See for the online version with illustrations
GITA FOR CHILDREN
GITA FOR CHILDREN - III PART 7
GITA FOR CHILDREN - III PART 8
GITA FOR CHILDREN - IV PART 9 - Chapter 5
GITA FOR CHILDREN - IV PART 10
GITA FOR CHILDREN - V PART 11
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 12 - Chapter 6
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 13
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 14
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 15
SAI BABA GITA - Part XXI - Answers for all questions
SAI BABA GITA - Part XXIX - Turn towards God and God will turn towards You
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 16
GITA FOR CHILDREN - Part 17 Chapter - 7
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 18 - Chapter - 7
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 19 - Chapter - 8
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 20
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 21
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 22
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 23
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 24
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 25
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 26
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 27
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 28
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 29
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 30
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 31
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 32
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 33
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 34
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 35
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 36
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 37
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 38
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 39
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 40
Recently, an overseas devotee asked, "Is there any edition of the Gita suitable for use by children?" Since there did not appear to be any, it was decided to generate this manuscript for use by Sai teenagers. It will come in parts as a serial for the next few months.
This manuscript is clearly an experiment. It is meant for study by students in the age group around 9 to 15, under the guidance of an Instructor. [Indeed, even the so-called young adults could benefit, not to mention people unfamiliar with Indian scriptures.] The guidance would be effective and fruitful if the Instructor/Teacher is familiar with the material contained in:
(a) The Guidebook for Study Circles, which appeared in H2H as Getting Spiritually Better.
(b) The Workbook Companion of the Guidebook, and
(c) The book entitled Message of the Lord that deals with the Gita on the one hand and Baba's Teachings on the other.
(The first two are available from the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation while the third can be obtained from the Book Store in Prashanti Nilayam).
Before the commencement of the course, the Instructor/Teacher should expose the students to the background of the Kurukshetra war.
Many strategies can be adopted as regards taking the students through the various chapters. These days, students are very sharp and quick on the uptake. Hence, the following scheme could be tried:
1. The Instructor first gives an overview of the chapter under consideration, stressing the most important teachings.
2. A group of students is then asked to 'present' the teachings of the chapter to the rest of the class in a suitable manner. As a part of the process, there could be discussions, and also questions from the students not involved in the presentation.
3. After the presentation, the Instructor poses 'situations' and 'dilemmas' that require solutions using the teachings of the chapter. Alternately, the students could stage skits, highlighting the important teachings of the chapter.
Experience has shown that the absorption is much better with student participation. Before moving on to the next chapter, the Instructor must review all that was said, adding extra comments as required.
A few words now about the text itself. Basically, it represents a synthesis of the format of the Gita with the spirit of Swami's Gita Vahini. Thus, as in the original Gita, there are eighteen chapters, and the Message is presented as a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna. However, no attempt is made to have a one-to-one correspondence with the Slokas of the Gita original. Instead, the spirit is captured and amplified in the light of Baba's Teachings. As even a cursory reading would show, Swami's sayings have been seamlessly woven into the texture of the Krishna-Arjuna dialogue practically everywhere.
The liberties taken in the presentation, especially in the use of the current idiom, would be fully justified, if the Message gets across.
Why is the Gita so important? The answer is simple. The Gita teaches how to face the battles of life. These battles have been there ever since man appeared, and will continue as long as the human race exists. Indeed, the battles have become fiercer these days, with every new generation finding it more and more difficult to stick to the path of morality. It must be remembered that the Gita is a manual for life and has nothing whatsoever to do with any particular religion or faith. It teaches how life can be spirtualised, every minute of it in fact. Thus it is usable by people everywhere, and at all times. In passing, it is worth mentioning that Gandhi has demonstrated in a powerful manner, that the Gita is relevant even in the realm of politics.
Today, despite the tremendous progress in science and technology and the very high standard of living available (at least in some countries), life has become more difficult all round, including to the people at the top of the material totem pole. Why? Because the basics are being ignored. The Gita is a powerful reminder of those forgotten basics, and what must be done to stick to them.
The children of today understand quite clearly a lot of what is going on. Deep in their Hearts, they are sensitive and affected by Adharma. Yet, when it comes to application, they also follow the path of Adharma. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, the type of advice that the elders give. The elders violate every rule in the book and yet tell the young, "Listen, this is bad; that is not good. You must not do these things," etc.
The response is: "Well, if you could do it, why not us?" Secondly, the media in collusion with vested interests actively promote Adharma and immorality in a thousand different ways. The two together create peer pressure and that is something that the young in particular find very difficult to resist. That is one big reason why the battle of life has become far more difficult.
Take success in business for example. For years, the media was euologising the great go-getters, the high-profile men with huge bank balances, yachts, penthouses, and their success stories. But one fine day it was discovered that many of these 'greats' were just frauds who had duped tens of thousands. All of a sudden people began to ask, "Whatever happened to old-fashioned morality they used to teach in the Business School?" Well, they stopped teaching that sort of thing a long time ago! If morality is discarded as being irrelevant, how can it suddenly surface when the going gets rough?
No, morality is not merely a matter of social convenience or just a necessity for civilized existence. It is something much more than that. Morality is the very fabric of life. It is what sustains the Universe.
That is why Gandhi always used to declare, "There is a Moral Law that governs the Universe."
We must be moral because that is the only way we can be true to our real nature. We all have come from God; how then can we afford to be immoral? As Swami asks, "How can you don the form of a human and be a cheat or inhuman?" Whether we like it or not, mankind can no longer afford to run away from morality as it appears to be doing at present. This is precisely where the Gita becomes relevant. It teaches man how to follow Dharma in life, and that is what makes the Gita so very important.
Notwithstanding all this, people who try to conduct classes of this nature do face some problems. After a while students readily agree that morality is needed in Society, but when it comes to their own lives, they are not ready to stop being selfish. They give many interesting arguments like:
How can one person make any difference to Society? So, what is the point of my trying to be very moral?
I need role models!
It is too late to return to morality! Forget it!!
All such answers merely show that conviction is still lacking. Thus, the acid test of the success of the Gita course would be whether it has enabled at least a few to develop deep conviction about the importance of and the necessity for Dharma.
Prolonged physical hunger leads to death by starvation. Prolonged spiritual hunger would likewise lead to the death of humanness. Spiritual hunger is worldwide, though people may not realise it. The rich suffer from it in one way and so do the poor. Thus the Message of the Gita is relevant for all. It is very important to reach out to the young in all lands. That is the only way to ensure, at least in some measure, the world would be what God wants it to be.
1. Dhritarashtra tells his friend Sanjaya, "Please tell me, O Sanjaya, what my sons and those of my brother Pandu are about to do on the battlefield in Kurukshetra?"
2. Sanjaya replies: "O King! Your eldest son Prince Duryodhana is approaching Battle Commander Dronacharya, the Guru of your sons as well as the Pandavas. I can now see Duryodhana speaking to Dronacharya. He says: 'O Master! Please take a good look at our brave army with so many renowned warriors. They have come from different places to support us and to fight for us. Please Sir, make sure that venerable Bhisma, our Commander-in-Chief, is well protected, at all cost'."
3. Sanjaya continues: "And now, all the great warriors on the two sides are blowing their respective conches, signalling their readiness to commence battle. I can also see Krishna and Arjuna blowing their conches."
4. "Arjuna is seated in a chariot with Krishna Himself acting as the charioteer. Flying from that chariot is a standard bearing the figure of Hanuman."
5. "Arjuna is now telling Krishna: 'Krishna, please drive the chariot to a spot midway between the two armies. I want to get a close look at our enemies, the evil Kauravas'."
6. "Krishna drives the chariot to the midway region as requested by Arjuna and says, 'There, Arjuna, take a good look at your adversaries'."
7. "Arjuna slowly surveys the warriors assembled on the two sides. And what does he see? Nothing but his grandfather, his teachers, his cousins and various other relatives, his friends and so on. Some are lined up on one side and the rest on the other."
8. "Arjuna is deeply troubled by what he is seeing and says: 'Krishna, as I look around me, I see nothing but kith and kin. Do I have to kill people of my own blood for the sake of a mere kingdom? No Krishna, I cannot slaughter my friends, relatives and elders. What pleasure can there be in such killing? What benefit? On the contrary, it is a sin to win a kingdom after butchering one's own people'."
9. 'Maybe the Kauravas are blinded by greed and want to wage war but I do not have to do so. I do not have to be blinded similarly by greed, jealousy and all the rest of it. I just cannot fight. It is better that my enemies strike me than I kill them.'
10. Reporting all this, Sanjaya tells Dhirtarashtra, "I can now see Arjuna dropping his bow and sinking into his chariot, filled with deep anguish."
1. Sanjaya continues and tells Dhritarashtra: "Krishna is now beginning to say something to Arjuna, who appears to be drowned in sorrow."
2. Krishna says, 'Arjuna, how come you have suddenly become so remorseful at this very last minute? You can't quit now; it is too late for that! You must cast aside your doubts and misgivings. Get up and enter into battle!'
3. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, how is that possible? Bhisma over there is my grandfather! Are You asking me to shoot arrows at my own grandfather who has showered so much love on me?'
4. 'And over there is my Guru, Dronacharya? How can one kill one's own Guru? Can there be a greater sin?'
6. 'Frankly Krishna, I cannot see any great purpose in this war. I am very confused at present. To fight or not to fight &endash; that is my question!'
7. 'Krishna, I seek refuge in You. Totally surrendering to You, I pray to You for guidance.'
8. With a broad smile on His face, Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, you are acting like a perfect fool! You are mourning the death of your relatives etc., even before they have died!'
9. 'Do you know anything about life, death, and what happens after death? You obviously do not, for if you did, you would not be chickening out like you are trying to do now. Let Me drive some hard facts into your thick skull!'
10. 'Arjuna, your big problem is that like everyone else, you think you are the body. You are also used to seeing bodies being born and die. Since all these images have got stuck in your Mind, you are now worrying about death.'
11. 'Now listen to this carefully. Neither you nor I are the body, though we both possess them. I wear My body like a dress and so do you.'
12. 'Now who is this "I" that is wearing the body? It is the Atma Arjuna, it is the Atma! By the way, there is no such thing as My Atma, your Atma and so on. It is the same Atma that is present everywhere, wearing many dresses. There is only one Atma, period.'
11. 'Now who is this "I" that is wearing the body? It is the Atma Arjuna, it is the Atma! By the way, there is no such thing as My Atma, your Atma and so on. It is the same Atma that is present everywhere, wearing many dresses. There is only one Atma, period.'
12. 'Are you wondering how this is possible? Maybe an example would make things a bit clearer. Just look up in the sky during the daytime. You will see some clouds here and there and empty sky in between. There is water vapour everywhere, including in the spaces between clouds. In some places this water vapour shows itself up as clouds; elsewhere, it is not visible, but it is present all the same.'
13. 'Notice two other points. Firstly, the clouds keep on changing their shapes, and secondly, no two clouds are alike.'
14. 'The same sort of thing happens in the world. The Atma pervades the entire world, indeed the entire Universe. Here and there, it manifests via the "dresses" called bodies, not only of humans but also animals, insects, etc. Thus, all living beings are the embodiments of the one Universal Atma.'
15. 'Recall what I told you about clouds changing their shapes with time. The same sort of thing happens to a living being or the embodied Atma. The being passes through various stages such as childhood, youth, middle age, and old age.'
16. 'When the body becomes old, the Atma just casts off the body and wears a new "dress", that is it acquires another new body!'
17. 'Arjuna, I am telling you all this because you started feeling sad about death. There is no need to because death is just a change of dress, that is all!'
18. 'Your problem is that like all people you are totally focused on the body. You think you are the body. Tell me; are those clothes that you are wearing Arjuna? No, it is just your clothing. You are not the clothes but different from them.'
19. 'In the same way, neither you nor I or for that matter anyone else is the body. The Atma is our real nature. Death makes people sad because they foolishly identify themselves with the body and become upset when it is gone or about to go.'
20. 'Arjuna, just think. You are a warrior and you have fought battles before. I am sure you have on occasions slain people in those battles. But all that killing earlier does not seem to have bothered you at all. Yet today, you are feeling miserable even before you have taken the bow in your hand. Why Arjuna, why?'
21. 'Well, you wouldn't know the answer and so let Me tell you. Arjuna, you are feeling miserable today because the people likely to die in this war are yours. It is this feeling of "mine" that is really troubling and not death per se. After all, you have slain adversaries before.'
22. 'Arjuna, this feeling of "mine" comes because of body-consciousness or body attachment. And such an attitude automatically arises when a person thinks he is the body. But I remind you once again, you are NOT the perishable body but the Eternal Atma!'
23. 'This Atma is indescribably beautiful and wondrous. It is Eternal and beyond both Space and Time. It is neither born nor does it die. Do you understand that Arjuna? Drona and Bhisma are all the Atma, just like you and I are. So how can they die? It is their bodies that would get destroyed, like clothing becoming worn out. Why feel miserable about something trivial like that? One day or the other, old clothes have to be thrown away.'
24. 'Arjuna, thanks to this process of casting off bodies one after another, there is a practically endless cycle of birth and death for the body. But you must not focus on the superficial aspect. If you focused just on the body, you will see growth, decay and death. Those changes do not apply to the Atma. Those changes do not apply to you but only to your body. Focus therefore on the Atma and not on the body.'
25. 'This Atma that I am now talking about cannot be cut. Fire cannot burn it nor water wet it. It is everlasting and all-pervading.'
26. 'In a human being, the Atma shines as the Consciousness and as the Resident of your Heart. By the way, when I refer to the Heart, I mean your spiritual Heart and not the physical heart! This Divine Resident is also sometimes called the In-dweller, or simply as God. Since God is installed within you, you don't have to look for Him all over the place; just look inside, in your Heart!'
27. 'Let Me now come down from these sublime heights to something practical. You must be wondering what exactly you are since you have a body and I am here telling you that you are the Atma! The answer is simply this: you are in fact the Atma, but wearing right now clothing called the body. The Atma with a body is sometimes referred to as the JivAtma, or an embodiment of the Atma. Jiva means life or a living object; so JivAtma means Atma within a cocoon called the body. To put it differently, JivAtma is the Atma wearing the dress of the body and the Mind.'
28. 'The JivAtma is thus like an actor wearing a particular dress. All are actors in this stage called the world. And all are, without being actually aware of this fact, playing different roles in the Cosmic Drama, scripted, directed and produced by God!'
29. 'As you know Arjuna, in a play, all actors must speak their lines properly. In the drama of life, speaking proper dialogue means following one's natural Dharma.'
30. 'This thing that I have just referred to as natural Dharma is also called Swadharma or Atma Dharma. It simply means the Dharma of the Universal Self resident within or, if you prefer, the Atma within.'
31. 'In simple terms, Arjuna, you must always act in conformity with Atma Dharma &endash; that is what speaking the correct lines really means. Are you lost? Are you confused? Don't worry; I shall make it simple for you. Following Atma Dharma simply means following the Path of Righteousness, in a perfectly selfless manner.'
32. 'Consider what you are trying to do right now. A war is about to start between the forces of Dharma and Adharma, and you are supposed to be on the side of Dharma. And what are you trying to do? Drop out at the very last minute, giving all sorts of silly reasons!'
33. 'Arjuna, do not forget that Destiny has made you take birth as a warrior. That is no accident! You must therefore go through life as a warrior, doing your duty in conformity with Atma Dharma. What exactly does that mean in the present instance? As a soldier, it is your duty to fight for Dharma and against Adharma. But you want to wriggle out of that duty, giving all sorts of lame excuses. Is that correct? Consider. In a drama, can an actor suddenly say, "I don't like this part" and start playing another?'
34. 'Let us examine your problem a bit deeper. You say that Bhishma is your grandfather. That is true but don't forget that the relationship is purely one of the body. Next, even though Bhishma is your grandfather, he has lined up with the forces of evil. In fact, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the wicked Kauravas. Now tell Me; what should be your duty? Can you walk away claiming that Bhisma is your grandpa or should you stand up to the forces of evil and defeat them in battle?'
35. 'The answer is clear, is it not? Arjuna, in life duty must always be performed, without any trace whatsoever of attachment or selfishness. In practical terms, you must discharge your duty without a) being bothered about the outcome, and b) expecting a reward. That really is what Atma Dharma is all about. Only a selfish person would worry about success, rewards, etc. That attitude is not correct. Duty for duty's sake is the proper attitude.'
36. 'Arjuna, there are two words that people often use &endash; rights and responsibility. In the olden days, people always worried about responsibility and duty but these days people mostly talk about their rights. They constantly say, "I have a right to do this, I have a right to do that," and so on. Let Me make one thing very clear. Man has a right only to duty and nothing else!'
37. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, you make Atma Dharma sound so simple. If it is as simple as all that how come in this wide world there is hardly anyone who is truly following Atma Dharma?'
38. Krishna answers, 'That is because people get easily deluded by the senses and the Mind. These two in unholy collusion prevent a person from looking deep within himself and communing with the Heart.'
39. 'Once a person gets cutoff from the Indweller, his outlook and vision become purely external. The outside world is full of what is called the pair of opposites like joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure, and so on.'
40. 'A person immersed in the external world is easily overwhelmed by six terrible enemies that are deadlier than the deadliest serpents. These enemies are: Kama meaning desires, Krodha meaning anger, Lobha meaning greed, Moha meaning attachment, Mada meaning pride, and Matsarya meaning jealousy. To these you may add to more namely, Ahamkara meaning ego and Mamakara meaning the "mine" feeling.'
41. 'Arjuna, take it from Me, unless you keep out these enemies and have full control of yourself, you cannot fight your external enemies, as you have to do shortly.'
42. 'Do you want to know why these internal enemies have to be vanquished first? Simple; you would agree that when you have to deal with a crisis, you have to remain cool, wouldn't you?'
43. 'Now what exactly does remaining cool mean? It means that you should not be disturbed or be bothered by what is happening around you. It is only when you are cool that you can think clearly. And unless you can think clearly you cannot really handle a crisis properly. Agree?'
44. 'A good leader must not lose his cool. This characteristic does not come easily, unless one makes a conscious effort to practice detachment. One who is detached is automatically unaffected by success and failure, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. There is one word that describes such an attitude &endash; equanimity.'
45. 'Arjuna, equanimity is necessary not only for a so-called leader but for everyone. In a family, the father is a leader. So, equanimity is needed for the father. What about the children? They had better start copying their father and learn to get into that groove from an early age! Above all, equanimity it is that helps the seeker to rise above the world, rise above the pairs of opposites, and go towards God.'
46. 'In life, you don't see much of equanimity. Why? Because the internal enemies make sure that you are not strong enough to practice equanimity &endash; that is why! Take your own case; you want to run away from duty. Why? Because of attachment. Arjuna, the feeling of "mine" and "thine" is one of the many weaknesses that one must overcome.'
47. 'Never forget that perfection in duty is possible only when there is equanimity. And duty performed with perfection would please God very much. You too would feel very happy about having pleased God. This kind of happiness is unique, and it is called Bliss.'
48. 'Arjuna, what people normally call pleasure, joy, happiness, etc., are all connected with experiences of the sense organs and the Mind. This joy can never be re-experienced through recall. Such happiness is always transient. By contrast, the happiness that you get by pleasing God is an experience of the Heart; it goes beyond the senses and the Mind. That is why the joy of this experience can be recalled and relived any number of times. Every time you recall, you will experience Bliss in all its freshness.'
49. 'Equanimity does not come easily, and requires a lot of practice in regulating the senses and the Mind. It may not be easy but with determination, it can be achieved. Patience and perseverance alone lead to Purity!'
50. 'Arjuna, you must be brave and courageous not only in the worldly sense but also in a spiritual sense. A spiritually brave man is one who is ready to give up even his life for being true to his Conscience. He is not afraid of anything or anybody, including death. Internal enemies that I mentioned earlier shudder to come near such a man. What I mean is that you must be strong and courageous inside before starting to fight battles outside.'
51. 'If the internal enemies gain the upper hand and begin to dominate you, then there will be nothing but pure disaster. Take anger for example. Anger can blind reason. You may be the smartest man on earth, but when blind fury gets hold of you, you can become dumber than the greatest fool. Fury blunts discrimination, and when that happens, judgement falters badly; next step, total ruin. This has happened time and again, innumerable number of times. But people don't want to learn from the bitter experience of others. Don't you make that mistake.'
52. 'To put it all briefly, follow your Conscience for your Conscience is your true Master. Then you can easily face the devil, fight him, and finish him off!'
53. 'A person who is not cool will not be at Peace. Peace is inside and not outside! A person who feels Peace inside will experience Bliss. And a person in a Blissful state would radiate Peace in his neighbourhood. This is how Peace can be brought on earth. Someone must get the ball rolling. It is like lighting many candles with one candle.'
54. 'A flower is beautiful. But it also radiates fragrance. In the same way, Shanti is inside; when it spreads outside like the fragrance of the flower, it becomes Prashanti!'
55. 'Arjuna, what I am telling you now is not merely practical advice related to fighting this battle ahead of you. It has deep inner significance because it is related to fighting life's battles.'
56. 'A man who has vanquished internal enemies becomes a pure and elevated being. And when such a person finally leaves his body, he merges once and for ever with God. No more rebirths for him because he is merged in God, and is ever in a Blissful state. Remember &endash; true happiness is total and complete union with God!'
1. Arjuna says to Krishna, 'Krishna, I am totally confused. On the one hand you are asking me to act, to get up and to fight. At the same time, you are also asking me to look inside, develop discrimination and become wise. How can I do both? If I have to act, I can't be spending time looking inside. On the other hand if I start looking inside, I am sure I would get lost there! In which case, how would I be able to act? How would I be able to fight, as You are asking me to do? Therefore, please tell me clearly, which of these two paths is better an! d where exactly do they lead?'
2. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Arjuna, this is what they call a good question! Let Me, to start with, make two things very clear.
1) The two paths as you call them, are called respectively the Path of Action or Karma Yoga and the Path of Wisdom or Sankhya Yoga.
2) Both these lead to the same goal, namely Eternal Bliss and freedom from rebirth.'
3. 'You are possibly wondering how that could be possible, since these two paths seem to be so very different. That is what I shall now explain.'
4. 'Let Me start with the so-called Path of Action. When I ask you to follow the Path of Action it does not mean that I am asking you to become a workaholic, go-getter and things like that. I mean something very different.'
5. 'First and foremost, a person dedicated to the Path of Action accepts the role Destiny has carved out for him and does his best in that role. Now take your own case. You are born a soldier, a warrior. The duty of a soldier is to fight for Dharma. That is what you must do, and not run away talking like a Sannyasi, as you were in fact trying to do a short while ago.'
6. 'Next, you must plunge into action with perfect calmness. You must always be cool and unperturbed; in other words, you must be the very embodiment of equanimity.'
7. 'Further, the action that you perform must be done as a sacred duty. Action becomes sacred only when duty is performed for duty's sake and not for personal gains and ends. You should never calculate about success and failure or dream about the benefits that would come to you if you were to act in a particular way.'
8. 'If it is destined that you should "fail" in whatever it is that you are trying to do, accept that outcome calmly as the Will of God. Let us say there is a person who is very sick, and that a doctor is treating the patient. The doctor cannot say, "This fellow is going to die anyway so why bother?" He must do his VERY BEST and leave the rest to God. And whatever happens, he should calmly accept that as the Will of God. With God's Grace, the patient may even pull through. For your information, this has happened any number of times.'
9. 'By the way Arjuna, don't ever get the idea that God causes failure. Things may not exactly happen the way you want things to happen but that does not mean that the effort is a failure. You see God always knows what is best, and if He has postponed what you regard as "success", it is with good reason. In the meanwhile, do not jump to the conclusion that there has been a failure.'
10. 'Arjuna, two important points must be noted concerning action. The first is that no one can be perfectly still and stay away from action. You talked of the Wise as if they did not engage in action. This is not correct. Don't the Wise eat, walk, bathe, etc.? Are these not actions?'
11. 'The second point is that there is action everywhere in the Universe. In fact a static Universe where nothing ever happens is impossible! Up there in the heavens the Sun shines, the planets move about and so on. All this is Divinely-ordained action.'
12. 'If you examine carefully, there are generally two aspects to action, that of receiving and that of giving. In fact, in all cases except that of man, the giving is much more than the receiving. Just consider the example of the tree and examine how much it receives and how much it gives. This one example ought to convince you of the truth of My statement. The tree is really a fine example because in the end it gives its entire self up.'
13. 'Arjuna, the key principle on which the Universe functions is sacrifice. That one word says it all. That is why at the time of Creation God told man, "You can prosper only if you sacrifice".'
14. 'People imagine that sacrifice means giving up something valuable or giving away something precious, something that you would very much like to keep for yourself. This is a very limited interpretation of the word sacrifice. I use that word in a larger sense. I would in fact prefer to use the word offering in place of the word sacrifice.'
15. 'Here I should caution you about what happens when the key principle is misunderstood and followed in a mistaken fashion. For example, many people think they should give charity so that they can go to heaven. This is wrong. When charity is given this way, the giver of charity starts feeling he is superior to the one receiving. Giving should not at all be done that way. One must give as a loving offering to a brother, who also is a child of God. In other words, the spirit must be one of sharing and caring, and not of condescension, and without any expectations of any kind from anybody.'
16. 'The people who give charity and food to beggars with the idea of booking a seat in heaven are really trying to make a business deal! God is so kind that He may even reserve a seat in heaven for such people. But Arjuna, God should not be trivialised like this by asking Him for trinkets! You may be a businessman but God is not. Remember that!'
17. 'Well, how then should one relate to God? That is your unstated question, is it not? The answer is simple. Look upon God as your Father, Mother, Guru, and even Friend. Are you surprised? You should not be because God is the only true Friend you can have. All others would make themselves scarce when you need assistance and help most. God is not like that. On the contrary, it is in those dire moments that He would be closest to you. Also, do whatever you are doing for God's pleasure.'
18. 'For example, right now I am asking you to fight. When you start fighting say, "God, I offer this duty I am doing as a soldier to You. Please accept it as my loving offering to You! I want nothing in return but Your Grace and Love".'
19. 'Everyone can make an offering to God in this manner, including a cobbler. Are you wondering how the cobbler ought to pray? Simple. He should just say, "Lord, in Your Cosmic Drama You have given me this particular role. My prayer to You is that a) I do my job to the best of my ability, and b) my slippers bring comfort and satisfaction to the buyer, who is none other than You in disguise. When my customer is satisfied, it means that You are satisfied!"'
20. 'So you see how perfection combined with selflessness can readily sanctify action. Every act without exception, including the smallest, can be sanctified in this manner.'
21. 'Take food. You are able to eat on account of God's Grace and not because of your salary. But for God's Grace, you would be jobless and hungry. Having received food as Divine Grace, how do you express your gratitude to God? By sharing your food with someone else. Give some food first to a starving soul, see him happy, and then eat. That would fill you also with happiness.'
22. 'Arjuna, it is a sin to eat without first sharing your food with some other person. Suppose no one is available; no problem. Share it with some birds or even ants. In any case, you can always offer the food first to God. In fact this is a must I would say.'
23. 'When you so offer, say a simple prayer, "O God, who is in me and taking care of me all the time in a thousand different ways that I am not even aware of, I offer this food to You, my Indweller. Please accept."'
24. 'No Arjuna, this is not a gimmick. It is an attitude of Mind that reflects the virtues of the Heart. See God everywhere and try to please Him with all the actions that you perform. God does not expect anything special from you. He would be extremely happy if you transform your duty into devotion and work into worship by following My simple formula.'
25. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, all this is fine, but what has it got to do with the Path of Action and the Path of Wisdom that You were telling me about?'
26. Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, that precisely is what I am coming to now. When your Mind is full of thoughts of God and your Heart is immersed in God, you would automatically become Wise! Yad Bhavam, Tat Bhavati. As you feel, so you become. Think of God who is the Embodiment of Knowledge all the time, and you automatically become Wise yourself &endash; that's all! Thus, for the man on the Path of Action, the three steps are: Work- Worship- Wisdom.'
27. 'Let Me now tell you something about the man who is following the Path of Wisdom. Such a man is inward-looking, that is to say, for him the world is essentially inside.'
28. 'What does this man find inside? He sees God seated in his Heart. He sees the Heart as the symbol of Perfection and Absolute Purity. He sees God seething with Love. Becoming absorbed in that Love, he gets charged with it.'
29. 'So charged is he with Love, that when he starts looking out into the world, he sees only Love everywhere. To him, nothing outside is bad, though ordinary mortals might see some things as good and others as bad. This man is above all such duality.'
30. 'The inward-looking man is one of Wisdom. He might seem a strange person to ordinary people, but he is neither strange nor mad. He is his True Self and in his Natural State, the State of Bliss. If at all he is mad, he is mad about God. But then Arjuna, tell Me who in this world is not mad? Some are mad about money, some about power, some about position and so on. Compared to all these types of madness, is not being mad about God much better?'
31. 'The Wise are always in a State of Bliss. At times, they might appear to be in a trance. At times, they would be happily singing to themselves or rather the God within, and at times they would be just dancing with joy! Obviously such people are very rare, about one in a billion or so, but believe Me, they do exist.'
32. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, the way You describe, these Wise men as You call them, appear to live in their own world and have nothing whatsoever to do with the world we ordinary mortals live in. Is that true?'
33. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Well Arjuna, really speaking, the Wise do not have duties to perform in the sense you have. You have to perform duty in order to attain fulfilment. This they achieve in an entirely different way. Yet, in their own way, the Wise too act and serve in this world.'
34. 'You want to know how? Let Me explain. By their very nature, the Wise "radiate" Peace. They have a captivating aura of Supreme Calm about them. They are ever smiling. Troubled souls therefore go to such people to have their Darshan, and when they do so, they feel at peace themselves, at least for a while. Is not applying the balm of Shanti a service? How many people are there in this troubled world who can render such service? Shining with the Effulgence of Love, speaking softly, gently and soothingly, is also service, in fact extremely valuable service. Thus, the Wise act as Lighthouses in a stormy world. '
35. 'Arjuna, just look at Me. I am the Lord and Master of the Three Worlds. Verily, I have no duties to perform. And yet, donning a human form, I am engaged in service to humanity all the time. Don't you see? Right now, I am driving your chariot? Is this really My job?'
36. 'Why do I serve when I really don't have to? To set an example Arjuna, to set an example. My Life is My Message! And My policy is to Love All and Serve All!! Got it?'
37. 'Supposing I did not do what I am doing. Do you know what would happen? People would start saying, "Look, God in human Form is not bothered about action. May be that is what God wants of us too!" Imagine what would happen to the world if people start abandoning their duties. It is to prevent this disaster that I perform duties, though in reality I have none to perform.'
38. 'Inaction is bad and laziness is rust and dust. It is to teach that lesson that I always keep Myself busy doing something or the other, of course always for the benefit of others. I never do anything that would bring advantage to Me personally. Selfless Love is My Guiding Principle, every second of My life.'
39. 'So, Arjuna, I hope after all this lengthy explanation, you have understood that the Paths of Action and of Wisdom are not two disjointed options; just that they represent two different starting points for reaching the same goal. Some start from Action and then progress to Wisdom while others attain Wisdom and then go into Action, that is all. Either way, the circle is complete.'
40. 'You will notice of course that many things are common to the ideal followers of the two Paths; they both are totally free from ego. The man following the Path of Action sees God as different from himself, at least to start with. He lives entirely for God and sacrifices his ego so that he may win the Love of God. The man on the Path of Wisdom identifies himself totally with God and since ego has no place in God, he automatically becomes devoid of ego. So both types of devotees of the Lord get rid of ego, each in his own style. Once ego is got rid of, one becomes one with God. And that, if you remember is the goal to be attained.'
41. 'So you see the important thing is to get rid of ego, and as I just told you, it can be done by two different methods. Hence both Paths lead to the same goal. However, if you ask Me which of these two paths is better suited to you, I would unhesitatingly pick the Path of Action or Karma Yoga as it is called. In fact, Karma Yoga is the preferred choice for 99.99999 .% of humanity!'
42. Arjuna silently digests all this and then slowly asks, 'Krishna, what You say is very clear no doubt but there is one thing I still do not understand. Why is it that people are driven to sin even though they know it is wrong? What is amazing is that sometimes people seem to commit sin even against their will! It seems there is some stronger force. What is that?'
43. Krishna replies, 'The short answer to your question is that the force you are talking about is the force exerted by the internal enemies. Take, for example, a man addicted to drinking. To start with he did not know the taste of alcohol. One fine day, the enemy called desire tempted this man saying, "Listen, you don't know what you are missing! Give this a try!!" The man falls for this evil advice and soon finds that he is hooked. Later he realises that his health is being ruined and that death would soon catch up with him but still he is not able to give up drinking. These internal enemies are very powerful and that is why they should not be given even a toehold in the first place.'
44. 'Arjuna, desire is man's mortal enemy. It is like a raging fire, a huge unstoppable conflagration. Desire sneaks in by devious means and later hides in the senses and the Mind. Once it gets in, it can smother even Wisdom; that is how even very Wise men have been dragged to ruin. You must therefore slay this evil dragon called desire, well before it gets hold of you!'
45. 'You might think that what I am asking you to do is difficult but do not worry. Just trust in Me and throw desire into the Fire of Knowledge for it to be totally destroyed. People perform all sorts of Yajna at great expense; no need for that. Just burn away your bad qualities, starting with desire &endash; that is more than enough. Do it as an act of Love for Me; if you do, then be assured that I shall help you, all the way to success. Of this you can be sure!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - III
1. Krishna continues and says 'Arjuna, do you know that what I am telling you now is no different from what was taught by Me to your ancient ancestors a long time ago?'
2. Arjuna frowns and asks, 'Krishna, how could that be? You are almost the same age as me, may be a few years older. How then could You have taught all this to my ancestors?'
3. Krishna smiles and replies, 'That precisely is the point Arjuna! You are just looking at My physical body and thinking of the age of the body. But I have already told you that I am NOT the body! Indeed, neither are you.'
4. 'You are the Atma and so am I. When I told you that I taught your ancestor I meant that I, wearing a particular body at that time, taught an embodiment of the Atma that was your physical ancestor.'
5. 'Arjuna, man has been told repeatedly that he is NOT the body but the Eternal Atma. But, like a weak student, he easily forgets the lesson taught despite many repetitions. Man seems to remember all kinds of trivial and useless information but readily forgets important truths about his real nature.'
6. 'This is the main reason why I have to incarnate again and again, to teach the same lesson! See how man's stupidity gives Me so much work? But I love man dearly and therefore I do not mind. Arjuna, man forgets Truth but I don't &endash; that is the difference between man and God.'
7. 'Now listen to this carefully. Humans take birth, die, are born again, die again and so on it goes, in a seemingly endless cycle. This repeated birth and death is related to a processing of "settling accounts" one might say.'
8. 'In a given birth, a human being accumulates some positive as well as some negative points. The positive points come from the good deeds done while the negative points come from the sins committed. It is this accumulation that causes rebirth.'
9. 'When a person is reborn, he enjoys good luck in proportion to his positive points and bad luck corresponding to the negative points. The positive and the negative are inescapable for a person with an external outlook, that is to say, when the vision is focussed mostly on the world outside.'
10. Arjuna then asks, 'Krishna, what You say is very disturbing. Is there no way to get out of this rut of repeated birth and death?'
11. Krishna replies, 'Who said there isn't any? There sure is; all you have to do surrender to Me. In fact, I have already told you how you can earn God's Grace. Once you have God's Grace, nothing can touch you, and you can get off the hook once and for all.'
12. 'Human birth is called Karma Janma; it means that birth is caused by the consequences of actions performed in earlier births. That is what I just now described in terms of settling accounts.'
13. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna what about You? Is Your birth also a Karma Janma?'
14. Krishna says in reply, 'Arjuna, what are you saying? I incarnate, and am not born like you and other ordinary mortals are. I have no accounts to settle! Do you understand that? I come at specific times of My choice for specific purposes. It is all a part of My never-ending Sport or Leela. That is why the Incarnation of God is referred to as Leela Janma.'
15. 'You want to know more? Here it is! This entire Creation is a Sport or Leela of God. The Universe is the stage and every person is an actor in God's Cosmic Drama. All the ups and downs that you see in life are a part of this extraordinary Drama.'
16. 'Now an ordinary play must have a script-writer, a director, a producer and so on. In the Cosmic Drama, all these roles are played by God Himself. He is the Author, the Director, Producer, etc., etc.'
17. 'Perhaps you have seen in the usual dramas that there is a person hiding behind the screen who whispers the dialogue in case some actor forgets his lines. He is called a prompter. In the Cosmic Drama also something similar happens. When people forget to follow Dharma [which is really the script], God prompts via the Conscience.'
18. 'However, there are times in history when such prompting alone is not sufficient. God then dons a human form and descends as an Avatar to play a direct role in His own Drama. This way, it becomes much easier for Him to correct man.'
19. 'Arjuna, whenever the situation demands, I come in human form. Such an Incarnation is called an Avatar.'
20. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna why and when does God deem it necessary to incarnate?'
21. Krishna replies, 'Ah, God incarnates whenever wickedness is on the rise and good people are tormented by evil people. The Avatar deals suitably with the wicked and protects the good.'
22. 'There are many ways in which the Avatar deals with wicked people. When the number of evil doers is relatively small, He arranges for them to be simply disposed off. This is like a surgeon removing cancerous growth.'
23. 'Do not however imagine that the every time God descends, He would do so with some sort of a weapon to slay people with. Far from it. There are times when vast sections of the population have good and evil coexisting within them. In such an event, the Avatar obviously cannot go around slaying people. Instead, He resorts to an entirely different strategy.'
24. 'When evil is widespread, the "weapon" that the Avatar uses is the most powerful of them all! The beauty of this "weapon" is that not even a single drop of blood is shed! Isn't that amazing?'
25. 'Can you guess what that "weapon" is? I am sure you cannot! It is Love Arjuna, it is Pure and Unselfish Love, Love that gives and forgives, Love gives and also forgets.'
26. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, how on earth can just Love alone get rid of the bad guys?'
27. Krishna smiles and says, 'That is the beauty about Love! You see it does not get rid of wicked people but removes the wickedness in people; got it?'
28. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, are you saying that Love transforms the bad into good?'
29. With visible enthusiasm, Krishna replies, 'Correct, you got it! Transformation is the miracle that Love alone can perform; and that is how a bloodbath is averted. Arjuna, it is a pity that man often tries to solve problems using violence, when Love would do the job far more simply and much better too.'
30. 'Right now, what is required is surgery but the day will come when the Avatar would be seen as nothing but Love. He would all the time be talking about Love and through His own life put on display the innumerable shades of Pure Love.'
31. 'Pure Love would scrub away all the contamination in the minds of seekers who come to It. The Avatar can charm and transform people in countless different ways, suited to the mental make up of the person concerned.'
32. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, can you tell me some more about the Avatar?'
33. Krishna replies, " Yes I can, but right now since time is short let Me just say that in whatever way people adore Me and relate to Me in that very same way I respond. Thus, to a child I am a child, to a woman I am a woman, to a man I am a man; but when I am alone, I am God!"
34. " People wonder: ' Why did God who is Indivisible, create diversity in the Universe?' Well, that is for the purpose of staging My Cosmic Drama. You would have noticed, Arjuna, that people are very different in their aptitudes and attitudes. Some like to paint, some like to sing, some are interested in sports, some hunger for power, some are mad about business, and so on. All this diversity is needed for making My Drama spicy! Thus it is that there are good guys as well as bad guys!"
35. " Talking about My Drama, let Me now add a couple of more remarks about when I make My appearance. You see, people normally tend to forget God, especially when there are plenty of worldly attractions. But if the Avatar happens to be around, His Divine Attraction draws millions to Him like a magnet, and this way many many people start thinking about God, at least part of the time."
36. " They come to Him with all kinds of doubts to start with, but once they see Him, they are straightaway captivated. And when He talks to them, they are instantly charmed and begin to transform. In short, the Avatar initiates God-consciousness on a large scale, which in subsequent years grows substantially.
37. " The Avatar also provides many opportunities to devotees to redeem their lives by serving Him in many ways. He gives "tasks" to many and people plunge into these tasks in order to please God in human form. Actually, God does want any of these things; but He pretends that He wants this or that done, so that people could sanctify their lives."
38. " Just to give an example, in My earlier Avatar as Rama, there was a need to build a bridge across the ocean. I could have easily created such a bridge with a mere wave of My hand. But I did not. Why? Because I wanted to give the vanaras or monkeys accompanying Me a chance to do service. In fact, you might remember that even a small squirrel came forward to help in this mighty project. What contribution can a mere squirrel make? But God does not evaluate in terms of quantity; He cares only for the spirit in which service is done, and thus it is that the squirrel became eternally famous by winning the Grace of God. Remember! One teaspoon of cow" s milk is far preferable to a barrel of donkey" s milk!"
39. " All this sort of thing happens while the Avatar is around. But after the Avatar withdraws and as the years pass by, man begins to forget again, and one more trip down becomes necessary for Me!"
40. " Arjuna, being close to the Avatar confers one priceless advantage. Proximity helps one to watch closely the Avatar in action and learn innumerable lessons from Him. This is because the Avatar's life is always His Message. As has been said, "Living with God is true education!"
41. " Let Me now revert to the business of action and inaction. Normally, these words are used in a purely worldly sense but that is not correct."
42. " Let us say there is a hyperactive businessman. He might be very busy all the time, chasing money of course. However, a Wise man will not see all this as action; rather, he would describe it as inaction! Why? Because for the Wise that alone is action, which is performed in a selfless manner and as an offering to God."
43. " Perhaps this would make clear to you that though Yogis might seem very passive and "inactive" they actually are very active in a spiritual sense. Let Me explain with an illustration."
44. " Let us say there is a Yogi who is deep in meditation. You would think this man is utterly inactive and frozen, giving a good imitation of a statue! Not correct!! You see, even while meditating, this Yogi spreads sacred vibrations all around him. People get drawn to the Yogi on account of his goodness, and when they are in his proximity, they experience badly-needed calm and inner peace, at least for some time. The Yogi is hardly conscious that he doing this; yet what he is doing is valuable service and therefore counts as action in the spiritual sense, valuable action in fact. Tell Me, how many are there who can render the important service of making people experience calm and peace?"
45. " The two important points you must note regarding actions are: firstly, they must be totally free from ego, and secondly they must be done with Love. In fact, as the saying goes, true Karma is Prema made visible! If action is performed in this spirit, then automatically there is no thought of reward; it is this sacrifice of the desire for the fruit of action or Karmaphala Tyagam as it is called, that would ensure eternal escape from rebirth."
46. " Over the ages, people have devised various methods of making offerings. Some build a sacred fire and offer material objects to that fire. This is OK for a start, but what is preferable is to sacrifice or offer or give up, call it what you will, one's undesirable traits, like bad desires, for example. Make this offering in the Fire of Knowledge."
47. " Knowledge or Wisdom is the greatest and most purifying fire that one can think of. Physical fire can burn only material objects whereas the Fire of Knowledge can burn even such subtle entities as bad qualities."
48. " There is nothing greater than Absolute Knowledge for that alone gives a glimpse of the Oneness that is God. It is Knowledge alone that will generate Constant Integrated Awareness or the capacity to see God everywhere, in everything, all the time."
49. " Once you are able to see God everywhere, even the traditional ritual involving offerings to the fire would manifest as a part of the Cosmic Loop. That is to say, you would realise that the one who is making the offering is God, the object offered is God, the fire to which the object is offered is God, and the ultimate receiver is also God. In short, everything is by God, for God and of God! That is the awareness that true Knowledge would bring to you."
50. " Arjuna, without Knowledge, you would be reduced to a bundle of doubts. Therefore, seizing the Sword of Wisdom, slay ignorance, before you embark on battle."
GITA FOR CHILDREN - IV
1. Despite the patient and in-depth teaching by Krishna, Arjuna is still confused. So he asks again, 'Krishna, forgive me please but I am not still clear about the two Paths you have been telling me about. As I see it, the Path of Wisdom essentially means that one must live like recluse, in which case, how can the recluse be active in the world? There appears to be something fundamentally different about the Path of Wisdom, and I can't quite see how it can have anything in common at all with the Path of Action. Tell me once again, in simple language please, what the two paths have in common and how they also differ in some respects.'
2. Krishna smiles and says, 'Arjuna, you are confused because you are looking at things rather superficially. True, on the face of it the two paths appear to have little in common. But if you examine in depth, you will discover that the difference if any lies purely in the procedure followed rather than in either the spirit or the goal to be achieved.'
3. 'Let Me explain all this in greater detail and even as I do so, you had better pay careful attention; time is short, and I don't want this issue raised again!
4. 'I will start with Karma Yoga or the Path of Action. Action, as you know, is always performed in this world. Naturally therefore, the Karma Yogi or the one committed to the Path of Action is immersed in the world like everyone else. But there are important differences. While people are engaging mostly in action for personal advantage, profit, power, etc., etc., our friend the Karma Yogi does his work as a Duty discharged to Society and as an offering to God. He has absolutely no thoughts of reward, profit, success, and things of that kind.'
5. 'He does not even expect thanks for the service that he renders. In other words, this noble soul has totally renounced all claims to the fruit of action &endash; that is the important point.'
6. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, I am a bit puzzled. I don't quite see what is wrong with aspiring for the fruit of action. There is person who has worked very hard in his profession, business, say. What is wrong with his wanting to be successful? After all, why else would a businessman do business?'
7. Krishna smiles and replies, 'I get your point. There is nothing morally wrong in expecting a reward for what you have done. But you see, the reward that you are looking forward to is connected with this world. And once you hanker after such rewards, that desire ties you down to this world. Result? Cycle of birth and death. So, if you want to get out of this rut, and I presume you want to, then you have to get rid of the desire, that is all.'
8. 'But Krishna, what about the businessman in my example? Why on earth would he want to do business if he should ignore the rewards?'
9. 'Well, that is where spiritual philosophy enters the picture. You see, the businessman should engage in business as a profession and not for amassing wealth. Take a teacher for example. His job is to teach and NOT to make money. If he gets paid that is incidental; his primary objective should be to train students properly, be a role model to them, and mould their character. That is the service he owes to Society. The businessman should operate in the same way; he should be focussing on his work as a service activity rather than one that fetches profit, etc. If he makes money in the process, nothing wrong. However, he should make sure that the money is given away to good causes etc., after keeping some for his needs of course.'
10. 'The essential point is simply that operationally, the man on the Path of Action or the Karma Yogi, functions very much like the man on the Path of Wisdom. In other words, the Karma Yogi starts from the outer world and later journeys inwards to God. The Wise One on the other hand starts from the Inner world and then journeys outside to do service. Thus, the journey of the Karma Yogi is from Action to Wisdom, while the journey of the Sankhya Yogi is from Wisdom to Action! At the end of it all, the two types of Yogis become indistinguishable.'
11. 'The man of Wisdom may appear very strange in his behaviour, in fact even crazy! But crazy he is not; let Me give you an example.'
12. 'One day, the Gopikas of Brindavan wanted to cross the Yamuna river. However, the river was flowing full and there was no boatman in sight. So they all stood there wondering what they should do. At that time Sage Vyasa came there &endash; you know Vyasa, don't you? The Gopikas prayed to the Sage, "O Venerable one, please can you help us to go across the river?"
The Sage smiled and replied, "Certainly but before I do so, you all must give me some of the butter that you are carrying." The Gopikas immediately served fresh butter to the Sage who ate it with great relish. Wiping his hands and mouth, the Sage then went near the river and said aloud, "O Mother Yamuna, if is true that I have been fasting today, please stop the flow of water so that all of us can walk across."
And Lo and behold, water immediately stopped flowing, and the Gopikas as well as the Sage went across the river. On reaching the other bank, the Gopikas thanked the Sage profusely and then asked, "O Sage, we are not able to understand one thing. You ate so much butter and yet you said you were fasting. And Mother Yamuna seemed to accept your declaration! What is the mystery behind all this?"
With a smile the Sage replied, "You all thought I was eating the butter. No, that is not true. I just went through the physical motions but I offered all that butter to Krishna, who as you know likes fresh butter very much. It was really He who ate all that butter!"
Arjuna, now do you understand how the Wise perform actions?'
13. 'The Yogi is always inward-looking and seeks God in his Heart. By the way, when I speak of the Heart, you must understand that I am referring to the Spiritual Heart and not the physical heart! You must have heard people say, "You are a heartless person." How can anyone exist without the pump that causes the blood to circulate?'
14. 'Thus in Spirituality, Heart always means the seat of Compassion. The Heart is called Hridaya; Hridaya = Hrid + Daya; Daya means compassion. Thus the Heart is the seat of Compassion, which is a Divine quality.'
15. 'Getting back to the Yogi, he totally identifies himself with God. In fact, he believes that he is God, he is the Atma, he is the Inner-Self, he is the True Self, he is the Reality.'
16. Krishna continues: 'Sounds weird? It does not end here! The Yogi always feels that the Mind and the body are quite distinct from him. In other words, you will never catch him say, I am the body or I am the Mind. He KNOWS that he is NOT the body or the Mind!'
17. A puzzled Arjuna asks, 'I don't quite understand what You are saying. Please can You come again?'
18. With His eternal smile, Krishna replies, 'Of course. You see Arjuna, the Yogi's body and Mind function just like yours. But there the similarity stops. His body would always perform sacred actions. His Mind is always full of Pure thoughts.'
19. Arjuna asks, 'How does that happen?"
20. Krishna replies, 'Suppose there is a well. If you throw a pebble into the water, ripples are generated which then travel to the edge of the well. The Yogi's Heart is the well, absolutely Pure of course. If the pebble of good thought is thrown into this well, it generates ripples. When the ripples reach the edge that is the body, it results in good action.'
21. 'Arjuna, for the Yogi the Atma is in the driving seat. He as the Atma commands the Mind. The Mind then gives appropriate orders to the body and the senses; the net result is that there is perfect harmony between feelings, thought, word and deed. This really is what the so-called human values are all about.'
22. 'If you ask the Yogi as to who is acting, he would simply say, "I don't act; I am the Atma, and the Atma is just a Witness; it is the Mind and the body that act. As for me, I am not the body or the Mind." Notice he does not even use words like my body, my Mind, etc.'
23. 'The Yogi is speaking the Truth, though his way of talking might appear strange to ordinary mortals like yourself. I shall come back to this point later maybe but for the moment let Me stay with what I was telling you a short while ago.'
24. 'The Yogi is not like a hibernating bear, absolutely still all the time. He may shun the pleasures of the worlds, he may be above desires, he may not want food, he may not experience hunger and thirst the way normal people do. In all such respects, the Yogi clearly belongs to a different species, if I might say so.'
25. 'Yet, such people do act in their own special way. They gather disciples around them and groom them carefully and patiently. Why? Because humanity always needs noble souls, and Yogis often take upon themselves the task of grooming such people. This is the service that they render to Society.'
26. 'You might ask, "OK, one Yogi produces ten others but of what use are they to society? They keep to themselves and apart from Society. They may be wise but where is the action?" I shall answer that.'
27. 'True the Yogis stay with their students but they keep wandering and in their travels, they pass through many villages. Every time the party enters a village, the residents welcome them, extend hospitality to them and listen to discourses delivered by these Wise men. In this way, even Yogis serve society.'
28. 'Arjuna, you must have heard the advice: Avoid Bad Company and Always seek Good Company. The wandering Yogis provide the good company that people need. These Yogis come as a breath of fresh air, sanctify the places they visit and reinforce the faith that simple people have in God.'
29. 'In short, if the Karma Yogi journeys from Action to Wisdom the Sankhya Yogi goes from Wisdom to Action.'
30. 'Suppose you want to make syrup. There are two ways of doing it. You could take a tumbler of water, add sugar and then stir. Alternately, you could first put sugar in the tumbler, next add water and stir. Either way the end product is the same. In a like manner, the two paths that I referred to earlier are completely identical as far as the final goal is concerned.'
31. 'Having said that, I should also point out that for you especially and indeed for 99.99999 % of humanity, the Path of Action is much easier to follow. It is a lot easier to go through life working for God rather than telling yourself all the time, "I am God, I am God ."!
32. Arjuna asks, ' Krishna , if it is so difficult, then how come the Wise man is able to say "I am God," and get away with it?'
33. Krishna replies, 'You must get one thing clear. The Wise man does not go about proclaiming to the world that he is God. Instead, he constantly reminds himself: "I am God in the essence. Therefore, I must do nothing that is contrary to my native Divinity. I must see only what is good, hear only what is good, speak only what is good and think only what is good! Further, I must see God in everything all the time".'
34. 'This is how the Wise man spends his life. He is immersed in Constant Integrated Awareness. In simple terms it means seeing God everywhere, in everything, all the time! In the process, he also sees the same God within himself, naturally,'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - V
35. The Wise man sees God in the microcosm as well as the macrocosm. He makes no distinction between a saint and a sinner. For him, the saint and the sinner are both God in disguise. Can you go through life like that? Impossible! That is why I recommended for you the Path of Action. Got it?'
36. 'I now come to something I had put off earlier, namely about My Incarnation. I take on a human form whenever I feel that My direct presence here on earth is absolutely essential. Further, I choose the parents of the body, the place of birth and also the exact time of birth. All these factors are entirely under My control. Thus, the time chosen is sacred, the place chosen is sacred, and the parents of the body also are holy people.'
37. 'The Avatar moves about like ordinary mortals. He will talk like an ordinary peerson, He will eat, sleep, and dress like an ordinary peerson. But there the similarity ends! The Avatar is without blemish in every respect, and personifies Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness). Ever smiling, He radiates Prema (Love) all the time. Not even an iota of selfishness and self-interest can ever be found in Him. Ever compassionate and ever full of Kshama or forbearance, He is always giving. Thus His hand is always above, and never below receiving!'
38. 'Like humans, the Lord in human form is also ever engaged in actions. However, whereas ordinary humans get bound as the result of their actions, the Lord is not so bound.'
39. Arjuna asks, 'How is that? I don't follow.'
40. Krishna explains: 'The answer is simple. Actions bind one to the world when performed with some self-interest. As I told you, I have no self-interest, not even a trace of it. I am beyond this world and come here just to play a specific role for a limited time. All My actions are based on Pure Love, and that is the reason why actions can never bind Me.'
41. Arjuna asks, 'If I perform actions with Pure Love, will I also be free from getting bound?'
42. Krishna replies, 'Of course! And that is precisely the lesson I have come to teach you! Selfless action based on Pure Love is the bottom line. You must always give and not grab. You must give and forgive. You must give and forget. Remember, it is in giving that you really receive. And what is that you receive? My Grace!'
43. Seeing a frown on Arjuna's face, Krishna now says, 'Mind you, I am not saying that actions performed with expectation of specific rewards are necessarily evil. A mother may want her son to do well so that she could be proud of him. This is a natural human instinct. Such a desire is not immoral or a sin. However, it is entirely worldly, and based on body-attachment. That is what binds one to the cycle of birth and death.'
44. 'Worldly desire, no matter how good it might seem, always leads to bondage. Worldly desires inevitably chain you to the cycle of birth and death. You may want many things and all these desires might not get fulfilled in this birth. So destiny offers you another birth but then, in that birth you also face much misery. And so on it goes: Birth again death again; in between, sojourns in so many wombs! What a fool man is! If only he would constantly think of the Lord!!'
45. 'So you see, the Avatar is not like you in terms of the purpose for which actions are performed, and that is why He remains beyond always. There is one other point that I must mention. People often lament, "O God why did you inflict this suffering on me?" But do these people think of Me in their moments of success? Hardly! Instead they give all the credit to themselves and are busy accepting congratulations. So it would seem that all I do is to spread misery! But let that pass.'
46. 'Arjuna, man alone is the master of his Destiny and not God above. God merely watches and says yes to all that man wants. If he wants to be good, God says yes. If he wants to be bad, God says, "Alright do so if that is what you want". If man wants desires to be fulfilled God says go ahead. If on the other hand man wants to be liberated, God not only says yes but helps with great enthusiasm.'
47. Arjuna asks, 'You say man alone is the master of his Destiny. But there are certain things not explained by this statement. Let us say there is a poor couple. They have a son who is badly handicapped. These people are very good and highly devoted to You. They are not doing any harm to anybody. Yet they are suffering. Why are they being punished? Don't tell me they are punishing themselves.'
48. Krishna smiles and replies, 'I am glad you asked this question because this is a common confusion that people have. You see, people accumulate positive and negative points in every birth. This account has to be settled. Often it is not settled in one lifespan and there is a carry over. In the example that you gave, both the parents and the handicapped boy are settling the account of their respective past Karma. Men do not realise that they are the masters of their own fate; the fault lies not in the stars but in themselves.'
49. 'The solution to all this, as I have already told you, is to totally surrender to God and let Him shape your life. But unfortunately, people think of God only when they are in trouble and more or less forget Him when things are going smoothly. This kind of part-time devotion will simply not work! Beware!!'
50. 'In such matters, you must draw a lesson from the Wise. They too live in this very same dual world with all its pairs of opposites. But their outlook to these is very different.'
51. 'The Wise man constantly tells himself, "It is wrong to imagine that some things in this Universe are good and other things are bad. If everything is God, how can anything ever be bad? Impossible! Things only appear to be bad even though they are good in the core. It is like in a play enacted by a drama troupe. All the members are good people really, but in the play some may act as the good guys while others may play the role of bad guys. God's Cosmic Drama is no different".'
52. 'The point that I am trying to make is simply that the Wise man is above duality that most people are in the grip of. What deludes ordinary people does not delude the Wise man.'
53. 'Creation is a clever puzzle designed by God. It fools 99.9999% of the people. Sometimes it even makes them believe that the transient is Eternal and that the Eternal does not exist! Everyone sees people dying all the time and yet, most people do not realise that they too would have to go one day. If they did, would they not give serious consideration to what they must do with their lives? Do you see anyone doing that? Hardly!'
54. 'Incidentally, this is where Karmaphala Tyagam (Renouncing the results of actions) that I taught you earlier comes in handy. When you are truly engaged in Karma Yoga, the world just flits by. You are so immersed in working for God and offering everything to Him, that you couldn't care less about duality and all that stuff! You will get wet only when you go out into the rain without an umbrella. If you stay at home, how can you get wet?'
55. 'In short, while the Sankhya Yogi truly rises above delusion, the Karma Yogi bypasses it neatly by firmly attaching himself to God. I might add that God likes the Karma Yogi very much. Do you get the hint Arjuna?'
1. Continuing His Discourse on Atma Jnana or the Knowledge of the Self, Krishna says to Arjuna, 'I am now going to tell you something about attitudes, and the regulation of the Mind. People use the word Mind Control but I prefer the term Self-regulation as the word Control worries many people, especially when the Mind is involved. Let Me start with attitudes first.'
2. 'Going back to the Karma Yogi (a spiritual seeker on the path of action), let us ask what precisely should be his mental attitude. A true Karma Yogi will never be concerned about the outcome of what he is doing nor aspire for the fruit of action. Totally focused on doing his duty, he would always have the feeling that it is the Lord's work that he is doing. On the worldly plane, he might actually have a boss who is giving the orders. He might also get a salary but for him, all those are purely incidental.'
3. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, does that mean the Karma Yogi ignores his boss and does what he thinks is his duty?'
4. Krishna replies, 'How can that be? There is a King and he gives an order to his Minister. The Minister has to obey, as long as the order is in conformity with Dharma of course. The King plays a role in God's Drama and so does the Minister. Yet, while doing his duty to the State, the Minister quietly says, "Lord, I am doing this for Your pleasure!" There is nothing to prevent the Minister from silently offering his work to God, nor is it in conflict with his duty.'
5. 'To continue, the true Karma Yogi has no craving for neither success; nor does he become depressed when there is a failure; he accepts both success and failure with perfect equanimity. Never a castor-oil face for him! He always says, "It is all Lord's Will. In God's play, there is never any failure, and everything happens the way it is supposed to. I am merely His instrument."'
6. 'Since there is no hankering after success and all that, there is detachment and a spirit of renunciation in the Karma Yogi. So you see, you do not have to wear ochre robes to renounce! He alone is a true renunciate who has given up attachment and desires, and not the one who wears saffron-coloured robes and is called a Sannyasi.'7. 'In other words, it is not the dress but the mental attitude that is important. A Sanyasi (renunciant) who is worried where his next meal is going to come from is no Sannyasi at all. On the other hand, I would give full marks to a Karma Yogi if he follows the Principle of Karmaphala Tyagam or giving up the desire for the fruit of action.'
8. 'Arjuna, you must carefully note the spirit in which I am using the word sacrifice. You know about Yajnas (sacrifices), don't you? The sacred fire in the Yajna to which offerings are made is also called the sacrificial fire. What I am trying to drive at is that sacrifice and offering are the same thing. In the traditional Yajna, offerings are made to the physical fire, and what is offered are material objects. The sacrifice of a bad habit say, can similarly be looked upon as an offering made to the fire of Knowledge or Wisdom.'
9. 'Let Me now turn to equanimity. I have already told you that the man of Wisdom can be distinguished by his equipoise. Ever calm and gentle, he cannot be easily ruffled.'
10. 'The same is in fact true of a Karma Yogi also. That is because he accepts every happening as ordained by God. Thus, his mental attitude slowly conditions him to an attitude of equanimity in its own way. Whereas the Sankhya Yogi (a spiritual seeker on the path of wisdom) acquires equipoise through enquiry and by overcoming delusion, the Karma Yogi allows equipoise to grow over him in due course by training himself to accept everything as a gift of God.'
11. 'At the end of it all, a true Karma Yogi is hardly distinguishable from a SankhyaYogi. Now do you see that it is really not necessary to split hairs and make a big fuss about the difference? The paths may appear different but the end result is the same. Just that some may find one path easier than the other &endash; that's all.'
12. 'Yoga literally means union with God, and a Yogi is one who becomes united with God. Now why is union with God so important? Because true happiness or rather Bliss is union with God, that's why!'
13. 'May be I should digress here a bit and say something about happiness. You will agree that no one in the world would want to be miserable, even for a moment. Even a mad man would not have such a desire!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN
14. 'No one asks a person, "Why are you happy?". On the other hand, if a person is very sad, every one would try to find out why. The reason for this is simply that happiness is in fact the natural state of a human being. To be technically correct, I should say that Bliss is the natural state of a human being.'
15. 'As a result of this, everyone everywhere is contunually trying to secure happiness in one manner or the other. But the trouble is that almost always, almost everyone is using the wrong method!'
16. Arjuna asks, "Krishna, what do you mean by the wrong method?'
17. Krishna replies, 'Patience! I am coming precisely to that. You see Arjuna, people are trying to find happiness in this world, and that is what is wrong.'
18. A puzzled Arjuna asks, 'Wrong? Why is it wrong? Where else except in the world would one seek happiness?'
19. Krishna smiles and replies, 'You are puzzled because you think that the world is all that exists, and that the world is the only place where happiness can be found; that is not correct. This world that you see around you is the external world, but there is a much larger and a better world within you; that is the INNER world. Real happiness exists in the Inner world and NOT in the outer world as people imagine.'
20. 'Arjuna, the external world is a part of Creation and therefore not permanent. As a result, the happiness that the external world can offer is also short-lived; it is transient, it is ephemeral. You may be happy for a while but after that pain would visit you for sure.'
21. 'This external world is what the Wise refer to as a dual world; it is full of "pairs of opposite" such as pleasure and pain, profit and loss, joy and misery, success and failure, and so on. These two members of a pair are like the two sides of a coin. They can never be separated. Can you ever have a coin with just one side?'
22. Arjuna asks, 'So? What exactly are You trying to convey?'
23. Krishna replies, 'Simple! You cannot have joy alone. If there is joy today, be sure you will experience sorrow tomorrow. As I often say, pleasure is an interval between two pains! Pleasure and pain form a package deal; if you pray for pleasure, it would be granted, but then, you must be ready for the pain that would come along with it as a part of the inseparable package! Now do you understand what I am trying to tell you?'
24. Arjuna says slowly, 'Am I right in saying that the happiness that a transient world can offer is also short-lived?'
25. Krishna joyously replies, 'Great! You got it!! The point Arjuna is that man is right in seeking happiness. In fact he must, since Bliss is his true nature. But he must go about it in the proper way. Bliss means eternal happiness, and eternal happiness can be found only in the Inner world and NOT in the outer world. The outer world is temporary and therefore, the happiness it can offer would also be temporary. How can the temporary offer something that is permanent? Man is not able to understand this simple fact!'
'Arjuna, true happiness is union with God. Now where do you find Me? What is My permanent address? Your Heart is My permanent residence. Look for Me in your Heart, and there you will find Me for sure. Become one with Me there and you can enjoy Bliss forever! Got it?'
27. 'In the external world, happiness comes bundled with sorrow because it is a dual world. A dual world MUST have the pairs of opposites. But My world is not a dual world. It is a single world; there are no opposites. Bliss is thus all by itself and has no opposites.'
28. 'Let Me explain the point. Suppose you eat a delicious mango. That would certainly give you great joy. Fine. Now suppose five years after that event you recall your eating this mango. You would probably tell yourself, "Well, that was a very nice mango," that is all. You will not experience the sweet taste once again and feel equally joyous as you first did. With Bliss, it is very different.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN
Ghapter 6 - Dhyana Yoga
29. 'Suppose you invite Me to your house. I come and we spend a nice time together. Five years later you think, "Oh how nice it would be if Krishna comes again," and start recalling My earlier visit. In the process, you begin to experience the SAME joy that you did earlier. You can actually relive every second of the earlier experience and taste the SAME happiness.'
30. 'Now do you get the significance of this? Since I live in your Heart, you and I can be together for as long as you wish, and in this way you can be in Bliss as long as you want! It is so very simple; it does not cost you a penny; no need to make travel plans, reservations and all that. Yet, people don't seem to want this bargain offer!'
31. Arjuna says, 'Krishna , You are making it all appear so very simple but I don't think it is. To start with, when You come physically to my house, I know what being with You means. But how am I to be with You in the Heart? That is not clear.'
32. Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, just take a lesson from what great devotees do. They like to hear people talking about Me, and that fills them with Bliss. They imagine I am physically before them and sing for Me; that fills them with Bliss. They talk to Me all the time, and that too fills them with Bliss!'
33. 'You can think of Me or chant My Name while doing your household work, and that would fill you with Bliss. You can be doing service and singing songs about Me; that would fill you with Bliss. There are a thousand different ways open to you. And they can be followed in any place, any time, free of charge!'
34. 'Are you now clear about the difference between Bliss which is Divine happiness and worldly happiness? Let Me now get back to the Yogi about whom I was telling you earlier.'
35. 'Man will ascend to the level of a Yogi only when he practises firm Mind and sense regulation. Anyone can become a Yogi but most people don't even try. Of the small number who try, most quit very quickly; this is most unfortunate.'
36. 'Arjuna in all this the Mind plays a vital role. It can be your friend or your foe. If you turn the Mind towards God, it is your friend but if you turn it towards desires, it becomes your enemy.'
37. Let Me give you a simple example. There is a lock and a key. You insert the key in the lock. If you turn one way, the lock opens; if you turn the other way, it closes. The Heart is the lock and the Mind is the key. Got it?'
38. Arjuna asks, 'OK, I want to become a Yogi and I practise Mind and sense control or regulation, call it what You will. How do I know I have become Yogi?'
39. Krishna replies, 'That is simple; just do a self-check. Are you able to see a saint and sinner as alike? Can you regard gold and clay as being alike? If so, you have arrived.'
40. 'The Yogic state must be demonstrated with a real-life test and not simulations. People do not quite understand the point, and so let Me tell you a story.'
41. 'You know Sage Narada, don't you? He is a great devotee of Mine, and keeps wandering over all the three worlds, singing My Glory.'
42. 'One day Narada came to Me and said, "Lord, I find that I am very short-tempered, and I want to get rid of my tendency to flash easily into fits of anger." I said, "Narada, that is very good. What exactly are you going to do?" Narada replied, "I am going to withdraw into the forest and do penance in solitude for ten years." To this I said, "Is that so? Well, good luck!"'
43. 'So Narada went away and ten years later he came back beaming. Prostrating before Me he said, "Lord, you must congratulate me. I am now free from anger." I replied, "Narada, I am very glad to hear that but are you really sure you have got rid of anger?"
In a pained voice Narada said, "Lord, how can You doubt me?" I then said, "Narada, it is not like that. Great men have tried earlier to rid themselves of anger and have not quite succeeded." Narada replied, "They may have failed but I am different." Appearing to be tired I then said, "Well, that is what you say." Narada was now beginning to get impatient and show signs of anger. In a testy voice he asked, "Are You doubting my words?" I replied mischievously, "Narada, did I ever say I was doubting your words? I merely said that great men have failed."
By now Narada was furious; raising his voice he shouted, "You might not have said so but the fact is that You are doubting my words. Here I am going round the three worlds singing Your Glory all the time and You don't have any faith in me at all! If You don't believe Your devotee, whom else are You going to believe?"'
44. 'While Narada was exploding in this manner, I remained silent but was smiling all the time. After Narada had finished his outburst, I gently said, "Did you see? You became angry! My dear Narada, for ten years you were all by yourself in the forest. Where was the opportunity there to test your calmness? If you say you have conquered anger, you must prove it here in this world. You must face situations that are likely to inflame you and show that you do not get angry despite the provocation. Without a proper demonstration, how do you expect Me to accept your claims?"'
45. 'I narrated this story just to drive home the point that a true Yogi is always a picture of equanimity and perfect composure. And that can come only from strict disciplining of the senses and the Mind. One who constantly thinks of God progressively acquires this attitude, of course only over a long time.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN
A Beautiful Exposition On Concentration, Contemplation and Meditation
46. 'I would now like to tell you something about Meditation, especially because Yogis are supposed to be lost in Meditation for long spells of time. The word Meditation is greatly misunderstood, besides being interpreted in a narrow sense.'
47. 'To begin with, I should mention that the text-book Sannyasi or Yogi, call him what you will, is one who has lived with himself and for God for years and years. He has not only practised austerities but has gone through a long and elaborate routine of self-discipline, involving many and progressive stages. It is like going up a ladder. Yogic Meditation is the top of the ladder.'
48. 'I won't go into all those details now, but I should call your attention to three stages involved. They are: Concentration, Contemplation, and Meditation.'
49. 'Concentration is something very common. Anybody who is serious about what he is doing necessarily concentrates a lot. You, for example, would totally concentrate on the target before shooting an arrow. Well, that is concentration.'
50. 'Concentration is an activity of the brain or the lower Mind. With some practice, anyone can easily learn to concentrate. In fact, concentration is a must for all students.'
51.'After concentration comes contemplation. This is a higher activity of the Mind. Let us say a teacher has taught a lesson about plants. Later when the student is revising the lesson, he could contemplate and wonder:
"How can the plant grow up without a father and mother? Or, are there an invisible father and an invisible mother? When I feel hungry I ask my mother for food. Which mother gives food and water to the plant? Why has God made the plant so different? Incidentally, why has God created plants?" That is contemplation.'
52. 'Coming now to Meditation, in simple terms it means filling the Mind with God. When you contemplate, you start thinking of higher things. Going back to the case of the plant, Meditation means thinking, "God, how beautiful are the plants and the trees! Oh Krishna, when You were young, You used to rest under trees. How I wish I was one of those! I could have had Your Darshan for long periods of time!! Krishna, why don't You become a tree and make me a creeper twining round You?"'
53. 'Another example. You go to your garden to pluck a rose for God. When you pluck the flower, you must concentrate; otherwise you would get hurt by the thorns. Once you have plucked the flower, you hold it in your hands and admire its beauty and freshness. That is contemplation. You then say, "God, this flower I am offering to You." That is Meditation.'
54. 'In simple terms, Meditation is nothing but remembrance of the Lord. You can go about your normal household work, chanting My Name all the time &endash; that also is Meditation.
People do not realise this and imagine that Meditation perforce involves sitting in a Yogic pose, closing your eyes and all that. That is only ONE way of meditating!
There are actually many ways to meditate and the bottom line in all cases is remembrance of the Lord. That really is the important point.'
55. 'Arjuna, people are made differently and have a differing attitudes and aptitudes. Take running for example. Some can run very fast but only over a short distance. Others have stamina and can run not very fast but over long distances. The long distance runner cannot do what the sprinter does and vice versa.'
56. 'You can see this in your own family. Your brother Bhima is hefty and therefore the mace is the ideal weapon for him; but for you, it is the bow and the arrow. In the same way, where Meditation is concerned, people can adopt different techniques best suited to them. It is not the procedure but the SPIRIT in which Meditation is done that is important.'
SAI BABA GITA
Part XXI - Answers for all questions
The Way to Self-Realization and Liberation in this Age.
In what Way are Human Beings better than Animals?
The lion told them, "You have all heard what my brother has said to you. I want you to know that the great qualities you have, like valor and courage, humans do not really have. I myself am a direct proof of this. If you consider the courage and valor, the magnificent prowess and strength which I have, where will you find any human being who is my equal? Though I am king of the animals, I never take any wrong or unjustifiable actions. Without reason I do not kill animals. Only when I am hungry will I take a little food. I do not kill any animals for sport; I never waste any food. Consider our courage, our code of ethics, our high level of morality. Can you find such great qualities in human beings? No! They don't have them at all. Therefore, why should we be afraid of them? Why should we be thought of as inferior to humans? Today, let us resolve to wipe out this blot on our reputation." When the lion finished his address there was an uproarious cheer and the applause resounded throughout the entire forest.
When things quieted down, the elephant, who was sitting just by the side of the lion got up and said, "Humans are not even half as big as my leg. In form I am certainly mighty and magnificent. In intelligence I have attained proverbial greatness. Kings, emperors, distinguished leaders, all have developed great regard for me. If ever a coronation was to be performed and I were not there, it would have to be postponed. When I am so great, how can you say that humans are superior to me? My intelligence is extraordinary. Therefore, even if you consider just these two, my intelligence and my physical size, you must conclude that humans can never be equal to me." Again the audience cheered their agreement.
The fox got up and said, "The lion, our illustrious king, has just talked to you, and the big elephant, our distinguished minister, has also spoken his mind. Now we would like to invite a representative of the smaller animals to come and address us." At this point a dog who had strayed into the forest, and who had many experiences with human beings, was asked to speak to the gathering. It offered its humble salutations to the president, to the king, to the minister, to the secretary and to all in that great throng who had assembled there. Then it said, "Although I am very small and weak, in faith there is no one that can be compared to me. I have unswerving faith and unlimited loyalty to the person who has brought me up, and who looks after me. I will always be grateful and faithful, even if I lose my life. Even if I am hurt and harmed by my master, I will not return the harm in kind. Everyone knows that human beings do not have this sense of loyalty which a dog has. In this quality of loyalty I can never be considered inferior to human beings.
"Among themselves, humans often give trouble to the ones who most lovingly take care of them and guide them, such as their own parents or their teachers. Humans will not hesitate to do bad in return for the good which is given to them. They will criticize and concoct schemes to deceive and hurt the very ones who have looked after them so carefully. Humans do not have any gratitude at all. They do not have any loyalty. Only so long as their purposes are being served will they pretend to be obedient. The moment their own selfish interests have been taken care of, they start troubling their own teachers. When humans are like this how can we be considered inferior to mankind?" There was complete agreement in the audience. A nodding of heads and sounds of "Hear! Hear!" affirmed every point the gentle dog had made. In this way, one by one, others got up and had their say. Appropriate to their status and experience, they gave speeches, extolling the many fine qualities practiced by the animals but which were being ignored by human beings. Finally, there was the speech of the president.
Through Effort Humans can Transform their Lower Nature.
The sage addressed the gathering, "Dear animals. All that you have just spoken of is true. Whenever a spiritual teacher does something or says something to us, it is meant for our own good. It is intended to promote our inner development and also our friendship and good understanding with others. But as soon as this friendship flowers and understanding blossoms forth, human beings become suspicious and think that something bad is being done to them. To your face, they will offer salutations and use words of praise but behind your back they will criticize and revile you. Filling themselves with opposites like that and with low forms of cleverness, they waste their intelligence and their lives. All the defects that have been pointed out here are certainly true and present in humans. As for food, sleep, breathing and such things, there is absolutely no difference between humans and animals."
The sage continued, "I do want to point out, however, that there is one specialty in human beings that is unique, in which they cannot be compared with the animals. Animals may inherit a streak of cruelty. Once they have acquired that they cannot change it. A tiger, however hungry he may be, will not eat rice and curry. He only aspires to have mutton. He will not settle for just a little tea and biscuits. However much he may try to change his habits, he will not succeed. On the other hand, if sufficient efforts are made by humans, they can transform their cruel nature and any of their bad habits. The most important difference between humans and animals is that humans, with effort, can bring about a complete transformation in themselves, whereas animals will not be able to accomplish that. These special capacities and skills for transforming themselves are only available to human beings."
The fox got up and said, "Swami, we will concede that human beings have these special capacities for changing themselves, but if they do not make use of these capacities, do they deserve the high status that they now enjoy?" The president declared, "If anyone has the capacity to change himself but does not use it, then he is much worse than an animal." At this all the animals burst into an uproarious applause. The cheering went on and on until the president gaveled for order. The sage then repeated the principal point he had just made... that any human beings who had the capacity for doing good, but who did not use this quality to improve their own behavior and develop the good within themselves, were, without a doubt, worse than animals. Then the sage added, "What is the use of all the learning that human beings accumulate? Will it change their faith? As soon as bad thoughts enter their heads, their thinking becomes dull and they become like idiots. In learning and skills, humans have attained a high status. But all this learning is only for the sake of procuring some bread. They use their education only to fill their bellies and to eke out a livelihood."
At this point, the fox got up and added to what the president had just said, "In the process of eking out their livelihood, humans use all kinds of unethical means. In this respect, it is clear that we animals are much better than human beings." The fox got carried away by his own rhetoric. He continued for some time on the same theme. "We are always fair in gaining our livelihood. In all respects, when compared to humans, we are far better. Really, we are the BEST!" He got an exuberant, almost riotous ovation from the whole four footed assembly. Everyone agreed whole-heartedly with this appraisal and urged the fox on to say more. But now the enthusiasm had exceeded its limits and the president pounded the gavel and called for order. The sage arose and made a few additional remarks. He explained the second major difference that make human beings unique. He said, "Man has been able to conquer maya, he has been able to master illusion. Once he has achieved that, he is able to experience the atma, his own true divine self. Then he can reach the state of nirvana, the exalted state of eternal bliss. This is a vital difference between humans and animals.
The vital Difference between Human Beings and Animals.
"Human beings have the power and also the authority to conquer maya and totally free themselves from delusion. If man takes the trouble and makes the effort, he will be able to directly experience the atma and, thereby, know himself as the divinity that he truly is. With the help of spiritual exercises he can reach nirvana and be immersed in supreme bliss. In the interest of truth, I have to point out that you animals do not have these powers and potentialities with which human beings have been endowed." The sage added, "Dear children, in the English language, human beings have been collectively called mankind, using the generic term m-a-n. The same is given in Sanskrit as manava. The inner significance of m-a-n is that human beings can separate and remove this illusion, maya; they can get the vision of atma, and immerse themselves in wisdom and joy in the state that is called nirvana. This, then, is the meaning conveyed by these letters m-a-n, where 'm' stands for 'maya removed', 'a' stands for 'atma realized, and 'n' stands for 'nirvana attained'. Attaining nirvana means that man becomes one with joy and bliss. So, a true human being is one who has removed the ignorance of maya, who has had a vision of the atma and who has become merged in the supreme state of bliss."
When the sage had finished, all the animals bowed their heads and there was a deep reflective silence as they mulled over the words the president had spoken. They had to agree that these were three possibilities, which they, in their present forms, could never hope to achieve. But then a question was raised by one bold buck, "Have all human beings been able to attain this?" The sage responded with a resounding "No!" He said, "Only very, very few people care at all about these extraordinary treasures which are their birthright. Most people fritter away their lives, never pursuing these invaluable opportunities of human life. Their pursuits reek with selfishness and they treat each other much worse than animals. Although humans have this great capacity for wisdom and bliss, they do not develop themselves in this direction and, so, they have not been able to derive any real joy from their lives."
Most Human Beings behave even Worse than Animals.
The animals came to a consensus and agreed that those people who do not make any effort at all in these directions are just like them and there is absolutely no reason for distinguishing them from animals. The sage agreed. Then, on a personal note, the president explained the reasons why he had come into the forest to live. He said, "Human beings do not care much about these noble qualities. Animals give trouble only to those who give them trouble; otherwise they will live in peace with one another. But humans hurt those who do not hurt them at all. Without any reason they begin to blame and cause trouble, harming people who are unblemished and who have given them no cause for provocation.
Humans also enter into all kinds of improper work which they have no right to be engaged in." He concluded, "It is for these reasons that many true spiritual seekers have become renunciates, have given up the company of men and gone into the forest to live. Humanity is becoming increasingly selfish. Whatever people say, whatever they do, whatever they think, is laced with selfish motives. Animals do not have such selfishness. Animals are not harming other animals and accumulating wealth. Therefore, in many ways humans behave worse than animals."
In this context Krishna said to Arjuna, "Be a true human being, not one who is worse than an animal. Rise above the animal nature to your true human nature. There are two qualities of animals that you should never have. You are neither a sheep, which is timid and fearful, nor are you a tiger, which is cruel to others. You are a man. You are worthy of higher things. Be fearless! Do not ever allow yourself to be subjected to fear. In truth you yourself are the divinity. Sorrow and fear can never have any power over you."
When you have a Firm Faith in God you will be Fearless.
There is infinite power inherent in the human heart. But despite such power, you do not have faith in yourself. What is the reason for this? The reason is that you feel separate. You believe that you are different from the divinity. But in truth, the divinity is always inside you as your very core. This same divinity pervades the entire universe. When you develop a firm faith in God, you will never have any fear whatsoever. You will recognize that the God you worship is the one who is present everywhere in everyone and in everything, and also in yourself. That belief will remove all vestige of fear from your heart.
But if you do not have that faith then you will be ridden with fear. Every moment, every step, you will be frightened. When you have an examination you will be afraid. While going in an airplane, you will be afraid. When a truck comes in the opposite direction on the road, you will be afraid. Right from the very moment when you get up from bed until you again go to bed you will be afraid. And even in bed you will be afraid that thieves might break into the house and steal your belongings. You will be expending your entire time in fear. But this is not the way a human being should live. You should become steeped in the conviction that the divinity is present everywhere and thereby attain utter fearlessness.
Your faith in the omnipresent divinity is the key to developing fearlessness. Only when you lose faith will you develop fear. Only when you forget your true self will fear arise. You have forgotten your own true nature. You have forgotten the atma. You are considering yourself to be this little five-and-a half-foot body, but the truth is that you are infinite in form and your power is unlimited. When you make an effort to remove the delusions and get a vision of the atma, you become immersed in the bliss of nirvana. Then you can call yourself a real human being.
If you make no effort along the path of self-realization, but demean yourself into dark, selfish pursuits and degenerate behavior, you become more like a demon than a human being. Do not fall to such depths. Conduct your life so that you can truly call yourself a human being and live up to the high ideals that you inherited when you were given this sacred human birth.
Develop Good Qualities and Gain the Grace of the Lord.
One of the names Krishna used to address Arjuna was the one who delights in being engaged in work. When most of you are given some work to do, you quickly get disgusted with it. When Sunday comes and you have a day off from work, you are happy. But if ever a day came when Arjuna had no work, he would be very unhappy. Arjuna always felt a great deal of joy and delight when he worked. The different names Krishna used for Arjuna in the Gita, are associated with various noble qualities and virtues. You will be able to understand the nature of the divinity, if every day you take up one virtue and try to incorporate it in your life.
Patience, forbearance, compassion and nonviolence are some of the qualities that have already been taken up in these chapters. Now you have also learned about fearlessness. There are a number of other important qualities. Only when you develop these qualities in your daily activities, will you be able to earn the grace of the Lord. Without developing these noble qualities you will not be able to gain a place in God's house, irrespective of the education, position, and wealth you have been able to earn. A person is not permitted to go to another country without a passport. Similarly, in order to earn the grace of God, your good qualities serve you as your passport. You must develop these qualities.
Along with your education you should also acquire good habits and a sterling character. Without these, all your education will be of no use. This education you are now pursuing is only useful for living in the physical world. It will not take you to God. In the world of today, scientists have been able to glean a number of secrets from nature. But have they been able to gain peace of mind? Have they been able to get joy and happiness from the machines they developed? Happiness and peace cannot come from these. You can get peace only from the divinity.
The worldly happiness and peace you get is but momentary and impermanent. It cannot take you to the state of permanent bliss. The wisdom chapter of the Gita emphasizes the practice of recognizing the one all-pervasive divinity that is always very near to you. This chapter is a very long one; there are 72 verses in it. But you will not be able to get rid of your sorrow by just learning these verses and merely chanting them every day. That will not be of much use to you. You will have to make a very strong effort to practice the inner meaning of these verses and apply them constantly in your day-to-day experiences. Only when you practice them in your daily life and make them your own, will you be able to earn the grace of God and be forever united with him.
XXIX. Turn towards God and God will turn towards You
When you develop your power of discrimination and become fully awake to the indwelling divinity, you will not suffer sorrow nor be subjected to fear. But as long as you have attachment to the body and attachment to objects, fear and suffering will be with you. Therefore, Krishna told Arjuna to develop his discrimination and rid himself of body consciousness. He told him that once he was free of body consciousness he would be able to develop integral vision.
Embodiments of Love,
Mankind today has three types of vision. The first is body oriented vision, which is totally superficial. When you have this kind of vision you see only the external appearance of others, such as the clothes and the ornaments they wear, their facial features, their body characteristics, their peculiarities of speech, etc. This type of vision is oriented only towards the phenomenal world.
The second kind of vision is insightful vision. Instead of focusing on the external characteristics of others, you focus on their inner feelings, particularly as it is reflected in their behavior and expressions. You gauge the thoughts in another's mind and the feelings in their hearts by carefully watching what they say and do. When you have this kind of vision, you become concerned primarily with the deeper feelings and motivations of the other person.
The third kind of vision is integral vision. With this kind of vision, you do not concentrate on another's external features or even their inner feelings. When you have integral vision you see the divine consciousness that pervades everyone, the inner unity that prevails everywhere despite body differences and differences in expression and emotional makeup. You realize that feelings, thoughts and behavioral characteristics all undergo change and transformation. But, you are not interested in characteristics that change with time. With integral vision you are wholly oriented towards the unchanging, indwelling divinity. Such a deep inner vision is a sacred vision. When you have this you are in the hands of God. More than that, not only are you in the hands of God, but verily you become God himself.
The truly wise say that one who knows God becomes God. As you perceive so you become. Therefore, when you gain integral vision, you take on the sacred nature of the divinity itself. To become a person of the highest wisdom, you must develop integral vision. You must steadily abide in the inner unity that is at the core of all the outer diversity. It is for this reason that Krishna commanded Arjuna to steadily turn his vision towards his highest self, and to maintain that vision at all times, under all circumstances.
In India, there has been a tradition from ancient days for temples in villages and towns to conduct chariot festivals. During these festivities the idol of the deity installed in that temple is taken in procession. First, a huge chariot is constructed for this purpose. Then the chariot is elaborately decorated and a beautiful seat is provided therein for the deity. On the auspicious day, the deity is transferred from the temple to the chariot with appropriate rituals and incantations. The chariot is then taken through the streets in a colorful procession pulled by devotees and preceded by groups of dancers, musicians and singers. Along the course of the procession, many people offer worship to the deity by lighting sacred lamps and waving them as the chariot comes by.
During these festivals thousands of people gather, coming from all the surrounding villages. Three kinds of people come. The first kind, which constitutes the bulk of the people present for the festival, concentrate all their attention on the chariot and its external appearance. Then there are others who concentrate mostly on the sacred feelings generated by the procession, such as the fervent piety of those who are pulling the chariot, the ecstatic joy of the dancers and singers, and the reverence of the priests and devotees who are offering worship. Thirdly, there are a few who recognize the real purpose for which this festival has been arranged. Only this small handful cares to have a vision of the indweller, the sacred person who is seated in the chariot.
Of course, the festival is being celebrated for the purpose of installing the image of God in the chariot. Without the representation of God, the festival would have no meaning. This sacred figure inside the chariot represents the indweller, who is God himself. But only the rare individual will turn his full attention towards that divinity. Most people will see only the physical appearance of the chariot, its decorations and other such things as the fine raiment put on the sacred image inside, the costumes worn by the dancers and musicians, and all the sound and color of the festivities. The largest number will concentrate only on these external things. But there will also be some people who concentrate their attention on the rituals of worship and the offerings being made, such as the breaking of coconuts, the waving of lamps and incense, and the devotion expressed through these rituals. The number of people with this kind of vision and interest will be much smaller than those who concentrate on the decorations, the dances and dramas and all the external paraphernalia associated with the festival.
But the divine person who has been installed in this chariot, who is driving this chariot and who is the resident of this chariot will be seen by only a very small number of intensely-devoted people who yearn to have the sacred vision of the divinity. In the huge throng turning out for the festival, such people may be counted on the fingers of one's hand. For them, all the outer trappings and all the sound and excitement of the procession will only get in the way of their having a real vision of God. All they long for is to see and be with their beautiful Lord, whose representation is seated in the chariot.
The Chariot of the Human Body.
What is the deeper meaning of this chariot? How many such chariots are there? The chariot that is being spoken of here is the human body. So there is not just one chariot but millions upon millions of chariots. Every day, these chariots move from street to street and house to house, taking the indwelling resident in procession. You have been developing your vision in such a way that you see only the body and its external features or the expressions arising from various feelings and emotional states, but you have not learned to develop the internal vision, the vision which perceives the indwelling person in this chariot of the body, and understands who he really is. It is a very rare individual who attempts to look deeper, beyond the external and superficial aspect of the body, and beyond the emotional and mental traits of the individual, to try to discover the sacred divine principle which is there inside.
The bodies of human beings are not the only chariots. The bodies of animals like dogs or tigers or elephants are also chariots. In fact, the body of every being is a chariot. For example, Lord Shiva is depicted as riding on Nandi, the bull. The bullock is Shiva's chariot. Yet, when you see a bullock, you do not think of Lord Shiva; still he will be seated there. When you see a rat, you will not be thinking of Ganesha, the elephant god, who represents the aspects of protection and wisdom in the divinity. Lord Ganesha will be there, riding on that rat. The rat is his vehicle, so it is also a chariot in which God is installed. In a similar way, lions, crows, dogs, snakes, eagles and so many other animals and birds are used as vehicles for the many different aspects of God. In truth, every living being is a chariot taking God in procession.
These days you are developing the vision that sees only the chariot. You are focusing all your concentration on the external decorations. In this age, almost your entire time is spent on adorning the chariot and seeing to the comforts and pleasures of the body. As a result, you are paying attention only to the external differences and you are not spending any time trying to see the indweller.
"Therefore, Arjuna," said Krishna, "know that all these people about whom you are so concerned, are only chariots. They may be grandfathers, they may be brothers, they may be cousins, whoever they may be, they are only chariots. In truth, you are seeing only chariots in the form of these various relatives and teachers. You have been keeping your vision clouded by seeing only the body. But a sacred person like you should not care so much for externals. You must concentrate your mind on the indweller who is seated in every human body. Then only will your vision become sacred. Such sacred vision alone can provide the basis for your victory.
"Only a person who has sacred vision can achieve success in great undertakings. Arjuna, people are giving the same value to the shadow as they give to that which is casting the shadow; they are giving the same value to the reflection as they give to the one whose reflection they are seeing. But that is not correct. The unchanging, sacred principle which has given rise to all these shadows and reflections is the eternal self. It is the atma. Its value is unlimited and beyond all measure. On the other hand, the external beauties of these bodies and all the thoughts and feelings and behaviors that are being manifested in these bodies, are all just images. They are only shadows or reflections without any real substance or lasting value."
When Arjuna gave so much value to mere reflections, he was displaying his ignorance. His was not a worldly type of ignorance, but ignorance related to the spirit. Arjuna had not developed his inner vision. He was not yet able to discriminate between that which is real and that which is unreal. In order to save him from all the misunderstandings and confusion which would inevitably arise when there is a lack of inner vision, Krishna undertook to teach Arjuna the sacred knowledge of the eternal self. Krishna instructed Arjuna in the spiritual exercises which had to be practiced in order to attain this highest wisdom.
The Field of the Heart.
Before a farmer can raise a crop in his field, he has to do a great deal of preparation. Before the seeds can be sown, the land must be cleared of brush, stones and weeds, and then it has to be softened by plowing and irrigation. The farmer must determine what particular types of seeds will grow best on that land, and what kind of nutrients would be required to fertilize the soil. When all these preparations are completed, he finally sows the seeds. Therefore, before a crop can be raised, the entire field has to be made ready for cultivation. Stones and weeds have to be dug out and thrown away. Only then can the appropriate seeds be sown to assure a good crop.
In a similar way, a spiritual aspirant must also carefully prepare the field of his heart. The same principles of cultivation apply to that field. First, one has to remove from the heart all undesirable thoughts and useless habits. They have to be dug up and cleaned out. After that, you have to irrigate the entire field of the heart with the waters of love. These waters of love make the heart soft and cultivatable. With the help of spiritual practices, you have to plow the field of your heart and spread the fertilizer of faith in order to make the soil rich and nutritious for the seeds to grow well there. Only when all this has been done will the entire field of the heart be ready for sowing. When the heart is covered with bad weeds of base thoughts, when it is barren, hard and dry and infertile, how can good seeds grow there and have any chance of maturing into a bountiful crop?
It is in this connection that Krishna said to Arjuna, "Arjuna, you must cultivate and transform the field of your heart. You must root out your external vision. Develop a pure and strong flow of love for God. Sow the seeds of God's name in your heart and you will raise a rich harvest of unity consciousness there, for that is what grows best in that field. That is its very nature. Then you will become a man of steady wisdom and attain your spiritual goal. In the garden of your heart you will be able to enjoy the sacred fruit of liberation. Once you have that, fear can never again trouble you.
GITA FOR CHILDREN
57. 'Now let Me see, where am I? Oh yes, I have been telling you about the Yogi, equanimity and all that. Now why on earth does the Yogi go through so much trouble and such an elaborate discipline? He does all this in order to experience Reality.'
58. 'Arjuna, people look at the world and imagine it is real. I am sorry to inform you that it is not, at least not in the way people imagine. Truly speaking, Reality is within you, and what you see outside as the world is merely a reflection of what is within.'
59. 'Let Me briefly illustrate My point before I get back to the Yogi. You see a man and say that he is a bad fellow. You judge him to be bad because there is bad in you! Unless you know what is bad, how can you declare him to be bad?'
60. 'This is where the true Yogi is different. The Yogi identifies himself totally with God and sees God not only within himself but also everywhere, including in all beings. Since he sees only God everywhere, for him there are no bad people!'
61. Arjuna frowns and mumbles,' Krishna, I am not getting the point. Can You please explain again?'
62. Krishna smiles and says, 'Yes I shall. Firstly understand that God is the only Reality there is; that is because God is the only entity that is permanent. Next, Reality is within, for the simple reason that the Heart is the permanent residence of God. Thirdly, God is everywhere because the outside is merely the reflection of the inside. So, how can you ever say there is bad in the world? It is all the result of wrong vision!'
63. Arjuna protests and says, 'But Krishna, there is something very weird about Your argument! If there is nothing bad in the Universe, then why talk about good guys and bad guys, why talk about Dharma and Adharma, and why this war in which You are asking me to fight? I am totally lost and back to square one!'
64. Krishna laughs and says, 'Arjuna, I can well understand your problem. In fact, this is the confusion that almost all people have. Just keep listening carefully, and in due course your doubts would all vanish. Getting back to the subject of Reality, in simple terms it refers to the Cosmic Unity underlying diversity. He who sees Me in everything and everything in Me has understood Reality. Such a one I shall never forsake. And when this person sheds his body, he would merge forever in Me.'
65. 'Arjuna, the Wise man always feels is that he is in all, also that all are in him. This is a very important point. The Truth is that man is a limb of Society, Society is a limb of Nature and Nature is a limb of God. To give an analogy, your nail is a part of your finger. The finger is a part of your hand. The hand is a part of your arm and the arm is a part of your whole body. Got it?'
66. 'Having identified himself with God in this manner that is as a limb of God, the Wise man now sees everyone else also as a limb of God. In this way, he feels that all are part of God. Further, as he has identified himself with God, he now feels that all are a part of him!'
67. 'Coming now to the other aspect namely, "I am in all", the Wise man sees it this way. Let us say you see a hungry starving man. Feeling pity you might give him some food. A Wise man would do likewise but he will not do it out of pity. He would say, "I am hungry and let me give myself some food!" This is the way he sees God and himself in all! Strange is it not? But all this comes from tight mental discipline.'
68. Arjuna now says, ' Krishna, You talk of regulating the Mind and all that and make it sound so simple. But are You not aware that the Mind is so difficult to control? It wanders so easily. How on earth is one to tame this wild beast? The Mind is as difficult to control as the wind, and here You are telling me, "Arjuna, it is all very simple, and stuff like that!"
69. Krishna gently replies, 'Arjuna, I understand what you are saying but don't you realise that you are quitting before even giving it a try? That is a sign of great weakness. True the Mind is fickle and all that but people HAVE tamed the Mind before. If they can do it why not you?'
70. 'People do all sorts of things, go through all sorts of difficulties and troubles in order to achieve power, acquire wealth and so on. Man is ready to climb the highest mountains, go to the bottom of the ocean etc., etc., but when it comes to God and experiencing Inner Reality, suddenly things become impossible!'
71. 'No Arjuna, it is not impossible. The fact is that people do not want such things. There is not enough yearning for God. If the hunger is there, the impossible would immediately become possible.'
72. Arjuna takes in all this and stroking his chin slowly says, 'OK, You have a point there. Let me now ask You something else. Let us say there is a person who has tried very hard to do all the things You are now recommending but has not quite made it during his lifetime. Does that mean all his life ends up as a big waste?'
73. Krishna replies, 'No, not really. Spiritual evolution is a slow process involving successive stages of refinement. If the Jivatma does not get purified enough in one birth, it gets another chance to improve further. Thus the person you are talking about would be born again and Destiny would place him in a situation where he can start from where he left off earlier.'
74. 'In this manner, going through many life cycles, he slowly advances. Eventually he becomes sufficiently refined to achieve the status of a Yogi. Every birth is a fresh chance; but it can also be squandered, if one is not careful. In a manner of speaking, it is all like the familiar game of snakes and ladders!'
75. 'Yogis come in different types. The type of Yogi I like best is one who worships Me with faith and is always thinking of Me. If you have total faith, you do not have to worry about achieving 100% Purity. When you have earned enough deservedness, I shall, out of Compassion, extend My hand and pull you to Me! Of this you can be sure.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 17
Chapter - 7
1. Krishna says to Arjuna, 'Having given you the assurance that I shall certainly protect you if you repose faith in Me, let Me now describe how I pervade this Universe.'
2. 'Arjuna, I am not only Eternal but also Formless and beyond both Space and Time. Space and Time have meaning only when there is Creation. I create the Universe according to My pleasure, and I dissolve it when I feel it is necessary. Space and Time are born at the instant of Creation and cease to exist when the Universe is dissolved. However, I the Creator always exists.'
3. 'When I create the Universe, I basically project Myself on to Space and Time. I cannot be directly seen but I can be experienced by humans if they make the effort. People may not be able to see Me in a physical sense but they certainly can FEEL My presence.'
4. 'I manifest in Creation in a million different ways, as I shall explain in detail later. Everything you see and experience in the Universe is merely an aspect of Me. In other words, there is nothing but God everywhere and in everything, both seen and unseen.'
5. 'What I have just described may be called Manifest Divinity. There is a higher aspect, Unmanifest Divinity, that transcends Space and Time. This Unmanifest Divinity is known by various names such as Brahman, Atma, Absolute Reality, Pure Consciousness, and so on. Don't be scared by all these names! Just think of the Unmanifest as God, and keep Him always in your mind.'
6. 'As you know, there are both inanimate and animate entities in the Universe. Minerals, ocean, mountains, etc., are inanimate while insects, birds, animals and humans of course are animate.'
7. 'Just as a house is built by assembling bricks, so is all matter in the Universe made up of atoms. Thus, atoms are the building blocks of matter. No wonder then that atoms are to be found everywhere, from here to the very edge of the Cosmos.'
8. 'Living beings too are made up of atoms but there is something very special about them; they have this mysterious thing in them called life. No one can see life directly or touch it but everybody can experience life. You can also see life in other beings not only through their actions but also through their growth and decay.'
9. 'This life-principle is sometimes called Jiva, and is an aspect of Unmanifest Divinity. Earlier I described a living person as the Atma "trapped" in a cage or the body. The embodied Atma is also called the Jivatma. Thus, Arjuna, you are a Jivatma.'
10. Arjuna asks, ' Krishna what about You? Are You also a Jivatma?'
11. Krishna replies, 'No way! I am special; I am the Paramatma! Don't ask Me for the difference right now! I shall come back to that later perhaps.'
12. 'Getting on with what I was telling you, let Me now describe how I pervade the Universe. To start with I must remind you that everything in the Universe has come out of Me and Me alone. In other words, I am the Creator. Don't get fooled by the fact that right now I have a body like yours, and eat, walk, talk etc., like humans do. In fact, this is how humans get deluded by appearances where Avatars are concerned.'
13. 'Let Me stress that I am not only the Creator but in fact the Ultimate Ultimate, if you will! There is nothing beyond Me!! Remember that.'
14. 'In the physical Universe, I pervade everything that you can think of. I am, for example, present in all the five elements &endash; sky, air, fire, water and earth. But here I must caution you. To describe Me as being present in this or that is only a limited way of looking at things. It is more appropriate to say that God IS the sky or the ether, God IS air, God IS fire and so on. In fact, everything in the Universe IS God!'
15. Arjuna asks, ' Krishna, if everything in the Universe is God, then why don't people see God everywhere?'
16. Krishna replies, 'Ah, that is because God disguises and hides Himself to see if you can find Him! It is a game He likes to play! Consider a garland with many beautiful flowers. Can a bunch of flowers form a garland all by themselves? You need a connecting thread don't you? Yet, when you see a garland, is that connecting thread visible? No! I am the foundation and the basis for the physical and manifest Universe. Can you have a house without a foundation? It is the same thing here; and like the foundation of a house, I remain hidden!'
17. 'However, this does not mean My presence cannot be felt or experienced. Let us say you are very thirsty and your throat is absolutely parched. You see a clear stream with cool water flowing in it. You drink that water to your heart's content and find it very refreshing. But you do not know that the sweetness of that cool and fresh water is Me! It is I, latent as sweetness in that water that brings joy to you.'
18. 'Another example. It is a hot and humid day and you are perspiring heavily. Suddenly there is a gust of cool breeze and you feel relief. Arjuna, I am that breeze, giving you that refreshing experience.'
19. 'I am the brilliance of the blazing fire and the radiant blue of the sky. Time being short, I won't give more examples, though I can go on and on till the end of Time! It is enough for you to know that all excellence and beauty in the Universe flows directly from Me. If you see a very intelligent person, know for certain that this person's intelligence is not his own but flows from Me. Your brother Bhima is very strong; you know that; but do you know that his strength is really a tiny part of My strength, reflected via him?'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART-18
Chapter - 7
20. 'And now, a word of caution! Sometimes you would find excellence no doubt but along with it also some unwanted contamination! The excellence is Mine but the contamination does not come from Me! Take, for example, the case of Hiranyakashipu, the father of Prahalada. Hiranyakashipu was a brilliant scientist and that brilliance essentially came from Me. But he misused that gift of excellence and thereby became a demon.'
21. 'In this world, excellence often appears with contamination. When you encounter such contaminated brilliance, do not ever associate the adulteration with Me! Let us say you go to the stream that I mentioned a minute ago. You have with you two bottles and you fill both with water. One bottle is red while the other is clear. The water in the red bottle would appear red while the water in the other bottle would appear clear. The same water is present in both bottles but they appear different. Why? On account of the colour of the bottle.
22. 'In the same manner, while Divine Power everywhere is pure, humans contaminate it with their innate tendencies or Gunas. More about Gunas later but I hope that you will remember to identify clearly the different origins of excellence on the one hand and contamination on the other.'
23. 'Divine Love also gets adulterated in the same way. Love is My Form and since I am in all, I am present as Pure Love in every Heart. But when it flows out into the world through the Mind, the senses and the body, it almost invariably gets adulterated. This adulterated stuff appears as attachment between mother and son, as infatuation between husband and wife, as desire between man and worldly attractions, and so on.'
24. 'All this adulteration takes place on account of the Gunas. These latent tendencies of the human superimpose themselves on Pure Love, and thus it is that the world is full of only contaminated stuff. It is very difficult to come across Pure Love, and incidentally, that is one reason why God comes down as Avatar, to remind man at least from time to time, what Pure Love really means!'
25. 'The Avatar's Love is Pure and Unsullied because He is always totally above the Gunas. Like a powerful magnet, His Love draws people from everywhere and of all kinds. Yes Arjuna, that is the nature of My Love!'
26. 'Arjuna, all sorts of devotees come to Me, each with his or her own agenda! Broadly speaking, one can identify four categories amongst the devotees. All devotees love Me no doubt but except the devotees in category four, all want something or the other from Me. People in category one want wealth, people in category two want their problems solved and fixed, and people in category three hunger for Knowledge, which, by the way, is a very good thing.'
27. 'No matter to which category people belong, I love them all, and equally too. All are the same to Me, and I give to each what he wants. Do you know why? Because I hope that one day he would ask for what I really like to give. Do you want to know what that is? Why, this very Knowledge of the Self or Atmajnana that I am imparting right now to you!'
28. 'Arjuna, it is funny people ask Me for all kinds of trivial things and trinkets, when I can confer the greatest possible boon.'
29. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, why don't people do as you say? What blinds them?'
30. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Maya of course. People accuse Me of trapping them in Maya. People behave foolishly and then blame Me for it, as if I have no better business than casting the veil of Maya. If people choose to bury their heads in sand, the fault is theirs' and not Mine!'
31. 'Arjuna, Maya or illusion arises from spiritual ignorance. For example, I am present everywhere and yet people ask, "Where is God? I can't see Him." If they cannot see Me despite My being everywhere, whose fault is it? Mine or their's?'
32. 'If only people would make the effort to get rid of their ignorance, they can immediately see that I am in them, above them, below them, in front of them, behind them and so on.'
33. Arjuna then asks, 'Krishna, I understand what You say. How does one get rid of this ignorance?'
34. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Ignorance can be banished practising internal purity and seeking with humility, guidance from a Guru, as you are doing right now!'
35. 'Let Me give an example of how Knowledge destroys ignorance. There is a dark room and in a corner there is a coiled rope. A man enters the room, sees the rope, shouts "Snake, snake," and rushes out. A crowd gathers, and people then enter the room armed with sticks and carrying a lantern. And what do they see? A rope and not a snake. There was never a snake; only a rope. The person who saw it first was deluded on account of darkness, and when the darkness was removed he along with all others saw that there was no snake and only a rope.'
36. 'This example teaches the relationship between Knowledge and Reality on the one hand, and ignorance and delusion on the other. It is only the ignorant that get deluded; the Wise do not.'
37. 'Jnana or Wisdom shines when ignorance is expelled or scrubbed away. This Jnana does not have to be obtained from anywhere outside; it is already latent within. All that needs to be done is to remove the shroud covering it.'
38. 'Once you acquire Jnana, the world would appear very different. It does not mean that you would stop seeing the Sun or the Moon and so forth. Rather you will see Me in them, in all My Glory. You will see in the Sun not the bright light of a fireball but My Divine Brilliance. You will see in the Moon not the reflected light of the Sun but My Coolness. And so on.'
39. 'Most people don't see My Omnipresence simply on account of ignorance. Indeed, even when I come down as an Avatar, as at present, people are not able to know who exactly I am. Once again this is on account of spiritual ignorance. Just because I eat, sleep and move about like ordinary mortals, people develop all kinds of wrong notions and fail to see Me as God in human form. In the process, they miss the priceless opportunity to spiritually elevate themselves in many ways. I am right here ever ready to help, but few seem to want spiritual help.'
40. 'All this is due to self-generated delusion. Take it from Me Arjuna, I know everything about everything and everybody. I know all about those who lived in the past, those who are living now, and those who would come in the future. That is God!'
41. 'Arjuna, it is important that you must know Me in your Heart and not in your head. It is no use simply telling me, "Krishna, You are God!" You must feel that way in your Heart. Those who so know Me in their Hearts, will come to me fast. Others would have to go through many births before they get purified enough to merge in Me.'
END OF CHAPTER SEVEN
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 19
Chapter - 8
1. Arjuna says to Krishna, 'Krishna, my head is reeling! Forgive me please, but there are so many doubts of mine that You have got to clear. You keep saying again and again "God is your Indweller, I am in your Heart", and things like that. Can you please explain these statements in simple language that I can easily understand?'
2. Krishna replies, 'Why not? After all, you are My dear friend. Let Me start this way. I suppose you understand that you are a composite of the gross body, the Mind and Atma. You are a three-in-one composite &endash; you understand that, don't you?'
3. Arjuna nods, and Krishna continues. 'You are a MBA, that is, an entity made up of the Mind, the Body and the Atma. In various ways I am present in the body and I am present in your Mind. On top of all this, I am the Atma that pervades everywhere, including every cell and atom of your body. Thus, I am there everywhere within you. Indeed, My presence is very strong.'
4. 'Actually, I am present not only in you, not only in all humans, but in every single entity in the Universe, from an ant to the galaxies. By the way, and this may come as a surprise, I am also present in the wickedest person on earth.'
5. Arjuna shakes his head vigorously as if to indicate that he is confused, while Krishna smiles and continues. 'Don't worry; it will all become clear. Let Me start with your body. You know it is made up of atoms. Since I am present in each atom, you must right away concede that I am present within you as the power of every single atom within your body. OK so far?'
6. 'But don't imagine that is all. I have a much stronger presence as the Praana or the life force within your body. The body is a living factory in which so many extraordinary things happen all the time. The heart keeps pumping, the lungs breathe, the stomach digests, and so on; all these functions are occuring without you doing anything about them. How? It is My life-force that takes care of all these.'
7. 'Skeptics dismiss My presence and declare, "It is all bio-chemistry." Bio-chemistry indeed. Such people who simply do not want to acknowledge My presence are fools, that is all.'
8. 'However, the ancients were wise. They understood that all activity in the human body connected with life, from digestion to motor activity, is driven by My Divine power. They acknowledged this in many ways, via their prayers and offerings especially. They expressed their adoration for what I do inside and had special names for Me. One of these is Vaishvanara. Another is Angeerasa, and so on.'
9. 'By the way, I hope you understand how I happen to be present in wicked persons in some aspects. Their hearts also beat, their stomachs also digest, etc. Who does that? Me, of course! I do all these things, even though such persons deny Me and go against My tenets. But let that pass for now.'
10. 'From the gross body let Me now move on to the Mind. The Mind can be regarded as being made up of two parts, the lower Mind and the Higher Mind. The lower aspect is what people normally call the brain while the Higher Mind is that which is capable of contemplating, analysing, deducing, etc. The Higher part is mighty powerful and has tremendous creative capability. All this power flows entirely from Me.'
11. 'The loftiest region of the Higher Mind is just a step away from the Heart. It is called Buddhi. By the way, when I say Heart, you must not confuse it with the physical heart that pumps blood. I am speaking of the Spiritual Heart.'
12. 'This Heart is My permanent residence. It is My residence because the Heart is the seat of Compassion. The Heart is called Hridaya. HRIDAYA = HRID + DAYA. Daya means Compassion. Thus, the Heart is the seat of Compassion.'
13. 'Compassion cannot exist without Prema or Love. Hence the Heart is also the seat of Love, Kshama or forbearance, and so on. In brief, the Heart is the fountainhead of all Divine virtues and qualities.'
14. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, I agree that God is present in a wicked man as the life force. But surely the wicked man has no Heart. Therefore, how can God be his Indweller?'
15. With a smile Krishna replies, 'No Arjuna, what you are saying is not true. Let us say there is a river and that a dam is built across it. Suppose the dam shutters are closed. Then there would be no water downstream but upstream there would be water in the reservoir. Do you agree?'
16. 'The situation with respect to an evil person is similar. That person too has a Heart and God resides there also. But the virtues of the Heart are dammed and do not flow to the Mind and the Body. That is why the person's thoughts are wicked and his actions are bad.'
17. 'Yet, just as there is always some small seepage in a dam, even so-called bad people occasionally exhibit traces of good. So don't write them off completely.'
18. 'Suppose a bad man sees a small baby smiling happily. Charmed by the baby, this man would also smile in return. The baby is close to God and that is why it is happy. And in that brief instant, even that evil man is in communion with God. By the way, it has happened many times that a bad man has suddenly turned good. Don't you know the story of Sage Valmiki, who has described My earlier Avatar in his immortal Ramayana? Earlier, he was a robber but one day he changed. That happened when the shutters of the dam were raised. Thus, God resides in the Hearts of all, without any exception.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 20
Chapter - 8
19. 'I now wish to tell you something about Creation and the Dissolution of the Universe, and the cycle of birth and death that takes place within it.'
20. 'As a part of My never-ending Cosmic Drama, I create the Universe, let it run for a while, and then dissolve it. I then recreate it and later dissolve it once more. This goes on and on. This is all a part of My Leela or Divine Sport.'
21. 'At the time of Creation, everything issues forth from Me, and at the time of dissolution everything comes back into Me.'
22. 'The birth of the Universe occurs at what might be called the Cosmic Dawn and the dissolution occurs when Cosmic Night sets in.'
23. 'Don't imagine that the duration between dawn and nightfall is twelve hours. Where the Universe is concerned, this time span is billions of years.'
24. 'Between Dissolution and the next Creation all the withdrawn beings are kept in a state of suspended animation as it were. They emerge once more when the next cycle of Creation occurs.'
25. 'You will of course appreciate that though Universes might come and go, I go on forever. Once again I repeat that there is nothing beyond Me and I am what philosophers refer to as the Ultimate Ultimate.'
26. 'Turning now to the living beings, there are, as you know, millions of species. These have emerged as the result of a complex evolutionary process. It all might seem to have happened "quite naturally." So it appears to those who do not enquire in depth. The wise know that every single aspect of evolution is a part of My Master Plan. There is nothing random about it, though it might seem so.'
27. 'There are actually three strands of evolution in the Universe. The first is the strand that relates to the evolution of inanimate matter. It is as a result of this evolution that you have planets, stars, mountains, etc.'
28. 'The second strand is connected with the origin of life and the evolution of species. Among the living species there is a distinct hierarchy. The plants are at the bottom. They cannot move about, have to feed themselves from the word go, and have no nervous system.'
29. 'After the plants come the animals. They have a nervous system and also a brain, but with limited capacity. At the top of the to the pole is man. He is superior in every conceivable way.'
30. 'Man is superior not merely in terms of brain capacity and creativity but because he alone can reach high levels of Consciousness. He alone can recognise God within, and it is on account of that he can exhibit Divine qualities and virtues.'
31. 'In fact, there is something very interesting here. Though time is short, I cannot skip a reference to this. Arjuna, I wish to call attention to three important and inter-related things: Conscious, Conscience, and Consciousness. Presently I shall explain what these are, and you had better pay careful attention.'
32. 'Being Conscious means being aware of the external world. Not only man but even animals have this capability. After Conscious comes Conscience. This, one might say, is the Voice of God within. It is through the Conscience that the Indweller speaks.'
33. 'Obviously, animals do not have a Conscience. For them there is no such thing as right or wrong. But for humans there is, and that is why God in His Mercy speaks from within. That Voice of God is the Conscience. In other words, man can listen to God speaking to him from within.'
34. 'This Conscience is one aspect of the Universal Consciousness that is another name for the Omnipresent God. This Truth is not evident to ordinary mortals who may be good in their own way and listening to their Conscience. But when Wisdom dawns, they become aware that Conscience or Individual Consciousness as one might call it, is the same as the Universal Consciousness.'
35. 'This Truth is described in the Vedas through the statement: Prajnanum Brahma, meaning that the Individual and Universal Consciousness are one and the same. There is another Vedic declaration that also asserts that the Self within is the same as the Universal Self, meaning the same God resides in all. This says: Ayam Atma Brahma, which essentially means that the God within and without are one and the same.'
36. 'This Universal Consciousness is Supreme. It is that which is also called the Atma, God, etc. This I have told you before but since the point is important, I stress it again.'
37. 'The Atma or the Universal Consciousness is the source of Creation. In the entities in Creation, aspects of this Universal Consciousness show up in a limited manner in the lower species. In animals, for example, it shows up merely as the ability to be conscious of the world outside.'
38. 'In humans it manifests additionally as the Conscience within that acts as the guide to life. But if the human is evolved, he attains the state of what may be called Constant Integrated Awareness. That is the person sees God everywhere, in everything, and all the time. In other words, he becomes one with the Universal Consciousness.'
39. Arjuna asks, ' Krishna, could I put it this way? In life one must first be Conscious of one's Conscience and from there rise to the level of Universal Consciousness?'
40. Expressing delight, Krishna exclaims, 'Arjuna, that's great! You are now beginning to get the hang of things. Good show indeed and keep it up!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 21
Chapter - 8
41. Continuing, Krishna says, 'But Arjuna, mere bookish knowledge is not enough. Life is a never-ending examination and at every stage you would have to check between right and wrong before acting.
42. Showing some signs of disappointment, Arjuna now asks, 'Krishna, why does God make life a never-ending exam? Can't we have a break, some relaxation, and also some fun perhaps?'
43. Krishna replies, 'God knows you would complain in this manner. So He offers a concession. He says, "Listen, why are you so bothered about how to get through these exams? Am I not sitting there right within you in your Heart? And am I not always available to give you the answers to questions you are unable to answer yourself? Just activate your Intellect or Buddhi and give Me a ring!"'
44. 'Can you ask for a better deal? In the worldly exams, you cannot have such consultations during exams but in God's exam, you have this privilege!'
45. 'Arjuna, in essence, only in man can one see the third strand of evolution in action, i.e, the strand of Consciousness. Where Consciousness is concerned, some are at the very bottom. Some are in the middle, while a handful are at the top.'
46. 'All that I am now telling you is closely related to the cycle of repeated births and death. If a person resists spiritual evolution, then I am afraid that that person would have to go through innumerable birth cycles to achieve spiritual refinement. And in the process, he has to face all kinds of problems. But one does not have to get stuck like this. All one has to do is to surrender to Me, place full faith in Me, and I shall take care of the rest.'
47. 'This brings Me to the topic of the time of death and the right time to die. There is a lot of confusion regarding this, and I do not want you to be misled by popular misconceptions.'
48. 'First and foremost, I wish to stress that if you manage to think of Me at the moment you are giving up your body, then all your problems are over! You will instantly merge in Me; no more rebirth and all the hassles associated with human existence here on earth.'
49. 'That is a bargain offer, is it not?! Unlike the commercial bargains that are usually available only at festival times, My offer is available all the time to all people everywhere!'
50. 'But I must caution you that thinking of Me at just the last minute is not easy.'
51. Arjuna comments, 'I knew that there would be a fine print somewhere! If it is not easy, then Krishna why are You bothering to mention it at all?'
52. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Arjuna, you have got it all wrong. There is no catch anywhere as you seem to imagine. All I am saying is that you must make sure you think of Me at the last moment. You see, man spends all his life absorbed in the outside world. You may protest and ask what else is one supposed to do. Can one be sitting in Meditation all the time?'
53. 'No Arjuna, I am not suggesting anything like that at all. I know very well that people would be busy all the time with worldly activities. They would be preoccupied with family problems, health problems, financial problems, and so on. All this I know.'
54. 'I am not asking anyone to run away from these or bury their heads in sand. Not at all. Don't you realise that right now I am asking you not to run away from battle but to enter it? Then what? My simple formula is, "Do what you have to do but keep chanting My Name all the time". That is all.'
55. 'What I am suggesting is not at all difficult. It is just a matter of regular practice. You are an expert archer. How did you become one such? Was it not through constant practice. Without such practice can you react suddenly, say if you were in danger? I am saying the same sort of thing. If you cultivate the habit of constantly chanting My Name, then you would do it automatically in the last minute. Where is the trickery here?'
56. Arjuna now asks, 'Granted. But then, Krishna, You are known by so many Names. Which of these am I supposed to chant?'
57. Krishna replies with a smile, 'You can choose any Name of Mine that you like, any Name. Just make sure that when you chant, you do so with feeling and Love, that is all. But unfortunately, people do not bother to follow this very easy prescription. That is the problem.'
58. Arjuna now asks, 'What happens to people who fail to merge in You after death?'
59. Krishna replies, 'Well, death must come to all bodies &endash; that is the law of the Universe; no escape from that. The good enjoy a good after-life while the evil ones have a rough time.'
60. 'Now there is a folklore related to the fact that during the year, the Sun spends six months over the northern hemisphere and six months over the southern hemisphere. Based on this, somehow the idea developed that good people die during the bright period that is, during the period when the Sun is in the North. In the same way, the bad people were supposed to die during the dark period.'
61. 'This myth is a gross distortion of the spiritual truth. The fact is that good people are those who follow the Path of Wisdom. Wisdom and Knowledge are normally associated with light. That is what made people to think that the good alone die during the bright period. These people who speculated thus did not understand the difference between physical brightness and Spiritual brightness.'
62. 'Good people are always guided by Spiritual light, and their life automatically ends in Spiritual brightness. That is all. The fate after death has nothing to do with the Sun being in the North or the South at the time of death but on how you are here on earth.'
63. 'So once again Arjuna, the bottom line is: "Think of Me always, under all circumstances." If you do so, then I would be there to receive you at the last moment, and after that you are guaranteed a bright future, shall I say?!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 22
Chapter - 9
1. Krishna says to Arjuna, 'I hope you have been absorbing all the things I have been telling you. Print them on your Heart and not just in your head! For it is the Heart that is the real fountainhead of life!'
2. 'Just so that you don't forget, let Me briefly recall some of the important things I have told you so far. Firstly, I am the Creator of this Universe and everything here flows directly from Me. Next, I am present in everything that you see around you, and also in things that you cannot see, like the tiny atom, for example.'
3. 'Even though I am present everywhere, from the galaxies to the mountains and rivers, you cannot see Me with just your physical eyes. The physical eye is a mere sense organ whereas I am far, far beyond the senses. However, if you decide to experience Me via your Heart, then I am easily accessible.'
4. 'I am not only present everywhere but in addition, every entity carries within it a small portion of My Infinite Power and Glory. And that is how they are able to go about their various jobs. Take the Sun, for example. How do you think it is able shine so brilliantly? Because of the power I have endowed to it.'
5. 'Most people do not understand all this. Instead, as if they are men of enlightenment, they declare, "There is nothing strange about the Sun shining. Such things happen on account of the Laws of Nature". Little do they understand that these so-called Laws of Nature flow actually from Me and Me alone! But let that pass.'
6. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, what do You do after having created the Universe?'
7. Krishna replies, 'Basically I just sit back, so to say, and watch everything that goes on. Since I am Omnipresent, I know exactly what goes on where, all the time. I also know what everyone is doing, since I am the Indweller. In short, I play the role of a Cosmic Witness.'
8. Arjuna seems puzzled and asks, 'I don't quite follow. If all You want to do is to sit back and watch, why did You create the Universe?'
9. Krishna laughs and replies, 'Oh, that is simple. Let us say there is an inventor. He designs a fancy mechanical toy; having done so, he sets it in motion and then spends hours in enjoyment, watching the toy do all kinds of things.'
10. Arjuna intervenes and says, 'Krishna, that is what we humans do. But You are God!'
11. Most benevolently, Krishna replies, with His usual smile of course, 'You seem to forget that man too is God, in human form that is. If man can amuse himself that way, why not I? You may not understand all that but the Wise do and that is why they often describe Creation as a Leela or the Sport of God.'
12. 'Now in this Leela, occasionally, I put in a direct and personal appearance.'
13. To this Arjuna says, 'Krishna, are You referring to Your Incarnation as an Avatar?'
14. Krishna replies, 'Exactly. I appear in human form to be physically close to man, help him in many ways, guide him, and so forth. However, misguided by My human form, most people do not comprehend that I am truly Divine. Somehow, they always imagine that God must be something Super-human.'
15. Hesitantly, Arjuna asks a question, 'Krishna, God can do miracles &endash; so we are told. And we know that You have done many. But we ordinary men cannot do such things. I, for example, cannot perform any miracles. Therefore, what is wrong in supposing that God is Super-human?'
16. Krishna says in reply, 'Contrary to your impression, I do not perform any miracles as you call them. Whatever I want just happens, that is all.'
17. Arjuna asks, 'OK, why does that happen only for You? If God is not Super-human, and I am also God as You declare, then why is it that the things that I want fail to happen? What is going wrong where? Something is obviously missing somewhere!'
18. Krishna laughs and says, 'Arjuna, the answer to that puzzle is simple. When a person is perfectly Pure, then whatever that person wills, would happen exactly as he wants. I am 100% Pure, and remain so always. Hence whatever I want always happens. Moreover, you would notice that these miracles as you call them are never performed for My benefit. I do not want anything for Myself, ever. Whatever I do is always for the benefit of others. That aspect also is important.'
19. Arjuna then asks, 'Krishna, in that case, if I were to become 100% Pure, would what I want instantly happen like in Your case?'
20. Krishna replies, 'Of course, without a doubt. By the way, when you become 100% Pure, all the present and apparent differences between you and Me would disappear. You would have become one with Me, and there would be no Arjuna exercising separately a will of his own!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 23
Chapter - 9
21. 'Let Me now get back to what I was telling you earlier. People miss Me as the Immanent God, immanent in all the things in this Universe, and they also miss Me as the Incarnation. Needless to say that the latter is a greater failure.'
22. 'Arjuna, whether people understand it or not, take it from Me that I am the One who has ordained this Universe; I am also its Father, Mother, and Grandfather.'
23. 'I give heat. I send forth rain and also withhold it at times. I am death as well as Immortality.'
24. 'I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Great Lord, the Eternal Witness, the Eternal Abode, the only True Friend, the Fountainhead, the Origin, the End, the Treasure House and the Seed Imperishable.'
25. 'Great Souls know all this. Always proclaiming My Glory, they constantly worship Me.'
26. 'And now Arjuna, I make a solemn promise not only to you but to the whole of mankind: Those who think of Me all the time with no other thought and who are steadfast in their devotion to Me, to such ones I declare &endash; "Be assured that I shall bear entirely the burden of Your welfare". Arjuna, that is not merely a promise but a Divine vow!'
27. 'People often wonder how to please Me. No problem at all because I am very easy to please. I don't ask for expensive gifts. I am quite happy even if you offer just a fruit, or a flower, or a leaf or even a bit of water. All I want is that you should do so with Love in your Heart. I expect nothing but Love.'
28. 'Actually, you do not have to even bother about getting for Me a fruit or a flower. Just offer Me your bad qualities; that is more than ample! In fact, I would be overjoyed if people were to offer their bad traits like anger, jealousy, hatred, etc.'
29. Completely mystified, Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, what is the connection between Divine Love and Your extraordinarily generous offer to accept absolute trash from us, in the shape of our bad qualities?'
30. Krishna replies, 'The answer is very simple. When a person gives up bad qualities, that person gets purified to some extent and thereby comes closer to Me. Should I not rejoice on that score? It is My intense Love for man that makes Me feel that way!'
31. 'People have all kinds of wrong and funny notions about Me. They think that I have favourites, and that I positively detest some people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is all people's imagination.'
32. 'I am the same to all beings, and with Me none is favoured or distant. In fact, even if the vilest sinner were to come to Me and say, "Lord, please forgive me. I am sorry about my evil past and promise to be good from now on," I would readily welcome him. If the sinner truly repents, I shall, without any hesitation, rescue him forthwith. His past would be no hindrance. This is a solemn assurance.'
33. 'Arjuna, it is very strange. Here I am ever ready to help, ever ready to carry man's burden, anxious to rescue him, and all that. But what does he do? He ignores Me or forgets Me, unless of course he gets into deep trouble.'
34. 'Arjuna, don't be like these fools who lose themselves in the attractions of the world and forget Me. The world is transient and also so full of misery. How can something that is transient ever give permanent happiness? Yet, man is not able to understand this obvious fact.'
35. 'Arjuna, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire, whatever you do by way of penance, in short whatever good act you perform, offer it whole heartedly to Me and think of Me while engaged in that action.'
36. 'The Wise know what permanent joy or Bliss is. They know that Bliss can be found only in Me. I am Eternal, and therefore the joy that I confer is also Eternal. Realise this truth, O Arjuna. Now get ready to fight in conformity with the duty to which you have been born. While fighting think of Me, and offer your actions to Me. Then, even as the Wise do, you too shall come to Me in due course. Of this, there can be no doubt.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 24
Chapter - 10
1. Krishna says to Arjuna, 'There are many aspects to Divinity, and I have described some of these, such as Manifest and Unmanifest Divinity, Creation, and My Cosmic Drama. I have also explained how I occasionally incarnate to play a role in My own Drama. Many of these subtleties are not known even to the demi-gods.'
2. 'People have all kinds of confused and mixed-up notions about God and Divinity. This is inevitable when one is immersed entirely in worldly affairs. Preoccupation with this transient world inevitably produces delusion. Tell me, how can a deluded person have a vision of the Divine?'
3. 'Nevertheless, there are some souls who, on account of their intense faith in Me, see Me as the Supreme God, beyond Space and Time, beyond Creation, Eternal in the full sense of the word, and the Fountainhead of everything that was, is, and will be.'
4. 'At the same time, deluded people look around and ask, "Where is this God you are talking about? I can't see Him anywhere!" The arrogant ones go even further and sarcastically remark, "How can you see God when He does not exist?"'
5. 'Arjuna, never allow yourself to be misled by such foolish talk. If you want to, you can see God everywhere. Just look at yourself; you are God! Don't focus on your transient body but on your Heart. God is present in your Heart all the time, and you can have His vision there any time you want.'
6. 'When a man is good, the Divinity in him automatically shines via various virtues. All those virtues, like Kshama or forbearance, for example, are manifestations of God. Indeed, there are innumerable manifestations of God in this Universe. The beauty of a peacock is God. The glory of a sunset is God. The majesty of mountains is God. Everything is God. And yet people complain they cannot see God! How strange!'
7. 'Having said all this, I must point out why people sometimes find it difficult to see God in others, even though they might reluctantly concede that Nature's beauty is a manifestation of God.'
8. 'Let us say that there is a house in which shines a bright lamp. Suppose all the doors, windows and the ventilators of this house are completely shut. A person walking past the house outside will not see any light coming from within. He is therefore likely to assume that there is no lamp within, even though there is in fact a bright lamp there.'
9. 'Something similar happens in the world. God is the Divine Lamp shining from man's Heart. He shines so in all beings, including the so-called evil ones. In the case of good people, the effulgence is evident via their loving actions, sweet words, etc. It is like a house with its doors and windows open &endash; in this case, the light within is visible outside. Contrarily, an evil person is like the house I described earlier, where all the windows etc., are completely shut.'
10. 'What are the signatures of Divinity in humans? In other words, how does one recognise the Divine Effulgence within a person? Simple; look for Spiritual Wisdom, discrimination, equanimity, compassion, selfless Love, forbearance, the spirit of sacrifice, calmness, contentment, etc. If you see all these, you can be certain you have seen God.'
11. 'A person who is wedded to Truth and Righteous Action is verily an embodiment of God. God must be seen not as a magician as many tend to do, but as Love, Purity, Absolute Goodness, nobility, and virtue. With this approach, you can see God all over the place. Remember, God is not merely Beauty, Grandeur, and Majesty. He is much more. He is Love, He is Truth and He is Compassion. Those are the real signatures of God.'
12. 'People whose discrimination is not blunted by the attractions of this ephemeral world have no difficulty at all in seeing Me everywhere! Believe Me, wherever they turn they see only Me and nothing else!'
13. 'Do you know why they have no problem in seeing Me whereas all the others do? That is because they do not try to see Me with their physical eyes. Arjuna, if you try to see Me with your Heart, how can I possibly hide from you?'
14. Breaking his long silence, Arjuna says, 'Krishna, at last I am beginning to get a faint glimpse of Who exactly You are. I am now filled with a deep desire to know more about You! Who can tell me all that except Yourself? Please, oh Lord, would You most kindly confer on me the Grace of hearing directly from You about Your Glory and Grandeur?'
15. Smiling broadly, Krishna replies, 'Of course Arjuna, I most certainly shall. But you must remember that My Glories are literally infinite, and we have very little time right now since the war is about to start. So, I can give you only the barest glimpse at present. However, since you are very intelligent, even that tiny sample ought to be sufficient. Later, using your imagination, you can on your own contemplate on My Limitless and Incomparable Glory and Grandeur.'
16. 'Since I pervade everything My Glory also is spread everywhere. Anything beautiful, grand, wondrous, magnificent, and marvelous that you see in Creation is just Me greeting you via that channel! It can be anything &endash; a starry sky, a majestic mountain, a roaring waterfall, a mighty river or even a gentle stream, a fabulous beach, the atolls, the coral reefs, the soaring birds, the coloured fishes, the royal tiger &endash; it can be any such thing; all these are nothing but Me in various disguises. I appear in diverse forms to make people happy in many different ways.'
17. 'Let Me amplify with a specific example. Because of earth's rotation, you have the phenomenon of day and night. The day begins with a sunrise and the nightfall commences with a sunset. Are the sunrise and sunset just bland events? No! I make them specially glorious. Why? So as to make man happy! I let man have My Darshan via beauty in Creation. But the fool that he is, man merely enjoys the superficial beauty without marvelling about the Source of that beauty!'
18. 'Some have My Darshan via the beauty of Nature. Some experience Me through soulful music. Some create works of art, thereby giving expression to the Divinity latent in them. Of course, not everyone realises the Divine to be the source of creativity but those who do, are raised to special heights of ecstasy. And then there are people who worship Me by seeing Love and Compassion radiating from others.'
19. 'Arjuna, I am ever ready to oblige and give Ananda or Bliss to all those who seek it. In whatever way people seek Me in that very same way do I respond.'
20. 'By the way, are you aware of the Divine wonders within your own body? Just look at your fingers. Do you have any idea of their extra-ordinary capability? Thanks to this, man can paint, sculpt, write, stitch, and do so many wonderful things that no other species on earth can. But for this remarkable capacity of the fingers, do you think you could have become the super archer that you are?'
21. Stunned by these revelations, Arjuna humbly says, 'Lord, You have not included the playing of musical instruments in Your list! Perhaps You play the flute not only to remind us of the dexterity of human fingers, but also to convey that music itself is Divine in origin!'
22. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Correct! You sure are getting smart! In a nutshell Arjuna, I am the quintessence of all the creative power and the excellence that you see in the world. Of course, some distort the gifts given to them but, as I explained earlier, I am not responsible for that.'
23. 'I am the origin and the source of everything in the Universe, be it small like the atom or large like the galaxy. There is no being or entity, moving or stationary, that can exist without Me.'
24. 'There is no end to My Divine Power and Glory, and what you have heard about is not even the equivalent of a tiny speck.'
25. 'Arjuna, there is really no need for Me to catalogue My Powers, nor for you to learn all about them. Far more important it is for you to repose total faith in Me and obey My command implicitly!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 25
Chapter - 11
1. Arjuna says to Krishna, 'Oh Lord, out of compassion for me, You have explained to me most clearly as to who exactly You are and how You pervade the entire Universe.'
2. 'I also understand better not only how You are in me but also how I should recognise You in other beings, especially humans.'
3. 'And now, oh Lord, feebly and most humbly I venture to make a request. Can I see You in Your mighty Cosmic Form, please? Is it at all possible?'
4. The Lord replies, 'Arjuna, what you are asking to see has rarely been seen before. For you, however, I shall make an exception and reveal My Cosmic Form. Get hold of yourself and be ready to see something that is not only breath-taking but also awesome!'
5. 'The Cosmic Form that you wish to see cannot be seen with the normal human eye. It calls for Divine Vision, which I shall now confer upon you. Prepare then, Arjuna, to see something both mind-boggling and fearsome!'
6. At this point, Sanjaya, who is narrating all this to Dhritarashtra, says, 'With these words, Krishna is now revealing Himself as the Supreme Lord of Creation and all that lies beyond.'
7. 'Arjuna sees now, concentrated in one place, in the person of the Supreme God, the entire Universe with its manifold divisions.'
8. Sanjaya continues, 'Oh, King Dhritarashtra, how am I to describe this extra-ordinary spectacle that is brighter than a thousand Suns? I can see Arjuna dumbstruck, struggling to say something.'
9. 'Now Arjuna speaks; he says, "Lord, I am at a loss for words. Within Your blazing Form I can see everything, every being and every entity in Creation. This incredible Form before me does not seem to have any beginning or end. It is truly mind-boggling."'
10. 'Oh, my dearest Lord! I realise now, feebly perhaps, that You are at once the Eternal Being, the Supreme Being, and the goal that is to be attained. Till now, I used to think that the fleeting and transient world was the Reality. But now I realise how wrong I was, and that it is You alone who are truly the Ultimate Reality.'
11. 'By You alone is filled the space between the heaven and the earth. Oh, Almighty Lord, the three worlds tremble at the sight of Your wondrous but terrifying Form!'
12. 'As I see Your Supremely Effulgent Form stretching to the very heavens, I am absolutely petrified. I just cannot bear this frightening vision.'
13. 'I am petrified because I see in You all that is destined to happen in the future, especially the death of our arch enemies.'
14. 'As the moths fly into the flame only to be destroyed, I see these people plunging into destiny to meet their violent end.'
15. 'Tell me, oh Lord, Who presents such an awesome Form that strikes me with fear and fills me with dread, tell me, oh Lord, Who exactly are You?'
16. In reply, the Almighty Lord says, 'Arjuna, I am TIME, and to Me as TIME, everything in Creation must bow. I am Destiny, and I have destined death for every creature. All, including those whom you are hesitant to slay, will die, whether you do it or not.'
17. 'Arjuna, do you understand what that means? When the bodies of all these people are doomed to perish, why do you hesitate to engage them in battle, especially when I am ordering you to do so?'
18. 'Now that you have got a glimpse of Me as TIME and DESTINY, it behoves you to implicitly obey My command. Cast aside your doubts and misgivings and trust in Me. Place your faith in Me. Pick up your bow and arrows. Get up. Prepare to go out there and fight!'
19. 'Arjuna, Creation is a Cosmic Drama, scripted, produced, directed and staged by Me for My pleasure. All beings are actors, nay puppets. Everyone is a puppet; a few know it but most do not.'
20. 'Nothing can happen unless it is according to My Will. Not even a blade of grass can move unless I will that it be so. People do not understand this. You too! I have already ordained that Bhishma and Drona shall die in this war. And they will for certain, whether you fight or not. The question is whether you want to accept the role I am giving you or you choose to quit.'
21. 'Once again I say to you: Get up and fight and slay your enemies. Don't think you are killing them. They are being swallowed by TIME, and you will merely be assisting the process.'
22. Sanjaya says to King Dhritarashtra, 'Hearing these words of the Lord, Arjuna, palms united in humble salutation, body trembling, starts speaking in a choked voice, filled with Fear.'
23. Arjuna says, 'Lord, I now understand why devotees constantly chant Your Name and never miss an opportunity to proclaim your matchless Glory.'
24. 'And why not, my Lord, since You are everything and there is nothing other than You? Lord, at this point, I have an apology to make. Till now, not knowing who exactly You are, I have taken many liberties with You, imagining You to be merely Krishna my friend. Please pardon me my Lord, for all my indiscretions. I feel extremely ashamed and also most embarrassed. I don't know how to seek Your forgiveness. All I can say is, please forgive me, and forget all that I said or did in stupidity and ignorance.'
25. 'Prostrating before You, I pray to You to bear with me, even as a father is indulgent to his wayward son, and a kind man is to his errant friend.'
26. "As for this extraordinary vision that You have granted me, I rejoice that I have seen what no man has till now. At the same time, this spectacle is most frightening. Therefore, my Lord, I humbly pray that You revert to Your normal human form, the beautiful ever-smiling form of Krishna, that we all are so accustomed to.'
27. Krishna obliges by immediately resuming His human form, and having done so says, 'Arjuna, do you realise that you have seen what even Rishis and the demi-gods have not? This vision is a privilege that no austerity can ever earn. And yet you have been blessed with that. Do you know why? Because you are dear to Me, that is why.'
28. 'Arjuna, if only man would realise that I am ever ready to help, assist and oblige in every possible way. All that he has to do is to become dear to Me. Soon I shall tell you how that can be done.'
29. 'Once again, I repeat: He who is steadfast in his devotion to Me, who dedicates every action of his to Me, who is free from worldly attachment &endash; such a one will unfailingly come to Me.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 26
Chapter - 12
1. Arjuna asks, 'Lord, You say You are Formless, but can also assume any Form, especially to please Your devotees. This being the case, I want to know how exactly am I to worship You? Should I worship You as the Formless God or as the God with Form? Of the two methods, which is better for me?'
2. Krishna smiles as usual and replies, 'Arjuna, I am glad you have asked Me this question. At the outset I must mention that both types of worship, if followed with great sincerity, would lead to the same goal, that is, merger with Me. But considering the practical aspects, I would suggest that you focus on worship of the God with Form. Indeed, this is the advice that I would give to 99.99 % of the devotees.'
3. 'There is a definite reason for My saying so. You see Arjuna, it is easy to say that God is without Form and all that, and that therefore He should be worshipped in the Formless aspect. He certainly can be, but that is not easy I assure you.'
4. 'Man's true nature is infinite and so is his Mind. But when man's outlook is largely external, being focused on the world and all that it has to offer, his vision becomes narrow. Tell Me, how can a person with limited vision, really and truly worship the Infinite?'
5. 'The one who worships the Formless God has to look inside rather than outside. Do you know why? Simple. Inner space is Infinite whereas the outer space or the physical Universe is finite.'
6. 'Quite apart from this technicality, there is a practical problem. The mental discipline and concentration needed for worshipping the Formless God are enormous. Tell Me, how can a person used to seeing and experiencing the finite all the time, concentrate on the Infinite, and that too in its Formless aspect? Wouldn't you agree that it is not easy? Well, that is exactly what I am saying.'
7. 'So, what is the alternative? Simple, worship God with Form. Are you asking which particular Form? Any Form that pleases you!'
8. 'Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why God incarnates as a human and spends a long time here on earth. This gives mankind a good chance to see God, spend a lot of time in His company, talk to Him, directly experience His infinite Love and compassion, witness His miracles, etc. In turn this leads to stories about the Avatar, songs composed in His honour, and so on, all of which make worship of the Avatar so very easy, and build up a Heart to Heart relationship with Him.'
9. 'Arjuna, people sometimes criticise idol worship. This is wrong. What is a mere idol for the critic is a live representation of the personal God for the devotee who is absorbed in worship. If a man has stone in his Heart, he will see merely a stone statue. But if a man has God in his Heart, the stone would verily appear to him as God.'
10. 'In short, it is all a matter of attitude. With the right attitude, even a picture would become God. But with the wrong attitude, even if God were to stand in front, the Divine aspect would be totally missed.'
11. 'Thus, pictures and idols are not to be sneered at. They have their own place in the scheme of things, especially as the Form can help in leading to the Formless.'
12. 'Here is an example. I am now pointing with My forefinger at that hill far away on the horizon. You first look at My finger, follow the direction in which the finger is pointing, and then look at the hill. Once you have seen the hill, the finger ceases to be relevant. It is the same thing with idols and pictures &endash; they all point in the direction in which you must look. They lead you from the Form to the Formless &endash; that is their utility.'
13. 'I hope all this is clear to you. Let Me now describe who amongst My devotees is really dear to Me.'
14. Arjuna interrupts and asks, 'Krishna, I thought all were alike to You. You seem to have favourites, and that is surprising!'
15. With His usual smile Krishna replies, 'You are right, all are indeed equal to Me. But you see, if I say such and such a type of devotee is dear to Me, then it would induce people to do certain things beneficial to them! Let me illustrate in the following way.'
16. 'Imagine a large circle, and God to be at the centre. Seated on the circumference are the devotees. You would agree that all are the same distance from God. Suppose a whistle is blown and devotees are asked to run towards God. Who would get there first? Obviously it would be the one who can run the fastest. Right?'
17. 'Similarly, a devotee who does the things that I am now going to mention, would reach Me real quick. It is to induce people to reach Me quick that I used the phrase "dear to Me!" Understand?'
18. 'OK, how does one come real quick to Me? These are some of the things the person would have to do.'
19. 'To start with, the person should have no trace of hatred in his Heart &endash; not even an iota. Why? Because hatred is sheer poison. I am Pure Love, Love that is nectarine. Is it desirable for poison to contaminate nectar? That is why I say that a person who is free from hatred is dear to Me; got it?'
20. 'Hear some more. An ideal devotee treats pleasure and pain alike. He does not go seeking pleasure nor does he try to duck misery when it visits him. He never broods over the past nor worries about the future. Immersed in the present he would be busy thinking of Me. For him, the present is no ordinary present &endash; it is OMNIPRESENT!'
21. 'Ever balanced, such a person does not feel heady when praised nor depressed when criticised.'
22. 'Arjuna, equanimity is what I like most, and equanimity means being balanced with respect to the opposites. One must be balanced about everything that one does in life. If you possess equanimity, you can face life squarely and do not have to hide yourself in the forest. According to Me, equanimity is the best form of Yoga.'
23. 'It does not matter whether you are soldier or a musician or even a cobbler. All that is required is to remain calm and accept things as they come. No matter what happens, such a person would always say, "This is good for me!"'
24. Arjuna asks, 'How is one to recognise such a person?'
25. Krishna replies, 'Very simple! He is the one who loves all and serves all. He always helps and never hurts! And such a one comes with great speed to Me!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 27
Chapter - 13
1. Arjuna says to Krishna, 'People describe the Universe using pairs of words like Spirit and Matter, God and Nature, Consciousness and Energy, and so on. Sorry if I appear dumb, but frankly, I just don't understand any of these words. Please can You enlighten me on these?'
2. With a smile Krishna says, 'Why not? By the way, don't be under the impression that you have asked a dumb question. On the contrary, even scholars are often not clear about such matters, though they may make a lot of noise and pretend to deliver erudite lectures!'
3. 'The first thing you must understand is that Consciousness, or rather Absolute or Universal Consciousness as it is sometimes called, is where it all starts from.'
4. 'Some people refer to this Consciousness as Formless God or Brahman; others prefer the term Atma. Still others who are allergic to the word God would rather use the word Spirit. No matter which word you use, it is all the same.'
5. 'Next, as explained earlier, God exists even when there is no Creation. All that is now appearing as the Universe gets tucked into God as it were, when Creation has been dissolved.'
6. 'When the Universe is created, God pervades it in two complimentary aspects. This helps to 'run' the Universe. These two complimentary aspects are Consciousness and Energy, or Spirit and Matter, if you prefer.'
7. 'When you look at the sea, you see just water. Dissolved in this water is salt; yet when you look at the expanse of water, you never talk about the salt but only refer to the sea.'
8. 'You might have seen villages on the sea shore. Many villagers there make salt. Do you know how? They gather the sea water in shallow pans and allow the water to evaporate. After a while both water and salt are visible. It is the same in Creation. Before Creation, one cannot really talk separately of Consciousness and Energy. Energy is subsumed in Consciousness. But after the Universe comes into existence, it is meaningful and also convenient to talk separately of Consciousness and Divine Energy or Spirit and Matter. At the working level, these two entities can be separately experienced.'
9. 'Now there is an important point here that you must take note of. We both are standing on the earth. If you look up, you see the sky. The sky is supposed to be empty space, but here and there, there are celestial objects, like the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars and so on, all of which represent matter.'
10. 'The question now is the following: "Space seems to be largely empty, with a scattering of matter here and there. Where in this combination does one seek and find Consciousness?" The answer is that Consciousness is present everywhere, including in regions that seem to be empty. There is no place where Consciousness is absent. That is why the Wise always say that God is Omnipresent.'
11. 'This Consciousness is no ordinary Consciousness; it is Universal Consciousness. It is also the backdrop against which the whole of evolution takes place, the evolution of inanimate matter and also of living beings.'
12. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, if Consciousness is present everywhere, is it present also in matter?'
13. Krishna replies, 'Of course! I have already told you that there is no place where God or the Atma does not exist. And you are forgetting that so soon!'
14. 'Some people may doubt all this and ask, "How can Consciousness be present in inert matter? It may be present in living matter, but in inert matter like a piece of rock, for example?"'
15. 'The answer is quite clear. Since Consciousness is primordial, it must be present everywhere, in a vacuum, in inert matter and in living matter as well. As regards the issue of inert versus animate matter, one might say that in inert matter Consciousness is present in a "passive" form, whereas in living beings it is present in an "active" form.'
16. 'Take your own self. I have already told you that the human body is a living "factory". All the activities within the body and the actions performed by the body constitute proof of the life-force that animates the body. You breathe, your stomach digests, your blood circulates &endash; all these happen on account of Praana, or the life-force within you. Where does this Praana come from? From the Atma, or Consciousness. This Praana, my dear Arjuna, is a manifestation of the "active" form of Consciousness.'
17. Arjuna says, 'OK, I accept that. But we are told that when a person dies, the Praana departs from the body. Since You say the Praana comes from the Atma, does that mean that when a person dies, the Atma also quits and there is no Atma in the corpse?'
18. Krishna sighs and says, 'Arjuna, you must think carefully and clearly. I have already told you that the Atma must be everywhere.'
19. Arjuna shakes his head and says, 'But Krishna, the Praana has gone and what is left is just a corpse. How do you explain that Atma is present even in a corpse?'
20. With great patience Krishna explains, 'Arjuna, did I not tell you that Consciousness can be present in the active as well as the passive form? Well, when a person dies, all that happens is that Consciousness associated with that mass of matter reverts from the active to the passive state - that is all. Death does not drain the Atma. You agree that the corpse too is made up of atoms? You agree that the Atma pervades the atoms even in inanimate matter? Then? Get this firmly into your head! Nobody can do anything to the Atma. I have already drawn your attention to this.'
21. 'The Atma is ever existent. Sometimes, it manifests in gross form. Sometimes, it manifests only in a subtle form, like the Mind, for example. In addition, it is also all by itself, beyond both the gross and the subtle. The gross can be directly felt, touched, etc. The subtle can not be touched or felt but can be inferred; the super-subtle is beyond intellectual inference; it can only be experienced; not by the senses or even the Mind, but only by the Heart.'
22. Arjuna now asks another question. He says, 'Krishna, You are in me, You are in Bhishma, and You are in X,Y, and Z. Have You divided Yourself into many Krishnas, allocating one Krishna to each individual?'
23. Krishna laughs and says, 'O no Arjuna, nothing like that. I am only One. Even an ignorant fool cannot parcel Me like that. I am indivisible.'
24. Arjuna is not satisfied and continues, 'In that case, how come You are present in all?'
25. Krishna replies, 'That can be understood as follows. You will agree that there is air in your lungs, will you not? You will also agree that air is present similarly in the lungs of all the people here on this battlefield. OK, now where did all this air come from? From the atmosphere, obviously. There is an inherent continuity of air, though some of it is free and some of it is in the lungs of various people. We do not pay much attention to this continuity, that is all. In the same way, the one Omnipresent God is seated in the Hearts of all. Got it?'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 28
Chapter - 14
26. Arjuna now has a new doubt and asks, 'OK, the same God is seated in all. The same God does the digesting in all people, the same God does the blood circulation in all people and so on. In that case, why so much difference between people? Why are some people good and others bad?'
27. Pleased with question asked, Krishna says, 'Arjuna, have you ever seen the bed of a Himalayan river? If you had observed, you would have noticed that on the river bed there is not only water but also sand and nice smooth pebbles too.'
28. Slightly impatient, Arjuna interrupts, 'But what has all that got to do with good and bad guys?'
29. Unperturbed by the interruption, Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, you must learn to be patient! I am coming precisely to that point. Patience is one of the virtues I like. Remember the three Ps? Patience, Perseverance, and Purity? Patience is the first step in the long road to Purity.'
30. 'Now, where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about sand and pebbles. When the pebble is pulverised, it becomes sand. Now let us say you take two tumblers. You fill one with sand and the other with pebbles. Next, pour some water into both tumblers. In the tumbler containing sand, the water would get completely mixed up with sand while in the other tumbler, the pebble and the water would remain separate; no water would enter the pebble.'
31. 'Now this is the real point. The good guy is like sand and the bad guy is like the pebble. The former, through his discipline and Sadhana, has shattered his ego and body-consciousness. Hence Consciousness seeps freely into him, raising his awareness of the Divine to a high level. The opposite is true of the bad guy. His ego is intact, and so he is like the pebble; no seepage! In other words, he has not evolved on the ladder of Consciousness.'
32. 'God is present without fail in all. Some take advantage of the Divine presence within while others do not. Those who do are like the pebble pulverised into sand. Those who do not, are like the pebble that is yet to be shattered.'
33. 'In the case of people who can be compared to sand, Consciousness saturates every cell of their body and Mind. Consequently, their feelings are full of Love, their thoughts are full of Love, their words convey nothing but Love, and their actions radiate only Love. Obviously, I do not have to describe the situation with respect to the person who has refused to allow God to permeate all over his senses, body and Mind.'
34. Krishna continues and says, 'Arjuna, I now wish to introduce two important words, Kshetra and Kshetrajna. You know what Kshetra means, don't you? It means a sacred place. Here is some news for you; the body is a Kshetra!'
35. Puzzled, Arjuna asks, 'The body is a Kshetra, a sacred place, like Badrinath or Benares?'
36. Krishna replies, 'Yes indeed.'
37. Arjuna is not able to understand and asks, 'How come?'
38. Krishna counters with a question of his own. He asks, 'Tell me Arjuna, why do people call Badrinath and Benares a sacred place? Why do they flock there?'
39. Arjuna replies, 'That is easy. Devotees throng to those places and go on pilgrimage there because God resides there. That is all.'
40. With a laugh Krishna says, 'Yes, of course. It is for the same reason that the body is also a Kshetra. Arjuna, imprint this firmly in your Mind. The body is not an ordinary body. It is not just a hunk of meat or flesh and bones. It is the very Temple of God! That is why the body too is a Kshetra.'
41. Continuing, Krishna adds, 'This Temple is no ordinary temple. It is a live temple, it is a moving temple and built personally by God Himself for Him to occupy. The Wise refer to this resident of Kshetra as Kshetrajna!'
42. 'I find it very funny that when there are so many temples all over the place built by God, man insists on spending a lot of money, time and energy to build temples of his own. Having done so, he goes there, struggles against crowds, pushes and jostles to have My Darshan. And what happens when he gets to the sanctum of the man-made temple? Does he seriously meditate on Me? Hardly ever. What a tremendous waste, when I am exclusively available and easily too, to each and every person all the time.'
43. Arjuna is stunned by this revelation. Slowly he says, 'Krishna, I never knew all this! No one ever told me that the body is Your Temple, built entirely by You! What a fool I have been to ignore this temple and think of man-built temples far away! Lord, why are people misguided in this fashion?'
44. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Very simple. People are all the time so immersed in worldly affairs that they have no time either to listen to or to follow simple truths. Instead, all their time is spent in promoting their ambitions, desires and what have you. They have hardly any time for Me! And even if they think of Me, it is mostly in relation to their problems or their desires.'
45. 'Arjuna, today you find many people who would parrot-like say, "God is within you," and all that. But can any one of them honestly declare that they have actually experienced God within? There is an ocean of difference between bookish knowledge and practical knowledge. Since people do not hear and are not bothered about all this, I have to come down again and again, to repeat the very same lesson, not just once, but so many times!'
46. Arjuna says, ' Krishna, please give me some time to digest all this.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 29
Chapter - 13
46. A46. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, please may I ask You a few more questions? Why did You create the Universe in the first place? Why did You create man? What is the purpose of human life? I hope You would be kind enough to explain.'
47. Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, at last you are beginning to think! Let Me start with the question about why I created the Universe. I have already told you that I exist even when the Universe does not. I am then in a state of sheer oneness and absolute bliss. It is not easy for ordinary mortals to understand that state but elevated souls can, especially when they go into a trance.'
48. 'Arjuna, you may not believe this, but like humans, I also enjoy sport. Devotees refer to My sport as Leela. Creation is a Leela of God! I created diversity so that I could play with Myself, appearing in numerous forms!'
49. 'You might have sometimes seen children play with dolls. They hold the doll and talk to it. And they speak as if the doll is talking back to them. They try to feed and even spank the doll if they think it is misbehaving. My Leela is similar!'
50. 'In one line: I separated Myself from Myself so that I could Love Myself! A mother shows love to her child. That is what your eyes see. In reality it is I, acting as the mother, who is showing love to Myself acting as the child! Feel dizzy? Don't worry! You will soon get used to this kind of stuff!'
51. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, I have a problem here. If You say that all the action one sees in the Universe is just a manifestation of You loving Yourself, then how come there is desire, attachment, etc., all of which You disapprove of?'
52. Krishna replies, 'Well, that is an interesting point you have brought up. You see Arjuna, what you call attachment, desire, etc., are, truly speaking, merely distortions of Love. I have left room for such distortions to add spice to My Leela!'
53. 'Let Me now explain why I created man. Consider a tigress. You know how fiercely the tigress protects its cubs. That protective instinct is born of motherly love. But the tigress cannot know anything about the original source of this love. So, in My Creation, I decided that there should be one species that is capable of higher consciousness.
A monkey may love its kids but it is not evolved enough to be aware of Me, and to Love Me as the Supreme Creator. That is why I created man. In fact, I created him in My own image, blessing him with innumerable treasures, making it easy for him to recognise Me.'
54. 'Among the various species, the human form is not only the highest, but also the most sacred. Jantunam, Narajanmam Durlabham. The human form is very precious because it is in this form alone that an entity in Creation can truly cognise Me and become one with Me.'
55. 'This automatically brings Me to the Purpose of Life. This purpose is very simple. From God you have come, and to God you must return; that is all!'
56. 'People, may shake their heads and declare, "This is impossible! How can one make God the only object of life? What about family and relatives? What about work and relaxation? Should life become one long, dull and monotonous pilgrimage to something we do not understand?" Let Me answer this doubt.'
57. 'Arjuna, you should remember that it is I who created Society, building diversity into it. Therefore, I know very well that Society needs all kinds of services for it to exist and carry on. I am not asking anyone to walk away from life. But, and this is an important point, no matter who one is and to what strata one belongs, everyone can follow his or her vocation in life in such a manner that life's purpose is also duly fulfilled.'
58. 'How is that? Here is the answer. First, quietly chant My Name while going about your work. Let us say you are sweeping the floor. It is quite easy to sweep the floor and also chant My Name at the same time.'
59. 'By the way, there are no restrictions when it comes to Name selection. I am known by many Names and you can pick any one that pleases you. Just make sure that when you chant My Name, you do so with feeling and with Love in your Heart.'
60. 'Sometimes, chanting may not be possible while you are working. For example, pretty soon you would be busy fighting. Obviously, you would have to concentrate on the battle and cannot be chanting My Name continuously. But no problem. Just think of Me for a moment before you start.
Say a small prayer like, "Lord, I am going to be busy for a while. But it is Your work I shall be busy with. Please bless it and accept that as a humble offering from me to You." After that short prayer, you can go about your business.'
61. 'When the task is completed, you can once again say a small prayer offering thanks and expressing gratitude. So, a little prayer before, work in between and a short prayer on completion &endash; a spiritual sandwich if you like! That will do the trick, converting work into worship!'
62. 'Arjuna, the essential point is this. I have given man a body and a mind to discover Me and to come back to me. That is why I confer the human form on a select few. That opportunity ought to be properly used and not wasted.'
63. Arjuna asks, 'Lord, You say few but there are so many people on this earth! There is something here that I am missing.'
64. Krishna replies, 'If you look at the human population alone, it might seem large. But remember, there are 8.4 million living species! Compare the human population with the total population of all the other species put together, including the innumerable tiny insects.
You will then realise that very few indeed are at the top of the evolution ladder, just one step away from God. Surely you would concede that is indeed a rare opportunity.'
65. 'So the big question before man is whether man should waste this wonderful opportunity, living like an animal or a demon. Instead, why not follow My simple three-point formula, which is:
1) Always think of me
2) Always think you are doing my work, whatever it be
3) Dedicate all your actions to me
Stick to this magic formula and you would be home in no time at all.'
66. Arjuna responds, 'Krishna, I have a little problem with Your observation that we should think we are working for You. Let us say there is a farmer who has employed a servant. The farmer pays the wages and therefore the servant is working for the farmer and not You. How can the servant think he is working for You? This point is not clear to me.'
67. Krishna laughs and says, 'Arjuna, if you understand what the Cosmic Drama is all about, you would not be asking this question. True, the servant is working for the farmer but that is so only in a worldly sense. In reality, who is that farmer but Me in disguise? That is the feeling of Oneness that you ought to have.'
68. Arjuna replies, 'You are in effect saying I must see God in all, aren't You? But I still have a problem. Let us say this farmer is stingy and cruel. How can I think he is You? You are Purity, Compassion and Love whereas that farmer is mean, dishonest and wicked. See my difficulty?'
69. Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, if you look merely at the surface, you would only see a mean and wicked person as you describe him. But go a bit deeper and what do you find then? You will discover that the so-called wicked farmer is indeed God in disguise giving you a test! Test is taste for God, you know!'
70. Arjuna is unconvinced. He shrugs and says, 'Krishna this is just too much! You are supposed to be God. You know everything. Then why must You test a person and make him suffer in the process? Just why do You have to do that?'
71. Krishna says in reply, 'You have got it all wrong. When did I tell you that I test a person in order to find out what exactly he is like? I know for sure everything about every person of the past, the present and also the future. When I test you, it is merely for helping you to know where exactly you are on the spiritual ladder.'
72. 'A smart devotee would say, "This is a test that God has given me. And I have done just the opposite of what He expects from me, which means I have flunked! Let this be a lesson. Next time, let me get my act together properly and not fail like now."'
73. 'If people introspect like this all the time, there would be rapid progress. And when there is progress, tests would also become less frequent.'
74. Arjuna is not ready to give up and raises a new question. He says, 'Something is still missing. I can think of many noble souls who in spite of being very pure face a lot of suffering. How do You explain that?'
75. Krishna replies, 'Oh, you have noticed that, have you? Well, the answer to that so-called paradox is the following: It is true that those noble people you are referring to do not require any quality check. Yet I put them through the grind as a part of My Master Plan!'
76. A shocked Arjuna asks, 'Your give them suffering as a part of Your Master Plan? What on earth for?'
77. Krishna replies, 'Arjuna, you must remember that everything that God does has a purpose. In this world, there are any number of bad guys who keep on setting the wrong example. Don't you think the world also needs at least a few good role models for Kshama or forbearance? Once again, God does everything with a purpose. If a blade of grass moves, that too is a part of My Master Plan. You must have that deep faith.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 30
Chapter - 13
78. Arjuna now asks, 'Krishna, You are saying that everything is God and that there is nothing other than You. Yet, a short while ago, You were talking of Kshetra and Kshetrajna as if they were two distinct entities. Now which of this is true?"
79. Krishna says, 'You have raised an important point and that gives Me an opportunity to mention something that I have not till now. You see Arjuna, there are two ways of looking at this world. One is through the Looking Glass of Oneness and the other is through the Looking Glass of Diversity. One who uses the former will see Unity in diversity, while the one who uses the latter will see Diversity in Unity, that is all. Of course, viewing through the Looking Glass of Oneness is preferable.'
80. 'Let Me illustrate with a simple example. Say you have a narrow beam of white light. Allow this beam to strike a prism at a suitable angle. Passing through the prism, the beam gets split into the seven rainbow colours. A person who is seeing the beam before it has entered the prism would say it is white while a person who sees the emergent beam would say it has rainbow colours.'
81. 'Now what has all this got to do with the Kshetra and Kshetrajana business? Simply this. An evolved being is like the person who does not see diverse rainbow colours but just a white beam. For him, the Kshetra and the Kshetrajana are one. Incidentally, such a person does not see the world merely with his physical eye. Rather, he uses Inner Vision; that is how he is able to see Unity in Diversity.'
82. 'In the example that I just gave, the prism is Maya or delusion. If the prism is removed, there is no beam splitting and no rainbow colours. In the same way, if a person gets rid of Maya, he would see only Unity and not Diversity.'
83. 'Let Me now go a bit deeper into this business of Diversity in Unity and Unity in Diversity. I am the sole Creator and all-in-all, but with respect to the Universe, I perform three distinct functions. I first function as the Creator, bringing the Universe into existence. I then wear a different hat and act as the Sustainer. And when the time comes I change My role once more, this time to function as the Dissolver of the Universe.'
84. 'People worship these three aspects of Mine individually as Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Sustainer and Protector; and Siva, the Dissolver. These three Gods are referred to as the Cosmic Trinity. In reality, all this is just a convenient way of describing My three different functions and aspects.'
85. 'Let Me now move on to the emergence of diversity from the Primordial Cosmic Oneness. Basically, this diversity comes about on account of the Gunas. For now that much is enough; more about Gunas later. With respect to the diversity present in Creation, you can treat the Gunas as playing a role similar to the prism.'
86. 'One who is below the Gunas would be bound by them and always experience diversity. In particular, he would see God as different from himself. This is what philosophers refer to as duality. By contrast, one who is above the Gunas, or Gunatheetha as he is called, will perceive only Unity, though his eyes may show him diversity.'
87. 'OK, the big question now is: "How does a person immersed in this world of diversity rise above it?" This is a very practical question, because 99.999% of the people are immersed in duality and swamped by diversity. They insist on seeing God as quite different from themselves. How to get out of this rut?'
88. 'One starts with simple steps. One first firmly resolves, "I shall never hurt any being whatsoever." People hunt and kill animals for sheer pleasure. This is very bad. Are there no better ways of enjoying oneself? Don't the animals experience pain while being killed? Must one kill another living being for entertainment?'
89. Arjuna asks, 'OK, but what about slaughtering animals for food? Man has to live, must he not?'
90. Krishna replies, 'Yes, man has to live and to eat. But who said that you have to kill animals, birds and fishes in order to eat? Why on earth do you think I created crops, vegetables, and fruits? Are there not people who are vegetarians? Are they not keeping themselves alive and healthy? The food argument does not wash!'
91. 'From the principle of hurting never, you must move on to being kind to all beings.'
92. Arjuna interrupts and ask, 'Just a minute. How do you expect me to be kind to a tiger?'
93. Krishna replies, 'I knew you would come up something like that. Listen when I say be kind, I don't expect you to go the tiger, pat it on its back, scratch it, fondle it and do things that you would do to a cat. All I am saying is that you must realise that God is present in the tiger also, and at least prevent it from becoming extinct.'
94. 'You know Arjuna, animals are not what you think them to be. They too respond to love and kindness. You must be aware that Rishis live in forests full of wild animals, snakes and what not. But they never come to any harm. Why? Because they always radiate love. And when wild beasts pass that way, this Love envelops them and they become peaceful.'
95. 'People have little idea of the Power of Pure Love. If you are able to access this Divine Power, there is no limit to what you can do. So the drill is straightforward. You start by not hurting anyone. Next you start to love. In due course, you will move away from diversity and begin to experience a Cosmic Oneness.'
96. 'The scriptures say that God has a thousand eyes, thousands of feet and so on. People do not pause to think what precisely this means. Instead, they immediately start imagining a form with a thousand eyes, a thousand feet and so on. If anybody had such physiological features, that person would look like a monster! God is not a monster.'
97. 'No, God does not sport a monster-like appearance! What the scriptures mean is that the totality of humanity is God. Society is God. Incidentally, this implies that if you serve Society, you are in fact serving God!'
98. 'The question arises: If Society is God, then how is man related to God? Simple! Man is just a limb of God - that is all. The day man feels that way, his ego would disappear.'
99. 'To wrap it all up, the body and the Mind are very sacred, and together ought to be regarded as constituting the Temple of God . Nothing must be thought, said or done as to pollute this Temple built by God Himself for Himself.'
100. 'Those who understand clearly that the body and Mind are vehicles for journeying towards Me, are very dear to Me. And as they come towards Me, I shall be waiting for them with open arms! What more can one ask for?'
END OF CHAPTER 13
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 31
Chapter - 14
1. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, the scriptures describe You as the One without a second. But when You project Yourself onto Creation, we see only diversity. Why is that?'
2. Krishna replies, 'That, Arjuna, is entirely due to the play of the Gunas. I have earlier mentioned Gunas in passing. I shall now tell you more.'
3. 'The word Guna means tendency or characteristic. There are basically three Gunas, Tamo Guna, Rajo Guna and Sattva Guna. The characteristic that I mentioned pertains to body functions as well as those of the mind.'
4. 'At this stage, I must clarify that God has deliberately built Guna into the scheme of things where the Universe is concerned. There is a purpose behind God's action, as always! At the same time, man must watch out and make sure that he does not become a slave to the Gunas.'
5. 'A few words now about the basic nature associated with the three Gunas. Tamo Guna is related to inactivity, Rajo Guna is connected with vigourous action and Sattva Guna with calmness.'
6. At the purely bodily level, when a person is sleeping, he is under the spell of Tamo Guna. When he is vigourous and active, for example while playing, he is responding to Rajo Guna. And while praying or doing service, he is exhibiting Sattva Guna.'
7. 'All this is a broad-brush description, and I must now supplement this with some details. Firstly, you must understand that not only every human being but in fact every being is a composite of the three fundamental Gunas in some proportion or the other, with one particular Guna dominating over the others.'
8. This mixture of the Tamo, Rajo and Sattva can be done in innumerable ways, and that is what leads to the extra-ordinary diversity that one sees in Nature.'
9. 'Later, after the war is over, try out an experiment in mixing colours. Start
with red, green and blue, and mix them in different proportions like red = 10 %, green = 60% and blue =30%; red = 5%, green = 15% and blue = 80% and so on. Obviously, this kind of mixing can be done in an infinite number of ways, with each mixture leading to one particular composite colour. It is the same in Nature, except that what is mixed are the three fundamental Gunas that I mentioned earlier.'
10. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, you say each person corresponds to one particular mix of the basic three Gunas. Agreed. Does this composition remain unchanged throughout the life of that person or there can be changes and fluctuations?'
11. Krishna replies, 'Good question! The average value, if I might say so, generally does not change, unless there is a compelling force exerted either from outside or from inside. However, daily fluctuations there could be and indeed do occur. Thus, a person may be generally Sattvic. That means he would generally be calm. However, once in a while he could get angry too. And anger rises from Rajas. Thus you have here an example of the deviation from the norm.'
12. 'However, despite such fluctuations, it is possible to characterise a person as basically of the Tamasic, or Rajasic or Sattvic type. From now on, you must understand that whenever I refer to the Guna of a person, I am referring to his average nature.'
13. 'The characteristic of a person basically reflects his mental attitude. Thus, a Sattvic person is gentle, usually calm, often smiling, generally helpful, soft-spoken, etc. There is a distinctive aura about such a person. I suppose you get the general picture.'
14. 'A Rajasic person is restless and itches for action. Sometimes, he is even hyper-active! Of course, it is ambition and desire that drive his activity and make him dynamic. Naturally, such a person can get agitated, can become angry, feels disappointed when he fails, and so on.'
15. 'The Tamasic person is at the bottom, being a personification of dullness, sloth, inertia, laziness, and what have you. He is totally devoid of initiative, and a confirmed work-shirker! Well, that gives in a nutshell, what the three basic types of people are.'
16. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, a person is Tamasic, knows that he is so and wants to change. What is he to do?'
17. Krishna replies, 'On account of his very nature, it is doubtful if a Tamasic person, would, of his own accord, want to change. Yet he may feel the urge, on advice from a noble soul. In such an event, laziness must be eliminated with activity; in other words, Tamas must be conquered with Rajas.'
18. Continuing, Krishna adds, 'While Rajas is certainly preferable to Tamas, one must not forget its undesirable aspects. In fact, Rajas has a strong tendency to get amplified. Hence, before much damage is done, Rajas itself must be vanquished with Sattva. So Tamas first with Rajas and Rajas then with Sattva.'
19. 'I have told you how Rajas is to be used for overcoming Tamas. Likewise, Sattva is invoked by avoiding bad company and seeking nly good company. By the way, don't imagine that good company means only good people; a good book also can be a good companion. In this context, the scriptures must be given priority number one.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 32
Chapter - 14
20. 'Depending on the Guna of the person, Destiny bestows different kinds of rewards on different people. A Tamasic person would be condemned to a state of ignorance, naturally. I mean how can a lazy person ever hope to become wise or knowledgeable?'
21. 'As for the Rajasic person, he might know a lot about the world but his greed and avarice would often plunge him into misery.'
22. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, there is something here that I do not understand. My observation is that in this world, it is often the Sattvic person who suffers most and not the Rajasic person. In fact, frequently, it is the Rajasic person who inflicts suffering on Sattvic persons.'
23. Krishna replies, 'Superficially, what you say might seem to be correct. But know this to be true: The pain that the Sattvic person undergoes is actually meant to purify him and increase his eligibility for God! Everything has a purpose in My Master Plan!'
24. 'All that I have told you so far is about how these people behave while alive. What is their fate after death? The Tamasic person would be reborn somewhere at the bottom. He might even lose his human form, if his track record has been poor. Does that mean that there is no hope? Not really. Just that in his case the due process of refinement would take longer, that is all. It is like travel; a person would cover distance slower if he walks, than he would if he rides a horse, that is all.'
25. 'The Rajasic person would be born in an environment of activity. All his life would be immersed in activity, like business, for example. Such people are full of unfulfilled desires. They would therefore be born again and again till their thirst for worldly attractions and pleasures get exhausted.'
26. 'Worldly desire is the main cause for rebirth. Every person has desires peculiar to his personality. I have not yet said anything about the Sattvic person. What about him? Believe it or not, he too has desires of his own! His desire may not be rooted in greed or avarice, but gentle people too have desires! They want good children, for example.'
27. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, God that is to say, You have to be reasonable! How can man ever get rid of desires? We have stories in the epics that tell us that even great souls succumbed to desires of various kinds. Surely You can't be serious when You are talking of getting rid of desires.'
28. Krishna replies, 'You have a valid point there. But there is one thing that can be done and that is to change the direction of desire. Instead of desiring the pleasures of the world, have an intense desire for God and seek the Bliss that the Lord alone can confer. Thus, by converting one type of desire into another type, all problems get solved!'
29. 'A person who desires only God automatically rises above the Gunas. Such a person is called a Gunatheetha.
30. Arjuna asks, 'Above the Gunas?'
31. Krishna replies, 'Yes, above the Gunas!'
32. Arjuna continues, 'What does that mean?'
33. Krishna replies, 'It simply means that person is not Tamasic, he is not Rajasic, and he is not Sattvic either. He is beyond all the three standard types.'
34. Arjuna shakes his head and mutters, 'I can't understand. What sort of person is this?'
35. Krishna says in reply, 'Arjuna, I have in fact already described such a person earlier. Only, I did not use the term Gunatheetha then. Such a person couldn't care less about the attractions of the world; that is because the only thing he wants is God. He is not bothered about friend and foe, about joy and sorrow, etc. That is to say, he is completely above the pairs of opposites. Things like joy and sorrow bother only a person with a dual mind, or one who is below the Gunas. But our friend has a one-track mind; he is concerned only with God and nothing else. Thus, he is immersed in the world of Oneness. That is why he is said to be beyond the Gunas.'
36. Sounding skeptical, Arjuna mutters, 'Sounds like a tough job.'
37. Krishna comments, 'Oh yes? What is not difficult in this world? Listen, if you want something desperately, you will not really bother about difficulties, obstacles etc. Both you and I have seen people struggling against impossible odds to achieve all kinds of worldly objectives. But when it comes to God, people seem to quit even before trying!'
38. 'Reaching God is no more difficult than many of the stupid stunts that people are trying all the time. People do many mad things for fame; they want to become immortal! How foolish! Removal of immorality is the proper way to Immortality. Love Me and become one with Me; that is the right and proper and indeed the only way to become Immortal. Let not stunts delude you!'
39. 'Well, to wrap it all up, people get what they deserve; and that is determined essentially by their Gunas. The Sattvic type get the best deal shall I say? They go to Heaven. However, their stay there will end for sure one day, and they have to come back and face the hassle all over once again! But there is an even better deal, that is, coming to Me! He who makes Me his goal, comes to Me for sure, and stays with Me for ever. That is certain!'
END OF CHAPTER 14
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 33
Chapter - 15
1. Krishna says to Arjuna, 'I have told this many times earlier but since this is so very important, I shall repeat it once more. I am not only the beginning and the end of everything but in fact everything!'
2. 'I sent man to this world to yearn for Me and to Love Me. Instead, he has diluted and indeed even polluted My priceless gift of Divine Love into worldly desires. Instead of yearning for Me, he has developed yearning for worldly pleasures and all kinds of trivia not worth talking about.'
3. 'Arjuna, take it from Me, if you pine for Me, you will for sure come to Me. Once you come to Me, you will always be with Me. Once you are with Me always, you would be eternally happy, naturally.'
4. 'I am your Real Home, and it is from this Home you have gone out into the world. Should you not come back Home sometime? Do you want to keep putting that off? What for? What do you have in that transient world except misery, cleverly sugar-coated with occasional pleasures?'
5. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna, You say that once man goes out into the world, he gets lost there. How exactly does this happen?'
6. Krishna replies, 'I certainly shall explain and you must listen carefully. To start with, you must understand that man is a composite of three entities that are strikingly different. They are 1) the gross body, 2) the Mind which is a subtle entity, and 3) the Atma, which is super subtle! This three-in-one complex has a special name, the Jivatma, sometimes shortened to just Jiva. In short, you are a Jivatma.'
7. Arjuna asks, 'Krishna , are You also a Jivatma?'
8. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Of course not!'
9. A puzzled Arjuna then asks, 'In that case, what are You?'
10. Krishna replies, 'I am Paramatma or God in totality!'
11. Arjuna is surprised and says, 'Krishna , that is strange! I can't see any difference between You and Me. And yet You say that You are Paramatma while I am just a Jivatma. How come?'
12. Krishna gives the answer. He says, 'Arjuna, your difficulty neatly pin-points man's main problem. You are comparing yourself with Me purely on the basis of external vision. Is that correct? Go beyond the body and examine. Are you and I the same?'
13. 'Arjuna, you are well below the senses whereas I am far beyond the senses and even the mind! You are below the Gunas, and that is why you are a Jivatma or a spark of the Divine. As for Me, I am far beyond the Gunas and that is why I am Paramatma or God in totality. In principle you also are God but not in practice! But I am God in principle, in practice and any other way you choose to look!'
14. 'The differences don't end here. When a Jivatma gives up the body, the gross body is returned to the elements while the subtle body goes in search of a new body. Even as the wind carries the scent of flowers from place to place, the current of Destiny sweeps the subtle body from one gross body to another, in accordance with the rhythm of the cycle of birth and death. This is what I described earlier in terms of dress change. My case is entirely different; I come and go as I please!'
15. 'The Jivatma has to go through many cycles of births and deaths because of all kinds of unfulfilled desires. Let us say a Jivatma desires something and cannot get it. It gets a fresh chance to attain that in the next birth. So you see if you want to get out of the rut, you have to put a ceiling on desires. And this is where sense and mind control enters the picture.'
16. 'Lack of self-control breeds desires, desires cause mind pollution and delusion, and delusion traps the Jivatma in the cycle that I referred to.'
17. 'This is where the example set by Yogis becomes very important. The Yogis see things very clearly. Thanks to their power of sharp discrimination, they can clearly distinguish between the unreal and the Real. They summarily reject the unreal and focus entirely on the Real or Reality as some refer to it.'
18. 'That Reality is Me! Wherever the Yogi turns, he sees only Me. You look up in the sky and say, "Ah, the Sun is shining brilliantly." The Yogi looks and he also sees the same Sun but his words are different. He says, "I see Divine Glory radiating there as the Sun!"'
19. 'Everything in the external world so-called, the five elements, the Sun, Moon, stars and whatever else you can see, is nothing but Me and Me alone! Do you ever get that feeling? Never but that is how the Yogi always feels! He sees only God everywhere and all the time!'
20. 'The Yogi sees God within also. He sees God seated in his Heart, he sees God functioning as the Pranaa or the vital life-force, he sees God doing the digesting, he sees God doing the blood-circulation and all the rest of it. In short, the Yogi is fully conscious that it is I who provide the basic life-force, the basic creativity, the basic intelligence, and so on.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 34
Chapter - 15
21. 'Arjuna, the body by itself is absolutely inert. It is My power that animates it in various ways and makes it do so many extra-ordinary things. Have you ever thought about that? Never! And do you know why? It is your ego that deludes you!'
22. 'This delusion, also called Maya, misleads and fools. You paint a picture and people praise it. You immediately begin to think that you, the body, have actually done it. No! It is I who put the idea for the picture, it is I who guided your hand, it is I who allowed you to make that picture beautiful. And yet you think that it is you, the body, which did it! Tell Me, who is responsible for this delusion, you or Me?'
23. 'This precisely is where the Yogi scores. He identifies himself totally with Me or the Atma, and keeps on saying he uses his body and mind as instruments of the Atma.'
24. Arjuna says, 'Yes Krishna, I remember the Yogis say Aham Brahmasmi or 'I am God'!'
25. Krishna replies, 'Yes, Arjuna they do. But you must be careful with this chant that the scriptures recommend. Much depends on the feeling with which and the spirit in which you say Aham Brahmasmi.'
26. 'You don't do this chant to proclaim to the world, "Listen fellows, do you know who I am? I am God!" No! Never in that spirit! That is vain boasting and God does not know what boasting is!'
27. Arjuna asks, 'Then what for do the scriptures recommend this chant?'
28. Krishna replies, 'Ah, with good reason! You see Arjuna, everything has a purpose. You know elders advise, "If you fly into a rage, tell yourself I am not an animal; I am man." That is a reminder. The chant Aham Brahmasmi also is supposed to be chanted in the spirit of a reminder. It is a reminder that you are expected to exhibit virtues like Compassion, Selfless Love, Forbearance, etc. Remember, all these are Divine qualities. They all are already in man, and all he has to do is to let them out. The chant is a reminder that he had better do the releasing!'
29. 'When you keep on chanting thus, slowly, unknown to you, the Divine feeling would envelop you completely. As you think, so you become; remind yourself constantly that you are God and God indeed you become!'
30. 'When you feel you are God, you will no longer see any differences. If someone is happy, you would feel that happiness. If someone is in pain, you would feel that pain and rush to help.'
31. 'Arjuna, in simple terms, going from the level of man to the level of God means giving up all this business of mine and thine, crushing ego, and wiping out all traces of worldly attachment.'
32. 'A man of the world may be good, but he still functions within the limits of Swartham or selfishness and Swaprayojanam or self-interest. A man who has risen to the level of the Divine does not.'
33. 'Just look at Me? Can you find even an atom of selfishness or self-interest in Me? Impossible! I am Divine because My Heart is full of nothing but Daya or Compassion, Prema or Pure and Selfless Love, and Kshama or Forbearance. These qualities are not switched off and on. They flow uninterrupted all the time. They are My very nature.'
34. 'Arjuna, in the physical Universe, there is the seen and the unseen. For example, you can see mountains but you cannot see air. You cannot see the mind; and so on. I am the basis for everything in the physical Universe, both the aspects that are seen and those that are not.'
35. 'But remember, these two aspects are nothing but the superstructure of something that is even more subtle and always is. That substratum is the Real Me. It is from that substratum that is the Ultimate that Space and Time are born, onto which the Universe gets projected. So, while living in the Universe and seeing all that goes on before you, you must go back all the way to the true fundamental basis. That alone would help you to become quickly united with Me.'
36. 'If only people would take a few minutes off and observe Me carefully, they would realise that My Life is My Message, every single second of it. But people do not, and that includes you too, I am afraid, despite our very long association! And that is why I have to tell you all that minutes before a major war is about to start!'
37. 'If man's life becomes the same as Mine, then man would become one with Me ever so easily! Why don't people understand that?'
38. 'I have drifted off from what I was saying a short while ago; let Me get back to Yogis. These blessed ones know who exactly I am, and what My true nature is. They understand fully that they have been gifted with the human form in order to rise to My level. They know fully well that man alone can rise thus and not an insect, bird, or animal.'
39. 'The Yogis know where exactly they are supposed to go at the end of life, and they get there too! This is the privilege of all who are smart enough to burn trash in the fire of Knowledge. Why don't you also do the same? What are you waiting for?!'
END OF CHAPTER 15
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 35
Chapter - 16
1. Krishna continues His Divine instruction and tells Arjuna, 'People come in various shades and at the two extremes are the people who are literally Divine and those who are absolutely demonic. I shall now describe briefly their characteristics.'
2. 'Attitudes vary because of the different ways in which the body, the senses and the mind function in relation to the heart. Incidentally, there are three spaces or worlds related to the body, the mind and the heart. They also are important in this discussion and you must know something about them.'
3. 'Let Me start with the body. It is gross in nature and exists in the physical world. In spirituality, this world is referred to as Bhutakasa or the Space of the Gross. Likewise, the mind has its own space called Chittakasa. Just as the individual body can wander in the Bhutakasa, the mind similarly wanders in the Chittakasa.'
4. 'Beyond the Chittakasa lies the Chidakasa, the Causal Space from which everything is born. This is the space associated with the heart. You see Arjuna, everything starts with a feeling. Let us say there is an artist. First he feels like painting. This feeling originates in the heart - the heart is the realm of feelings. Next he develops ideas about what to paint. Action is now in the realm of thought, which takes place in the space of the mind. Finally the artist actually paints, an action that takes place in the Bhutakasa. This example must make clear how the three entities and the three associated spaces are all involved in the transformation of feeling into action.'
5. 'Let Me now move on to the topic of how the heart, the mind and the senses influence the personality of an individual.'
6. 'With regard to these three entities, God's hierarchy is: Heart first, Mind next and senses/body last. That is, the heart must dictate the mind and the mind must control the senses as well as the actions of the body, in accordance with the wishes and feelings of the heart. This is the way God wants things done, and this is the right and proper way of doing things.'
7. 'If this order of priorities is followed, then you can be certain that the person concerned would be a good man. You can't miss such a person because he would have a Divine glow about him. This effulgence is no accident; it springs directly from his sacred and noble qualities. He would exhibit moral courage under the most difficult of circumstances. Divine attributes like Sathya and Dharma would shine forth from him.'
8. 'Always radiating Love, he would be the embodiment of Daya or Compassion, Kshama or Forbearance, and Ahimsa or non-violence. I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.'
9. 'Let Me now consider the alternate scenario where the body and the senses call the shots. Here, the mind is a slave to the body and the senses, and as a result it totally ignores the dictates of the heart. In this case, the heart is just a silent spectator. This precisely is what happens in a demonic person. The person may be human in appearance but in reality he is nothing short of the devil.'
10. 'In such a person, the senses run wild, and the mind becomes a co-conspirator. The heart, as I just said, remains a silent witness.'
11. 'This demonic person would be as bad as a person can be and would possess every conceivable evil trait. He is proud, arrogant, has a mountainous ego, bows to no one, and imagines he would be ever powerful.'
12. 'He cannot simply understand virtues like compassion, etc., and values like Truth and Righteousness are complete strangers to him.'
13. 'Harsh, vulgar, rude and easily prone to violent temper, he does not bat an eyelid in hurting others. He hurts in various ways; he hurts the minds of others with his cruel words and psychological pressure, and he hurts bodies with physical violence.'
14. 'About his insatiable desires, what can I say except that even the sky is not the limit for them! Is it any wonder that such a person is utterly selfish and knows nothing other than self-interest?'
15. 'Arjuna, it is pretty revolting even to talk of such a person! Not only is he stuffed to the brim with every wicked and foul quality one can think of, but, what is even worse, he denies My very existence.'
16. 'Imagine that! He exists because of Me. I am the one who pumps his heart, it is I who digests his food, it is I who takes care of his blood circulation and so on; and yet, he denies Me! But what else can one expect from egoistic fools?'
17. 'While alive, these maniacs imagine they are on top of the world and are having a great time. But they do not know how fleeting all this experience is.'
18. 'Arjuna, these demons in human form get flung again and again into inferior births through the Law of Karma. A million times they have to go the misery of life and death. People complain of just one birth. In that case, should one make advance bookings for millions of births?'
19. 'Three-fold is the gateway to hell &endash; lust, anger and greed. All these must be severely shunned.'
20. 'Arjuna, I hope you have clearly understood what exactly ought to be the internal priorities. Everything must flow from a pure heart. The feelings of the pure heart must be converted into a sacred plan of action by a pure mind. And the holy commands of the mind must be translated into loving and selfless action by a pure body acting in conjunction with unpolluted senses. Follow this formula, and you will come to Me for sure!'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 36
Chapter - 17
1. Arjuna says, Krishna, I want to ask You a question about the modalities of worship. I have seen two kinds of people, who seem to worship You in two entirely different ways. One group employs elaborate rituals and its members assert that unless these procedures are rigorously followed, God would be displeased with the worship. The other group does not seem to bother at all about procedures. Its members behave in strange ways; they talk to You, sing to You and dance for You. In many ways they appear crazy and abnormal. Yet some people say that that is the way to worship You. I am totally confused. Please can You explain how exactly are You to be worshipped?'
2. Krishna smiles and replies, 'Arjuna, based on all the things I have told you thus far, you ought to be able to figure out the answer yourself! Yet, since you have asked Me, I shall give the answer.'
3. 'There are basically two approaches to worship, the external approach and the internal approach. The external approach relies heavily on procedures while the internal approach does not bother about procedures. Both approaches are acceptable, provided Love is the basis.'
4. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, this I am unable to understand. The two approaches appear to be totally contradictory; and yet You say both are acceptable to You! How can that be?"
5. Krishna replies, 'Oh no, the two approaches are not contradictory. Let me explain with some detailed examples. Let us take one form of ritual. In this, the devotee has an idol, and offers worship to it by chanting various Mantras. Instead of mechanically uttering the Mantras without understanding the meaning, try to understand what is being said and done.'
6. 'First you welcome God to your house. You wash His feet at the entrance and respectfully conduct Him inside. After this you offer Him a seat. Next you make preparations so that He can have a bath. After the bath is over, you offer Him new clothes. Then flowers, incense etc. After this the lunch and so on. All this is done via suitable Mantras.'
7. 'A person who goes through this routine mechanically before the idol would not realise that He is actually having the Lord as his guest. But one who is filled with that feeling does not think he is uttering routine chants. Instead, he is swept by the feeling that he is actually playing host to the Lord. No, it is not make believe as an atheist would imagine. Since I am the Indweller, I know exactly what the devotee feels. If the devotee is merely acting as a chanting machine, then the worship remains external. But if the chants are uttered with feeling, then the very same ritual becomes internal! See?!'
8. 'Another example. You know Vedic priests perform complicated rituals called Yajna. These Yajnas are full of grand chants that proclaim the Glory of God. If the Vedic Mantras are uttered with feeling, if the one who chants experiences the Glory of God while chanting, then the Yajna is not a mere Vedic drill but a profound experience; otherwise it is a ritual that sceptics would dismiss as extremely wasteful. But if the Mantras are uttered with deep feeling, then even the atheist would be irresistibly moved by the majesty of the sound and the power of the words.'
9. 'In short, if Love is made the basis, then it really does not matter whether the procedure adopted is formal or informal. Have I not told you earlier that as far as I am personally concerned, I am delighted if you worship Me with just a flower, a fruit, a leaf or even just a bit of water.'
10. 'I shall go one step further. You don't have to offer Me a flower. To get that flower you have to go to a shop or a garden. Save yourself all that trouble. Just say, "God, I offer You one bad habit of mine!" God would be quite happy with that!'
11. Arjuna replies, 'Krishna, I know you mentioned this before but I still think you can't be serious.'
12. With a big laugh Krishna replies, 'No, that is not true, and as a matter of fact I am quite serious. You see Arjuna, when you offer Me a bad habit, you become purer to that extent and come a bit closer to Me. Is it any wonder that I am pleased?'
13. 'Arjuna, for Me the priority is faith plus Love. A child is not able to speak properly; it is just able to mutter a few words incoherently. Yet the mother feels deliriously happy. Why? Because the mother sees Love in the child's words, that is why. She is not bothered about grammar but Love! Got it?'
14. 'It is the same with Me, naturally! For Me, Pure Love is primary. If unadorned Love is all that you can offer, no problem! I am not bothered about the frills.'
15. 'Let us go back to the mother and child example. Let us say the child has composed a small poem expressing her love to her mother. The mother is very happy, as happy as she was when her daughter was a mere baby and was able to only prattle. What the poem and the prattle have in common is love, and that is what really matters.'
16. 'Having said that, I must clarify that I am not anti-procedure. Just that if procedure is what you want to follow, then do so with the proper feeling. It is not correct to worship the idol thinking all the time about other matters. In this case, there is a lack of harmony between thought and action. As you know I am a great stickler for harmony of feeling, thought, word and deed. That ought not to be compromised, ever!'
17. Arjuna says, 'Krishna, if ritualistic procedures can make a person slip, how come they came into existence in the first place? What role do they have to play, if at all, in the development of devotion?'
18. Krishna replies, 'Now that is an interesting question, and let Me reply to it in some detail. Thousands of years ago, the world was very different. There were many sages and Rishis then, and they all adored Me so much that that they spent all their time thinking of Me and doing My work in many ways.'
19. 'For example, the Rishis would meditate intensely for long stretches of time, and it was then that I would reveal great Spiritual Truths to them. Later, these Truths got compiled into what are called the Vedas.'
20. 'The Rishis performed a useful service to Society. They ran little schools called Gurukulas, where disciples absorbed Spiritual Truths. This is how the Vedas have been preserved through time, by being passed on from generation to generation. By the way, do you know that I Myself attended a Gurukula?!'
21. 'Besides preserving Spiritual Knowledge, the Rishis also started the custom of performing Yajnas. As they chanted the Mantras, there was a tremendous outpouring of Love for God, and so compelling was the grandeur of the chant that they drew even ordinary folk to the function. Their very presence did a lot of good to these people, even though they did not understand one single word of the Mantras chanted. So powerful were the vibrations of the Vedic sound that it produced beneficial effects unknown to them.'
22. 'In later years, many ordinary people took to rituals, often without understanding their full significance. However, this in itself is not bad. These people performed rituals with full faith &endash; that is the important point. In due course, they began to understand the inner meaning, whereupon the ritual acquired new significance for them.'
23. 'You see Arjuna, children are taught multiplication tables. At that age, they do not quite know the significance of the tables. They just get it by heart, because that is what they are supposed to do. Years later, when they understand better the principle underlying arithmetic, these tables become more meaningful.'
24. 'In short, rituals are a stepping stone. They are like the floatation aids used by those learning to swim. Once they know how to swim, the floatation aids are thrown away. In the same manner, rituals are supposed to get people started on the path of worship; later, when love for God develops in full measure, rituals could be given up.'
25. 'The bottom line is faith and Love. If these are present, then any procedure or ritual, formal or otherwise, is acceptable. That is the point really. Got it?'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 37
Chapter - 17
26. 'Let Me now get back to the subject of Gunas and fill in with a few details I have not covered earlier. I shall explain, with examples, how Gunas colour what people feel and do.'
27. 'Let Me start with food. As you know, some people live to eat while others eat to live. The Sattvic person is basically of the latter type. He is extremely careful about his food habits.'
28. 'To start with, a Sattvic person does not eat anything and everything. He eats only that which is healthy for the body. Not for him the popular junk foods!'
29. 'Next, he is very careful about cleanliness. Not only does he insist on the food itself being clean, but also his body. Thus, he would not eat without bathing, and would further take care to wash his hands and mouth before starting to eat.'
30. 'The Sattivic person would eat only at regular times, and in perfect moderation. No overeating for him. Further, before eating, he would reverentially offer the food to God, and while eating he would remain silent, thinking about God.'
31. 'The Rajasic person is very different in his food habits. Addicted as he is to the pleasures of the world, he lets his tongue dictate his choice of food. He eats like a gourmet but pays for it all in the end! He does sometimes realise his mistake but by then it is too late!'
32. 'The Tamasic person is even worse. He is ready to eat anything and everything, and one shudders even to mention the kind of stuff he eats! Fool that he is, he doesn't even bother to check if the food that he eats is adulterated or not.'
33. 'Let Me now turn to the different attitudes that people have to Yajna (sacrifice). The Sattvic person performs Yajna mainly to invoke the blessings of God on one and all, which is very commendable.'
34. 'The Rajasic person performs Yajna both for show and to demand benefits from God. He almost considers the Yajna to be a business deal &endash; "God I perform the Yajna and therefore You give me this and that!"'
35. 'The Tamasic person sinks even lower, getting even the procedures all wrong! As if this is not enough, he dares to makes evil demands on God! That is to say, he tries to convert Yajna into witchcraft!'
36. 'Next, I shall discuss the attitude of the three types to austerity. Austerity, as you know, is a kind of strict discipline, both mental and physical, aimed at internal purification, that is, purification of the Mind and the senses. Austerity covers all aspects &endash; thought, word, and deed.'
37. 'Let me start with fasting, a common type of austerity. In accordance with the command of the scriptures, the Sattvic person not only fasts but also chants the Name of God all the time. This way, his stomach not only gets some rest &endash; by the way, it is a good idea to give some occasional rest to the stomach! &endash; but by chanting the Name the man also sanctifies the act of fasting.'
38. 'Some Rajasic people also fast but all the time their mind is on when the fast would end and what type of goodies they can eat after that! One is at a loss to understand why these people fast at all! By the way, some even fast for pure stunt value!'
39. 'The Tamasic fellow too is perverted in his own way. Unable to understand what moderation means, he sometimes literally tortures his body in the name of observing austerities. This fool does not realise that by doing so, he is actually torturing Me!'
40. 'Thus Gunas make people do the same thing in many different ways, and with very different attitudes too. Let Me now move on to the subject of charity.'
41. 'Properly performed, an act of charity is an expression of compassion. That is why the scriptures commend charity. While the Sattvic person offers charity the way it should be, with humility and no expectation of reward or benefit, the Rajasic person will make every effort to get all the mileage he can. He is a real stunt man, and goes all out for publicity! As for the Tamasic person, he makes sure he gives the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time! Not only that, he often gives with utter contempt for the receiver!'
42. 'Arjuna, this world is a deceptive mix of Sat or Truth and Asat or untruth. Life is a journey where man has to avoid untruth and be guided by Truth. If man thinks he can do it all by himself, he is sure to get into all kinds of trouble and problems. But if he reposes total faith in Me and worships Me with one-pointedness, then I will drive him through, even as I am now driving your chariot!'
End Of Chapter 17
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 38
Chapter - 18
1. Arjuna says to Krishna, 'Lord, You have been very kind to tell me many things. As I understand it, I have to act, I have to be detached, and I also have to sacrifice. But I am still a bit confused. Somehow, all these requirements appear to me to be mutually contradictory. For example, if I plunge into action, I become fully involved, emotionally. How then can you expect me to be detached?'
2. Krishna laughs and says, 'Arjuna, you are just like most of the devotees. They barely listen and that too with just one ear. So they hardly remember anything of what I say, and also understand very little. Looks like you need one more revision. But note this is the very last time. Everyone is itching to fight, and we can't postpone war too long.'
3. 'You must make a clear distinction between attitude and form. You seem to think that only a Sannyasi wearing ochre robes and all that can be detached. Detachment is an attitude and ochre robe is part of a particular appearance. Attitude and appearances need not always go together.'
4. 'There may be a person who is dressed like a Sannyasi but does that mean he is detached internally? Mental detachment &endash; that is the important factor. Why do you think a Sannyasi alone can be detached mentally? Why can't you, a soldier, be detached likewise?'
5. Arjuna protests and says, 'Krishna, how is that possible? I have a wife and children. Are you asking me to abandon them all?'
6. Krishna counters, 'Did I ask you to? When did I say that you must abandon your duty to your family? When did I ask you not to love the members of your family?'
7. Arjuna continues to argue and says, "Krishna, that precisely is my point! In one breath You are asking for detachment, and in the very next You say love your family! Are these not contradictory instructions?'
8. Krishna sighs and replies, 'OK, I see your problem. You are getting mixed up because you are interpreting My advice in a purely worldly manner. You have to analyse at a much higher level than you are doing at present.'
9. 'To start with, you should not imagine that a man who has renounced is like a hard rock or a dry twig. He can be detached and yet be full of Love and Compassion.'
10. Arjuna is surprised and asks, 'How is that possible?'
11. Krishna replies, 'Hold on! I am coming precisely to that point! Now, have you not heard Me say, "All are One. Be alike to everyone?" In the case of the person who suffers from attachment, he certainly loves his family, though perhaps in a worldly sort of way. But what about others? Does he love them like he does the members of his own family? Never!'
12. Arjuna interjects, 'Krishna! Be reasonable, how is that ever possible?'
13. Krishna replies, 'Why not? Just look at Me. Don't I love all? Am I not the same to everyone? Don't dismiss this by saying, "Oh, You are different," etc. Everyone, yourself included, can emulate Me in loving all and being alike to all. No question about that; just that most people don't want to. They say, "What's there in it for me?" This is the bane of humanity! Selfishness, utter selfishness!'
14. 'So you see Arjuna, you can do your duty, you can love all, and you can also serve all. Do all this without fear or favour. Regard everyone as just yourself. When you are thirsty, you have a drink. When you see someone else thirsty, imagine that you are thirsty yourself and give that person some water. See how happy that person becomes. Feel that happiness and become happy yourself. It is not at all difficult. See Me in all and help all. People don't try this simple method and on top of it give all sorts of lame excuses for not trying!'
15. 'This brings Me to the subject of action and the various ways in which it can be performed. You see Arjuna, in the end, it all boils down to action. What one must take care is to engage in proper action, all the time. That is what living life properly is all about.'
16. 'Thinking is a kind of action &endash; it is action at the mental level. Speech is another kind of action &endash; it is action at the verbal level. Obviously, one cannot think one thing and say quite the opposite; you understand that of course. And finally there is physical action carried out using the body.'
17. 'Associated with each type just mentioned, are five factors. They are: 1) The overall personality of the doer, 2) the doer's body, 3) the doer's senses, 4) the physical effort put in by the doer, and 5) Destiny. Yes, in the ultimate analysis, it is Destiny that decides who will do what, when, where and why.'
18. 'It is common to recognise and accept the role of the first four of the above, but not everyone concedes the role of Destiny. When they are successful, such people take all the credit, but when failure haunts them, they blame it on God! It is all due to attachment to one's body, also called body-consciousness or ego. True renunciation is giving up this attachment and body-consciousness.'
19. 'A short while ago, you said that you did not want to fight. Why? You argued that fighting meant that you would have to kill your cousin, your grandfather and so on. Your cousin is your cousin on account of your body. Similarly Bhishma is your grandfather on account of a bodily relationship. True, these relationships exist and must be respected, but only up to a point. When that limit is crossed, you must no longer allow such relationships to come in the way of the duty you are required to perform.'
20. 'The duty dictated to you by the Atma overrides every other consideration. In other words, God must always be priority number one. If father comes in between you and God, God must be followed and not the father. This precisely is the lesson that the story of Prahalada and Hiranyakashipu teaches. So it is in every case.'
21. Arjuna pleads, 'Krishna, please make it simple! Tell me in simple language; how a person without body-consciousness as You call it, and faced with the problem I am having, would act?'
22. Krishna replies, 'Well, such person would say, "I am a solider because Destiny has willed it be so. That very same Destiny has brought me here to fight on the side of Dharma. True, over there I see my Guru, grandfather, cousins, etc. But all those relationships are connected with the body. Dharma is God and God is Dharma. Therefore, my duty to Dharma overrides all other considerations. If I have to fight all my relatives for the sake of Dharma, then so be it. Destiny has decided this to be my role, and I cannot back out."'
23. 'Arjuna, it all comes back to knowing clearly what your duty is and then performing it to the best of your ability, without any other consideration, including of success, appreciation, reward and so forth.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 39
Chapter - 18
24. 'Let Me now turn to certain subtle aspects of action that I have not mentioned so far. Here also many factors are involved. They are: 1.) the Knowledge possessed by the person involved in the action, 2.) the action itself, and 3.) the nature of the person performing the action. Thanks to the play of the Gunas and the combination of these factors just mentioned, one gets a wide variety.'
25. 'A Sattvic person always tries to see Unity in diversity. That is to say, the knowledge-base of this person and his motivation for action are both shaped by his desire to see Unity in diversity.'
26. 'The person of Rajasic temperament is just the opposite. His vision is clouded by ego, pride, ambition, attachment and also greed. The net result is that he keeps on seeing only diversity even when there is Unity.'
27. 'As for the Tamasic person, how at all can one talk about his knowledge? Steeped in ignorance, wallowing in sloth, his perceptions are extremely superficial. Consequently, his actions are frequently irrational, often born out of sheer pig-headedness!'
28. 'So much for the knowledge aspect that triggers action. Let me now say a few words about the actions performed by these three types. Starting with the Sattivic type, I am sure you would, even without My mentioning it, guess that his actions would be gentle, in accordance with the scriptures, and performed with love and compassion. They would in general reflect virtues that are an ornament to man.'
29. 'The Rajasic person is, of course, a live wire, bursting at the seams as they say, with energy. That is because he is ever driven by self-interest and selfishness. Ambition is a great driving force, you know. But invariably, it lands one in deep trouble and this people forget. That is what Maya is all about! People refuse to see what is to be seen and insist on seeing what does not exist! Given the selfish nature of the Rajasic person, it should be no surprise that he is ever ready to trample on the feet of other people.'
30. 'The actions of a Tamasic person are rash, reckless, and absolutely foolhardy. But that should not come as a surprise.'
31. 'Now about the doer of the action. I have already described the three types in several contexts and shall therefore be brief. The Sattvic person goes about performing tasks in a cool and collected manner, accepting whatever is the outcome as God's Will.'
32. 'Driven as he is by ego, the Rajasic person exhibits brashness while engaged in action. Not for him the virtues of humility and politeness. He is happy when successful and becomes depressed when he fails.'
33. 'The Tamasic person is totally disorganised, lacks even elementary discipline, is vulgar and also stubborn. He is so rash that he does not even bother whether his actions would cause harm to himself! As if all this is not enough, he can also be deceitful!'
34. 'Let Me now move on to how Buddhi operates in these three types - if at all! The Buddhi of a Sattvic person is generally sharp, because he makes good use of it! He can clearly distinguish between good and bad, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.'
35. 'The Rajasic person is a tragic figure really. In his Heart he knows for sure what is right and what is wrong. In fact he wants to do the right thing, but so powerful is his ego and so strong is his ambition, that he ends up doing the wrong thing, making it worse by justifying it with untenable excuses!'
36. 'As for the Tamasic person, the fool that he is, he does not know even the elementary difference between right and wrong. Thus, he has no compunction about hurting others. Cruelty comes easily to him.'
37. 'Actions are closely linked to the convictions that people have. People are very much influenced by their capacity for understanding, belief and faith; all these add up to conviction one might say.'
38. 'What is the meaning of understanding? What is it that one must understand in the context of action? Well, one must understand clearly what is right and what is wrong. Once one is clear about this, one can make sure that one's actions are in conformity with Dharma. This is where understanding becomes important.'
39. 'Obviously, the understanding of a Sattvic person is good and that is why he shines in Society as a pillar of Dharma. By contrast, the understanding of a Rajasic person is a bit clouded. He imagines he is free to do what he pleases, little realising that the Law of Karma would bind him to the consequences of his actions. As for the Tamasic person, where is the question of his having any understanding, when he is deep in the darkness of ignorance?'
40. 'Now about the quest for happiness. As you know Arjuna, everyone wants to be happy and seeks happiness in his own particular way. There is a deep and fundamental reason why man wants to be always happy. You see, man has come from Me and I am the Embodiment of Bliss. No wonder then that man too wants to be Blissful always.'
41. 'But unfortunately, man does not quite understand what Bliss really means, much less where to look for it. Indeed this is the root cause of most of man's problems. In the end, almost everyone ends up with counterfeits! Bliss comes when you become united with God, that is, within your Heart; it cannot be found in the outside world, as people mistakenly imagine, despite being told any number of times that they are wrong. That is the tragedy of mankind.'
42. 'Let Me amplify. The world is full of things that attract and promise pleasure. They are all nothing but sugar-coated poison. The Sattvic man is careful; guided by his Buddhi he opts for things that most consider "bitter". The Sattvic man does not mind. He foregoes worldly pleasures for the sake of pleasing God, and in the end he reaps huge benefits. In short, what starts off as honey turns into poison in the end and what seems like bitter neem turns out finally to be Nectar. This truth the Sattvic person understands.'
43. 'The Rajasic fellow goes after pleasure consciously. He firmly believes that life is meant for enjoyment and nothing else, and that life would be a waste if one did not seek pleasure. Sense gratification thus becomes an important goal for him. Needless to say that in the end he pays, heavily too, but by then it is too late to become wise!'
44. 'I don't think I have to spell out the attitude of the Tamasic fellow! Arjuna, man is given the opportunity for pleasure on earth on account of good deeds performed earlier. It is foolish to waste past merit by falling for this bait. Misery that people complain so much about is the treasure for the future. Accumulate merit; do not exhaust it. Welcome misery, add to your merit, and use it all to come to Me. You can then be happy and Blissful for ever!'
45. 'Arjuna! All along, I have, in one manner or the other, been telling you about how to sanctify action. Life is one unending sequence of actions, and if these are sanctified, then you will go where you really ought to. But unfortunately, the journey to God is not smooth because the Gunas come in the way as road-blocks. That is why I have spent time explaining the various nuances of the Gunas.'
GITA FOR CHILDREN - PART 40
Chapter - 18
46. After a long spell of silence, Arjuna now speaks. He says, 'Krishna, all that You say is theoretically very nice. But I really can't see how many of the mundane things we do in day-to-day life can be sanctified. Take breathing for instance. Everyone breathes all the time. You say sanctify Time. Well, how do I sanctify the act of breathing, which I do non-stop?'
47. Krishna smiles and says, 'I am glad you have asked this question. Let us examine this breathing process. There are two steps, inhalation and exhalation, agree? Now examine a bit further and focus on the sounds generated during these two steps. During inhalation, the sound that is generated is: Soooo and likewise, during exhalation the sound generated is: Huuuummm. Thus the two sounds are "So" and "Hum". What do they mean? "So" means "That", and what exactly is "That"? It is God! "Hum" means "This", meaning "I". Putting these two together, you get the message, "I Am That" or "I am God!"
48. 'Just think about it; your body, through Divine dispensation, is giving you this message that you are God, 21,600 times a day! Does anyone ever take even a minute off to focus on this message and its significance? No! You asked Me how to sanctify the breathing process. Well, just slowly breathe in, and then slowly breathe out. Concentrate on the sounds generated, and on their inner meanings. If you did this, then you would be sanctifying the breathing process!'
49. 'Arjuna, it is all a matter of thinking and trying. If you really wanted to, and if you really felt that God is everything, you would automatically start associating Me with every act you do. You might do it consciously or even unconsciously; that does not matter. The fact that you are associating every work with God and doing it for His pleasure is all that matters.'
50. 'In short, the simplest way of sanctifying Time is to think always of God, believe that everything you do is for God, and finally offer everything to God. Now tell Me, what is the difficulty in doing all this? I don't see any difficulty at all; just that people don't want to be bothered about this, and would instead like to entertain themselves in every possible stupid way. I am not responsible for such irresponsible behaviour!'
51. Arjuna is lost in thought hearing all this. Dimly he hears the voice of Krishna and snaps to attention. He hears Krishna saying, 'Arjuna, time is getting along. Everyone is waiting and I had better wrap up. In life, everyone without exception must do his or her duty properly, consciously and with dedication, to the station one is born.'
52. 'One should not quit saying, "No Sir, this is not for me," and things like that. The rule is: "You must like what you are doing, rather than trying to do what you like." If say, everyone in a kingdom wanted to be the king, what would happen to that kingdom?'
53. 'Society needs all kinds of people and that is why God in His Infinite Wisdom has created diversity. Diversity serves a purpose. However, the individual, while always being in harmony with this external diversity, must also act in harmony with the underlying unity, that is the Divine Principle.'
54. 'You are born a soldier, and you must do your duty as a soldier. You can't suddenly quit, talking like a Sannyasi (ascetic). Rather, you must have the detachment of Sannyasi and do your duty like a soldier. Understand?'
55. 'In other words, no matter in what situation life places a person &endash; as a farmer, teacher, housewife or whatever - the person must do the duty appropriate to the situation but in conformity with the dictates of the Atma (spirit within). That is what Atma Dharma is all about it. And that is the essence of what I have been telling you all along.'
56. 'By the way, do you know something? You protested that you would not fight. Let us say you do go on strike, and the war has started without you. You know what would happen? In five minutes, you would pick up your bow and arrows and enter the battle! You know why? Because of your Gunas! Being a soldier is in your blood! That is why you have been born a soldier! I know about your Gunas, and that is why I have given you this part in My Cosmic Drama!'
57. 'So, My dear Arjuna, understanding that this is all a Drama, a Cosmic Drama to be more precise, and realising that you are merely a puppet in the hands of God in this unfathomable Drama, go out there and do your duty as you ought to. This is what every single person ought to do every single moment. Duty, duty, duty. It is to teach you how to do your duty, that I have come down as man, and am performing duties all the time even though I really have no duty to perform!'
58. 'Arjuna, I think have said all that is necessary. It is now up to you. The ball is in your court. Just remember, most blessed you are for I have revealed to you the greatest of Truths, and explained the greatest of mysteries.'
59. 'Once more, fix your thought on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, and offer everything you do to Me. By so doing, you shall come to Me without fail. This is My solemn promise to you for you are truly dear to Me!'
60. 'I have said many things, and you might even be confused. So I shall make it absolutely simple. Don't bother if you do not understand spiritual philosophy. Just take total refuge in Me. Surrender fully to Me. And just keep doing what you have to. I shall take care of all the rest &endash; this I assure you!'
61. 'Arjuna, what I have said to you is most profound. It is not merely meant for you but indeed for the whole of mankind, and for Eternity! It is My Message to man! He who listens to this and follows it is dear to Me. He who spreads this Message is also dear to Me. '
62. 'All those who follow My Message would be liberated from evil and rise to the world of the virtuous. O Partha, have you listened to all that I have been saying with an attentive mind? What do you intend to do now?'
63. Arjuna replies with great humility, 'Lord, by Your Grace, my ignorance has been destroyed. My doubts have got dispelled, and I now understand what precisely my duty is. I vow that I shall do precisely as You command.'
64. As Krishna's immortal exhortation comes to a close, Sanjaya tells the blind King Dhritarashtra, "This is the wonderful conversation between God and man that I have been privileged to see, hear and report to you. I am filled with ecstasy and blessed indeed I am to have seen and heard it all."
65. "O King! Know this to be true. Where there is Krishna and where there is Arjuna, there, be rest assured, would one find Victory, Prosperity, Glory and Justice. Indeed, this would be so in all places and at all times, when the end is good and so are the means for achieving that end. For, a good end means God, while good practices mean the observance of Dharma.'
66. "God is Dharma, and it is by adhering to Dharma alone that one can reach God! One who strays from Dharma will ultimately perish, though he may appear to succeed in the interim. This, O King, is the essence of God's Message to man."
- END OF THE BOOK -