A Talk by Prof VK at our Gita Satsang

What a blissful session with Prof. VK. So many gems.

Here are some that I remember and captured (with some reference).

What is the one main message to remember?

That we are the Kshetranjya. It is the principle theme of all vedanta. 

Be it the teaching “tat tvam asi”, be it the realization “aham brahma asmi” or as Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s single line summary “Brahma satyam jagan mithya, jivo brahmaiva na para”.

Lessons from Bhagavad Gita

Prof began with the message of BG 5.13.

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी |
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् || 13||

Rough translation: The embodied beings who are self-controlled and detached reside happily in the city of nine gates free from thoughts that they are the doers or the cause of anything.

Then he connected this to how we are always remember that we are the Kshetranjya ?

The answer is BG 6.19.

यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता |
योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मन: || 19||

Rough translation: Just as a lamp in a windless place does not flicker, so the disciplined mind of a yogi remains steady in meditation on the Supreme.

Connection with Vishnu Sahasranamam

To explain this VK sir beautifully connected it to the first two Shlokas of Vishnu Sahasranamam.

vishvam vishnurvashatkaro bhutabhavyabhavatprabhuhu |
bhutakrut bhutabhrud bhavo bhutatma bhutabhavanaha || 1 ||

putatma paramatma cha muktanaamparamaagatihi |
avyaya purusha saakshi kshetragnokshara eva cha || 2 ||

For deeper meaning of the four namas (Viswam, Vishnu, Kshetranjya, Akshara), I have added them at the end from a website I refer to.

Highlights from the Talk

Here are a few other highlights from the talk.

  1. Bhagavan is both in transactional and is transcendental. In addition, he is transcendental as well as immanent (a unique feature to only Sanatana Dharma).

  2. Science is all about Kshetra. Vedanta is about Kshetranjya. Former is about objects, the latter is about the subject. Hence former cannot be used to study the latter.

  3. Prayers / how to apply in life. The shlokas he narrates has built a faith in him that there is a supreme power that is always present and will protect. That’s how you use it in your life.

  4. How to spiritualize this? Every single moment remember that you are the Kshetranjya. We can chant nirvana shatakam and conclude with “chidaananda rupO shivOham shivOham”. It is beautiful to narrate and know the meaning. But do we really believe it? When we truly believe it, we live it.

  5. Why there is Fear. Because there is Ego.

Thanks to all for making this session happen. Praying to bhagavan that this is the first of many of our interactions / sessions with him.

Praying that Prof VK’s lives a healthy life writing more such books and sharing his infinite wisdom with all of us.

Hari OM!

Pitch for Thus Spake Krishna

I cannot emphasize enough about his book “Thus Spake Krishna” on Bhagavad Gita. I have read this few times now and is the only heavily highlighted, dog-eared book in my shelf. I am now inspired to write a full-fledged review of the book (will share it here and post it on amazon too). But if any of you want a convincing pitch, please ping me but do watch out, you cannot easily stop me once I get started. :)

Vishnu Sahasranamam : Four Names

Visvam (1)

He whose manifestation is the whole universe of forms: the Viraat-Purusha. The cause is always present in the effects and as such That Form from which the whole universe has emerged out can only be its own manifestation. The whole cosmos of gross forms is His own expression, and therefore, He is called as Viraatpurusha. ‘Sa eva Sarva- Bhootaatmaa Visvaroopo Yato-Avyayah’. The Sanskrit term Visvam comes from the root Vis, to enter: Thus it means He who has created and entered into the entire universe, as the All-Pervading Reality. It can also mean, That into which the entire universe has entered to remain therein established. In the Upanishads also we have assertions of similar ideas. It is only when intellectually, we view the Lord that we come to recognise Him as the ‘cause’ for the universe. When viewed through contemplation, since the effect is nothing other than the cause, there can be no world other than Him. In fact, there is nothing other than the Supreme. In the Mandukya Upanishad we read ‘Omkaara Evedam Sarvam’. In Geeta ‘OM ltyekaaksharam Brahma’.

Vishnuh (2)

The term Vishnu is dissolved as Veveshti Vyaapnoti iti Vishnuh-That which pervades everywhere is Vishnu. That which has the nature of pervasiveness is Vishnu. He is the one who pervades all and nothing ever pervades Him. ‘Eesaavaasyam Idam Sarvam’-All this is indwelt, pervaded by the Lord. This very same idea is described in the typical style of the Puranas, in the incarnation of the Lord as Vaamana, the short-boy (Vamana), who, with His three feet, measured the entire universe. Because of this act, the Lord got the name Vishnu, says Mahaabhaarata. Vishnu Purana (3-1) says: The root Vis means ‘to enter’. The entire world of things and beings is pervaded by Him and the Upanishad emphatically insists in its mantra ‘whatever that is there is the world of change’. Hence it means that He is not limited by space (Desa), time (Kaala) or substance (Vastu).

Kshetrajnah (16)

One who knows the body and all the experiences from within the body, is the Knower-of-the- field, Kshetrajnah. As Brahmapurana would put it: Bodies are ‘fields’ and the Atman illumines them all without an effort, and therefore, is called Knower-of-the-field, Kshetrajnah”.

Aksharah (17)

lndestructible: things which are finite are necessarily conditioned by time and space; the Infinite is unconditioned, and so It is Aksharah. Since It is Indestructible, It cannot come under the methods of universal destruction arising from nature or through the wilful actions of man. “It cannot be cleaved by instruments of destruction, nor can fire burn It, nor water drench It, nor air dry It”-(Geeta Ch. 2, St. 23). It is also indicated that the Supreme Brahman is the Akshara-“Aksharam Brahma Paramam” -(Geeta Ch. 8, St. 3).

Please note that in the stanza there is the extra word ‘only’ (Eva) used, indicating that Kshetrajnah is the Aksharah; there is no difference between them both: the “Knower-of-the-field” and the “field”.

Source: http://www.shivkumar.org/music/vishnu-sahasranamam-meanings.htm