The Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 18: Devotion As Regards Renunciation And Final Liberation

Devotion As Regards Renunciation and Final Liberation

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From Judge Rendition

ARJUNA:

“I wish to learn, O great-armed one, the nature of abstaining from action and of the giving up of the results of action, and also the difference between these two, O slayer of Kesin.” 1

KRISHNA:

“The bards conceive that the forsaking of actions which have a desired object is renunciation or Sannyasa, the wise call the disregard of the fruit of every action true disinterestedness in action. By some wise men it is said, ‘Every action is as much to be avoided as a crime,’ while by others it is declared, ‘Deeds of sacrifice, of mortification, and of charity should not be forsaken.’ Among these divided opinions hear my certain decision, O best of the Bharatas, upon this matter of disinterested forsaking, which is declared to be of three kinds, O chief of men. Deeds of sacrifice, of mortification, and of charity are not to be abandoned, for they are proper to be performed, and are the purifiers of the wise. But even those works are to be performed after having renounced all selfish interest in them and in their fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is my ultimate and supreme decision. The abstention from works which are necessary and obligatory is improper; the not doing of such actions is due to delusion springing from the quality of tamas. The refraining from works because they are painful and from the dread of annoyance ariseth from the quality of rajas which belongs to passion, and he who thus leaves undone what he ought to do shall not obtain the fruit which comes from right forsaking. The work which is performed, O Arjuna, because it is necessary, obligatory, and proper, with all self-interest therein put aside and attachment to the action absent, is declared to be of the quality of truth and goodness which is known as sattva. The true renouncer, full of the quality of goodness, wise and exempt from all doubt, is averse neither to those works which fail nor those which succeed. It is impossible for mortals to utterly abandon actions; but he who gives up the results of action is the true renouncer. The threefold results of action — unwished for, wished for, and mixed — accrue after death to those who do not practice this renunciation, but no results follow those who perfectly renounce.

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Krishna is reviewing many doctrines, opinions and view points on the question of action and renunciation, and then strikes the keynote of the truth of the matter. We find this method followed by HPB in Isis and SD. whole gamut of world religions, philosophies and sciences, including modern science are reviewed in the light of Theosophy, shows where they err and strikes the keynote of truth.  

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Are you speaking of the synthetic holistic method?

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Yes, it should be all-encompassing, all-embracing knowledge. Jivan Mukhtas are the ones whose Individuality has merged and become one with Logos. They are veritable Word made flesh. Adept fraternity has One Truth which can only be apprehended in highest Samadhi by the liberated Souls, becoming one with the ALL, but cannot be grasped by human intellect. All that They can give out to the world  is portions of philosophical formulations of that One Truth as also in symbols, glyphs, geometrical signs, myths. But these are not Truth but representations of portions of it as much as human intelligence can grasp, and by the study of which the seeker may fit himself to enter on Practical Occultism.

Imperishable record of the Wisdom-Science of Adept Fraternity is said to be preserved in the mysterious symbolism of the Zodiac. An example of the latter may be glimpsed in the Isis Unveiled, vol. ii, pp.458 - 466. HPB unravels a portion of the symbolism of Zodiacal Signs and the Biblical Patriarchs to give us a glimpse of how the mythical personages and Zodiac signify spiritual and physical evolution of human races, of ages and divisions of time.

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Thank you Ramprakash.  What is interesting to me is that beings such as the ones you describe are seemingly unimaginable but on the other hand it is very healthy for us students to try and imagine them.

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" Among these divided opinions hear my certain decision, O best of the Bharatas, upon this matter of disinterested forsaking, which is declared to be of three kinds, O chief of men. Deeds of sacrifice, of mortification, and of charity are not to be abandoned, for they are proper to be performed, and are the purifiers of the wise. But even those works are to be performed after having renounced all selfish interest in them and in their fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is my ultimate and supreme decision."

Deeds of sacrifice, Mortification, Charity : Three-fold discipline is said by Krishna to be mandatory on every man and woman. It is the Law of Higher Life. Mandatory in the sense that, if neglected, man becomes immersed in Ignorance and Kama which will drag him down to animalism. 

Sacrifice - Yajna is the Law of Life. Our modern world has forgotten it. The impelling motive of the practical man of the world is selfishness and individualism. It has its sanction and rationale in the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest in the animal struggle of life. Social Darwinism is acted out in our civilization. The political economy of nations today is based in this animalistic principle. Hence the woe of the world divided as it is into wolves and lambs, cains and Abels. Climate change, displacement of millions of poorer sections from their natural habitat and forcible migrations to make way for insatiable greed of economically mighty powers backed by the State, ecological catastrophes are all the inevitable outcome of this ruling idea. To the ears of the educated the old axiom that Sacrifice is the Law of Life makes little sense. Old civilizations knew it, understood it well, and practiced it, and they never made of Nature commodity to be subjected to vulgar speculation, but reverenced it.  Example : Old Greece, Egypt. Pre-mayan, Aztec civilizations, ancient Indian, etc.

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Yajna-sacrifice is reality of life because of Universal Unity and interdependent bonds of reciprocity and brotherhood which binds all beings in one vast web of life. such that every one receives benefit from the sacrifices of all, and each one is duty bound to reciprocate what he  receives by his sacrifice for others' benefit. Krishna says if the III chapter that he who enjoys what has been given to him by others and return not even a portion to them is even as a thief.

If we reflect for a few moments we see how deeply we are indebted to our fellowmen and fellow-creatures everywhere, all around, visible and invisible. How do we return to each one of the countless beings who benefit us ? 

HPB says that by right performance of Duty where we are in our station in life we not will only absolve ourselves of our obligation to all but even make the world our debtor. It is sacrifice of personality to the Higher Self in every act and duty that comes before us to perform. Getting rid of personal idea--of the egotism of the I and mine--and a labour for the good of the world without expectation of any reward. Once the nature of the true Self as apart and different from egotism of personal idea is well grounded in our heart, then renunciation of self--interest comes naturally to man.

HPB and WQJ say that the sacrificer has to work for Humanity through spread of Right Knowledge of Theosophia which alone can make for change of minds and hearts of men as they seep into consciousness. That is the work of Theosophists. It is Yajna.

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Mortification - Tapas is ceaseless dwelling upon and following the behests of Higher Self, to which personal idea is sacrificed, and ceaseless labour in that direction.

Charity - Dana is Love Immortal that forgives personal offences, understands weaknesses and defects of others and try to eliminate such from ones own nature, and generous giving away of whatever Karmic merit one may have for the benefit of others. A true Dani is one who is a Trustee of all his possessions which he dispenses with wisdom for the highest good of the world.

This is the Law of Higher Life. Life of the separative personality is the life of the animal which is to be sacrificed. 

"It is the  action and interaction, this true brotherhood and sisterhood, in which each shall live for all and all for each, which is one of the fundamental Theosophical principles that every Theosophist should be bound not only to teach, but carry it out in his or her individual life." (Key to Theosophy" P. 232, Indian edition)

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Yajna-sacrifice is reality of life because of Universal Unity and interdependent bonds of reciprocity and brotherhood which binds all beings in one vast web of life....

If we reflect for a few moments we see how deeply we are indebted to our fellowmen and fellow-creatures everywhere, all around, visible and invisible. How do we return to each one of the countless beings who benefit us ? 
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We may observe, to the best of our ability, and try to understand that the countless forms and beings in Nature are truly One Life.  There comes with this understanding, no matter how shallow it may be initially, a tremendous feeling of responsibility. In this regard, I believe that a Yajna, or sacrifice may be kindled by the spark of knowledge, accelerated by the oxygen of Brotherhood, and fed by the branches representing service and duty.  This, of corse, is the initial sacrifice. 

Those beings, the seen and unseen are within and without, woven to make the very physical and subtle environments one is subjected to.  Man- the human- we read, is a composite being of higher and lower forces; subtle divine, and gross materialistic natures.  Yet, there is an agency which is swayed by neither, who consciously guides and directs.  This sacrifice is often overlooked.  

S.D.i.38

"The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings...who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her "laws," while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not "the personifications" of the powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army — a "Host," truly—by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself."

One may further understand that this apparent progressive stream of evolution cannot be had if it weren't for a sacrifice; as ancient Adepts have continuously stated that evoluton is proceeded by involution- a Yajna. 

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From the Johnston Rendition

AR]UNA SAID:

The truth of Renunciation, O mighty-armed one, I would learn of Thee, and of Resignation, with their difference, O Thou demon-slayer of flowing locks!

THE MASTER SAID:

The renouncing of works done through desire, sages have called Renunciation; and the wise have declared that ceasing from all desire of personal reward for one’s work is Resignation.

Some of those who follow after knowledge have declared that every work is to be abandoned, as being faulty; but others say that works of sacrifice, gifts and penance are not to be abandoned.

Learn therefore from Me the certain truth concerning Resignation, O best descendant of Bharata; for Resignation, O tiger of men, is declared to be of three kinds.

Works of sacrifice, gifts and penance are not to be abandoned, but are to be performed; for sacrifice, gifts and penance are the purifiers of those who seek wisdom. (5)

But even these works are to be performed with abandonment of attachment and the desire of reward; this, O son of Pritha, is My sure and excellent decision.

But the renunciation of necessary work is not right; the ceasing from such work comes of delusion, and is declared to be the fruit of Darkness.

Whoever ceases from any work through fear of bodily weariness, and saying: “it is painful,” he, making the renunciation of Force, does not gain the fruit of renunciation.

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Studying the extensive commentary on these twelve slokas, one finds that the importance of abandonment and renunciation of action and results, while preforming actions and reaping karmic results.  I believe this might be considered a reiteration of the third discourse, Karma-Yoga.

What then, might one ask, is the meaning of abandonment and renunciation?  For how can one invest themselves in the world, yet stand apart in renunciation?  What is it that is abandoned to make this Yoga possible?

न द्वेष्ट्यकुशलं कर्म कुशलं नानुषज्जते । त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टो मेधावी छिन्नसंशयः ॥ १८-१० ॥
न हि देहभृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्यशेषतः । यस्तु कर्मफलत्यागी स त्यागीत्यभिधीयते ॥ १८-११ ॥

10.  He hates not evil action, nor is he attached to a good one- he who has abandoned,pervaded by Sattvam and possessed of wisdom, his doubts cut asunder.
11.Verily, it is not possible for an embodied being to abandon actions completely; he whoabandons the fruits of actions is verily said to be an abandoner.

Is not the message here to perform actions, Karma, with a null of personal interest for reward or merit?  With the discussions from the last class, what is pervaded by Sattva?  Karma has its manifestation upon Matter, and not Spirit, so what is the abandonment of Karmic fruits implying?

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Kristan it seems to me that we have to make a mighty effort to disassociate ourselves from name and form, but..... not to the point that we leave our duties undone.  So the Gita talks about the balancing act of living responsibly in the world while not being of the world.  We get a glimmer of this from meditation.  We can pull away from the personal mind and the world through an act of focused will.  But we need skill in action to carry out our duties.

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Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 4, 2015 at 6:50pm
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" we have to make a mighty effort to disassociate ourselves from name and form, but..... not to the point that we leave our duties undone."

Thanks Tamiko- true enough- as we can see this from Arjunas standpoint.  He cannot rightfully abandon his earned and sacred battle, he must act in full accordance with his Dharmic rite as belonging to a Kshatriya caste, he must preform his duties therein.  Note what  Sri Bhagavan declares in the 8th 9, 14-15 and 34th sloka of the 3rd discourse;

[8] Do thou perform (thy) bounden duty; for action is superior to inaction.  And even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for thee by inaction."

[9] Except in the case of action for Sacrifice's sake, this world is action bound.  Action for the sake Thereof, do thou, O son of Kunti, preform free from attachment.

[14-15] From food creature come forth; the production of food is from rain; rain comes forth from sacrifice; sacrifice is born of action; know thou that action comes from Brahm, and that Brahm comes from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading Brham ever rests in sacrifice.

Perhaps, when considering the sacrifice spoken in the 14-15th slokas, and carry its essence over and read the 9th sloka, we can see the meaning behind Wisdom- Sacrifice.  Pndt. B. Shankar states;

"Wisdom-sacrifice transcends all sacrifices with objects, because all action is comprehended in wisdom. All the good that can be done by actions is achieved by wisdom which comprehending all actions transcends them all."

As mentioned, by "pulling away from the personal mind" one is able to "preform" all actions Impersonally, that is, free from limiting conditions of human nature, or Prakrti (as read in the Gita commentaries). The Self is seen as being actionless.

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 15, 2015 at 7:20am
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Does skill require detachment?  Or asked another way, what role does detachment in developing skill?

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 15, 2015 at 4:56pm
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I'm not too sure I understand the question.

What are you referring to as skill? 

If you are asking about the development of a skill void of attachment (detachment?), then I would say its role is quite important.  It seems to be one of the three pillars, that is to say, one of the three moral fundamentals of those partaking in the universal study of Esoteric Philosophy.  To preform action devoid of attachment, is to preform ones duty devoid of self-interest- a great task, yet a greater gift to all beings, seen and unseen.  

We see many people through dedication and devotion master any given skill; say sculpting, painting, writing, or in the case of Arjuna, a skilled and master warrior, a highly developed soul.  Detachment is something incredibly subtle... I think it has more to do with a poise and isolation of mind rather than a development of a skill.  Though I'm very unclear regarding your question.

 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 15, 2015 at 9:33pm
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Detachment is crucial to the development of most skills one would think.  We have to evaluate our progress, we have to access accurately where we are to know what the next step must be.  That requires some degree of detachment one would think. The growing ability to set oneself a part and evaluate objectively is a form of detachment. 

Secondly many skills are unattainable because of the grasping of the lower mind.  Many musicians will talk about training themselves so thoroughly that they can let go of the mechanics and allow higher energies to take over the performance.  This is a form of detachment too.  In this sense detachment might mean subduing the grasping nature of the monkey mind. 

Skill in action would require access to higher intuitive powers which are inaccessible without some internal detachment.  Just some thoughts on the question.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 30, 2015 at 4:52am
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Grace, 

Detachment, to my mind, means, freedom from personal idea--ie., the feeling that I am the doer and enjoyer, the feeling of I and mine--in which inheres pride, vanity, self-interest or selfishness.

Therefore, even if one were very skillful as the world understands skill, ie., doing things with perfection of accuracy and punctualilty, if there is motive of self-interest, it is not true skill.

On the other hand, motive may be pure but the work is lacking in perfection of execution, it cannot be Yoga. 

Another point to be considered is, as long as there is the personal motive, action will willy nilly be impure, productive of discord, resulting in pain. 

Knowledge of True Self and Law of Absolute Justice, called Karma, are pre-requisite for practice of Yoga.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 30, 2015 at 4:53am
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Kristen and Gerry,

The question of skill in performance of action seems to be all about Yoga. B.P. Wadia very aptly and practically describes what is skill in action coupled with renunciation. He says it means performing every act, small or great with

        ACCURACY IN SPACE  -- PUNCTUALITY IN TIME  --  PURITY OF MOTIVE

Wadiaji not only taught it but exemplified in his own illustrious life, inspiring his students. So were Crosbie, WQJ, HPB. Look at their life, what they achieved by way of enlightening the world. Wadiaji founded, edited and published Aryan Path, an excellent monthly theosophical journal, from 1928 to 1958,the year he passed away. He put his own money, wrote illuminating editorials, inspired great minds to contribute to it. In the 30 volumes you will not one single typographical error, not one grammatical error. Each volume excellently indexed, firmly bound to last for decades. Lives of these great four personages are a glorious illustration of Skill in Performance of Actions. Yogah karmasu koushalam. 

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 30, 2015 at 11:11am
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Very true Ram, the skill of action lays in the practice of Yoga.

Every action one might do, if yoked with the understanding of a sacrificial offering, what ever might be preformed, is done in the light of wisdom.  In the Gita, it is called buddhi yoga.

I would love to see those volumes some day!

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 31, 2015 at 11:37am
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These people are our teachers, heroes, exemplars and our friends.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on September 5, 2015 at 7:48pm
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“What then, might one ask, is the meaning of abandonment and renunciation?  For how can one invest themselves in the world, yet stand apart in renunciation?  What is it that is abandoned to make this Yoga possible?”

The renunciation in this sloka, I think, refers to relinquishing any desire for personal results. It is very possible to perform one's duty, putting in the best efforts without wanting any personal rewards or recognition.  This requires dispassion that is based on understanding of the SELF.  As one becomes unmoved by praise or blame and free from worldly desires, one fulfills one’s dharma and hopefully, alleviates much sufferings in the world. 

  

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on September 21, 2015 at 9:52am
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These are good questions Barbaram.  It seems to me part of the problem is a lack of metaphysical perspective.  So much of life lies under the surface, so much of the story is untold.  The ocean serves as a great analogy here.  We only see the surface but where everything is happening is hidden underneath.  The more we gain a foothold in the metaphysical, and for me this means using imagination while contemplating metaphysical ideas say from the SD, the more the idea of detachment makes sense.

If you look at a painting you see the finished work.  But the true artist sees more.  There is the hundreds of hours of planning, the feelings while painting, the inspiration behind it, the careful selection of color, that are hidden within the painting.  Do you think that when we try to go  beyond the superficial level of life and look for deeper patterns that in a way this is a form of renunciation? Renouncing the tyranny of appearances?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 30, 2015 at 5:09am
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Grace, it is renouncing the tyranny of personality, seems more appropriate. Krishna says Self if the friend of self but the self is the enemy of self. "Self is the friend of self who is self-conquered, but self has enmity to him who is not self-conquered."

It is easier and convenient to live in desires. Seems pleasant. But not easy to live up to the behests of Truth and Duty which seems to us (to the personality) very irksome. 

But the seeming pleasant is a trap, which is sweet as honey in the beginning but bitter like poison in the end. The Path of Truth and Duty seems bitter to the personality in the beginning but, if persisted in, will culminate in the sweet waters of immortality, as the Gita says.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 30, 2015 at 4:58am
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Very well said Barbaram. That indeed is the meaning of detachment -- Viraga or Vairagya.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on September 10, 2015 at 1:29pm
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Perhaps if we looked at this from a Platonic standpoint you might say that the Good would be equated with the whole, the All. The partial must take a back seat to the whole.  The part must renounce any desire, if you will, to be preeminent over the whole.  What is universal is superior to what is limited.  In this light renunciation is about translating the universal into the sphere of the individual.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 10, 2015 at 10:10am
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More from Judge Rendition

“Learn, O great-armed one, that for the accomplishment of every work five agents are necessary, as is declared. These are the substratum, the agent, the various sorts of organs, the various and distinct movements and with these, as fifth, the presiding deities. These five agents are included in the performance of every act which a man undertaketh, whether with his body, his speech, or his mind. This being thus, whoever because of the imperfection of his mind beholdeth the real self as the agent thinketh wrongly and seeth not aright. He whose nature is free from egotism and whose power of discrimination is not blinded does not slay though he killeth all these people, and is not bound by the bonds of action. The three causes which incite to action are knowledge, the thing to be known, and the knower, and threefold also is the totality of the action in the act, the instrument, and the agent. Knowledge, the act, and the agent are also distinguished in three ways according to the three qualities; listen to their enumeration after that classification.

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on September 10, 2015 at 1:31pm
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Krishna seems to be emphasizing here the idea that there is no wisdom without detachment.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 10, 2015 at 10:13am
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Next Section Johnston

Whatever necessary work is done, O Arjuna, from the thought that it ought to be done, without attachment or desire of reward, this is held to be the renunciation of Substance.

He hates not unhappy work, nor is attached to happy work, the wise renouncer, who is pervaded by Substance, whose doubts are cut. (10)

For it is impossible for an embodied being to abandon all work without exception; but he who has given up the love of reward, he indeed has made the true renunciation.

The fruit of works is threefold, desirable, or undesirable, or mixed; it follows those who have not abandoned desire, but not those who have made renunciation.

Learn from Me, O mighty-armed one, these five causes, which are declared in the Sankhya teaching, for the accomplishment of all works.

They are: the material instrument, the doer, the organ of whatever kind, the different impulses, and fifthly, Destiny.

Whatever work a man initiates, by body, speech or mind, whether it be righteous or the contrary, these are its five causes. (15)

As this is so, whoever views the Self, the lonely one, as the doer, he, confused in thought, sees not rightly through defect of understanding.

Whose nature is not selfish, whose vision is not stained, even though he slays the whole world, such a one kills not, nor is he subject to bondage.

The knowing, the thing to be known, the knower, make the threefold driving-power of works; the organ, the thing done, the doer, make the threefold content of works.

The knowing, the thing done, and the doer, divided threefold according to the powers, are declared according to the enumeration of the powers. Hear thou rightly these:

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on September 15, 2015 at 4:17pm
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"As this is so, whoever views the Self, the lonely one, as the doer, he, confused in thought, sees not rightly through defect of understanding."

Is a mental grasp of this idea necessary to start moving towards real detachment?

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 17, 2015 at 4:37pm
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Alex,
I think it is an important fundamental for the spiritual aspirant to have this kept in mind.  

Note what Sankaracarya states in his commentary on the following sloka;

"... What is subject to change can alone conjoin with others, and thus conjoined can become the agent.  But there can be no conjunction of the immutable Self with anything whatsoever, and He cannot therefore act in conjunction with another.  

"He is Unchangeable" [G.ii.25]
"Actions are wrought by gunas" [G.iii.27]
"though dwelling in the body, He acts not." [G.xiii.31]

...And what is attributed to the Self by avidya cannot really pertain to Him, in the same way that the mother-of-pearl cannot become silver... Accordingly, any changes that may take place in the body, etc., belong to them only, not to the Self.  Wherefore, it is but right to say that in the absence of egotism and of all taint in the mind, the wise man neither kills nor is
 bound."

I believe, even if just an intellectual understanding of this at first, will most defiantly lead to deeper understandings of detachment.  

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on September 19, 2015 at 10:31pm
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Yes you would think so.  We have to think through the idea of "I am I" and begin to sense it outside the scenery of the physical world.  Detachment does not mean irresponsibility or coldness.  It means not identifying with the furniture of the world, including our own instruments.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 16, 2015 at 10:07am
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Next Section from Judge:

“Know that the wisdom which perceives in all nature one single principle, indivisible and incorruptible, not separate in the separate objects seen, is of the sattva quality. The knowledge which perceives different and manifold principles as present in the world of created beings pertains to rajas, the quality of passion. But that knowledge, wholly without value, which is mean, attached to one object alone as if it were the whole, which does not see the true cause of existence, is of the nature of tamas, indifferent and dark.

“The action which is right to be done, performed without attachment to results, free from pride and selfishness, is of the sattva quality. That one is of the rajas quality which is done with a view to its consequences, or with great exertion, or with egotism. And that which in consequence of delusion is undertaken without regard to its consequences, or the power to carry it out, or the harm it may cause, is of the quality of darkness — tamas.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 16, 2015 at 10:10am
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Next section Johnston:

The knowledge whereby one eternal nature is perceived in all beings, undivided, though beings are divided, know that knowledge to be of Substance. (20)

But the knowledge which sees in all beings various natures according their variety, know that knowledge to be of Force.

But the knowledge which attaches itself to one thing, as though that were the whole, lacking the right motive, without true perception, narrow, know that to be of Darkness.

The work that is done because it is necessary, without attachment, without lust or hate, by one who seeks no reward, is declared to be the work of Substance.

But work done by one seeking his desire, and selfishly, and with abundant toil, is declared to be the work of Force.

What work is begun without regard for consequences, for the loss it may cause, or injury to others, or waste of power, through delusion, this is declared to be of Darkness. (25)

The doer who is free from attachment, without vanity, who has firmness and will, who is not changed by success or failure, such a one is declared to be of Substance.

The doer who is full of desire, who seeks the reward of his works, who is greedy, who harms others and is impure, who falls into exultation or sorrow, is famed to be of Force.

The doer who is without union, brutish, conceited, malignant, unfair, slothful, despondent, temporising, is declared to be of Darkness.

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 23, 2015 at 6:36pm
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Just a thought here regarding work, or karma as read in the sanskrit text.

What can be said about karma/ works, and the karmic fruits of said work?  Can proper action (karma) lead to results free from (karmic) results?

There is an interesting portion in the Brhadaranyakopanisad (III.iii.1) regarding this very topic.  Sankara states in his introduction to the above reference;

"Moreover, as the work is better and better, the result also is so; hence one may presume that a high degree of excellence in the work may lead to liberation.  This idea as to be removed.  The result of excellent work coupled with meditation* is this much only, for work and its results are confined to the manifested universe of name and form.  Work has no access to that which is not an effect [such as liberation], which is eternal, unmanifested, beyond name and form, and devoid of the characteristics of action with its factors and results.

... In other words, work (Karma) can produce, or bring within reach, or modify, or purify something; it has no other function besides these.

*meditation here might simply mean any particular type of meditation.  Some Vedic sacrifices are preformed with particular meditations which do not fall under Self-Knowledge. I believe this is what is being referred to here. 
____

Most texts declare that no amount of work or karma can ever free oneself from the bonds of transmigratory existence.  Our works/karma appears to have bearings only upon the modifications of nature (gunas) and the residing deities.  The 24th sloka of the 4th discourse (Gita) states how one should see the Self in all sacrifices; "Brahmam is the offering... Brahmam in all action," upon many other slokas stating that work done devoid of self-interest, i.e., dispassion and disinterest is work (karma) performed for the Self. 

What is the importance whether ones works are of tamas, rajas, or sattvic natures? In other words, what makes Nature to take on three modifications of qualities?  Surely, it cannot be just the nature of the the work, but perhaps attitude of the work performed?  Can a good sattvic person do tamasic and rotten work? Or is this subject to change based on wok/worker relation?

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 24, 2015 at 3:41am
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SD.i.643;

"For the only decree of Karma—an eternal and immutable decree—is absolute Harmony in the world of matter as it is in the world of Spirit. It is not, therefore, Karma that rewards or punishes, but it is we, who reward or punish ourselves according to whether we work with, through and along with nature, abiding by the laws on which that Harmony depends, or—break them."

Permalink Reply by Peter on September 24, 2015 at 10:03am
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Kristan,  thanks for those interesting passages.  We also have that passage from HPB in the Key to Theosophy which states:

“Neither Atma nor Buddhi are ever reached by Karma, because the former is the highest aspect of Karma, its working agent of ITSELF in one aspect, and the other is unconscious on this plane.”  (Page 135, original edition)

It is often said in Advaita commentaries that karma (action) is for purifying the mind, jnana (knowledge) is for liberation.

We might contrast this with the Mahayana school of Buddhism which refers to two types of Liberation, there is the lesser kind which comes from freeing oneself from the wheel of samsara, and the highest Liberation that is only achieved when conjoined with compassion and the resolve to work for the benefit of all sentient beings.  The latter appears to be related to what HPB had this to say:

“…he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain Theosophy, divine Wisdom and Knowledge.”  (CW IX 258)

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 24, 2015 at 11:41am
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Thanks for additional information Peter,

The two type of liberation is often a very interesting topic;

"We might contrast this with the Mahayana school of Buddhism which refers to two types of Liberation, there is the lesser kind which comes from freeing oneself from the wheel of samsara, and the highest Liberation that is only achieved when conjoined with compassion and the resolve to work for the benefit of all sentient beings."

It appears, to my understanding, that many texts speak of this idea of two types of liberation, though perhaps not directly addressing the second.  The first, which most I would assume most would call, "selfish obscuration" or subjective bliss, that is, the initial liberation from the bonds of samsara and cyclic rebirth, in short, transmigratory existence as you have said.

This however, is not the final emancipation as you have indicated via HPB's quotation, which naturally indicates the giving up of that subjective (still conditioned) blissful state.  I think there are some differences in only the particulars, but from what I understand all Esoteric Philosophy unanimously agrees that this type of Liberation is of the most importance. 

As far as I can see, both Sanskracarya, Gaudapadacarya, etc., have stated that the truly Liberated One does not "go anywhere," as They were always to begin with.  I forget where I had read this, but even HPB stated that this is not a matter of doing, but more related to not doing.  Obviously this has a far deeper meaning.

Permalink Reply by Peter on September 24, 2015 at 1:15pm
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Kristan, you might be thinking of that passage from HPB that’s in “The Doctrine of the Avataras.”  She writes, “It must not be supposed that anything can go into Nirvāna which is not eternally there; but human intellect in conceiving the Absolute must put It as the highest term in an indefinite series.” (CW XIV 375)

Earlier in that article, there’s another interesting and very relevant passage that adds to what you’ve shared above:

“…the Jīvanmukta, is one who obtains Nirvāna by his individual merits. To this expression again an uncompromising, philosophical Vedāntin would object. He might say that as the condition of the Avatāra and the Jīvanmukta are one and the same state, no amount of personal merit, in howsoever many incarnations, can lead its possessor to Nirvāna. Nirvāna, he would say, is actionless; how can, then, any action lead to it? It is neither a result nor a cause, but an ever-present, eternal Is, as Nāgasena defined it. Hence it can have no relation to, or concern with, action, merit, or demerit, since these are subject to Karma. All this is very true, but still to our mind there is an important difference between the two. An Avatāra Is; a Jīvanmukta becomes one. If the state of the two is identical, not so are the causes which lead to it. An Avatāra is a descent of a God into an illusive form; a Jīvanmukta, who may have passed through numberless incarnations and may have accumulated merit in them, certainly does not become a Nirvānī because of that merit, but only because of the Karma generated by it, which leads and guides him in the direction of the Guru who will initiate him into the mystery of Nirvāna and who alone can help him to reach this abode.” (CW XIV 374)

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on September 24, 2015 at 3:35pm
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Perhaps this is where I had read it.  Thanks again!

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 29, 2015 at 1:34am
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On Tamas next section Judge Rendition

“Know that the wisdom which perceives in all nature one single principle, indivisible and incorruptible, not separate in the separate objects seen, is of the sattva quality. The knowledge which perceives different and manifold principles as present in the world of created beings pertains to rajas, the quality of passion. But that knowledge, wholly without value, which is mean, attached to one object alone as if it were the whole, which does not see the true cause of existence, is of the nature of tamas, indifferent and dark.

“The action which is right to be done, performed without attachment to results, free from pride and selfishness, is of the sattva quality. That one is of the rajas quality which is done with a view to its consequences, or with great exertion, or with egotism. And that which in consequence of delusion is undertaken without regard to its consequences, or the power to carry it out, or the harm it may cause, is of the quality of darkness — tamas.

“The doer who performs necessary actions unattached to their consequences and without love or hatred is of the nature of the quality of truth — sattva. The doer whose actions are performed with attachment to the result, with great exertion, for the gratification of his lusts and with pride, covetousness, uncleanness, and attended with rejoicing and grieving, is of the quality of rajas — passion and desire. The doer who is ignorant, foolish, undertaking actions without ability, without discrimination, with sloth, deceit, obstinacy, mischievousness, and dilatoriness, is of the quality of tamas.

“Hear now, O Dhananjaya, conqueror of wealth, the differences which I shall now explain in the discerning power 3 and the steadfast power within, according to the three classes flowing from the divisions of the three qualities. The discerning power that knows how to begin and to renounce, what should and what should not be done, what is to be feared and what not, what holds fast and what sets the soul free, is of the sattva quality. That discernment, O son of Pritha, which does not fully know what ought to be done and what not, what should be feared and what not, is of the passion-born rajas quality. That discriminating power which is enveloped in obscurity, mistaking wrong for right and all things contrary to their true intent and meaning, is of the dark quality of tamas.

“That power of steadfastness holding the man together, which by devotion controls every motion of the mind, the breath, the senses and the organs, partaketh of the sattva quality. And that which cherisheth duty, pleasure, and wealth, in him who looketh to the fruits of action is of the quality of rajas. But that through which the man of low capacity stays fast in drowsiness, fear, grief, vanity and rashness is from the tamas quality, O son of Pritha.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 29, 2015 at 1:37am
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Next Section Johnston

Neither on earth, nor in heaven, nor among the gods is there any being which is free from these Three Powers born of Nature. (40)

The works of Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra, O consumer of the foe, are apportioned according to the powers inherent in the character of each.

Peace, control, penance, purity, patience, and also rectitude, wisdom, knowledge, affirmative faith, are the Brahman’s work, according to his nature.

Heroism, fire, firmness, skill, and refusal to flee in battle, giving of gifts, governing, are the works of the Kshatriya, according to his nature.

Ploughing, tending cattle, commerce, are the natural work of the Vaishya; work which consists in service is the natural work of the Shudra.

By devotion each to his own work, every man gains true success; how each finds success through devotion to his own work, learn thou: (45)

From Whom all beings come, by Whom all this is stretched forth, Him honoring, each by his own work, the son of man finds success.

Better is one’s own duty even without excellence than the duty of another well carried out; doing the work imposed by one’s own nature, he incurs no sin.

Let not a man withdraw from his natural work, O son of Kunti, even if it be faulty; for all initiatives are subject to fault, as fire is wrapped in smoke.

With thought everywhere unattached, self-conquered, from longing free, through renunciation he gains supreme success, free from bondage to works.

And how, having gained success, he gains the Eternal, learn thou of Me, hearing briefly, O son of Kunti, what is the supreme seat of wisdom. (50)

With soul-vision kept pure, firmly self-controlled, detached from sounds and other sense-objects, and discarding lust and hate;

Seeking solitude, eating little, with speech, body and mind controlled, given up to union through soul-vision, following ever after dispassion;

Getting free from vanity, violence, pride, lust, wrath, avarice, without desire of possessions, full of peace, he builds for union with the Eternal.

Become one with the Eternal, with soul at peace, he grieves not nor desires; equal toward all beings, he gains highest love of Me.

Through love he learns Me truly, how great and what I am; then knowing Me truly, he straightway enters that Supreme. (55)

Even continuing to perform all works, taking refuge in Me, through My grace he gains that everlasting home.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 1, 2015 at 5:12pm
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Next section from Judge:

“Now hear what are the three kinds of pleasure wherein happiness comes from habitude and pain is ended. That which in the beginning is as poison and in the end as the waters of life, and which arises from a purified understanding, is declared to be of the sattva quality. That arising from the connection of the senses with their objects which in the beginning is sweet as the waters of life but at the end like poison, is of the quality of rajas. That pleasure is of the dark tamas quality which both in the beginning and the end arising from sleep, idleness, and carelessness, tendeth both in the beginning and the end to stupefy the soul. There is no creature on earth nor among the hosts in heaven who is free from these three qualities which arise from nature.

“The respective duties of the four castes, of Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, are also determined by the qualities which predominate in the disposition of each, O harasser of thy foes. The natural duty of a Brahman compriseth tranquillity, purity, self-mastery, patience, rectitude, learning, spiritual discernment, and belief in the existence of another world. Those of the Kshatriya sprung from his nature are valor, glory, strength, firmness, not to flee from the field of battle, liberality and a lordly character. The natural duties of the Vaisya are to till the land, tend cattle and to buy and sell; and that of the Sudra is to serve, as is his natural disposition.

“Men being contented and devoted to their own proper duties attain perfection; hear now how that perfection is attained by devotion to natural duty.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 1, 2015 at 5:15pm
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More from Johnston

Even continuing to perform all works, taking refuge in Me, through My grace he gains that everlasting home.

In heart renouncing all works in Me, devoted to Me, following after union through soul-vision, keep thy heart ever set on Me.

With heart set on Me, through My grace thou shalt cross through all rough places. But if through vanity thou wilt not hearken to Me, thou shalt perish.

When through self-assertion thou thinkest: “I will not fight!” thy determination is a delusion, for Nature will constrain thee.

Bound, O son of Kunti, by thine own natural work, what thou desirest not to do through thy delusion, thou shalt do against thy will. (60)

The Lord dwells in the heart of every creature, O Arjuna, through His divine power moving all beings, as though guided by mechanism.

Take refuge in Him with thy whole heart, O descendant of Bharata; through His grace thou shalt gain supreme peace, the everlasting resting-place.

Thus to thee that wisdom which is more secret than all secrets is declared by Me; fully pondering on it, as thou desirest, so do!

Hear further My ultimate word, most secret of all; thou art exceeding dear to Me, therefore will I speak what is good for thee.

Set thy heart on Me, full of love for Me, sacrificing to Me, make obeisance to Me, and thou shalt come to Me; this is truth I promise thee, for thou art dear to Me. (65)

Putting aside all other duties, come for refuge to Me alone; grieve not, for I shall set thee free from all sins.

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 2, 2015 at 12:34pm
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55. भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः। ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम्‌॥
By Devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then, knowing Me in ruth, he forthwith enters into me.

56. सर्वकर्माण्यपि सदा कुर्वाणो मदव्यपाश्रयः। मत्प्रसादादवाप्नोति शाश्वतं पदमव्ययम्
Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me,- by My Grace he reaches the eternal undecaying abode.

चेतसा सर्वकर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्परः। बुद्धियोगमुपाश्रित्य मच्चित्तः सततं भव 
57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, regarding Me as the Supreme, resorting to mental concentration, do thou ever fix thy heart in me.

मच्चित्तः सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात्तरिष्यसि | अथ चेत्त्वमहंकारान्न श्रोष्यसि विनंक्ष्यसि॥
58. Fixing the heart in Me, thou shalt, by My Grace, cross over all difficulties;  but if from egotism thou will not hear (Me), thou shalt perish.

स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा।कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत्।।
60. Bound (as thou art), O son of Kunti, by thy own nature-born act, that which from delusion thou likest not to do, thou shalt do, though against thy will.

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति । भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारुढानि मायया ॥
61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjun, whirling by Maya all beings (as if) mounted on a machine.
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The five selected slokas here present a very powerful idea as to how one can begin to start living a truly spiritual and altruistic life.  

A few notes here;

By Devotion he knows Me in truth [55]; 

Might one say that devotion, in this context is referring to something beyond the longing and personal aspirations for a spiritual life?  Perhaps here, devotion can mean impersonal will or the Song of Life mentioned in the cchandogyopanisad.  To the Sikhs (as far as I know) this idea of devotion is in fact a form of Universal Impersonal Will, which is constantly present in every grade of matter.  It is the substrate, or original vibration that the personal will must harmonize with.  They claim that Devotion is already within, however there must be a removal of obstructions and discorded notions. 

by My Grace he reaches the eternal undecaying abode [56]; 
What is the meaning of the word Grace here.  

Mentally resigning all deeds to Me...mental concentration, do thou ever fix thy heart in me. [57] Fixing the heart in Me [58]

Here, Krsna speaks of mentally residing all deed unto Him.  How might one understand this?  Resignation isn't simply forfeit or helpless surrender.  Might one understand this as being an active and quite "aggressive resignation" ?  We are often warned of the dangers of mental passivity in meditation, do these same warnings apply to false resignation? 

What does, if any alternate meaning, does heart hold?

Bound (as thou art) ... by thy own nature-born act [60]
Regarding the idea of "aggressive resignation," it appears that to fix the heart and mind upon something free of Nature (gunas), one must purify the heart from the aggregate of imposed natures.  To me, this implies of burning off, as it were, the seeds of karma and redirecting "external factors" that might otherwise manipulate the individuals will.

The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings [61]
A universal teaching found in almost every philosophy, a profound realization.  

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 12, 2015 at 5:06am
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Kristen said :

" To the Sikhs (as far as I know) this idea of devotion is in fact a form of Universal Impersonal Will, which is constantly present in every grade of matter.  It is the substrate, or original vibration that the personal will must harmonize with.  They claim that Devotion is already within, however there must be a removal of obstructions and discorded notions. "

Excellent comment. One caveat, however. Personal will ought to entirely disappear and replaced by Universal Impersonal Will of the Higher Self. Self of Matter (personal will) and Self of Spirit (Higher Self) cannot can never meet; one of the twain must disappear (Voice). There is no place for both. The Voice further says : the bud of personality must be crushed out and worm of sense destroyed past resurrection. 

Of course, this is what Kristen meant. Above comment is only to emphasize the real sense.

 


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Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on October 13, 2015 at 5:19pm
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I might add that this replacement of personal will with Universal Impersonal Will does not happen over night. Like the Jōmon Sugi tree which is over 2,000 years old and of enormous stature such growth is incremental.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 11, 2015 at 11:48am
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Next Section Judge

“Imbued with pure discrimination, restraining himself with resolution, having rejected the charms of sound and other objects of the senses, and casting off attachment and dislike; dwelling in secluded places, eating little, with speech, body, and mind controlled, engaging in constant meditation and unwaveringly fixed in dispassion; abandoning egotism, arrogance, violence, vanity, desire, anger, pride, and possession, with calmness ever present, a man is fitted to be the Supreme Being. And having thus attained to the Supreme, he is serene, sorrowing no more, and no more desiring, but alike towards all creatures he attains to supreme devotion to me. By this devotion to me he knoweth fundamentally who and what I am and having thus discovered me he enters into me without any intermediate condition. And even the man who is always engaged in action shall attain by my favor to the eternal and incorruptible imperishable abode, if he put his trust in me alone. With thy heart place all thy works on me, prefer me to all else, exercise mental devotion continually, and think constantly of me. By so doing thou shalt by my divine favor surmount every difficulty which surroundeth thee; but if from pride thou wilt not listen to my words, thou shalt undoubtedly be lost. And if, indulging self-confidence, thou sayest ‘I will not fight,’ such a determination will prove itself vain, for the principles of thy nature will impel thee to engage. Being bound by all past karma to thy natural duties, thou, O son of Kunti, wilt involuntarily do from necessity that which in thy folly thou wouldst not do. There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O Arjuna, the Master — Isvara — who by his magic power causeth all things and creatures to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time. Take sanctuary with him alone, O son of Bharata, with all thy soul; by his grace thou shalt obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place.

“Thus have I made known unto thee this knowledge which is a mystery more secret than secrecy itself; ponder it fully in thy mind, act as seemeth best unto thee.

“But further listen to my supreme and most mysterious words which I will now for thy good reveal unto thee because thou art dearly beloved of me. Place thy heart upon me as I have declared myself to be, serve me, offer unto me alone, and bow down before me alone, and thou shalt come to me; I swear it, for thou art dear to me. Forsake every other religion and take refuge alone with me; grieve not, for I shall deliver thee from all transgressions. Thou must never reveal this to one who doth not practice mortification, who is without devotion, who careth not to hear it, nor unto him who despiseth me. He who expoundeth this supreme mystery to my worshipers shall come to me if he performs the highest worship of me; and there shall not be among men anyone who will better serve me than he, and he shall be dearest unto me of all on earth. If anyone shall study these sacred dialogues held between us two, I shall consider that I am worshiped by him with the sacrifice of knowledge; this is my resolve. And even the man who shall listen to it with faith and not reviling shall, being freed from evil, attain to the regions of happiness provided for those whose deeds are righteous.

“Hast thou heard all this, O son of Pritha, with mind one-pointed? Has the delusion of thought which arose from ignorance been removed, O Dhananjaya?”

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 11, 2015 at 1:01pm
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Might there be a correlation between these passages from the Gita and the statement:

"To live for and as the Self of all creatures."?

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 12, 2015 at 9:33am
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It sounds like a great summary to me.  We are the Self in our inner nature, we act for the Self in our outer nature.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on October 12, 2015 at 5:23am
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Very powerful slokas. A mighty spirit moves in them.

It is a question of perfect discrimination between what is true Self and what is not true Self, and that the true Self is indeed the SELF - Self of All or Universal Brotherhood. Once this higher perception is awakened in one, renunciation of what is not-self (mistaken as self) in every act and duty that one has to do comes naturally as a consequence of realization of sheer worthlessness of personal or worldly consideration, and its illusions, and an abiding devotion to True Self--labouring, for highest good of Humanity. Steady uninterrupted Theosophic study and work over a lifetime gradually develops this discrimination and devotion. 

Krishna says that even a little of this practice saved one from great danger. (2nd chapter)

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 11, 2015 at 11:53am
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More from Johnston

This is never to be told by thee to him who is without fervor, without love, to him who seeks not to hear it, or who cavils at Me.

Whosoever shall declare this supreme secret in the company of those who love Me, showing the highest love for Me, he shall certainly come to Me.

Nor does any among mankind do aught dearer to Me than he; nor shall any in the world be dearer to Me than he.

And whosoever shall study this righteous converse of Me and thee, such a one sacrifices to Me the sacrifice of wisdom; such is My thought. (70)

And whosoever shall hear it, full of faith and without cavil, he also, set free, will gain the shining worlds of those of holy works.

Say then, O son of Pritha, whether thou hast listened in singleness of heart; say whether thy delusion of unwisdom is destroyed, O conqueror of wealth!

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 12, 2015 at 7:20am
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सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज । अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः
"Abandoning all righteous deeds, seek me as thy sole Refuge; I will liberate thee from all sins; do thou not grieve."
_____

There is a topic, amongst many found in the Bhagavadgita regarding performance of work, abandonment (tyaga) versus renunciation (samnyasa), and agency of the Self, or rather the imposition of agency of the Atman.  The above sloka, I find to be very important in regards to the devotional path of the Secret Doctrine.

Here, Krsna states quite clearly that by seeking him as the Refuge, one must "abandon allrighteous deeds" ; सर्वधर्मान् ; all forms of dharma (including adharma); परित्यज्य; abandon/ giving (doing) away (with)

Obviously, one mustn't take this at a literal meaning.  This sloka comes after a quite exhaustive discourse regarding the factors in the production of activity, along with impulses to action and its initiation, types of performance of action/renunciation/knowledge/agency by way of the three Gunas as nothing (god or man) is without a guna sway.  Sloka 1-41 of this chapter (18) describe these topics in detail.  

So here it is in the 66th sloka that Krsna drives home the idea that dharma should not be thought of as leading to the sacred Holy Communion with the Self, for all action and related agency are under the way of karma and influences from the gunas.   As deeply connected with this thought,  WQJ states in his Aphorisms on Karma;

1. There is no Karma unless there is a being to make it or feel its effects.
5. Karma opperates on all things and beings from the minutest conceivable atom up to Brahmaa.  Proceeding in the three worlds of men, gods, and the elemental beings, no spot in in manifested universe is exempt from its sway.





Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 12, 2015 at 7:41am
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Further, what does Krsna mean when he says; "I will liberate thee from all sins (सर्वपापेभ्यो)."

Can sins be connected to Karmic seeds awaiting fructification/ manifestation?

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 12, 2015 at 9:31am
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Maybe with spiritual knowledge comes the wisdom to act in the world without creating karmic imbalances.  Most of the mistakes we make (sins) we repeat over and over.  With wisdom we can establish countervailing energies. This might be one way of looking at it.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 15, 2015 at 11:14am
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Ending of the Gita: Judge

ARJUNA:

“By thy divine power, O thou who fallest not 4, my delusion is destroyed, I am collected once more; I am free from doubt, firm, and will act according to thy bidding.”

SANJAYA:

Thus have I been an ear-witness of the miraculous astonishing dialogue, never heard before, between Vasudeva and the magnanimous son of Pritha. By the favor of Vydsa I heard this supreme mystery of Yoga — devotion — even as revealed from the mouth of Krishna himself who is the supreme Master of devotion. And as I again and again remember, O mighty king, this wonderful sacred dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I am delighted again and again. Also, as I recall to my memory the wonderful form of Hari 5, the Lord, my astonishment is great, O king, and I rejoice again and again. Wherever Krishna, the supreme Master of devotion, and wherever the son of Pritha, the mighty archer, may be, there with certainty are fortune, victory, wealth, and wise action; this is my belief.

Thus in the Upanishads, called the holy Bhagavad-Gita, in the science of the Supreme Spirit, in the book of devotion, in the colloquy between the Holy Krishna and Arjuna, stands the Eighteenth Chapter, by name —

DEVOTION AS REGARDS RENUNCIATION AND FINAL LIBERATION.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 15, 2015 at 11:15am
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End of the Gita: Johnston

Gone is my delusion; I have come to right remembrance through Thy grace, O unfallen one! I stand, with my doubts gone. I shall fulfil thy word!

SANJAYA SAID:

Thus did I hear the converse of the son of Vasudeva and the mighty-souled son of Pritha, marvellous, causing the hair to stand erect with wonder.

Through Vyasa’s grace I heard this supreme secret, this union, from the Lord of union, Krishna himself, relating it. (75)

O king, ever and anon remembering this marvellous converse, this holy talk between him of the flowing locks and Arjuna, I exult again and agam.

And ever and anon remembering Lord Hari’s marvellous form, great dismay comes on me, O king, and I exult again and again.

Wherever are Krishna, Lord of union, and Pritha’s son, bearer of the bow, there are fortune, victory, blessing and steadfast law; this I maintain.

THUS THE BHAGAVAD GITA IS COMPLETED.

MAY IT BE WELL WITH ALL BEINGS!

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 18, 2015 at 2:21pm
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What others have to say about the importance of the Gita:

"The famous gitashastra is an epitome of the essentials of the whole Vedic teaching.  A knowledge of its teachings leads to the realization of all human aspirations."

—Shankaracharya

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 18, 2015 at 2:39pm
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What others have to say about the importance of the Gita:

"Among the holiest observances of piety noted down by the Brahmins is reverence towards the Masters. I wish, therefore, to salute thee first, most holy prophet and interpreter of the Divinity, whosoever thou hast been said to be among mortals, author of that poem the prophetic sayings of which carry the mind with certain unerring delight to all that is lofty, eternal, and divine — and I worship forever they footsteps."

— Friedrich Schlegel

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 18, 2015 at 2:42pm
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What others have to say about the importance of the Gita:

"A mighty spirit moves through the pages of the Bhagavad Gita.  It has the seductive influence of beauty; yet, like strength, it fills one as with the sound of armies assembling or the roar of great waters; appealing alike to the warrior and the philosopher, it shows to the one the righteousness of lawful action and to the other the calmness which results to him who has reached inaction through action."

— W. Q. Judge

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 18, 2015 at 2:46pm
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What others have to say about the importance of the Gita:

"I find a solace in the Bhagavad Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount.  When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita, I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies."

— M. K. Gandhi

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on October 18, 2015 at 3:52pm
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"The Bhagavadgita may be looked upon as a discourse addressed by a guru to a chela who has fully determined upon the renunciation of all wordly desires and aspiration, but yet feels a certain despondency, caused by the apparent blankness of his existence. The book contains eighteen chapters, all intimately connected. Each chapter describes a particular phase of aspect of human life. The student should bear this in mind in reading the book, and endeavour to work out the correspondences. He will find what appears to be unnecessary repetitions. These were a necessity of the method adopted by Vyasa, his intention being to represent nature in different ways…"
T. Subba Rao