Gītā for Millenia, Ninth Lecture
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Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised the ninth session of ‘Gītā for the Millennia’, an online talk series based on Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā by Swāmī Mitrānanda of Chinmaya Mission on November 14, 2022. Swāmiji began the talk with a recap to the previous discussion to bring the flow of the discussion on the 4th chapter of Gītā. He continued explaining the chapter and emphasised and explained the verse 16, 17 and 18 of the chapter. He said these verses are to be considered as triplets as they make sense only when they are read together.

In Verse 4.16 of the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna - kiṁ karma kim akarmeti kavayo ’pyatra mohitāḥ tat te karma pravakṣhyāmi yaj jñātvā mokṣhyase ’śhubhāt . In this verse Kṛṣṇa tells that even wise people go dilemmatic or confused to determine what action is and what inaction is. Kṛṣṇa further says, that once we identify the secret of action we become free from all kinds of bondage. As a continuation to it, in the subsequent verse (4.17) Kṛṣṇa lists the three kinds - recommended action, wrong action and inaction. In the next verse (4.18) Kṛṣṇa tells him that those who are able to see action in inaction and inaction in action are the most wise among humans. This ability is when we are able to be the observer which is unaffected by our own actions. Even though the yogis and masters perform several actions, they are able to see inaction in their actions. Swāmiji mentioned that a part of us is the constant that observes all activities that we are doing, and that observer is actionless. It is that part of us which is aware, which witnesses everything is told here as wise. To give an analogy he brought out the example of a lamp that illuminates the drama in play. Even if the drama travels through different scenes, actors performing various actions and going through the joy and sorrow that lamp which illuminates the play is untouched by the happenings of the drama.

Swāmiji mentioned that these verses are literally play of words, with words relating to actions and recommended the listeners to contemplate on these verses as it might be difficult to comprehend initially.

Then the session was continued to highlight verse 22 which says that “Content with whatever gain comes of its own accord, and free from envy, they are beyond the dualities of life. Being equipoised in success and failure, they are not bound by their actions, even while performing all kinds of activities.”(yadṛichchhā-lābha-santuṣhṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau cha kṛitvāpi na nibadhyate).

Such a wise person will be able to get absorbed into the God-Consciousness, the oblation in Brahman and s/he will be able to view everything as God and attain God. Swāmiji summarised this point through verse 4.24 of the chapter and concluded his talk.

Event Date 
November 14, 2022

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