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June 12, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 4: Verse 9 - Verse 12)

In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 9 - 12. Sri Krishna instructs us that we must accept Krishna’s divine birth and understand the purpose. If we do then we attain Him, as the Supreme atma when we die and not be in the cycle of birth and death. Sri Krishna explains that those that get over desires, fear and anger, who focus on the Supreme, are completely purified through knowledge and simple living, they attain the same Brahman, which is Krishna’s own divine nature.  Whatever approach we take with Sri Krishna, he reciprocates this. The importance of this verse is to highlight that even if people do now want to have liberation, there is still something they can attain. But it will not be Krishna’s Supreme Reality, which is Brahman. But it will be fulfilled in this transactional reality, in this world.

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 31st 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 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. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, please do sign up to the Patreon page. The details are in the show notes and video description below. Also every Saturday there's a virtual free meditation class. If you would like to join, you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Let's do a recap of the last episode. We began chapter four and we went through verses one to eight. Sri Krishna establishes the ancient aspect of his wisdom that he's sharing and explains how the teachings is passed down and then how it gets lost and loses its value, society transforms and therefore changes. And Sri Krishna hints to us that this knowledge and wisdom also has to adapt accordingly. Sri Krishna also expresses how this highest teaching, this highest yogic knowledge is shared and beautifully understood through deep friendship. So Arjuna also had a question about how could Krishna give this knowledge to the Deva of the sun millions of years ago. Arjuna was looking for a logical and rational answer because any one of us could doubt it. Therefore Sri Krishna did explain that both himself and Arjuna have had many incarnations on this planet, but as Sri Krishna identifies himself with the Supreme Being, this Formless Awareness, he remembers everything. Whilst Arjuna, who is still attached to his body and only sees himself as this current incarnation has forgotten. Sri Krishna further on explains that Sri Krishna is eternal and can appear within matter at will because he is the Immortal Self. Sri Krishna expresses why he appears as an Avatar and this is due to the lack of righteousness on the planet. Let's start with verse nine. Listen, Arjuna anyone who understands and accepts the truth of my descent immediately, comes to me at the death of their body and is never forced to take birth again. If we look at the complete verse here, anyone who accepts the eternal truth of the Supreme Atman, that they are this Atman, they are this Formless awareness and accepts that that is how an avatar appears in the world. They will automatically merge with the Supreme Atman. When he says, "comes to me", merges with him that's what it means. Remember also that his descent as an Avatar is also a form of Maya. It's a form of a transactional reality with the world, a form of the unreal, despite how pure and high it may be. Yeah. It may be great, it may be pious, may be greatest thing ever. Yeah. But still it's a form of Maya. So if we get attached to the form of Krishna, we fail to understand Sri Krishna, his true form, the true teachings that He's hinting upon. Like I mentioned in the last episode, there are a lot of people that misunderstand Krishna because of the way their sampradaya or their teachings of their gurus, they're misinterpreted and misguided people. Sometimes deliberately. What we have to understand is that when we say this is maya, we have to really understand it. Merely taking it upon faith that, is not what is mentioned here. Remember when he says, whoever accepts the truth of my descent immediately comes to me. He's not saying this in terms of faith. He doesn't say have faith in these words, have vishwas. The only way, if you want immediately attain the Supreme Atman, the immortal self, the only way to do that is to fully understand how Krishna as the Supreme Knowledge itself appears, as the yogic wisdom itself. How that is one and the same as Sri Krishna. There's a very beautiful line that has been said that the guru is the Gyana. The guru is the knowledge. The teacher is the knowledge itself. Here Krishna as a teacher is the knowledge itself. When death does appear, one will automatically be united. Say, before we die, we still live in some aspects of duality. It may be that at the time of death, we will unite because we will remember that we are the Supreme Atman. We have to constantly work on this to remind ourselves. Also one thing is, and it may come in a further verse, but Sri Krishna does says that whatever you think of last, you do become. Even if you think of Krishna at the time of death, you will become Krishna. You will become that Supreme Atman. But I like to say, remember the Formless Awareness at all times. Don't bring a form into it. When death appears you will automatically be united if you constantly remember this Supreme Knowledge, but we have to ask this one question, is it the acceptance of Krishna or is it the acceptance of Krishna's Gyana? We have to be accepting and understanding and fully implementing Krishna's Gyana, his knowledge. That is the most Supreme. That is the Ultimate. That is the most Uttama. That's the most highest. That is what we need to accept, not Krishna the name and form but Krishna's knowledge that he's representing, that he's embodying. That's what we are accepting. The interesting wordplay in this whole verse is that they are never forced to take birth again, which implies that one may have the choice to be born again, despite liberation. So, this is interesting. It opens the door to many questions, internal questions that you may have. And in fact, I would say there's no right answer. It's whatever you want to take on intuitively. In my opinion, you may be guided to take birth again, if there's so much unrighteousness on the planet. Going back to the word 'attains me', or comes to me, it means this Supreme Atman. I want us to really understand that. I want to establish it completely, that this me, that Sri Krishna is referring to is the Supreme Atman, the Immortal Self. He has made that clear before. There's no need to be confused about it now, but I know there's so much misinformation. I have to keep mentioning it because we have to really understand this. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna is instructing us about how we must accept his divine birth and how it occurred. We need to understand the purpose of that birth. If we do that, then we can attain him at the time of death because he is the Supreme Atman and we are also the Supreme Atman, we are this Formless Awareness. Therefore we can get ourselves out of this cycle of birth and death and that is the promise he has given here. Verse 10. Those who have overcome the effects of compulsive material desires, fear and anger, whose manas is focused entirely upon me and who are completely purified by Gyana and tapasya, attain to mad-bhava ' the state of being that is the same as my divine nature'. Again, this is a very non dual message. If people still reject non-duality after listening to this, we've misunderstood. There is no difference. Some people may say there's difference and non-difference with the Supreme. I disagree. There's no difference at all. Let's get to the first line. Those who have overcome the effects of compulsive material desires, fear and anger. Very clear that anyone that is able to get rid of these compulsive material desires that come up, they analyze it. They observe it, they take it through their viveka, their discernment. They look at the pros and cons of having those material desires. When they say effects of compulsive material desires. So for example, if by accident, act upon a compulsive material desires because you're in a state of balance, you be able to overcome the effects of those things. But you will not have compulsive material desires because you are fully assimilated to the Supreme Atman. You are one with that Formless Awareness. If we're able to transcend our fear of not getting those desires met and also get over the fear of death, that is important here. That person will transcend anger. As we know anger is the cause of those unachieved material desires that distorts our reality because our material desires haven't been met, that person transcends the anger because it doesn't matter if those desires are met or not. We are beyond the effects of those things. Then Sri Krishna says whose manas is focused entirely upon me. Remember the manas, the mind that has controlled the senses now fully focuses on the Supreme Brahman, the Formless Awareness, that becomes everything. The manas, the mind is completely there. The thoughts, emotions, senses all are focused on this Supreme Atman. No longer does our thoughts go towards our senses, our thoughts go towards that Formless Awareness. That's not saying that the senses do not do their thing. They do, but we are not attached to it. We do not get influenced by it. We don't get the residue of it anymore. They can perceive only Brahman. That is their entire focus. In the next line he says, and who are completely purified by Gyana and Tapasya attained to mad-bhava 'the state of being that is the same as my divine nature.' This is amazing. When we say completely purified, it means that there is no residue of desires, no residue of anger, no residue of fear. There's none of that. There's no feeling of fear. There's no feeling of anger. There's no feeling of unmet desires. There's none of those things. That person has put their whole focus upon me. Remember upon me, meaning the Supreme Atman, this Formless Awareness. Completely focusing upon that. That is what happens. We are purified that way. So for example, we don't need to transcend our bodily senses. We don't have to stop living basically. We can travel with our senses, but we become pure. We become clear, whatever our senses want, we see it, we observe it, we analyze it against this, yoga of the Real and the unreal. We understand its temporary nature and therefore we do not get attached to it. We become pure, completely purified and that can only happen by Gyana and tapasya. Yeah, Gyana meaning knowledge, tapasya meaning simple living. That person has to completely study that Gyana, that knowledge. Put their whole attention in. Completely adhere to that Gyana, and then live a simple life. The simpler, the better. It just becomes easier then. That doesn't mean that you can't live in a luxurious house. It doesn't mean that you can't have a luxurious car. It doesn't mean that you can't travel in first class on a plane. No, you can do all those things. You can stay in the five star hotel, if you must. The thing is you can still live simply in luxury too. That's what I'm trying to say because remember Sri Krishna was also a king. He lived in opulence. He lived in royalty. We have to understand here that it's okay to have a simple life even in riches. The other thing I want to express is remember that the whole point in the previous episode, we looked at adharma and I just want to express here that someone who is living in wealth, will always help those that are in poverty. They will always look to uplift society in many ways, in many different avenues, not just in money and wealth, but in other ways, to make sure that everyone has an equal right to success. Right now, we find that there are people out there that are looking to take away people's success and take away people's wealth. This is where Sri Krishna's teaching is really important because we are not there to increase adharma. Adharma is created because there is a lack of balance in the world. There's a lack of equality. There's lack of justice. When there's a lack of these things, that's when adharma is at its strongest, therefore Krishna has to take another birth. That's why we have to have Avatars take birth. Now through simple living, we can achieve the highest. This simple living is when we may live in luxury, but we still remain in the Formless Awareness. We still remain absorbed in the True Self, in the Immortal Self. And this is really what it's all about. Then that person attains to mad-bhava, 'the state of being that is the same as my divine nature.' The sameness, the oneness of it all. We need to understand this. We are one, when we truly are purified by Gyana and simple living, by knowledge and simple living. The same being meaning Nirguna Brahman and that is the same divine nature as Krishna. Remember that. It's not different. Krishna and Brahman are not different. They are one and the same. You and Krishna and Brahman are not three different things. You're one and the same. It's all about focusing on wisdom and simplicity and this is a resolute attitude that we need to have in the knowledge and what we need to have in our practical life. It's all about being as simple as possible. The simpler your life is, the less you have, the more you can focus on Gyana. Being simple is being wise and that's how you get purified. Otherwise, if you're constantly thinking about things, constantly wondering about things, then we lose that spirituality. Constantly, we look at the outward expressions of doing things and that is the appearance of spirituality. But actually spirituality is what happens within, especially within the mind. This is where it all happens. Nowhere else. If the mind is not pure, there's no way you're going to attain the Supreme Atman. There's no way you can focus on the Formless Awareness. Impossible. If you're constantly thinking, oh, if you do this, then this will happen spiritually. Then we will get this. Then we'll get this material desire. If I serve the sages, this is what's going to happen. If I serve humanity, this is what it's going to happen. Even having a good intention can become binding because we want a result of that action. We are attached to that outcome and this is something that Sri Krishna is warning us against. The context of this whole verse is that Sri Krishna is explaining that those who get over their desires, who get over their fear and anger, who can focus on the Supreme are completely purified through knowledge and simple living and they attain that same Brahman, which is Krishna's own divine nature. State of being, when we are one with that formless awareness, when we are completely absorbed in it. You can feel that oneness, you can really feel it. You can really experience it. It's right there in front of you. And it's so simple. It's unbelievable, but we can all attain it. We all can. Whoever's listening to this podcast. You can do this. Please do like, and comment on this video. Let me know how you can get yourself to this state of being? Write to me on social media, let me know. If you've liked what you listened to so far, share this with someone, because you may know someone who needs to listen to this. Verse 11. In whatever state of being a person approaches Me, bhajami aham 'I reciprocate and establish a relationship with them in that mood.' In fact, everyone already has a relationship with Me, even if they are unaware of its exact nature. Let's look at the first line. In whatever state of being a person approaches me by bhajami aham 'I reciprocate and establish a relationship with them in that mood'. So that's what bhajami aham means. First of all, it's important to know and establish within your own self, what type of relationship you want with Krishna. Do you want one based in duality or non-duality? Depending on that is how you're going to utilize the teachings. That is the way you're going to approach Krishna. On this podcast, we're going to utilize non-duality, but we understand, and we may in some aspects utilize duality. The question here is, however you approach Krishna, that is the way Krishna will be approaching you. Remember he says, I reciprocate and establish a relationship with them in that mood. If your mood is one of non-duality, one of oneness with this Formless Awareness, with the Supreme Atman, then that will be reciprocated to you. If you seek Krishna separate to you, that will also happen. But remember for that person, lack of awareness may apppear. For example, if you see Krishna through non-duality, you see him with a liberated mind as the Supreme Brahman, and that is how he's going to appear to you. If you see Krishna as Brahman, you understand that is freedom, that is Formless Awareness. That is what we are. That's our basic experience. That's the Shared Being. Then we automatically will see Krishna in that way. And therefore, when we do die, that's what we become. The one thing I want us to understand, especially those that are regular listeners of this podcast, the main aim of this relationship with Krishna is to attain liberation. Either we choose Krishna for our liberation or we choose Krishna for the rewards of material action. We have to choose what we are a seeker of. Whether we want the form of Krishna, or do we want the real Krishna, which is Formless. Then Sri Krishna says, in fact, everyone has a relationship with me even if they are unaware of its exact nature. We are all connected to the Supreme Atman, but we may not be aware of it. As the Supreme Atma, as the Formless Awareness, everyone has that within them and that's how we have a Shared Being. The other thing I want to mention, in the previous episode, we talked about how atoms and energy is transferred. Everyone has a relationship with Sri Krishna through that way. There's a bit of Sri Krishna in everyone. In the terms of matter, that form is not just here on this earth, but in the whole universe. Not just Krishna, anyone that you worship, they are everywhere in existence. We are all connected to this, but we just may not be aware of it. We may not understand the full extent of this relationship, but it is there. The context of this whole verse is that whatever approach we take with Sri Krishna, he will reciprocate that. And it's up to us, what we want. Verse 12. Those humans who are only hungry for material benefits, perform a Yagna of some kind, making an offering to the devas but only motivated to perfect their material condition. Those ritualized actions do result in success and bring them material fulfillment quickly. Let's look at this first line. Those humans who are only hungry for material benefits, perform a Yagna of some kind, making an offering to the devas, but only motivated to perfect their material condition. Sometimes that's all we want. Let's be honest, we just want our life to be comfortable. We want our life to be easy. We want our life to be settled. Sri Krishna is telling us about one type of person. Now I don't necessarily relate to that person today, but I understand this. That this could have been me in the past. Sri Krishna describes here, what people do who just want material benefits. So in some stage of our life, like I mentioned, we are either at this place or have been in that place, so we can relate. But maybe today we're not in that same Headspace. Today, we're probably not hungry for material benefits, therefore, we do not want to make an offering to the devas and please them. Remember devas are material nature. Now these people may do certain rituals or give sacred offerings to the devas, which are different attributes or elements of nature. They may do that, they may look after nature, so that they can receive something as a result. However, this is all give and take. When you expect some reward, which is an improvement in their material condition, their standard of life will be much better, but that's still an expectation of an outcome. Nothing here is being done selflessly. But let's remind ourselves that this is not the ultimate aim. The ultimate aim is liberation. However, in the Upanishads it is stated that person who says that He (Brahman) is one and I am another does not know. He's like an animal to the devas. Even though the devas will help, but this person will not be respected by the devas, as he has no control over his senses. And also he has duality, his intellect is not sharpened. If someone is like that, how are they going to see the oneness of Formless Awareness? They can't. This person according to the Upanishads will be like an animal to the devas. Like an animal just goes based on instinct. If they feel hungry, they just eat food. They have no control if there's a piece of meat in front of them or food in front of them. But we as human beings have the ability to control ourselves. These people really are only motivated to perfect, their material condition. That's all they care about. Nothing more. They don't want the ultimate aim, which is liberation, moksha. They're not interested. They really just want to be attached to material forms. Like in the Upanishads it says ' He is one and I'm another.' Whoever thinks there's two people, They do not know the truth. If you think you are different to Krishna or you are different to the next person, you don't know the truth. You don't have that wisdom. Then Sri Krishna says those ritualized actions do result in success and bring them material fulfillment quickly. Sri Krishna does say that these actions can bring quick success and that they can be fulfilled materially and that's because someone is still doing something. Even if we may not agree with it as the ultimate aim, but at least they're offering things to the devas, at least they're doing something, even if they want something it's okay. But at least they giving you know, they're looking after the elements of nature, the attributes of nature. And the reason for the quick fulfillment may also be to speed up the process towards liberation. So someone may get tired from achieving all these material success, and then they're like, well, what's next? I need something more. This is not fulfilling me and that's when they want liberation. That's when they will desire liberation. So there is a reason behind this too. The devas have their own reason. Desires also have their own reason. So everything is going to be working towards liberation. One thing I would like to say is that don't take this as meaning the law of attraction is real. I just want to make sure that we establish this now. This is not the law of attraction. You have to give something to the universe. You have to give something to nature. You have to look after nature. You have to look after the trees, the plants, the animals, you have to do all those things. You can't just take from the world and not give back. Remember here, it's saying that you have to perform a Yagna. If you perfect your material condition, then you would look for higher things. There is always a reason for this. The context of the whole verse is that the importance is to highlight that even if people do not want right now to have liberation, there is still something they can attain, which is the best material condition. But it will not be Krishna's Supreme Reality, which is Brahman, but whatever they want in this transactional reality will be fulfilled. In this relative reality, in this changing phenomena, they will get everything fulfilled. Just a note to make here that someone who is even after liberation, who may not have perfected their material condition may still get material benefits. But they just are not attached to that outcome. They're not doing things to get the perfected material condition. It may happen just as a by-product of liberation because of their focus on spirituality. Remember that Sri Krishna says that he protects the seekers of truth. And that is exactly what he would do. This is 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 the Bearded Mystic Newsletter. Do join The Bearded Mystic Podcast Discord Server. 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 Patreon page, the details are in the show notes and video description below. Please do rate and review the podcast on our website www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.Com. Please like, and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Do subscribe or follow this podcast. Thank you very much for listening. We'll end with the shanti mantra. Aum Shanti Shanti, Shanti Aum Peace peace, Peace Namaste.