Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 5, sloka 13, part 2

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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*** Greetings to all on behalf of Ganesh Chaturthi today.

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Sloka 13

SARVA KARMANI MANASA SANYASTASTE’ SUKHAM VASHEE
NAVADWARE’ PURE’ DEHI NAIVA KURVAN NA KARAYAN.

Mentally renouncing all actions and self-controlled, the embodied rests happily
in the nine-gated city neither acting nor causing others to act.

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*** continuation from last week ***

Nava Dware Pure’: Nine gated city.
It is a beautiful example our scriptures like to put forward to the seekers.
The physical body is compared to a city of nine gates.

In the olden days many parts of the world were ruled by emperors, kings and the
like. Their head quarter was a big city. That city had many gates and for
discussion purpose they say it had nine gates. The gates had two purposes:

To keep a firm control over the traffic that would like to come in from outside
(only let in what was needed and not to let in that is not required or that is
dangerous. Not to let in those who might harm the residents or who would be
spies/warriors in disguise to dethrone the king,)

AND
to let the residents go out as needed. (To bring in essential requirements, for
pilgrimage etc.)

One can say it is like the customs clearance and security check at the ports of
entry in any country.

The security to the king was dependant on making sure that no enemy comes in. As
we know the cunning enemy slowly takes over the control and eventually dethrones
the king.

What are the nine gates in our body?
2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, one mouth, anus and urethra.

Whatever comes in the body has to come through these nine gates. If we can
control what comes in and out of these nine gates, we are said to help in
keeping our body healthy and this in turn brings in peace.

If our mind learns to keep a control over itself and not get excited or develops
hatred to what reaches it from the nine gates, it will experience the peace.

The enemy we are talking about in this instance is “The Ego”. The ego gets more
powerful with every success and soon the individual forgets the Atman within.

Finally, the last quarter of this sloka:

Naiva kurvan na karayan: Neither acting nor causing others to act. (the embodied
rests happily)

This is to reiterate the fact that the Atman is only a witness to all the bodily
actions, emotional feelings and mental thoughts. Each one of us are given the
freedom to think and act and learn from own experiences in life. We have to go
through the samsara which is a series of cycles of births and deaths.

In the example we have taken, all the residents of the city need to carry out
their daily activities that ensure peace for themselves, their country and
prosperity for the society. The monarch remains as a witness without personally
interfering in the life of majority.

In relation to the Atman, it is the nearest example we can give but not totally
similar to the life of the monarch.

He who constantly remembers the Atman within and acts as the servant of the
divine will experience constant peace. On the contrary he who forgets the Atman
within and lives for personal pleasures will experience the transitory nature of
pleasures and does not experience “Peace.”

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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