Sunday, 16 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12 AND VERSE NUMBER 11, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 11
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OR DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
athai tad apy asak to ‘si kartum madyogam aasritah
sarva karma phala tyaagam tatah kuru yataatmavaan
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
atha = if: etat = this: api = also: asaktah = unable: asi = (thou) art: kartum = to do: mad yogam = my yoga: aasritah = refuged in: sarva karma phala tyaagam = the renunciation of the fruit of all actions: tatah = then: kuru = do: yataatmavaan = self-controlled.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
If you are not able to do even this, then taking refuge in Me, abandon the fruits of all action with the self-subdued.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Among virtues, unselfishness is the most paying. Godhood is the reward for complete self-abnegation. When the sadhaka established in unselfisheness meditates on God, he hastens his union with Him. But selfishness dies hard. It persists in many an unknown subtle form and causes hindrance to meditation. That hindrance has to be eliminated by Abhyaasa-yoga. Failing in that, all actions inherent in man may be performed for the glory of the Lord. But if the selfishness be so deep-rooted that a man does not desire to get out of it, or is incapable of outgrowing it, even for him there is a way out.
The earth-bound man is not prepared to abandon the fruits of his actions. Rather he he wants to gather more and yet more fruits of his work. He ought with him if he lived a life of self-control. He must be told next that more profit would come to him if he relied on God. Thirdly he must be induced into the belief that by offering a portion of his income to God and through God to His children, his income is bound to be multiplied. He learns by experience that selfishness is more paying when it is based on self-lessness. An effort at abandoning the fruits of action is to be instilled into the ordinary man gradually in this way. In course of time he comes to learn that supramundane life omes of self-denial and not of self-seeking.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:  
You cannot remain without doing work. Your inborn nature forces you to work. Therefore let your activities be carried on well. But if they were done without attachment, they take you Godward. Be not affected by the pleasure and pain ensuing from your activities. Associate them all with Iswara. Prepare yourself in this way for union with Him.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN:
madyogam aasritah: taking refuge in my wondrous power—Sreedhara.
If you cannot dedicate all your works to the Divine, then do the work without desire of the fruit. Adopt the yoga of desireless action, nishkaamakarma. We can renounce all personal striving, resign ourselves completely and solely to God’s saving power, submit to self-discipline and work, abandoning all thought of reward. One must become like a child in the hands of the Divine.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
This is the easiest path. If thou art unable to perform actions for My sake, if thou canst not even be intent on My service, if thou art, unable to practise the Bhagavata Kharmas, if thou wishest to do actions impelled by personal desires, then do thou perform them (for your sake from a sense of duty) renouncing them all in Me and also abandon the fruits of all actions, at the same time practising self-control.
In verse 8 the Yoga of meditation is prescribed for advanced students; in verse 9 the Yoga of constant practice; if one finds that, too, to be difficult, the performance of actions for the sake of the Lord alone has been taught in verse 10; and now those who cannot do even this are asked to abandon the fruits of all actions.
Madyogam: My Yoga. Surrendering all actions and their fruits to Me is My Yoga.
Yatatmavan: The man of discrimination who has controlled all the senses, who has withdrawn the senses from sound, touch, form, taste and smell.
Now the Lord eulogises the renunciation of the fruits of all actions in order to encourage the aspirants to practise the Yoga of renunciation of fruits of actions.

Comments by the blogger:
From verse 8 onwards the Great Lord makes increasing margins for the inability of the Sadhakas or Practitioners. Even a human mother would get angry sometimes. But the Sri Bhagavan never shows any impatience with His disciple, Arjuna. He gives multiple choice in the way Arjuna should behave and act to realise Him.


Friday, 14 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSE NUMBER 10 BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 10
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
abhyaase ‘py asamartho ‘si matkarmaparamo bhava
mad artham api karmaani kurvan siddhim  avaapsyasi
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MENING IN ENGLISH:
abhyaase = in practice: api = also: asamarthah = not capable: asi = (thou) art: matkarma paramah = intent on doing actions for my sake: bhava = be: mad artham = for my sake: api = also: karmaani = actions: kurvan = by doing: siddhim = perfection: avaapsyasi = thou shalt attain.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
If you are unable even to practise Abhyasa-yoga, be you intent on doing actions for My sake; even by performing actions for My sake you will attain perfection.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Force of habit is too strong to be altered or curbed; it drags the man along its own way. Even such a bent can be turned to advantage. While the bent is allowed to have its sway, it is utilized in the service of the Lord. A talkative man for example, may go on talking of God instead of worldly things. An active man may work hard for the glory of his Maker and not for mammon. When he becomes an instrument of the Lord in this way, no work taints him. His mind becomes gradually purified. Godhood is reached.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
When a man changes his attitude he is freed from bondage. Whatever work takes place through man is actually the work of the Lord. “Lord, You have Your work done by me. In ignorance, I feel ‘I am the doer.’ May I be only an instrument.” The attitude of this kind emancipates the aspirant.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN:
If the concentration is found difficult on account of the outward tendencies of the mind or our circumstances, then do all actions for the sake of the Lord. Thus the individual becomes aware of the eternal reality.
Matkarma is sometimes taken to mean service of the Lord,  pooja or worship, offering flowers and fruits, burning incense, building temples, reading scriptures, etc.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
Even if thou doest mere actions for My sake without practising Yoga thou shalt attain perfection. Thou shalt first attain purity of mind, then Yoga (concentration and meditation), then knowledge and then ultimately perfection (Moksha or liberation). Serving humanity with Narayana Bhava (feeling that one is serving the Lord in all ) is also doing actions for the sake of the Lord. Such a service should go hand in hand with the worship of God and meditation.
If you are not able to practise the Yoga of meditation mentioned in verse 8 or the Yoga of constant practice mentioned in verse 9, hear the glorious stories connected with the Lord by attending religious discourses conducted by the devotees of the Lord, sing Kirtan and the praises of the Lord.
Pratise the nine kinds of Bhagavata Dharma (the nine modes of devotion), viz., (1) hearing the Lilas (glorious and divine sports) of the Lord (Sravanam), (2) sing His Names (Kirtanam), (3) constant remembrance of the Lord and constant repetition  of His Names and Mantras (Padasevanam), (5)offering flowers in worship (Archanam), (6) doing prostration to the Lord (Vandanam), (7)becoming His servant (Dasyam), (8) friendship with Him (Sakhyam), (9) doing total self-surrender to the Lord (Atmanivedanam). Cf. III.19; XI.55)

Comments by the blogger:
In verse 8 the Lord urges Arjuna to fix his mind on Him only, his intellect in Him, (then) Arjuna shalt no doubt live in the Lord alone thereafter.
In verse 9 the Lord says to Arjuna that if he is unable to fix his mind steadily on the Lord, then by the Yoga of constant practice he should seek to reach Him. (Abhyasa Yoga is recommended by the Lord here. But I wrote in my comments to this verse about the Raja Yoga. I regret my lack of concentration, friends).
God wants us to fix our minds on Him only. And the Lord wants Arjuna to also fix his intellect in Him. This yoga is not easily attainable to all, so the Lord allows a wide margin for the inability of the Sadhakas or Practitioners to constantly and steadily fix Arjuna’s mind on the Lord and thus practise Abhyasa Yoga. But the thing is that even this Yoga could prove unattainable for us and the Lord once again allows us wider margin and urges us to do all actions for the sake of the Lord. And He assures that even by doing actions for His sake the Practitioner could attain Him!
Doing actions for the sake of the Lord alone is not so very easy as the Lord puts it for ordinary men like me. That is why the Lord’s Karunya is showered on the true devotees and the Lord says what He has said in verse 11.
The Lord takes care of the last man who has real devotion but unable to exercise diligence in the practice of Yoga mentioned in verses 8 and 9. This is the beauty of the Hindu Scriptures. Even the last man is not left out. No business of calling all the human beings as sinners and calling upon them to indulge a lifelong penance! No Hindu Saint will address  the people in his speech as “O, Sinners!”
In this verse, the Lord asks us to carry out the day-to-day activities not for our selfish sake but for the sake and in the name of the Lord. The Mind becomes pure when we indulge in actions only for the sake of the Lord. This does not mean we should go to the temple in the early morning and leave it only in the late evening! Any acts demanded by one’s Svadharma or an individual’s natural duty not for one’s sake but for the sake and in the name of the Lord. But in fact, this kind of indulging in the day-to-day activities of ours in the name and only for the sake of the Lord is not so very easy! So one should pray to the Lord for some spiritual power so that one could do actions for the sake of the Lord only.

When one practises this and acts for the sake of the Lord alone one’s mind is completely purified. In their mighty Commentaries, Shankarar and Ramanujar differ from one another and give a different kind of explanation to the phrase in this verse in which the Sri Bhagavan says that Arjuna should be intent on doing actions “FOR HIS SAKE”. While Adi Shankarar explains “for my sake” as the activities one has to do according to as one’s Svadharma, but Sri Ramanujar says “for my sake” means doing actions like building temples, growing gardens in the temple, sweeping the floor of the temple, lighting lamps in the temple, sprinkling water on the floor, drawing kolam, collection of flowers in the garden of the temple, offering worship, chanting God’s Holy Names, going around the temple in the form of daily worship, eulogising the Lord and offering worship to Him. You should indulge daily in such activities. The readers may exercise their own discretion and interpret both the Achariyas’ commentaries and act accordingly.    

Thursday, 13 December 2018

THE HOLY YOGA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSE NUMBER 09, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 09
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
atha chittam samaadhaatum na saknosi mayi sthiram
abhyaasa yogena tato maam  icchaa ‘ptum dhanmjaya
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR  MEANING IN ENGLISH:
atha = if: chittam = the mind: samaa dhaatum = to fix: na = not: saknoshi = (thou) art able: mayi = in me: sthiram = steadily: abhyaasa yogena = by the yoga of constant practice: tatah = then: maam = me: iccha = wish: aaptum = to reach: dhanamjaya = O Dhananjaya.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
If you are not able to fix your mind steadily on Me, O Dhananjaya, then seek to reach Me by Abhyasa-yoga.
COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Staunch is that devotion of the sadhaka which does not deviate from the Lord. Wavering is that devotion which oscillates between God and the world. Through constant practice, the mind has to be weaned away from the world. It is Abhyaasa-yoga which is practised ceaselessly until the mind is permanently reclaimed from baseness. The impossible can be made possible through constant practice. Nature can be changed by nurture, it being the most effective means.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
A man was rearing a pet dog allowing it an undue indulgence. One day when he was conversing with a learnd visitor the dog, as was its wont, jumped on to the lap of its master and licked his face. “That is no good,” observed the newcomer. The remark produced a salutary effect on the man who decided then and there to train the dog properly. Thenceforth, he gave a knock every time the dog jumped up to lick his face. The sagacious animal was not slow to find out that the master did not approve of that act. It changed its habit accordingly. Similarly the unwanted desire is a wretched dog that man has fondly reared. It dominates over him and depraves him woefully. Repeated blows in the form of counter-thoughts and ideas are the only way to rectify it.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN:
If this spiritual condition does not arise spontaneously, we must take up the practice of concentration, so that we may gradually fit ourselves for the steadiast directing of the spirit to God. By this practice, the Divine takes gradual possession of our nature.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
Abhyasa Yoga: Abhyasa is constant practice to steady the mind and fix it on one point; the practice of repeatedly withdrawing the mind from all sorts of sensual objects and fixing it again and again on one particular object or the Self. The constant effort to separate or detach oneself from the illusory five sheaths and identify oneself with the Atman is also Abhyasa. If you are not able to fix your mind and intellect wholly on the Lord all the time, then do it for some time at least. If your mind wanders much, try to fix it on the Lord through the continuous practice of remembrance. Resort to the worship of the images of God, feeling His Living Presence in them. This will also help you.
Why did Lord Krishna address Arjuna by the name Dhananjaya here? Surely there is some significance. Arjuna conquered many people and brought immense wealth for the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Yudhishthira. For such a man of great powers and splendour, it is not difficult to conquer this mind and obtain the spiritual wealth of knowledge of the Self. This is what Lord Krishna meant when He addressed Arjuna by the name Dhananjaya.

Comments by the blogger:
“Fix your mind on Me alone, let your thoughts dwell in Me”, says the Great Lord to Arjuna. Well, this is a form of meditation. Seated in the Lotus pose on a place which is not very high or very low and having prepared the place somewhat on a raised level than the adjoining land contiguous to the raised platform,  we must fix our mind on the Lord with either closed eyes or with the eyes fixed on the space between our two eye-brows. This is the posture suitable for practising Yoga every day for a long time. Why the Lotus pose? Because the Lotus pose makes our whole body relax and thus suitable for performing the practice of meditation for any length of time. In this posture the backbone, our neck and the head form one straight line. This is important. This is how the dormant serpent power or the spiritual power behind the testicles or vagina, in the system of Yoga known as  Raja Yoga, is raised slowly and steadily stage by stage. Like a coiled-up snake in a state of hibernation, this power usually remains asleep. A coil is called Kundala in Sanskrit. Kundalini, according to Srimat Swami Bhaskarananda belonging to Sri Ramakrishna Math, America, means something which is coiled up, such as a snake. Raja Yoga helps one to awaken one’s Kundalini power through meditation and other spiritual practices. There are several stages starting from behind the testicles or vagina. The consciousness and the serpent power which is dormant behind the private parts is known as Moolaadhaara. From this stage, the consciousness and serpent power must be raised to the next stage, by name, Svaadhishthaana. We should know that the serpent power is raised up along the straight backbone. From Svaadhishthaana the power and consciousness is raised up to Manipura. From Manipura the power is raised through Sushumna Nadi or Channel, then is the stage which is known as Anaahata. Then there is a channel known as Idaa Channel and on the right is Pingala Channel. Then our spiritual power is raised to the stage known as Vishudda. It is behind our throat. Between our eyebrows is Aajnaa chakra and the last stage is Sahasraara which is in the centre of our head.    
When the spiritual power is raised to Sahasraara there is complete enlightenment and emancipation is simultaneous.
 The Lord calls Arjuna as Dhanajaya or O, the winner of wealth. Its significance is explained by Srimat Swami Sivananda.
This is how the embodied one prepares oneself for the attainment of the plenitude.





THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSE NUMBER 08, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 08
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
mayy eva mana aadhatsva mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasishyasi may eva ata oordhvam na samsayah
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
mayi = in me: eva = only: anah = the mind: aadhatsava = fix: mayi = in me: buddhim (thy) intellect = intellect: nivesaya = place: nivasishyasi = thou shalt live: mayi = in me: eva = alone: ata oordhavam = hereafter: na = not: samsayah = doubt.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
Fix your mind on Me alone, let your thoughts dwell in Me. You will hereafter live in Me alone. Of this, there is no doubt.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
To feel is the way of the mind and to decide is the way of the intellect. And these are the inner subtle organs of man. A man’s residence need not be reckoned basing on the locality where he has placed himself bodily. Man verily is where his mind is. There are those who live in hell on earth; and there are those others who make a heaven of this earth. It is the mind of man that makes the heaven and the hell. When this mind is made over to God, man is then verily in the Divine Presence. The Lord says there is no doubt about this; the devotee can verify this verity for himself.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Man is born with two tendencies, Vidya guna and Avidya guna—the noble and the base, dormant in him. The former leads him Godward and the latter makes him earth-bound. In babyhood, both the tendencies are in equilibrium as if equally distributed in the two scales of a balance. If he grows in the life in the senses, the scale of worldliness goes down with that base weight. But if he merges in spirituality, the scale in him of Godliness goes down towards Iswara with that holy weight.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:     
Fix thy mind means ‘thy purposes and thoughts’ in Me ‘the Lord in the Cosmic Form.’ Give up entirely all thoughts of sensual objects. Fix in Me thy intellect also—the faculty which resolves and determines.
What will be the result then? Thou shalt undoubtedly live in Me as Myself. O Arjuna, of this there is no doubt whatsoever.
The Yoga of meditation is described in this verse. (Cf.VIII.7; XI.34; X.9; XVIII.65)

Comments by the blogger:
The Lord of Gita gives His solemn word or, to put it in another way, promises to the whole of the  humanity in various Slokas or Verses, in Gita: for example, He gives his solemn word that he would be born and come down to the earth as a human being to punish the unrighteous people and sinners and safeguard the righteous every Yuga or Age. And we have come across many slokas or verses in which the Bhagavan or God of the Gita has given His solemn word which automatically amounts to a promise to the whole of the humanity, present and yet to come!
In the verse on hand, Sri Krishna assures and gives His solemn word that those people who fix their mind on Him alone, and who think of Him constantly such devotees shall live in Him alone. He further says “Of this, there is no doubt”. This is nothing but a solemn promise by Sri Krishna for the humanity, present and future.
When the Mind is fixed on worldly things and life on the earth alone it naturally dwells on worldly objects and things. The Greek philosopher says, “I think, so I am!” Whatever one thinks constantly the man becomes that. We have already seen how the lower form of living beings evolved through constant thinking. For example, the droning bee or wasp picks up a worm and put it in its place and pricks the worm every now and then, and the worm’s whole mind is fully concentrated on the wasp, and in course of time, the worm becomes a droning bee or wasp! In my essay on Charles Darwin’s Doctrine of  Evolution which I have added to this blog’s comments not once but twice, I have said that if a giraffe whose neck was not as tall as we see now, must have been constantly and consistently trying to reach up to get hold of the branches with leaves with its mouth in search of food. When that giraffe did die and is reincarnated by Nature as a giraffe with a somewhat longer neck than it had in the previous birth in this world! And even in this birth, the concerned giraffe must have tried to reach up for food and as a continuous result, it must have come back to this earthly plane with a still longer neck than the last innings in this world. Thus the giraffe must have evolved into a beast with such a long neck as we see now. Since the present giraffe has no problem in reaching up and catch hold of various branches of trees, the evolution for this particular species must have come to an end! All this only shows and proves that man as well as beasts who have a constant need and think of that in the Mind the result is glorious. With Man, the bodily evolution has attained closure and now Man has to evolve mentally. Thus what the Lord of Gita says in the verse or sloka 08 is the absolute truth. If we constantly think of (read meditate on) the Lord we become Him as a result of entering into Him.  
What we repeatedly think about that thought enters our subconscious and the subconscious mind of ours makes things and our deep purpose is realized. Without anyone’s advice or without anyone’s help we would become what we repeatedly and constantly think! The 2000 years old Tamil literature, THIRUKURAL is world famous for its terse poems. It urges us to always think of the sublime thing. It is pure psychology!
In the Epic Mahabharatham, a sloka or verse says as follows:
teshmekantna : sreshtaaate saivanantiadhevatha:
ahamev ktsteshaam niraasi: krma karinam
The meaning of this verse is:
Those who reject all other Gods and offer prayers to and worship Me alone are great devotees. They do not want to enjoy the fruits of their actions. For, I am the fruit of their actions! Why should we refect all other Gods? Because then only we will be able to constantly worship and think of our personal God or Ishta Dhevata.
According to Srimat Swami Chidbhavananda, Our Mind feels and the intellect decides. They are inner subtle organs. Man’s real residence is his own Mind!
According to Srimat Swami Sivananda, in the verse or sloka 08, The Yoga of meditation is described.
The mind thinks and the intellect decides. What our Mind often thinks we become that. Here thinking Mind is expected to practise meditation. When we meditate on the Lord and make it a regular and daily practice, in this world itself we will live in God.





Tuesday, 11 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSES 06 AND 07, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 06 AND 07
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION: VERSE 06
ye tu sarvaani karmaani mayi samnyasya matparaah
ananyenai ‘va yogena maam dhyaayanta upaasate
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
Ye = who: tu = but: sarvaani = all: karmaani = actions:  mayi = in me: samnyasya = renouncing: mat pariah = regarding me as the supreme goal: ananyena = single-minded: eva = even: yogena = with yoga: maam = me: dhyaayantah = meditating: upaasate = worship.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on Me with single-minded yoga—
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION: VERSE 07
teshaam aham samuddhartaa mrrtyu samsaara saagaraat
bhavaami nachiraat paartha may aavesita cetasaam
                                                                  
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
teshaam = for them: aham = I: samuddhartaa = the saviour: mrrtyu samsaara saagaraat = out of the ocean of the mortal Samsara: bhavaami = (I) become: na chiraat ere = long: paartha = O Partha: mayi = in me: aavesita chetasaam = of those whose minds are set.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
For them whose thought is set on Me, I become very soon, O Partha, the deliverer from the ocean of the mortal Samsara.                                                        
COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
The ignorant man who segregates himself from the Whole which is Brahman invites complication and trouble to his earthly career. He, on the other hand, who attunes his personal life to the cosmic functioning which is the sport of Iswara, gains in Sreyas and gets into the plenitude supremely above the wheel of birth and death.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
There are harbingers of the attainment of Godhood. He in whom Bhakti is surging with fervour has already come to the threshold of Divinity. Know it for certain that he will very soon get into union with Iswara.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN: FOR VERSES 06 AND 07:
God is the deliverer, the saviour. When we set our hearts and minds on Him, He lifts us from the sea of death and secures for us a place in the eternal. For one whose nature is not steeped in vairaagya or renunciation, the path of devotion is more suitable. The Bhaagavata says: “The path of devotion is most suitable for him who is neither very tired of nor very attached to the world.” It is a matter of temperament whether we adopt the pravrrtti dharma, the path of works, or nivrttidharma, the path of renunciation.                               

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
FOR THE VERSE 06
Ananya Yoga: Unswerving Yoga; exclusive, having no other objects of worship or support save the Lord; Samadhi.
Even in Bhakti Yoga one should not abandon actions. He must perform actions but he will have to dedicate the merits or the fruits to the Lord. (Cf. IX.27)
FOR THE VERSE 07
Mortal Samsara: The round of birth and death. The devotee who does total, unconditional and ungrudging self-surrender to the Lord, who places himself completely at the mercy of the Lord, and who fixes his mind on the Lord exclusively, who burns up the fruits of actions  by offering them to the Lord and who thus destroys any power in the actions to bear fruit, and who has abandoned the mortal plane to the abode of Immortality.
I redeem such persons who have become ‘Macchitta’ i.e., ‘mind-united with Me’, from the ocean of the mortal world or worldly life, without delay.

Comments by the blogger:
We go to kshethras or Temples like Kasi or Pazhani or Haridhwara and mount the steps to reach the place wherefrom the sight or darshan of the Lord or Deity can be had. When we mount the steps, if we develop an attachment to one stone step we would stay put to that step and would become stagnant. The very purpose of our yatra or pilgrimage would be set at nought. We should use each stone step to make progress towards the presiding Deity. We should not develop an attachment to any step and forget our goal. In the act of mounting the steps to see the Lord, there is continuous renouncement! We step on one stone step with one foot and set the other foot on the step above then we renounce the first step and lift the foot to fix it on the step above. Thus we renounce the lower step! Thus we use one stone step then renouncing it we put our foot on the step above. Only if we are ready to renounce one step mounting another step above could become possible. Like that we must become free of all desires for the materialistic life. Unless we renounce the world contemplating on the Unmanifested Brahman is not possible. Each stone step represents each desire of materialistic type. The desire for each thing or service must be renounced by the Devotee and this way one stage will come wherein there would be no desire at all. By this time the Practioner’s pure mind would have attached fully to the God’s lotus feet. Then would be the time to indulge in uninterrupted love of God. All the energies of the Devotee would be concentrated on God and as such, every action by the Practitioner of the Yoga of Devotion would be consecrated to God. Then complete freedom from this world or Samsara will be achieved. That will be tantamount to the attainment of God and complete emancipation and becoming one with God, which is the goal of every System of Yoga! Thus the Lord of Gita assures Arjuna that the Yoga of Devotion is as good as any other form of Yoga.
But the very same goal achieved by Yogis who renounce the world and indulge in Jnana Yoga can be attained by Bhakti Yogis or Devout Yogis. The Yoga of Devotion is as powerful as any other form of Yoga. Each system of Yoga is aimed at an exclusive set of people who wish to realize their Self.
I am a great devotee of Lord Siva in His Linga Form. I chant Lingeshwara repeatedly both inwardly and outwardly. It has been a great solace the way I learned to chant!
According to Srimat Swami Bhaskarananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math, America, the path of Devotion enables the emotional person to have a direct vision of Personal God or Ishvara. The emotion in everyone is skilfully used as a means to attain God-vision. Love in human beings is usually present as “selfish love”. If selfish love can somehow be sublimated and directed towards God, it becomes an effective means of God-realization. Hindu history and legends tell us about many such instances. Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of Devotion disciplines consist of maintaining physical and mental purity (shaucha), prayer (praarthanaa), chanting of God’s holy name (Japa), the singing of devotional songs (geeta), and the adoration and worship of God (Poojaa or upaasanaa). Worship is of two kinds: (1) external ritualistic worship and (2) mental worship. Mental worship is a kind of meditation and is considered superior to ritualistic worship. It is more suitable for those who have made adequate progress in spiritual life. Ritualistic worship is suitable for beginners. In ritualistic worship, images or holy symbols are used. With the help of the spiritual attitudes like Shaanta attitude or the serene attitude, daasya or serving attitude, the sakhya or friendly attitude, the vaatsalya or motherly attitude and madhura or sweet attitude, and following the other disciplines of the Yoga of Devotion, the devotee’s love for God becomes more and more mature. This love gradually purifies his mind and enables him to have the vision of the Personal God or Ishvara.

      

Monday, 10 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSE NUMBER 05, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 05
BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
kleso ‘dhikataras teshaam avyaktaasakta chetasaam
avyaktaa hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir avaapyate
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
klesah = the trouble: adhikatarah = (is) greater: teshaam = of those: avyakta aasakta chetasaam = whose minds are set on the unmanifested: avyaktaah = the unmanifested: hi = for: gatih = goal: duhkham = (with) pain: dehavadbhih = for the embodied: avaapyate = is reached.

TEXT IN ENGLISH:
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.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Though the goal is the same, the worship of God without form is very difficult for the sadhaka soaked in body-consciousness. As he thinks of himself with a form he cannot help thinking of his God also as with a form. The worship of Saguna Brahman is easy. He who adores Nirguna Brahman has to be free from body-feeling right from the beginning. But the attainment of that state is not possible for all. The spiritually advanced soul alone rises to that level. The easy and natural course for the ordinary sadhaka is to proceed with the worship of God with form.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
The Jnani or the realized soul says “Aham Brahmasmi—I am Brahman”. But the body-bound man should not say so. It is harmful to him to say “I am Brahman” when actually he is the body. He deceives himself and the world by such a statement.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN:
Search for the Transcendent Godhead is more difficult than the worship of the Living Supreme God, the soul of all things and persons. In the Avadhootageetaa, Dattaatreys asks: “How can I bow to Him who is formless, undifferentiated, blissful and indestructible, who has through Himself and by Himself and in Himself filled up everything?” The Immutable does not offer an easy hold to the mind and the path is more arduous. We reach the same goal more easily and naturally by the path of devotion to the Personal God, by turning Godward all our energies, knowledge, will and feeling. Cp. “With minds rapt in meditation, if mystics see the unqualified actionless light, let them see. As for myself, my only yearning is that there may appear before my gladdened eyes that bluish someone who keeps romping on the shores of the yamunaa.”

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
Worshippers of the Saguna (Qualified) and the Nirguna (unqualified) Brahman reach the same goal. But the latter path is very hard and arduous, because the aspirant has to give up attachment to the body from the very beginning of his spiritual practice.
The embodied: Those who identify themselves with their bodies. Identification with the body is Dehabhimana. The imperishable Brahman is very hard to reach for those who are attached to their bodies. Further, It is extremely difficult to fix the restless mind on the formless and attributless Brahman. Contemplation on the imperishable, attributless Brahman demands a very sharp, one-pointed and subtle intellect. The Upanishad says:
Drisyate tu agraya buddhya
Sukshgmaya sukshmadarsibhih
(It is seen by subtle seers through their subtle intellect.)
He who meditates on the unmanifested should possess the four means. Then he will have to approach a Guru who is well versed in the scriptures and who is also established in Brahman. He will have to hear the Truth from him, then reflect and meditate on It.
He who realises the Nirguna (attributeless)Brahman attains eternal bliss or Self-realisation or Kaivalya (Moksha) which is preceded by the destruction of ignorance with its effects. He who realises the Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes) goes to Brahmaloka and enjoys all the wealth and powers of the Lord. He then gets initiation into the mysteries of the Absolute from Hiranyagarbha and without any effort and without the practice of hearing, reflection and meditation attains, through the grace of the Lord alone, the same state as attained by those who have realised the Nirguna Brahman. Through the knowledge of the Self, ignorance and its effect are destroyed in the case of the worshippers of the Saguna Brahman also.

Comments by the blogger:
The Lord of the Gita uses in this verse a word, embodied, which is the key to open the wisdom contained in this stanza or verse.
We all are embodied. Or most of us are embodied. The embodied is covered and constricted from all sides with sense objects. In the form of embodied, we have senses which behave like a drunken monkey which was stung by a scorpion! The monkey is known for mischiefs of unending type. When someone feeds it with liquor its mind becomes more restless. But suppose the drunken monkey is stung by a scorpion what would be its case! That is the state of our senses. It is difficult to get the better of our senses. I am a diabetic. But whenever I see an apple my mouth waters. I can take care of myself with great and untutored self-discipline with respect to all other man-made sweets. But when I see apples heaped up in fruit-stalls I am singularly unable to control myself. An apple a day is the doctor’s way. For a diabetic an apple a week could possibly be the doctor’s way. Like that the tender coconuts! I am irretrievably enslaved to the drink. But for the last 9 years, I have been on the continual watch and am avoiding all sorts of fruits and food items with sugar in them. Only I know and can vouch for the singular difficulty in avoiding the fruits and sugar-made food items. Now I am going through a lean patch. My blood sugar is far from being normal notwithstanding my dieting like mad. Our senses enslave us to this illusory world. Swami Vivekananda says that we are conscious of our bodies and we take us for mere corporeal bodies. He further says that if someone pinches our body, we cry out. See the slavery of it, the Swami exclaims. If I think I am merely a body how could I think I am pure spirit.
The Lord of Gita says to Arjuna that there was never a time when they (Arjuna and Sri Krishna) did not exist. There will never be a time when we shall not exist. He further says that they are immortals. But this bodily consciousness gives us the ego-sense and we think various actions as if we are the karta or owner of such activities instead of realising that all activities belong to God of this Universe and we are just instruments in His hands. God’s will is being carried out in this world on a continuous basis. Those of us who are confused because of our ego and ahankara take the activities carried out as ours because the bodies in which our Atman temporarily resides happened to be those bodies.
It is not a matter of choice whether we take up Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of action or the Yoga of enquiry about our Self or Jnana Yoga or the Yoga of wisdom. Every one of us is impelled by our own  SVABHAVA OR NATURE. Following our Svadharma or one’s own dharma is the key to success in this and the other world. Dharma could be defined as duty or righteousness or religion or all these three and more. Nobody has been able to give a correct synonym to the Sanskrit word ‘dharma’! So the word ‘Svadharma’ can be taken as our righteous duty for the sake of this passage. Svadharma is one’s attitude behind one’s action or duty that sustains him in his present stage of evolution and also helps us to realize our ultimate destiny. The dharma or duty of a man is determined by his past experiences and tendencies and Samskaras. The Soul assumes different forms in different births for the gaining of experience. The works performed in every birth leave mental impressions or Samskaras. These impressions or Samskaras are stored up in the subconscious mind and as one is apt to think these impressions are never destroyed with the death of the body. After our death, the Soul will assume a new body. Immediately these impressions or Samskaras begin to operate. This is how these impressions or Samskaras form our Svabhava or character. They will determine our svadharma or duty and religion and righteousness, etc., and our sense of right and wrong. Education and environment only help a man to manifest what we have inherited from our own past...Thus a man’s dharma or Svadharma is the basis of his thought and action. To try to act against one’s Svadharma is to do violence to one’s nature. Sri Krishna asks Arjuna to cling to his own dharma or duty or kshatria dharma or the duty as a warrior. “Better is one’s own dharma, though imperfectly performed, than the dharma of another well performed. (The above passage has been imbibed and re-told from an essay on Bhagavad Gita by Srimat Swami Nikhilananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.)
It is very hard to realize the Unmanifested through meditative enquiry. But the path of Devotion is open and readily available for all of us.
Every stage of the Universe or Yuga or Age has its own dharma. For one Yuga sacrifices were laid down as the easiest and most natural means of attaining the Knowledge of Brahman. The present Age or Yuga is known as KALKI. For the Yuga of KALKI Devotion has been assigned as the right marga or path. One form of devotion is preferred by the Sages and that is Nama Smarana or telling continuously the Name of the Ishta Devatha or Personal God. My personal God is Lord Siva in His Linga Form. In Linga Form He is known as LINGESHWARAR. So for the past twenty years or more, I have been telling Lingeshwaraya daily. When one is telling the Lord’s Name repeatedly every day a stage is attained whereby internalization of the telling of the Holy Name of the Personal God is achieved. This spiritual achievement is called ‘Jaba Siddhi’. Jaba Siddhi has become my forte. This is my character; even when I am seen to be doing nothing the God’s Name is told as Lingeshwaraya constantly. Any difficult moment and any happy moment is the right time for telling the Lord’s Name.
Thus Sri Krishna recommends the Yoga of Devotion in preference to the Jnana Yoga or Constant Contemplation of the Unmanifested Reality, that is, Brahman.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Sunday, 9 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSES 3 AND 4, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 3 AND 4
TEXTS IN TRANSLITERATION:
VERSE NUMBER 3
ye tv aksharam anirdesyam avyaktam paryupaasate
sarvatragam achintyam cha koottastham achalam dhruvam
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
ye = who: tu = verily: aksharam = the imperishable: anirdesyam = the indefinable: avyaktam = the unmanifested: the indefinable: avyaktam = the unmanifested: paryupaasate = worship: sarvatragam = the omnipresent: achintyam = the unmanifested: paryupaasate = worship: sarvatragam = the omnipresent: achintyam = the unthinkable: cha = and: koottastham = the unchangeable: achalam = the immovable: dhruvam = the eternal.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
VERSE NUMBER 03
But those who worship the Imperishable, the Indefianable, the Unmanifest, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, the Immovable, the Eternal—
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
VERSE NUMBER 04
samniyamye ‘ndriyagraamam sarvatra samabuddhayah
te praapnuvanti maam eva sarva bhoota hite rataah
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
Samniyamya = having restrained: indriyagraamam = the aggregate of the senses: sarvatra = everywhere: samabuddhayah = even-minded: te = they: praapnuvanti = obtain: maam = me: eva = only: sarva bhoota hite = in the welfare of all beings: rataah = rejoices.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
Having restrained all the senses, even-minded everywhere, engaged in the welfare of all beings—verily they also come unto Me.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
Nirguna Brahman is indeterminate Pure Consciousness. It can be arrived at by eliminating all obstructive modifications which are characteristic of Prakriti, aksharam is the Imperishable. The universe of form appears and disappears; where Pure Consciousness is ever Itself.
Anirdesyam means the Indefinable. It cannot be defined by comparison as there is nothing similar to It.
Avyaktam means the Unmanifest. The manifest is that which can be cognized with the aid of the senses. But no sense organ can have any access to Pure Consciousness. As such It is unmanifest.
Sarvatragam means the Omnipresent. A lump of ice buried at the bottom of the sea remains ever unmanifest and uncognized. Is it because of concealment somewhere in this way that Brahman is unmanifest? No, there is nothing to hide It, the Omnipresent. Space is negated in Brahman. A huge mountain perceived in dream exists in the space created by the dreaming mind. But in wakefulness, the dream space is negated. Similarly the space in the universe is negated in Brahman, who is Omnipresent.
Achintyam means the Unthinkable. Mind thinks of the good and bad and feels happy or miserable. Brahman does not lend Itself to be conceived by the mind in this way. It is the Wakefulness throwing light on the mind, but inaccessible to it.
Koottastham means the Unchangeable. The word Kootta connotes the painful and impermanent phenomenal existence. The permanent basis to this changing existence is Koottastha, the Unchangeable Brahman.
Achalam means the Immovable. The moving clouds are supported by the wind which in turn is moving in its own way. But that kind of relative movement is not in Brahman. It is constant.
Dhruvam means the Eternal. Aakaasa (the sky) which is the background of the wind and clouds is constant; it does not move. But in Pralaya this aakaasa does not exist. From the immovable state, it goes into the state of dissolution. Brahman does not suffer from that feature. It is the Eternal.
The sadhaka who is competent to adore the Formless Reality has the following attainments. He has complete mastery over the senses. He neither runs after the pleasant nor recoils from the painful; he remains unaffected by both of them. Does the sadhaka reduce himself then to the position of a corpse which lies unaffected by pleasure and pain? No, he raises himself to even-mindedness which is found in him only who is ethically and spiritually evolved. This attitude again does not mean passiveness. It expresses itself in the form of service to all beings, recognizing Divinity in them. When the sadhaka’s mind flows out in this way, cognizing worship of Brahman.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDHBAVANANDA:
When a bell is rung, each stroke has a sound-form of its own. But the formless sound is also heard for a while after stopping the striking. Similarly, God is both with form and without form.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN FOR THE VERSE 4
samniyamya: restraining. We are asked to restrain the senses and not to reject them.
sarvabhootahite rataah: rejoicing in the welfare of all creatures. Even those who realize their oneness with the Universal Self, so long as they wear a body, work for the welfare of the world. See V, 25, where the liberated are said to rejoice in the welfare of all creatures.
Here service of humanity is declared to be an essential part of the discipline. M.B. has the following prayer: “O who would tell me of the sacred way by which I might enter into all the suffering hearts and take all their suffering on myself for now and forever.”
Cp. also Tukaaraam:
‘That man is true
Who taketh to his bosom the afflicted:
In such a man
Dwelleth, augustly present,
God Himself;
The heart of such a man is filled abrim
With pity, gentleness and love;
He taketh the forsaken for his own.’

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
Anirdesyam: That which cannot be actually shown or which cannot be defined—the Akshara or Sacchidananda Para Brahman is beyond the reach of the mind and speech. Why can It not be defined? Because It is unmanifested. It does not have the four qualities of manifested beings, viz., Jati (caste such as Brahmana, Kshatriya, etc.), Guna (attributes such as blueness, whiteness, tallness, shortness, etc.), Kriya (reading, walking, etc.), and Sambandha (like the relation between father and son).
The unmanifest: Incomprehensible by any of the organs of knowledge; not manifest to any of the organs of knowledge.
Upasana (worship) means ‘sitting near’. It is approaching the chosen ideal or object of worship by meditating on it, in accordance with the teachings of the scriptures and the spiritual preceptor, and dwelling steadily in the current of that one thought like a ‘thread’ of oil poured from one vessel to another. It means continuous and uninterrupted contemplation of God.
The imperishable Brahman is omnipresent, pervading everything like the ether. It is unthinkable, because It is unmanifest. Whatever is visible to the senses can be thought of by the mind also. That which can be grasped by the organs of knowledge can be thought of by the mind also. But the Supreme Being is invisible to the senses and so cannot be grasped by the organs of knowledge and is, therefore, unthinkable. All thoughts of God ultimately lead the aspirant to quiescent meditation.
It is Kutastha (unchangeable). Kutastha means ‘remaining like a mass or a heap’. Therefore It is immutable and eternal. Just as the anvil remains unchanged though the iron-pieces which are beaten on the anvil change their shape, so also Brahman is unchanging though the forms are changing. Hence Brahman is called Kutastha. Kuta also means a thing which appears to be good externally but which is full of evil within. Hence it refers to that seed of Samsara, viz., ignorance, which is full of evil within and which is known as the Avyakrita (undifferentiated) in the Svetasvataropanishad.
Mayam tu prakritim vidyat
        Mayinam tu mahesvaram.
and in the Gita (Mama maya duratyaya—This illusion of Mine is hard to pierce—VII. 14). Another interpretation for Kutastha is ‘that which is at the root of everything’. He Who is seated in Maya as its witness, as its Lord is Kutastha.
Achalam: Immovable, that which is free from change. Therefore the imperishable Brahman is Dhruvam, eternal. (Cf. VIII.21)  

Comments by the blogger:
Brahman is Imperishable, Indefinable, Unmanifest, Immovable, Eternal. The Yogi who restrains all the senses, even-minded everywhere, engaged in the welfare of all beings also go into the Lord of Gita.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMHANSA once said to one of his devotees, Vidhya Sagar, that all of the Hindu Scriptures have been spitled by human saliva except the Scripture about Brahman. All Scriptures have been memorized and re-told by many a man. But nobody has dealt with the subject authoritatively. And no one has defined in human language as to what is Brahman. Since no one has spoken about Brahman it is not spitled by saliva!
It is not definable in human language. The only mode to experience is by observing Jnana Yoga. And even those who have experienced Brahman maintain silence as a mode of explaining Brahman. That is why the adage in Tamil says, ‘Those who found Brahman have not spoken about It and whoever speaks about Brahman have not found Brahman! (kandavar vindilar, vindavar kandilar!).
The greatness of Bhakti Yoga is we are allowed to worship the deity of our personal God who is Saguna Brahman and the senses can experience Him. This is how Vishnu’s all incarnations were seen and touched by devotees and non-believers. This was how people like Arjuna and his brothers and Panjali and Dhuriyodana and his brothers and other folks were able to see, hear and touch Sri Krishna. But Brahman cannot be seen and touched by anyone.
Hinduism allows people to approach God in several ways. The Lord of Gita says that men come to Him from all sides. It means there are different ways of worshipping the Lord. And there are only a few who can meditate on shoonya or nothingness. Absolute Brahman is very difficult to meditate upon. For this kind of meditation one should have the required mental calibre and should not be swayed by this illusory world. When meditating upon the Absolute and Formless Brahman, if the Sadhaha or Practitioner unconsciously attribute one quality or trait to Brahman the Practitioner would fail in his quest of jnana or Knowledge. But there are people who can meditate on the nothingness though they form the minority. It requires a certain type of attitude. The worldly attraction should not be able to sway the Practitioner. Hinduism makes room for all types and variety of people. For it deals not with the whole humanity as in the case of the two major religions of the world but takes into account the individual man and woman and addresses him or her. Hinduism takes into account all types of search. But, as we have already seen, the other two major religions of the world preach Bhakti or Devotion alone. The Holy Qoran insists on the people following that Faith to have fear for Allah, the Great. One should be afraid of God. But the Hinduism does not preach that the worshippers should be mortally afraid of God. God can be looked upon as Father or Mother, Master or Friend. And as we have already seen the immortal Tamil Poet, by name, Subramaniya Bharati, has looked upon as the lover and a Servant or Disciple! Personal choice even in the way of worship is given to each and every Hindu. There is a saying that there are as many religions as are the people!.
We are embodied souls and it is extremely difficult to know the unmanifest state. But all the Bhakti Yogis or Yogis of Devotion must know and understand that apart from the personal God there is a Formless Essence, says Mahatma Gandhi, which our reason cannot comprehend. The devotee of incomparable devotion ends up in merging with the Unmanifest and Indefinable Power. The same goal is achieved by the Jnana Yogis or the Yogis of Wisdom and they also end up in merging with the Formless Essence. So the Lord of Gita says Arjuna that He prefers the Yogi of Devotion. It is comparably easier to attain God and enter into Him for Yogis of Devotion. But in the verses 3 and 4 of this Chapter the Lord of Gita also says that if the Practitioner has the particular type of the mental calibre and can meditate on the Formless Brahman he also goes to Him after the life on the plane of the earth.
While the Holy Qoran comes down heavily on those who worship Saguna Brahman in the form and name of different Gods, the Bhagavad Gita reconciles the belief of all the sects of the Hinduism. All types of worship of the Lord of the Universe is acknowledged as perfectly legitimate. One of my friends is a faithful Muslim and one day he said that the knowledge of the Language in which the Holy Qoran was originally brought to the earth by Prophet Mohammed may not be known to all but  it does not matter and even the unlettered one can worship the Holy Quran by seeing the words in print line by line. That would be enough worship of Allah. Immediately I asked if you see with worshipful eyes the printed line of the Holy Quran that is also a Devotion of God with attributes. And that it is as good as attributing name and form to the Formless God and then why wouldn’t the Holy Quran allow the Devotion of Forms and Names!

So the Lord of the Gita advises Arjuna to offer worship to Him with name and Form. All roads lead to Rome. Sincere worship of the Lord in whatever way is acceptable to Hinduism. Hinduism says, ‘be diligent in your worship.’ You would go to God, the Master of the Universe in the end. This is why Sri Krishna utters that even those who worship some gods indirectly worship Him only.      

Saturday, 8 December 2018

THE HOLY GITA, CHAPTER NUMBER 12, VERSE NUMBER 02, BHAKTI YOGA OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

THE HOLY GITA
CHAPTER NUMBER 12
VERSE NUMBER 02
TEXT IN TRANSLITERATION:
sri bhagavaan uvaacha
may aavesya mano ye maam nitya yuktaa upaasate
sraddhayaa parayo ‘petaas te me yuktatamaa mataah
SANSKRIT WORDS AND PHRASES AND THEIR MEANING IN ENGLISH:
sri bhagavaan uvaacha = Sri Bhagavan said:
mayi = on me: aavesya = fixing: manah = the mind: ye = who: maam = me: nitya yuktaah = ever steadfast: upaasate = worship: sraddhayaa = with faith: parayaa = (with) supreme: upetaah = endowed: te = these: me = of me: yukta tamaah = the best versed in yoga: mataah = (in my) opinion.
TEXT IN ENGLISH:
The Blessed Lord said:
Those who have fixed their minds on Me, and who, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme Sraddha, worship Me—them do I consider perfect in yoga.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
The Lord is having the cosmos for His physical body. He is Parameswara, Saguna Brahman. He rules remaining immanent in the universe. He is the Lord of the yogis, the Omniscient. His devotees are they who have dedicated themselves to His worship. They are free from attachment, aversion and angularities. The thought of the Lord alone dominates their hearts day and night. They live for the service of the Lord. They are therefore perfect yogis.
SRIMAT SWAMI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA AS QUOTED BY SRIMAT SWAMI CHIDBHAVANANDA:
It is quite all right to meditate on God viewing Him as formless. But do not entertain the thought that only your own conception of God is correct and that the beliefs of the others are erroneous. To meditate on Him as with form is also a method. You persevere staunchly in your path until you reach the realization of God. After that, you will come to know that all paths lead to the same goal.

COMMENTARY BY DR.S.RADHAKRISHNAN:
The teacher answers decisively that those, who worship God in His manifested form, have greater yoga knowledge.

COMMENTARY BY SRIMAT SWAMI SIVANANDA:
Those devotees who fix their minds on Me in the Cosmic Form, the Supreme Lord and worship Me, ever harmonised and with intense and supreme faith, regarding Me as the Lord of all the masters of Yoga, who are free from attachment and other evil passions—these, in My opinion, are the best versed in Yoga.
They spend their days and nights in worshipping Me. They have no other thoughts except those of Myself. They live for Me only. Therefore it is indeed proper to say that they are the best Yogins.
Are not the others, those who contemplate the imperishable, formless, attributeless, qualityless Supreme Brahman, the best of Yogins? Listen now to what I have to say regarding them.

Comments by the blogger:
The reason why the Lord of Gita eulogises Bhakti Yoga against Jnana Yoga is not far to seek; Bhakti Yoga comes naturally to all. Even an unlettered and ignorant man can indulge in it if he has come to this world with the suitable karmic effect.
Why do I say that men and women must have a suitable karmic effect to indulge in adoration of the Lord?
For every motive and urge, we have deepset at heart are the result of the suitable karmic effect.
There is great joy and peace of mind in surrendering everything to the Lord and seek His company for the sake of itself!
In this Universe, there are too many things and phenomenal happenings which go to prove the contention of both the Believer and Non-believer! For us to seek the feet of the Lord we must have had the inclination in our previous birth. If we indeed had had such yearnings for the society of the Lord of the Universe in our previous birth the Samskaras (mental impressions) to that effect will force us to surrender to the Lord and daily offer worship to Him and find joy in such things on the spiritual side.
For a believer, even the daily happenings like the sun-up and sun-down are enough to force the devotee into rapturous Samadhi! Everything and happening, for such a blessed man, is in glorification of the Lord. A staunch devotee can easily asunder the thick cobwebs of ajnana or ignorance and see God and God alone in everything in this Universe. For such devotees, there is a law of Nature that forces everyone to act in a particular way in their life. They see a set pattern to the flux of this Universe. The true devotee surrenders his all for the sake of the Lord. He does not covet any worldly thing and for him, every day dawns so that he could offer uninterrupted homage to the Lord of the Universe. For he has fixed his mind on the Lord of this Universe. His faith in the Lord is unshakable and steadfast. The sun-up and sun-down, the breeze and the hurricane, the day and the night, wealth and poverty, the beings and non-beings, famine and abundance, good and bad, every happening of this Universe carry the message that God is in every one of them and the true devotee does not need any other justification and or proof about the existence of the Lord of the World and every happening carries His ineffable signature and impression. Because there is God we are able to have the conviction at the time of going to bed that we will come out of the sleep to witness the glory of the Lord in yet another sun-up. The whole world is the body of the Lord. God fills up and pervasively inheres in everything, being and non-being. So the true devotee does not go around the world seeking proof of the existence of God.
On the other hand, for the non-believer, everything about this world is an abundant proof that it is foolish to consider there is a god or God behind the happening of this world. The non-believer calls himself a Rationalist! He is full of human pride and goes around the world trying to teach the Believers how everything in this Universe happens naturally! There is no need for a God, he says, to run the world. The world and the teeming number of planets in the sky and innumerous stars came into being as an accident. Life on the Earth goes on its own. Life itself started on the earth by way of an accident. It is foolish to say the planetary conjunctions and other Cosmic Acts like the thunder, the earthquake, tsunami and other colossal happenings and occurrence in Nature happen for which there is scientific reasons and explanations. The Big Bang was the First Accident and all the planets of the Universe were the result of the Big Bang and the innumerous planets are stationed in the wide limitless sky by mutual attraction and force exerted by them. The believer is a dreamer and a fool. There is no justification for the existence of a God. There are well-laid scientific reasons and explanations for each phenomenal happening in the Universe. THIS IS HOW THE RATIONALISTS’ ARGUMENT GOES.
The Lord of Gita wants to fill the hearts of the Believers with peace and spiritual poise; He says that the Yogi who has fixed his mind on Him, and who, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme Sraddha, worship Him—him the Lord considers as a perfected  Yogi.