Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 13 - Kshetra Kshetrajna Yoga - Sloka 2

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Adidevananda's translation of Ramanuja's  Gita  Bhashya and Swami Chidbhavananda's Bhagavad Gita, both published by Ramakrishna Mission

1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 13 - Kshetra Kshetrajna Yoga - Sloka 2

Kshetrajnam cha api mam viddhih sarva kshetreshu bharat I 
Kshetra kshetrajnoh gyanam yat  tat gyanam ma na tam mama II sloka 2 
क्षेत्रज्ञं च अपि मम विद्धिः सर्व क्षेत्रेषु भरता I 
क्षेत्र क्षेत्रज्ञो ज्ञानं यत् तत् ज्ञानं म न तं मम II श्लोक 2
And know me as the kshetrajna in all kshetras, O Bharata. The knowledge of the kshetra and the kshetrajna is deemed by me as true knowledge.

Prakriti and Purusha are respectively called as kshetra and kshetrajna - the non-self and self. The former is insentient and the latter is sentient. The purusha identifies himself with the prakriti and fancies that its characteristics are all his own. It is like the colour of a flower which seems transposed to a crystal kept near it. That purusha is called as Jivatman who identifies himself with the prakriti that he handles. The differentiation in prakriti is infinite; for this reason the jivatman are also infinite.

The cosmic intelligence is Iswara. While he appears to be imbued with the characteristics of the prakriti,  he is actually untouched by it. He is the innermost self in all beings. The individual souls and the universe have no existence independent of Iswara. He is therefore the kshetrajna in all the kshetras.Though containing everything in himself, he is eternally free, pure and blissful.

Jnana or knowledge is the true understanding of both -  kshetra and the kshetrajna. The knowledge pertaining to the kshetra is classified as Apara vidya or the lower knowledge  and that pertaining to the kshetrajna as Para vidya or the Superior knowledge. To be well-versed and versatile in the vedas, agamas, grammar, rhetoric ad the branches of science and arts - all these come under the lower knowledge. Brahma jnana or self knowledge is the superior knowledge is the supreme knowledge  

Enquiry commences with a diligent study of nature and culminates in Brahma jnana. Secular knowledge bereft of the sacred is therefore incomplete. The former is the stepping stone to the latter. True knowledge consists of wisdom pertainin gto the phenomenon and the Noumenon.

A harmonious combination of the two enquiries into the Purusha and Prakriti constitutes true knowledge. Knowing the one to the exclusion of the other is imperfect knowledge. The scientific enquiry of the modern man is a true search into the prakriti. It has taken him very near purusha. The scientist will soon come to know that the manifest universe has its origin and sustenance in the cosmic intelligence.

One is not termed as rich merely by owning money. There are signs of one's being rich. His house would be well lit in all the rooms. Whereas the poor man can not afford to have many lights.

 The human body is the tabernacle of the lord. It should not be kept in the darkness of ignorance. It should be lit with the lamp of wisdom. When you illuminate your heart with this lamp, you will behold the benign lord there. Jnana can be gained by one and all. There are in the human temple two entities - the little jivatman and the great paramatman. The former is dependent on the latter. As the electricity from the source illuminates all the houses, the paramatman gives light to the jivatmans. The divine knowledge illumines your body, yourself and the paramatman.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Essence of the 12th chapter - Bhakthi Yoga - Bhagavad Gita

GeethaarTa Sangraham which has been Annotated as a Commentary in English By Oppiliappan kOil SrI Varadachari Sathakopan (www.sadagopan.org). This ebook is available at http://www.sundarasimham.org/ebooks/GitaSHM.pdf.  I have also attached the book for ease of download.
Translation of Alavandar's Gitarthasangraham, by Diwan Bahadur VK Ramanujachari, published by Andavan Ashram has also been provided below.

The TWELFTH Chapter of SrImath Bhagavath GeethA has 20 slOkams. This chapter is about Communion through loving devotion.

BhagavAn explains here the following aspects of the Bhakthi Yogam/ Bhagavath UpAsanam; latter is superior to the meditation on the AathmA/Self (JeevAthmOpAsanam). The superiority of the Bhagavath UpAsanam over AathmOpAsanam is due to the superiority of the object of meditation (Bhagavan) over AathmA. AchArya RaamAnujA quotes the 47th slOkam of the sixth chapter of Bhagavath GeethA in this context:
“He who, with faith, worships Me, whose inmost self is fixed in Me, I consider him as the most integrated among all Yogins”. The path of meditation on the Self is recommended for one, who does not have the wherewithal to follow Bhagavath UpAsanam.
BhagavAn explains the following four points related to Bhakthi Yogam in the twelfth chapter:
1. Meditation on the Lord through Bhakthi yOgam
2. Speediness of Bhakthi yOgam in bearing fruits over JeevAthmOpAsanam and hence the superiority of Bhakthi            yOgam/Bhagavath UpAsanam
3. The “felicity” of the performance of Bhagavath UpAsanam
4. The means for meditation (upAsanam) on the Lord
भक्तेः श्रेष्ट्यं उपयोक्तिः असक्तः आत्माः निश्थ्ठता  I 
तत् प्रकारास्त्व अति प्रीतिः भक्ते द्वादश उच्यते I I  
GeethArTa Sangraham of Swamy AlavathAr: SlOkam 16
The superiority of Bhakthi yOgam is taught to Arjuna in the 12th chapter. Arjuna is advised that Bhagavath UpAsanam is superior (Sraishtyam) to JeevAthama upAsanam (Aathma saakshAthkAram/Kaivalyam). Bhagavath UpAsanam is identified as the one which will yield fruits (Moksham) quicker than JeevAthmOpAsanam. Those who are not qualified for Bhagavath upAsanam should elect for JeevAthmOpAsanam, which will pave the way for Bhagavath UpAsanam (asakthasya aathma nishtathA). There are many steps in Bhagavath UpAsanam (Bhakthi yOgam): Control of mind, total focus on experiencing Bhagavath GuNams, Construction of Temple, Gopuram, other Kaimkaryams to the Lord with Bhagavath preethi alone in mind (athi prethA:) and the scrupulous observance of nithya karmAs. These are UpAyOkthis. The accessory to Bhakthi Yogam (Tath PrAkArA:) is Karma yOgam. The aathma guNams conducive to the observance of Karma Yogam are described by  BhagavAn from slOkam 13 to 19 of this twelfth chapter.
Tann kazhalil patthi thAzhathathum athan kAraNamAm
innguNa chinthayum Eethu aRiyAthArkku avvadimaikaLum
tann karumankaL aRiyAthavarkku ilahu nilayum
tann kazhal anbarkku nallavan sARRinan PaartthanukkE
தன் கழலில் பத்தி தாழததும் அதன் காரணமாம் 
இன்ங்குண சிந்தையும் ஈது அரியாதார்கு அவ்வதிமைகளும் 
தன் கருமங்கள் அறியதவரக்கு இலஹு நிலையம் 
தன் கழல் அன்பர்க்கு நல்லவன் சாற்றினன் பார்த்தனுக்கே  
“Tann Kazhalil patthi thAzhAthathum, athan KaaraNamAm innguNa chinthayum”
One who observes occupational duties, nithya karmas, performs Yaagam, Homam, Tapas and dhAnam and presents the fruits of those karmAs to the Lord in the spirit of Saathvika ThyAgam will be assisted by the Lord to overcome all obstacles to cross the ocean of samsAram and the Lord will grant him Moksham. In contrast to the above Bhagavath upAsanam with the angam of Karma yOgam, the route of AathmOpAsanam will delay one's journey to MOksham since it is not easy to stop the activities of the senses to perform upAsanam on JeevAthma. The upAsakan has been used to consider his deham as AathmA and that leads to additional confusion. Although it is difficult at the beginning to have whole hearted focus on Bhagavan for one who has been ruled by his senses, the repeated meditation on BhagavAn's anantha kalyANa guNams will pave the way for success in Bhagavath upAsanam.
“EethaRiyArkku avvadimaikaLum”
It is not easy to deflect the mind to engage in dhyAnam of BhagavAn since the mind for a very long time has been lured by external pleasures of a nonlasting kind. The power of the old vaasanais can however be controlled in favor of Bhagavath upAsanam by engaging in matters that please the Lord: Building of His temples, creating flower gardens for Him, lighting lamps in His sannidhi, facilitating AarAdhanam for Him, Performing PradhikshaNams, BhagavannAma sankeertthanam and namaskaraNam. Since these karmAs are sacred and constant engagement in them will lead to single pointed devotion to the Lord and access to Him.
“Tann karumangaL aRiyAthavarkku ilahu nilayum”
Saathvika ThyAgam including the samarpaNam of the fruits of the karmAs to the Lord will destroy sins arising from ahankAra-mamakArams. The JevAthma dhyAnam will follow; avidhyai will get banished and the sEshathva Jn~Anam will get established. The comprehension of the blissful nature of the AathmA on a par with the Lord's aanandha svaroopam will be realized and Bhakthi yOgam will be realized with out much effort. 
“Tann Kazhal anbarkku nallavan saaRRinan PaatthanukkE”
Our Lord indicates that those who practice Bhakthi yOgam (Tann kazhal anbar) are very dear to Him (anbarkku nallavan). This truth was taught by the Lord to Arjuna in the 12th chapter (saaRRinAn PaartthanukkE).
Shri Bhagavan Uvacha
Mayi aveshya manah ye mam nityam yuktah upasate I
Shraddhaya paraya upaetah te me yukta tama matah II sloka 2

श्री भगवान उवाच 
मयि आवेश्य मनः ये माम् नित्यम् युक्तः उपासते I 
श्रद्धया परया उपेताः ते मे युक्त तमाः मताः II श्लोक 2
“Those who, ever integrated with Me and possessed of supreme faith, worship Me, focusing their minds on Me-- -these are considered by Me the highest among the Yogins”.
Ye tu sarvani karmani mayi samnyasya matparah I
Ananyena eva yogena mam dhyayanta upasate II sloka 6
ये तू सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत् पराः I 
अनन्येन एव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते II श्लोक 6
Tesham aham samudrata mrutyu samsara sagarat I
Bhavami nachirat partha mayi aveshita  chetasam II sloka 7
तेषां अहम् समुध्रता मृत्यु संसार सागरात् I 
भवामि नचिरात् पार्थ मयि अवेशित चेतसाम् II श्लोक 7
“For, those who dedicate all actions to Me, hold Me as their supreme goal, intent on Me, and worship Me meditating on Me with exclusive devotion. Of those whose minds are thus focused on Me, I become soon their Saviour from the ocean of mortal life”.
In slOkams 13 to 19, BhagavAn lists the attributes of those who are dear to Him as practioners of Karma Yogam as an angam for Bhakthi yOgam. The sixteenth slOkam provides an example of such upAsakan dear to the Lord:

Anapekshah shuchih dakshah  udasinah gata vyatah I
Sarva arambham pari tyagi yah madbhaktah sah me priyah II sloka 16
अनपेक्षः शुचिः दक्षः उदासीनः गत व्यक्तः I
सर्व आरम्भं परि त्यागी यः मद्भक्तः सः मे प्रियः II श्लोक 16 

“He who is free from desires, who is pure, expert, indifferent and free from agony, who has renounced every undertaking -- -- he is dear to Me.”
Tulya ninda stutih mauni samtushtah ena kena chit I
Aniketah stira matih bhaktiman me priyah narah II sloka 19
तुल्य निन्दा स्तुतिः मौनी संतुष्टः एन केन चित I
अनिकेतः स्थिर मतिः भक्तिमान मे प्रियः नरः II श्लोक 19
“He who regards alike both blame and praise, who is silent and content with any lot, who has no home, who is firm of mind, and who is devoted to Me -- -- dear to Me is such a man.”


Meaning from Alavandar's Gitarthasangraham, translated by Diwan Bahadur VK Ramanujachari, published by Andavan Ashram

भक्तेः श्रेष्ट्यं उपयोक्तिः असक्तः आत्माः निश्थ्ठता  I 
तत् प्रकारास्त्व अति प्रीतिः भक्ते द्वादश उच्यते I I  
GeethArTa Sangraham of Swamy AlavathAr: SlOkam 16

In the 12th chapter, the following matters are stated: the superiority of bhakti yoga; the means thereto; to one unable to adopt even this mediation on the atma; what is needed for this, and the great love of the highest atma for one doing bhakti yoga.
Explanation: The first subject is introduced by a question of Arjuna as to who was the better of the two -  he that does bhakti yoga desiring ever to be with the highest atma or he that meditates on the atma in his natural form. Sri Krishna replies giving preference to the former (verse 2). The latter has to think of the atma thus: He is other than the body and can not therefore be denoted by the words deva, man etc. For the same reason he can not be perceived by the eye or by any of the other senses. Though he is in every body, deva, human, brute, vegetable, he is unfit to be thought of as the form of the body; for he is of an entirely different class. For the same reason though he is connected with one body after another, as the anvil of the blacksmith is connected  with one piece of iron after another, he is not connected with their forms. Not being subject to change of substance, his form does not at any time leave him; he s therefore eternal. The yogi should draw all his senses from their activities. He should look upon all atmas as being alike; for though they dwell in diverse bodies, they are all jnana; and this is their only feature. He should therefore desist from every action that is injurious to them. This is how he should meditate. But is is very difficult for one that identifies himself with the body (verses 3-5). Sri Krishna therefore advises meditation on Himself (verse 8). 
2. One may not be able to keep his mind steadily on the highest Atma in yoga. Verse 9 advises him to continually dwell with love on His freedom from imperfections and on His many noble qualities. The mind will then become steady. To one that is unable to do even this, the advice is given in verse 10 that he should His work. This is to build a temple, to make a flower garden, to light the temple, to sweep its floor, to sprinkle water on it, to wash it with cowdung and water, to bring flowers, to recite His names, to go round the temple, to praise, to prostrate before Him, and the like. To one, that is unable to do even this, karma yoga is suggested (verse 11). The next verse explains how practice (abhyasa) may be attained step by step. The first step is karma yoga; this leads to yoga (meditation on atma); from this, realisation of the atma results. Then abhyasa and bhakti yoga may be taken up. Thus the two portions of six chapters are connected. The middle portion teachers bhakti yoga as the means to release (moksha); and the first portion teaches realisation of the atma as the means to bhakti yoga; and this realisation is brought about through yoga by the practice of karma yoga. 
3. What the practice of karma yoga needs is next explained in verse 13-19. Twenty eight points are enumerated. For easy remembrance it is desirable to classify them. First, the yogi should know that he is other than his body, and should not regard it as the 'I'. This is being without ahamkara (verse 13). That this thought may be present when he does yoga (meditation on the atma), he should revolve it in his mind, when it is disengaged. This is being a yogi at all times (verse 14). To secure this point, the mind should be controlled, and prevented from wandering to any thing else (ibid.). From this thought, when firmly held, will come detachment - the absence of the thought 'This is mine' in his body, in the sense, in what are connected with them and in his house (verse 13 and 19). As he does not confound himself with the body, he will be without joy or grief, when some thing agreeable or disagreeable comes, as the effect of contact with outside objects, he should not be affected by them, knowing them to be inevitable (verse 13). When a thing, that is welcome or unwelcome to others comes of itself, he should be pleased or displeased. When some thing happens, that is the cause of grief to the world, like the death of wife, or a son, he should not grieve. When such things are not present, he should not long for them (verse 17). He should treat with equal indifference respectful or disrespectful treatment accorded to him by others and their praise or blame. He should be silent, i.e. should not praise one that praises him or blame one that blames (verses 18 and 19). He should be pleased with whatever comes without any effort on his own part, that will be needed for his maintenance. One, that is not this, will praise one and ask of him; he will blame him, if he does give. He should not be one of this description. In his dealings with others he should remember that they are bodies of the highest Atma. He should therefore not hate anyone, whether he hates him or does a disservice to him. He should think that the highest Atma makes him hate him or do disservice as punishment for some offence of his own. He should wish the welfare of all; ad when they are in trouble, he should sympathise with them (verse 13). He should preserve a serene mind, when a friend or enemy is near him; this needs a greater effort than when they are away (verse 18). He should do nothing that will trouble others. He should not regard one with pleasure , and another with displeasure; he should not be afraid of one or be repelled by another. He should so conduct himself, that the world will look upon him as being innocent and will do nothing to trouble him (verse 15). He should firmly believe in the truth of what is stated in the veda (verse 14). As he seeks only the atma, and does not desire nay thing he should careful in regard to what the veda teaches , and take no action in regard to what it does not direct. In other words, he should use for the maintenance of his body only such articles as are permitted by it. He should show his ability in doing what is enjoined. If in doing his duties he meets with any thing that is unpleasant, he should bear it with patience. He should commence any action other than those permitted (verse 16). Among those permitted also he should avoid good karmas, as he avoids evil karma; for in the matter of binding him, there is no difference between them (verse 17). Lastly, he should that bhagavan Vasudeva alone is worshiped by karmas done without a desire for fruits and that being please He will make him realize himself (i.e., the atma) (verse 14). 
4. The chapter closes with praise of one doing bhakti yoga, as the sixth chapter closed with praise of one doing karma yoga. 

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 13 - Kshetra Kshetrajna Yoga - Sloka 1

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Adidevananda's translation of Ramanuja's  Gita  Bhashya and Swami Chidbhavananda's Bhagavad Gita, both published by Ramakrishna Mission

In the first group of six chapters, the realisation of the real nature of the individual self as forming the ancillary to the worship of Bhagavan Vasudeva, the Supreme Brahman, the supreme object of attainment has been taught. It is also taught there, that it can be accomplished by two worthy paths, namely Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga. Next in the middle group of six chapters, intense and one-pointed devotion to Bhakti Yoga, preceded by the true knowledge of the Lord, the Supreme Goal and his glory, has been propounded. It was also taught in a secondary sense that Bhakti Yoga constitutes the means for those who wish for great sovereignty (aishwarya) and also for those who aspire after the state of isolation (Kaivalya) of the self.

In the next group of six chapters, the topics propounded in the first two groups are examined. These are: The attributes of the material body andof the self; the universe as the combination of these, the ruler his true nature, the real nature of karma, jnana and bhakti and the ways of practising these.

Now in the thirteenth chapter the following topics are discussed: (1) The nature of the body and the self (2) examination of the real nature of the body (3)the means for the attainment of the disembodied self (4)examination of the real nature of self in disembodied self; (5)the cause of association of such a self with matter, and (6) the mode of discriminating between the body and the self.

1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 13 - Kshetra Kshetrajna Yoga - Sloka 1

The soul carried by the senses
Shri Bhagavan Uvacha
Idam shariram kaunteya kshetram iti abhidhiyate I
Etat yah vedati tam prahuh kshetrajna iti tad vidah II sloka 1

श्री भगवान उवाच 
इदम्  शरीरम् कौन्तेय क्षेत्रं इति अभिदियते I
एतत्  यः वेदति तम्  प्राहुः क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद् विदः II श्लोक 1 

The Lord said

This body, O Arjuna,  is called the Field or Kshetra. He who knows it is called the Kshetrajna, by the sages  who know the self.

The literal meaning of kshetra is that which is protected from perishing. The body of beings is called kshetra because it is saved from destruction to which it is prone. The word kshetra also means the field. It becomes increasingly productive to the extent it is improved. But its fertility provides scope for both corn and weed to thrive in it. Similarly, in the field of his body, man reaps the fruits of his good and bad karma. The body is therefore called the dharma kshetra of the jivatman. There is an intelligent principle that only resides in the body but also cognises and governs it. The sages designate this discerning principle as kshetrajna.

The human body may be compared to a pot. The mind, intellect and the senses are parallel to the water, rice and potato put into the pot placed on a hearth. within a while the pot gets heated and the water boils the rice and potato. The contentsthen  become too hot to be handled. This heat however, belongs to the fire and not just to the pot and its contents. Similarly it is the power of the Brahman that enlivens the body, mind, intellect and senses.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Are the countless kshetras and kshetrajnas in the universe linked  in any way? The enlightenment comes in the next slokas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 20

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 20

Ye tu dharmya amrutam idam yathoktam paryopasate I
Shrada ddhana matparama bhkatah te ati iva me priyah II sloka 20
ये तु धर्म्या अमृतं इदम् यथोक्तम् पर्योपासते I
शर्धा दधाना मत् परामा भक्तः ते अति इव मे प्रियः II श्लोक 20 

They who follow this immortal dharma described above imbued with shraddha, looking upon Me as the Supreme goal, and devoted - they are exceedingly dear to Me.

Shraddha is the common factor for all spiritual practices. It is therefore linked here to the path of bhakthi. On the ground of his holding the Lord as the supreme goal, the devotee does not abandon work.He holds fast to the practice of dharma. Mukti and immortality being the outcome of the practice of dharma, it is here equated with immortality. It is also called Sanatana dharma. he who conforms to dharma neve comesto grief or destruction. being both an ardent devotee and a staunch practitioner of dharma, he is the dearest of the lord.

Bhakti is of two kinds - the vaidika bhakti and the Prema bhakti. To conform to the injunctions in the scripture, to chant the name of the Lord as many times as prescribed, to fast and pray to go on pilgrimage, to perform ritualistic worship with the aid of the enjoined materials - all these belong to the former kind. An earnest pursuance of these means leads the devotee ultimately into the latter, the prema bhakti, in which there is no place for any kind of earthly attachment. The Bhakta gives himself over entirely to the Lord. This whole-hearted offering is graciously  accepted by the Lord and the devotee becomes his own.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
The path of karma in the first six chapters and the path of bhakti in the second six get united here. In the following six chapters the path of jnana remains to get united with these two.

 Iti shrimad bhagavad gitasu upanishadtsu brahmavidyayam yogashastre srikrishna arjuna samvade bhakti yogo nama ashtamodhyayah II
इति श्रीमद भगवद्गीतासु उपनिशद्त्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे  श्रीकृष्ण अर्जुन संवादे भक्ति योगो नाम अष्टमोध्यायः  ।।

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 18 & 19

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 18 & 19

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Samah shatrau cha mitrecha tatha mana apamana yoh I
Sheeta ushna sukha dukheshu samah sanga vivarjitah II sloka 18
समः  शत्रौ च मित्रेच तथा मान अपमान योः I
शीत उष्ण सुख दुखेषु समः संग विवर्जितः II श्लोक 18 

Tulya ninda stutih mauni samtushtah ena kena chit I
Aniketah stira matih bhaktiman me priyah narah II sloka 19
तुल्य निन्दा स्तुतिः मौनी संतुष्टः एन केन चित I
अनिकेतः स्थिर मतिः भक्तिमान मे प्रियः नरः II श्लोक 19

He who is the same to foe and friend and also in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment

To whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steadyminded, full of devotion; that man is dear to Me. 

day and night are inevitable on earth, but in the blazing sun they have no place. Friendship and enmity are but natural among fellow beings; but in the fervour of the divine love of god, these differences vanish of their own accord.

An illicit love in the initial stage is mindful of shame and social decorum. But when it deepens into open familiarity all sense of shame is set aside. There is some similarity in this and the divine love of god which pays no heed to honour and dishonour. While the former leads the fallen one to depravity the latter elevates the devotee into the sublime. The worldly people are flippant both in honouring and dishonouring a devotee of god. But unconcerned that he is with these passing phases, the devotee goes headlong in his  love of the maker.

To the one subject to body consciousness the feeling of cold and heat is natural with  the change of climate. But to the one given to divine ecstasy born of bhakthi this feeling does n ot come. 

The feeling of pleasure and pain is concomitant with the feeling of cold and heat. When the attachment to the body is overcome, These feelings disappear as a matter of course.

A worldly man with a talent for music sings to receive the applause of the public. He derives pleasure in their praise and pain in the censure if any. But when a bhaktha sings the glory of the Lord, he is indifferent to the censure and praise of the people. His activities are likely to be exposed to public remarks. But he remains dead to all their observations and goes his own divine way.

The devotee prefers to be silent. if at all he talks it would be about the lord and nothing else. He is training the tongue in this way is equivalent to the practise of silence.

A person unexpectedly and hurriedly returning home on some important business, reconciles himself with any means of transport that is immediately available. He is not much worried if there be any lack of amenities and facilities in the travel. The bhakta s position in the world is very much like this. Communion with god is his sole concern. He is therefore content with anything that comes his way in his earthly sojourn. To a hurrying traveler sitting accommodation in any of the railway coaches is sufficient. Bhaktha the godward pilgrim on earth does not claim any residence as his home. He holds on to the ideal:

"Have thou no home, what home can hold thee, friend? The sky thy roof, the grass thy bed"

The devotee seeks nothing but god. He is therefore steady-minded.. He gives himself completely to god. So he becomes a favourite of God.

Do not allow worldly thoughts and concerns disturb your mind. Discharge your duties as and when they present themselves to you. But fasten your mind ever at the feet of the lord. 
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 17

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 17

Malayappa swami Muthangi seva
Yah na hrushyati na dveshti na shochati na kankshati I
Shubha ashubha parityagi bhaktiman yah sah me priyah II
यः सः हृष्यति न द्वेष्टि न शोचति न काङ्क्षति  I
शुभ अशुभ परित्यागी भक्तिमान यः सः मे प्रियः II श्लोक 17 

He who neither rejoices nor hates nor grieves nor desires, renouncing good and evil, full of devotion, he is dear to Me. 

The worldly people rejoice obtaining things pleasing to teh senses; but the lover of god does not behave as they do. They hate them who created unwanted situations; but the devotees pay no heed to bad people and unpleasant situations. He does not grieve when he is deprived of worldly possessions nor does he desire to procure them for his personal enjoyment. His intense devotion to the Lord admits no other desire to his heart. He is free from the notions of good and evil, even as an innocent baby is. A devotee with these excellences is endearing to the Lord

Gods presence can not be felt in that heart which is given to  attachment, aversion and fear
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Sunday, December 8, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 16

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 16

My Guruvayurappan
Anapekshah shuchih dakshah  udasinah gata vyatah I
Sarva arambham pari tyagi yah madbhaktah sah me priyah II sloka 16
अनपेक्षः शुचिः दक्षः उदासीनः गत व्यक्तः I
सर्व आरम्भं परि त्यागी यः मद्भक्तः सः मे प्रियः II श्लोक 16 

He who has no wants, who is pure and prompt, unconcerned and untroubled, and who is also selfless in all his undertakings, he who is thus devoted to Me, is dear to Me. 

That man is free from wants who does not seek after sensual pleasures. He becomes pure to the extent he rids himself of all sensual pleasures. When the thought, word and deed of a man are not contaminated by sensuality he is established in purity.To be prompt in the discharge of dutyis possible only for him who lives a disciplined life. Even a very grave crisis, suddenly sprung upon him, does not confuse his understanding; he handles it promptly as he ought to. Worldly people behave in one way towards friends and in quite another way towards foes. But the devotee of the Lord is unconcerned whether those he deals with are friends or  foes. He behaves in the same simple and straigh-forward with one and all. His dealings being clean he remains untroubled by their consequences. Serving the Lord being his sole motive, he is selfless in all his undertakings. He has everything  to dedicate to the maker and his beings; he has nothing to ask of them. Therefore he is dear to the Lord. 

He who si not deceived by his own mind  - a person such as he alone, gains access to the divine process of the Lord. The point comes to this : an attitude free from guile and deceit and a devotion true to the core - these are the means to take one godward
                                                                                                                                                                       Sri Ramakrishnan Paramahamsa

Friday, December 6, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 15

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 15

Rama Sita & Lakshaman at Chitrakoot
Yasmat na udvijate lokah lokat na udvijate cha yah I
Harsha amarsha bhaya udvegaih muchatah yah sah cha me priyah II sloka 15
यस्मात्  न अद्विजते लोकः लोकात् न उद्विजते च यः I
हर्ष अमर्ष भय उद्वेगैः मुचतः यः सः च मे प्रियः II श्लोक 15  

He by whom the world is not afflicted and whom the world can not afflict, he who is free from joy, anger, fear and anxiety - he is dear to Me. 

The life of a devotee causes harm to nobody in the world. Directly or indirectly, everything good emanates from his life  and nothing evil. Some of his doing may sometimes seem painful to others; but even in such actions intrinsic good alone prevails.What the surgeon does to the patient and the teacher to the pupil may appear hurtful; but in effect they are wholesome. A devotee in the position of Arjuna is obliged to bring about carnage.But ultimate good to the world is contained in that seeming evil. Again whatever harm befalls a devotee from the world  is not viewed by him as an injury.Sterling is his mind which accepts all afflictions as blessings in disguise come from the Most High. The more the affliction, the greater is the devotee's delightful submission to the will of the Lord. Prahalada is the model of the super devotee.

What is the sort of self culture that brings forth this genuine frame of mind of the devotee? The rest of this stanza gives the answer to this question. One should not feel joyous  when one comes at things pleasant; for, that mind which is a victim of joy is also a potential victim of misery. A strong mind, on the other hand, remains unaffected by joy and sorrow. A devotee is he who conquers anger and envy which are his twin enemies. Every time he is overcome by either of these, the stamina of his mind declines. The wind of  anger or envy may toss the creeper of the mind of the ordinary man; but the mind of the devotee stands like a stalwart tree, unperturbed by it. He is too strong to be affected by such petty feelings. Fear is worse than death, which can only rob man of his body; whereas the former wrecks the entire personality. The frightened man is a heap of empty sensation; nothing worthy emanates from him. The devotee knows no fear and so divinity beams out of him. Anxiety is another mental disease  which eats into the stamina of  man. The devotee takes all the happenings as divine dispensation and there is nothing to be disturbed about. The devotee who is made of such sterling qualities is claimed by the Lord as His own. 

That man wastes his own time and energy who always engages himself in recounting the worth of the others. For, in doing so, he neither gains in building his own character nor in getting fixed in the glory of the Lord
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 13-14

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

Who again, among the devotees  becomes the favourite of the Lord? This point is clarified now:-

The Devotees Divine Traits 13-20
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 13

Adveshta sarva bhutanam maitrah karuna eva cha I
Nir mamah nirahankarah sama dukha sukhah kshami II sloka 13
अद्वेष्टा  सर्व भूतानां मैत्रः करुणा एव च I
निर ममः निराहान्करः सम दुःख सुःखः क्षामि II श्लोक 13 

1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 14

Santushtah satatam yogi yatatma druda nischayah I
Mayi arpita manah buddhih yah mad bhaktah sah me priyah II sloka 14
संतुष्टः सततम् योगी यत् आत्मा दृढ निश्चयः I
मयि अर्पिता मनः बुद्धिः यः मद भक्तः सः मे प्रियः II श्लोक 14

He who hates no being, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is fre from the feeling of "I and Mine", even minded in pain and pleasure forbearing,

Ever content, steady in meditation, self controlled and possessed of firm conviction, with mind and intellect fixed on Me, he my devote is dear  to me. 

The feeling of oneself as alien to others is born of ignorance. An aggressive form of this feeling is hatred, capable of creating poison in the system. The destructive feeling therefore has no place in the wholesome life of a devotee.

Mere avoidance of hatred is not sufficient. Stones and stone like people do not hate; but they are none the better for it. Life should take a positive turn. Feeling oneself friendly to all is the mark of a devotee's life.

Careerists often cultivate friendship with all, with the base motive of elf-advancement. But a devotee of God is he who has nothing to seek, but everything to give. He is so compassionate that he ever promotes the welfare of the others.

Of all the forms of egoism, the spiritual egoism is the most dangerous one. If one develops the egoistic feeling that he is rendering spiritual help to others, he can hardly ever get out of that harmful quagmire. A true devotee is always free from the feeling of "I and Mine".

Resulting from his benign service to others, a devotee may lose his possessions, may even be put to hardship. But that ordeal causes him no pain. When the world happens to speak highly of his exemplary life and work, derives no pleasure from that praise. HE is even-minded in the midst of these occurrences.

It is not often that a devotee is put to unwarranted affliction by the ignorant and wilful ones. But in such a trying circumstance a genuine devotee is always forbearing.

Contentment, bliss and buoyancy ever mark the yogi for their own. Being established in yoga, self control and disciplined life becomes a part and parcel of his being. In matters spiritual he is not wavering; he is one of firm conviction. His refined feelings and his clarified understanding are all centred on the Lord. As the needle of the compass always points north, the faculties of the devotee are ever intent on Him. Such a devotee is ever dear to Him. 
Does the Lord attach any value to the wealth and property dedicated to Him? Nothing whatsoever. The Lord bestows His grace on that devotee only who has an inordinate love and devotion for him. The blessed lord attaches all importance to devotion, discrimination and detachment from worldliness
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

1 Gita Sloka Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 12

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of Bhagavad Gita  published by Ramakrishna Mission

What are the indications of spiritual practices ? They are delineated as follows:-

The Worship of Saguna Brahman 6-12
1 Gita Sloka  Every Day - Chapter 12 - Bhakti Yoga - Sloka 12

Ranganatha's Holy feet
Shreyoh hi gyanam abhyasat gyanat dhyanam vishishyate I
Dhyanat karman phala tyagah tyagat shanthih anantaram II sloka 12
श्रेयोः हि ज्ञानां अभ्यासात ज्ञानात  ध्यानम् विशिष्यते I
ध्यानात कर्माण फल त्यागः त्यागात शान्तिः अनन्तरं II श्लोक 12 

Better indeed is knowledge than (formal) abhyas; better than knowledge is meditation;  better than meditation is the renunciation of the fruits of action; peace immediately follows renunciation.

Ritualistic religious practice is called abhyasa. Many a man does it mechanically without any feeling behind  it. With him it is a social habit involuntarily picked up, falling in line with what the others are doing. A conventionally pious man goes to the temple, stands before the deity, pays homage with folded palms, turns around on all directions palms remaining folded as they are, prostrates before the deity and goes home with the thought that he has discharged his duty to the maker. He knows nothing of the principles underlying his action.

There is another man who is not given to this habitual formation, but who knows theoretically that the cognition of the divinity should commence at the temple, but that it should not end there. That adoration ought to be extended in all directions to aught that is. This second man's act of understanding the principle is better than the first man's act of observing a formality.

A third man sits at appointed hours and meditates on the truth thatit is divinity that is manifesting itself as the various beings  that he contacts everyday. What this man does is better still because he attempts to get fixed in the truth that he has intellectually grasped.

A fourth man gives a practical shape to his understanding by devotedly  sha good tring with others whatever good things he has prohcured by his personal efforts. Because of his renunciation that he practises, this man stands foremost among the sadhakas, Heartfelt abhyas, right knowledge and good meditation are all implicitly contained in this holy act of his.

The peace immediately follows renunciation is self evident. A few dogs fight among themselves foir a few pieces of bread strewn about. Evidently there is no peace among them. Elsewhere a crow calls its comrades to share some scattered rice. They flock and eat peacefully because of their spirit of renunciation. This is an objective example. Subjectively a yogi can feel how much of peace and exuberance there are in giving away and sharing with others, than in grabbing and jealously keeping things all to oneself, Renunciation is the key to a higher to higher life. 
A kite snatched a piece of meat from the butchers shop and flew to a branch of a tree to feast on it. But immediately ensued  a scramble as other birds  swooped to loot it. The kite flew from tree to tree, but there was no escape from the raiders. To avoid this botheration it let go of the meat and perched quiet upon a bough. A sage who saw this learnt a lesson from the kite - Tranquility is born of Renunciation.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa