19 Aug 2016

Bhagavad Gita Course 2016: Day 3

During the third day of the Bhagavad Gita course, Paramahamsa Vishwananda gave commentary on a total of four chapters. The chapters included were chapter 4 through chapter 7.

Chapter 4 is called, "Jyaana Vibhaaga Yoga." In the previous chapter, Karma Yoga, Lord Krishna had instructed Arjuna that he needed to do his duty and go beyond the senses and mind. In chapter 4, Lord Krishna goes deeper into the knowledge of how to perform one's action, teaching Arjuna about which kind of awareness one should have while practicing Karma Yoga. By combining Jyaana Yoga with Karma Yoga, Sri Krishna essentially teaches that one should not only be detached from the fruit of their actions, but they should also have the awareness of the Divine at all times.

"Do your duty and be free from that. By not doing their duty and renouncing everything, running away from one’s duty will not give you peace of mind, because your mind will still be attached to that. There is also this beautiful story where two friends were walking. They were going to listen to the Bhagwat Katha (Bhagavad Gita discourse). So, as they were walking to the Bhagwat Katha, they were passing by a brothel. One of them found his girlfriend. So the girlfriend said, “Come here.” He went. So the other one went to the Bhagwat. 

The one which went with his girlfriend, all the time his mind was in the Bhagwat. Inside of him he was continuously thinking of Krishna. Whereas, the other one who went to the Bhagwat, all the time he was sitting in the Bhagwat, he was listening, was just pretending to listen. His mind was not there. His mind was in the brothel. So who is truly renouncing here? That’s what Bhagavan is saying, you see? Renouncement is that mind state. Do your action, do what you have to do, but let that mind be focused on the Divine." - Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda, 18 August 2016

In chapter 5, Karma Sannyaasa Yoga, and chapter 6, Dhyaana Yoga, Krishna continues instructing Arjuna into the ways of Yoga, the ways to attain unity with the Divine. In chapter 5, Krishna reiterates that the path of action is best for Arjuna and that it is through this yoga that the mind gets purified to meditate on the Lord. In chapter 6, Sri Krishna begins to explain how one should meditate on the Lord and how one can control the mind. During chapter 6, Paramahamsa Vishwanada also mentioned the importance of the spiritual community, the spiritual family: 

"Find your spiritual family, your spiritual path. That’s what Bhagavan Krishna is saying here right now, “Your true family is not the blood family. The blood family, you have been born into that blood family so that the karma that you have with your blood family, with that souls, they are away. Either they help you to advance spiritually or they keep you away. But once that knowledge, once that urge, that longing, awakens, you must find shelter at the Feet of a Master. You have to find shelter at the Feet, in the Grace of the Master and the Master’s family becomes your family. So that is the spiritual family." - Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda, 18 August 2016

Leading up to chapter 7, Jyaana Vijnanna Yoga, Lord Krishna had explained the eternal, indestructible nature of the soul. By explaining to Arjuna how to act in the world through Karma Yoga, and how one should control the mind, Krishna now begins in chapter 7 to describe Himself as a personal deity, and how he can be attained through Bhakti. In the commentary of this chapter, Paramahamsa Vishwananda mentions the importance of surrender to attain the Grace of the Lord:

“Due to the attachment which these three gunas have created, you remain under the control of maya. But there is one way to awaken. There is only one way, and that way is to surrender to Me. Those who approach Me, those who take shelter under Me, those who have the true knowledge which I am giving, they are free from the cycle of the three gunas. Because as I am not touched by maya, so My devotees who surrender to Me are free. Maya stopped controlling them. Those who chant My Name, those who by any means try to control their mind, and those who are fully absorbed in My service, forgetting themselves completely, those who think only on Me, they are My devotees and they cross beyond the gunas. 

The gunas don’t have any effect on them, because they become as Me. I start to shine upon them, they start to reflect my Divine qualities, My Cosmic qualities, and where My Cosmic qualities are shining, maya doesn’t have power upon.” Here Bhagavan is saying, “I control that. Even if it appears that maya controls everything, but I am the Lord of maya, I control her.”- Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda, 18 August 2016

All in all, day 3 of the Bhagavad Gita course had shown to be another extensive day filled with the wisdom, love and grace of Paramahamsa Vishwananda. Swamiji constantly is giving us wisdom which is deeper than our mind could ever imagine. These words, when reflected upon and taken sincerely, can change the journey of one's soul to the Divine as they are infused with the Grace of a being who is ever-immersed into that Divine Consciousness we call God. Jai Gurudev!

During the Gita course, a great resource for many of the participants has been the new Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: Verses and Translations book. This book contains the Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad Gita with their English translations. Also included are short excerpts from Paramahamsa Vishwananda about specific sections, a Mahabharat Family Tree, and a Sanskrit Pronunciation guide. You can learn more about this resourceful book by visiting: http://www.bhaktievent.de/magento/index.php/books/sri-swami-vishwananda/shreemad-bhagavad-gita-verses-and-translations.html