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Aug. 7, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 4: Verse 39 - Verse 42)

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In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 39 - 42.  Sri Krishna guides us on the importance of having shraddha and giving our complete focus on this Gyan and that is how we balance ourselves in this most Supreme Brahman - the Ultimate Self. To be in contentment in this life and the next, we need to go beyond the superficial purpose of living and enter a deeper understanding that pervades all of existence.  See yourself as the Atman - this Brahman and watch every action of yours be based on humanity and they are ethical. This chapter is brought to a beautiful end as Sri Krishna gives us the lesson we need to understand and the natural result of its practice. We are nothing but the True Self - this Atman. 

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

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 37th 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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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. And before we do start, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, do sign up to the podcast Patreon. You can find the details in these show notes and video description below. Also, if you're listening to this on apple podcasts, to get ad free and bonus episodes, you can sign up to the monthly subscription that is available and you'll find that on your app itself. Also every Saturday, there is a free meditation session that occurs on zoom. If you would like to join, please find the details in the show notes and video description below. This is really good for you, if you really want to practice what we've been learning in these Bhagavad Gita episodes and also with the wisdom of the mystics. In the last episode we looked at chapter 4, verses 34 to 38. Sri Krishna guides Arjuna to give his utmost respect to the sages and rishis who know Brahman. He 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 do see. That's why they called Tattva Darshins. Arjuna can never be deluded or confused again, as long as he keeps remembering this knowledge. He will see that all beings, himself and Krishna now are all one. They are the Supreme Brahman itself. It doesn't matter what you think of yourself or what you think your past was or how bad your past was or what you are now or how you are now. This wisdom will always carry you to the safety of your True Self. Sri Krishna also explains how the Gyana burns away all our Karma. So therefore immerse yourself and get deeper into your Atman and unite every action in the remembrance of this Supreme Brahman, give every thought and action as a sacred offering to the Devas and be fulfilled. And if better, offer it to Brahman itself. Today we will be looking at chapter 4 verse 39 to verse 42 and this will actually be the end of chapter four. Let's start with verse 39, One who with shraddha ' directly sees, remains focused upon and trusts that life is pervaded by divine purpose and constantly remains focused upon that knowledge, valuing it above all else, quickly attains the ultimate state of balanced knowing of Parama Brahman. We'll break this up . So one who with shraddha so directly sees, remains focused upon and trusts that life is pervaded by divine purpose, and constantly remains focused upon that knowledge. What does that mean? Having shraddha here means that you directly perceive this Brahman. So you see this Brahman as clear as you see this screen that you're looking at right now. Or say you wear glasses, the moment you put your glasses on, your vision becomes very clear and precise. Likewise, the same way when you apply this Gyana into your life and you have the faith that this Gyana is true through your own experience. You will have that shraddha, you will have that process of seeing this truth directly. And therefore, if you can see it directly, that means you can easily remain focused upon it. If you can't see something directly, you're not gonna keep your attention to it. You can remain directly focused upon this Brahman and you trust that life's whole purpose is to realize your own divine nature. You know, that life's divine purpose is so you can know who you really are and know what you really are, to realize that actually your whole nature is divine. It's not just this body and mind. This body and mind are things that will help you to understand your divine nature. It's not against a divine nature. It is a part of your divine nature, but it's not all of your divine nature. In fact, the divine nature houses this body and mind. So we understand that the whole purpose is to understand our divine nature. That's all. It's to understand that this Atman is Supreme and this Atman is the one that allows this body and mind to function and realize its true potential. And then you constantly contemplate upon this Gyana. There's nothing more you want to contemplate upon. In fact, this Gyana is everything. So whenever there's a moment free, you want to spend focusing upon this Gyana and that knowledge is everything. That knowledge is Supreme. You absolutely trust in this knowledge. That's also a part of having shraddha, having that reverence, you understand that this knowledge is what's going to take you forward. The knowledge of understanding that you are Brahman, Tat Tvam Asi - You Are That and that's what you solidify your understanding in. Yes, you may use tools of nature, of existence, but you'll understand that existence is there to help you realize your true nature. Instead of condemning existence, we look to befriend existence, so it can help us because everything is made of this divinity. Therefore, why should we make the world an enemy? True tyaga, true renunciation is that of the ego, not of the world. The ego meaning the false identification of the body and mind, that you think 'I am the body and mind'. That's the only thing, you need to renounce. Nothing else. Life is there for you to enjoy. You honor this Gyana, you respect this Gyana. It's your everything. And I have felt this within my own life, that this Gyana is everything. All of my life has been dedicated towards this Gyana, devoted towards this Gyana. I function life through this Gyana to the best of my ability. Not saying that I can do it every day and or every moment and I'm able to be successful. No, but whenever I can remember this Gyana, I will. Whenever I can remember this Formless Awareness, I will. Whenever I can connect and immerse myself in this Formless Awareness, I will. And that is my purpose. That's what I have found to be my purpose. Everyone will have their own purpose. What's mine may not be yours and neither am I here to convince you of otherwise. But all I can share with you is what's helped me and what helps me is that whenever I get a moment spare, I will remember this true nature, this Supreme Brahman, which is none other than what you are. I cannot deny that it is the only existence That's what I attempt to practice each and every day. I wake up in the morning with the intention to remember this Formless Awareness as much as possible. Yes. It may be that when I'm working and I'm answering an email or I'm doing some work, I may not be able to remember this Formless Awareness, but I am aware that this Formless Awareness is ever present because we've been learning about this in these Bhagavad Gita episodes. And not only that, but we've been practicing this in our meditation sessions every Saturday, that this Formless Awareness is always there. And this is what we must do when we have that shraddha, when we build up that reverence and you can say it's a bit like devotion, you are devoted to this Gyana, you're devoted towards this knowledge. This knowledge is everything. And the knowledge of THAT is everything. THAT is everything. Meaning Brahman is everything. You don't need anything else but Brahman. Even to the point and I will say this, that the Guru may show you Brahman, but you must also let go of the Guru eventually. That does not mean that you have to disrespect the Guru. No. You still respect the Guru because they've shown you this Brahman and they have highlighted to you and presented to you what your Ultimate Nature is, but to go from Saguna to Nirguna, you have to let go of Saguna. Eventually you will realize that in a Nirguna aspect, the Saguna aspect is ultimately unreal. It has no place in the Nirguna. But while we are in this body and mind, this Saguna has a very important part to play. And we may go over this again later on, but the thing is, I just want us to be clear on this. So have that shraddha, have that devotion and remain focused upon that knowledge as much as possible. As I always mention, if you're listening to this podcast, it's the least I expect from you is to be at least attempting, taking those baby steps to understand and live in that knowledge, because that's the whole purpose, for this podcast to grow, for us to grow together, we all have to be on the same page and that's what we need to do. And the great thing about the meditation sessions we do is we uplift each other, we grow together and that's the whole purpose. So the next part of that line is valuing it above all else, quickly attains the Ultimate state of balanced knowing of Parama Brahman. This is very, very important to understand, because if you value this knowledge, this wisdom, this yoga above everything else, nothing else can beat it. And everything else will aid you to get to it. This Maya will become your friend and will support you. Instead of being your enemy. A lot of people see Maya as the enemy. Maya is what shrouds our judgment or clouds our intellect, but instead of letting it cloud your intellect because you have that discernment, that viveka, you can actually utilize Maya to help you. So what you can do is you can say to Maya, you know what? You are there to help me understand this Parama Brahman and to be in the balanced knowing of this Parama Brahman, this Ultimate Brahman, the Highest, the most Supreme. Or if you can bypass Maya, which is even better, then you know that this Brahman is the most Supreme, nothing can even come to a close second to It. And it's true. Once you have the taste of this Brahman, understanding this Sat-Chit-Ananda, by truly understanding it, you will never want to be away from that fragrance. You want to keep tasting more and more of it. You don't want to live a moment without it. In fact, it will become everything. And this is what Sri Krishna is saying is that you value it above everything else. That doesn't mean that everything else has no value. No, this is not what we are saying here. What we are saying is you understand that each and everything has a higher or lower value. And the higher value is the one where you can be in the most Supreme, Parama Brahman and the lower values are the things that we need to survive in life, to live a comfortable life. Those things are of lower value, but remember we are to live a balanced knowing, therefore we are not to say these are bad and we do not want it. That's not the way we are going to do it. And we are going to keep moving forward, understanding that this Brahman is the most Supreme and that's what we value more. Knowing this Brahman being in this Brahman is the most valuable thing for you. For me, that is very true. Like I mentioned earlier, I look for any moment to be in This and that's the way it should be. Until you totally become it, that you don't have to look for time to be in it, where you can just simply rest and be in it. That's the goal. And some of us are there. Some of us are on the journey to get there. Once you have this level of trust, faith and reverence and love for the truth, you become established in this Brahman and you know it to be your Essential Self, the only Being in Existence. So when we say that this Brahman is omnipresent, it is the only one present. There is no such thing as name and forms when we are completely immersed in this, then it's a different way of living. Then we see Brahman in everything. And therefore, if you see Brahman as a whole of existence, we naturally have reverence towards it. We naturally have trust towards it, faith towards it. Once we establish that, we are all good and that's the whole purpose of this verse. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna is guiding us on the importance of having shraddha and giving our complete focus on this Gyana. And that is how we will balance ourself in the most Supreme Brahman, the Ultimate Self. Just to add to that, this balanced knowing means that whatever raga and dvesha you may have attractions or repulsions, whatever pair of opposites that may be like pain and pleasure, hot and cold, all these pairs of opposites, what we will be in is this balanced knowing that there's only Brahman, there's only this Parama Brahman and everything else is something I have to rise above and transcend above through the practice of being in this knowledge as much as possible and that's the purpose. Verse 40. One who is ajna 'ignorant', who does not have shraddha, 'the ability to directly perceive the intelligence and purpose that pervades all of existence' and thus even doubts that life has a deeper meaning will not be able to achieve sukha and fulfillment on this loka 'plane of reality' or the next. Let's look at the first part. One who is ajna 'ignorant', who does not have shraddha 'the ability to directly perceive the intelligence and purpose that pervades all of existence'. So what is an ignorant person is something that Sri Krishna is explaining here and that ignorant person does not have shraddha ' the ability to directly perceive the intelligence, they do not want to directly perceive it. They rather go here there and everywhere in order to perceive it. Therefore they don't know the purpose that pervades all of existence. They don't understand the leela behind it all. They lack the ability to perceive the intelligence in the Gyana. So they may receive the Gyana, but they may not be able to understand its subtlety and they may not have the intellect that is able to receive this wisdom. Their intellect may be hazy, cloudy and they're not able to see this Brahman as clearly as one should. In fact, Brahman is so clear that it can be missed. Sometimes have you ever noticed that you see these videos, where there maybe a French door and, it's so clean that someone can just walk into it and not realize that the door is there. That glass is there and that's how clear this Brahman can become. Even though there is this glass of Brahman and behind it is Maya. Before you can even go into Maya, you come face to face with Brahman. Remember the whole point is to have your intellect sharpened, which is why we went through chapter two and three is to really guide us to get there, to understand how to do this and that we have to understand what is Real and unreal, Sat and asat. The purpose that pervades all of existence is the realization of Brahman itself, but the ignorant person doesn't see that. For them, the purpose is to live these four days of existence and waste it on material pleasures alone. So, you know, they say char din ki zindagi hai, and these four years represent the four time periods that we may have. You have your youthful days, the days of studies, you have the days of being a householder, days of being a grandparent and then taking sannyas. Those are the four periods of life. The whole purpose is to live those four periods of life, but not waste it on material pleasures alone, but to focus it upon Brahman. We are not there to take sannyas in order to gain material benefits in heaven. We are there to understand that there is only oneness with Brahman and that's the ultimate goal. The purpose that pervades, all of existence is the realization of Brahman. The next part is, and thus even doubts that life has a deeper meaning will not be able to achieve sukha and fulfillment on this loka 'plane of reality' or the next. If someone is not able to have that shraddha, able to directly perceive this Brahman. They will lack that basic understanding, and they will not be able to understand the deeper meaning of life. They'll be looking here and there for the purpose of life. They will never be fulfilled. In fact, they may think that life is khao piyo aish karo or as they say eat, drink and live merrily. That's not just what life is about. That's a part of life. That's not to deny that that is not a part of life, but that is not all of life. When we live in the remembrance of this Formless Awareness, when we immerse ourself in this Formless Awareness and we eat, drink, sleep, read, talk, walk, do all our actions in this awareness that is a life that is worth living. That person will not be able to see that deeper meaning. That person will only think of eating, drinking and living merry. That's all life is about, is to enjoy life right here right now. But they will not see the larger picture of life. They may harm themselves through bad eating habits or bad drinking habits or not resting enough, living a life where it's just about work and there's no work life balance. Those are the things that may impact somebody. So an ignorant person will always be doing too much of one thing and not living a balance of everything. For example, even a spiritual person, you cannot focus 24/7 on spirituality. You can live a 24/7 spiritual life, but you must also live a life in this world and enjoy the aspects of existence too. This aspect of existence is you. So why condemn it? The difference is the ignorant person cannot see how it's all connected. The realized person can see how it is connected. Therefore it will never condemn anything, you know, in my opinion, the tantriks have it right, where they embrace everything of life because when you do this, you can keep a more level headed mind. If you practice this, you will see what I mean. I practice it and that's why I can say there's value in this, but if we end up just thinking that there's no spirituality, gaining spirituality has no purpose. Why do I need to know who I am? Those people will never be satisfied with life. Somehow yes, they will eat and drink, but then they'll look forward to the next hit. But someone who is balanced will be content, regardless of whether they get that hit or not. That dopamine hit is what I'm talking about. The other thing to think about is that when you die, what will you have to show for this life that you've lived? You gotta think about your legacy. That is your legacy one where people in your own home have been inspired by the life that you've lived or do they look at you as some gluttonous fool that they do not want to be like. So this is a thing that we need to think about. You know, I often say this and I really mean it, that if you cannot be spiritual in your own home, you will not be spiritual outside. You can put a facade outside but the real deal is when you are at home and you're spiritual. That is the main thing to achieve. And without that, there is no joy in being spiritual. Yes, your family members may test you completely, but it's in that testing that you grow. It's in those challenges that you grow and therefore do not condemn that. So those people that just think about eating, drinking, and being merry, they just devour things without understanding that life can be lived in the understanding of being Brahman and enjoying the pleasures of the world as I mentioned before. Those people will not achieve any sukha meaning contentment or comfort in life for that you need peace of mind. And how do we get peace of mind? By connecting to That which is the existence of Peace, which is Brahman. But how can the mind be at peace if it's at the mercy of the senses? What I mean here is that you don't need to get rid of the senses. You do not have to condemn the senses. All you need to do is show the senses who is the boss and who the senses is working for. The senses is working for the body and mind and the body and mind are the name and forms of this Formless Awareness. So you see it in that way, rather than seeing the senses as something to be condemned and think about it. Without the senses, you will not be able to live life, even to meditate, to remove the senses, you have to utilize the senses. Letting go of them is letting go of the identification that is formed from them. Instead your identification is formed from Brahman, rather than these senses and what they perceive and the information they give to the mind. Therefore the mind will then influence the body in that way. That's the way to understand this. These people, they will not have any fulfillment because nothing can appease them. Therefore, this life is wasted and so is the next. Not only do they lose the purpose in this life, but they may even lose a purpose in their next life and say they do achieve heaven. That is still not mukti. That is still not achieving the highest purpose, which is to be liberated whilst alive in this life. The context of the whole verse is to be in contentment in this life and the next, we need to go beyond the superficial purpose of living and enter a deeper understanding of that, which pervades all of existence. Verse 41, O Arjuna, one who is immune to the karmas of their actions through the practice of yoga and whose doubts have been cut away by the sharp blade of Divine Gyana always sees the immortal Atman as their True Self and thus their actions no longer cause them bondage. Let's look at the first part. O Arjuna one who is immune to the karmas of their actions through the practice of Yoga. We know that the practice of Karma Yoga is that every action should be done without any doership and it should be done as a sacred offering to the devas, to life and to nature, or if we can to this Brahman. So we understand that to be immune to these karmas of our actions is to understand how to do it. So now Krishna is talking about the opposite person to the verse 40. And the next part he says, and whose doubts have been cut away by the sharp blade of divine Gyana. That person, one is immune to the karmas of their action. So when he says immune, he always also meaning that they are not affected. They do not get infected by the fruits of those actions, whether the fruits are positive or negative, they do not get influenced by them. Also their doubts have been cut away by the sharp blade of Divine Gyana. How do we create this sharp blade of Divine Gyana? Is by asking questions. The more we ask questions, the more clear our understanding gets, the sharper this blade of Divine Gyana is. So our doubts continuously get cut away, the sharper this blade becomes. Our intellect has been sharpened then with this knowledge of what is Real and unreal, what is changeless and changing. Only this Gyana itself can take away our doubts. And by self-reflection and contemplation on the Gyana, we then discover our inherent oneness. All the wisdom of the rishis are found within, and they all live within us. Every rishi that has been on this existence, their atoms are within us. Therefore we carry their memory within us. If we are able to quieten our mind and become absolutely still, we will be able to hear that very teaching that they could hear. So Krishna, we have to understand lives within us, is us and this Divine Gyana will make them appear within us and we will see that they are nothing but us. They are the Ground of Being and that's what we understand about this Divine Gyana. And then Sri Krishna in the next part says, always sees the Immortal Atman as their True Self and thus their actions no longer cause them bondage. Remember, he starts off with the immunity to the karmas of our actions. And here he says the actions no longer cause them bondage. They no longer bind us to this earth. They no longer bind us to live another life. We can then be free and liberated. This is really the key and pinnacle of the Gyana to see the Immortal Atman as the True Self. To remember that this is the only True Self, this Immortal Atman, this Purusha, this Witness Consciousness, this Formless Awareness is everything. This is the only reality. Everything else is changing and transactional, is based on an exchange, but we have no control over that, but we do have control over understanding what is Real and unreal and therefore going towards the Real, we do have that control and due to our Jiva identifying as the Atman, all our actions and its reactions are burned away. Therefore we may get the ashes, but the impact will be reduced. Instead of something hitting us in a very gross level of form, it will be a very subtle level. We will feel only a breeze rather than the hurricane of the karma of our actions or the results of our actions. These actions can never hold us, but like a spring breeze, they may appear and leave without leaving a trace of its presence. That is the understanding of Karma Yoga here and that's only if we truly understand that we are the Immortal Atman, that that is our True Self, that is who we really are and what we really are. The context of the whole verse is to really see yourself as this Atman, this Brahman, and to watch every action of yours be based in humanity and they have the basic ethics required to live a more harmonious life and they cause harmony on this earth and that's the main purpose. Verse 42. Therefore, with the sword of Divine Knowledge and the skills of yoga, cut away the bonds of ignorance and the doubts that have occupied your heart Uttishta 'stand up' O Arjuna, stand strong as your True Self-the Atman. Let's look at the whole verse together. This is a time for us to utilize the Gyana, gather our skills from practicing this yoga and cut away the bonds of ignorance. The main ones that are 'I am the body' and 'I am the mind'. We are to cut away that ignorance and understand we are nothing but this Immortal Atman and that is our True Self. All the doubts about the Real, this Sat will be cut away as we discern between the Real and the unreal, when we establish ourself more in the Changeless, we then see that this changing world is false and therefore what ignorance can remain. Here Arjuna is instructed clearly to arise, stand up and stand strong as his True Self, this Atman. And this is not just for Arjuna, this is also for us. So the context of the whole verse is that this chapter is brought to a beautiful end as Sri Krishna gives us the lesson that we need to understand, and the natural result of its practice, that we are nothing but the True Self, this Atman and that ends chapter four. The one thing I wanna mention and emphasize that we are nothing but this Non-dual Self, this Non-dual Brahman. This Atman is indivisible. It is Formless Awareness. It is oneness itself. That is what we really are. The whole purpose of this battle within that we are facing is a battle between ignorance and awareness. When we understand that this knowledge, this awareness is everything and that ignorance actually has no existence because there is only Sat, there is only this Changeless Truth. Then we transcend the peaks and valleys of this earth, the ups and downs of this life. And we understand that static balance. That is always there. Although appearing static yet moves faster than the speed of light and that is this Brahman itself. As we end this chapter, I pray to Sri Krishna. I pray to all the Devas of this material existence that may they aid us into understanding our True Self. That may we establish ourselves as this Formless Awareness and immerse ourselves as much as possible as this Formless Awareness. Until we get to the understanding that there is only this oneness and this oneness is what I Am. So that will be the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content. Do follow me on social media to keep getting updates, subscribe to the monthly Bearded Mystic Newsletter and you can join the Bearded Mystic Discord Server and the details are in the show notes and video description below. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic podcast, you can check out the podcast's Patreon account and the details again are in the show notes and video description below, or you can subscribe to the monthly subscription on apple podcasts. Do rate and review the podcast on our website www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com If you're watching this on YouTube, please do like, and comment on this video and do subscribe to the channel. If you are listening to this on your podcast streaming app, please do subscribe or follow, this channel so you can keep getting updated on the new episodes. Thank you very much for listening and we'll end with the Shanti mantra as always. Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Aum, Peace, Peace, Peace. Namaste