11C: Vedas in Gita

11C: Vedas in Gita

6. Vedas in Gita

Gita describes the core ideas of Veda in a simple language in an integrated way. A detailed and thorough understanding of Gita will enable one to understand the entire Vedic philosophy of human life. Gita describes: soul, life, yoga, Krishna, reincarnation, destiny, eternal recurrence, karma, and dharma etc.

We remind briefly one idea of soul that we have discussed in the previous chapter on Samkhya. Just like the entire environment of earth is filled with oxygen molecules similarly the entire universe is filled with individual souls. One oxygen molecule in USA is same as another oxygen molecule in China, in terms of their characteristics, but they are also two different molecules, that is, two different objects. This idea of same and different must be understood clearly. Thus when we talk about soul, we always mean individual soul. Every object is created by its own individual soul.

In this section we mention some of the verses that support the fundamentals mentioned in this book. Gita is a collection of verses of dialogue between Krishna and Arjun that happened at the battle field, before the battle of Mahbharata began. Gita is presented in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ) as we see in many modern websites. The questions are asked by Arjun and answers are given by Krishna. However, everything is written by Byasdev, the author of the Mahabharat story. Gita is thus a part of Mahabharat. In the following verses the default reference is [Gita], which is not mentioned. Other Gita references are tagged with a number.

Who is Krishna

Gita defines who Krishna is. Krishna is a soul. The entire universe is filled with souls as we have found in Samkhya theory. We are all one such soul. But Krishna has the highest level yogic power that we can ever imagine. We can all acquire such powers too by yogic meditation. But we will never be able to acquire powers that Krishna has acquired. That is why many of us consider him as god. Thus the definition of god is – a soul with highest level yogic power.

We show that Gita confirms this idea about Krishna. If you replace all mentions of {Krishna, Me, My, Super soul, Iswar, “I”} from all Gita verses by soul then everything will remain consistent. There is no super soul, but only soul. Iswar, or creator does not mean god, they are same as your soul. Our souls created everything, thus soul is the creator, soul is the Iswar. Every object has been created by a soul, as described in Samkhya theory.

God does not have any role in the framework of destiny, lack of freewill, reincarnation, eternal recurrence, lack of good and bad, as presented in many Gita verses. Interestingly, you will not find god in any yogic literature. People also say there is no god in Vedas [Vivekananda, 1900].

The following verse confirms that Krishna is the best of everything. You may recall that Kapila is the yogi who founded the Samkhya theory that we have discussed in another chapter. There are few other verses along the same line in chapter 10 of Gita.

G.10.26
Of all trees I am the banyan tree, and of the sages among the demigods I am Narada. Of the Gandharvas I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.

In Samkhya we have seen that the root cause of everything is a soul. That is mentioned in the following verse in describing Krishna. The subtle body has the intelligence. The subtle body is created by the soul and the root material from nature. Note that according to Samkhya soul is plural or numerous or they span the entire universe.

G.7.10
O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.

Every object is created by the soul. Every object has a soul. Thus their characteristics are the characteristics of the soul. These are all different souls, so is the soul of Krishna. So Krishna is another soul and has the same characteristics of all souls in the universe.

G.7.8
O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.

This soul controls all our activities. If you want to concentrate on anything the soul will help you to do so. If we want to worship any demigod or second or third level god, then the soul will help you to do that also.

G.7.21 [Gita1]
Whichever demigod a particular devotee desires with faith to worship, I surely sustain firmly that faith in him

Your soul represents the ultimate truth. This is the same universal soul that exists everywhere. There is thus no need for looking for anything anywhere else. Here “Me” is the soul, your soul.

G.7.7
O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

Here he defines soul: a person, smallest, beyond, inconceivable. Our soul knows everything. It guides us to do things based on the global plan. He does not say meditate Krishna.

G.8.9 [Gita1]
One meditates on the omniscient, primordial, controller, smaller than the atom, yet the maintainer of everything; whose form is inconceivable, resplendent, like the sun and totally transcendental to the material nature.

The following verse 8.4 says all actions of the human body are performed by the soul inside the body. Sacrifices mean actions of body and senses. It is a sacrifice because the soul is not attached to the fruits of it.

G.8.4 [Gita3]
That which underlies all the elements is the perishable entity; and that which underlies all the gods is the Pusrusha, the cosmic spirit. And He who sustains all the sacrifices is Myself, here in the body, O best of men.

In Samkhya we have seen every soul creates all of the following qualities. Thus “Me” is not Krishna here, it is our souls. Thus all good and bad properties are created by our souls.

G.10.4-5
Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone.

Destiny in Gita

The following verse shows that destiny can be known by yogis; thus establishing that freewill cannot exist. It says future can be known. Interestingly, it says that it is very difficult to know a soul completely.

In reality all souls know all the past, present, and future. But the individual mind does not know that. Only a mind that has the ability to acquire yogic power immediately learns about it from the soul. That is why we all should learn to listen to our souls. Our souls know the destiny and it tells us too.

G.7.26
O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.

Here Gita is saying we are forced to act helplessly. We have said in the destiny chapter, Libet’s experiment shows that ‘act now’ signal comes before we act. Thus we do not act because we want, but because our soul told us to do so.

The verse also confirms the theory we presented that individual destiny is dependent on the characteristics of the person.

G.3.5
Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

Here Krishna is saying human body is like a machine made of material objects. The Sanskrit for the Supreme Lord is Ishwara in the verse; but it is the soul, and it is not god. It is the same soul that is everywhere inside all objects, it is the root cause; it is the unmanifested atom like particle.

Note that there are no two souls in human body. The body has only one soul and that is the individual soul. Smakhya explains  in [SK, 18] why one single same soul cannot exist in all living bodies.

G.18.61
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

The following verse shows that reincarnation is a law of nature and even Krishna cannot escape it. Thus Moksha cannot mean escaping the cycles of birth and death, as commonly understood by many people. This also shows that if you acquire yogic power then you can know all your past lives. We have seen that by using past life regression therapy can show you some of your past lives.

G.4.5
The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

In this verse also, it is confirmed that god takes birth in every millennium and thus cannot avoid destiny. Thus Krishna is a soul like any one of us and is not free from cycles of birth and death. Note that Krishna is lord, because he is soul, and each soul is the lord of the corresponding human body.

G.4.6
Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.

A great soul is born to reestablish the dharma in the society. It is also the beginning of the death process of that society. The verses confirm the eternal recurrence theory; the society also goes through same recurrent situations, although different in details, but similar at high level.

G.4.7
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.
G.4.8
To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.

Yoga Meditation

Gita defines yogic procedures and what you can achieve using this method. You can learn about Samadhi, which is to see your own soul. Knowing your own soul is the ultimate truth. Acquiring the ability to listen to our soul is the most important lesson of our life. You become liberated when you know who you are. But as we have mentioned this is not the end of all knowledge. You cannot achieve yogic power by only seeing your soul. Without yogic power you cannot do any good for people and society. Your goal should be to become a person like Krishna.

G.5.27-28 [Gita3]
Shutting out all external objects; fixing the gaze of his eyes between his brows; equalizing the outward and inward breaths moving in his nostrils; controlling his senses, mind, and understanding; being ever bent on liberation; ridding himself of desire, fear, and anger – such a man of contemplation is indeed always free.

In the following “Me” should be considered as your soul. You can concentrate on anything also, including a demi-god, as mentioned in some other verse.

G.6.13-14
One should hold one’s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus, with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.

This verse defines Samadhi and what you can achieve in this state of mind. It is same as seeing your soul.

G.6.20-23
In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi, one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterized by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.

Below is another way of saying that there is no good and bad. You are not a sinner. It is destiny that guides us. Only a yogi can see things this way.

G.6.8
A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi (or mystic) when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything—whether it be pebbles, stones or gold—as the same.

 

 

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.

G.2.15
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.

G.2.27
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.

G.4.9
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.

G.2.50 [Gita2]
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.

G.2.51 [Gita3]
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.

Simultaneity law

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.

G.2.47
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.

G.5.23
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.

G.8.6
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.

G.6.7 [Gita1]
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.
G.2.57
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.

G.4.36
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.

G.5.15 [Gita3]
Nor does the all-pervading spirit take on the sin or merit of any. Knowledge is veiled in ignorance, and thereby mortals are deluded.
G.9.30 [Gita3]
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.

G.5.18
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.

G.18.17
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.

Capitalism

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.

G.18.47
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.

G.16.11-12
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.
G.16.13-15
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.

Eternal Recurrence                                                       

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.

G.8.19
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.

G.2.14
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.

G.2.12
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.

Soul theory

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.

G.2.24
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.

G.2.28
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?
G.2.30
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

G.7.6
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.

G.9.4 [Gita1]
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.

 

7. Conclusions

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.