Category Archives: Bhagavadgita

Bhagavad Gita – The Way of Life!

Bhagavad gita is the Holy book which will teach us the way to live life. I have heard it many times from my childhood. But there was always this urge in me of interpreting it myself which remained unfulfilled till now. Now I have decided to embark upon this journey of reading the Gita and interpreting it. This category I will be interpreting each sloka everyday and share the same with you all!

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Prakritim purusham chaiva kshetram kshetrajnameva cha;
Etadveditumicchaami jnaanam jneyam cha keshava.

Arjuna said:
I wish to learn about Nature and the Spirit, the Field and the Knower of the Field, 
knowledge and that which ought to be known.

Interpretation

The Bhakti Yoga got over and Arjuna is asking an altogether different question to Lord Krishna and thus opens up a new chapter in Bhagavad Gita. This chapter is called “Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga” or the Yoga separating the matter and spirit. This is also called the Yoga of the field and the knower of the field. It starts with Arjuna asking question to Lord Krishna. He says that he wants to learn about the nature and the spirit associated with the nature and also about the field and about the knower of the field. Arjuna also holds an opinion here that this knowledge should be possessed by everyone.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Kshetra means physical body or the entity that occupies space. Kshetrajna means something which is matter-less or something that occupies no space. This is also called as the eternal soul. Arjuna by the sheer knowledge of the Vishwaroopa darshana yoga and Bhakti yoga had catapult himself into a realm of wise. That makes him to think about the importance of body and the soul. The knowledge of one’s body makes him to understand the soul. So body here is referred to as the field and by knowing or acquiring all the knowledge about one’s body, he becomes the knower of the field.

The field of a person consists of 5 elements that we have already discussed, the ego, the intellect and the ten organs. Step by step one needs to understand and know about each of them. Then we need to understand about the soul. Soul here is supreme as it keeps acquiring knowledge and progesses on its path to merge with the “Supreme Soul” that is God. One has to understand the prakriti or the body and the knower of the field which is also called purusha to know one self completely. This chapter is going to take us through all this. Let’s see what Lord Krishna says next.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 20

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 20

Ye tu dharmyaamritamidam yathoktam paryupaasate;
Shraddhadhaanaah matparamaa bhaktaaste’teeva me priyaah.

They verily who follow this immortal Dharma doctrine or law as described above,
endowed with faith, regarding Me as their supreme goal, they, the devotees, are exceedingly dear to Me.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna sums up all those qualities He has described before in the previous shlokas to talk about people who are dearer to Him. He says that all those people following Him are following their dharma which is immortal. This dharma is also called as the doctrine or low for every human being, whichever part of the world he might live in. Lord Krishna finally says that a person who has all that faith in Him, regarding Him only as the supreme goal worships Him, such people are exceedingly closer to Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka talks about conflict between the Doctrine of Dharma and the Law of the land. In a country like India which is secular in nature, by which there is no religion which is considered to be the state religion, Is the law of land different from the doctrine of dharma followed by Hindus, that constitute nearly 80% of the total population? Fundamental rights under Article 18 of the constitution guarantees the freedom to practice their own faith and state doesn’t interfere in it, but at times things get hazy and personal freedom or choice comes in the way of faith.

Let us take the matter of Women between 10-50 yrs not being allowed into the abode of Lord Ayyappan. Its a matter of faith that is centuries old and nobody has questioned the authenticity of it. Lord Ayyappan has taken a deeksha of Brahmacharya for life and it is said that women in the marry-able age are not welcome there. But now it has taken a turn of gender equality and rights. Can you stop a women who is in the age group of 10-50 from entering the temple if she wishes to? Matter went to Supreme Court which defines the law of the land and they gave a verdict that men and women, whatever age group they belong to have equal rights of visiting the temple.

This is a point where doctrine of dharma and law of land clashed. If its Lord Ayyappan’s wish that He doesnt want to see women of a particular age, is it not the responsibility of the women who worship Him, to respect His wish? Nobody can ever show a proof whether Lord Ayyappan said it or not, nor it is wise to ask for proof. If a women is a true devotee, she understands Her master’s wishes and would never violate them. If she is not, then she is a non-believer and a non-believer has no place in a temple. Matters of faith supersede that of the law of land in certain things and going against the wishes of many people just to prove one’s right to equality is nothing but ignorance.

Lord Krishna in a way was talking about this ignorance that people might have. That’s why one cannot follow everything blindly. One needs to have a vision to perceive and appreciate others’ sensibilities. That can be acquired only if one understands things from the points of view of many qualities we discussed in previous shlokas. People will not be irrational in their decisions nor mock the religion by showing their version of rationalism if they understand the true nature of God and the right meaning of Dharma. Gita is more needed at this hour than ever before, and with this we completed the 12th Chapter of the 18 Chapters and now we await what Lord Krishna is gong to tell Arjuna in the next chapter.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 19

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 19

Tulyanindaastutirmaunee santushto yena kenachit;
Aniketah sthiramatir bhaktimaan me priyo narah.

He to whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything, homeless, 
of a steady mind, and full of devotion—that man is dear to Me.

Interpretation

This is the second part of the shloka where Lord Krishna is looking at the physical attributes of a person who is dearest to Him. After talking about the honour and dishonour, cold and heat, pleasure and pain Lord Krishna talks about few more attributes here. He says that a person to whom criticism and praise are equal is closest to Him. Then He goes on to say that a person who is silent and content with anything he gets and doesn’t aspire for any worldly desires like owning land and home and some one who has a mind which is steady and filled with devotion towards to Him is the one who is closest to Him

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Two qualities we need to understand here and they are very relevant to today’s times. One is steadiness of a person in censure and praise and the second is a person who is content with anything and is homeless. I would first like to talk about the person who is content with anything and who is homeless. Why did God use this phrase “homeless”? We all have a dream of owning a house. House gives you a sense of security and we own, single or multiple of them. Is house really a sense of security? If you look at today’s world where everything is uncertain a house is more of a liability than an asset. There were many reports published which says that in many cities in India, rented homes are cheaper than the homes you own or buy. When you own a land in a place where you are not living, you know how difficult it is to prevent it from getting encroached or forcibly occupied.

A day will come soon where home as a concept will have nothing but diminishing returns and the value of land will remain steady. All that I want to say here is, the enthusiasm and zeal a person experiences in owning a home, if he changes it to, in being content with what he has and spends his time and money in noble deeds, many better things will be planned to him. But in today’s world of rat races and dog fights, such statements have no place. A content person is not the one who leaves his family to roads, he is the one who makes his family independent and secure. You need not give anything to your children in the form of assets. Give them good education and an outlook through which they will earn those assets themselves in a much better way. 

That feeling comes only when a person is content with his money and spends time with his family. The second aspect am looking at is the person who is same in censure and praise. It is possible only when you dont own anything that comes your way.If you dont want to own a house, you dont own the praise for the work you do nor own the censure or bad remark for the work you failed to do. Detachment from objects, people and feelings is the only way of achieving this. Once you are detached you neither feel happy for something that went right nor feel sad for things that went wrong. Only such people will be closer to Him, says Lord Krishna


Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti yoga verse 18

Chapter 12 Bhakti yoga verse 18

Samah shatrau cha mitre cha tathaa maanaapamaanayoh;Sheetoshnasukhaduhkheshu samah sangavivarjitah.

He who is the same to foe and friend, and in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat and in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment,

Interpretation

This is a two-part shloka where Lord Krishna talks about the behavioral qualities that a person should exhibit that makes the person dearer to Him. In the first part, He is talking about four such opposite qualities where the person should show balanced behavior. Lord says that a person who is same in his behavior to his friend and an enemy is dearer to Him. The second is he should be same in honor and dishonor and third in cold and heat situations that a person faces. Finally, he says that a person who is the same in pain and pleasure is dearer to Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Remaining steady in honor and dishonor is one of the toughest challenges that a person faces in today’s times. Let me tell you an example here. I know a person who was once honored for his knowledge and efficiency in handling things. He is considered the best and whatever he does use to be a hit. People bestowed so much of honor on him that it became a part of his life. He used to walk, talk and live in that honor. But as we all know, life is a great leveler. He then did one mistake of getting close to a woman and started liking her.

Initially, people around him started ignoring but as the closeness grew, all the good work he did started appearing selfish and there came a situation where he was removed from the position he is holding. He couldn’t bear the situation. He couldn’t take the fact that people who used to bend their head in front of him once are now openly mocking him. He was unable to bear that dishonor that was brought onto him. One night he suffered a major heart attack and passed away. People again started remembering all the good deeds he did and restored the honor back, but the person is no more.

One has to understand the fact that life is all about living for others and when you start living for yourself the world judges you. You need to ensure that you couldn’t face the consequences of all the actions that you commit. Also, even if you don’t dishonor any act, still situations will turn in a way that you will face dishonor. Now, that is when your inner strength gets tested. If you don’t take the honor bestowed onto you to heart, then you won’t take the dishonor also to heart. Easier said than done. But one needs to carefully think about it because every day is not the same day and every act will not bring the same result that you expected.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 17

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 17

Yona hrishyati na dweshti na shochati na kaangkshati;
Shubhaashubhaparityaagee bhaktimaan yah sa me priyah.

He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, 
renouncing good and evil, and who is full of devotion, is dear to me.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna talks further about the physical qualities of a person who is dearest to Him. He says that a person who neither rejoices nor hates is the one who is closer to Him. Rejoice and hate are the physical emotions that people exhibit towards things. He then says that a person who neither grieves not desires is dearer to Him. Then He also says that a person who renounces all good as well as evil and the one who is full of devotion is dearest to Him. In devotion this person has to renounce everything that is good for him as well as evil for Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Once again we are stressing the importance of a balanced person and how that person through his sheer balance becomes closer to God. The qualities of a balanced person are described here. A balanced person is someone who neither rejoices nor griefs. That means, if you give him what he wants, he will not feel happy nor feels unhappy when you deny him something. A balanced person is the who thinks that everything in this world is given by God and we should not attach any emotions to anything that is given by the God. 

One more quality of a balanced person is, he will not celebrate when something good happens to him nor he desires for good things to happen to him. This is possible only when that person who has attachment to his dharma, which is the guiding point to all his actions. Such people will have the inherent nature of renouncing things and would renounce everything in the name of God and have a strong belief that its the God who is the doer and they are just the medium for many things that are happening in their lives. Those who have such kind of thought process are the ones who are closer to Him, says Lord Krishna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 16

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 16

Anapekshah shuchirdaksha udaaseeno gatavyathah;
Sarvaarambhaparityaagee yo madbhaktah sa me priyah.

He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned, and untroubled, 
renouncing all undertakings or commencements—he who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me.

Interpretation

Continuing to talk about the people who are dearer to Him, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about some more qualities that a person should possess to become closer or dearer to Him. He says that a person who is free from all wants is closer to Him. Not only that a person who is also an expert in things that he does, unconcerned and untroubled by situations that arise around him is dearer to Him. Finally he says a person who renounces all his works and commencements to Him and who is devoted to Him is considered to be closest to Him. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A new phrase to look at is “He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned and untroubled”. Here we are talking about a person who is totally dedicated his life to the service of the mankind. This person doesn’t want anything in life but he is busy satisfying the wants of people around him. This person is pure and an expert in many things. That means this person doesnt think even for a minute in a selfish way and he has attained mastery in whatever he does. Not only that he is unconcerned by everything around him and is untouched by what people talk and say about him. Have you ever seen or met such people before? Have you ever thought you can be one amongst them?

You cannot meet them because, they are not famous promoting themselves on TV channels. If you want to be one amongst them, then you have to concentrate on what the person wants, rather than focussing on what you want. Its wrong to say that such people don’t exist. They are around and we dont know them. Even you know them, they are not famous and lead a simple life. A person who is pure is not concerned how much popularity he is earning and how many people are talking about him. He keeps silently doing his work and he does his bit to change the world in his own way. If you touch and change even one person’s life also by being like this, you will be dearer to God rather than attracting a lakh people by holding a satsung.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 15

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 15

Yasmaannodwijate loko lokaannodwijate cha yah;
Harshaamarshabhayodwegairmukto yah sa cha me priyah.

He by whom the world is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by the world, 
and who is freed from joy, envy, fear and anxiety—he is dear to Me.

Interpretation

This is another shloka where Lord Krishna is talking about the qualities of people who are dear to Him. After listing many qualities in two shlokas before, lord Krishna here talks about the inherent qualities of a person who is dear to Him. The first is the person against whom the world is not agitated and a person who cannot be agitated by the world such a person is dear to Him. Finally Lord Krishna ends the shloka by saying that a person who is free from joy, envy, fear and anxiety is dearest to Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The phrase to be understood in this shloka is “He by whom World is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by World”. In the first part of the phrase we are talking about a person against whom the world can never be agitated. What is the meaning of that? A person who is so good, kind hearted and lives for others that the world is never angry on him. One should lead such a kind of life that every minute of his life is dedicated to others. He should be that candle which burns to give light to others, not that fire which burns everything that it catches up. 

The second part of the phrase talks about the person who cannot be agitated by World. Good people are always put to test. Their temperament, their will power and their strength to stand-by things are always tested by the world by throwing challenges at them. A person who is dearest to God will accept all these challenges and never gets agitated by anything that the World says to him. Even the most negative thing, he takes it positively because its the dharma of him that is most important for him, not the demands that people around him make. So if one who is not agitated by the world, world can never agitate him. In that way, the phrase talks about both kinds of qualities in one person.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 14

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 14

Santushtah satatam yogee yataatmaa dridhanishchayah;
Mayyarpitamanobuddhiryo madbhaktah sa me priyah.

Ever content, steady in meditation, possessed of firm conviction, self-controlled, 
with mind and intellect dedicated to Me, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.

Interpretation

This shloka is the second part of what Lord Krishna says to Arjuna about the people who are closest and dearest to Him. After talking about compassion, free from attachment and egoism in this shloka He talks about more qualities that a person should possess. He says that a person should be content and steady in his meditation and should have a mind which is full of conviction and self control. Apart from that He also talks about the mind and intellect of the person completely dedicated to Him. Only such people says, Lord Krishna are closest to Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The key phrase here is “Ever content, steady in meditation possessed with firm conviction and self control”. It has a world of depth in it. Here we are talking about a person who is steady in his meditation. Meditation here is what he is doing or his dharma. We have learnt previously that our dharma is something that we should meditate upon. What disturbs the person who is meditating his dharma? Temptations. Temptations can be physical, emotional, monetary or the words said by people who matter to him, that sticks to his mind. When a person gets tempted by those words, he then tends to waver in his meditation. 

Such kind of wavering nature will disturb him from his task and that is where the other three words used in the phrase come into picture. Those are content, conviction and control. If he is content with what God has given, come what may, he would not have been tempted at all. If he had the conviction or belief that the path he is walking, nothing would have tempted him at all. If he had the control over the senses as to not get tempted by things around, good or bad he would not have been tempted at all. Thus temptations are the results of lack of conviction, control and contentness.

Everyone of us in this world feel that the grass on the other side is green. But when you go the other side chasing the greener pastures, you belong to other side and you can never come back to this side. Even if you do, you will always have a guilt that you tasted the grass that you shouldn’t have. Life is all about beliefs, convictions and controls and the one who possesses them is the one who will always be closer to God. He is not closer to God because he is stuck to one task, he is closer to God because he believed in what God has given him. God never gives wrong things. You just need to believe in what God has given you and not what the other side has to offer you. And if you believe that God is on the other side, then you have to conclude that everything you did till now is evil.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 13

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 13

Adweshtaa sarvabhootaanaam maitrah karuna eva cha;
Nirmamo nirahankaarah samaduhkhasukhah kshamee.

He who hates no creature, who is friendly and compassionate to all, 
who is free from attachment and egoism,  balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving,

Interpretation

Lord has now shifted His focus of attention from those who get salvation to those dearest to Him. This is the first part of the two-part shloka where Lord Krishna tells Arjuna the qualities that a person should possess for becoming dearest to Him. He says that a person who hates no creature in this planet and who shows equal compassion to all His creations is considered to be closest to Him. Not only that, all those who are free from all the attachments in this world and also has won over the ego are also closer to Him, Then He says that the ones who are balanced in happy and sad situations and those who have a forgiving nature are the ones who are closest to Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Many times before we have discussed in Gita about these qualities. But the point we have to understand is, why such people are considered close to God? Pain and pleasure are not given by God but they come as a result of attachment we have towards people, materialistic things and situations. When someone closest to us is going away from us, its very natural that you experience the pain. But will you stop that person from going? Except for God, nobody has the power to do that. The question here is why people tend to get so attached to people, situations, and things?

The attachment has two dimensions in it. One is a sensual attachment and other is a spiritual attachment. When you get a person or situation in life, its gifted by God and you need to do complete justice to it. Unless you get attached to the person it’s not possible to do your dharma on that person. Example is the attachment that a teacher has on student. Its created by God. Your attachment stays as long as the student stays in that place. Neither you should leave the student before nor you should have an attachment with him after he finishes his education with you. This is called as a spiritual attachment and it is desirable for every person in whatever job he is into. 

It’s these attachments which bring balance and compassion in our lives. If you are attached to a person via the spiritual route you will be compassionate towards him without any ego and you will be balanced in all your actions. But if the attachment is sensual, that is connected to appearance or materialistic benefits or any situations that can profit you those attachments, they are undesirable and you either leave a person if those benefits are not coming or keep the attachment even after your work with that person is over. Here you have neglected dharma and went behind materialistic benefit. If all of us, understand our dharmas and adhere to them 100% then all the mentioned things above never exist and the life of Satya Yuga will be back. But as we are in Kali-yuga these imperfections exist and one has to find the right kind of things to balance and become closer to God.