Bhagavad Gita- interpretation series-1


Bhagavad Gita is the Speech or Sermon given by Lord Krishna to motivate demoralized Arjuna. It happened on the first day of epic battle of Mahabharata. Arjuna plays the role of the soul of man and Krishna plays the role of a charioteer of the soul. Nishkama Karma is the basic idea of the Gita. Bhagavad Gita is considered to be the most comprehensive and complete book of knowledge and philosophy that the mankind has known  in any language or culture. Therefore, it has been translated to many languages in the world.

Bhagavad Gita contains the advice that Krishna gave to sad, demoralized Arjuna on the first day of the battle. The Bhagavad Gita is the gist of all Indian philosophy and thoughts. In fact, it is not as abstract as Upanishads and common man can understand it well. That is why, it is universally acceptable.

Our strength is immeasurable. For the soul there is never birth nor rebirth. It has never been and it never ceases to be. He is unborn, eternal, imperishable, undying and primeval. It is not slain even when the body is slain. As a person puts on new garments, discarding the old ones, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon. It can never be burnt or dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same. It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable and unchangeable.

All created beings are invisible in their beginning, projecting only their interim state. They become invisible again when they are annihilated. So there is no need for any lamentations. Men of small knowledge are attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power and so forth. In the minds of those who are too attached to sensory enjoyment and material opulence and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord doesn’t take place.

When one’s mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains focused in the pursuit of self-realization, there you will have attained the divine consciousness. When a man gives up all varieties of sense desire which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness. One who is not disturbed in spite of the threefold miseries, who is not elated when there is happiness and who is free from attachment, fear and anger is called a sage with steady mind. He who is without attachment who does not rejoice when he obtains good nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge. One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs inside the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge.

The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment. While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them and from such attachment develops lust and from lust arises anger. From anger, delusion arises and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool. One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus becomes free from all attachments and aversion.

One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is not possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?

As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence. A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego-he alone can attain real peace.

Karma Yoga

All men are forced to act helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature. Therefore, one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment. One who controls the senses by the mind and engages  his active organs in works of devotion, without attachment is a karma yogi. Perform one’s duty for action is better than inaction. A man cannot even maintain his physical body  without work. In charge of various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by performance of Yajna(sacrifice), supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts without offering them to the sages in return is a thief. The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food, which is offered first for sacrifice. Others who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin. One who is, taking pleasure in the self, who rejoices in and is satisfied with the self only, fully satiated, for him there is no duty. A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other  living being. Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme. One who is in Knowledge of the Absolute Truth, does not engage  himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the difference between work in devotion and work for fruitive results. It’s far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though they may be faulty, than another’s duties. Destruction in the process of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties for to follow another’s path is dangerous. The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and the soul is still higher than the intelligence.

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