We had one more question today, no?
Does every activity that we are going to do…does it have to be offered to the Lord? In each instant one is conversing with the Lord and telling Him about the activity that one is doing, offering the results and all…the Lord anyway knows everything, what ???is it that the Lord anyway knows what we want in general, so, one does not need to be offering the fruit of every activity, all the well-being, and a kind of conversation or prayer to the Lord.
Basically…a conscious offering or is it automatic?
She feels it has to be a conscious offering.
It depends upon the level we have reached in our development. Breathing for example requires no effort on our part: it goes on automatically. And yet a patient who is suffering from a certain kind of disease, who finds breathing to be very difficult, in his case we need to help that individual even by artificial means so that breathing can take place. Or in the evolutionary process, when the first organism began to pulsate, out of a very insensitive material there must have been a tremendous ‘salts’ in evolution to produce this capacity to breathe. But that is only a preliminary answer to the question.
Let us go a little more in depth. Your premise is: “‘God is omniscient’; He knows everything; He knows your condition, condition of everyone; God Himself is the All-doer; He is doing all that is to be done; God Himself is an impartial ruler”. Is it necessary for the individual to tell the Divine: ‘I want to do this, please help me; I want to offer it to you?’ How can an offering be when everything is an automatic offering to Him? Everything that happens to the world happens because He is the doer of everything. What you are doing is actually ‘His doing’, so, what is the question of your offering to the Divine? Now, if you truly live in that consciousness, that the Divine is omniscient, the Divine is the real doer, then the obvious answer is: you don’t need to do anything, not even offering. So, your basic argument is valid, you don’t need to offer because the Divine Himself carries you out and He, Himself breathes through you and everything is accomplished by the Divine Himself. This is the normal condition of a true Karmayogi, he does not feel that he is doing anything at all, akartā, he is a real non-doer, even the act of offering is a kind of an action, ‘you are offering’: even that does not exists in the case of the Karmayogi who is established in that consciousness.
But even in that condition, the Divine acts, but acts multiply and this word ‘multiply’ is a very important word. God does not act like an actor in a monologue. If there is a stage in which there is only one actor, and he is the only speaker, such is not the condition with God. Although God is one, He is multiple; the ’very’ nature of God is multiple; now, multiple means what? That He Himself is the ‘subject’ who manifests Himself as an ‘object’; the object is not different from Him fundamentally, but He puts forward Himself as an object: this is what is meant by play. When we say that the Divine plays it only means that He Himself puts forward His own being but ‘objectively’. In the beginning He is Himself ‘subjective’; He is Himself: He is alone you might say, He is the only Reality.
Now, He could have remained alone and there is no necessity that He should actually begin to play; but He can play also: that also is a capacity in Him. Now, what is the way of playing? In the Upanishad it is said: “bahusyam bahusyam, let me be many, let me be many”, that is the ancient Upanishadic teaching, that Divine was alone and then He said: “Let Me be many, bahusyam bahusyam.” Now, what is the meaning of becoming ‘many’? Becoming many means that from your ‘subjectivity’, you produce an ‘objectivity’.
Now, the moment you bring about objectivity, a dialogue starts. Monologue stops because there is not any more one actor acting alone: now there are many, multiplicity is created and all the multiple faces are the ‘objective’ faces of the one Reality, because Reality is one. Now, these ‘objective’ realities enter into dialogue with the ‘subject’: this is all that is called ‘play’. It is a play because basically it is the same reality; the same reality is here and the object is also the same reality, but now his position is different. It is his position which makes the difference in the way in which interaction can take place. In the beginning there was no interaction at all because He was the only one: interaction with whom?
Now interaction takes place with His own objective selves: this interaction is the interaction of ‘mutual sacrifice’. Sacrifice as Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita is a universal law: whether you like it or not the whole world is a pulsation, and that pulsation is not of a nature of a monologue; this pulsation is of a nature of a dialogue, of multi-dialogue: therefore there is interaction. In the interaction what happens is: the Lord gives Himself to the object and the object gives himself to the Lord. It is the same Lord in both the forms, here and there. Now, this interaction is what is called ‘offering’. God offers Himself to the Bhakta and the Bhakta offers himself to the Bhagavan.
So, even in the case of a Karmayogi who is established from the top, who really does nothing, even in his case, for the sake of the play, there is this interaction. There is no necessity of doing it, that you must now interact in this way because here is a plane of freedom: you may offer, you may not offer; you may play, you may not play; but even without your playing, your very movement will be that of offering. You are not required to offer as it were, but it is also a kind of a play in which you offer. So, even in the case of an accomplished Karmayogi in which there is no distinction between the Lord who acts and the instrument through which He acts, even there the instrument who acts can play the game of offering whatever passes through him back to the Lord, although it goes back automatically even if you do not give it back, it goes automatically to the Lord, but you can also accompany with it a kind of a play that it is as if coming from you and being given to the Lord.
Now, in the world that is designed, since it is designed on a ground of a play, this relationship is, you might say, a luxury: it is not necessary, it is not absolutely inevitable, but it is played as a luxury. So, when the supreme Bhakta, one who is really a Karmayogi who is a great Bhakta, he constantly goes on saying “O Lord! Take it, take it from me; what is being built by You in me, is once again given to You ‘as if from me’, not from me, ‘as if’ from me”, because now it comes from the objective angle. Now, this is as far as the ??? ??? concerned, when you are an accomplished Bhakta or an accomplished Karmayogi.
But when you are at a lower level of consciousness, when you are just learnt, or when you are ignorant that such is the scheme of the world, when you do not know that the world is nothing but subjective consciousness of the Lord manifesting by the creation of objective faces of Himself and then creating an interaction and that the whole world is nothing but the play between the subjective and the objective, when we do not know this, then, what should be our procedure of arriving at this realisation.
Now, one principle of Yoga is that of ‘imitation’: when we are ignorant, we do not see: we do not see the Divine as objective and subjective, we do not see the play in the world and actually the world seems so horrible, that we cannot even call it a ‘play’; but when we do not know that it is a play, at that time how shall we move towards this real perception that it is a play. So, all Yoga is a process of moving from where we are to the highest state where we have to reach, where we can consciously know that this is a play and experience it to be a play. The answer is: you imitate the ideal at the present moment: you behave as if it is a play; you do it ‘as if’ because really speaking it is so.
There is a very nice one sentence of Sri Aurobindo: “Behave as if Mother is present, because indeed She is always present”. “Behave ‘as if’ the Mother is present, because ‘indeed’ She is always present”. Since I do not know that Mother is present, I am told ‘you act as if She is present’, but you are told not to do something that is false! You do it because really speaking, it is so. So the process of ‘imitation’ is basically not an artificial process: it is not based upon fiction. You are told ‘as if’ because you do not know that it is so. The child does not know that when it cries the mother will respond and the child cries out to get the response of the mother, that is because the mother will indeed respond, it is really so, the mother is there to respond to it, the very function of the mother is to respond to the needs of the child. Such is the nature of the world, but when the child does not know, then, he learns that if the child cries then this will happen.
So, at different levels of our consciousness all Yoga is ‘imitation’; to do ‘as if’ the Reality was what it is proposed to be, that is because it is really so. Therefore in the process of Yoga, you start doing what you would do at the highest level. At the highest level you are bound to play the game because that is the Lord’s wish that He has stated the whole world only for the sake of the play. In that play He gives something and you return. Now, you at present are an ignorant ego, but at the highest level you do not mean an ignorant egoistic individual, but the object which is the divine himself offering himself back to the Divine. Now, if this is true at the highest level, that even at the lowest level you imitate that movement, and you do it until the imitation element will automatically disappear and the real thing will remain. The more you become aware of it, the imitation level will become more and more diminished.
Now, the conclusion of the whole description of this is that the whole world is made for a play in which each individual will be offering from its objective side to the supreme Lord who is your subject, who is your soul, who is your real being. So, if you do it even at the lower level, you will be only playing the game that Lord wants you to play, but since it is a play it is not inevitable, therefore your basic proposition: “Why should I pray to the Lord, why should I offer to the Lord, when He knows Himself, when He is omnipotent, He is omniscient?” Logically what you say is true and really speaking at that level you do not feel the necessity or compulsion of it. If you do it, it is simply for the sake of the play, but in our gradual process of development, it helps a great deal if you go on offering to the Divine: it gives you a condition more and more natural in which you will constantly play with the Divine as if you are not playing, as if there is no compulsion in it at all, but still nonetheless, even at the highest level from you there will be ‘prayer’ and there will be that ‘self giving’ and ‘self offering’, even at the highest level.
I don’t know if I have answered the question to your satisfaction. But if you have any question…what is your question? It was her question?…all right.
But uncle just now, before ending I didn’t know that you were going to tackle this question again, and she came up with the question that I would like to understand: ‘what is offering to the Divine’.*
Oh! That is a marvellous question.
It is a beautiful question. It was just what you were going to answer, because then we could understand the offering in entirety.
‘Offering’ is basically a process in which the ‘object’ returns to the ‘subject’. We are all objects, multiple faces of the Divine; therefore we are all objects of the divine consciousness which is the subject. The supreme Lord is the supreme subject and all of us are His objective faces. You can compare it with any other analogy like: yourself seeing yourself in a mirror. So ‘you’ standing before the mirror is the ‘subject’; what is reflected in the mirror is opposite to you therefore it is an ‘object’. It is in the same way…it is as if the Divine creates a mirror of Himself and in the mirror He reflects Himself so all of us are actually faces of the Divine: each one of us is a face of the Divine. But since we are a face facing God, we call ourselves ‘objects’ so we are objective faces of God, multiple faces of the Divine. We are ‘objects’ because we confront the ‘subject’; everything is an object which confronts: confronts means that which ‘stand in front’ of somebody else is called ‘confronting’. So, the Divine as it were is on this side and we are on the other side: actually the Divine Himself is on the other side but in this form. Now, considering that our position is on the opposite side of God, we look at God from the opposite side: it is not as God looks at Himself, by Himself in Himself; it is as if God were seeing Himself from the opposite side.
Now, this ‘observing’ the Divine from the opposite side is the fundamental meaning of ‘offering’. To look at the Divine, looking itself is an offering: you ‘agree’ to look at the Divine. Even that, you might say, ‘agree’ is not a correct word, because you are created…your whole function…your being…the very fact that you are put forth by the Divine is for the sake of the play, and in that play you are automatically play the game of looking at the Divine: so, it is not as if you would look at Him or not. It is God who has put you in the front before Himself because He wants to look at Himself from the other side: so you will always look at Him. Therefore ‘offering’ is automatic. But ‘the act of looking at the Divine’ is the basic function of ‘offering’.
When you say ‘offering’ it means what? You look at the Divine, it is a basic thing: look at the Divine, this itself is enough. But when you look at the Divine, the Divine is free to act with you, and He may smile, He may offer His hand, and then you also react to it, He may also greet, He may also love; you may also offer your hand to Him. But He is the first ‘mover’ and we act according to whatever is to be done from our side as a response to it. Therefore to look at the Divine, and to react to the Divine, properly, as intended by the Divine, as the Divine Himself would do unto Himself that is the highest meaning of offering. But when we are ignorant and when we are objective faces of God, then we feel as if we are not looking at God, although we are always looking at God. But because we are ignorant, we are absorbed only in a small little exclusive concentration of consciousness, therefore we ignore that although we are looking at God, we are ignoring that we are looking at God.
Therefore exhortation: now look at God, see God. Actually speaking, you are already doing it. But since your consciousness you are not doing it, it is not a conscious activity of looking at God, so first thing in offering is you look at god ‘consciously’: God is always present before you, but your exclusive concentration is upon the ground, not upon something which is in front of you. Therefore, you do not know that God is just in front of you and it is just a question of your loosing your exclusive concentration of consciousness on the ground and just lifting, and God is present: He is always present. So, this activity of ‘lifting your look at the Divine’, if you call it offering, that is offering; if you feel not to call it offering, it does not matter: words don’t matter. But basically your effort to loose your exclusive concentration on the ground and lift your mind, your face, your eyes towards the Divine is the fundamental activity of offering. But once you look at the Divine, then many things happen because Divine Himself is constantly active, and His activities are multiple, and the moment you begin to perceive, your capacity to react to God becomes also automatically so great. Our present activities are so limited because we are only looking at the ground, so activities are limited. But the moment you look at the Divine and the more you look at the Divine your capacity of reacting becomes tremendous.
This is what is symbolised in our Indian concept of the dance between Radha and Krishna, or the Gopis and Sri Krishna. Gopis and Sri Krishna and Radha are now enlightened, they look at the supreme Divine and in that look, since the Divine is dancing tremendously, the dance of Radha and Gopis with the Divine also is tremendous, multiple; it is automatic but you may call it offering if you like, you may not call it offering if you don’t like, it does not matter; but your activity which is multiplied, which becomes so intense, ‘that’ is what we call ‘sacrifice’, ‘that’ is what we call ‘offering’.
Usually when you use the word ‘sacrifice’, there is some kind of sense of pain in it: when you say “make a sacrifice for it”, actually speaking the real sacrifice has no pain in it. Real sacrifice is only looking at the Divine and playing with Him. Where is the pain in it? The pain is involved only because we are not in the beginning ‘looking at the Divine’, and because we are normally exclusively looking at the ground, it requires a little effort on our part to lift your face and to look at the Divine. That causes some kind of discomfort you might say: you are already concentrated upon the ground, now to lift you consciousness, your look from the ground to the One who is in front of you, it may cause discomfort, not necessarily; in some cases it may not caused discomfort, but in many cases it does, because one is all the time engaged, engrossed in that looking at the ground. So an effort is needed; that effort we call “painful” and therefore we call it ‘sacrifice’.
Otherwise there is no need of calling it sacrifice at all. The word sacrifice in a sense is only a concession to our ignorance. Actually there is no such thing as sacrifice; it is all…even the word offering is also a kind of a misnomer. All that we are doing is nothing but a play with the Divine: so the idea of offering, the idea of sacrifice, they are all true at a lower level of consciousness. At the true level and actually Yoga is an imitation of the true level, therefore I normally would not like to use the words ‘make a sacrifice’, ‘make an offering’, I would simply say ‘look upwards’, ‘look at the Divine’. And the moment you do it all that happens automatically: allow it to happen. You may call it offering, you may call it sacrifice if you like, but basically it is nothing but a play and delight.
All right? Is it all right for you?
What are the actions you need to do to raise yourself to look to the Divine? What are we supposed to do?
That’s right. That is all Yoga implies. Lifting from this exclusive concentration of consciousness to the fronting of the Divine, you can do in many ways. It depends upon what is upper most when you are looking down: they are looking down by ‘emotion’, or by ‘will’, or by ‘dynamic energy’. These are three ways by which you look down predominantly. If you are looking down by ‘dynamic energy’ of action then Karmayoga is your method; if your looking down is by ‘emotion’ and ‘attachment’, then it is by emotion that you turn to God, then Bhaktiyoga is the process; if your attention down is only looking for finding out what it is, and engaged in conception and perception, imagination, all activities of knowledge, then your lifting up will be done more easily by following the Jnanayoga. But if you want to make a complete and more effective and very accelerated lifting up then you use all the three; synthesise all the three. And if you want to achieve a complete lifting up, then all the three will be necessary to be combined.
Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita speaks of the synthesis of Karmayoga, Jnanayoga and Bhaktiyoga because Sri Krishna wanted Arjuna to be lifted up to see the Divine in Its totality. Not merely to lift up, because when you lift up you can have many kinds of visions of God. But if you want to see the Divine fully, in totality, then Sri Krishna says it is inevitable that you must use the three methods together: works, knowledge and devotion.
All right? Then what kind of activity should you do? The activity of Yoga is implied in Karmayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Jnanayoga. All right?
Uncle, ???…question of distraction of consciousness, so what she said it will sum up like that only: we do not want to distract that consciousness, we then have to choose the activities which are necessarily belong to the category of Bhaktiyoga, Karmayoga, just as you are talking about playing cards or mundane ??? That would mean distraction of consciousness?*
Distraction is a word which has to be defined properly. Distraction would mean disturbance; that is one meaning: ‘I am distracted’ means ‘I am disturbed’. Distraction would mean ‘diversion, play, fun, joy’: it is another meaning of distraction. Distraction also may mean ‘deviation’: you want to do something, you are deviated from it. In all the three cases one that is common is that your concentration is broken: whether it is disturbance, or deviation, or fun, or play, in which you begin to be interested in something else; your basic concentration is broken. Now, having understood this, the question is…
… watching T.V….
…basically we are constantly engaged in many activities, and this means dispersion of energy.
Now, your question is: how to avoid dispersion?
There are 3 ways of avoiding dispersion:
One is to love the Divine to such an extent that everything else is found to be meaningless, in which case dispersion won’t take place because the object of love is so powerful that everything else is meaningless and without taste; so one means of avoiding dispersion is to increase the delight in the presence of the Divine. In fact the meaning of Bhakti is nothing but delight in the heart in regard to the presence of the Divine: that is true Bhakti; this is very rare actually. Most of the people who are Bhaktas, it is not that the Divine gives them a great happiness or a pleasure by His presence, but because He may be greatly helping you; therefore Divine is prayed and worshipped; but that is not the true Bhakti. The true Bhakti is inner delight merely in the presence of the Divine. The Divine is before you, and you feel so utterly happy that everything else is found to be meaningless: so, that is one way of avoiding dispersion: this is the most difficult way. Although it is said Bhakti is easiest, in reality I have always found Bhakti to be very difficult, because to get the delight of the presence of the Divine is a very rare phenomenon…anyway.
Second method of avoiding dispersion is: you should always find a time of contemplation, or meditation, or concentration, in which you really bring all your energies at one point, so at least if you spend half an hour in this state of concentration then gradually your capacity of dispersion will become less and less prominent; more and more, wherever you are, you will be more and more concentrated, more and more gathered; but you have to start by having half an hour, one hour, two hours of intense concentration. Once that becomes habitual you will find that even a slight dispersion will cause great discomfort in you. You won’t feel happy whenever there is dispersion, you won’t feel happy; you will feel this is a waste of time. So, this is the second method.
The third is…this is the method appropriate to Karmayoga. The first one was appropriate to Bhaktiyoga. The second one, which I spoke just now is Jnanayoga, the third is Karmayoga, in which you take up an activity…to begin with the activity of knowledge and activity of love, in which mundane activities are much less prominent, and get engaged in those activities which you can do without desire. The more you practise this kind of activity, the greater will be your capacity to remain in the same way even when so-called mundane activities become predominant, so that in every activity, at every stage you are truly concentrated: there is no such thing as ‘frequency’ thereafter. All distraction, all dispersion is basically ‘frequency’; you turn into superficiality of consciousness and in all superficiality you lose concentration. The more you live in the activities of Bhakti or Karma or Jnana, the less you become dispersed afterwards. So, these are the effective means of avoiding dispersion.
All superficiality is an enemy of concentration. Most of us normally live a superficial life: we react superficially; we think superficially; we have our dreams also in a superficial manner; our expectations are also superficial. It is this superficiality which has to be avoided. In every activity, take it seriously. Normally our tendency is to discard things, to unburden ourselves in a superficial ‘frequency’. Instead of that ‘you say that every activity is a play with the Divine’, and this play with the Divine has to be a natural play which is completely concentrated: there is no dispersion possible there. If you dance with the Divine every organ of your body must tune itself with the Divine who is the greatest dancer: Shiva is the greatest dancer and if you want to play with the Shiva, with the dance, you have to see that every movement is so concentrated that you play rhythmically with the dance of Shiva: so no superficiality will work…all right?
Actually, dispersion of consciousness is actually at different levels: one could be doing anything and the consciousness would not be dispersed, and one could be doing ‘the’ work and yet the consciousness will be dispersed.
Both ways, you are right, therefore the common factor is in either…whether you are doing this or not doing anything, the basic point is: “Take delight in the presence of the Divine”. Ultimately Bhakti is one of the best means of arriving at this.
Sri Krishna…this is our main point now when we come to Bhagavad Gita… I think now we can switch over to Bhagavad Gita…
Yes, just one thing…Once in the car you have told me, we were talking about playing and prayer to the Lord, you have said how by this continuous offering may be it is a physical way of offering the results, but when actually one starts getting detached to the results… and one ask the Lord to correct oneself…a methodology of the work as…???...because at present we are all doing…so, that process would be the three things…???
See, what I was telling you was…
…offering the three things…actually happened by that.
Basically the question is regarding prayer: all offering, all activities, which we undertake, when we stand in front of the Divine…we may call it ‘sacrifice’, we may call it ‘offering’, you may call it by any name, basically there is only one fundamental activity from our side and that is: namaskuru (9.34). Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: namaskuru . He himself says so to Arjuna, He gives the secret, He says: namaskuru. When you stand before Me, and you look at Me as the Divine, your one general automatic action from your side should be that of offering salutation to the Divine: praṇāma. This is the best and natural activity of human beings. You might say: what is the highest activity of human beings? praṇāma: constant salutations to the Divine is the most natural activity of human being. Now, all offering, all prayers ultimately must result or must be nothing but expressions of this salutation.
But this namaskāra, salutation to the Divine…In fact as Mother says in one of Her prayers: “I salute Thee infinitely”, there is no stoppage. It is not as if you offer Pranam and there is an end to it: it is infinite Pranam, that is to say there is no end of it and that is the real condition of the true individual. You do Pranam, and then you do Pranam, and then you do Pranam, and then you do Pranam and it goes on, and on, and on…and our life is nothing but a constant activity of Pranam. The highest condition that we can aspire in our life is when we can do this Pranam all the time, infinitely, and there is no end to it. This is the only thing that we are here on earth to do: ‘to do Pranam to the Divine’. It is the culmination of all the Karmayoga, Bhaktiyoga, Jnanayoga. Ultimately you should arrive at a point where you can fall at the feet of the Divine without any desire to get up from His feet. It is not as if you fall at the feet and now you stand up, now Pranam is over: there is no such thing at all as far as the highest aim of life is concerned.
Now, when you do Pranam there is always a return from the Divine, because Divine also is doing Pranam to you, because basically it is the interchange between the Divine and yourself. As Sri Aurobindo says: “If Bhakta is seeking the Lord, the Lord is seeking the Bhakta even more ardently”. What can we seek for? We do not know how to seek the Divine, but Divine knows very well. Therefore His seeking of the Bhakta is even more ardent: He is after you much more than you can be after Him. He loves you so much that He can’t live without you; you can live without God, but He can’t live without you at all, so He is looking for you so ardently, with such a tremendous heart that He is all the time beseeching.
In fact this is how we see in Sri Krishna-Radha’s relationship that Sri Krishna constantly asks for forgiveness from Radha and wants that Radha should be pleased and then He accepts all the faults on His side: such is the love of Sri Krishna for Radha that He admits all faults on His side only for the sake that Radha may be pleased with Him. This you might say is the highest form of prayer; you may not use the word ‘prayer’, you won’t use the word prayer, but this Namaskar is the real prayer.
Now, the highest way in which this prayer can be manifested is what? A constant confession: ‘I love You’. This is all. The highest confession that you can make Him Namaskar is only this ‘I love You’. So, Lord whispers into your ears: ‘I love you’ and we respond by saying: ‘I love You’. And this is the highest activity that you can conceive in the world. Again you can call it prayer, or you may not call it prayer, but this is what automatically happens when you stand before the Lord, the only thing you can say is ‘I love You’. Now, this word ‘I love You’ is the highest form of prayer which is called: ‘unpolluted Bhakti’. Most of the Bhaktis are vivicariṇi: they are vivicar. It is simply to bribe God as it were, it is to take from God something: it is vivicariṇi bhakti, but the supreme bhakti is avivicariṇi: there is no pollution at all, simple confession ‘I love You’, and that is all. And if you can tell the Divine ‘I love You’ then the Divine returns and what more do you want? All the lives are fulfilled, there is nothing more to be needed after you have received the Divine’s love, what more do you want? You are full. The love, the whole breath of life is nothing but Divine Love.
In one of the great experiences of the Mother in 1962, when there was a real tearing off of all the vibrations which are in our consciousness, of ‘ignorance’, even at the level of the cells of the body, She declared: “Death was an illusion, sickness was an illusion, (…), Only Love, and Love, and Love, and Love—(…)”. These are Her supreme words in that experience. In that condition sickness is impossible, death is impossible, there is only one vibration and that is ‘Love’. And Mother speaks of huge vibrations, huge pulsations: this is one of the best experiences that one should read. If you read in the “Agenda” of 1962, April 13th, you will get the description of that great experience: ‘huge pulsations of Love’. The world is nothing but a huge pulsation of Love.
And therefore from our side the only thing that we should be able to do is to confess to the Divine, ‘I love You’, and the Divine’s answer will be ‘I love you’. And this conversation is the highest conversation that is possible in the world and we should not look for anything else: it is complete fulfilment. Now, if you consider this highest condition, that all we call ‘prayers’ and ‘worship’ and all this, it looks so dry, and you feel ‘What is this prayer that I am doing? What is this worship that I am doing, doing Puja and all this, it looks so artificial as if lifeless?” But because we are lifeless at present these are the methods which are proposed that you should awake to God, you should worship Him. Actually the idea of worship looks so barren, because basically you ‘try’ to worship. Actually ‘truly’ worship is a wonderful thing, but normally when we start doing Puja, it is so lifeless, it is as if we are constrained to do it, we want to finish as soon as possible, (laughs), we want to go out of it, time is over, we have done all the rituals which are necessary, all that is prescribed is done, so it is a very lifeless sort of thing. There are also prayers: ‘O God, give me this, O God, give me that, it looks so meaningless. You are before the supreme Divine, and His presence is enough! What more do you want?
So, what Rekhaji just says: ‘what is this prayer, what is the need of prayer?’ is quite right: if you are in that condition prayer is absolutely meaningless.
Question in Hindi
Answer in Hindi……that I agree, but we have to see at the highest level what is the condition. Then we have to see how we are so lifeless, and gradually we become filled with some life. So, we are told: ‘you do this Puja, do that thing’, gradually we learn, gradually we rise up, so these are all concessions you might say, ‘scaffolding’. Some people may not need scaffolding at all…
??? for example, he had the same condition of consciousness from childhood,…yes, in the past births he had done already, so he had reached that position already.
Very often the whole idea of prayer looks like bribery: ‘I pray to God and therefore He gives me’ and we reduce God to that condition that He accepts ‘bribery’ as it were. But such is not the Divine: whether you pray or you don’t pray, He is going to do what He has to do, and He knows what is to be done, so it is not as if He is changing his course because you have prayed. Now, these are subordinate questions which have to be answered. Basically it is not as if by prayer God answers and therefore your fate is changed: it is not true. By prayer, by whatever you may ask, or may not ask, basically it gives you a chance of relating yourself with the Divine. And relating is nothing but seeing God face to face, that’s all. There is no other relationship with the Divine except confronting Him. At present, you are looking at the ground because of exclusive concentration of consciousness. You simply lift up, and see the Divine face to face: all prayer is basically meant to lift you from ground to His face, He is standing before you. So, if prayer is useful only in that sense it is only as an effort to build up a relationship with the Divine; that is all: but it is an artificial means. Actually you don’t need to do, you should not do it, but since we are so lifeless that we need this kind of scaffolding, so it is all right, it is a concession given to you, and you do it and even through this, ultimately you will reach that point.
Now, there is a very nice sentence in one of the books of Sri Aurobindo: it happens to be here right now in my possession. I will read out this sentence. Now, Sri Aurobindo raises this question about prayer. This is on page 542, in ‘the Synthesis of Yoga’, Volume 21. There are two paragraphs on this subject. He says:
The efficacy of prayer is often doubted and prayer itself supposed to be a thing irrational and necessarily superfluous and ineffective. It is true that the universal will executes always its aim and cannot be deflected by egoistic propitiation and entreaty, it is true of the Transcendent who expresses himself in the universal order that being omniscient his larger knowledge must foresee the thing to be done and it does not need direction or stimulation by human thought and that the individual’s desires are not and cannot be in any world-order the true determining factor. But neither is that order or the execution of the universal will altogether effected by mechanical Law, but by powers and forces of which for human life at least human will, aspiration and faith are not among the least important. Prayer is only a particular form given to that will, aspiration and faith. Its forms are very often crude and not only childlike, which is in itself no defect, but childish; but still it has a real power and significance. Its power and sense is to put the will, aspiration and faith of man into touch with the divine Will as that of a conscious Being with whom we can enter into conscious and living relations. For our will and aspiration can act either by our own strength and endeavour, which can no doubt be made a thing great and effective whether for lower or higher purposes,—and there are plenty of disciplines which put it forward as the one force to be used,—or it can act in dependence upon and with subordination to the divine or the universal Will. And this latter way again may either look upon that Will as responsive indeed to our aspiration, but almost mechanically, by a sort of law of energy, or at any rate quite impersonally, or else it may look upon it as responding consciously to the divine aspiration and faith of the human soul and consciously bringing to it the help, the guidance, the protection and fruition demanded, yogakṣemaṁ vahāmyaham.
Prayer helps to prepare this relation for us at first on the lower plane even while it is there consistent with much that is mere egoism and self-delusion; but afterwards we can draw towards the spiritual truth which is behind it. It is not then the giving of the thing asked for that matters, but the relation itself, the contact of man’s life with God, the conscious interchange. In spiritual matters and in the seeking of spiritual gains, this conscious relation is a great power; it is a much greater power than our own entirely self-reliant struggle and effort and it brings a fuller spiritual growth and experience. Necessarily in the end prayer either ceases in the greater thing for which it prepared us,—in fact the form we call prayer is not itself essential so long as the faith, the will, the aspiration are there,—or remains only for the joy of the relation. Also its objects, the artha or interest it seeks to realise, become higher and higher until we reach the highest motiveless devotion, which is that of divine love pure and simple without any other demand or longing.
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - ||: The Godward Emotions
All right? These two paragraphs give you a complete exposition of the need and transcendence of prayer. All right?
We can then now turn to chapters 8, 9, 10. I want to do all these chapters together, because they are all interconnected.
Chapter 8, we have already started because we have explained to ourselves the meaning of those difficult words namely: brahman, svabhāva, karma, adhibhūta, adhidaiva, and adhiyājña. The rest of the chapter is less difficult; it simply says basically that if you know the Reality as it is, if you know the totality of the world and the origin of the world, if you know adhiyajña… adhiyajña is the lord of sacrifice: the subject who receives all the objective offerings, that is adhiyajña. If you know that this is the secret of the world, then, the only thing that remains for you to do is as I told you namaskuru: the only thing that remains for you to do is do namaskāra. This is the basic message of the rest of chapter 8.
Once you know what is Reality, once you know what is the world, once you know that Reality has got two natures, lower and higher, and that you are here by method of Karma to rise yourself to do your svabhāva, and attain to the highest condition in which you can reach, then the only thing that you need to do is: Bhakti. That is how whereas the Bhagavad Gita was speaking in the beginning of Karmayoga and of Jnanayoga, and in the first 6 chapters there was a synthesis of Jnanayoga and Karmayoga, now, when the whole knowledge is expounded, then, the result is: Bhakti. This is how Bhakti and Jnanayoga are now synthesised.
Now, if you read the 8th chapter you will constantly see one word: smara. This is a constant message; smara is a very important word in the process of Bhakti. Bhakti is a very simple process of Yoga as distinguished from Jnanayoga and Karmayoga. In Karmayoga and in Jnanayoga there are many stages, and many processes. In Bhaktiyoga there are only four simple movements. Straining of your emotions towards the Divine: that is the first step of Bhaktiyoga. Straining yourself: that is when you are trying to lift your head from the ground to the upper fronting of the Divine; that is the straining. Then there is the pain of love. The next step is the return of love. And the fourth is ‘unceasing delight’; unceasing delight of the possession of the beloved. It never ceases, it is infinite Pranam to the Divine, it possesses the Divine and there is no end of it. These are the simple processes of Bhaktiyoga.
But Sri Krishna tells you first that this Bhaktiyoga becomes much easier once you know: that is why He says: ‘Jnani is my ??? Bhakta’. The real Bhakti arises when you really know what is the secret of the world; then Bhakti becomes automatic. And then Sri Krishna says that, ‘if you remember the Divine at the time of your death then you will surely come to Me’. Now, very often this is misunderstood, and people think at the time of death you take the name of God as if that will give you ‘passport’ to God; but that is not true. Sri Krishna says: ‘in order that you remember Me at the end of your life, you should constantly remember in your life; you remember Me and even, yudhya ca*, remember Me even while you are doing fight, I mean the battlefield; that is the one time when you can forget God because you are engaged in fighting and so much of activity and pressure of work in fight; even at that time if you can remember, then what is said is true, at that time you will automatically come to the stage where there will be remembrance of the Divine.’
And then, what is stated is that normally, there are ‘good times’ when you can live the body, there are not so many good times when you can live the body. Now, this is a kind of an exposition of a mystic tradition: there is a mystic knowledge in India which says that if you are walking properly on your path, then certain things will happen at a given time. This is also connected with the knowledge of astrology: astronomy and astrology in India are very closely connected. Astrology is the study of time; astronomy is the study of the movement of planets and it is also the study of time because movements of planets take place within time limits. So, having seen that there is in astronomy a study of time and in astrology also there is a kind of a movement of time, the two are correlated.
And it is then said that time itself is not something mechanical: time itself is a vibration of the Divine, you might say breathing of the Divine: the whole time movement is the breath of the Divine, it is the pulsation of the Divine. In that pulsation whatever happens at a given time is significant, and if you are a good student of this movement, you can read from the mere breathing, and the mode of breathing, and the time of the breathing as to what is intended.
This is the fundamental philosophy behind some of the statements that you find in this chapter namely that there are moments which are called moments of uttarāyaṇa; there is a whole period of 6 months which is called uttarāyaṇa. And there is a period which is called dakṣiṇāyana. In astronomy we know what is solstice: solstice is the time when either the day is longest, or the night is longest. On December 21 the night is longest and the day is shortest. On June 23 the day is longest and the night is shortest.
This is because of the fact that sun is moving between Cancer and Capricorn: if you look at the whole earth moving around the sun, then you will find that when it moves ‘upwards’ it goes right up unto ‘Cancer’; when it moves ‘downward’ it goes right up to ‘Capricorn’; when it goes towards Capricorn nights become longer and longer. When it reaches Capricorn point, night is longest and when you begin to move upwards and rise up to Cancer, the day is the longest and night is the shortest. So, as you move upwards towards Cancer it is called uttarāyaṇa; you are going upwards. So from December 21 onwards there is uttarāyaṇa. June 21 you reach the highest point of uttarāyaṇa, after that the sun begins to move downwards it is called dakṣiṇāyana.
Now, Sri Krishna says that if you die during the period of uttarāyaṇa, you rise to the Divine; if you die in the dakṣiṇāyana, you don’t rise to the Divine, it is a pitrumārga, not a devamārga, devamārga is uttarāyaṇa, and dakṣiṇāyana is the pitrumārga, which takes you to lower levels of the existence. Similarly it says when there is light then there is one kind of an event, when there is darkness it is another kind of event. It is based upon this kind of co-relationship that many of the practises in India have been developed.
If you know the story of Mahabharata, it is said that Bhishma when he passed away, when he was struck down, he said that he should be preserved, he did not allow his soul to pass away because at that time it was dakṣiṇāyana, so his body was supposed to be preserved till uttarāyaṇa begins, then he could leave his body because he wanted to go on the devayaṇa, the paths of the gods.
So, practises of this kind have been developed in India. Therefore we say that we should get up at brahmamuhūrta, when the day begins, when the light begins. To get up at eleven o’clock in the morning or twelve o’clock in the morning is supposed to be not very useful or right because already so much has passed away and now you are beginning to rise only when the sun is about to go down, so it is a kind of a dakṣiṇāyana in a certain sense even during the daytime. During the light movements when there a light is on, you will find that the energies of the world are rising upwards; when the light is down, the movements and the energies of the world or the sun are all moving downwards.
That is why Sri Krishna speaks of this great doctrine of India as to when exactly the right thing should be done. And your most important moment of your life should coincide with the most auspicious moments of the movements of light and darkness. But the most important thing, whether we accept this theory or not, the one thing Sri Krishna Himself says, the conclusion you derive is: ‘Remember the Divine all the time’, whether it is dark or light. If you continuously remember the Divine all the time, smara, then everything will happen in the right moment in your life.
This is the message of the 8th chapter, which is three fold. One is once you know what is the Reality that automatically what should happen to you is to smara, is to remember the Divine. Secondly that all the time movement in the world’s life have significance. And just as there is alternation between light and darkness, even so in the life of yoga there are alternations between light and darkness, you should make use of both of them. And how to make use of them? That is the third answer: ‘Continuously remember the Divine’. This great knowledge regarding the Bhaktiyoga, the secret of Bhaktiyoga which consists of a small thing: smara. And smara constantly based upon the knowledge of the Divine, on the knowledge of the time, the conclusion is ‘smara’.
So, we shall now rapidly read this chapter 8, it should not take long because all this is very clear now. We had already done up to the 8th chapter, 4th verse.
antakāle ca māmeva smaranmuktvā kalevaram |
yaḥ prayāti sa madbhāvaṁ yāti nāstyatra saṁśayaḥ ||8.5||
“Whoever, at the time of death, sheds off his body remembering Me and departs, he attains to My being; of this there is no doubt.”
yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaranbhāvaṁ tyajatyante kalevaram |
taṁ tamevaiti kaunteya sadā tadbhāvabhāvitaḥ ||8.6||
Now He gives a general principle that the moment of passing from the bodies are very important moments and whatever is your desire, whatever is uppermost in your consciousness at that time is a kind of a barometer of all that you have done in your life. It comes to you in a concentrated form as it were, the whole life experience is summarised at that moment. Many people are not there to report as to that happens to them, but if you ask anybody as to what happens towards the time of the death you will find, if you have records, that very often they see many visions as to what has happen to their life like in a flash, or what is it that they have desired most. Even to whatever they have thought as to what best things they have done in their life, what worst things they have done in their life; it comes like a flash to them. And Sri Krishna says whatever happens at that time determines what will happen to you thereafter, after you have left the body.
“Thinking of whatsoever being, he at the time of death sheds off his body, to that same being does he attain, O Son of Kunti! ever absorbed with the thought of that being.”
Now, this is the most important:
tasmātsarveṣu kāleṣu māmanusmara yudhya ca ||8.7||
“Therefore…sarveṣu kāleṣu māmanusmara, at every moment remember Me; yudhya ca, even in fighting. When you are fighting, you fight, but remember Me. This is a great combination of Karmayoga with Bhaktiyoga: the synthesis o Karmayoga and Bhaktiyoga…
Comment: By remembering in any activity that we are doing, remembering His name consciously.
That’s right. The ‘memory’ of the Divine is usually quite difficult. As I told you that it requires a big effort to lift your eyes from the ground: it is not easy. To feel the delight of the presence of the Divine is the real Bhakti; but once that has seized your heart, you can always remain in the state of memory of God, constantly, whatever else may be your activity, whatever may be your process of knowledge, or action, or will, whatever, you cannot forget the Divine. Your heart is seized by the Divine; then you can never forget Him. This is the secret of smara.
Therefore, He says: yudhya ca, even when you fight:
tasmātsarveṣu kāleṣu māmanusmara yudhya ca ||8.7||
This is the great secret which Sri Krishna gives; just as He says namas kuru: you do praṇām to Me. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: now, do praṇām to Me. Similarly He says māmanusmara: you remember Me. So:
“Therefore, you should always think of Me and fight. With your mind and intellect surrendered unto Me, you will, without doubt, attain to Me exclusively.”
abhyāsayogayuktena cetasā nānyagāminā |
paramaṁ puruṣaṁ divyaṁ yāti pārthānucintayan ||8.8||
“Whoever meditates on Me with his mind controlled by constant practice of Yoga and not wandering astray, O Son of Pritha! he attains to Him, the effulgent- the Supreme Purusha.”
kaviṁ purāṇamanuśāsitāram aṇoraṇīyāṁsam anusmared yaḥ |
sarvasya dhātāram acintyarūpam ādityavarṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt ||8.9||
prayāṇakāle manasācalena bhaktyā yukto yogabalena caiva |
bhruvormadhye prāṇamāveśya samyak sa taṁ paraṁ puruṣamupaiti divyam ||8.10||
These two paragraphs give you the condition in which you should reach when you can remember the Divine: it is a complete synthesis of devotion, Karma and Jnana.
(9)“He who meditates on the seer (on the omniscient), the ancient, the ruler of all, the subtler than the subtlest, the sustainer of all, whose form transcends thought, and who is effulgent like the sun and is beyond darkness.”
(10)“One who does so, at the time of his departure, with an unwavering mind, endowed with devotion, and power of Yoga and establishing completely his pranas in the centre of the eyebrows, he attains that Supreme effulgent Purusha and Divine.”
It only already shows how much knowledge already you should have of the nature of the Divine. Without that knowledge you cannot have this kind of Bhakti, and this kind of smara of the Divine, with ‘unwavering mind’ at the end of your life. Actually that point is a very difficult point; and to concentrate and to remember God at that time is normally very difficult.
yadakṣaraṁ vedavido vadanti viśanti yadyatayo vītarāgāḥ |
yadicchanto brahmacaryaṁ caranti tatte padaṁ saṁgraheṇa pravakṣye ||8.11||
“I shall now tell you that state which the knowers of the Vedas call Akshara-Omkara into which the ascetics free from passion enter, aspiring to which, they practice Brahmancharya.”
Now, He explains. In all these propositions, you will find, a synthesis of Jnana yoga, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga:
sarvadvārāṇi saṁyamya mano hṛdi nirudhya ca |
mūrdhnyādhāyātmanaḥ prāṇaṁ āsthito yogadhāraṇām ||8.12||
“Having restrained all the gateways of senses, drawing the mind within the heart, and concentrating the pranas at the space between the eyebrows, established in yogic meditation.”
“Repeating the mono-syllable AUM which is Brahman, meditating upon Me whosoever departs, giving up his body, he attains the Supreme Goal.” (8.13)
ananyacetāḥ satataṁ yo māṁ smarati nityaśaḥ |
tasyāhaṁ sulabhaḥ pārtha nityayuktasya yoginaḥ ||8.14||
“He who constantly remembers Me thinking of none else, I am easily attained, O Son of Pritha! by him who is a Yogin ever controlled.”
Now, you will see 12&13: the 12th is basically the process of Jnana yoga. In the next one, in the 13th:
oṁ ity ekākṣaraṁ brahma vyāharan: OM is a very important syllable which is used in making sacrifices. So here, there is a tremendous stress upon Karma yoga. And the next one is smara, is a Bhakti yoga. All the three are to be interrelated so that there is no distinction between the movement of Jnana and Bhakti and Karma. Karma becomes Bhakti. Bhakti becomes Jnana. Jnana becomes Bhakti. All the three are interrelated and become one.
mām upetya punar janma duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam |
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ saṁdiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ ||8.15||
“Having reached Me, these great souls are not born again in this transient world, which is the abode of sorrow because they have reached the highest perfection.”
ābrahmabhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ’rjuna |
māmupetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate ||8.16||
“O Arjuna! All the worlds up to the realm of Brahman are subject to repeated return, but one who attains unto Me, O Son of Kunti! never takes rebirth.”
sahasrayugaparyantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ |
rātriṁ yugasahasrāntāṁ te ’horātravido janāḥ ||8.17||
“Those who know that the day of Brahma extends for a thousand Yugas, and his night lasts for another thousand Yugas, they are the knowers of day and night.”
This is what I spoke to you about the knowledge of astronomy and the knowledge of astrology, the whole idea of time in which what Sri Krishna says is that there are moments when the Divine is creative, there are moments where the Divine withdraws and withdraws everything that is created. And according to the Vedic astronomy, one thousand Yugas constitute one day when the Divine is manifesting and creatively acting. Then there are one thousand Yugas during which He goes on withdrawing and remains at rest, you might say, He does not manifest.
Comment: When he says all the worlds up to the realm of the Supramental?
There are many worlds: there are these vital world, mental world and then overmental world and then the supramental world. Now, as long as you move up to the mental world you are still in bondage; you are obliged to return. It is only when you can go beyond it, and when you can reach the supreme Divine Himself, then only you have no necessity to come back on the earth.
Question: What is the equivalent to Yuga in terms of current standards of time?
Now, ‘Yuga’ is a very difficult concept in Indian astronomy. According to one view ‘Yuga’ consists of 5 years; according to another view Yuga consists of nineteen years. There is a very big controversy going on even at present. What is Yuga? There are other words-meaning of the word ‘Yuga’ like Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga; and there also you have different ‘timings’ given for each Yuga. So, you may use the word Yuga in that sense also if you like. So, it is not very clear here as to what Yuga is meant here.
Question: In the term of the age of this present cycle, has it been ascertained or…?
Yes, it is said for example that there have been 6 periods, (this is now a different statement…6…from when? One does not know. But it goes on, but at least it is said that there were 6, (at least which we can know), when the world had come to a point, and then it was dissolved. Now, it is said that we have again come to that point of dissolution; but the prediction is that this time it will not be dissolved. The movement is now so ripened, it has now become so propitious that although we are now passing through a period of dissolution, dissolution will not come about, and there will be a new Yuga, a Yuga of the ‘Daylight’ will come. At present we are in twilight, saṁdhyā, but now will come the time of a complete daylight. But these are various kinds of beliefs which are currently at present.
Comment: But there is no authenticity about them.
There is one authenticity which I can say from the basis of what my studies have led me. It is this that we are now nearing a period of supramental manifestation. Supermind has manifested already, and this will now go on increasing. Of this I am certain and this is authentic according to me. So, you can say that, well, it is true that this is not a period of dissolution in spite of all kinds of predictions that have been made, ‘doomsday’ and all that, this is not that moment. We are in a very important stage of our life in the world, extremely important, extremely promising for a glorious future.
Comment: The vibrations of the earth are changing.
Yes, new vibrations are now present in the earth, at present.
avyaktādvyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ prabhavanty aharāgame |
rātryāgame pralīyante tatraivāvyaktasaṁjñake ||8.18||
When the day comes then all that is avyaktā becomes vyakta, from unmanifest manifestation takes place. When the night comes then all that is manifested becomes unmanifest.
bhūtagrāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate |
rātryāgame ’vaśaḥ pārtha prabhavatyaharāgame ||8.19||
“O Son of Pritha! These all living entities come forth repeatedly with the advent of the day, and are helplessly led to dissolution at the advent of the night.”
paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ’nyo ’vyakto ’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ |
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati ||8.20||
This is a movement from unmanifest to manifest and manifest to unmanifest. But there is another reality which is ‘really’ unmanifest: avyaktāḥ, from manifest to unmanifest and from unmanifest to manifest is one kind of movement. But there is a ‘real’ unmanifest who is the Supreme Himself and whoever can reach ‘that’ unmanifest he never perishes. In other words whoever knows the supreme Divine he becomes free from all this movement of coming to day or coming into night: all this does not apply to the one who has attain to the Supreme.
avyakto ’kṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim |
yaṁ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama ||8.21||
“The unmanifest being is designated the Imperishable, which is said to be the Supreme Goal. Those who attain to it do not return to this world again. That is My Supreme Abode.”
puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā |
yasyāntaḥsthāni bhūtani yena sarvam idaṁ tatam ||8.22||
This is considered to be one of the most important statements of the Bhagavad Gita:
“This is the Supreme person, O Son of Pritha! in whom abide all existence and by whom all this is pervaded, who is attainable by unswerving single minded devotion.”
This is the supreme knowledge, the knowledge of the One who is Imperishable, who is the origin of all that is here in this world. This knowledge, Sri Krishna says, will not come to you by Jnana yoga; it will come to you only by Bhakti. So, that is why the supremacy of Bhakti, therefore those who belong to Bhakti yoga, they always like this sentence as the best. That ‘bhaktyā’, it is by Bhakti…although Sri Krishna has said that the one who has full Knowledge gets Bhakti. Now He says that the one who has the real Bhakti gets the highest Knowledge: both are interdependent. In fact both are actually one. The real Jnana yoga is not a ‘dry’ Jnana yoga. The real Jnana yoga is full of the best of Love: to move towards the Knowledge of the Divine is to move enthusiastically with all the Love that you can command, with the pressure of Love, and you turn to the Divine; that is real Jnana yoga and that is real Bhakti. The two are combined together.
Similarly Karma yoga also, when you sacrifice for the Lord, what is that sacrifice if you sacrifice with pain. Sacrifice is really nothing but offering yourself irresistibly in the embrace of the Divine: so, that is real offering, real Karma yoga is ‘that’ Karma yoga.
yatra kāle tv anāvṛttiṁ āvṛttiṁ caiva yoginaḥ |
prayātā yānti taṁ kālam vakṣyāmi bharatarṣabha ||8.23||
“O Best of Bharatas! Now I shall explain to you, the time when Yogins depart either to return again, or never to return to this world.”
agnir jyotir ahaḥ śuklaḥ ṣaṇmāsā uttarāyaṇam |
tatra prayātā gacchanti brahma brahmavido janāḥ ||8.24||
“When there is fire, when there is light, when there is day, the bright half of the month, the six months of the northern path, uttarāyaṇa, this is the time, in which passing away from the world the Yogins who know the absolute Brahman attain to the Absolute Brahman.”
Opposite is dakṣiṇāyana, the darkness:
“The other Yogins depart at a time that is characterized by smoke, night, the dark fortnight, the six months of the southern course of the sun and they reach the realm of the lunar light from there they return.”
This is the path of return; that is the path of no return.
dhūmo rātris tathā kṛṣṇaḥ ṣaṇmāsā dakṣiṇāyanam |
tatra cāndramasaṁ jyotir yogī prāpya nivartate ||8.25||
śuklakṛṣṇe gatī hyete jagataḥ śāśvate mate |
ekayā yāty anāvṛttiṁ anyayāvartate punaḥ ||8.26||
“These two paths- the path of light and that of darkness are thought to be beginningless. Departing by the light, one does not return but while departing by the path of darkness one again returns.”
In the Veda there is a statement: the child is suckled by two mothers; one who is a dark mother and one who is the white mother. But both of them suckle and we grow by both. So, actually from the Divine’s point of view both are necessary, both are equally important and therefore both the time you should remember the Divine: sarveṣu kāleṣu smara māṁ, this is the basic conclusion.
naite sṛtī pārtha jānan yogī muhyati kaścana |
tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu yogayukto bhavārjuna ||8.27||
“The Yogins who know these two pathways,O Son of Pritha! Is never deluded. Therefore, O Arjuna! You always be steadied in Yoga.”
sarveṣu kāleṣu, knowing both the paths therefore don’t say ‘this’ one is more important than ‘that’ one. As Mother says: “O Passengers, O Travellers who are passing through a great night, remember the greatest secrets are revealed in the darkness of the night.” The greatest secrets…therefore going through the darkness do not fear, do not worry, that is also ‘the path’; the greatest secrets cannot be revealed when there is light; then, there are reserved only for the night. Therefore do not fear when you are in the darkness: “the greatest secrets are revealed to you in the darkness of the night”. Therefore ultimate conclusion is: sarveṣu kāleṣu yogayukto; therefore, ‘In all the times you remain united with the Divine’.
vedeṣu yajñeṣu tapaḥsu caiva dāneṣu yatpuṇyaphalaṁ pradiṣṭam |
atyeti tat sarvam idaṁ viditvā yogī paraṁ sthānamupaiti cādyam ||8.28||
“The Yogin having known this goes beyond the fruits of meritorious deeds such as study of the Vedas, performance of sacrifices, practice of austerities and giving away charities. He attains the Supreme and Eternal Abode.”
If you know this, if you remain in Yoga all the time, if you can remember the Divine all the time, then whether you do Jnana yoga, or Karma yoga, or Bhakti yoga, all this is included here and therefore that is all that you should do to attain to the Supreme.
So, next time we will take the 9th chapter now.