Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gita: Bhakti Yoga - Verse 1

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru and Prostrations to all

Bhakti is devotion or Pure Love on the God. That love on the real object of God who is full of Bliss is devotion. The love on other transient objects cannot give eternal happiness because of its limitations but the love towards the god which is the Ultimate Reality, which is of the nature of Eternal Bliss, can give eternal happiness. Here, the devotee complete surrenders to the Lord and has the constant thought of lord alone. Let us all sincerely try to be a true devotee and always try to have a constant thought of god. Let us all learn 12th chapter of Gita which is about Bhakti Yoga.

In 11th Chapter, Arjuna gets the direct experience of the divine grace in the Cosmic form being the source and support of all that exist. He saw everything exist in that Cosmic form, past present and future and realized that there is only one god on which all that is seen exist. Krishna also says that this vision cannot be had through any amount of austerities, study, sacrifices, but can be experienced only by pure devotion. Krishna in the last sloka of 11th chapter says that

“Matkarmakrinmatparamo madbhaktah sangavarjitah;
Nirvairah sarvabhooteshu yah sa maameti paandava”

“He who does all actions for Me, who looks upon Me as the Final Goal, who is devoted to me who is free from attachments, who shows no enmity towards any creature O Son of Pandu, enters into Me”

So it is the clear declaration from Krishna to all seekers that those who have the true devotion, with complete surrender, constant thought of god and knowing that God alone as Ultimate goal will be liberated.

As it is mentioned that those who are devoted to the Lord completely will be liberated, Arjuna gets a doubt whether to follow the devotion towards form god or formless god.

Verse 1:

“Arjuna Uvaacha:
Evam satatayuktaa ye bhaktaastwaam paryupaasate;
Ye chaapyaksharamavyaktam teshaam ke yogavittamaah”

Word Meaning:
Evam: in this way
Satatayuktaaha: ever-steadfast
Ye: who
Bhakthaaha: devotees
Twam: You
Paryupaasatae: worship everywhere all the time
Ye: who
Cha: and
Api: again
Aksharam avyaktam: the Imperishable Unmanifest
Tesham: of them
Ke: who
Yogavittamaaha: greater knowers of Yoga

“There are Thy ever-steadfast devotees who love and worship Thee in the above way (as the Divine Person); there are again others who contemplate on the Thee as the Imperishable Unmanifest- which of these has a greater Understanding of Yoga”

Arjuna asks a question whether form worship is real or not. As it is well known that the characteristics of a real devotee are complete surrender and constant thought of god. In the first line of the sloka Arjuna tells as “Paryupaasate” – worships everywhere all the time. All the entities of the world exist in the Cosmic form of lord and hence the world is all pervaded by the Lord. This world that seems to be real now is manifested from an unmanifested. The Unmanifested god which is the Ultimate Reality of Brahman is the Supreme cause and from that the world seems to be manifested.

So here Arjuna asks about two types of Bhaktas:
Devotees who meditates on the form of the Lord, contemplates on the form god as the all pervading and all knowing.
Devotees who meditate on the formless god that from which the world has come that, which is the Imperishable, that which is the substratum of the seemingly appearing world.

The bhakti in which there is difference between the devotee and the god is called Apara Bhakti. The bhakti in which the difference between the god and the devotee is completely vanished is called Para Bhakti. So the question of Arjuna to Krishna is which type of Bhakti is real whether it is Apara Bhakti or Para Bhakti.



Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

The Upanishads in general speak about the reality of Brahman as that which is beyond words and thoughts. This means Brahman is anirdeshyam, achintyam and avaachyam. That which cannot be really spoken about should be without form or Niraakaaram. As Brahman is Niraakaara, it is Nirguna and Nirvishesha too.

So Arjuna had learned from the Upanishads that Brahman is without any form. But Lord had shown him the Viraat Roopa as encompassing everything in the world. So Arjuna got the basic doubt as to whether Brahman is with form or without form? Depending on the answer to this question, the path of contemplation on such a Brahman will be chosen.

This is the doubt that Arjuna asks to Lord as to whether contemplation of Brahman with form is great or contemplation of Brahman without form is great. The import is whether form-God is real or formless God is real……….

This is a really confusing question because most of the people in the world have this doubt either in the form of doubt or in the form of wrong knowledge. People do think that form is real because that is what Lord as well as puranaas tell in many places. This is wrong knowledge because the reality cannot have any form at all as form limits an entity & such a Lord would be limited. Limited entity always has death & such a Lord becomes non-eternal. This means Brahman is non-eternal which is against sruthi and logic too. Thus the reality has no form at all…… Form is a mere illusion in the Lord useful for contemplation and because of the perspective view of the seeker, form is seen.

These are clearly mentioned in Gita as well as in the Puranaas which are claimed to be propagating form-God as real. Such knowledge about the Lord is incomplete and wrong knowledge (called as Viparyaya Jnaana). It is in order to remove all these doubts that this chapter of Gita is started by Arjuna.

Another doubt that can be inferred from the question of Arjuna is – whether Bhakthi is great or Jnaana is great? Here Bhakthi means Aparaa Bhakthi where there is differentiation between the devotee and the Lord. Thus the devotee sees the Lord in a form. Whereas in paraa bhakthi, there is no differentiation at all as Rajesh has mentioned (this is what Yoga system calls as Nirbheeja Samaadhi and Vedanta terms as Nirvikalpa Samaadhi). This Paraa Bhakthi is nothing but Jnaana alone – madhusudana saraswathi calls this Atma Nivedanam.

Bhaktha sees the Lord with form whereas Jnaana pursues the formless Nirguna Brahman. Thus the question comes as to which is great?????? JThe Lord himself will answer this clearly in this chapter which will be seeing in the coming days through Rajesh’s mail. But in short, the answer is also clear because formless Brahman alone is real – thus JNAANA has to be greater than Aparaa Bhakthi (greater here only means that Jnaana is the final step or goal itself whereas Bhakthi is only the path ---- really speaking, comparison is not possible because one is the path & the other is the goal).

We will wait on for Rajesh to clear all these doubts through the words of the Lord.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

2:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home