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March 12, 2023

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 8: Verse 14 - Verse 17)

This episode discusses the 8th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 14 - 17. 

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

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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 my thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita, but before I do begin, there's a few things I would like to tell you about. Please do give your support to the Bearded Mystic Podcast by signing up to the podcast Patreon page for ad-free and bonus episodes and other benefits depending upon the tier that you select. Details are in the show notes and video description below.

Every Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern Standard Time, there is a free virtual meditation along with discussion and q and a. Please find the details in the show notes and video description below if you're interested in meditating with the community. If you have any questions, you can ask them in a new series, Direct and Unfiltered with the Bearded Mystic. More information is in the 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 give this podcast a five star rating and review the podcast if you can and most of all do follow or subscribe to get future episodes. Today we'll be looking at chapter eight, verses 14 to 17, and let's begin with verse 14. O Arjuna, for those whose thoughts do not wander to anything else who remembers me at all times, who is always striving for yogic union with Me, I'm very easy to reach. These are very interesting words by Sri Krishna and we're gonna look at the whole verse together. First of all, the mind has to be stabilized on the isht-devta or on Brahman. As we've mentioned, it should not wander to anything else. If the mind is wandering towards material objects, then our mind has not been able to stabilize itself on Brahman or the isht-devta or Saguna Brahman. Now, in order to do that, we have to practice this continuously. So whenever there is a spare moment in the day, as we are householders and we are living a worldly life, we have to find those moments for pause where we can just reflect upon the isht-devta or most of all just reflect upon Nirguna Brahman. Once you're able to do this, it becomes a lot easier and it becomes our second nature. So the mind has to be stabilized on the isht-devta, this is further perpetuated or it's given strength if we actually are able to discern between the Real and unreal. So what happens here is to get to Nirguna Brahman, what we need to do is focus on what is Real, that which is changeless, therefore discard anything that is changing. So whatever we see that is changing, we see it as ultimately unreal as Prakriti and we go towards the Purusha, the Witness Consciousness, and we stable ourselves in the observer, in the Witness Consciousness. Our thoughts will always be based on the Ultimate Reality. That's what we will always go back to. That's what we will always stabilize ourselves in. We will always be based on that Ultimate Reality. So whenever somebody is in the midst of all action, they will go back to that Ultimate Reality. Remember Sri Krishna says, who remembers me at all times. So you base has to be in Brahman or the isht-devta . Nothing should deviate us away from that Ultimate Reality. If anything, deviates us away from this Ultimate Reality, consider that to be investigated into. first of all, see, is that thing leading me away from knowing what is true? What is Real? Am I actually witnessing life in the most real possible way, or am I looking at reality in a way which is not so correct? Are my senses coloring the perception in a certain way? Is my intellect not sharpened enough? Therefore I am witnessing life in a way that is probably unfair to me or more favorable to me? That's what we need to look at because the person that is stabilized in Brahman, that is stabilized in the Ultimate Reality will see reality in a way, which is neither favorable nor unfavorable. You know, we see it in a very sehaj-bhava. What that means is when we say sehaj-bhava, we mean in a place which is very balanced and equipoised. Stitha-Prajna you're in that place, which is stabilized in wisdom. You're stabilized in the practice. If you want yogic union with Brahman, then every thought should lead to that union. Whatever we are doing in life, we can lead it back to remembering Brahman. What happens is while we are working on a spreadsheet, we can take a pause and remember Brahman, we can remember Aum, we can do something that would take us back to that memory. We can always do that. In fact, we can be in the midst of activity right now and still be aware of Aum. It is very much possible. It just requires practice and I say this because a lot of people will tell you it's impossible and they may be right from their experience, and I'm not going to, discount what they say. But in my experience, you can have both. You can be in awareness and living life fully. You can enjoy that glass of wine and be in awareness. You can enjoy that can of Coke and be in awareness. You can be eating the best delicacy and be in awareness, or you can eat, a burger from McDonald's and be in awareness. What I mean to say is that you can be in the midst of all activity, yet have the undercurrent of awareness still there. It's just about learning how to do that and that's why we meditate. And that's why we use our discernment at all times. So we utilize our viveka, where we will constantly analyze and constantly investigate between the Real and the unreal, the changing and the Changeless. It is easy to reach once we have trained our intellect with discernment. As I mentioned before, this is a strong point, something that I, I will emphasize again, because the more you use your discernment, the more you actually utilize your intellect, strengthen your intellect. The easier it is to get to the Divine, the easier it is to remember Brahman at all times or the isht-devta, and once you know your true home, you know you are free. It's easy to go to. Do I have to think about where my house is? Do I know, for example, where I live? Of course I do. I know the, the address without a shadow of doubt. Once you know this true abode of Brahman, once you are united with Brahman, then it's very easy to reach. And like Sri Krishna is mentioning, if he is saying it's very easy to reach, that means he has thought about it . So don't think that Sri Krishna is saying this because he is wanting you to just believe him or he's wanting you to just follow what he says. Experiment, try, find out, investigate. And I have found in my life that it is very easy to reach. It's not difficult. All that requires is a simple change in the way we think, change in the way we see life. That's all, it's very simple. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna states how it is important to keep our thoughts established in the Ultimate Reality, and that eventually it becomes very accessible and easy to reach to. Verse 15. By approaching me for a loving relationship, these yogis become mahatmas 'great Immortal and liberated beings' who have aspired toward and finally gone to the place of final perfection. They are never forced to take birth again within Prakriti 'the home of all misery and suffering'. So this is a very important verse that we need to break apart a little. The first part of the verse is By approaching me for a loving relationship, these yogis become mahatmas, which are great Immortal and liberated beings who have aspired toward and finally gone to the place of final perfection. This is what we are all looking for. This is what we all want. This is what we are all seeking in life. When we are looking, when we are chasing money, why are we chasing money? Because we want our life to be perfect. We want our life to be complete. But what we find is that that is not giving us eternal happiness. So where do we find eternal happiness? And Sri Krishna has given us the answer throughout the Bhagavad Gita, that the way to true happiness is to understand who you really are, is to understand the Atman. It's to understand the Atman does not change at all. First of all, whenever we are seeking the Divine, it should be done in love. Love is one of the most powerful emotions which can move the whole universe. Forget move mountains. Faith can move mountains, but love moves the whole universe, and that is very true for me. It moves a whole existence, in fact, by approaching the isht-devta in love, it's literally you are loving love itself and it's basically by loving it, you create and sustain more love. And love becomes your very nature. So with the isht-devta, you can do that and more. So you can do this with Nirguna Brahman. Now this sounds really strange. How can I love something which is Formless? How can I love something which is without any attribute? How's that possible? Because Nirguna means without attribute, Brahman is that vastness. So how can I love that Reality that is absolutely vast, but has no attribute? Well, it's by simply being in awareness. Once you are in awareness, you find the existence of love. You find that existence is woven in love. The thread of existence is love. This is what you find when you ultimately become part of it. So go for it in a loving relationship. So right now we are in duality, right? We are trying to get to non-duality. So utilize duality first, get that relationship strong and then you can enter into oneness. So by approaching me for a loving relationship is a great starting point. Then Sri Krishna says, these yogis become mahatmas 'great Immortal and liberated beings'. We are all mahatmas, we just don't know it yet. Yeah, we are Brahm Gyanis, but we just don't know it yet. And that's why I refuse to call myself a brahm-gyani because I know I'm not there yet. So am I a Mahatma? No, because I don't feel I'm there yet. But what Sri Krishna is defining here is that these people who go towards union, they become immortal beings, liberated beings. They are now free. They are jivan-mukt. This is the aim. If we are to go towards spirituality, we have to be jivan-mukt. So we have to be free from all attachments, free from all emotions, free from all sense projections, free from all karma, this is what is needed. And how do we get to that is by being in awareness. Being in Formless Awareness is the ultimate answer and the ultimate answer, we will keep going back to, because this is the base of everything. The mahatmas are full of love, so this is a quality you will see. You will see that they are impartial, unbiased, and just open to loving everybody. Even the worst human being. They will still love them because they do not see the body, the name, the form, the karma, none of that. They just see the Ultimate Reality. That's the difference between them. And ultimately from that moment, you understand how love is and you become that love. You understand what real justice is. So when you do justice out of love, it has a different quality. Instead of looking to punish, you look to rehabilitate, you look to make sure that you can do conflict resolution in an effective manner. So that's also the difference. These individuals have wanted to reach perfection and be comfortable in Brahman. You know, they've aspired towards it. They've wanted to be complete. They've wanted to be Immortal, they've wanted to be liberated. And this is the most important thing too, is that you have to want this. If you do not desire it, you will not get there. If you do not want it completely, you will not get there. So it's very important that you ultimately want to be in this. So you want to be comfortable in Brahman. You want to go to that place of final perfection. That's what you've always aspired to do. So what I mean by this is that at least 51% of your desires, of your aspiration, of your attention, of your focus has to be on spirituality, at least 51%. Anything lower, not good enough, and you will not get there. In fact, to live fully in this life, you need 100%, but I know we are all not ready for that answer, but 100% is the answer. But right now, at least have 51%. At least 51%. And they will remain there forever. That's the main thing. They will not come back on on this Earth and this is why Sri Krishna says in the next part of the verse that they are never forced to take birth again within prakriti 'the home of all misery and suffering.' The birth can be a choice remember? So they're never forced to take birth again. Look at these words. They can take birth again, it's their choice. And maybe when the world is in fire and misery and suffering, that they are needed. That's why we have Avataras. That's why we have these great gurus that come onto this earth and end up uplifting humankind. That's the purpose. It's very true that they can take birth again, but they're never forced to within prakriti, within nature. It's not something they need to do. Yeah. It's totally their choice. And they can be liberated from prakriti if they wish, forget about after death, whilst alive fully in Prakriti, they can become free from Prakriti, where they are no longer in that birth or death of Prakriti. Yeah. The body and mind is its is its own self, but awareness is there regardless. Prakriti is the home of misery and suffering, you know, this is true for what Mahatma Buddha also said that life is suffering. Sri Krishna is saying the same thing here. Life is suffering. Anything in nature is misery and suffering. It leads there because we attach ourselves to it. When that's not the reality, when that's not real. So whoever is born here has to deal with suffering. We cannot escape that. Yeah. If we think we are Prakriti, we are going to be in misery and suffering. When we transcend Prakriti, when we transcend nature, then we can be free of all misery and suffering, then we can be in eternal happiness. We can be in calmness, in completion, and be in contentment. That's the ultimate. So the context of the whole verse that Sri Krishna tells Arjuna about why one should enter a living union with the One that they are already one with, and therefore they can transcend misery and suffering and they will never have to take birth again on this earth. Also, just to briefly mention that this is also another line that shows us reincarnation in the scriptures. Verse 16. If at the moment of death one goes to any loka or realm within Prakriti, even to the very abode of the creator Brahma, they are still forced to reincarnate again. But one who reaches me in my Immortal abode, O' Arjuna never takes birth again. So this is very important to understand and very important to grasp, and also shows that reincarnation is an accepted philosophy, not just theory, but kind of, , it is now an accepted reality. The first part of the verse is if at the moment of death one goes to any loka 'realm' within Prakriti, even to the very abode of the Creator Brahma, they are still forced to reincarnate again. So we need to understand the end goal here. It's definitely not to be going to any Loka or realm within Prakriti, so no heavens is gonna be good enough. No other subtle place is gonna be good enough. Not coming back on this earth is good enough. We want to go beyond the Prakriti, even if Sri Krishna says, even if you attain the highest, even if you go to the Creator Brahma's Loka, not good enough. It's still, you're still gonna have to be reincarnated again. So you still have to come back on the earth for jivan-mukti. It's an essential part of the jiva, the journey of the Jiva is to keep getting reincarnated until it can be jivan-mukt or liberated. So no Loka is supreme and beyond Nirguna Brahman. This is the ultimate thing to understand here. No matter how pious one has to come back on the earth, you can lead a great life. You can do a lot of rituals, you can do a lot of pilgrimages, you can do all this. But unless you know that there is only Brahman, you'll come back on this earth. And when I say know this Brahman, not only is it just something you know. It's your living reality. Your essence will speak it, your energy will speak it. Your vibe will speak it. Your, your whole being will speak of it. You'll be full of love, contentment, calmness, tolerance, acceptance. That will be your nature. So whatever is made of some material, it will end up returning to the world. This is an important thing to understand. Anything that is made of material, of nature, that is made of any matter, of Prakriti will end up returning back to the Earth. Will end up coming back to the earth for jivan-mukti. So understand that Sri Krishna has made it very clear what's going to happen to you. You may go go to the highest Loka and celebrate, but don't celebrate too much because you're gonna have to come back to this home of misery and suffering because you have to get jivan-mukti. In the next part of that very verse, Sri Krishna says that but one who reaches Me in my Immortal abode, O Arjuna, never takes birth again. Once in Brahman, forever in Brahman, this is what we understand here. There is no looking back. Once you enter that state of Nirguna Brahman, you understand there's only been Brahman. What other state can there be? What other loka can there be? What other realm can there be if there is only Brahman? If there's only Nirguna, what more does one need? If there's only oneness, how can there be two things? How can there be a loka and Brahman? Impossible. Remember the one who reaches Me, 'Me' meaning Nirguna Brahman, my Immortal abode. Because remember, Immortal means forever. That which does not change is forever. And therefore, that eternal home is Nirguna Brahman. That person never takes birth again, which then implies that jivan-mukti is the ultimate goal and never takes birth again, remember this, they will never come back on this earth unless it's their choice. But most likely once you understand, you're liberated, you're liberated. There's no way you can unliberate yourself. Yeah, it's impossible. The context of the whole verse is that Sri Krishna tells us the importance of living in Brahman and transcending nature, so we can have our place in the eternal realm of Brahman. Verse 17. In the Vedas, It is said that Brahma, the Creator of each material universe, lives for 100 of his own cosmic years. It is said that one day and night of his life lasts for 8 billion, 640 million Earth years. Persons who have studied the Vedic science of time understand these immense cosmic cycles. This verse, we can look at it as a whole. It's some interesting facts. This shows us how important the human birth is. This is what I take from it. It's not telling me that, oh yeah, this is exactly the number, but it's showing me that if you go to Brahma Loka just remember it may be a long time before you come back onto this Earth. Even the highest realm may not be such a great thing to want or desire for. Jivan-mukti might be a better one to go for, a better option. But it shows the same important human birth is, and most of all, what to do with human birth, how important jivan-mukti is. This is a choice to study. You know, it's up to you. You can understand this Vedic science of time and there's many people that do, and that's great, but we are meant to be looking for the timeless. And that's why what Sri Krishna is saying that those people who have studied it, they're telling you also at the same time that there is this prospect, this option that you can be immortally in Brahman. Eternally in Brahman. This vast length of time, when you think about it, is incredible. 8 billion, 8.6 billion earth years. Can you imagine? And that's just one day and night of Brahma. That's why you do not even wanna spend a day in Brahma Loka. You do not. That's why it's very important that we understand that jivan-mukti is the most important goal. Remember, time changes. Brahma belongs to time. If Brahma belongs to time, it's changing. And if it's changing, it's not reality. Only that is the Ultimate Reality, which does not change. And that's why Sri Krishna is giving these hints throughout these verses that understand what is Real, understand that which does not change. Understand the Purusha. Understand that awareness within you that is not changing, that is Formless imageless, shapeless, colorless. That is what you are, Tat-Tvam-Asi, You Are That. The context of this whole verse really is very simple. That is about understanding how important liberation is, how important it is to be jivan-mukt, liberated while you're alive, how important it is to work on your spirituality and actually the clock is really ticking. It's really up to us how far we want to go on this journey. But all I'm gonna say to you is this, that now I've told you that one day and night in Brahma Loka is 8.64 billion years. Do you wanna take that risk? If you want to take that risk, that's on you, but if you don't want to take that risk, let me know. Tell me and tell me why not? Why do you want to not live even in Brahma Loka? Because what this brings now is detachment. I do not want the highest heavens. I do not want anything other than Brahman. And remember, there's a secret to all this, how you can live life fully, and that is to see everything in and as Brahman, in and as Formless Awareness that this existence is Formless Awareness. Once you do this, there is no need for separation, and that's the key. So that is 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. Join the Bearded Mystic Podcast WhatsApp community group to continue the podcast discussion, details are in the show notes, and video description below. As mentioned earlier, 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 either on your favorite podcast streaming app, or you can do it on my website www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Please do follow or subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening. Soham Soham I am That. I am That. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti. Aum Peace Peace Peace. Namaste