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April 23, 2023

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 9: Verse 10 - Verse 14)

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This episode discusses the 9th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 10 - 14. 

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

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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. If you would like to support the podcast, you can do so by signing up to the podcast's Patreon page, where you can get ad-free and bonus episodes and other benefits depending on the tier that you select, details for that are in the show notes and video description below.

On Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern Standard Time, there is a free virtual meditation along with discussion and Q & A. Please find the details for that in the show notes and video description below, if you would like to meditate with the community around this podcast. Please do like, comment, and subscribe if you're watching this on YouTube and if you are listening to this on your favorite podcast streaming app, do rate this five stars and do write a review, as it helps the podcast get more noticed and please do follow or subscribe to get future episodes. Today, we'll be looking at chapter nine, verses 10 to 14. Let's start off with verse 10. With Me, as the witness and overseer, prakriti produces all things, both moving and non-moving, that are required to manifest life by hetu 'the rules and logic of cosmic cause and effect' impelling the universal manifestation to renew itself again and again. Let's look at the verse as a whole, this is how we should understand how Sri Krishna hints on himself being the Purusha whom we may consider as Nirguna Brahman or Formless Awareness. Now, why I say that is because he says with me as the witness and overseer, it is very clear what he's saying. And then he makes it very clear. Prakriti produces all things, both moving and non-moving. Remember, according to us, to the naked eye space is non-moving, but other aspects of existence we may consider to be moving. We need to understand that that is the case. So Sri Krishna considers Himself as the witness and overseer as the observer. We need to understand that nature creates everything and produces everything. There is no other creator. Brahma is a way to explain, but deeper understanding is that prakriti produces the material existence. Although it may be easier for us to say Brahma, but to be fair, most of us are probably now not willing to go and give it a deity. We rather say, actually it's just nature that creates, we can go with that logical framework now, or if we wanted to say, well, there is this existence that is obviously produced while it's all coming from my own self, this Shared Being, that's the true non-dual way of seeing things. Now, Sri Krishna makes it very clear that both moving and non-moving. So someone can argue that if something is non-moving, that means that it's changeless. That can be an objection that someone can have. In essence even forms, even solid forms is just a bunch of atoms clustered together. Now, within those atoms, there's only Formless energy. Even that material substance, even though it appears to be solid form then it appears to be empty, but actually it's energy. Again, there is something moving despite it looking like that is non-moving. Everything in existence that manifests as life is done through the rules of logic and cosmic cause and effect, which is referred to as here as hetu. Remember that hetu remains as existence is, and when it dissolves, it is simply a part of the process of dissolution. So all the rules and logic that accumulate from this cosmic cause and effect, or from karma, it's all part of the process. It's not anything outta the ordinary, and it is this hetu that causes this universal manifestation to renew itself again and again. We must understand that all of this is done by Prakriti, nothing else and Nirguna Brahman or as Sri Krishna refers to himself as 'Me' simply witnesses, and yet oversees, it observes everything. It kind of sees everything yet doesn't interfere. It doesn't rule anything. It doesn't decide anything. It simply is, and that's the way we need to consider Nirguna Brahman or Sri Krishna in his true nature and true form, which is this Formless Awareness. Verse 11. Those who are deluded treat me with contempt when I descend within matter as an Avatar, assuming a human-like form. They do not know my ultimate and supreme nature as the controller of all beings. For I am Bhuta Maha Ishvara ' the ultimate source and controller of all beings.' Let's break this verse up a little. Those who are deluded treat me with contempt when I descend within matter as an Avatar, assuming a humanlike form. We are not able to understand how the Purusha is in prakriti. We simply find this very challenging to understand because without a strong intellect, we cannot understand how something like Sri Krishna, which is attribute-less, which is a witness, can be in existence. Also, since nobody can understand this state unless one becomes Brahman itself or understands they are Brahman itself, we will have contempt for such beings. And it doesn't matter if it's Sri Krishna, but anybody that talks of the truth, they're always seen with contempt, with eyes of disgust, sometimes of doubt and doubt in the sense of trying to catch you out type of doubt. Avatars are never welcomed because they do challenge the ignorance that we have held onto so lovingly. How many of us are willing to let go of the ego that we have, the ignorance that we have? We want to keep it because it makes us feel powerful. It makes us feel that we are in control and yet when an Avatar comes and tells us the reality of what we are, we could manipulate it. We could destroy it in a second, and we can place our doubts on it. So people come to conclusions that are not complete, and this is what's happening, with some of the translations and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. Those that do not understand what Sri Krishna is really saying and who manipulate it according to their own agendas, but Avatars, cannot be adjusted for anyone's agenda. They are only there to speak the truth because they're only there for the truth, because they are the truth. The second part of the verse is: They do not know my Ultimate and Supreme nature as the controller of all beings for I am Bhuta Maha Ishvara 'the ultimate source and controller of all beings'. These people cannot see that Sri Krishna is Ishvara or Saguna Brahman or the Shared Being. It's very difficult for them to comprehend this. As the Shared Being, it is the controller of all beings, yet it doesn't control anything also. It appears as a controller, yet operates without wanting to control. So everything is happening as it should be, and it's simply because it is a source and it knows the extent of how things go. So for example, Sri Krishna knows that the source of all of this creation is this Formless Awareness that has come into existence as the Shared Being. Although all this objects of the universe and universes, is present, it's actually just limbs of the Shared Being. That's all it is. You could say a universe is simply, , riding on a finger tip of the Shared Being, and it knows the extent, it knows how far it goes, and it knows its limitations in terms of existence therefore, Sri Krishna is referring himself right now as a Shared Being. But remember he's saying this with the backdrop that there is only Nirguna Brahman because remember, he has already talked about being the overseer, about being the witness. He's a source of all existence and is the Shared Being as existence, and it is all this one that does everything. There's no reason for us to think that we are the individual doers. The reason is because we believe we are individuals, hence, we face the karma of our actions. The moment, we go back into Formless Awareness, and then we function according to existence, according to the laws of nature and we understand the yamas and the niyamas, then the ethics of life. Then we will not do anything that is untoward because that's not what the Shared Being would do. But if we think we are different to the Shared Being and we think we are this name and form and we think this is all we are. That's what causes the problem. This is a very subtle and nuanced point, and many can misunderstand this. It is possible that that is the case. Some may interpret this and say that Sri Krishna does everything, and that's because he's the controller, but this is not really what he is saying. He's saying something a bit more deeper than that. For example, I create this podcast. I am the source of this podcast, and ultimately through the process of podcasting, the episodes get edited and published. By the natural process, I'm controlling all those elements. However, at the same time, I'm the witness of all this and do not consider that I am the doer. The podcast is ultimately prakriti, and prakriti is deciding and doing everything, controlling everything. Basically the way to see this is that the Shared Being is doing everything. Yet that Formless Awareness from which, from this Formless Awareness, which is the source of the Shared Being. The Shared Being, is doing everything. But Formless Awareness is not. That's another way you can see it. If you do have any questions upon this verse, we can expand on it further. You can ask and we can discuss it in the direct and unfiltered episodes. Think about this verse and let me know your thoughts. Let's go to verse 12. Those whose future hopes are deluded, whose actions produce an undesirable result, and whose knowledge is flawed and harmful are called asuras and rakshasas, they darken the world and devour the life force of those with whom they interact. Let's break this verse up a little. Those whose future hopes are deluded, whose actions produce an undesirable result and whose knowledge is flawed and harmful are called asuras and rakshasas. Sri Krishna here is describing what has been considered to be asuras and rakshasas and we have probably heard them when we've read stories in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, or generally when we've listened to any spiritual talk. Sometimes we've come across these terminologies. Basically what we can understand what these people are is anyone that enjoys creating suffering for others, you know, the modern day asuras and rakshasas you could say is like politicians where they only care about their own self and their own vested interest, or even or certain CEOs of companies and certain elites, you could say they are certain people that are kind of, are rakshasas in the sense of they enjoy creating suffering for others. for example, they can have the best, but others can't. And other people can go through suffering, but they shouldn't. And this we can see is unfolded in current events. Likewise, even in our day-to-day life, we may know someone who genuinely just likes to cause misery to others, who likes to manipulate others, who isn't honest and plays games and is very calculating in what they do. So because they are suffering so much, they also share that suffering and offer that suffering on the gold plate. And like fools, we take that gold plate. You know, we don't think twice of what we are consuming, of what we are taking or what we are accepting. And that's why Sri Krishna says these people, these types of people that cause suffering for you, that cause pain for you are asuras and are rakshasas because anything they do producers an undesirable result. It causes misery upon others, causes harm upon others. It brings down other people. It creates fear in people. and They are deluded about their future hopes. They would like to control humankind or they would like to control a particular gender, or they will like to control a particular, sexual orientation someone has, or what education, what books should be studied in the schools things like that. Those people are deluded but they think they're doing something great, so they're very delusional. They'd be like, oh yeah, I can conquer the world. I can, I can create, havoc, but I will be at the top. That's delusion. And also their future hopes is deluded because they think there is a future and we know that there is only the timeless being. There is no such thing as even the present. And certainly there's no past and there's no future. So if we are that timeless self, where is the future? There's no hopes for such a being that understands the truth. Only those in ignorance hold onto the future. So they hope for other results and therefore they're in delusion. They want something, but something else is gonna happen. As Formless Awareness, as I mentioned, there is no past. There is no present and there's no future. And any action that they do produces an undesirable result, meaning suffering. Their knowledge is flawed and harmful because they think there is only the body and mind, and because they believe that there is only the body and the mind, they are constantly creating suffering for other people because they are in that ignorance. They then think that, oh yeah, if I think this, then I can cause harm for others because you know, I'm feeling harm from others. If they've been suffering in some manner, they think they can pass that on. But it'll be the smart thing to do is to end that suffering, personally for us, for example, we do not need to continue the generational trauma as now I'm going to be a dad, I don't want to bring any of my past to my child. So anything I've suffered with in the past has to be addressed. And thankfully, a lot of it has been addressed. But this is ultimately what needs to be done. We have to ensure that the child does not face any of the trauma that we've had to face. We end it in this moment because otherwise we will not be parents, but we will be more like asuras and rakshasas basically. They may even believe that they are souls or jivas and are eternally separated from Brahman or Sri Krishna or the Shared Being. Now such beings, they will think they are separate. So "I can do all the harm I want. I will deal with it the next life or I will go to hell and come back eventually on earth." So everyone has these delusional hopes, but Sri Krishna saying, don't be so silly, it may not be as easy as you think. So such people, they give out wrong information and they delude many people and therefore they are harmful because true seekers are then deterred away from actually achieving jivan-mukti, from actually doing the right thing of being in Formless Awareness right now. And this happens so much. People think they can rely on the future, on the next life. Don't rely on the next life. Don't be such a fool and anybody that says, oh, well I don't want mukti, and they claim to be spiritual, they claim to be part of Sanatana Dharma, they are not. Stay away from them. They will only drag you in the mud and therefore cause suffering for you. And Sri Krishna then says in the next part of the verse


they darken the world and devour the life force of those with whom they interact. So these people darken the world with what? Their ignorance, their deep ignorance, their hatred and weak knowledge tries to cover the full luminosity of the truth. They can never eliminate the full luminosity of truth. That full luminosity is always there, always full, but they will do whatever they can to try to make you not see it. And that is a thing about ignorance, is that it can be such a strong veil that we can't even look past it into the light. The light is there but we only see the projection in front of us. That projection of ignorance, of suffering, of pain. And you may come across such people, especially when you speak to them. You may have some friends that are like this or family members that are like this, and whenever you speak to them, you just feel drained. You just feel tired. You feel like that was exhausting. You feel like even if for that person that was a pleasant discussion, for you was pretty horrible. It happens and, and this is what Sri Krishna was talking about, although I wouldn't go as far as calling them asuras or rakshasas, but most of them may be on some level. That's why it's very important that we go to inspiring people who talk of Nirguna Brahman, and you'll always feel rejuvenated and energized by them. And I have felt this, whenever I speak to someone about this Brahman, about this Formless Awareness, I feel so much joy. I feel lighter. You know, I could go through a dark day. where , I'm in the world and I'm having to work and people bring their problems onto you and because they can't deal with anything maturely, they, they force it upon you. They take their energy and give it to you. But when you then think of Brahman or you think of Nirguna Brahman or you think of Formless Awareness and you meditate or you chat to somebody and you're talking about this awareness, you're talking about the beauty of just being in life with such people, you just feel amazed afterwards. You just love being around them. They're, they are the people that bring light to the room. You wanna be around them. That's why it's very important to be around those people that help you spiritually and help you go closer to being your true self. Or if not, they always give you a glimpse of your true self, or even better, they get you to be your true self, which is this Formless Awareness. Alternatively, if you go to someone who's complaining all the time, who only talks of worldly matters, you always feel exhausted and tired. That seems to be the natural response, and that's how these people devour the life energy out of you. So if you still interact with such people, even those that try to devour that life energy out of you, but if you remain firm in Formless Awareness as a witness and observer, you will remain free from such beings. So that's the hint that Sri Krishna is giving. Then in verse 13, Sri Krishna says: but those atmas who embrace me, become mahatma and have a nature like that of the devas. They always dwell in me and bhajanti 'adore me with single-minded devotion', and they know me as the Immortal and imperishable source of all beings. Let's look at the first part of the verse. But those atmas, who embrace me become mahatma and have a nature like that of the devas. Those that embrace Sri Krishna in the true sense as the observer and witness of all, they become mahatmas Those atmas, those jivas become mahatmas and that is the true embrace. If you want to truly embrace Sri Krishna, it's by seeing him as Nirguna Brahman, as Formless Awareness. Or if we want to take one step back then as the Shared Being, and you have to do this, you have to begin this with your body and mind obviously. When you are that observer, you naturally become loving, caring, and kind, and you naturally embody the very attributes that Sri Krishna talks about and that he embodies himself. And this is what happens when we truly embrace Sri Krishna or the Shared Being. We become a mahatma and we have a nature like the deva. Now, you are 'mahatma' a great being because you know this Formless Awareness, you know this Nirguna Brahman. You have now become this Nirguna Brahman completely and have eliminated all identity of being the body and mind. So your actions, your way of being, your nature is that of serenity, of calmness, of love, and compassion of forgiveness, and therefore embrace your true self and that is the true calling that Sri Krishna is giving here. Then in the second part of the verse, Sri Krishna says that they always dwell in me and bhajanti adore me with single-minded devotion, and they know me as the Immortal and imperishable source of all beings. So these mahatmas always dwell in Formless Awareness. They are always in the presence of Formless Awareness. They are always in the connection of Formless Awareness. There is no break in their unity with Formless Awareness, and they're always living life in that pure Consciousness. There is no separation at all. They are continuously being aware of being aware. So that is what is meant by having bhajanti. They adore Nirguna Brahman with that single-minded devotion that Nirguna Brahman ,You are the only thing. You are what I am. There is no separation to me and you and neither are You separate to this world. This whole world is You. And when you have that view, when you have that vision, then you see this Formless Awareness what it really is. You understand that it is Immortal and everlasting, and this is solidified when we have every breath in the remembrance of Formless Awareness. When we are constantly in the remembrance of being, in awareness of Formless Awareness. If we do this, so much is attained, so much is discovered, so much is unveiled. They know that there is no beginning nor any end to this Nirguna Brahman, and this Nirguna Brahman is not made of any substance, but is the source of all. Therefore, it can never change in any way. It can never perish because it is Formless, imageless, faceless, and nameless. It is the underlying source of this entire existence. In fact, it is existence. There is no separation between prakriti and Purusha. It is all this Formless Awareness. It is all this Nirguna Brahman and Sri Krishna on this battlefield, giving this wisdom to Arjuna is none other than this Formless Awareness, operating as a manifestation, as an appearance in this existence as a body and mind, as an Avatar. verse 14. Those who are satatam kirtayanto mam 'always chanting and singing my names', who desire to serve me and who bow before me with dedication and affection are linked to me in a timeless yoga of intense devotion. We are going to look at this verse as a whole here. We are always to be in the awareness of Formless Awareness. However,, this is more for the advanced seekers who can actually do this, who can just be, being aware of being aware is very natural to them. But what if we are new to this spiritual path? What if this is the first time you're watching this podcast episode on YouTube, or you're listening to this for the first time. What if you are new to the spiritual path? What then? What If you're going through some trauma and need to be stabilized? What can we do as Sri Krishna gives the answer here. He says those who are always chanting and singing my names, so we can chant the Guru mantra that we've been given. We can chant the name of the Lord. We can just chant Aum, or we can chant any mantra that has a special place in our heart. And we can use that to stabilize the mind. So what we do is this, we chant, but we remain in awareness of the chanting. So chanting is occurring and we are watching it. Yeah. That's the way to do this. So my names meaning that Brahman has many names, but in Essence's one. So I want us to understand that when Sri Krishna says, always chanting and singing my names, he's on about the multiple names that he has as Nirguna Brahman. People may delude themselves and think Sri Krishna is on about his own name. Again, they are seeing the prakriti of Sri Krishna, they're singing the name and form of Sri Krishna and therefore not understanding the complete picture, the complete verse, the complete background of that verse. And remember, it's this chanting is to be happening internally in awareness. \ , for chanting to be chanting, it has to be done in awareness. If we are chanting without awareness then it's not chanting, it's actually just recitation. That's all. Repetition, nothing more. And again, if we see this as Sri Krishna's name and form, then we have missed out on what he said earlier, that he's the witness and overseer of all. We need to go back to what he's truly meaning himself to be which is Formless Awareness or Nirguna Brahman. In this verse, when Sri Krishna says, 'serve Me', what he means there is serving all of existence because Brahman is the underlying source of that very existence. The Shared Being is this Nirguna Brahman. Don't serve others as in there are other people that need your pity. Serve them as your very self. ' Bow before Me' meaning respecting all of existence with dedication and affection, with love and reverence, and that we are always in a state of oneness with intense devotion. Our devotion is so complete and full of integrity, that it's everlasting and eternal. It's so ecstatic that our joy is overflowing. And in fact when people see us, they can see that glow of devotion that's just shining on, on our face. And not only that, but it's the twinkle in our eye. And that's what happens when we are constantly being in the awareness of Formless Awareness. This devotion is truly beyond time and space. We don't have to think about what time of the day to do it, what time of the year to do it. Is it important about what phase of the moon is in or where the planets are? None of that matters because when you're in devotion, the only thing that matters to you is this Formless Awareness. Nothing more, nothing less. That is the only thing, and 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. If you would like to support The Bearded Mystic Podcast, as I mentioned earlier, you can check out the podcast Patreon page and details are in the show notes and video description below. Please rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app, or alternatively on the Bearded Mystic Podcast website. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel, and please do follow, subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening, and we will end with the Soham and Shanti mantra. Soham Soham. I am That. I am That. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti. Aum Peace Peace Peace Namaste.