Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Bhagvad Gita – Article 2 – Transcendental Knowledge

There are totally 18 chapters in the Bhagvad Gita. We have covered chapter 1 in the previous article. Here is the continuation viz. the second chapter. By now you know that Arjuna has surrendered himself  to the Lord out of pure frustration and despair. Lord Srikrishna smiles at him and instructs him on the way ahead. The Lord asks him a question ‘Where has this weakness come into you, at the hour of action?’ Then he begins to tell him the way. Lord Srikrishna mentions that life and death are not something to grieve about. The wise neither lament for the living nor cry over the dead. There was never a time when all these kings did not exist. Who is killing and who is the killed one ? How can somebody slay the eternal – the atman. The atman or the soul is indestructible. And we are all souls within this body. That is our real identity. The atman is eternal, timeless and has always existed. Joy and Sorrow are passing feelings and one must learn to tolerate them. That which changes with time is not eternal. Hence arise ‘O Arjuna’ and shed this impotency and get ready to fight.

The bodies for the soul are like clothes. They keep changing with every birth. The self (soul / atman) cannot be wetted with water, nor be destroyed by fire. It is eternal. Knowing this you should not lament. Even if you are to think that the soul takes innumerable births, then also you should not despair. Birth and Death are inevitable matters. Those who are born will die and those who die will be born again. All beings are invisible except at the time of birth and death. The in between is the period of manifestation which seems like a dream. But you have to live it, as this is as real as it gets. Being a warrior you have to fight, because that is your dharma. This war will open the gates to heaven if you die else you will get the kingdom. In any which ways, you have to fight. If you turn away from your duty now, others will think that you were scared and they would ridicule you throughout your life. Can you live with such a thing? So prepare yourself for this holy war and do not fear that you will be sinning …

So fix your concentration on the goal and go for it. People who believe in rituals somehow get attached to them. That is not the way of the wise. You may know a lot, but unless you put it to action (use) there is no point. The three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) are to be transcended in order to achieve eternal happiness. And now the Lord speaks one of the most important things. You have a right to your work, but not to its fruits. Think about it. Can we ever guarantee results? , although we try for it. The action is ours, the whole effort is ours, but the results are awarded by the God himself. You have to deeply believe in this. Your mind fixed on duty and without thinking about the fruits of action, you have to achieve equanimity. That is Yoga in short. When your mind is fixed on your goal and you are not confused, you will attain yogic samadhi (oneness with the soul).

Arjuna further enquires about how such people speak or move or sit? And the Lord replies thus : One who has renounced his desires born of the mind is satisfied in the self, by the self and his insight is steady. Such a person is a sage. One who is free from material desires, passions, anger and fear is said to be a sage of tranquil mind. He / She stands firmly in wisdom. So focus yourself and surrender yourself to the Lord. Only then can you engage in meditation which will bring you peace. And where there is peace there is happiness. The one who hankers after desires does not attain peace. Mind you the Lord does not say that desires are bad. Just attachment to them is. In simple words, do not worry as to what will happen? Whether the desires will get fulfilled? Desire less, because the more the desires, the more we become anxious. But desire, one must, in order to have a goal towards which one can work. Do not worry. It doesn’t mean complete giving up of desires. If you can, then good going.

In a nutshell, this chapter is about transcendental knowledge which means knowledge about the soul, yoga and duty.

Please excuse me if I have missed out something.

That’s for now. I’ll write the next chapter in a week’s time.

Thank You.


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