The Beauty of the Bhagavad Gita

Spiritual resolve has to be cultivated if we are to maintain our interest in staying the spiritual path.  This sankalpha shakti is cultivated through our practices.  And hopefully, a dedicated Kriya practice will purify and refine our energy and mind.  But our mind and energy is affected by everything in our environment, by everything that attracts and assaults our senses. It is so easy to become distracted and lose interest in, or not find time for, our practice.  Lack of spiritual experiences or obvious progress can create doubt that can flourish into skepticism and even cynicism.

The study of certain spiritual scripture can capture our intellect and heart and sew a reverential seed that deepens spiritual resolve.  The Bhagavad Gita, written about 500 BCE is such spiritual text; it places the highest knowledge at our fingertips and just beyond the intellect.  More than scripture to be read, it is a means of self-study; it is a journey to the highest source of delight through mental purification. It is a self-correcting journey to your inner essence, the Self, the Seer, the Transcendental Divine.

The Bhagavad Gita, or the Song of the Lord, is one of the fundamental texts that every student of Yoga must study.  It consists of a dialogue between Arjuna, the commander of an army, and his chariot driver, Krishna, on the battlefield of Kurushetra, during a civil war. Among other things, it describes four Yogic paths: karma (action), bhakti (love and devotion), raja (meditation), and jnana (wisdom).  We find elements of all of these in Babaji’s Kriya Yoga.

The Bhagavad Gita sets the scene for one of the highest of conversations. Arjuna asks the Lord for the highest Truth. And Lord Krishna imparts the highest Knowledge – the vision of the One Self everywhere and in all – but this so overwhelmed Arjuna that he missed the wisdom teachings. The teachings were given to all of us through the Gita, but they are not easily understood and appear contradictory, as is often the case with Spiritual Knowledge. Knowledge only becomes clear, precise and evident to one whose mind and heart is open and pure enough to receive it. It takes spiritual qualities for you to understand and absorb the truth when you see it.

The practice of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga purifies your subtle energies, directs them to your higher centers, and develops your sankalpa shakti (spiritual resolve). Knowledge requires faith, concentration and effort and the will to master desires, with all of its attachments and aversions, likes and dislikes. While it still requires reverential study, the beauty of  The Bhagavad Gita is the reward of deep understanding, self-knowledge, and spiritual growth.

The Bhagavad Gita states therein, that the qualities required for one to truly understand it include: humility, integrity, non-violence, patience, uprightness, purity, steadfastness, self control, indifference to sensual sensations, self-effacement, non-attachment, absence of clinging to likes and dislikes, and an attitude of service.  Serious study of the Gita will help you to develop these qualities until all of your actions are motivated with the attitude, “May Thy will, not mine, be done.”

What does it really mean to say, May Thy will, not mind be done?

The Bhagavad Gita is a tale of action. It teaches us to remember the Lord and to engage in action, as service to the One in all.  It does not ask for physical renunciation or to retire from worldly activities.  Nor does, May Thy will, not mine be done, demand that we surrender our free will. It implies that we choose to act simply and righteously. And that requires an inward renunciation of egoism and selfishness. We must conquer the senses and refuse to act out of instinct and impulse.  We must consciously choose to think of and act for the sake of personal harmony and world-solidarity.

 

The Bhagavad Gita helps us to understand that righteousness and unrighteousness does not exist independently of the people who pursue them.   Human beings have the unique gift of free will, which is given to us by the higher evolutionary manifestation of prana as mind and consciousness.  We can awaken to a state where we choose to act from this higher consciousness instead of from instinct and impulse.  Unrighteousness always creates chaos, misery and pain.  Righteousness ultimately creates harmony and peace.  The Gita teaches us about dharma and how to recognize our natural duty, an inborn sense of work, known as svabhava, and how to respond to it effectively and righteously.  We should act not on impulse but according to understanding.  We must discover and be true to our self and to our own particular gifts and talents.  Too often our actions are directed not by our soul’s sense of duty but by our attachments and aversions.  We act too often according to our likes and abstain according to our dislikes.  This is what binds us in karma.  What the Bhagavad Gita teaches is to act as a response to a call of duty and do what is necessary to avoid chaos.

To evolve you must purify your mind and heart.  It is up to you to choose when you will protect righteousness, annihilate unrighteousness and establish a rule of righteous dharma for yourself.  The Gita so poignantly proclaims that the only way to wipe our unrighteous action is to insure that enough opportunity has been given to wrong doers, so that they may correct themselves.   This is one reason you are given free will.    You are given enough time and opportunity to correct yourself before it becomes dharmic for others to take the necessary corrective measures to establish order and righteousness.   This is where we find Arjuna finally, on a field of dharmakshetra (holy battlefield of righteousness) where Krishna presents his final Teachings.

 

Many readers of the Gita are confused by the presumption that war is somehow noble.   They are conflicted by Krishna leading Arjuna into battle against his kinsmen (things dear).    The war is but an analogy and the battle is your own moral struggle where in this world you must work out your karma and fulfill the purpose of your soul.   Dharma, right action, right attitude, these are all powerfully expressed through self-control and perfect equanimity.   The war illustrates the conflict you have between your mind and your soul over your beliefs, attachments, desires and your fear of death.   There will be a perpetual tension between two incompatible opposing beliefs, opinions, and desires.   Through mental discipline, we can annihilate likes and dislikes, fear, pride, greed and hope.   This is a painful and difficult battle and like Arjuna you must choose to undertake it in order to move forward.   To remove the sorrow and pain from life you must address fear.    And the most intense fear and sorrow any human has to endure in life is of death, your own and that of loved ones.    You win your freedom from the fear of death by turning your will over to God.    Thy Will be done.   The Bhagavad Gita concludes that you have no reason to fear death.

 

Dharma vs.Karma

The Gita defines all the things you must let go of, to reduce your karma and give space for your dharma to flourish.   But lifetime after lifetime, you tend to fall prey to your desires and emotions creating more conflict and karma.   The mind becomes agitated regardless of the nature of the result encountered by an action.   We act out of loss and gain, every action followed by reaction, endlessly.   Thus gathering more and more seeds in your karmic sack.   Your load gets heavier.

Delusion, confusion and desire then, not only direct this life but will follow you, arriving in every new embodiment, too.    Every being is driven in life by the karmas that unfold due to a combination of the gunas, or three modes of nature (sattva–spiritual essence, rajas–motion, tamas–inertia).   It is due to a combination of these attributes that you are conditioned to engage in action-after-action to achieve some result.   It is only slowly, through your karma that you can finally learn that the goal of life in a body is not desire-oriented actions, but Supreme Knowledge.  How long this takes is left up to you.

 

Supreme Knowledge

Supreme Knowledge arrives with the understanding that the Seer, the Lord, the Self, God is  One–Eternal–Changeless–Unmanifest Intelligence and so, is without attributes/gunas.   The whole of manifest creation arises from that Umanifest Intelligence, as a particular mixing of the three modes of nature: sattva (as an expression of righteousness, contemplation, moderation, purity, equanimity) and rajas (as an expression of valor, achievement, ambition, desire for success, worldly desire) and tamas (as an expression of dullness, inactivity, laziness, depression).    From these three attributes arise the variety and diversity of all beings. These attributes or qualities present in all of us in different quantities and concentrations determine the dispositions with which we are born.   A person born with highest concentrations and quantities of sattva would have a calm and pure disposition, another born with highest concentrations of rajas, but high quantities of sattva too, may be worldly but with strong virtues; a person with greatest concentration and quantity of tamas, some rajas, but no sattva, would be born with a cruel disposition.   The specific concentration and quantity of the gunas accompany the soul into each life according to the quality of their past life karmas.

 

All actions in a lifetime result in karma, some visible and immediate, some invisible and are carried over as a residue, influencing the concentration and quantity of the gunas for that soul in another lifetime.   That concentration of attributes will influence the motivation and situation of the soul’s birth and experience.    However, every action creates new karma.    The specific motivation behind each action the individual takes will determine how the new karma will manifest.   We can correct ourselves in every moment if we choose to act correctly  . Every soul is driven in a life by their predominant guna combinations but also by virtue of their attitudes and actions.    By acting at all times, with an attitude of service, the mind can be freed from conflict, selfishness, arrogance, prejudice and judgment and your karma will be positively affected.   The Gita says, without regard for the fruits of your actions, act in the world, maintaining quietude, equanimity and emotional balance.   Such balanced actions will open your heart to compassion and ensure that your inborn qualities next lifetime will be different.

 

Self-Knowledge through Karma Yoga

Knowledge of the Lord is available to all of us, regardless of guna predominance, but unavailable to any mind attached to desire-driven action.    The mind able to perceive truth through the spiritual experience of love is quiet and detached, yet engaged with an attitude of service in action.   Karma Yoga is but one of the bliss-filled Yogic teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.   But it is an attitude of action that can be applied to your mind and life regardless of your other sadhana.   Whether you consider yourself a jnani or a bhakti or a raga yogi, your actions should be done in service of the Lord in all and all fruits of your actions should be dedicated to the Lord in all.    The attitude of desireless actions and desireless results purifies the mind and develops the qualities necessary to receive the highest knowledge and liberation from the limitations of the mind and heart.    The secret knowledge is that there is love, a truth-knowing essence in the heart of hearts that connects us to one and all.   There is a potential energy in the heart, and when the mind is free of all entanglement and conflicts and we dismiss the instinctive urges of survival, this energy is freed to work as higher consciousness and pure love.   The result is all beings become precious to you and you find that you care deeply for the happiness of all beings.

The Bhagavad Gita slowly imparts Knowledge as it examines righteous and non-righteous actions.   Each time you study it, some new understanding will arise to be applied in your life.    The mind and the heart are the keys to our evolution.   And our evolution is why we have taken a life in the body.   We must go beyond our inborn urges, which makes us act from lower mind.   We must consciously choose to let go of social, cultural or even religious conditioning that have created patterns of acting in way that are not in accord with harmony and higher evolution.   Virtuous action lays open the heart to the light and joy arising from the state of the witness, the Seer, the Self.    Once the Seer is allowed to breathe in your life and through your actions, every act imparts love, compassion, energy and joy, then all of your action support spiritual advancement.

Om Tat Sat – There is only one Lord and only one Truth.

    • JpN Srivastava
    • June 25th, 2016

    Enlightening is tour synopsis on Gita I would like to put you humbly that the war of Mahabharata really took place & archeological evidence of Lord Krishna’s Dwarikia has been found.

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