Bhagavadgita Week 3 — Reflections

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Verses Discussed

Chapter 2, 54 — 59

arjuna uvaca
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
samadhi-sthasya kesava
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim

sri-bhagavan uvaca
prajahati yada kaman
sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tustah
sthita-prajnas tadocyate

duhkhesv anudvigna-manah
sukhesu vigata-sprhah
vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah
sthita-dhir munir ucyate

yah sarvatranabhisnehas
tat tat prapya subhasubham
nabhinandati na dvesti
tasya prajna pratisthita

yada samharate cayam
kurmo ‘nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas
tasya prajna pratisthita

visaya vinivartante
niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya
param drstva nivartate

Chapter 12, 13 — 20

advesta sarva-bhutanam
maitrah karuna eva ca
nirmamo nirahankarah
sama-duhkha-sukhah ksami
santustah satatam yogi
yatatma drdha-niscayah
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah

yasman nodvijate loko
lokan nodvijate ca yah
harsamarsa-bhayodvegair
mukto yah sa ca me priyah

anapeksah sucir daksa
udasino gata-vyathah
sarvarambha-parityagi
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah

yo na hrsyati na dvesti
na socati na kanksati
subhasubha-parityagi
bhaktiman yah sa me priyah

samah satrau ca mitre ca
tatha manapamanayoh
sitosna-sukha-duhkhesu
samah sanga-vivarjitah
tulya-ninda-stutir mauni
santusto yena kenacit
aniketah sthira-matir
bhaktiman me priyo narah

ye tu dharmamrtam idam
yathoktam paryupasate
sraddadhana mat-parama
bhaktas te ‘tiva me priyah

Summary

Characteristics of one ‘who realized’ are described here.

Key Questions

The question that prompts the longer discussion was that of Arjuna’s — what are the characteristics of one whose knowledge is firm (‘sthita-prajna’). However, my questions are on the described characteristics themselves.

What does it mean to be always happy?

What does it mean to be above desires?

How can one treat happiness and sadness the same?

How does one withdraw one’s senses?

How does one get to be unattached?

My Interpretations

What is happiness and what makes one happy? Is it possible that one can be happy always? One possible misinterpretation of the described characteristics is to be without any emotions/ affection/ or happiness. However, it appears that the state described is full of love ‘ananda’. When one is full of love, there is no place for unhappiness. The question then becomes what/ who does one love. Is it possible to love all?

I find the verse 2–58 strongly echoed in Tirukkural (#126)

ஒருமையுள் ஆமைபோல் ஐந்தடக்கல் ஆற்றின்
எழுமையும் ஏமாப்பு உடைத்து
(அதிகாரம்:அடக்கமுடைமை குறள் எண்:126)

Orumayul aamai pol iynthadakkal aathin ,

Yezhumayum yemappu udaithu.

If one remains in one birth, similar to the habit of tortoise by disciplining ,

His five sense organs, it would help him in seven births.

The class took a nice segway into Chapter 12 to further describe the characteristics and how one can reach that state through Bhakti (devotion).

Next

I also observe that Lord Krishna is providing both means and ends here — the what and how of self-realization. I see similarities between what Bhagwan says to a variety of schools of thought, approaches, and disciplines. It would be interesting to pick one (for example yoga or neuroscience) and find the relation.

Research Director, IDC. Previously, Founder CloudDon; Yogi; Son; Brother; Husband; Dad;

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