Bagawat Geeta, Class 51

Greetings All,

Shloka # 38:

धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर्यथाऽऽदर्शो मलेन
यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस्तथा तेनेदमावृतम्।।3.38।।

Just as fire is obscured by smoke, a mirror by dirt and embryo by the womb, so is knowledge by craving.

Continuing his teachings of Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, now Arjuna asked a question “how come a person violates Dharma in spite of his desire to be a good person? Everybody knows dos and don’ts. In spite of this knowledge of right and wrong, how come this corruption comes in?”

Sri Krishna says it is nothing but Kama and Krodha. He however, does not explain how they rise in us. They are actually products of Self-Ignorance. Without Self Knowledge this problem will continue. So long as I feel I am a limited person, a sense of incompletion will be there, and this problem will continue. It may manifest in a vague form (not happy but do not know why) or in a crystallized form such as I have no wife, no house etc. Ragas may change but Sruthi will not. Self -Ignorance is the cause of Kama and Krodha. They are the cause of violation of Dharma. How do they affect Dharma? Since desire and anger cloud discriminative power, our capacity to know what is Dharma and Adharma is clouded. Dharmaputra had the same problem, as did Ravana. Ravana was after all a great Shiva Bhakta. It is not lack of intelligence. It is temporary clouding of our discriminating power. How Kama covers Vivek Shakthi was discussed in Shloka # 38. This is the reason Kamo Karishe, Manyur Karishe is chanted during Amaniavattam ceremony.

Shloka # 39:

आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन ।।3.39।।

Knowledge, O son of Kunti, is obscured by this persistent foe of the knower, i.e. by craving, as by an insatiable fire.

In previous shloka, Sri Krishna said, Kama and Krodha cover our judgment faculty. Both Kama and Krodha are like two sides of a coin. They are the same. What type of Kama? It is a desire that is similar to fire. Fire will destroy its locus. Desire destroys the mind. It is an insatiable desire like a fire. Oblations cannot fulfill it. Fulfillment of desire leads to even more desire. It can’t be satisfied.

Citing story to illustrate this desire, Swamiji said, there was lottery where the prize of the day was a watch. A man won the watch. However, the next day the prize was a scooter. The man who won the watch felt hurt that he had not won the scooter and only got a watch. This is Kama and it is insatiable. The fire is called Kama Rupena. The Kama is an eternal enemy of a scriptural student. It is not an enemy of a non-student. A non- student does not consider desire a weakness and he fully indulges in fulfilling his desires. Now, after studying Gita, I will feel guilty. Citing another example, a man has Diabetes. He nevertheless enjoys all sweets. He also suffers from the consequences. But if a man knows eating sweets is bad for him, even as he eats he feels guilty. Such a person with knowledge suffers before, during and after. While, the ignorant one suffers only afterwards. So either be ignorant or be Knowledgeable. For all those in between, Kama is an eternal enemy. This desire clouds our discriminative power. For a spiritual student, power of discrimination is very important. This power is the first stage of Dharma and Adharma Viveka.

The Gyani needs to know Satya and Asatya. Discrimination is required through out spiritual life. Sadhana Chatushtaya Sampana is required. Kama robs Vivek Shakti.

Shloka # 40:

इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते
एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम्।।3.40।।

His abode is said to be the senses, mind and intellect. BY means of these he obscures knowledge and deludes the embodied man.

I am a spiritual seeker and Sri Krishna has pointed out that Kama is my enemy. If so, how to win the war against Kama? Arjuna is a warrior, Sri Krishna is also a Warrior, and hence the analogy of war is used. When a country attacks another country the attacker needs a base. Without a base they cannot support the army. A nourishing base is required. I have to know the enemy bases. This will destroy enemy capabilities. Kama also needs a base to nourish it. They have to be destroyed. What are the bases of Kama? There are three bases. They are:

  • The five sense organs introduce sense objects. Thus advertisements are targeted at our Shabda, Sparsha, Roopa, Rasa and Gandha.
  • Manaha: The Mind. Ads are only for 20 seconds. They push sense objects to our mind. Mind records the object. It creates a strong Samskara. Mind keeps dwelling on the sense objects. Mind produces Vasana (this is very nice. I want to try it. I want more of it. I cannot survive without it.) Mind does it by avrithi.
  • Budhihi: Intellect, contributes to desire by its wrong thinking. What is wrong judgment? The judgment that an external object will make my life happier and more secure. This is the worst judgment, per Vedanta. External world is not a source of joy or sorrow. I alone am source of both Joy and Sorrow. How can I be cause of both? Citing an example, a garland is lying in a semi-dark room. I mistake it for a snake. It becomes a source of sorrow or fear. When I understand myself as I am, it is Ananda. But not understanding myself is Dukha. So, how to prove that the world is not a source of joy or sorrow.

Citing another example Swamiji says, while one object may cause sorrow one, for another person it may bring joy. Thus, when a person sells his house, he does so probably because he was not happy with it. However, another person buys the house because he likes it.  Same thing happens when a man divorces his wife. He now does not like her. She does not bring him joy anymore. She in turn, turns around and marries somebody else, who finds her very interesting and likable.

Thus, the mind, by repeated thinking of an object and the Buddhi, by its wrong judgment, both support Kama.

Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam is all about this subject.

These three bases overpower the person and delude him. For a thinking person sense objects become a source of sorrow. Acquiring, maintaining and losing the object, all cause pain. Instead of enjoying what I have, I am reminded of the missing scooter. The more I am used to external crutches the more dependent I become. By covering intelligence, a man becomes deluded.

How Kama attacks and what are its bases were discussed. Now Sri Krishna tells us how to handle Kama?

Shloka # 41:

तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ
पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम्।।3.41।।

Therefore, mighty prince! First controlling the senses, give up this wicked craving that destroys knowledge and realization.

Sri Krishna says you have to handle and conquer Kama. Kama covers discriminative power. It destroys Atmagyanam and Atma Vigyanam.

Atma Gyanam is gained in two stages. In first stage, one gets Gyanam. In second stage one gets Vigyanam.

First Stage:

Gyanam consists of Atma (consciousness) and Anatma Viveka. Consciousness is the Nithyaha, Akarta, Abhokta,Nirvikaraha, Aprameya, Sanatanaha, Avyaktha etc. It survives death. Seeker now knows he has Atma. I am the body and I have the spirit. This is first stage.

Second Stage:

In second stage instead of saying I am the body and I have Atma, now we have a shift to “ I am the Atma with a body”. Body is a temporary medium. In waking, I function in this body. In sleep, I don’t feel the body. When I set aside the body, I don’t experience the world. I am not the body. I am the user of the body. This requires Sravanam, Mananam and Nididhyasanam. This is known as Vigyanam or AparokshaGyanam.

Kama does not allow Gyanam and Vigyanam to come in. When I am immersed in making money, it means Kama has won. One has to find the time for Gyanam and Vigyanam. Scriptural study is compulsory for all, of all ages. Kama obstructs scriptural study. Time is money but nobody says time is moksha. Handle Kama by handling these three bases.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy