The Ultimate Knowledge – Gita VII


Gita Chapter VII – Jnana Vijnana Yoga – Ultimate knowledge

Bhagavad Gita from chapter one to six, the discourse was about individual, the issues and dilemmas facing him, the need to engage in action, the ways to do it, the importance of knowledge and renunciation and how all of them work together. We also understood that we are beyond this body, mind and intellect and are eternal atman. That being our identity the next step is about awakening the self, the inner being.

The journey from now on is of spiritual journey of a man. It is moving away from Individual consciousness to consciousness that pervades the world, the source of all consciousness the ultimate reality. That we call by many names, Brahman, Param-atma, God, Supreme soul, Universal Consciousness, Krishna consciousness and so on. From 7th chapter onwards the gear shifts and the direction is towards understanding this world, reality, universal consciousness or God, worshiping a godhead and aspects related to it. That from this chapter Gita becomes highly conceptual is may be why few attempts to talk or write about it.

Godhead, Manifestation of God and Devotion

All of us from time and again have a question, especially when we embark upon a journey to understand universe. Is there a God. Who is He or She. What defines God. What are the attributes. Why and how should I pay reverence to God. And related questions there off. Why there are as many gods in the world as there are beings in the world. And we have the limitations imposed by our body, senses, mind and intellect in trying to comprehend that which is beyond these instruments of ours. Within this constraint we try to understand when Krishna goes about explaining the God Consciousness.

Ultimate Knowledge

The ultimate knowledge is knowing that God is everything and in every being and he is the ultimate reality of what world is made up of. He is omniscient, omni present, Nature – one who does the functions of creator, sustainer, destroyer where all the three are necessary for evolution. He is life personification, essence of everything and anything, controller and illuminator. To put it in nutshell, nothing moves without him.

The World:

And what is world. It is made up of Elements – earth, water, fire, air, ether, intellect, ego and mind. Apart from this there is the universal soul, of higher nature, that is present in everything, matter and life in this world and it supports it. All beings that are born have two components, matter and energy. Soul, and Godhead is the source of all origin and dissolution.

Excellence in everything

Godhead is the source code of everything and everyone, for no animate or inanimate energy can exist without matter and consciousness necessary for that state of existence. And what we call as matter, plant, animal or body is the coming together of elements of earth, fire, air, and water, and when they disintegrate the body dissolves.  And the seed of intelligent is from ether that creates our mind, ego and intellect. In essence, not even an atom moves without God consciousness.

Nature of Godhead

God is the substratum of everything ever born and also the one in which everything dissolves. He is immutable, un-manifest, unsurpassed, veiled by illusion and controls the world. He is the essence of everything. He is the basis of the flavor and fluidity of water, the heat and light behind the sun, moon and fire, the vibration behind the sound, the elements of atmosphere, the solidity and fragrance of earth. He is present in all life forms. He is the prowess personified in the valiant, as strength in the powerful and life force in everyone. But the challenge is while he is all pervading, manifest in everything, present at all times – past, present and future, he is not easily comprehensible by sense organs, mind and intellect for he is beyond all that.

Purpose of Worship

Why do one pray. There are two types of people. One who do not believe in prayer being helpful and the others who believe prayer is a great source of inspiration.  All our prayers fall within these four types. When we are suffering, grieving and sad and need help we pray to God asking him to alleviate our suffering.  Or we ask for wealth, success, fame, promotion, college admission essentially those aspects which make one seem successful in the eyes of the world. The third type ask for knowledge for knowing that everything becomes easily attainable. And fourthly the wise pray to god, not for seeking in any of the above, for he is free of dualities, illusions and delusions that affect the world but to attain liberation for this is considered as ultimate in prayer and Krishna holds him to be the dearest.

By worshiping God, by taking refuge in God, practicing yoga one will know God in Full. When one worships with complete indifference to the fruits of actions, comprehend with the aids of mind and intellect – gather from outside and by going inside, by intuition and meditation one reaches perfection.

World as a playground

Worship for deliverance from suffering because of dualities – birth/death, pain and suffering. We take birth in this world of experience, illusionary world as long as the soul has desire. We have inherent tendencies accumulated from various births and led by them we seek our experience in the world. Each birth is a step towards soul’s evolution. And this is directed by the consciousness in us, desire, knowledge and action and our nature of rajasik, satwik or tamasic.  And it is the god who drives us in this world to fulfill out right desires, that is desire as per the state and stage in life. So, we understand that wish fulfillment is not denounced as long as it is right.

And we understand the futility of materialistic nature of the world. It dawns on us that we come from God, play in this world for some time and go back to the God. And the stay in this world is like crossing of the ocean, full of challenges and dualities. Knowing this world, the elements, the God consciousness, transitory nature of our life the wise seek liberation and merges with consciousness.

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Grieving to Surviving


Grieving to surviving

Grief sometimes becomes unwanted guest in our life. it strikes you when you least expect it. Loss and pain spares none. Our life is package policy of some action, inaction, happiness, sorrow, growth, decay and that keeps changing constantly. While we can predict that life expectancy is 70 on an average, it also means there are people who live upto 40 only so that someone else can leave up to 100 which we conveniently forget. When you happen to be in unfortunate 40, it attacks one with such a vehemence that one does not know what hit.  What follows loss be it of failure in exam, not getting that coveted job, promotion, losing a girl friend or boyfriend, or death of loved ones, is utter desolation. N amount knowing from story books, movies, games, poetry, why leave philosophy does not prepare one adequately for the reality. Worst of all is the loss of beloved.

On death of loved ones, what follows is ethereal. First you become numb. Your mind, senses do not cooperate. Your body is constantly fatigued. You tend to rewind all of your life together. You question your every action and see where you went wrong and right, though you could not go back and change any of them. Your relations, friends, people who live with you do not understand what is going on. Acquaintances and others because it does not directly impact them tend to think why the fuss. They expect you to come back to the mainstream and function at your pre loss level at the earliest. This is definitely the case if you are working, studying, or participating in the society in some form.

You tend to question the society. You tend to question the purpose of life. You ask why me. You are on guilt trip. You think of what all you could have done or not done to avoid this from happening. You cry your heart out, of course alone. You understand that individual factors do not matter for every diabetic with that particular number or a heart patient, or a cancer patinet you can find thousands that have been living with that conditions for decades. For every person who has decided to end life following failure in exams you know there are millions who fail to clear the exam, take it up next time or look for alternative and continue to live happily. You come to an understanding that “Death defies Logic”. Any amount of rationalization, thinking, whacking you brain cells to make sense is not going to work.

Then there is withdrawal from society. The music that used to enthrall you now evokes no response. Some time may be anguish.  Here again, the songs, movies, dramas, entertainment full of pathos, to borrow from P. B. Shelley, “our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought” that you used to enjoy tend to worsen the situation. For they are no more words, lyrics, poetry, music, sound, acoustic but new knowledge, understanding, reality. So they tend to make you grieve more. But ultimately it helps in catharsis. You come to a situation when your tear glands have completely dried and that there are no more tears left. A situation similar to blue sky following a thunder storm.

Slowly you look up. You find that your appetite has been non existing. Your interest in day to day life, mask that we wear by way of our dress, make up, fashion etc has been torn away. It is not possible to go to the earlier role. Or rather futility of it is understood. You see that the world has moved ahead when you were grieving and as the famous adage goes – “Time and tide stops for none”. And that you are a non-entity and your space in this multi-universe is like a speck.

You tend to think of the life you had. You think of the time when your loved ones can not stand your suffering, getting angry or being down. Your think of the time when they were rejoicing with you in your glory, cheering you, consoling you, supporting you through ups and downs, sharing burden with you, loving you, caring for you, protecting you, helping you grow, helping you claim you place in this world, in nutshell being with you forever!!!  You think what they would think if they have been here with you now. You think of other people who are there for you now. You think that they are gone and you are here must have some reason. You come to an understanding that grieving is not going to bring them back. You understand from scriptures that they are there, but nor in the form you know. From manifestation to un-manifestation.

They are moments that slowly change. The song both of you used to like. The rituals you used to carry. The song of cuckoo to which you both used to wake up. The dog that you used to feed. The trees that you have planted and have grown big. The wardrobe you have accumulated over a period and history behind each of the items. Innumerable nonsensical things that are shared memory now. You start to reminiscence. You think of the plans for future you had. You think what your loved one would have wanted you to do if they had been alive. You think what would be their reaction when they see you in current state. Something strikes in you. They would not be happy to see in despair. They would want one to lead life to full fill their duties, dreams, aspirations and take care of their dependents as they did when they were alive.

Each one of us have a karma to fulfill. Some independently some jointly. With the passing away of the loved one be it parents, spouse, children, friends, grandparents, relatives our joint responsibility there off ends. New normal has to be created. Nature abhors vacuum.  So we need to think how we will the vacuum created by the departure of our loved one. The time, energy, space, activity that we shared with them is not going to be available anymore to us. But we have to fill the time that is available to us. It is a clean state available for you to start afresh.

Start small. Establish a routine. Venture out to the familiar areas. If uncomfortable go to a new area, new market new place. Any thing that can bring you out of your sorrow state. Minute by minute. Understand you can spend your time grieving or doing that would make both of you proud. Being stoic helps. Start adding things one by one, be it books, music, movie, friends, events, outing, travel. Look at every aspect of your life. Keep what helps you and be ruthless in saying no to what you think has no place in life any more. Do this in every aspect of life clearing away the clutter and cobwebs both in your physical and mental realm.  Find activity that is beneficial to fill the time. Understand that your life must go on, and so also the relationship with your departed one but with different dimension. You owe your endurance, success, happiness to them and doing that makes you, them and everyone around you proud and happy. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to happen at a snap of your hand. It is not that you are not going to face resistance from the world around you. Yet it must be done. May the power be with you.


P.S. I had my own thoughts as to whether I should put it in the blog considering the topic is generally considered off limit. But then even if it can helps one person…….