|Bhagawad Gita (The Song of God or the Divine Song)
Gita Dhyana Shloka:
Om Parthaya Pratibodhitaam bhagavataam naarayanena swayam,
Vyasena grathitaam puraana muninaam madhye mahabhaaratam
Advaitaam amritavarshineem bhagavateem ashtadasha dhyayineem,
Amba tvaam anusandadhaami bhagavadgeete bhavadweshineem.
Om O Bagavad Gita the light with which Partha (Arjuna) was illuminated by Narayana himself, which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage, Vyasa, O divine mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the person who has showered the nectar of advaita, and consisting of eighteen discourses---upon thee, O Gita! O affectionate mother I meditate.
This is one of the dhyana shlokas of Gita. Meditating upon these shlokas gives you the ability to study the Gita.
Last class we discussed Arjuna’s confusion before the beginning of the war (right in the middle of the battlefield, Arjuna puts his Gandiva down and refuses to fight). Lord Krishna at that point starts explaining to Arjuna his duties.
Karma Yoga: Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that one has to perform ones duty. Being a Kshatriya means he has to fight, that is his Dharma. Not performing ones dharma is considered shameful, and adharma. If a Kshatriya dies fighting then he will go to heaven, if he survives then he will reign.
Krishna says that there is a way to be unattached to the karma that would be to become a “sthitapragya yogee”. A sthitapragya yogee is one who does his karma but is unattached to anything. So Krishna tells Arjuna to become a sthitapragya yogee and perform his duty, that way he will be unattached to the sins of killing or the punya. To be able to achieve this one would have to learn to control his senses (indriyani). Just like a tortoise withdraws into its shell when faced with danger, a sthitapragya yogee withdraws all the senses while performing his/her Karma or duty.
Karmanye vadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadachana
Ma karma phala hetur Bhurma tey Sangostv akarmani (Chapter 2, Verse 47)
Karmani--prescribed duties; eva--certainly; adhikarah--right; te--of you; ma--never; phalesu--in the fruits; kadachana--at any time; ma--never; karma-phala--in the result of the work; hetuh--cause; bhuh--become; ma--never; te--of you; sangah--attachment; astu--be there; akarmani--in not doing.
Krishna tells Arjuna that he has a right only to the actions not to the results. He asks Arjuna not to be motivated to do his duty because of what he might achieve by performing the duty. As a result, he tells Arjuna to not be inactive because he should not anticipate the results.
Raja Yoga: Raja Yoga is the control of the mind and body through meditating techniques, in order to be able to realize one's true nature.
Lord Krishna reveals astanga yoga (the basis of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra), and the exact process of practicing such yoga. He explains in detail the difficulties of the mind and the procedures by which one may master their mind through yoga.
Sri Bhagavan Uvacha:
Anasritah karma phalam kaaryam karma karoti yaha
Na Sanyasi cha yogi cha na niragnir na chakriyaha (Chapter 6, Verse 1)
Sri-bhagavan uvacha--the Lord said; anasritah--without shelter; karma-phalam--the result of work; karyam--obligatory; karma--work; karoti--performs; yah--one who; sah--he; sannyasi--in the renounced order; ca--also; yogi--mystic; ca--also; na--not; nih--without; agnih--fire; na--nor; cha--also; akriyah--without duty.
The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated, is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work
Arjuna is thus educated by Lord Krishna in the various forms of Yoga (Karma, Gnyana, Raja) tells Lord Krishna that his illusions (regarding duties that he has to perform) have been removed and he thanks the Lord for it. He also realizes that Lord Krishna is no ordinary person, but the “avatar” of Maha Vishnu. He therefore requests Lord Krishna to reveal to him the Lord’s true form or “VISHVAROOPA”.
Sri Bahagavan Uvacha:
Pashya me Partha roopani shatasho tha sahasrashaha
Nana vidhani divyani nanavarna Kritani cha (Chapter 11, Verse 5)
sri-bhagavan uvahca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; pashya--just see; me--Mine; partha--O son of Prtha; rupani--forms; satashah--hundreds; atha--also; sahasrasah--thousands; nana-vidhani--variegated; divyani--divine; nana--variegated; varna--colors; akrtini--forms; cha--also.
The Blessed Lord said: My dear Arjuna, O son of Pritha, behold (see for yourself) now my richness, hundreds of thousands of varied divine forms, multicolored like the sea.
Gnyana Yoga: Gnyana Yoga is discriminating between what is real and what is not. What is eternal and what is not. When one realizes this aspect one becomes a Gnyana yogi. Krishna tells Arjuna not to feel bad or sad about the fact that he is going to kill all these people who are his friends, relatives, gurus etc. Lord Krishna says that if Arjuna understood the difference between the body and the soul (if he were a Gnyana yogi), then he would realize that it is only the body that will be destroyed and not the soul. The soul can never be tampered with.
Yada bhuta prthag bahavam eka stam anupashyati
Tata eva cha vistaram Brahma sampadhyate tada (Chapter 13, Verse 31)
yada--when; bhuta--living entities; prthak-bhavam--separated identities; eka-stham--situated in one; anupashyati--tries to see through authority; tatah eva--thereafter; ca--also; vistaram--expanded; brahma--the Absolute; sampadyate--attains; tada--at that time.
When a sensible man is unable to see different identities, which are due to different material bodies, he then reaches the Brahman concept. Thus he sees that beings are expanded everywhere.
Bhakti Yoga: Simply put Bhakti is service in love and devotion to God. Krishna says he considers that Yogee as his devotee who lovingly contemplates on him with devotion and faith and whose mind is always absorbed in him. He says he will relieve anyone from worldly grief, who surrender to him and accept him as the supreme. So he tells Arjuna to surrender to him, completely setting aside all deeds of merits (dharma) and he will forgive him of all sins.
Sarva dharman parithyajya maamekam sharanam vraja
Ahm tvam sarva papebhyo mokshayihyami maa shuchha (Chapter 18, Verse 6)
sarva-dharman--all varieties of religion; parityajya--abandoning; mam--unto Me; ekam--only; sharanam--surrender; vraja--go; aham--I; tvam--you; sarva--all; papebhyah--from sinful reactions; mokshayishyami--deliver; ma--not; sucha--worry.
This is the last verse of the Gitopadehsa, wherein Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, after having taught him about Karma yoga, Gnyana Yoga, Raja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, to give up or abandon all varieties of religion and simply surrender to Him (Krishna). And Lord Krishna tells Arjuna not to fear and that he will deliver or absolve him of all sins.
An often-quoted verse from the Gita:
Parithranaya sadhoonam vinashayacha dushkritaam
Dharma samstapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (Chapter 4, Verse 8)
paritranaya--for the deliverance; sadhunam--of the devotees; vinasaya--for the annihilation; cha--also; dushritam--of the offenders; dharma--principles of religion; samsthapana-arthaya--to reestablish; sambhavami--I do appear; yuge--millennium; yuge--after millennium.
In order to save the religious and to destroy the offenders, and to reestablish the principles of religion, I shall appear as myself millennium after millennium.
This is very important shloka, which has to be recited at the end:
Kayena vacha manasendriyairva budhyatmanava prakrite svabhavaat
Karomi yadyat sakalam parasmai narayananayeti samarpaiyami
Whatever actions I do with my body, speech, and mind or with any other senses of my body, or with my intellect and soul or with my innate natural tendencies I offer (dedicate) everything to Lord Narayana.