[Advaita-l] Geeta Navaneetam-3
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 25 06:13:37 CDT 2016
This understanding of our true nature is not readily accepted due to our deep-rooted preconceived notions about ourselves that we are limited time-wise, space-wise and object-wise (desha-kaala-vastu parichchinnam) and thus we take our selves to be mortal, ignorant and unhappy. This understanding forms the basis for the teaching of Bhagavad Gita by the Lord to not only set Arjuna right but also the whole humanity. Gita forms a manual of how to claim our immortality that we are. A sage screams out in the Upanishad addressing us: Shrunvantu vishhvE amRitasya putraH – ‘Listen you all, the sons of immortality’ – implying that immortality is our birthright. We are not sinners as the other religions call us since divinity is our birthright. This teaching can sink in only when our minds are free from preconceived notions about ourselves, and not to get brainwashed by others as we are sinners. That is, the truth is we are free from the pressures of likes and dislikes, since they are the outgrowth of our presumed limitations. Hence karma yOga is taught to purify the mind from the pressure of the vAsanas and to make the mind qualify for jnAna yOga. jnAna yOga is then taught to gain the knowledge of our true nature.
The Teacher and the Taught:
Bhagavad Gita is the song celestial. It was sung by the Lord of the entire universe who took birth in a human form to redeem the mankind, to the blessed couple, Vasudeva and Devaki. The teaching was to Arjuna who was pure hearted one. arjunaH means white, which stands for purity, anagha, a sinless one, also arjavam means straightforwardness, a value Krishna says important for growth. Through Arjuna Krishna is teaching the whole mankind. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna reveals the secret of His avataara, incarnation in human form to uplift Dharma. Whenever people forget their divine origin and their sanaatana dharma or Vedic dharma, the degradation of the society occurs, materialism prevails. The standards of the society are measured in terms of materialistic possessions than on spiritual development. There is nothing wrong in possessing materials, but something wrong in depriving others that deserve the basic amenities of life. In a materialistic society desires for sensuous pleasures increase, people become greedy to satiate their desires, and dharma is compromised. People resort to compromising means to achieve the ends they want. The four-fold human pursuit, purushhaartha (dharma, artha, kaama and moksha) are forgotten to give importance to only acquiring wealth, artha, and fulfilling sensuous desires, kaama. Dharma or righteousness which is essential to maintain the universe in equilibrium (dhAranAt iti dharmaH – that which supports) declines. When dharma declines, Bhagavaan has to take appropriate action to restore it. The purpose of avataara or incarnation is not just to punish the culprits, which solves only a temporal problem, but also mainly, to redeem the masses by teaching Brahma vidya, which helps generations to come.
Gitopadesha stands therefore a monumental contribution of MahAbhArata times for the human kind. Its utility for generations to come is unquestionable because of its universal application. The teacher is a universal being, and the teaching is an eternal flow of knowledge of Vedas and it was brought down to a dynamic earthly man in downtown (pArtha). Krishna is a universal personality, loved and revered by all, from innocent children to matured sages, king of all kings while refusing to own any kingdom for himself, yet with kings and emperors bowing down to him, who is the very back bone of the Hindu culture. He permeates every part of the Hindu society, in every form of art, in every form of Indian dance, Indian music, Indian paintings to Indian literature. His childhood pranks to his adult plays, his mature and calculated political moves to restore the goodness in the society and to establish dharma, are all sung in many ways and in many languages, from lullabies to Gitagovindas. His presence reverberates in every segment of the Hindu society. Hence, Bhagavad Gita forms the very essence of Hindu culture, the pinnacle of Hindu thought with divine signature and with universal application. While teaching, Krishna uses a universal pronoun, yaH, meaning whoever he may be he who, that is whoever follows the teaching will reach Me, the universal goal. Therefore, Gita should be understood in the spirit of that teaching, application to all, without any reservations, without any prejudices, without any privileges. It confirms to the Vedic teaching, yet adopting the language and meaning to suite a rational human being. Bhagavad Gita stands as one of the three pillars of SanAtana dharma, sustaining and supporting it. Many AchAryas in the past and many scholars in the present have written bhAshyAs and commentaries, each one from their perspective, each one claiming that their interpretation is correct, some even claiming that their interpretation is ‘as it is’ compared to that of others, yet all converge in essence, in directing the human being towards the pinnacle of evolution, each in their own way.
To be continued.
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