Anapekshah shuchirdaksha udaaseeno gatavyathah; Sarvaarambhaparityaagee yo madbhaktah sa me priyah.
He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned, and untroubled, renouncing all undertakings or commencements—he who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me.
Continuing to talk about the people who are dearer to Him, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about some more qualities that a person should possess to become closer or dearer to Him. He says that a person who is free from all wants is closer to Him. Not only that a person who is also an expert in things that he does, unconcerned and untroubled by situations that arise around him is dearer to Him. Finally he says a person who renounces all his works and commencements to Him and who is devoted to Him is considered to be closest to Him.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
A new phrase to look at is “He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned and untroubled”. Here we are talking about a person who is totally dedicated his life to the service of the mankind. This person doesn’t want anything in life but he is busy satisfying the wants of people around him. This person is pure and an expert in many things. That means this person doesnt think even for a minute in a selfish way and he has attained mastery in whatever he does. Not only that he is unconcerned by everything around him and is untouched by what people talk and say about him. Have you ever seen or met such people before? Have you ever thought you can be one amongst them?
You cannot meet them because, they are not famous promoting themselves on TV channels. If you want to be one amongst them, then you have to concentrate on what the person wants, rather than focussing on what you want. Its wrong to say that such people don’t exist. They are around and we dont know them. Even you know them, they are not famous and lead a simple life. A person who is pure is not concerned how much popularity he is earning and how many people are talking about him. He keeps silently doing his work and he does his bit to change the world in his own way. If you touch and change even one person’s life also by being like this, you will be dearer to God rather than attracting a lakh people by holding a satsung.
We have in the last four parts have got to know many things about the ‘Krishna’. His early life, childhood, teenage, marriage life, advisory life to the King and his painful moments with the relatives, people and the brother ‘Balram’. We also know about his nature when we look at his friendship with Sudama. This is all that we know about Krishna but the other two parts from here we would know his life with Pandavas. Life with Pandavas has to be the most valuable and awaiting one for Krishna. We know why it’s the meeting with Pandavas and friendship with Arjuna the reason for the worlds famous book that has answers to every problem and that’s Bhagavad-Gita.
If not for friendship between Arjuna and Krishna, Gita would have never been possible. So let’s look at events that are connected between Krishna and Pandavas.
First time Krishna met Pandavas was during the Draupadi swayamvaram, Draupadi is the queen of the Drupad Kingdom and the King wants to marry off his daughter. Thus he announces swayamvaram and sends an invitation to the Kingdoms all across the country including the Kingdom of Yadavas. From the Yadava Kingdom comes Krishna and the Pandavas also come to the Swayamvaram. Pandavas at that time were in forests having escaped the lac house assassination attempt planned by Kauravas. They also attend the swayamvara disguised as Brahmins. have finished their exile and have taken the role of Brahmins.
The Swayamvaram starts off and all the kings one by one come and try to complete the task but everybody fails and only Arjuna will be able to finish the game and Wins it. The task was to hit the eye of a revolving fish seeing the mirror image of it in water. Arjuna wins the task and wins Draupadi. But the Kings who came for swayamvara raise an objection as to how a poor Brahmin can win a rich Princesses. Krishna interferes into the argument and explains all the people in meeting to calm down and tells them that Arjuna isn’t a lower caste person but he is a Brahmin which is as much superior as Kshatriya. Thus it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. Arjuna then thanks Krishna, Krishna tells both Yudhishthira and Arjuna that he knows them much before. He also tells them they are Kshatriyas. When asked how does he know about their caste, Krishan tells that ‘you cannot hide the fire behind the ash, fire has a natural habit of glowing and the same is seen in the face of all the five of you’ ‘only Kshatriya has the face which glows like fire’ and Krishna is invited to the marriage of Pandavas with Draupadi. Krishna goes there and blesses all of them and tells Draupadi that she is like his sister and would take care of her in every way.
The second time Krishna meets Arjuna is during the one year jungle exile. Arjuna voluntarily moves to Jungle as repentance for the act he committed. As per the set rules, Draupadi would be with one brother for one day and that day another person should not disturb them. Arjuna forgets his archery in the room and the next day thinking that Yudhishthira wouldn’t have gone to the room he gets into the room without announcing and finds both Yudhistir and Draupadi making love. Though Yudhistir understands that it’s not intentional but it’s just by accident, Arjuna feels ashamed and goes on exile for one year to the forest. Arjuna then keeps moving in the forest and one day while he was cutting the wood, that’s when Krishna’s sister Subhadra sees Arjuna and falls in love with him instantly. She then leaves the place, after sometime Krishna comes and meets Arjuna. Arjuna then tells the story of why he is the forest, Krishna then asks Arjuna to accompany him to Dwaraka which is very close from that place. But Arjuna denies, Krishna somehow manages to take him to Dwaraka and Arjuna receives a lot of respect during his trip. Arjuna also gets to see Subhadra and he also instantly likes her. He opens up and asks Krishna that he wants to marry Subhadra. Though Krishna knows everything, Krishna acts as if he doesn’t know anything. Krishna then starts a game where he involves Satyabhama into it and asks her to send Subhadra to Arjuna. Arjuna then takes away Subhadra and elopes with her. Like every-time, Krishna goes to the angry people of Dwaraka who didn’t like what Arjuna did and pacifies them telling good things about Arjuna.
After one year and after exile, Arjuna returns to Kingdom. Yudhisitir feels very happy and wants to celebrate it grandly, so he calls all the Kings from different kingdoms including Kauravas and Chedi Kingdom king Shishupala. Shishupala is related to Krishna and his death is written in hands of Krishna. Shishupala who hates Krishna keeps abusing Krishna during the day, Krishna takes a vow from Shishupala Mother that he wouldn’t kill him for 100 mistakes. Krishna keeps counting and as soon as he crosses 100th time, Krishna releases Sudarshana Chakra which cuts the throat of Shishupala and kills him. This was on Friday 26th February 3153 B.C. At the same time, Duryodhan also faces a lot of ridicule at Maya Sabha, especially from Draupadi. This is where Duryodhana wants to take the revenge. So Duryodhana invites Pandavas to Game of Dice on Wednesday 4th May 3153 B.C.
That’s when the Pandavas keep losing the game and as part of the bet, Duryodhana orders to disrobe Draupadi. As his brother Dushyasan tries to disrobe Draupadi, She prays to Krishna. Krishna then sends saree to her which keeps wrapping Draupadi and saves her. And for your information, Krishna was 73 years old at that time. Coming up next week is the last part of the Story of Lord Krishna.
If thou art unable to practice even this Abhyasa Yoga, be thou intent on doing actions for My sake; even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection.
In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about those who are not able to fix their minds on the Lords and practice abhyasa Yoga. Abhyasa yoga as described in the previous shloka is all about practicing to fix our minds and activities only on God. Lord Krishna says that if one is unable to do that also, he still can attain salvation. For that to happen, the person has to possess the intent to do all the actions he is doing in the name of God. If a person does his actions for the sake of God also, he will attain the same perfection and is eligible for salvation.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
The question that needs to be asked here is, why does a person fail in Abhyasa Yoga? Why can’t he surrender himself to God? If we look at an individual he is driven by a lot of bodily needs as well as responsibilities which come in the way of the surrender in the name of God. Suppose, take a person from a middle-class family, who has a lot of devotion towards God and wants to surrender himself to God. But he has a wife and children to take care of. For their sake, he has to engage in a lot of activities in earning money which makes him difficult to focus or concentrate on God. But he is constantly thinking about salvation and his inability to attain it.
Does that mean that such people are ineligible for salvation? That is exactly the same question that Lord Krishna tries to address through this shloka. He says that if by any reason a person is not able to concentrate on Him, then also he can achieve salvation by doing all his works in the name of God. If you take the same middle-class person example, he can say that earning money for the sake of family is my responsibility and am doing it in the name of God. Such kind of thought process has lots of benefits. What are they? If a person has such a mindset he will never do anything that is wrong or which is adharma.
Doing things in the name of God adds a lot of responsibility to us and we do that work with devotion. For example, if a student thinks that he is writing the examination in the name of God, then the whole approach of his changes. He will be very serious in his preparation, devotes time because of which he acquires knowledge and that helps him in doing well. He will not resort to malpractices like cheating or copying in the exam because he is scared of God when he is doing it in the name of God. Thus that work which is done with utmost attention and care is good enough to qualify as perfection, which takes a person to the path of salvation.
To those whose minds are set on Me, O Arjuna, verily I become ere long the saviour out of the ocean of the mortal Samsara!
Continuing from the previous shloka where He says those who worship Him by renouncing all actions in Him, regarding Him as supreme goal and meditating on Him, Lord Krishna continues to tell in this shloka what happens to such a person. He says that a person who does all the above and sets his mind only on the Lord, then the Lord comes in the ere. The meaning of ere here means before in time or earlier than. It means that the Lord will come before time, for those who worship Him and save them from the mortal samsara of the birth and death.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
“Ocean of mortal samsara” is something we need to look at and understand here. Many of us relate “Samsara” to Samsaram or family life. If you look at the Sanskrit meaning of Samsara, it means “Wandering” or sometimes “aimless wandering”. Philosophers have also equated samsara to “cycle of aimless drifting” or “mundane existence”. What does all this means? Let’s try to understand why Samsara is equated to samsaram or family life. There are two cycles of life that go parallelly to an individual, cycle or mortality and cycle of immortality. Cycle of mortality is also called as mundane living, as we follow the mortal as the aim of life. Within us, body is mortal and soul is immortal. So, if you follow the mortal or body, it will pull you to everything that is linked to the pleasure of the body or senses.
That includes power, money, comforts, marriage, sex, children, affections, love, attachments etc etc and the list is endless. All this will give you immense pleasure and you will feel scared to lose them. So, you indulge in all sorts of things to protect them and to hold on to them. Like if some swami tells a rich businessman that he would face losses in business, that business man will do everything mortal like visiting temples, offering gifts to God, constructing temples etc to save his business from getting into losses. He will not do anything immortal or something touching his soul to introspect. This is nothing but “Samsara” or mortal living. Each one of us are so bothered that our actions are directed at protecting their happiness and things related to senses. What about soul here? Are we bringing soul anywhere into the picture? If the purpose of the body is to educate the soul and if a person is engaged in satisfying the needs of the body, then what happens to the soul? The soul will be a silent witness to the waste of time that the body is doing and keeps taking different bodies till the time a person realises the importance of soul needs over the bodily needs.
Coming to the soul needs, it doesnt need anything except knowledge. Knowledge is the path for salvation and soul’s journey is only towards acquiring that knowledge. If this thought strikes a person, he will abandon the needs of the body and goes on the path of enlightenment of the soul. He will come out of the cycles of happiness and sadness that body gives. He will not be affected by the death of anyone or a loss of job or money nor will celebrate the success or gain of wealth or marriage or birth of children. For soul to get salvation, coming out of this Samsara is required and that is what Lord Krishna says He will bestow to a person who fixes his mind only on Him and meditates on Him.
Last week I have written about the Life History of Lord Krishna, in which I had spoken about the early days and childhood of Lord. In this post, I will be continuing the same and will be discussing the Life of Lord Krishna after he moved to Mathura.
Before talking about Krishna’s life in Mathura, let me talk about Balarama who is the elder brother of Krishna. Actually, Balrama is the avatar of Shesh nag on which Lord Vishnu rests along with Goddess Lakshmi. In the previous avatar of Lord Rama, Shesh Nag came as Lakshman. If you see in the entire Ramayana, Lakshman is aggressive while Sri Ram is docile and calm. Shesh nag felt that the reason for all the troubles that Lord Sri Ram faced in Treta Yuga is because of his soft nature. Being younger, Lakshmana couldn’t go against Rama. So, in this avataara, Shesh Nag takes birth earlier than Krishna and is the elder brother to Lord Krishna. Balarama is only 15 days elder to Krishna and he is the Son of Vasudeva & Rohini and not Devaki. While Krishna is the son of Devaki, Rohini who is the other wife of Vasudev is the surrogate mother of Balaram, wherein Devaki’s child is planted in Rohini’s womb to escape from Kansa’s evil eye. Balarama who is elder to Krishna by 15 days is born on 29th of June 3229 BC.
Moving ahead, Kansa comes to know that Krishna is alive and all his plans of killing Lord Krishna gets spoilt and failed. Kansa then calls ‘Akrura’ and asks him to invite Krishna and Balarama for a Wrestling even at Mathura. Akrura invites Lord Krishna for a wrestling match. Krishna with his elder brother Balaram goes to the land of Kansa. As agreed, Lord Krishna enters the battlefield of Wrestling. But for a shocker Kansa makes Krishna fight the elephant instead of a wrestler – Krishna successfully kills it. Then Kansa sends strong wrestler Musthika but he also gets Killed. Irritated and frustrated with the results in the battlefield, Kansa orders to arrest Nandha who raised Krishna and kill him in the jail along with Vasudev. Hearing to this Krishna develops anger and jumps out of the battle ring to pull Kansa out by holding hair. Krishna then punches, tears Kansa and kills him. So that’s how Kansa gets Killed by Krishna. The date was Friday, 9th February 3219 BC.
After this event, Krishna Crowns Ugrasena as king of Mathura.
Right when the things looked better for Mathura, ‘Jarasandha’ who is the brother in law of Kansa gets to know about his killing and feels really bad. Being a very powerful king, Jarasandha plans to attack Mathura. But with both Krishna and Balaram together its always going to be difficult for them. This continues for almost 10.5 years where Jarasandha attacks Mathura for 17 times only to lose each time. Jarasandha is now getting restless and wants to take revenge. To do that he takes help of Kalayavan. Both Kalayavan and Jarasandha plot the way to snatch Mathura from Krishna. Krishna being the Lord understands the game of both and takes the help of ‘Vishwakarma’ the architect. He asks him to create a place where all the people of Mathura can find safety. That’s how the City of Dwarka was born. The place gets created by Vishwakarma in with boundary wall itself measuring 96 miles, making it difficult for enemies to trace it and enter.
Next day morning when Kalayavaan comes to attack the Mathura, Krishna & Balaram fight together. While Krishna is seen fighting Kalayavaan, Balaram is seen fighting Jarasandha and his Army. Krishna now starts his game of deceit. He decides to walk away from Kalayavaan continuously and Kalayavaan also moves at the same speed to catch Krishna. Krishna suddenly enters a cave and that’s noticed by Kalayavaan. Kalayavaan follows Krishna and sees that a person is seen sleeping. Kalayavaan thinks that the sleeping person is Lord Krishna, actually, the sleeping person is a King who was a big support for Devas against Rakshasas and protected them from the onslaught of asuras. After years of protection, with the permission of Indra, he is resting in the cave. Kalayavaan kicks the sleeping King thinking that its Krishna who is resting there. King wakes up with the tremendous amount of anger and stares at Kalayavaan with his blazing eyes. That blaze burns Kalayavan alive and he dies then are there.
Jarasandha watches that Krishna coming back from the cave but not Kalayavaan. He understands that Kalayavaan is now dead and he has to enter into battle with full force. Jarasandha now starts moving towards Krishna, but Krishna and Balarama start to run away from Jarasandha. Lord Krishna using his intellect and Maya, makes Jarasandha believe that he is entering into the tunnel of a big mountain on the other side of which the City of Dwaraka was located. Jarasandha still thinks that Krishna and Balarama are in hiding in the Mountain and asks his soldiers to fire the mountain.
The whole of the Mountain gets burnt in the fire and this gives brings happiness into the life of Jarasandha and he believes that both Krishna & Balaram are dead. Reality though is that both of them will go on top of the mountain and move to their newly prepared city. This point where Krishna and Balarama move to the Dwaraka starts the third part of Krishna’s Life story. This Dwaraka Parv starts exactly on the 9th of Aug 3209 BC.
whatever thou practiseth as austerity, O Arjuna, do it as an offering unto Me!
After talking about the offerings that can be made to Him, Lord Krishna continues to tell some more things about the kind of offerings that can be made to the God. He says that whatever a person does that can be offered to Him as offering, whatever a person eats that also can be offered. Apart from that He also says that whatever a person offers in sacrifice and likes to give wholeheartedly can be offered to Him. Finally Lord also says that whatever the person practices with simplicity can also be offered to Him, He will accept them wholeheartedly.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
This shloka challenges the logic of offerings that you make to God. Offering for us is either food or clothes or ornaments or money. Beyond that we don’t see anything else as the offering. It is because we humans when we give to the other, those four offerings, it gives material benefits to them and raises their standard of living. So we consider them as superior and important and sometimes necessary. But offering to God is very different and should never be equated to materialistic things. Is it right to offer money to God? God will never take it nor He wants it. But will that to the right kind of people?
The other point we need to look at is, the meaning of offering itself. God says whatever you do, offer that to me. It doesn’t mean that we should give it to God and stop doing that act. It means that we should do it more sincerely with more focus in the name of God. Let’s take an example of a person who is consulted by many people for seeking advises on what they need to do in life. If he wants to offer it to God, he needs to take this act more seriously and should help and advice as many people as he can without bothering how much name and fame he gains. That’s the true offering that God will always appreciate.
This can be extended to professions also. Suppose if you are a lawyer, practice law in the name of God to give justice to people, if you are a police man, you need to do your duty in the name of God to provide safety and security to people. This is nothing but offering. That way we are offering everyday to God through our work and God will bless us for all this. Now, when you see all this, you will agree with me that money, ornaments and cloths is nothing infront of this. This is the secret of this shloka which teaches us what is the right kind of offering that can be made to God.
I am the Kratu; I am the Yajna; I am the offering; I am the medicinal herb and all the plants;
I am the Mantra; I am also the ghee or melted butter; I am the fire; I am the oblation.
After talking about how wise men always worship Him, come what may, in this shloka Lord Krishna goes on to explain His nature. He compares Himself with the various things that are found in the nature and that are used for various purposes. He starts off saying that He is the Kratu or strength. He is the Yajna that people perform. He is also the offering that is made during the Yajna. Lord also compares Himself to a medicinal herb that cures illnesses and also the plants that give fresh air. He is the mantra as well as the ghee and the fire and also the offering that is given to the God.
To feel God, one needs to look around himself like the way its shown in the video you just watched. He is there everywhere. He is in your rituals, that means in the duties that you do. He is in the food that you eat. He is in your daily prayers, in every plant, animal and the natural surroundings. He is there in the every purification you do to your body and to your surroundings and He is also there in every offering that you made to anyone whether its a human or any other being. This is the big secret of this sloka. We know it, but we don’t practice it.
Many things prescribed for us was done keeping in mind Godliness. Elders say that you need to brush teeth and take bath before eating anything because, God is there in the food you eat and you need to purify your body before eating. Purifying one’s body is also a way of feeling Godliness. Not only that elders also tell us to keep our surroundings clean because that also invites Godliness around. Worshipping God is not just chanting His name, its also about keeping our heart, mind, body and surroundings clean and tidy. Then you will find God Everywhere. Another secret revealed.
Always glorifying Me, striving, firm in vows, prostrating before Me,
they worship Me with devotion, ever steadfast.
After talking about the fools who first go to different Gods and then even to demons, Lord Krishna in this sloka talks about the behaviour of wise men. He says that a wise man believes in just one God and keeps singing praises of that God, he strives and overcomes all the difficulties he faces on the route but his belief and vow that he took stays intact. This wise man always bends his head in front of the God, worshipping Him with total and utmost devotion and never ever strays from the path of God that he had taken.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Do you really have to glorify God and sing His praises? The answer is Yes and No. You should not take this sentence as it is. When we like something we show preference to it. When we like it more we show bias towards it. When we like even more, we want it to be with us. When we like it even even more, we can’t live without it. If we extend that, God is above all this in our liking and we keep God at a place which we give for nobody. If such is the case, glorifying and praise comes automatically out of it. But what we see many people do is the opposite.
Let me explain. When we recite Vishnu sahastranamam or perform Satyanarayana vratam at home, we do recite some verses as a part of the ritual. Actually the meaning of those verses talks about the Supreme nature of the God. 99.9% of those who perform these rituals dont even understand the meaning of it. And 99.99999% of them make a priest to recite those verses. If you are doing the puja why a third and unknown person has to recite them? All this is happening because You have never kept God in that Supreme position. You are performing these rituals out of fear or expecting a favour or to fulfil the requirements of say marriage or house warming etc.
Such things can never bring you closer to God. Worshipping God is never meant to be a showoff. This is the secret of this sloka. It is meant to be a private affair where out of the utmost love, affection and devotion, verses praising Him will automatically flow out of you. It neither has to be read out from a book nor has to be performed as rituals. Instead of going into this secret, many of us feel happy getting those rituals performed by a priest, paying him money and think that we are devotional. This is nothing but illusion and O mind, come out of it and see the reality. This is the secret.
Parastasmaat tu bhaavo’nyo’vyakto’vyaktaatsanaatanah;
Yah sa sarveshu bhooteshu nashyatsu na vinashyati.
But verily there exists, higher than the unmanifested, another unmanifested Eternal
who is not destroyed when all beings are destroyed.
In the previous sloka Lord Krishna had talked about all beings getting destroyed once the night for Brahma sets in. In this sloka He is talking about the beings that do not get destroyed even during the night for Brahma. He tells Arjuna that there is a World that exists above the manifested and that World is at a place higher than the place where unmanifested things live. That World is called as the Eternal World and the beings or the living things in that world will not be destroyed even when all the other beings are destroyed.
Extending the Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
What is this world that exists above the unmanifested? Another unmanifested Eternal refers to Para Brahma, which is different from the unmanifested that He created. The one He created is the unmanifested that exist from the beginning of time, those cannot be destroyed by any force. The other unmanifested is the Para Brahma Himself who is also called as the creator of the nature. That para brahma has created a World that exist from the beginning of the time, which is unmanifested. All the living beings who love there are manifestations, that come to an end by the night. Only the unmanifested created by Brahma and the unmanifested which is suprior to that, which is the God Himself are the ones which exist. It is not destroyed when all beings from Brahma down to a blade of grass are destroyed.