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Sept. 18, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 5: Verse 15 - Verse 19)

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In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 5th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses  15 - 19. Sri Krishna explains how this all-pervading Paramatma neither drives human actions nor does it receive the positive or negative effects resulting from the choices made by deluded and unconscious beings. Sri Krishna explains how the Gyana shows us our true reality and makes it self-evident to us. Sri Krishna reminds us how the straight path towards freedom is to be absorbed in the reality of Brahman. When one sees and understands that there is only this Reality - they see no difference in plants, animal, or human beings. Once we establish our mind fully into this Brahman - we become flawless and impartial too. This ends the process of reincarnation because there is only this ONE Formless Awareness.  

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

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 41st 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. Before we do start, there's a few things I would like you to take note of. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can sign up to the podcast's Patreon page, the details for that in the show notes and video description below. Also for ad free and bonus episodes, which you get on Patreon, you can sign up to our monthly subscription that is available on the Apple Podcast's app.

Every Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern standard time, there is a free virtual meditation class and everybody is welcome to attend that and you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Also, I have started to do one on one meetings now with people who would like to discuss their spiritual progress or their spiritual journey with me as a friend. And if you would like to find out more, you can find the details in the video description and show notes below. Let's do a recap of the last episode. We discussed the fifth chapter of The Bhagavad Gita specifically verses 11 to 14. Sri Krishna describes how this Karma Yogi sets the best example of how to be in the world and not of the world. They have completely identified as the Formless Awareness, therefore going beyond their past and their future. Sri Krishna explains how the person established in this Formless Oneness even though it appears that the senses are performing all actions sees inaction in action. Sri Krishna is reminding us that we are this Atman, that is the Witness Consciousness within, we can use the mind to control the mind. And therefore, remind the mind itself, that in order to be free, it has to unattach itself to the results of all actions. the Atman is the non doer and there is no God that drives us to act nor controls the final outcome of any of our actions. It is nature that takes care of all of our actions and their outcomes. Today we will be looking at chapter five verses 15 to verses 19. Let's begin with verse 15. As the Vibhu ' the all pervading Supreme Being Paramatma', I do not compel human actions and I do not receive the positive or negative effects resulting from the choices made by deluded and unconscious beings. So we're gonna break this up a little bit. The first part is as the Vibhu 'the all pervading Supreme Being Paramatma', I do not compel human actions. Sri Krishna here is talking about his true form, which is this Nirguna Brahman. Again a quick reminder that Sri Krishna, when he's talking to Arjuna now, he's not talking from the body, from the form. He's talking from that Nirguna aspect. And this is something we have to understand in order to fully understand, fully contemplate upon the messages in The Bhagavad Gita. In my opinion, a lot of people try to see Krishna as something separate to this Nirguna Brahman. By doing that, they are not able to see the non-dual message and the underlying oneness behind the message. It's really important that we establish this very early on and Sri Krishna himself is now telling you, that he does not compel any human actions. One thing is when he's talking about the Vibhu, he's talking about the all-pervading, so this energy that is Sri Krishna, this essence is everywhere. It's in every part of existence, in every part of the universe. It is this Nirguna Brahman, this Formless Awareness, there is nowhere, where this Formless Awareness is not. As the Formless Awareness, you can be right here and at the same time, you can be at the other side of the universe. You, as the Formless Awareness are everywhere. There is no location where you are not, and there's no specific location, where you are only. You become location less, timeless and spaceless and all pervading. The other thing is that it is the most Supreme being. So there is not another, that is even close to this Nirguna Brahman. This attribute-less Brahman is everything. And we need to understand that it is the most Supreme Being. As the body and form, we can say it is possibly a lower aspect of the Supreme Being, it's not any less than the Supreme Being, but it's a lower understanding and maybe a lower perception that is provided if we just see ourselves as the body and mind or the name and form. To rise above those limitations in perception, we have to go and understand that we are the Supreme Being Itself. What Sri Krishna is saying is not any different for just him and, and it doesn't apply to everyone else. A lot of people like to make him as the Avatar and therefore, because he's the avatar, they can never reach, where he is, this is the wrong understanding. This understanding actually limits our spirituality and is in my opinion is very disingenuous. We are this Supreme being, and therefore we are one and the same as Sri Krishna in essence. Yeah. Obviously we can never be the same Sri Krishna in the form because his form was completely different. In the form we are in our essence can still be the same. Now it is also the highest Atman in the sense for now. Yeah. Paramatma the Highest Atman, the Complete Atman We may have this subtle duality that we think our soul is less, even though the soul is one and the same, we may still be under the delusion that we have a different soul and Sri Krishna has a different soul. So once we understand that the Atman is one and the same as Paramatma all duality is gone. All delusion is gone, all misunderstanding is gone. That is something we can understand and grasp. Despite being this Paramatma, it does not compel or drive human actions. It doesn't drive human actions. Human actions are just done by the name and form, by this body itself. It's not this essence that drives human actions. It does not influence or push human actions. Sri Krishna emphasizes the point of this and he says in the next part of that verse, that, and I do not receive the positive or negative effects resulting from the choices made by deluded and unconscious beings. Even though the Supreme Atman is within everyone, even the worst human beings possible in existence, this Paramatma is still there. It's still within them but it does not drive human actions. It is not the one that defines what you must do. It's very important that we understand this subtle point because this is where a lot of people get confused because they think that God does something or God will make things better. Or why has God done this to us? What did our family do to deserve this pain? Or what did I do to deserve this pain? Why is God punishing me? Here Sri Krishna saying there is nothing like that. I have nothing to do with your actions as the Paramatma. And that's for us to understand that this Brahman, this Formless Awareness does nothing. Just reemphasizing and understanding this verse a bit deeper, despite being all pervading, it does not receive positive or negative effects. We can understand that. No matter what choices are made by ignorant beings who are ignorant of who they really are remember, those who are not aware of their true self, because they're deluded by the body and mind. This Paramatma is not affected at all. Sri Krishna is not affected at all. The Formless Awareness is not affected by it at all. This Nirguna Brahman is not affected at all. Just understand this, the Atman is not even affected. Yeah. I want us to understand that there's not going to be a day of judgment here for us. This is not what Sri Krishna is saying. Sri Krishna is not gonna be deciding whether you go to heaven or hell. That's not what is being said here because If Krishna or any God was pleased or disturbed by our actions, that will mean it receives the positive and negative effects. That means that they are also changing, therefore Asat and we know that this Witness Consciousness, this Supreme Atman is not changed in any way, is not modified in any way and that's why it is Sat it is real. No God, Sri Krishna is not gonna be pleased or disturbed by our actions. And if we think that God will be affected by what I do, then this is not the correct understanding. Hence Sri Krishna establishes that this Paramatma is beyond this, emphasizing to us also that the Paramatma within us is not affected by it. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna explains how this all pervading Paramatma neither drives human actions, nor does it receive the positive or negative effects resulting from the choices made by deluded and unconscious beings. Those who do not understand what their true self is, which is this Atman, that is changeless and never modifies in any way and does not perform any actions. It is just the body and mind that performs actions. Verse 16. However, when one is finally enlightened by Gyana 'the Ultimate knowledge' and their ignorance is destroyed, then the luminous nature of Brahman reality shines within them, just like the rising sun lights up the world. We're going to look at the whole verse here because it's a very beautiful verse. I actually really like it. the first thing we need to know is that the world is always there, but it is the sun that provides the light. Without the light, we would be in darkness and the world would not exist either. The sun is very important because of the light that it gives . Therefore Gyana is the darkness of ignorance. Ignorance is darkness because it covers what we really are and we fall under the delusion or the illusion of the shadows, meaning name and form. We start thinking we are this name and form, and therefore every decision we make and do. Any action we do, any reactions we have, we end up limiting ourselves. Even when we look towards what outcomes we desire that is limiting what could be and what can be possible. The other thing is that our Reality is this Nirguna Brahman. It is this Formless Awareness. The Gyana is a tool that self reveals its own nature. This Formless Awareness, therefore breaking the spell of ignorance that we are this body and mind. The Jiva finally understands its own true nature, which is not the name and form. But it is this Atman itself, this Brahman itself. So the game here is really with the Jiva. Now, the Jiva thinking because of the vasanas, the previous conditionings and tendencies and habits and Karma, it may believe that it is only this name and form, this body in mind. Therefore it is subject to whatever the body and mind prescribes. But actually the Gyana is Brahman itself. We know this from Adi Shankaracharya Ji's famous saying that brahma satyam jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva naparah. That this Jiva and Brahman is one and the same. Now, once we understand that, then the spell of ignorance is gone. We break away from that spell. We wake up, we see the illusion for what it is. Therefore, this Gyana is what helps us. And what is this Gyana? This Formless Awareness itself. This Formless Awareness is what the Jiva ends up understanding that it really is. The Jiva already knows this, but you could just say that Maya casts a spell on the Jiva and it's with the Gyana that the spell is broken. Therefore the illusion then breaks away and that's the way I would see it. The Gyana is really important because what is the Gyana? Knowing what is real. What is real? That which does not change. What do we know within us that does not change? The watcher, the witness, and the more we end up observing our mind, observing the minute details in our life. We are able to then allow this Brahman, this Witness to remain fully functional in the background while we perform the actions in our day to day life. And that is the utilization of the Gyana. If you have any questions about this, do let me know, write in the comments. If you're watching this on YouTube, contact me on social media. I am really happy to answer any questions. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna explains how the Gyana shows us our true reality and makes it self-evident to to us. Verse 17. When one’s buddhi, manas, and atma are all fixed upon and absorbed in that supreme knowledge of the reality of Brahman, then one’s past vrittis are all removed. In that state, they proceed straight on the path of moksha or mukti and are never born within matter again. We're gonna break this up. And the first part is when one's buddhi, manas and the Atman are all fixed upon and absorbed in that Supreme knowledge of the reality of Brahman, then one's past vrittis are all removed. First question will be is what are vrittis? What does vrittis mean? What vrittis are, are a modification that occurs within the mind. Now Swami Vivekananda Ji describes the vrittis as the waves and ripples rising in Consciousness or awareness when external causes imposes on it. So vrittis are really like tendencies from the previous births. All the waves and ripples, all the thoughts, emotions, intentions of the past that would modify and cloud the mind are all removed when we put our intellect, our intelligence and the self-evident Reality within to shine forth, to self reveal itself, to self illuminate itself and what we understand is that is Brahman. We need to completely absorb ourselves in this state of Brahman. We need to try to understand that we are Brahman itself. So these vrittis that we have, they may distract us and they may impose our mind to fall back into delusion. There are literal movements that occur, but remember that, even though these vrittis are waves and ripples in Consciousness, remember that Consciousness Itself is still, It's immovable. The second part is in that state, they proceed straight on the path of moksha and are never born within matter again. So the straight path of moksha or mukti is that there is no bends on this road. It's all about going straight there. There are no diversions. So it is best to understand that when we want mukti we are gonna go straight for it. We're not gonna be distracted by the world. We're not gonna fall under the trap of Maya or the trap of desires. That's not saying that we will not have desires. What I'm saying here is that desires can be utilized rather than you getting trapped by them. These are very subtle and nuanced points, which a lot of people may find it difficult to comprehend and that's fine, but the more we listen to this and the more we truly contemplate and understand it, the better. Once one is absorbed in that Formless Awareness, once one is on the straight and narrow path of mukti, of moksha, then the path is clear for everybody. There is not one single person on this planet that cannot go there. If it understands that it's a straight path towards mukti. There's no need to go here or there, or take pit stops or take a break somewhere. You can go straight to it. It's so direct. It's unbelievable. This is also explaining how liberation is that you as the individual localization of Consciousness will never be born again within matter. That is what mukti means here. Mukti in this sense, or moksha in this sense is that you will not be born in the human frame again or any form again, at all. You will always remain Eternal, Alive, Immortal as Formless Awareness. The 'You' that is already eternal, you realize that That is your True Self and that this temporary body is not. That's mukti. In fact, at the end of this, what you realize was, there was no one ever getting liberated in the first place. What was getting liberated was the idea that there is a different self. We just get liberated from the illusion or the trap of the identification of ' I am the body'. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna reminds us about how the straight path towards freedom is to be absorbed in the reality of Brahman, into this Formless Awareness. The more we stay in this Formless Awareness, the better and what we understand, even in our meditation sessions, that the more we go into this Formless Awareness, the more direct and quicker it gets as we progress further. Now, before it may have taken us a long time to get to that Formless Awareness, even though when we talk about it, it may feel direct, but eventually with time, the more we practice, we go straight to that awareness. We go straight to it directly without a single hesitation. And that is the sign of a true disciple or a true seeker. Verse 18. Those who have direct perception of the Brahman nature of the Atman, see a learned Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, or unevolved human as essentially the same. We are gonna look at the verse as a whole. This is the vision of the Sage or a realized person. They can only see this one reality, regardless of its expression or localization or personification or whatever name and form it may have. No matter whether it's a plant, an animal, a good person, or a bad person. They see everything as essentially the same. They are all this one Brahman. Once you see yourself as Brahman, you see everything else as the same, a realized person cannot claim that something is not part of this one, Indivisible Formless Reality or the Absolute. It's impossible. And in fact, I would even say that those that believe that they are identified by the caste system, that they are Brahmin or they are shudra or a kshatriya or whatever that's wrong. It's simply not true. And those that think they are a particular nationality or a particular race, color or belong to a particular religion. These are all labels that restrict us from being what we really are. And that is not something that is being taught here in the Bhagavad Gita. In the Bhagavad Gita, we are being taught by Sri Krishna that we are this One, Indivisible Formless Reality. Don't get fooled by any other label. But the question is for each and every one of us, 24 7, are we ever getting ourselves drowned into a particular label and identifying as that, even if one identifies as a non-dualist, even that is not right. Okay. You may say, but Rahul don't you identify as a non-dualist Of course I do. That doesn't mean that I think that the Atman is different. Like basically the Atman of a Sufi is different to me. No. I see that we are one and the same or that the Atman of someone who belongs to their Abrahamic faiths is different to mine. I do not see our Atman as different. I know that we are that indivisible self. They may not have that belief. That's up to them. But if I know this truth, if I've read The Bhagavad Gita, and if I have become aware of this Truth, then I cannot deviate away from it. It is as simple as that. And that's why a lot of people who may identify as Hindu and they may say they follow Sri Krishna but if your mind is still not clear, then what has one attained? By claiming one is a Hindu is nothing but blasphemous, even though we don't have that concept in Hinduism, but it literally is. if I identify as a Hindu yet, I do not see my brothers or sisters who are Muslim or Christian or Jewish or Buddhist or Sikhi, if I see them as separate me, how can I claim that I am a Hindu? How can I? How can I who's done a commentary now on the Bhagavad Gita feel that way? I cannot see them as different, and that's the truth. That's the reality. For this, you need a very broad mind. You need a broad vision and even broader and bigger heart. That's what Sri Krishna has done for me by me studying this, has only opened my heart to everybody because it tells me clearly that we are all this Brahman. We are all this essence. That doesn't mean that I don't recognize that there are differences in our philosophies. Of course that's different, but that doesn't mean I have to take away the understanding that we are all one and the same, because I understand that we are not just this name and form that we are this Nirguna Brahman this Formless Awareness, they may be ignorant about it. Why should I become ignorant because of their ignorance? This is something to contemplate upon because I see a lot of stuff on social media. And to be honest, it's shameful. That's why maybe I'm speaking about it today, because I think we just do not understand the gravity of these messages. To emphasize why we are this one, indivisible Formless reality, you may have different items made from gold. It could be a bracelet, a ring, a necklace, or even cutlery, essentially it is made up from that one substance called gold. No matter what its shape and size or use. Likewise, everything is this one Pure Consciousness. The context of the whole verse is that when one sees and understands that there is only this Reality, they see no difference in plant, animal or human being, any human being, any animal, it's all one and the same. It's all this Formless Awareness and you feel that unity, you feel that oneness, you experience it, you live it and that's the difference. That's the conviction that one has. That's the full assimilation of the Gyana, of the wisdom, of the knowledge of Brahman. Verse 19. Even while still living here on Earth, those whose manas is established in Brahman realization become flawless and impartial like Brahman, and they have already overcome the apparently endless process of reincarnation. Again, we're gonna look at the whole verse here. The qualities of that person's, whose heart and mind basically their manas and their intelligence has established itself in the realization of Brahman is being expressed here. They are flawless, meaning like Brahman, there is no flaw in them because there is no hint of separation. They understand and fully have contemplated and are fully integrated into their buddhi, into their intellect that they are one and the same as the one Pure Formless Awareness and that everyone else is also in that. Now they are also impartial, as I mentioned in the previous verse, they are impartial to whatever has a name and form. Yeah. They see all as this one, divine reality, and that is their own existence. Due to the impartiality, they are flawless. If they do become partial, this means they see a difference and therefore flaws will begin to appear. So to be flawless is only there when we understand the oneness rather than experiencing separation. So flaws, meaning errors. There's no error that's made, no mistake that's made. There's nothing that will stain one's character. By establishing in this understanding and once we are fully aligned in this knowledge of Brahman, then we can overcome the appearance of reincarnation. If you notice I talk about the appearance of reincarnation and the reason for that is whether reincarnation happens or not. I don't know, but say that reincarnation does happen then that appearance of it occurring will disappear because we are now fully realized and we have attained mukti or liberation. This only occurs when we fully align ourselves to being Brahman and that we are this Nirguna Brahman and that there is only the Nirguna Brahman that is, and at the same time, understanding that this Formless Awareness is Nirguna Brahman, that Formless Awareness that we can directly perceive and directly experience. Going on the reincarnation aspect that it may appear to be infinite and endless because there's so much, this universe is very vast. Where does name and form begin and end. Therefore we may see it as an endless process. We may see that matter will continue to exist. Even though we have become liberated. What has become liberated is that we understand what we are, that we are this Formless Awareness, but the matter itself, the body and mind would just continue to transfer itself. Here Sri Krishna establishes that it is an apparent, endless process, only an appearance, but we know that it's only an appearance because there is nothing for you to reincarnate into that isn't YOU already. That's the thing we can understand. And that's the beauty of non-dual philosophy that we understand that even though we may talk about reincarnation, but really you have never reincarnated. You have always been this One Pure Self, this Indivisible One, and that can never change. You are always this Formless Awareness and this Formless Awareness doesn't need to be liberated. What needs to be liberated is this body and mind that has identified itself as that name and form. All that happens with Gyana is that that breaks away. The context of the whole verse is that once we establish our mind fully into this Brahman, this Formless Awareness, we become flawless and impartial too. This ends the process of reincarnation because there is only this one Formless Awareness, therefore, what is this one going to reincarnate into when it is the only incarnation? If we must say. That is the end of the episode. If you can please share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content, you can follow me on social media to keep getting updates, or you can subscribe to the monthly The Bearded Mystic newsletter or 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, do check out the Podcast's Patreon page, or check out your Apple Podcasts app, where you can get a subscription. The details are in the show notes and video description below. As I mentioned earlier, if you would like to have a one-on-one meeting with me to discuss your spiritual progress or journey, we can discuss as friends. You can find the details of that 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. Thank you very much for listening and let's end with the Shanti mantra. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum Peace Peace Peace. Namaste.