Study Of Gita Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar


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Study Of Gita Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar

  1. 1. STUDY OF GITA November 4, 2009 10:30 am. Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar
  2. 2. 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. 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 truer. 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
  3. 3. 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 philosophical. 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 Gita. 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
  4. 4. 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 and experience! 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 respectively! 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 cosmic orchestra! 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
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. 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 fruit! The words of Gita are so simple that often they appeared to be ridiculously simple! I never quite understood then, why
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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 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 opportunity to study Gita is 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 the teachings of saints and philosophical literature was not in opposition to the idea of social justice and material abundance explicit in
  9. 9. 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 absolute. 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 society!
  10. 10. 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. November5, 2009 10:00 am 1st chapter 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.
  11. 11. 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 long time. 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
  12. 12. 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 better”! 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 persistently. 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!
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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 universal). 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 society.
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. straight a way proclaims the aphorism that you don’t die; in 2nd chapter! 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 their network! 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,
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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!