What is Infinity, Self, Work?
Sadhana dhama moksha kara dhwara means the cause for someone to be enlightened. Sadhana dhama is the locus for one to engage in discipline. Moksha kara dhwara is the cause for one to get enlightened. This teaching is describing our equipment, our BMI. This equipment allows us to practice discipline and it is what will direct us to enlightenment. If we do not use the BMI well, they become liabilities, for example the mind gets agitated and the body gets older. If we use the BMI well, the intellect becomes still, the mind becomes focused and then, they become an asset. The Living The Gita course is to help us live in such a way that everything we are becomes an asset and not a liability. Do not compartmentalize. This is living the Gita. You are always living.
Prince Arjuna asks Bhagavan Krishna ‘What happens if I am seeking but I do not reach the sought’? Bhagavan Krishna answers — When you seek, the results of seeking are immediate (happy today) and mediate (tomorrow you’ll be happier too). So keep striving. Do not be afraid or dejected by the state of the body. Seeking is done by the mind and intellect.
Practical question: What is failure? Answer — Irrelevant. For a seeker there is no failure.
Prince Arjuna brings in more fear in his question that if he doesn’t reach what he is seeking, he will be lost. Bhagavan Krishna says that those who die and are rajasic are born into a home to encourage them to be sattvic. Those who are already sattvic and die will be born into a home to help them get past sattva. It will allow them to be gunatitaha
What is opportunity? Answer — All. All is opportunity.
Gita is divided into 3 sections. Chapter 1 to 6 focuses on TVAM. That is you. Historically, this is Prince Arjuna. This is your present. Chapter 7 to 12 focuses on TAT. That is Bhagavan Krishna. That is your potential i.e. your future. Chapter 13 to 18 focuses on ASI. How to make that transition from the present potential to future potential, from ordinary to extraordinary potential.
Another framework of the Gita is from Madhusudhana Sarasvati. Chapter 1 to 6 focuses on karma. The next 6 chapters focus on bhakti and the last 6 chapters focus on nyana.
Question 19 and 20 (Ch 8, V.1)
What is that Brahman? What is that Adhyatma? What is ‘action’? O best among men, what is declared to be the Adhibhuta? And what is Adhidaiva said to be?
Prince Arjuna asks ‘What is Brahman and what is Atma’? He wants to know more because he loves Bhagavan Krishna and the teachings more. You only want to know more of what you love more.
Bhagavan Krishna answers (Chp 8, V3): Brahman is Imperishable, The Supreme. His essential nature is called Self- knowledge
Brahman comes from the base Brahatvath which means Bigness. Big is used to qualify something else. Here it is just Bigness. It is not qualified, i.e. it is that which is infinite. Brahman is infinite. Brahman is Akshara. Shara means that which is changing or dying. Akshara is unchanging and undying. Another meaning for Brahman is Kutastha which means anvil. It is the substratum and support for everything else that changes and dies. Therefore, Brahman is Aksharam i.e. that which is Infinite, is unchanging, is undying and is the support for all that is changing and dying. Para means more. More than anything that we can conceive of is Brahman. Whatever I can think about is a thought and is dependent on the light to illuminate that thought.
When you start to feel that there is more to what you are doing than what you are doing. There is more to who you are than who you are today. There is more to you than that. This is mumukshutvam. This is the urge to do and be more but not in a secular way rather about being happy.
What is Atma? The adyatma is known as Svabhava. Bhava is feeling. Sva is the feeling of ‘I’. We have the feeling of I. We are the locus and everything else is a reference to this locus. Whatever feeling you have that establishes you, that is what Atma is. This feeling is unchanging. This deep established feeling is not different from what you felt yesterday, feel today or will feel tomorrow. The same sense will not change. Brahman is Unchanging. Atma is unchanging. Therefore Brahman = Atma.
Prince Arjuna asks “Kim karma purushottama’. He is describing Bhagavan Krishna as the best among men but Purushottama is another name for Brahman/Atman. Prince Arjuna’s question is how can he be Brahman/Atman when Bhagavan Krishna is Brahman. The question is What is Karma?
Bhagavan Krishna’s answer is that the creative force that causes beings to spring forth into manifestation is called ‘work’.
For humans and for creation what causes one to grow and be uplifted is this special feeling which is karma. Work is the means to the ends. Prince Arjuna wants to be Brahman and Bhagavan Krishna answers work to be Brahman. Your work is your responsibility and the means to the ends. Can be approached in 2 ways. Sarga is that which is ordinary. Visarga is extraordinary. When you want enlightenment, that is sarga. When you need enlightenment that is visarga. One gets to evolve from wanting enlightenment to needing enlightenment through work. The deeper your purpose, the deeper your pull will be. Working or serving is training to need enlightenment. Everything you do, needs to have the feeling to serve and to rub out your ego and serve others. If you interact with and visualize everyone as ‘sick’, you will give more of yourself, be more gentle, and be more kind to them. You will identify and love more and can develop virtues this way.
Philosophical Question: What is Brahman? It is what is below and above.
Practical Question: What is infinity? Infinity is Life.
Reflection Question: What do you think would be the lived experience of someone who knows and feels Brahman? Vivekji’s input: They would live in the most easy way. When you live by yourself, it is easy physically, mentally (no one is judging you) and intellectually. All will be most easy. You need to need this ie Mumukshutvam
Philosophical Question: What is Atma or Adhyatma? Bhagavan Krishna shares that is What you are.
Practical Question: What is the Self? It is the spirit. Whatever is coming out of you is coming out of the Spirit.
Reflection Question (Question 20): Using logic, how can you convince yourself that you are the self? Vivekji’s input: ‘When I have alone time, I am most aware and appreciative of how happy I am and not because of someone else. It is only I. That shows Atma and Brahman are One’
Philosophical and Practical Question — What is work/Karma? Work is the means and the ends
Reflection question: How can you adjust your lifestyle and vision to have more enthusiasm and energy when you wake up each morning? Vivekj’si answer — Visualize that today will be the last day. You will be more energetic, more enthusiastic.
Wander around and find something that best describes the word or feeling given.
The point of the dynamics is that 1) When you laugh you forget the ego 2) These are symbols for more 3) to connect with daily life. 4) Find meaning in everything. Prince Arjuna is learning in a direct way from Bhagavan Krishna. We have the same opportunity but we forget about this. The more we develop this vision that all is an opportunity to learn. All is designed to train us that karma is the means to Atma
Question 1: What is the importance of ‘I’?
Whatever sense you have of you, the locus, somehow the letter ‘I’ has been assigned to it. You don’t hear or think I but why is this letter I assigned to the locus we are. It’s a further reflection.
Question 2: It is difficult sometimes to apply the teachings esp with everything that happens to us for a reason.
Answer: 1) Because we lack faith. We live in a superficial way and we do not see Bhagavan and do not have a relationship there. But for someone who has faith, they are not shaken by anything. All is Prasad. You get to that faith with more reflection. 2) We have to slow down more, and we will be able to manage applications more easily. We have to take 1 value and carry that into every experience. Every knowledge session, take 1 message and internalize it for the 24 hours till the next verse. This will allow the verse to be with you. Focus on quality
Question 3: How to develop an attitude of serving when some are not grateful?
Answer: If you are serving, you will not have an agenda of reciprocation. In service there should be no sense of reciprocity. Also, rest more because when you rest, you will have enthusiasm and energy. What you are getting is an opportunity to practice values like patience, appreciation.
Question 4: How to distinguish between Atma and Ego?
‘I’ that is the Ego is one that is focused on differences. When that I has no labels, that is the Spirit. You tune in to that I in quietude. There is no change or effort. You are just being.
RAW: Write on Medium the reflections. A seeker stated that if you give less emphasis to success, you won’t take failure so seriously. Success is not gauged externally but rather by whether you have tried your best. One is not shaken by failure.