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Ancient Wisdom, Modern relevance – Introduction to Srimad Bhagavad Gita
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Ancient Wisdom, Modern relevance – Introduction to Srimad Bhagavad Gita

What is happiness?

If you ask anyone, ‘what is happiness?’ I am sure that the answers that you would get from most people would be similar. Good health, nice family, enough money, time to enjoy the little pleasures of this world, love, peace… it is not hard to imagine what would make people happy. Everyone in this world aspires to be happy all the time. The only problem is what WE define and seek as happiness, once gotten, doesn’t last forever. A few hours or days at best, that’s all. And then the rigors of the material world seize and engage us.

We use so many tools to aid us in our search for happiness, good health and why, even immortality! As a result of that relentless endeavor, modern science has enabled us to do so many things seemingly better than before, compared to natural alternatives. Life has become so dynamic that many people started professing that ‘change’ is the only constant in this world.

All these attempts at improving our condition of life, all the progress that we made, ignore the four other constants that come by nature in material life: Birth, disease, old age and death. Whatever efforts we make to improve our lives, and to be happy, the four constants always manage to get the better of us. And with death, everything comes to a very efficient end.

An intelligent person begins to think as to why he is forced to suffer, when all he wants is to be happy. A natural progress of that thought process would lead to questions like where did I come from, what am I doing here, where I would go after death and culminates in asking the most fundamental question which forms the basis of Vedic philosophy:

‘Who am I?’

The Vedas and associated Vedic scriptures offer great insight in to life’s mysteries. These ancient treasure troves of wisdom and knowledge, being coeternal with God and infallible in their own right, direct us to change our attention from the temporary towards the permanent, from matter to spirit, from the body to the soul.

They teach us that our endeavors to be happy through gratifying our senses would lead to only misery. They also inform us about our original spiritual nature – that each of us are not the body but infinitesimal spiritual sparks, Spirit Souls, that are not of this material world and that the only way to have eternal happiness to revive our natural relationship with the Supreme Soul, God, of whom we are all part and parcel of, yet different.

The Vedic knowledge was primarily transmitted orally in the previous ages. In order to make the Vedic knowledge easily accessible to the people in the Kali Yuga (the present age), the great literary incarnation, Sage Vyasa, compiled the entire knowledge in to principally the 4 Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 18 Puranas and 2 Itihaasas (epics, namely Ramayana and Mahabharata).

Understanding the Vedas, which are compiled in exquisitely perfected Sanskrit, is a nightmare even for the most erudite scholar these days. Learning Sanskrit itself would take close to 12 years of study and then one has to study the various siddhantas (philosophies) and Bhashyas (commentaries) as expounded by the great Acharyas of the past, to grasp even the basics of complex texts like Vedanta Sutras.

Of the texts that form the Vedic scriptures, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, which is found in Mahabharata, is the most important section. It is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. It is also called Gitopanishad, and is the consolidated description of the most intense, hair-raising dialogue between the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and his dearest friend, the warrior-archer, Arjuna. Running in to 700 verses over 18 chapters, it is described in much simpler Sanskrit, which leaves absolutely no room for interpretation and logical debating which is allowed by the Vedanta sutras.

This dialogue starts with questions asked by Arjuna, who is feeling very confused, dejected and sad on the eve of a great battle against his cousins, the Kauravas and their army. Arjuna is one of the ‘Mahajanas’, and being a friend to the Lord, he is above all ignorance. But the Acharyas explain that he was put in to this situation specifically to enquire about problems of life so that Sri Krishna himself can explain it for the benefit for future generations, namely, us.

(It is to be noted that this great dialogue was spoken on the eve of battle, in the middle of two armies standing ready to fight. It lends credence to the practicality of such a philosophy, much against a common belief that any spirituality or philosophical pursuit is meant for practice only in peaceful times or in a forest away from common day to day works.)

The spirit with which one should hear and accept the teachings of Srimad Bhagavad Gita is shown by Arjuna in the course of his discussion with Lord Krishna. When a physician gives a medicine, you take it only by following his directions. Similarly, the instructions given in Bhagavad Gita are to be taken only as Lord Krishna means it and not as per one’s own whim and wish. The perfect example for such a proper acceptance is shown by Arjuna himself. In the second chapter, verse 7, Arjuna surrenders:

kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ
pṛcchāmi tvāḿ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaḿ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te ‘haḿ śādhi māḿ tvāḿ prapannam

“Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.”

Here’s how Arjuna accepts Lord Krishna’s instructions, in chapter 10, verse 12 thru 14:

arjuna uvāca
paraḿ brahma paraḿ dhāma
pavitraḿ paramaḿ bhavān
puruṣaḿ śāśvataḿ divyam
ādi-devam ajaḿ vibhum
āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve
devarṣir nāradas tathā
asito devalo vyāsaḥ
svayaḿ caiva bravīṣi me

“Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.”

sarvam etad ṛtaḿ manye
yan māḿ vadasi keśava
na hi te bhagavan vyaktiḿ
vidur devā na dānavāḥ

“O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.”

So, to conclude, one must understand the teachings of Bhagavad Gita as Arjuna understood it. Only then, that understanding is considered perfect. Only when one hears it in a submissive mood, in devotion to the Supreme Lord, one can understand the teachings of Bhagavad Gita as understood by Arjuna, which is to say, correctly and perfectly.

What do Arjuna and Lord Krishna talk about? What subject matters does Bhagavad Gita address? How does one go about getting this knowledge perfectly? These I will address in the next article.

0 03 November, 2009 Bhagavad Gita-as i learned November 3, 2009

About the author

A techie by profession but spiritual by nature. Ambi writes about the ancient wisdom of our Indian culture in a way the modern generation can easily understand. Oh ya, his comments are as interesting as his posts and his posts always trigger healthy debates.

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54 comments

          1. sharat

            cant’ help …and u can’t stop….what’s the use of all spirituality if the things/talks are un-ending…i believe it borders on ‘hippocracy’

  1. mahesh kalaal

    Life has become so dynamic that many people started professing that ‘change’ is the only constant in this world…..

    Do you mean that it isnt it true? ….

    I strongly do profess that it is true.
    Every second our body undergoes several bio chemical changes.
    Many cells will born and die in a second……
    Many electrons keep jumping from one orbit to another atoms orbit.
    Every nano second, across the universe, Energy transformation takes place.
    ….. Even noble gases do react at high temperatures

    Also, Why only man thinks about God where as the remaining creatures/living beings live without God/spiritualism ? It it natural or artificial ?
    Is it something related to the complex nature of neural networks of humans ?

    I am not against vedas, in fact i am eagerly looking forward towards next posts to have rational analysis and discussion so that i can taste atleast a nanoth drop of vedic knowledge.
    Is it ok if I ask questions from anthropological and agnostic perspective. ??
    I think Vedantha do encourages questioning

    1. Ambi

      You are most welcome to follow any line of questioning. I will try to provide the response to whatever extent I have understood from my teachers.

      “Do you mean that it isnt it true? …”

      I think you missed out on the context. If you look at the next statements, you will see that there are four constants mentioned. Those are also ‘changes’… but those are permanent to this material nature. What we call as changes are temporary in that the impact doesn’t last forever. I hope I didn’t confuse you further on this.

      “Also, Why only man thinks about God where as the remaining creatures/living beings live without God/spiritualism ? It it natural or artificial? Is it something related to the complex nature of neural networks of humans ?”

      This is a question which has so many branches to address that it will be a post by itself. May I request that you keep this question on a tracker? During the course of the next few articles, I am sure you will get a lot more clarity and my effort can be narrowed down to sort out any issues.

  2. Aneet

    I don’t like that as humans, we over-analyze certain things. I like the Bhagavadgita and I don’t want to analyze it. It is a beautiful scripture that in my opinion succinctly states: ” Don’t worry! Be happy! “

    1. mahesh kalaal

      Hi Aneet,

      I want to say few points regarding the ‘over analysis’ aspect.

      I opine that because of over analysis we got both pros and cons.
      The pros like invention of wheel and cons like invention of God. Wheel was born out of necessity for better survival in the race of physical existence. The concept of God was also born out of the necessity of psychological backup/security we needed from the obscure and extreme diversity of nature in the form of rains/food and famines/hungry.

      I would like to blame the greed of human being which overtook the need aspect through the industrial revolution (extension of wheel) and clash of cultural superiority(extension of God) .

      1. Ambi

        @Mahesh:

        I would have expected that you should be claiming you don’t actually know if God exists or not… since I thought you were asking questions from an ‘agnostic’ standpoint.

        Here I see that you do have a conclusion reached that God was just an invention.

        That makes you an atheist, doesn’t it?

        Just curious.

        1. mahesh kalaal

          @ Ambi,

          I also said that i am an anthropologist. So we study the concept of God on an neutral/agnostic basis, rather than as a theist or atheist.
          I dont hate God(Atheism), rather I study God(My Agnostic nature).

          Yes, i said God is an invention because of the fact that we have different gods born out of different cultures. I could have said it as a discovery if every culture have One universal God.

          Anyways, i guess it is jus starting and the main analysis will be in the next topic i guess where we can have much more rational discussions.

          Thanks for raising the point of Atheism…

          1. Ambi

            May I humbly suggest that the conclusion drawn from the premise is wrong?

            Just because different cultures ‘have’ different Gods, does not rule out the possibility of one universal God. Might it have been possible that each one ‘perceives’ God in a manner dictated by their surroundings, level of culture and lifestyle? Can you rule that possibility out?

            Anyway, as you suggest, let’s see what the Gita has to say on this in my forthcoming articles.

    2. Ambi

      @Aneet:

      No offense man, but you know what’s amusing? I started of this article by saying that this whole ‘happiness’ thing is the main reason we are in so much misery. And here you say it’s a beautiful scripture and a stereotyped quote.

      I am sorry to be blunt, but I am pretty sure that Krishna did not instruct Arjuna… “Whoa, Arjuna… dude! Relax man! You ain’t doing nothing more than shoot a few damn pointy things at your family folks! Don’t worry… Be happy”…, that too in the middle of a battlefield.

      If you have read through the Gita and then come to this conclusion, well… nothing to say.

      If you haven’t read through it and just simply putting this as an opinion made after hearing some bits and pieces from somewhere… I suggest you wait until the next article.

      P.S. Let the ‘Vote Dislike’ race begin.

    3. Ambi

      Oh and btw, without analysis, there is no scope of finding the truth in many things.

      Even Arjuna did analyze what Krishna said and asked relevant questions!

      Then again, you are free to just accept or reject whatever I am presenting here without analysis.

  3. Aneet

    Things to do:

    Stop leaving comments in religiously motivated blog posts as I don’t really get the replies for my comments. Maybe it’s my pea sized brain.

    1. Ambi

      It’s fine if that’s what you feel… that this post is motivated by ‘religion’. I can assure you it’s not and I hope this notion will get changed as and when I am able to get the next articles in line.

  4. Vaishaki

    Interesting subject. Looking forward to more articles on this. Never got an oppurtunity to learn about our ancient wisdom that people say holds truth even now.

    I am bookmarking this site. Good job guys!

    1. Ambi

      I will leave it to Lakshmi Rajan to formally welcome you to GingerChai.

      ;)

      Anyway, hope I would be able to be of some assistance in raising the awareness on our ancient legacy.

  5. Mr. Pramathesh Borkotoky

    The Wisdom of Gita is very good and we should follow it religiously and I do follow but the external forces always try to persuade us not to follow it. Can someone please tell what to do then? I seriously need it, as I am in between such a situation.

    1. Ambi

      @Pramathesh:

      Can you clarify what you mean by ‘external forces’? Do you mean like parental pressure or peer pressure… stuff like that? Based on that clarification, I can probably try to help you.

      1. Mr. Pramathesh Borkotoky

        Well, I am trying to do something that will help me establishing my dream to see a better India. But, some people are trying to sabotage it by taking credit and it is somewhat demoralizing. Whereas the people who are helping (who don’t even want to come to limelight), it is demoralizing even for them.

      2. Mr. Pramathesh Borkotoky

        Well, I am trying to do something that will help me establishing my dream to see a better India. But, some people are trying to sabotage it by taking credit and it is somewhat demoralizing. In the other hand, there are people who are helping (who don’t even want to come to limelight), but it is demoralizing even for them also.

        1. Ambi

          Ok, this is weird. I thought your problem was someone trying to persuade you from not following the instructions from Bhagavad Gita.

          Sorry, I didn’t understand what exactly you are asking help on.

          1. Mr. Pramathesh

            “Do the Karma, and never expect about the result.”

            But result is important. We do it selflessly but why do we get excited if the result is not as we expect it to be?

          2. Ambi

            Ahh… the famous, most commonly used statement to describe “what the Gita teaches us”.

            Well, please be patient. Within the next couple of articles I will be getting in to chapter 5 of Gita, which deals with this whole issue.

  6. Arunthathi Ramadhas

    Hari Om.
    “Why only man thinks about God whereas the remaining creatures live without God/Spiritualism”
    Conflicts arise only in the human mind because human being is blessed with the unique faculties of discrimination and choice.And choice creates conflicts. So a person often turns to the Lord for helpwith those conflicts.
    An animal has no conflict.Its life is governed by instinct.It has no choice.
    We don’t have different Gods.It is not that we have one God;there is ONLY God. Everything is God for us.In the Vedic vision, however, the whole world, which is full of forms, is the Lord. So invoking the Lord in any form is recognising Him to be everything.
    “Perfofm your duty without expecting the results”
    This cannot be the intent of Lord Krishna’s statement. We have a choice in our action,but the moment the action is performed the result is determined by His laws for which we have no control.So when we get a result we have to accept it gracefully with “prasada bhuddi” bhavana. We appreciate the fact that the results come from the Lord,that is, it is shaped according to His laws.The result is thus prasada from the Lord.When we have this attituude,we accept any result with an open mind,without apprehension,as we accept any “prasada”.Cultivating “prasada buddhi” towards the results of actions is “KARMA YOGA”.

    1. Ambi

      @Arunthathi:

      “Everything is God for us.In the Vedic vision, however, the whole world, which is full of forms, is the Lord. So invoking the Lord in any form is recognising Him to be everything.”

      Apart from recognizing God to be everything, I will have to disagree on the rest, since you imply God is basically formless. When we think of ‘form’, we know only of the material forms that we have seen. So, can you please quote references from the scriptures to substantiate this claim?

      I see that my next article is already posted. You should probably take a look at the definition of Isvara in that.

      ““Perfofm your duty without expecting the results”
      This cannot be the intent of Lord Krishna’s statement.”

      How do you say so? Why it can’t be the Lord’s intent?

  7. Pingback: Ancient Wisdom, Modern relevance – Main Topics of Srimad Bhagavad Gita | Ginger Chai

  8. Arunthathi Ramadhas

    Hari Om.
    “Perform your duty without expecting the results” This cannot be the intent of Lord Krishna’s statement. It will be better if I give the explanation from Swamy Dayanandaji’s book “The teaching of the Bhagavad Gita”.And here it goes:
    This cannot be the intent of Lord Krishna’s statement, because it would mean that he would teach Arjuna without expecting him to understand. No one performs action without expecting some result.
    What then does the statement mean?
    The statement is very clear: you have a choice in your action,but never in the results.The result is determined the moment the action is performed.You cannot avoid karmaphala, the fruit of action.One cannot jump out of a window and expect the result,falling,not to happen,nor can anyone expect gravity to pull one’s body at a rate less than 32 feet per second per second! The results of actions are governed by laws that are not under our control.
    We find ourselves in a world governed by laws that are not created by anyone here.We are born according to laws,and the reaping of the results is also according to laws.The relationship between an action and its results is governed by the laws of nature,which we can attempt to understand but can never change.
    The author of these laws is the one we call God or, in sanskrit Ishvara.It is by His laws that I get a particular result, not by my choice.Therefore the Lord says,”M a karmaphalaherturbhu: May you not take yourself to be the author of the results of action”.The results are produced by laws which are not under our control.
    When I do something, I expect a result,eventhough I know that the results are not under my control,because I have likes and dislikes which I want to be fulfilled.This expectation of result, which is natural, is not a problem; the problem lies in our reactions to the results when they come.Perform action so that you can achieve what you desire; plan and execute your work; but the result is totally contrary to your expectiona in spite of all your wishing and willing,don’t react and call yourself a failure.
    It is possible to prevent such reaction if you enjoy an attitude born of an understanding of the nature of actions and its results. An action produces a result that is inherent in the action itself. One cannot expect what is not contained in the action. You are not the maker of laws that govern the results of action, nor do you know all the laws that come into play to yield the result; but you do know that things function according to laws and that there is harmony in the functioning of the universe. For any action, a proper result always accrues according to the laws.

    1. Ambi

      Nicely put, but the verse that is under discussion, BG2.47 does not say that ““Perform your duty without expecting the results””. What it says is “you have the right to perform your duty but you are not entitled (adhikara) to the results”. There’s a gulf of difference between the two meanings.

      I had posed the question “why it can’t be Krishna’ intent” and the answer was that since it would basically be like telling Arjuna to do something without making him understand. But if you look at the very next verse, BG2.48 (and on till 2.53), you will see Krishna explaining it to Arjuna clearly on what he meant.

    2. Ambi

      In any case, since I am already half way through on the article based on chapter 2, I think I can explain in much more detail so we can take this discussion over to a more relevant post.

  9. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    PRACTICE OF YOGA AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT

    Religion and Yoga reflect identical meaning. Religion (re-ligare) means union again with Ultimate Reality or binding back to Absolute. Yoga is the derivative of Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means yoking of power of body, mind and soul. Yoga primarily consists of concentration, meditation and realization apart from practicing asans, mudras and breath control which help to achieve concentration and physical and emotional well-being. Yoga is experimental technique of spiritualism. Religion is blend of ritual and spiritual. Rituals dominate religion these days. Whereas rituals are altogether not necessary for practicing yoga.
    Yoga in India has been practiced since the dawn of the human civilization, according to Hindu mythology millions of year back.
    In Bhagavad-Gita Lord SriKrishna says to Arjuna:
    “I taught this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (sun-god), Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu(his son), and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku. Thus transmitted to succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rajarisis (royal sages). It has however long since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret”.
    At this Arjuna said: You are of recent origin while the birth of Vivasvan dates back to remote antiquity. How, then, I am to believe that you taught this Yoga at the beginning of creation? Lord SriKrishna said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all, you do not remember.

    Famous historian Romila Thapar has described in her book A History of India about the status of Yoga in 300-700 A.D. She writes: “Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge.”
    As far as anatomical knowledge of human body is concerned it is very much required for the optimum result during practice of Yoga. Yoga system has very close connection with the human anatomy i.e. chakra or nerve centres distributed along the spinal column and in brain region.
    Besides, connection chakras with the practice of Yoga, chakra has also great role in the development of personality. People do not realise that personalities can grow to include a balance of all the six chakras. Jung referred to this growth process as “individuation”, and associated it with life’s spiritual dimension. Danah Zohar evolves a model of spiritual quotient (sq) based on the six petals of a lotus and its centre, corresponding to the seven chakras described by the Hinduism’s Kundalini Yoga, as an aid to the process of individuation in the mid-1990s. Contribution of Danah Zohar for coining the term spiritual quotient for the first time is immense. But she did not establish any mathematical relationship, which is very much required, for this quotient.

    Deepak Chopra has given a formula of spiritual quotient in terms of Deed (D) and Ego (E). According to Deepak Chopra S.Q. =D/E. He (2006) writes: If Vedanta is right and there is only one reality, then all desires must follow the same mechanics, desires arise and are fulfilled in consciousness. Making yourself happy involves ….. I have a ” Spiritual Quotient” where SQ = D/E. Where D = Deeds and E = Ego. Now you can ONLY have an SQ = infinity when E = 0. If E is little even then SQ is approaching infinity (or one is close to be a “Great Master”) but not actually “Pure .This appears to be very fascinating but it is highly abstract which cannot be measured experimentally, accurately and precisely. However, this formula has immense value to understand S.Q.

    I have also discovered a mathematical relationship for S.Q about eight years back in 2001. I have used physiological parameters which can be measured accurately and precisely and can be tested and verified experimentally. According to this formula S.Q. can be expressed as the ratio of parasympathetic dominance (P.D.) to sympathetic dominance (S.D.). Parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) are the two parts of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which is largely under hypothalamic control. Hypothalamus is situated very close to the Sixth Chakra. During practice of meditation at Sixth Chakra these centres are galvanized which has very positive effect on practitioners spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical well being.

    According to this relationship spiritual quotient can be written as:
    S.Q. = P.D./S.D.
    If the value of S.Q. comes >1 (greater than one), it can be assumed that the person is moving towards self-realisation and if the value of S.Q. comes <1 (smaller than one) it can be predicted that the person is living under stress.

    There are various types of meditation available, which are being practiced by sages, saints, seers and others. The difference in various versions lies in the fact that these practices involve concentration to meditate at different centres known as Chakra in Yoga System. These chakras are, in fact, energy centres which correspond to nerve centres distributed along the spinal column and in brain region.
    Some practitioners start to meditate at Basic/Root Chakra (Muladhara) – situated at the base of spine, some at Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra), some at Ajna Chakra – Optic Chiasma – Master Chakra and some from even higher centres situated in the brain region. Among all these types of meditation, practice at sixth chakra is considered to be the most ideal which brings about optimum results.

    Sixth Chakra is situated very close to hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a portion of brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary glands.
    Autonomic nervous system (ANS) is largely under hypothalamic control. ANS consists of parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). PSNS is activated during meditative calm and during stress SNS is activated. When PSNS is activated, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure decreased. Supply of blood in the digestive tract increased. When SNS is activated heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure increased. Supply of blood to the muscles and exterior organs increased and to the digestive tract decreased. In addition to these, there are many other parameters which can be compared. Parasympathetic Dominance (P.D.) is the state of PSNS activation and Sympathetic Dominance (S.D.) is the state of SNS activation. Instruments are available in medical science to measure these parameters.

    Now we can assign numerical value to each parameter. Then put the value in the formula for S.Q. and see the result. We can show the calculation as mentioned below:

    S.Q.= P.D./S.D. = Σ X / Σ Y
    Where X=x1+x2+x3+ …….
    And Y=y1+y2+y3+…….

    During PSNS activation (P.D.), we assign ‘1’ to each parameter (x1+x2+x3+…..) and ‘0’ to each parameter (y1+y2+y3+…..). During SNS activation (S.D.), we assign ‘1’ to each parameter (y1+y2+y3+…) and ‘0’ to each parameter (x1+x2+x3+….).

    By putting the numerical value, thus achieved, in the above formula for S.Q. we can calculate the Spiritual Quotient of an individual.

    1. Ambi

      Mani Padma, can you please decipher what Anirudh is trying to say here? There is a lot of medical jargon involved.

      Seriously, how it this reply related to the topic of the article? This is all the same inferiority attitude… that the Vedas are somehow deficient and need ‘modern scientific’ backing.

      Deepak Chopra… what is his authority to comment on yoga when he openly says you don’t need to follow Vedas or any spiritual book for self-realization? “Just turn your search inside…”, he says… yeah, start thinking about your liver, instead of God. This is all the same speculative nonsense which people are misled to think as “spirituality”. He gets his money, you get your spiritual suicide.

      And this is also an excellent example of how people twist Bhagavad Gita to suit their own theories. Yes, the quote from Gita is correct. It occurs in the 4th chapter, but there are 12 following chapters which have been conveniently omitted!!! The yoga which Krishna taught Vivasvan and is teaching Arjuna is NOTHING related to kundalini, nothing related to chakras and stuff like that.

      For the last time, please STOP using the Bhagavad Gita to spread your own mental concoctions.

      1. mani

        @ambi- Hi . Sorry ! Can’t help you cos I couldn’t get it either. I mean he has the terminology correct but other than that I couldn’t comprehend anything.Its your call afterall.

    2. Ambi

      Just did a quick research on Mr. Anirudh…

      Dear fellow, you keep posting the same comment text mingled with this Radhasoami babble in ANY blog related to religion or philosophy. Tiring job indeed.

    3. Pranjal

      look i don’t understand this spirituality and stuff, i’m not intellectual enough. But you are mixing Math with spirituality. Dude i din’t have the time or patience to read all your bull crap but i see u have used the Mathematical symbols and equations at the end. Maths is sacred. U don’t mix math and spirituality. Treacherous!! I could start a riot.

  10. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Ambi,please, try to understand other’s view point objectively. Gita is a most sacred and revered book for the followers of Radhasoami Faith. We also give highest regards to Veda and Vedant philosophy.

    1. Ambi

      Anirudh,

      Just because you revere Gita does not mean you can use it for spreading your own philosophy!

      Teachings of Bhagavad Gita ARE NOT subjective. What is the position of Krishna in your faith if you revere Gita as most sacred? If it doesn’t match the teachings given in Gita, how can you use it to represent your philosophy?

      I have nothing personal against your faith or whatever it teaches… but once you touch the Gita, and if you change its teachings… don’t expect me to remain silent.

      This is not Indian politics… you scratch my back and I scratch yours.

  11. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Ambi

    I am not using Gita to spread my philosophy. I can do it independently with the Grace of my Most Revered Guru. In this article I just quoted some lines from Gita to trace the historical background of the practice of Yoga.

  12. Ambi

    @LR:

    I haven’t subscribed this post, so I did not notice this.

    @Anirudh:

    Whatever floats your boat…

    Nevertheless, I didn’t and don’t see the relevance between the article and your first comment. Also, I did mention that I have seen you comment the exact same text on several other blogs… so the irrelevance is even more conspicuous.

    Therefore, one can only wonder what your motives would be… just to randomly copy and paste the same comment text. Are you expecting us to go “Wow! What a discovery!”?

    Btw: Your statement “Gita is a most sacred and revered book for the followers of Radhasoami Faith. We also give highest regards to Veda and Vedant philosophy.”

    So not true. The idea of Vedas and how they came about and their conclusion are VERY different from what is held by the bonafide sampradayas.

    If you have found your peace in Radhasoami, so be it. But don’t try to mislead people. Please move on.

  13. Vijay Kumar

    Numerous explanations… cut-and-paste of textual notes by thousands… unlimited forums and blogs… yet teachings of Bhagavad Gita seemed afar. Why? Why teachings of Bhagavad Gita are beyond capture of normal human beings… commoners… even learned scholars! The answer to this riddle is hidden in Bhagavad Gita itself!

    The sacred contents of Bhagavad Gita can never be understood literally… one needs reading in between the lines! However best one tries… still, the underlying meaning remains a distant dream! It is only by traveling path of absolute truthfulness human beings finally unveiled pearls of wisdom hidden in sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism.

    By establishing absolute control over five senses human beings finally understood gist of life! In present times… the Kali Yuga… metal age… dark age one finds it really difficult to follow path of absolute truthfulness… it is rightly said one may not earn even bread-and-butter for the day by walking path of absolute truthfulness… always and ever!

    What is the remedy? The remedy truly lay in our goal of life! If our goal of life is fixed… if we truly desire reaching God Almighty in present life time… if we have the patience persistence and perseverance… the willpower exhibited by Swami Vivekananda… we definitely can reach ultimate goal of life… stage of enlightenment in present life time (understand Bhagavad Gita in Toto)!

    1. Ambi

      Mr. ‘Jnani’,

      Your’s is the same old impersonalist stuff which Krishna shatters to pieces in the Gita itself and I have pointed out specifics in this series where this formlessness theory is shown as imperfect understanding.

      Looks more like an advt for your site rather than a sincere attempt at discussion.

      Better change your description to ‘man who realized just one aspect of God and is trying to use Gita to suit that understanding’. No offense, but that is the truth.

  14. Ambi

    Seems like the list of people who use the Bhagavad Gita for their own whimsical philosophies keeps growing. I just saw the big banner advt for one who claims to be a ‘Jagat Guru’ Rampalji. Never heard of him before… so I got curious and clicked on the link.

    I spent only about 5 mins on his website and simply got disgusted. He uses the quotes from Gita for every damn thing but presents a completely twisted explanation for the verses.

    He simply replaced Krishna with a new entity called ‘Brahm (Kaal)’, uses semantics and half verse translations to get his idea through.

    Another scholar turned pseudo Guru.

  15. Anirudh Kumar DurSangi

    Mr. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi, is an Idiot. Internet is full of his copy-paste material in all blogs. He believes that he’s a real genius and debates around with people.

    He thinks he is wiser than Newton, Einstein and Stephen Hawkings, bigger than any religion. He keeps commenting even when no one is listening to him.

    May GOD show mercy on him and grant him Wisdom!

  16. Ambi

    Anirudh,

    Well, now THAT is perception. I know about you only what you have revealed from your online postings. Your mission might be well important to you and of course you do value your work very much.

    But for all the talk, we all can probably do better with a pinch of humility.

    After all, wisdom doesn’t show up in equations.

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