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May 14, 2023

Thoughts on The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 9: Verse 20 - Verse 24)

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This episode discusses the 9th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, specifically verses 20 - 24. 

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. Before we begin this episode. There are a few things I would like to let you know about. If you are really interested in supporting The Bearded Mystic Podcast, and you've found great benefit in listening or watching these episodes, then please do support this podcast on Patreon where you can get ad free and bonus episodes along with other benefits depending on the tier that you select. Your support means everything, and it really does help the podcast keep running efficiently and smoothly, and also widens the audience that this message can reach to. If you would like to know more about it, the details are in the show notes and video description below.

On Saturdays at 11:

00 AM Eastern Standard Time there is a free virtual meditation session along with discussion and Q&A. If you're interested in meditating with us as a community, then you can find out the details in the show notes and video description below. Please do like, comment, and subscribe if you're watching this on YouTube and if you're listening to this on your favorite podcast streaming app, then please do give this podcast a five star rating. It helps the podcast get up in the charts and allows the algorithm to bring this podcast to new listeners and also do review the podcast if you can and make sure you do follow or subscribe to keep getting future episodes. Today we will be continuing on with my thoughts on the Bhagavad Gita and we'll be looking at verses 20 to 24. Verse 20. Those who follow the vedic path of Yajna 'the ritual offerings into the sacred fire to show gratitude to the devas adore Me indirectly through those offerings. Purified of the paap arising from their harmful human actions, they drink the celestial nectar that flows from the gratitude of the devas, which in turn gives them great joy. They take their next birth in the Deva realms, and there continue to enjoy divine delights. So let's look at the first part of that verse. Those who follow the vedic path of Yajna 'ritual offerings into the sacred fire to show gratitude to the devas' adore me indirectly through those offerings. So let's look into that. What does that really mean? If you offered something to the devas, how does it get to Sri Krishna? Or how does it show that one is in love with Sri Krishna or it's indirectly going towards Sri Krishna? First of all, I want to establish that when we say Sri Krishna here now in this episode, we are talking about Nirguna Brahman, this Formless Awareness, this attribute-less Brahman, that Ultimate Reality. That's what is speaking right now. Remember, he is the Guru of Arjuna, and the Guru is always Nirguna Brahman, or at the max will be Saguna Brahman. But most of all we have to understand that the undying seed, so to speak, is this Nirguna Brahman. Even though we may see that people may worship the devas and may worship different deities and they may follow certain rituals to please certain deities. They may do a havan and do all sorts, but these devas that they're worshiping are nothing but Brahman itself. Guess who they worship? This Brahman. And you see countless of Upanishads literally saying the same thing. Whether that is Indra Devta, whether that is Agni Devta, Vayu Devta, they are all worshiping this one Brahman, this one, Formless Awareness. We need to understand that because when we think that these things are separate, they ultimately are not. Indirectly, even if you are worshiping them, it is going to Brahman itself because that is the only thing present in existence Indirectly, we are all worshiping Consciousness itself and the true devotees see all as Consciousness. Although we may see that these are different qualities, but ultimately it's that One Pure Consciousness alone. And in the Vedas, they give us a lot of practices where we will offer things to the fire and that is, again, another way of saying that whatever you think is you, you offer it until there is nothing left but this Brahman itself. That's the real offering. That's the real way of seeing devotion or seeing this act of offering things to the fire. The true seeker always offers their ego to the fire of Brahm Gyana. That is what we need to do. Offer it to Brahm Gyana and let Brahm Gyana burn it all away. So whatever is left is just this Formless Awareness. Purified of the paap arising from their harmful human actions, they drink the celestial nectar that flows from the gratitude of the devas, which in turn gives them great joy. They take their next birth in the Deva realms, and there they continue to enjoy divine delights. Through this practice of doing the rituals to please the devas, you remove all causes of suffering due to the previous actions that you've done, all the karma that you've done, all the reactions from that, you are purified of that paap. It may happen in your life, but because you have this celestial nectar, you are able to transcend it as soon as possible. You drink the amrita, the celestial nectar, that ambrosial nectar, that's what you consume, which means there's a certain high that you get from doing these practice. When you're in the awareness of the Formless, there's a certain high that you feel, a certain intoxication, that you feel, therefore, all these harmful human actions that you did in the past and you're receiving the suffering or the pain due to it. You are purified of it because you are automatically just bringing it to awareness and you are staying in that intoxication. So this intoxication is then permanent. The more you drink from this Brahm Gyana, the more you are intoxicated in Brahman and therefore you're always in that awareness. That is the ultimate state that we need to get to. That's blissfulness. As he, as Sri Krishna says, it gives them great joy. It gives you great happiness. The devas gift this to you as gratitude for all that you have offered, and that naturally gives them joy and they want to give that joy back to you because everything operates from joy itself. If you see everything arising from bliss itself, it automatically changes your mindset. How can there be paap if there's only bliss? How can they be suffering if there's only ananda? How can there be pain? If there's only the joy of intoxication of this name of Brahman, just be reminding yourself of this awareness will give you great joy. That's what we need to do. So giving in general also gives joy. If you think about it in life, if we give others our time, our charity, our whatever, you know, for example, there are people who are not as well off or they, they've been dealt with a bad hand in life, why not give your support to them? Giving in general, so when we give anything, it gives joy. We are in joy and we offer other people joy. Obviously even in a next birth, they become a deva. They enter that realm. They enjoy the company of the devas. They learn so much and they enjoy that loka completely. That is the number one way of being. Verse 21. In this way, by following the dharma presented in the Rig, Sama, and Yajur Vedas, they spend many years enjoying the refined and sublime pleasures of the Deva Loka Realm. But when the karmas that elevated them to Svarga Loka have expired, they again descend to Bhumi Loka and reincarnate once more. Never feel content if you're on this spiritual journey unless you get to jivan-mukti In my opinion, and this is literally what Sri Krishna is trying to say too. Let's break this verse down a little. In this way, by following the dharma presented in the Rig, Sama, and Yajur Vedas, , they spend many years enjoying the refined and sublime pleasures of the Deva Loka realm. The seeker, the one who has been offering things to the fire. What happens to them? What happens to that person who is performing these vedic rituals that are presented in the Vedas? What do they attain? What do they achieve? They start enjoying the pleasure of Deva Loka when they die. So they enjoy their time there. They are enjoying these amazing delights, these amazing sublime pleasures that are not of this earth. They are of heavenly, quality. They enjoy that joy completely, and they spend many years there, many, many years. But this comes with a warning. If you spend many, many years there, that means your process of getting enlightenment is delayed. Your process of achieving jivan-mukti is delayed. Do not think that this is an amazing thing. It sounds amazing. Sounds good, sounds enticing. It's a good brochure. You like it. But don't buy the package is what I say here. It's nice, but it's not gonna get you to jivan-mukti. But if you want those things fair enough, go for it. You'll spend many years there, and the pleasures here are more refined and you know it's for exquisite taste. Yeah. Those that want more refined taste, who enjoy the kind of joys that you would enjoy as a wealthy person, as an elite person, you want to experience it. So these are the things that are offered in Svarga Loka. So you'll see many beautiful offerings there, whether it's the soma rasa you know where you will be intoxicated with this drink, where you may enjoy a beautiful partner that you've never seen before, such beauty that has never been seen on this earth before. You will enjoy that type of thing and you will hear such sounds and music that can never be heard in these ears of a human. Those are the things that you may enjoy. So it's very, very elite, very, very refined, very, very sublime. Amazing stuff. So that's your option. Then Sri Krishna says in the next part of the verse: But when the karmas that elevated them to Svarga Loka have expired, they again descend to Bhumi Loka and reincarnate once more. As we know that once the karma that they did is exhausted, they have to come back onto Earth. Don't feel too comfortable in this Svarga Loka. It's like, for example, when you go to a holiday at a resort, an all inclusive, it's well and lovely for like 3, 4, 5 days, but at the end of the day, you're gonna have to come back to your personal life. You can't live on a resort 24 7, 365 days a year unless you're extremely, extremely wealthy, but you have to come back and every holiday, every vacation has an expiry date. It has a time range, and that's why you have to come back onto Earth once you've enjoyed all those little pleasures in heaven. We know that many years will pass. And most of all, you know those pleasures, they're great, they're amazing. They cannot be repeated or be replicated, but ultimately you will be enjoying all this. You'll be steeped in pleasure, but then you know this has to come to an end. You know that this is still a sort of super sensory experience and it can't be the be all and end all. You'll be like, well, what's next? What will be next? So then you will want to be free again, and that's why you'll have to come back onto the Earth. Then let me use another example. One very standard example. I love Oreo cookies or ice cream, but if I eat three or four packets of Oreo cookies, that pleasure is not gonna be nice. And I may then avoid Oreos for a long, long time. I need a holiday from eating Oreos. Even the sight of Oreos will horrify me. It will terrify me. So what is the point? So what you could say is Svarga Loka is like over consuming on pleasure and you are kind of overdoing it and you don't wanna do more. Ultimately, you'll not feel content. It's not the complete contentment, and therefore our time to return to earth will occur. Yeah, that's what will eventually happen. Then verse 22. On the other hand, when yoga practitioners constantly adore me and their thoughts are focused upon Me in a state of perpetual yogic awareness, then I take personal interest in their life and its needs. Let's look at the whole verse here because this is interesting and this is what life should be about. This is how we want to live life. Being a yoga practitioner that constantly adores me. How can I adore this? What's the one way to adore? First of all, we can see this 'Me' that Sri Krishna is referring to himself, but remember, he's Arjuna's Guru. We should see now that we need to constantly love the Guru, our Guru, whichever one we have personally. Adore them, completely adore them, be intoxicated in their presence. Connect with them and at the same time, do this for Brahman too. This Formless Awareness. So be the awareness of Formless Awareness and also be in the joy of being connected to the Guru. Now constantly adore, be in that loving devotion towards the Guru, towards Sri Krishna, towards the Shared Being, towards God and if we can towards Brahman and keep your mind focused on that, keep your thoughts focused on that, all your emotions focused upon it. Every thought, bring it back to Brahman. You don't have to share those thoughts with others. You can keep it within yourself. But think about Brahman during your spare time. Think about this Formless Awareness. Be in that loving adoration towards Formless Awareness, towards your Guru. It's really beautiful when you do this. You can walk down the hallway at work and feel that presence. You can walk in the hallway at school and feel that presence. You can go in the park and feel that presence. You can be in your room and feel that presence, before you go to sleep at night and close your eyes, you can feel that presence. Constantly adore and constantly think about this Brahman. Think about this Formless Awareness. Think about your Guru, and most of all, make your spirituality, your everything. This is ultimately the case in point. Make this your everything. Try to remain in the awareness at all times, and it's always there at all times. We just need to be aware of it. Yeah. To the point where that awareness will become natural. Right now, we may have to work towards it. We may have to keep focusing upon it, but at one point it will become natural. You'll just be in awareness and you don't know what has made it happen. Something clicked and it's working, and that's where we want to go to. In order to get to that state, think of Brahman as much as possible then Brahman will take care of everything. I have found that in my own life, that Brahman will look after your needs. This Formless will look after your needs. We just need to stay in the awareness, just stay in that yogic awareness, that perpetual yogic awareness, so that continuous yogic awareness where you're continuously aware of the Divine. Now, it's not that the divine is gone. Our mind just isn't there. Our mind isn't paying attention. That's why Sri Krishna says put all your thoughts focused upon 'Me' or Nirguna Brahman as we refer it to. And this is the secret to life, but not many are willing to let go of control. Everyone wants to control their lives. Everyone wants to hustle, and everybody wants to go for the next best thing. They can't trust life. Spirituality is about trusting life, and that's what Sri Krishna is trying to say. Then I take a personal interest in their life and its needs. Are we willing to let go of control? Are we willing to let go and go with the flow of life? Are we really willing to do this? If someone said to you, just do your daily activities, but remain in the awareness of Me. Would you be able to do that? Would you go through it? If you do, write a comment below, write to me, tell me that you want to, I wanna hear it. I wanna read it because that is more important in spirituality. Give yourself to This. Let go of the control. And trust me, I've seen it in my own life. I don't think about my material life. I don't plan anything. All I know is that the more I spend concentrating on this Formless, the more it gives back to me automatically. I don't have to do anything. It does it for me. It's full of grace, full of bountiful blessings. There's no end to its blessings. You just have to trust it, and that's what life is about. Then in verse 23, Sri Krishna says: You see Arjuna, even though they may not understand the entire process, those who make offerings of devotion to the devas are also indirectly giving those offerings to Me. We are gonna look at the whole verse together, but look, Sri Krishna is making sure Arjuna does not misunderstand what's going on. He says, you can worship anything. It's all coming to Me, this Nirguna Brahman, this Formless Awareness. This is what Sri Krishna is talking about. Everything is being offered to Brahman because there is only Brahman. Do not fall under the delusion that there is separate beings there, separate devas there. It is all this one Brahman. It's all that one. It's that Tattva. That one. And you see many do not comprehend the whole process. They just see one part and they think that's everything. Take a step back and see there's a whole picture there. If you're only concentrating on one part, how are you gonna see the whole canvas? See the whole canvas? For example, if you go to the gallery, say you are gonna go and see the Mona Lisa. Don't just look at Mona Lisa, the actual picture, the actual portrait of the person. Have a look at the background. What is that representing? In Zen paintings, it's very beautiful. When they draw somebody like a monk or something, it'll be very tiny, and the rest is a massive canvas of the mountains of this world. The beautiful nature. Likewise, don't just see one tiny part? Look at the whole thing. Don't just concentrate on one deva. Focus upon the whole existence, which is Brahman. And what happens is if you're only gonna see that tiny part, you only see what you've been accustomed to. It's all your upbringing. Nobody shared this message with you. Your parents didn't tell you, your gurus never told you. They didn't tell you, look at this vast Formless Awareness. Look at the true form of Sri Krishna, which is Brahman itself. They said, no, Sri Krishna is in that murtiand only in that murti. Sri Krishna is only in, in Vrindavan or whatever cooked up story they've created. Stay away from such people. They are trying to keep you compartmentalized. They want to keep you restricted. They don't want you to be free. Not at all. They want you to stay stuck, so do not be stuck. Be free. That's what Sri Krishna wants you to do. Be free. Sri Krishna says that these people will have some results due to their actions and they will be favorable because remember, the devas also are giving the offerings to Brahman. Remember, in the Upanishads, there's a whole story about it. And if you want to learn more about the Upanishads on Patreon. I am giving my thoughts on the Upanishads and right now, I'm going through the verses of the Isha Upanishad and if you want to get those episodes, sign up to the Patreon page. That's where we go even deeper. This is just the first stage, even deeper, is the Upanishads. Those who make offerings of devotion to the devas are also indirectly giving those offerings to Me. So the other way to see this as well is that the devas are also offering it to Brahman. Why not cut out the middle man? Go straight to the ultimate. Then verse 24. Indeed, I am the ultimate recipient of all sacred offerings, but those who do not consciously understand this truth must return again and take birth within matter. There's the warning. It's clear. Again, don't get stuck with the name of form of Sri Krishna because if this happens, there's no way of escaping this. Then you're gonna go perpetually into that cycle of reincarnation. Then don't come back and say, I, I didn't get this message. You got the message loud and clear. We're gonna look at the whole verse. He says, he's the ultimate recipient of all sacred offerings because this Brahman is the sacred offering itself. Obviously everything you offer is its own self. You are offering Brahman to Brahman and you are Brahman who is offering. When you realize this, it all becomes clear. The truth is so clear and in your face it's unbelievable but the sad thing is there are a lot of people who look at the words who do not consciously understand this truth, consciously, deliberately, they don't understand this truth. What's worse is that some people consciously teach you the wrong thing, teach you the wrong interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita. ISKCON is the number one of those teaching the wrong things of the Gita. Wrong interpretation, changing even the words in the Gita. This level of nonsense, this level, this is a crime. This is a massive paap in spirituality. It is an activity that will cause endless suffering. Hence, you'll keep coming back again and again on this planet. You'll have to return on the earth. There are only a few who are telling this message loud and clear, only a few. Literally, I've watched so many interpretations of the Gita, read so many interpretations. Only a few are giving this type of message that don't come back on this earth. Don't go to devaloka, go to Nirguna Brahman. Go to awareness itself. Don't go to Sri Krishna, the name and form that people are worshiping in temples or in their homes. Worship the real Sri Krishna that is Formless Awareness. Only a few are given this, and it's a shame. It's not a good thing, actually. It's a shame. Why am I getting worked up about this is because I don't actually want people to be in suffering. It's, there's no point. If there is a medicine that can relieve you of all illnesses, why would you not take that medicine? And if you have that medicine, why would you not offer it to others? The worst is, that the people who misinterpret the Gita, they are turning that medicine into poison. And that's the sad thing. Do not fall under any trap and go towards this Nirguna Brahman, this Formless Awareness. Do not settle for anything less than that. Do not. Because this is exactly what Sri Krishna is saying. You must return again and again and take birth within matter. He's not saying it as a good thing, by the way, and whatever they return back as. Remember, it's dependent on their karma, so don't think it's gonna be amazing. Don't think you'll end up being born in some millionaire's house or even in a house of Brahm Gyanis, people who know this truth. This may not be a guarantee either. It doesn't matter what our devotional practice is, even if it's to a deva, as long as we understand that it's all going towards Brahman and we know what Brahman is and we are entertaining just a part of Brahman, but we know the whole picture, that is still fine. But if we are doing vedic rituals, but we do not know Brahman, we do not know who we are offering all this to. Where it's eventually leading to, then that is deep ignorance that is avidya and we will never be free. So utilize this time, read the Gita, absorb the message of the Gita, and remove the ignorance. That your jiva is this body and mind. Allow the Jiva to uncover what it really is, which is this Formless Awareness. This is the ultimate goal of what Sri Krishna is wanting to do. And this should be the ultimate goal of what you want to do. And that is the end of the episode. Do you share your thoughts for me? Do you agree with me or do you disagree? Like, let's have a discussion about this. If you disagree, I wanna know why. Because it's only when we have a conversation, we can clear up ideas, and that's the whole point of spirituality. Those that say, don't discuss, there's no questions, no doubts. They are the biggest losers in spirituality, the biggest losers, and stay away from them too. Spirituality is about discussing and letting the ideas win. That's the whole point, not some personal ego. And that is now the end of the episode. Okay. Thank you very much for listening. If you liked what you heard and liked what you watched, 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 we discussed earlier, do check out the podcast Patreon page. Your support means everything, and it helps this podcast keep running. Details are in the show notes and video description below. Please do rate this podcast five stars and do give a review either on your favorite podcast, streaming app or on our website. Details are in the show notes and video description below. Please do like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Do follow or subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening to this episode. Let's end with the Shanti mantra and the Soham mantra. Soham Soham. I am That. I am That. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum Peace Peace Peace Namaste.