Tag Archives: Salvation

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 36

Sukham twidaaneem trividham shrinu me bharatarshabha; Abhyaasaadramate yatra duhkhaantam cha nigacchati.

Now hear from Me, O Arjuna, of the threefold pleasure, in which one rejoices by practice and surely comes to the end of pain!
Interpretation
The last 7 shlokas were mainly concentrated on the effects of intellect and firmness on a person who has a sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic nature. We have seen how a person with Tamasic nature uses his intellect and firmness and same is the case with Rajasic and Sattwik person. Now Lord is going to talk about pain and pleasure. He tell Arjuna to listen from Him, about the three fold pleasures in which one rejoices. The three fold pleasure is again the Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic pleasure. Lord implies here that the pleasure that people feel also is very much linked to the nature of themselves. So, everyone has their own way of rejoicing the pleasure to end the pain, which again depends on their nature. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Pain and pleasure are inseparable part of anybody’s life and existence. When in pain, everyone wants to come out of that pain and that can only happen when you seek a pleasure. What pleasure you seek is also important. When in immense pain, a person might take to alcohol to overcome that pain or he might read a book or pray to God to overcome that pain. Apart from all this the definition of pain itself needs to be looked into. Pain is sometimes necessary to understand the pleasure but not all pains are required to be borne by an individual. So, understanding pain and pleasure as well as how one tackles the pain and what kind of pleasure he seeks are all important and let us hear what Lord Krishna tells about these pleasures and how it alters the pain of an individual. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 16

Tatraivam sati kartaaram aatmaanam kevalam tu yah;
Pashyatyakritabuddhitwaan na sa pashyati durmatih.

Now, such being the case, he who, owing to untrained understanding, looks upon his Self, 
which is isolated, as the agent, he of perverted intelligence, sees not.
Interpretation

This shloka is the second part where Lord talks about what happens to those who do not understand the importance of the five causes that contribute to an action. Previous shloka talked about the five causes playing a role whether that action is performed in a proper or an improper way. In this shloka Lord says that a person who is untrained and who misunderstands things regard only soul as an entity which is responsible for all the actions that are performed. Even for a wrong action also the person attributes it to the soul. This is happening mainly because of the perverted intelligence of a person who cannot see things the way it should be seen. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who is the person with perverted intelligence here? The understanding of that is very important to understand the context of this shloka. A perverted intelligence is something that looks for the benefit, this benefit can be for the self or for a person closer to him like family or for wealth. When you gain knowledge about spirituality, it should make a person surrender to God. But many times a person channelizes it to himself and emerges as a knowledgeable and wise, increasing his own popularity. This is mainly because of the perverted intelligence. Perversion here is from the five causes to one cause that is his soul. 

Soul has urges and senses fulfil them. sometimes, the urges of the soul are directed towards an individual than towards God. This happens mainly when soul becomes the victim of senses and not the paramatma inside it. You might argue that how can soul, which has the paramatma in it be corrupted. Understand that soul is a constant seeker of knowledge and when the knowledge that soul received is limited it will be in darkness. It needs knowledge which should act as enlightenment for it to see the paramatma inside it. Till that is achieved it is incomplete and that might lead to the perversion and that is what is called as perverted intelligence. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyyas Yoga Verse 2

Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyyas Yoga Verse 2
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Kaamyaanaam karmanaam nyaasam sannyaasam kavayoviduh;
Sarvakarmaphalatyaagam praahustyaagam vichakshanaah.

The Blessed Lord said:
The sages understand Sannyas to be the renunciation of action with desire;
the wise declare the abandonment of the fruits of all actions as Tyaga
.

Interpretation

After the question from Arjuna on renunciation and the difference between Sannyas and Tyaga, Lord Krishna now start telling Arjuna the difference between the both. He says sages and wise men prescribe two different methods of salvation. According to sages salvation is only possible when you renounce all the actions which have the end result of the desire. Wise men however have a different view on it. They feel that those people who abandon the fruits of all actions that they perform are indeed on the path to salvation. Sages prescribe for abandonment of actions and wise prescribe abandonment of fruits of actions. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

In the earlier chapters of Gita and in Karma yoga, we have learnt that it is impossible for anyone to abandon action. At every moment of your life you will be doing some action or another. Even when you are sitting idle or lying on the bed, you will be thinking and that is also akin to an action. So, the question that comes is what actions do we have to abandon and is it possible to abandon all the actions? According Advaita vedanta philosophy of Adi shankara, he lists 6 types of actions that one can perform. First is Nitya karma  which are obligatory works that one has to perform. Those activities that cleanse body and mind come in this category. Second is Naimittika karma which are the karmas prescribed on rare events like birth and death. 

Nishidda karma which is the third type of actions are the acts that are prohibited and which leads to spiritual degradation of an individual. Prayaschitta karma is the fourth type which talks about actions that are performed as penance for a wrong action he committed. Like if a person lies and cheats to his friend, he can apologise and do something good for him as prayaschitta. Kamya karma which is the fifth type is doing all the actions keeping a target or goal in mind. Many professional actions that one does comes under this. Sixth is Upasna which is nothing but meditation of mind. Here Sanyyas is abandoning only the Kamya karma and Nishiddha Karma. Oher karmas like Nitya karma, Naimittika karma, Prayaschitta karma and Upasana are something that a person can continue to do. 

On the other hand wise men talk about doing the Kamya karma also but abandoning the fruits of the same. Nishiddha karma is something that everyone should abandon, but should we abandon kamya karma also? If you have a goal of educating the young generation by giving them a right kind of knowledge is also a kamya karma. Here we are expecting a result and we have a goal in mind. This is something that wise men say, you should never abandon. But when you do it by starting an international school and charging hefty fee, it is not Tyaga. If you do it by charging an amount that the child’s parent can happily afford and do your work with total dedication then it is tyaga. Here you have given up the profits that you might get for the sake of the benefit of students.

Not only that giving up expectations on any kind of goal oriented works amounts to Tyaga. The biggest tyaga comes in giving up the urge to earn money. One has to sit and analyze what is the exact amount that he requires to do his other karmas including kamya karma without any hinderance and earn that much only. Infact God himself will bestow you that, if you stop worrying about it and concentrate only on your actions. Thus wise men prescribe the Tyaga, whereas sages still say Sanyyas is the only way for salvation. Here we need to see what Lord Krishna prescribes for salvation, whether its sanyyas or Tyaga. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyas Yoga Verse 1 #Bhagavadgita

Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyas Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:

Sannyaasasya mahaabaaho tattwamicchaami veditum;
Tyaagasya cha hrisheekesha prithak keshinishoodana.

Arjuna said:

I desire to know severally, O mighty-armed, the essence or truth of renunciation, OH rishikesa, as also of abandonment, O slayer of Kesi!

Interpretation

After listening to the nature of Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa and also the secret of “Om Tat Sat”, Arjuna asks a question to Lord Krishna and this starts the last and the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita called “Moksha Sanyas Yoga” or “Yoga of liberation by renunciation”. This is the longest of all the Chapters in Gita and deals extensively with the concept of Moksha through various means. The Yoga starts with Arjuna asking Lord to explain to him about the nature of Sanyas or renunciation and also explain in detail what actually is renunciation and the importance of it. He now addresses Lord as Rishikesha and also as the killer of Kesi. Kesi is a demon who Lord Krishna kills during his Childhood days at Vrindavan.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This last chapter of Moksha Sanyas Yoga is a lengthy one and covers many areas. It starts with Arjuna raising the topic of renunciation where he brings in two forms of renunciation called Sanyas and Tyaga. Sanyas is a renunciation of actions where the person abandons all his actions by cutting off relationships with everyone. A sanyasi leaves all the relationships in this world and completely withdraws himself from the family and society and seeks isolation for the practice of Sadhana which is also called as a spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline demands a person not to look at anything in this world, including his food, water etc while he is concentrating on himself and the Paramatma inside him. To know about the paramatma who occupies the tiniest space in one’s body, we need a concentration which can see the minutest thing inside us. 

Another form of renunciation which we all know is Tyaga. Tyaga means giving up and giving up of anything and everything that comes in our way to salvation. It starts from giving up the desire to enjoy the fruits of action, giving up expecting things from people, giving up attachments, and also includes giving up passion. Passion is something which is basic to any knowledge and the same passion after a while stops us from attaining spiritual discipline. Passion prevents compassion and without compassion, one can never walk the path of spirituality. This Chapter is the beginning of the wealth of higher order wisdom and we all await the wisdom that Lord Krishna is about to bestow onto us through Arjuna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 22

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 22

Etairvimuktah kaunteya tamodwaaraistribhirnarah;
Aacharatyaatmanah shreyas tato yaati paraam gatim.

A man who is liberated from these three gates to darkness, O Arjuna,  practises what is good for him and thus goes to the Supreme goal!

Interpretation

After talking about the three gates of hell that is lust, anger and greed, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about what can happen to a person if he liberates himself from the three gates of hell. Lord compares this three gates of hell to the three gates of darkness because as hell is nothing short of the darkness and the person who lives in the hell is always in the darkness. Lord says that if a person is liberated from this darkness then he will go on to do what is destined for him. This happens when he realises what he is missing out on by being in the darkness. Once that happens then automatically he will be on his way to achieving the Supreme goal. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Sometimes it so happens that we end up seeing what we don’t see. It happens to everyone. We do things the way we want to. We have our own objective for doing things, which can be money, name fame etc. Let’s take for an example a bank employee who is working in the bank. Every day he meets many people and helps them with their finances. But he will not get attached to anyone nor he is bothered to look at anyone’s financial situation because it is not his job and he is not paid for that. Then suddenly one day if he sees that a retired man taking a loan from the bank to get his son educated, he feels for that person. He empathises him and treats his differently by being more friendly.

What brought this change in the person? He would have met people who were more in need than him and he would not have taken note of them. But now why he is feeling empathy for that old man? It is because somewhere we are shut off from the other people by our own biases and needs. It is also one kind of darkness which prevents us from seeing the other’s problems. But if even for a moment that darkness lifts you will see people differently. Every profession has the same thing. Look at a teacher teaching his students. A teacher only thinks about what he is getting and how many subjects he has to teach and only concentrates on that, never thinking for a minute also about his students.

But once the thought comes to his mind that so many students sitting in front of him are his responsibility and he needs to give them the basic foundation and he in a way is responsible for shaping their interest in studies, he becomes very careful. The way he teaches changes. The same is the case with a doctor who treats patients for his living when he understands that the patient’s life is in his hands, his approach will change. When darkness lifts a new angle emerges and that new angle will make us to see things differently and that is the foundation for us to start doing things in a way that makes you to achieve the Supreme goal, which is nothing but unifying your soul with God.

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 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 26

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 26

Brahmano hi pratishthaa’ham amritasyaavyayasya cha; Shaashwatasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikaantikasya cha.

For I am the abode of Brahman, the immortal and the immutable, of everlasting Dharma and of absolute bliss.

Interpretation

This is the concluding shloka of the Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga. After talking about the nature of all the gunas and also about the gunas of the person who has transcended all the three gunas. In the previous shloka, Lord talked about how a person can become Brahman. Now in this Shloka Lord Krishna ultimately does what is remaining to be done that is defining Himself. He says that He is the place where Brahman resides, that Brahman who is immortal and immutable. Immutable is something that cannot be moved or changed. He also says that the Brahman is the everlasting superpower with absolute bliss. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here we are getting another dimension of the power of the Lord. He is compared to everlasting Dharma and of Supreme bliss. If we probe a bit into this and understand the meaning of it we would know that God is one power which constantly reminds us of our Dharma. Whenever you walked on the path of your dharma, you would get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment doing that task as that defines your dharma. Whoever follows dharma will always experience a blissful feeling. Now one should not mistake it with the feeling generated by artificially creating that bliss in ourselves.

All we look for is satisfaction and that satisfaction can be arrived at only through following your dharma. But following dharma is not easy as it involves facing many difficulties, setbacks and hardships on our path. Every time you face a hardship the maya in us tends to deviate us from our path. It also takes you closer to illusionary ways of achieving blissful feeling by consuming alcohol and other intoxicants. They always drive you away from you dharma and gives you the feeling of satisfaction in an artificial way which makes a person forget about real God and worship God in a false way. 

If one resists falling for those deviations and goes through the hardships and fulfils his dharma, he will feel satisfied and happy. That blissful feeling is merrier than any feeling given by these artificial intoxicants. Dharma and the series of dharmas that soul has to go through in its path to achieving brahman. Lord is the storehouse of all this dharma and who is immortal, immutable with everlasting bliss. One last thing to remember here is Lord Sri Maha Vishnu, whose avatar is Lord Krishna and that’s the place where the Brahman whom we just defined resides. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Prakrityaiva cha karmaani kriyamaanaani sarvashah;
Yah pashyati tathaa’tmaanam akartaaram sa pashyati.

He sees, who sees that all actions are performed by Nature alone 
and that the Self is actionless.

Interpretation

Last shloka talked about Lord talking about the person who sees the same God dwelling in different living beings without discrimination, and the importance of it in attaining the salvation. In this shloka, Lord Krishna talks about the actions performed and how they should be viewed. So, what kind of person does Lord Krishna see? Here Lord mentions two things. First, is Lord Krishna says that He sees the person who sees that all actions performed by any individual are due to the influence of nature alone. The second aspect that He touches upon is, that person should also see the self as the action-less. Such people will be dearer to God.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you have read the interpretation of this shloka am sure you would have felt that you have read this before also that the actions are usually performed by nature alone. This shloka is not a repetition. What we have read previously was what one has to do. What is told by Lord Krishna is how one should see when others do it. Understanding this difference is very essential because usually there is a lot of difference between how one does things and how one sees when others do the same things. Simple example, we feel that cracking jokes and being jovial is a good thing and we crack jokes on different people and things. But if someone else cracks the same joke on us, we feel hurt and insulted.

This behavior comes because we have a different yardstick for measuring what we do and how we see others doing the same thing. Lord expects us to change this habit. First, whatever you are doing is done by nature which is also called Prakriti. so, nature is completely perceptual, and everyone behaves as the way they perceive things. Here another example also can help. Suppose you are a very serious person who doesn’t talk much and silently do your activities. How would you see a talkative person who is an extrovert and jovial? You should not have a negative view of the person or feel that this kind of behavior is wrong. One should always understand that behaviors are the result of our perceptions emerging out of nature and whether someone is like you or not like you, you should always see his actions emerging from nature alone.

The second aspect is Lord telling us that self is action-less. This is very crucial for misunderstanding or understanding a person. When someone does an undesirable act like theft, physical violence or sexual abuse or any other socially unacceptable behaviour we have a tendency to punish that person. So, what are you punishing here? Are you punishing the person’s senses or the soul? Here we need to understand the purpose of sending a person to jail. Jailing a person is a way of isolating him so that he is cutoff from the perceptions and nature’s influences. In isolation he will contemplate and meet his soul and do some search on his behaviour and comes out as a reformed person. So, the purpose of jailing is very different from what actually is followed today. The soul is never a part of activity and one needs to meet the soul to understand himself and that is possible only in isolation, which is very important for a person to change or reform.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 10

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 10

Abhyaase’pyasamartho’si matkarmaparamo bhava;
Madarthamapi karmaani kurvansiddhimavaapsyasi.

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.

Interpretation

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.