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July 24, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 4: Verse 34 - Verse 38)


In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 34 - 38.  Sri Krishna guides Arjuna to give utmost respect to the sages and rishis who know Brahman. Arjuna must serve them, ask sincere questions, share this wisdom with all, so that this Gyana can be taught to him. What others can't see, these rishis and gurus can see. Arjuna can never be deluded or confused again. He will see that all beings, himself and Krishna are all one - this Supreme Brahman. It doesn't matter what you think of yourself, how your past was, or how you are now, this wisdom will always carry you to the safety of your True Self. Sri Krishna explains how the Gyana burns away all our karma! Immerse yourself deeper into the Atman - unite every action in remembrance of Brahman, give every thought and action as a sacred offering to the devas and be fulfilled. 

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

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 36th 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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Transcript

Rahul N Singh:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Bearded Mystic podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today we will be continuing on with my thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita. But before then, I would like to let you know that you can support this podcast by signing up to our Patreon page, where you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Or if you're listening to this on apple podcast, you can sign up to the subscription where you'll be able to get, ad-free content and get extra bonus episodes like Conversations with the Bearded Mystic and the guided meditations.

Also every Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern standard time, there is a free virtual meditation class, if you would like to join, because you've enjoyed the teachings that are talked about here on this podcast and you would like to put them into practice, this meditation session is something you would enjoy and you will find the details in the show notes and video description below. In the last episode, we looked at chapter four verses 30 to 33. Sri Krishna guided us to dedicate everything to Brahman as a sacred offering, as this will keep the mind focused on worship and this naturally creates selfless acts and no reactions from karma will have its effect upon us. Sri Krishna also explained that we should only consume that which is offered to the devas first or while we are thinking of Brahman. Without this material success at the very least is not even achieved. Yajna is essential. Sri Krishna also explained that everything is Brahman and therefore you can offer everything to it. To get freedom is to understand Yajna and then practice it fully. For everything is the Lord's, to the Lord it returns. Sri Krishna also guided Arjuna that this Gyana of Brahman is worth far more than anything material. So nothing in this material world can come close to this knowledge of Brahman, to this realization of Brahman. Therefore give yourself to the Divine is the most important and Supreme offering, give your tiny ego and let it go to the Lord, let the ego dissolve away in terms of its influence upon you and then you will find that only Brahman is in your awareness, not only is in your awareness, you realize that Brahman is your awareness. You've always been seeing the world, perceiving the world through Brahman, that which is aware has always been that one non-dual state. Today, we will be looking at verses 34 to 38. Verse 34. Just know this O' Arjuna, bow to the rishis and gurus who know the Ultimate Truth. Inquire from them with respectful questions, serve their efforts to share the divine knowledge with the world. And through this process, they will teach you Gyana because they have Tattva-darshin 'the ability to see the Truths that would otherwise remain unseen'. A very important verse if you think about it. So let's break this down a little. Just know this, Oh Arjuna, bow to the rishis and gurus who know the Ultimate Truth. This is really important if you think about it, those that have the Ultimate Truth, those who speak of the Ultimate Truth, those who revere the Ultimate Truth, the ones who fully assimilate the Ultimate Truth in their lives, they are worthy of all the respect in the world and they naturally receive infinite amount of love from us because we've just find them shining forth with this beautiful knowledge, with this beautiful presence that undoubtedly allows our egos to dissolve very naturally. Bowing to them, honoring them, giving our heart to them is the only thing we can do for such pious beings, because they've given home to the wisdom in their own hearts. They've allowed their hearts to be open and free for this wisdom and this is not easy. Those of us that have been on this spiritual path know how difficult it is. It's not as if you get to listen to the Gita once, or you see a Guru once that you will automatically just know the Truths of the whole universe. Not necessarily, it may take time. But the thing is to be in the company of such a being is incredibly important, bowing to them is also like bowing to Brahman because they are the living murtis. You know, murtis are made out of clay or stone but the best murti is that living being that can show you the Truth very directly. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with murti puja. One can do murti puja if one wishes, but the thing is, what I'm highlighting here is that if you find a living being that can show you this beautiful Truth, they are worthy of all our worship. They are worthy of all our gratitude. They are worthy for our praises because only such an egoless, pious being can hold such a beautiful Truth. It's a Truth, which for example, you can easily lose it. It's like trying to grasp sand in your hand. The grains of sand will always slip through. And likewise, if our mind becomes muddy by pride, lust, attachment, anger, arrogance, ego, false identification, anything like that then this Truth just slips away. It's not that the Truth goes anywhere. We let go of the Truth. We let go of the Truth for other things that we think will satisfy our hearts, but we find that it never ever does. The next part in the verse, inquire from them with respectful questions, serve their efforts to share divine knowledge with the entire world. It's very interesting. It says to inquire from them with respectful questions. This means that Sri Krishna wants us to respectfully put our questions forward and respectfully listen so we can grasp the answers. It's always important to seek wisdom from such people, to find out ways where we can utilize the teachings, the way we can practice the teachings, the way we can fully assimilate the teachings in our own lives. When we open our hearts to the answers to those questions without bypassing our own discernment of what is real and unreal, we automatically will also start finding the Truth resonating within us and also speaking from within us, because now we know that there is no difference between me and the Truth, because we can discern between the real and the unreal. The one that is receiving the Truth is the one that is already aware of the Truth. It is only then when it remembers it will never forget. By utilizing our discernment, our intellect, the Truth will transform our heart and we can help these divine beings, these pious teachers, these gurus, these sages by sharing this divine Truth with one and all, and as Sri Krishna says, you don't keep this Truth to yourself. You have to share with the world. You have to make sure people understand this Truth. Now that doesn't mean that you can directly give the truth to everybody and they'll be open to receiving it. No, we will have to discern who is ready and who is not. Who is ready to experience the real, the changeless, the Formless Awareness that is always here, always now, always present, always in the forefront of our awareness and always in the background of our awareness, when we are functioning in the world, We need to find those people. It's not like we have to find them. They naturally arrive in our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, those people who really want to know the Truth, those who really are seeking a Guru. They will go to a person who may know a Guru that can help them. Don't ever keep this Truth for yourself. If you can recognize this Truth, then share it with everybody. It's not something that you just put on the mantel piece and then let it go. No, you have to remind yourself to always, always share it with others. The more you spend of this Truth, meaning you share it with others. The more the Truth resonates with yourself. It's very important to share that knowledge. The other thing is this is a very good way, a good method into always remembering this Truth, if you share it with others. If you're always sharing it, guess what you're always remembering? What are you always saying in the remembrance of? This Formless Awareness. What a beautiful way by Sri Krishna to tell us to always share this Truth, this Gyana. Go into the world and speak of Brahman. Speak of this Nirguna. See if people can grasp such an abstract concept, if they can grasp something that does not want to be defined. Ask them to understand that this Brahman is their True Self. It's not some other God that they have to search outside for. And this is the point. You can show people how accessible this Truth is. This Truth can be given to those that are agnostic, atheist or a theist, it doesn't matter, but this Truth goes beyond all of those things and can be directly perceived by that person who is ready to perceive it. The third part is, and through this process, they will teach you Gyana because they have tattva-darshin, which means the ability to see the Truths that would otherwise remain unseen. Again, with this attitude, these teachers, these pious gurus will teach us the Gyana, this Pure knowledge, this Pure wisdom, because they have tattva-darshin, they have been able to see this. And the thing is they were teach us the Gyana because they have found that you've gone beyond selfishness, beyond greed and individuality. And that is their nature too, so they recognize it in another. Now, they are tattva-darshin because they can see the Truth. They may all have prerequisites in terms of what has made them get there or what they may require you to have before they show you what this Tattva is. But they have the ability to see this Truth directly and that's what is amazing. They can see that which other people cannot see. This is Brahman that they're talking about. Nirguna Brahman, not some form. The Formless. Only the Formless, Imageless, Colorless One can be directly seen by those that can now see through the knowledge, not through Maya. Remember every form is Maya. Every form. Therefore, we go towards the Formless. These people are always face to face with the Formless Awareness and remember what others cannot see, which is this Truth, they see IT everywhere, within everything seen and unseen, beyond the senses, where even it goes beyond space too. That is how 'close' this Truth is seen. This is how direct they see It. This is how they can directly grasp the deeper elements of Truth. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna guides Arjuna to give utmost respect to the sages and rishis, who know Brahman. He must serve them or we must serve them and ask sincere questions and share this wisdom with one and all so that this Gyana can be taught to all. What others can't see these rishis and gurus can see. And that is the beauty of Brahman. Remember Nirguna Brahman. Nirguna because it is without attribute and without attribute means without any form. And now this is very hard to conceptualize, but that's why it cannot be made into a concept. Even when we say Nirguna Brahman, we are making a very important concession, but remember that this concession is only so we can directly perceive Brahman. Now think about it. We'd be able to see those Truths that would otherwise remain unseen. This Formless Awareness is right here between you and the screen. Me and this microphone. It is present here. It is so close. So close to us that we cannot deny its existence. We can feel it. If we are able to silence our mind, silence our thoughts, remain more still. And then slowly, slowly, we start discovering that this Truth was right there in front of us and we just couldn't see it. It's, it's very beautiful verse. Let's go to verse 35. Once you achieve that knowledge, you will never again fall into delusion. You will see all beings and yourself as the immortal atma and you will see that they are all within Me. This is a very important verse and remember to see this verse through the vision of oneness. If you do not see this verse in the vision of oneness, you're making a grave mistake and a mistake that other people have made, who follow the Gita through their own crooked perceptions and their own crooked philosophy. If you see this through duality, you're missing the whole point. Krishna is not talking about himself as a separate being. He's talking about himself as a Formless Oneness as the only being there is. There is no 'I' in this, there's no separate 'you' or 'me' in this. There's only This And Krishna is a representation of this Formless Awareness, which is this. Okay. So that's a caveat that I'm giving before, but I may explain it again because it's very difficult to comprehend, but it's so beautiful once you get it. It is, it, it is mind blowing once you get it. Trust me. Once you achieve that knowledge, you'll never again fall into delusion. Once you have this wisdom, delusion will never be able to settle. Delusion will never be able to overpower you. It can't because now you are seeing the Truth for what it is. Now you can discern, once you have a strong buddhi, a strong intellect, and then you can perceive this Formless Awareness in everything as the only thing. Then you cannot fall under delusion. That means you will not fall under the delusion of naam and roop, name and form. You will be away from that now. This knowledge is of the light, of the real and therefore nothing can disturb that Eternal Peace, that Peace that is resonating throughout the whole of existence, throughout the whole of your awareness. It is there. And you will have absolute clarity because of a sharpened intellect. And that is because every moment continues to be a Yajna to the Divine. You continuously offer any aspect of duality to this Non-dual Self. This is what you'll do anything of name and form will dissolve when you offer it to this Formless Self and that is the most important thing to remember. Now, the next part, you will see all beings and yourself as the immortal atma, and you'll see that they are all within Me. This is a very beautiful line and again, this emphasizes the Oneness. Yeah. Not the separation of Krishna and us. So let's break this up even more. First of all, envision all beings and then yourself as one light and then see the whole of existence in that same one light. Now, all that is existing now is that one light. That is our one shared being and that is seen as this Formless, Immortal Atman. There is only this Immortal Atman, which is this one bright light. Now that which others cannot see is the immortal Atman. They see naam and roop, but you can see this invisible unifying force. If we take the light out now and we remove the light, then what only remains is this invisible unifying force. And because you see all this as the Shared Being, it all must be within the Supreme Brahman as Supreme Brahman. Remember Krishna is talking as Brahman and Arjuna is a disciple now not his friend. So remember this. When you're thinking about this verse, just remember the state in which Krishna is sharing this message. So, because of this understanding, what you will be able to do is you'll see this Immortal Atman as one and the same as Brahman as I've highlighted before. If you feel that you weren't able to grasp this, I would rewind a bit and just listen again, it's very important to grasp this because if we do not, then we can fall under delusion again, literally, you see, what's beautiful here is that in this very line, Sri Krishna talks about not falling under delusion again, and it's very easy how people get stuck on the name and form of Krishna. Look what happens when they do that, they fall under delusion again, within the very line, he's able to show us this practically. From this line, you can see who understands this Truth and who doesn't. And it's very important that we approach those people that share the message of the Gita as Krishna expected us to, it's very important that we do that. The context of the whole verse is that Arjuna can never be deluded or confused again. He will see that all beings, himself and Krishna are all this one, this Supreme Brahman, this Invisible Unifying Force, this Oneness, this Formless Awareness. That is always One. That is what we are. Verse 36. Even if in the past you were the most degraded and hurtful person, lost in ignorance and darkness, this ship of yogic wisdom will carry you to safety. If we just look at the whole verse together. It doesn't matter how bad you were in the past, this wisdom will help you. It doesn't matter if you think you were the worst person alive, this wisdom will help you. It doesn't matter if you think you do not deserve this Truth, this wisdom will still help you. If you think you are the most blind to the Truth, this wisdom will help you. If you think there is only darkness in your life, this wisdom will help you. And if you think you're not spiritual enough, or you're not ready, this wisdom will help you. No matter what way you think you are undeserving of this Truth, this wisdom will always be there to guide you. It will always be present. For once, one comes into contact with it, one can never lose it again. One has to be sincere in this spiritual journey. One has to put things into practice, not just intellectually, but in practice. Are we offering ourselves to Brahman? Are we truly doing everything as a Yajna? Are we pleasing the devas by offering our thankfulness, by looking after this planet and looking after the inhabitants of this planet. For that is why this ship of yogic wisdom, this boat will always carry us safely. Now the thing is what I will say as a caveat to this is that once the boat does take you to the shore, to where you need to be, once it takes you to the Supreme Brahman, remember to burn the boat or let go of the boat, don't hang onto it. Don't remember it. Now is your time to always be in the remembrance of this Brahman. The context of the whole verse is that it doesn't matter what you think of yourself, how your past was, how you are now, this wisdom will always carry you to the safety of your True Self. Verse 37. O Arjuna just as a flame reduces firewood to ashes, so this Gyana Agni fire of transcendental knowledge' burns away the karmas resulting from material action. An image here is used to help us. We have all seen fire burn wood to ashes. We've seen how that happens. What was there once as solid wood is then turned into ashes as it burns from the fire. Using this example of the fire, we can see the fire as Gyana, this transcendental knowledge and that this transcendental knowledge. will burn away the reactions from the karma that we have done. Now, all three karmas will be burned to ashes. So the three karmas are sanchita karma, which is the store of karmic debts accumulated from previous births. Agami karma is new karma accumulated in the present lifetime, which is carried forward into future lives. And prarabdha karma is that part of one's sanchita karma, which must be worked out in the present life because this law of karma implies determinism in human activities, prarabdha karma is sometimes translated as destiny, that's something we need to remember. So all three karmas will be burned in the fire. None of these will remain once we are able to understand that we are fully this Universal, Formless, Oneness, this Brahman. Once we understand this, once we put all our karmas into that fire of knowledge and we offer all our karmas as a yajna to this knowledge, then we find that this Gyana will help us to burn away everything. Now, to explain this a bit more, the transcendental knowledge, this Gyana will destroy the first two karmas and renders the third type ineffective, even as it operates. So what I mean by this is first, it will destroy the first two karmas, which is sanchita karma and agami karma, it will not allow them to come into our present life. And also it will not allow it to be carried forward into the future life because it's burning it all away. It will not leave any effects. Then the third type is ineffective even as it operates because of the first one disappearing and the second one, which is agami karma is not going to be functioning. Therefore, these karmas, the reactions from these karmas will not touch us. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna explains how this Gyana burns away all of our karmas. Hopefully we've understood that, but if you have any questions about this, do ask me. If you're watching this on YouTube, write a comment with your questions about this. Other one is you can write to me at beardedmysticpdcast@gmail.com. Verse 38. There is nothing in this world that compares to the healing and purifying effect of this vedic knowledge. One who perfects this yoga comes over the course of time to know their true self as the Immortal Atman Let's look at the first part. There is nothing in this world that compares to the healing and purifying effect of this vedic knowledge. Remember this knowledge is from the vedas. It has been there for eternity. Hence it's Sanatana Dharma. It is the Eternal Dharma. This Gyana has no beginning. We cannot say when it did begin and we cannot say if it will ever end, in terms of it ever being destroyed, it has never been hidden either. It has always been here in existence. The only thing is we always need a Perceptor to tell us about this Truth. We realize that this Truth was always staring at us right in the face. This Gyana about Brahman is the most healing. It heals everything. The more you remember this Formless Awareness, the more the ailments of your body and mind will lessen. Now that doesn't mean that you do not take precautions or you do not go to the doctors when it's necessary or anything like that. Or you do not seek therapy if you're going through a tough time, of course one must do, but it does take us beyond the body and mind along with medicinal science and therapy and counseling. Remember this Gyana can be utilized with those two things too. Okay. And it can help us get stronger and more positive and optimistic. That's the main point is because you understand that this awareness is not going through the ailments. That does not mean that we bypass what is making us ill, whether mentally or physically, what we need to ensure is that we are still dealing with those things but remembering what our true self is, because remember this body and mind has its own function. But this awareness is beyond any function. It is the most purifying because it cleanses your mind, free from all other thoughts, except Brahman. Brahman is the only thing we need to remember. The only thing that needs to be in our mind. Yes. That doesn't mean that when you're working, you don't concentrate on working and you think of Brahman. No, you do your work. You do think about other things, but whenever there's a moment free, you're always thinking of Brahman, that is always at the forefront, that remembrance and that remembrance can exist alongside other thoughts too. Before the thought appears, there's a thoughtless state. The thoughtless state is even there in the appearance of a thought. What I'm saying here is incredibly deep. I know it is. I know, but like I said, rewind this listen to all this again, if it doesn't make sense the first time round. But it will make sense. It's gonna come to you like an aha moment when the light bulb just switches on you're like 'I get it'. And trust me, that's how it was for me. It took me so much time. Before I go forward to the next part. The other thing I wanna mention about purification, it doesn't mean that you dip in the Ganga or you become celibate or you don't eat meat or don't take any chemical substances. That is not the purification that is being talked about here. The purification here is of identity. Where you move from the identity or form to the Formless, from the identity of the body and mind, to the identification that you are this Brahman, that there is only Brahman. Aham Brahmasmi, Tat Tvam Asi. Remember the Bhagavad Gita is only emphasizing the messages of the Upanishads. It's reemphasizing them to us, so we understand the real purification is that one, where we move from duality to non-duality, the egoic identification of body and mind to Brahman. The second part is the one who perfects this yoga comes over the course of time to know their true self as the Immortal Atman. Once you get this knowledge, it may not be an immediate shift. Not everyone's going to remember this straight away. Nobody is gonna be like, yes, I get it. I am this one. I am Brahman. Saying it is not enough, you gotta experience it. You gotta feel it. You gotta become it. Depending on a lot of things like karma or your current situation, the decisions you make, the lifestyle that you have, and other things, they may slow down the progress, but we shouldn't give up. We should continue on, keep going forward and not give up. The more we contemplate on this Gyana, the more we understand what our True Self is, which is this eternal atman, this immortal atman. So the more we remember this atman, the less we associate with the body and mind. And this is the progressive path. It's direct yet progressive. Not everyone will get it straight away. Awareness can be directly accessed. But to fully understand this as the Shared Being, as a Shared Oneness of All, of the Only Thing That Is, that may be a progressive path for us. So for that, we need to keep going back to this Formless, to this Atman, to this knowledge, to this Gyana. So the more we remember this Gyana, the better. The context of the whole verse is immerse yourself deeper and deeper into the atman, into this Nirguna Brahman. Unite every action in remembrance of this Nirguna Brahman. Give every thought and action as a sacred offering to the devas, to this Nirguna Brahman and be fulfilled. Be free. Be Pure. Be clear. Be your True Nature. Your True Self, and that is the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who, you know will enjoy this type of content. You can follow me on social media to keep getting updates or subscribe to the monthly, The Bearded Mystic Newsletter, or join the Bearded Mystic Podcast discord server, all the details for this are in the show notes and video description below. As I mentioned earlier, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic podcast, you can check out the podcast's Patreon page or you can support the podcast through apple subscriptions. The details are in the show notes and video description below. Please rate and review the podcast on our website www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com Please like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Thank you very much for listening and we'll end with the Shanti mantra. Aum Shanti Shanti, Shanti, Aum Peace, Peace, Peace Namaste.