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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
Yesterday I was speaking on the 20th chapter of Uddhava Gita, Sri Krishna’s last message to Uddhava from Dwaraka.
As we progress in the discussion, I find, I have mentioned earlier also, that in this Gita, Krishna’s Gita to Uddhava, you will find everything from salt to camphor. “Salt to camphor” is a proverb in Malayalam. Everything about life, devotion, spirituality, our dharma as a whole, the different types of practices, which are the places which are good, which are the practices which are good, simple, great; what is meant by purity; how to bring about purity to substances, to places, to actions, to persons - so many things are enumerated, discussed, and all that, and the discussion become very threadbare. Anybody who reads it tenaciously will be amazed by the manner in which the discussion has taken place and how every subject of religious or spiritual practice is taken to the very roots of it.
Uddhava was asking Krishna a number of questions - what is good, what is wealth, where is heaven, what is hell, what is truth, what is something called rhythm. I think about 35 questions he raised. For all the 35 questions, he gave answers also, in a very brief manner. Ultimately he said - what did he say?
guṇadoṣadṛśirdoṣo guṇastūbhayavarjitaḥ | (śrīmadbhāgavatam 11.9.45)
See, your questions and my answers, both are on the basis of and also to generate differentiations; differentiations in the manner of good and bad, acceptable and rejectable, elevation, promotion, and demotion – like that. Finally, he concludes by saying: whatever we think about as guna and dosha, this is based upon a differentiation, this differentiation itself is the dosha, he says. That itself is bad, unacceptable.
guṇadoṣadṛśirdoṣo guṇastūbhayavarjitaḥ |
And the real good and the real quality is - not to have this differentiation – either throw it away, or outlive it, or transcend it. When Uddhava heard Krishna say this in the concluding part, “The very divisional outlook is wrong, to rise above that outlook is really good.”, then, I think anyone will be amazed. Then Uddhava was doubt struck! He said, “What is this? The entire life, particularly religious life, is based upon virtue and vice. We want to differentiate between papa and punya, vice and virtue. Reject the vice, accept the virtue. And now Krishna says, my master says that the very rejection - calling something to be vice, and the very acceptance - calling something to be virtuous, this itself, is a bhāgiga chinta, a divisional outlook and that is wrong.”
Then what are we to say about the Vedas, the sastras? All the Vedas and the sastras, they speak about good and bad, punya and papa. Most of all the religious activities are taken up only because they are very virtuous, noble, elevating, holy, pious, and what not. If that very thought, what shall I say - it is irreligious, unspiritual and immoral, then where do we stand? What is the place and purpose of the Vedas then? “I am baffled,” he said, “So, please throw further light on the subject.” So, he continues to speak and the speech goes on extending.
At one point Krishna says, “See, the whole world consists of pañcabhūtas and all substances are equally made of pañcabhūtas. If all substances are equally made of pañcabhūtas, they are also permeated by the soul. So, the content of pañcabhūtas and the presence of the soul are quite equal in all. In such a case, how can we differentiate what from what?” Then he says, “In spite of it, in order to make the human mind and intelligence think and be active, we are creating a doubt in them. All substances are not equally religious or holy. Some are and some are not. So, a doubt is generated. An enquiry is given into the mind and intelligence of man.” Otherwise you know what will happen? Animals see so many things and they pick whatever they want and they carry on. We will be just like animals. You will not make any differentiation at all. Without any differentiation, you will use whatever you want. See, the animals are eating. While they are eating, they will also pass urine and dung. They will eat through the mouth and discharge through the rectum and the urinary passage. For them there is no difference at all. But do you think we can also do it? My grandmother one day told me, “One man was passing stool openly in a paddy field. He had a mango and he was eating the mango. So, one man asked him, “Arey! What is it that you are doing? You are eating a mango while you are passing stool. Is this the way to do?” The man replied, “Who are you to question me? Suppose, just like pickle, I am going to use my stool with the mango like a pickle and eat, who are you to tell me?” It seems he asked like that. This may be a story or an illustration. But what I want to say is that – then what is the meaning of a human life?
So, he particularly says dravyasya vicikitsārtham. In order to create doubt in the minds of people, are all things acceptable equally? I don’t have to do any differentiation? I can simply live as an animal does? No! There must be some restraint, some discipline. And what is discipline? Eliminating the undesirable and accepting the desirable. So, this discipline is necessary. So, in order to instill a note of discipline, we are trying to differentiate between substances. That is why do's and don’ts have come.
Then we prescribe ways and methods. There are so many flowers grown in different parts of the country. While doing worship for Gods and Goddesses, we don’t accept all flowers. Suppose you can accept anything. Then there is no effort, no judiciousness. So, we say white flowers are acceptable to Mahavishnu, Lord Hari. Red flowers for Devi. White or yellow is acceptable. Out of the white and yellow also, there are some flowers which are not good. They may be poisonous. Their juice may be harmful. There is a particular flower called thechi as we call it. Now, it has got a fiber inside the thin tubular stem. My mother always used to say; whenever you take thechipu you have to pull it from there. It has got a little bud like formation just in between the petals. You have to gently hold it and pull it. It is a difficult job.
My mother used to say, “Do not use it without removing the stem.” Suppose the stem gets broken, reject the flower. You can break the stem and then try to take out the fiber. So it is a difficult job.
Now all these are with a view to create attention. And finally he concludes the chapter saying that - “What is the use of speaking so much? I alone am! All are me, myself. Whenever differentiation is sought, the differentiation is into me. The differentiator, I am. The differentiated also I am. Whatever is rejected, that is also I am. Whatever is accepted, that also is I am. Everything is ‘I’.”
Now once you understand it, you can wrap up the entire religiosity, spirituality, philosophy, and everything. See, you create a delusion and then you are asked – “You are deluded, you overcome the delusion.” And what is that overcoming the delusion? A full circle is there. Half of it is bad, and half of it is right. So reject the bad, and accept the right. By so doing, you have developed the art, the skill and the habit of rejecting, keeping away from. Once you have developed that art, be away from everything. Look into your own Soul and be happy!
Can you imagine? Do you understand the point? I used to say this.
sarvadharmānparityajya māmekaṃ śaraṇaṃ vraja |
ahaṃ tvā sarvapāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ || (śrīmadbhagavadgītā 18.66)
Throughout dharma is taught, and finally he says, “Reject all dharmas. Hold on to me, the One, and the very process liberates you. It is a wonderful science. Unfortunately nobody goes to the extent of outliving everything. That much people don’t want. They are satisfied with a few don’ts and do's.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.