Reflections Along The Way

Bhagavad Geeta: Chapter 4, Verses 9-12

In the previous verses, Shri Krishna explains the concept of rebirth and how his rebirth is different from Arjuna’s (and everyone else’s). He also shares when and why he manifests himself through his own power (māya).

Chapter 4, Verse 9

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ॥९॥
janma karma ca me divyamevaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ,
tyaktvā dehaṁ punarjanma naiti māmeti so’rjuna. (9)

He who understands the truth of My divine birth and activities, O Arjuna, upon leaving the body does not take birth again but comes to Me.

Shri Krishna says that his manifestation and unmanifestation are totally under his control, whereas other people cannot decide when they are born and when they die. Both his manifestation and activities are divine. His divine play – the projection of his form for the good of all, and the work that he does in the world are not prompted by selfishness and selfish desires.

One who really understands the divine play will never again be born meaning he will never again be under the misconception that he is a limited entity. He has exhausted all his vāsanās, purified himself, and awakened to a higher state of consciousness. Even though he is working in the world, he does not have the idea that he is an individualized ego.

Chapter 4, Verse 10

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः ।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ॥१०॥
vītarāgabhayakrodhā manmayā māmupāśritāḥ,
bahavo jñānatapasā pūtā madbhāvamāgatāḥ. (10)

Being free from attachment, fear, and anger, completely absorbed in Me, and taking refuge in Me, many became purified by the fire of knowledge and thus attained My being.

The conditions required to attain a higher state of consciousness are to be created just like how we turn off the light, TV, etc. and quieten the mind to be sucked into sleep.

Those conditions mentioned are to be free from attachment, fear, and anger. These three are connected. Attachment is the cause of fear (of losing) and anger (when you cannot get the object you are attached to). Attachments come because of ego and ego-centric desires. They exist as long as there are vāsanās. The more attached you are, the more fear/anger you will have.

Shri Krishna says those who surrender giving up all attachments and fully absorbed in Him become purified. Through contemplation, they become one with Him.

Chapter 4, Verse 11

ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् ।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ॥११॥
ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁstathaiva bhajāmyaham,
mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ. (11)

In whatever way people approach Me, I reciprocate accordingly. Everyone follows My path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

Some may invoke the Lord to be free from suffering, some for wealth, some for knowledge, and others for liberation. You will be blessed with whatever you invoke God for. For eg, if you invoke Ganesha to remove obstacles, he will reciprocate by removing obstacles. If you invoke him for receiving knowledge, he will reciprocate that too. If you see Ishwara in him and invoke him to be liberated, he will reciprocate that as well.

It’s like Aladdin and the genie. If Aladdin asks his genie for a million dollars, he will get a million dollars. If Aladdin asks the genie to whip him, the genie will obediently beat him up. In the same way, in whatever way we invoke God based on our own desires and attachments, he will help us with that.

Shri Krishna says that every being (plant, animal, human) in the world whether they know it or not, is walking in his path meaning they cannot walk without him. Each being is free to walk in whichever direction it wants but everyone is walking with Him.

Chapter 4, Verse 12

काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः ।
षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ॥१२॥
kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhiṁ yajanta iha devatāḥ,
kṣipraṁ hi mānuṣe loke siddhirbhavati karmajā. (12)

In this world, those who long for success from actions worship the celestial gods, since success from actions manifest quickly.

A question may arise in our minds now as to why all people don’t seek the infinite bliss in the Lord. Instead, almost everyone is seeking happiness in the world of objects. In the world, the results of actions get manifested quickly. People expecting immediate results for their actions invoke the phenomenal powers (deities). They are happy getting fast results (success) even though it is temporary.

The higher the mountain, the greater the effort needs to be to climb to the peak. People are happy with immediate physical, emotional, or intellectual satisfaction even though they are temporary. To transcend the body, mind, and intellect and to enter the higher state of spiritual evolution, effort and time are needed. Due to a lack of patience and understanding of the value of being spiritual, most people do not put in the required effort for spiritual evolution.

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