• Ch. 1: Arjuna feels despondent on seeing his family and friends ranged in battle against each other
  • Ch. 2: When he seeks Krishna's advice, Arjuna is told that only the physical self perishes, whereas the Spirit is immortal. Krishna exhorts Arjuna to do his duty as a warrior.
  • Ch. 3: Karmayoga. Arjuna asks, if knowledge is suprior to action, why he should engage in battle. Krishna stresses to Arjuna that performing his duties for the greater good, but without attachment to results is the appropriate course of action.
  • Ch. 4: Krishna reveals that He has lived through many births, always teaching Yoga for the protection of the pious and the destruction of the impious and stresses the importance of accepting a teacher.
  • Ch. 5: Arjuna asks Krishna if it is better to forgo action or to act. Krishna answers that both ways may be beneficent, but that acting in dispassionate and detached manner is superior.
  • Ch. 6: Krishna describes the correct method of meditation and self-control for achieving that special state of consciousness which allows self-control and helps to reach the Supreme Being.
  • Ch. 7: Krishna speaks to Arjuna about the path of knowledge.
  • Ch. 8: Krishna defines the terms Supreme Spirit, the philosophy of duty, the spirit of the Imperishable and the Unmanifest and explains how one can remember him at the time of death and attain His supreme abode.
  • Ch. 9: Krishna explains panentheism, "all beings are in Me" as a way of remembering Him in all circumstances. He posits that He exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well.
  • Ch. 10: Krishna describes his various manifestations and how He is the ultimate source of all material and spiritual worlds.
  • Ch. 11: On Arjuna's request, Krishna displays his "universal form", a theophany of a being emitting the radiance of a thousand suns, containing all other beings and material in existence.
  • Ch. 12: Krishna describes the process of devotional service .
  • Ch. 13: Krishna describes nature (prakrti), the enjoyer (purusha) and consciousness.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Science of Sciences and the Mystery of Mysteries

Lord Krishna said: 'I will now reveal to you, since you do not doubt, that profound mysticism, which when followed by experience, will liberate you from sin.

'This is the Premier Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Purest and the Best; intuitional, righteous; and to him who practises it - pleasant beyond measure.

'They who have no faith in this teaching cannot find me, but remain lost in the purlieus of this perishable world.

'The whole world is pervaded by me, yet my form is not seen. All living things have their being in me, yet I am not limited by them.

'Nevertheless, they do not consciously abide in me. Such is my Divine Sovereignty that though I, the Supreme Self, am the cause and upholder of all, yet I remain outside.

'As the mighty wind, though moving everywhere, has no resting place but space, so have all these beings no home but me.

'All beings, o Arjuna, return at the close of every cosmic cycle into the realm of Nature, which is a part of me, and at the beginning of the next, I send them forth again.

'With the help of Nature, again and again I pour forth the whole multitude of beings, whether they will or no, for they are rules by my Will.

'But these acts of mine do not bind me. I remain outside and unattached.

'Under my guidance, Nature produces all things movable and immovable. Thus it is, o Arjuna, that this universe revolves.

'Fools disregard me, seeing me clad in human form. They know not that in my higher nature I am the Lord-God of all.

'Their hopes are vain, their actions worthless, their knowledge futile, they are without sense, deceitful, barbarous and godless.

'But the Great Souls, Arjuna, are filled with my Divine Spirit, they worship me, they fix their minds on me and me alone, for they know that I am the imperishable Source of Being.

'Always extolling me, intrepid, firm in their vows, prostrating themselves before me, they worship me continually with concentrated devotion.

'Others worship me with full consciousness, as the One, the Manifold, the Omnipresent, the Universal.

'I am the Oblation, the Sacrifice, the Worship; I am the Fuel and the Chant, I am the Butter offered to the fire, I am the Fire itself; and I am the act of offering.

'I am the Father of the universe and its Mother; I am its Nourisher and its Ancestor; I am the Knowable and the Pure; I am Om; and I am the sacred Scriptures.

'I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the witness, the Home, the Shelter, the Lover and the Origin; I am Life and Death; I am the Fountain and the Seed Imperishable.

'I am the Heat of the Sun. I release and hold back the Rains. I am Death and Immortality; I am Being and Not-Being.

'Those who are versed in the scriptures, who drink the mystic Soma wine and are purified from sin, but who while worshipping me with sacrifices pray that I will lead them to heaven; they reach the holy world where the Controller of Powers lives, and they enjoy the feasts of paradise.

'Yet although they enjoy the glories of Paradise, nevertheless when their merit is exhausted, they are born again into this world of mortals. They have followed the letter of the scriptures, yet because they have sought but to fulfil their own desires, they must depart and return, again and again.

'But if a man will meditate on me and me alone, and will worship me always and everywhere, I will take upon myself the fulfillment of his aspiration, and I will safeguard whatsoever he attains.

'Even those who worship lesser powers, if they do so with faith, they thereby worship me, though not in the right way.

'I am the willing recipient of sacrifice, and I am its true lord. But these do not know me in truth, and so they sink back.

'The votaries of lesser Powers go to them; the devotees of spirits go to them; they who worship the powers of darkness, to such Powers they shall go; and so too, those who worship me, shall come to me alone.

'Whatever a man offers me, whether it is a leaf, a flower, or fruit or water, I accept it, for it is offered with devotion and purity of mind.

'Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice and give, whatever austerities you practise, do all as an offering to me.

'So shall your action be attended by no result, either good or bad; but through the spirit of renunciation you will come to me and be free.

'I am the same to all beings. I favour none, and I hate none. But those who worship me devotedly, they live in me, and I in them.

'Even the most sinful, if he worships me with his whole heart, shall be considered righteous, for he is treading the right path.

'He shall attain spirituality before long, and Eternal Peace shall be his. Arjuna, believe me, my devotee is never lost.

'For even the children of sinful parents, and those mis-called the weaker sex, and merchants and labourers, if only they make me their refuge, they shall attain the Highest.

'What need then to mention the holy Ministers of God, the devotees and the saintly rulers? Therefore, you who are born in this changing and miserable world, you too must worship me.

'Fix your mind on me, devote yourself to me, sacrifice for me, surrender to me, make me the object of your aspirations and assuredly you will become one with me, who ma your own self.'

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Why The Geeta? Why now?

I took to reading the Geeta seriously in 2007. The idea of putting it on the WWW is not original. But I am doing it anyway as a labour of love. Just another excuse to read over and over again the wonderful words of this song divine which are a source of inspiration and of solace.
The context is a scene of battle, but that is only a metaphor for the greater battle that goes on within each one of us: the battle between our higher and lower selves, between desires and detachment, between our material and spiritual selves, between our physical senses and cosmic intuition.
There are five basic concepts: the Supreme Being, the Soul, Matter, Action and Time. In a sense, the entire divine symphony contains variations on these five basic themes.
The Geeta's greatest quality is its non-sectarian and non-dogmatic world-view. Exhorting action above mindless worship, it offers to its reader a whole new way of life; one that is free of fatuous rituals. What needs to be remembered while reading the Geeta is its emphasis on action and self-discipline.

Caveat emptor

This blog contains only a simple translation of the Geeta. I do not offer any commentary on the text (as yet). However, you are more than welcome to leave a comment on your understanding of a particular verse or chapter.

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