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Bhagavad Gita

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posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 12:13 AM
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I recently have decided to read through the Bhagavad Gita, using Stephen Mitchell's translation. I have grown intrigued by him due to his translation of the Tao Te Ching. I wish I would have taken notes from the beginning, but I didn't start until later in. So I will start out with a general summary and explanation of my understanding of some of the main ideas. And then later I will add on with quotes and commentary. Anyone is free to jump in in any way, your own thoughts on the bhagavad gita, your thoughts on my thoughts, etc.

Whatsoever you do, do it in a total, undivided way. Do this moment to moment, according to what circumstances require; but once the action is complete, let go of it completely. Have no concern with the result of actions. Yet still, act, and act fully. Let the action be complete in and of itself, take no mind of what will come as a result. This is part of a broader philosophy of detachment, and losing desire.

Everything is always changing. But there is one constant in all the diverse experiences. This is the Self. When there is suffering, there is the Self; when there is joy, there is the Self. And yet the Self stands above both suffering and joy; he is equally present in the midst of all such dualities. Krishna calls the Self the Knower. He is the one who knows all that is experienced. It is a point within the Being that is Krishna. Everything that exists arises within His Being, and then dissolves back into his Being. Everything resides within the body of Krishna, and he resides in the center of every Being, as the Self.

You should learn to keep your mind focused on the Self, on the Supreme. This helps facilitate the process of detachment. As previously demonstrated, the Self is above, and equally present within, all dualities, all manifestations of 'this and that.' If you keep your mind focused on the Self, you will see its constancy regardless of internal and external specifics. The Self is changeless amidst change. And this is really the path and goal. To let your mind be completely enveloped by the Self, and to then realize the state of Being that is Krishna's.

edit on 20-8-2014 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 01:06 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

Good for you TheJourney but I have serious doubts about conquering my ego. Just when I think its been licked it appears from no-where acting all cocky and pretentious. I sometimes wonder why God has burdened me with such a fierce foe, is there reason behind his madness, surely he would've given us all a ripcord if there was not.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 01:26 AM
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Chapter 12
"The same to both friend and foe...
suffering or joy, untroubled."

Notice, friend and foe exist. Suffering and joy exist. But the Self exists exactly the same whether joy or suffering is present. The Self is totally undisturbed by suffering. Identify with the Self.

Chapter 13
"The body is called the field,
Arjuna; the one who watches
whatever happens within it -
wise men call him the Knower.

I am the Knower of the field
in every body, Arjuna;
genuine knowledge means knowing
both the field and its Knower."

There is the Knower, and that which is known. The Knower can never be known. What is it that is looking at the objects, whether physical or mental? Think about it, and these are just more objects, more known, of the field. You cannot look at it. It is the looking!

Chapter 13
"('it' is)outside yet within all beings,
motionless, always moving,
subtle beyond comprehension,
far yet nearer than near."

"He who sees that all actions
are performed by Nature alone
and thus that the self is not
the doer - that man sees truly."

Chapter 14
"When a man sees clearly that there is
no doer besides the gunas
and knows what exists beyond them,
he can enter my state of being."

There are forces which set all that occurs into motion. These are impersonal. You don't do anything. The forces of nature act themselves out, whether within you or without you. You are not the doer, you are the knower. There is no doer. Creating a phantom-doer, and then identifying with it, is the reason why the Self, the knower, is not known and identified with.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 02:44 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

First, in regards to gaining understanding or knowledge, I think there is nothing better than bare observation (if that is even possible), often I observe that thinking and conceptualization, takes you further away from the truth and reality.

Maybe the Gita supports this as you quote:
"The body is called the field,
Arjuna; the one who watches
whatever happens within it -
wise men call him the Knower."

(This sounds synonymous to..)

In the Theravada Buddhist practice, there is Satipatthana (Sati = awareness) and one makes effort to remain aware of the Four Frames or Reference, i.e. 1) The Body, i.e. Bodily actions/events, 2) Sensations / feelings, 3) The "heart" /consciousness/mind/emotional - condition (citta), 4) Mind objects (contents); .. and from observing these things, one can gain understanding into the nature of 'self'.

In Buddhism, there is the idea of 'no-self' - anatta. This sounds synonymous to your other quote:
"He who sees that all actions
are performed by Nature alone
and thus that the self is not
the doer - that man sees truly."

Chapter 14
"When a man sees clearly that there is
no doer besides the gunas..."

---

In regards to the 'self', a friend of mine mentioned a strong line of reasoning - any action, thought or intention can be due to any combination of two things - either they are due to 1) causes and conditions or 2) random events (if there is such a thing). In both cases their is no 'doer' of the action, and if there is no 'doer' than what self is there?

If there is something that can affect an action other than those two things, than what is it? (if one had to describe it)

---

So what is the self in the Gita? Is it just a bare 'experience-er'/knower?

In Buddhism too, there is supposedly consciousness after death, and some sort of transmigration of something, yet it also describes this idea of 'not-self' (Anatta) like I describe above. The Gita also seems to have these (seemingly contradicting) views.

As for myself, (for the most part), experience has become my teacher.

Here is another translation from Oxford:
www.sacred-texts.com...



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 03:59 AM
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The Gita, the greatest book i have ever read barre none. The version i have is with Radhakrishnan's commentary. It's one of the few spiritual books that resonates with me completely, inside it feels absolutely right and that is good enough for me.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

The lasting effect of the Gita can be contributed to these verses:

Chapter 18, Verse 40.
There is no being existing, either here or among the demigods in the higher planetary systems, which is freed from the three modes of material nature.

Chapter 18, Verse 41.
Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are distinguished by their qualities of work, O chastiser of the enemy, in accordance with the modes of nature.

Chapter 18, Verse 42.
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness--these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.

Chapter 18, Verse 43.
Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the ksatriyas.

Chapter 18, Verse 44.
Farming, cow protection and business are the qualities of work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.

The caste system remains to this day. But I guess that's what happens when we live life with no concerns for the results of our actions.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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Read the Tao Te Ching, the Gita and may I suggest the works of Eckhart Tolle? ("The Power Now, a guide to spiritual enlightenment" and " A New Earth, awakening to your life's purpose". Tolle has many posts on You Tube. I think you will find this all in line with the path that you are on. PEACE.
edit on 20-8-2014 by HUMBLEONE because: LIVE IN THE NOW. LIVE IN THE NOW. LIVE IN THE NOW.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism

The caste system remains to this day. But I guess that's what happens when we live life with no concerns for the results of our actions.

None of the verses you quoted say (or infer) anything about disregarding consequences.

But anyway. So what? India has a caste system. This is just an exotic phrase for class-stratification. It exists everywhere. It is as much a product of religious belief as it is political and economic.

So don't throw the baby out with the bath water, nor as a pot call the kettle black.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: NthOther


None of the verses you quoted say (or infer) anything about disregarding consequences.


Read the OP.


But anyway. So what? India has a caste system. This is just an exotic phrase for class-stratification. It exists everywhere. It is as much a product of religious belief as it is political and economic.

So don't throw the baby out with the bath water, nor as a pot call the kettle black.


So what? Is that all you can produce for an argument?

Name one good that has come out of the Gita, besides offering a lullaby to the world-weary. I think it was Himmler who read the Gita to his soldiers so that they could detach from the act of killing.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: glend

Hmmmm. Yes, pesky fellow ego. Maybe trying to conquer or rid ourselves of ego may be taking energy from the other side of ego which camouflages as the no-where you mention.

Might be a life long practice. Just letting it slowly dissolve from the weight of its own transitory condition. Watching and noting it's disappearance from time to time and when time is full, Poof, we are free. But of course this is only guessing by my own ego.



posted on Aug, 20 2014 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Perhaps that guess is worth more to me than reading the Bhagavad Gita a million times. Thank you.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 06:07 PM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: TheJourney

First, in regards to gaining understanding or knowledge, I think there is nothing better than bare observation (if that is even possible), often I observe that thinking and conceptualization, takes you further away from the truth and reality.

Maybe the Gita supports this as you quote:
"The body is called the field,
Arjuna; the one who watches
whatever happens within it -
wise men call him the Knower."

(This sounds synonymous to..)

In the Theravada Buddhist practice, there is Satipatthana (Sati = awareness) and one makes effort to remain aware of the Four Frames or Reference, i.e. 1) The Body, i.e. Bodily actions/events, 2) Sensations / feelings, 3) The "heart" /consciousness/mind/emotional - condition (citta), 4) Mind objects (contents); .. and from observing these things, one can gain understanding into the nature of 'self'.


I would say that the Gita does support this idea of bare observation of reality, with words/conceptualization taking you away from it. I would definitely say that is one of the major message of the text, and some of its practical advice. There is undeniably overlap between Krishna's words and Buddha's. Krishna talks again and again about how attachment, craving, and aversion are the cause of all suffering. This is basically a statement of Buddha's noble truths. The connection there is very obvious, but I really feel that there is a connection among pretty much all spiritual systems.


originally posted by: nOraKat
In Buddhism, there is the idea of 'no-self' - anatta. This sounds synonymous to your other quote:
"He who sees that all actions
are performed by Nature alone
and thus that the self is not
the doer - that man sees truly."

Chapter 14
"When a man sees clearly that there is
no doer besides the gunas..."

---

In regards to the 'self', a friend of mine mentioned a strong line of reasoning - any action, thought or intention can be due to any combination of two things - either they are due to 1) causes and conditions or 2) random events (if there is such a thing). In both cases their is no 'doer' of the action, and if there is no 'doer' than what self is there?

If there is something that can affect an action other than those two things, than what is it? (if one had to describe it)

---

So what is the self in the Gita? Is it just a bare 'experience-er'/knower?

In Buddhism too, there is supposedly consciousness after death, and some sort of transmigration of something, yet it also describes this idea of 'not-self' (Anatta) like I describe above. The Gita also seems to have these (seemingly contradicting) views.

As for myself, (for the most part), experience has become my teacher.

Here is another translation from Oxford:
www.sacred-texts.com...


The Gita seems to definitely have the idea of there being a sort of 'person' underlying everything. But it would also say that it exists stripped beyond anything which you might call your self, or identify with as a separate self. This aligns with some interpretations of Buddha's teachings. There are sutra's in which Buddha says something to the effect of, 'my doctrine of no(t)-self is like a medicine, used to remove erroneous notions of the Self. And yet when these erroneous notions are removed, the True Self shines through.' At some level it could perhaps be equated to the Buddha-Nature, but Krishna seems to stress the idea of this underlying essence as being like a 'person,' although totally transcendental to all being and non-being, and therefore time and space, even creation and dissolution.

The Gita also teaches this. That the gunas, the forces of nature, arise with the Self, the Knower. But it is separate. Because the Self exists, the gunas operate. But the self does not do anything. The gunas operate according to their nature. The Self observes the process unfold, experiences it.



posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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I completed, and am now restarting it. I am going to write down significant quotes better, and take notes. Here is what I wrote on chapter 2, chapter 1 is really just setting the stage. There was quite a lot of significant material in this chapter, which is why this post will be limited to that chapter. Some things I will have some commentary on, others will just be quoted. If something says what needs to be said directly, in a good way, why force some additional words on it? It says what it needed to say.

"Never was there a time
when I did not exist, or you,
or these kings; nor will there come
a time when we cease to be.
...
Physical sensations - cold
and heat, pleasure and pain -
are transient: they come and go;
so bear them patiently, Arjuna.

Only the man who is unmoved
by any sensations, the wise man
indifferent to pleasure, to pain,
is fit for becoming deathless.
...
The presence that pervades the universe
is imperishable, unchanging,
beyond both is and is not:
how could it ever vanish?

These bodies come to an end;
but that vast embodied Self
is ageless, fathomless, eternal.
...

"Be beyond all opposites, Arjuna:
anchored in the real, and free
from all thoughts of wealth and comfort."

The real is what exists without needing to be upheld conceptually. It is what is without beginning and without end. Anything temporal is irrelevant from the perspective of the real.
...
"You have a right to your actions,
but never to your actions' fruits.
Act for the action's sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.

Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure.
This equanimity is yoga."

He is not teaching inactivity. He is teaching total activity, when the need for activity arises. Do not do it half-heartedly. Be so complete in your actions that it is like leaving it all out on the table, you did it completely and can now let go. No concern with what will come as a result. You have done your work.
...
"The wise man lets go of all
results, whether good or bad,
and is focused on the action alone.
Yoga is skill in actions.

The wise man whose insight is firm,
relinquishing the fruits of action,
is freed from the bondage of rebirth
and attains the place beyond sorrow."

Karma is transcended. And how? Karma, in part, means intention. What you are trying to achieve with the actions you do. When you are not trying to achieve anything, just doing actions for the action's sake, no karma is created. Eventually, all your karma is extinguished, and you attain Nirvana, which is the extinguishing of a flame.
...
"Indifferent to scriptures, your mind
stands by itself, unmoving,
absorbed in deep meditation.
This is the essence of yoga.
...
When a man gives up all desires
that emerge from the mind, and rests
contented in the Self by the Self,
he is called a man of firm wisdom.

He whose mind is untroubled
by any misfortune, whose craving
for pleasures has disappeared,
who is free from greed, fear, anger,

who is unattached to all things,
who neither grieves nor rejoices
if good or if bad things happen -
that man is a man of firm wisdom."
...

"But the man who is self-controlled,
who meets the objects of the senses
with neither craving nor aversion,
will attain serenity at last.

In serenity, all his sorrows
disappear at once, forever;
when his heart has become serene,
his understanding is steadfast."

This is like what was being discussed earlier. Being witness to the actual sensations that occur, without mental overlay. Seeing things as they are, without division through preference, without craving and aversion, is the path to liberation.
...

"The man whom desires enter
as rivers flow into the sea,
filled yet always unmoving -
that man finds perfect peace."

The Self is unmoved amidst everything. Everything that exists may flow into the Self, but the Self is unmoved by it. When things pass from being to non-being, they simply dissolve into the Self
edit on 22-8-2014 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 01:18 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney
This thread is the most beautiful thing I have seen on ATS for a long time.
Thank you.



posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain
a reply to: TheJourney
This thread is the most beautiful thing I have seen on ATS for a long time.
Thank you.



Thanks a lot I really appreciate that!

edit on 22-8-2014 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 12:52 AM
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Chapter 3

"No one, not even for an instant,
can exist without acting; all beings
are compelled, however unwilling,
by the three strands of Nature called gunas.

He who controls his actions
but lets his mind dwell on sense-objects
is deluding himself and spoiling
his search for the deepest truth."

If the mind dwells on external objects, it is distracted from the Self. The Self cannot be realized so long as your mind is focused on externals.
...
"Do any actions you must do,
since actions is better than inaction;
even the existence of your body
depends on necessary actions.
...
Without concern for results,
perform the necessary action;
surrendering all attachments,
accomplish life's highest good.
...
In all the three worlds, Arjuna,
there is nothing I need to do,
nothing I must attain
and yet I engage in action."

The real goal is losing attachment, craving, and aversion. It's not so much about what you do or not do. Even 'not doing anything' is doing something. And even if your action is to 'sit and do nothing,' there is still activity going on within your body, sustaining your life. Inaction does not truly exist. You simply lose craving and aversion for activity, and lose all lust for results. You, in fact, lose all thought of what will come from the action, or of anything besides the action itself. The must is emphasized in 'do any actions you must do,' implying you should lose desire-driven actions, and instead simply do whatever you must, due to the circumstances you find yourself in.
...
"The wise man does not unsettle
the minds of the ignorant; quietly
acting in the spirit of yoga,
he inspires them to do the same."

Trying to intellectually convince people of some position you believe to be correct is irrelevant. The ultimate aim is a calming of the mind. Upsetting other's minds is pointless. Living 'in the spirit of yoga' is the greatest way to spread it.
...
"Actions are really performed
by the working of the three gunas;
but a man deluded by the I-sense
imagines, "I am the doer."

The wise man knows that when objects
act on the senses, it is merely
the gunas acting on the gunas;
thus, he is unattached."

Everything that happens within you and without you, is the forces of nature. You cannot 'do' anything besides the forces of nature. Nothing can happen which is not those forces. Seeing this, you are unattached, because you are separate from the whole world of happenings. You are the one who is aware of the happenings, but you have nothing to do with them.
...
"Arjuna said:
What is it that drives a man
to an evil action, Krishna,
even against his will,
as if some force made him do it?

The Blessed Lord said:
That force is desire, it is anger,
arising from the guna called rajas;
deadly and all-devouring,
that is the enemy here.

As a fire is obscured by smoke,
as a mirror is covered by dust,
as a fetus is wrapped in its membrane,
so wisdom is obscured by desire.
...
Desire dwells in the senses,
the mind, and the understanding;
in all these it obscures wisdom
and perplexes the embodied Self.

Therefore you must first control
your senses, Arjuna; then
destroy this evil that prevents you
from ever knowing the truth.
...
Knowing the Self, sustaining
the self by the Self, Arjuna,
kill the difficult-to-conquer
enemy called desire."

Here Krishna cuts straight to the point of desire as being the root of suffering. Desire is always for something which is by its nature impermanent. Desire is thus incompatible with true, lasting happiness. When desire is lost, the mind is stilled, and external influence is removed, the Self is realized, and this is the highest peace and happiness. It is not dependent on any conditions, and it cannot be taken away. It is the state which the mind naturally finds itself when these temporal conditions are removed from its own field of awareness.

edit on 23-8-2014 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-8-2014 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 05:52 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney


Have read through a bunch of your threads. I am in a very similar place to you. On the path, well read, but wondering what next? what else?

I bring your attention back here that you might regain peace. It is impossible to maintain if you live in a city. Awareness is your blessing and your curse. I know you have felt the connectedness of all things at some point. The bliss that comes with that state.

I humbly suggest you have a purpose that you feel within you. You understand East and West. You are not in your final journey on the wheel or you would be in calm isolation by now.

You are at the stage of preacher. You are aware but separate. You are interested in worldly matters but free from worldly desires (mostly). You achieve what you are looking for (tangible proof of the divine) with the energy you gain from your followers. Their belief and attention and energy provides the support to your belief and attention and energy, which enables miracles.

Collective consciousness is "God", awakening others allows ascension.

All the Egyptian Gods are ascended Pharaohs. It's why they appear as they do.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 06:57 AM
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Woe a very nice thread OP I think the Gita is for everyone, just replace the word Krishna with god and there you have it. The Gita pretty much sums up self realization in a nutshell.

Problem is being engrossed in mentally god/atman/infinate counsiousness is rather difficult to steady the mind in eternal god. Perhaps more meditation may help.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 06:59 AM
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a reply to: MarxMarvellous

Collective consciousness is "God", awakening others allows ascension.

The realization of God is the realization that there are no others.
There is just the present happening, it is moving but going nowhere.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 07:39 AM
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I am a Hindu and Bhagavad Gita is among Hinduism's most revered texts along with Ramayana and Mahabharata. Before one tries to see the wisdom that Gita holds, it is probably best to start with a basic understanding of Hinduism and the practice of it. Let me try to point out some uniqueness here;

1, Gods in Hinduism are rarely 'nice guys'. If we are talking of a scale of white to black, with white being the most righteous and black being the absolute evil, Hindu Gods are firmly in the grey band. Very Human. More of Anti-heroes than Heroes.
2, Hinduism is more about pragmatism than idealism.
3, Hinduism is more than a religion, it is a way of life. This may sound cliche, but it is true.
4, The practice of it is as varied and as complex as the country of it's origin.
5, There is rarely a mediator, a human at the top of the religion who commands what the followers should do. No priest or body holds such power.

Will try and add more later on.



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