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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

Thought on Bhagvad Gita

Chapter 4 Lesson 1


If you believe in Karma, Re-incarnation and Divinity of all Beings, I believe in your heart you are a Hindu no matter what other religion you may follow. And the latter is thereason why Hinduism is called 'A Way of Life'

In the last Chapter Krishna propounded the concept of Karma Yoga.

In this Chapter Krishna talks about the fact that man re-incarnates.

Krishna declares that the Lord is born from age to age to protect the virtuous and take him (man) to the Supreme. And the latter happens when righteousness is on the decline and unrighteousness is on the ascent.

Krishna says: I taught this immortal Yoga (what Krishna has been teaching so far to Arjuna) to Vivasvaan (Sun God). Vivasvaan conveyed it to Manu (His son) and Manu imparted it to his son Isvaaku.

Arjuna argues that since Krishna is in the present and Vivasvaan is of ancient origin, how is Arjuna to believe that Krishna taught this Yoga at the beginning of Creation?

Krishna replies: “ Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births, I remember them all, you do not remember.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 2


We learned in the last lesson that Krishna states that He is born from age to age to protect the virtuous and take him (man) to the Supreme. And the latter happens when righteousness is on the decline and unrighteousness is on the ascent.

In Verse 6 of Chapter 4 Krishna states: Though I am unborn and of imperishable nature…yet I take birth by my own Maya.

My note: What does the above mean? It means that the Lord, keeping his Maya perfectly under His control, He comes into the world through His own free will.

The Lord is NOT compelled, like the rest of us , by our karma to take birth after birth under the Laws of Nature.

In Verse 9, Krishna makes a wonderful statement: Krishna states that those who understand the Lord in true light, is not subjected to rebirth but attains the Supreme State . In Krishna ’s own words: “He comes to Me, O Arjuna!

 

Geeta Little by Little 


Chapter 4 Lesson 3


A note from me:

I had read a strange story. A man wears tight shoes and complains every day, whole day, because they pinch him. 
Finally friends told him: Why dont you just buy a size bigger? 
He answered: Because I love the joy and relief I experience when I remove my very tight shoes!

Bet you did not understand the moral.

Let me explain it to you in Osho's words: Problems don't exist, only people exist, but we create problems out of a certain neurosis because we are afraid to be left alone...When you create a problem you forget the whole world because you are focussed on the problem...You are bigger than the problem and you feel very good, because you know that something can be done about it. You feel very powerful because you can go on playing with it...When you stop the cycle of creating and solving problems, you will become available to the infinite energy that surrounds you.

What to do about problems which are real? I believe in doing what the Geeta says, which I repeat in my own simple words: Do your best and leave the rest or
Let go of your expectations and fixed ideas about how things should be done. Don't try to force things to happen. Just do as much as you can, then step back and see what takes shape.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 4

 

In Chapter 4 Verse 12 Krishna says: They who long for satisfaction from actions in this world, make sacrifices to the gods…

Let us understand the term ‘gods’ in the context of the Geeta.

We have already learned that a Yajna could mean any social, communal, national or personal activity into which the individual is ready to pour himself forth entirely in a spirit of service and dedication…

‘Yajna’ is stated as a sacrifice to the gods.

In another verse Krishna claims that those who worship the gods, go to the gods and those who worship Him come to Him.

Easy enough to understand I think!

My note:

You will be surprised to note that Spiritual parlance speaks of Vidya and Avidya.

Vidya is the ‘knowledge and activities that takes one towards God.

Avidya (Please note, the opposite of Vidya is not moorkhta or ignorance) is the knowledge that one requires to survive in the world.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 5


In Verse 13, Krishna speaks about  the 4 orders of Society ie the much criticized caste system.

My note:


Hindu Scriptures speak of the four castes, which is nothing but four types of professions.
Let me tell you about them.
The first is Brahmin. The Learned, professors, priests…
The Second is the Kshatriyas: The warriors, soldiers, protectors…
The third is the Vaishyas: the Commercial community, shop keepers, traders…
The fourth is the Shudras: The working community, those who serve the first three…
In ancient India, the above were considered professions, and one could change them at will. Thus, if one was born into the business community, no one could stop him from becoming a teacher or washing dishes in a restaurant.
As time passed, the learned class started to feel very arrogant and believed themselves to be the’ highest’, because they were the most learned, and knew the Scriptures.
They imposed the ‘law’ that if one was born into one caste, they would remain there for life.
And so the menial workers were referred to as ‘low’ and later ‘untouchable’
If the so called ‘low castes’ had been taught Sanskrit, and to read and write it, they would have known that God did not recognize such a terrible ‘law’
I am going to tell you the story of Shabri.
Shabri belonged to the ‘low caste’
No one befriended her.
So she lived alone.
Her Guru had told her, that Sri Ram would one day visit her cottage.
Shabri would decorate her cottage with beautiful flowers every day, hoping that that would be the wonderful day, that Sri Ram would visit her.
One day Shri Ram arrived at her village, as he traveled, far and wide, in his search for Sita.
And He did visit Shabri’s cottage.
Shabri was beside herself with joy.
She made him sit and brought a plate of berries for him to eat.
She wanted to make sure that they were sweet. It is popularly believed that she tasted the berries before giving them to Sri Ram to eat.
Sri Ram ate them with great relish and was happy at the faith and love that Shabri possessed.
The people in the village were appalled at Shabri’s audacity, but could say nothing to Sri Ram.
They requested Sri Ram to restore the water that had dried up in the well of the village.
Sri Ram said that, that would happen if Shabri bathed in the water of the well, first.
Shabri did. And fresh water returned to the dry well!

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 6


Action, Bad acion, Inaction
Karma Akarma Vikarma


My note:

In the 16th Verse of Chapter 4 Krishna explains action, bad action and inaction or Karma, Vikarma and Akarma.

My note:

Karma is an action pure and simple but what is Akarma or Non Action or Vikarma a bad action?

Let us try and understand it through an example: An evil person is urgently looking for another person who he wants to harm. You know in which direction the persecuted person went. When the evil one asks you if you saw where he went, you did not reply …or lied?

Is it a Vikarma, a bad action? An akarma, a non action? Or a karma?

Let us take another example. A man deserts his wife and children because he does not want to make more karmas as he believes that is the way to liberation?

Is it a Vikarma, a bad action? An akarma, a non action? Or a karma?

Krishna states in Verse 17 that mysterious are the ways of action. In Verse 18 Krishna states: He who sees Inaction in Action and Action in Inaction is wise among men; he is a Yogi.

In Verse 20 Krishna states: He who gives up attachment to fruits of action and does nothing at all (is a man of inaction) though fully engaged in action.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 7


Rag Dvesh Likes Dislikes


My note:

Hindu Philosophy constantly speaks about going beyond the ‘Pairs of opposites’
What are these pairs of opposites?
Joy, Grief…Success failure…Likes dislikes…
How does one ‘go beyond’ these pairs?
By going through them as one goes through summer winter, heat cold, day night…
How does one do that?
Wear a sweater, put on a heater, light a fire during winter…and wear light clothes, have a dip in water, switch on a fan or air conditioner during summer…In other words do your best to insulate yourself and get on with the act of living…
Keep away from a burning fire or storm the best way you can.
Keeping on complaining does not really benefit you or others, is it not so?

Krishna states in Verse 20, 21, 22, 23 of Chapter 4:

He who gives up attachment to fruit…performs only bodily action…Is content with whatever is got unsought…transcends all pairs of opposites…Is established in the knowledge of the Self…is not bound by his action… and incurs no sin.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 8


My note:
It has been explained earlier that ‘sacrifice’ implies a ‘prayer’, an action, which could mean ‘an offering’ It has also been explained that if you would like to become a doctor, your ‘sacrifice’ or ‘action’ would be ‘your relevant study to become a doctor’.

In that context Krishna explains that ‘sacrifice’ can imply:

  1. Seeing Brahma (God everywhere and in everyone)

  2. Sacrifice of senses into the fire of self discipline.

  3. Functions of the senses into the fire of yoga in the shape of self control, kindled by wisdom.

  4. Sacrifice of material possessions, austerities, practice of Yoga, study of sacred texts, and practice of breath control.

Krishna states: “To the man who does not offer sacrifice, even this world is not happy; how then can the other world be happy?

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 9

 

Knowledge (Gyaan)

 

Lord Krishna in Chapter 4 Verse 39 states that One who has mastered his senses and is full of faith, attains to knowledge (Gyaan)

Through knowledge, the truth is revealed to him and in the state of God realization, he attains peace.

Lord Krishna describes knowledge as a great purifier.

Sacrifice (Action) through knowledge is superior to sacrifice performed with material things.

Just like the blazing fire turns fuel into ashes, so the fire of knowledge turns all actions to ashes.

(So why renounce actions? Use knowledge or the power to discriminate…and apne karam karte chalo and dharam nibhaate chalo)’.

Krishna says that knowledge alone would carry you, even though you were the foulest of sinners, like a raft across all your sin.

But how to attain that knowledge?

Lord Krishna in Verse 34 states that if one prostrates at the feet of Illumined Souls, render them service, question them with an open and guileless heart, those wise seers of Truth will instruct one in that knowledge.

 

Chapter 4 Lesson 10



In the previous verse we learned that through knowledge, Truth, God realization and peace is attained.

Knowledge is attained through the company and teachings of Illumined Souls.

What happens to those who are possessed by doubt?

He is lost in the Spiritual path and there is no happiness for him in this world nor in the world beyond. Therefore O Arjuna, Krishna says, slash to pieces this doubt in your heart, with the sword of wisdom, and stand up for the fight.

My note:

One is able to live in a reasonably sane manner in the world, because of ones faith, that one will not die of a heart attack, or the building will not crumble down on us or we shall not die as we cross the road…The more faith one has the more one is able to accomplish…

So much for faith…

When Krishna says ‘stand up for the fight’ one may interpret it as ‘face life with courage!’
And thus ends the Chapter 4 of the Bhagvad Geeta.

 
 
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Read:

What is Surrender

http://www.dalsabzi.com/Wisdom_Scrip/two_geeta_verses.htm  

http://www.dalsabzi.com/Message/krishna1.htm 

http://www.dalsabzi.com/Articles/kurukshetra.htm 

http://www.dalsabzi.com/Wisdom_Scrip/bhagvad_gita.htm  

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