18 Aug 2016

Bhagavad Gita Course 2016: Day 2

Fall not from the virility of a fighter and a hero, O Paartha! It does not befit you. Shake off this paltry faint-heartedness and arise, O scourge of your enemy! - Lord Krishna, Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2 Verse 3

The second day of the Bhagavad Gita course picked up right where it had left off. Paramahamsa Vishwananda started his commentary in the middle of chapter 2, the chapter where Lord Krishna begins to reveal the Knowledge of the Self. On the previous day we had seen that Arjuna experiences a 'dejected' state, a state in which he is reluctant to fight in the Mahabharat War. Lord Krishna listened to his words patiently and Arjuna, in an utter state of confusion, asked his dear friend for help. 

"Long for the Grace of the Lord, long for Him, don’t let yourself be spelled by Maya. Because for those who are centered into the Lord, Maya doesn’t have any grip upon them. Those who are fully centered, you know, the yogis, they are free. They go everywhere. They are eternal. They radiate their peace, their freedom, their true happiness. 

Without any expectation they radiate this freely to all, and they become a lantern to those who are seated in darkness. They become a guidance to those who sit in darkness so that they can also start shining their light. And this is the work of a devotee, the work of a bhakta; once they have tasted that sweetness of the Love of God, once they are strong enough, they should help others find that light." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 2016 August 17

What makes chapter 2 unique among all the other chapters is that, at this moment, Krishna takes the role of the Guru. Up until this point, Arjuna had only viewed Krishna as his friend, his cousin. But now, Krishna has taken this role of the Guru and is explaining to Arjuna in what attitude one should perform his duty, and how to be unattached to the fruits of action. Chapter 2 is often seen as a summary of the entire Gita itself. 

"Concentrate your mind. How to make the mind stable? He (Krishna) is giving, He is saying, “Fix your mind upon me!” He didn’t say fix it in the void or in the emptiness. He said, “Look, I am here in front of you. I have a form. I am not just a concept. I am visible. Focus upon Me. Bring that mind to My feet.” This is how a sadhak and bhakta, a devotee, should have their mind focused on the Feet of the Master. They should see their Guru sitting inside of them. They should not let the mind run around. Whatever they are doing they should do, but with the awareness that they are never alone. Guru and God is always with you. And when you sit in your meditation, you should perceive that Guru and God is seated inside of you." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 2016 August 17

Swamiji finished his commentary on chapter 2 at about midday, and soon began the commentary of chapter 3, 'Karma Yoga' (the Yoga of Action). In chapter 3, Arjuna expresses that he doesn't know what he should do: should he fight or should he not fight? Lord Krishna goes into depth about Karma Yoga by explaining that one's action should be a service to others, and that even the realised souls perform action. By explaining the primary cause of desire, Lord Krishna instructs in chapter 3, that one should perform Karma Yoga until these desires are transformed and one realises the knowledge of the Self.

"You are structured because of your physical embodiment in this world. You have the sense organ as communicator with the outside world. You dwell in this outside world, you do everything with the outside world. So, you use the senses. That’s why here, it’s said that supreme are the senses, because this is directly...this is what you use more. But the mind is superior to the senses. The mind controls the senses and the senses control the body. So the mind is superior to the senses. Each one is important and each one has their own part which they play in the game of the Self. So, when you see the body, the senses, from the senses to the mind, from the mind to the intellect, from the intellect to the heart, from the heart to the consciousness, from the consciousness to the Self, from the Self to the Higher Self, from the Higher Self to the Divine Self. This is the reverse state what you go through. So, controlling step by step, you will rise." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 2016 August 17

The night ended nearly at midnight, just like the previous discourse had done. Paramahamsa Vishwananda had asked the participants if they wanted the commentary to continue on or if they wanted to wait for the next day. With a response of silence, a mutual agreement had been made that it had been a long day and a lot of wisdom to take in, but for the Master, he was still full of energy and ready to give more. The second day came to a close with a kirtan and arati to Thakurji. 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