(Revision 09 Oct 15 09)
BHAGAVAD GITA(Verses 36-78)
CHAPTER 18 Moksha Sanyasa Yoga (Yoga of Liberation and Renunciation)
Sri Bhagavan said:
SUKHA - JOY
18.36 Listen from me, the three types of joy practicing which all sorrows end
18.37 Poison-like at the start, nectar in result, that joy is declared Satvika, where calm intellect gets (focused on) into Atma
18.38 Starts like nectar, from contact with sense objects, poison in result, that joy is Rajasika
18.39 The joy is Tamasika which stupefies one, during its enjoyment of sleep, indolence, obstinate error.
18.36 Lord talks about end of sorrow; We want end of sorrow, but by having rajasika joy or tamasika joy. Even knowing this shloka once is not enough. We need to regularly get into the satvika habit in all our joys and activities. Observe our each joy to find out whether it is rajasik or tamasik
For instance,reading meaning of one chapter of Gita takes 6-10 minutes only. Lord says the end of sorrow can be reached by taking joy in this (18-37).
18.38 you can clearly see thousands around us doing all actions in Rajasika and later in time sorrowing despite all their so called achievements.
18-39 Those who go for uncontrolled sense pleasures end up in problems. Gamblers, spenders, wastrels, addicts, night joys. A few learn after disasters. Rest simply waste their life (they become the recycle matter for Nature).
NATURE-BORN DUTIES OF VARNAS
18.40 There is no being, region of universe or demi-gods who is free from these three gunas
18.41 The karmas of the four varnas have been assigned as per nature-born qualities
There is no escape for anyone from the shackles of gunas.
Someone who thinks of political freedom, as the goal, is also chasing a goal within dream only.
That was meant by Aurobindo's reply, when he was called by Gandhi to join the struggle for political freedom.
With political freedom, we know now, for tens of thousands of years, the poor or rich remain bound by their own gunas.
In other words, the bondage is within the mind, the chains are satva raja tamo gunas.
So the final freedom is to become gunateeta, other freedoms like financial, political, are initial stages and not a must. They give an impression of help to some. Hundreds of saints reached sainthood under oppressive rulers, and most of the time living in poverty
18.42 Subjugation of mind and body, enduring hardships for the discharge of one's sacred obligations, external and internal purity, forgiving the faults of others, straightness of mind, senses and behaviour, belief in the study and teaching of Vedas, scriptures, God and life after death, realization of Truth relating to God, these are the natural duties of a Brahmana(liberation aspirant type)
Brahmana means one who pursues, practices Brahmavidya. Not one who is born to brahmin parents, although over the centuries it has now has come to mean that. But Lord in BG 4-13 makes it clear that it is their gunas and karmas(guna karma vibhagashah) that determine their classification. The many ways of reaching him are not exclusively for any particular caste or any religion. They are for entire humanity, For instance Bhakti yoga (BG12.1-20). In fact, whole of Gita preaches universal brother-sisterhood(BG18-66)
Look at 18-42 and find out who pursues or has these attributes. Those who have or striving towards such attributes are brahmanas
Being born in a caste became an easy way to identify a person. It gave some inherited advantage which needed to be worked upon. Bottom line - the individuals determine their caste by their acts and not by their birth
18.43 Heroism, majesty, firmness, diligence, and dauntlessness in battle, bestowing gifts, and lordliness,all these constitute natural duties of a Kshatriya
BUSINESS AND SERVICE CLASS
18.44 Agriculture, cow protection, business, natural for vaishyas. Service is the natural duty of sudras
LIBERATION FOR EVERYONE
18.45 Devoted to natural duty one attains highest perfection. Hear how one devoted to his inborn duty reaches the highest perfection(god realization)
18.46 From whom all beings come into being, and by whom this whole universe is pervaded, by worshipping HIM through the performance of his own natural duties, man attains the highest perfection
18.47 One's own duty leads to 'shreyas' (ultimate good which is Realization) even though defective than other's duties even if well performed. Doing the duty according to his nature, he does not get disturbed.
18.48 One should not give up duty, though defective. All duties are defective in some way, just like fire covered by smoke.
18.49 He whose intellect is disinterested everywhere, who has won over his senses and mind, unattached, with renunciation reaches the consummation of actionlessness.
This verse(18.46) is pregnant with meaning. It in fact explains the futility of all quarrels on Varnas and duties allotted to them. Everyone has equal chance to reach the Lord. Varna does not in anyway confer superiority, nor speed, nor priority to attain liberation. The classical and commonly mistaken notion is Brahmanas are superior to all the varnas. In the sense they were the custodians at one time of shastras and the knowledge of realization. Similarly the warrior class by their possession of wealth, kingdom, supreme power remained rich. They arrogated themselves superior power over other castes. Business class controlled finance and business. They too exercised power over the fourth caste. The service class for no fault of theirs remained downtrodden, just like physically weak gender, females.
Lord is saying in 100% clear terms that anyone, male or female, of any varna, poor or rich, learned in vedas or not, literate or illiterate, king or sweeper, President or peon, billionaire or pauper, all have same chance, same priority, same speed to reach HIM. This very moment, requiring no possession, not even lifting one's finger, one can reach HIM. All HE wants is our willingness -a decision, wanting only HIM, to the exclusion of every thing in the world. For this great Renunciation, there is no need to lift a finger, nor to have any possession, nor it takes more than a nano second. It wants us to decide and stick to that decision
This shloka nails all ambition, status, possession, education, high caste pride, vedic knowledge etc.
Two postulates which cannot be denied. Firstly all creation has come from HIM. Secondly, HE pervades this entire universe everywhere to the micro nano, atomic level. Corollary of the second one is that HE alone exists since there is no place or material where he does not exist.
When HE alone exists, everywhere, in everything, how can there be something really superior to something else of HIS ?
This superiority of caste concept is a creation of ego and it is an outcome of ego which has nothing else to feel superior. The really superior has no need for any claims and generally they do not claim also. Respect is commanded and not demanded or usurped. Moreover, there should be really no intrinsic difference between gold and iron, since Lord is equally present everywhere, and he himself has become gold and iron. Each metal has a role to play. When we say gold is superior, what we mean is gold is in shortage and is hence more expensive. but we cannot live without iron
How can one duty be superior to another duty. For all duties (even though we are ignorant of it) are done for HIM - by HIM, through us, and happening by HIS will. Thus the Lord in His infinite mercy and sense of equality has made all beings equal, and Equal to HIM too(although difficult for us to comprehend). Thus when we see the Great Director, producer, performer, audience, critic, and the admirers all are ONE and only ONE
Our material world's concept of superiority and inferiority becomes meaningless once we see HIM every nano second, HIM only everywhere and in everything. I want to be a Brahmana and not a Sudra, in the material world looks fine. But a Sudra devoted to his duty becomes superior to a arrogant Vedic scholar, a Brahmana who has fallen from his brahminical duties (present day claimants by birth). The great saints like Raghavendra Swami accepted sudra disciple and Ramanujacharya ate and discussed spiritual matters with his sudra friend, despite protests from the brahmins of those times.
Paramacharya in his book on Hindu Dharma a collection of his pravachans says that when brahmins started taking up bread earning jobs, they usurped the position of the other varnas and thus brought their downfall. Scriptures tell us it is the Great efflux of Time that brings the downfall of all dharmas.
Clearly, for a seeker of Lord, looking for status, wealth, possessions, or nourishing worldly ambition, is in either ignorance or forgetfulness of Lord's universal presence and ignorance of worshipping HIM where we are, with what we have.
QN: How come an illiterate and ignorant villager or a laborer can know the Lord when he is inaccessible to great vedic scholars of high birth and who do tapas ?
ANS:Anyone chanting any name of the Lord continuously, will develop love for HIM, and his desires will all get evaporated leaving no trace, so says Saint Brahma Chaitanya Gondavlekar Maharaj. With that love for the Lord, he will automatically see Lord in doing his daily duties, he sees that Lord Himself (and not he) is the Karta of all his duties, his mind and intellect filled with Lord and HIS Name; all sins, ignorance, impurities are burnt away with the Knowledge of the Lord. Such a saint (BG 5-17) is presumed to have the highest knowledge(education). Shehnai Ustad Bismilla Khan was only 2nd std and he was awarded the Bharatha Ratna which can be considered as the acme of recognition for any highest educational achievement. The mind and heart need to be filled constantly with Lord's shehnai, so that one could be a Bhakta Ratna and does not need anymore knowledge of shastras. That's why Narada Bhakti sutras say 'Vedaani sanyasyati'. such a person gives up his vedica knowledge. A realized soul has no more use for Vedas(BG 2.42-44). As you go for higher education, you drop out all the learner which is not required
YOGIC PRACTICE TO REACH THE LORD
18.50 Know from me briefly, man having attained actionlessness, which is the highest consummation of Jnanayoga, reaches the Brahman.
18.51 With pure intellect, controlled and regulated oneself, given up sound and other sense objects, passion and hatred,
18.52 Living in a solitary place, eating less and satvika food, having controlled mind speech and body, devoted daily to dhyanayoga, taken recourse to vairagya,
18.53 Having given up,egotism, violence, arrogance, lust, anger and possessions, devoid of feeling of I and mine, peaceful, becomes qualified for Brahmic bliss.
18.54 Established in identity with Brahman, cheerful, the yogi neither grieves nor craves for anything. Same to all beings, such a yogi attains supreme devotion(undivided thoughts) to ME.
18.55 Through such bhakti (undivided focus) he comes to know me in reality, who I am and what I am. Knowing me truly he forthwith merges into MY being.
18.56 Even though performing all actions, depending on ME, attains by MY grace the eternal, imperishable state.
18.57 Mentally dedicating all your actions to ME, taking recourse to Buddhiyoga (intellect ever soaked in thoughts of Lord) let your mind be always on ME
Yogic practice which is step by step, is recommended for one who is immersed in worldly matters.
First purify the mind and intellect (sama, dama, uparati, titiksha etc)
Everything that is said above, is vital in different degrees. (in Verse 18-52) most vital is 100% vairagya, rest may or may not be there, next is dhyanayoga. Rest of the rules are for worldly people, as starters, who cannot achieve vairagya. Begin at least these as starters.
In 18-53 all regulations are for worldly people who are beginners in the field. All the rules show they are for ' I am the body ' ignorant people. Once that ignorance is not there, even if sometimes for brief moments the shortcomings make their appearance, the knowledge is not lost. Eventually the Jnani will get stabilised in jnan.
18-56,57 the Jnani once having attained to total vairagya and dhyanayoga, he is to be taken as realized (BG5.26-28), even if there are seeming lapses in other requirements which are essentially for beginner-sadhakas.
JNANA : Jnana is basic knowledge of the Lord. We generally confuse jnana for the length of the beard, or for ochre dress, danda, or for pravachans. Jnana is in living(BG 13.7-11)
BHAKTI: (BG12.1-20)The real meaning of Bhakti is the feeling (almost an anguish) of separation from the Lord, Also loving the Lord with an unbroken thought process. Further the love should be only to Lord and not to anything of this or next world. There are so many charlatans who masquerade as bhaktas, can't help. Dress, Tilak, Malas, harikathas. Other groups are stage bhajan singers who sing for a fee. Similary those who sing to please audience, get wah wahs, appearing, of course, in devotees dress. There is another type who are mistakenly called bhaktas. These bhakti geet singers have a very good voice which sends audience into raptures of bhakti. It is vital for us to know bhakti is not at all easy, as it is made out to be. Do read BG 12.1-20 and find out which of the qualities of Bhakta I have.
One clue, ask yourself the qns, do I love anything in the world? do I have any desire? Am I attached to .....person....or thing....? You will find how difficult is bhakti and yet so simple. It requires you to do only one thing: Renounce the whole world ! (BG 6-2; BG 18-66,46-49,...)
YOUR EGO AGAINST MY ADVISE
18.58 With your mind devoted to ME, you shall overcome by MY grace, all impossibilities (difficulties). But if from self conceit you do not care to listen to ME, you will be lost.
18.59 If you, with ego, say you do not want to fight, this resolve will be in vain, nature will drive you to act.
18.60 That action too, which you are not willing to undertake through ignorance, you will perforce perform, bound by your duty born of your nature.
The eternal problem, the one enemy, ego; MY EGO, ever growing, never want to submit even to Lord if he comes in person; but HIS photo or Vigraha is fine since it doesn't clash with MY EGO. This is our problem.
Now why not surrender to a known person? Never; we have already seen so many defects in him or her. This is where the importance of accepting a living, approachable Guru comes in.
An unwilling wife or husband, unwilling children, unwilling students, unwilling and striking teachers, unwilling office goers esp where their jobs are secure, how can they perform their duty? Hence the thri-karana, mind, mouth and hands all need to work in unison to come out with best for us and to others
TAKE REFUGE IN ISHVAR
18.61 Ishwar abides in the hearts of all creatures causing them to revolve according to their karma by HIS illusive power(Maya) as though mounted on a machine.
18.62 Take refuge in HIM alone with all your being. By HIS mere grace you will attain supreme peace and eternal abode.
18.63 Thus has this wisdom, the most profound secret of all secret knowledge, been imparted to you by ME; deeply pondering over it , now do as you like
18.61 Lord is residing as atma in all creatures(BG10-20). The power that revolves us is Maya which again consists of three gunas. Satwa, Rajas and Tamas(BG14.1-27)
18.62. taking refuge with all your being is invariably mistaken as beseeching the lord in all humility to fulfil our never ending worldly needs. That is only the first step, from where no one seems to go forward. with all your being is giving to HIM our minds, intellect, feelings, wants, needs everything. In short we live a choice less existence in HIM, for HIM
18.63 Deeply ponder he says to us on what he has told now. The more we ponder we get different facets of the secret.
MOST SECRET KNOWLEDGE
18.64 Hear again, MY supremely profound words, the most esoteric of all truths; as you are extreme; you are dear to me. I shall give you this salutary advice for your good.
18.65 Give your mind to ME. be devoted to ME, worship ME, and bow to ME. You will come to ME alone. Truly I promise you, for you are dear to ME.
18.66 Resigning all your duties to ME, the all powerful and and supporting Lord, take refuge in ME alone. I shall absolve you of all the sins. worry not.
18.66. Swami Chinmayanandaji's favourite verse always quoted in the mission centre in some places. The verse is capable of magnificent unfolding of meaning par excellence.
Duties are a yoke and a burden to be abandoned with Jnan, another way to do this is to (but before jnan) start offering the fruits and duties to Lord.(Yo karmaani sanyasyati- Narada Bhakti sutra)
Taking refuge in the Lord, is to leave results to HIM, leave even the allocation of work to him, leave relationship with others to HIM, (giving up at a later date, when you have given up the world itself) study of vedas, scriptures(Viveka chudamani, Panchadashi, Narada Bhakti sutra). Some will give up all rituals, pujas, but do not first give up the worldly attachments. They keep what they want of the world as 'my duties'. Such people need to ponder on Lord's words and come out of the hypocrisy
18.67 This should never be imparted to one without austerity, or devotion, or one who is unwilling to hear or one who finds fault with ME.
This may be interpreted in two ways. To go on finding out who has austerity, devotion and who finds fault with HIM. You can hardly find a person this way. The right way is to know this world has two kinds of people (BG16). Sajjanas(those with divine attributes) and durjanas( those with demoniac attributes). Naturally a large majority is in the first category good people. Go ahead like Ramanuja, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and other acharyas and great Saints in particular told these secrets(BG 18-66) to whomsoever willing to hear. Here the assumption is all good people are to some extent austere and have devotion to Lord.
18.68 This profound secret gospel one who preaches to my devotees, (thus) offering highest love to ME shall doubtless come to ME alone.
18.69 Among men there is none who does a loving service than he. nor shall anyone be dearer to ME on earth.
18.70 Whosoever studies this sacred dialogue of ours, I shall be worshipped by him with Yajna of Knowledge.
18.71 Who listens with reverence, free from malice, is liberated from sin, reaches the propitious world of the virtuous
Those giving pravachans, harikathas, distributing gita so that some day people might read, satsangh conductors, satsangh attendees, all come under this group of devotees dear to the Lord.
18.69 Clearly tells us whom the Lord likes most. That's the loving service to HIM, he says. Why should we not distribute Gita, freely to each one who wants it. Why we should ask money for that? Most hands that are collecting money will again beget greed and associated problems. Can we distribute it free? do we have that sort of resources? Lord will say that should not be our worry. It is like Gandhiji's Sabarmathi Ashram. Last minute someone came and gave the required amount to run it. Can we give to all? Again do our best; others will join and run the world. All noble deeds will inspire others to pitch in and join.
18.70. All satsanghis fall into this category. Together we learn fast and in good company, encouraging one another. Research has proved, what the Rigveda said Be together, speak with one voice, let your minds be united. By all means have satsangh. All other religions have satsanghs in their prayers except Hindus. Somewhere along the line centuries ago, they lost track of this. Look at the beautiful way muslims pray all together, and the great Christians saying their mass together, just like what is said 5000yrs ago in Rigveda, "sangachchadwam, samvadadwam, samvomanaasi janasi" (Be together, speak with one voice, and let your minds be one -your hearts beat as one !) If you want to listen to the beauty of the Muslim prayer attend their mosque nearby and pray with them. Their prayer will only inspire you For they say Lord is Great. If you want to get totally floored by the Christian prayer go to any church and listen to their mass and you will be as inspired by their togetherness. We rationalize our divisiveness and fissiperous tendencies and even glorify it. We need to change. Pick up what is good everywhere which is also there in your own highest scripture.
18.71, If we listen with reverence, we eschew our smartness and consequent prejudices and pseudo intellectualism. Understand ego mixed up with intellect is a disease which destroys faith and creates endless, unsatisfiable doubts. This is why reverence is essential. Reverence can come only with faith. Faith comes when intellect is not used self-destructively. A
18.72 Have you heard this attentively? Has your delusion born of ignorance been destroyed?
18.73 By your grace, my delusion has been destroyed. Gained wisdom. Free from all doubt. I will do your bidding.
18.74 Sanjaya said, thus I heard mysterious and thrilling conversation between Lord Krsna and Arjuna
18.75 By Vyasa's grace and divine vision, heard the supreme yoga by yogeshwara imparting to Arjuna
18.76 Recalling repeatedly, sacred and mystic conversation between Sri Krsna and Arjuna. I am thrilled again and again.
18.77 Remembering also again and again, that most bwonderful form of Lord, great is my wonder; thrilled again and again.
18.78 Wherever there is Bhagavan Sri Krsna, Lord of yoga and Arjuna the wielder of bow Gandiva, goodness, victory, glory, and unfailing righteousness will surely be there. Such is my conviction.
18.72 Right knowledge as given by the Lord removes ignorance. With the removal of ignorance its shadow called delusion also goes.
18.73 The one who has wisdom as given by Lord, doubts have to vanish. So far as doubts remain, 100% commitment to duty cannot remain
18.78 Note the present tense used here. Wherever Lord IS there and his disciple Arjuna Equipped with weapons, Victory and unfailing righteousness IS there. The Lord is ever in the present. The listeners, You and I, are also ever present in our times, weapons means the punitive laws, laws with teeth, laws that cannot be hood winked, laws that command and rule for the benefit of majority, for benefit of democracy, laws that secure the welfare of all and not focused on one individual - that is righteousness and there the victory lies.
Look at the laws of USA and China, one is democracy and the other is communist-democracy; See the progress in both countries. See laws and the contempt people have for laws, and judicial system, the enormous delays to make the people forget the well published crimes committed and regular purposeful botch up of cases to let off the criminals off the hook, all in the name of individual freedom and democracy. Actually individuals are the ones suffering all sorts of unrighteousness by hooligans and state.
Clearly the principle enunciated 18.78 is practiced in China, USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Singapore despite having different political systems in each of them. However, track their record for the welfare of maximum number of people, record on roti, kapda, makaan where as we are focusing on Roti-srikhand, Kanjivaram silk, duplex-flat or Villa all for some. For the rest of 600Mn unclean Pavement Inc. 'Righteous means' calls for immediate implementation of righteousness, justice, welfare.
Clearly there is a job for each of us who are otherwise well off. Read daily Gita and other scriptures to keep the spiritual batteries charged.(there is a separate document on Lifetime reading plan). Have satsangh weekly once or more. Live a simple life without waste, luxury, lavishness. That waste can be used for the food, water and clothes of destitute far away. Donate such and other savings to reputed, well known Spiritual missions (R K math, Chinmaya Mission, Divine Life society, Advaita Ashrama, India Now Foundation) which serve mankind in some way. These missions if they ignite character or nobility in students, or create men of character to instill nobility in others they need to be supported.
The education what we have in cities, big towns only focuses on selfishness. Other than Tatas, Infosys in particular Narayana and Sudha Murtys, and a few minuscule minority, millions of educated IAS, IPS, IFS,IIM, IIT, Doon school have remained to make themselves affluent, some opulent at the expense of society. Same thing holds true of almost all the famous film stars, national award singers, artists. Notable exceptions being Nana Patekar, Rajanikant, Hema Malini. Clearly, this is not education. It is learning to aggrandize society and use all means to make huge sections of society destitute at their expense(citi builders) (BG 16.7-19)
Lord's message is till you are fully illumined, have no desires and have dispensed the world from your memory mind and heart - till such time be useful to the world. No choice in this.