So far we have seen श्लोक-s १-८ | भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: spoke of the परम्परा and how He taught विवस्वान् | This highlights that this knowledge is not something new. Also, this knowledge is to be gained live through a Teacher-student relationship.
भगवान् also said that there is a decline in the people seeking, learning and understanding this knowledge. भगवान् is making this statement at least 3000 years ago, so what to talk about our current predicament?
Access to this knowledge may be there, but one’s commitment and discipline in this pursuit is iffy.
Then, भगवान् responded to Arjuna’s question about अवतार | Arjuna thinks that I know श्री कृष्ण:’s date of birth, so how can He say that that He taught विवस्वान्?
So, then भगवान् taught what an अवतार (divine incarnation) is, and the purpose of an अवतार |
Importantly, the purpose of an अवतार is to establish धर्म | धर्म is established in our hearts as
धर्मी-s. धर्म is not something abstract, it is not an institution to be established. It is for one to be धार्मिक् and see the value of having the values of धर्म e.g. अहिंसा, शौचम्, आर्जवम् (straightforwardness), संतोष:, आत्मविनिग्रह | We looked at 8 of these values in our last class. Once we are धार्मिक्, then whatever institution we are a part of, or we run will be धार्मिक |
For short term gains, each one compromises. Then, all of us complain about corruption but we never complain that we are corrupt.
So भगवान् says- to establish धर्म, सम्भवामि युगे युगे ~ I come into being every time.
An अवतार is not a saviour coming here to rescue us. We can save ourselves. Only when there is too much decline in धर्म, then भगवान् comes. We have been blessed with enough शक्ति to know the right thing to do, and to act upon it. So, one should have the willpower and the ‘won’t-power’ to know what one should say yes to, and what one should say no to. This is an important part of self-mastery.
So, all this can be managed well, when one leads one’s life with धर्म |
Continuing alone the lines of अवतार, भगवान् shares-
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वत: ।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ॥ ९॥
भगवान् helps Arjuna to shift his attention from form to the Reality through this verse.
य: वेत्ति तत्त्वत: ~ The one who knows in reality (तत्त्वत:),
मे दिव्य जन्म ~ my divine birth.
Lord कृष्ण:’s birth was not due to कर्म | Everyone else’s birth is due to कर्म ~ पुन्य & पापा |
So, the one who know the reality i.e. one’s own स्वरूप |
What happens to that person?
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म न एति ~ that person does not have a rebirth,
माम् एति ~ he gains me.
Gaining/reaching is due to the perception that I don’t have it. Therefore, understanding my स्वरूप is an ‘as though’ gain, just as when one recognizes that the missing spectacles were ever sitting so lightly on my forehead. So too, I do not recognize my nature due to अविद्या |
So वेदान्त is about shifting one’s reality of the form.
We all agree that if I am in touch with reality then I am sane.
As part of the psychological evaluation, the Mental Status Examination is done to check how oriented a person is to the reality of his/her situation with respect to time, place etc..
Now, extending this, are we in touch with the reality of ourselves?
From the perspective of the person with hallucinations/delusions, this person is in their own world, and may think that the doctor is the insane one.
प्रातिभासिक सत्यम् is one’s subjective reality. What is real to me is my रागद्वेष and how I have divided my world into the things that I like and am drawn towards, and the things that I dislike and so avoid.
Each person has their राग – cheesecake, nature, a desire to travel, punctuality etc.
E.g. If another is unpunctual, it may cause a little annoyance.
But if one’s राग is punctuality, then one has the thinking that there must be punctuality with no excuses for lack of punctuality. So, the राग for punctuality makes one unwilling to be oriented to functional reality i.e. one is so caught up with the other’s lack of tardiness that one cannot see past this to the person’s genuine reason for being late, or the other’s good qualities. These are ignored due to one’s राग |
So, one’s प्रातिभासिक सत्यम् (subjective reality) is everyone should be punctual because I am punctual, and if another is not punctual then I do not want to engage with them.
With orientation to functional reality, I understand that there are people who are habitually late, for whatever reason. Therefore, for me to work with the habitual late-comer I have to be oriented to functional reality. I understand that this person is a part of the team that I am working with for this particular project. So, I keep aside this punctuality aspect, and do what I can, working with what I have, and working together with this person.
So, if I can suspend/keep aside this रागद्वेष, and work on the larger picture, then I am awake to व्यवहारिक सत्यम् i.e. functional/empirical reality.
But, if I get caught up with my likes/dislikes, then I remain stuck at प्रातिभासिक सत्यम् |
Then, I lose the opportunity to engage with this other person who may have other skills & talents, this person who I have to anyway work with on this project.
What is in and through this subjectivity that I have?
What is it in and through all the forms? It is ‘is’-ness i.e. पारमार्थिक सत्यम् / Absolute Reality, without which there can be no form.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: ।
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ २०॥ Chapter 2.
So, the nature of the आत्मा (is-ness, consciousness) is me, as well as the person who is not punctual, the project and the company.
So, this consciousness is everything in and through all forms.
So, all 3 levels of reality are actually one ~ पारमार्थिक सत्यम् |
E.g. The ocean – there can be a boss wave and an employee wave, both operating on different wavelengths ~ one punctual and one not. Or there can be a company with all 10 like-minded waves, all moving together.
But, what is in and through all waves? Water.
What is in and through all forms, and even one’s subjectivity? Consciousness.
Therefore, one can shift attention from the form of wave, to the reality of water. So too, one can shift attention from me-the person to the reality of consciousness.
So, भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: explains that He happens to have a form and what a life~ born in a prison, an arduous journey, His own family members(Uncle Kamsa) trying to kill Him, and in the greatest battle He chooses to be a charioteer, and despite His greatness He is not able to avert the war.
So, there are 3 orders of reality.
By bringing in the disposition of कर्म योग into one’s life, one moves from subjectivity to objectivity.
So, though I have my रागद्वेष that I want to fulfill, and these रागद्वेष consume me,
I align my रागद्वेष to धर्म and make it as an offering to भगवान् , and so I do my duty.
E.g. Even if it is difficult to interact with one’s in-laws, one at least does the minimum required to do one’s duty to them.
I do not have to be best of friends with everyone in every situation, but I do my best, and do not hold on to reactions.
Or else I get affected. E.g. I am very upset by my late colleague, but my late colleague remains in ignorant bliss to my internal turmoil. Even if I say something, the other wonders- what’s the big deal, I was only a little late. So due to one’s strong subjectivity, there is a lot of internal conflict and suffering.
So, one should move from one’s subjectivity to the objectivity of this functional world.
Otherwise, one has an exhausting time which is all about managing one’s रागद्वेष |
By aligning myself with the facts and interactions/relationships of this functional reality; and not avoiding nor running away from certain aspects of life, I have balance in life.
Then, I have the space and leisure to have this मोक्ष pursuit.
Then one understands:
~ all along ईश्वर was pervading all, as the material & intelligent cause.
~ तत्त्वमसि – it was just like a dream, I-आत्मा was pervading as the material & intelligent cause, all the way.
How did भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: appear?
It was the collective पुण्य of all people who prayed for an अवतार |
What level of reality is His birth? It is not व्यवहारिक सत्यम् as He had no opening capital with an account of पुण्य or पाप to fructify into a birth.
But भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: appeared and was simultaneously available for 1000s of people.
भगवान् श्री कृष्ण:’s birth was a divine birth and has प्रातिभासिक सत्यम् | This does not mean that His birth was subjective. He could appear for many simultaneously, but he was not born of कर्म |
But really, the reality/basis of any form is तत्त्वत: |
For the one who knows this truth, and is not dazzled by any form, ignorance is gone, so there is no chance for rebirth.
Once one cuts the roots of अविद्या/ignorance, there is no scope for branches i.e. there is no chance for rebirth.
It is not just about reducing कर्म or काम/desire management. Because other desires will pop up, e.g. romantic spiritual desires like going to Uttarkashi and sitting by Ganga to meditate.
कर्म & काम can be managed and reduced to just a few life priorities- in this way 1000s of desires can be distilled into 5-6 priorities.
There is also scope to improvise.
Often we want to show love for someone, but this depends on how that person wants to receive love. Even if one is married for a long time, one should specify/say how one wants to receive love. E.g. All the spouse really wants is help in the kitchen.
One should not feel that the other should figure it out, or think that I am being demanding, or worry about lack of spontaneity. Sometimes, we just have to spell out what we want, and clarify our position.
So, भगवान् श्री कृष्ण: is both प्रातिभासिक सत्यम्, and definitely पारमार्थिक सत्यम् since He is भगवान्’s अवतार only. So, श्रीमद् भगवद्-गीता is all about भगवान्’s Teaching, and this is our सत्यम् also.
प्रातिभासिक सत्यम् ~ One’s subjectivity i.e. the unique likes and dislikes that make up the personality.
व्यवहारिक सत्यम् ~ One’s interaction with others i.e. one’s alignment to functional reality with harmonious relationships.
पारमार्थिक सत्यम् ~ Absolute Reality in and through all forms.
I-आत्मा am सत्यम्, all forms are मिथ्या (dependent reality)
Some erroneously think that the goal of spirituality is to have a divine vision of भगवान् | This is indeed a blessing.
But here, भगवान् आदि शङ्कराचार्य in His भाष्य uses the words सम्यक् दर्शनम् | सम्यक् दर्शनम् is the clear and complete vision of seeing that me and भगवान् are one. Notably, this term was not used in Chapter 11 when Arjuna gained the divine vision of भगवान् in all His glory |
People especially उपासक-s have different divine visions that may be dazzling. But the important question is did the blessing of this divine vision help to reduce the separation/division between me and भगवान् ?
भगवान् delves further into the topic of तत्त्वत: in श्लोक १० | …