Tag Archives: God

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 46

Yatah pravrittirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam; Swakarmanaa tamabhyarchya siddhim vindati maanavah.
He from whom all the beings have evolved and by whom all this is pervaded, worshipping Him with his own duty, man attains perfection.
Interpretation
This shloka needs to be understood with a slightly higher level of spirituality. Lord wants us to understand here that when you perform a duty which is according to your dharma it is similar to worshiping the God who has created us. Lord also says that this is the God from whom all the living beings have evolved. Not only that the God who created this universe is present in all the living beings. So, one has to understand that identifying and doing actions that is in line with his own dharma is similar to worshiping the God every moment. This is the way a person can attain perfection, says Lord Krishna. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
How do you know what is your swa-dharma? Ask your soul. God created all of us and every life is a gradual progression in spirituality of an individual. In childhood you might want be a pilot or you want to be in army. The decision is purely based on senses as at that age one can never understand the urges of the soul. It is the teenage when an individual is able to understand the urge of his soul. If he is tamasic then he will naturally progress towards menial jobs and as the Rajasic quality increases he tends to become a trader and a warrior. That Rajasic guna turns sattwik and he slowly starts to get into philosophy, religion, teaching etc. 
Thus when you talk to yourself in your teenage you will know what you want to be. A Tamasic person would want to enjoy and travel, Rajasic person might want to get into a leadership role and earn money, status and power and a sattwik person will always want to help people. This nature combined with the urges of soul makes a person choose his profession. Thus it becomes important for a person to follow the profession with a devotion that is equivalent to worshiping the God. That can only happen when the individual is 100% committed to his profession and that is the only way he attains perfection. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 43

Shauryam tejo dhritirdaakshyam yuddhe chaapyapalaayanam;
Daanameeshwarabhaavashcha kshaatram karmaswabhaavajam.
Prowess, splendour, firmness, dexterity and also not fleeing from battle, 
generosity and lordliness are the duties of Kshatriyas, born of their own nature.
Interpretation
In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about the Rajasic duties in an individual. It starts with prowess and splendor which are the essential elements of any Kshatriya. He is known for his pomp and grandeur and also for the firmness that he shows in dealing with his adversaries and also for the dexterity. Dexterity is a quality of a individual where he performs a task with great precision. Then comes the most important quality of a Kshatriya which is not fleeing from the battle and facing the enemy. Kshatriyas are also known for their generosity as they dont hesitate to give anything that is asked as alms. These are the typical qualities of Kshatriya, says Lord Krishna.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
A warrior is known for his valor. A place where a Brahmin is a soldier, a Kshatriya is either a soldier or a commander or a sportsman. In today’s world of politics, its Brahmins with their power of knowledge and intellect were able to rule the country. Kshatriyas today are confined to their physical prowess and sports is one area, you might have seen football, cricket, hockey stars displaying their valor. Army, police and para military forces are the other places for Kshatriyas today. They have the power and the ability to kill the enemy and they dont hesitate getting killed in a battle. If you look at army men they are very generous and help people and also show a lot of splendor in their life style. A person who has all these abilities is a Kshatriya and he chooses professions that involve physical prowess like sports, army and police. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 40

Na tadasti prithivyaam vaa divi deveshu vaa punah; Sattwam prakritijairmuktam yadebhih syaat tribhirgunaih.

There is no being on earth or again in heaven among the gods that is liberated from the three qualities born of Nature.
Interpretation
This shloka is explaining clearly the nature and importance of the three gunas. Lord Krishna says that these three gunas are very important for every individual on this planet or anywhere else in the universe will be affected by these gunas. Not only the beings on this planet but also those who go to heaven also and the gods living in heaven also are affected by these gunas. In the end Lord says that all these beings on this planet as well as those living in the heaven are not liberated from the three qualities of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas are born with.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Gunas are universal and they are present in all individual, nobody in this world or in heaven can actually escape the three qualities of Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas. One has to understand the fact that all these threee gunas are affected by Maya, which we have seen in the previous shlokas also. The only way that one gets rid of this maya is in the stage of “om tat sat” where the person comes out of the maya of these three gunas. If Tamasic is maya that is black and filled with ignorance, Rajasic is a maya that is red with passion and Sattwik maya is pure white. White doesnt mean absence of maya but it means presence of a different type of maya.
But the question that would be asked then is how can those in heaven, including gods be under the influence of these three gunas? The answer is why not? Indra, who is the king of heaven is known to be a rajasic person who has hunger for power and lust for women. We have seen so many instances whenever rishis are performing Tapas, he sends beautiful women to entice them and deviate them. Everyone knows how Bramharishi Vishwamitra fell into the trap of menaka sent by Indra. So, swarga loka is no different from Bhu loka in exhibiting these gunas. Its only after a person crosses the swarga loka and goes into the mahar loka that he will slowly starts to get rid of this maya.  

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 39

Yadagre chaanubandhe cha sukham mohanamaatmanah;

Nidraalasyapramaadottham tattaamasamudaahritam.
That pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the self, 
arising from sleep,indolence and heedlessness—such a pleasure is declared to be Tamasic.
Interpretation
Lord in this shloka is talking about the Tamasic pleasure in an individual. According to Lord Krishna a pleasure a person is experiencing which is delusive is a tamasic pleasure. Delusive is something which is false or which gives a misleading impression. Not only that person begins to do the activities with delusion but he also continues to do activities as a never ending chain. Lord Krishna also says that these tamasic qualities arise from sleep, indolence and heedlessness. Indolence is the quality of avoiding a particular task due to laziness and heedlessness is lack of care or attention in an individual.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When an individual wants to enjoy life he can go to any extent to keep himself happy. Yesterday we were looking at a Rajasic person who ends up losing many things and feeling immense pain as he approaches towards the end of a task. A Tamasic person actually doesnt feel the pain at all because he never allows pain to come to him. Any painful situation coming, he will run away from that and he will embrace only those things that bring him happiness. Happiness that an individual creates for himself is a false happiness but a Tamasic person can never understand this. He takes God on his side and makes multiple deals with Him to win happiness. If that happiness is not coming he will run from that God as well as from that situation.
Am sure you would have seen many people who go to many temples, sometimes even to churches and dargahs only for their wish fulfillment. Even after all this if the wish doesnt fulfill he runs away from it and starts finding a new wish for himself. There are many examples you can take. A person who changes multiple jobs in his career but never went to the top position is an example. A person who starts multiple business ventures but ends up losing money is another example. A person who believes in luck, lottery and who is into betting, gambling and easy way of earning money is also an example. We have many examples of such people because they exist everywhere in our society and they always keep running away from one situation to another. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 33

Dhrityaa yayaa dhaarayate manah praanendriyakriyaah;
Yogenaavyabhichaarinyaa dhritih saa paartha saattwikee.
The unwavering firmness by which, through Yoga, the functions of the mind, the life-
force and the senses are restrained—that firmness, O Arjuna, is Sattwic!
Interpretation
This shloka again focuses on the sattwik nature in an individual. The shloka starts with the unwavering firmness which is the identity of any sattwik person. Here Lord talks about three types of firmness of mind. The first one is the functions of mind which includes mainly the activities that are controlled by senses. Second is the life force or the forces that control the life in an individual and the third is the senses that one should be restrained. These three activities help an individual in developing the firmness of mind and that every individual should possess if he is sattwik by nature.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Here we are talking about dhriti again, which we have seen in the previous shlokas. Dhrithi is inner strength of an individual that is usually developed by three aspects. First is if a person regularly practices yoga and through that he develops an ability to control his mind and senses. The moment he is able to do that his mind stops to waver. The life force motivates an individual in performing his tasks where he gets connected to the inner most levels of his sub-conscious mind and the third is restrained senses which are a result of a unwavering mind and the life force. Yoga is the only way through which a person acquires firmness and doesnt waver at all that firmness is called Sattwik in nature. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 30

Pravrittim cha nivrittim cha karyaakaarye bhayaabhaye;
Bandhammoksham cha yaa vetti buddhih saa paartha saattwikee.

That which knows the path of work and renunciation, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation—that intellect is Sattwic, O Arjuna!
Interpretation
This shloka talks about the intellect of a sattwik person. Intellect as we have learnt in the previous shloka is what is right and what is not right. According to Lord Krishna, Sattwik intellect is where a person knows the distinction between the path of work and renunciation, which means he has a clear cut understanding of what is qualified as work and renunciation. Lord also says that sattwik intellect also knows what needs to be done and what a person should not do. It also differentiates between fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation which affects a person and his actions.  Such a kind of intellect is termed as the sattwik intellect. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Life is all about choices we make. We are always sceptical and unhappy with the choice we make. Suppose if you were asked to choose between A and B, and if you choose B, while performing the task B, you always think what would have happened if you had chose A, how easy A would have been compared to B, and what rewards it would give compared to what we have chosen. Thus you neither focus on B nor you can shift to A. Thus you end up losing both. Robert Frost in his poem “The Road not taken” very aptly says “No matter which road you take, you will always sigh and wish you would have taken the other road”. This beautifully explains the choices we make and the choices we leave. 

A person with Sattwik intellect will not be affected by this because he knows very clearly what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Accordingly he plans all his tasks. The other two things that sattwik intellect talks about is bondage and liberation. Love bonds, affection bonds, care bonds and anything that bonds is not sattwik. Liberation is where you love, but you dont love. You say that you love a person, but when that person leaves you, you act as if nothing happened and life will go on. Love, care and affection are never sattwik if they bind you, but not when you are unaffected by the presence or the absence of them. Fear comes when you are bonded to things. If you are bonded to your job, you always fear about losing it. So, the progress of a person from bondage to liberation leads him from fear to fearlessness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 28

Ayuktah praakritah stabdhah shatho naishkritiko’lasah;
Vishaadee deerghasootree cha kartaa taamasa uchyate
Unsteady, dejected, unbending, cheating, proscrastinating
malicious, vulgar and lazy-such an agent is called Tamasic.
Interpretation

This shloka talks about the Tamasic nature of a person. There are many qualities that are associated with Tamasic nature that are described here. The first is unsteady, where any work they do, they cannot remain steady in that. Next is they are dejected and they are unbending, which means you cannot change them or bend them. Two more qualities that are described here are cheating and procrastination where a tamasic person cheats and postpones all their responsibilities. Finally Lord Krishna calls these people malicious, lazy and vulgar which are the reactions that the Tamasic people usually display in all their actions. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who feels dejected? A person when he does something wrong and gets caught, is the one who is dejected. If he had not done a wrong thing, will he ever get the feeling of dejection? If you stick to your dharma, do everything that your dharma demands, you will never get a chance to feel bad about anything you do. Dejection comes, when you hide things from others and do things that are wrongful and adharmic. The second point is a Tamasic person ever after the dejection, never bends or changes his path. Till the time everyone remembers his wrong ways, he remains silent and once everything is forgotten, he is onto his bad ways again.

Lord also describes a Tamasic person as malicious, vulgar and lazy. Such kind of person talks very ill about others and doesnt stop himself from character assassination of a person. Such bad words can only be spoken by a Tamasic person. Such people are also vulgar in their actions and they are the ones who verbally and physically abuse women. You would see that category of people commenting on women and even go the extent of assaulting them. The nature of such people is lazy, as they dont believe in doing anything that involves hard work and never believes in that. Such kind of people are described as Tamasic by Lord Krishna. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 22

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 22

Yattu kritsnavadekasmin kaarye saktamahaitukam;
Atattwaarthavadalpam cha tattaamasamudaahritam.

But that which clings to one single effect as if it were the whole, without reason, without foundation in Truth, and trivial—that is declared to be Tamasic.

Interpretation

After talking about the knowledge that manifests in a person through impulse and basis of something which is sattwik and Rajasic in action, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the Tamasic nature of the knowledge acting as impulse and basis of action. Lord says that if that action has the Tamasic nature of impulse and basis to it then a person will hold on to a single belief system and starts believing that it is the whole, universal and something which will take him closer to God. If we probe into it, we would find that there is neither a reason to that belief nor a foundation. That belief is very trivial or something that emerged from a very inferior understanding of the concept of truth and that is declared to be Tamasic trigger to the action, says Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you see priests helping people with rituals of praying to God in various places of worship, you respect them for such acts and you take their blessings as a mark of respect. We all are used to representatives who will help us in various activities, like you have a teller in the bank who helps us in financial transactions, you have a conductor in the bus who issues us ticket for travel etc. We are so much used to these representatives that we never think twice if someone asks a questions, do you really require a representative to pray on behalf of you to God. Your relationship with God is direct and who is this person to interfere and tell you how to pray to God and what kind of rituals to be followed?

Think about it deeper, you will be released from the bondage of this representative. God doesn’t have a separate language or a set way of performing a ritual. He neither needs a language nor a ritual, all He needs is devotion which is beyond words and acts. This is holistic truth and that is different from the truth that you were clinging on for so many years without a reason or logic that you require someone’s support to pray to God or perform rituals. We wontedly remain clinged to this thought because we are scared of going against the established norm thinking that God will punish us. Knowledge gives you the ability to think and analyse, so analyse and look at this belief system of yours. 

Do you require a temple, a priest and a ritual to worship God? Is this the only way or is this the right way at all? How can you allow a third person to interfere between you and God, and how can you display your deepest emotions of gratitude and respect towards God, by standing in the queue for hours and then folding your hands and praying to Him, and the people over there pushing you aside, not even allowing you even for a minute to stand infront of God? Let’s not question those who are doing all this, its their level of understanding and their wish, you are no one to question that. But just ask yourself a question, would you really want to do that. Think from every dimension and try to answer yourself.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyyas Yoga Verse 19

Jnaanam karma cha kartaa cha tridhaiva gunabhedatah;
Prochyate gunasankhyaane yathaavacchrinu taanyapi.
Knowledge, action and the actor are declared in the science of the Gunas the Samkhya philosophy to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction of the Gunas. Hear them also duly.
Interpretation

After the three fold impulse to action and the three fold impulse to the basis of action, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the three kind of gunas that are declared in the Samkhya philosophy. Lord says that the Knowledge, the action which prompts to acquire the knowledge and the actor, who is basically the person performing that action are finding a mention in the Samkhya philosophy. Not only that, Lord also says that these three elements of knowledge, action and actor are purely dependant on the Guna that a particular person possesses and then asks Arjuna to listen to them very carefully. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Guna of a person decides the spirituality that he is into. That is the reason why we keep coming back to the same aspect of Guna again and again. The last 6 chapters of Gita have at multiple points referred to the importance of Gunas, and Chapter 14 and 17 dealt extensively only the Gunas. A person who is of Tamasic guna reads Gita, he takes it and personalizes it to his level and does things that suits him and thinks that this is what Gita teaches. Same is the case of a person in Rajasic or in Sattwik state. Everyone understands things in their own way and attach meaning and relevance akin to their understanding, maturity and spiritual levels. 

If we take all this apply to what is being discussed in this shloka, it fits in perfectly. Knowledge comes to a person according to his actions and its primarily his actions that define how much of knowledge that comes in. For example a highly evolved soul like Sri Aurobindo, who also wrote commentaries on Gita, can write not less than one full page on this verse itself, whereas a less evolved person like me is able to write just 2-3 paragraphs. The shloka is the same, but the depth to which you go is different. Its your actions that primarily defines the depth of your knowledge and that remains as your understanding. 
Not only that, the Gunas also make a significant difference in the quality of what is being written. Its not always the quantity that defines something but it is also the quality. As you move spiritually, you will be transported from Tamasic state to Sattwik state and from there to the stage of “om tat sat”. A person who sees God all around him is in the stage of “om tat sat” and none can explain better than the way he explains. If you really want to see that, read Sri Aurobindo’s Bhagavad Gita or his famous work “Savitri” which a poetic work based on the drama of integral self-realisation. The book narrates the legendary “Love conquers Death” concept of Satyavan and Savitri in Shri Aurobindo’s most philosophical ways.