"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I always describe the ‘Prasthāna Trayam’ as the cultural treasure of our country. ‘Prasthāna Trayam’ consists of three fundamental scriptures. One is the set of Vedic Upanishads, the first literature evolved in this great land and that literature is telling us about the eternal truths, findings, evaluations, discoveries of human life, about the world, about God, and about the human personality. But the thoughts are scattered in the Upanishads. So they have been strung together in the form of aphoristic statements - Sutras. About 550 and odd Sutras called ‘Brahma Sutras’. They are very short and pithy statements. They string together the Upanishadic thoughts.

The Upanishads came at the end of a religiously led Vedic life. So you can say the Upanishads carry something like religious overtones. But when you come to ‘Brahma Sutras’ you will find it is a completely logical enunciation. There is nothing but rationality there. So it is called ‘Yukti’. ‘Yukti’ means reason. The Upanishads are called ‘śruti’, the scriptures, which were evolved and uttered by the mouth only to be listened to by the ears and learned by the others. That is why it is called ‘śruti’. Then the third book is Bhagavad Gita which is a kind of a good commentary on the Upanishadic thoughts. The Bhagavad Gita also makes a mention of ‘Brahma Sutras’.

ब्रह्मसूत्रपदैश्चैव हेतुमद्भिर्विनिश्चितैः ।।

Brahmasūtra-padaiścaiva hetumatbhir-viniścitaiḥ ||

(Bhagavad Gita 13.5)

So the Bhagavad Gita must have been a later evolute. It is a commentary on the Upanishads. Now these three constitute the cultural treasure of India. Because it is written and presented before us, you cannot doubt them. Somebody like us must have authored the literature and that person must be a predecessor of all of us. So you cannot doubt it at all. So it is a doubtless presentation of the human values, evaluations, aspirations, ideal, everything concerning human life and the world in which he lives.

The Bhagavad Gita, the more and more I think about it and I also speak about it, Bhagavad Gita itself is an innovation. Why I call it an innovation? Bhagavad Gita presents the Upanishadic truth. What is that truth? The unborn, the undying and the eternal presence which is animating and activating the body. People generally call it the soul, the ‘Ātma’. This is first presented by the Upanishads but the Upanishads were evolved by religiously ascetic people, invariably all of them were distanced from the household life and they were living in hermitages in the forest. So whenever we think of the Upanishads, we always have an idea of people living away from home and home involvement. Let us call them austere and ascetic. So is it a knowledge, a pursuit only to be available to them, to be pursued by them? Does it mean that we have to renounce everything, so to say the household life, go to the forest and live alone in order to imbibe, pursue and perfect the Upanishadic thought process? This question may come. Now Bhagavad Gita is a standing answer for it.

What Krishna did was take the Upanishadic wisdom and the thought process and he has woven it into the interactional life and that too the most complex life of public administration especially characterized by fighting. The Upanishadic thought, Krishna imported to the battlefield of Kurukshetra, explained it in about 2 ½ hours in order to make Arjuna get up and take back his bow and arrow.

Normally the Upanishadic truths are contemplated upon for the entire life. Śravana - hear it. manana - introspect over it. nidhidhyāsana - meditate over it; not for hours, days, weeks and months but years and decades. Krishna did not have any time nor did Arjuna have in order to do anything such! The war cries had already been raised, the discharge of arrows is held up, any time it has to take place. In such a situation, Arjuna was steeped in misery, affliction, confusion and doubt. So Krishna had to touch up the mind of Arjuna in a very short period and make him get up. He could not find any other course of Dharma applicable to relieve Arjuna and to give him the necessary clarity and strength. So the foundation of all Dharmas and also the goal of all Dharmas, objective of all Dharmas namely the imperishable soul, its understanding, its actualization, he brought that.

The same Upanishadic Vidya which occupies the ascetic life of so many people in our land, that was imported into the interactive, interactional and active and vibrant front. And the same truth he presented. And he presented it in such a manner that the Upanishadic renunciation was supposed to be accomplished by the mind and intelligence remaining in the chariot and the battlefield. I don’t know whether you really get the import of what I say. This is something very characteristic of this Swamiji’s enunciation. I don’t know whether anybody has done it. You know, what is exhorting you for renunciation? And what is perfected by renunciation? Krishna says, "That renunciational outcome you have to accomplish here and now and I will make you do it", he tells Arjuna.

This time, the last chapter ‘Moksha-sannyāsa yoga’ I am going to discuss, I started the discussion yesterday in Trichur. Why is it that the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita is called ‘Moksha-sannyāsa yoga’? This sannyāsa is the theme of Bhagavad Gita. It is not the ‘sannyāsa' that the Upanishads perhaps speak about, it is not the ‘sannyasa’ that so many ascetics of the land are taking up and trying to pursue. It is the ‘sannyāsa’ related to the mind, the intelligence of the human being. It is in the way of a knowledge of the impersonal truth, shining, abiding in your heart. It is knowing the truth as a result of which all your actions, and actional consequences, every one of them completely becomes extinct.

Man suffers from a delusion. That delusion makes him think 'I am a doer', 'I am an enjoyer', 'I am a sufferer'. All these concepts are fallacious, fictitious, they have got no meaning. The truth is only one and that never gets born nor does it die. It is eternal, indestructible. Know this Arjuna and then fight. This is the difference my dear souls! Know this and fight.

The Upanishadic teacher tells the students - know this and leave everything and contemplate and get absorbed. Arjuna had no time for it nor could Krishna allow it. So what is accomplished in the forest environment by meditative absorption, Sri Krishna is trying to infuse and instill into Arjuna by a process of instruction which when absorbed will give the clarity and enlightenment by virtue of which the mind and the intelligence would become sannyāsins. Can you imagine?

Arjuna said, “I will not fight and I will choose to become a sannyāsin.”

Krishna said, “No I cannot allow it. You have come here to fight and fight. Accomplish the sannyāsa that you want right here and now, within your body. Here is the knowledge and clarity I give you.”

Arjuna started listening to Krishna, chapter after chapter, intercepting his conversation sometimes with very relevant questions, doubts and the like. Ultimately he got the clarity as a result of which he said, “I will take back my bow and arrow and I will fight, not one Mahabharata war, a dozen if necessary. I have got the clarity. I started with desire and greed as the motivation for war. Now I understand there is no place for a desire. There is no place for greed. Everything is propelled by nature. My body is a product and outcome of nature. Every limb in my body is nature’s. My brain is nature’s. My tongue is nature’s. My mind is nature’s. Beyond nature, I find nothing.”

There is a truth shining beyond the ken of the body, the senses, the mind, the intelligence and the ego where I understand no action springs and no consequences fall. I have understood this impersonal and impartial truth and that gives me clarity to neutralize everything that takes place here in the whole body complex, in the whole life. I have got clarity as a result of which I am able to multiply the whole of my life with a zero, with a zero, with a zero! Any number when multiplied becomes a zero when multiplied with zero. It becomes zero. Similarly I have understood my real existence is beyond the ego where no action originates and no effect or consequence befalls. It is this that makes sannyāsa. It is this that makes tyāga. True tyāga is in the mind level, in the intelligence level. And the pursuit, promotion and fulfilment of it, is through wisdom and wisdom alone.

There are other forms of tyāga called ‘kāshṭa tyāga’. Physically renouncing and getting away from things. That is one way. But that is not the real truth! You don’t have a body but you feel you have a body. In sleep, the body disappears completely. You get up, only then you have the body. So does the body exist or not? Does the world exist or not? 'No' is as much an answer as 'yes'. So what is the truth? Are you speaking of actions in sleep? Or are you speaking of activities in wakefulness? Is wakefulness throughout? No. Is not sleep a reality? Yes.

What does sleep do? It is a zero state where all the wakeful activities multiplied by it. This is the truth, my dear souls. That is why I spoke on a concept like performential excellence through inner renunciation. Now we are going to discuss this sannyāsa as the climax, the one single content of the entire message of Bhagavad Gita.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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