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Oct. 17, 2021

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2: Verse 16 - Verse 20)

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2: Verse 16 - Verse 20)
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In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 16 - 20. This episode goes deep into understanding what is real and what is unreal.

Translation used: The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation by Jeffrey Armstrong Available here on Amazon

If you would like to dwell deeper in the Bhagavad Gita, I recommend Swami Gambhirananda's translation with Adi Shankara ji's commentary: Available here on Amazon

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 6th episode of the Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita and if you are interested in listening to more episodes like this on further chapters and verses, or on Non-Duality, or you want to learn more about the wisdom of the Mystics please follow/subscribe to this Podcast.

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Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast. This is going to be a very deep session because we be dwelling deep on very high mystical concepts. Before we begin to explore this, if you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast and would like to get extra content, please do sign up to our Patreon page and the details are in the show notes and video descriptions below. Let's begin now with exploring verses 16 to verses 20 of chapter two of the Bhagavad Gita.

Verse 16:

That which is asat never has any being, while that which is sat can never have non-being. Both these states of being are known by the seers as that which is tattva always true. We will go into what this really means. It's a very, very deep verse. It's one that I probably will be spending a lot of time on. It's more or less me reading off my notes, because what I tend to do is I read the verse. I read a few commentaries. I then think about what it means for me and then bring it into the podcast. Asat means that, which is unreal. It never has any being, it has no real existence. It is rooted in change. So whatever is rooted in change, whatever we see that you know goes through some form of modification, that is asat. It is unreal. t is always dependent upon something for a cause and cannot exist independently. If you have a look at every living being on this planet, everything in this solar system is dependent on one thing or another. In this whole universe, something is dependent upon another. The basic law is cause and effect, right? We can learn from this, that everything that we see is unreal. For example, hot and cold, these have been used in the previous verses. Hot and cold are dependent on how you perceive heat and cold. Sometimes you can be in the same room as someone and they may feel more cold than you do. Maybe the air conditioning is on, the AC and it's on a lower temp, other people are feeling cold, but your body is different. It's not feeling the same level of coldness. If you look at absolute cold or absolute heat does not exist by itself, you need someone to perceive that coldness or that heat. There is no way that it can just exist by itself. It needs some thing to perceive it. This is basically something I read once in a book. It was discussing quantum theory, the example is that of a tree falling in the forest. Did it exist? Now, if you think about it, it doesn't exist because you weren't there to hear the sound. You didn't see the tree fall. In your world, it hasn't fallen. But if you were there it's totally different. This is what I mean by nothing exists by itself. Everything is dependent on something and nothing exists independently. It depends on something, whether it is imagination, thought or memory. Even thought has a cause. Thought never appears by itself. Thought has an intention. The intention is probably caught by a desire. The desire is created by a product. The product is then created by a company. The company has been created by someone that someone has been created by someone else and then it just continues. You can see from there, everything is dependent upon one another, nothing is independent. This is why in Vedanta and something I strongly emphasize in most of my podcasts that you have to look after people, you have to have that basic sense of humanity because we are all dependent upon each other. That's why I say that if there is income inequality, we need to do something about it because it affects everyone. Nowadays people are on these trips to space. I don't see what's great about that? How about you sort out the earth, we're going through a climate crisis and you're going up in space. Like why? Why don't you use your time and resources to look at renewable energy and invest in renewable energy? Wouldn't that be a better option? Again, because we understand we are dependent on each other, we have to care about people. If you see people in the black community are being subjected to police brutality or to any form of racism by anyone, we have to call it out and we have to address it and we have to do something about it. Merely brushing it under the carpet is not enough. More has to be done. This is really important to understand. When we understand that nothing is independent by itself, that means we all have a part to play in this. A classic example in Vedanta, if you've been studying vedanta, you know about this one, the example of the clay pot, the pot is made from clay. It is dependent on clay to exist. Clay is dependent on the earth and the earth is dependent on the sun and the solar system and it goes on. Like I just mentioned, we are dependent upon each other. The solar system is independent on the universe. The universe, what is it dependent upon? This is what we're going to be looking further into. Everything is reliant on the form. Asat is form and form keeps on changing. Whatever we see has formed, even though we say , we can't see air, but air has a form because you can feel it when the wind blows, when there's a slight breeze, you feel the air. Therefore, if there is a feeling, there's definitely a form. If it is dependent on something or requires a cause, then asat means all name and form has no real existence. Even if you can name something, like I said, I can name air, I can name space. That means that's name and form. It's name and form by the way. It has to have a form. Something can have a name, but not necessarily have a form which we'll be looking into, but everything is reliant on a form. It requires atoms being packed together to have a form. Sat is what is real and never changes. In sat, there is never any non-existence or absence at all. Let's really dive deep into this a little bit. Asat, as we know, never has any being. Sat never has non being, which means something much deeper. This is why I call everything that we see and perceive, the transactional reality. Everything we see is mithya yeah, everything we see is subject to cause, subject to change, subject to modification. We are basically asat. We are unreal. It is not sat, but sat is something that never has any non-existence or absence at all. This means that what we are calling to be real cannot never not exist. It has to always exist, it has to always be here. And sat cannot be negated at all. If you look at the method of neti neti, which is, 'not this, not this', it's actually taking away what is asat to eventually get to the point where only sat is. It can only show the is-ness of sat, the is-ness of what is real, the is-ness of that tattva, neti neti cannot take you to the absolute point. It can take everything away, but it is only with knowledge of what is sat, that you then discover what is left and it's not something that is left. It has always been there. Like I mentioned, where only sat is, the is-ness is sat. Where only is-ness is. Is-ness is a very good word. I really like this word and if there is a word that I like to use for God, it would be is-ness. When I say say God again, I'm meaning Nirguna Brahman. Brahman - the ultimate reality without any attributes. Even attributes they can be taken away. Therefore it is asat. People who do believe in Saguna Brahman or the Abrahamic God, basically has attributes. It has certain qualities. You take those qualities away. What you're left with? Either it's something that has never existed, or it shows you that there is Nirguna Brahman, the ultimate reality without attributes, which is the one that we should be worshiping. Which is actually the only one that deserves our worshiping, but sometimes we need the help of a certain form so we use Saguna Brahman, which is understandable. We need to go to the is-ness and is-ness is Brahman, is-ness is the ultimate reality and if sat is real, then that means it does not depend upon anything for its existence. Brahman doesn't need us, whatever is real doesn't require me to perceive it because can I perceive it with my senses? No, I really can't. Is the awareness within me, that is aware of all the senses and what it perceives is that ever attached to the senses? Does the awareness perceive itself by the senses? No. The senses can only reflect what it finds upon that awareness, but awareness always remains untouched, unchanged, unaffected, not influenced by what the senses project, but there is within us all an awareness. We've discussed this in the previous episodes, and that's why it's really important that we go back to really understand what we've been talking about because everything adds on. If sat is real, that means it does not depend upon anything for its existence. It doesn't need my awareness to be aware of it. No, it is my awareness. Do you see what I mean? I cannot call it mine actually. Can I call it my consciousness? I'll use awareness and consciousness, although I like to be more specific, but I'm going to use them interchangeably here because it means the same thing. Or the witness. Is it ever attached to the witnessing? No, it just witnesses. Just watches. Just observes That's why I love the quote by J Krishnamurti that the observer becomes the observed, and I find that to be very true when you go through deep meditation, that's exactly what you find. That's why it's not dependent upon anything, because as it says, the observer becomes the observed. Then the person that was watching, they find another layer of watching that's going on and it's an incredible experience. Incredible. And not everyone gets there. A lot of people, they like to book read, like read scriptures or distract themselves with other things like rituals and prayer and even meditation, let's do these different methods of meditation, but those things are distractions from what is sat, they distract us from turning the mind inwards and when we can turn the mind inwards, then we are getting somewhere in spirituality. Without that you getting nowhere. You can't change that fact. Sat is formless and the formless is always in stillness. Sat is awareness, it simply is is-ness. That which never has non-being is always still. In meditation, you have to keep yourself still and it's such a weird thing to say, because you think to yourself, well, how can I keep myself still? Do I keep my body still? My breath still? What does it mean? No, you still breathe. And you still go through that. Your body may move a bit, but the stillness is not in the body or the mind, the stillness is what you're watching. Then you become that stillness. When the watcher becomes watched, then you'll find actually it's the stillness, that is watching you. It's incredible. This way they can be asat and sat together. For example, when you say the pot is made out of clay, the 'is' in that sentence means there is sat there. We talked about is-ness being sat right? So when I say the pot is made out of clay, that means there's sat, but the pot, the creation of the pot and clay, the material that's used are all asat because they all depend on something, but the 'is', does not depend on something. If you say the pot is not made from clay, even then the 'is' doesn't disappear. The observer, the witness, that reality, they exist independently. That 'IS', is not dependent on anything. It can remain even by itself, but the pot and the non creation of the pot and the clay are all asat because even if you have a mental idea like a thought of creating the pot, but you realize, or you've realized the pot has not been made, the pot is not here. But something is observing that the pot is not there. That isn't changed whether the pot is there or not, emotions come up, but what's behind the emotions? If anger arises because the pot is not made, you paid a lot of money for it. Yes, you can get angry, but what is watching the anger? See how when a spider has its web. The thread of the web is very thin. That's the difference between awareness and your emotion, the watcher, and the emotion, the witness and the emotion. That's the slight subtle barrier you could say. Despite seeing both things you, who has observed this remains unchanged. You remain untouched, you remain unchanged by this. You're not affected. If the pot is made, if the pot is not made, if the clay is there, if the clay is not there, you remain untouched. I'm not talking about you as in the body, which has a name, the mind, which has a name, which associates itself to a name I'm talking about the real you. That's who I'm talking to. Since sat does not require a cause or depends on anything else. It is self-existent automatically and we'll go into why that is. Why it is self-existent? The transactional reality is asat because it requires a body and mind to give it a name and form. The ultimate reality is that awareness or consciousness beyond name and form. We've established this earlier and it's fairly straightforward. So everything that we see in the transactional reality is asat because it requires a body and mind, to give it a name and form, to associate with it, to be friends with it. While the ultimate reality is that awareness or consciousness or the witness, which is beyond name and form. We can't really ever name the observer once it is observed. It doesn't require a name. But the sages have been nice to us. They have given us a name and those that understand the two states of being, yeah asat and sat are the seers of truth. They are the tattva-darsi, the one capable of seeing the truth of everything. So they can see that which never has being and they can see that which never has non-being. They can tell the difference between those two states and that's why they are called tattva-darsi meaning they can see the truth of everything. And tattva in this sense means the truth, the intrinsic nature of a thing, and this is something that Adi Sankara Ji emphasized a bit more on. That the 'tat' is Brahman and that 'Tat' is is-ness. So remember the mahavakya, tat tvam asi, 'That You Are'. Tat means 'That' and tvam asi means 'you are'. Sankara states that all that is here, this is-ness is Brahman. Therefore the name for Brahman is 'Tat'. This is very interesting because as Tattva can also imply that the nature of Brahman is the cause of this world. The world appears against Brahman like images on a white screen, therefore all is Brahman because Brahman plus name and forms is everything that is. And there's a concept called sarva-nama, which means in the name of everything, the name of all that is, and that is Brahman. Let me explain this a little bit more, because I think it requires a bit more of an explanation. When it says Brahman is the cause of this world. It doesn't mean that Brahman created the world. We have to understand this. When we say world, we mean the universe or universes, it doesn't mean that Brahman created it, but it will always be that is-ness that is always present. That's why it's the cause. You could say that it's like, for example, the film that is used in the projector, the film reel that portrays the images, the screen allows the images to project upon itself. Now, when you watching the movie, are you watching the film reel or are you watching the screen? You're watching the screen. So like that you think that the screen has caused the images. It gives that false perception, but realistically it's the projector that is projecting upon the screen. So that's what it means by the cause of the world or cause of the universe. It's just that because you can put name and form against Brahman. The seers can discern easily between asat and sat, and there is no confusion about it. They know the transactional reality and they know the ultimate reality, very simple. They can tell the difference. The seers see from the viewpoint of sat and sees everything as the truth and at the same time, the seer can see from the viewpoint of asat and see that everything is an appearance. Let's just go over that a little bit. When you see a saint or a Sage or a Mahatma or a Maharishi, when you're with them, you can tell that they can see from the viewpoint of sat and see that everything is true. Everything is Brahman because if I am Brahman - Aham Brahmasmi, then Tat Tvam Asi - You Are That, this name and form, It is all That , they can see that too. Then at the same time, the Seer, the Saint, the Sage, the Mahatma, they can see from the viewpoint of asat too, which shows that everything is an appearance, that everything is subject to change. Everything is subject to decay. Everything is subject to birth and death. Therefore, it is unreal. It has no independent existence. Therefore it is not worthy to be attached to. It seems really difficult when we talk about attachment and detachment and the next few verses, we gonna go into that. Verse 17. Just try to see this tattva which is both indestructible and immortal. No one can accomplish the destruction of that unalterable reality. This verse makes it very clear on what sat is, what this ultimate reality is. This Tattva cannot be destroyed at all, nor can it be modified in any way. So Krishna is really guiding us to see this Tattva as both indestructible and immortal. It is everlasting. If this reality can not be altered, then this implies it is available right now. If Brahman cannot be altered in any way, this Tattva, this truth, this is-ness, then I can experience that is-ness, I can experience that right now. I also want to mention that here Atma and Brahman are used interchangeably. When we talk about atma here, we're not talking about your individual soul. That would be your jiva, that would be your individual soul, if you had to call it that. But the Atma is Brahman. Yeah. There's no difference between that. In fact, there's no difference between the Jiva and Brahman, but the problem is the Jiva can associate itself with the body and the mind and because the jiva is under that wrong impression, it then confuses the atma. So the atma can be confused and then when the Atma realizes by studying the scriptures, it then goes to Brahman and understands what It's true nature is. This reality cannot be altered. We cannot alter what is ultimately true and indestructible and immortal. Remember whatever can be destroyed and is mortal cannot be this Tattva. It cannot be what is real. To truly try and understand this is to understand that the unreal appears because you are what is real. You are Sat, this Is-ness in you is Sat. The unreal depends on the real, but what is real does not depend on what is unreal. That is why there is non-duality because there's no difference once one sees like a Tattva-Darsi. Let me make that very clear. The unreal will always depend on the Real. But what is real will never depend on what is unreal? So this Brahman pervades everywhere because it is immortal. It cannot disappear. There is no second thing to destroy it, and it's not subject to time, it's not subject to decay and it's not subject to modification. And Sankara says that no one can destroy Brahman, not even Brahman Itself. This is very interesting because if someone looks at that, they probably think that's a bit of a crazy statement that even Brahman cannot destroy itself. That's why it is Sat If it could destroy itself, that means it was dependent upon some thing and that would mean that it was born and therefore it has to die. That's why Brahman cannot destroy itself. Brahman can not even hide itself, forget about destroying itself. It cannot even hide itself. We have hidden ourselves from It under the impression that we are this body and mind, but to be fair, Brahman is not hiding Brahman is there in plain sight, in our everyday experiences Brahman is there. Brahman is the one that is observing within us that's untouched by everything that happens to us. This was a very quick verse, but I want to actually go back

to the statement of:

so the unreal depends on the real. What do we mean by that? Just your own experience. Remember, I mentioned that you are the observer and that observer within you has been unchanged, think about it on a deeper level, everything around you changes, even the body that you're observing through changes, but you have not changed. You've gone through so many years. You've gone through each day and you've remained unchanged. There's something within you that's untouched by this, that doesn't age in the body ages. It doesn't get emotional, when the body gets emotional, when the mind gets emotional. When the mind is stress, it does not get stressed. It watches that stress. I'm talking about that watcher within you, that observer within you, that witness within you. That's what I mean when it says the unreal depends on the real, because without that, we would all be crazy, in my opinion. Because we know there's a subtle difference between what is true. We all know this, even those that do not know about Brahman and do not know about the Tattva, that do not know about the Gita, that do not know about spirituality, you could say you're an atheist. You cannot escape this. Even they know there is something. That's why I always say that the Eastern religions cannot accommodate Nirguna Brahman as the Abrahamic god. It's simply impossible and philosophically disastrous because the Abrahamic gods gets angry, gets jealous, is loving is compassionate, is merciful. Therefore has qualities, but Brahman cannot have those qualities. Saguna Brahman does but Nirguna Brahman doesn't. The interesting thing is that Saguna Brahman will have to lead you to Nirguna Brahman because it cannot sustain itself. Eventually it will be destroyed too. That's why everything is dependent upon the real. When we talk about Brahman, we have to really understand, we're talking about the Nirguna aspect, unless I mentioned Saguna Brahman, then I mention that, but I'm always 99% of the time talking about Nirguna Brahman That which has no attribute. That is-ness with no attribute. When I say the word 'God', understand I'm talking about Nirguna Brahman. I'm not talking about any Abrahamic God, or even Saguna Brahman but language is such, but I wanted to establish that because we are all learning. The real does not depend on what is unreal. For example, if the unreal disappears, the watcher remains, that does not change. And that's why there's non-duality. Spirituality is all about removing duality. If you have even a speck of duality, you cannot say you are realized, cannot, and there's no real difference once one sees like a Tattva-Darsi, we need to become like a Tattva-Darsi, this is the. Look at the emphasis here. Krishna is saying, just try to see this Tattva, just try to see it, make the attempt. We don't even like to make the attempt. We think, especially people my age, we think we have time. We don't have time and we're going to go into why that is in verse 18. Verse 18. O Arjuna, these dehas which must someday end and then be burned are inhabited by an everlasting, indestructible, immeasurable being. Therefore, you should join the battle. So here, ' oh, Arjuna!' Maybe Arjuna got a little distracted with what Tattva was so to bring the attention back to the battlefield, the name is addressed. Krishna first tells us what this body is and that is, it must end one day. Dehas, bodies, therefore implying it is unreal, it is asat. It never has truly any being. When he says these dehas, these bodies, he's also showing Arjuna, the whole battlefield. Saying "look, everyone you see, your teachers, your brothers, your cousins, all these bodies, they gonna some day end." Then the talk of this body being burned because as hindus and all religions that have come out of Sanatana Dharma they all believe in being cremated. Here Krishna is also creating an image in Arjuna's mind that everyone will one day die and be burnt. So he's creating that image that this is normal. This is going to happen. Then Krishna adds the real. He talks about the asat then attaches the real, and this is what I mean the asat can always be connected with the Sat. He adds the real, the Sat to this asat by saying that these bodies are all inhabited by an everlasting, indestructible, immeasurable being this, Tattva, this Tat - Brahman. This is what he's talking about. That immeasurable being, that indestructible being, that everlasting being is Brahman. Now the body itself can never become indestructible and everlasting. We know this, there is no one that has lived more than 150 years that we know about. We know that everybody goes through some sort of destruction within the body, if you think about it. I mean, look at how we age that shows we are subject to being destroyed. While if something was indestructible, it has to remain the same. It cannot be modified in any way. The unreal can never become real because of this. The body can never become Sat, it can never become real. We have to understand this. It's very important that we take time to understand this, but we can use an example to help us. And that is the pot and clay. In reality, only clay is. The pot can never become clay itself. The clay appears as the pot only. The pot can never turn around and say I'm clay because no, it's always been clay. It's never been the pot. We've given it a name and form. But the clay is always there. Same with Brahman. Brahman is always there. This being within us, this immeasurable being, this indestructible being, this everlasting being has always inhabited this body, your body, every body. This is the simple way of understanding it. This being, which is Brahman is consciousness, awareness to this body, but the body itself cannot give consciousness. Consciousness has always remained. Awareness has remained even before our birth. This body is destroyed in two ways. When the body dies, we say the body is destroyed, right? We see the body go through cremation. The body's gone and then if you look at the other side, if someone has a terminal illness, we say that illness is destroying that body. Brahman cannot be destroyed because as we know It is Is-ness beyond past, present and future. It is self existent. Therefore it cannot be destroyed. The body can be destroyed by something. It has a cause behind it's destruction and will eventually regardless be destroyed, but Brahman cannot, and it cannot even destroy itself remember. Even if Brahman wanted to deny itself, it cannot deny itself. That's the reality. There's other aspects. Sometimes people have a relative type of sense of destroying. When they say that "I've lost my house, my business, everything is destroyed." That's all in the mind, but that's an absolute, the body dying is an absolute thing. When we lose someone, in my own life, the people that I've lost, my aunts, my uncles, my brother, my guru, their body is no longer here. Their body has been burnt and all that's left is my own memories. They aren't remembering me. They've gone. They need a mind to remember me. If you think about it deeply, everyone is destroyed. It's a harsh truth, it's a harsh reality and this is why I think it's phenomenal that early on Krishna does not delay. If you think about it, the first chapter is just Arjuna mainly speaking. Then in the second chapter, he goes straight into death. If there's any way to shock someone that is one way, to talk about death and when we encounter death, we then realize we need to do something. I think whenever someone dies and you experience seeing someone you love die, someone that you care about. Your own mortality always comes into the picture always. You can never escape your own mortality. We always do that, and that's why we have to really understand what we really are. We have to do it in, in the right time. We have to do it as soon as possible. I always say this to people that communicate with me on a regular basis. I always tell them that I want to become liberated. I want to attain mukti, moksha because I don't know how long I have left. I've seen people die who were younger than me or I surpassed the age in which they died. And I ask myself, what have I achieved? And that's why for me, attaining moksha is a real thing. Like if you told me tomorrow that I have to let go of everything, my wealth, my attachments, and attain moksha, when they say moksha, I don't mean dying. Like in terms of my body's going to die. I'm talking about jivan-mukti, I'm talking about moksha that you attain when you're alive. If I had to let go of my wealth, everything, I would do it. But I know that in a way, the whole point of jivan-mukti is that you don't let go of anything. It's about understanding. That's why Vedanta is so appealing to me because it's about understanding. But going back to what I was saying is my own mortality is what reminds me that I need to do something. It's really important to have that desire, that zeal, that enthusiasm, to get to the truth, to understand Brahman and to become Brahman. You have to have so much passion in this and actually the passion is created by itself. Funny thing is when I started really studying spirituality, it was during a tragic time, well I thought it was tragic. It wasn't really, it's a common thing. You go through a breakup, and you think your world is going to end. I remember that's the first time I opened myself to reading scriptures. So I started reading and then once I started, I encountered the word Brahman for the first time it was in I think, 2011. That was it. I was, I was so captured by this, that it just led me into a time of study and each time I'm finding, I'm not saying I'm there. I don't know how far I am from it. But all I do know is that my understanding keeps refining and it keeps getting better. You have to have that attitude, one of learning, of the seeker, but also of understanding and getting to terms with that understanding, then you move forward. It's like I said, once you start reading about Brahman, listening about Brahman, that's all you want to do. You have to be really careful because you have to live your life too. I have a wife, we have a mortgage to pay for. We have bills to pay for, and we need to support each other. It's only by supporting each other that I'm able to have this time to do this podcast, to study, it's because of that. If I turn around and I just study about Brahman and I do this podcast, and I forget about my wife and my responsibilities, I am not going to really achieve anything. Yes. I may attain Brahman, but look what I lost. Why not attain Brahman and also keep what I have? Be a winner in both ways, there's a very beautiful concept, having your lok sukhi and parlok suhela. I think it's in the Gurbani, in the Guru Granth Sahib and what that means is you're 'lok sukhi' means this world 'sukh' meaning contentment, you're content in this world. And then 'parlok suhela' that even in the next world, the next world is not when you die, you're going to heaven. It's not that. The next world is the understanding of, the asat is the lok and then Sat is Parlok suhela that would be full of joy. Win the game of both and my Guru often used to teach this and always used to emphasize this. It's only like now that I really value that teaching, I think before I probably would have become a monk, but I see the greatness of living a householder life and being spiritually active, it's a very beautiful thing. Anyway, I digress. This Brahman cannot be measured in any way. Not by any sense perception, not through thought nor imagination. Brahman is Self-Evident, and that is because it is never born. So doesn't have a beginning and nor does it have an end, therefore it cannot die. What needs to be uncovered by the likes of me and you and with Arjuna is to get rid of all the false notions that we have about ourselves. It gets rid of this confusion and the error of self identity that we have with the body. This is important thing. Also when we think we are an individual, this shows limitation Sankara does say that Brahman is sarva-nama, which I mentioned earlier, which means the name for everything. If Brahman is everything, then it cannot be an individual. Therefore the Atma when under the confusion that it is an individual, this jiva believes in all things related to the body and mind, and then through correct understanding provided by the scriptures, by a guru, by the association of great individuals that have attained this knowledge the Tattva-Darsis, this atma is seen for what it is - Brahman. Let's understand that Brahman is the inner dweller of this body that you have, that I have, the inner dweller is Brahman this Sat, and that It's not subject to destruction. Then what dies will always die. Think about it. You can't stop that, I can't stop that. Nobody. You can do the biggest havans in the world. You can do the biggest prayers in the world. You can ask your guru to try and save someone. Even the Guru will not do that. Why? Because the guru knows what dies must die. You cannot stop this truth. You cannot stop this flow of life. That which is permanent remains permanent. Yeah. We know Brahman remains, therefore remain in Brahman. Be Brahman. That is permanent and be permanent in this temporary world, in this transient world. That's the name of the game! Nothing else. Krishna's main message here is for Arjuna to understand that his sorrow and delusion is false because he's attaching it to the dehas, to the bodies, to these bodies that he sees around him. When he sees like the Tattva-Darsis, when he sees the Tattva - Brahman, then only asat is going to die and be cremated. That wrong understanding the sorrow and delusion will be cremated, burnt and finished. The Sat, the Real will always remain. It is everlasting, and this is why Arjuna should join the battle. What Krishna is doing here is making urgent, understand that he cannot kill Duryodhana's atma. He cannot destroy that indestructible, everlasting, immortal being that has inhabited Duryodhana and he can't stop Duryodhana's body from dying either. This is the understanding that Krishna's giving to Arjuna. Let's remind ourselves that the real battle here will always be about removing delusion about who we are. Not simply that one must be violent and hurt others because of some self-righteous motive because even if you look at it, Krishna is not telling Arjuna anything other than you need to let go of your sorrow and delusion because it's attached to something wrong. You're looking at the temporary aspects of life. There's something much bigger at play. Look at that. In the commentaries, Adi Shankara Ji does mention this a lot, that the scripture, the Gita is intended for eradicating sorrow, delusion, et cetera, which are the causes of the cycle of births and deaths. It is not intended to instruct one towards rituals and other actions. This is what the aim of the Gita is to do, to eradicate sorrow and delusion, because we're all deluded right now. I'm deluded right now, thinking I am this body and mind, I still have that identification, that association. So I need to change that and this is what the Gita is gonna do, it's going to help me if I have that mindset. If I think the Gita is going to help me with rites and rituals and how to do poojas and how to do paaths and kirtan and all this, then I'm being distracted. The true understanding comes through introspection and we can only do that when we understand the Sat and asat. Here Arjuna is understanding that his gurus, everyone is simply not these bodies. They are inhabited by something greater, this Atma, which is Brahman. Then we go on to verse 19. One who imagines that the immortal being can kill or be killed does not understand that no one can ever kill or be killed. These next two verses that we looking at 19 and 20, they're loose quotations from the Katha Upanishad . It shows us that Krishna's respect towards the Upanishads and again, showing us that the source of the Gita is the Upanishads and that the message is not different. If someone says the Upanishads is higher than the Gita, it's not about higher. You may prefer one, that's different, but to say the Gita is higher than That's wrong too. It's not the correct understanding. Also it's a two-way thing to show that whatever Krishna says also has the backing of the Upanishads and that the witness is the scriptures like the Upanishads. So The Upanishads is a witness here. You have to get something notarized, signed same thing here , the one that is signing the paper is The Upanishads and saying what Krishna is saying is according to the Srutis, is according to what Vedanta is teaching. Someone who holds a false concept that Brahman can kill or be killed does not understand the eternal truth. The basic truth that no one can ever kill or be killed, because remember Krishna has guided us to understand about this Tattva, this Brahman. From the viewpoint of Sat, there is no killer, no killing, no killed because no action comes from Brahman. The viewpoint of the unreal, asat, there may be the appearance of killing the killer and killed because there is a body committing an action. Berman cannot be the subject of an action nor the object of an action. We cannot associate action with Brahman. Brahman is not the doer. Another way to see this is that an enlightened doer is one who knows 'I am not the doer', even though they perform the action. They may do the action. You may see them physically doing action, but they know they're not the doer, this body is doing it, but their real self is Brahman. It's this Atma. Some say, then that means that the enlightened person can do whatever they please. We sometimes think that, well, if you say that you're not the doer, then can you commit a crime? No, not really because, an enlightened person will always follow the Dharma. They will always follow the path which creates and causes less harm, majority of the time. It's about causing joy and creating joy. They will never do something that will harm others. Or it will cause less harm because fact is sometimes a guru can say something to you, you may get offended, but they probably meant it in a way that was going to benefit you. So it may have been harsh in the beginning. It may cause you harm in the beginning, but a year down the line, you realize that actually the Guru was right, with what they said about me and you realize it causes less harm. It may now transform to joy. Do you understand what I mean? When we say that an action is right or wrong, it's never black or white, never. That's why here it's very important to know that we always talk about what causes or what causes joy. The atma will never be the doer. We have to understand this and the atma is always free from all action and this is not recognized by someone who thinks that the atma is the doer. Verse 20. That being who was not born, can never die and who, having been, will always be. Unborn, undying, with no origin, this timeless being is not killed when the deha (this body) is destroyed. This is directly about Brahman. Yeah, this whole verse is about Brahman. It's a loose quotation from the Katha Upanishad. This is directly about Brahman or the Atma that resides within all of us. In fact, there's only one atma, if you think about it. We think it's individual, but there is only one. It is the all in us, and that is not subject to change or modification. When we think we have millions of atmas in this world. The problem with that is you then have to ask the question, where did the atmas come from? Like for example, when we have populations increasing, how can you say, where does these atmas appear from? Is there this machine that creates atmas? We need to understand on a deeper level that there's only one atma. Jiva is a aplenty and Jiva can be the being that inhabits your body and mind. It can create a false impression upon the atma, but the atma can never be an individual. It can be only under the false impression but it's never individual, it's always one, it's always Brahman. This Brahman is simply not born, it has no date of creation. We cannot know when Berman was created. And in fact, as we know, to even talk of creation, we cannot with Brahman because when something is, always has been and will always be, is Self-Existent. If It doesn't die, there's nothing in between birth and death for this then It's Self-Existent. Brahman cannot experience birth, death or in between, since all these are transient experiences. Being unborn, therefore establishing that it is uncreated, not bounded by time and space, not subject to death nor is it an object within time, as it has no beginning. Therefore it is undying too. If it's not born, it's not going to die. Since it has no origin, no original cause, it is not subject to any change. Only that which has an origin or a cause is in the continuous state of change. By saying this also removes any possibility of Brahman being understood as eternal, but continuously changing, eternally changing. This gets rid of the concept of Saguna Brahman because Saguna Brahman may have attributes that cause it to change over time or we can continuously put attributes upon something. But the fact is It doesn't change because it has no attributes. This timeless being is not killed when the deha is destroyed. So this physical body, that is subject to birth and death will die. It will be destroyed. It will be burnt, whilst this timeless being will never be killed. In the Sanskrit, the word purana has been used and it generally means ancient. But here it means that which is fresh. Brahman or the Self is always fresh and new. The body is subject to time, ages and gets old. When the body dies, it starts smelling. But the Timeless being, beyond time is always new and will always remain new. This is so beautiful and why is Berman so fresh? Why is it new? Because it's always is, it's in the present moment, it's always present, always is. Whenever you approach is-ness, it's always, it is always new. It is always fresh. This is why it's so important to read scriptures because you get the vocabulary to explain things. Sometimes I struggle with words, then I read something like this and I'm like, " oh yeah, Brahman is fresh and new. That's the right way to say what I feel." And this is it. The Atma or Brahman cannot be influenced by paap and punya, activities, which result in suffering or activities which result in joy. If the Atma did, then it would not be Self-Existent. This Brahman, this Atma is always beyond suffering and joy. Beyond those attributes, beyond those qualities. This is why it is important that we use the tools of discernment to see ourselves as the Atma and not the body. Very important that we see ourselves as the Tattva and not as this body, the deha. It's important that we use this knowledge that we've learned today in our day-to-day life. This is not meant to be listened to, and then be like, oh, you know, the Bearded Mystic podcast said this and that's amazing. No. Now practice it. This is the whole point. I've got to practice it and sometimes it's difficult. I know. People can be difficult. People can be weird and wonderful. People can be annoying. But the thing is we have to remind ourselves that these dehas, they're subject to death. They gonna be burnt one day or buried one day, but within them, inhabited within them, there is this Brahman, this indestructible being, they don't know that they're this. Yeah, maybe they don't know. So be nice to them. In fact, it makes you a nicer person. If it didn't, then you know, there'd be a problem. Shankar reminds us that the Atma is not born, nor does it die, nor does it grow, nor does it shrink. It cannot add on any attribute for it to grow. So if it doesn't grow, that says everything because when something is added on, I grow, I can learn new skills. Yeah. We can do that. We can learn new skills. We can acquire new knowledge, but the fact is this doesn't happen with the Atma. It doesn't happen with Brahman. It's not born nor does It die, nor does It grow, nor does It shrink. Also Adi Shankara Ji reminds us that Krishna negated the six-fold modifications of the physical body, when it comes to Brahman. Those six modifications are birth, existence, growth, modification, decline, and death. This does not apply to Brahman, the bodies go through this. But the real self within us, the real Inner Dweller. Yeah. This Brahman, I like the word Inner Dweller instead of inhabited, this Real Inner Dweller, this Brahman, that's who we are, that's what we need to start identifying with. It helps when we start seeing everything else as Brahman because once you start doing that, it makes it easier for yourself. It doesn't mean that you'll go up to everyone and say, "Hello Brahman! How are you doing? That's not what I mean. What I mean is internally you understand that everything is Brahman. Yeah. It'd be really weird if we did that and people will call you crazy. So don't do that please. And don't say The Bearded Mystic Podcast told me to do, I did not tell you. This is my disclaimer right now. So the Atma or Brahman didn't have any of this hence it is Sat the Real, the formless, the name of All - sarva nama. This Brahman cannot be objectified and simply doesn't give any opportunity for it to be an object. That's the beauty of it. Before you even see it as an object, before you perceive it as an object, before you even witness it as an object, it then becomes you. It doesn't let you objectify it. Just right before you will find it switches and this is what is called samadhi because samadhi means the mind automatically turns inwards. This is the real meaning. This is what really happens. Brahman can never be objectified nor can it be seen as an object. It removes any opportunity and that's why it's really important my friends, that when you practice this more and more, trust me, you'll find your mind just turns automatically inwards. And you'll even notice that before you can even name and give a form to the object that is Brahman, it will reveal to you, It is Brahman and you are IT. Simply before you can bring it into as an object. Before you can name It as an object or identify It as an object because It cannot be. And even then the mind when it will try to make it an object will get confused because how can you objectify Is-ness? So thought will get confused and therefore mind is confused. Brahman can never be objectified. Nor does It have any attributes to receive any action? It does not Itself undergo a change to perform an action as it is Sat, it is Real. This is the state of Brahman. That's why Brahman is not the doer. Brahman is not the karta. A lot of times we like to say God is the Doer of everything. Why would God do anything? God doesn't do anything God doesn't need to. And in fact, it's our way of blaming our circumstances on God. We've made the circumstances crap for ourselves, but we like to blame God. So we say, God is a doer. No, God doesn't do anything. This world has its own laws, its own way of working, its own way of operating. That's all you need to understand. And actually Vedanta makes you in charge of your life. It empowers you to encounter your life in such a way that you should be proud of the life you've lived. You lived a life that cared for humanity, that cared for others, that cared for your own self because you wanted and you attained Jivanmukti. That's what we need to understand. Brahman doesn't do anything. God doesn't do anything. It's very hard for us to accept this because constantly we are told by others that God is the doer, don't worry! Karanwala woh hai! they say in Hindi. No, he's not the doer. When we say he's the doer and if we say he performs an action, guess what happens with an action? An action is born, an action dies. Therefore that means it is not Sat! God cannot be true. Then atheists are right, because if the action is born and then the action dies once it finishes and if it's associated with Brahman, then Brahman cannot be true. God cannot be true. Then that will also mean that God is born and God will die. Then Nietzsche is right that God is dead. But he encountered Saguna Brahman or he encountered the Abrahamic. God. He wasn't able to see that, which is eternally true within him. Which is Brahman. That's why Brahman cannot perform an action nor can he receive any action. Meaning whatever rituals you may do for Brahman, Brahman is untouched. Brahman is not going to be like Lord Shiva ji or Lord Vishnu that's going to bless you in some way or Lord Brahma and bless you with riches and knowledge and boons and all this. No, Brahman doesn't do any of that. Brahman is not going to reward you nor is It going to punish you. The laws of the world will do that. The laws of the world are more than capable of operating that. And with this understanding, we know that the Atma cannot cause sorrow, nor will it ever be in sorrow because it's changeless. We then further understand that the Atma is not the doer of action, nor an object of the action and not a source of sorrow. This is what happens when we understand in the correct manner what Brahman is and the Atma, without any origin is fullness and that fullness that remains full even when fullness is taken from It. That is what the Atma is. That is what Brahman is. And that is a beautiful way to end this episode. Remember the is-ness of this fullness of this formless of this timeless immeasurable being that is Sat. That is Brahman. Thank You very much for listening. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday. You can follow my social media channels. 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