Essence of Sankhya Yoga Bhagavadgita Chapter-2

nityam śuddham nirābhāsam – nirākāram nirañjanam,
nityabodham chidānandam – gurum brahma namāmyaham.

Gururbrahmā gururvisnur gururdevo maheśvarah,
Gurusakshat parabrahmatasmai śrīgurave namah.

Om saha nāvavatu Saha nau bhunaktu Saha vīryam karavavahai
Tejasvi nāvadhītam astu Mā vidvishāvahai Om santi santi santi:

Aum Gurbyo Namaha:

The topic of our discussion is ‘The context and essence of SAnkya-yOgam, Chapter-2’. It may be difficult to do justice in the allotted one hour but we shall try. As most of you have studied this chapter before, we shall concentrate on some specific aspects of the chapter and the key learnings to take away. This we do by posing number of questions such as what is sAnkhya -yOga, what is the significance of this chapter, what is the benefit to us, not for some unknown future life/punyA etc. but for making our lives better, here and now. Your participation and rapt attention are welcome, as the subject is quite intricate and interesting.

Our objective in life is to be happy. We only strive to seek happiness. But if we analyse, we see that our thoughts and deeds are always engaged in solving some problems or removing grief. In all our walks of life, grief and despair always creep-in uninvited. In fact, we give importance to grief only. Take for example: when you see a happy person, you may simply pass but when you see someone is sad or in distress, you are keen to know why and perhaps try to help. Why? It is because grieving is unnatural. Our nature is to be at happy state. Therefore, to rid of what is not natural is our intrinsic tendency. Thus we can assert to get rid of grief is the common goal for all human-beings.

The question is: is there a cure that can absolve all causes of grief?

Yes, declares our sAstras: Bhagavad Gita is the solace to all and universal relief for grief. But are we prepared to accept? Won’t we seek proof or an assurance? How could a book-of-knowledge, however revered by many, offers the solace to humanity and absolve its grief? We doubt it. As problems are many and different, varying from person to person, time to time, place to place, in other words as we take circumstances as the shOka-kAranam how can there be one magic bullet as a cure for all? Let this be our inquiry. We need to prove that a) Sri Bhagavad Gita is indeed the solace to human grief; b) justifiably it offers the right knowledge to remove all sufferings; and most importantly c) it gives practical steps for even an ordinary person like me to follow. Although our inquiry will be limited to Chapter-2, it is fine as it is the most important chapter.

Why is chapter-2 called SAnkhya-yOga?

We all know that epic where Gita exists is called Mahabharata. But the author Sage VyAsa had originally named it as Jaya; only the scholars in the later years renamed the epic to Mahabharata. Similarly, the chapters of Gita which were simply numbered as 1 to 18 in the original-text, have got special names in the later years, perhaps to indicate the subject matter and also giving room for our inquiry.

Firstly let us understand that the word ‘yOga’ in each chapter simply means ‘the chapter about’. It has nothing to do with the ‘yOga’ that you practice. Literally, the word ‘yOga’ is derived from the root word ‘yuj’, meaning ‘to unite’ or ‘to merge’. However like other key words such as dharma, karma etc., ‘yOga’ is also used differently at different contexts in our sAstrAs. For example, in Patanjali’s Yoga-darsanA, the word ‘yOga’ is used variably: as a goal (sAdhyam), means (sAdanam) or the application of the means (chAlanam). In the yOga-sutrA: ‘yOga: sidda vriddhi nirOda:’, the word ‘yOga’ is used as a sAdhyam which is the ‘quietude of mind’. At other places such as in ‘yOgAsanA’, it refers to an action such as exercise or posture. But in the chapter headings of Bhagavad Gita, the word ‘yOga’ simply means ‘section about’ a topic. So ‘Arjuna Vishada-yOga:’ means chapter about the despondency of Arjuna and so with other chapters. One should not say, for example, ‘I am practicing sAnkhya -yOga’ etc., in the same way one may talk about practising yogic exercises.

What is the meaning of the word sAnkhya?

It is said sam yag kiyayate sAnkhyam – that in which truth is revealed is called sAnkhya: Therefore this chapter must reveal a great truth. We will see what that truth is shortly.

Also just to clarify, there is a school of thought in sAnAtana Dharma which is known as ‘sAnkhya-dharsana’. It has nothing to do with the Chapter-2 in Bhagavad Gita. For our brief understanding, sAnkhya- dharsana was compiled by Sage Kapila. It provides a logical and useful analysis of the objective world, by treating everything as a composition of countable principles – that is why it is called sAnkhya or countable. Basically, it sets out two key principles ‘purusha’ and ‘prakriti’ as eternal; purusha is sentient or conscious principle; prakriti isinsentient, made up of 5 subtle elements, 10 indriya, 4 antakarana etc. The union of purusha and prakriti results in manifested life. The infinite number of purusha and prakriti by joining and separating, form the manifestation and dissolutions of names and forms. The final conclusion (siddAntam) of sAnkhya darsanA does not accept the need for a God. This is at odds with Vedanta, even though the objective analysis given by sAnkhya-darasanA is deemed as an important tool.

Patanjali’s yOga-darsanA, which is based on sAnkhya-darsanA is also very  useful for the followers of Vedanta. Contrary to sAnkhya-darsanA, Yoga dharsana does accept the existence of God. It creates a special purusha (‘purusha-viseSha:’) as Ishvara, to differentiate from other purusha. Its siddanta is also not acceptable to Vedanta, especially to advaitA; but its knowledge which leads to ‘quietude of mind’ – citta-suddhi and druda-budhi – is accepted and recommended as a means to attain the necessary qualifications for Vedanta study. Let us not digress in our discussion. Just remember, Chapter 2 is about truth and we shall see what this truth is all about.

Why Chapter-2 is very important? :

Scholars have concluded that in Gita, both the 2nd and 18th are the most important chapters. In fact, the 2nd chapter is considered as the ‘upakrama bhAga:’ or the executive summary of the whole text and the 18th chapter as the ‘upasamhAra bhAga:’ or the conclusion. As we all know, in any well written book, the executive summary provides the essence of the book and the concluding summary reiterates the recommended knowledge. In Gita also this is the case and all other chapters between 2 and 18 elaborate what has been already conveyed in those two important chapters. That is why one may see some of the concepts are often repeated or conveyed differently in other chapters; yet these are consistent with the core message, given in this Chapter 02. So please do take as much time needed to contemplate and understand the true import of this chapter. Even if you do not study other chapters, the understanding of Chpater-2 and its tatvArta or the philosophical meaning will go a long way to help you.

Let us recite the very first verse of BhgavAn’s UpadEsam

This is the very first sloka.   We need to pass till the 57th verse for the GITA-proper to start.  I is Chapter 2 – verse 11. We will also have brief vichAram for the need to wait till this verse for the upadEsam to begin.

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase

gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

In this verse, Lord tells Arjuna ‘You are worrying for things that do not merit such grief. And you also speak as a gnAani but a gnAni does not worry about the dead or not yet dead. In fact, Sankara in his bhAshyam says that Arjuna talks like an unmatta: a mad person.    ‘You are worrying’ is the first sentence in the very first upadEsa of Lord (2.11).  We also know, which we discussed last time,  the phrase ‘do not worry’ is the very last upadEsa (18.66). Therefore we can infer that the purpose of Gita is the removal of grief, an assurance that we set out to prove.   In fact the very first chapter is called ‘Arjuna Vishda Yogam’ – ‘About Arjuna’s grief’. We may question that it is not about generic ‘Vishada Yogam’. If so, how could the remedies offered to Arjuna be relevant in our case?

To understand this, let us briefly know the context of Chapter 1.

What is the context of Chapter-1?

The very first verse of Chapter-1 is DhridarashtrA’s question. We discussed in one of the sessions before that this first verse itself could be interpreted to give the objective of the Gita. Verses 2 to 20 describe the war field. In verses 21 to 23, Arjuna commands the Lord to take to a place to supervise the battlefield. It was totally unnecessary as both the warring sides have already blown their horns to start the war. His act is a precursor to what is coming next. Verses 24-25 show how the Lord fulfils Arjun’s command as a loyal charioteer. Then follows Arjuna’s speech. This is the important part as we need to understand, the three key emotions of Arjuna to understand the root cause of his grief.

In verses 26-28, we see Arjuna’s rAga: or the attachment to his kith and kin. rAga is desire. It is usually followed by krOda: (anguish when there is any impediment to attain the desired objects), lObha: (possessiveness once the desired object is attained) and shOka: (grief for the loss or the fear of losing). What we see in verses 29-31 is the shokam of Arjuna, fearing the death of his beloved people.    Therefore in the context of Chatper-1,  for Arjuna, death is the shOka-kAranam.

From the second half of verses (31.5-46), we see Arjuna’s words reflecting moham – or the disillusion or despondency. rAga and the following effects, krOtha, lobha and shOka are the states of mind. But mOha is the affliction on the buddhi or the intellect. When the intellect is afflicted by mOha, it lacks conviction. It gets confused. When the rAga is strong, it can make the intellect to play to its tune. As described by Sanjaya in the last verse, Arjuna was completely disillusioned (‘shOka samvigna manasa:’) who sat down, dropping his instruments of war.

What do we observe from Chapter 1?

Firstly, Arjuna’s situation is very different to ours as we may face different kind of problems in our lives yet the impact of grief and despair are common to all. We generally view the circumstances as the cause of grief – circumstances as shOka-kAranam and therefore we usually tend to change the circumstances to relieve our sorrow. But such solutions do not last, as with the change in circumstances, different types of grief come. Also, as circumstances vary from person to person, time to time, a common solution must address all circumstantial problems.   There are also other key lessons from Chapter 1. We see that the Lord was not at all talking but simply listening. To listen is a great skill. Most of us, most of the time do not listen well, leading to incomplete and often wrong understanding of the situations. Active listening is an essential part of good communication. We also see how the Lord simply obeyed Arjuna when he ordered to go to the middle of the war field even though that order was untimely. This is an also a great lesson about discharging our role responsibilities no matter what the situation demands.

Now the question is why did not the Lord attend to Arjuna’s grief immediately?

Since Arjuna has spoken all his heart out to the very end of 1st Chapter, naturally we expect the Lord to give advice immediately from the beginning of the 2nd chapter. But he does not! By inquiring on this, we are able to learn more.     In chapter 2, the 1st verse starts with Sanjayan’s words to DhridarAshtrA, describing the imminent conversation between the Lord and Arjuna. What sort of conversation it is going to be? Perhaps Sanjaya is indicating this, by referring the Lord by the name ‘Madhu Sudhana’. Generally, the name ‘Madu Sudana’ is attributed Lord Krishna as one who destroyed the demon called Madu. But the word ‘madhu’ also means the Atma. I think, by calling ‘Madu Sudana’, Sanjaya, the visionary, indicates what is coming – that the Lord is going to pass the supreme knowledge or Atma-gnAnam. So we get the first clue that the ‘truth’ to be revealed in this chapter is about Atman, the Self.

But the Lord is not yet giving the updadEsam. In verse 2 and 3 he is only prodding Arjuna with questions and mocking fun.    He says kUdastva kashmalam idam vishamE Anarya.   ‘Are you a coward’, he asks. ‘It is a shame to show reluctance to fight, get up’ – thus saying, he is poking fun at his distress.  In our life, normally we jump to give advice to others and quick solutions to grief. But the Lord is not doing so! Also the Lord is still seen only as a friend and a charioteer. He is not the Guru yet, why?

It is because Arjuna is not a sishya yet for which he has to qualify.

When and how does one qualify to seek knowledge or solution?

This requires 4 key steps as advocated by scholars.

Firstly we must realise that we have a problem. Without such realization, we do not seek or accept any solution. Secondly, having realized of the problem, we must have the will to find solutions; otherwise, we will not seek advice and all help offered would be in vain. Thirdly, we must exhaust all our ways and means to conclude that solution is not within our abilities or knowledge. In other words, we seek external help and therefore the illuminator, or the Guru. When our search is sincere, we will meet the Guru to whom we must surrender. This is the fourth and final step. Only then the Guru-Sishya relationship begins and the true salvation starts.

When does Arjun become fit to receive the knowledge?

Arjuna, after hearing Bhagavan’s words at the beginning of Chapter 2, is now able to look at his mind differently. Perhaps it is his accumulated punya – good deeds – that he is able look at the situation. He is able to handle his mind, which is the mark of the true valour.   This is revealed in the 4th Sloka, as he ponders: How can I engage in war with Bhishma and Drona, and how could I return the arrows and kill my own grandfather and guru, who are adorable’. He is no more building-on other excuses that were shown in the 1st Chapter; Now he says that at least he will return the arrows (pratiyotsami ishu bhihi)!    In the 5th verse he goes further by saying that by not killing these great teachers, if he needs to beg for food even that is better. It shows that Arjuna is full of nobility and willingness to sacrifice. In the 6th verse – he reaches the 3rd step, as he admits that his mind/intellect is of no use. He says ‘my mind is deluded with moha and not able to select whether to win or give up this war’.

Finally in the 7-8 verse, Arjuna reaches the final step to become a true seeker as he surrenders to the Lord.

pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam

He says ‘te sishya aham’ (I am your sishya) and ‘sAdi mam’ (save me i.e. teach me), ‘tvam prapannam’ (who surrendered to you); Surrender is not an action but attitude. It is the most difficult state to acquire. To surrender is to have the greatest strength.   He further says that he does not know anymore that is right and wrong. He wants clear and definitive instruction. Now he is clearly seeking beyond the circumstantial problem – the war. It is the perfect state for the seeker.

He also says ‘nischitam brohi’, that is, he demands clear instruction from the Lord for him to follow. This is one way of understanding.   Another meaning is that he is seeking the assured knowledge of Vedanta as a true sishya.   Who is sishya? sAshana yOgyaha: sishyaha one who has quality to learn the sAshana or Vedanta.  Perhaps that is the reason why the Lord is going to start with Vedanta in response to Arjuna’s plea. In the verses 9-10, Sanjaya narrates the situation that Arjuna being alert (GudAkesa: who conquered sleep) is silent thushinm bhava) and the Lord, with a graceful smile (‘prahasan iva’) starts the GitOpedasam.

Focus on 2.11: Let us now recite the verse 2.11 one more time and go for deeper understanding.

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

This is where GitOpedesam starts. In the beginning itself, Lord is giving the greatest of truth, the essence of Vedanta to Arjuna. By understanding and following of which, all sorts of grief – collectively known as samsAra is removed, and the complete fulfilment and freedom known as moksha is achieved.

In fact, the contents of Chapter 2 fall into four key topics: 1) Introduction to Vedanta (12-25) 2) gnAna-yOgam (26-30), 3) Karma-Yogam (31-38) and finally 4) the lakshana of gnAni (39 – 72).

Perhaps realizing that Arjuna is not capable of receiving such profound knowledge of Vedanta in one-go, the Lord is going to be compassionate and start from the basic knowledge, and go even to the extend of telling what to eat and what not to eat etc. Those are the matters for other chapters to follow.   In this verse, he gives the most profound truth.

One question may be worthy of vichAram: In chapter 2, Why gnAna-yOgam is introduced before karma-yOgam. I am going to leave this for you to contemplate after this talk.

What is truly the cause of grief?

Now let us focus on the last two words of this very first upadesA which provides a fantastic set of equations to model all our problems and solutions.

‘pandita: na anushOchanti’. This means ‘Wise (gnAni) does not worries’. This implies ‘therefore ignorant (agnAni) does worry. Is it not? From this we can also infer, ‘ignorance is the cause of worry (agnAnam shOka kAranam)’. And equally, knowledge is the relief from griefgnAanam shOka nivarti kAranam’.

Now we must understand what sort of gnAnam is implied? For this, we seek Adi Sankra’s definition for the word ‘panditha:’. He declares the word ‘panda’ refers to ‘atma-gnAna’ or the Self-knowledge. Therefore ‘pandita:’ is the one who has attained the self-knowledge or atma-gnAnam. The Tamil word ‘pandAram’ refers to such esteemed personalities.

Therefore atma-gnAam as the sAdhanam and shOka nivrti as the sAdhyam is the essence of Gita. This is a proof that we set out to get.

How can be agnAnam shOkakAranam?

To prove, let us start with what we have agreed at the beginning ‘Circumstances is shOka-kAranm’, or perhaps,the  case of Arjuna: Death is the shOka-kAranam.

But on analysis, we can prove it is not so. We do not grieve at the death of each and everyone in the world. Therefore death by itself cannot be the shOka-kAranam. However, if the death occurs to someone we are attached to then there is shOkam. So we can refine out statement that attachment is the shOka-kAranam. Right? But what is attachment? It is the sense of doer-ship or the ownership. In other words, wherever and whenever there is ‘I’ (the ahamkAra) or ‘My’ (the mamakAra). I did, I own, My assets, my people etc… Therefore to remove attachment, we must remove the ahamkAra and mamakAra. We must therefore understand who am I, what are mine? These questions take us to different plane of thinking. These relate to the Self. The Atma. The knowledge of the Self is Atma-gnAna. Therefore only by the understanding of the Self, one could remove the I or My from the attachments. Lack of Self-knowledge is Atma-agnAnam and therefore we prove that Atma-AgnAm is shOka-kAranam.

Next question is can the Atma-agnAnam be removed?

Yes. According to Vedanta, all things that have a beginning will end. A peculiar aspect of agnAna is that although it is beginning-less it can be ended and once it is ended, it never comes again. By removing the agnAnam, what is revealed is the gnAnam that which has no beginning and no end (anAdi, anandam) or satyam. This is the purpose of Bhagavad Gita.

Lord from verses 12-25 provides the nature of Atma and anAtma to give the essence of atmagnAnam. For the better understanding  of these verses and also appreciate the remaining chapters, a basic understanding of Vedanta is necessary, which we shall introduce – although it is not the purpose in this session.

What is the core of VedAnta?

Vedanta deals with the root cause of everything. When I say everything, it means all the worlds (the jagat) of names and forms, One who is experiencing the jagat (the jIvA) and the assumed cause of all (IshvarA). For this discussion, let us just focus just on ourselves, the jIvA. Vedanta considers  the jIvA as a mixture of two distinct principles namely Atma and anAtma – sentient and insentient or the conscious principle and material principle respectively. Although these two are quite distinct, we do not normally realize.

Atma is the self-effulgent. It is our consciousness, also called ‘cit’

Our body is anAtama. It is made up of three types of bodies or sarIras. The sthula sarIra is the physical body. It is made-up of food; nourished by food; and end-up as food; It is annamaya. The sukshma sarIram is very subtle. It includes the power of senses (gnAna indriyA), power of actions (karma indriyA) and all faculties of mind (manas, cittam, buddi and ahamkaram). It is also seen as the combination of pranamaya, manonmaya and vignAnamaya kosasa.

This sUkshma sarIra, being very subtle, has an unique capability of reflection.  Take for example sound; it reflects as echo. So is Light. These subtle energy cannot be seen or experienced without their reflective qualities. For example eyes do not see the light from the source. It can only see the reflection or the reflecting media. Earth we see sunlight which is reflection but when we go to space, we see darkness only!! If a beam of light is just traveling through space without reflecting off anything or hitting your eye, you won’t be able to see it. Existence is known in experience, only where there is name and form, nama-rupa. But existence is always there. !

The sUksma sarIra reflects the Atma, the eternal light within us – the cit. In Sanskrit, the word AbAsha means reflection. Therefore reflection of cit is citAbhAsam makes the sUkshma sarIram to shine with knowledge. Like the mirror reflecting the Sun. Only the light of citAbasha, enlivens the physical body. When the citAbasham leaves the body – i.e. the subtle body leaves the physical body, we say that the soul  has departed. That soul is jIvA. It is not Atma as Atma goes no where.   Remember citAbhAsam is just like a  piece  of glass carrying the reflective light of Atma.

Why is this jIvA connects to physical bodies? The reason or the cause for this bondage is termed as the causal body or kArana sarIrA. It is made up of the fruits of  our actions (karma) for which the jIvA needs to attain embodiments and endure.

The kArana sarIram is unknowable. It is like a seed in which the tree is un-manifest. We are at the kArana sariRam when we sleep. Our subtle body is un-manifest into the kArana SarIram, and manifests again, when awaken from the sleep. Sleep is called nitya pralayam. So there is Maha pralayam, when all the worlds and manifestations are dissolved. When that happens, only the kArana sarirams remain. When  new creation starts, everything in the kArana sarIrams once again manifest into names and forms…. This cycle continues.

Liberation is only upon the knowledge of this cycle and being free of its bonds. Absolute liberation is just being the Atma, the one undeniable existence forever. This is the essence of Vedanta

In Chapter-2, Lord shows in the verses 12 – 25 about Atman.

We shall not go into details but understand the uniqueness of Atma and therefore the attributes of anAtma.

Atma is nitya meaning eternal. That means we can infer that anAtma is anitya: not eternal. We may have doubt.  As the cycle of samsara also seems to be occurring all the time,  how can it be anitya? To clarify, the Lord also says that Atma  is kUdastanhitaya that is  eternal without change. This is qualified definition to differentiate with another type of nitya. Take for example, the river Thames… Although it is eternally flowing, it does have changes because of its movement, is it not?  That is why we can call it as pravha nitya,  something that exists continually but undergoes changes.

Atma does not change.  It is nirvikara:.  Lord also says that Atma is shad vikara rahita:,  void of  six type of changes which the anAtma undergoes. (existence, birth, growth, change, decay, death etc).

Atma is satya: – that means, it exists at all times.  Therefore anAtma is…. Mitya….  Instead saying asatya, it is called mitya.  It is an apparent reality, giving us experiences but in reality not satya.  Even today are the debates among the Vedantic schools on the merits of mitya. Verse 16 talks about this and this verse is also interpreted differently by different schools of thought.   Perhaps for another time for our discussion.

Then Atma is sarvagatha: omnipresent.   It is  apramEya:  meaning that it is beyond all sensory perception. hat means anAtma is pramEya. A simple example would help.  Everything that you are able to know by sensory perceptions is anAtma.  If you want to think of an object , you can do so by any of the triggers – name, form, attributes etc. of that object.   Smell of flower or photo of a friend etc. to invoke thoughts about the objects.  But what do you need in order to think about you? In fact, you are ‘unthinkable’ to yourself.  You are always there as your  ‘I-consciousness’. That is why Atma is apramEya.

Atma is also akartha:, abhOhita: – not a doer or enjoyer.   How is it possible for being a non-doer? Without actions, no performance can happen.   This will be also clear with an example. We say Sun gives us the light. But is the Sun really giving the light? Is there an action? No, Sun is there and the light is there. Because Sun is the light.   The very nature of being there as Sun, there is light. That is how Atma  is;  A gnAni may not perform duties but his mere presence, like the Sun, shines on the world.

Why is Lord starting with this supreme knowledge to Arjuna?

His plan is to attack Arjuna’s mOha from three sides. Firstly by knowing about Atma, which can not be killed, Arjuna should raise to do his duties. Secondly, by understanding anAtma is insentient and therefore it is forever dead, Arjuna should rise to do his duties. Supposing Arjuna chooses to ignore the Atma-anAtma principles but concerned with dharma-adharma perspective, then Lord will prove to him why performing his duties is the dharma. This is how the rest of the Gita will unfold.

Now we need to see how this can be practical to achieve the last proof required.

To do this, we will look the title of the chapter again, with the help of Verse 39 in Chapter 2. There, the Lord says, ‘I have given you knowledge about truth based on Sankhya, and now give you the disciplines of action as Yoga – knowing of which you can be eternally free’.

Let us develop a simple formula as a sacred mantra to what we learn from this. Sorry, we don’t have a board to write, but let us do it our mental canvas.

On the left side write the letter S.  S for our status…. Sorrow….(or) samsara. It is grief, unfulfilled apoornatvam, bondage.

On the right side, at the far end, write M – for moksha or mukti. It is poornatvam, absolute fulfilment; it is freedom. Please remember, mukti or moksham is not some sort of trip to the heavens, vaikuntam etc. Those plausible transitions due to punya  are only a temporary relief from grief but those are still within samsara. Mukti is being free, free of all.

Our journey is therefore to go from S to M.

What is the force binding us towards the samsara? As we have seen, if our attitude is to resist changes or the impermanent nature of anAtma, it causes grief. Of course, we must use our efforts to perform our duties. But on things that an not be controlled or influenced by us anymore, which the Lord calls as aparihArasya, that which has no remedy, we must not resist.  But we do not do so.  So write next to S, the letter R, for Resistance to Change.

Next force that binds towards samsara is the lack of understanding or the ignorance of Atma. If we do not understand the Atma-anAtma principle, we are ignorant of the Self. Therefore, write the letter I next to R.  Thus we have codified that samsara is due to our resistance to change and the ignorance of the Self.

As we want to go to the opposite end, let us do opposite things. Let us start inward first. Ignorance of the Self, therefore, must be changed to Realization of Self.  That is awareness.   Ignorance cannot co-exist with realization.  So put space next to the letter I and then write R.

Now we must also reverse our attitude to change. As we understand the temporal nature of anAtma, and the inevitability of changes, we move from Resistance to Acceptance. So, please write the letter A next R.

There you are tending towards the Mukti, absolute freedom, complete fulfilment or poornatvam.   You have now got a sacred mantra:

S R I   R A M
Samsara (state of affairs) Resistance to change< Ignorance of the Self Realization of the Self Acceptance to changes Moksha (goal)

Moving from ignorance to realization of the Self is the result of gnAnam. Moving from resistance to acceptance is the result of yOgam. These two vectors are mutually supporting each other. When we change of our attitudes towards virtues, our knowledge of the Self increases.

Similarly, when we contemplate on the Self, we become virtuous in our attitudes and righteous in actions. Lord stresses on the quality – titiksha which is amicable acceptance in the verses 14 and 15.  In the following chapters of Gita, Lord, out of compassion, comes down from this highly esoteric knowledge to a level where we can gradually understand the principles of karma yOga, bhakti yOga, dhyana yOga, gnAna yOga etc. to conclude with the resolute assertion ‘ do not worry’.

Thus we prove what we set out to prove. Bhagavad Gita is the universal solace to all. By meditating on the sacred formula that we have constructed – SRI RAM – let us progress in the path of Gita.

Om sAnti, sAanti, sAanti:



Mee. Rajagopalan

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