17 Aug 2014

Chapter 18: Bhagavad Gita Course with Swami Vishwananda

On August 16th, 2014 Swamiji covered Chapter 18 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled: Moksha Sannyaasa Yoga

In Chapter 18, Krishna speaks about the path of complete surrender. The path of attaining God's grace and letting go of the past completely. Krishna explains that whatever one does with an attitude of surrender, and performs their duty with full love, they become free. 

"Focus your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, prostrate before Me and you shall come to Me alone. I promise you this verily, for you are dear to Me." (18.65)

General topics covered in the Chapter:
  • Three types of faith
  • Five causes of an action
  • Path of surrender is the ultimate path to God
  • The highest service to God, and the best charity 
  • The grace of the Gita
  • Both knowledge and action are needed
  • Kārmic bondage and the free will
    Excerpt commentary from Swamiji:

    idaṃ te nātapaskāya
    nābhaktāya kadācana
    na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṃ
    na ca māṃ yo’bhyasūyasi

    Never is this to be spoken by you to one without self discipline, not to one that is not devoted and not to him who does no service; nor yet to him who despises and belittles Me when I am lodged in the human body.

    "Here Bhagavan Krishna is saying, Don’t give this knowledge to people who don’t believe, to unbelievers, this will not make any effect. It’s no use giving this deep knowledge which will free oneself, to somebody who is not ready, who is not purified, who doesn’t have faith in God. For them, they will just hear it and it will not have any effect on them. 

    If they are not ready, they will not understand anything what Bhagavan has been saying. Not to one that is not devoted. Here Bhagavan is saying, Give it to the bhakta. This should be the main focus for a devoted soul: thinking, meditating continuously, talking about what the Lord has said. One has to study and drink this nectar. Here Bhagavan says, Not to the one who doesn’t do service, who doesn’t have these spiritual practices. They wander into the world, left-right, left-right, getting attached to everything; they take something from here, from there – for them, they will never be able to drink this nectar itself, in deepness; they will not understand anything. So why should you give pearls to the pigs? That’s what Christ said, Don’t give pearls to the pigs. What will they do? They will trample over it, not knowing the value of it. Here Bhagavan Krishna is reminding Arjuna the same, Don’t give this knowledge to anyone who is not devoted; not to the ones who don’t do service. Because here service is very important; the help that you render, what virtue one has, it is very, very important. 

    That’s why He strictly said, Give to the one which is ready. Because this knowledge frees oneself from the cycle of birth and death. Even once, if you hear the whole Gita – Bhagavan has assured that whoever hears only one time the whole Gita, and with the mind tries to understand, they will be free in this life itself. This is the secret of the Gita.  

    Here Bhagavan Krishna has told Arjuna, how important it is, this knowledge. How important it is to fully absorb into what He has said. To have devotion to Him, to serve Him, because there is no one else than Him."


    "I really enjoyed the last chapter because after giving all of these instructions to Arjuna about how to reach Him, and some of the things sound quite difficult, Krishna offered this merciful final verse about all you need to do is have faith. Forget about everything else, if all else fails, just listen to the Gita and put your faith in God, and all the impurities will be washed away. This final act of God's mercy is what I took from it." - Gerald, Kenya 


    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.