Chapter 2

Sankahya - Yoga

 Is this right at this point of time?

            From the 1st chapter we find that the message of Gita is for us, to follow our "Dharma" which means do our duty. In spiritual language we call it "Karma". Gita is therefore, known as Karma Yoga. Karma means action while Yoga means the technique of performing the action perfectly. As everything is God, even Karma is God. The realization, that Karma itself is none other than God, takes us to higher levels of mind and intellect, and we can make use of both of them to take our Karma to Perfection. In the process, ego gets dissolved in self, which is but a replica of God, and we are on the way to achieve higher goals in life. This is Yoga.

            In this chapter, Krishna admonishes Arjuna first, for failing to do his Karma. Arjuna then surrenders to him, and Krishna talks at length, bringing out most important and forgotten ancient truths.

            The chapter begins with a narrative verse by Sanjaya, who informs us that seeing Arjuna in a state of weak mind, with eyes full of tears, and grieving at the thought of his own people having to die at his hands, Krishna came to his rescue.

Importance of second verse

            The second verse of this chapter is extremely important from the point of doing one's Karma. The meaning of this Sanskrit verse is, "Krishna said". "O! Arjuna wherefrom these thoughts have come to you, at this critical juncture? These are not good for those who want to have fame, for those who are valiant, and also those desiring to go to heaven".

            It should be noted that, in His first verse, Krishna has not said anything about "Brahma" or Supreme Consciousness of God. He knows, that in Kaliyuga, every individual will be going after wealth and fame. People who believe in hell and heaven will be aspiring to go to Heaven after death. That will be the ultimate goal of humans. Of course, there may be a few individuals who would want to go beyond hell and heaven, to the abode of God. They may not care for worldly pleasures. Money and fame may not interest them. They will be aspiring for self realization first and God realization later. Yet this will not be true for common people. They would like to have worldly things to satisfy their senses. But what they seek will not be given to them, if they fail to do their Karma perfectly. Krishna, therefore, first speaks to all of us, through Arjuna, and says "O! inhabitants of Kaliyuga, do you really know what you are doing? Is this action of yours right at this point of time?"

            Saint Dnyaneshwar has written 20 verses in Marathi, explaining the inner hidden meaning of this 2nd verse of the 2nd chapter. He has written, "Krishna asks Arjuna, O! Arjuna listen, is this right what you are doing, at this time? Think who you are, what is your status in life and what is this that you are doing?"

            At the end of last chapter we have seen, that we have to come to the standard of Arjuna in order to understand Krishna's words. Gita, as said before, is not a book to be read once and forgotten, if one wants to be a strong minded person and attain prosperity, happiness and salvation. The teaching of Gita, or in other words, the saying of Krishna is to be put into practice in our day to day life, so that we can change for the better. Years and years, nay, lives after lives of thoughtless miscalculated and misdirected actions have made us what we are today. The result is obvious. We are far away from peace and bliss. It is high time we change, and this change is possible by implementing in our routine life, what Krishna has said.

            Krishna asks, "Is this right at this time?" What a way to teach! What a way to bring about the necessary change in human behaviour! "Is this right?" Before we go deep into the hidden meaning, it is necessary for us to understand what Karma is.

What is karma

            Karma means action. Action implies movement. You are sitting quietly in your room. Your body is still. There is no movement. You are inactive. Then you lift your hand. Now there is motion. The inactive state is gone. Action has taken place. This action is on physical level. Karma is not physical action only. If it was so, all your actions i.e. karma will perish when the body dies. Then there will be no rebirth, no meaning to the words mind, intellect, ego and soul. But it is not so. Karma does not perish. It bears fruit, and it is given to the individual who sows the seed and nurtures the plant.

            How do we take action on physical level? Before any action takes place, something is set in motion inside the body. You are driving your car. You are on your way to supermarket to buy groceries. All of a sudden you take a turn and instead of going to the market you go to visit a friend. Or you see a telephone booth, and you stop to make a call. How does this happen? There is some thought inside, which makes you take these unplanned actions. Every physical action is preceded by conscious or unconscious thought. In common language we say "thoughts arise in mind, or mind thinks". Whatever the case may be, we accept the existence of mind whose function is 'to think'. This mind is constantly in motion. It is subtle and unstable. This motion is also karma, and this karma does not perish. Physical karma perishes with the body, but mind's karma remains with the mind. Similarly, intellect also performs action because it also moves.

            You are going to the market. You get a thought to visit your friend. Now your mind deliberates. It is in motion, wondering what you should do first. You cannot take both actions at the same time. One must precede another. Your intellect decides in favour of going to visit the friend first, and you act accordingly. The intellect has performed Karma.

            In the same way, the senses also perform karma because they are in motion and, therefore, in action. Hence karma is performed by physical gross body, subtle body i.e. senses, mind, intellect and also speech.

Action in Kaliyuga

            The question that Krishna asks is, "Is this action of yours right at this time"? We have to ask ourselves this question, every time we think, speak or act. Let us illustrate this by a few examples.

            You are wronged by a friend, knowingly or unknowingly. The karma performed by your friend will return to him in the form of its bitter fruit, in due course of time, appropriately chosen by God's Prakruti which is responsible for this Universe. If you start having ill feelings, hatred and, bad thoughts about your friend because you are hurt, you are doing Karma, which in turn will surely bounce back to you. So when such negative thoughts enter your mind, stop and ask yourself,

            "Is this right what I am thinking?" No, Sir or Madam, it is not right. These thoughts will do you more harm than you can imagine. Firstly, this is bad unwanted, uncalled for karma on your part and it will bring you bad result.Secondly, it will drain your energy and make inroads into your peace and happiness. You will be miserable. All the wealth and fame, you may have, will not help you. Because money and fame will not come with you, when your body dies; but certainly the karma done by you, will.

            It is Sunday today. Baburao is sitting in his easy chair reading newspaper. His son, 5 years and daughter 7 years come to him and say,

"Daddy, daddy, there is a circus in town. Will you take us to see it?"

"Hm!" Baburao is busy reading.

"Daddy, please listen. We want to go to the circus. You take us."

"Alright we will go next Sunday. Now don't disturb me",says the father.

            The children are happy. They run to the kitchen and tell their mother, that next Sunday daddy is taking them to see the circus. By evening all the children in the colony come to know that Mangesh and Usha are going to the circus with their father, next Sunday.

            Week passes rapidly. Next Sunday is dawned. Children get up early, even though the show is at 6.30 in the evening. They deliberate what to wear, at what time to leave the house, what will they see etc. They are happy. Morning passes quietly. After lunch Baburao takes a nap, and wakes up promptly at 3.00 p.m. It is time for him to go to his friend Rambhau's house to play game of cards. It is a regular Sunday feature for him. That is his pastime, as well as, unharmful entertainment. He won't miss it by any chance. As he is getting ready to go, his wife says, "I hope, you remember, you have to take the children to the circus show this evening."

"What!"

"You promised them last Sunday. Don't you remember?"     

"O! I see. Look, why don't you take them?"

"Oh no, they want you. I can come but they need you. So come back by six o'clock at the latest. I  will get them ready." "Hm! will see", Baburao goes out.

            He is deeply engrossed in the game. Yet suddenly at about half past five, a bell rings in his ears and he realises he has to leave now. But the game is interesting and he would like to play more.'I can take the children for the night show, or better still next Saturday or Sunday', Baburao's mind deliberates. His intellect chips in, but finally it is the mind which wins, and he decides to continue playing.

            Krishna asks, "Baburao, is this right what you are doing at this time?"

            John and Peter are friends. John says to Peter,

"Peter, I am going to do some carpentry work at home this weekend, but I don't have the tools. Can you lend me your tool kit?"

"O, Sure".

"Thanks buddy. Since I am starting my work early morning, can I collect them Friday night? I shall return them to you. Monday morning."

"No problem, John, come on Friday evening."

            John returns happily and plans how he is going to do his job. When John's back is turned, Pam, Peter's wife, says to Peter,

            "Pete, John is not a reliable person. Nobody speaks good of him. I think you should not lend him your tools."

            "How can I tell him no, now? But if you say so, we will see."

            Peter and Pam plan a weekend outing and they leave the house on Friday afternoon, before John comes back from work. Peter knows at that time, that his friend will come in the evening. Yet he goes out with his wife and children, locking the house.

            Krishna asks, "Peter, is this right what you are doing?"

            If Peter does not want to lend his tools, it is alright. He could phone or see John and tell him straightaway. John may be offended and annoyed but Peter's karma will be appropriate and right. By behaving in the manner mentioned above, not only he has offended and annoyed John, he has wronged him, and performed a dishonest karma which will reflect back upon him in future with a heavy hand, because he has spoiled John's weekend, and John had trusted him. This is sin. To avoid this, all that Peter had to do, was ask himself a question, "Is this right what I am doing?" And then take the right action, which is driving to John's house and leaving the tools in his house. This right action would be greatly appreciated and would fetch its reward later.

            In life, in our day to day routine, we do many things, entertain innumerable thoughts, speak a lot. All this is karma. We will save ourselves from committing sins, if we ask this question and then discard that thought, that speech, that action, which, in the heart of hearts, we know to be wrong. And then take that action, entertain that thought or speak those words which are right. God has certainly given us that much intellect to be able to decide between right and wrong. That thought, word or action which will harm other individual is wrong. It may be difficult to follow this rule in beginning because, as said before, our mind is a product of many right and wrong karmas of many past lives. We cannot change ourselves overnight. But we have to make a start somewhere. And what better way can we think of, other than this simple practice of asking ourselves this multy million dollar question, and then doing what is right?

            This is the beginning of Gita, the first verse of Krishna setting us, the inhabitants of Kaliyuga, on the right path. So remember,

Is this right at this point of time?

This does not become you

            In the third verse of this chapter,Krishna says to Arjuna, "Partha (Arjuna) do not give in to this degrading impotence. This does not become you. You are a terror to the enemy. Throw away this despicable insignificant weakness of mind and rise to the occasion."

            All of us have some status in life, and we try to raise it, not lower it. That is why we are so scared about public opinion about ourselves. If we care so much for status and position,then it is a must for us to know if any action of ours becomes us or not. As one grows, one's responsibilities increase, so does status. A person in forties and fifties cannot behave as a child of 10 or 12. It does not become him. A respectable married man must not flirt with another girl. It does not become him. Same principle holds for our thoughts and words. As we grow old,we know that we must not think ill, and be gentleman like to all others in our behaviour. Yet, many times people think something, say another thing and act still differently. Does this become us?

            Why does this happen? It happens, because mind loses its strength. It becomes weak and feeble. Its reasoning power does not function. Intellect sleeps and mind succumbs to petty delusions. The only thing to get ourselves out of this situation, is to cast away this weakness of mind by thinking what is the right action at that time, and then to take it.

            Is not teaching of Gita simple? In Kaliyuga, Karma, is the important matter. This world of ours is also called "Karmabhoomi" means land to perform karma. Hence it is essential that our Karma (thought, speech, action) must be right at any given time.

Arjuna's surrender to Krishna

            When Krishna thus admonishes Arjuna, telling him that his action is not right, it does not become him, and asks him to get rid of the mind's feebleness, Arjuna starts pleading his case. In verses 4,5 and 6, he says, "how can I kill my elders like Bhishma and Drona? Will I not sin if I fight them? I would prefer to go away and beg alms. What good will happen if I have to enjoy the kingdom soaked in their blood? I do not know what is good, whether they should win or we should have victory. I will have no desire to live, once all these get killed.

            Then in verses 7 and 8 he laments and admits his inability to think clearly. He says, "I am at a loss to know which is my right Dharma (action at this time). I am your disciple. I surrender to you. Please tell me what I should do. Even, after winning this war, I get all the kingly enjoyments, or if I die and go to heaven to enjoy heavenly pleasures, this mental torture, which is sucking my senses, will not go away." So saying, Arjuna, as if resigned to fate, sat motionless in the chariot. Krishna smiled at Arjuna, knowing fully how His own Prakruti, the energy which created this Universe, plays with all creatures including humans, the most advanced in mind and intellect. Then, from verses number 11 to 53, His wisdom flows like a stream running blissfully, giving incomparable joy to all those who stand on the banks and watch.

            At this stage Arjuna is in deep grief. He is not afraid to die. In fact he is willing and ready to die so that his relations, standing in front as his enemies, may win and enjoy worldly pleasures. Yet he is afraid of death, death of his dear and near ones. He is very sure that they will be killed. He thinks of future. He reasons in his own mind,'when they die, I will see them no more. 'Die they must, someday; but why now and that too at my hands!' This thought of their death has set panic in him.

Fear of death

            We also get panicky if a dear relative is in the clutches of death. When best of medicinal efforts and the best medical attention does not yield fruitful results, when a dear one is ill, we turn to God for help. Even those people who do not believe in God, go to churches, Mosques and Mandirs to pray. Such is the power and hold of death over human mind. When we get the news of a dear one's death, all our actions stop, mind becomes numb and we become functionless temporarily. The highest fear one has is that of death.

            If you are driving with your family and you happen to cross a few kilometres patch of lonely forsaken road, you want to cross hurriedly, because you fear, "what if there is a gang of robbers in the vicinity?" Supposing, such a gang does exist and surprises you with choppers and swords, what will you do? You will say, "please do not hurt us, take whatever you want, but spare our lives."

            This is because, once death embraces you, what good is your house, cars, wealth and everything else to you? You walk in the evening on a lonely road, you don't get scared. But you will be scared to walk on the same road alone in the middle of night. Why? There is fear lurking in the mind, that death may be hiding somewhere in the form of a wild animal or a snake or a robber. Life is so precious. Death puts an end to it, hence death is so dreadful. Arjuna is in the grip of death-phobia, though it is the imminent death of his dear ones that he is worried about. If he is to see sense and cast way his mental weakness to get ready and perform his right duty, this phobia of his must be removed first. Hence Krishna, in this chapter, starts telling him what is death, who dies, who lives, who is it that never dies and lives forever. Then he explains why human mind gets affected, what is permanent and what is fleeting. Finally, he asks him to shed his fear and do his duty which will earn him everything that one craves for on this earth. He knew that Arjuna does not care at all for worldly or heavenly wealth and pleasures, because so long as you are in the bondage of Karma, you will have to undergo this cycle of birth and death continuously. Arjuna wants to get rid of these Karmic bonds. So Krishna tells him how his attitude should be when he performs his Karma, so that he will not be bound by fruits of it and will ultimately come out of this painful cycle.

Sankhya yoga

            Now, let us see what Krishna has said, about death. Firstly he said, "Arjuna, stop grieving. You are nursing grief for something which is not worth grieving for. Wise and intelligent people never lament for the living or the dead."

            The underlying meaning is, those who are living will ultimately die some day. There is no sense in grieving about them and saying, "What is the use of their lives, their money and power? One day they will die and everything will be over from them". Many people have this attitude and they are unable to experience the joy of life, which material things can give. If you have plenty of money, do not lament. "O! one day I will die, then what's the use of this wealth to me?" Enjoy it. Be generous, help others, make good use of your time and money, and be happy that you are in a position to experience real joy. Do not grieve for the dead. If you think that since they are dead, they are unable to enjoy life's pleasures, you are wrong. You think that  way, because of your ignorance. You do not know what dies.

What is death?

            Then Krishna has beautifully explained Death. Like a true Master, He has talked on this subject. What has He said?

            "There was never a time when these people, including you and I did not live". When we talk of life, what we see and understand is the physical body. We never think of that something which lives in the body. That something is referred to as Atma or Soul. In very simple language, this is called energy. Everything that you see moving, is the result of this energy. Plants and trees grow because of this energy. Seeds germinate; animals and humans breathe because of this energy.

            I am writing this book. On physical level, it is my hand, a part of physical body that does the work of putting words on paper. On astral level, it is the mind which thinks and supplies the words. On intellectual level, it is the intellect which decides what words to write. The ego behind, gives the support. If this ego was running amok and was uncontrolled, if the Dhrutarashtra and Duryodhana tendencies, which stand for negative energy, were to dominate my astral body, I would be writing something else. At this moment the astral and the physical bodies are at work. But who makes them work? It is the energy within. This energy never dies. The container, in which it is stored, changes but energy remains the same.

            Electrical energy flows from its main source through cables, and lies hidden in electrical equipments and light bulbs or tubes in your house. The bulbs come in various shapes and sizes. Some are attractive, some are ugly but the energy in all of them is the same. The bulb that you see, can be broken but the energy is always there. You say, "O! this light is gone, the filaments in the bulb are broken. Then you replace the bulb, put the switch on, and you get the light. The energy shines. This is the story of light energy.

            It is the same thing with life energy. The body is the container that you see. The Atma or soul is the energy which makes the eyes see, ears hear, tongue talk, legs to walk and hands to work. This energy makes you prepare your breakfast, using the capabilities of both your astral and physical bodies. And you say, "I have prepared the breakfast." In the same way you say "I gave you the money, " I was selected to play from the city club", "I purchased this book", "I travelled "I ate", "I drink" etc. 

            This "I" in each of above sentences is the energy within. It makes the body work. This energy is always alive. It is there before you were born and will be there after you die. Thus, This "I" of yours is permanent. It never dies. What dies is the physical body. Even the astral body composed of senses, pranas, sense functions, the mind, intellect and ego never dies.

            You live in a small city and have a small house. Now your earnings have doubled. You want to move into another house. You go on looking for one, of your taste. You find one. You see that the price is reasonable and within your reach. You sign the papers, pay the price, buy the house and one fine day, move into it. You give up the old house and enter into a new one. In the same way, one fine day you will give up this physical body of yours, and in due course, enter into another one. But there is one difference. In this case you cannot choose the next body. It will be given to you. Whether it will be another human body or the body of another animal or a lowly creature will depend upon your Karma. But all the same, the energy, that is none else but You, will remain the same. You will never die.

Ignorance about death

            Even this body undergoes changes. From childhood it changes into youth, then into old age and finally into another body. What does not change is this Atma, or soul or energy which, in reality, is the "I" in you. Hence one should not have fear of death. If sickness catches you, if old age makes physical functions difficult, signifying that the end is near, if for any reason you see death, remember there is going to be an unseen, unnoticed change. This body will go, as it has served its purpose. You, the person living in the body will soon get a new fresh body which you can use, to do whatever you wanted to do in this body. Because, when you leave the body, you will carry with you your astral body which will have a complete record of your Karma, your intelligence, wisdom, desires and so on. If you leave with a very high degree of intelligence, if you have acquired some skills in any branch of science, art or sports etc., you will carry them with you, because they will be safely stored in your mind. If you have gained skill in painting, in next human life you will be a born painter. You will start from where you had left. So where is this fear of death coming from? It comes from ignorance. Ignorantly we believe that "I" means this Physical body. Nothing can be farther from truth. Yes, we have to understand one basic fact. We do not know when the next human body we will receive. Because, that choice is not in our hands. It all depends upon our Karma. That is the deciding factor. Hence your Karma must be good. We will come to that later.

            The question that crops up now is, if "I" the Atma is different in all respects from the body which we mistakenly identify as "I", then why this "I" gets affected when body undergoes pleasure and pain.

            In verse 14 Krishna says, "Objects which cause pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow and the feeling of cold and hot etc., only affect the senses. These feelings have beginning as well as end. They have no permanency. Therefore, O! Arjuna, you bear them with courage."

Sense objects, sense organs and mind

            What are these objects? What is their relationship with senses? How do they influence the "I" in the body?

            Objects are all things which are perceptible to the five senses of knowledge. These senses are sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. With the help of these five senses of knowledge, mind gets to know, and becomes aware of things in the world. e.g. A tree is an object of sense of sight. A rose flower is an object of the senses of sight and smell. That which cannot come in the ambit of any of these five senses, remains unknown to the mind. You are sitting in your room. Suddenly you hear a very loud noise outside your house. Your sense of hearing tells the mind that there is an explosion somewhere. You go out and see. You see black clouds of smoke arising from far side corner. You guess there is fire. You walk to the scene and see a factory in flames. Now you know that there was an explosion of some kind in the factory, as a result of which some portion of the factory is on fire.

            This knowledge acquired by the mind, is because of the contact of outside objects with the sense organs inside your body. The first contact of the object is with that external part of the body which has a link with its associate sense organ. Explosion creates noise which is the subject of identification by the ears. Each sense organ has its own subject e.g. subject of eyes is form, of ears is sound, of nose is smell, of tongue is taste and of skin is touch. When the external part of the body catches the external object, the awareness of the object is sensed by the respective sense organ and the information is passed on to the mind. Senses are affected by the objects. Mind becomes aware, only when it accepts the information supplied by the sense organs. Mind could be miles away, lost in some other thoughts, when a particular information is passed on to it by a sense organ.

            You have received a letter from a very dear friend who lives in another continent, thousands of miles away from you. You have read the letter and your mind digs deep into its storehouse and brings on the surface, childhood memories of the time you spent together. Your mind is lost in thought. It picturises the old seemingly forgotten scenes. You have already put on some music on your tape deck, and you are listening to it. Now the music is caught up by your ears and the awareness is passed on to the mind. However, mind does not accept it. In a short while, the tape gets over and the music stops. You do not become aware of it. Because your mind was not in a state to accept any information sent to it by the sense of hearing.

            It is a common experience that when you are doing a job, you get disturbed by outside noises, or sight when your eyes roam about. Then you cannot concentrate on your work. Yet when interest in your work is far more, if you really love what you are doing, so that your mind's full attention is focused on the work in hand, you do not become aware of anything else. People pass in front of your eyes, you see yet don't see them. By that I mean, the eyes , the external body part, see them, and instantly the information is passed by the sense of sight to the mind. But as the mind is somewhere else, it does not accept the information and hence you do not see. A friend calls you by name but you do not respond. Later, when you stop your work he says "I called you twice" "Is it?" you say, "Sorry, I did not hear".

            The sense organ is a direct powerful tele link between the external body part and the inside mind. This organ is subtle. When it is not impaired, its only function is to sense the objects. With this knowledge it is easy to understand that feelings of pain and pleasure etc. are experienced first by sense organs and then by the mind.

The self or Atma

            So far so good. Now how does this inner self the "I" gets affected? Because the "I" gets involved with the outside world through its energy. It is the energy which runs through the mind and the senses as well as the physical body.

            This "I", in spiritual studies, is called a WITNESS. He is a silent witness, unaffected by anything that happens in the body. It is only when He identifies, through its small ego, with the mind etc., that He feels what the mind feels. This is called the soul's body consciousness. When this consciousness is broken and soul consciousness is established, He the "I" remains aloof, impervious to all body and mind awareness. To Him pleasure and pain are the same. To Him there is no happiness, no sorrow. He is in a state of His own. That state is bliss or Anand which is beyond description.

            Krishna says, in the pursuit of the highest goal, you have to learn to bear these feelings of the senses. With proper studies, mind can be made to detach from the senses temporarily, so that during that period of detachment, it will learn to ignore the awareness of any object brought to it by any of the five senses. With constant practice this period can be extended, and finally the mind can learn to detach itself from any sense, at its own will. The next stage is to divert the mind slowly and steadily from external objects to the inside fountain of energy, thereby losing the body consciousness and gaining soul-consciousness.

            Consider Atma or soul like a huge Lake, and mind as a person sitting on its bank. When this person is on the bank he sees, hears, smells, touches and tastes various objects. At that time he is not aware of what is inside the lake. Yet he has developed a liking to swim in the lake, to dive deep and remain under-waters. So from time to time he takes a dive, swims, goes down and remains underwater. During that period he is not aware of anything happening outside. Slowly but steadily, with constant and regular practice this man begins to love being in waters. His liking has turned into love. As this love grows, he loses interest in everything else. He spends more time underwater.

Self realization

            The mind, when it loves the energy or the God within, gets detached from the senses. It wants to be aware of only one thing, its object of Love, the God. If you can achieve this, you are mentally detached from the object world, even though you live in it, participate and act in it. This is the goal to be achieved. But before that state is reached, you are bound to get affected by happenings and events in the outside world. External objects will be sensed by sense organs. The information or awareness  sensed, will be passed on to the mind. The mind will be conscious of body and the knower, the doer, the Atma will be affected. He will experience various feelings. There is no escape from it. Hence, Krishna says, all you have to do is to ungrudgingly, silently bear what you experience. Do not get unduly disturbed. Have the knowledge, that this just a passing phase. Your goal is far away. It may not be reached by you during this life, because your life span is predetermined on the basis of your Karma. Yet this is a stage in your long drawn journey.When this stage is reached, this body of yours will perish and you will get a new body, a new house, depending upon your Karma. But in the next human life, you will retain whatever you have learned, and will take over your study further. One day, you will surely reach your goal.  Then in verse 15 Krishna says, "That "Dnyani" (one who has self realisation), who is not affected thus by sense objects, and treats both happiness and sorrow same, is eligible for Moksha (salvation)".

            Self realization is a must for those who seek to go beyond pain and pleasure. Common man is very much affected by these opposite feelings which are paired together. They are called "Dwandwas" meaning dual in nature. They are paired together as pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow, success and defeat, gain and loss etc. because these opposites coexist in pairs, yet only one is present at a time e.g. You feel happy when you buy your first car. Every time you sit in your car, you feel comfort and happiness. There is no presence of sorrow, yet it is there. If your car meets with an accident, or if it is stolen, or if it puts you in lot of expenses, your happiness goes away and its place is taken by sorrow.

            You know great sportsmen and women in tennis, or great footballers and cricketers. When they play their best game and win, they are happy. But sometimes they are outwitted and they lose and become sad. These dualities are a part of nature. They have tremendous influence on human mind. We know this and therefore, are anxious to keep the one and avoid the other. This anxiety puts tension on the mind and the original calm is disturbed. There is no peace. But the person who has realized the difference between Atma and body, knows that he is not the body but is the energy, the Atma, and will never die. He who realises that all these dualities are illusionary phases like waves on an ocean, and therefore are not worth turning one's attention to them, he can master them and he is then eligible for Moksha. What is Moksha (salvation)? It means liberation from the bondage of karma, and getting out of the cycle of birth and death.

            Whether you care for this freedom or not, you certainly want to have peace of mind so you can really enjoy your life, the way you want it. You may like to indulge in sensual pleasures, jump and swim in the lake of power, feel the taste of wealth and ride on the waves of fame. You cannot do so if your mind is so weak that it gets affected by these dualities. If pleasure elates you, pain will surely knock you down; and remember where there is pleasure, there is pain. 

            You buy costly jewellery. You are happy. You get pleasure in wearing it and showing off in parties or social functions. Good, have that pleasure. But do not forget, there is that possibility of your jewellery being stolen or lost, which will bring out the pain which coexists with pleasure. It will do you a lot of good, if you learn to treat both the same and then live your life in real joy which does not depend upon sense objects and sense feelings.

            In this world there are two things, real and unreal, or truth and falsehood. That which is unreal or false can never become real, and that which is real can never become unreal. Truth will always remain truth. Falsehood will disappear some day. Considering this eternal rule, one should understand that, this world, though appears to be real is not real, because it is constantly changing. But the energy which makes it appear real and change, is real and will never disappear.

            The physical body undergoes continuous change. Body cells degenerate and new ones are formed. This is how growth takes place. But some day the degeneration will become faster than the regeneration, and ultimately only the degeneration process will work, signifying that the end of the physical body is very near. Yet the energy causing this phenomenon will always be there. That is real, while the seemingly real body is unreal. So what, if the unreal goes away! The one who lives in the body is there forever.

What is Atma

            Having explained the difference and reality/unreality between the Atma and the physical body, Krishna further tells Arjuna, the sovereign nature of Atma. In verses 19 to 25, He explains:     

            The soul or Atma never gets killed, because He is real; and He never kills because He is not a party to any karma. He is just a witness, an energy which is in every living being. So how can He kill and whom will He kill. So this thinking of yours, that all these kith and kin of yours will get killed by you is a myth. This is ignorance. You are this Atma, presently residing in this body. This Atma means you or all these. Kauravas will never die. Who will kill whom? Will one energy kill another energy? You, the Atma and Duryodhana, the Atma are not different. What is different is the outer physical body. House is different but owner is same. House will collapse but owner will live. The Atma is never born so how can He die? Yes, the body will be cut to pieces, breathing will stop because the mechanism of body will cease to function. Like the machine, which runs on electricity, stops when the power is shut off, or when it develops a snag and becomes inoperative, the body will stop functioning, when its operation develops a snag due to the wound of your arrow or a sword. Yet the energy the Atma, the real Duryodhana, will always live. This Atma, the real one is indestructible, ever existing, original and invisible. He does not undergo any change like the body does. If you realize this, you will know that you cannot kill anybody. When you see any of your relatives die, as you say, what will happen is that, the Atma in those bodies will leave and acquire other bodies, in the same manner as one throws away old worn out garments and wears new ones.

            This Atma cannot be cut or dissected, by any weapon, nor burnt by fire, nor moistened or wetted by water, nor dried by the wind. In short, none of big elements, fire, water, wind (Agni, Aap and Vayu) have any effect on Him. He is unbreakable, insoluble, cannot be burnt or dried. He is everywhere, everlasting, unchangeable, immovable and lives eternally. He is unmanifested, unthinkable, unchangeable. So know Him thus and stop this senseless grief.

            Then for those who may not believe in the eternal status of Atma, Krishna continues and says, that even if you believe that Atma is always born and dies for ever, even then there is no reason for you to grieve over its death. Because that which is born must die, and that which dies must be reborn. All these living beings you see are in their middle stage. You do not know what stage they were in before they were born, nor do you know in what stage they will be after they die. So what is the point in lamenting? Wise people do not lament on unknown and unknowable stages. Nobody understands Him, because He is beyond the perception of the five senses, hence cannot be comptrehended  by the mind, not debated by the intellect. Yet He is there in the form of eternal energy, and that He is you. He is Duryodhana and Drona and Bhishma. So why express grief? He may live in any form, any body, He cannot be killed hence grieving for the death of any other creature is also pointless.

Arjuna's duty

            With this eternal knowledge, the fear of death should vanish. Krishna then tells Arjuna to stand up and fight fearlessly because that is his duty at that point of time. It is immaterial whom he has to fight. The war is on and justified. Duryodhana had done immense wrong and injustice not only to the five cousins but to many people. His arrogance and autocratic rule harassed many innocent people. Arjuna and his brothers championed the cause of the down trodden and the oppressed. They were totally justified in declaring war. Now there was no going back unless Duryodhana saw sense and surrendered. But the war cry came from Bhishma, the army chief of Kauravas. If Arjuna were to refuse to fight, it would mean he was scared to die.

            This war was a golden opportunity for a "Kshatriya", a warrior whose Dharma (duty) was to defend the poor, who had no means to fight any mighty tyrant. Nothing was more sacred and sanctimonious to a Kshatriya. Arjuna and his colleagues were very fortunate to have this opportunity. At this time, if Arjuna was to retreat or run without fighting, his name would go down in history in Black letters. Posterity would ridicule and shame him down. They would spit on his pictures. He would not only go against the Kshatriya-Dharma, he would not only lose all the name and fame he had earned, but he would also be a sinner. All the Kauravas, including the weakest of the weak soldier would scorn at him and say "Arjuna got scared and ran away from the battle field". All his glory would vanish and his status would be reduced to a non-entity in no time. Will this not be more harmful than death? Men die for fame and honour, because after their death people should talk highly of them. Arjuna had earned fame which none other warrior had earned; and now he stood to lose that and earn bad reputation.

            Krishna explained this to Arjuna and finally said, if you die, you will go to heaven and enjoy heavenly pleasures. If you survive and win, you will enjoy worldly pleasures and happiness, so now stand up and fight with a strong will.

            After this advice comes an extremely important and revealing truth in the verse no.38. Krishna says, "Arjuna, regard the dualityies of happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat as same, and then start your war action. In this way you will not sin."

Karmic bondage

            Doing one's duty, means taking right action at the right time, is expected of humans. This would pave the way to success and prosperity. But all the same, any action taken with attachment which, in short, means fearing the defeat and craving victory, abhorring sorrow and desiring happiness etc., would result in Karmic bondage. The Atma will not be liberated from the chains of this bondage. There would be no Moksha. Hence for the aspirants of Moksha, the royal and only way to do any Karma is to just do it because it is the right thing to do at that time, and not get affected by the result of it.

            When mind is not attached to the result of Karmic action, the action does not create bondage. Let us elaborate on this. The first lesson of Karma is to do right Karma at any given time. Each karma is preceded by a desire. You are sitting in your room. You desire to have a cup of coffee. This desire arises because of deep rooted "sanskaras", the accumulated unfulfilled and unended desires of past lives. Your desire sets thoughts in motion. Karma starts. You go to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee. Your desire is, for that moment, fulfilled. But it is not gone. You will feel like having another cup of coffee after a few hours. The point to be noted is, that desires do not vanish when fulfilled. They remain.

            The principle here is that behind every karma there is a desire. When karma or action starts, desire rests for a while because the job is being done. To drink a cup of coffee is a simple desire. In life we bear many complex and strong desires. In order to take action, the desire must be strong. If your coffee desire is not strong, you may not take action instantly. You may wait for someone else to come and make coffee.

            When desire transforms into karma, the obvious thing that happens is, your mind remains attached to the positive fulfilment of that desire by your karma.

            Joseph is a good tennis player. He enters a city tournament. His desire is to win the tournament and to get the trophy. His mind is focused on the fulfilment of his desire. He may win or he may lose. But because his mind is attached to the end result, he is happy if he wins and sad if he loses. In the meanwhile, he has been involved in many physical and mental actions. All these are Karmas. They remain in the mind, become a part of it. Long after the tournament is over, he can remember every little incident of all his karmas, pertaining to that tournament. Even if he forgets some minor details, the record of it is stored in the mind. These karmas which do not leave the mind, create a bondage and the "I" or Atma falls in the cycle of rebirth and death of the physical body.

            If Joseph does not want his karmas, resulting from this tournament, to create bondage, then he has to keep his mind away from the result of each match he plays. He does not have to give up his desire. On the contrary he must hold a very strong desire to play and win. But when the desire gets transformed into action, he must concentrate on action. He may need lessons from a good coach. He may need to have regular physical exercise under the guidance of an experienced teacher. He may need to have diet control and hard practice. His mind must be occupied by one thought, how to play the best game of his career, and not "I must win". The thought about winning, should never enter his mind.

            "Win or lose is immaterial. I must play a superb game. Then, if my opponent plays better then me, he deserves to win. My fault will be if I make too many mistakes and play a substandard game," This must be his attitude. With this frame of mind Joseph can concentrate on his game much better, and then his karma, without attachment to the end result, does not remain stored in His mind. When the final is over he feels satisfied with his performance. Whether he wins or loses, he is happy, he played excellent game. The Karma is done and gone. It does not create bondage.

            Therefor, Krishna says, before you start your Karma or transform your desire into action, know it well that Karma has to be perfect. Concentrate your mind totally and completely on what you have to do so that your actions turn out to be the best ones. Never think of winning or success or gains etc. Leave that to the unseen power. Remember, in life success and failure, gain and loss are common accurances. Life is much more than these things. These incidents, when they occur, have to be accepted. In course of time you can get over them. If you hold them in your mind, you create a Karmic bondage, and you give open invitation to untold misery. In spite of having what you need to live a good, comfortable, trouble free life, you live in discomfortand troubled waters. The fault is yours.

            Hence, whether one desires Moksha or wishes to have a prosperous and rich life with all the luxuries thrown in, one must learn to do the Karma perfectly. And this perfection means, hold a very strong desire which will prompt you to do your Karma; then do all that you have to do, in the right way and enjoy what you are doing, forgetting the result completely.

            So saying, Krishna told Arjuna, "Look, Partha (Arjuna), what I have told you is called "Sankhy-Yoga", now I will tell you "Buddhi-Yoga."

            The word Sankhya could be derived from the root Sankhya which means  (a) war or (2) numbers. "Yoga" means (a) skill or (2) to get something which you need but you do not have

            Sankhy-Yoga could, therefore, mean that this is something which Arjuna needed in that war to perform his duty and Krishna gave it to him. Or it could mean that the verses numbers 11 to 38 tell Arjuna the skill to fight the war so that even while he does his duty, his Karma does not create a bondage. Arjuna needed this advice and Krishna gave it to him in the war.

            This "Snakhya" has no relation with the science of "Sankhya advocated by "Kapila-muni".

Buddhi yoga

            From verses nos. 40 to 53 Krishna has explained "Buddhi Yoga", which means the correct use of intellect in performing Karma so that Karmic bondage is not created. When an individual acts according to his Dharma, i.e. when intellect is properly used in every Karma, it protects one from greatest fear, which, of course, is that of death. Also if any Karma done, as per this Dharma, does not get complete, there is nothing lost.

Proper use of intellect

            The essence of this Yoga is, determined attitude in performing Karma. The intellect is to be directed and centred on the Karma being performed, so that the mind does not go astray. It is a common experience that, while doing any work, the mind wanders about. If you are cooking, you do not have to pay attention to your Karma, because its a routine job for you, and all your actions take place automatically, without thinking. So the mind, which cannot remain idle even for a split second, wanders. All sorts of thoughts enter into it. This wandering of mind also occurs when you are doing some important responsible job.

            Suppose you are at work or at your studies. You have some important work or book in your hand, and you need to concentrate. You had an argument in the morning or the previous day with your spouse or a fiancee. The incident is over. Today is a brand new day. But as you do your work or study, your mind, without taking your permission, wanders away and starts thinking or musing about that incident. This happens all the time. The reason for this happening is that you have interest in your spouse or fiancee, and you feel bad about the argument you had. In a like manner, we are interested in many things. When we have to do a job, if we do not have interest in it, the mind will stray away and pick up any one of the thousands subjects stored inside, and start musing. This wandering of mind creates waves, which disturb peace, and we are, therefore, in a constant state of agitation. There is no way to experience the inner bliss because we ourselves have blocked it.

            To control the aimless wandering of the mind, there is the intellect which stands superior to mind. Mind deliberates whereas intellect decides. Mind raises doubts, intellect solves them. Mind plans hundreds of ways, intellect selects and directs which way to go.

            Yet, if you take a good careful look at human behaviour, you will notice that mind overpowers intellect, because it wants to indulge in pleasing the senses. Suppose you are doing some important work at home. You have decided to finish it in one day. You know that if you put in eight hours of work, your job will be done. You have done part of the work and your neighbour comes to tell you there is a good football game in the town. He has two tickets and he is going to watch it. He asks you if you would like to go with him. You are a football fan. The sense of hearing has conveyed the message to the mind. There is a dormant desire in you to watch football game if an opportunity presents itself. Now your mind deliberates. It says,

            "Its a good opportunity. I would like to go." Intellect asks, "What about this work you started? You can go, but is it right? Do you really have to go and watch the game? Can you not do without it? "Mind: "I suppose so, but what's so important in this job. It can wait."

            In this way, mind argues and talks in favour of fulfilling the desires which please the sense organs. If your intellect is weak, it would be overpowered easily by the mind. Then what happens? You leave the job and go. But if you use the entellect rightly, it will shut up the mind and you will tell your friend. "Many thanks, but I am sorry. I must finish this job today." 

            There are many instances when intellect falls behind and sense-desires win. Krishna says, make use of your intellect, direct it to the Karma in hand, let it steer the whole show. Originally you had the desire to do that job. Your mind was in action at that time. You transformed the desire into action. Mind's function for that particular job is over. Now let the intellect be in the driver's seat, and see how best the job could be done. Let the mind function under the guidance of intellect. No more thoughts, "about will the job be good or bad etc.?" Only thoughts you should entertain, will be how to do the job. When "Buddhi" or intellect is one pointed, trained on the job in hand, there is no conscious attachment to the result, and the Karma becomes bondage free. Those who do not have one pointed intellect, are in a bad situation because their intellect divides itself into many branches.

Karma and Gunas

            If you are seeking Moksha and the ultimate peace, then you have to go beyond the beaten path. Study and following Vedas, will lead you to heaven where, you can have heavenly pleasures. The ultimate goal of human life, according to Vedas, is to achieve a place in Heaven. But once you finish your allotted quota of heavenly pleasures, you have to come down on this Karma bhoomi and get into the cycle. There is no escape from it. The only way to come out of this birth-death-birth cycle is to use your intellect and do your Karma.     

            Vedas are bounded by the three Gunas viz.; Sattwa, Raja and Tama. "Sattwa" means holy, pious, honourable and of superior status. "Raja" means motion, instability and tendency to enjoy pleasures of the senses through sense objects. "Tama" means anger, inaction or action without the use of intellect, sleep, lithargy and bais attitude.

            All three "gunas" or qualities  have some effect or the other on every Karma, be it the most noble Karma of performing "Yagna" as per Vedas. Hence these Karmas create bondage. Krishna says to Arjuna, "Arjuna, go beyond these three gunas. Let your Karma be not tainted by them. This is possible if you let your intellect be one pointed."

            "As a human being, the only thing you are allowed to do is Karma. That is your right. You cannot do anything else because everything that you do (thought, speech, action) becomes your Karma. Also every Karma yields some result or fruit. You  have right to do a Karma but you do not claim its fruit as a matter if right. Therefore, do not do any Karma with your mind set on its fruit. At the same time do not refrain yourself from performing any Karma." 

            This is the essence of the verse no. 47 of this chapter. Why do we have the right to do Karma but no right to its fruit? To understand this, we will see how the Law of Karma works.

Law of karma

            You are working in an organisation. You get a fixed salary every month for the work you do. Your hours of work are 0900 to 1700, with 30 minutes lunch break. Since you are paid for your work, you have accepted the job. It is your duty to work from 0900 to 1700 except during 30 minute break. If you make it a habit to report 10 to 15 minutes late every day and also indulge in whiling away your time, leaving the work aside, then your Karma is not done correctly. You will be paid your salary at the end of the month. If you think, that is the fruit of your Karma, you are wrong. Yes, that is the fruit of your labour, but Karma is different. It looks at how you are doing your job".

            If you do not work the agreed hours, you are cheating, which itself is a bad Karma. If you talk to your colleagues ill about your superiors, or even think ill of any of them for any reason, that is taken note of. Remember, all thoughts, words are Karma and they are recorded in the mind. When this life is over, and you, the Atma, leave, you are bound by your Karma. Before you are given a new body, all your Karma is judged. Your abuses, your cheating, your dishonest behaviour is all considered as bad Karma and the fruit of the Karma tree planted by you is decided upon by Prakruti. That is the reason Krishna says, you have no right to the fruit because all your actions meaning, thoughts, spoken and unspoken or written words are checked and judged for their good or bad rating. So if you are nice to your friend when you meet him or her but talk ill behind or think ill, then you are doing bad Karma for which you have to pay dearly.

            A patient is brought to a hospital for an emergency operation. The surgeon, who is to operate upon the patient, sees him in the operating theatre. He notices that the man lying on the table under anaesthesia is his enemy. The surgeon does not like this man yet he operates upon him. He even wishes the patient to die. Yet the doctor in him does a good job and the patient survives. Doctor's Karma was not entirely good. Physical action was excellent Karma, but Karma done by the mind lacked sincerity and was full of malice and hatred. It was bad Karma and so it will be recorded in his own mind and judged accordingly when time comes to decide how his next life should be.

            Suppose the surgeon, who has this patient on the operating table, has never seen him before. He wants to perform a good operation. He does his best, wishing and praying all the while that his patient should survive and be completely alright. Unfortunately, the patient dies. His time is up. The doctor does not spare any effort, he is not negligent, yet he cannot save the patient, who dies on the operation table. Doctor's Karma was without blemish. His mental, intellectual and physical actions were all noble and good. Death of the patient does not go against the Doctor when his mind's logbook is read when he dies. He will be given a reward, as a fruit of this Karma.

            In this way all our thoughts, words, actions form Karma. Each Karma is automatically recorded in the mind because it has to originate in the mind before it goes out as a word, or as a physical action. So, my friends, never never be dishonest, do not lie, do not cheat, do not hold hatred or grudge against anybody. If you do, you will most assuredly have to pay for it.

The way to do karma

            The best way to live therefore, is do your right duty, concentrate totally on your job, not letting the mind to wander away and have feelings of affection, love, gratitude towards others, even if they are not good to you. They will receive the fruit of their Karma, you will receive yours. Because, once your body dies, definitely you get another one. This cycle will go on until you realize that there is something higher than this cycle and you wish to come out of it. Then you can stop unwanted thinking, make correct use of intellect and be sure that every single Karma is done in the right way.

            The next step is to dissolve the "I" in every Karma. When you say "I" did this job, you are right if you did it. That is accepted but if you have a complex in your mind that the ownership of the job is yours, then you are taking upon yourself all that Job-Karma entails. You will be receiving the fruit of the Karma. But when your attitude is, that you are just doing your duty, and in your mind you do not own the doing of the job but believe it to be God's doing, you pass on that Karma to God. It is not easy to do so. It becomes possible only if your intellect is pointed to God, the higher self.

            You have to have same attitude to end result of your job. If it is successful do not get hyper; if it is a failure do not become sad. Keep your mental poise balanced, same in both cases. This is called equality of intellect. This is the Buddhi Yoga.

            Karma which is performed without the application of intellect (wisdom or Buddhi) is always lower in rating than that done with intellect. In this, the intellect, is used in two ways. Firstly, to shut out all other sundry and useless thoughts from the mind, thereby stopping its meaningless wandering and secondly to keep the mind away from getting attached to the fruit of the Karma. Without using intellect in this way, all Karma ends up in attachment and results in Karmic bondage.

            This method of doing Karma is the best of all and also skilful. It keeps one away from both sin and good deeds. Krishna said to Arjuna thus, and advised, "Arjuna, try to follow this method. Use your intellect in all your Karmas. Wise persons, get rid of thoughts like what will they get, will they be successful etc., which show attachment to the end result of the Karma. They successfully cut themselves away from the bondage and living in eternal happiness, attain Moksha."

Mind and intellect

            He further said in verses 52 and 53, "When your intellect, which is engulfed in the delusion of the mind, and the objects of the senses, (like the relations you see as enemies) goes beyond your present thoughts and becomes free of these chains, then only you will lose your interest in the worldly matters about which you have heard so much, so far, and you will have no desire left to know anything more about them. When your intellect which is influenced by the beautiful teaching of the Vedas, which speak highly of heavenly residence and pleasures therein, sees the sense in what I say and becomes steady and firm, then you will attain this Yoga."

            Steady and firm means one-pointed. The intellect which succumbs to the vagaries of the mind and changes its decisions, by listening to the whims and fancies of the mind is not steady. Mind has immense power. It can think of many ways of doing or avoiding to do a Karma. We must know that mind is guided by one principle and that is to please senses. Mind will not bother whether a particular Karma is the right one or wrong. It will only see what is good for its senses at that time.

            A person is suffering from diabetes. His blood sugar has gone abnormally high. He goes to the Doctor who prescribes some medicine and warns him NOT to eat any oily food and not to eat sweets at all, for two months, after which he will have another examination. This person likes sweets very much. He obeys the Doctor's advice for 30 days and his blood count comes down. He feels much better. Then, on one day his wife prepares some heavy sweets on some festive occasion. This man finds it difficult to stay away from having a bite. His mind says, "come on, one small piece will not make a difference." It is only his intellect that will advise him, "No, this may be sweet to others, but it is poison for you. Stay away from it."

            The mind wants to please the sense of taste and does not bother about right and wrong. In majority cases, mind will support the senses because it is their king. It is they who bring to the king all the information he wants. They keep him busy and entertained. Whereas Buddhi, the intellect is near to the real king, the Atma, and can think of what is right and wrong.

    

A gambler has lost lot of money in gambling houses. He has mortgaged his house, his wife's jewellery and lost. He is penniless. Yet, when he gets some money from somewhere, instead of using it to salvage some of his pawned articles, his mind will direct him to go and gamble. It is his intellect which can stop him.

            It is unfortunate that we give in to the mind in our Karma. I would like the readers to pause and reflect on their past. Try to see how many times before, you have indulged and acted according to your mind's liking. You may be in for a surprise. You may wonder why you did not use your intellect and acted differently. It is because the mind is so very strong and boisterous. Not that the intellect is weak, but it is generally calm. It does not like to have trouble and conflict. But it has tremendous power because it can control the mind. It can channel the mind in the right direction. This will become easier if we make it a habit to ask ourselves a question,

            "Is it right what I am doing at this time?" Mark the word "right". The word is not "good". When you ask this question, it is the intellect which is asking it, not the mind, which does not know what is right. It only, knows what is good for the senses. Hence the word "right"?" See the divine intelligence. In the very first verse spoken by Krishna, (verse no. 2 of chapter 2), he asked Arjuna, "Is this right what you are doing at this time? He is indirectly telling Arjuna to use "Buddhi-Yoga", which he has told him now more directly, after allaying his fear and ignorance of death; after explaining the immortality and ever permanence of Atma and also explaining the importance of Karma.

            Now He says, do your Karma using your intellect. Friends, this is in short Buddhi Yoga, as I understand it. You practice it in your daily life from today and see how your life changes for the better.

            When Krishna told Arjuna to have a steady and firm intellect, that is, the intellect which will never waver under any circumstances, Arjuna was baffled. In verse 54, he asks Krishna, "Could you tell me how a person with steady and firm intellect is? Is he somewhat different from a normal human being? Could you tell me how he talks, sits, walks etc.?"

            Arjuna has never met a person who has not given in to the whims of mind. Hence he is wondering how can any body's intellect remain steady and firm.

Stealy intellect

            In the last 18 verses from no. 54 to 71 of this chapter, Krishna explains how a steady-intellect person is, what is the difference between him and any other ordinary common man and finally says in the last verse no. 72 that this state is known as "Brahmi" state. Once this state is reached, the person becomes one with God.

            Now let us see who can be called a "Sthita-Pradnya". Sthita means steady. Pradnya means Intellect. Sthita-Pradnya means the one whose intellect is steady, unwavering, and firm.

Who is a sthita pradnya (person wiht steady intellect)

            Following persons are known to have steady intellect.  

1. One who can easily give up each and every desire that crops up in the mind and can be happy with oneself is a person with steady intellect.

            Desires spring from Vasanas, the root cause of all desires. Vasanas surround the Atma. The difference between a Vasana and a desire is illustrated thus; You like to eat sweets. You can devour anything sweet any time. That is your Vasana to eat sweet food. People say you have a sweet tooth. You go out with a friend for shopping. You have had your dinner and your stomach is quite full. You have no appetite now. As your friend is buying something, your eyes notice a sweet-shop nearby. You see there, in the glass cabinet in front the shop, a dish which you fancy. You feel like having it. This is your desire.

            Vasana is embedded in the heart. It is a product of desires of many lives accumulated and stored. When your sense organ comes in contact with any object, which is a subject of the Vasana, a desire to have that object springs up. In society, as we move about, we see, hear, smell, touch, taste many objects. Contact of the sense organs with the sense object sends a signal to the Vasana through the mind and desire is born. This happens all the time everywhere.

            You love to swim. That is your Vasana. You go to a village for a weekend. You are driving your car. You notice a clean water lake by the side of the road. Your desire to swim springs up. Whether you stop the car and actually go for a swim will depend  upon the mind and the intellect. Mind would like to serve Vasana and please the Indriya (sense organ)  Intellect can reason and decide if it is the right thing to do at that time.

            For common people like us, it is always a struggle between mind and intellect. All our Karma is governed by these two. But a steady-intellect person has no effect on him of any desire. He loves to eat sweet but seeing a sweet dish or tasting a morsel of it does not spring a desire in him to have it. He loves swimming but seeing a lake does not spring a desire to swim. How does this happen?

            This happens only when his intellect is steady and fixed upon Atma. He has found that real bliss or joy is not in outer sense-oriented world but it is inside. It is the soul which is the fountain of joy. This joy  or "Ananda" does not depend upon any sense object or sense organs for its fulfilment. It is there all the time. It is permanent hence it is with the soul or Atma. This man's intellect is all the time directed to this joy. Hence anything happening in the mind does not affect him. He has Vasanas, deeply embedded inside the heart but he has mastered the intellect which alone can decide what is to be performed. When this intellect is pointed towards God and is not interested in any other thing, no desire springs up. This person is happy with himself, wherever he may be, whatever he may be doing. Instead of desires dancing all around in his mind, He, as if, has laid them down on a bed and he sleeps upon them peacefully.

2. He whose mind is not disturbed or troubled by sorrow; he who does not get excited by happiness, he who has got rid of "likes", fear and anger, is called a person with steady intellect.  

            In leading a normal life in society we face many problems and difficulties. There are moments of happiness when our desires are fulfilled; and moments of sorrow when things go wrong for us i.e. when desires are not fulfilled. The stronger the desire the greater is the interest in its fulfilment. It does not matter how small the desire is.

            You wish to have a cup of coffee. Its a very tiny little desire. You are alone in the house. You go into the kitchen. There is no coffee powder. You search everywhere, you do not find it. If the desire is very strong, you go out to the grocery shop, if you can. If you do not want to go out, you may curse your family, get upset and come back to your sit. You may even develop a headache. The cause is the unfulfilment of desire. This is a small instance.

You are at work. You prepare a report, as per instruction from your superior. The report is on a survey you had made. You spend a week gathering and collating the required information. You have done a good job. You go to your superior's cabin and proudly hand over the report to him. He is busy. He keeps it aside to look at it later. You return to your seat. After two hours the boss comes to you with the report and throws it at you, saying,

            "Rubbish! Don't you know how to make a report? Do you expect me to present this to the Director? Ask your colleagues and do it again. I want it on my desk tomorrow morning."

            You are upset, disturbed, pained. You suffer. You have been insulted, ridiculed in front your colleagues. Such instances generating anger, fear, likes and dislikes, pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow occur all the time in routine life. They affect our mind. But he whose mind is always calm like a still lake, he who is not affected by any such instance is a person with steady intellect.

            How can one be like this? When intellect is not interested in what is happening in the outer world and the person is doing his Karma joyfully, without attachment to the end result, he can remain calm. Mind does not agitate any more. It remains calm and still, because the intellect has turned its back on it and is looking all the time to its real Master, the Atma, the God, the energy within.

3. He who is devoid of any attachment, who does not express happiness nor gets submerged in it when something good happens, he who does not suffer or get upset when anything bad takes place, is a steady intellect person.

            Attachment makes the difference. All our emotions of happiness, sorrow, anger, hatred, envy  etc. spring from attachment. You are attached to your daughter. She is studying in school. She secures first rank in final examination. You are happy. She suffers a minor headache or cold, you are worried. Your neighbour's or brother's daughter is ill. You are concerned but not worried. Because there is no attachment.

            You have a pet dog. You are attached to it and the dog is strongly attached to you. When you come home from work, he jumps with happiness. When you are lying in bed with a mild fever, the dog sits gloomily in a corner of your room, looking at you. If you do not eat, he refuses to it. This is attachment. Even animals have it. If you can master this feeling and learn to love without attachment, you are treading on high ground. When there is no attachment at all, no emotions overcome your mind. You love because it is your nature to love. Your intellect is fixed on God whom you see everywhere. If your loved one forsakes you, you don't get upset or angry. There is no emotion because its place is taken by most pure, unselfish, noble love which can only come from God. Because He loves us all. He loves the good and the bad and the ugly. There is no differentiation, because He has no attachment.

 4. He, who can withdraw his sense organs easily from the sense objects, just as a tortoise can withdraw its limbs whenever it wants, is a person with steady intellect.

            The first contact of outside objects with the body is with the five sense organs of knowledge viz. senses of touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing. They activate the mind which sends signal to Vasana which springs up a desire and the mind runs after fulfilling it. The only obstacle for the mind is Buddhi, the intellect. Because it is this intellect which decides upon what action to be taken. A steady intellect person, in order not to have disturbance from the mind, can order the sense organs to withdraw from the sense objects and not to communicate with the mind.

            When you are walking on a street, you read a huge sign board advertising a music show in town. You love music and this musician is your favourite star. In the normal circumstances, when your sense of sight makes a contact with the sign board, you will have a desire to buy a ticket. If you do not want to go, you may decide later. But you cannot stop the desire springing up. You will say to your friend, "I would like to go for the show". But if your intellect is steady, you can at once withdraw the sense of sight from its object at that moment, and the board with the letters and a huge picture of your star will have no impact on you. Your eyes will see but not see the board. To them it will be just a blank board.

Forced Vasana

            One may abstain onesself from sense objects, yet ones Vasana to enjoy those objects remains. One of the effective measures to keep the senses from their objects is to go on fasting. Yet even those people, who live without food, find it difficult to weed out the Vasana seed. It is only when one's gaze is fixed on higher goal, then the seed of Vasana is burnt.

            Out of the four born necessities of an animal including man, food is given number one. Others are sleep, protection from fear and copulation or sex. One can live without the last one, can also survive without the third. The second one is necessary to give rest to the brain, the mind, and also the physical parts. But the first one is essential to survive. It is said that food is Brahma, or God because the Atma needs a body, and body needs food for its maintenance. Yet people go on fast occasionally. Some people have fixed days in a week on which they do not take food. Many people think that fasting means abstaining from eating the daily food. They eat something else. So some people eat only fruits and drink tea or milk. Yet some others cook special dishes and fill up the stomach with them. By so doing the main purpose of fasting is lost. Fasting means giving up any kind of food. It is only then that the Indriyas (senses) become weak and try to stay away from their pleasure generating objects. The moment you eat and fill up your stomach, sense organs become active. If you go on a long fast and abstain from eating or drinking anything except water, you will become weak physically. Your sense organs will not get excited by their favourite objects. Yet when you stop fasting and come into the main stream of life, gradually your appetite increases and in a few days you begin to take normal food. With that, your sense organs again become active and now they crave for their objects from which they have been kept away for long. This happens, because Vasana, which generates a desire, never dies.

            Even severe penance, chanting of mantras for hundreds of thousands of time, meditating for long hours and following other practices on the path of spiritual development does not help to get rid of Vasanas which are the cause of bondage, and the cycle of birth and death.

            A classic example is of the great sage Vishwamitra. He was a kshatriya but obtained Brahmin status by unprecedented penance. He had acquired the power to recreate entire Universe. He was the Yogi of all Yogis. Even demigods were afraid of him. He had a control over his sense organs and the whole physical body, as nobody had. Once he was meditating. He sat on a stone in a forest for years. He could live without food or water. His energy gave life to his body. It supplied that, which food or water could give. Indra, the king of heavens was worried that this sage may acquire powers over himself. He sent one of his most beautiful dancer, named Menka to dislodge Vishwamitra from his sadhana (practice or meditation). She descended on earth, came to him and saluted. His eyes were closed, senses were withdrawn. He was in a state of deep Samadhi. She started dancing. The anklets she wore made pleasing sound. She danced to the tune of melodious divine music. After some time, may be some days or months, the sweet music and the sound of dancing steps entered his ears and through the mind reached the innermost depth of his heart. It might have taken one billionth of a second for this process. But that was enough for the deeply buried Vasana to come alive. The force of Vasana was so strong that inspite of  himself, when his intellect, which was tuned with Self  wavered for a split second, his eyes were opened. The Vasana to enjoy a woman's love is the strongest of all, because it satisfies all the five senses, sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, all sense objects found in a woman's body. Vishwamitra had successfully buried this Vasana by unimaginable penance, yet the seed was alive. When it got the slightest opportunity, it sprung.

            So long as the sage had a steady intellect, fixed on the God within, No vasana dared move a finger. He was the Master because he had established a direct contact with God. One billionth of a second, this contact was broken when the intellect became unsteady. The persistent effort of Menaka, the external object of  pleasure, reached inside through the sense organs, the eyes, ears, nose and smell. What remained away was touch. Vishwamitra  got up from his seat. Mind had won victory over intellect. He walked near Menaka, caught hold of her hand and his body shivered. It had its sense organ starving for years and years. He took her in his arms. Now all the five senses vied with each other to derive sensual pleasure from the object close to them. Her look send him into raptures, her sweet words were music to his ears, her body smell was like costliest perfumes showered on him, her taste through his tongue was sweeter than anything else he could imagine and her touch was like electricity dancing through his body, generating current of untold ecstasy.

            Vishwamitra became a victim of Vasana when his intellect was drawn away momentarily from the God. Saint Tukaram has said that the seed of Vasana must be burnt and not buried. The only way to achieve this is unwavering stead fast attention of the intellect to God. This steady one pointed gaze must be so locked that no sense object key can open it.             A person may be highly intellectual, knowledgeable Pundit with mastery over Philosophy and well versed in all sciences and spiritual practices; he may be extremely careful in his behaviour, always engrossed in his Sadhana (practice of self realization), yet he can fall prey to the force of his sense-organs. They are so powerful and active that they can take away his mind anytime anywhere. Only a steady-intellect person can win these sense organs and keep them in check.

            There are many people in all parts of the world who follow various spiritual practices. More and more people are turning to meditation. Some practise to get the power of Mantras by chanting them for years. A variety of different technigues are available. Constant practice does help people to acquire certain powers. These powers do not come from outside. The effect of  their Sadhana is to awaken the power within. But in the pursuit of the extreme goal, these powers may create obstruction because a Sadhak (one who practises) is liable to be a victim of his powers.

            He, who desires to be with God, to be free from bondage, never to return with a physical body but to be merged in the Absolute Power, the God, must aim to have this steady intellect. We do not want to leave society and live in a forest, shutting of the contact of sense organs with their objects which are rare in a forest. We want to live in this modern world, enjoy what it offers, be prosperous and successful in our work, be recognised and honoured by people. We also want to be free from bondage. Is it possible? Yes it is. That is the whole lesson of Gita.

            In verse 61 Krishna says to us, the inhabitants of  Kaliyuga, through Arjuna,

"control your Indriyas (sense organs) in most masterly way, have faith in ME (God) and carry on with your work whatever you do."

5. He who has his Indriyas under check, has his intellect steady. He is a Sthita Pradnya.

            A point to remember here is that some aspirants of Moksha, some devotees of Krishna think and preach that Krishna says, "worship Me alone." This is not correct. Krishna in physical form is an Avatar. In unmanifested state He is energy. This energy could take any form and shape. There are thousands of Hindu devotees who worship Rama, Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesh and so on. Others worship and have faith in Sai Baba of Shirdi or Sathya Sai Baba of Puttuparthi. Some are devotees of various saints in India. Christians have faith in Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ while Muslims believe in the all supremacy of Mohamand Paigambar, PBUH.

            You must follow your own religion and its dictates. Never change your faith. When, in this verse, Krishna says "Have faith in Me". He means the supreme energy which is God. By "Me" He does not mean His physical form. The word Krishna consciousness, used by some people, is sometimes misleading. The correct word is "God consciousness" or Brahma consciousness. God cannot be seen. God is to be experienced through your own energy. When the individual soul energy is freed from mind and the senses, it is ready to get merged in the super energy which is also within. This is what is known as experiencing God hood and it can be achieved by having faith in any superhuman being or a saint or God in whatever form you believe in. Because in reality everything is God. In the process of God realization, as one advances, one attains God consciousness.

Relation between senses and mind

            Verses 62 and 63 tell us, thinking of sense objects leads to attachment to that object. This attachment generates desire and if the fulfilment of desire is obstructed, anger is generated. Anger gives rise to delusion which in turn brings in the bewilderment of memory, loss of intelligence and then total destruction.

            This is where we see close relation between the sense organs and the mind. Whereas it is impossible for us to keep the sense organs away from their objects, it is extremely difficult to keep them separated from the mind. They bring food to the mind which eats it slowly, bit by bit, at its own leisure.

            You read the morning newspaper. It is an object for your eyes. You go through it, read news items, advertisements, sports column and so on. Your mind takes in its storehouse many things. Then it entertains itself by churning that food inside and also draws energy from it. You may read an advertisement of a Jumbo Sale of various household items. You have been planning to buy a few items for your house. You find this a good opportunity. You start contemplating on the advertised sale. Your mind gets attached to the "sale" and you want to visit the shop and buy what you need. This is your desire which, when it becomes strong, makes you take action. You have other jobs to attend to, so you postpone going to the shop by two days. In the meanwhile a friend of yours has already bought for her house a few things. She tells you how lucky she was to get them at very low price.

            You contemplate further and your desire becomes stronger. After two days, you visit the shop only to find the items you want are all sold out. You are half a day late. Your desire and the sure expectation of it being fulfilled, gets knocked down. You argue but its of no use.

            You ask the shop man, "how can you say no? Your advertisement specifically says the sale is on till next Sunday. It is only Wednesday today. How can the sale be over?"

            "Madam, the sale is not over. But our advertisement also specifically says, "sale is on, till the stocks last." He shows you the clipping from the newspaper and adds "you see, we have other items in stock still. If you are interested please hurry."

            You get angry but there is nothing you can do. You blame yourself for being late. Such is the power of mind's contemplation. Hence in spiritual studies and practices, one must give up thinking of sense objects totally. The first step in achieving this is to keep the sense organs in check.

6. He who frees the sense organs from desire and anger; and goes about attending to all his work with mind under control, becomes qualified for God's mercy and blessings. Once he is blessed thus, all misery vanishes because he whose mind is at peace and blissful can very quickly succeed in steadying his intellect.

            Krishna, here, has not advocated leaving family life and leading the life of a recluse. He says "you go about doing all tasks, however, take care and learn to keep your mind under control. Let it not muse or think and contemplate on sense objects. Let the sense organs do their work. The mind can be trained to ignore their messages.

            Just as a strong wind can sweep away a boat sailing on water, even one sense organ which roams about and devours its subject, can influence the mind and carry away one's intellect.

7. Hence, he, who has succeeded in holding back all his sense organs from their objects, is the one with a steady intellect.

            In verse 69, Krishna points out the difference between a common person and one with steady intellect. He says, when all others sleep, a Sthita Prandnya remains awake, whereas where all others are awake, he goes to sleep. It means, while common people are interested in the gratification of the senses with the object, spread all around them in this universe, this man has no interest at all in them. And whereas all others are ignorant and totally disinterested in knowing self and God, he is the only one who is totally and completely interested in that.

            In society people do show double interests. They want to enjoy sensual pleasures derived from external objects; and at the same time they want to dabble in spiritual studies. They think they can have both. Yes they can but with one difference. While you enjoy external objects and please the senses, your mind must be miles away from them.

            Let the eyes see beautiful things, let the ears hear music and whatever else they like to listen to, let the tongue satisfy its taste-buds, the nostrils their favourite odour and the body enjoy silky soft touch. But let NOT the mind get attached to any of these, even while the sense organs are having their enjoyment.

8. At all these times, the mind has to be drawn in and with the intellect turned to God inside. This is possible and this is what is expected of humans. One who achieves this state has his intellect steady.

Brahmi state  

            In verse 70 He gives an illustration. He says, "look at the vast ocean. It receives water from rivers continuously but it does not cross its boundary limit. In the same way, let all sorts of desires, arising out of contact of sense organs with their objects, enter the mind. Let not the mind cross its boundary. Let it remain merged in God consciousness. He who can achieve this state and whose mind does not desire or crave for sensual enjoyment, gets eternal peace."             He who thus controls senses and therefore gets rid of all desires, he who is not the slave of his ego and does not have false attachment to his people, is eligible for everlasting peace.

            Thus, it is necessary first to combat the two dangerous tendencies (the Dhrutarashtra and the Duryodhana), develop the third one, the Arjuna tendency and then in order NOT to fall prey to the mind's weakness, organise your life in such a manner, and discipline yourself in such a way that your senses will be tamed and mind will detach itself from them, while you go about doing all your routine jobs. Also control the ego and slowly advance to that state where you will have a steady intellect.

            In the last verse no.72, Krishna says, "Arjuna, this state that I have described is called "Brahmi" state. Even if a person attains this state, at the last moment, as he is about to breathe his last, he becomes eligible to reach God. He merges into God. He attains Nirvana or Moksha."

Summary

            From all that is written above we find that(a) we do not have to shut ourselves up, away from society, (b) we can go on doing our work, (c) we have to learn to separate the mind from the sense organs, (d) we must aim at steadying the intellect.

            This advise and the secret of human life on earth motivates us to do a lot of things. We also know the importance of Karma because if we fail to do the right Karma, no amount of spiritual practice will help us attain Moksha. Also if Karma is not done in the right manner, we will not be able to attain success and prosperity. We want both. We also want happiness and bliss. We also want to be free from the cycle of birth and death.

            In short, we want to earn wealth, get fame, be somebody, live in modest luxury and also reach God. In order to achieve all these, we must follow some basic rules of Karma which are discussed under.

How to be succesful in life and also attain self realization

Rule no. 1.

            Before doing any Karma (thought, speech, action) ask yourself a question

            "Is this right at this point of time?"

            Suppose you are studying or doing some job and your sense organs pick up some external object( sight, words, smell, taste, touch) and your mind is drawn to them under the compulsive force of your desire, don't succumb to it. Ask yourself "is it right for me to stop my work in hand and go after satisfying my senses?" Then decide against it and continue what you are doing.

            If you don't follow this rule, you will be way behind achieving your goal, whatever it may be. Prosperity, success, fame will be miles away; and every time you succumb thus, the distance goes on increasing.

Rule no. 2.

            Since all your Karma comes back to you in the form of good or bad reward (fruit) ,depending upon how you do it, do not spare any pains in completing your job yourself. Never, ever ask someone else to do even your trifle job for you. Thereby you lose control to that other person and the energy accompanying your job gets diluted. You climb down one step from the ladder of success.

            The famous and most reverred saint Ramadas, from Maharashtra, in India has said, "He who depends upon others, loses his job."

            If you write a letter to your friend, your job is not complete till you have dropped it in the mail box. Do not ask someone else to do this end part of your job for you. Do it yourself. It may take very little time of yours to walk up to the nearest mailbox.

Corollary to Rule no. 2.

            There could be situations when you have to ask somebody to do your act for you. If it is so, compensate the person whom you ask to run errand or do a job for you. This compensation could be in cash or kind. Do that immediately because delay tends to make you forget and you remain indebted to that person. This indebtedness creates obstruction not only in your success path but in the spiritual advancement also.

Rule no. 3.

            Do not procrastinate. Consider your work as your God and worship it, respect it in your mind. Let it be done and finished soon. While you have energy to do it and the means are available, never say "I will do it tomorrow." Procrastination is a dangerous enemy. It knows only one road which ends into a ditch.

            You have been on a holiday. You had wonderful time. You met some nice people. You promised to write to them as soon as you got back home. Now you are home. You do have a lot of things to do. Your house needs cleaning. You need to buy groceries and also attend to other jobs. Yet you must find time, may be before you go to bed, to write the promised letter. It need not be on the same day but certainly not beyond 3 or 4 days from your arrival.

Corollary to Rule no. 3.  

            If you can't keep a promise, however trivial, don't give it. Saint Ramdas has said, "One who acts as he says is worth touching his feet."

Rule no. 4.

            When you want to do something, do it. There are people with excellent ideas. Yet they hold them to their heart for years, saying "I want to do this and that." If your mind is made up, make a start. In matter of time, things will start working for you.

            You want to buy a house. You have some money. You can get balance as loan. Your mind is made up, that you need a house. Now don't lose time. Make a start somewhere. Spare no pains. It is not right to say to yourself, "I will see tomorrow, or next week or next month unless you have a definite plan about it. Go for it.

Rule no. 5.

            Plan your actions keeping in mind what is your goal and stick to the plan. You know printing very well. You wish to have your own printing press. You have no money now. Make a realistic or near realistic estimate of the time frame which you need. Let us say, 10 years from now you want to have a small press. Then plan backwards for all activities, e.g. You need land, machinery, a skilled worker or two, contacts in publishing houses and big organisations to get jobs. You need licences and so many other things. Plan what will be your position 9 years, 8 years, 7 years etc. from now. Scale down to one year and then to each month, right up to each week of the first month, and then from day to day of each week. It may be necessary for you to change your plan from time to time, depending upon circumstances, but not upon your negligence, lithargy or slow attitude.

Rule no. 6.

            Hold a strong desire. Unless you have a strong will to succeed, you will not make the grade. So first have a very compulsive desire to get what you want. This will prompt you into taking action.

Rule no. 7.

            Do not hold any floating desires. A floating desire is one which keeps on surfacing again and again because nothing has been done about it. You waste a lot of energy in such desires. If any one crops up time and again, bring it to the mind and let intellect decide whether it worth putting it into action at that time. If not, just weed it out like you pick up an insect on the floor of your house and throw it out of the window.

            Every floating desire weighs on the mind, which becomes heavy and creates pressure and tension. Your mind must be pressure free whether you are pursuing a goal in material or in spiritual life. When there is no pressure, mind can soar to any heights.

Rule no. 8.

            Use your intellect. Apart from using it in planning and executing a job, use your intellect to control the mind.

            You have a business venture. Orders are coming in. People want credit from you. Do not say no and do not say yes to everybody. Gather all detailed information about your customers. Then use your intellect to decide who should be given credit and of what duration. Do not indulge in mind's weakness of satisfying everybody. You will ruin yourself.

Rule no. 9.

            Try to steady your intellect. When you take a decision, stick by it. Do not let your intellect oscillate and jump from pillar to post.

            You decide on one week as a "sale week". Decide what percentage of discount you want to offer. Once decided, stick to it. Close the sale on the decided and advertised day. Never extend it because mind says, "come on, two more days will not do any harm." No Sir, it may not do any harm to the sale, but it will harm the latent power of your intellect. Steady-intellect is going to reap bigger gains in future.

Rule no. 10.

            Never cheat and be honest to yourself. Cheating is a bad Karma. It will certainly bounce back to you with heavy price to pay for. And if you are not honest to yourself, you will lose everything in due course of time. Money obtained by ill-gotten means drains your peace and happiness very fast. As years pass and you grow old, your misdeeds will haunt you and in the end you will be a great loser. Also in the next life and life after that, you will face untold misery. This is nature's law which works meticulously and regardless of your position and identity in this life.

            Good begets good, bad begets bad, ugly begets ugly. If you follow these 10 golden rules, which are hidden in the words of Krishna, when He says "Do the right Karma in the right way". You will not only be marching with pomp and glory on road to success, prosperity and happiness, you will also be turning your mind, steadying your intellect and riding the path to eternal bliss and Moksha.

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