In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 49 - 51. Shri Krishna guides us on how to be in the transcendental realm of the Supreme and how liberation is available for those that lovingly surrender to the Timeless Wisdom.
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, and welcome to the beard mystic podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining today and for taking out the time to either watch or listen to this episode. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic podcast, you can sign up to the bearded mystic podcast, Patreon page and you will find the link to that in the show notes or in the video description below. We're continuing on with our thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita Verse 49. Listen, Arjuna, buddhi yoga is greatly superior to mere material actions. Take refuge in loving surrender to the wise discernment of the buddhi faculty. Those whose karmas are only based on the on the logic of obtaining the fruits of material action are selfish and become miserly beings clinging to inert matter. Let's begin with the first line. Listen Arjuna, buddhi-yoga is greatly superior to mere material actions. The yoga of wisdom is superior and the most important. This is what we know from what buddhi-yoga means. That it is the yoga of wisdom, the yoga of knowing what is real and unreal. The simple reason for this is that it is wisdom that defines how we live and what actions we do and what intentions we have. Remember with wisdom and with that discernment we know how to act in the world. We know how to be in the world. We know what to think in the world, and we know how to be above the world at the same time, all this can happen simultaneously. If we are able to truly imbibe the message that's being given by Shri Krishna in, this second chapter itself. By utilizing our wisdom, we perform actions with discernment. As we can check what is going on. By utilizing our wisdom, we perform actions with discernment, as we can check what action is going to lead to happiness and joy, or that causes the least amount of harm. This is the important thing to recognize is that when we utilize our wisdom and we utilize the knowledge that we've been given and we then perform actions, in line with that wisdom, that action is most likely going to lead to happiness. It's most likely going to lead to joy, towards success, towards more serenity, towards more tranquility and peace. But say it's an action which could lead to some level of harm. It will be that action will be the one that causes the least amount of harm compared to another type of action that is done without the wisdom faculty, without the wisdom utilized. So this is something we need to also understand. Every action that is done with the buddhi has the potential to always be transformative. Whatever is done, in that wisdom will always cause a transformation. It will always be one that transforms a situation or transforms a person's life. This is why it is important and imperative for us to always utilize the wisdom that's been given by the sages and saints. What we've learned here from Shri Krishna and also to our gurus that we adhere to, that we follow. Also with buddhi-yoga, the path is focused on liberation and on Brahman, which makes it eternal. In the future verses this would be made more clear. When we focus on liberation, we're focusing on an action, which will have an eternal consequence, therefore we want that eternal consequence to be one of fruitfulness, one of beauty, one of happiness. That's why it's really important to act from that place of wisdom. Being in Yoga, in union with Brahman, with the Atman, we can have that mental calmness, that equanimity, which allows one to transcend the results of one's actions. That even if this action that we've given is one that's going to help the world tenfold or a thousand fold. Even then we do not ask for any reward apart from the fact that we can continue to act in such a manner, if there is going to be a reward. That's what we would like to ask for. We would like to ask that the wisdom we've been given that it's never forgotten, this is how we need to be Mere material actions can be perceived as actions that are done just for material gain, like pleasure and power. As Shri Krishna has established earlier, if all we're going to be doing is actions based upon our ego based upon the false identification that we are this body and this mind, then we're only can be looking for material gain, like pleasure, power, and then success, name and fame, that's all we would be attaching ourselves to. And rituals, although they may focus us on the divine, it is mainly done for some material gain. There is an attachment to the results, it's normally based on this changing material reality, that's all we are looking for. If you're looking to do a religious ritual, it's so that we may get a better house or there be peace in the house. But the people that provide the peace is yourself is myself. We have to be responsible for that. No astrology can help you, no mantra will help you no ritual will help you. You still have to face the situation and yes, if you really believe in it, it may help the situation. But actually it's more that when you know that there's been a ritual done, it actually creates an idea in your mind that you can now go through this. You can now go through that problem and not face big consequences. But again, this is based on fear. This is based on the mind, on the body, the attachment to those things. So this is why shri Krishna doesn't want us to be attached to these things. He would rather that we focus on Brahman the Atman, the Self and the Self is always available to us. This self is changeless, therefore eternal. This material reality that we see is changing, it's finite, is bounded by time. The conclusion here has to be that we need to be in balance, we need to be without any attachment to the results of our actions and keep the focus on Brahman on the everlasting, eternal, ultimate reality. Shri Krishna in the verse that we just read he says that take refuge in loving surrender to the wise discernment of the Buddhi faculty. The Buddhi faculty is the evenness of mind, a balanced mind. And here it is guided that we need to take refuge, take the shelter of that wise discernment of the real and the unreal. Remember the real is something that is changeless. That is eternal. While the unreal is that which is changing, subject to modification, subject to decay. It is born, it will die. Whilst the real, the Sat is everlasting because it's never been born. It can never die. It is self existent. So this is why we need to have this discernment, so we can always be in refuge of this, the shelter of this buddhi faculty and the key here is loving surrender. So how can this be practiced? By surrendering what this shows is that we can make the choice to go to the discernment of that balanced mind, that mind that sees all as one, when done with love, we do it whole heartedly. So this surrender is because we understand that this is the better path. We need to continue to remind ourselves of the real and the unreal. Once we recognize what the real is, then surrender is natural because we know that is the better thing to do. That is the better action that will yield better results. Not that we're looking for better results, we don't have that attachment to those results, but we're not going to look to harm people. Or at least we're going to be looking at that action that does the least harm. So being in that knowledge of what is real, we can easily have surrender and we do it with love and whenever something is done with love, we know that it's done wholeheartedly. It's done with our fullness of being, it's done with our complete nature invested in that. The more we focus on the real, the easier it is to be in loving surrender. We need to allow this to be our natural default position. Whenever we find ourselves in trouble, we go back to this wise discernment of the real and the unreal. And this keeps us away from the attachments and desires that lead us to remain in this changing world. Therefore, our mind will always be troubled at the slightest inconvenience, if we continue to have attachment and continue to be fully invested in our desires. It's not that it's bad to have desires. It's okay. But do not be attached to them. You have a desire, let it rise up, then let it go. Don't think about it too much. Don't be focused on it too much because your main focus of life is liberation. Liberation has to be the ultimate goal for us, the ultimate outcome. The more we focus on this Real, on Brahman, the more we stabilize in this wisdom, and this is the whole point. The more we stabilize in wisdom, the more there is evenness of mind, the more this mind is calm and collected. Those whose karmas are only based on the logic of obtaining the fruits of material action are selfish and become miserly beings clinging to inert matter. So we can establish here that the actions we do for material fruits, like worldly success, wealth, prestige, power, influence, these are all selfish because you expect something and you expect an outcome of that thing. Whether in society within your home, with your parents, with your children, you expect something. These people here are called miserly by Shri Krishna. And why is that? It's because they are just focused on getting what the world can give. They aren't thinking of the ultimate. They aren't thinking about what will happen after death. If they were really in awareness about death and knew that death could happen at any time, would they focus on this changing reality? This changing world with it's changing levels of success and wealth and name and fame? Probably not. This is why Shri Krishna says when they have the ultimate available to them. Why they're chasing material success? Why are they going towards this? Why do they just want material gifts? Why do they not want the ultimate? What we need to understand here is that the actions can be done with the focus on the Real and we can still receive the fruits of the material action. This is something we need to really deeply understand. You can enjoy the fruits of all the material actions and still be focused on Brahman. The material fruits will come towards you naturally. Maybe because of your previous karma, who knows? But the thing is you can still have Brahman in the foreground and receive everything in the background in terms of material success. And you can even have Brahman in the background and still enjoy the material success that is in the foreground, because for that person, they are now in that state of balance that evenness of mind, they are not going to be manipulated by mere things that are around them. Just remember the real reward is focusing on the truth and being one with Brahman. If we want to look at the context of the whole verse, Krishna has shown us what is in store for us, depending on what we want to do. If we strive just for the fruits of material action, then that's all we're going to get and we lose a treasure that is full. If we choose to be a Gyani, who is in loving surrender to viveka, towards the discernment of what is real and unreal, to that wisdom, the fruits of their actions are everlasting. This is that treasure that is full and even if you take fullness out from that, it remains full. This is the treasure that is available to us, if we truly follow the words of Shri Krishna. Then verse 50. One who is permanently linked to the buddhi faculty goes beyond the relativity of sukha and dukha as the determiner of what they do. Therefore, connect with your atma through yoga, and that yoga will restore harmony and balance to all your actions. So let's look at the first sentence. One who is permanently linked to the buddhi faculty goes beyond the relativity of sukha and dukha as the determiner of what they do. This is fairly easy to understand and this has been established in previous verses as well about what needs to be done. We know that we need to go beyond the relativity of sukha and dukha meaning sorrow and comfort pleasure and pain. Let's go into this a bit more, that those that focus on Sat, on the real who continuously use their discernment. They'd go beyond, sukha and dukha, comfort and suffering, and every action of theirs, isn't determined on what will provide comfort for others or suffering for others. They will be beyond both of those. That also applies to their own self as well. They'll look beyond the comfort for themselves and also the suffering for themselves. Those individuals who are linked to their buddhi faculty are difficult to understand as people will not be able to understand why they act and especially when it could be going against their very own comfort or it perceives to provide suffering for others. This is why sometimes we find gurus are very difficult to understand because we try to fit them in a framework in which we see the world in. But here we can understand that a wise person, someone that is connected and permanently linked to the buddhi faculty, they perceive things far beyond, that we can understand. And because we are always constantly thinking about our own comfort or we are worried about being in suffering or being in pain. This makes it very difficult for us to understand this process and that's why if we truly want to be beyond comfort and suffering, what we need to do is first permanently link ourselves to the Buddhi faculty, to this mind, to that evenness of mind, the mind that is full of wisdom. At the same time, we need to ensure that whatever we do goes beyond the idea of comfort and suffering. This is very important. This can be linked with the previous verses that you are not in control of the fruits of your actions and this is basically reiterating the same thing. Shri Krishna continues in that verse to say, therefore, connect with your atman through yoga and that yoga will restore harmony and balance to all your actions. This is the aim for every listener or reader of the Bhagavad Gita. Connect with the Atman, connect with Brahman that is within through the yoga of discernment, knowing the real and the unreal. Whenever, we feel the ego wants to take over, by remembering this wisdom, this Gyana, we can bring harmony and balance to our actions. The actions mentioned in this yoga is not ritualistic actions or actions that please that which is unreal meaning material success and material reality or maya. The action here is anything done with the Buddhi. Remember the Atman doesn't receive any fruits of your actions. It is one with Brahman and beyond this world and the joys, pleasures, suffering and pain of this world. Remember this and your actions will always be balanced, they will never cause too much harm, nor cause too much joy for you and your actions will be towards peace because only in peace, can there be harmony. This is why it's important to understand that we need to continuously connect our Atman through that process of knowing what is real and unreal until we unite ourselves with the Atman, we will always be in that process of feeling pain and suffering, wanting our own comforts, instead of looking towards getting more or liberation. If you look at the context of the whole verse, really it's a reminder to connect with your Atman because that is what you are. This will always provide balance and the best outlook towards life. This is relatively difficult for people to achieve, but this is the simplest way to attain liberation and be self-realized. Verse 51. Those wise yogis who always act in the discernment of buddhi yoga and who have released their attachment to the karma phala results of their actions are mukta 'liberated from the bondage to continued rebirth. Their consciousness resides forever in that transcendental realm of Mine where hunger is never felt again. If you look at the first sentence, those wise yogis who always act in the discernment of buddhi yoga and who have released their attachment to the karma phala 'results of their actions' are mukta 'liberated from the bondage to continued rebirth.' Based on the previous verses Sri Krishna is guiding Arjuna on what the result will be. Prior to this Shri Krishna has been saying how important it is to utilize buddhi yoga and how important it is to not be focusing on the fruits of one's actions. We've established that right? And that also now they need to focus on the wisdom of what is 'sat and asat', but here the result is clearly stated that that person who practices this will be mukta, they will be liberated from the bondage to continued rebirth. There is an understanding that if you are liberated, there will be no birth again. Therefore you become the Eternal. But continued rebirth means that you continuously go through that process of birth and death because you still believe in the unreal, you're still invested in the unreal while you could be liberated, if you understand what is real. Here, Krishna is telling us what the result's going to be. Some people ask whether reincarnation is true or not. For me, I look back at some of the things that I do, the conditionings I have, the habits I have, the tendencies I have, some of these things are unexplainable in terms of when I look at my parents, some of these things don't make sense to me, or why am I so different to my brothers and why are they different to me? For me, that means that there is some element of reincarnation, some level of continuation that occurs. Those are my reasons for reincarnation, but here Shri Krishna's making it very clear on whether we want to be liberated or not. It is important that we release any attachment to the results of our actions. Shri Krishna considers these people to be wise and that they are the continuous practitioners of buddhi yoga. So just remember this, that to really be considered a devotee of Shri Krishna, this is what needs to be done. We need to be going towards mukti, towards liberation. We need to release our attachment to any results of our actions, whether they are pious or not pious, whether the actions are sattvic (pure) or not sattvic (pure), we are to go beyond these things. Shri Krishna in the next sentence says that their consciousness resides forever in that transcendental realm of mine, where hunger is never felt again. And this can be very tricky to understand, because Krishna is saying that the transcendental realm of mine, people would think of the naam and roop of Krishna, but this is not right. Then that means they've not understood the first word 'transcendental' and transcendental means it is beyond name and form. You have to remind yourself always that yourself and Krishna have that same consciousness and both are already residing in that transcendental realm. The difference is that Krishna knows it and you don't and I don't. Our journey is to know it just as clear as Krishna knows it. When we keep our focus unchanged on Brahman, we will never feel the hunger of desire again. That transcendental realm is our natural state, and it's not something that we attain, it's something that is always here. That transcendental realm is beyond blemish, forever spotless and that is the character of a Yogi. When you enter that realm of Krishna that he's been talking about, there is no such thing as joy, no such thing as happiness, there's no such thing as suffering or pain. It's a place of complete serenity and calmness. This is something you can experience even within your own mind and it is as real as you want it to be. The context of the whole verse is that you concentrate on Brahman, transcending all the attachments that you have to the results, and you can go beyond the cycle of rebirth. You can be forever in that oneness and never have to come back onto this earth again. Thank you very much for listening or watching this podcast episode. A new podcast episode is uploaded every Sunday. If you would like to get updates and new videos of the Bearded Mystic Podcast you can do so by following any of my social media accounts and they are in the show notes and video description below. If you can please rate and review this podcast. I sincerely would appreciate it. Thank you very much for listening. Take care. Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Aum peace, peace, peace.