Tag Archives: Shloka

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 41

Braahmanakshatriyavishaam shoodraanaam cha parantapa; Karmaani pravibhaktaani swabhaavaprabhavairgunaih.

Of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, as also the Sudras, O Arjuna, the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their own nature!

Interpretation

Starting from this shloka, the next few shlokas are going to be concentrated around the type of distribution of work among different people living in a society. Lord here talks about four varnas or four types of individuals arising out of the distribution of the work. They are Brahmanas or Brahmins, the Kshatriyas or the warriors, the Vaishyas or the sheths or traders and finally the sudras or the menial job holders. Then Lord goes on to talk about the main criterion for classifying them into these four varnas. Lord says that the duties of each varna are based on the person’s own nature that he is born with but not on the kind of family that he takes birth in.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

One of the most prominent social evils that prevail in India today is the caste system. We do everything according to our caste prescriptions. We socialize and mix with people of our caste, marriages happen within the same caste and even voting and electing their representatives is also based on the caste system. What exactly is this caste? Caste is the varna that we have discussed above. People who belong to a particular occupation are known by their caste. A Brahmin is someone who should be a scholar, a philosopher, a doctor and a wise man who is suited to be the Prime Minister for any kingdom because of his knowledge. So, if you have the inclination to read and master yourself in various subjects you are called as Brahmin.

Suppose a person is interested in ruling, taking decisions and in warfare, he is called as Kshatriya and the ruling class of people in different areas were called Kshatriyas. Then you have the trader community who are called as vaishyas and they are responsible for the trade activity and making the kingdom rich. Apart from this there are people who are engaged in different activities like weaving, pottery, artisans, painters etc who are called as shudras. What is the yard-stick for deciding the caste of a person? Lord Krishna in Gita clearly mentions that it is the interest of the person that should determine his occupation and thus his caste. Suppose if a Brahmin’s son is interested in business activity he can become a vaishya by engaging in trading activity. 

But if you see, this system was abandoned long back and was not practiced even during Lord Krishna’s time. We all know how Karna was ill-treated and barred from competing with Arjuna just because he was not a Kshatriya. Though this caste system was evolved to give freedom for an individual to pursue his interests, slowly it became hereditary. The eldest son of Kshatriya king alone can succeed him as King and son of Brahmin should do the work that a brahmin does and so does the son of a vaishya or a shudra. This is one of the greatest ills that has crept into our system only because of greediness and till the time the caste system is completely thrown out, human dignity and respect for work can never come into Indian ethos. 

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 38

Vishayendriya samyogaad yattadagre’mritopamam; Parinaame vishamiva tatsukham raajasam smritam.

That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organs with the objects, which is at first like nectar and in the end like poison—that is declared to be Rajasic.

Interpretation

After talking about the Sattwik pleasure and pain, this shloka concentrates on the Rajasic person’s way of looking at the pleasure and pain. Lord says that for a Rajasic person the most crucial triggers are the senses and he gets all his likes and dislikes from the contact of the objects with the senses. When they come in contact with the senses, these objects will appear sweet like nectar and give him a lot of pleasure. But as the task comes to an end the result is like a poison. So for a Rajasic person any task that he does start off like nectar and ends like a poison and that quality is declared to be Rajasic says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Take a young management graduate who just got out of his college with a placement in a top MNC with a handsome pay. His life starts off on a dream note. He earns his first salary, his first hike, his first promotion and with the position his salary also keeps rising and so is his pleasure. Life for him is like a fairy tale and a dream come true. He buys a car, a 3BHK apartment in a upmarket area, gets married goes on an exotic vacation and has every comfort that he can afford. He couldn’t complain because life gave him everything- wealth, power, happiness, prestige, fame. But he is a very little idea of what is building inside.

Power, position, wealth everything comes at a cost, and that is the cost of delivery and performance. As a new digit gets added to his pay package every time, his responsibilities also keep adding up, but what doesn’t add up are his age and his inner knowledge, that we call as spirituality. With age, his impulses slow down, his health starts deteriorating because of stressful lifestyle and it begins to take a toll on his performance. Added to this is a fast changing business environment where people who are younger to him have ideas that are more contemporary. Because of the lack of spirituality, he will not be able to adapt himself to the changing environment and that begins to show up on his delivery and success.

As his performance starts to affect, his aura gets depleted and his position becomes vulnerable. That is the time of his life when his children are moving into college and his financial security gets paramount. Work pressure, health issues can drag him to the brink, where he lands up either jobless or in a hospital. What started as a pleasure has turned into a poison. This is the story of many professionals today who started their work in 90s. Even businessmen like Vijay Mallya of UB group or Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways, because of their lack of spirituality which prevented them to adapt to the changing business environment have ended up losing control on the very companies that they have started years ago. Another possible victim is Subash Chandra of Zee group who is fast selling his stake in the company.

Pleasure in the beginning keeps you away from spirituality and lack of spirituality leads to lack of learning. Spirituality is not renunciation, spirituality is discipline, punctuality and value for time. A person when he gets power and authority, if he is Rajasic loses all the three things mentioned before and that stops him from learning the changes that are happening around him. Slowly he gets cut off from the changing world and becomes a victim of his own web. That ultimately brings his downfall and anyone who remained Rajasic throughout his life has to face this, irrespective of how powerful he is.

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. 

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 35

Yayaa swapnam bhayam shokam vishaadam madameva cha;
Na vimunchati durmedhaa dhritih saa paartha taamasee.
That by which a stupid man does not abandon sleep, fear, grief, despair 
and also conceit—that firmness, O Arjuna, is Tamasic!
Interpretation
This shloka finally talks about the firmness of a Tamasic person. Throughout we have seen the intellect of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic person and now we are seeing the firmness of Tamasic person after talking about the firmness of sattwik and Rajasic persons in last two shlokas. Lord compare a Tamasic person’s firmness to stupidity and that stupid person will not abandon either the sleep or the fear. He would be scared of everything around but doesn’t show it out. Apart from that he also lives in grief and despair all the time and shows conceit. Conceit means excessive pride in oneself. That firmness which shows all these qualities is the Tamasic firmness, says Lord Krishna to Arjuna
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We often come across these kind of people in many situations in our lives. Have you seen people who always try to command over you and show their superiority over you and believe that they are firm and right. They commit thousands of mistakes, yet they believe that what they are doing is only right and their words alone should be taken as gospel. I know a lady whose example would fit perfectly for this situation. She loved a person in her young age, got married to someone else, ruined his life by being in touch with her lover, pushed him to end his life, went behind a third person, before coming back to the person she loved. Quit her job, started a business, miserably failed in that, almost went bankrupt, but still believes that she is right and talks about Vedas and vedic way of living.

The world is filled with people who live in darkness and use their intellect and firmness not to benefit the society but to ruin it. They only live for themselves and they are filled with fear and grief inside but put up a different face outside. They project as if they are the most pious people in this world and even go to the extent of preaching others on the right way of life. Such is their conceit. The firmness exhibited by such kind of people is a classic example of Tamasic firmness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 34

Yayaa tu dharmakaamaarthaan dhrityaa dhaarayate’rjuna; Prasangena phalaakaangkshee dhritih saa paartha raajasee.

But that firmness, O Arjuna, by which, on account of attachment and desire for reward, one holds fast to Dharma, enjoyment of pleasures and earning of wealth—that firmness, O Arjuna, is Rajasic!

Interpretation

This shloka talks about the dhrithi or the firmness of a Rajasic person. Yesterday we have seen the firmness of a Sattwik person where he practices dhrithi for the control of senses. Here in Rajasic it is exactly the opposite. Lord tells Arjuna that a Rajasic person uses his firmness as a tool of attachment and for attaining the reward for his actions. A Rajasic person equates dharma to attachment and rewards that a person looks for. He also says that the main aim of the Rajasic person is to earn wealth and then enjoy with that wealth and he would not look at anything else beyond that. That kind of firmness that a person exhibits is the Rajasic firmness, says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you are saying that “I am following my dharma”, then what dharma you are talking about? When a person works very hard for his family and earns money for giving comforts to them, then he is following his dharma. But that dharma is a Rajasic dharma. Firstly, Rajasic dharma is not bad or undesirable. It is just a priority that one has in his life. But one needs to know about sattwik and Rajasic dharmas because he needs to be clear what he is doing and what he needs to do in life. It is also clear that one cannot attain salvation, unless he goes through this cycle of performing his Rajasic dharmas and then moving into sattwik dharma. Thus earning money for the sake of enjoyment and fulfillment of desires with utmost firmness is a Rajasic firmness and the one who practices it, firmly believes that it is his dharma.