Discussion of action, the material creation, demi-gods, and the Lord of the sacrifice
the essence of the Gita: practice to secure the thought of Om at the last moment of life.
Then, Arjuna prayed that the third subject, karma, could be fully explained to him. Krishna was quite ready to oblige him. He began, “Arjuna! The limitation that is necessary for the creation, fostering, and destruction of beings is what is called karma. The movable and immovable are all beings; why, the very act of the very resolution for creation is karma; the very first, which still activates all everywhere - this entire universe and all the movements and agitations and activities in it are the direct consequence of primal action (karma), My divine will (sankalpa). And, as long as My resolution lasts, the stream of action will flow along. It can never go dry as long as I do not will it. All that you do is to get drawn into this flood; why, you are but currents in this rush, or ripples or...
Fixing the mind on God at death
3 different ways to describe God
8 aspects of God
what devotion consists of
the value of systematic practice.
Ordinary folk do not get their mind fixed on Madhava (a name for God) so easily at the point of death. It presupposes long training, previous achievement of certain accomplishments, what is called prior purification.
The mind should have gone through a certain course of discipline; it has to be possessed of yoga. Even that is not enough. The mind must discard all other thoughts as low and inferior, even as defiling. This disgust toward all other objects should grow in strength. When these two are present, the thought of Madhava will certainly emerge and be steady during the last moments.
So your mind is the important thing; when the mind rots, all else rots. One moves as fast as the mind and in the direction that the mind takes. To tame and train the mind, good habits and disciplines have to be sought.
Remembering God at death
2 types of liberation
4 roads to moksha
auspicious times to pass away.
“Whoever is busy with no other thoughts than those about Me, whoever is ever remembering Me, that person certainly will release their dying breath through the centre of the head; that person will attain Me. I am as near to people as they are to Me. My dear Arjuna! How can I forget the one who never forgets Me? Forgetting is a human frailty, not a characteristic of God, let Me tell you! There is no need for yoga or spiritual exercise or even wisdom. It does not matter whether you give these up because you are too weak or whether, in spite of having the strength, you do not feel like struggling to master these. I don’t ask for yoga or spiritual exercise; I ask only that your mind be fixed on Me. Devote your mind to Me, dedicate it to Me, that is all I ask for.
“If a spiritual aspirant cannot do at least this act of dedication to the Lord, I wonder what their spir...
The period of the sun’s northward path
the meaning of wisdom
the discipline of complete detachment
the sacred verse “... I shall bear the burden of your welfare”
the pundit who didn’t know the meaning of this verse. “
Since the six months of the sun’s northern path (uttarayana) is lit by the holy splendour of wisdom, it is praised as the white (sukla) path. The six months of the southern path of the sun (dakshina-ayana) is dark, filled with dullness (thamas) and ignorance; so it is called the dark (krishna) path. Those who discard the body and journey on during the northern journey of the sun move along the bright path and reach the stage of liberation, which is devoid of delusion, which is the seat and source of the bliss that is Brahman, from which there is no return to this world of name and form, this arena of embodied beings. Those who leave the body during the time of the southern path of the sun and move along the dark path have to bear aga...
Misinterpretations of the Gita; the verse “I shall bear the burden of your welfare”.
Speakers who are out to spread the Gita have multiplied nowadays and, as a consequence, a variety of interpretations, most of them far removed from the genuine one, have emanated, clouding the true significance of the genuine one. Interpretations follow the nature and character of the exponent. Once one forms an opinion, one tries to buttress it with appropriate arguments and prove others wrong. The opinion is then repeated parrot-like on every occasion; no attempt is made to practise the Gita and make it part of one’s actual life. Such people pretend to be great Gita preachers and go about heavy with the burden of credentials and titles. They ruin themselves by this deception and undermine the trust placed on the Gita.
Each word of God is for translation into actual life, not for scattering into the ears of people to reap fame. But the times have gone so awry that today the words are misused for...
Arjuna’s despondency at having to fight
Krishna’s teaching, beginning with chapter 2 verse 11
Krishna-Arjuna become guru-disciple.
The first chapter is better named “Arjuna Gita”, rather than Krishna Gita. Overcome by sorrow and delusion, Arjuna turns from war and keeps his weapons aside. He is dejected in his chariot, halted between the two opposing forces. He turns this way and that, puzzled and perturbed. He surveys the faces of his kith and kin; he is overcome by pity. His famous bow slips from his grasp, and he is too weak to stand or even sit; his mind wanders into the dictates of the purva mimamsa school of thought (a theology that interprets the action/ritual oriented portion of the Vedas). He swears he will not engage in fighting.
When Sanjaya reported this to the blind King Dhritharashtra, the king was overjoyed, for victory was within grasp! He had neither foresight nor far sight - much less divine vision - so he felt happy that his dream of an...
Krishna is the impartial witness
God is present in all, is all
Krishna gives Arjuna a vision of God
Arjuna asks whether worship of the form or formless is more pleasing to God.
The Gita clearly declares that only the heart-lotus that is free from impurities, that grows in the pellucid waters of the mind, is worthy to be offered to God. That is why Krishna told Arjuna, “My dear brother-in-law, whatever activity you are engaged in, whatever gift you give, whatever food you take, do it as a dedicated offering to Me. Do everything in the dedicatory spirit as a tribute to God, for only such acts reach Me. I have no special preference for any one Name; all Names are Mine. I know neither friend nor foe. I am the unaffected Witness. I reside with all who serve Me and derive joy from that service.” This raised some doubts in Arjuna’s mind. He asked, “Krishna! You say that you do not make any distinction, that you have neither friend nor foe. Why then are some ha...
Liberation requires giving up attachment to the body; the path of devotion.
“Arjuna! People think that the worship of God with form and attributes is quite enough. This discipline will be of only some help; it will guide the person along the road only for a little while. For the Lord will not condescend to grant liberation for just this! He who aims at liberation must first give up attachment to the body. Without that, the Atmic stage cannot be attained. Identification with the body is the expression of ignorance. The Atma must be recognized as distinct from the objective world (prakriti).
“The craving for objective pleasure based on the unreal value attached to the world has to be removed by meditation and penance (tapas). When that craving is lost, the individual becomes like the dry nut inside the coconut shell, which becomes loose and unattached both to the shell and the fibre outside it; it does not germinate or sprout again; it will remain forever without being spoiled, the i...
The path of establishing mind and intelligence in Krishna
being free from hate, being full of love, and expressing love as service
discussions of creation, field, and knower of the field
balancing the three qualities inertia, passion, and purity.
Arjuna questioned further, on the basis of Krishna’s answers. “You described the characteristics of the votary of the formful (sa-guna) aspect of Godhead. You said that people with such characteristics are yogis. I am indeed happy to know all this. But just as the votaries of the form have characteristics, the votaries of the attributeless (nir-guna) Godhead must also have characteristics by which they can be recognized, right? Please tell me about them; I would like to know.” At this, Nandakumara of lovely form replied, “Arjuna! The votaries of the characteristicless aspect must acquire full control of their senses. Next, they must be unaffected by circumstances. Third, they must be of service to others in dis...
The three qualities inertia, passion, and purity
the 20 virtues essential for wisdom. “
The three qualities (gunas) - purity, passion, and dullness (sathwa, rajas, thamas) - undergo various permutations, combinations, and modifications and become manifested as all this creation, this universe (prakriti).
Therefore, this creation is subject to change; it is not fixed. True. But the Atma is consciousness (chaithanya), which is sheer effulgence, so it is not subject to blemishes or modifications. The body is creation; the intellect (buddhi) and the mind (manas) are also creation; for this reason, they also differ according to the degree of excess or deficiency of one or other of the qualities.
“Purity (sathwa-guna) is steady, pure, unselfish, light, so those who have this characteristic will have no wish or want. They will be fit for knowledge of Atma. Those with passion (rajoguna) will be engaged in acts tarnished with a tinge of ego. They may have the urge to do...