In Part – 1 of this response, I have mentioned that we do not have the right to say whether a person will go to heaven or hell even so if he practices any religion. I said so because the parameters given in Gita for going to heaven are different from merely the apparent virtuous nature or greatness of the person in contention.
In Gita [III, 31], Krishna says:
“They too, whoever adhere to this doctrine of mine, men full of faith and free from any mistrust in respect of it, they gain release from works.”
This verse is talking of a certain doctrine which if followed by “men full of faith and free from any mistrust in respect of it,” attain salvation. Thus it is clear that Krishna has elaborately described the parameters for going to heaven. There are three things that are being talked about: you should have faith in God and Manifest Self, you shouldn’t show mistrust in the Divine Creation Plan, neither in the Divine Chain that connects us to God nor in the teachings and you should adhere to doctrine or teachings that Gita preached.
All those who execute their duties according to God’s injunctions and who follow His teachings faithfully, without any mistrust in respect of it, are the gainers while, as per verse III, 32, those who do not do so, are losers. III, 32 says:
“On the other hand, those soulless ones who look upon this my doctrine with mistrust and adhere not to it, know them as shut away from all knowledge and as lost.”
Thus it is clear that however a great person may he be on earth, even if he is Mahatma Gandhi, if he is disobedient of God’s teachings or even views it with mistrust or doesn’t fully understands the doctrine, there is no hope of perfection of life for him. If he has performed good deeds, he will be sent to a higher birth from where it is easier to gain knowledge about the path that leads to salvation, but without these essential prerequisites there will be no salvation.
The word ‘anasuyantah’ (those who do not envy, cavil or dis-adopt) of verse 31 pleads for a sympathetic hearing of the new doctrine. The same attitude of ‘asuya’ repeated in verse 32 condemns dis-adoption of the teaching more vehemently. In effect it calls dis-adopters utter fools, even fated to be destroyed. It is reminiscent of ‘ye generation of vipers’ in the Bible. No teaching of any profound doctrine is possible when there is dis-adoption between the teacher and the taught.
I beckon you to keep this mind: if you find certain things in scriptures which is not as per your liking, then if you dis-adopts the doctrine, then the Gita itself calls such a person an utter fool.
Thus it may be concluded that people of the time of Krishna, like several of those today, were unable to comprehend Krishna’s teachings fully. It is evident that it was this difference of opinion and not a fight over possession of a certain demographic area that was the cause of the battle of Mahabharata. People had digressed from the desired path and the Divine Manifest Self [Paramatma] took another avatar as Krishna to show them the way. A previous verse in this very Chapter clearly states that He continues to perform and if He won’t do that, the worlds would fall into ruins. One clear example of His continued performance is that no period has remained bereft of Messengers/Avatars, who tried all they could, to show us the true path to self-realization and to reach God.
Verse II, 42-44 mentions those in the time of Krishna who used flowery languages to denounce the doctrine of Veda which referred to the lofty truth, were fools. Since we know that the Vedas are replete with mention of Devas, we have reasons to conclude that Krishna is talking of the Devas and saying that those who denounce the truth regarding the Devas and regarding their relationship with Paramatma [Manifest Self] are in the dark. Such people, it is said, consider going to heaven as the loftiest goal and perform sacrifices to gain greater enjoyment (of their senses) and domination (of others). Such people who refutes the teachings related to the Devas and are seeking sense gratification and material benefits would never get the well-founded reason to reach correct conclusion regarding the identity of the Devas and their relationship with the Manifest Self [Paramatma].
Question arises that the intensity with which Paramatma wants us to acknowledge the true place of Devas has not been understood by the commentators. That Indradeva, the chief of the Devas, is Mohammad has been proved from Vedas and Upanishads and may again be proved, if desired. Thus, if somebody keeps pestering you that whether it is possible to attain salvation without accepting Mohammad as the final prophet, you cannot give answer to such foolish questions (Gita has used the word ‘fool’). Fact is Mohammad is the Indradeva of Vedas, he is the chief of the Devas, the Vedas are replete with his mention, it is not possible to remain a true Hindu (that adheres to the scriptures) without accepting Indradeva (Mohammad) who has been mentioned in the Gita too and whose true position Gita seeks to clarify.
Let us return to verse II, 42-44:
“Such flowery speech as uttered by the foolish adhering to the doctrine of the Veda negating any other (transcendental) verity, the self of which is nothing but desire-made, holding heaven for highest goal, offering only birth as the result of works abounding in many special observances which aim at enjoyment and domination:
In the case of those whose mind are under the sway of such teachings, who are attached to enjoyment and domination, a well-founded reason does not come under the sway of the peace of contemplation (samadhi).”
If you notice, Krishna is not talking ill of those who adhere to the wordings of the Vedas. Instead he is talking of the foolish who adhere to certain misunderstood doctrines, and out of their foolishness negate any other verity, without applying their reason. We have already shown how the Vedic teachings were understood wrongly and Krishna tried to show the true path wherein God was One and Supreme who created the Manifest Self [Paramatma] as first of the creation and from whom were created the Devas or Devatas of the Vedas as the loftiest creations of God to whom God had delegated several of His Powers. People of Krishna’s time called themselves as true adherents of Vedas but had discarded the true teachings of the Vedas. They had exalted the Devatas to the level of demigods and forgotten their relationship with the Manifest Self and the Absolute God. How could this be acceptable to Krishna, who had a direct relationship with the Devatas owing to his relationship with the Manifest Self, and therefore was duty-bound to lead the mankind to the worship of Absolute God.?
Krishna says explicitly that people who subscribed to such faith had self that sought the world rather than God. Such people, even if they performed virtuous acts, did so for the desire of heaven. Heaven has been made as a reward for acts performed in the way of God. What would you call those acts, which are performed not because of one’s inclination to adhere to God’s command, but because doing so would guarantee a place in heaven? Hence, Krishna is not devaluing heaven but has said so in the context of the act of the foolish men. And some of us were foolish enough to conclude that Krishna is against the concept of heaven itself.
Unfortunately, foolish men were performing the various rituals blindly because they thought such acts would lead them to heaven, instead of righteous living and worship of God that guarantees a place in heaven. This foolish approach had made them puppets in the hands of the priests. Thus priests were all powerful, so much so that if they said that it was Indra deva who had impregnated a particular lady, even when it was a sin committed by one from amongst them or one of the high princes, people would believe it blindly. Used to such extensive command over the people, it was not easy for priests to let go of these benefits. People clung to these revered priests even when the true messenger from God arrived in the form of Krishna. What’s more, as it had happened with most of God’s messengers prior to Krishna and after Krishna, the priests waged a war against Krishna and his followers. Initially, the war must have been of words, which would have grown in intensity with time. It is evident that various propaganda tools were used. Even Yadavs were wooed against Krishna. Harassment of the followers of Krishna too can be found, if we view history again with this intention. Yet Krishna’s teachings were of such high order that there were still takers for it. Afraid that their monopoly was at threshold of elimination, they waged a war over Krishna and his followers. This is why Drona and Bhishma became symbolic of the war against Krishna. And consequent to their flowery speeches against Krishna and his followers, several men devoid of reasoning abilities (referred to as blind by Krishna) rallied around Bhishma and Drona. Several others came to please powerful men like Duryodhana and a mighty army gathered.
Now ponder over this once more! There were more people on Kaurava’ side than those on Krishna’s side. There were more people in the opposite camp because they considered that path to be the best. Who would get ready to sacrifice his life while still knowing that he was on the wrong? Thus, it is clear that all those on the side of Duryodhana were those who regarded Bhishma Pitamaha and Dronacharya with great esteem. If we would have asked those people, they would have said that if Bhishma Pitamaha and Dronacharya won’t go to heaven, nobody would go to heaven. But what was the truth? Truth was that in the eyes of Paramatma, they were already dead men with lost souls, worthy of being slain and removed from the face of earth. Therefore, don’t try to become God or Paramatma dear friends, by labelling who would go to heaven or hell. Worry only about yourself! You will not be responsible for anybody else, not even your wife, brother or kids, but for yourself.
Just think for a while the situation during the time of Krishna. Several evils had crept in the society. One such evil was “extensive seeking of enjoyment” which too has been mentioned by Krishna in a negative manner. Unfortunately we are again living in a society where enjoyment or entertainment in life is growing by the day. We know for sure that chess was one such activity of enjoyment during Krishna’s time. Chaucer or dice was another. Music and dance were perhaps other. And we also know that Sun-gods and Moon-gods had begun to father children. This shows that adultery too was common and the blame, if the lady got pregnant, was passed on to these gods. There may be other activities too going on. If Drona and Bhishma were seeing all this happen and were silent, it was akin to being a party to the sins of people. Who could have the guts to claim that Sun-god or Moon-god came to impregnate a damsel without the silent sanction of these revered figures? They were the most revered figures, but greatly digressed from the true path.
That is why Krishna is saying that those whose mind is under the sway of the type of teachings that Drona and Bhishma stood for, and who have become accustomed to enjoyment and domination, a well-found reasoning will have no impact. Therefore, he is asking Arjuna again and again, to fight these men and kill them, as they are the culprits of God, who have distorted His teachings, and altered the Desired Way of Life.
The succeeding verse (II, 45) talks of the Veda and refers to the ‘pure being’ thereby confirming that the Devas are the pure beings. We have proved time and again that the Devas of Gita and Vedas are the same as the Ahlulbayt of Quran. Incidentally, Quran too has described Ahlulbayt as perfectly pure beings, so much so no impurity can even come near them. Mohammad is the head of the pure beings named Ahlulbayt. Thus, not just from Vedas, but also from Gita, it is not possible to attain salvation without acknowledging Mohammad’s role and position. See II, 45:
“The Veda treats of matters related to the three gunas (modalities of nature); you should be free from these three modalities O Arjuna; free from pairs of opposites, established ever in pure being, without any yoga (discipline) or well-being (as dual factors but remain) one (unitively) Self-possessed (atmavan).”
Now remember the earlier verse we quoted as per which this doctrine has to be followed full of faith and without mistrust. Now how will you follow the doctrine if you do not know how to become and remain established for ever in pure being when you do not even know who the being is? That is why I claim that knowledge of the Divine Creation Plan is one of the two essential ingredients for salvation. Tell me, how can you be sure whether Gandhi who appeared to do all good acts, remained established in pure being for ever, whether he believed in the doctrine completely and had no mistrust whatsoever? If you are not sure, then you have no right to say whether the person would go to heaven or hell.
Fact is that even commentators like Nataraj Guru could not understand the doctrine of Gita and wrongly concluded that Gita is against the Vedic teachings. Natraj Guru says: “They (these verses) unequivocally continue a tirade against Vedism. The relativism of Vedic spirituality is here condemned as being non-conducive to the turning of the mind to samadhi (final peace, emancipation, the highest goal).”
Did you see? Inability to understand Gita has made commentators cast aspersions on the Divine Scriptures – the Vedas. Yet, they are not admitting that it could be due to their lack of understanding. So much so that during our study of Gita, we found several commentators criticizing the words used in Gita on more than one occasion. Fact is that the commentators who have said such things are doubting the doctrine. How can we be sure whether such commentators would go to heaven? They know that Gita is the word of Paramatma and they know that Vedas are divine in origin, yet they are trying to become god themselves by criticizing the word of God. You will never find Mohammad Alvi doing any such thing. I believe in each and every word of Gita and Vedas and Quran. If there is something I have not understood, I should admit it instead of criticizing the doctrine itself.
Commentators couldn’t understand that Gita was discussing the subject of fools. It is they who had started worshipping the Devatas, without applying their wisdom. They had forgotten that the Devatas were those who were to show us the way to God. Final peace or emancipation was to be reached only through reaching God, which ought to be the highest goal of every individual. The foolish worshippers of Vedas had removed God from their rituals, which were being performed to reach heaven or to get the riches of the world. And this mode of worship had been named Vedic worship and it was believed that this knowledge had emanated from God Himself.
Unable to understand this, Nataraj Guru says: “The method of reasoning that Vedic-minded people employ is also here discredited in unmistakable terms. It is usual however, on the part of apologists in the name of Hindu orthodoxy to condone or take away the edge from this forthright condemnation. Here in verse 46, the Vedas are referred to as a useless old well. Condemnation of this kind is further repeated elsewhere in the Gita. The tree that the Veda-knower knows is to be ruthlessly cut down in xv, 1-3.”
Fact is what we have maintained all through. Krishna fully endorses the teachings of the Vedas but is totally against the kind of religion being followed by those foolish men, who called themselves adherents of the Vedas. They are the ones who have closed their mind to reason. How could this be possible, you may say, that the religion of followers can be different from the scripture that they subscribe to?
Verse II, 46 says:
“There would be as much use for all the Vedas to a Brahmin of wisdom as there could be for a pool of water when a full flood prevails all over.”
The commentators couldn’t understand this verse as well! The entire mass of literature that we call Vedas merely point out that the Devas enjoy the highest of place after Manifest Self and we should follow their footsteps to reach Paramatma and the Absolute. True aim is to understand the relationship of our self with the Manifest Self through the Devas and that of the Manifest Self with All-Pervading, Omnipresent, Unmanifest Absolute (Ishwar or Allah). Vedas is also an attempt to tell that the Devas in Noor or Light state are in heavens but they are like rope or an inverted tree with roots in heaven whose branches come down to the earth (as per Gita). It is through them that our self gets united with the Self. Vedas also endeavour to reveal the identity of the Devas when they would come in person on earth to guide and lead us. All the incidents of future that we find described in the Vedas merely identify those personalities when they would come to live on this earth. A Brahmin of wisdom is sure to be aware that all beings, including the self inside us, have a direct link with these Devas. He knows that all cycle of life and death is under the control of these Devas. Once the person gets to identify these Devas and their Divinely designated role of leading us to the right path, all the Vedic hymns become inconsequential to him as the next task is to follow that path. Thus we may conclude that as per Gita, it is obligatory on us to gain knowledge about the relationship of self (inside us) with the Self (Manifest) through the Devas (Ahlulbayt) and that of the Manifest with the Absolute (Allah or Ishwar). If we don’t gain this knowledge, we won’t go to heaven.
I ask another question! Tell me whether a habitual thief would go to heaven? You would say, no! Now Gita says that one who eats without offering a portion to the Devas is a thief. We just do not abstain from offering the food, we are even worse; we do not even know who the Devas are and what is their role? If we do not know who the Devas are, how will we offer the food to them? In such a scenario, will we go to heaven? Are we adhering to the doctrine of Krishna? We do not know who the Devatas are, how they are related to our self, how they are related to the Manifest Self, how they guide us and what all is their role in this uni-verse?
Sri Aurobindo has come close to accepting this fact and, in his writings, often speaks of the supra-mental power which can descend to manifest itself in actual terms, and there is also the ascent of human beings to the highest status which is also possible and can transform men into superior or divine personalities. He writes:
“It (the avatar) is the manifestations from above of that which we have to develop from below; it is the descent of God into that divine birth of the human being into which we mortal creatures must climb; it is the attracting divine example given by God to man in the very type and form and perfected model of our human existence.” (Sri Aurobido, Essays on Gita, I series,I. 288). [Is this not the description of Ahlulbayt, as given by the Muslims?]
We have not read much of Sri Aurobindo’s writings, but it appears from this view that he is very close to truth. Unfortunately, various scholars, knowingly or unknowingly, interpreted Vedas to contain ritualistic sacrifices. This was so because they found the Vedic hymns to be associated with ritual sacrifices. Commentators did not realize that the learned sages had associated the Vedic hymns with rituals because they wanted the true text of Vedic literature to remain unaltered. Initially, the people were waiting for the Devas to take birth on earth, but gradually this wait became endless and deviations crept, which eventually reached a stage that it was forgotten that the Devas would take birth in future. People started worshipping the Devas and forgot all their relationships with the self inside us and with the Manifest Self.
Instead of understanding this fact, the commentators tried to interpret the hymns according to the rituals. When Krishna taught of the need to worship the One and Only God, they got further confused. It appeared to them that the Vedas and Krishna talked of altogether different subjects. Verses like the one above, which talk of Vedic knowledge being like pool of water that is submerged by an ocean further deviated them from the true understanding. Their inability to understand the true content of Vedas never allowed them to reach a true conclusion as regard to the teachings of Gita as well.
In this regard, Paingala Upanishad states: “Of what avail is milk to one content with nectar? Of what avail are the Vedas to him who has known his Atma thus? For a Yogin content with the nectar of wisdom, there is nothing more to be done.”
The Upanishad further says: “The myriads of karmas committed in this beginningless cycle of rebirths are annihilated only through the modifications pertaining to Atma. Through proficiency in practice, the current of nectar always rains down in diverse ways. Therefore those who know Yoga call this samadhi, dharma-megha (cloud). Through these (modifications of Atma), the collection of affinities is absorbed without any remainder whatever. When the accumulated good and bad karmas are wholly destroyed, these sentences (Tattvamasi – That are Thou, and Ahambrahmasmi – I am Brahman), like the myrobalan in the palm of the hand, bring him face to face with the ultimate Reality, though It was before invisible. Then he becomes a Jivanmukta [nijaat in Arabic, salvation in English].”
Dear Saby and Jagan, are you sure Gandhi travelled through the above-mentioned path. If you are not sure, you cannot say conclusively whether a person would go to heaven or hell.
In II, 12-15, the Devas have been described as ‘chiefs of men’. Muslims too believe the Ahlulbayt to be Imams or chiefs. II,12-15 of Gita says:
“Further, never was I non-existent, nor you nor these chiefs of men; neither shall we, all of us, ever cease becoming hereafter.
As there is here in the body for the embodied, childhood, youth, old age, so also the passing on to another body in the same manner; those firm in mind are not thereby bewildered.
Momentary sense contacts on the other hand, O Kaunteya (Arjuna), yielding cold-warmth, joy-pain, alternately coming and going are transitory. Do you endure them, O Bharata (Arjuna).
That man indeed of firm mind who is unaffected by these, O best of Men (Arjuna), equal-minded in joy as well as pain, he is destined for immortality.”
After gaining the Divine Knowledge pertaining to the Vedas, it is essential that we perform acts which elevate our soul and endear us to the Manifest Self.
Verse II, 22 of Gita too talks similarly:
“As a man casting off his worn-out garments assumes others that are new, likewise casting off bodies that are worn-out, the embodied one takes to others that are new.”
Gita (II, 47) says:
“Your concern should be with action (as such) alone, not for any benefits ever. Do not become benefit-motivated; be not attached to inaction (either).”
Once the relevant mandatory knowledge (given in the Vedas) is acquired, next stage is to perform actions selflessly, without seeking any benefit from them or not doing them altogether.
Verse II, 48 says:
“Engage in activity, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna) taking your stand on the unitive way (of yoga) discarding attachments and capable of regarding both attainment and non-attainment as the same: in sameness consists the unitive way (yoga).”
A true yogi engages himself in activity; equally unconcerned he is about siddhyasiddha (attainments and non-attainments). For instance, when in fight with Kauravas, Arjuna will have to discard all attachments like family, friends or colleagues, or attachment to life itself, and fight equally unconcerned of the results, whether he kills others or get killed.
Subsequently, verses II, 49-51 says that using reason to reach the Absolute is far loftier than performing actions to please God. Use of reason to gain closeness to the Absolute is loftier whereas those who seek worldly-benefits from their actions are to be pitied. II, 49-51 says:
“Far inferior is (the way of) action to the unitive way of reason, O Dhanamjaya (Arjuna); Resort to reason for final refuge; Pitiful are they who are benefit motivated.
Affiliated to reason one leaves behind here both meritorious and unmeritorious deeds. Therefore affiliate yourself to the unitive way (of yoga); Yoga is reason in action.
By affiliation to unitive reason wise men, transcending birth-bondage, renouncing benefit-interest, go onwards to a state beyond all pain.”
A little later, Arjuna asks Krishna (in II, 54):
“What is the way of one whose reason is well-founded; who is established in samadhi (supreme peace) O Kesava (Krishna)? How does he discourse, what his state of being, how does he move about?”
And Krishna replies in these words (in II, 55):
“When one banishes all desires that enter the mind O Partha (Arjuna), satisfied in the Self by the Self alone, then he is said to be one of well-founded reason.”
Nataraj Guru says: “The first thing that happens to a man who begins to tread the path of the contemplative consists in his disaffiliation from the various desires with which he is attached to different grades of relativistic values in everyday life. These are collectively called kamah (desires). Such desires are meant to include all those desires which are capable of entering into or affecting the mind as the word ‘monogatan’ (going into the mind) indicates.
Desires can be said to enter the mind or be “afferent” in character as opposed to “efferent” impulses which may be said to go outwards to each object of desire. Contemplation is primarily concerned with the former – those that enter the mind. Hence their mention here! A man who purposely or actively searches for objects of desire falls outside the scope of contemplation altogether.
The word ‘prajahati’ – often translated “throws away” – would be better translated “shedding” inasmuch as no activity is implied herein. The analogy of a snake casting its skin, familiar in the Upanishads, is the idea intended here.
The expression ‘atmany eva `tmana tushtah (satisfied in Self by Self) seems to be a tall order for a beginner in contemplation, but no contemplative worth the name could be considered so if he was still attached to any value that was outside. This condition is both the alpha and omega of contemplative life. There are no short-cuts or made-easy ways to wisdom.”
We have mentioned elsewhere that the Upanishads as well as the Ahlulbayt at a later time have talked of upper and lower half of selfs inside us. It is clearly stated that the upper self is directly related to the Manifest Self through the Devas and the lower self is related to the forces of darkness and leads a person towards worldly pursuits. It has been described that the Manifest or Divine Self has a direct relationship with the higher self inside us. We have also shown elsewhere how a supplication related to Ali (in Dua-e-Kumayl) talks of the higher portions of all beings filled with the Noor of the Ahlulbayt (Devas). Gita has said later that the modalities of nature affect the lower self and the chief aim of the person is to transcend these modalities and attain union with the higher self. Such a person attains union with God and gets free from the cycle of rebirth. Such a person becomes immortal and does not descend into human birth forever. The same is being talked about here. Desires are the by-product of the working of the lower self. The wise person is one who transcends his lower self and remains one with the power of the Manifest Self inside him. That the Manifest Self is fourteen-fold has already been proved. These fourteen Devas (one of whom is a devi) too have a role to play inside our body; we have shown time and again that various Upanishads highlight this relationship.
We all who believe in the presence of one, Almighty God, believe that prayers are answered irrespective of the language in which they have been asked for. God has the ability to understand all languages as also the thoughts that go on in the mind. Yet we undermine God’s position when we attempt to portray our religion as the best. We forget that the same God who has written the gospel for our faith could also have sent several other gospels of truth for people living in different religions and speaking different languages. For instance some Christian admirers of Gita have compared it with the New Testament but suggesting that it might have borrowed its teachings from the Bible, a notion that is hardly worthy of treating seriously. Why can’t they believe that the same God whom they worship as Almighty could also send a Messenger with similar teachings at another part of the globe? Fact is that very much like their thoughts, they have limited the authority of God whom they worship as All-Powerful and the Creator of the World. On the contrary, they have made their God appear as impotent and incapable of exercising any power in the alien lands that do not follow the same religion as theirs. The same is the case with Hindus of the present. Contrary to the believers of the Vedic period who knew exactly what was the cause of creation of the world and all humans, the present day Hindu does not wish to see beyond a narrow range. And his range is confined to a few scriptures that they are yet to understand.
It is unfortunate that even scholars are naïve enough to further the impotency of their god. Does God only know Sanskrit that he sent avatars only with the knowledge of Sanskrit? Or does God has a particular liking for a particular area of the world that the avatars were sent in that region alone and nowhere else? Men of Indian subcontinent are equally pious (rather deficient in piety) with the rest of the world. How could it be that God who is the Creator of all mankind never bothered to think about other humans living in other parts of the world, and also those who were cut off from the world till the 15th century, like the Red Indians of America. Unfortunately, most religions including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and others have confined God to themselves, rather than supplicating themselves in the confinement of God. Only Islam recognizes that 1,24,000 Messengers were sent all over the Earth, in various civilizations, tribes and groups of people, and Mohammad is the last of them, who completed the religion for all mankind, that was being propagated by prophets and messengers in their respective territories. Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad were all representatives of the same God. But this recognition is given by Islam whereas the Muslims are still living in self-inflicted ignorance.
Irrespective of all that the commentators have written, we invite you to read this excerpt from the Yogatattva-Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda and you will realize for yourself that there is no duality between Gita and Vedas that has unfortunately been proved by nearly all the commentators of these scriptures. Read what this Upanishad says of moksha (salvation):
“So I shall tell you the means of destroying (these) sins. How could Jnana (wisdom) capable of giving moksha (salvation) arise certainly without yoga? And even yoga becomes powerless in (securing) moksha when it is devoid of jnana. So the aspirant after emancipation should practice (firmly) both yoga and jnana. The cycle of births and deaths comes only through ajnana (lack of wisdom) and perishes only through ajnana. Jnana alone was originally. It should be known as the only means (of salvation). That is jnana through which one cognizes (in himself) the real nature of kaivalya as the supreme seat, the stainless, the partless, and of the nature of Sachchidananda without birth, existence and death and without motion and jnana.”
Jnana (wisdom) is important for salvation. My friend Mansoor Mahmood is right when he says that wisdom and intelligence are two different things. Every intelligent person cannot attain wisdom but all those who have attained wisdom of the path are intelligent men. Wisdom of the path cannot be complete if we do not know who the Devas are, what is their relationship with Manifest Self and that of Manifest Self with Absolute? Are we not groping in the dark? And instead of securing heaven for us, we are deciding whether certain other persons would go to heaven or not. How foolish of us!
Now see another verse which describes the doctrine that you have to understand and adhere to in order to attain salvation. Verse II, 56 says:
“He whose mind is unaffected by mishaps, who on happy occasions too evinces no interest, rising above attachment, anxiety or anger, such a sage-recluse is said to be of well-founded reason.”
Nataraj Guru says: “The steady neutrality of a contemplative is described now in detail. Desire, fear and anger form, as it were, a kind of triangle spelling evil as factors working against the contemplative life… The trio are organically related to the subject inasmuch as they make contemplation impossible of being even initiated.”
In our view, this verse is an extension of the wise person described in the previous verse. Such a person has conquered or subdued his lower self and remains unaffected by mishaps. Since pain and pleasure are the two components of desire, this “steady contemplative is unaffected by either – in other words, both are equal to him.” He attains a neutral position to both – pain and pleasure.
Thus speaking, other than gaining knowledge of the Divine Creation Plan, it is utmost necessary that the person has to be unaffected by mishaps, who shows no interest even on happy occasions, rises above attachment, anxiety or anger and then only will he be called a man of well-founded wisdom. Remember these are characteristics of one who will attain heaven.
The same person is described in the next verse (II-57) as well.
“He who remains in all cases unattached on gaining such or such desirable-undesirable end, who neither welcomes (anything) nor rejects in anger, his reason is well-founded.”
Nataraj Guru says: “Here the same detachment is brought out in terms of events more generally conceived, as forming the successive personal environments of an individual. The contemplative should not be depressed when he does not have a nice time in society, nor should he be exuberant in gay company. He must be free from such fluctuating moods.
That a general disposition is intended here is indicated by the word ‘sarvatra’ (in every given situation).
The word ‘anabhisnehah’ (without outgoing attachments) purposely puts the stress on attachments reaching outwards, rather than on normal interests that flow like rivers inwards to produce that plenitude referred to in II, 70.
The words ‘subha’ (favourable or good) and asubha (unfavourable) carry a wider range of meaning than just pleasure or pain which were referred to earlier.
The words tat-tat (that –that) refer to each event being treated separately and not as each event should be treated, as belonging to a continuous process proper to one who has a contemplative attitude. The relation of anger, pleasure and desire are again indicated. This vicious circle is completely described in verses 62 and 63 which follow.”
Question is how would we know which person is at such levels. We invite you to read the life of Devas or Ahlulbayt when they took birth on earth and you will find all this description to be true in their lives. Moreover, for our readers too, there is a teaching. They are requested to give anything they encounter a test of their reason.
II, 58 says:
“Again as when a tortoise retracts its limbs from all sides the senses are (withdrawn) from objects of sense-interest, his reason is well-founded.”
Certain Upanishads have described how our senses have to be made inward-looking. On similar note, Nataraj Guru says: “The word ‘sarvasah’ (from everything, from everywhere) is significant. The word shows that not only the limbs of the tortoise, but the head and tail as well are withdrawn. The limbs are withdrawn from the sides and the head and tail, likewise, vertically. Both actual and perceptual causes of distraction are here equally covered and ruled out. That the perceptual is also covered is clear from the opening word of verse 62, ‘dhyayato’ (thinking intently, i.e. on the objects of sense) and from the general statement in III,6 where one who dwells even mentally on the objects of sense while controlling his actions, is described as a ‘mithyacharah’ (a man with wrong notions of living).
This verse draws attention also to the fact that mere transcendence of duality in the sense indicated in the previous verses is not all that is required for contemplation – as the words ‘cha ayam’ (also, this Self) indicate. A wholesale introversion of all aspects of the spirit into a central unitive core of being is here recommended.”
Kindly let me know whether it is possible for us to judge any person on these parameters? No, not even for Mahatma Gandhi!
Likewise see II, 59:
“Objective interests revert without the relish for them on starving the embodied (of them). Even the (residual) relish reverts on the One Beyond being sighted.”
Nataraj Guru says: “It would be best for us to get the gist of this verse before entering into the construction, which might read rather involved, especially in the original Sanskrit. If we should think of sex – to take an example – this verse wants to say that mere sex-starvation will not destroy all relish for sex forever. When, however, an interest higher than sex prevails, then such relish is destroyed without the possibility of sex asserting itself any more. Such a dominant interest could be nothing less than a full confrontation, in a strictly bi-polar sense, of the Absolute Itself, as the ‘summum bonum’ of life. Then the return to the Self becomes complete. The rest is clear from the translation.
‘Param’, referring to the Absolute, may also be translated as “the Supreme,” or “the One Beyond” as here.
The word ‘vishaya’ here covers sensuous interests generally, and does not refer specially to objects of sense as is more usual.
‘Dehi’ (body-dweller) corresponds both to the libido on the one side and to the Self on the other, for the purposes of this verse.
The word ‘nivartate’ (turns back) comes from the same root as ‘nirvritti’ (withdrawal) and ‘nirvana’ (emancipation, negatively conceived). All these are equally suggestive of the ‘nivrittimarga’ (path of negation) of the Vedanta (or the via negativa of European mysticism, as Sankara has explained in the preface to his commentary on Gita.”
Such a body-dweller (the Ahlul-bayt) does not forbid life or goes to the jungle. He very much lives in the world, does not starve the life, but take a more objective interest in various things, thinking of God alone through each. In short, the Supreme is the objective at all time and he aspires to attain closeness with “the One Beyond”.
Next verse (II, 60) says:
“Even with a man of wisdom, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), in spite of his effort, excited sense interests (can) forcibly distract the mind.”
The interests of senses in their excited state, like thirst, hunger, pain, anger, hardship can distract even the man of wisdom, says Krishna. But these Devas would be such they would not get swayed by any of these and at all times they would continue to remain immersed in seeking closeness to God. That is why they have been referred to as Purushottama and it is within reach of each of us to become like them.
See the examples! The head of the Deva (Ali) got split in two because of the wound from sword but he signalled his son to complete the prayers. The son, also a Deva, was seeing his father lying aside, immersed in pool of blood, but completed the prayers before attending on him. Another of the Devas (Husain) offered prayers all night, knowing fully well that he would be killed the next day. The noon prayers were performed when several of the friends had already been killed and the enemies were raining arrows. When the time for afternoon prayers came, each and every one from amongst the friends and relatives had been killed and Agni deva (Husain) was waging the war. As soon as the time for prayer came, the Deva sheathed his sword and got engrossed in prayers, unmindful of the fact that one of the soldiers from the enemy’s camp was approaching with blunt dagger; he was to sever the head from the remaining body while the Deva was immersed in prayers. These incidents have been mentioned in the Vedas as well!
In short, I can only say that Paramatma had to speak 18 long chapters to explain the doctrine but majority has not understood it till date. If the Paramatma cannot say so in one word or one sentence, Mohammad Alvi is too insignificant a person to prove my point in a few sentences. If you are rigid, then I have already shown, as per Gita, what fate awaits you.
To be continued…