Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 3

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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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. 
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 4

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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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.

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 5 and 6

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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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

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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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
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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“.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 8, part 2

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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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***   continuation from last week   ***

We have already learnt that desire is the seed of action. Even the Lord falls into this category of people when it comes to action. His promise is action against the evil. It means that He also has desires.

We have to stress the fact here that His desire is only for the protection of the life He has created. For having created the life on earth, He has taken a promise to protect what He has created. It is His “Sankalpa” which is the vow taken by Him before He created the life on earth.

His desire is “Satvic”, nay, “Suddha Satvic.” It is a highly pure desire on His part. Rest of us, in this world, conduct actions which are admixture of the three basic gunas of “Satva, Rajas and Tamas.” In general Rajas and Tamas predominate during periods of adharma and the Lord in some form or other brings out Satva to predominate over Rajas and Tamas. A balance of power among the three gunas is necessary to protect the social fabric.

Purgation is the law of nature. Cleansing process is a constant cycle on earth. The farmer who sows the seeds, to assist in their growth, has to constantly remove the weeds that hamper the growth of the crops.

The Lord, as a prelude for creation, sowed the seeds of dharma before He created the life. As a good farmer, he has to see that He weeds out “Adharma” which hampers the growth of dharma. This Sloka is reiterating this task of weeding out adharma undertaken by the Lord.

He says that He incarnates to protect the sadhus. Even though sadhu is generally applied to an ascetic, really it means “righteous person.” It is not applicable only to the ascetics. There has to be righteousness and good amongst the four varnas.

The Brahmin has to be righteous in protecting the Vedas and scriptures.
The Kshatriya has to be righteous in protecting the masses.
The Vaishya has to be righteous in his business transaction and assist the common man to live comfortably. He is not expected to hoard anything for personal gain and bring hardship to masses.
The Sudra has also to be righteous in conducting his social duties belonging to his profession.

Real sadhu is he, who conducts actions selflessly.

To protect such sadhus, the Lord promises to come down “yuga yuge”: in every age. It is not just one incarnation in one Yuga. He is ready to appear any time there is predominance of evil. The divinity in certain special people will show forth its presence in certain regions and uphold dharma. In extreme cases, the lord incarnates Himself to uproot 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“.

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 8, part 3, Sloka 9, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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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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***   continuation from last week   ***

He promises to destroy the wicked. There are some who do not like the idea of the Lord punishing, killing wicked people. We have to look at it as a way of clearing the evil from the face of earth. We should understand this aspect of Lord’s actions clearly. In every society, there are people to uphold the law of the land. No society would like to harm its citizens. But it has a duty towards protection of its citizens. This is not a contradictory statement at all.

Similarly, we have to see the Lord as the Universal protector of dharma. After all He is the universal Justice of Law.

To punish the wicked is not to be looked upon as an act of hatred but as an act of mercy by the Lord. We, the humans have to climb up from being Stone-men to the level of God-men on earth. The world is a combination of men of the following four categories:
Stone-man
Animal-man
Man-man
God-man.
Most of the criminal acts are by Animal-men on earth.

We either have to climb up in the spiritual ladder or fall down to lower levels of birth and be born again and again till we develop the intellectual maturity to reach the level of God-men on earth. This is the path to Moksha or Liberation.

The Lord is guiding us towards the path of Moksha through the sacred book the Gita, and warns us through this Sloka not to fall from the heights of birth as humans. The sastras say that the birth right of every individual is to attain the final Liberation. The Lord, out of immense love to His creation is only assisting the individual to reach the final goal.

Our enemy is “Arishadwargas.” It is the family of six evils:
Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya.
The leader is “Kama”, the desire, lustful desire. If the leader is destroyed, his followers will surrender and peace will be established. The Lord’s incarnation is destroying the leaders that bring havoc on earth.

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Sloka 9

JANMA KARMA CHA ME’ DIVYAM EVAM YO VE’TTI TATVATAHA
TYAKTVA DEHAM PUNARJANMA NAITI MAAME’TI SO’RJUNA.

O Arjuna, he who thus knows My divine birth and action, having abandoned the body, is not born again, but to Me, he comes.

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In the secular world, knowing and becoming are two different entities and we should not apply the same principle in understanding this Sloka.

As a matter of fact this Sloka is really the re-iteration of the Upanishad declaration:
Brahmavit Brahmaiva bhavati.
It means the one who knows Brahman, becomes Brahman.

Let us try to understand this declaration first.

What the Lord has taught us so far is the fact that each of us has the Atman within which is the true Self. This Self is covered with the outer physical body made up of five elements. We are not the body but the Atman. The Atman is “Brahman.” He who knows this basic spiritual principle of the Hindu philosophy comes to understand and live with the “Eternal Truth.”

Such an individual realises the process of birth and death due to the play of the gunas and maya and soon learns to live with the bliss of “Atma Jnana.” Such an individual attains oneness with the Brahman. This is the Upanishad declaration.

***   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 9, part 2

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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Sloka 9

JANMA KARMA CHA ME’ DIVYAM EVAM YO VE’TTI TATVATAHA
TYAKTVA DEHAM PUNARJANMA NAITI MAAME’TI SO’RJUNA.

O Arjuna, he who thus knows My divine birth and action, having abandoned the body, is not born again, but to Me, he comes.

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***   continuation from last week   ***

In this Sloka, the attention is drawn to the incarnation of the Brahman as “Krishna.” The Gita as we know is incorporated in the epic Mahabharata and it highlights the divinity of Lord Krishna. He has incarnated on to the earth for the protection of the righteous and destruction of the wicked.

Mahabharata is considered as a Purana. Puranas are a collection of tales of ancient times. In post-Vedic times, the Puranas became the medium for conveying the Vedic teaching to the common man.

In the early Vedic period, there were no forms of God as such. The learned seers who went in search of the life beyond death became convinced of an unknown power behind all the activities on earth. They called the power as “Brahman.” For the sake of description, they said He was Nirguna Nirakara Brahman. This is the first step in bringing the idea of God to the fellow humans.

Understanding and realising this idea is very hard for majority. To make the subject of Brahman easy to understand, the seers took the next step in the description of Nirakara Nirguna Brahman and brought out the notion of “OM”.

 “OM” is the representation of Brahman in the form of “Sound.” Sound is the tanmatra of space. Among the five gross elements of nature, the space/ether is the nearest representation of the Parabrahman.

Meditating on this was the beginning of “Upasana” on the Supreme for the spiritual seekers.

Even this form of upasana is not easy for majority. This lead in course of time to give a name and form to “OM.” This brought out the change in upasana to a form given to the Supreme. This form was dictated by depicting the story of the Brahman in various forms of manifestations known as “Avataras.”

Through these Avataras, meditation on a name and form aspect of the Parabrahman came into vogue. Brahman, birthless and deathless, puts on the appearance of birth and growth by His divine power. It is only for the welfare of the righteous and protection of the righteous. In the process, it is also for elimination of evil.

Those seekers who mature in spirituality and attain higher levels of Bhakti, known as “Para Bhakti”, are able to live unaffected by the changes in the material world. Ultimately, even before casting off their physical bodies they merge into the Supreme.

This Sloka is bringing out this aspect of upasana of “Saguna, Sakara Brahman.” By knowing in detail about the Avatara, accepting the form in which He manifests and developing love, nay, intense love for the same is the method advocated for the benefit of the common man. To do so, the seeker has to have faith in the Brahman and belief in the mythological explanations of the Avataras. He/she can select any one of the Avataras to meditate upon.

***   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 9, part 3

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Sloka 9

JANMA KARMA CHA ME’ DIVYAM EVAM YO VE’TTI TATVATAHA
TYAKTVA DEHAM PUNARJANMA NAITI MAAME’TI SO’RJUNA.

O Arjuna, he who thus knows My divine birth and action, having abandoned the body, is not born again, but to Me, he comes.

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***   continuation from last week   ***

Meditation is a means of cleansing the mind of impure thoughts. Diverting the attention of the dynamic mind from the material world towards the Atman within needs intense love for the Supreme and concentration on His divinity and divine play. This is the path of Bhakti.

We are expected to realise that Krishna was not just the son of Vasudeva and Devaki but divinity on earth. He has no birth or death. He is immortal and omnipresent. The seeker has to understand in essence the divinity of Krishna. The word used is “Tatvataha.” He who knows the essential principle of Brahman and His manifestations is the real seeker. Knowing in this sense is living the life of divinity and expressing divinity in speech, thoughts and actions.

This implies that the seeker who can see the Lord dwelling in all forms of life, in all aspects of nature, shows love and respect for the same, is fit to attain unity with Brahman. Only such a seeker is the real knower. Knowing Brahman is not theoretical understanding of Brahman. It is the direct experience of the Brahman which is beyond the equipment of body, senses, mind and the intellect. Only such understanding of Brahman is what is meant by “Tatvataha.”

Attempts to know Brahman is “Sadhana” and to become one with the Brahman is “Sadhya.” Sadhana is practice and Sadhya is the goal to achieve.

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 10, part 1

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Sloka 10

VEETARAGA BHAYA KRODHAA MANMAYA MAM UPASHRITAHA
BAHAVO’ JNANA TAPASA POOTA MADBHAVAM AGATAHA.

Free from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by the penance in the fire of knowledge, many have attained Me.

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This chapter is Jnana Yoga and the Lord is giving the path of Jnana to attain His being which is nothing other than Moksha. He says, “Madbhavam Agataha.” It means “attain My being”.

Having given the advice, He has also given the means to achieve the same.

He says, “Free from attachment, fear and anger.” Conducting karma in the ordinary worldly sense brings in these three consequences. These lead us away from the spiritual path and make us bound to the world of samsara. We have already learnt from the previous chapter that the only way to be free from these three is by “Nishkama karma.” We have to carry on conducting all ordained actions to burn our existing vasanas and not accumulate new vasanas in the process.

We are the Atman within and the physical body is covering the same. The real me is the Atman. The physical body and the objective world around is not real Me. Attachment which arises out of desires could be either to the body or to the world of objects. Attachment to our desires and attachment to what we want to get from the desires is “Raga.”

The fear of not getting the object of desire is “Bhaya.” We see this all the time in our life. Many a times the students get frightened of not passing the exams. This reduces their efficiency while undertaking the exams. Fear of losing what we get is also Bhaya.

This in turn makes us get angry and this is “Krodha.” We have read in the second chapter the consequences of anger. (Slokas 63, 64). We fall down from the path of spirituality and become either animal men or stone men. This is because the senses and the mind drag us down and move us away from our sadhana. The sadhana is to achieve Moksha.

What should we do?

Our senses including the mind should be directed towards the Divinity within and Divinity all round. This is what we should understand from the statement “Manmaya Mam upashritaha.” The senses should be absorbed in the Atman (Manmaya). Taking shelter in Him by selfless devotion is “Mam upashritaha”.

***   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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