(Hundred Songs of the Celestial for Young Scholars)
(Discourses on Bhagavadgeetaa by N.R. Srinivasan for the Vedanta Class at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville TN.)
(Revised June 2011)
Our Holy Scriptures, Vedas, four in numbers (Rig, Yajur Saama, and Atharvana), and Upanishads (108 in all out of which 12 are major ones) contain lot of wisdom on the following topics:
Creation; evolution; human body and soul; life after death; Supreme Spirit; meditation; yoga practice; Aayurveda or Life Science; world order; cycle of birth and death; order in the universe; gods and divines; Moksha, Liberation from human bondage; moral values and ethics, self control; caring and sharing; environmental protection; universal peace etc.
The authors of these various scriptures are the Supreme Spirit itself, Lord Brahma, Veda-vyaasa, and the ancient Rishis. These scriptures are often in the form of teachings by the learned sages to their ardent and knowledgeable students. The contents of matter are for learned scholars and therefore they are difficult to understand without the guidance of a teacher well versed in them, and their language is archaic at times.
Bhagavad-geetaa consolidates all that is said in the above scriptures, and provides guidance to improve our quality of life. These are available to us in a format as taught by the learned guru Lord Krishna to his ardent and knowledgeable disciple Arjuna.
Lord Krishna's counseling to sorrowful Arjuna begins with verse 11 of Chapter 2 and ends with verse 66 of chapter 18. It begins with a note that his sorrow and concern is inadvisable and ends with an assurance that sorrow is uncalled for after elaborate counseling: "Asoechyam anvasoechas tvam (2-11)…………..maa sucha-h (18-66)"--you grieve for those who are not worthy of grief, meaning that his sorrow and concern is not advisable…..do not grieve, meaning that sorrow is uncalled for". Arjuna comes out of his sorrow, at the end of Krishna's counseling. We all need to be lifted out of sorrow, irrespective of our age. Between these two verses Geetaa contains the words of wisdom of Vedas and Upanishads retold and endorsed by Bhagavan (Lord) Krishna and his mission. Geetaa's message is particularly needed for the young and strong, who want to shape their destiny, wish to live and enjoy life at its best, and help in establishing Orderliness in Society and Dharma which gets disturbed every now and then. This booklet contains 100 verses, taken out of Geeta from chapters 2 to 18 in that context for essential and easy reading for the young mind.
It is beneficial to chant the selected verses from Bhagavad-geetaa in this booklet regularly along with the siblings and with the help of parents. It is advisable to write these verses down in Sanskrit and practice singing together with the help of a person knowledgeable in the Sanskrit language along with the transliteration in English to begin with. These verses are rhythmic and few in number, and raise our thoughts to great heights when sung with correct intonations though one may not readily comprehend their meanings initially. Full text of Geetaa contains seven hundred verses in 18 chapters. Appendix I includes a summary of these 18 chapters. Simple meaning and summary of verses where needed appear within square brackets along with the full meaning of the verses for easy assimilation for the first reading.
After the demise of Pandu, their father, the five Pandava princes were brought up and educated under the care of their grand-father Bheeshma, along with Kaurava boys of Dhritaraashtra, who was the elder brother of Pandu. Yudhishtira was the eldest amongst the Pandava princes, who was righteous. Bheema was the strongest giant. Arjuna was the cleverest, most handsome, and was the dearest to the teacher, Drona. He was also the dearest to Lord Krishna.
Duryodhana, the eldest amongst Kauravas was jealous and hated Pandavas. He tried all means to destroy them with the help of his equally evil-minded brothers, counselors, and friends. He did not succeed.
Pandavas wanted peace. They requested Dhritarashtra repeatedly for their share of the land. They were not successful as Kauravas were against it. As a last resort Lord Krishna was sent as their emissary by Yudhishtira to get at least five villages as their share to settle down peacefully, without any quarrel. Duryodhana refused to give even five houses for the five brothers to live, but declared war to settle the issue.
This great war was fought at Kurukshetra to decide the right of claim to the throne of Hastinapura and the elimination of the loser permanently. Will the good and virtuous prevail, and the evil perish? On the other hand, will the evil prevail and prosper, and the good vanquish? Krishna acted as the charioteer for his devout friend Arjuna in the war. The place where they fought is referred as Dharmakshetra in the Bhagavad-geetaa. It is a war for the preservation of dharma (righteousness) fighting the adharma (un-righteousness and its promoters) as per the will of the Supreme Spirit, and the consequent descent of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna's presence on the side of Pandavas is a clear indication of the outcome of the war. However, it needs enormous motivation and counseling on Krishna's behalf, as he is not a direct participant in the war, while Arjuna is.
Arjuna asked Krishna to drive his chariot right into the heart of the battle-field, into the no-man's land between the two forces. Arjuna facing the enemy forces comprising of the grand sire-Bheeshma, the learned guru Drona, and his own evil-minded kith and kin felt a growing weakness in his heart to fight the battle. He lost his enthusiasm to fight. When he refused to fight, Krishna felt the need of the hour. This battle had to be fought and won. His incarnation was for the annihilation of the wicked. This was the most opportune moment for the same. Krishna, therefore, gave him good advice, enlightening him upon where his duty and obligation lay. The marvelous advice is contained in the Bhagavad-geetaa, which gives concisely the essence of vast and deep learning enshrined in Vedas and Upanishads.
Throughout his advising in Geetaa, Lord Krishna acts as a guidance counselor to Arjuna and never gives an impression that he is commanding or ordering him to fight the battle, in his capacity as his well-wisher and charioteer. Only at one point, he reveals his minimal identity as Viraat-purusha (in his Viswaroopa darsana) which is itself mammoth and gigantic, and excels even the brilliance of thousands of Suns and stars beyond all proportions. This however is only a tiny part of the Supreme Spirit. The full form of the Supreme Spirit from which Viraat-purusha emanated, no-body knew, no-body knows and, No-body will ever know! Krishna however left the final choice of action to Arjuna alone, for action is individual's responsibility and bounden duty, destiny oriented without the involvement of the Supreme Spirit. The obvious choice was Arjuna's. Arjuna dazzled by this divine vision, logically convinced and cleared of his conscious, acted promptly and lead the Mahabharata War to success.
BHGAVAANUVAACHA--WHAT DID LORD KRISHNA SAY IN GEETAA?
Bhagavadgeetaa begins with the words " Dharmakshetray Kurukshetray" in the first verse and ends with the words " tatra sreer vijayoer bhootir dhruvaa neeti-h" in the last verse at the end of 18 chapters. It conveys the message that in the field of Righteousness and connected Action there will be everlasting prosperity, happiness, restoration of dharma, morality, and world order, which forms the main theme of Geetaa.
It is the will of the Supreme Spirit that Mahabharata War should take the lead as the War of Dharma (Righteousness). For this the great archer Arjuna has to arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. Lord Krishna therefore employs his masterly skill of Path of Knowledge (Jnaanayoga), Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyoga), and Path of Duty (Karmayoga) in the following verses as well as the Revelation of his Cosmic Form (Viswaroopa), in his counseling to Arjuna. On one occasion during the war he is almost ready to use his powerful weapon, but pulls back. Pandavas lead the war to success, Law of Karma prevails and the war ends as a War of Righteousness. Sanjaya's prediction at the conclusion of his narration to Dhritarashtra that there will be everlasting peace, prosperity, happiness, and restoration of world order (Dharma) comes true.
I. KNOWING YOUR-SELF (BODY AND SOUL)
Bodies of all living beings have their root in basic elements called Pancha Bhootas (earth, water, fire, air and ether or space) into which they all merge. According to Vedic thoughts, the structure of the human organism is essentially similar to the structure of the Universe. This refers to five elements (pancha-bhootas) that enter into body's composition: Earth (density, solidity); Water (cohesion, liquidity); Air (expansion, movement); Fire (light, heat); And Aakaasa (space, ether, expansion). The primary elements combine and modify to produce and maintain the inorganic as well as organic world. In the organic world however, their modifications assume a particular pattern best illustrated in the human world--combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen with other elements and their arrangement. Body's growth, maturation, decay, and disappearance follow the same natural laws. These five elements are held as divine in Vedas in ritual worships—Aaakaasa, Vaayu, Agni, Varuna and Bhoomi.
The five elements undergo a process of grossification called Pancheekarana. They then form five great gross elements. A permutation and combination of these constitute the entire gross world that we perceive called Macrocosm.
A living human body actually consists of three bodies—Gross Body, Subtle Body and Casual Body. Human body can be called microcosm in comparison to the world which is Macrocosm.
The gross body is that which is made up of the five great elements that have undergone the process of Pancheekarana, born as a result of the good actions of the past, the counter of experiences like joy, sorrow etc., and subject to the six modifications namely, to exist, to be born, to grow, to mature, to decay and to die.
The subtle body is composed of the five great elements which have not undergone grossification, born of the good actions of the past, the instrument for the experience of joy, sorrow etc. It is constituted of seventeen items, namely the five sense organs (Jnaanendriyas), the five organs of action (Karmendriyas), five Praanas, the Mind and the Intellect. This is called subtle as it cannot be seen by our senses. So also is the casual body.
Five sense organs are: ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. Five organs of action are: Organ of speech, the hands, the legs, the anus and the genital. Pancha Praanas are: Praana—governs the breathing; Apaana--responsible for evacuation or rejection of all waste materials from the body; Vyaana—responsible for circulation of blood s and nourishment of the body; Udaana—responsible for all reactions or reverse processes like vomiting, burping, shedding tears and sneezing. It is responsible for the mind in rejecting one thought and taking to another. It supplies the necessary power to subtle body to leave the gross body at death; Samaana responsible for digestion and assimilation.
The subtle body is called as Ahankaara in Sankhya philosophy. This is of three kinds—Saatvik Ahankaara, Rajasic Ahankaara, and Taamasic Ahankaara, which will be explained later. This is what causes the difference in the characteristics of human individuals.
Casual body, the subtlest of the three bodies and pervades the other two, is that which is inexplicable, without any beginning, in the form of ignorance, the sole cause of the two bodies (the gross body and the subtle body), ignorant of one's own true nature and free from duality.
Vaata in Ayur Vijnaana (Life science) is a factor that sustains the complete bodily system, the physical machinery, and physiological functions. In function, it is five-fold:
Praana—Forward Breath. It governs respiration and prevails in the whole body from toe to nostrils especially located in the head and moving in chest and throat. It contributes to mental alertness and sense efficiency. 2) Apaana—Downward Breath. It prevails in lower regions but moves in navel, intestinal canals, sex organs, legs. It contributes to the production of sperm and responsible for expelling fasces and urine. 3) Vyaana—Pervading Breath. It prevails in the heart but pervades all over the body, characterized by great speed in circulation helping sensory and motor functions, blood circulation, reflux actions like winking and distribution of vital sap to all parts of the body 4) Udaana—Ascending Breath. It prevails in the chest but moves in throat, nostrils, palate, skull and navel. It is responsible for speech, intentions, energy, strength, memory, and complexion. 5. Samaana—Equalizing Breath. It prevails in close proximity to the stomach –fire
(Jatharaagni), helping combustion. It moves in digestive organs, heart, navel, and the joints, and helps digestion and assimilation.
Vedas hold the Subtle Body and these five breaths in reverence. Notional fire-sacrifices are offered to the stomach fire (Jatharaagni) invoking them in all rituals.
Sookshma sareera is identified with individual soul called Jeevaatma, simply referred as Aaatman. Soul is called Aatman in Vedic language. Aatman is immortal and imperishable and is only a particle (or spark) of the all-pervading Supreme Spirit. Physical
body is mortal and perishable but subtle body is immortal. The inevitable death, which we all have to face happens when the subtle body snaps its connections with the physical body and quits the body. Virtually soul belongs to us and not the body.
Supreme Spirit is called Paramaatman or Brahman. Though it cannot be defined or described, it is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss (Sat-Chit-Aaananda). Existence is that which remains unchanged in all three times—past, present and future. Consciousness is Absolute Knowledge. Bliss is absolute Happiness
We worship the Supreme Spirit in many ways
as several gods of our choices like Ganesha, Rama, and Krishna etc. The Soul or Aatman in individuals is masked by three gunas (characteristics) called Sattva, Rajasa and, Taamasa, which are noble, pure and luminous; born of passion; and, born of ignorance and dark, respectively. When the individual Aatman is able to get rid of the cloud of these gunas, it will merge with its source, which is the Supreme Spirit. It is then liberated and is not subject to the cycle of births and deaths. Aatman when masked by gunas which vary in each individual in quality and quantity comes again and again and enters new bodies even-though its earlier body perishes. Body is like a shell. When one dies the body decays, and disintegrates into its constituent elements like hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous etc. At the time of death body only perishes. Aatman being immortal lives on through new lives till it gets its final liberation and dissolves in the Supreme Spirit. This we call as Moksha. Geeta talks a lot on this subject. Let us learn more about it in the words of Lord Krishna!
Arjuna facing the Kauravas at Kurukshetra is overpowered with grief at the thought of killing his own kith and kin however evil they may be. The situation needed a detached outlook rather than clinging to worldly attachment. Bhagavad-geetaa explains the relationship between the body and soul of an individual and their individual nature, and advises Arjuna not to worry and, rise to the occasion to fight.
1. Mamaivaamsoe jeevaloeke jeevabhoota-h sanaatana-h| mana-h shashtaan-eedriyaani prakriti-sthaani karshati || (15-7)
In the world of living beings, a tiny part of the Supreme Spirit (Parmaatman) often called simply as Aaatman or Self, becomes the soul, eternal in nature, and draws to itself six sense faculties including mind (Indriyas and Chitta) often called as Jeevatman or individual Self. The difference between Aatman and Jeevaataman is the limiting adjuncts—the body and mind; similar to the illusion that the enclosed pot space is different from the unlimited space.
[The individual soul in the body of living beings is the integral part of the Supreme Spirit, or Consciousness. The individual soul associates with the six sensory faculties of perception including the mind and activates them.]
2. na jaayatay mriyatay vaa kadaachin naayam bhootvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooya- h | Ajoe nitya-h saasvata-h ayam puraanoe na hanyate hanyamaane sareeray || (2-20)
The soul is never born, nor dies, nor does it come into being at physical birth. It is unborn, eternal, everlasting and ancient. Soul does not perish even when the body perishes.
[The soul is unborn, eternal, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The soul does not destroy when the body destroys.]
3. Nainam cchindanti sastraani nainam dahati paavaka-h | na chainam kledayanty-aapoe na soeshayati maaruta-h || (2-23)
Weapons do not cut this soul; fire does not burn it; water does not wet it; wind does not dry it out; soul never dies. It is eternal, all pervading, immovable, unchanging and primeval.
4. Daehinoe-asmin yathaa daehay kaumaaram yauvanam jaraa | tathaa dayhaantara-praaptir-dheeras-tatra na muhyati || (2-13)
Even as one who has a body (living entity) passes through in this life, infancy, youth, old age, the soul abiding in us will not get perplexed (or grieved on that account) as the soul never dies.
[The soul acquires another body after death. After life is just another stage of life before the cycle starts again.]
5. Vaasaamsi jeernaani yathaa vihaaya navaani grihnaani nara-h-aparaani |
tathaa sareeraani vihaaya jeernaany-anyaani samyaati navaani dayhee || (2-22)
Even as a person casts off his worn out garments and takes new ones, so do the embodied souls give up the old, worn out and out-lived bodies, and acquire other and new bodies.
What constitutes the body, and what are in its jurisdiction and field of operation?
6. Mahaa-bhootaany-ahankaaroe buddhir-avyaktam-eva cha | indriyaani dasaukam cha pancha cha indriya-goecharaa-h || (13-5)
The gross elements (five primary ingredients of the world), the ego feeling (conceit) the intellect (reason), the un-manifested, the ten senses and mind along with five objects of sensory apprehension. The un-manifest is the primary aspect of Nature, composed of the three gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
[The great five gross elements, egotism (conceit), the Intellect (reason), the un-manifested, the ten senses and mind, and the five objects of the five senses constitute living body.]
7. Ichhaa dvesha-h sukham dhukham sanghaatas-chetanaa dhriti-hi | yaetat kshetram samaasaena savikaaram-udaahritam || (13-6)
Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, aggregation of faculties with the bodily organs and the vital forces that sustains-these constitutes the body and its field of operation.
[Body consisting of the above in 13-5, operates with lust and anger (love and hate), pleasure and pain, intelligence, patience (initiative and restraint), and the sum of all these.]
Krishna therefore reminds Arjuna who was worried and agitated all the time by these words:
8. Asoechyaan-anva-soechas-tvam prajnaa-vaadaamscha bhaashasay |
Gataasoon-agataasoomscha naanu-soechanti panditaa-h || (2-11)
You grieve for those who are not to be grieved, and yet you talk words of wisdom (like even the killing of evil minded is a sin). The wise folk (who know the nature of the eternal soul) do not grieve either for those who are dead or for those living.
II. SUPREME SPIRIT (PARAMAATMAN)
No wise man has ever questioned the existence of the Supreme Spirit, whom, we call God by different names, worshipped in the past, worship in the present or will worship in the future. Our ancient and wise sages accepted without question the existence of the Supreme Spirit. Who prompts the mind to work? What spirit makes the eye see and the ear hear? Prompted by whom the life begins to move initially? All this is based on the assumption of the existence of the Supreme Spirit in the beginning. The Supreme Spirit is all pervading, eternal, all-powerful, and is the supreme knowledge. The Supreme Spirit is also called "Purusha", "Brahman", Paramaatman", "Naaraayana" "Kshetrajna" or simply "Aatman" or Self. It is fair and logical to conclude, that the Universe is created in a systematic manner, according to the will of the Supreme Spirit.
According to Scriptures, Viraat–purusha emanated from the Supreme Spirit initially. This, though only a part of the Supreme Spirit was itself full, complete and beyond human imagination (even to Arjuna, who was blessed with divine eyes to behold the Visvaroopa-darsana of the Viraat-purusha as manifested). The major portion of Purusha is un-manifest (invisible).
The universe was created by sacrificing Viraat-purusha, according to Rigveda and Purusha-sookta. At the point of the emergence of Virrat-purusha, nothing else existed. Though creation is described as Yajna where Viraat-purusha is offered as oblation, there was neither fire nor sacrificial materials available at that time. Therefore this sacrifice of the Viraat-purusha is symbolic and not the usual Yajna or homa we witness as part of rituals at home and temples, where fagots (sticks of specific wood) and ghee are offered to fire. The Sun, Moon, Stars, Agni (fire), Vaayu (air), Earth, Human Beings, animals and birds and all other living and non-living beings, and all kinds of matter came out of this so called sacrifice. In Vedic culture, anything that comes out good out of an actor given by an act, like giving charity, that act is referred to, as sacrifice or Tapasya (penance). Our stomach is often referred to as holding fire, called Jathara-agni, and food is initially offered to five life's vital forces and Aatman (Pancha praanas and Brahman) as oblation through this fire medium before eating. This is also called yajna to aatman (or self within us) in vedic sense, and in fact a mental oblation. "Combustion" and "burning calories" are terms used, in English language, though virtually no fire is involved.
Supreme Spirit is responsible for all creations both living (sentient) and non-living matter (in-sentient). Geetaa dwells at length in describing the Supreme Spirit. Supreme Spirit in its natural condition is free, fearless, immortal, beyond sorrow and evil, immutable and sinless. If we are in its company we are safe and attain all its qualities. Geetaa describes in detail its nature, qualities, and the ways and means to reach it to save ourselves from worldly miseries and shackles, avoid repeated cycle of birth and death, and to share eternal happiness in its company. One of the famous maxims of Vedas says: "Intelligence is Brahman—Prajnaanam Brahman" (in Aitareya Upanishad of Rigveda)".
9. Eesvara-h sarva-bhootaanam hrid-daesay Arjuna tishthati | bhraamayan sarva-bhootaani yantraa-roodhaani maayaya || (18-61)
The Supreme Spirit, who is the lord of all, dwells in the heart (inner psyche) of all living beings, and by its own uncanny and creative power (of Maaya or illusion) spins about all creations, as if , they are mounted on a puppet-machine.
Bhagavadgeetaa talks of inner psyche as the heart. Inner psyche, should not be confused with the physical heart.
[The Supreme Spirit, controlling us from within, causes all of us to work out our past and present actions (karma). We are puppets of our own actions (karma).]
10. Mayaa tatam-idam sarvam jagad-avyakta-moortina | mat-sthaani sarva-bhootaani na chaaham teshv-avasthita-h || (9-4)
This entire world is pervaded by the Supreme Spirit, who in truth is un-manifest (Invisible). All the living beings subsist in the Supreme Spirit, but the Supreme Spirit, does not confine to these beings (because it is the highest of all).
[Invisible presence of the Supreme Spirit pervades the entire Universe. All beings have life in it, but it is not in them.]
11. Prakritim svaam-avashtabhya visrijaami puna-h puna-h | bhoota-graamam imam kritsnam avasam prakritaer-vasaat || (9-8)
The Supreme Spirit, consorting with the concrete Nature (Purusha and Prakriti), which is in fact its own (creative power called Maaya), creates the whole host of creatures repeatedly (viz. Kalpa after Kalpa) ; these creatures by themselves are not independent, but function by Nature's power (ones own inborn qualities or guna).
[The Supreme Spirit creates the entire multitude of beings again and again with the help of its own material nature. These beings are under the control of the modes of material nature (characteristics--good nature (satva) or passion (rajas) or ignorance (tamas) or the combinations thereof f)]
12. Manushyaanaam sahasreshu kaschid-yatati siddhayae| yatataam-api siddhaanaam kaschin maam vaetti tattvata-h || (7-3)
A lucky one will strive to attain self-perfection amongst thousands of men. Even among those that struggle that hard and achieve success, may be luckier one will realize the nature of the Supreme Spirit.
13. Bhoomir-aapa-h-analoe vaayu-h kham manoe buddhir eva-cha | ahankaara iteeyam may bhinnaa prakritir-ashtadhaa || (7- 4)
Earth (smell), water (taste), fire (vision), air (touch), space (ether-sound), mind, intellect (reasoning), and ego (the source of all activities )—these eight constitute nature and they manifest with the support of the Supreme Spirit.
Nature (Prakriti) is defined as the material cause or the material out of which everything is made.
Prakriti is the original source of the material world consisting of three modes (gunas or characteristics) and eight basic elements out of which everything in the universe has evolved.
14. Aham kritsnasya jagata-h prabhava-h pralayas-tathaa | matta-h parataram naanyat-kinchid-asti Dhananjaya | mayi sarvam-idam proetam sootre maniganaa iva || (7-6, 7)
The Supreme Spirit is the origin of all worlds, as well as the place where they ultimately dissolve. There is nothing whatsoever yet higher than the Supreme Spirit. All the Worlds are, strung in the Supreme Spirit, like rows of diverse pearls on a single thread.
[Supreme Spirit is the birth and dissolution of this universe; there is nothing superior to it; everything in the universe is strung on the Supreme Spirit, like jewels strung on a thread of necklace.]
15. Na may vidu-h suraganaa-h prabhavam na maharshaya-h | aham-aadir- hi devaanaam maharsheenaam cha sarvasa-h || (10-2)
No one, not even among the host of gods above or great sages here on earth, understand the origin of the Supreme Spirit, for he is the one who has created the very gods and sages (besides all that exists).
[Neither the celestial controllers, nor the great sages know the origin of the Supreme Spirit, because it is also the origin of them all.]
16. Aham sarvasya prabhavoe matta-h sarvam pravartatay | iti matvaa bhajantay maam budhaa bhaava-samanvitaa-h || (10-8)
The wise folk will understand that the Supreme Spirit (abiding in their own souls) is the source of all things and all beings, and that everything is sustained and activated by it; and will approach the Supreme Spirit filled with devotion and perseverance.
[Supreme Spirit is the source of everything; everything emanates from it--thinking in this way the learned concentrate on Supreme Spirit.]
17. Bahir-antascha bhootaanaam acharam charameva cha | Sookshmatvaat-tad- avijnaeyam doorastham chaantikay cha tat || (13-15)
The Supreme Spirit is within all beings, and also outside. It remains unmoved, and it also moves. It is incomprehensible, because it is extremely subtle. It is far away in the supreme Abode (Parama Dhaama), but indeed, it is nearby residing in ones inner psyche.
18. Ananyaas-chintayantoe maam yae janaa-h paryupaasatay | teshaam nityaabhi-yuktaanaam yoega-kshaemam vahaamyaham || (9-22)
Those folks who contemplate on the Supreme Spirit as their own inmost being, and no other, and are entirely devoted, attaching themselves uninterruptedly to this discipline, to that very Reality, will find that the Supreme Spirit takes full care of their welfare. Supreme Spirit will give what they do not have and increase what they have.
[Supreme Spirit personally takes care of both spiritual and material welfare of those ever-steadfast devotees who always remember and adore Supreme Spirit with contemplation, thinking of nothing else.]
19. Yae-apy-anya-daevataa bhaktaa yajante sraddha-yaanvitaa-h | tae-api maameva Kaunteya yajanty-avidhi-poorvakam || (9-23)
Even the devotees of other gods (viz. other than the Supreme Spirit like worshipping images), who worship them, filled with devotion, will in truth only worship the Supreme Spirit abiding within their own soul, although this does not constitute to the normal procedure of worship, meaning their means are poor.
[Even those devotees who worship the deities with faith, they also really worship Supreme Spirit, but in an improper way.]
20. Aham hi sarva-yajnaanaam bhoektaa cha prabhur eva cha | na tu maam- abhijaananti
tay || (9-24)
For it is only the Supreme Spirit that is ultimately the recipient of all forms of worship; and it is the dispenser of the rewards there of. However, these folks (the devotees who worship other gods) do not really recognize the Supreme Spirit (in the gods they worship), and therefore fall back to the common level of living (and are not liberated from cycle of birth and death).
[Supreme Spirit is the lord and enjoyer of all rituals. People, who do not know the true transcendental nature of the Supreme Spirit do not escape cycle of birth and death, and are born again.]
21. Brahma-arpanam brahma havir-brahmaagnou brahmanaa hutam | brahmaiva taena gantavyam brahma-karma-samaadhinaa || (4-24)
The Supreme Spirit is the offering in his sacrifice; the Supreme Spirit is the oblation offered by
the Supreme Spirit into the fire of the Supreme Spirit. One who absorbs in such a sacrificial act with reverence to the Supreme Spirit will surely attain the Supreme Spirit.
In the beginning, everything was Supreme Spirit. Supreme Spirit created Viraat-Purusha which itself was full and complete. This was mentally sacrificed by Devas to create the universe and everything else. There was nothing to offer initially before the creation so the Supreme Spirit offered itself, in the beginning.
[People perform sacrifice in many different ways. The one, who considers everything as a manifestation, or an act of the Supreme Spirit, shall realize the Supreme Spirit.]
22. Samoeham sarva-bhooteshu na may dvaeshyoe-asti na priya-h | Yae bhajanti tu maam bhaktyaa mayi tay taeshu chaap-yaham || (9-29)
The Supreme Spirit is the same in all beings. There is no ill-will or love on the part of the Supreme Spirit towards anyone. But it inclines favorably towards those who seek it out with earnestness and devotion. They will naturally abide in the Supreme Spirit, for they realize that the Supreme Spirit, as abiding in them.
[The Supreme Spirit is present equally in all beings. There is no one hateful or dear to it. Those who worship the Supreme Spirit with love and devotion are very close to the Supreme Spirit, and the Supreme Spirit is therefore very close to them.]
23. Yoe maam pasyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pasyati | tasyaaham na pranas-yaami sa cha may na pranasyati || (6-30)
He who perceives the Supreme Spirit everywhere, and perceives all things in it, will find that the Supreme Spirit is not lost for him, nor he lost to it.
[Who sees Supreme Spirit in all things and all things in the Supreme Spirit, he is never far from the Supreme Spirit, and the Supreme Spirit is never far from him.]
24. Chatur-vidhaa bhajantay maam janaa-h sukritnoe-rjuna| aartoe jignaasur arthaarthee jnaanee cha Bharatarshabha|| (7-16)
25. Taeshaam jnaanee nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir- visishyatay | priyoe hi jnaaninoe-atyartham-aham sa cha mama priya-h || (7-17)
The good people who put their faith in the Supreme Spirit are found in four groups: 1) the afflicted and desperate; 2) the seekers of knowledge; 3) the pursuers of wealth, and 4) the wise. Of them, the wise one constantly tied to the discipline and being unique mindedly attentive to the Supreme Spirit will favorably turn towards it, additionally.
[Four types of virtuous ones worship or seek the Supreme Spirit. They are: the distressed, the seeker of Self-knowledge, the seeker of wealth, and the enlightened one who has experienced the Supreme Spirit (wise man). The wise man, steadfast, devoted to the Supreme spirit, is the best among these.]
26. Aabrahma-bhuvanaal-loekaa-h punaraavartina-h-Arjuna | maamupetya tu Kaunteya punarjanma na vidyatay || (8-16)
All the worlds from the creator's jurisdiction (realm) downwards, are cyclic in nature—they appear, disappear and reappear. When, however, one reaches Supreme Spirit, there is no more re-birth for him.
[The dwellers of all the worlds up to and including heaven, the world of the creator are subject to the miseries of repeated birth and death. After attaining the Supreme Spirit, one does not take birth again.]
27. Naaham vaedair na tapasaa na daanena na cha yajyayaa | sakya evam-vidhoe drashtum drishtavaanasi maam yathaa || (11- 53)
Not by the study of the Vedas, not by the performance of austerities (tapas), not yet by gifts or sacrifices, can one have the vision of the Supreme Spirit in its totality and majesty.
28. Patram pushpam phalam toeyam yoe may bhaktyaa prayacchati | Tad aham bhakty-upahritam asnaami prayataatmana-h (9-26)
Whoever offers the Supreme Spirit with devotion, a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even just water, Supreme Spirit accepts the same offered by the pure mind with devotion and love.
29. Adveshtaa sarva-bhootaanaam maitra-h karuna eva cha | nirmamoe nirahan- kaara-h sama dhu-hka-sukha-h kshamee || (12-13)
30. Santushta-h satatam yoegee yataatmaa dridha-nischaya-h | mayy-arpita-manoe-buddhir yoe madbhakta-h sa may priya-h || (12-14)
One, who does not harbor feelings of ill-will toward any creature; who is friendly and compassionate, one devoid of thoughts of ego and arrogance, one who keeps the same demeanor in pleasure and pain, and forgiving, who is always peaceful and content, who has restrained his senses and mind, and whose convictions are firm--will be dear to the Supreme Spirit; Because, he would have settled all his thoughts and resolves on the Supreme Spirit. He would truly partake of the nature of Supreme Spirit.
[One who does not hate any creature, who is friendly and compassionate, free from the notion of "I" and "mine", even minded in pain and pleasure, forgiving; and who is ever content, who has subdued the mind, whose resolve is firm, whose mind and intellect are engaged in dwelling upon Supreme Spirit and devoted, is dear to Supreme Spirit.]
31. Yad aaditya-gatam taejoe jagad –bhaasyatay akhilam | yac-chandramasi yac-chaagnou tat taejoe viddhi maamakam || (15-12)
The light in the Sun, which illuminates
the whole world, that which is in the Moon, in the Fire (Agni), that light is of the Supreme Spirit only.
32. Tam eva saranam gaccha sarva-bhaavaena Bhaarata | tat-prasaadaat-paraam shantim sthaanam praapsyasi saasvatam || (18-62)
One must therefore seek refuge with all his beings only in the Supreme Spirit. He will attain the highest state of unshakeable peace (eternal peace) by its grace. Consequently, he will merge with the Supreme Spirit, and become part of it.
[Take shelter in the Supreme Spirit. It will give you eternal peace.]
VISVAROOPA DARSANA (THE COSMIC FORM)
After extensive counseling, Lord Krishna finds Arjuna willing to listen to him as a friend and well wisher but still has not gathered enough strength to take the mighty task of fighting the evil forces. His muscles are still weak and needed magic spell and healing. Lord Krishna studying the situation, reveals to Arjuna that he was none other than that power abiding in all living beings and matter by exhibiting the pervasiveness and supremacy of the divine in his cosmic form—Visvaroopa darsana. He had an one occasion shown this form to Dhritaraashtra in the assembly of all elders in the court of Hastinapura when he went as an emissary, and on another occasion to his foster mother Yasoda when he was a child, which Arjuna has not experienced. Offering divine sight to Arjuna, Krishna asks him to behold the spectacular sight. Arjuna is bewildered. Even with the divine eyes he could neither measure the height nor the girth nor the contents of the Viraat-purusha, who is only a tiny portion of the Supreme Spirit. Then, what about normal human beings? How then will be his full form? This alone seems full and not exhaustive in the knowledge of even wise Arjuna! Arjuna is now convinced and has gathered enough strength. He has no more questions, but would like to enrich his knowledge further, and would like to listen to him, as Arjuna has now realized that Lord Krishna is none other than Supreme Spirit itself, and nothing can go wrong acting on his advice.
33. Pasya may Partha roopaani satasoe-atha sahasrasa-h | naanaa-vidhaani divyaani naanaa-varna aakriteeni cha || (11-5)
O Arjuna! Behold my hundreds and thousands of multifarious different colors and shapes in a bewildering panorama.
34. Divi soorya sahasrasya bhavaed-yugapad-utthitaa | yadi bhaa-h sadrisee saa syaad-bhaasas-tasya mahaatmana-h || (11-12)
Were the splendor of thousands of Suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that, would not resemble the splendor of that exalted being.
IV. YOGA (PATH TO PERFECTION), SAANKHYA (WISDOM OF LIFE), AND JNAANA (KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUPREME).
Yoga is practice and action. Sankhya is wisdom and theory. A combination is ideal for devotion to the Supreme Spirit. We should consider joy and sorrow, victory and defeat with the same feelings. To attain complete peace of mind, these desires should not be allowed to influence the mind even if the pleasures did exist, just as the sea takes in the waters of the rivers without spilling over its coasts. This can be achieved by constant practice of yoga fixing the mind on the Supreme Spirit alone.
35. Loekaesmin dvividha nishthaa puraa proektaa mayaa-anagha | jnaana-yoegayna saankhyaanaam karmayoegayna yoginaam || (3-3)
There are two-fold path of spiritual discipline in this world; one, the method of wisdom for those interested in theory (Jnaanayoga-yoga of knowledge); and the other, the method of action
(Karmayoga, Yoga of action) interested in practice.
[The path of pursuit of knowledge of the Supreme Spirit is for the contemplative ones, and the path of unselfish work for all others; this has been a twofold path of spiritual discipline in the past.]
36. Asamsayam mahaabaahoe manoe durnigraham chalam | abhyaasaena tu Kaunteya vairaagyaena cha grihyatay || (6-35)
Hard undoubtedly is the mind to control, for it is extremely fickle—unsteady and wandering; but by repeated and untiring effort and by dispassion of spiritual practice, it can be restrained (like meditation and yoga).
[Mind is difficult to control; but determination helps, and renunciation by practicing yoga or meditation curbs it. Mind can be controlled through systematic practice of yoga.]
37. Yogee yunjeeta satatam aatmaanam rahasi sthita-h | ekaakee yata-chittaatmaa niraaseer-aparigraha-h || (6-10)
The practitioner of the discipline of yoga must constantly apply himself to the spiritual discipline—integrate himself with practice, remaining in a secret place, being alone, but with his mind in full control, having no worldly desires whatsoever, and not longing to possess anything (eliminating all thoughts of 'I' and 'Mine').
[A yogi should meditate on the Supreme Spirit (true Self) living in solitude, keeping mind and body's passion in check.]
38. Yatantoe yoeginas-chainam pasyanty-aatmany-avasthitam | yatantoepy-akritaatmanoe nainam pasyanty-achetasa-h || (15-11)
The ascetics (yogis) when they strive for perfection, see the Supreme Spirit in themselves. But, the ignorant and those that have not trained their minds (whose hearts are not pure) do not see it, even if they strive.
39. Naatyasna-tas tu yoegoe-asti na chai-kaantam-anasnata-h | na chaati svapna-seelasya jaagratoe naiva cha Arjuna || (6-16)
Yogic practice is not possible for he who eats too much, or for one who does not eat at all, nor for one who oversleeps or for one who stays awake all the time.
40. Yuktaahaara-vihaarasya yukta-cheshtasya karmasu | yukta-svapnaava-boedhasya yoegoe bhavati du-hkhahaa || (6-17)
Yogic discipline will succeed and destroy all pains for one who is balanced in his food intake, recreation, and effort in actions, sleep, and wakefulness.
[Yoga destroys all sorrow; it is only for the moderate in eating, recreation, working, resting, sleeping, and waking.]
41. Tad viddhi paripaatena praniprasnaena saevayaa | upadaekshyanti tay jnaanam jnaaninas tattva-darsina-h || (4-34)
Wisdom (transcendental knowledge) is to be acquired by respectfully approaching the teachers, by questioning with humility the learned masters, and by offering service to sages. The wise men that see things, as they really are, will no doubt instruct and enlighten.
42. Na hi jnaanaena sadrisam pavitram-iha vidyatay | tat-svayam yoga-samsiddha-h kaalaena-atmani vindatay || (4-38)
There is nothing in this world which can compare with wisdom (to know Supreme Spirit) in its power to purify an individual. This knowledge, one will be able to find himself and within himself in due course, as he goes on perfecting the discipline of his prescribed duties. Time makes the man see the truth of this.
[There is no purifier in this world like the true knowledge of the Supreme Spirit. Time makes man see the truth of this.]
43. Sraddhaavaan labhatay jnaanam tat-para-h samyatae-ndriya-h | jnaanam labdhvaa paraam saantim-achiraena-adhigacchati || (4-39)
A devout person, intent on wisdom also, will surely obtain wisdom, exercising restraint over his sense-faculties (including mind). Having obtained wisdom (of the Supreme Spirit), he will soon find the perfect peace. Faithful pursuit of knowledge will tame ones senses. This knowledge will lead to peacefulness.
[One who has faith in Supreme Spirit, one who is sincere in selfless (yogic) practice, and has control over the mind and senses, gains this supreme wisdom. Having gained this knowledge, one quickly attains supreme peace and liberation.]
44. Ajnascha asradda-dhaanas-cha samsayaatmaa vinasyati | naayam loka-h-asti na paroe na sukham samsaya-atmana-h || (4-40)
The irrational, the ignorant, the disrespectful, the disbelieving, awaits ruin. The doubt-ridden disbeliever finds joy neither in this world nor in the next.
45. Samadukha-h sukha-h svastha-h sama-loeshtaasma-kaanchana-h | tulya-priyaa priyoe dheeras-tulya-nindaatma-sam-stutihi || (14-24)
He, the wise one, would be the same in misery or in happiness; he abides entirely in himself; holds clod of earth, stone or gold as of equal worth; looks upon friend or foe (desirable and undesirable things or events) as of equal value; and is unaffected by blame or praise. He remains serene in moment of glory and depression.
[The wise one is indifferent to pain and pleasure. A clod, a stone, and gold are alike to him. To him the dear and unfriendly are alike. He is of firm mind. He is calm in censure and praise.]
V. DUTY, EFFORT AND KEEPING ONE-SELF AWAY FROM FORCES OF DESIRE AND ATTACHMENT (NISHKAAMA KARMA)
Lord Krishna impresses on Arjuna to do selfless duty of his jurisdiction as a warrior and a wise man, and, not to shirk work, towards helping restore world order (Dharma).
Not seeking the result of one's work is called "Nishkaama Karma". It should not be interpreted as merely ceasing from all activities, which is only delusion and produces only negative results. The secret is to work without any thought of being the doer, to act with no feeling of personal self, but merely as an instrument of the Supreme Spirit. This is what one has to learn; this loving devotion to Supreme spirit in the performance of any work allotted to one is the best of all paths; i.e. the supreme path of realizing the Supreme.
Supreme Spirit itself is involved in the process of the destruction of the evil, whenever called for, to establish world order. Necessary steps have also been taken by the Supreme Spirit to establish orderliness in society, establishing "varnaasrama vritti", so that each can work in his own capacity according to his aptitude and skill. Arjuna should be a part and parcel of that order, and discharge his duty. Pandavas and Kauravas are all ready on the field. Krishna therefore reminds Arjuna, repeatedly of the task (Kriya) before him without bothering about the fruit, or the thought of killing.
46. Karmany-eva-adhikaaras-te maa phaleshu kadaachana | maa karma phala-hetur-bhoor-maa tay sangoetsv-akarmani || (2-47)
Effort should be ones proper concern, and never the fruits that it will bring. One must not take credit for the result of his action nor should one prefer laziness and sloppiness, not working at all.
47. Niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyaayoe hy-akarmana-h | sareera-yaatraapi cha tay na prasiddhyed-akarmana-h || (3-8)
One must without fail engage himself in actions that are proper for him. Action is better than no action. By inaction, even the maintenance of the body becomes impossible.
48. Na hi kaschit kshanamapi jaatu tishtaty-akarmakrit | kaaryatay hy -avasa-h karma sarva-h prakritijair-gunai-hi || (3-5)
No one whoever he may be, can remain at any time without doing any work even for a moment. He will be compelled by force of nature to engage himself in some action determined by the gunas (inborn qualities) of his own nature. The senses being the products of nature compel all to work.
[No one attains perfection by merely giving up action, because no one can remain inactive even for a moment. The forces of nature drive everyone to action.]
49. Na karmaanaam-anaarambhaan-naishkarmyam purushoe-asnutay | na cha sanyaasanaad-eva siddhim samadhi-gacchati || (3-4)
One does not attain release from action (freedom from bondage of Karma) by not acting. It is not by merely Sanyaasa, renunciation (renouncing from worldly life) one can achieve perfection.
50. Yad yad aacharati sraeshthas tat tad evaetaroe jana-h | sa yat-pramaanam kurutay loekas tad-anuvartatay || (3-21)
Whatever noble persons do, others follow. Whatever standards they set up, the world follows.
Sadrisam chaeshtatay svasyaa-h prakritaer-jnaanavaan-api | prakritim yaanti bhootaani nigraha-h kim karishyati || (3-33)
Everyone, even a learned and wise man, acts in accordance with his own inborn nature. All living beings follow their own nature. How will stubbornness help? The Supreme Spirit prompts all beings to act in accordance with their own previous actions (karma).
[All beings follow their nature. What, then, is the value of sense of restraint? It is necessary to have control over attachment and aversion (likes and dislikes) to attain peace of mind and tranquility.]
52. Sreyaan-svadharmoe viguna-h paradharmaat-svanushthitaat | svadharmay nidhanam sraeya-h paradharmoe bhayaavaha-h || (3-35)
It is better to perform with one's own duty (way of life--sva-dharma) albeit clumsily, than to perform with some other person's duty (para-dharma). It is better even to lay down one's life while performing ones own duty, because doing another's duty (keeping one self alive), can be perilous (fraught with dangers). The moral of this is that one should not tread in unknown and unfamiliar fields.
[One's inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work. Death in carrying out one's natural work is useful. Unnatural work produces too much stress.]
53. Saktaa-h karmany-avidvaamsoe yathaa kurvanti Bhaarata | kuryaad vidvaamsa-h tathaa-saktas chikeershur loeka-sangraham || (3-25)
The ordinary and ignorant people, who are abscessed with work, do their work with attachment and involvement. The wise should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant people who are attached to fruits of work. The wise should also likewise work, but without attachment and involvement, and with intention of securing the welfare of the world.
54. Brahmany-aadyhaaya karmaani sangam tyaktvaa karoeti ya-h | lipyatay na sa paaapaena padma-patram ivaambhasaa || (5-10)
One who does all work as an offering to the Supreme Spirit, abandoning selfish attachment, remains untouched by sin or karmic effects as a lotus leaf which never gets wet by water. A man devoted to selfless service (karmayogi) does not incur any sin.
55. Paritraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dushkritaam | dharma sam-sthaapan-aarthaaya sambhavaami yugae yugae || (4-8)
It is for protecting the good folk, and destroying the wicked (evil doers), and in order to uphold Dharma that the Supreme Spirit gets into obvious manifestations in every age.
[Supreme Spirit appears from time to time for protecting the good, for transforming the wicked, and for establishing world order (dharma)]
56. Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glaanir-bhavati Bhaarata | abhyutthaanam-adharmasya tadaatmaanam srijaamy aham || (4-7)
Whenever dharma (righteousness) declines and withers away, the adharma (un-righteousness) raises its head, the Supreme Spirit will manifest itself in the world, to establish world order and restore the balance.
57. Chatur-varnyam mayaa srishtam guna-karma-vibhaagasa-h | tasya kartaara-mapi maam viddhy-akartaaram-avyayam || (4-13)
Actions (or functions) are distributed among the four great classes of human beings—the brahmanas, the kshatriyas, the vaisyas, and the soodras, in accordance with their tempera-ments (gunas and actions). Yet the Supreme Spirit is not the author of this social order really. Supreme Spirit, which is eternal and not bound by Kaarmic laws, does nothing directly.
[Though Supreme Spirit divides the people to four classes on the basis of Guna and Karma, it has no stake in that intent or action. They alone are responsible because of their past and present karmic actions.]
58. Sauryam tejoe dhritir-daakshyam yuddhe chaapy-apalaayanam | daanam-eesvara-bhaavascha kshaatram karma svabhaavajam || (18- 43)
Valor, bravery, endurance, and competence, courage in encounter with enemies, generosity, and knowledge of ruling a kingdom--these characterize the work of Kshatriyas or protectors.
These are the binding guidelines for Arjuna to rise to the occasion and act as a true kshatriya (protector). The social order with four divisions in accordance with the distribution of gunas and actions occasioned by them were brought into being by the Supreme Spirit himself. One must understand that the immutable Supreme Spirit is the author of this social order, while in the real sense not so. The actual operation of Karma is specific to each individual soul and does not affect the Supreme. Arjuna should therefore do his duty as a Kshatriya, and preserve dharma, which is at peril just then.
59. Sukha-duhkhae samay kritvaa labhaa-laabhau jayaa-jayau | tatoe yuddhaaya yujyasva naivam paapam-avaapsyasi || (2-38)
One must consider pleasure and pain, profit and loss, victory and defeat, as of equal intent. If then one sets to do his duty no sin will accumulate. There is no blame this way.
60. Hatoe vaa praapsyasi svargam jitvaa vaa bhoekshyasay maheem | tasmad uttistha Kaunteya yuddhaaya krita-nischaya-h || (2-37)
Then, if Arjuna dies in the battle, he will have a martyr's death and will reach heaven. If he is successful in the battle, he will enjoy the rule of his kingdom in this world. Therefore, he should stand to the occasion and fight the battle.
[Arjuna will go to heaven if killed in the line of duty, or he will enjoy kingdom on earth if victorious. Therefore, he should rise to the occasion with the determination to fight.]
VI. HUMAN NATURE BASED ON HUMAN QUALITIES (GUNAS-SATTVA, RAJAS AND TAMAS
Arjuna has a doubt in his mind. All men despite having come from the same divine power and made up of the same material, still differ from one another so greatly in their nature. Why is it so? Lord Krishna then clears his doubt. This is so because every human being is ruled by a temperament (called Guna) under which he molds his nature and character. There are three kinds of such gunas or nature or temperaments, namely Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva attaches man to happiness, Rajas to action and Tamas to ignorance or diminishing knowledge.
The soul within us inherits its natural strands (gunas) from its previous body or birth. The soul itself is eternal and never dies. It is however influenced by the clouds of one or two or all the three qualities called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. These are: noble and bright; passion and arrogant; and dark and ignorant respectively, being their inherent qualities. The soul, to get liberated, should free itself from these qualities sooner or later. We should try to overcome the negative influences of Rajas and Tamas with Sattva, and in the process get rid of all the clouds surrounding the soul ultimately. At this stage we have '0' value of the gunas. We are in a state of "action-free" at this point. This is called "gunaa-teetha" a state, beyond the borders of influence by gunas. The soul has to worry no more for either, good or bad, its mission accomplished. The soul is now free from cycle of births and deaths at this stage and is fortunate to enter the domain of the Supreme Spirit, of which it is only a tiny particle, to enjoy the eternal bliss. This we call as "Moksha" and others call the same as "entering heaven" or "entering the Kingdom of God".
Every human being therefore should try to overcome the negative influences of Rajas and Tamas by Saatvic actions and bring the influence of gunas to neutrality. Then there is no further struggle. It is easier said than done. We do not know how many births we took to come to our present position and we do not know how many more lives we have to struggle. But, we must try to improve the quality of soul, which is our only possession, and not the perishable body, in each birth for liberation or Moksha, which is the ultimate goal. We have seen such an example set by great people like Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhwa, Ramakrishna and others in our own country. There are also others in other parts of the world and from different faiths. Geetaa's wisdom throws lot of light on this.
61. Sattvam rajas-tama iti gunaa-h prakriti-sambhavaa-h |
nibadhnanti Mahaabaahoe daehay daehinam-avyayam || (14-5)
There are three constituent strands (gunas) that are formed out of the nature –Sattva (goodness), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (ignorance, inertia). They bind the individual soul to the body. The individual soul by its nature is immutable (changeless).
[Goodness, passion and ignorance—these three modes of ropes of Material Nature bind the eternal individual soul to the body]
62. Tatra sattvam nirmalatvaat-prakaasakam-anaamayam |
sukha-sangena badhnaati jnaana-sangena chaanagha || (14-6)
Among the gunas, sattva is pure, immaculate (illumines, provides light) and is free from stains (like sickness, defects, impurities). It binds the embodied soul with longings (attachments) for happiness and wisdom.
[Of these, the mode of goodness is illuminating and pure. The mode of goodness brings happiness and knowledge to living beings..]
63. Rajoe raagaatmakam viddhi trishnaa-sanga-samudbhavam |
tan-nibadhnaati Kaunteya karmasangaena daehinam || (14-7)
Rajas is born of passion, and attachment to thirst (craving) is its source. It binds the embodied soul with attachment to actions. It causes unrest and attachment.
[Intense craving for sense gratification and greed is the characteristic of the mode of passion. It is the source of material desire, attachment, and restlessness. The mode of passion binds the living being to the fruit of work.]
64. Kaama esha kroedha esha rajoeguna samudbhava-h | mahaasanoe mahaa –paapmaa viddhyenam iha vairinam ||(3-37)
It is greed and it is anger that is created by the terrible and heinous rajas (passion) characteristic. Therefore, greed and anger should be treated as enemies.
65. Tamas-tv-ajnaanajam viddhi mohanam sarva-daehinaam |
pramaad-aalasya-nidraabhis-tanni-badhnaati Bhaarata || (14-8)
Tamas is born of ignorance, and it deludes (leads astray) all living beings and is born of inertia. It binds them with heedlessness (lack of earnestness), indolence, and sleepiness.
[The mode of ignorance and inertia is born of ignorance, and deludes the living being. It binds the living being to carelessness, laziness, and excessive sleep.]
66. Ahankaaram balam darpam kaamam kroedham cha samsritaa-h |
maam-aatma-para-daehayshu pradvishantoe-abhya-sooyakaa-h || (16-18)
People prompted by rajas and tamas rely on their own petty selfishness (egotism), desire and anger, and are envious of all others; they hate the Supreme Spirit present in their own bodies and in the bodies of others.
[Malicious Raajasic and Taamasic people cling to egotism, power, arrogance, lust, and anger; and hate Supreme Spirit in their own bodies and those of others.]
67. Sattvam sukhay sanjayati raja-h karmani Bhaarata | jnaanam-aavritya tu tama-h pramaaday sanjayaty-uta || (14- 9)
Sattva prompts one to cling to happiness (and to the means thereof); Rajas causes one to engage him (with attachment) in actions, and Tamas will overpower wisdom, and lead one to attach himself to heedlessness and stifling discrimination.
[The mode of goodness attaches one to happiness of learning and knowing Supreme Spirit, the mode of passion attaches to action, and the mode of ignorance attaches to negligence by covering the Self-knowledge.]
68. Rajas-tamascha-abhibhooya sattvam bhavati Bhaarata | raja-h sattvam tamas-chaiva tama-h sattvam rajas tathaa || (14-10)
Goodness prevails when occasionally it overpowers both passion and ignorance; passion prevails when it overpowers both goodness and ignorance; and, ignorance prevails when it overpowers goodness and passion.
[Sattva occasionally rules over rajas and tamas; rajas over sattva and tamas.; and tamas over sattva and rajas.]
69. Karmana-h sukritas-yaahu-h saatvikam nirmalam phalam | rajasas tu phalam duhkham-ajnaanam tamasa-h phalam || (14-16)
The result is said to be good and stainless (saatvika) when the right actions are well performed; when the action done is one of passion (rajasa), the result is sorrow or pain; and, when the action is dark and shady in character (tamasa) the result is of ignorance.
[The fruits of noble action are beneficial and pure. The fruits of passionate action lead to agony. The fruits of ignorant action, leads to laziness.]
VII. CHARACTERISTIC OF THE DIVINE AND THE EVIL MINDED (DEVILISH)
This life on earth is a journey through a jungle of wild growth, infested by wild beasts and dacoits waiting to pounce on the unwary traveler. The knowledge of scriptures and sacred books can show one, the way out of it.
Abhayam sattva-samsuddihr-jnaanayoega-vyavasthita-h | daanam damascha yajnascha svaadhyyaayas-tapa aarjavam|| (16-1)
71. Ahimsaa satyam-akroedhas-tyaaga-h shaantir – apaisunam | dayaa bhootaeshv -aloeluptvam maardavam hreer-achaapalam || (16-2)
72. Teja-h kshamaa dhritihi saucham-adroehoe naati-maanita | bhavanti sampadam daiveem-abhijaatasya Bhaarata || (16-3)
Fearlessness, purity of heart (inner psyche), steadfast in the discipline leading to wisdom, inclination towards sacrifice, studious in sacred learning, loving austerity, upright in conduct, not hurting any living being, truthful, patient (free from anger), ready to give up ones possession, peaceful, averse to talk ill of people, compassionate towards all beings, unruffled by desires (not wavering; fickle), ardent (earnest), forgiving, enduring (courageous), clean in body and mind, un-treacherous, and devoid of arrogance—the above twenty-six qualities are of those endowed with divine virtues, says the Supreme Lord.
73. Dambhoe darpoebhi-maanascha kroeda-h paarushyam eva cha | ajnaanam cha-abhijaatasya Partha sampadam-aasureem || (16-4)
The one that is born to devilish (anti-divine) destiny has, as his traits, hypocrisy, pride, arrogance, anger, harshness, and ignorance.
74. Asatyam-apratishtam tay jagad-aahur aneesvaram | aparas-para-sambhootam kim anyat kaama-haitukam || (16- 8)
The devilish people (the folk acting on rajas and tamas) say that the world is devoid of truth (has no reality ultimately), that it is altogether without foundation, that there is no master controlling it, that it has not come about by mutual causation but only by chance, and by nothing else.
[The devilish people think the world is unreal, without a substratum, without a god, and without an order. World is caused by biological functions and nothing else.]
Ahamkaaram balam darpam kaamam kredham cha samsritaa-h | maam-aatma-para-daehayshu prad-vishantoe-abhyasooyakaa-h || (16-18)
These people prompted by rajas and tamas, rely on their own petty egotism (selfishness), desires, and anger, and are envious of others; they hate the Supreme Spirit in their own bodies and in the bodies of others.
[Insolent and passionate, these malicious people loathe the Supreme Spirit in themselves and in others]
76. Na tad asti prithivyaam vaa divi daevayshu vaa puna-h | sattvam prakritijair-muktam yad yebhi-h syaat tribhir-gunai-h (18-40)
Indeed, there is no existing thing, there can be anything on earth, in the upper realms, or among devas (gods), which is completely free from the influence of these three constituents (sattva, rajas, and tamas).
[There is nothing on earth and nothing in heaven, which is not the product of the three modes (gunas) of material Nature (Prakriti).]
VIII. DESIRE, ANGER, AND GREED
Man clings on to wealth and material possessions. His main weaknesses for these are desire, anger and greed. If only he renounces these three emotions, he stands a good chance of bettering himself and correcting his path towards the kingdom of God.
Tri-vidham narakas-yedam dvaaram naasanam aatmana-h | kaama-kroedhas- tathaa loebhas-tasmad-yetat-trayam tyajet || (16-21)
Lust, anger and greed –these three are the gates of hell; they destroy the individual that has them. Therefore, they must be, given up.
78. Yetair-vimukta-h Kaunteya tamoe-dvaarais tribhir nara-h | aachaaraty- aatmana-h sreyas tatoe yaati paraam gatim || (16-22)
One who has freed himself from these three gates of hell (darkness) will work out his own welfare and then goes to the highest goal.
79. Yah saastrvidhim- utsrijya vartatay kaamakaarata-h | na sa siddhim-avaapnoeti na sukham na paraam gatim || (16-23)
The person, who forsakes the prescriptions of the scriptures and lives under the influence of his desires, will not reach perfection; he would neither be happy here, nor achieve the highest goal (freedom from cycle of births and deaths and attaining Moksha, liberation).
[The one who ignores the rules of scriptures, and takes to actions by impulse and lust, never finds perfection; no happiness; no supreme goal.]
80. Tasmat saastraam pramaanam tay kaaryaa-karya-vyavasthitau | jnaatvaa saastra-vidhaanoektam karma kartu-mivaarhasi || (16-24)
Therefore, let scriptures be ones norm for determining what is right or wrong. Having known what the scripture prescribes, one must set about doing actions now and here. Ones action should therefore conform to the rules of the scriptures.
[Scriptures tell you what to be done and what to avoid; your action should conform to stipulations of the scriptures.]
IX. THREE KINDS OF PENANCES (TAPASYAS)—PRACTICE OF SELF PURIFICATION
Penance done by men with great devotion is of three kinds:
People in the mode of goodness like healthy juicy food, undertake selfless work without attachment to results; worship guardian angels, devas (celestials) or Gods; speak inoffensively, in a pleasant, beneficial and truthful manner; and, study scriptures. They are gentle, maintain equanimity, contemplate on pure thoughts, excise self-control; give charity as a matter of duty, to deserving candidates, without any expectation.
People in the mode of passion like food that is extreme in taste (overly spicy, salty, or sweet); worship supernatural rulers and demons; perform selfless service for show, gaining respect, honor, or reverence that yields uncertain and temporary results; give charity with expectation of something in return.
People in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits; they are hypothetical and egoistic; they enjoy unhealthy foods and drinks; they perform austerity with self-torture, or for harming others; they give charity to the unworthy.
81. Sraddhayaa parayaa taptam tapas tat tri-vidhim narai-h | aphalaa-kaankshibhir yuktai-h saatvikam parichakshatay || (17-17)
Threefold austerity of thought, word, and deed practiced by yogis with supreme faith, without a desire for fruit, is in the mode of goodness (Saatvika Tapas).
82. Satkaara-maana-poojaartham tapoe dambhaena chaiva yat | kriyatay tad iha proektam raajasam chalam-adhruvam || (17-18)
Austerity that is performed for gaining respect, honor, reverence, and for the sake of show that yields an uncertain and temporary result is said to be in the mode of passion. (Rajasa Tapas).
83. Moodha-graahaen-aatmanoe yat peedayaa kriyate tapa-h | parasyot-saadanaartham vaa tat taamasam- udaahritam || (17-19)
Austerity performed with foolish stubbornness, or with self-torture, or for harming others, is in the mode of ignorance (Taamasa Penance).
Deva-dvija guru-praajna-poojanam saucham-aarjavam | brahmacharyam-ahimsaa cha saareeram tapa uchyatay || (17-14)
Penance of the body takes the form of honoring the gods (celestial controllers), the learned ones, one's teachers, and elders, and the wise folk (Jnaanee). Bodily penance (tapas) consists of cleanliness, integrity, celibacy, and non-violence.
85. Anudvaegakaram vaakyam satyam priyahitam cha yat | svaadhyaaya abhyasanam chaiva vaangmayam tapa uchyatay || (17-15)
Speach that which does not offend, which is true, welcome, and beneficial, as well as habitual reading of the Vedas are termed as penance of speech.
86. Mana-h prasaada-h saumyatvam maunam aatma-vinigraha-h | bhaava samsuddhir ity-etat tapoe-maanasam uchyatay || (17-16)
Tranquility, gentleness, silence, self-control, and purity of feelings are called mental penance (tapas)—austerity of thought.
X. CHARITY (DAANA)
Religious duties like rituals, charity and selfless service make the mind pure, but even these should be performed without any selfish motives or expectation of rewards, maintaining always an absolutely unattached mind.
87. Daatavyam iti yaddaanam deeyatay anupa kaarinay | daesay kaalay cha tad daanam saattvikam smritam || (17-20)
88. Yattu prat-yupakaara-artham phala-muddisya vaa puna-h | deeyatay cha pariklishtam tad-daanam raajasam smritam || (17-21)
89. Aadesa-kaalay yad-daanam-apaatreyabhyas-cha deeyatay | asatkritam-ava-jnaatam tat-taamasam-udaahritam || (17-22)
Saatvika (mode of goodness) nature charity is the charity that is given with a sense of duty or obligation, for some one who deserves, but who is unable to return the favor (or as a return favor for some one who had already done him a good turn not expecting a return favor) at the right time and proper place.
When however, charity is given in expectation of some benefit in return, or expecting a desired reward, or again in an improper manner, it is rajasa (mode of passion) in nature.
The taamasa (mode of ignorance) way is to give charity at a wrong place or at improper time, and to an un-deserving person, without showing respect to him and in a humiliating manner.
[Sattvika charity is given for the sake of giving, giving that expects no return, giving at the right time to right person. Raajasika charity is reluctant giving, giving that expects return, giving that looks for reward. Taamasika charity is giving to the wrong person at the wrong time giving without concern, giving with contempt.]
XI. DEVOTION (BHAKTI), DEDICATION (SRADDHAANJALI) AND SURRENDER (SARANAAGATI)
Our goal in life should be to reach the Supreme Spirit and attain liberation from the short lived pleasures of this world and never ending pains and troubles, and to enjoy permanent Bliss, free from repeated cycles of births and deaths. Geetaa's wisdom guides us in our mission, for leading a good and peaceful life during our life span in this world, and continuously upgrades it for reaching the goal. However, one can attain his goal equally by complete surrender (saranaagati) to Supreme Spirit with love and devotion.
The three ways to reach the Supreme Spirit are the Path of Knowledge (Jnaana Maarga), the Path of Action (Karma Maarga), and, Path of Devotion (Bhakti Marga) as explained above. Path of Devotion is the easiest of the three.
90. Anapaeksha-h suchir-daksha udaaseenoe gata-vyatha-h | sarvaarambha-parityaagee yoe mad-bhakta-h sa may priya-h || (12-15)
The man who has no expectations whatsoever, who is pure in body and mind (chaste), indifferent to fruits of action, determined and decisive is dear to the Supreme Spirit.
91. Yoe na hrishyati na dveshti na soechati na kaankshati | subha-asubha parityaagee bhaktimaan ya-h sa may priya-h || (12-16)
The man who is neither rejoices nor regretful nor passionate for anything, who lays aside both auspicious and inauspicious undertakings and is devoted is dear to the Supreme Spirit.
92. Sama-h satrau cha mitrau cha tathaa maana-apamaanayoe-h | seetoeshna-sukha-duhkayshu sama-h sanga vivarjita-h | Tulya-nindaa-h stutir maunee san-tushtoe yaena kay-nachit | anikayta-h sthira-matir bhaktimaan may priyoe nara-h || (12-18,19)
The devotee, who is dear to Supreme is alike to friends and foes. Honor or infamy does not disturb his composure.. He looks upon heat and cold, happiness and misery alike. He is free from attachment; He is indifferent to blame or praise. He is content with whatever comes his way. He is silent, satisfied, undisturbed, and single minded in devotion.
93. Sarva-karmaany-api sadaa kurvaanoe mad-vyapaasraya-h | mat-prasaadaad-avaapnoeti saasvatam padam-avyayam || (18-56)
Even if one is actively engaged in all kinds of work, all the time, he should put his trust in the
Supreme Spirit; he would then surely attain the eternal and immutable state by the grace of the Supreme Spirit.
94. Manmanaa bhava mad-bhaktoe madyaajee maam namas-kuru | maam-evaishyasi satyam tay pratijaane priyoesi may || (18-65)
One must settle ones thoughts entirely in the Supreme Spirit; one must lovingly devote himself to the Supreme Spirit: one must make worshipful offerings to the Supreme Spirit. Thus can one without any doubt or misgiving attain the Supreme Spirit!
[Think only of Supreme Spirit. Have faith in Supreme Spirit. Worship Supreme Spirit. You cannot fail to find Supreme Spirit.]
95. Tamaeva saranam gaccha sarva-bhaavaena Bhaarata | tat-prasaadaat-paraam saantim sthaanam praapsyasi saasvatam || (18-62)
One must seek refuge with all his being, only in the Supreme Spirit; and by the grace of the Supreme Spirit, he will attain the highest state of unshaken (eternal) peace.
[Take shelter in Supreme Spirit, and find peace. Its grace will give you eternal peace.]
96. Yae tu sarvaani karmaani mayi samnyasya matparaa-h | ananyaenaiva yoegayna maam dhyaayanta upaasatay || (12-6)
97. Teshaam aham samuddhartaa mrityu samsaara saagaraat | bhavaami nachiraat Partha mayy aavaesita chaetasaam || (12-7)
Those who dedicate all actions, to Supreme Spirit, accept it as the supreme, meditate on Supreme Spirit with single-minded concentration, and who have their mind absorbed in the Supreme spirit, they will get salvation by the Supreme Spirit from the whirlpool of the world (from misery of life and death in this world).
98. Om ity-ekaaksharam brahma vyaaharan-maam-anusmaran | ya-h prayaati tyajan-deham sa yaati paramaam gatim || (8-13)
Uttering the one syllable OM (the symbol of Brahman) and remembering the Supreme Spirit, the soul that departs, leaving the body, attains the Supreme Spirit.
[He, who forsakes his body with the syllable OM on his lips, the Symbol of Brahman, achieves the supreme goal.]
Action guided by wisdom is bound to succeed. Wherever Lord Krishna (the embodiment
of wisdom) and wherever is Arjuna (the symbol of Action), there the outcomes are prosperity, happiness and sound policy, concludes Sanjaya in Bhagavd-geetaa, with firm conviction.
99. Yatra yoegaysvara-h Krishnoe yatra Paarthoe Dhanur-dharaha | tatra sreer-vijayoe bhootir-dhruvaa neetir matir mama ||(18-78)
Wherever Krishna, Lord of yoga, is, wherever Arjuna, wielder of bow, there will be victory, success, prosperity, and law. Sanjaya says he is convinced of this.
To his learned cousin, ardent friend, and disciple Arjuna Lord Krishna gives his final advice thus:
100. Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maamaykam saranam vraja | aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyoe moekshyishyaami maa sucha-h || (18-66)
Abandoning all righteous paths of duties (Dharma) of the body, mind, and intellect take refuge in the Supreme Spirit alone; it will liberate those from all sins; there is no need to grieve.
[Set aside all meritorious deeds and religious rituals, and just surrender completely to the will of Supreme Spirit with firm faith and living devotion. Supreme Spirit will liberate you from all sins. There is then no need to grieve].
Lord Krishna's parting advice to another devoted cousin Uddhava, giving the essentials of Realization of the Supreme Spirit is as follows: "Do your duty, to the best of your ability without worrying for the outcome. Remember the Supreme Spirit all the times; Perceive that the Supreme Spirit is within every living being; Perceive through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions that the power of the Supreme Spirit is within you all the times, and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument.
Geetaa epitomizes the fight between the universal good (Sreyas) and worldly good (Preyas). The former is spiritual while the latter is material. "Sreyas" is permanent, while "Preyas" is only temporary. The ignorant and un-informed, takes the latter course while the enlightened chooses Sreyas. Sreyas is often quoted in Hindu scriptures as "Aananda", Eternal Bliss.
"Asatoe maa sad gamaya | Tamaso maa jyoetir gamaya | Mrityoer maa amritam gamaya | Om shaanti-h shaanti-h shaanti-h || (Lead us from Unreal to Real; from Darkness to Light; from Death to Immortality. May all round Peace be there!
We need to move away from the Unreal and miserable World we live in, and seek Universal Truth. We have to shed Darkness of our Ignorance and seek the Light of Knowledge. We have to move away from the constant fear of inevitable Death and seek the Blissful Immortality. Wisdom taught in Geetaa helps us in achieving these goals, when followed with sincerity and dedication.
A SUMMARY OF BHAGAVAD-GEETAA
Mahabharata war was fought in Kurukshetra, which is also designated as Dharmakshetra in the first verse of Bhagavadgeetaa. Kshetra means field in Sanskrit. Dharmakshetra therefore means the Field of Righteousness. Kurukshetra is the present day Delhi, which was once an open field. Kuru, the ancestor of both Kauravas and Pandavas, according to mythology, used to plough this land with his own hands. Hence the name is Kurukshetra. God Indra blessed Kuru by saying that any one that died on this field, be it a war or a religious ceremony, he would attain heaven. Hence, it is called Dharmakshetra also.
The war between Pandavas and Kauravas is about to begin at Kurukshetra. Sage Vedavyaasa offers Dhritarashtra, the blind king, divine eye-sight to witness the Mahabharata war. Dhritarashtra does not wish to see the annihilation (termination) of his clan before his eyes and therefore declines the offer. Then, Vyaasa gave Sanjaya, his charioteer the divine telescopic eyes to see all that happens on the field and describe it to Dhritarashtra. The first verse in Bhagavadgeetaa leads Sanjaya to narrate the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna at the battlefield, before the commencement of the war.
At the end of Chapter 1, Arjuna, throws off his bows and arrows, unwilling to fight. He sits down on his chariot, driven by Lord Krishna to the middle of the field where the two armies of Pandavas and Kauravas are facing each other. He is unwilling to fight this war and kill his own relatives.
Arjuna's grief and despair continues in Chapter 2, and that prompts his mentor Lord Krishna, his friend and guide, to begin his counseling and discourse.
Krishna places before Arjuna two options of life before him; Course of Renunciation referred to as Sankhya yoga (Jnaana yoga) and the alternate course of doing one's prescribed duty by the scriptures called Karma yoga. Both lead to emancipation, but Karma yoga is easy and familiar to follow, preferred, and performed for the universal good if not for one self. Sankhya Yoga is theory and knowledge and Karma yoga is practical and dictated by scriptures.
Chapters 2 to 7 discuss the essence of Karma and its relationship to true knowledge of the Supreme Spirit (Jnaana), Illusion (Maaya--clouds that engulf the human soul with Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, characteristics in varying proportions) and the Reality which is Supreme Spirit itself. A liberated person from the clouds of Maaya should engage in the practice of Yoga and concentrate on becoming one with the Supreme Spirit. It is in this regard the path of Karma yogi occupies a prime position compared to ascetics who concentrate on penances (Tapas) or those who are mechanically ritualistic, thinking they follow the path of devotion (Bhaktimaarga), according to Lord Krishna.
Chapters 8 to 10, continuing with the theme above, speculate on evolution, origin of Time and the Universe. The four yugas (eons) consist of Krita, Treta, Dvaapara, and Kali in declining number of years with declining Dharma (righteousness) by a quarter. Kaliyuga represents one quarter and has 432,000 years. Dvaaparayuga represents two quarters and has 864,000 years. Tretaayuga represents three quarters and has 1,296,000 years. Kritayuga represents four quarters and has 1,728,000 years. They altogether make up for a lapse of 4,320,000 years. This multiplied by a thousand constitutes one day duration of Brahma. Similarly, 1000 four-yugas constitute one night duration for Brahma. Together they constitute one day of Brahma. Brahma's life span is hundred days of Brahma.
In Chapters 9, Krishna stresses on the importance of absolute worship of Supreme Spirit with an end in view, even though one has to die and be born continually, till the complete elimination of clouds surrounding the individual soul. Supreme Spirit receives, whatever one offers with devotion, even if those that offer are sinful, and have not attained the status of Brahmin-hood (the highest status of Varnaashrama Dharma) by their Karma or not acquired profound knowledge of the Vedas.
In Chapter 11, Arjuna eagerly watches the Cosmic form of Lord Krishna, the divine, imperishable, and manifested form, which is only a part of the unknown Supreme Spirit. Lord Krishna also reminds Arjuna that even without his help, the death of all those who are unrighteous is certain for they are killed long ago and Arjuna is only symbolic instrument in that task. It is the will of the Supreme Spirit, that all unrighteous persons who do not wish to change themselves should die at this war and the incarnation and participation of Lord Krishna is a living testimony to that. However, it will bring him fame as a Kshatriya doing his duty, if he rises to the occasion. He will enjoy life in this world as well as the protector of the righteous, restoring the world order, eliminating the evil.
Chapters 12-14 deal further with Illusion (Maayaa) and Reality (Supreme Spirit) and concepts of Purusha and Prakriti are introduced. Purusha is the silent and invisible manifestation of the all pervasive Supreme Spirit and Prakriti is the energy for its partial active manifestation of the universe.
Chapters 14-18 recapitulate the several themes that are derived from the various concepts dealt with in the foregone chapters and give them a strong foundation. Significant among them are the concept of Reincarnation (rebirth), Aum-Tat-Sat, Tapas, Renunciation, Bhakti and Saranaagati, and Abandonment (Tyaaga). Krishna says that Supreme Spirit is defined in the scriptures as Aum-Tat Sat, and the Brahmins (Jnaanis), the Vedas and the Sacrifices (Yajnas) were created from this definition. Brahman (Supreme Spirit) in the shape of the consonant Aum is presumed to be the only one thing in existence at the start of the universe. This is accepted as a fact without ever questioning by anybody. Brahma was the foremost creation amongst Brahmins. This (Tat) refers to "Parabrahman" or Supreme Spirit that which is desire-less, which is beyond ordinary action and which is beyond all imagination. Sat represents pure actions performed in accordance with scriptural directions, even when performed, in the hope of reward. Therefore Krishna says that this canon AUM TAT SAT is at the root of the entire Universe.
Krishna advises the performance of one's duties in accordance with ones prescribed dharma, which is the whole way of life to preserve world order of righteousness. This Lord Krishna hints could be achieved by following the duties prescribed to each Varnaashrama Dharma or 'The Order of The Society'. Krishna says these duties prescribed in scriptures are consonant with ones intrinsic nature. Krishna incites Arjuna by arguments to give up his self-circumscribed view of action and surrender all actions to the Lord.
Krishna concludes his counseling with the option open to Arjuna to choose whatever he thinks as best for himself. Krishna's arguments, reasoning and divine manifestation succeed in converting Arjuna to a state of mind where he agrees to fight the war and thus incidentally fulfill the mission of Krishna's incarnation to preserve the righteous and annihilate the evil in that period, when the balance was deeply disturbed.
This booklet for Young Scholars is compiled by N.R.Srinivasan for Sri Ganesha Temple Sunday School Program, taking considerable help from following literary sources, which is gratefully acknowledged:
- Prof S.K.Ramachandra Rao, Geeta Kosha (Trisati), Kalpatharu Research Academy, Shankarmutt, Bangalore, India.
- Swami Chinmayananda, Geeta for Children,Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai 400 072, India.
- P. Lal, Bhagavad Gita, Roli Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi 110 048, India.
- Harry Bhalla, The Gita Doctrine, International Gita Society, USA.
- Geeta Press, Srimad Bhagavad-geetaa, Gorakhpur.
- Ramanand Prasad, The Bhagavad Geetaa, American Gita Society, CA, USA
- J.C.Chatterjee, The Wisdom of Vedas, Master Mind Books, Bangalore, India.
- Prof S.K. Ramachandra Rao, Darsanodaya—Early Indian Thought, Kalpataru Research Academy, Bangalore, India.
- Prof Vinda Nabar & Prof Shanta Tumkur, Wordsworth Classics, U.K.
- Vidya ravindra, The Bhagavadgita, Golden Goose Publishing, Chennai, India.
- Swami Tejomayananda, Tattva Bodha, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai, India.
Vidya Ravindra, Bhagavadgita, Golden Goose Publishing, Chennai, India.