Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 5, sloka 16, part 2

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 16

JNANENA TU TAD AJNANAM ESHAM NASHITAM ATMANAHA
TESHAAM ADITYAVAY AJNANAM PRAKASHAYATI TAT PARAM

But to those whose ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the Atman, shining
like the sun, reveals the supreme to them.

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*** continued from last week ***

The second half of this sloka gives the beautiful example of the sun and the
clouds.

The sun is ever shining in the sky during the day time. Many a times, he is not
seen because of the dark clouds in the sky blocking him. Even a small cloud can
block the view of the sun. It does not mean the sun is not there but it only
means that the cloud blocks the sun and benefit of sun is not obtained because
of the cloud.

As soon as the cloud moves away, the sun shines forth in his brilliance. It was
not that the sun was not there. But, he was hidden by the dark clouds.

The sun did not have to move away but the clouds had to disperse.

The sun is to be looked upon as the example of the “Atman”,
The clouds as the “Ignorance.”
The sun, self luminous will shine forth and the,
Atman, self luminous shines forth.

Let us look at the idol of the Lord in a temple in the inner sanctorum. The
tradition is that the inner sanctorum is a dark room with the statue of the Lord
within. Lamps are placed on either side of the idol. As soon as the lamps are
lit, the idol shines forth.

This is not the perfect example.

The best example is that of an article made up of radium. Radium as we know is
“self-luminous.” In a dark room if this article is placed with some item of
cloth covering it, the article is not seen. The owner will keep on searching for
this article.

As soon as he removes the cloth over the article, even in the dark room, the
article shines forth because of its self-luminous property.

“The Atman” within is self-luminous. It is covered by ignorance known as “Ego”.
When we remove the mask of ego, the Atman shine forth in its full brilliance.

“Be still and know that I am God” says the Bible.
The important word is “be still”. It means “do not move.”
It is not physical movement it refers to.
It is the feeling of “I move” with the “I-ness” predominant in it.
The body, mind and the senses have to do their worldly duties without the sense
of ego.
This is the perfect state of “Total, Intense meditation.”
In this state, we can see the God within and all round.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr.
Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.
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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Introduction, part 1

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We start with a new chapter today – and so let us start this with our prayer again.

OM SAHA NAVAVATU SAHA NAU BHUNAKTU
SAHA VEERYAM KARAVAVAHAI
TEJASWI NAVADHEETAMASTU
MAA VID VISHAVAHAI

May He protect us both (the teacher and the pupil)
May He cause us both to enjoy (the Supreme)
May we both exert together (to discover the true inner meaning of the scriptures)
May our studies be thorough and fruitful.
May we never misunderstand each other.

Chapter 4:   JNANA YOGA

Introduction

Jnana yoga is the study of knowledge that leads to ultimate union with the Parabrahman. The subject of “knowledge” is very vast and covers so many different branches. We can broadly divide the subject into:

a)
Knowledge of the Atman and the physical body composed of the mind, intellect and gross physical body and the knowledge of the constituents of the nature with its working mechanism. In brief it is the knowledge of the Purusha (the creator) and Prakriti (created).This is the spiritual science.

b)
Knowledge of the material world.

The knowledge of the material world has its benefit of bringing success and happiness but only in relation to the material possessions. This, the scholars say is momentary happiness as it leads eventually to the state of no more happiness or even to sorrow. This is because none of the possessions in one’s life are permanent and we learn the same by the experiences in our own lives or by witnessing the lives of others. Without the knowledge of the spiritual world, the success in the knowledge of the material world leads to development of “Ego” which is the main cause of downfall of the individual or of the society.

On the other hand, the knowledge of the spiritual science teaches one the art of contentment and the art of detachment in attachment towards the material possessions in life and at the same time guides one towards the ultimate purpose of human birth, namely “Moksha.”

To say the same in a different way, we can say that the knowledge in any field gives one a certain amount of power. The power obtained from the knowledge of the material world makes one develop a sense of “Ego.” On the other hand, the knowledge of the spiritual world gives the power to overcome the “ego” and the power to withstand the turbulences in one’s life.

Spiritual knowledge assists the individual in conducting actions for the welfare of the society because it teaches the art of realising the presence of Atman in oneself and understanding the presence of the same Atman in all forms of life. This is the only means of not developing the ego which is the root cause of destruction not only of the individual but also that of the society.

We can understand this by comparison to that of the car. The car has various parts like the engine, gear box etc. We see various types of cars ranging from simple basic ones to super luxury cars. There is one thing common in all of them. None of them can work without the presence of the fuel inside. The same fuel is needed to run all the cars. The car stops running after the exhaustion of petrol in it. Petrol is the energy that is needed to make the car move.

Similarly, we must realise the presence of divine energy within us in the form of the Atman and the presence of the same Atman in all forms of life.

Of course, we must also learn the art of using the car so that we do not hurt ourselves or the others on the road. Similarly we must use our physical body in a way that does not harm us or harm others around us.

This Jnana is the main gate of entry into the temple of knowledge. The temple with the idol of Atman inside is the living physical body. We block the ever effulgent light of knowledge of the Atman by our ego and Jnana yoga is to assist us in unblocking the ego and letting the light of Atman shine forth.

Our body is like a microcosmic representation of the nature. It is constituted of the Atman and the physical body made up of the Pancha Maha Bhootas. (Space, Air, Light, Water and Earth.) The nature around us, both the known and unknown parts is a macrocosm with the un-manifest energy and the five gross elements.

The subject matter of investigation that leads to ultimate understanding of the Supreme Parabrahman is Jnana Yoga.

**   will be continued   **

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Introduction, part 2

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Chapter 4:   JNANA YOGA   –   Introduction

***   continued from last week   ***

As we go through the various chapters of the Gita, we will realise that this chapter is only the preliminary or primary course in understanding the Supreme. Real Jnana Yoga is taught by the Lord later on in Chapter 13, Kshetra Kshetrajna Yoga. Initially the Lord takes Arjuna through the comparison of life in an external battlefield of Kurukshetra with the battle between Kauravas and Pandavas. As He unfolds the entire Gita, we find that He reverts back to individual human body and makes us realise that the human mind is the true battlefield between divine and un-divine qualities. Victory for the divine qualities with the assistance of the Supreme knowledge over the un-divine qualities leads to Liberation which the Hindu scriptures say is “Moksha”.

Let me conclude the introduction with a definition of knowledge as given by Swamy Vivekananda. He defines it as follows:
“Knowledge is finding association about things.”

The association of the physical body with the Atman within on an individual basis and the association of the Pancha Maha Bhootas with the divine un-manifest energy with reference to the nature (prakriti) is the knowledge the Vedas and the Gita talk about.

The scriptures talk about “Lighting the light of knowledge.” What does it mean?

When we go to a temple we see the priest lighting the lamp and offering the light to the deity in the temple. This light is to illumine the God inside the inner sanctum sanctorum. (The old traditional temples in India are built in such a way that the inner sanctum sanctorum is totally dark and the installed deity is not seen. The deity is seen only on lighting the lamp.)

Similarly, we are expected to illumine the Atman within and make it visible by lighting the lamp of knowledge. This is possible only by developing the divine virtues, destroying the animal tendencies within and by dropping the “Ego” in all actions. We are expected to understand clearly the “Karma Yoga” and put the same into practice with “Sraddha and Bhakti.” Meditation on what has been taught by the Lord not only on what we have read so far but the contents of the subsequent chapters will assist the seeker in attaining the Liberation.

Sri Krishna, by incarnating on earth has set an example and shown us the way to act on the principle of true “Karma Yoga” and given us the knowledge to understand the principle of correct actions.

So before we embark on sloka after sloka in this chapter, here´s the joyful message we´re heading to:

Sloka 39:

The man of faith having knowledge as his supreme goal, having controlled the senses, obtains the knowledge of the Atman and having obtained that, enjoys the peace for ever.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 1

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Sloka 1

Sree Bhagawan Uvacha:

IMAM VIVASVATE YOGAM PROKTAVAAN AHAM AVYAYAM
VIVASVAAN MANAVE’ PRAHA MANUR IKSAVAKAVE’ BRAVEET.

The Lord said:

I had taught this everlasting yoga to Vivasvaan. Vivasvaan taught it to Manu who declared it to Ikshvaku.

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Let us briefly recollect Sloka 15, chapter 3:

“Know that the action arises from the Vedas. The Vedas are born from the imperishable Brahman.”

Knowledge of the Self is the theme of the Vedas. The Vedas deal with the task of bringing out the divinity in man. This is with the sole intention of universal welfare.Vedas being so vast are difficult to understand by ordinary mortals. Upanishads/Vedanta are said to be the final chapters of the Vedas. There are more than 108 Upanishads and again not easy for the ordinary mortals to understand in their life time. Srimad Bhagawad Gita is the summary of all the Upanishads and the simplest form for the humans to understand.

That Sloka 15 says that the Vedas are born from the imperishable Brahman. The Sloka in this chapter says that Krishna taught it to Vivasvaan. We have to understand by these two slokas that Sri Krishna is declaring that He is none other than Brahman.

In the earlier Vedic period, the mode of teaching was “oral transmission” from the learned to the seeker. As there were no institutions like the present universities and as there was no from of written language, it was transmitted by word of mouth.

Vivasvaan taught it to his son Manu.

Vivasvaan is the name of “Sun God.” “Sun” as we know is the source of light for the entire universe. This light is not for any selected few but to one and all, both animate and inanimate. The scriptures always relate the “Light” to the “Light of Knowledge.” Hence, we have to take that “He” has given the light of knowledge to one and all irrespective of religion, caste; sex etc. He has made it the “Universal Knowledge” and not restricted to selected few. It is important to realise that the Sun god represents actions that follow the principle of “Nishkama karma.”

Manu is the first Aryan man, progenitor for the entire mankind. He is considered to be the son of Vivasvat, the sun god. He is said to be the first one to offer oblations to the gods.

Manu, it says, gave the knowledge to Ikshvaku. It is the name of the king, son of Manu Vaivasvat. He founded the solar dynasty.

The role of the kings in ancient India was mainly in upholding dharma and propagating dharma to all its subjects. Hence, the Vedas were taught to the kings for protection of their subjects.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 2

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Sloka 2

EVAM PARAMPARA PRAPTAM IMAM RAJASRAYO VIDUHU
SA KALENEHA MAHATA YOGO NASHTAHA PARANTAPA.

This knowledge was handed down in regular succession from generation to generation. The royal sages knew this yoga. But by long lapse of time it has been lost here, O “scorcher of enemies.”

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Let us dwell briefly on the word “Rajarshi” mentioned in this Sloka.
“Raja” is “a king.”
“Rishi” is a “Seer.”

The rishis are said to be those who represent the Vedic Aryan current of thought. They are considered as the ideal or the model for others to follow the path to spiritual development. He who has conquered the mind and senses, practices the art of “Nishkama karma and Karma Phala tyaga” and has attained a vision of the “Supreme” is fit to be called “Rishi.”

The post-Vedic mythology classifies the rishis into the following sub-sections:

Maharshi:
These are “Saptarshis” who are the primary ancestors because they are said to be the “primal makers of creation”. They followed the command by their creator “Brahma” and created the various forms of life on this earth.

Rajarshi:
The royal sages are “Rajarshis.”

Brahmarshi:
Priestly seers are “Brahmarshis”.

Devarshi:
The seers who possessed virtues that merited the title of “Divine virtues” are “Devarshis.” The example being sages Narada and Atri.

The knowledge given by the Lord is to be known as “Brahma Vidya” as it leads to the union with the Brahman. The kings and emperors who learnt, practiced and propagated the Brahma Vidya are given the title “Rajarshi.” Such kings possessed both the knowledge of the Vedas and the knowledge to rule the kingdom. King Janaka, father of Sita is the prime example of a Rajarshi. It is said that many great sages went to his palace to learn the scriptures. Possession of royalty and wisdom made them great monarchs whose fame remained eternally. The practical application of Vedanta to actual life was the contribution by the Rajarshis to mankind.

Let us be clear of the fact that this knowledge is not just the domain of these elite Rajarshis but really for any individual, who has the deep rooted desire to learn “Brahma Vidya”, be it a politician, professional, businessman or a labourer. The spiritual knowledge should not be a barrier to worldly life.

In olden days, the royal lineage continued from generation to generation and those who practiced Brahma Vidya passed it on to their subsequent generations. As we have seen in history we do get periods of time when there is a break in the continuity of ancestral teaching and practices. Instead of being true karma yogis, some rajas live as karma bhogis. They live to enjoy the life. Such selfish and arrogant people fail to follow the good way of living and the practice of spirituality comes to a halt. One can say it is also natural and is like day followed by night.

The same rule applies concerning the revival of good and dharmic way of living. The night has also to be followed by day. Great people and sometimes the Lord Himself incarnate and bring to life the forgotten spirituality and propagation of dharma. The knowledge can never be lost and the expression by Sri Krishna that it has been lost here is only figurative. In the last Sloka, we have been told clearly that the knowledge is “Avyayam.”

The Lord is Eternal and the Dharma He gave to mankind is also “Eternal.”

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 3

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Sloka 3

SA EVAYAM MAYAA TE’DYA YOGAHA PROKTAHA PURATANAHA
BHAKTO’SI ME’ SAKHA CHE’TI RAHASYAM HYETAD UTTAMAM

This same ancient yoga has now been taught by me to you. For you are my devotee and friend. It is indeed a Supreme secret.

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Sri Krishna is indirectly stating that the yoga taught by Him to Arjuna is nothing new and that He, Krishna, is not just Krishna, cow-herd son of Vasudeva and Devaki, but, the Supreme Parabrahman. He is going to assert this fact in the next Sloka to follow.

Arjuna, as we know, had suddenly lost his nerve to fight and asked Krishna’s help and guidance. Both of them have been friends for few years. He also had a great respect for Krishna. Just before the beginning of the Great War, both Duryodhana and Arjuna went to Krishna to ask for his assistance. Krishna had the entire Yadava army behind him. Krishna gave them the choice of either having the Yadava army or Krishna in person. At the same time He said that on His part, He would not take any weapon to fight and will only be the guide. Despite this stipulation, Arjuna opted to have Krishna on his side. He believed Krishna to be an embodiment of dharma.

When he lost the nerve to fight, Arjuna decided to surrender to Krishna. He accepted Krishna as guru and a guide. Krishna therefore is saying that Arjuna is both a friend and devotee. Later on in the subsequent chapters we find Krishna saying that a true devotee is the best friend of the Lord.

It is surprising to note the point that His advice is said to be a supreme secret. Why?

Popularly, a thing can be said to be a secret for one of the following reasons.
a)  Because one does not want others to know about the same and would like the same to be revealed at a later date. It is like the surprise gifts for special occasions like birth-days, Christmas etc.
b)  One might come across some hidden treasure/wealth and would not like others to get it.
c)  In certain situations, it is imperative for safety reasons to keep some information secret. Nuclear installations, details of war reports are kept secret by the Governments.

These are definitely not the reasons for using the word “Supreme secret “in this context. What the Lord means is that the knowledge has to be imparted to those at the right time and right place who can understand the same and do not use it for personal material gains in life. This way the knowledge is sure to be passed on safely to the subsequent generations and benefits the mankind, universe and nature. Those who are not mature to understand the hidden meaning in the slokas, (guhya bhasha), who understand in a wrong sense or who misrepresent the facts would cause profound confusion in the minds of not so clever people. Dharma and Truth, that are the cornerstones of the philosophy, will get misrepresented and lose their true meaning. It is like a diamond that falls into the hands of a monkey. It has no idea of the value of diamond and simply throws it away into a ditch.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 4

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Sloka 4

ARJUNA UVACHA

APARAM BHAVATO JANMA PARAM JANMA VIVASWATAHA
KATHAM ETAD VIJANEEYAM TVAM ADAU PROKTAVAAN ITI

Arjuna asked,

Later was your birth, earlier the birth of Vivaswan. How then am I to understand that you taught him in the beginning?

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This question is to unravel the mystery of who Krishna really is.

It appears Arjuna is questioning the validity of the authority of Krishna’s statement. How could the friend he knew for so many years say that He is prior to Vivaswan? Sage poet Veda Vyasa has made Arjuna come out with this question on behalf of mankind who would also entertain the same doubt.

The facial expression on Arjuna must have made Krishna realise that it was a genuine question. The reply from Krishna that comes in the next Sloka makes it clear that Krishna considered it as a question from a genuine seeker in the spiritual path.

If we recollect the story of Mahabharata, we will find that Yudhistira, elder brother of Arjuna conducted Rajasuya Yaga. During the proceedings, Krishna was insulted by the prince Shishupala. Krishna assumes a divine form and uses his wheel and beheads Shishupala. For some reason, Arjuna did not question who Krishna was at that time. Arjuna must have known that Krishna is the Lord Supreme of the universe. It must have appeared as a mystery and the events in the battlefield made him come out with the question. He wished, for the sake of the common man, that the Lord Himself should unravel the mystery.

We, the humans have an evolved physical body and with that we can have three planes of vision of the world and the objects in it depending upon our spiritual maturity. The three planes from lower level to the highest level of maturity are as follows:

a)  The physical external plane of vision. With the assistance of the sense organs, we can fathom the form, colour, complexion and shape of the object/person. This is external appearance only. This is deha drishti.

b)  Using the mind and intellect, he is able to consider the character, quality and nature of the object/person. This is mano drishti.

c)  Using the highest spiritual entity in him, he can visualise the Atman within all forms of life. This is Atma drishti.

The first two are relative truths from the physical and mental plane of vision and the third is Absolute truth from the spiritual plane of vision.

The entire Gita and the Vedic philosophy are to assist the seeker to develop the spiritual plane of vision and see the Absolute Truth of the Atman/Parabrahman in the entire universe.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 5 and 6

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Sloka 5

BAHOONI ME’ VYATEETANI JANMANI TAVA CHARJUNA
TANYAHAM VEDA SARVANI NA TVAM VETHA PARANTAPA.

O Parantapa, many births of mine have passed as well as yours. I know them all, but you know them not.

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We need to have Sraddha and Bhakti to accept this statement.

It is the accepted Hindu philosophy that each one of us had so many births and deaths in the past and will have many more of the same in future. The actions we conduct out of ignorance are the root cause for going through so many births and deaths. Not only human births, but our scriptures say that we have gone through births and may go through future births as other forms of life also. It all depends upon the types of actions we conduct/conducted.

By the blessings of the Lord we now are born as humans with the power of intellectual capacity of reasoning. We have adhikara (karmenyevadhikaraste’ – sloka 47, chapter 2.) in the conduct of our actions and thereby we are responsible for our own destiny. Why is this so?

One way of answering this is to say that it is all His leela. The Lord who created life on earth has given us all the freedom to act the way we want but also given the guidance in the form of Vedas to the right ways of conducting actions. The vast universe with its varied manifestations, varied qualities in each individual, varied physical features is full of attraction for each one of us. Forgetting His words of advice or ignorant of His advice we end up conducting actions that bind us to this universe. This is known as “Maya.”

The illusion makes us forget our true identity as the “Atman” within and also makes us forget to see the same Atman in all forms of life. We attach importance to name and form and forget the “Sat, Chit and Ananda.” In other words, we are the slaves to maya. Sri Krishna on the other hand is the master over Maya. Maya has no hold on Him and He wields His power over maya.

We are born as a result of our actions whereas He is born out of His free will. He has taken several births in the past, will take several births in future, all out of His own free will and departs from the world out of His own free will. He is incarnate and we are ordinary mortals.

We have no control over the time, place and the form of our birth. And we also do not have any control over the time of our death. He has full control over the time of His birth and departure from this world.

He remembers all the past, knows the present and is aware of the future of all forms of life. We, on the other hand, do not know our past, do not know the future and think that the life is all about “present.”

In the 15th chapter, He tells us that memory and loss of memory are also His blessings to mankind.

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Sloka 6

AJO’PI SANN AVYAYATMA BHOOTANAAM ISWARO’PI SAN
PRAKRITIM SVAM ADHISHTAYA SAMBHAVAAMI ATMA MAYAYA

Though I am unborn and eternal in MY being, the Lord and controller of all beings, controlling my own nature, I take birth by my own Maya.

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Sri Krishna is saying that He is unborn (aja) and eternal (avyaya). Why?

We, the humans are born into this world and all forms of life are born into this world because of “Karma Phala.” Everyone and everything that is born is due to the failure to burn out the existing vasanas in the previous births. The condition for Moksha (Liberation) is “Mano nasha and vasana kshaya.” The vasanas should be burnt and the mind annihilated.

When we first came out into this world, (many births ago), we came with a pure mind and no vasanas. Association with the world/nature around resulted in desires and hatreds and the consequent actions made us stay in this world on and on.

But, Sri Krishna’s birth is not an ordinary birth like the human. He may have been born as human but not because of any vasanas. He is born out of His own free will and we say it as His “Avatara.”

The Maya or illusion which binds us to this world does not affect Him. Maya is His tool and He decides to do what He wants. He comes into the world and departs from this world on His own free will. It is only for protection of Dharma and uprooting the evil. This is made clear in the coming few slokas.

On the contrary we are the tools of Maya. Maya enslaves us but the Lord enslaves the Maya.

He goes on to say that He is the Lord and controller of all beings.

He, as the Atman resides inside each one of us. He is the Supreme primordial energy. Without the energy we cannot survive. We need energy to live and we need energy to survive. He acts as the energy within and the energy all round us that is resident in nature. Hence He is the Lord. The moment He decides to leave the physical body, we have no more chance to be alive. Without the energy in nature, we cannot survive also.

One other reason for His birth is to set an example for others to follow. We come across several slokas in the Gita that reiterate the fact of His birth to set an example for mankind.

Let us therefore clearly understand that apparently He is the son of Devaki and Vasudeva but actually He, Krishna is the Supreme Parabrahman.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 7 – Part 1

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Sloka 7

YADA YADA HI DHARMASYA GLANIRBHAVATI BHARATA
ABHYUTTANAM ADHARMASYA TADAATMANAAM SRUJAMYAHAM.

O Bharata, whenever there is decline of righteousness and rise of evil, I manifest Myself.

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Two words are of great importance in this sloka. They are:
Dharma;
Srujami’ (manifest).

We have discussed about dharma several times already. We need to look into the word “dharma” once again and that too in its relevance to the present sloka.

Dharma is “Righteousness in action.“ It is the basic principle of man’s existence. It is needed for our existence, peace and happiness.

The Supreme Parabrahman, when He created Brahma, the four-headed Lord for the purpose of creation of life on earth, gave Him the Vedas. The Vedas are the sacred texts for the mankind that teach the humans the art of upholding the dharma.

As individuals, each one of us has to follow the law of dharma of the Atman within and the dharma of the body. This is to keep the body, which is the temple with the Lord within in good shape during its life on earth. This is for individual’s existence, peace and happiness. If we break this law, as individuals, we have no right of existence and will not experience peace and prosperity.

But we are not just individuals. We are individuals that form part of the society. The society is not just humans but includes other forms of life and nature in its various manifestations.

As members of the society, we are again divided into various nationalities. There is need for existence of each nation and peace and prosperity within each nation. Towards this there is a need for its citizens to follow the law of the land. Of course, there are defects in the structure of the law in any country and every so often there comes changes in the constitution supposed to be for the better of its individuals and the nation itself. This system is also prone to misuse. Selfishness as we know is one of the root causes of ruin of any society. The Divine Law is needed to supplement the law of the land to bring stability to any country and assist in its progress. This has to be followed by all its citizens for experiencing the maximum benefit in terms of peace and prosperity.

Every so often things happen that bring problems between nations and instability to the global life as a whole. At this time, the Divine Law is most important to avoid catastrophes.

Dharma which is “the law of the being” and the “principal of man’s existence” has to be protected to protect the individual and the universe. The Vedas boldly declare “Dharmo rakshati rakhsitaha.” (Dharma protects him who protects dharma.)

As dharma is karma conducive to man’s progress, all our actions as individuals and as corporate bodies have to follow the law of dharma.

When this karma becomes “adharma”, it impedes the progress of man and the community. Chapter 3, Karma yoga when followed with the help of Jnana yoga, the present chapter gives the basic rules for conducive duties. This is the command of the scriptures.

Hence, higher than all the laws is the Law of the Divine. This is for universal existence, peace and prosperity. While continuing to uphold the law of the land by the citizens of any country, the universal citizens have to follow the law of the Divine.

***   will be continued   ***

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 7, part 2 & Sloka 8, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
 @@@   http://www.TheGita.org/Downloads/News_09_09.pdf   @@@

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Sloka 7

YADA YADA HI DHARMASYA GLANIRBHAVATI BHARATA
ABHYUTTANAM ADHARMASYA TADAATMANAAM SRUJAMYAHAM.

O Bharata, whenever there is decline of righteousness and rise of evil, I manifest Myself.

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***   continuation from last week   ***

If there is majority of those who break the law of the land and/or the law of the divine, it leads to acts of evil. This in turn leads to doom of the society. Anarchy destroys the society. It becomes act of self-destruction.

During such times, when there is great danger of anarchy and destruction of society, the Lord says “I Manifest.” (Srujami)

We need to understand this word clearly. It means “He” shows His presence. As God is considered to be good and divine, we can say “Good and Divine manifest” instead of saying “I manifest.” This in turn will kill evil and bring in turn peace and prosperity.

The next question is “which God” comes out and manifests?

There are two ways in which we can approach this issue of “Manifest.”

First one is to see the extra ordinary divinity in a human form who lived/lives/will live the life of a sthitaprajna/jivanmukta.

The second one is actual incarnation of Lord on earth who takes birth for namesake but actually out of His free will and not due to any vasanas from previous births like us.

The sastras clearly state that he who works selflessly and not looking for fruits of action is actually divinity on earth. He who dedicates his life for the welfare of all is said to be God on earth for that period.

During evil times there will arise someone who will reach Godhood by his actions and becomes God Himself and destroys evil. The history has many examples of men/women who are considered as Gods by generations that come later on.

As the learned scholars say, at every time adharma prevails and prevents man’s evolution, the Parabrahman embodies Himself.

What will He do?
This theme is taken up in the next Sloka.

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Sloka 8

PARITRANAYA SADHOONAAM VINASHAYACHA DUSHKRITAAM
DHARMA SAMSTHAPANARTHAYA SAMBHAVAAMI YUGE YUGE

For the protection of the righteous, for the destruction of wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma, I am born in every age.

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There are three promises by the Lord in this Sloka. It is a promise by the Lord who created the life on earth. As it is He who created the life, He has to take full responsibility of its protection. This is His promise for all of us.

We should make a note that He does not bring out the Hindus or the Indians in His statement of protection. Also He has omitted caste, sex, religion, creed of any kind. He has not shown any partiality. We should therefore understand that His promise is for the entire life on earth. Hence, it is one more assertion that the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is a universal philosophical message by the Lord of the Universe.

The three promises are:
–  Protection of the good.
–  Destruction of the wicked.
–  Upholding the dharma.

Let us look into the meaning of some of the words used in this verse.

The word “Trana” means “protection.”  “Pari” means “total, full.” The word “Pari” is prefixed to “Trana” to stress the total protection.
Similarly, “Nasha” means “destruction”. “Vi” means “intensely”.  “Vinashaya” means “intensely destroying”.
Finally, “Sthapana” means “to establish” and “Sam” means “well, very much”. “Samsthapana” means “very much established.”

“Yuga” refers to the four periods of time concerning the world’s existence according to the Hindu sastras. These comprise of:
–  Krita yuga  –  duration of 1,728,000 years
–  Treta yuga  –  duration 1,296.000 years
–  Dwapara yuga  –  duration 864,000 years
–  Kali yuga  –  duration  432,000 years.
The four yugas together represent one “Maha Yuga.”

The present eon is Kali yuga. Starting from the Krita yuga, the duration is reduced by one fourth/third/half at every yuga. It is supposed to represent a similar reduction of the physical and moral decline in every Yuga.

The Hindu scriptures say that:
–  In Krita Yuga He manifested as Narasimha and Vamana to destroy demon Hiranyakashipu and the asura Bali. The incarnations were only for protection of the righteous.
–  In Treta Yuga He manifested as Rama to destroy Ravana. All the three promises in this Sloka apply aptly to incarnation as Rama.
–  In Dwapara Yuga He manifested as Krishna to destroy Shishupala and Dantavakra and uproot the entire Kaurava clan.
–  In Kali Yuga, we are told that He will be born as Kali to uproot evil. They say He will come as a sword wielding warrior on a white horse from the Himalayan region and destroy the evil.

***   will be continued   ***

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK. 
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

Find out more at www.GitaGlobal.com
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GitaGlobal or
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Posted via email from International Gita Foundation Trust