Ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita from India which are full of myth and metaphor are difficult for our modern minds to process. The Gita was written some time between the 2nd century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. and based on events that are said to have taken place around 3,000 BC. Therefore, much of the story was maintained through passing down of oral traditions. We should acknowledge that what is written may not be 100% accurate to the events they describe and is most likely tuned to the time period, cultural norms, and particular consciousness development needs of the population being addressed. In addition, it is filtered through the unique consciousness of the scribe.
However, within that, there are those things that are based on universal laws that transcend time and place. Those are the ones we need to keep alive in our awareness. We can sense through the words and meanings, how high an energetic vibration of truth the text emanates. We can also check how what’s written corrolates and supports other high consciousness teachings of the past or present. From that perspective, the teachings of the Buddha, the Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, the poetry of Rumi, and the words of Lao Tse, and the Bhagavad Gita’s non-duality mystical teachings certainly score highly.
Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
Nonetheless, the reality remains that Myth and Metaphor can end up covering up or confusing core truths. Something that at times was done on purpose (as a code to hide knowledge from those who may use it for evil purposes as an example). At other times in history, when literacy rates very very low and means for easily documenting and sharing knowledge and wisdom were none existent, vivid stories and myths that could be memorized and orally shared were more effective at transmitting teachings.
Mythological researcher Joseph Campbell showed that most of the great myths followed a path he coined the Hero’s Journey – the quest for personal mastery and renunciation of the ego, the victory of light over the dark, and ultimate (re)-union with the Divine Source within.
The Gita is a master-class in the Hero’s Journey and reflects that path that every single one of us takes through countless life times to master. Many enlightened souls and ascended masters have taken human form throughout history to teach the same basic teaching of non-dualistic understanding (there is no us and them, there is only One), leading to union with the Divine. Their teachings were shaped to reflect the culture and time period of the people they lived among but the core universal laws always shone through.
In recent human history, we can see the progression of these core teachings from Krishna’s time through the ages to the Buddha, Plato, Jesus, the European Enlightenment Thinkers, the Theosophist Movement of the late 1800’s and first half the 1900’s, the migration of Eastern thought to the West of the 1950’s and 1960’s and into the present day New Spiritualist movement. Many people have worked steadfastly to keep the flame of Truth alive during man’s quest towards enlightenment and ascension to higher dimensions.
What’s particularly interesting is that now in the 21st century, where our science has progressed to an advanced stage, we can see the spiritual principles reflected in quantum science principles. On the surface science and spirituality appear to be two different things. It’s true they use two completely different languages, but whatever truth they speak must be by definition the same thing. Many argue that our science proves that what religious dogma says is untrue. But that’s comparing apples and oranges. When you compare spiritual truths (versus the religious dogma) as revealed by Buddha, Jesus in the Gnostic Gospels (versus various Bible editions), and Krishna in the Gita, now you start to see the intersection of Science and Spirituality.
In fact, philosopher KenWilber showed quite convincingly in his book Quantum Questions – The Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists, that the pioneering quantum scientists in the early 1900’s often spoke about their spiritual beliefs and how mystic views influenced their understanding of how the cosmos worked. Which of course leads us to contemplate a future where Spirit is no longer kept separate from anything we do – and instead spiritual understanding of the true nature of our reality will naturally infuse every aspect of our lives. Our Collective Consciousness will merge with the Divine and Spirit and the Material World will no longer be separate – truly, Heaven on Earth. Which is exactly what the great spiritual teachers have been trying to have us understand and implement for thousands of years. But each of us has to do our part, to take up our Hero’s Journey back to the Divine Source.
And that’s where the Bhagavad Gita comes in. There exist many translations of the ancient text – some provide just translation and others provide interpretation and commentary. Mataji Devi Vanamali’s The Complete Life of Krishna falls in the later category. I found her succinct interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita’s eighteen chapters, which are just a handful of pages from her wonderful book, to be beautiful and full of truth. She does a great job of teasing out the timeless spiritual essence that is as applicable today as it was thousands of years ago. I have appended appended her text below and hopefully you’ll find it inspirational. I have included links to an original translation as well as additional resources at the end of the post. Hope you enjoy.
from Chapter 25, Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Aum, O Mother Bhagavad Gita, consisting of
eighteen chapters and showering the immortal
message of nonduality, which is the destroyer of
rebirth, composed within the Mahabharata by the
ancient sage Vyasa, by which Arjuna was illumined
by Lord Narayana himself. On thee, O Mother, I
“Arjuna told Krishna to take the chariot to the center of the field between the opposing armies so that he could observe both sides and get an overall picture of the situation before the battle commenced. Obedient to his role as a charioteer, Krishna, the Lord of all the world, obeyed the command of his friend Arjuna and drove the chariot to this no-man’s land between the opposing armies. Arjuna, the mighty hero of the age, surveyed the opposing army and saw not his enemies but his cousins, friends, relations, teachers, nephews, and grassier. A tremendous psychological revulsion welling up in him. The full impact of the terrible destruction that was to take place hit him like a blow in the solar plexus. His whole body trembled with the shock, his mind reeled, his mighty bow, the Gandiva, fell from his nerveless grasp, and he collapsed in a heap on the floor of the chariot. Bringing forth many ethical and moral arguments for avoiding such a conflict, this might bowman told the Lord that he would not fight. To him, who was thus in such a potable condition, Lord Krishna, his friend, his philosopher, and God, imparted the most marvelous spiritual instruction, the highest spiritual instruction that can be given to humanity, known as the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, or ‘The Song of God’. The Lord chose to sing his song in the middle of a battlefield with the background of drums and conchs and not in the silence of the forest, the sanctity of a temple, or the peace of an ashram. What was his purpose in choosing such a location. Arjuna and he had been very close. They had often been alone together when the Lord could have advised him, but he had not chosen to do so. Why was this? Why did he pick this particular location?
The philosophy of the Gita is not for the weak or cowardly person who is afraid to face life as it is. It is for the heroic one, who is ready to face the challenges of life in the effort to evolve into godliness. The Bhagavad Gita does not teach an ethical sentimentalism that loves to look on nature as good and beautiful and refuses to face her grim and frightening mask. Unless we have the courage to face existence as it is, we will never be able to arrive at a solution to its conflicting demands. Harmony has to be achieved in and through the disharmony that we cannot deny. War and destruction seem to be the principle not only of our material lives but of our mental lives as well. Life is a battlefield of good and evil forces. We are placed in the center of this field, now swayed by the good, now drawn by the evil. As in the Mahabharata war, the latter appears to be far stronger than the former.
Like Arjuna, we stand in this no-man’s land between the opposing forces. Every moment we are faced with decisions and controversies. Perplexed and torn between the warring forces within ourselves., we know not which way to turn. The famous pictorial representation of the Bhagavad Gita, in which Arjuna is seated in the chariot with Lord Krishna holding the reins of the four white prancing horses, is an allegory of our conflicted life. The chariot represents the body, with Arjuna the jicama, or the embodied soul, seated within. Lord Krishna is the Paramatma, or the cosmic soul, who has ever been his boon companion but whom he has not recognized as the Supreme. The four horses represent the four aspects of the mind: manas, buddhi, ahamkara, and chitta (mind, intellect, ego, and collective consciousness). This mental equipment drives us like uncontrollable horses, hither and thither, in its mad quest for enjoyment. Arjuna, the embodied soul, was faced with a violent crisis that seemed quite incompatible with his aspirations for a spiritual life, or even a moral life. But he had the sense to realize that by himself he was hapless, and therefore he had given over the reins of his life into the capable and willing hands of his divine charioteer, who steered him through this dangerous battle with ease, protected him, and led him to a glorious victory.
In all their years of friendship, Arjuna had never thought of turning to Krishna for advice because he had always considered himself competent to solve his own problems. Now, at that crucial hour when he should have been at the peak of his mental and physical powers, he found himself a wreck, his mind torn and perplexed as to his duty, and his body weak and helpless. Only then did he think of turning to the Lord, and having surrendered his ego, he begged him to come to his aid.
The Lord within us, who is our boon companion, waits patiently for us to play out our game of make-believe as the sole hero of our life’s drama. He waits patiently until the day dawns when we stumble and realize that without the director we are helpless. Only then do we turn to him for help. At this point, the Lord rushes to us like a loving mother, points out the clear-cut path of duty, assists us to avoid forces of evil, and even carries us across the treacherous crosscurrents of life, if necessary. The message of the Gita is thus addressed to the fighter, the person of action, for whom life is a battlefield, as it is to all of us. Kurukshetta (battlefield of the Kurus) has to be conquered before reaching the haven of dharmakshetta (field of virtue). Life is not merely a battlefield but also a field where righteousness prevails.
The teaching of the Gita is therefore not merely a spiritual philosophy or an ethical doctrine but a yogashastra, which gives us a clear idea of the practical application of these doctrines in daily life. The recipient of the doctrine is Arjuna, the prototype of the struggling human soul who is ready to receive the great knowledge through close companionship and increasing nearness to the divine self within him, embodied as his charioteer. The teacher of the Gita is, therefore, not only the God who is transcendent but also the God within us, who unveils himself through an increasing knowledge. He is also the God in us who instigates all our actions and toward whom all human life proceeds and travels. He is, at once, the secret guide to our actions, the highest source of knowledge, and our closest friend, companion, and relation.
That is why the Gita’s message is still as fresh as when it was first given five thousand years ago, for it is always renewable in the personal experience of every human being. The central idea is to reconcile and effect a unity between the inner, highest spiritual truth in ourselves and the cosmos on one hand and the outer actualities of our life and action on the other. Thus, it is a guide for each one of us in our day-to-day lives. Whatever the problem we might face, whether horrifying or sanctifying, it can be solved by the application of the Gita’s teachings. Its meaning is so deep that the more we read it, the more we learn from it, and the more we live according to its teaching, the more our level of consciousness rises. Its message is of eternity, and so it has a timeless significance for all of us. It is not a message conveyed in a mere temporal language to suit a specific occasion. Rather, the occasion was taken to convey to the eternal individual the knowledge of its relationship with the Eternal Absolute. The union of the jivatma (the individual embodied soul) with the Paramatma (the Supreme Spirit or Cosmic Soul) is the final consummation of the Bhagavad Gita. The word gita means ‘song’ and the Bhagavad Gita is the Song of God and therefore the song of life – of existence and omniscience, leading to bliss – sat (truth), chit (consciousness), and ananda (bliss).
The first chapter is known as Arjuna vishada yoga, or the yoga of Arjuna’s despondency, in which he refuses to fight with his relations,. The Lord listens to his arguments quietly, and it is only in the second chapter that he begins his beautiful sermon. Krishna explains to Arjuna that each person has a certain duty in life, his swadharma, which depends on his station, birth, and position in society as well as on his nature. This duty should be followed regardless of personal prejudices and with attachment to the fruits. The work itself brings its own reward.
The second chapter gives the philosophy of sankhya yoga, or the yoga of wisdom, in which the Lord declares the immortality of the soul and mortality of the body. We grieve, for we think we are the body and therefore mortal. This is the root cause of all sorrow. The moment one understands that one is the atman alone and the body is a mere appendage that the atman takes and uses for its own purpose and then discards like a won-out garment, the there will be an end to all fears, especially the fear of death. Even though we know ourselves to be the immortal soul, we have a duty to carry out the work appointed to us in life. This should be done while maintaining a balance of mind in the face of all dualities such as pleasure and pain, gain and loss, treating alike victory and defeat. The grandsire Bhishma was a perfect example of the sthithaprajna, or the person of perfection, as portrayed in the second chapter.
In the third, fourth, and fifth chapters, Krishna delineates the glorious path of karma yoga, or the yoga of action. All of us have been given organs of action by which we can make our way in the world. The law of the cosmos is to be endlessly active. Therefore, we who are parts of this active universe cannot choose to remain inactive, even for a minute. Yet there is a mistaken understanding that if a person remains inactive as far as the organs of action are concerned, this can be called inaction. This is a misrepresentation of the law of karma, says Krishna. The greatest action is done by the mind, and even one who is inactive physically is never inactive mentally. Again, there is a mistaken notion that physical action alone binds us to the law of karma. The Lord asserts that is not action that binds, for if that were true, no one could ever become liberated since no one can be totally actionless. What binds us is the mind, which imposes certain reasons for doing the action, primarily the burning desire for the benefits of the action. Thus it is that the Lord makes his famous statement in the second chapter: ‘Your right is to the work alone and not to the fruits thereof.’
Karma binds only when it is done for purely selfish reasons. The same action, when done selflessly with no attachment to the results and in a spirit of surrender to the Divine, becomes converted to karma yoga, a purifying process that leads to liberation, or freedom, from the cycle of birth and death. When karma is blended with the glorious vikarma of love, then it transmuted into worship and can be offered to the Divine, just as one would offer a flower or fruit during the course of worship. Whatever the nature of the work that one is called upon to perform in the discharge of one’s duty in life can considered an act of worship, which can take us to mukti, or liberation. To renounce the action physically and dwell on it mentally is denounced vehemently by the Lord as the action of a hypocrite. Thus, a sanyasi who has physically renounced his hearth and home and retired to the Himalayas but continues to dwell upon objects of renunciation with longing is deluding himself. He is not a true renouncer.
A householder who continues to discharge his duties in a spirit of detachment and as an offering to the Divine is the true renouncer. We have only one right and that is the right to do our duty in a spirit of yajna, or sacrifice. The whole of creation works with the spirit of yajna. Nothing is done for oneself alone. Human beings alone defy this law and thus suffer, for no one can flout the cosmic laws with impunity. All of creation is a well-knit whole. Each and everything in the cosmos is irrevocably bound to everything else. Those who refuse to see this and act purely for selfish reasons live in vain. Suffering and rebirth alone will be the consequence.
The sixth chapter gives a simple and effective method of dhyana, or meditation, by which the mind can be trained to achieve union with God. From the seventh chapter onward, the Lord touches on bhakti yoga, or the yoga of devotion. The Supreme possesses a twofold nature of matter and spirit. Matter is his lower nature. A true devotee is one who learns to see the spirit alone, shining through every atom of matter. After many lives of progressive spiritual attainment, one acquires this type of spiritual vision that sees Vaasudeva (the Lord) alone in everything. Such a soul is rare indeed! Vasudeva sarvamiti sa mahatma sudurlabha (rare indeed is the noble soul who can see everything as Vasudeva, as divine).
The eighth chapter deals with the little known and thus greatly feared state called death. The Lord tells Arjuna that whatever thought grips the mind at the time of death is the one that will propel the soul and decide the nature of its future birth. Thus one who wants to attain God after death has to think of him steadfastly at the time of death. But this is not as simple as it sounds, for at the time of death, the mind automatically flies to the thought of that object that has possessed it during its sojourn in the world. If money has been the object of our life’s pursuit, to money the mind will fly at the time of death. Thus the Lord tells Arjuna that if he wants to think of God at the moment of death, he will have to habitate the mind to think of him constantly. Mam anusmara yudya cha (Think of me constantly and fight). Thus the yoga of the Gita involves a twenty-four affair with the Divine Beloved, culminating in a total fusion at the time of death, when the physical body drops away and there is perfect union with the Divine.
Chapter nine gives the mystic secret by which one may attain liberation even in this very life. A devotee should surrender not only all outer actions but all inner thoughts at the lotus feet of the Lord. Even the negative thoughts should be surrendered, for he will slowly bring about a transmutation of the dross into gold. The one who is thus in constant communion with him has no need to worry about anything any more, for the Lord gives a solemn promise that he himself will take care of his or her material and spiritual welfare. The Lord will supply all his wants, however mundane, leaving the person free to continue spiritual pursuits, and he will lead such a one to salvation just as he did the Pandavas. Helpless and downtrodden, buffeted by the faithless winds of fate, they achieved victory and recovered their lost heritage only because the Lord was every with them, through the gory river of battle, as will be seen. The promise he makes to Arjuna is in fact given to all of us. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhakta pranashyati (O Arjuna, I pledge to you that my devotee will never perish).
Chapter ten gives the vibhuti yoga, or the yoga of divine glories, so that the mind of the devotee may learn to see him in all things both glorious and mundane. To begin with, we must train ourselves to see him in the majestic things like the sun, the ocean, and the Himalayas, but later we must learn to behold him even in the smallest and most insignificant objects in the world. One must learn to worship him in both the elephant and the ant, in the beautiful as well as the ugly, in both the sinner and the saint.
In the eleventh chapter, Krishna reveals to Arjuna his fearful form as Kala, or all-consuming time, the greatest killer, he destroyer of all beings. The vision was different t from the one he showed at the Kuru court. It was at once supremely beautiful and terrifying, for it was a direct answer to Arjuna’s request to see his cosmic form. The love he bore for Arjuna was so great he was prepared to grant his every wish. The glory that Arjuna saw was that of the entire cosmos resting within the form of the Lord. The vision enabled Arjuna to understand not only that everything emanates from him, but that he himself is everything .
‘Time eternal and all-consuming am I, the ordainer with faces turned to every side. I am death, which seizes all, as well as the source of life, from which it all emanates. That which is the seed of all things am I. Supporting this universe with but a tiny portion of myself do I stand.’
Arjuna realized that all beings are one in God. But the most important teaching of the chapter, which Arjuna grasped, was that even the actions that he thought of as his own were really not his but the Lord’s who used him as an instrument.
Arjuna was both terrified and enraptured as he gazed on the Lord’s cosmic form. The countless hosts of both the Kurus and the Pandavas were seen entering into him. Each arm, each hand, each weapon was an arm, a hand, and a weapon of the Divine Charioteer. Like moths rushing to a flame, all these living beings rushed toward him to be consumed in the fierce and terrible energy that was emanating from him. The fearsome spectacle overwhelmed Arjuna. He shrank back and begged Krishna to forgive him for having treated him in a familiar manner. All these years Arjuna had considered Krishna to be only an exceptional human being, but now he saw to his consternation that his friend was in reality the one friend of the whole universe.
‘O God of gods! O refuge of the Universe! Be kind to me! he cried, appalled at the enormity of his offense. ‘Whatever disrespect I might have shown to you in the past, pray forgive me, for you are possessed of boundless compassion.’
Hearing this plea, the Lord once more resumed his previous form, that delectable form that enraptured all those who saw it. The cosmic form was shown to Arjuna to make him realize that a human being can neither create nor destroy. All action is, in fact, universal action. So long as we do not realize this, we are bound by the results of our actions, but once we do realize it, then we are no longer bound, for we act as instruments of the Divine. Our duty is only to make ourselves fitting instruments to be used by him in whatever capacity he may think fit. Nimitta matram bhava savyasachin (Do thou be an instrument alone, O Arjuna).
The final verse of the chapter sums up the entire teaching of the Gita. ‘O son of Pandu, the one who performs action for my sake, who considers me as the supreme goal of life, who is devoted to me, who is devoid of attachment, and who is without animosity toward any living being, that one finds it easy to attain me.’
The twelfth chapter is known as bhakti yoga, or the yoga of devotion. In reply to Arjuna’s question, the Lord points that devotion to the formless Brahman is very difficult for the human mind to achieve, for the mind is conditioned to see forms alone. Therefore it is better to meditate on the Lord with form, for God can be in any form in which the devotee likes to picture him. If this is done with the knowledge that all forms merely point to the formless Purushottama (supreme person), then the devotee will easily reach the goal that striving yogis attain only after much painful effort. The devotee of God with form, however, enlists the aid of even the senses in worship. The devotee offers all the activities of the senses, together with the flowers of the garden, at the lotus feet of the Lord. Seeing his or her beloved in every form, he or she worships the whole creation. Friendly and compassionate to all, he or she is contented with whatever he or she gets, for everything is an image of his or her beloved. Such a devotee is balanced in joy and sorrow, free fro envy, fear, and anxiety. They have no disappointments, since they have no expectations. They are perfectly satisfied with whatever comes unasked, for everything is a gift from their beloved. Their joy emanates from a non temporal source, and their only resolve is to love him and serve him and serve him to the best of their ability.
In the thirteenth chapter, Sri Krishna declares that this body of ours is the kshetra, or field, which the Divine uses as his playground. The Divine Spirit that thus uses this field is known as kshetrajama, or the knower of the field. The bodies of all creatures are the individual fields of action and the universe, the universal field. But the knower of all these is one and the same – the Lord himself, the kshetrajama. In the state of ignorance, the jivatma thinks that it alone is both the knower and the actor. Thus it keeps sowing the seeds for future births in different fields and has to reap the harvest of births in successive wombs. With the dawn of enlightenment, the diva realizes that the Lord’s Prakriti is the universal actor and the Lord himself, the universal knower, and that the individual as a separate entity does not exist. With this realization, its role as a separate person in the cosmic drama comes to an end.
In the fourteenth chapter the three modes of Prakriti (nature) – sattva (harmony, intelligence, clarity), rajas (action, passion, motion, desire), and tamas (inertia, sloth, ignorance) – are explained. Sattva is the principle of harmony or equilibrium; raja, the principle of kinesis or action; and tamas, the principle of lethargy or inertia. This is the modus operandi of Prakriti through which she activates the whole of creation. All imaginable things are formed of a combination and permutation of these three modes. The way to liberation lies in overcoming rajas and tamas and developing sattvic qualities like peace, harmony, and tranquility, for this provides a fitting background for the Divine to shine through us. Finally, of course, even sattva has to be transcended, for even that is a product of Prakriti. The one who has transcended these three gunas is thus known as trigunatita, and his or her qualifications are similar of the sthithaprajna of the second chapter and the karma yogi of the third.
The fifteenth chapter is known as as purushottama yoga, or the yoga of the supreme person, wherein Lord Krishna declares himself to be the Purushottama who stands above the kshara and akshara, matter and spirit, by the interaction of which the entire world process comes into being. The Purusottama can be said to be above this, inasmuch as he is both transcendent and immanent. Though he permeates each and every atom, creation cannot contain him, since the effect cannot contain the cause.
The world process is compared to a mighty tree with its roots stretching upward to the infinite, its branches spreading downward into the world, and its aerial roots probing into the earth and binding the embodied soul with its strong bonds of attachment. Using the sharp-edged sword of discrimination one has to cut asunder these clinging roots and thus gain liberation.
The sixteenth and seventeenth chapters are in the nature corollaries, and the eighteen chapter is a grand summing up of the entire teaching. In the sixteenth chapter, the difference between the Divine and the demonic qualities is given so that one can try to shun the demonic and develop the Divine. However noble we may think ourselves there lurks a devil in each of our bosoms, and one has to strive hard to eradicate it.
The seventeenth chapter is known as the yoga of the threefold faith, and the Lord gives a masterly analysis of how the three modes of nature (sattva, rajas, and tamas) infiltrate even our noblest actions such as worship, charity, austerity, and sacrifice, as well as mundane things like the food we eat. The three modes color every aspect of our action so that the rajastic person’s charity if for show and ostentations; the tamasic person’s worship is a mere humbling of prayers, with no understanding of their meaning or effect, lacking faith and firmness; while the satvic soul performs all actions with firmness, generosity, and no desire for personal gain. Foods that are bland and promote mental as well as physical strength, vitality, and health are known as yogic foods and are sattvic in nature. Rajastic foods are hot and spicy and give rise to disease and passion. Tamasic foods are stale and unwholesome and give rise to sloth and sleep. Thus, the Lord analyzes every aspect of man’s nature and activity and gives a perfect method as to how best we can try to surmount rajas and tamas, starting from the basic level with the foods we eat, until our entire system is purified and we can transcend the gunas of Prakriti and reach the state of the Purushottama. The great mantra Aum Tat Sat should be repeated at the beginning and end of every action, for it denotes the Supreme and reminds the doer that all acts are done by his Prakriti and that the fruits should be dedicated to him.
Finally, in the last and eighteenth chapter, known as the yoga of liberation through renunciation, the Lord summarizes all that has been said before. He reiterates that the real sannyasi is the one who has renounced the sense of being the doer of actions and such a one is also the real tyagi (renunciate), for sannyasa is not a mere matter of wearing ocher robes and giving up home and family life. It entails a renunciation of the mind, of clinging attachment to the things of the world. Such a one can live in the world and play a part in the cosmic drama, as an instrument in the hands of the Purushottama. Thus, Arjuna has to play his part, has to renounce his tamasic attachment to relatives and take up his mighty bow in the interest of the world at large. As the Gandiva is in his own hands, so also is he in the hands of the Divine Archer. Krishna’s final words to his beloved disciple Arjuna and through him to the world are, ‘Fix your mind on me, and you will surely attain me. This do I promise you, for you are dearly beloved by me.’ And once again as a final benediction, ‘Having renounced all dharmas, take refuge in me alone. Verily I promise you that I shall free you from all sins and lead you to liberation.’
We carry the burden of our lives like mindless donkeys, not realizing that the Lord within us is ever ready to bear the brunt of our lives, to laugh and cry with us, to nurse and suckle us, to care for and comfort us. No one is born alone and none needs to die alone, so why should we live alone? Into this Kurukshetra of life we are propelled like Arjuna, not alone and helpless as we think but ever protected by the charioteer within us. He has ever been with us and is every ready to help us, provided we allow ourselves to be helped. We must take off the armor of our separate egos, with which we think we are protecting ourselves but with which we are actually barricading ourselves against him, the Parmatma and Purushottama, nearer to us than our nearest, dearer than the dearest, sole friend, sole relation, sole guide for the whole of humanity. Therefore, surrender to him and live in harmony and peace devoid of cares, like the fortunate child who cuddles into his mother’s arms and is carried by her through the bustle and turbulence of life.
Tenderly, the Lord asked his beloved Arjuna, ‘Have you listened to my teaching with single-pointed concentration, O Arjuna? Has your delusion born of ignorance been destroyed?
At these words, Arjuna, with his mind clear and his nerves and muscles made as firm as steel, fearlessly replied, ‘By your grace, O Lord, my delusion has gone, and I have gained my senses. I am now fixed in my resolve and will do as you command.’
Say this, he sprang to his feet and gave a blast on his conch Devadatta, while Krishna blew the Panchajanya, sending a thrill of joy through Pandava ranks and a shock of fear through the Kauravas. At the end of the sermon, Sanjaya declared to the blind king, ‘Blessed am I, O King, for by the grace of Vyasa, I have heard this thrilling disclosure by the master yogi, and Partha, the wielder of the bow, there will be prosperity, victory, glory, and righteousness. This is my firm conviction.’
Krishna and Arjuna stand for the jivatma and the Paramatma, the embodied being and God, seated together in the chariot of the body.
When human being and God stand united, when the individual works in collaboration with the Divine, when he or she becomes the living conscious instrument of the Divine, then there can never be defeat. Righteousness and victory are the natural offspring of this blissful union. “
The self is never born, nor does it ever perish, nor having
been born will it be born in future. This self is
unborn, eternal, imperishable, and ageless. Though the
body is slain, the self does not perish.
As the spirit in our body wanders on through childhood,
youth, and old age, so it wanders on to a new body. Of
this the sage has no doubt.
~Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Resources for Further Exploration:
- Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey Explained
- The Bhagavad Gita, or, the Song Divine (English and Hindi Edition) – Gita Press
- The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton
- Quantum Questions – The Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists
- Science and Non-Duality Org
- The Institute of Noetic Sciences
- Co-Creating with Source Energy – The New Paradigm of Success
- Maximizing Your Vibrational Energy – The True Source of Power
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