but to get sucked into following it for the first few years of your life. You go with the flow as you really don't get the concept of religion at such a young age. I first read the Gita when I was really young and consumed with the new found knowledge of words. I was a voracious reader and I literally read just about everything in the house. My mom had to hide her 'grown-up' books in a locker. Then there was this day when we ran out of books that could be read by me. My Grandpa was in the midst of some pilgrimage at that time and he found these English versions of the Mahabharat, the Gita, the Ramayan and several other books. He bought all of them for me. I devoured each one in the next few weeks and I was suddenly the kid in the house who had read the Gita, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. My parents proudly asked me about obscure mythological characters at family functions and I was ready with a bio-data on each one of them. Sample this:
Mom: Beta, who was Meghnaad?
Me: Meghnaad was the son of Raavan and Mandodari. There was a loud flash of lightning when he was born and so they called him 'Meghnaad' or the roar of the clouds. He defeated Indra in battle and was called Indrajit as well. He was killed by Laxman.
Needless to say, this was very good entertainment for everyone. Cousins grew jealous of me and cursed me when their parents pushed them into reading religious scriptures. Grown ups were ashamed at the lack of their own knowledge. I was asked about countless deities and asuras and the stories behind them. At school, while kids recited Aesop's fables in class. I shocked them all with stories of Poothana who tried to kill Krishna with the poisoned milk in her breast. I regaled them with Soorpanakha's tale which ultimately lead to the kidnapping of Sita. I knew everything. What I didn't know is why knowing all this was important. I don't think I really learnt any major lessons through all that reading. It was all just one big novel for me where gods battled the asuras and won and how good always wins over evil. Later in my life when I saw evil winning all the time, I lost interest and faith both. Today I call myself an agnostic bordering on atheism and I don't intend to give religion or god another chance. But I'm just going to read the Gita again. Maybe I missed out on some profound knowledge that is hidden somewhere inside. My grandpa claims that once you truly understand it, it changes your life and you. I don't know. But it won't hurt to try.