Tag Archives: Mahabharata

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 53

Ahankaaram balam darpam kaamam krodham parigraham; Vimuchya nirmamah shaanto brahmabhooyaaya kalpate.
Having abandoned egoism, strength, arrogance, anger, desire, and covetousness, free from the notion of “mine” and peaceful,—he is fit for becoming Brahman.
Interpretation
This is the third and concluding part of the shloka that talks about the qualities that makes a person fit enough to be a Brahman. Lord talks about abandoning the egoism in a person and also the show of strength. He should be free from anger, arrogance and desire. He should rise above being covetousness, which is a quality where a person tends to eye things that belongs to others. He should also get rid of having possessiveness on things and should not look at anything as belonging to him and finally his mind should be peaceful at all times and should never lose the balance. Such kind of a person is fit enough for becoming Brahman says Lord Krishna. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
The last thing a sattwik person should have is “ownership” on anything. I say sattwik because, towards his journey towards Brahman, a person has to be sattwik by  nature. A sattwik person also sees everything with detachment and doesnt like to possess anything. But we still have the urges and ownership of things that we possess. When you think something is yours, then it means it doesnt belong to anyone else. This is a false notion and the ultimate truth is also that except God, no one else has any owneship on anything, nor he owns anything. You say that a gold ornament or diamond necklace is yours, you say that because you paid money to buy it and thus you think you own it.
But if you look deeper into it, neither Gold or diamond was created by us and these are the resources that exist in nature and something that exist in nature like air, water, soil etc things like gold, diamonds also belong to everyone. But human being captures these resources that are scarce or something that has demand and sells and makes money. When he is not the real owner, how can he sell it and how can anyone buy it? In the world of spirituality and Brahman there is nothing which is yours and everything belongs to everyone. Sharing both natural as well as man made resources increases your happiness and makes you feel good. So, never say that anything is yours, its everyone’s and sharing it can only bring you the true happiness. 

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 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 43

Shauryam tejo dhritirdaakshyam yuddhe chaapyapalaayanam;
Daanameeshwarabhaavashcha kshaatram karmaswabhaavajam.
Prowess, splendour, firmness, dexterity and also not fleeing from battle, 
generosity and lordliness are the duties of Kshatriyas, born of their own nature.
Interpretation
In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about the Rajasic duties in an individual. It starts with prowess and splendor which are the essential elements of any Kshatriya. He is known for his pomp and grandeur and also for the firmness that he shows in dealing with his adversaries and also for the dexterity. Dexterity is a quality of a individual where he performs a task with great precision. Then comes the most important quality of a Kshatriya which is not fleeing from the battle and facing the enemy. Kshatriyas are also known for their generosity as they dont hesitate to give anything that is asked as alms. These are the typical qualities of Kshatriya, says Lord Krishna.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
A warrior is known for his valor. A place where a Brahmin is a soldier, a Kshatriya is either a soldier or a commander or a sportsman. In today’s world of politics, its Brahmins with their power of knowledge and intellect were able to rule the country. Kshatriyas today are confined to their physical prowess and sports is one area, you might have seen football, cricket, hockey stars displaying their valor. Army, police and para military forces are the other places for Kshatriyas today. They have the power and the ability to kill the enemy and they dont hesitate getting killed in a battle. If you look at army men they are very generous and help people and also show a lot of splendor in their life style. A person who has all these abilities is a Kshatriya and he chooses professions that involve physical prowess like sports, army and police. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 42

hamo damastapah shaucham kshaantiraarjavameva cha; Jnaanam vijnaanam aastikyam brahmakarma swabhaavajam.

Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also uprightness,  knowledge,realisation and belief in God are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of their own nature.
Interpretation
This shloka is concentrating on the qualities of a person born with the nature of Brahmin. The first aspect that Lord mentions is serenity, which is calmness, second is self restraint which is nothing but self control, then it is purity, forgiveness and uprightness that are mentioned as the qualities of a person born as Brahmin. Lord also mentions knowledge as an important quality for a Brahmin, also with that it is realization and belief in God which are stated to be as the duties that every Brahmin should perform. Together with all these qualities a person is said to be a Brahmin. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
If you look at qualities required to be a teacher you see that all those mentioned above must be present in a teacher. A teacher should be someone who should be full of knowledge. A teacher should know everything, because a student can ask anything and everything. A teacher should reflect serenity in him and should be self-restraint always. He should also have the qualities of purity, forgiveness and uprightness. A teacher should always be frank with his students and should give honest opinion to the students, and should always forgive the mistakes that they commit. He should be a firm believer of God because, there is nothing a teacher can achieve without the hand of God on him.
Anybody who has the qualities of a Brahman will always choose teaching as his/her profession because the underlying aspect that lies in this noble profession is the service and sacrifice which is a virtue of a Sattwik person. So, every teacher by nature is sattwik. Here am not referring to teachers, who came into teaching because that was the only job they got, but am referring to those who left other professions and have become teachers. Teaching happens at every level and every age, irrespective of your age. You can be a very young person in mid 20s teaching for people who are much elder to you. So, I would equate a teacher to a sattwik person who is a brahmin by birth, but not by the family in which he is born. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 40

Na tadasti prithivyaam vaa divi deveshu vaa punah; Sattwam prakritijairmuktam yadebhih syaat tribhirgunaih.

There is no being on earth or again in heaven among the gods that is liberated from the three qualities born of Nature.
Interpretation
This shloka is explaining clearly the nature and importance of the three gunas. Lord Krishna says that these three gunas are very important for every individual on this planet or anywhere else in the universe will be affected by these gunas. Not only the beings on this planet but also those who go to heaven also and the gods living in heaven also are affected by these gunas. In the end Lord says that all these beings on this planet as well as those living in the heaven are not liberated from the three qualities of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas are born with.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Gunas are universal and they are present in all individual, nobody in this world or in heaven can actually escape the three qualities of Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas. One has to understand the fact that all these threee gunas are affected by Maya, which we have seen in the previous shlokas also. The only way that one gets rid of this maya is in the stage of “om tat sat” where the person comes out of the maya of these three gunas. If Tamasic is maya that is black and filled with ignorance, Rajasic is a maya that is red with passion and Sattwik maya is pure white. White doesnt mean absence of maya but it means presence of a different type of maya.
But the question that would be asked then is how can those in heaven, including gods be under the influence of these three gunas? The answer is why not? Indra, who is the king of heaven is known to be a rajasic person who has hunger for power and lust for women. We have seen so many instances whenever rishis are performing Tapas, he sends beautiful women to entice them and deviate them. Everyone knows how Bramharishi Vishwamitra fell into the trap of menaka sent by Indra. So, swarga loka is no different from Bhu loka in exhibiting these gunas. Its only after a person crosses the swarga loka and goes into the mahar loka that he will slowly starts to get rid of this maya.  

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 39

Yadagre chaanubandhe cha sukham mohanamaatmanah;

Nidraalasyapramaadottham tattaamasamudaahritam.
That pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the self, 
arising from sleep,indolence and heedlessness—such a pleasure is declared to be Tamasic.
Interpretation
Lord in this shloka is talking about the Tamasic pleasure in an individual. According to Lord Krishna a pleasure a person is experiencing which is delusive is a tamasic pleasure. Delusive is something which is false or which gives a misleading impression. Not only that person begins to do the activities with delusion but he also continues to do activities as a never ending chain. Lord Krishna also says that these tamasic qualities arise from sleep, indolence and heedlessness. Indolence is the quality of avoiding a particular task due to laziness and heedlessness is lack of care or attention in an individual.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When an individual wants to enjoy life he can go to any extent to keep himself happy. Yesterday we were looking at a Rajasic person who ends up losing many things and feeling immense pain as he approaches towards the end of a task. A Tamasic person actually doesnt feel the pain at all because he never allows pain to come to him. Any painful situation coming, he will run away from that and he will embrace only those things that bring him happiness. Happiness that an individual creates for himself is a false happiness but a Tamasic person can never understand this. He takes God on his side and makes multiple deals with Him to win happiness. If that happiness is not coming he will run from that God as well as from that situation.
Am sure you would have seen many people who go to many temples, sometimes even to churches and dargahs only for their wish fulfillment. Even after all this if the wish doesnt fulfill he runs away from it and starts finding a new wish for himself. There are many examples you can take. A person who changes multiple jobs in his career but never went to the top position is an example. A person who starts multiple business ventures but ends up losing money is another example. A person who believes in luck, lottery and who is into betting, gambling and easy way of earning money is also an example. We have many examples of such people because they exist everywhere in our society and they always keep running away from one situation to another. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 37

Yattadagre vishamiva parinaame’mritopamam; Tatsukham saattwikam proktam aatmabuddhiprasaadajam.

That Which is like poison at first but in the end like nectar— that pleasure is declared to be Sattwic, born of the purity of one’s own mind due to Self-realisation.

Interpretation
This shloka talks about the pain and pleasure which are sattwik in nature or experienced by a sattwik person. Lord says that for a sattwik person anything that he begins, starts off like a poison in the beginning and finally when he ends the task, it feels like nectar or sweet. Lord Krishna says that this kind of pleasure is said to be the sattwik pleasure. Then Lord also says that this kind of feeling and ability of an individual to take poison in the beginning and end up turning into nector actually comes from the purity of his mind and that purity of mind is the result of the self realization that a person has where his intellect gives him that kind of thought process.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Any work or activity which you do that tastes like poison and feels difficult or worries you, at the end of the day appears easy, relaxing and sweet it is because you have the ability to do it in a way that it should be done. Many people dont look at a task that is burdensome, they usually avoid it. For the accomplishment of any task, there are two paths, the path filled with pains and the path with pleasures. We usually choose the path with pleasure because you want things to be easier for you, but that path by the end of the day turns burdensome and poisonous, which means something that gives a bad result. But a path which is difficult and appears like poison, as it approaches towards the end will appear like nectar and seems pleasurable. Only a person with sattwik intellect can understand this.
There are numerous examples to illustrate this. Many times, I have seen that a graduate when he has a choice of working and going for further studies are kept infront of him, many choose working over further studies. It is because studies means attending classes, which is hard work and appears like poison in the beginning. Working appears pleasurable because it gives you money and that money brings enjoyment. But a person who completes his higher studies, enjoys the fruits of his efforts and gets settled in good position and gains money and respect. The person who starts to work often hits a saturation point in career and faces crisis and lands himself in a painful situations. A sattwik person looks at the long term implications of his actions though it might be painful and that helps him to reap the benefits of his actions in the long run.