Baghawat Geeta, Class 128: Chapter 9 Summary

Swamiji concluded Chapter 9 with a summary today. He said this chapter is similar to chapter 7 and very different from chapter 8. Sri Krishna wants to show the differences between Ch #9 and Ch #8. Ch 8, elaborated on saguna ishwara upasana. Saguna ishwara upasana was shown as meditation on God with virtues. Saguna Upasana gives liberation to an individual through a process known as Krama Mukti. Here one practices Saguna Upasana throughout his life without coming to Brahma Gyanam. This Saguna Upasana cannot lead to liberation. But due to his saguna upasana he travels after death to Brahma Loka. How do we come to know of all this; it is this through scriptures. There he will find conditions ideal for Brahma Gyanam. He will go through Vedanta Shravanam, mananam and nidhidhyasanam taught by Chatur mukha Brahmaji himself. In this ideal situation he gets knowledge and liberation called Krama Mukti.

Here, one does not get Gyanam in manushya Loka.

Sri Krishna is not prescribing Krama Mukti, as he does not want to postpone liberation. So he wants to prescribe Sadyo mukti or Jivan mukti. In this method we practice saguna Upasana acquire yogyata, switch to Nirguna Gyanam in this life itself. This switch is to Vedanta vichara. Here nirguna nature of God is understood. This is Ishwatra Gyanam. Due to this, one gets knowledge of nirguna nature of God or Para Prakriti (PP). This gyanam results in Jivan mukti and then in Videha mukti.

So, thus, in the seventh chapter, sadyo mukthi; in the 8th chapter, krama mukthi; and in the 9th chapter, again we come back to sadyo mukthi itself; that is why the 8th chapter is the odd chapter; 7 and 9 both deal with nirguna Ishvara Gyanam; which is the liberating knowledge.

When we think of nirguna Ishwsara Gyanam one may think of it as very difficult. Sri Krishna says it is actually very easy for a prepared person. So how should I prepare? It is by Saguna Ishwara Upasana then progressing to Nirguna Ishwara Gyanam and then one gains liberation. This is the background of Ch 9.

Shlokas #1-# 3:

They are an introduction to the chapter. Sri Krishna introduces subject of Ishwara Gyanam or PP or Nirguna Ishwara Gyanam. Since this knowledge is not available to an unprepared mind this will remain a secret for the unprepared mind; like the theory of relativity; they say only a few people know, because it requires preparation.  Sri Krishna calls it raja vidya, the greatest knowledge. And this raja vidya raja guhyam, otherwise known as Nirguna Ishvara Gyanam is the subject matter of the 9th chapter.

Incidentally he says among qualifications Shradha is very important. Shradha means keeping an open mind and not rejecting the teacher and teaching outright. He says, if you don’t have shradha, the loser is you alone.

Shloka # 4-10:

The central theme of these shlokas is revelation of nirguna Ishwara Swarupam; nature of higher god, PP, is revealed. Nirguna Ishwara is called Brahma Swarupam.  A few important features of Brahman are mentioned from scriptures here. They are:

  1. Sarvagataha: The real God, the “I”, is all pervading. So any personal God is not all pervading. So God in Vaikuntam etc., are inferior God presented to beginners. Also remember, without Saguna Ishwara one can’t go to Nirguna Ishwara.
  2. Avyaktam: meaning he is indriya agocharam or not available for sensory perception; ashabdam, asparsham, arupam, arasam, agandam Brahma. So one can’t see, smell, taste, touch and talk about God.
  3. Mithya Jagat Adhishtanam:  The Lord is the support of the world, which has got only a lower order of reality; which is unreal, compared to the higher order. Just as the dream world is real from the standpoint of the dreaming individual, but the dream world is unreal from the standpoint of the waker. Similarly this world is real from the standpoint of the waking individual; but this world is unreal from the standpoint of the para prakrrti, the higher nature. And therefore the third definition of Lord is that he is the substratum of the unreal world, or the world of a lesser order of reality; In Sanskrit, mithya jagat adishtanam;
  4. Asangaha: God is asanga swarupa: Impurities of world don’t sully god. Although god supports whole world its impurities don’t contaminate him. He is compared to akasha just as the space accommodates everything, without getting sullied by anything.
  5. Srishti Sthiti Laya Karanam: Ishwara is Srishti Sthiti Laya karanam. He is cause of origin, existence and resolution of Samsara.
  6. Sakshi Matrena: If Ishwara is creator, then he is also a karta and bhokta, then he will have punyam and papam as well. And therefore Sri Krishna says: I do not create anything; in my presence, sakshi matrena; the creation arises, exists and resolves. Like in presence of light a crime may be committed but it does not affect the light.
  7. Kartrtva bhoktrtva rahita: Since God is only a witness; he does not have a doership or enjoyership.  And this last one which is corollary of previous one; Since the Lord is only the witness; Lord does not have kartrtvam or bhoktrtvam; kartrtva bhoktrtva rahita; kartrtvam means doership; bhoktrtvam means enjoyership; both do not belong to Ishvara.

So these are the seven features of the higher nature of the Lord; that is Brahman.

Shloka # 11: explains why samsara exists and why suffering exists. Samsara karanam is ignorance of PP or Nirguna Ishwara. Why is there ignorance? Nirguna Brahman, God without attributes, is beyond time and space. And anything other than Nirguna Brahma, that is Sagunam Brahma, which comes under apara prakrti (AP), is within time and space. The moment you come to properties, it is subject to change; there will be increase; there will be decrease.  Whatever is subject to time cant give security, as time will destroy it. So, if I don’t know PP, I seek security from AP that fluctuates. Holding to AP, I face changes. AP is cause of all our struggles and we will be disappointed. Cause of samsara is from wrong expectations of permanence of AP. So, ignorance is cause of suffering.

Shloka # 12-# 19:

The remedy is now given for our suffering. Bhakti is given as the remedy. Bhakti is a series of sadhanas culminating in Gyanam. Our problem is ignorance and its solution is Gyanam.

Shankaracharya says, if darkness is a problem the solution is light; so light a lamp. If Agyanam is the problem, nirguna brahma gyanam is the solution. So, Bhakti is a series of sadhanas. The sadhanas take you there.

Three levels of bhakti are indicated. They are:

  1. Karma rupa bhakti as Karma yoga.
  2. Upasana rupa bhakti
  3. Vedanta rupa bhakti.

Karma makes us extrovert. Extrovert mind has to turn inwards. How to turn inwards? By bhakti, in form of Saguna meditation one can turn inwards.

Vedanta Vichara Rupa bhakti is where I study scriptures. Even our class belongs to this bhakti. Gyana yagna is superior to all other Yagnas.

Once a person goes through all three levels of Bhakti, he becomes a Gyani Bhakta, a devotee with knowledge of Nirguna Ishwara Gyanam. So, Bhakti means, all three levels of Sadhanas. You have to go through all three then he becomes a Gyani who gets liberation.

To become a bhakta one must have done a lot of punyam in life. Without punyam one will not come to any level of bhakti.

Shlokas # 20-# 29:

Sri Krishna talks of two forms of bhakti based on motive. Previously we talked about bhakti based on Sadhana. Now we are discussing bhakti based on motive; thus we have Sakama Bhakti and Nishkama bhakti. The difference in motive is one bhakta prays for finite benefits while other prays for infinite benefits. Manda Bhaktas use bhakti for ephemeral goals. Sakama bhaktas goals are unintelligent ones. However, Swamiji says, Sakama bhakti is still valid and fruitful. It is not a papam. God will fulfill Sakama bhakta’s desires. But his life will be like the snake and ladder game; will be climbing very fast in the ladder and also come down faster through the snake’s mouth; and again go up and come down; endlessly this game goes on and on and this is sakama bhakthi.

Nishkama bhakta understands Para Prakriti (PP) alone can give him peace, security and happiness. He uses his bhakti for preparation of mind for Brahma Gyanam. Just as a Mother feeds her child knowing what is good for it; so also God, please choose the right qualification and inject me like a suckling mother, prays the bhakta. Asking for Chitta shuddhi is nishkama bhakti. Asking for Guru is nishkama bhakti. Asking for non-forgetfulness of teaching is nishkama bhakti.

Sakama bhakti is difficult to practice as there are many rules in its practice. Sakama karmas specify the date, time, dress, the mantras, pujari etc. If rules are not followed one has to perform prayaschitam, if not benefits will not be there.

Nishkama bhakti is easy to follow. The bhakta needs to use only pushpam, phalam or toyam for his worship of god. So, Sri Krishna differentiated between the two bhaktis. He recommends Nishkama bhakti. So unintelligent people practice difficult bhakthi; they pay more; and get less. Whereas, nishkama bhaktha pays less and gets the infinite itself.

Shloka # 30-#34:

Sri Krishna glorifies bhakti here.

Since bhakthi has got several layers, it is like a flight of steps; beginning from the lowest rung of the ladder; karma lakshana bhakthi; then upasana lakshana bhakthi; and then Gyana lakshana Bhakti. Since it has many rungs, anybody can start bhakthi; according to his level; Not that you have to study nirgunam Brahma; you need not start there; Start with karma yoga; very easy; even you can practice sakama karma; but dedicate it to the Lord, We will see the details in the 12th chapter; thus anybody can start bhakthi; whatever be the level.

Sri Krishna goes a step further and says even a person with guilt can go to Bhakti. Guilt is a big obstacle to spiritual progress. Spiritual sadhana requires self-confidence. Biggest obstacle to this is guilt.

Thus, I have to be confident in running a race; mother, father, brothers, etc. they can clap the hands; they can cheer you up; the running has to be done only by the child only; Similarly the spiritual sadhana, I have to do; guru can encourage; Shastra can encourage, Bhagavan can encourage; and biggest obstacle to confidence is guilt; and therefore Sri Krishna says never have guilt, once you have understood that your lifestyle has been unhealthy; decide to change; once you have turned a new leaf and decided to change; the very decision to change makes you a saint or a Sadhu purusha.  And not only that, there may be some people who have got disadvantages because of their very birth; because of their parentage; because of their location, etc. There can be people with inherent disadvantages but even those disadvantaged people can practice bhakthi and attain liberation.

The last shloka talks about requirements for a Bhakta; they include:

  1. Learn to love Me, for whatever reason you choose.
  2. Learn to love me as your goal.
  3. Never forget your goal.
  4. Convert your life to worship towards this goal.
  5. Be humble at all times due to spiritual progress.

With these five factors you will attain Me.

This concludes chapter # 9. And since the subject matter is raja vidya raja guhyam, the chapter is called raja vidya raja guhya yogah.

Take away:

Shradha is a qualification considered most important by Sri Krishna to receive this knowledge. Shradha means keeping an open mind and not rejecting the teacher and teaching outright.

This world is unreal from the standpoint of the para prakrrti, the higher nature of God.

To become a bhakta one must have done a lot of punyam in life. Without punyam one will not come to any level of bhakti.

The very decision to change and go to Bhakti marga makes you a Sadhu purusha.

Cause of samsara or suffering is from wrong expectations of permanence of AP. So, ignorance is cause of suffering.

Essence of Bhakti:

  1. Learn to love Me, for whatever reason you choose.
  2. Learn to love me as your goal.
  3. Never forget your goal.
  4. Convert your life to worship towards this goal.
  5. Be humble at all times due to spiritual progress.

With these five factors you will attain Me.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy



Bghawat Geeta, Class 127: Chapter 9, Verses 30 to 34

Shloka # 30:

अपि चेत्सुदुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक्
साधुरेव मन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि सः।।9.30।।

Despite his extremely wicked conduct, if a man worships Me exclusively he must indeed be deemed worthy; for his resolution is right.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, Sri Krishna has completed the topic of comparison and contrast of sakama nishkama bhakti. Now, in shlokas # 30 to # 34, Sri Krishna is talking about the glory of devotion.

In shloka # 30 bhakti is glorified as something, which any person can start at any time in his life.

Either he can start as an arta bhaktha, which is the beginning stage. Whenever there is problem, we can take recourse to the Lord. This is arta bhakthi. Whenever there are problems, a person is mentally weaker, he requires a support, and Lord is an ever-available support. In fact, one of the names of the Lord is arta thrana parayana; the one who is committed to helping the people who are in crisis.  And gradually you can graduate to artharti bhakthi, then jignasu bhakthi and then Gyani bhakthi; thus whatever be your level of spirituality, you can start with bhakthi.

Sri Krishna says once he has decided to take the help of god such a person can be called a Sadhu purusha because it requires a little bit of humility; a little bit of understanding, that however great we are, our freewill has its limitation. No doubt human being is very powerful. No doubt, human being can achieve lot of things. But however great a human being is, he has his limitation. The moment I understand the limitation of my freewill, my wisdom helps me take the help of an external factor.

The moment I understand limitations of freewill, I get wisdom to seek help of god, even if it is for material gains. One can seek god even for material gains.

And once a person surrenders to the Lord; and then he will find there is an extra strength in his mind. As I told you the other day, they have statistically proved that religious people have more emotional strength, and greater immunity and resistance even at physical level. Therefore I do seek a transformation. Once I seek a transformation my inner strength, my devotion will increase; when the devotion increases, naturally my strength will be more; thus you get into a cycle; an auspicious cycle of; more devotion; more strength; more strength, more devotion, so it becomes a healthy addiction; until then, he was addicted to unhealthy practices; now he is de-addicting himself from other inferior things and he is practicing a positive addiction; the addiction to devotion; it is an addiction; but worth having; and soon we will get over even that addiction; Whether we should get over or not is a different question; but if you see it as an addiction, we will get over that also; but he has got into a healthier addiction.

So you can call him a saint as he has taken the right resolve. What happens to him, the one who has decided to turn to Lord for help?

Shloka # 31:

क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच्छान्तिं निगच्छति
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति।।9.31।।

Soon he becomes essentially righteous and attains lasting peace. Know for certain and proclaim, Arjuna! that My devotee never perishes.

He will soon become a dharma atma or a person who values dharma more than artha and kama.

He grows out of the artha kama delusion. He uses them like pickle, in small quantities. His main pursuit in life is his dharma (values and moksha). He will gradually become a jignasu bhakta. One who uses emotion for growth. Then he becomes a Gyani bhakti.

Jignasu means one who wants to know the nature of God. Since he knows God is the only source of security, he is interested in knowing Brahman.

And once I have that sincere desire, Sri Krishna will tell in the 10th chapter, from somewhere shastram comes. Just as when the flowers bloom from somewhere the bee comes; flower need not send post card, please come; once it has bloomed; naturally it comes; Similarly you bloom into a sadhana chatushtaya sampanna adhikaari; Gurus will come in search of you; Sri Krishna will tell this in the 10th chapter, Because Bhagavan’s law is that any genuine desire should be fulfilled. If you have a thirst as a natural desire; Bhagavan has to provide you with water in the creation; if hunger is there; Bhagavan has to provide food in the creation; if you have to breath oxygen; Bhagavan has to provide; similarly, if you have a thirst for Ishvara Gyanam, Bhagavan has to provide a guru; therefore Sri Krishna says Shastra will come, guru will come, ideal situations for learning will come; Gyanam will come, you will be converted into a Gyani bhaktha.

Then Sri Krishna says the moment you become Gyani bhaktha; you are a wise person; and that wisdom means grief will go away from life. He will attain peace of mind; ever lasting peace not disturbed by upheavals of life.

Now Sri Krishna wants to make sure Arujna accepts all this. He says, O Arjuna! take this promise from Me. A devotee will never have a spiritual fall. Material ups and downs may occur but not spiritually. This is my promise. So, become my devotee.

Shloka # 32:

मां हि पार्थ व्यपाश्रित्य येऽपि स्युः पापयोनयः
स्त्रियो वैश्यास्तथा शूद्रास्तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्।।9.32।।

Seeking refuge in Me, Arjuna! those even of low birth, women, artisans and serfs, attain the supreme goal.

Sri Krishna wants to point out that even handicapped people can take to bhakti and get liberation. The disadvantage can be any form of handicap, physical, mental, emotional including spiritual obstacles. They all can get liberation provided they come to depend on Me. Shankaracharya’s Karavalamba strotram is meant for disadvantaged people to attain liberation.

Who are the disadvantaged people? We should note that this shloka is a very controversial one. The disadvantaged people include:

  1. People of sinful birth;
  2. Women
  3. Vaishya and
  4. Shudra

All four are disadvantaged people. Why does Sri Krishna identify these four. We should remember Vedanta is pursuit of wisdom connected with the mind, intellect and sukshma shariram. Physical body does not get knowledge. We are not connected with the physical personality. Sadhana chatushtaya sampathi deals only with subtle body, not physical body. So Stree, Vaishya, shudra etc are really about our inner personality. What type of personality is a Stree, Vaishya, Shudra etc? They are svabhave stree, svabhava vaishya, svabhava shudra.

We are not concerned about physical side of svabhava at all here.

Papa Yonaya: People of sinful birth; that means people who do not have a conducive atmosphere for spirituality; not being born in a spiritual family; We have to imbibe spirituality from early childhood. In fact we say in the shastra, that even from pregnancy the child imbibes that trait. So imagine if the parents are nasthikas; so, that becomes an obstacle. Thus, papa yonaya, are people who do not have a conducive atmosphere for spiritual growth.

Stree: A stree is an emotional person. In Stree emotion dominates over reason. Normally reason should control emotion and not the other way around. An emotional person can have problems with Vedantic knowledge. Emotional person values personal attachment. They need an emotional prop. But Vedanta wants us to grow out of relationship, asangam. Sanga means bondage; one has to transcend Sanga.

Emotional mind wants a personal god; god is seen as a child, mother, father etc. Whereas Vedanta is telling us that God is beyond even personal limitations. Emotional mind can never reach nirguna brahman and therefore Vedanta becomes a problem and vairagya becomes a problem for an emotional mind. Therefore who ever has such a mind is called stree mind; even a

male, if he has got such a mind, Vedantically that person is a stree; therefore, the first type of mind is an emotional mind.

Vaishya:  In chapter 4, Vaishya is considered a Rajasic mind; that is an outgoing, commercial mind. He sees profit everywhere. It does not have anything to do with birth. This is a guna vaishya.

Shudra: In chapter # 4 this is considered tamas guna pradhana. They are animalistic one’s who believe in a “eat drink and be merry” life. This is Guna shudra not jati shudra.

Guna stree, Guna Vaishya, Guna Shudra are all disadvantaged persons. Even they can surrender to God and they can change their character.

A lady asked me, Swamiji, if I have to be detached from my son to obtain moksha; I prefer my son to moksha.

Such a mind will have difficulty, but Sri Krishna says to such people my advice is; be attached to your children also and give Me, Bhagavan, some attachment as well; then sooner or later, I will take you away from worldly attachment. So, Bhakti will help handicapped as well.

Shloka # 33:

किं पुनर्ब्राह्मणाः पुण्या भक्ता राजर्षयस्तथा
अनित्यमसुखं लोकमिमं प्राप्य भजस्व माम्।।9.33।।

How much more certainly do so those of meritorious birth and devout royal sages! Having come to this transient and unhappy world, worship Me.

 So, if Guna shudra and vaishya can attain liberation then the Guna Brahmana and Kshatriya can certainly obtain it as well.

Guna Brahmana: is Satva pradhana.

Guna Kshatriya: is Rajasic pradhana but one who is active selflessly. Guna Vaishya, on the other hand is selfishly active.

Selfless person will grow spiritually while a guna Vaishya may stagnate. A Kshatriyas life is one of a karma yogi while a Vaishyas is one of just karma.

Thus, a Raja Rishi is a guna Kshatriya who is advantaged.

So, advantaged or disadvantaged, start Bhakti. So Arjuna! May you start worshipping Me. Don’t postpone, start right away. The world is too uncertain. So start prayer to God right away.

Sri Krishna concludes the chapter with shloka # 34:

Shloka # 34:

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु
मामेवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवमात्मानं मत्परायणः।।9.34।।

Set your mind on Me; be My devotee; sacrifice unto Me; pay obeisance to Me. Being wholly intent on Me, thus uniting your self, you will surely come to Me.

 In this famous shloka the lifestyle of a bhakta is described. Who is a bhakta? What life does he lead? Five factors are described in this area. I will reorganize the words of shloka to better communicate the five factors.

Matbhaktaha bhava: Develop devotion towards Me.

Lord can be looked at as a means to the world or as an end. In beginning you learn to look at god as a sakama bhakta for accomplishing worldly ends. Here you will certainly obtain success in that God will fulfill your desires. And that is why Sri Krishna said, in whatever form you worship Me, I will fulfill your desire. So this is the first stage: use Bhagavan as an assistant, your assistant for worldly goal; this is madbhaktah. In fact in all the puranas; this is predominantly presented.

Matparayanaha: Worldly goals have limitations. They cannot give peace, happiness and security. How can money give security? And only God can provide all these. So go to this Brahman, ultimate goal of life.

Manmanaha: Once god is primary goal, mind should not lose sight of goal. In all preoccupations always keep god in mind; as in, subconscious mind. It is like the musician who keeps tampura shruti in mind at all times. This is non-forgetfulness of goal.

Madhyaji Bhava:   He converts every action into worship; uses very moment for worship; even eating can be converted into a purificatory right; you should not eat immediately what is served; wait a minute; do namaskara; and acknowledge that it is Lord’s gift and remember God; and eat; then eating becomes a spiritual sadhana; Convert everything into a spiritual sadhana, yagna; Even sense pleasures can be converted into yagna; we saw in the 4th chapter, dravya yagna, tapo yagna etc. Therefore madhyaji bhava; worship Me through every action of yours; Become a karma yogi; this is the 4th definition.

Mam Namaskuru:  When you grow spiritually, don’t become arrogant. Remember my success requires the grace of God.

Thus madhyaji indicates the use of freewill; Mam Namaskuru; indicates the importance of grace; Freewill is also important; Ishvara anugraha is also important; both should go hand in hand.

So, thus what are the five conditions to be a bhaktha:

  1. Develop devotion to Me.
  2. Make Me as your ultimate goal;
  3. Do not lose sight of Me as the goal;
  4. Convert every moment of your life into a purificatory exercise; and
  5. Always surrender to the Lord and do everything with Lord’s blessings.

If these five conditions are fulfilled, Sri Krishna says;  thus engaging yourselves in this devotional

life, religious life, Vedic life, you will certainly attain

Me alone; you will certainly attain moksha. So thus bhakthi will take every person to Moksha; whatever be the level of the person. Therefore let everyone start with devotion; and in initial stages, the real nature of God need not be known, God can be imagined as a person; then gradually from eka rupa, you can go to aneka rupa, then you can go to arupa; Start somewhere.

Take away:

Religious people have more emotional strength, and greater immunity and resistance even at physical level.

More devotion means more strength; more strength means more devotion, so it becomes a healthy addiction.

Shankaracharya’s Karavalamba strotram is meant for disadvantaged people to attain liberation.

The five conditions to be a bhaktha:

  1. Develop devotion to Me.
  2. Make Me as your ultimate goal;
  3. Do not lose sight of Me as the goal;
  4. Convert every moment of your life into a purificatory exercise; and
  5. Always surrender to the Lord and do everything with Lord’s blessings.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy



Baghawat Geeta, Class 126: Chapter 9, Verses 27 to 30

Shloka # 27:

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम्।।9.27।।

Whatever you do, eat, sacrifice, offer as gift, perform as austerity, O Arjuna! do all this as a dedication to Me.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, from shloka # 21 to # 29 Sri Krishna is dealing with topic of Sakama and Nishkama bhakti. He is not against Sakama Bhakti. It is not a papa karma or nishedha karma. It does not bring a person down spiritually. It only happens to be an obstacle to spiritual progress. Thus Karma itself is divided into three types:

  1. Satvika Karma: that takes one up spiritually.
  2. Tamasic karma: That takes one down spiritually.
  3. Rajasic karma: It does not take one up or down spiritually. It will keep him in spiritual stagnation. It gives only material benefits but that becomes an obstacle to spiritual growth. Sakama Karma falls under Rajasic Karma.

Swamiji says, people ask him, “ I am doing puja and practice vows for obtaining certain things in life.”

Sri Krishna does not say that one should drop all of them; all of a sudden. The aim is a very gradual transformation; the negative Nishidha karma should be dropped straight away; papa karmas should be dropped straight away; but kamya karma should be gradually reduced.

A Grihastha has a lot of obstacles in life and he will have a tendency to approach God for favors. He will have to gradually change to Nishkama karma. Nishkama karma is freedom from materialistic desires; however, even here spiritual desires do exist. Seeking help for spiritual growth is Nishkama. The motive behind the asking is important here. Even asking for wealth can be spiritual. Asking for money for pancha maha yagna is nishkama. Thus, our motives decide if the desire is Sakama or Nishkama.

In Sakama bhakti there are strict rules of worship that have to be followed else results may not be favorable.

So, when two people who like each other, meet; there is no formality. Only when there is distance, you need to follow protocol. So for a mumukshu bhaktha, the bhakthi for the Lord is of a different dimension. Here rules are secondary. As Sri Krishna says, patram pushpam phalam toyam, give whatever you like. In this regard, in Mahabharata, they tell the story of how Vidura removed the banana and gave the banana peel to the Lord.

Shankaracharya tells in shivanandalahari, how Kannappa, the greatest devotee, used the chappal to mark the eye. He used the mouth as Abhisheka patram and straightway spat the water; his chewed food he gave to god as offering. He is considered one of the greatest bhakta’s of all times.

And not only is nishkama bhakthi expressed in the form of specific puja; nishkama bhakthi is expressed in the form of a very different lifestyle itself; it is a not a mere patram pushpam phalam samarpanam; nishkama bhakthi transforms the very way of life. How does it transform; every action becomes an offering at feet of Lord. Feet of lord here means the entire creation, which consists of the laws of creation. There karmas become karma phalams or Ishwara prasadam.

For a nishkama bhaktha; there cannot be any concern; there cannot be any anxiety, anxiety comes when I am particular about only a type of future result; any other type of future result, I will not accept. So when there is a resistance with regard to a particular outcome in future, there is concern, anxiety; for a nishkama bhaktha; whatever comes, is welcome. And therefore, he considers everything he does as Ishwara Arapanam (as a Karta) and everything he receives as Ishwara prasadam (as a Bhokta). This is nishkama bhakti.

This should remind us of a topic we studied in chapters 2 and 3, namely Karma Yoga. Sri Krishna said Karma Yoga is Ishwara arpana bhavana and Ishwara prasada bhavana. So, Karma Yoga is identical to Nishkama bhakti. They are synonymous.

Then why these two different names; from the stand point of action, it is called karma yoga; and from the standpoint of the attitude, it is called nishkama bhakthi;

Therefore for nishkama bhakthi; a temple is not required; shrine is not required; you can practice it anywhere; this thought is important. Up to this we saw in the last class.

Shloka # 28:

शुभाशुभफलैरेवं मोक्ष्यसे कर्मबन्धनैः
संन्यासयोगयुक्तात्मा विमुक्तो मामुपैष्यसि।।9.28।।

Thus will you be released from the bonds of works with their fruits, good or evil. Liberated, with the Self integrated by the Yoga of renunciation, you will come to Me.

What is the result of Nishkama bhakti?

Every karma or puja can give two types of punyam. First is materialistic punyam; material well-being can include money, people, house and even going to swarga. Second is spiritual punyam where you are born in a spiritual family. A rich country may have material benefits, but in a poor country you may obtain a spiritual culture. One may get opportunity to study the shastras. One may get a Guru.

Thus we have to choose the result we want from puja. A Nishkama bhakta converts all his bhakti to spiritual punyam. He transcends both punyam and papam. Why is there no papam; because in nishkama bhakti there is no papam. How can one transcend punyam? Sri Krishna says both papam and punyam are bonds. Moksham is going beyond papam and punyam. Such a nishkama bhakta is given a title by Sri Krishna. He calls him, Sanyasa Yoga Yukta Atma. What does it mean?

Sanyasa is renunciation. How so? He is able to renounce materialistic desires and use puja for spiritual growth. So, kama tyaga makes him a renunciate. If we drop anxiety for material things, you have renunciation. He is able to drop obsession with money.

Insecurity is a problem of the mind and not about the possessions you have. A man with minimum of things can be very secure while another with many things may be totally insecure.

Why Yoga? Yoga here means action. He is not associated with materialistic desires. He is interested in inner growth. Such a Yogi will be liberated. How so? Does it mean he does not require Gyana Yoga?

Karma yogi gets his moksha only through gyana yoga. Through karma yoga he gets purity of mind, then obtains a Guru and then Gyanam. He then merges with Me. What is merger?

Bhagawan is never away from me. Merger is dropping the misconception that Lord is away from me. This is Ishwara Aikyam.  And how do you drop any notion or misconception; by knowledge; So the moment I get knowledge, the wrong thought that God is away from me goes away; I come to know that God is close; one can even say, God is closest; or even go further and say, that I am God; Aham brahmasmi; this distance, notional distance, also goes away; so he will attain Me. 

Shloka # 29:

समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति प्रियः
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या मयि ते तेषु चाप्यहम्।।9.29।।

Towards all beings I am the same; I hate none, nor hold any dear. Those who worship Me with devotion live in Me and I in them.

In previous shloka Sri Krishna said nishkama bhakta will merge in Me. This statement implies sakama bahkta will not merge into Me; hearing this a doubt may come up, if God is partial?

A bhakta used to ask, “ I want to merge with you”. He would not go away from the temple. The pujari could not close the temple. He tried a tactic. He stood behind the God’s idol, hidden, and said, “Oh dear Bhaktha; I am satisfied with your bhakthi; so I am going to fulfill your wish; when you come tomorrow I will take you unto me; you will not return back home”; next day, there was no sight of the bhaktha anywhere around.

Sri Krishna says, “I am not the one who decides whether you get moksha or not; the real problem is that most people don’t want moksha.”

Swamiji said, during a sadhana camp he announced he was willing to give moksha to anyone who stayed in the ashram. Everybody gave some excuse or other not to stay in ashram. Not one person came forward. Sri Krishna says, you are just not interested; I am the same with every being; I am not partial to anyone.

Shankaracharya says in Soundarya lahiri that the moonlight falls equally on a beautiful house as well as a dirty pond. Grace of god is equal to all. The difference is how much we can tap into it; one’s efforts decide how much we can tap into it.

Thus, when you are building a house; you are building the walls; and within the walls space is available. primarily you are interested in the inside space; primarily you are interested in the living room; you want the space only; but you need not work for the enclosed space; you have to work only for building the wall; After building the wall, you need not invite space separately, as even as wall is built, enclosed space is available; similarly Ishvara kripa need not be separately invited; when you put forth your effort, the grace is automatically included in that.

Sri Krishna says, the more the effort the more Kripa you get. I don’t hate anyone. I don’t have favorites.

If this is so, why do only a few obtain liberation?

Sri Krishna says it is due to choice of the bhaktas. Moksha is determined by your will and choice. So those Viveki’s who seek Me as goal, (sadhana sampanna adhikari), one whose goal is God through nishkama bhakti, they are already existing in Me and I in them. We are one and same; we are not separate. So moksha is attained through your choice.

Shloka # 30:

अपि चेत्सुदुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक्
साधुरेव मन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि सः।।9.30।।

Despite his extremely wicked conduct, if a man worships Me exclusively he must indeed be deemed worthy; for his resolution is right.

With previous shloka comparison and contrast of sakama nishkama bhakti is completed. It started from shloka # 20 and ended with shloka # 29. Now in first portion of shlokas 30 to 34 Sri Krishna is talking about the glory of Bhakti. Bhakti is a sadhana that can be started at any stage in life. Gyana Yoga needs a lot of preparatory disciplines. Bhakti does not require any preparation.

Bhakti’s first stage is arthabhakti, here, when you are afraid, you pray to God. It simply works. Through his prayer Bhakta develops the confidence that he can handle the situation, whatever it is. Even a materialistic bhakti can start it. Depending on one’s spiritual evolution, anyone can start bhakti.

In Chapter 12 Sri Krishna divides bhakti into five levels. One can start from highest level, if not go to next and so on down. Bhakti can be started by anyone. If his intellect is not sharp he can start with Eka Rupa Bhakti and then move to higher levels such as Aneka rupa bhakti and Arupa Bhakti.

Another important point is every human being suffers guilt from feeling, “ I have done a lot of papams”. Even a thief knows that stealing is wrong. That is why he does it in stealth. Therefore conscience is common sense based right-wrong norm.  And this conscience, which is a common sense based norm, will always judge my action; our conscience is judging constantly and forming self-opinion; thus, most of the time, we are aware of only our mistakes that we have committed; and this produces lot of guilt.  That is why in every religion there is confession. Guilt can be a problem. He may feel I can’t take to spiritual path due to guilt.

And even in spiritual path, guilt can be a problem; I can always conclude, I cannot follow the spiritual path, and even if I follow I will not succeed. That is why in the 6th chapter it is said that we require four kripas; they are atma kripa; grace of oneself; Ishvara kripa is required; guru kripa is required; Shastra kripa is required; And what is atma kripa; it is a guilt free mind; which is confidence; Even if I have done mistake, I can correct and grow spiritually; because every saint has a past; and every sinner has a future. So why should I feel bad; and this mind has got atma kripa. So your grace is a mind, which is confident; and therefore Sri Krishna wants to pump confidence into every student. Do not say that you cannot do it; please say you can; therefore he says, even the worst sinner can come to bhakthi with confidence;

Even he need not be worried if he comes to Me, without any wavering in the mind; with total surrender, if that person comes, the day he has decided to change, he is as good as a saint.

Dayananda swamiji beautifully says: nobody can change another person. I can never change you. But if you have decided to change, nobody can stop it; it will happen; I can assist you, if you have decided to change; this is the principle. And therefore Sri Krishna says a person who has decided he is as good as a saint. Even though he has only decided; the very decision is a turning point in his life; as somebody nicely said; it is not where you stand that matters; it is in which direction you are standing; that matters. Are you walking towards Me or walking away from Me. Therefore direction is more important; not the actual location; So never compare with others; be proud that you are in the right direction;

The direction is more important. He has re-oriented his life. So have confidence and start bhakti.

Take away:

When I am particular about only a type of future result; and don’t accept any other future result, it shows there is resistance to anything other than a particular outcome in future, resulting in stress and anxiety. However, a nishkama bhaktha welcomes and accepts whatever comes in the future as such he is free from all stress and anxiety.

When we drop our anxiety for possession for material things, we have renunciation.

Insecurity is a problem of the mind and not about the possessions you have.

Even the worst sinner if he comes to Me, without any wavering in the mind; with total surrender, if that person comes, the day he has decided to change, he is as good as a saint.

With Best Wishes,


Ram Ramaswamy





Baghawat Geeta, Class 125: Chapter, Verses 23 – 27

Shloka # 23:

येऽप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयाऽन्विताः
तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्।।9.23।।

Those also who are the devotees of other divinities, who worship them with faith, are worshipping Me only, Arjuna! but not according to Vedic injunctions.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, from shloka # 21 to # 29 Sri Krishna is classifying bhakti into two broad types based on motive of bhakti. A Gyani’s motiveless bhakti is not taken into account in this classification. He does not have anything to accomplish. He has moksha; he does not have any desire for finite things including dharma, artha, kama or moha. Therefore Gyani’s bhakti is motiveless and it is not considered here. Here we are talking of motive driven bhakti. This includes Sakama bhakti, which is worship of God for everything else other than God. God is in heaven and everything is fine is their view. It is motivated by Preyas or interested in materialistic desires. Nishkama bhakti of an Agyani is also a motivated bhakti; if so, why is it nishkama? The reason is that the bhakti here is not interested in anything other than God. Therefore it is Nishkama bhakti. Here motive is desire for God.

When a bhakti says I am interested in you alone, God, remember that in Vedanta, “you” does not mean a personal God; because personal God is as finite as any other thing; So there “you” means a finite form which represents satyam, gyanam, anantham, brahma. Thus when I seek nothing but God; who represents infinite Brahman; when I become a theevra mumukshu, it is called nishkama bhakthi; of a Gyani. So this sakama, nishkama bhakthi of Agyani’s are differentiated in this portion and Sri Krishna’s indirect advice is: May you graduate from sakama bhakthi to nishkama bhakthi.

And this is indicated in a symbolic language; that symbolic language you should understand to interpret these verses properly. What is that symbolic language? In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna represents the infinite Lord; the infinite one or moksha while all the other Gods represent the finite devathas; representing all the finite goals of life, like money; thus Lakshmi devi is a finite devatha representing only money aspect; similarly Surya devatha is a finite devatha representing only the power of vision; thus all the other devathas represent limited goals of life; whereas Sri Krishna represents the limitless.

Citing example of checkbook, which leaf within it is important? All leafs are equal until you write a sum on one. So leafs are same, what you write makes it important. Similarly, all rupams are finite but what you invoke is important. If you invoke Satyam, Brahman in Sri Krishna Shariram then he is infinite.

And, therefore, Sri Krishna says, instead of worshipping other finite devathas; you can worship me, myself because all the devathas are included in me. What is the reason? By the simple logic that infinite includes all finite. And therefore Krishna says any devatha, a person worships, all that worship will not go to that particular devatha; but through that devatha, it comes to me alone; Similarly, In Shivapurana it says: any worship goes to Shiva; In Devi bhagavatham it says any worship will go to devi; which one is correct; everything is correct, if you understand the principle behind it.

Any worship goes to Sri Krishna and any blessing also comes from him alone through the Devata. Next principle is also in symbolic language.

Since all Devatas represent finite powers their worship will get you the blessing of that special finite power. Thus Laxmi will give you money; Saraswati will give you knowledge etc. Therefore people go to those Devatas for their powers; hence it is considered Sakama Bhakti.

If so, to whom should one go to for infinite result? One has to go to Sri Krishna for infinite result. Per Gita, Sri Krishna bhakti is Nishkama bhakti. Other Devata Bhakti represents Sakama Bhakti. Similarly one can say the same about about Shiva Bhakti as well as Devi Bhakti.

Shloka # 23:

 येऽप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयाऽन्विताः
तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्।।9.23।।

Those also who are the devotees of other divinities who worship them with faith, are worshipping Me only, Arjuna! but not according to Vedic injunctions.

There are people who worship other Gods but they do not know that their worship is finally coming to Me alone.

Avadhi in shloka means agyanam; in this context it means they are ignorant of the fact that all the finite devathas are included in Me and by worshipping Me, they have also worshipped all the other devathas.

Shloka # 24:

अहं हि सर्वयज्ञानां भोक्ता प्रभुरेव
तु मामभिजानन्ति तत्त्वेनातश्च्यवन्ति ते।।9.24।।

I indeed am enjoyer and master of all sacrifices; but they do not recognize Me in truth. Therefore they lapse.

The same idea is further clarified. I am receiver of all forms of worship offered to Devatas. I am also providing the blessing to the devotee through the Devatas.

So I alone give the power to the finite devathas with which they bless their devotee. Seeing my physical form, people think I am the finite form; such people are deluded.

So by saying that they do not know My real nature; Sri Krishna indirectly conveys I have got two natures; what are those natures? He has two natures; one is the superficial unnatural nature and the other is essential real nature. What is the superficial unreal nature? The physical form, the finite form, is the superficial unreal nature because the Lord temporarily takes it on an ashtami day. It was not there before; and it will not be there after svargarohanam and therefore manushya vesham is unreal.

Seeing my physical human form; the deluded

people think that I am a particular finite person; but my real nature is formless; without attributes; sat chit ananda svarupam; These people do not understand that real nature. So instead of knowing my purna svarupam they take my apurna svarupam only.

Even if they worship Me they don’t ask for Me. They only ask for their personal desires. Going to Bhagavan we can ask for infinite; but still our daridra buddhi comes in. Even when the Lord is willing to give the infinite, free of cost; we still only ask for perishable and ephemeral things; Bhagavan says; My hands are in both pockets; one pocket is in infinite and the other in finite; ready to give both; but people do namaskara and ask for finite things only; only one hand of mine is active; the other hand is almost paralyzed, because I have been never able to use that hand to distribute from the moksha pocket; nobody asks even by mistake; therefore Sri Krishna is disappointed; Having come to Me; having got an opportunity for asking the infinite; they do not ask out of sheer indiscrimination; sheer foolishness; They do not ask; therefore they fall into Samsara.

Shloka # 25:

यान्ति देवव्रता देवान् पितृ़न्यान्ति पितृव्रताः
भूतानि यान्ति भूतेज्या यान्ति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम्।।9.25।।

To gods repair their devotees; to the manes go those devoted to manes. The worshippers of the elementals go to these elementals. My worshippers come to Me.

So, people don’t ask for moksha. But the question comes up as to why God does not give me Moksha anyway? Sri Krishna says that would not work; because of two reasons.

One reason is, in human birth, the Lord has given us free will; unlike animal birth; animals cannot choose their goals; they are instinctively programmed to pursue certain basic things; they will pursue them, and they will die; whereas human being has got a freewill that means he can choose his goal and he should choose his goal. God will not interfere in our choice; god’s role is only giving us the information of what are the goals available and which goal can be reached and by which path. And if you refuse to use your choice, it indirectly means that you do not want to utilize the privilege of human birth. And if you refuse to utilize the privilege of human birth; indirectly you are declaring: Oh Lord; it is my mistake that I have come to human birth; please put me back to animal birth; that is the declaration, if you refuse to choose; therefore you can never refuse to choose whether you want moksha or not. This choice is yours alone. Bhagavan says I can assist you; but you have to choose. And therefore Moksha has to be your choice; this is one reason that God does not give moksha.

Another reason: suppose you don’t desire moksha and god gives it to you; you may refuse it. So even God is helpless; he can’t force moksha on you. So you have to ask for whatever you want. Worshippers of Devatas will get what they ask for. Thus, a money worshipper will get money; an ancestor worshipper will go to Pitr Loka. “Whatever you worship, unknowingly you will become”. Then worshippers of bhutha ganas; bhuta, preta, pisacha, yaksha, etc., will end up becoming such; worshipping tamasic deities; attaining tamasic goals; worshipping rajasic deities; attaining rajasic goals.

Whereas, Sri Krishna says, those who worship Me, representing brahman, satyam gyannam anatham; representing moksha; purnatvam; shanti; they will come to Me only; Me representing Moksha itself.

Shloka # 26:

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः।।9.26।।

Whoso with devotion offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I enjoy what has been thus offered with devotion by that pure-hearted worshipper.

 In the scriptures, sakama bhakthi is also talked about; nishkama bhakthi is also talked about; sakama rituals are also talked about; nishkama rituals are also talked about.

For example, sandhya vandhanam is a nishkama ritual; it is purely meant for spiritual progress; chitta shuddhi; guru prapthi; gyana prapthi; moksha prapthi. Whereas

puthrakamesti yaga is meant for puthra prapthi, a sakama ritual.

Depending on result one wants there are rules to be followed during a ritual including: time, date, deity, meditation, dress, priest, dakshina etc. If you will violate a rule prayaschittam has to be performed. The higher the result expected, more complex the ritual. In this context when you want infinite result you would expect the puja should to be more complex. However, Sri Krishna says, the puja for infinite is very simple and no rules are required.

Thus, Sakama puja has many rules. In Nishkama puja, performed with motive of God alone, as a mumukshu, one who wants God as his goal; he can offer a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water as his offering with Nishkama bhakti. He maybe an Agyani and a Samsari but he is a mumukshu. Such a person is one with a pure mind (one without desire of finite goals); when he prays, I receive his offering, although it is a simple offering, offered to me with love.

So since he has got such a nishkama bhakthi,

I receive that offering, even though it is a very inferior offering. I receive that offering, because it is offered with bhakti; it is offered with a love for myself;

So when God is the means in sakama bhakti; your love is a fake love; but nishkama bhaktha is doing puja for the sake of Lord. Therefore his love for me is the real love, and therefore I receive that love; Sri Krishna says I do not bother whether the medium that you use for offering love is flower or leaf; I do not care because through the medium, you are giving me the pure love. Therefore, I accept that. 

Shloka # 27:

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम्।।9.27।।

Whatever you do, eat, sacrifice, offer as gift, perform as austerity, O Arjuna! do all this as a dedication to Me. 

Suppose a person says I do not have pathram, pushpam; phalam; thoyam; then what shall I offer? Sri Krishna says, even if you do not have any special thing for offering to Me, it does not matter; you will be consuming things; you will have food; you will drink water; you will do some work; therefore whatever you are associated with, may you offer that to Me as an arpanam; Therefore, he says, any karma that you do; any laukika karma that you perform; even working in the office; any work, even most mundane work that you do, dedicate it to the Lord, and it can function as a puja.

So offer every action in your life, even the most mundane ones, as a puja with bhakti. This is the greatest puja one can offer, exhorts Swamiji.

Now a question can come up, how can I offer my work at office as a puja? Remember, God is everywhere. Close your eyes during any work and offer it to God. This is a practice unique to Vedic tradition. You can worship God anywhere. Close your eyes, imagine God in your stomach and offer him the food you are about to partake as an offering. Whatever your nitya karmas, offer it to God. This requires a change in attitude. If you are fasting on Eka Dashi day offer the fast as an offering to God. It is only an attitudinal change. This is Nishkama bhakti.

Take away:

So offer every action in your life, even the most mundane ones, as a puja with bhakti. This is the greatest puja one can offer, exhorts Swamiji.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy




Baghawat Geeta, Class 124: Chapter 9, Verses 20 – 23

त्रैविद्या मां सोमपाः पूतपापा
यज्ञैरिष्ट्वा स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयन्ते
ते पुण्यमासाद्य सुरेन्द्रलोक
मश्नन्ति दिव्यान्दिवि देवभोगान्।।9.20।।

Conversant with the lore of the triple Vedic texts, drinkers of soma-juice, cleansed of sins, crave attainment after having sacrificed unto Me. They reach the meritorious world of Indra and enjoy there devine felicities.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, having talked about bhakti in general as a means of moksha, now Sri Krishna is talking about two types of Bhakti: Sakama bhakti and Nishkama bhakti. Both Bhaktis were discussed in chapter # 7 as well. In Chapter # 7 Bhakti was classified in three broad types: Manda Bhakti, Madhyama bhakti and Uttama Bhakti. Manda Bhakti is when person is looking at God for worldly benefits such as health, wealth etc. Here God is considered Sadhanam and things obtained by worshipping God are considered Sadhyam. It is the lowest form of Bhakti. Here I love God not for his sake but for some material gain.

When somebody loves me for the sake of borrowing money from me, and as long as I lend money, he loves me, he says you are Indra, Chandra, great swami, whatever it is; and I wanted to test that person and stop giving money, and gradually the friendship also is broken; his love is also broken. Now you ask the question, did that person love me for my sake, or for the sake of money? So when I have money, somebody loves; when I have no money, the same people do not love; then it is very clear that they love money, rather than me. This is simple anvyayavyathireka logic; did he love my money or me? It is very clear; people love money and not me.

Similarly when I love God for worldly benefits, it is an incidental love of God. Here God is only a means; hence it is Sakama Bhakti.

As he matures he realizes God as superior to all worldly things one can obtain and with this his attitude changes. Now I love God as an end itself. Now God is the end and world the means to the end. This radical change is Madhyama Bhakti or Nishkama Bhakti; here I don’t ask for anything worldly.

Uttama Bhakti: In madhyama bhakti God is an end and love of god is superior to love of world because the world is means, God is the end; love for the end, is certainly superior to the love for the means.

But Vedanta goes one step further; it asks why do you love god; why not money or something else? Your answer is that goal of God makes me happy.

So why does a devotee desire to attain God?

Because I love the goal; not for the sake of the goal itself; I love the goal, for the sake of myself only; If the goal will not give me happiness; then what will I do; change the goal. So therefore, as long as you see Lord as the goal; certainly you love God; but that love of God is also lesser than the love for oneself.

So superior to love of a goal is love of him Self. I love goal for love of my own self. You do love God, but it is lesser than love for one’s self. Thus, love for the end is greater than one for the means.

It is a beautiful approach; you have to meditate on this idea; love for the end is superior to the love for the means; and love for oneself is superior to the love for

the end, because I love the end for whose sake; not for the sake of the end; but for the sake of myself; and therefore in the highest level of bhakthi; God is neither the means nor the end, I have to discover God as myself.

And when God and self becomes identical; the love or devotion has reached the climax, which is called advaita bhakthi; abheda bhakthi; para bhakthi; Gyana bhakthi.

This Sri Krishna talked about in the 7th chapter as well.

Arjuna! all types of all kinds of devotees are certainly great; but the greatest devotee is that Gyani who is none other than myself.

So therefore, what are the three levels that we have to go through; first God is the means called sakama bhakthi; then God is the end, which is called nishkama bhakthi; and thereafter God is myself; which is advaitha bhakthi. 

Sri Krishna says the greatest Bhakti is I myself.

All three are great bhaktas. They have performed yagnas and had soma as a part of prasada and are thus free from papam and acquire a lot of punyam. To them God is willing to give anything. But these people pray for swarga phalam and God has no choice. What you get in life is not due to God. He does not choose what he should give. What ever you want, you ask. So, you choose your own desires. You are responsible for your own lot. Thus, these people, instead of seeking God seek swarga. Citing an example:

It is like a baby whom when we offer a gold biscuit and

a real biscuit; real biscuit meaning edible biscuit; now

the baby will ask for the edible biscuit; it will ask

what can I do with the gold biscuit; poor child does not know that gold biscuit can buy millions of edible biscuits; this is called nithya anitya vasthu vivekah nasthi.

So, God gives blessing of swarga and the blessing of moksha is lost to devotee. Therefore, Sakama bhaktas, (manda bhaktas), reach the world of Indra, a heavan full of sense pleasures and they enjoy them. Listening to it, it looks like the sakama bhakta made the right choice after all. Sri Krishna has more to say on that topic.

Shloka # 21:

ते तं भुक्त्वा स्वर्गलोकं विशालं
क्षीणे पुण्ये मर्त्यलोकं विशन्ति
एव त्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्ना
गतागतं कामकामा लभन्ते।।9.21।।

Having enjoyed the vast world of heaven, their merit spent, they enter the world of mortals. Thus conforming to the law of the three Vedas and desiring objects of pleasure, they achieve movements to and from (heaven). 

Sri Krishna says their choice of swarga superficially looks good. They will enjoy heavenly pleasures for a long time. They will get pleasures of all Gods. Deva loka is very large. This is the bright side of Sakama Bhakti. What is its negative side? This Swarga Loka is only given for the punyam earned through many karmas, as such, it is limited and not infinite. One cannot earn Punyam in Swarga loka. Swarga is Abhoga Bhumi; it is not Karma Bhumi. One day all punyam will get exhausted and one will come back to Madras with all its mosquitoes.

Mundaka Upanishad says, even return to manushya loka is not guaranteed. It depends on one’s past karmas.

So, what? When any object which gives joy by association; the very same object gives sorrow because of dissociation; it is very natural; if you are watching a movie; very interesting one; and in the middle, the current goes; you do not have generator also; now even they have that; now if you have generator, suppose generator also goes; you get so wild; and your anger is directly proportional to the enjoyment that you derive

But the mind is such that having enjoyed something, it cannot settle for anything lesser than that, and therefore the withdrawal symptom as it is called is extremely painful. Therefore they come back to the dukha lokam.

Sri Krishna says, every Samsari is like an addict; does karma; enjoys; loses everything; again does karma; enjoys; loses everything; karma, phalam, janma, again karma, phalam, janma; karma phalam janma. Thus, bhaktas continue their cycle of life and death.

Therefore, in this manner; those people who follow the ritualistic portion of the vedas; the karma kanda portion of the vedas and with an aim of pure enjoyment, sensory enjoyment, worldly pleasures, such people do all the pooja, etc. but use punyam earned for the sake of the perishable pleasures.

Consequence is that they go to Swarga Loka and come back to Bhu Loka and this goes on, back and forth. All earnings of punyam and papam are possible only in Bhu Loka. All other 13 Lokas are meant only for exhausting them, the lower lokas for papam and higher lokas for punyam.  This is the autobiography of a Samsari.

Shloka # 22:

अनन्याश्िचन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम्।।9.22।।

To men who exclusively meditate on Me and elaborately worship Me, who apply themselves incessantly (to meditation), I bring prosperity and security.

 In last two shlokas Sri Krishna talked about Manda Bhakti as Sakama Bhakti. In this important shloka now, Nishkama bhakti is being described. Here God is end of all endeavors.

When God is the end, love for God is superior. Our mind is always obsessed with the end rather than the means. It is like travelling to Delhi. While you buy the rail ticket, you travel in train for several days, you go through all experiences; your goal of reaching Delhi remains unchanged. Or like building a house, you go through a whole process of buying the land, hiring a contractor and going through the process of building the house, all the time keeping the end goal of house in mind.

Similarly here also; in the case of madhyma bhaktha; he does all the worldly transactions; but the absorbed in the ultimate goal of his life; that is called Bhagavan in puranic language; that is called moksha in vedantic language; that is called theevra mumukshatvam in vedantic language; that is called Jignasu bhakthi in the 7th chapter language.

Transactions go on but goal is fixed. So for Nishkama bhakta his goal is God and it displaces all other objectives from my mind. While I perform all transactions, my mind is in God.

This is ananya bhakti. Here mind is absorbed in God. Other goals of life are not ignored. But they are at a subdued level; god alone predominates.

Absorption in God does not mean disregard to one’s family duties. Their goal is moksha. What about worries of worldly life?

Earning, supporting or Yoga (acquiring) and Kshema (protection), or acquisitions and preservations, we continue to perform these two without thinking of anything else. Sri Krishna says no human can ever provide total Yoga Kshema as everything in universe is insecure.

Thinking I can provide perfect security is the biggest myth; so fill the gap by surrendering to God. It does not mean you have to give up responsibility. Where is the limit to security? One can take care as much as possible and leave rest to God; this way mind is available to the beyond yoga and kshema. Is God reliable; is a question that may come up? We know humans are not. Sri Krishna says I am the real and only security. I will take care of your yoga and kshema under one condition. The condition is being committed to Me completely. They are called Jigyasu or Madhyama bhaktas. Normally a Grihastha should feel secure while Sanyasi should worry, as he has no one to help him. Security is not based upon external possessions; it is based upon internal mindset.

It is like I telling you that I will give you Rs.10 loan if you give me Rs.10 now; Then, we will happily live; remember two beggars cannot depend on each other;  two insecure members can’t give each other security. The ever-secure entity is God and he alone can give you security. Sri Krishna says if you trust Me, you will be secure.

Shloka # 23:

येऽप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयाऽन्विताः
तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्।।9.23।।

Those also who are the devotees of other divinities, who worship them with faith, are worshipping Me only, Arjuna! but not according to Vedic injunctions.

In previous shlokas Sri Krishna said Nishkama bhakta’s are those who worship Me. Does every seeker of moksha have to worship Sri Krishna alone? Can he worship other Gods? Sri Krishna clarifies this here. It was also clarified in chapter # 7 before.

Any form of god is finite. Form is finite. Thus Krishna form, Shiva form all are finite. In any form we can invoke infinite power. So, value of deity, depends on our invocation.

I gave you an example as to which check leaf is superior? Remember, the value of a check leaf; depends upon what you write on it, until then all leafs are of equal value; provided the money is in the bank; of course; similarly here also all the devathas are equal;

But when I invoke infinite in the form, he becomes infinite. In Bhagawad Gita, Sri Krishna is the infinite.

Take away:

You do love God, but it is lesser than love for one’s self.

And, therefore, in the highest level of bhakthi, God is neither the means nor the end; I have to discover God as myself.

And when God and self becomes identical; the love or devotion has reached the climax, which is called advaita bhakthi.

All earnings of punyam and papam are possible only in Bhu Loka. All other 13 Lokas are meant only for exhausting them; the lower lokas for papam and higher lokas for punyam.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy




Baghawat Geeta, Class 123: Chapter 9, Verses 17 to 20

Shloka # 17:

पिताऽहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामहः
वेद्यं पवित्रमोंकार ऋक् साम यजुरेव ।।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.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, Sri Krishna has been talking about the means of attaining freedom from Samsara or moksha. He gives bhakti as a solution. Here we have to understand Bhakti carefully. Bhakti, here, refers to a range of sadhanas. In Chapter 12 we will see more on Bhakti. When Bhakti is presented as a means of moksha three types of Bhakti are being discussed. They are:

  1. Karma lakshana bhakthi;
  2. Upasana lakshana bhakthi; and
  3. Gyana lakshana bhakthi.

The first stage of bhakthi is in the form of karma yoga; which will purify the mind, then one has to graduate to the upasana lakshana bhakthi; bhakthi in the form of

meditation, by which a person gets the integration of the mind, and then one has to necessarily go through the final Gyana lakshana bhakthi; which is nothing but bhakthi in the form of vedanta shravana manana nidhidhyasana.

In Viveka Chudamani, Shankaracharya beautifully defines this bhakti. He says, the third and final level of bhakthi is not in the form of puja, not in the form of parayanam; not in the form of social service; the final level of bhakthi is in the form of enquiry; with the help of scriptures and Upanishads, I make an enquiry into the essential nature of the Lord.

Thus, we have to remember that bhakti without Gyanam can’t give moksha. In Kaivalya Upanishad also it says there is no method other than Gyanam.

All the Upanishads are uniformly insistent that Gyana alone is Kaivalyam.

So bhakti’s final stage is Gyana Yogam. Gyana Yogam, the systematic study of scriptures, is the subtlest form of Bhakti. It is also the highest form of bhakti. We can take solace that even our study here is, bhakti alone.

Thus Bhakti=Karma+ Upasana+ Gyanam. This topic will be elaborated upon later in the Chapter 12 titled Bhakti Yoga.

When we say Bhakti as a means of liberation it also means that the object of our Bhakti too evolves even as our Bhakti evolves.

So when I start my bhakthi; my appreciation of the Lord, the object of devotion is a very gross appreciation and my bhakthi should evolve, the culmination of which will be the ideal form of bhakthi and only when that bhakthi is evolved into that form; it will lead to liberation.

What is the evolution of bhakti? In initial stages Bhatkti is Eka Rupa Ishwara bhakti. It then evolves to Aneka or Vishwa rupa Ishwara bhakti; here lord is everything. Thus, in Rudram mantras, Shiva is described as everything. Thus: Lord Shiva who is in the form of tree; who is in the form of mud, who is in the form of green leaf; the one who is in the form of dry leaf; whatever ordinary materials are there in the whole world, everything is Shiva;

So therefore, the appreciation of God changes and mode of bhakthi also changes; how does the mode of bhakthi change; karma to upasanam to Vedanta vichara;

This is the change in the mode of my expression of devotion; And not only the mode of devotion varies; the object of devotion; the Lord’s nature also varies; And what is the culmination of bhakthi; culmination of bhakthi is nothing but the knowledge that the Lord in his formless nature is none other than myself; it also culminates in discovery of Advaita gyanam.

If you ask what is the proof for all these things; in seventh chapter, while enumerating bhakthas, Sri Krishna says, the greatest bhaktha is one, who

has gained the knowledge, aham Brahmasmi;

The mode of bhakthi has three levels, karma plus upasana plus vichara. The object of bhakthi also has three levels; ekarupa, aneka rupa and arupa. And such a bhakthi will give liberation.

Sri Krishna is describing aneka rupa bhakti from shloka # 16 onwards. We have just gone through Shlokas 16 and 17.

Shloka # 18:

गतिर्भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणं सुहृत्
प्रभवः प्रलयः स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम्।।9.18।।

The Goal, the Support, The Lord, The Witness, Abode, Refuge, Friend, Source, Dissolution, Existence, Treasury, and the indestructible Seed.

This shloka continues Vishwarupa Ishwara. Here, we are going through training on seeing everything as God.

So Sri Krishna gives a list of things here and points out that all these things are I Ishwara or myself only. So he says I am Gati, Bharta, Prabhu, Sakshi, etc, so we will see the meaning of each one of them described in the shloka.

Gati: means a destination; a goal, which is kept in mind by every person; we can say it is karma phalam. Every body does Karma not for enjoyment but to obtain a result or karma phalam. So, Karma phalam is always the goal and goal is called Gatihi.

And every karma phalam, I am; that means what; success is one type of karma phalam; and what is another; failure is another type of karma phalam.

So, every karma phalam has success and failure built into it. Therefore, never reject failure. Work for success but be prepared to welcome failure. Rejection of failure is rejection of God.

Therefore all good and bad, any experience you get, learn to accept it as God himself.

Bhartha: sustainer or karma phala dhata; one, who gives karma phalam. To perform this I have to take control of all laws of creation. To predict rain, they say, there are 160 variables that have to be taken into consideration. There are many unknown factors. So, Sri Krishna says, “ I am the giver of karma phalam”. So, don’t reject any karma phalam. Don’t ask why “Me”?

Prabhuhu: A master capable of doing the job; omniscient and omnipotent. I am Prabhu.

Sakshi: While doing all these karma phalams, from my own point of view I am just a witness or sakshi. Thus in an earthquake all do not feel the same effect as it varies according to their karmas.

Nivasaha: Abode of everything; Vishwadhara. I am the adhara of the world.

Thus in one shloka it says of Lord Padmanabha, “ I am lying on a snake. Snake is supporting God. In second line it says whole creation is resting on Lord.”

Sharanam: Refuge. When the world rejects me; when I am helpless; I am the ultimate refuge for everyone. I am protector of anyone who surrenders to Me. Such devotees included Dhruva, Prahlada, Draupadi and Gajendra.

All these stories indicate that Lord is a two-fold protector; the Lord protects from incidental problems that a person faces, like Draupadi or Gajendra; and also Lord is the ultimate protector from samsara.  To protect from the samsara crocodile he sent, the “Tat Tam Asi” sudarshana chakram.

Sharanam means one in whose presence we are free from all problems.

Suhrit means well wisher. Chapter # 6 talks of two kinds of help. One is where you help somebody in return for a favor later. The other is where one helps even if a person is unknown. He helps without any expectations. The second is Suhrit. Lord is Suhrit.

Citing an example, a person promised a large house to God, thinking God will not solve his problem. But the problem got solved. Now he wanted to escape from his promise. He said house and cat are available for sale. House was for Rs 1 and cat for Rs 9 laks. The money from house I will give to Lord. Such is the human mind even then Lord helps as a Suhrit.

Prabhavaha: Srishti karanam.

Pralayaha: Laya Karanam.

Sthanam: Sthiti karanam.

These three words put together means srishti sthiti laya karanam; I am the substratum from whom the creation arises; in whom the creation rests; into whom the creation resolves.

Nidhanam: Repository of everything including knowledge, in creation.  Our shastra says that even before invention of a knowledge that knowledge exists in the creation in God.

Therefore, knowledge is also a discovery. In fact, we do not produce knowledge we only remove ignorance. Every knowledge is a discovery; and where does it exist, in God. Therefore I am the storehouse of all things, all beings and all forms of knowledge.

Avyayam Bijam: Inexhaustible seed, out of which infinite things appear. Therefore, the difference between nidhanam and bijam, one can be taken to be the karma phalam, which are in potential form; sanchita rupam; and avyayam bijam can be taken as everything and being in the creation, I am the inexhaustible seed. In short, I am everything.

Shloka # 19:

तपाम्यहमहं वर्षं निगृह्णाम्युत्सृजामि
अमृतं चैव मृत्युश्च सदसच्चाहमर्जुन।।9.19।।

I cause heat; I arrest and send forth rain; I am mortality and death; both being and non-being am I, O Arjuna. 

Now Sri Krishna comes to something recognized by all people, the God Surya or Sun. What role does sun play? The sun energizes each being. We survive because of the sun. Sun helps with its many seasons. Sun is usually shown as manifestation of Ishwara. Thus in sandhyavandanam it is all about glorification of sun.

Sun is taken as a representative of God. It is the only source of inexhaustible energy. That Sun I am; Aham Tapami. As sun, I alone energize. I also heat oceanic waters and evaporate them producing tons of pure water. He also transports the water to land through Vayu Bhagawan. Then it rains. When these things happen seasonally, do not take it for granted, appreciate bhagawan.

“ I am creator of rain taking it to land and releasing it on land”. This shloka has two meanings attributed to it.

Relative meaning:  I am the cause of survival. Through rain I produce food, so people escape death or survive through anna danam. Suppose I withdraw this blessing and then there will be draught and death. Thus I am responsible for draught and death as well.

Philosophical meaning: I am the cause for both mortality and immortality; So here mortality means Gyanam; so I am the cause of immortality; in the form of Gyanam; I give Gyanam; and give immortality to the seekers; and I am the cause of mortality also; when I do not bless the people or through Agyanam; so I am the cause of both, mortality and immortality.

Sat: Means manifest creation, visible creation, such as physical body.

Asat: unmanifest creation; includes subtle body. 

Shloka # 20:

त्रैविद्या मां सोमपाः पूतपापा
यज्ञैरिष्ट्वा स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयन्ते
ते पुण्यमासाद्य सुरेन्द्रलोक
मश्नन्ति दिव्यान्दिवि देवभोगान्

Conversant with the lore of the triple Vedic texts, drinkers of soma-juice, cleansed of sins, crave attainment after having sacrificed unto Me. They reach the meritorious world of Indra and enjoy there devine felicities. 

With shloka # 19, bhakti as a means of moksha is over. In shlokas # 20-# 29 Sri Krishna wants to talk about types of bhakti: 1) Sakama bhakti and 2) Nishkama bhakti.

Sakama Bhakti: Here one seeks artha and kama used for material gains. Sri Krishna does not say which to use. He gives the means and the ends. Sakama bhakti will give worldly security and entertainment.

Nishkama Bhakti: I am not interested in artha or kama. I want to use bhakti for moksha or related goals such as Sadhana chatushtaya sampathihi. If I have all qualifications, I can go to shastra vichara under a qualified Guru.

Sri Krishna wants to compare both, Sakama and Nishkama bhakti’s, in shlokas 20 and 21.

How to know who is a Sakama Bhakta? It is seen in motive of one’s sankalpa. What is the purpose of your business? If money is secondary and my goal is Chitta shuddhi, then even my business is Nishkama Bhakti.

Sri Krishna says most people are interested in pleasure. Highest pleasure is heaven. Sri Krishna says even from heaven, one finally has to come back to earth.

Take away:

  1. Work for success but be prepared to welcome failure. Rejection of failure is rejection of God.
  2. All the Upanishads are uniformly insistent that Gyanam alone is Kaivalyam.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy




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:

  1. Initially God is seen as Eka rupa Ishwara or Ishta Devata.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
मंत्रोऽहमहमेवाज्यमहमग्निरहं हुतम्।।9.16।।

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:

Eka: Manda

Aneka: Madhyama

Arupa: Uttama

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 ।।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.

Take away:

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,

Ram Ramaswamy




Baghawat Geeta, Class : Chapter 9, Verses 12 to 15

Shloka # 12:

मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतसः
राक्षसीमासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः।।9.12।।

Futile are their desires, futile their works, and futile their cognitions! They are mindless; (for) they have resorted to the delusive nature of monsters and demons.

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. Chapter # 7 talked about lower nature as well as higher nature of God.

In shloka # 11, ignorance of higher nature of god is shown as cause of Samsara. How can this be? The PP (para prakriti, higher nature) is beyond time and space. So only by holding on to PP, immortality is possible. Any AP (Apara prakriti, lower nature) is within time and space and Maya as such subject to change. So long as one is AP he will be a Samsari. Even in Karma Kanda he may go to a higher Loka but those Lokas are also a part of AP.

And therefore only when a person knows the real nature of God and holds on to the real nature, he can be free from samsara. But this fact majority of people do not know and therefore they hold on to finite thing and loose it and suffer and the unfortunate thing is that they do not learn and they hold on to another finite thing, and again suffer.

So this ignorance is cause of Samsara.

And then from the 12th shloka onwards, up to the 19th shloka, Sri Krishna talks about different types of people. There are some people who have diagnosed this problem of ignorance and once we know ignorance is the cause of samsara, we know the solution is para prakrti; and once that is also clear then Gyanam is the solution. For Gyanam I require the necessary qualification and therefore sadhana chatushaya sampathi will become my immediate goal and for sadhana chatushtaya sampathi, I have to follow karma yoga and upasana. Thus I know what my course of life is; because clarity is there; I have to follow karma yoga; I have to follow upasana; I have to acquire necessary qualifications; I have to follow Gyana yoga; I have to attain Gyanam; and through Gyanam I have to remove ignorance and obtain mukthi.

Some people are very clear and they take the right path. Many others don’t know and they take the wrong path. They do not know what exactly they want. They

go after a goal for some time and acquire it; and they find that they do not get what they wanted. And then they replace the goal with another one; again

acquire it and again no satisfaction is obtained. So these people are confused people, Sri Krishna talked about the confused people, unlucky and unfortunate ones, in shloka #12. And why they are confused, because their thinking is not clear. In Kathopanishad, we saw that the body is compared to a chariot; sense organs are compared to the horses, mind is compared to the reins; and intellect is compared to the driver; a journey will be in the right direction, if the driver is informed properly.

Arjuna had Sri Krishna to guide him. Scriptures also guide one in a proper manner. Unfortunately, most do not come to scriptures. Our life, generally, takes three courses. They are:

  1. Janati: One who knows about his goal.
  2. Ichati: One who desires to reach his goal.
  3. Yatate: One who strives towards a goal.

If Gyanam is improper, desire will also be improper, resulting in improper effort as well. These people don’t have viveka shakti. We are all aviveki’s and scripture comes here to guide us.

Moghajanah, they all have the wrong understanding and expectations; and what are the wrong expectations; everything impermanent is mistaken as permanent; they think power is permanent; position is permanent; people around will be permanent; above all, money they think is permanent. So this they do not know; therefore they have wrong expectation; of security from insecure; permanence from the impermanence.

So, they have vain desires. If desire is futile, their action will also be futile and they don’t get what they expect.

In Chapter # 3 it says, when they have wrong desires, any amount of accomplishments will not satisfy them and rather it will lead them to greed.

Therefore Sri Krishna says, their actions will be kama pradhana actions; or krodhah pradhana actions; either their actions are born out of attachment; or their actions are born out of hatred; so rakshasim and asurim; the difference is: one is ragah, pradhana; another is dveshah pradhana.

Thus, they take to illegal methods of acquisition. With their greedy behavior they get into cutthroat competition and thus Dvesha enters them and their Kama then becomes Krodha.

What about pancha maha yagna; nothing like that exists in his life; everything will go away and therefore nitya naimithika karma also will drop; why because there is no time; I would like to use that time to earn more money. And therefore, rakshas asurim prakrti dominates.

They take to mohini, which will delude the people; which means they get into a vicious cycle. Because of non-discrimination; their kamya nishiddha karmas increase; and with it the power of discrimination gets further stifled or overpowered. Their bhuddhi will get further spoiled and eventually they loose even their conscience and thus criminals are born. Their intellect now justifies compromised values.

When we compromise with the values initially, there is a prick; Somehow you managed that, second time lying will not be pricking that much; third lie, still lesser; fourth lie, no prick at all; fifth lie, I begin to justify; sixth lie, I say it is required in kaliyuga. If one lives to this stage the person becomes incorrigible and can hope for a better luck only at next birth.

When fire is burning in forest, the wind becomes its friend. However, when the same fire was small the wind was its foe. If you cant defeat them, join them. Initially when our mind goes in wrong direction we can stop it. But later, it becomes difficult. Then the intellect cannot stop the compromise with values. And then the intellect will begin to join and justify the violation; and such people are called rakshasic people and asuric people.

Shloka # 13:

महात्मानस्तु मां पार्थ दैवीं प्रकृतिमाश्रिताः
भजन्त्यनन्यमनसो ज्ञात्वा भूतादिमव्ययम्।।9.13।।

But magnanimous persons, resorting to a nature that is divine, O Arjuna! adore Me single-mindedly knowing ME to be the imperishable source of beings.

In previous shloka Sri Krishna talked about misguided people bogged in Samsara. There are some fortunate people who, due to their past Karmas, are born in good families.

O Partha! People born in good families take to satvik nature practicing Pancha Maha Yagna’s and leading a dharmic life. To them, due to the grace of God, they develop nithya anithya vastu viveka. They lead a religiously alert life.

Every experience teaches me a valid lesson that I should seek security only from God and not from Samsara. Seek peace only from God. This nithya anithya viveka they develop.

They have daivic prakriti. Mind purifying karmas are more in their lives. They see Me as the ultimate shelter. They see Me as the ultimate causeless cause of all beings. They see God as beginning- less, without end or infinite. They see everything other than God as finite. Intelligent people learn from other’s suffering. Unintelligent learn from, their own suffering.

Their journey begins without any distractions. In our tradition even married life is meant to be an Ashrama for Chitta Shudhi; it leads to dharma and moksha. Artha and Kama are only incidental goals.

Shloka # 14:

सततं कीर्तयन्तो मां यतन्तश्च दृढव्रताः
नमस्यन्तश्च मां भक्त्या नित्ययुक्ता उपासते।।9.14।।

Incessantly glorifying Me, striving with steadfast vows; prostrating; eternally united, they worship Me with devotion.

How do they pursue God?

They are people of firm resolve; “ I want to attain moksha”; they are tivr mumukshas. They refresh their resolves through Vrathams. They talk of their goal as much as possible through Satsanga. The other people are also likeminded people and they will also remind you. So, they choose their friends carefully. They start preparing themselves (Yatante). Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampathi is difficult to obtain while Gyanam is easy to obtain, if you are prepared. So, one has to start preparation right now. Practice of Karma Yoga and Upasanas are all part of their preparations.

They know that mere effort is not enough; that there will be endless obstacles (pratibandhaha). To succeed Ishwara anugraha is crucial and so, they surrender to God.

If you remember, I had told you in my introduction to the seventh chapter, one thing that is highlighted in the first six chapters of the Gita is individual effort; then in the next six chapters, that is from the 7th chapter to the 12th chapter, the importance of Ishvara kripa is highlighted; Therefore prayathna is important;  anugrah is important; only when both go in hand in hand, can we succeed.

Yatante indicates free will. Namasyanta indicates role of grace.  So is freewill important or grace important? Both are equally important. If you discard freewill, you are fatalistic person; If you discard anugraha; you are an arrogant person; anugraham if you say no, arrogance; freewill if you say no to it means it is fatalism; we should neither be fatalistic; nor arrogance; we should know our effort is important; Ishvara’s grace is also important; Thus a balanced approach is required.

To be ever steadfast, is their personality. Just as a sports man has trainer, dietician, psychologist etc to support him similarly their total focus is on moksha.

Thus at all levels: annamaya; pranamaya; manomaya; vigyanamaya, even anandamaya, all levels, there is only one focus that of moksham alone; this they pursue and seek.

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.

 Now God is my goal. Even understanding of this goal evolves over time. There are thus three levels of understanding of God:

  1. In beginning stages: God is creator of world, the nimitha karanam, like a weaver, carpenter etc. The God is even seen as many headed or omniscient. Thus, four heads of Brahma indicate the four Vedas. It is a personal God like Vishnu. Once you progress then,
  2. Next level: Initially if God is seen as a person, he is limited spatially, meaning not present everywhere. Here God becomes the world. God is appearing as this universe. This universe is a form of God, Vishwarupa Ishwara. Here we are saying that Bhumi is the feet of the Lord; the sky is the body of the Lord; heaven is the head of the Lord.
  3. If god is everything, is Kuvam also God? Such doubts can arise. If god had only positive attributes he is limited. God does not become creation, rather it appears as creation. Real God is free from all appearances. He is Param Bhavana. He does not have any form at all.

Thus from Eka Rupa Ishwara>to>Aneka Rupa Ishwara>to> Arupa Ishwara.  Everyone has to go through all these three stages.

Some worship me as non-dual Ishwara by taking to Gyana Yoga. Through Vedanta Viveka they see Arupa Ishwara. Some others worship Aneka Rupa Ishwara. Furthermore, some others worship a God with a distinct form such as Rama or Krishna.

Swami Chinmayananda started his ashram in Bombay with a Shiva Deity. Hare Krishna people criticized him saying that he used Krishna’s name but went with Shiva.

Take away:

God is free from all appearances. He does not have any form at all.

Intelligent people learn from other’s suffering. Unintelligent learn from, their own suffering.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy




Baghawat Geeta, Class 120: Chapter 9, Verses 8 to 12

Shloka # 8:

प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः
भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात्।।9.8।।

Resorting, again and again, I loose forth this entire multidude of bound beings, swayed by and dependent on that nature.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, from shloka # 4 Sri Krishna is dealing with Ishwara Rupam. This topic is discussed until Shloka # 10. This topic was also discussed in Chapter 7 as Para Prakriti or Brahman and Apara Prakriti as Maya. Brahmaswarupam topic is considered the very essence of the Upanishads. Describing the features of God, we have already discussed following:

  1. Avyaktaha: Lord is one who is not available to the sense organs. He is free from the five-fold properties of shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha and if we experience the Lord, with any of these properties; then it may be the Lord, but it is not the higher nature of Lord. We have experienced the lower nature; in fact, any experienced Lord is of the lower nature.
  2. Sarvagataha: Lord has no form; as such he is all pervading.
  3. Jagad Adhishtanam: Lord is the substratum of all material Universe. He is the consciousness principle that is the substratum of the material world. It is the essence of matter. Normally we think there cannot be consciousness without matter. But here Sri Krishna says it is the other way round; consciousness can exist independent of matter, matter cannot exist independent of consciousness; that means consciousness is satyam and matter is mithya; therefore the Lord is the mithya jagat adhishtana svarupam; this is the third feature we saw.
  4. Asangatvam: Then the fourth feature that we saw is asangatvam; even though the Lord is the substratum sustaining the whole creation; the Lord is not tainted by the various impurities of the creation; the Lord is unsullied.  Lord is like the crystal, which is never tainted by any impurity. Shudha sphatika sangasam is the first name of the Lord given in the Sri Rudra dhyana shloka.  Therefore the Lord is assangaha, unsullied and unsulliable. This is the fourth feature known as asangatvam.
  5. Jagat Srishti Sthiti Laya Karanam: God is the source of creation, its rest and resolution. This is the fifth feature.

And then the Lord gave some details about the creation. How does the creation come and how does it resolve? A He says, the creation is not freshly produced by Me; because of the Law of conservation of matter and energy; nothing can be newly created by anyone; even by God. Therefore God says: I do not produce fresh matter; the material universe was already there in Me in my higher nature; in potential form; and that potential form alone is called the maya shakthi or the lower prakrti of the Lord. So the higher nature includes the lower nature of matter in potential form.

And matter in potential form is called prakrti or maya; therefore the world existed in the form of maya in Me; and this maya alone evolves into this creation; and dances about for some time; and again this prapancha gets resolved into maya form; So maya becomes prapancha, prapancha becomes maya; maya is unmanifest matter; prapancham is manifest matter. This unmanifest matter becomes manifest matter; which is called srishti and manifest matter again comes back to unmanifest matter, which is called layam.

What about God; He is neither unmanifest matter, nor manifest matter; Lord is the consciousness which supports the whole phenomenon of the material evolution and devolution.

When did the creation begin? This is a cyclic process as such there is no beginning or an end. Up to this we discussed in last class at Shloka # 8.

In shloka # 8, the word punah punah is used twice to denote eternity. The creation process does not happen in time. Time is itself in the process. Space and time are all within Maya.

Shloka # 9:

मां तानि कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय
उदासीनवदासीनमसक्तं तेषु कर्मसु।।9.9।।

These actions , Arjuna! bind Me not; I am as it were indifferent (to them all), being unattached to them.

Here Sri Krishna talks of the final and sixth feature of Ishwara by answering a possible doubt. When God says, I am creator of Universe; it seems to be an action. With action God becomes a Karta as well as a Bhokta. Now, because of the creation of universe many people are suffering. He creates us and then seems to enjoy our suffering, is the sentiment of some people. If so, does he pay a price for it?

Answering this doubt Sri Krishna says, I am akarta and abhokta; I am neither the creator; nor the destroyer and therefore you cannot attribute any action or result to me.

Sri Krishna says, O Arjuna, all these actions (srishti, sthiti, laya karmani) do not bind me at all. How is this possible? I am indifferent, or uninvolved or a detached person. Sri Krishna is giving us a clue here. As discussed in chapter # 5, Abhimana Tyaga is the secret to being free from Kartutvam and bhoktatvam. Whoever performs abhimana tyaga is free from karma phalam as well.

Shloka # 10:

मयाऽध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते सचराचरम्
हेतुनाऽनेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते।।9.10।।

Due to Me, the Supervisor, Nature gives birth to the world of mobile and immobile (beings). For this reason, Arjuna! it revolves in manifold ways.

 Remaining detached is called Sakshi Bhava. I do not perform anything willfully; rather it is Maya that functions in front of Sakshi. Citing an example, it is like the light illumines the hall, however, light does not influence any action in the hall, good or bad; also, good or bad actions don’t taint the light. While light is required it is not affected by the kartu phalam.

This is called sakshi bhavah. Therefore he says, in My presence. And when Krishna says in My presence, it does not refer to Krishna shariram; Krishna shariram is the visible lower nature. So when Sri Krishna says, in My presence, he is referring to that all pervading consciousness, which is formless, which is untainted, that consciousness is here, as Me and in my presence, prakrti functions; this is the basic matter called Maya; and which was called apara prakrti in the Chapter 7.

Thus all gadgets function in presence of electricity. Electricity only blesses the gadgets. Gadgets function according to their own nature; thus the bulb illumines and a fan rotates. So, nature of gadget determines type of function.

Electricity does not will or wish a particular action.

Similarly when there is a satvic brain or satvic mind, it will do its function blessed by consciousness, a rajasic mind will do its function, blessed by consciousness, a tamasic criminal mind will perform the criminal action; the criminality is determined by the nature of the mind; the blame cannot, however, go to the consciousness principle or God.

This is to be remembered because, people always ask; if God is in everyone; how come there are criminal thoughts in the people; God does not determine the nature of thought; God enlivens the instrument depending upon the nature of the instruments, the thoughts are generated accordingly; therefore he says, prakrti; the basic matter evolves, produces and projects into jagat. So this whole universe, consisting of the mobile and the immobile one, the moving and the stationary one, are manifested. In short the entire Creation of things and beings comes about.

And therefore O Arjuna, because of my sheer presence

Alone, the whole drama is going on; that is why when the light goes off; the drama stops. Thus, again, even though the light does not play the role of a teacher; the light does not play the role of a student and light is not directly involved in the transaction; the presence of the light is required.

Vidhyaranya Swami commenting on Panchadashi says God is like a light. He does not perform any transaction, but his presence is required. The entire universe revolves in my “presence”.

Shloka # 11:

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम्
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम्।।9.11।।

Fools deride Me, who have assumed a human body; for, they are unaware of My transcendent status as the great Lord of beings.

With previous shloka, Ishwararupam is complete. Sri Krishna says, Ishwara is neither a Karta nor Bhokta, as such; we can’t blame all our problems on God. God is a non-interfering presence. Then, why do we suffer?

We suffer because we were a karta and now a bhokta. People give up God when he does not help them in their suffering. Citing a story: One lady came and told me she threw away all the religious books as she had lost faith in God; a god who could not get her daughter married.

God has to get her daughter married! This is the type of misconceptions people have.

Prayer can produce punyam, however, if our papam is overwhelming then papam will overtake everything else.

Having talked about his higher nature, Sri Krishna now talks about Samsara Karanam. Our problems are due to our expectation of permanence from impermanent things; we expect security from insecure things; we expect ananda from things that are apurva.

If we want peace, ananda and security we need to go our higher nature of God. Nobody understands my higher nature, and they all hold on to my lower and perishable nature.

He says Mudah; meaning confused people; ignorant people who are not able to differentiate nityam and anityam. None can give security. They don’t know my formless swarupam or my Chaitanya Swarupam. Why don’t they know? We are born with ignorance and as we grow we keep removing our ignorance.

 Having ignorance is not a problem but perpetuating it, is. How to remove ignorance? It can be removed by gaining knowledge through Vedanta Vichara of Sravanam, mananam and nidhidhyasanam. Many people think this study is a waste of time. Since they don’t know my higher nature they take lower nature as true and they take Rama, Krishna forms as real. These forms are finite and limited. They were born and they also died. Ignorant people take to my human form as real form and in this they are degrading Me.

Thus, when we perform puja to an idol, we invite God to our idol; then you give a seat to Lord. All these are Apachara per Shankaracharya. Formless god has no limbs for him to sit. What Shankaracharya criticizes is; begin with personal God or formed God but we

should not end with that; Saguna is the best beginning; but it cannot be the culmination; culmination should be in the nirguna. Thus one goes from sakaram to nirakaram; sagunam to nirgunam; apara to para and achetanam to chetanam.

And as long as they do not know the higher nature they will not seek security and purnatvam from the higher nature; which is the only source of security. Nirguna brahma is the only source of security; why, is that so?

The reasoning is that anything other than nirgunam Brahma is saguna maya; and anything that is within saguna maya is matter. And they don’t know this and thus disrespect Me. They don’t seek security or Purntavam from PP. Rather than leaning on Nirguna Swarupam they lean on Saguna, which is always changing. This is Samsara Karanam.

Shloka # 12:

मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतसः
राक्षसीमासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः।।9.12।।

Futile are their desires, futile their works, and futile their cognitions! They are mindless; (for) they have resorted to the delusive nature of monsters and demons.

 Having talked about Samsara Karanam in shloka # 11, now in shlokas # 12 and 13, Sri Krishna talks about various types of people who approach this problem.

Some are intelligent people who don’t lean on the perishable; rather they lean on the Lord. Most people have not diagnosed correctly and don’t learn from experience. When one perishable object goes, they go after another perishable one. It is like moving from smoking to chewing tobacco. Most people don’t learn.

How does it happen? Any form of human pursuit has three stages. They are:

  1. Gyana Shakti: Knowing activity; first stage is knowing activity; before any activity I should have the knowledge about the result of that activity.
  2. Icha Shakti: Desire based knowledge. Without knowing we can’t desire.   Can you desire something, which you do not know? So, whatever you desire is a known object. Therefore, Gyanam gives way to desire and desire leads to action.
  3. Kriya Shakti: is action based on our desire, when we act.

So from Gyana shakti to iccha shakti to kriya shakti; throughout the life, this is our process. Thus all our pursuits begin at the cognitive level, at the understanding level. If I do not have proper understanding of things in the world, the possible course of life will also be not be clear and accordingly Gyana shakti, Ichha shakti and kriya shakti will be abused and we get into problems. And therefore Sri Krishna says many people are misinformed or uninformed because they do not study the scriptures. That is why scriptural study becomes a fundamental necessity to get a direction in our life.

Take away:

  1. We are born with ignorance and as we grow we keep removing our ignorance.
  2. If God is in everyone; how come there are criminal thoughts in the people? God does not determine the nature of thought; God enlivens the instrument depending upon the nature of the instruments, the thoughts are generated accordingly;

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy




Baghawat Geeta, Class 119: Chapter 9, Verses 4 to 8

Shloka # 4:

मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना
मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि चाहं तेष्ववस्थितः।।9.4।।

The entire world has been pervaded by Me in my unmanifest form. All beings dwell in Me, but I dwell not in them.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, in the first three shlokas of Chapter 9, Sri Krishna has introduced Ishwara Gyanam. This comes in the middle section of the Gita. Chapters 1 through 6 dealt with Jiva swarupam while Chapters 7-12 deal with Ishwara swarupam. While talking about the nature of Ishwara, his higher nature, PP, and lower nature, AP, PP is beyond conditioning of space and time. It is not subject to space and time as such not subject to divisions.

So that which is the absolute principle, which is the relative empirical world, and therefore that which is not subject to time and space and consequently not subject to division and change. So this division-less, changeless, timeless, space-less Being is the absolute form of God.

In Upanishad Para Prakriti is called Brahman while Apara Prakriti is called Maya. The knowledge of PP is known as Gyanam while knowledge of AP is known as Vigyanam. Having introduced both now Sri Krishna is dealing with PP or Brahman.

From Shloka # 4 through # 10 the topic is Brahma Swarupam. These shlokas are considered to reveal the essence of the Upanishads.

First feature of Brahman:

In last class we noted that PP, the higher nature, is formless and not available to any sense organs, as such it is not revealed by any sense organs as well. It does not have properties that can be perceived by sense organs of shabda (hearing), rupa (sight), gandha (smell), rasa (taste), and sparsha (touch) respectively.

The PP is described as Avyaktam meaning beyond all sense organs or formless.

Second feature of Brahman:

The second feature of Brahman is it is Sarvagatam. It is all pervading, with no spatial limitation; a natural consequence of Avyaktam, meaning having no form and as such it has no boundaries. Form is determined by boundaries. Since God is formless, he is boundless or all pervading. He is here and now. You need not travel to merge with the Lord, if at all there is a merger it is only through the wisdom that the Lord is never away from me. So in Vedanta, merger is the wisdom that the Lord is never away. Dropping the notion of division is merger.

Third feature of Brahman:

Whole world is resting in Me. I am Vishwa Adharam. Thus, in the following shloka we see this description of Lord as: Shantakaram bhujagashayanam padmanabham sureshsam vishvadharam gaganasadrsham. This is a description of God lying on a snake. The snake is his bed. Snake is the adhara or support for the Lord; However, in the second line it says, Vishvadharam; meaning snake does not support the Lord; the truth is that the Lord is not supporting the snake alone; the Lord is supporting the whole creation.

Thus, I am not supported by this world. I am the supporter, not the supported. Jagat adhishtanam is the third feature or support of all.

Shloka # 5:

मत्स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम्
भूतभृन्न भूतस्थो ममात्मा भूतभावनः।।9.5।।

Neither do beings exist in Me-behold My sovereign Yoga! My Self brings beings into existence and sustains them, yet does not dwell in them.

Fourth feature of Brahman:

Brahma satyam; jagan mithya

Sri Krishna says this world or the beings do not rest in Me. They are not in Me at all. Here Sri Krishna is contradicting his previous shloka. Gita has several seemingly contradictions. Sri Krishna said previously, all beings are in Me; now he says, all beings are not in Me.

Shankaracharya resolves this contradiction. He says, suppose you say X exists and then you say X does not exist. Both are coming from the Lord. Shankaracharya says there is only one way this can be resolved. He says, X should be considered as seemingly existing (meaning it appears as if it is there); however, upon closer examination one sees that the seeming existence is not real existence.

Thus, from one angle it seems to exist; from another angle, it is really non-existent.

Several examples of this exist. One example is our own dreams. Did your dream exist? Yes, you have experienced it and it was very tangible during the dream. A Nightmare can, after all, even frighten you.

So, from dreamers point of view the dream exists. From Waker’s point of view the dream is not real. Whatever you dreamt did not exist other than as a thought in mind.

And therefore the question is, is there a dream or not? From dreamer’s angle, it is there; from waker’s angle, it is not there; from a lower order of reality, it is there; from a higher order of reality, it is not there; and this unique phenomenon in Vedanta is called mithya; mithya means experientially available, but factually non-existent. Anything experientially available, apparently available; capable of invoking responses from you; but upon waking (from a higher angle) it is not there; such a thing is called seemingly existent. In Vedanta, it is defined as sad-asadbhyam-anirvachaniyam.

You cannot say it is there; you cannot say it is not there also; you cannot say it is not there because it frightens you; you cannot say it because when you wake up, it is not seen. Otherwise the lottery you won in dream; that money should be available to you upon waking; in reality, it does not benefit your bank balance; but in dream state it did give you enough happiness.

That which is in lower order of reality is called Mithya; or from body’s stand point the world exists. From Brahman’s stand point World does not exist.

So, therefore, Sri Krishna says may you appreciate my higher yoga. And what is my higher yoga? It is my higher nature. In Vedanta, the higher order of reality is called paramarthika satyam; the worldly (lower) order of reality is called vyavaharika satyam; thus, from Vedanta’s perspective: empirical reality is non-existent from the standpoint of the absolute reality; empirical reality is existent only from the standpoint of the ordinary worldly perception. And therefore this is My higher nature; may you recognize Brahma satyam; jagan mithya. This is the Vedantic essence that Sri Krishna gives us here. Not only that; this is the third feature; I am formless; I am all pervading; I am the substratum of the mithya universe.

Then what is the fourth feature: Krishna says: I am the srishti, sthiti, laya karanam of this entire universe; thus the waker is the srishti, sthiti, laya karanam of the dream world; the dream world comes out of me; and the irony is I create the dream world and I myself get frightened by the dream. Then I wake up and entire dream world is resolved back in me, the Waker.

Similarly, the Universe is a dream in Brahman that rises and resolves in Brahman.

Therefore my atma; the higher nature; the PP, is bhutabhavanah; bhavana is srishti karanam.  So I am the srishti kartha.  Just as the waker is the supporter of the dream world, I am also the Sthiti karta. Thus, once you wake up, the dream world cannot be sustained. Therefore you project; you support; similarly Brahman projects, Brahman supports:

I am the supporter of the creation; but I am not

supported by the creation; I do not depend on the world; that means the world cannot exist without me but I can exist without the world. That is the definition of the Satyam. Satyam can exist without mithya; mithya cannot exist without Satyam. Dream cannot exist without Waker but Waker can exist without dream.

You exist without dream; but dream cannot exist without you. Lord can exist without the world; World cannot exist without the Lord. This is called sathya-mithya sambhanda in the Upanishadic literature.

Shloka # 6:

यथाऽऽकाशस्थितो नित्यं वायुः सर्वत्रगो महान्
तथा सर्वाणि भूतानि मत्स्थानीत्युपधारय।।9.6।।

Just as the vast (expanse of) air, eternally subsists in space while moving everywhere, even so know that all beings exist in Me.

Fifth Feature of Brahman:

Here Sri Krishna introduces the fifth feature of Brahman as Asangatvam or unsullied nature of Brahman. It is an important shloka that says, I support the whole universe and the universe is resting in me.

Then whatever impurities of universe will also affect God? Sri Krishna says, this does not happen. I am not tainted by anything.

Space also is formless; the real Ishvara is also formless; space is all-pervading; the higher nature of Lord is also all pervading; space accommodates everything; everything is in space. Similarly the Lord accommodates everything. Fourthly, even though space accommodates everything, space is not burned by fire, wet by water; you cannot cut space, you cannot burn space, even though fire is in space. So this nature of space is called asangatvam. Similarly, the Lord accommodates everything including all akramams that are going in the world; but Lord is not tainted by kramam and akramam.

Sri Krishna says, God is beyond good and bad; because good and bad belongs to the relative empirical world, in which pairs of opposites are there; if Lord comes within the pairs of opposites, Lord will again be within the empirical world of time and space. And therefore here, Sri Krishna says, I am neither beautiful nor ugly; neither good nor bad; neither punyam nor papam; who am I; I am beyond dvandatvam. God is not in a pair of opposites; it is beyond dvandva.

Space accomodates Vayu. What type of Vayu? Vayu that is sometimes fragrant and sometimes not so fragrant. Akasha accommodate both, but Vayu does not affect Akasha. Vayu is located in space. Vayu moves everywhere; all this does not affect Space. So, also, there are good and bad people, but they don’t impact Me.

Shloka # 7:

सर्वभूतानि कौन्तेय प्रकृतिं यान्ति मामिकाम्
कल्पक्षये पुनस्तानि कल्पादौ विसृजाम्यहम्।।9.7।।

All beings, Arjuna! at the end of a cycle repair to My nature; again, at the beginning of the (next) cycle, I loose them forth.

In the sixth shloka Sri Krishna pointed out that he is Srishti Sthiti Laya Karanam. This is now explained further in shlokas # 7 and # 8.

How does Lord create? Before I created the Universe, universe was already in Me in an un-manifest form. Nothing in universe can be newly created. The world already existed in Me in a seed form.  Thus, a huge tree exists within a seed and a baby exists in the womb of the mother. So when she looks up at a grown up child and the mother says, this is my son; you wonder; how can such a big person be in the stomach of the mother; even though he is so big now; previously he was a tiny fetus, who was existing in an un-manifest form.

They say the information contained in DNA is equal to 300 books of information. If hair has to turn gray at 43, it was coded in the gene. It is same with disease. This is called Avyakta rupam.

Similarly, Sri Krishna says, all the details of this universe is already coded in me in ayaktha rupam; that unmanifest universe is called prakrti or maya or the world in seed form or matter in potential form. You may also call it energy; and it is this un-manifest universe that evolves into manifestation. The world comes to manifestation and again it goes back to unmanifestation; like the expansion and contraction of the heart; the creation also expands and contracts; unfolds and folds.

This is also true of the dream world. Everybody gets dreams; it is universal. All dreams one has are impressions from our observations or experiences, including one’s from previous janma. Therefore, your dream already exists in a potential form in you, the Waker. Similarly the dream-like-world is in Brahman, in an Unmanifest form, which is called maya or prakrti.

All the beings come back to me alone; in what form; prakrti form; unmanifest form; otherwise called maya form. That prakrti is also dependent on Me, just as the manifest world is dependent on Me.

Similarly, the unmanifest prakrti is also dependent on Me. Just as the manifest dream is dependent on the waker; similarly the unmanifest dream vasanas; the imprints or samskaras are also dependent on the Waker. So the imprint becomes dream; dream again becomes the vasana; I am the substratum for both.

Similarly, Sri Krishna says, the world resolves into prakrti; which is dependent on Me.

And when does this happen? It happens at the end of a kalpa; a Brahmaji’s day, which is 2000 chatur yugas; So therefore at the end of a kalpa, they all

resolve into Me. At the beginning of the next Kalpa; when Brahmaji gets up again the creation comes;

There is no end to creation, only a temporary rest.

Shloka # 8:

प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः
भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात्।।9.8।।

Resorting, again and again, I loose forth this entire multidude of bound beings, swayed by and dependent on that nature.

This is also an explanation of Jagat karanatvam. In a cyclic process, I repeatedly create this world. Per Vedanta, creation is not a linear process; i.e., a process with an end. Rather it is a cyclic process, endlessly manifesting and un-manifesting. It does not have a beginning or an end. So, when did creation begin is an illogical question.

For Brahman, for creation, Prakriti, the potential universe, has to be there. So multitudes of beings are created. They are helpless beings. So even committing suicide is not a solution. One can’t stop the process. One can only get out of it through Moksha.

Take away:

  1. In Upanishad Para Prakriti is called Brahman while Apara Prakriti is called Maya. The knowledge of PP is known as Gyanam while knowledge of AP is known as Vigyanam.
  2. In Vedanta, merger is the wisdom that the Lord is never away. Dropping the notion of division is merger.
  3. From dreamers point of view the dream exists. From Waker’s point of view the dream is not real. Strangely, you are both the dreamer and Waker.
  4. The lower order of reality is called Mithya; thus from body’s standpoint the world exists. From Brahman’s stand point World does not exist.
  5. Brahma satyam, jagan mithya. This is the essence of Vedanta.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy