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Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 16

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 16

Manahprasaadah saumyatwam maunamaatmavinigrahah; Bhaavasamshuddhirityetat tapo maanasamuchyate.

Serenity of mind, good-heartedness, purity of nature, self-control—this is called mental austerity.

Interpretation

After talking about the austerities of the body and austerity of the speech, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the austerity of mind. The first aspect that He is touching upon is the serenity of mind. The mind can do many things and a disturbed mind can make many things worse, thus a serene or a calm mind can prevent such damages, and channelise in doing things that are productive. Then the Lord also talks about the good-heartedness and purity of nature which is required for someone to have a serene mind. Lastly, Lord mentions self-control as an important thing for mental austerity. Self-control can prevent many wrong things from occurring and a mind which has control on itself will automatically have a serene mind, a good heart and purity of nature.  

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The most important thing that one needs to understand here is self-control. There are many things that mind wants to do, it always runs behind things which you don’t have leaving things that are within your control. We also have a saying “The grass always appears greener on the other side” which directly means that something which you don’t have always appears attractive than a much superior thing you already have. This is where the self-control of a person comes into the picture. People get bored of things easily and want newer things and newer experiences, which also comes under the realm of self-control. So, how exactly one develops this self-control?

Satisfaction and having a realistic view of one’s abilities are very important for a person to have self-control. This is where it is linked to the serenity of mind, good-heartedness and purity of nature. Good heart thinks about others and is bestowed with the ability to do things selflessly. When someone comes to you for seeking advice, do you keep them in mind or do you keep yourself in mind, while advising them? If you want to be popular as a good adviser you will promote your interest and advise him, else you will not even allow your name to appear anywhere and advise him discretly. This requires a good heart and pure nature. When you do that it gives a lot of happiness to your mind. A person who goes in that direction keeps doing things that are selfless and that according to Lord Krishna is the serenity of mind. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Aphalaakaangkshibhiryajno vidhidrishto ya ijyate;Yashtavyameveti manah samaadhaaya sa saattwikah.

That sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for reward as enjoined by the ordinance, with a firm faith that to do so is a duty, is Sattwik.

Interpretation

After talking about the food that a person in Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic state of mind eat, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the sacrifices that a person who has the sattvik characteristics offers or performs. He says that a person when he is offering sacrifices should do it without any kind of a desire for any reward. He also has to do things that are prescribed in the scriptures with total and complete faith in God. The most important thing here is, he should believe that performing a particular sacrifice is his duty and that has been mandated by God, hence he has to perform it without a reward attached to it. Such kind of people are said to be of sattwik nature, tells Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We usually hear these phrases like “I have sacrificed my whole life for the sake of family”, “I have done so many sacrifices for you, is this what you give me in return”, “Life is full of sacrifices” etc etc. What is the meaning of sacrifice? English dictionary gives two meanings. In the noun form, it is “An act of surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity”, in verb form it is “giving up something valued for the sake of other considerations”. What Lord Krishna said in this shloka is the combination of both. Thus the meaning of sacrifice is “Any work/activity done for the sake of only God and giving up things that come in the way of performing such activities is considered to be sacrificed”.

Sacrifice is not a religious ritual alone. It is done for the sake of God by which the entire humanity gets benefited. Anybody who sacrifices his wealth for the sake of the poor is actually serving God. Anybody who sacrifices his own urges and wishes to work for the larger benefit of the people around him sacrifices in the name of God. Order of importance of looking at things plays a very important role in deciding for whom we are sacrificing what.  For a Tamasic and Rajasic person, the order of importance is I, we, my family, my relatives, my community, my religion, my motherland and last comes the entire humanity. 

But for a sattwik person it’s exactly the opposite. For him the entire humanity comes first, country comes next, followed by that religion, community, relatives, family, we and last comes “I”. A sattwik person gives more importance to humanity than to himself or his family. All his activities and rituals are centered around this concept only. Thus when a person works for the humanity, he never expects any reward for himself, but if he works for himself or his family, he always expects rewards and when those rewards don’t come he gets disheartened and abandons the sattwik path. But the person who is sattwik rewards for his work is never a criterion. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Trividhaa bhavati shraddhaa dehinaam saa swabhaavajaa;
Saattwikee raajasee chaiva taamasee cheti taam shrinu.

The Blessed Lord said:
Threefold is the faith of the embodied, which is inherent in their nature— the Sattwic(pure), the Rajasic (passionate), and the Tamasic (dark). Do thou hear of it.

Interpretation

After listening to the question of Arjuna, who asks about worshipping God with faith even though one does not follow scriptures, Lord Krishna starts to answer the question. Lord says that everyone in this Universe is born with a faith which is very much embodied or hidden inside them. This hidden faith usually gets observed in their nature, which is the way one speaks, acts and does different things. Lord says that the names of the threefold faith are Sattwik which is also called pure, Rajasic which is passionate in its faith and the third fold is the tamasic faith which is equated to darkness. Then He asks Arjuna to hear about them.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here the main point we are discussing is faith. Everyone in this world will have some faith. Have you ever seen a person who is not having faith upon anyone or anything? It is impossible to find such a person.

First, many people have faith in the religion that they believe in. Then they have faith in things that they should perform within their own faith. For example, two people who have a very different way of following their religion. Faith is something which is very personal to a person that is why everyone has their own beliefs and follow certain things in life which are very different from others.

Secondly, people who do not follow any religion and are considered atheists also have faith. He might not believe in God but he might believe in his abilities, which include his positives, his nature and his strengths. That is linked to one of the faiths of sattvik, Rajasic or Tamasic. He might not be believing in any of the scriptures like Vedas or Upanishads but he might believe in science and technology which is also linked to Rajasic guna. Thus everyone who is born in this world has some faith or the other and Lord is now going to talk about each of these faiths. Let’s see what the Lord says.

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 13

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 13

Idamadya mayaa labdham imam praapsye manoratham;
Idamasteedamapi me bhavishyati punardhanam.

“This has been gained by me today; this desire I shall obtain;
this is mine and this wealth too shall be mine in future.”

Interpretation

This shloka is a three-part shloka where Lord Krishna gives a first person like the account of those who live with demonic qualities. He starts off the shloka by saying that when a person earns wealth, he says I earned this money. When he has a desire to fulfil he then makes a resolve that I shall fulfil this desire. When a person owns something after a lot of hard work he says, this is mine. Thus this person with demonic nature looks at everything from the “I” point of view. Finally, Lord concludes the first part of the shloka by saying that when a person sees the money earned by him, he says that this is my money and I am going to use it in future.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We all know how crucial and important is this word “I”. It is the shortest word in the English language that occupies the least space, but one can write volumes of books on this single letter word I. Everyone has so much write about them. But is it good to keep thinking about “I” all the time? “I” refers to senses and body but not the soul. You will say I need money, I need power, I need peace of mind. You will never say I need peace of soul nor can “I” take you to moksha just for the simple fact that when the body meets soul it is “we” not “I”. The soul never does anything on its own so it needs body and body if it is ruled by senses, which will only think of “I”. So, the moment we start thinking about the soul, the “I” is eliminated and it is replaced by “we”.

In an altogether different way, this shloka is provoking us to think beyond “I”. Whenever you gain anything you, instead of saying, I gained, if you say we gained, then automatically the soul gets involved with it. It could be either sharing the credit with your soul, who is also the Paramatma living inside you or you share the credit with others, the result will be the same. Once the person comes out of the mode of “I”, he will also start seeing the world from we point of you. Then the whole universe created by the Almighty will look different to him and he will start living with everyone in harmony. He will not fight for credit or for wealth. He will simply do everything in the name of God and leave the result to him. That’s the first step towards moksha.

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 27 #BhagavadGita

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 27

Tasmaat twam uttishtha yasho labhaswaJitwaa shatroon bhungkshwa raajyam samriddham;
Mayaivaite nihataah poorvamevaNimittamaatram bhava savyasaachin.

Therefore, stand up and obtain fame. Conquer the enemies and enjoy the unrivalled kingdom. 
Verily, they have already been slain by Me; be thou a mere instrument, O Arjuna!

Interpretation

Continuing from the previous shloka, Lord Krishna in this shloka is advising Arjuna on what he needs to do next. After explaining him the importance of time, Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to do what is supposed to be done and obtain fame. He tells Arjuna that it is his duty to conquer all the enemies who stood in his way and should vanquish them and build an empire. In the last line of the shloka, Lord again reiterates the point that these people have already been slayed or killed by Him. Now, Arjuna should take over from Lord and kill them physically. Thus he would be playing as the instrument of the God’s will.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There is a very important lesson that we need to do in this shloka. “God proposes, man disposes”. Has it ever happened to you, that a thought came into your mind to do a particular thing and you did it, and it turns out to be extremely fulfilling and satisfying? If yes, then what you have done is what God wanted you to do. Let us understand how it works. There are certain that things that are pre-decided for you. You are supposed to do them when you do them, you get success as well as happiness. When you don’t do them, you are deprived of both the things. Let me explain a bit more. 

We know that God has created us with a purpose. The same purpose moves us to take up things that we want to do and that becomes our dharma. Like someone decides to teach, someone decides to join the army, someone decides to become a dancer and someone decides to become a bridge player. How do these thoughts come to us? It is because they are the ones that are destined to us. But there would be conflicting situations, again created by God, which prevents us from doing what we wanted to do. This is like a test.

The day you decide to stand up for yourself and do what you are supposed to do, you will be successful however difficult the task might be. That is how one finds his/her goal in life. That is how you pass the test of God.
The same is being said by Lord Krishna to Arjuna that He has already decided that the duty of Arjuna is to fight the war and kill all those who are standing against Arjuna. However difficult the task might be, Arjuna has to do it because he is just the doer. The order has already come from the God. So, Krishna is telling Arjuna to get up, fight and enjoy the fruit it, by vanquishing the enemies and enjoying the Kingdom. This is the dharma of a Kshatriya and Arjuna having chosen the Kshatriya dharma has to do it.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 13

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 13

Kireetinam gadinam chakrinam cha,Tejoraashim sarvato deeptimantam;
Pashyaami twaam durnireekshyam samantaadDeeptaanalaarkadyutimaprameyam.

I see Thee with the diadem, the club and the discus, a mass of radiance shining everywhere, 
very hard to look at, blazing all round like burning fire and the sun, and immeasurable.

Interpretation

Arjuna in this shloka describes the appearance of the Vishwaroopam in it’s full glory. Arjuna describes the glory by saying that the Vishwaroopam appears with in diadem, which is a crown that usually Emperors wear, and appears with a club and a discus in his hands. Club here means the mace and Chakrinam or discus which means the chakra. He also says that the Vishwaroopam has so much of radiance that is coming out of it, that it becomes impossible for him to look at it. Arjuna compares the radiance of the vishwaroopam to the immeasurable quantity of light coming from the burning of sun and fire. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have understood the anantha roopam of the Lord in Vishwaroopam, where anantha means never ending, and his forms go as far as the eye sight goes and much beyond that also. But here Arjuna talks about the Tejo roopam of the Vishwaroopam. Tajas or tejah means the radiance. Apart from the Lord’s form being infinite, it also emits radiance. The endless forms is because of the endless beings, dwelling inside the Lord, which was displayed to Arjuna in the vishwaroopam, but how does Lord’s Vishwaroopam emit so much of radiance? This is the question we would be answering in the shloka. 

Radiance, as we have discussed before also is the result of once knowledge and wisdom. It’s the light of widom that emits from an individual. We have also discussed how great men’s pictures are always depicted with an external circle of radiance surrounding their head to depict the amount of energy that person emits. Radiance enlightens others. It is like that candle that lightens the whole room and removes darkness. Not everyone has the power of radiance. In a room filled with 100 people living in darkness, one person with radiance entering inside will enlighten all the hundred. Such is the power of knowledge and spirituality. It removes darkness from the minds of people and enables them to see things with clarity. Like the way moon starts shining from the radiance of sun, these hundred men who were living in darkness also get enlightened by the radiance of this spiritual man. There are many examples in the history starting from Gautama Buddha, Mahavir Jain, Adi Shanakara, Ramanujacharya, Raghavendra swamy, Guru Nanak ji, Vivekananda etc who, with their radiance have enlightened millions of people and put them on the path of spirituality.

What Arjuna has witnessed is the combined radiance of everyone in the universe, that is getting reflected in the vishwaroopam of God and he is unable to view it even with the divine sight. Such is the power of the radiance of Sri Maha Vishnu.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 18
Shloka
Vedaanaam saamavedo’smi devaanaam asmi vaasavah;
Indriyaanaam manashchaasmi bhootaanaamasmi chetanaa.
Translation
Among the Vedas I am the Sama Veda; I am Vasava among the gods;
among the senses I am the mind; and I am intelligence among living beings.
Interpretation
This shloka sounds very similar to the shloka we had seen previously where Lord compares Himself to the different gods of nature and also to the different important functions of the humans. In this shloka also He does a similar thing. He says that in vedas He is like sama veda. Amongst the gods He compares Himself to Vasava who is also called as Indra. Then coming to a human being, He says that He is the mind of the human being and lastly He also goes onto say that He is the intelligence amongst the living beings that dwell on this planet.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
One might be wondering why Lord is saying the same thing again and again. When we re-visit something, people call it repetition. And they find it boring. That is for those who don’t show the involvement. But for those who are involve it is not just a repetition but it is from a different context giving an altogether different dimension about that particular thing. When we repeat something we go deeper into it and our thought process takes us to the places and makes us to think of the things we have not thought before.
Like, in the above shloka Lord compares Himself to Sama veda. We have heard this before, but Sama veda is the sweetest and the most soothing of all vedas. When you are down and demotivated what gives immediate relief to you is a pleasant music that Sama veda is composed of. Yes, rituals in Yajur Veda takes us to a spiritually higher platform, but the relaxation and mental stability that we needed the most comes instantly  from Sama veda. Likewise, taking Lord’s name when we are in the most difficult and trying circumstances gives us the immediate relief and strength to fight over the problems and difficulties. Once the person gets strength he is equipped to do other things.
Likewise, Lord compares Himself to the mind and the intelligence in beings. Mind gives us the solutions and intelligence gives us the sustenance. Continuing the above example, once a person gets some relief by taking God’s name, his mind will start thinking in the right direction. That is also nothing but God. He now starts to see things clearly and starts to strategize as to how to overcome the problem. So, if you look at this, the music that provides relief is God and also the mind that thinks calmly after relaxation is also God.

And finally Lord compares Himself to intelligence which is nothing but sustenance. Here comes the Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. We take a situation where the whole species and its existence comes into threat. That is when an intelligent species can fight out the difficulties and survive the hardships. You can compare this to centuries of struggles that human beings have made to make themselves secure from all other species only because humans are more intelligent than any other species. That is also God and Him, says Lord Krishna.