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Nov. 20, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 6: Verse 20 - Verse 23)


In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses  20 - 23. Sri Krishna guides how important it is to connect our consciousness with Consciousness itself and by absorbing one’s name and form into the nameless and formless awareness, one remains in complete contentment. Sri Krishna guides how bliss is the absolute state of Awareness. Sri Krishna guides that nothing can harm the yogi, no matter how bad a situation is, the yogi will never be in distress because they are in that Formless Awareness always. Sri Krishna guides how we must focus on transforming our pain and suffering to joy and bliss by remaining in Formless Awareness and to keep returning to this Formless Awareness. 

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

I hope you enjoyed listening to the 48th 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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Transcript

Hello and welcome to 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. But before I do begin, if you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can sign up to the podcast Patreon page where you can get ad free and bonus episodes, the details are in the show notes and video description below. Another way is that you can sign up to our monthly subscription that's available on the Apple Podcast's app.

Every Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern Standard Time. there is a free virtual meditation session that's followed by a spiritual discussion and Q&A. If you would like to join, You can find the details 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 help you with your spirituality, you can find 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 sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 16 to 19. Sri Krishna provides guidance on how to live a balanced lifestyle of eating enough and sleeping enough to feel well rested. This then allows us to meditate better and to create that yogic union. Sri Krishna also explains about how one should have a healthy lifestyle and maintain that healthy lifestyle and to keep it hassle free as much as possible. This awareness within is absolutely free from all material longings and desires. And the aim is to become complete in our yoga. We should no longer worry about the future nor worry about the past. Sri Krishna explains how we can achieve this transcendental self knowing when we transcend what we are not and fix ourselves upon that pure Formless Awareness. Now today we are going to be looking at the sixth chapter again, and we'll be looking specifically at verses 20 to 23. Verse 20. When the chit faculty stops interacting with matter and is entirely engaged in yogic practice, and when the atman sees the atman by means of the atman the yogi becomes completely content. Now we're going to break this up a little bit. When the chit faculty stops interacting with matter and is entirely engaged in yogic practice. So what does this mean? When Consciousness withdraws within into itself, and it doesn't focus on anything material, so nothing that the senses put their attention to, the Consciousness is not attracted to that. The Consciousness likes to keep going back to that Formless Awareness. So it doesn't focus on anything material. For example, if it sees something or hears something or tastes something, or smells something or touches something, although it would acknowledge what it touches or smells or sees or hears, what it will do is be able to view it with Formless Awareness in the forefront and the senses and its processes are in the background. Whatever it projects is in the background and that is essentially what Formless Awareness does. That is essentially what we do when we are fully in that state. Now, matter remember, is anything , that's with a name and form, whatever we see as a name and form, whatever has something solid, liquid or gas, that is a name and form. Consciousness is purely engaged in yogic practice. Consciousness only wants to be in Consciousness. There's no way that awareness wants to keep going out towards our desires, out towards the expressions of the senses. No, it wants to keep going back to Consciousness. It wants to keep going back to its own awareness, and that's because that's where it feels complete. That's where it feels completely itself and how does it do that? It's constantly discerning between the real and unreal. Remember Real is that which does not change and unreal is that which continues to change. It's always changing, and the main aspect is that once it's connected to Formless Awareness, it wants to remain in Formless Awareness. It wants to keep itself connected in that Formless Awareness. It wants to view everything in that Formless Awareness. The other thing that we need to do is understand the root of desire. Where does desire come from? Where is it arisen from? What habit of the past does it keep going back to? This is what yogic practice is. We look at the root of desire. Now, if we look at the root of desire, that means that we will address our anger, we'll address our enmity, our hate, our distractions, our lack of focus in the spiritual practice, all that is in the root of desire. And remember, by observing the root of desire, by being aware of the root of desire, putting the spotlight on the root of desire, what we end up doing is actually lessening the power of, that root. And therefore we can uproot that desire, meaning our attachment to the results of that desire. If we get the desire, fine, If we don't, fine. There's literally a balance in our approach. Now, the other thing is yogi practice also is about addressing any enmity, any anger, any greed, any lust, anything like that. The yogic practice aims to address those things. And remember, the yogic practice is also about renouncing anything the senses present and returning back to awareness. So we keep going back to awareness and that's the ultimate state, and that is yogic practice, we're constantly engaging in that because we never know when the mind can start running back to the senses and start following whatever the senses want. We want the mind to go back to Formless Awareness, and this is what the second part of the verse literally talks about. And Sri Krishna says in that second part, and when the atman sees the atman by means of the atman, the yogi becomes completely content. Isn't contentment what we always are after? But before we go there, let me first address and when the atman sees the atman by means of the atman. Let me bring it back to Brahman. So when we understand our true nature as Brahman, we constantly see ourselves as Brahman through Brahman because it's only through that awareness that we see ourselves. By the means of Brahm Gyana. So the knowledge of Brahman, the insight into Brahman is how we see our own awareness. So the other way to say it is when we understand our true nature as Formless Awareness, we constantly see ourselves as Formless Awareness through Formless Awareness by the means of the knowledge of Formless Awareness, or the insight into Formless Awareness. Now only Brahman can understand its own true nature and we need to understand that only Brahman recognizes Brahman. Remember, nobody else can recognize Brahman. The name and form cannot understand something abstract as Brahman, which is Formless Awareness. Something as abstract as the Formless is very difficult for the mind to hold onto, to cling onto, therefore, we have to understand that what our true nature is, which is Brahman itself, which is this Formless Awareness, we are nothing less than that. Tat Tvam Asi - You are That, and everything you see is Formless Awareness Itself. It's existence originates from Formless Awareness, and that's why we need to understand that only Formless Awareness can recognize Formless Awareness. This body and mind cannot. And anybody that tells you that the body and mind can, they've really got it wrong, and that's something that Sri Krishna is making sure we understand fully. Then the yogi is completely content. When all desires are announced, contentment is easy. So what that means is yes, we may have desires. It's not that we will not have desires, but what will happen with desires is we'll see the outcome. We'll see that if we get desires, that doesn't mean that we will be content. In fact, desires may cause a feeling of incompleteness. So that's why, you know, I speak heavily against the law of attraction and all those type of things because it doesn't address the fundamental quality of contentment. And it's a divine trait to have, a divine virtue to be content. Contentment obviously means that there's nothing more for the yogi to attain or to achieve. What will one gain by achieving a desire? Well, it just opens the door for another desire. But if one completes a desire in Formless Awareness, then what we understand is, well that desire was Formless Awareness and actually I am Formless Awareness, so I'm completing myself. Getting that desire just adds to the name and form of my body and mind. But really it does nothing for my true self. Contentment is when you're completely satisfied with life, you're completely happy with life. That is the guarantee that Sri Krishna provides if we follow this yogic practice of remember discerning between the real and unreal, or the permanent and impermanent. Resting in that Formless Awareness, focusing on that Formless Awareness, going back to being aware of being aware, doing all those things. And understanding the root of desire, and therefore the root of desire is that we think we are this name and form, remember. Addressing any enmity, any anger, any greed, any lust, any pride, anything like that, addressing those things. And then renouncing, anything the senses present to us and always returning back to Formless Awareness. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna guides us on how important it is to connect to our Consciousness with Consciousness itself, and by absorbing one's name and form into the nameless and Formless Awareness and there one remains in complete contentment, complete satisfaction, complete happiness, unbreakable happiness. That is the guarantee given by Sri Krishna Verse 21. When the buddhi is finally established in an unending state of ecstatic happiness that carries the yogi beyond the material senses, then abiding permanently in that joyful Consciousness, the yogi never deviates from that truth. Let's look at the first part of that verse. When the, would these finally establish in an unending state of ecstatic happiness that carries the yogi beyond the material senses. So once one's intellect is established in absolute happiness, then the senses have nothing more to want or desire. What can it want? What can it desire that it doesn't have? If one is completely happy, then what can one really desire? Nothing even to desire enlightenment isn't there, or to want enlightenment or to want liberation. When one is attuned and connected with their True Self. There is nothing more. And if there's ecstatic happiness, what else can happen? And if it's unending, that means it's unbreakable. It cannot end in any way. It cannot finish. Nothing can disturb it. Nothing can modify it. That's why this ecstatic happiness is something that every sage experiences. Now, this is the same as bliss, as we mentioned, because it's an unending state. It's an uncaused state. And as I've often quoted that my Satguru, he used to say that bliss is true happiness beyond the senses. So the senses are obviously that which end, without the body and mind, they cannot function. Without the intellect, they cannot function. So that means that happiness cannot lie with the intellect, nor with the senses, that bliss is truly beyond the senses, is truly beyond anything that will end, anything that will finish and that's why bliss is ecstatic happiness. It's happiness that takes you into ecstasy. It's happiness that you feel overjoyed. It's like, you know, when they say that you just dance for no reason. That's the type of happiness you feel. Due to that happiness, the senses and what it projects and what it ends up going towards is subdued and calmed down. Because when you're in that state of happiness, you want to be Formless Awareness as much as you can. Then Sri Krishna says in the second part of the verse, that then abiding permanently in that joyful Consciousness, the yogi never again deviates from the Truth. So one is constantly living and abiding permanently in joyful awareness. One does not deviate from that Formless Awareness, one does not go away from that Formless Awareness. . It's not just about being in it's happiness, and that's why truly being in Formless Awareness, understanding that you're not this body of mind actually gives you the most amount of happiness. It gives you access to joy all the time. It's not something that makes you feel empty or nothingness. No. It makes you feel complete with joy. It makes you feel the fullness of joy, the fullness of happiness, and that's why awareness always brings us back to the base of true happiness, of blissfulness. The yogi is constantly connected to the truth. Nothing can break the yogi away from the truth. Nothing, no thought, no emotion, no senses, nor the attraction nor repulsion of the senses. Nothing can take the yogi away from the truth and the Yogi never needs to look away from the truth. Everywhere it looks, everything it hears, everything it sees everything it touches, everything it smells, everything is done from that place of the Truth. It sees the truth in everything. Wherever they look, they perceive the truth everywhere and in everything. Therefore, they're constantly being reminded as well of this Formless Awareness, and therefore, happiness is a natural state. It's not something that you have to bring upon yourself. It's not something that you have to force upon yourself. It's naturally there. It's essence is always available. The context of the whole verse is simply, Sri Krishna is guiding us on how bliss is in the absolute state of awareness that never breaks away. Verse 22. Having attained that level of awareness, the yogi directly realizes that no greater state of being can be achieved while abiding steadily in that sublime, joyful state, even the heaviest material loss cannot cause distress. Let's look at the first part of that verse. Having attained that level of awareness, the yogi directly realizes that no greater state of being can be achieved. So by going through the process of Karma Yoga, one goes to the highest state of awareness. Being aware of awareness is the highest attainment. There's nothing beyond this, nothing more that's required. Just being aware of being aware, being in that Formless Awareness is the highest attainment, because that's where the unbreakable state of happiness is. That's where blissfulness is. Once one encounters that inner awareness, they understand that there is nothing better to achieve. Nothing more can be given that can give you that same level of happiness. Yes, you can get happy from those things, but it's not the same happiness you get from being in Formless Awareness. Once one encounters that inner awareness, that's beyond the senses, one's always in joy. one, realizes that no greater state of being can be achieved. Yes, one can achieve peaceful states of mind, but it's going beyond the mind that one sees that there's nothing better than inner awareness. No wordly pleasure can ever be as higher than this Formless Awareness itself. Then in the second part of the verse, Sri Krishna says, while abiding steadily in the sublime, joyful state, even the heaviest material loss cannot cause distress. The question is, how many of us get disturbed in the day? How many of us worry about the future, or are disturbed by the events of the past? How many of us utilize our intellect in the present? You see, the true enlightened being is one that remains in balance in life. Regardless of what life throws, even if it throws the biggest curve balls, one remains steady in that Formless Awareness, one remains balanced in that complete state of unending joy. Sri Krishna here mentions a few special words, which we need to focus upon. He says abiding steadily. It's not something you rush to. It's a state that is gradually built upon and because it's gradually built upon, there is no error made when we build upon this. Therefore, as we keep abiding steadily, it's a path that is always of balance. One cannot become imbalanced in this. One cannot become unsure about this. One cannot be swayed in any way because of this. So this steady progression to sublime, joyful state is what happens when we keep going back to our true nature, our Formless Awareness. Then no matter what we may lose in life, maybe by going on this path, we will not achieve that billionaire status. It doesn't matter. We may lose a child, but we will understand that it will not cause distress. Yes, we will feel pain, but we will not allow it to become suffering. We understand that life has its own ways. Existence has its own ways, but this Formless Awareness has nothing to do with that. This Formless Awareness is continuously in that joyful balance of happiness, in that joyful balance of inner awareness. So the heaviest material loss cannot cause you stress. It cannot cause suffering. So the context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna guides that nothing can harm the yogi. No matter how bad a situation is, the yogi will never be in distress because they are always in that Formless Awareness. They're constantly connected to that Formless Awareness. They're constantly aligned in that Formless Awareness. Nothing can break that away from them. Nothing can break that Formless Awareness, that connection. It's constantly there and that's because that person, that yogi understands what they really are. Now, think about it, even the heaviest material loss, think about the one thing we will never want in our lives, say if that does happen because we can go back to that Formless Awareness and understand that we are not this body and mind, that we are not this name and form. We can keep going back into that joyful state. We can go back onto that path of joyful awareness whenever it is possible, whenever we would like. That is a guarantee given by Sri Krishna. Verse 23. Let it be known that true yoga is a dissolution of our longtime union with the pain and suffering of matter, the yogi must reestablish themself as the atman with great determination and with the certainty that they are not related to matter. Now Sri Krishna, obviously in this verse is making sure we establish ourselves in this Pure Awareness that we do not deviate from this and his words are strong and his words need to be taken as complete possibility that we can attain this. Now, let's break this verse up. The first part of the verse is let it be known that true yoga is the dissolution of our longtime union with the pain and suffering of matter. It's important to know the purpose of yoga. Why are we doing this yoga? Why are we wanting to unite with that Formless Awareness? What is the point of connecting with the Nirguna Brahman? Why are we doing this? See what we are doing here in this path of yoga, in karma yoga, in any type of yoga that connects us to Formless Awareness, what we are doing is swapping our connection. Instead of connecting to pain and suffering, we are connecting to happiness and bliss. Instead of uniting with pain and suffering, we're uniting with happiness and bliss. That's what we are doing. We are completely destroying our longtime union with pain and suffering and yoga completely dissolves the clutches of pain and suffering. So what will cause pain and suffering in the past will no longer happen. Because why? We know that matter is not real. We know that matter is the nature of unreal because it's constantly changing, constantly modifying, and therefore we don't need to be in pain and suffering. We can make the choice to be in happiness and bliss. We can make that choice. We can go back to that because remember, our true nature is not within matter. It's within Formless Awareness. Then the second part of the verse is the yogi must reestablish themself as the atman with great determination and with the certainty that they are not related to matter. Our true nature is the atman. Our true nature is Formless Awareness. We need to be completely convinced about this. And Sri Krishna says, we have to keep reestablishing ourselves with that pure Formless Awareness. Now let's really look at the words here. Reestablish. Why does he say that? Because right now, we have gone into the delusion that we are this body and mind, that we belong to this world, we belong to this universe. Actually, we belong to nothing else other than Formless Awareness. Formless Awareness belongs to its own self. It doesn't belong to anything else. First of all, we need to understand that we've always been established in Formless Awareness. We have to reestablish ourselves because right now we are not thinking we are Formless Awareness. We think we are this body and mind and this body and mind is limited, but this Formless Awareness is limitless and therefore we have to reestablish ourself to that limitless state of being. So our true nature is the Atman. Our true nature is Formless Awareness, and then we must be convinced that this is the absolute path to take. We should not be convinced of anything else. We need to be completely determined with absolute certainty that we are not related to this world. This world is a temporary place, not our permanent place. And the permanent place is already here. We don't have to wait for it after death. It's right here, right now. Whenever we meditate, whenever we focus back into our true nature, we are creating that disconnect within matter and reconnecting with that Formless Awareness, that's what we are doing. And we must be certain that we cannot be held by our senses, our senses are not what we are. This body and mind is not what we are. What we are is this Formless Awareness. We are not related to matter at all, at all because this world is literally just of transaction. While we are in this world, we may interact with the world. We may have that at the forefront. But remember the background of Formless Awareness, never let go of that background of Formless Awareness, when we're in the activity of the world. But remember that whenever we can, we must withdraw this world, this matter of body and mind and bring it back to the background that it should be in, and therefore bring Formless Awareness to the forefront as much as possible whenever we can. That's the path of Karma Yogi. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna guides on how we must focus on transforming our pain and suffering into joy and bliss by remaining in Formless Awareness, and to keep returning to this Formless Awareness whenever we can and most of all, we are not this body and mind. We are not related to the temporary nature of things. We are to go back to that permanent true nature of ourself, which is Formless Awareness. We are this Atman, we are this Brahman, nothing else. We need to become absolutely convinced about this and how do we do this? By keep practicing that yogic practice, by keep adhering to that yogic practice, until we become completely convinced that we are this Atman, we are this Brahman, we are this Formless Awareness. And that is a path of everyone that is reading and listening or hearing about the Bhagavad Gita, and its message. And that is the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content. And if you're watching this on YouTube, please do like and comment on this video. Do share your views. Do share your opinions. It's a discussion here. It's not me just teaching something. We are here having a discussion on these teachings. 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