Bagawat Geeta, Class 57
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 4 Sloka 10
वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः ।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ।।4.10।।
वीतरागभयक्रोधाः freed from attachment, fear and anger मन्मयाः absorbed in Me माम् Me उपाश्रिताः taking refuge in बहवः many ज्ञानतपसा by the fire of knowledge पूताः purified मद्भावम् My Being आगताः have attained.
Freed from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by the fire of knowledge, many have attained to My Being.
In Verse 10, Krishna talks about the spiritual disciplines followed by the people of the past. He talks about the various stages that one goes through.
मन्मयाः Obsessed with the thought of Me (God). Keeping Godhood as the primary goal of life. It is an obsession born out of intense yearning; the obsession is Godhood – the primary goal. From the Vedantic angle, Godhood is nothing but our own higher, superior or healthy nature. Vedanta presents God as an external goal but ultimately Godhood is my own secure, healthy, full, contended self symbolized as God. So, मन्मयाः that they are tired of their own mental sickness in the form of raga, dvesha, kama, krodha, that they want to convert that sick mind into a mind of compassion and a mind of love and security. This inner conversion is called attainment of Godhood.
This is not an easy task. No doubt your effort is a must, but it should also be backed by Ishvara anugraha. This is indicated in the words माम् उपाश्रिताः taking refuge in Me or surrendering unto Me. With determination, there is appropriate use of freewill. मन्मयाः corresponds to our freewill and माम् उपाश्रिताः corresponds to Ishvara anugraha.
Once these two are there, you are ready for the journey but what is the direction? वीत राग भय क्रोधाः you should learn to handle these inborn weaknesses that are in the form of raga, bhayam and krodha.
According to Vedanta, the world is neither a source of joy nor a source of sorrow. I, myself, am the source of joy and sorrow. An intelligent person will understand that the problem is within them and this leads to having raga and dvesha being managed. वीतः one who handles (raga and dvesha); not a slave of likes and dislikes. The first direction is to manage raga-dvesha. Convert all desires into non-binding desires. Consequent to this is भयक्रोधाः wherever there is attachment, there is fear. KrodhaH is the result of obstructed desires. The anger is directed at the person who has thwarted the desire. Anger is also directly proportional to the attachment. Raga-dvesha-krodha-bhayam all go together. The first stage in spirituality is learning to handle them. This can be handled by the wisdom of knowing that I am a contributor not a controller of future events.
If this understanding is not there, the next method is devotion or surrendering to the Lord. Oh Lord, the future is not in my control. At least give me sufficient strength to face the inevitable. As Krishna has said in Chapter 2, Verse 27, 2nd line: An intelligent person is prepared for the inevitable or choicelessness. Take the help of the Lord.
Either rely on yourself through wisdom or rely on God through surrender to handle intense attachment/hatred/fear/anger. The one who has mastered this is called वीतरागभयक्रोधाः |
Once the mind is purified and is no longer a slave of these four, it is only a pure mind. It is not yet a wise mind. Karma yoga can only give you purity but not wisdom. So, having handled the raga-dvesha of the mind, you have to separately work for knowledge. Krishna calls this ज्ञानतपस् because this is a type of austerity. To come regularly to Gita class, to remember, study and progress, etc. requires austerity.
By the practice of ज्ञानतपस् , पूताः got completely purified. Handling the raga-dvesha is only partial purification. Handling the kama-krodha is also only partial purification. You have to remove the basic impurity of self-ignorance for complete purification. Krishna says that by the practice of jnaana yoga, they rid themselves of the final layer of impurity. Grosser method is used to remove the grosser impurity and subtler method for removing the subtler impurity and the subtlest method to remove the subtlest impurity. It has to follow the stages in order.
The grossest impurity is raga-dvesha, the first layer called malam.
The subtler impurity is extrovertedness, the second layer called vikshepa.
The finest impurity is ajnaanam, the third layer called aavaranam
Malam is likes and dislikes.
Vikshepa is the wandering mind which is subtler.
Self-ignorance is the subtlest one.
We have to use three processes in the appropriate order to remove the three different types of impurities.
Karma yoga removes malam.
Upaasanam removes vikshepa.
Jnaana yoga removes aavaranam.
Therefore, बहवः ज्ञानतपसा पूताः many people have totally purified themselves by finally practicing the jnaana yoga. By removing all the impurities, they found मद्भावम् आगताः they discovered that “I minus impurities” is God. God plus impurity is I, the jeevaatma. Jeevaatma minus impurity is Paramaatma. Paramaatma plus impurity is jeevaatma.
So, Arjuna, you also have to go through these four stages:
Spiritual goal must become top priority. The material goals need not be eliminated but they should be remembered as subservient to spiritual goals. This is setting direction in life.
Resorting or taking the help of the Lord in this grand journey because you can never travel this individually. Surrender to the Lord.
Purification of the mind by reducing the impact of raga-dvesha-bhaya-krodha.
Study the scriptures and gain self-knowledge.
Arjuna, many have done this and you can too.
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 4 Sloka 11
ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् ।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ।।4.11।।
ये who यथा in whatever way माम् Me प्रपद्यन्ते approach तान् them तथा so एव even भजामि reward अहम् I मम My वर्त्म path अनुवर्तन्ते follow मनुष्याः men पार्थ O Partha सर्वशः in all ways.
In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.
Krishna gives the suggestion that spiritual goal must be the primary goal but He says that He doesn’t want to impose this goal upon you. Not everyone may be interested in spirituality or in attaining moksha. Krishna says “I suggest and recommend to you that moksha is a worthwhile goal”. Krishna’s philosophy is “As a person seeks, so I will bless him”.
ये यथा माम् प्रपद्यन्ते let any seeker approach Me with any desire. Let a person seek anything and I will help him. The only condition is for the desires to be legitimate and the means of accomplishing them to also be legitimate. Enjoy life following the rule of dharma. In fact, enjoyment is part of life and then to finally grow out of it. Otherwise it can lead to suppression.
तान् तथा एव भजामि अहम् I will approach them only with the object they desire. As Vivekananda has said, to a hungry person, the Lord should approach with food. Let a poor person seek money. And for a moksha seeker, Bhagavan will give moksha.
Why do I bless them with all these goals?
Because मम वर्त्म अनुवर्तन्ते all my devotees approach me through appropriate effort (like puja, karma, japa, upasana).
मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः they have come in the proper method.
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 4 Sloka 12
काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः ।
क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ।।4.12।।
काङ्क्षन्तः those who long for कर्मणाम् of actions सिद्धिम् success यजन्ते sacrifice इह in this world देवताः gods क्षिप्रम् quickly हि because मानुषे in the human लोके (in the) world सिद्धिः success भवति is attained कर्मजा born of action.
In this world, those desiring success in material activities worship the celestial gods, since material rewards manifest quickly.
Krishna says I have presented two paths in the Vedic scriptures.
The first path is karma maarga – a life of activity; a life of effort where you go through certain processes. The second path of jnaana maarga is presented in the final part of the Veda (called Veda-anta).
Krishna presents both paths which produce the end. The difference in the result is that all the results of karma are finite in nature and it’s full of defects.
Accomplishment is a pain, preservation is a greater pain, and the final loss is the greatest pain. Any amount of accomplishment will not give satisfaction; they will become more dependent on the external factors. These are all defects of karmaphalam.
Krishna says in this sloka, कर्मणाम् सिद्धिम् काङ्क्षन्तः many people are interested only in karma phalam, the finite results or dharmaarthakaamaa. Both the finite and infinite are available for human beings but the intelligent ones choose the infinite whereas the unintelligent or mandaH chooses the finite. Krishna says मन्दः कर्मणाम् सिद्धिम् काङ्क्षन्तः they seek finite results. And once you choose karma phalam, the Vedic rituals are elaborate. It specifies that you should go to that temple, you should offer this item and on certain days; numerous conditions and if you fulfill all these conditions, you may get the result (it’s not definite).
देवताः यजन्ते they go after varieties of Deities. Why?
कर्मजा सिद्धिः क्षिप्रम् भवति because the karma phalam is quicker compared to jnaana marga. In jnaana marga, jnaana phalam is quicker – the result of knowledge is very quick (getting knowledge is very easy) but preparation for knowledge is a tough job. Like a wedding which takes place in one day but the preparation for it starts months ahead. Similarly, jnaanam only requires one statement. “I am what I am seeking”. Drop seeking and own up your true nature. This alone is Vedanta. But for this statement to work, (Swamiji recites Chapter 6, Verse 45, 2nd line:
प्रयत्नाद्यतमानस्तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिष: |
अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम् || 45||
you have to start from many janmas before.
Krishna says कर्मजा सिद्धिः क्षिप्रम् भवति people are not interested in purification which takes a lot of time. They are interested only in the limited fruits of action.
श्रीमदभगवद्गीता Chapter 4 Sloka 13
चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ।।4.13।।
चातुर्वर्ण्यम् the fourfold caste मया be Me सृष्टम् has been created गुणकर्मविभागशः according to the differentiation of Guna and Karma तस्य thereof कर्तारम् the author अपि also माम् Me विद्धि know अकर्तारम् nondoer अव्ययम् immutable.
The four categories of occupations were created by me according to people’s qualities and activities. Although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal.
Krishna says by following the prescribed lifestyle, a person can accomplish both material and spiritual end. Normally, spiritual and material ends are diagonally opposite but Bhagavan says the He has designed a unique lifestyle by which a person can accomplish both the spiritual end and material ends. This should be such a lifestyle that a person must be able to fulfill materialistic desires. Vedic lifestyle encourages one to fulfill their desires. While fulfilling these desires, it presents certain disciplines to be followed. If you fulfill your materialistic desires following the Vedic discipline, the beauty is that you gradually grow out of these materialistic desires without suppression. And in that place, you discover the spiritual desire as the most natural one. And you discover this desire to such an extent that the pursuit of spiritual desire will not be considered as a denial of materialistic desires. So, when you come to spirituality, you will not miss anything in life. This gradual conversion must take place. Such a life design is the Vedic life design called varnaashrama dharma.