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gita - Newest pictures


The Bhagavad-gita opens with blind King Dhritarashtra requesting his secretary, Sanjaya, to narrate the battle between his sons, the Kauravas, and their cousins, the Pandavas. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of affection for His devotee, the Pandava prince Arjuna, has agreed to drive his chariot. As Arjuna takes up his bow and prepares to fight, he sees the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array and requests infallible Krishna to draw his chariot between the two fighting forces. There in the midst of both armies, Arjuna's mind reels as he foresees the imminent death of his teacher, relatives, and friends. He throws down his bow and arrows and decides not to fight.

In Chapter One and in the beginning of Chapter Two, Arjuna presents his arguments for refusing to fight. Basically, he fears the sinful reactions of killing. But after Arjuna surrenders to Lord Krishna and requests the Lord to instruct him, the Lord begins countering Arjuna's objections. First, Krishna analytically explains that fighting in His service is transcendental and will bring no sinful reaction. Krishna also explains the Vedas' purpose as to gradually elevate souls to Krishna consciousness. Krishna thus encourages Arjuna to remain fixed in His service - fight - and ignore his mind's desires.

As Krishna's explanations why Arjuna should fight were only a summary, and since Krishna glorifies both 'buddhi-yoga', intelligence used in spiritual advancement of knowledge (2.45, 2.49-50), and 'karma', work (2.47-48, 2.50), Arjuna becomes confused and wishes to use Krishna's instruction to perform 'buddhi-yoga' as an excuse to retire the battlefield for a life of contemplation. Arjuna therefore opens Chapter Three asking Krishna why He is encouraging fighting if intelligence is better than fruitive work.

Krishna then explains 'karma-yoga', reaction-free devotional work, and clears up Arjuna's mistaken idea that all work is fruitive and leads to bondage. Krishna explains that Arjuna should fight, for avoiding sinful reactions though devotional work is better than attempting to escape reactions though renouncing work. Krishna also instructs Arjuna to fight to set the proper example of duty. Krishna therefore tells Arjuna to fight, but with knowledge and detachment (3.29-30), without falling victim to his own attractions and aversions.

Then, in answer to Arjuna's question on the cause of a soul's being impelled to improper action or neglect of duty, Krishna names the enemy: lust. He then recommends Arjuna to regulate his senses, become fixed in his pure identity as a servant of Krishna, and thereby avoid lust's control. Then, with spiritual strength and deliberate intelligence, he should conquer that forceful enemy - lust.

Since in Chapter Three, Krishna has recommended that Arjuna fight in full knowledge of Him (3.30), the Lord, in Chapter Four, explain different aspects of transcendental knowledge. First Krishna explains attaining knowledge through the disciplic succession. Then after successively explaining Hi appearance and then His mission, the Lord explains His devotional service as the goal of (Krishna had already referred to the importance of performing 'yajna', sacrifice, in 3.9 Krishna next explains the soul's relationship with Him as eternal His part and parcel, which one must approach a bonafide spiritual master to learn. Chapter Four ends with Krishna glorifying transcendental knowledge and requesting Arjuna to arm himself with this knowledge - which burns all sinfull reactions to ashes - and fight!

After Arjuna has been impressed with the importance of both work (which requires activity) and seeking knowledge (which tends to be inactive), Arjuna is perplexed. His determination is confused, and he sees fighting and knowledge as contradic Therefore Arjuna opens Chapter Five by asking Krishna to definitivelly explain whether the renunciation of work (speculation, 'sankhya, jnana', inaction-in-knowledge) or work in devotion is superior. Krishna answers that one who is detached from his work's results is the one who is truly renounced. Such a person knows that while the body acts, he, the soul, actually does nothing. Arjuna should therefore, do his duty steadily act for the satisfaction of Krishna. Impartially viewing the external world, he should reside in his body aloof from bodily activities. By fixing his consciousness on the Supreme and knowing that Krishna is the true enjoyer, the goal of sacrifice and austerity, and the Lord of all planets, he, the pure soul, will find true peace beyond this material world.

In the first five chapters, Krishna has explained 'buddhi-yoga', working with consciousness focused on Krishna without fruitive desires. The Lord has also explained 'sankhya', 'karma-yoga',and 'jnana-yoga' to obtain liberation and as steppingstones to Krishna consciousness. Now, at the end of the Fifth Chapter (5. 27-28) and continuing on to the Sixth Chapter (wherein Krishna explains practical points for a practicioner), Krishna explains 'dhyana- yoga' concluding that 'dhyana', or meditation upon Krishna, is meditation's final goal.

Krishna begins the Sixth Chapter by explaining that the neophyte yogi engages in fruitive sitting postures while the advanced yogi, the true 'sannyasi', works without attachment. Such a yogi liberates, not degrades, himself by his mind's activities. Carefully controlling his mind and engaging it body, and his self in Krishna's service, the yogi strictly practices 'dhyana- yoga' in a secluded place. Fixing his mind on the self and on Krishna, he attains transcendental happiness in the kingdom of God. Arjuna then points out the main difficulty in practicing yoga is controlling the mind. Krishna responds by saying that one can overcome the obstinate mind through constant practice and determination. In responding to Arjuna's about the fate of an unsuccessful yogi, Krishna answers that one unsuccessful in his practice will still take birth in a family of wise transcendentalists and automatically become attract yogic principles. Krishna finally states in the last two verses of the chapter that the yogi is greater than the ascetic, the jnani and the karmi. And the greatest of all yogis is he who always thinks of Krishna and with grest faith worships Him in loving service.

Knowing Krishna's instruction at the end of Chapter Six, one should initiate his practice of yoga from the point of concentrating of the mind upon Krishna. Chapter Seven thus opens with Krishna explaining knowledge of Himself and His opulent energies. Thus Arjuna can fully worship Krishna, as described at the end of Chapter Six, and think of Him with devotion as he fights.

Krishna first explains that as He is the Supreme Truth, everything in existence is a combination of His material and spiritual energies. He is the active principle within all and is all- pervasive through His diverse material and spiritual energies. Because the world's activities are conducted by the three modes of nature which emanate from Him, (Although Krishna is independent and above them) only those who surrender to Krishna can cross beyond these modes to know Him. Four kinds of impious souls never surrender to Krishna while four kinds of pious souls do surrender. Krishna also covers Himself from the impersonalists, who are less intelligent, and from those who surrender to the demigods. But those who are truly pious, the undeluded, serve Krishna as the governor of the material manifestation, the demigods, and sacrifice, can know and understand Krishna - ev the time of death.

Chapter Eight begins by Arjuna asking Krishna about Brahmam, karma, the demigods, the material world, and knowing Krishna at the time of death. Krishna first briefly answers Arjuna's first five questions and then begins explaining in detail how to know Krishna at the time of death. Since one attains what one remembers at the time of death, if one remembers Krishna, one goes to Him. Krishna then explains how He can be constantly thought of as the transcendental person who knows everything, the oldest controller, the smallest, the maintainer. Thus by pract yoga and remembering Krishna, Krishna explains, one will go to the eternal spiritual world and never again to return to this temporary, miserable material world. Then, after describing the different yogic ways in which one may leave this world, Krishna advises Arjuna not worry about other paths - either Vedic study, yoga, austere sacrifices, charity, jnana, or karma - for the results of these will all be obtained through performing devotional service. And in the end, such a yogi in devotion, reaches the supreme eternal abode.

After Krishna answered Arjuna's questions in Chapter Eight, He continues speaking, in Chapter Nine, the knowledge about Himself that He had begun explaining in Chapter Seven. Krishna thus prefaces Chapter Nine by stating that the knowledge He'll now reveal is most confidential, for it is about His actual position, which only the non-envious and faithful can understand. Krishna continues explaining that although independent and aloof, He pervades, creates and anihilates the entire cosmos through His material energy. Those mahatmas who know Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead take shelter of Him and serve Him as the only enjoyer and the supreme object of worship.

Krishna then explains the fortunate position of such devotees: If one worships Krishna, Krishna cares, compensates for his deficiencies, and preserves his strengths. And all Krishna asks for is an offering of a leaf, a flower, or some water - if it is offered with devotion. Thus His devotee comes to Him. Even if a devotee unintentionally commits a horrendous act, he will be rectified, for Krishna promises that His devotee will never perish.

In Chapters Seven and Nine, Krishna has explained knowledge of His energies. In Chapter Ten, Krishna explains His opulences more specifically and thereby reveals Himself the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all. Krishna also tells how His pure devotees know that He is the unborn Supreme Lord, the source of all sages, the source of the material and spiritual worlds, and the source of all qualities and attitudes. Thus pure and wise devotees worship Krishna, converse about Him, and with thoughts dwelling in Him, undeluded and free from sin, engage in His service. Out of compassion, Krishna within their hearts destroys any remaining ignorance.

After hearing of Krishna's opulences, Arjuna confirms Krishna as the Supreme Lord by quoting authorities and explains that only Krishna can truly know Himself. Krishna then tells of His divine manifestations within this world - as the Supersoul, the ocean, the Himalayas - which merely indicate His limitless opulences, for a single fragment of Krishna's energy pervades and supports this entire universe!

Arjuna, although acknowledging that Krishna in the two-armed form that he now sees before him is Supreme, still requests Krishna to reveal that all-pervading Universal Form ...

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