16 Aug 2014

Chapter 17: Bhagavad Gita Course with Swami Vishwananda

On August 15th, 2014 Swamiji covered Chapter 17 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled: Shraddhaatraya Vibhaaga Yoga

In Chapter 17, Krishna explains the three divisions of faith, thoughts, deeds, and even eating habits corresponding to the three gunas. Krishna also talks to Arjuna about "OM Tat Sat" and the importance of these three words on the spiritual path. 

"The formula OM, Tat, Sat, is the triple definition of the Brahman, by whom the Brahmanas, the Vedas and sacrifices were created of old." (17.23)

General topics covered in the Chapter:
  • Three types of faith
  • Three types of food
  • Three grades of Spiritual Practice
  • Three Kind of Tapas (Self-Discipline)
  • Three types of austerity
  • Three types of charity
  • ‘OM TAT SAT’ the threefold name of Brahman 
    Excerpt commentary from Swamiji:

    abhisandhāya tu phalaṃ
    dambhārtham api caiva yat
    ijyate bharata-śreṣṭha
    taṃ yajñāṃ viddhi rājasam

    The sacrifice offered with a view to the personal rewards, and also for ostentation, O Arjuna, know that to be of a Rajasic nature.

    "Bhagavan is saying here that when one is doing something for personal gain like, Oh, God please, give me a car! Oh, God please, give me a husband! God please, give me a wife! God give me wealth! Oh, God give me a house, give me fame, give me prestige, give me victory, give me health, give me bliss, give me joy! You know, it’s only about give me, give me, give me, give me. So, Bhagavan is saying that these are the rajasic qualities which are always based on personal gain and motive. So, one is never free into that. 

    The  person who loves the Lord does everything without a personal reward or personal gain and these people are free. Their reward is Bhagavan Himself. He will give Himself to you. This is the wonderful quality of a bhakta. A true bhakta has this deep longing, you know, and can’t stay even a moment without the beloved."


    "When Swami was speaking today I could relate with many things from my own life. I also remembered many personal experiences I had with him that made more sense now. He is constantly showing us how to see life and how to live life." - Tobias, Switzerland 


    Sri Swami Vishwananda has decided to give commentary on the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, the eternal Word of Lord Sri Krishna. It will take place over 18 consecutive days, and each day will cover one chapter. Guruji will give his commentary with a particular Bhakti perspective.

    For now, we will provide a small portion of the commentary on this blog for those who could not attend the course. At a later stage, we will offer the full length of the Gita commentary as a book and also as CD and DVD sets.