In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 5th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 7 - 10. 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. All one needs to remember is that they are the observer and that no action belongs to the name and form. Sri Krishna declares that the yogi remains untouched by the outcomes of every action in the present and future as they offer it to all to Brahman - this Formless Awareness. Just like water does not cling to the Lotus-leaf, when the Lotus is taken out of the water.
Translation used: The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation by Jeffrey Armstrong Available here on Amazon
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Rahul N Singh:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul and 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 I do begin, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can sign up to our podcast Patreon page, and the details are in the show notes and video description below. Also, if you would like to have ad free and bonus episodes, like you do with the Patreon, you can sign up to our monthly subscription that is available on the Apple Podcasts app. So do take a look at that. Also every Saturday, there is a free meditation session that we do. If you are interested and would like to join, please do find the details in the show notes and video description below. Let's do a recap. In the last episode, we discussed the fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita and we looked at specifically verses one to six and Arjuna asks a question that every seeker wants to know. And that is, is it better to renounce the world or should I live a normal life and be spiritual? What is easier? And will both paths lead to the same destination? So Sri Krishna responds to this by expressing that both Karma Yoga and Gyana Yoga lead to the highest attainment, which is mukti. But of both paths. It is Karma yoga that is easier. Now understanding that the Atman does not have the fruits, or the outcomes like pain or pleasure due to any action, this then brings freedom. Don't naively claim that one path will reach self knowledge and the other will not that is immature and foolish thinking, be smart and understand that both paths will reach to the same outcome, which is self realization. Sri Krishna explains how the path of action is what prepares the mind for knowledge of Brahman. And then this will lead to freedom. For the beginner of this journey, they should perform selfless actions, giving up all outcomes, and then they will attain the highest, which is this Gyana. How quickly we get there depends on how quickly and diligently we practice. Let's begin this episode, we'll be looking at verses 7 to 10 of chapter 5. Right now we are going to look at verse seven. One who is irrevocably connected to the practice of Yoga, whose Atman is cleansed of past impurities, who is self-contained and has completely controlled their senses, who sees that all living entities are also atmans then even while acting in the world, such a Yogi is no longer entangled in material reactions. We are going to look at the whole verse. And what this is describing the qualities of that person who is absolutely committed and connected to this practice of Karma Yoga. We know that that person's Atman, their mind is going to be cleansed of all past impurities. That may mean that they will have impressions of the past, but what now will happen is the impressions of the past will no longer affect them in the present. So their mind will be cleanse of all the past residues of their actions. This person then is able to control their senses and is completely composed in Formless Awareness. They're always able to go back to the Absolute Reality, which is Nirguna Brahman, which is the eternal Atman that is within us and around us and is all pervading. Therefore, we are always self-contained. We never go here and there, wherever the senses will take us, we're able to control the senses. Also, because they're able to do that, they are composed, they are in stillness, their mind is stable. They're able to see all living entities as the Atman itself, as the same oneness in all. Every particle of this universe is this Formless Awareness as well. They see the whole of existence as the ground of Being, the ground of Existence, which is Nirguna Brahman , that gives power to Maya. The appearance is only there because of Nirguna Brahman and that's why there's a complete Oneness. We see that everything is the appearance of that One. Therefore there's no need to dislike another thing, there's no reason for separation because there is no other. Yeah. So why would we say that we are different to other people when we are only different by quality, in some level, but we are all made up of the same substance, which is of the universe, particles of this universe. Even though it appears that they are performing actions in this world, they do not get affected by the fruits of their actions. So whatever happens, they are not affected by the outcome of the actions that they do. They do not get themselves involved in the material reactions to the actions. They're able to stand aside and observe and just see those actions for what they are, they commit to actions and knowing that the pain and pleasure that each action can bring is not their own. They are not there to seek pleasure or to seek pain when making the choice to do an action. The reason why they commit an action is to ensure that it's causing the least amount of harm to not only yourself, but to everybody else because everything else is YOU! That's the way they see things. The context of the whole verse is that the 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. Verse eight. While seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, and breathing one who knows these Yogic truths, their Manas, their mind stays steady in yoga and says, "I am not the doer of these actions." This is a very important verse. A verse that I think if we think about it, we would be able to understand the oneness and harmony in our actions. Prior to that, we may find it difficult, but now Sri Krishna is making it really clear. So it is said that the Yogi sees things, hears sounds touches material objects, smells the fragrances of flowers, eats amazing delicacies, takes, walks, sleeps at night or naps in the day. They breathe, just like we do. So everything is completely normal. They're not doing anything that is out of the ordinary. You know what Sri Krishna is saying that there is beauty in the ordinariness of life, in what we consider to be functions of Maya, he's saying actually you can use it as a yoga, which is really interesting. Now the Yogi knows that the truth that unite one with the true self, the Immortal Atman, their mind is steady and composed in the union with the truth, the truth of Nirguna Brahman, the truth of this Formless Awareness that's always there in the background and we may be functioning in the world. We may be going to work. We may be going to school. We may be with our friends in the pub, whatever we are doing, we are in union with the Truth. The Yogi will also declare that they are not the doers of the action. In fact, they find it is only the divine that does things because only the divine is. So only the divine is the true doer of action. Not me. This is a high state. Now that does not mean that the Yogi doesn't make a choice or doesn't choose what action to do. They do, they weigh it up, they see what action is going to cause the least amount of harm and they commit to that, but they remain steady in that yoga, in that union that I am one with this Nirguna Brahman. I am this Formless Awareness that is the ground of all existence. In fact, whatever I do is in the awareness of this one, therefore they will always find that the Divine is doing everything. So when you do that, instead of associating that the body and mind is doing something, and you say the divine is doing something, it's not that you're looking for a cop out. If you do something bad and you can say, well, it's the divine doing that? No, that's not what is being said. What Sri Krishna is saying is once you reach the union, when you realize you are the Formless Awareness, you naturally get a strong set of ethics. Your behavior will be appropriate and kind and compassionate towards everybody and everything. Your thinking will be totally different because you'll be seeing from the vision of oneness instead of separation and division and that will be the unique aspect. Everything that is done in life, it may be normal, but it will be an act of divine because you will see yourself as the Formless Awareness. Therefore, when the Formless Awareness does the action, it should be the action that has been weighed upon what causes the least amount of harm possible to us and to others around me.. Now the context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna is explaining how the person established in this Formless Oneness, even though it appears that the senses are performing all actions, they see inaction in action. So the inaction is the Nirguna Brahman within the Formless Awareness within. And the action, the body and mind is doing it, but the awareness is what you remain as, rather than the doer of actions. It's a very tough thing to practice in the beginning, but it can be done. And just remember the Yogic Truth is one complete understanding is that there is only Brahman and Maya that we see this transactional reality is just an appearance. This is the high level. Say we can't swallow that high truth right now. Say that it's too abstract for us. So to help us, what we can say here is that yes, this relative reality is real. Therefore, whatever I do will have a real consequence. There will be a real outcome. So before I do an action, let me first analyze what the outcome could be and then whatever the outcome is, I will let the body mind deal with it. But remind myself that this Formless Awareness is not going to receive the reactions or the outcome of any action I do. It remains free from any residue of action. So that's the way to possibly help us to understand. Remember the Jiva right now is completely identifying as the body and. mind and not as the Atman yet, or as the Witness Consciousness, it's more associated with Prakriti nature than Purusha, the Witness Consciousness. That's fine. But those that are on a high level, you will be able to understand that actually you are only the Formless Awareness and it is only the appearance of the-body mind that is conducting action. Verse nine. While talking, defecating, grasping, opening, and closing their eyes, they know that all of these are merely the interactions of the material senses with their material objects. They know that they are the atman and therefore they're only the observer of all these activities. We are gonna break this down a little bit. So the first part is while talking, defecating, grasping, opening, and closing their eyes, they know that all of these are merely the interactions of the material senses with their material objects. This is relatively simple. All these actions are being done because of their interactions with the material senses as explained in the previous verse with their material objects. Then the second part is they know that they are the Atman and therefore they are only the observer of all these activities. So they firmly know and are established in the knowledge of they are this Immortal Atman, they are only the observer of these actions. They are the blank screen. And all of these material interactions are images that are projected onto that screen, therefore, because they are the Formless Awareness that is in the background as actions take place in the transactional reality itself. So they know what they are, and they are able to remain as the Atman and just be observers of these activities. When they're talking defecating, grasping, opening, and closing their eyes, they are just the observer of these. What this is saying here as a practice is why don't you observe what is happening? Observe life, observe what nature is doing as the body and the mind, observe your thoughts, observe your feelings, observe the opening and closing of your eyes. And what this is really doing is bringing us to mindfulness and this is an interesting technique by Sri Krishna. And if we follow this, it would be really good. The Formless Awareness that is in the background as these actions take place in the transactional reality. So the transactional reality is the talking, defecating, grasping, opening, and closing their eyes, all these interactions with the material senses yeah all of that is happening in the transactional reality and the Formless Awareness or the Ultimate Reality is in the background observing all this. So the Purusha and prakriti. Purusha being the witness Consciousness, prakriti - nature. The context of the whole verse is that all one needs to remember is that they are the observer and that no action belongs to the name and form. this is how we can really understand this. One thing I will say to add to this is that this is important in terms of understanding how we can practice this teaching. Now, if I say that I'm now going to observe the opening and closing of my eyes, like when I blink, when you do this, actually you slow down a little and when you slow down a little, that means your thoughts will slow down. If your thoughts slow down then what will happen is your mind will be more calm, less agitated. If your mind is more calm and less agitated, you'll find that there is clarity in your thinking now because you are now focusing upon thought, focusing on observing. So now when thoughts start to slow down and the mind becomes clear of all thoughts and impressions, then you come to meditation. That's when you fully immerse yourself into that Formless Awareness. The way to bypass, doing any action, like observing just the breath or the opening and closing of the eyes or grasping something, whatever it may be, what you can do is you can just become the observer of the observation. So becoming aware of the awareness. And once you do that, when you become aware of being aware, you go straight to awareness, you go straight to that formlessness that's within you. What Sri Krishna is saying is good for a beginner and even an expert, because you never know when your mind may start running and you have not even caught onto your mind, running away with thinking a thousand thoughts and it may be too late before you realize that this is happening. Because sometimes when we advance in spirituality, we can get a spiritual ego that will cover up the actual progress that has been made or, that will cover up when the mind has returned into its previous state. Verse 10. One who performs all actions without attachment to the outcome, offering all they do into the Ultimate Reality of Brahman is like a Padma Patra a Lotus leaf, they stand untouched above the mud of matter and do not generate future karmic reactions. So let's look at the whole verse here. This is a very beautiful example of a Lotus that is used here and the Lotus remains in the water and yet the water does not cling to it. In fact, even if the water is muddy, stagnant, and smelly, the Lotus does not lose its beautiful fragrance and its beautiful appearance. What Sri Krishna is saying is that the person that performs all actions without any attachment to the outcome, without desiring any outcome and they offer all they do to Brahman, they offer all they do to the divine. It's a Yagna for them. They think of the Formless Awareness and offer it to That. They are the Lotus leaf, so they stand untouched above the mud of matter, above the mud of the material world and do not generate future karmic reactions. It's important to understand that the Yogi performs all actions, but has no attachment to the outcome and therefore all outcomes are offered to the Ultimate Reality of Brahman, to the Formless Awareness. And when we remember that all of these actions are offered to this Formless Awareness, then the outcomes related to form, get transformed into the Formless and such a Yogi doesn't even get touched by a speck of matter. They remain clean. So no impression, no way will your awareness be blemished by anything. It will always be clear because you understand that you are totally detached of any outcome to the actions that you do. And here Sri Krishna declares that the Yogi will not generate any future karmic reactions. Whatever is done is done in this moment. That's the important thing to know that there's not gonna be any future karmic reactions if we truly practice this, this is the key, this requires practice, not merely talking about it. We must practice this. So such a Yogi will not even care about the outcome of this yoga itself, which is mukti or liberation. They will even transcend this. This is how important this line is to understand, they will get rid of every aspect of reaction, every aspect of being attached to the outcome. it will not exist because that will be detrimental, even if it's a spiritual outcome, even then. So they have to transcend that as well. The other thing to understand is when we do this type of action, what we are doing is allowing ourself to also be free from the stresses of the actions we do. Sometimes we may commit to an action and we start thinking about it continuously. Or maybe we say something and we thought we shouldn't have said something. And then we go into this downward spiral of continuously thinking and of incessant chatter in the mind, therefore creating a clouded mind, therefore clouded clarity, therefore, everything we do then is a complete mess. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna declares, that the Yogi remains untouched by the outcomes of every action in the present and future as they offer it all to Brahman, this Formless Awareness, even liberation itself. Just like water does not cling to the Lotus leaf, when the Lotus is taken out of the water. And if those impressions are not there, therefore you will not be affected. The key here is to remind yourself continuously that you are this Formless Awareness, Aham Brahmasmi really go into that. And then we can understand how to commit to this. Offer everything you do to this Divine. Remember that everything is going to Brahman. See this as the ground of existence and everything becomes clear. This ends the episode. If you can please share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content that will be greatly appreciated. You can follow me on social media to keep getting updates. You can subscribe to the monthly the Bearded Mystic Newsletter. 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