Baghawad Geeta, Class 149: Chapter 11, Verses 34 – 37


Shloka 11.34: You destroy Drona and Bhisma, and Jayadratha and Karna as also the other heroic warriors who have been killed by Me. Do not be afraid. Fight! You shall conquer the enemies in battle.

Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, Sri Krishna gave an important advice to Arjuna: whenever an individual acts according to Dharma, then he is considered as having surrendered his will to Dharma. Dharma is Lord’s teaching. So, surrendering to Dharma is surrendering to will of Lord and when you do this, you still have free will. With freewill when you act along with your Raga and Dvesha, it is not aligned with God. Thus while you have freewill, you have to choose the path of Raga Dvesha or Dharma. Thus, Arjuna’s freewill has two paths:

Raga Dvesha says, don’t kill Drona, Bhishma and other kith and kin.

Dharma freewill tells him to take up the dharmic fight.

Sri Krishna says, when you are going with Raga Dvesha, it is abusing your freewill and it will result in your downfall. So, Arjuna, do you want to choose free will that will result in your downfall or will you take the dharmic path without attachments. When you choose to use freewill with your intellectual convictions and choose the painful path; that path involves surrendering your freewill to the will of God and this will lead to spiritual growth. Using freewill is dharmic while abusing freewill is going with Raga dvesha. Thus where freewill is dharmic in nature; there Karma Yoga and Bhakti merge. Forced surrender is suppression, but surrender done with freewill, voluntary surrender, is real bhakti.

A real karma Yogi is always a Bhakta. So, Arjuna, become a bhakta. So, fight your Guru, Bhishma, Jayadratha and Karna and in the process you will lose many of your warriors as well; their next Janma is ready, so don’t be depressed; may you fight this battle.

Saving society from adharma is duty of a Kshatriya. You will defeat your enemies in the war as Dharma is on your side.

Shloka 11.35:

Sanjaya said Hearing this utterance of Kesava, Kiriti (Arjuna), with joined palms and trembling, protrating himself, said again to Krsna with a faltering voice, bowing down overcome by fits of fear:

Sanjaya spoke:

When Sri Krishna answered Arjuna’s question, how did Arjuna respond? He understands that Sri Krishna is only karma phala datha; exactly like a judge; judge is not responsible for the enjoyment or suffering of the people; if a person suffers punishment in the jail; that suffering is not caused by the judge; but the suffering is the result of his own action. Bhagavan has only worked for the karma phalam to reach him; just as the judge’s role is to make the law of karma work properly. And therefore Lord’s compassion does not mean he will alter the karma phalam; Lord’s compassion is in the form of the maintenance of the law of karma; And therefore if a person has to receive papa phalam; a person has to certainly receive it; Bhagavan is compassionate alright; but where papa phalam has to go, Bhagavan will have to do that. If out of compassion, Bhagavan does not give out the karma phala, then the moral order of creation will be disturbed. Imagine if Bhagavan changes the law of karma; because a person has to suffer; then what will be the problem? Then He will have to change the laws which maintains the orderliness of the creation. Then a single individual may benefit alright; but the world at large will have to suffer; and therefore when you look from short-sighted angle; it is like when a person is fallingdown; he says let the law of gravitation stop; because he is falling down; Then what will happen; OK; Bhagavan says OK for 10 minutes, the law of gravitation will not function, because this fellow is falling; what will happen; We will all start flying; Remember, if the law of gravitation stops, we will not be on the earth; like the cosmonauts and astronauts; we will be floating all over suddenly; Somebody in T.Nagar is falling down; and He prayed the Lord: Oh Lord for two minutes the law of gravitation should stop. Bhagavan comes and out of compassion, says that the law of gravitation should stop; You will all hit the fan. Therefore, remember that it is shortsightedness to complain to the Lord and ask him to change the course of the law, for the sake of our personal benefit. The law of karma should go on for the survival of the world.

So, Arjuna, understood Lords job of maintenance of Karma; while it our job to accept it. Every time I suffer, remember that our papam has been reduced and I am being purer; Similarly when you are enjoying, your punyam bank is eroding.

Therefore, O Lord, Your ways are inscrutable; your compassion expresses as maintenance of law and karma.

This raises a question? Does it mean that Prayaschita Karma is a waste? It is never a waste; it also functions according to law of Karma. It produces a punyam that is capable of neutralizing the prarabhda.

Say, I have taken food that does not agree with me, so I take a medicine that can counter it. Thus Prayaschita karma can produce Agami karma that neutralizes it.

Extent to which Prarabhda karma is neutralized depends on Prarabhda; the prarabhda can be Prabalam, Durbalam, or madhyamam. Citing example of disease

we can either cure it, manage it or there is no remedy; it all depends on individual circumstances.

When prarabhdha comes, we don’t know of which category it belongs to. So, you perform your prayaschita anyway.

Here Bhishma, Drona and all, can’t be saved, they are finished. So, Arjuna’s emotions change from: at first astonishment, then fear, to now, surrender to the order of creation.

So, Sanjaya reports on what he sees:

Arjuna understood Lord clearly; that he is neither cruel nor compassionate. I can never escape the law of karma, so better learn to like it or surrender to it. Surrender is intellectual acceptance of law of karma. Arjuna bows down again and again in great fear and the more he matures with bhakti he learns to go along with problem. With a choked voice Arjuna addresses Sri Krishna.

Shloka # 36:

Arjuna said It is proper, O Hrsikesa, that the world becomes delighted and attracted by Your praise; that the Raksasas, stricken with fear, run in all directions; and that all the groups of the Siddhas bow down (toYou).

This is the third stage of Arjuna’s emotions. As long as we are narrow-minded, creation will cause fear in us. With expansion of mind through Vishwa Rupa darshanam, our fear goes down. To conquer fear and insecurity learn to appreciate creation including our past janmas. This way Ahamkara should grow, ripen and then fall after ripening; this happens with Vishwa rupa darshanam.

Arjuna says, O Sri Krishna, I now understand why great Mahatmas appreciate Viswa Rupam. I also see how narrow-minded people are afraid of Viswa rupam. So even God and religion become a source of fear.

So, Hrishikesha, by glorifying you, the mature people revel; they are beyond normal attachments and Narrow-minded-ness. Non-attachment and Vishwa rupa darshnam provide far greater pleasure than anything else.

There is a beautiful Malayalam composition called Harinama keerthanam; it is a very popular one in Kerala; in that the author writes: Oh Lord; I should never have the idea of individuality; as I related to a few people; this man’s uncle; this man’s grandpa, this man’s son; etc. etc.  Even if that “I” should rise in me; If I should develop an I, let that I be identified with Either I should never have identification; zero identification or total identification. Zero identification; you are brahman; total identification, you are Ishvara; in both you have no samsara; but our problem; neither zero identification; nor total identification; a select few; we suffer with them; so that few identification makes me a miserable inbetween jeeva; Isvara has no samsara; Brahman has no samsara; jeeva has got maha samsara;

Either I have no identification or total identification and in both cases there is no samsara. Our problem is we have a few identifications that cause us all the misery.

All Rakshasas who do not appreciate dharma become afraid of you and try to escape law of karma.

All the siddha purushas; all the Gyanis; who know what is what; they do namaskaram to you; they are willing to accept whatever comes according to the law of karma; and if at all pray, their prayer is that; Oh Lord; you need not change the law for my sake; but give me the attitude to accept what cannot be changed; if things can be corrected through prayaschittam, give me the knowledge and strength to do prayaschittam; nothing wrong; but whatever is choiceless; and irremediable; let me accept the choiceless situation; So, groups of wise people do namaskara to you.

Let me accept the choice-less situation.

Shloka # 37

And why should they not bow down to You, O exalted [i.e. not narrow-minded.] One, who are greater (than all) and who are the first Creator even of Brahma! O infinite One, supreme God, Abode of the Universe, You are the Immutable,being and non-being, (and) that which is Transcendental.

Arjuna said, anyone who appreciates Vishwa rupa and performs namaskara to it, is natural.  As Einstein said; the more I am studying the creation; I cannot but surrender or appreciate the glory of Lord. In fact, more you see the totality; vinayaha; humility is very natural. And therefore Arjuna asks; why won’t people do namaskara. So if they are doing namaskara; there is no ascharyam; if they do not do namaskara that alone is ascharyam; because so wonderful is the totality and that is why to develop bhakthi; even studying any aspect of creation; after Vishva rupa reading; you read any science; read biology; read entomology, the study of insects; insects will make you wonder; astronomy will make you wonder; any science you take and go in depth;

Thus, if I don’t love music, it is just that I don’t have the faculty to appreciate music; Similarly some people don’t have faculty to appreciate God.

You are the creator of even Brahmaji; you are the infinite one; because time and space exist in You; you do not exist in time and space; You are one who is the Lord of all Gods; you are the abode of the universe; you do not live in the universe; the universe lives in you.

Take away:

Either, I have no identification or total identification and in both cases there is no samsara. Our problem is we have a few identifications that cause us all the misery.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy