New Study Of Gita Nov 4 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar


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New Study Of Gita Nov 4 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar

  1. 1. STUDY OF GITA Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar
  2. 2. November 4, 2009, 10:30 am GURURBRAHMA GURURVISHNUH GURURDEVO MAHESHVARAH GURUH SAKSHAT PARABRAHMA TASMAISHRI GURAVE NAMAH I salute my Guru, who is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh called Gunamaya i.e. the penultimate truth; and the Parabrahma; i.e. the ultimate truth. It gives me great pleasure to share these experiences and perceptions of my study of Bhagavad Gita. Obviously; this is neither a translation nor a commentary. I may not call this an interpretation also. This is simply, a sharing of my experiences and perceptions of Bhagavad Gita! For the sake of simplicity, henceforth I am going to refer her as Gita. It was in early childhood that I used to hear some chapters such as 15th; being recited by my brothers and sister. During our school days I remember to have learnt some shlokas from Gita Dhyana and some shlokas from Gita proper. But I don’t remember the details. After this brief encounter, all that I heard during my medical college days, from leftist friends was not in favor of Gita. But what I heard from many others was high acclaim for Gita.
  3. 3. But somehow I was involved in many things other than Gita and probably kept on groping in the dark for quite some time. May be, this was because study of Gita did not seem to have application in medical profession or social development; or because study of Gita wasn’t thought very important by leaders in different fields. Most importantly, study of Gita was not promoted enough by the local, municipal, state and central governments; in India; to attract majority of people and especially young minds! Study of Gita was not associated with any apparent or tempting incentive! I must appreciate however; that there have been many voluntary groups trying to spread the study and message of Gita all over the world, even though I had not come in their contact or influenced by their activity! But after coming to Mumbai, flame of curiosity was ignited and interest in Gita was aroused, probably because I had begun to revisit the Vishnusahasranam and Namasmaran, or may be because I was becoming increasingly aware of my inadequacies. Apparently it was also because; I wanted to study something world famous and ultimate in every sense; so as to boost my ego! Hence I began the study of Gita. But now it appears that there was much more to it than this. Whether I studied Gita or Gita herself made me study her, is a moot question and I feel; the latter may be truer.
  4. 4. When I seriously began to study Gita; about twenty years ago, I found many contradictions in her. For example, in 4th chapter, Lord Krishna says in the same verse, (Chaturvarnayam maya srustam…) that he created four VARNAS and also; he did not create them! Also, even as Lord Krishna advocates the war (Tasmat uttishtha Kaunteya yuddhaya kruta nishchaya…2nd chapter, nirashi nirmamo bhootva yuddhaya kruta nishchaya… 3rd chapter, Yadahankarmashritya na yotsya iti…..18th chapter), he also upholds nonviolence and control of mind in most of the chapters e.g. (Ahimsa satyamakrodham.. 16th chapter, Moodhagrahenamatnoyat …17th chapter, ) as a virtue. Similarly, Lord Krishna disapproves Arjuna’s arguments in 1st chapter about VARNA SANKAR, which means indisciplined and unrestricted marriages directed by mere attraction; in different groups, (Ashochyanaiva shochastvam prajnya vadanscha bhashase.. .2nd chapter) he uses the same argument (Yadi hyaham na varteyam …and utside yurime lokam… 3rd chapter). In 2nd chapter his argument (Akeertin cha pi bhootani…, Bhayat ranat uparatam…, Awacchya vadanscha bahoon…. etc) about “what people would say”, appears to be too superficial and not enlightening or philosophical (Please refer; page 121). One can quote many such contradictions and uninteresting arguments as examples; but that is not the purpose of this
  5. 5. writing. The purpose of this writing is; to share my amazing experiences and exciting changes in my perceptions of Gita and myself; as I went on studying Gita, inspite of the contradictions and uninteresting arguments! Why did I continue my study of Gita inspite of the contradictions and uninteresting arguments? Why did I go ahead even further to byheart her? The reason why I kept on studying and by hearting Gita in spite of the contradictions was; I sensed that there was something in Gita, which I was not able perceive. This sensing of something; which I was not able to perceive, kept on haunting me. I sensed that it was so precious that I could not resist myself! This was like searching of secret treasure; inspite of difficulties and dangers! That sensation of something imperceptible in Gita kept on propelling me from within also! It was as if I was possessed by this sensation in and out! In addition, I realized that I needed to correlate the shlokas or verses in different chapters so as to extract deeper meaning. This required; that I remembered the verses from different chapters, so as to contemplate on the vast canvas of all 700 verses at any given point of time. This was the only way to possibly resolve the contradictions; even while traveling or walking and without having to refer a book! So I started the uphill task of by hearting Gita even I do not have very good memory!
  6. 6. But frankly speaking, even as I am giving these apparently logical explanations, I had not quite understood why I kept on reciting and by hearting Gita, obsessively inspite of the contradictions! It appears now, that Gita herself consumed my consciousness, without me being aware of it and kept on absorbing; my being in her! Another reason for the persistence; (inspite of pains and agonies of frequent and serious disagreements); which was beyond my desire or voluntary will, may be that; study of Gita has the roots in my previous birth. This study may be a continuation of what was left half way; in the last birth! You may believe and appreciate this or discard as a flight of imagination! I leave it to your own perceptions and experiences! But life actually encompasses the births and deaths and hence called ANUBANDHA and NITYAGA i.e. linked up and continuous! The continuity is evident in such phenomena. In the process of studying Gita; the thought to share my understanding used be very predominant. This may be a reaction of the excitement I derived from time to time from Gita or it may be because I thought; I have something to offer to the society! For this reason; I had tried to write on Gita about ten to twelve years back, but later I stopped halfway; as I was not quite satisfied and was not at ease;
  7. 7. with my own interpretations, contentions and explanations, which appeared circular to me! Not that I am sharing now, because I can claim to have understood Gita completely, but because, I am convinced that Gita enlightens us for the journey; that starts with ignorance, individuality; and timed mortal existence; and heads towards the destinations of self realization; universality and trans-temporal immortal consciousness; respectively! At this juncture I see; that Gita deals with; 1) Molecular activities 2) Individual activities including various physical, instinctual, emotional and intellectual activities 3) The relationship of these with the society and universe and 4) The relationship of all these with past, present and future; and the all encompassing cosmic consciousness i.e. the nature of our cosmic being. Gita deals with the principles involved in what happens in a molecule, in a cell, in an individual, in a society, and in universe, every moment; and from all eternity to all eternity. Gita deals with; not the drudgery of enumeration and description of irrelevant peripheral details, but with the intricate principles involved in the intermolecular interactions to inter-moment interactions, interpersonal interactions, international interactions and interactions at all the levels of consciousness. This may be termed cosmic dynamics or cosmic orchestra; including the role of an individual blossoming in it!
  8. 8. I have realized that I may not understand Gita, I may misunderstand Gita or I may partially understand Gita. In any case it is useful; because; with the study of Gita, there starts the exciting voyage of enlightenment and blossoming! Complete understanding of Gita is impossible, because it is trans-intellectual i.e. beyond the three levels of consciousness (SWPANA, SUSHUPTI and JAGRUTI, i.e. dream, sleep and wakefulness respectively) and four modes of communication (VAACHA) viz. PARA, PASHYANTI, MADHYAMA and VAIKHARI, i.e. roughly speaking; communication from the root of one’s existence without articulation(umbilical area), the primitive instincts communication (precoridal area), autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine system (throat) and communication as articulated and spoken through central nervous activity (tongue, lips, palate etc) respectively. These modes of communication seem to express different levels of genuinity and varying distance from the objective truth. However, even if I don’t understand Gita, due to above reason; I have the freedom and opportunity to keep on studying Gita and merge with cosmic consciousness to the extent possible! I have the freedom to be empowered in the course of time; sufficient enough to relinquish at appropriate time; “my” then redundant; intellectual, instinctual, emotional and instinctual frameworks, material possessions and my body, happily and victoriously! This is akin to a blossoming flower; that emanates its pleasant
  9. 9. fragrance (without reservations and any kind of pain or discomfort whatsoever) or a ripe fruit that drops from the tree! Now before I go ahead, I must state here, that NAMASMARAN enabled the much necessary inner propulsion for continued study and “understanding” Gita to the extent possible; and Gita provided the paradigm shift and strong and stabilizing conceptual foundation that made it possible to adhere to apparently meaningless and unglamorous activity of NAMASMARAN! But most importantly it is the cosmic consciousness (Guru) that has made all this; i.e. study of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN possible! I am glad that it has been uploaded for free download and is being shared with millions, WITHOUT the delay caused by various formalities involved in printing, publishing transportation, shipment, marketing of hard copies (paper editions) due to several factors such as motivation, interest, involvement of the printers, publishers and the people involved in marketing and sale; of hard copies,! I am also glad that this electronic publication is independent of any influence of sympathetic charity, donations, sponsorship. This is what I call the grace of God or the benevolence of the cosmic consciusness! In as much as I don’t want to keep any copyrights; so that anybody in the world; could utilize these shared perceptions freely, I would also like to clarify that; just as well meaning use of these would aid in imminent
  10. 10. universal blossoming; the plagiarism of this material in any form with vested interests and mercenary motives; would prove detrimental to the plagiarists and their readers; and hence to everyone. November 4, 2009, 4:30 pm. Amidst the cacophony of needs, wants, passions, infatuations, goals, dreams and aspirations, which I was conscious of, there was; in addition; an inexplicable and subconscious undercurrent that seemed to give incomprehensible twists and turns to my life; often beyond my tolerance and forbearance, stirring me from deep within! Added to all this was; the challenge of study of Gita! But even as it appeared to create turmoil within my intellectual and emotional framework; I could not get rid of it, till today, due to the possible reasons mentioned earlier! It is just in recent times that I have started appreciating that Gita has the nectar of immortality that is beyond individual consciousness. But till recently; I felt that Gita (who kills one’s subjectivity), imparted a dying experience! This is why at earlier stages I felt it was terribly frightening to study and internalize Gita! But even then, Gita immersed me in herself! In past, I used to sometimes worship Gita and sometimes contradict her; without seriously studying! I often merely
  11. 11. used some quotations from Gita for proving my point and to impress the audience and feel good with myself. During my study in college and medical college I used get enamored by unusual terminology and bombastic uncommon words and feel elated. Many a times quoting Gita, added to this elation! But now I know that I was merely; getting enamored or repulsed by experiencing the periphery; similar to enjoying or hating the fruit by tasting its skin! In India, Gita is recited, chanted, by hearted by many. Earlier I thought this was stupidity or slavish mentality. At times I thought this was blind belief. But today I confess frankly that I was more immature at that time, than what I am today! Today as a student of physiology for over 30 years, I feel that Gita can especially benefit all the children in the world to develop and tone up their central nervous system (including the speech areas and speech articulation with biomedical feedback) and enhance their evolution during this life! This is true not merely for a child but for any and every person of any age in the world. This is true even if Gita is by hearted without understanding the intricacies, which one can appreciate at a later stage of development! As a student of physiology, I am also sure that; by hearting of certain facts, meaningful hymns, philosophical or scientific sutras (e.g. those from Ayurveda, Gita, and Arithmetic), without questioning; lets the child build; the
  12. 12. edifice of knowledge and then work on it. Up to a certain age there is no capacity in us to analyze and comprehend certain aspects of life and hence insistence on clarification should not be encouraged as it can act as hindrance in the learning. In fact by hearting even if the child did not understand the meaning is as essential; as feeding the baby, even if it did not understand the nutritive principles in that food! While studying Gita I realized that questions themselves should not be discouraged, but encouraged, but it must also be clear that all questions may not be answered and if answered, the answers may not be understood. Hence insistence on clarification; as a precondition to by hearting; should not be encouraged. Another point in learning Gita is; an approach with humility and patience. They are very important. Besides, hidden meanings are not understood by casual reading and/or egocentric approach under the spell of egalitarian, utopian or any such philosophical thought. Moreover; Gita can not be appreciated if we are already prejudiced by individualistic trends or socialistic dogmas; hidden under the guise of analytical fervor and/or scientific temper. Patience (which is born from honesty, commitment and readiness to go beyond individual subjectivity and paradigms of every kind sometimes called SHRADDHA)
  13. 13. opens the doors to enlightenment and blossoming at individual and global levels! Now I realize that study of Gita can empower a serious student of Gita to live with unconditioned acceptance, love and respect for every moment and situation, and work in consonance with nature; to one’s complete fulfillment and greatest satisfaction. Gita enables one to blossom in such a way, that subjectivity gets shed off smoothly; while global unity and harmony begin to pulsate in one’s heart! It is worthwhile to share with you here; that today I feel that; opportunity to study Gita is a one of the greatest treasure in my life for me. November 4, 2009 9:45 pm. During my first few years of study of Namasmaran, Vishnusahasranama and Gita, I was instinctively or intuitively convinced that the essence of these teachings was not at all in opposition to the idea of social justice and material abundance; explicit in socialistic and leftist way of thinking. I felt strongly; that inequality and exploitation were aberrations; and in no way; teachings of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN (as sometimes thought even by me). I sensed the essence of Gita and Vishnusahasranam and the NAMASMARAN embodied the
  14. 14. spirit; unifying the essence of the leftists, rightists, believers, nonbelievers and all others! When it became clear that being not equal can mean; merely being different and complementary (and not necessarily unequal in the sense of constituting antagonistic relationship of exploiter and exploited); I took it upon myself to clarify the essence to myself further and share it with others. Because I had in myself, all the elements; (like in the outside society) which were overwhelmed by superficiality, pettiness, prejudice and ideological adamancy. Hence I was possessed by only one question: How to see more clearly and then show that essence of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN is the key to blossoming of all, irrespective of their identity viz. atheist, leftists, Hindus, non-Hindus, and others belonging to different cultural and socioeconomic groups? I had sensed, as mentioned earlier, that Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN had the best from capitalist or individualistic doctrines in terms of individual blossoming and the best of Marxist, leftist, socialist or communist doctrines in terms of global blossoming and welfare of all; and unite all streams in the society! So, from this point of view, I wrote my comments or interpretations on Gita and Vishnusahasranam and Namasmaran, so as to highlight the innate unity and bring
  15. 15. everyone together, irrespective caste, creed, religion and even socioeconomic group! But as the time passed, I started realizing that even though my efforts were honest (according to me), they were subjective and incomplete. They did not convey absolute or objective truth and hence, did not match the demands of the time! But having not understood this enigma; I was really frustrated. I didn’t quite understand the subtle difference between subjective and objective perspectives. I was unable to see how my efforts; admired by most readers; could apparently make no impact (in terms of socio cultural and politico economic conditions, to my satisfaction) on myself and the society! In spite of my frustration, I still felt quite strongly that the convictions if real; then must blossom the universe in every possible way at some point of time. So I was not too much vagrant or did not go too astray! Gradually I began to realize that, even as my conviction was correct according to me, it was useless and/or counterproductive to simply despise my own short comings! This amounted to being suicidal, i.e. violent to me! It was also inappropriate to hate the shortcomings of the others. Because, that is being in a subtle way, violent to others! Thus, I stopped despising what ever was being marketed under the guise of spiritualism, socialism and other brands!
  16. 16. I realized that there was no sense in getting frustrated, feeling guilty, accepting defeat or blaming the so called “spiritual” or so called “revolutionary” activities of theists, spiritualists, atheists, leftists, secular and other activists and theoreticians (of which I was also a part at one point). I also found no sense in feeling sad about the misinterpretations of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN by their worshippers and misinterpretations of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN by their detractors (because I was a party to this also!). I realized that, what is required, is blossoming together and empowering one another; through the study and practice of Gita, Vishnusahasranam and NAMASMARAN respectively. I thought this would assist us to grow from within and actualize intellectual, emotional, instinctual and physical actions; in terms of globally nurturing policy making, planning, administration and implementation and engender individual and global blossoming!