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From 43 - 84
DETACHMENT is a plant of slow growth; if you pluck the tender plant to look for the pods, you will be disappointed. So too, long and constant practice alone is rewarded by the Peace that God offers. Grace is acquired by Surrender as Krishna has declared in the Gita.
WHEN the Gita directs you to give up all Dharma (Set Codes of morality), it does not ask you to also give up all Karma, and when you do it for God, through God and by God, the Dharma of it does not matter; it has to be acceptable; and it is bound to benefit you. The statement is not an invitation to licentiousness or complete inactivity; it is a call for dedication and surrender to the highest in Man, namely GOD.
OF all the Slokas in the Bhagavad Gita, Ramakrishna was especially impressed by the one that emphasized the attitude of Atmanivedana or Sharanaagathi:
Manmana Bhava Madbakto
Madyaji Maam Namaskuru
"Become one with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me and bow down to Me. Unify yourself, thus you will surely come to Me".
THE Mahabharatha declares: "What is not in Bharath does not deserve reverential consideration"; and in Bharath, the message has always been: tolerance, respect for all faiths and the practice of the essential teachings of love and service with giving up of hatred, envy and pride.
PERFORM all acts with as much love as you would offer God. In Truth, you eat for the satisfaction of the "I" in you and dress up to please the self-same "I". The husband loves his wife for the sake of the "I". And who is this "I" that is persistently inherent in everyone? It is God Himself. "Iswara Sarva Bhootaanaam" says the Gita: the Lord resides in the heart of every being. He is the Atman in every being. He is the Atman in everyone, the Paramatma.
PONDER over your "sthithi" (present condition), "gathi" (direction of movement), "shakti" (capabilities), and "mathi" (inclination). Then enter upon the path of Sadhana step by step, so that you approach the goal faster every day, every hour, every minute. Arjuna became entitled to the Gita Upadesh from the Lord Himself, because he evinced the "Vishada", the "Vairagya", the "Sharanaagathi", and the “Ekagratha”, essential to assimilate The Great Message. When the yearning for liberation has become intense, beyond expression, man can set aside all social conventions, worldly norms and codes of conduct that do not subserve that high purpose.
KRISHNA does not speak of whoever among men who pronounce the "Pranava" at the moment of death, etc. The word He uses "whoever" is without any qualification of sex. He does not say "Whoever that is authorized" or "Whoever among the deserving". The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women, as well as men, to take up Pranava-Upasana. You would have seen that I do not discourage anyone from the Upasana. It is the royal road to spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
THE Gita says that, if you give up all Dharma and take refuge in Him, then He will save you from Sin and wipe your tears. Giving up Dharma does not mean that you can bid farewell to virtue and righteous action; it means, you have to give up egoism that you are the doer. Be confirmed in the faith that He is the "doer" of every deed. That is the genuine "giving up".
I AM in your heart all the time, whether you know it or not. Draupadi called out for the Lord of Dwaraka, Sri Krishna, when the wicked cousins of her husbands cruelly assaulted her, and so the Lord responded but after a little delay. He had to go to Dwaraka and come from there to Hasthinapura where she was! He told her that she could have received Him in the fraction of a second had she called out, "Oh Dweller in my heart", for He dwells there as everywhere else.
THE elders in Brindavan who reveled in scandalizing Krishna - successors have been born for them even now - set an ordeal for Radha to test her virtue. She was given a mud pot with a hundred holes and asked to bring water in that pot from the Yamuna to her house! She was so full of Krishna-consciousness that she never knew the condition of the pot. She immersed it in the river, as usual repeating the name of Krishna with every intake of the breath and every exhalation. Every time the name Krishna was uttered, a hole was covered, so that by the time the pot was full, it was whole. That was the measure of her Faith. Faith can affect even inanimate objects.
IN Realty, Truth is God; Love is God; Dharma is God. The Gopis and Gopalas saw in Krishna the Embodiment of Truth, Love and Dharma. What He said was Truth; what He was became Love, what He did was Dharma. They were so immersed in Krishna-Consciousness that they saw everywhere and in everything nothing but Krishna. Krishna for them did not exist as a separate entity in the home of Nanda; He was right in their own consciousness, at all levels of it. These Gopis and Gopalas were true Bhaktas indeed.
WHATEVER is dedicated and offered to God can never be lost. People can gain enormous benefit by offering even a little to God. "A leaf or a flower, a fruit or a little water" - that is enough, if offered with devotion. Draupadi gave Sri Krishna the fraction of a leaf sticking to the side of a vessel and God granted her endless good fortune. Kuchela gave a handful of parched rice and received from the Lord awareness of His endless Glory.
THE Lord had Maya as His consort, so to say, and He had a son called Manas. This Manas, to continue the parable, had two wives. Pravritti and Nivritti (Attachment and Detachment). Of course, Pravritti was His favorite wife and she had a hundred children. Nivritti was ill treated and neglected; and she had just five. That is the symbolism of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Though all the children lived in the same kingdom, ate the same food and learnt from the same Teacher, their natures differed widely from one another. The Kauravas, children of the attachment, were greedy, cruel, self-centered, and vain. The Pandavas, five of them, each one represented a Supreme Virtue, so that they could be said to symbolize Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa. As they were so pure and born of Detachment, the Lord became their Guide.
THE Gita speaks of Bhakthi, Jnana, and Karma as Yogas; and by Yoga is meant what Patanjali intended it to mean: "Chiththa Vrithi Nirodha", that is to say, "the stilling of the agitations of the consciousness". Vishnu is the supreme exemplar of this calm, for He is "Saanthaakaaram bhujagasayanam", the very picture of peace and calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded snake, the snake being the symbol of the objective world with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but not of it, not bound by it - that is the secret.
THE riches that you should strive to amass are not fields, factories, bungalows or bank-balances but the wisdom and experience of oneness with the Grandeur of the Universe and the Force that runs it without a hitch. Arjuna is called Dhananjaya by Krishna because he had won (Jaya) such Dhanam (riches) that saves man; and that cannot be taxed, stolen or transferred. The method of winning these riches is Sadhana.
GIVE joy to all. Prema or Love is the means to achieve this ideal. When Love can bring even God nearer to you, how can it fail where man is involved? Krishna could not be bound by any other means. That is the reason why SAI has declared: "Start the day with Love; spend the day with Love, fill the day with Love; end the day with Love. That is the way to God".
KRISHNA was known to all as Almighty, All knowing, all encompassing, and All-fulfilling. Yet, the enthusiasm to do Seva promoted Him to approach Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Pandava brothers, on the eve of the magnificent Rajasuya Yaga that he had planned to perform and offered to take up Seva of any kind. He suggested that He might be given the task of cleaning the dining-hall after the guests had partaken of the feast! Krishna insisted on outer cleanliness and inner cleansing. Clean clothes and clean minds are an ideal combination.
DURING the battle of Kurukshetra, which climaxed the Mahabharatha story, Krishna served as the "driver" of the chariot of Arjuna throughout the day till dusk on the field and caused the adjournment of the fight. He led the horses to the river, gave them a refreshing bath and applied healing balms to the wounds suffered by them during the fierce fray. He mended the reins and the harness and rendered the chariot battle-worthy for another day. The Lord sets the example for the Devotees to follow. He teaches that Service done to any living being is offered to Him and is accepted by Him most joyfully. Service rendered to cattle, to beasts, and to men is laudable Sadhana.
THE World is today in deep distress because the common man and his leaders are all distracted by lower desires and lower motives, which require only the lower skills and meaner impulses of man. This is what I call "devaluation". Though man is inherently divine, he lives only at the animal level. Very few live even in the native human level.
KRISHNA does say: "whoever among men who pronounce the Pranava at the moment of death", etc. The word he uses is "whoever" without any qualification of sex. He does not say "whoever is authorized or whoever is among the deserving". The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women as well as men to take up Pranava Upasana. You will see that I do not discourage any one from the Upasana. It is the royal road to spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
BHISHMA, for example, has to be revered and accepted as an inspiration, even more potent than Rama so far as homage to the father is concerned. In order to cater to the carnal cravings, which he could have ordinarily condemned, he denied himself gladly, spontaneously, without demur and for the entire period of his life, both wedded life and royal status. He honoured the Vedic injunction, “Pithru Devobhava” in the fullest manner.
THIS created Universe has two aspects, one is impermanence (Anityam), the second one is unhappiness (Askulham). In the Gita, Krishna has said, "Anityam Asukha Lokam Imam Prapy Bhajaseva Maam". Nothing in this World can give happiness that is true and lasting. Mistaking the World as "All" and forgetting the Atman, which alone is eternal and the only refuge, is the greatest folly of man today. Man is pinning all his hopes on slippery work and is madly running after amassing and hoarding wealth. Of course, material needs are to be taken care of but within limits and not at the cost of spiritual values. Money and mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit. Character is wealth; good conduct is wealth; and spiritual wisdom is wealth.
WORKERS and peasants - that is the slogan nowadays. These two classes were given their due share of social importance and honour during the Krishnavathar. Now, people are honoured even if they grow not food but cash crops. Foreign exchange is what we are after and so, people are encouraged to produce what others can buy not what we need; such as milk and a variety of milk products which are highly nutritious foods. Balarama, the elder brother and an Avathar in his own right, had as his weapon the plough. It declared agriculture as a consecrated occupation.
EGOISM is the most dangerous illusion that has to be exploded and destroyed. Bhima had it; but when he could not lift and lay aside the tail of a monkey, who was really Anjaneya himself, that bubble was exploded. Arjuna had it one day after the battle. When Krishna brought the chariot back to camp, he wanted that Krishna should get down first, like all charioteers; the Master must get down later, after the Charioteer opens the door for him. Krishna refused and insisted that Arjuna should alight before He should. At last Krishna won. Arjuna got down and as soon as Krishna left His seat and touched the ground, the chariot went up in flames. In fact, if Krishna had gotten down first, the various fire-arrows, which had the power of burning the chariot, would have hit the target; but due to the presence of Krishna, their igneous powers could not manifest themselves. After knowing this, Arjuna was humbled and his egoism had a powerful shock. He realized that every action of Krishna was full of significance.
THE Gita advises "Karmasamyasa", that is to say, Karma without attachment to the fruit thereof. There are Karmas, which have to be done as duties related to the status in “Samsara”, and, if these are done in the proper spirit, they will not bind at all. Do all Karma as actors in a play, keeping your identity separate and not attaching yourself too much to your role. Remember that the whole thing is just a play and the Lord has assigned to you a part; act well your part; there all your duty ends. He has designed the play and He enjoys it.
IT is when you are in a desperate situation that you call upon the Lord, forgetting your pride and your egoism. The Pandavas were so full of misery in a worldly sense that they always had an attitude of prayer. If I had given you all the comforts and opportunities, you would not have come to Puttaparthi. Trouble is the bait with which the fish is pulled out of the water. Kunthi asked that Krishna should continue giving her and her sons all kinds of misery so that He may grant them His Grace continuously.
THE Gita prompts you to seek the answers and directs you to experience them. It helps you to control the "Chittha", the agitations of the mind; it destroys delusion. It develops true knowledge; it makes you glimpse the splendour of the Lord and confirms your faith. You say at one moment: "Baba does everything, I am but an instrument; but the next moment the same tongue says: "I did this; I did that; Swami did not do this for me". If you never step into wrong, you can be ever certain of His Grace.
THE Mahabharatha, for example, is basically the story of the five Vital Airs of Man (the Pancha Pranas) overcoming the hundred obstacles in the path of upward progress. The eldest of the Five Pandava brothers is Dharmaraja (Morality, Righteousness); he is ably supported by Bhima (physical strength devoted to Divine Service and charged with Devotion), Arjuna (steady pure Faith in God), and Nakula and Sahadeva, who represent Steadfastness and Equanimity. When these Five are exiled, the Hasthinapura (body) is inundated with Adharma (unrighteousness).
IN the Manasa-Sarovar (the deep, placid mind-lake) of every man lurks a poisonous cobra with six hoods: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Hate, infesting the air and destroying all who are near it. The Name of the Lord, when it dives into the depths, forces it to come up to the surface so that it may be destroyed. So, allow the Divine in you - the Krishna, Lord over the mind - trample on the hissing hood and take out the vicious viper; let it vomit the venom and become Satwic and sweet.
LIKE all Avatars, Krishna announced His advent to the World bit-by-bit, step-by-step, testing every time how far the Reality will be accepted by the masses. The signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the Avatar.
THE mystery and splendour of God can be grasped only by a pure mind and a clear vision. That is why the Lord granted a new eye to Arjuna in order that he might not be confounded by his glory. A resolution adopted by the mind is like a stone thrown into a Sarovar or lake. It produces ripples that affect the entire face and unsettles equanimity. A good resolution or "Sankalpa" sets up a series of such thoughts, each contributing its quota to the process of purification and strengthening.
THE One is comprehensive of all this. So, it has no wants, no desires and no activity to realise anything. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: "Name Partha asthi Karthvyam, Thrishu lokeshu Kinchava Partha". (There is nothing I have to do in any of the three Worlds). He has willed the World as his sport. He has laid down that every deed must have its consequence. He is the dispenser of the consequences but he is not involved in the deeds.
ONE can also be rid of Maya if one can discard the three Gunas from one's make-up. The "Sathya guna" too has to be transcended; why? The Gita directs that even the eagerness to be liberated is a bond. One is fundamentally free. Bondage is only an illusion. So, the desire to close the bond is the result of ignorance. Krishna says, "Arjuna, become free from the three Gunas". In truth, the word "Guna" means "rope", for all three "Gunas" bind the "Jiva" with the rope of desire. Liberation means liberation from delusive attachment or "Moha"; "Mohakshaya", decline in the desire caused by attachment to sensory pleasure.
CONSIDER for a moment how long worldly triumphs last. They are but the play of the scintillating name and form of the Divine, which is the core of every being. Earn the vision that sees the Divine inherent in all. We are not troubled when something is good; only when it is bad. This is because goodness is natural. In our evil aberration, we are worried and alarmed when we slide into wrong or pain or sorrow. This is because Nature plans us to be right, to be happy and ever in a state of joy. It is a pity that man has lost his understanding of this Truth.
VYAS sympathized with man who was caught in the coils of do's and don'ts, of success and failure, of desire and despair. He demarcated many a path, which leads man along to fulfillment. The fulfillment consists in uprooting the animal that lurks in man and reaching out to the Divinity. That is his essence.
DHYANA is not mere sitting erect and being silent nor is it the absence of any movement. It is the merging of all your thoughts and feelings to God. Without the mind becoming dissolved in God, Dhyana cannot succeed. The Gita declares genuine Dhyana as "Anayaschinthayanthomaam Ye Janah Paryapasathi" (Those persons who adore me without any other thought or feeling). Krishna has assured such persons that He would carry their burden and be by their side, guiding and guarding them. Persons adept in this Dhyana are very rare; most people go through the external exercises only. So they are unable to win Grace.
LIFE is a song, sing it. That is what Krishna taught through his life. Arjuna heard that song in the battlefield where tensions were at their highest and when the fate of millions was to be decided by the sword. Krishna sang the Gita for Arjuna to listen to. Gita means "Song", and he sang because he was "Ananda" wherever He might be, in Gokulam, on the banks of the Yamuna or at Kurukshetra between the warring armies.
WHY does He attract all to His Presence? To plough the heart, prepare it for receiving the shower of Grace, to grow the seeds of Love, weed it of all evil thoughts, which smother the crops of joy and to enable it to gather the harvest of Wisdom. That wisdom finds its fulfillment in Krishna Himself, for Krishna also means the pure Essence, the Supreme Principle, the "Sath-Chith-Ananda".
WHERE there is Dharma there Krishna is; so, think for yourself, each one of you, how far have you deserved the Grace of the Lord? You draw Him near; you keep Him far. You entangle yourself, bind yourself, and get caught in the trap. No one is your foe except yourself. No one else is your friend. You are your only friend. The Guru shows you the road and you have to trudge alone, without fear or hesitation.
THE word Dharmakshetra is the first word in the Gita. In the very first verse of the Song Celestial, the Kurukshetra (field of Action), in which the Maamakaah (my people, as the blind Dhritharashtra described them through fond attachment and egoistic delusion), people motivated by greed and passion, and the Pandavas (the other people, the good and righteous, the sons of the Fair one, the Progeny of the pure), is spoken of as already transmuted into Dharmakshetra (field of Righteousness). For victory is always for Righteousness and not for greed and passion which blind men.
IF you ask Me, I will say that the Gita is like a balance: scales, needle and all. The scale on the left is the 7th Sloka of the 2nd Chapter, speaking of "Karpanya Dosha". The fulcrum is the 22nd Sloka of the 9th Chapter, beginning with "Anayaschinthayamshomaam"; and the scale on the right is the Sloka in the 18th chapter, speaking of "Sarvadharmaam Parithyajya". See how apt the fulcrum Sloka is. It speaks of single-minded attention, "steady, like the needle of a well-adjusted balance". Really, the Gita begins with two scales and a fulcrum: the two armies of Righteousness and Unrighteousness with Krishna, the Teacher, in the middle.
BHAKTI is of various types according to the Damskara of the devotee and the state of his mind and the stage of his development. There is the Shanta Bhakti of Bhishma, the Vatsalya Bhakti of Yashoda, and the Madhura Bhakti of the Gopikas. Of these the Dasya attitude is easiest and the best for the majority of aspirants at this time. It means "Sharanaagathi" and "Prapathithi" out of Shanti Bhakti.
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