Srimad Bhagavad-Gita

Going through key verses of Bhagavad-gita.

And if anyone wants to download an ebook it’s available here:
http://www.gaudiyadarshan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/GitaHiddenTreasure-2ndEdition-All_120213.pdf

2.7

Please note that this page is a record of a live study group being conducted through Whatsapp, so the style is informal and there are also questions and answers which have come up that are included here.

10 October 2018

Chapter One

This chapter is mainly setting the scene and there are not really any key slokas to learn.

Having said that, the paramahamsas find deep meaning in the smallest things, and there is a good example of that in this chapter: Srila Gurudev once gave a whole talk inspired by the seemingly insignificant phrase ‘bhismam evabhiraksantu’ (1.11) please read/listen to that here:
http://scsmath.org/island/020402transcript.html
Really important message for all our SCSM members.

Also the very first verse is a nice one to learn as it is capturing the setting and background of Bhagavad-gita in a concise way, and it’s also simple to learn I think:

dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś chaiva kim akurvata sañjaya
Dhrtarastra said: “O Sanjaya, what happened when my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled for battle at the holy place of Kuruksetra?”

11 October 2018

Chapter Two

There are so many important verses in this chapter that we can’t cover them at once. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur described this chapter as a summary of the whole of Gita (as it covers karma, jnan, and bhakti) and Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad thus calls this chapter “Contents of the Gita summarised” in his edition.

I’m just going to start with verse 7 which is quite important. It marks the real starting point of Bhagavad-gita, when Arjuna sets aside his own estimation of things and takes the surrendered position of a disciple before Krishna. It also illustrates the need of a Guru. Param Guru Maharaj wonderfully expresses the spirit of this verse at the beginning of Sri Guru and His Grace:

“We are living in an environment which is afflicted with serious misconception, misunderstanding, misguidance, and misbehaviour. How are we to ascertain what is good and what is bad, what we should aspire after and what we should reject? Innumerable alternatives have thronged in a crowd, coming to infuence us. And when this area, covered by illusion and influenced by misunderstanding, is filled with such diversity, how can we hope to know the infinite spiritual world of Vaikuntha? With what attitude should we approach that realm which is transcendental, beyond the realm of the senses and mind, adhoksaja?

“We must accept any way and any alliance that will help us gain entrance into that realm. We shall try to have even the slightest connection with that perfect goal of our innate aspiration. We are helpless; we are hopeless in the midst of disappointment. We are in extreme danger. We rely on our free will, our capacity of selection for our own good, but it is too minute and helpless to guide us. What danger we are in! All around us are witnesses to this danger. How important is a real Guru who can guide us to our real welfare.”

So, verse 7:

kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ
pṛchchhāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-chetāḥ
yach chhreyaḥ syān niśchitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
“Now I am bewildered. What is my real duty? I am losing heart and distraught. So please tell me clearly what is the best course of action to take. I am Your surrendered disciple; please instruct me.”

I recommend trying to learn at least the last line of this verse which expresses quite a crucial mood of seeking higher guidance in a surrendered mood and is often quoted by our Gurus: śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam, “I am Your surrendered disciple; please instruct me.”

Question: Jai Nitai 🙏🙏 As we are living in midst of danger in this material world, we need to surrender to a real Guru. But how do we get connected to a real Guru?

Answer: You may find this helpful: http://www.gaudiyadarshan.com/posts/how-to-find-your-guru/

12 October 2018

Continuing with chapter two: just wanted to share appreciation for these expressions at the beginning:

2.10
tam uvācha hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasann iva bhārata
senayor ubhayor madhye viṣīdantam idaṁ vachaḥ
“O Bharata, there amidst the armies, Sri Hrishikesh, smiling, spoke thus to the grief-stricken Arjuna:”

This inspires me because it illustrates how, bewildered by objective circumstances, seeing things according to our materialistic, separate interest, we become easily disturbed and lament over various things. But from a spiritual perspective, seeing the Lord’s hand behind everything, one is always hopeful, positive, and optimistic.
So, while Arjuna is crying, Krishna is smiling ! (Vide: the verse tat te ‘nukampam, Param Guru Maharaj explains wonderfully here (as well as in many other places) https://premadharma.org/the-wave-of-love/)

2.11
aśochyān anvaśochas tvaṁ
I like this phrase very much, the beginning of Krishna’s response to Arjuna: you are lamenting over that which is not worthy of lamentation. This is our disease: giving importance to that which has no importance, no meaning. One definition of ‘anartha’, that which has no meaning. One definition of maya, ‘that which is not’.
The word sudra is connected to this same word in Sanskrit which means lamentation, so a sudra means one who laments. Why? Because they are involved with the temporary, mortal things of this world. But with higher vision, with faith, we see that this world of matter is just an artificial cover, we are actually eternal souls and there is also a world of spirit, and even more, there is a God who loves us! So what need for lamentation? One will be optimistic at every step.

These are not major slokas to learn but I just wanted to share how they have inspired me.

13 October 2018

Continuing with chapter two, now we’ve come to the soul slokas. Important reminder of basic teachings. I observed on a few occasions that when persons were facing death in some way Srila Gurudev would advise them to read this chapter of Gita, no doubt because it gives us this all-important reminder that we are not these bodies.

SPIRITUAL ABCs: YOU ARE A SPIRIT SOUL

2.12
na tv evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ
na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na chaiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param

“Never was there a time when you, I, or all these kings did not exist. Just as we exist in the present, so have we existed in the past, and shall continue to exist in the future.”

2.13
dehino ’smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

“As the living being passes through the bodily changes of childhood, youth and old age, it similarly attains another body at death. The wise are not deluded by this.”

2.14
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

“O son of Kunti, the engagement of the senses with their objects produces the sensations of cold, heat, pleasure and pain. But these effects are temporary—they come and go. Therefore, O Bharata, you must endure them.”

2.20
na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

“The soul is neither born nor dies; it has neither been nor will it be created, because it is unborn and eternal.It is ever-youthful, yet ancient. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.”

2.22
vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

“As a person adopts new garments, discarding those that are old and worn, similarly, the soul continues to adopt new bodies, leaving those that are old and useless.”

2.29
āścharya-vat paśyati kaśchid enam
āścharya-vad vadati tathaiva chānyaḥ
āścharya-vach chainam anyaḥ śṛṇoti
śrutvāpy enaṁ veda na chaiva kaśchit
“Some see the soul as astonishing, some describe it as astonishing, some hear of it as astonishing, while others, though hearing about it, know nothing of it.”

Question: Pranam 🙏🙏 In reference to Bhagavat Gita Verse 2.20 if the soul leaves the old and useless bodies and adopts new bodies then there is no permanent relationship with the loved ones of old body. Then why do we perform the last rites of the deceased person? Moreover if the soul continues to adopt new bodies repeatedly then how can the soul be liberated and attain salvation??

Answer:  Pranams.
Last rites: this is a traditional custom which is part of the whole Vedic system of living in harmony with our environment within the various social and religious roles assigned to us according to our present acquired nature. One aspect of that is debt to certain entities which we are obliged to pay in different ways. One of those debts is to the forefathers which should be paid as you describe.

However we are not followers of the traditional Vedic customs, we are followers of Bhagavat dharma, or Krishna consciousness. We are not ‘Hindus’ so to speak. The idea is that if you are performing your absolute, central duty as an exclusive servant of God and trying to serve him in love, then so many secondary duties do not apply to you. Therefore we do not place much importance on these traditional rites, though we certainly respect those who do them as it is an honourable practice serving a particular purpose. Please see Srimad Bhagavatam verse 11.5.41 for further elaboration on this point.

Adopting new bodies: the idea is that if one is continuing to act selfishly they continue to incur more karmic debt and therefore are obliged to pay that through taking birth again and again. This point will be elaborated upon further in Gita.

It seems to me though that you are not so familiar with our teachings. I strongly suggest you read Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad’s ‘Bhagavad-gita As It Is’ as an accompaniment to this study group. http://www.vedabase.com/en/bg

Sunday 14 October 2018

FACE YOUR BATTLEFIELD

Good morning friends! Continuing with chapter two, these verses offer us a wonderful meditation to start our day with.

What may appear to us as a challenge, difficulty, hardship is actually a great opportunity, ‘an open door to heaven’. If you can face the battle in the right way, as when undergoing an examination, you will only be the gainer.

Another point here: doing our duty can only result in success. Srila Gurudev quoted this verse (37) once in regards to his spirit in serving in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Doing good can only equal good, however the result may be calculated materially. Although you may superficially incur some loss through your actions, you are only gaining in the substantial sense, in the spiritual sense.

Therefore, don’t entangle your mind with the material consequences, by apparent ‘success’ or ‘failure’. Success and failure should not be determined by the material result, but rather in your purity of heart and intention in performing the action, and the resulting grace behind you. Therefore ‘pleasure, pain, gain, loss’, etc should be seen with equal vision. Just as Ramachandra demonstrated his equanimity when being banished to exile. He was about to be crowned king, but when he was told instead that he must enter exile it is described that the expression on his face did not change. So, a life of blind duty! It is to live in a very, very high sphere and it can only equal great success.

2.32, 37, & 38
yadṛchchhayā chopapannaṁ svarga-dvāram apāvṛtam
sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddham īdṛśam [32]
(he)rtha–O Arjuna; sukhinaḥ–the fortunate; kṣatriyāḥ–warriors; labhante–attain; yuddham–a battle; īdṛśam–like this; upapannam–present; yadṛchchhayā–of its own accord; apāvṛtam svarga-dvāram cha–as an open door to heaven
“O Pārtha, only the most fortunate warriors are blessed with the opportunity of such a battle, which has come to you like an open door to heaven.”
hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛta-niśchayaḥ [37]
hataḥ vā–If killed in battle; svargam prāpsyasi–you will attain heaven; jitvā vā–or by gaining victory; bhokṣyase–you will enjoy; mahīm–the earth. tasmāt–Therefore; (he) kaunteya–O Arjuna; kṛta-niśchayaḥ (san)–being confident of success; uttiṣṭha–arise; yuddhāya–for battle
“O son of Kuntī, if you are killed, you will attain heaven, and if you are victorious, you will enjoy your life on earth. Therefore, being confident of your success, arise for battle!”
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi [38]
same kṛtvā–By seeing with an attitude of equanimity; sukha-duḥkhe–pleasure and pain; lābha-alābhau–gain and loss; jaya-ajayau (cha)–and victory and defeat; tataḥ–thereafter; yujyasva–engage; yuddhāya–in battle. evam–In this way; na avāpsyasi–you will not incur; pāpam–sin
“Considering pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat to be one and the same—fight. No sin will be incurred by you.”
Question: Pranam Didi 🙏🙏 In these verses if I am correct it’s emphasised on Karma without any desire for the results???
Answer: Correct Karan, this is the main principal of niskama karma-yoga: that action is based on a sense of righteous duty, without consideration of how the results will affect one personally. The Vaishnavas, however, go one step further in that they calculate things in terms of Krishna’s interest, Guru’s interest, Vaishnava interest. This is bhakti-yoga. So in karma yoga one will be dis-interested, but in bhakti yoga one will be Krishna-interested.

16 October 2018

Please accept my dandabat pranams to all, praying this finds you in “glowing devotional enthusiasm” as Srila Gurudev has expressed.

THE INVULNERABLE ACCOUNT

Continuing with chapter two, we’ve come to verse 40. This is an important and encouraging verse about the nature of bhakti, quoted many times by our gurus.

Whatever you gain in the practice of devotion (in the form of sukriti or sraddha) can never be lost. As Srila Gurudev has paraphrased this very simply, “Whatever you do in connection with the eternal plane will have an eternal result.” Even if you just begin and then give it up, you will still carry the benefit from that initial practice and will also not suffer any bad reaction as a consequence of having left it. Sometimes we see persons who take the path up and later leave it due to various influences of the mundane environment: according to the conception here our general vision will be that their wealth is underground, and when the environment is favourable it will surface and begin to develop again.

Srila Param Gurudev on this verse:

“The knowledge of that eternal characteristic is not lost. It may be again covered for some time but will again awake. Other transient things come up and go down, but this is of eternal character. This will stand, and in course of time it will gather ground again and permanently.” (82.05.18)

EXCEPTION: There is one exception to this principle, however: that is Vaishnava-aparadha, offence to the Vaishnava. In Chaitanya-charitamrta Mahaprabhu famously refers to this as the ‘mad elephant’ offence which can uproot our tender creeper of devotion. Therefore it is the greatest danger in our devotional life. Worldly sin can cover our wealth, but Vaishnava-aparadh can destroy it. Therefore Srila Gurudev put so much emphasis on the principles of trnad api sunichena, taror iva sahisnuna, amanina manadena, humility, tolerance, and giving respect to others without expecting in return: if we can follow these we will automatically safeguard ourselves from making offence. And this cultivation must take place on a heart level, not just in terms of behaviour.

In our Param Gurudev’s purport to this verse he also points out that ‘maha-bhaya’ (‘the great fear’) generally refers to the fear of samsara, or repeated birth and death, but according to the devotional perspective it also refers to mukti, liberation. So both the tendencies for bhukti (enjoyment or exploitation leading to further entanglement in samsara) and mukti (desire for liberation which leads to a kind of spiritual suicide, or ‘burial’ in the plane of nondifferentiated consciousness) are ‘maha-bhaya’, fearful and to be avoided. Only bhakti, a life of dedication to the centre within an organic and dynamic whole, is to be embraced and accepted as truly wholesome and natural for the soul.

Another point Param Gurudev makes there, referencing Srila Rupa Goswami’s important verse describing the nature of pure devotion (anyabhilasita-sunyam…), which I very much appreciate is that the tendencies for bhukti and mukti are but covers; bhakti is actually the natural wealth of the soul, it is just underground and undeveloped. So he says, ‘If we subtract bhukti and mukti, then only positive bhakti, devotion, is the remainder.”

And the way to do that of course (remove those covers) is by practising bhakti! Because here’s another point: bhakti is such that once having entered, or having begun development, it must gradually gain ground and take over the whole thing without leaving space for others, because it is of the absolute, nirgun plane.

Param Gurudev:

“Our approach towards nirguṇa, towards cent per cent true conception, our approach has got no setback, nehābhikrama-nāśo ‘sti, if for the time being it is left, it is there. Again if I am to begin from there, it won’t be lost. Pratyavāyo na vidyate, and no external obstacles can check it. It is in such a plane, the progress.

“In the deepest plane, to come to Me, that is to have a contact with the deepest plane. And the very nature of the plane is such that any connection cannot be opposed by other gross planes of limited power. They are not bold enough to come in opposition with this, the absolute plenary wave. They have no power to interfere. My plane is such, and the waves of the plane are such, ahaitukī apratihatā, it is causeless and it can never be opposed, apratihatā. None can oppose it. None venture to come in opposition, to stand in opposition when one has commenced his journey towards Me clear, none venture to come to oppose him. My control over the whole is of such quality. …

“…So in that plane if we have any contact, can make any contact with that plane nirguṇa bhumi, then other plenary influences will withdraw at once.” [81.11.11]

2.40

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्म्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥४०॥

nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt [40]

iha–In this (bhakti-) yoga; na asti–there is no; abhikrama-nāśaḥ–failure in the beginning; na vidyate–and there is no; pratyavāyaḥ–diminution of results. svalpam api–Even the slightest practice; asya dharmasya–of this bhakti-yoga; trāyate–saves one; mahataḥ bhayāt–from the great fear of birth and death in the material world.

“On this path there can be no loss and no harm. The slightest practice of such a spiritual ideal saves one from the greatest fear.”

Question: Pranam Didi!!! If we try to cultivate humility, tolerance and giving respect without expecting in return from the heart level to avoid Vaishnava Apraadh then will it not be taken as a sign of weakness from material point of view? In regards to Bhukti and Mukti I feel that the basic cause of them is material desire. Please correct me !!!

Answer: Pranams.
We are not so interested in the material point of view. We don’t want to waste our energy there unless it is really necessary. Do you know the story of Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis and the digvijay pandit? The pandit was travelling and defeating various scholars in debate. When he came to Rupa-Sanatan in Vrindavan they both humbly declined and agreed to sign a statement to the effect that they had been defeated by him. They did not want to waste their time. Who cares what the common, deluded mass think? Vox populi is not vox dehi. Param Gurudev: “We are not interested in the opinion of anyone ordinary.” We are interested in the opinion of the sane section, not the insane section. We are interested in amnaya, higher truth which has descended from above, and the persons who carry that.
Of course this is a general principle and in certain situations there may be some adjustment. For example when that pandit went to Jiva Goswami, Jiva Goswami became angry and debated with and defeated him, in order to establish the dignity of his Gurus.

Bhukti & mukti both spring out of the root disease of selfishness, or envy as it is described at the beginning of Bhagavatam. In bhukti that selfishness is expressed as the desire for worldly, materialistic enjoyment, and in the aspiration for mukti that selfishness is expressed as a desire to become free from the suffering and entanglement which bhukti brings about. They are like two sides of the same coin. For more clarification on these three planes of life (exploitation, renunciation, and dedication) I recommend you read this article, which is published as the foreword to the text Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam: https://premadharma.org/sri-sri-prapanna-jivanamrtam/#SSPJ-S-04
I hope this answers your questions. With affection: Vishakha dasi

17 October 2018

ONE-POINTED VISION

Bg 2.41

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन ।
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ॥४१॥

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś cha buddhayo ’vyavasāyinām [41]

(he) kuru-nandana–O Arjuna, descendant of the Kuru dynasty; vyavasāya-ātmikā buddhiḥ–the resolute intelligence; iha–to practise this (bhakti-) yoga; eka (eva)–is onepointed; (tu)–but; buddhayaḥ–the intelligence; avyavasāyinām–of the irresolute—those who nurture mundane desires; hi–is certainly; anantāḥ–endlessly; bahu-śākhāḥ cha–many-branched, splayed.

“O descendant of the Kuru dynasty, resolute intelligence dedicated to Me is one-pointed—I am its only objective. But irresolute intelligence is splayed by endless desires for mundane enjoyment.”

Very wonderful verse! Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur has also written a wonderful paraphrasation of this verse to illustrate the meaning:

“My sadhana is to serve the lotus feet of the Lord, to remember and glorify him as instructed by my Guru. That is also my goal (sadhya). It is my life-sustaining medicine, for I cannot give up the sadhana and the sadhya. This is my most desirable object, for I cannot give up the sadhana and the sadhya. This is my most desirable object, my duty, and nothing else is my duty; nothing else is desired, even in dreams. There may be happiness or sorrow. Samsara may be destroyed, or may not be destroyed. That is no loss for me. Let there only be resolute intelligence fixed in pure bhakti.”

We all aspire for this kind of vyavasāyātmikā-buddhi and we have heard that this commentary acted as an epiphany for Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad and was instrumental in inspiring him to take up the order of his Guru to spread Krishna consciousness in the West.

Vide: Param Gurudev describing Arjuna’s one-pointed vision https://premadharma.org/sri-guru-and-his-grace/#SGHS-S-07-535

Question: Pranam Didi 🙏🙏 If I have got it correct then the above verse tells us to put Krishna as the centre of our life. Whatever action we perform should be dedicated to Krishna.

Answer: YES! Jay! Full marks, 100%–you got it😊😊😊🙏
This is the very purpose of our mission and practice, to come to such realisation.

Though actually there is no ‘should’ in this verse, it is simply describing the one-pointed nature of the consciousness of one who has come to such realisation.
Our consciousness is splayed by so many desires, our senses pull us in so many different directions, but the truly Krishna conscious sadhu only sees one thing: the satisfaction of Hari, Guru and Vaishnava. They view the environment wholly as the Lord’s property and as service paraphernalia for Him. Everything is calculated in terms of that higher interest and so their consciousness is very focused. There is only one thing, one interest, and nothing else. As Param Gurudev has expressed, “our war cry is Krishna santosh (for the satisfaction of Krishna)”.

Question: Thank you Vishakha Didi🙏🙏 It’s true that a true Krishna Conscious Sadhu sees the satisfaction of Hari, Guru and Vaishnava. But I feel that an individual can satisfy Hari, Guru and Vaishnava provided the individual cultivates love for Hari, Guru and Vaishnava. Some people might serve Hari out of fear and desire for material success and fulfilling their material desire. But the basic idea according to my understanding is that service to Hari should be out of love from heart. 🙏🌹🙏

Answer: Yes you are right, but who is a sadhu? Any individual who lives like that is automatically a sadhu. Sadhu does not only mean saffron cloth or living a particular lifestyle.
Do you remember the history of the Rajasuya sacrifice in Mahabharata? Krishna said the bell would ring when Vaishnava seva had been done. So many great persons took prasad but still the bell did not ring. Finally by Krishna’s instruction a very poor man on the outskirts of the city was brought and when he was properly offered prasad the bell rang with each and every morsel.
We can also think in terms of percentage as our Gurudev has pointed out. There are 100% pure sadhus, there are 50%, 20%, 5%, etc. Anyone who has accepted this kind of ideal is a sadhu to some extent. I will also consider you a sadhu if you have accepted this ideal.

19 October 2018

Dandabat pranams and good afternoon dear Vaishnavas and sincere seekers.
Continuing with chapter two, we have come to 2.45:

“STAND EVER IN THE PLANE OF TRUTH”

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्ज्जुन ।
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ॥४५॥

traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-kṣema ātmavān [45]

(he) arjuna–O Arjuna; vedāḥ–the Vedas; trai-guṇya-viṣayāḥ–deal with the modes of material nature—worldly subjects. nirdvandvaḥ–Give up duality (honour and dishonour, etc., in the purview of these modes); nitya-sattva-sthaḥ–be always situated in the truth (or remain with the true devotees); niryoga-kṣemaḥ–free from acquisition and preservation; (cha)–and; ātmavān (san)–engaging in this buddhi-yoga, yoga of wisdom that I teach you; bhava–become; nistraiguṇyaḥ–transcendental to the three modes of material nature.

“O Arjuna, the Vedas deal with the three modes of material nature (by accommodating fruitive action and liberation as an allowance and incentive for persons who are ignorant of the true objective of the Vedas). But you, Arjuna, give up duality and all pursuits for gain and preservation, stand ever in the plane of truth, and by the yoga of wisdom, transcend the modes of nature.”
(The objective of the Vedas is transcendental. Without fruitive action or liberation, O Arjuna, follow the transcendental path of devotion to the Lord as taught by the Vedas.)

This verse is a wonderful meditation. I don’t think I have personally heard or seen Srila Gurudev or Param Gurudev quote this verse, though surely they did, just not so extensively, but I have seen Srila Swami Maharaj has quoted it several times in his purports, and I have also heard some of his disciples quote it so I think he put some emphasis on it. I feel it illuminates this key theme of Gita of transcending duality and becoming situated in absolute truth in a clear and concise way. The other day I was hearing a talk of Param Gurudev where he said that we can see that important points are repeated in Srimad Bhagavatam and also in Gita, and he mentioned as an example this teaching to ‘give up duality’. We see this point was also made in verse 2.38 which we came to last week (‘consider happiness and sadness, loss and gain, victory and defeat to be the same’.)

This verse is also helpful because it gives perspective and clarification of the different stages of truth which are presented in the Vedic literature.

 

Sunday 21 October 2018

ALL WORK, NO PAY, AND NO QUITTING 😊

BG 2.47

कर्म्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्म्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्म्मणि ॥४७॥

karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi [47]

te–Your; adhikāraḥ–right; eva karmaṇi–is to perform your prescribed duties; mā kadāchana (bhūḥ)–but never; phaleṣu–to the results. mā bhūḥ–Be neither; karma-phala-hetuḥ–motivated by the fruits of action; mā–nor; astu–may; akarmaṇi–non-performance of your prescribed duties; (bhūḥ)–be; te–your; saṅgaḥ–inclination. [47]

“Your right is to your work, never to the fruits. Be neither motivated by the fruit of action nor inclined to give up action.”

So, who will come to sign such a contract? 😊

This is a very important verse, quoted extensively by our Gurus, which describes the fundamental principle of karma-yoga and is also of fundamental application in the practice of bhakti.

This is an excerpt from Loving Search for the Lost Servant: (which is available for online reading here: https://premadharma.org/loving-search-for-the-lost-servant/)

Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (2.47): “Give your full concentration to discharging your duty and not to the result of your work. The result is with Me; all responsibility is with Me.”

Higher calculation is like that. The generals say: “March! Go forward. Onward! You have to go. You are my soldiers; whatever I shall ask, you must do. You may die and the victory may come afterward; that is not your concern. You are soldiers; many of you may be finished, but the country as a whole will gain.” In this way, so many important lives may be sacrificed. And as soldiers, we have no right to calculate whether we shall gain or lose in the long run.

There are two things we must be very careful about. We shouldn’t think that if we can’t enjoy the fruits of our labour, then there is no reason to work. At the same time, we shouldn’t think that we must get some share of the fruits. Remembering this, we should go on discharging our duty to Krishna. That is devotion, and that is the meaning of Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita says: “You can’t change the environment. If you want peace, you must regulate yourself according to the environment.” The whole gist of Bhagavad-gita’s advice is found here: “Try to adjust yourself with the environment, because you are not the master of the environment. All your energy should be devoted to regulate yourself and not the outside world. This is the key to success in spiritual life.”