Om Namah Shivaya - Om Namo Venkatesaya  

The Song of God - Swami Venkatesananda enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa

16 - Daivasura Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of the Divine and Demonic Gunas

Om parthaya pratibodhitam bhagavata narayanena svayam vyasena grathitam purana munina madhye mahabharatam advaita 'mrta varsinim bhagavatim astadasa 'dhyayinim amba tvam anusamdadhami bhagavad gite bhava dvesinim
1. Om. O Bhagavad Gita, with which Partha (Arjuna) was illumined by lord Narayana himself and which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage Vyasa, O divine mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the showerer of the nectar of advaita (oneness) and consisting of eighteen chapters - upon thee, O Bhagavad Gita, O affectionate mother, I meditate.
namo 'stu to vyasa visala buddhe phulla 'ravinda 'yata patra netra yena tvaya bharata taila purnah prajvalito jnanamayah pradipah
2. Salutations unto thee, O Vyasa of broad intellect, and with eyes like the petals of full-blown lotuses, by whom the lamp of knowledge, filled with the oil of the Mahabharata has been lighted.
prapanna parijataya totravetrai 'ka panaye jnana mudraya krsnaya gita 'mrta duhe namah
3. Salutations to Krsna, the parijata or the bestower of all desires for those who take refuge in him, the holder of the whip in one hand, the holder of the symbol of knowledge and the milker of the nectar of the Bhagavad Gita.
sarvo 'panisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah partho vatsah sudhir bhokta dugdham gita 'mrtam mahat
4. All the upanisad are the cows, the milker is Krsna the cowherd boy, Arjuna is the calf, men of purified intellect are the drinkers, the milk is the great nectar of the Gita.
vasudeva sutam devam kamsa canura mardanam devaki parama 'nandam krsnam vande jagad gurum
5. I salute lord Krsna, the world teacher, the son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kamsa and Canura, the supreme bliss of Devaki.
bhisma drona tata jayadratha jala gandhara nilotpala salya grahavati krpena vahani karnena velakula asvatthama vikarna ghora makara duryodhana 'vartini so 'ttirna khalu pandavai rana nadi kaivartakah kesavah
6. With Krsna as the helmsman, verily, was crossed by the Pandava the battle-river whose banks were Bhisma and Drona, whose water was Jayadratha, whose blue lotus was the king of Gandhara, whose crocodile was Salya, whose current was Krpa, whose billow was Karna, whose terrible alligators were Asvatthama and Vikarna, whose whirlpool was Duryodhana.
parasarya vacah sarojam amalam gitartha gandhotkatam nanakhya 'nakakesaram hari katha sambodhana 'bodhitam loke sajjana satpadair ahar ahah pepiyamanam muda bhuyad bharata pankajam kali mala pradhvamsi nah sreyase
7. May this lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with many stories as its stamens, fully opened by the discourses on Hari, the destroyer of the sins of Kali, and drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, day by day, become the bestower of good on us.
mukam karoti vacalam pangum langhayate girim yat krpa tam aham vande parama 'nanda madhavam
8. I salute that Krsna, the source of supreme bliss, whose grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains.
yam brahma varune 'ndra rudra marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair vedaih sanga pada kramo 'panisadair gayanti yam samagah dhyana 'vasthita tad gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino yasya 'ntam na viduh sura 'sura gana devaya tasmai namah
9. Salutations to that God whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Marut praise with divine hymns, of whom the Sama-chanters sing by the veda and their anga, in the pada and krama methods, and by the upanisad, whom the yogi see with their minds absorbed in him through meditation, and whose end the hosts of the deva and asura know not.
XVI:1 - The Blessed Lord said : Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in Yoga and knowledge, charity, control of the senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness,
XVI:2 - Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of crookedness, compassion towards beings, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness,
XVI:3 - Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride, these belong to one born in a divine state, O Arjuna.
All these qualities belong to the daivi-prakrti or divine nature.
"One born for a divine state" seems to imply a fatalistic slant or determinism.
Either one is born good or wicked!
To some extent perhaps this is true.
Those who have attempted to alter their "nature" would testify that they are carried away by the hidden vasana (tendencies) in spite of themselves.
Yet, on the other hand, the born-good people formed their good tendencies by self-effort in a past birth; otherwise, if one's tendencies unalterably governed one's life, there could be no way out at all.
The Yoga Vasistha gives us abundant hope.
"Our previous and present efforts, in case they are in contrary directions, are like two arms fighting against each other. The more powerful of the two always overcomes the other."
Again, "One should, therefore, overcome one's unfavorable destiny by greater effort in the present, gnashing one's teeth"!
The last phrase recognizes the difficulty of the task, but the optimist treats difficulties as steps to achievement.
Our Master was very fond of these verses; he quoted them often.
He recommended that we should systematically cultivate these virtues, selecting them one by one and deliberately tending them in ourselves.
Special Lord Krishna's Birthday bonus reading!
XVI:4 - Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, harshness and also anger and ignorance, belong to one who is born in a demoniacal state, O Arjuna.
XVI:5 - The divine nature is deemed for liberation and the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, for you are born with divine properties, O Arjuna.
Krishna is very clever.
As our Master often reminded us: "Positive always overcomes negative".
Instead of people worrying themselves over prohibitions, if they concentrated on positive injunctions, the world would be a better place and they themselves would move rapidly towards God.
In the whole of the Bhagavad Gita there are so few verses dealing with the evil side of life that one would have wondered if Krishna had forgotten all about it, had he not made mention of it here.
After a full enumeration (and repetition) of the divine qualities, he now gives the essence of diabolical nature in one verse.
"Hypocrisy" is their chief quality, hence it is extremely difficult to recognize evil beings.
Even other qualities like arrogance, self-conceit and anger, when veiled by hypocrisy, can create the illusion of virtues!
They masquerade as self-respect, righteous indignation and dignified bearing.
The harsh man pretends that he is a strict disciplinarian, constantly striving for "your own betterment".
The ignorant fool lets the devil in him quote scripture.
"Knowledge of scriptures is not necessary, only personal realization is" - a pious sentiment.
But the illiterate fool who says so is not interested in personal realization either!
How wonderful of Krishna to re-assure Arjuna (and through him, you and me) that we are born with divine qualities.
But for them, Arjuna would not have accepted him as his guru; but for them, we would not have turned our attention to his teachings contained in the Bhagavad Gita!
well, then, choose!
XVI:6 - There are two types of beings in this world - the divine and the demoniacal; the divine has been described at length; hear from me, O Arjuna, of the demoniacal.
The expression is extremely well guarded!
This created universe has two aspects.
Both good and evil are found in it, for that is the meaning of creation.
(One alone, would be like painting a portrait in one color on identically colored paper.)
Good and evil differ in their destinations.
The divine path leads to liberation or God-realization; the demoniacal path leads to bondage.
Well, then, choose!
In spite of the warnings contained in our scriptures not to wrack the poor bra in with transcendental questions like the origin of the world, of karma, or "which came first - hen or egg", people do ask: "How did the first man commit sin?"
The answer is simple: "God gave you intelligence and free-will - and you chose to taste the forbidden fruit!
Why did you do it?
Ask yourself!" Even in the biblical story, we read that God, having created Adam and Eve, expressly warned them not to taste the forbidden fruit; yet, the "snake" (obviously created by God himself?) was able to tempt them.
It was Adam's choice.
There is no sense in arguing "why"; it is a statement of fact concerning an event in history!
Never argue beyond a certain point!
If you demand an explanation, the Indian philosopher answers: "It is because of avidya" ("I've no idea" is phonetically similar) or ignorance.
Wijsheid en spirituele rijpheid betekenen dat men alert is, inwendig bewust en waakzaam, zodat bij elke stap en in elke omstandigheid de juiste keuze wordt gemaakt.
We have seen that the entire nature is made up of three guna (qualities), sattva, rajas and tamas.
Sattva is, of course, good; and tamas evil.
Rajas can be both good and evil: if it is based on sattva it is good, and if it is based on tamas, it is evil.
If we compare these three qualities to the three qualities of fire (light, heat and smoke), we realize that light is always good and smoke (which blinds us) is always bad and that heat can be either good or bad depending upon the use we make of it.
Vice holds one down like a vice.
Virtue liberates us.
educate, not reform or proselytize
XVI:7 - The demoniacal know not what to do and what to refrain from; neither purity, nor right conduct, nor truth is found in them.
The basic characteristics of the devil's disciple are detailed in this and the following verses.
Krishna does not want to emphasize evil overmuch, and therefore gives briefly the qualities found in the evil ones.
Do you not detect a tone of sympathy rather than one of condemnation in this verse? "They know not what to do" is an expression parallel to the famous words of Lord Jesus.
Much of the evil in the world is horn of ignorance, for very few people know what to do and what to refrain from.
They are ignorant.
The light of true knowledge has not been lit in them.
I do not suggest that such knowledge will at once lift them into the kingdom of righteousness; but, with the exception of those who deliberately choose to be wicked, the vast majority of people who grope in the darkness of ignorance and whose ignorance confuses them as to their duty, making evil appear as 'necessary in the circumstances', will definitely grow spiritually if more and more people take upon themselves the duty of educating their brethren (especially the younger generation) in the art of right conduct.
There has been grave and universal neglect in this regard, and hence the problems that face the world multiply daily.
Consequently, the world is rolling towards catastrophe after catastrophe.
Is that not the sole purpose of the Bhagavad Gita?
To guide man aright in the daily battle of life, to direct him who stands at the cross-roads, to instruct him in right conduct and to reveal truth in his heart?
The teaching is pure and the teaching is purifying.
Thus, if every one who has understood this message undertakes to educate two more people, we shall all be blessed, and the future would certainly be bright.
To "educate" is to "bring out" the truth which is present in the other man.
Proselytisation destroys the faith, the vital spark in man.
To reform is to give a new form to the old evil.
Thus, we should educate, not reform or proselytize.
introduction to November
The month starts on a rather negative note!
Evil is not absolute, but has a frightening ephemeral existence that it will not do to ignore.
But it is also futile to waste our life lamenting over it.
Krishna gives it just the status it deserves - as a pointer to the wrong road, as a warning sign, as a beacon to guide the navigator.
Where does this evil exist?
What is sin?
Now does one overcome sin?
Does the Lord forgive us?
Can we get the better of our fate?
These questions have been discussed endlessly by both scholars and laymen.
One day I was explaining to a few students the law of karma, vis-a-vis the above problem and remarked: "If you do not want a seed you have sown to sprout, you must pull it out.
For this purpose you will have to dig down to the same depth as originally, to get hold of the seed."
A member of the audience burst out laughing; that is exactly what she had done the previous day!
Rajas (activity) based on tamas (stupidity) is sin or evil.
In order to cancel it we should resort to rajas based on sattva (purity).
The intensity and the "depth" should be at least the same in both cases.
Should there be any difference, the latter should go deeper than the former.
Tapas or penance or austerity has always been resorted to for the purpose of absolution.
What does tapas do?
It burns (tapas means burning) the veil (evil misspelt), reveals the truth and corrects the error of perception.
We had taken the unreal body, senses and the world to be the reality; and hence had fallen into the trap of evil.
That misconception must be replaced by the right knowledge of God as the self and sole reality.
Not by merely uttering a set formula like "aham brahmasmi" but by affirming God as the only reality through our thought, word and deed.
To make sure that there is no self-deception, we deliberately mortify the body and the senses.
It is often the self-deluding ego that rebels against this, advancing a convenient philosophy in excuse.
(On the other hand, if repentance is done mechanically without burning the veil of ignorance, this very tapas may feed the ego!)
The "pain" thus self-inflicted in wise austerity also cancels the external karma.
The karma which demands "restoration of balance" is thus faced (not evaded) and worked out willingly.
It also removes the guilty conscience.
Krishna gives a new meaning to tapas: a simple, austere life and goodness.
You will readily see how this positively destroys the veil of ignorance by denying the mind and senses the delusion-fattening food of self-indulging pleasure.
However, evil done to another is not entirely rooted out by any amount of self-punishment.
The offended must forgive the offender.
The Holy Bible makes this clear.
There is an interesting incident in the life of lord Gauranga, which illustrates this.
Though he actually took upon himself the sins of a villain, the latter could not gain peace of mind till those whom he had offended had forgiven him.
God-realization or self-realization is like an earthquake compared to our feeble attempts to pull out the seeds sown.
It destroys all sins, all sinful tendencies and that root of all sins - ignorance of God.
True atonement (at-one-ment) is when the self is realized to be one with God, and all evil realized as dream and non-existent.
Even an attempt to realize the self frees one from great fear, says the Lord; and sincere prayer to the Lord can earn for us his all-forgiving mercy.
When does one know that his forgiveness has been earned?
When evil thought does not even arise in the mind.
deva and asura
XVI:8 - They say, this universe is without truth, without a moral basis, brought about without God, by mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else.
XVI:9 - Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellects and fierce deeds come forth, as enemies of the world, for its destruction.
Even the devil's disciples have their own philosophy, for no one can live without philosophy, without an understanding, however crude, of the pattern of existence.
There is just this difference, however: the "deva" is one whose nature and hence whose philosophy is all light, in whom the light of self-knowledge shines brightly; while the "asura", is one "whose light is darkness" - in the words of the Bible.
That is what is meant by "asura" - he does not care to see.
He blinds himself and revels in the darkness of ignorance.
He is so thoroughly absorbed in the appearance, he does not care for the reality, for the truth.
"Asatyam", translated as "without truth", is the opposite of "satyam" and should mean "based on falsehood".
There are thousands in the world today who are convinced that "in this modern world, it is useless to be good," and that "one should move with the times, and nowadays untruth is the law."
They are incorrigible because their conscience sanctions untruth.
They have existed at all times in the history of the world.
In ancient times they were called the carvaka or materialists, with an extremely simple philosophy: "Man is born of the sexes coming together, he exists to immortalize this act and dies when it is no longer possible. All life centers around sensual pleasure."
It is not so much the philosophy, but its application that is dreadful.
Since pleasure, not loving service, is the goal, each man grabs as much of it as possible.
From whom?
From his own neighbor!
The asura's love of darkness does not even recognize a friend.
He is ruthless, relentless and remorseless, and it is dangerous to associate with him!
Pursuit of pleasure ruins both society and the pursuer who is part of it.
XVI:10 - Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, holding evil ideas through delusion, they work with impure resolves.
XVI:11 - Giving themselves over to immeasurable cares, ending only with death; regarding gratification of lust as their highest aim, and feeling sure that that is all,
XVI:12 - bound by hope, given over to lust and anger, they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment.
They are the living exemplars of the antithesis of lord Buddha's "Noble Eight-fold Path".
The light within them is dark, their motives are impure, their ideas are delusion-ridden, their resolves are diabolical, and their thoughts and actions are governed only by lust for pleasure and power.
Since "falsehood" is their creed, they are not even true to their own self.
This is the worst part of their personality make-up.
With all their devilry, one should not be surprised if they assume an air of self-righteousness and quote the scriptures in their favor!
The twelfth chapter of the Bhagavatam gives a graphic description of such people.
By shouting aloud, they impress upon all that the untruth they utter, alone is truth.
Their haughtiness frightens away the humble and prevents anyone from pointing out that such overweening pride is contrary to all scriptural teachings.
Their arrogance grinds all opposition into submission.
But are they happy? No.
Their cares are immeasurable and end only with "pralaya"(translated as "death", but it may also mean "dissolution of the world").
They have no God to turn to for solace; money is their only God and hence they earn money by all means - mostly foul - and thus ensure that there is no hindrance in their pleasure seeking life.
They seldom realize that such life itself is hell here and now.
the razor's edge
XVI:13 - 'This has been gained by me today; this desire I shall obtain; this is mine, and this wealth too shall be mine soon.'
XVI:14 - 'That enemy has been slain by me, and others also I shall slay. I am the lord, I enjoy, I am perfect, powerful and happy.'
XVI:15 - 'I am rich, born in a noble family. Who else is equal to me? I will sacrifice. I will give charity. I will rejoice." thus deluded by ignorance,
XVI:16 - bewildered by many a fancy, entangled in the snare of delusion, addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall into a foul hell.
Krishna even quotes their words - a rare honoree not accorded to the pious devotee - in order that we may not even mistakenly utter such words.
Krishna does not dwell too much on the dark side of human nature, nor shall we.
But he has succinctly given the very essence of this side of nature, and it is good to realize that extreme vigilance is needed not to let the devil masquerade in holy garb.
How often do religious leaders in the world indulge in expressions like the above!
My Master often said: "Spiritual pride is the worst enemy of the seeker after God."
The Zen masters emphasized that "The ordinary life is Tao (truth)".
A saintly sister-seeker in South Africa, after pursuing much-publicized holiness, has discovered: "In a strange way my life has become a very simple one - in the little things I see perfection and beauty and fulfillment."
The spiritual path is regarded as the "razor's edge", not because it may cut one's foot, but because it is the imperceivably subtle middle path which cannot be seen by the naked eye.
The holy ones tread this path of life with their inner eye, the insight, open.
As long as this insight is allowed to function without distortion or diversion by the mind, so long holiness prevails. Holiness is as simple as that.
three types of yajna
XVI:17 - Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with the pride and fuddle of wealth, they perform sacrifices in ostentation, contrary to scriptural ordinances.
XVI:18 - Given over to egoism, power, haughtiness, lust and anger, these malicious people hate Me in their own bodies, and those of others.
Three types of yajna (sacrifices) are specially mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita:
(i) Jnana yajna (dissemination of spiritual knowledge) which is dear to the Lord .
(ii) Japa yajna (repetition of the divine name or mantra) which is the Lord's own special manifestation, and
(iii) Nama yajna which may mean either sacrifice merely in name, i.e. without the spirit or divine purpose behind it, or sacrifice for the sake of winning name and fame (publicity stunt).
The last is diabolical.
It is not the action itself that counts in the eyes of the Lord, but the spirit that motivates it.
Hence, the sacrifice and the charity that these demons perform do not please him, for even these are geared to the destruction of others.
Their charity is like the "free gifts" and "prizes" offered by rival firms as part of their sales promotion programs, aimed at the destruction of others' business.
Elsewhere in the Gita it has been said that even they who hate God (and thus think of him constantly) also reach him.
The hatred of the demons does not amount to that.
They "hate me in their own bodies and those of others".
The first takes the form of a reluctance to turn within and live for even a short while a day with one's own self (they take a transistor radio to disturb the peace of the seaside or public park); the second implies exploitation and cruelty shown to others, without recognizing that in them, too, there is the spark of God.
The description of the diabolical state comes to an end with these verses.
May we never approach it in thought, word or deed!
XVI:19 - These cruel haters, the worst among men in the world, are cast by me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.
XVI:20 - Entering into demoniacal wombs, and deluded birth after birth, not attaining Me, O Arjuna, they sink down to an abominable existence.
Even the wicked ones have a human garb - let us not forget that.
But their inmost personality (the "bhava") is that of a demon.
There, they deserve (and desire?) only birth as demons.
There is no injustice in this. Naturally, therefore, our next birth will be in accordance with the "bhava" (innermost nature) of our being.
The'wombs of demons' may very well mean "houses of power and affluence".
The answer to the oft-asked question "Why do wicked men prosper?" is "So that they may commit more crimes and descend into the lowest depths sooner - and so that eventually they may rise from there sooner, too, and be redeemed."
Injustice is man's invention; God is just.
"Cannot God avoid all this and directly redeem the sinner?" asks a friend.
Yes, of course he can, as the exceptional cases in our legends prove, but having bestowed on man intelligence and free-will, God would rather let the soul lovingly, knowingly and deliberately choose to love him, even after some amount of painful wandering in lower births.
"A condition still lower than that" is what is popularly called "hell".
This is not outside God's creation, but inside it.
It is a state of being which is "farthest from light", a plane of existence farthest from the divine.
Such hell may be within the heart of man, in the darkest corners of a guilty conscience, in the vicious dens of modern living or in a far distant planet or star.
"Farthest" does not necessarily imply spatial distance; a person standing close to light but facing away from it with blindfolded eyes, is farthest from that light!
Hell may exist in all these forms; one need not necessarily cancel the other!
XVI:21 - Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the self; lust, anger, and greed; therefore, one should abandon these three.
XVI:22 - A man who is liberated from these three gates to darkness, O Arjuna, practises what is good for him, and thus goes to the supreme goal.
The expression used in the first verse is "hell" while that used in the second verse is "gate to darkness".
The significance of the synonym is clear.
Hell is a state of ignorance: ignorance of the meaning and purpose of human birth, ignorance of the spirit encased in the physical body, ignorance of man's place and his duty in society.
These two verses do not exclude the idea of there being a heaven and hell in outer space, but just as feasible is the attitude that, since in our materialistic times spiritual ignorance has enormously increased the number of sinners, the great cities - those creations of materialism - are virtually our hells; and our heavens, so rare and few, are those places of retreat such as my Master's monastery in the Himalaya.
The darkness of city life is the darkness of spiritual ignorance; and the contented harmony of such withdrawn groups of people who are consciously practicing the rules of the spirit, heavenly bliss.
From our position on this earth, there are four gates leading out.
Three of them open out to hell.
They are: lust (all sorts of desires), anger (hatred) and greed.
The ignorance-blinded man goes out through one or other of these gates and arrives in hell where he suffers self-destruction.
Has he not destroyed a precious opportunity to attain self-realization?
These three gates are open wider than the fourth that the ignorant man does not perceive at all.
This gate leads to the heaven of redemption and is the gateway of goodness.
In order to pass through this gate one should carefully lead a good life, willing to sacrifice temporary pleasure in favor of eternal bliss.
'knowledge' is your authority
XVI:23 - He who, casting aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal.
XVI:24 - Therefore, let the scripture be the authority in determining what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Having known what is said in the ordinance of the scriptures, you should act here in this world.
Narada in his Bhakti Sutras declares that saints (the supreme devotees of the Lord) invest scripture with authority.
Scripture itself has the sage for its author, the sage for its model and the sage as its goal.
It is, therefore, reliable and serves not only as an indicator of the "supreme goal", but as the only tangible trail (barring its living embodiment, the guru) of the intangible and subtle middle path.
By telling us what to do and what not to do, the scripture simplifies the greatest problem, indirectly suggesting the solution; and by turning our disciplined gaze inwards, helps us rediscover the middle path ourselves.
If the scripture itself creates problems, that is what it is meant to do; the solution should ultimately come from within.
The navigator depends upon the charts; but the charts will not steer for him!
In the sea of life, steering is trickier than in the field of navigation.
The primary object of the scripture is to halt the waywardness of the mind and to curb the egoistic will and its determination to execute its diabolical intentions.
To follow the scripture is freedom from slavery to the dictates of one's own ego - the worst of all slave drivers and tyrants.
However, blind obedience will defeat the scripture's purpose; one should not cease to exercise one's own intelligence.
As the great master Shankaracharya has stated: the scripture is of no use to the enlightened one who is already wise, nor to the fool who is not going to change.
Krishna asks those in between to "know what is said" in the scripture, whatever it may be, and then act.
Neither the ego, nor the scripture, nor an external being is your authority; only this "knowledge" is your authority.
The real seeker after truth will find the same message in the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita or any other scripture.
Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, ends the sixteenth chapter entitled: The path of knowledge - Daivasura Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of the Divine and Demonic Gunas.

gri ganesaya namah! sri gopala krsnaya namah! dharo 'vaca bhagavan paramesana bhaktir avyabhicarini prarabdham bhujyamanasya katham bhavati he prabho
1. The Earth said: O Lord! The supreme one! How can unflinching devotion arise in him who is immersed in his worldly life, O Lord?
sri visnur uvaca prarabdham bhujyamano hi gita 'bhyasa ratah sada sa muktah sa sukhi loke karmana no 'palipyate
2. Lord Visnu said: Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who is regular in the study of the Gita, becomes free. He is the happy man in this world. He is not bound by karma.
maha papadi papani gita dhyanam karoti cet kvacit sparsam na kurvanti nalini dalam ambuvat
3. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so, sins do not taint him who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.
gitayah pustakam yatra yatra pathah pravartate tatra sarvani tirthani prayaga 'dini tatra vai
4. All the sacred places of pilgrimage like Prayaga, etc., dwell in that place where the book, the Gita, is kept and where the Gita is read.
sarve devas ca rsayo yoginah pannagas ca ye gopala gopika va 'pi narado 'ddhava parsadaih
5. All the gods, sages, yogi, divine serpents, gopala, gopika (friends and devotees of lord Krsna), Narada, Uddhava and others (dwell there).
sahayo jayate sighram yatra gita pravartate yatra gita vicaras ca pathanam pathanat srutam tatra 'ham niscitam prthvi nivasami sadai 'va hi
6. Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited and, O Earth, I dwell at all times where the Gita is read, heard, taught and contemplated upon.
gita 'sraye 'ham tisthami gita me co 'ttamam grham gita jnanam upasritya trimllokan palayamy aham
7. I take refuge in the Gita and the Gita is my best abode. I protect the three worlds with the knowledge of the Gita.
gita me parama vidya brahma rupa na samsayah ardha matra 'ksara nitya sva 'nirvacya padatmika
8. The Gita is my highest science, which is doubtless of the form of Brahman, the eternal, the ardhamatra (of the sacred monosyllable om), the ineffable splendour of the self.
cidanandena krsnena prokta sva mukhato 'rjunam veda tray! parananda tattva 'rtha jnana samyuta
9. It was spoken by the blessed Krsna, the all-knowing, through his own mouth to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the three veda, knowledge of the reality. It is full of supreme bliss.
yo 'stadasa japen nityam naro niscala manasah jnana siddhim sa labhate tato yati param padam
10. He who recites the eighteen chapters of the Gita daily, with a pure, unshaken mind, attains perfection in knowledge, and reaches the highest state or supreme goal.
pathe 'samarthah sampurne tato 'rdham patham acaret tada go danajam punyam labhate na 'tra samsayah
11. If a complete reading is not possible, even if only half of it is read, he attains the benefit of giving a cow as a gift. There is no doubt about this.
tribhagam pathamanas to ganga snana phalam labhet sadamsam japamanas to soma yaga phalam labhet
12. He who recites one-third part of it achieves the merit of a bath in the sacred Ganga, and he who recites one-sixth of it attains the merit of performing a soma ritual.
eka 'dhyayam to yo nityam pathate bhakti samyutah rudra lokam avapnoti gano bhutva vasec ciram
13. That person who reads one chapter with great devotion attains to the world of Rudra and, having become an attendant of lord Siva, lives there for many years.
adhyayam sloka padam va nityam yah pathate narah sa yati naratam yavan manvantaram vasundhare
14. If one reads a quarter of a chapter or even part of a verse daily, he, O Earth, retains a human body till the end of a world-cycle.
gitayah sloka dasakam sapta panca catustayam dvau trin ekaih tad ardham va slokanam yah pathen narah candra lokam avapnotii varsanam ayutam dhruvam gita patha samayukto mrtomanusatam vrajet
15,16. He who repeats ten, seven, five, four, three, two verses or even one or half a verse, attains the region of the moon and lives there for ten thousand years. Accustomed to the daily study of the Gita, the dying man comes back to life again as a human being.
gita 'bhyasam punah krtva labhate muktim uttamam gite 'ty uccara samyukto mriyamano gatim labhet
17. By repeated study of the Gita he attains liberation. Uttering 'Gita' at the time of death, one attains liberation.
gita 'rtha sravana 'sakto maha papa yuto 'pi va vaikuntham samavapnoti visnuna saha modate
18. Though full of sins, one who is ever intent on hearing the meaning of the Gita, goes to the kingdom of God and rejoices with lord Visnu.
gita 'rtham dhyayate nityam krtva karmani bhurisah jivanmuktah sa vijneyo deha 'nte paramam padam
19. He who meditates on the meaning of the Glita, having performed a lot of good actions, attains the supreme goal after death. Such a man should be known as a jivanmukta (sage liberated while living).
gitam asritya bahavo bhubhujo janaka 'dayah nirdhuta kalmasa loke gita yatah paratn padam
20. In this world, taking refuge in the Gita, many kings like Janaka and others have reached the highest state or goal, purified of all sins.
gitayah pathanam krtva mahatmyam naiva yah pathet vrtha patho bhavet tasya srama eva by udahrtah
21. He who fails to read this Glory of the Gita after having read the Gita, loses the benefit thereby, and the effort alone remains.
etan mahatmya sahyuktam gita 'bhyasam karoti yah sa tat phalam avapnoti durlabharn gatim apnuyat
22. One who studies the Gita, together with this Glory of the Gita, attains the fruits mentioned above and reaches the state which is otherwise very difficult to attain.
suta uvaca mahatmyam etad gitaya maya proktam sanatanatn gitante ca pathed yas to yad uktam tat phalarnlabhet
23. Suta said: This greatness or Glory of the Gita which is eternal, as narrated by me, should be read at the end of the study of the Gita and the fruits mentioned therein will be obtained.
iti sri varaha purane gri gita mahatmyam sampurnam
Thus ends the Glory of the Gita contained in the Varaha purana.

This was a glimpse of the gospel of Lord Krishna - simple, direct, yet profound. It is not one of pessimism or escapism, but is full of robust common sense. And if it sometimes seems to be puzzling, it is because common sense is so uncommon in the complex world of today.
You may be quite certain that one direction is east and the opposite direction west. But, if you move a little, you suddenly discover that east and west meet you! You are the divider, and from another point of view, you are the meeting point. In fact, it is the mind that creates all this duality which multiplies into endless diversity, creating conflicts and confusion all the way through.
There is only oneness and cosmic unity. There just cannot be two infinites or two omnipresences. The origin of the perception of diversity is enshrouded in mystery - maya. But Krishna boldly assumes responsibility for even that! "I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence, " says He.
The manifest universe is the body of God, and the supreme spirit is the indweller. Even this distinction was made to suit human analogy and to satisfy the duality-ridden intellect. We make an arbitrary distinction between our body and our spirit which seems to be justified because at one stage - death - the spirit leaves the body. This, obviously, does not apply to the Lord and His Body, for He is eternal and infinite, and does not leave His Body.
What a sublime vision! What a world-uniting doctrine! What a fountain of love! What a soft blow to shatter all distinctions and differences! What a divine cord of love to unite all mankind in oneness - divinity!

Swami Venkatesananda

Om Tat Sat
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