Tag Archives: Life lessons

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyasa Yoga Verse 51

Buddhyaa vishuddhayaa yukto dhrityaatmaanam niyamya cha; Shabdaadeen vishayaanstyaktwaa raagadweshau vyudasya cha.

Endowed with a pure intellect, controlling the self by firmness, 
relinquishing sound and other objects and abandoning both hatred and attraction;
Interpretation
This is a three part shloka that talks about how a person becomes fit for the union with Brahman. In the first part Lord is talking about four qualities that are required for a person to attain Brahman. The first is that he should have pure intellect, which is knowledge that is of the supreme order. Second is he should be able to control himself by the firmness, which means he should never allow his senses to deviate. Third is he should relinquish sound and other objects of senses and finally Lord also talks about abandoning both the hatred and attraction.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When you ask a question to a learned person he gives an answer which is very different from an ordinary person. Like for example if you ask a person why sun rises only in the east and sets in the west, then an ordinary person will say that it is the rule of the nature and it happens that way only but a learned person says that since the spin of the earth is from west to east, we see sun moving from east to west. At the basic level both answers are right. Rule of the nature is earth rotates from west to east. Because earth rotates from west to east sun will appear to be moving from East to West. This is the difference between the knowledge levels of an ordinary person and a learned person.
An ordinary person leaves things that he cannot understand to God and says that it all happens because God had made it that way. Like the seasons that we experience. An ordinary person cannot explain why we have summer first in an year, followed by rainy season and finally winter. A learned person sees the tilt of the earth responsible for the seasons. This is something even a small child learns in school but 99% people dont remember them. A learned person because he sees meaning in everything he learns never forgets it. That in short is the basic difference between ordinary knowledge and pure knowledge. A person who is endowed with that pure knowledge also controls himself from doing wrong things and controls his senses and abandons the feeling of hatred and attraction is eligible for attaining Brahman says Lord Krishna. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 50

Siddhim praapto yathaa brahma tathaapnoti nibodha me; Samaasenaiva kaunteya nishthaa jnaanasya yaa paraa.
Learn from Me in brief, O Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.
Interpretation
In all the previous shlokas we were talking about perfection and the ways and means to attain perfection. Lord Krishna from this shloka starts to talk about the state of the person after he attains perfection. Lord tells Arjuna that perfection is not the end of everything and once a person attains perfection, there is still some more journey that he has to take. So, Lord says that once a person reaches the state of Brahman how he reaches Brahman, the supreme which is also called as the supreme state of knowledge. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
We know many things, but we practice just few of them. This statement more or less summarizes everything that you do in life. Suppose you were asked to write an essay on cow. That is a very easy topic to write on, but when you finish writing it, and after self evaluation you feel that you could have written a lot more. This is something which makes you feel that something which was perfect moments ago can be improved even more. Same is the case with the things you do, people you talk to and the situations that you respond to. The key here is the self evaluation. A person has to critically evaluate himself without any bias as to how he handled a situation or a person he would agree that he could have done a lot more with every effort.
Why is there always a gap between what we could do and what we end up doing, what we could say and what we end up saying? The answer is the noise. This noise is in the form of hesitation, ego, shyness, carelessness or anything which makes a person not give his 100%. We call that noise because it disturbs and deviates. But mind has the amazing ability to justify and rationalize all its actions. So, it comforts itself that the 100% is not the 100% and what he tried is actually the 100%. That is where we say dont be idealistic but be practical. In reality, when the real perfection is attained, then there is no gap between what is idealistic and what is practical. Practical is amount through which the noise deviated you from attaining what is idealistic. Let’s hear more from Lord Krishna on these, in the coming shlokas. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 49

Asaktabuddhih sarvatra jitaatmaa vigatasprihah;
Naishkarmyasiddhim paramaam sannyaasenaadhigacchati.
He whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has subdued his self, from whom desire has fled,—
he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action.
Interpretation
This shloka talks about the person who sets himself free from actions. We ourselves choose actions and we only want to get freedom from the actions. All this is a part of the journey of life. Lord says, a person who wants freedom from actions never allows his intellect to influence any person or any object. He also keeps himself subdued from all those things that create various unwanted desires in him. With all this is a person renounces the fruits of the action and then the action itself, such kind of person is said to have attained freedom from actions. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
There is a boat on the surface of water and there is a bridge above the water. A boat is used to cross the river and even a bridge is used to cross the river. A person travelling in the boat has to do nothing but remain static and allow the boat which is in motion to cross the river, while the person who uses the bridge has to take the efforts all by himself and cross the bridge. Here the bridge will be static and the person is in motion. Attachment here is like the boat and the bridge, water is like the desires and the person is the action. 
A person who sits on the boat as he is static, experiences the turbulence of boat as he is constantly attached to the movement of boat. But a person who crosses the bridge doesnt bother about the water underneath and quietly crosses it. In life also a person who is unattached to work will not bother about anything and does his work, whereas the person sitting on a boat is constantly worried about how boat manages the turbulence of water. This also teaches an important lesson in life that we should never get attached to anything we do and keep a distance from the fruits of actions just like how bridge keeps a distance from water. That is the secret for getting freedom from actions. 

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 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 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 27

Raagee karmaphalaprepsur lubdho himsaatmako’shuchih;
Harshashokaanvitah kartaa raajasah parikeertitah.

Passionate, desiring to obtain the rewards of actions, cruel, greedy, impure, moved by joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.
Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about the qualities of a Rajasic nature and how he approaches the task. We know that Rajas guna is associated with Passion. Apart from that the desire to obtain the rewards of all the actions that one does is another important quality of a Rajasic person. Then Lord goes on to add some qualities that we didnt discuss before that is a Rajasic person is cruel in his approach, he is extremely greedy in his actions and he is totally impure by nature. Then Lord finally concludes by saying that such a person moves from joy to sorrow and vice versa and such quality is qualified to be called as Rajasic.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s

“Cruel, greedy and impure” this phrase sums up a Rajasic person. In a life of a politician on his way to top he would have done so many acts that are extremely cruel and that also includes killing people, kidnaps, causing physical harm etc. India has 4896 politicians who are either MPs or MLAs of different states. As of March 2018, 1765 MPs and MLAs which is 36% of the total have criminal cases on them and they are being investigated. If you look at this staggering record the three words that prompts a person to commit a crime is clearly mentioned as cruelty, greediness and impurity. Unless you are cruel you cannot take someone’s life and greediness for power prompts you to go for that action and all that leaves you totally impure. 

Apart from politicians, we can quote many people who are leaders and who have desires to get rewards for their actions end up being cruel, greedy and impure. A person taking a bribe falls into this category, a person playing politics in office to get a good name in the eyes of his boss also falls in this category. So, there are many people who come under this Rajasic category. One point they all have to remember is, they will be going through the cycles of joy and sorrow when they are committing these acts. It is because their tricks will not work all the time and when they fail they go through sorrow and sometimes have to pay a heavy price for that. If it works, they will feel joyful but that is only going to be temporary and the cycle again starts. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 25

Anubandham kshayam himsaam anavekshya cha paurusham;
Mohaadaarabhyate karma yattat taamasamuchyate.
That action which is undertaken from delusion, without regard to the consequences of loss, injury and undermines one’s own ability—that is declared to be Tamasic.
Interpretation

This shloka talks about the actions that have the trigger and basis which is Tamasic. Lord says that any action that is undertaken from the delusion where the person who is not sure of the path that he is taking is a Tamasic action. Such kind of actions are usually committed with a person having any regard to the consequences of the loss that he is likely to fall. Apart from that, the person while committing such actions allows his ability to get undermined and injured, which means that the person has no regard for his own abilities and skills.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A tamasic person acts without considering the consequences of the loss, injury to his ability. We see people capable of achieving many things but we also see them wasting their time and energy in things that yield no result. It is because the underlying motivation for doing any task for a tamasic person is comfort that he gets. No task can ever be done by being in a comfort zone and that why he keeps wavering and doing different things that keeps him in that comfort zone to complete a task. Any work that is done with a wavering mind never yields results and when the task fails it undermines and hurts their own abilities. Such is the nature of Tamasic actions and the person who realises it has to come out of it and the only way to do it is by not wavering with the task that he is mandated to do. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 18

Jnaanam jneyam parijnaataa trividhaa karmachodanaa;
Karanam karma karteti trividhah karmasangrahah.

Knowledge, the knowable and the knower form the threefold impulse to action; the organ, the action and the agent form the threefold basis of action.

Interpretation

This shloka focuses on the three fold impulse to action and the three fold basis of action. It is a well known fact that there has to be an impulse for an action and then only knowledge can be acquired. So, Lord in the first line of the shloka is explaining about the three things that act as an impulse to action. The three things that he mentions are knowledge, which is information then the knowable which is the kind of information to seek and the knower, which is the person who seeks the knowledge. These three act as an impulse for an action. Then Lord also talks about the basis of action which is the organ, which acts as trigger for the action, the action which is the action itself and the agent, which is the ingredient hidden in the action. All these three are the basis of an action. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The source of existence of us all is knowledge. Where there is no knowledge there is darkness and ignorance and where there is ignorance there is no life. Imagine that our forefathers centuries ago would not have acquired the knowledge of wheel, fire and farming. Today, we would be eating raw meat like other animals in the animal kingdom, we would be walking from one place to another instead of a car, bus, train or aeroplane, all of them use wheel. If we had not able to control fire, we would neither be cooking nor would have the power today to burn coal and produce electricity. Knowledge is the basis of all this. With so much of knowledge around we are just 10% of what we can and if we reach 80% level, we would be at a level which is unthinkable. 

Knowledge takes you to depth and that depth gives you more and more things. Let’s take for example the knowledge of radio waves. This has led to the discovery of walkie talkies used in the army, which then branched into a radio and a telephone. Radio waves integrates the frequency and plays audio when tuned into a particular frequency. Telephone distributes the frequency, attaches a code and the sound waves can be heard to the number code that you are dialling. Once we had the technology of audio then we brought in the element of video in it and that led to the discovery of Television. Meanwhile Telephone started advancing forward and became mobile phone where the instrument can still receive radio waves even if it not in a fixed place. 

Knowledge didnt stop there. It continued when the sound wave turned into text messages and when its transmission along with voice was discovered, that was called as internet, which by far is the best discovery of the previous century. Internet brought text and video into telephone and once that happened, integration of television and mobile phone happened and today we can watch TV on the move, we can watch web TV which is more personalized. This is the power of knowledge, which is not restricted to just one field or area but it is there in every area whether it is physics or biology or medicine or music or literature or business or engineering. At the highest level all knowledge converge and takes us closer to understanding the origin or all this that is God. 

The knower is the person to whom the knowable will come and thus he acquires knowledge. So, it is the organ or the trigger that comes to the knower along with the agent through which he should learn that knowledge and when he performs the action then the resultant is acquiring the knowledge. If I have to simplify it a bit, the organs in the universe decide what knowledge you should seek, this results in an agent, which can be an incident or a person who will come to you as the purpose of learning that knowledge. Many people go through this one in a life time experiences where they meet a person or face an incident which makes them to learn something and that knowledge changes their life forever. This process of learning is called action and together all this is called the basis of action. 

So, the three elements in the basis of knowledge, determine what is knowable. Many people keep a restriction on what they should know and what they should not know, which sometimes makes you do mis-calculation about learning few things. Its the three elements of the basis of action that determine what knowledge you should acquire and one should be open to acquiring that knowledge. Once the knower opens himself to the knowable, then knowledge automatically gets into him and enlightens him and removes the darkness in his mind. Its not a easy process. It takes an effort to light a match stick and both the match box and stick have to scratch each other and take the pain, then only stick will be lit which will in-turn light the lamp. Our soul is like lamp, our senses are the match box and the basis of action is the stick. until they feel the pain one cannot enlighten himself. So, dont stop learning because it is painful. Where there is no pain, there is no gain.