21 Aug 2016

Bhagavad Gita Course 2016: Day 5

"Those minds which are focused on the Lord, those minds which are focused on loving God fully, which are absorbed into that love, whenever they sit in meditation they perceive God within their heart.

'Those who don’t judge anybody, those who know that I am the source of everyone and everything, those who protect the weak, those who protect the innocent animals, they come to Me and I make them dear to Me. I reveal Myself through the love. I transform that love into bliss where eternally they perceive Me, feel Me, enjoy My presence.' " - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 20 August 2016

The fifth day of the Bhagavad Gita course focused on the glory of God. During this day, Paramahamsa Vishwananda gave commentary on both chapter 10 and chapter 11, the chapters in which Lord Krishna begins to reveal to Arjuna the greatness of the Lord and His Cosmic manifestation. 

Chapter 10 of the Bhagavad Gita is called "Vibhuti Yoga," (the Yoga of Manifestation - the Divine Glories). In this chapter as in chapters 7 and 9, Krishna delves further into His divine nature as the ruler of the cosmos. Teaching that through a loving relationship, one can attain His grace. Arjuna also asks Krishna how can one recognise Him in the world. In response to Arjuna's longing, the second half of the chapter sees Krishna give a series of poetic descriptions of His glory (vibhuti) showing how He can be known. 

" 'Among worship I am Japa.' Here again Bhagavan is saying what is the best prayer you can do: is to chant His Name. The act of chanting itself is Bhagavan. That’s why earlier I was saying, you know, when you are initiated in the Divine Name, already the Lord is with you. 

When you are chanting, you are thinking of Him. Wherever you go, each breathe that you are taking in with His Name, it is Him near to you. Here Bhagavan is saying this Mantra Kriya itself is a greatest sacrifice. It is through that chanting of the Divine Name that one will perceive Him. It is through that offering in the simplicity, how simple it is, just by chanting the Name, because the act of chanting it is Himself. That’s why He said that Japam is the greatest worship. 

So among worship, among all the prayers and rituals, chanting of the Divine Name is the ultimate, because that act of chanting, that act of worship, it is Himself. So when you chant, the mind becomes totally peaceful, totally relaxed. By chanting the Divine Name your mind excels and rises to the highest order, the highest state bliss." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 20 August 2016

In chapter 11, after hearing in detail the vibhuti's (glories) of the Lord, Arjuna's longing grows even more intense. As a result, Arjuna wants to see the 'avyakta murthi' that hides behind creation. This is the climax of the Gita, where Arjuna sees directly the cosmic form of Krishna, the cosmic form of the Supreme. 

Upon seeing this cosmic form, the Vishwa Swaroop, which Lord Krishna reveals to Arjuna, he goes into a state of shock. The sight of the Lord creates confusion and fear for Arjuna, as it is beyond anything which he could have ever imagined.

"You see, inside your mind you create a certain vision of God, but that’s not the reality, that’s not God. You create a limitation of God, a God which you feel cool about, which you can feel, 'Okay, I like Him like that.' It’s true. The whole world, people think like that. Everybody talks about God, but they are talking about a God that they can relate themselves to. Everyone creates an image of God which we feel comfortable with. And when we feel comfortable with it, then we build our own little heaven about that God. Then we put ourselves in a bubble and say, 'That’s it! My God is better than all the others!' 

So you build a certain image and you close yourself in that image, but when the reality really hits you, that bubble explodes. Then you are faced to the reality, 'Aaah!' You long for God, you long for that image which is inside of you, but when the Supreme Lord Himself is showing you that, 'That reality which you have created in your mind, I am foremost, much more stronger than that, more mightier than that', you will be shocked. Because this is beyond your control. This is the little God that you have created in your mind, it is under your control, but the Supreme is not, that Reality is not. That’s what is happening with Arjuna right now." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 20 August 2016

Day 5 of the Bhagavad Gita course reminded each of the participants, that in reality, God is a mystery to us, but it is through the grace of the Guru which He can be revealed. Just as Lord Krishna had blessed Arjuna with the vision of the Lord, so too is the role of the Guru for each disciple/devotee. It is up to each one to purify the mind through the chanting of the Divine Names, and to trust that the Satguru knows when to reveal the Ultimate Reality that governs all of creation. Jai Gurudev! 

"Devotee do everything in a state of love, and when one is in that state of love, there is no place of judgement in their heart or in their mind. 'Remember Me in whatever you are doing and offer up to Me all results of your actions. Know that I am the Supreme Lord Himself and I am the object, I am the Ultimate Soul.' Constantly remember, chant, reflect, contemplate, meditate on the Divine Name, meditate on the Glory of the Lord, meditate on His Leela that He has performed. Meditate on the virtue that He has placed inside of our heart. Like that you will rise and have inner peace, inner satisfaction, the Lord Himself will reveal Himself within yourself. He will give you the inner vision of Him." - Paramahamsa Vishwananda, 20 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