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  • Writer's pictureAnderson Petergeorge

Bhagavad Gita - Hari Chetan (Translation)

Overview

The "Bhagavad Gita" by Hari Chetan provides an accessible interpretation of the ancient Hindu scripture, focusing on its spiritual teachings and their practical applications in daily life. The text discusses the conversation between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna on the battlefield, where Krishna imparts profound wisdom on duty, righteousness, and spirituality. This rendition emphasizes understanding one's purpose, the nature of life and death, and achieving a harmonious balance between material responsibilities and spiritual growth.


Notes

 

  • Yoga is the science of attaining oneness with the Supreme God. One who strives to attain such oneness is a Yogi. In this chapter, Lord Krishna provides an introduction to the various concepts of Yoga Jnana (right knowledge), Karma (right action), Dhyana (right meditation), and Bhakti (right devotion).

  • In these words, Krishna reveals to Arjuna the biggest secret about our real nature. He says that we are not our bodies, but are eternal souls. We have always existed and will always exist. We assume new bodily forms each time we take birth on this planet. However, our eternal nature remains unaffected. And since there is no real existence of death, there should be no need for us to worry about our own death or the deaths of our loved ones. We are immortal spirit souls, and this is our true identity.

  • In the olden days, one's responsibilities when decided by the cultural rules. According to the Vedas, society was split into four classes in ancient times. These were Brahmins, Kshatrivas, Vaishyas. and Shudras.

  • Brahmins were society's religious leaders

  • Kshatriyas ruled and managed the state protected its people from enemies and alt thrvats. Vaishvas were merchants and farmers. And Shudras were the laborers that served the other

  • Lord Krishna explains here that spiritual advancement is only possible for those who religiously engage in their prescribed duties.

  • Avoiding one's responsibilities is a surefire way to spiritual degeneration.

  • Renunciation is recommended only for fully realized souls, not seekers.

  • Single-pointed determination (to pursue Yoga) and meditation (on the Lord) cannot be established in those who are too attached to material pleasures and opulence, and whose minds are thus bewildered.

  • Perform your dutiful actions, o Dhananjaya, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning all material attachments, and remaining steady in both success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yoga.

  • When your mind, though bewildered by all that it has heard, stands fixed and steady in the soul, then you will attain Yoga (self-realization), that arises from wisdom.

  • One who is not shaken up by adversity, or hankers after pleasures in times of prosperity, is free from attachments, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.

  • The sense-objects, turning away from the one who abstains from them, leave behind the taste (longing for them in his mind). But one who beholds the Supreme (in his mind, through pure devotion) is freed even from the taste.

  • A person cannot attain freedom from action by merely abstaining from work, nor by mere renunciation can he attain perfection (of human existence).

  • At the beginning of creation, the divine creator (Brahma), having made mankind along with sacrifice, said, "By this (sacrifice) shall you prosper. Let this be the milch cow (a mythological cow capable of fulfilling all of one's desires) of your desires."

  • The gods, being satisfied by the performance of sacrifices, will indeed provide you with the objects you desire. But, he who enjoys what has been given by the gods without offering the same in return to them, is certainly a thief.

  • Others offer as sacrifice, the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming, and others the incoming breath into the outgoing, controlling the flow of the outgoing and the incoming breaths by the practice of Pranayama (controlled breathing).

  • Renunciation of action and Karma Yoga (Yoga of action, or performance of action without expectations and with devotion to the Supreme Lord), both lead to liberation. But, of the two, Karma Yoga is superior to renunciation of action.

  • (One is considered spiritually advanced when he regards the good-hearted ones, friends, foes, relatives, neutrals, mediators, the hateful, the virtuous and the sinners - all with an equal mind (knowing them all to be spirit souls).

  • For one who is moderate in his habits of eating and recreation, moderate in efforts in work, and moderate in sleep and wakefulness, Yoga (of meditation) becomes the destroyer of pain.

  • Meditation is generally thought of as a beneficial technique for calming the mind, relieving stress, and improving attention. However, meditation is not merely a mundane mental practice to be carried out with these objectives in mind. Meditation is a God-given boon for people like us who are always engaged in trivial material activities, seeking sense-pleasures, to make us aware of our true nature and the nature of the Supreme God, and to reach Him by connecting with Him on a regular basis.

  • As a result of such practice, we should eventually arrive at a position where we view everyone as a soul, with God in them and them in God. This will bring us happiness and tranquility in this world, and God's companionship in the next.

  • We must rise above those, as suggested by Krishna multiple times in the Bhagavad Gita. Rising above these emotions, born of material nature, is crucial for attaining liberation. In fact, it is the attachment resulting from contact with nature that causes continuous rebirths in various kinds of wombs, until the soul attains the necessary wisdom and works to liberate itself.

  • Therefore, our task is to realize who we are and get back to where we have come from - God's supreme abode. There are several ways to do it - gaining knowledge about God and the soul, meditating on the Lord, working for the Lord, and engaging oneself in Lord's devotion wholeheartedly.

  • Divine and demonic attributes: 

    • Fearlessness, purity of heart, knowledge, steadfastness in Yoga, charity, and control over the senses, performance of religious sacrifice, study of the holy scriptures, austerity, straightforwardness,.

    •  ... non-injury (to the innocent), truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, aversion to slander, kindness to beings, absenceof greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of restlessness,

    • ... vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of conceit - these attributes belong to one who is born to attain divine nature, O descendant of Bharata.

    • Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, and also harshness and ignorance these attributes belong to one who is born to attain demonic nature, O Partha.

 

  • Therefore, we should strive to cultivate the desirous qualities enumerated by Krishna, and try to avoid the undesirable ones - lust, anger, and greed, in particular, as these have been defined by the Lord as the "three gates to darkness." These are the three worst tendencies in our hearts that lead us away from God. So, we must avoid falling for them at all costs.

  • The three modes of material nature - sattva, rajas, and tamas- purity, passion, and darkness - can be seen in all aspects of life. All we have to do is be willing to look for them. That is the test of our knowledge and wisdom.

  • The learned ones know sannyasa to be the giving up of activities undertaken with desire.

  • The wise call the giving up of the results of all activities as tyaga.

  • The genuine meaning of renunciation has been perverted by lazy people who claim that the Lord wants all of us to give up work and just worship Him all of the time. However, the Lord has stated multiple times in the Bhagavad Gita that renunciation is not the same as inaction 

  • Renunciation is the act of separating oneself from the desire for the benefits of one's deeds. In reality, it is impossible to stop taking action completely. We like it or not, we are bound to engage in some sort of activity. In fact, our bodies continue to act even while we are unaware of it.

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