Monday, 26 October 2015

The three types of sacrifices.


The  Gita  revisited.
The  three  types  of  sacrifices. 

                              Among  the  three ,yajna  dana  and  tapa  ,  the  Lord  takes  to  explaining   the  three  types  of  yajnas,  sacrifices.   We  have  seen  in the  fourth    chapter ,  the  Lord  had given  a new  meaning  to  yajnas  , sacrifices.   Yajnas  have  now  come  to have  a new  significance  , a universal  application. . In  the  Vedic  tradition  , yajnas  denoted   a fire  ritual  wherein  oblations  were  poured  .  Sri . Krishna's  way  of  explaining  throws  a  new  light  on the  performance  of  yajnas. . It  now  stands  for  all  self- dedicated  activities  performed  in a  spirit  of  service  to the  many. . All  actions  ,performed  without  ego   and  egocentric  desires  , come  under  the  term  'yajna '.

                         The  Lord  says  that  actions  undertaken  by men  without  desire  for  fruit  , and  done  as  enjoined  by the  scriptures  , and  done  with  shraddha   and  considered  as a  duty  ,are  sattvic  actions  .. The  Sastras  speak  of  nitya  and  naimittika  karmas  . They  are  the  unavoidable  and  obligatory  duties  which  when  done  with  great  faith   become  sattvik  yajnas. .  The  sattvik  minded  does  good  actions  which  are  conducive  for  the  welfare  of  all.  When  the  sacrifices  are  offered   seeking  fruits  and  for  showing  off  to  others  for  getting  name  and  fame  ,they  take  the  colour  of  rajasik  yajna. While  the  rajasik  does  yajnas  only  with  the  expectations  of  getting  some  benefit  for  himself  but  he  is  at  the  same  time  preoccupied  with  his  own  worries  and  anxieties. 

                    Those  actions  where  no  food  is  distributed,  nor  mantras  chanted  ,nor  dakshina  to the  priests  who conducts  the  yajna  are  given  ,   are  considered  as  tamasik  yajna. . Food  refers  to  all  the  necessities  of  life.   Unless  a  man  shares  his  all  with  the  have-nots  , no inner  growth  can  ever  happen  in  him. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

The choice of foods


The  Gita  revisited.
The  choice  of  foods. 

                    The  Lord  goes  on  to explain  the  three  types  of  food  that  people  eat  which  He  says,  exhibits  the  type  of  faith  they  have,whether  sattvik  ,rajasik  or tamasik.  Everyman  , according  to  the  choice  of  the  food  he  eats, in  the  type  of  sacrifices  he  makes, in  his  self-denials  , in the  quality  and  quantity  of  charity  he  makes ,  he  exhibits  his  predominant  gunas . This  classification  helps  each  one  of  us  to know  where  we  stand  , and  how  to  correct  ourselves  and  switch  over  to  the  sattvik  type  in  all  these  areas. . This  classification  is  not  to  be  done  for  judging  others  or  to  know  where  others  stand. 

                     The  three  types  of  food  :  The  foods  that  increase  life, purity  and  strength  ,health ,joy  and  cheerfulness  , which  are  agreeable   and  substantial  ,are  liked  by the  sattvik  minded  people.  The  sattvik  eat  such  foods  that  increase  their  vitality  and  give  energy  to  them  for  meditation   and  strength  for  overcoming  temptations.    Explaining  the  rajasik  food, the  Lord  says  , the  rajasik  people  eat  such  foods  that  are  bitter, sour,  saline  ,excessively  pungent  and  hot. ,dry  and  burning. and  these  foods  give  pain , grief  and  disease  .. The  one  factor  we  find  is  that  the  type  of  food  we  eat  affects  us  and  we  are  generally  conditioned  to  some  extent  by the  type  of  food  that  we  eat. . We  do  also  see     that  as  our  thoughts  and  understanding  change  ,this  also  has a  bearing  on  our  taste  and  our  food  preferences  . Sometimes  we  come  to  dislike  the  rajasik  food  that  we  have  been  eating  all our  life  but  now  we  fail  to  relish  them  anymore  as  our   minds  have  become  more  peaceful  and  sattvik  due  to our  spiritual  sadhanas. 

             The  tamasik  chooses  such  foods  that  are  tasteless  ,putrid  ,rotten  , refuse  and  impure. . Sastras  say  that  only  the  food  that  is  cooked  and  consumed  within  three  hours  is  sattvik   and  to  eat  such a  food  afterwards  is   actually  eating  spoilt  food .  All  this  amounts  to  saying  that  all  the  various  kinds  of  foods  with  preservatives, or  stored  in  a fridge  are  all  stale  food  only. We  keep  eating  them  even  without  being  aware  of  this.  We  are  infact  eating  only  tamasik  food  which  will  make  us  more  tamasik.  

The three types of ideals


The  Gita  revisited.
The three  types  of  ideals.

              Sri  Krishna  elaborates  on the  three  types  of  ideals  we  worship  through  our  faith . He  says  that  whatever   we  worship  , whom  we  worship  ,  how  we worship  ,all these  reflect  whether  we are  sattvik,  rajasik  or  tamasik. . 

             One  with  sattvik faith  worships  God  as   his  Ista  devata  .In  his  daily  life  ,he  comes  to admire  the  great, the  noble  and  gains  inspiration  from  them. . Men  of  sattvik  temperament  ,who are  always  peace  loving  ,seek  fulfillment  at  an  altar  of  divinity  ,which   represents  higher  values  and  noble  qualities. . So  they  always  seek  a  divine  Godly  altar. 

            The  one  with  rajasik  faith  worships  the  presiding  deities  of  nature  . He   admires  the  rich  and  the  famous  and  tries  to emulate  the  behaviour  and  lifestyle  of  the  celebrities . The  rajasik  temperaments  push  the  rajasik  men  ,who  have  great  ambition ,  to  seek  semi-gods  . So  the  rajasik  people  worship  the   active  and  passionate  demi-gods  or  deities  to  get their  desires  fulfilled .

             The  one  with  the  tamasik  faith   worships   ghosts  ,spirits  and  negative  forces  . He  admires  criminals  and  violent  acts  . He  has  extreme  fanatical  ideals  and  invokes  tamasik  forces  which  ultimately  destroy  him. . The  men  with  tamasik  temperament  worship  low  and  vicious  powers  for  satisfying  their  lower  urges  for  sense  gratifications  .

               In  short  , the  sattvik  seek  the  help  of good  friends  and  the  company  of  noble  people  , the  rajasik  seek  protection  from  the  rich  and  the  powerful and  the  tamasik  seek  strength  from  criminal  minded  people  . From  the  nature  of  a  man's  field  of  activity ,of  what  he  worships  ,adores, reveres  ,we  can  to a  great  extent  understand  the  type  of  faith  he  has . So  each  man  selects  his  altar  of  devotion  according  to  the  type  of  shraddha  he  has.  

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What is faith or shraddha ?


The  Gita  revisited.
What  is  faith  or  shraddha  ?

               Shraddha  is  that  which  prompts  all our actions. . All  our actions  come  forth  out of  our own  beliefs  ,which  are  again  due  to  our  inherent  tendencies  (  vasanas ).. Beliefs  are formed  over  a long period  of  time . Faith  is  universal  in  its  nature.   Our  life  on this  earth   is  just  simply  impossible  if we  do not  have   faith.  We  do have   faith  in  so many  things   and   in  the course  of our daily  lives we do exhibit  our  faith   for  example  : we  do have  faith  that  we would  see another  day  when  we  go to bed ,  we  do have  faith  that  our next  breath  would  continue  to be  there . Different  people  have  different  faith  in  different  things. The  theist  has  faith that there is  God,  while  the atheist  believes  that  there  exists  no  God . Scientists  have  faith  in their  own  theories  while the  spiritual  man  believes  in   God,  in the  scriptures  and  the  Guru's  teachings . 

               Our  faith  can  be  sattvik,  rajasik  or  tamasik. . Actions  when  prompted  by  sattvik  faith  bring  peace  and  happiness  ,while  actions  prompted  by  rajasik  faith  will bring  sorrow  and  tension  and  actions  driven  by  tamasik  faith   create  ignorance  and  harm the  doer  as well as  others. . Each  of  us  is  a  mixture  of  all the  three  gunas  . So  I may  have  a  sattvik  faith  when  I worship  God  , I may  at  the  same  time  exhibit  rajasik  faith  when  I indulge  in eating  and enjoying  fast  foods   and  I  may  also  be  showing  tamasik  faith  when  I  gossip  about  others. . When  I    become  sattvik  with  the  help  of   sattvik  faith  in all  aspects  of  my  life  ,then  there  will  be  total  integration  in  my  life  and  this  will  bring  total  peace  and  happiness  to  me.   We  can  change  our  faith and  make  it  sattvik   through  changing  our  thoughts  and  actions.  Sri  Krishna  says  ,"  man  is  what  his  faith  is  (  sattvik  ,rajasik  or  tamasik. )

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Arjuna's question


The  Gita  revisited.
Arjuna's  question. 

                          Chapter  xvi  ended  with  the  Lord  asserting  that  let  the  scriptures  be your authority  in determining what   ought to be done  and  what  ought not  to  be  done. . Chapter xvii  starts  with a  question  from  Arjuna  whether  it  is  sufficient  if  one lives  a life  of  good conduct  and  noble  aspirations  based  on  faith  or  is it  necessary  that  he  should  know  the  Sastras  and  implicitly  follow  the   sastric  injunctions  . Arjuna  wants  to  know   the  conditions  of  those  who set aside   the  ordinances  of  the  scriptures  but  perform  actions  based  on  faith  , of  whether  it  is  sattvik, rajasik  or  tamasik  in  nature  

                       We  all  know  that  it is  difficult  for a layman   to get a full  knowledge  of  the  scriptures  ,which  are  in  the  Sanskrit  language  .. We  do  see  in our  amidst  three  types  of  people  :  there  are  the  few who  study  the  Sastras  , understand  it  and  know it  well  and  follow  the  sastric  injunctions  ,  The  second  type  are  those  who  understand  the  Sastras but  due  to  some  reason cannot  implement  the  teachings  in their  own  life. . The  third  type  are  those  that  do not  get an  opportunity  or  have the  inclination  to  study  the  scriptures  ,yet  they  act  in the world  with  faith  doing  good  actions  . Most  of  us  fall under  this   third category  ..   Some  of  us  are  interested  in  knowing  whether  actions  done  with  faith   even  if  not  confirming  to  scriptural  teachings  ,should  be  taken  as  noble (  sattvik )  ,  not  so  right  (  rajasik )  or  ignoble  (  tamasik ).    

                  Arjuna  's  question  amounts  to  this  :  can  our  actions  be  considered  as  right  when  done  with  faith   or  are  they  wrong  because  scriptural  teachings  have  not been  followed ?   The  Lord  says  it  will  depend  on  the  nature  of  faith with  which  such  actions  are performed. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

What is the positive practice ?


The  Gita  revisited.
What  is  the positive  practice  ?

                      The  Gita  advises  us,  each  seeker  ,to live a positive  way  of  life  by  practising  what is  good  for  us . The  mind  and  intellect  has  to stop  wasting  its  energy  and vitality in the wrong direction  but  to use  it the  right direction .  If  the  energy  is  used  in the wrong direction  ,one  comes  to see  Ravana   like  characters  causing  destruction  every where ,to everyone. . So  the   Lord  advises  in the  last  two verses  of this  chapter  that  let not  anyone  disobey the  Sastras.  and  act  under the impulse  of desires. 

                     The  Jnana  Kanda  talks  about  the  theory   of  Truth  (  Brahma  vidya )  and  the  technique  of perfection. (  yoga  ). Since  the  Gita  explains  both  the  theory  and  experience  of  God  Realisation  ,it  is  considered  as  a Sastra. . After   having  renounced , the  three  gates  of  hell  , a seeker  should   follow  the  advice  given  in the  Sastras . When  a man  does  not  give  up  desires, anger  and  greed , he  comes  to go  through  agitations  and  violent  passions   and  such a man  cannot  have  any  spiritual  growth  at  all. 

                    So  the  Lord  says  ,  "let  the   Sastras   be   your  authority  in knowing  what  ought  to be  done  and  what  ought not  to be  done   and  after  knowing  which  he  should  act   according  to the  advices  given  in the  Sastras  and  live the  Gita  way  of  life." . A correct  knowledge  and  clear  intellectual  vision  of  the  goal and  the  direction  it  takes a seeker  ,should  be correctly  known   by the  seeker  pursuing  this  goal  of  Self- Realisation. . It  is  not  enough  to  know  the  Geeta  (  this  is  what  most  of  us  do ) but  we  must  discover  within ourselves  the  will to pursue  the  goal  set  by ourselves  as the  target.  and  actually  come  to  live  our life  based  on the  teachings   given  out  by the  Geetacharya. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

In praise of renunciation of desire,anger and greed.


The  Gita  revisited. 
In  praise  of  renunciation  of desire, anger  and  greed. 

                              The  Lord  cautions  us  to avoid  the  three  gateways  to  hell  (  desire,  anger  and  greed. )  by  leading  a life in accord  with  the  guidance  of  the  scriptures. . The  Lord  says  that  a  man  liberated  from  these  three  gates  to  darkness  and  practises  what is  good  for  him ,goes   to  the  supreme  goal. . Those  who do not  allow  these  three  any place  in their  minds  ,are  praised  by the  Lord. . They  will gradually  progress  on their  path  towards  attaining  the  goal  of  realising  the  Self. 

                          Desire, anger  and  greed  , we have  seen  , dissipate  our  energies  , take away  our peace  of mind  by  causing  agitations  in our  mind. . To  overcome  the  strong  temptations  of  the  sense  objects  ,the  mind  and  intellect  should  recharge  the  individual's  inner  abilities  to  withstand  these  temptations  and   to  progress  more and  more  successfully  towards  his  goal  . While  ,the  three  gateways  to  hell,which  are  actually  ,roads  of  darkness  ,will  lead  the individual  into  more and  more  confusions   ,will  ultimately  lead  him into  sub-human  levels  of  existence. .

                        The  individual  should  select  shreyas  ,that which  is  good  ,over  preyas  ,which  is  pleasant  . Shreyas  brings  happiness  to  the  one  who  practises  it ,  and  it also  brings  a  sense  of   total  well being  also  to  all those  around  him. . The  attainment  of the  goal  of  Self  realisation  is  not  achieved  overnight  . It  is  a gradual  process  of  a positive  approach  through  steady  discipline  ,vigorous  study  and  perfect  understanding  of  the  scriptures . 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

How to overcome desire,anger and greed ? -continued.......


The  Gita  revisited. 
How  to overcome  desire, anger  and  greed ? continued  from  last  day's  page. 

             According  to the  path  of  devotion    (  bhakti  yoga ) ,desire,  anger  and  greed could  be  overcome  by  love  of  God  . We  can  direct   all our  love  towards  God  by  desiring  to meet  Him,  talk  to  Him   like  the  gopis  of  Brindavan  yearning  only  for  meeting  Sri  Krishna  and  talking  to  Him. . We  can  direct  our  anger  towards  God  as  Kamsa  did   and  to  overcome  our  greed  we  can  seek  more and  more  of  His  love  as  Meerabai  did.   So  instead  of  having  worldly  desires  ,  instead  of  showing  anger  to  others  , and  instead  of  craving  for  more and more  of  worldly  things  ,all  these  desires,  anger  and  greed  can  be  directed  towards  God. .  We can   also pray  sincerely  to  the  Lord  to   help  us  overcome  all  our  weaknesses  .

            The  path  of  action  (  karma  yoga  )  is  also  an  effective  way  to  overcome  these  weaknesses  . . By  performing  selfless  actions  and  dedicating  them  to a  nobler  altar  and  by  accepting  the  fruits  of  our  actions  cheerfully  without  complaining  or  insisting  on a  specific  result  ,in short  accepting  them  as  God's  Prasada  , we  come  to  exhaust  our  negative  tendencies  and  we also  come  to prevent  new  ones  from  getting  formed  . 

                 Through  the  path  of  meditation  (  dhyana  yoga  ),wherein  we   find   that  during  meditation  some  dormant  and  subtle  desires    (  vasanas ) arise  in the  mind  while  meditating. . We  can  just  become  a  mere  witness  to  these  desires  without  getting  involved  in  them  ,they  come  to  get  exhausted  by  themselves  .

               Lastly  , scriptures  should  be  studied  because  they  guide  us  to  know  the  good  from the  bad  , right    from  the   wrong  conduct. .  The  Vedas  were  revealed  to  the  sages  on the  seat  of  meditation.  Sastras  are  valid  means  of  knowledge  as they  were  revealed  by the  Lord  Himself.  The  Lord  Himself  gave  the  Gita  to  Arjuna  and  through  him  to the  whole  of  mankind.   . Knowing  the  scriptures  is  the  first  step  and  living  that  knowledge  in real  life  will  help  to  overcome  the  three  defects  

How to overcome desire, anger and greed ?


The  Gita  revisited.
How  to overcome  desire,  anger  and  greed ?

                        Lord  Krishna  had  described   in an   earlier  chapter , the  ladder  of  fall   and in answer  to Arjuna's  question  as to why  man  sins   ,the  Lord  had  shown   various   ways   man  could  overcome  them  . Here  in the   16th  chapter  ,He   highlights  some  of them  again  . 

                      In the  path  of  knowledge  ,desire  ,anger  and  greed   can  be  overcome  by the  following  method.  . The  seeker  on  this  jnana  yoga  path  should  enquire  whether  objects  have  happiness  in themselves  .  By  understanding  the  finite  and  inert  nature  of  objects   and  also  by  a  clear  understanding  that  even  if  one  seems  to derive  some  pleasure   from  objects  , the  happiness  one  so  gets  is  temporary  , one  can  give  up the  desires  for  objects  . By  not  brooding  or  entertaining  fanciful  wishes  ,one  can  avoid  desires  from  taking  root  in the  mind. . Anger  has  no  force  without  desires  . Greed  can  be  removed  by  understanding  the  evil  nature  of   wealth,  pleasures  and  comforts   and  how  they   make  one  dependent   on them   ,and  how  their  demands  never  get  fulfilled  and  how  they  tire  one's  senses  and  dull  the  mind  .

                By  developing  sattvika  desires  , one  overcomes  rajasika  and  tamasika  desires  . One  can  overcome  rajasika  and  tamasika   desires  by  also   cultivating  opposite  virtues   . Desires  come  from a  feeling  of  incompleteness  . Being  fulfilled   and  content  in life  with  what  one  has  ,desires  can  be  overcome  . By  exercising  control  over  one's  senses  (  dama  )  by  being  compassionate  (  daya  )   and  by sharing  what  one  has  (  dana  ),  one  can  control  the  three  gateways  to evil   :  desires ,     anger  and  greed  respectively. 

Friday, 9 October 2015

The three gateways to hell.


The  Gita  revisited.
The  three  gateways  to  hell.

                                   Hell  is  described  as  a place  of  intense  suffering  .  What  is  the  root  cause  of  suffering ?   Krishna  declares  that   desire  ,anger  and  greed  are   the  gateways  to  hell  , they   are  the  root  cause  of  suffering  . Actually  ,heaven  and  hell  are  conditions  created  only by  the  mind  .. They  are  merely  subjective  experiences  in  life.  Heaven  and  hell  need not  be  geographical  places  to which  one  goes  after  death  ,to  enjoy  or  suffer   the  results  of  one's  deeds   .Hence  heaven  and  hell  are  only  states  of  mind  we  go  through  in the  here  and  now  !

                            Lord  Krishna  says  there  are  three gateways  to  hell  :  desire, anger  and  greed . Man  has  to  give  up  his  desire  to lead  a life  of  sense  gratification  but  to  grow  into  doing  selfless  ,desireless  actions  to  reach  egoless  perfection. . When  there  is  desire  ,it  is  naturally  followed  by  anger  . The  constant  thought  towards  an  object  of  gratification  is  called  desire. When  these  flow  of  thoughts  about  a  desire  get  deflected  by an  obstacle  ,the  disturbed  thoughts  are  called  anger. . Anger , thus , is  the  thought  storm  arising  in the  mind  at  the  disappointment  of  the  fulfillment  of  desires.  Greed  is  the  erosion  of  our  mental  strength  and  peace  ,when  one   desire  gets  fulfilled  ,the  mind  comes  to  crave  for  more and  more  of  the  fulfillment  of  its  desires. . So  a  sense  of  discontentment  is  experienced  in  constantly  pursuing  and  running  after  desires  and  the  mind  comes  to have  no  feeling  of  contentment  at  all. 

                         So  in an  indisciplined  mind  ,there  can  be  no  happiness,  no  peace  at  all  because  when   the  desires  are  not  fulfilled  one  is  unhappy  and   one  gets  agitated  and  angry  with  the  obstacles  and  when  desires  are  fulfilled  ,he  still  remains  unhappy  and  unfulfilled   because  of  his  greed  . So  Sri  Krishna  asks  His  devotees  to  give  up  these  three  as  they  are  gateways  to  hell. . 

The fate of the Divine and the demonic.


The  Gita  revisited.
The  fate  of the Divine  and  the demonic.

                    God  is the  creator  of the  world. and  He presides  over  all  actions  (  karma  adhyaksha )  and   gives  the  results   accordingly  (  karma phaladata ).. He  is always  just  and  compassionate  while  bestowing the  results.  When  Lord  Vishnu's  own  body guards ,Jaya  and  Vijaya  ,did  wrong  ,they  were  punished  to  take  birth  in demonic  bodies  . And  during  their  three  lives   in demonic  bodies  ,the  Lord  Himself  incarnated  as Varaha,  Sri   Rama   and  Sri Krishna   and  finally  released  them   from their  demonic  bodies. . Scriptures  say  that  Divine  actions  take  man  to heaven  and  evil actions  to hell. 

                 This  takes  us  to a very important  question  . Is  there  some  place  called  heaven  and  hell?   We  all do know  that  bliss  is  heaven  and  intense  pain and  suffering  is  hell.   All  of us  have  experienced  samples  of  heaven  and  hell ,right  here  on  earth. .  According  to the  karma  theory  and  rebirth  theory  ,every action  gives  results  .  Ordinary  good   and  evil  actions    give  ordinary  results  , which  get  exhausted  in various  earthly  forms.  Scriptures  say  that  the  extraordinary   noble  and  divine  acts  or  the  demonic  and  evil actions   result  in heaven  or  hell  respectively  , wherein  one  experiences  intense  happiness  or  sorrow  for  long  periods  of  time  . Actions  are  finite  ,hence  their  results  are  also  finite. .  Therefore  the  stay  in heaven  or  hell  cannot  be  permanent.   When  the  good    exhausts  the  punya  karmas  , they  come   back  to earth  to continue  their  spiritual  journey.  When  the  bad  exhaust  their  papa  karmas   and  get  purified  ,they  too are  given a  chance   to progress  in a  human  body. 

                       The  truly  good  do not  do  good  deeds  just  to go  to heaven. . Some  cultivate  good  virtues  to serve  the  world  while  a  few   use  these  virtues  as  a means  to realise  God. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Divine and devilish qualities.


The  Gita  revisited.
The  Divine  and  devilish  qualities. 

                        The  fifteenth  chapter  is  a complete  scripture   which  reveals  the  philosophical  essence  of  the  Gita.  .It deals  with  the description of  the world (  samsara )  as a tree  and  how  it  can be cut  with the  strong axe  of detachment. . It  talked  about our  relationship  with God   and  that  our  repeated  births   can..  be put an end to  by knowing  the  Supreme  Being  .The  sixteenth  chapter  classifies  mankind  into  the  divinely  good  (  devas )  and  the  diabolically  fallen  ( the  asuras )  and  the incorrigibly  indifferent  (  the  rakshasas. ). This  chapter does not talk about  the  last  as  they  are  long way down the  path  of  human  civilization. 

                      The  sixteenth  chapter  enumerates  some  daivi qualities  and  asuric  tendencies  in  man ,  the  former  liberates  while  the latter  binds. . Earlier  ,in the  thirteenth  chapter ,we  have  seen  the  Lord  has  enumerated  twenty  values  of  life . Now,   He  first  gives  a list  of  26 daivi  sampath  like  fearlessness,  purity  of heart  , steadfastness  in  the  yoga  of  knowledge  , alms  giving  , control of  the  senses   , study  of the  sastras , . Some  mental  qualities  like  ahimsa, satyam  ,akrodha  , tyaga,  shanti  are also  enumerated. These  qualities  are  given  as a  guide  for  all those  who are  striving  for perfection. 

               The  Lord  goes  on  to  elaborately  discuss  the  demonic  qualities   as  these serve  as a  warning  for  all  to avoid  and   help  weed  out  these  completely  from  the  mind. ". Both  good  and  bad  are  expressions  of  man's  heart .. So  when  the  list  of demonic  qualities  is  pointed out  ,we find  them  as  the  same  as the   the  list  having  divine  qualities  but   they   are  misapplied  under  a  wrong  enthusiasm  created  as a  result  of  false  evaluations  . Virtue  poisoned  with  ignorance  is  evil,  while  evil treated  and  cured  of its  poison  and  regaining   its  health    turns  into  virtue " comments  Pujya  Gurudev   Swami  Chinmayananda  in  his  commentary  on the  Holy  Geeta . 


Purushottama- the Supreme Being.


The  Gita  revisited.
Purushottama  - the  Supreme  Being. 

                The  individual, the  jiva  ,goes  through many lives  living in ignorance  .. It  has been  travelling  from birth  to death to rebirth and  so on , from one  body  to another  since  beginningless times. . When  the jiva  leaves  the present  body  ,the  dead  body is  left to be  buried  or burnt. by the  relatives. . The  jiva  travels  after leaving  the gross body behind   but  carries  with  it  its  subtle  body  consisting  of   five  organs  of perception, five  organs  of actions  , the  five pranas  and  the mind and intellect  with it.. According  to the  fruits  of its past  karmas  , the jiva   is  reborn  ,takes a new  body  .and  goes  through samsara  again and again. . The  journey  ends  only  when  the jiva  comes  to know  God  - the  Supreme  Being . ,which is beyond  all manifestations. 

               In  the  relative  world  ,there  are two  purushas  ,Kshara  -the perishable  and  Akshara  ,the imperishable. . The  field of  matter  is nothing  but  the  Spirit  in different  forms  of  consciousness. . When  Spirit  assumes  the  form  of  matter ,it  becomes  , as though, subject  to change  . With  reference  to the  perishable  and  changing  matter  envelopments  , Consciousness  is  referred  to as   the  imperishable   and  changeless. . This  Consciousness  principle  is  called  Akshara  only  with reference  to the  Shara  . Distinct from these   two  is  the  Supreme  Purusha  called  the  Highest  Self  , who pervades  the  three  worlds  of the  waking, dream and  deep sleep  experiences  and  sustains  them. . When  the Shara  is  transcended  , what  remains  is  not  the  Akshara  ,but that  which  is  beyond  them .  The  Supreme  Self  , the  Purushottama  , illumines  all the three  states  of  consciousness.  When  the  perishable  conditionings  are  transcended  , the  imperishable  itself  comes  to shine  forth  as  the   Pure  Intellect,  the  Paramatman   


Sunday, 4 October 2015

The glorious mind .


The  Gita  revisited .
The  glorious  mind.

                    The  Lord's  glories  manifest   in different  ways.  They  also  manifest  as  the abilities  of the  mind.  Some  of  the abilities  of the  mind  are   memory,  knowledge  and   the ability  to forget. . The  three  states  of experience   are  the  waking   state   ,the  dream state  and  the  deep sleep  state. . The  waking  state  is  when  we  know  and  respond  to the  world. . The  dream  state   is a projection  of  past  memories,  and  deep  sleep  is  a  state  of  total  forgetfulness   of the  world.  ,even  your own  identity  is  forgotten. . All  these  spring  from the  Self  alone. 

                Learning  any  subject  needs  a good  memory  , only then  whatever  is learned  is retained  in the  mind  and  one  should  have   the  ability  to recall  what  one  knows   and  has learned. . We  need  the  ability  to  understand  and  gain  knowledge  , whether  secular  or  sacred.  . True  learning  also  involves  the  capacity  to  give  up  false  beliefs  and  ideas. , so  one  should  have  the  capacity  to forget  what  is  detrimental  to gaining  knowledge. When  a  student  approaches  a  master  for  knowledge, he  is  expected  to forget  all  his  old  beliefs   which  are  false  and   approach  the  master   with an open  mind  like  a clean  slate. . So  the  ability  to forget  is  indeed  a great  blessing  .  So  we  find  that  true  learning  involves  all  the  three  :  memory,  knowledge  and  the  ability    to  forget. 

               At  the  end  of  the  Gita   discourse   in the  18th  chapter,  Arjuna  tells    Sri  Krishna  , " All  my  false  notions  are  destroyed  (  apohanam ),  ,  I have  remembered  who  I  am  and  what my duties  are  (  memory  ). This  Self  -knowledge   has  taken  place  by  your  Grace  alone  ." Thus  Smriti  , Jnanam, and   Apohanam  are  truly  the  Lord's  glories.  

Friday, 2 October 2015

My relationship with God.


The  Gita  revisited.
My  relationship  with GOD. 

                                 The  individual  I  and  God   are  in  essence  one. There is  no difference  between  the two from the  absolute  stand  point .. However  ,when I consider  myself  as a finite  entity  ,conditioned  by   my  body, mind  and intellect ,with which  I identify  myself  with  as  the  real I,   then  I have  a relative  relationship  with  God. 

                             My  relationship  with  the  world  of beings  is  only  temporary  ,whereas  my relationship  with God  , whether I know  it  or not  ,has  been  and  will always  remain  an intimate  one in my  life  from  beginningless  time. . He  is the  whole. while  I am a part  of Him. . He  is the  creator, I am the  created. . Lord  Krishna  says  ," you  are an eternal part  of  Me  ."  Just  like  the waves  and  the  ocean  ,wherein   the  waves  have  no existence  apart  from the  ocean  ,  I  too  have  no  existence   without  God. 

                          He  is  Omnipresent,  Omnipotent  ,  Omniscient  . I   can  depart  from  every   relationship  I have  with  the  world   but  I  can never  depart  from    my relationship  with  god. . Everyone of us  is  a part  of  the  Divine  whole. .  God's  glories  manifest  not  only  in the   world  but   right  within  me  . He  is  present  in me  as  the  digestive  fire  which  works  all 24/7   digesting  all the  food  I eat  in four  different  ways.  (  verse  14  is  chanted before  having  the  meal.). He  is  within   me  in my   heart  as  the  very  Self  in me  . He  is  always  available  to me  as  the  very Self  in me. . Sri  Krishna  says  ,"  I reside  in the  heart  of  all beings  as their   Self  ."