Bagawat Geeta, Class 16
Gita, Chapter # 2, Samkhya Yoga:
Swamiji starts off by refreshing our memory of last week’s talks and specifically Shlokas 14 and 15. Sri Krishna wants to solve Arjuna’s sorrow and wants him to fight the dharma adharma yudham. He teaches a philosophical approach consisting of Atma Anatma Viveka, a Dharmic approach consisting of Dharma and Adharma and lastly the worldly or Laukika approach. At any level you still have to fight, he tells Arjuna.
Shlokas 12 through 25 deal with philosophical approach. Here he discusses the real nature of Atma. Atma is an Akartha and an Abhoktha. Hence, you are not fighting nor are you a killer. Similarly neither Bhishma nor Drona are being killed. Giving example of a wave, when you look at a wave in the ocean, from the standpoint of the wave, it has
got birth as well as death but if you see the essential nature of the wave, i.e. water, from the standpoint of water, it is neither born nor it gets destroyed. Giving another example, a desk has got a beginning and it has got an end. But once you learn to look at it as a wood, then even when the desk is destroyed, the wood continues to exist. Therefore, Arjuna, there is no killer and there is no killed. This is the philosophical angle and hence, Sri Krishna says Atma is eternal. Eternal means it was in the past, it is in the present, and it will be in future as well.
In Shloka 14 Sri Krishna says the Anatma is subject to change. Body mind complex cannot expect immortality. Swamiji says, once the Kaya Kalpam process was considered able to make the body immortal. The reality is, the authors of Kaya Kalpa themselves are dead.
In USA attempts are being made to preserve the dead body with the hope that one day science can bring the body back to life. He says, body has come from Pancha Bhuthas and has to go back to them. Therefore Anatma is ephemeral. So, Arjuna, change your attitude. Accept, that in Anatma everything has to go. For this, Titiksha or mental strength is required. Pray for sahana shakthi to accept arrivals and departures. Without Titiksha, Brahma Gyanam and Moksha are not possible. (Shloka # 15). Such a person is known as Dhiraha. Dhiraha does not mean
courageous but discriminating one. One who knows what to accept and what not to accept. As somebody has said:
A Dhirhaha is not irritated by the changing world. Arrival is welcome and departure is not resisted. Such a person is Samaha. Such a person enjoys a mind for philosophical inquiry. An irritated mind cannot probe the truth regarding self.
When Sri Krishna says Saḥa, he means a tough mind, which has got a shock absorber. We have the option of filling all potholes on the road to make it smooth or we can fit the vehicle with a shock absorber. This may be a better approach, as it is difficult to fill all potholes on the road. So, a shock absorber in your mind is a better solution, as it will help manage one’s reaction much better. With this, our anger intensity is less, as is its duration. Even in an evolved person anger does come, but he recovers from it very quickly. In a lower person the anger remains through out the day. In the lowest person (in evolution) anger remains till death. Titiksha means ability to manage emotions.
Shloka # 16:
“ The unreal comes not into being, the real never lapses into non-being. The truth about both these has been perceived by the seers of Reality.”
Swamiji says this is one of the deepest Shlokas of the Gita. Atma is real. Anatma is unreal. Atma has independent existence. Anatma has borrowed existence. Every object has its own intrinsic nature or Swaroopam. It is its real nature, intrinsic nature, and true nature. And also every object can have certain nature which is borrowed from
outside and that borrowed nature, we will call it Incidental nature. Thus there are two natures, intrinsic nature and incidental nature. In Sanskrit, Svabhavika dharma means one’s own dharma and Agantuka dharma means one that is borrowed, or incidental nature.
Intrinsic nature is present all the time.
Incidental nature is present only temporarily.
Giving an example Swamiji says: A vessel is filled with water to make hot water. You light the fire. The vessel becomes hot. By contact, water also becomes hot. Vegetable in water also becomes hot.
Fire is hot because it is fire.
Vegetable heat is incidental as it is borrowed from water.
Water’s heat is incidental as it is borrowed from vessel.
Vessel’s heat is incidental as it is borrowed from fire.
Fire is hot because of its intrinsic property. All others are incidental and subject to arrival and departure. Whatever is
incidental is borrowed and is subject to loss.
Heat in fire is intrinsic and not subject to arrival and departure. Anything perishable is an impermanent thing and enjoys existence for a short time. This body also is impermanent. Before birth, it did not exist, after death too body will not exist. Every impermanent thing enjoys existence for some time, but not before or after.
All these impermanent things are incidental. While intrinsic nature exists forever. Therefore, all impermanent things do not have existence as their own nature. They only have a “borrowed” existence. Like a “Make up” beauty, as long as “make up” lasts, it is there. This is called Mithya or Unreal. Whereas, whatever is permanent, enjoys an intrinsic nature. It is defined as Sathyam.
Example of lump of clay converted to a pot was given. Now, there is a Pot. Pot got destroyed. Pot enjoyed “borrowed” existence from Clay. Clay alone lends existence to Pot. Clay was there before pot, even during pot’s existence and after pot broke as well.
Thus, Clay has an intrinsic nature or a permanent one. This is called Sathyam.
The pot has a borrowed existence and is hence called Mithya.
Vedanta is trying to understand Sathyam and Mithya. Thus, Atma is Sathyam Anatma is Mithya.
Swamiji says, my mind changes. Other peoples minds also change. As I love you, I may also un-love you.
Shloka # 17:
“ on the contrary, know that to be imperishable by which all this is pervaded. None can destroy that which is immutable.”
In Pot the clay is like the Atma. If pot is destroyed, Clay is not destroyed. Anatma can be and will be destroyed, while Atma will always be there. So, Arjuna, internalize this concept well. Bhishma and Drona are all Atma’s whom you cannot destroy.
This Atma pervades this whole creation. Like space, Atma is all pervading. So, how many Atma’s can be there? There is only one Atma while there are many bodies. Just as there is one space with many houses within it. Each house has space enclosed in it. Houses are counted, but not the space within them. Anatma are many and counted, but Atma is everywhere but not counted. This is the basis for our namaskara. You are really worshiping Atma. Other religions do not understand this. Even an ant and a cow have “Atma”.
Atma is Nithyaha. Atma is Satyaha. Atma is Sarvagathaha.