Saturday, June 2, 2007


On this day [30th May, 2007] we are to see the 45th and 46th slokas. We are at the Chakra Theertam or Swastika pond. This is one of those sacred ponds outside the temple. This pond is shaped in a Swastika form. If one takes a bath in one of the bathing ghats, one cannot see others in the other ghats. Thus privacy is provided in all the four ghats. Researchers have greatly appreciated the ingenuity of this structure. Let us now see the Gita slokas from this place. In the Vishnu Sahasranamam, the Lord is addressed as Mahakrama:. The Lord has provided steps, as in a stairway, to reach Him. In this pond also we have to carefully come down or go up using the steps provided. One cannot just jump and reach. Similarly to reach the Brahman, we have to climb one step after another. We are in a world and it is very difficult to suddenly renounce all our desires and try to reach Moksham. So, the Lord is trying to preach slowly, step after step. Once we did not have faith in this concept and now a small step forward has been made. But this faith is not strong and firm. He provides even the heavenly happiness and when we realize that such experience also is not permanent, He guides us to Moksham. The directions for reaching Moksham are detailed in the Vedanta or the Upanishads. We induce a child to go to school by offering sweets and toffee. Similarly, the Lord provides all comforts in this world like good education, employment, family, etc. But these are not the ends but a means to achieve Moksham. Why at all to offer these smaller and temporary comforts? Then life will not be interesting. Unless one lives and experiences the life, he will not seek a way to get out of this life. Our vision should not be restricted to these small comforts in life but on the ultimate goal, Moksham. In marathon running race, one should set his sight on the final point to be reached, and should not be dragged at the cheers and fruit juices offered on the way and decide to remain there. He will be declared defeated, if he does not reach the destination. The person desiring to win will always keep his sight on the destination even while accepting the cheers offered by the bystanders. Similarly though we may be pursuing education, employment, family life, etc, our goal should be to reach Vaikuntam. All those comforts in life are like the cheers offered by the bystanders. If we think these are our objectives, we will miss the goal like the runner missing the victory cup. Why we compare our objective to Moksham to this runner in a marathon race is because, the bystanders encourage the runner to win the race. But if the runner fails, same people would condemn the runner for bad performance. Likewise we would face all criticisms in life and we should not brood over them. Our objective must be clear and firm. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, His commands in the Vedas are for multifarious types of people and everyone accepts what suits him. So Arjuna should be without the dualities-nirdvandvo. What is this non-duality? The pairs victory-defeat, happiness-sorrow and profit-loss always encounter us in our lives. We have to train ourselves to pass these pairs. One method is to view these pairs equally. Another meaning for this is that these pairs encounter us only in this world or life. If we could avoid this life itself, we would have avoided these pairs also. So nirdvandvo means, bypassing this samsaram or lifecycles, and reaching Moksham. So our aim is to achieve nirdvandvo. But in our daily life we come across these pairs regularly. How can we avoid these pairs then? This is explained in the next words in the 45th sloka. In the beginning of this sloka He told that Arjuna should be without the three gunas or qualities. This does not mean that Arjuna should be without all the three-satva, rajo and tamo qualities; but avoid rajo and tamo gunas alone. So a person without the three gunas- that is without the rajo and tamo qualities- can passover the dualities or pairs or become nirdvandvo. We feel we are attacked by the pairs of victory-defeat, happiness-sorrow and profit-loss, because of the inherent rajo and tamo qualities. By training ourselves in satva guna, we can resist the impact of the pairs. The pairs cannot be avoided in our lives, we should remember, but we can avoid the influence of them on us. Just as we cannot avoid mosquitoes but we guard ourselves against mosquito bite by various methods. Sri Krishna also suggests two methods to resist the influence of the pairs on us. One, by avoiding the trigunya or discarding rajo and tamo qualities. The second is to cultivate the satva quality in us. This two-pronged approach will enable us to overcome the impact of the pairs. Now Arjuna asks Sri Krishna how to identify these three qualities in him and how to manage them? Sri Krishna smiled, as these qualities are not physically identifiable. But He suggests a method for that also. He says one should be niryoga-ksema atmavan. In Sanskrit yogam means receiving what is not possessed. Kshemam means protecting what is possessed. Here Sri Krishna advises that other than atman, do not aspire to possess anything else and do not desire to retain what is possessed. Desireless on yoga kshemam, excepting atman, will make one nistrai-gunyo and nitya-sattva-stho. Because the desire to acquire makes us to employ our rajo guna. We get angry with all those impeding our desire. On the other hand, if we can discard that desire to acquire, then there is no room for passion, anger and jealousy. Niryogakshema will reduce rajo and tamo qualities. What about cultivating satva quality? Atmavan- that is always be thoughtful of the atman. This will grow satva quality and we can easily resist the influence of the pairs. Summarizing, atmavan and niryogakshema will make one nistraigunyo and nithya satvo. This will make one nirdvandvo, which is essential to reach Moksham. The elimination of rajo and tamo qualities and developing satva quality depend on our food habits.

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