In this episode, we discuss the 7th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 8 - 11.
Translation used: The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive: A Radical Translation by Jeffrey Armstrong
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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 we do begin, there's a few important announcements that I would like to make. If you would like to support the podcast, you can sign up to the Bearded Mystic Podcast Patreon page to get ad free and bonus episodes and other benefits depending on the tier that you select. The details are in the show notes and video description below. Other ways to get ad free and bonus episodes is through Supercast, which the link is provided in the video description and show notes below. Or you can sign up to Apple podcast subscriptions, which is on the Apple Podcast streaming app itself.Every Saturday at 11:
00 AM Eastern Standard Time. There's a free virtual meditation session along with discussion and Q and A. If you would like to join and you are interested in meditation, you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Sometimes we need some personal help with our spirituality, or we have a burning question which we want to ask personally. As a friend, I can help you through a virtual one-to-one meeting via Zoom. You can find the details in these show notes and video description below. Please do like, comment, and subscribe if you're watching this on YouTube. If you're listening to this on your favorite podcast streaming app, please rate and review the podcast and do follow or subscribe to get future episodes. Also, we have a podcast community group on WhatsApp, you can find the details for that in the video description and show notes below. Today we'll be going through chapter 7, verses 8 to verse 11. Verse eight. O' Arjuna. I am the taste of water. I am the radiance of the moon and the sun. I am the Vedas emerging from the original sound of Aum. I am the vibrations carried by Akasha space. I am the ability in all persons. Before we go any further, Sri Krishna is going to make sure that practicing this Brahm Gyana is a lot easier, and due to that it can easily transform into vigyana. These are practical steps, practical pointers to help us go further in our spiritual path. Sri Krishna also will be giving us 15 qualities, five that we just heard, that are not only his true nature as Nirguna Brahman, but also it's the same as our True Nature, because there is only Nirguna Brahman. Let's break that verse up a little into the five qualities that Sri Krishna mentions to Arjuna. First of all, he says, I am the taste of water. Thirst is something we all feel and we all go through. We can practically experience what thirst is like, even if we think of ourselves being in a scorching desert and we are completely thirsty. We can actually understand what that will feel like. We know the experience, we know what that is. So tasting water is something we also do on a day-to-day basis. Most of us will drink at least two or three liters a day. What we can get from this is although water doesn't specifically have a taste, although it does have a very subtle taste, but people tend to say that water is tasteless. Well, it's kind of like that. What Sri Krishna is saying is that even though you drink water, and even though you say it's tasteless, there is a certain. There's a certain experience you have, there's a certain conceptualization that you have when you are taking in that water. There is a specific taste. But what I take from this even further is when he says the taste of water. Well actually if you think about it, if you remember Brahman, when you are drinking or eating anything, then you are utilizing your senses in a spiritual practice. When you're drinking that water, from the glass to your mouth and you allow that water to quench your thirst as it goes down through your throat and goes downward, that feeling that you get, can be immense. Think about the whole process of that drop of water even getting to you. From what reservoir is it from? From where did that raindrop appear from which now you are drinking this water? All these things are things we can think about or what mountain, has this spring water appeared from? Basically the quality of all experience should be seen as Brahman itself. The taste of water, seeing a beautiful painting, whether it's listening to a beautiful symphony, anything like that, we can experience that with the senses. So utilize the senses to remember Brahman. Then he says, I am the radiance of the moon and the sun. Remember the light from the moon and the Sun is there due to Brahman and likewise, the light from truth is there because of Brahman too. The only reason why we can even perceive the truth is because of that light that it has, that eternal light. The radiance of truth takes away all the darkness of ignorance. Then Sri Krishna also means that the light of divinity is in all beings. Therefore, all is Brahman. Everything is Brahman because the light of divinity, that spark of divinity is within everyone and just like that, if you think about the moon, it provides coolness and therefore it's the coolness that takes us away from the afflictions of the world. The issues of the world, the disturbances of the world. And at the same time, it's like the heat of the sun in terms of the tapasya that we do to remove all the impurities that we have within the mind, to calm the mind and to also control the mind. When you see that light, you feel like now when you look at the morning sky or the night sky, and you see the light coming from the moon, you see the radiance from the sun. You'll feel that that is Brahman itself, therefore what's happening is an automatic self remembrance. Remember, these are all the qualities that appear from experience. Then Sri Krishna says, I am the Vedas emerging from the original sound of Aum. Brahman is the Vedas. Brahman is Aum. Whenever we hear the sacred verses from the Vedas, we shall see it as Brahm-vichara. Everything is the vichara, the inquiry, of Brahman, of that Truth, of that divinity, and all sacred words originate in Brahman. That is their origin. That's where they begin from. This also is in line with the Upanishads because, for example, everything has emanated from Aum and they say Aum is the closest sound or vibration to Brahman itself. Fourth one is, I Am the vibrations carried by Akasha or Space? So a lot of people also see Akasha as Ether but actually the vedantic real translation is space. So Akasha means space. Again all the vibrations in space is Brahman. All the waves like sound waves, light waves, electromagnetic waves, that is all Brahman and gravity is Brahman, although these things cannot be seen but due to space, they exist and therefore we know their existence now due to excellent technology. Those also are ways we can see the qualities of Brahman. Whenever you feel the vibrations in the air, when you feel the breeze, or when you feel that something is touching you, despite there being no air in the room, that is also Brahman. Then the fifth one, I am the ability in all persons. The ability to do a simple thing is because there is only Brahman. The ability to solve the most complex thing is because there is only Brahman. The solution for everything is Brahman. Any creative skill that we have is only there because of Brahman. Brahman is the reason why we have any creative skill and just in general, any skills, even the most mundane ones is there because there is only Brahman. When we understand that all the abilities that we have, the talents that we have, all that is because of Sri Krishna or Nirguna Brahman, there is a lot more gratitude and a lot more care is taken into those abilities. We should never waste those abilities either. We should utilize them as much as we can. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna begins with telling Arjuna the five qualities he as Brahman has, which is the taste of water, the radiance of the moon and sun. The Vedas emerging from Aum, vibrations carried by space and the ability in all persons. Then verse nine. I am the sacred smell of the Earth. I am the radiant energy emanating from fire. I am the life force in all beings. I am the focus and correct practice of those who endeavor to perfect themselves. The sixth quality is I am the sacred smell of the earth. What that means is that this is about connecting with the earth, the planet that looks after us, the planet that provides our sustenance. If you think about it, all life is made up from earth. Without the earth there is no us. You could see the sacred smell described as the sanctity of this world, this earth is a holy place. It is a divine place because it's here that you can attain mukti. There is a sacred fragrance to the earth. It's not merely just a normal rock in the whole of existence. It has a purpose. The message is also life affirmative. We are for the earth. We want to look after the earth, and the world is not evil but something beautiful. Sometimes people consider the world to be a dangerous place because it takes us away from our spirituality. But here Sri Krishna is saying the opposite. Actually, it's sacred. There's a sanctity to it. There's a holiness to it. Therefore, we should be worshiping this Bhumi Loka, instead of condemning it. Then he says, I am the radiant energy emanating from fire. Think about the energy that radiates from fire. First of all, fire is needed for us to cook food. Its power is very necessary. Fire also gives us warmth when it's really cold out there. Within the body, the fire of the stomach digests the food. Therefore this all aids in giving energy. Fire is also used in rituals and this also energizes the spirit. In fact, if you think about it, if you ever have gone to a havan, you will notice that when they have the havan and the fire is in the middle, you can experience that divinity, that holiness, the power of just looking into the flickering flames of fire is amazing. Just remember that fire has an important part to play because it provides energy for us. I am the life force in all beings. So the Formless Awareness is the life force of all. The ground of existence is Formless Awareness. Without the Formless, Awareness, there is no ground for existence. The only reason why we are a shared being is because of Brahman. We need to understand that Formless Awareness is Our Shared Being. The life force is what energizes us. Without the breath, we cannot breathe. If we cannot breathe, we cannot have oxygen. If oxygen doesn't reach the brain, we can end up being brain dead. It's very important to understand that Prana or the life force is what energizes us, is what gives us the energy, is what makes us continue. Without this life force simply there is death and nothing but death. that life force is very much necessary. The ninth one is I am the focus and correct practice of those who endeavor to perfect themselves. Those that want to perfect themselves, those that want to lead themselves into completion, self completion, towards enlightenment, they are the ones that want to do their best. They will find the focus and the correct practice. In fact, it's the correct practice that comes to them rather than they are searching for it. And even if they are searching for it, it's normally is done at the right time. But what we need to ensure we remember is that Formless Awareness is the focus, and Formless Awareness is the correct practice. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna continues telling Arjuna more qualities that he has as Brahman. They are the sacred smell of the earth, the radiant energy emanating from fire, the life force of all beings, the focus and correct practice for those who endeavor to perfect themselves. Then we have verse 10. O' Arjuna, I am the seed that gives rise to all beings. I am that which always exists. I am the discernment of those who see everything as it truly exists. I am the brilliant energy of those who are radiant and powerful. Let's look at the 10th quality, which is I am the seed that gives rise to all beings. The beginning point of existence is Brahman. Every life comes from the seed and then a seed turns into a tree. That's literally the journey and the power that's in that one simple seed that we think cannot survive on its own yet it creates the magnificent tree, say an oak tree. Again, you can have a seed that turns into a fully formed baby to a fully grown adult entering into old age. Sri Krishna is that seed too that gives rise to all beings as the Shared Being of Existence. Everything is of the essence of Brahman as the shared Being. I am that which always exists. There never has been a time when Brahman has not been, obviously we know this because Brahman is eternally real, because it does not change in any way. It cannot be mixed in any way. It cannot be disturbed in any way. It's pure as it is. It's exactly where It needs to be and stays there. It doesn't move. And this is also the same for our existence. If we understand our true identity, we know that we are that which has always existed. It's not that this, , thing that we are this Atman is something new. No, we've been carrying this Atman for many years. Due to the Jiva that we have adopting different material tendencies, different virtues, all those have had a part to play in our existence today. 12. I am the discernment of those who see everything as it truly exists. The importance of discernment is immense, because without discernment our intellect is weak. So how can we understand the truth if our intellect is not all there? Remember, this is, , expressing the discernment of Sat and Asat, Real and the unreal. Sat is that, which is changeless hence this is Brahman, hence discerned as Real. Asat is that which changes, which is Prakriti the world, hence discerned as unreal and those people that understand this, that then talk about this, they are the true Seers of mankind. Then he says, I am the brilliant energy of those who are radiant and powerful. Radiant and powerful meaning in the spiritual practice, their face is radiant because they're constantly connected to the divine and they're powerful because they have humility and they do not consider themselves to be something special. Let's ask, who are they? Who are radiant and powerful? It is ,the sages, it is the wise ones. It is the enlightened beings. Brahman is the energy of such sages. You have the potential to be a sage. You have all the ability to be a sage. Don't think of yourself as any less than that. With this energy, you can be powerful as Formless Awareness. No suffering can even touch you in the slightest way. You can be as radiant as Formless Awareness. Everyone feels the light and radiance when they see you, when they are in your company, and that's ultimately what matters. The energy is the true meaning of Satsang. So when that beautiful energy you feel when you enter a satsang or whenever you enter into a mandir, that is a true meaning when you are in that brilliant energy and you are totally in ecstasy. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna continues telling Arjuna more qualities that he has as Brahman. They are the seed that gives rise to all beings. That which always exists. The discernment of those who see everything as it truly exists, the brilliant energy of those who are radiant and powerful. Then verse 11. And Arjuna, I am the strength of the powerful who are not corrupted by material attachment and selfish desires. I'm the desire for pleasure and beauty in all beings that does not violate the codes of dharma. The 14th quality is, I am the strength of the powerful who are not corrupted by material attachment. Formless Awareness is the strength of those powerful sages, that's where they rest themselves in. That's what they find they're most comfortable in. And also they know that the true source of strength is from Brahman itself. Now they are so powerful that no desire can distract them or move them away from their true nature, they will always come back to their true nature. It's like this natural, practice that they have, this natural process they have. The Formless Awareness is the one that gives us all the strength, that is needed. Material attachments to any objects is not something that will corrupt them. You may enjoy material objects, but not necessarily be corrupted by them. You could get a new phone, but it's not really going to. bring any ego to you, or it's not something you then compare others with, oh, I have the latest iPhone. You don't! You have the model that came out four years ago, you're outdated. Those are very superficial things, and only superficial people look at those things. We as spiritual beings should not entertain this whole thing of having any material attachment to the objects that we have and hope that they won't corrupt us. Most likely, hopefully they will never corrupt us. But sometimes it's very difficult to say because the moment we get the taste of something even luxurious, that becomes our way of being. And either we can simplify our life where we simplify it to the point where it is just luxury or we just continue to overspend, overthink, and therefore just burn out because we are doing the grind to get better. But our attachments are weighing us. The influence of others can never corrupt the purity of their heart. A disciple will never care. They know that their heart is pure and has to stay pure, and that no influence of others can intervene and change that, not at all. And neither should we let anyone do that. If they have an issue with us, they can go their own way. We don't have to entertain them. They will never put their desires first either before others. They will always put other people first. They will always be caring for other people, and that's the way they roll. Their desires will never harm others. They will always be from a pure place due to discernment because they know the Real and unreal because they know the difference between making the most righteous choice over the, the choice that may cause more suffering, those aspects of discernment is what's going to create less harm for others. If there's less harm, then that means that there will be less suffering and who wouldn't want that? Because of that discernment, we can go back to that pure place in existence. Then the 15th quality. I am the desire for pleasure and beauty in all beings that does not violate the codes of dharma. Now, this is an interesting verse because this answers the previous one. Desire is from Formless Awareness itself. Everything has come from Formless Awareness. The desire for pleasure arises from Formless Awareness. The desire for beauty arises from the Formless Awareness. This is the case for all beings. This is the way it is. They will always find the beauty in everything because Brahman is beauty, and Brahman is all beings. So wherever Brahman looks through our awareness, it's always beautiful. It's always magnificent. It's always exquisite and wonderful. Then he says these people will never violate dharma in any way. Remember, Dharma is the righteous path, is a path of karma yoga. Anything that violates the codes of dharma, then that desire is for pleasure and beauty is not from Formless Awareness, but from the aspect of us that is unreal as a body and mind. For example, if we violate the codes of dharma, there is some selfish intent that is there, and that selfish intent is what makes things worse for us down the line. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna concludes the qualities that he has as Brahman. These are the strength of the powerful who are not corrupted by material attachment and selfish desires. Desires for pleasure and beauty in all beings does not violate the codes of dharma. These are the 15 qualities that we can remember, not only for our own self, but also when we are remembering Sri Krishna as our Isht-devta or Sri Krishna as someone that we worship or even any of the deities will more or less have these same things said. That is the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content. Follow me on social media to keep getting updates. Join the Bearded Mystic Podcast WhatsApp Community Group to continue the podcast discussion. 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 Patreon page. Details are in the show notes and video description below. Please do rate and review the podcast on our website, www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Please follow, subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening. Let's end with the Soham and Shanti Mantra. Soham Soham. I am That. I am That. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum Peace Peace Peace. Namaste.
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