21st Century Bhagavad Gita

Manifest your ideal life through the Bhagavad Gita…

Category: The Teachings

Death- A 12 Day Journey

The soul has been addressed by various names and epithets in the Vedas. Samrat (the ruler of the body), Vaishva Deva, Teja, Vak, Agneye, Prajapati in chapter 39 of Yajur Veda. Each name or epithet indicates its attributes, like the controlling lord, the nourisher of human beings, the just ruler etc., It is also called Twashta – subtle soul. In Bhagavad-Gita apart from atma, jivatma, words like sah (self), dehindehasharirinshariri are used (B.G.3-42, 14-11 and 12, 2-18). All these later epithets generally mean lord of the body. Ramanajum – the Vedic metaphysicists and Vedantist of medieval period, refers to it as Sesa – servant of God who is Sesi (master).
A few other Vedantists refer to it as Kshetri – the soul that illumines the entire body. Atharva Veda and other scriptures also mention it as Shivansh (particle of God), dehinamPurusa – the dweller in the city of God i.e., the sublime causal body seated along with God. Most of the names indicate its attributes of knowledge, light, always at the service of God, master of subtle and gross body. It is for this reason Bhagavad-Gita refers to it as “higher self” and the other body self, which is described as lower self.
Vedas contain an interesting discussion and conversation between soul as atman and spirit as manasprana to indicate which is superior. At the end of discussion, all the divine and gross instruments in the body accept superiority of the soul.
Prasana Upanishad tells us that the “real self”- soul of the individual is the eternal seer. He is always working in the body and is multiform (R.V. 6-9-4). Being the eternal seer assumes many bodies according to actions performed by the gross body under the influence of three gunas. It is ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of the speech, breath of the breath; eye of the eye and still it is independent of the senses and mind. Thus the soul gets full knowledge of the activities, thoughts and desires of any part of the body at all times, including the spirit in the subtle body. This eternal seer is unmoved mover in the body, being still, it moves swifter than thought to caution the individual against ignoble and evil action, it outstrips all that run to guide you of the impending danger. Only men of stable mind, wisdom and truthful thoughts take benefit of this wise eternal seer. Isa Upanishad says without “Self” there is no life. It is the supreme essence in the man. It is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest, make it free from senses, you can see the glory of “Self” which is without sorrow. Katha Upanishad 1-2-20 to 22. It dwells in the heart along with the God (R.V.5-8-89). It is not touched by the evils of the world and transcends all. Soul is the eternal light that gives light to the entire body.
It traverses billions of miles when it goes to Sun, Moon, Indra, Varun, Yama etc., during the 12 days journey after the death of gross body for purification, knowledge, luster, noble and divine traits, which it lost during the stage of manifestation in the body. Thus, Jiva Atma (manifested soul) is different from Atma (soul) in attributes. Yajur Veda 39-6 describes about its journey of 12 days. However, whatever is active both in animate and inanimate life is spirit. Though spirit is subtle, it is more energetic and powerful than any gross matter……….
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26 Divine Qualities

There are 26 qualities, which we are either born with or need to cultivate.

1)         Fearlessness

2)         Purity of mind

3)         Steadiness in contemplation

4)         Charity

5)         Dama Limits Controls of the Senses

6)         Yajna Sacrifice

7)         Svadhyay Self reflection Contemplation

8)         Tapas Practicer of Austerities like fasting etc.

9)         Arjavam Simplicity

10)      Ahimsa Non Violence

11)      Satya Truth Honesty

12)      Akrodha Anger less

13)      Tyaga Giving up or Renunciation

14)      Shanthi Peace Calmness Tranquility

15)      Apaisuna Non criticism or not criticizing others, Absence of Calumny

16)      Daya Mercy Forgiveness

17)      Aloluptva Non greedy

18)      Mardav Softness gentleness mildness leniency

19)      Hri Modesty

20)      Achapala Focused

21)      Tejas Brightness Light

22)      Kshema Engaged in welfare of others

23)      Dhrti Will power Steadfastness

24)      Saucha Cleanliness

25)      Adroha Faithfulness

26)      Natimanita Not looking for Accolades Praise.

 

The Gunas or Natures triune character

Sanskrit / Hindi English Satvik Rajasik Tamsik
Good / Expanding Activating Evil / Obstructing
Gyan Knowledge One Indestructible / undivided Spirit in all existence Different & distinct varied from one another, separateness Untrue/delusion/ stifled conscience, without reason
Kar Action / work Non Attached to the fruit, done without either love or hatred/ raga dveshNatural Process Longing for satisfaction of desires, donewith great insistent Effort Without thought, harmful to self & others, fickle, based on sensory joy.
Karta Ego/ Character/Doer/Agent Untouched by egotism or desire of fulfillment, filled with enthusiasm & firmness Attached, passion, greedy & emotional Conscienceless, arrogant, cheating, lazy, malicious
Buddhi Intelligence / Understanding Understands Dharma / rightful duty, has power of discrimination Dharma & Adharma is distorted, coloured by prejudices Ignorant of any Duty & bound by excessive living, bringing sorrow.
Dhriti Strength of mind/resolve/ fortitude/ patience Yoga for restraining the wayward oscillation of the mind & senses. Bound by duty but also the fruit of all desires & wealth. Conceited, fearful, sleepy, depressed, filled with negativity
Sukham Experience/HappinessSupreme Bliss From perceptive Discrimination arises a Self Realization, discipline is hard at first; lives a life of high idealsFirst poison then nectar, prasada. Based on sensory pleasures of the MBS, joy of possessing material objectsFirst nectar then poison First poison and later also poisonLack of any control, always excessive
Notes: There is no being on earth or in heaven (devas) who is completely free from SRT gunas.

The Four Minds …Manas, Buddhi, Ahankar & Chitta-Mind, Intellect, Ego & Intuition

The affirmation of a divine life upon Earth in the immortal sense and in a moral existence can have no base unless we recognize the spirit and the soul, which inhabits the vehicle or bodily vessel, which is the robe of physical matter. First we must accept that our robe or garment is merely the outer shell, which over time will disintegrate, but the inner spirit’s light that is within our soul will never disintegrate as the light, which holds the soul is infinite. But it is not enough just to recognize the outer garment one that we can perceive with our eyes, it is vital to recognize the inner light as without it the outer garment would not exist, both must be recognized as two parts of one whole.

Matter is the configuration of the mind, which the spirit needs to transcend itself, so it may experience many of the realms and dimensions of its creator. The physical universe is part of the external body of the divine consciousness of the creators light, so therefore we must accept the two forms of consciousness, spirit and matter, the outer and the inner, it is like two halves of the brain one representing logic, of the left side and the other representing the creativity and intuition of the right side.

The person who is more a materialist has an easier road as it is possible for these people to deny the spirit within and arrive at a more simple explanation that everything is matter and when matter disintegrates there is nothing more. But with this form of rigidity it would be impossible for them to persist with it on a permanent basis because once the spirit leaves the mortal body of matter the only thing of recognition will be the self illusion of what they have denied and at this point they will see and understand how the spirit that is the main part of them and the soul which has carried all the memories of its life carries them on to the next stage of their journey into a higher sphere of consciousness.

So by refusing to accept the divine light within their bodies of matter when on earth, they will also have problems adjusting to their astral or subtle bodies when the soul leaves its mortal robe. It is the mind of the self/ego which creates this duality an illusion which incorporates the five senses of matter it is the all most important factor of their being, but unknown to these people the spirit carries the self and all it has created and it is within the immortality of the spirit that the soul shows its memories of what the self has created once it leaves its mortal body.

So therefore in these duality of contradictions the human mind cannot balance or have the satisfaction of inner peace in which to reach a reconciliation of both mind and spirit or matter and soul. This duality must traverse the degrees, which the inner consciousness imposes upon us. It must bring together both the self/ego and the soul/spirit and unify the two as one. Only on complete union can all the multiform of all energies of consciousness come into existence and become harmonized to the manifold of human existence. It is the conflicting forces of duality which govern out thoughts and our desires and puts us in the wilderness of our true reality and it is only these conflicting thoughts that we are able to find the central truths of our existence which are here to symbolize the paths that have been chosen for us and us to fulfill them

As human consciousness evolves, a new and comprehensive affirmation within the thought form of individual consciousness will become more prominent. This will unite both the inner and outer experiences to the fore of the individual being able to experience both. This will bring more self-fulfillment in an integral human existence so each individual may experience part of the map of its destiny that the soul carries within it. In time maybe the whole human race might evolve to experience both sides of the coin as one whole. But at present most people only see one side of the coin, they have forgotten to flip the coin over and see that there is a different picture on the other side.

For those who have developed their inner extra sensory powers of intuition, one may understand the unknowable behind all the manifestations which can extend itself to the knowledge of universal creation and the many realms and worlds which exist within such vast spaces of the meta-universe. There in the many universes are knowable realities well beyond the five senses of human perception, it is only through the development of the 6th sense and beyond that we can touch and understand about these higher realities and dimensions.

It is the outer shell the logic of the material reality of which humans exists in that these higher creations can’t be seen as the self/ego has put to many veils that hide the light so they constantly live within their own creation of reality and sometimes within their own darkness. All the various forms of materiality that our world on planet earth passes through from way back down the ages are constructed through the form of matter and the materialistic mind. But these come from a higher form of consciousness where the higher consciousness of the mind shifts itself and transcends itself to the lower mind that imposes itself on the individual. This can be in any form where action needs to take place such as ideas or any of the five senses which occur in what we perceive as reality.

In human life we all make errors due to duality of the human nature and its own consciousness, but by using the self’s desires we make far more errors than we should and create in ourselves only half truths which seems to make us stumble even more. This is due to the limitations of the self/ego by not letting go of old beliefs, old structures in our habits and it is through these habits and half truths that logic creates more illusions which in their turn creates more disguises. The self uses many disguises making the person think that it is the proper path to follow. The self/ego does not want to let go of the hold it has on the human thought form or its mind, or its desires, so it holds a promise that you are creating the right situations in your life but unknown to the person, only the soul/spirit has the right map which you should follow. The mind of the self tempts us like holding a carrot in front of a donkey leading the way no matter how many obstacles it leads to instead of allowing the inner mind to lead you around the obstacles and not over them.

To exist in duality of the physical and to understand the inner spirit we must use both the inner mind and the outer mind in which all things pass through. Universal consciousness is the borderline of truth and understanding and to reach that border we must let go of trusting the self and begin to surrender our wishes and desires and tune in to our inner mind and listen. The more we try to attain reality through our systems of values using the physical, material, the intellect and the religious dogma of our culture the further away we move from understanding the true forms of creation and its creator.

This is because the five senses cannot explain it, it cannot deem itself tangible and this escapes the grasp of the true thoughts of the inner consciousness within us, but by believing only in the values mentioned the human perception loses its grasp on a higher reality, this then becomes unattainable and what is thought unattainable is thought by most not worth having.

There is knowledge that can’t be found through intellect or logic, but only in the higher realms where creation begins, there is knowledge with many forms of creation, but even to have a glimpse of such knowledge one must by pass the lure of the materialist formula, because the material of matter or the formula of the materialist gain is only a by product of its original creation.

To those who want to gain insight of the higher knowledge or what is known as the unknowable must repress the ignorance of their perception and look beyond the five-sense reality and the limitations of material existence. All higher knowledge that is part of us to some degree is within the soul/spirit of our being. It carries the power of universal knowledge the higher intelligence of universal source. Knowledge by whatever path it is followed tends to become one but with many variations, science now confirms that in the domain of matter there is some form of intelligence that passes between the atoms and cells in our body relaying information to each other. But what scientists don’t realize is that the whole body in a network of information relaying information to each other, this energy matrix comes from the blueprint of the ethereal/subtle body.

All forms of creation within the cosmos comes from one huge gigantic consciousness split into various other consciousness in the various shapes and patterns of their energy formation, it is the vibrations and oscillations of the atoms that dance that make these patterns of energy consciousness and it is through these various forms of consciousness that carry their own thought form of intelligence which is linked to the whole structure of the universal mind that began creation in its entire universal form.

Science one day will find that all forms of consciousness will be evident and will be in all essential matter it is something that is existent to the senses and is only a conceptual form of etheric substances. It is only an arbitrary distinction in thought that divides form and substance from all forms of energy consciousness.

All matter expresses itself eventually, as it is a formation of some unknown force that is seen as life. This unfathomed mystery begins to reveal itself as an obscure energy of sensibility imprisoned into material formation and it is only when the dividing force of ethereal substances comes between the mind of rationality and the mind of the unknown consciousness that it gives the human sense of duality. It is the gulf between the universal mind, life and matter that creates a three way unified force and until this is realized only then, can this triple form of consciousness be united as one whole and not be seen in its three way separateness.

The energy that creates the world can be nothing else than pure collective universal consciousness that applies itself to all creation known to us on planet earth as life.

So what is the work and result of this self-involution? It is to actualize the mighty possibilities of this great multi force of triple divineness of the unknown energy of universal consciousness that creates a never-ending cycle of life within the unbounded knowledge that the universal mind brings. It is this knowledge that every human being has within them, one in which the soul carries within its conscious memories, so that the universal consciousness can experience all that it creates. Science dreams of finding the elixir of life to find knowledge that is above the human mind of the brain and of space/time or four dimensional reality, but it will be only through the higher developed mind of universal consciousness in its true creativeness that can show mankind its infinite knowledge which can be applied through the working of what we call five sense realities and beyond.

At present it is only the thought form of will and desire that makes mankind reach to achieve what he can do in the physical sense to use in the five senses as what is seen as pure material reality, with the image of the self/ego being the centre stage to achieve the evolution of the human race and of the growth of its planet. But even if we had the knowledge of the invisible worlds or realms of consciousness, there would be still be a limitation to how our perception of how our physical minds would interpret it as each concept of consciousness has a multitude of ways of projecting its unity of creation.

There is a central point in cosmic knowledge and only a fraction of this point can be assessed by the consciousness that is within the human being and that consciousness has to be trained by either meditation or rigid discipline to quiet the mind so as to be able to tap into the higher realms of universal consciousness. It is not an easy thing to do, but if we all became aware of our inner consciousness and raised its vibration, then we would be able to access the knowledge that is there to help guide us to a higher evolved state of mind and state of awareness.

It will be at this point that the two minds will come together and unite evolving the human species into a more spiritual being with a direct link from its own consciousness to that of the universal consciousness of its creator the Universal Mind via the Physical Mind creating the Two Minds.

Faith under control of the Gunas/Nature

There are three types of faith:
Tamasic faith which is because of dullness. Like when you do not want to take responsibility or action and you say, “Oh it doesn’t matter, anyway God will take care of all these things!” (laughter)
Rajasic faith which is brought on by intense compulsion of desires and ambition. The ambition keeps the faith alive.
Satvic faith is innocent and is born out of fullness of consciousness.
Faith and alertness, though apparently opposite in nature, are actually complementary to each other. In the absence of faith, there can be no growth, and there can be no correct understanding without alertness. Faith can make you complacent. Alertness makes you tense.
If there is no faith, there is fear. And when there is no alertness, one cannot perceive or express properly. A combination of both is essential.
In Gyana (state of wisdom) there is alertness without tension and faith without complacency. The purpose of education should be to remove the element of dullness from faith and the element of fear from alertness. This is a unique and rare combination. If you have faith and alertness at the same time, then you will become a true Gyani (the Wise One)!

Self Purification or Antah Karan Shuddhi

First, anna shuddhi, purification of grains. Good food, nutritious food, and the right amount of food is important.
Second, everyday a little bit of proper exercise is important. Even though you may have a car or a motor bike, sometime during the day, you should walk as well. Every day, at least for 20 minutes start walking, or doing some physical exercise.
Third, vaakya shuddhi, purification of speech. This is very important.
All of us must see that the words that we use do not hurt other people. If you have said something that hurts somebody, and if they are crying, then it is going to affect you somewhere.
Fourth, karma shuddhi. We must do seva. With service, our actions are purified.
Fifth, dhan shuddhi, i.e., purification of wealth. We should keep aside at least five per cent of whatever we earn, and use it for the society. Then the money that we earn will become purified. If we use whatever we earn for our self only, then that is not the best utilization of money. So, we must use a little portion of our earnings for the society.
Sixth, shareer shuddhi, i.e., purification of the body. Once in a week or a fortnight, take some Triphala, or some ayurvedic products to cleanse your body.
Seventh, bhaava shudhhi, i.e., purification of feelings. Do some satsang, listen to world philosophers for some time; it is necessary as it purifies the feelings.
Eighth, buddhi shuddhi is purification of the intellect. With knowledge the intellect is purified. A pure intellect comes when you look at life from a broader perspective. Who am I? What is this universe? Where am I going?

Dharma

What is Dharma??

Dharma is the sacred law, invested with divine authority, for dharma is based on the Vedas, sacred scriptures revealed by the Divine to highly qualified sages. Dharma is a cosmic principle that is difficult, if not impossible, to define. Our Dharma is our true place in the cosmic process: in time, in space, in awareness, in thought, deed and desire. The eternal principle of Dharma determines the harmonious functions of the cosmic machine. In order that we fulfill our role in the divine play we must behave within our Dharma. That is, we ought to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reason. By this we attain balance. To establish balance within us ensures our own welfare and the welfare of society. And opens the path prepared for us by the divine.

In western societies it is Morality, ethics, virtue, righteousness and purity. Opposing forces are violence, materialism and egotistical attitudes.

The goal of dharma is universal welfare. Abiding in that dharma whose root is the three Vedas, The Vedas and Dharma go hand in hand.

Non-injury to all living beings is the highest dharma, and thus a Brahmin (supposedly the highest practitioner of dharma) should never injure any living being. Charity, austerity, truthfulness, as well as humility, beauty, forgiveness, and tolerance —

Swadharma is that action which is in accordance with your nature. It is acting in accordance with your skills and talents, your own nature (svabhava), and that which you are responsible for (karma) .
Any action that does not make you feel afraid or restless is Swadharma. That action which you feel compelled to do, without which you feel restless is swadharma. Now do not misunderstand this and say, ‘I feel restless if I do not drink alcohol’. No! Not at all.
Every time you feel restless, its not always because of Swadharma. But at the same time not following your swadharma always makes you feel restless.
That is why it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Swadharme nidhanam shreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah’ (3.35).
When we do something without authenticity, just to show off to another person, that is when we feel fear because such action is not genuine, it does not come from the heart. But when we do something that is authentic and from the heart, then there is no fear.
When someone speaks lies, they definitely feel scared somewhere inside. But someone who speaks the truth does not feel scared at all. In fact speaking the truth and abiding by it brings so much strength to you, isn’t it? This is what Swadharma is. 
When we follow that which comes naturally to us in our life, then it brings abundance and prosperity to us. When we flow in accordance with our nature, we grow from within. Any action that uplifts us is our Swadharma.
Dharma is that which holds the mind, intellect, memory and our inner soul together in harmony. Growth comes when we follow our swadharma.

Death Revisited….

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He who lives the inner life knows that death is truly his resting-room. To him, death is anything but extinction. It is a meaningful departure. When our consciousness is divinely transformed, the necessity of death will not arise at all. To transform life, we need Peace, Light, Bliss and Power. We cry for these divine qualities. They cry for our aspiration. They are equally anxious to grant us everlasting life. But until our body, vital, mind, heart and soul aspire together, the divine Power, Light, Bliss and Peace cannot possess us.

The body has death, but not the soul. The body sleeps, the soul flies.

“Even as man discards old clothes for the new ones, so the dweller in the body, the soul, leaving aside the worn-out bodies, enters into new bodies. The soul migrates from body to body. Weapons cannot cleave it, nor fire consume it, nor water drench it, nor wind dry it.”

This is the soul and this is what is meant by the existence of the soul.

“Death, has no separate existence by itself, it is only a result of the principle of decay in the body and that principle is there already” it is part of the physical nature.

At the same time it is not inevitable; if one could have the necessary consciousness and force, decay and death is not inevitable.”

What we call death is nothing short of ignorance. We can solve the problem of death only when we know what life is.

Life is eternal. It existed before birth and it will exist after death. Life also exists between birth and death.

It is beyond birth and death. Life is infinite. Life is immortal.

Be active and dynamic, seek not any reward.” We can simultaneously kindle the flame of our consciousness with the lore “Action cleaves not to a man.”

Higher than the senses are the objects of sense, 

Higher than the objects of sense is the mind, 

Higher than the mind is the intellect, 

Higher than the intellect is the Self, Higher than the Self is the Unmanifest, 

Higher than the Unmanifest is the Supreme

 personified, 

Highest is this Supreme, the Goal Ultimate.

The dance of destruction is over. Let us pine for salvation, a flood of peace and the inner Illumination.

On Death….

The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time nor does it come into being again when the body is created. The soul is birth less, eternal, imperishable and timeless and is never terminated when the body is terminated.

No one is able to cause the destruction of the imperishable soul.

As a person gives up old and worn out garments and accepts new apparel, similarly the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies verily accepts new bodies.

The soul is indestructible, the soul is incombustible, insoluble and unwither able.

The soul is eternal, all pervasive, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.

For one who has taken birth, death is certain and for one who has died, birth is certain.

Therefore in an inevitable situation understanding should prevail.

From birth comes death and from death comes birth.

Just like in the spring new buds grow which blossom into flowers and leaves in summer and in autumn change to red, yellow and orange in fall and blow away and become dormant in winter to begin the process all over again in the following year.

In the a similar way the soul enters new bodies for its seasons of infancy, youth, maturity and old age and at the end of its cycle of life is born again accepting a new body for another season.

This is an inevitable process in the material existence and is the automatic process that governs the birth and death.

All beings existing in the material manifestation completely follow this reality.

The soul has two bodies or distinguishing properties: one is subtle like the mind and the other is gross that forms the external, physical body. (The Mind Body Sense complex)

The physical body is an aggregate of atoms composed of the five basic elements of earth, air, water, fire and ether. The inner subtle mental body is the conductor of the outer physical body.

The imperishable soul that pervades the physical body of all living entities is unborn and thus it is known to be eternal and constant only changing its external embodied form.

The two characteristics of eternality and constancy denote that like the material substratum known as nature or creation, even the most subtle and infinitesimal modifications in the stage preceding manifestation has no ability in any way to affect the eternal soul.

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Ashthanga 8-limbs of Yoga by Patanjali

The eight limbs are-

External limbs: – Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama & pratyahara.

Internal limbs are collectively called samyama: – dharana, Dhyan, Samadhi.

 1.Yama has 5 constitutes- ahimsa, satya, asteya [no stealing], brahmacharya & aparigraha.

 2. Niyama has 5 constitutes- shauch [external & internal purity], Santosh [satisfied in all situations], tapas [fasting & other penances], svadhaya [study of scriptures] & ishvarapranidhana [surrender all to God].

 3. Asana is sitting in a steady & easy pose where the spine, head & neck are in a straight line & focus should be on the tip of your nose or between your eyebrows.

 4. Pranayama– there should be full control of posture, inhalation & exhalation.

5. Pratyahara is suspension of breathing takes place automatically when one doesn’t dwell on external sense objects or internal thoughts, the mind gets disassociated.

 6. Dharana is focusing the mind on God & meditating.

 7. Dhayana is continuous flow of thoughts towards God & meditation.

8. Samadhi is deep Dhyan & meditation where conscious is fully awake & only the object of meditation remains. According to Paramhansa Yogananda, “Samadhi is a blissful conscious state in which a yogi perceives the identity of the individualized soul & cosmic spirit”.