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Swami Bhaskareshwaranandas lectures on Gita

Introduction to Bhagwad Gita


Prayojan:
The basic consciousness / fundamental consciousness as Swamiji calls it, is Sarvam
Khalvidam Bramha. If you yearn for Moksha, this must be the consciousness. Gita represents the
corresponding prayer and hence is Moksha-Shastra. Whole apparent world, its gross elements,
the subject object perception, the internal and external aspects of the world: Caused from the
avyakta Maya (the unmanifested illusion). The internal-external world-everything is an illusion,
in us and in all. The fundamental background behind is that this world, this illusion as whole is
the play of the Bramhan. And the Bramhan itself is detached from the Maya-the illusion. No
illusions in it. When all our internal and external illusions will get washed away, then the reality,
the Bramhan, the Narayana will flash. And where will he flash? Everywhere!
Even our organs, people, etc are forms of the gross elements. Dont run behind them.
Understand that it is an illusion, a mirage. You need to build this fundamental consciousness, not
just study-but conviction and that is the beginning of spiritual life.

Avatar: The descent:


The specialty of Gita is worship of Avatar and that too for Enlightenment (Bramhadnyan).
Upanishadas have description of Bramhan but not through incarnation. However, as we are full
of subject-object perception, we cannot grasp the subject-objectless Bramhan. So through getting
immersed into the incarnation we need to grasp it, not emotionally or intellectually. Emotions
dont last long. Hence the next question is how to get immersed in the incarnation of Bramhan.
In Gita, in all the Yogas (paths to salvation), the formula is I am That. So Shankara in
his Bhashya, shows how to get immersed in the avatar. Just compare our arrival in this universe
with his. We are born due to the drag of Karma, not conscious about the mission of our lives.
Even if we utter thousand times that I am Bramhan, it will be a mere speech and not the true
feeling of it. However, in Avatars life, there are special characteristics.

Mission of the Avatar:


Krishna has himself unfolded the answer for the reason of descent of Bramhan as Avatar: the rise
of chaos and fall of the righteousness. Now how do we judge this? Swamiji talks about two very
important things: Karmarahasya and Dnyanrahasya. The answers to Why Karma? and Why
knowledge? The ideology for the two. These two are the secrets of worlds stability. We can see
market of Karma and Dnyan in the world but the rahasya (ideology) only few know. By the way,
both Karma and Dnyan are components of man himself. When the two ideologies (Rahasyas)
start disappearing, degradation, decline of world starts leading to such a situation that he finally
descends. Even if there is lot of social reformation, political progress, all will lead to fall if the
ideology behind Karma is lost. Same about knowledge. These ideologies functioned for few
days. Then Karma prevailed, Dnyan prevailed but the ideologies of the both were lost. And
hence: |
Rahasyas are direct revelations (the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of
something relating to human existence) and not some philosophy; revealed so that the knowledge
doesnt remain restricted to few. Seeker must have such conviction (that they are revelations and
not philosophy). Hence, Shastra must be followed, not intelligence, not secular knowledge. Now
how to proceed with these two Rahasyas? Swamiji says Knowledge is preceded by purification
through self by Karma.
, |
In humans, Karmaprakriti (inclination towards karma) is predominant. First and primary
drag is of Karma. So the shastras havent given first revelation of Dnyan / Knowledge. The first
urge that erupts out is of Seva, Deshseva (Service to mankind, Service to nation, etc.). and it is
fine if done with proper consciousness and references. Unlike drag of karma, drag of
transcendental knowledge is not easy. So, shastriya karma (Karma as per revelations) will purify
and then we dive for the enlightenment.
Without Karma, there will be no purification and without purification, no Moksha. So
Swamiji says it wont work by Sarvam Khalvidam Bramhan in a click of fingers. First Karma!
Period.

The play of Bramhan is beautiful. From Bramhan, evolves this universe. From Bramhan,
evolves the solidarity principle of this universe. The Avataar is definitely conscious of who he is
and for what he has come. But just keeps it covered thats too a play! And so we feel that he is
a man. Even if we know he is God, we are unable to grasp his spirit. Conclusively, the universe,
its solidarity principle (sthitirahasya), Avataar all play of Bramhan.
If you want to realize the Bramhan with no subject-object, you can realize it through
seeking shelter in Avataar. This is the specialty of Gita. This is the way in which Gita is different
from Upanishadas. In Upanishadas there isnt even a word as Avataar. This is the reason why
Gita is called commentary on Upanishadas. Its true that formless Bramhan can be realized
through shelter of incarnation. But still, proper counsciousness about the Avataar is must
otherwise it is futile. He is not a great man or superman. The same who is this world comes as
Avataar.
Swamiji sternly says that if you want Shrey, you must follow the divine revelations.
The one who is the Narayana of the first prayer, the very Bramhan is the Avataar. Catch Avataar
this way. Through his life only, the personality of an incarnation is explained. So mould your life
according to these convictions. Only then you shall attain enlightenment! Not emotion but
illumination is the basis of Avataar worship.
Fall of righteousness and advent of Avataar:
Until the sacred principles of the rahasya were followed, the world functioned smoothly.
But then the principles of solidarity were lost. The fundamental secret of being was washed off.
The reactions of this loss started occurring in the world. The waves of worldly drag of lust got
strengthened in people.
Swamiji further explains how the fall takes place. It isnt an immediate change. Firstly,
lust waves start speeding up in minds. This causes loss of sanity of mind. And then the
righteousness is gone. Not just this but iniquity, chaos grow and prevail. The influence of desire
unexceptionally clouds the morality, sanity of mind (Vivek), however great or cunning you might
be. (The seeker must be aware of this. When desire starts infecting the consciousness more and
more, it maddens the person. The seeker must know the weight of lust. It is a dangerous thing
which gradually degrades you. Have this conviction). And then, not just righteousness falls but

chaos grows and repeats again and again. And then, HE comes down and explains the principles
of solidarity, not only through his deeds but through his entire life. He demonstrates the
Karmarahasya and Dnyanrahasya in his life. See his life- You will find the expression of Ideal.
See his advent, his life and then get dissolved in him. Then Sarvam Khalvidam Bramhan
counsciousness will flash. But dont get merged emotionally in Avataar. He establishes the
spiritual ideals by direct life and he hast the most definite consciousness of his mission. In no
man, howsoever great he may be, you will find such specialty and beauty of life, such spiritual
merits. Spiritual ideal means spiritual consciousness and actions.
The Bramhan flashes only partly in Avataar form. How can the entity beyond birth and
death be born? Hence partly flashing! Till the Bramhan is in incarnation form, you cant see him
in full. He flashes through Maya-illusion. You can know him fully only in Advaita Samadhi. Real
Bramhan is beyond Maya. Without Samadhi, full acknowledgement of Bramhan is not possible.
Such is the : :
Attitude towards Avataar:
What is HE? You see him as man. But what should be your attitude towards him? He is
free from illusion (Maya). He seems to be man only in his play. Contrast our life with his. Maya
(illusion) controls our lives while there are no reactions of Maya in him. Ordinary man is fatally
infected with evil (doshas), masked with coats but naked with his desires. He is so man-like ()
but not man, not mysticism or visionary being; actual man-like but with totally different
consciousness. The man in the portrait isnt the actual him, the actual him is the creator of the
universe. We are compulsively embodied. He has chosen to be embodied. We are compelled to
be born by our Karma and our make-up. He has chosen to be born for fulfilling the mission for
which he has come. Have such attitude towards him. See his advent and his personality and then
get absorbed in him.
When we say someone has come for a purpose, purpose implies want. Want implies
imperfection, subject-object consciousness, necessity. Then it cant be play (Lila). If he is all,
what want can he have? Hence, an Avataar doesnt have a purpose, it is all part of his play
( ). No action of him will be against the divine revelations (Shastra); perfect, ideal life.
Love him in this way.

Next question Swamiji addresses is how one should acknowledge revelations from God.
Why did Krishna choose Arjuna? Why partiality? The reason was him being the best receiver.
The Bramhan chooses fit instruments. So, we should try to be fit receivers. Otherwise there
would be no spiritual life. Hence get absorbed solely in the embracement of the beauty of
Avataar-rupi Bramhan.
Another major requisite for seeker is firm conviction about the Shastras. So in the same
context, what is Gita? They are words spoken by the Bramhan himself and recorded by Munishri
Vyasa. Have faith, deep regard and devotion for Gita through these two personalities. If you read
it without regard, the feel will be of reading a religious book or a good book. The former is the
attitude you should have towards Gita. If you really want to get the honey of Gita, you must get
absorbed in it. Superficial study of linguistic forms, the linguistic beauty, grammar, etc. wont
yield the principle. The spirit of the code should be deciphered in the heart, with concentration,
pure-life, with proper introspection. Even during such study, idea of what is my purpose of this
study? should be clear so that the Karma and study proceeds in the right direction. How to
firmly determine the purpose: Self-belief, Sarvakarmsanyaas-Detachment from all Karmas.
Without any digression, merge in the ideal. Only then the purpose would be solved. So proceed
with all these conditions.
Karma, Jnan and Moksha:
As cited many times earlier, everything is Bramhan consciousness can alone give
Moksha. A blunt but perfect statement: No Moksha until then.
After listening to this, few people with drag towards Karma might think: We do so much
of sacrifice! We burn Ghee, we sweep temples, so much of Pooja and service. Wont these lead us
to liberation? This is the temptation towards the glamour of Karma. As a cautionary measure,
Shankara explains further why Karma is important and upto what extent.
Karma is not the goal, but the means of becoming the goal. The spirit of Gita is
enlightenment through consciousness, which is absolutely difficult to attain. Neither me, nor this
world, Only THOU!This consciousness is not a joke. So the purpose of Karma is proper
training and molding of consciousness. Karma is a must pre-requisite but has to be done with a
firm conviction that it is for purification. But the hardships, challenges in Karma, its glamour all

create temptation for Karma, addiction of Karma. And this changes the entire philosophy. Again
it starts feeling that this Karma will lead to Moksha.
Howsoever noble the Karma is, Swamiji warns, it cannot lead to liberation. It may lead to
higher planets, better birth, but it cannot relieve one from the birth-death cycle. Karma means
subject-object consciousness. Even if you dedicate its fruits to God, it cannot directly give
Moksha. Even Nishkam Karma (altruism) doesnt lead to Moksha. The ideal of Gita is: Get
absorbed sacrificing all your Karmas. But is Karma totally unnecessary then? No!! It is essential,
but for purification. Then the consciousness will start rising. Work hard, as much as you want but
with this conviction that one day you will have to leave all of them behind and then get absorbed
in the skb consciousness.
Now, consciousness will definitely lead to Moksha. But even for that pure heart is
required. Hence karma is emphasized first which leads to purification. Now the pure mind is
ready to allow bloom of proper consciousness. This stage is the one where Karma takes you.
Going further Swamiji says that Karma is not even the mean to goal. It is mean to becoming
eligible for attaining the goal, fit for it. So it is means to the means to the goal. Consciousness is
the direct means for the goal.

Specialty of Gita:
In Gita, the purpose, goal is Moksha (i.e.) Bramhan, and Bramhan is Krishna. The
abhidheya (means of attaining the goal) is also Krishna. The preacher is also Krishna. This is the
specialty of Bhagwad Gita.
Further, the relation/connection (Sambandha) between the means and the goal is also
unique. Both are identical, everything considering Krishna. With this knowledge of uniqueness,
intensity will develop in the seeker, intensity of identity with the abhidheya. That intensity is also
Krishna. Thus the intrinsic connection between seekers consciousness and the subject matter is
Krishna himself. The penance and its fruitfulness both again are Krishna themselves. Swamiji
says, due to this uniqueness; follow Gita with full faith and conviction. In short, Avataar is the

speciality of Gita, the param-purushartha of the seeker himself incarnating. So enlightenment


is easier by getting immersed in the Avataar.

Constructive lessons to live spiritual life:


In Bhagwat Gitas introduction by Shankara, the merits, constructive lessons to live a
spiritual life are told. If you try to comprehend the Bramhan in any way, subject-object concept
would appear. So getting absorbed in the avatar with knowledge, not with emotions is the way
for it. The corresponding knowledge is advent of the Bramhan in psychological hour. The faith
for Avataar is not merely claimed. See his life, look upon him at nobody but Bramhan! Have
faith on divine revelations. See the transforming force of lust. While studying, always keep
asking yourself: What am I studying this for? Be conscious of the goal. Otherwise you will
lead stray from the goal. The goal (prayojan) must vibrate in your heart like a thirst.
Now, the path towards perfection as seeker is jnan-nishtha (complete culmination in
knowledge). Mere good actions wont do at all, nor spiritual habits. After transcending Subjectobject perception by illumination, to feel is technically called Jnan-Nishtha. It is
not faith in intellectual knowledge. In pure mind, this consciousness can play. To mold our
consciousness for that psyche, development of that ability, Swamiji suggests KarmaYog. But he
warns simultaneously: Beware of the intoxication of Karma. In Karma, subject-object perception
appears and starts developing more and more. They the philosophy of seeker starts changing. He
feels, I am working so hard for a very good cause. Why cant it lead me to enlightenment?
Then he forgets to cultivate the Jnan-Nishtha consciousness. Intoxication begins with a pull and
starts invading gradually. The seeker then starts finding joy in Karma and forgets development of
consciousness. It doesnt mean Stop doing Karma. You are obliged to do it but do it with the
proper thought of the goal firmly running in the mind. Only then, the seeker will be able to
control his instincts.
These are positive values, things to be done. But we must know two things: what to do
and what not to do. There are destructive forces you need to save yourself from. Understand that
your ideal is renunciation and also be aware of the ways in which this ideal can be destroyed.

What happens is you start with renunciation and end up being entirely immersed in material. So,
the first chapter of Gita to show how ideal is lost.

SPIRIT OF FIRST CHAPTER


Shankar takes the spirit of the first chapter of Gita. At first Arjun roars: Let the chariot
move. Let me see who all have come to fight! He stood up with ideal of a warrior ( Kshatriya).
But then he saw his own relatives: Matamaha, Pitamaha, etc. and then started losing his ideal.
Swamiji asks: WHY?
Lamentation, Desire: Desire is a very intense form of attachment. Its reaction is
depression, a very painful depression. Whenever you feel being in this state, try observing it in
depth and you will see desire at the background. The basic cause is ego: me, mine, my family,
my relatives
Same thing happened with Arjun, a sorrowful depression. Reason: attachment, basic
reason: me, mine. Desire, attachment will survive till this me mine sense stays. So, just
understanding or learning about Avtaar wont help. You need to know reactions of ego.
Swamiji unfolds further: Behind this egoism and egotism is - (delusion),
naivet. There is no me, mine, my family, etc All is illusion, maya, all is Bramhan itself. Out
of delusion, ego arises and then its reactions occur: attachment, desire. Then various reactions of
desire occur. Sometimes you feel depressed, sometimes you feel elated. But after that elation,
depression comes for sure. Out of depression (see the reactions of depression), you do something
which is not constitutional to you. Your conscience gets clouded with confusion and you take
wrong decision which will kill your spiritual life. See Arjun. He wanted to renounce and be a
monk. Wrong path indeed for him! That is Pardharma. This is the reaction of depression. Out
of depression, you do something unconstitutional to you. Speaking further about the constitution,
is according to your constitution, your temperament, in short: Constitutional tendency
Out of reactions, one takes up something that is averse to his makeup, he takes up
something as his own, which is not. Inner intuitions say I am fit for this very thing, this is my
Dharma. All this is avivek. As in love. Person fit to be a monk (to renounce) feels love as his
path () hi