Study Of Gita Dr. Shriniwas KashalikarDocument Transcript
November 4, 2009
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.
Apparently I wanted to study something world famous and
ultimate in every sense; and 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
When I seriously began to study Gita; about twenty years
ago, I found many contradictions in her.
For example, in 4th chapter, Krishna says in the same verse,
(Chaturvarnayam maya srustam…) that he created four
VARNAs and also he did not create them. Also, even as
Krishna advocates the war (tasmat uttishtha kaunteya
yuddhaya kruta nishchaya…2nd chapter, nirashi nirmamo
bhootva yuddhaya kruta nishchaya.. 3rd chapter), he also
upholds nonviolence and control of mind in most of the
chapters e.g. (ahinsa satyamakrodham.. 16th chapter,
moodhagrahenamatnoyat …17th chapter, ) as a virtue.
Similarly, Krishna disapproves Arjuna’s arguments in 1st
chapter about VARNA SANKAR, which means
indisciplined and unrestricted marriages directed by mere
attraction; in different groups, (ashochyana va 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 (akirtim cha pi bhutani….and
bhayat ranat uparatam… etc) about “what people would
say”, appears to be too superficial and enlightening or
One can quote many such contradictions, but that is not the
purpose of this writing. The purpose of this writing is; to
share my experiences and perceptions as I went on studying
Apparently; the reason why I kept on studying and by
hearting inspite of contradictions was; I realized the need to
contemplate on the vast canvas of all 700 verses at any
given point of time and possibly resolve the contradictions;
even while traveling or walking and without having to refer
a book! But in reality, I have not quite understood why I
kept on reciting and by hearting Gita, inspite of the
contradictions! It appears now, that the light in Gita
consumed my consciousness, without me being aware of it
and kept on absorbing my being in her!
The persistence inspite of pains and agony of disagreement,
being beyond my desire or voluntary will, may be because
of the roots it has in my previous birth. All this may be a
continuation of what I had to leave half way in my last
birth. You don’t have to believe in this; but I must not
hesitate to state it! Life is ANUBANDHA and NITYAGA
i.e. linked up and continues; and the continuity is evident in
such phenomena. One may appreciate this or discard as a
flight of imagination! I leave it to one’s own perceptions
I had tried to write on Gita about ten to twelve years back,
but later I stopped as I was not quite satisfied and was not
at ease; with my own interpretations.
Now I am convinced that Gita enlightens us for the journey
that beings from ignorance, individuality and timed and
mortal existence and heads towards the self realization;
universality and trans-temporal immortal consciousness
Gita deals with various physical, instinctual, emotional and
intellectual activities at individual level, the relationship of
these with the universe and the relationship of all these with
past, present and future; and the all encompassing nature of
our cosmic being.
Gita deals with the principles involved in what happens in
an individual, society, and in universe, from all eternity to
all eternity, which may be termed cosmic dynamics or
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; that kick 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) and four modes of
communication (VAACHA viz. PARA, PASHYANTI,
MADHYAMA and VAIKHARI). However, I have the
freedom to keep on studying Gita and merge with my own
cosmic consciousness and be empowered enough to quit
“my” intellectual, instinctual, emotional and instinctual
realms, “my” material possessions and “my” body, at
appropriate time; smoothly and diligently akin to a
blossoming flower that emanates its pleasant fragrance!
Now before I go ahead, I must state here, that
NAMASMARAN enabled the much necessary paradigm
shift for understanding Gita and Gita made it possible to
adhere to apparently meaningless and unglamorous activity
such as NAMASMARAN. But most importantly it is the
cosmic consciousness (Guru) that has made all this possible
for the benefit of everyone!
I am planning to write on individual chapters as and when
it becomes feasible. But 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
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 inexplicable undercurrent that
seemed to give sometimes incomprehensible twists and
turns to my life beyond my tolerance and forbearance.
These twists and turns seemed to shake and stir me from
deep within! Study of Gita even as it appeared to create
turmoil within my intellectual and emotional framework; I
could not get rid of it, till today. This is why, I feel it has
link to my past life! The cosmic consciousness (guru) i.e.
the field; guides throughout different contingent lives.
It is just in recent times that I have started appreciating that
Gita has the nectar of immortality that is beyond individual
consciousness. But I must share with you that Gita kills
one’s subjectivity, which is like a dying experience! This is
why I felt it was brutally frightening to study and
internalize Gita! But even then, Gita immersed me herself,
which is why I feel it has link with my past life! Again, you
may not believe this!
Many worship Gita and many condemn it, but without
studying it! They merely use some quotations from Gita for
proving their point! I used to do it as well; to impress the
audience and feel good with myself. But now I know that it
is like eating and either enjoying or hating the skin of the
The words of Gita are so simple that often they appeared to
be ridiculously simple! I never quite understood then, why
Gita enjoyed such a coveted position and reigned
supremacy in world literature!
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 I confess frankly
that I was wrong.
Today I feel Gita can benefit all the children in the world to
develop and tone up their central nervous system (including
the speech areas) 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.
As a student of physiology, I am 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 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 of clarification should
not be encouraged. It can lead to arrogant and belligerent
behavior detrimental to the building of the edifice of
knowledge and grooming of any individual at any stage.
After studying Gita I realized that questions should not be
discouraged. They should always be asked. But it must also
be clear that all questions may not be answered and if
answered, the answers may not be understood. Hence
respect and patience are very important. Hidden meanings
are not understood by casual reading and/or egocentric
approach under spell of egalitarian, utopian or any such
philosophical thought. It can not be appreciated by
individualistic trends hidden under the guise of analytical
fervor and scientific temper.
Patience (which is born from honesty, commitment and
readiness to go beyond individual subjectivity and
paradigms of every kind) 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
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 opportunity to
study Gita is the greatest treasure in my life for me.
November 4, 2009
During my first few years of study of Namasmaran,
Vishnusahasranama and Gita, I was instinctively or
intuitively convinced that the essence of the teachings of
saints and philosophical literature was not in opposition to
the idea of social justice and material abundance explicit in
socialistic and leftist way of thinking. I felt that inequality
and exploitation were aberrations and not teachings of
saints and Hindu philosophy.
During those days equality meant a lot to me; because
inequality seemed to symbolize exploitation. But gradually
it became clear that being not equal can mean merely being
different and complimentary (and not necessarily unequal
in the sense of constituting antagonistic relationship of
exploiter and exploited)!
Hence I was possessed by only one question: How to show
that Hindu philosophy acceptable in the mainstream
society; is in favor of the essence of socialism and
communism in terms of welfare of all? I was obsessed by
only one concern: Showing that the philosophy of Hindu
dharma and teachings of saints advocated more appropriate,
more humane and more progressive complementarity and
so I wrote my comments or interpretations on all these with
this view in mind.
But as the time passed, I started realizing that my efforts
were honest but were subjective, incomplete and not
I was really frustrated because 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 make no impact whatsoever on the
My contention however did not dwindle. I still felt quite
strongly that real spiritualism; if it is real; then must
blossom the universe in every possible way. Gradually I
began to realize that it was useless or counterproductive to
simply despise both; my own short comings as well those
present in what ever was being marketed under the guise of
spiritualism; constituting mainly devotional songs, dances
and eating good food. There was no sense in getting
frustrated i.e. blaming myself; or accepting defeat or
blaming the “spiritual” activities, which many times were
tarnished by a variety of accusations and allegations.
What is required, is blossoming together and empowering
one another; through the study and practice of
NAMASMARAN and Gita. Everyone would then realize
that being “spiritual” in absence of global blossoming is
actually not being really spiritual but being actually
escapist and/or schizophrenic. This conviction would
enable everyone to grow from within; rather than remaining
in fool’s paradise of so called spiritualism! Such
blossoming would lead to intellectual, emotional,
instinctual and physical actions; in terms of globally
nurturing and blossoming policy making, planning,
administration and implementation would ensue.
Initially when I began to read Gita, I felt that I am reading a
story of war. I was rather put off by the list if names and
the description of conches they blew.
Later I read about the repulsion of Arjuna about the idea of
war and violence and his arguments about the disastrous
effects of war. I felt that there was nothing intellectual and
it all seemed to be too obvious to be stated.
But I kept on by hearting it apparently; as a kind of exercise
of memory and probably also to fill the void in me.
I did not quite understand the exact meaning MOHA for
Some said that Arjuna was afraid and some said that it was
his love for the family members. Some felt Arjuna was
right and some said he was wrong. But I never seem to
understand how this was related day to day life of a
common man and me.
Some said that the description of war was symbolic and
actually Gita relates to the higher self in an individual with
his lower self.
This seemed impressive but could not explain the relevance
of Arjuna’s arguments about VARNA SANKAR i.e.
haphazard and lawless marriages amongst different strata
and groups in society and their ill effects.
It seems that Gita actually deals with the individual,
existence, universe, the time and cosmic consciousness. It
also deals with different stages of human development from
SADHAKA i.e. seeker and SIDDHA i.e. enlightened
individual. It also deals with the various ways and
techniques to attain the ultimate state of liberation.
Initially I used to feel that Gita relates to individual
emancipation and hence felt that there was nothing in terms
of solution for the welfare of world. This could be because
ego; which prevented me from seeing my unity with the
universe (not necessarily unjustified or condemnable, but
not accurate either) and developed the passion and mission
born out of that ego that “I have to change the world for
Since I was expecting a kind blue print for the universal
welfare; and since I did not find it; I used to feel that Gita is
individualistic and hence of no consequences for the global
welfare. Naturally I was not quite in love with Gita. In fact
I read and studied it with reluctance and as if because
somebody was pushing me from within to study it
Due to my honest (though subjective) concern; I was
obsessed by global welfare, of which I had faint sketch in
mind. But I was neither I was finding any reflections of the
sketch in reality; nor I was completely convinced by it. I
was probably looking for clearer blueprint in Gita. But
since Gita does not give any such blueprint, I was rather
getting depressed by reading Gita. However in this turmoil
gradually began to subside when I started to realize that the
role of Gita is not to provide any blueprint but to inspire a
universal blueprint conducive to blossoming of everyone in
the world in a most democratic way!
Some people thought Gita was produced on battlefield,
some felt that it was not a creation of one individual. Some
said that many people have added different verses out of
context and relevance.
I felt that such criticism had nothing to do what I was
looking for in Gita and hence did not bother. I was not
concerned whether it was created by one or many and
whether it was narrated on battlefield or elsewhere!
Some people said that it was not proper to read Gita at
home as it leads to conflicts in home and some people said
that it was inauspicious to read it because it was read after
some one’s demise.
All these things disturbed me while studying Gita but not
enough to deter me from studying it!
I however felt that Gita was not very pleasant like a
romantic poetry and did not generate elation or ecstasy. It
seemed to ruthlessly remind unwanted, unnecessary and
unrelated questions and problems such of war and death!
Arguments that Gita preaches violence and the opinion that
it promotes inequality and exploitation appeared too
superficial based on casual reading with preformed notions.
Many people in the world alleged then and do so even
today; that; Hindu scriptures such as VEDAs, SMRUTIs
(Compilations of rules, regulations and practical techniques
for social stability, growth and harmony) advocate
inequality and exploitation. This was because of the labor
division that continued through generations, in a structured
form. It is true that various influences such as military
invasions and religious persecutions tore apart the fabric of
holistic Hindu philosophy and way of life, into arbitrary,
coercive and at times absurd traditions and conventions, but
it does not render the Hindu philosophy exploitative,
outdated and counterproductive. I began to understand the
Hindu philosophy and the revelations in the scriptures
depict the cosmic dynamics and how an individual be a part
of this eternal orchestra to his or her fullest satisfaction;
simultaneously aiding the blossoming of the universe.
Those studying it superficially could not see this potential
in the Hindu scriptures, which could rejuvenate, regenerate
and even revive the chaotic and turbulent human
civilization all over the world. I realized this sooner or
latter and felt greater and greater need to explore the heart
of Gita. I started getting as if haunted by a beautiful and
barely seen blurred picture of the core of Gita.
The Gita begins with the description of legions of Kauravas
and Pandavas on the Kurukshetra. Thus Gita directly
begins with the most crucial situation one can have in life
viz. the question of life and death.
All conflicts in life are concentrated in this situation.
Gita deals war of higher self with the lower self in an
individual, where there is too much attachment about likes
and dislikes of the lower self. This attachment is depicted
in terms of attachment (like that for suicidal and destructive
addiction) for the relatives even if they were social
psychopaths. This attachment leads to despondent retreat to
lower self and passive acceptance of and involvement in
degeneration and decay of one’s own true self (and that of
the universe). This is MOHA of Arjuna, which I guess is
common to most people in the world (which is why Gita is
The Gita simultaneously deals with the actual war also;
because it looks at the individual and society in a holistic
way. It conceives and teaches to appreciate that the
condition of war within and our response to that war;
naturally manifest in family and social life. I think, I can
appreciate this previously unpleasant but unavoidable and
eternal war within and out!
Strange though it may appear, it is true that this internal and
external war is a product of evolution! Animals have no
choice! They neither can glorify their instincts nor can they
condemn it! Neither are they endowed with the freedom to
choose indulgence or are they free to opt for abstinence!
Arjuna’s response of MOHA is a response to inner war
(that invariably manifests in the society)! Such despondent
response to the lower self of an individual is invariably
reflected in the form of retreat to the lower self of the
society i.e. psychopathic and detrimental elements in the
Gita not only depicts the individual and global
despondency; but it also depicts an intellectual explanation
and justification of such despondency in the form of
apparently sublime values and concerns. Thus Arjuna is
shown dismissing the idea of killing teachers, brothers and
other loved ones by forecasting the social holocaust in
terms of the ruining of families and the exploitation of
widows and mutilation of social discipline and harmony
leading to ill effects on the departed souls and the abyss
thereof! Thus Gita creates a strong case for individual and
social mediocrity, individualism, pettiness, gullibility,
defeatism, and despondency with intellectual explanations
and justifications, which span from individual and social
life and even life after death!
Through depicting the individual and social despondence
(represented by ARJUNA VISHADA) Gita creates a
ground for an eternal discourse to shun the individual,
social and universal tendencies to sink and decay!
Gita enters into 2nd chapter and then offers the omnipotent
and omniscient panacea (to such despondence and decay
that surfaces repeatedly in the human civilization
throughout history); from the very source of eternally
provident cosmic consciousness that rejuvenates the
mankind from millennia to millennia and time and again!
November 5, 2009; 10:00 pm, November 6, 08:20 pm
After creating a strong case for the despondence; like a
devil’s advocate; in 1st chapter; the propounder of Gita
straight a way proclaims the aphorism that you don’t die; in
This aphorism can cause a massive shock for any serious
reader and I was no exception. Isn’t it natural that normally
our mindset cannot understand, agree, believe or realize the
concept of immortality of soul? I however; kept on reading
it, but without really understanding, agreeing, believing and
of course realizing! In fact this all discussion made me feel
miserably torn in two conceptual premises!
Neither could I agree with the claim, which was beyond my
comprehension and even imagination; as I could never
imagine myself discarding my body like old clothes or in
live in absence of the body, nor could I dismiss the claim;
because I “knew” (though I had not personally realized)
that a) nothing is destroyed b) consciousness; thoughts,
feelings, time, space, energy etc do not have the same kind
of existence, birth or death and c) ‘beginning and end’ are
human concepts; derived from the limitations of
physiological state, consciousness, perceptions, thinking,
feelings and the information processing in the neurons and
Arjuna has indicated his disgust for a war that involves
killing of near and dear ones. He is selfless and has no
interest in any gains from such a war that involves shading
of blood of his teachers, brothers and other close ones. So
Arjuna is NOT afraid of war like a timid creature, but his
conscience has paralyzed him! Arjuna like any sensitive,
honest, brave and conscientious individual despised the
killing of his brothers.
I am sure that any sensitive and conscientious individual
would share the plight of Arjuna; because it results from
information processing through neuroendocrine, autonomic
and central nervous systems; and hence is universal!
But having said that; as I went on studying Gita, it started
becoming clear, that human beings are not merely
physiological; they are potentially much more than that!
But Krishna can see what others do not.
Krishna is conscious of what others are not, because he is
cosmic consciousness personified.
He is truer than honestly perceived truth by any sensitive,
intelligent and conscientious individual!
After listening to Arjuna’s plight, Krishna sees that Arjuna
is not able to see the truth beyond the sensory perceptions,
like most people in the world!
But Krishna is immortal consciousness and hence has not
hesitation in unequivocally declaring that 1. The bodies of
warring individuals were mortal, but not their soul. 2. The
apparent reality is relative in terms of beginning and end 3.
One should “see” (by evolving through the various means
described in scriptures) the core of the appearances which
is immortal, and thus remain focused on one’s duty at a
given time and in given situation. 4. This vision and
uninterrupted affiliation with it is called YOGA and 5.
Action born through such YOGA (and not through petty
considerations) is the action of highest merit of global
benefit. 6. Any one who lives in such vision and such
YOGA lives eternally and lives in peace.
I realized that as and when human consciousness
adequately blossoms in an individual, the concepts in Gita
begin to become tangible.
Only thing like me, we can still persist on the study of Gita
patiently without forcing ourselves to believe in something
that we really do not understand or agree!