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Oct. 9, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 5: Verse 25 - Verse 29)

In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 5th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses  25-29. Sri Krishna highlights the luminous nature of Brahman is shown in the Sage that sees no matter as their own and they go beyond the trap of duality. Sri Krishna explains how yogis experience eternal happiness by removing all duality in between the mind and Brahman. Arjuna is given a technique for meditation. Sri Krishna gives us the path of true renunciation that we can complete as a householder. By turning within, in the midst of activity, we attain freedom. The purpose of this verse is clear by Sri Krishna that we must find that Brahman is everywhere and everything, every action is in Brahman, and every thought and intention is in Brahman, therefore, wherever there is brahman, there is peace and harmony. Whether there is peace and harmony, joy and prosperity always follow. May every spiritual seeker get peace, joy, and prosperity. 

Translation used: The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation by Jeffrey Armstrong

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 43rd 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 our thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita. But before we do start, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, do sign up to the podcast Patreon page for ad free and bonus episodes. Details are in the show notes and video description below. The other way is that you can sign up to our monthly subscription, which is available on the Apple Podcast streaming app itself. So do take a look at that. Every Saturday there is a free meditation session that happens virtually, following the meditation session, there is a Q&A or discussion that you are welcome to attend and if you would like to join, you can find the details in the show notes and video description below for that. If you would like to have a one-on-one meeting with me as a friend, to help you with your spirituality. You can find out the details in the show notes and video description below. To also help with the community building, there is now a Bearded Mystic Podcast community group on WhatsApp, if you would like to join that, the details in the show notes and video description below. Let's do a recap of the last episode. In the last episode, we discussed the fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita specifically verses 20 - 24. Sri Krishna explains how the person that is established in the knowledge of Brahman becomes the same in quality as Brahman too. They are one and the same, therefore they never get overexcited or overly disappointed. Sri Krishna explains how eternal happiness is found in getting the mind united with Brahman. Arjuna is also reminded that material pleasures have a finite existence and therefore he must always discern so he doesn't get trapped in the cycle of seeking pleasure continuously. Sri Krishna is telling us that we can achieve a steady state of happiness in this life itself, and it can be practically done, if we look into the causes of our desires and our anger. Ecstasy and self illumination becomes the way of the Sage. They are full of joy, brimming to the top with happiness. They understand that they are one and the same in essence as this Brahman, this Pure, Formless, Awareness. Today we will be looking at verses 25 to 29 of chapter five., Verse 25. Those who have achieved Brahman nirvana go beyond the dualistic logic of matter. So their material flaws are all removed. They become a Rishi, a Seer enlightened by the luminous nature of Brahman. In that enlightened state, they see all living beings as their dearest friend. We gonna break this verse up. Those who have achieved Brahman nirvana go beyond the dualistic logic of matter, so their material flaws are all removed. One thing is being noted here, and we need to keep remembering this, that the Ultimate Reality is non-dual. Brahman is non-dual. It's oneness. There is no two in this matter, and that's what we need to really understand. There's no Sri Krishna and the world. There's only Sri Krishna. There's no Sri Krishna and Brahman. There is only Brahman. It's one and the same. These are different names and forms for the same Formless Awareness. That Ultimate Reality is one, indivisible. This is something that Sri Krishna establishes in the very first line that this Brahman nirvana goes beyond the dualistic logic of matter. So there's no duality in this. Once we attain Brahman, we realize there is only Brahman. Anyone that experiences duality or separation between themselves and Brahman has not understood the truth even one little bit right now. A lot of other commentators do discuss the duality between us and Sri Krishna. But I say that if you do this, then it brings the whole Bhagavad Gita into question because then what is higher? Sri Krishna talks about Brahman and then at the same time there is Sri Krishna. Who is Sri Krishna referring to when he speaks as 'Me', and we've emphasized this in previous verses and episodes that Sri Krishna sees Himself as Brahman itself. Now, what's established here also is that there is only Oneness. We know that Brahman nirvana is, ' I am Brahman by nature, so none of this matter is mine.' If it's not mine, that means it's not part of me either. It has no real substance. Remember, this whole Maya is an appearance. This prakriti is an appearance within the witness Consciousness, the Purusha or the witness that is Nirguna Brahman, the Attribute-less Ultimate Reality. So this yogi is fully detached from material possessions and therefore they no longer see matter as mine and not yours. So there's no need for them to be like, Well, whatever I achieve in this world is mine. Whatever they achieve in life, they have the intellect and the wisdom to say, this is all Brahman's. It's an appearance in Brahman, therefore belongs to Brahman. Who am I to own anything? Who am I to say that this is mine and possess it as if it is my property? So that's the unique aspect here that is discussed. By doing this, whatever flaws come in with attachment is dissolved away, it's automatically dissolving because There's no attachment. When we are associated and understand that we are Brahman. Basically the person will then lose the control of anger, pride, greed, and the continuous seeking of pleasure. That's what happens with this individual. Then the second line that Sri Krishna talks about, they become Rishi, a sage enlightened by the luminous nature of Brahman in that enlightened state, they see all living beings as their dearest friend. This line is really unique. First Sri Krishna expresses how such people are rishis and they are people who are enlightened by the luminous nature of Brahman. They are completely in the light and bright nature of Brahman. Yeah, there is no darkness here. Darkness representing ignorance, luminous meaning Gyana, viveka, wisdom. Whatever wisdom and light Brahman has, they also share that same light and wisdom. In this enlightened state, they see all living beings as their dearest friend. Nobody is considered a stranger. Now, the interesting thing to note here is that Sri Krishna observes that maybe there's going to be some duality. Maybe we are going to see other things in this universe as separate to us. So if we do, then we can consider them as a close friend. And even if we see the non-dual aspect, because we know it's the same being as I am, that means automatically we are friends with that. And therefore, how can fear and desire prosper in such an environment? It cannot. This is a great way for us to understand how to be, once we attain this Brahm Gyana, the knowledge of Brahman. And you'll see that these type of people, they're smiling at others, they're kind, they're genuine, they're honest. They're transparent. They are exactly what you wanna be in life. They are role models for us, and that's why we love to be around the company of sages. Now, the context of this whole verse is that Sri Krishna is highlighting the luminous nature of Brahman, and this nature is shown in the Sage that sees no matter as their own, and they go beyond the trap of duality, and they are continuously established in non-duality. Now we go to verse 26. Those yogis who roam freely throughout the world and who no longer experience kama and krodha, their thoughts controlled and focused only upon their Atman, experience the joy of Brahman nirvana at all times. So we are going to look at the verse as a whole here. Remember that these yogis are free. They are in freedom. They're liberated because their heart and mind is open to all. They do not see anyone else as separate. They see this eternal oneness and remember, they see all as their own. And because they see all as their own, they also see the whole world as their home. That's the beauty of it. They're not divided by nation. They're not divided by caste. They're not divided by region, they're not divided by a particular nationality or race or religion or anything else. They see the whole existence as their own and sees the whole world as their home. Now, they don't experience continuous pleasure seeking. They will never allow pleasure to overwhelm the mind. So that it misses the ever existent bliss within. So what happens is when we are chasing desires, we get that momentary happiness, we get a glimpse of bliss, but the glimpse is not enough and we are gonna continuously keep chasing that so we can get that hit of the glimpse of bliss. So Sri Krishna here is saying that when we continuously chasing these momentary pieces of, happiness, we actually ignore the ever existent, self existent, continuously being nature of bliss. And because they do not keep chasing pleasure and they don't feel that lack of fulfillment. They will never react in anger. They will never allow anger to cloud their judgment to cloud what is right. Now the yogi or the sage keeps their focus on their atman, the changeless aspect of what they are. The Atman is real because it does not change. It does not age, it does not decay. It is not born nor does it die. It does not modify. Therefore all the thoughts present themselves like clouds and the blue sky is the Atman, that Formless Awareness. Awareness or the Atman does not get fascinated by the distinctive qualities of each thought. It allows each thought to be and allows it to rest in the presence of Awareness. This is a very interesting way of seeing things. Now once we are able to control our thoughts, and once we can stay focused on the observer, remember first there's the observer and then the thoughts that are occurring to the observer. Now the witness within us, the watcher, is able to see the subtle separation between the true 'me', the true 'I', and the thoughts. Then what happens? Because we see that thoughts appear and they disappear. We know that they are transient, they are changing, and therefore by nature they are Asat. But the observer, even with the appearance of thought or with the absence of thought still is. Therefore that is our Atman, the true 'I am', that is Nirguna Brahman, that is the Formless Awareness, and that is what is Eternal and Everlasting. So we can experience this directly in our own life right now. And also thoughts may bring about certain, emotions, certain fears, certain distinctive thoughts that will elaborate on more thoughts. But the observer can remain as a watchful self without intervening itself or without being mixed in with the flavor of thoughts. It allows itself to be Pure and simple, and that is, it just watches, witnesses without any response required, without any fruits required. It remains eternal and stable. And once we can rest in that awareness, we feel that stability. We feel that stillness, we feel that centeredness. It's all in the process of resting in the presence of awareness. Due to this they experience that joy of being connected to Brahman directly. Once you can connect to Brahman directly, you're not gonna look for anything else. And immense joy is always experienced in the union with Brahman, the joy is there at all times and is not subject to time and place. Now the context of the whole verse is Krishna explains how yogi's experience eternal happiness by removing all duality in between the mind and Brahman. Verse 27. Ignoring all outer sensory stimulation, focusing intently upon the spot between the eyebrows. A yogi breathes with the slow and equal balance between the incoming and outgoing breath as it passes through the nostrils. This is a wonderful technique for meditation that Sri Krishna is providing to Arjuna. And Let's have a look at this. Ignoring all outer sensory stimulation. Now this means one, we need to close our eyes, and we need to just close out every sensory activity as much as possible. Some may be more difficult than others, but we can close our eyes. The other thing we can do is use ear plugs to block out sound in our ears. So then what happens is we are not too much focussed on the noise outside, but we focus on the inner sound that may be there and then in terms of the mouth is closed, so there's going to be no tasting going on. With the nostrils, the essence of smell can occur. Now, in that sense, what we can do is have incense sticks to help neutralize the air, to have that one consistent smell so the mind isn't going, Oh, what's being cooked in the kitchen or, or you can smell coffee. You know, anything that will create sensory stimulation. Then Sri Krishna talks about breathing slowly. Slow breathing meaning when we breathe slowly, actually what we find is thoughts become a lot less frequent. So they slow down themselves, and we are able to then just be in the luminous nature of Brahman. So that background awareness comes to the forefront. And that forefront of awareness is eternal peace and joy. And by being slow, thoughts slow down. So then when each gap gets bigger of silence, you are focusing more on that Formless. Awareness. Because remember, you will be observing every sensation, every thought, every emotion, every intention. You'll be observing all these things, any memory, any images. You'll be observing those things. And then Sri Krishna talks about focusing intently upon the spot between the eyebrows or what we call the third eye so we can focus upon there. Once we do that, also we are fixing the eyes to be in a particular place, so it's not looking all around the, eyelids. So That's also another great way of bringing about focus because the main thing is what Sri Krishna also has to do with Arjuna because of his mental state. He understands that with Arjuna he has to give him something to focus upon, by giving him something to focus upon, he can build up his discernment, his strength, and his focus. Otherwise, what's going to happen is if Sri Krishna doesn't give him a technique, Arjuna is just going to be falling back into delusion, falling back into that depression, that feeling of being upset about what's going on. So Sri Krishna gives a great way to build up focus and attention, and therefore, if he can get Arjuna to do that, Arjuna will fight for the war and not think twice. That is the context really of the verse is to give a technique for meditation. If you are interested in doing meditation like this, we do do something similar on Saturdays. So honestly try and attend if you can. Now verse 28. When the senses, manas and buddhi are controlled and turned within, when fear, kama and krodha have all disappeared, then the Muni is released from bondage to the impermanent and achieves moksha the Ultimate state of complete freedom. Again, we're going to look at the whole verse here. So it is a job of every seeker to control our senses. We have to observe the senses and see where they go, where do they travel. And then when they're traveling, what we can do is divert them back to the Formless Awareness, which is the Atman. So the Formless Awareness will be that eternal blank canvas. The Manas with its high speed thoughts emerging from more thoughts, needs to be calmed down. And that's why the previous verse is so important about the practice because it calms down the Manas. And the best way to do this is to observe each thought like clouds passing across the blue sky. Any movement within the mind needs to be observed sincerely. So like the sky does not get affected by the clouds and what the clouds may possess, how the clouds may be dark or light. The sky does not get affected by that. There could be a thunderstorm, there could be rain. The sky is not affected. Likewise, the awareness within you that Formless Awareness is not affected by any thoughts, emotions, sensations, memories, images, nothing. The buddhi which is our intellect and is the base of our discernment, we have to constantly make that choice of going to the Formless Awareness instead of going wherever our senses or our Manas wants to go. So by turning within, we observe and reveal the vastness and all pervading nature of Nirguna Brahman. This brings our mind to a beautiful and natural stillness. That's the main beauty, is that there's a natural stillness rather than something that is imposed upon you. Now, by constantly turning within as well, we allow all fear, pleasure, and anger to dissolve away from being the initial reactions for our mind. So instead of us going to the first thought that happens, we can actually determine what is the best thing to do. We can see what has the situation brought, and therefore make a more informed decision on what to do. Because if we do not do this, then the mind would just do what it wants. It will create havoc and cause harm to others. It may even cause suffering to others. And not only that, suffering for ourself too. So the important thing here is to understand that what's happening is our mind is being slowed. Not so, we do not do daily activities as normal. We would still do those as normal, but our reactions to situations in life will be more well thought out and there'll be more transparency and sincerity in our approach. Now, the muni or the rishi is no longer held in captive to the impermanent. The impermanent is our body and mind and these are Asat. Even our Jiva is asat because there's no such thing as the individual. There is only Brahman, therefore, all those previous things are constantly changing, they are not real. Anger is not real because one time you're angry, then you're not. And there's different and varying degrees of anger. Same thing with kama with pleasure, same thing, different degrees of it, and therefore constantly changing, appearing and disappearing. Same thing with fear. Sometimes we are fearless, sometimes we have fear about something, and that fear then makes us react in a certain way. We have to understand that the permanent, which is Brahman, does not change at all. It is always the observer. The observer continuously watches whatever occurs within the mind and does not get affected by what is observed. By understanding what our essential nature is, which is the permanent Atman, the changeless, we achieve the sacred understanding and now are mukt, are free, are liberated. We achieve that Ultimate state of complete freedom. This is what we are all looking for in life, in freedom, there is peace. In freedom, there is joy. In freedom, there is love. In freedom, there is happiness. In freedom, there is bliss. In freedom, there is acceptance. In freedom, there is gratitude. That is the purpose of having that freedom because these are the qualities that that brings along, and that's the qualities that will be the appearance on this earth because right now we have a body in mind. Therefore, that will be the representation. The context of the whole verse is Sri Krishna gives us the path of true renunciation that we can complete as a householder by turning within in the midst of activity, we can attain freedom. Now, verse 29. One who experiences Me as the eater of what is offered in a yajna; one who feels Me as the fire in the body that burns away impurities while performing tapasya; one who sees Me as the ultimate ruler of all the planets in the universe, and one who knows Me as the one who is seated in the heart of all living entities, desiring only what is best for them. That person finally reaches Me and achieves the delightful and harmonious state of Shanti. Let's break down this verse. One who experiences Me as the eater of what is offered in the yajna; one who feels Me as the fire of the body that burns away impurities while performing tapasya; one who sees Me as the ultimate ruler of all the planets in the universe. In this first part, The most important point I will make here is that Sri Krishna is not on about himself. Whenever someone comments on my social media clips, they really fail to understand what Sri Krishna is referring to as 'Me'. Now I say this countless of times, I've even said this today, right now in this episode, and I will continue to do so that Sri Krishna is speaking from the point of view of Nirguna Brahman, as that Permanent Formless Awareness. Now why isn't Sri Krishna speaking as himself here is for a number of common sense reasons. One, Sri Krishna is now a Guru for Arjuna As this was what Arjuna requested when he surrendered , at Sri Krishna's feet. Now, Sri Krishna also talks about the difference between Sat and Asat. Sri Krishna obviously has a form when he's talking to Arjuna and helping Arjuna in this battle. But the form of Sri Krishna is obviously asat because that form will die eventually, which we know occurs. We know that Sri Krishna does die from being pierced on the foot with an arrow. Now as true Krishna knows the Ultimate Reality and is teaching the highest wisdom, and he knows who he is and what he is, which is this Brahm Gyana. Then this implies he's speaking from the point of view of Sat, of Brahman. Now what is Sat? This Brahman because it is Nameless, Formless, Colorless, Changeless, and beyond all attributes that we can think of. When we understand Brahman directly the experience, we do not need any words to describe it. We don't need a single sound to describe it. It is what it is, and that's the most important thing, and that is Sri Krishna when he's speaking to Arjuna right now in the Bhagavad Gita. Now let's understand this part of the verse, which is really simple and straightforward, but again, it's another practice that we can do within our mind. We can understand that it is Brahman that eats all that is offered in the yajna. The items that are offered in gratitude to nature, both nature appreciates it and Brahman partake in it. That's the way we can see it. Now, tapasya is any austerity we do, and when we do this, we may do it with great intensity. Now, just like the stomach with acid creates waste through food that is taken, likewise, the heat of austerity, the intensity of practice, of sadhana burns away the impurities of the mind as long as we focus on Brahman. When one understands that it is because of Brahman, because of Consciousness, Maya is manifested. We understand the supremacy straight away. All of existence is ruled by Brahman, who is a silent ruler that observes but does not amend or change any of the natural laws. Then the second part, and one who knows me as the one who is seated in the heart of all living entities, desiring only what is best for them, that person finally reaches me and achieves the delightful and harmonious state of shanti. When one understands that every heart is connected by this one Brahman, and with that intention, we only want what is best for that person. That's all we desire, that the best happens, that everybody is prosperous, everybody is successful. We do not wish for ill upon anybody. This person will always reach union with Brahman and is blessed with eternal peace. People think that death brings peace, as we say rest in peace whenever somebody dies, but the sage is in eternal peace in the present moment itself. This piece is full of delight and joy. It is a peace that unifies and never seeks to divide. Therefore, anyone who claims to be a follower of Sri Krishna or the Bhagavad Gita will always go for harmony over divisiveness. Now, someone may say, but what about if you disagree with somebody or you disagree with a belief? You can disagree, you don't have to abandon harmony. You can still be established in Brahman and maintain a courteous disagreement. The one thing that we need to understand this, we only want to wish the best for others. We never want to wish ill. This is something very important because remember, if somebody else suffer, I am suffering too. So our happiness we want others to feel that happiness and we want to invoke that happiness within them. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna is instructing that we must find that Brahman is everywhere and in everything, every action is in Brahman. Every thought and intention is in Brahman. Therefore, wherever there is Brahman, there is peace and harmony. Whenever we are in that awareness, there is peace and harmony. Whenever we are in that awareness, we are in joy and love and compassion. Wherever there is peace and harmony, joy and prosperity will always follow. And that's why we seek to always be in peace and harmony because we want joy and prosperity to be in everybody's home. And I pray here that may every seeker of spirituality who wants mukti, gets peace, joy, and prosperity in their material life so that their spiritual life is full of that spiritual wisdom and spiritual discernment. And most of all, they are constantly in union and in oneness with Nirguna Brahman, with the Formless Awareness. And that is the end of the episode, along with the end of the fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. 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 or subscribe to the monthly Bearded Mystic newsletter, or you can join the Bearded Mystic Podcast WhatsApp group, and those 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 you can support the podcast through Apple Podcast subscriptions, and you can find that on the Apple Podcast app itself. The rest of the details are in the show notes and video description below. If you would like to have a one-on-one meeting with me as a friend to discuss your spirituality, you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Please do rate and review the podcast on the website, www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel, or do follow and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app, or the one that you're listening to this on right now. Thank you very much for listening. Let's end with feeling the peaceful nature of this Formless Awareness. Aum Shanti Shanti, Shanti Aum, Peace Peace. Peace Namaste