Shloka # 5:
For them who have their minds attached to the Unmanifested the struggle is greater; for, the Goal, which is the Unmanifest, is attained with difficulty by the embodied ones.
Continuing his teachings Swamiji said, I had pointed out that in Ch. 12 Sri Krishna is presenting Bhakti Yoga in five levels. The fifth level is nothing but Gyana Yoga; as such Gyana yoga is the highest level of Bhakti Yoga and here the Lord is worshipped as Nirguna Brahman. Worship of nirguna Brahman is unique; it is not a physical worship of asanam samarpayami; argyam samarpayami, padyam samarpayami, etc. because for nirgunam Brahma where is the question of argyam, padyam, etc. Argyam means water for washing the hands; Padyam means water for washing the feet; Achamaniyam,water for washing the mouth. And nirguna Isvara does not have hands, does not have feet; does not have the mouth; where is the question of argya, padya achamaniyadi.
And therefore worship is in the form of the very study about Nirgunam Brahma; the very enquiry is a form of worship; the enquiry consisting of shravana, mananam and nidhidhyasanam; systematic study, gaining the knowledge; converting it into conviction, and assimilating this wisdom; that alone is the puja and what I am offering is, offering my ignorance into the fire of knowledge; and therefore Gyana yoga itself is the form of worship I have to practice.
Sri Krishna presents this Gyana Yoga form of worship, in shlokas # 3, # 4 and # 5 respectively.
Sri Krishna used the word Akshara Upasana. It means Nirguna Ishwara upasana consisting of sravana, manana and nidhidhyasanam and Gyana Yogi’s are called akshara upasakas. Sri Krishna considers Gyana Yoga very difficult. The Upanishads compare it to walking on a razor’s edge. Why is it so difficult?
It is difficult, as God cannot be objectified, and as he is inconceivable etc.
And the Lord is not available for mental conception. He is imperceptible, unconceivable; if so how can I worship or even study. Because my intellect is used to objectification and therefore an objectifying instrument will find it difficult to conceive of an unobjectifiable Brahman. And it can be ultimately received only in one form; and what is that form; that Brahman, the nirguna vastu is not objectifiable; not because it is non-existent; but because it is in the form of myself; Soham; that is called soham dhyanam; Soham is Sah Aham . That nirgunam Brahman, aham meaning, I am He; that alone got shortened and is known as hamsa mantra or hamsa gayathri.
Furthermore, Gyana Yoga also requires many qualifications, making it even more difficult.
Now the question is, if Gyana Yoga is difficult, what am I supposed to do; after all I am a seeker? Swamiji says, here one has to be careful.
Majority of people will give answers that are non-Vedic; they will advise people to take to other paths such as Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga etc that are not that difficult. They will say, follow a simpler Yoga. They feel Bhakti Yoga is easier, as there, all that we do, is shed tears.
Now Sampradaya, traditional teaching, does not give this answer. It says, there are no different paths to Gyana Yoga; only Gyanam will lead you there. If ignorance is the problem then knowledge is the only solution. It is like removing darkness; only light can remove darkness; other methods won’t.
Shankaracharya tells very clearly in his Atma Bodha; that darkness can go only by light; ignorance can go only by knowledge. Samsara is because of ignorance, therefore moksha can be only through knowledge. And if I firmly assert that knowledge is the only means, you should not conclude I am a fanatic; because when I have to ascertain a fact; you cannot call me a fanatic. That means to not be called a fanatic, I should admit to alternative methods for removing darkness. As Dayananda Swami says; I say light alone removes darkness; if you call me a fanatic; better I will be a fanatic; rather than a lunatic. So you call me by whatever name; I have to tell ignorance goes by knowledge alone. And the vedas repeatedly ascertain this fact. And therefore to say that Gyanam is difficult and therefore I should take alternative method, is born out of confusion regarding spirituality.
And again we should remember darkness or ignorance goes only by knowledge; and knowledge comes only by enquiry or study. Any knowledge will come only by studying the relevant literature. If I want physics knowledge, I have no other method other than studying the physics literature; Knowledge requires the relevant study. Any knowledge requires consistent and systematic study. That should be extended to this knowledge also. Not only you should study; I should study the appropriate literature.
If alternative methods were available, Sri Krishna would have used that method. Even he says there is no alternative method. If so, what do I do? The answer is, make it easy. How do I make it easy? Prepare yourself; qualify yourself through Gyana Yogyata Praptihi. Sri Krishna says, Gyana Yoga is very easy, if you prepare. Swamiji says, anything in life is easy, if you have prepared. For the unprepared, it is difficult, so prepare, obtain Gyanam and be free.
How to prepare? Sri Krishna presents those steps now. He says, go to fourth, if difficult drop to third and if that is difficult too drop to the second and or even first level of Bhakti Yoga, if required.
If Nirguna Ishwara Gyana Dhyanam is difficult come down to Saguna Ishwara Upasana, meditating on God with attributes; that is Lord with entire universe; as Virat Ishwara, as discussed in Ch. 11. Lord whose body consists of all three Lokas; practice Vishwa Rupa Dhyanam, even in worldly transactions. Dedicate all your worldly transactions to the Virat Ishwara.
So they dedicate all the actions at my feet; and where
are the feet of the Lord; Lord’s feet are everywhere. So when I am doing an action, this action goes to the world and it is acted upon by the laws of the universe and all these are done by the Lord whose hands are nothing but the laws of karma. Therefore when I say, the laws of karma shape the result; for me the devotee; the laws of karma are the hands of the Lord. Every law is the hands of the lord; so Lord is shaping the result through his hands in the form of the law of karma. And, Therefore, I dedicate to the laws of karma; to the hands of the lord; here the word Sanyasa means dedicating.
How can I offer Karma to God?
Suppose I dedicate my work on computers. How am I going to dedicate? What do you mean by dedication? Dedication is nothing but a particular attitude; and what is the attitude; until I complete my action, I have got control over the action; and once I have completed the action; the action has become part of this universe. And universe is none other than God, because Vishva Rupa Ishvara; and this action will be reshaped in this universe by the Lord, and according to the law of karma, an appropriate and just result is going to come; and I am mentally prepared to accept any consequence according to the law, not fancies of the lord; but the result is going to be perfectly according to the laws of karma. That means I am going to get what I legitimately deserve. And it is given to me by the lord himself; because the world is not a world for me; world is for me Vishva rupa Ishvara. And therefore I mentally think; my action is going to the Lord; and Lord is going to give me the karma phalam and whatever be the consequence. I will accept without murmuring; without grumbling; without cursing; without hesitating; I will receive. This inner receptivity is called dedication. This inner receptivity with regard to the consequences of any action I do. And that is called here Ishvara arpana bhavana.
During this practice I am trying to move to the Fifth level of Bhakti Yoga. I must remember that I am committed to goal of Nirguna Ishwara Gyanam. I take to a spiritual life; but as we take on our responsibilities in world, we forget our goals. This distraction is possible. So we have to remember again and again, our goal. Thus, Ananya Yogaha means unwavering commitment.
It is like when going to Delhi we may stop at intermittent points but we don’t forget our final destination is Delhi. So, they worship me through Vishwa Rupa Dhyanam.
Shloka # 6 & 7:
As for those who, having dedicated all actions to Me and accepted Me as the supreme, meditate by thinking of Me with single-minded concentration only-.
O son of Prtha, for them who have their minds absorbed in Me, I become, without delay, the Deliverer from the sea of the world which is fraught with death.
Sri Krishna says these Vishwa Rupa Upasakas are special to me as they are dedicated to discovering Me. So they look upon me not for their materialistic end but for reaching me; I am the means and the end; hence they are known as Jignasu Bhaktas.
I will rescue them from the ocean of Samsara that brings problems of Mrithyu as well; How long will it take?
It depends on level of student; so Sri Krishna says, before long, I will do so.
How will God rescue them?
I will make them fit for the fifth rung of the ladder including qualifications, Gurus, and if no Guru is available; I will become one myself. Forget Gyana Yoga Arjuna, commit to Vishwa Rupa Upasana.
Shloka # 8:
Fix the mind on Me alone; in Me alone rest the intellect. There is no doubt that hereafter you will dwell in Me alone.
Sri Krishna concludes the fourth rung discussion. Arjuna, forget Gyana Yoga, concentrate on Saguna Vishwa Rupa Ishwara. Fix your emotional mind in Me. Don’t seek anything from world. Use world only for giving. Whatever your requirements take it from Me. Viushwa Rupa Ishwara is always with me; so depend upon Him. Your intellect also must be convinced of Vishwa Rupa Ishwara; you must have answers for your intellect; here scriptural knowledge helps as in shown Ch. 7, Ch. 9, Ch 10 and Ch. 11 respectively. The teaching was: Lord is Jagat karanam while universe is Karyam, the effect. Product is not different from cause. Karyam Rupa Jagat is not separate from Karana Rupa Ishwara.
No effect can be separate from the cause. So when I am handling the ornaments, I am handling the cause, the gold alone. When I am handling the furniture, I am handling the cause the wood alone. When I am handling the pots, I am handling the cause, clay alone. When I am handling the world, I am handling the cause, Ishvara alone; Therefore akasha is Ishvara; vayu is Ishvara; agni is Ishvara; sarvam Ishvara mayam jagat. This is called conviction born out of the scriptural study. And therefore Sri Krishna says may your intellect also be convinced of what you are doing. It may take several lives. Glory of Vishwa Rupa bhakti is, I am never away from God. So you will remain in me all the time like a wave in ocean. After Vishwa Rupa Upasana practice, when there is more no doubt then go to Fifth level and be free.
Suppose Vishwa Rupa Upasana is also difficult for you? At this level, I should not have Raga and Dvesha; I should look at everyone as God. So, it may be difficult.
Sri Krishna says, then come down to level # 3.
Shloka # 9:
If, however, you are unable to establish the mind steadily on Me, then, O Dhananjaya, seek to attain Me through the Yoga of Practice.
On the other hand, if you feel you are unfit for level 4 and Vishwa Rupa Ishwara Upasana, then don’t worry, come down to Eka Rupa Upasana and Ishta Devata Upasana. We have many personal forms for God; unique to Hinduism, they are all stepping-stones. Even Sri Krishna has many forms; there are even many types of relationships with God who is seen as baby, friend, father etc. You can take to anyone of them. How to develop this bhakti? Puranas develop this concept of personal God as Ishwara Leela; here even a fictitious character, upon dwelling on it, becomes a reality; this is psychological. Develop this bhakti and practice this Upasana, called here abhyasa Yoga.
This inner receptivity is called dedication. This inner receptivity with regard to the consequences of any action I do. And that is called here Ishvara arpana bhavana.
With Best Wishes,