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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Today I thought, I will speak something about Bhagavad Gita relating to its bearing on science as a subject and as a research process. The trouble with all of us is that we consider Bhagavad Gita to be a religious scripture. Even now, I don’t know, where is religion in Bhagavad Gita at all! Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue that transpired in the Kurukshetra battle field just before the actual war began. The purpose of the dialogue was to revive the spirits of Arjuna who had already retreated from the war mentally. Can you imagine a situation where so many warriors are assembled, war cries have been raised and then suddenly one important warrior says, “I am not going to fight. This is a sinful war.”? Can anybody come to such a conclusion after so many years, particularly thirteen years of austere preparation? Then the dialogue repeatedly asserts ‘Therefore you should fight’, ‘Therefore you should fight’, ‘Therefore you should fight’.
After the dialogue, Krishna says,
"The confusion and the indecision, lack of clarity that you had, have all these been redressed, Arjuna? Did you hear what I talk?"
Then, Arjuna gives a reply.
"My delusion is gone. My memory and clarity have dawned."
Now you tell me, what is this Bhagavad Gita? Arjuna’s acclaimed sympathy for the relatives, friends, particularly regard for the teachers and the grandfather, that was the beginning of the dialogue. But Krishna severely evaluated and criticized those feelings and he said, “Your feelings are absolutely disharmonious with three standards.” What are they? “Anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam akīrti-karam” (Bhagavad Gita 2.2). "It is not approved by noble and well-meaning people. It will not lead to heaven after death. It will incur dis-fame for you." These are the important standards. One is the 'other-worldly', both the others are relating to this world.
Arjuna realized his mistake and he says, pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ. (Bhagavad Gita 2.7)
“I am not clear in the matter of dharma. What is to be done?” You know, it is not a big research point. He says, “I don’t know what to do.” So, the clarity or decision you have to have in human life, if you want to do anything. The real research that one has to do in life to handle life properly no matter what you are – you may be an educationist, a research scholar, you may be a farmer, you may be a factory worker or an officer or a trader, industrialist, understand that you want to have clarity. This is the object sought by everybody.
So, Arjuna says,
पृच्छामि त्वां धर्मसम्मूढचेताः ।
pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
“I am deluded and give me clarity.”, he says. “And the clarity should be such that it will elevate me to the level of ‘shreyas’ ordained for human beings.” "yac-chreyaḥ syān-niścitaṁ brūhi tan-me."
Krishna goes on speaking only to generate clarity. The first point he said was, “You have to understand death and have a clear idea about it.” And he said, “Death is not an extinction. Maximum it is a transition.” - the first point of clarity.
“Do not think that anybody will die. We are living, we were living and we will continue to live no matter what kind of a life you lead and what tragic end even you meet. Life is eternal.” Another point.
The third point he said, “During the course of life, we only have sukha-duhkhas and nothing else. Whatever maybe the factors which contribute to sukha-duhkhas, sukha-duhkhas are uniform, the same for everybody, and the only way is to evenize it in your mind and raise yourself above sukha-duhkhas, allowing them to come and go, so much so that sukha and duhkha will not have any difference in your impersonal, impartial, transcendental mind.”
Then he was introducing Karma Yoga and while introducing it he says,
In the whole pursuit of karma yoga and spirituality, the one factor that counts is 'vyavasāyātmikā buddhih', your intelligence must have a resolute note. What does it mean? 'Niścayātmikā buddhih', the buddhi must have the niścaya - the decision. What is life? What am I to get? What is this world? How should I interact with the world? What is my goal? Will I get it from the outside interactions or will I get it from the inner enrichment? What is the way for it? So, it is an analysis of everything concerning life. My dear children, understand it is a much greater research than whatever you can think of. It is a research using only the mind, intelligence and senses, no laboratory, no scope, nothing. It is a research into the world, into oneself, into everything that concerns human life and whatever objectives or benefits are generally intermediately coming to us, analysis of everything.
He says, this karma yoga siddhānta is a result of 'vyavasāyātmikā buddhih'. Unless your intelligence is resolute and firm, 'bahu-śākhā hy-anantāś-ca buddhayo avyavasāyinām'. It will be multi-branched, many-branched, thinking about the swajanās, thinking about the friends, thinking about the enemies, thinking about this world, that world, God, no God, soul, no soul, body, mind, intelligence. You will never reach anywhere. So, the entire Bhagavad Gita is trying to cultivate, instill and introduce 'niścayātmikā buddhih'. Again, he goes on saying, yatātmā dṛḍha-niścayaḥ (Bhagavad Gita 12.14). Even if you have a decision or resolution or resoluteness, that has to become firm and unflickering. You cannot think of getting shaken by any consideration whatsoever.
When I decided to take up sannyāsa, I was the youngest son, two of us were earning in our family. We had a farm land. The farmland itself was not sufficient to support a family. Our brother Swamiji with his family and three children were already in the farm. How much can land produce? It is not gold. In one acre of land, you can get something like ten thousand or fifteen thousand rupees a year. Whereas when you work, what is the salary that you will get? Think about it properly. So, we had to take a decision. What is that decision? We are going to take up sannyāsa. When we take up sannyāsa, what about our father and mother? The brother is there, his family was there, but we had to take a decision. The decision was on the basis of 'yatātmā'.
What is meant by 'yatātmā'? Whatever is said and done, you have your senses. The senses tell you that you have a father, you have a mother, you have a big family. That family will be insufficient so far as resourcefulness is concerned. So, the senses should be under your control. Then the same moderation and control should go to your mind, then the intelligence, then the ego. You may say: "My father, my mother, my brothers, my family.", but mind you, it is a thought and a process which your mind produces. It is an outcome of your mind. The family is not there at all. There are so many families in this world. Do you ever think of them? You think of only your family. Who told you that your family is anything special? All families are subsisting upon the food produced upon the earth, particularly in the country. If you start thinking about it, the individual life is interlinked with a lot of other factors. So, what you want to have is a kind of an integration in your personality as a result of which the distractional thoughts, the wavered thoughts, the labyrinth of thinking, all these will be resolved. Dṛḍha-niścayaḥ, that niścaya should become dṛḍha.
Our scientists apparently think that they alone have clarity of thought, they alone are research people, (that) research is a monopoly of the scientists. They don’t think that real research is into your mind, into your intelligence, into the world which you see. I have to research into the world and find out, what is the boundary of this world and what is the ultimate source and support for even space. Tell me, which laboratory I can go into to find the extensive boundary of space? And how can I find out upon which the space is subsisting? In the few years that may be available for you, I am still prepared to go and take up a research as to what is this wonderful world? Where is its root and basis? How was the world produced? Was matter produced from another matter? Then my enquiry will be, the other is also matter, I want to find out the source of matter. So the source of matter cannot be matter. It should be something different from matter. This is a conclusion I can arrive at from my intelligence and from my mind.
So, don’t think that this objective research is the finality of everything. Even the objective scientific research is done by the mind and intelligence on the basis of sensory observation. The scientist also has only eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell. And he only has a mind which coordinates and collects this information, that he has an intelligence to infer about whatever data he gets.
So, the Bhagavad Gita spirituality or Bhagavad Gita presentation is a full science by itself. Angiras was approached by Saunaka and he said, “By knowing which I can know everything in this whole universe?" Then he said, “Knowledge is of two kinds - inferior and superior. In the inferior knowledge, four Vedas and six śāstrās come.” Those were the days when only six branches of knowledge in addition to the Vedas were there. Now, if Angiras and Saunaka were to have a dialogue, they would have included all the subjects under physics, chemistry and biology. Those days, only six were there and the last was jyotisha.
Jyotisha means astronomy. Going into the celestial bodies, trying to find out which are the celestial bodies which govern the life of earth. And their influence on the earth depends upon their gravity or their mass, their density. How to find out the mass? We don’t have a balance. So they started observing the space and finding out which planet commences from a position and comes back to the same position, maybe after six years, seven years, twenty years, nineteen years. They went on observing. This is what NASA people also are doing but with the help of telescope and microscope. But they are looking through the eyes. Our people did not have, they did not want to have. They looked at the sky and found out, which are the planets or stars which we are able to see and in whose movements we are able to find a rhythm and to which point they come back in our own life. So they have gone up to śukra and then said that śukra’s revolution takes about 20 years and sun’s revolution takes only six years (mahadaśa). Now this is also observation and inference. So he said, “The entire knowledge including astronomy is inferior and the superior is "यया तदक्षरमधिगम्यते, yaya tadaksharam adhigamyate." (Mundakopanishad 1.5). The superior knowledge is that by virtue of which we know the imperishable source, sustenance and terminus of the whole creation. Where do we stand now?
You tell me, is Bhagavad Gita a religious scripture? Is it a devotional treatise or is it dealing with the problem of life, the search of life, the finding of life, the goal of life? The entire creation, "avyaktād-vyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ prabhavanty-ahar-āgame rātry-āgame pralīyante tatraivāvyakta-saṁjñake". The entire visible world has come from something unmanifest and invisible and again it will go back into the invisible and unmanifest. You have to judge and evaluate this statement. It is a very great statement which perhaps our scientists are going to arrive at after perhaps a millennium or earlier.
रात्र्यागमे प्रलीयन्ते तत्रैवाव्यक्तसञ्ज्ञके ।।
rātry-āgame pralīyante tatraivāvyakta-saṁjñake ||
So, I just wanted to say that 'vyavasāyātmikā buddhih ekeha kuru-nandana'. It is not a clarity of thought with regard to one’s own family, profession, income, life. It is clarity of thought about all the subjects that occur to the human mind and intelligence as a part of this life terrestrial sojourn. I thought I would mention this. There is a little provocation for me to say this. So, the entire Bhagavad Gita is actually a research process and it has done the maximum, taken the subject in full, dealt with it in full and completed it in full. Even now, we have to do a lot of research into Bhagavad Gita to understand its relevance, applicability, beneficial, elevating, enlightening and fulfilling role.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.