New Study Of Gita Nov 12 Dr. Shriniwas J. Kashalikar
Nov 12, 2009 12:10 pm
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
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
ADHIBHOOT is a perishable aspect of universe including
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
Thus to him or her, whose consciousness merges with
absolute consciousness, the whole universe appears to be
but a reflection!
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
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
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
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.
He asks Arjuna therefore to get emotionally attached to his
higher consciousness i.e. Lord Krishna (cosmic
consciousness); rather than getting dragged into petty
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
10th and 11th chapters depict of this cosmic nature of Lord
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!
Lord Krishna then describes various components of
universe, which broaden and expand one’s vision,
paradigm and perspective to become as objective as
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
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
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,
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.