Gita Study Nov 8 Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar


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Gita Study Nov 8 Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar

  1. 1. STUDY OF GITA Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar
  2. 2. November 8, 2009 11:30 am In 5th chapter the discussion begins with a doubt; about the choice between SANYASA and YOGA. I think the word SANYASA here, pertains to renunciation or asceticism; i.e. departure from all the day to day activities required for the normal social life and YOGA pertains to participation in these activities; by following SWADHARMA. Why should Arjuna repeat this question? The answer is; understanding supremacy of SWADHARMA is not adequate. Because, in spite of understanding; the inertia keeps on surfacing and prompting an individual; to escape from the worldly responsibilities giving one excuse or another. In India; there were tides of ideologies glorifying irresponsible “asceticism” from time to time. Even today, there are various breeds of “spiritualism” and “SANYASA” spreading like pandemics in the world and cause masses to move into irresponsible inaction, indolence and parasitism probably as a reaction to harrowingly and violently stressful petty pursuits.
  3. 3. Arjuna’s repetition of the question underlines the importance, span and sway of such irresponsible “asceticism”. Krishna reiterates the vital or shall we say life saving importance of SWADHARMA for individual, social and global growth and blossoming. He confirms that SWADHARMA more meritorious than “asceticism” in which one may conquer one’s petty selfishness but can succumb to the escapist, defeatist and irresponsible indolence and inertia, which drags the individuals, society and the world into abyss of misery! Krishna makes it clear that SANYASA i.e. external renunciation (due to incidental cause) is usually impulsive and not true renunciation. Such renunciation is because of repulsion for day to day activities (SWADHARMA); which appear mediocre; but can serve the purpose of blossoming one and all and engenders misery. It is true that some individuals are born more evolved than the rest and hence neither get interested nor get involved in the day to day transactions of family and society. They renounce the world and accept SANYASA just as ripe fruit falls from the tree. Some other individuals understand and realize the true
  4. 4. nature of the world through SANKHYA philosophy without going through the experiences a common goes through. Being aware of this, Krishna clarifies that we should not get enamored by the SANYASA and SANKHYA philosophy but stick to our SWADHARMA, because even as the SANYASA, SANKHYA and YOGA (SWADHARMA) look different; ultimately culminate into the same pedestal of cosmic consciousness! Having said this Krishna elaborates the sublime characteristics of practitioner of SWADHARMA, which elevates the individual in a blissful state that is beyond physiological boundaries and beyond all petty and subjective considerations of life! 4:30 pm In 3rd chapter it is stated that one who cooks and eats merely for his petty pleasures (which are actually detrimental to his blossoming) is a thief. This is a very important aspect of Gita.
  5. 5. Gita encourages individuals to be active physically, instinctually, emotionally and intellectually and according to one’s capabilities and skills, but with the goal getting freed from the subjectivity and merging with the cosmic consciousness. Gita states that one should never dissuade (which is referred to as BUDDHIBHEDA) any other person from his or her activities of livelihood such as crafts, arts and other skilled and productive activities; and in fact encourage and try to do all such activities in life; but with the sole aim of conforming to the absolute truth. Krishna reiterates this even in 5th chapter. The 6th chapter Krishna reinforces this point and describes certain ways by which man can merge with the objective reality. He therefore makes it clear right in the beginning that any one who works without attachment to the results, is a SANYASI and also a YOGI and not the one who does not do his duties as prescribed by the scriptures (with the intention of individual and global blossoming). Just as he imparts the insight in SANYASA by pointing out the dangers of inaction and indolence
  6. 6. and importance of getting rid from the results, he also espouses and elucidates the nature of YOGA (which means all activities done to merge with the absolute); in the sense that YOGA is impossible in presence of SANKALPA i.e. subjective (erroneous) projections or utopia! You can imagine that SANKALPA or individual or subjective goals act as leakages and hinder the merger of individual consciousness with the absolute consciousness! It is exactly like leakages in the pipes through which you cannot pump water to higher floors. Even though these concepts pertain to individual and global blossoming, they also make sense in day to day activities. Thus if you don’t depend on results you can avoid self destructive responses (out of excitation or depression) to results. But it has to be appreciated; that in everyday life action is usually associated with results. Thus some understanding and anticipation of results is bound to be there and has to be there, so that you can perform the action elegantly and diligently. Gita upholds such continued improvement in technique and does not contradict such anticipation; on which your feelings don’t depend!
  7. 7. 07:00 pm There are many postures, mudras, pranayamas etc apart from proper nutrition, sleep etc. which are important aspects of life, which ought to be cultivated right from childhood, so that YOGA becomes possible. Krishna does not elaborate in details on this, but suffice it to say that once the goal viz. self realization is identified and given topmost priority and importance, then one can adopt suitable techniques according to one’s physical and social environment, conducive to reach the goal! Krishna reassures Arjuna (and everyone) that dedication and consistent study and practice of make YOGA possible. Krishna also maintains that even if an individual loses his body before reaching the goal, his efforts are never wasted and realizes the YOGA i.e. self realization in the next birth, adorned with the necessary qualities. Krishna also clarifies the importance of YOGA in terms of actual practice (which seems to alter the physiology rather than mere reading and understanding) and further emphasizes the importance the focus on the goal viz. self realization
  8. 8. i.e. complete submission of the subjectivity to Krishna i.e. objective or cosmic consciousness. 10:00 pm It is easy to understand how this would have far reaching and beneficial impact on the world in terms of perspective, policies, plans and implementation; for individual and global blossoming, which is imperative today, because; no individual nation can grow or perish in isolation, without beneficial or adverse impact on the other nations; for long period. The practical relevance of this is on policy making. For example, global reduction in the production of two wheelers and small cars; in preference to mass transport vehicles such as buses, has impact on global environment, fuel consumption, traffic jams, accidents, pollution, wearing out of roads, crowding of local trains (in metros) and so on. If principles of Gita (the essential nutrients for individual and global blossoming) are imbibed and digested by decision makers of the world, then such globally beneficial policies can emerge in all the fields of life.
  9. 9. In 7th chapter Krishna reveals his omnipresent nature to Arjuna and indicates how only few realize this nature and how others do not! He explains that he is the light beyond the physical light and remains unseen by eyes!! In tune with 6th chapter, where he says that you i.e. your higher self has emancipate yourself (your lower self) and not allow your lower self to perish.