|Liberation in Gita
Liberation cannot mean escaping the cycles of birth and death, as we have pointed out in some previous verses. Here verse 2.15 gives the definition of liberation. It is liberation from the feelings of pain and pleasure as stated in the Samkhya theory also.
O best among men (Arjuna), the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.
The following verse shows liberation from cycles of birth and death is not feasible. The person who dies will come back again.
One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.
Verse 4.9 may appear to be clearly saying that liberation from birth and death cycles is feasible.
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
Here the Sanskrit word for transcendental is Divyam. Divyam means a divine body, not made of material world [Gita4]. So, when he takes birth he does not belong to the material world like Krishna. Thus he no longer suffers from the pain of birth and death. But he still reincarnates just like Krishna.
In the yogic power chapter we have seen such capability of a divine body is feasible. Camera cannot take photographs of such persons. Trailanga swami had the ability to transparently come out of the jail walls. The Gita verse 8.15 can also be explained in the same way. The main idea of liberation is elimination of pain and suffering from birth. But the main purpose of life is to help the society by taking repeated births like Krishna.
Liberation from good and bad karma is a mental thing. It has nothing to do with reality. Since we do not do anything, we just play the role for destiny. This idea is confirmed by the following verses.
Endowed with equanimity, one sheds in this life both good and evil. Therefore, strive for the practice of this Yoga equanimity. Skill in action lies in this practice of Yoga.
Below, Fetters of birth means birth associated with suffering and death, is a form of bondage [Gita3]. Again this does not mean freedom from the birth and death cycles. It is the freedom from only pain.
The wise, of even mind, renounce the fruit of action. Freed from the fetters of birth, they attain the state that is beyond all evil.
This verse says that you do not do anything. You are not the cause of your effort. Your soul does the work. But this work is done according to some global plan. It is a consequence of global destiny. So you should not feel attached to it also. Never think that you are the cause. Destiny is the cause; and your soul told you to do it.
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
Continuity at Transition
Just like the differential equation shows that life is continuous and will remain continuous life after life, in every transition due to reincarnation, Gita also says the same thing in verse G.5.23. This verse describes how our next life begins. If we can tolerate the urges at the time of death then we will be happy in the next life. Otherwise these urges will manifest in next life. This is why we see the birth defects reproduce the past life end conditions; because people in many cases maintains the urge during the death process; particularly in violent sudden deaths.
Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.
This verse does not say that in next life you may be born as an animal. If you throw a stone it will create a trajectory. At any point in the trajectory, if by some means you could stop the motion, and then at some later time you could start again, the trajectory will remain continuous. Life is like that too.
Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.
Good and Bad
A perfect knowledge shows that there is no good and bad in nature. This is also true because of destiny. I act not because of my freewill, but because nature directed me to do the act. I am just playing the role of an object of nature. It is just like wind blows and the tree bends, the leaves vibrate. These verses also confirm that there is no god to penalize you, and that you are a soul.
The being who has conquered the mind, transcending the dualities of cold, heat, happiness, distress, honor and dishonor is firmly established with the Ultimate Consciousness within.
In the material world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.
There is no sinner, because there is no good or bad. You feel bad because people, including yourself, are thinking that you are the sinner. But in reality, if you acquire the true knowledge, you will know that everything is done by nature, the destiny. You have just done your part of the task assigned for you.
Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.
Thus god does not or cannot penalize or reward for your activities. It is your or our ignorance that makes us suffer. So we must acquire true knowledge to become happy.
Nor does the all-pervading spirit take on the sin or merit of any. Knowledge is veiled in ignorance, and thereby mortals are deluded.
Even the most sinful man, if he worships Me with unswerving devotion, must be regarded as righteous; for he has formed the right resolution.
[Tagore, Amar chokhe] says everything is same to me. Everything is smiling. The flower smiles and drops off the tree. The moon light vanishes with a smile. The stars in the sky go away smilingly when the sun comes out. Thus he does not want to use the word bad or sad. Everything is good. This is confirmed in the following verse.
The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (outcaste).
You are never doing bad things. Even killing is not a bad thing. If you know what you are doing then you will not be bound by your actions. What you are doing, even if it is a killing, is a part of the global plan, the destiny.
One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, does not kill. Nor is he bound by his actions.
Job satisfaction and freedom of employment are illusions in modern society. In capitalism it is not possible, because full employment is not the goal of the private sector. Government is not allowed to create jobs. You are forced to work on areas which are not of your choice. There is no abundance of work in capitalism for one to choose. The society prevents us from doing the correct job. The alternative, Money-less Economy (MLE), provides the ultimate freedom.
It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions.
Surprisingly the following verses describing the present society that we have under capitalism, seems to be fairly close. It is a vision for the future of capitalism that Krishna had several thousand years back during Mahabharat period.
They believe that to gratify the senses is the prime necessity of human civilization. Thus until the end of life their anxiety is immeasurable. Bound by a network of hundreds of thousands of desires and absorbed in lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.
The demoniac person thinks: “So much wealth do I have today, and I will gain more according to my schemes. So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more. He is my enemy, and I have killed him, and my other enemies will also be killed. I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer. I am perfect, powerful and happy. I am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives. There is none so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and thus I shall rejoice.” In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.
The following verse says an amazing thing that periodically all the living beings are annihilated. Note that Samkhya says the subtle body is ever lasting. A night in Brahma’s scale may be more than several million years. But this is an important concept for eternal recurrence. It is a reset button for the eternal sequence making it a finite length sequence.
Again and again, when Brahma’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahma’s night they are helplessly annihilated.
Life is periodic, like everything else in nature. This periodicity of all activities when combined creates another kind of periodicity, called eternal recurrence. Thus the same life we will have to lead again and again, and infinitely many times.
O son of Kunté, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
This is a law of conservation. Existent cannot become non-existent and vice versa. This is also part of eternal recurrence. Thus all souls come back, there is no escape from reincarnations, we are eternally recurrent.
Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
We have mentioned about verses G.4.7 and G.4.8 where Krishna comes to remove irreligion and annihilate miscreants. Those verses give us the same message of recurrence.
Some of the verses represent the Samkhya theory in a simpler, understandable form, and using different language. It also shows that Krishna did not create us. We collect some of them in this subsection.
This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
The soul and the subtle body are unmanifested objects. When they acquire gross body from parents they become manifested. When the gross body dies the soul and the subtle body become unmanifested again.
All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?
O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any living being.
Universe is made of two kinds of objects. The root material and the root cause. The root material is part of nature and root cause is the soul and is spiritual. Every physical object is composed of these two objects
All created beings have their source in these two natures. Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution.
We have discussed verse G.7.3 and G.7.7 in other subsections. They say that it is very difficult to know your soul. The soul can acquire tremendous power by yogic means. This ability is never ending and therefore we cannot know the soul completely. Creation cannot know the creator. The soul is the creator.
The souls span the entire universe. It does not mean that single soul spans the universe. The universe is filled with souls in unmanifested form. Like root material, the root cause which is the soul, pervade the universe in their unmanifested form. It is very much like the entire atmosphere of the earth is pervaded by the oxygen atoms or molecules but it is not one oxygen atom or one soul like the God. The god as the creator and as a single soul does not exist as is apparent from all the verses we discussed.
All of the universes are pervaded by Me, in an imperceptibly subtle manifestation and all living entities find their support in Me; but I am not supported in them.
It is clear that Veda is not invented by any individual. It represents all the laws deeply embedded in nature. Anyone with yogic power of divine vision will be able to see Veda. That is why it represents the unique and universal truth. The truth of Vedas is not limited to India, it spans the entire universe. As nature always reveals its truth, so you will be able to see the proofs of Vedic theories in real life in our societies. Carefully observant eyes will always detect them. If you learn to listen to your soul then you will always hear the Vedas.
If you read Vedas and think carefully you will realize that there was a time when Vedas were known all over the world. You will also find that many great Yogis existed also in all parts of the world. These yogis will always come to maintain the truth in our civilizations, that seems to be a law of nature. God does not want us to remain ignorant.