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Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 12

Chapter 14 Guna Triya  Vibhaga Yoga Verse 12

Lobhah pravrittir aarambhah karmanaam ashamah sprihaa;
Rajasyetaani jaayante vivriddhe bharatarshabha.

Greed, activity, the undertaking of actions, restlessness, longing—
these arise when Rajas is predominant, O Arjuna!

Interpretation

This is the second part of the three part shloka that now talks about when the Rajasik nature in an individual will be predominant. The Rajas or the Rajasik guna in an individual is predominant when he is overtaken by greed. Greed is the first step for an individual to get into Rajasik nature. Then he slowly draws himself into activities that are linked to ambition and growth and that creates restlessness and longing in him. Restlessness and longing are the results of his eagerness to achieve success in the tasks that he undertakes. When all these things arise in a person that is when he is engulfed by Rajasic nature, says Lord krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you are anxious and restless, just pause for a minute and ask yourself, why are you restless? 99.9% of the time the answer will always be connected to an activity. We get restless when things don’t go according to our plan. We always have a wish list and expect that all that should be fulfilled. In fact, we measure success with the number of tasks that we achieve the given deadline. Chasing a deadline is the primary cause of restlessness. But is doing all this bad? Are we not here to do our duty or dharma? Are those duties not bound by time and the desired result? Is expecting a result from doing those things is undesirable? 

The answers to all the questions are one and simple. Do your work, don’t get attached to it. If we follow this simple principle, we are neither greedy or restless or there will be longing or you will be attached to actions. Think that every work is the gift of God and every task is done in His name. If we approach things with that perspective then all these negative feeling will never touch or affect us. We just have to leave everything to God because He alone knows when to give what. Deadlines are set by God, not by individuals. But there are some defined deadlines as God can never set a deadline directly. Those will be communicated to you through people and events. You should just understand them and act accordingly.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Sattwam sukhe sanjayati rajah karmani bhaarata;
Jnaanamaavritya tu tamah pramaade sanjayatyuta.

Sattwa attaches to knowledge, Rajas to action, O Arjuna, 
while Tamas, shrouding knowledge, attaches to heedlessness only!

Interpretation

The last three shlokas explained the nature of Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic guna in an individual, in this shloka Lord Krishna tries to connect all the three gunas and explains them in one single shloka. He says that Sattvik guna is attached to knowledge and the happiness that is derived from that knowledge. The Rajasik guna is attached to the actions that one performs as the part of their quest to success and achieved. Then Lord Krishna reiterates the point He said in the previous shloka that Tamasic guna in a person is the result of leaving the path of knowledge and going in the path of stubbornness and ignorance. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have already discussed the fact that every human being has all the three gunas of Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic embedded in him. Depending on the situations and the influences of the people around, the quantity of these gunas present in an individual keeps changing. If a person is kept in the company of sattvik people, he imbibes a lot of sattivik characteristics and same is the case with other gunas. We usually have a lot of tamasic guna people around because we live in a country which has mostly ignorance in it. Strange it is that this is the land of Buddha, Swamy Vivekanada and Adi Shankaracharya but the maximum number of people are deeply ignorant. 

When you have ignorant people around, the ignorance is spread across and the people get those characteristics only. They will stay away from seeking any knowledge and thus will spend all their lives in seeking pleasure. If you are in the company of achievers like MS Dhoni or Milkha Singh or Saina Nehwal or Mukesh Ambani or JRD Tata you would see the competitive spirt and this is the  Rajasik guna of an individual. The simple example is how the Rajasik nature of Gopichand has created many great Badminton stars for India. So, the bottom line here is keeping the right kind of company is very essential and knowing each type of guna and the qualities associated with it helps us to choose the right company.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Tamastwajnaanajam viddhi mohanam sarvadehinaam;
Pramaadaalasyanidraabhis tannibadhnaati bhaarata.

But know thou Tamas to be born of ignorance, deluding all embodied beings; it binds fast, O Arjuna, by heedlessness, sleep and indolence!

Interpretation

After talking about Sattva and Rajasik guna that comes with attachment to knowledge and action respectively, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the Tamasic guna in an individual. He says that Arjuna should clearly understand that this Tamasic guna in an individual is the resultant of the person’s ignorance. Ignorance is due to the delusion that a particular being experiences. Lord Krishna also goes on to say that this Tamasic guna binds very fast to an individual and that makes a person not listen to anything that others say, makes him to sleep most of the time and the person starts postponing things due to extreme laziness.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

One always needs to understand that our mind supports all our actions and that is the nature of the mind. Even when the soul disapproves mind makes sure that the message is not reached to the senses. Also one has to note that every individual possesses a bit of Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamsic gunas in him. As he starts growing up and starts meeting individuals and encountering situations, these gunas take a formidable shape and one of the three gunas become dominant. Today, we are looking at Tamasic guna, which is present in every individual. One cannot get rid of it completely but one can only reduce the percentage of it in an individual.

The origin of Tamasic guna is ignorance and since everyone of us are ignorant, it is there in all of us. What drives away ignorance is knowledge so, as the person acquires more and more knowledge the tamasic nature in him starts to reduce. The biggest hurdle for seeking knowledge is a delusion. Delusion, as we have understood in many shlokas, is wavering mentality where a person starts doubting the knowledge he is seeking, thus he starts to move away from it, abandon it and remains in tamasic state. It can happen for some time or it can even happen for a lifetime. There are people who spend their whole lifetime in ignorance and under total tamasic control. 

How does tamasic nature affects a person? It makes you heedless, sleepy and indolent. To explain it a bit further, heedless is where the person shows at least inclination to anything that others are saying to him. Like, we keep advising people who are goal-less and aimless to have an aim in their life and work hard. Do they listen to you? No, they don’t. They will the nod their head and do what they want to do. If you persist more they will hurt you by harsh words. Tamasic guna also makes you sleepy. Sleep is required for everyone but not for more than 6-7 hours a day. Why do Tamasic people sleep more and that too in the daytime?

Sleep is the result of mind telling it to itself that you need not do anything now and can rest and enjoy the state of inactivity. If mind goes to inaction the person’s senses one by one goes to rest resulting in sleep. This tendency is very harmful for a sattvik or a rajasik person, because it makes them to waver from their goals. Keeping mind active with aims and goals is the only way to attack sleep. Third is indolence. Indolence is nothing but laziness and the tendency to postpone things. Tamasic nature keeps you in inertia always, because of which any new task that you want to take, you keep postponing it. These are the qualities of a Tamasic person and everyone of us need to understand this and beware of this!!!

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Mayi chaananyayogena bhaktiravyabhichaarinee;
Viviktadesha sevitwam aratir janasamsadi.

Unswerving devotion unto Me by the Yoga of non-separation, 
resort to solitary places, distaste for the society of men,

Interpretation

In this 4th part of the shloka Lord Krishna turns to few more things that a person should know to understand the field of a being. He says that knowledge about the field can be acquired when an individual has a fixed and unidirectional devotion towards the Lord by following the Yoga of non-separation. A yoga of non-separation keeps the individual always hooked to God. Then Lord goes on to say that one has to go to solitary places for understanding the power of field. Finally Lord Krishna also says that one can get the knowledge of the field only when he develops aversion towards the society of men with loose morals.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The first part of the shloka talks about following the yoga of non-separation. What is the non-separation that Lord is talking about here? We all have devotion towards God but how far does that devotion go? It should go as far as the human goes. But many times, we start things and slowly and steadily leave them in-between. One has to understand the fact that the moment an individual starts showing lesser interest in his tasks, he is moving away from God. It has to be understood that certain amount of Godliness is there in your acts and the sanctity with which you perform them. So, next time you want to test how close you are to God, then just think about the seriousness that you are showing to the work that you have started. Whether you acknowledge it or not, the act started with a good intension always has the blessings of God and has to be performed with utmost seriousness.

The second part of the shloka talks about a person who goes to solitary places and develops distaste for the society. The lesser the number of people you are surrounded by, the closer you are to God. A place of solitude makes you to come closer to God because when you are alone you can contemplate more on God and engage your mind on Him. Once you start doing that then the person develops aversion towards people with lower level thoughts and keeps away from their company. Imagine a scenario where you are sitting in a company of people engaged in gossip and loose talk. What can you gain from such conversations? Slowly a divine person starts developing aversion to such society and men and naturally starts moving away from them. All these are important for a person to understand the field of the being.

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 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. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti yoga verse 12

Chapter 12 Bhakti yoga verse 12

Shreyo hi jnaanamabhyaasaat jnaanaaddhyaanam vishishyate;Dhyaanaat karmaphalatyaagas tyaagaacchaantir anantaram.

Better indeed is knowledge than practice; than knowledge meditation is better;than meditation the renunciation of the fruits of actions; peace immediately follows renunciation.

Interpretation

This is a different shloka from all the previous ones and here Lord Krishna puts various things that a person should do in a chronological sequence. First He says knowledge is more important than blindly practicing something without knowing it. Then He says that meditating on thoughts and about self is considered better than knowledge. He then talks about the renunciation of the fruits of every action that one does and says that this renunciation is better than the meditation. Finally Lord also says that when someone renounces the fruits of all his actions to God, peace automatically dawns upon him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We all look for peace in our lives. There is so much of activity that we want some peace to be there so that we can feel at ease and feel good about ourselves. Have you ever thought what can give you ultimate peace? When you do your actions not getting attached to them, you get peace of mind. We all have expectations from people and things and that normally leads to disappointments. But just do your work with no expectations and see how different you feel. Its easier said than done. Then the next question that comes is when will you get master the art of doing things with a feeling of renunciation?

That is possible only when you can meditate. Meditation brings unification of thoughts and that unification of thoughts will help you achieve renunciation. But not everyone can meditate. Meditation is never an easy process. You can master meditation only when you have knowledge. So, knowledge about things helps you to meditate where you unify them. Knowledge is acquired through practice. Thus if we see in reverse, practice gives knowledge, knowledge fecilitates meditation, meditation leads to renunciation of the fruits of all actions and when you renounce everything peace dawns upon you. This is the secret of happiness.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 11

Athaitadapyashakto’si kartum madyogamaashritah;
Sarvakarmaphalatyaagam tatah kuru yataatmavaan.

If thou art unable to do even this, then, taking refuge in union with Me, 
renounce the fruits of all actions with the self controlled.

Interpretation

This Bhakti yoga is all about a series of steps that one needs to take to attain salvation. The substantial part of like Bhakti Yoga is concentrated at worshipping God in His form. In the last shloka Lord Krishna advises to do all the actions in His name if a person is unable to follow Abhyasa Yoga. In this shloka Lord tells what to do if a person is unable to do actions in the name of God. He says that if a person fails in that also then that person should take refuge in Him and renounce the fruits of all his actions to the self controlled, referring to Himself. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The question we have to ask here is why a person is unable to do things in the name of God? Previous shloka talked about his inability to surrender and that is understandable. But why does a person not do things in the name of God? There are many reasons for it. There are many things good and bad that we have to do in life and we have no choice in it. Such things we cant do in the name of God. Suppose someone is having a business of making leather products. For making leather he need to kill animals or use the skin of animals. Definitely he cannot kill animals in the name of God. His conscious will prevent him from doing so. 

Thus if he fails in one task, naturally he will not be motivated to offer and do things in the name of God. Sometimes we have to tell lies to save ourselves or mislead people to meet some of our objectives. All these things cant be done in the name of God. Thus if a person fails to do things in his name, he should at least leave the result to him is what Lord is saying here. Leaving the result to him means, do things but leave the result in the hands of God. This is almost similar to doing things and not expecting a result, but there is a small difference in both.

The difference is, when you leave the fruits of the actions to God, you will be satisfied with the outcome. Whatever maybe the outcome of that action, you will accept it thinking that it is the gift of God. Previously I was talking about doing uncomfortable things like telling lies or misleading people. Here, when you do that, you wont do that in the name of God but you always say that oh God, am doing this work because I have to do, I leave the consequences of it in your hands. You only decide what I to get as the result. If you have such a kind of thinking in every action that you do, then also you will attain the perfection required for the salvation is what Lord Krishna says here.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 9

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 9

Atha chittam samaadhaatum na shaknoshi mayi sthiram;
Abhyaasayogena tato maamicchaaptum dhananjaya.

If thou art unable to fix thy mind steadily on Me, 
then by the Yoga of constant practice do thou seek to reach Me, O Arjuna!

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna ventures into explaining how a person who is not able to concentrate on Him can attain concentration. Concentration of mind is the toughest challenge that one faces. In the previous shloka Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that one needs to completely meditate on Him. Now in this shloka He tells Arjuna that if it is difficult for anyone to focus their attention on Him steadily, then the only way through which that can be accomplished is by constant practice of Yoga through which attaining the Lord is possible.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The phrase that we need to concentrate here is “Constant practice” or “Abhyasa yoga” as we call it in Sanskrit. What exactly is this Abhyasa yoga? When you do something for the first time, it is not possible to replicate the same steps in the same way and achieve same degree of success when you do it the second time. But as you keep practising or doing abhyasa, you will slowly learn the technique of doing things in a particular way, which is a set way of doing it. Then the next question that comes is, why is abhyasa or practice essential for an individual?

Practice makes a man perfect, is an age old saying. Many things that we dont even have a remotest confidence of achieving can be achieved through constant practice. Practice which is also called as abhyasa held a very important positions in our vedic traditions. Whatever is the goal of an individual, he is encouraged to fix him mind only on that and was advised to practice it again and again, till he masters that. Arjuna himself became a perfect archer only with practice. All his life he concentrated nothing other than archery.

What if he practice the same on God? That means, fixing our mind constantly on Him and not thinking anything else but God, and constantly praying Him. This is very important step in realizing God. God as we know is the Supreme knowledge and by constantly fixing our thoughts on God we would also acquire the same knowledge. This is also called “Abhyasa Yoga” or “Union with God through repeated practice”. This is considered to be one of the important ways of attaining salvation if a person is unable to fix his mind on the God.