Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pranayama : 6 Easy and Most Effective Techniques Step by Step

What is pranayama?

Pranayama is the art of regulated breathing. Pranayama was taught as the 4th limb of Ashtanga Yoga by the great sage Patanjali. Proper breathing habits promote physical, mental and social well being of a person and prepare him for next stage of advancement. Pranayama leads to freedom from clinging onto material desires and helps cultivate peace in life. Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders.

Easy Pranayama Techniques Step by Step

How to do pranayama?

There are many techniques of pranayama taught by sage Patanjali.  Out of those, today we are about to learn 6 most effective and easy techniques. We can easily practice these techniques at home regularly to get utmost benefit of it. To do these pranayamas, sit in most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.

1. Bhastrika Pranayama: Bhastrika pranayama is simply deep breathing.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Place both of your hands on your knees with palm facing upwards.
  • Touch the tip of your first finger with the tip of your thumb. This is called gyan mudra.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale slowly as full as you can.
  • Exhale slowly completely.
  • Repeat this process for 2 to 5 minutes.

2. Kapal Bhati Pranayama: Kapal Bhati pranayam involves forceful exhalation. It must be done slowly by unhealthy people.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Place both of your hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale normally.
  • Exhale forcefully at once.
  • Repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Bahaya Pranayama: This involves holding the breath out of your body and activating certain locks.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Place your hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale slowly and completely.
  • Exhale slowly and completely.
  • Hold your breath outside.
  • Pull your perineum upwards internally. This is called Mula Bandha in Yoga.
  • Pull your abdomen into the rib cage as much as you can. This is called Uddiyana Bandha in Yoga.
  • Bring down your chin to touch it with the lower part of your neck or upper part of your chest. This is called Jalandhara Bandha.
  • Get into this position as soon as you exhale completely and hold this three bandhas together as long as you can. This combination of three bandhas is called Maha Bandha.
  • Before inhaling again, release these body lock in sequence. First Jalandhara Bandha, then Uddiyana Bandha followed by Mula Bandha.
  • Inhale completely.
  • Repeat this pranayama for 3 to 11 times. Beginners must do it for 3 times only.

4. Anulom Vilom Pranayama: This is also known as Nadi Shodhanam means exercise for purification of nerves. This involves breathing from alternate nostrils.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Place your left hand on your knee in Gyan Mudra.
  • Close your eyes.
  • With the thumb of your right hand close your right nostril and breathe slowly and fully from your left nostril.
  • Now close your left nostril with the middle finger and ring finger of your right hand and exhale slowly and completely from your right nostril.
  • Keeping your left nostril closed, breathe in with your right nostril slowly and completely this time.
  • Now close your right nostril again with your thumb of right hand and open your release your left nostril to exhale slowly and completely.
  • Repeat this sequence for 10 to 20 minutes. You can change hands, if required.

5. Bhramari Pranayama: This involves making of bee like humming sound. This is the reason it is called Bhramari Pranayama.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Raise your both hands and place your thumbs on your ears closing it by pushing tragus.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Place first finger on forehead and rest three fingers (middle, ring and little) on eyes gently.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply.
  • Exhale slowly and completely with a continuous deep humming sound.
  • Repeat this for 3 to 5 times.

6. Udgeeta Pranayama: This involves reciting the primordial sound ‘OM’.

  • Sit in the most comfortable posture with your spine erect and body relaxed.
  • Keep your hands on knees in Gyan Mudra.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply.
  • Exhale slowly and completely from your mouth with continuous ‘OM’ sound.
  • Repeat this for 3 to 5 times.
  • Sit in the same relaxed posture for some more time.
  • Rub your palms against each other and place them on your eyes.
  • Open your eyes.

So, now you know the six most effective and simple pranayama techniques. I’ve myself practiced them and experienced how it slowly improved my life. I would love to hear your experiences as well. Feel free to get back to me with your suggestions, queries or comment. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What is Yoga? How Many Types of Yoga are There?

What is yoga? As commonly understood.

Today people mostly think of yoga as just a kind of aerobic exercise. This is because most of people have got many health benefits from yoga. When you know, what is yoga? You understand that health benefits are just preliminary effects of yoga.

What is Yoga Actually?

Yoga means to unite. Yoga is the practice of uniting our conscience to universal conscience. For theists, it is the practice of uniting a soul to the God. What is yoga can actually only be explained by a siddha yogi (a practitioner of yoga who has reached the state of union), in terms of what that final union feels like. But, talking about just the method, it is the path that a yogi follows.

Yoga as the practice is a discipline which when followed by someone properly aligns his mind, body and soul with each other to promote physical, social and spiritual well-being of the person and enables the person to withstand the intense experience of enlightenment. What is yoga can be realized by anyone by sincere practice.

What is Yoga? Types of Yoga


How Many Types of Yoga are There?

Today, we listen about so many types of yoga. Actually, I have seen terms on internet being searched as “hot yoga” and “bikram yoga”. I mean it is ridiculous. Basically, when people started using yoga as business, they wanted to have a keyword, something that can make them look different. That is the main reason why we hear about so many types of yoga today. Most of these types of yoga that is taught in big branded organizations today are just modified Raj Yoga or Yoga of Mind Control.

How Many Types of Yoga Actually Exist?

There are mainly just four types of yoga. All of them are very different from one another. Yet, they all can also be practiced together. They are:
  1. Gyan Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge): This type of yoga gives most importance to knowledge. The practitioner questions everything in great details. He tries to reach the core of everything. This is the birth place of philosophy.
  2. Karma Yoga (Yoga of Action): This type of yoga gives most importance to actions. The practitioner works without any motive to gain or lose anything. He works just for the sake of incorporating his duties. This frees him from any effect of any action.
  3. Raj Yoga (Yoga of Mind Control): This type of yoga focuses on mind control. This is the famous Maharshi Patanjali Ashtang Yoga (The Great Sage Patanjali’s Eight Step Process of Yoga). Yam (Morals), Niyam (Discipline), Asana (Posture), Pranayam (Regulated Breathing), Pratyahar (Renunciation), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyan (Meditation) and Samadhi (Super Conscious Awareness) are the eight limbs of Raj Yoga. Hath Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Sahaj Yoga and various meditation techniques are all focused on only one or the other part of it with slight modifications to just get it patented for an organization.
  4. Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of Devotion): This is the type of yoga with gives most importance to devotion and love. I believe by one or the other way one has to finally reach to a state where he cannot move forward without love or devotion. This is the kind of yoga we see Vaishnavas (followers of Lord Krishna) following. For such a practitioner, words of the Lord are above any reasoning and must be followed.
Speaking frankly, all of these types of yoga can be practiced together. Inclusiveness and balance are the characteristics of yoga. You can think rationally, while detaching yourself from your actions and performing them as your duty. Meanwhile you’ll also get 5 – 10 minutes easily every day to start practice of mind control. And you must be thankful to everybody for any help or assistance you get in your work.

We will discuss all of these in details in our next articles. Feel free to share your comments and ask any questions. I will be glad to know what you think. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What is the real symbol of freedom from disturbance?

Symbol of Freedom from Disturbance

I was looking at what people are searching these days on Google. And I found that people are searching for this – symbol of freedom from disturbance. And I was wondering what does this mean. On one hand, people make a whole lot mess when it comes to symbols. Some say that it is these symbols that divide people in name of religion. Some say these symbols are very easy to wear and with them people fool others by showing off false authority of some kind. On the other hand more people in the world are trying to find newer ways to raise more of this symbolism.

Well why does one need a symbol to represent freedom from disturbance? Is it because they are really very disturbed, I mean to a ridiculous level, so that they don’t want people to know that they really are disturbed or just by using a symbol they want to convey others that they are free from disturbance. Is there any other use of it? Or they want to put that symbol on to walls of their bedrooms and gaze on it day and night and believe that staring on that symbol will promote freedom from disturbance in their lives? I mean this is insane.

Whatever may be the case, at my level of understanding I cannot say much in support of physical symbols. Yes physical symbols are helpful for beginners. That is why we have so many symbols in Hinduism, previously known as Sanatan Dharma. But, you do have to discard all physical symbols for progressing beyond a certain point. You know, everything in this world creates attachment. Be it good or bad. So, if you really need a symbol, I will suggest you to look at smile as that symbol.

Isn’t it true? When one is really free from disturbance, this is what becomes apparent - a slight smile on the person’s face, glitter in his eyes, warmth of the heart. If you want to fill your room with that symbol or wear it for constant remembrance, you can use a smiley and keep that with you. But you must understand when you use symbols, you have to understand the reality which it signifies and you must appreciate that reality every time you look at that symbol. That is only going to give you the real benefit of using that symbol.

Don’t we see how some people look at statues of deities and find is just a structure of clay or stone while a devotee sees the same idol and gets emotional. This is just because that devotee sees something else in that idol. He sees what it actually is meant to signify. Still, I consider you better if you don’t need any symbol to connect with things that you want yourself to align with. Really, just having that smile and glitter on your face and eyes respectively is the biggest symbol of you being free from disturbance that any other physical symbol. And yes, when I say you’re better if you don’t need symbol. I do mean that you must have the same emotional connect with the subject as that of the devotee who uses a symbol. If you don’t have it, perhaps you need that symbol.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter II Sāṅkhyayoga

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter II Sāṅkhyayoga

Sanjaya said: Sri Krsna then addressed the following words to Arjuna, who was, as mentioned before, overwhelmed with pity, whose eyes were filled with tears and agitated, and who was full of sorrow. (1)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, how has this infatuation overtaken you at this odd hour? It is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven, nor fame to you. (2)

Yield not to unmanliness, Arjuna; this does not become you. Shaking off this base faint-heartedness stand-up, O scorcher of enemies. (3)

Arjuna said: How Krsna, shall I fight Bhisma and Drona with arrows on the battlefield? They are worthy of deepest reverence, O destroyer of foes. (4)

It is better to live on alms in this world by not slaying these noble elders, because even after killing them we shall after all enjoy only bloodstained pleasures in the form of wealth and sense-enjoyments. (5)

We do not even know which is preferable for us - to fight or not to fight; nor do we know whether we shall win or whether they will conquer us. Those very sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, killing whom we do not even wish to live, stand in the enemy ranks. (6)

With my very being smitten by the vice of faint-heartedness and my mind puzzled with regard to duty, I beseech You! tell me that which is decidedly good; I am your disciple. Pray, instruct me, who have taken refuge in You. (7)

For, even on obtaining undisputed sovereignty and an affluent kingdom on this earth and lordship over the gods, I do not see any means that can drive away the grief which is drying up my senses. (8)

Sañjaya said: O King, having thus spoken to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna again said to Him, "I will not fight," and became silent. (9)

Then, O Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as if smiling, addressed the following words to Arjuna, sorrowing in the midst of the two armies. (10)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, you grieve over those who should not be grieved for and you speak like the learned; wise men do not sorrow over the dead or the living. (11)

In fact, there was never a time when I was not, or when you or these kings were not. Nor is it a fact that hereafter we shall all cease to be. (12)

Just as boyhood, youth and old age are attributed to the soul through this body, even so it attains another body. The wise man does not get deluded about this. (13)

O son of Kuntī, the contacts between the senses and their objects, which give rise to the feelings of head and cold, pleasure and pain etc., are transitory and fleeting; therefore, Arjuna, endure them. (14)

Arjuna, the wise man to whom pain and pleasure are alike, and who is not tormented by these contacts, become eligible for immortality. (15)

The unreal has no existence, and the real never ceases to be; the reality of both has thus been perceived by the seers of Truth. (16)

Know that alone to be imperishable which pervades this universe; for no one has power to destroy this indestructible substance. (17)

All these bodies pertaining to the imperishable, indefinable and eternal soul are spoken of as perishable; therefore, Arjuna, fight. (18)

Both of them are ignorant, he who considers the soul to be capable of killing and he who takes it as killed; for verily the soul neither kills, nor is killed. (19)

The soul is never born, nor it ever dies; nor does it become after being born. For, it is unborn, eternal, everlasting and primeval; even though the body is slain, the soul is not. (20)

Arjuna, the man who knows this soul to be imperishable, eternal and free from birth and decay - how and whom will he cause to be killed, how and whom will he kill? (21)

As a man shedding worn-out garments, takes other new ones, likewise, the embodied soul, casting off worn-out bodies, enters into others that are new. (22)

Weapons cannot cut it nor can fire burn it; water cannot wet it nor can wind dry it. (23)

For this soul is incapable of being cut, or burnt by fire; nor can it be dissolved by water and is undriable by air as well; This soul is eternal, all-pervading, immovable, constant and everlasting. (24)

This soul is unmanifest; it is incomprehensible and it is spoken of as immutable. Therefore, knowing it as such, you should not grieve. (25)

And, Arjuna, if you should suppose this soul to be subject to constant birth and death, even then you should not grieve like this. (26)

For, in that case death is certain for the born, and rebirth is inevitable for the dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable. (27)

Arjuna, before birth beings are not manifest to our human senses; on death they return to the unmanifest again. They are manifest only in the interim between birth and death. What occasion, then, for lamentation? (28)

Hardly any great soul perceives this soul as marvelous, scarce another great soul likewise speaks thereof as marvelous, and scarce another worthy one hears of it as marvelous, while there are some who know it not even on hearing of it. (29)

Arjuna, this soul dwelling in the bodies of all, can never be slain; therefore, you should not mourn for anyone. (30)

Besides, considering your own duty too, you should not waver, for there is nothing more welcome for a man of the warrior class than a righteous war. (31)

Arjuna, fortunate are the Ksatriyas who get such an unsolicited opportunity for war, which is an open gateway to heaven. (32)

Now, if you refuse to fight this righteous war, then, shirking your duty and losing your reputation, you will incur sin. (33)

Nay, people will also pour undying infamy on you; and infamy brought on a man enjoying popular esteem is worse than death. (34)

And the warrior-chiefs who thought highly of you, will now despise you, thinking that it was fear which drove you away from battle. (35)

And your enemies, disparaging your might, will speak many unbecoming words; what can be more distressing than this? (36)

Die, and you will win heaven; conquer, and you enjoy sovereignty of the earth; therefore, stand up, Arjuna, determined to fight. (37)

Treating alike victory and defeat, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, get ready for the battle; fighting thus you will not incur sin. (38)

Arjuna, this attitude of mind has been presented to you from the point of view of Jnanayoga; now hear the same as presented from the standpoint of Karmayoga. Equipped with this attitude of mind, you will be able to throw off completely the shackles of Karma. (39)

In this path there is no loss of effort, nor is there fear of contrary result, even a little practice of this discipline saves one from the terrible fear of birth and death. (40)

Arjuna, in this Yoga the intellect is determinate and directed singly towards one ideal; whereas the intellect of the undecided wanders in all directions after innumerable aims. (41)

Arjuna, those who are full of worldly desires and devoted to the letter of the Vedas, who look upon heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing beyond heaven, are unwise. They utter flowery speech recommending many rituals of various kinds for the attainment of pleasure and power with rebirth as their fruit. Those whose minds are carried away by such words, and who are deeply attached to pleasure and worldly power, cannot attain the determinate intellect concentrated on God. (42 - 44)

Arjuna, the Vedas thus deal with the evolutes of the three Gunas, viz., worldly enjoyments and the means of attaining such enjoyments; be thou indifferent to these enjoyments and their means, rising above pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain etc., established in the Eternal Existence, absolutely unconcerned about the fulfillment of wants and the preservation of what has been already attained, you be self-controlled. (45)

A Brahmana, who has obtained enlightenment, has as much use for all the Vedas as one who stands at the brink of a sheet of water overflowing on all sides has for a small reservoir of water. (46)

Your right is to work only and never to the fruit thereof. Do not Consider yourself to be the cause of the fruit of action; nor let your attachment be to inaction. (47)

Arjuna, perform your duties established in Yoga, renouncing attachment, and be even-minded in success and failure; evenness of mind is called 'Yoga'. (48)

Action with a selfish motive is far inferior to this Yoga in the form of equanimity. Do seek refuge in this equipoise of mind, Arjuna; for poor and wretched are those who are the cause in making their actions bear fruit. (49)

Endowed with equanimity, one sheds in this life both good and evil. Therefore, strive for the practice of this Yoga of equanimity. Skill in action lies in the practice of this Yoga. (50)

For, wise men possessing equipoised mind, renouncing the fruit of actions and freed from the shackles of birth, attain the blissful supreme state. (51)

When your mind will have fully crossed the mire of delusion, you will then grow indifferent to the enjoyments of this world and the next that have been heard of as well as to those that are yet to be heard of. (52)

When your intellect, confused by hearing conflicting statements, will rest steady and undistracted on God, you will then attain Yoga. (53)

Arjuna said: Krsna, what are the characteristics of a God-realized soul, stable of mind and established in Samadhi? How does the man of stable mind speak, how does he sit, how does he walk? (54)

Sri Bhagavan said: Arjuna, when one thoroughly casts off all cravings of the mind, and is satisfied in the Self through the joy of the Self, he is then called stable of mind. (55)

The sage, whose mind remains unperturbed amid sorrows, whose thirst for pleasures has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger, is called stable of mind. (56)

He who is unattached to everything, and meeting with good and evil, neither rejoices nor recoils, his mind is stable. (57)

When, like a tortoise, that draws in its limbs from all directions, he withdraws all his senses from the sense-objects, his mind becomes steady. (58)

Sense-objects turn away from him, who does not enjoy them with his senses; but the taste for them persists. This relish also disappears in the case of the man of stable mind when he realizes the Supreme. (59)

Turbulent by nature, the senses even of a wise man, who is practicing self-control, forcibly carry away his mind, Arjuna. (60)

Therefore, having controlled all the senses and concentrating his mind, he should sit for meditation, devoting himself heart and soul to Me. For, he whose senses are under his control, is known to have a stable mind. (61)

The man dwelling on sense-objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire, and from desire ensues anger. (62)

From anger arise delusion; from delusion, confusion of memory; from confusion of memory, loss of reason; and from loss of reason one goes to complete ruin. (63)

But the self-controlled Sādhaka, while enjoying the various sense-objects through his senses, which are disciplined and free from likes and dislikes, attain placidity of mind. (64)

With the attainment of such placidity of mind, all his sorrows come to an end; and the intellect of such a person of tranquil mind soon withdraws itself from all sides, becomes firmly established in God. (65)

He who has not controlled his mind and senses, can have no determinate intellect, nor contemplation. Without contemplation, he can have no peace; and how can there be happiness for one lacking peace of mind? (66)

As the wind carries away a boat upon the waters, even so, of the senses moving among sense-objects, the one to which the mind is attached, takes away his discrimination. (67)

Therefore, Arjuna, he whose senses are completely restrained from their objects, is said to have a stable mind. (68)

That which is night to all beings, in that state of Divine Knowledge and Supreme Bliss the God-realized Yogī keeps awake, and that in which all beings keep awake, is night to the seer. (69)

As the waters of different rivers enter the ocean, which, though full on all sides, remains undisturbed; likewise, he in whom all enjoyments merge themselves without causing disturbance attains peace; not he who hankers after such enjoyments. (70)

He who has given up all desires, and moves free from attachment, egoism and thirst for enjoyment attains peace. (71)

Arjuna, such is the state of the God-realized soul; having reached this state, he overcomes delusion. And established in this state, even at the last moment, he attains Brahmic Bliss. (72)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Human Interaction And How Much Is Good?

Human Interaction And How Much Is Good?

Human interaction is a very essential part of the society. Just like anything else, it can also have both rewarding and devastating effects. Let's try to understand how.

To make all our interactions as effective as possible, there are certain rules that we need to follow. The are as follows:

1. Being a good listener: We can only give appropriate feedback if we listen to the speaker actively.
2. Empathy: It is important to understand the situation by visualizing ourselves in speaker's place to emotionally connect with the speaker.
3. Clarity: We must be clear of what we need to communicate. Mostly we ourselves keep trying to figure out what is the actual statement that needs to be communicated while we talk. This makes the whole conversation uneffective.
4. Language: Selection of words are very important. Words and expressions should be easily understandable and should not create any confusion.
5. Brief: We should keep our talks short. Long talks make people bored and seem to lack seriousness.

Now these rules if followed, help us to make people come to us and talk with us. Just because they feel that they are understood, and they have all the time to tell all that they have to tell.

But, we always take up something from everything. Every interaction make us build some impressions on others and more importantly on ourselves.

Now there are two kinds of people: Introverts and Extroverts. By nature introverts don't talk much. They don't talk about what is required as well. And extroverts talk a lot. The talk about what is not required as well. Obviously non is an ideal situation.

When we interact with people we normally take up their ideas, their thought process, their way of speaking and much more. It is very hard to be completely unaffected of something even after being into if for a reasonable time. Not everybody of us is a master of mind.

So, we need to discriminate. We must first understand how strong are we ourselves before exposing ourselves to potentially harmful circumstances. Just like we keep small children away from sharp objects but don't mind if a grown up person picks such thing up. We need to understand whether we are grown up in terms of understanding and administering our thoughts and actions or are we still struggling.

If we think that we are influenced easily. We must choose our interactions wisely. If we are not that strong that we can resist those things at their best move, let's not allow them to make their best move at all. Not all students are allowed to represent school in an inter-school quiz competition.

Those who has mastered the art of being unaffected by anything pretty or ugly, can dive into mud and make the lotus blossom. Not everyone.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter IV The Yoga of Knowledge as well as the disciplines of Action and Knowledge

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter IV The Yoga of Knowledge as well as the disciplines of Action and Knowledge

Śrī Bhagavān said: I revealed this immortal Yoga to Vivasvān; Vivasvān conveyed it to Manu; and Manu imparted it to Ikṣvāku. (1)

Thus transmitted in succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rājarṣis. Through long lapse of time, this Yoga got lost to the world. (2)

The same ancient Yoga, which is the supreme secret, has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend. (3)

Arjuna said: You are of recent origin, while the birth of Vivasvān dates back to remote antiquity. How, then am I to believe that You imparted this Yoga at the beginning of the creation? (4)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births; I remember them all; you do not remember, O chastiser of foes. (5)

Though birth-less and immortal and the Lord of all beings, I manifest Myself through My own Yogamaya, keeping My nature under control. (6)

Arjuna, whenever righteousness is on the decline, unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body Myself forth. (7)

For the protection of the virtuous, for the extirpation of evil-doers, and for establishing Dharma on a firm footing, I manifest Myself from age to age. (8)

Arjuna, My birth and activities are divine. He who knows this in reality is not reborn on leaving his body, but comes to Me. (9)

Completely rid of attachment, fear and anger, wholly absorbed in Me, depending on Me, and purified by the Penance of wisdom, many have become one with Me even in the past. (10)

Arjuna, however men seek Me, even so do I respond to them; for all men follow My path in every-way. (11)

In this world of human beings, men seeking the fruition of their activities, worship the gods; for success born of actions follows quickly. (12)

The four orders of society were created by Me, classifying them according to the Guṇas predominant in each and apportioning corresponding duties to them; though the originator of this creation, know Me, the Immortal Lord, to be a non-doer. (13)

Since I have no craving for the fruit of actions, actions do not taint Me. Even he who thus knows Me in reality is not bound by actions. (14)

Having known thus, action was performed even by the ancient seekers for liberation; therefore, do you also perform actions as have been performed by the ancients from antiquity. (15)

What is action and what is inaction? Even men of intelligence are puzzled over this question. Therefore, I shall expound to you the truth about action, knowing which you will be freed from its evil effects i.e., the shackles of karma. (16)

The truth about action must be known and the truth of inaction also must be known; even so, the truth about prohibited action must be known. For, mysterious are the ways of action. (17)

He who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is wise among men; he is a Yogi, who has performed all actions. (18)

Even the wise call him a sage, whose undertakings are all free from desire and Saṅkalpa and whose actions are burnt by the fire of wisdom. (19)

He, who, having totally given up attachment to actions and their fruit, no longer depends on anything in the world, and is ever content, does nothing at all, though fully engaged in action. (20)

Having subdued his mind and body, and having given up all objects of enjoyment, free from craving, he who performs sheer bodily action, does not incur sin. (21)

The Karmayogī, who is contented with whatever is got unsought, is free from jealousy and has transcended all pairs of opposites like joy and grief, and is balanced in success and failure, is not bound by his action. (22)

All his actions get dissolved entirely, who is free from attachment and has no identification with the body and free from the feeling of mine, whose mind is established in the knowledge of Self and who works merely for the sake of sacrifice. (23)

In the practice of seeing Brahma everywhere as a form of sacrifice, Brahma is the ladle; Brahma, again, is the oblation; Brahma is the fire, Brahma itself is the sacrificer and so Brahma itself constitutes the act of pouring the oblation into the fire. And finally, Brahma is the goal to be reached by him who is absorbed in Brahma as the act of such sacrifice. (24)

Other Yogīs duly offer sacrifice only in the form of worship to gods, while others perform sacrifice by offering the self by the Self itself in the fire of Brahma. (25)

Others offer as sacrifice their sense of hearing etc., into the fires of self-discipline. Other Yogīs, again, offer sound and other objects of perception into the fires of the senses. (26)

Other sacrifice all the functions of their senses and functions of the vital airs into the fire of Yoga in the shape of self-control, kindled by wisdom. (27)

Some perform sacrifice with material possessions; some offer sacrifice in the shape of austerities; others sacrifice through the practice of Yoga; while some striving souls, observing austere vows, perform sacrifice in the shape of wisdom through the study of sacred texts. (28)

Other Yogīs offer the act of exhalation into that of inhalation; even so, others the act of inhalation into that of exhalation. There are still others given to the practice of Prāṇāyāma, who, having regulated their diet and controlled the process of exhalation and inhalation both, pour their vital airs into the vital airs themselves. All these have their sins consumed away by sacrifice and understand the meaning of sacrificial worship. (29 - 30)

Arjuna, Yogīs who enjoy the nectar that has been left over after the performance of a sacrifice attain the eternal Brahma. To the man who does not offer sacrifice, even this world is not happy; how, then, can the other world be happy? (31)

Many such forms of sacrifice have been set forth in detail in the Vedas; know them all as involving the action of mind, senses and body. Thus, knowing the truth about them you shall be freed from the bondage of action. (32)

Arjuna, sacrifice through Knowledge, is superior to sacrifice performed with material things. For all actions without exception culminate in Knowledge, O son of Kuntī. (33)

Understand the true nature of that Knowledge by approaching seer of Truth. If you prostrate at their feet, render them service, and question them with an open and guileless heart, those wise seers of Truth will instruct you in that Knowledge. (34)

Arjuna, when you have achieved enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no more. In the light of that knowledge, you will see the entire creation first within your own Self, and then in Me. (35)

Even if you were the most sinful of all sinners, this Knowledge alone would carry you, like a raft, across all your sins. (36)

For, as the blazing fire reduces the fuel to ashes, Arjuna, even so the fire of Knowledge turns all actions to ashes. (37)

In this world there is no purifier as great as Knowledge; he who has attained purity of heart through prolonged practice of Karmayoga, automatically sees the light to Truth in the self in course of time. (38)

He who has mastered his senses, is exclusively devoted to his practice and is full of faith, attains Knowledge; having had the revelation of Truth, he immediately attains supreme peace in the form of God-realization. (39)

He who lacks discrimination, is devoid of faith, and is at the same time possessed by doubt, is lost to the spiritual path. For the doubting soul there is neither this world nor the world beyond, nor even happiness. (40)

Arjuna, actions do not bind him who has dedicated all his actions to God according to the spirit of Karmayoga, whose doubts have been dispelled by wisdom and who is self-possessed. (41)

Therefore, Arjuna slashing to pieces, with the sword of knowledge, this doubt in your heart, born of ignorance, establish yourself in Karmayoga in the shape of even-mindedness, and stand up for the fight. (42)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter III Karmayogā, or the Yoga of Action

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter III Karmayogā, or the Yoga of Action

Arjuna said: Kṛṣṇa, if You consider Knowledge as superior to Action, why then do You urge me to this dreadful action, Keśava! (1)

You are, as it were, puzzling my mind by these seemingly conflicting expressions; therefore, tell me the one definite discipline by which I may obtain the highest good. (2)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, in this world two courses of Sādhanā have been enunciated by Me in the past. In the case of the Sāṅkhyayogī, the Sādhanā proceeds along the path of Knowledge; whereas in the case of the Karmayogī, it proceeds along the path of Action. (3)

Man does not attain freedom from action without entering upon action; nor does he reach perfection merely by ceasing to act. (4)

Surely, none can ever remain inactive even for a moment; for, everyone is helplessly driven to action by modes of Prakṛti. (5)

He who outwardly restraining the organs of sense and action, sits mentally dwelling on the objects of senses, that man of deluded intellect is called a hypocrite. (6)

On the other hand, he who controlling the organs of sense and action by the power of his will, and remaining unattached, undertakes the Yoga of selfless Action through those organs, Arjuna, he excels. (7)

Therefore, do you perform your allotted duty; for action is superior to inaction. Desisting from action, you cannot even maintain your body. (8)

Man is bound by his own actions except when it is performed for the sake of sacrifice. Therefore, Arjuna, do you efficiently perform your duty, free from attachment, for the sake of sacrifice alone. (9)

Having created mankind along with Yajña, at the beginning of creation, the creator, Brahmā, said to them, “You shall prosper by this; may this yield the enjoyments you seek. (10)

Foster the gods through this sacrifice, and let the gods foster you. Thus, each fostering the other selflessly, you will attain the highest good. (11)

Fostered by sacrifice, the gods will surely bestow on you unasked all the desired enjoyments. He who enjoys the gifts bestowed by them without offering their share to them, is undoubtedly a thief. (12)

The virtuous who partake of what is left over after sacrifice, are absolved of all sins. Those sinful ones who cook for the sake of nourishing their bodies alone, partake of sin only. (13)

All beings are evolved from food; production of food is dependent on rain; rain ensues from sacrifice, and sacrifice is rooted in prescribed action. Know that prescribed action has its origin in the Vedas, and the Vedas proceed from the Indestructible; hence the all-pervading Infinite is always present in sacrifice. (14 - 15)

Arjuna, he who does not follow the wheel of creation thus set going in this world i.e., does not perform his duties, lead a sinful and sensual life, he lives in vain. (16)

He, however, who takes delight in the Self alone and is gratified with the Self, and is contented in the Self, has no duty. (17)

In this world that great soul has nothing to gain by action nor by abstaining from action; nor has he selfish dependence of any kind on any creature. (18)

Therefore, go on effeciently doing your duty at all times without attachment. Doing work without attachment man attains the Supreme. (19)

It is through action without attachment alone that Janaka and other wise men reached perfection. Having in view the maintenance of the world order too, you should take to action. (20)

For, whatever a great man does, that very thing other men also do; whatever standard he sets up, the generality of men follow the same. (21)

Arjuna, there is no duty in all the three worlds for Me to perform, not is there anything worth attaining, unattained by Me; yet I continue to work. (22)

Should I not engage in action scrupulously at the time, great harm will come to the world; for, Arjuna, men follow My ways in all matters. (23)

If I ever cease to act, these worlds would perish; nay, I should prove to be the cause of confusion, and of the destruction of these people. (24)

Arjuna, as the unwise act with attachment, so should the wise man, with a view to maintain the world order, act without attachment. (25)

A wise man established in the Self should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant attached to action, but should get them to perform all their duties, duly performing his own duties. (26)

In fact all actions are being performed by the modes of Prakṛti. The fool, whose mind is deluded by egoism, thinks: "I am the doer." (27)

However, he who has true insight into the respective spheres of Gunas and their actions, holding that it is the Gunas that move among the Gunas, does not get attached to them, Arjuna. (28)

Those who are completely deluded by the Guṇas of Prakṛti remains attached to those Guṇas and actions; the man of perfect Knowledge should not unsettle the mind of those ignorants of imperfect knowledge. (29)

Therefore, dedicating all actions to Me with your mind fixed on Me, the Self of all, freed from desire and the feeling of meum and cured of mental agitation, fight. (30)

Even those men who, with an uncavilling and devout mind, always follow this teaching of Mine, are released from the bondage of all actions. (31)

But they, however, who, finding fault with this teaching of Mine, do not follow it, take those fools to be deluded in the manner of all knowledge as lost. (32)

All living creatures follow their tendencies; even the wise man acts according to the tendencies of his own nature. Of what use is restraint by force. (33)

Attraction and repulsion are rooted in all sense-objects. Man should never allow himself to be swayed by them, because they are the two principal enemies standing in the way of his redemption. (34)

One's own duty, though devoid of merit, is preferable to the duty of another well performed. Even death in the performance of one's own duty brings blessedness; another's duty is fraught with fear. (35)

Arjuna said: Now impelled by what, Kṛṣṇa, does this man commit sin even involuntarily, as though driven by force? (36)

Śrī Bhagavān said: It is desire begotten by the elements of Rajas, which appears as wrath; nay, it is insatiable and grossly wicked. Know this to be the enemy in the case. (37)

As fire is covered by smoke, mirror by dust, and embryo by the amnion, so is knowledge covered by desire. (38)

And, Arjuna, Knowledge stands covered by this eternal enemy of the wise, known as desire, which is insatiable like fire. (39)

The senses, the mind and the intellect are declared to be its seat; covering the knowledge through these, it deludes the embodied soul. (40)

Therefore, Arjuna, you must first control your senses, and then kill this evil thing which obstructs Jñāna and Vijñāna. (41)

The senses are said to be greater than the body; but greater than the senses is the mind. Greater than the mind is the intellect, and what is greater than the intellect is He, the Self. (42)

Thus, Arjuna, knowing the Self which is higher than the intellect and subduing the mind by reason, kill this enemy in the form of desire that is hard to overcome. (43)