Baghawat Geeta, Class 122: Chapter 9, Verses 15 to 17
Shloka # 15:
ज्ञानयज्ञेन चाप्यन्ये यजन्तो मामुपासते।
एकत्वेन पृथक्त्वेन बहुधा विश्वतोमुखम्।।9.15।।
And others, worshipping Me with the sacrifice of knowledge, wait on Me looking up to Me as one with themselves or as different, in manifold ways-Me with face turned everywhere.
Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, Sri Krishna has been describing Ishwara Swarupam from shloka # 4 to Shloka # 10, focusing on the higher nature of God which is Satyam, Gyanam, Anantam and Nirgunam. So, when we say goal of life is God we mean the Para prakriti (PP), the omniscient Brahman, the Nirguna Brahman.
When we are talking about God in the context of worship, then the worshipped God, the invited God, the God with different number of hands and legs, there in the context of worship, we are referring to the lower nature of God.
The word God is use loosely in scriptures. In Bhagawatham it means Apara Prakriti but when it is a goal of life it is Para Prakriti, the infinite. God cannot be a finite goal. The worshipped finite form can’t be a destination.
Kenopanishad says, the worshipped, formed, finite-God should be used as an intermediary step, the destination God is invariably the formless one alone; and the
description of that destination God; the formless God, was given from shloka # 4 where Sri Krishna said I am avyaktam, meaning formless, colorless, smell-less; tasteless; and touch-less; therefore the destination God is avyaktam. And having described that God in these shlokas, 4th to 10th, in the 11th shloka Sri Krishna said the ignorance of that God, the real destination of life, is the cause of all human problems.
When I do not know PP, I keep everything else as my destination. Unfortunately all other destinations don’t give permanent peace of mind or security. Any other goal also becomes boring after some time and then we seek fresh goals. So, not knowing the real destination is the problem.
Therefore, knowing the real destination is our solution. From Shloka # 12 onwards Sri Krishna is categorizing human being. He says, most don’t know their destination. Swamiji says, “Life is like a blind man looking for a black cat in a dark room in which the cat is not there”. They don’t know what they want. They keep switching from goal to goal, rudderless.
In spite of our Vedic parampara they are still groping for this goal. Then, Sri Krishna says, some few and lucky one’s have understood that god is the ultimate goal. Chapter seven also discussed this same topic. They also pursue worldly objectives yet their main goal is still God.
Thus, one gets married, has children etc., but his ultimate goal is very clear to him. Now the understanding of what God is varies according to maturity of the person. Thus three levels of understanding of God are identified. They are:
- Initially God is seen as Eka rupa Ishwara or Ishta Devata.
- As one matures, God is identified as Vishwa rupa. He realizes that all forms are part of God. The one form includes all forms. Thus we have Shaligramam, Shiva Lingam etc., all representing the cosmic God or Vishwa Rupam.
- Maturing further, he realizes that God is really Arupa or one without a form.
Eka Rupa is Dvaita; I am separate from God.
Aneka Rupa is Visishta Advaita; I am part of God.
Arupa Rupa is Advaita or the one indivisible God; and that there is no difference between God and me.
Sri Krishna says a devotee goes through all these stages.
In shloka, Ekatvena refers to arupam, vishvatho mukham refers to aneka rupam; prthaktvena refers to eka rupam. Up to this we saw in last class.
Shloka # 16:
अहं क्रतुरहं यज्ञः स्वधाऽहमहमौषधम्।
I am the elaborate Vedic rite; I am the sacrifice; I am the ancestral oblation; I am the edible herb; I am the incantation; I am the lustrated butter; I am the fire; I am the oblation.
Generally students are also classified in three categories depending on whom they worship. Thus:
Sri Krishna assumes all of us are in the middle category of Madhyama. That is the reason we are willing to worship any deity. Shankaracharya says no deity is superior; so don’t compare him or her. You can have an ishta devatha; but never look down upon the other devatas. This is called anekarupa bhakthi.
And Sri Krishna wants to explain or elaborate the vishva rupa bhakthi in the shlokas from #16 to #19. In these four shlokas it is the vishvarupa Ishvara varnanam. Even though eka rupa and arupa bhakthi also are there; however, Sri Krishna chooses to elaborate on the middle one, the vishva rupa bhakthi.
Here everything in creation is looked at as manifestation of God. Initially we look at beautiful, respectable, valuable things in which we see God. Thus we see god in Mata, Pita, Guru and Daivam. We also see God in a cow.
The cow, which had so many roles to play in those days, was respected. And since rituals were pre-dominant in those days everything connected with rituals was considered very sacred. Sri Krishna takes those ritual connected things and says I am all of them. In Karma Kanda people were soaked in daily rituals; therefore he takes them and says learn to look at them as God; aham kratuh; thus everything is vishvarupa varnanam.
This is the seed of vishvarupa varnana here; gradually Sri Krishna will expand on the topic and in the 11th chapter it will be the climax of vishvarupa darshanam; all these are like a preview.
I am kratuh; kratuh means shroutha karma, which means rituals and prayers prescribed by the Vedas which are the original scriptures; the primary scriptures.
In Shrauta karma, God is himself the ritual. In Yagna, Smartha karma, prescribed by secondary scriptures or Non-Vedic scriptures they also get sanctity from Vedas alone. Even Gita is sacred because it follows Vedic teachings. Veda is considered superior even to God as we come to know God only through the Vedas. Thus, many festivals are based on Puranic stories.
Svadha Aham in the shloka means offering to ancestors while Svaha is an offering to devatas. And Sri Krishna says that, Svadha, also I am, the Tarparanam, pinda etc., the food for the forefathers.
Aushadham means food eaten by human beings. This food is derived from plant kingdom. Medicines were also plant-based such as herbs and hence called aushadham. Food properly consumed can prevent and cure diseases. Swamiji said,“ In old days people ate medicines as food, now people eat medicines as food.” This food is also God. So, don’t gulp food immediately, pray to god first, before consuming food.
Annam is Brahman; and that Nourisher is Vishnu. Digestive juices that convert foods are considered Shiva, the consumer of food. Thus, everything is divine. So train your mind as soon as possible to this fact that everything is Brahman.
Therefore, I am food; and mantrah aham; Whether you are offering food to the devatas; through shroutha smartha karma; or whether you are offering food to the ancestors through pitru karma, or whether you are offering food to yourselves; in the form of eating; regular eating; all these are sacred rituals which should go along with mantra.
Mantra Aham: I am all offerings with the mantra. Chandogya Upanishad says food is an offering to Vaishwanara Tatvam or the Pranagni hotram to the digestive juices.
Agyam is ghee; I am Ghee. Agni is fire; I am Fire. Agni is a courier service to devatas. To whichever devata you make an offering through Agni, he will send the prayer to the right god. Agni is dutaha. Another name of Agni is Hutavaha. I am whatever Agni carries. The action of offering, hutam, also I am. So, I am everything.
Shloka # 17:
पिताऽहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामहः।
वेद्यं पवित्रमोंकार ऋक् साम यजुरेव च।।9.17।।
The Father of this world am I;(its) Mother, sustainer, and grandsire; I am the holy object of knowledge; the scared syllable AUM; Rk, Sama, also Yajus.
The topic of Vishwarupa Ishwara is continued. I am father of this creation. I am mother too. I am ardhanarishwara, or two in one. I am nimitha karanam and upadana karanam. If so, who is father of God? I am also grandfather or rather I don’t have a father or I am the fatherless father or I am the causeless cause.
Dhata means dispenser, distributor of jivas according to their karmas. Which body goes where etc., I alone decide. It includes humans, animals, plants etc. So, whatever we receive from God’s hand is the law of karma, not his whims and fancies.
At the right place, at the right time what the right experience should be, I alone decide. He is not an unjust God.
If you feel at any time that you am getting some suffering without deserving it, keep in mind you are talking about your karma of a few year’s before; last 5
years or 10 years. Also remember that we are receiving the karma phala for karma of several janmas. So who are we to judge God? It just means this person has not understood the law of karma.
There are two types of tragedies; one tragedy is bad happening to me; greater tragedy is good happening to others; So, therefore there is no question of why me; whatever happens to me is what I deserve, given by a just God; there is no injustice in the creation. Whatever is the news-item you read, if the innocent people are suffering, again it is according to law of karma; that does not mean, I should let them suffer, I should not go to help; rather, I should do whatever to help them.
So, whatever happens is according to the law of karma. That is indicated here as karma phala dhata.
Vedhyam/ Gyenyam: I am the ultimate thing to be known. In the 13th chapter, Sri Krishna calls gneyam Vedyam. In Mandukya Upanishad it is called Vigneyam. I am the ultimate thing to be known. Knowing this our intellectual hunger will end. We all have physical hunger, emotional hunger and intellectual hunger. Emotional hunger is our quest for love, the desire for some one or some people to love me. We also have intellectual hunger. We want to know: Who am I? Who is God? We asked this of our parents and they said shut up and do your home work; because they did not know the answer; so having asked a few times; we just put the question away in our mind.
However, all ask these fundamental questions and all these intellectual hungers will be quenched only when you know that one thing; and therefore it is called Vedyam. Once we know this Vedyam, our curiosity will be quenched.
Pavitram, means purifier; he is the invisible purifier of sukhma shariram. He is the greatest purifier.
Omkara: I am essence of all Vedas. Vedas were condensed in the Gayathri mantra. Therefore Veda is called Brahma. Thus, Brahmachari means one who studies Vedas. Since Gayathri is considered Veda it is Brahma as well, hence it is called Brahma Upadesha. Gayathri is further condensed into Bhu, Bhuvaha and Suvaha, the Vyahriti mantra. Vyahriti mantra is further condensed into; A U M which when combined becomes OM. This is because of a sandhi between A and U makes it O. Hence Aum should always be pronounced as OM. Om is a condensation of all Vedic literature. I am that Om.
Once Om is diluted, it becomes the Vedas, like a concentrate of orange becomes the juice when diluted with water. I am Om and Vedas as well. In Sikh religion they worship Guru Granth Sahib; hence Sikh means shisya.
So scriptures of Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharvana are the law. Rg is a Veda in which Rg mantras are there. They are a metrical or poetic composition.
Yajur has Yajus mantras and they are in prose. Thus we have Yajur parayanam.
Sama means music and Sama mantras are set to music and are known as Sama Ganam.
Atharvarana is not mentioned here; Atharvarana primarily contains loukika or worldly activities; not much used in ritualistic activities; and therefore generally not mentioned; but I am all the four Vedas also.
The ignorance of that God, the real destination of life, is the cause of all human problems.
Therefore, knowing the real destination is our solution.
With Best Wishes,