|Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio|
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I generally describe Bhagavad Gita to be an administrative gospel. That is true. I also repeatedly say that it is a dialogue which lasted for two or 2.5 hours. I don’t know whether anybody has wondered as to how I say this because we have the dialogue which is in the written form authored by Vyāsadeva. When you start reading Bhagavad Gita in a normal conversational speed, I think it will take maximum two and a half or three hours. That is why I say it is a two-hour dialogue or 2.5 hour dialogue.
Those were days when people were speaking in Sanskrit. Either Krishna spoke in Sanskrit to Arjuna or the conversation was rendered in Sanskrit by Vyāsadeva. Whatever it may be, maybe there is some little extra time, otherwise whatever Vyāsadeva has written must have been the content and the message of the conversation. Because it is a conversation, it has got added effect. First of all we are able to relate it to a given situation and to a given person.
In the war field of Kurukshetra, just before the commencement of the war, Arjuna was assailed by doubts and he was totally weakened, crumbled and he sat on the chariot unable to stand, his bow and arrow he kept down; the bow had already slipped from his hand. Arjuna says, “My whole body is blazing with grief, not only mind”. I don’t know whether anybody says, 'My mind is aggrieved', they say. But they don’t say the grief is so powerful that the whole senses and the body are getting scorched. That means it was a violent grief.
For the mind, it was grief and for the intelligence, it was doubt and enquiry. Both these, Krishna assuaged and fulfilled in the course of the 2.5 hour dialogue. And Arjuna says, “Matters are clear to me. I am steady and stable; I shall fight as you say”. Initially Krishna said: Tasmat yudhyasva, 'Therefore you should fight'. Later on, Krishna’s language changed because Arjuna was receiving whatever Krishna said. So there was no necessity to say 'you should do something'. Arjuna understood that everybody is doing what he or she does only compelled by nature.
In the matter of doing or non-doing as in the case of hunger and its appeasement, we don’t have any option as such. It is the external and internal urges, influences, motivations and compulsions of nature that constantly result in different forms of activity. The war also is included in that kind of nature’s propulsion. So he understood that an order as such is not necessary. But one point was very clear. Arjuna had gone to Kurukshetra to fight and he found that he was unable to fight. So he said, “I would like to withdraw”. That withdrawal was not the plan or purpose. The purpose was to fight. Just like he went to the forest and lived in an austere manner, now it is going to be a life of eighteen days in Kurukshetra in the midst of the vibrant war, participating in it whole heartedly and vibrantly. If one was in the forest and austere in nature, here it was in the open battle field with a lot of crisscross activity. Both are equally propulsions of nature; he understood it.
If you are a good seeker, what you should do is that: how is it that Arjuna listened to Krishna, raised questions, Krishna clarified, enlightened Arjuna and how was he in a position to say, “I shall fight”? This is the way spiritual and philosophical messages when properly delivered to the seeker’s mind work. If you are a seeker, in your mind also, the conversation and the message should have their impact. The only trouble is that you are not facing that much of compulsion and imperative-ness as Arjuna had. Do you mean to say that I should all take you to the war front and make you an Arjuna and become a Krishna and talk to you? It is not necessary. Our human mind is capable of assimilating any kind of an impact when properly presented in the form of words and sentences.
We have got the unique capacity of sharing things with others and absorbing what others say, feel and have written. So you must have the sense of attunement and identity to take to the gospel and apply it to you. Most of what Krishna said was general, fundamental, universal. Everybody is under the grip of nature, he says. In that everybody, you are also included. “Arjuna, get rid of the delusional clinging and whatever you do becomes a yajña”. This advice is applicable to the others.
God dwells in the heart of everyone. Therefore, he dwells in your heart also. And He is the one who constantly engages you in different type of activities distributed over the three basic states called wakefulness, sleep and dream. This is quite applicable to you. Then finally He says:
तमेव शरणं गच्छ
Tam-eva śaranaṁ gachcha
(Bhagavad Gita 18.62)
Learn to seek refuge under the indwelling Lord, the indweller of your heart. And in so doing, do not be unnecessarily selective or specific or choosy. All the things that come from your mind, use everything as if it were a flower and then use it as an offer to the indwelling Lord. To the indweller, you cannot make any offer of material, gold, silver, dress or anything like that. So you have to approach the indwelling Lord through your mental products. What are these products? Attitude on the one hand, like love, fondness, respect, regard and then a decisiveness that should adorn your mind and intelligence. What is that decisiveness? Whoever is residing in my heart is the Lord of the whole universe. And He is the one who revolves you in the body, in the mind and intelligence, and He is the one who revolves this earth, who keeps the universe constantly revolutional or revolutionary, revolving.
Now this kind of a thought process should grace you until at last it becomes natural to you. As many hours as are necessary to make them natural, you should spend. Read Gita, think about it, apply it to yourself. Every action that you perform proceeds from your mind. And in the mind, the motivations are likes and dislikes. Bhagavad Gita says these likes and dislikes should not be the way of activity. The way of activity should be a kind of harmony you feel devoid of both likes and dislikes. Do you have any dislike or like in going to sleep, in getting up, washing your teeth?
Our gum and teeth are generally becoming infectious. We are eating, having our food. A number of food particles, cooked particles would be sticking onto the gum as well as the teeth and they are to be washed. If you don’t wash them like animals and birds, I don’t know much about them; see the cow is eating rough grass, uncooked items. So things are not soft. So when this rough matter, the rough articles are taken, and then chewed, you will find automatically they have a cleansing effect. The monkey takes quite a number of fruits. But all of them are raw. Because they are raw, they have got an abrasive effect on the teeth and the gum. So they are cleaned by themselves. In our case, we are depending upon cooked food. So the cleaning should be done. I don’t think there is any like or dislike about it.
Similarly, you are born in a house. You have some tendencies and over growth you have acquired some knowledge, skills, competence etc. The society has a need for it. You are a member of the society. So use the skill and competence where the society needs. And whatever little income you get, you use it for you to live. If you don’t make income, then the government will have to feed you. Feeding is necessary. We are not born only to die. But you have to live till we die.
Now in this way if you think about your activity you will find, the activity cannot be and should not be a result of any special likes or dislikes. They should be the result of a harmony and an attunement to nature and you should be feeling natural and harmonious in your activity. When the likes and dislikes go away from the mind, they at least become thinner and thinner and you are able to feel the harmony with nature, this is what we want. This is the interactional sādhana that Bhagavad Gita suggests.
The interactional sādhana works only in your mind. It does not tell you about the activity as such. Activities will be taken up depending upon the need, depending upon other factors. But in doing these activities, observe your mind, make sure that the mind is not trapped by likes and dislikes. If without dislikes and likes, you can work, that work becomes spiritual, divine, religious and devotional. And that is what we want. So the whole dialogue has got a whole time application in your life and in your interactions. I think you will do well to think about it and incorporate this Bhagavad Gita message in your life. When you understand it in this way, it is not a one-time dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna but it should be an all-time reflection and pursuit in every intelligent and rational human. Make sure that you understand it.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.