Category Archives: Meditation

Bhagavad Gita Meditation

Summary of Bhagavad-Gita

The Bhagavad Gita has 18 chapters. It consists of 700 verses. Self realization or God realization is the essence of Bhagavad Gita. Although goal is one, there are many ways to reach it based on your temperaments and circumstances. Bhagavad Gita is perfect synthesis of four yogas – karma yoga, jnana yoga, raja yoga and bhakti yoga. You need a combination of these four yogas to reach the ultimate.  Bhagavad Gita started with the distress of Arjuna and ends with the surrender to the ultimate.  

In the end, Arjuna is convinced. He picks up his bow and is ready to fight. Bhagavad Gita tells us that the importance of living life with self awareness, awareness of the Divine, with equanimity, peace and detachment. One needs to focus all energies to know the secret of inner Self, whatever place or stage of life one is placed in. Bhagavad Gita explains the immortal nature of the soul. Bhagavad Gita tells us that one must do their duty for the welfare of the world without attachment towards the fruits of actions.

Bhagavad-Gita Chapter-2: Sankhya yoga

This chapter is often considered the summary of the entire Bhagavad Gita. It contains 72 verses. After asking Krishna for help, Arjuna is instructed into various subjects such as, Karma yoga, Jnana yoga, Sankhya yoga, Buddhi yoga and the immortal nature of the soul. Sankhya here refers to one of six orthodox schools of the Hindu Philosophy.

Sankhya yoga is a philosophy established by sage Kapila. Essence of Sankhya yoga is removal of suffering by cultivating discrimination and by releasing the soul (purusha) from its entanglement in matter (prakriti). The word samkhya means “number or analysis”. Samkhya also means perfect knowledge. Samkhya represents the theory and Yoga represents the application or the practice.

Purusha is the Transcendental Self. It is absolute, independent, free, imperceptible, unknowable, above any experience and beyond any words or explanation.

Prakriti is the material cause of the world. Prakriti is dynamic. Its dynamism is attributed to its constituent gunas. Prakriti is the non-self. It is devoid of consciousness Prakriti is unintelligible and gets greatly influenced by the Purusha, the self. It can only manifest itself as the various objects of experience of the Purusha. Prakriti is constituted of three gunas, namely sattva, rajas and tamas.

Krishna explains the immortal nature of the soul and encourages Arjuna to not see the results of action, but rather focus on the work itself.

Lord Krishna said:

You are mourning for those
not worthy of sorrow; yet speaking
like one knowledgeable. The wise person
neither laments for the the dead or the living. (11)

Truly there never was a time
When I was not, nor you, nor these
kings of men–nor in the future
A time when we shall cease to be. (12)

Just as a soul dwelling in a body goes through
childhood, youth, and old age, 
so it leaves one body and enters another.
The wise one does not grieve about
this. (13)

Truly material contacts
Produce cold, heat, pleasure, and pain.
Impermanent, they come and go,
Learn to endure them, Bharata. (14)

He whom these things do not afflict,
The same in pain or in pleasure,
That wise one, O Leader of Men,
Is fit for immortality. (15)

The unreal never comes to be,
The real does never cease to be.
The certainty of both of these
Is known to those who see the truth. (16)

That by Which all is pervaded–
Know That is indestructible.
There is none with the power to
Destroy the Imperishable. (17)

These bodies inhabited by
The eternal embodied Self
Are declared to come to an end.
Therefore now fight, O Bharata. (18)

He who thinks the Self is slayer
And he who thinks the Self is slain–
Neither of the two understands;
The Self slays not, nor is it slain. (19)

The soul never takes birth, and never dies at any time
Nor does it come into being again when the body is created.
The soul is birthless, eternal, perpetual, primeval,
It is never destroyed when the body is destroyed. (20)

In what way can he who knows this–
Indestructible, eternal,
Birthless and imperishable–
Slay or cause another to slay? (21)

Even as a man casts off his worn-out clothes
And then clothes himself in others which are new
So the embodied casts off worn-out bodies
And then enters into others which are new. (22)

This self by weapons is cut not;
This self by fire is burnt not;
This self by water is wet not;
And this self is by wind dried not. (23)

This self cannot be cut, nor burnt,
Nor wetted, nor dried: It is changeless,
All-pervading and unmoving,
Immovable, eternal self. (24)

Unmanifest, unthinkable,
This Self is called unchangeable.
Therefore, knowing this to be such,
You surely ought never to mourn. (25)

And if you think this self to have
Constant birth and death–even then,
O mighty-armed, you should not be
Impelled for this reason to grieve. (26)

Of that which is born, death is sure,
Of that which is dead, birth is sure.
Over the unavoidable,
Therefore you never should lament. (27)

All beings are unmanifest
In their beginning, Bharata,
Manifest in their middle state,
Unmanifest then in their end.(28)

Someone perceives this self as being wondrous,
Another speaks of it as being wondrous,
Another hears of it as being wondrous,
And another, hearing, does not understand. (29)

This indweller in all bodies
Is ever indestructible.
Therefore you should not, Bharata,
Ever mourn for any creature. (30)

And looking at your own dharma,
You surely ought never waver,
For there is nothing better than
A righteous war for Kshatriyas. (31)

Fortunate are those Kshatriyas,
Who thus are called, O Arjuna,
To fight in a battle like this,
That comes to them as heaven’s gate. (32)

But if you refuse to engage
In righteous warfare, Arjuna,
Then forfeiting your own dharma
And honor you shall incur sin. (33)

The world will also ever hold
You as a craven reprobate.
To the honored such disrepute
Is surely worse even than death. (34)

The great car-warriors will believe
You shrink back from battle through fear.
And you will be lightly esteemed
By those who have thought much of you. (35)

Your enemies, then cavilling
At your great prowess, then will say
Of you things not to be uttered.
What could be greater pain than this? (36)

By dying you attain heaven;
Conquering, you enjoy the earth.
Therefore, O son of Kunti, rise,
In strength of heart resolved to fight. (37)

Make pain and pleasure, gain and loss,
victory and defeat the same,
Then engage now in this battle.
This way you shall incur no sin. (38)

This buddhi yoga by Sankhya
Is now declared to you–so heed!
Joining this insight to your will,
You shall be rid of karma’s bonds. (39)

In this no effort is wasted,
Nor are adverse results produced.
E’en a little of this dharma
Protects you from the greatest fear. (40)

There is a single, resolute
Understanding here, Arjuna.
The thoughts of the irresolute
Are many-branched, truly endless. (41)

They, the ignorant ones, proclaim
Their flow’ry speech, O Pritha’s son,
Delighting in the Veda’s word,
And saying: “There is nothing else.” (42)

Filled with desires, intent on heavan,
Off’ring rebirth as actions’ fruit,
Addicted to so many rites,
Whose goal is enjoyment and power. (43)

Attached to pleasure and power
Their minds are drawn away by this
Speech, and to them is not granted
The insight from meditation. (44)

The Vedas deal with the gunas;
Free yourself from them, and be free
From the pairs of opposites, and
Eternally fixed in the self. (45)

For the Brahmin who knows the self
The Vedas are of no more use
Than a reservoir of water
When there is a flood ev’rywhere. (46)

Your right is to action alone,
Not to its fruits at any time.
Never should they move you to act,
Or be attached to inaction. (47)

Then being steadfast in yoga,
Without attachment do actions
Heedless of success and failure–
Equanimity of mind is called yoga. (48)

Action’s inferior by far
To Yoga of Intelligence.
Seek refuge in enlightenment,
Abhor action done from desire. (49)

Joined to enlightenment, cast off
In this world good and evil deeds;
Therefore to yoga yoke yourself!
For skill in action is yoga. (50)

Those whose minds are joined to wisdom,
Having abandoned action’s fruit,
Are freed from bondage to rebirth
And go to the place free from pain. (51)

When your intelligence crosses
Beyond delusion’s confusion,
Then you shall be indifferent
To the heard and the to-be-heard. (52)

When your intellect stands, fixed in
Deep meditation, unmoving,
Disregarding Vedic doctrine,
You’ll attain self-realization. (53)

Bhagavad-Gita Chapter-1: Arjuna–Visada yoga

This chapter contains 46 verses. This chapter introduces the scene, the setting, the circumstances and the characters involved determining the reasons for the BhagavadGita’s message. It introduces the location, the action and the theme. Addressing Lord Krishna as Acutya the infallible one, Arjuna requested Krishna to drive his chariot into the middle of the battle.  In the battle field, Arjuna saw fathers, uncles, sons and grandsons and others as well as associates, friends, and well wishers who had rendered some favor in the past. After seeing all these relatives and friends in the battle field, Arjuna became overwhelmed with compassionate.  By seeing them all, his hands, legs and other bodily limbs became numb and drying up.  His growing dejection is described as he fears losing friends and relatives as a consequence of war. Arjuna vividly illustrates how the shock and horror of the upcoming war is starting to affect him. His physical body is being attacked by weakness of limbs, trembling, and hair standing on end. Even his famous Gandiva bow is slipping from his hand. Arjuna exclaims that he cannot foresee any benefit from slaying his own kinsman in battle. Arjuna describes the evil consequences of war.

Essence of Bhagavad Gita Shlokas on Meditation

Gita Dhyanam is the 9-verses that are  associated with the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita. The first verse opens by affirming an act of meditation.  Bhagavad Gita is like loving mother and praised as the destroyer of rebirth and the shower-er of the nectar. The Upanishads are the cows milked by Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda, and Arjuna is the calf. Wise people and pure persons drink the milk, the supreme, immortal nectar of the Gita. You can meditate on Bhagavad Gita in many ways.

The chapter 6 of bhagavad gita explains the Dhyāna Yoga, the art of meditation. The important verses for meditation are as follows:

3. For the wise who seeks to attain yoga Karma-yoga is said to be the means; For the one who has attained yoga,
Equanimity becomes the means.

4. A person is said to have attained yogic perfection When there is no desire for sensual pleasures, Or attachment to the fruits of work, And has renounced all personal selfish motives.

5. One must elevate, not degrade, oneself By one’s own mind. The mind alone is one’s friend As well as one’s enemy.

6. The mind is the friend Of those who have control over it, And the mind acts like an enemy For those who do not control it.

7. One who has control over the mind Is tranquil in heat and cold, In pleasure and pain, and in honor and dishonor; And is ever steadfast with the Supreme Self.

11. In a clean place, having established for oneself a firm seat which is neither too high nor too low, and covering it with cloth, deer-skin and kusha grass one over the other,

12. there, sitting on the seat, focusing the mind in concentration, with the thoughts and the senses restrained,

13. Holding the trunk, head and neck erect, motionless and steady, focusing [the attention] at the tip of the nose ,

14. Serene and fearless, holding the mind in check and fixing the thoughts on Me, holding Me to be Supreme.