Tag Archives: Yoga

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Ye shaastravidhimutsrijya yajante shraddhayaanvitaah;
Teshaam nishthaa tu kaa krishna sattwamaaho rajastamah.

Arjuna said:
Those who, setting aside the ordinances of the scriptures, perform sacrifice with faith,  what is their condition, O Krishna? Is it that of Sattwa, Rajas or Tamas?

Interpretation

This is the beginning of the 17th Chapter in Gita called “Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga” or “Religion by three kinds of faith”. In the 14th Chapter which is called Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga we have studied about the three gunas of sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic and this yoga is the extension of that where Lord talks about the thoughts, deeds and food habits of the people who are Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic in nature. The Yoga starts with Arjuna asking a question to Lord where he says, what if a person doesn’t follow the rules as listed in the scriptures, but still worships God with faith? What would be the condition of that person? Is it Sattvik, Rajasic or Tamasic is what Arjuna asks Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The question that Arjuna asks Lord Krishna comes from the discourse he gave in the previous chapter about demonic people and how when they disregard the rules of the scriptures are pushed into the womb of hell by the Lord. Arjuna in a way understands the fact that he also at times had disregarded the faith and behaved opposite to what scriptures have prescribed and did things that are prohibited under the rule of scriptures. So, he is naturally worried about the results of all those actions. So, this question is a no surprise as the worry in him made him to ask this question to the Lord.

Similarly we also in our lives would have bent the rules or even would have violated them. When we don’t know the result of our actions, we would not be bothered but once we know the consequences, there is a worry that is there in our minds about the outcome of such actions. This chapter primarily deals with these kind of situations and Lord takes us back to the Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga where He talked about the nature of the Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic natured people. Arjuna himself brings back those things and asks a question that if a person after breaking the rules realises his mistakes and performs his duties and worship God, then what condition is it called is what Arjuna asks. Let us now see what Lord Krishna replies.

Bhagavdgita Chapter 13 Kshtera-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga

Chapter 13 Kshtera-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga

Adhyaatma jnaana nityatwam tattwa jnaanaartha darshanam;Etajjnaanamiti proktam ajnaanam yadato’nyathaa.

Constancy in Self-knowledge, perception of the end of true knowledge— this is declared to be knowledge, and what is opposed to it is ignorance.

Interpretation

This is the concluding part of the 5 part shloka that talks about the ways and means through which the knowledge of the field can be acquired by an individual. Lord Krishna in this last part focuses on the two most important things that are required to complete a person’s understanding of the field. The first one he talks about is the self-knowledge or the knowledge about one’s soul. The other is the end point of the true knowledge for an individual. Normally each one of us have a perception about where the knowledge ends. The perception of that point is called as the end of true knowledge, which Lord Krishna says is essential to drive away ignorance.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of being here? Am I doing what am supposed to do or have I entangled myself in things that are momentary and those which doesn’t take me to the pursuit of moksha? These are some of the questions that every individual will be faced with and forced to find answer to. Self Knowledge is knowing about this pursuit of an individual to know about himself. Many times we have spoken about this, but as the knowledge of the person keeps increasing he has to ask himself these questions to re-evaluate himself on the true knowledge he is acquiring. It is essential because with more knowledge the reference point of right amount of knowledge alters.

The other part of knowing the field is the balance between what is declared to be knowledge and ignorance. At the time of birth every person is ignorant about practically everything around himself including what is already there in his soul. As he starts acquiring knowledge the ignorance level comes down. So, it is the knowledge that drives away ignorance and how much a person acquires depends on the efforts that he puts into acquiring that knowledge. Thus, when a person uses every minute of his life in understanding thing around him, which we call as knowledge, it drives away the ignorance from him. The point where a person has no ignorance at all is counted as a point where he perfects his understanding of the field, thus becoming the knower of the field.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

cchaa dweshah sukham duhkham sanghaatashchetanaa dhritih;
Etat kshetram samaasena savikaaramudaahritam.

Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate ie the body, fortitude, and intelligence — the Field has thus been described briefly with its modifications.

Interpretation

This shloka goes on to explain the field and the realms that a field can get into. After talking about the 24 elements of field in the previous shloka this shloka gives us an insight into the feelings that the field can create inside the body. First Lord Krishna talks how desire gets created in the field. Then he talks about the feelings of hate, pleasure and pain that engulfs a body in aggregate. They all can engulf a body at a single point in time. Then Lord Krishna talks about characteristics like fortitude and intelligence also takes root in the field. Fortitude here means the courage that an individual shows when in pain and adversity. Finally Lord Krishna concludes the shloka by saying that field of an individual has been described briefly with all its modifications.  

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

One has to clearly understand here that the field of a person is mainly the body. Though soul is there inside, its support is partial as most of the body is connected to senses as we have seen in the previous shloka. The body has its own journey, the soul has its own journey and the senses keep playing their role in the entire process. The soul needs information that can only be provided by the body through the field. In this process lots of undesirable elements also creep into the system. Desire is one of the prominent ones that disturb the rhythm of soul’s learning. Today I will concentrate only on desire. You can connect the others like the way I connected desire. 

When the body is supplying knowledge required for its growth, it sometimes feels that what it is getting in return to all that it is doing for the soul! Let’s take an example. Today’s Times of India newspaper has carried a headline where the world of Carnatic music has been shaken with as many as 7 Carnatic music legends were accused of sexual harassment under #MeToo movement. When we listen to the word Carnatic music and the people associated with it, a very noble and positive feeling comes into your mind. You can never imagine that 7 of the famous singers and most of them well into their 50s would be accused of harassing women. Music is a definite way to moksha and music in its purest form as described in Sama Veda will surely help people attain spiritual enlightenment. One gets shocked when people in pursuit of that enlightenment can get entangled in harassment issues.

Whether the accusations are true or false time will only tell. But the point to note here is desire, playing its role. In the pursuit of knowledge for soul, if the body even for a minute gets diverted and looks to satisfy its needs like lust, money, power, name, fame etc its nothing but desire. Desire comes on its way and spoils the whole effort of an individual in pursuit of enlightenment. We cannot blame the person entirely for that, as we are all fighting to control our urges and desires to follow the path of salvation. Deviations do occur, we all make mistake. But the underlying point is to come out of it, keep the field clean and move towards the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Chapter 7 Verse 2 Jnana Vijnana Yoga

Chapter 7 Verse 2

Shloka
Jnaanam te’ham savijnaanam idam vakshyaamyasheshatah;
Yajjnaatwaa neha bhooyo’nyaj jnaatavyamavashishyate.
Translation
I shall declare to thee in full this knowledge combined with direct realisation,
after knowing which nothing more here remains to be known.
Interpretation
Lord Krishna continues his sermon to Arjuna about taking refuge in him into this sloka also. Here He makes a declaration to Arjuna. This declaration is required because even after so much of convincing still Arjuna had doubts on the path to take and on attaining highest form of spirituality. So, Lord Krishna says that He is declaring to Arjuna that those of whom who get the complete knowledge about Him and have a direct realization of Him, would have known everything and such a person doesn’t have anything else to be known.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Will a Supreme Power of God, needs to convince anyone? Why does Lord Krishna need to do that? Is there a necessity to tell so much to Arjuna about surrendering to Himself? These are some of the questions that might come into your mind. The answer goes like this. God always talks to us indirectly. Just close your eyes and start focussing your thoughts about a problem or an issue that you are facing. You will start a dialogue with yourself. There are two voices speaking to yourself. What are these two voices? These are the voices of God. God doesn’t have to come in a human form and talk to us, as a protector He will make sure that his voice always reaches you. So, there is nothing wrong in Lord Krishna going out of his way to convince Arjuna.
Also, we have studied in many of the previous slokas, there is an alternative voice to God’s voice, which is also a created by Him which contradicts God’s voice. So, what is happening to Arjuna happens to all of us, everyday. Everyday we are faced with situations in life, where decisions have to be made and we make them. Are we on the path of God or not can be understood only when we fully understand God and realize His power. God always tries to talk to us like how He is talking to Arjuna, in the form of your inner voice. So, if we start understanding the voice of God and do things, we slowly start surrendering ourselves to God.  But only saints can attain that state. Everyone else will be trying to understand the God and try to solve the puzzles of illusion that God has created around him.