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Thread: Description of brahman in Bhagavad Gita

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    Description of brahman in Bhagavad Gita

    Namaste to all

    In verse 12 of chapter 13 of BG, sri Krishna says “ I will now describe what one should know and knowing which one will attain moksh. It is Brahman , MY attributeless aspect without beginning or end and said to be neither sat nor asat”.

    Next, sri Krishna goes on to say about Brahman. In verse 13 of chapter 13 sri Krishna says “ everywhere are His hands and feet ( sarvatah panipadam tat), His eyes, heads and faces are on all sides ( sarvatokshi-shiromutham) and everywhere are His ears ( sarvatah shrutimalloke). He remains encompassing all.

    Next, in verse 14 of chapter 13, sri Krishna says “ He seems to have functions of the senses and is yet devoid of the senses, is unattached and yet sustains everything, is unaffected by the gunas and yet enjoy them”.

    Next, in verse 15 of chapter 13, sri Krishna says “ He exists without and within all beings. He is unmoving and also moving, He is beyond grasp being too subtle. He is utterly distant and yet so near”.

    It is evident from the above verses that although some philosophy describes Brahman as formless nameless attributeless yet BG says that brahman has ears, eyes, heads and faces. He is not inactive. He is moving also. This Brahman does not represent advaitic nirguna nirakar Brahman.

    I invite the members of HDF to make comment on these verses of BG. I specially invite Mr. Wundermonk who has termed my original post on Brahman in Gita as jalpa/vitanda. Mr wundermonk,I do not know exactly what do you mean by jalpa or vitanda but now I request you to make your comment on whether the Brahman you follow is same as Brahman described in above verses of BG.

    I would like to put another question to you. In verse16 of chapter 15 of BG, sri Krishna says “ In this world there are two types of purushas. Perishable and imperishable. All beings are perishable. The changeless one is said to be imperishable”. Can you tell me who is this imperishable purusha.

    Further in verse 17 of chapter 15 sri Krishna says “ there is the supreme person distinct from these ( uttama purusha tvanyah) called the supreme self ( paramatmety udahritah). Can you tell me why this supreme self is distinct from other two purushas ? In Verse 18 of chapter 15 sri Krishna says “ since I transcend the perishable and excel the imperishable, I am known in the Vedas and in this world as the supreme person ( purushottama). I would like to know from you whether this purushottam tattva is same as nirguna nirakar Brahman of advaita. If so, in what respects ?
    Last edited by jopmala; 22 September 2015 at 12:24 PM.

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    Re: Description of brahman in Bhagavad Gita

    Namste

    Jiva has originated from Brahman, move towards Brahman and will eventually merge in Brahman. Jiva loves bhagavan and similarly bhagavan loves the jivas. Jiva wants to realize bhagavan similarly bhagavan can not do without jiva. It is like there is no motherhood without children, no husband hood without a wife. In the same way without the jiva there is no bhagavan. Bhagavan without jiva becomes just a Tattva. Jiva then has no relationship with the bhagavan. Through jnanmarge that is the path of knowledge or Yogamarga that is path of yoga helps us to realize and understand the tattva.

    But when Brahman takes the form, when He becomes the creator, preserver and destroyer of this universe, then we understand Him a little easily, we can think about Him. This is the path of bhakti. If we come closer to Him through the ideas of being a servant,son,friend or spouse to Him then that is the path of love by which we can realize Him. The relationship between unmanifest and manifest, purusha and prakriti or jiva and Brahman is always a sweet relationship. It is has to because HE is all sweet like Madhu that is Honey.

    There are two doctrines in the shastras. One is sannyasavada or Dukshavada and another is Jivanvada or Sukhavada. According to sannyasavada, human life is full of sorrow and misery because to be born means to suffer from sorrow and miseries because of the karmaphala amassed in the past lives. Further , part of these accumulated karmaphala are carried over to the next life. So the karmaphala is the cause of our repeated birth and death cycle. The only salution to get rid of repeated birth and death cycle, one has to leave the karma that is to take the vows of a sannyashi and stop doing any karma or work. So the shastras which teach this doctrine describes the unreality of life, the worthlessness of this samsara. The shastra give advice how to avoid the sorrow and misery of life and this to leave karma and become sannyashi.Acharaya sankara supported this doctrine strongly and has written extensively on the sannyashvada. He wrote “ As soon as somebody accepts sannyash by accepting the staff he becomes Narayana”.

    On the other hand, Jivanvada or sukhavada says that in the jivas exists sat-chit-anand that is Brahman and because of the existence of Brahman, who is the embodiment of Ananda then jivas also should be full of ananda. This ananda is His divine expression. His divine play or Lila. He is playing his divine play with the jivas with both their sorrow and ananda.Jivas as born as the plaything for Brahman. This creation of universe, this samsara is full of ananda. He is full of love and kindness, who has provided the love, affection kindness and friendship to the jivas. All these are His gifts to us. Because of His gifts this creation, this universe has become beautiful, everything around us are beautiful. If we enjoy His gifts with devotion and love in our hearts, we will realize His existence. To see a beautiful flower, or to hear melodious music, can these be sinful ? whose mind is full of aesthetic sense he sees aesthetic beauty in all this creation. The river, the fruits, moonlight, the dusk, the fragrance of flowers, the music of bird, the light of the dawn, the expression of love and affection, in fact in everything around him, he sees the beauty and wonder of the creation. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad we read, “ that satya is the sweetness of all jiva and all jiva is the sweetness of the satya”.

    The knowledge expressed in the Sruti the Vedas were not based on intelligence or judgement. They are not simple philosophic concepts. They are realized knowledge. The Aryan Rishis realized these truths through their spiritual intuition. Vedas state “ I have known Him I have seen Him”. This realized truth of the ancient rishis can be expressed as “ everything is blissful, everything is nectar and Ananda”.

    Those who believe in dukshavada as well as followers of jnan marg want Moksha and enter to the life of a sannyashi. They believe in Mayavada. They say the jivas suffer from sorrow and misery because of their own karma. This creation is untrue full of maya therefore all karma is also full of maya. So,They say that abandoning the karma and taking the life of an sannyashi and acquiring jnan, one should achieve Moksha. This path is known as Nivrtti marg.

    One the other hand, suskhavadi or jivanvadi also known as parinamvadi or Lilavadi say that this creation is not untrue, the human life is not dream or illusion that is maya because maya is his unlimited creative power. Brahman has created this universe and exists in it. He is Ananda that is why there is happiness and pleasure in this universe. He is in the jivas as their soul that is Atman that is why jivas have the feeling of the happiness and pleasure. So the best the jivas can do is to serve Him with love, devotion and complete surrender. If jivas perform work for Him with devotion love and non attachment and do not expect any reward then jivas do not accumulate any karmaphala. Therefore, the bhaktivadi says “ do not abandon karma” rather “ do the karma with total non attachment. This concept is Pravittrimarge.

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    Re: Description of brahman in Bhagavad Gita

    Namaste to all


    Bhagavad Gita accepted the various established paths of practicing spirituality like vedic karmavada, Upanishadic brahmanvada or jnanvada, chaturashram principle of the smriti shastra, sankhya philosophy of Kapila and the Yoga of Patanjali, all provide details of karma, jnan and yoga practices but nothing much about bhakti. Bhagavad Gita added the ‘bhakti marg’ and preached the specific yoga dharma which is known as ‘Bhagavad dharma’.

    Previously, there were a conflict between the karmavadi and the jnanvadi. In the Vedanta philosophy both karma yoga and jnan yoga have been explained. According to karmavadis to perform yajna was held at the highest esteem and was perceived as the only work to perform in life. On the other hand the jnanvadis held that the performance of work is the reason for the ‘Bandhan’ to this samsara, therefore, to adopt the ascetic life is the only path to achieve Moksha. Bhagavad Gita accepted both karma and jnan but extended the meaning of them.Bhagavad Gita taught to perform work without any attachment to it and offereing the work as service to Iswara that is ‘ Niskama karma’The human life is full of karma. So to reject karma is to reject the life. The work is the cause of karma bandhan when the work is performed with the idea of gaining something in return and with pride. Bhagavan sri Krishna in his teaching accepted jnan yoga but took it out of the clutches of the teaching that one has to become a sannyashi to attain jnan HE taught to perform ‘ Niskama karma’ for the benefit of the humankind. Since it has been taught in Bhagavad Gita that it is necessary to attain jnan does not mean the jnan yoga of the Vedanta has to be followed. The vedantic jnan yoga is intimately associated with sannyashvada that is taking up the ascetic life and to refrain from performing work. However, in the Bhagavad Gita these principles have been criticized forcefully. Also in vedantic jnan yoga there is no place of bhakti but in Bhagavad Gita bhakti is the primary teaching. All over Bhagavad Gita ( 9/34, 11/55, 18/65) one reads that “ Always remember ME, worship ME, offer all your work to ME, take refuge in ME only”.

    Thus the meditation and worship practices of the sannyashis following the vedantic teachings of jnan yoga are not what the Bhagavad Gita recommends. In the BG 4/38 sri Krishna says “ while practicing niskama karma yoga the mind will become purified and when that happens one attain jnan”. Further sri Krishna assures in 10/10-11 “ Those who keep their mind in ME and prays to ME with devotion and love, I remove their ignorance by lighting the lamp of knowledge in their hearts”. Thus there is no conflict between karma and jnan and between jnan and bhakti in Bhagavad Gita. But vedantic brahmanvada and kapila’s sankhya philosophy both are in contradiction of teachings in the Bhagvad Gita. Vedantic brahmanvada or mayavada says that Brahman is without form and attributes and inactive. The purusha of sankhya is also similar and prakriti is active and does the work. Thus vedantic maya or ignorance and prakariti of sankhya are the source of all actions in this samsara. According to sankhya, when purusha gets detached from prakriti then all the actions by prakriti ceases. Similarly according to vedtanta, when the maya or ignorance is removed then jiva becomes Brahman and all action or work ceases. Thus both philosophies say that attaining jnana that is achieving moksha causes all work or karma to cease. That’s why the jnanis say that karma and jnan can not exist together.

    In the Bhagavad Gita ,three purushas have been described . sri Krishna says “ It is true that prakriti performs the work but that prakriti is nothing but MY power. I am the purushottam. I am not only the nirgun Brahman but I am also the master of prakriti and thus I control all work. From ME has originated the instinct of work in the jivas. I do MY own work jivas are just instrument. When the jivas realize that the work he perform is not his work but MINE because I am controller of all work, when jivas perform the work without attachment to the work and offering the work as a service to ME then the jiva is not bound to the work and this samsara”. The BG says that the jnan that is attained is the jnan about the ‘ purushottam’ who is the supreme jnan, friend and master of all, the enjoyer of all yajnas and worships. Thus surrendering bhakti, feeling love for everything in the universe and offereing all karma to ME these are the signs of jnan. That’s why sri Krishna says “ jnani that is who has attained the knowledge is my favourite devotee, he is like MY own self”. The practice of purnanga yoga is not just simply meditating silently with eyes closed but it is taking refuge in bhagavan sri Krishna and performing work as a service to HIM and keeping the mind absorbed in HIM.

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