Tag Archives: Salvation

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.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 3

Chapter 12 Bhakti Yoga Verse 3

Ye twaksharamanirdeshyamavyaktam paryupaasate;
Sarvatragamachintyam cha kootasthamachalam dhruvam.

Those who worship the imperishable, the indefinable, the unmanifested, 
the omnipresent, the unthinkable, the eternal and the immovable,

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna moves to the other part of the question that Arjuna asks Him. After talking about the bhakti of the God with form, He now starts to talk about the worship of God without a form. This shloka is divided into two parts and this is the first part of the shloka. Here Lord Krishna compares His formless existence as imperishable, indefinable and un-manifested. That means a form that cannot die or cannot be defined and take any other form. Then He goes on to call that formless entity as omnipresent, unthinkable, eternal and unmovable. Omnipresent here is something that is simultaneously present everywhere.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We are all used to imagining God with a form. When you have an idol of Ganesha, you feel pious and starts worshipping it and you get a feeling of bhakti inside you. The same happens when you visit Lord Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala. The form of the Lord makes you to forget all the hardships you faced to reach the abode of the Lord. Now just imagine for yourself, is it possible for you to get the same feeling of bhakti in the absence of a form? That means you are not at the temple or you have any idol infront of you at home.

One has to understand that worshipping God with a form is only for the control of one’s mind and senses. The physical presence of His idol will bind your senses. But at some point one has to overcome that and experience God everywhere. That is why He is referred to as imperishable, indefinable and unmanifested. Do whatever you want to, but you cannot remove Him from every bit of ether space around you that He has occupied. He is in every bit of this Universe that includes even you. Such is the power of God that makes Him omnipresent and eternal. Let’s see what Lord says in the second part of the shloka.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 9 Raja Guhya Yoga Verse 25

Chapter 9 Raja Guhya Yoga Verse 25
Shloka

Manmanaa bhava madbhakto madyaajee maam namaskuru;

Maamevaishyasi yuktwaivamaatmaanam matparaayanah.

Translation

Fix thy mind on Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice unto Me; bow down to Me;

having thus united thy whole self with Me, taking Me as the Supreme Goal, thou shalt verily come unto Me.

Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna finally tells the secret for a person to attain salvation. He says that the person intending to do so, needs to first fix the mind in Him. He then asks the person to be devoted to Him and not think of anything else. Then he asks the person to sacrifice every activity the person does to Him and bow down completely and surrender himself to the Lord. Like this if the person unites his whole self to the Lord and taking that Lord as the supreme goal then that person will surely attain moksha and his soul will proceed to the Almighty.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The whole being of a man should be surrendered to the Lord without any reservation. Then there will be a marvellous transformation. He will have the vision of God everywhere. All sorrows and pains will vanish. His mind will be one with Him. He will for ever have his life and being in the Lord alone. This is the secret that a person has to understand and practice. The unification of mind with the actions is the only way for the person to attain the Lord and this is the everlasting truth. Nothing else can super cede this.

Chapter 7 Gnana-Vignana Yoga Verse 21

Chapter 7 Gnana-Vignana Yoga Verse 21
Shloka
Jaraamaranamokshaaya maamaashritya yatanti ye;
Te brahma tadviduh kritsnam adhyaatmam karma chaakhilam.
Translation
Those who strive for liberation from old age and death, taking refuge in Me,
realise in full that Brahman, the whole knowledge of the Self and all action.
Interpretation
After talking about the delusions arising from the pairs of aversion, Lord Krishna in this sloka shifts his attention to people who worship Him. He says that all those people who are afraid of the old age ailment, suffering and the death that the body undergoes and the suffering that the soul has to put up due to it, take refuge in Him. When they take  refuge in the Lord, they understand what is true Brahman. True Brahman is defined as the whole knowledge that a person possesses of his soul as well as the actions that he performs outside.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Old age and death are two things that every human dreads, but infact it is inevitable and has to come in everyone’s life. What is old age? It is the gradual slowing down of the reflexes and body movements and the action of senses. It happens from the time we are born. That is why we always ask “How old are you”. At 13 years you can run fast and the speed decreases at 23 and at 33 it decreases even more and at 43 it becomes clearly visible that you have lost much of your speed. After 53, 63 comes 73 and you might require a support to walk fast and that is how walking stick comes into your hand. A boy who can run like a bullet at 13 needs a walking stick at 73 to walk.
Old age is much more than that. Its not just about running or walking. Its about every organ and every function of your body. Your eyes, your ears, your reflexes, your reaction time to things everything slows down. Let’s now compare with the work and responsibilities that one takes. At 13 a boy will run like a bullet but he has almost zero responsibilities. At 23 he becomes a bit responsible. At 33 the responsibilities  increase further. It goes on increasing at 43, and 53 and at 63 he is forced to leave his responsibilities because his body doesn’t co-operate. His mind doesn’t want to leave them but his body will not support his mind. This conflict is old age.
Once old age sets in, a person goes through a psychological trauma where mind refuses to give up but body is not co-operating. That makes the person fearful, insecure, negative and he make his life miserable due to that conflict and that is what is the old age conflict that a person suffers from. Added to that he becomes a burden to people around, as he no longer contributes to the economy of the family and thus he becomes an unwanted liability. That further puts pressure on him and he goes through an immense suffering. And one day all that suffering piles up to be so big that either his heart gives up and gives an attack or any other vital functional organ like liver or kidney or lungs give up leading to an immense suffering and finally death.
Who wants all this? Why when we walked the path of dharma and do good deeds have to go through this? Great souls like Gautama Buddha, Bhagwan Mahavira have reached nirvana stage and over come that suffering and great souls like Jesus Christ, Swami Vivekananda, Adi Shankaracharya etc all have attained moksha around 33 before could actually set in. That is what everyone looks for and that is what surrendering to Lord and praying for him would give.

Chapter 6 Dhyana Yoga Verse 28

Chapter 6 Dhyana Yoga Verse 28

Shloka
Yoginaamapi sarveshaam madgatenaantaraatmanaa;
Shraddhaavaan bhajate yo maam sa me yuktatamo matah.
Translation
And among all the Yogis, he who, full of faith and with his inner self merged in Me,
worships Me, he is deemed by Me to be the most devout.
Interpretation
After talking about the superiority of Yogi from all the other forms of attaining salvation, in this sloka Lord Krishna focuses on the superior yogi amongst all the yogis. He says that a yogi who is dearer to him has to have full faith in him, as in he should not have any other thought or waver even for a minute. Such a person should have his inner self completely merged in the Lord. Not only that, Lord Krishna says that such person should worship only Him and such a person will be considered to be the most closest to the Lord and considered to be superior amongst the yogis.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
This is a very controversial sloka that is often misinterpreted by many. Many interpret that those yogis who worship only the God are the ones who are closest to God and they only can attain salvation. Here the word worship is grossly misinterpreted by many. Worship doesn’t mean offering prayers, doing pujas and keep fasts etc. If these are worship then an ascetic who constantly worships God would have attained salvation. One should clearly understand that worshiping God alone can never take anyone to the path of salvation. Then what makes one attain salvation and why does the word worship used by Lord Krishna?
Here we should understand the real meaning of worship. Before using the word worship, Lord Krishna talks about merging the inner soul merged in God. That makes you and your self completely submit to the authority of God. When it happens, you will start worshipping Him. Worship here means showing gratitude, respect and devotion. That cannot come with prayers and offerings. That can come only with following the path of God without even deviating from it for a minute. The greatest offering we can give to God is to follow His words and do actions that were given to you by God. That is the real meaning of worship and it should never be interpreted in any other way.