Gita and Present Day

In Knowledge digest on 14/11/2008 at 09:48


In the world there are two types of people: one are those who are passive and the other who are aggressive. The aggressive people do not achieve much, the passive people also do not achieve much or do not achieve anything for that matter. It is easier to be aggressive or to be passive. This has been happening in our country. There are people who are very passive: don’t do anything, don’t get involved in anything. And there are people who are very aggressive: they do whatever- legal, illegal, right to achieve [they want].  Sooner or later both find their hands empty, they feel the failure.

But what is Gita’s essence?  Is it passive or does it instigate one to be aggressive? Neither of the two!  Gita says “Dynamism with Calmness”! ‘Dynamism with Calmness’ is worth having in our life. That serenity which is pro-active is what is needed – what would be the right solution for any problem.

Today’s relevance of Gita- like every other day, in every time — is very relevant to bring that focus in a person, dynamism in a person again with the serenity.   They put it: “Yogasta kuru karmani……….samatvam yoga uchyate” 

Often people think to do yoga one has to go to Himalayas or some such place. Veda, Yoga has been taught – all the 18 yogas right in the middle of the war -in the war field! So yoga is the essential union with the Self, is essential to live life in the world.

You know the term ‘yogyata’ meaning qualification, comes from ‘yoga’. When the union with the Being – deep inside -happens  then you are qualified to be a human being.

To do any job, any function you  need to be integrated with it, you need to be focused, you need to be free from disease. You need to be aware of what is happening around you.

Just watch your breath. How’s your breath? The more ambitions you have – more frustrations  you have your breath is very hot and quiver. There is feverishness in the  breath. When the feverishness – the quiver – in the breath calms down, the breath goes steady and cool. Then the mind also changes.

Food changes the mind, a  breath changes the mind. Your thought pattern -thinking-emotion- everything  changes your behaviour, your outlook towards life. That is why in length Krishna dealt in the Gita about ‘ahara’, ‘ahara-shuddhi’, ‘satva-shuddhi’: satva, rajas,  tamas- the three ‘Guna’s.  One could say it is so irrelevant.

In the war field it is okay you told Arjuna to wake up and fight, but what is the relevance of talking about all satva, rajas and tamas right  in war field ?

It has perfect relevance.

Often mothers have this complaint: my child is very aggressive. What food  have you fed him? If you give him too much sweet, too much fried food, too late  in the night and they sleep, sleep is not deep enough, they wake up in the morning [feeling] frustrated and aggressive. In our Ayurveda it is said, when there is food in the stomach [undigested food ?] indigestion happens and it creates ‘Ama’. The ama harbors the bacteria. Shastras says as soon as you get up in the morning if you have sour burp it is sin. The sour burp [in] early morning indicates indigestion, ama has collected in the body. Sooner or later it is going to affect your brain, your thinking! You are going to say everything in the negative light. Someone comes to you to  greet because they got some promotion or say they got a lottery you will  immediately say: look, they have come to show off! A good gesture [may be] interpreted wrongly. Why? [Because] our thinking process has been affected. How did it get affected? bad food!

The Jain dharma has done lot of research about food: what to eat, how to  eat, which food will create ahimsa, which food will create himsa [and so on..]. So ‘ahara’ and ‘vyavahara’ they are connected. So not to eat too late in  the night. In the morning drink plenty of water.  Gita tells us about food. “Pranapana samayukta…….” and also about breath and pranayama. [If] mind is aggressive, do some pranayama, [then] mind calms down. A few ujjai breath [Guruji demonstrates bringing that sound] – breathing from back of your throat. Many of the  mental illnesses will calm down, aggressiveness calms down.

Yoga brings deep silence within and karma yoga brings dynamism – activity.

Taking responsibility in the society is what is needed today- Karma yoga! Karma Yoga is doing the work with total responsibility. A person can do a  job in karma yoga style or do the same job [as] ‘ayogya’, ayogya karma. For example: a teacher can be a karma yogi teacher when she/he takes interest in the children. But if the teacher’s interest is only in the salary that she/he is going to gets on the 1st of every month, then she/he is not a  karma yogi teacher. Similarly, you can be a karma yogi father, mother. A karma  yogi father really takes interest, looks at the mind of his child: in what  direction his son/daughter is going, what is his/her interests are. One who is not looking in the direction of interest of his child is ‘akarma yogi’. He is  just bothered about getting a seat in a medical college – leaving some money if [child] is not doing well – bribe and get a seat, because he is ayogya. Every job can be done with total responsibility. That is the relevance of Gita today.

A karma yogi will get siddhi. “Siddhir labhate……”  Are you all here? [a few say ‘yes]. Listen just a few are saying ‘yes’. [a louder ‘yes’ & laughter] There is what is called ‘attention deficiency syndrome. More than 10  minutes one can not listen. Though you are sitting with all the willingness to  listen your mind will slowly escape to the back exit! how to bring that mind back again and again? Arjuna had same problem.

“Manodud nigrahann……” very difficult to control. Krishna says “skillfully bring the mind back”. Wherever the mind goes from there skillfully bring that mind back – don’t fight with the mind, just like [bringing] the children back to your home.

You know, if you tell your student or teen-age boy or girl ‘don’t do  this’, they will rebel. Your mind is a “teen-age child” that you are carrying  with you and it does not get mature. This teen age child that you are carrying  in your mind, whatever you say it does not want to do. How to bring it back  home? skillfully bring it back. “chaitnyasakta……” it is juicy, ecstasy! And that is what we need. 

If you read the Gita from beginning to end there are so many contradictions. So Krishna could not convince Arjuna, he could definitely confuse Arjuna, the logic is very different. Everywhere he puts different logic. So people have tried to bring ‘samanvaya’. They tried to eliminate the contradiction. But I tell you: My view is different. You should not eliminate contradictions. 

Truth can be revealed only in contradiction, truth is always contradictory. To go to a place you can say: go right and turn left or go right and turn right also. This is “spherical thinking” – the greatest gift to the world of theology or philosophy, which is not there in any other part of the world! 

Whole world is in a confusion – in a mess – and is wondering: If God is all pervading, where do you keep the Saturn? [Is it Saitan ?]. You can not keep Saturn. if you keep Saturn, then God is not Omnipresent. Isn’t it? If god is omnipresent and omnipotent then how could he get angry? God is also capable of doing what he wants to do! Biggest confusion took place with Saturn somewhere because we have not looked into the ‘spherical thinking’. We  always  think about ‘linear thinking: something should begin and something shoul end somewhere. Our Vedanta has [shown] new light to the world though it is ancient.  What is it? Spherical thinking: this could be right, that could also be  right.  Go straight and turn left is correct as much as go straight and turn right.  Because they both come from different points. 

Similarly in Gita, as a friend he didn’t say to Arjuna – Krishna never said to Arjuna “you first surrender to me, then I will tell you”. No, he simply said: You are my friend, you are so dear to me, I love you so much. it is Bhagavan who said first to the bhakta ‘I love you so much’. When bhakta realizes that Bhagavan loves me so much then his love started blossoming. 

We often think other way around, when I show so much bhakti may be God will love me also! No, one who has will give. God, the Divine is the source of  love, only he can love you first. Unconditional love.

So in the beginning Arjuna  was told “come on, what would people think of you? Are you not ashamed? See,  what is Krishna doing? He is trying to poke his ego, he is trying to consolidate his ego. There are 2 things: the person is in broken ego [because] he saw  all  that yuddha and hridaya daurbalya – weakness of heart, he breaks down. When  a  person breaks down his ego is shattered. [He] is not aware of ego. The  first  thing he says is ‘are you not ashamed? you are a yodha’. What is he doing? He is trying to awaken his ego. it is so interesting: in the beginning he tries to poke his ego, awaken his ego, strengthen his ego. In the end he says “you surrender that ego to me”!  It had the role to play. Ego is like the covering- the membrane on a seed.  It is necessary as long as the seed wants to remain a seed. the moment seed starts sprouting that covering has to give way for the sprout to happen.  It has to let go. A point comes through the knowledge [when] that ego is made to dissolve.  In the beginning Arjuna’s ego need[ed] to be strengthened. His valour had to be awakened. 

Two things: for a man ego is very important. If you destroy the ego of a  man he is destroyed. For a woman feeling is very important. If you destroy  feelings -bhavana- in a woman she is destroyed; she becomes like a stone. in a  family couple must remember this. A wife should never put down ego of a man; always pump his ego. All that man wants to show is: look, what I have achieved, what I have done. Behind all achievement is an ego. So woman will have to support the ego of a man.

Three Ahankaras are there: satvik, rajasik and tamasik.

We are talking about satvik ahankara. Similarly, man should not criticize woman’s parents or brothers or anyone close to her – her immediate close family. That’s it! it will hurt her, she may just take it- she may not react, but you are doing some harm there.  Because a woman, a girl is proud of her parental house, she has such a strong and deep bond to her parental house. What do you say? correct? All ladies sitting here? [applaud]. No woman tolerates her husband criticizing her brother/father/sisters. She wants them to be honored, respected. She is emotionally linked. Similarly no man would like his wife to say, ‘you didnt do better, see my brother did better’. No man would like to tolerate that. 

In the very beginning Arjuna’s ego was worked, a shame was bought on him.  Because valour wakes up when you are made aware. ‘Look, aren’t you ashamed?’, ego gets kindled, like in the fire. When you blow and kindle the fire. Like that ego was dumped by the feelings and worked by Krishna and then to attend to knowledge. It was not just ‘josh’.  To do anything you need ‘hosh’ (awareness). To do anything destructive you only need ‘josh’ (valour).  When we needed to gain freedom josh was necessary.

Mahatma Gandhi traveled throughout the country, Subhash Chandra Bose traveled throughout the country to invoke josh in people. Tod-pod karo- break this and that in josh. But even today we are continuing with josh. So create the hosh also – the awareness. 

See, everything around you is changing. A person will stop weeping when josh is created – valour is created. Then will not look [how] weak or strong one is.  A weakest person will fight when his valour is invoked – his ego is invoked. But that is not enough, hosh needs to be created.

Look around – everything is changing – whole world is changing. Do you accept this: your body is changing, mind is changing, thoughts and emotions are changing, everybody around you is changing.  Any fool can say this.  But how do you notice the change?  Because there is something that is not changing. The non-changing in you is dormant; changing in you is dominant. Observe the change – the dominant change, you get a glimpse of that something that is not changing.  ”

…here goes another shloka…” To stay in that non-changing aspect in you is ‘abhyasa’.

Everyday wake up in the morning and see what is the state of your mind and observe the state of your mind before you go to bed.  Is there a difference? there is truth – not changing aspect throughout the day.  You are sitting here, suppose time freezes. Are you ready to sit here for 100 years? if you have to sit here for a millennium – 1000 years? if you are attentive you will notice it. Time stops – Are you getting it? [He looks at everyone with those  penetrating,  twinkling eyes! oops!] Can you stop and be just like this? Let us say this moment the world vanishes. Can you take it? Everything freezes – we are going to be frozen for 1000 years. Are you all with me?  Now…. Now……Now  Where are you running? Where is your mind running?  What is it after? [Now his voice is much deep & powerful!] Position? Money?  Power?  What is it after?  Do you know the final goal of  where you are going to go?  What is going to happen to you finally?  Can you see  this?  Can this be your final moment?  Suppose this is the last moment in your life – What is happening now?

If you listen from your heart you will understand.  [He taps his fingers]  This can be the last moment, Are you getting? Are you getting?  If you listen from your head you will keep thinking – Whatever I am saying your mind is judging – oh! ‘yes’, ‘no’..’I have heard  this lecture”.  Listen from your heart, feel every moment.  Mind is changing, thoughts are changing, everything is changing!  Why we are not aware that we are going to die?  The very knowledge that you are going to die will create ‘hosh’ in you. When all the superimposition we have  put on ourselves, all that artificial role that we have taken to ourselves will all simply fall off.  Are you with me ? [Some say yes] 

Stop the time, mind stops!  Stop the mind, time stops! Time and mind are synonymous, they are together. 

That is why Bhagavan in Gita says : “[Kalatyoti]……..krit pravartau”  “I am the time in which everything dissolves and everything comes up”  Practical Gita!

“I am this time”  Which is this time? -where something dissolves, something comes up. Which is this time? Now… Now… Now…. Don’t have to write, sometimes we just dump it in the drawer, we don’t absorb!  When something is related to your life you don’t need to refer to your dairy.  I tell you. Only if you are a journalist, you will have to refer to your dairy.  If an instant happened – good or bad – a journalist goes there and writes down and he does not know what he has written 2 hours ago. But you ask a surpunch – he may not know how to read and write, but even after 10 years he will tell you because it is connected with surpunch’s life.  Journalists can not remember. 

Similarly, Gita is our life!  “I am the time; wherein everything dissolves and comes up”.  Everything – the world dissolves, it can happen right in this moment. That is “Krishna Tatva”. To know Gita, you have to know “Krishna Tatva”. It is not just a figure, it is not a body. “….

[another shloka..]”  Krishna said it was his problem then also! [“then also”..do you get it?

HE has that problem now also?.. who is HE?  People think I am just a human being.  They confuse me with the human body.  I am not the human body; I am the principle.  “Param bhavam…….mama bhoota maheshwar”  Now, Now, Now…

[He whispers] Where is that bhava? so beautifully everything has been said.  You and the Sun are made up of the same substance. have you ever felt that you are part of the Sun? anytime? Anybody here felt you are part of the Sun? No? [someone says yes] Yes? that is it! Wake up and see – you and the Sun are made up of same substance.  If there is no Sun, there is no you. the basis of your existence is Sun!  Similarly, 60% of your body is all fluid, water element. Ninety percent is space element, 98% let’s say of your body is space element and the remaining 2%, in that 60% is water.

If you look at a piece of your skin under the microscope, it is like a mosquito net. Whole body, whole structure, what we call body is changing!  It is a part of earth. have you felt this earth and me are one?  Do you know why people used to wear vibhooti (ashes) on the skin, forehead?  Do you know the science behind that?  How many of you know?  Rise your hands. Why vibhooti? Just to remind you that the skin is going to be ashes!  It is only a matter of  time.  So whatever you see, whenever you want to do something wrong, vibhooti reminds you ‘Hey! my dear, you are going to be ashes!’  The memory of our end, our death brings wisdom in our life, that is Vairagya!

Vairagya simply means I am not going to be here for ever; this body is not going to be here forever; this body is going to perish. Abhyasa and vairagya these may come to the understanding of “I am immortal, nothing is going to touch me, come what may!”  Now….Now……Now.. This moment, this moment is so alive; our body is floating in an ocean of consciousness.

Take a revision of your own life; how many years since you went to school / college; you did this -you did that; all those good things you enjoyed – all those bad things you did – all that drama you did – all those worries… What has happened? Is it not a dream? All gone, finished!  Now you are here. You will go away in one hour from here – then tomorrow – another day. like that another 20 years will pass and that’s it, finished!  Some may not even live up to 20 years; some may live another 40 years. Can you watch the flow of time?  Look at those babies you were carrying in your arms – your shoulders; today they have become big and they have children.  Are you seeing your own life? phenomenon around you – with this witness? Are you getting what I am saying? Can you watch the flow of time? events in your life time? that is ‘Sakshi’!  You don’t need to leave your homes and run to Himalayas.

Just wake up one  morning and look everything is changing. Time is flying. Time and mind are synonymous, as I said. When you have too much to do, you feel time is short. When you have nothing to do, you feel it is boring. The time and mind relationship is very interesting. Relevance of Gita is observing the flow of events in your life. This is ‘Manthana’.

A few minutes everyday feel your connection with nature; tree is part of me, Sun is part of me.  The most misunderstood part of Gita is when Krishna says I am this, I am among the Pandavas, I am Arjuna…This is not just intellectual knowledge; It is an experiential reality!  Experience come after jnana yoga, karma yoga.  Either by meditation you know that everything is changing or just wake up and see on your own that everything is changing i.e., through viveka or vairagya. 

So Arjuna was led step-by-step by Krishna like a friend, and finally he does not become authoritative; Krishna never said you must do this – do  that. He was an example of a Perfect Guru. What is it? “Look, I have told you whatever I need to tell; Now it is up to you if you want to do it; I am not imposing my idea on you; you are my dearest freind. “So, ‘I have told you whatever I know; it is up to you’ That is how the ego was slowly brought up and made to mature.

You know when a junior comes and tells you what is correct often seniors don’t accept it. But if the junior acts little skillfully and says ‘ I  feel this way, but you know it better, you are the best judge’, he pumps up your ego. ‘Sir, aap sab jante hain…you know best’. then you will accept, ‘yes I agree with you, yes, bring it’.  But if someone says you are wrong, immediately you put a rsistance.  Why intellectual person don’t see beyond this?  He becomes a machine of such behavior pattern.

We want ourselves to be praised or appreciated all the time. If someone doesn’t praise you can you still accept them? lift them up?  You will do it when you know you are much more powerful than a small event; when there is no insecurity in you.  “Ishwara sarva bhooteshu…..”  When this is well digested in our system then there is no insecurity whatsoever can occur in our life; your dealings with your juniors will completely change. it will take him by surprise. You don’t need to behave like a machine all the time.  We should sometimes change our behavior.  When someone praises have you ever scolded them?  just do it once and see. If someone brings flowers to you have you ever scolded them – ‘ come on, why did you bring it? get lost’!  Similarly if someone gives a derogatory remark have you received them with a smile. ‘oh! wonderful, thank you very much, come let’s have some sweets today’, have you ever done it? 

Coming out of pattern is essential. Only with contradiction it can happen. You have to go step-by-step, this is the 18th step and finally it says ” Sarva dharme….”

Why do you have to announce it in 1800 shlokas? why couldn’t it be said in the very first shloka?  Guru’s role is not ordering people to do something, but take them step-by-step, understanding where they are and help them move step-by-step; not to tell them ‘everything is Brahman’ on the very first day itself.  You will just hear, nothing will get into the head, you don’t experience anything; life remains as it is. people complain ‘ so many years I am doing satsang, no experience, life is not changing’. How is it possible? I don’t understand. Even if a drop of knowledge he has taken in life, transformation is eminent; has to happen!

(Sincere thanks to the devotee who posted this talk on e-satsang a couple of years back. I wish I had noted his/her name and other details. If he/she is reading this please acknowledge)

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