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Srimad Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 2 Part 5, by Sri Thirukallam Narasimha Raghavachariar

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Fri Jun 05 1998 - 13:59:54 PDT

Arjuna:	"Vaasudeva!  If karmas meant to fulfil one's desires are
prohibited then why did the Vedas and other Saastras, which are the
epitome of God's kindness, a thousand times more so than any mother or
father, instruct us to perform such karmas?  How can one give the rites
prescribed as "must do" by the Vedas?  If you tell us to give us such
karmas, then what is the authority by which the Saastras instruct us to
perform such karmas?"

Sri Bhagavaan:	"On Son of Paandu!  The Vedas in general apply to all
souls or living entities.  The Saastras provide various methods to
fulfil each and every type of desire.  The Vedas do prescribe the means
by which one can gain wealth and fulfil other carnal desires.  (Here the
use of the word carnal is broad enough to encompass any desire not
connected with serving Sriman Narayana.).  For those bent upon
fulfilling such desires, the relevant instructions in the Vedas are
valid.  For example, water in a lake provides water for drinking and
bathing for the whole community surrounding its banks.   A person
burning with thirst will take as much water from the lake, as is
necessary to quench his thirst.  He will not empty the whole lake.
Similarly, only those rites in the Vedas that are the means for
liberation from the cycle of birth and death, should be performed by
those eager to attain liberation.  Other than that, the rites for
material gain should be avoided."

Arjuna:	"Hrishikesa!  If you require us to give all those karmas not
directly connected with liberation, then we would be forced to give up
daily (nitya karma) and periodic (naimittika karma) rites, without a
clear perception of what should be performed and what should be
avoided."

Sri Bhagavaan:	"Daily, periodic and rites for fulfillment of desires
have a few of the fruits of their performance mentioned in the Vedas
themselves.  Only the performance of daily and periodic rites, ordained
by the Saastras as duties for those entitled to their performance, will
give one the right to perform other rites.  These daily and periodic
rites destroy sins caused every moment by the mind and speech.  The
fruit of performance of such rites is the fact that one does not accrue
the sin of non performance of these rites.  Someone like you who desires
liberation, is entitled to perform the rites ordained by the Saastras.
You do not have the right to enjoy the other fruits of the performance
of such rites.  Do not consider yourself the performer of these actions.
 Do not therefore consider the fruits of these actions as your
possession.  (We get paid for working in an office.  Similarly, Sriman
Naaraayana is providing us with food, clothing, shelter, spouse,
children, all our other necessities and protection as well.  These daily
and periodic rites are required to be performed by us, because He has
instructed us to do so.)  In this way one should perform these daily and
periodic rites in a detached manner, without ever giving them up.  You
(who is desirous of liberation), do not want to get involved in the
consequences of their non performance."

Arjuna:	"Oh Madhusoodhana!  On the one hand you say that one should not
perform rites which result in fulfillment of specified desires.  On the
other hand, you say that we can perform such rites without desiring
their fruits.  Is it possible for a single rite to give multiple
results?"

Sri Bhagavaan:	"Oh Dhananjaya (winner of wealth)!  Even though there is
no difference in the rites you perform, it will yield different fruits
depending upon the intentions with which you perform them.  One who
performs the agnihotram sacrifice with a view to securing the fruits of
this sacrifice will go to heaven (svarga).  The same sacrifice performed
with an intention to merely please God will get you liberation.  The
difference in the intent with which two people perform the same rite
will lead to a difference in the fruits they experience."

Arjuna:	"Oh Janaardana!  What is the result that accrues to one who
performs Karmayoga along with buddhiyoga?"

Sri Bhagavaan:	"Arjuna!  When a person who has understood the nature of
the soul from the Saastras, performance Karmayoga, this performance
leads to steadiness of mind in the face of turbulence like pleasure and
pain.  Such steadiness of mind leads to an experience of the soul."

Arjuna:	"Kesava!  How does one recognize a person who has steadied his
mind?  How does he talk?  What kind of actions does he perform?"

Sri Bhagavaan:	"Arjuna!  There are four stages for one who has obtained
steadiness in knowledge. The first stage is called yathmaana samjnya.
The second stage is called vyathireka samjnya.  The third stage is
called Ekendriya samjnya.  The fourth stage is called vachikaara
samjnya.  This is the ripened stage in steadiness of mind by knowledge.

In the first stage the practitioner or yogi, stops his senses from
dictating terms in all transactions and makes his mind center on the
spiritual path.

If a desire is fulfilled by Sriman Narayana's grace, he does not become
overjoyed by it.  If also be Sriman Narayana's grace, an unpleasant
situation were to occur, he does not get perturbed by it.  One who has
neither craving for, nor hatred towards anything is a vyathireka
samjnya.  

One who does not grieve when the prospect of a long cherished ambition
is whisked away from almost within one's grasp, or at the prospect of a
joyful moment being turned into a sorrowful moment; one who does not
rejoice at the prospect of a sorrowful moment being turned into a joyful
moment; such a one who has controlled passion, fear, anger etc and is
constantly meditating on the soul is called Ekendriya samjnyan.

Whoever manages to meditate ceaselessly on the soul without allowing his
mind to wander on to the thoughts of any other sense object, and is
satisfied with experiencing the soul, is called 'vachikaara samjnyan'."

Arjuna:	"Madhusoodana!  This seems to be leading into a catch 22
situation (anyonyaashraya dosham).  Unless one controls desires, one
cannot experience the soul.  Unless one experiences the soul, one cannot
control desires.  How does one get out of this dilemma?"

Sri Bhagavaan:	"Arjuna!  Let me tell you the way by which one can
suppress desires prior to getting a vision of the soul.  If you are
unable to withdraw your senses from external (unwanted) objects by your
own efforts, redirect your senses from their present attraction to My
all attractive divine deity form.  Meditate on My divya mangala vigraham
or all auspicious deity form.  By this process, sins will be burned
away.  Then you will be able to suppress unwanted desires.  You will
then be able to easily experience the soul."

Thus ends the essence of the second chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta
with Sri Nammazhwar's grace whose thirunakshatram we will be celebrating
next week.  Please celebrate our beloved Acharya's thirunakshatram by
supporting Sri Ranganatha Temple.  His vigraham will arrive when the
temple is built.  There are many temples being built in the country, but
never before have Srivaishnavas had an opportunity to build one that
will show the path to Moksham so clearly as this temple will do to
people fortunate to be associated with it.

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adiyen
jaganath.