What Really is Sin?

May 16 2013

Bangalore, India 

(Below is a continuation of the post Learn To Look Beyond)

He continues further by saying, 'Iccha-dvesha-samutthena dvandva-mohenabharata. Sarva-bhutanisammohamsargeyantiparantapa'. (7.27)

When someone is caught up in Raaga (intense cravings), or consumed by Dvesha (hatred or spite) towards someone, then that completely fills their mind and they cannot see anything else. A person who intensely craves for someone or has too much hatred for someone, such a person falls into the trap of Moha (attachment). All living creatures are affected by this, and all of them suffer because of this very reason.

Lord Krishna says, ‘Why is it that so many are not able to know Me? The reason is Ichha (cravings or desires) and Dvesha (aversions). They are constantly stuck between their desires and aversions.'

When someone is caught up in Raaga (intense cravings), or consumed by Dvesha (hatred or spite) towards someone, then that completely fills their mind and they cannot see anything else. A person who intensely craves for someone or has too much hatred for someone, such a person falls into the trap of Moha (attachment).

All living creatures are affected by this, and all of them suffer because of this very reason.

A person who is suffering and is miserable cannot see anything else or understand anything. Even if something good is happening around him, he not able to see it. Such a person lives in his own world. That is Bhrama or Bhranti (delusion).

When such a person has a problem in his life, be it regarding money, or relationships, etc., then all that he can see is the problem. His mind is completely engrossed with the problem and nothing else. He spends his day and night worrying over it, even years, but he is not able to overcome it.

If someone suffers a loss of some kind, then that loss grips the person so completely that he is unable to see anything beyond it. This is what Lord Krishna calls as Moha (attachment). He says,‘One who is caught up in such attachments is not able to recognize Me as the one pure Consciousness that pervades everything. He is unable to recognize My vast brilliance. I am so vast and so majestic, he is not able to see that. So why does this happen, and who is able to recognize Me?’

He explains about this in the next verse:

‘Yesamtv-anta-gatampapamjananampunya-karmanam. Te dvandva-moha-nirmuktabhajante mam drdha-vratah’. (7.28)

Lord Krishna says, ‘One whose sins have reduced and who has begun to receive the merits of his good deeds, such a person becomes free from the conflicts of cravings and aversions, and worships Me dedicatedly. And also (on the other side), one who believes in Me is automatically cleansed of all his sins. One who takes refuge in Me, and sees Me as the pure Consciousness is freed from all his sins, and all his good deeds begin to bear fruit'.

In the next verse He says, ‘Jara-marana-moksaya mam asrityayatanti ye. Te brahma tad viduhkrtsnamadhyatmam karma chakhilam’. (7.29)

Lord Krishna says, ‘Those who wish to be free from (the problems of) old age and death; for whom I am the only shelter, and who rely completely upon Me for everything, such noble people surely attain (the highest pedestal of) the Brahman. This is what spirituality really is. And they are the ones who are able to understand the ways of Karma also’.

He then says, ‘Sadhibhutadhidaivam mam sadhiyajnamca ye viduh. Prayana-kale api cha mam teviduryukta-cetasah’. (7.30)

One whose sins have reduced and who has begun to receive the merits of his good deeds, such a person becomes free from the conflicts of cravings and aversions, and worships Me dedicatedly. And also (on the other side), one who believes in Me is automatically cleansed of all his sins.

Here, Lord Krishna says, ‘Those whose Punyas (meritorious deeds) begin to bear fruit are freed of all their sorrow, and they begin to get drawn towards Me. Those whose sins are not cleansed remain stuck in ignorance and delusion’.

This is the difference between Paap (sin) and Punya (merit). This is the definition of the two. Sin is that which does not allow you to come to the spiritual path. See, if you walk towards the light, the darkness (of ignorance) automatically starts to disappear. But sin is that which does not let you move towards the light. And this is what causes misery, pain and suffering.

We have also seen this happen in the courses and workshops. People who are yet to undergo some suffering and misery, they are just not able to come and attend the course. Their karma is such that it stops them from coming and experiencing the course.

They are not able to attend Satsang, and even if they attend it, their mind is racing elsewhere. All this is because of their unfavourable ( paap) karma.

Those who walk this path and receive Self-knowledge are freed of suffering.

With this, the seventh chapter comes to an end. In the next chapter, Lord Krishna explains what spirituality really is. Spirituality is that which brings you merit, and causes the light (of Self-knowledge) to dawn in your life.

Once you are on this path, you never feel that you have aged. Old and elderly people who are on the spiritual path keep their enthusiasm till their last breath.

No matter how old they become, their face still glows with joy and happiness. They have a child-like innocence in them. So how can you call someone who has such a child-like innocence in them as old? How can you call people who are unafraid of death and who keep smiling as old?

When a person completely understands that I am not the body, I am pure Consciousness, then such strength dawns in him. How can such a person be fearful of death anymore?

Such people feel free from old age and death (having realized their true nature that is eternal). They are filled with happiness and enthusiasm. They are free from the conflicts of craving and aversions.

Otherwise you see so many people who till the last moment of their lives keep worrying about their son, or their daughter, or grandchildren, etc., (This is happening to my daughter, that is happening to my son). You need to realize that everyone has brought some karma with them, part of which is Paap and some part is Punya. And they have to pay off the debts of their bad karma and also experience the merits of their good karma.

Lord Krishna says, ‘But those who have complete faith in Me are freed from their karma and their sins are cleansed. This is what spirituality really is.

You need to realize that everyone has brought some karma with them, part of which is Paap and some part is Punya. And they have to pay off the debts of their bad karma and also experience the merits of their good karma.

'People usually think that spirituality means to keep practicing Karma Kaand (rites and rituals of worship as mentioned in the scriptures) throughout their lives. But that is wrong. If you keep turning the beads of a japamaala (a rosary) all your life, that is not going to bring you any merit. But once the faith towards the Divine gets strongly lodged into your heart, then that is it.

For example, you all are sitting here in Bangalore. You are all aware you are in Bangalore, isn’t it? Does anyone have to remind you again and again about this? Do you need to keep chanting ‘I am in Bangalore’ ten times to remind yourself about it? Who would do that? One who has some doubt. If you are in Delhi but have this misconception that you are in Bangalore, then you have to remind yourself again and again that you are actually in Delhi and not in Bangalore.

So, when Lord Krishna says, ‘Believe in Me with strong dedication and unwavering faith’, He does not mean to say you should keep on chanting His name again and again. No, it is not so. Once you have faith in Him, then that is it. Then you should not doubt it one bit. This is what knowing the Divine truly means. Once you know Him and have total faith in Him, then it stays with you forever. Such knowledge can never diminish. It is always with you.

Delusion can never stay for long. It comes and goes. It has no permanent existence. Knowledge can never be destroyed. It is only because of one’s sins that knowledge gets veiled by ignorance. By doing good deeds, the veil of ignorance gets lifted and knowledge dawns in life. This is what spirituality is.

There are three different types of Taapa (manifestations of Divine energy): Adihautik (pertaining to the material realm), Adhyatmik (pertaining to the subtle spiritual realm) and Adidaivik (pertaining to the celestial realm of the demi-gods). Lord Krishna says, ‘I am all three and I am also beyond them as well’, and He simply leaves it at that, so that Arjuna can ask a question about them.

Here He creates a chance for Arjuna to ask a question, and also to check whether he is attentive or not (laughter). He wants to check whether Arjuna has been able to digest all the knowledge given so far. So Lord Krishna gives the knowledge, but at the very end of the chapter, leaves a small gap to give Arjuna a chance to reflect and ask questions.

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

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