Baghawat Geeta, Class 135: Chapter 10, Verses 24 to 27


Shloka # 24:

पुरोधसां मुख्यं मां विद्धि पार्थ बृहस्पतिम्
सेनानीनामहं स्कन्दः सरसामस्मि सागरः।।10.24।।

O son of Prtha, know me to be Brhaspati, the foremost among the priests of kings. Among commanders of armies I am Skanda; among large expanses of water I am the sea. 

Continuing his teaching, Swamiji said, I was in midst of narrating a story of Ganga Avatharanam in last class about how Bhagiratha brought Ganga from heaven to earth. He came to know from his father Amshuman that his ancestors were burnt to ashes by sage Kapila. He came to know that Ganga jalam could save their lives yet. So, he decided to bring Ganga to earth. Hence we call a person of great determination as Bhagiratha and such effort is called Bhagiratha Prayatnam.

The question soon came up if Ganga decided to descend to earth, who would receive the mighty fall of ganga on earth.  He learnt that only Shiva could receive ganga. So he had to perform tapas to Lord Shiva for 1000 years. Lord Shiva agreed to receive ganga; he also wanted to teach ganga a lesson for her arrogance. Finally ganga came down and Shiva received her in his jatas. After receiving her he covered his jata, thus Ganga was completely hidden. Then Shiva went back to his tapas. But this posed a problem for Bhagiratha as he had wanted ganga to flow down and bless his ancestors. Now with ganga caught in Shivas jata, this did not happen. So, Bhagiratha again performed tapas to Lord shiva. Then Lord shiva let a small stream of ganga to flow to earth. Symbolically Ganga Devi is considered Brahma Vidya coming out of Lords wisdom. It indicates the knowledge coming down to the earth from the Lord’s wisdom.

Now as ganga flowed on earth it passed through the hermitage of Rishi Janvi. The story says it flooded the hermitage. Rishi Janvi got upset at Ganga, so he drank ganga up. Again Bhagiratha’s goal was not accomplished. So, now he did tapas to Sage Janvi. Finally the sage relented and allowed ganga to flow from his ear. From Shiva, ganga came out of his forehead. Now she came out of the ears of Janvi. Symbolically Brahma Vidya is a Karna parampara, hence Ganga is also called Janvi. At last ganga came to patala and the 60,000 Sagaara’s were saved. The place where they were burnt is known as Kapilaranyam in patala and as per Kanchi Shankaracharya it later became California. Nearby there is also an island by name of Ash island supposedly representing ashes of Saagaras. That is why ocean is called sagara.

Based on this story Brthhari wrote a shloka. He says there are three types of people.

  • First type, manda purusha, who never undertake anything; they are afraid of failure; however,they declare they have never failed.
  • Madhyama purusha are ones who have courage to start but once they face obstacles or failures they withdraw,
  • Uttama Purusha are ones who try again and again until they get succeed like Bhagiratha. He is an ideal example of perseverance.

Shloka # 10.25:

महर्षीणां भृगुरहं गिरामस्म्येकमक्षरम्
यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि स्थावराणां हिमालयः।।10.25।।

Among the great sages I am Bhrgu; of words I am the single syllable (Om) [Om is the best because it is the name as well as the symbol of Brahman.]. Among rituals I am the ritual of Japa [Japa, muttering prayers-repeating passages from the Vedas, silently repeating names of deities, etc. Rituals often involve killing of animals. But Japa is free from such injury, and hence the best.] of the immovables, the Himalaya.

Among Maharsihi’s (Sapta Rishi’s) born from Brahma’s mind or manas putra’s, Brghu is the preeminent one. I am Brghu the greatest among them, says, Sri Krishna.

A story about Brghu is that he tested the Trimurti’s once to see who had most patience. Brahma lost his temper; Shiva also lost his temper; but Vishnu alone did not lose his temper.

Bhrgu and went and kicked Vishnu’s chest; and instead of getting angry, Vishnu asked Bhrgu, is your leg alright, is it paining; and they say because of that alone, Vishnu got the mark in his chest. Imagine if somebody should conduct an examination of Trimurthi themselves; certainly he must be greater; Therefore that Bhrgu, the great examiner, I am.

Among all monosyllable words I am Omkara. Why is it greatest? It is essence of entire Vedas. Taittiriya Upanishad says, just as butter is churned from milk similarly Brahmaji churned the Vedas to obtain Om, hence it is considered Veda Sara. It is the most efficacious of all mantras. It is used in all karma kanda mantras. All rituals start with the word Om. Omkara is an alambanam. Karma kanda, Upasana kanda and Vedanta, all start with Om.

Omkara Vichara is considered essence of entire creation  says Mandukya Upanishad. So we begin and end with Om. I am most sacred Omkara, says Sri Krsihna.

Ghiram means among words I am monosyllable Omkarara.

Among all types of spiritual sadhanas I am Japa Yagya. He chooses japa because, it can be practiced by all people, despite caste, creed and other differences. Thus only a Grihasta can chant agnihotri; a Kshatriya alone can perform Raja Suya Yagya; only people with sacred threads can perform other rituals.

Some Japas are Varna, ashrama, upasana, male, female etc., specific. Japa Yagya is one which can be chanted anywhere, at any time, in all conditions, by anyone; hence it is considered the greatest sadhana. Benefit of japa yagya is that there is no himsa involved as no sacrifice of an animal is done. Gautama Budha turned against Hinduism because he was against animal sacrifice. Japa Yagya has no Himsa. There is also no expenditure of money and things involved in japa yagya. It is also as efficacious as other rituals. Hence a Vedic person must perform at least one ritual of japa everyday.  So, japa is recommended by chanting god’s name at least 108 times. Japa obtains all sadhana chatushtaya sampathi’s.

In japa the first two letters ja indicates what janmavicchedaha; the end to the cycle of birth and death. And the next letter pa indicates papa nasha. Since this sadhana will remove all the papams and through that will put an end to the cycle of samsara; therefore japa is a great sadhana.

What is Japa?  It is recitation of sacred word. It is different from parayanam such as reading of Gita etc. In japa same word is repeated. So, Sri Krsihna says, among sadhanas, I am Japa.

Among mountains I am Himalaya, the abode of Shiva.

Shloka # 26:

अश्वत्थः सर्ववृक्षाणां देवर्षीणां नारदः
गन्धर्वाणां चित्ररथः सिद्धानां कपिलो मुनिः।।10.26।।

Among all trees (I am) the Asvatha (peepul), and Narada among the divine sages. Among the gandharvas [A class of demigods regarded as the musicians of gods.] (I am) Citraratha; among the perfected ones, the sage Kapila.

Among all trees I am Ashwatha tree, abode of the Trinity, says Sri Krishna. A pradarshanam of Ashwatha tree is considered a pradarshanm of Trinity. The root of tree symbolizes Brahmaji, Vishnu the trunk and the Shiva the top. In ch # 15 Ashwatha tree is shown as Samsara or bondage.

Among Deva Rishi’s, I am Narada. All puranas mention Narada. Even Chandogya Upanishad mentions Narada as disciple of Sanatkumara.  In Chandogya upanishad; Narada is the disciple of Sanath kumara. And Narada receives Brahma vidya from Sanatkumara and that teaching is a very famous one; and it is called bhuma vidhya; so in the seventh chapter of the Chandogya upanishad; brahman is called bhuma; Brahma vidya is called bhuma vidhya and that is received by Narada from Sanatkumara and therefore Narada is a great Gyani as well. He distributed knowledge to all people; Naram means knowledge; Da means Giver.

Among Gandharvas, citizens of heaven, or of Gandharva loka, one’s who know performing arts, I am king of Gandharvas, Chitraratha. In mahabaharta this gandharva raja appears.

Among great sidhas, people with extraordinary powers, I am Kapila. Miraculous powers and spiritual knowledge have no connections. There are four types of Sidhas:

  1. No self-knowledge with Sidhi.
  2. Self knowledge with no sidhi.
  3. Self knowledge with Sidhi.
  4. No self-knowledge with no sidhi.

Those who have Gyanam without Sidhi are liberated Gyani’s. Gyani with sidhi are also liberated. One’s without Gyanam are not Gyani’s. Kapila had both Gyanam and Sidhi. In Bhagavatha purana Kaplia is supposed to be one of the avatharas of Bhagavan; Kapilavathara is very well known in Bhagavatham.

He taught his mother Vedanta. There is another Kapila Rishi, a philosopher who propounded Sankhya philosophy. Here Sri Krishna is talking about Vedanta teacher Kapila.

A person can get Sidhi by several methods. They include:

  1. Money (precious stones etc.,)
  2. Aushadam (herbs),
  3. Mantras. With certain type of mantras you do purscaranam; What is purscaranam? You have to find out how many letters are there in the mantra; suppose Om Namashivaya; OM, Na, Ma, Si, Va, Ya; 6 letters; You have to multiply it with lakhs, that means 6 lakhs time minimum you have to chant; This is minimum. What is maximum? Multiply by crores; therefore five crores times, 12 crores times; then the potency of the mantra is released; like through nuclear fission or fusion; the energy within the atom is released, how much energy, it can destroy a Hiroshima or a nagasaaki. So much power is there in a small atom; similarly, every mantra has got tremendous potency, that potency is released by purscaranam of the mantra; through that also a person gets siddhis.
  4. Meditation by focusing mind called Yoga also gives Sidhi.
  5. Janma, by birth, also gives Sidhi. Purva punya and papam also can determine sidhi. Thus we see some people can withstand electric shock and some others can withstand acid burns.

Among Sidhas I am Kapila Muni, says Sri Krishna.

Kapila means yellow colored one.

Shloka 10. 27:

उच्चैःश्रवसमश्वानां विद्धि माममृतोद्भवम्
ऐरावतं गजेन्द्राणां नराणां नराधिपम्।।10.27।।

10.27 Among horses, know Me to be Uccaihsravas, born of nectar; Airavata among the lordly elephants; and among men, the Kind of men. [Uccaihsravas and Airavata are respectively the divine horse and elephant of Indra.]

In previous shloka I forgot to mention that Kapila is same one from Ganga avatharanam.

Now there is another story I wish to narrate. First we discussed ganga avatharanam. The second story is churning the milky ocean. Both teach fundamental lessons that perseverance is most important virtue in an individual. Failure should not deter you; it should trigger greater effort.

Gods and demons brought vasuki as the rope and they churned the ocean with Manthara parvatham as churning rod. There were differences of opinion as to who should hold the head of the snake. Once the churning rod went down and Lord Vishnu came in Tortoise form to lift and support the churning rod. A lot of things came out of the churn such as: Kaustubha, Lakshmi, Dhanvantari, Hala hala, the poison etc,. Symbolically the churning indicates Brahma Vidya and churning of our mind, as in Vedanta class. Mind is the kshira sagara and  white represents satva guna and satva guna represents the mind which is satvic and when you do the churning with the rod of scriptures, scriptural statements, varieties of things arrive.

Take away:

A Vedic person must perform at least one ritual of japa everyday.  So, japa is recommended by chanting god’s name at least 108 times. Through Japa, one obtains all sadhana chatushtaya sampathi’s.

Vedanta considers perseverance is a most important virtue in an individual. Failure should not deter you; it should trigger greater effort.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy