Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha, a knower of the Supreme Truth, has guided numerous seekers towards the invaluable goal of self-realization, transforming their lives into one of joy and contentement. Swamiji’s interpretation of Bhagavadgita, Sreemad Bhagavatam , Upanishad and other spiritual texts, coming from his experiential depth and mastery of Self-realization, inspires seekers with the liberating touch of the transcendental knowledge.
Receiving diksa (spiritual initiation) from Baba Gangadhara Paramahamsa of Dakshinkhanda, West Bengal, Swamiji embraced sannyasa t the age of 23. Dedicating his life for the welfare of mankind, he has been relentlessly disseminating spiritual wisdom of Vedanta for over 50 years , with rare clarity, practicality and openness, to seekers all over the world.
Swami Bhoornananda Tirtha, a knower of the Supreme Truth, has guided numerous seekers towards the invaluable goal of Self-realization, transforming their lives into one of joy and contentment. Swamiji' interpretation of Bhagavadgita. Sreemad Bhagavatarn, Upanishads and other spiritual texts, coming from his experiential depth and mastery of Self-realization, inspires seekers with the liberating touch of the transcendental knowledge.
Receiving diksa (spiritual initiation) from Baba Gangadhara Paramaharnsa of Dakshinkhanda, West Bengal, Swamiji embraced sannyasa at the age of 23. Dedicating his life for the welfare of mankind, he has been relentlessly disseminating spiritual wisdom of Vedanta for over 50 years, with rare clarity, practicality and openness, to seekers all over the world.
During the past four decades, I have been giving discourses on Bhagavadgita, the matchless dialogue that transpired between Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The fact that such a profound spiritual dialogue had to take place between two great rulers in a battlefield just before the discharge of arrows was to begin, speak volumes even today.
The great spiritual wisdom of the land would not have shown in its full luster, if it had just remained in hermitages, to be imparted solely by ascetic Sages to the few selected dispassionate seekers. Krishna in a masterly way taught in the battlefield what the ascetics used to impart in seclusion. By this, the great Upanishadic message began to shine with its full relevance and application to the complex human life. Ever since, people in all walks of life have found in this unique gospel endless inspiration and guidance.
It was a long felt desire of our listeners and readers that I should write a commentary on Bhagavadgita explaining its unique and intricate message. But, because many commentaries, including the modern ones in English, are already there, I did not feel like adding one more. Later on, Swami Nirvisesananda Tirtha, a disciple living with me, suggested that, instead of a full commentary, I write on some of the essential concepts presented in Bhagavadgita, clarifying one concept at a time and emphasizing where exactly the focus of the seekers should be.
Thus began the serial "Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita" in the Ashram's journal "Vicharasetu - The Path of Introspection". The serial, still in progress, will take its own time for completion. Meanwhile it was decided to integrate and publish the articles in the form of a book for the benefit of all. This volume discusses mainly the concepts appearing in Chapter I and II of the gospel.
To read and recite Bhagavadgita is itself a great sadhana. Such involvement will inevitably lead the seeker to reflect over the concepts and revelations. This process is bound to take him to deeper and more enduring introspection and enquiry. Intense manana (reflection) cannot then be avoided, which before long will culminate in the much desired meditation and absorption, leading to the sthita-prajna state. The sthita- prajna will necessarily grow into a sthita-dhi (a stable minded person). The distinguished life of abiding harmony, ceaseless integration, lasting peace and ecstasy together with continuing expansion will be the crowning fulfillment to follow.
May the readers be led irresistibly from stage to stage, involving their minds and intelligence in endearing and sustaining sadhana
During the past four decades, I have been giving discourses on Bhagavadgita, the matchless dialogue that transpired between Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of kurukshetra. The fact that sucha profound spiritual dialogue had to take place between two great rulers in a battlefield just before the discharged of arrows was to begin, speaks volumes even today.
The great spiritual wisdom of the land would not have shown in its fillister, if it had just remained in hermitages, to be imparted solely by ascetic sages t he few selected dispassionate seekers. Krishna in a masterly way taught in the battlefield what the ascetics used to impart in seclusion. By this, the great Upaninshadic message began to shine with its full relevance and application to the complex human life. Ever since, people in all walks of life have found in this unique gospel endless inspiration and guidance.
It was a long felt desire of our listeners and readers that I should write a commentary on Bhagavadgita, explaining it unique and intricate message. But, because many commentaries, including the modern ones in English, are already there, I did not feel like adding one more. Later on, Swami Nirvisesananda Tirtha, a disciple living with me, suggested that, instead of a full commentary, I write on some of the essential concepts presented in Bhagavadgita, clarifying one concept at a time and emphasizing where exactly the focus of the seekers be.
Thus began the serial “Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita” in the Ashram’s journal “ Vicharasetu- The Patha of Introspection”. The serial, still in progress, will take its own time for completion. Meanwhile it was decided to integrated and publish the articles in the form of a book for the benefit of all. This volume discusses mainly the concepts appearing in Chapter I and II of the gospel.
To read and recite Bhagavadgita is itself a great sadhana. Such involvement will inevitably lead the seeker to reflect over the concepts and revelations. This process is bound to take him to deeper and more enduring introspection and enquiry. Intense mana (reflection) cannot then be avoided, which before long will culminate in the much desired meditation and absorption. Leading to the sthita-prajnas state. The sthita-prajna wil necessarily grow into a sthita-dhi (a stable minded person). The distinguished life off abiding harmony, ceaseless integration, lasting peace and ecstasy together with continuing expansion will be the crowing fulfillment to folly.
May the readers be led irresistibly from stage to stage, involving their minds and intelligence in endearing and sustaining sadhana.
The serial “Essential Concepts in Bahgavadgita” has been appearing in our monthly journal “ Vicharasetu” for the past twelve years , since June 1996. The last article of the series, i.e. the 120th, has just been published this month. The first volume of the book “Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita, containing the first twenty articles published in Vicharasetu, arranged in twelve chapters, was published in November 1999. Almost nine years have passed since then. It is not at all creditable that we are able to bring out the second volume, containing the next 19 articles, only now. We have still a long way to go; the complete set may consist of four more volumes.
When Poojya Swamiji started writing theses articles, it was thought that the chapters would be divided according to the important concepts analyzed. An article on a particular concept may rest on relevant slokas from anywhere in Bhagavadgita, and the usual chapter-wise commentary style would not be followed. But as the writing progressed, although the focus remained on the essential concepts, the articles naturally took to the sequence of the slokas in Bhagavadgita. That is how the first volume was based primarily on the first two chapters of the text.
The present volume (volume 2) deals with the concepts presented in the 3rd and the 4rd chapter of Bhagavadgia. The subject matter therefore is Karma-yoga and how karma verily becomes yoga through knowledge and understanding. Swamiji points out that performance of an action (karma) does not make it karma-yoga; it is the yoga attitude of the mind of the performer that makes the performance a karma-yoga. And this yoga attitude is cultivated through a comprehensive understanding of our life and activities as a part of the universal wheel of incessant activities going on in Nature.
Performed in this attitude, all actions become yajna, where the concept of yajna, from its usual ritualistic definition, assumes an altogether new universal dimension. An action performed without possessiveness or improper clinging to personal gain becomes yajna-a contribution ot the Universal karma-yajna of Nature. Instead of causing bondage to the performer, it becomes liberating.
The manner in which Swamiji deals with the truths and messages contained in the Text has the unique impact of his personal direct realization of the Truth and rare clarity in understanding and exposing it.
Swamiji often remarks that as many people as possible should be given to the propagation of Bhagavadgita, opt however small degree it may be. Towards this end, these volumes may become a great help for conducting study0classses and understanding the verses in their deeper import and practical relevance. Seekers may invite their friends and lien minded people, and read, discuss and ruminate over the expositions regularly. This is the best way the Geeta knowledge and uncultured can be reached to more and more people. That would be a grit, lasting service to humanity.
The present volume deals primarily with the concepts elaborated in chapters five and six of Bhagavadgita. Through the discussions, Poojya Swamiji further enlightens how Sr Krishan’s grand synthesis of kamrayoga and Jnana offers a universal path to Supreme Felicity.
Poojya Swamiji points out that Bhagavadgita discusses true sannyasa as an inner attainment-a state of freedom of the mind and the intelligence, and explains how the right pursuit of karayoga enfolds the content and sublimity of sannyasa as well.
One significant note common to the chapters in this volume is that, while explaining the lofty concepts of Samatva (equal vision), Sannyasa , and Brahma-nirvan (inner freedom), Swamiji has repeatedly highlighted how the cardinal messages of Bhagavadgita are verily universal, transcending all religious notions and divisions.
Another salient feature of this volume is its intensive treatment of the benefits, subtleties and hurdles of meditational sadhana (dhyana ), and also how a seeker of self-realization has finally to transcend meditation.
A sincere sakhaka must read the articles again and again, linking the verses o each concept from the different chapters of the original text, to have a confident and comprehensive understanding of Sri Krisha’s –or Sage author Vyasadeva’s eternal universal message.
We hope that Poojya Swamiji ‘s exposition on “Interactional Sadhana” will inspire people to make their daily life and activities in any field anywhere in the world –a wholesome spiritual pursuit. The purpose of the book will be served when the society by and large understands that spirituality is not to get away from life, but to live in a much more elevating and fulfilling manner.
Volume 4 contains articles based on concepts primarily presented in chapters 7 to 12 of Bhagavadgita. Various aspects of devotional sadhana with progressively subtler and loftier notes of devotion occupy predominant position in this chapter. Poojya Swamiji has dealt with the concepts from the stand point of his experiential clarity as a knower Teacher.
Poojya Swamiji begins with the transcendental dimension of the Guru. When a seeker takes to spiritual pursuit wholesomely, Guru becomes his sole refuge. Words and guidance of the Guru replace all the religious ideas and ritualistic practices he had been associated with. To redeem the disciple of his confusion, the Guru often has to display his Godly dimension.
Poojya Swamiji clarifies that the “mat –paratva” (Krishna instructing Arjuna:”Regard Me a Supreme!”) is not anything unique to Krishna an Arjuna. It is true of the relationship between any great Master and his excellent disciple. As Arjuna’s surrender to Krishna grows wholesome, to give him confidence and assurance, Krishna assumes the Godly position which climaxes in “Visvarupa-dasana” of Ch.11. Poojya Swamiji’s exposition on the Truth and myth of Visvarupa-darsan” will clarify the doubts and delusions of many serious seekers on the path.
As devotion grows whole some, the sasdhana undergoes a drastic change: the focus of the devotee now shifts from “God “ to “devotion”, and inculcation of bhakta-lakshanas (the characteristics of a true devotee, enunciated in ch.12) occupies the primary place in sadhana. Poojya Swamiji has revealed the inestimable importance of this characteral About the Book and interactional refinement in the life of a devotee. He points out that to attain the Supreme, the devotee must learn to get rid of his constricted notions about God and devotion, and ensure that his mind fosters no dislike towards any aspect of the world.
Finally, Pojya Swamiji clarifies that once the seeker gives the Supreme “the supreme position” inline, each and every act of his becomes an unreserved dedication to the Supreme. Vanishing of the divisional note between the supreme and himself verily marks the essence and finale of devotional pursuit.
Or country is replete with devotional practices. If only we could learn from our scriptures, particularly Bhagavadgita and Sreemad Bhagavatam, the refined and lofty levels of devotional pursuit, perhaps the society around would have been in a much better state. We hope that this volume will help t provide the right understanding about devotional and knowledge pursuit to many devotees and seekers.
The present volume (vol-5) deals with the concepts elaborated in chapter 13to 17 of Bhagavadgita. Exposition on chapter 18 will be presented in a separate volume (volu-6), which will complete the series “Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita”. The salient aspect in Poojya Swamiji’s interpretation of all the concepts presented in Bhagavadgita has been to highlight their universal relevance in bringing about a unique expansion, elevation, and enrichment to our mind and vision.
Poojya Swamiji points out that from 13th chapter onward Krishna takes up the third phase of spiritual sadhana-the sadhana of pure wisdom as a crowning finale to action (karma) and devotion (bhakti). Right in the beginning of this section, Krishna emphatically defines Jnana (wisdom) as embodiment of a set of charcteral virtues. This means, rather than being an intellectual embellishment, spiritual knowledge must effect a comprehensive transformation of thee seeker’s inner personality.
This volume revels many deeper aspects of spiritual sadhana,based on threadbare analysis of human personality. While discussing the models and enunciations put forward by Krishna, Poojya Swamiji has from various angles emphasized the supremacy of our intelligence when it is freed from the clutch of delusion. He has shown how the subtle impersonal analysis of our personality as well as the world makes our spiritual pursuit effective and fulfilling.
It is the “knowledge orientation” of our mind and intelligence that enables us to transcend the hold of the three gunas, cultivate the noble qualities eliminating the ignoble ones, inculcate the right evaluation and attention, an finally, to elevate devotion to an all-inclusive dimension where it becomes one with the supreme knowledge.
Spiritual wisdom is not a one-point attainment, reminds Swamiji . It is a process of gradual dawning, pervasion, and maturation leading to a beautiful expansion and evolution of our being the exposition, coming from a realized knower and sadguru, will certainly help seekers strive towards the right goal with the right focus. Serious seekers may use it as a comprehensive guide to their interactional sadhana.
This volume, the last of the series” Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita”, deals with the concepts presented in chapter 18, the concluding one of the grand synthesizing gospel. The integration that started in chapter 2 by establishing karma –yoga on a firm foundation of jnana, is brought to its pinnacle in this chapter, where karma-yoga, and bhakti-yoga merge beautifully to take the sadhaka to his ultimate goal-being one with the Supreme.
Poojya Swamiji, from his experiential depth and clarity, has dispelled many of the doubts and ambiguities a serious seeker encounters in understanding and practicing the concepts presented in this chapter. He has categorically explained how the whole gospel focuses on the inner transformation of the seeker, how all the concepts and pursuits advocated by Krishna are meant to treat the mind, intelligence, and ego of the seeker . The outward changes that take place in the life and activities of the seeker are but a natural expression of the inner transformation.
Referring to verse 18.1 and 18.49 , linking then further to verse 5.3 and 6.1, Poojya Swamiji has explained in great detail how sannyasa is an inner enrichment to be imbibed by the intelligence, mind, and heart by a process of spiritual refinement and enlightenment. He says, naiskarmya (non-action) as presented in Bhagavadgirta, is not to be attained through abandoning activities, but by transforming our inner being through wholesome dedication to the spiritual knowledge: “Non-action is not physical inaction, but enlightened activity free of ego and possessiveness.”
The essays presented in this volume reveal that Bhagavadgita is not just a novel synthesized presentation of all major spiritual philosophies and practices. Its uniqueness as well as excellence lies in showing us clearly how to apply the Upanishadic message in life. It presents a threadbare analysis of human personality, and also the science and technology of perfecting it. An intergraded, efficient, and sane human being is what he gospel wants us to be.
Poojya Swamiji has not missed dwelling o n Krishnan’s vision of a perfect an sustainable social order recognizing the natural variety in the constitution of human personality, despite its identical spiritual potential and goal. This has been made amply clear in Swamiji’s exposition of the three gunas (constituent modes of Nature) giving rise to the infinite variety, and the gunatita level of our mind that provides the transcendental dimension equally for all. Poojay Swamiji has revealed how asakta-buddhih(impersonal perception), the cynosure of Krishna’s gospel, can take the individual as well as the society to an ideal integrated state: “A dis-attached brahmana and a dis-attached sudra are equal in their inward spiritual enrichment. Whatever they do, leads them to naiskarmya-siddhih equally.”
We could have called this vision of Krishna “Utopian” if there were imaginary depiction of how the ideal society would look like. But Krishna, following his own preaching, has shown only the path and the pursuit , leaving the result to the individual’s as well as the society’s discrimination, and finally to Nature.
The climax of chapter 18 is the most secret and profound (sarvaguhyatamam) message-the message of saranagati or surrender. Surrender assumes real significance and can be tested only when it is to the Guru and his words. Poojya Swamiji elaborates how deep is the spiritual harmony between the Guru and the disciple, how sacred and powerful is ht bond between them, and how it is to be preserved by the disciple through humility and belongingness. “Such a relationship may appear to be supra-worldly, but in this great holy land, this cultural value excels even today.”
Swamiji summarizes the message saying: Do whatever comes, but anchor firmly in the supreme and depend only upon the Supreme. Renounce to he Supreme the very idea of doership. Find the Supreme as present in all, and certainly in your own heart. Make the mind Godly. Spiritual science has the aim of making the mind placid and cheerful, removing all its selfish constrictions, all egoistic elation and depression born of raga-dvesa, the delusional clinging to what we like and hatred towards what we dislike.
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