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Jan. 16, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2: Verse 55 - Verse 57)

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2: Verse 55 - Verse 57)
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In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 2nd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 55 - 57. Shri Krishna guides on how to go beyond our material desires and how to focus our attention beyond pairs of opposites!

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 15th 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 The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today we be going further into the thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita and we'd be looking at Shri Krishna's reply to Arjuna from his last question. That was about how does a Sage, how does an enlightened person sit? How do they function in the world? How do they talk? How do they respond to each other? This is something we're going to be dwelling into. In the last episode we looked at verses 52 to 54 and today we're going to begin with verses 55 and we'd be looking at 56 and 57 as well. Before we start, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can do so by firstly signing up to the Patreon page, the link is in the show notes and video description below. I would also like to announce that there will be a YouTube live session where we'd be dwelling into the non-dual understanding. So it's basically like a call in show. Where you can speak with me personally. And you can even be on video or audio. It's up to you. It will be an interactive session and it will also include a guided meditation. This is available to everyone. So if you are listening to this podcast, I would definitely recommend that you take a look. In order to subscribe to the YouTube channel, I will leave the link in the video description or show notes below. Let's begin with exploring verse 55. Shri Bhagavan replied. When one is completely unaffected by any material desires, resulting from the thoughts of their manas. When the Atman is entirely satisfied, simply by being the Atma. Then it is said that their self-realization is steady. We're going to look at the first part of this verse. 'Shri Bhagavan replied. When one is completely unaffected by any material desires resulting from the thoughts of their manas.' So manas is often mistranslated as only the mind. But actually it's a lot more than that. It contains a bit more. Manas is the unique human faculties of thinking, feeling, willing and memory. So when we have the determination to do something, when we feel some things, when we have emotions. When we think something we thought and when we can recall things with memory, these are all related to the heart and the mind. Like, for example, when we say we love somebody. It's not merely a thought, but it's also a feeling and emotion that comes from the heart. And from the heart, what we mean by that is something very deep, very ingrained within us. So manas is what that means. So I like to call it the heart mind. Let's also remember that all these faculties like thinking, feeling, willing and memory are with the heart and mind. Let's remember this as we go further into this episode today. Sometimes memories can create feelings that inspire us or we have conviction, the determination to achieve what must be done. Like it says here, when we have a thought, when we want to achieve something. We go deeply into that. It influences the way we interact with life. Sometimes a memory can be so traumatic that we get stuck in life. We stifle, we become so still that we cannot think about anything, we become so lifeless in a way, so emotionless. Some times for me have the determination to do something. Then no matter what comes, whatever obstacles, we will go forward and face them. This is what one means by manas. Now when those things affect us, they can affect our determination to go towards the truth. They can divert our attention. So all this is about focusing and attention. Whatever thoughts come from feelings, from our determination, from our will, from our memory, that we recall will not affect that person, who is of a stable mind and they will not be moved by the desires that arise from it. Let's think about this a bit deeper. Think about the thoughts that arise. First of all, is perception. Desire comes from perception. So we perceive something. We look at an advert. And let's use the example of Coca Cola. Now Coca-Cola tells us that if you drink Coca-Cola, you'll be happy? Now you think about the fizziness of the Coca Cola. You think about that time when you're really thirsty. Or you can hear the sound that the Coca-Cola can. All these things are thinking, feeling the determination, now no matter what, you want that Coca Cola can. Whether it means that you go to the supermarket to go and get it. You will go and do that because you are determined to do so. Then we have memories of that. We think of the good times you may have had with friends and family. The events that we've been to, and we've seen that bottle of Coca-Cola, we've seen that can of Coca Cola. Suddenly, all those things create that desire for Coca Cola. Now, someone who is steady in their mind is not going to be affected. That feeling will arise. The determination will arise. The thought will arise. The memory will arise, but what will happen is the person will simply observe and be in awareness. When the person is in awareness, then they're not going to be affected by what their manas wants them to go to. You see manas is very strong because it's both heart and mind. When something is of the mind, maybe we can tackle it a little. But when it involves the heart, when it involves feeling a memory, then it becomes a little bit different. Someone who is stable, they're not going to be affected. Now if the thoughts of their manas desires something, that person is not going to be affected. Shri Krishna is talking simply here. That when one is completely unaffected by any material desires resulting from the thoughts of their manas. That person is going to be completely unaffected. Now we have to ask ourselves, are we at that point? Can we say that whenever something arises within us, we can take that step back and be in awareness. That's the question we have to ask. Just to sum up the Coca-Cola example, if there is a feeling of seeing an advertisement, where we are watching something to buy a product, a desire is connected because we feel the need or that we think that we need that something. Or we feel that advert is relatable to us. However a person absorbed in Brahman will not be affected by their desires. Remember, we've been talking constantly about that Buddhi yoga, about that Gyana, where we are able to understand and discern, having that viveka to know what is real and unreal. That is the most important thing. We can understand what is required. The desires have no effect on the manas nor does the manas have any effect on the desires as long as one is absorbed in Brahman. What we need to understand is our desires have no real effect upon us. Now think about it. If Brahman is the complete fulfillment of everything. Even of desire. Then will material desires affect us? Will they come and take control of our senses, take control of our being, take control of our mind and our heart? No. They won't. So it's very clear here that we need to remind ourselves of being that one person, who is not influenced by their desires. They are not affected by their material desires. They have that desire. If they have the desire to eat, that's okay. They need to eat because the body needs to eat, there's no thinking involved. There's no feeling involved. There's no willing involved, no memory involved. Unless you're really hungry and you're at point of starvation. But again, there are practices to help us with that. There's a reason why we fast, it's so we can understand our body. Fasting is not simply a ritual that people do. There's a science behind it and the science is this that you're able to control your body. You're able to feel the hunger. And when you actually are hungry, then you will eat. Normally what happens is we think about food and then we think we're hungry. Actually most likely we are thirsty and we need water. But because our mind is so powerful because we cannot discern between hunger and thirst, we're eating more. Fasting is that one thing where we were able to actually understand how it feels to be hungry again. So that's important. And I advise, if you want to do something like this, first consult with your doctor. But. If you want to fast for say 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours. Over that it's up to you. But drink water and drink liquids, drink coffee, drink green tea. You can do that. But what will happen is you will understand what it's really like to feel hunger. So that's one way where you can be unaffected by material desires. Because if you can get rid of the feeling of hunger and being unaffected by that, then other things like buying things, buying that Gucci bag, that Louis Vuitton bag or that Louis Vuitton jeans or top or any other top brand. All those things are material desires. What are they going to do for you? Yes, you may look good. You may look nice. But for whom? If you looking good for your partner, for your spouse, that's one thing. That's important. You're going to a wedding, you need good clothes. Fair enough. But it has a purpose. You're not affected by it. It's not like, oh, I have to look good. And then if I look good, then people look at me. Then feeling is involved. Then there's a determination of a particular result. This is why it's really important that we become unaffectedd by material desires. Buy anything you want, but don't think that it's going to have a result. That's the best way to see it. Let's go to the next line of that verse. 'When their Atman is entirely satisfied, simply by being the Atman, then it is said that their self-realization is steady.' This is a very important line and we're going to go into the context of the whole verse later. But when one has this non dual realization and remains as Brahman and one is thoroughly happy being Brahman. Then one is established in their self-realization. Let's think about this when their Atma is entirely satisfied. Entirely, completely. Yeah, not one iota of you is dissatisfied by being the Atman. You purely enjoy being the Atman. Why? Because of Sat Chit Ananda. You understand your true nature. What's your true nature? Joy, bliss, peace. So who doesn't want that in the world? Everybody wants that, everyone wants eternal happiness. But how to achieve it? One has to be unaffected by material desires. But first of all, one needs to know what is the real and the unreal. Once one knows what the real and the unreal is. Then they know what their Atman is. When they realize that this Atman is not separate to Brahman, but is Brahman. Then they become one with Brahman. In fact, not one with Brahman. They are Brahman. That's the real understanding. That's the simple understanding, nothing complicated. Then that person, their self-realization is steady, their self-realization is always there. They're never going to be away from that point of self-realization. Once it is established, it is established. You're always at the peak. Right. So being established in Brahman. It's not easy unless you really want to be steady in self-realization. If that is something you really desire. Remember the desire for enlightenment is not the same as material desire. It depends. If you want enlightenment, so you can be better than the next person? No, but if you want to be enlightened because you want liberation, you want to break away from this connection, this cycle of birth and death and rebirth? Then that's different. Then that is not a material desire. Even wanting to go to heaven is a material desire. Why? It's a material desire because you think you will have joy there. You will be able to enjoy things there. There'd be nice angel's there for you to enjoy. There will be nice food for you, nice drink for you. Over there you can even drink alcohol. But here the pundits tell you, you cannot drink alcohol. But there you can smoke weed. You can enjoy everything in heaven. But here, no. Here you must follow the rules that they say. This is something we need to understand. Material desires is also the desires for heaven. Liberation is the only desire that is acceptable in this regard. And liberation, like I mention from the cycle of birth and death and rebirth or of Samsara. One has to understand that self-realization is important. Only when there is self realization, will there be liberation? Our endeavor has to be towards self-realization. If we really want to be self-realized, we have to go towards it, we have to go and achieve it, we have to desire it. Now what it's saying here is self-realization can come in bits and pieces. So for example, it may be a path that you're going towards, it's a bit slow. But it's, it's growing, you know, you're becoming more steady. First, it's a bit rocky. It's like when you're on a plane and there's turbulence. At the moment, your self realization is turbulent. It goes here and there because your senses have not been pacified. Your desires are still going a bit crazy. But when one understands the self and one becomes more steady, one meditates more on Brahman. Their true nature, your own true nature. This Self is already here. It's not that that you have to go some where for the Self. Or if you meditate, then the Self is there. Even in your waking state right now, the Self is here. That awareness is. Think about it. Right now you're listening to this, but who is aware of the listening? The immediacy is there, but we have to continuously remind ourselves about this. That is a way to make our Self realization steady. How can one be satisfied in simply being the Atman? It's by letting go of whatever keeps us in this body and mind. What I mean by that is there are certain things you may need to be in this body and mind. Simple things like eating, sleeping, even procreating. Those things are basic desires. You need them to live. You feel thirsty you need water? You desire water. That's fine. But remember that you're not to be affected by, and this is going to come up in a future verse, I won't go into it, but you're not meant to be attached to things. You're not meant to be attached to results, not attached to people. You're meant to love people, but not attached to them. And neither should you have fear for something? Fear keeps you in the body. If you're scared of the dark that's something that's going to keep you in the body and you're going to keep thinking about it. So, how can you think of Brahman? How can you think of self-realization? This is the key here. Let's understand that the basic desires are fine. When one has a taste of the Atman, of the Self, that Oneness is an experience that is beyond words, beyond duality, beyond feeling, beyond our determination, our will, our conviction, our expectations and beyond our thoughts. You see when you are in awareness, when you are in the present moment, in the here and now, when you're in Brahman. When you understand you are Brahman, at that point of time, once you get a little bit of this understanding and then you taste that joy, that bliss, that anandam, then you continuously desire for it. Now this desire is fine. But again, don't be attached to the desire. Say you've had a great meditation. And say in the next half an hour, your child wants your attention. What's more important is you give the child the attention. Because even if you meditate, in the back of your mind, you will remember that your child needed you. So you've meditation won't be complete. Therefore, it's very important that'd be understand, that there's a time and place for everything and observe your surroundings. But once you have a taste of this, you will continuously want it. I always emphasize that in the forefront, keep this Maya, keep this world in front of you. But in the background, that awareness is always there. Brahman is always there. It's always here with you. It doesn't belong to time. It doesn't belong to a place. It's always with you, everywhere you go and at every time. Therefore the real person who understands this, they are comfortable in their spirituality. They're comfortable in their practice. The one who is confused still about Maya and about Brahman who still sees a duality in both of those things, they cannot understand the truth. They will always be in the turbulence. They think they have a steady self-realization, but they don't. The question then is how do we steady ourselves in self-realization? Like I mentioned, first thing is we understand, and we can discern between the Real and the unreal, Sat and asat, Brahman and maya and then at the same time, what we need to do is meditate. Meditate upon Brahman, meditate upon your True Nature. Remind yourself that you are Awareness. Meditating on your own is good. But what will be even better is to keep this meditation with you while you're in the actions of the world, while you're functioning in the world. That would be better. Doing that is important. And like I said, One to two minutes of focused meditation is sometimes better than 30 minutes of unfocused meditation. Do everything in a complete nature. Whatever you can do, just do that. Steadying ourselves in self-realization, another aspect is learning. For example, when we listen to a podcast, or watch a YouTube video. We go on TikTok or Instagram and we read something, we watch something there. We learn something. That also steadies our wisdom, solidifies our wisdom, grounds our wisdom. And at the same time our manas is calm because we are constantly feeding it information. So it can keep going back to that awareness, back to Brahman, back to that non-dual state. Like I mentioned in the YouTube live that is coming up, we'll be looking at how we can deepen our non-dual understanding and this is one way. When you attend things like that, you can steady your Self in Your Self-Realization. It's not like you're not Self-realized. You are Self-realized but we may not know it. Our mind is still veiling that understanding. When we understand that actually self-realization is our natural state. It's who we are. We don't have to become anything. We are IT. This is the understanding of self-realization. Let's look at the context of the whole verse. Once we were able to observe our desires, rest in our Awareness, our Presence, our Being, our Formless Self, then we love being established in the Self. It's not about chasing or dropping all desires, but focusing our manas (heart-mind) on Brahman, on the Ultimate Self. Once our Self becomes established and it fully relishes and enjoys the experience of being the Self, then Self-realization become steady. It does not fluctuate from one place to another. I want to emphasize that a person who has steadied their self-realization again for them, the practice is continuous. They do not stop practicing. The practice continues. Verse 56. A person whose manas is not disturbed in times of dukha (pain), who is not controlled by the need for sukha (or pleasure or comfort). Who has overcome all attachment, fear and anger and whose focus upon their Atman is always steady is called a Muni. So a person who's manas is not disturbed in times of dukha, pain or suffering. When our mind is not disturbed in times of pain, what does that mean? So whenever we are in pain, our whole mind becomes focused on it. Our whole mind becomes disturbed. Some things is not going our way. We suffer. Something is not happening according to the way we wanted. We are suffering. Our health is not good. We are suffering. We're in pain. And what happens is we keep thinking about it. This is what happens when we have that dukha, that pain, that suffering. We are constantly consumed by that. Being in pain is different to being in suffering. Being in pain is simply you have a headache. You recognize it. Okay, you're going to take some painkiller to alleviate that pain or that ache. But suffering is this when you just keep saying, "Oh, I have a headache. What am I going to do about it? Why does it always happen to me? Why does it not stop?" That is suffering. That is dukha. And that is very hard to come out of. A person of Self-realization they are not disturbed by those things. They recognize they have a pain. It's not like they don't feel pain, or they will not have a stomach ache. Or they will not go through any other ailments. Of course they will. They will even feel sad at times. Let's say if they lose a loved one. They will feel sad. But at the same time, they will remember what they are. They are not then disturbed by that pain. Here Krishna is telling us about when the heart-mind is not disturbed by dukha, or pain. So he's guiding us to understand that that person, who is established in the Self, who completely loves being in the Atman. Who's complete in that understanding, complete in that awareness, that person is not disturbed in times of dukha or in pain. The time arises for everyone. Here Krishna is making it clear, that even the person of self-realization will face times of dukha. But they are not disturbed in that pain. Then the next line in that verse is, 'who is not controlled by the need for sukha or pleasure. So whenever there is pleasure, we follow it. We are enchanted by it. Yeah. Pleasure is there because it gives us a fleeting sense of happiness. We are easily controlled by it. Then we are always looking for the next hit. Yeah, the new dopamine hit. When we're able to control our pleasure, our comfort then we are not controlled by it. We do not follow it everywhere. We do not go wherever it tells us. We simply can rest in it. Okay. A nice feeling has arisen. That's fine. We keep still. We do not get controlled by it. What we mean by that is because you're feeling pleasure or you're feeling happiness or you're feeling comfort, that doesn't mean that it will always be there either. Sometimes, when we eat good food and we say that we feel very happy. That's pleasure of eating the food. But eventually that food will one, it will become nutrients in the body and will help in the functioning of the body. And eventually will become excrement, it will become waste. The one thing that gave you pleasure has two functions. Therefore be in the middle. Don't be affected by those pleasures. Something tastes good. Yes, it tastes nice. But it doesn't mean that the next time it will taste nice. For example. I love desserts. You know, you put a whole pie in front of me, I probably could eat it. But the thing is, if I do eat the whole pie, Eventually it's gonna become sickening. I may have say, you have cheesecake at the cheesecake factory. One cheesecake is more than enough. If you have two, that very cheesecake that you were enjoying would become sickening for you. It will make you feel sick. It'll make you feel nauseous? Even with pleasure, things of pleasure, it's fleeting. So don't get controlled by it. Enjoy that one piece of cheesecake. That's it. Don't be looking for the next cheesecake, because again, that becomes greed. That is still material desire. You desire a cheesecake, eat the cheesecake. It's not a big deal. Don't think about it too much. And that's why I also say, if you feel like eating something like a cheesecake, like, you know, Oreo cookie, eat it. But don't get controlled by it. Don't be like, oh, the next morning I have to eat the Oreo cookie. I need it again. I need it again. That's what it means by being controlled by sukha, by pleasure. So what we need to do is we need to observe the way we are with pleasure. Then we can transcend the controlling aspect of it. Like I said, when you notice that you want that Oreo cookie again, or you want that cheesecake again, Or you want the rasmalai again, or the gulab jamun again, that donut again. Just remember that are you being controlled by it? And normally the pleasure is just the thought of it. You don't know if actually, if you have the Oreo cookie or that donut, that you're actually going to like it. It may be that it's not made to the perfection that you wanted. It doesn't taste right. Therefore that pleasure, what does it become? Suffering. "Ahh that cookie didn't taste nice." "Ahhh that donut wasn't as good as before." Manas takes over. The person who's steady in self-realization does not allow pleasure to control them. They enjoy the cookie. That's it. It's simply stays as that. There's no more thought in it. There's no more conviction to get more. There's no more feeling about it. And there's no memories created by it. "You remember three years ago we had that cookie, it was so nice." What happens then, we moved back into the past and we lose the present. It's okay. Recall the memory, but then don't start thinking. People in Hindi they say, ' mu vich paani aagya' which means that my mouth is watering by thinking of a food. Again, that's being controlled by the manas. Yeah, we've been controlled by pleasure. Yeah. What we need to say is, "I remember that cheesecake from the cheesecake factory a year ago. On my birthday. It was tasty. It was nice. You're still steady in your Self-realization. Okay. So the next line and this is the most important one that we need to look at. That person who has overcome all attachment, fear and anger. And who's focus upon their Atman is always steady is called a Muni. Muni means a Sage. Attachment, fear and anger, they're the very basic things that take us aback. We have attachment to our possessions, to our knowledge, to our family, to our friends, to our jobs, to the things that we own, to the money we have in the bank account, to the clothes we have, to the people we love, to the family that we have, to our children, to our parents, to our spouses. When we have that attachment, we cannot live for ourselves. We cannot live in self-realization. Constantly, we'd be worried about other things. other people, your attachments to them. Now, if you have an attachment to someone or something, you'll always be thinking about that thing, therefore attachment is not healthy. We all have attachment in some sense, but it shouldn't control us. Remember, eventually we have to overcome all that attachment and become detached. Eventually that has to happen. But it takes practice. And again, it can only happen when you understand that you are the Atman. Now does the Atman have any attachment to anybody? No, because it is everybody. Then you no longer see the people that are in your family as separate to you. They are one with you. If say the child falls over. The mother, the father. Or the parent is not going to be affected. The child has fallen over, they hurt themselves. Let's deal with the pain that the child is going through. But if the parents starts crying or starts screaming, then one, that child is going to be disturbed because they think they'd done something wrong by falling. And then second of all, you've disturbed your whole self. It's funny. A lot of people they say, "We are so spiritual, we are so spiritual." Then the moment something happens to them or to another person. They can't think straight. Why? Attachment has taken over. It's important that we transcend our attachments. Then we also have fear. Fear about losing our possessions. Fear comes from attachment. They all interrelate with each other. We fear that we may lose our knowledge. Yeah. People know us for being smart and clever and intelligent. What happens if they realize that when I'm not so intelligent. What if my memory starts fading away. That fear. When we fear losing our family and friends. Not every friendship remains. And not every family member will remain with you. Everyone has to leave this world. No matter how much we may try to escape it. But that fear is there for people. People fear losing the ones they love. We fear losing our jobs, our businesses, our profits. All this is based on fear. So we have to overcome that. Embrace the death of people that you love. Embrace the fact that possessions either they depreciate, they decay over time. Like the clothes that we wear, they do not remain the same as when you brought them. They change. The color start fading away. Everything is subject to modification that we can see. Therefore, let go of the fear of that change. And remember in the Bhagavad Gita, we've also learnt that nobody dies either. Everybody remains alive. Why? Because they are the Atman. Then we have anger. Like I mentioned, if things aren't going our way, if we are not being listened to. If we're ignored. If we don't get our food on time. If the roti, the chappati is not round enough. If the dal is too salty. If we have the same food every day, we get angry. We get agitated. Anybody that has these things - attachment, fear and anger. They will not be able to steady themselves in self-realization and nor can they discern between the Real and unreal. Therefore they cannot be the Atman. So it's important that we always remind ourselves that we are the Supreme Self. We are this Brahman, this Ultimate Reality, this Pure Consciousness, this Formless. We are This. If we actually look into our own being, we are completely formless. We just see the appearance of matter. That's all. So that person who goes beyond all this attachment, fear and anger. Again why is attachment fear and anger there? Because they're linked with material desires. Remember that and they're controlled by our sukha, our pleasure and when we're in pain, it disturbs us. That person, they focus their Atman on the understanding that they are Brahman and they're constantly established in Brahman. That person is called the Muni. That person is called the Rishi. That person is a Sage. That is the recognition. So that person who is neither disturbed by pain or suffering, that person who is not controlled by pleasure and comfort, that person who has overcome all the attachment, fear and anger. That person is a Sage. That person, who enjoys being their True Self, who enjoys being in the nature of their True Self, who enjoys being Awareness at all times. That person is a Sage. The Sage always has Brahman in the background, in the midst of all activities. At the forefront is Maya, is this world, we enjoy the world, we fully involve ourselves in the world, but in the background is this Illuminating Brahman and Brahman is always illuminating. There's always the Light that's there. The Light of Awareness. It's all about whether we can establish ourselves in This. The context of the whole verse is that and it's a very simple one that the person who is firmly established in wisdom, remaining in Brahman, our mind, our heart is not disturbed by pain. Not controlled by pleasure and has overcome and has transcended attachment, fear and anger. And that person is a Sage. And this opportunity and its not an opportunity actually. This is available to everybody. We just have to discover it. It's always there. This continuous realization that we are Brahman. Verse 57. One who is immune to desires for all material things, whether pleasing or displeasing and who neither likes nor dislikes anything is steady in Prajna (the unfluctuating awareness of both the Atman and Brahman). The first line of the verse, we will look into. 'One who is immune to desire for all material things whether pleasing or displeasing'. Eventually, when we are in Oneness, when we are established in Brahman, this Pure Consciousness, this Formless. When we are absorbed in our Atman then we can be immune to our desire for material things. Then the material, things will not affect us. We'll be immune to it. Eventually, what happens is the light of the desires becomes dim. And it gets dimmer by the day. The more you remember Brahman, the Light of Brahman shines more and more brighter. Therefore the light of material desires starts going away. That's when you become immune to those material desires. They no longer take over. So being immune to our desire means that they no longer affect us and that we are not swayed by them. Whatever direction our desires wants us to go towards. We will ignore that and we will remain in Brahman. We would rather stay in our Atman, in our true nature. We rather remain in awareness because awareness is that true joy, is that true bliss. And desires, whether they're pleasing or displeasing, good or bad, holy or unholy, that Rishi is unaffected by them. That Sage is not affected by them. Now remember desires may please us, they may displease us. For example, not every food that you desire is going to be tasty, therefore it becomes displeasing for you. Those things happen. It's interesting that Krishna talks about material desires for material things, even displeasing. This means that the mind at some level likes to have displeasure. The reason for this is because then it can control you by giving you desires that do please you. You always are going to be swayed in this. Between pleasing and displeasing. This is why it's important that one has to become immune to all desire for material things. That way, it doesn't matter what pleases us, it doesn't matter what displeases us. Next line is. And who neither likes nor dislikes anything is steady in Prajna the unfluctuating awareness of both the Atman and Brahman. This is literally about being in balance. It's about being in the middle path. You neither have likes nor dislikes. There are no preferences, nor are there any aversions to things. Everything is occuring. Why? Because you are steady in your Prajna. You're steady in that unfluctuating awareness of both the Atman and Brahman. Now, this is interesting. Why both the Atman and Brahman. The reason for that is. The Atman is your localized understanding that you are Awareness, the localized understanding of Awareness, and then Brahman is that universal understanding that you are Awareness or Pure Consciousness. Remember that Atman is localized. Brahman is universal. That person who is steady in their Prajna, in their awareness, that person is both localized and universal. How do we get to that point where we are steady in Prajna? It's by being in wisdom. Wisdom takes us there. Viveka takes us there. So that person who is immune to desires for material things, but they have desires for the truth. And that is fine. That is acceptable. Remember that this is only about desires for material things that Krishna is taking us away from. But what Krishna is bringing forth is that we should desire for at least being in the Atman. In the Atman, we may feel because it's localized, we may still have a sense of duality. Therefore at the same time, we need to go towards Brahman, which is that universal understanding. And that universal understanding is there is only Brahman. 'Aham Brahmasmi.' 'Tat Tvam Asi' - You are This'. That person is steady in Prajna, in wisdom because they have that unfluctuating awareness of both the Atman and Brahman, as we discussed. However, this means that the Ultimate Reality and the personal self has become one. Yeah. Eventually, this is what happens. We also live in the world. We live in Maya. We are constantly going to have to remind ourselves of the localized understanding. When we are in meditation, then we have the universal understanding that we are Brahman. When we are functioning in the world, when we're dealing with the transactional reality, then the simple thing here is that we have that localized awareness, that we are this Atman. Yeah. Brahman is in the background. But in meditation. Brahman is in the forefront, in the foreground. The context of the whole verse is that the person who's immune to material desires, who doesn't care about what pleases them or displeases them, nor do they care about the likes or dislikes in anything. They don't have any preferences or aversions to things. Let me go into this a little bit. Now, for example, I have an aversion to having pineapples in my pizza. I do not like it at all. Now what I need to do. And this is where I need to practice. That if there is a pizza with pineapple in there. Instead of getting affected by it. Eat it. Maybe instead of eating two slices, just eat one out of respect and move on. Don't let it become dukha, don't allow it to become suffering. "Oh, I had that pizza, then it was so bad. There's pineapple on it. I don't like pineapple on my pizza." So remember that the person in steady wisdom, who is steadied in their wisdom, who is firm in their wisdom, who is complete in their wisdom and complete in their understanding, they are not affected. Remember steady in Prajna. They have unfluctuating awareness. They are able to unite the Atman and Brahman. If we look at the whole episode today, it's been a lot. It's hard to practice. But we can help each other. This is the reason why we have this podcast. We have a community is to help each other. So the next time when I eat that pineapple pizza, I'm not going to have aversion to it. Yeah, I'm not going to dislike it. I'm just going to allow it to be. When. I like something. For example, I like eating a dessert. Instead of constantly wanting that dessert. I control myself. I have one slice or I have a little bit of it and save some for later. Or have a little bowl of ice cream instead of a big bowl of ice cream or the whole tub of ice cream. So that's the way to understand and the other way to understand this whole thing is that we need to become steady in our Prajna, in our unfluctuating awareness of both the Atman and Brahman. So the takeaway for this week is make that happen for yourself. Think more when you're in the world, think of yourself as the Atman. And when you in meditation, think of yourself as Brahman, but remember Atman and Brahman is one and the same. This will be the end of the episode. Just a reminder on Saturday.

January 22nd at 11:

00 AM. Eastern standard time. There will be a YouTube live, which will be deepening our awareness in the nondual state. And this is where you can have a conversation with me. It's a call-in show. With the link that I will provide during the live event, you can speak to me. That will be on January 22nd.


00 AM on a Saturday. That is So it's at the weekend. Thank you very much for listening. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday. On the last Sunday of the month, there will be different topics. You can follow me on social media specifically, as I always mention on TikTok, because I do lives on there and I'm changing the structure of my lives there to be more focused on spirituality and also having some guided meditation there. And you can find the accounts to that in the video description and show notes below. Please do rate and review the podcast. Let me know, do message me to say that you've written a review so then I can take a look and read it in the podcast episodes. Just a reminder on Saturday.

January 22nd at 11:

00 AM. Eastern standard time. There will be a YouTube live, which will be deepening our awareness in the nondual state. And this is where you can have a conversation with me. It's a call-in show. With the link that I will provide during the live event, you can speak to me. That will be on January 22nd.


00 AM on a Saturday. That is So it's at the weekend. So let's end this episode with being at peace with our understanding. Aum. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Aum. Peace Peace. Peace. Namaste