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Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 50

Siddhim praapto yathaa brahma tathaapnoti nibodha me; Samaasenaiva kaunteya nishthaa jnaanasya yaa paraa.
Learn from Me in brief, O Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.
Interpretation
In all the previous shlokas we were talking about perfection and the ways and means to attain perfection. Lord Krishna from this shloka starts to talk about the state of the person after he attains perfection. Lord tells Arjuna that perfection is not the end of everything and once a person attains perfection, there is still some more journey that he has to take. So, Lord says that once a person reaches the state of Brahman how he reaches Brahman, the supreme which is also called as the supreme state of knowledge. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
We know many things, but we practice just few of them. This statement more or less summarizes everything that you do in life. Suppose you were asked to write an essay on cow. That is a very easy topic to write on, but when you finish writing it, and after self evaluation you feel that you could have written a lot more. This is something which makes you feel that something which was perfect moments ago can be improved even more. Same is the case with the things you do, people you talk to and the situations that you respond to. The key here is the self evaluation. A person has to critically evaluate himself without any bias as to how he handled a situation or a person he would agree that he could have done a lot more with every effort.
Why is there always a gap between what we could do and what we end up doing, what we could say and what we end up saying? The answer is the noise. This noise is in the form of hesitation, ego, shyness, carelessness or anything which makes a person not give his 100%. We call that noise because it disturbs and deviates. But mind has the amazing ability to justify and rationalize all its actions. So, it comforts itself that the 100% is not the 100% and what he tried is actually the 100%. That is where we say dont be idealistic but be practical. In reality, when the real perfection is attained, then there is no gap between what is idealistic and what is practical. Practical is amount through which the noise deviated you from attaining what is idealistic. Let’s hear more from Lord Krishna on these, in the coming shlokas. 

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 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 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 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 30

Pravrittim cha nivrittim cha karyaakaarye bhayaabhaye;
Bandhammoksham cha yaa vetti buddhih saa paartha saattwikee.

That which knows the path of work and renunciation, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation—that intellect is Sattwic, O Arjuna!
Interpretation
This shloka talks about the intellect of a sattwik person. Intellect as we have learnt in the previous shloka is what is right and what is not right. According to Lord Krishna, Sattwik intellect is where a person knows the distinction between the path of work and renunciation, which means he has a clear cut understanding of what is qualified as work and renunciation. Lord also says that sattwik intellect also knows what needs to be done and what a person should not do. It also differentiates between fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation which affects a person and his actions.  Such a kind of intellect is termed as the sattwik intellect. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Life is all about choices we make. We are always sceptical and unhappy with the choice we make. Suppose if you were asked to choose between A and B, and if you choose B, while performing the task B, you always think what would have happened if you had chose A, how easy A would have been compared to B, and what rewards it would give compared to what we have chosen. Thus you neither focus on B nor you can shift to A. Thus you end up losing both. Robert Frost in his poem “The Road not taken” very aptly says “No matter which road you take, you will always sigh and wish you would have taken the other road”. This beautifully explains the choices we make and the choices we leave. 

A person with Sattwik intellect will not be affected by this because he knows very clearly what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Accordingly he plans all his tasks. The other two things that sattwik intellect talks about is bondage and liberation. Love bonds, affection bonds, care bonds and anything that bonds is not sattwik. Liberation is where you love, but you dont love. You say that you love a person, but when that person leaves you, you act as if nothing happened and life will go on. Love, care and affection are never sattwik if they bind you, but not when you are unaffected by the presence or the absence of them. Fear comes when you are bonded to things. If you are bonded to your job, you always fear about losing it. So, the progress of a person from bondage to liberation leads him from fear to fearlessness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 29

Buddherbhedam dhriteshchaiva gunatastrividham shrinu;
Prochyamaanamasheshena prithaktwena dhananjaya.

Hear thou the threefold division of the intellect and firmness according to the Gunas, 
as I declare them fully and distinctly, O Arjuna!
Interpretation

After talking about certain qualities connected to Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic guna people, Lord Krishna picks up two qualities that play a very important rule in a person’s life and how they vary in a person who is from sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic minded people. The two qualities are intellect and firmness. Intellect is called “Buddhi” in sanskrit which means the ability to distinguish between the right thing and the wrong thing in a person. The second quality is firmness which also means determination that a person shows towards a task that he undertakes. Now let’s hear from Lord Krishna how they vary from Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic people.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

“Buddhi” or intellect is something which determines the distinction between the quality and quantity of a particular work. You would have observed that some people look at things only quantitatively but certain other people also look at qualitatively. For example, for a salesman quantity is important because he only looks how many units of a product or a service that he was able to sell. That’s only a partial way of looking at a product and its marketing. If someone has to look at the overall marketing strategy for a product then qualitative aspects like customer satisfaction, probability of the repeat purchase etc becomes important, which a salesman does not look at. 

Thus Buddhi or intellect involves the qualitative and quantitative way of looking at things. Not only that, it also helps a person to distinguish between what is right and what is not. Once that is done, then “Dhrithi” of inner determination of a person comes into picture. It also talks about the ability of a person to withstand the difficulties and hardships that he might encounter while performing a task. No task is easy and it involves a lot of inner determination to complete the task successfully. Now we will get to know how a sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic person approaches the intellect and inner determination and how he looks at them is what Lord is going to tell us in the coming shlokas. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 28

Ayuktah praakritah stabdhah shatho naishkritiko’lasah;
Vishaadee deerghasootree cha kartaa taamasa uchyate
Unsteady, dejected, unbending, cheating, proscrastinating
malicious, vulgar and lazy-such an agent is called Tamasic.
Interpretation

This shloka talks about the Tamasic nature of a person. There are many qualities that are associated with Tamasic nature that are described here. The first is unsteady, where any work they do, they cannot remain steady in that. Next is they are dejected and they are unbending, which means you cannot change them or bend them. Two more qualities that are described here are cheating and procrastination where a tamasic person cheats and postpones all their responsibilities. Finally Lord Krishna calls these people malicious, lazy and vulgar which are the reactions that the Tamasic people usually display in all their actions. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who feels dejected? A person when he does something wrong and gets caught, is the one who is dejected. If he had not done a wrong thing, will he ever get the feeling of dejection? If you stick to your dharma, do everything that your dharma demands, you will never get a chance to feel bad about anything you do. Dejection comes, when you hide things from others and do things that are wrongful and adharmic. The second point is a Tamasic person ever after the dejection, never bends or changes his path. Till the time everyone remembers his wrong ways, he remains silent and once everything is forgotten, he is onto his bad ways again.

Lord also describes a Tamasic person as malicious, vulgar and lazy. Such kind of person talks very ill about others and doesnt stop himself from character assassination of a person. Such bad words can only be spoken by a Tamasic person. Such people are also vulgar in their actions and they are the ones who verbally and physically abuse women. You would see that category of people commenting on women and even go the extent of assaulting them. The nature of such people is lazy, as they dont believe in doing anything that involves hard work and never believes in that. Such kind of people are described as Tamasic by Lord Krishna.