Bhagavad Gita- Chap 9(Part-2) Raajavidyaa Raajaguhya Yogah- Yoga of Royal Knowledge and Royal Secret

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Preamble

The variety of human pursuits and how each gains its  particular objective in life are described now. These pursuits fall under three  distinct types of activities in the world.   The persons belonging to the first type act with self-centered interests  in this world. They go about their activities merely fulfilling their ego and  egocentric desires. Consequently they suffer from mental agitations and sorrow (papa).

Others in the second category work unselfishly for  higher and nobler goals in life. They serve and sacrifice for their chosen  ideal. They gain the joys of heaven (punya).

The third variety seeks spiritual Enlightenment. They  strive for liberation through their devout offerings to the Supreme Being. They  oblate their actions, feelings and thoughts to their altar of Self-realization.  Such seekers become liberated from their mundane existence and gain the  ultimate bliss of Realization.

A  seeker’s direction in the spiritual path matters more than his spiritual  status. A righteous person may move towards worldly attractions and devolve  spiritually, whereas an unrighteous person may take to the spiritual path and  evolve. Therefore, in the spiritual life what really matters is not where you  are but what direction you choose to take – the path of evolution or  devolution.

The  discussion in this Chapter concludes with the encouraging words that anyone can  attain Enlightenment through devotion and dedicated effort towards the Supreme  Self.

The Text

NON-WORSHIPPERS  ARE CAUGHT IN THE WHEEL OF BIRTH & DEATH

traividyaa maam somapaah pootapaapaa yajnairishtwaa swargatim  praarthayante
    te punyamaasaadya surendralokamashnanti  divyaandivi devabhogaan // 9.20 //

The knowers of the three  Vedas, the drinkers of Soma, purified of all sins, worshipping Me by  sacrifices, pray for the way to heaven: they reach the holy world of The Lord  of the Gods (Indra) and enjoy in heaven the divine pleasures of the gods.

te tam bhuktwaa swargalokam vishaalam ksheene punye martyalokam  vishanti
    evam trayeedharmamanuprapannaa gataagatam kaamakaamaa labhante // 9.21  //

They having enjoyed the vast  heaven, return to the world of mortals when their merits are exhausted; thus  abiding by the injunctions of the three Vedas and desirous of enjoyments, they  are subject to birth and death.

The Lord refers to the Vedic  Theory that those who perform rituals gain heavenly enjoyments after death and  points out how it cannot be regarded as the highest goal. Such men are bound by  the law of karma as they are still lured by desire and they will return to this  cosmic procession since they act from an ego-centre and since their ignorance  is not destroyed.

If we seek rewards in heaven, we  will gain them but we return to mortal existence so long as we do not gain the  true aim of life. Human life is an opportunity to develop soul's divine nature  from the imperfect material we are composed of. We operate from the ego-centered  consciousness, whether we seek the pleasures of this world or a future paradise  and therefore do not gain liberation from the ever running wheel of birth and  death.

ananyaashchintayanto maam ye janaah paryupaasate
    teshaam nityaabhiyuktaanaam yogakshemam vahaamyaham // 9.22 //

To these men who worship Me  alone, thinking of no other, to those ever self-controlled, I secure which is  not already possessed (Yoga) and preserve what they already possess (Kshema).

The case of  those who worship the Eternal (with love free from any desire) as the  Substratum for the entire Universe is illustrated here. They meditate upon The  Lord as the one and the only reality behind the entire universe. Sri Krishna  promises them Yoga - more and more spiritual enlightenment and Kshema - the final liberation resulting from the Yoga.

This verse can be interpreted to  mean that The Lord takes up all the cares and burdens of His devotees. To  become conscious of divine love, all other love must be abandoned. If we cast  ourselves entirely on the mercy of God, He bears all our sorrows. We can depend  on His saving grace and energizing care. The Lord promises complete protection  or final merger with His Immortal Being to those who love Him with all their  body, heart and soul.

This Verse conveys the central  theme of the Gita and is very famous.

WORSHIPPING  OF OTHER GODS

yepyanyadevataa bhaktaa yajante shraddhaya’anvitaah
    te’pi maameva kaunteya yajantyavidhipoorvakam  // 9.23 //

Even those devotees, who  endowed with faith, worship other Gods, worship Me alone, O Son of Kunti, by  the wrong method.

All do not worship at the same  altar since tastes differ from person to person. Although they worship at the  different altars, they adore the same Vitality that is the substratum for all  the created world of change. Thus even when they worship different deities with  perfect faith, all of them invoke nothing but the One Eternal Truth expressed  through different forms of worship.

Once it is agreed that the  Infinite Reality is the One without a second, which remains the same in the  past, present and future, it will be clear that the Self as Consciousness  expressed through the instruments of different saints, sages, prophets and  incarnations is one and the same wherever and whenever they are born and  functioned among the people of their times. Hence Sri Krishna declares that  they too worship Me alone, eventhough by wrong methods.

The term other Gods referred to  in this verse means different forms or aspects of the single God-hood like Indra,  Varuna etc., which the man assumes in his different Gunas. Such worshipers are  said to follow wrong methods because while worshipping when there is a  possibility of achieving the Highest - Realization of the Self, Liberation -  they pray for ordinary things of life like health, wealth etc. Because of this  ignorance they come back to the world to satisfy their unfulfilled desires.

aham hi sarvayajnaanaam bhoktaa cha prabhur eva cha
    na tu maamabhijaananti  tattwenaatashchyavanti te // 9.24 //

(For) I alone am the enjoyer  in and the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in essence and hence  they fall (return to this mortal world).

This verse explains why these  methods are wrong and why the pursuers of these wrong methods return to the  mortal world when they have finished enjoying the joys of heaven which were the  rewards for their merits acquired through ritualism.

These methods are wrong because  only a limited potentiality of the Supreme is invoked and Its infinite glory is  not realized. Hence they fall into the delusory mundane world again and again.

The Lord alone is the enjoyer of  all sacrifices and the lord of all sacrifices. As a result of their sacrifices  they attain a higher plane to enjoy their merits. However as they perform the  worship without recognizing the Supreme and as they do not consecrate their  actions to Him, they return to the mortal world after their merits have been  exhausted.

yaanti devavrataa devaan  pitreenyaanti pitrivrataah
    bhutaani yaanti bhutejyaa  yaanti madyaajino‘pi maam // 9.25 //

The worshippers of the Devas  or Gods go to the Devas; to the pitris or ancestors go the ancestor-worshippers;  to the Bhutas or the elements go the worshippers of the Bhutas; but those who  worship Me come to Me.

`Devas' represent the various  sense-organs by the activities of which the world is experienced. In other  words the word `Devas' means the entire field of all physical experiences.  Those who solicit the external world of joys and successes consistently and  with the required amount of devotion, come to gain such enjoyments. The worshippers  of ancestors mean those who strive to live up to the cultural purity and  traditions of their ancients. Such an individual gains the beauty and  perfection of a pure life. The worshippers of the Bhutas reach the Bhutas  indicate that even for those who diligently pursue the understanding of nature  success is assured to the extent of their efforts made.

But these are the limited forms  of the Supreme and cannot give the aspiring soul the peace that is beyond all  understanding. The result of worship is assimilation to the form worshipped and  these limited forms give limited results. But devotion to the Supreme brings  the supreme reward of merging with the Self and such persons become on with  Brahman.