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Bhagavad Geeta Hridayam

"Sarvataha Paani Paadam Tut

Sarvatoe Akshi Siroamukham

Sarvataha Sruti Mallaoakay (13-13)

"On all sides are hands and legs, eyes, heads, mouths and ears...." Having said this, then elsewhere comes the statement :

"Sarvendriya Gunabhaasam

Sarvendriya Vivarjitam" (13-14)

"All are mere appearances, all are non-existent, the Indriya s.."

Thus, at one place is stated 'They are there', and at another place 'They are not there'. Such contradictory statements are innumerable. How to then understand the Bhagavad Geeta? Hence, it is essential to first understand the Sastra-s, i.e., Upanishads, before taking up Bhagavad Geeta. It is to be noted that at the end of each chapter of Bhagavad Geeta, runs the concluding statement. 'Sreemad Bhagavad Geetasu, Upanishadsu Brahma Vidyayaam Yoga Sastray, Sree Krishna Arjuna Samvaadeh.........' Thus, the sequence : 'Upanishad-s, Brahma Vidya Yoga Sastra' is stressed implying that what Upanishads reveal is Brahma Swaroopa, which if realized in experience, becomes Yoga. 'Gnyaana Yoga Vyavasthitihi'. It was commented that 'Gnyaana' refers to Sastra Gnyaana, and, 'Yoga' indicated realization and experience. The exact import and significance of each word has to be correctly grasped for proper comprehension.

Now coming back to the subject,

"Kaaryateh Hyavasaha Karma

Sarvaha Prakriti Jairgunaihi" (3-5)

"The gunas of Prakriti (Nature) are compelling you to work."

"Na Kartrutvam Na Karmaani

Loakasya Srujati Prabhuhu

Na Karma Phala Samyoagam

Swabhaavastu Pravartatay" (5-14)

"There is no doership and no karma for you. Consequently no fruits of action, and thus no birth and death...." Truly speaking there are none of these. But 'Swabhaavastu Pravartatay'. In this lies the clue. "Swabhaava' means 'nature' (Prakriti). It is this Prakriti that is at the root of all problems, the cause of all troubles. On one who is free and reposed, this Prakirti dumps all entanglements, misery and distress. 'Swabhaava Prabhavy Gunaihi'. Due to this Swabhaava only, these 'guna-s' have come into existence 'Karmaani Pravibhaktaani'. The Karma-s (activities) for each have been alloted, and have to be performed willy-nilly. Again these Karma-s lead to cycles of births and deaths. Now, whence these have come?

"Gnyaanam Gneyam Parignyaataa

Trividhaa Karma Choadanaa" (18-18)

There is a threefold division. First, there is 'Gnyaata' (the knower) who is perceiving the 'Gneyam' (the known). Thus the knower, the known and the knowledge (Gnyaana), form the 'triputi' (threesome) for any act. Thus there are distinctly the three : "Karta, Karma and Kriya". Finally there would be the result. Thun Karma is creating the aspect of differentiation. In this diversification, where does stand the Brahmic experience, the Brahma Gnyaana which requires that everything should be viewed withiout 'bheda' (differentiation, division) of Gnyaana, Gneya and Gnyaata? The true vision of Gnyaana (wisdom) is to view all and everything as one undivided. That concept is, of course, in one corner of your mind. The rest of the mind thinks that you are the Karta (Doer), that you are doing Karma (work) through your 'Karana-s' (equipment, physical i.e., bodily)

"Adhishthaanam Tadhaa Kartaa

Karanamcha Pridhag Vidham

Vividhaascha Pridhak Chayshtaa

Daivam Chaivaatra Panchamam" (18-14)

"The seat of all Karma (the body), then, the Karta (the Doer), thirdly the various equipments provided in the body, then the special effort put in, and finally God,....these constitute the five aspects of every act. These are natural and indispensable. "Sahajam Karma Kountehya." "Oh Arjuna! Karma (doing work) is natural."

Now, on the one hand, we have the Universal Existence Consciousness i.e., 'Sut and Chit'; we have the concept of the total merger of the 'triputi' of 'Jeeva, Jagat and Eeswara', as also of 'Gnyaata, Gneyam, and Gnyaana', as well as 'Karta, Karma and Kriya' - all into the Supreme Consciousness. On the other hand we have, in practical reality, our dealings with the world, our bodily functions, and the mutual interactions. The problem is, how are these two, the Ideal and the practical, to be coordinated, to be synchronized? These two are opposed to eachother. One has the vision of Unity i.e., Undividedness. The other has the outlook of division and differentiation. The big problem is to synthesize these two. If there be no synthesis, then, that concept of Abheda or Non differentiation, would never reach fulfilment, without which there is no Moaksha (Deliverance), in which case the prime problem of sorrow and death would be dogging one, life after life, without ever having a solution. However, Bhagavad Geeta says "Vaasudevas sarvamiti" i.e., "View everything as Vaasudeva i.e., 'Vasati-Divyati' (Existence - Appearance). While we keep struggling to develop that vision of 'Avibhakta' (Undividedness), we are told :

"Nahi Kaschit Kshnamapi

Jaatu Tishtatya Karma Krit" (3-5)

"None can rest even a moment without work."

We have to deeply ponder over these apparently uncompromissing predicaments. The two that are poles apart, are to be drawn towards eachother. We are presently being tossed between Unity and diversity. The Brahmic ideal beckons us, while the demands of the world keep pulling us back, such as bodily needs, family means of livelihood, society and social interactions etc., without which it would be impossible to live. Moreover Bhagavad Geeta warns us :

"Sareera Yaatraapichatay

Na Prasidyeth Akarmanaha"

"If you sit obstimate without doing any work, the journey of the body would be impeded "Saareeram Kayvalam Karma Kurvan." "Perform work atleast for the sake of the body". "Kuru Karmaiva Tasmaatvam", "Karmanyeh Vaadhikaarastay". "You have to definitely perform Karma". Now, with all the above enunciations, which advice to follow, and which path to pursue?

One thing has to be noted. Sastra would never indulge in double talk. If however it does so, it ceases to be called a Sastra. Even if it looks like double talk, they should be of concordant nature. Then atleast we can attempt to interpret. But if it were to harp on two diametrically opposite instructions, it ceases to be of any guidance. In that case, how can this spiritual Sastra deliver two opposing instructions?

Let us see what solution Bhagavad Geeta itself offers. It says: While performing Karma, at the same time, be upholding Gnyaana i.e., keeping the viewpoint of Gnyaana in mind, perform diligently your duties. Keep holding on to both. This is termed in Sanskrit as "Tumdumsikaa Nyaayam" (perhaps no other language has so many proverbs as Sanskrit !) 'Tumdumsika' refers to 'pliers' in which its two arms at one end are held by its user, and its other end is made to held something at same time. Thus, your holding the two arms (going in opposite directions) of the plier, and the plier holding some object, both occur at same tome. Similarly, one's intellect (like in the plier) should hold simultaneously both the Brahma Swaroopa concept as well as worldly deliberations i.e., both Gnyaana and Karma.

"Karmani Akarmayaha Pasyet

Akarmanicha Karmayaha

Sa Buddhimaan Manushyayshu

Sa Yuktaha Kritsna Karma Krit" (4-18)

"While performing Karma (action) see 'Akarma' (inaction) in it. While being idle without doing any work, see action in it". When both these happen, then, the two i.e., action and inaction are not inimical to eachother. One who sees as above is "Sa Buddhimaan Manushyayshu". "Among men he is intelligent, a Yogi, and a true performer of actions". How to view like that is elaborated in the following sloka :

"Prakritay Kriya Maanaani

Gunaihi Karmaani Sarvasaha

Ahamkaara Vimoodhaatmaa

Kartaahamiti Manyatay" (3-27)

The big misapprehension is to think that it is your Gnyaana which is the cause of all actions. Note that there are two entities in us:Gnyaana and Kriya (activity). This could become clear on self analysis. We are so ignorant of our own nature, what to speak of the external world ! "Prakriteh Kriya Maanaani / Gunaihi Karmaani Sarvasaha". "All actions are performed by the guna-s of Prakriti", and not by your Real Self, the witnessing Self.

Just consider and think over the following : When I am talking, it is not that you alone are listening; I am also listening to my talk. Who is that 'I'? When word after word is coming out of my mouth, who is observing or witnessing it? The lips move, but that Witnessing Self does not. That Witnessing Self is my Gnyaana, which has no 'naama, roopa or kriya'. It is Niraakaara, Kootastha, Achalam and Dhruvam. It is sedate but observing the movement of lips. Unless you muse on this, you cannot perceive that That is perceiving your actions. You have to first realize that there is an Inner Agency that is Itself Unmoving but is observing all your movements, not only your lip movements causing words, but also your thoughts emanating from your mind. Hence, become that which is witnessing all these. Actually, you need not 'become'. You are 'That' already, if only you shed your ignorance. Bhagavad Geeta desires that you perceive everything being in that state. That is the supreme psychological approach of Bhagavad Geata. The 'guna-s' of Prakriti are prompting all your actions. But your Gnyaana (Awareness), instead of reposing Itself with dignity, as the Witnessing Self, is stooping down and identifying with the functioning equipments, out of illusion. 'Ahamkaara Vimoodhaatma Kartaaha Miti Manyatay'. 'That Inner Self is thinking foolishly that It Itself is the Doer'. That 'active self' is called Ahamkaara (Ego).

Be 'Achalam' and Supreme, like the Ocean, and observe the waves which alone move. Be like the light in whose presence all activities are performed, and all movements effected; but the light is not moving. So also, in the radiance of your Light of Gnyaana, perceive the thoughts sprouting in your mind, the inhaling and exhaling of your breath, all the various functions of your body, as also all the myraid activities with respect to the world outside. Thus Bhagavad Geeta, after posing the problem, is rendering the solution:

"Prakrityaivacha Karmaani

Kriya Maanaani Sarvasaha

Yaha Pasyati Tathaatmana

Ma Kartaaram Sa Pasyati" (13-29)

In the midst of all activities, one should feel that it is not oneself that is performing them, one should be serene and sedate. All the activities and movements within and without the body, one should be just witnessing them, without oneself moving. Imagine a stage on which a drama is being enacted, or a dance being performed. The stage by itself is a mute witness to all that is going on it. Likewise, imagine yourself to be such a stage. Actually, such a stage is in-built within everyone as one's Gnyaana. On such a stage of your 'Swaroopa' (Real Self), if you observe in that light everything - from the thought-waves in your mind to all worldly deliberations - that indeed is said to be being 'Nirlipta' (complacent).

"Na Maam Karmaani Limpanti

Na May Karma Phaleh Sprihaa

Iti Maam Yoabhi Jaanaati

Karmabhir Na Sa Buddhyatay" (4-14)

"Actions do not touch Me, nor am I concerned with their fruits. Whosoever thus knows Me, is also not bound by actions."

"Saktaaha Karmanya Vidwaansoe

Yathaa Kurvanti Bhaarata

Kuryaad Vidwaanstathaasakta

Schikeershur Loaka Sangraham" (3-25)

The wise one withdraws from works by being detached and performs those works for the welfare of the community, but all the others drown themselves in the works with full attachment. The former works, but as though not working; the latter becomes one with the work totally identifying with it. The former 'Karmanya Akarmayaha Pascheth', sees inaction in action. But how is it possible?

"Naiva Kinchit Karoameeti

Yuktoe Manyayta Tattwavit

Pasyan Srunvan Sprisan Jighran

Asnan Gachchhan Swapan Swasan" (5-8)

Pralapan Visrujan Grihnan

Unmishan Nimishan Api

Indriyaa Neendriyaardhayshu

Vartanta Iti Dhaarayan" (5-9)

"I am not performing any work; thus thinking, he views all the works, including seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing, talking, letting go, grasping, opening and closing of eyelids....all the works involving mind, tongue and body (Trikarana-s), and letting the sense-organs (indriya-s) deal with the sense objects (vishaya-s), keeping oneself aloof'. Let the 'guna s' interact with the guna-s, you being a mere witness of the show. Your Gnyaana should pervade the guna-s (sense organs), the Prakriti guna-s (sense objects), as well as the deliberations between both. All the three are within the orbit of your Gnyaana. Your Gnyaana is both within and without, and all_pervasive. It is the witnessing Self which does not undergo and change whatsoever ; it is only the witnessed that undergoes changes. If you develop and persist in such a vision, then, after sometime,

"Gata Sangasya Muktasya

Gnyaana Vasthita Chaytasaha

Yagnyaa Yaacharataha Karma

Samagram Pravileeyatay" (4-23)

"If you are well established in such Gnyaana, being liberated and devoid of attachment, and viewing everything as Bhagavat Swaroopa, then all actions just melt away. Karma dwindless away. One would view it as in a dream, or, as if it were a shadow". In the light of your Gnyaana, all activities would move about like shadows. The shadows get thinner and thinner incourse of time, till they finally vanish, as in a Jeevan-Mukta, the Liberated Soul. Karma entirely burns itself off.

"Yasya Survay Samaarambhaaha

Kaama Sankalpa Varjitaaha

Gnyaanagni Dagdha Karmaanam

Tamaahuhu Panditam Budhaaha" (4-19)

"The fire of Gnyaana completely burns away, without any trace, the entire gamut of Karma, which would transform into Gnyaana. All movements get converted into the unmoving state and thus appear." The realm of 'naama and roopa' i.e., ideas and things, as also activities, is characterized by change and movement, and constitutes the dynamic world of diversity. The 'Achala Aykatva' is one's Gnyaana. All dynamic diversity has to be ultimately transformed into Gnyaana. What is presently happening is that this diversity is seeming to convert the Unity into itself. This is Samsaara. Wisdom lies in reconverting this world of change into the changeless Tattva at the earliest. Then alone there is scope for everything appearing as Brahma Swaroopa. Really speaking, 'chalanam' (mobility) itself is basically 'Achalam' (the state of being motionless). For Example : This earth is rotating fast at a high speed, but appears as just statie. On the other hand, as you are tavelling fast in a bus or train, all things on either side....the trees, structures etc.,.....appear to be fast moving back past you. Thus, it is seen that a fast moving object appears stationary, and, stationary objects appear to be moving fast. Now apply this to Brahma 'Anubhava'. Know that Brahman is stationary and all pervasive, like the sky. The vast expanse of the sky is unmoving. But, the wind, tejus, water, earth, as also planets and stars......all these are moving. The sky in its static state has gathered into itsefl all these moving objects, and sitting pretty. Not only that, in every atom of all these moving bodies, it has its presence. Everything is in the sky; and the sky is in everything. What a wonder! Everything that is mobile is in the immobile, and the immobile is within every mobile! This is a sheer physical truth; nothing metaphyscial about it. So also is Gnyaana, which is subtler than the sky. It is all-pervasive like the sky, and everything is contained in It. It is That which is cognizing everything, and yet not moving like all those. Thus conceiving, your vision, in course of time, would see the Changeless and Motionless in all that is changing and dynamic. It would eventually realize that every 'Karma' is 'Akarma'. Such a synthesis has been forged by Bhagavad Geeta. Then, living becomes a life divine.

You are really 'yourself' when you just sit quiet without entertaining any thought. Even when your thoughts arise, you would still be yourself, witnessing those thoughts. Just like the Ocean reposing in itself, calm and motionless, and at the same time permeating every particle of the speeding waves, so also, Gnyaana being ever Itself, is appearing as ever moving along with the 'gneya-s' (objects). If you can synchronize these two aspects, and view with an unified vision, then, fearless you will be, because, you would be moving about holding on tight the immuatable 'Tattva'. Identifying yourself with 'That', you are 'changing and yet change less'. In the realm of 'naama and roopa' (ideas and things), you are moving and changing. Yet, as Sut-Chit-Aananda Swaroopa, you are 'achalam' (stationary). You yourself are both the 'Sut-Chit', as well as 'naama-roopa' like the two sides of a coin. One is the state of Swaroopa (Real Own Nature), and the other that of 'Vibhooti' (manifestattion). One is the 'Nirvikalpa' (changeless) and the other 'Savikalpa' (prone to changes). One is 'Nirguna' (Attributelss). and the other 'saguna' (with qualities and attributes). And, you are both! In the same manner, the Gnyaana puts on 'naama and roopa', and appears as 'gneya'. The same gneya bereft of 'naama and roopa' is the Gnyaana. With costume on, it is Karma. Without it, it is Gnyaana. Thus the two are not inimical to eachother. Now, you can understand about Jeevan Mukta-s,

"Loaka Sangrahamay Vaapi

Sampasyan Kartu Marhasi",

While giving discourses for the welfare of the community, and, having deliberations with society and the world, they are able to move about, 'Padma Patra Mivaambhasa". They are like the water drop on the lotus-leaf. They are ever conscious of their Swaroopa state, though strolling in this world of Samsaara. That is how the 'Akarmani Karma' is feasible. They demonstrate the truth of this. Hence no 'samskaara-s' or 'vaasana-s' (latencies) pollute them. The Swaroopa state remains unaffected if 'Vaasana-s' are kept at bay, and their entry barred. Now it is clear how, though these worldly vaasana-s have been clinging to us since innumerabale lives, now to counteract and undo them, we have to fill the mind with Brahmic 'bhaava' (thought) which, as it grows stronger, can disinfect the mind of its earlier vaasana-s. That is what is implied in the enunciation of the Isavasya Upanishad :

"Eesaavaasya Midam Survum

Yatkincha Jagatyaam Jagat

Tayna Tyaktayna Bhunjeetaa

Maa Gridhaha Kasvasviddhanam"

Acquire the vaasana of Brahma Tattva, and expel the unwanted vaasana-a of the world that have possessed you. 'Tayna Tyaktayna Bhunjeetaa'. Even Bhagavad Geeta instructs on these lines. If we acquire the Bhagavad Vaasana, then, the 'praapanchika' vaasana-s automatically vanish.


To sum up, firstly it was mentioned that Bhagavat Tattva alone is the sloution to the problem of 'Vishaada' (sorrow) in this world. Secondly, it was explained that, towards this objective, there is no other means except Gnyaana. And that, even if there be other ways, they only help in the process, and serve as intermediary stages. Thirdly, we have seen that in order to bridge the gap between the aspiration for the Bhagavat Tattva, and the incessant worldly demands, one must, without distinctions of within and without, and seeing the analogy of the sky that is all-pervasive, realize that it is one's own Gnyaana that is permeating everything, existing in the 'Achala' state, and also in this, 'chalanaatmika' (dynamic, changing) state. If one acquires and perseveres in such a vision, then, in course of time. one would oneself perceive the progress, though it would be diffficult to proceed in the initial stages. Only by the needed effort and perseverance, can one go forward in any branch of study, and more so in the spiritual field. The Supreme Power would surely give a helping hand, provided there is due effort from the individual's side. The Lord in Bhagavad Geeta exhorts :

"Sarva Dharmaan Parityadya

Maamaykum Saranam Vraja" (18-66)

"Surrendering all duties, seek refuge in Me alone". Holding on to Him implies perceiving the 'Nirvikalpa' (unchanging) Tattva everywhere. Then, there would be no obstacles from the 'vikalpa s', which alone are the 'sins', the primaray ones being 'Avidya, Kaama and Karma' (ignorance, lust and activity) 'From these I would unshakle you, grieve not', assures the Lord. This is in the context of the query : 'It is human effort or Divine Grace that matters?' There is scope for both. Though 'Praarabdha' (Destiny) does operate, you can, while dutifully obeying the course set apart by Praarabdha, muster enough courage to put in your best efforts. Such an effort should be not merely of the material type, but 'Paara maandhika' as well. It is two fold : religious and spiritual. If it be a religious effort, through rites and rituals, you can again 'yoga kshema' (fulfilment and protection), while spiritual effort would lead to 'Moaksha' (Liberation) itself. While Praarabdha is a product of the past (being the result of deeds done in the previous lives), 'Prayatna' (effort) is an investment for the future. Experiencing Praarabdha is inescapable for whosoever it be (including Jeevan Mukta-s). As said in Bhagavad Geeta, 'Gnyaana vaanapi' i.e., even for a Gnyaani, let alone ordinary people.

Now, one may ask : "Would not Gnyaana that has been acquired after so much of 'saadhana', be able to counteract Praa rabdha? The answer could be 'Yes' as well as 'No'. It cannot obstruct Praarabdha which you willy-nilly have to experience, However, it can be counteracted to some extent, because, you would be facing it from the viewpoint of Gnyaana, with the vision and outlook of one with wisdom. You would experience it, but without its customary sting. You would not be swept off your feet. That is the difference between an ordinary mortal and a Gnyaani. For example, if an ant were to sting a kid, the suffering of the victim is acute and unbearable, making the kid scream with pain. But the same ant if it were to sting an elephant, the effect would be negligible, almost nil. Such is the difference in response to Praarabdha between the ignorant and the wise, between an ordinary mortal and a Gnyaani. Thus, in case of a Jeevan-Mukta (a Realised Soul), if asked whether such an one too has to bow to and suffer Praarabdha, one has to say : "Technically 'Yes', but practically 'No'". Hence, it would be correct to even say that for a Gnyaani, there is no Karma. But in everycase, Praarabdha would run through its full course. What is left to us is, to put in our whole hearted Prayatna (effort), instead of helplessly succumbing to Praarabdha. We have to march forward with determination. What we are presently putting in is 'Loukika Prayatna' (effort to fulfill worldly desires). Prayatna is of two types: Worldly inputs, and spiritual (Paaramaardhita) discipline. Efforts for worldly things are naturally taking place, and one need not be goaded towards that. But there is a need for someone to direct us towards the Paaramaardhika effort. That is not ever Dhaarmic, for the Lord in Geeta said "Sarva Dharman Parityajya". Ever Dharma Purushaardha would not suffice. What has to be desired is Moaksha Purushaardha. That is Paaramaardhika. It can be easily seen that there are three types of desires : Swaardha, Purushaardha, and, Paaramaardha. Swaardha is concerned with Artha and Kaama ('Aihika' or Worldly). Purushaardha is Dharma. It is 'Aamushmika' or other-worldly. Paaramaardha is Moaksha (Deliverance), and is neither Swaardha nor Purushaardha, and is the highest of all. Hence, for every person in course of one's life, if there be an ideal to strive for, it is the Parama Purushaardha or Paramaardha, which alone is the solution to life's problem of Vishaada, the perpetually haunting fear of death. That is what that haunted Arjuna, and what bothers one and all. Arjuna was a 'nara' (human) and so are all of us. Unless 'nara' takes 'Saranu' (refuge) in 'Narayana', there is no solution. That is why Arjuna implored Lord Krishna, the Divine Charioteer. "Paartha' means 'human' (of prithvi or earthly Tattva). 'Paartha Saarathi' in a metaphorical sense, is one who steers the chariot of one's life. It is not to be taken merely that Vaasudeva was driving the chariot of Arjuna. The Lord is steering the chariots of all our lives. Chariot refers to one's body. Kathopanishad clearly spelled out : "Sareeram Ratha Mayvatu Buddhintu Saaradhim Viddhi" i.e., body is the chariot, and intellect is the charioteer. "Buddhou Sarana Manvichchha". 'Seek refuge in your intellect', instructs Bhagavad Geeta.

If we properly comprehend all the above enunciations, our path would be clear indeed, and we get the confirmation that Moaksha Purushaartha alone is the real solution to our problem. That alone we have to strive for and attain. Artha and Kaama are transitory. Dharma also is not the solution. For, the fruit of Dharma is Swarga. Bhagavad Geeta clearly states :

"Taytum Bhuktvaa Swarga Loakum Visaalum

Ksheenay Punyeh Martya Loakum Visamti" (9-21)

"Whatever pleasures one may experience in Swarga Loaka, as a reward for the performances of Yagnya-s here, nevertheless, at the exhaustion of the 'Punya', one has to return to this karma bhoomi". Hence, Dharma Purushaardha does not offer a permanent solution. Thus, all the rites and rituals, karma kaanda and Upaasanaa Kaanda, are all of lesser value and benefit. Bhagavad Geeta states:

"Antavattu Phalam Tayshaam

Tadbhavat Alpa Maydhasaam

Dehvaan Devayajoe Yaanti

Mudbhaktaa Yaanti Maamapi" (7-23)

"By these rituals and Upaasana-s, the results and benefits that you achieve are 'antavat' i.e., limited, and would terminate sooner or later. I alone bestow on you a permanent and undeteriorating reward, which is possible only by Moaksha Purushaardha, and nothing else".

Thus, if we were to heed the advice of Bhagavad Geeta, we find that out of the four Purushaardha-s : Ardhaycha, Kaamaycha, Dharmaycha, and Moakshaycha, the first three are ineffective. The fourth one alone delivers the goods. That is why in the last (eighteenth) chapter of Bhagavad Geeta, the Lord proclaims :

"Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya

Maamaykum Saranam Vraja

Ahamtvaa Sarva Paapaybhyoe

Moaksha yishyaami Maa Suchaha" (18-66)

The Bhagawan assures in the last two lines : 'I shall liberate you from all sins' and consloes saying 'Maa Suchaha' i.e., 'grieve not'. This is possible when 'Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya', 'when all Dharmas-s are renounced. Bhagavat Paada commented that Dharma-s include 'Adharma-s' also. Thus, leave off all Dharma-s and Adharma-s.

In the epic Mahaa Bhaarata, apart from the Bhagavad Geeta, there are nine or ten other Geeta-s, all being spiritual texts. Also, there is one called 'Moaksha Dharma-s' which was taught by Bheeshma to Dharma Raja. That text is about four times in content compared to the Bhagavad Geeta. One of the statement in that text is : 'Tvaja Dharma Madharmancha', Bheeshma instructs Dharma Raja to discard both Dharma and Adharma. Normally we think that Adharma should be discarded, and Dharma alone followed. But the above instruction of the grandsire Bheeshma is to renounce both. When Dharma Raja asked if there was anything else also to be discarded, Bheeshma stated further "Ubhay Satya Anriteh Tyaja". 'Discard both Satya and Asatya (Truth and Un truth). When Dharma Raja was pondering over the above weird instructions to leave off even Dharma and Satya, Bheeshma noticing the predicament of Dharma Raja, stated that after renouncing both Satya and Asatya, there is one more thing to be discarded : "Yayna Tyajasi Tatyaja". "Whatever you were holding on to, when you discarded all the above, discard that too, your 'Ahamkaara' (Ego), the thought of 'I'. Thus the mind has to be fully purified (niranjana).

The moral of the above episode is : If Adharma and Asatya are iron shackles, then, Dharma and Satya are golden shackles! In any case shackless are shackles. For Moaksha, all shackles have to be done away with.

Thus, one striving towards Moaksha Purushaardha has to have a strong will and indomitable courage. He has to be a 'Dheera', as Bhagavad Geeta again and again emphasises. He has to put in the needed effort (Prayatna). Praarabdha would not obstruct this. It has its jurisdiction to a certain extent only. Beyond that, it would not touch you. It would not come in the way of your Paramardhika 'Krishi' (effort) and Saadhana. It may interface with other efforts, but not the spiritual. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states that even Deva-s donot have any power to interfere with one on the spiritual path.

Secondly, one has to aim high without reconciling to lesser objectivies. It is said :

"Uttamam Tatva Chintanam

Madhyamam Sastra Chintanam

Adhamam Japa Hoamaadi

Teertha bhraanti adhamaadhamam"

(In the above lines, the first may imply 'Nidhi Dhyaasana', and the second 'Sravana Manana'. The third : 'Yagnya-s and rituals', and the fourth : 'idol worship and piligrimages)

The above is a 'Subhaashitam' (good message) from Upanishads. Having been blessed with a human birth, one should not let go this golden opportunity for spiritual Saadhana. There is no guarantee of human birth every time. Hence this human life should not be frittered away and wasted. Bhagavad Geeta states : "Dhyaana Yoga paroe Nityam". 'Nityam' implies 'throughtout one's life'. By Dhyaana is meant understanding from scriptures the Bhagawat Tattva and grasping It. Yoga is realizing and bringing into personal experience that Bhagawat Tattva with total involvement.

"Tasmaat Sarvayshu Kaalayshu

Maa Manusmara Yudhyacha" (8-7)

Note the stress on 'Sarvayshu Kaalayshu' i.e., at all times and under all circumstances. 'Maa Manusmara' : 'Fix your thoughts, your awareness on Me', and not let the mind be ever deflected in diverse ways. "Yat Pasyaati Yat Srunoati Yat Sprusativa....Sarvam Vaasudeva Iti". 'Whatever you are doing.....seeing, hearing or touching,....realize that all is Vaasudeva (meaning 'Vasati and 'Divyati', implying 'Existence and Appearance'). Perceive the Brahma Tattva in every atom of the Universe. Your life should be surcharged with that Tattva uninterruptedly.


Now, one may ask, from where Prayatna (effort) should start, and where should it end. Bhagavad Geeta describes this process as a journey which has a start, a middle, and an end. Prayatna, Saadhana, Abhyaas, Anushtaan.......all these are synonyms, and indicate the process of the journey. In the context of spiritual journey, the starting point ('aadi') is our present situation, or the prevailing mental make-up. The end of the process, the objective, is attainment of Moaksha (Deliverance). In between are the various intermediary stages ('bhoomika-s'). Bhagavad Geeta spells out these steps. They are not given at one place, nor in sequence, but scattered all over the eighteen chapters. They have to be carefully gathered and understood.

The first step is to eradicate our 'sandeha-s' (doubts). Sri Bhagavat Paada states that sandeha is the most undesirable situation. Even Bhagavad Geeta declared :

"Agnyascha, Asraddha Dhaanascha

Samsayaatmaa Vinasyati" (4-40)

There is one called 'Agnya', another 'Asraddhavaan' and a third one 'sandehapara'. These can be classified as agnostic, heretic and sceptic. Among these three 'tics', the first two do not matter that much, but the 'sceptic' is the most undesirable. The sceptic knows to some extent, but not entirely. If one does not know entirely, he will engender doubts. It would be difficult to convince such a 'doubting Thomas'. He would not analyze and understand, and would repeat the same question again and again. He would seem to be more interested in testing the other person, rather than involving himself in the subject and gaining conviction. In this connection, Bhagavad Geeta has this to say :

"Vyavasaayaatmikaa Buddhi

Raykayha Kuru Nandanaa

Bahu Saakha Hyanantaascha

Buddhayoe Avyavasaayinaam" (2-41)

'If the knowledge gained is in diverse directions, without depth in any, then, it is futile, and only causes stress and strain. Hence,

"Tasmaat Agnyaana Sambhootam

Hritstham Gnyaanaasi Naatmanaha

Chithvainam Samsayam Yoga

Maatti Shthoattishtha Bhaarata" (4-42)

"Aye Arjuna (applies to all humans) ! At the outset expel this 'Samsayam' (doubt) that is well seated in your 'hridaya' (heart or rather the innermost cave of one's being)". We are born itself with doubt ingrained. After growth, with the sword of knowledge, the doubt has to be cut asunder. Else, even while departing from this world, we carry it (the doubt) with us. Neither we were born with conviction, nor we would die with it .However, without conviction, there can be neither Saadhana nor Siddhi (Realization of the Ideal). Now, from where are these doubts arising? 'Agnyaana Sambhootam'. Born out of ignorance, the 'original sin'. Hence, we are told, holding the sword of Gnyaana, cut asunder the AGnyaana. Perform surgery, and fling off the tumorous flesh of 'doubt' that spouted from ignorance. Thus, the first step in the spiritual 'saadhana' is the extermination of 'sandeha'. Next, in order to allow no place for 'Sandeha', what is needed is 'Sraddha'.

"Sraddhaavaan Labhatay Gnyaanam

Tatparas Samyatendriyaha" (4-39)

By 'Sraddha' is meant faith, commitment, you must believe what elders say, and not take it lightly. In Sastra-s there are great conclusions which are related to you. They are called Mahaa Vaakya-s. There are four such from four Upanishad-s. They are :

1. Pragnyaanam Brahmna (Aitareya)

2. Ayam Aatmaa Brahma (Maandookya)

3. Tatvamasi (Chhandoagya)

4. Aham Brahmaasmi (Brihadaaranyaka)

These are great and exalting utterances, which are superb guide lines for the seeker. In order to eliminate even the last trace of 'sandeha', one has to assimilate them with due 'sraddha'. Then,

"Uddharaydaatma Naatmaanam

Naatmaana Mava Saadayet

Aatmaiva Hyaatmanoe Bandhuhu

Aatmaiva Ripu Raatmanaha" (6-5)

One has to self-uplift oneself. Before you think of uplifting anyone else, first uplift yourself. Otherwise, you just cannot uplift others. Actually if everyone uplifts oneself, it implies that the community has uplifted itself. The inner deeper meaning of uplifting oneself is that, one's mind should try to grasp one's Aatma Swaroopa, which seems to have presently fallen into the deep chasm of the Anaatmic world, the material world of 'naama, roopa and guna'. Like a precious jewel fallen into a dust-bin to the very bottom, with trash and junk piled upon it. To discover the jewel, you have to clear out the junk. It is an elimination or negative process. As you take out item after item of the junk, then at the end, the jewel reveals itself with resplendant lustre. So also, as you ward off the thoughts pertaining to the anaatmic world, then finally the desired objective would be realized. We just have to avoid racking our brains with thousands of worldly matters which are not ultimately of any help to us. Hence, you have to lift yourself up.

'Naatmaana Mava Saadayet :'

Do not belittle yourself.

'Aatmaiva Aatmanoe Bandhuhu' : You are yourself the friend and well-wishes of yourself. 'Aatmaiva Ripu Raatmaanaha' : You yourself are the enemy of yourself. (This reminds us of Prahlad's reply to his father on his claim that he (father) vanquished all enemies. Prahlada reminds him of his internal enemies like 'Kaama, Kroadha, Loabha, Moaha, Mada etc.) Thus everyone can be friend as well as an enemy of oneself.

Now, how to lift oneself up? Who is the Instructor? Bhagavad Geeta declares :

"Tasmaat Sastram Pramaanamtay

Kaaryaakaarya Vyavasthitou

Gnyaatvaa Sastra Vidhaanoaktum

Karma Kartu Mihaarhasi" (16-24)

'Your 'Pramaanam' (standard) is 'Sastra'. It clearly spells out 'Kaaryaakaarya Vyavasthitou', what works to do and what not to (the do's and don'ts). Just follow the instructions and injunctions'. Of course, apart from the Sastra, there must also be an elightened Instructor (Preceptor) to interpret and explain.

"Yadyadaacharati Sreshtha

Statta Devaytaroe Janaha

Sa Yat Pramaanam Kurutay

Loakas Tadanuvartatay" (3-21)

There are some called 'Sishta-s' who are ideal people worthy of emulation, who can guide others on the right path. Then, there is Sastra, the standard-bearer, and there are Preceptors who have deep knowledge of the Sastra, and can lucidly explain it, for the benefit of others. Such great men can be found, if only you seek. Approach them reverentially :

"Tadviddhi Pramipaatayna

Pariprasnayna Sevayaa

Upadekshyanti Tay Gnyaanam

Gnyaanina Stattva Darsinaha" (4-34)

There are Gnyaani-s in this world, there is no lack of them. Just as there are experts in every conceivable field, so also. there are in spiritual field as well. If you do not have appetite, and do not ask for food, none will serve you any. So also you must have spiritual hunger, and have to approach spiritual Masters. "Pranipaatayna' : Prostrate to them. 'Pariprasnayna' : Ask questions and clarify your doubts. 'Sayvayah' : Render them service, if they readily do not respond. 'Upadaykshyanti' : Surely they would instruct you. They who are 'Gnyaani-s', persons of Wisdom, are not merely well versed in knowledge, but also have experienced that Wisdom. Mere knowledge would not suffice. They should be 'Tattva Darsinaha', those who have realized and experienced the Truth, the Bhagavat Tattva; those who are Visionaries. Then only one can re-orient one's life, and identify proper direction. Now, what have we to know and learn from such great Masters? Is it 'Karma, Upaasana, Mantra-s, Tantra-s', or any rituals? No. 'Upaday Kshyantitay Gnyaanam'. That which has to be rendered by them, and grasped by you, is only one which is Gnyaanam. Nothing more is needed but Divine Knowledge, the awareness of Bhagavat Tattva. That awareness alone is the means to 'Mukti'.

"Nahi Gnyaanayana Sadrusam

Pavitramiha Vidyatay

Tut Swayam Yoga Samsiddhaha

Kaalay Naatmaani Vindati" (4-38)

'In this world there is nothing superior to, or even equal to, Gnyaana'. The purest and the greatest acqusition is Gnyaana. That is why we find in this world that, howsoever rich and influential one might be, it is all useless if one has no intelligence. The respect and regard which a man of intellect commands, is not available to anyone else, whatever be one's riches or status. In this context, we can refer to a 'Subhaashitam' (good saying) :

"Swadeseh Poojyateh Raja

Vidwaan Sarwatra Poojyatay"

'One of royal lineage is adored only in his native precinct; but a learned person is universally honoured. Hence the value depends on one's Gnyaana. Hence, one's aim must be to acquire Gnyaana. The next queery is what is Gnyaana?

"Kshetra Kshetragnyayoar Gnyaanam

Yattad Gnyaanam Matam Mama" (13-2)

Gnyaana is that which knows what is 'Kshetra', and, what is 'Kshetragnya'. By Kshetra is meant 'matter' Kshetragnya refers to 'spirit'. Thus, they refer to : matter and spirit, or, Anaatma and Aatma, or, Asatyam and Satyam (Non-Truth and Truth), or, objective and subjective natures. These words have to be clearly understood. The awareness of 'I am', is the subjective nature. The objective nature is the entire world cognizant to me, and is termed the 'Kshetra'. By Knowledge of these two_the objective and subjective natures, i.e., Kshetra and Kshetragnya_is meant Gnyaana, the perception which sees both these as One, and not as different. But one may ask : When both are One, which one remains, and which vanishes or merges? Would Kshetra disappear and Kshetra gnya remain? Or, is it the other way? In answering this, thinkers earlier had erred. The Sankhya propagators distanced Kshetra and recognised only Kshetragnya. Their goal was 'Kaivalya'. The Buddhists, on the other hand, held on to Kshetra denying Kshetra gnya. But the Hindu Scriptures enunicated that Kshetra merges with Kshetragnya. This meant that the entire material world would be spiritualized, and be established in Aatma Chaitanya alone. Then, the result would be that, not only you are Pure Consciousness, but the universe around you also. Everything would be nothing but 'Sut-Chit'. If you thus perceive and orient your life, then, that is verily Moaksha. You would be no more shackled by Samsaara, nor face any problems caused by it. That is the solution offered. Thus, the knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetragnya means, conceiving Kshetra also as Kshetragnya Swaroopa, and realising that That is yourself, and so experiencing It. This is further elaborated in Bhagavad Geeta in various ways, so that there is hardly any misapprehension.

"Sumum Pasyanhi Sarvatra

Samavasthita Meeswaram

Nahi Nastyaatma Naatmaanam

Tatoayaati Paraangatim" (13-28)

In whichever direction you perceive, your vision should be 'Sumum', equanomous or even. It should not be unequal and contradictory. Contradiction comes only when one looks at this as Gnyaana, and that as gneya, or, this as Aatma and that as anaatma, i.e., dwelling ever in duality. This should not happen. Hence one has to cultivate an equanomous vision. Now, when would that be possible? 'Samavasthita Meeswaram' : Only when one has the awareness that the Eeswara Chiatanya is Omnipresent and All-pervasive like the sky. Not the narrow biassed outlook of a Saivite who adores Siva but indicts Vishnu. Nor that of a Vasihnavite who is repugnant to Siva Tattva. Also is seen that both Saivites and Vaishnavites look down upon a Sakteya, who in turn reciprocates similarly. This is not 'Samapasyan' i.e., equal perception. We thus see what ignorance can lead to. When Bhagavad Geeta instructs us to see all and everything as Bhagavat Swaroopa, where is the question of distinction between Siva, Vishnu, Sakti etc.? Bhagavad Geeta has proceeded even further:

"Vidyaa Vinaya Sampannay

Brahmanay Gavi Hastini

Suni chaiva Swapaakay cha

Panditaaha Sama Darsinaha" (5-18)

If you are a real Pandit (in this context, one who has knowledge of, and experienced Aatma Tattva) then, you should be 'Sama Darsinaha', be looking with equanimity (treat as equal) a learned Brahmin, a cow, an elephant or a dog, and even a chandaala (out-caste) who devours dog's meat. One must have the courage and will to have such equanimity.

The prefix 'sama' (equal) one would come across in many a sloka in the Bhagavad Geeta : 'Samam Pasyanti Sarwatra', 'Samam Sarvayshu Bhootayshu', 'Samaha Satroucha Mitraycha' etc., These indicate and stress on the importance of equanimity. Without getting overglad at joy, or oversad at grief, the mind not getting exuberant or sunken, but living with a balanced outlook, one must maintain equipoise, and ever dwell in a state of equilibrium.

"Ihaiva Tairjitaha Surgoe

Yayshaam Saamyeh Sthitam Manaha

Nirdoashum Hi Sumum Brahma

Tasmaad Brahmani Tay Sthitaaha" (5-19)

Whosoever's mind dwells in equipoise, such an one, even while alive, has discovered the secrets of creation. When one's mind is stable without distraction, then, he has triumphed over creation and the universe. One can imagine the extent of effort to be put in, to develop such a spiritual culture. "Samatvam Yogamuchyatay". Equanimity is itself called Yoga. Such a state can be attained only by a Gnyaani. This is the touchstone for acquistion of Paramardhika Gnyaana.

"Yaa Nisaa Sarwa Bhootanam

Tasyaam Jaagarti Sumyamee

Yasyaam Jaagrati Bhootaani

Saa Nisaa Pasyatoe Munayha" (2-69)

Everyone is performing works in the night, taking it for day, due to illusion. Night implies 'Agnyaana' (ignorance). Dwelling in ignorance, they have deliberations with the world, taking it for Truth. But all this is absent for a Gnyaani. Such an one has no 'Vikshepa' (distractions to the mind). When everyone takes to sleep, thinking it as night, the Gnyaani sees it as day, i.e., when all others are enveloped by ignorance caused by the 'Maayaa Sakti", the Gnyaani is not affected by it, and remains fully awake. That is the 'Jaagarana', the night-long waking on Siva Raatri. Thus, night for the ignorant, is day for the enlightened, and vice-versa. What we have to learn from this is, for humankind the two 'anardha-s' (undesirables) are 'Aavarana' and 'Vikshaypa'. The first is 'being covered up', or enveloped, by ignorance. The second is the distractions of the mind. These are the two prominent defects in our mental setups. One is 'contraction', and the other is 'distraction'. In the former, the mind shrinks. In the latter, the mind lets itself loose on to the world. Contraction occurs during nights, during idleness, and, while in coma, or under anaesthesia effect, as also in deep-sleep (sushupti), ...and total irreversible contraction at time of death. The other undesirable quality 'distraction' occurs in the waking and dreaming states, when the mind becomes ultra-active, and keeps pouncing on to the world. It goes hither and thither, and keeps jumping about. Bhagavad Geeta hence instructs us to prevent our mind form becoming contracted and distracted. Thus, what the Gnyaani has to do is :


First, some elaboration regarding the meaning of the word 'Sanyaas' :

It was said in a previous context the Sanyaas indicates 'Keeping'. The commonly understood interpretation is 'renouncing'. The two meanings can be reconciled :

The entire creation comprises only of two components : 1. Vastu 2. Aabhaasa. Vastu i.e., Substance, refers to self or independent Eternal Existence, designated as Aatma Swaroopa. Abhaasa is the Substance itself manifesting differently. An illusory appearance. A dependent existence, like a shadow or reflection. The former exists in Reality on Its own, whereas the latter does not truly exist, but appears so. It has no independenet existence, and indispensably needs the former to exist. The Substance is invisible, whereas Aabhaasa is very much visible. Thus, the obviously visible aabhaasa is, in reality, non-existent, and, the invisible Vastu alone is truly existing. Samething as saying that the one that is really existing, is not seen, whereas the non-existing (in reality) is vividly seen, super imposing itself on the unseen substance. Not only that. The non-existent is, in reality, nothing but the existent One itself. The Eternally Existent alone, is appearing in the garb of the non-existent. Having understood this, now, what is Sanyaas? What are its aspects of 'renouncing' and 'keeping'? The 'renouncing' is the foregoing of the non-existent entity appearing and posing itself as the Existent. What is there to renounce when the world of 'nama and roopa' is actually non existent? The clarification is that it is not the 'non-existent' world that one has to renounce, but one's notion and conception that it is really existing. It is the illusion that has to be renounced. Not the creation itself. Not the 'Srishti' but the 'drishti'.

Now, turning to the other entity, the 'Substance', It would never be non-existent, and in no way affected by being renounced. How can one renounce one's own 'Swaroopa'? Hence, no alternative but to 'keep' It, as per one of the meainings of Sanyaas. This implies letting your mind renounce the things that are really non-existent, and be 'kept' focussed on the eternally existent, i.e., re remembrance of something that was indeed there earlier, but just forgotten. This is the clarification regarding the conciliation between 'renouncing' and 'keeping', the two words that are said to define Sanyaas. That is why Bhagavad Geeta says :

"Aatma Sumsthum Manaha Kritvaa" 'Let the mind be well established in Aatman.' That is the 'keeping' part of Sanyaas. Again :

"Sarwa Karmaani Manasaa Sanyasya"

'Renounce mentally all karma-s (activities)' In both the situations, it is mind alone that is to operate.

Real Sanyaas is not merely wearing ochre robes, growing beards, turning beads, or, runnning away form the world into forests. Let alone not mentioning such external paraphernelia, Bhagavad Geeta, in its seven hundred sloka-s, nowhere indicated such aspects and traits, to indicate Sanyaas.

Bhagavad Geeta further stated :

"Yaytu Sarvaani Karmaani

Mayi Sanyasya Mut Paraaha" (12-6)

'Who renouncing all actions in Me, and regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, ..........................'

Sarva Sankalpa Sanyaasee

Yogaaroodhaha Tadoachyatay" (6-4)

'One who renounces all thoughts (of the world), is said to have attained Yoga'.

"Gneyaha Sa Nitya Sanyaasi

Yoa Nadvayshti Na Kaankshati" (5-3)

'Know that he is a true renouncer (sanyaasi) who neither hates any, nor has any desires'.

"Adhyayshyatay Cha Ya Imum

Dharmyam Sumvaada Maavayoaho

Gnyaana Yagnyayna Taynaa Aham

Ishtaha Syaamiti Maymatihi" (18-70)

'Whosoever studies this our scared dialogue, it is my conviction that I shall have been worshipped through 'Gnyaana Yagnya' the Sacrifice of Wisdom'.

Sri Bhagavat Paada enunicated that Yagnya-s are of four types: 1) Vidhi Yagnya 2) Japa Yagnya 3) Upamsu Yagnya, and 4) Maanasa Yagnya.

1) Vidhi Yagnya : Ritualistic sacrifies like 'Chandi Hoamam' etc. Elaborate rituals around a 'Hoama' (Fire-pit). This is relatively the most inferior type.

2) Japa Yagnya : A little better than the above is the Japa Yagnya, wherein one sits alone and does some Japa, without the concern of others, or causing inconvenience to anyone.

3) Upaamsu Yagnya : This is even superior to the Japa Yagnya. This is not only performing Japa, but also instructing one other person close by.

4) Maanasa Yagnya : This is the most superior of all Yagnyas. This is also called Maanas Pooja or Maanasa Japam. This is the real Gnyaana Yagnya. 'Vaasudeva Sarvam'. Realizing and experiencing everything as nothing but Existence-Appearance. A total submergence in that thought and vision, as though possessed by It. An experience of Self-Realization or 'Aatma Saakshatkara'. Experiencing the entire Universe, the self within and without, all as nothing but that Universal Consciousness Itself. That is the superior-most, the Divine Yagnya. That is why in Geeta Bhashya, Sankara stated :

"Aatma Naamasu Yagnyasya Paathaat"

The word 'Yagnya' is being used meaning it as Aatma. The Worshipped, as well as the Worshipper, and the Priest..........all are but 'That' !

Thus, Sanyaas does not mean totally renouncing everything. It only implies renouncing rites and rituals, and performing only 'Sahaja Karma-s' i.e., minimum works to meet Natures demands. That too with a 'Brahmic' outlook, with all naama, roopa (ideas and things) and all attributes merged into the Brahma Tattwa. Giving up the viewing of visesha-s (particulars) is Sanyaas. Being ever established is 'Saamaanya' (a generealized holistic vision and perception) in Sanyaas. Being well-established in that state is Yagnya, as well as Sanyaas. Thus through these two words of 'Sanyaas' and 'Yagnya', Bhagavad Geeta has revealed to us light and wisdom. The path indicated is 'Vairaagya' and 'Abhyaasa'. Discarding 'particularization' is Vairaagya. Trying to get saturated with Bhagavat Tattva (experience of Aatma Swaroopa) is Abhyaas. Thus the sloka says:

"Asamsayam Mahaa Baahoe

Manoe Durnigraham Chalam

Abhyaasaynatu Kounteya

Vyraagyaynacha Grihyateh" (6-35)

'Without doubt, Oh Mighty-Armed, hard it is to control and subdue the restless mind. But, by practice, Oh Son of Kunti, and through Vyraagya, it can be restrained'. Thus 'Abhyasa and Vyraagya' are the two means emphasised.

Now in this context, a series of queries may arise : How to do that 'Abhyaasa' (practice)? Would it be possible to do it when 'Praarabdha' (Destiny) is having its sway? Are effort and destiny reconcilable? Unless we are destined to even get the idea of Abhyaasa, can we ever do it? Is it not true that everything depends on one's destiny? Where is the place for our effort? All these queries need answers, and are to be dealt with at some stage or other in the course of these discourses.

Bhagawat Tattva Anubhava (experience) alone is the solution to life's problems. To realize that, the only means is Gnyaana. The auxiliary or contributory means or stages are the Yoga-s of Karma. Bhakti and Samaadhi. The knowledge that becomes 'Paripoorna' (full), through refinement by these preparatory stages, such a know- ledge alone is the means for Bhgawat Anubhava. It is not enough to merely mentally conceive such a knowledge. For mortals, apart from living in thoughts, there is vast life outside. Conception through the mind is only a partial experience, and not total. The experience becomes total only when what is mentally conceived, is also actually experienced in life all around. Then alone, without the distinction of 'antar' and 'bahir' (within and without), life would be surcharged with the experience of 'That', resulting in 'Poorna Anubhava' (total experience). If the question were to arise as to what has to be done if the inner Gnyaana is not being transmitted into the experiences of the outer 'Jagat' (world), then, the advice would be to view the world with the same Brahma Gnyaana that has filled the mind. When Gnyaana vibrates and ventures into movement, it results in external life. That movement when it merges back into Gnyaana, it becomes 'Swaanubhava' or experience of the Self, the Swaroopa. Thus Gnyaana implies the reconciliation of the two aspects, the Swaroopa and Its 'Vibhooti', i.e., the Inner Nature and the outer manifestation. Then where is the need to renounce karma, especially when one views Karma as Gnyaana Itself? Essentially it is not necessary to renounce all Karma-s. It was mentioned earlier that only ritualistic Karma-s, those ordained by Sastra-s, are to be renounced. Such of the 'Sahaja' Karma-s which are indispensable, have to be performed, but viewing them with an enlightened outlook, and merging them with Gnyaana. In such a case i.e., with one set of Karma-s (ritualistic) being avoided, and the other set (sahaja) having been merged with Gnyaana, then, without distinction of inner and outer, the entire life would be sur-charged with Gnyaana. Being rooted continually in that awareness of Gnyaana, is the Advaitic Yagnya. This is not the usual type of physical ritualistic sacrifice, but is a 'maanasa yagnya'. As speech is subtler than physical (bodily) actions, and, as mind is subtler than tongue, the 'maanasa yagnya' is the most superior yagnya. Practicing ever such a yagnya is indeed 'Abhyaasa'.


Now there is a subtle problem facing us. This was indicated a little earlier while discussing the role of 'Praarabdha' in one's life. It will be dealt with now in detail. It has just been mentioned that practicing Maanasa Yagnya uninterruptedly is Abhyaasa. Sri Bhagavat Paada coined a new word of it : "Gnyaana Santaana Karanam'. By 'Santaana' is meant 'continuation'. Thus it implies continuance of Gnyaana. That is Abhyaasa or 'Anusandhaana'. That is what is to be continously attempted. However difficulties may arise by obstacles brought about by Praarabdha (Destiny, Fate) which rules one's life. It may not afford scope of opportunity for proper 'effort' (Prayatna). If may even nip in the bud all attempts. People in all walks of life, from the layman to the scholar, from the illiterate to the super-scientist, be of whatever status...all have to bow before Praarabdha! Even a Jeevan Mukta is no exception. Even a Realized Soul like Sri Ramana Maharshi could not escape physical suffering. Even AdiSankara was not immune from it. That is the might and supremacy of Praarabdha without exception, over all living beings from birth to death. Then where is the scope or opportunity for human effort (prayatna)? Maharshi Patanjali in his famous treatise of Yoga Sastra, stated "Jaatyayur Bhoagaaha Karma Vipaakaha". There are three characteristics, viz., 1) Jaati (birth), 2) Aayuhu (life-span), and 3) Bhoagaha (experiencing life), beyond which there is no life. It is said that these three are in the grip of karma, that which has 'ripened'. Implying that it is nothing but the fruit of earlier deeds. Thus Praarabdha (Destiny) is not a fanciful dispensation of some supernatural agency, but the assigned reward or punishment for the good or evil deeds of earlier lives. Hence the use of the word 'Vipaakaha' by Maharshi Patanjali. Thus, the kind of birth (when, where and to whom), the duration of one's life, and one's experiences, good or bad, in life.......all being unpredictable....are all predetermined by one's Destiny. "Karmaa dheenam Jagat Sarvam". 'The entire world is in custody of Karma or Destiny' Even Bhagavad Geeta declared in the Karma Yoga :

"Sadrusam Chayshthatay Swasyaaha

Prakritare Gnyaanavaanapi

Prakritim Yaanti Bhootaani

Nigrahaha Kim Karishyati" (3-33)

This is a Sloka that is indeed posing the problem, rather than prescribing a solution. Whosoever is doing whatsoever, whenever and whereever (includes thoughts, words and deeds) it is not by virtue of his free will. One has to do 'Swasyaaha Prakritare Sadrusam', 'in accordance with, in consonance with, or as per the dictates of, one's own nature.' 'Gnyaanavaanapi', 'even a Gnyaani' (includes intellectuals, scientists, artists, ritualists, or even spiritualists!)'. Then, as Sri Adi Sankara said : 'Kimuta Moorkhaha?', ' What to tell of the dunce?' Nature thus makes no distinction, no discrimination. All are in its grip.

'Prakritim Yaanti Bhootaani' : Every living being is subject to the sway of one's own nature, and has to obey its indicates. What can step out of the orbit of its nature? Now, what is this 'Prakriti' (Nature)? Bhagavat Paada himself clarifies :

"Poorva Janma Krita Dharmaadharma

Samskaaraha Vartamaana Janma

Aadou Abhivyaktaha Saa Prakriti"

The above is the definition of one's Prakriti. The impressions and instincts that have encrusted themselves in one's mind, as a consequence of the good and bad deeds perfomed in earlier lives. These impressions and instincts are latent in one's mind. These latent ones after one's birth and after having come of some age (say four or five years) slowly begin manifesting. Thus the latent instincts lying dormant in between lives, i.e., between death and the fresh birth, become again evident in the new life. These instincts (vasana-s) never totally disappear, except on attaining 'Moaksha' (Deliverance). That is the reason why the Upanishad-s, Brahma Sootra-s and the Bhagavad Geeta lay so much stress on Saadhana to attain Moaksha, and thus fully eradicate all vasana-s. The mani festation of these instincts and impressions in the current life, constitutes one's 'Praarabdha'. It is that which is 'brought forward' from earlier lives, as consequences of deeds then performed. Hence every living being is within its grip, and subservient to it. That being the case, "Nigrahaha Kim Karishyati?" asks Bhagawaan Himself. 'Of what use is restraint?' On the one hand Bhagavad Geeta says :

"Tadviddhi Pranipaatayna

Pariprasnayna Sayvayaa

Upadekshyanti Tay Gnyaanam

Gnyaninas Tattwa Darsinaha" (4-34)

'You go to a Sudguru and 'learn'. Repeatedly comes the advice 'learn' 'learn'. Again, there are other sloka-s that emphasise on 'Kuru' 'Kuru' i.e., 'do' 'do' :

"Kuru Karmaiva Tasmaatvam"

"Karmanyeh Vaadhikaarastay

Maa phalayshu Kadaachana" etc.,

Thus Bhagavad Geeta instructs incessantly on two aspects, the two efforts, one 'Viddhi' (to know, to learn) and the other 'Kuru' (to do, to work). But also both are not within one's capability, as the Praarabdha has its sway. If one is not allowed to 'do', one cannot achieve Dharma Purushaardha. If one is not allowed to 'know', one cannot attain Moaksha Purushaardha. Then, what is left to be done? It may seem as an insoluble problem. However, the cheerful consolation is, there is a happy solution. Actually, if the problem were to remain as a problem with no solution at all, then, it cannot be called a Sastra at all. In this context, let us go to the basic query: What is a Sastra? It is that which dictates 'Sasana s' (command, decree, instruction). That which stipulates 'Do's and Don'ts. It consists of commands. When it instructs 'Do's', there must be scope for it. If it were not there, then it cannot be called a Sastra. Hence undoubtedly, Sastra would not only offer a solution, but also a scope for achieving it throught the prescribed. 'Saadhana'. Now, coming to the present topic, to consider the complaint that Praarabdha is despotically ruling our lives, and not affording any scope for 'Prayatna' (effort) there can be counter question : Whence has this Praarabdha come? It is a consequence of karma, for which to be done, there has to be a 'Karta' (Doer). Without a Karta, there cannot be any Karma. Thus for the genesis of Praarabdha, there must have been a Karta whose Karma-s alone resulted in Praarabdha. Who else can it be, other than the person who is undergoing that Praarabdha? Hence, it may be re emphasized that Praarabdha is the net outcome of deeds done in earlier lives. The current life itself is the result of works done in Poorva-Janma. This also explains how there is continuity of life, and birth-death cycles.

We have to infer the cause from the known result. Just as, if there are streams of water flowing on the road, we infer that there must have been rain, or some other cause, though we have not seen it. We find in this world that no two persons are identical in any aspect, be it birth, life-span, qualities, temperaments and experiences in life. Also, we often find good people suffering, and, vicious ones thriving. Some living upto ninetees, and some dying even as infants. Some blessed with blooming health, and some even born blind, or with disease. Endless and incredible disparties. Why so? Where is Divine justice? No way to explain, except as Praarabdha, for which, good or bad, you alone are responsible, by way of acts done in earlier lives. 'As you sow, so you reap' goes the saying. One has to bear the consequences of whatever one does. However, some vehemently quote Bhagavad Geeta to justify that something extraneous is operating their lives.

"Eeswaraha Sarva Bhootanam
Hriddaysay Arjuna Tishtati
Bhraamayan Sarva Bhootaani
Yantraaroodhaani Maayayaa" (18-61)

This is a very flexible sloaka which can be interpreted the way one desires to justify one's reasoning. One interpretation can be : 'Oh Arjuna! There is an Eeswara who has seated Himself in the hearts of all beings, and is turning all of them around, as though on a merry-go-round mechanism.' This interpretation comes in handy for those who plead helplessness on the part of individuals who have no control whatsover over their lives. In this context, can Eeswara be a 'doer of deeds' (virtuous or sinful), on behalf of all beings? In such a case, He cannot be Eeswara at all. Why unnecesarily involve Him? He can only be a mere witness, and never the 'doer'. If He were to be the Doer, then, needless to say, He would have to bear the consequences of all actions, which is ridiculous. Hence, we have to be the doers, not He. Next, regarding Karma, can it create itself, being an inanimate entity? There has to be an animate doer. Thus, you are the Karta (doer), as also the 'bhoakta' (the experiencer of the fruits of action). The word 'Jeeva' implies one who is Karta as well as bhoakta. Kartrutva (doership) itself is 'ahamkara' and bhoaktrutva (experiencing the consequences) is 'mamakara'. We are so obsessed with this 'aham' and 'mama'. Hence, Praarabdha is a self-created bondage. During the course of 'activities' in earlier lives, it was 'prayatna' (effort), and now while 'experiencing' it, it is Praarabdha. Thus one always had the scope and opportunity for Prayatna. The Prayatna over thce course of many earlier lives, had accumulated into what is termed as 'sanchita'. Out of that stock, some portion of it is taken out, which is the Praarabdha for the current life. This runs its course till the currently withdrawn amount from the total deposit of sanchita, is exhausted. Then, death puts a full-stop to it. Get-in is birth, and get-out is death. In between we live our lives during which we again continually put in Prayatna to generate future Praarabdha, which is termed as 'Aagaami'. Thus for every individual there are two operations that run' simultaneously' : 1) 'Anubhava' (experiencing), 2) Karma (doing, working). While experiencing, one is a 'bhoakta', and while doing, a 'Karta'. What we experience, is Praarabdha. Experiencing life is one half, and doing karma is the other half. Thus, Praarabdha and Prayatna are the twin horses drawing the carriage of our lives. Unfortunately we lament that all is controlled by Praarabdha, and nothing left to our initative. We should not plead such utter inablility, No doubt we are vulnerable, considering the inevitability of Praarabdha. But we should not forget that there is possibility of scope and opportunity simultaneously for Prayatna also, provided we explore. But being indolent, we cover it up, and dole out the lame excuse that everything 'is in God's Hands', and decided by Praarabdha. This lethargic attitude must change. Our biggest drawback is our complacency. We have to clearly understand that before Praarabdha, there was Prayatna due to which alone Praarabdha came into being. While experiencing Praarabdha, simultaneously there is scope for Prayatna. Praarabdha has no cent percent hold. It has only fifty percent jurisdiction. It cannot encroach on the remainning fifty belonging to Prayatna. Each has its own jurisdiction. Even while experiencing Praarabdha, are we not venturing on piligrimages, worshipping our Ishta-Devata, or performing rituals? Even while experiencing Praarabdha, are we not putting in Prayatna by way of Sravana and Manana etc. in pursuit of Brahma Vidya? Thus, Prayatna is ever going on, know- ingly or unknowingly. To deny it, is to sink ourselves to depths of utter frailty, and tend to be lifeless. We would then loose all enthu- siasm and desire to learn and improve. So let it be understood that both Praarabdha and Prayatna have their scope and sway. Bhagavad Geeta says :

"Indriyas Yendriyas Yaardhay
Raaga Dwayshou Vyavasthitou
Tayoarna Vasamaagachchhet
Tou Hyasya Paripandhinou" (3-34)

We have the sense-organs (gnyaana indriya-s) e.g., eyes, ears, nose etc. They have their respective fields of operation (sight, sound, smell etc). Every sense-organs operates in its particular field alone, and not in other's fields. This is termed as 'indriyaardha'. Thus every 'indriya' has its corresponding 'indriyaardha'. In the activities of these sense-organs, likes and dislikes come into play. Doing things that are liked, and avoiding those that are not. In this, however, there is the risk that it may be attracted to things that ought not to be done, and. feel repulsive towards those that ought to be done. These 'likes and dislikes' are generated by Praarabdha. The 'vasana-s' that have come along with Praarabdha and been lying dormant, incite the mind towards such likes and dislikes. They goad the mind leading to impulsive action. Praarabdha's field is limited upto that. Now comes the aspect of Prayatna. This lies in 'Tayoarna Vasa Maagachchhet'. 'Not paying any heed to them, not getting into their grip, or coming under their influence'. 'Tou Hyasya Paripandhinou'. They are like highway robbers that loot your assets that you carry on your journey to the chosen destination. The assets could be 'Punya-dhana' for such of those aspiring for Dharma-Purushaardha, or, 'Gnyaana-dhana for those seeking Gnyaana-Purushaardha. Thus one must be beware of these Thugs of 'raaga' and 'dvaysha' (likes and dislikes). Hence Prayatna lies in escaping from their clutches. Though the vasana s due to Praarabdha goad you towards particular acts, you must be alert and cautious, and not impulsively act in response to them. You must reflect and discriminate, think well and decide whether that act would be in your interest, and be help-ful in your journey towards the spiritual goal. You must set aside any instant and temporary benefits that may accrue. There is scope for such a choice, and for rejection of the pulls and pressures of the vasana a. Thus the tussle is between Praarabdha and Viveka Gnyaana. However, Praarabdha is not within your control, but the latter is. Humans are labelled as 'Buddhi-Jeevi-s', wheras animals are 'Karma-Jeevi-s'. Deva-s are all 'Bhooga-Jeevi-s'. We being Buddhi Jeevi-s, we can look either way, and are much superior to the other two. We can sink to lower levels through ignorance, or, can rise to highest level if we ardently aspire for it. Such Prayatna is within our scope, and facilitated by our Buddhi (Intellect) in which there exists the ability for Sut-Asut vivaychana (Aatma- Anaatma discrimination). Because, our intellect has the potentiality to decide which is 'Daiva-Sampada' that would take you higher, and, which is 'Asura-Sampada' that throws you down the abyss. Our Prayatnm is based on our Buddhi. There is said to be a dictum: 'Fixed fate and free will'. Fate is fixed while experiencing it, but you can render it flexible by your powerful effort. There does exist that freedom for you. You do have that Will-Power. An illustrative example from Ramayana, would be pertinent here.

King Dasaradha went hunting, as per the usual custom. He hunted innumerable animals, As he was returning, he distinctly heard a gurgling sound, suggestive of an animal drinking water. He suspected that it surely was a wild animal quenching its thrist. Upto this situation, let it be noted, Praarabdha was operating, including the delusion that overcame him. Beyound this point, Praarabdha had no role. There did exist scope for him to think over well about the sound and its origin. That would have been his Prayatna. But he did not do it. He did not exercise his discrimination. If he had the inclination for any Prayatna, he would have considered all the possibilities of the origin of that sound, or even actually checked up, personally or otherwise, whether it was caused by any animal worth hunting or any human being. He could have done that 'Vivaychana'. Unfortunately he did no such thing. He just succumbed to the prompting of his Praarabdha. Thus he immediately, impulsively shot his 'Sabda bhaydi' arrow that straight hit the target (from where the sound originated), and killed an innocent boy collecting water for his aged parents. This episode reveals that one need not instantly succumb to the dictates of Praarabdha, and that there exists scope for Prayatna as well, for the use of one's discriminative power.

Whenever you exercise your discriminative faculty, try to recog nize what is good and desirable, as also what is likely to be evil and undersirable. Then, discard, the evil, and act good. You would then realize that the power of Prayatna is stronger than that of Praarabdha. But whenever such discrimination is not exercised, and you became complacent and just bowed down to Praarabdha, then, it can be inferred that Prayatna became debilitated, and that Praarabdha annihilated it. From the result, the cause can be guessed. To the extent your Prayatna becomes strong and begins yielding results, to that extent know that the power of Praarabdha got reduced. As long as you act with faith and courage, Prayatna would muster strength. But, the moment you become indolent and complacent, Praarabdha gains strength. That in short is the situation. Hence let not the focus be kept on Praarabdha alone, and get obsessed with it. Do not pay much heed to it. Go on doing whatever you can, with determination and courage, discriminating good from evil, avoding evil, and concentrating on doing good. If your efforts bear fruit, it is due to Prayatna. If not, know that Praarabdha has operated.

So far so good. The potential of Prayatna has been well indicated. But now, how to reconcile with the Bhagawad Geeta sloaka reffered to earlier (18-61 ) :

"Eeswaraha Sarva Bhootaanaam
Hriddaysay Arjuna Tishtati
Bhraamayan Sarva Bhootani
Yantra Roodhani Maayayaa"

"Eeswara has seated himself in the heart of all beings'. Looks not like a witness, but as a Karta (Doer). Earlier it was stated that Eeswara is not a Karta, but only a Saakshi (witness), and, that Jeeva alone is Karta. Praarabdha came into existence due to actions of Jeeva alone. Then, how to explain this contradiction? Also it is stated in the said Sloaka that, not only Eeswara is seated in the hearts of all, but also keeps turning them as in a merry-go round! The inner actual implication of this is, He is doing this by way of dispensing the fruits of our actions that generated our Praarabdha. Not that He is interfering with out Prayatna which has its full scope. His turning the merry-go-around is only to allot the sequence of events as per one's Praarabdha, i.e., when, where and in what magnitude, things are to happen in one's life. This allotment however is His privilege, but the events themselves are but fruits of earlier actions. His involvement is essential, as Praarabdha by itself has no Gnyaana; it is inanimate, being a Karma. Such colossal planning for billions of beings, invoving so many variables, and concerning fruits of action of such mammoth number of deeds of earlier lives, can be possible only by a Divine Agency who alone is a Sarvagnya, an All-Knower of the past, present and future. Jeeva has no knowledge of previous lives. Hence the Omniscient and Omnipotent Divine alone has to accomplish such a mammoth task. But let it be clear that there would be nothing that is not the consequence of an earlier act. Thus Eeswara is at best only a Saakshi (Witness), and not the Doer. He only awards marks for the answer script as it were. The marks ever depend on the performance and effort put in. You are the Karta and Bhoakta and none else, for the operation of your Praarabdha. He (Bhagawaan) is not concerned with Karma or Karma-phala.

As the Lord himself declares :

"Nameh Paarthaasti Kartavyam
Trishu Loakayshu Kinchana
Naanavaaptama Vaaptamvyam
Varta Ayvacha Karmani" (3-22)

'I have nothing to perform in the three worlds. There is nothing unattained that I have to secure. yet, I engross myself in action' (This action alludes to planning the execution of Praarabdha as mentioned earlier).

"Na Maam Karmaani Limpanti
Nameh Karma Phaleh Spriha
................................................" (4-14)

'Actions do not stain me, nor have I any desire for fruits of action.'

This is the clarification regarding Praarabdha and Prayatna, as also regarding Eeswara and Jeeva. Inspite of all the above, there may still be some lingering doubts that need clearance.


There are two highlight Sloaka-s in Bhagavad Geeta, one concerning Dharma Purushaardha, and the other concerning Moaksha Purushaadha. One is a religious fact, and the other a philosophical fact. It is in these two directions alone that one has to perform Saadhana. Regarding the other two intermediate Purushaardha-s of Artha and Kaama, there is no big special effort needed, as these are mainly concerned with worldly matters with which we deal everyday. It is only in religious and spiritual spheres that Saadhana (effort) is indispensable. In this context, in the first of the two highlight sloaka-s (mentioned above), which is given below, it can be seen that, in the first line, the stress is on human effort. The next line alludes to Divine Grace. Hence it becomes evident that without human effort (prayatna) there would not be forthcoming Divine Grace (Daiva Anugraha), thereby implying that there does exist scope for human effort. Here is the first highlight sloaka :

"Ananyaas Chintayantoe Maam

Yeh Janaaha Paryupaasatay

Tayshaam Nityaabhi Yuktaanaam

Yoga Kshaymam Vahaamyaham" (9-22)

'Without thinking of anything else, be ever contemplating on Me. Whosoever incessantly worships Me, and lives ever in My thoughts, on such devotees, I bestow My Grace by blessing them with Yoga and Kshema'. Bhagavat Paada explained these two terms as :

'Apraaptasya Praaptihi Yogaha', and, 'Praaptasya Paalanam Kshemaha'

'Yoga is securing what you do not have; Kshema is keeping safe that which has been secured.' The first refers to 'gaining', and the second to its 'security'. What more is needed in this world? Our sorrow is mainly in not obtainning what we desire to have, and then in safeguarding what we have. If these two are assured, there can be no greater happiness. This favour to the devotee, one who pins all faith in the Lord, is the Divine Insurance offered, and is the religious fact. This is the achievement towards Dharma Purushaardha. However, it should be noted that the Divine Grace will be forthcoming only when the human effort by way of intensive faith in, and contemplation on, the Almighty, is fufilled, and not otherwise.

Next the second highlight sloaka deals with the Moaksha Puru shaardha, in which case also, human effort and Divine Grace are both essential. These two sloaka-s are being quoted mainly to dispel the common prevalent notion that everything is but Divine dispensation as per Praarabdha, and one has to quietly experience whatever befalls. Such a defeatist attitude needs to be eradicated. Hence this scriptural exposition.

Now here is the second highlight sloaka, one that is held in highest reverence by all saadhaka-s, a verse which is the quintessance of spiritual wisdom :

"Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya

Maamaykum Saranam Vraja

Ahamtwaa Sarva Paapaybhyoe

Moaksha Yishyaami Maa Suchaha" (18-66)

First, the obvious (literal) meaning can be considered. The first line instructs : "Totally renounce all 'Dharma-s' without exception whatever you are observing and practising." Next require- ment is, "Take refuge in Me alone". Then, the Lord assures, "I will set thee free from all sins. Leave off all grief". Now we have to reflect on the deeper implication and signification of this Sloaka. Bhagavad Geeta began with the topic of 'Vishaada' (grief). That indicated the problem. Here in this verse, the Lord is comforting Arjuna with the words : 'Do not grieve'. With the offer of this solution, the purpose of the scriptural text is accomplished. There are only two aspects for our Saadhana. One is the negative aspect, which has to be discarded. The other is the positive one which has to be cultivated. The one to be discarded is 'all Dharma-s'. Now, what is 'Dharma'? Not just what Sastra has ordained. 'Dhar' means 'hold'. Hence, Dharma is that which is 'holding' you in its grip. The thing held may be the mind that thinks, the tongue that speaks, or, the body that does various acts....all the paraphernilia of life. What are holding these? Mainly the 'unholy' trinity of 'Agnyaana', 'Kaama' and 'Karma'. Also, the 'Vaasana-s', and the thoughts that emanate due to them. Any attempt at introspection, and gaining of awareness of 'Pratyagaatma', is inter cepted by Vaasana-s. Any effort to truly understand the 'Real Substance' of the world, and to realise it as nothing but Paramaatma's 'Vibhooti' (manifestation), is also stifled by the 'vritti s' (thoughts) that are projected by the vaasana-s. Thus, one is not able to dive deeper into oneself. The distracting thoughts come in the way. It is these 'vaasana-s and vritti-s' that are the 'dharma-s'. Hence they are to be totally rejected. They are to be got rid of totally, without any trace. Thus is the implication 'Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya'. Empty the 'well of your mind' of all the undesirable 'silt and sludge'. Then alone the mind can get filled with 'Maamaykum Saranam Vraja' instruction, the 'seek refuge in Me alone' concept. Note that what is to be discarded is in plural number (Sarva Dharmaan), whereas, what is to be filled with, is in singular number (Maamaykum) i.e., 'Me alone'. Those to be discarded are all 'mine', whereas that which is to be grasped is 'I'. 'Mine' is 'mama', and, 'I' is 'Aham'. Hold on to 'Aham' that is devoid of all 'mama'. Grasp the 'Obsever' without the 'observed'. In short, shift the focus from 'Anaatma' to 'Aatma'. Anaatma is 'sarvam' (everything), whereas, Aatma is One. Discarding all 'sarvam' leaves 'Ekam' (One) alone. When all 'dharma-s' (properties) are discarded, then, 'Dharmi' (Substance) remains. Do not cling to the 'I' mixed with 'guna-s' (properties). Having merged all the properties into the 'I', hold on to that 'I' alone. Note that it is not the concept of 'you' holding on to 'Paramaatma'. It is 'you' holding on to the 'Refined You', the 'Real You'. Then the result would be 'Moaksha Yishyaami', meaning 'I will unshackle myself'. I will rise to that level whereby I would free myself. Then, 'Maa Suchaha', I would have no more grief, no more of any problems that are incessantly created by 'Samsaara'. This is the Sloaka leading to 'Moaksha Purushaardha'. This is the significance of 'Prayatna' in one's life. One has to lift oneself up, till the Supreme Goal of life is reached. May these inspiring words of Bhagavad Geeta enlighten your minds, and lead you to discover your Real Swaroopa, which is 'Sut-Chit'Aananda' (Existence Consciousness-Bliss), the implication of the Mahaa Vaakya 'Tut Tvum Asi'.

Om Santihi Santihi Santihi