In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 26 - 30. Shri Krishna summarizes the concept of death so that Arjuna is now clear that the atman cannot die and therefore we need to embrace our own mortality.
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
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Hello, everyone just before episode eight starts, I want to let you know that I've kept some of the longer pauses in this episode. Normally I edit them out a little bit, but in this episode I've kept them because I feel that the silence has a quality that has transcended the words that I spoke. So hope you liked this episode. Enjoy. Hello, and welcome to The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining me today and for watching or listening to this podcast episode. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can sign up to my Patreon page where the details are in the show notes and video description. Let's get started with verses 26 verses 30. Verse 26.Shri Krishna continues:
So, Arjuna, either you believe that living beings are nitya immortal and are reborn again and again, or you believe that they only live once and that their mrityu, their death is final. In either case, you should not mourn their passing. Here Krishna raises a very important point, and I'm not sure if he guesses that Arjuna may be having doubts about what he's been saying. Or that Shri Krishna's just making sure he addresses every point, which I think is more likely the case, but it is clear here that if Arjuna believes that beings are reborn continuously, then why would you grieve in that sense? Because you know that people are reborn. Therefore life continues. There is no need to feel sad because the person you loved that has died, they'll be reborn again and you would also be reborn. Why would you grieve? Alternatively, say that you only live once and death is going to happen. That's the final thing. You can't do anything about it. In a way, what Shri Krishna is pointing out is death is inevitable. Whichever way you look, therefore do not grieve. The same thing is going to happen. Death. Not something else. Whether you believe in the cycle of birth and rebirth, or you don't. It continues. So death is final. Even the death of the people that he's around and you shouldn't grieve. The whole point of Arjuna's sorrow is because he fails to comprehend that death is the greatest fact of life. He's denying that fact. Every law may change in this universe, but one thing that will not change or be modified is the fact that whatever is born will die. You could change anything according to your understanding, but this one truth is going to remain. It doesn't matter if you believe in a heaven or hell because your life on earth will end. Your form has to go, this body and this mind has to die. If you believe you live only once, even then you cannot do anything about death. Just simply can't do anything about it. If people are reborn, there's no need to feel sad because they will have a new form and his mentors, his teachers, his elders will get a new form. So why should Arjuna feel sad about that? Again, Krishna reminds him that you should not mourn their passing because Arjuna should now be aware of the Atman He should now be starting to comprehend what the atman is. The eternal being, this Brahman. Only the body is coming and going anywhere. But the Atman being partless, it is changeless and it is placeless. With this simple understanding, the inevitable shouldn't be mournful and nor should one make a big deal out of it. Normalizing death is a great step into being enlightened because death is both a certainty as an event, but post death, we can claim there is uncertainty. Yet, Krishna has opened our eyes about post death. It's only the body that's going to get recycled into the universe and find a new form, but the Atman has no pre or post death because it wasn't born. Yeah. The Brahman within us, that awareness, it does not go through any death experience at all. It is always alive because it is not born. Therefore it does not die. We have to keep reemphasizing this. So we understand this real amazing truth and we'll move to verse 27. Whoever is janma born within matter will experience mrityu the death of their deha, and the supposedly dead will always be reborn again. This process is inevitable, so you should never lament about it. As expressed with the previous verses anyone born with atoms, of the five elements is going to experience the death of their body, their deha, and the apparently dead will always be reborn. In a way, there is never an old body. There is always a new body, a recycled body. We can never say something is truly old because everything is being renewed. So energy is always being transferred and that is the same with the body. That is the truth. We cannot escape for the body and the mind for this transactional reality. What seems to be death, will always get a new lease of life. Therefore, why would we be sad? Why would we be upset? Because someone will be experiencing life again with new, fresh eyes, with a new, fresh mind. Everyone will experience death and everyone that's got a body will go through death. And it doesn't matter who you are. Nobody has escaped that law. Whether it is Krishna himself, whether it is Lord Ram ji, whether it's Guru Nanak ji, whether it's Buddha. Nobody has escaped this from happening to them. Even they have had to go. Avatars have had to go. one knows that Arjuna realizes that death is inevitable. I think he knows this. His argument really is no one should have a premature death. This is what he's more concerned about. He's more concerned that people should be given the chance to live a bit more. How can he say that that is better? How can he say they going to die a premature death? Can he stop them from getting a heart attack in the next second, even before they raise their swords? He can't guarantee those things, but this is what he's upset about. He believes that everyone should be given the chance to live a bit more and therefore they should not be this war. But how does he know that even if they win the war, the other side, how does he know that the teachers and the gurus and the mentors and the elders are going to be happy after? Or what if they face suffering after? Therefore is giving them more life a good thing? Is it a more righteous thing or a less righteous thing? Therefore, the question is, is it better to die in this battle or is it better to live long enough to experience suffering? And this reminded me of an amazing quote from the dark night that either you die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. And this is what can happen. Therefore, no one dies a premature death, actually, because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. We may say ahh they went before their time, gone too soon. I've used those phrases too, but now I think about it. I am doing an injustice to what their life could have been afterwards. That I perceive if they lived a bit longer, it would have been better, but how do I know it's going to be better? It's all guesswork, we can't guess those things, therefore it's unrealistic. We're not living with reality. Time doesn't favor the body. We have to understand that. Especially when it grows older, we know it slows down. We know that it isn't as fresh and young as before, it starts getting weaker. The nature of the body is to age. It's something we can't escape. Think about it, if you compare human life compared to the oceans, just this earth, the mountains of this earth, we're just, like a blip, a little flash in the time span of the earth itself. Now, when you think about it compared to the universe, we're a non-existent flash and a blip. If you look at the timescale, what is 70, 80 years compared to eternity or billions of years? Nothing. So what are we getting sad about? We're getting sad about a blip? It's crazy when you think about it? So Krishna establishes here that there's nothing that Arjuna can do about this process. Yeah. So his sorrow is useless. This process is inevitable. So you should never lament about it. Why, why should he be sad? He can't avoid this process. Nobody can avoid this process and by him lamenting over it, thinking about it, worried about it, both birth and death, aren't waiting for his approval or command. Life does as it pleases. So even if Arjuna feels like he needs to think about it, he needs to worry about it, it's not going to stop death from happening. He cannot change this process, no matter how much he tries and Krishna doesn't give a chance to Arjuna to think that he can grieve. If you think about it, he's not giving the possibility because if people are reborn, then death is merely a simple event that happens and that's the way to view it. And if you only live once, you will die and nothing can be done about that. It's the end. So it's better to embrace. And both scenarios does contain that one fundamental fact that death is going to happen. So we really need to understand that it is an inevitable process. Death is always a tough thing to talk about, to be open about because we have real raw emotions when it comes to death, especially when we lose people we love and we can't ignore those emotions either. But it just shows that yes, we need to be emotional and show our emotions. It's important. We need to let the body and the mind address those things. But at the same time, let us remind ourselves of what is true within us. This Brahman, this inner dweller that is eternal. That is indestructable. This is our true self. And that was the true self in the other person too. There's only one true self. So why do I grieve? Then we get over the emotional roller coaster that we could be going through. Now let's go to verse 28. All beings are unmanifest in the beginning, manifest for some time in the middle, and then unmanifest again at the end. Crying and complaining will not change this process. Krishna is a bit harsh sometimes. How did we begin? What is our origin? We simply do not know. We simply do not know our beginning. It's all theory. Someone will say God made everyone. And the other person would say the big bang caused everything, both are theories. God created the planet in six days. How did God know what six days was before he created time. And what is time? It's all subjective. It's our experience. Just because the earth goes around the sun, we say it's one year. But say an alien in another part of the universe may perceive time to be totally different. So our measurements are just our own apparatus, it's not anything special. And we're using that limited understanding of time to create theories out of things. I really want to raise this point that all we know is that we are unmanifest. Before we were born, we're just unmanifested. And this is an important word because here uncreated is not used. Manifested is used not created because something can manifest out of nothing. You know, even say, if the universe just appeared out of nowhere, we can accept that. Say the big bang occurred and there an existence just manifested itself, through a process. That means that it can manifest forms. It can manifest atoms, but whatever the manifestation is right now, prior to that, we do not know what it was, how it came to be. The thing is, if we say we were created, then we need a creator who shaped us, who formed us, what created us. Then we gotta then ask the question, well, who created the creator because something had to given it form? Osho says this, that if, if you can accept by principle, that existence can appear out of nothing and it can manifest itself. Then why do you need a God? Why do you need a creator? I can accept this logically. You simply don't need to have a creator. There's no need for a creator because it eventually just gets really messy because then you have to prove the existence of a creator. Our sages, they've never believed that Brahman was the creator. They've always understood that Brahman is. That's it.Whether manifest or unmanifest, Brahman is. It's that consciousness that does not change. So all we know is that for short period, a blip on this pale blue dot in the universe, we are born, we manifest and we live our life and then following from that, we will die and become unmanifest again. We just simply don't know what happens after. So we just are unmanifested that much, our own awareness tells us this, that we become unmanifest. Have you ever come across someone who died again afterwards? Did they manifest it in the form? Did you see that form again? No. Gurus have died and then not being able to manifest themselves. We know that something is before or after life on this planet. But until we understand this unmanifest state in the manifested state, it will seem that there is death forever, or there is a continuous process of being born and then dying, being born and then dying. We know there is something, we have an awareness that tells us there was something before, birth and death and after death, there's an unmanifest state. What is that unmanifest state? What is it? This is the whole point of inquiry into spirituality. Say when someone dies, has anyone said to you, they saw the soul travel out of that person. It's just stories. Nobody watches a soul disappear. If they can, we need to inspect their eyes, put them under a scientific study that they saw a soul leave the body. Have they ever seen the jiva travel? No, nobody sees it. Therefore we simply just do not know about what happens at the time of death. We just do not know, and we should be comfortable with this, not knowing and life will always flow in between birth and death. This is why it's important to attain spiritual freedom, to attain bliss, to attain liberation while we can see the known, the light. Otherwise when the lights turn off again, figuratively speaking, who knows what is in the unknown, therefore it's best to use this manifested state that we've got now, this body and mind that we have now, this G that we have now and turn our minds inward, turn our being inward and realize Berman, the eternal being, this is what we need to do. Otherwise, if we do not do this, then everything will remain unknown to us. The answer is very simple. Answer's really simple here. Brahman remains, Brahman is. There is no birth and death. Only the body goes through birth and death. Message is simple, but accepting it, is difficult. Understanding it and being fully convinced, full of conviction, that this is your reality, because this is your experience that has now become your reality. Krishna raises also an important point, what he says to us, is a fact, and it's not something we can deny, not even scientifically, right. As I mentioned before. So why do we complain about something we cannot change? Why do we do this? Why do we moan about this situation? Why do we try to avoid death? Yeah. Have you ever tried to have a conversation about death with other people? They'll always say nahin, nahin, nahin, shubh bolo. Yeah. Shubh bolo meaning speak auspicious things, speak good things. When is death inauspicious, who told us that death is inauspicious, whoever it was is wrong. Death deserves to be celebrated. Why? Because you gone back into the unmanifest state, if this is your reality, and if you believe you'll be manifested again, brilliant, more reason to celebrate. You're going to be getting a new, fresh body, celebrate. This is how we need to be. So why do we complain about this process? Because one, we fear the unknown as I mentioned and second, we have too many problems to solve in this lifetime itself. Third, who will look after my loved ones? We constantly feel this fear when I die, who's going to look after my wealth, my business, my job? Who's going to be able to do those things? Just think about it. Many people have died thinking the same thing. Life continued. We're still okay. Death can seem cruel because it takes away all our precious problems. In fact, it is the greatest form of liberation, one can ask for without being liberated about one's true self. The thing is if you're truly happy with life, would you complain about death or what'd you take death as another moment to celebrate? I've thought about this quite a bit recently, because I've been reading this again and studying a bit more that would I complain about death? Like would I, if I'm happy, if I'm really content with my life, if I don't really have major desires, then do I need to fear death? And it's been something I have gone through a process where I didn't used to fear death. Then I started fearing death after losing my guru and only now I'm starting to feel that actually death is okay, I'm going to die. I'm going to have to face this fact and say, I die tomorrow. Can I die a happy person? Can I die as someone that is really happy, really content, because I've been given this knowledge by Krishna, by my guru, that I am Brahman. Then I definitely want my life to be celebrated. Like when I die, I want people to celebrate because I've realized I cannot die, to face this, it takes courage. And the thing is, if I can do it, anyone can do it. I really honestly feel this to be true. Because I've been reading the Bhagavad Gita, I've been contemplating a lot upon turning my mind towards understanding that it is Brahman and that only Brahman is. And when I inquire into Brahman, I do inquire into when was this born? Like, I really ask the question, and I really inquire, I really conduct that investigation. And then when did it begin? Did it ever begin? Like, why is time so still in Brahman? Why? Because it's timeless. It's eternal. Okay. I'm just saying this to you, but I can't transfer what I know to you. The words are just hints, but the experience that I feel is for example, that it's like for someone to understand what sweetness is, you have to give them sugar and they have to put that sugar into their mouth. Then they need to let the taste buds taste that sweetness. Then they understand what sweetness is. But until someone doesn't taste what sweetness is, they can never understand what sweetness is, but I can never tell you what sweetness is until you've tasted it. Then, you know, you can relate to that experience. The same thing with understanding that we are Brahman and knowing we are Brahman, I can talk about it, but until you become Brahman, do you know the experience? And someone asked me this question on Tik TOK that have you got over the cycle of birth and death, like have you transcended it? And at the time I said, no, I don't think I have, I'm not qualified to answer this, but now I'm thinking differently. I'm thinking there is no such thing as birth and death for me. So what is there to transcend? This body is going to go through birth and death regardless. The elements will continue. I can't change that, the atoms will be transferred to new atoms, to new forms, to new solid forms. I can't change this. I can't change this transaction, but being Brahman means that I'm no longer part of that cycle. Yeah. Wow. Okay. Let's continue. Ignorance of the truth. Ignorance of our internal, eternal happiness. So yeah, internal eternal happiness of this Brahman is the reason why we complain about death occuring or life seems to be bad, it's because we're ignorant of this internal, eternal happiness. Otherwise we wouldn't complain about death. We wouldn't complain about life. Like what is there to complain about? And I thought about this, that if I was in poverty, would I still complain after knowing Brahman? I don't think I can. I don't think I can. I can blame circumstances. But I can't blame Brahman and I actually wouldn't reject the experience because it's happening. What is there for me to reject? I can't pretend I'm not in poverty, I have to embrace it. So why would I run away from these things? Why would I look at something as being bad? It's my subjective opinion that something is bad, but who knows that if I was in wealth at that time, that I possibly would go through some issues. Or maybe it's just better not to label oneself as being in poverty or being rich. I don't know. And then, because we go through these situations and experiences, we then question things like why was I born? And then we blame our parents adding another problem to our already problem filled life that why was I born? Why did my parents give me birth? Why did I come into this world if I'm just going to suffer? Or if I'm just going to die, why give birth to me? But you're missing the point of life. The wonderful aspect of life. It it is a blessing to be able to experience all this, like the fact that this body and mind can experience consciousness and understand it is consciousness. What value do problems have now? They don't have any. Nothing. So I then do not blame my parents for my birth. I thank them. I thank them for continuing on this element of birth and rebirth for me. So I can experience Brahman. I can experience truth, that I had the opportunity to be at my master's feet, my guru's feet, and ask for this wisdom and then be given this wisdom. Now, what are the odds, what are the chances of this happening? I could be born in another part of the world that didn't know who my guru was. I could have been born to different parents and not have the same spirituality. Like I am extremely grateful for the life I'm living. I literally have no complaints. But if all of this were to disappear, like in terms of my material joys, if all my wealth was to disappear. But if this Brahman remains , I consider myself still the richest person on this planet. Yeah. Elon Musk can become a trillionaire. Jeff Bezos can become a trillionaire. Okay. But you know what? You're still going to die, but do you die knowing you are happy or do you die because you're still not satisfied, so now you have to think of bigger things to do? And you are disturbed until you do those things, but who can just be happy and content in being at rest? I can say I can be happy being at rest. It doesn't mean that I don't have a drive to make more money or anything like that. I'm not saying that those things go, but what I'm saying is that if one looks at the extremes, nothing changes, everyone's going to die. Yes, you may live like you're in luxury, but there's a lot of worries that come along with that luxury. A lot of dependency also like on the stock market. You think that person sleeps well at night? Possibly not. Actually, I'll link it to the Squid Game. If you watched it, you'll understand the last episode, basically that tells you what being rich brings. And then also being poor means because it's the same coin, just different sides. What I'm trying to say is just really appreciate life. Let's continue Adi Shankara ji quotes a line from the Mahabharata. They emerged from invisibility and have gone back to invisibility. They are not yours nor are you theirs. What is this fruitless lamentation? So even here we see that this knowledge is not unknown in this great epic, because remember the Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata and that it's not being mentioned for the first time, that this knowledge is known, this wisdom is known. It's not new for anybody in the epic and therefore, if you've been reading the Mahabharata, this is not new knowledge for you either. You should know this. Yeah.Verse 29:
Some perceive this as amazing, some proclaim that this is amazing. Others hear about how amazing this is, but even after hearing about this process, it remains a mystery to them. What is Shri Krishna talking about here. Adi Shankara ji mentions how this atman, this true Self, this Brahman is impossible to understand and interpret. Okay. It's impossible for you to interpret it, it's impossible for you to understand it. And for example, he uses moving from the thought that we are an individual soul to understanding that it is Brahman and has no other There's no Two. It's not easy for everyone to comprehend. So it's more or less impossible, it seems to have this understanding that one is Brahman. Therefore, we shouldn't feel bad if we do not understand. And because Arjuna struggled, we see his struggle. And we also struggle with this. We see other people struggling with this, so it's fine. And we need to understand that we need to be compassionate here. There's an aspect of compassion and this is what Shri Krishna says when others hear about how amazing this Brahman is. But even after hearing about it, it remains a mystery to them. Not everyone will get to this understanding. It's the toughest thing to understand in spirituality. And this is why I don't believe in conversion. You can't convert someone to wisdom. The wisdom has to be really worked upon. So what we need to understand is that it's going to be a struggle, only a few ever get it. They say this, that is a rare one that truly understands this formless, this Brahman, just a rare one, one in a million maybe. This is because we do not put enough effort in. Hearing this message, understanding this, we can feel a bit of peace in our mind that we're not the only ones that didn't understand. We still find that this whole atman being Brahman is a complete mystery. Yeah. If you still feel it's a complete mystery, that how can the atman be Brahman if you believe in an individual soul or how can the jiva be Brahman, how can Berman just be, even if that remains a mystery for you it's okay. This Brahman is amazing. Another word that you can use in this translation, they use the word amazing, but another word that can be used as wonder. Because wonder has I feel a, more of a special quality, because when you look at something in wonder you actually opened doors to more deeper and creative thoughts, and you see the world, you see everything with fresh eyes, with new intentions and with new thoughts and with silence in the background that is always fresh in you . This is the power something perceived in wonder. Now, imagine if you see this Brahman with wonder, because after studying with the teacher, after gaining that understanding of the Tattva, of the 'Tat' the truth, once you get to the truth, the whole walls of ignorance will come crumbling down. Maybe not crashing down. It will crumble down it like water splashing against the rocks and erodes the rocks like that. When we study with the teacher, when we studied the scripture, when we study these beautiful lines of the Gita, we can watch the walls of ignorance, crumble down, erode away. This is the power of knowing Brahman. That knowledge of Brahman will bring that ignorance to dissolve away. And what is it ignorant of? It's True Self, that's where the ignorance is. Perceiving this, one can see the atman, the Brahman in everything, and can see it as one's own self. Yeah. There's no difference. Everything is me and I am everything. This 'I' is Brahman alone. This has to be the understanding, not Rahul or whatever your name is. This 'I' is Brahman. Remember always, we're not this body of mind it's unreal, it's mithya, but Brahman is real because Brahman is sat. Brahman does not change. Brahman does not modify itself and because the inner dweller within me is Brahman, the inner dweller within everything I see within all matter is Brahman. Even an atom is Brahman. So once this atman is known, then we speak of its wonder, we express how amazing it is. We give talks about it. We try to describe with the limited vocabulary that we have about what Brahman is about, how this is the real self, how this is the true self. Someone being able to talk about this Atman or this Brahman is a Herculean task. It is difficult because how can words ever describe the feeling of understanding this Tattva, that we always were, this Brahman was always me, but I couldn't see it. How can one explain this, express it? It's again, going back to that example of tasting, what is sweetness? It's only until we put the sugar in our mouth and we taste it, can we describe that sweetness and have a shared experience? This is what happens when a knower of Brahman will meet another knower of Brahman, it's not about comparing. Osho once gave a very beautiful story about two masters that had to go meet each other. It was known that one master was going to meet the other master and the two. The disciples on each Master's side, were like, we can't wait for our master to show the other one how great his knowledge is. We can't wait. When the day came for the masters to meet, they sat down the disciples were anticipating a great debate and all that transpired in that event was silence. They didn't speak, they just smiled at each other and then they got up and left. A disciple, asked the master that why didn't you debate him? You know more than him, you are our master. And the master said, once you recognize the other person has the same reality as you and the other person recognizes it in you, there's nothing left, but to smile, there's no need for debate. I find that to be such a beautiful story because often we have people that like to say that their guru is better. They have the one Satguru Everyone says this, every group you go and look at, they say they have the Satguru of the time and that could be true. That may well be true. But I doubt that the Satguru's in each of those organizations will say that the other person is not a Satguru. I doubt it. They will give the same respect because the Tattva they know, the Brahman they know is the same Brahman that the other person knows. Brahman does not change according to person to person, Brahman is the same. Now that I see this Brahman, how can I give a form to This which remains formless. How can I name this when This drops all names when experienced. Although we name Brahman, but when you experience Brahman, you cannot say Brahman. The other day I saw a TikTok video of someone that said that, why would someone chant 'Aham Brahmasmi'? I am Brahman. I am Brahman. If they are Brahman, why do they need to remind themselves of being Brahman? One, let's not ridicule their practice. Someone is saying it may be with the absolute awareness that they are Brahman, that they are the ultimate reality, and they are experiencing this ultimate reality. The other thing can be that they have no other words, there's no need for any other words, therefore Aham Brahmasmi is the best word to use. But they may know internally that even though the words coming out of their mouth is Aham Brahmasmi, but the experience is not limited to those words. It's beyond those words. So making an assumption about someone who is meditating and contemplating on Brahman, on Aham Brahmasmi is a very foolish thing to do. It shows the ignorance of the other person. Everyone knows that once you experience Brahman, you can't give a form to It, and you can't give a name to It. But to talk about it, to express it, we say Brahman. Or we say to make others understand I am Brahman - Aham Brahmasmi. This is why it's important that we read the Gita with the right understanding. Otherwise people cook up all types of theories with the Gita. It's important that we understand what Krishna is trying to say. We use people like Adi Shankara ji to get the correct understanding. People who have studied the Gita, and then we understand their work. We may hear others speak of this atman being amazing being full of wonder. We may listen to the guru, listen to podcasts. We watch talks and debates about the atman, or Brahman and they may feel bliss, the people that are speaking about Brahman. But it is not the same as the one who experiences this Atma for themselves. The person is seemingly in bliss, but they've not touched the true bliss of this truth. Bliss can not be named as well, as when it's experienced, you cannot talk about it. Again, after the experience, we call something 'bliss.' But this bliss is also eternal because it is 'Sat-Chit-Ananda', Truth-Consciousness-Bliss. The person that experiences this Brahman for themselves, only they understand why. Only they understand that experience, that reality. The thing is, someone may hear this wisdom and this knowledge, but they still do not realize it. They still do not understand it. Despite the message being simple, they still cannot grasp what it is because as Adi Shankara ji points out in the beginning, not everyone can comprehend it. It's very difficult. It's nearly impossible because we're not using our senses. This is the challenge. Swami Dayananda wonderfully explains that understanding Atman or understanding Brahman is just like a subtle joke, when it's not understood. Just like that people, do not understand Brahman at all. Just like a subtle joke is not understood, people do not understand what Brahman is, very simple. The issue is people cannot grasp Brahman appearing as the Jiva, the bondage for the Jiva and then liberation from being bound to this cycle of births and deaths, moksha and mukti but frankly, this whole thing is a big cosmic joke. I really like what Swami Dayananda ji has said. This is so true that when you look at the whole cycle of birth and death, it is a massive joke. Once you see the whole picture and the joke of how seriously we take this transactional reality, we say openly, that this is mithya, this is all an illusion yet we take it so seriously, you cannot help, but laugh and it's not just any laugh. It's like a belly laugh. It's that type of laugh when you truly understand that there is only the Atma and I was under this delusion that I'm going to die. The real awareness within me, the true self cannot die. So obviously we will laugh when we understand the false notions about our self. When we're studying the Bhagavad Gita, it may be serious in the beginning, but in the end you will only be laughing. Why? Because you understand you're a Brahman, very simple, and you will laugh at the years of study of scriptures that you did, or the time you spent with your teacher, your master, your guru. You will think that, oh, I didn't need to spend that much time to understand this and you laugh about it. But if you didn't do that study with the master, with the guru, with the scripture, if you didn't have that seriousness, you wouldn't be able to be laughing right now. So understand that yes, you can be serious, but do it with a smile, do it with the aspect of wonder and you will always be smiling and you will always be learning and also enhancing your creative insight. So be happy and study the Gita. Don't be upset. Don't read it to console yourself, read it to realize yourself. When you realize all this, you gonna finally realize that you have always been the joke. Brahman is the joke. That's what It is - Brahman. The understanding that the ultimate reality only is. And all these events you've gone through in your life that you took so seriously that you were so anxious about, sometimes you're so joyful, then unhappy , and you went through these yo-yo of emotions and feelings and thoughts that eventually all leads to I am Brahman and that none of that is really happening and it's all just a blip, a blip on the pale blue dot in the universe. That's merely our existence. If you understand, or you do not understand if you know you are Brahman or you do not know you're Brahman, to see everything as a joke, once you know that life is going to go, that death is going to happen and you know it for certain then you will be happy, at least attempt to be happy. When you see the wondrous aspect of life, you can't help, but be happy. Yes, the body has to go through pain and affliction and disease, it's true, but we carry on. Many may enter the path and many may leave without understanding anything. This is what Shri Krishna is saying. Many will hear it, but they will not understand it. They will still grieve. They get lost in other matters. I seen this in spiritual people. At one time, they were fully in love with their teacher, with their guru. And in a couple of years, they may come across a bad experience or something happens or they get attracted to the more admin side. And then they see things that they do not like, and they let go of the guru and the organization, but why did you let go of the teaching? The teaching may still be right according to the scriptures. Yeah, the person may have done some irresponsible things, but why let go of the understanding? If someone leaves without understanding anything, that's okay and that's equally amazing and wonderful too, there's no difference. Everything is amazing and wonderful when you see everything as a joke and it's probably better to see things that way. It actually probably is more saner than being upset, but what's weird in this world is that if you're laughing and smiling, you're weird and you're strange but if you're sad and depressive, it's normal. I think the world has it wrong. Likewise many may claim the truth, that they know the truth, and many may claim they know God. Many may claim that God can be known in an instant, but what little do we understand and realize is how much work and study and worship someone did before they got to the wisdom or before they understood the whole joke of what this is or understood what Brahman is? We need to acknowledge that a lot of work is done before we get to understand this. And don't just say, I understood it instantaneously because that's giving people the wrong idea. You know a lot of people that also claim this idea in Neo-Advaita, that there's no one to experience anything. There's no one here giving this talk. Although there's physically someone giving the talk, there's no one here to be liberated. There's no one here to read the scripture. There's no ego. Although on the fundamental level, they may be right, but at the same time, they want you to pay to attend their seminar or their talk. They want you to pay for their new book that published. That's real. They never say do not buy the book that does not exist. This is why it's very important that we understand the transactional reality and that we understand the ultimate reality. Adi Shankara ji says further in his commentary: the meaning is he who sees the Self is like a wonder. He who speaks of it and he who hears of it is indeed rare among many thousands. Therefore, the idea is that the self is difficult to understand. So just reemphasizing this, that it's difficult to understand and that only rare one truly gets it, truly understands it. Many people may claim, and you need to be alert of such people, because if they aren't willing to have you inquire into their experience or understanding, then they are more blind than the one who doesn't know anything about the Atma or Brahman at all. They are more blind in my opinion. If they are not willing to have you inquire into their reality that they've experienced or Brahman that they've experienced, and they say they've experienced and know, they're more blind as someone who doesn't know, because they've gone into the false notion that they know. If you truly ask someone when they say, oh yeah, I've realized God. We truly ask them, you'd know they've experienced nothing if you really inquire, but how do you know how to do the real inquiry is by understanding what Brahman is first yourself. But secondly, say you do not know Brahman, at least read the scriptures so you can then know what points to ask the person. And when we are talking about inquiring, inquire into death. That's the best way to catch someone out. Inquire into whether they truly die. And what is death? When the rare one speaks, you can put them on the witness box and they will be happy to go through any question or doubt you may have. They will happily say, okay, you want to question me? Do so. You want to interrogate me? Interrogate me. They will never say to you, go away from here. If you do not believe, you have no faith. They will never say this. They will never do that. A genuine person who's experienced Brahman will always be open to an inquiry, more than happy to discuss it with you, more than happy. The reason why they're willing to go through that is because they've gone through that self-inquiry themselves, they've gone through the same questions themselves. So they truly went through the whole process of understanding who am I? They've gone through that process and they've also questioned, whether they've understood the truth and whether they have become the truth. Only after this relentless process, do they finally speak with confidence? So it's not like they're just going to speak up, it's after a rigorous process of making sure they've understood it and that they are living that reality, that ultimate reality they're living as Brahman. Only until they know this to be concrete, do they speak. Their confidence is in their knowing, and you see that they are speaking of this wonder as it is their own self, not something they gained, they didn't lose anything. They didn't gain anything. They found what was always there or is here fresh and new and it is always complete. Purna - full. They followed what thought is because this is the biggest game that we have to play. Try to think where did thought appear from, and where does thought lead us? Who is conscious of the thought? They travel with that thought, that rare one, they travel with the thought to see that it does not have an origin and that then they see that thought just dissolves away and passes by like a cloud passing by in the blue sky. You can try this at home right now. Everyone can do it. They can travel with the thought. Then the question begins, where does consciousness begin? Where does awareness begin? Because it was awareness that was aware of the thought. So where does this awareness begin? Where does it end?. And you will find that this consciousness always remains and it doesn't depend on whether you experience it or not because you are it. This is your reality.Verse 30:
O Arjuna, the dehi within the deha of all beings cannot be harmed in any way. Therefore, you should not grieve for the passing on of any being. This sums up the whole teaching behind why should one should not grieve? What Krishna has done here is gone through everything, summarized everything here. That is that this inner dweller, this immortal being that is within the body of all beings. The dehi with the deha of all beings cannot be harmed. It cannot be destroyed and it just does not die. Yeah, we can embrace this now as our reality. This has to be understood as Adi Shankara ji guides us from the standpoint of the Supreme reality, from Brahman, that there is no occasion for any sorrow or delusion. So we have to see it from the standpoint of Brahman. Whenever you look at something, see it from that standpoint of the Supreme self, of the ultimate reality, everything. And you'll see there from that moment that there's no need to be in sorrow and there's no delusion. You see things as they are, as they present themselves. In Arjuna's case, all his mentors, his elders, his teachers, he shouldn't grieve for them passing on because Arjuna has now been given the knowledge of the dehi, the Immortal Self - Brahman, the inner dweller that is always alive. That does not expire, that does not get created. It is always there. Since this dehi cannot be harmed in any way why should Arjuna feel grief? There's no reason for him to be sad anymore because Krishna is making sure that Arjuna and the likes of me and you truly understand this message because if we do not understand this message now, when will we understand it? When will we understand that these dehas, they may pass on, but the dehi, the inner dweller remains. When will we understand this? When will we understand that Brahman remains, even though the bodies come and go. Why do we need to suffer? Why do we need to feel sorrow? Krishna explained in an earlier verse, how this atman, this inner dweller does not feel pain or pleasure. It doesn't feel cold or heat. It does not feel contentment or suffering because all these are fleeting experiences of the body and mind. The ultimate reality itself is not born nor does it die, It's self existent. Therefore it cannot be harmed and It doesn't depend upon anything for It's existence. Brahman does not feel that suffering, the body will feel the suffering. It doesn't need your personal awareness to be aware of it. Awareness is simply aware of it. There's no personal awareness. Even from the viewpoint of this transactional reality, why do we even grieve when we know that death is inevitable? No disease can ever bring affliction to the self, the ultimate reality. It can only bring harm or affliction to the body, which is subject to birth, death and decay. Krishna has really exhausted this topic and ensured that we cannot find a way to question his standpoint. He's covered his tracks basically. He's ensured that we can, if we are willing to understand deeply what has been said and what he has said and what he's pointed to, and that we can truly only experience the Inner Dweller, if we're willing to understand it, and that we understand that we are this and that everyone is this, whether they know it or not. This body will come and go. That is it's nature. Nothing can be done about it. Remember also that these teachings are given because Arjuna asked to be relieved from suffering. He wanted to overcome delusion. He wanted discernment. So Krishna is giving him this and at the same time, here and there, reminding him of the task he needs to do, which is to fight this war, fight this battle. These verses have made us understand a few fundamentalthings:
that one, we are Brahman and that we need to establish ourselves in this understanding and make it an experience. From that experience, make it our reality and that birth and death is all part of a process, it's been going on and it will continue to go on, whether we accept it or not, it's going to happen. So let's take this moment to understand that we can embrace death fully and with a smile. This is the end of episode eight, and we went through chapter two, verses 26 to 30. Just to remind you that a new episode is uploaded every Sunday. You can follow me on social media and my accounts are in the video description and show notes below. I'm also on the wisdom app. And I have given a few impromptu talks on there. So do download the wisdom app. It's on the app store. I know that for sure. I'm not sure if it's on Android, but do take a look if you can. It's called the wisdom app and you can follow me, I'm the Bearded Mystic Podcast on there. Please rate and review this podcast. Thank you very much for listening. Take care. See you soon. Stay safe. Bye.
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