Thursday, April 16, 2015

God, in Hinduism (17/02/2015)

Our religion Hinduism is called Vaidika karma or Sanatana dharma as it is based on Vedic scriptures or Vedas. And all those people who follow Vaidika dharma or Hinduism are called Vaidikaah and now we popularly call ourselves Hindus. A real Hindu or Vaidikaah is one who wants to take the guidance of Hinduism (Vedic scriptures) to lead his life. Like other religions Hinduism is also based on the theme of God or Ishwarah Himself. Not only is the religion centred on God, it also instructs a person to lead a God centric life. This God centred life of a Hindu is broadly divided into two stages: The first stage is called Ishwara Aradhanam. Aradhanam means worship and so Ishwara Aradhanam is worship of God. The first stage of human life must be in the form of God worship. The second stage of God centred life is called Ishwara Jnanam (knowing Ishwara). So the first stage is worshipping god and the second stage is knowing god. Our religion considers that both these stages as very very important for everyone to make the life meaningful and successful. Both these stages are important and must be followed in this particular order also. They are neither simultaneous nor in the reverse order; the sequence has to be Ishwara Aradhanam and then Ishwara Jnanam. Without Ishwara Aradhanam Ishwara Jnanam is impossible and without Ishwara Jnanam Ishwara Aradhanam is incomplete. Therefore everyone must go through both.
            When we go through this order we come to know an important thing. Ishwara Aradhanam is the first stage and in this phase the aspirant will not have Ishwara Jnanam. Now the question is if Ishwara jnanam is not there then what is the basis for Ishwara Aradhanam? How can I worship when I don’t know much about Ishwara? For that the answer is the first stage of Ishwara Aradhanam is not based on knowledge but it is based on FAITH in god. It is based on Ishwara Shraddha that “I have faith in the existence of God” and this is possible in Hinduism for the faculty of faith is there for every human being. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says “sraddha-mayo 'yam purusho yo yac-chraddhah sa eva sah”. Therefore everyone is an embodiment of faith. Everyone is faithful. Even the so called rationalist who is mocking at the faithfuls is himself faithful. The only difference is that he has placed his faith on reason (we should not take rationalist as one who has faith in ration card!). Therefore he is also a faithful person. We the Hindus are not intimidated by these rationalists because we know that reason has got several limitations. That is why we cannot lead a life purely based on reason alone. According to us it is irrational to place total faith in reason for it has many shortcomings that the scriptures clearly point out. In Brahma sutras there is a special topic “na tarka aprattishtanam” that talks about the limitations of reason. Therefore according to us all the rationalists are irrational and we are not intimidated by them. We have follow Hinduism by having faith in Ishwara Aradhanam. And to practice Ishwara Aradhanam we require only two things: faith is Ishwara and faith in aradhanam or worship. And we require basic information to implement this aradhanam. At this stage we don’t require jnanam as much as faith and basic information for conducting aradhanam. And our scriptures give general information regarding God which is shriti-shruthi-laya kartha – the creator, sustainer and resolver of the entire universe. This much information is more than enough for Ishwara Aradhanam.
            Then the next instruction our scriptures give is that Ishwara can be invoked in several forms for the sake of aradhanam. We have male forms like Shiva, Krishna. Rama etc and we have female forms like Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi and we have got mixed form like ardha nareeshwara, we have got animal form like matsya, kurma, varaha, we have human-animals mixed form like Narasimha form. Like that we have so many forms and so many options are there in which we can invoke Ishwara for Ishwara aradhanam at home. In addition to all these forms we have symbols also in which we can invoke the Lord like Shiva linga or saligram or omkara. Therefore God can be invoked in any form and Ishwara aradhanam is the first stage of the Hindu way of life. And we can do this aradhanam in a formal way (we learn from somebody how to worship God in a formal way) and if we do not know that then even a simple informal aradhanam we can practice. We have kayika puja or physical worship in which we offer a few flowers and have a simple arathi and for naivedayam we have raisins or candy. Do this daily aradhanam and get the blessings of the Lord. If we are not ready for kayika puja then we have vachika puja where we can do some parayanam like shiva manasa puja and so many slokas are there in so many languages. We are supposed to spend some time exclusively on Ishwara Aradhanam and there are no excuses allowed if we want to remain a Hindu worth the name. So be it either kayika aradhanam or vachika aradhanam or manasa aradhanam (in shiva-manasa puja I mentally offer worship). Even five minutes worship daily makes us a follower of Vedic scriptures. And this daily Ishwara Aradhanam has got an extension which is considered extremely important. What is it? At the end of the puja I have to de-invoke the Lord. In ritualistic term it is called “yatha sthanam prattistapayame” where the Lord is asked to go back to HIS original abode. Then the question would arise: what is the original residence of Bhagavan? Some say Vaikasa lokam, some say Kailasha lokam and others Brahma lokam, Hare Krishna people will say Brindavanam; but the scriptures point out that the original residence of the Lord is our own heart. So at the end of the puja we have to install Bhagavan in our own hearts. And this will be extremely useful the rest of the day because we are doing everything by keeping Bhagavan inside our hearts. And the scriptures give a beautiful meaning for the word Bhagawan.
            Bhagavan means ONE who has infinite resources and these are divided into six: aishwaryam (power), veeryam (courage), yashas (fame), sri (wealth), jnanam (knowledge), vairagyam (detachment). All these six fold resources in infinite measures is Bhagahah. And Bhagawan means the Lord of infinite power and resources. Therefore we can say Bhagavan is UPS like the UPS we use in our homes. It means “uninterrupted power supply”. They can fail in our homes but Bhagavan is the greatest and uninterrupted power supply and when I install that Bhagavan in my heart then I have got uninterrupted power supply. And when I have got faith in God and when that God is installed in me then I will also become a source of UPS. Bhagavan is maha UPS and when HE is installed in me, therefore I have infinite limitless power in me. Therefore faith in the Lord will be converted into faith into myself. And how much power I have will be proportional to how much faith I have in God. As tradition says: how much benefit you get from all these things is directly proportional to your faith in them? And what are they? Mantrey (how much benefit you get from mantras will depend upon how much faith you have in them), thirthey (a holy place), vijai (in a Brahmana pujari), devey (in Gods), deivagney (astrologer), bheshajai (in medicine or doctor).  Never go to a doctor who you consider useless, sit in meditation and develop faith on the doctor and only then visit him/her. With faith even placebo will work and finally gurey (teacher). So when I install God in me and therefore I have faith in my power and my resources and therefore I work with self-confidence. And throughout the day I have Bhagawan in my heart and our scriptures say that “May you offer all your karmas as an offering to the Lord” as we chanted Yadyatkarma karomi tattadakhilam Shambho tavaaraadhanam and then even daily food becomes an aradhanam to the Lord. Now not only the daily puja becomes an aradhanam but our everyday activities become an aradhama. Therefore convert your life itself into an Ishwara Aradhanam. And once you offer your karmas to the Lord then whatever consequences come, I am ready to face them. At the time of performing the karma I tell the Lord, “I am offering this karma to YOU. I want and prefer success. But O Lord, I am ready for any type of result that YOU give me as per the laws of karma.” I prefer success but I am ready for any failure also as I don’t call failure as failure. And I have a new name for failure which is Ishwara Prasadah. So every action in the day is Ishwara Arpanam and every experience is Ishwara Prasadah. So the day starts with aradhanam and then extends also to aradhanam. And this aradhanam is compulsory for every Hindu. The scale of aradhanam can be small or big but we cannot avoid this first stage which is based on faith in god and faith in the efficacy of the aradhanam. The scriptures extend aradhanam for some people who are interested in Ishwara Dharshanam; having the darshanam of the Lord in the form they have invoked. A Rama Bhakta may be interested in Rama Darshanam, Krishna bhakti in Krishna darshanam. The scriptures say that if a bhakta practices aradhanam and mantra japa of that form of the Lord then he/she can have the darshanam of that form also. Shankaracharya says in his brahma sutram,” The Lord will give darshanam to the bhakta but he should do extra sadhanam”. Thyagaraja is supposed to have had Rama darshanam and he chanted Rama nama 96 crore times. And here we are who say Rama nama 10 times and we expect Rama darshanam! The point is Ishwara aradhanam will make our lives wonderful because of our extra power and extra self-confidence. Life can become beautiful, life can become joyful and life can become generally successful and life can become peaceful also even in the midst of some adversities and failures extra. So the first stage of Hinduism is Ishwara aradhanam is faith based and not based on knowledge. This faith based Ishwara aradhanam will prepare an aspirant gradually them for the second stage, which is Ishwara jnanam.
            For entering the second stage three factors are required. The first factor is a sincere desire to know what is God or who is God. … a sincere deep desire to know which Krishna calls as jignasa bhakti. The previous stage is artha, arthathee bhakti while jignasa bhakti is the sincere desire to know as “different people worship different forms of God and which is the real form of God?”. Is Rama god, Krishna god or Shiva or do we have many gods? And if there are many gods what is the hierarchy? If you ask a Vaishava he will say “ega perumal” and under HIM will come other gods including Shiva. And if you ask a Shaiva bhakta, today is Shivaratri also, and he will say “my Shiva is great”. So which one is god? Where is god located? Are there many gods? What is the nature of God? All these questions a person deeply wants to know. This is a deep desire and not a casual desire which is jignasa.
            The second factor is I need a spiritual guide to help me. I need a guide to educate me as to the real nature of the Lord. And the third factor is a matured mind and a subtle intellect to understand the nature of God because when we want to know the real nature we enter an abstract and subtle subject. Therefore the mind must also be matured, the intellect must also be subtle. The Ishwara aradhanam will give us all the three factors: sincere desire, spiritual guide and also a matured mind.
            Once we enter the second stage what is the teaching that we come to know. I will briefly deal with them. A spiritual guide makes use of our Vedic scriptures to teach us who or what God is. The Upanishads are primary sources of this knowledge and secondary scriptures like Bhagavad Gita also. How do the Upanishads present Ishwara?
            In the first stage of Ishwara Aradhanam we defined Ishwara as shrithi-shruthi-laya kartha. We use the word jagat kartha but in the second stage, Ishwara jnanam, the language is slightly changed. Instead of the word “kartha” we use the word “karanam”. Now we define God as the cause of the universe, the source of the universe, and origin of the universe. Even modern scientists accept that the universe originated at a particular time which they study in cosmology where they talk about Big Bang etc. We need not go deeper but what I am saying is even the scientists talk about origination or evolution of the universe. Which means from non-origin state the origin state must come for from non-existent thing nothing can come. There is a fundamental cause that exists and this karanam is called Ishwara. And the entire universe is a product evolving or originating from that karanam. That is why Bhagavan is called karaneeshwara which is a famous temple.
            Once you understand Ishwara as karanam (cause) and the world is the effect then we can analyse the nature of both Ishwara and the world. The scriptures help us understand that through many examples. Like gold as the karanam and ornaments as the karyam, as clay as the karanam and pots as the karyam, or iron as the karanam and various kinds of hardware as the karyam. Based on these examples given in the Upanishad we have to understand Ishwara. Studying the examples we can know the features of karanam and the important features of karyam. On this auspicious Shivaratri day I will recount four important features of both karanam and karyam that you are all aware as upanishadic students.
            Gold the cause is ekam (one) and from that lump we have several ornaments. Therefore karanam ekam and karyam anakam. So how many Gods are there? God can only be ONE but HE can be invoked in several forms.
            The second feature is Gold is the karanam and ornaments karyam. The ornaments cannot exist without gold as gold alone is the content of all the ornaments. Therefore we can conclude karanam is the CONTENT (saaram) for the entire universe which is the karyam. Now tell me where is God? In kailasam or Vaikuntam or etc. Since god is the very saaram, god has to be behind everything. God cannot have a particular location as God is behind all the products which are like different ornaments in different names and forms. So god is saaram and world is asaaram (which is pit less and hollow).
            The third important feature is “gold existed before the arrival of ornaments, during the existence of ornaments and after the melting of ornaments. Gold exists in the past, in the present, and the future but the ornaments have got a beginning. And anything with a beginning will also have an ending.” Therefore karanam in nityam and karyam is anityam. God is nityah and the world is fleeting.
            The fourth feature is “gold, the karanam, by itself exists INDEPENDENTLY. It does not depend on the ornaments for its existence. Therefore swantantra tattvam whereas the ornaments, the products, does not exist independently and they all have borrowed existence. They do not have real existence. Whatever has independent existence is called Satyam and whatever is seemingly existent with borrowed existence, they are called asatyam. Ishwara ekah satyah while jagat is asatyah.
            When we get Ishwara jnanam we understand these four features: ekah, saarah, nityam and satyam. God is one, hold or fit, eternal, and the only real one. And the world is nekah, asaarah, anityam and asatyam. By analysing further we discover another important practical message. The ornaments are very useful for beautifying our body. Ornaments are used for hands, legs, neck, tongue and even eye-brows (new and new fashions). Ornaments have got beauty, ornaments have got variety, ornaments have got novelty. But when you want financial security, security does it depend on ornaments or gold? When ornament is brought or sold people only look at the gold. The karyam gives beauty but what gives security? The karanam alone can give security. The world is beautiful, wonderful, it has variety. But whenever you want security, you have to hold on to only God. So if you want security, if you want peace you never depend upon anything in the world (whether they are things, beings, or positions, or possessions for nothing is reliable). You have to hold on to Ishwara and Ishwara only. Initially Ishwara aradhanam and later Ishwara alambanam. If a sanyasi can renounce everything, from where does he get that courage? He does not want to depend on anything he is renouncing. Even after renouncing he has got self-confidence because he feels that his security is not the share market that is crashing every other day, not the bank money whose interest is coming down, not the people around me. I only depend on Ishwara as my alambanam. For me God is the truth beyond all forms and HE is the truth behind everything. The rationalist say God is no where while we Hindus say that the God is NOW HERE. God is there is the speck and also in the pillar. And if Ishwara is everywhere is ekah, saarah, nityam and satyam then that Ishwara must be in me also. This is the first stage of self-enquiry and then we come to the next higher state. It is very subtle and very abstract. And who is the ekah, saara, nitya, satyam Bhagavan residing in me? There are two things that are constantly there in every living being – chaitanyam (consciousness) and achatanam (matter). The body is continuously changing, the thoughts are continuously changing and what is the constant changeless factor? I am aware of all these changes and this chaitanyam is the nature of Bhagavan. The second factor is when I introduce myself as a body, male or young or old. I am old, I am young, I am handsome, I am a man etc. In all of them what is the constant factor? I AM. This is existence or satyam principle. Sat chit ananda is the Karanam Ishwara principle who is everywhere and who is in me also. And when I learn to identify with that core then I can say: aham brahma asmi. This makes my life purnam.

            We start from Ishwara aradhanam and go to Ishwara jnanam and understand that Ishwara is in everything and understand that Ishwara is in me and then come to the conclusion that Ishwara is me. This is the journey of a Hindu and it is possible to achieve this purnatvam in one life itself. This teaching has been given in the Vedas and Vedas have been given by the Lord Parameshwara and hence we are always indebted to Bhagavan. Sadasiva samarambham, shankaracharya madhyamam, asmad acharya paryantam vande Guru paramparam. On this auspicious Shivaratri day we do the aradhanam of Ishwara and we receive the knowledge of Ishwara and we have to discover this purnatvam which is the journey for all of us. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Significance of Purity - 2015 New Year Talk

First of all I wish you all a happy, a healthy, prosperous and successful new year, 2015. Today I would like to share my thoughts on a topic that has been going rounds in the newspapers. The topic is “Clean India” or “Swatcch Bharat” campaign. I consider this to be an important mission and something that requires all our support. This idea of cleanliness or purity is very much in our scriptures. It seems it is only in the text, we don’t seem to be following it. Therefore we have to lend a thought in that direction. In the Vedas also “Shaucham” is talked about and in the thirtieth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Krishna mentions ācāryopāsanaṁ śaucaṁ sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ and in the sixtieth chapter as Daivi Sampath, Krishna again emphasizes cleanliness or purity tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ śaucam. In Astanga yoga, yama and niyama are two sets of disciplines and there also Patanjali Maharishi emphasizes this as the first niyama Shaucham, santoshah, tapas, svadhyaya, and Ishvarapranidanam. Thus purity or cleanliness is so important even as a spiritual value. This topic of “shuddi” or “Shaucham” is very elaborately discussed in our scriptures at five different levels. Today I would explore this topic briefly.
            Purity at five layers: a) Desha shuddi b) Anna shuddi c) Deha shuddi d) Vak shuddi and e) Mana shuddi. Each succeeding layer is tougher and very, very important also especially for a spiritual seeker. We should start with the grossest and outermost layer and gradually we should pay attention to the purity of the subtler layers.
            Desha shuddi: Here the word “Deshah” means the place where we live. The condition of the external world will heavily depend upon the condition of our house. So we have to start with the place where we live and then surroundings, and if they are clean generally the country will be clean. When we talk about the cleanliness of the place it includes orderliness also. Cleanly disorderliness, that is not going to work. It should be unfettered and orderly. First we must know what things are there in the house; many of us don’t know what are there! As they say: everything has a place and everything in its place. If we follow these two rules, we are taking care of desha shuddi or cleanliness or hygiene.
            Anna shuddi: The food that we eat must be clean and pure. In Chandhogya Upanishad it is pointed that whatever we eat has got three layers. Food has got sthula hamsha, madhyama hamsha, and sukshma hamsha. The grossest part of the food gives us the taste of the food and later it goes as a waste. The middle part of the food caters to the physical nourishment and there is a third layer which only our sastras talk about. The nutritionists don’t talk about it or even know about it. The third layer that caters to our sukshma shariram and caters to our mind and which caters to our personality and finally caters to our character; therefore we have to eat only those food which will be good and healthy for our mind also. That is why we ban non-vegetarian food because they are not good for spiritual good at all. Non-vegetarian, liquor, drugs etc are not good for satva shuddihi. Our scriptures not only points out the type of food but also about the one who cooks the food and also one who serves, the source of food, from where it comes, all of them contribute to our inner condition. That is why we say “home food is always best”. But that practice is slowly going as many people do not want to cook food at home. In the olden days the women chanted slokas while cooking food. That is supposed to influence the annam and the consumers also benefitted from that. And if we cannot do all this things there is a general suggestion: before consuming the food may you offer it to the Lord physically. Or if you are consuming elsewhere at least mentally offer it to the Lord – :Annam Brahma! Raso Vishnuh! Bhoktaa devo Maheswarah. The solid food is Brahma, inside food is Vishnu and one who digests inside our stomach is Lord Shivah. Remembering Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva while consuming food, that annam is always pure. Thus anna shuddi is emphasized. In the Sandhyavandam there is a prayachita mantram for consuming all kinds of food at all kinds of places especially New Year party. Yad-uchistam-abhojyam yadvaa dushcharitam mama, O Lord! Whatever I have consumed yesterday, whatever paapam it brings I don’t know – let all of them be ward with this prayer. This sandhyavandanam was practiced in the olden days! One more thing I forgot to mention. We talk about ghee for anna shuddi. We avoided ghee saying cholesterol, cholesterol. Now medical science itself is changing the opinion. Whatever we said as fats before they are now saying it is good for health. In Kerala we were swimming in coconut oil. They said it is very harmful and so we left it. Now they are revising the opinion and saying that it is not as bad as we thought it was. So for anna shuddi we used to add cow’s ghee and it was supposed to be very good. So you can use ghee now, no problem.
            Deha shuddi: The cleanliness of the body. This we need not elaborate as even Medical Science emphasizes that every part of the body must be clean and hygiene. Now even a day has been dedicated for hand-washing! There is so much importance given to handwashing before eating food and they are also advising doctors to wash their hands after seeing each patient. If the doctors don’t wash hands between two patients then most of diseases are caused by them! Many diseases are caused in the hospitals by doctors; handwashing is such a small thing and that is why our sages were carrying a kamandalu all the time. Apavasprasya. It looks silly but handwashing must be regularly done. Similarly mouth washing, what is called? Achemanyam. Thereafter they talk of cleaning the eyes, cleaning the ears, cleaning the stomach etc. In the olden days during the summer vacations we have a ritual – a very painful ritual where we have to take Castor oil. And the whole day you feel like going to the toilet only. Even when I think of that toilet thoughts come! That has even become a metaphor; when we see someone with a grimace look we ask: did you take Castor (Valaka ainnai) oil. It was compulsory as it cleanses the stomach and in yoga sastra they talk about nadi shuddi. Pranayama is supposed to be a wonderful practice for cleaning the inner physiological system. The next tougher layer is:
            Vak shuddi: Our mouth is continuously producing words like a factory for 24 hours and some even in their sleep. When we are continuously manufacturing words, these words are going out all over. These words can produce wonderful results or they can destroy long relationships. Words can destroy a family, or an organization; all because of wrong words used at wrong time. Therefore our scriptures consider vak tapas or vak shuddi as a very important purity project. Therefore whenever we produce words, that is whenever we talk we must watch for quality control. Just like in a factory where the product is tested before being sent outside there is department for quality like TQM etc. Total Quality Management must also apply to the words before they come out of our mouths. If quality parameters are to be applied to words then I must talk consciously and deliberately. In mechanical talk I cannot control the quality. Therefore the first rule is to avoid mechanical and impulsive talking. What are the quality parameters I have to look for; in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna gives four parameters.
.           First factor is, make sure your words do not disturb the other people; your words must be non-hurting, non-disturbing. Anudvega-karam or verbal ahimsa. Avoid verbal himsa. The second parameter is satyam, speak the truth. So non-hurtful and truthful and transparent. Then the third one is priyam. May your language be peaceful, gentle, soft, pleasant. Even the most unpleasant thing you can present pleasantly; the negativity of the unpleasant content can be diluted by good communication. The adverse effect of an unpleasant content can be diluted by communicating that content in a thoughtful and pleasant manner. Therefore the manner of communication, the tone of communication, the facial expression during communication, the body language during the communication – they all can be gentle and that is called priya. By talking a few pleasant words everybody will be happy. Then why can’t you use some pleasant words, why be stingy? There is no expenditure in using pleasant words. And finally hitam. Speak what is good for all and not for time-pass. Any talking should be beneficial to the other, I must be beneficial to me also. And if we observe this rule, all the gossip mongering, rumour mongering will abate for they never useful to anyone. On the other hand it will be harmful. Since gossip is always juicy we must bear in mind this parameter, hitam is very important. Thus ahimsa, satyam, priya, hitam vakyam. We are supposed to follow these four factors before we utter a word; and if we are careful then we will not have much to talk. Because most of the time we are violating one or more of these factors.
This vak shuddi is considered as extremely important for one’s own well-being as well as the well-being of the surrounding. That is why vap shuddi is glorified in our sastras. They say that the best ornament for a person is vak shuddi. If this is there and there are no other ornaments that person would be still very beautiful and popular in a gathering. Such a person will be successful and attract all others to himself. On the other hand if a person has the best dress, best ornaments and if his tongue is rude, gross, or a stinging tongue then nobody will like to go anywhere near him. After 10 minutes with such a person then I begin to avoid that person. If I am failing in a relationship then we have to introspect and often you’ll find there is a problem in your talking. Unfortunately we do not realize that we have a bad tongue; the indication is generally people avoid me; generally people become hostile to me. If it happens with one or two then it could be their problem but if it happens consistently then I have to introspect and check the quality of my conversation. There are so many wonderful slokas in our scriptures on the importance of vak shuddi. Recently some people were telling me that there are “image consultants”. They will look at my face and suggest appropriate hairstyle; clean shaven or moustache; what kind of dress to wear; teach you to speak in good accent etc. For this they will charge thousands of rupees. If you want to build a good image our sastram says “the best image is your facial expression; pleasant face and pleasant words.” All other image building efforts will miserably fail if your words are ashubdam. Shudda vak is called samskrutha vak. Prosperity is at the tip of your tongue; relations are there or not are decided at the tip of the tongue. Tip of the tongue means the words that come out. Shudda vakyam is called soonrutha vak which is called kamadhenu; with subha vak you can get everything in life.  That does not mean you should not be educated or be in a job etc but I am only emphasizing as to how important the words are.
            Now the last and the toughest is mana shuddi; cleanliness or purity of the mind. This topic also is very elaborately talked in our scriptures. In the Bhagavad Gita there is one chapter exclusively dedicated for this. 16th chapter is called “Deiva Aasura Sampath bhaga yogah” . Healthy thoughts and sick thoughts, or sickly thoughts. Healthy thoughts are called Deivam and unhealthy thoughts “aasuram vrittayah”. We must look upon our minds as a garden and cultivate all the healthy thoughts mentioned there, it will ananda to us and others also. When we are regularly tending the garden then we have to weed out the wrong plants. So make your mind a garden. There is one particular topic highlighted in the scriptures especially the Gita as part of mana shuddi and that is “Raga-dvesha management”. Raga means liking or attachment. We all like certain people and certain situations. In simple words, raga is “likes” and similarly dvesha is not those things hated but “disliked”. R-D management is considered important part of mana shuddi.
            And if I have to manage R-D then I must understand the ways of R and D. That is why the vedas talk about their natures, their features, and how they come to bear. The first thing we have to note that is that we can learn to manage R-D but we can never avoid R-D. We can never eliminate raga-dvesha. R-D destruction does not exist. Dayananda Swami nicely says: even our gods have got preferences. Vigneshwara wants “kozhakattai” for naivedyam. Krishna always likes butter. They have their own neivadyam and they have got different colours also. Krishna is always pitambara dhari, they have got their own musical instruments also like veena, venu etc. And they have got their own weapons also; gada, shula etc. When gods themselves have got their own preferences how can we human beings avoid? Therefore the first point is R-D cannot be avoided. So likes and dislikes will always be there; there is no getting past that.
            The second point about R-D is that they have got advantages as well as disadvantages. Whenever an event happens in my life and if it is in conformity with my raga-dvesha then that event gives me happiness. And when any event that does not conform with my R-D then that event brings me sorrow. Therefore R-D gives happiness is the advantage and they also give me sorrow is the disadvantage. So what gives happiness is my raga-dvesha conforming events or complaint event. I will term them “conforming situations” CS and NS (non-conforming situations). During the music season in a concert the musician sings all the songs I like. That day brings me so much of kushi, happiness. Suppose the musician’s throat is not alright because too many kutcheris and weather is also like this! Or he sings his own compositions (these everyone is into composing) and in the unknown ragas. You don’t know the composition or the ragam and you attend such a concert and that leaves you not at all happy. You come out of the concert and go to the canteen (the audience laughs) and today’s special is “Adai aviyal”. That will make you instantly happy as at least let the music go to dogs but I will enjoy adai and aviyals. That will compensate but if there also NS (non-conforming situations) then it is going to bring emotional disturbance (ED).
            The third point in life is that events are not going to happen based on my raga-dvesha. The unfolding events are not going to consult me. The events going to happen are governed by several factors which are known or unknown and therefore many events will be CS and many events will be NS also. So life is a mixture of CS+NS. When rains come it is not going to consider this factor: whose kutcheri is today? The rain is not going to consider the people or our interest; rains will happen when it will happen. Therefore the unfolding events are not going to consult my raga-dvesha. Life involves continuous confrontation of CS and NS. There is no advance notice in life; there is unpredictability. Unpredictable NS may come in your SMS! That is why it is important to close your phone during the class; any news may come and it may be CS or NS. And other people’s behaviour also will be in conformance to my raga or dvesha; others are not going to behave as per my raga or dvesha; they will not respect my r-d because they act and behave will be governed by what? They have got their own raga-dvesha and this is something all parents must note that their children will live their lives according to their raga and dvesha. The children may not respect my raga-dvesha. Even if they consider my r-d then also it will be secondary to their own r-d. Maximum they will say “sorry” and then do what they want to do. Some people will do what they like and some people will say “sorry” and do what they want to do. But remember everyone’s life and behaviour is going to be governed by their raga-dvesha. Therefore most of the times in our lives we are going to confront NS. All human interactions will bring a lot of NS to us. This whole talk is about CS and NS and let me remind you NS means non-complaint situations. So NS events are not avoidable, NS interactions are unavoidable. When we come to the class in a car then NS events will occur; parking is a problem or someone has blocked your car and you cannot take it out. How people rush to get out or drivers not behaving properly or you have lost your slippers; every moment we are confronting NS, CS, NS, NS etc. And most of the time NS only because our raga-dveshas are increasing and they are becoming finer and finer. Therefore life involves NS.  First you cannot avoid R-D and therefore you cannot avoid NS also.
            Then the next point is NS (non-complaint situation) will always bring emotional disturbance. Because the mind which always has raga-dvesha is going to judge the situation in terms of CS or NS and the mind will invariably react to NS and this will cause emotional disturbance in the form of disappointments, in the form of irritations, in the form of anger, in the form of hatred, in the form of regret, in the form of worry and in the form of the modern word STRESS. Now our whole life involves continuous stress, you know why? Because we are continually facing NS and NS cannot be avoided because R-D cannot be avoided. So from R-D to NS to ED. So what is life is R-D to NS to ED is our daily life. And now and then we have CS! And during that moment we smile. It is not like that we smile generally and now and then frown. But we are generally disturbed and now and then smile….(laughs). So RD, NS, ED are unavoidable. We have no choice.
            Then comes the next important point where we have a choice. Until now we have no choice at all but what is until now – if you don’t answer then I will have a NS problem! I also face NS problems. Sometimes students come late and sit right in the front and push other students and even sit on their laps! The pushing student is not disturbed and even the pushed student is not disturbed but I am who is watching all this! The pushed student is not disturbed as he got the seat only doing that! ….(laughs). But I am disturbed because I have got raga-dvesha which is a student should come and sit without disturbing others. It is legitimate or illegitimate is the next question. Whenever I see my R-D violated and NS comes then I tell myself that this is Dhyana sloka chanting and so let me close my eyes. …(laughs).
            Now we come to the next important stage where we have a choice; from ED the next possible stage is ES. From emotional disturbance to emotional slavery. This is based on an important psychological principle that when any emotional disturbance stays in the mind and especially disturbing emotions even when it stays in the mind for a short while – the emotion in the mind can grow very fast. Any emotion outside cannot survive like fish out of water but if a disturbed emotion stays in the mind it grows very fast and it grows very strong like hatred, fear, or worry or anxiety or jealousy. When these emotions grow very strong then you cannot eliminate it. These emotions will stay in the mind and then the mind will become a slave of these emotions. And this emotional slavery is a very serious problem. Emotional disturbance is unavoidable and it is a minor problem but ED to ES is a very serious problem. When emotional slavery comes then my own mind becomes useless. It is no more available for me because the emotions have taken the mind as a hostage, and the mind becomes useless. And when the mind becomes useless then I become useless. To do any constructive work I have to change NS to CS. To convert NS to CS it requires my constructive energy. In the grip of ES I cannot help myself or I cannot help others also as no constructive activity can be done under the grip of toxic emotions. Therefore the first problem of ES is that the mind becomes useless. Then the next stage of ES is that my mind becomes harmful to me. Because when toxic emotions are there in the mind for a long time we are stressed and get into varieties of health problems. All the problems that are dormant in the body, they all sprout and grow when the mind is in stress. They say cancer in the body is due to immunity in the body fading despite advancement in medical sciences. Immunity gets weakened when stress and it is getting widespread. Even at the end of the class, you watch, you will be facing stress. So stress leads to lowered immunity and that is an invitation to all kinds of diseases. Therefore the mind becomes useless and mind becomes harmful and therefore we have to avoid emotional slavery and it is possible by using our free-will. We have no choice in the first three stages: R-D to NS to ED. Here free-will will not help as it comes into operation only in the fourth stage by blocking the conversion of ED to ES.
            I will quickly summarize and conclude the talk otherwise you will have a NS problem..(laughs). Because you are all busy and we’ll start looking at the watches. There are five levels and the first one is Vivekah. Vivekah is remembering the fact that ES makes me useless and ES is harmful to me. The second is sankalpah. It is a strong auto-suggestion that I will always be alert throughout the day that ED is going to happen very often. My duty is to ensure that ED does not get converted to ES. ED, I cannot stop, but ES I can stop. Therefore sankalpah is auto-suggestion for alertness. The third step is pratipaksha bhavana. When emotional disturbance thoughts are continuously going on in the mind, I have to use my free-will to generate and pump-in positive thoughts or at least neutral diversion thoughts. So either positive thoughts or diversion thoughts have to pumped in for displacing the ED. What thoughts arrive in the mind I have no choice but whether they should continue in the mind or not I have a choice. That is why Krishna says in the Gita; tharyona vasham aagachchat. When emotional disturbance come don’t be a slave (vasham means slave). Emotional slavery comes when you allow the anger thoughts to continue, worry thoughts to continue, fear thoughts to continue. You pluck such toxic thoughts by replacing them by using your free-will. Therefore handy diversions must be there. At least have laurel and hardy video with you. If you watch them then you will laugh. What handy diversions is something you should choose. Or positive thoughts of courage: I can face any situation. Then the fourth level is satsanga. To support positive thoughts you need some model people who are embodiment of courage and positive thoughts. Remember such people and remember their teachings in the mind. By remembering such sat purusha will bring in positive thoughts to your own mind. By models I definitely don’t mean Ms Universe or a fashion show where they walk funnily wearing funny clothes; by models I mean puranic models who are embodiment of courage and bhakti. They say: when god is there in the heart, why should I be afraid of anything. That is why you should attend Bhagavad Gita class and it will teach you a lot of positive thoughts. The last one is prarthana. Pray to the Lord,” O Lord! I must have the strength to avoid emotional slavery. Give me the strength and free-will to avoid ES. With this prayer I can avoid emotional slavery which is called mana shuddi. So mana shuddi means having only those R-D which will not create emotional slavery. Toxic R-D produce ES and non-toxic R-D will not produce ES. So Krishna says: may you have raga-dvesha but let them be non-toxic. So if you have a R-D which is protected by this five point programme then you will have mana shuddi which is freedom from ES.
            If you follow this pancha shuddi you will be successful in the material life as well as spiritual life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gita summaries - chp 18

The eighteenth chapter is the last chapter of the Bhagavad Gita and it gives a summary of the entire teaching. Krishna sums up the whole Gita and this chapter does not contain any new ideas but only represents what has been taught earlier.
            I will classify this chapter into four parts. In the first part Krishna talks about three types of sadhanas, sadhana triy vidyam. As we saw in the previous chapter like satvic yagna, dana, or tapa we should only cultivate satvic traits and immediately drop tamasic qualities and rajasic qualities must be gradually given up. Next Krishna summarizes karma yoga which HE has talked throughout the Gita as a preparation for jnana yoga. Then HE summarizes jnana yoga also as a direct mean of liberation. And finally Krishna summarizes the entire Gita as upasamharah or conclusion.
            Sadhana triy vidyam: Here HE takes up seven topics and in each Krishna talks about the three varieties. They are sanyasah, jnanam, karma, kartha, budhi, drithihi or willpower, and finally sukam or pleasure where Krishna analyzes as per the three gunas, satvik, rajasic, or tamo. So we have three types of renunciation, knowledge, action, doer, intelligence, willpower and pleasure. Our aim is that in all of them we have to take the satvik type only. It is not enough we have willpower but we should have satvik willpower; it is not enough we have pleasure we should have satvik pleasure. Krishna defines each one of them which I briefly run through them.
            Taking sanyasa, is doing action while renouncing anxieties of the future. Performance of duties and renouncing anxieties regarding future is satvika sanyasa. Rajasic sanyasa is renouncing of duties even after knowing the importance of the duties. He renounces duties so as to escape physical struggles and go easy on efforts. This deliberate renunciation of duties is rajasa sanyasa. Tamasic sanyasa is renunciation of duties out of ignorance. He does not realize how performing duties contribute to inner growth. Of these three, one should perform the duty and renounce the anxiety.
            Then three types of jnanam. Satvik jnanam athma ekatvam jnanam. That there is one athma which is different from the body and which inheres all the bodies. Just as one thread behind the different beads of the mala, in and through the mala invisibly there is a thread that keeps all the beads together. Beads are many but sutram is ekam. This understanding is satvika jnanam. Rajasic jnanam is athma bhutvatam jnanam. These people know that athma is different from the body (to that extent they are wise) but their problem is “each one has a different athma”. Like the Sankhya or Naiyayika philosophers. Tamasa jnanam is taking the body as athma and not accepting anything other than the body as athma. Deha athmagya jnanam. Of these three we have develop athma ekatvam.
            Then Krishna talks about satvika, rajasic and tamasic karmas. That karma which is motivated by dharma, those actions which is good to the entire world and society and in which one’s personal raga-dvesha is kept low, loka samastha sukino bhavatu. When I working for the welfare of everybody, I will also be the beneficiary of that action. There dharma pradhana karma and raga-dvesha apradhana karma is satvikam. Raga-devesha pradhana karma is rajasic or prakruthi karma and driven by one’s selfish motives. Tamasic karma are those karma directed to harm the society; those deliberate dvesha pradhana karma is tamasic. So dharma pradhana is satvik, raga pradhana is rajasic and dvesha pradhana is tamasic.
            Then three types of kartha, the agent or the doer. Whoever performs satvika karma that person is a satvika kartha. Similarly whoever does rajasic karma is a rajasic kartha; tamasic karma is tamasic kartha. But Krishna gives a different definition in verses 26, 27 and 28 but we can take this simple definition for now.
            Then the next quality is budhi or intelligence. Satvik intelligence is that which knows everything comprehensively. That which has complete knowledge is satvik intelligence. At the lower level as to know what is dharma and what is adharma. Dharma-adharma vivekah in the empirical field and at the metaphysical level the knowledge regarding truth and untruth. Satya anrutha vivekh. Rajasic intelligence is something that knows everything but incomplete; jack of all trades and master of none. Everything incomplete or doubtful. You ask them,” When does a train leave?” He says. “7 pm” and when you are about to start he’ll add,” I think so.” Then I cannot rely on that information and this is as good as ignorance. Doubtful knowledge is rajasic knowledge and it is as good as ignorance. Nishchya jnanam is satvika budhi and samshaya budhi is rajasic. Tamasa budhi is that which has got all the knowledge in the opposite direction. Not doubtful and he is very definite about it, and what he definitely knows is wrong knowledge. Suppose there is a rope and the light is not clear. One person this is rope and rope alone (satvika budhi), another person says,” It may be a rope or it may be a snake” and this samshaya jnanam or samshaya budhi (rajasic budhi) and the tamasic budhi is certain that it is a snake. And he will not listen to anyone and this is called vipariya budhi. In the first chapter Arjuna said that fighting this war is adharma saying that by killing these criminals we will be committing paapam. This is maha tamas. The only good thing is Arjuna realized that he had some problem within and sought Krishna’s help.
            Next is three types of willpower or dhritih. Satvik willpower is continuing with one’s satvik pursuits despite whatever obstacles in the way. Rajasic willpower is that willpower in which a person continues with material pursuits whatever be the obstacle. I came to Chennai with just a counterfeit rupee note and now I have built a multi-crore empire. This also requires willpower and hard work. This is rajasic willpower. And tamasic willpower is one which pursues neither of them! Neither spiritual pursuit nor material pursuit; I will just eat and sleep. This animalistic, purposeless, lazy life is tamasic willpower. He does not achieve anything either spiritually or materially.
            Finally Krishna deals with three types of sukham. Any ananda born out of spiritual growth and without depending upon external factors – money, status, people, possessions - is satvika sukham. Without external factors but discovering ananda within oneself is satvika sukham. All the pleasures born out of external conditions is rajasic sukham. I am happy because I have wealth. I am happy because my children listen to me now! I am happy because I am the Director. This is a pleasure but which can become a potential sorrow. This is conditional pleasure and when the conditions go away I feel pain to the extent it gave me pleasure. Tamasic pleasure is born out of sleep. There is neither spiritual pursuit nor material pursuit because they both require dynamism. One requires internal dynamism, another require physical dynamism. Like the buffaloes enjoying slush!
            This is Krishna vasanas of dividing everything into three from the last chapter! So whatever subject came to his mind he divided them as per the three gunas. Now we will come to the second part which is the summary of Karma yoga. Krishna defines karma yoga as proper actions with proper attitude which we have seen in the third chapter. Proper actions are those professions which contribute to the wellbeing of the society. We sadly look upon a profession as something that gives me food. So any profession where you contribute to the society and incidentally eat also is proper action. Primary is welfare and incidental is eating! So choosing a profession that serves society is proper action. What are the criteria? The best is choosing a profession best suited for my swabhava. First I love what I do, there is commitment and satisfaction already built in. I don’t expect any special benefits because the very performance of an action is rewarding. Then the salary itself becomes a bonus as I enjoy doing my job. Then the madhyama, someone may say,” I don’t know my swabhava” then go by heredity. In most cases swabhava itself is hereditary as we absorb those from the womb itself. Like a musician’s child will imbibe music even when the baby is in the womb. It listens to music from early age as the parents practice. The first is guna based while this is jati or birth based. The third norm which is the worst way of choosing one’s profession is income based. You choose a profession which involves less work and pays more money. Gita prefers the first two norms and never the last. O Arjuna you are kshthriya and dynamic by nature. Even if you go to Rishikesh and become a sanyasi you cannot but act. You will form a sanyasa welfare association because of your dynamic nature. svabhāva-jena kaunteya nibaddhaḥ svena karmaṇā kartuḿ necchasi yan mohāt kariṣyasy avaśo 'pi tat. Arjuna never did tapas when he was in forest but he was waiting for the Mahabharata war and when you have come to the battle you say will go to the forest! From this itself it is clear that you are confused. So accept your dynamic nature, be active and do good to the society and go by dharma. So whether it is brahmana karma which is learning and propagation or kshthriya karma of administration or vaishya of doing business or shudra karma of serving the other three. Any karma according to your swadharma or according to your jati; you choose. Having chosen, develop a proper attitude. I must learn to enjoy my profession. If I am brahmana I should not say,” Chanting rudram daily I am getting bored.” The major cause of stress is dissatisfaction with one’s profession. Stress is due to conflict between my personality and what I do; I have to sit and perform those actions for eight hours a day. So if one is at it for 50 years till retirement I get stressed and there is a lot of strain and it takes a toll on my health. When you do what you love you’ll be physically healthy too. So Arjuna, for you ksthriya karma is suitable. And if you are involved in dharma yudha you must fight even your loved ones. Emotional attachment should not cloud your thinking. Therefore fight this war and dedicate all your actions as an offering to the Lord. Convert your duties itself as a form of worship. Don’t think worship can be done only in the puja room and with flowers and temple. Worship can be done anytime and anyplace including a battlefield. Even violent actions can become an offering of flowers. What you offer is not worship but how you offer becomes a worship or not. Even regular worship is not worship if the attitude is not there. So a proper attitude is very important when doing any action. Therefore convert this war into worship. So if you are priest continue to be a priest, if you are a businessman be a businessman, and if you are a warrior act as a warrior. What is important is having a proper attitude. Don’t say,” I am only a housewife” and saying thus would be to belittle it or show lack of respect. Being housewife itself can be a Ishwara aradhana. So proper action + proper attitude is karma yoga and it will lead to purity of mind.
                  Then Krishna gives a summary of jnana yoga. It consists of two stages. First separating consciousness from the body.  Not physical separation which is impossible but intellectually, cognitively in terms of understanding that consciousness is different. I gave the five steps of consciousness.
a)      Consciousness is not a part, product or property of the body.
b)       Consciousness is an independent entity separate from the body, and which pervades the body and enlivens it
c)       Consciousness, which is independent of the body, is not limited by the boundaries of the body. It is not limited by the size of the body; colour or gender etc but it is all pervading. Therefore only formless
d)      Consciousness, which is independent and boundless entity and different from the body, continues to exist even after the disintegration of the body. It survives the death of the body.
e)       The consciousness which survives the death of the body cannot interact and transact with the world. Not because consciousness is absent but it does not have the medium to transact. The body is the medium. Like when the bulb is fused it is not that electricity is absent but the medium through which electricity will manifest in the form of light is gone.
To understand this I gave the example of “light on the hand”.  Then lesson number two which is the most important is having separated consciousness from the body I have to train myself to identity with the consciousness rather than with the body. This is the toughest step.  Instead of saying I am the body with a consciousness I must learn to say that I am consciousness operating through an incidental body. Once body goes away the transacting medium goes away, transactions end. The end of transactions is not the end of me. Suppose if you ask: how will I be when the body is gone? Bhagawan has given that experience of temporary maranam to us. Temporary death that HE gives us is sleep sometimes even in the middle of class also….(laughs). In sleep I continue to exist even though all the mediums of transactions are resting. The non-transactor, I ,continue to exist even in sleep. From this it is very clear that body is only an incidental medium of transaction which comes and goes like death but I am na jāyate mriyate kadācin nāyaḿ bhūtvā bhavitā na bhūyaḥ ajo nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaḿ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. Krishna says,” First learn to identify with athma”. Then you will learn to look upon your own body objectively. Then you learn to accept the laws that govern the body. The three laws are desha, kala and prarabda. The body is affected by space, it is determined by place. If you are in tropical climate your body will be dark. And in a colder climate your complexion is fair. Then body is determined by time. Wrinkles, grey hair etc. It is also governed by past karma. That is why some 40 year old look very old while another 40 year old may look very young. Place remaining the same, age remaining the same, one is healthy and another is sick. Body is influenced by these three factors and even a jnani cannot stop this. But the advantage of a jnani is I am objective with respect to my body. I learn to accept the universal laws without protest, without resistance.
            Consciousness has many features that we saw in the second chapter. In this chapter Krishna takes one particular feature. tatraivaḿ sati kartāram ātmānaḿ kevalaḿ tu yaḥ paśyaty akṛta-buddhitvān na sa paśyati durmatiḥ. yasya nāhańkṛto bhāvo buddhir yasya na lipyate hatvāpi sa imān lokān na hanti na nibadhyate. This athma, I am, this consciousness is akartha and abogtha. This athma is ever free from all punyams and paapams. While the body is never free from punya and paapa. So if you identify yourself with the body you’ll be in trouble. You cannot escape from punya-paapa onslaught. But if you own up your athma swarupam then you transcend both punya and paapa and that is called mokshah. So owning up the akartha and abogtha athma will give liberation which is the essence of jnana yoga. Krishna towards the end of 18th chapter also emphasis meditation as a part of jnana yoga. Meditation involves shravanam, mananam, and nidhidhyasanam and meditation of the fact that I am akartha and abogtha athma different from the body. Thus Krishna summarizes karma yoga as purification of mind and HE summarizes jnana yoga as the means of liberation. And Bhakti yoga is a common name for both karma yoga and jnana yoga; there is bhakti in every sadhana as without bhakti no sadhana is complete.
            Krishna concludes with this well-known verse sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi śucaḥ. This verse is not just the essence of this chapter but also the essence of the entire Gita. But particularly this verse has very divergent interpretation. But I will take up Shankaracharya’s interpretation. Sarva-dharman parityajya, here dharman refers to karma yoga way of life means for chitta-shuddi. Parityajya means you have to give up. Once the mind is sufficiently purified a day should come when you transcend karma yoga. Schools are important and class is important but you cannot spend the entire life in that classroom. You have to enter college and after acquiring knowledge you have to leave the place. Similarly after attaining mental purity you must renounce karma so that you have time for jnana yoga. When karma yoga is totally dropped it is sanyasa yoga or one can be a grishta where karma yoga is sufficiently reduced. Mam ekam saranam vraja means jnana yoga anusttanam. The final stage of saranagati is surrendering the ego itself. Shankara says that the ego is never physically surrendered, it is never surrendered through a process of action. Ego is born out of ignorance. There is no such thing as ego just as there is no such thing as a wave. Wave is just a name and form of water. Water always existed in the past, in the present and in the future. Similarly I don’t exist except in the form of Ishwar who ever exists. Since ego is born out of confusion it has to go away only by knowledge. So the first line of the verse means: transcend karma yoga and practice jnana yoga. Then what happens I will release you from all paapam aham tvam sarva-papehbyo. So don’t grieve. Vedas say that jnana yoga is the only means of liberation. You can get liberation without knowledge only in one condition. You have to roll the sky like a carpet and offer it to Lord! Which means knowledge is the only means of liberation. So the essence of Bhagavad Gita in two sentences: follow karma yoga and purify the mind. Follow jnana yoga and be free.
            Now Krishna winds up the teaching giving a few information. This Gita knowledge should be given to one who fulfills the four conditions. It should not be freely given. It needs a entrance exam. idaḿ te nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaḿ na ca māḿ yo 'bhyasūyati. The first condition is tapa, second is bhakti, third is shushruya and finally anasuya. One who is given to disciplines in life, moderation and not given to excesses is tapa. One who is devoted to the Lord, one who considers God as a destination is bhakti. And one who wants to learn the Gita shushruya; intense desire for shravanam is shushrutha. Finally the most important is anasuya, not finding fault in Gita teaching. You don’t need a proofreader’s mentality ready to spot errors. If you don’t understand any part of Gita don’t criticize it rather criticize your understanding. Again go to a guru until you arrive at the meaning; never question the validity of the teaching but question your understanding whenever you are not able to accept it. This open mindedness is anasuya.
            Finally the phalla shruthi. Krishna says that whoever teaches and propagates the Gita is very dear to me. And all the students are dear also and they will get either of these two benefits. If a person listens Gita without understanding the benefit is swarga. And if a person listens and understands the benefits is moksha. So swarga is minimum.O Arjuna, which category do you come? naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā tvat-prasādān mayācyuta sthito 'smi gata-sandehaḥ kariṣye vacanaḿ tava. I belong to superior quality Krishna and I did understand and mama moha nestta. I have now understood what is my duty. So without any murmur or grumbling I will do my duty. And in the last verse it is said, yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir dhruvā nītir matir mama. Wherever Krishna the Gitacharya is there and wherever Arjuna is there with his bow. Here dhanuh refers to Arjuna’s swadharma as at the end of first chapter he had dropped his bow. By keeping the bow it means he is doing his swadharma. So wherever I remember the Gita teaching and when I do my swadharma then there will be moksha and prosperity. With this the entire Gita teaching is over.