Author Topic: Unitive Wisdom of Srimadh Bhagavad Gita  (Read 513 times)


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Unitive Wisdom of Srimadh Bhagavad Gita
« on: July 14, 2019, 12:43:06 PM »
The Holy Gita is praised as the essence of all Vedantic scriptures, for it expounds upon the wisdom of the Vedas in a nut-shell. The terms such as Yoga or Vedas gives a reader the mental picture of a man lost in meditation inside a himalayan cave, unfortunately. This is the great tragedy of Hinduism that have happened historically. Thankfully, this was obvious to the great sage-bard Vyasa who in his brilliant work of philosophy - Bhagavad Gita, initiates a student into the ever resplendent ideas of the Upanishads, which is the philosophical section of the Vedas, in its utmost purity.

Yoga is a very broad subject to be classified, even then it is divided into four generalized aspects. This is purely according to the mental and intellectual temperament of the students following them and should not be compared for superiority.

Jnana Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge or Contemplation.
Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.
Karma Yoga - The Yoga of Action.
Raja Yoga - The Yoga of Mysticism.

These are usually understood of different paths, but Sri Veda Vyasa introduces a unitive path in his sublime hymn of dialectics - Srimadh Bhagavad Gita. The seeming classifications are taken up and applied in different aspects of human personality, i.e. the yoga of knowledge, devotion and action are prescribed for the intellect, mental and physical levels respectively.

How these classifications of Yoga are inter-related is the theme of our inquiry. Jnana Yoga or the Yoga of knowledge is one in which the student is introduced to the pure philosophy of the Vedas and then these ideas are subjected to reflection and contemplation, whereas in Bhakti Yoga (Devotional), the student learns how to attune his psychological faculty to a higher altar or ideal. The Karma Yoga or the Yoga of action is where all these ideas of different techniques of attunements works in a harmonious union, making the students capable of more efficient and productive action.

This will be understood more clearly as we proceed. Jnana Yoga introduces the student to a higher reality or a cause, which transcends his individuality and at the same time not alien to him. This higher reality is indicated through a normative notion of a supreme value otherwise called Brahman. When we try to understand this term from a pure literal sense, the sanskrit root Brh means ?Growth?, and the sound ?Man? means without limitation. Therefore, the idea of an absolute reality is introduced through this term.

This idea of an absolute reality, Brahman, which is omniscient and omnipotent, which is the cause for the origin, existence, and dissolution of the universe, and which is known as such from the Upanishads (Philosophical section of Vedas). How? Because of being the object of their fullest import; For instance: ?O amiable one, this universe, before its creation, was but existence one without a second? (Chandogya Upanishad VI.ii.1) ?Before creation this universe was but the Self that is one? (Aiteraya Upanishad I.i.1) ?That Brahman is without prior or posterior, without interior or exterior (i.e. homogenous and non-dual) ?This Self ? the perceiver of everything is Brahman? (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad II.V.19) etc..

Being the cause for the Macrocosm, this absolute is also the cause for the individual or the microcosm. Thus, every perception, feelings and thought happens due to the presence of Brahman, which also can be said to be the ?Higher Self? of everyone who is limited by his sense of Individuality, at this moment.

The Goal of Yoga is a unitive attitude to life or a universalization of all our thoughts, emotions and actions, this can be done only when the student forgets his individuality and exerts himself without any selfish motives. Therefore, he is taught to attune to a ?Higher Self?, by study, reflection, contemplation and identification of his emotional self with the Absolute Totality. This is the whole teaching of Gita?s Karma Yoga, which introduces us to the idea of right action, wrong action and what is inaction (not non-action).

Herein is the secret of Vedanta, on which the author of Gita has put his finger with precision and certitude when he says:

?On what is action and what is inaction, even intelligent men here are confused. I shall indicate to you that action, on knowing which you will be emancipated from evil.?

?One has to understand about action and understand about wrong action. Again, one has to have a proper notion of inaction. They way of action is elusively subtle (indeed).?

?The one who is able to see action (ephemeral world) in inaction (transcendental absolute - Brahman) , and inaction in action, he among men is intelligent, he is one unitive attitude (Yogi) while still engaged in every (possible) kind of work.?

(Bhagavad Gita IV, 16?18)

Only when our vision is universalized and free from the shackles of our own individuality is there a scope of right action, which blesses the whole world and its generation. This Idea is beautifully put-forth in a famous work by Sri Narayana Guru who was as great a philosopher-saint as Adi Shankara himself.

?What here we view as this man or that
Reflection reveals to be the Self?s prime form;
That conduct adopted for one?s Self-happiness
Another?s happiness must also secure at once.?

?What spells benefit to one, while to another distress brings,
Such conduct is one that violates the Self; beware!
That spark of pain intense to another given
Into inferno?s ocean it falls, there to burn its flames.?

-Atmopadesha Shatakam (24, 25)

This idea of perfection in the field of action is only capable for he who sees himself in all beings i.e. he who is totally identified with the supreme absolute value - Brahman. His actions become as though an expression of his freedom and innate divinity. He is unconcerned and have zero anxiety for the fruits of his action, since he is devoid of his individual ego.

He is the intelligent man mentioned in the Gita, who sees inaction (Absolute Self) in action (ephemeral universe). The Absolute Self being all-pervading is devoid of any movement, qualities and attributes. The true Yogi identified with this Absolute Self is the true sannyasin as mentioned in the Gita and not who have escaped from the world due to attachments or aversion.

Thus, the secret of dexterity in action is taught in the Yoga of Gita, which is when the individual puts forth his honest efforts attuned with the Supreme Value- Brahman. His actions become skillful since he is not affected by doubts or anxiety but have a proper understanding of the universe through intellectual studies, reflection. His actions are never tainted by his emotional Self since they are universalized through Bhakti or devotion, and his physical body becomes as though a living pulsating idol of the Lord expressing the innate divinity which is lying dormant in all of us.
This is the unitive wisdom of Srimadh Bhagavad Gita, which is inspired by the Upanishads themselves, for the Isavasya Upanishad says:

?Performing, verily, work in this world should one desire to live a full hundred years. This alone is right, for there is no other right path. Action never taints a man following this path? (mantra ii)

?He who constantly sees everywhere all existence in the Self and the Self in all beings and forms, thereafter feels no hatred for anything? (mantra vi)

Om SriKrishna Paramatmane Namah ||