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Oct. 23, 2022

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 6: Verse 7 - Verse 10)


In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses  7 - 10. Sri Krishna guides us that once we are victorious in being the atma - we attain the peaceful balance of the atma. Remain united and one remains one with Paramatma. Sri Krishna explains the difference between knowing something and being it through experience and practice. Arjuna has to remember Sri Krishna’s words - he has to be the same with family or foe. For ultimately, he has to train his intellect and understand that he is Formless Awareness itself. Sri Krishna explains how we need to remain in being aware of being aware.  

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

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Transcript

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 episode. Today we will be continuing on with my thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita, but before I do begin that, there's a few important announcements that I would like you to make note of. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, do sign up to the Podcast's Patreon page for 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 Apple Podcasts app itself. Every Saturday there's a free meditation session that is followed by a discussion and Q and A. If you would like to join, please 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, I will help you in your spiritual journey. You can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Let's do a recap of the last episode. We discussed the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses one to six. Sri Krishna guides Arjuna that you must not renounce what is in your nature and your responsibilities in your life. Both renunciation and the path of yoga for the householder reach the same destination, which is mainly to renounce the fruits of one's actions. Sri Krishna guides us to be an observer and to remain balanced, keeping our mind in peace. Sri Krishna also instructs us how to not cling to any action within this world or our senses, and to give up every action to divinity itself. Sri Krishna highlights the power of the Atman and therefore it is up to us how we use it. Disciplining our Atman is what makes it our best friend. So today in this very episode, we'll be looking at the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 7 to 10. Verse seven. One who is victorious in being the Atman achieves the ultimate state of balance and becomes united in yoga with Paramatma ' the all-pervading Supreme Being who resides within the heart'. In this way, one remains steady and unwavering in heat or cold, pleasure or pain, honor or dishonor.' Now we are going to break this up in parts. So the first part is one who is victorious in being the Atman achieves the ultimate state of balance and becomes united in yoga with Paramatma ' the all pervading Supreme Being who resides within the heart'. Now, the main purpose of spirituality is to become one with Paramatma and in fact, that's the ultimate achievement that one should attain in spirituality. In fact, we shouldn't expect anything less than that. If we really are on this path of non-duality of Advaita then we have to become one with Paramatma. In fact, unveiling that oneness and it appeared that there were two things. But now with this Brahm Gyana with this knowledge of Brahman, we are able to take away that veil of separation so it can reveal that there has always been this Oneness. So once one is able to be victorious in being the Atman, once we're able to win, this battle, you could say within the mind in terms of what to identify with, we then become balanced. And as it says, we become united in yoga, in union, in practice with Paramatma. By knowing that the Atman is Paramatma, we realize there has always been unity, and that's the most important thing. For example, a lot of people believe that we are a part of the One. Well, you can't be a part of the One. There is only the One. If there is parts in the One, that means it must have a different number altogether. It has to be more than one. This Ultimate Reality is Pure Oneness and therefore, to really understand this, we have to understand that the Atman and Paramatma is one and the same. We must aim to realize that we are the Atman and not the body and mind. This has to be continuously worked upon. We have to keep practicing this. We cannot just simply believe it or just say it. We have to really start identifying as the Paramatma, as the Atman, as Nirguna Brahman, as the Formless Awareness. That has to be the ultimate aim that we need to achieve, and it can't be anything less than that. Now, if we continue to associate ourselves with the body and mind, we will remain limited and therefore, we will not be able to claim mukti or moksha. Now, being in a state of balance means someone that chooses to be the same in all situations. Responses will be diverse, but the observer will be the same. So this time, the observer, the watcher, the Formless Awareness, it's always balanced, it's always content, it's always in stillness. And this is something we need to understand that although life will have its ups and downs, but this Paramatma remains the same, and if we are able to be victorious in this matter, we will see that it is the same. Sri Krishna also makes sure that we understand what Paramatma means as the All-pervading Supreme Being who resides within the heart. The journey has to be within, you know, so much is given to the outside world. In fact, we try to look for God even outside, but we forget to find the God that is within. And in fact, we ignore that very same God that is within. You see we have created this duality and we've invested so much in this duality that it's hard to get out of. But here Sri Krishna wants us to start understanding that this Paramatma is within us. It's not separate to us, it's always been within us. This awareness is always awakened within us. And then Sri Krishna in the next part of the verse says, In this way, one remains steady and unwavering in heat or cold, pleasure or pain, honor or dishonor. So what does that mean? When one realizes that they are the Atman, they remain steady in all situations and are unwavering. So for example, maybe a bad situation occurs, maybe some upsetting news is received, and what can happen is that we can start wavering, our faith can start destabilizing. In fact, even more so we lose track of that background awareness of Nirguna Brahman and we end up identifying completely as the body and mind. This is something that Sri Krishna does not want us to do. He wants us to remain steady in all situations. We should not waver in any way. We should be as immovable as Nirguna Brahman. So whether that is hot or cold, pleasure or pain, or honor or dishonor, the person does not suffer. What suffers then? The body and mind, not the Atman. The Atman never suffers. It doesn't matter what happens, whether one receives pleasure or pain, that's happening to the body, not to the Atman. If one is feeling heat or cold, the body and mind, not the Atman. And when it comes to honor and dishonor, or whenever someone praises you or criticizes you, they're praising or criticizing the body and the mind but not the Atman. We need to stabilize ourselves in understanding. We need to be completely convinced about this, that the Atman is untouched by all pairs of opposites, by all sense of duality. And this is the ultimate message really of the Bhagavad Gita. Now, the context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna guides us that once we are victorious in being the Atman we attain the peaceful balance of the Atman. Remain united and one remains one with Paramatma. So it's about staying connected. It's about remaining connected. And how can we do that? Is if we spend time in spiritual practice Now, verse 8. The Yogi who has attained Gyana of their atma and receives Vigyana 'has realized it' as well, as who is self-satisfied and unwavering in yogic practice, has subdued their indriyas, their senses. To them, a lump of clay, a stone, or a piece of gold, all appear to be of the same value. A very interesting verse. Let's look at the first part. The yogi who has attained Gyana of their atma and achieved vigyana 'has realized it' as well, who is self-satisfied and unwavering in yogic practice has subdued their indriyas 'their senses'. It's important to know your true self, which is this atma. So that's the Gyana that is first given. So what you're told is that you are this Atman and that's either the process through self-inquiry or through neti-neti 'not this, not this', until you get to what is constantly there. What remains unchanged. What remains present in all times. What is all-pervading, what is changeless? This Nirguna Brahman, this Atman. That's what we truly are. That's what happens when we do self-inquiry or any type of meditation or practice or contemplation, we get to that understanding. Then what needs to be followed and what must be followed is the practice of being it, and then eventually identifying completely as the Atman. So realizing that we are this Paramatma. Realizing there is nothing but the Atman. There is nothing but Pure Consciousness, and that is something we have to understand and not only understand, we have to end up embodying. So the embodiment of this is so important and it's the embodiment that matters. If we do not embody this, then there's no point. In my opinion, spirituality should not be something you dabble in. It's not worth it. It's not worth the time. You know, a lot of people believe that even a small effort is valuable, and to an extent I do agree, but in the end, if you, for example, if you order a bowl of ice cream or you order a slice of cake, to get your full value worth of that is to eat the whole thing. Now if you just eat some of it, you've kind of wasted your money. And it's like that when we don't actually fully invest our time into spirituality, we're kind of wasting our time. Now yes, some of it has been utilized. We got that taste of what we wanted to taste, but it's not the full enjoyment of it. And what can happen in the end is because we haven't, say for example, I didn't eat the whole slice of cake. What can happen afterwards is I can still be thinking about that. "Oh what if I ate that chocolate cake?" Now the same thing can happen in spirituality where you dabble here and there, and then when it's obviously too late, it could be that, you know, you feel that life is about to end or life tragically ends, then is it worth asking that question of 'what if'? And that's something that Sri Krishna emphasizes that we can't allow ourselves to do that, we have to embody and realize this Truth. Now Sri Krishna uses the word self-satisfied. Just by being in the Atman you are satisfied. That is the ultimate satisfaction. That is ultimate contentment. You are happy and that's the main thing. You don't need to do anything to feel satisfied or to get satisfied. It's automatically sustaining itself in satisfaction, in contentment because it has everything. What can the Atman have that it is not? When it understands that this maya, this world, this appearance is nothing but an appearance, a reflection in Consciousness. Why would it need to be satisfied in any way? We can only understand this full sense of contentment when we understand and experience and live as what we really are, which is this Nirguna Brahman. The other thing is we are unwavering in yogic practice. In every moment we practice the discernment of what is real and unreal. And then what you can do is you can start with the body and mind and realize that this changes. Hence, it's unreal. Yet the observer that is observed that this is absolutely unreal is absolutely real because it is unchanging by whatever happens by the body and mind. Now just remember that anything that changes is unreal. Anything that does not change is Real. And the only thing we know that is Real is our Formless Awareness, Pure Consciousness, and that is the Ultimate Truth. Then Sri Krishna adds a very important part of the

verse, and that is:

to them, a lump of clay, a stone, or a piece of gold all appear to be of the same value. Just to note here that Arjuna once said that, What am I going to do with this kingdom? I'd rather give it up. I'd rather, not hurt my gurus, friends, teachers, family. I don't want this kingdom. It's not worth it. And this is addressing that kingdom or no kingdom, the Atman sees both in a balanced state. Both have equal measure of value. And this is hard to understand if you live in a very dualistic manner, but if you've attained any small understanding of non-duality. You will understand this point that I just made. Now, the yogis know about the Real, and they understand that everything is subject to change. For example, humans have created their own values, otherwise, gold is gold, stone is stone, a lump of clay is a lump of clay. Wood is wood. We have defined that one thing is more valuable than the other. The actual objects have not created any sense of value at all. Humans have created their own values. And in that sense, the yogi does not get fooled. It understands that the nature of human beings is possibly to create values outta things. Therefore, to really be a true human being, to really be a human being in the spiritual sense, that person will see everything of the same value. It doesn't matter whether it's gold or a piece of wood, and we know that eventually we are all made of the same star dust, that piece of gold or that diamond or that stone, or that clay, it's all one and the same, all made from stardust. Therefore, there's no need for the yogi to be amazed by any of these things or to see them differently. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna explains the difference between knowing something and being it through experience and practice. Verse nine. One who is objective and equipoised with dear friends, casual associates and opponents; who stands in the same steady state with both family members or enemies; who is undisturbed in the presence of both the seekers for the divine as well as the harmful and malicious - that person is distinguished as one whose awakened buddhi has made them impartial and perfectly balanced. Let's break this up a little. The first part is one who is objective and equipoised with dear friends, casual associates and opponents who stands in the same steady state with both family members or enemies. Now it's important that we are objective about things. We don't need to take anything personally. When you're with a group of friends , you don't need to take sides, but you can actually choose to see the whole picture and then make a judgment call on it. You don't need to take part in the whole gossiping game. So best thing is to do is maintain objectivity. Then being equipoised, being in balance with everyone is important. Now, Sri Krishna emphasizes here that being in the same steady state with both family members and enemies ensures that neither attachment nor enmity should grow. Now what can happen is we may treat dear friends differently or say if a dear friend of ours lies about us, gossips about us, and say, we get informed about this by somebody else, by an enemy in fact, by someone who opposes us, we won't believe them because we feel that the person who's opposing us is our enemy. But actually, Sri Krishna is saying. No just be balanced with all. Use your buddhi with all, use your intellect with all, use your discernment with all, no matter how you label them. Remember that people may act in any way that they want. So being equipoised, being in balance with everyone is important. Now, Sri Krishna emphasizes here that being in the same steady state with both family members and enemies ensures that neither attachment nor enmity should grow. The one thing that makes us lose our equipoise or makes us become subjective and biased is when we actually have attachment to someone, or we have enemity towards someone. That tends to cloud our judgment, cloud our intellect. And that's why Sri Krishna has said this to remain objective, giving us a direction of how to be in life, how to actually practice these teachings. Sri Krishna has been training Arjuna to perform actions and be beyond the results of all actions. Not to get too attached to them, not to get fixed on them. He wants us to perform actions, but let go of the results. And that's the ultimate aim of the Bhagavad Gita. We always have an attachment to family. It is healthy to an extent, but if we risk our spirituality for the sake of only being attached to our family or having enmity towards our enemies, then there isn't too much to gain. You can turn around and say, Well, loving our family or being attached to our family's love, it's a good thing. And then being against our enemy is the right thing to do, but Sri Krishna here is saying, no, not really. If you have enmity or you have love, they have to be the same. Be balanced and be objective with all.

The next part is:

Who is undisturbed in the presence of both the seekers for the divine, as well as the harmful and malicious that person is distinguished as one whose awakened buddhi has made them impartial and perfectly balanced. This is important. Can you remain spiritually strong? Can you stick to the Brahm Gyana? That's the Ultimate question. Can you remain undisturbed? Can you remain unwavering? Does matters of the world still disturb you? Does it keep you up at night? I'm not saying that the sage or the seekers will not feel the pain of the world, but that doesn't mean that they will lose sleep because of that. Can you be undisturbed, unaffected by the people who are seekers or those that would love to deter you from the truth? There are people who are also harmful and malicious, people who claim to be spiritual, but really they're nothing but cunning people. In fact, so much so that even though they may talk about lofty thoughts, talk about knowing of the truth, talking about knowing God, talking about practicing the teachings, talking about how they're so devoted to the path, but really if they haven't let go of their previous conditioning, then what have they achieved? If somebody's not embodying the spiritual teachings, then what is the point? Why should anybody fool themselves in such a way? Fair enough. You may fool other people, but actually you're fooling yourself if you do that. That's why in spirituality, the number one thing I always recommend is that one should be honest. Without honesty, there is no spirituality. And that's the ultimate game here. That's the ultimate teaching that I think I can only offer to people is that just be honest about where you are. Now other people will be harmful. They will be malicious. They will say, why have faith in this Pure Awareness, why do you believe in this Pure Awareness? Believe in my God, it's better. You're guaranteed a heaven. You guaranteed this. You guaranteed that. If you don't, you will go to hell. They look like they are apparently seeking the divine. And this is where maybe I'm a bit harsher than Sri Krishna, they may appear to be seeking the divine, but actually they just love to make other people fall. And in fact, the only reason they would like to have you as a true seeker in inverted commas is so they can win the favor of some heaven or of some God, or of some deity, and that is not good either. That is useless. That is very temporary, and that is not genuine. Ultimately, the fact that it lacks being genuine that we don't feel associated with it. This is why it's a must when it comes to awakening our intellect. We must do this without a shadow of doubt, without even letting anything come in between. Our intellect is the most important thing. One thing is building it, the other is awakening it to the Pure reality. Remember, that's Vigyana and we need to get to vigyana. Gyana is important. Getting the knowledge is important. Listening to this is important, but embodying it and becoming it is the ultimate goal. That is Vigyana. That's the experiential truth that really matters. That really inspires. Once you become the Formless Awareness, it makes you impartial and perfectly balanced. And that's the main thing is getting to that Formless Awareness. The context of the whole verse is, Arjuna has to remember Sri Krishna's words here, that he has to be the same with family or foe. Remember, he's about to fight those apparent enemies, but he's got to be the same. For ultimately, he has to train his intellect and understand that he's the Formless Awareness itself and everything else is a reflection of the Formless Awareness itself too. That's the ultimate understanding. Verse 10. The yogi should always focus upon and stay connected with their own atma, steady in solitude, controlling and focusing their Consciousness, unwaveringly upon their atma. In this way, the Yogi perfects aparigraha meaning' not grasping or clinging to anything material. So we're gonna look at the whole verse here. The first and most important thing is to know that you are the Atman, which is this Formless Awareness. You must stay connected with the Atman at all times your own Atman. At the moment, because you're localized in the body and mind. It will appear that your Consciousness is also located in the body and mind, but a real understanding will see that this Consciousness is all pervading and everywhere. There's nowhere and no way that you can be separated from this. Remember to always be in the awareness that you are Aware. Once you are connected, you are connected. Once you are grasped by this, you are grasped by this. The chances of disconnection is very, very slim. Once that happens, it's, it's difficult for you to become disconnected. Keep on remembering that you are this Formless Awareness. Now the other important thing is to be steady in solitude. Be comfortable in being alone. And this is one of the biggest challenges we face today, that can we be alone? Are we comfortable in being alone? Are we content in being alone? Or do we need to be around people to feel that sense of value, that sense of purpose and neither one is better or worse, but steady in solitude means that there's no fear in being alone. There's no loneliness because you know that ultimately you are That, all-pervading, Formless, Awareness, that is in everything. Therefore, even though it appears that everything is dualistic, there is this underlying oneness. So why would you fear being alone? You'd be absolutely comfortable with it. And then always bring your awareness to the forefront as much as possible and if it's feasible. It is about being aware of being aware and this is ultimately the point that bring your Formless Awareness to the forefront. Bring Nirguna Brahman to the forefront. What tends to happen is we allow Maya to be at the forefront and therefore constantly keep it at the forefront. What we have to do more and more is bring Maya to the background and bring Nirguna Brahman to the forefront. Then eventually what we need to do is just allow Maya to come to the forefront as a reflection, therefore keeping Nirguna Brahman or Formless Awareness at the forefront. This is the aim that we need to try to go for. We can do this when we are alone, because then we have the time to focus upon this. This is the way the yogi is able to not grasp or clinging onto anything material. Remember, it's not going to go for any materialistic things. It's not going to cling onto it. If say it breaks, it breaks. If it disappears, it disappears because the one thing that will not disappear is this Nirguna Brahman, is your Formless Awareness that will never disappear. Everything in this world will go, so there's no point clinging to it. There's no point holding onto it. It's gonna go. So if you can do this you can get what you like, enjoy the world, but there's no need to keep hold of it. Let it go when you have to. And that's ultimately Sri Krishna's message today. One, Be happy in being alone. Two, bring the Formless Awareness to the forefront. Discern everything through the Brahm Gyana the knowledge of Brahman. And most of all, remember that this materialistic world is not something to cling on to. The only thing to cling onto is being aware of being aware. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna explains how we need to remain in being aware of being aware. Which is a very beautiful statement that I heard from Rupert Spira. This marks the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content. Do follow me on social media to keep getting updates. Subscribe to the monthly The Bearded Mystic newsletter or join the Bearded Mystic Podcast Community Group on WhatsApp. The details are in the show notes and video description below. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, then do check out the podcast Patreon page where you can offer a monthly donation to help with creating this content. Details are in the show notes and video description below. Or you can support the podcast through Apple Podcast subscriptions, and you can find this in the Apple Podcast app itself. 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 rate and review the podcast on our website, www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.Com. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube. Please do follow or subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening. Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Aum Peace, Peace, Peace, Namaste.