Archives for posts with tag: The Gita

Gita-Saar

Performance of obligatory duty is a primary goal of life, leading to the evolution of the personality in the current incarnation and eventually to enlightenment in later incarnations if the pace of evolution is consistently sustained. This consists in discharging responsibility towards family, community and the world at large, being diligent, dexterous, industrious and righteous, fighting for and supporting what is right. Abdication and abandonment of responsibility through disinclination, fear or mistaken and premature asceticism and reclusion is deemed false renunciation which does not lead to salvation. Renunciation means renouncing the fruits of action by engaging in unattached action and not the mistaken renunciation of ones obligatory duty. Even God is consistently engaged in discharging his responsibility and acting to sustain his creation setting an example for the performance of obligatory duty. 

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Textjual References:

” Engage yourself in obligatory work; for action is superior to inaction, and if inactive, even the mere maintenance of your body would not be possible.”

”Therefore consistently perform your obligatory duty without attachment; for, by doing duty without attachment man verily obtains the supreme.”

”None can ever remain really actionless for a moment; for, everyone is helplessly driven to action by the Gunas of Prakriti ( nature).”

”The abandonment of any obligatory duty is not right; such abandonment out of delusion is Tamasik ( misguided)”

”It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to renounce action entirely. But he he who renounces the fruits of action is regarded as the one who has (truly) renounced.”

”One should not abandon, O Kaunteya, the duty to which one is born, though it be imperfect (station in life), for all undertakings have imperfections even as fire is attended by smoke.”

”There is naught in the three worlds, O Partha, that has not been done by me, not anything unattained that might be attained; still I engage in action.”

”If ever I did not engage in work relentless ( performing my obligatory duty towards creation), O Partha, men would in every respect follow my path.”

”These worlds would perish if I did not do action; I should be the cause of confusion of species ( by not enforcing the natural laws) and I should destroy these beings ( the end of the world would ensue).”

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Reading the Gita one finds that there are unlimited opportunities for evolution towards enlightenment. There is no permanent condemnation of any individual as being evil or incorrigible. Rebirth provides a progression of opportunities from life to life. Thus even a sinner or criminal can become a saint and those who have failed to achieve perfection or take corrective action are provided suitable opportunities in the next life. No one is condemned to ‘hell’ for all eternity, nor is one marked permanently as sinner or saint to appear on any ‘Day of Judgement’. In the eyes of God there are none who are held as hateful or dear – all being regarded evenly as being on the evolutionary path to enlightenment and liberation. Indeed enlightenment is possible for everyone eventually irrespective of present circumstances and actions, caste creed or gender.

Arjun, the disciple of Krishna the incarnated Godhead in the Gita, poses this question and receives a response from the ‘Blessed Lord’ ;

Arjun: ”What of the man possessed of faith but lacking self-control, whose mind deviates from Yoga, what end does he meet with, O Krishna, having failed to attain to perfection in Yoga?”

Krishna the Blessed Lord replied:

”O Partha (Arjun),

Neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction for him; for, the doer of good, O my son, Never comes to grief.”

”Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having lived there countless years, he who falls from Yoga is reborn in the house of the pure and prosperous.”

”There he regains the knowledge acquired in his former body and he strives more than before for perfection, O joy of the Kurus.”

Even if a man of the most sinful conduct worships Me with undeviating devotion, he must be reckoned as righteous, for he has rightly resolved.”

”Soon he becomes a man of righteousness and obtains lasting peace, O son of Kunti, know for certain that My devotee never comes to harm.”

”I am the same to all beings; to Me there is none hateful, none dear. But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I also am in them.”

”For those who take refuge in Me, O Partha, though they be of inferior birth, women, merchants, farmers and slaves – even they attain the Supreme Goal.”

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Photo Credit: ktumi-hands.com

 

”I am the Self, O Gudakesh, seated in the hearts of all beings. I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.”

”An eternal portion of Myself having become the eternal soul in the living world, draws to itself Nature’s five senses and the mind.”

”Presiding over hearing, sight, touch, taste, smell and mind, he ( the soul) experiences sense objects.”

”Sattva, Rajas, Tamas – these Gunas ( archetypal attributes of Nature), O mighty armed, born of Prakriti (Nature), bind the indestructable embodied one (Soul) fast in the body.”

”Of these, Sattva ( the quality of clarity, luminosity, purity, sagacity), being luminous and untroubled,  binds by creating attachment to happiness and attachment to knowledge, O sinless one.”

”Know Rajas ( the quality of passion and dynamism) to be of the nature of passion, the source of yearning and attachment; it fetters, O Kaunteya, the embodied one ( soul) by attachment to action.” 

”But know Tamas ( dark quality of lethargy, indolence, ignorance) to be born of ignorance, deluding all embodied beings; it fetters, O Bharata, by heedlessness, indolence and sleep.”

”He, O Pandava, who hates not light, activity…. when present, nor craves for them when absent;

He who as one sitting unmoved, is not shaken by the Gunas, who stands unaffected, knowing it is but the Gunas that move;

Balanced in pleasure and pain, self-possessed, viewing a clod of earth, a stone and gold alike; the same towards the agreeable and the disagreeable, firm, the same in censure and praise;

The same in honour and dishonour, the same to friend and foe, renouncing all undertakings (attachment to their fruit) – he is said to have risen above the Gunas.”

”The embodied one having crossed over these three Gunas out of which the body is evolved, is freed from birth, death, decay and pain and attains to immortality.”

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( Photo Credit: iskcondesiretree.com )

According to the Gita, the Avatar is a manifestation of the Absolute Unmanifest (Brahman) arriving periodically on the material plane to redress and reform His atrophying creation. The Hindu concept of God is not just of an omnipotent, omniscient, heavenly being, rather it is that of an intimate and familiar even friendly and companionable personage, not merely a father figure but a friend and even a beloved, indeed even the essence of ones being, the Soul within. It is interesting that while one Avatar (Krishna) was a cowherd another (Christ) is spoken of as a shepard.

Q  U  O  T  E  S

”I am the father of this world, the mother, the sustainer and the grandsire;….I am the goal, the supporter, the Lord, the witness, the abode, the shelter, the friend, the origin, the dissolution, the foundation, the treasure-house and the seed imperishable.”

”Though I am unborn, imperishable, and the Lord of beings, yet subjugating my Prakriti (Nature), I take birth by my own Maya (power of illusion).”

”Whenever there is decay of virtue and the rise of lawlessness, then I embody myself, O Bharata ( Arjun).”

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of Dharma (righteousness) I am born from age to age.”

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Worshiping the manifest Godhead ( Sagun Brahma), the visualized divinity, one with form, the Image, the Avatar, the Prophet, the ‘Son of God’, the conceivable, both on the spiritual plane and the physical one – is given preference in the Gita over contemplating or worshiping the Unmanifest Godhead ( Nirguna Brahma – the absolute without characteristics), because for an embodied being ( like us) the worship of the Unmanifest or formless is explained as being both difficult and troubling. The tenor of tolerance for all forms of worship, however is in clear evidence in the Gita.

However, the worship of divinity with form in the shape of Krishna ( Avatar) or the numerous gods of the Hindu pantheon, or for that matter elsewhere, have clear sanction without denying worship or contemplation of the formless as equally legitimate, if more difficult. While some faiths allow one or the other, the Gita permits both, but prefers a representation with form for worshipers who have physical form themselves and can mainly comprehend and relate to a God with form.

                                QUOTES  FROM  THE  GITA

”Those who, fixing their minds on Me, worship Me with perpetual devotion, endowed with supreme faith – them do I consider most perfect in the rule.”

”But those who worship the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Unmanifested, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable  the Immovable, the Eternal; having restrained all their senses, even minded everywhere, rejoicing in the welfare of all beings – win to Me also.”

Greater is their difficulty whose minds are set on the Unmanifested, for the goal of the Unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach.”

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cREDIT: ISKCON

 

Externally divinity is ubiquitous, in every atom of creation and internally it is situated within as the Indweller, the soul. Recognition of this leads to an attitude of Sam Darshana or Same-sightedness, the understanding that every individual and every facet of creation is imbued with innate divinity. Therefore every individual, creature and aspect of creation has to be honoured and treated with respect and consideration. One should therefore apply the same norms to others which one wishes for oneself. While our world looks diverse, in essence it is one grand unity in apparent diversity.

 

 QUOTES FROM THE GITA 

 

”He sees, who sees the Supreme Lord, remaining the same in all beings, the imperishable in the perishable.”

”The knowledge by which the one Imperishable Being is seen in all existence, undivided in the divided, know that, that knowledge is Satvik ( true).”

”But that knowledge by which one sees in all beings manifold entities of different kinds varying from one another – know that, that knowledge is Rajsik ( confused arising from egoism).”

”And that knowledge by which one believes that a single life is all there is, which with its unreasoning and trivial view sees not the cause, or the external reality, that knowledge is Tamsik ( false arising from ignorance ).”

”They rise above this transitory existence whose minds abide in the sense of equality, for Brahman is unblemished and the same in all, such people become established in Brahman.”

”His mind being harmonized in Yoga, he sees himself in all beings and all beings in himself; he sees the same in all.”

”He who sees Me  everywhere and sees all in Me, he never becomes lost to Me, nor do I become lost to him.”

”That Yogi, O Arjun, is regarded as the supreme, who judges pleasure and pain everywhere by the same yardstick he applies to himself.”

Behold now, O Gudakesh ( one who has conquered sleep – Arjun), the whole universe of the moving and the unmoving, joined together as one in my body and whatever else you desire to see.”

There in the body of the God of gods, Pandava then beheld the whole universe, in its manifest diversity, drawn together into one.”

”He is undivided and yet He seems divided in beings. He is to be known as the supporter of beings. He devours and He generates.”.

 

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Credit: ISKCON

 

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The central teaching of The Gita is that there should be no obsession with the fruits of ones actions, performed more as a duty to be discharged with ones entire being rather than a hankering for results, producing neither euphoria in success nor despondency in failure. but act you must not pretending renunciation in inaction.

 

‘You only have a right to your actions no claim to the fruits thereof; do not be moved by the fruits of action; nor be inclined to inaction.’

 

‘Motivated action is, O Dhananjaya (winner of wealth – Arjun), far inferior to that  performed with equanimity of mind; take refuge in the evenness of mind; base are they who are seekers of results.’

 

‘As the unenlightened act from attachment to action, O Bharata, so should the enlightened act without attachment, desirous of guiding the multitude.’

 

‘When one has renounced all desire for fruits of action and no longer clings to  objects of the senses, then alone one is said to have attained to Yoga.’

 

‘Better indeed is knowledge than ritual practice; better than knowledge is meditation; better than meditation is the surrender of the fruits of action; peace immediately follows (such) renunciation.’

 

‘The yogi, abandoning attachment, performs action only with the body, the mind, the intellect and the senses, for purification of the soul.’

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Credit: International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON 0

 

In whatever way men seek me, in the same way I fulfill their desires;

Men pursue my path, O Partha,  in every kind of way ( diverse ways)

 

Whatever divine form any devotee with faith wishes to worship,

that same faith in him I make unwavering.

 

Endowed with that faith, he engages in the worship of that form

and from it obtains his desires, which are actually being ordained by Me.

 

Even those devotees who with faith worship other gods,

Worship Me alone, O son of Kunti, by a contrary method.

 

I am the same to all beings; to Me there is none hateful, none dear.

But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I also am in them.

 

 

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He truly sees, who sees that all actions are done by Nature alone and the Soul is actionless.

 

Having no beginning and possessing no Gunas ( natural qualities), the Supreme Self, imperishable, though dwelling in the body,…., neither acts nor is tainted ( by actions).

 

…. he who in imperfect understanding looks upon the Soul as the agent – he does not see at all.

 

The Lord does not create agency or actions for the world; He does not create fruitful consequences of action; Nature does all this.

 

Having renounced all actions, the self disciplined indweller ( the Soul ) rests happily in the city of nine gates, neither acting nor causing action.

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