Tag Archives: Lessons

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 13

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 13

Vidhiheenam asrishtaannam mantraheenam adakshinam;Shraddhaavirahitam yajnam taamasam parichakshate.

They declare that sacrifice to be Tamasic which is contrary to the ordinances of the scriptures, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of Mantras and gifts, and which is devoid of faith.

Interpretation

This shloka is concentrating on the Tamasic sacrifices that a person commits. We have already seen the Sattwik and the Rajasic sacrifices in the previous two shlokas. Lord in this shloka says that Tamasic people usually undertake sacrifices which are exactly opposite to the rules and regulations specified in the Vedic scriptures. They misinterpret what is said in the scriptures and that is the reason why they do the opposite of what is mentioned. There are three points that Lord talks here. One is the absence of any kind of alms, second is the absence of any kind of offering and Vedic chants and third is the absence of any kind of faith or belief in the sacrifices being performed by Tamasic people. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The major difference between Rajasic and Tamasic people is, Rajasic people depend on their own worth and doesn’t get into any rituals for accomplishing anything, but Tamasic people resort of all sorts of rituals that are either twisted or taken out of context and perform them to get the results. Anything that gives an instant result or benefit, a tamasic person doesn’t hesitate to do. Many categories of pujas and rituals which are linked to tantra, Vashikaran and Shanti pooja that is done for the benefit of the person comes under this tamasic category. Another type of ritual that is observed in many of the households which are tamasic in nature is “drishti” or “nazar utaarna” or remedy for an “evil eye cast”.

Many people believe that we fall ill or a work that is supposed to happen does not happen or you develop a dislike or hate for a particular food or set of activities because of this “drishti” or “evil eye”. In reality, there is no such thing called an evil eye. Karma theory propounds that we reap what we sow and many of the results that come are due to the result of acts that we committed in the past. Forgetting that we blame it on evil eye cast and we do remedies for that and transfer it out so that it goes to someone else! Am sure you would have seen lemons and vermilion thrown on the roads and you get scared to cross them. How can you even think that there will be rituals for transferring your bad luck to some other person? All these are the ills that a Tamasic person follows and unless he gets out of all this, he can never understand the plan of God and the law of Karma and its effects in one’s life. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 12

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 12

Abhisandhaaya tu phalam dambhaarthamapi chaiva yat; Ijyate bharatashreshtha tam yajnam viddhi raajasam.

The sacrifice which is offered, O Arjuna, seeking a reward and for ostentation, know thou that to be a Rajasic Yajna!

Interpretation

The previous shloka talked about the desire-less work that people with a Sattvik mind would do. This shloka is talking about the offering that a person with a Rajasic mindset would undertake. We already know that Rajasic people are usually goal driven and are extremely ambitious. Lord Krishna says that if a Rajasic person performs any sacrifice with an intention of getting any reward or benefit out of it, it is considered to be a Rajasic Yajna. Here Lord also uses the word Ostentation, which means a blatant display of one’s wealth. Even the sacrifice that’s done displays one’s wealth is also considered to be a Rajasic act. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

If you do a survey on what people want from their jobs, the answer which 99% of the time you get is career growth and better salary package. We all work for growth and all our efforts are in that direction. But there will be a very small section of people, less than 1% who say that they work for the company’s growth which is more important for them than their growth. They won’t come under the Rajasic category. Rajasic people seek reward for everything that they do and the reward sought here is career promotion and growth. The work that you do is like your yajna and it is completely reward oriented and directed at your own benefits. But is it wrong?

When you are looking at growth of your senses and not your soul, then it is not wrong. People want to earn because they want to show off. They want to wear branded products and display their wealth in public. Another point one needs to understand here is there is nothing called pure Sattvik or pure Rajasic person existing. A sattvik person also might have some desires towards wealth and enjoyment. That is what is described in this journey towards moksha. Slowly he needs to get over them and start working towards desire-less tasks and goals. This is a very difficult process and Lord Krishna is telling Rajasic way of life so that the person can understand it and live it and slowly come out of it because the only sattvik way of life can give the salvation that he is looking for.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7
Aahaarastwapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah;
Yajnastapastathaa daanam teshaam bhedamimam shrinu.
The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also sacrifice, austerity and alms-giving. Hear thou the distinction of these.
Interpretation

After talking about the person misinterpreting the scriptures and going in the wrong way, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the food that the person consumes when he belong to a particular faith. We have already discussed that there are three types of faith, sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic and Lord says that each person depending upon what guna he is dominated by, is attracted to or likes a particular type of food. The food that he consumes is getting reflected in the sacrifices that he commits, the austerities that he practices and the alms that he gives. Then Lord tells Arjuna to listen to them and starts speaking about them. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A man’s taste for a particular food is determined according to the Guna prevalent in him. Many times it is said that what we eat decides our personality. It is quite logical because every item has a characteristic present in the nature and when it goes into your body, automatically you will see its impact of it on a person. You might have seen that a person who eats fruits and bland food is less aggressive than a person who consumes a lot of spicy food. So, Lord is going to talk about the food and its impact on the person. This if implemented in a person, can make a major impact on his life is what I feel. 

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.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Verse 10 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10

Chapter 16 Verse 10 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10
Kaamamaashritya dushpooram dambhamaanamadaanvitaah;
Mohaadgriheetvaasadgraahaan pravartante’shuchivrataah.
Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, 
holding evil ideas through delusion, they work with impure resolves.
Interpretation
Continuing his discourse on the qualities of a demonic person, Lord Krishna talks here about some more ill-qualities of a person with demonic nature. Firstly these people have wishes that are very hard for them to fulfill. They are also filled with hypocrisy, pride and arrogance which makes them to things against the dharma. In the other half of the shloka Lord says that these people hold evil ideas because of the constant wavering nature that they have. All this translates into a work that has got an impure resolve.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Why would anyone have desires that are insatiable? Insatiable means something that cannot be fulfilled. One can have insatiable desires only when he is too greedy. Greed for wealth, greed for power, greed for physical desires etc. There is a simple rule that one cannot get everything that is there in the Universe. Only God is permitted to own them. Can you be the most powerful man on this planet? Many who tried to become, were shown the reality in quick time. Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Mussolini are just some of the examples. The same is the case with wealth and lust. Everyone who tried to own all of it through force have burnt themselves in the same unfulfilled desires. 

The very fact of wanting to possess more than what is required is an impure resolve and anyone working for that impure resolve would be led by pride, arrogance and delusion. When you have more than what you deserve, it brings a sense of pride in your behavior. It also makes a person arrogant where he never tries to understand the other person’s point of view. A resolve is essential for any task to be completed and wanting more than what you deserve automatically puts an impure resolve in a person’s mind. That resolve is what is adharma and any karma that an individual does to fulfill those impure resolves would be termed as demonic acts or “ku-karma”. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Pravrittim cha nivrittim cha janaa na viduraasuraah;Na shaucham naapi chaachaaro na satyam teshu vidyate.

The demoniacal know not what to do and what to refrain from; neither purity nor right conduct nor truth is found in them.

Interpretation

This shloka starts off with Lord Krishna explaining the nature of the demoniacal guna in an individual. Lord says that the demoniacal nature in an individual is where the person will not be able to differentiate between what to do and what to refrain from. He loses that ability to stay away from doing certain things which are never considered good. Apart from that, Lord also says that the person with demoniacal nature has neither the purity of thoughts in him nor the right kind of conduct coming out of those thoughts. Finally, all this leads to the situation where the person has no truth found in him or any of the actions that he does.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There is something that stops us from doing certain things. What is that? It is our ethical and moral values. Let’s take a businessman as an example to understand this. In business manipulation, arm twisting of enemies is something that is permissible to an extent and every businessman has his code of conduct which he would never try to violate. But there are some businessmen who would not hesitate to do anything for the sake of money or power. If a businessman feels that he can violate every rule to finish competition he is considered to be ruthless and he will not refrain from doing anything. It even includes taking away the life of an individual or finishing him off by trapping him through unlawful means.

Demonic nature exists in every individual and that is inversely proportional to purity, right conduct and truth. When you are pure, you are true to yourself and that stops you from doing many things. Thus you will follow the right conduct in everything that you do. Doing business with right conduct might not give you many profits but what is the use of profits that one acquires at the cost of other’s reputation and character? The World is filled with people who are demoniacal in nature and the lack of immediate punishment for their acts encourages them to tread this path. They forget the fact that just because God is allowing them to tread that path doesn‘t mean He is supporting their actions. One day or the other everyone has to face the consequences of their actions. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 26

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 26

Brahmano hi pratishthaa’ham amritasyaavyayasya cha; Shaashwatasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikaantikasya cha.

For I am the abode of Brahman, the immortal and the immutable, of everlasting Dharma and of absolute bliss.

Interpretation

This is the concluding shloka of the Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga. After talking about the nature of all the gunas and also about the gunas of the person who has transcended all the three gunas. In the previous shloka, Lord talked about how a person can become Brahman. Now in this Shloka Lord Krishna ultimately does what is remaining to be done that is defining Himself. He says that He is the place where Brahman resides, that Brahman who is immortal and immutable. Immutable is something that cannot be moved or changed. He also says that the Brahman is the everlasting superpower with absolute bliss. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here we are getting another dimension of the power of the Lord. He is compared to everlasting Dharma and of Supreme bliss. If we probe a bit into this and understand the meaning of it we would know that God is one power which constantly reminds us of our Dharma. Whenever you walked on the path of your dharma, you would get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment doing that task as that defines your dharma. Whoever follows dharma will always experience a blissful feeling. Now one should not mistake it with the feeling generated by artificially creating that bliss in ourselves.

All we look for is satisfaction and that satisfaction can be arrived at only through following your dharma. But following dharma is not easy as it involves facing many difficulties, setbacks and hardships on our path. Every time you face a hardship the maya in us tends to deviate us from our path. It also takes you closer to illusionary ways of achieving blissful feeling by consuming alcohol and other intoxicants. They always drive you away from you dharma and gives you the feeling of satisfaction in an artificial way which makes a person forget about real God and worship God in a false way. 

If one resists falling for those deviations and goes through the hardships and fulfils his dharma, he will feel satisfied and happy. That blissful feeling is merrier than any feeling given by these artificial intoxicants. Dharma and the series of dharmas that soul has to go through in its path to achieving brahman. Lord is the storehouse of all this dharma and who is immortal, immutable with everlasting bliss. One last thing to remember here is Lord Sri Maha Vishnu, whose avatar is Lord Krishna and that’s the place where the Brahman whom we just defined resides. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Amaanitwam adambhitwam ahimsaa kshaantiraarjavam;
Aachaaryopaasanam shaucham sthairyamaatmavinigrahah.

Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forgiveness, uprightness, 
service of the Guru, purity, steadfastness, self-control,

Interpretation

This shloka is a 5 part shloka that talks extensively about the things that a person has to pursue to get the knowledge of the field. The first quality Lord is talking about is humility, which is nothing but simplicity that a person should approach with while learning. Second is the unpretentiousness. It is the ability of a person to remain humble by not showing off about himself to others. Lord also talks about a person who is upright in all situations, willing to forgive the mistakes. He then goes to talk about the important qualities for knowledge like service to Guru, remaining focussed in all situations and the ability to self-control by not getting tempted with things. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Guru is an important person in one’s life, who can change your dasha (state of mind) and disha ( direction of thought process) of an individual. However talented one might be, absence of Guru will always make him handicapped and sometimes directionless also. If you have a person in your life who can change your state of mind, when you are in dilemma and show you the right path in thinking, what else a person needs? Choosing a right Guru and serving him is the most important quality that Lord Krishna is talking about. In today’s context serving the Guru has an altogether different meaning.

No longer you find students who are devoted to a single Guru or the Gurus who thinking only about their students. We are living in times where education has become a commercial activity and Guru is reduced to just teaching a subject in school or college.
In such environment, what is required is a person who can show you the direction? He might not be your teacher but he can be a person who can put your life on the right track. He can be younger or elder to you, but from a Guru what you learn is life, with its various aspects. Once you find that person you need to serve him, in the sense obey his teachings and understand his mind-set to ensure that you take the learning from him in the right form. These days such Gurus are very rare to find. But once you find him, preserve him at any cost. Once the learning commences you need to be focussed on the learning and not waver. Many people tend to lose focus after few days and wonder if they are learning right things. Trust and belief on your Guru is an important virtue which is equivalent to serving him with utmost devotion.

Humility and unpretentiousness are two very important virtues that an individual has to possess to acquire a proper learning from his Guru. If you are not humble, how can you receive what your Guru is giving? You need to always bend your head, accept the fact that your Guru knows more than you and receive things. In today’s world of varied points of view, you can always differ with your Guru. But that has to be put in a way which is respectful and that is where unpretentiousness comes into picture. You are putting forth a point not to impress others but to test your point of view versus your Guru’s point of view on the same thing. If you do it alone infront of Guru or infront of others it should be with zero intension of impressing others or showing off your knowledge. These are very difficult to imbibe but the one who does imbibe, knowledge will keep flowing to him.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 27

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 27
Shloka

Pavanah pavataamasmi raamah shastrabhritaamaham;

Jhashaanaam makarashchaasmi srotasaamasmi jaahnavee.

Translation

Among the purifiers or the speeders I am the wind; Rama among the warriors am I;

among the fishes I am the shark; among the streams I am the Ganga.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna compares Himself to some more entities and the forces of nature after comparing Himself to demons, reckoners, beasts and birds. Here He compares Himself to wind amongst the speeders. In the list of warriors, Lord Krishna compares Himself to Lord Rama, which was His previous avatar. He then goes on to compare Himself to the water-beings ie fishes. There He compares Himself to shark. Then finally He compares Himself to the streams, when He says He is like Ganga, the holiest of all the streams.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Wind is called as purifier as well as speeder, because there is no comparison to the force of wind and the speed and force of wind can destroy everything around. Wind is also a purifier because, it removes everything that is toxic. It removes every form of foul smell and protects the humanity from deadly diseases. The comparison to Lord Rama is obvious because Lord Rama is considered as the greatest amongst the warriors or Kings. Lord Rama kept Himself behind and kept the other person ahead in every situation, which is unusual to any warrior in those times as well as these days.

You can look at His life, He put the word given by His father ahead of Him and went to forests. Next, He gave a chance to Ravana to reform himself and return Sita and avoid a war, because even as a warrior He understands the destruction that a war can cause. After killing Ravan, He puts the husband in Him behind to subject Sita to Agnipariksha, as He is a King who is accountable to His people and He had to prove the chastity of Sita to the world. And despite all this, when whispers arose on her chastity, Lord Rama put His Raj Dharma ahead of His love for Sita and sent her to forests. In every way, life of warrior Rama is an ideal lesson for everyone who wants to lead a life of ideals.

Lord Krishna finally compares Himself to Shark which is the most stealth fish in the Ocean against whom all the other fishes are scared of. And finally amongst the streams, Lord compares Himself to Holy Ganga. Ganga for millions of years has been the spiritual guide to millions of people. It criss-crosses the holy Uttarakhand and passes through the holiest places like Rishikesh and Hardwar before touching the Kashi, Varnasai and finally Prayag or Allahabad. Many Rishis and munis have attained salvation on the banks of Ganga and many more like me have visited this great river and experienced the holy vibes that it carries.