Profound Joy and Happiness – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 70-78

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Previously, it was the Greatest Secret that was the subject of verses 70-71. In this translation however, it is the entire Gita that is the subject:

70-71
And one who studies this sacred dialogue of ours, by that one I am loved with the Knowledge Sacrifice.
 One who is faithful and void of ill-will and hears it, certainly becomes liberated and attains the auspicious and happy worlds of the righteous.

  • Studies – studies the Bhagavad Gita, and internalizes it.
  • Faithful – taking action ‘on faith’ until proven. (‘Faith’ is synonymous with ‘discipline’ – going ahead anyway no matter what)
  • Void of ill-will – not deriding it.
  • The righteous – ‘those whose actions are pure’.
  • Pure – auspicious, propitious, pleasant, good, right, virtuous, meritorious, holy, sacred.

Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata, which includes this Bhagavad Gita, is speaking as Lord Krishna as if He were aware that, many years in the future, there would be people like us reading this Gita and needing to know that we have not been left behind by the passage of time. Truth never changes. The Greatest Secret of the Diamond Shloka, and the entire Bhagavad Gita, are as great and true now as they ever were. And if we proceed with Faith, rather than questioning it, we can become liberated and attain “the auspicious and happy worlds of the righteous.”

One who is faithful and void of ill-will refers to the yogi who has studied this dialogue and has learned this Great Secret directly from the mouth of his guru, just as Arjuna has. At death, even if he has not yet mastered it, he may nevertheless become liberated and attain the happy and auspicious world of those who have.

72
Have you heard me with concentrated mind, Arjuna? Have your ignorance and delusion been destroyed, O Winner of Victory? 

73
Arjuna spoke:
Infallible One, by your Grace, my confusion is gone and memory regained. Unchanging One, I stand with doubt dispelled, and I shall do whatever you say.

  • Unchanging – Absolute

In the beginning of the Gita, Arjuna spent the first chapter railing at the idea of engaging in this battle, but now that he understands what is really going on, he is inspired and committed to follow his guru’s promptings.

Now we hear from Samjaya, minister to the present king, who has been narrating all this to him (and us):

74
Samjaya speaks:
Thus have I heard this dialogue between Krishna, the Son of Vasudeva, and Arjuna, the noble hearted son of Pritha, so glorious that my hair is standing on end.

Samjay's Joy

Samjaya’s Joy

Samjaya is the blind king’s minister. He is narrating to him this dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna as we listen in. Samjaya (‘victorious’) is using his power of divine sight to perceive it from afar, where Krishna and Arjuna are standing between the two armies before the battle begins. He has heard the key teaching of the Diamond Shloka and has discovered that, by having heard and understood it, it can propel him directly to liberation, and he is electrified by the prospect.

75
By the grace of Vyasa, I have heard this supreme and holy secret of Yoga from Shri Krishna, speaking directly, before my very eyes. 

Samjaya is saying that he has heard this supreme secret of Yoga directly from the Lord of Yoga himself, Lord Krishna. And that it is by the grace of Vyasa, who is the author of this story, that he has been able to do so. He goes on to say…..

76-77
O King, as I continue to recall this most profound and holy dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again. And remembering that astonishing and wonderful form of Lord Krishna, I am greatly amazed and I rejoice yet again and again.

Samjaya did not miss the part where Lord Krishna said that one who is faithful and void of ill-will and hears this, also becomes liberated and attains auspicious and happy worlds. So he is filled not only by the wonder of the whole conversation, but also, by having learned this Great Secret, that he, too, will be liberated and find Eternal Happiness.

The astonishing and wonderful form of Lord Krishna refers to Krishna’s Cosmic Form in chapter eleven.

78
Where there is Krishna, Lord of Yoga, and where there is Arjuna, the Great Archer, there will also be honor, success, prosperity and unending Goodness. Of this I am certain.

Krishna, who represents God and Guru, knows Yoga (uniting). Arjuna, a warrior, represents the disciple who is brave in the midst of much as yet unproven, and seemingly risky, undertakings. But he only needed this guidance from Lord Krishna to go forward no matter what. This is the definition of ‘discipline’. By such discipline, he is certain to reach the Highest Goal — by the Highest Knowledge, the Highest Action, and the Highest Devotion. And so can you.


Read The Exquisite Beauty of Surrender Yoga and receive a gift from me to you.


Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

The Greatest Secret of All – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 67-71

Scripture - a book of secrets
Read It Here!

The Diamond Shloka

Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all misfortunes. Grieve not. — Shloka 66

Alternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of all sorrows. Fear not!

Requirements

67
This is never to be spoken of by you to one who is without austerity, never to one who is not devoted to Me or neglects seva at any time, never to one who is averse to practice and study, and never to one who does not love Me and protect this teaching.

1.  Austerity (tapasis the purification process brought about by yoga; the melting away of impurities, including one’s karma.

Tapas, usually translated as ‘austerity’, means ‘to burn, heat, melt or warm’. Tapas is brought about by yoga (union) for the purpose of burning away impurities, and putting things not in sync with God and the Real You where they belong. This applies to body, feelings, mind and karma.  

2. Devotion and seva exemplify love and respect for the guru.

Devotion (bhakti, ‘love, respect, commitment’) is love and commitment to God, and the performance of guru seva

Seva is selfless service, service without expectation of return benefits.

Guru’s Grace refers to receiving the initiations of the guru’s lineage. To the degree that one is devoted to guru and performs seva, one gets Guru’s Grace. Seva diminishes one’s karma and protects the guru and the guru’s oral teachings.

3. Study and practice refers to learning and putting the knowledge gained into practice on a regular basis.

Study means learning through the study of scriptures, the words of the Guru, and contemplation of scripture and the guru’s teachings. Study also refers to the study of oneself and one’s Self with self-honesty.

Practice is putting the knowledge gained through Study into action. The form this takes is determined by the Guru. Different gurus have different practices, all of which include meditation.

4. Love Me and protect this teaching means that one does not reveal this teaching to those who do not fit these requirements.

Protection refers to both the teachings and the guru. “Love Me and protect the teaching.” If you love God you also love everyone, and will therefore protect this secret from misunderstandings and misuse in order to protect them. This is achieved by abiding by the requirements.

Now that Lord Krishna has given Arjuna the meaning of the Diamond Shloka (verse 66 above), He tells him to keep it secret. But we have just read it! What can this mean?

A secret written in a book

A secret is something that is not understood. 

Now, having heard this secret, we can’t help wondering if we have missed something. Unless we can honestly say that we fit the above requirements ourselves, we will have missed it, and its meaning will remain hidden to us until we do. When we do meet these requirements, we will come to understand it.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of sorrows. Fear not! — Shloka 66

68-69
One who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees, performs the highest act of devotion to Me, and surely comes to Me without a doubt. There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.

Arjuna receives the secret

After all this hoo-hah about keeping this teaching a secret, He is telling Arjuna that teaching it is the biggest way to His heart! He says that “he who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees performs the highest act of devotion to Me.” He has even given Arjuna the standards for determining devotees who are qualified to received it (verse 67).

Once again we are faced with a paradox. If this teaching is secret, how can it be written down for anyone to read? Obviously it is written in such a way that only someone who has met the above criteria will be able to understand it. So have another look at these requirements, and decide for yourself how close you are to meeting them.

In these verses, Lord Krishna is also revealing the power of teaching as a part of one’s sadhanaOnce one has reached the stage in which he or she has received this teaching and gained adequate experience, the guru may appoint them to teach others. 

The best way to learn is to teach.

Such a devotee will ultimately become a teacher of the guru’s lineage and find themself in the Heart of God:

“There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.”— Verse 69

70-71
And one who hears this sacred teaching with faith, by that one I am loved with the Knowledge Sacrifice.
It is certain that, free of ill-will and scoffing, the man who assimilates this knowledge is liberated and reaches the auspicious worlds of the righteous.

“The man” Though we usually see the word purusha to indicate a male person, here the word is nara, indicating a person who has reached an advanced stage of Yoga. This tells us that this stage is fundamental to the requirements for receiving the secret.

“Assimilates” Takes it in, understands and internalizes it.

“Without ill-will or scoffing” This is mentioned to point out the reaction of someone who hears this secret without meeting the four Requirements mentioned above. Unable to understand it, he may ridicule it and causing harm to those he tells. This further emphasizes the need to protect it in order to protect others from the harm caused by misunderstanding and derision.

“Liberated” Free. By using the word mukti instead of moksha, he is saying that, , even though one is liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth, this liberation is not the final liberation. This suggests that there are stages of liberation and other realms of which we may be unaware.

“The righteous” ‘Those whose actions are pure’; auspicious skill in actionvirtuous, pious’.

I have translated these last two verses (70-71) as the culmination of the teachings concerning the Diamond Shloka. In the next post, these same two verses will reveal another layer of intrigue, and become the prelude to the final verses of this chapter.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Attaining Godhood, Part 2 – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 57-59

Embraced by God

.Attaining Godhood, Part 2

Previously:
Even though he performs many actions, he is surrendered to Me, thus attaining the realm of the eternal Imperishable Abode, by My Grace. — Verse 56

57
Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga, surrender all actions to Me. With Me as the Highest, and always thinking of Me, you will always be absorbed in Me.

“Always thinking of Me”: The word for ‘thinking’ is from the Sanskrit, chitta. Chitta is the stuff the mind is made of — pure consciousness. At this point your consciousness is purified and you begin to think of God all the time.

“Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga” suggests that even merely through rational intelligence (buddhi), one can hold God as the Highest goal, surrender all actions to God, and be absorbed into God (yoga). The teachings given in this Gita have shown us what we must do to reach this point. Now that we are here, it is only natural that we rely on this knowledge of Yoga, because we know it works. 

“With Me as the Highest” means with God as the highest goal. God is Krishna, who is Purushottama, Absolute God, and this is That to which we aspire.

“Surrender all actions to Me” By knowing that all actions are not your own, but are merely Nature in action, you easily and gladly leave everything to God/Truth. 

“You will always be absorbed in Me” Because your consciousness is always absorbed in Krishna, it is always absorbed in God, and your state is the same as That. 

58
Thus always conscious of Me, you will overcome all obstacles by My Grace. But if out of ego (ahamkara) you do not listen, you will perish.

Krishna and Radha“You will overcome all obstacles by My Grace,” means that all obstacles encountered are now God’s to deal with. That God deals with them, is God’s Grace. This is not an action of God’s any more than it is yours, but it is God’s grace, God’s kind benevolence.

The overcoming of obstacles is a matter of getting in sync with God/Truth, so you might say that God/Truth approves and Grace is the result. You don’t deal with obstacles because your state is one in which you are not a doer of actions. So even when it may look like you are involved in an action for the purpose of eliminating an obstacle, it is God’s Grace at work, not you.

God approves and Grace ensues.

“But if out of ego you do not listen, you will perish.” The doer-ego is your nemesis. It will try to take the credit or the blame for any action, however great or small, whether for good or ill. Attending to this will get you nowhere and stop your progress. Then when you leave your body at death, you will find yourself waiting in line for a return performance. You will not achieve that realm of the Eternal. 

  • Ego (ahamkara) – believing that you are the doer of actions.

59
If you resort to ego and rationalize, “I shall not fight,” your resolve will be in vain, for your own nature will compel you.

This is where this Gita began: with Arjuna becoming reluctant, and then adamant, about not fighting this war to regain his rightful place of rulership of his own kingdom … because family and friends might get hurt or go away. And indeed this is something that will come up for any sincere seeker — friends and family will criticize you, call you crazy, accuse you of being selfish and indulgent and hurting them (you’re not; you are actually helping them but they can’t see it). 

During this chapter we found that, although Arjuna was in disagreement with Lord Krishna who had urged him to take up this challenge, all his complaints revealed to us that he was already in possession of True Knowledge without realizing it.

This is like most of us. Every one our reasons for not going forward are loaded with messages suggesting the very opposite of what is being taught in this Gita. We resist these teachings with innumerable and perfectly rational excuses. Then things start coming up that make it impossible for us to go forward with it. 

Once you awaken to your Inherent Knowing, you will realize that these teachings are True. You will notice that they feel somehow familiar to you, and you will stop resisting. At this point you will let go of your concerns about friends, family and society in general, and you will get on with finding your guru and moving forward … no matter what. It is inevitable, “for your own nature will compel you.”

You already know everything. You have but to learn what you know.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com