Purpose of Life explained in Bhagavad Gita

Sri Vidya: Microcosm is macrocosm

The following is an excerpt of the commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Radhikaji from her forthcoming book to be published in 2017. Chapter 2 Verses 19-37 are covered in this article.

Verses 19-21: Ahimsa and Advaita

When the Atman takes birth, it is embodied, but this embodied one can neither kill nor be killed. You are ignorant if you think you can kill somebody or be killed. This is ignorance, Avidya. In verse 20, he explains you are eternal. The body may be killed but you cannot  be killed. This is true knowledge, Vidya. This is not a justification for ruthlessly killing all lifeforms. 

Every being has a jivatman and has the right to live. The true nature of an animal is same as the true nature of human being: it is pure consciousness. When you have that insight you will respect all life.  This does not mean that you have to become a vegetarian, this is a law of life and ultimately we do need to survive. Plants also have consciousness; it is not as subtle as the consciousness of a human. The quality of consciousness may defer but it is consciousness all the same. So shall we stop eating? That would also be violence. It is not possible for you to be completely non-violent.

Ahimsa  is often explained as nonviolence and people accept this as a kind of a rule. You think because you are practicing yoga, you must practice ahimsa. You think, you need to practice being nice to people or whatever limited idea of non-violence you have. For a lot of people this means, becoming vegetarian. Rules make you rigid. The idea is to get a deeper understanding, not just blindly follow rules. You need more direct insights to have a deeper understanding in to what ahimsa really means.

Verse 22: Reincarnation

The body is a very valuable instrument so take good care of it. With direct insight into this process of birth, death and re-birth we dis-identify with the body but learn to appreciate it. It is like having expensive clothes. You enjoy your beautiful clothes but however expensive they may be, you know that even though your clothes are damaged, you are not damaged. Similarly however broken your body may be, the Self remains pure, untouched, unharmed and is eternal. You will take good care of the body, a precious instrument but you do not identify with it. Understanding this theoretically may be comforting but having the direct experience leads to a different level of consciousness.

Verses 23-25 Describing the indescribable

How can we describe Atman, our true nature? Since times immemorial  humankind has asked this question. This is the eternal mystery and it occupies the minds and hearts of all people. The world’s most ancient body of spiritual literature the Upanishads describe THAT as Satchitananda. Sat means truth. Chit means consciousness. Ananda means joy or bliss.  Atman is described as Satchitananda:  truth, consciousness and joy.

Verse 26-28 Microcosm and macrocosm

This verse is the very foundation of Sri Vidya. The microcosm and the macrocosm are the same. Individual consciousness and collective consciousness are governed by the same laws of manifestation. In Sanatana Dharma there is no such idea as creation. The Sages explored the fine fabric of the cosmos in meditation and revealed that the subtle-most pure Consciousness manifests in different forms (srishti) and returns back to its original nature, a world view that has only recently been explored by modern physics. 

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Verses 29-30 Guardian of humanity

With deep spiritual knowledge you will have greater compassionate for the suffering of others. You may not grieve, but you will empathize with the pain and suffering of all humanity. You may be fearless but you will empathize with the fear of the weak. Such a highly evolved being protects others and becomes a Guardian of humanity, just like parents are guardians of their children. A parent may be amused when a child cries, because his sandcastle was destroyed, but he knows that for the child the sandcastle is really important. A parent knows that the sandcastle is temporary and it is going to break, but he does not laugh at the child. As the guardian of that child you will have compassion. The one who becomes a Witness, who knows that the body is perishable but the Self is eternal, becomes a Guardian of humanity.

Verses 31-32: Purpose of Life

We are continuously evolving. Irrespective of whether you practice any form of meditation or not, you will still evolve. We have gone through innumerable lifetimes of evolution already. Our book has had many chapters before this one. Perhaps you will be so fortunate to find this battle in this lifetime, the battle in which you fight against your own negative habit patterns and work consciously towards liberation from the bondage of karma. This is  the purpose of life. This is the purpose of all our lifetimes, and if it has culminated in this wonderful moment leading to the gateway to moksha, eternal freedom then it is a great opportunity, nay, it is a privilege. Like a fruit that is ripened, you have matured and it has come to you of its own accord.

Verse 33: Kinds of Karma

There are 4 kinds of karma:

  1. Shukla: white, bright, untainted
  2. Krishna: black, evil, wicked, tainted, dark
  3. Mixed: both white and black
  4. Not white-not black             

This internal battle it is not for the sake of anybody, it is the purpose of your life. When that auspicious moment comes and instead of waging war against your ancient samskaras, you abandon your quest, then you get stuck and suffer. This is  black karma.

Verse 34-37: Jivanmukta

Sri Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to continue the struggle against his own samskaras, like we cajole children to go to school or participate in social activities.

If you have gone through the process of meditation but have not attained moksha, you will will rise to a higher plane of consciousness, also called heaven in common parlance. Nothing is lost in meditation.

Having resolves all samskaras, the positive as well as the negative impressions, you attain Sakshi bhava, you are the Witness. As a Witness or Sakshi you enjoy the Earth. You become a Jivanmukta, that is, you attain freedom in this body and now you can really enjoy. We can only enjoy our lives when we renounce internally. Vairagya or internal renunciation means, being non-attached, living in the moment. 

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