January 25, 2015

Special Geeta Jayanti Satsang Held at Anupam & Viyjanta Ghose Residence

Children’s Program Highlights:
Idhika Turya - शान्ति कैसे प्राप्त हो ।
Praket Ehimay - Sudama and Krishna

Chapter 7 notes : Based on Swami Hari Har Maharaj Jee’s lectures

This chapter is called Gyan-Vigyan Yoga. What is the difference between Gyan and Vigyan ? The knowledge about Ishwar (God) is Gyan (knowledge). The entire universe emanates from him, one who has this perception has Gyan or knowledge and is known as Gyani.

Vigyan means everything is there and God exists in those things. A person who understands everything about all things made by God is a Vigyani. One who looks at the things and understands that there must be a mastermind behind this has Vigyan (scientific knowledge).

An example that Maharaj jee quotes for explaining Gyan is of gold jewelry. All jewelry comes from Gold in its ore form. This is an example to explain what is Gyan.
The analogous example for Vigyan that Maharaj jee cites is that of buildings and architecture. When a person looks and admires the impressive architecture of a building, he/she knows that since this building exists, there must certainly be an engineer/architect behind this cosntruction. This type of knowledge is Vigyan.

Further to explaining the difference between Gyan and Vigyan , Maharaj jee explains that there are eight elements- Fire, earth, sky, water, air, Man(mind), Buddhi (intellect) and Ahankar (ego). All these eight elements are the forms of ‘Prakriti’ and form the subset ‘para-prakriti’ . However besides these there is one more type of Prakriti which is the Jeevatama or the individual soul which is the subset ‘apara-prakriti’.

Maharaj jee quotes that while explaining Gyan Vigyan Yoga to Arjun, Bhagwan says
I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.
I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.
I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.
I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am the desire which is not contrary to religious principles.
Maharaj jee explains that God is the center of this universe and life should revolve around that. While grinding grains on a traditional stone style grinder, the grain which is the farthest from the center, gets grinded to a paste, while the grain very close to the center of the grinding stone remains intact. Similarly a person who makes God as the center of his life, does not feel the strain and stress of the material world. However one who is ignorant about God and maintains a disinterest in even trying to know God, feels that the material world and the accompanying problems have stressed him/her out.

There are four kinds of devotees
1. One who remembers God only when they are undergoing some trouble
2. One who has curiosity
3. One who needs some material gain from God
4. One who really wants to know God and be of service to God

Though Bhagwan says he likes all these four categories of devotees, the one who wants to know and serve God is a gyani and is God’s favorite type of devotee. However such types of devotees are rare. These types of devotees don’t criticize anyone.

God also says praying and worshipping variety of deities and Gods is good, but praying to HIM directly is the best, because worship to all other Gods is an indirect prayer or worship to Krishna himself. Therefore; one should try to establish a direct relationship with Krishna.

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December 21, 2014

Special Geeta Jayanti Satsang Held at Anupam & Viyjanta Ghose Residence

Children’s Program Highlights:
Idhika Turya - शान्ति कैसे प्राप्त हो ।
Praket Ehimay - Sudama and Krishna

Moti Aunty’s Pravachan

Significance of Gita Jayanti:
Recently Geeta Jayanti was celebrated with great pomp and show at the Red Fort in new Delhi, India. There is also currently a proposal to make Gita as the national book. Bhagavad Gita literally means the “song of the divine”. It was on the Hindu calendar date of Aghan (also known as MargSheersha)-Shukla Ekadashi (Nov-Dec/Waxing
phase of moon/11th day) when Krishna delivered the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun.

‘Marg-Sheersha’ literally means the road – head. The month therefore represents the best route to God. In chapter 10, when Krishna explains his presence amongst the various things in this material world, he exclaims that within the months, he is present as the month of MargSheersha.

Vedas are said to be the essence of all Shlokas and mantras. The essence of Vedas is said to have been captured in the Upanishads. The essence of the Upanishads is further summarized in the Gita. Gita is the only scripture within the Sanatan Dharma which has a ‘jayanti’ in its own right.

On Moksha (liberation): There are 24 Ekadashi’s in the calendar year and each Ekadashi has a special name and significance. The Ekadashi day when Bhagavad Gita was delivered is known as the ‘Mokshada’ Ekadashi which means the Ekadashi which leads to liberation (moksha). The word ‘Moksha’ comes from the union of the two syllables “mu’ + ‘ksha’ which again
respectively mean the ‘attachment’ and the ‘destruction of ‘. Therefore ‘moksha’ literally means the destruction of all attachments.

On Moha (attachments): Arjun’s personality though very admirable lacked on two accounts. He was overconfident and also he thought that there was no one more intelligent than him.   When Arjun expresses dhaartaraashtrasya Durbuddhe Yuddhe Priya Chikirshavah I want to take a Closer look at those Warriors who have Gathered here in this Battle as well wishers of that Demonic Minded Son of Dhritarashtra (Chapter 1, text 23), Krishna steers the chariot to the middle of the battlefield where Bheeshma and Drona were in the clear line of sight of Arjun.  Krishna does this, because Bheeshma and Drona were the two people whom Arjun respected the most and looking at them, Arjun would certainly struggle with his attachments towards them. This inner struggle of Arjun becomes the foundation of Krishna delivering Gita to the entire mankind. Later Arjun says “>nashto mohah smritir labdha” (Chp 18/Text 73). Arjun tells Sri Krishna that he had forgotten the reason why he came to the battlefield in the first place, but is grateful to Sri Krishna for reminding him of his duties which need to be done without attachments. Chapter 18 is therefore also called the ‘Moksha-Sanyas’ yoga.

Ramayan also quotes the evils of moha ‘Moha Sakal Vyadhin kar mula’ (Attachments are the root of all worries) and ‘Moha Sakal Vyadhinkar Mula’ (All-sakal afflictions-vyadhin arise from Moh). If one is able to let go of the ‘Me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’, all troubles will settle down on their own. It is our decision to partake in the joys and sorrows of the mind.

The mind always wants things per its own desire. Rather than doing what it is supposed to do, it wants to do what it likes to do. Therefore Krishna said in the 1st shloka of the 6th chapter:
Anasritah karmaphalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnirna cakriyah (Chp 6, Text 1)

A karma yogi is one who does not renounce the action. A sanyasi is usually one who renounces all actions. However a true sanyasi is one who does all actions by not being attached to the fruits of those actions. jñeya˙ sa nitya-sannyåsîyo na devesti na kankshati (Chp 5, Text 3). Krishna says whatever actions one performs must be performed without attachment to them. If one is able to perform his actions in this way, there remains no need to retire to a forest or resort to inaction.
Sitoshana sukh Dukehsu Samah Sang Vivarjitah (hp 12, Text 18). All human miseries are either obtained from nature (of the nature of heat, cold etc.) or from other human beings (of joys and sorrows etc). One who is able to maintain equanimity at these extreme polarities, that person can be said to be a sanyasi. By maintaining a steady mind, one is certainly able to claim victory over the soul.

Chapter 6 Discussion:
Further in chapter 6, Krishna explains the lakshanas (qualities) of one who is such a sanyasi
yukta-cestasya karmasu
yogo bhavati duhkha-ha
(Chp 6, Text 17).

Such a sanyasi consumes a moderate diet (ahaar) which consists of satvik food and in regulated amounts. His vihaar (places he goes) is also ideal. He does not perform any action in extremities. Krishna emphasizes on balance in actions and equanimity of mind. This is also mentioned earlier in Gita Samo bhutva samatvam yoga ucyate (Chp 2, text 48)
On Yoga: Krishna further explains in Chapter 6 how one can find this balance. By meditating and bringing the balance of the Sun nadis (Ida) and the Moon nadi (pingala) and by balancing them thru the Sushumna nadi, one is able to achieve this harmony of the breath. This technique is also known as ‘Hatha’ yoga (‘Ha’ means Sun and ‘Tha’ means moon, so essentially this yoga is the balancing of the sun(positive, masculine) and moon powers (negative, feminine)). By being able to manage the flow of prana within ones own body, one can easily attain the position of a yogi.

A yogi is one who does the above, a yogiraj is one who teaches yoga. Yogishwar (Shiva) is the spiritual amster of all the yogirajs while Yogeshwar Krishna is one from whose body, yoga manifests.

Gita concludes with Sanjay saying:

yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama
(Chp 18, text 78)

This means wherever one finds the combination of Krishna who is the yogeshwar and the perfect yogi (Arjun), wealth, victory and knowledge are bound to manifest.

Conclusion: By achieving efficiency and balance in our actions and equanimity in the mind, one is able to put the teachings of chapter 6 to practice.

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November 22, 2014

Satsang Held at Manish & Puja Gupta Residence

Children’s Program Highlights:
Rohan Gupta - Chapter 5 Summary
Anika Arora & Divya Arora - Bhajan
Praket Ehimay - Shloka
Arush Khanna - Story
Arushi Singhal - Poem
Nehal Singhal - Poem
Idhika Turya – Story
Prisha Khanna – Shloka
Anika Gupta – Shloka

Chapter 5 Discussion

Ramkishan Uncle’s Discourse :
In Chapter 5 Arjun is asking Lord Krishna to tell him clearly as to which path is better, the one of action or the one of Sankya. Lord Krishna says that both are really the same. They both take you to the same ultimate destination. To be able to practice Sankhya one has to be able to see God in everyone and that’s the ultimate reality. If we can’t then we’re better of performing our duties.

The important thing is to be able to meditate. But it is prescribed that one has to completely purify himself/herself in thought and action before he/she can meditate. One has to rid onself of all the worldly desires.
Example: One swami used to just always be meditating so someone said, get up and see the world and he responded saying “Where is the world”. He had completely identified himself with reality.

Moti Aunty’s Pravachan :
Arjun asks Sri Krishna, “ Sometimes you say that Karma Yoga or the path of action is the preferable and the most important. The other times, you say that, Gyana yoga or the path of knowledge is preferable. This is confusing me. Can you please tell me which is the better path of these two and which one should I be following?”

Sri Krishna says, “The path of Gyan yoga and Karma yoga, both are excellent. One has to see which is the relevant path for himself or herself. For you, you are a Kshatriya (prince and warrior class) ; therefore; fighting and going to war is your duty. Especially when you are on the side of dharma, it is your duty to protect the dharma even if it calls for a war. Karma yoga and Gyan yoga both will take you to the same destination, but you will excel in only the path which is meant for you.
Some people assume that Sanyas (or the renunciation of the world) is what one should do, but that is not right. Sanyas means giving up actions. This is useless unless the sanyasi is completely free from all desires. The sanyasi should be not having raag-dvesh. Raag is the attachment to people and things. Dvesh is the feeling of animosity . Unless a sanyasi is free from animosity, attachments and desires, the sanyas is useless. Since overcoming desires, attachments and animosity is so difficult, therefore; the path of action is certainly easier to follow.

Speaking about the path of actions, just, because a certain path is ideal for one person, does not automatically make it ideal for another person as well. Every human being has their own dharma and the karma done to follow the dharma is what one must strive to excel at.

When you perform your karma, you should be detached from the fruits of all those actions. Human beings perform their actions by using their 5 gyanendriyas (cognitive expressions such as smelling, touching, hearing, tasting and seeing) and 5 karmendriyas (active expressions such as eliminating, reproducing, moving, grasping, speaking). These actions are automated and one does not actively engage in them. When you perform actions, then you have to take care that you do not get attached to the actions itself or the fruits of it. Just like dew drops fall off from leaves, one’s engagement with the actions should be similar in the sense that attachment to the actions falls off from one’s conscience.”

Arjun further inquired on the concept that one should try to see all living entities in the same way. Sri Krishna said, though one must be kind to all souls and see them as the same regardless of their caste, status, body form etc., but then each entity demands a different behavior towards oneself based on their body form. For example, though we should be kind to an elephant or a dog or a brahman and treat them in the same way, but we cannot treat a brahman like a dog, or an elephant like a brahman. This ability to differentiate will come only from true knowledge (gyan). Being a gyani (learned person) is excellent and should be the goal of everyone, but gyan without being accompanied by humility causes pride and ego. On the other hand, humility without knowledge is not very useful either. A humble person who has no knowledge is considered to be a fool in this world.

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Satsang Notes – July 21, 2013

Article Presented by Shrimati Karuna Saran on the occasion of Guru Parv