Transcript - Summary of Baghavad Gita Part 3

Author: Adi Shankara
Title: Baghavad Gita
Plot: 2-For-1, This is the Hari Krishna's primary religious text, but only one of many of the Hindu's. Krishna is viewed as the Supreme God and he is talking to Arjuna (a prince) about the moral question of whether it's okay to kill our friends and countrymen in civil war.
Note: For researcher types who want a deep study there are four parts. Part 4 is the most interesting summary. While Part 1 is also a good summary (though not as entertaining). 

Jump to part 1 / Jump to part 4 / See Full Series

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Full Transcript
Hey, Welcome back!

In part 1 I gave you bragging rights, in part 2 I tested your commitment. And now I test your fortitude. We are about to cover 14 chapters in the next 40 minutes. Leaving only the summary and conclusion for the part 4 episode.

I suggest you check out the transcript for this podcast on my website because it has links to everything I mention. For example it might surprise you to learn that people who listen to podcasts are generally smarter and wealthier than those who don't. They're also better looking and in the case of my listeners, the book readers that you are, more magnificent in every way!

Those of you who made it to part 3 are the finishers. When you begin a task you see it through to completion. I notice everyone who listens to part 3 listens to part 4. And so you are about to distinguish yourself from the rest of the entire world because you are well on your way to get your 10-for-1. That it is a strong understanding of 10 of the worlds most popular religions in three hours. Ten for the price of 1 or your money back!

When it comes learning the most popular world religions. This is an achievement you can be proud of!

Let's dive in!

In the prior podcast a theme began that continues here. Arjuna was reluctant to kill his kinfolk and so Krishna applied a tremendous amount of pressure on him to get him to comply. Still he wasn't ready to do that yet and apparently he was also unwilling to end the conversation. So he deflected. 

Book 5 is

The Book of Religion by renouncing the fruit of works

I could sum this chapter up using a single word: compartmentalization. I admit that's a long one, but it's the idea of doing an action without thought. And so it would seem that the author used an ancient expression intended to communicate that message, which he called:

Book 5 is The Religion of renouncing the fruit of works which is compartmentalization

Meaning don't think, just do.

Having said that, we could rightly move onto book six without delay. However, there advantages to dwelling on book five. Book five is an excellent example of how the author is able to pivot from the opening question into discussing a range of topics that ultimately culminate in the doctrine of two world religions.

As you know, The Gita hinges on the opening question, which is (by now you can say it with me) "Krishna, how can I kill my kinfolk?" 

Remaining mindful of that opening question is crucial. I say this because one might suggest that Krishna advocates killing. But that's not entirely true. While it does seem that reincarnation diminishes his regard for life, when you go back to the beginning we see that the killing he commanded was to be done during lawful war. And that detail is crucial to representing the text fairly. He's not declaring open season, he's confronting the natural dilemma that would occur during any war.

But like with Plato's works, everything in this book hinges on the beginning of the text and particularly the first question.

In book 5, Arjuna fires the opening shot. He says:

Krishna, you advocate doing works, and resting: of these two which is better?

Krishna says that It's best to do pious works. And then he adds that scholars talk as if the two are different, but wise men pluck golden fruit from both. Meaning it's good to work, but it's also good to rest. The idea of plucking golden fruit from both means that the more work you do, the more rest you will need. And presumably the wise man is able to strike the right balance. Or in his words: wise men pluck golden fruit from both (both working and resting). But again he says pious work is best.

According to Krishna, he who sees these two as one (working and resting) sees with clear eyes, but that's difficult apart from holiness.

The person who holds the truth of truths is someone who thinks, not of myself will I do. He is Lord of his senses and self. 

Now the Gita does something repeatedly. It speaks of sense with respect to the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. And it suggests that it is not good to be driven by our senses.

These are my words now:
Before I read the book I didn't make the connection between our five senses and our emotions. But this became more obvious to me because of the way Krishna kept using that word. I eventually realized that our senses drive our emotions; here's an example of that: we see a pretty girl, we feel her touch, we smell her perfume, we hear her laugh, and we taste her lips. And so you can imagine these sensations would trigger our emotions. Meaning that life without our senses would be dull indeed. Because apart from negative emotions like rage, hatred, coveting and jealousy, you would scarcely feel anything at all. In fact apart from our senses, the most satisfaction and feeling we could possibly experience would be only available only through intense negative emotions. But I address that topic in my podcast on angels and demons so I won't rehash it here. 

I mention this because throughout the text, in some cases, when Krishna referenced the senses you could often accurately substitute the word emotion. I found that intriguing and I liked that revelation. It had never occurred to me before.

Krishna advocated that a man who has control over his emotions is not only skilled, but happy.

There are two words I must define before we continue: the first is Brahm and the Second is Atman, that's A-t-m-a-n. For the non Hindus and Hari Krishnas who are listening: I will use a Christian example. The Christians believe that the spirit of Jesus enters into their bodies and together they become one: man and God. And that would be akin to Brahm and Atman becoming one. Brahm would be the equivalent of the creator God in Hinduism and Atman is the soul or the self. 

Now I have a memory tool I use to remember both of their names and the concept of them coming together. And that's the idea that when Brahm and Atman come together they become: the Batman.

Now while that might sound disrespectful it is incredibly memorable. And it is literally the memory tool I use to remember this relationship and these two Hindu words that compose it. It is downright unforgettable that way and therefore useful.

Continuing with the text and now using our memory tool, knowing you are the Atman, consider this statement:

He that acts in thought of Brahm detaching end from act, which act content, the world of sense can no more stain his soul.

And so everything is coming together in that statement here now. Once again we see the text hearkening back to the opening question in the Gita. And now the text is telling Arjuna: do what Brahm says. Brahm being the creator, forget about the result and do the action. Your senses which a moment ago we equated with emotions can no more stain your soul. Meaning you won't be in anguish because you are acting in obedience.

Does that make sense?

And so now I'm ending at the beginning. The message of chapter 5 is to compartmentalize. Forget about how this is going to feel and focus on doing the task that you've been assigned. You are a warrior, Arjuna. Therefore, go to war and do your task.

And so by now you can and should see the talent of this author. He is able to discuss a range of topics that culminate into religious doctrine, while yet remaining focused on the opening question. That is impressive.

Book 6 is

The book of religion by self restraint

It is a chapter about self control. For those who are familiar with the Bible this book would be akin to Paul complaining that he is at war with his flesh. He does what he wishes he wouldn't do. And he doesn't do what he wishes he would. There is a similar, more lengthy dialog in the Gita.

The message of course being: control yourself.

There are some other related behaviors to aspire to noted here, for example it says:

Who doeth work rightful to do without seeking gain is Sanyasi and Yogi in one. 

Which presumably means awesome.

The perfect Yogan acts without concern from results. That hearkens back to book five by the way. And really it's a theme that Krishna pounds throughout the book.

And He (the perfect Yogan) is known by his example:

  • Passion under control
  • Restraining heart and senses silent calm let him accomplish Yoga and achieve wholeness of soul
  • Free of fear, lost in the thought of me. So devoted and controlled.
  • Religion is balance in all things.
You may recall that for the part 2 podcast, the author lists a bunch of attributes and gives them a title like: prince, muni, yoga and that sort of thing at the end. That happens here in this chapter where the title Yukta is given to a person of self control. And so we have a new a title with a new set of behaviors that define the Yukta. He who has self control is Yukta. And a useful memory tool for another unusual word, for those who want to remember it, is to say that self control is yucky. Because generally I don't think most of us like self control. And that will get you close enough to remember the right word, which is Yukta. Granted they have completely opposing themes, but it's a useful memory tool.

When you have comfort in yourself. Knowing wavers not. You cannot be shaken. Call that state peace call that man the perfect Yogan.

And I like this one:

As often as the heart breaks wild and wavering let him reign it back.

I feel like that statement is an efficient summary of book six, which again dwells on the concept of self control.

If you read all of chapter six, it quickly becomes obvious that self control is challenging. And so I commend this religion because sadly, self control is a skill that many lack and that most religions don't properly emphasize. At least not in so many words. They might imply it, but some things need to be said.

And so at the end of the chapter Arjuna implies the question, "given that self control is so hard, how is this possible?"

And Krishna responds effectively saying: I agree this is difficult. And the ungoverned will fail, but fighters will win. And so I'll close book six ending with the dialog between Arjuna and Krishna:

Arjuna said: what if he tries and fails, is he not lost? 

To which Krishna answers: No, he's not lost. He who fails wanting righteousness, he’s born-again and reincarnated. He picks up where he left off in the last life. But get victory and pursue the Yogi, Arjuna. And know that truest and best is he who worships me.

Book 7 is

The book of religion by discernment

I don't feel like this chapter lived up to its name, honestly. That's just my opinion and that might be a lost in translation issue. Discernment means good judgement. Therefore this would be the book of religion by good judgement. In the case of this book I have modernized the text and here Krishna is speaking and I've summarized what he says. 

Krishna essentially says, If your soul focuses on me you will have perfect hold of me.

I will tell you something that after you learn it will leave you with nothing else to learn. Of many thousand mortals one strives for truth, and of those few that try only some know me as I am the very truth. Learn my nature. I have a lower one and a higher one. The lower is the earthly elements. I make and unmake the universe. There is no other master. I am all the good you encounter in life.

Everything is in me, but not all of me is in everything. 

Those who worship me pierce and pass beyond. 
The unworthy will never know who I am.

There are those who serve lower gods, they do so because they are inferior, and they don't realize that I am the one who answers on behalf of those other gods.

I know what was, what is, and what is to come.

As far as the comment about piercing and passing beyond this is the idea that you free yourself from the reincarnation loop and go to a spiritual heaven of sorts.

And before we move on I will point out that had book 7 been called the book of the religion of the nature of Krishna, or something to that affect, I would have felt the content matched the title. But it's possible I have wrong expectations about the word discernment because of the way the Christians use it.

Book 8 is

The book of religion by devotion to the one supreme god.

Arjuna opens with: Tell me how men find you in death.

Now that's a great question! That's a high quality question right there! I love that question! I don't care what religion you are. I feel like everyone should be asking that question. That's a great one. And we should all have a plan for what we should expect when we die because certainly the Bible addresses it. And you should know that not all holy books do. In this case the Gita does. And I'm about to tell you what it has to say on the matter.

In answer to the question: Tell me how men find you in death.

Krishna replied: I am lord of all the gods. At the hour of death one meditates and enters into my being. But if he meditates on something else he goes to what he looked for. When heart and mind are fixed on me, you’ll come to me. All come who cleave. In glad peace passes to Purusha's heaven (which is named in the Vedas). They that reach to me taste birth no more.

And so now I should address the ambiguity though in the text that occurs in this book or chapter of the Gita. Many questions are raised in my mind from what we just read. And I think the author of the book is relying on us to answer these questions using assumption guesses; for example:

The Gita describes a religion predominately of reincarnation. However, it would seem that the objective is to end the reincarnation cycle. And go to dwell with Krishna in a heaven location. Krishna ultimately creates and destroys everything every so often, which is akin to a planetary form of reincarnation. I like that. That's clever. It's big thinking. This religion doesn't just argue that men and women reincarnate, but that all life and all creation reincarnates.

But then that begs the question: it seems like there is a heaven location, does that get created and destroyed, too? Meaning lets say I break the reincarnation cycle and go to this location. Is there a massive wipeout coming and do-over that would include heaven and it's occupants in the next reincarnation cycle for creation itself? And since The Gita doesn't address that question, I feel like it should have, is what I'm trying to say.

And with assumption we can answer that question ourselves. Of course we would assume the heaven location is immune to the planetary reincarnation cycle because that's what we want to think.

But then there's another question: it seems like the goal is to become good enough to get to this heaven location and yet, it seems like Arjuna just uncovered a loophole. That as long as you focus on Krishna during death you will arrive in this heaven location. Because remember what Krishna said. He said,

he goes to what he looked for... [and] They that reach to me taste birth no more.

Meaning they don't reincarnate anymore. And so another assumption would be if you focus on anything or anyone else presumably you will reincarnate. And yet Krishna says you will go to the god or place you focus on. I'll repeat that part also. He said,

...if he meditates on something else he goes to what he looked for.

And so that seems like a mistake in the text. Because the Gita makes it very clear that reincarnation is the result of doing it wrong. And focusing on the wrong god during death strikes me as doing it wrong. Unless that's a loophole, too. And you can potentially break the reincarnation cycle and go to some other god, but it makes one wonder, what if the god you're focusing on isn't real? Again using assumption we assume that would mean you would reincarnate. But Hinduism being a religion of many gods, that implies that you might in fact be able to go to one of those other gods and then I feel like we exit the scope of the Gita. Meaning maybe my questions are answered in the Vidas or the Puranas or the Mahabarata. And that seems relevant because that's where you go when you die. 

In this chapter we are told that Brahma’s Day is a thousand yugas. But I don't see the definition of a yuga anywhere. Just throwing that out there, too...

And if you’re a fan of the TV series Stargate SG-1, I assume that this would be akin to the ascension that they describe there. Meaning that it doesn't necessarily have to happen when you die. It could potentially happen sooner. But it does seem like the context of this is to describe what happens when you do die.

Book 9 is the

Religion by the kingly knowledge and the kingly mystery

Now this is a big one. Meaning that this book focuses on the heliocentric universe. 

He says,

Now I will share a knowledge that will set you free from ills. This is a kingly mystery:

This light will purge your soul from sin. And it's important that you get this.

Everything is in me, but I'm bigger than that. I create and sustain everything, but I’m outside of it all.

Everything dies in me and is reborn in me. I have put things into motion and am not tied down by them. 

So this chapter does seem to be the basis for our modern day science explanations. It doesn't use the words heliocentric universe perse, but the descriptions that it does use fit. And it is much more specific in this regard than anything the Bible says about it. The Bible never uses the word universe, it calls everything God made creation. It talks about earth only and doesn't talk about other worlds. And that's an important distinction that I'll remind you of in a future podcast.

This concept of a heliocentric universe... People think it's new, but it's not. It's  extremely old. Until I review a book that's older than the Gita one that describes a heliocentric universe. I will credit the Gita with providing the original description making science plagiaristic of the Gita. I might change my mind later, if I find something that predates this, but from all the ancient books I've read. This is the only one that offers a description of any kind and it does fit with what I hear from schools and science classes. It would seem that science stole this from religion. Bearing in mind it's not so specific that it's indisputable. But it is specific enough that it's obvious that they're connected and related.

Krishna repeatedly refers to the universe and the fact that he created it in this chapter. Emphasis on the word universe

He often refers to three worlds, which is a nod to the existence of worlds outside of the earth, something again that the Bible never mentions. The Bible's soul focus is on earth and earth alone. And it always uses the word creation, not universe. And these are important... very important distinctions. 

The Gita continues and says, 

those who know Krishna tread the path Celestial. 

And so now we're venturing into a Mormon concept here. But given that the Mormon religion is so very recent, so very new, this implies that Joseph Smith was familiar with the Gita and borrowed a bunch of ideas from them.

Those who don’t know Krishna are untaught evil brutes

Krishna then references the boundless universe and so we see that science has stolen at least two ideas from him, which are:
  1. The concept of the boundless universe and
  2. That nothing cannot be created or destroyed (which we talked about earlier)
However Krishna borrows from Christianity when he says,

you are in me and I am in you

And that's a good summary of book 9.

Book 10 is

the book of religion by the heavenly perfections

Stylistically chapter ten reminds me of the Night Before Christmas and the Star Spangled Banner

When all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. And the ramparts red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof to the night... That's the way the text reads. You'll notice when you're reading it, that's the rhythm you get into. I'm not making fun. It's really well written. And those two stories the Night Before Christmas and the other one is a song, they're very popular and very catchy. And that's the style of the writing in this chapter. In this Chapter he's talking about himself. 

But I feel like if you took what he said in first person and then rewrote it in third person. It would be an extremely well written very worshipful prayer or hymn. 

It's not a Psalm 23 or 91, but those aren’t praise hymns. And this one is. Honestly, if it was reworded as a praise hymn, it would be the best one I've ever heard.

The general message is that everything comes from Krishna. And any summary I make of it here, would pale in comparison to the original so I suggest you read the chapter for yourself.

After Arjuna praises Krishna, Krishna then responds by granting him power and portions of his majesty.

Book 11 is

The book of manifesting the one of manifold

I looked for a book of carborating the carborator, but that must be in the Mahabarata. 

I'm kidding. 

I obviously didn't know what a manifold was so I looked up the definition. It's described as many and various — or a pipe or chamber branching into several openings.

Again, this was the the book of manifesting the one of manifold. Suggesting this book is revealing a God who is... complicated and big. And so it would make sense that based on the title of the chapter that Arjuna would ask to see Krishna in this chapter, which he does. 

We finally hear from Sanjaya who is the narrator of the story who hasn’t spoken since chapter one or book one of the Gita. He gave the introduction in book one and then he became completely silent until this book or chapter. And we don't hear from him again until the end of the book. Presumably he was listening to Arjuna and Krishna talk while vigorously scribbling notes. And then apparently he gave he must have given those notes to Vayasa who is credited for writing this book. Which introduces a peculiarity. There is no reason for the Sanjaya character who introduces the book, to speak and open and close the book. He doesn't really add anything. He is completely irrelevant to the story and so I can't imagine why he was included unless he wanted everyone to know he was there, and then I would wonder why Vayasa gets credit for writing the book instead of Sanjaya. It's just strange. But I'll move on.

The opening of book 11 begins with Arjuna’s request to see Krishna and then Krishna of course reveals himself. 

And since Krishna was never described before, the implication is that Arjuna was conversing with a human figure who then exploded into a new god form. 

Sanjaya commented that upon seeing Krishna’s glory, Arjuna hit his knees, clasped his palms, cried and praised him.

This chapter has some great poetry in it. It describes a complex being with so many attributes that it’s impossible to make sense of it. I wouldn't pretend to summarize the description, I can't imagine or visualize the manifestation of the thing that was described. I'll just suggest that if you're interested, this is the chapter that you need to read for that explanation and bear in mind, it is the longest chapter in the book.

In the midst of Krishna’s display and Arjuna's praise. Krishna repeats his order to Arjuna to fight and becomes specific telling him who to kill and I noticed that among the names is his friend and mentor, Pandava.

Since the description of Krishna is fierce and incredible in this chapter. One would think Arjuna, especially based on his reaction, would immediately end the debate and do the task, but instead the chapter closes with Arjuna declaring he was overwhelmed by Krishna’s glory and he wants to see him in is human form once again. But he didn't agree to do his task and the debate continues into the next chapter which is book 12.

I find that curious. But

Book 12 is

The book of the religion of faith

Arjuna asks:

Who pleases you most of those who serve you?

Krishna replies: 

Those who serve, worship, adore, cling to, and meditate on me with full devotion, renouncing their self

Those who are glad in all good, master the senses, 

And By the way, don’t despair if you can’t live up to this standard that I'm describing, do what you can. 

Bring me your failures, I'm very open minded. I love the compassionate, humble, selfless, unchangeable, patient, contented, sure, honest, faithful, who seek me heart and soul.

Now I shortened that and condensed that quite a bit. But that's the jist of what he's saying here.

Book 13 is

The book of religion by separation of matter and spirit

For fans of the TV series Stargate SG-1, I would call this the ascension chapter. We talked about that a little bit earlier in what I'll call the death chapter. But here is this idea of separating matter and spirit prematurely. And ascension would be me borrowing from the vocabulary of that popular TV series. First the chapter opens with Arjuna's question about the soul, and afterwards Krishna consistently uses the word spirit ultimately describing the spirit leaving the body. People who are not Hindu's or Hari Krishna's would assume that would only happen at death, but it would seem that the Gita suggests we can will our spirit to leave early. Or perhaps conquer some sort of challenge that releases our spirit. It doesn't say specifically.

Arjuna opens with an interestingly worded question in the presence of God. He says,

What do we think we know about the soul?

In answer to that, Krishna says:

The elements, the conscious life, the mind, the unseen vital force, the nine great gates of the body, or the five domains of sense, desire, dislike, pleasure, pain and thought. Deep-woven and persistency of being. These are all formed by the soul.

So that is the description of the soul from Krishna. He makes a distinction between that and the spirit. 

He says desires and wants come from the soul, but it is wisdom to overpower them.

I confess I shortened that quite a bit, I don’t believe I stated anything incorrectly, but I may not have done it justice. It's very artistically stated in the book.

When I consider chapter 13 in light of the question Arjuna asked, most of the first half of the chapter strikes me as nonsense. Beginning with the second half though, Krishna introduces the word spirit. And he says, 

The spirit has always existed. Nature creates the body and finally the spirit enters the body and binds to it creating life.

Krishna says the spirit is responsible for the activation of the senses. Meaning that prior to a spirit entering into the body it would have no sense. And then of course afterwards it would gain the ability to have senses. But then later the person attains either through knowledge or meditation an escape from the bodily prison, he uses the word prison, setting himself free. So this is curious because. There's just all sorts of strange confusing things about this. It bothers me because it reinforces the idea that the spirit leaving the body before death is a good thing. And the irony is that if the spirit always existed apart from the body, and then it joined to the body, why would leaving the body be considered an upgrade? It was already not in the body to begin with. So then why would it ever have joined with the body?

Depending on your religious perspective this is curious. For example Christians would make the argument that creation fell, sin entered the world, and the bodies we have are nothing compared to the ones we're going to get. However, I don't see any commentary in the Gita that speaks of new bodies. And so I find it curious that the spirit then finds a body that was made by nature enters it and binds to it, and the target state, meaning the most desirable state is to leave the body. If that's true, why did the spirit enter the body in the first place? Entering the body throws a person into a near endless reincarnation cycle that can only be overcome by knowledge that once obtained enables the spirit to then leave the body. But for me that returns me to the question: why do that? I mean why does the spirit then forget who it was after entering and binding to the body? What is it about binding to flesh that causes memory loss? It seems like the spirit knew how to enter the body and bind to it. Why did it then forget why it did that after doing so? Rendering it totally ignorant afterwards? 

If it always existed and the way to heaven is to escape the body, why did it ever enter? And what guarantees that the act of leaving the body early will send the soul to a place that wasn't already available to it in the beginning? And why not just wait until you die to leave? Why take chances leaving early?

So while this chapter does at least acknowledge the existence of a soul and spirit that are separate from the body, I struggle with the explanation it provides. But at least it tries while most other religious books don't even address this.

Book 14 is

The book of religion by separation from the qualities

The Gita repeatedly mentions 3 qualities, which I would describe as small, medium and large. Where large is living life on the edge, medium is all things in moderation and small is a person I would describe as dead or lifeless. And so this is the book that gives definition to those three categories.

This whole book gives descriptions of things that fall into these categories. Qualities that intersect with them. For example, righteousness, hot and fast would be equated with the large while category and evil, cold, and slow would be equated with the small one. 

Here the Gita offers a series of descriptions encouraging you to consistently choose the best option as contrasted against the lesser choices.

Hopefully what I said was clear enough that you can extrapolate out possible categories of qualities for yourself. 

The whole chapter does this it calls out the categories and I suppose if you were interested you could make a table or a matrix connecting these categories together, but that strikes me as somewhat futile and quite unnecessary. So we’ll just move on. 

Though I will make the obvious comment that whoever lives life large is likely to break the reincarnation cycle while those on the opposite end of the spectrum are doomed to repeat it.

Book 15 is

The book of the religion by attaining the supreme

This book begins by advocating we learn the mystery of the Aswattha Banyan tree.

To give you the flavor: a tree with deep roots can handle a bigger storm, an old tree is stronger than a young one. A living tree is more flexible than a dead one, which tends to be hard, inflexible, brittle and therefore prone to snapping.

I’ll give you a quote:
Another sun gleams there! Another Moon!
Another Light, — a Light which none shall lack
Whose eyes once see; for those return no more
They have attained my uttermost abode.

That was one of the harder more cryptic statements. You can usually figure these out if you meditate on them. Moving right along...

Book 16 is

The book of the separateness of the divine and undivine

This chapter can be summed up in two contrasting descriptions. Krishna contrasts the righteous man with the wicked one. And I suspect you can imagine the qualities he would list so there’s no point in stating them here.

The only other point worth mentioning is that according to Krishna
Swarga’s gate is good. I assume that means heaven.

While Narak’s gate is bad and there are three: lust, wrath and greed. Those are the gates to avoid according to him.

If you want the spelling for these words don't forget to look into the transcripts which have links to a lot of the study materials that I use as well.

Book 17 is

The book of religion by the threefold kinds of faith

The threefold kinds of faith are: Sattwan, the Rajas, and the Tamas.
And they conform to the large, medium and small categories I mentioned earlier. Sattwan’s are righteous and faithful, Rajas are fence sitters and Tamas are wicked.

Arjuna opens with the question that essentially asks what becomes of a person who believes in Krishna, but doesn’t live up to a good standard.

Krishna effectively states that the outward actions are a reflection of the heart. So if the man truly believes, his actions will reveal that. And you could say that I’m helping here because I like the way that I state it better.

Interestingly it would seem there is no love for the pharisees in any religion. It seems to be a fairly universal position that all righteous hypocrites everywhere serve devils.

He cautions that food affects our mood more than we realize and I would agree with that. It’s a smart comment.

He also mentions that our words have a powerful affect on us and those who hear them. another smart comment.

It is good to give to those who profit you nothing. That's just kind and right in my opinion.

And Book 18 finally, the last book:

The book of religion by deliverance and renunciation

Arjuna asks Is it better to abstain or renounce?

This might be a lost in translation scenario, but I didn’t feel like the answer that Krishna gave matched Arjuna's question. And so I'm just going to ignore the question and focus on the answer because that's the bulk of the book.

First of all Krishna indicates there are five components to accomplishing work: the person, their energy, their tools, effort and God. He essentially says that anyone who fails to acknowledge all five of these ingredients is... an idiot.

And then he returns to the opening argument of the Gita, he still wants Arjuna to fight in that war.

He emphasizes the importance of working without thought of reward.

He effectively says it’s evil to abstain from work, but it’s good to work and better to abstain from payment.

And so the theme that seems to be building here is that Krishna not only wants Arjuna to kill his friends and family, he wants him to do it for free.

However, Krishna says that even if Arjuna refuses to do the task, his nature won’t allow him to abstain after the war begins. At some point Arjuna being a warrior is gonna discover he must fight whether he wants to or not, because that's how he was made. And then Krishna says 

Cling to me and I’ll free your soul from all its sins

Finally Arjuna declares that he sees the light and he will obey and he’s excited.

The narrator, Sanjaya then closes commenting that he compiled these writings. He states that directly. He says, I compiled these writings. Remember in part 1 of our series I told you that Vyasa is credited for writing the Gita and so this raises questions. I find that statement curious and we'll consider that and other possibilities in part 4. For why would Vyasa get credit if Sanjaya was there and he wrote down what he observed? One might wonder if Sanjaya is another name for Vyasa, but he mentions Vyasa in his closing comments thereby excluding that as a possibility. 

To be clear: I commend you for making it this far! This is a big study. It's a big deal. Good for you!

And as always, thank you for listening. Y'all come back now, ya here?

Podcasts mentioned in this episode

Listen to "Angels and Demons - Part 1 [15 Mins]" on Spreaker.

Listen to "Angels and Demons Part 2 [12 Mins]" on Spreaker.

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