Tag Archives: Mahabharata

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

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

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

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

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

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6
Karshayantah shareerastham bhootagraamamachetasah;
Maam chaivaantahshareerastham taanviddhyaasuranishchayaan.
Senseless, torturing all the elements in the body and Me also, 
who dwells in the body,—know thou these to be of demoniacal resolves.
Interpretation

This is the continuation of the previous shloka where Lord talks about how a person who for the sake of his own benefits turns the scriptures to his favour and does things so that they can work for him. Lord Krishna in this shloka is calling them senseless, as He feels that a person who has a sense of what God is and what God desires would never do such things. In the entire process he tortures all the elements of his body and also the God who is dwelling in that body as paramatma. Lord concludes the shloka by saying that these actions have a demonical resolves to them and can never bring the right kind of result to the person. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here Lord is talking about a person who does things in the scriptures to suit to his own benefits and how it affects the body of the person as well as Him, who lives in that body. Let us take an example of a lady who for the sake of the benefit for the family or for bearing children decides to go on a fast 3 days in a week. Fasting is a ritual that was prescribed in Upanishads as a prayaschitta or penance for something wrong a person has committed. This lady who has no understanding of this and listening to a priest or a swamiji she decides to do this. Just for a second think about what she is doing and what is the purpose it is going to serve?

Prayaschitta is letting your body suffer for any mistake that you have done so that the senses and the body remembers them and will not allow the person to commit the same mistake again. Just see what happens if you take the same to fulfil your wishes. There are things that are not in our hands like success in a venture or bearing a male child only etc and when you do commit these things, thinking that they are prescribed in scriptures, will God be pleased? How can you force God to give you something by going on a fast or making your body suffer? It is equivalent to a type of black mailing, which is a sin that too when you are committing in the name of God.
Lord Krishna is calling those people senseless and He is very correct in doing so. These people cannot think anything beyond their own benefit. These rituals also include going to temples, giving offering to God, giving offering to poor etc. These are also prescribed in scriptures as things to be followed on routine basis and not expecting anything in return for God. But demonical people never think in those lines and that is what Lord Krishna is cautioning us against. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3
Sattwaanuroopaa sarvasya shraddhaa bhavati bhaarata;
Shraddhaamayo’yam purusho yo yacchraddhah sa eva sah.
The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Arjuna! 
The man consists of his faith; as a man’s faith is, so is he.
Interpretation

This shloka has a description of faith which we have also seen in the previous shloka. Lord Krishna in this shloka explains us what faith actually is. He states that the faith of a person is the result of his nature. The faith develops in a person as per his nature. Lord Krishna also says that the identity of any man is completely in sync with his faith. He uses the phrase “The man consists of his faith”. Then He finally goes on to say that whatever is the type of the faith that a man possess, the nature of the man is according to that only. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Many great people in this world are known from the faith they had. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Dream of it. Think of it. Live on that idea. Let the brain, body, muscles, nerves and every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced”. This is the faith of Swami Vivekanada, who in the last century has influenced millions across the world and continue to inspire people of today also. “In a gentle way you can shake the World” said Mahatma Gandhi, who is considered to be the greatest man to have walked on this land in 20th Century.

When you read the faiths of these people you will be amused by their unequivocal dedication to them. We all know how Gandhiji remained stubborn and fought for the freedom of the country on his own terms and also on Hindu-Muslim unity on his own terms. He had a pay the price for it with his life. Swami Vivekananda with his faith on sticking to one idea and making it the mission of one’s life was able to inspire us. Today also we remember him as a brave man who stood by his beliefs. We all need to develop a faith for each of us which will become our identity and we will all be known by that identity alone, says Lord Krishna in this shloka. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 24

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 24
Tasmaat shaastram pramaanam te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitau;
Jnaatwaa shaastravidhaanoktam karma kartumihaarhasi.
Therefore, let the scripture be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. 
Having known what is said in the ordinance of the scriptures, thou shouldst act here in this world.
Interpretation

This is a final and concluding shloka of this Yoga where Lord Krishna is concluding with what a person has to do to get over the demonic nature. He says that the authority for deciding what is demonic and what is not are only the scriptures. Everyone should follow these scriptures to do what is required to be done and should avoid what should not be done. Only after getting the knowledge of what should be done or not done, a person should act according to the ordinances of those scriptures. The ordinances given in those scriptures are only the parameters of how to act in this world on what to do and what not to do. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The most important thing that is coming from this Yoga is coming in the last shloka. If you read the interpretation you would understand one thing very clearly that Lord is asking us to follow the rules and regulations for doing anything as prescribed in the scriptures. Vedas are the rituals are also called as rule book for doing various things. Upanishad actually means “come, sit near and hear”, where a guru will call his disciple near him and teach him certain things that only this disciple should know. Vedas are taught to everyone whereas Upanishads are only taught to select set of students on select set of topics. 

These Vedas and Upanishads have the directives or rules of things to be done. We need rules because we are fickle in our thought process and we quickly waver from what we do. A very basic rule which says, as soon as you get up you need to brush your teeth and take bath, before doing anything. Why was this basic thing created as rule? The reason is simple. When food goes inside us our body, the body should be clean and we should get rid of waste inside us as well as outside us. Inside waste is cleaned through brushing and through toilet while outside waste is cleaned when we clean our body with water which we call as bath. What happens when you dont follow this rule?
Food is the source of all energy and the energy is the source of all thoughts and actions. What happens when food is consumed in impure conditions? The food that goes inside also mixes with the waste present inside and this waste has lot of toxins, which also influences our thoughts and our actions negatively. Outside when we are dirty, it gives us problems related to hygiene. So, when your body is clean from inside and outside, the thoughts and the actions resulting from them are also clean. But our mind doesnt listen to us always. We feel like taking coffee without brushing teeth or eating food without going to toilet and taking bath.
These things are regulated and modulated through the rules wherein if you frame it as a rule and follow it judiciously, you will always tend to adhere to it. Many habits that we tend to lose on day to day basis also can be made as rules and can be followed. Thus God gives us the mantra for daivic way of living and that mantra is read the scriptures, understand the do’s and dont’s and follow them judiciously. If you do that automatically, you adopt yourself to daivic way of life which is a path to salvation. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 17

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 17
Aatmasambhaavitaah stabdhaa dhanamaanamadaanvitaah;
Yajante naamayajnaiste dambhenaavidhipoorvakam.
Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with the intoxication and pride of wealth, 
they perform sacrifices in name, through ostentation, contrary to scriptural ordinances.
Interpretation

Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the practices that people who have demonical tendencies follow. He says that these demonical people who are self-conceited which means who over estimates their abilities, stubborn which means those who are adamant on what they should do, are filled with the pride of wealth. They are so much into this pride of wealth that they cant see anything around them. In the next part of the shloka Lord Krishna talks about how they perform the rituals. He says that they perform the necessary sacrifices only in the name but not in the manner in which it should be performed as prescribed in the scriptures. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Today am going to introduce you to a person who is a classic example of demonical nature. He is rich, he is proud of his achievements and he wants everyone around him to praise him for the wealth he holds. He gives money to those people who lick his boots and listen to his words without any resistance. He gives money to those who constantly heap praises on him. Then when there is a celebration at his home, be it a marriage or a birthday or any other function, he makes it a big pomp and show by calling everyone around and showing off all his wealth by performing that function in a very grand scale. I am sure you would have seen such people around you.

Then there is one more dimension to him. He performs pujas, yajnas and other rituals at home. Though, you would see that all of them are happening to God, he makes it sound as if he is doing it all for himself. He does a satyanarayana puja at home. He cant even pronounce a sentence of the shloka but he will employ priests who would utter them and shower money on Lord in the form of ornaments and also on people who come to that function in the form of gifts. Just think for a minute. Is it what was prescribed in scriptures? Why should one do rituals and sacrifices? Most of them are for the penance and for the love that we have for the God.
But in today’s world, everything has become a show off. Our celebration of festivals has become a show off, our going to temple has become a showoff, our doing pujas and yajnas at home has also become a showoff. We also do these rituals and sacrifices, expecting something in return from God. We prepare ornaments to God and gift Him for the success we get or in anticipation of that success. Our mind should understand one thing- God doesnt need any of this. All He needs is a sincere expression of love and faith towards Him and worship Him equally at all times, whether He gives you good or gives you bad, whether He fulfils your wishes or doesnt fulfil them. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 16

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 16
Anekachittavibhraantaah mohajaalasamaavritaah;
Prasaktaah kaamabhogeshu patanti narake’shuchau.
Bewildered by many a fancy, entangled in the snare of delusion, 
addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall into a foul hell.
Interpretation
This shloka sees Lord Krishna talking about the behaviour of the demonic people. He says that the person with demonic nature will be taken over by anything different that he sees. He starts showing interest in all sorts of wrong things, gets too attached to them and then starts to waver his mind as he proceeds in that delusion. The second part of the shloka talks about how this person only lives and survives for the gratification of lust and doesn’t have any other thing in his mind. Such a kind of person will go to the murkiest and dirtiest part of the hell, says Lord Krishna.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The phrase “Bewildered by many a fancy” needs to be understood here in this shloka. There are many things around us, which pulls us in that way but we can do only one thing at a given time. Suppose, there would have been a stage in your life, where you have to choose between what your soul wants and what your mind wants to do. At that time, if you are a sattvik individual then you would go with your soul but if you are either Rajasic or Tamasic then you would go with your mind. Your mind will make you to choose a wrong thing and you have no option but to live with it once you have chosen it. That is when you get entangled with that task and will never be able to come out.

Entanglement is one of the major aspects of demonic personality and entanglement is nothing but a compromise of a situation. This happens when you choose something more out of sensual pressures and the person gets so entangled in it that when he is not able to come out of such situations. In such a condition he has no other option but to become deluded as he himself is not aware of how to handle that entanglement. Such kind of people spend their whole life in created entanglements and finally go to hell with so many sins committed. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 7

Mamaivaamsho jeevaloke jeevabhootah sanaatanah;
Manah shashthaaneendriyaani prakritisthaani karshati.

An eternal portion of Myself having become a living soul in the world of life, 
draws to itself the five senses with the mind for the sixth, abiding in Nature.
Interpretation

After talking about the Supreme abode of Him and how one goes there, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the composition of the soul. Lord says that the souls in this whole universe which is also called as material world, are the eternal fragmental parts of the Lord. That means every soul in this universe is created from the fragments of the Lord. Though every soul has the fragments of God, but the nature embedded in each of them is bound by the material energy. The souls that are bound like this are struggling with the five senses that link it to different things and the mind which Lord says is the sixth sense are the primary composition of the soul.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

I have the element of God in me, so does you. But what separates you from me is the material energy carried out by the senses. The nature of material energy of my soul is different from that of yours though the eternal element is same. There are five sense organs and they all need things that can satisfy the body. We are all part of this material energy and that brings us to the question, how does this material energy feel like? It is an energy that engulfs our soul and overshadows its existence. The material energy always attaches more importance to the body than to the soul. For example, if your body wants to relax by going on a holiday to the beachside, then all the senses work in unison in ensuring that this wish of yours is fulfilled.

If by any chance the wish of the body is not fulfilled, then material energy forces the mind to make plans to ensure that the body gets what it wants. Like of a person doesnt get time to go on a holiday due to work pressure, then mind works extra time to ensure that a plan is made by which the person gets the time away from his job to go and enjoy the holiday. It goes to the extent of quitting the job also, if needed. That is the power of material energy and its pull. That is the reason why saints and wise people have always emphasised on getting the bodily needs fulfilled if a person is on the path of moksha. Because when bodily needs are not fulfilled the senses and the material energy associated with it will never allow the soul to explore the eternal energy of God present in it. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 15

Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 5
Nirmaanamohaa jitasangadoshaaAdhyaatmanityaa vinivrittakaamaah;
Dwandwairvimuktaah sukhaduhkhasamjnairGacchantyam

Free from pride and delusion, victorious over the evil of attachment, dwelling constantly in the Self, their desires having completely turned away, freed from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded reach the eternal goal.

Interpretation

After talking about how to get freed from the inverted peepul tree of the cycle of birth and death, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the path for the person to reach the eternal goal or salvation. He says that first he person has to come out of his pride and wavering mentality. Then he has to free himself from the evil effects of being too attached to people around him. Next step is he should be constantly focussing on himself alone and no one else. That prompts him to get over all his desires and he will also get rid of the feelings of pain and pleasure. Once this happens, the person automatically comes out of his wavering nature and reaches the eternal goal of salvation. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The best way to salvation is being with oneself, is the message that Lord Krishna is giving here. When you are only with yourself many of the feelings described above will not affect you. For example if you are only with yourself then you feel neither pride of what you achieve nor you waver between different options that are available to you. Wavering is mainly due to external factors and so is the attachment. You get attached to things, people, situations and wants to constantly win over them. Just put them aside and see how things look. Suddenly you will find that you are not attached to anything and thus nothing is affecting you.

When nothing is affecting you, you will not be drawn to anything in life. You wont have a desire to possess or acquire anything nor you will feel happy or sad when you get or dont get what you desired. Getting rid of one’s desires is extremely crucial for you to get closer to understanding the Almighty. Winning an argument is a desire, longing for a holiday is a desire, wanting to achieve a target is a desire. But you can achieve all this without desiring for the result. That is what the goal of life should be. You can say what you want dispassionately and if your words have merit you will be acknowledged for that, which is nothing but winning an argument or a debate. That can happen immediately or in due course of time, you have no control on it nor desire the outcome.
Same is the case with longing for a holiday. You can think of it but when it has to happen it will happen. Desiring for it achieves nothing and all the targets are set by the Almighty not by you. Working everyday with an unwavering mindset is the only way for you. How many times you have set deadlines for yourself, only to change them and suddenly, one day everything falls in place and you achieve your goal. This is a message that nothing is in your hands and there is no point in desiring them. When a person gets over all these, he automatically becomes unattached to anything and thus will start finding the meaning of God and will set himself on the path of salvation. 

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.