The Space Of Knowledge

May 31 2013

Bangalore, India

(Below is a continuation of the post Having A Perfect Vision)

'Pratyaksavagamam dharmyam su-sukham kartum avyayam'. (9.2)

Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, ‘This knowledge is such that it is directly experienced. It is not that if you follow it today, you will reap its benefits after many years, no! You will reap the fruits of this knowledge instantly. How? You will experience this for yourself, just like how you experience pain, or hunger’.

If you are feeling sleepy, do you have to check with someone, ‘Am I feeling sleepy?’

When there is pain in your leg, do you have to go and ask someone if the pain is truly there or not? It is so evident in your experience.

In the same way, you will find that this knowledge too is self-evident and can be experienced instantly.

If you meditate even once, the fruits of the meditation are eternal and permanent. When you do any good deed, its merits stay with you. So this knowledge is eternal and permanent.

Now, you all practice the Sudarshan Kriya, do Pranayama and meditation. Do you ever have to ask someone else if all these are benefiting you or not?

When you meditate, you immediately experience its gains. When you do Sudarshan Kriya, you instantly experience its benefits, is it not so? In the same way, the moment you are hungry, you feel it immediately.

When you are meditating, you instantly experience such joy and peace. Your mind becomes so peaceful at that very moment.

So in the same way, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘You can practically experience this knowledge for yourself. This knowledge brings happiness, and freedom from misery. And this knowledge is surely worth following. It is easy to understand and practice, and at the same time this knowledge is eternal and unchanging’.

If you meditate even once, the fruits of the meditation are eternal and permanent. When you do any good deed, its merits stay with you. So this knowledge is eternal and permanent.

Once you have received this knowledge, it remains with you forever. It is like, once you learn how to cycle, you know cycling lifelong. You do not need to learn it again and again. In the same way, once you have learnt how to cook Halwa (an Indian sweet dish), you know it all your life. You do not need to learn it again and again.

So Lord Krishna says, ‘This knowledge that I am about to give you is eternal and timeless’.

Then He says the next verse, 'Asraddadhanah purusa dharmasyasya parantapa. Aprapya mam nivartante mrtyu-samsara-vartmani'. (9.3)

He says, ‘Those who do not have faith in the supreme knowledge that I am about to reveal to you, are unable to attain Me’.

It means that such people are unable to realize the Self.

So He says, ‘Such non-believers are unable to attain Me and they repeatedly go through the cycle of birth and death’.

See, a person who does not come to the path of knowledge remains caught up in the distractions of the world. Is it not true? He gets so caught up in the everyday struggles of life. The same complaints, the same problems; the same story repeats itself every day.

One whose life is devoid of knowledge, one who has no scientific outlook, or who does not have any higher purpose, is unable to achieve anything in life.

What do such people do? They get caught up in cravings and aversions with people. They fight with the same people that they love, and then they love the same people that they fight with. Those who are their friends become their enemies, and their enemies become their friends.

You must have observed that even if you have not done anything wrong, still people around you become your enemies. How many of you here have had this experience? (Many raise their hands)

See, almost everyone is raising their hands!

So, people go through such events one after the other in life, and finally meet their death. They suffer through the repeated cycles of birth and death, and are unable to find any sort of lasting joy. There is no real joy to be found in this material world. The more you go searching for joy in the world, the more misery you find.

So one who does not have faith in this knowledge, and whose life is devoid of any form of devotion, what else is there for such a person.

One who does not believe in a greater power that bestows life to everything in creation, and which is the manifestation of Love, then what remains in his life? His life is so dry.

Such a person always runs after his desires and wants something or the other. So he is unhappy when he does not have something, and he is unhappy even after he gets it. This is what is meant by Mrityu-Samsaar (referring to the material world where everything is temporary, constantly changing, and subject to death).

This is why Lord Krishna says, ‘A person whose life is devoid of faith and devotion can never attain Me. Such people fail to attain the eternal Divinity that is Me, and repeatedly return to this world of death (meaning the ever-changing material world)’.

Once you have received this knowledge, it remains with you forever. It is like, once you learn how to cycle, you know cycling lifelong. You do not need to learn it again and again. So Lord Krishna says, ‘This knowledge that I am about to give you is eternal and timeless’.

In the next two verses, He says, 'Maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina. Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani na caham tesv-avasthitah'. (9.4)

'Na cha mat-sthani bhutani pashya me yogam aishvaram. Bhuta-bhrnna cha bhuta-stho mamatma bhuta-bhavanah'. (9.5)

Lord Krishna says, ‘O Arjuna, this entire creation is a manifestation of Me. Yet I am the unmanifest and formless. This entire creation (consisting of form) has come from Me (that subtle formless divinity). All that you see in this creation has come from Me. All the five bhutas (the five fundamental elements of nature) – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space reside in Me and are created from Me. Yet I am not in them’.

This is similar to how you say, ‘This cloth belongs to Me yet I am not the cloth’.

See, you are within the cloth and the cloth covers you, yet you are not the cloth that you wear.

In the similar way, Lord Krishna says, ‘All these five elements are born from Me and reside in Me, yet I am not in them (meaning that the Lord as Divine consciousness is not limited to or by the five elements of nature, though they have come from Him)’.

This is what Lord Krishna says here, and this is a great secret.

What He says here is, ‘I am the formless aspect that cannot be seen and that is beyond all that you see’.

For example, there is a tree and there is nectar within the trunk of the tree. But you can only see the tree and not the nectar.

So here, Lord Krishna says, ‘I am that (divine) nectar which gives rise to the diversity in this creation. I am the cause behind all the trees, the leaves and the fruits that are present on them. In the same way, you can only see a person’s physical body but not his soul. The soul is formless and that soul is what I am’.

The life-force is present in every particle of our being. The moment that life-force leaves a person’s body, he is declared as dead.

For example, when a small part of your skin gets burnt, it slowly becomes dead and devoid of all sensation. You cannot feel anything in that burnt part because the life-force is not present in it anymore.

There is life in this creation because of consciousness. So Lord Krishna says, ‘I am manifest in this entire creation as the life-giving consciousness which sustains all life. This is a great secret that you must know'. 

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(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the orginal talk.)

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