In this talk, Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha ji relates the sequence of events that lead to Krishna's instruction to Arjuna.
Swamiji tells us that the 1st chapter of Bhagavad Gita begins with Arjuna's grief born out of his delusion, which made him weak and non-functional. At the same time Arjuna's humility, his honest admission of his constrictions made him seek refuge at the feet of his Guru -- Krishna.
In the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna takes on the responsibility of uplifting Arjuna's mind and imparting the lofty knowledge about the Self. Krishna clarifies that the Mahabharata war was designed not for any personal gain or greed but for instituting a righteous rule in the kingdom. Swamiji tells us how Krishna proceeds to enlighten Arjuna that the Soul is imperishable, immortal and all pervading. Krishna exhorts Arjuna to cultivate an attitude of even-mindedness and seek the Self which alone can make him expansive, peaceful, fearless and stable.
Introducing the 3rd chapter, Swamiji tells us about Karma Yoga or the yoga of action as explained by the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna confirms that following the path of Jnana or knowledge does not in any way eliminate action from our lives. On the contrary, Karma Yoga in its true spirit involves the highest level of selfless action. He further explains that being seated in the Self Knowledge one can make the right choices and thereby perform all actions with excellence without being disturbed by the outcomes, be it success or failure. That is the real sadhana.
Swamiji explains that Bhagavad Gita is a revolutionary text where Sri Krishna imparts the Upanishadic messages in a unique and applicable manner. Bhagavad Gita shows how one can become free by applying these universal messages in all their actions and interactions.
Shlokas Discussed: (3.1 & 3.2)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.