Part 2 - Summary The BHAGAVAD GITA
Nov 30, 2004 03:26 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Part 2 - Summary The BHAGAVAD GITA
Summary of the Main Themes in the Bhagavad Gita
Special Hints to Occultists in the Bhagavad Gita
Krishna gives these hints :
1. There is a "path" called "indestructible," which de-scribes the
consistent spiritual meditation carried forward from life to life by some
devotees. It is chosen by those who, make themselves "free" from earthly
attachments, aim to be Brahmachar-yas (ascetics devoted to studying the
Universe and doing good to all creatures).
2. Krishna describes this special practice as: Closing the
"gateways" to sense-perceptions, imprisoning the mind in the heart, and
focusing the vital powers in the head.
3. At the time of death, such an one whose soul is in his firm
control, using the word "OM," merging it into his individu-ality, passes
into the state and presence of the Supreme Spirit. All beings up to Brahma
are subject to this endless process of rebirth and change.
4. "...for those thinking of me as identical with all, constantly
worship me, I bear the burden of the responsibility of their happiness."
( p. 67 )
5. Wisdom is discrimination between necessary and unne-cessary
actions. Nature is to be studied, known, regulated, and subdued. Every act
ought to be considered sacred, and dedicated to the Supreme Spirit, which is
the Unitary factor basic to all Nature. ( pp. 32-4 )
6. A knowledge of the Self within disperses all the mists of
confusion. Regardless of their external appearance, the illu-minated Sage
is able to perceive the One Self present in every form.
7. The great secret, that gives the bliss of true under-standing is:
to prevent the "heart" from becoming attached to "objects of sense."
Contact with and adopting "objects of sense" can only give fleeting
8. Krishna states that the Universal Spirit shows "him-self" only to
pure men. He, Krishna, appears in that manner in which they may recognize
him. Changeless, Krishna, the Supreme Spirit, as the author of
manifestation, remains unaffected by the wise or foolish actions of beings.
The Wise perceive the Immut-able to be present in all changes. ( pp.
9. "There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O son of Pritha,
the Master--Ishwara--who by his magic power causeth all things and creatures
to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time. Take sanctuary with
him alone, O son of Bharata, with all thy soul; by his grace thou shalt
obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place." (p.130)
10. "Thus have I made known unto thee this knowledge which is a
mystery more secret than secrecy itself; ponder it fully in thy mind' act
as seemeth best unto thee." [ This is the Ultimate Free-Will of the truly
Wise. ] (Ch. 18)
[ Free will is the key to that power of choosing, that gives self-progress,
this is one of the proofs that the One Con-sciousness (of the Spirit) exists
in Man. It is proof that all lessons learned are self-imposed. [ Example:
In a school-room pupils receive the lessons for the day. Their personal
applica-tion determines their individual progress. They have to choose to
learn. So, too in life, we choose our own "path." ]
11. Krishna states that the "power to achieve" springs from spirit;
but, if it is directed to temporary, short-sighted goals, it can sustain
them only temporarily. ( pp. 54-5 )
12. The "lower Self" has to chose to discipline itself. This is
"self-conquest," and if successful in it, it becomes self-subdued and freed
of selfish desire. This position, when adopted and maintained, gives the
"lower Self" spiritual knowl-edge and discernment. This is
"equal-mindedness," or true medi-tation, and is to be practiced in daily
life. ( p. 44 )
The embodied consciousness knows that it is of itself seven-fold. It has
seven distinct foci of action that work on four planes of life, and the
overseeing "Guide and Friend," abides on the transcendent three. There is
to be found the True EGO, the Real SELF which is eternal and indestructible.
Mme. Blavatsky gives us this illustration in The Secret Doctrine, volume I,
page 200, and II 593. We thus have the 1 in 3 (One), the 7, and the 10.
The mystic totality: 18. Seven fold man is considered in the Gita as
"body," "soul" and "Spirit." [Spirit is 3-fold.]
Manas, mind, or "soul" is one, but has two aspects:
1. the immortal, constantly reincarnating Individuality; and,
2. its temporary reflection in a Personal and evanescent form that it
ensouls from incarnation to incarnation.
Even this Lower Manas could also be considered to be dual. With the brain's
dissolution at the death of the mortal Personal-ity, the memory of all the
present life's experiences is trans-lated into the "states after death" and
disposed of in that long period of rest and reflection before the next
incarnation. That is a whole separate story which Theosophy explains in
detail. [ see Theosophical Articles and Notes, p. 17-34.]
All the aspects of Manas and the experiences of living con-sciousness in the
last-lived life are reviewed, and the fresh Personality, reborn, as was the
Phoenix out of the "ashes"-- ever-living skandhas--of its own past, is
prepared for the next "day" of living in a fresh body.
In our waking state we feel the power of the brain-mind Per-sonality, and
our sense of permanence is usually limited to and focused on the experiences
and memories of this life. This is ahankara or the sense of separateness,
But we also sense the existence of the Divine Individuality, the Higher
Mind, which some visualize as an overseeing, "guardian angel," a wise being
who is also "us," but sensed as the superior "I," symbolized by light. It
has, as task, to assist, warn and caution us, the embodied Lower Mind, in
our daily life. Its wis-dom lies in its power to survey and draw on the
experience of many lives, as well as drawing on Universal experience found
eve-rywhere in its "brother" Selves, and also indelibly recorded in the
divine akasa. There is a supersensuous, intimate and con-stantly vibrating,
living network of consciousness that is ac-cessed all the time on their own
spiritual plane by these Monads, (the jiv-atmas) the immortal centers of
life. Our Higher Mind is one with all Higher Minds, the whole Universal
Being is the spir-itual brotherhood of the Universal Mind.
Then, there is our personal karma. The universal law of justice requires
that we adjust all effects produced by our ear-lier will-choices to their
preceding causes, and balance any dis-turbance we have caused. We sometimes
call this inner awareness of the Higher Manas conjoined to Buddhi, "the
Voice of Con-science." The embodied brain-mind has to make an effort to
pause, listen, understand, and then obey this mentor. This can be made
easier by constant and consistent right livelihood (as Krishna and Gautama,
the Buddha, taught: by adopting the virtues into our common living). The
single phrase: "Treat others as you would have them treat you" exemplifies
brotherhood in action and in fact.
One of the capabilities of the immortal life-atoms (skand-has) of "matter"
with which we are clothed, is retaining the im-press of our thoughts and
emotions when they are being used in our personality. They become the
carriers or bearers of our kar-ma. Each incarnation, when the Ego returns
to rebirth, they as-semble according to laws of attraction that span the
universe, to provide us, the reincarnating mind-soul with its form and
vehicle in a suitable family.
The infinitely sensitive nature of these beings determines our future
"karma," and, taken as a whole, the forward thrust of general evolution in
Nature is seen operating in and through them. Our mind makes choices and
decisions, and these are the causes of our personal karma. We bring these
"children" of ours into the purview of evolution leading to their own
individualiza-tion and adoption of the "path" of karma-yoga. They are
assisted to advance, or are retarded in their own progress, by our choic-es.
This will be found throughout the Bhagavad Gita as a central theme. It is
called by H.P.B. "Universal Unity and Causation," and from it is derived the
central concept, as a fact in nature: Universal Brotherhood. The unending
pilgrimage of all beings (each an immortal) in this universal life-scheme,
constitutes the eternal Guruparampara chain of teacher-pupil-teacher
relation-ships which work subtly in all the many directions found in this
The practice of the virtues serves as a "cleaner," as a pu-rifier of the
lower mind. Through the thread-soul, the antaskar-ana, or bridge between
the Higher and the Lower Manas, its bond to the "Three in One," the
spiritual EGO, is strengthened, till at last in our daily lives we are able
to instantly see, and use this light of wisdom, which is the power of the
And this results in the quiet, unostentatious practice of yoga, or the
self-sacrifice as "right living." We need not look afar for our "duty." It
is seen "to lie at hand" in the small plain responsibilities of our daily
life, and among our friends and families. If we cannot succeed in making
our daily lives harmonious and pure, how could we expect to assume larger
and more important duties ? The pilgrimage of our lives teaches pa-tience,
calmness, attention and self-control.
Reincarnation is the pathway of evolution which periodically brings the
conjoint mind-consciousness back into living as a school-boy returns daily
to his class-room--we as incarnating beings, return each "life" to the
School of Earth. We do not leave this "School" our World, until we have
learned all that it can teach, and have balanced all the debts which we have
incurred by our independent, free-willed choices, and have assisted all our
"children" to the path of their own independent evolution as mind-beings.
Included in this survey of Kurukshetra, the field of battle, which is our
personality, are the elements of matter, the "lives," or life-atoms (jivas,
or jiv-atmas) so-called. These are also called "Monads," Atma-Buddhi-Manas
taken as a unit. Each is a point of living energy, a being. Each commences
its independence as an inexperienced and innocent "infant-mind" in the field
of infinite experience. It has not yet generated any karma.
We have, much earlier, as self-conscious mind beings, vowed to serve these,
our "children," the life-atoms--much as a "par-ent" might, assuming the
natural post as their teacher, protector and guide. We took upon ourselves
( as an act of self-sacrifice) their karma until they "grew up," and reached
the stage of inde-pendent self-consciousness.
Then each was launched upon the ocean of life-responsibility by the lighting
up of its mind faculties--just as our children in family life are gradually
educated, their minds awakened, and they are launched into the independence
of their adulthood.
Each then develops its own independent karmic responsibili-ty, and finds
itself on the stormy sea of evolution--which we crossed, and now stand on
"the other shore." So do those who, like Krishna, for Arjuna, constitute
themselves, at our request the guru. When we "return," we seek Them for
their continued support, teaching and succor. They stand and point to the
same olden Path and the many rigors we will have to face and experi-ence.
They state that we have to choose and walk the "path" of our own decisions
ourselves. They can only "point the Way."
We, have to become aware, truly aware, that we are spiritu-ally centered
beings. We have all made some progress and we agreed, aeons ago, to serve
as one in the great chain of common responsibility in our Universe, where
some are ahead of us in their progress towards perfection, and we serve as
the link to those who are to succeed us in this vast work of self-education,
where the great law of brotherhood eternally prevails. This is what the
Gita of Sri Krishna teaches, as he appeals to our sense of compassion to
understand, to consent to work for our emancipa-tion with diligence,
patience and, at the same time, care for and protect all other beings that
come within our purview.
A PERSONAL BOOK
Mr. Judge consulted a number of translations when making up his rendition of
the Bhagavad Gita: Wilkins' and Thomson's, to name two.
The Notes he wrote on the Gita were written before this ren-dition was
issued. Important is the declaration he makes that the "Lord's Song" is a
"personal" book. He writes as if it is a guide for every disciple. It does
not lead the pupil to search for a guru outside, but points to the inner
God, Krishna "seated at the heart of all beings," including his own
heart--and, to be seen seated in the hearts of all beings in the
Universe--family, friends, enemies, animals, plants, minerals, elemental
forces, the many forces and powers that unify the complex Kosmos in a vast
web of eternal and ever-active law. Everything.
The first chapter is called by Mr. Judge: "The Despondency of Arjuna." In
another article he points out that we are all Arjunas. In simple words, the
inner God in each being is experi-encing through them, and through us, those
events and the impact of thoughts, emotions, attitudes, a whole panorama of
impressions that are provided in the "World of Forms." One wonders why this
is necessary. An answer comes: So that the Spirit, also em-bodied in the
myriads of "life-atoms" may "know Itself." It is the process, the story, of
Unconsciousness develops into self-consciousness; and then,
self-consciousness develops by its own efforts into
Universal-Self-Consciousness. [Thus we have 1. the Kurus, 2. the
Panda-vas, and 3. Krishna the Guru of all. When the passions of the Kurus
are "killed," they transform themselves into the Pandavas. And, when the
Pandavas as beings of awakened-minds, fight their way to immortality, they
merge in consciousness with Krishna.]
Krishna, the inner God of each of us, the Master of Devo-tion, a Perfected
Man, constitutes himself by self-sacrifice into the Servant of the Universe,
is also Servant of the least of creatures. He returns to Earth as a
"professor" in the school of life. To him come the Pandavas by natural
attraction--the ad-vanced, the higher skandhas, so to say, or those beings
who (hav-ing purified their own natures) can directly assist Him in his work
of raising the "whole mass of matter up to the nature and stature of
conscious god-hood." Krishna is to be found in the same situation (
seemingly as the servant of the embodied Mind, Arjuna, who temporarily
assumes the character of the divine charioteer, in the "chariot" of the body
) where we, the learning pupil, the consciousness of the devoted student,
the disciple, the lanoo, are. This, for us, is encouraging.
What is this "chariot of the body?" Is it the result of karma? Is it our
past personified in the present? Is it rooted in our past? Is it
inescapable? Is it produced with all its many variances of type and of
ability by the choices we have made? It is written: "Man, made of thought,
occupant only of many bodies from time to time, is eternally thinking, and
that thinking is the cause of his embodiments and all their sequences of
action, of pleasure and pain, of good and evil fortune."
( Thy Vol. 15-p. 12) This form, made of millions of living enti-ties, each
intelligent at its own level, each informed with its own "spark" of the One
Spirit, is a collaborative whole. Each of these has been attracted to and
used by us. Impressed with our nature at that time they become the carriers
of our karma from the past.
The teacher is the Spirit within, Krishna. It is always found to be with
us, in all those situations where we, as pupil-Arjunas have made choices
that will affect us. Wise is the pupil who realizes that he can speak to
the Highest of Intelligences, seated in his own "heart." The voice of that
Master, which some call "intuition," and others, who have heard it warn,
call the "voice of conscience," and know that it always speaks before we
make decisions. Therefore the advice to us all is to consider each moment,
each decision as a mystic experience, as a step on our pilgrimage to such
perfection as Earth-life gives in poten-tial. An occult meaning is to be
perceived by those who have acuity, who are awake and attentive in each of
these events. We need to seek and guide the causes that are generated
within, in-stead of ever seeking to place blame without.
When wrapped in confusion, the pupil desponds, inertia and stagnation
result. The power of tamas prevails and his mind ceases its search for
meaning. The voice of custom, of habit and of worldly duty then is heard,
and being confused, the pupil forgets to look to his aspirations, to the
universal and eternal goals and ideals he had vowed earlier would be his.
Appeal, then, to Krishna brings the response: "All is not lost !" Out of
despondency comes Self-energization, when the struggling soul, the personal
"I" sees that no room for compromise remains. The urge to do right cuts
through all despond. The sense of immor-tality, that Krishna the Higher
Self resides along with us in the body, that our aspiration to immortality
and to perfection are real, gives the power of Sattva to direct the energy
of rajas to righteous duty. For this reason rajas (which by itself is
called in the Gita "bad," when regulated by Sattva, becomes the force that
moves us to righteousness.
This leads to a more careful study of the "lower self." The mystery of it
as a consciousness that is evolving into a "god." Such a mystery is never
solved by someone else. It is solved, each for himself. It is the manasic
element that arises out of the passionate energy that desires its own
progress to the Truth. The expression has been used: "Life is a series of
progressive awakenings." These must be made by the volunteer, and an entire
change in his orientation from selfish-ignorance, to illumined- thought can
only be made by himself by his free use of the will.
We find in The Voice of the Silence a key sentence of expla-nation, which it
may take years to fully understand: "The Self of Matter and the Self of
Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place
for both." (Voice, p. 13) This is our personal confrontation with that
which we now perceive to have been our errors. The maya-illusion we had
adopted, as personality, is always plain to the inner Self--
Krishna--our Higher Self. But it cannot speak until it is ap-pealed to.
This is the condition of Arjuna at the opening set-ting of the Gita. The
battle is now. The field is engaged. The forces of evil and of good face
each other. Krishna is at hand. Our life or death, as a form, on
consideration is not of import. We are. as minds, the immortal soldiers.
If death be our lot then rebirth is certain; and, the fight will be
continued, to the endless end, if not for us, then on behalf of others, as
we share such wisdom as we have acquired with all who desire it.
It is in this sense we can understand why Mr. Judge called the Gita a
"personal book." It is the book of our own lives. Like an ideal
autobiography set before us, we can find in it the inspiration and the
guidance that assists us in our work: we are now writing our own,
consciously or unconsciously each moment of our lives. It is this
autobiography that forms our dreams, and our deeper thoughts, and finally is
the subject of a searching review, after death brings this personality to
its summation, and before we are ready to return again. Once we are aware
of this "Life-Diary, our care as attention, in writing it, grows. The pen is
wielded by our will, the subjects we enter are our self-chosen and
self-directed acts, feelings and thoughts.
Far one can wander in the fields of pleasure or forgetful-ness, but a
nagging malaise, a sense of missing draws us back to a new point of
decision, whether this be postponed or immediate. Often we deceive
ourselves into putting off till the "next day an act or a choice, but that
is failing to see that the "most favor-able time" is now, when in waking
life, we are aware of the need. All other times can be classed as either
memory or imagination. These two can be our deceivers, if we do not
maintain clear con-tact with the Higher Self within.
Gita is a song. Bhagavad, or Bhagavan is the Supreme Lord. The song has
meaning. It is language. It is Speech, action, it demonstrates the
continuous generation of karma, and, to be mean-ingful, it is cast as a
All communication requires at least two understanding indi-viduals and are
in answer to a question, a comment, or an ob-servation on a chosen subject.
Perspectives, points of view are discussed. Ideas are given forms by
illustration and analogies. Akasa becomes physical sound. The dynamics of
intelligence oper-ate. Spiritual wisdom, the knowledge of an eternity of
observa-tions, is seen as a sound basis of experience in that universali-ty
and impersonality which, when drawn on, can be focused on present ignorance
or speculative enquiry. This is the basis of the "Voice of Conscience." The
best decisions are then made with greater assurance. Laws and cycles of
time, enable the choice of the right energy, place and time in which to
respond or initiate a fresh beginning.
In the Gita we have an ideal teaching and learning situa-tion. it is an
ideal for us to apply interiorly since in us we find both Krishna (the wise
and universal Sage) and Arjuna (the sincere aspiring disciple). The quest
of Arjuna, the embodied soul (lower Manas), is to perform service. In the
widest scope, all actions are service to oneself, for another, to an Idea,
for the Universe. It is inescapable, since from every action force radiates
and has an impact on all beings. This is the source of all karma. The
Quest of the Hero, the true Soul is that divine Service which enables him to
balance his life and perform all duties that are necessities. The are of
the scholar's work is the field of passion, of the Kurus. These passions
are to be killed as personal things, and transformed, transmuted into the
virtues of compassion, generosity, nobility and ultimately, of wisdom. All
the elements of life and learning are there in us.
In his quest for ideal solutions, we the Arjunas, the man-minds can decide
to follow Krishna's advice: "Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong
search, by questions, and by humili-ty; the wise (the Tatva Gnyanis) who
see the truth will communi-cate it to thee..." (Gita p. 35). The four
modes of securing Wisdom are concurrent and operate when we are awake. Thus
those who employ them, although in one state of consciousness at a time, are
said to be "four-armed," just as Krishna is four-armed in his wisdom.
In the field of the personality the "four modes of Truth" that are used to
purify, recommended by the Buddha are analogous to this: the recognition
first, that Sorrow Is; second, that Sorrow has a Cause; third, that Sorrow
can be brought to a Close; and, finally that the Noble Eightfold Path can
be fol-lowed. Pythagoras spoke and taught the mystery of the Tetraktis,
which is an echo of this universal fact. The effort to become forms the
root of the aspiration and life of the devotee. Every being in nature makes
this effort, each in its own way and at the level of its intelligence.
Thus, too, the four divisions of a life are to be considered indicative of
the progress that can be made in each incarnation: student, house holder,
public servant, and, fourth, teacher of such wisdom as one has mastered.
In the Light on the Path is written: "Life itself has speech and is never
silent. And its utterance is not, as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry:
it is a song." Each being performs service as it senses it--it is striving
to become con-scious to itself, as in man, or does this unconsciously. The
eternal conflicts in the manifested universe are the result of that original
vortical motion caused by the "sundering of the One." The establishment of
the polar opposites: Spirit and mat-ter, when the Universe wakes, is a
repetition of the ancient pro-cess across aeons of time. The One
Consciousness, the Witness, the Perceiver remains constant, the Eternal
Spectator of these many events. It therefore is wise with the observations
of un-told times. It is in fact, Duration itself, from one point of view,
Itself being timeless. Events, cycles, past, present, fu-ture--all are one
to its gaze. To it, karma is the motive, the act, and the result, all
perceived as one. It is called then, the "Eternal Now." It is That, which
as a 'spark' of the Central Fire, the Universal Spiritual Sun, resides in
the "heart" of eve-ry being. This is the fact of innate brotherhood.
The Song of Life, the vibration of Life's universal Being, is, by each,
converted into harmony or discord. Whether music or noise, it is sound.
Nature's vibrations and rhythms, like her purposive Life is the Great
Harmony. When we attune ourselves to that, we call it gita--"song." But,
whoever or whatever sends us into the clangor of discord disturbing our
harmony, creating doubt and uncertainty, or which disturbs our repose or our
own sense of "service," that is for us the "enemy." Its nature is to be
ascertained. Its motive understood. Its potential measured. In this, for
sureness we confer, we refer fearlessly, to the Krishna within, to the
immutable Higher Self. There, alone will we find the security of
universality and impersonality at hand, for us to use.
Circumstances, of whatever nature, are echoes from our past. These are made
more reverberant by our personal natures. Our reaction, then becomes the
seed of our future karma. This plant-ing of such a seed is done with
free-will at the time we plant it. No one can compel us. We alone decide.
Then, just as we arrive at the conclusion, we hear for an instant the Voice
of the "Inner God," Krishna, calling to us with the sweetness of the eternal
player of the flute, using trapped air to play a tune that catches our
superior attention. Again a choice: we may listen, or we may close our
ears to it. Then only we act. Then we seal our fate.
The Gita is educative. All transmission of wisdom from eld-ers to the young
is for the recipients opportunity. Their re-sponse marks their level of
personal attainment, their alliance with Great Nature's objectives, their
service due to those and to the wise Krishna within who has sacrificed his
well-earned rest and glory, to Serve us. Ignorant indeed are we, when this
is not perceived. Only harmony will lead out such innate powers as we
possess for use and as gifts to others. The first and the last meaning of
true speech, or music, is harmony. If there is no harmony in the soul (the
embodied self--Lower Manas) how can there be calm and peace between
ourselves and others? So long as the least friction subsists between
brother immortals on the plane of causes, so long will discord discolor our
lives and the future. When we truly realize that "all is soul and spirit,
ever evolving under the rule of law inherent in the whole" then will all
quarrels be resolved spontaneously. It is this perception that Krishna has
and which he imparts to Arjuna, and, to us.
With our embodied self, speech is limited to the Yes and No of Nature as a
whole. These two notes form no harmony. They are in opposition. This is
the sound of passion: aversion or the desire to possess. These are found to
be the ruling divisions in all the elements of Nature below man's level of
conscious life, below the level of independent and self-conscious mind.
This is the voice of their education. Our imposition of control over them
should be educative, as one of our tasks is to fit them to become mind-men
in their turn. At this time they serve us, form our bodies, build and
repair them. If we fail in this their in-stant mindless response is to
confront us with our own unwisdom at the earliest opportunity. They in
effect present us with the direct result of our choices. As we impress
them, so they re-spond to us. If we make them deficient, their cooperation
with us and their coadunition make our personality weak and ineffectu-al.
Man, further along in the evolution of individual conscious-ness, than the
beings who constitute in him the objective tools of his personality (not his
own being), calls these his "younger brothers." Man, desiring to become one
with Divinity, can invoke the help of Krishna, can ask for the divine Light
Daiviprakriti to shine upon his mind. As the Higher Self is accessible, so
the instruments of his personality are at his hand and trainable by him.
Man's mind stands midway between these two poles of evolu-tion. Man is the
connecting link. It is one thing to invoke Krishna when we are in trouble.
It is another to make of this connection a "living power in our lives." The
key to such a con-dition is the purity of life of the disciple. Thus, we
find in the beginning of the Gita, making demands on Krishna. He asks Him
to place his chariot (the body) between the two armies: "That I may behold"
the array. Having seen, he becomes despondent. Then he tried
unsuccessfully to unload his problems on Krishna, and then only did the real
dialog commence. So is it with all of us.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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