Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt18

Part 17

Part 19

6 Moksha
6-1 Preparation
6-2 Jnana, Jnani, and Jnana-Phala

6-2-3 Six definitions 8(1 to 4) The last two verses, 29 and 30 of the 7th chapter have introduced some terms without explaining them. 8th chapter begins with Arjuna’s question to know these terms, namely, Brahm, Adhyatam, Karma, Adhibhutam, Adhidaivam, and Adhiyagna. Brahm is the supreme imperishable entity. It is a pithy answer because, in the 7th chapter, Para- prakriti has been explained in detail as the imperishable entity, namely, consciousness. It pervades the creation. As such, it is within the body also. The embodied consciousness is Adhytama. Brahm is consciousness from a macro angle, Adhyatma is the same consciousness from a micro angle.


All deliberate activities of human beings that are responsible for future creation are called karma because according to the scriptures, creation is not an accident or random. There is order in creation. It follows the laws of karma, i.e., the cause-and-effect principle administered by the God. Therefore, jivas are said to have got what they asked for. The creation is subject to time and is perishable. The perishable creation is Adhibhuta. It is made of five elements. The sun, moon, mountain, river, and physical bodies are Adhibhutas.

Consciousness associated with the total mind (subtle bodies) is called Hiranyagarbha or Adhidaivam. It is a presiding deity from the standpoint of every organ. Sun is the presiding deity of the eye, moon is the presiding deity of the mind, etc. All the presiding deities together are Hiranyagarbha. Isvara is Adhiyajna. Isvara is consciousness associated with the total causal bodies, the universe in potential form. Before, evolving, the universe exists in potential form in Brahm. It is called maya. Consciousness plus maya is Isvara. As an Avatar, Sri Krishna represents Isvara. Do not see here and there, Sri Krishna is Isvara and the cause of the universe. Residing in every human being He is Narayana. He is Adhiyajna because he is the receiver of every action, every puja. He also dispenses the results of actions. He is karma-phala-data.

6-2-4 Jivatma and Paramatma 15(7 to 10,16) Brahm alone manifests as universe. There is no universe other than Brahm, just as there are no ornaments other than gold. Ornaments are names and forms, gold is the substance. . In 4(24), Sri Krishna divides the world into two parts: the conscious experiencers known as jivas, and the second part of inert objects of experience called jagat. Universe is jivas plus jagat.

A jiva is inert, made of matter in the form of gross body and subtle mind. Brahm is all-pervading consciousness. It is as though reflected in mind, reflecting medium (RM). All-pervading consciousness is original consciousness (OC) and there is reflected consciousness (RC) in the mind. There is one OC and RCs are as many as RMs. At the time of death, the gross body falls, subtle body leaves the gross body. Then there is no RM to manifest OC. Brahm resides in a jiva as though like a reflection in mind. RC makes the mind and sense organs conscious for them to transact in the world.

At death, the subtle body leaves the gross body and enters another body. The travel of the subtle body is supported by consciousness like the wind supporting the fragrance of flowers to spread. An ignorant person does not recognize Brahm residing in his own mind-body and that Brahm is responsible for all worldly transactions through body, mind, and sense organs. 15(16) concludes that in the world, there are two entities, the consciousness-principle, and the matter-principle. The former is imperishable and the latter is perishable. The indwelling consciousness in the body is Atma.
6-2-5 Jnani 5(13 to 26), 6(8,9),13(1 to 25),14(1,2) 15(10,19,20)
6-2-5-1: 5(13 to 26)

Verses 7 to 12 of chapter 5 are about various spiritual disciplines with a focus on karma yoga. It is not complete without jnana yoga and jnana yoga is not possible without karma yoga. Jnana yoga is the topic from verse 13 onwards. It is a systematic study of Vedantic scriptures under the guidance of a teacher. It teaches 5 main topics, namely, human beings, the world, God, bondage, and liberation (Jiva- Jagat-Isvara-Bandha-Moksha). At the end of the teaching, the student who is a seeker of liberation knows that he is action-free consciousness. He also knows that the essential nature of God is consciousness. Therefore, his vision is I am Brahm. From this vantage point, he renounces all actions. It is not physical. It is cognitive. Before knowledge, his vision was that he acts; after knowledge, his vision is that in his presence action takes place through the mind-body system (MBS).

MBS is a city of nine gates, namely, 7 holes for interaction, i.e., two ears, two eyes, one nostril, skin, and tongue, and two holes for excretion. The Self happily resides in this city without doing any action. Action is relegated to MBS. Self is action-free and is also free from the results of action. Action and the result of action are born of three qualities of nature at an empirical or transactional level. Self is the Absolute. It is not responsible for action and its results nor does It instigate any action. But its presence and support are necessary. The light remains the same, a criminal commits a crime and a saint does a saintly action. The light is not responsible for the saintliness of the saint or the criminality of the criminal. Light is indispensable but it does not take applaud or blame.

As Self is not a doer or an enjoyer, papa and punya do not pollute It. Due to ignorance, action is attributed to Self. This is the cause of suffering. Because of the ignorance of his higher nature, ‘I’ is taken to mean MBS, the inferior self. Dream suffering belongs to the dreamer and not to the waking person. Vedanta says that the waking state of an ignorant person is like a dream state. The suffering in the waking state does not belong to a Self-realized person whose wisdom shines like the sun. With the onset of Self-knowledge, sanchit karmas are burnt, and there is no accrual of agma karma. Prarabdha is defanged because a jnani treats it as mithya though he continues to live till the exhaustion of prarabdha. There is no karmic balance when the body falls. A jnani has no rebirth, i.e., he reaches a state of no return. It is said figuratively that he merges with God.

One benefit of Self-knowledge is that a jnani knows that Brahm-hood is not limited to him but extends to everyone. In his vision, everyone is a manifestation of Brahm, whether a brahmin endowed with knowledge and humility, a cow, a dog, or a pariah. The physical bodies are different, and minds are different, but essential nature is the same consciousness. Even a non-living thing is a manifestation of Brahm. It does not manifest the consciousness aspect of Brahm. It manifests the existence aspect of Brahm. There could be a possible doubt whether liberation is post-death or while living. It is clarified that a jnani is liberated while living. Fear of death is a matter of the past. Seeing the world and its objects as Brahm, there is no question of fear or suffering. He is not unduly elated in a pleasant condition nor is depressed in an unpleasant condition.

Outwardly A jnani follows the rules and regulations of the society and internally he is detached. He derives bliss from the knowledge that he is complete. It is not experiential bliss. He claims that he is bliss himself. It is not a fantasy. He has earned it because of pure mind and Self-knowledge. Worldly objects neither add to this bliss nor subtract from it. He is not attracted by pleasures emanating from sense objects because he has control over sense organs, unlike ignorant persons.

Sages who are free from impurities, who are self-restrained, who are interested in the welfare of all beings, and whose doubts are dispelled attain oneness with Brahm. Oneness with Brahm takes place both (here and hereafter) for the self-restrained ones who are free from desire and anger, whose minds are restrained, and who have known the Atma. Liberation is in this life. Strictly speaking, a jiva has always been Brahm. Unfortunately, he forgets it and gropes in the darkness. Knowledge removes darkness.

6-2-5-2: 6(8,9) A person who knows God completely, i.e., who has knowledge of Nirguna Brahm and Saguna Brahm and who is unperturbed under all conditions is a Self-realized person. He knows that he has a higher self and a lower self and that his real nature is higher self, i.e., Atma which is of the nature of consciousness. He considers himself as consciousness and body-mind as its adjuncts. It is a matter of changing identification from mind-body to consciousness. A person can reach this state only if he has controlled his senses, he treats everything equally, whether it is gold or earth, friends and foes, sorrow, and joy. The worldly phenomenon does not trouble him. He considers the world as his extension. He is free from likes and dislikes.

Contd Pt 19

2 thoughts on “Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt18

  1. Dear Bimal,

    Your series may not be inspiring much discussion but I’m sure it is proving a superb reference and revision for readers. It must have taken you ages… but what tremendous nididhyAsana!

    Of course I knew that the Gita was an invaluable source but I hadn’t appreciated the extent of its dealings with so many topics. And, as I think I told you when you suggested the series, I have not encountered any version which covers the material in this way (and I have 37 versions I think at the last count). If it were not that there are so many published versions, and it would be correspondingly difficult to find a publisher, I would definitely suggest this.

    Best wishes,

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