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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
In the Mukthi skandam, Sri Krishna’s instruction to Uddhava consists of 24 chapters. In the Mukthisudhakharam, I think I have already covered 14 of them. I am now speaking on the 15th Chapter. The 15th Chapter is a very grave doubt, delusion, and agitation in the mind of Uddhava after hearing what Krishna said.
Uddhava had asked Krishna to tell him about jñānam viśuddham. “The most pure and purifying wisdom, please tell me, and also the supreme devotion, exclusive devotion towards you.”, Uddhava said. Krishna had answered it. Towards the end of the chapter, Uddhava raises 35 questions asking for a definition of each concept. He was asking what was heaven and what was hell, what is wealth, altogether 35. In a very few verses and in a very few words, Krishna equally answered Uddhava, in very few words, each question. At the end of it, Krishna added saying that what is the point in giving a number of explanations and descriptions about what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong, what is benevolent, and what is maleficent, etc., etc. The net outcome of everything, the net advice will be
The very process and perception by which you differentiate between good and bad, that differentiation itself is wrong. That is the evil and the dosha, the defect. And the right vision will be when you will not differentiate between one thing and the other. You may wonder as to what is the meaning of this. The meaning is that what are you considering to be good and what as bad? It is after all existences and constituents of the total world.
The entire world is a manifestation and display of God. Just like so many different types of instruments of gold, ornaments of gold, are golden, in the same manner the entire world in its totality is Godly. Such Godly fullness you are trying to divide as bad, unacceptable, and good, acceptable. So, this division will not stand at all. It may help you for some purpose like a walking stick. Walking has to be done by your legs but the stick will help you. In the same manner it may help, but actually this is the basis of everything, one point.
Another point is that, the entire world display is actually not something real but it is something illusory. So many things are made during the dream by the mind, just at one stroke, when you wake up, all of it vanishes. In the same manner as the dream world is a display of the mind, the wakeful world also is a mind’s display. You don’t see an object. You see the rising sun. You don’t go to the sun. The sun doesn’t come to you. You see the sun, as displayed by, reflected by your mind. So, the entire world is the mind’s own display and you are experiencing it within you. Can the mind display and is the display all true? When you see an elephant, the mind becomes the elephant. Does the mind become the elephant? If an elephant enters your body, the body will break. You won’t be alive. When you see a mountain, if the mountainous expanse really, in the three dimensions, were to be in your body, your body will collapse. So, it is a fact that everything is manomayam – mental, and being so, it is not real as you see it. It is on this ground that Krishna’s last instruction or statement stands.
Now Uddhava raises a question. “My dear Lord, I am confused, agitated.” Why? “Because if the differentiation is completely taken away, where do we stand? And what is the meaning and purpose of sastras? Our sastras including the Vedas give us prohibition and injunction – vidhi and nishedha. Injunction – do this, nishedha – don’t do it. So, the entire sastras, morality, ethics, etc., are based upon the basic differentiation of the desirable and the undesirable, the good and the bad, the helpful and the harmful. So, if you say the guṇadoṣa drishti itself is something bad, wrong, and you have to outlive it, then what about the vidhi and nishedhas pronounced by the Vedas? So the Vedas, on the one hand, lay down very strongly vidhi and nishedha – do’s and don’ts. The Vedas are your own words. Now, you, representing the Vedas now tell me that guṇa doṣa differentiation itself is fallacious, should be dispensed with. So, is it not a repudiation of the Vedas? Is it right? This is my confusion,” he says.
So, Krishna clarifies the point by saying, there are three kinds of yoga – jnana, karma, and bhakti. For the people who are dispassionate, it is jnana alone. For the people who have passions and desires in this world, it becomes karma yoga, and for those people who do not have too much of passion and too much of indifference - virāga, dispassion, for them listening to my stories and developing bhakti, is the means. Similar statements he has made in Bhagavadgeeta also,
He speaks only of one niṣṭhā but in two different stages. The niṣṭhā is only one. For the sankhyas, it is jnana, for the others, it is karma he says.
As he progresses in the Bhagavadgeeta discussion, He says –
Meditation itself is an exclusive and full practice, he says. You employ your mind, go on meditating, meditating, meditating - until at last the entire mind and mind functions come to a stop, and you realize the Self. Others will take to the pursuit of vichara – the reflection, rumination, just like Rama was put to by Vasishsta; Pareekshit was put to by Suka Maharshi. Engaging their mind and intelligence in the pursuit of wisdom, they attained purity and attained the goal.
And for the others, it is mixing up with karma and trying to do, at the same time doing everything as an offering to God etc. He also adds - those people who are not able to do all the three, there is one way. श्रुत्वान्येभ्य उपासते, śrutvānyebhya upāsate (Bhagavadgeeta 13-26). They go on listening to discourses, explanations, and descriptions.
śrutvānyebhya - Simply by listening to others, upāsate - whatever they hear and to which extent they can go, they start doing worship in that manner.
तेऽपि, te'pi - they also
अतितरन्त्येव मृत्युं श्रुतिपरायणाः, atitarantyeva mṛtyuṁ śrutiparāyaṇāḥ - By listening to divine narrations, spiritual expositions, discourses, reading, recitation, and the like. They don’t do anything. They only do listening. Listening also is an act. By that process, they overcome their sins, transcend, and they attain the Truth.
Now all these are depending upon the competence and maturity of people. All people are not competent and mature to take to the pure jnana path. So, they will need some help. All cannot meditate. So, they will need some help.
Thus, depending upon the maturity, the deservingness, and competence of people, I have revealed three basic paths –
This is how he begins to answer and explains - to whom is jnana relevant, to whom is karma relevant, to whom is bhakti relevant. All these things he is explaining.
This is how the 20th chapter discusses the beautiful subject and it is very, very good. I am speaking on this in the Satra. Continuously the same chapter as many days I am going to speak, it is 5 or 6. I thought I should tell you what I am doing there.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.