CHAPTER 9

 Rajvidya Rajguhya Yoga 

            Raja means king. Raj means of the king. Vidya is education and Guhya is secret. Rajvidya means King of all education i.e. the most supreme education one can get. Rajguhya means King of all secrets i.e. the secret of all secrets.

Secret of God's omnipresence

            In this chapter, Krishna talks to Arjuna on a confidential matter because Arjuna is not only his disciple, but he is His companion of heart. Just as we oftentimes confide even the most valuable secret to somebody very close to us, Krishna is telling Arjuna this most important secret. Also, in the matter of getting education in any subject, this is the most important of all subjects. The subject matter can be personally experienced and this secret can be directly perceived. This secret is supreme in purity, supporting the Dharma and can be happily practised. Moreover it is imperishable. People who do not have faith in this, can never reach Him. They have to be born again and again as per the laws of Karma.

            The secret which Krishna revealed to Arjuna, is that God is unmanifested energy. He remains in that form all the time; and out of His inexhaustible energy, He has brought into existence the manifested Universe. All the beings in this Universe reside in Him but He is not limited by their number. He has no dimensions whereas all manifested beings have. It is not also totally correct to say that these beings are in Him. This is His secret power of existence. All beings are in Him yet they are not in Him. His soul is the sole support to all beings, the caretaker of them yet not in them.

Conflicting statements

            This statement is confusing. Krishna says, on one hand, that all beings are in Him and He is not in them. He also says, on the other hand, that all beings are NOT in Him. How is  possible? This is the secret. To understand it, we have to go into more details. Here, we are talking of two things, one inside the other. The two entities are (a) God and (b) His creation. The creation includes all the worlds and everything that is in them. This latter was not created by God like a potter who creates a pot from mud. The potter takes some mud, gives it a shape on his wheel and we see a form being created. In this way he can create hundreds of pots of different size and shape. That is his creation, which is separate from him. Later the potter dies but his creation still remains. The pots do not need the support of their creator once they are born. The creator and his creation, in this case, stand separately on their own. There is no relation between them. You go to another country on a pleasure trip. You go to the market place and buy a beautiful pot. You bring it home. The creator of that pot does not know where it is gone. The pot is not bothered who created it.

All beings in God

            God's creation is not like this. He did not sit at one place and start creating different worlds giving them shape on a wheel. He, who was unmanifested energy, spread everywhere with no limiting boundaries, transformed Himself into open space and started moving vigorously in it. So He became Akash and Vayu. From these two other three great elements were produced one by one. Combination of these five gave physical form to the Universe. In chapter 7 we have seen that He created this "Apara" Prakruti of 5 gross and 3 subtle elements which are the mind, intellect and ego. All these elements are part of His energy. The eight elements together form composition of beings in His creation. So whereas a potter created pots, God became beings. That is why we say God is everywhere. In this way, when His creation and all the beings were created, they stood in Him, resting on His support. He, the energy was not exhausted. He still surrounded them.

            When you go to Arctic ocean, you can see many icebergs in it. They are created by the ocean, in the ocean; and they stand in it. Ocean is the creator, the icebergs are the creation. The creator can live without His creation but the creation cannot live without Him. Ocean can exist without icebergs but they need the ocean's support to live. All the sea water and animals also like sealions who live on the icebergs are in the ocean. The whole creation is in the creator. That is the explanation of His first statement: "All beings are in Him."

God is not in beings

            His second statement is that "He is not in them". In seventh chapter we learnt about His higher level Prakruti called Para or Jiva parkruti. This is also part of His highly volatile energy. Through it, He gives each living being a power to carry out all body and mind functions. As the life span of each being is related to the Prarabdha Karma, this energy stays in the body of each being till the time the Prarabdha Karma is exhausted. That part of His energy which is transformed into gross and subtle elements forming individual beings is of a lower nature because it gets exhausted and has to go back to its original unmanifested form after some time. All beings, when die, go back to the five gross elements. Bones become dust (part of prithvi element), liquid in the body in the form of blood, saliva etc. is  either dried up and vanished in dust or burnt up. The heat in the body goes back to the Teja element, breath goes to Vayu and the space inside merges into space outside, which is Akash. The three subtle element remain with the higher energy, the Para Prakruti, which does not change. Thus, this Para Prakruti also called Atma, is in every being to give it, what we call life. Yet Atma is not God. Atma is in all living beings but God is not in them.

            In spiritual studies, you first try to get self realization. It means, the Atma realizes He is not a part of the lower Prakruti. He is separate and belongs to God who is not in bondage any time. Then He tries to go to God and takes many lives to do so. So God is not in the being. It is like the water in the iceberg is which a part of ocean but it is not ocean. Iceberg is in ocean but ocean is not in it.

Beings are not in God

            The third statement which is directly opposite to the first one is "All beings are NOT in Him." This is confusion. The ocean says, "All these icebergs are in Me" and we agree. Now he says "they are not in Me". How do we understand and accept this?

            To understand this statement, let us take another example. You live in a city called "A". There are 25 other cities called "B", "C" etc. upto "Z", distantly situated. All these 26 cities, including yours, are in a country called "XYZ". You live in "A" but not in "B". Your friend lives in "B" but not in "A". Yet both of you live in "XYZ". Similarly, God's creation this world which is XYZ, has all beings living separately in different forms in it. Yet when we talk of individual beings, each one has a part of that XYZ in it. The part in being A is not the same as in B, though all parts are parts of the whole XYZ. Yet XYZ, the world, or God's creation is not the same as God Himself. He exists without it but it cannot exist without Him. God is, therefore, still aloof and distant from A,B,C etc. So on one hand, all beings are in Him (through His Prakruti) they are not in Him directly. That is why, He does not do anything. Everything is done by His Prakruti, or His energy. He has created the Universe out of Himself, has been supporting it all the time, yet He Himself is aloof from it. He is in manifested form everywhere because everything is Him, yet He remains in unmanifested form also everywhere all the time.

            In the first Yuga, the Satya Yuga, the demon king Hiranyakashipu had done severe penance and God Shankara was pleased. With the boon received from Shankara, the deity of destruction, the king became grossly arrogant. He proclaimed that nobody would worship Vishnu, the deity of preservation. He passed an ordinance that all his subjects must worship him alone. People obeyed out of fear of death punishment, but his only son, Pralhad, did not. He was a devotee of Vishnu. He always chanted "Narayana, Narayana", which is a name of the deity Vishnu. The king passed orders to his soldiers to kill Pralhad. They tried but Vishnu saved him all the time. e.g. When he was thrown in a pot of boiling oil, the oil became cool water. When they tried to cut off his head, the sword became paper. What could they do? They brought him to the king and told him everything. So the king asked his son,

"You always chant "Narayana. Where is he?"

"O father, what do you ask? Ask me where he is not. He  is everywhere". 

"Is He in this pillar?" the king asked, pointing to a  huge pillar in his court.

"Yes, He is there," the boy replied.

            The king, in a fit of rage kicked the pillar which broke into two pieces with a loud noise. And from that pillar came out the form half lion, half man, with even a greater roar. That was the incarnation of God called "Narasimha". Nara means man, simha means lion.  How did this happen? God, who is everywhere in the form of this manifested world and its beings through his own two higher and lower Prakrutis, is still everywhere in His unmanifested energy. He manifested in that form through the pillar.

            Hence, while on one hand all the beings are in Him, through His Prakruti, still they are not in Him when we consider Him as real God, in purest original state. Just as wind occupies every speck of space and is spread throughout, thus encompassing all the beings, yet they are not in it, so does God holds all in Him by encompassing them yet they are not in Him.

God's Akarma

            When one Kalpa is over, some time is lost before the new Kalpa (combined period of 4 Yugas) begins. During that time, all beings come to reside in His Prakruti in embryo state. When the new Kalpa begins, He provides the necessary energy to germinate them. This action is not performed directly by Him. He inspires His Prakruti and sets it into motion and the process of creation begins. This may be said to be an action of God. We have seen before, that every action is preceded by desire. This creation will not take place unless God desires it. So it is His Karma. That is true. But since He is not attached to the desire or the Karma, it does not create bondage for Him.

            He has already told us in verse no. 14 of chapter 4, that His Karma does not create bondage for Him. He who understands this and behaves in a like manner also gets free from Karmic bondage. Krishna has thus revealed His own secret, the secret of His being, His whereabouts to Arjuna. The question now arises, is, if God is so enigmatic, so difficult to understand, how to find Him? Krishna now reveals a way which will surely take any being, who follows that path, to his abode.

God and Prakruti

            Now we know that there are two initial entities. One is God. That is unlimited, inexhaustible, imperishable, dimensionless energy. The other is His Prakruti - a part of His energy-which created the Universe, formed its laws and set it into motion. This entity could not work on its own. It required the main energy, the God, to be with it all the time. So we have God, unmanifested energy, and we have Prakruti, manifested energy with God's presence in it. This second entity is responsible for all happenings. God has nothing to do with anything. The Universe is born. It dies and is reborn. Everything happens according to the will of God but through His Prakruti. To distinguish the two entities two terms are used. The first one, pure energy, is called "Shuddha Brahma", while the second one is called "Shabal Brahma" (Brahma not so pure). It is like having a piece of pure gold and an ornament made of gold with a small percentage of other metals in it, because pure gold will not remain hard. Yet both are gold.

            The Pure Brahma, the God, manifests in every Yuga to uphold the cause of Dharma, when it declines. This is the only reason for His incarnation, as explained in verse no. 7 of chapter 4. In Satya Yuga He incarnated as "Narasimha"; in Treta Yuga, He became Rama to kill the demon Ravana; then in Dwapara Yuga we have the God manifested as Krishna to kill the demon Kamsa. Before the end of Dwapara Yuga, Krishna told this Gita to Arjuna so that it would be carried in the next Yuga, which is the present Kaliyuga. In this Yuga we do not have demons. The life span is limited to about 100 years. Few may live more, but majority live somewhere near 100 years. The demons, in this Yuga are in human mind. They are to be killed there. So He said to the sage "Narada", I will be in My Name, in Kaliyuga.

Common misunderstanding by the words My or Me used by Krishna

            Unfortunately, these words have been misunderstood. Many people believe that you take God's name and He will protect you, pardon you and take care of your  Rama or Krishna. They think that to worship God is to worship these humans forms. They cannot understand that whether Rama or Krishna, He is the energy manifested in that form. There are two kinds of people, (a) those who laugh at the idea of considering Krishna, the incarnation in the last Yuga, as God. The reason being that He lived like an ordinary human. His life history is difficult to fathom. People look at it and compare His behaviour, His acts with those of other humans and then evaluate Him. They do not understand that as an incarnation, He has to play a particular role in public life. Yet none of His actions bind Him because He is not in them. Many of these people worship demigods, whom they have not seen, and whose life stories are different from those of other humans. Others ridicule the idea of God coming down on earth as a human being and live like a very ordinary person. They do not believe any reincarnations. For them God is somebody in or above heaven, who sits there in judgement and evaluates us when we die. Some think that giving charities, absolves one from sins and takes one to God's abode.

            All there beliefs arise out of ignorance of God, His creation, the laws of nature (Prakruti) and the theory of Karma. Many of these people take refuge in the powers of demigods or some Yogis who show extra ordinary powers. These people's lives are in vain. Their intellect is easily deluded and they take pleasure in satisfying desires. All they want in life is good things, sensual pleasures, wealth, power, fame etc. If God can help them to get these, they are happy.

            There are yet others who believe in incarnation of God as a human being, whether Rama or Krishna. These people fall in two types. The most common type is the one who take this human form alone as God and cannot understand the omnipotence, omnipresence of God. It is difficult for them to believe that Krishna and the dog wandering across the street are the same. They also do not want to believe that besides Krishna, there are other manifested forms of God or that, God can manifest in any form. These people are no doubt very pious, devoted, God loving but they will tell you to worship Krishna only. Their belief is based on the very words of Krishna in Gita when He says "Worship Me, Think of Me" etc. They do not realise that this "Me" is not the only physical form of Krishna but it includes and means His overall unmanifested and larger state of existence.

            The other type is the people who worship Krishna or Rama or any other deity with full realization that behind these manifested forms is one force of energy which reigns everywhere, and whether one worships one form or the other or does not worship any form, makes no difference at all.

            Those who want only material benefits should worship demigods and please them. Those who want to know God, who want to realize what self or Atma is should worship incarnation of God or His messengers, Sages or only the unmanifested form. There are many ways. In this chapter, Krishna tells us about how the believers in His manifested form worship Him. These devotees spend their time in singing His devotional songs, psalms, hymns; reading His stories and telling them to others; setting aside some time of their daily routine life to worship His idol or a picture; going to a Mandir and offering garlands; taking part in selfish service work in Mandir, Churches, Mosques and other Houses of God. Whatever they do, they constantly think of the God, they have faith in.

            There are others who believe that the incarnation of God took place as Krishna in the last Yuga. In that Yuga, kings and sages performed Yagnyas. So in this Yuga also knowledge of manifested God, take pleasure in giving lectures, discourses to tell others what God, really is and so on. In this way they service to Him some , in course of their devotion, find difference between God and them and are happy putting Him (His manifested form) in their mind and offering it various services. Some see no difference between God and other beings. They all are right in their own ways.

Two paths

            In all of the actions performed by various believers in God, the important factor to note is faith. Here, we come to know the difference between faith and intellect. Uptill now in this chapter, more stress was given on intellect because intellect is what we need to make good use of, in doing our Karma. Seeking God in Karma only is one way and seeking Him by being devoted to Him is another way. In the first path, you may not worship him, may not go to any Houses of God, may not offer prayers. In short, for the rest of the world you may be a non believer in God. Yet, you are not so. You believe in Him. You do all your Karmas in a non detached manner and cross the boundaries of senses and mind. You use your intellect and walk on this path. Intellect tells that God is everywhere, it is the duty and responsibility of  every human to do one's duty perfectly and be a Karma Yogi. Your Karma is your God. Treat it that way.

            People who undertake the path of devotion, also do Karma. Devotion is also a Karma. Every thought, word, action is Karma. But in this second path, the devotee who worships the manifested form, may not do his Karma in a detached manner. All his routine daily Karmas, based on respective desires, are done with some intention. He is attached to the Karma. Yet he finds time to worship God. He does not use intellect. He has faith. He relies on it. As his worship increases, he begins to think of God in all his work. Sometime, somewhere, in some human life, a spark flashes. He begins to love the manifested form of God. His interest in worldly matters goes on waning. He spends hours and days and nights with God in his mind. He may have still attachment to His Karma. He may be millions of miles away from being a Karma Yogi. Yet he advances slowly on the path of devotion. He can get enlightenment on his path.

Merging of paths into one, to reach destination

            As said earlier, there could be many different paths leading to one destination. When you want to reach His abode, there are different paths but all of them come to one point. That point is real, undiluted love for Him, whether you see Him as unmanifested source of energy, as manifested idol form of any kind, or as your Karma, finally you have to have attachment to Him. The intellect tells the mind to turn inwards and be attached to Atma, instead of a remaining with senses. Faith turns the mind into believing, that apart from Him there is nothing else worth having. It pulls the mind away from sense pleasures. In both paths and in other ways also, you come to this point where you develop a rapport with the God you believe in. You develop love for Him. From that point onwards, there is only one path. The goal is to get lost body, mind, intellect, ego, all in all in His love. After revealing His secret, Krishna explains His forms in verses nos. 16 to 19, thus.

God's many forms

            He, the unmanifested God is the ritual of all sacrifices (Yagnyas). He himself is the sacrifice of the offering, to the ancestors, the herbal medicine, the Mantra, the ghee or butter, the fire and all the offerings. He is the father of the Universe, the mother, the supporter and the grandfather. He is the object to be known and understood, the purifier, the first sound manifested AUM, the Rigveda, the Samaveda and the Yajurveda. He is the goal to be attained as well as He is the speed and end of everything. He is the sustained, the Master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the most trustworthy friend of anybody. He is the creator and creation, the annihilation, the resting place of everything and the seed. He gives heat, He withholds and sends down rain. He is immortality and He is death. He is spirit and He is matter.

            After explaining both His states, the pure unmanifested energy state as God; and the impure manifested state which is responsible for all creation, as Prakruti, He has made it clear that He is all in all. In the previous Yugas , more importance was given to sacrifices. Those actions were necessary for enabling the doers to concentrate on God because, in truth, the sacrifices including all ceremonies were none other than His energy i.e. He Himself mixed with other manifestations. Even in the present Kaliyuga, He is no different. He is everything. What is perceptible to senses and understood by mind is Him (His energy mixed with various forms created by His Prakruti). He and His Prakruti is what everything is about. The main performer is His Prakruti (God is not pure form of energy), appearing in both lower and higher forms. He is the force, the energy in it and surrounding it.

Reward proporionate to Karma

            The Vedas tell us about His Prakruti and creation because that knowledge is perceptible. Yet they are unable to know Him because He, in pure unmanifested form, is unknowable. No sense organs, mind or intellect can ever know Him. In Dwapara Yuga people studied and followed Vedas. Such people who had knowledge of the three Vedas - Rigveda, Samaveda and Yajurveda-, those in heaven who drank "Somarasa" (pure juice of soma), those who were purified in mind and thus desired to go to Heaven, also worshipped the God indirectly. They got their desires fulfilled and in the next life they were born in heaven, the world ruled by Indra. All these people, when in the higher world, enjoy heavenly pleasures. Yet, their pleasures are time bound. Their Karmas on earth were responsible for them. They cannot be enjoyed forever. When the Karma gets its reward, it gets over. These enjoyments get over when the respective Karma gets over.

            You go to market. You want to buy vegetables. The rate is ten rupees for one kilo. You pay five rupees, you get half a kilo; you pay one rupee you get hundred grams of vegetables. In the same way the amount and the time of enjoyment of heavenly, pleasures depend upon the relative Karma. The time is fixed. Once it is over you take rebirth on earth. Hence even the highest of all highest and noblest Karma, as praised by Vedas will not take you out of the cycle and death. In this way, nobody can ever reach His abode. In His creation, three main worlds are mentioned. The highest and most coveted for, is heaven, the most condemned and dreaded is he'll and the most commonly frequented is the middle one, the Earth. In this, you do enjoy some pleasures as well as pains. You do experience peak of sensual happiness and extreme torture; a somewhat mixture of both heaven and hell in miniscule. Then you are told to perform sacrifices and do good Punya (sinless) Karma so you can go to heaven. You become happy. The common man, therefore mostly aspires to go to heaven after death.

            You have to understand that, go to heaven you may, but come back to earth you will. By the time you are back, what will be the state of this Kaliyuga, which is bound to become worse and worse. So why aspire for heaven? You have had hundreds of thousands of lives before, and you will have many more thousands in future. In all of them, you will experience more and more displeasure, loss of peace, more misery and so on. Why be born again in this world. Why not try in this very life to get out of this cycle, to go beyond heaven, to reach the abode of God?

Way to God's house

            There is a way to go to God. The way of undiluted devotional love. Whereas the way of Karma Yoga is to do every Karma that comes in the walk of one's duty, in the right way, having no attachment to it, this way is the devotional way. In this you do all your Karmas and may have attachment to them. But you keep Him in your thoughts all the time, to the exclusion of other demigods. You worship His form, sing His Bhajans, and see Him, the idol of your worship. When you go to any other House of God, when you do your Karma, keep the habit of thinking about Him, remembering Him. If you have faith in Krishna, and if you go to Rama's temple, look upon Rama as Krishna. If you are a devotee of other form e.g. Rama and you go to Pandharpur to have the Darshana of Vitthal, you pray Him as Rama. If you have faith in Jesus, there is no harm in going to a Mandir of Rama or Krishna and offering your prayer. In that Mandir, you look to the idol in front of you as Jesus and pray Him as if you are praying Jesus. Likewise a Krishna devotee can go to church and offer prayers in front of the statue of Virgin Mary or Jesus as if they are other forms of Krishna.

One pointed devotion

            This frame of mind indicates one pointed devotion. The world is full of many religions, secds and groups. They have different practices. They pray differently, worship differently, yet they all pray and worship the same God. Your devotion to any one form must be stead fast. It must not change. You need not have doubts of entering any other type of God's House than the one which you frequently visit. You have made a rule to pray once in a day in front of an idol of your deity. You happen to go to a city where there is no such placer but there is a church nearby. You should have no hesitation in going in, kneeling and praying, thinking of your deity in place of Jesus, all the time.

            Once the mind is, thus, fixed on one form, the next step is to remember Him all the time. Whether you work as a labourer, as a manager; whether you have business of you own, you carry on with your work, as you must do it, but instead of letting the mind to wander to innumerable objects, let it remember Him. A daily practice of worshipping, singing bhajans, reading His stories, listening to discourses etc. helps the mind to develop a liking for the deity you worship. The basis of this devotion is faith. It is said that faith works miracles.

Consciousness of God all the time

            When you are devoted to God - Krishna, Rama, Vitthal, Ganesha, Shankara, Vishnu, Jesus, prophet Mohamad PBUH or any other saint, with this faith that you are worshipping God, your mental level is enhanced. Constant thinking of God brings your mind close to Him. Those who are so placed in in their devotion and are constantly engaged mentally in this practice, while going about doing their Karma, are liked after by God. Their needs are met and what they need, remains with them till the need remains.

            In this verse no. 22 there are three main words. The first word of the first line means "Thinking of "Me" to the exclusion of everything else". The last word of this line means, "worship properly" and the second word of second line means, "constantly fixed in devotion".

            Majority of people are devotees of God and they worship Him in different forms and different ways. It does not matter. What is important is the FAITH, the sincere belief that in this world it is He only who is worth remembering and loving. This faith, when grows due to constant devotional practice, turns into love and the devotee feels happy to think of God. He remembers His stories, wonders how He must be staying everywhere. Slowly and steadily his mind starts seeing God in everything. Hatred, animosity, envy, and all such harmful negative thoughts go away. They are wiped out in a strong current of love. In this way the devotee reaches a state of mind that he or she cannot think of anything else. It is not true that the devotee has to leave all work and sing His songs day and night. The devotee carries out his Karma but in the mind has place only for Him.

            Imagine a boy and a girl falling in love with each other. They cannot think of anything else. Whatever they do, their minds always fall back in thinking about the loved one. Love of God is on a much higher plane because there is no desire for physical proximity with sensual pleasure. This love develops in the mind of a devotee by constant worship and devotion. Intellect may not accept this but Faith is stronger than intellect. Mountains can be moved and miracles can happen due to faith but not by intellect.

Love for God

            People who worship demigods with same love and devotion, also, in reality, worship God. The only difference is that their love is directed in a wrong way. Because they fail to understand, that the real enjoyer of all sacrifices is God, even though the offerings are made to other deities. In doing so, these people forget God. They think that the demigod to whom they affer sacrificial things and worship, is the all in all. It is their lack of understanding the truth, despite their true devotion and love, which brings them down on earth to live again. They do not get out of the cycle unless their love is centred on God.

            He who loves God, loves all. He has no enemies. Even if a person does incalculable harm to such a devotee who thinks of and remembers God always, the devotee would still love that person. He sees God everywhere. He is pained when he sees suffering of others. Even if he has only one shirt to wear and if he sees a poor person without any shirt, this devotee would weep and joyfully give his own shirt to the shirtless person. This is, in short, what is meant by loving God. But the devotee who loves demigods and other deities, fails to come to this level. Different deities and demigods have their places in heaven. Their devotees, after human existence, reach those places because of their devotion and love. Worshippers of ancestors go to the place where their ancestors are. There are yet others who worship ghosts and spirits. They reach there. Those who love and worship God reach God's abode.

            Before one develops this love for God, i.e. before the devotee begins to realize that loving God is in fact nothing else but loving all beings, the devotee is engaged in worshipping the idol of God. Since we are aware of two human incarnations from the last two Yugas viz., Rama and Krishna, many people worship either of these two forms. But the most important aspect of worship is the faith, the belief that this is God, who is everywhere.

Ignorance in worship

            In idol worship, there is still some ignorance in majority of devotees. It is felt that God is pleased when you offer Him large gifts. There are people with lot of wealth. They go to Churches, Mandirs and donate. That is good. But when some of them desire to be known among masses about their donations, and expect some favours from the clergy or trustees, they make a big mistake. It is also seen in some places of worship that when a rich person, man or woman, goes there in an elegant motor car and carries costly garlands of flowers, boxes of rich sweets and keep a wad of notes on the feet of God, as an offering, other devotees feel belittled. The priests go out of their ways to serve them. What a shame? In the House of God, where everybody is equal; where an ant crawling on the floor is no smaller than a king who comes in a palanquin, the priests serve the humans and give them priority.

            God is not moved by pomp and wealth. After all, He owns us and everything that we have. What do we own? If we did, we would take it with us, when we leave this body. God likes humbleness. He, in His manifested form shows such humility which we cannot even  think of. There are examples galore in all parts of the world, as we read from holy books and scriptures that God has taken some human form or other and actually served many saints on this earth.

            In verse no. 26, Krishna says, "If one offers Me even a leaf, a flower, a fruit or just plain water with love and devotion, I will accept it."

            There are millions of poor people who find it hard to make both ends meet. Such people cannot afford to buy even a small, very ordinary, bouquet of flowers when they go to the House of God. They feel ashamed. God says, "Come my child. All I want is your love. If you wish to bring something for me, pick up a fruit and bring. If you have no money to buy a fruit, go to a garden and get a flower. If not, just get a leaf of a plant. If that also is  not possible, then take a cup, fill it with water and bring it to me. Place it near my feet or pour the water on my feet with love. I will accept it graciously."

            It is also not true to say that God does not accept big gifts from the rich. What He will never look at is anything offered without love. Do not offer Him anything if you cannot do it with love. Do not be mechanical stereotype robots. If you think that because you are going to the house of God, you must take something, and therefore you buy a few things, you are wrong. The thought of visiting God, in a Mandir, a church, a Mosque, or any other places of worship, including the house of a devotee, should make you happy. If you think at that time "O! what can I take to my God? I have now so much money in my wallet. I can easily spend so much, so let me buy whatever I can with this money," This thought should make you happy. Then you buy, what you can, and go with love. What do you do when you want to give a surprise birthday gift to your spouse or a dear child? Don't you secretly, in your mind, think many times what to buy? Do you not think about the liking of the person? And on the day in question, how happy you feel to give that gift! Do you expect anything in return? May be a loving kiss or just a sweet smile showing appreciation. Well, my friends, show the same feeling, same love to Him and He will bless you more than you can imagine.

            That is what God wants, your love and devotion. Offer Him anything you can afford, but with this love.

Offerings to God

            In the next verse no. 27, Krishna has summarised all what is said above. He declares, "Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away and whatever austerities you perform, do that everything as an offering to Me."

            This in short, means loving God. You cannot think of Him, if you do not love Him. You will not be able to love Him if you are not in contact with Him. You cannot be with Him if you do not set aside some of your time to worship Him. Hence, this worship is very important; and the basis of it is strong faith. Add to it patience and devotion, and you are on way to His abode.

            How would you offer Him what you eat? Very simple. Before you eat anything or even drink anything, feel in your heart, that He also would like to have it. Before you put the first morsel of food in your mouth or before you take the first seep of your drink, say to yourself " God, this I am offering to you". Then eat and drink thinking about Him, feeling happy that He is eating or drinking out of your hands. God does not demand anything. He is simple. He likes simple people who can love Him with true devotion.

            This routine will take us out of the Karmic bondage. All the fruits, good or bad, resulting out of our attachment to Karma will not bind us. With our mind constantly thinking about Him, there would be automatic renunciation of all Karmas and in the end we will be liberated and reach His abode.

Difference between Karmayoga and Bhaktiyoga

            Here we see the difference between the path of Karma Yoga and the path of devotion. In the first one, you have to train your mind with the help of intellect to remain non attachmed to every Karma that is performed. In the second one, you train your mind to worship Him, to like Him, to love Him and without bothering about Karmic bondage due to attachment, do you Karmas. When His love takes hold of you, all Karmas vanish.

When does God bypass Prakruti?

            God has no likes or dislikes. To Him all are equal. Because all beings get what they deserve according to Karmic laws in which God does not interfere. His Prakruti runs the show according to set rules which are same to all. It is only when someone worships Him with real devotion and love, He responds directly. He is with such a devotee and the devotee is with Him. In this respect, even if His devotee is the most vile person on earth, God does not keep Him away. Such a person, when changes from wrong to the right path, should be considered saintly. This is a solace to people who may have been engaged in bad practices in early years of life. When they tun to God, mend their ways and worship Him with real devotion, He takes them near Him and treats them in the same manner as He would treat a saintly person. Such a person, is quick to advance in spiritual path and attain everlasting peace. Krishna than declares boldly in verse no. 31, "Arjuna, My devotee never perishes."

God's doors are open to all

            In verse no. 32 He says, "Those who take refuge in Me, though they be of lower birth - women, Vaishyas and Shudras - can attain the supreme destination."

            Vaishyas and Shudras are the two lowest of the four fold classification of people which was made by God, through Prakruti. They stand at lower level in comparison with the other two, - Brahmins and Kshatriyas. This classification is done purely on the basis of degree of intelligence and capability of doing work. Unfortunately, this noble concept has lost its meaning and even in today's world a Shudra is considered untouchable by many who are high placed in society.

            Even in times when Vedic dictates were in practice, women, vaishyas and shudras were denied certain spiritual tasks. They were not allowed to perform Yagnya. Women are still considered inferior to men in some countries, even is this advanced age. Krishna refers to this sorry state of affairs and says that these people may have been considered lowly and not allowed to do some holy Karmas. But God holds no such distinction. He considers all as equal. These people, sort of discarded by communities will always find place with God, if they worship and develop love for Him. No Karma is low or inferior in character. It is the attitude of the person who does it, that counts. Karma done with hate, dislike and in a slipshod manner will be always low, however high the type of Karma may be. The one done with sincerity, with full attention and in the right way will always have high rating. But that, done with love and devotion to God will be the highest amongst all, whether it is done by a low caste person or by a woman.

            When it is true of a person, doing an insignificant Karma like sweeping streets, cleaning public utilities, that if he or she does that Karma with honesty, sincerity, loving God all the times, the person merits a place in the abode of God; then how much more opportune it must be for those who perform better work? Brahmins are engaged in administrative work as well as rituals like Yagnyas and worships. If they do their jobs sincerely, honestly and with devotion, will they not find place with Him? So Krishna says to Arjuna, "you are born in this body which cannot give you eternal happiness. You have come to the earth in this life, so do not waste it, perform your Karma (as a warrior) and do it with devotion and love to Me,"

True worship of God

            In the last verse no. 34 of this chapter, He says, "Always think of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisance's to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, you will come to Me."

            Consider this verse addressed to us, the inhabitants of Kaliyuga. In this limited life span where most of our time is spent in earning money to maintain ourselves and those who depend upon us, where is the time to spare for God? That is the reason, most of the people turn to God only when they retire from active professional life. But then it becomes difficult to change their practices and habits of so many years. It is not easy at that time to give up attachment to family. Mind wavers. It also has false ego in a strong position. Hence, now is the time to make the change. NOW means right now. when you know what is right and what is wrong; when you have understood what is God, what is birth and death and that there is no escape from the miseries of Kaliyuga.

            The change is also not something which is difficult to do. You continue doing what you are doing. Keep yourself engaged in all your activities. If you wish to expand them, by all means go ahead. Follow the Karmic rules. Aspire to earn wealth, fame and power if you crave for these material pleasure yielding good things. But make a little change. Firstly understand and train your mind to believe, that with all these good things, you are also getting corresponding bad things. With happiness, there is sorrow; with power there is weakness; with rise you also have down fall. If you go to the top, you must come down one day; and the rise may take a few years but the fall may take just a few hours.

            Then change your attitude. Be nice and loving to all. Do some self service to the poor because in this way you will be serving God. Give up hatred and jealousy. Do not envy. Appreciate good work, even done by your rival competitor. Acquire the habit of giving when you receive more than you need. Find some time to think of God who has placed you in that position. Remember, He expects you to help some of His poor and downtrodden children. There are so many of them . Do it with love and not because you want to do something good. Try to be detached from your Karma and keep your mind occupied with thoughts of love for God, when you have free time. Use both intellect and faith. Intellect will prevent the mind from compelling your body to take wrong action, when time comes for that. Faith and devotion of God will stop your mind from entertaining bad thoughts which are likely to end up later in wrong physical action.

            If this change is made, then at whatever age you may be you will find life worth living and you will enjoy true bliss finally riding the way to His abode.

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R.P.L. Kornet®
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