Lessons from The Bhagawad Gita : On Reflections and Repentance

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arjuna uvaca

aparam bhavato janma, param janma vivasvatah
katham etad vijaniyam, tvam adau proktavan iti

1) If I continue to look at my world as comprising of just me, my actions, how they affect me and my ego, then I am caught in the  microcosm (Jeeva Shrishti) that does not allow me to look at how my actions and deeds affect the macrocosm (Eshwara Shristi)

2) With that microcosmic view of the world, a supreme being seems like a distant reality, beginning a spiritual journey then becomes a challenge.

3)  The more my actions feed my ego, the more clouded and petty my perspectives. I cannot see anything beyond the “I, me and mine” world.

 

sri-bhagavan uvaca
bahuni me vyatitani, janmani tava carjuna
tanyaham veda sarvani, na tvam vettha parantapa

 

1)      The reason I have come to live my life the way I live it now is the result of my vasanas (karmic imprints) of my previous lives.

2)      I don’t remember where I have been, what roads I have traveled or where I am headed. The choices I make in this life are not my choices. It is the design of the cosmic will.

3)      I am ignorance personified, I am clueless about the ‘big plan’ and that is why I look at life with a narrow and petty perspective(Jeeva shrishti)

ajo ‘pi sann avyayatma, bhutanam isvaro ‘pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya, sambhavamy atma-mayaya

 

1)      When I am not equipped to recall details of my journey so far and where I am headed, how can I be anything but ignorant?

2)      I have a constant sense of deprivation, needs and wants. I can begin my spiritual journey only when I move away from this materialistic world of needs and wants.

3)      I am forever looking for opportunities to escape one situation and often get into other situations without reflecting on what I have learnt from my past actions.

4)      I have to learn to move from selfish living to unselfish living before I aim for selfless action. I have to teach myself to celebrate abundance and cultivate a sense of gratitude.

yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya, tadatmanam srjamy aham

 

1)      I sense a decline in my values, my morality and my ethics. I sense a need for a spiritual journey, to find myself, to find my lost values.

2)      As my desires go up, I make compromises in my values and principles in life. Where is the scope for a spiritual journey? I sincerely want to be liberated from these desires that plague me.

 

paritranaya sadhunam, vinasaya caduskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya,sambhavami yuge yuge

 

1)      When things go out of my control, am I doing my bit to correct the situation? Do I believe that there is a higher power who will intervene and show me the right path?

2)      I want to nurture the qualities that brings others happiness and kill those qualities that are my flaws, that hurt people and spread unhappiness.

3)      I am conscious of the fact that I have to take effort. I need help to step into a higher realm. I have a choice to allow myself to evolve, to protect my good qualities and destroy my bad qualities.

 

Lessons from The Bhagawad Gita : On Contemplation

My life is a series of actions. Even though it feels like I am in charge of the orchestrated drama called life, in the larger scheme of things, I am only a cog in the wheel of actions of the universe.  Instead of being concerned only about  my state of happiness with the choices I make, I should really be concerned about how my choices affect  the people around me.

I realize that no one but I am responsible for the quality of my thoughts.  The choices I make that bring me short lived joy and happiness that feeds my ego are connived in the lower mind. If I have any hope of reaching the distinction of being a karma yogi then I have to train my mind to think from a higher dimension. The choices I make that will lead to actions, have to be pure, without malice and without the intent of hurting anyone.

According to Brahmacharini Vishakaji , the Gnana Karma Sanyasa Yoga (Chapter 4) of The Bhagawad Gita is another significant chapter in which the Lord reveals the truth (tatva), taking on the role of a Guru and doling out lessons to a very eager Shishya.  A beautiful analogy she used while comparing the chapter on Karma yoga chapter to the Gnana Karma Sanyasa yoga, is by likening them to roads within and outside of the city. I have to not only be responsible for what I choose to do (narrower city roads) but also be willing to introspect and contemplate if the choices I have made is in harmony with the tatva (broader highways). This I will only achieve through my reverence, devotion and faith.

 

Am I ready for self introspection and contemplation?

 

sri-bhagavan uvaca

imam vivasvate yogam, proktavan aham avyayam

vivasvan manave praha, manur iksvakave ‘bravit

  1. Why do I question good advice?  Is it because it will amplify the wrong choices I have made?
  2. Just because I do not accept the truth, doesn’t mean that it does not exist.
  3. I may be modern in my thinking, behaviour and scientific in my questioning of every ritual and practice of my culture. But the fact remains, that rules of conduct, behaviour and of actions have prevailed for a long time before I even began life.
  4. I have to begin to accept that there is divinity within me. Even if I don’t accept it, divinity exists within everyone.
  5. Today I pledge to be open to learning the truth from my Guru, without doubting the truth, without questioning the validity of the truth.

evam parampara-praptam,imam rajarsayo viduh

sa kaleneha mahata, yogo nastah parantapa

  1. Even though the truth always prevails, I never refer back or accept it all the time. When I don’t make any attempts to correct my imperfections, when I go about life mindlessly, giving in to my desires and weaknesses, I am neglecting the tatva (the truth)
  2. When I spend my time reflecting about life and find faults with everything that is happening in my life, I am neglecting the tatva.
  3. I have the choice to reflect on the truth, the right from the wrong, before every action I commit.

 

sa evayam maya te ‘dya, yogah proktah puratanah
bhakto ‘si me sakha ceti, rahasyam hy etad uttamam

 

1. If I seek divine intervention with devotion, I may be able to overcome my desires and weaknesses.

2. It is not how educated, how successful or how wealthy I am that prepares me to receive knowledge from my Guru. But how devoted I am, how keen and open I am to receive, reflect on and accept the truth.

3. If I am not ready to look inwards and contemplate (Nivritti) I am not armed to correct the imperfections in my outward self (Pravritti)