DEIVATHIN KURAL # 51 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 Sept 2011
DEIVATHIN KURAL # 51 (Vol # 5) Dated 13 Sept 2011
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavaaL of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are proceeding from the page No 311 of Vol 5 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
THE YOGAS AS DEFINED BY BHAGAWAT GITA
44. Talking about these three main Yoga-s of Karma, Bhakti and Gnaana in the Bhagawat Gita, Bhagawan Sri Krishna has given the title of each of the 18 chapters as some Yoga only. Karma Yoga and Sankhya Yoga are the only two that directly deal with Pravrutti and Nivrutti Margas. The 12th Chapter is known as Bhakti Yoga. There are 18 titles for the Chapters namely Arjuna Vishaada, Sankhya, Karma, Gnaana-Karma-Sanyaasa, Sanyaasa, Dhyana, Gnaana-Vignaana, Akshara-Brhma, Rajavidya-Rajaguhya, Vibhuti, Viswaroopa Darshana, Bhakti, Kshetra-Kshetragna Vibhaga, GuNathraya Vibhaga, Purushottama, Deiva-Asura-Sampath Vibhaga, Sraddhathraya Vibhaga and Moksha Sanyaasa; each of them with a common suffix ‘Yoga’ as headings.
45. The first chapter is ‘Arjuna Vishaada Yoga’. That is, the confusion in the mind of Arjuna has also been called Yoga. How is that? If you ask, ‘Who gave these titles? This was basically a conversation between two friends in the battle field with Bhagawan doing most of the talking with Arjuna asking some questions in between. So, who gave these titles for each chapter?’ I will not be able to answer you. May be it was so accepted traditionally or it was Vyaasa Bhagawan, the author of Maha Bharatham, who did that. He is also considered as an Avatara of Vishnu only. So, it is all one and the same.
46. So once again, why was the first chapter describing Arjuna’s confused state of mind ‘Vishaada’ termed as Yogam? Till then without any confusion he had fought against many opponents and won over them, there by obtained name and fame as ‘Vijayan’ (that is the ‘victor’). Only now standing in front of his grand-sires such as Bhishma and DroNa, and cousins Kouravaas with whom he was to wage war, there was doubt in his mind, as to whether it is worth to cause all the sufferings and death. He started thinking that instead of winning the Kingdom from the Kouravaas it is better to beg and live on alms and doles! Yes, this was not a dispassion born of maturity and ripening of the wisdom. Till now, he had fought with many opponents without ever considering if it was cruelty or not. Now looking at relatives of all sorts arraigned against him, the blind sense of attachment, applied a break in his soldierly pursuits. Though he had to fight a battle of rightful cause of recovering ownership of land lost in gamble after meeting all the conditions and take revenge for the ignominy of Draupadi’s being stripped in the King’s Court and the deceitful burning of their palace; Arjuna was getting cold feet now! His confused state of mind was also a turning point, from the tendency of Pravrutti towards Nivrutti; for the first time in his life! That gave the opening for Sri Krishna to be able to paint the bigger picture and throw light on the ‘macro view’. Till now as a friend of Arjuna, Sri Krishna was more a partner in frivolous fun and even crime in getting him married to his sister Subhadra! There was no chance to talk about such things as Philosophy, Gnaana and Yoga till now. Now in the battle field, Arjuna’s unilateral declaration of forsaking of arms, this Arjuna’s Vishaada, his confusion, presented the opportunity to talk of sense and so it was named, ‘Vishaada Yogam’!
48. Yoga means, joining, meeting or union. As Bhagawan started advising Arjuna, all the things that would contribute towards clarity of Arjuna’s mind, help in attaining mindlessness and propel him towards realization of Atma Anubhava; were all added on as ‘Yoga’. Whatever will take us back to our source and origin is Yoga, isn’t it? In common parlance we say, “That man is having Yoga Kaalam. That is why he is reaping all the benefits”, don’t we? As per one’s horoscope too, when the planets reach suitably good positions in respect of the individual, he gets all opportunities for good things of life. So many such meetings and unions are Yoga only, the highest of the Yoga being, reconnecting to God, isn’t it? That is the essential purpose of Vedas.
ETERNAL YOGA OF ADWAITAM
49. In all such Yoga the ultimate is eternal oneness with Paramaatma, say the Upanishads. ‘Nirantaram’ is the word used to mean endless or continuous. ‘Antaram’ means gaps. ‘Nirantaram’ means, without any gaps in space and time too, without a gap and without a pause. These ideas of time and space are all our mind’s makings only. Till Jiva joins Paramaatma without a trace of a separate identity, there will be some gap. The smallest gap would mean that we will be talking about Him and us as different entities. When there is a gap or rift, the fear that the gap may widen will always be there. So the union without any gaps, ‘nir + antaram’, of Jiva with Aatma is the ‘Jiva – Brhma Abheda Yoga’, which happens to be the end of the end of Vedas, ‘sruti – siras’, the highest Yoga. Even a little gap there, will be cause for fear, says the Aananda Valli (also known as Brhmaananda Valli) in Taitreeya Upanishad. Any aspirant who wishes to be rid of all desires (Mumukshu), has one desire still left, that is to become fearless when he is completely established in Brhmam and that is the state of Adwaitam! Adwaitam is the union of oneness of Jiva and Parama Aatma, without any separate identity whatsoever.
50. Bhagawan gave the Gitopadesa to Arjuna to teach this ‘non differentiated oneness of Jiva and Paramaatma’ mainly. But as Arjuna was totally, deeply involved in the Karma Marga as a warrior of the Kshatriya clan; sudden introduction to the Nivrutti Marga would have meant a violent brake from deep ingrained tradition and tendency. So he spoke mainly about Karma Yoga and other Yoga-s and explained the Nivrutti Marga in detail in the chapter on ‘Moksha Sanyaasa Yoga’. Since Arjuna had a long way to go yet in Karma Yoga, he advised Arjuna to learn to sacrifice all the fruits of his labour to the Karma Phala Dhaata, that is Krishna himself and then that he would exonerate and relieve him from all demerits of past sins (of Paapa), finishing with ‘do not worry’ – ‘maa sucha:’! The 66th Sloka of the 18th Chapter of Bhagawat Gita says – “sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam saraNam vraja mokshayishyaami sarva paapebhyo, maa sucha:”!
51. Krishna’s Reformation and Revival of Ancient Teachings. What he had told The Sun God Surya and then conveyed from father to son in the Surya Kula of Ikshvaku dynasty traditionally and which had become ignored and forgotten over time, was told by Sri Krishna to his friend and devotee Arjuna. Krishna tells Arjuna that he has come to this world for this specific purpose of reviving these teachings. In the bargain, Krishna has revived and rejuvenated of these teachings for people of the whole world. Chapter 4, Sloka-s 1-3 in Bhagawat Gita says,
“Imam vivasvate yogam proktavaan aham avyayam I
vivasvaan manave praaha manurikshvaakave abraveet II
evam paramparaa praaptam imam rajarshayo vidhu: I
sa kaaleneha mahataa yogo nashta: parantapa II
sa evaayaam mayaa te adhya yoga: prokta: puraatana: I
bhakto asi me sakhaa cheti rahasyam etat uttamam II”
Sri Krishna says, “I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan; he told it to Manu; Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvaku. This, handed down thus in regular succession, the royal sages knew. This Yoga by long lapse of time has been lost here, O Parantapa. That same ancient Yoga has been today taught to thee by me for thou art my devotee and my friend; it is the supreme secret.” (Please note that the above six lines are a repetition of the end portion of the Paragraph No 34 in Deivathin Kural # 49 of 08 Sept 2011.)
52. Specifically, here Sri Krishna is talking about Karma Yoga. That is what has been practiced by the rulers of this country from the time immemorial. At the time of the occurrence of the Kurukshetra War, ‘the technique of how to acquit oneself of one’s duties in simply converting what is the path of Karma into Karma Yoga by Karma Phala Thyaaga’ had been forgotten and so, Krishna is reiterating it to Arjuna, a Royal Kshatriya Warrior. This is in the immediate context of why Bhagawat Gita was told to Arjuna in the battle field. But if you look a little more deeply, Krishna says in the 3rd Chapter 3rd Sloka that he has already taught the Gnaana Yoga to the ascetic renunciates of Sankhya-s that is the Sanyaasis and the Karma Yoga to the (Nishkaamya) Karma Yogis.
“loke asmin dvi-vidhaa nishtaa puraa proktaa mayaa anagha I
Gnaana yogena saankhyaanaam karma yogena yoginaam II”
(To be continued.)
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