New Study Of Gita Nov 12 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar


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New Study Of Gita Nov 12 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar

  1. 1. STUDY OF GITA Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar Nov 12, 2009 12:10 pm
  2. 2. While studying Gita one doubt used nag me from time to time. Why could not Gita create an ideal society? If we carefully understand the purport of Gita we begin to realize that an individual with a vision of “ideal society” is also a creation of the absolute consciousness and the people opposing this are also, creation of the same cosmic consciousness. Thus an individual develops intense motivation to change the society for better and make it just, as a result of several biochemical reactions in his/her body, which in turn are result of causes hidden in further past. These activities keep going on irrespective of one’s volition. This means, the objectives or aims of an individual are themselves not “his or hers”! So if the aims or ideals do not belong to you, what sense does it make to expect Gita to fulfill those aims or ideals as per your time frame? Secondly the universe, if we observe, is never static. It keeps changing. Thus every molecule and atom is undergoing change. Every organism and individual, in terms of body and mind; also is undergoing change. Every society also in terms of its inhabitants; its life style; and its nature; is undergoing change. So how can anybody expect Gita to create “unchangeable ideal society”?
  3. 3. In fact, Gita enlightens us with this wisdom and hence acts like sun, illumining the inner space of individuals for millennia. Gita is like infinite source enlightenment (beyond space and time). From time to time and through ages this enlightenment manifests in appropriate individuals and (through that person); the masses. But as the individual and the society are replaced, by next generation, the void is created and the spirit of Gita has to reappear, re-manifest! This cycle goes on. It is therefore important to realize that Gita blossoms us individually and globally; but not coercively and arbitrarily or in a regimentalized fashion. Also, Gita spirit keeps reincarnating as and when there is a need because there can not be anything like permanently ideal state of a society. So Gita teaches us to perform SWADHARMA with full involvement and ecstasy; without expecting anything; especially “a permanently ideal society”. The absolute consciousness or the spirit of Gita is bound to take care of the present and the future from time to time and our pleasant duty (SWADHARMA) is to study, realize and share the enlightenment of Gita with others. The individual and global blossoming are bound to manifest through this enlightenment as the spring comes!
  4. 4. Another point is, the reason; why we are advised not to expect with deep sense of attachment, is; the world keeps on changing; beyond our subjective concepts and even if it were to change exactly according to our expectation precisely, still we would never be permanently happy because we ourselves are changing individuals! Whatever we expect is also changeable and hence can never give us lasting satisfaction. This is exactly why Gita assures that the enlightenment is bound to re-express itself again and again whenever there is need. So Gita teaches us to not merely enjoy the struggle of life, but she teaches us to enjoy it like a sport, in which we pass on the mantle to the next partner! So it is inappropriate to expect creation of so called ideal society! It is like expecting Sun to provide money! With reference to above understanding of impermanence and realization of the transient nature of existence, of our body, society and the universe; sometimes we tend to get depressed (because of the attachment resulting from habituation that we have for our body and the environment), by the thought of quitting them! This depression leads withdrawal from the struggle. All struggles appear meaningless as they appeared to Arjuna. But even we get dragged by this (insurmountable?) feeling of are not participating in the life struggles (war!), it won’t be possible for us, because of being in; inescapable physiological environment and individual consciousness, in
  5. 5. which a variety of biochemical and biophysical activities are bound to take place; whether we wish or not! Escape is impossible and involvement in them is inevitable! Hence in 2nd chapter and latter in 18th chapter, Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to follow SWADHARMA, which extracts the immortal principle beyond time from this passing body and universe! Hence it is also said that don’t worry about tomorrow. Just follow your SWADHARMA and for exactly identify and realize your SWADHARMA; you can take the help of (16th chapter) scriptures and/or through practice NAMASMARAN; from your inner voice. That makes study of Gita and sharing it with others a matter of great opportunity and ecstatic privilege. Even as our bodies are bound to perish and our society to metamorphose, we have the opportunity to practice SWADHARMA and share our convictions (and immortal essence) with others. With reference to verses in some chapters, such as 3rd, 7th, 9th, 14th, 16th, I used to wonder, how inspite of reputation of Gita as the propounder of ultimate truth, there could be people not following the precepts of Gita, go through the fate described in Gita? Why they are not persuaded or converted or changed by Gita? The answer to this question also is not very different.
  6. 6. The individuals all over the world; though belong to the same specie Homo sapiens; are different in terms of their constitutions and their environments. Just as sunlight can be troublesome to photophobic individual, Gita can be discomforting and disagreeable to some individuals; due to their peculiarities. Hence just as there can not be a permanently satisfactory ideal society, there cannot be a permanent and universal agreement on Gita. I learnt that even if there is absolute truth in Gita, it can not manifest in every heart, though one can keep sharing it as a part of one’s SWADHARMA. Individual and global blossoming would keep on manifesting appropriately as and when the time ripens though not permanently; and though not in exactly the same manner as we anticipated! Sharing the spirit of Gita; even while studying; has the advantage that those who are beginners get the advantage of senior student’s experience! Those who don’t know Gita get introduced to her. Thus the percentage of students of Gita multiplies. This blossoms the individuals and the society; for that age or period! At the end of 7th and beginning of 8th chapter; there is mention about (KSHARA) ADHIBHOOT, (PURUSHA) ADHIDAIVA, and (SWABHAVA) ADHYATMA, (AKSHARA) BRAHMA, ADHIYAJNA (AHAM) and (VISARGA) KARMA.
  7. 7. ADHIBHOOT is a perishable aspect of universe including human beings. Individual consciousness or the unchanging vitality is called PURUSHA (In Ayurveda, referring to individual case; this is called CHIKITSA PURUSHA). The essence of the intricate relationships between control systems and the functions and the mechanisms are called SWABHAVA or ADHYATMA. It is “physiology” of nature (Actually physiology means study of nature if one refers to the word in Greek)! ADHIYAJNA is Lord Krishna i.e. cosmic consciousness that illumines everything and everybody. VISARGA is also called KARMA which is nothing else but the appearance (manifestation) and dissolution of universe in the consciousness. This concept is somewhat similar to manifestation and dissolution of our subjective world according to the evolution of our consciousness! AAKSHARA is called BRAHMA. The substratum of or backdrop of eternal consciousness that encompasses from in and out the whole universe, space and time is called AKSHARA (BRAHMA). Thus to him or her, whose consciousness merges with absolute consciousness, the whole universe appears to be but a reflection!
  8. 8. This explanation pertains to holistic conceptualization of individual and universal existence. The semantics vary from different schools of thought. Hence my interpretation may not be exact like mathematical calculations. But the essence is that; one, who learns about his trans-temporal essence; and relationship with the fleeting body, society, universe and a variety of physical, chemical and psychobiological activities; learns to “free the lower self” through SWADHARMA and in turn, helps others to attain the same freedom and blossom to culminate in absolute light. One of the hindrances in our blossoming through Gita; is inadvertent, impatient and desperate efforts to teach others (in spite of the learning of Gita which we have yet to assimilate). Such efforts are many times met with deceptive appreciation or adverse remarks. This can thwart the process of learning and blossoming! Hence it is said in Gita (18th chapter) that do not teach Gita (out of your obsession, ego, whims, fancies, even if they be otherwise selfless; or with any other petty purpose); to disinterested and dubious individuals. One may question, “If this is so, then why great people like Adya Shankaracharya and Dnyaneshvar wrote on Gita for the benefit of one and all?” The answer is; though many authors like Adya Shankaracharya and Dnyaneshvar wrote their invaluable commentaries on Gita for the benefit of world, they did so
  9. 9. in full concurrence with cosmic consciousness ((not out of obsession, ego, whims, fancies, even if they be otherwise selfless; or any other petty purpose). Moreover they did not impose it on any specific individual or section of people. Hence their contribution is (and should be) adored world over. In 9th chapter Lord Krishna briefly explains how He (His cosmic consciousness) manifested and absorbed the universe from time to time. He further clarifies that those whose constitutions and especially neuroendocrine systems are NOT integrated, have no inclination to devote themselves with innate feelings to Lord Krishna (cosmic consciousness). They are handicapped in this sense. They can not enjoy the invigorating charm of deepest and selfless love! They may pursue petty goals and may achieve them successfully if time is favorable; and lose in such pursuits; when time is unfavorable but suffer in both cases due to pettiness. However, those who get the taste of Lord Krishna (cosmic consciousness) fall in His love. They live in full consonance and care of the absolute truth. They do not get harassed or entangled by petty problems. In 9th chapter Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna that all those who worship different deities (out of ignorance and for personal gains) also reach him, in the course of time.
  10. 10. He asks Arjuna therefore to get emotionally attached to his higher consciousness i.e. Lord Krishna (cosmic consciousness); rather than getting dragged into petty pursuits. The verse towards the end; in 9th chapter referring to women, VAISHYA and SHUDRA may give impression that it is derogatory to these groups. But that is not so. There are subtle physiological differences amongst different people and males and females; due to variations in hormones, sex hormones, neuro hormones, predominance of right or left brain, other aspects neurological development, influences of conditioning (causing differences in memory, linguistic skills, mathematical skills, capacity to visualize, capacity to discern notes of music, ability to read in between the lines, thinking non sequentially, aggressiveness, submissiveness, calculative capacity, skills in handicrafts, analysis and so on). These differences do not indicate inequality (in exploitative spirit) but merely differences. Lord Krishna says these qualities indicate aptitude and proficiency in a particular field; but every possible quality has access to the spirit and benevolence of Gita. While writing this, I came across sudden financial difficulties. The recovery agents from bank came home and discussed the matter. All the philosophy seemed to be redundant and useless. Everything seemed to revolve around money. I seemed to
  11. 11. be a helpless creature, worse than someone knowing nothing about Gita. I developed pity for myself. But within few minutes, the grace of Lord Krishna (cosmic consciousness) engulfed my consciousness and made me realize that this incident itself (and such innumerable incidents) is “a miniaturized version of war in Gita” and has to be participated triumphantly and conquered! I realized that writing on Gita; has to be coupled with actual mastery over and detachment from dragging impact of feelings of self respect, family relations, financial risks and public reputation and even life! That is the spirit of Gita! I got back overcame my disturbance and decided to write; come what may! I realized that; being unshakable and dignified in NAMASMARAN i.e. in the essence of Gita; irrespective of anything and everything; is SWADHARMA for me (and possibly for everyone). Thus it would be clear that; I am continuing to learn and follow SWADHARMA; every new moment! I have also begun to realize that this quality of being firmly positioned in NAMASMARAN i.e. in the precise purport of Gita; is extremely useful for blossoming individual and universe especially if acquired by people involved in leadership of different types and management in different fields. Nov 12, 2009, 8:45 pm At the end of 9th chapter, and in the beginning of 10th chapter Lord Krishna assures Arjuna that irrespective of
  12. 12. any vices and/or sins the individual gets freed; through devotion for Him. He also says this in 18th chapter. How to reconcile this assurance with the notion that good deeds yield good results and bad deeds yield bad results? Is it not contradictory? Does it not contradict the expectation of justice in society? I used to really get perplexed by such statements in many other hymns also. But now it appears, that what ever is visible; is only superficial and hence partial truth and not necessarily a complete one. So condemning some one as criminal can be fallacious. Similarly the connection with Lord Krishna i.e. cosmic consciousness is never apparent. Hence even if an individual appears to be a sinner or a criminal, he could get emancipated instantly through his connection (which may not be apparent); with cosmic consciousness. If we appreciate this, then it would actually help our legal system to evolve; from callous, irrelevant and lopsided and unjust pedantic arrogance; to enlightened holistic perspective and structuring of laws and their administration; closer to natural justice! In individual life this is important as it can take away the burden of being judgmental from our head reduces the nuisance of our ignorance to others!
  13. 13. It is necessary however to also appreciate that Gita certainly does not undermine the role of ethics and decency required in healthy social harmony and dynamics and hence advices to follow scriptures (or inner voice of NAMASMARAN). At the end of 9th chapter; Arjuna (and we) probably becomes conversant with the life struggle and how to focus on the absolute truth common to individual existence and the universe. But since Lord Krishna has described SWADHARMA through 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th chapters; and one’s position in cosmic dynamics and the cosmic consciousness in 7th and 8th chapters, and since in 9th chapter, Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to devote to Him (cosmic consciousness); Arjuna has a question about Lord Krishna’s cosmic nature; and how to worship or devote this cosmic nature of Lord Krishna. 10th and 11th chapters depict of this cosmic nature of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna elaborates how He is the root cause or seed of the seen, unseen, and conscious, subconscious and unconscious universe. He further assures that He enlightens the seekers of truth; who are completely consumed and hence keep interacting intensely about the truth i.e. Lord Krishna; in ecstasy!
  14. 14. Lord Krishna then describes various components of universe, which broaden and expand one’s vision, paradigm and perspective to become as objective as possible. In 11th chapter, there is actually VISHVARUPADARSHANA. This means Arjuna is given special eyesight on the basis of his preparation in 10th chapter, and actually shown the infinite nature of Lord Krishna. Obviously; this “seeing” is not actual seeing by visual system, but through opening up of the consciousness of Arjuna. This is why Arjuna “sees” the future fate of warriors. This vision is mind boggling! Arjuna is afraid of this sight because this requires disappearance of the subjectivity which is like death itself! Arjuna therefore requests Lord Krishna to appear in front of him as a human body. This is a very important point of transition from focusing and worshipping the cosmic formless reality to focusing on the human form of the Lord, which is relatively easier because you can allow the subjectivity to gradually disappear. This is the reason and basis; of why most of the saints and scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavatam advice common men to worship God in form and practice NAMASMARAN,
  15. 15. which is the subtlest non visual, non olfactory, non gustatory (in short non sensory) form of the Lord! It (NAMAMSMARAN) trans sensory or supra sensory and hence; when practiced by an individual; can at best; be barely “heard” by his inner sense of hearing, which is quite unlike the “hearing” of sounds produced outside.