Tag Archives: Mahabharata

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 8

Mayyeva mana aadhatswa mayi buddhim niveshaya;
Nivasishyasi mayyeva ata oordhwam na samshayah.

Fix thy mind on Me only, thy intellect in Me, then 
thou shait no doubt live in Me alone hereafter.

Interpretation

After talking about worshipping God in His form and the benefits that can individual can get, by doing so, Lord Krishna talks further about worshipping God in His form. Here Lord Krishna advises a person to focus the mind on the Lord alone and nobody else. Apart from mind He also asks the person to focus his intellect also on God. If that person integrates both body and mind and focuses only on God, then He will live nowhere else other than in God. Lord says that there should not be any doubt in this belief. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have talked about fixing the mind and intellect in God. But today we will look at it with some more depth. Fixing the mind and intellect is nothing but surrender. Its not that we have never done it before. When you go to a doctor for a surgery or treatment to a chronic illness, you totally surrender to him. Your mind will not think anything else other than the doctor and your intellect teaches you to trust wholeheartedly what he says and you do it without asking questions. The same type of surrender we have to do it to God.

Here it is tough because, you go to doctor when you have an illness and when that illness is life-threatening or chronic you totally surrender to him, because you fear your life. But surrendering to God doesn’t present you to similar situation so, surrendering is not that easy. Of course, you do surrender to God, when things go out of control and only when God alone can save you. Continuing the example above, if doctor also says the survival chances are less, then fear for life makes you to surrender to God completely and totally, only with a hope that you will recover.

This surrender does nothing good o you, since it is out of fear and extreme attachment that you are holding for your body. Human beings all through their lives run behind knowledge and intellect to gratify their senses. The surrender is to the senses not to the soul. Though we know that our body is perishable, we do things to gratify it like indulging in various pleasures, giving it comforts etc. We run behind things that give us materialistic pleasure. A true surrender is where you forget your body, fix your mind with God and all the intellect you gathered through knowledge should be used in His worship, such a person has God dwelling in him, forever.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 2

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 2

Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:

Mayyaaveshya mano ye maam nityayuktaa upaasate;
Shraddhayaa parayopetaaste me yuktatamaa mataah.

The Blessed Lord said:

Those who, fixing their minds on Me, worship Me, ever steadfast and 
endowed with supreme faith, these are the best in Yoga in My opinion.

Interpretation

Lord Krishna starts answering to a very tricky question that Arjuna asked about worshipping God in His form or the formless. The answer He gives is very simple, but the steps to be followed are bit difficult. He says that people have to fix Him in their mind firmly and then start worshipping only Him. They have to be steadfast, which means unwavering in whatever situations they encounter and should have a sense of Supreme faith in Him. Such kind of people in Lord Krishna’s opinion have understood perfectly the concept of Bhakti Yoga.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Have we not read this before is the feeling you might be getting while reading this. But what is important to understand here are the steps. The most important phrase is “Fixing their minds on me”. Here “me” means one entity. Hinduism is a religion where you have many gods and goddesses that we tend to waver a lot. We also think that devotion is important but we are not sure to whom we should be devoted to. We do Ganesh puja and quickly shift to Durga puja and then we perform Satyanarayana vratam at home and we think we are devoted. We even justify that by saying God is one and we are just worshipping different forms of Him.

But just look at what Lord said. He said Fix your mind on Me. It means, one needs to fix their mind on one form, whether it could be Ganesha or Durga or Venkateshwara or Rama or Krishna. But mind should be fixed on one form only. That is because, to understand God we need to have a reference point that is either having a form or is formless. If you are a believer in worshipping God with a form, unification of soul with God can be made possible if a person concentrates on one form. It doesnt mean that other forms dont exist. It just means that one form is the reference point for him to progress in the direction of understanding the true nature of God.

If we see the great sages of the previous era like Sant Tukaram or Tulsidas or Bhakta Kannappa or Bhakt Prahlad or Ramdas or Annamacharya, they all have focussed and dedicated their entire life in worshipping one form of God. Focus on Him, have supreme faith in Him and whatever happens don’t deviate and keep worshipping Him. I say this because, God tests our devotion by putting us in tough situations and when that happens, if we move to worshipping another form just to get rid of those problems then that test has no meaning and your devotion has no base. That simply means you are not steadfast in your devotion and such a person can never attain oneness. This, if everyone understands, they automatically will find their route to salvation.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 40

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 40

Maa te vyathaa maa cha vimoodhabhaavoDrishtwaa roopam ghorameedringmamedam;
Vyapetabheeh preetamanaah punastwamTadeva me roopamidam prapashya.

Be not afraid nor bewildered on seeing such a terrible form of Mine as this;
with thy fear entirely dispelled and with a gladdened heart, now behold again this former form of Mine.

Interpretation

After telling about how difficult it is for one to see the Vishwaroopam of Himself, Lord Krishna further comforts Arjuna. He tells Arjuna not to get worried or fear the Vishwaroopam of Himself. Lord Krishna adds that it is quite natural for anyone who has seen this form of Vishwaroopam for the first time to get scared and he asks Arjuna to replace that fear with haughtiness. He also tells that now He is coming out of His Vishwaroopam into the normal form and asks Arjuna to behold that normal form of the Lord. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The important quality of any Yogi is to harmonize things and harmonize situations. The entire learning of things in this universe lies in harmonizing. Here Krishna is harmonizing the fear of Arjuna into love and compassion that existed before seeing the Vishwaroopam. Now what exactly is this harmonizing? Its bringing things to a balance. We all need to do that in our lives at different points. Imagine a father who lost his cool on his son. He shouts at him and even goes to the extent of beating him. But will he be in the same state forever? He will after sometime comes back to normalcy and starts showing the same affection that he has for his son.

Remaining in one state all throughout creates imbalances and that needs to be harmonized. If you are a soft and mild mannered person there will be people who will take you for granted and make you a doormat and walk-over you. You feel miserable and starts wondering and feeling that you should never be good to anyone. Same is the case with a person who is extremely selfish and cunning and never shown any compassion to people. At the need of the hour nobody stands by him, not even his own wife or children. That person feels that he should have been good and helpful to people sometimes atleast. If you see, both are in the state of imbalance and needs to be harmonized.

A person who is soft hearted and mild mannered needs to be harsh, selfish and rude at times to make people realise things. This is the rule of the nature and cannot be dispensed with. Similarly the selfish and hard hearted person needs compassion at times. That makes him more acceptable to people. This is called as right kind of living and if you see there is harmony everywhere. If there are hot summers there are cool winters too. If there are chillingly cold days there are warm and pleasant days too. Nature by itself harmonizes everything and teaches us to do so. We just have to pick it up from the nature and put it in our lives, to see a marked change in our lifestyles and the way we deal with things.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 39

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 39

Na vedayajnaadhyayanairna daanairNa cha kriyaabhirna tapobhirugraih;
Evam roopah shakya aham nrilokeDrashtum twadanyena karupraveera.

Neither by the study of the Vedas and sacrifices, nor by gifts, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities, 
can I be seen in this form in the world of men by any other than thyself, O great hero of the Kurus!

Interpretation

Lord Krishna in this shloka is explaining the importance and significance of the Vishwaroopam that Arjuna had just witnessed. He says that the Vishwaroopam that was shown to him would not have been possible to people who have studied all the vedas and know all the sacrifices. He also says that it is not possible to see the vishwaroopam by performing sacrifices or giving away gifts or by performing rituals and by leading a pious and simple life. Finally Lord Krishna says that only Arjuna has got the chance of seeing His Vishwaroopam in the way only that is visible to Lord Himself. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The first thought that occurs to anyone is “Is Krishna being partial to Arjuna”? Not only in this instance of showing Vishwaroopam, but in many previous instances also, Krishna made His preference clear by being partial to Arjuna. Can the person who is avatara of God be partial to anyone? The answer to this is that one needs to understand the reasons why such partiality comes up in the first place. Arjuna always got a special treatment from Krishna. It is because of the karmic connection that Arjuna had towards Krishna.

What do you mean by Karmic connection? Karma means action. There are some actions that we do, that puts us in a position where such karmic association becomes inevitable. It is because of the deeds that one does in his previous birth that comes as a prarabda karma. Karmic connection is due to Prarabdha Karma. Prarabda in sanskrit means began and Karma means action. Prarabda karma is the result of the set of actions or karmas you have began with. Good deeds lead to good prarabda karma and bad deeds leads to bad prarabda karma. We remember and recollect only bad prarabda karma because we associate and think about karma only when things go wrong to us.

A person might become a millionaire because of his prarabda karma or might get a good person who can change his life for ever. He also might meet with an accident that can cripple his body and someone might live life in never-ending whrilpool of troubles and financial difficulties. This is also prarabda karma. So, all the past good actions of Arjuna has resulted in a prarabda karma where a person like Lord Krishna became his mentor. So, when unexpected things happen to you on which you have no control or command, just attribute it to your prarabda karma. “What you sow, you reap”. Nothing can change this. Thus Krishna is not being partial to Arjuna by being closer to him.

Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 36

Bhagavadgita Chapter 11 Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga Verse 36

Tasmaatpranamya pranidhaaya kaayamPrasaadaye twaamahameeshameedyam;
Piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuhPriyah priyaayaarhasi deva sodhum.

Therefore, bowing down, prostrating my body, I crave Thy forgiveness, O adorable Lord! 
As a father forgives his son, a friend his dear friend, a lover his beloved, even so shouldst Thou forgive me, O God!

Interpretation

Arjuna still continue to seek forgiveness from Lord Krishna even in this shloka. He bows down and completely prostrates his body at the feet of Lord Krishna and sincerely seeks His forgiveness. After that Arjuna gets up and says that like a father forgives his son, let Krishna also forgive him for any of the mistakes that he has committed. Not only that he uses the examples of other relationships also while seeking forgiveness. The other relationships include that of a friend and also a lover. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka describes the relationship that Arjuna had with Lord Krishna. Arjuna first meets the Lord at the swayamvaram of Draupadi which Arjuna wins and marries her. Their association that began from there, goes a very long way, developing into a deep friendship and later on Lord Krishna becomes his brother-in-law as Arjuna marries Krishna’s sister Subhadra. So, the way Arjuna was looking at Krishna was very different. He knew that Krishna was very intelligent and knowledgeable but he never estimated Him to be the Lord of the whole Universe.

Thus when he comes to know about the true nature of the Lord, he is taken aback and starts wondering how Lord was so close to him, even though he being such a great soul. He now sees Lord Krishna as his father like figure and asks for forgiveness but he also refer to other two relationships of a friend and a lover to forgive him. He does so to remind Krishna how close he was to Him before this Vishwaroopam. He was as close to Krishna as a friend and had shared the same warmth and affection that two people who love each other would do. These are more symbolic and figurative way of comparing relationships just to tell their closeness. From all these dimensions, Arjuna was asking for forgiveness from the Lord. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 33

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 33
Shloka

Yachchaapi sarvabhootaanaam beejam tadahamarjuna;

Na tadasti vinaa yatsyaanmayaa bhootam charaacharam.

Translation

And whatever is the seed of all beings, that also am I, O Arjuna!

There is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without Me.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna finally ends His comparison that went on for almost 20 shlokas to various beings and elements of nature apart from comparing to the characteristics of different entities. Finally He concludes by saying that the seed that one sees in all beings, He is also comparing Himself to that. As a concluding statement to this shloka Lord says that there is nothing in this Universe whether moving or unmoving, that exists without the existence of the Lord in it.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Many of us have the inclination or an urge to talk, comment and judge about God and His being, with a limited knowledge on what He actually is. Some people who are experts in their fields, unknowingly tend to extend their expertise on the issues relating to God without knowing His enormous presence on ever aspect. For example if you are a good economist, it doesn’t make you a good analyst on God. Understanding God requires understanding of all disciplines and how they work. The logic here is simple. God is the seed of all beings and all entities and you can’t understand Him till you understand how those entities and beings operate.

To know about God, you have to know mathematics, you have to know medicine, you have to know monsoons and you have to know music. You have to be philosophical, you should know the psychology of beings, you should know physics and you should be a poet at heart. God says that there is no being or an entity in this world that exist without Him. So the subtle point here is know about those beings and entities then you get to know God. Getting to know God is an endless quest that goes into to multiple births. So, dont jump and give your conclusions.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 29

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 29
Shloka

Mrityuh sarvaharashchaaham udbhavashcha bhavishyataam;

Keertih shreervaakcha naareenaam smritirmedhaadhritih kshamaa.

Translation

And I am all-devouring death, and prosperity of those who are to be prosperous;

among feminine qualities I am fame, prosperity, speech, memory, intelligence, firmness and forgiveness.

Interpretation

In this shloka, Lord Krishna is comparing Himself to certain abstract things. He compares Himself to death first. After that He goes on to compare Himself to the prosperity of the people who are prosperous. Then He goes to explain the feminine qualities where He says that He is the fame, which also means popularity. He also says that He is the prosperity and then goes on to say that the Lord Himself is the speech and the memory in an individual. He is also the intelligence, firmness and the forgiveness of an individual.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What is all devouring death? Devouring means consuming or eating. Death consumes everything. It is an end of everything that comes once but takes away everything. Death consumes everything in us, our ambitions, ego, knowledge, pride, affection, care, love and the list is endless. And Lord compares Himself to Death, He is comparing Himself to the most powerful thing that can remove every other thing in just a moment. Prosperity is opposite to death. If death consumes everything, prosperity bestows everything. In that way, both are God and there is God in both.

What are feminine qualities? These are the qualities that are desired in a women. The first three are the external qualities that are visible while the other four are internal in nature. Every women should possess them. A lady with a fame can take care of everyone around her and can manage every relationship that she has with different individuals. Prosperity talks about how a lady manages her household. A housed is prosperous only because of the lady and the way she manages the money earned by her husband. The third external quality is the speech. The way she speaks and deals with the people around helps in bringing harmony and peace to the surroundings.

The rest of the four qualities are internal in nature which helps her to deal with the things on day to day basis. Apart from this there are masculine qualities also, but they are linked more to the physical attributes than the ones involving mind. Thus masculine qualities are more physical in nature while the feminine are more artistic and mental. Lord compares Himself to the feminine qualities as possessing them is considered to be more valuable in the society as these qualities help in building the personality of an individual in a more structured way.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 26

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 26
Shloka

Prahlaadashchaasmi daityaanaam kaalah kalayataamaham;

Mrigaanaam cha mrigendro’ham vainateyashcha pakshinaam.

Translation

And, I am Prahlad among the demons; among the reckoners I am time;

among beasts Iam their king, the lion; and Garuda among birds.

Interpretation

Lord Krishna’s comparisons continue in this shloka also and here He compares Himself with the demons first. In the demons He compares Himself with Prahlad. We also know Prahlad as a great Vishnu bhakt who went against his father. Then He goes on to compare Himself with the reckoners. Reckoners are the devices which helps you to calculate things. There He compares Himself to Time. Then He compares Himself to the Lion who is the king of all the beasts and then finally amongst the birds that can fly Lord Krishna compares Himself to Garuda.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We all know the story of the great Prahlad. For some of you, who doesnt know him much, Prahlad is the son of the great demon king Hiranya Kashyap, and thus He is a demon. From childhood Prahlad was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu, which his father never appreciated. He wanted Prahlad to change and start worshipping him, as he being the king of all demons is like a god himself. When Prahlad refuses to budge, he subjects him to a lot of torture. Prahlad silently bears all the torture and keeps praying to Lord Vishnu.

Seeing this, Lord Vishnu comes takes the avataar of “Narashimha” which is His 4th avataara and kills Hiranya Kashyap, who has the boon that he cant be killed in day or night, inside or outside, on the ground or in the air, either by human or animal. He does that by coming at the exact sunset time, which is not a day or night, coming in half human-half animal from, and keeping him on his lap which is neither ground nor air and killing him right at the entrance, which is neither inside nor outside. This Lord Vishnu does only to protect His bhakt Prahlad.

Amongst the devices used for calculation, Time is the most important because, it is eternal and one has the value for it, irrespective of the time of their living. In each and every day of your life, there would not be a single time, where you dont ask “What is the time”? It is because all our activities are linked to our time and when the time is up, we ourselves dont exist. Thus the concept of time is very important in ones life and Lord Krishna thus compared Himself to time, which is indispensable part of our life.  The last part of the shloka went in talking about beasts and birds. Beasts are the wild animals and Lion is the King amongst them. Garuda is an eagle which is a bird which is considered to be the vahana of the Lord Vishnu. It is considered as the best and the holiest amongst all the birds.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 20

Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 20
Shloka

Purodhasaam cha mukhyam maam viddhipaartha brihaspatim;

Senaaneenaamaham skandah sarasaamasmi saagarah.

Translation

And, among the household priests of kings, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati;

among the army generals I am Skanda; among lakes I am the ocean!

Interpretation

After comparing Himself to the best in Rudras, Yakshas, Rakshasas and Vasus Lord Krishna in this shloka turns His attention to the people whom Arjuna have seen and met. They are the teachers and army generals. Lord Krishna says that amongst the priests who live in the household of Kings, He compares Himself to the Brihaspati. Among the army generals who serve the King, He compares Himself to Skanda. Finally He goes on to comparing Himself with the water bodies, where He says that He is like an Ocean.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Brihaspati is the one of the greatest of all the priests. He is also called as Deva Guru, or the priest of all Devas. He is the epitome of knowledge and also the god of wisdom. Brihaspati is the son of Sage Angiras and he marries a lady called Tara who gets abducted by chandra or moon according to Hindu mythology. Brihaspati made a life long enmity to Shukracharya who was the teacher of Asuras. There were lot of attempts made by rakshasas to defeat devas and every time Brihaspati played a major role in Devas succeeding over the Danavas. Lord here compares Himself to that powerful Guru of Brihaspati.

Lord also compares Himself to Skanda who is also called the Warrior God. Skanda is also known as Kumara is also a hunter, philosopher and a teacher apart from being a warrior. Skanda bears Lord Shiva’s bow and is regarded as the one who saves this cosmos from getting destroyed. Lord also says that among the lakes He is like Ocean. One needs to understand that lakes here means water bearing bodies and amongst the water bearing bodies ocean is the largest and Lord compares Himself to that for the size and enormity of the ocean.