Friday, December 26, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verse 39

The path of knowledge

Yesha Te Bhihita Sankhye Buddhir Yoge Twimam Shrunu
Buddya Yukto Yaya Partha Karma Bandham Prahasyasi

The second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is like a brief summary of the different paths of Yoga in all the chapters of the Gita.
Sri Krishna adresses Arjuna as Partha and says: Now I have told you the path of Sankhya Yoga or the means to connect with the Universal consciousness through Gnana or wisdom. Now listen to how you can be detached from being bound by actions or Karma by functioning from this unified plane of individual wisdom when connected to the Universal consciousness.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II: Verse - 38

Consider alike pleasure and pain
Sukha Duhkhe Same Krithva Labhalabhou Jayajayau
Tato Yuddhaya Yujyasva Naivam Papamavapsyasi
In this verse, Sri Krishna begins with his discourse on Karma Yoga which is the essence of the Bhagavad Gita. Meditation is not about renunciation of action, but on how to renounce the results by being in the thick of action. Anhd so Sri Krishna tells Arjuna to consider alike joy and sorrow, benefits and losses, victory and defeat. With this attitude, please get ready to fight in this war. If you fight in this manner you will not incur any sin, he tells Arjuna.
Sin is nothing but a restless state of mind that is born out of doing an action. Whatever the action may be, if the doer performs it in a sense of duty, rather than letting the mind get lost in whether it will incur sin or not - then such an action will not disturb his peace of mind. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II - Verse 37

Win or lose it is win win!
Hato Va Prapsyasi Swargam Jitwa Va Bhokshyase Mahim
Tasmad Utthishtha Kaunteya Yuddhaya Kritanischayaha

Oh son of Kunti - Kaunteya! If you are killed in this battle you will reach heaven. If you win this battle, you will enjoy the kingdom acquired. So please firm up your resolve to fight, and get up.
Sri Krishna's words highlight the need today for giving yourself fully in the present moment and act. Any work done in the present moment, with total awareness will benefit the individual, whether the action leads to success or becomes a flop. It is while giving one's full self in the present moment that the mind gets evolved and fine-tuned. This is the only benefit of any action and not the result of any action. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II: Verse 36

Even enemies will belittle you

Avachya vadamscha bahun vadishyanti tavahitaha
Nindantastava Samarthyam Tato Dukha taram nu kim

Sri Krishna tells Arjuna of another excruciatingly humbling possibility when his enemies will disparage his capabilities in many different words. "What more sorrow do you need?" asks Krisna who shoots arrow after arrow of dire possibilities just in case Arjuna choses to withdraw from the war. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter II : Verse 35

Anyways you will be laughed at!

Bhayadranaduparatam Mamsyante Twam Maharathaha
Yesham Cha Twam Bahumataha Bhutwa Yasyasi Laghavam

Krishna now pokes Arjuna with the stick of a possible ridicule. He says all the great charioteers will think that you turned around and ran away from battle out of fear. You, Arjuna, who have been the object of respect owing to your victory in wars, will be considered as one too easy to defeat in war if you back out now, he taunts Arjuna now.
-Swahilya Shambhavi

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II Verse: 34

Dishonour is worse than death

Akeertim Chaapi Bhootani Kathayishyanti Tevyayam
Sambhavitasya Chakeerthihi Marananad Atirichyate
Here Krishna also warns Arjuna of a life of disrepute and dishonour, especially for a respected soldier that he is. If he did not participate in the righteous war to uphold Dharma, he may continue to live as the beings on earth will speak of him with dishonour for eternity. To live with a bad reputation s worse than death, says Sri Krishna. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2: Verse - 32

You will relinquish your duty

Atha Chethwamimam Dharmyam Samgramam Na Karishyasi

Tatah Swadharmam Keerthimcha Hithwa Papam Avapsyasi

However, if you do not participate in this war, you will incur sin and you will also be failing in your duty as you have relinquishe your reputation as a warrior, says Krishna to Arjuna. Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II: Vertse: 30/31

Upholding duty

Swadharmam Apichavekshya Navikampitum Arhasi
Dharmyaddhi Yuddhachchreyonyat Kshatriyasya Na Vidyate
Even considering one's own dharma, one should not falter. For a Kshatriya, there is no greater good that is known than fighting in a righteous war.
Yadruchchaya Chopapannam Swargadwaramapavrutam
Sukhinah Kshatriyah Partha Labhante Yuddhameedrisham
Oh Arjuna, By chance this war has come, taking you close to the door of heaven which is now open. Such a war in the hands of a kshatriyah is indeed one that makes them happy.
In both these verses, Sri Krishna uses the trumpcard of duty and the joy of fulfilling his duties as a warrior to pep up his emotions and make him ready to fight. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verse 29

A wonder for all

Ascharyavatpashyati Kaschidenam Ascharyavadwadati Tathaivachanyaha
Ascharyavacchaina Manyashrunoti Shruthwapyenam Vedaa Chaiva Kaschit
Some have a glimpse of the consciousness manifesting itself and wonders about it. Some speak of Him as a marvel and some hear Him as a marvel. Yet, none know about Him, despite, seeing, speaking or hearing.
Consciousness is so subtle that it cannot be fathomed with the sens organs, but always keeps one in a state of wonder.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verse - 28

Formless before and after
Avyaktadeeni Bhootani Vyakta Madhyani Bharata
Avyakta Nidhananyeva Tatraka Paridevana

All beings in existence are formless in their origin. In the middle they become quantifiable beings in three dimensional life. After death too, they become formless and unquantifiable. This is the truth of existence. So why do you grieve oh Arjuna?
Before a child is born where was he or she and in what form. The child lives to become a youth, attains old age and then dies. After the death, where does that person go? When this is the truth for all creatures, where is the need to grieve over death, Krishna asks Arjuna.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 27

Birth follows death follows birth.....

Jaatasyahi Dhruvo Mrityuhu Dhruvam Janma Mritasya Cha
Tasmad Apariharyerthe Natwam Shochitum Arhasi
Translation: For the born, death is certain. For the dead, birth is certain. Therefore, you should not sorrow over the inevitable, Arjuna!
Birth happens in the heat of love, when cells fuse together to form a body. This is fed, clothed and educated with all the resources available in this world. The body and mind are by themselves composed of the five elements - the Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space and thoughts that belong to the world. Birth and life is a certain state where a combination of these elements find themselves together, stay for a particular period of time...several decades in the case of humans and dissolve and part ways at the time of death.
Birth and death follow each other says Krishna to Arjuna. This is an inevitable truth and there is no point in worrying about something that cannot be changed. - Swahilya Shambhavi (

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse - 26

Day in and day out
Atha chainam Nithya Jatam Nithyam va manyase mritam
Tathapi thwam maha baho nainam shochitumarhasi
Translation: Even if you think that the self is born everyday and dies every day too, oh mighty Armed one, even then it is not proper for you to mourn.
The one self or consciousness within all of us is immortal. On the contrary, even if you think that it is born everyday and dies everyday, it is not right for you to mourn, oh mighty armed Arjuna, says Sri Krishna. - Swahilya Shambhavi (

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2: Verses 24-25

Cannot be cleaved, know this
Acchedyoyam Adahyoyam Akledyoshoshya Eva Cha
Nithyas Sarvagatah Sthanuhu Achaloyam Sanathanaha
(chapter -2, Verse 24)
Avyakthoyam Achinthyoyam Avikaryoyamuchyathe
Tasmadeva Vidithvainam Nanushochitumarhasi
(chapter -2, Verse 25)

The consciousness cannot be cleaved, it cannot be burnt, cannot be made wet, nor can it be dried. It is eternal and everywhere. It cannot be moved. It is motionless and has always existed and will ever exist. Consciousness is not any manifestation of thought, words or actions. It cannot be conceived by the mind. Sri Krishna says that "it is said that it cannot be modified." He then tells Arjuna, "Therefore, having known that this consciousness is the eternal truth of everything and person, one should not mourn in this manner," (referring to his sorrow over having to kill his cousins, friends and teachers in the war.) - Swahilya Shambhavi (

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2, verse - 23

Nothing can hurt or maul
Nainam Chindanti Shasthrani Nainam Dahati Pavakaha
Nachainam Kledayanthyapaha Nashoshayati Marutaha
A weapon can pass through a body and damage it. But swirl a knife through space and nothing happens to the space. A lighted fire can burn paper or other material things, but it cannot burn the space in which it burns. Water has the capacity to turn things wet, but it cannot wet the space through which it flows. The air can dry things it comes in contact with. Though it moves in space, it cannot dry it by any chance. The consciousness that we call God is like the space and subtler than that too. Nothing touches it, though it is present in everything. - Swahilya Shambhavi (

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2- Verse 23

We take births just like we change clothes

Vasamsi Jeernani Yatha Vihayav Navaani Grunhati Naroparani
Tatha Shareerani Vihaya Jeernanyanyani Samyati Navani Dehi

We change our clothes every day. Sometimes, we change even several times a day and don't think much about it. In the same way, the conscious being wears a live garment of body, mind and intellect. When the garment gets old and unusable any more, the consciousness removes that garment and goes ahead to wear a new one.

The bodies that we all have are nothing but clothes of different sizes, shapes and colours. The individual wearing the all is the one pure consciousness. - Swahilya Shambhavi (

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse - 22

Know the Invincible

Veda Vinashinam Nithyam Ya Enam Ajam Avyayam
Katham Sa Purushah Partha Kamghatayati Hanti Kam

For the one who knows his essential being called consciousness which is indestructible, eternal, unborn and of one contiguous piece, how can such a person kill or be killed.
Sri Krishna is a mastermind here who simply draws from the whole universal truth and philosophy to achieve his aim of getting Arjuna to fight. So verse after verse, he goes into the depths of consciousness and points out to him that every creation is covered by the same consciousness and contains the same consciousness. So there is no difference here between the killer and the killed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Deepest core

Najayate Mriyate va Kadachit Nayam Bhuthwa Bhavitha va na Bhuyaha
Ajo Nithyah Shashwatoyam Puranaha Na hanyate hanyamane shareere
Arjuna, this consciousness which is the deepest core of yourself is never born, nor does it die. It is unborn, eternal, permanent and ancient. There was not a time when it came to existence. It has always been. And so it will never cease to be. Even if this body is killed, the everlasting essence is not killed.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II Verse 18

The Killer and the Killed
Yayenam Vettihantharam Yaschainam Manyate Hatam
Ubautau na vijaneethaha Nayam Hanti Nahanyate

The one who thinks he is the killer and the one who thinks he is going to be killed, do not know the truth. In reality, there is no killer and there is no one killed.
This can sound like a joke to all those who are being wounded or killed in a war or to all those who are sent to prison by courts, after they commit a murder - where there is no doubt someone who kills and someone who is killed.
But what Krishna says is far from a joke. He is talking of the essence of the killer and the killed. Today science also tells us that we are bunches of protons, neutrons, electrons, particles, quarks and neutrinos spinniong in space. We are neither man, woman, animal or plants, but differing wavelengtyhs of energy. The consciousness that you have and the consciousness that I have and that which a plant or animal has, is like a big playfield, where we - the energies are playing the game. This consciousness is neither the killer, nor the killed.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse - 18

Perishable body, Imperishable Spirit

Anthavantha Ime Deha Nithyasyokthah Shareerinaha
Anashinoprameyasya Tasmadyudhyaswa Bharatha

What you see before you are bodies that are perishable and that have an end. They however contain the eternal, indestructible, immeasurable spirit in them. So just you fight Arjuna, the light of the Bharata race, says, Sri Krishna.

These words have relevance in the context of war, where the duty of a warrior is to fight. In other contexts, these words have a different application where it means, our body and those of others are bound to disintegrate sometime. And the spirit which dwells in us all is indestructible and ever flowing.
As long as the body is alive, let the spirit flow and express itself just as the music flows through Sri Krishna's bamboo flute.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 17


Avinashi tu tad viddhi Yena Sarvamidam Tatam
Vinashamavyayasyasya Nakaschit kartum Arhati
Sri Krishna calls the Supreme Reality as Avinashi - that which cannot be destroyed. This indestructible reality pervades through everything. One cannot destroy this unified field which is one whole by any means.
Even as Arjuna is worried about killing another in the war to come, Sri Krishna imparts the Supreme wisdom here that no one can in truth kill or destroy anyone else, because the essence of every being is indestructible and can neither be cut or cleaved.
Take for instance a martial artiste breaking a pile of granite stones with his fist. The essence of the martial artiste's being is space and the stones also are placed in space. Even if the stores are destroyed, nothing ever happens to the space through which this punch is delivered. Sri Krishna goes a step deeper to point out that the essence of ll being is the immutable and indestructible consciousness which can neither be hurt nor killed.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram,

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 Verse - 16

The Real is and Unreal is not
Nasato Vidyate Bhavaha Nabhavo Vidyate Sataha
Ubhayorapi Drishtonthaha Twanayos Tathwa Darshibhihi
The wise people know the difference between the real and the unreal. Everything that one can see, touch, smell, hear, taste and think about is unreal. Unreal means it is of a changing nature and not permanent. The unreal knows no existence. The real - consciousness, awareness has never been non-existent.
The seers of the truth have seen the end of these two, real and unreal.
Now what is the relevance of knowing the real and the unreal. What the mind sees, that it becomes. If it is constantly watching people, emotions, temporary situations, the mind also gets scattered with the changes in all that it sees, as Arjuna's mind was lost in the fleeting moments of the war. On the other hand, if the mind is trained to see the real, permanent existence of consciousness, it is fully available in the present moment and not subject to the vagaries of changing events and situations. Such a mind is fully available for any task to be done in the present moment as it sees the totality and becomes the total in the present. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(For more see links: Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram,

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2: Verse 15

The warrior spirit

Yam hi navyathayanthye te Purusham Purusharshabha
Sama duhkha sukham dheeram somritathvaya kalpathe
If Arjuna is having doubts about fighting the present war, Sri Krishna has gone on to teach him about the quality of the warrior fit to receive the supreme spirit. The enlightened human being is not agitated by pain and pleasure.
Addressing Arjuna as a leader of men, Sri Krishna reminds him that he too has the potentiality within him. Such a person alone is a fit vessel for immortality.
Where is the need for immortality in a warrior. By getting deluded by the past, Arjuna fails to see the need of the present moment. And being in the present moment is possible only if Arjuna is not swayed by the pain of fighting friends and relatives and the pleasure of escaping from the war.
Being indifferent to pleasure and pain makes the mind steady and rooted in the present moment which contains the essence of immortality. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Picture: A temple on Eldams Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Temples and places of worship are abound in India mainly as centres to help the busy mind to re-route itself to the Consciousness.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verse - 14

The senses show the difference
Matrasparshastu Kauntheya Sheetoshna Sukhaduhkhada
Aagamapayino Nithyaha Tamstitikshasva Bharata
Krishna addresses Arjuna as Kaunteya, son of Kunti and Bharata, the jewel of the Bharata race and reminds himj of a philosophy of life that behoves a king. He says that when the five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing get into contact with external objects, there arise sensations such as heat and cold, pleasure and pain. Such changes are temporary and come and go, bear with them patiently, he tells Arjuna.
Krishna's words of advice to Arjuna is a much needed philosophy in the present day world where we come into contact with different sensations that sometimes please and at other times hurt. Situations sometimes please and at other times hurt. Situations and people may sometime be pleasant and sometimes unpleasant. They are however temporar and one has to cultivate the quality of forbearance.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chapter 2 - Verse 13

Body changes Soul remains

Dehinosmin Yatha Dehe Kaumaram Yauvanam Jara
Tatha Dehanthara Prapthihi Dheerastatra Na Muhyati

Even as the body goes through childhood, youth and old age, the soul, on the death of the body, takes another body if needed. The wise men are not deluded by death, says Krishna, assuaging the fears of Arjuna. This is an ancient philosophical truth of the rebirth of the soul upon death. But with the help of modern-day science it's explanation of the changing nature of matter, quantum physics, there is a rational explanation available for such truths.
A baby is born. It grows into a child. The birth of the child is the death of the baby. The birth of the youth is the death of the child. The birth of the old person with grey hair and a bent spine is the death of the smart and good looking youth. After the old person grows and passes away, an event we call death physically, is the birth of a new being in a different form, not seen by our eyes.
Though the physical body changes the essence it contains is unchanging and knows no destruction or transformation. Babyhood is like a cup that contains water. Youth is like a bigger mug that contains more of the same water and old age is like a barrel that contains larger quantity of water. The water is the soul. When the container disintegrates with age, the water still remains in the form of vapour and may fill up some container later on. The wise are not deluded by birth and death says Sri Krishna.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2: Verse 12

Unborn Undying Existing Forever
Natwevaham Jatu Nasham Nathwam Neme Janadhipaha
Nachaiva Na Bhavishyamaha Sarve Vayamatah Param
Sri Krishna steps up on a philosophical accelerator here to drive deep into the existence of being - consciousness and the impermanence of name and form. He tells Arjuna that there was no time when he did not exist. There was no time when Arjuna did not exist. There was no time when all the rulers lined up in the enemy camp did not exist. Not only in the past, but even from now onwards will none of them cease to exist.
Sri Krishna siezes the momentary lull in Arjuna's moaning to raise him to the highest level of consciousness in just this one verse by saying that the essence of himself, Arjuna and all the kings and others in the army is the one consciousness that had always existed and will continue to exist. So what Arjuna imagines he's going to kill in the battle, is the deathless Supreme Being. He simply had no reason to worry or feel sorry, but just do his duty in the present moment.
(A Gitopadesham painting in a Naperville home at Illinois. The picture of Krishna teaching the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshethra has inspired many a painter and sculptor to recreate the image.) - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verse

False wisdom

Sri Bhagavan Uvacha
Ashochyananvashochyastwam Pragnyavadamscha Bhashase
Gatasoonagatasoomscha Nanushochanti Panditaha

Sri Krishna, from here on holds the reign of the dialogue with Arjuna and begins to assert his philosophy.
The master always gives the disciple a very long rope and in this case, Arjuna had done enough of pontification philosophising and crying to prove a point that he should not fight the war. Sri Krishna does not however budge. He derides Arjuna and says that he was moaning for those who should not be moaned for. He said that Arjuna seemed as though he was talking words of wisdom by saying he would not fight his masters, friends and relatives who have gathered against him ready for battle. But Krishna said, the truly wise person would cry neither for those who were dead or those who were living. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Maha Shivaratri, Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Tirumandiram, Satsangh in Chicago, Himalayas,

Friday, February 29, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verses 9 & 10


Sanjaya Uvacha:

Evam Uktwa Hrishikesham Gudakeshah Parantapa

Nayotsya Iti Govindam Uktwa Tushnim Babhoova Ha

Tamuvacha Hrishikeshaha Prahasanniva Bharatha

Senayorubhayor Madhye Visheedanthamidam Vachaha


Sanjaya, who was watching the discussion told Dhritarashtra, "Arjuna, the conqueror of sleep and the scorcher of his enemies, told Sri Krishna, who has overcome his senses, that he will not fight and sat down in silence.

Sri Krishna addressed Arjuna, who sat sorrowfully between both the armies, with a tone of ridicule in his words."

The disciple here with all his positive qualities of strength and valour, is down on his knees, sorrowing and defeatist in attitude.

The Master's ridicule is always there to push the disciple to discriminate between the permanent and the impermanent. This posture of Arjuna sets the tone for the essence of the Bhagavad Gita, to follow in the verses of this chapter that describe the qualities of an enlightened being.

- Swahilya Shambhavi. (Picture: Lemont Temple of Greater Chicago.)

(Maha Shivaratri, Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Himalayas, Satsang in Chicago,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2: Verses 6-8

The Master
Nachaitadvidmah Kataranno gareeyaha Yadvajayema Yadivanojayeyuhu
Yanevahatwa Najijeevishamah Tevasthithah Pramukhe Dhartharashtraha

Karpanyadoshopahataswabhavaha Prucchamith Twam Dharmasam Moodha Chetaha
Yacchreyassyan Nischitham Broohitanme Shishyastheham Shadhimam Twam Prapannam

Nahiprapashyami Mamapanudhyath Yacchokamucchoshanamindriyanam
Avapya Bhumavasapathnamriddham Rajyam Suranamapi Chadhipathyam

Arjuna asks as to which alternative will be better - whether to kill them or be killed by them. The nature of the people on the side of Dhritarashtra is such that one would not wish to live after killing them, he says.

"My nature is overwhelmed by a sense of pity and my mind is in an utter confusion regarding my sense of duty. Myself, your disciple, plead to you to tell me clearly what is the correct path of good. I have surrendered unto you. Please instruct.
This grief numbs my senses and I cannot find anything that can quieten the feeling. This cannot be quelled even if I am given lordship over kingdoms, nor even becoming the Lord of the divine beings," he asks.
Arjuna's mind reveals the conflicts that goes on in the mind of a sensitive warrior who goes deeply into analysis of his profession. He is confused about issues such as professional ethics and seeks the wise counsel of Sri Krishna to educate him on what is the right path to take, as he has himself lost the sense of discretion - overcome as he is by pity.
It is important to learn here through the doubts and fears expressed by Arjuna that no great achievement in the world can solve the disturbance of a mind that does not know the way to the truth.
(Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Himalayas, - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 - Verses 4 & 5

Nine times up and ten times down!

Arjuna Uvacha:
Katham Bhishmam Aham Sankhye Dronam Cha Madhusudana
Ishubhih Pratiyotsyami Pujarhavarisudana

Gurunahathwahi Mahanubhavan
Shreyobhokthum Bhaikshyamapiha Loke
Hatwartha Kamamstu Gurunihaiva
Bhunjiyabhogan Rudhirapradigdhan
The mind of Arjuna that surrendered just a while ago, again rose up with some more strength from its self pity, fears and doubts. "How shall I attack Bhishma and Drona with arrows in battle, the two who are worthy of worship, oh Madhusudana, the destroyer of enemies?"
Arjuna's mind is now foggy with moral codes of conduct he has imbibed. He says it is better to live in the world on a beggar's bowl, than prosper by killing one's revered teachers. Guruhathi or killing one's Guru or teacher is a sin and the pleasures and power he may attain after killing them in war will also be stained with blood, he says.
The mind has an inexhaustible trove of doubts, worries and anxieties, which keeps throwing up one after another. There can be no end to such lamentation, unless the mind wakes up to the truth of consciousness.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra, Himalayas, - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2: Verses 1 - 3

Enough is Enough!

Sanjaya Uvacha
Tam Tatha Kripaya Vishtam Ashrupurna Kulekshanam
Vishidantam Idam Vakyam Uvacha Madhusudhana
Sri Bhagavan Uvacha
Kutastwa Kashmalamidam Vishame Samupasthitham
Anaryam Ajushtam Aswargyam Akeerthikaram Arjuna
Klaibyam Ma Smagamah Partha Naithathvaiyupapadhyathe
Kshudhram Hridayadaurbalyam Tyakthwothishta Paranthapa!
The Bhagavad Gita is ultimately a Yoga Shastra, a treatise on different aspects of Yoga. The first part was Vishada Yoga, or the Yoga of Confusion. The next is Sankhya Yoga or the Yoga of Knowledge that everything in this Universe springs from one primary force.
After Arjuna drops down at the feet of Krishna by the weight of his own confusion, grief, pity and many depressing thoughts of doom, he is in a pitiable condition.
Sanjaya plays the role of the audience witnessing a show here. He reports again to Dhritarashtra that Krishna was addressing an Arjuna who was overcome by pity, with eyes full of tears and seemed clueless what to do.
Sri Krishna speaks firmly here, whipping Arjuna with words. He calls his behaviour as highly ordinary, ignoble and an impediment to reach heaven, as bringing disrepute. He questions Arjuna as from where such unbecoming behaviour came from a dreaded warrior, particularly at this time when he did not think of all these reasons before consenting to fight.
He tells Arjuna to not become a victim of such unmanly, impotent behaviour. "It does not befit you. It is base, such weakness of heart. Leave it aside and get up," says Krishna.
When the mind is torn by doubt, it touches the lowest ebb of thoughts which are filled with despondency, depression, grief, pity, sorrow and confusion. A person in such a state can not only not think clearly, but their actions will be in no way noble or noteworthy. Actions performed in such a state of mental distress can even bring disrepute and shame. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Picture: Akshardham - Swaminarayan Mandir, Chicago.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 45 - 47 (End)

Letting go and surrender

Ahobata Mahatpapam Kartum Vyavasita Vayam
Yadrajya Sukhalobhena Hantum Swajana Mudyataha

Yadi Mamapratikaram Ashastram Shastrapanayaha
Dhartharashtra Rane Hanyuhu Tanme Kshematharam Bhaveth.

Sanjaya Uvacha:
Evamuktwarjuna's Sankye Rathopastha Upavishath
Visrujya Sasharam Chapam Shoka Samvigna Manasaha.

(Iti Srimad Bhagavadgitasu Upanishadsu Brahma Vidyayam Yogashastre
Sri Krishnarjuna Samvade Arjuna Vishada Yogo Nama Prathamodhyayaha).
Alas! What a big sin we have decided to commit when we have gathered here to destroy our own friends, family and relatives, just out of greed for the pleasures of a kingdom.
It would be far better if the sons of Dhritarashtra, armed with weapons, killed me in battle, myself unarmed and not showing any resistance.
Sanjaya concludes, "Weighed down by a mind filled with grief, Arjuna set aside his bow and arrows and sat down on his chariot overwhelmed."
In these concluding verses of the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, we see Arjuna touching an emotional nadir, mixing up the reasons for not fighting the war. The cause for the war is far from any greed on the side of the Pandavas. It is indeed a final recourse to avenge the humiliation perpetrated on them and on their wife Draupadi by the Kauravas.
Greed is a new quality he has discovered, thinking through his spaghetti mind, projecting new ideas each time in his search for an excuse to not fight.
And finally with Krishna listening in smiling silence, to all his ranting, the warrior gives a very unlikely suggestion out of sheer frustration, that it is better to die unresisting and unarmed!
In many a sorrowful moment, one is able to do nothing more but simply express as shaking tears and sit down feeling weak and thoroughly exhausted and debilitated.
But at the end of the expulsion of tears, which are nothing but all the clouding thoughts, precipitating as salty rain, there is a radiant peace and clarity after all the confusing thought clouds have cleared.
In the song of the divine - the Bhagavad Gita, an Upanishad - a text that takes one close to the supreme truth, Brahma Vidya - the one that gives the knowledge of the Brahman - the biggest ultimate experience, this chapter is called the Yoga of Arjuna's Confusion.
This is also a Yoga Sastra - a text on Yoga which teaches the method of uniting the individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness.
The underlying theme of this chapter is that one has to do his duty and face the consequences squarely, with unflinching grace. So if there is confusion in the process, it is perfectly fine, because it is followed by clarity. When there is a confusion of thoughts, the mind acquires more gravity. The thoughts fall with their own weight and the clarity of consciousness shines brightly in its place. Hence the confusion which finally leads to unity with the one consciousness here is called Vishada Yoga - the Yoga of Confusion! - Swahilya Shambhavi. Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra. (

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1: Verses 40 - 44

Imagining a trail of disaster

Kulakshaye Pranashyanthi Kuladharmah Sanathanaha
Dharme Nashte Kulam Krithsnam Adharmobhibhavathyutha

Adharmabhibhavath Krishna Pradushyanthi Kulasthriyaha
Streeshu Dushtasu Varshneya Jayate Varnasankaraha

Sankaro Narakayaiva Kulghnanam Kulasya cha
Patanti Pitaro Hyesham Lupthapindodaka Kriyaha

Doshairetaih Kulaghnananam Varnasankara Karakaihi
Utsadyante Jatidharmaha Kuladharmascha Shashwathaha

Utsanna Kuladharmanam Manushyanam Janardana
Narake Niyatam Vasaha Bhavatheethyanushushruma


Arjuna forebodes a trail of disasters by fighting the war. He said it will lead to a decadence of clans when the traditional balance of family customs perished. This would be followed by anarchy.
Oh Krishna, when there is lawlessness, this would lead to the corruption of the minds of women. When such a corruption happened, there would be a mixture of different classes, Oh leader of the Vrishni race!
When family relationships go haywire, both the members of the clan and those who destroy it go to hell. The spirit of the ancestors will suffer without legitimate progeny to perform rites and obsequies with rice balls (Pinda Danam) and water.
By the actions of those who ruin the clan, the traditions of communities carried out from time immemorial would get disrupted.
Oh Janardana, we have heard that a place awaits in hell surely for those whose religious traditions have been lost, says Arjuna.
These lines reveal several details on the importance attached then to following the customs and traditional practices and the prevalent traditions in society, the system of castes, the culture of performing ancestral rites.
It should also be noted here that Krishna, is aware that in the context of the war, these were the consequent results. Yet he goads Arjuna to participate in the war. This reveals that prevalence of customs and traditions and religious practices are not in the hands of individuals, but are shaped by a higher destiny and force in the scheme of the immemorial Sanatana Dharma or Eternal Religion. The change in the cultures and traditions of many countries and peoples over the centuries ever since the evolution of man, proves this point.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Vignana Bhairava Tantra.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bhagavad Gita : Chapter 1: Verses: 37-39


Tasmannarha Vayam Hanthum Dhartharashtran Swabandhavan
Swajanam hi Katham Hathwa Sukhinah Syama Madhava

Yadyapyete Na Pashyanthi Lobhopahatha Chethasaha
Kulakshaya Kritham Dosham Mitradrohe Chapathakam

Katham na Gneyamasmabhihi Papadasman Nivarthithum
Kulakshaya Kritam Dosham Prapashyadbhir Janardhana
Oh Madhava, it is not therefore the right thing to do by killing my relatives, the sons of Dhritarashtra. Where is the happiness on slaughter of one's own kinsmen.
The intelligence of these people is overpowered by greed O Janardhana. They do not see any evil in their families perishing and any sin in the persecution of friends. But we who are aware of the evil of such decay of families, shouldn't we refrain from that sin?

Arjuna continues with the justification for his point of view. Especially when a strong ego as Arjuna's, the period of pontification, argumentation or justification of his point of view will go on and on, till at one point he got absolutely tired and exhausted and surrendered to the superior counsel and wisdom, when there is no other go.
The way is clear not through the justification, arguments and confusion, but when all the noises of the mind died down in complete surrender to the divine wisdom that is present at all times. The only requirement to be able to listen to the counsel is the silence of the mind. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1 - Verses: 35 - 36

Self Pity

Etanna Hantumicchami Ghnatopi Madhusudhana
Api Trailokya Rajyasya Hetoh Kim Nu Mahi Krite
Nihatya Dhartharashtrannaha Ka Preeti syajjanardana
Papamevashrayedasman Hatwaita Natatayinaha
Hey Madhusudhana, even if I am killed, I do not desire to kill. If I don't wish to become the king of even the three worlds - much less can be said about this kingdom on the earth!
Oh Janardhana, what joy can we experience after all, after killing the sons of Dhritarashtra.
The lamentation of Arjuna now gives way to self pity. And when analysing all the needs, not to fight, justifying himself, he begins to list his reasons. that he does not wish for the three worlds, leave alone the earth.
Even though it is not a sin to kill those who commit heinous crimes, he argues that he is not going to get joy out of killing them. Moreover, only sin will come out of it, he believes.
When we set a difficult goal or target, there is a sudden wish to backtrack and we rationalise our decision by saying that we don't after all want to achieve any ambitious goals.
While suggesting that he is not going to derive any joy out of fighting in the war, Arjuna forgets that he is the defender of the dignity of the Pandavas and not there to experience any personal joy. It is a classic case of one who lets personal emotions with relationships blind his sense of duty. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Picture: Sri Krishna is the role model for many today, after several thousands of years since he lived. This little child dressed up as Krishna for a dance performance at the Pongal Vizha of the Chicago Tamil Sangam, USA.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 33-34

The Lamenting Mind

Yeshamarthe Kankshitham Naha Rajyam Bhoga Sukhanicha
Ta Imevasthitha Yuddhe Pranamsthyakthwa Dhananicha

Acharyah Pitarah Putraha Tathaivacha Pitamahaha
Matulah Shwashurah Pauthraha Syala Sambandhinasthatha


Arjuna continues with ascertaining the excusing, seeking the support of Sri Krishna for his point of vies. The very teachers, fathers and sons, grand fathers, uncles, fathers-in-law and other relatives - for whose sake we desire kingdoms, enjoyment and pleasures - are lined up here ready to give their lives.

The battle lines are clearly drawn and all of Arjuna's teachers, relatives and dear ones are clearly in the opposite camp, ready to fight the Pandavas. This is a context where there is no room for doubt. Yet, the lamenting mind is not ready to see the truth on the face.

In a confusing situation where one is faced with a moral dilemma, the first requirement is quietude of mind, watching the various emotions that well up, with the beacon light of awareness. As the Zen proverb says, the need in such a crisis is to first "Shut up and Sit Down." - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 31 32

What the mind wants to see, it sees

Nimithani cha pashyami Vipareetani Keshava
Nacha Shreyonupashyami Hathwa Swajanamahave

Nakankshe Vijayam Krishna Nacha Rajyam Sukhanicha
Kim No Rajyena Govinda Kimbhogair Jivitena Va


Oh Keshava, I see ill omens. I do not feel that any good will come out of killing one's own relatives.

I do not long for victory oh Krishna, neither kingdom nor enjoyment. Of what use is kingdom, enjoyment or even life itself after I kill my relatives in war?

There are a thousand fears that crop up in a disturbed mind. When an action has to be performed, yet some fear creeps in, it is the nature of the mind to come forward with many excuses, examples, ill omens or just anything to prevent performance. The mind has the power to show what it wants to believe. So in that way, Arjuna's mind, gripped by fear and uncertanty, is coming up with several invalid excuses one after another.

When an individual has taken up a major project or a resolution, his or her intellect has sat up and rolled up the sleeves to get ready. But the mind which is used to the ordinary ways of laziness and pursuing small goals or not seeing the ultimate picture, will resist in many ways - throwing tantrums like a child. The intellect governed by consciousness should be able to identify the tantrums and go ahead with its decision. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 28-30

Signs of Distress

Krupaya Paraya Vishtaha Vishidannidamabravith
Arjuna Uvacha
Drishtwemam Swajanam Krishna Yuyutsum Samupasthitham

Sidanti Mama Gathrani Mukhamcha Parishushyathi
Vepathushcha Shareereme Romaharshashcha Jayathe

Gandivam Sramsate Hasthath Twakchaiva Paridahyate
Nacha Shaknomyavasthathum Bhramativacha Me Manaha.


Overcome with supreme pity, the sorrowing Arjuna said, "Seeing these relatives of mine, eager to fight, my limbs feel weak and give way, my mouth is parched, my body trembles and my hair stands on end (horripilating).

My bow, the Gandiva is slipping from my hands. My skin burns and it is not possible for me to stand alone and my mind is spinning at such a sight.

What Arjuna is facing now can be equated with the examination fear, stage fright or the interview jitters. Though a talented archer, his powerful Gandiva is slipping out of his hands, showing that he is so confused and siezed with fear that he is beginning to forget his duty. The relationships that he sees around confuses his mind. These are the signs of a person who is beginning to lose contact with the awareness, consciousness or the innerself. A person who has let the developments and situations outside, disturb his thoughts and upset his firmness of resolve. Forgetfulness, parched mouth, trembling fear, feverishness, shivering with fright and horripilation are a sign that some weakness has siezed the mind and has to be immediately attended to. If left unattended, it may lead to faulty thoughts followed by actions that lead to further chaos, leading the person further away from the truth. Luckily for Arjuna, there was a Sri Krishna to watch his behaviour and guide him through. In daily life, when we face such situations, such guidance can come through a Guru, a person, a book, an advertisement hoarding, a bird, a butterfly, a child or just from a casual word uttered by someone. All one has to do is just be aware and watch. The answer will spring. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 24-27

Relating to the present moment
Sanjaya Uvacha

Evamukto Hrishikeshaha Gudakeshena Bharatha
Senayorubhayor Madhye Sthapayithva Rathothamam

Bhishma Drona Pramukhataha Sarvesham Cha Mahikshitham
Uvacha Partha Pashyaitan Samavetan Kuruniti

Tatra Pashyathsthithan Parthaha Pitrunatha Pithamahan
Acharyan Matulan Bhrathrun Puthran Pauthran Sakhimsthatha

Shwashuran Suhrudaschaiva Senaiyorubhayorapi
Tansamiksha Sa Kaunteya Sarvan Bandhun Avasthithan.


Sanjaya said: Oh Kind Dhritarashtra! Sri Krishna stopped the most splendid of the chariots between both the armies and told Gudakesha - the conquerer of sleep - Arjuna: Oh Arjuna! See these men of the Kuru horde assembled for battle."

There he saw in both the armies, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, fathers-in-law and soulmates.

Relationships and friendships happen in life in different situations. But life is a permanently changing phenomenon and the friend of today can find him or herself in the enemy camp of tomorrow. The closest of relatives or cousins can be in the opposition team, decided by situations and circumstances.

Being in the present moment demands exceptional courage to act with presence of mind, instead of being torn and disturbed by the relationships of the past or anxieties of the future. This is a crisis that has confronted the valiant Arjuna. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 1:Verses 20- 23

Moving from sound to silence

Atha Vyavasthithan Drishtwa Dhartharashtran Kapidhwajaha
Pravrutte Shastrasampate Dhanurudhyamya Pandavaha

Hrishikesham Tada Vakyam Idamaha Mahipate
Arjuna Uvacha:
Senayorubhayormadhya Ratham Sthapayamechyuta

Yavadetan Niriksheham Yodhu kaman Avasthithan
Kairmaya Sahayodhdhavyam Asmin Rana Samudhyame

Yotsyamanan Aveksheham Yayetetra Samagataha
Dhartharashtrasya Durbudhdheh Yuddhe Priya Chikirshavaha.


Oh King, Arjuna, the Pandava leader with the banner of a monkey (Hanuman), on seeing the followers of Dhritarashtra arrayed for the battle and the war about to begin, holding up his bow, told Sri Krishna:

"Oh Achyuta! Please stop my chariot between the two armies so that I can see all those ready to fight and who are the persons, I have to contend with on the eve of the battle.

Let me also see those who are on the side of the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra and are ready to join the battle."

When all the noise outside raises and subsides, only then does the mind settle down to see the truth. Arjuna asks Krishna to stop the chariot in the space between the armies as he wishes to take stock of the people he has to fight. Settling down after encountering the chaos of the world outside is the first to meditation. The sounds outside create a similar heightening of the energies experienced within. When the sounds drop, there is also a sympathetic sudden drop in the vibrations of the sound within, helping the individual to experience the silence that always existed. This helps the mind to emerge with some clarity in the midst of chaos. And it is clarity that will aid further action rooted in the truth. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1: Verses 12 - 19

The call of the conch

Tasya Sanjanayan Harsham Kuruvriddhah Pitamahaha
Simhanadam Vinadyochaih Shankham Dadhmau Pratapavan

Tatah Shankhascha Bheryascha Panavanaka Gomukhaha
Sahasaivabhya Hanyantha Sashabdhas Tumulobhavath

Tatah Shwetair Hayairyukte Mahatisyandane Sthithau
Madhavah Pandavaschaiva Divyau Shankhau Pradhadhmathuhu

Panchajanyam Hrishikeshaha Devadattam Dhananjayah
Paundram Dadhmau Mahashankham Bhimakarma Vrikodaraha

Anantha Vijayam Raja Kuntiputro Yudhishtiraha
Nakulah Sahadevascha Sughosha Manipushpakau

Kashyascha Parameshvasaha Shikhandicha Maharathaha
Dhrishtadhyumno Viratascha Satyakischaparajithaha

Drupado Draupadeyascha Sarvashah Prithivipathehe
Saubhadrascha Mahabahuhu Shankhan Dadhmuh Prithak Prithak

Saghosho Dhartharastrannam Hridayanivyadarayath
Nabhascha Prithivim Chaiva Tumulovyanunadayan.

Even as Duryodhana was beginning to express doubts, the powerful grandfather Bhishma, seniormost of the Kuru dynasty, blew his conch shell in a high pitch, sounding like the roar of a lion, in an attempt to cheer him up.

As if taing the cue, conchs, kettle-drums, tabors, military drums and cowhorns began blaring out, causing a tremendous sound.

Then Krishna and Arjuna, seated in a great chariot yoked with white horses, blew their celestial conch-shell horns.

Sri Krishna sounded the Panchajanya. Arjuna blew his Devadatta. Bhima - the man or terrible deeds, sounded his conch, Paundram.

Yudhistira, the king and the eldest of the sons of Kunti, sounded the Anantavijaya, Nakula and Sahadeva blew at their Sughosha and Manipushpaka.

The great archer and King of Kashi, Shikhandi the mighty car-warrior, Dhristadhyumna, Virata and the invincible Satyaki, the King of Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, the strong-armed son of Subhadra - all of them sounded their conch shell horns again and again, every where, oh King, Sanjaya narrates to Dhritarashtra.

The earth and the sky reverberated with the resounding uproar of the tumultous conch shells, piercing the hearts of the followers of Dhritarashtra.

The conch has an important role to play in many religious and spiritual traditions. The blowing of the conch usually symbolises the beginning of prayer. It is rather like a calling attention motion! The sound of the conch, drums and horns have the capacity to overpower the wavering mind and bring it immediately to the present moment. If meditation is about drawing oneself to the present moment - the sound of the conch and other musical instruments serve as a mighty distractive force to finally attract the mind and bring it to the silence of the present moment. Just as all the players in the war sounded the conch to get their minds alert for the war, disturbing situations outside can often be shoved aside with a strong mental resolve just like the call of the conch, to gather oneself to be with the silence of consciousness. Settling down to some quietude is the precursor to the birth of clarity. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 1:Verses 10 & 11

Aparyaptham Tadasmakam Balam Bhishmabhirakshitham

Paryaptham Twidametesham Balam Bhimabhirakshitham

Ayaneshu cha Sarveshu Yatha Bhagamavasthithah

Bhishmamevabhirakshanthu Bhavanthas Sarva Eva Hi.


There are contradictory interpretations to the verse by many. One is that, defended by the skillful and powerful Bhishma, our army is more than adequate in strength and defended by the strength of Bhima, the Pandava army is inadequate. But the word Aparyaptham is interpreted as less than adequate, in conjunction with the next verse in which Duryodhana orders his army to take their positions to protect Bhishma. The whole army of Duryodhana is protected by the power of Bhishma, but he has to be protected from getting injured as there are people of the Pandava army such as Shikhandi whom Bhishma would not fight back, even if he was attacked by them.

The crisis of Duryodhana is the crisis which many of us face, when we rely on the outside world, rather than the inner soul force for our support. Like Duryodhana's wrong identification with the physical body of Bhishma, which he directs his army to protect, while in truth, the power or soul force that Bhishma wields is the one that offers protection to the Kauravas, the wrong identification with the outside appearances and the pbhysical body can lead to a depletion of energy.

- Swahilya Shambhavi

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1 - Verses 7-9

Asmakam tu Vishishtaye Tannibodha Dwijothama
Nayaka Mamasainyasya Samgnartham Tan Bravimite

Bhavan Bhishmascha Karnascha Kripascha Samitinjayaha
Ashwathama Vikarnascha Saumadattir Jayadrathaha

Anye Cha Bahavashuraha Madarthe Tyakta Jivithaha
Nana Shastra Praharanaha Sarve Yuddha Visharadaha.

Duryodhana gathers his own confidence by addressing his Guru in exhalting terms as Dwijothama, or twice born. It means a person who has realised the spiritual truth. "On our side, I shall now mention to you the distinguished leaders of the army.

Yourself, Bhishma, Karna, the victorious Kripa, Ashwathama, Vikarna, son of Somadatta and Jayadratha.

There are many more brave men, who are ready to lay down their lives for my sake. They are capable of fighting with different weapons and all of them are seasoned warriors.

Duryodhana here reveals the qualities of a person making an attempt to get into the present moment, looking at the positive side of things, even at the last moment. Though there is a lurking fear of defeat, he does not allow himself to get overwhelmed and begins to count his strengths, starting from the spiritual power of his Guru. It may also be noted here that he is focussing more only on the physical prowess of his army, unlike Arjuna an accomplished warrior for whom the battle field becomes a place for contemplation and reflection.

Duryodhana gives some techniques for efficient crisis management by positive thinking. By highlighting the strengths, he not only allays his own fears, but also gives confidence to the other members of the army.

The Bhagavad Gita is increasingly becoming a text for study by management students and Duryodhana's stock-taking of valiant members of his team, points towards a confidence building exercise to boost the morale of a team in corporate management, particularly in the face of a crisis. It does not help a team leader to pick holes at such moments, but to encourage and provide support, as Duryodhana does.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 1: Verses 4-6

Atra Shura Maheshwasaha Bhimarjuna Samayudhi
Yuyudhano Viratascha Drupadascha Maharathaha.

Dhristhaketuschekitanaha Kashirajascha Veeryavan
Purujit Kuntibhojascha Shaibyascha Narapungavaha.

Yudhamanyuscha Vikranthaha Uttamaujascha Veeryavan
Saubhadrau Draupadeyascha Sarva Eva Maharathaha.

In the three verses, the rattled Duryodhana narrates the name of all the warriors in the enemy camp. They are all the valiant bowmen of repute, equalling Bhima and Arjuna in battle, Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada are the great chariot warriors.
Dhristaketu, Chekitana, the brave king of Kashi, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya - the best among men.
The powerful Yudhamanyu, the brave Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra, the sons of Draupadi - all of them are great warriors on the chariot. Maharathas are warriors who have the quality of protecting themselves, the charioteer and the horses from the enemies and fighting simultaneously against 16,000 warriors.
Duryodhana has been vanquished many a time by Bhima and Arjuna and now he sees all the warriors in the enemy camp equal to them in valour.
When the mind is diffident, it goes into a state of despondency. In such a state, it can see all the strong points of the enemy. As is the case of Duryodhana here, he is being dragged further and further down as he counts the strengths of his opponents, weakening himself further.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 1 Verse 3

Pashyaitam Panduputhranam Acharya Mahathim Chamum
Vyudam Drupadaputhrena Tava Sishyena Dhimatha.
Sanjaya continues his reporting of the events of war to Dhritarashtra. He narrates in this verse, what Duryodhana tells his Guru, Dronacharya.

Oh Master, see this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, the Pandavas, arrayed in battle order by your very talented disciple - the son of Drupada - Dhrishtadhyumna.

Duryodhana's words reflect the restlessness of one who perceives defeat. He calls the Pandava army as very big, though it is very small in numbers, compared to his own. He runs up to his master to ask him to see his brilliant disciple Dhrishtadhyumna and refers in superlative terms about how well he has arranged the army.

Fear is the worst enemy in times of a crisis. Despite the presence of his teacher on his side, Duryodhana is afraid of a fellow disciple in the opposite camp. He also calls the Pandavas as Pandu Putra - the sons of Pandu and Dhrishtadhyumna as the son of Drupada. Again, an unsettled mind draws in the anxieties and enemities from the past and fails to be in the present moment.

Duryodhana again reveals here the frailties of a mind that is not rooted to the source, established in the inner self. A mind that is lost in the developments of the world outside is tormented by what it sees, knows no peace and cannot be successful in what it does. The very fears of Duryodhana leads him to the situation he fears - defeat and death.

The law of attraction is that, what you ask for, that you get. Here Duryodhana does not have any control over his fears, and eventually, what he feared materialises. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sanjaya speaks...: Chapter 1 - Verse 2

Sanjaya Uvacha:

Drishtvatu Pandavanikam Vyudam Duryodhanasthada
Acharyam Upasangamya Raja Vachanamabravith.
Sanjaya begins his narration of all that he saw in the war, including the imparting of the Gita by Sri Krishna to Arjuna. On being questioned by Dhritarashtra, he tells him that the King Duryodhana, upset on seeing the army of the Pandavas which seemed confident in his eyes, ran up to his Acharya - preceptor and spoke these words.

The mind is often taken aback when it perceives the world as it comes closing in. Especially if the mind such as Duryodhana's, which has gone many a time on a rampage, scheming, planning and committing atrocities that disturb the smooth functioning of society.

Duryodhana's restlessness is evident in the manner in which he is plagued by fear of the mere presence of the Pandavas and running up to his Guru for help. Duryodhana is an example for what befalls a humanbeing who does not live a life in tune with the conscious divine principle and follows the path of Adharma - performing actions against the cosmic order.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Poised for battle -Chapter 1 -Verse 1

Dhritarashtra Uvacha:

Dharmakshethre Kurukshethre Samaveta Yuyutsavaha
Mamakah Pandavashchaiva Kimakurvatha Sanjaya?

Dhritarashtra is blind. He is the personification of the ignorant mind, torn by desires and confusion. He cannot hence see the reality. Since he cannot perceive the truth, he sits in the camp of Adharma - as the father of the Kauravas.

For one who cannot see, he needs the guidance of Sanjaya, his charioteer, to narrate the events of the Mahabharatha war. Sanjaya is also the one who sees the truth. Hence he tried to mediate between the Pandavas and the Kauravas to peacefully settle the dispute, but failed.

Dharma has many meanings. The predominant one though is sustenance. Kshethra means place. The Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the Mahabharatha epic. The essence of the epic story is the same essence of our life too. Dharmakshethra is this being of the five koshas or sheaths - Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vignanamaya and Anandamaya Kosha - the layers of the body made of food, energy, mind, intellect and bliss.

A text like the Bhagavad Gita, is like the Himalayas. Each time you go deeper and deeper into it, the pearls of wisdom can reveal newer insights and meanings. So, dispelling doubts that it is just a part of an epic story, we can delve deep into this treasure trove and emerge with subtle truths from the mine of consciousness.

The five koshas of each individual are the five koshas of all humans, of existence put together. Dharmakshethra hence is the whole Universe and all that happens in it. The base for this Dharmakshethra is the planet Earth, since we live on this spaceship.

Kurukshethra is the battlefield of the descendants of the Kuru clan, the Kauravas. But in our context her, it refers to the battlefield in the Dharmakshethra. In this being of ours - individual and collective, where dharma or the natural order prevails, there can be a battle of forces once in a while, when it turns into a Kurukshethra - battlefield.

Samaveta means the equally poised forces. Where is the equality here between an army of five members - the Pandavas and of the hundred brothers of the Kauravas? Well, this is a beautiful instance to show that might is not in mere numbers, but the quality of contemplation within.

The Kauravas represent the mind which is torn by distress, anger, jealousy, hatred, frustration and many chaotic emotions. Hundred is just an approximate representation for the different qualities of the mind expressed by the sons of Dhritarashtra.

The Pandavas are just five. When the five organs of perception are lost in the happenings of the world, they become the Kauravas and wreak havoc on others and on themselves too. But the same five organs, when they turn inward and depend solely on the unseen force called consciousness - Sri Krishna, victory is on their side.

Yuyutsavaha means to be desirous of fighting. Though they may be cousins, friends or members of the family - when arrayed in the opposite camps in the battlefield, fighting is the order and there is no running away. Life goes on smoothly each day. But there may be occasions when the unexpected happens and it is time to take hard decisions.

Then one has to act and be in the present moment - the most important quality in the battlefield. A moment missed in the now means death. When the moment comes, one has to be ready to face challenges head on, with courage and wisdom.

Mamakaha: Dhritarashtra is referring to his sons and the Pandavaha to the Pandavas and asks Sanjaya to narrate to him what they did after positioning themselves against each other. Dhritarashtra comes through as a wavering mind, torn by his guilt for neglecting the Pandavas, his brother's sons and his blind love for his sons failing to act against their grave misdemeanourin many instances.

Thogh he is incapable, he harbours great anger towards Bhima, for killing his son in the battlefield and attempts to kill him in a feigned loving embrace. A blind mind cannot see the truth, how much ever it may try. It needs to surrender to the wisdom of one who can see and in this case, it is Sanjaya who also has ben endowed with the divine vision like Arjuna.

An important point to note in the Bhagavad Gita is that - all the different characters here do not refer to different people. So all the fights among people about tracing the descendants of the Pandava and the Kaurava races to date are farcical. The Kaurava is you, the Pandava is you, the Dhritarashtra is you, the Sanjaya is you and eventually the clear intellect of Sri Krishna - acting with poise in the battlefield, submerged in the consciousness of divine wisdom is also You!

The Bhagavad Gita is a journey from a mind torn by confusion to a consciousness which shows the light for life in a dark world.

- Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The song of the bamboo

Bamboo Wisdom

The Bhagavad Gita, words of consciousness - flowed from the lips of the cowherd king who revelled in the strains of the flute that he played. Just as the formless wind that flows through the different holes of the flute that creates the music of the soul, the words Sri Krishna spoke to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshethra rings as music to the ears torn asunder by chaos and turmoil in the everchanging word.

So Bamboo Wisdom is about each verse of the Bhaqgavad Gita, not as a text for glorifying some bygone era, but for its relevance today, now, in the present moment. Tune in to the music of the bamboo, wafting the essence of eternal wisdom.


Arjuna Vishada Yoga: Chaos is the precursor to cosmos. Just so, confusion is a prelude to clarity. Arjuna, the great warrior, skilled in archery, adept in concentration, bestowed with divine power, is a blessed fighter who knew no fear. Yet, confronted by his teachers, relatives and friends in the enemy camp, he is confused, shaken and cannot be his agile self. Doubts cross his mind like a storm.

This is not an Arjuna that lived in some mythological past, but the ordinary human being of today. Technology and organisation have provided all the comforts that even kings of the past did not enjoy. From simple questions like why should I work? What is the meaning for my life? What should I do? Why should I be part of this rat race? Is there no liberation from a life so full of sorrow, sadness, disaster, war, terrorism, bomb blasts and deaths? Every moment is beset with doubts and fear. Even the few happy moments are eventually lost in the fear of that happiness slipping away.

What is that changeless one absolute in this chaotic world of change? The confusion of Arjuna is our confusion too. The words flowing from the depths of consciousness from the friend-turned Guru and mentor - Sri Krishna, are the words of clarity flowing from the depths of our own being. The confused mind that asks questions throughout the Bhagavad Gita is Arjuna and the clarity of reply is from the intellect submerged in Consciousness - that is Krishna. Both are one and the same person - the mind is you, the consciousness is you. The doubt is you and the solution is you. The Arjuna is You and the Sri Krishna is also you.
So here go the words of wisdom, flowing through this bamboo flute....
- Swahilya Shambhavi.