Do Not Give Advice! – One of the most important message that I learnt long back and had forgotten was refreshed. According to our Guruji, Mr. Gagan Gupta, a teacher with an agenda is a BIG problem! I am just reflecting so don’t take this as an advice! Do not teach unless it is asked. In Mahabharata, when Arjuna was confused whether to participate in war or not, Lord Krishna did not jump to start teaching. He waited for Arjuna to express his confusion and ask for guidance.
These classes have been very much different than what anyone may think. Normally, One shall think of verse-by-verse explanation of the Holy Book but that’s not the case. These classes are all about the essence or the vision of Bhagavad Gita which is timeless. The Guruji gave us a brief introduction to Mahabharata and that set the stage for understanding the timeless wisdom of the Holy Book. The verses were selected and explained with the meaning of the sanskrit words, practical application in our life and the logical correctness of the guidance.
One of the most famous verse about doing karma without any expectations was explained in detail with traditional translation and its real meaning. Here is the first line of that verse
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
In simple words, it means – Do your Karma and the results will be taken care of by the law of karma.
Depending on our own past actions in this life or the previous ones, there are 4 possibilities in any situation: You may get
- more than desired
- Less than desired
- Same as desired
- Opposite of desired
We can control our actions but the results are taken care of by the law of karma.
As the sessions progressed, it was like revision of life classes and remembrance of my childhood when I used to see mythological programs on TV. One of the verses reminded me of being proactive – taking charge of our own life. The verse says ( not exact translation) ‘May one pull himself up, May one not destroy himself, You are your friend, You are your enemy’. Guruji also mentioned about many things in the world outside which is not in our control. There are results which we get because of our collective karma ( I and my family, people of my city and so on…)
I got more clarity about how this universe came into existence as a manifestation of the knowledge of One Conscious Mind – Ishwara / Brahman / God / Allah whatever you call. This is in accordance to the knowledge of modern physicists. It can be understood best by considering our dreams. When we dream, our mind / brain considers its real and we are the creators of that dream! Amazing explanation!
One other important thing that I learnt was that Time and Space are not absolutes. They are a part of this creation.
According to Guruji, desires are our privilege. There is nothing wrong in having desires. The challenge is that it should not be binding desires. Our happiness should not be linked to our desires. In sanskrit, our desires are called Ragas (What we want) and Dveshas (What we don’t want).
Karma Yoga – A karma Yogi is the one who 1) takes everything as a “Prasada” coming from Ishwara (Brahman) and 2) Follows “Dharma” (Righteous Actions) in every situation.
What do I gain by following Dharma?
I become a bigger person in my own eyes. My self esteem will grow. I won’t seek recognition from somewhere else. To follow Dharma does not really mean doing only BIG things. Every small duty is considered as following dharma. Our healthy habits is also our Dharma, Completing your day to day work at office with honesty and integrity is Dharma, watering plants is also Dharma and so on. Every good action, however small it may seem, counts for our Karma account.
Generally, our happiness is linked with our pursuit for Artha – security (Financial, Relationship, etc.) and Kama (Pleasures). If one wants to be free and happy all the time, unshakeable by the outside world, one needs to keep Dharma as the topmost priority and Artha, Kama on the lower level. When one becomes free that is what Guruji calls it as Moksha.
I learnt the Indian traditional way of doing meditation which has been preserved and passed on to us through a lineage of Gurus. It was a soothing experience doing it.
After these classes, especially today’s one, I feel to be in a more powerful position than earlier to do the right thing in every situation even when nobody is watching. The law of karma is at work!
Suggested Resources by Guruji to refer to know India and its traditions:
Mahabharata – Translation in english by Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan