Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chapter 3 Lesson 1

In the first Chapter we saw that Arjuna was deluded and dejected. He did not really want to fight the horrible war. Which could also mean that when man is deluded, depressed, attached to outcomes of actions, he loses desire to ‘act’
If you go back, Krishna had explained Arjuna the nature of the Aatman.
To recapitulate: The Aatman is imperishable unchanging and eternal.
Everyone and specially Arjuna in this case should aspire to that state.

So now Arjuna asks Krishna a relevant question, which may have even occurred to you:

“If the aim is to achieve liberation and recognize the Aatman” Arjuna asked: why should I (fight) engage in action?
Arjuna continued to ask Krishna: “Do explain to me, the one discipline by which I may obtain, the highest good?”
Krishna replies: Some pursue the path of knowledge and others pursue the path of action…however none can remain inactive, as everyone is driven to action…He excels who acts remaining unattached (to the fruits of the action)in a spirit of sacrifice (prayer).

Monday, October 25, 2010

To win or not to win-Krishna
Krishna killed the tyrant King Kansa and destroyed demons like Kirti , Agha, Baka and Ghotaka. He defeated powerful wrestlers like Chanoor and Mustika. He subdued a venomous snake called Kalia…
Osho believes in the above context that he alone wins who does not desire to win and he who wants to win, loses…absence of this desire to win means the person concerned has already won…If someone is not out to win it means he has already established in his eminence, there is not even a shade of inferiority in him to disprove by resorting to winning…If one does not seek anything, it means he does not lack it, he already has it.
There is nothing extraordinary if Krishna won because of his strength.
Then the demons would have won if they had been stronger than Krishna.

Jesus says: Blessed are the meek because they shall inherit the earth…
A child is not concerned about winning , he is only interested in playing the game.
On the other hand the demons are anxious to win , and that too against an innocent and meek child who has no idea of victory or defeat, who takes everything as play. And the demons are defeated at his hands. This is as it should be’

To read what I have written so far, click:

There is a mantra which we Hindus are urged to chant first thing in the morning while we look at our palms.
It goes like this:

"Karaagre Vasate Lakshmi,
Karamuule Saraswati.
Karamadhye Tu Govinda,
Prabhaate Kara Darshanam."

It means
On our fingertips resides Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth)
On our wrist of our palm resides Saraswati (Goddess of Learning)
On the centre resides Govinda (Krishna)
Do look (at your palms) in the morning

and then my daughter sends me this beautiful email:

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked.. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of Grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
Thomas wrote:
May I use part of the information from your blog post above if I give a link back to your website?


Dear Thomas,
Yes you may

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chapter 2 Lesson 10
Let us try and understand Krishna before we try and understand the Geeta.
Krishna is incomparable. He can expound great philosophical truths yet He laughs, sings and dances. Krishna accepts life in totality. That is why in India Krishna is described as a perfect Incarnation of God.

Krishna says in Chapter 2 Verse 66:
A man who has not controlled his mind and senses, is undisciplined. And an undisciplined unthinking man can have no peace. And he who has no peace of mind can have no happiness.

If one looks closely at Krishna’s life one will clearly see that Krishna does not believe in suppression.
So what does Krishna do? He accepts life unconditionally. He does not shun love, war, conflict, friendship…He approaches all with love and compassion and a complete sense of ‘intelligent awarenes’ He kind of is ‘playing the part at hand with perfection’ and that in Hindu parlance is called the ‘Leela’

You might ask: Does living life unconditionally give one peace of mind? I believe that if one lives for the moment, sees the situation the way it is, does whatever one needs to do to change it according to ones wishes and then lets go of the consequences, one can achieve peace of mind and joy. It is what I do not tire of stating: Do your best and leave the rest!

To read what I have written so far, click:
Chapter 2 Lesson 9

Krishna says something quite interesting in Chapter 2 verse 69:
He says that while it is night for everyone else, it is day to the Yogi and vice versa.
What Krishna is really saying is that that what makes people sleep keeps a Yogi awake…and what keeps the beings of the world awake makes the Yogi sleep.
Let us for a moment think of Buddha, Meera, Mahavira.
All the above three belonged to royal families, yet they chose to forsake their comforts to pursue a Spiritual life…and the end result is that they did find the peace and bliss and joy that they were seeking within themselves.

So now what Krishna is saying becomes clear…To the worldly man, money and the power and possessions that come with it is the only important thing worth pursuing and of course matters of the spirit would put him to sleep.
And yet on the other hand, what interest would Meera have in designer bags?
The very thought makes you smile, no?
Meera sings: Jahan baithaavey ut hi baithoon jo de so hi khaaoon
Meera ke Prabhu Giridhar Naagar baar baar baar bali jaaoon
Which means: I sit where He (the Lord) makes me sit.
I eat what He gives me to eat.

It means that Meera is totally surrendered to the Lord and never complains, because all comes from Him.
Meera says: I praise the Lord and belong to Him.

To read what I have written so far, click:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chapter 2 Lesson 8
What is Viveka? Most people will answer that it is conscience. The voice inside us that tells us what is right and what is wrong.

I like to believe that it is the power to discriminate.

But then I also explained about ‘dharma’ What may be right for one person may not be right for another.

And also what may be right when you are older may not be right for when you are younger.

That means that time is also a factor.

Let me give some examples.

For a young mother it is ‘right’ that she spends time with her offspring to help with their physical, mental, spiritual needs.

But when the child is an adult, it would be the mother’s ‘dharma’ to let go.

Another example: When you live in a joint family, your mother in law wants you to do something which may be against what your husband wants. Your child may want something else from you and you require something else from yourself !

Who do you please? This is what is called a ‘Dharma sankat’

How does one acquire this ‘power to discriminate right from wrong.

In the Ramayana there is a couplet:

Bin satsang viveka na hoi

Ram kripa bin sulabh na soi

Which means:

Without ‘satsang’ (meeting with positive people to discuss truths of life)

One will not learn the power to discriminate.

And without the Lord’s Grace, one attains neither. (Viveka or satsang)

Krishna says:

Krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smriti vibhramah

Smriti bhramsaat buddhi naaso buddhi naasaat pranasyati

Let us now understand the Geeta Chapter 2 Verse 63

(When ones desires are not fulfilled) one gets angry,

From anger, one loses ones memory (One is not able to perceive things the way they are)

One becomes deluded, ones discrimination power is then destroyed,

And the result? One perishes!

To read what I have written so far


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Someone wrote:
Can I use some of the information from your post above if I give a backlink back to this website?

My reply:
Yes, you may
Chapter 2 Lesson 7
Bhagvad Geeta

In the Verse 54 of Chapter 2 Arjuna wants to know how to recognize a God realized soul?

Sri Krishna replies that one can recognize a God realized soul by the following:

1) He, who becomes stable in mind as he has dismissed cravings of the mind

2) He who remains unperturbed amid sorrows

3) Free from anger

My comment: One only gets angry when ones desire are not fulfilled.

Let us take some simple observations:

You want people to appreciate and admire you, they don’t. You get angry.

Someone is late, you would have liked them to be on time. You get angry

(I am not going into the ethics whether they should be on time or not)

I am only explaining ‘anger’

So coming back to my favourite Geeta verse.

One can only do ones best and leave the rest.

Sri Rama could have declined to go to the forest. He was not bound by any promise. His father was.

To him the forest or the Kingdom was the same.

So he was not ‘angry’

However he carried his bow and arrow all the time since his duty as a kshatriya was to protect.

As simple as that!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Geeta Ch 2 Lesson 6
I have mentioned earlier that if someone were to ask me to state the message of the Geeta in a line, I would say that it is: Do your best and leave the rest'

Before rushing helter skelter to find God, let us start the search, by looking within ourselves.
What we find is sometimes not very pleasant.
Most people complain that they cannot change themselves.
What I feel and say to them is, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Look back! Do you react less to circumstances, than you used to, a few years ago?
If yes, then you are on the right track.
You can study hard and you may be a very bright student, but you could fall ill and fail the examinations.
One has to renounce oneself to the above outcome.
A more common example is about people who ‘kill’ themselves to please others, and end up being criticized.
To such people I advise: Enjoy the ‘service’ let that, be your reward, not the result of your action.
We will be, eventually judged by our true intentions, when we ‘acted’.
Not by what people ‘spoke’ about us.
This is what Krishna means, when he states, in the 47th verse of the 2nd Chapter in the Geeta, that our right is only over our actions, not over the fruits (outcome) of the actions.
He said:
Karmanyey Vaadhikaa rastey, Maa phaleshu Kadaachanaa
Maa karma phala hetur bhoor, Maa tey sangotswa, akarmanee

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yesterday, on the 12th of October I was invited to attend 2 interesting meetings
1) Seminar on Ayodhya Judgement organized by All India Secular Forum
2) 5th Anniversary of Right to Information (RTI)...going strong and doing a great job!
The event was jointly organized by PCGT and Indian Merchant's Chamber (Anti corruption cell)
Some of the eminent persons connected with the programme:
Retd Chief Info commissioner, Suresh Joshi, Narayan Varma, Justice Suresh Hosbet, J F Ribeiro, Mayur Nayak...

There is a very interesting article in the Times of India, Mumbai Oct 12th 2010.
It is Babri Masjid revisited by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.
In the Seminar on Ayodhya Judgement I attended, some points:
(I hope I have not misunderstood the points or I may be using wrong legal terms for which I apologize)

Under the law Ram Lala (The idol of Sri Ram) can file a case, it has been recognized since 100 years...
There is a ruling that the places of worship after 1947 will remain where they are except for Ayodhya...
Even though it cannot be 100 % established that the idols were there, faith is important. In tribal areas a tree which is worshipped is not easily uprooted...
The idols have established long time possession...
It was a mosque for 400 years...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Geeta Chapter 2 Lesson 5

What Krishna is trying to explain to Arjuna is that the Soul does not die. But if one believes that the Soul is subject to constant birth and death then also one must not grieve because death is certain for the born and rebirth is inevitable for the dead .

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I love the way Krishna describes ‘death’ in the Bhagvad Geeta. Krishna says: Just like man sheds off worn out garments, so does the soul cast out worn out bodies and enters into new ones.The following verse is a famous one, and you may have heard/read it many times specially during orbituaries.It is : Nainam chhindanti sastraani nainam dahati paavakahNa chainam kledayant yaapo na soshayati maarutahWhich means:Weapons cut it not, fire burns it not, water wets it not, wind dries it not.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Krishna continues to explain to Arjuna: That which pervades the Universe and the Soul is imperishable, which means it cannot be killed. Is'nt that interesting? Science says: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Navratras start today, 8th October, 2010
Navratra literally means '9 nights'. These days are astrologically very powerful for Spiritual upliftment.

During these days and nights, prayers are offered to 'Mother' who is the Manifestation of the Absolute Energy that pervades the Universe. As 'Durga' sitting on a Lion, she is a Manifestation of 'Shakti' or the Primordial Energy. The Power to breathe, walk, digest etc, comes from Ma Durga.

As Laxmi She is abundance.Read more, click

Thursday, October 07, 2010

What is Vedanta? Vedānta comes from 2 words: Veda and Anta (Veda end or goal) The appendix to the Vedic hymns. It is believed that Vedanta explains the ultimate nature of reality.
Wikipedia states: The goal of Vedanta is a state of self-realization or cosmic consciousness. Historically and currently, it is assumed that this state can be experienced by anyone, but it cannot be adequately conveyed in language.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

King Janak had a dream where he was a beggar. He wondered which was the dream? that he was a king or a beggar? Ashtavakra replied Both are a dream. Thus was 'Ashtavakra Geeta' born. A Masterpiece on Vedanta

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chapter 2 Lesson 4
Krishna goes on to say: The unreal has no existence and the real never ceases to be.
What is unreal? According to Hindu philosophy Creation is an illusion. The illusion is called Maya. Do you know what maya literally means? That which is not.
Now one may argue how that is possible. Well just like a dream seems real when one is sleeping.
Once Buddha was asked how he would describe himself. The Buddha answered: I am awake.
Why is Krishna explaining this to Arjuna? Because He is emphasizing the point that he need not grieve about something that in any case is an illusion.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bhagvad Geeta

Chapter 2 Lesson 3
Krishna explains to Arjuna that the body dies but the Aatman is eternal. Wise men do not grieve over the dead or the living. Krishna now touches upon re-incarnation. He says: There was never a time when I was not, or when you or these kings were not. Nor Will there be a time when we shall cease to be. The soul or the Aatman cannot be cut burnt or dried as it transcends the five elements namely the earth, water, fire, air and ether. Krishna urges Arjuna to withdraw the senses from objects like the tortoise withdraws all its limbs within. Krishna emphasized he who is balanced in pleasure, pain is fit for immortality.
My comment: The above is easier said than done. But it would be interesting to note the connection that Krishna makes. The pleasurable things/experiences come through our senses. We desire to see, smell, touch, smell, taste...We need a certain amount of control over our desires which within balance are fine, but when they turn into obsessions, they can bring about your ruin.
At this point a lot of questions will arise in your mind. But the wonderful thing is that these questions also arise within Arjuna, and he will ask these questions and Krishna will answer them...So wait and watch this marvelous scripture unfold. Until then as Shidi Sai Baba says: Shraddha and Saburi, Faith and Patience (is necesarry for progress in the Spiritual world).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Yesterday, 2nd of October was Gandhi Jayanti.
I was one of the speakers at the MRA. The other speakers were Julio Ribeiro, Uzma Naheed, Aarif. It was a wonderful evening filled with Shairis friendship, song. My talk was 'Living Gandhiji's Dream' I elaborated on Gandhiji's quotes:
Some of them:

First, a story
1) During Hindu Muslim riots
When a Hindu lost a child and was inconsolable
Gandhiji told him to look after a Muslim orphan, one who had lost his parents in the senseless rioting.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong
Not forgiving is like carrying rotten potatoes constantly on your back...
Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.

2) An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
Let us look into the mind of Gandhiji
3) His slipper dropped as he was riding a train.
He threw the other slipper. He felt that for the finder it would be useful to have both slippers.
a) We fail because we do not persevere
b) Failing does not mean we are failures
c) People without conviction take the middle of the road, they get run over
(They sit on the fence)
d) Losers have a book full of excuses
Eg wrong stars, wrong parents
e) Wise people learn from their mistakes
These mistakes are called experience

I was listening to a taped discourse of Shri Morari Bapu who states that we could live in a perfect world if we were to imbibe the following salient qualities from the various religious Giants:
The wisdom of Shri Krishna.
The service and love of Christ.
The brotherhood of Islam.
The compassion of Buddha
The non-violence quality of Mahavira…
If one looks close enough, each religion embraces all the above qualities...

In the Bhagavad Geeta, Krishna says to Arjuna: "This secret gospel of the Geeta should never be imparted to a man who lacks penance nor to him who is wanting in devotion, nor even to him who lends not a willing ear...
The Holy Quran says: Lakum Deenokum Walia Deen"_ Your religion and belief is for you and my religion and belief is for me.

The following is one of the faourite bhajans of Gandhiji.
Hv taken the english translation from the Internet:

Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je
PeeD paraayi jaaNe re
Par-dukhkhe upkaar kare toye
Man abhimaan na aaNe re (Vaishnava)

SakaL lok maan sahune vande
Nindaa na kare keni re
Vaach kaachh man nishchaL raakhe
Dhan-dhan janani teni re (Vaishnava)

Sam-drishti ne trishna tyaagi
Par-stree jene maat re
Jivha thaki asatya na bole
Par-dhan nav jhaalee haath re (Vaishnava)

Moh-maaya vyaape nahi jene
DriDh vairaagya jena man maan re
Ram naam shoon taaLi laagi
SakaL tirath tena tan maan re (Vaishnava)

VaN-lobhi ne kapaT-rahit chhe
Kaam-krodh nivaarya re
BhaNe Narsaiyyo tenun darshan karta
KuL ekoter taarya re (Vaishnava)

English Translation

One who is a Vaishnav (Devotee of Vishnu)
Knows the pain of others
Does good to others
without letting pride enter his mind.

A Vaishnav, Tolerates and praises the the entire world.
Does not speak ill of others
Keeps his promises, actions and thoughts pure
your mother is blessed indeed.

A Vaishnav sees everything equally, rejects greed and avarice
respects women as he respects his own mother
though his tongue may tire he will utter no untruth
Never touches the property of others.

A Vaishnav does not succumb to worldly attachments
he has renounced lust of all types and anger
The poet Narsi will like to see such a person By who's virtue,
the entire family gets salvation
This is not a perfect translation of the poem, the first stanza has the words A Vaishnav in the susequent stanzas it is used only to make grammatical sense. It is not a poetic translation but the meanings of the lines have been explained simply and the integrity of the poem has been completely maintained.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Chapter 1 Lesson 4
You saw in the lesson (my note about Draupadi) that the Pandavas who were the better ones were addicted to the game of dice. What is remarkable in the Mahabharata is that characters are not black and white but shades of grey. Only in some cases the grey is almost black. Awareness of imperfection allows us to be less judgemental of others. Marguerite Theophil writes ‘This is not about being satisfied with mediocre or about condoning evil or inhumanity it is about facing reality and working with it rather than against it.
Working with ‘what is’ means to seek meaning within the absurd, peace within chaos, light within darkness, joy within suffering- without the need to deny the reality of absurdity, chaos darkness and suffering’.
Coming back to the Geeta,
It is interesting to note that Krishna first tries psychology to urge Arjuna to fight.
Krishna tells Arjuna that if he refuses to fight and flee from the battle , people will be justified in considering him a coward. On the other hand if he does his ‘dharma’ ie fights as a soldier, he will attain a high state (Could be that of a great hero or heaven)