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    ================================================================================
    From: Bill Moravec [mailto:wmoravec@juno.com] 
    Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2003 5:22 AM
    To: gitasociety@gita-society.com
    Subject: Discussion Board
    
    I am confused about the role of the individual human being in action.  My
    limited understanding of the Gita suggests this: It is neither the person
    nor any deity who is responsible for action in the world, but the gunas
    of prakiriti.
    
    If this is correct, where does personal decision-making come in ?  And
    what is to prevent us from acting irresponsibly and blaming the gunas ?
    
    REPLY:
    
    
    The five causes of action are given below in the Gita:
    
    Learn from Me, O Arjuna, the five causes, as described in the Sankhya 
    doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions. They are: The physical body, 
    the seat of Karma; the modes (Gunas) of material Nature, the doer; 
    the eleven organs of perception and action, the instruments; various 
    life forces; and the fifth, the presiding deities of the eleven organs. (18.13-14)
    
    All work is done by the energy and power of nature, (Gunas) but due to 
    delusion of ignorance people assume themselves to be the doer. 
    (See also 5.09, 13.29, and 14.19) (3.27)
    
    Due to ignorance we think ourselves to be the doer and get bound by the 
    bonds of our Karma. It is the feeling of doership or ego that creates 
    the bondage. Thus, as long as we are in ignorance of the metaphysics and 
    do not understand how the world runs, we become victim of our Karma.
    
    One who perceives that all works are done by the powers (Gunas) of material 
    Nature (Prakriti) alone, and thus does not consider oneself (or the Atma) 
    as the doer, that person truly understands. (See also 3.27, 5.09, and 14.19) (13.29)
    
    The wise (or Samnyaasi) who knows the truth thinks: "I do nothing at all". 
    In seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing; 
    and speaking, giving, taking, as well as opening and closing the eyes, a 
    Samnyaasi believes that only the senses are operating upon their objects. 
    (See also 3.27, 13.29, and 14.19) (5.08-09)
    
    A very important verse:
     
    One who is free from the notion of doership and whose intellect is not polluted 
    by the desire to reap the fruit   even after slaying these people   neither 
    slays nor is bound by the act of killing. (18.17)
    
    Thus two conditions, given in the verse 18.17, must be satisfied to become a non-doer. 
    Action without egocentric desire (or a detached action) will not bind a person. 
    A soldier is not responsible for the killing he does. 
    
    If this is correct, where does personal decision-making come in ?  And
    what is to prevent us from acting irresponsibly and blaming the gunas ?
    
    Humans are divine instruments who are given freedom of choice and the power of intellect
    to reason and make right or wrong choices. and judge. It is due to these that we 
    become responsible for our actions and can't blame anybody but ourselves.  Animals 
    don't have the intellect and choice, and therefore they do not create any Karmic bondage.
    Thus, because of the gift of intellect and freedom of choice, our personal 
    decision making and responsibility for our actions come in. The Gunas provide us 
    the power only. One can use the power in any way of his/her choice. 
     
    
    =============================================================================
    
    From: Mithilesh Kumar , EE(Network) [mailto:eecad_nni@itiltd.co.in] 
    Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 9:26 PM
    To: gitasociety@gita-society.com
    Subject: Questions based on Gita
    
    Dear Sir,
    I have my own explanations for the following questions.But I would like to have 
    further elaborations from you.
    Questions are :
    
    1.We should work according to the desire of God.How to know what is the desire of God?
    
    Answer: Usually common humans do not know what is the desire of God and mistakenly 
    take our desire to be the desire of God. in order to know the desire of God we have 
    to be tuned in with God or first become Self-Realized. A radio can only catch a proper 
    station if it is tuned with that station. Gita gives us several ways to realize God.
    Once we are in tune with God, everything happens by His will and a self realized master 
    is not bound by his or her actions, because there is no notion of doership in a 
    self-realized master.
    
    (PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR QUESTIONS WITH OUR READERS BY SENDING YOUR ANSWERS)
    
    
    2.How to know about our SwaDharm?
    
    SwaDharma is mentined in the following verses:
    
    Answer: One's inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work. Death in carrying 
    out one's natural work is useful. Unnatural work produces too much stress. 
    (See also 18.47) (3.35)
    One's inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work, even though well 
    performed. One who does the work ordained by one's inherent nature (without selfish motives) 
    incurs no sin (or K|rmic reaction). (See also 3.35, 5.10, 18.07, 18.09, 18.17, 18.23) (18.47)
    
    SwaDharma may have several meanings. the simplest meaning is the natural work or the prescibed 
    duty, the work that we can do easily and without too much effort. we all have certain traits 
    and that is our SwaDharma. one does not need to know, choose, or find out one's SwaDharma. 
    we are automatically carried to do our SwaDharma due to our karma or Samskaara of our
    previous lives. 
    
     
    3.How to become nimit matra in the hand of God?
    
    Answer: Theoretically speaking, all of us are Divine instruments. but practically, due to 
    the use of our free will, we have become puppets of our own karma and we are responsible for 
    our actions unless we have purified ourselves and do not consider ourselves as the doer or 
    the owner. as long as we have the feeling of doership and ownership, the notion of "I" and "my"
    we cannot become a divine instrument. the first step to become divine instrument is to purify 
    ourselves from selfish desires and other negetive qualities. once we are purified, the knowledge
    comes and we become a tyaagi and detached. 
    
    4.If a person kills an innocent person & says that I have just slain the body his Atman 
    is indestructible then how to counter his fallacious argument & prove that he has done 
    a heinous crime according to the teachings of Gita? 
    
    Answer: All religions prohibit killing. the killing is only allowed for self defense and for 
    a soldier in a battle field. 
    
    5.How to know that killing of a certain person is justified according to the teachings of Gita?
    
    Answer: Gita or any scripture does not allow killing. Killing was allowed for the warriors such as
    Arjuna and others. If a person comes to burn your village and commit agression, one is allowed to 
    kill an agressor to defend the innocent.
    
    Kindly answer these questions & enlighten me.Kindly reply.
    
    Answer: 
    
    Dear Ram, The question about free will keeps coming to my mind, so I may as well see if it is pertinent to the Q/A discussion site. I found the following on the reincarnation site linked to the Gita website: ============= Q.... can it be that all the details of his life, down to the minutest, have already been determined? Now, for instance, I put this fan that is in my hand down on the floor here. Can it be that it was already decided that on such and such a day, at such and such an hour, I should move the fan like this and put it down here? A. Certainly. Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence. Q. What becomes then of man's freedom and responsibility for his actions? A. The only freedom man has is to strive for and acquire the jnana which will enable him not to identify himself with the body. The body will go through the actions rendered inevitable by prarabdha and a man is free either to identify himself with the body and be attached to the fruits of its actions, or to be detached from it and be a mere witness of its activities. Q. So free will is a myth? A. Free will holds the field with association to individuality. As long as individuality lasts there is free will. All the scriptures are based on this fact and they advise directing the free will in the right channel. Ramana Maharshi, 222-223 =========== If I read this right, it says our free will extends only to whether we identify ourselves as the "doer" of our actions. If I do not identify myself as the "doer" of my actions, isn't that itself a choice, an "action"? And if it is, did I do it? My answer: If I did it, then it was by Divine grace. Grace, as I understand it, has to be asked for, prayed for. So in the last analysis, my free will comes down to desiring the grace to do God's will as His puppet rather than to follow my own desires/aversions. I have seen over and over how I am a puppet, just a piece on the Divine chess board, moved here and there and brought into contact with people and situations that have always been for my own spiritual growth or in service to others. But I have also made decisions that were wrong because they answered a personal desire or aversion rather than a desire to do God's will with love and detachment. Those decisions, it seems to me, were clearly acts of free will. So is that what free will means--having the freedom to choose which desires will govern our actions? Once we choose the desire, the puppet goes into action and free will no longer exists? Miki266@aol.com To : gitaprasad@hotmail.com Subject : deluded by individuality, the self thinks, i am the actor. Date : Sat, 21 Jul 2001 13:08:18 EDT could you explain the real nature of action. how can we discipline ourselves in order to act rightly? what understanding of self is revealed in disciplined action? =================== REPLIES ==================================== Miki asks; Could you explain the real nature of action? How can we discipline ourselves in order to act rightly? What understanding of self is revealed in disciplined action? Harry Bhalla; Discussion: Nature of action: Lord Krishna said: All work is done by the energy and power of nature, but due to delusion or ignorance, people assume themselves to be the doer and incur Karmic bondage. (3.27) Even the wise ones are confused about what is action and what is inaction. Therefore, I shall clearly explain what action is, knowing that one shall be liberated from the evil of birth and death. (4.16) The true nature of action is very difficult to understand. Therefore, one should know the nature of attached action, the nature of detached action, and also the nature of forbidden action. (4.17) Explanation: Attached action is selfish work, done in the mode of passion that produces Karmic bondage and leads to transmigration. Detached action is unselfish work, done in the mode of goodness that leads to salvation. Detached action is considered to be inaction; because from the Karmic viewpoint, it is as if no action was performed. Action forbidden by the scriptures, done in the mode of ignorance, is harmful to both the doer and the society. It creates misfortune here and hereafter. All acts are the acts of the Supreme Being, the inactively active actor. The Bible says: The words you speak are not yours; they come from the Spirit of your Father (Matthew 10.20). The wise perceive the inactive, infinite, and invisible reservoir of potential energy of the Supreme as the ultimate source of all visible and invisible kinetic energy in the cosmos, just as invisible electricity drives a fan. The one who has abandoned selfish attachment to the fruit of work, and remains ever content and dependent on no one but God, such a person ¾ though engaged in activity ¾ does nothing at all, and incurs no Karmic reaction. Lord Krishna said: The one who is free from desire, whose mind and senses are under control, and who has renounced all proprietorship, does not incur sin ¾ the Karmic reaction ¾ by doing bodily action. (4.21) A Karma Yogi ¾ who is content with whatever gain comes naturally by His will, and is unaffected by pairs of opposites, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure ¾ is not bound by Karma. (4.22) Required discipline: Lord Krishna said: Do your duty and dedicate all work to God in a spiritual frame of mind; become free from ego, mental grief and the compulsion to satisfy all desires. (3.30) Likes and dislikes are two major stumbling blocks, on the path to Self-realization. (3.34) (Control over attachment, and aversion, is needed to attain peace of mind and tranquility.) Arjuna said: O Krishna, what impels one to commit sin as if forced against one's will? (3.36) Lord Krishna said: It is lust born of passion that becomes anger when unfulfilled. Lust is insatiable and is a great devil. Know it as an enemy. (3.37) The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the abode of lust; with these it deludes a person by veiling Self-knowledge. (3.40) Therefore, O Arjuna, by controlling the senses first, control this devil of material desire that destroys Self-knowledge and Self-realization. (3.41) (Lust is defined as intense desire for material and sensual pleasure. Lust is the result of ego, pride, likes, dislikes, proprietorship, greed and envy.) The Lord neither creates the urge for action, nor the feeling of doership, nor the attachment to the result of action in people. The power of Material Nature does all this. (5.14) The creative power of the Eternal Being (Spirit) that causes manifestation of the living entity is called Karma. (8.03) Attachment to the three modes of Material Nature is caused by previous Karma, which also causes birth of living entity in good and evil wombs. (13.21) (Therefore, attachment to senses is the cause of previous karma. Our ability to use our intellect to control our senses causes future karma.) ================================================================== Subject: deluded by individuality, the self thinks, I am the actor. Could you explain the real nature of action, how can we discipline ourselves in order to act rightly, what understanding of self is revealed in disciplined action? =========== I The Real Nature of Action is that we are not the doer. 1. I can see how everything in my life fits together, but I could not have anticipated the eventual pattern, did not deliberately make mistakes that I later learned from, did not choose certain people and experiences that came my way, and could not have avoided my actions and responses--good and bad--that came from being who I was. 2. I have done the most learning spiritually in the last year, yet all the steps I have taken -- in every single instance -- have defied logic, gone against nature, caused me intense suffering at times, yet have forced me into deeper spiritual consciousness. I could not have made those difficult choices unless pushed like a chess piece on a board. Even people who have entered my life have behaved in ways impossible to predict or explain except as part of the Divine plan. 3. How Karma fits in is reported in the other reincarnation links on the Gita website (but no longer active when I checked just now). "Neither is everything predestined, nor do we have free will in everything," said the Great Master. "There was a time when we had free will. We could act as we pleased. We acted, and that act produced a certain result. That "result" became our destiny. We could not escape it. We acted again. This time our free will carried with it the experience of our first act and was qualified and limited to that extent. This act again produced results, and these results again curtailed our original freedom. Now that we have been acting and producing results for millions of ages, these actions and their reactions act upon us as our unavoidable fate. Our body, mind, intellect, and reasoning are fashioned by these and make us choose a certain course. Our previous acts determine our present life, and our present acts go to make our future. We reap now what we have sown in our previous births, and we shall reap in the future what we are sowing now. ‹-Great Master, 209 So long as the feeling "I am doing" is there, one must experience the results of one's acts, whether they are good or bad. How is it possible to wipe out one act with another? When the feeling that "I am doing" is lost, nothing affects a man. Unless one realizes the Self, the feeling "I am doing" will never vanish. --Ramana Maharshi, 220 The only freedom man has is to strive for and acquire the jnana which will enable him not to identify himself with the body. The body will go through the actions rendered inevitable by prarabdha and a man is free either to identify himself with the body and be attached to the fruits of its actions, or to be detached from it and be a mere witness of its activities. Ramana Maharshi, 222-223 II How do we discipline ourselves to act rightly? Avoid personal desires/aversions. Accept everything. Maintain detachment from all actions. Do all work as worship to the best of your ability. Develop an awareness of the Divine in everything and everyone (including oneself) by prayer and meditation, by studying the scriptures, and by continually offering one's life to the Lord to do with as He pleases. =================================================================

    FOUR GOALS OF LIFE



    Doret wrote:

     

    So far, I have only read your little pocket
    edition, "Beyond Religion: The Gita Doctrine," which was a welcome
    review of basic teachings.  I should ask
    you, however, how "earning wealth" --one of the four goals of human
    life--should be interpreted in case I am asked. "Wealth" carries the
    denotation of riches, abundance of material possessions. The word makes me
    nervous and may strike others the same way. Does it mean, in context, simply
    earning a living, supporting one's family?

     

    Please enlighten me.

     

    Harry replied:

     

    Thank you for your interest...

     

    Guess everyone interprets words in their own way.
    As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with wealth. It all depends on how
    you accumulate wealth, how you utilize it and how you feel about being wealthy.
    Praying for wealth is only natural. If you use your wealth to benefit others
    (creating employment etc) indeed that is very noble. If you use your wealth to create undesirable activities then of course the use of wealth is not
    appropriate. Wealth is bestowed upon you as a "custodian". It is only
    yours as long as the Lord wishes you to be wealthy... We cannot all be poor nor
    can we all be wealthy.

     

    Am not sure if I have answered your question.
    Please let me know if I can help. Like you I am trying to live my life by the
    Gita Doctrine

     

    Peace !!

     

    Doret wrote:

     

    A dictionary definition is not just the way
    everyone wants to interpret a word. It establishes the boundaries of meaning.
    The dictionary definition of "wealth" is riches, an accumulation of
    possessions.  It's not just a livelihood
    or decent-paying job. Think of the adjective "wealthy." If you hear
    that someone is a wealthy man, what do you think of? You think of someone who
    has more than he needs, who has an excess, who can afford things the rest of us
    can't, who lives in style with the finest possessions, and has money in the
    bank.

    If we are to live without desire or aversion,
    without attachment to the fruit of work, without selfish motives, why would we
    pray for wealth?

     

    A "goal of life" is a serious aim,
    especially if there are only four. If one of the four is "earning
    wealth," I don't understand that goal in the context of the Gita. I
    suspect the term needs to be explained, perhaps as "earning a living"
    or "supporting ourselves." I try to imagine being asked about it by
    one of my prisoner-correspondents or even by a friend who picks up the Gita in
    my office. Then I try to imagine what I would say in reply.

    So far, I would define "earning wealth"
    as merely  "earning a living.”

     

    Harry wrote:

     

    Thank you for your comments..

     

    In my opinion the world cannot exist without
    wealth. Naturally, there must be the rich, the poor, the strong, the weak &
    so on. Possessions themselves are not the issue. The issue is the method in
    which one obtains them and the attachment to them. Use of wealth is the other
    big issue to my mind.

     

    Verse 7.16 refers to four types of virtuous
    ones worship or seek the Lord...

     

    One can work towards attaining wealth but do the
    work to the best of your ability, accept whatever comes through His will.

     

    Doret wrote:

     

    I don't understand. I have a mental block against
    asking to be wealthy or seeing it as a life goal.
      Yes, I noted Verse 7.16.  I hope no one ever asks me to explain it. I wouldn't know how.

     

    I appreciate your opinion, though. Thanks for
    trying to make it clear. Maybe when I have read Dr. Prasad's complete
    translation of the Gita, I will find the answer.

     

    You have been very patient. Thank you.

     

    Harry wrote:

     

    I have enjoyed our dialogue. I wonder if I
    may add the following..

     

    Wealth is as natural as poverty. Mankind has to
    handle both. Desire is as natural an emotion as hunger. Desires should enter
    the mind without disturbing tranquility of mind, as river water enters an ocean
    without causing a disturbance. Desire for wealth is natural and must be handled
    not ignored or suppressed.

     

    Peace!

     

    Doret wrote:

     

    You say very eloquently that "Wealth is as
    natural as poverty. Mankind has to handle both. Desire is as natural an emotion
    as hunger. Desires should enter the mind without disturbing tranquility of
    mind, as river water enters an ocean without causing a disturbance. Desire for
    wealth is natural and must be handled not ignored or suppressed."

     

    I also see desires as "natural," to be
    "handled," not "ignored or suppressed," but to
    "handle" them I would recognize them, then let go of them "to
    attain peace of mind and tranquility" (p. 13 of BEYOND RELIGION). I would
    try to "be one to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are alike" (p. 40),
    so as to avoid thinking, "I have gained this today, I shall fulfill this
    desire; I have this much wealth, and will have more wealth in the future"
    (p. 45).

     

    "Absorbed in the Supreme Being, the serene
    one neither grieves nor desires; becoming impartial to all beings" (p. 55).

     

    It would seem that a desire for wealth works
    against serenity and non-attachment.

     

    How do you reconcile these apparent opposites?

     

     

    Harry wrote:

     

    The Ultimate is of course Total Control over
    desire, but I think that is very hard for me to achieve. Think first I have to
    learn to let desire enter my mind without causing unpeacefulness, envy etc..
    If I am lucky enough to achieve that then perhaps I can take the next step..

    If I am little slow in answering e-mail for the
    next few days pls forgive me, have guests in town !!

     

    Harry continued:

     

    This morning I answered your mail in a
    hurry...was on my way to the airport.

     

    Here are some more thoughts on the questions you
    raised:

     

    Practically speaking I think the statement:
    .."be one to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are alike" (p. 40), takes for granted that your natural needs are met. (Food, reasonable comfort etc.) Someone who is starving can obviously not be expected to treat gold and stone alike. Therefore, I think this statement implies "contentment" with whatever the Lord has given you.

     

    There are people who think (I know I was one) "I have gained this today, I shall fulfill this desire; I have this much wealth, and will have more wealth in the future"(p. 45).

    I believe one has this kind of thought pattern when one follows what used to be known as "individualism", meaning there is nothing beyond the individual. Basic concept being one makes ones own fortune, wealth, problems etc.. In North America I think we are moving away from "individualism" and going back to recognizing God.

     

    "Absorbed in the Supreme Being, the serene one neither grieves nor desires; becoming impartial to all beings" (p. 55)... Accepting whatever comes your way by His grace is the key.

     

    A farmer has control over how he works his land but no control over the harvest. Yet he can not expect a harvest if he does not work his land. Am sure in the process of working his land the farmer desires a good harvest but must learn to accept whatever comes by His grace.

     

    Desire/expectation is natural, acceptance of the result/outcome requires understanding.

     

    Regarding your comment, “It would seem that a desire for wealth works against serenity and non-attachment..”

     

    In my view if your desire does not disturb you then, it does not disturb your serenity.

     

    Peace !!

     

     

    Dr Prasad wrote:

     

    "One should ask Lord's help in getting what one needs, and not what one

    wants . .  . In surrender one lets the divine plan rule his or her life

    without giving up one’s best effort. It is the complete renunciation of

    individual existence or the ego. . . . put the reins of your life-chariot in

    His hands . . . It is the feeling: O my beloved Lord, nothing is mine,

    Everything, including my body, mind and ego, is Yours . . .  This is the

    lesson of ultimate surrender that one must learn. . . . He is the goal, the

    path, the traveler, as well as the obstacles on the path . . ."

    --Ramananda Prasad, from THE FIFTH TRACK OF SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

     

    Doret wrote:

     

    I much appreciate the time and care you have given to my concerns. I think I understand where you are coming from, and your ideas make sense. You understand human beings and human needs.

     

    I am especially grateful for the explanations you and Dr. Prasad have volunteered because I keep BEYOND RELIGION: THE GITA DOCTRINE on my desk and another friend dropped by today and discovered it and took it home to read. No one has asked me any questions yet but I had better have some answers in case they do.

     

    Thank you again. You have been very generous and helpful.

    
    
    On Sat, 19 May 2001 06:09:18 -0700 (PDT) kaneenika sinha  writes:
    > dear sir,
    > verse 9.15 of Bhagwad Gita says that
    > Some worship Me by acquiring the knowledge of the
    > Self. Others worship the infinite as the One in all
    > (or non-dual), as the master of all (or dual), and in
    > various other ways. (9.15)
    > from what i have understood till now,a  true knowledge
    > of the self lies in realising that we are all
    > manifestations of the supreme spirit .each of us will
    > undergo the cycle of birth and death till we realise
    > that we are not our physical self but the eternal
    > being residing in our physical body in the form of
    > spirit.so,basically a person possessing self knowledge
    > believes that "everything is god and god is
    > everything".am i right?
    > if yes, what is the difference between the two ways of
    > worshipping mentioned in verse 9.15?doesn't a person
    > who has knowledge of self worship god as one-in-all?
    > secondly,in verse 9.22(in sanskrit) ,what does
    > yogakshemam mean?i am unable to understand the meaning
    > of this word even after looking up the english
    > translation on your site.
    > 
    > thankyou,
    > Kaneenika Sinha
    > India. 
    
    >  REPLY:
    
    > YES, SOME WORSHIP ONE IN ALL, OR AS NONDUAL, WHERE AS OTHERS WORSHIP AS DUAL, OR DIFFERENT FROM US.
    THESE TWO ASPECTS OF GOD ARE LIKE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN OF REALITY. THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE GOD IN
     ALL CAN SEE GOD AS SEPARATE FROM US. TO SEE GOD EVERYWHERE AND IN EVERYTHING IS A GOAL TO BE REACHED.
    
    ALSO REMEMBER THAT GOD IS EVERYTHING, BUT CAN EVERYTHING BE GOD? CAN A DROP OF WATER BE THE OCEAN 
    IT COMES FROM. CAN A GOLD CHAIN BE THE GOLD MINE?
    
    THE WORD YOGAKSHEMA IS A DUAL WORD YOGA-KSHEMA. YOGA MEANS UNION WITH GOD HERE, AND KSHEMA MEANS 
    WELLBEING. 
    THUS WE HAVE TRANSLATED THIS AS MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL WELFARE. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT VERSE. 
    IT MEANS LORD PERSONALY TAKES CARE OF (VAHAMI) EVERY NEED OF HIS DEVOTEES. HE TAKES CARE OF ALL, 
    BUT GIVES PERSONAL ATTENTION TO THOSE WHO DEPEND ON HIM.
    
    
    
    From:  "Gray, Michael Z" Michael.Gray@PSS.Boeing.com  Save Address - Block Sender 
    To:  "'Ramanand Prasad'"  Save Address 
    Subject:  RE: question 
    Date:  Fri, 13 Apr 2001 08:06:05 -0700 
    Reply Reply All Forward  Delete  Previous Next  Close 
    
    
     one more thing regardding your translation,it is not weighty and shroulded in
    secrecy,,,,you come across with great sincerity as from one who has bathed in
    its healling waters......i do have one matter that seems to have loosened the
    maggot of perplexity in my mind....the question is this,"if god is the driver of
    the vehicle and we are unaware until our awakenning,is he then  involved in both
    our good and bad actions." also id like to know with regards to awakening,when
    the moment of self awarness blossoms is there a new feeling of well being to
    replace our intellectual truths....or do we stay the same as befor?  since man
    seeks pleasure would there then be a pleasure that would transcend anything we
    may experience on earth,one that would make any hedonistic pursuits pale by
    comparrison? how often i have seen the saints looking rather desheveled and by 
    western standards destitute execpt for the ecstasy emannating from their
    faces....in our society they would be looked upon as 
    fools but is it possible they our intoxicatted with the love of our lord? and
    finally have you experienced this,i believe by readding your comments that you
    have,i cant believe this is a result of intellect only....i hope i didnt lose
    you on my mussing but this as i say is a subject close to my heart...jai
    raam,mike
    
    Reply:  
    
    Hi Mike,
    
    > Here is the answer to your question from Gita:
    >
    > The Lord neither creates the urge for action, nor the feeling of doership,
    > nor the attachment to the results of action in people. The power of material
    > Nature---Maya--- does all these. (5.14)
    > The Lord does not take the responsibility for the good or evil deeds of
    > anybody. The veil of ignorance covers the Self-knowledge; thereby people
    > become deluded and do evil deeds. (5.15)
    >
    > 	God does not punish or reward anybody. We ourselves do this by the misuse
    > or the right use of our own power of reasoning and free will. Bad things
    > happen to good people to make them better.
    >
    > ALSO SEE THE ANSWER IN CAPS INSIDE YOUR LETTER
    >
    >
    From: "Gray, Michael Z" 
    To: "'Ramanand Prasad'" 
    Subject: RE: question
    Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 08:06:05 -0700
    
      one more thing regardding your translation,it is not weighty and
    shroulded in secrecy,,,,you come across with great sincerity as from one
    who has bathed in its healling waters......i do have one matter that seems
    to have loosened the maggot of perplexity in my mind....the question is
    this,"if god is the driver of the vehicle and we are unaware until our
    awakenning,is he then  involved in both our good and bad actions." also id
    like to know with regards to awakening,when the moment of self awarness
    blossoms is there a new feeling of well being to replace our intellectual
    truths....or do we stay the same as befor?
    >
    > NO, YOU ARE NOT THE SAME. ONE'S ENTIRE PSYCHE IS TRANSFORMED. EVEN THE
    > BIGGEST FEAR --- THE FEAR OF DEATH --- DOES NOT BOTHER YOU, RATHER YOU FEEL
    > THAT YOU ARE GOING TO A PLACE WHERE BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS ARE AWAITING
    > FOR YOU. DEATH FEELS LIKE A HOMECOMING, A PROMOTION, BEING PROMOTED TO A
    > DIFFERENT DIVISION IN BOEING!!
    >
    >
    >   since man seeks pleasure would there then be a pleasure that would
    > transcend anything we may experience on earth,one that would make any
    > hedonistic pursuits pale by comparrison? how often i have seen the saints
    > looking rather desheveled and by  western standards destitute execpt for the
    > ecstasy emannating from their faces....in our society they would be looked
    > upon as!
    >
    > HOW DO YOU KNOW ALL THESE!!THATS CALLED bliss, ananda in sanskrit. sages
    > enjoy it where as Bill Gates cannot.
    >
      fools but is it possible they our intoxicatted with the love of our lord?
    and finally have you experienced this,i believe by readding your comments
    that you have,i cant believe this is a result of intellect only....
    >
    > INTELLECT PREVENTS REACHING TO GOD, YOU HAVE TO BECOME LIKE A CHILD TO GO TO
    > FATHER IN THE HEAVEN.
    >
    > PEOPLE HAVE A MOMENT OF DIFFERENT DEGREES OF BLISS IN THEIR LIVES. THE BEST
    > WAY TO GET IT IS TO PURIFY ONE'S PSYCHE WITH SEVA AND PARA BHAKTI. I BELEIVE
    > ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING LIKE GOING TO HIMALAYA ETC.BUT JUST
    > PROPAGATE AND PRACTICE THE TEACHINGS OF GITA IN DAILY LIFE. ONE DOES NOT >
    > HAVE TO READ TOO MANY SCRIPTURES. GITA HAS THEM ALL.
    >
    > i hope i didnt lose you on my mussing but this as i say is a subject close
    > to my heart...jai raam,mike
    >
    >      OM TAT SAT
    
    From: Kaneenika Sinha, INDIA 
    
    verse 2.57 of Gita says thatThose who are not attached to anything, who
    are neither elated by getting desired results nor troubled by undesired
    results, their Prajna is deemed steady. (2.57)
    why is rejoicing or feeling elated about getting desired results
    considered a mark of unsteadiness?
    
     THANK YOU KANEENIKA, A VERY GOOD QUESTION 
    
    REPLY : GITA EMPHASIZES DETACHMENT. DETACHMENT DOES NOT 
    MEAN THAT ONE BECOMES UNCONCERNED AND NEGLECT DUTY. DUTY MUST BE PERFORMED TO 
    THE BEST OF ONE'S ABILITIES, WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE OUTCOME.  SEE THE EXPLANATION 
    OF VERSE 2.47 
    A BETTER WORD WOULD BE DETACHED ATTACHMENT. IT IS LIKE LIVING IN THE WORLD FULLY, 
    BUT LIKE A LOTUS LEAF, NOT GETTING AFFECTED BY THE WATER; THAT IS THE JOYS AND SORROWS
    OF LIFE. ATTACHMENT IS THE CAUSE OF ALL PAIN, SORROW AND ANGER. KING JANAK WAS A 
    GREAT KING. HE TOOK CARE OF HIS SUBJECTS VERY WELL, BUT HE WAS SO DETACHED THAT HE
    SAID EVEN HIS WHOLE PALACE WAS BURNED TOMORROW, HE WOULD NOT FEEL ANY DIFFERENT 
    THAN HE IS FEELING TODAY.THIS SHOWS HE WAS NOT TO BE TROUBLED BY THE UNDESIRABLE 
    RESULTS. THIS IS A MARK OF A YOGI, A SWAMI if a person works very hard towards an 
    aim in life and achieves it,is it wrong to feel happy about it?if yes,then does 
    this verse imply that a steady person has no focussed aim in life?
    please explain this aspect to me.
    
    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN FEELING LITTLE BIT ELATED OR SORRY, BUT ONE WHO GETS TOO
    MUCH ELATED WITH SUCCESS, HE BOUND TO GET DEPRESSED IN FAILURES ALSO, BECAUSE 
    SUCCESS AND FAILURE, GAIN AND LOSS ALWAYS FOLLOW  EACH OTHER. GITA ALWAYS EMPHASISES
    MODERATION IN LIFE, ONE CANNOT BE COMPLETELY JOYLESS WHEN SUCCESS COMES. 
    BUT TROUBLE WITH ELATION IS THAT ONE MAY LOOSE FOCUS AND BECOME LETHARGIC. 
    HIS IS HOW FAILURE GETS CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB OF SUCCESS. AND ONE MAY LOOSE THE FOCUS. 
    DO YOU SEE THIS?
    
    THUS A WISE SHOULD LEARN TO THANK GOD FOR SUCCESS, LIKE WE GO TO TEMPLE, GIVE DONATION, 
    FEED THE POOR WHEN WE SUCCEED RATHER THAN GO AND GET DRUNK AND DANCE IN A BAR. THIS 
    IS HOW WE CELWBRATE SUCCESS. TAKE SUCCESS AND FAILURE BOTH AS PRASAD FROM GOD, AND 
    ACCEPT IT GRACEFULLY. AND WHEN FAILURE COMES, ONE SHOULD ANALYZE THE CAUSE WITH A COOL 
    MIND AND TRY HARDER. IF ONE LOOSES TRANQUILITY IN FAILURE, HE IS DOOMED TO FAIL AGAIN. 
    FAILURE SHOULD BE USED TO BECOME STRONGER AND SUCCESS SHOULD BE USED NOT TO SLOW DOWN 
    AND INVITE FAILURES. SOW THE SEED OF SUCCESS IN THE GROUND OF FAILURE AND NEVER GIVE UP. 
    THUS FEELING TOO MUCH ELATED OR SORRY BOTH WILL ROB YOUR EFFICIENCY. 
    
    WE ENJOYED ANSWERING AS MUCH AS YOU WILL ENJOY PONDERING ON THE DEEPER ASPECTS OF
    THE GITA THRU OUR ANSWERS, WE HOPE. GITA IS A BOOK OF HOW TO LIVE HERE AND HEREAFTER.
    
    thanking you,
    Kaneenika Sinha
    
    
    
      
    
     ============ discussions on Celibacy IS still UNDER PREPARATION  
    send your thoughts =========


    COMMENTS BY R. Prasad:


    The Sanskrit word Brahmacharya is often translated in English as Celibacy. It is the first of the four order or stage of life in Vedic tradition till one settles in family life, the second stage of life. It generally means self-restraint, celibacy, chastity,abstinence, continence. Sage Vyasa defines it as the control of organs of generation and the giving up of all forms of lust. This means not only abstaining from gross sexual indulgence, but also thinking, seeing, talking, observing, and indulging in sexual type entertainment, mentally or through other senses. Webster defines it as abstention from sexual contact.

    Etymologically, this word means to dwell in, to be attuned with and to realize one's identity with Braham, the spirit. (see Gita 7.19) The word "Brahm" means spirit and "char" means to walk, dwell upon, engage, and observe. Thus some people think that those who dwell upon the Supreme is a celibate. Some people feel comfortable with this meaning.

    Some people also consider a family man as a Brahmachari (celibate) if he or she does not indulge in sex out side marriage. A common saying: "Ek Nari Brahmachari" in Hindi supports this line of thinking. This is the definition by those who are married. According to this definition, those who are married but have a control over their senses may also be called a celibate. This seems to be a more practical definition of celibacy.

    According to the Gita, lust is extremely powerful and can overpower even a wise or saintly person (Gita 2.60). Lust rests in subconscious mind. This means that one can enjoy lust through imagination, memory, and mental cognition also. Uncontrolled lust can lead to total destruction of body, mind and psyche. Lord Krishna said: It is the lust born out of passion that becomes anger when unfulfilled, and impells one to commit sin. Lust is insatiable and is a great devil. Know this as the enemy. (3.37) The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the seat of lust. By controlling the senses, the mind, and the intellect, lust deludes a person by veiling the Self-knowledge. (3.40)
    How to control lust is beautifully described by Krishna in verse 3.43, below:

    Knowing the Spirit to be superior to the intellect, and controlling the mind by the intellect (that is purified by Self-knowledge), one must kill this mighty enemy, lust, O Arjuna. (3.43) click for a detail explanation

    Celibacy is necessary to still the mind and awaken the dormant Kundalini. Celibacy and certain breathing exercises are necessary to cleanse the subtle body. Subtle body is nourished by seminal and ovarian energy just as gross body needs food for nourishment. Sarada Ma warned her disciples not to be intimate with persons of opposite gender even if God came in that form. The role of celibacy in spiritual life is overlooked in the West, because it is not an easy task for most people. The individual should choose the right life partner for success in the spiritual journey if the practice of celibacy is not possible. It is very dangerous to force celibacy on disciples. The scripture says: Just as a King protected by the castle walls wins over the invincible enemy; similarly, those who want victory over the mind and senses should try to subdue them by living as a householder (BP 5.01.18). Sublimation of the sex impulse precedes enlightenment (AV 11.05.05). One sense organ, attached to its object, can drain the intellect; just as one hole in a water pot can empty the water (MS 2.99).

    One commits sin by engaging senses to sense objects, and obtains yogic powers by controlling the senses (MS 2.93). Transmutation of the life force of procreative energy leads to yoga. One can transcend sex by beholding the presence of the divine in the body of all human beings, and mentally bowing down to them.

    The food we eat becomes divided into three constituents. The grossest part turns into feces; medium component becomes flesh, blood, marrow, and bone. Semen, the subtlest part, rises upward and nourishes the brain and subtle organs of the body by uniting with the vital force (ChU 6.05.01-6.06.02). Food is called the root of the body-tree. A healthy body and mind is the prerequisite for success in spiritual life. From: "Gray, Michael Z" Michael.Gray@PSS.Boeing.com To: "'Ramanand Prasad'" gitaprasad@hotmail.com Save Address Subject: RE: question Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 06:19:24 -0700 my good doctor,youve waxed elequently on my questions....thank you......i read in the gita where celebacy is a powerful discipline for becomming self aware...here in the west we are bombarded by sensual images...you cant turn on a tv,turn the page of a magazine or walk the beach without being disturbed by sensuality....have you conquered this.....i sometimes think that its the most dominant force in our lives.....it seems to be the source of much restlessness and loss of energy.....how long does it take to reduce its power? or is it on going? i wish there was a switch i could throw that could turn it off.......how long did it take you to overcome it?.....thanks again for your answers, om shri raam,mike good doctor........id love to go cross country with you.....if i could make what im making now and was able to take care of my wee one,id travel the world for krishna.....its not that im a material person(i dont even have a computer at home) but my cheif concern is my daughters welfare,if it was just me...you and i would hit the road and become 'fishers of men"............this last weekend my ex came down to visit my daughter and me...i must admit the prsence of the lord prevailed...even she was receptive to the word...granted i didnt give her a full plate but just enough honey to make the light go on......your right about vinoba...his work was more of an essay on svdharna....sai calls it purushathra(hope i spelled that right)...anyway its duty,service,action.....im almost thinking there are three paths,one for the intellect,one for the active and one for the god intoxicicatted(grace)....again my friend your book is a supreme effort and one i believe was inspired by the lord h! imself....cant open a page without my eyes falling on the right verse........boeing has been good to me,i never thought of working here until i had a family...believe me i always wanted to do the lords work but was either too young or stupid...but i have matured since the days of folly...and thanks to your translation, wiser now......look forward to hearring from you soon,jai krishna,mike

    Randy le Jeune writes:
    =========================================================================
    
    
    Want to know a powerful little secret? 
    
    Whatever is in your head . . . YOU put there. Others can only do it
    if you let them. Never, ever, let someone else control
    what is inside your head. Your mind is a sacred space
    that needs to be kept clean of the pollution that
    others would love to litter it with. Most people are
    thoughtless clods. And many others are filled with
    malice. Why should how you feel be determined by
    another? Choose the contents of your own mind and you
    will feel better. When you let others get your goat,
    you are giving them far, far too much power over you. 
    Sometimes all you can control is your reaction, your
    attitude in a difficult circumstance. That is what
    defines you. Not your colour or size or whatever else.
    Keep your dignity and self-respect by not sullying
    yourself with the foulness of low-minded peoples. Our
    dear Mr. Thoreau also echoed these sentiments. Your
    mind is yours. If you allow others to spoil your mood,
    to change your way of thinking or feeling, you give up
    your freedom. And who are you giving it up to? If you
    surrender to someone, it must be someone that you
    trust or value, not just some Random that you cross
    paths with. Let the clods insult you all they want.
    This does not hurt you . . . it hurts them. Miltons
    Satan was a true individual. Odd how the Satanic
    voice, the principle of isolate intelligence and
    dignity was the most powerful voice in a
    quasi-religious poem: The mind is its own place, and
    in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of
    Heaven. The more I think about it, the more I am
    inclined to think that this was the essential
    difference between the philosophies of Dr. King and
    Malcolm X. Malcolm X thought that, quite reasonably,
    if attacked, one should attack back, defending
    oneself. Dr. King thought that doing so would reduce
    one to the level of the attacker. On a pragmatic
    level, the former seems rational and the latter a
    piece of idealistic nonsense. That is to say, what
    good does good will do for you if you are dead? But
    there was more to it than this. King would not allow
    another person the power of polluting his mind. His
    mind was his temple, as was the mind of Miltons
    Satan. He refused to allow the actions of another to
    change it, and thus change him into something that he
    did not like. Defending oneself with violence or
    counterargument I think may be a necessity, but only
    when there is no other alternative. When you strike
    another, there are two feelings that occur. One is a
    feeling of rage and anger. This is mind pollution. To
    allow another the power of polluting your mind with
    rage and hate and whatever feelings they produce in
    oneself is allowing them too much power. Especially
    considering that the person in question may be merely
    acting out their own rage, jealousy or hurt. Thus to
    give into the rantings of a callous, insensitive,
    malicious or hurt individual is not only to validate
    their own attitudes, which they do not deserve, but
    also to give them too much power over your own temple,
    your mind and heart. Friederich Nietzsche once said
    that "He who fights with monsters must take care lest
    he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long
    into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. It may
    seem the height of arrogance and intemperance to
    attempt to defend a devout Christians life philosophy
    with that of a vehement atheist. Yet the truth is
    there. If you must fight a monster, you need to take
    care not to become one. And by allowing a monster to
    gain control over your mind, you have lost the battle.
    War is very similar and equally misguided. If the
    American army wipes out all terrorists by violence,
    have the terrorists been defeated? Or have the
    terrorists become the victors by converting the
    victims to their side? If I react to hate with more
    hate, then I give up my freedom, strength and peace
    with the constraint, weakness and turmoil of my
    oppressors. If I kill those who hate me, I have not
    defeated them, but they have defeated me. I remember
    seeing a film once called No Way Out, with Sidney
    Poitier and Richard Widmark in the starring roles.
    Poitier was playing a doctor, Widmark a maniacal
    racist devoted to ruining his life. At one point
    Widmarks character was even under the care of
    Poitiers character. Poitiers character was no saint.
    But he believed in who he was, and was firm in that
    belief. He hated Widmarks character in the way that
    anyone would hate someone trying to destroy ones self
    and ones family. When Widmarks character was
    released from the hospital, he made plans to kill his
    former doctor. The doctor knew of these plans. I
    remember thinking, You idiot, stop being Mr. Nice
    Guy!!! This man is trying to destroy you. KILL
    HIM!!!!. Another character suggested the same thing.
    Poitiers character shook me at a certain point by a
    simple statement . . . Dont you understand? I cant
    kill a man just because he hates me. That was it . .
    . . the doctors true character was shown, his soul
    was thrown open for us to see. And regardless of the
    humiliation and anger that he felt, he was not about
    to muddy himself with the callousness and myopia of a
    man with all of the sensitivity of a rabid dog. This
    doctor was a powerful man, not because he was a
    doctor, but because he guarded his soul, his mind, as
    Satan did. I remember a Henley verse:
    
    Out of the night that covers me, 
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
    I thank whatever gods may be 
    For my unconquerable soul. 
    
    In the fell clutch of circumstance 
    I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
    Under the bludgeonings of chance 
    My head is bloody, but unbowed. 
    
    Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
    Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
    And yet the menace of the years 
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. 
    
    It matters not how strait the gate, 
    How charged with punishments the scroll, 
    I am the master of my fate: 
    I am the captain of my soul.
    
    The doctor exemplified this verse. To be your own
    person, you cannot react, but you must determine for
    yourself how to act. Otherwise, you are the prey of
    those less sensitive, less mentally healthy than you.
    An attack provokes a like response. This is nature.
    What happens when you attack back? What happens to
    your heart, your mind? Your face even? Have you ever
    seen the face of one person when attacking another?
    How do you feel when someone calls you trash?
    Humiliation at first, followed by rage and a desire to
    respond in kind. There is a transformation that takes
    place that is not good. What do you feel when killing
    or beating someone else? What happens? You degrade
    yourself and you become your enemy. A victory indeed .
    . . but not for the one reacting. I mentioned a second
    type of feeling that occurs when an attack takes
    place.  The initial is the above-mentioned disfiguring
    feeling of rage and turmoil. The disruption of peace
    and pollution of the soul. As ugly as that is, there
    is something worse. The enjoyment of the brutality
    that comes later. To hurt another ones self is hurt.
    Your spirit is mangled, although it is often hard to
    see this when it occurs. Then what? Pain gives way to
    a savage joy as the higher Self is buried and our
    animal nature comes alive. The animal truth? Killing
    is fun! So is hurting other people. The initial attack
    is painful as it takes one from that of being a human
    being to an animal. This becoming of an animal is what
    makes murder and mad hatred so much fun, like an
    addiction. When someone does not guard their soul,
    their mind, their genuine nature, they allow
    themselves to turn into animals. Pure natural animals.
    And animals enjoy killing . . . it is in our genes. A
    Palestinians first reaction to being evicted from his
    home is human, but disfiguring . . . outrage, hurt,
    anger, humiliation. (The best of us are subject to
    this; the Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh once remarked of a
    similar reaction of one of his junior monks to being
    spat upon by an American soldier in his home Vietnam.
    The young man wanted to throw off his saffron robe and
    join the war effort . . . Hanh convinced him the folly
    of fighting hatred with hatred.) This is followed by a
    seemingly sensible reaction . . . defence. Where the
    oppressed reacts with the hatred that would seem
    normal. All too soon, his hatred is not unnatural.
    It becomes part of him and the killing of innocent
    civilians from the other side becomes as simple and
    as natural as breathing. This is nature.  However, all
    too often nature is a fool. It is an impersonal force
    that does not care about people. Sometimes nature must
    be defied. The nature of a human being is that of an
    animal. What little human nature we seem to have
    simply makes us worse than the beastliest of beasts.
    But there is also a deeper reality. An us that so
    few of us ever actually touch. You want religion? Real
    religion? Forget about churches and holy books and
    apologetics. The real soul of God is you. Touch it.
    This nature goes beyond animal nature. It is the
    skeleton upon which everything else is hung, and hate,
    guilt, fear and all negative emotions obscure this
    primal atman which we forget is really us. To be
    successful, to be complete, one needs to give up being
    defined by others, becoming angry over slights made by
    ignorant people. Ignorant and heartless people abound,
    but it is you who decide what effect they will have on
    your life. To do so means to become mature, and as the
    Jesus of Nazareth mentioned, to become like a child,
    but without being childish. Kipling seems to agree:
    
    If you can keep your head when all about you 
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too; 
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
    Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, 
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 
    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
    And treat those two imposters just the same; 
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, 
    And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools; 
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breath a word about your loss; 
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"; 
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; 
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! 
    
    To use a more common aphorism, Never wrestle with a
    pig . . . you will both end up covered in mud and the
    pig will enjoy it. Dont disrespect yourself by
    bringing yourself down to the level of a pig. Realise
    the comments for what they are and do not dignify them
    with the reaction that they were intended to provoke.
    
    
    ============================================================================== Well, I am not sure if you found the questions annoying at all, believe it or not what
    made me regard you quite highly was your readiness to say "I don't know" to some of them!
    I have a tendency to irritate the more narrow-minded dogmatists with improper questions, which
    is what alienated me from the religion of my parents (Christianity), and it was only through
    the Gita that I got to rereading many of that religions scriptures in a newer light. I think
    many of my questions ahd to do with the nature of dualism vs. monism, as to me the Gita seemed
    to waver back and forth many times with regards to it. Also the notion of being "unattached" yet caring
    for others perplexed me to a degree. I have often been what I would describe as being quite "detached" in
    much of my life, and to me this seemed quite an artificial state of being, akin to Heidegger's "inauthentic
    existence" . . . perhaps 'indiffernece' would be a better word? Reading Isherwood's interpretation with
    Huxley's introduction led me to consider that there was something to this sort of 'holy indifference' which was
    intensely personal yet at the same time not personal in the narrow sense that we usually define it. Yes, I have made an especial point to make myself acquainted with the world's major religious books, although I am not even remotley a scholar . . . 'seeker' would be a better term. The
    Hindoo and Buddhist perepctives I seem to empathise the most with, although in one form or another,
    most rleigions seem to have that basic core of sameness in them, which sadly, most people ignore
    so as to concentrate on the divisive elements. When I think of the Hindoo vs. Muslim vs. Christian
    problems in India, and the religious wars and strife going on in other parts of the world today,
    it sickens me. I often think that people would be better without religion if it does these things to people.
    But the areas that I seem to latch onto, that the Gita made the most impression on me, was the notion
    that God is within the heart, and not some remote guy looking coldly down on the earth and eagerly sending
    punishment to a fundamentally wicked creation as I was taught. Idols and rituals appeal to me not one iota,
    but that realisation that God lives within one and that same God is also in others, even the most wicked
    seems to have an intuitive ring of truth to me. It forced me to look at things in a different way.
    Prabhupada was my introduction to the Gita and he struck me as being almost wholly negative
    in his outlook. That is, you either agree with hom 100% or you are a fool and a rascal . . . there is no freedom
    of thought within his world view, and I think that freedom is necessary for one to be honest and to come to a
    true realisation of the truth. Blind obedience and slavery to tradition can never make up for the
    internal transformation, which I tend to believe along with Jiddu Krishnamurti, cannot be acheived by mere
    obedience.
    He also tends to focus in on many things which I tend to regard as immoral . . .
    in places, the Gita seems to accept that women are inferior to men, that casteism is acceptable and that to a
    degree, duty is one's highest repsonsibility, even when that duty is contrary to one's own nature. This I
    reject outright. Arjuna's problems with fighting a 'just war' I find very problematic. Krishna's statemants
    to Arjuna to fight his enemies I often find illogical and unconvincing. I tend to take Gandhiji's view
    that the war element was not meant to be taken literally, as it is fundamentally incompatible with the
    Gita's deeper message. I alos tend to think that duty should not be enforced by society, as this is
    largely what leads to such atrocities that we have been unfortunate enough to see on the news every
    day, but rather I think that one's duty comes from within, and that it may often go contrary to what
    society says . . . I think of the Hebrew prophets, who regularly put themselves at risk to say that which
    needed to be said, because they felt an inner need to do so, even at the price of being rejected by
    family and tribe.
    I liked your book because it translated the book without bludegening the reader with a ost
    of foreign terms. Prabhupada seems to like using terms with which most people are unfamiliar (almost as
    a reminder that you 'need' him to do the interpretation for you!). For a man who has supposedly 'conquered'
    his ego, he comes dangerously close to being a bigot.
    Others like Mascaro try to eliminate the 'foreign' and repetitive element but at the expense of accuracy. The book that I read was your translation only and not the comments, as I tend to avoid commentary until I have made up my mind about something, not liking to be told what to think. References to other scriptures are good and helpful, and certain clarifications are also good . . . such as the bit of Samkhya doctrine that one unversed in Hindoo philosophy may find confusing. I remember reading some of Bede Griffith's works, including the "River of Compassion", a Christian commentary of the Gita, as well as the "Conference of the Birds" and am often struck at how similar they are and how everyone can read 'foreign' scriptures with an open mind and gain much from them. It was only after the Gita that I actually became more open to the ideas of Jesus and the Sufis. As for as theology proper, I have little interest in it. Reincarantion may or may not be true (yes, I am familar with Dr. Ian Stevenson's work), but ultimately I find such beliefs peripheral to the true message. If one can acheive the right attitude of reverance anf holiness about the things in the world, even a totally finite life would be enough. I don't wish to use pretenses here though . . . I am not at that level yet, I am but a 29-year old whipper snapper and have many faults, but I can see the ultimate message and the fact that the Gita even goes to the level of saying that it and other scriptures are ultimately unnecessary to one who has seen the truth I like. My parents often ridiculed the 'idolatry' of the Catholics and Hindoos, yet they themselves made an idol of their concepts and books, without having the true essence touch them . . . I recall my father saying that the recent bombings of Iraq was justified . . . as if the killing of another human can ever be justified! I am rarely convinced of anything, and remain a sceptic to all I am not convinced of, but the book has made a difference to me and opened my eyes to seeing in a direction that I would not normally have thought of, and your efforts to publicise the work I commend you for. ================================= end of Randy's letter ======================== A reply to ND from R. Prasad So, You think i love to see somebody, such as Swami Prabhupada, put down,.. no, never. he is one of my gurus as mentioned in our gita, i started my serious study of the gita by reading books of Gita Press Gorakhpur, India and his books.but if somebody tries to put others such as Shankara, Buddha, etc. down, then he should be put down. everybody should have the freedom of expression, but if somebody openly denies others that freedom, then that person must be put down. and specilly if that person claims that he is a true Vaishnava and other Hindus are second class!! and therefore he should have known it better. does it make sense? ND Replied: Naaaaa, I don't think you enjoy ANYONE being put down--there's a difference between that and sort of feeling relief that not everyone agrees with the ISKCONs, Ram. I know you get irritated w/ the exclusivity of the Iskcons, and offended by it, that's all.They're saying the same thing as the fundementalist Christians and the Taliban--it's a Vaishnava version of the fundementalism. I doubt if it's in your nature to enjoy a put down, dear..And at the same time I can see you sort of thinking, in a very very small speck in your mind, "oh, there's one more point for the tolerant ones"... Randy le Jeune wrote: Could you try explaining exactly what 'unattachment' is? One of the primary messages of the Geeta seems to be that you need to be 'detached'. I think this is a bad word. What I mean is that, I think the book may be indicating that there is a certain sort of view that one needs to possess to live in the world, participate in the world, yet not be unduly affected by sorrow or unsettled even by pleasure or joy. But the word 'detachment' or 'unattachment' to me sounds fearfully close to 'indifference'. I ask this because it seems that in one way or another, I have lived out most of my life in a sort of 'detached' state. But I perceive that this state is not what the Gita means, as instead of being sensitive to everything, one is sensitive to nothing. My 'detachment' was always closer to apathy or indifference, a state that you find in schizoids, that Heidegger refers to as 'inauthentic existence' or that Sartre calls 'Nausea'. This being divorced from one's self cannot be be what Krishna is speaking of. I get the feeling that what is being referred to is the 'sensitivity' that we read of in the Dao De King: "Work is done, then forgotten, thus it lasts forever" This seems a sensitivity to _everything_, rather than a general insensitivity, where all is sacred, rather than nothing being sacred. You have a son yourself. How can you love him and be unattached? Surely this does not mean you are apathetic or unconcerned about him? Huxley said that the Chrsitian mystics used to use the term "holy indifference" to describe this outlook. You seem to prefer 'detached attachment'. I would like you to elaborate on this if possible. Is detachment insensitivity? Is apathy the ideal state? Or is this another problem due to semantics? How can you care for others yet be detached? Randy is a database programmer in Louisiana. He says:Have always read more than was healthy and often have been drawn since I was very young to Eastern philosophy. Although very much American in temperament with regards to certain values like Emerson's "self-reliance" and generally being an independant thinker, I seem to have an affinity for the Indian way of thinking in certain spheres. Am not one for tradition much, and I feel that too often it can be a constrictive. comments by Harry Bhalla Good Morning, I think you raise some very good points. I am not really qualified to answer your well researched thoughts and offer some comments as follows Comment: Detached from the outcome of one's action. A farmer can control how he works his land but cannot control the harvest. However, he cannot expect a harvest if he does not work his land. One may have a son, and love him dearly, but one should not have an "expectation" of the child. What career the child should follow, for example, should not be the objective. The objective should be to perform your duty as a parent to the best of your ability, without an expectation of what career the son shall follow or how he should look after you in your old age etc.. Emphasis is doing your duty to the best of your ability. Your statement "I think the book may be indicating that there is a certain sort of view that one needs to possess to live in the world, participate in the world, yet not be unduly affected by sorrow or unsettled even by pleasure or joy." Appears to me to be the aim of the Gita doctrine. Randy le Jeune wrote: Krishna states that he incarnates in human form from time to time when Dharma decreases. The problem I see here is this: To me, this implies a very dvaitic or dualistic approach. If I am to understand that Krishna is not separate from me and that this realisation is moksha, and that this Krishna that is in my heart, is in yours as well, then how is it that Krishna the incarnation comes to earth when Dharma ebbs? Is it possible for "the all" to ever not be present? Is Krishna no longer here now? If so, then how can we say that the one man called "Krishna" in the Geeta is the bringer of Dharma but that this same God is within all of us at the same time? The monistic interpretation of Krishna seems incompatible with the idea that he comes as a prophet if you will, to 'straighten out' a wicked world. I have a suspicion that this question cannot be answered, perhaps because the proper Krishna of the Geeta is a literary device, perhpas because lack of understanding, or whatever, but I'd like to hear your comments on it all the same. Comment by Harry Bhalla: HE is everywhere. HE resides in your inner psyche, pervades the entire creation and resides in HIS supreme abode all at the same time. (so HE is very much here now) There is nothing HE does not have or desires for, yet HE works. For if HE did not work others would follow HIS example. HE manifests HIMSELF from time to time when necessary to show us the way or to teach us something, that HE feels we need to learn. The LORD does not have to reincarnate HIMSELF only as Krishna or only in India. He manifests HIMSELF from time to time. Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohamed may also be manifestations of the SUPREME. Reincarnation of the Supreme Spirit should be looked at as gift to humanity. Randy le Jeune wrote: Once again, a question on monism vs. dualism. If the 'soul' or 'atman' is actually the universal Brahman the underlying essence of the whole of creation, indivisible, ONE, etc., then how is it possible for transmigration of souls to occur? Metempsychosis seems incompatible with the unity of God. that is, if I do something rotten in my present incarnation, and pay for it by being born in my next incarnation as a pig (note: this assumes pigs are lower on the 'creation ladder' than humans . . . for the present illustration, I am just assuming this), yet you work harder than I to attain moksha, if the ultimate 'you' and the ultimate 'me' are both the same . . . that is the atman which is Brahman . . . then how is it possible for you to perhaps be held accountable by your own karmic bonds and I by mine when we are one? The idea of reincarnation seems to require a duality of God vs. creation, as in Christian/Islamic theology. The only solution that I can think of is that we each have a sort of 'subtle body' that encases the divine, but is less apparent than the body, but which is also under the realm of prakriti. And that perhaps this subtle body will make it appear as though reincarnation is of the body alone, when in reality there is a more subtle layer of matter encasing Self which gets reborn over and over. Still, this doesn't strike me as bing very convincing, as I have just thought it up to explain a problem. Any discusion on the following would be helpful. Comment by Harry Bhalla: The SUPREME spirit residing in our inner psyche does not cause us to act or not act. That is done by Material Nature (Gunas) and is the result of our Karma and actions of previous life. Each of us may have the same goal, to obtain salvation. We will not attain salvation at the same time, if at all. We are one in as much that we come from ONE, but your actions and mine will lead us to different Karmas and therefore lives when reincarnated. > Such discussions are good for both you & I, and > help us understand the Lord's message.. > > My comments are in red below;; > > > Question 1 re attachment is OK, I think I get > it. Still I wonder that one can be wholly > unattached to the outcome of an action. If > Krishna did not expect Arjuna to be helped by > the discourse would he bother? I think that is a > fine point, but the essential idea may be that > attitude of universal love and the feeling that > ALL is sacred that one needs to get is the point > trying to be got across. > > Think the stage and Arjuna's dilemma is not the > issue. Think one works with a certain > motivation, but must learn to do what we have > to do to the best of > our ability, and accept the outcome with little > grief or joy. > > Think you said that.. OK, I think I have the first question down . . . it was mainly the word 'detachment' that was throwing me, as I have always tended to associate it with indifference, insensitivty and apathy. > > Question 2 re the incarnations I am still not > much understanding. If Krishna is everything > and in everyone, why not listen to the demonic > men in chapter 16, I think since they are > Krishna just like Arjuna, Yuddhisthira, me and > you? Unless Krishna in the Geeta is the > archetype of the totally awakened man, perhaps, > but I still have a bit of trouble understanding > how if Krishna is in all, how he can have a > separtes identity with which to give advice. > In other words, let's say that I disagree with > something in the Geeta . . . > the idea of duty, perhaps . . . since Krishna > is in me, would I not be justified in following > my heart and ignoring the book since they give > opposite kinds of advice? Which Krishna do I > listen to? The Krishna within me or the Krishna > within the book? I do not see how he can > manifest from 'time to time' unless he goes away > periodically. > > The Lord is in our inner psyche as > consciousness. Not one who induces us to > act. We need to surrender to his will. We as > human beings often do not follow our inner > psyche..Think the point about demons is.. they > can exist as criminals or as rich people. > However they exist they have to work out their > karma, and then be reincarnated to face the > Karma of present actions.. > > Possibly the manifestation of the Lord does not > exist on earth today but he does exist in his > unmanifest supernatural form and pervades > everything > OK, possibly Krishna can appear in a specific form while also pervading everything on order to give advice to others in order to encourage others to realise that they are him in one sense or another, thereby burning off their Karmic bonds and realising that he pervades everything and that the others, while in the grips of Maya cannot yet see this, but this does force a separation between the "pure" form of Krishna and the more hidden form embedded within each person. Think the Lord exists in manifest and unmanifest forms. He manifests Himself when HE sees the need to do so. His unmanifest form pervades the entire creation. HE also resides in our inner psyche, and in HIS Abode > > Question 3 re reincarnation still seems to me > to ultimately point to dualism of a sort, even > if that dualism is between Maya and reality. For > us to achieve noksha at differebt times, I do > not see how we can get around being totally > individual. > > The Hindoo ranking I understnad as being > basically irrelevant, I think that to ask that > question, one must be referring to the > Hindoo=Indian equation, but I tend to think a > pure hearted one will be pure hearted whichever > religion he/she is a member of. > > I am honestly not trying to be annoying, I just > have to be sure about things. > > Thanks again for answering. > > Think individuality is not at question. As > individuals we fulfill our duty > to the best of our ability for the Supreme > Being > Perhaps individuality is not at question here, but I can't help but think that the individual accountability or individual karmic bonds does force a dual cosmology . . . if we were all 'one' as the Upanishads and parts of the Geeta assert, then we could not have individual Karma, but all Karma would be as one, as the Buddhist notion of the interdependent nature of reality contends. The Supreme spirit is present in all of us, so we are part of one, yet divided by our individuality. Karma rests on each individual > Thinking that the individual is supreme, or > there is no creator and that sensual pleasure is > all there is to life, is the real point. > Perhaps you are correct and I am getting tied up in the words again. > > Am not sure what you mean by Hindu ranking. The > Lord has not "ranked" anyone. We are all equal. > By Hindoo 'ranking' I was referring to Hindoosim as being the third in number of adherents. Although, since you bring it up, Krishna in the early chapters of the Geeta does seem to regard females and lower caste peoples as a bit lower value than peoples higher on the social scale. Think in the eyes of the Lord all are equal. Think at the time of His manifestation as Krishna, perhaps there existed a division (superiority) between men and women. Think His comment is to clarify that all of us are equal, men and women. I believe the caste system of India came about as the Clergy went about setting themselves up and their families as the "superior" race/caste amongst the Indian populous. As far as popularity of a certain religion is concerned, I offer the following. Think there are possibly as many Hindu deities as there are Hindu families. Unlike Christianity & Judaism where people "belong" to a church or place of worship, amongst Hindus that is not the normal practice. Typically in a family the father or the mother (sometimes both) set a routine which the children follow, they may or may not vast a temple regularly (some do) Life of a Hindu does not revolve around a church. Hinduism as practiced today does support a great deal of ritual practice.. I often argue with Dr Prasad on this topic. My point is that I do not see the Hindus of today living by the Gita doctrine. Whilst all Hindus would agree that The Gita is the Holiest of all Hindu manuscripts, yet few truly follow the Gita doctrine. Whenever I give one of our publications to anyone in person, I always sat to them PLEASE do not "worship" the book, but read, understand and try to live by the teachings contained therein. One has to make the effort. If I give you apiece of land, the land itself has no value until you decide to "work" the land. > > Am not sure if I have helped or addressed the > points you raised. > If you reply please allow me some tome to get > back to you as I am traveling > and can not get to my e-mail everyday.. > No prob with the delayed respnses, I am in no hurry, it's just that when I see preplexities, I must have them resolved. At any rate, it is not necessary for you to have a pat answer to anything that I might come up with . . . I was always irritated by the Christians that I dealt with in my youth who tried to "explain away" things rather than admitting that they just didn't know, which would have been more honest. Was just interested on what additional light a different perspective may have been able to shed on the matter. I always enjoy discussion, because that's the way I learn. Think I always have an answer, not necessarily the right one but one that can keep the discussion alive !! Good to hear from you Randy, > OK, possibly Krishna can appear in a specific > form while also pervading everything on order > to give advice to others in order to encourage > others to realise that they are him in one > sense or another, thereby burning off their > Karmic bonds and realising that he pervades > everything and that the others, while in the > grips of Maya cannot yet see this, but this does > force a separation between the "pure" form of > Krishna and the more hidden form embedded within > each person. > > Think the Lord exists in manifest and > unmanifest forms. He manifests Himself > when HE sees the need to do so. His unmanifest > form pervades the entire creation. HE also > resides in our inner psyche, > and in HIS Abode > OK, that makes sense . . . I never thought of it that way before. > Think in the eyes of the Lord all are equal. > Think at the time of His manifestation as > Krishna, perhaps there existed > a division (superiority) between men and women. > Think His comment is to clarify that all of us > are equal, men and women. I believe the caste > system of India came about as the > Clergy went about setting themselves up and > their families as the "superior" > race/caste amongst the Indian populous. > OK, so you are saying that naturally, the Krishna form whenever and however he makes himself manifest must to a degree make use of the customs and understandings of the culture and time in which he manifests himself to make himself understood to the devotee, correct? That makes sense. But I can se how someone who reads the book too literally could pinpoint this as a general rule rather than accepting this as merely a finction of the culture in which he manifests himself. I have also heard that the caste system may have started out as a genuine and reasonable division of labour among the people who seemed suitable to various sorts of work, but just like Plato's caste system, any societal division tends to harden and become rigid, not allowing the individual enough freedom which is ultimately detrimental to the society. I recall how the Code of Manu was quite strict in this respect. Nevertheless, I think it is important to get this ironed out, as this could very well be one of the major stumbling blocks many people have with regards to the Geeta. There is not much doubt that clergy around the world "protected" its status by promoting whatever ritual/rights it needed.. India/Hindus did not escape this. Recently the Discovery Channel ran a program in which they interviewed a "Brahman". The person being interviewed clearly stated (amongst other things) that he was superior because he was cleaner. He was cleaner because he took his shoes off before entering his home etc etc.. For those who have witnessed this kind of superiority in India, there can be little doubt about the role the clergy has played in the establishment of the caste system.. On the other hand, it seems that within Indian sub continent it became clear many centuries ago that people who performed menial cleaning tasks carried disease, hence it was "easy" to sell the idea of "untouchables". If you look at the untouchables, they were usually black, not fair skinned. India has its own "color bar". When a baby is born the first thing people talk about is the color of the baby's skin, light or dark!! > As far as popularity of a certain religion is > concerned, I offer the > following. > > Think there are possibly as many Hindu deities > as there are Hindu families. Unlike Christianity > & Judaism where people "belong" to a church or > place of worship, amongst Hindus that is not > the normal practice. Typically in a > family the father or the mother (sometimes > both) set a routine which the children follow, > they may or may not vast a > temple regularly (some do) Life > of a Hindu does not revolve around a church. > Hinduism as practiced today does support a > great deal of ritual practice. I am aware that Hindooism today supports a great deal of ritualistic practice. This seems a throwback to the Vedic days when rituals and sacrifice seemed the primary modes of worship . . . this struck me as being closer to the Roman and Norse style religion than what I have thought of as Hindoo. Leaving flowers or rice in front of an idol may be well and good if one does it with a pure heart, but I feel that the message of the Geeta is not so much the adulation of a representation of a deity as much as it is to be "mindful" to use a Zen term, at each moment, living fully at each moment so that all is viewed as sacred. In this way, not only is the temple sacred, but everthing else is as well. Rituals are performed only by the clergy. This is how they earn their living. So more rituals the better?? Lord Krishna's message is to do with how you live your life. Rituals are not needed to have the Lord in your heart > > I often argue with Dr Prasad on this topic. My > point is that I do not see > the Hindus of today living by the Gita > doctrine. Whilst all Hindus would > agree that The Gita is the Holiest of all Hindu > manuscripts, yet few truly > follow the Gita doctrine. > I think your arguments may have to do with what exactly "Hindoo" means as I have mentioned before. the Geeta doctrine to me seems more an attitude than an intellectual belief. By the way, i amnot sure that "all" hindoos as you out it would agree that the geeta is the holiest of books . . . I know the Kali Ma's in Kolkatta do not think so, as many of them prefer the tantric texts and the Brahmo Samaj seems to prefer the Upanishads. Still, living the Geeta doctrine is a bit harder than it might sound. To see god at all times, to not care for results . . . to me, it seems you need to reach a certain degree of spiritual maturity before this can occur. I recall some of the more proscriptive scriptures like the Q'uran . . . often they give instructions to do good things . . . but what if you follow the orders to do such things yet do them with an angry heart? Then your morality is not real . . . it seems that to really do as the Geeta says, one needs to not merely obey, but KNOW in the depths of your being that one must behave a certain way, feel a certain way . . . simply telling someone that they should do something or feel a certain way is not enough. Is this where meditation comes in? Perhaps I should have said most Hindus. Statements/words like "all" never are or can be true, there is always an exception. I am doing my best to live my life by the Gita doctrine. The key statement in the Gita doctrine is to surrender to the supreme being and take what he gives you with an equanimous mind. Treat all living beings equally... Simple statements, but hard to live by.. There are many interpretations of the Lord's message. For example, the Hare Krishna temple's interpretation allows sex only once a month and only for reproduction. Some talk about the food chain. I have yet to find anything to back up these extreme statements. If you discard the extreme statements, the Gita doctrine takes on a very different shape. Abstention does not mean control or sacrifice, and is not advocated. One must conduct bodily actions and control one's emotions. No where does it say emotions/bodily needs etc are to be "undone", except of course by self-professed Gurus and Swamis, who are infact the clergy. Think meditation is required to control the unruly mind as stated in the Gita. > Whenever I give one of our publications to > anyone in person, I always sat to > them PLEASE do not "worship" the book, but > read, understand and try to live > by the teachings contained therein. One has to > make the effort. If I give you apiece of land, > the land itself > has no value until you decide > to "work" the land. > If I remember correclty, the Geeta also says that other scriptures and even the Geeta itself is like a well where there is water everywhere to one who has seen the truth . . . a book can be an idol as well . . . a religious life that is not lived but only "believed in" is not really a religious life, but a mere sham. I think this was one of the major elements leading to the nihilism of the west. Totally agree. Need to adapt a way of life, not a following. This is why we have stated in the objectives of the IGS that we provide whatever help we can to assist people in adopting the Gita Doctrine as a way of life. -------------------------------------------------- I think we have exlpored the previous questions well. But there are some more which I would like too discuss, particularly the items in chapter two. 1) At one point Krishna takes to "shaming" Arjuna. When Arjuna refuses to fight, Krishna seems to berate him by saying that dishonour is worse than death to one who values honour. This strikes me as being a silly statement. Honour is esteem of other people. Yet we usually accept that the masses, although not inherently wicked, are not the ones who we should look to for guidance. Jesus himself was critisised for cavorting around with prostitutes, sinners, wine-nibbers and the like. To the Pharisees, this was disgraceful, and dishonourable. When one has to stand up for something, this often means being ridiculed and shamed, but that does not make one's convictions wrong or immoral. Why does Krishna use such a weak argument to get Arjuna to obey him? Am not sure that The Lords intention was to shame Arjuna. Think in the context the Lord was merely repeating how a man on the street sees honor and disgrace. If at dinner you remind me to save room for desert, you can make that comment in many different ways. To an observer your comment could be construed as "ordering" me not to eat more meat but to eat more desert, or perhaps I do not know what is good for me, etc.. Think we have to look at the big picture not a sentence or a paragraph at a time. 2) One of the primary messages of the second chapter is that the sense must be under control. I understand that allowing one's senses via the pleasure principle to control one is a very bad thing, as desire seeks only to fulfill itself but never takes into account the consequences of sating that desire. But the problem is this . . . does not this form of sense-control introduce a duality into the mind and thus cause the very kind of misery and confusion that one was hoping to avoid in the first place? One thinks, "I desire this" . . . and one MUST think that if one truly desires something and one is to be honest with oneself. But then the Geeta says that these senses must be under control. So we end up with a conflict rather than a wholeness. One part of the mind says "I desire" another part says "No, I must control these desires". A conflict is introduced and tranquility is gone. Perhaps there is a level of being in which one can control the senses but at the same time not be perturbed by these desires, but the way it is stated in chapter two to me seems more like repression than transcending these desires. If I try to force my mind to do something, is this not conflict? And how can one be free of lust and all sorts of desires merely by creating a moral conflist in which desire is seen as the enemy? This causes the self to be divided against itself? Is meditation agaon the key to beconing free of desires without repression or conflict? Please elaborate on this if possbile. Think the Lord is saying nothing more than modern day physiatrists have concluded. One must not suppress emotion or desire, but understand the "feeling" as only an emotion, fantasy or desire NOT a need. The original document, written some 5000 years ago in Sanskrit, could only have been written within the culture/understanding/thought process of the times. What is truly amazing and establishes The Gita Doctrine is the "how to" statements ( do not be perturbed by others and do not perturb them...do not be too attached to a house, place or a country.. temper originates from unsatisfied desire etc). If you can understand that you maybe do not like someone because he has what you want, or a certain person motivates you a certain way, then you have a better chance of keeping your composure. The biggest challenge of the Lord's message is to learn to live by it.. Regards Harry

    A chat between Randy and Harry Comments by Philippe DeCoster I do not think you have too much “non-gita” material on your website. Everything you have is retraceable in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ. First of all, the “Gîtâ” is a part of Sacred Hindu Scriptures found in “The Upanishads, the Vedanta Yoga Texts”. But, there is more, the Bhagavad Gîtâ refers a number of times to other Scriptures as: “Of the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda ….. “(10.22); “That which is declared indestructible by the Veda-knowers…” (8.11) “The fruit of meritorious deeds, attached in the Vedas to sacrifices (Yahur Veda), austerities …(8.28). Someone who really wants to be a yogi (a meditator) should gaining knowledge in other Hindu Sacred Scriptures as well, it’s in the Gîtâ. The Lord Krishna says so, particularly in the Gîtâ. Your site is perfectly correct, and I am personally pleased to be able to find everything I need on it. Not everybody has the time to study Scriptures other than the Gîtâ, is very true, but the one consecrating him or herself to “GîtâYoga” should. I do believe, while in the West, at least in Europe where there is a rapid religious decline as to Christianity, the “Bhagavad Gîtâ” is the only book that will keep religion alive in this scientific age. When I was 19, churches where packed on Sundays and you had even to stand up as no room to sit. Now people tell me they have only 30 people for Sunday worship. Today, religion is different, no longer a matter of going to church, but everyone’s own religious expression, where only the Gîtâ is the most precious tool. Once we let the living words of the Gîtâ enter within our hearts and minds, and the miracle inside is wrought, the believer will be prepared to open all the Scriptures and become its custodians. For me is your site perfect. Hoping all is well. Philippe. ================================================================================================= For the last 15 years I did feel a great admiration for Mahatma Gandhi. One day after a little prayer to Gandhi he pointed me towards Mansukh Patel. This happend 3 months ago. Since then so many great things happend in my life. In the beginning I started (guided by Mansukh's books) to live my life more spiritual. A good example off that is my special place in the wood. Every morning after I did deliver the morning-newspapers (as a job) I went to sit in a little wood. In the beginning I just did sit. Later I started to bring some bread with me for the birds. After that I started to offer the bread to mother earth. After that I started to offer the bread to the universe. And after that I started to offer the bread to god. Since some days I offer the bread to Krishna. I also started meditation every day ,I did quit smoking ,I got vegetarien and I started burning little flame's on sunflower-oil every day. At the time I learned about Mansukh I had the suspicion that god did exist ,but I thought that he didnt really care if I knew that he existed. I thought he is so great ,he doesn't need me for anything. I did believe that perhaps he did love me a little but that he did not found it neccesarry for me to even admit his existence. I don't know how it happend exactly but while my admiration for Mansukh growed and growed I started to become more and more curious about this god that Mansukh from time to time told a little about. One day I did hear him discribe the relationship with god as" It might be the most romantic relationship you ever encountered. " That did sound wonderfull! As a child I went to the church to learn about Christ. The day someone told me that it wasnt an obligation I stopped going. I did like it more to stay at home and just play. As I went older I married a muslim-man and became a muslim myself. All that time I thought that me being muslim had nothing to do with me being marriëd to this muslim. But after we devorced I didn't stay muslim for so long. I didn't feel good about being so obligated to pray 5 time's a day and I didn't want to fear god. That couldn't be the way I thought. For example " What is the greatest feeling in the world? ....... It is love...... so if god is a feeling ..... what else can he be then the greatest feeling in the world?" Mansukh isn't a man who take's one religion and say's this one is the only right one. But it is no secret that the Bhagavad Gita is a verry special book to him. After all he did write several books about this book. This same Bhagavad Gita was a verry big support for Mahatma Gandhi. So ...the 2 man in this world wich I admired the most (on the spiritual level) did both point towards the same book. So I bought this book and in the bookstore I did let them wrap it in paper and put it in my handbag. There it stayed because I was waiting till I feld it was time for me to read it. In the meantime I had a special encounter with god. At one morning I was at my special place in the wood and I had sayed a prayer. After that I sayed a chant that I had learned at meditation-lesson : " Refeal yourself" . I didn't exactly know what to expect when I opend my eyes but what I saw was verry beautifull. It was early in the morning and the air was cold. So I could see my breath. Only this time the sun did shine on it in a verry beautifull way. I could see every drop of water that I breathed out and it shined like a pearl. Every breath off me I saw so many verry little pearl's comming out off my mouth. I never before did see my breath being soooo beautifull and I thought " That must be god.... that must be what Mansukh says about god living inside of you". Some days later I was talking to Mansukh. Not in real life but I do talk to him a lot while I see him in front off me in my mind. I tell him everything that I need to think about. It can really make me see things clearly just to search for the right words to make him understand what I feel. I always talk in english. Ofcourse because that is the language he understands but also because english has a great attraction to me. I also pray in english , just a question off folowing my feeling. English feels right to me. So I was talking to Mansukh again and this time about the Bhagavad Gita that I had in my handbag and that I was waiting for the time to open it. This time Mansukh said something back. Verry quiet he said " Now ...is the time..... " And I did feel like he did mean to say that it is always the time to open the Gita if you are longing for it. So the next day on a quiet moment I did start reading the Gita. Something happend again.... as I started reading I did feel a pressure between my eyebrowes ,just like I feel it when I am in meditation. I like that feeling. Specially because the feeling always comes at time's that the meditation is going well. The first thing I did like reading in the Gita was that reïncarnation exists. I always believed in that ,but I thought the great religions didn't. I did agree with Arjuna not wanting to kill some people. But as Krishna told him why there was no reason to feel that way I had to say Krishna was right. Still it wasn't a thing I liked to read just in the beginning ,that killing people can ever be right. But because I knew that Mansukh says god is verry loving ,I did read on ,hoping that this loving part would come. Well..... it did come. Because later in the Gita Krishna confirms time after time how the people who reach out for him in many kinds off ways are so dear to him. He tells how he takes care off those who love him in this life and after. While I was reading I still found it hard to believe. So... in my mind I saw Mansukh again sitting in front of me. I needed to discuss my feelings with him at this point. So I said to him: "I can hardly believe that it does matter to god if I love him or not,comparable to him I am just so verry much nothing ,I'm just a human ,I am...." At that point Mansukh stopt my words by saying so quit "You...... are a child........ of god" I had nothing to say anymore. Ofcourse that is the point. God has sooo many children but he is able to give attention to them all. And what father would not be touched by his child loving him? So the next day on my special place in the wood after praying I said to god: "I am so small and only human but if it is true that it matters to you if I love you...... if it is true that that make's you feel better then I want to love you". I did say it from the bottom of my hart and after I had finished the last word the sun broke trough the clouded sky and started to shine for about 30 seconds. I was amazed and so touched..... the warmth of the sun feld like love on my skin. The rest of the day I did feel so warm about it. Please god let hold on to that love for you....... ,please let me feel it and feel it and feel it. I read in the Gita that in one passage about god is telling Arjuna what he is. One of the example's he give's is :"To the carriers of the light I am the sun"….. It reminds me of something. A few weeks ago I had bought a cd with mantra's. The first mantra I played over and over again was meant to experience the pressence of the devine. I did sing along a lot and sometimes my mind did go another way and I did sing along but wasn't concentrating on it. And every time I didn't concentrate I caught myself singing "Sureya" at one point of the mantra. After a this had happened a few time's I started wondering: "What is Sureya?" So I searched on the internet and found out that it meant "the sun". I did find it intressting but also didn't know what to do with it or what to think about it. But as I read in the gita "To the carriers of the light I am the sun"….. I start thinking…. Am I a carrier of the light? Or are we all carriers of the light? And if I am a carrier of the light what do I have to do then? I do feel a great atracction towards the world peace flame. Has that something to do with it? Another beautifull thing I found in the Gita. It says that the sound of brahma is the sound of the word ohm……. And I remember something again. Some time ago I was trying to find my soul while I was in meditation. I did it this way. I searched what I could feel or hear or in some kind of way notice. So I did feel my body but ignored it because my body isn't my soul. I did hear my breath but ignored it because my breath isn't my soul. I did feel a little bit sad but ignored it because that wasn't my soul. While I did this I expected to find a place of stillness. But what I found was a soft buzzing sound. I remember talking about it with a friend saying: "I try to find my soul witch is supposed to be still ,but I feel it as if it is buzzing" She said : " Like your soul is so busy ?" But it didn't feel like that. There was peace there but just with that buzzing sound. Now… as the Gita says that brahma is in everyone…… is that what I did hear? Because that was the sound I was hearing or feeling. The gita give's many answere's ,some times it feels like the puzzle off life is starting to fall in place. But with every question I get an answer on ,another question pops up in my mind. I need to find a teacher. The Gita says so and it is true. I need answeres on my questions. Ofcourse the one person I would like to be my teacher is Mansukh. But I can't believe he has the time for such things. To begin with I will buy some of his books about the Bhagavad Gita. And I will try to find a teacher on the internet.

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