20 Aug 2016

Bhagavad Gita Course 2016: Day 4

"You see, only by chanting, nothing else. So easy. You see how easy is spirituality? How easy is to realise the Self? Not difficult at all. All this is only in the Name of the Lord: OM Namo Narayanaya." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 19 August 2016 

The fourth day of the Bhagavad Gita course was characterized by Paramahamsa Vishwananda's simplistic explanations of Lord Krishna's words. By covering both chapter 8 and chapter 9 swiftly, the night had ended at the "early" hour of 21:30. Through out the day, Paramahamsa Vishwananda explained and reminded about how easy the spiritual path can be for the one who is sincerely devoted to the Lord.

Chapter 8 is entitled, Akshara Brahma Yoga, and it is in this chapter that Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna how one can attain God at the time of death. Teaching that it is a real devotee who is able to fix their mind upon the Lord in the last moment of life. Arjuna in response to this statement seeks to know more. 

"When one transcends that limitation of matter, when one stops dwelling on petty things, the Lord starts revealing the truth to them, and that truth is revealed within one’s heart. In other religion we say the communion of the Holy Spirit. That spirit which is inside of you, you know, in Christianity they say communion of the Holy Spirit, don’t think a bird will come and sit on your head and make a nest on your head. No. A dove will not fly on your head, but that communion happens within the heart, the communion between your soul and the Supersoul, the soul of all souls. You utilise the mind, purify the mind to access the heart, no? So when the mind unites with the heart, something else comes out. 

When you utilise the intellect, when the mind is purified to become intellect, that intellect is entering the heart. What awakes is the consciousness, the consciousness of the soul. Then the soul reveals itself. So that consciousness lies within the soul, then it reveals. When the consciousness is purified, it reveals the soul, but when that soul is purified, it reveals the Supersoul, the Supreme Soul. That’s what Revelations stands for. Those who are fully absorbed into that divine bliss, the Lord reveals Himself." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 19 August 2016

Time and time again, Lord Krishna is telling Arjuna in chapter 8 to have a single-minded focus on Him. Paramahamsa Vishwananda explains this part of the Gita in very practical way:

"Here Bhagavan is becoming a greatest therapist Himself, you know, the therapist for the soul. In that form of therapist He is giving the greatest therapy. And that therapy which He is giving He says, 'Give me your mind! Surrender that mind to me!' You know, therapist would tell you to do so many things, no? 

Here He is also doing the same thing and as a great therapist He is saying, “Let your mind be focused upon me. Don’t stuck in the daily routine, don’t enslave yourself in that unreality, chant my name. Easy, you don’t need to do anything: Let your mind be upon me and chant my name. Simple! Two things only I want you to do. You do only these two things, I promise you that you will be eternally happy, you will achieve that bliss, you will have eternal peace, only with these two things. Give me your mind. You don’t know how to handle your mind, I know how to handle that mind. Once you have given me that mind, chant.' 

So the giving of that mind means studying the scriptures. Go deeper into that knowledge. Feed the mind with the right things, transform that mind which is negative into light." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 19 August 2016

Chapter 9 of the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is called, "Raajavidyaa Raajaguhya Yoga", the king-knowledge, the king-secret. In chapter 9, Krishna expands further on the themes that were found in chapter 7, upon the nature of His divinity and how to approach Him with true Bhakti. Lord Krishna explains that He is present in the entire creation and He is the Supreme Lord Himself and continues to say that for bhakta who is surrendered to Him, they will attain His Grace. 

"Here the Supreme Lord Himself is asking, you know, He is like begging. 'I am asking you to do that. Be devoted to Me, not for My sake. It is for your sake. Focus your mind on Me, not because I want your mind, but because you want it. You want peace of mind. You want peace of mind? This is the way to have peace of mind. Worship Me, serve Me, engage your mind in this manner, regard Me as the Supreme goal. Know that I am the Ultimate goal. Know that I am God Himself. I am this Brahman which the Veda is proclaiming. It is Me who has given this Veda, this, knowledge. Awake, let your heart dwell on Me. Without any doubt, if your mind is on Me, your heart is on Me, your body is serving Me, you will attain Me.' 

Here Bhagavan is saying this is the only Supreme path to perfection. Surrender is the only path to perfection, to peace and true happiness, a mind under control, free from vain attachment. Make your meditation, make life itself, whatever you do, a meditation upon the Lord. Those who transcend the body, mind and intellect they will eternally and supremely live with Him, live eternally in that bliss." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 19 August 2016

Day 4 ended with the last verse of chapter 9: "Focus your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, offer worship to Me, bow down to Me. Engaging your mind in this manner and regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, you will come to Me." - Lord Krishna (ch. 9 v. 34) Paramahamsa Vishwananda ended the night by specifically saying something quite special about this verse and chapter:

Meditate on this last verse and this last chapter because it’s one of the most beautiful chapters. Absorb it. If you concentrate only on this chapter, this love and devotion will grow inside of you. - Paramahamsa Vishwananda,  19 August 2016

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