Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt 11

Part10

Part 12

6 Moksha
6-1 Preparation
6-1-1 Preparatory Knowledge
6-1-2 Preparatory Action
6-1-2-5 Asuri Sampati 16(6 to 21,23)

Human birth is because of karmic balance at the end of the previous birth. Karmic balance is due to Self-ignorance. It continues in the current birth because a person is attracted to a materialistic life of desire and wealth and does not make efforts for spiritual growth. Scriptures are meant to guide people to lead a dharmic life on way to moksha. It is not a sin to pursue desire and wealth within the bounds of dharma. With maturity, it is necessary to make a shift to spirituality.

It is essential to get rid of negative traits. They are Asuri Sampati (demonical traits). There is a lack of power to discriminate between good and bad, there is a lack of purity of mind and truthfulness, non-belief in God and Vedas though Vedas are like thousand mothers and are concerned about the well-being of humanity. Dharma sustains the creation. Non-belief in things beyond sense organs which can be known through other means of knowledge.

Veda is like sixth sense organ which can never be proved or disproved by the available five sense organs. If Veda is studied as Pramana with faith, a new vista of knowledge dawns. Those who hold on to a materialistic philosophy only are of low intellect and unfortunate as they miss the taste of higher happiness. When desire and wealth become dominant in life to the exclusion of dharma, compromise with values becomes natural and destroys the moral order of the universe.

There is no limit to materialistic desires Fulfilment of worldly desires can never give total satisfaction. The vice is self-feeding and insatiable. It is like pouring ghee into a fire. Having fulfilled their petty desires; they suffer from pride, vanity, pomp, and show. People driven by materialistic desires live in delusion being unaware that finite plus finite is finite and limited in time and in size. Yet they think that the enjoyment of desirable objects is the highest goal, feeling sure that this is all. They depend on external factors for happiness. Since external factors are unpredictable, they suffer endlessly from worries, stress, strain, and attendant problems. They are miserable and they allure others to materialism as it is a tempting philosophy. They think life is only this much. Consequently, they are bound by hundreds of shackles in the form of hope, and passion and try to amass wealth through foul means for the enjoyment of desirable objects.

A karmi is one who earns and owns more but does not do charity. There is another person who earns little and owns little. A karma yogi earns more and owns less because he does charity. Contrary to this, a karmi is obsessed with his wealth and thinks about ways and means to multiply it. He thinks of his worth in terms of money. In this pursuit, he wants to surpass and even eliminate his competitors by resorting to violent means.

A karmi performs sacrifices with a bloated ego and arrogance to show off. The sacrifices are not according to scriptural injunctions. He drifts away from the spiritual path due to unrighteous thoughts and actions. It leads to downfall to an inferior life in a spiritual sense. First humility goes and then devotion to God disappears. He is arrogance and proud. Pride is at the thought level- I consider I am the greatest. Arrogance is verbal and in action. Driven by egotism, power, arrogance, passion, and anger he does not recognize divinity within himself and others. He suffers from hatred, envy, and jealousy. Demonical traits constitute a vicious circle from birth to birth. Getting out of the vicious circle becomes more and more difficult because of accumulated unhealthy vasanas.

At the root of demonical traits are passion, anger, and greed which are the gateway to hell and are killers of Atma. The tragedy is that they even fail to enjoy material prosperity because of the violation of scriptural injunctions. It is very common that wealth earned by wrong means is wasted and not enjoyed in the real sense.

6-1-2-6 Rituals 17(1 to 22)

In chapter 16, it is said that scriptures are the guide for a righteous way of life. Arjuna asks about people having faith in scriptures and performing rituals but not in accordance with scriptural injunctions. What is their status in terms of three modes? There are people who want to lead a scriptural life but are scripturally illiterate. It is not a one-line answer when rites and rituals do not conform to scriptural injunctions. The determining factor is a person’s character.

A person’s faith is three-fold: sattva, rajas, and tamas born of his nature and character which is also 3-fold. Mental disposition is crucial to determining the type of faith. A sattvic person has sattvic faith, rajasic devotee has rajasic faith, and a tamasic devotee has tamasic sraddha. Any worship has three factors: object, method, and motive. A sattvic person worships gods, rajasic person worships demi-gods, e.g., yaksha, gandharva, kinnara only for material benefits, and a tamasic person worships ghosts and spirits to harm others.

Persons who are given to ostentation, pomp and show, pride, and passion, undertake severe austerities not sanctioned by scriptures and are not real tapas. Such people are of a demonic nature and do not recognize the embodied soul. Destroying the body is not the aim of puja or tapas. Regulated and moderate austerity is stressed so that a person does not become a slave to the body. Mastery, and not torture is the intention. Silence and fasting should be moderate. Any type of puja for spiritual growth is sattvic, for material benefit is rajasic, for harming others is tamasic.

Food, sacrifices, austerity, and charity are also of three types. Foods that enhance life, firmness of mind, strength, health, and delight are sattvic. Foods that are bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and burning, and which produce pain, sorrow, and disease are rajasic. The food that is not properly cooked, devoid of essence, putrid, and stale is tamasic. Sattvic sacrifices are according to injunctions and are performed by persons who do not hanker after results but with the knowledge that they are obligatory. Rajasic sacrifices are done with an eye on results and for ostentation. Tamasic sacrifices are in violation of injunctions and are without faith, in which food is not distributed, mantras are not chanted, offerings are not given to priests, and are devoid of faith.

Tapas are classified in terms of instruments used. Worship of gods, twice-born, venerable and wise persons, purity, straight-forwardness, celibacy, and non-injury are bodily austerity. All types of rituals come under bodily austerity and one benefit is that the person overcomes tamas born laziness. Speech austerity causes no pain, is true, agreeable, beneficial, and includes the study of the scriptures. Peace of mind, gentleness, reticence, looking inward, and earning purity of heart come under mental austerity. If three austerities are undertaken with faith, they are sattvic. Rajasic austerity is undertaken in an ostentatious way for earning name and fame. The austerity undertaken with a foolish intent, by causing pain to oneself, or for destruction of others is tamasic.

A charity given with the idea that it ought to be given to one who will not serve in return, and at the proper place, time, and to a proper person is sattvic; it is an end and not a means to get something. A Charity given grudgingly or with some expectation is considered rajas. A charity given at an improper place and time, and to undeserving persons, without proper treatment and with disdain is tamasic.

Contd Part 12

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