Meditations On The Srimad Bhagavad Gita

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"You have the right to work,

but not to its fruits.

You shoud never perform actions for the sake of reward,

nor should you long for inaction"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2:47).

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is essentially a text on Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the path of selfless action. The Gita is dedicated to people who live active lives in the world, and at the same time desire to live a contemplative life. The Gita was my guide during my military life, and now in my secular life I am a law enforcemt officer; the Bhagavad Gita continues to be my guiding light.

In no moment does the Gita asks us to abandon the activity in the world. But in almost every chapter it asks us to act in a selfless manner.

The word "Karma" means "action". Karma is every physical, mental, and spiritual action. Every action produces a result (the fruits of the work). For many years I asked myself why I should not enjoy the fruits of my actions. I could not understand the true esoteric meaning of the above verse. As I deepened in my study of the Gita and in my meditations, I realized that the fruits of the actions are the actions themselves. There is no difference between the act and its fruits, they are one. This is what Buddhism calls "Right Effort". I love how Sir Edwin Arnold translates that verse:

"Let right deeds by thy motive,

not the fruit that comes from them.

And live in action, casting all self aside..."

When we act in a selfless manner, that action is the true reward. We do not need anyone to recognize the value of the act. Meditation is a form of work or action. Meditation should be practiced without waiting for any results. Some Buddhists claim that when we meditate without expecting results, we are in Nirvana. Among the devotional yogis (Bhakti Yogis) of India it is said that it is sufficient that we learn to love God with all our hearts and that it does not matter if God loves us back. They state that in loving God without any expectations, we find true salvation. I have always enjoyed something that Jesus the Christ told His students with respect to alms:

"do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.." (Matthew 6:3).

I think that is the essence of Karma Yoga.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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"I am -- of all this boundless Universe --

the Father, Mother, Ancestor, and Guard!"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 9:17).

All the great sages of mankind have taught that God is not anything like a human being. But it is difficult not talk about God without using human images. The great teachers of the Sanatana Veda Dharma have taught that we can approach God by bringing God down to our level. This is called Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of Divine Love. the great lovers of God have spoken of the different human relationships we can establish with the Divine.

1. God the Father: This is a relationship that was established between Jesus the Christ and God. This relationship has continued with devout Christians for over two thousand years. The Christian Lord's Prayer begins, "Our Father who art in Heaven..." That relationship is also recognized in Vedic Hinduism.

2. God the Divine Mother: Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886), one of the greatest saints of modern Vedic Hinduism, was a priest of Mother Kali. He found the fullness of God by worshipping God in the form of a Goddess. In Hinduism for every male deity there is a female counterpart. Sri Ramakrishna was an ecstatic lover of God. He would enter profound trance states called Samadhi, and there He would speak to the Mother of the Universe. Even though in the Judeo-Christian Bible we get the image of a stern and manly God, in Isaiah we find God talking to His/Her people in a maternal manner: "As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort your..." (Isaiah 66:13).

3. God the Divine Child: Near to where I live there is a Roman Catholic Church that worships God as the Christ Child. In the Hindu path there is also a similar form of worship: the worship of Sri Krishna as Gopala, the Baby Krishna. Many devotees take care of the image of the Divine Child as if it were a living child. Their devotion is so great that they will eventually have an ecstatic vision of the Divine Child, and they will be taken to the Supreme Abode of the Beloved.

4. God as the Lord: This attitude is very common among the Jews, Muslims, and Christians. God is the Supreme Lord and King of the universe. So we read in the beautiful Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd..." Yes! The Lord God is the Shepherd of every sentient being.

5. God as the Divine Friend: This is the attitude of Abraham, and the attitude of Arjuna. God is our Cosmic Friend, we can talk to God as if we were talking to a very good friend. This is an attitude that I cherish a lot. I talk to God as if He were right next to me; sometimes I complain or even get angry at Him, for I know that God is my Cosmic Friend. That complaining becomes a prayer.

6. God as the Beloved: There is a mystic poetry that is dedicated to God and borders in the realm of the erotic. Read St. Teresa of Avila, or the Muslim poet Rumi. God is the Beloved One, there is no greater Lover in the Universe.

There are many approaches to God. You will find in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita many of those approaches. Do not be afraid to approach God with intimacy. Whichever way we approach God do it with sincerity, and God will fill you with True Joy (Ananda).

May the Beloved One shine in our hearts always.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Thank you Hermano for these beautiful descriptions of God.

I hope you don`t mind , I would also like to add a few more descriptions of God as told by God ;

"You are a fractal of all that is seen, that is unseen. I AM Supreme energy, I want to be called- Universal Mind.

The unimaginable, the Unfathomable, the Incomprehensible, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, the Awesome, the Ever Expanding, the ever Contracting. All that is IS , form and all that is formless, I am the ALL, I am the None, Of worlds and universes beyond imagining of the human mind.

I am All that there is. Mother/Father/God/Goddess/Source, the Eternal-- and all and everything in between. I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in my devotional service and worship with all their hearts. I Am, Universal Mind. Listen to me well-

I AM --God "

blessings and love,


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Thank you, Suzanne! Yes, what you say is true. In chapter 10 of the at the end of Chapter 10, the Lord says:

"Living or lifeless, still or stirred, whatever beings be,

None of them is in all the worlds, but it exists by Me!

No tongue can tell, Arjuna! nor end of telling come

Of these My booundless glories, whereof I teach thee some;

For wheresoe'er is wondrous work, and majesty, and might,

From Me hath all proceeded. Receive thou this aright"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 3:39 - 41).

We can never know the vastness of the glory of God with our limited mind.


After the mornig service in the shrine, I read the followin verses from the Gita:

Arjuna asks: "Yet tell me, Teacher! by what force doth man go to his ill,

unwilling -- as if one pushed him that evil path?"

Sri Krishna answered: Kama it is!

Passion it is! born of the Darkness, which pusheth him.

Mighty of appetite, sinful, and strong is this! -- man's enemy!"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 3:37-38).

Ignorance; it is ignorance that leads us to act in wrongful ways. Ignorance fills our minds will all kinds of ill desires. This is a very Buddhist attitude. We have to be alert at all times, for the mind will easily follow a wrong path withou thinking. For those who live in a monastery or a convent where life is strictly controlled by the rules of the order, it is very difficult to take a wrong path; but to those of us who live in the world and try to live the spiritual path, it is very difficult. There are to many obstacles in the world.

The founding Guru of my spiritual tradition, Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri (1828-1895), was a family man: He had a wife, three daughters, two sons, a job as a civil servant; he was a poet, an author of 26 books, an educator, a social reformer, and -- of course -- a spiritual teacher whose teachings have gone around the world. He suffered many difficulties during His lifetime, but He overcame the obstacles, and managed to reach advanced states of enlightenment in samadhi. He taught many persons how to meditate and search enlightenment, many of his disciples also became outstanding Gurus.

Sri Shyamacharan Lahir knew that the spiritual path was not easy for people living in the world. So He would encourage His students with these words: "Banat, banat, ban-jay!" (which mean in a literal sense, "Making, making, one day made!").

Every obstacle, every failure that we face must be treated as a spiritual lesson. I read somewhere that a saint was a sinner that never gave up. When I am teaching I tell people, "We are not sinners; but we are fallible human beings, and we can overcome all of our deficiencies." Let us not think of our deficiencies, but let us think that within each and every one of us there is a Divine Spark that can be awakened with faith and effort.

Just before the end of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, God tells Arjuana:

"In faith of Me all dangers thou shalt vanquish, by My Grace;

But trusting to thyself and heeding not, thou can'st but perish!"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18:66).

OM Peace Amen!

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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This is a very informative and stimulating series. Thank you very much, and please keep 'em coming!

Thank you for your encouragement!

Sri Krishna says:

"Arjauna,I am the Universal Self (Atman)

seatedin the heart of all beings"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 10:20).

Sri Krishna says:

"Arjuna, God abides in the heart

of all creatures"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18:61)

The Avatar is a human being, but the Avatar -- according to the Vedic-Hindu tradition -- is also the Divine Being. Sometimes the Avatar speaks as if He were God, and sometimes as if He were a human being. I have observed that also in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

There is a state spoken of in Yoga philosophy that is called Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This is a very profound state of awareness. The spiritual teachers try to explain it with the image of the Ocean and the Wave. The wave is essentially ocean. It might go around believing that it is different than the ocean, but as it deepens its understanding about its True Nature, it discovers that it is Ocean. That is called Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Everyone can reach that profound state of awareness, because everyone is a wave (Atman) in the vast ocean of Life (Brahman).

So Bhagavan Krishna (Brahman, God) reminds us that He is the Atman in our hearts. Later Krishna, the Man, the spiritual teacher, will remind us that God abides within us. It is a cosmic game, the Avatar is both God and Man. If this is the case, who is the True Avatar? Every one of us is the Avatar, that is what the Gita is saying. All we have to do is awaken to that reality. All we have to do is look deep within ourselves, go beyond our ego, our thoughts, our desires, and see our True Nature: WE ARE THE OCEAN, WE ARE THE AVATAR.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births,

I remember then all; you do not remember"

(Srimat Bhagavad Gita 4:5).

Reincarnation is one of the outstanding doctrines of the Sanatana Veda Dharma. Nevertheless, reincarnation is not unique to the Sanatana Veda Dharma or Hinduism. Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Plutarch -- ancient Greek philosophers -- taught reincarnation. Origen (186-253?), one of the early Christian theologians, believed and taught reincarnation. It was, if I am not mistaken, the Second Council of Constantinople that outlawed reincarnation in the Christian Church. Modern Theosophy and Rosicrucianism teach reincarnation.

I believe in reincarnation, but just believing something doesn't make it true. Reincarnation is a religious doctrine in the same way that the concept of the Holy Trinity is a religious doctrine. Religious doctrines can not be proven true or false, one simply believes or denies the doctrine. It is important that we understand this.

The doctrine of reincarnation in the Hindu Dharma is as important as the believe in a Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, the law of karma, and liberation in enlightenment. So we might start by asking the question, "Why do we reincarnate?" According to the Gita, because we have not found spiritual enlightenment; in other words, we have not discovered our oneness with the Supreme. Sri Bhagavan Krishna, the Avatar of God says:

"Great souls, who have attained the highest perfection,

having come to Me, are no more subjected to rebirth,

which is the abode of sorrow, and transient by nature"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 8:15).

Not everyone in this lifetime finds the oneness with God. The path is open for everyone, but only a few make the great effort. Even those of us who are making the effort, are faced with all sorts of difficulties that become serious obstacles in our path. So, why make the effort? Aryuna has that same question: "Krishna, what becomes of the soul who, though endowed with faith, has not been able to subdue his passions, and whose mind is therefore diverted from union with God at the time of death and thus fails to reach God realization" (Bhagavad Git 6:37).

Sri Krishna answers:

"There is no fall for him either here or hereafter.

For none who strives for self-redemption (God-Realization)

ever meets with evil destiny"

(Bhagavad Gita 6:40).

The Gita then continues to say that after a period in certain spiritual plains, that person will return to Earth and continue his/her spiritual effort where they were interrupted by death. The Gita tells us that no effort is ever lost. So if we believe in reincarnation and practice a spiritual path, it is important that we continue our effort even if we feel that we are not progressing.

But there is a great teaching in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita that goes even beyond the belief in reincarnation. God makes a sincere promise to all His/Her sincere devotees. God in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita says that even if the vilest of persons turns sincerely to Him/Her, that person "should be accounted a saint" (Gita 8:30). I am sure that no onr who reads this words is the vilest of persons; I am sure that everyone who reads these words is making a sincere effort to find spiritual enlightenment or union with God. So for all of you, God -- through His/Her Avatar -- has the following promise:

"Know if for certain,

My devotees never fall"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 8:31).

So do not worry if you reincarnate or not, just follow your spiritual path with faith, sincerity, effort, and detachment. Let God do the rest.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Everyone that approaches the Gita has to understand one thing: the Gita is neither systematic philosophy nor systematic theology. The author of the Bhagavad Gita -- Vyasa Deva or Veda Vyasa (he is attributed with having compiled the Vedas) or Krishna Dvaipayana -- wrote or compiled the 700 verses in 18 chapters with one purpose: to help people find spiritual liberation or enlightenment.

When you read the Bhagavad gita for the first time, you might find it a bit disorganized. There is a purpose behind the apparent disorganization: it forces you to study it. I have been studying the Bhagavad Gita for some fifty years more or less. Sadly to say, my knowledge of Sanskrit is very limited so I do my studying from Spanish or English translations with the help of a special Sanskrit edition for people like me.

Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri (1828-1895), the founding Guru of my spiritual tradition, was a profound scholar of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. He encouraged all His disciples to study the Bhagavad Gita. He used to say that the essence of the Gita was found in the following verse:

"You have the right to work,

but not to the fruit of work"

(Bhagavad Gita 2:47).

Every society in the world praises success and shuns failure. In a worldly manner, the fruit of work is either success or failure. In the spiritual life -- according to the profound Vedantic religious philosophy -- neither success nor failure have any value. the author of the Gita is aware that everyone that walks the spiritual path will not reach spiritual enlightenment:

Sri Krishna says:

"One person in many thousands may seek perfection,

yet of these only a few reach the goal

and come to realize Me"

(Bhagavad Gita 7:3).

Every time that Sri Krishna says "I" or "me" it is Atman-Brahman speaking. Now it has been mentioned that Atman (the Soul) and Brahman (the Supreme Reality) are of one essence. So if enlightenment is reaching our True Nature (Atman), then we reach Brahman.

Sri Krishna says:

"That Supreme Brahman,

who is the Lord of beginningless entities,

is said to be neither Sat (being) nor Asat (non-being)"

(Bhagavad Gita 13:12).

Atman-Brahman is undefinable. True spiritual master never say "I am enlightened!" Those who say they are enlightened are usually very unenlightened. There have been many moral and legal problems with many so called enlightened spiritual masters. Those who have in reality found enlightenment, do not mention it... they simply live it.

Those of us who do not find enlightenmen should never be discouraged, because the Gita tells us something of great value: there is no failure in this path. Everyone who walks the spiritual path, no matter what his/her tradition might be never loses an effort.

"In this path there is no loss of effort,

nor is there fear of contrary result,

even a little practice of this discipline

saves one from the terrible fear

of birth and death"

(Bhagavad Gita 2:40).

Let us never stop our search!

Hermano Luis

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The ego is a mask. It is the mask of psychological conditionain. It starts in the moment we are born and continues through out our lives. The process of meditation is to decondition the mind or taking off the mask of ego. Spiritual enlightenment is touching our True Nature beyond ego. Our True Nature is what Zen teachers might call "our face before our parents were born."

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a Moksha Shastra, a book that helps in the path to spiritual liberation (Moksha). There are many paths that lead to Moksha. Every chapter of the Bhagavad Gita offers the sincere seeker a different path to that Goal. Buddhists would call them "expedient means." A true spiritual master will help his/her student find the method or combination of methods that will help her/him in the path to Moksha.

One of thos methods is called the path of devotion or Bhakti Yoga. Le us never forget that the Gita is an allegorical text, and the author -- Vyasa Deva -- uses Sri Bhagavan Krishna as the Avatar or symbol of God.

Sri Krishna says:

"Arjuna he who performs all his duties for My sake,

depends on Me, is devoted to Me;

has no attachment,

and is free from malice

towards all beings,

reaches Me"

(Bhaagavad Gita 11).

This verse of the Gita is the foundation of the Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of Love). It also reminds of sayings from the Jewish TANAKH quoted by Jesus:

"You shall love the Lord your God

with all your heart and

with all your soul and

with all your might"

(Deuteronomy 6:5).


"Love your fellow as your self"

(Leviticus 19:18).

There is a saintly Spanish Roman Catholic nun who says: "God, God, God, I know you not, yet I love you" [Mother María Teresa de Jesus Ortega (1917-1972)]. Sincere devotees of God do not know if God exists or how God exists; they offer God their love and jump into the "darkness" of faith. That mystical path is not for everyone, but in almost all theistic religions those mystics have brought force a love so profound that has opened the "doors of heaven", they have touched their True Nature.

Hermano Luis

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Throuhout the Gita there are many verses that speak of the glory of God. Some of them are very poetic and filled with many examples from Hindu mythology. But Arjuna is a true seeker, and now he wants to have the experience of seeing the True Nature of God. Is that possible?

Arjuna says:

"O Lord of Yoga, reveal to me Your imperishable form"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 11:4).

Chapter 11 is one of profound poetic beauty. Vyasa Deva, the author of the Gita, will try to illustrate the beauty, vastness, and power of God. But the questions remains, can we really see God? Many mystics throughout the ages claim that they have. In Hinduism, great saints have said that in the profound state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi you can see God. It is said that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886) spent six months in Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

Sri Krishna says:

"Arjuna, behold as concentrated within this body of Mine

the entire creation consistinb of both animate

and inanimate beings, and whatever you desire

to see. But surely you cannot see Me with these

human eyes of yours; therefore I give you the spiritual

vision to perceive My majestic power"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 11:7 & 8).

Every contemplative mystic, no matter what spiritual tradition they belong to, desires to have the Spiritual Vision or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Not everyone accomplishes this profound state. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), one of the teachers in my spiritual tradition, calls the spiritual vision. "Intuition". In his book, The Second Coming of Christ, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda defines intuition as "the direct all knowing power of the soul".

Everyone of us has the potential of intuition, but we must cultivate it through the practice of silent meditation or prayer. Christian mystics practice silent prayer, the Quakers practice silent communion with God, Buddhist practice silent meditation, Muslim Sufis also practice silent forms of prayer, Jewish mystics also practice some forms of silent prayers. The silent contact with God is not unique to the Vedic Hindus, it is a path available to all. After all, like one of my Gurus says, "God is the God of all!"

“Be still, and know that I am God"

(Psalm 46:10)

Let us make the effort!

Hermano Luis

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"If there be the effulgence of a thousand suns

bursting forth all at once in the heavens,

even that would hardly approach

the splendor of the mighty Lord"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 11:12).

Many mystics in different spiritual traditions have described the manifestation of God as light. Moses sees the spirit or angel of the Lord as light.

"And the angel of the Lord appeared to him

in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush;

and he looked, and , behold, the bush

was on fire, and the bush was not

consumed" (Exodus 3:2).

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), in his book The Second Coming of Christ, says: "If you saw God right now, you would see Him as one mass of light scintillating over the whole universe."

"And Jesus was transfigured before them,

and His face shone like the sun,

and His clothes turned white

like light" (Matthew 17:2).

Even the disciples of Jesus Christ see His transfiguration in light.

In meditation, as one goes deep into serenity and silence, one feels that inwardly one is being filled with a serene bluish light. Light is the most profound symbol of God. According to mystics of all traditions and ages, it is in the Light of God that one finds Peace and True Happiness.

"And God said, Let there be light;

and there was light" (Genesis 1:3).

Even in non-theistic traditions, like Buddhism, the symbol of light is also important. Nirvana in Buddhism is Enlightenment.

May everyone find the Light of spirituality in their hearts.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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I would like to make a parenthesis in my meditations on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Many traditional and devout Hindus believe that the Bhagavad Gita is in one way or another the Word of God. I do not. My personal opinion is that the Bhagavad Gita is an allegorical dialogue between God and Man. Nevertheless the Gita has been the spiritual guide of many sincere Vedic Hindus, both traditionals and liberals.

The Bhagavad Gita is a wonderful summary of the Vedic Upanishads that appeared at a critical time in the history of Hinduism. In its 700 verses divided in 18 chapters, the Gita has preserved the essential teachings of Vedic Hinduism known as Vedanta. Combined with a system of spiritual discipline, meditation, moral precepts it has served as the spiritual foundation of many sincere spiritual aspirants.

Ihave been writing meditations on the Gita for various years now. These meditations have been sent to devotees in the path in personal letters. My intention in writing some of these thoughts in our Forum is not convert anyone to the Vedic Hindu faith, but to offer my understanding and thoughts on a beloved book.

In loving kindness,

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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I enjoy watching science documentaries on television. My favorite ones are those about astronomy. I like watching and hearing about the distant galaxies and stars in our universe. What I am most impressed with is the tremendous creative and destructive energies of the universe. When I am watching these programs I ask myself, "Was this the vision that the author of the Gita tried to describe in chapter 11?"

Arjuna proclaims:

"I see You without beginning, middle or end,

possessing unlimited prowess and endowed

with numberless arms, having the Moon and the Sun

for Your eyes, and blazing fire for Your mouth,

and scorching this universe by Your radiance"

(Bhagavad Gita 11:19).

Of course this is a poetic description of the awesome power of God. Arjuna, with reason, says that he fears, for he is seeing simultaneously the creative and destructive power of God. "Tell me -- says Arjuna -- who are You with a form so terrible?" (Gita 11:31

Sri Krishna says:

"You see me as Kala (Time) who destroys,

Time who brings all to doom,

the Slayer Time, Ancient of Days,

come here to consume"

(Bhagavad Gita 11:32).

We are, to a certain degree, children of Time. No matter how famous, wealthy, powerful we might be, death will eventually take over our earthly life. We do not know when death will arrive, it comes as a thief during the night. Very few people are prepared for death. When we walk the spiritual path, we must prepare for death at any moment. That does not mean that we must stop working or loving, we must simply understand that we can die at any moment. If there were no wars, nor accidents, nor murders, at the end we still would have to face death. Arjuna trembles before the sight of the Suprem and Its awesome power over creation and destruction, over life and death. God is the Lord of Time, the Lord of Life and Death. Nevertheless from the beginning Sri Bhagavan Krishna (God) tells us that Life (Atman) is eternal.

Sri Krishna says:

"Atman (Life, Soul, Self) is never born nor does it die;

nor does it come to be when the body is born.

Atman is unborn, eternal, everlasting, and ancient;

even though the body is slain, Atman (Soul) is not"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2:20).

The Bhagavad Gita affirms, as do the Vedic Upanishads, that Life (Atman) is eternal, and that the physical body and the physical universe are subject to Time. The body is born and the body must die, but life is eternal.

"A season is set for everything,

a time for every experience under heaven:

A time for being born, and a time for dying"

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"Neither by the study of the Vedas nor by penance,

nor again by charity, nor even by ritual can I be seen

as you have seen Me. However, through single-minded

devotion I can be seen, known in essence, and even entered into,

O noble Arjuna" (Bhagavad Gita 11:53-54).

The great Rishis (sages) of India have always stated that any sincere person can know God directly. Neverheless, it must be understood that God (Brhaman) can not be known by mere theological study, nor by performing austerities, nor by performing acts of charity, nor by elaborate rituals. It is not that these things are wrong in themselves, but they should be performed with a sense selflessness. To feel proud for our theological knowledge, or our penance, or the acts of charity, or our capacity to perform rituals or ceremonis, is only an impediment in the spiritual path. The best way to approach God is through pure devotion, pure love. That is called Bhakti Yoga.

Sri Krishna says:

"Arjuna that person who performs all his/her duties for My sake,

depends on Me, is devoted to Me; has no attachment,

and who is free from malice towards all beings,

reaches Me" (Bhagavad Gita 11:12).

These words of Sri Bhagavan Krishna remind me of the words of another great Avatar, Jesus Christ:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your

heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. That

is the greatest, the first commandment. The second

is like it: Love your neighbour as your self.

Everything in the Law and the prophets

hangs on these two commandments"

(Matthew 22:36-40).

If we learn the true meaning of Love, why would we need the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Qur'an, or any other holy book?

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Today the Hindu world celebrates the Srimad Bhagavad Gita Jayanti, the Birthday of the Gita. It is a celebration on the Hindu Lunar Calendar, so nex year it will fall on another day in the Solar Calendar. Was it really born on this day thousands of years ago? Probably not, and it does not matter. What really matters is that the devotees of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita once a year celebrate the Its manifestation.

The followers of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita are not all Hindus. I for one am a convert to a modern reformed tradition of the Sanatana Veda Dharma (Hinduism) that has done away with many of the traditional aspects of Hinduism: the caste system, the all male priesthood, the elaborate temple rituals and many of the unnecessary feast days. But the Gita Jayanti is still celebrated by a few of my spiritual tradition.

Even though the spiritual teachings of the Bhagavad Gita pre-date the teachings of Jesus Christ by who-knows how many hundred of years, the teachings are still valid today. Chapter 16 of the Gita -- my favorite chapter -- gives us a description of the materialist attitude that prevails among many in our world. The materialistic persons are called in this chapter "Asuras" (demons).

Sri Krishna says:

"Persons possessing an Asuric disposition say

that this world is without any foundation,

absolutely unreal and Godless, brought

forth by mutual union of the male and

female, and hence conceived in lust;

what else can it be?"

(Bhagavad Gita 16:8).

These Asuric persons see the world as a place of Violence, Greed, and Hedonism. These three -- Violence, Greed, and Hedonism -- are called in the Gita three gates that lead to a destructive hell (see Gita 16:21-22). History has shown us how violence (war) has destroyed great culture and has brought great suffereing to many; greed -- that lust for wealth -- has brought wealth to the few and poverty to many; hedonism -- that uncontrolled search for sensual pleasures -- has brought pain to many. Nevertheless, the materialistic persons in every age continue after those Three.

There is nothing wrong with wealth, greed is the problem. There is nothing wrong with defending our country or our lives by opposing the wrongdoers with defensive violence; the problem is when hatred and violence become the rule of the land (or the world). There is nothing wrong with feeling good and enjoying the simple pleasures of life; the problem is when a person wants his/her pleasures by violating the freedoms and rights of others.

The Gita calls us to a life of moderation. Everyone should enjoy the wealth of the world, the pleasures of life, and peace in the world. That is called Dharma or spiritual law.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"The Sage should not unsettle

the minds of those with

imperfect knowledge"

(Bhagavad Gita 3:29).

The Sage is the person who has reached spiritual maturity or spiritual enlightenment. There is a difference between a Sage and a religious enthuiast who feels that he/she has reached "Salvation", and now wants to "save" everyone that he/she meets. The Sage has touched his/her True Nature and has found the Divine. But in finding the Divine within, the Sage understands that the Divine is within the hearts of every sentient being.

The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all.

The Lord is the Supreme Reality.

(The Isha Upanishad, verse 1)

Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"The Lord abides in the heart of all creatures"

(Bhagavad Gita 18:61).

The words of the Isha Upanishad and the Srimad Bhagavad Gita are at the heart of the Vedic spiritual traditions. They are not mere words, each generation must discover the truth of those words. It is our belief that those words express a truth that is valid for all. God, the Supreme Reality, is not just the property of the Vedic-Hindus. Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri (1828-1895), the founding Guru of my spiritual tradition used to say; "God is the God of all."

The Sage is not concerned if you follow his/her path or not. The Sage is aware that everyone has to walk his/her own path. The Sage understands the meaning of religious freedom. Nevertheless if you come to the Sage for help, the Sage will help you. But if you decide not to follow the teachings of the Sage, the Sage will not criticize you nor condemn you for abandoning the path. The true Sage lives in a state of spiritual serenity and joy. The Sage lives in a state of Peace or Brahma-Nirvana. Every religion has had their respective Sages, they have been called by different names: Buddhas, Prophets, Christs, Saints, Avatars, Gurus, Rishis, etc.

Sages are human beings, like you and me, who have found Spiritual Enlightenment.

OM, Shantih, Shantih, Shantih, AUM!

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"On Earth there is not purifier

as great as Knowledge"

(Bhagavad Gita 4:38).

In the Vedic Upanishads and the Srimad Bhagavad Gita the word "Knowledge" refers to the knowledge of our True Nature, the inner knowledge of our Inner Self or Atman. This is Spiritual Enlightenment.

The ancient Vedic Rishis of the Sanatan Veda Dharma have a lot in common with the Greek Philosopher Pythagoras and the early Christian Gnostics. For Pythagoras there is an esoteric knoledge which is beyond intellectual knowledge. The word "esoteric" means inner, and for the followers of Pythagoras esoteric knowledge was an inner knowledge equivalent to Spiritual Enlightenment. The early Christian Gnostics believed that true salvation was a "secret" knowledge called Gnosis.

Yeshua (Jesus) said:

"When you know yourselves,

then you will be know,

and you will understand that

you are children of the living father"

(The Gospel of Thomas, verse 3).

That is a beautiful description of the Knowledge of Atman, the esoteric knowledge of Pythagoras, the Gnosis of the early Christian Gnostic Masters. This knowledge is "secret" simply because it is hidden within our hearts (God in the Gita says, "I am the Atman seated in the heart of all beings" [Gita 10:20]). The person who knows Atman deep in his/her heart will know Brahman (God), for Atman and Brahman are one.

Sri Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala (1879-1950), one of the Great Sages of modern Sanatan Veda Dharma, taught a simple method to help us awaken Atman within us. Utilize the simple question "Who am I?" in silent meditation until you can see through that which we call "I". That is the essence of the Vedic path taught in the Vedic Upanishads and the Gita, that was the esoteric path of Pythagoras, and the teachings of the early Christian Gnostics.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nature in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita is called "Prakriti". In the Glossary of "The Bhagavad Gita" as translated by Eknath Easwaran, "prakriti" is defined as "the basic energy from which the mental and physical world take shape." Prakriti has three characteristics or "gunas" which qualify everything in nature: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.

"Sattva" is defined as law, harmony, purity, goodness. "Rajas" is energy and passion. "Tamas" is inertia, ignorance. Everything physical and mental is characterized by these three gunas and their combinations. Everyone of us has these gunas within. It is said that sometimes one guna predominates over the other two.

According to traditional Hinduism there are four castes: the Brahmanas, the Khatriyas, the Vaishyas, and the Sudras. According to ancient texts these four castes are hereditary. The Gita recognizes the four castes, but it states that they are conditioned by the Gunas.

Sri Bhagavan Krishna says:

"There is no being on Earth or in the middle region

or even among the Gods or anywhere else,

which is free from these three Gunas

born of Prakriti.

The duties of the Brahmanas, the Kshatriyas,

the Vaishyas, as well as the Sudra have been divided

according to their conditioning by the Gunas"

(Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18:40-41).

The Brahmanas or Brahmins are the priestly class. They are called to live a life of virtue, celebrate the necessary rituals of life and teach the other castes. The Warrior class are called to govern and protect society. The Vaishya class are the merchants,artists, and cultivators of the land. The Sudras are the unskilled laborers. Each of these castes is governed by the Gunas. The Brahmins by the Sattva Guna; the Kshatriyas by the combined Sattva-Raja Guna; the Vaishya by the combined Rajas-Tamas Guna; and the Sudra Caste by the Tamas Guna.

Even though the Gita upholds the institution of the castes, I am one of many who follow the Sanatan Veda Dharma who is opposed to the caste system as it stands today in a rigid manner. I understand that the caste system today is a way of discriminating against a person based upon who his/her family is. It should be done away with. Each and everyone of us can find an inner calling. We can follow the life of the priesthood, or decide to be a warrior, or we can decide to follow a life in business or simply be a working class person. Nobody should decide for us. Everyone from the Brahmin to the Sudra is a member of the same working society. They should work in harmony guided by Understanding, Love, and Compassion.

Ou profession in life does make us superior or inferior to anyone.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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