|INTRODUCTION AND FAQ|
NEED FOR THIS BOOK
Though there are many books and websites, they aim at propagating the message of the Bhagavad Gita. This blog book aims at an impartial analysis of what Sri Krishna (or the Priests using Krishna and Gita as an instrument) orate(s).
|Bhagavadgita is a part of Mahabharata (Pronounced Mahabhaarata. It is in Bhishma Parva. Gita has all the ingredients of an independent book. Hence, some criticis believe that it was interpolated in Gita.|
AUTHOR OF GITA
Veeda Vyaasa, being the author of Mahabharata.
|CONTEXT OF GITA IN MAHABHARATA|
Pandavas (Pronounced Paamd`avaas) and Kauravas line up their armies for commencing the Mahabharata war.
Arjuna, the middle of the five Pandava brothers is one of the chief warriors on the Pandava side. He asks his charioteer, friend, philosopher and guide Krishna to move the chariot to the forefront of the Kaurava forces, to enable a clear perspective of the warriors on the other side.
When Arjuna saw the knights on the Kaurava side, he found that he was fighting his battles with his cousins, uncles and grandfathers. Unable to foresee a picture of killing all the near and dear whose love he received and cherished in his boyhood, Arjuna wishes to withdraw from the war and retreat to forests. For him the prospects of bloodshed were unbearable and unthinkable.
He prostrates at the feet of Krishna, who at that moment, acted as preceptor and motivator and administered this massive piece of advice of about 714 verses.
BhagavadGita is regarded as a masterpiece of philosophy by thinkers world round; Hindus rever it.
Some verses in Gita (short for BhagavatGita) have considerable merit; some others are mediocre; some others breed superstitions; some others are socially oppressive.
Every attempt is being made here to make an impartial translation and analysis. The object is not word to word translation. The goals are clarity, and the expression of probable intent of the writer in reasonable terms.
|NO OF VERSES IN GITA|
714. It would have been tedious to orate this on a battle field, at the nick of the moment. Most Sanskrit verses can be sung with or without accompaniment of string/wind instruments and percussion instruments. Even if instruments are not used, there is an element of humming before and at the end of the verse, to sound melodic. More so for a philosopher like Krishna who claims to be God. Assuming that two minutes are used for each verse it takes 1428 minutes to sing or nearly
24 hours. This gives scope to the theory of subsequent interpolations by priests.
|Discuss the term 'karma'||Karma has four common meanings. 1. The fruits of actions. There are of three types a) Sanchita Karma: accumulated good and bad fruits of actions of past birth. b) agami (pr:praarabdha) karma: Actions from just immediate past birth; c) Agami (pr: Aagaami) Karma: Actions of this birth. |
2. karma: Actions. Often rituals like charity, worship, sacrifices, penance etc.
3. karma: One's own duty. This meaning influenced the great Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Viekananda, and Lokmanya Tilak.
4. karma= One's own duty as prescribed by the four caste structure. Gita uses this meaning. In Gita, God (Krishna or the priests) say: "I created the four castes'. According to Gita, people inherit their behaviour and characteristics from their birth caste. The birth in a particular caste is influenced by the actions of the previous births. A man who did some virtuous deeds in his previous births would be born in higher castes and would inherit the behavior and character of a higher caste person so on and so forth. Since Gita is taught by Brahmins they kept for themselves the top qualities, followed by the kings. Lower down, only slavery and service was left. (In my personal opinion--I shall be subject to correction--by learned readers, Gita is a shame on Indian conscience, at least as far as the caste inheritance and insistence is concerned.)
Yoga (pronounced Yooga)
The word YOGA is born from YUGA i.e. UNION. Its English equivalent is 'yoke'. Farmers use a yoke to tie up two bullocks in tandem for ploughing land and drawing carts. The Union is of the human soul with the Supreme Soul (God). Over a period of time, it extended to different yogic practices which are means of attaining the yoga. Thus physical exercises called 'Aasanas' (sitting postures) have come to be known as yoga in common parleys.
Yoga has other derived meanings like 'a tool'.
In Gita, all the 18 chapters have the suffix yoga. Eg. Arjuna Vishaada Yoga. Here, we cannot apply the meaning of Union of Arjuna's grief. Contextually, in Gita, Yoga means a mental State. The mental State may be of Grief or Action (Karma Yooga), Gnaana Yooga (Mental State of having Known).
In Chapter 2 Verse No. INTELLECT 48 , Krishna defined more Yoga clearly. It has three ingredients: 1. Abandon the idea of being a doer 2. Abandon the idea of being receiver of results 3. Equanimity and unperturbedness both to successes and failures.
|Discuss the term 'Brahma' or Brahmam||The term Brahma has two contextual meanings:|
1. Brahma=Four headed creator. (4H Brahma).
2. Brahmam= 'Supreme Spirit pervading the Universe. Infinite. Birthless, Deathless'. The essense of Bhagavad Gita is: Everybody should try to yoke 'his living soul' with the 'supreme spirit'. At the end (death), the living soul leaves the body and gets absorbed into the supreme spirit. This is Deliverance (Moksha). Benefit: Freedom from the cycle of rebirths and the threat of entering lowly animal and insect bodies.
Originally Brahma and Brahmam were same. During the advent of 'Vishnu' as Supreme Spirit, a separate creator Brahma (Padmabhava) was made out from a lotus born from the naval umbellical chord of Vishnu (Padmanabha). Brahma became son of Vishnu. Brahma is a part of trinity and should have been ranked equal to Vishnu. Shiva (the Destroyer God) -the third member of the Trinity was said to have cut the fifth head of Brahma to tame him down. Brahma since then is believed to have only four heads (caturmukha). In the four caste system, Brahmins were originally worshipping the Supreme Spirit initially (Brahmam and Brahma as same). Kshatriyas (Rulers) were worshipping Lord Vishnu. In a struggle for superiority between Brahmins and the Rulers, the Kings gained an upper hand. Brahma was relegated down to be an inferior God, ruling the inferior world called 'Satya Loka'. Brahma was driven out of temples and denied of regular worship.
Priests compiled and explained Mahabharata inlcuding Gita, Maha Bhagavata, in temples at the instance of Mid-West Indian KIngs who claimed to be descendents of Krishna and Pandavas. They presented Krishna as the incarnation of Vishnu and elevated him to Brahmam (the Supreme Spirit). In Bhagavata, the 4H Brahma was humiliated for trying to compete with Krishna. According to some scriptures, 4H Brahma has an end at the end of his fixed life. (?). According to some other books, 4H Brahma is a post with changing incumbancies.
Bhagavad Gita is concerned with the Supreme Spirit and Krishna being the same.
Can we compare the Gita's Supreme Spirit to Yehova (Yehwe=Eternal)? -- We may do because Gita argues that the Supreme Spirit is eternal.
I examined whether the Supreme Spirit can be compared to the Holy Spirit of the Christian Trinity and the Noble Quran. It appears that Bible does not recognise the Holy Spirit and the concept of Trinity. Only a sect of the Christians (Trinitarians) seem to allow Holy Spirit on being par with Yehova. The Bible and the Quran seem to recognise some spirits both Holy, ordinary and subordinate, evil spirits. The 4H Brahma or the Creator God of HIndus may be regarded as the equivalent of the Holy Spirit.
|Is Krishna a historical figure?|
Are there similarities between Krishna and Jesus?
1. Both claimed to be Gods and messiahs.
2. Both were born in odd places. Krishna was born in prison. Jesus was born in a cattle shed.
1. Krishna did not lay down his life or lose his life on account of his preachings. Jesus died in the hands of his critics. This was because Krishna was a martial hero (warrior). Jesus was not a warrior.
2. Krishna's preachings were in direct speech appearing in Mahabharata. Jesus' preachings in New Testaments are mostly recollections.
Is there nothing in Gita which can inspire people to work for their goals?
|Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Vivekananda said they benefited from Gita. They might have. We have to keep in mind that there can be no absolutely-errorfree-great book or a book only full of faults. Every book contains both. Hence we cannot condemn books or characters. We can only criticise what they preached and the underlying circumstances. Blind imitation, worship or condemnation will be ugly and uncivilised.|
SUPERSTITIONS WHICH GITA TRIES TO NURTURE
|Men get their castes by birth. |
Existence of superior castes and inferior castes.
Superior castes have so called 'superior duties' of spiritual learning and penance.
Inferior castes to serve the superior castes. Everybody should do the duty alloted to his caste.
Krishna says that he himself created the Caste system. Arjuna is very keen that Caste System should remain unpolluted. He is afraid that those who injure the Caste System will have to remain in hell for indefinite period. Rebirth. Carry forward of actions (good/bad) and their consequences (good/bad) from birth to birth.
JUSTIFIABILITY OF ARJUNA'S HESITATION TO FIGHT
The Mahabharata war was a family feud between cousins for sharing the kingdom. It was not a war between two countries, involving patriotism and the need to defend the freedom of one's own country. Thus, the duty to fight is not a national duty, but only a personal or more accurately, a family duty particularly towards Draupadi who was insulted in the King's Court.
Pandavas had a grievance that they were defrauded by Duryodhana. Being an injured party, they have a right to fight or not to fight. Arjuna hesitated to fight, when he found that it was necessary to kill relatives lined up on the other side. There was no ignorance in this.
Arjuna unnecessarily discussed the war widows falling to debauchery and the scope of pollution of the Four Caste System; he behaves as if he was commiting a sin. He behaves as if he was the guardian of the Four Caste System.
One can always argue that he was speaking as a socially responsible person. But, not. He never hesitated
to invade countries. He did not hesitate to kill ordinary soldiers during his invasions. They did not provocate him for a war.
Even after the Mahabharata war, when Yudhishthira performed a horse sacrifice, he instructed Arjuna to go on a war path but not to kill the princes who succeeded the slain kings of Kurukshetra. In the course of defending the horse, Arjuna killed hundreds of thousands of ordinary soldiers.
Krishna spoke as if Arjuna was ignorant. Krishna spoke as if Arjuna needed counselling on matters of deliverance philosophy and the Union. Krishna spoke of Action. No Action was called for because there was no invasion from outside.
It appears that Krishna wanted to pretend as a God on the Earth. As a proof, he mesmerised and bewildered Arjuna as if Krishna was showing his Cosmic Form. This might be the intention of the Priests who were spreading the VAISHN`AVA cult or the KRISHNA cult.
PATRIORISM is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. -- Bertrand Russel
Svadharma (One's own duty) as per Bhagavad Gita for a Kshatriya (Warrior) is to kill or get killed. If he kills, he will enjoy the pleasures of this world. If gets killed, he goes to heaven and get heavenly pleasures.
IS KRISHNA EQUAL TO ALL
One blogsite iskcondk.blogspot.com/2006/12/krishna-is-equal-to-all.html
claims that Krishna is equal to all. They do not allow any comments. Hence, I am writing my comments here.
Krishna claims that he created the four caste system. (
I CREATED THE FOUR CASTES). If Krishna is really equal to all he cannot give special treatment to his devotees. He arbitrarily allots protection of cows, agriculture, and trade to vysyas. He condemns Suudraas to serve the higher castes. paricaryaatmakam karma s`uudrasyaapi svabhaavajam . If God really treats all humans equally, he cannot create divisions. After all, he is God. He is not CEO of a Corporate. This clearly shows that the God himself has been created by the Upper Castes, with favours being shown to them.
SRADDHA (pr: s`raddha)
Sraddha has two meanings. 1. Serious Interest coupled with sincerity. 2. Unflinched, unquestioning faith in something.
Gita uses the word S`raddha in the second meaning. An entire chapter 17 deals with this type of S`raddha. We should not forget its declaration SAMSAYATMA VINASYATI which means 'A person who doubts the sayings of Gita, gets destroyed or is condemned. This verdict is similar to condemnation of Satan in Christian literature. There is creation of a fear psychosis.
|Back to ContentsNAMES USED TO CALL KRISHNA AND ARJUNA|
|Bhaarata! Bharatarshabha||Oh person belonging to "Bharata" clan! The Greatest among the Bharatas|
|Kapidhwaja!||Oh warrior having "monkey (Hanuman)" on the flag post of the chariot!|
|Kaunteeya!||Oh Son of Kumti!|
|Paartha!||Son of Prutha! (Another name for mother Kumti)|
|Paramtapa!||Oh annihilator of enemies!|
|Dhanamjaya!||Person who has won tremendous wealth in conquests!|
|Vijaya!||Oh Great Achiever of Success in battles!|
|Gud`aakees`a!||Oh Defeater of Sleep and Sloth!|
|Gaamd`iivi!||Oh holder of bow named "Gaamd`iva"!|
|Names of persons appearing in the Gita|
Minister of Dhritarashtra, the King.
Prince. S/o Dhritaraashtra. Duryoodhana's adament refusal to yield even a pin point's area of land to Yudhisht'hira led to the war.
|Drupada||King of Paamcaala Kingdom, fighting for Paamd`avas. Father of Draupadi.|
|Bhiishma, Karn`a, Vikarn`a, Krupa, As`vatthaama,|
|Bhiishma is the Grand father of Paamd`avas whom Arjuna hesitates to kill. As`vatthaama is Guru Droona's son. Vikarn`a is Prince and S/o Dhritharaasht`ra - hence a brother to Arjuna. Karn`a is King of Anga. All these warriors fought for Kauravas.|
|Dhrusht`akeetu, Uttamaujasva, Vikraamta, Yudhaamanyu, Yuyudhaana||Warriors fighting for Paamd`avas.|
|Janaka||King of Mithila. Referred to in Karma Yooga,as enlightened by 'Action'.|
|Saubhadra||Another name for Abhimanyu. S/o Arjuna.|
|Viraat`a||King of Matsya Kingdom, for fighting Paamd`avas.|
|GLOSSARY and MINI DICTIONARY|
aadi = beginning;
aadhyaaya = study;
aamaya = ailment, disease
aahava = battle
aaraam = rest;
aap = water;
aas`rita = take shelter;
aavrutam = covered by;
aatma = soul
abhyutthaan = birth and growth;
abraviit = said
agni = fire;
anya = other
aham = I
ahamkaara = the feeling of I (ego)
aja = without birth
akshara = indelible, not destroyed;
ambhasa = water;
amtam = end;
amtah sukhi = person who is happy within;
amtar aaraama = resting within;
amtar jyooti = inner light;
anaamaya = health, robust;
anasuuya = one without envy;
antas = within;
apaan vaayu = wind moving downward in digestive system and expelled through anus.
api = also, despite;
agni = fire
arhati = is entitled to;
arth = money, wealth;
asams'aya = without doubt, hesitation;
asmaakam = us
asn (tv) = eat, get;
asuuya = envy;
bahir = outside
bahu, bahuun = many;
baahya = 1. outside 2. exterminated.
bhaya = fear;
bhooga = luxury, enjoy
bhookta = eater, person enjoying;
bhruva = place between two eye brows;
brahma= Four headed Brahma;
budha = 1. scholars 2. Planet Mercury.
buddhi = intellect
cakshu (n) = eye;
catur = four;
chin (v)= break; disintegrate;
chinna (adj) = broken, disintegrated;
cittam = inner self
daana = charity
dambha = hypocrisy;
dagdha = born;
deeham = body;
dharma = ethics, duty, charity, religion (&c);
dosham = defect;
dushkruta = evil deeds;
dvaar = door;
dvaidha = two, double;
dvamdva = dual, double, two;
dvija = twice born (Braahmin caste)
dravya = material; money;
drooha = treachery, disloyalty.
eeka = one
ee tat = all that;
eeva = only
gaccha (itv)= go;
gighra (v) = smell;
Goovimda, Govinda = Krishna;
grihn`a (v) = to receive;
Gud`aak = sleep
Gud`aakees`a= Conquerer of Sleep (Arjuna)
Guhya = secret
hamta = assassin, killer
hata = dead
haya = horse;
Hrushiik= sensual organs
Hrushiikees`a = Controller of sensual organs in Creatures(Krishna)
iccha (n, v) = kaamksha = desire;
idam = this, that
iham = this world (param = heaven)
Ikshvaaku = a ruling clan;
iva = like;
jamtava = animals;
janma = birth;
jayati = wins;
jiiva, jiivit = life
juhva = offer in sacrificial fire;
jyooti (n) = light;
jyooti (v) = to light, to look;
kaama = desire, lust
kaamksha = desire;
karma = 1. action 2. Actions of past births and their fruits. 3. Action as prescribed by the caste in which a person is born.
kas`malam =direct, pollutant;
katham = how;
Kees`ava = Krishna
Kees`inii suddana = Krishna (who killed the demoness Keesini)
kim = why
kshara = delible, destroyed;
kshiin`a = falling, fallen; dwindling; dwindled;
kshipram = fast, speedily;
klaibya = impotence; timidness, faintheartedness; cowardice; weakness.
kroodha = anger;
kula dharmaaha = duties allocated to different castes
kula kshayam = deterioration of a caste, castes and the caste system
kula strii = women of (respectable) castes.
kula ghna = one who breaks and violates castes.
labdhva = Having got;
labh (v) = to get;
looka = world;
maam = me;
maatula = maternal uncle.
Madhusuudana = Krishna (slayer of a demon called 'Madhu')
mai = my;
mama = me, my
mamaka = mine (possessive)
mana = mind
maanasa = minded
mat = my
mayaa = by me;
mooksha = deliverance (particularly from the cycle of birth, death and rebirths)
mrutyu = death
muhur muhur = again and again;
mukta = relieved; delivered; discharged;
nara = human, man
nasht`a = loss;
nava = nine, new;
nibaddha = bound; adhering;
nimittam = 1. bad omen; 2. instrument or tool.
nir-agnir = without maintaining sacred fire
nir-doosham = free of defects; free of lapses;
nir-aamaya = cured from disease;
nitya = daily, always
ojas = strength
paatakam = sin
paraayan`a = person full engaged in a thing; expert;
parampara = succession of generations;
paripamdhi = enemy, wayside robber. pantha = way.
partitraan`a = protect
pasyaami = I see;
patram = leaf;
phala = fruit
praak = 1. before 2. East.
prakruti = Nature;
pralapa (v) = to talk
praapta = get
prabhu(n) = Lord (God);
prahasan = laughing, ridiculing;
Prutha (n)= another name for Kumti, mother of Arjuna and Paamd`avas;
pruthak pruthak = separately;
pruthvi (n) = earth;
pumgava, pungava = the best among, leader.
punar = again;
puraatana = ancient;
puram = town;
purusha = man, super-God
puuta = purified;
rahasyam = guhyam = secret;
rama = 1. enjoy 2. love; 3. Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi;
rata(n) = interested person;
raaga = attachment, liking;
raaja = king;
reetas = sperm;
rataa = interested, enjoying a particular thing;
ruc (v)= taste;
rudhira (n) = blood;
rushi (n) = sage;
rushayaha (n)= sages (plural)
sa = he;
saadhu = docile, gentle; mendicant;
sadaa = always;
sambhava = happen;
samkalp (v) = propose;
samkalpa = proposal;
sams`aya = doubt, hesitation;
samvaadam = argument, dispute;
samyama = self control;
sams`ayam = doubt;
sangam, samgam = attachment; (original meaning: union);
sarva = all
sat = good
seena = army
s`ariir = body;
siddhi = accomplishment, fulfilment;
sooch = think about, regret about
spars`a = touch;
s`reeya = good, beneficial
s'rii = Goddess Lakshmi, wealth;
srisht` (v) = create;
srootra = hearing;
suhrud = good heart;
sukha = comfort, luxury, happiness
sukhi (n) = happy person;
sva = one's own
svaadhyaa = self study;
svapa (v) = to dream;
svapnam (n) = dream;
s`vasa (v) = to breathe;
s`vas`ura = father-in-law
s`yaala = brother-in-law
syamdan = chariot
tadaa = then;
tapa = penance
tasmaat = therefore
tasya = his, her
tat = that
tatvavit = those who know and appreciate the true philosophy and spirit.
titiiksha = endurance, forbearance; tolerance;
tumgam = tall, high
tvak = skin
tyak = relinquish;
ubha = two
udapa = water well;
ukta = said;
unmiisha (v) = open eyes;
upaas`rita = take shelter;
uttamam = good;
varn`am = color, caste;
Varn`a samkara = pollution of caste. (Not only Krishna and Arjuna, the priests and rulers of those days of were afraid more of caste pollution a cobra.)
vartat = behave;
vayam = we;
vees`ma = residence, home
vibhu = Lord (God);
viddhi = know (2nd person, imperative);
vigata = gone;
viita = shed;
vimda (tv) = enjoy;
vimookshan`a = deliverance;
vinaas`aka = destructive;
vinas`ya = destroy;
vis`ruja (v) = to excrete;
Vishn`u = Krishna's original name before incarnation. One of the trinity Gods.
Vivasvata = The Sun;
vrata = oath;
vyatiit = elapse
yadaa = when
yajan (v) = worship, often through ritualistic sacrifices;
yagna = 1. ritualistic sacrifice; 2. any sacred worship;
yasya = whose
yata (tv, n) =controlled; try;
yudhya = fight!
yuga = era, age;