<![CDATA[USC Hindu Student Organization - Community (Blog)]]>Sun, 06 Mar 2016 22:15:41 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Hindu textuality 9.18]]>Wed, 18 Sep 2013 23:53:29 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-918Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3 - Karma Yogah: Yoga Of Action [Continued]

WHAT IS SACRIFICE? 

sahayajnaah prajaah srishtwaa purovaacha prajaapatih

anena prasavishyadhwam  esha vo'stvishtakaamadhuk  // 3.10 //

The creator (Prajapati ), having in the beginning created mankind together with
Yajna, said ‘by this you multiply’; this shall be the milch cow of your desires'.


When the Universe was created by the Creator - Prajapati - he simultaneously created Yajna also, the spirit of self-dedicated activities which is seen everywhere, e.g. shining of the sun and the moon, flowing of rivers, tolerance of the Earth etc.,  All these activities show the spirit of sacrifice without any selfish motives. The second part of the verse means that no achievement is impossible for man if he knows how to act in the spirit of self-effacement and self-sacrifice with the required amount of non-attachment.

HOW CAN WELFARE BE ACHIEVED BY SACRIFICE?

devaan bhaavayataanena te devaa bhaavayantu vah
parasparam bhaavayantah shreyah param avaapsyatha  // 3.11 //

Cherish the Devas with this and may those Devas cherish you, thus cherishing one another you shall gain the highest good.


ishtaan bhogaan hi vo devaa daasyante yajnabhaavitaah 
tair dattaan apradaayaibhyo yo bhungkte stena eva sah  // 3.12 //

Devas, cherished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. Indeed, he who enjoys objects given by the Devas without offering in return to them is verily a thief.

By performing actions as Yajna, as dedication to the Self, recognize
and express your sense of appreciation and gratitude to all the Devas, the
presiding functionaries of natural laws such as wind, fire etc.
 
Whether one is grateful or not, the sun rises, the rain rains and the wind blows. But by recognizing their functions in this creation, and by expressing one's deep appreciation and gratitude to them, one recognizes the true nature of one's own function in this creation, one becomes an active participant in this creation, and one progressively identifies oneself with the creation and the creator - The Self, Brahman.

In this relative world man and Devas are interdependent. They are nourished by one another. Men offer oblations to the gods; gods in return ensure men’s welfare by sending rain and other gifts. Thus a chain of mutual obligation binds together all created beings.
 
THOSE WHO ACT IN A SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE ARE SUPERIOR PERSONS
 
yajnashishtaashinah santo muchyante sarva kilbishaih
bhunjate te twagham paapaa  ye pachantyaatma kaaranaat // 3.13 //

The righteous who eat the remnants of the sacrifice are freed from all sins; but
those sinful ones who cook food only for their own sake, verily eat sin.

 
ACTION SETS THE WHEELS OF THE COSMOS GOING 

annaad bhavanti bhootani  parjanyaad anna sambhavah
yajnaad bhavati parjanyo  yajnah karma samudbhavah  // 3.14 //

From food all creatures are born; from rain food is produced; from sacrifice comes rain; sacrifice is born of action.  

karma brahmodbhavam viddhi brahmaakshara samudbhavam
tasmaat sarvagatam brahma  nityam yajne pratishthitam // 3.15 //

Know that action arises from the Vedas, and the Vedas from the Imperishable.
Therefore, the all pervading Vedas ever rest in sacrifice.


evam pravartitam chakram naanuvartayateeha yah
aghaayur indriyaaraamo  mogham paartha sa jeevati  // 3.16 //

He who does not follow the wheel thus set-in motion, but takes delight in the
senses, he lives in vain, O Arjuna.


In these verses (10 to 16) the Vedic conception of sacrifice as an inter-link
between God and man is set in the larger context of the interdependence of
beings in the cosmos. He who works for himself alone lives in vain.

TO BE CONTINUED......]]>
<![CDATA[HINDU TEXTUALITY 9.11]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2013 21:18:58 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-911Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3 - Karma Yogah: Yoga Of Action
 
Here Lord Krishna categorically and comprehensively explains how it is the duty of each and every member of society to carry out their functions and  responsibilities in their respective stage of life according to the rules and
regulations of the society in which one lives. Lord explains why such duties
must be performed, what benefit is gained by performing them, what harm is
caused by not performing them, what actions lead to bondage and what actions
lead to salvation. 
 
In the previous Chapter Bhagavan advised that Arjuna's duty was to work without pre-occupying himself with its result and at the same time suggested that he should not be attached to inaction. He concluded His advice with the advocacy of the path of attaining the state of steady wisdom and Brahmi state by knowledge and renunciation. 
 
Arjuna feels confused by the Lord’s praise of righteous war (2.31-38) and the Buddhi Yoga i.e. equanimity of mind (2.49 & 50) as also about the man of steady wisdom in conclusion.

 
WHY THEN WORK AT ALL? 
 
arjuna uvaacha
jyaayasee chet karmanaste mataa buddhir janaardana
tat kim karmani ghore maam niyojayasi keshava  // 3.1 //

Arjuna said
 If you think that knowledge is superior to action, O Janardana, why then do you ask me to engage in this terrible action, O Kesava?

vyaamishreneva vaakyena  buddhim mohayaseeva me
tadekam vada nishchitya  yena shreyo'ham aapnuyaam  // 3.2 //

With these apparently perplexing words you confuse my understanding, as it were; therefore, tell me definitely that one thing by which I may attain the Highest Goal. 

If Sankhya method of gaining wisdom is superior, then action is an irrelevance. In this confusion he asks Sri Krishna as to which of the paths he has to follow
for his self-development since he still believed that to fight against his people was a terrible action. 

LIFE IS WORK BUT THE NEED IS UNCONCERN FOR RESULTS 

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
loke'smin dwividha nishthaa puraa proktaa mayaanagha
jnaanayogena saankhyaanaam karmayogena yoginaam  // 3.3 //
  
Sri Bhagavan said
In this world there is a two-fold path, as I said before, O blameless One (Arjuna), the path of knowledge for men of contemplation and the path of work for men of action.
  
WHAT IS ACTIONLESSNESS? 
 
na karmanaam anaarambhaan naishkarmyam purusho’shnute 
na cha sannyaasanaad eva siddhim samadhigacchati // 3.4  //

 Not by abstention from work does a man reach actionlessness, nor by mere
  renunciation does he attain to perfection.


Action as it is generally understood is the outcome of want and desire. Actionlessness does not mean mere idling or abandoning of all actions.. If one is free from thoughts, wishes, likes and dislikes and has knowledge of the Self he can be said to have reached the state of actionlessness.  
 
WHY RENUNCIATION OF ACTION UNACCOMPANIED BY KNOWLEDGE
DOES NOT LEAD TO PERFECTION?

na hi kashchit kshanamapi jaatu tishthatyakarmakrit
kaaryate hyavashah karma sarvah prakritjair gunaih  // 3.5 //

Verily none can ever remain even for a moment without performing action; for everyone is made to act by the Gunas or qualities born of prakriti (nature), in spite of himself.
 
 While life remains, action is inevitable. Thinking is an act. Living is an act.  These acts cause  many effects.  To be free from desire, from the illusion of personal interest, is the true renunciation and not the physical abstention from activity.

karmendriyaani samyamya ya aaste manasaa smaran
indriyaarthaan vimoodhaatma mithyaachaarah sa uchyate // 3.6 //

He who restrains his organs of action, but continues to dwell in his mind on the
objects of the senses, deludes himself and is called a hypocrite. 
 

yastwindriyaani manasaa niyamyaarabhate'rjuna
karmendriyaih karmayogam  asaktah sa vishishyate // 3.7 //

But he who restrains his senses with his mind and directs his organs of action to work, with no feeling of attachment - he, O Arjuna, is indeed superior.

IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMING ALLOTTED DUTY

niyatam kuru karma twam karma jyaayo hyakarmanah
shareerayaatraa pi cha te  na prasiddhyed akarmanah  // 3.8 //
 
Do your allotted work; for action is superior to inaction. Even the bare maintenance of the body would not be possible if you remain inactive. 

Allotted action is one’s own duty as laid down in the scriptures to different persons in accordance with their inherited tendencies, the stage in life and the order in society. Non-performance of such bounden duties would mean inaction. The very fact of living involves several natural and unavoidable actions which have to be performed by all. Even bodily existence in health is just not possible if one has to live in complete inertia and inaction.

UNSELFISH ACTION DOES NOT CREATE BONDAGE
 
yajnaarthaat karmano'nyatra loko’yam karmabandhanah
tadartham karma kaunteya muktasangah samaachara  // 3.9 //

The world is in bondage to work unless they are performed for the sake of Yajna (sacrifice). Therefore, O Son of Kunti, give up attachment and do your work as  a sacrifice. 

All work is to be done in a spirit of sacrifice, for the sake of the Divine. Yajna
here means any unselfish action done with a pure motive. It is a self-sacrificing work undertaken in a spirit of self-dedication for the good of all. Such actions cannot be self-serving but self-liberating and do not bind the performer. An action which is not governed by the spirit of unselfishness binds one to worldliness, however glorious it may be.

TO BE CONTINUED......]]>
<![CDATA[HINDU TEXTUALITY 4.30]]>Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:17:47 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-430Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Knowledge [Continued]

WHY IS THE UNSTEADY MAN INCAPABLE OF KNOWLEDGE?

indriyaanaam hi charataam yanmano'nuvidheeyate
tadasya harati prajnaam vaayur naavam ivaambhasi // 2.67 //

When the mind runs after the wandering senses, it carries away his discrimination as the wind carries away a boat on the waters.


CONDITION OF THE SEEKER WHO CONTROLLED HIS SENSES

tasmaad yasya mahaabaaho nigriheetaani sarvashah

indriyaaneendriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa // 2.68 //

Therefore, O Mighty Armed Arjuna, his wisdom is steady whose senses are completely restrained from their objects.

 
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WISE AND THE IGNORANT

yaanishaa sarvabhootaanaam tasyam jaagarti samyamee
yasyaam jaagrati bhootani saa nishaa pashyato muneh // 2.69 //

In that  which  is  night  to all beings, the  self-controlled  man  is awake and where all beings are awake,  that  is  the night for the man who sees (has
vision).


IF THE WORLD IS DARK TO A SEER, THEN HOW DOES HE LIVE IN THE WORLD?

aapooryamaanam  achalapratishtham
samudram aapah pravishanti yadwat
tadwat kaamaa yam pravishanti sarve
sa shaantim aapnoti na kaamakaami // 2.70 //

He attains peace into whom all desires enter as the waters enter the ocean, which is full to the brim and grounded in stillness, but not the man who is the desirer of desires.
 
vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan pumaamshcharati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankaarah sa shaantim adhigacchati // 2.71 //

That man attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, devoid of the sense of `I'-ness and `my'-ness.
 
This verse answers Arjuna’s question ‘how a man of steadfast mind walks or what is his mode of conduct?
 
ULTIMATE STATE OF A PERSON OF STEADY WISDOM

eshaa braahmee sthitih paartha nainaam praapya vimuhyati
sthitwaasyaamantakaale'pi brahmanirvaanamricchati // 2.72 //

This is the Brahmi-state, O Son of Pritha. Attaining this, none is deluded.  Being established therein, even at the hour of death, one attains final liberation in Brahman.
 
Working without attachment and desires, egoism and vanity, always equanimous with pairs of opposites is to control the ego and experience the Self. This technique of Karma Yoga is not different from the technique of  meditation or knowledge or devotion. Such a sage of steady wisdom lives a life
of disinterested action. But Arjuna remains confused and so The Lord explains
Karma Yoga further in the next chapter.  
 
om tat sat iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam
yogashaastre
sri krishnaarjuna samvaade saankhya yogo naama dvitiyo'dhyaayah ||

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of  the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna ends the second discourse entitled The Yoga of Knowledge.

Summary & Key Concepts:

This section of the Gita is the fulcrum around which all its teachings revolve. The basic issue is how to live a God-realized life by continuing to perform the duties with a disinterested attitude? What are the techniques available to get rid off egoism and a sense of mine? A comprehensive knowledge of life is given here by understanding which all human sufferings could be relieved by getting over duality and conflicts.
 
As this Chapter symbolizes all the teachings of the Gita it’s full summing up is given below for an easy recapitulation of the issues involved.

I ~ ARJUNA’S DESPONDENT CONDITION ~ VERSES 1-10

  • Arjuna continues in his state of dejection. His personality is destroyed by
    his overwhelming emotions erupting at the sight of his near and dear ones
    on the battlefront. 
  • Assuming a false sense of renunciation, he argues that he would rather live on alms than slay noble elders like Bhishma and Drona and that even an undisputed sovereignty over all the worlds would not drive away his
    grief. 
  • Arguing thus, he expresses his unwillingness to fight and completely spent
    he becomes silent.

II ~ INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE EMBODIED ~ VERSES 11 – 30
 
Krishna starts the sermon of the Gita by stating that: 

  • The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.       
  • The Self within is eternal, indestructible. 
  • The bodies enveloping the Self are ephemeral. They have a beginning and an end.        
  • Death is certain for the born and birth for the dead.        
  • Beings constantly pass through the repeated stages of unmanifest, manifest and again unmanifest. So why grieve over the inevitable? 
  • The indwelling Self remains eternally the same.
 
III  ~ YOUR DUTY TO ACT ~ 31 – 40
Krishna explains to Arjuna the importance of performing his duty.

  • A kshatriya (warrior) is fortunate to find an opportunity to fight a
    righteous battle.
  • Abandoning such an opportunity will only incur infamy and sin.
  • In victory a kshatriya enjoys sovereignty over the worlds. If slain in battle he will gain heaven.
  • Therefore,  Krishna advises Arjuna to arise from his paralyzed state and fight the battle without concern for the results.

The knowledge imparted up to verse 38 in this chapter is Sankhya. Thereafter Krishna turns towards Karma Yoga, the practice of which will eradicate the deepest fear in Arjuna.
 
IV ~ DESIRE RIDDEN ACTIONS ~ VERSES 41 – 44

  • Those who fanatically adhere to mechanical rituals are the irresolute whose desires dissipate their minds. They eulogize the ritualistic portion of the Vedas and declare in flowery speech that there is nothing beyond
    these rituals.
  • Despite regular performance of the rituals their attention in life remains focused on enjoying the pleasures and power in the world.
  • Such people possess a vacillating mind unable to concentrate and meditate on the Supreme Self.
 
V ~ DESIRELESS ACTIONS LEAD TO SELF-REALIZATION ~ VERSES 45 –53
  • The Vedas deal with three gunas – sattwa, rajas and tamas. They explain the process of evolution from tamas to rajas and from rajas to sattwa. Krishna advises Arjuna to free himself from the endless pairs of opposites that plague this world and rise to the state of sattwa. To free himself from the mania of acquiring and preserving and instead slowly merge with
    the Self.
  • An enlightened soul remains ever in supreme peace and bliss. In that state he will find even the Vedas as redundant to him as a pond would be in a flooded village. 
Krishna induces Arjuna 


  • To act steadfastly towards the goal of Realization without worldly
    attachments and remain balanced in success or failure. and to keep the mind calm and composed while the body acts dynamically towards the
    higher ideal.
  • The process of pursuing the supreme goal steadfastly with an equanimous mind is Yoga.  Continuing on the path of yoga one sheds vasanas / desires and the mind turns introvert. An introverted mind alone can meditate and realize the supreme Self.

VI ~ DESCRIPTION OF AN ENLIGHTENED SOUL ~ VERSES 54 –72
Arjuna asks Krishna  to describe the nature of enlightened Soul. 
 
  • How would he express himself in the world?
  • What happens to him internally?      
  • How does he contact the external world?
         
The last eighteen verses of this chapter give a brilliant exposition of a Self-realized soul. Reveling in the bliss of the Self the enlightened one stays free from all egocentric attachments and desires. In the state of absolute fulfillment all worldly enjoyments fall into insignificance. He is like a river which has entered the ocean. Having reached that supreme state he has merged with eternity.


]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu textuality 4.23]]>Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:08:34 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-423Questions to Discuss

Why in the courts of law in India does one take the oath by putting one’s hand on the Gita and not on the other scriptures like the Ramayana?

Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Knowledge [Continued]
 
NO WISDOM FOR THE WORLDLY MINDED

yaam imaam pushpitaam vaacham pravadantyavipashchitah
vedavaadarataah paartha naanyad asteeti vaadinah // 2.42 //

kaamaatmaanah swargaparaa janmakarmaphalaprdaam
kriyaavisheshabahulaam bhogaishwaryagatim prati // 2.43 //

bhogaishwarya prasaktaanaam tayaapahritachetasaam
vyavasaayaatmika buddhih samaadhau na vidheeyate // 2.44 //

Arjuna, those who are obsessed by desires, who look upon heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing beyond heaven and pleasures and who are devoted to the letter of the Vedas are unwise. They make this type of flowery speeches recommending many acts of various kinds, for the attainment of pleasure and prosperity and with rebirth as their motive. Thos whose minds are carried away by such flowery words (who are attracted by and attached to pleasures and prosperity) are not well-established in the Self (in concentration).

PRACTICE OF VEDIC RITES DOES NOT LEAD TO LIBERATION

traigunyavishayaa vedaa nistraigunyo bhavaarjuna
nirdwandwo nityasatwastho niryogakshema aatmavaan // 2.45 //

The Vedas deal with three attributes (of nature); you be above these three attributes, O Arjuna.  Free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of sattwa (goodness), freed from all thoughts of acquisition (of what you lack) and preservation (of what you have) and be established in the Self.

WHAT IS THE USE OF THE VEDAS?

yaavaanartha udapaane sarvatah samplutodake
taavaan sarveshu vedeshu braahmanasya vijaanatah // 2.46 //

To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.

WORK WITHOUT CONCERN FOR THE RESULTS

karmanyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana
maa karmaphalahetur bhoor maa te sango'stwakarmani // 2.47 //

Your right is to work only, but never to claim its fruits.  Do not become an instrument for making your actions yield fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

This verse gives the following four guidelines to a Karma Yogin:

1. This concern is with the action alone. 
2. he has no concern with the results. 
3. he should not become a tool  for gaining a desired result of a given action since such desired result oriented action produces bondage
 4. the above mentioned ideas should not be taken to mean advocating inaction.
 
IF A MAN HAS TO WORK WITHOUT ANY DESIRE FOR ITS RESULTS, HOW, THEN, SHOULD HE GO ABOUT IT?

yogasthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktwaa dhananjaya
siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhootwaa samatwam yoga uchyate // 2.48 //

 Perform your actions, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna), being established in or integrated with Yoga, abandoning attachment and remaining even-minded both in success and failure. This Evenness  of mind is called Yoga.

AN ACTION PERFORMED WITH A VIEW TO THE RESULT IS OF VERY INFERIOR VALUE.

doorena hyavaram karma buddhiyogaad dhananjaya
buddhau sharanamanwiccha kripanaah phalahetavah // 2.49 //

O Arjuna, far inferior, indeed, is mere action, to action performed with evenness of mind. Seek refuge in this evenness. Wretched are they who work for results.

RESULT OF PERFORMING ONE’S DUTY WITH EVENNESS OF MIND.

buddhiyukto jahaateeha ubhe sukrita dushkrite
tasmaad yogaaya yujyaswa yogah karmasu kaushalam // 2.50 //

Endowed with evenness of mind, one casts off in this very life both good and evil deeds.  Therefore, devote yourself to Yoga (of equanimity); skill in action lies in the practice of this Yoga.

HOW DOES ACTION LEAD TO LIBERATION?

karmajam buddhiyuktaa hi phalam tyaktwaa maneeshinah
janmabandha vinirmuktaah padam gacchantyanaamayam // 2.51 //

The wise, possessed of equanimity, having abandoned the fruits of their actions and being freed from the fetters of birth, attain the state that is beyond all evil (reaches the blissful supreme state).

WHEN DOES ONE ATTAIN THE WISDOM THAT IS THE RESULT OF THE PURITY OF MIND INDUCED BY KARMAYOGA?

yadaa te mohakalilam buddhir vyatitarishyati
tadaa gantaasi nirvedam shrotavyasya shrutasya cha // 2.52 //

When your mind crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then you shall achieve indifference regarding things already heard and things yet to be heard (about enjoyments of this world or the next).

WHEN DOES ONE ATTAIN THE TRUE YOGA OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUPREME TRUTH?

shrutivipratipannaa te yadaa sthaasyati nishchalaa
samaadhaavachalaa buddhistadaa yogam avaapsyasi // 2.53 //

When your mind, now perplexed by what you have heard, stands firm and steady in the Self, then you will have attained Yoga or Self-Realization.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON WHO HAS ATTAINED WISDOM THROUGH SAMADHI.

arjuna uvaacha
sthitaprajnasya kaa bhaashaa samaadhisthasya keshava
sthitadheeh kim prabhaasheta kimaaseeta vrajeta kim // 2.54 //

Arjuna said
O Keshava, what is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the super conscious state (Samadhi)? How does one of steady wisdom speak?  How does he sit? How does he walk?

The two questions asked by Arjuna are:

1. How is a man of steady wisdom described by others?  
2. How does the influence of wisdom manifest itself in his actions in the outer world when he comes out of Samadhi?

The answers to these questions occupy the rest of this Chapter. They comprise of the characteristic attributes of a man of steady wisdom and also the means of attaining such wisdom. These attributes apply equally to Jnana Yogis and Karma Yogis.

Arjuna’s questions simply mean:
- How does a wise person respond to the daily situations in life?
- What are the distinguishing marks or characteristics of a wise person?

These verses are of extraordinary significance for two reasons - they tell precisely what wisdom means in practical every day life - with that knowledge, one can help oneself, to uplift oneself spiritually by understanding and appreciating these verses and by meditation and contemplation on the content of these verses. For these reasons these 18 verses are the best known and the most often recited verses in the entire Bhagavad Gita. Therefore, let us now try to understand these verses as well as we can.

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvaan paartha manogataan
atmanyevaatmanaa tushtah sthitaprajnastadochyate // 2.55 //

Sri Bhagavan said
O Partha, when a man completely casts off all the desires of the mind, his Self finding satisfaction in itself alone, then he is called a man of steady wisdom.

duhkheshwanudwignamanaah sukheshu vigatasprihah
veetaraagabhayakrodhah sthitadheer munir uchyate // 2.56 //

He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady
wisdom.


Verses 56 - 58 answer the second part of Arjuna's question as to the conduct of the man of steady wisdom.

yah sarvatraanabhisnehas tattat praapya shubhaashubham
naabhinandati na dweshti tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa // 2.57 //

He who is not attached to anything, who neither rejoices nor is, vexed when he obtains good or evil - his wisdom is firmly fixed.

The ideas expressed in the previous verses are repeated. The enlightened sage or the Perfected one has evenness of mind. He does not rejoice in pleasure nor is he averse to any pain. He has no attachment to any worldly object. He does
not get disturbed when praised or censured. He is always identified with the Self. This verse is in reply to Arjuna’s query about the speech of a perfect master. His speech has for its background the mental state as described
above.

yadaa samharate chaayam koormo'ngaaneeva sarvashah
indriyaaneendriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa // 2.58 //

When like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE SENSE-CONTROL BY AN ORDINARY PERSON AND A REALIZED SOUL

vishayaa vinivartante niraahaarasya dehinah
rasavarjam raso'pyasya param drishtwaa nivartate // 2.59 //

The objects of the senses fall away from the abstinent man but not the taste for them. But even the taste falls away when the Supreme is seen.

Sri Krishna is explaining the difference between outer abstention and inner renunciation. We may reject the object but the desire for it may remain. Even the desire is lost when the Supreme is seen. The control should be both at the body and mental levels. 
 
WHAT IS THE HARM IF ATTACHMENT DOES NOT DISAPPEAR?

yatato hyapi kaunteya purushasya vipashchitah
indriyaani pramaatheeni haranti prasabham manah // 2.60 //

The turbulent senses, O son of Kunti, do violently carry away the mind even of a wise man though he may be striving to control them.

SENSE CONTROL IS A MEANS OF GOD-REALIZATION FOR A PERSON OF STABLE MIND 
 
taani sarvaani samyamya yukta aaseeta matparah
vashe hi yasyendriyaani tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa // 2.61 //

Having restrained all the senses he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.

THE VERY THOUGHT OF SENSE-OBJECTS CAUSES FUTURE  MISFORTUNE

dhyaayato vishayaan pumsah sangas teshoopajaayate

sangaat sanjaayate kaamah kaamaat krodho'bhijaayate// 2.62 //

When a man thinks of objects, attachment for them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire arises anger.

krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smriti vibhramah
smritibhramshaad buddhinaasho buddhinaashaat pranashyati // 2.63 //
 
From anger comes delusion, from delusion the loss of memory, from the loss of memory the destruction of intelligence; from the destruction of intelligence he perishes.
 
The movement from desire to destruction can be illustrated as under:
Brooding on the objects of senses ►attachment ►desire ►anger  ►delusion
►loss of memory ►loss of reason ►utter ruin.

HOW A PERSON OF STABLE MIND MOVES AMONG SENSE OBJECTS AND WHAT IS HIS REWARD?

raagadwesha viyuktaistu vishayaanindriyaishcharan
aatmavashyair vidheyaatmaa prasaadamadhigacchati // 2.64 //

 But  the self-controlled man, moving among objects with his senses  under  restraint  and free  from  both  attraction   and repulsion, attains peace.

This verse answers Arjuna's question as to how does the man of steady wisdom move about?
 
WHAT DOES ONE ATTAIN THROUGH SERENITY?

prasaade sarvaduhkhaanaam haanirasyopajaayate
prasannachetaso hyaashu buddhih paryavatishthate// 2.65 //
 
In that serenity there is an end of all sorrow; for the intelligence of the man of serene mind soon becomes steady.

PEACE OF MIND ALONE LEADS TO HAPPINESS

naasti buddhir ayuktasya na chaayuktasya bhaavanaa
na chaabhaavayatah shaantir ashaantasya kutah sukham // 2.66 //

The man whose mind is not under his control has no Self-Knowledge  and  to the  unsteady no meditation is possible and to  the  unmeditative there  can  be no peace and to the man who has no peace how  can there be any happiness?

TO BE CONTINUED......]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu Textuality 4.17]]>Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:44:39 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-417Discussion Question of the Week: (Post your views in the comments section)

This chapter is entitled “Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: The Yoga of  Arjuna’s despondency”. How despondency or grief can be yoga?

Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Knowledge [Continued]
 
IN THE NEXT TWO VERSES THE LORD SHOWS THAT IT IS IMPROPER TO GRIEVE FOR THE SOUL EVEN IF IT IS ASSUMED TO BE SUBJECT TO BIRTH AND DEATH.

atha chainam nityajaatam nityam vaa manyase mritam
tathaapi twam mahaabaaho nainam shochitum arhasi // 2.26 //

But even if you think of it as being perpetually born and perpetually dying, even
then, O Mighty Armed (Arjuna), you should not grieve.


jaatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mritasya cha
tasmaad aparihaarye'rthe natwam shochitum arhasi // 2.27 //

Death is sure to happen to that which is born. Birth is sure to happen to that which dies.  Birth and death are certainly unavoidable. Therefore  you should not grieve over an inevitable occurrence.
 
IT IS NOT PROPER TO GRIEVE FOR BEINGS WHICH ARE MERE COMBINATION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.

avyaktaadeeni bhootani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata
avyakta nidhanaanyeva tatra kaa paridevanaa // 2.28 //

Beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their middle state and unmanifest again in their end O, Arjuna. What is there to grieve about?

MARVELOUS NATURE OF THE SOUL

aashcharyavat pashyati kashchid enam
aashcharyavad vadati tathaiva chaanyah
aashcharyavacchainam anyah shrinoti
shrutwaapyenam veda na chaiva kaschit // 2.29 //

Some look on the Self as a wonder; some speak of It as a wonder; some hear of It as a wonder; still others, though hearing, do not understand It at all.
- Although  it is difficult to comprehend the idea of the Self, if one starts the practice of listening (sravanam), continuous reflection (mananam) and long
contemplation (nidhidhyasan) it is possible to realize the Self in him.
 
KRISHNA CONCLUDES THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE BODY

dehee nityam avadhyo'yam dehe sarvasya bhaarata
tasmaat sarvaani bhootani na twam shochitum arhasi // 2.30 //

This Self, the indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible.  O, Arjuna, therefore you should not grieve for any creature.

GRIEVING IS NOT PROPER TO ARJUNA EVEN ACCORDING TO HIS SENSE OF DUTY AS A KSHATRIYA
 
swadharmam  api chaavekshya na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyaaddhi yuddhaachhreyo'nyat kshatriyasya na vidyate // 2.31 //

Further having regard to your duty (your own Dharma) you should not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.

yadricchayaa chopapannam swargadwaaram apaavritam
sukhinah kshatriyaah paartha labhante yuddham eedrisham  // 2.32 //

Happy are the Kshatriyas who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself unsought as an open door to heaven, O Arjuna.

atha chettwam imam dharmyam samgraamam na karishyasi

tatah swadharmam keertim cha hitwaa paapam avaapsyasi // 2.33 //

But if you will not fight in this lawful battle, then, having abandoned your own
Dharma and honor, you shall incur sin.


akeertim chaapi bhootaani kathayishyanti te'vyayaam
sambhaavitasya chaakeertir maranaad atirichyate // 2.34 //

People too will recount for ever your infamy; to a man who has been honored dishonor is worse than death.
 
- With these stinging words Krishna seeks to stiffen Arjuna’s spirit.

bhayaad ranaad uparatam mamsyante twaam mahaarathaah
yesham cha twam bahumato bhootwaa yaasyasi laaghavam // 2.35 //

The great chariot-warriors (such as Bhishma, Drona, Kripa etc.) will think that you have withdrawn from the battle through fear and you will be ridiculed by them who held you in much esteem.

avaachyavaadaamshcha bahoon vadishyanti tavaahitaah
nindantastava saamarthyam tato duhkhataram nu kim // 2.36 //

Your enemies also, finding fault with your abilities, will speak many a word that
should not be uttered. What could be more painful than this?


hato vaa praapsyasi swargam jitwaa vaa bhokshyase maheem
tasmaad uttishtha kaunteya yuddhaaya kritanishchayah // 2.37 //

If you are killed in the battle, you will go to heaven; if you win, you will enjoy
the earth. Therefore arise, O Son of Kunti, resolved to fight.

sukhaduhkhe same kritwaa laabhaalaabhau jayaajayau
tato yuddhaaya yujyaswa naivam paapamavaapsyasi // 2.38 //

Treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage in battle for the sake of the battle, thus you shall not incur sin.
 
In these verses Krishna clarified several doubts that arose in the mind of Arjuna
in the 1st Chapter. Some of them are illustrated  below:

Arjuna’s doubt: I don’t foresee any good ensuing from the slaughter of my kinsmen -1.31.
Krishna’s clarification: There is nothing more welcome to a man of the warrior class than a righteous war - 2.31

Arjuna’s doubt: How can we, by killing our kinsmen be happy? 1.37
Krishna’s clarification: Happy are the Kshatrias who get the opportunity of waging such an unsolicited war 2.32.
 
Arjuna’s doubt: The consequences of war will lead to hell - 1.44
Krishna’s clarification: The war is an open way to heaven 2.32, 37.

Arjuna’s doubt: Sin alone will accrue to us by waging the war and by slaying them 1.36, 39, 45.
Krishna’s clarification: If you do not wage such a righteous war with an equanimous mind and abandon your duty, you will incur sin 2.33, 38.

Arjuna’s doubt: The result of the war will be that impiety will take hold of the entire family 1.40.
Krishna’s clarification: If you do not wage the war you will be abandoning righteousness 2.33.

Arjuna’s doubt: It is better to live on alms than to wage war 2.5.
Krishna’s clarification: Arjuna is ordered to wage war 2.38.

THE INSIGHT OF YOGA

eshaa te'bhihitaa saankhye buddhir yoge twimaam shrinu
buddhyaa yukto yayaa paartha karma bandham prahaasyasi // 2.39 //

What has been declared to you so far is the wisdom of sankhya. Now listen to the wisdom of yoga, armed with which, O son of Pritha, you will break through the bonds of Karma.


THE SPECIAL MERIT OF KARMAYOGA

nehaabhikramanaasho'sti pratyavaayo na vidyate
swalpamapyasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat // 2.40 //

In this no effort is ever lost and no harm is ever done. Even very little of this
discipline (Dharma) saves a man from the Great Fear.

 
KARMA YOGA LEADS TO THE HIGHEST GOOD

vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhir ekeha kurunandana
bahushaakhaa hyanantaashcha buddhayo'vyavasaayinaam // 2.41 //

O Joy of the Kurus (Arjuna), in this blessed path, there is a concentrated
one-pointed determination. Scattered and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute or the undecided.


TO BE CONTINUED......]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu Textuality 4.9.13]]>Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:50:48 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-4913Discussion Question of the Week: (Post your views in the comments section)

How such a long discourse like the Gita took place in the midst of two impatient armies ready to fight it out? 
 
Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Knowledge (Continued...)
 
na hi prapashyaami mamaapanudyaad
yacchokam ucchoshanam indriyaanaam
avaapya bhoomaav asapatnam riddham
raajyam suraanaam api chaadhipatyam  // 2.8 //

For, even after obtaining an undisputed sovereignty and an affluent kingdom on this earth and lordship over the Gods, I do not see any means of driving away this grief which is drying up my senses.

evam uktwaa hrishikesham gudakeshah parantapah

na yotsya iti govindam uktwaa tooshneem babhoova ha // 2.9 //

Sanjaya said
Having thus spoken to Hrishikesa (Krishna), Arjuna the destroyer of foes (Parantapa), said to Govinda (Krishna) I will not fight and became silent.

tam uvaacha hrisheekeshah prahasanniva bhaarata
senayor ubhayor madhye visheedantam idam vachah // 2.10 //

O descendent of Bharata (Dhritarashtra), then Krishna, as if  smiling, spoke these words to him (Arjuna) thus depressed in the midst of the two armies.

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE SELF AND THE BODY:
WE SHOULD NOT GRIEVE FOR WHAT IS IMPERISHABLE.

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
ashochyaan anvashochastwam prajnaavaadaamshcha bhaashase
gataasoon agataasoomshcha naanushochanti panditaah  // 2.11 //

Sri Bhagavan said

You grieve for those who are not to be grieved for; and yet you speak words of wisdom! The learned do not grieve for the departed and those who have not  departed.
 
na twevaaham jaatu naasam na twam neme janaadhipaah
na chaiva na bhavishyaamah sarve vayam atah param // 2.12 //

It is not that I did not exist before, nor you nor these kings. Nor is it that we shall cease to exist in future.
 
IMMUTABLE CHARACTER OF THE SOUL                  

dehino'smin  yathaa dehe kaumaaram yauvanam jaraa
tathaa dehaantara praaptir dheeras tatra na mhuhyati // 2.13 //

Just as in this body the embodied self passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; calm man does not grieve at it.

maatraa sparshaastu kaunteya sheetoshna sukha dukhadaah
agamaapaayinonityaas taamstitikshaswa bhaarata // 2.14  //

The contacts of the senses with objects, O son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold, pleasure and pain have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent ; endure them bravely, O descendent of Bharata (Arjuna).
 
WHAT GOOD COMES TO HIM WHO ENDURES THESE DESIRABLE AND UNDESIRABLE SITUATIONS? 
 
yam hi na vyathayantyete purusham purusharshabha
samaduhkha sukham dheeram so’mritatwaaya kalpate // 2.15 //

That calm man who remains unchanged in pain and pleasure, whom these cannot disturb, alone is able, O greatest amongst men, to attain immortality.

HOW THE SOUL IS ETERNAL AND HOW THE CONTACTS WITH SENSORY OBJECTS ARE TRANSITORY? THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE REAL AND THE UNREAL. ADDITIONAL EXPLANATIONS.

naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate satah
ubhayorapi drishto’ntastwanayos tattwadarshibhih // 2.16 //

The unreal has no existence. The Real never ceases to be (never ceases to exist). Men possessed of the knowledge of the Truth fully know both these.
 
WHAT THEN IS THAT WHICH IS ALWAYS REAL ?

avinaashi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam
vinaasham avyayasyaasya na kaschit kartum arhati // 2.17 //

Know `That' to be indestructible, by whom all this is pervaded. 
None can cause the destruction of That, the Imperishable.


WHAT IS THE UNREAL WHOSE NATURE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE?

antavanta ime dehaa nityasyoktaah shareerinah
anaashino'prameyasya tasmaad yudhyaswa bhaarata // 2.18 //

Only the bodies, of which this eternal, imperishable, and incomprehensible Self is the indweller, are said to have an end.  Therefore, O descendent of Bharata (Arjuna) fight.
 
IT IS IGNORANCE TO THINK  THAT THE SOUL IS CAPABLE OF KILLING OR CAN BE KILLED.

ya enam vetti hantaaram yashchainam manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijaaneeto naayam hanti na hanyate // 2.19 //

He who looks on the Self to be the slayer and he who looks on the Self as the slain - neither of them apprehends correctly. The Self neither slays nor is slain.

HOW IS THE SELF IMMUTABLE AND IMMORTAL?

na  jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachin naayam
bhootwaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah

ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano
na hanyate hanyamaane shareere // 2.20 //

He is never born nor does He ever die; after having been, He again does not cease to be.  Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient. He is not killed when the body is killed.

WHY THE SOUL DOES NOT KILL ANYBODY?

vedaavinaashinam nityam ya enam ajam avyayam katham
sa purushah paartha kam ghaatayati hanti kam  // 2.21 //


Whosoever knows Him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable, how can that man slay O Arjuna, or cause another to slay?

ILLUSTRATION REGARDING INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE SOUL.

vaasaamsi jeernaani yathaa vihaaya
navaani grihnaati naro'paraani
tathaa shareeraani vihaaya jeernaa-
-nyanyaani samyaati navaani dehee // 2.22 //

Just as a man casts off his worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the
embodied Self casts off Its worn out bodies and enters that are new.


nainam chhindanti shastraani nainam dahati paavakah
na chainam kledayantyaapo na shoshayati maarutah  // 2.23 //

Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It; water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry
It.


acchedyo'yam adaahyo'yam akledyo'shoshya eva cha
 nityah
sarvagatah sthaanur achalo'yam sanaatanah // 2.24 //


This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted or dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading,
stable, ancient and immovable.

avyakto'yam achintyo'yam avikaaryo'yam uchyate
tasmaad evam viditwainam naanushochitum arhasi // 2.25 //

The Self is unmanifest, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing it to be as such, you should not grieve.

TO BE CONTINUED......
]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu Textuality 4.2.13]]>Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:49:38 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-2413Chapter 1 - 
Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna 
(Continued…)


CONFOUNDED AND DISTRESSED, ARJUNA COLLAPSES 

sanjaya uvaacha 

evamuktwaa'rjunah sankhye rathopastha upaavishat 
visrijya sasharam chaapam shokasamvignamaanasah // 1.47 // 
Sanjaya said 
Having spoken thus in the midst of the battlefield, Arjuna, throwing away his bow and arrows, sank into the seat of the chariot, with his mind afflicted by sorrow. 

Arjuna finally decided not to fight. He threw away his arms and sank into his seat. This is really strange for a warrior of Arjuna's caliber. For all these outpourings, Krishna did not respond. The Lord allowed  him to exhaust himself so that the message He was going to deliver shortly to Arjuna and through him to the entire humanity would be fully effective. 
 
om tat sat iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam yogashaastre sri krishnaarjuna samvaade arjuna vishaada yogo
naama prathamo'dyaayah || 


Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the first discourse entitled: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna 
 
CHAPTER 1 - OVERVIEW
 
While the text mentions the names of a number of characters about to play their roles on both the sides, we are concerned with only three of them for our critical evaluation. They are
1. King Dhritarashtra 
2. The valiant Arjuna and
3. Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who assumed the role of a charioteer to Arjuna.
 
Dhritarashtra
- already heard several reasons for the likely victory of the Pandavas. 
- was afraid of the possibility of loss of kingdom for his own sons, the Kauravas. 
- He therefore asks Sanjaya “what did my sons, Duryodhana and others, as well as Pandu’s sons, Yudhishthira and others, actually do on the battlefield at
Kurukshetra? 
- a significant aspect of his question is his making a distinction between his own
sons and the sons of Pandu. 
- exhibits an absence of family homogeneity and harmony in his mind.
- he is not only physically blind but also is deprived of the vision of personal
kindness 

Arjuna
-  is intelligent and where there is intelligence there is doubt and where there is
doubt there is dilemma. Arjuna is rational and where there is rationality, there
lies the capacity to think from a totally different perspective. Where one has
these qualities, it is difficult to enter into a dangerous situation like war
with closed eyes.
- Remember that life does not end the same way as it begins; the end is always unknown and invisible. 
- Once observation starts, analysis is not far too behind and analysis always leads to wavering of mind. 
- Arjuna was overpowered by an emotional upheaval.
- Fever of Unknown or a Bhava-roga in Sanskrit
- In the verses 21 and 22 of the 1stchapter he roars like an impatient
lion waiting to pounce on its prey.
-  Verses 28-46 of the 1stChapter, The key word here is svajana, people who are one’s very own. It may be noted that Arjuna uses the word  ‘svajana’ four times in these verses
- remedy  prescribed by Krishna is Self-Knowledge (atma jnana) which He starts
unfolding from the verse 11 of the 2nd chapter

Krishna
-  two ideas stand supreme in his message. The first is the harmony of different ideas and the second is non-attachment
- The relationship between Arjuna and Krishna in this scene is that of a car owner and his driver. The driver just drives the car to the place where its owner wants him to go. 
- But here Krishna tells or directs Arjuna“Behold these Kurus”. There is no need for these remarks as Arjuna will see the assembled warriors anyway and Krishna could have placed the chariot without uttering any words. But he intentionally used the words ‘Kurun Pasya’ to arouse attachment in Arjuna.

 
Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Self-Knowledge

KRISHNA REBUKES ARJUNA

sanjaya uvaacha
tam tathaa kripayaavishtam ashrupoornaakulekshanam
visheedantam idam vaakyam uvaacha madhusoodanah  // 2.1 //

Sanjaya said
To him who was thus overwhelmed with pity and sorrow and whose eyes were dimmed with tears, Madhusudana (Krishna) spoke these words.

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
kutastwaa kashmalam idam vishame samupasthitam
anaaryajushtam aswargyam akeertikaram arjuna // 2.2 //

Sri Bhagavan said
 O Arjuna, at this moment of crisis, wherefrom have you got this weakness, un-Aryan like, disgraceful and which is not conducive to the attainment of heaven?

-  The Lord is called Bhagavan because He possesses six ‘bhagas’ or divine
traits viz. wealth, virtue, glory, greatness, knowledge and dispassion
- Kirti or fame attends on the one given to laudable life on earth.
- The three words used by the Lord are ‘anaryajushtam’,‘asvargyam’ and
‘akirtikaram’. They mean respectively three types of persons.

1. Thoughtful whose aim is to Bliss.
2. Virtuous whose aim is to achieve heaven by performing honest actions and
3. Ordinary who want name and fame in this world. 
Arjuna is indicted that he belongs to none of these because of his affliction.

klaibyam maa sma gamah paartha naitattwayyupapadyate
kshudram hridaya daurbalyam tyaktwottishtha parantapa // 2.3 //

O Partha (Son of Pritha, Kunti), yield not to unmanliness. It does not befit you.  Cast off this petty faint-heartedness and arise, O Paranthapa (scorcherer of foes - Arjuna).
- ‘Partha’ and‘Kaunteya’ with reference to Arjuna is with a purpose. These words mean the son of Pritha, Kunti who is Krishna’s father’s sister.
 
ARJUNA'S DOUBTS ARE UNRESOLVED  

arjuna uvaacha
katham bheeshmamaham sankhye dronam cha madhusoodana
ishubhih pratiyotsyaami poojaarhaav arisoodana //2.4 //

Arjuna said
But O Madhusudana, how can I strike Bhishma and Drona with arrows in this battle, for they are worthy of worship, O Arisudana (Destroyer of enemies - Krishna)?

guroon ahatwaa hi mahaanubhaavaan
shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyam apeeha loke
hatwaarthakaamaamstu guroon ihaiva
bhunjeeya bhogaan rudhirapradigdhaan  // 2.5 //

It is better to live in this world by begging than to slay these honored teachers.  By slaying them I would enjoy in this world pleasures which are stained with blood.


na chaitad vidmah kataran no gareeyo
yad waa jayema yadi vaa no jayeyuh
yaan eva hatwaa na jijeevishaamas
te'vasthitaah pramukhe dhaartaraashtraah // 2.6 //

 I can hardly tell which will be better - to fight or not to fight, that we should conquer them or they should conquer us .The very sons of Dhritarashtra after slaying whom we  do not even wish to live stand  facing us.

kaarpanya dosho pahata swabhaavah
pricchaami twaam dharma sammoodha chetaah
yacchreyah syaan nischitam broohi tanme
shishyaste'ham shaadhi maam twaam prapannam // 2.7 //

With my nature stricken with weakness of sentimental pity and my
mind bewildered about my duty, I request you to tell me for certain what is good
for me.  I am your disciple.  Please teach me. 
I am seeking refuge in you


TO BE CONTINUED......

Discussion Question of the Week: (Post your views in the comments section)

At the end of Chapter 1 and beginning of Chapter 2, Sri Krishna talks to
Arjuna to fight the war. So does that mean the Gita is a scripture which
propagates/glorifies war?
]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu textuality - 3.26.13]]>Wed, 27 Mar 2013 18:55:20 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-32613Chapter 1 - 
Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna 
(Continued…)


SOUNDING OF THE CONCH SHELLS 

tasya sanjanayan harsham kuruvriddhah pitaamahah 
simhanaadam vinadyocchaih shankham dadhmau prataapavaan //1.12 //
Then the powerful Bhishma, grandsire and oldest of the Kauravas, roared like a lion and blew his conch in order to cheer up Duryodhana. 

tatah shankaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah 
sahasaivaabhyahanyanta sa shabdastumulo bhavat //  1.13 // 

Then (following Bhishma) conches, kettle drums, tabors, trumpets and cow-horns suddenly blared forth from the Kaurava side creating a tumultuous noise. 

atah shvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau 
maadhavah paandavashchaiva divyau shankhau pradadhmatuh // 1.14 // 

Then stationed in their magnificent chariot, yoked with  white horses, Madhava (Krishna) and the son of Pandu (Arjuna) also blew their divine conches with a furious noise. 
 
paanchajanyam hrisheekesho devadattam dhananjayah 
paundram dadhmau mahaashankham bheemakarmaa vrikodarah // 1.15 // 

Hrishikesha (Krishna) blew the conch, Panchajanya, Dhananjaya (Arjuna) blew the Devadatta and Bhima, the doer of terrible deeds, blew the great conch, Paundra. 

anantavijayam raajaa kunteeputro yudhishthirah 
nakulah sahadevashcha sughoshamanipushpakau // 1.16 // 

King Yudhishtira, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya, Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka conches respectively. 

kaashyashcha parameshwaasah shikhandee cha mahaarathah 
dhrishtadyumno viraatashcha saatyakishchaaparaajitah // 1.17 // 

The king of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandi, the mighty chariot-warrior, Dhrshtadyumna, Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered. 

drupado draupadeyaashcha sarvashah prithiveepate 
saubhadrashcha mahaabaahuh shankhaan dadhmuh prithak prithak // 1.18 // 

Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of the earth, and the son of Subhadra, the mighty armed, blew their respective conches. 

sa ghosho dhaartaraashtraanaam hridayaani vyadaarayat  
nabhashcha prithiveem chaiva tumulo vyanunaadayan // 1.19 // 

The tumultuous sound of the conches pierced the hearts of the members of the Dhritarashtra's side, making both the sky and earth resound. 

Bhishma understood the mental agony of Duryodhana. In order to cheer him up he roared like a lion and blew his conch which was misunderstood as a signal for commencement of war. The Kaurava army blared forth their various conches and martial musical instruments signifying the declaration of war from the side of Kauravas. Metaphorically, the chariot represents the human gross body, the horses are the senses and their reins are the mind that controls the senses. The charioteer is the guiding spirit or the Self or Atman in the human beings. Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the divine charioteer, is the Self in all of us. 
  
ARJUNA’S DESIRE TO SURVEY THE TWO ARMIES 

atha vyavasthitaan drishtwaa dhaartaraashtraan kapidhwajah 
pravritte shastrasampaate dhanurudyamya paandavah // 1.20 // 
hrisheekesham tadaa vaakyamidamaaha maheepate - 1.21 
 

Then, O Lord of the earth, seeing Dhritarashtra's men being positioned and discharge of weapons about to begin, Pandava (Arjuna), whose ensign was Hanuman, raising his bow, spoke the following words to Krishna. 
 
The critical situation prevailing just at that moment when the war was about to begin was described. The hero of Mahabharata war, Arjuna, arrived at the battlefield. Tension prevailed everywhere. Crisis was at its zenith. Arjuna appeared impatient to fire the shot. He raised his bow to position it and at that crucial juncture he spoke to Krishna the following words which turned out to be historic as the starting point for the dialogue between them in the form of the great Srimad Bhagavad Gita. 
 
arjuna uvaacha 
senayor ubhayormadhye ratham sthaapaya me'chyuta // 1.21 // 
yaavad etaan nireekshe'ham yoddhukaamaan avasthitaan 
kair mayaa saha yoddhavyam asmin ranasamudyame // 1.22 // 

Arjuna said 
O Achyuta (Krishna) place my chariot in between both
the armies so that I may survey those who stand here eager to fight. Let me know on the eve of this battle with whom I have to fight. 


yotsyamaanaan avekshe'ham ya ete'tra samaagataah 
dhaartaraashtrasya durbuddher yuddhe priyachikeershavah // 1.23 // 

For, I desire to have a glance at those who are assembled here to fight, wishing to please the perverted son of Dhritarashtra. 
 
 
Arjuna thus expressed his bravery, readiness, impatience,  gallantry and determination to face the battle. This is an important stage in  the story because up to this time Arjuna was an invincible hero full of  self-confidence and enthusiasm with no signs of mental aberrations. However, a  little later he became a completely changed personality. 
 
SRI KRISHNA ENTERS THE SCENE 

sanjaya uvaacha 
evamukto hrisheekesho gudaakeshena bhaarata 
senayor ubhayormadhye sthaapayitwaa rathottamam // 1.24 // 
bheeshma drona pramukhatah sarveshaam cha maheekshitam 
uvaacha paartha pashyaitaan samavetaan kuroon iti // 1.25 // 

Sanjaya said 
O Bharata (Dhritarashtra), thus requested by Gudakesha (Arjuna), Hrishikesha placed the magnificent chariot between the two armies in front of Bhishma and Drona and the other rulers of the earth and said `O Partha (Arjuna), behold all these Kurus assembled here'. 
 
WHAT DID ARJUNA SEE? 

tatraa pashyat sthitaan paarthah pitrin atha pitaamahaan 
aacharyaan maatulaan bhraatrun putraan pautraan sakheemstathaa // 1.26 // 

Then Arjuna saw stationed there in the armies, uncles, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and friends too. 

shvashuraan suhridashchaiva senayorubhayorapi 
taan sameekshya sa kaunteyah sarvaan bandhoon avasthitaan // 1.27 // 
kripayaa parayaa'vishto visheedannidam abraveet -  1.28 

He saw fathers-in-law and friends also in both armies. Kaunteya (son of Kunti) i.e. Arjuna seeing all these relatives arrayed  there, became overwhelmed by supreme compassion and said this sorrowfully.  

Arjuna seeing his elders and other relations, teachers, friends and well wishers arrayed in the battle ready to fight suddenly developed extreme self-pity and compassion. The valiant hero, Arjuna, transformed himself into a kinsman of the opposite side i.e. as a son, a brother, a student etc. 
 
ARJUNA’S REACTION 
 
arjuna uvaacha 
drishtwe mam swajanam krishna yuyutsum samupasthitam  // 1.28 // 

Arjuna said 
O Krishna, seeing these relatives and friends gathered here eager to fight, 
 
seedanti mama gaatraani mukham cha parishushyati 
vepathushcha shareere me romaharshashcha jaayate // 1.29// 

My limbs fail me and my mouth gets parched up, my body trembles and my hairs stand on end. 

gaandeevam sramsate hastaat twak chaiva paridahyate 
na cha shaknomyavasthaatum bhramateeva cha me manah  // 1.30 // 

The Gandiva (bow) slips from my hand and my skin burns all over; I am unable even to stand steady and my mind is reeling. 
 

nimittaani cha pashyaami vipareetaani keshava 
na cha shreyo'nupashyaami hatwaa swajanam aahave // 1.31 // 

And I see evil omens, O Kesava (Krishna), I do not see any good in killing my own people in this battle. 

Arjuna's attention to omens indicates that his mental strength had gone down. It started showing its weakness and instability. The world he was seeing till a short while ago, now presented him with a different picture on account of his change of perception. His words make us think of the loneliness of man oppressed by doubts and emptiness from whom the comforts of human life are slipping away. This sadness is the first experience of those who aspire for the vision of the Reality.
 
ARJUNA’S ANGUISH 
 
na kaangkshe vijayam krishna na cha raajyam sukhaani cha 
kim no raajyena govinda kim bhogair jeevitena vaa // 1.32 // 

For, I do not desire victory, O, Krishna, or  pleasures or kingdoms. Of what avail is kingdom to us O, Govinda (Krishna), or  pleasures or even life? 

yeshaam arthe kaangkshitam no raajyam bhogaah sukhaani cha 
ta ime'vasthitaa yuddhe praanaams tyaktwaa dhanaani cha // 1.33 // 

Those for whose sake we desire kingdoms, enjoyments and pleasures, stand here in battle staking their life and wealth.  

aachaaryah pitarah putraastathaiva cha pitaamahaah 
maatulaah shwashuraah pautraah shyaalaah sambandhinas tathaa // 1.34 // 

Teachers, fathers, sons and also grandfathers, uncles and fathers-in-law, grandsons and brothers-in-law and other relatives  

etaan na hantum icchaami ghnato'pi madhusoodana 
api trailokya raajyasya hetoh kim nu maheekrite // 1.35 // 

O, Madhusudana (Krishna), though these were to kill  me, I do not wish to kill them even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds, leave alone killing them for the sake of the earth. 

nihatya dhaartaraashtraan nah kaa preetih syaaj janaardana 
paapam evaashrayed asmaan hatwaitaan aatataayinah // 1.36 // 

By killing these sons of Dhritarashtra, what pleasures can be ours O, Janardana (Krishna)? Only sin will accrue by killing these felons. 

The term `felon' refers to the one who sets fire to the house of another, runs with a sword to kill, poisons others, plunders the wealth and land of others or usurps the wife of somebody else. Duryodhana committed all these crimes against the Pandavas. According to Artha Sastra no sin is committed if such felons are killed. But Arjuna overwhelmed with a sense of sentimental sympathy for his near and dear ones takes the help of the general principle of Dharma Sastra which forbids the sin of killing one another. He is talking in terms of enlightened selfishness. 

tasmaan naarhaa vayam hantum dhaartaraashtraan swabaandhavaan 
swajanam hi katham hatwaa sukhinah syaama maadhava // 1.37 // 

Therefore, we should not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives; for, how can we be happy by killing our own people, O, Madhava (Krishna)? 

yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasah 
kulakshayakritam dosham mitradrohe cha paatakam // 1.38 // 
katham na jneyam asmaabhih paapaad asmaan nivartitum 
kulakshayakritam dosham prapashyadbhir janaardana // 1.39 // 

O Janardana, though with their intelligence overpowered by greed they do not see any evil or sin in the destruction of families or hostility towards friends, why should not we who clearly see evil in the destruction of a family, learn to turn away from this sin. 

Arjuna was reinforcing his arguments for saving the Kaurava desperadoes due to his attachment for his relatives and friends by putting forward a philosophy of non-resistance to evil. Krishna in his discourses that will follow proved the hollowness of these arguments and their dangerous implications. 

kulakshaye pranashyanti kuladharmaah sanaatanaah 
dharme nashte kulam kritsnam adharmo'bhibhavatyuta // 1.40 // 

In the destruction of a family, its ancient religious traditions perish; on the destruction of spirituality, lawlessness overtakes the whole family. 

Dharma or spirituality means the duties, rites and ceremonies practiced by the family in accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures. War tends to tear us away from our natural home surroundings and uproot us from social traditions which are the essence of the mature will and experience of the people. 

adharmaabhibhavaat krishna pradushyanti kulastriyah 
streeshu dushtaasu vaarshneya jaayate varnasankarah // 1.41 // 

And when lawlessness prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt and when women become corrupted it results in intermingling of castes O, Varshneya (Krishna- the descendent of Vrshni clan). 
 

The idea is that when women are associated with their husbands who flouted their family traditions of righteousness, they may also feel emboldened to commit transgressions. 
 
sankaro narakaayaiva kulaghnaanaam kulasya cha 
patanti pitaro hyeshaam luptapindodaka kriyaah // 1.42 // 

Admixture of castes leads the family and the slayers of the family to hell because the spirits of their ancestors fall, deprived of the offerings of rice and water. 

doshair etaih kulaghnaanaam varnasankarakaarakaih 
utsaadyante jaatidharmaah kuladharmaashcha shaashwataah // 1.43 // 

By these evil deeds of the destroyers of the family, which cause confusion of castes, the traditional duties of the caste and the family are destroyed. 

utsannakuladharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana 
narake niyatam vaaso bhavateetyanushushruma // 1.44 // 

O, Janardana, we have heard that dwelling in hell for an infinite period is inevitable for those people whose family duties have been destroyed. 
 
The import of Arjuna’s arguments was that when the fundamental harmony of the domestic life gets broken, when purity of living and sanctity of thought were destroyed, when the ideals enshrined in immemorial traditions were shattered, when the social equilibrium is disturbed, chaos alone will reign supreme in the world. 
 
aho bata mahat paapam kartum vyavasitaa vayam 
yadraajya sukhalobhena hantum swajanam udyataah // 1.45 // 
yadi maam aprateekaaram ashastram shastrapaanayah 
dhaartaraashtraa rane hanyus tanme kshemataram bhavet // 1.46 // 

Alas, what a pity that we have resolved to commit a great sin by being eager to kill our own kith and kin out of greed for the pleasures of a kingdom ! It would, indeed be better for me if the sons of Dhritarashtra, armed with weapons, were to kill me in the battle while I remain unarmed and unresisting. 

The idea is that instead of committing the heinous sin of killing his own relatives and friends, Arjuna feels that purification from even such a thought itself will come from the amends in the form of an end to his own life itself.

TO BE CONTINUED......
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<![CDATA[Hindu textuality¬† - 3.12.13]]>Tue, 12 Mar 2013 07:09:39 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textuality-31213Gita's Wide Appeal
 - deals with human problems  in human way
- adishankara (8th AD) wrote a commentary
 - people know more about it  than what it is about
 - Bhagavan Sri Krishna also
  says in the Gita (7.3) “Among thousands of men , one by chance aspires for
  perfection; even among those successful aspirants only one by chance knows    
  Me in essence.”
What is Gita?
 - Gita means song or poem  and bhagavat means divine
 - It finds a place in the  Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises of 18 chapters spread out in 700  verses.
 - author is Veda Vyasa, the
  compiler of the Mahabharata who wrote this epic through the hands of the Lord
  of Wisdom, Sri Ganesha.
 - The content of the Gita is the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna taking place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra before the start of the war between the two clans of  brothers - the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
 - Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Bhagavan Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and elaborates on different Vedantic concepts.
 - It is considered as a concise, practical, self-contained guide to play the game of life. During the discourse, Krishna reveals His identity as the Supreme Being (Svayam Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.
 
Six Points of Gita:


1. Upakarma or upasamhara - from delusion to clarity
2. Abhayasa - repetition and emphasis - K to A, not to grieve and put forward reasons from several angles.
3. Apurvata - uniqueness 
4. Phalam - fruit or result
5. Arthavada - positive praise of the subject
6. upapatti - illustration and reasoning - uses "tasmat" means therefore, etc.

Overview of the Gita:

The entire Bhagavad Gita can be divided into five topics 

1. Identifying the problem (covered in the 1st and the starting portions of the 2nd chapters of the Gita).
2. Finding a solution (covered in the major portion of the 2nd chapter and reiterated in the 7th, 9th and 13th chapters.
3. Implementing the solution (This theme is dealt with in the 3rd, 5th, 12th and 18th chapters).
4. Understanding the values of life (stated in many places in the Gita and particularly in the 16th chapter) and
5. Achieving perfection (elaborated in the 2nd, 5th, and 14th chapters).

Main Philosophical Subjects in Gita:


The main philosophical  subject matter of the Bhagavad Gita is the explanation of five basic concepts.

􀂾 Jiva, the individual soul or the living being
􀂾 Jagat, the universe he lives in or nature or matter
􀂾 Jagadishvara, the creator of the universe or the Supreme Controller and the relationship between Jiva, Jagat and Jagadishvara.
􀂾 Dharma (Duty in accordance with Divine law)
􀂾 Kaala  (Time)

Chapter 1 - Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna

THE QUESTION 

dhritaraashtra uvaacha 
dharmakshetre  kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavah 
maamakaah  paandavaashchaiva kimakurvata sanjaya // 1.1 // 


Dhritarashtra  said 
What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when they assembled together on the  holy field of Kurukshetra, eager to fight, O Sanjaya? 
 

TWO ARMIES 

sanjaya  uvaacha 
drishtwaa  tu paandavaaneekam vyoodham duryodhanastadaa 
aachaaryam  upasamgamya raajaa vachanam abraveet // 1.2 // 

Sanjaya  said 
Having seen the army of Pandavas drawn up in battle array, King Duryodhana then  approached his teacher, Drona, and spoke these words. 

pashyaitaam  paanduputraanaam aacharya mahateem chamoom 

vyoodhaam drupadaputrena tava shishyena dheemataa // 1.3 // 

Behold O Teacher, this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your wise disciple.

atra shooraa maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi 

yuyudhaano  viraatashcha drupadashcha mahaarathah // 1.4 // 

Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana,  Virata and Drupada, the great chariot warrior. 

dhrishtaketush chekitaanah kaashiraajascha veeryavan 
purujit  kuntibhojashcha shaibhyashcha narapungavah // 1.5 // 

Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya, the best  among men. 

yudhaamanyushcha vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavan 
saubhadro draupadeyaashcha sarva eva mahaarathaah // 1.6 // 

The courageous Yudhamanyu, the brave Uttamauja, Saubhadra and the sons of Draupadi - all great chariot-warriors. 

asmaakam tu vishishtaa ye taan nibodha dwijottama 
naayakaa mama sainyasya samjnaartham taan braveemi te // 1.7 // 

Know also, O the best among the twice born, the names of those who are most
distinguished amongst ourselves, the leaders of my army. These I relate to you
for your information. 


bhavaan bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah 
ashwatthaamaa vikarnashcha saumadattis tathaiva cha // 1.8 // 

Yourself  and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa, the victorious in war, Aswatthama and Vikarna  and Jayadratha, the son of Somadatta. 

anye cha bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah 
naanaashastrapraharanaah sarve yuddhavishaaradaah // 1.9 // 

And  many other heroes also, well-skilled in warfare and armed with many kinds of weapons are here; ready to lay down their lives for my sake. 
 

aparyaaptam tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam 
paryaaptam twidam eteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam // 1.10 // 

Our army defended by Bhishma is insufficient but the army of theirs defended by
Bhima is sufficient. 

ayaneshu cha sarveshu yathaabhaagam avasthitaah 
bheeshmam evaabhirakshantu bhavantah sarva eva hi // 1.11 // 

Now all of you being stationed in your respective positions in the divisions of the
army guard Bhishma alone by all means.

TO BE CONTINUED......
]]>
<![CDATA[Hindu Textuality ]]>Mon, 11 Mar 2013 06:45:02 GMThttp://hso.usc.edu/community-blog/hindu-textualityWe have started a Learn and Share Series on Hindu Scriptures organized by USC Hindu Student Organization. This is a weekly meeting (occurring every tuesday) to discuss and understand the in-depth meaning of various Hindu Scriptures.

We will be beginning this series with Srimad Bhagavat Gita. We will be reading through each verse from each of the chapters  and understand its meaning and discuss on how it can apply to our day to day
life. 

The series will be handled by Swami Atmavidyananda, Religious Director at USC Office of Religious Life and Bharathwaj Nandakumar, Director of  Hindu Student Life.

Dates: Every Tuesday
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Fishbowl Chapel
Event Link: http://www.facebook.com/events/551374231564000/]]>