Bhagavad Gita Teachings – Sri Krishna on Enlightement and Illumination

Bhagavat Gita Translation and Summaries

Sri Krishna Teachings

The Bhagavad Gita are the essential teachings of Sri Krishna.  These teachings were imparted by Krishna to the warrior prince Arjuna on the battlefield, when Arjuna’s resolve was shaken upon seeing his teachers, relatives, friends and other loved ones in the opposing army.  This entire epic story is called the Mahabharata and although the story is filled with a great deal of wisdom and life lessons, the most important teachings are from this dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, which are captured in the Bhagavad Gita.

Krishna is the Lord incarnate and Arjuna, represents Man, his friend.  The Bhagavad Gita contains many wonderful verses and today I would like to share a particular chapter with you, in which Krishna is answering Arjuna’s question as to what is an Enlightened Man.  Below the verse you will find some of my thoughts and summaries from this verse.

Book: Bhagavad Gita

Translated By: Swami Prabhavananda and Christpher Isherwood

Pages 13-14:

Arjuna Asks: 

Krishna, how can one identify a man who is firmly established and absorbed in Brahman (Divine Consciousness)?  In what manner does an illumined soul speak?  How does he sit?  How does he walk?

Krishna Replies:

He knows bliss in the Atman (eternal, timeless, soul)
And wants nothing else.

Cravings torment the heart:
He renounces cravings.
I call him illumined.

Not shaken by adversity,
Not hankering after happiness:
Free from fear, free from anger,
Free from the things of desire.
I call him a seer, and illumined.

The bonds of his flesh are broken.
He is lucky, and does not rejoice:
He is unlucky, and does not weep.
I call him illumined.

The tortoise can draw in its legs:
The seer can draw in his senses.
I call him illumined.

The abstinent run away from what they desire
But carry their desires with them:

When a man enters Reality,
He leaves his desires behind him.

Even a mind that knows the path
Can be dragged from the path:
The senses are so unruly.
But he controls the senses
And recollects the mind
And fixes it on me.
I call him illumined.

Thinking about sense-objects
Will attach you to sense-objects;

Grow attached, and you become addicted;
Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger;
Be angry, and you confuse your mind;
Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience;
Forget experience, you lose discrimination;
Lose discrimination, and you miss life’s only purpose.

When he has no lust, no hatred,
A man walks safely among the things of lust and hatred.
To obey the Atman
Is his peaceful joy:
Sorrow melts
Into that clear peace:
His quiet mind
Is soon established in peace.

The uncontrolled mind
Does not guess that the Atman is present:
How can it meditate?
Without meditation, where is peace?
Without peace, where is happiness?

The wind turns a ship
From its course upon the waters:
The wandering winds of the senses
Cast man’s mind adrift
And turn his better judgment from its course.

When a man can still the senses
I call him illumined.
The recollected mind is awake
In the knowledge of the Atman.
Which is dark night to the ignorant:
The ignorant are awake in their sense-life
Which they think is daylight:
To the seer it is darkness.

Water flows continually into the ocean
But the ocean is never disturbed:
Desire flows into the mind of the seer
But he is never disturbed.

The seer knows peace:
The man who stirs up his own lusts
Can never know peace.
He knows peace who has forgotten desire.
He lives without craving:
Free from ego, free from pride.

This is the state of enlightenment in Brahman:
A man does not fall back from it
Into delusion.
Even at the moment of death
He is alive in that enlightenment
Brahman and he are one.

Bhagavad Gita Summary – Krishna Teachings Highlights:

Although every verse above is full of inspiration and guidance, I wanted to just highlight and summarize a few of the points for you.

1. The Purpose of Life is God/Truth:

We may run all over the place chasing after sense-objects and be consumed in the world of desires and ego, but the sooner we realize that the only true purpose to life is God, the better chance we have to be free of suffering and torment.

2.  True Meaning of Renunciation:

As Krishna explains, that sitting in a cave without any possessions, but nevertheless burning with desire is not renunciation.  Being untouched by desire is true renunciation.

3. Desires Come and Go:

I was once sitting with Swami Dayananda Saraswati at his Ashrama here in the US (Arsha Vaidya Gurukulam) and asked him if his mind moved.  He said it did, but it did not bother him.  That is what is being explained in this verse from the Bhagavat Gita as well. Desires come and go, but you remain a dispassionate witness, simply watching and enjoying the show.

This does not mean you do not act.  The Gita is all about Karma Yoga, or the Yoga of Action, and in another chapter I will go into that as well.

4. Monkey Mind Cannot Meditate:

I know we speak a great deal about watching, witnessing and silently comprehending the mind.  But, lets be clear that the ability to concentrate is a prerequisite for meditation.  Concentration is not meditation, meditation is much more than that.  But, without being able to apply your mind to the act of steady witnessing and being constantly adrift and absorbed in thoughts, you will not be able to meditate.  And without meditation, you will not uncover the Truth.  Without Truth, there is no end to suffering.

5. Devotion to the Supreme:

In much of the Bhagavad Gita Krishna indicates that doing all with the Supreme in mind, is the path to salvation.  This is another way to be free of the ego and pride.  To devote all that you do to God, and remember that it is Him doing everything and that you are just a channel.  Forgetting God and doing things, leads to focusing on results and the ego, which only strengthen the bonds of delusion and suffering.

Hope you were inspired and enjoyed this verse from the Bhagavad Gita, stay tuned for more teachings of Sri Krishan in the near future

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4 replies
  1. Eternal Religion
    Eternal Religion says:

    1. Sanatan-Dharma is the most peaceful of all Religions
    2. Sanatan-Dharma is the only Eternal Religion
    3. Sanatan-Dharma is the only Religion where God is completely proven and known
    4. Sanatan-Dharma has by far the most knowledge, more than 810,000 verses. Compare this with Christianity with 35,000 verses (Bible), and Islam with only 6236 verses (Koran)
    5. Sanatan-Dharma is the only Religion that can save mankind

    God is Eternal, His Teachings are Eternal, His Religion is Sanatan-Dharma
    Promote the Truth, Promote Sanatan Dharma.(http://eternalreligion.org/)

    Reply
  2. jamarie3
    jamarie3 says:

    Hi Almol,

    kirisna also said to beware of sinners wearing the attire of decent SAGEs. wearing saintly attires people violate the law of privacy but guess what, they manipulate poeple’s mind by creating spiritual websites. Wonder if they are fooling the almighty or themselves.

    Reply

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