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The original Sanskrit verses and
(word for word translated) of the
Mahâbhârata, Bhîshma Parva ch. 23-40.

with comments taken from the writings of



 

 

 

 

'The Truth will verily Triumph'

 

1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18a 18b

 

Chapter 2b (2.39-2.72)
The Yoga of Analytic Knowledge
'On the results of labor'
'Sânkhya Yoga'  

 

 

  

     " Listen to this chapter sung!  "
[slokas ch. 2a: 1 & 11, 20 to 25 & 27,
slokas ch. 2b: 47 to 52, 62 & 63, 66 to 68]

" Listen to this spoken chapter in Audio "

 

Verse 39.

eshâ te 'bhihitâ sânkhye
buddhir yoge tv imâm s'rinu
buddhyâ yukto yayâ pârtha
karma-bandham prahâsyasi

     The 39th sloka is a transitional verse, for after speaking of "eshâ te 'bhihitâ sânkhye" (All this I described to you was about the analytical study of the intelligence in yoga), Krishna says that He will go on to teach him the yogabuddhi or buddhiyoga and asked him to listen with care. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 32

     Verse 40.

nehâhikrama-nâs'o 'sti
pratyavâyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trâyate mahato bhayât

     Of course, it is hard to effect this full surrender. But if man makes the slightest effort towards it, the Lord Himself will confer the courage to pursue it to the end. He will walk with him and help him as a friend; He will lead him as a guide; He will guard him from evil and temptation; He will be his staff and support. He has said, "svalpam apy asya dharmasya trâyate mahato bhayât". (This course of action, if followed to a small extent, will save him from terrifying fear.) To follow dharma is itself a source of joy; it is the path least beset with hurdles. That is the Teaching of the Lord. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 8

    Verse 41.

vyavasâyâtmikâ buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-s'âkhâ hy anantâs' ca
buddhayo 'vyavasâyinâm

     In the Gîtâ, one can notice Krishna addressing Arjuna as "Kuru-nandana"! The usual meaning given by scholars to this appellation is "the scion of the Kuru clan" but it has a much more profound lesson to teach mankind. Kuru means "do" in Sanskrit, and Nandana means "he who takes delight in". So, it means Krishna is appreciating the transformation in Arjuna from inaction to action - Arjuna is the one who takes delight in having some work to do. He is the one who is sad and dejected if he has no work on hand. For most of you, Sunday is a holiday, which gives delight, but for Arjuna, the day that he can devote to God's work is indeed a holy day."Sanathana Sarathi, March 1979, pp. 57-8

 Verse 42.

yâm imâm pushpitâm vâcam
pravadanty avipascitah
veda-vâda-ratâh pârtha
nânyad astîti vâdinah

 Verse 43.

kâmâtmânah svarga-parâ
janma-karma-phala-pradâm
kriyâ-vis'esha-bahulâm
bhogais'varya-gatim prati

 Verse 44.

bhogais'varya-prasaktânâm
tayâpahrita-cetasâm
vyavasâyâtmikâ buddhih
samâdhau na vidhîyate

 Verse 45.

trai-gunya-vishayâ vedâ
nistraigunyo bhavârjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho
niryoga-kshema âtmavân

     The Gîtâ laid down that even the Vedas have to be transcended, whenever they seek to foster desires and cater to transient urges. It speaks in the same sloka that man must seek to become âtmavân, the possessor of Âtmâ and the Atmic strength. Note the word! âtmavân! The Gîtâ asks you to be not balavan (possessor of physical prowess), not dhanavan (possessor of a comfortable bank balance), but âtmavân (having the prowess arising out of the awareness that you are the Atman, which can withstand death and remain unaffected by fame or shame, grief or joy and all the buffetings of the dualities of the world). Another word in the same sloka is niryoga-kshema. Dwell for a while upon its meaning, too. It points the way to lasting happiness, never being concerned with the earning of happiness and the maintenance of happiness, just being oneself! Being established in the Atman, never worried about how to be happy (for the Atman is ever blissful), this is the prescription of the Gîtâ. Nirdvandvo (without paying attention to the dual throng of grief-joy, pain-pleasure, etc.), nitya-sattva-stho (ever fixed in the quality of equanimity), niryoga-kshema âtmavân - that is how the Gîtâ lays down the path of liberation." - Sathya Sai Speaks VII, pp. 451-2

 Verse 46.

yâvân artha udapâne
sarvatah samplutodake
tâvân sarveshu vedeshu
brâhmanasya vijânatah

 Verse 47.

karmany evâdhikâras te
mâ phaleshu kadâcana
mâ karma-phala-hetur bhűr
mâ te sango 'stv akarmani


Sung recitation of verse 47

     The Lord has said in the Gîtâ, "refuse the fruit" (mâ phaleshu), that is to say: the deed yields results, but the doer should not desire the result or do it with the result in view. If Krishna's intention was to say that the doer has no right for the fruit, He would have said, "It is fruitless" (na phaleshu), (na meaning no). So if you desist from karma, you will be transgressing the Lord's command. That will be a serious mistake. When man has a right for engaging in karma, he has the right also for the fruit; no one can deny this or refuse his right. But the doer can, out of his own free will and determination, refuse to be affected by the result, whether favorable or unfavorable. The Gîtâ shows the way: "Do and deny the consequence." The desire for the result of your action is a sign of rajoguna [the mode of passion]; the giving up of action since you cannot benefit by the fruit is a sign of tamoguna [mode of ignorance, also described as darkness and slowness]. To engage oneself in karma, to know that the result will follow, and yet not to be attached to it or getting concerned with it - that is the sign of sattvaguna [the mode of goodness, the quality of purity or goodness that renders a person true, honest, wise]. - Gîtâ Vahini, pp. 35-6

 Verse 48.

yoga-sthah kuru karmâni
sangam, tyaktvâ dhanańjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhűtvâ
samatvam yoga ucyate

     "Samatvam yogam ucyate" (equanimity is the path to reach unity). This is what the Bhagavad Gîtâ declares. Not only the ultimate merger in the absolute, but even peace and security in the daily process of living, cannot be gained without cultivating this quality of "samatvam" or equanimity. The effort to gain equanimity is the hardest but the most beneficial of all sâdhanas. It is a bastion against the ups and downs of fortune. Without it, life becomes an uncertain game, a constant struggle with fear, hope, anxiety and doubt. - Sanathana Sarathi, July 1978, p. 109

Verse 49.

dűrena hy avaram karma
buddhi-yogâd dhanańjaya
buddhau s'aranam anviccha
kripanâh phala-hetavah

Verse 50.

buddhi-yukto jahâtîha
ubhe sukrita-dushkrite
tasmâd yogâya yujyasva
yogah karmasu kaus'alam

     To identify and become aware of the Âtmâ, the eternal reality, detachment rooted in discrimination is indispensable. It is the very first step for success in this venture. A fixed mind free from agitation can alone practice detachment and win equanimity. Without equanimity the years of life are wasted. A person might be an emperor and have all that one could wish for, yet, if he has no equanimity, he would be a victim of anxiety. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, p. 3

Verse 51.

karma-jam buddhi-yuktâ hi
phalam tyaktvâ manîshinah
janma-bandha-vinirmuktâh
padam gacchanty anâmayam

     When loss is incurred, men are miserable; but profit too brings misery in its train. The tax-gatherer's shadow haunts the profitmaker. The attitude must be, "Let what comes, come." One should have no elation or dejection. Welcome the fruit, whatever it is, as a gift from God. Do not bank on its quantity or quality, or plan what to do with it. Do your duty, sincerely and to the best of your ability. Let the result be what He wills. Success and failure are often unpredictable experiences; they follow man, alternately, without any clear reason. So, the sadhaka and the seeker of peace have to concentrate on doing their duty, doing what has to be done, and leave the rest to providence.- Sanathana Sarathi, July 1978, pp. 109-10

Verse 52.

yadâ te moha-kalilam
buddhir vyatitarishyati
tadâ gantâsi nirvedam
s'rotavyasya s'rutasya ca 

Verse 53.

s'ruti-vipratipannâ te
yadâ sthâsyati nis'calâ
samâdhâv acalâ buddhis
tadâ yogam avâpsyasi

     Analyze every object and discover the cheapness and hollowness of each. Then, genuine vairâgya will be planted in your heart. So, utilize the priceless weapon, the perfect mirror, that God has given you - the buddhi - for the journey to God. An old adage announces that buddhi is shaped by one's actions. Buddhih karma anusarine. This is not quite correct. It has the buddhi on one side and the senses on the other and is drawn by both into action. When the manas or mind leans towards the senses and activates them, bondage results; if it leans towards the intelligence (which is illumined by the Âtmâ), liberation results. Sometimes, the buddhi is enticed by the fake delight the mind revels in, through the senses. Sâdhana has to be used at this moment to turn it away from serfdom to the mind. It must be restored to its status of regulator and controller of the vagaries of the mind. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, pp. 5-6

Verse 54.

arjuna uvâca
sthita-prajńasya kâ bhâshâ
samâdhi-sthasya kes'ava
sthita-dhîh kim prabhâsheta
kim âsîta vrajeta kim

     Krishna taught Arjuna the nature and characteristics of the sthitaprajńa [stable in transcendence; established in wisdom., balance], when Arjuna questioned him. Arjuna prayed "O Kes'ava" and when that apellation was used, Krishna smiled. For He knew then that Arjuna had understood His splendor. Do you ask how? Well, what does Kes'ava mean? It means, "He who is Brahmâ, Vishnu, S'iva, and Trimurti". Through Krishna's grace, Arjuna had reached that stage of realization. - Gîtâ Vahini, pp. 36-7
* Kes'ava: (killer of Kes'i): name of Krishna as the killer of the demon Kes'i who as a mad horse threatened Gokula, see in SB 10:37. Also: He with the fine black hair.

Verse 55.

s'rî bhagavân uvâca
prajahâti yadâ kâmân
sarvân pârtha mano-gatân
âtmany evâtmanâ tushthah
sthita-prajńas tadocyate

    When Arjuna prayed that Kes'ava must tell him the true characteristics of a sthitaprajńa, He replied, "Pârtha! He will be free from all desire. He will be stable in the knowledge and awareness of the Âtmâ only." - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 37

     Action of work relates to the world. The world, in turn, is related to God. So Krishna propounded that all actions must be performed with the intention of pleasing God. This type of action is a characteristic feature of a sthitaprajńa or a person who has mental equipoise. A sthitaprajńa performs his action, firmly established in the Âtmâ. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 56.

duhkheshv anudvigna-manâh
sukheshu vigata-sprihah
vîta-râga-bhaya-krodhah
sthita-dhîr munir ucyate

Verse 57.

yah sarvatrânabhisnehas
tat tat prâpya s'ubhâs'ubham
nâbhinandati na dveshthi
tasya prajńa pratishthhitâ

     It is well known that sins bring grief as a retribution and meritorious deeds bring joy as a reward. So advice is given to avoid sins and perform meritorious deeds. But the sthitaprajńa knows neither the pain of grief nor the thrill of joy. He is not repulsed by one or attracted by the other. He will not retreat before pain or turn toward pleasure. Only those who are ignorant of the Âtmâ will exult or droop when stricken with joy or grief. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 38

     Krishna explained to Arjuna that a sthitaprajńa has an even mind that is neither elated by joy nor dejected by sorrow. The sthitaprajńa dwells always in the spirit without giving way to grief, lust, fear or delusion. His vision beholds the spirit everywhere. Krishna pointed out that Arjuna would be able to realize His true nature when he became a sthitaprajńa. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 58.

yadâ samharate câyam
kűrmo 'ngânîva sarvas'ah
indriyânîndriyârthebhyas
tasya prajńa pratishthhitâ

     The primary quality of a sthitaprajńa is the control of the senses. It is not easy to repress the senses or assume mastery over them. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 59.

vishayâ vinivartante
nirâhârasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso 'py asya
param drishthvâ nivartate

     Now, there are two processes in this: To give up all the promptings of desire in the mind is the negative process; to implant joy, everpresent joy therein, is the positive aspect. The negative process is to remove all the seedlings of wrong and evil from the mind; the positive process is to grow, in the field cleansed thus, the crop of attachment to God! The cultivation of the crop you need is positive; the plucking of the weeds is the negative stage. The pleasures the senses draw from the objective world are weeds; the crop is attachment to God. The mind is a bundle of wishes, and unless these wishes are removed by their roots, there is no hope of destroying the mind, which is a great obstacle in the path of spiritual progress. When the yarn that comprises the cloth is taken out, one by one, what remains of the cloth? Nothing. The mind is made of the warp and woof of wishes. And when mind vanishes, the sthitaprajńa is made. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 37

Verse 60.

yatato hy api kaunteya
purushasya vipas'citah
indriyâni pramâthîni
haranti prasabham manah

     When man is entangled until the moment of death in stilling the clamor of the senses and catering to the needs of this illusory world, how can he thrill with the ecstasy of the awareness of his own atmic core? From the monarch in the palace to the beggar in the streets, all are caught up in the game of extracting pleasure from the outer world. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, p. 5

Verse 61.

tâni sarvâni samyamya
yukta âsîta mat-parah
vas'e hi yasyendriyâni
tasya prajńa pratishthhitâ

     Man becomes a victim of ignorance, darkness, and lust if he gives unrestricted freedom to his senses. So Krishna made it clear from the beginning that controlling the senses is essential for a sthitaprajńa. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 32

     The upward path, the higher stage, that is for the sthitaprajńa. Of these two masteries, if the mind is subdued, that alone is enough; it is not necessary then to conquer the external senses. If the mind has no attachment with objects, the senses have nothing to cling on to; they perish by inaction; love and hate are both starved out of existence. The bonds with the objective world are cut, though the senses may yet be affected by it. For him who has been blessed by an awareness of the Âtmâ how can anything worldly bring grief or joy? - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 39

Verse 62.

dhyâyato vishayân pumsah
sangas teshűpajâyate
sangât sańjâyate kâmah
kâmât krodho 'bhijâyate

Verse 63.

krodhâd bhavati sammohah
sammohât smriti-vibhramah
smriti-bhrams'âd buddhi-nâs'o
buddhi-nâs'ât pranas'yati

     So the first thing to be conquered is kama, the demon of desire. For this, it is unnecessary to wage a huge war. It is also unnecessary to use pleasing words to persuade the desire to disappear. Desires will not disappear for fear of the one or for favor of the other. Desires are objective; they belong to the category of the "seen". With the conviction that "I am the see-er only, not the seen", sthitaprajńa releases himself from attachment. By this means he conquers desire. You must watch the working of the mind, from outside it; you must not get involved in it. That is the meaning of this discipline. 

     The faculty of the mind is as a strong current of electricity. It has to be watched from a distance and not contacted or touched. Touch it, you are reduced to ashes. So too, contact and attachment give the chance for the mind to ruin you. The farther you are from it, the better. By skillful methods, you have to make the best use of it for your own welfare. 

     The bliss that the sthitaprajńa is immersed in does not arise from external objects; he has no need of them either. Ananda is in every one as part of his very nature. Those with pure consciousness find the highest bliss in the realization of their own reality, the Âtmâ. That joy is swasam-paadyam (self-earned, so to say). It is known only to the individual; it is self-evident. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 37-8

Verse 64.

râga-dvesha-vimuktais tu
vishayân indriyais' caran
âtma-vas'yair vidheyâtmâ
prasâdam adhigacchati

Verse 65.

prasâde sarva-duhkhânâm
hânir asyopajâyate
prasanna-cetaso hy âs'u
buddhih paryavatishthhate

     Control of the senses is absolutely essential for every individual. Look at this paper. It is now in its normal form. If it is rolled up and kept for some time in that state, it cannot regain its original form. When we want to bring it to its original and natural state, we must roll it in the reverse direction. So, from our childhood, knowingly or unknowingly, we roll our mind with the pull of sensory and worldly desires. If we roll it up in the reverse direction, in the direction of the Âtmâ, it will regain its original form. So we shall be able to gain control over the senses when we turn the vision inward since it had been all along focussed on external phenomena. Letting bygones be bygones, we should put in the necessary effort to restore the sacred nature of our mind by cultivating the inward vision. Whatever work we undertake, whatever thoughts we entertain, whatever scenes we may visualize, we must make an endeavor from today to turn them Godward - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 33

Verse 66.

nâsti buddhir ayuktasya
na câyuktasya bhâvanâ
na câbhâvayatah s'ântir
as'ântasya kutah sukham

Verse 67.

indriyânâm hi caratâm
yan mano 'nuvidhîyate
tad asya harati prajńâm
vâyur nâvam ivâmbhasi

     So along with the mastery of the senses, one must establish mastery of the mind also. This is the sign of the sthitaprajńa. If this double mastery is absent, he is a gatha-prajńa, not a sthitaprajńa (a no-wisdom individual, and not a steady-wisdom individual). Where does he go? To perdition and nowhere else. - Gîtâ Vahini, p. 39

Verse 68.

tasmâd yasya mahâ-bâho
nigrihîtâni sarvas'ah
indriyânîndriyârthebhyas
tasya prajńa pratishthhitâ

     The sthitaprajńa will ever be engaged in manana, or contemplation and rumination. He is called muni [wise or self-realized soul. e.g. Nârada Muni, SB 1:5, 23-31]. His intellect is steady, because the senses do not harry it. One point has to be understood here. Conquest of the senses is essential for sâdhana; but that is not all. As long as the objective world continues to attract the mind, one cannot claim complete success. That is why Krishna says, "Arjuna! Establish mastery over the senses; then you need have no fear, for they become serpents with the fangs removed." But there is still danger from thoughts and impulses that draw you outwards. Desire has no limit; it can never be satiated. - Gîtâ Vahini, pp. 38-9

Verse 69.

yâ nis'â sarva-bhűtânâm
tasyâm jâgarti samyamî
yasyâm jâgrati bhűtâni
sâ nis'â pas'yato muneh

     The indriyas or senses have to be fully destroyed. That is the hall-mark of a sthitaprajńa. So when all beings are experiencing night, the sthitaprajńa would keep himself awake. When all beings are awake, the sthitaprajńa would be asleep. The literal meaning of this is that what is night for one is day for the other. It would mean that the sthitaprajńa is a person who sleeps during the day and keeps awake at night. 

     The inner meaning of this statement is very profound. Ordinary men are vigilant in affairs that concern the senses that arise out of this world. Wakefulness for them is the care they bestow on worldly pursuits. But the sthitaprajńa is unconcerned with these very things; he is, so to say, asleep. What does sleep mean? It means the happiness resulting from inactivity of the senses. And vigilance? It means yielding to the senses, and catering to them. When ordinary men are pursuing the senses and their demands, the sthitaprajńa is asleep. This can also be put in other words; forget the atmasthithi and you relapse into dehasthithi, from the âtmâ consciousness stage you fall into the body-consciousness stage. 

     This is what happens to the ordinary man; he sleeps in the âtmâ stage and wakes into the deha-sthithi. The sthitaprajńa's case is different. He sleeps in the deha consciousness and wakes in the awareness of the âtmâ. He will not awake, even by mistake, in the sensory world, the world where the ordinary man is most vigilant! This is the inner meaning. It is far from the literal meaning, which, if taken as true, would entitle thieves, watchmen, and others to the name of sthitaprajńa for all those keep awake at night and sleep during the day! Only those who have given up traces of desire and become mere instruments can achieve santhi. - Gîtâ Vahini, pp. 40-1
Indriyas: the senses, karmendriyas en jńânendriyas: the working and knowing senses. The ten senses are the organs of the hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling, (for perception) with the mouth, the hands, the legs, the genitals and the excretion organs as the tenth (for acting). Sometimes the mind is added as the eleventh sense. 

Verse 70.

âpâryamânam acala-pratishthham
samudram âpah pravis'anti yadvat
tadvat kâmâ yam pravis'anti sarve
sa s'ântim âpnoti na kâma-kâmî

Verse 71.

vihâya kâmân yah sarvân
pumâms' carati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankârah
sa s'ântim adhigacchati

     As a consequence of pride in one's own strength and power, a person might injure thousands, but the pride will injure that person most, for pride, or egoism, is like a devil that possesses a man, a devil that is difficult to exorcise. Man cannot claim to be man until this ego that prompts him to ruin others is destroyed by sâdhana. The Gîtâ directs that man has to be "nirmamo nirahankârah". The divine in him can manifest only when the dark forces of "Mine" and "I" are rendered ineffective. To overpower the ego is a well-nigh impossible task. We have heard of the six internal foes that haunt man every moment of his life. But, the sense of "I" and "Mine" are far more deep-rooted. People have conquered the six foes: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hatred. Indeed, there are plenty who have achieved this victory. But rare indeed is the hero who has demolished his ego and escaped from its nefarious urge. - Sanathana Sarathi, 1978, p. 243 

Verse 72.

eshâ brâhmî sthitih pârtha
nainâm prâpya vimuhyati
sthitvâsyâm anta-kâle 'pi
brahma-nirvânam ricchati

     Brahman is the basis, the substance, the prime mover and the "enjoyer" of the universe. Krishna exhorted Arjuna to comprehend the omnipresence and essence of Brahman, the Godhead. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, pp. 24-5

    

      

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