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Thread: subtleties in the gītā

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    subtleties in the gītā

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namast
     

    I thought it may be of some interest to look at the more subtle offers that are found within our bhāgavad gītā. Please add yours as you see fit.

    Because March 20th contains the vernal equinox I thought I would start there ; we know this as the first day of spring. This equinox is known as viṣuvat - being in the middle; middle most. So, my first question...
    Within the very 1st chapter, arjun asks kṛṣṇa-jī to place his charrot in between ( madhya is used in the śloka ) the two armies. It is here that their conversation takes place. Why in-between (viṣuvat ) ? Surely they could have gone to another place to have this discussion. Is there some significance beyond the obvious i.e. of being able to view the armies in fully array ?

    iti śivaṁ

    words




    • subtle = saṃketa - a hint some may call nālikā , others may call sūcā or pointing out or piercing in.
    • madhya - middlemost , intermediate , central
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    Perhaps their physical position between the two armies is representative of Arjuna's choice? To flee or to fight? Or the proverbial "Caught between a rock and hard place?"

    By being central Arjuna is forced to consider the decisions that lay before him on all sides. He can not disengage himself from the reality he is in.

    The center is also the pivot, upon which the action of a mechanism depends.
    Arjuna's dilemma is at the center of the story and while those who are meant to die, will die whether he chooses to fight or not, HIS karmic journey will be effected greatly based on his choice.


    Also, just as the eye of a tornado is said to be completely calm, here at the center, Arjuna has a small window of calm before the storm before he must act.

    Just my initial thoughts. Thank you for starting this thread!
    "God will not have his work made manifest by cowards."
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


  3. #3

    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    Considering that Arjuna was the one who would be deluded about the nature of his dharma and reality, it is hard to believe that there was some purposeful, spiritual motivation to moving his chariot in between the two armies.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    hariḥ o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jodhaa View Post
    Just my initial thoughts.
    I think you bring good points to the discussion...

    One needs to be mindful that the bhāgavad gītā does not have one wasted word. Each idea/condition is crafted to offer insights and brilliance on many levels ( 3 levels to be specific). So, this notion of being in the middle, madhya - middlemost , intermediate , central , is also a chosen condition that sage vyāsa offers us.

    What then can be one possible offer/meaning of this madhya? It is this: between any two things there is the middle where, it contains neither one thing or the other. It is here where one finds the transcendent (pāramitā). Some call this the 4th, or turīya. And who is with arjun in madhya ? It is kṛṣṇa-jī, none other then the transcendent here on earth. It is from this position that the bhāgavad gītā is offered to arjun. From the transcendent, from kṛṣṇa-jī, from perfect knowledge. This is the subtle hint that is given to us from vyāsa-ji.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    3 Levels:
    • abhidhā or the conventional meaning i.e. the literal meaning
    • lakṣaṇā or indirectly via sign, symbol, inference.
    • vyajanā or the figurative expression more intuitively offered some may call implied indication , yet is on a higher level of meaning.

    • vyāsa is sometimes called vādarāyaa or bādarāyaa; he is kṛṣṇa dvaipāyana.
    • pāramitā which = transcendent ; some say viśvottīrṇa or 'of a transcendental nature'
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Let me ask the next question. Who is the bhāgavad gītā intended for ? If one says for everyone, I say perhaps so. But let me then ask it another way: Who will benefit the most from this śāstra ?

    iti śivaṁ


    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #6

    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Let me ask the next question. Who is the bhāgavad gītā intended for ? If one says for everyone, I say perhaps so. But let me then ask it another way: Who will benefit the most from this śāstra ?

    iti śivaṁ

    Is it intended for Arjuna specifically or for everyone? If it is the latter, then the backdrop of the battefield, position of chariot, etc., cannot have any more significance beyond mere illustration.

    On the latter, is it for everyone or those who desire Moksha? I do not think anyone disputes that the subject of the Gita is Moksha and therefore, is only relevant to people who seek Moksha. To put it differently, if one is not interested in Moksha, then the Gita is not for him.

    Again, on the topic of everyone, the Gita somewhere towards the end cautions against disseminating this scripture to the undeserving (cannot recall the verse number). In other words, it is not for everyone, but is reserved for people with certain qualifications. In reality, I have not seen any evidence to this instruction being followed. On the contrary, with free books and online copies, it is clear that this instruction of Krishna has been flouted.

    Thoughts?
    http://lokayata.info
    http://shivsomashekhar.wordpress.com/category/history/

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    Thoughts?
    Your reasoning makes sense...

    Let me offer the following for one's consideration. Within mankind we have the possibility of a full spectrum of people. Who can we eliminate from the spectrum of people ? Where the bhāgavad gītā would be of little value i.e. as the wise would say, as water trying to be held in a wicker basket.
    We have the following range that goes between perfect knowlege and perfect ignorance ( or 100% dulless , full of moha) :
    • 0% perfect knowledge + 100% ignorance = perfect moha
    • some knowledge + some ignorance = those that some times know and sometimes not i.e. have doubts and live within the fluxuations of pleaures and pains; between the throws of the 3 guna-s.
    • 100% perfect knowledge + 0% ignorance = realization of Being , realization of Self, some too call established in turyātita
    In this simplifed view ( so the conversation does not get daunting) the teaching of bhāgavad gītā would have little value to the realized being because he/she has realized the fruit of the bhāgavad gītā ; and the person steeped in moha or perfect ignorance would have little use for the bhāgavad gītā. Why so ? due to the notion that he does not know that he does not know. Perfect ignorance is the notion of not even knowing that one is deluted and ignorant.
    It is this middle group that benefits the most. Those that ponder and have doubts.

    This is where we find arjun, not as a fallen person, but a person that is struggling with the duties of life, and the conflict of the heart ( love and admiration for his teachers, family, etc.) and mind i.e. the intellectual understanding of what is right action. It is these two things that collide.
    It is the field of life, the battle field that is offered here, kurukṣetra.
    Now much more can be said on this... If we look to the last chapter ajun informs the Lord that his doubts (saṃdeha - doubts, uncertainty)
    have been removed. Yet there is more to this story that falls outside the strings intent on subtleties.

    iti śivaṁ
    • moha - loss of consciousness , bewilderment , perplexity , distraction , infatuation , delusion
    • In this simplifed view - what is not brought up is leśāvidya, that is:
      • leśa + avidya gives leśāvidya
      • leśa = a small part or portion , particle , atom , little bit or slight trace
      • avidya = ignorance
    • kurukṣetra = kuru + kṣetra :
      • kuru is of a people of India, yet too it is the four mahā-dvīpa-s or principal divisions of the known world +
      • kṣetra which is 'fertile soil' ,the body considered as the field of the indwelling soul
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 March 2013 at 06:21 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā



    Dear Yajvan,

    Within the very 1st chapter, arjun asks kṛṣṇa-jī to place his charrot in between ( madhya is used in the śloka ) the two armies. It is here that their conversation takes place. Why in-between (viṣuvat ) ? Surely they could have gone to another place to have this discussion. Is there some significance beyond the obvious i.e. of being able to view the armies in fully array ?
    Our Pov

    Our inner strength of purpose, dedication, consistent adherence to basic principles, and identity with the Absolute One are put to the acid test when we are called upon to play our role in a life and death contest. By choosing such a diametrical situation, Vyasa, the mastermind seer, unequivocally establishes the practical intention of the subject matter of the Gita in the first chapter itself.

    In the philosophical parlance the symbolism of war and battle represent the great struggle in the psyche between the human and animal factors, the lower and the higher selves, individual and the mass-man, and the revolutionary contention of the negative and positive forces to create the new.

    In Arjuna we see the same, the enigmatic case of the dynamics of social mechanisms urging him to carry out the duty of a warrior, and, at the same time, a philosophic disposition that was essentially compassionate and altruistic, compelling him to give up war.

    In terms of the Indian schools of psychology, Arjuna is said to be caught up in between the paradox of Sanklapa and Vikalpa.

    In the present chapter Arjuna makes a number of observations, which all imply questions, to which Krishna, the Guru, employs a methodology by which he can systematically correct Arjuna step by step. Krishna does not ignore any of his questions but answers all in a well defined manner form the 11th verse of the second chapter.


    -----------


    Let me ask the next question. Who is the bhāgavad gītā intended for ? If one says for everyone, I say perhaps so. But let me then ask it another way: Who will benefit the most from this śāstra ?

    IF we are already a knower of the Absolute, like Suka, Janaka etc, and we are always in a state of merger with the Supreme, there is no need for us to learn the Gita.

    IF our mind is full of external pursuits and are always tormented by unquenchable passions and have no love for truth, again, we wouldnt be bothered to study the Gita.

    IF, however, we do not come under either of these categories, we must be thirsting for truth. If we love truth and want to seek it, there is nothing like the Gita to guide us.

    More precisely, if we are convinced that there is something beyond the world of senses, and if we have a thirst for such a joy that is not limited to the perishable, the Gita can surely help us to find it in our own self.

    Love
    ॐ इदम् न मम
    be just l we happy

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    So, my first question... Within the very 1st chapter, arjun asks kṛṣṇa-jī to place his charrot in between ( madhya is used in the śloka ) the two armies. It is here that their conversation takes place. Why in-between (viṣuvat ) ? Surely they could have gone to another place to have this discussion. Is there some significance beyond the obvious i.e. of being able to view the armies in fully rray ?
    Why the time and place (in between the two senas (armies)), within the earshot of Kouravas AND Pandavas? Well, simply because KRISHNA WANTED IT THAT WAY. The sacred wisdom to be imparted to the warring senas of both the kouravas and Pandavas alike. Divine knowledge is meant for treading the path of the moksha for ALL sentient beings to adopt.
    ‘Private audience only’ was never the intended meaning of the texts. We have to be cognizant of the larger picture and should not be clouded by our own personal (effort and) accomplishments when we try to define the PURPOSE OF THE TEXTS like Gita, Vedopanishads and when we DEFINE the INTENDED TARGET AUDIENCES of the preachers of those texts. The great sages and rishis presumably wanted every sentient being to be enlightened by the wisdom packed in these invaluable treasures. It is however possible the wise men and women of the yore didn’t want dubious characters to misread, misinterpret and mispreach those sacred verses , the likes of Ravana Parabrahma for instance. I saw a famous British comedian and a talkshow host sporting a large Krishna tattoo on his left shoulder stating on TV ’ how he remained sober and clean for almost 10 yrs thanks to his meditation and yoga practice’ , he is not aspiring to become a preacher, he was able to exercise enormous self control, thanks to Krishna. ISKCON works hard to spread the message of Gita tirelessly and some people who received Gita in the streets have had their lives changed forever by just reading it. Namaste.

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    Re: subtleties in the gītā

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    So, my first question...
    Within the very 1st chapter, arjun asks kṛṣṇa-jī to place his charrot in between ( madhya is used in the śloka ) the two armies. It is here that their conversation takes place. Why in-between (viṣuvat ) ? Surely they could have gone to another place to have this discussion. Is there some significance beyond the obvious i.e. of being able to view the armies in fully array ?
    Pranam Yajvan.

    I think Sri Veda VyAs is just reporting a historical event here, similar to Duryodhan's discussion with Drona. Arjuna, also, mentions the reason for the request. He wanted to have a closer look of who is fighting -his friends, brothers, teachers and enemies. Looks like he was already caught up by his emotions.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Let me ask the next question. Who is the bhāgavad gītā intended for ? If one says for everyone, I say perhaps so.
    It seems to have no prereq (like caste, sex etc) other than a high regard for the teacher. So, it seems to be for everyone who believes in Sri Krishna's authority (in some way or the other).

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    But let me then ask it another way: Who will benefit the most from this śāstra ?
    That, we will never know! We can never know in whom will the supreme wisdom dawn. Sri Krishna Himself talks about men and women from all walks of life attaining the Highest! But irrespective, meditating on Gita regularly will certainly yield a progressive joy and wisdom for anyone with faith.

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