Shrii Shrii Anandamurti’s view on The Bhagavad Giita Wriiten by Chien Hui Liu, Ph.D.

student of

California Institute of Integral Studies
Introduction While Shrii Shrii Anandamurti did not write a specific book of his commentary on the Bhagavad Giita, his devotees have gathered his discourses that are related to the Giita and assembled them into three volumes – Discourses on Krsna and the Giita, Discourses on Mahabharata, and Namámi Krśńasundaram. In this paper, I have selected some topics that are emphasized in Anandamurtiji’s discourses related to teachings of the Giita. These teachings are specific to the spiritual philosophy of Tantra. Mahabharata pertains to the Great War of India that will ever be praised by humankind. This war not only represented the war between good and evil in this external world, but also internally in one’s mind. The spirit of Tantra is “to fight.” In social life, it means selfless service for the welfare of living beings and standing firm without compromising one’s ideology. In psychology, it means a ceaseless fight to overcome the weakness in one’s heart. In spirituality, it is a fight swimming upstream against any obstacles and finally reaching and merging in the blissful abode of Krsna in the Sahasrara cakra. Krsna is not only a manmade God from human imagination but a real avatar from the benevolent Cosmic Consciousness to shine a light of hope for the suffering humanity in the dark age. As the line in the Giita, Paritra’n a’yasa’dhy’na’m’ vina’sha’ya ca dhs’krta’m

Dharma sam’stha’pana’rtha’ya sambhava’mi’ yuge yuge 「I incarnate Myself in this world from age to age for the protection of the virtuous, the destruction of the wicked and the restoration of dharma.」 Cosmic Consciousness is not only a transcendental, indifferential Brahma, but an entity, which encompasses infinite love and bliss for the living being. Bhagavad Giita’ is a distinguished Indian scripture from the teachings of Lord Krsna to Arjuna. The root verb gae means “to sing.” Giita’ is “that which being sung,” the passive tense. Ya’Bhagavata’gitta’ sa’ Giita’ 「That which has been sung by Bhagava’n, the Lord, is the Giita’1」The Lord can exist without the Giita but the Giita cannot exist without the Lord. This establishes the prominent position of Krsna in the history of mankind.

Interpretations of Krsna Since Krsna is the primary character of Bhagavad Giita’, we will first look at Anandamurtiji’s point of views on Krsna. Anandamurtiji has given several discourses on different interpretations of the name Krsna. I outline about five main different interpretations on the word Krsna from his point of view. First, Krsna is derived from the root verb krs plus na, which becomes the word Krsna. One of the meanings of the root verb krs is “to attract.” That which attracts everything in the universe towards the self is Krsna. Although the natural inclination of the mind is to run after the phenomenal world, it is still being pulled by an unseen force towards the Supreme entity. Just as the sun is the center of the solar system and the planets are orbiting around it, Krsna is the nucleus of the entire universe, attracting every being dancing towards Him. He is the one who owns the greatest
1 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’ (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 2000), 1. 2

attraction in the whole universe. Hence, the word Krsna means “the supreme attractive faculty”2. Second, the word krsna has the meaning of “black.” Among all colors, black has the greatest attraction and human mind is first attracted to the color black. This is the reason color black is also called krsna2. The third interpretation of Krsna is krsi bhuh or krsibhuh. The root verb krs means the feeling “I am”, the feeling of “I exist” (Mahatattva), and the meaning of the root verb bhu is “to be.” Thus, Krsna here means, “I am because He is” Here Anandamurtiji refer to Krsna as Parama Purusa. The existence of every being relies upon the existence of Parama Purusa. Therefore, the third meaning of Krsna is krsibhuh – the existence of root verb bhuh is dependent on the existence of the root verb krs. The existence of the “I” feeling is dependent on the higher self3. Another meaning of Krsna, which Anandamurtiji refers to, may not be known to most people. In Sanskrit, the verb krs means, “to do research,” “to find out.” The state that one attains through sadhana and other spiritual practices to make the mind more and more subtle toward subtle consciousness is termed Krsna4. Lastly, there is the interpretation of Krsna from the Raja Yoga point of view. In Raja Yoga, the human physical body is controlled by nerve fibers and nerve cells, and the mind executes its functions through them. The principle controlling center of the nerve cells and fibers is situated in the sahasrara cakra, the pineal gland (this is the top cakra). This supreme controlling point is called Paramashiva or Purusottamah. As Anandamurtiji states in his other book, ‘Ananda Sutram,’ one of the *shloka – Paramashivah Purusottamah vishvasya kendram – Supreme consciousness at the

2 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’,, p.7 3 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.3 4 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.7 3

nucleus of the universe is known as Paramashiva or Purusottama5. When one concentrates one’s “I feeling” on Paramashiva in the sahasrara cakra, the unit being jiva becomes Shiva1. The entity that is coiled like a snake, resides in the base vertebra, muladhara cakra is called kulakunalinii. Through sadhana one awakens the sleeping divinity in the muladhara cakra, moves upwards through seven main cakras. At the final stage, it reaches the sahasrara cakra becoming one with Paramashiva and attains the state of liberation. According to Anandamurtiji, in Vaesnava Tantra, the kulakundalinii is called Radha and Paramashiva is called Krsna. This is the essence of Radha and Krsna, however, it has been long forgotten or misinterpreted. In sahasrara cakra, Puruosottamah is the controlling point and Parama Purusa is Krsna6. In summary, these meanings of the word Krsna can be divided into three categories – philosophical, biological and historical7. In philosophy, there are two explanations. One that Krsna is the supreme attractive entity, the nucleus of the universe. Every being moves towards Purusotama by His attraction, either consciously or unconsciously. The second interpretation is the feeling of “I exist, I am” (Mahatattva) in jiva. The existence of the “I”ness depends on the existence of Krsna. In biology, as referred in Raja Yoga, Krsna is the controlling point in sahasrara cakra. Cakra is a collection of glands and sub-glands and associated with various virtis (propensities). While the kundalini raises up through different cakras, the propensities that are associated with different cakras are brought under control8. There
5 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, A’nanda S’utram’ (India: Ananda printing press, 1967), 5-7. 6 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.15-21 7 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.12-14 8 For instance, manipura cakra is the controlling point for ten propensities - shyness, sadistic tendency, envy, lethargy, melancholia, peevishness, yearning for acquisition, infatuation, hatred and fear. When one’s kundalini raises up to manipura cakra, one is no longer led by these propensities, and becomes the controller of them. 4

are in total about one thousand propensities, and these propensities are controlled by sahasrara cakra (sahasrara means one thousand). Therefore, Krsna in a biological sense is He who controls and guides all the vrttis (propensities) and pravrttis (sentiments) at the nucleus of sahasrara cakra. In history, Krsna is a special figure in the great war of Mahabharata. He planned the war for the establishment of dharma and righteousness. When sweet words cannot rectify the people on deviating the evil path away from dharma, the application of force is needed to destroy evil for the establishment of righteousness. At the time, Bhartavarsa was divided into numerous kingdoms. The great purpose of Krsna was to unite the communities and form the one “Mahabharata” (Great Bharata/India)9. In conclusion, although there can be many different interpretations of Krsna, Anandamurtiji noted one crucial thing is that whatever interpretations have been given to Krsna, Krsna is ultimately one and the same – He is the controller of the entire universe. We can see from his view, he equates Krsna as Parama Purusa, Paramashiva, Purusotama as well as Ishvara.

Bhagava’n The title of the book is Bhagavad Giita’, the Giita of the Bhagavad. Hence, next we will look at Anandamurtiji’s point of view on the word Bhagav’an. He talked about two primary meanings for the word Bhagava’n. First, there is the meaning from the Sanskrit. Bhagava’n = Bha + Ga + suffix. Bha means bheti bha’syate sarva’n loka’n.「That which illumines all the strata10.」 From the most subtle to the most crude strata, everything is infused with His divine
9 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.8-9 10 There are seven lokas (layers) of manifestation within the Cosmic mind (Macrocosm) from crude to subtle as the expression of consciousness: Bhu’rloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janah loka, Tapah loka, Satya loka 5

glory and the joy of living. This is termed Ananda’11. Ga means Gacchati yasmin, a’gacchati yasma’t.「One who comes and goes.」This denotes that everything comes from It and dissolves into It. Therefore, the first primary meaning of Bhaga is the entity that infuses the joy of living that illumines the heart of every being. This is also the starting point and final destination of the existence of life12. The second primary meaning of Bhaga stands for six attributes or divine power. The first attribute is aeshvarya, which means, “occult power.” This includes eight occult powers – anima’, laghima’, mahima’, pra’pti, pra’ka’mya, iishitva, vashitva and antarya’mitva. Ańimá means the ability to become very small. Mahimá means vastness. Laghimá means lightness. Prápti means giving the unit what it needs. Iishitva enables the spiritual aspirant to guide other minds who suffer from different psychic ailments. Vashitva means to keep everything under control. Prakámya means the right mode of thinking aimed at promoting universal welfare, and brings light to the entire universe. Prápti means helping oneself and helping the souls of many people to acquire and be benefited by the grace of the supreme. Antaryámitva means to be able to enter into the ectoplasmic or endoplasmic structures of others, and thereby to know their pains and pleasures, hopes, aspirations and longings of others to guide them properly13. The second attribute is prata’pa, which means “administration.” Whether out of fear or love, everything in the universe moves by the thoughts of that Supreme entity. The Supreme entity owns the sovereign rights over every trivial movement within the universe. The third attribute is yasha, which means “reputation.” Yasha is of two types – positive praises among people and negative
11 The notion Ananda is central to the Anandamurtiji’s philosophy. As he noted, “The world has its being only because of this a’nanda. And if this a’nanda had not been there, the world also would not have existed at all.” Brahma is Ananda. 12 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita, p.34-37 13from “Párthasárathi Krśńa and Bhaktitattva” in Namámi Krśńasundaram and “Cult, Inference and Propensity” in Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 18 6

slander from the opposed group. In the advent of Divinity onto earth, polarity of good and evil is formed, as in the examples of Mahabharata and Ramayana14. The forth attribute is shrii. Shrii means “charm, fascination” and “the power of attraction,” one who possesses strong attractive allure. There is another meaning for the word shrii. Shrii = sha + ra + ii (feminine root). Sha is the acoustic root for rajogu’na (the mutative principle) that allows one to be active and express its existence fully in life. Ra is the acoustic root of energy. Therefore, shrii also means one who has immense vitality and under the dynamic influence of rajogu’na. The fifth attribute is jina’na, which means knowledge. Self- knowledge is the real knowledge from realizing one’s self15. Finally the sixth attribute is vaera’gya. Vaera’gya came from the word vira’ga. The root verb ran’ji means, “to color.” One is not influenced or swayed by the color of the phenomenal world while one acts in the world is termed vaera’gya. Vaera’gya means one who “goes beyond colors”16 In conclusion, the first meaning of Bhagava’n means the entity that infuses divine joy in each living being, and also as the beginning and end point of life. The second meaning is that one who possesses the six attributes of Bhaga – aeshvarya, viirya, yasha, shrii, jinána, and vaerágya.

The advent of Lord Krsna The advent of Lord Krsna is a great event in the history of humanity. The question arises what the purpose was behind this great advent. This mystery has been revealed in the Giita of the Lord. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti had spoken of the following
14 Anandamurtiji gives an interesting notion that when Kansa was against Krs’n’a and Ravana was against Rama. “Either philosophically or politically – that the initial letter of each party is the same as the initial letter of the opposite party.” 15 Anandamurtiji refers self- realization as merging of the unit consciousness with the Supreme consciousness. 16 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p. 34-43, 140-141, “Iigal to Iikśańaka/ Iikśańika/ Iikśańiká” in Shabda Cayaniká Part 2 7

two shlokas in several discourses explaining the great advent of this unusual character Krsna. I will discuss the two shlokas below from his point of view. IV-7 Yada’ yada’ hi dharmasya gla’nirbhavati bha’rata Abhyuttha’namadharmasya tada’tma’nam’srja’myaham’ 「O Bha’rata, at a time when dharma is distorted and adharma is ascendant, I create myself out of my own fundamental factors.」 The question comes, why and when does the supreme consciousness descend? Yada’yada’ means “the right timing.” There is a right timing for everything to take place, as the right season for farming and harvest. In collective life, when the progress of the living being is at a stagnant stage where viciousness is rampant and even the great personalities or heroes (virtures) are not able to make change, the Cosmic Consciousness creates Himself in human form from the five fundamental factors. “When dharma declines from its glorious position and sinners dominate society – in that situation do I descend on the earth.” gla’ni means “the deviation of any object from its normal state.17” It is the time when dharma is below its acceptable standard. Ava’tara is one who descends onto the world to accelerate the process of human progress. About 3500 years ago, Krsna came at the right time, when the existence of human beings was in the darkness of suffering18. Krsna addressed Arjuna “Bha’rata” here. There are two meanings to the word Bha’rata. Bha’rata = bhr + ta. Bhr means, “to feed” and ta means “to expand, to develop.” Bhara means, “feeding entity.” Hence, Bha’rata means “one who feeds you and helps in your all- rounddevelopment.” Here, Bha’rata means “king.” Arjuna as a king has the responsibility towards his subjects to provide food and other necessities
17 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p.211 18 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p. 44-45 8

and help them in all- round development on physical, psychic and spiritual levels.19 In the translation, it reads “I create myself out of my own fundamental factors.” Krsna as the Supreme consciousness is the ultimate cause of materials. He creates tada’tma’ in human form with His own fundamental factors. The fundamental factors are created by the force of Prakrti but Purusa is the ultimate cause for the manifested world. Shaktih Sa’ Shivasya Shaktih20「Shakti (the Operative Principle) is the shakti (force) of Shiva」The five fundamental factors are created from the bondages of gunas. The gunas are the threads of Prakrt and binds Purus’a. Purus’a is an allpervading entity. However, in the body of Purus’a, Prakrti can only work under the permission of Purus’a. “Prakrti has been posing as the doer with the authority given to Her by Purus’a.9 “ Thus, Purus’a is the chief doer entity and the fundamental material cause. Therefore, Krsna said “I create myself out of My own fundamental factors,” at the time when dharma has declined and adharma is rampant. This interpretation is given from Ananda Marga philosophical point of view.21 IV-8 Paritra’n a’yasa’dhy’na’m’ vina’sha’ya ca dhs’krta’m Dharma sam’stha’pana’rtha’ya sambhava’mi’ yuge yuge 「I incarnate Myself in this world from age to age for the protection of the virtuous, the destruction of the wicked and the restoration of dharma.」 This shloka further illustrates the reason behind the advent of Krsna. Tra’n’a means “relief” and Paritra’n’a means “permanent relief.” Krsna came to save the humanity for a permanent relief. There is no one other than Parama Purusa who can create permanent relief for the jivas. Na’sha means “destruction”, and vina’sha implies
19 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p. 44-45, 57-58 20 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, A’nanda S’utram’ (India: Ananda printing press, 1967), 2-4 21 Ananda Sutram, p.2-4; Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p 45 9

“permanent destruction.” Similarly, it is only Parama Purusa capable of eradicating the evil and restoring dharma since dharma is of the ultimate importance22. Yuga means “a period of disaster.” Parama Purusa came with a special mission at a time when dharma has declined, to save the virtuous and remove all evils. This battle of Mahabharata depicted in the Gita signified a fight for grand ideologies – the establishment of dharma. This type of fight happens in every individual, community, and country. It may appear as violence and destruction on the physical level. The key lies in the intention behind the fight. The intention is out of love for the lasting welfare of humanity and justice, not from personal hatred or antagonism. This becomes a glory fight of the Divine plan.

Dharma III – 35 Shreya’n svadharmo vigun’ah paradharma’t svanus’t’hita’t Svadharme nidhanam’shreyah paradharmo bhaya’vahah 「It is better to follow one’s own human dharma, even if it lacks in some qualities, than to follow the dharmas of other beings. It is better to die as a human being than to live as an animal.」 In Anandamurti’s comments on the Bhagavad Giita, dharma appears as a crucial theme. According to Anandamurtiji, there are three other synonyms for the word dharma in Sanskrit – “dhrti”, “dha’ran’am”’, and “dharan’a”23. Dharma = dhr + man. The root dhri means “to uphold,” or “to sustain.”24 Dharma means “that which holds and sustains the structure of the essential qualities and intrinsic traits of an
22 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p.212-213 23 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’,p. 58, 135, 142 24 Devasthanam on what is dharma %20Primer/dharma.html (accessed on April 10, 2011) 10

object.” Svadharma literally means “one’s own dharma.” In this manifestation world, every object has its own dharma. Water has its own dharma. Animals have animal dharma. Humans have human dharma. For instance, fire has its dharma to burn, and without the capacity to burn, it cannot be called fire. We can distinguish an object from specific qualities and intrinsic characteristics it carries. Therefore, the meaning of dharma is “characteristic,” “property,” or “natural wont.”25 There are different characteristics in the plant, animal, and human world. One dharma that is common for humans, plants, and animals is termed jaeva dharma (the dharma of living beings). Animal dharma is termed pashu dharma. Animal life is mostly within the realm of physicality – eating, sleeping, fear, and reproduction; survival is its main purpose of life.26 These are paradharma. One characteristic, which distinguishes animals from plants, is mobility. Plants are unable to move, but animals can move about. Despite the animal dharma (animal instincts) within humans, humans have a special dharma. That is Bha’gvata dharma. In human life, there is maintenance and development in the physical as well as mental realms, but the most unique quality is the spiritual realm. There is the longing and ceaseless movement towards Parama Purusa, an inner calling for the limitless. As described in many scriptures, the human structure is precious for spiritual practice that has the potentiality for attainment of the Great. The essence of human dharma is selfrealization, to merge the small I to the big I..27 Shreya’n svadharmo vigun’ah – “even our own dharma is lacking in gun’as, it is right to follow one’s own dharma.” The binding characters or qualities of the individual are called gun’as. Anandamurtiji gives two interpretations for the word
25 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’ ,p. 72 26 There are some animals that live close to human, their consciousness and intellect may evolve to a higher state. 27 “Jaeva Dharma and Bhágavata Dharma” in Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 21 11

Vigun’a14: (1) an existence without any qualities or characteristics (2) an object that possesses a special type of quality. This manifested world is full of colors and every object has its own dharma. But being the creator of this phenomenal world, Parama Purusa is beyond all binding principles or qualities – Nirguna. Therefore, the ultimate human dharma is without character because Bhagavad dharma is beyond all qualities, this is a special dharma of human being. The svadharma of human being is Bhagavad dharma.28 Svadharme nidhanam’shreyah paradharmo bhaya’vahah – “It is better to die as a human being than as an animal.” In some circumstances, human beings may deviate from the path of human dharma. For spiritual practice, one needs a body. For the maintenance of the body, food, clothing, and shelter are necessary. If in the process of fulfilling their physical needs, a human forgets their Bhagavad dharma, or when a human confuses themselves in the phenomenal world, and falls into the pleasures of senses, human life degenerates into the life of an animal or plant. Therefore, Shrii Krsna advices, it is better to die following the path of human dharma than others. It is important to note that suppressing or denying pleasure of the senses is not the doctrine here. One is to develop a non-attachment mentality through spiritual practice while living and enjoying worldly life. Life is real, not illusory. Anandamurtiji gives three essential qualities to define Bhagavad dharma – vista’ra (expansion), rasa (flow), and seva’ (service).’29 These three qualities distinguish humans from animals. Vista’ra means “expansion.” There is a natural tendency in human beings to expand in every stratum of life – physical, psychic and spiritual, for development and growth. On a spiritual level, it means through practice of sadhana to expand the little
28 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p. 135-139 29 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’ , p. 133, 12

I to the Cosmic mind.30 Rasa means “flow.” In the universe, there is a never-ending Cosmic cognition flow. This Cosmic flow is that which creates and sustains the universe. Every object in the universe is in the momentum of this blissful flow. Behind all the movements, Parama Purusa is the originator of the flow.31 “Human existence is an ideological flow.” Hence, rasa means to immerse oneself in the constant blissful flow of Supreme consciousness, a complete surrender to Parama Purusa.32 Seva’ means “service.” There is an innate disposition of service in humans. By ideating one as the instrument of the Cosmic mind, one abandons vanity, the feeling of “I do,” in every action. The essence of service is selfless giving without thinking of return.33

Dharmaks’etra & Kurus’estra Dhrtara’s’t’ra uva’ca Dharmaks’etre Kuruks’etre samaveta’ yuyutsavah; Ma’maka’h Pa’n’d’ava’shcaeva kimakurvata Sainjaya? 「O Sanjaya, now that my children and the children of Pandu have gathered on the battlefield of Dharmaks’etra, of Kuruks’etra, eager to fight, what is taking place?”」 This is the first verse of the Giita that is not commonly emphasized. However, there are several discourses given by Anandamurtiji on the topics of Dharkaks’etra and Kuruks’etra. He explained this verse from a Yoga point of view that consists of
30 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’ , p. 154 31 Sarvadyotanátmakah akhańd́a cidaekarasah – “He is the source of all vibrations and He is one unbroken flow of consciousness.” From Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, “Vrajagopála and Aesthetic Science” in Namámi Krśńasundaram (India: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 1981) 32 From Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, “The path of Dharma” in Light comes 33 This coincides with practice of Pitr Yajina in Ananda Marga – Brahma’pan’am’, Brahmahavir, Brahma’gnao, Brahman’a’hutam. “The act of offering is Brahma; that which is offered is Brahma; the One to whom the offering is made is Brahma; and the person making the offering is Brahma.” 13

knowledge of the relationship between mind, body, and the practice to spiritual advancement. From Anandamurtiji’s interpretation, this is an important verse that carries the essence of entire Bhagavad Giita. Dharmaks’etra = dharma + ks’etra. Ks’etra means, “field.” Hence, dharmaks’etra means the physical body through which one is able to perform dharma. This reflects the point of view in some scriptures that even the gods need to take a physical body in order to perform dharma or do spiritual practice.34 Dhrtara’s’t’ra = Ra’s’t’ra + dhrta. Ra’s’t’ra means “structure, framework.” Dhrta means “holder.” Hence, Dhrtara’s’t’ra means “He who holds the structural solidarity.” The existence that holds the structure of this physical body is “the mind.” The mind preexists the body. If the mind is not inside the body, the body cannot maintain its solidarity. Thus, Dhrtara’s’t’ra uva’ca means “the mind said.” Dhrtara’s’t’ra cannot see which means “the mind cannot see.” This represents the mind (manah) as a blind force. Sainjaya means viveka, “the power of discrimination” or “conscience.” The mind is a blind force without the help of conscience. The mind (Dhrtara’s’t’ra) cannot see, therefore it calls out Sainjaya, the discriminative power.35 Dhrtara’s’t’ra’s has one hundred sons. These one hundred sons represent the supporters/agents of the mind through which the mind functions. There are ten indriyas (organs) in the body. Five are sensory organs – eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Five are motor organs –vocal cords, hands/arms, feet/legs, anus, and reproductive organs. Each of these organs function in ten directions (dishas) – east, west, north, south, up, down, southeast, southwest, northeast, and northwest. The ten directions mean the changes in time and space. The blind mind functions internally
34 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 2000) 78 35 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 2000) 64-68, 71 14

and externally in one hundred directions (10 x 10 = 100). Hence, it is said the blind mind (Dhrtara’s’t’ra’s) has one hundred sons.36 . Pa’n’d’ava = Pa’n’d’u + s’n’a. It literally means, “pertaining to Pandu.” Pa’n’d’u

means “self-realization,” the knowledge of “I am He. He is I.” From a Yoga point of view, Pa’n’d’ava means the five fundamental factors in the body – earth, water, fire, air and ether. Sahadeva means “capable of answering everything.” It is the solid factor, represented by mu’la’dha’ra cakra (base cakra). Nakula means, “water which flows without boundaries (Na- “no”, kula- “boundaries”).” It is the liquid factor, represented by sva’dhis’t’ha’na cakra (second cakra). Next, Arjuna is the luminous factor, the center of energy or force at man’ipura cakra (third cakra at about navel height). This represents the constant fight to maintain balance. Bhima is the aerial factor (va’yu) at ana’hata cakra (heart cakra). Last, Yudhisthira means “one who remains steady in battle.” It locates at the vishuddha cakra (throat cakra), where matter ends and consciousness starts. Krsna is located at the sahasra’ra cakra (top cakra). By the dint of sadhana (spiritual practice), Kulakun’d’alinii located at the base cakra, awakens and rises up to the abode of Krsna with the help of five Pa’n’d’avas. The jiiva merges into Cosmic consciousness and rest in the shelter of Krsna. The path of Pa’n’d’ava is the path of self- realization37. Therefore, Dharmaks’etra represents this physical body that consists of the fight between the blind mind with its one hundred agents, and the spiritual rising force of Pa’n’d’avas, which endeavor to self-realization. The Avidya force works at the blind mind with the Kaoravas that pulls jiiva away from Krsna. Pa’n’d’avas are the viyda force that rescues jiiva back to Krsna. This is also the essence of Mahabharata.38
36 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 2000)73-74, 80-81. 37 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’,p. 79, 102-103. 38 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p.103, 119. 15

In the word Kurus’estra, kuru means, “to do.” Kurus’estra means the field that constantly called out men “to do” something, and be active. Kurus’estra represents the world, the entire universe that is infused with dynamic momentum.39 In Saḿskrta, the universe is called jagat. Gam means “to move.” Jagat sákśiirúpaḿ means that within this universe, everything is constantly moving, nothing is stationary. Movement is the dharma of the world.40 This also reflects the teaching of Karma Yoga that encourages human beings to act in the world instead of choosing renunciation. In conclusion, the field of dharmaks’etra and kurus’estra represents the fight between the force of vidya and avidya, internally in the unit mind and externally in the world. It is a fight between good and evil (deva’sura sam’gra’ma). This is one reason that sadhana is also termed sa’dhana’samara. Sadhana is samara, a fight moving towards perfection41.

Yoga IV – 34 Tad viddhi pranipatena paripras’nena sevaya Upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattvadarsinah 「Know it by humble submission, by asking questions and by service; wise men who see reality will give you knowledge.42」 “Pran’ipa’tena pariprashnena sevaya’” – surrender, spiritual questioning and servicefulness. Anandamurtiji emphasized these three elements as fundamental factors of Yoga from teachings of Krsna. I will discuss each factor from Anandamurtiji’s point of view.
39 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p.79. 40Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, “Be a Ship to Us, Lord” in Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 1 41 Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, p.64 42 Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller, The Bhagavad-Gita (New York: 1986) 56 16

Pran’ipa’tena means “complete surrender” – through sadhana, a spiritual aspirant directs one’s small I merging into the Cosmic self. Pran’ipa’tena is also referred as bhakti. One completely surrenders all his or her being into Supreme consciousness as the essence of Pran’ipa’tena43. Paripras’nena means “questioning,” but this is not an ordinary questioning. This particular type of questioning is concerned with spiritual practice, obtaining knowledge in order to put it into practice. This is not questioning for the interest of mere knowing or showing off one’s intellect (vanity). Seva’ means “selfless service.” As I discussed in previous paragraphs, by the practice of selfless service, one serves Purusa in the image of the phenomenal world. From Anandmuritiji’s point of view, these three factors can help a devotee in the path of spiritual progress44. There are numerous shlokas in the Giita that talked about Jinana yoga, Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga as the three main branches of Yoga. Anandamurtiji did not specifically talked about these three paths in his discourse on the Gita. However, in his other discourses, he points out that these three Yogas all occupy their importance in the path of spiritual progress. At the final stage of spiritual attainment, bhakti is required. I will discuss the three Yogas from Anandamurtiji’s point of view. From the practice of Jinana yoga, one acquires self-knowledge that expands one’s unit mind into the Cosmic mind. However, there may be two defects in the process of jinana yoga – one may form the habits of laziness and pride. If one thinks that the world is transitory, then there is no meaning to performing an act, or one is merely satisfied with intellectual attainment but does not render any work (service) to the world.
43 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, “The three prerequisites for spiritual knowledge” in Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 4 (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 1978) 44 Shrii Shrii A’nandamu’rti, Discourses on Krs’n’a and the Giita’, (India Calcutta: A’nanda Ma’rga Praca’raka Sam’gha, 2000) 195-209 17

By karma yoga, one realizes the Supreme through selfless service. However, there may also be the possibility to form pride in one’s mind that becomes an obstacle to spiritual progress. When one does a lot of service and work without spiritual ideation, one may start to develop the mentality of how great a person he or she is, and forget the fact that it is Parama Purusa who endows the capacity to work. From Anandamurti’s point of view, both jinana yoga and karma yoga are necessary preparatory practices for one to establish in bhakti yoga. No Yoga should be ignored. At the final stage, bhakti is necessary for the union of the jiiva and Purusotama. Therefore, of the three Yogas, bhakti is the best without any defects that may cause one to fall from the right path.45 One may be illiterate or lack capacity to do much work, however, with much love and surrender to Purusa, one attains the Supreme state with His Grace.

Surrender There are two shlokas that Anandamurtiji talked about in his discourses on Bhagavad Gita related to the subject of surrender. VII – 14 Daevii hyeśá guńamayii mama Máyá duratyayá Mámeva ye prapadyante Máyámetáḿ taranti te. 「This Máyá of Mine is of the nature of three principles, and is almost insurmountable. Only those who take refuge in Me can overcome this Máyá.」 The main essence behind this shloka is the spirit of “surrender.” Maya means the gunas of Prakrti that bind Purursa (Consciousness) that creates the phenomenal world. This force is so great that sadhakas may be distracted by the forces of Maya
45 Discourses on Krsna and the Giita, p.208-209 18

and fall from the right path. The secret lies in this shloka is “Mine.” Even the force of Maya is almost insurmountable with human intellect. This force is the force of Purusa. Purusa is the controller of the whole universe behind the curtain of Maya. All is His liila, the director behind the scene. For the devotees of the Lord, know this very secret of Him by constantly ideating on Him by doing spiritual practices (bhajans, kiirtan, pujas, sadhana etc.), surrender everything to Him. To take shelter in His name and being under His protection, and thus overcoming the force of Maya46. IX – 30 Api cet sudurácáro bhajate Mámananyabhák; So’pi pápavinirmuktah mucyate bhavabandhanát. 「If even the most wicked people worship Me with a concentrated mind, I will liberate them from the three bondages (physical, psychic and spiritual.」 This shloka continues with the spirit of surrender from the previous shloka. The Supreme consciousness is not merely a judge, but He is the dearest one that has a personal relationship with His devotees. According to Anandamurtiji, there are two things that Parama Purusa cannot do. One thing is that He cannot create a second Parama Purusa since He is the only One entity. Second is that he cannot hate anyone. Even He may appear severe with punishment at times as one of Shiva’s faceVámadeva, it is out of love47. Anandamurtiji also points out the difference between the English word “sin” and the Sanskrit word pápa. There are religious and biblical connotations to the word “sin.” The Sanskrit term pápa has a more explicit meaning – Paropakárah puńyáya pápáya parapiid́anam – “Those actions that help to develop the physical, intellectual,

46 Discourses on Krsna and the Giita, p. 241-243 47 Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, “An introduction to Shiva” in Namah Shiváya Shántáya 19

and spiritual strata of human beings are puńya, and those that obstruct this are pápa48.” However, “If a sudurácárii devotes himself or herself single-mindedly to My worship, forgetting everything else, and” – Mámananyabhák – “takes refuge in Me with unswerving attention,” “then he or she too is liberated from all sins and earthly bondages.49” This is the power of bhakti to freedom by His Krpa.

Conclusion The Bhagavad Giita is the Giita that was sung by the Lord Krsna and provides much inspiration for each human being. It not only provides philosophical views, but also practical conducts one can adopt to attain happiness, joy, and peace in life. Through the passage of time, the spiritual essence of the Giita has been long forgoten or lost. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti gave the interpretation of the Giita from a Tantric Yoga point of view for the contemporary era. Krsna is not only a deity in a common religion understanding but a great personality that shape the civilization of humanity we see today. He is the sweet lover that embedded in the core of each being that provides much inspiration on the path of spiritual evolution.

48 Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, “Mysticism and Spirituality” in Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 19 49 Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, “Bhajate Mámananyabhák” in Discourses on Krsna and the Giita 20