Summary Whatever is essential and uniquely great in this world is to be understood as a salient mark of Brahma’s power. Whatever quality endows a thing with usefulness and value belongs to the power of Brahma. In addition to sattva, the guṇas of rajas and tamas are also necessary for the functioning of the world. The agitation amongst these three guṇas is vital for the constantly dynamic behaviour of the universe and therefore for its existence...
Accomplishment through Practice It looks as though this principle appealed to Arjuna’s mind, in the course of teaching of the true nature of the ātmā. However, he still had doubts regarding the practice. cancalaṃ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad-dṛḍham। tasyāhaṃ nigrahaṃ manye vāyor-iva suduṣkaram॥ BG 6.34 Arjuna says — "Kṛṣṇa, is not the mind fickle? It can impede the path of the jīva and shake it, can it not? Is it possible to bottle up...
Limiting Pleasures It is not required for a sādhaka practising dhyāna to adhere to valiant restrictions on food and other diversions. His sitting posture should not hinder easy breathing and other bodily activities, and should not cause trouble to his limbs. There is a proper measure for eating, sleeping and jāgaraṇa[1]. A yogi is moderate in the above aspects. Here, moderation means just as much as is required for mental balance; neither more,...
Nature
The Advantage of Performing Karma The idea that the mind becomes pure by performing karma should be examined before acceptance. Even if one is selfish while performing an ordained duty (vihita-karma), its performance by itself can gradually bring about selflessness. Whether it is a spiritual or worldly duty, even if it is done out of selfishness — if it adheres to dharma, its results are two-fold. Firstly, it turns our minds towards the divine;...
Note jñānārhaté saṃnyāsādé saṃnyasipudu karmaphalavano karmavano| enaṃ karmadoḷillaṃ tānénuvudu seré karmadóḷagadu kaluṣaṃ|| Saṃnyāsa makes one fit for knowledge What should we give up, karma or its fruit? Karma itself is pure, faultless. It only becomes impure by the feeling of ‘I’. svāntada śodhanéyappudu santatakarmātta lokasaṃparkagaḷim| antantaśśodhitadai- kāntada dṛṣṭiyiné pūrṇatattvaṃ doréguṃ|| The mind is refined By constant...
The Three Maxims of the Yoga of Action If we consider the instruction of the Gītā as valuable in all places and at all times, the principles of karmayoga apply to all of us. Why? By karma here is meant not just scriptural and traditional rituals connected to devatās but also all life related activity. Whatever needs to be done to sustain the family – loans and receipts, searches for brides and grooms, squabbles with the in-laws, the good and bad...
The Vision of Equality (Sama-darśana) This is a famous śloka. What does – sama-darśana - the vision of equality mean? Does equality imply that both the elephant and the cow be offered the same food? The word “equal” is one of the most misused words of our times. Politicians use this word ad nauseam. It is not uncommon for this word to be used without knowing its actual meaning or with an erroneous understanding. Equality is giving to each being...
The Actionless Ātmā The whole of creation is thus created from Brahma’s power, Brahma’s līlā. It is enjoying ānanda (bliss) causing all these actions. Why do we call it ānanda? Ānanda is the nature of Brahma. Difficulty or pain is not in its nature. Even when we experience distress or sorrow, there is definitely an aspect of its līlā in them. To the divine, our laughter and tears are like the laughter and tears of children to adults. Therefore...
The Steadfastness in Yoga of a Jñānī yuktaḥ karmaphalaṃ tyaktvā śāntimāpnoti naiṣṭhikīm ayuktaḥ kāmakāreṇa phale sakto nibadhyate (BG 5.12) The word “yukta” here means yoked or harnessed to yoga or being steadfast in yoga. A jñānī, having performed action, gives up its fruit. We realise quite soon that it is not easy to do so. But it is not that rare either. When can a planter of a coconut palm see its fruit? The planter of the tree is...
The phrase hita-nirata (engaged in welfare) does not involve merely uttering homilies. It means those who internally resolve to act towards universal welfare and ensure that those resolutions are acted upon externally. It is thus not necessary for a saṃnyāsin to give up activity that yields in the well-being of the world. But such activities have to be performed with an extraordinary mindset. The activity referred to here is interacting with the...