Is the Bhagavad Gita deeply flawed

Bhagavad Gita

Our innermost being calls for self-realization. Each soul finds itself in an incredible struggle between the seductions and allure of short-term interests and the fundamental importance of spiritual fulfillment. This creates a split, a deep rift between what is actually essential to us from the inside and how we mostly spend our time.

History has shown how these internal conflicts can manifest themselves externally in social unrest and even wars. To reveal the hidden dynamics, Saint Vyasa in the Mahabharata describes the complex history of the psychological archetypes of man.

The Bhagavad Gita is a philosophical conversation between Sri Krishna, the original god and Arjuna, his friend and disciple.
The scene in which it takes place is the great battle of the Mahabharata at the Kuruksetra slaughter festival.

Since the Bhagavad Gita is not a separate book, but only a small part of the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata, the personalities and backgrounds of the historical events mentioned in it can only be understood in context.

The Gita depicts the blind king Dhritarashtra sitting on the throne, who asks his minister Sanjaya what is going on on the distant battlefield of Kuruksetra. Sanjaya received from his teacher the ability to perceive events in distant places.

The fighters of the world have now gathered. The Kauravas are led by Dhritarashtra's eldest son Duryodhana and the Pandavas by King Yudhistira. Arjuna, the world's most famous archer, is his younger brother.

The Mahabharata is the story of the Pandava princes, who represent the good conscience and the willing "surrender" to the guidance of God, according to harmony with the forces of the universe, and the dynasty of the power-oriented Kauravas, who stand for unlimited material desires and the desire for manipulation, because one can no longer recognize the order of God that is spread out before one's eyes when one is occupied by one's own plans.

In a game of dice the Pandavas lose all their possessions, even themselves (the good soul forces only exist latently because they have lost or forgotten each other). Without identity they now wander in exile in the woods - the eternal soul wanders through various forms of life - homeless, forgetting itself.

In the long time of loneliness in the Pandavas, self-confidence in the inner guidance, in the divine guidance, begins to awaken again. This is the moment when the soul rediscovers its loyalty to the subtle and at first very timid inner needs.

With the spirit of trust in the truth (yudisthira), divine courage (bhima), clear discernment (arjuna), devotional loyalty (nakula), and inner steadiness (sahadev), the Pandavas come back from exile and bring their right to it expressing lost kingdom.

The blind king Dritarashtra (literally "who holds on to the kingdom") with his son Duryodhana (material desires that require things that do not belong to one. Duryodhana literally means "difficult to defeat". With this are the never-ending desires for wrong possessions, things that do not belong to us, meant), in the alliance with a wrongly directed self-interest (Bhisma) and strong habits (Drona) seem almost invincible. In their hopelessness, the Pandavas ask for divine guidance (Sri Krishna).

The dramatic climax is reached when the opposing interest groups confront each other on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the field of life: on the one hand, blindness (self-forgetfulness) with its accomplices and, on the other hand, pure awareness that no longer compromises with falsehood may enter - not even out of compassion for him.

The Bhagavad Gita does not describe a war for a better world, but an initiation into God consciousness.

In this edition of the Bhagavad Gita we want to go into the eternal content of the Bhagavad Gita, which appeals to all of us, and largely omit the historical background in which the Bhagavad Gita is embedded, namely the Mahabharata. First, because it creates unnecessary confusion for people who are not so familiar with the content of the Mahabharata. There are so many names, stories and Sanskrit terms in the history of the Mahabharata that actually do not have much in common with the eternal content of the Gita. It is an essential task of spiritual seekers in our time to extract an eternal content from the cultural context. If one does not do this, much of the spiritual practice degenerates into imitating the folklore of a geographic area. But the innermost conscience calls for a sincere search for truth.

On the deeply uncomfortable path, the path that avoids any indolence, there are no longer any cooking recipes that were simply given to ordinary believers and that could be taken home to be followed.
This means that you are repeatedly asked to examine and not simply adopt concepts in order to avoid the complexity and your own research.
Out of the uncertainty of life one begins to look for substitute certainties, which one often confuses with truth.
-The religious version of it is called: «popular religion» - belief theses that themselves stem from the identification of the self. Since they have been conveyed over centuries, they have a strong impact and even an apparent truth content.
The inner path is no longer interested in straws that supposedly provide support. It leads to the willingness to let go of all hold out of the deep basic trust that there is a supporting substance underneath.
Only there does the true God live.
It is important to check whether what is conveyed really accompanies you inwards, or whether the practice comes from a long-learned tradition from a mythical image of the world and God and gives you a feeling of lifted up and security that does not come from truth but from the Congruence with old tradition.

The Bhagavad Gita should not be viewed as a conversation between two historical personalities, but as a constant question and answer between our deepest inner being and the eternal you, the opposite of God, Sri Krishna. One can put oneself in the place of Arjuna and feel that the words of Krishna are addressed directly to us. They really are. Sri Krishna wants to address us effectively through his song (Gita) and awaken us from habitual indifference.

Krishna's words are addressed to all people. Nor are they just directed to the faculty of the mind, but to the whole human being. They should touch our entire being, the mind, the will, but also the heart, the emotions and feelings, because for true spiritual development, which means a transformation of our entire being, all forces given to us must be integrated.

The Bhagavad Gita conveys the essentials of such a fundamental path of change. It re-establishes us in our real existence and points us back to our home, the place where we belong as eternal souls.

The Bhagavad Gita leads a soul from where it is right now to the world of God, which no longer has any contact with the changing worlds. Maturity and patience are required to be able to walk this path completely.

The Bhagavad Gita is a book that stimulates your own reflection. It is not information that should be read and filed as "interesting" or possibly also as "boring". As a reader, you are invited to let this content develop further in your own heart. That is the meaning of holy revelation writings, of resonance literature: it makes something sound in you, it touches the innermost core. But that doesn't stop the process. It should continue to sound, that is, the thoughts should find their progress in the reader. Without serious thought, one cannot deal with God or turn to him at all.

Intellectual understanding can also be part of communicating with God. Krishna never demands obedience and absolute obedience. Because that would be the extinction of the freedom of the living being, which is God's opposite and in which God has a real interest.

Revelation is “too deep for words”, it is a highly concentrated distillate, which is only accessible through reflection within oneself.

Independent thinking is required of us, because we are part of who is an independent thinking being. If one follows blindly, it is not a sign of submission, but rather of indifference, superficiality, and disinterest.

It would also be wrong to think that the Bhagavad Gita is a call to turn away from the world. Rather, it is an appeal to turn away from the mentalities of worldliness, which are analyzed very carefully. The external world is never to be condemned, only our interpretation of it has to be corrected.

The world as it is is certainly not God's will, but he also allows in it the disharmony with his original intention and the result is a world with deep conflicts in which we live today.

A commentary on Bhagavad Gita should not only convey factual information, but above all introduce the mystery of God's love, create a resonance in the heart of the reader and finally be an encouragement to his own departure. The repetitive and newly composed circling of a theme is therefore more like a musical poem than a factual treatise.

The text also requires an effort of the mind, for Krishna says that the absorption of intelligence into the sacred theme is also worship (18.70) and worship reveals contents that transcend human understanding.

Ultimately, however, it is important to meditate on the text so that it unfolds its own transforming power in every reader so that spiritual growth is promoted. Every single verse of the Gita is a guide to the goal of the ever deeper encounter with Sri Krishna himself.

The text can guide and accompany, but everyone has to go their own way.

Sacred knowledge is the way provision, so that the hiker can go on strengthened in moments of exhaustion and lack of inspiration. It is a call for a fundamental conversion, for an exodus from identification with the changing world.

prati-shloke prati-akshare nana artha kaya

"There are innumerable meanings in every single verse and in every syllable of the Book of Revelation."

(Caitanya Caritamrta 2.24.318)

The Bhagavad Gita does not represent an "ism", although it has been claimed by various isms. It doesn't even teach dvaita (theism) or advaita (monism), or any doctrine or belief, but wants to uplift, accompany and encourage the soul, regardless of its beliefs or beliefs.

Each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita deals with a yoga path, which is briefly explained as an introduction.

The word "yoga" has many meanings.

Krishna defines yoga as equanimity in the midst of opposing experiences in the world (2.48). This is one's own positioning in the eternal, in the immovable, from which one is no longer affected by the seemingly pleasant and unpleasant within the material creation.

Yoga can also be translated as stability of consciousness (6.20), which is achieved when the mind has completely withdrawn from matter.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, yoga is defined as the leveling of all currents of the mind, as the immobilization of all mental tendencies.

“Then the seeing, the perceiving, the eternal soul rests in its own true nature. (Yoga Sutra 1.3)

When the soul realizes this connection to Krishna and understands that separation never actually existed (nitya yoga), the state of connectedness is permanent and uninterruptible (only our memory of it can be forgotten), it enters into a desireless transcendental State (nirvikalpa avastha). This is the place where suddha-bhakti, the adventure of eternal relationship with God, only begins.

The Bhagavad Gita is God's invitation to it. A call to us.

1. Vishada Yoga - Yoga of Despair

2. Sankhya Yoga - Yoga of Analysis

3. Karma Yoga - Yoga of Action

4. Jnana-Karma-Sannyasa Yoga - Yoga of renunciation and action in knowledge,

5. Karma-Sannyasa Yoga - Yoga of renunciation of action

6. Dhyana Yoga - Yoga of contemplation

(Atma-samyama yoga - yoga of mind control)

7. Jnana-Vijnana Yoga - Yoga of knowledge and realization

8. Taraka-Brahma Yoga - Yoga of Reaching from the Absolute

9. Rajaguhya Yoga - Yoga of the great mystery

10. Vibhuti Yoga - Yoga of appreciating the divine glories

11. Vishvarupa-Darshana Yoga - Yoga of the vision of the cosmic form (Yoga of theophany)

12. Bhakti-Yoga - Yoga of loving devotion

13. Kshetra-Kshetrajna-Vibhaga Yoga - Yoga of the distinction between field and field connoisseur

14. Guna-Traya-Vibhaga Yoga - Yoga of the distinction between the three basic characteristics

15. Purushottama Yoga - the Yoga of the Supreme Person

16. Daiva-Asura-Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga - Yoga of the distinction between divine and non-divine existence

17. Shraddha-Traya-Vibhaga Yoga - Yoga of the distinction between three kinds of belief

18 Moksha-Sannyasa Yoga - Yoga of liberation and renunciation of the world

Preliminary remark

In the translation I have omitted all the names with which Krishna addresses Arjuna and also all the names with which Arjuna addresses Sri Krishna. The reason for this is solely the flow of thoughts, which are already demanding and if so many names flow into it, then it does not serve the clarity.

Arjuna is addressed by 23 names and Sri Krishna by 46 different names.

I am aware that every single name has a specific meaning in context, but there are already Bhagavad-gita editions that explain this in great detail - and so it would have only been a repetition.

For students of the Gita who want to grasp this precisely, I recommend the Bhagavad Gita by Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur and the edition by Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja.

The verses of the Gita are translated as literally as possible and sometimes I have added a few words in brackets to clarify the understanding a little. Sometimes there is not a single word in German that can fully encompass the Sanskrit meaning. That is why clarifying additions are sometimes added.

Always at the end of the comment I have added the connection to the next verse in italics. In this way it is easier to follow the flow of thought in the Bhagavad Gita and it is not simply understood as a series of verses.

Of course, Krishna did not speak chapters. The Bhagavad Gita is a heart-to-heart conversation. From the heart of God to the heart of every soul.

For posterity to understand, Srila Vyasadeva, who wrote down this conversation, made verse numbers and chapter subdivisions.

The meaning of some words is not explained again and again - the explanations of terms are available at the end.

Since the first verse of the thirteenth chapter does not have a number, some commentators have omitted it. The reason for this is likely that the Bhagavad Gita has the even number of 700 verses in this way. But I still gave it as number 1 so that it can be compared more easily with other editions. Therefore this edition of the Gita now has 701 verses.

The numbers in brackets (8.16) refer to the chapter and verse number of other verses, which illuminate and supplement what has been described.

In order to avoid repetitive statements in the comment, I sometimes refer to previous comments (e.g. see 8.16).

When a number of properties are listed in a verse, I sometimes go into each one so that it is clear which one is being written about, it is in bold font marked. (For example 15.5)

This edition of the Bhagavad Gita will not go into the historical background that is described in the Mahabharata due to the otherwise overflowing scope. (There are now many German translations of it). The 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita are a very small part of the Mahabharata (Bhisma-Parva chapters 25-42).

Historical background

The Bhagavad Gita is God's call to the soul.The insight into the consequence of this call, namely the final farewell to everything that was called “I” and “mine” in his world identification, lets the soul freeze for the time being.

Krishna's words then lead the soul out of all confusions that were much deeper than one had first thought. With Arjuna, the original listener of the Gita, the attentive companion of this path, the reader, will also experience this incomprehensible transformation and be guided to a clarity that is based on self-knowledge.

The first chapter begins with the armies of the Pandavas and Kauravas facing each other in two lines of battle. Arjuna is now sitting in his chariot between the fronts. This starting point has always been interpreted symbolically:

The battlefield of Kurukshetra, on which two great armies have gathered, represents the starting point of every living being: It describes our world in which two opposing forces continuously distort the clarity of our original consciousness. The living being is dragged around by the dual forces of the field of life. We are involved in the struggle with the dualities. In a struggle of good and bad, pleasant and problematic, love and hate, mercy and self-assertion. We identify with one pole and then usually have a difficult relationship with the other.

The Pandavas represent the true, the Kauravas the obscuration of it - the untruth. The battlefield is the field of life and Arjuna is the soul, the self that sits in the chariot of the body.

The Pandavas, the lawful kings, have been driven from their positions and exiled by Duryodhana. Duryodhana represents the selfish self with its myriad passions.

This means that in the situation in which we find ourselves in this world, the self no longer has control, is in an unnatural situation that is actually alien to it, and a false self has usurped the leadership. Significantly, Dhritrarastra, Duryodhana's father, is blind. This occupying power has no perspective other than the short-term desire to enjoy. She has lost all eschatology, the longing for the ultimate.

This is exactly the situation in which Arjuna finds himself. He sees relatives, friends, and even his teacher Drona in the opposing battle lines and he asks himself: "How can I fight them?" This corresponds to the divided human nature. Arjuna feels that he cannot endure the upcoming battle and in desperation he puts down his arms and says, "I don't want to fight!"

At this point his charioteer, Sri Krishna, comes into play. The imagery is clear: the chariot is the body, Arjuna is the soul and the charioteer represents God who controls everything, even our own body. The Supreme God, who also appears as inner guidance in the moment of genuine despair and encourages the soul to prove itself in the struggle with the wrong nature.

The thinking mind has to find an excuse and a convincing belief as an escape to defend its attachments in the situation in which it already stands. Therefore Arjuna turns to Krishna - but basically he is only trying to calm his conscience - by wanting to explain to Krishna the “pure” motivation for his actions. But that is not tolerated by the inner guidance and so Krishna asks him to overcome this "weakness of the heart".

The Pandavas had been exiled for twelve years. After that, they were destined to live incognito for another year and only then could they return to ascend the throne.

In exile in the forest, the spiritual seekers are driven away from the world. Towards the end of the expulsion, one reaches the point where the powers of the mind are waning and the forces of the dark seem to be in complete control. Indeed, it is often the case that before the breakthrough to a great spiritual renewal, the inner forces initially seem to have reached their weakest point. One learns real refuge, a commitment that not only means asserting one's own interests, but rather “making oneself available.” The Pandavas have gone through the dark night of the soul and are now coming back to take on their rightful inheritance. That is the return to one's own destiny.

They cannot reach a compromise simply by negotiating with the occupying power (Duryodhana proclaimed that they would not get as much land as it would take to insert a pin). This means that a balance cannot be found on the level of conditionality, because it is not about generating harmony in the temporary. The truth does not live in cohabitation with the illusion. It takes viveka, discernment: what is real and permanent? What is temporary and therefore not substantial? What am I really, what is my identity and what is just assumed identification? What is that what I really want and what are just inherited wishes to which I cling hope of inner fulfillment?

This is how Arjuna sees friends and relatives among his enemies on the battlefield. In other words: the familiar. Arjuna realizes that he is split within himself. This is the human condition: in the battle of life we ​​faced ourselves, and there is in fact no solution on the human level.

As long as Arjuna remains in this realm of duality, there is no answer. Krishna now appears and raises him to a completely different stage. He shouldn't smooth the waves.

Krishna educates him to be individuation, to be whole. That means that there should be no quarreling with conditionality. Krishna demands his readiness for the development of perfect longing - the readiness to reject everything else. That is the spiritual ruthlessness. This is exactly what distinguishes the few from the mass of people who compromise and get involved in this intoxication of the mind.

They want to be free - but: "I also have other things to do. How should I ...? I have friends, I have a husband, I have children ..."

Most of the spiritual seekers are still hobby seekers, hobby self-explorers, hobby philosophers. The spiritual search still appears to them as a luxury that can only be fully lived when the infinite chain of other needs is satisfied - which of course will never happen.

But to have this complete interest, this total readiness for anything, no matter what the cost, means, “I am ready to give anything for whatever the price is asked. No price can be too high for that, if you can guess what it's really about.

You know you could have a more pleasant time in the cinema. Today is Sunday and you could have a picnic, walk the dog, visit friends ...

The encounter with the invitation to unconditional surrender is not inherently uncomfortable, but it is sometimes extremely uncomfortable for the mind that is in hibernation to be shaken awake. There are massive forces in one that have no interest in waking up. They prefer to sleep, numb themselves and also feel good in it.

Mankind has established itself in its suffering, in its inner allotment. Those who do not know infinity are satisfied with what they have, and this false complacency can be overcome. It is the complacency of suffering, the ignorance of reality.

Many spend their time as if the desire to be free is THE triviality of life.

Everything must be subordinated to this wish if it is recognized as a real wish. Most people do not feel this wish at all, and it just means that they are not aware of this wish, because in reality it is the deepest wish of every person. Not feeling it makes life on the surface with its small needs possible.

The fulfillment of this wish, however, requires complete unconditionality and everything that is called one's life has to submit to it.

The inner path demands an attitude in which one is ready to give everything without holding back reserves. And that has been completely forgotten.

What we have learned is to compromise - so accumulated that your entire life becomes a tepid compromise.

This uncompromising, just the spiritual ruthlessness, is the force that cuts the relationship - which is ultimately nothing other than my relationship to appearances, my relationship to images and roles.

And this also includes the willingness to give up the desire to please, the willingness to offend.

When this force (ultimately a sakti of Lord Shivas) occurs, it can provoke resistance, stir up dust. It will be a frenzy of battle. And in this lack of relationship you still don't feel separated, because your charioteer is very close to you. The inner guidance becomes concrete.

The resistance to God shows itself first of all as a natural tendency to welcome every nothingness as a distraction. Getting caught in the distractions that surround us all the time is a sign that you don't really want to.

One's own resistance to God can now be experienced in all violence.

In the silent acceptance of him a reversal impulse is born.

What is required of Arjuna is exactly what makes the fight so difficult. "I have to kill all my relatives and friends!" Arjuna, the soul in this world, incarnated in a human body, is surrounded in his existence by an army of delusions, which he is now asked to overcome in order to gain knowledge of his divine nature to get. But since he has become dear to many of these deceptions and has become intimately familiar with them out of habit and convenience, it is difficult for him to fight against them, even to destroy them.

That is the problem when we are asked to set out effectively and put aside everything we have loved. It seems that there is nothing left of us. We have lost the world and it seems at first that nothing would have been gained from it. That is the leap of faith necessary in all spirituality.

That is the deep reason for Arjuna's despair. He drops his arms and refuses to take up the fight because there seems to be nothing left to fight for, because even if he were to gain victory, he would still all his loved ones who are now facing him as enemies, have killed. This removal of material motivations is the beginning of unintended spirituality.

Anyabhilasita sunyam jnana karmady-anavrtam

Anukulyena krishnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

"The continuous, naturally spontaneous, uninterrupted flow (just as honey flows out of the honey jar) of consciousness and all efforts of the body, mind (inner moods) and all words all for the joy of Sri Krishna is called pure bhakti.

This devotion is free of any material motivations that alienate one from one's essential nature - namely the ambition to get something from God and the pleading to be saved from something. "

The question of the Bhagavad Gita is: why does the world arise? What is the natural functioning of the individual? What is the purpose that God has put into his creation? (Teleology) What is the relationship between the individual and the divine authority?

Krishna has an eternal, unchanging, unlimited form with transcendental properties.

The soul is never unlimited, not even in a liberated state. Even after being liberated from the cycle of births and deaths, the soul remains a pure spiritual part, but then lives again to its full potential as bhagavat-parikara, an eternal companion of God.

Who is Arjuna?

He is an eternal associate of Krishna. A liberated soul who serves Krishna in Sakya-rasa (as a friend) and can never come under the influence of forgetfulness, illusion and indifference. Krishna arranged the "lamentation" and "deception" of Arjuna so that by teaching him he could bless all living beings in this world with the eternal wisdom of the Bhagavad gita. Through the medium of this conversation, Krishna defines the svarupa (the true nature) of himself as well as that of the living being. He explains pure love of God, His Eternal World, material nature (sambandha) and the relationship between everything (abhideya). As well as the ultimate ultimate goal (prayojana).

(compiled from an inspiration of Baladeva's "Prameya Ratnavali" and Bhaktivinod's "Dasa Mula tattva")

1. There is only one God for all religions and all people. (sanatan dharma)

2. This one God is omnipotent, omnipotent and omnipresent, and includes all created things. He himself is the cause of all cause, which then itself no longer has a cause, that is, it exists forever. (bhagavan)

3. The material nature (prakrti) in which we currently live is real and eternal as it is a reflection of eternal spiritual reality. The things (manifestations) and our actions within this world, however, are ephemeral and changeable. The eternal being of the origin of this world is reflected in the transitory eternally as cyclical arising and passing away.

4. God is not only immanently present in His material creation, but at the same time also transcendent to it, i.e., He is eternally in His own kingdom (Vrindavana) far beyond this creation.

This means that He exists in His all-embracingness in parallel as omnipresent energy (brahman) and dwells in an individual eternal form with innumerable attractive properties in an indestructible and immutable sphere.

If it were missing either of these two aspects, it would not be perfect.

5. All living beings (jivas) are tiny, conscious and eternal parts of God. In this world they animate all body forms, including animals and plants. They retain their identity even after the cycle of rebirth has been liberated. When their superimposed material identification with this world, which only represents a covering of the jiva, is completely discarded, only its true individuality (svarupa) manifests itself.

The number of jivas is unlimited and they have the same spiritual properties as God himself (sat, cit, ananda), but in contrast to God only to a limited extent.

6. The majority of the jivas, however, are eternally liberated and worship Krishna with love and devotion (bhakti) and live with Him in the spiritual world, experiencing pure love for God (prema).

7. God's offer of love is voluntary, because love implies voluntariness. The souls who no longer only want to live for God and still see their priorities in the temporary will, since they are indestructible, be reborn in the place of their consciousness alignment, that is, in the temporary, in this world.

The souls take birth according to their individual wishes, thoughts and the resulting actions (karma) within the material world in a specific form of life (as a plant, animal, human being, deva ...) and thus continuously migrate from one body to another (samsara ). It is all according to God's law, but not to His will.

8. The goal of this transmigration of souls through the various forms of life is that the soul no longer recognizes itself as part of a dead world. What prevents them is their own longing for illusory joys (maya), which actually represent nothing other than their hidden search for God. Recognizing this, she turns back to eternity, which corresponds to her nature.

9. However, through His unlimited power (acintya sakti), Krishna can also be experienced in the material world, namely through yoga, the path of the re-establishment of the relationship with Him.

10. The paths that Krishna lays into this world as a possibility of return are unlimited. They are designed in such a way that, regardless of the attachment and projecting of the jiva into matter, every soul can find an interest and is addressed.

All yoga paths are laid out like a ladder with different rungs that lead the soul through different realizations.

11. The ultimate goal and the original position of the jiva (svarupa) is to experience pure love for Krishna and to cultivate a loving exchange with him in an eternal sphere.

Bhagavad Gita

What's the name mean? Generally it is translated as the "song of God"

"Bhaga" means opulence or great happiness. Vad means "one who possesses". He is this being who has all fullness in perfectly (and the Vrindavan translation: the one who is fortunate enough to be loved by Radhika). He has Acintya Sakti. In this world the opposites dissolve. But because of its incomprehensible power, it unites all opposites and supposed contradictions. He is big and small at the same time.In his form as Mahavishnu, all universes have their place in a pore of his eternal body. And in all atoms it is contained as the smallest part as an oversoul.

The most important of all fillings is beauty. All beauty has its origin in Sri Krishna and he surpasses all in beauty. A being who combines these characteristics is called "Bhagavan" (God) in the Sanskrit language. The song from the heart of this being is called Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita was given to Arjuna from Krishna. But none of the people present could hear it. Only Sanjaya, a direct disciple of Vyasadeva, was able to overhear all of this through the grace of his Guru, even though he was geographically far from Kurukshetra. He conveyed what had been heard to the blind King Dritarashtra.

There are people who think that one can read the Bhagavad gita on one's own and that the subject of the spiritual teacher does not really matter. But the entire Bhagavad gita, every syllable of it, speaks of the urgency to adopt a guru - since Sanyaja could only hear and see this sacred conversation through the blessing of his guru.

At the very beginning of the Gita there is a dramatic contrast: on the one hand there is Dhritarastra, who is blind both physically and spiritually, as he strives for position and reputation in this world, misplaces his original longing, which results in attachment to the ephemeral - and on the other Side is Sanjaya, who not only sees physically, but also had an insight into reality through the grace of his teacher.

Chapter 1

The first chapter is called "vishada yoga", the yoga of despair, the yoga of shock, the yoga of dejection and confusion. Dullness is dust settled, confusion is dust blown up. Therefore, this is exactly what constitutes an essential yoga path.

Despair, the surrender of worldly identity, is an initiation, a beginning for the yoga path. An experience of emptiness, of disillusionment is necessary for most in order to set off for the great transformation. This does not mean the disappointment that one of the partners had left one of the partners, a loved one had died or one had just lost one's dream job. Anyone who thinks everything is fine as it is now - you have enough food, a decent job and are surrounded by people who love you - can never find a real door to transcendence. It takes the experience of the fundamental emptiness, of the “too little” in this world, a rebellion to a bourgeois life, a doubt about the previous existence, which are born in the encounter and inner confrontation with transcendence. Before this meeting, the world was still fine. The fear of this very existential shock may explain why many people prefer to live on the surface, knowing that the consequences of the rat tail would be too long.

This despair is not to be equated with disappointment, frustration and depression, which are symptoms of still having hopes for the world, but not getting them fulfilled. It is a conflict of conscience, a consequence of growing out of one's mind and saying goodbye and being satiated with a life of small comforts. If the spiritual path is motivated by the anxiety about the impossibility of material circumstances, it would only be an instrumentalization of inner-worldly arrangements.

The first characteristic of an awakening soul is that its soul no longer feels joy in all beautiful, good and lovable things in this world as it did before. And not out of disappointment or frustration, but because it slowly grows out of it, just as someone grows out of the toy age quite naturally.

The soul feels, at first weak, then stronger and more often: "All of this is somehow too little".

It no longer fills them. Well, she always knew that she couldn't be fed up with it forever. Since she lived piously before, she naturally associated that joy with God, which she perceived in the beauty of nature and in the meaningful sequence of fates. So she rejoiced with Him, but still with Him at those beings, of flowers, stars, people, of music, images and poetry, of lofty thoughts and noble deeds, of history, journeys and encounters.

But now all of this is becoming stale. It dies away and silts up.

The soul experiences an inner insecurity: "What has happened to me? Why am I no longer happy? Am I sick?"

The soul feels a great emptiness and disillusionment when it deals with this familiar. At times this builds into a real reluctance paired with a thoughtful sadness.

This is not the case continuously. The soul can once again completely rise up in a beautiful book, be completely enchanted by a wonderful symphony. But then it breaks off again, sometimes in the middle of the joy. Something gray conceals everything, empties and devalues ​​it. And she knows that she is looking for and wanting something completely different. She feels it deeply more and more clearly: That it is God her heart is looking for, and has been looking for countless lives.

Searching can turn into screaming. Outside she wanders through blooming meadows, which have so far been her great delight, she discovers a rare flower that she has always been looking forward to. But what's in it? Not a cheer, but something like a pain pulls through her. Or she stares at this little miracle of creation, and she feels as if she whispered in the depths: "You only give this to me? Why only that? Why not you?

The soul is aware: Krishna is omnipresent, His essence shines out of everything it sees.

But she wants more. She wants him without the other, without his works that cover him.

This “insufficient” is the experience of the yoga of despair (vishada-yoga), which is the yoga of the first chapter. This existential pain indicates that something is fundamentally wrong, that one has not yet reached one's essential destination. This form of despair is an initiation into the yoga path.

Most people are in such a state of life that they only rarely perceive this pain and then usually numb it again immediately.

Vishada can also be translated as disappointment. So you have given up hope of defining your home in the flow of temporality.

Insecurity is not an obstacle to self-exploration.

"Krishna, I lived in the reliability in the familiar world ...

What a gift there is Krishna's intervention, which first comes into one's own life as an irritation. "

Those who believe that they can give themselves up when they feel safe at home in the little room, in the allotment garden of sham security, still hold on to the resistance to the truth.

A lack of faith quickly leads to hyperbelief.

This is an expression of religion that arises from a longing need for security and security and has a strong tendency towards solidified beliefs.

When one faces all uncertainty, a natural and authentic belief arises - the meaning of all creation that is experienced.

Denominational spirituality believes it can convey certainty. Such promises attract people who want to escape insecurity and who therefore quickly show a high potential for aggression if they see their religious salvation threatened.

On the inner path, however, one cannot apply a concept of a remedy that is believed to be our only and everlasting one on the entire path. We always need new ones, always different ones, always those who are appropriate to the moment. This is not a way of cooking recipes; Cooking recipes are for simple believers - who want to know how to do it, how to get to God, how to become a good person, and how to get to heaven. Simply put, you want to be served everything - which moral values ​​you have to adhere to and which should be avoided - and you think that would be enough. Just get everything prescribed by a priest…. It seems simple and obvious, but it is not the way to the truth. This leads first of all into the basic uncertainty of being. The entire secular society and also denominational spirituality is an unsuccessful attempt to somehow evade the fundamental uncertainty.

But it is precisely from the grace of uncertainty that truth is born. That is why the Bhagavad Gita begins with the chapter “Yoga of Despair”.

If you want to learn how to deal with insecurity, you go into psychotherapy. If one would like to learn to no longer deal with uncertainty and to really allow it, this is the entrance to an inner path.

If religion should provide islands of security in a sea of ​​confusion,

secured values ​​in a confused world or the attitude to belong to a community of knowing, which stands out from the ignorant world, it becomes not only questionable, but dangerous. It only increases the hopes of selfishness.

Religion first calls for a departure into absolute uncertainty.

It lays a basic trust in the soul that the most essential thing will not be lost in the dismantling of all security.

The defense of my worlds of thought and world views is only possible when one identifies with them. Because only then do the first-person role and one's own story become significant. Then I no longer call it “my current truth”, but “the truth”.

The clear inward perception is grateful when the worlds of thought and all previous perspectives are overturned. Because this means that the perspective can be expanded.

All questioning may now be invited.
As long as one does not welcome the fundamental doubt, one remains at the beginning of the path. One believes that one can stabilize the old security through the inner path instead of entering the space of unshakable truth.

The first chapter brings us to this point of major shock. Only then can spiritual instruction begin.

The attainment of the awareness of suffering is an essential and inevitable stage of the inner path.

It's not that tragic at all if you really allow the shock to happen. It was much worse not to let them in and to dwell on trying to control them.

It is not surrender that hurts, but resistance to it.

In the very thin layer of our waking consciousness, which we take for our "I", we think we perceive the world. But nine tenths of the iceberg is under water. Most of the processes within us happen without the conscious decision of the present "I".

This shadow of my own past, my samskaras (the impressions of my past lives) accompanies the soul and is of great influence in the decision-making processes. The coordinate grid of human behavior, our classifications into "right", "wrong", "good", "bad" play out much more on the level of fluctuating sensibilities than we actually want to admit.

So we live a large part of our life practically asleep, externally controlled by our own past, not proactively approaching action. And our understanding remains accordingly reduced and partial. And with every lump of knowledge comes a big shadow at the same time, which misinterprets, distorts and disfigures, confuses and immediately makes the little knowledge confused again.

The perceiving consciousness is already only a very thin layer above the subconscious, which has a decisive influence on this perception and whatever it absorbs is immediately filtered by the threatening weight of the shadow.

And so one believes and thinks that one has insight, one has understood something, one is awakening, but it is nothing more than a renewed misunderstanding. The complexity is now growing: now one is under the illusion of having overcome the illusion.

That is why it is essential to observe the functional processes in the unconscious, since otherwise all supposed recognition will only contain a renewed misunderstanding and flow into it.

The sun of Sadhana will make many previously unwanted parts of my material psychic shell aware, and it needs "dhirata" (BG 2.13), calm in the spiritual anchoring, so that one does not just repress these recognized parts of the being and thus assign them again to the shadow.

In everyday consciousness in the social world, we think that we sometimes misunderstand something, but that we recognize and understand most of it.

Sat-Sang, fellowship with saints, allows us to diagnose the opposite: even if in the spiritual life one thinks that one has understood something, it is very likely that it is simply another misunderstanding.

This misinterpretation and falsification happens precisely because of the huge shadow that we carry with us. Without this handicap, any spiritual endeavor would be a simplicity.

This thick filter of our own self-made past creates darkness again even in the most sacred.

All understanding, every realization is distorted by it and it is not even under your own control not to distort it.

But what one can do is admit this, acknowledge this phenomenon, increase mindfulness that the distorting part of the subconscious is reduced.

Only in the light of becoming aware, in constant attention, does the shadow gradually dissolve, which is precisely the result of inattention.

The misunderstanding is ruled out only in complete awareness and alertness. Only the awakened really understand. And until then the capacity for cognition is colored and clouded, the knowledge also still partly deception. In the acceptance and acceptance of this, the ego becomes smaller, since it has to admit that all its understanding is very relativized by a simultaneous misunderstanding. All that the ego wants to assert itself on is not so secure. The ego loses its security when it has to admit that all of its assumptions are contingencies. It becomes more permeable. In any case one becomes simpler and more innocent and meditation only becomes possible in innocence.

When the resistance to the uncertainty of my perception and my understanding dissolves, one becomes more open and more sensitive to the possibilities that are beyond my current understanding. One is less determined, and fixed, because the level of knowledge is not yet definitive. The arrogant security that blocks one's own access to reality, especially in religious matters, dissolves.

When someone is in love with another person, it is extremely difficult to say, “There is a chance that I love you. I may love you ”But it is true, because in the current state nothing more can be said. Because how often does this so-called affection turn into hate in a very short time .... Why trust the thin tip of the iceberg of our surface consciousness? In the next moment, the decision can look completely different again, as completely different information is hidden in the huge area of ​​the shadow, which will then inevitably shape the action.

A great Buddhist saint, Mahavira, also used the word “maybe” “probably” as an enlightened soul in every answer he gave to the questioner, which of course relativized every statement.

For this reason he did not have many disciples, because the conditioned soul wants certainty, even if it is not possible in its state. The desire for security allows everything that has been heard to become rigid in a concept, which of course makes it impossible to experience it, to realize understanding.

People are already in an uncertain existence, in an uncertain life, and out of this one wants a clear and absolute belief system.

That is why Krishna speaks in the Bhagavad Gita that in order to encounter eternal truth (sanatan dharma) one has to give up all hope and leave behind all apparent certainties (sarva dharman parityaja).

Mahavira did not convey concepts (this has remained an important approach in Buddhism). When someone asked him about God, he replied: "Maybe". But if you want to worship a God who is a “maybe”, then prayer to him would also become a “maybe” and the entire belief system, his religion, would be an idea of ​​relativity. But in denominational organized religions “maybe” and “but” are banned.

In all the confusion and confusion of everyday life, the disinterested God seeker simply wants certainty and security. He does not want to surrender himself to the eternal search for God, which initially brings him into a much more existential ambiguity, in which all previously accepted foundations then fall apart.

And no matter how holy and transcendental the origin of faith may be, it is only looking for petty clinging, a bourgeois will to believe, which gives it security and protection, certainty and carelessness, ultimately a justification for its attachments in life - a saved life as a guarantee for a good feeling.

He only wants a God who protects him, his family and his wine cellar, and to whom he can pray when he is stuck and when things are going badly for him - and he does not want to be shaken and uprooted by him.

If he didn't have the god, he would just feel lost and lonely. And for that, God should now become his magical patch.

Real saints do not give superficial comfort and illusory courage, but destroy it. They do not convey comfort and well-being, but a radical U-turn in which you lose yourself. Srila Sridhar Maharaja kept speaking of "dying to live". We are afraid of it.

If we do not encounter this fear, the whole of spirituality becomes an evasion of reality, a nesting in a renewed illusion - which is now much more difficult to see through, since it has been put into a holy cloak.

True spirituality willingly exposes itself to the vacuum of uncertainty, and in it one becomes a true seeker.

You are ready to question all previous knowledge yourself, to let all the usual thought processes collapse. And willingly let it collapse. One does not want fake certainty, but truth, and for that all hopes and expectations and claims have to become invalid.

You need a readiness for totality, otherwise you will just continue to have only small insights.

Ignorance was punished and exploited. That is why one is conditioned in the material world to end this state as quickly as possible. In such a situation, understandably, you resort to sham knowledge too quickly. We then refer to this in the collective of civilization as “education”.

Many tend to give space to limited judgment before one really understands .... The German language calls this “pre-judgments”, that the mind comes to judgments and thereby closes a cognitive process before it is founded in understanding. The situation is now even worse, since the supposed recognition of the prejudice acts as a blockade of understanding.

You have to learn to endure not to understand. It is a state in which nothing is clear and in which one can no longer hold on and in which there is uncertainty and a lack of security.
It is better to hold on to a straw concept that gives you an alleged hold than to surrender yourself completely to uncertainty. This has never been taught to one.

But this is exactly what the real access to God demands.

Krishna understands confusion.

But to be confused in a state of ignorance and incomprehension is laziness. One can only hope for grace after one has exhausted all one's own capacity and effort.

Confusion after understanding is an expression of grace. It is sacred wonder that is the soul's natural response to Krishna's inexhaustible Infinity.

1.1

Dhritarastra said:

Oh Sanjaya, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do when they gathered in the sacred pilgrimage site of Kurukshetra, the field of Dharma, full of bellicosity?

The starting point of the Bhagavad Gita is a question from a blind person - that is us.

What is the king's blindness? He already expresses this in this verse: mamakah - the understanding of the attachment that some things or persons in this world belong to one. This attachment creates fragmentation. you think that belongs to you and that it doesn't. "I belong to this denomination (Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jews) and I am right and the others are outsiders." It is this mentality that is the symptom of spiritual blindness.

Essentially, it is not about domestic questions (the questions about one's own practical life with its small problems), but always only about the basic questions about the self and its relationship to Radhe-Syam.

How do I get out of the confusion of believing I am that very person? Only this inquiry brings you to the home of immortal peace. The detailed planning of practical life absorbs too much life's attention anyway.

The arena of struggle is the field of Dharma, the field of maintaining the cosmic order.

Because everyone is in their line of battle, they experience enthusiasm. It is an amazing psychological phenomenon that man believes his side is the best.

The fact that one chooses a certain camp is on the one hand the self-interest of the ego, which always strives for its self-exaggeration, since it has no real identity.

But underneath the driving force is fear, insecurity, intimidation ... that's why you want to rise above this poor state of mind with your worldview.

This first chapter describes this phenomenon in detail and how Krishna must first lift the spiritual seeker out of this prison.

Dhritarastra asks: kim akurvata (what did they do)? That is the question that the Bhagavad gita answers. What do I have to do as a human being in the whole universe? What is my task (nitya-dharma) in this world of infinite possibilities?

The Bhagavad Gita begins with a question. The beginning of all practice is asking for it. One can only absorb the truth that one asks for.

The basic questions of being human have higher priority than the struggle to maintain everyday life.

If we were to simply get answers without actually asking for them, it would end in dullness. For this reason, it is more important to have questions within you, to chew them, to let them gnaw on us too. That is more valuable than a thousand answers that do nothing in our understanding of reality.

Receiving answers to questions that have not really been asked sincerely is the limit to indoctrination. Philosophy, the love of truth, ideology, a religious action program are transformed there.

Sacred texts provoke questions. Only when these appear in the consciousness of the soul do these sacred texts become answers. The meeting of your own questions with the given and conclusive answers generates basic trust.

Without urgent inquiries, the dispute is ideology-prone and leads to dullness.

Philosophy is not entertainment pastime. Dealing with basic questions is the foundation on which we base all decisions. Therefore, even in a world in which people are actually already overloaded with everyday life, it is necessary to pause and set the basic parameters for life. This is the claim of the Bhagavad gita. And the decision is then left to the living being. (18.63)

1.2

Sanjaya said:

O king, after looking over the armies which the sons of Pandu had set up in battle, Duryodhana stood before his teacher and said the following words.

Duryodhan has made great preparations to gain power over the world. His army is far larger than that of the Pandavas and the greatest warrior of his time, Bhisma, is on his side. But Sri Krishna is on the side of the weaker.

1.3

O my teacher, behold the mighty army of the sons of Pandu, which your intelligent disciple, the son of Drupada, has skilfully assembled.

This intelligent student is called Dristadyummna and when he was born a voice rang out from heaven announcing that he would kill Drona in the future. Drona, the guru, knew this very well and nevertheless instructed him in the science of war.

Duryodhana, as the perfect diplomat, is now trying to hold this up to Drona to inspire him to fight intensely, since one can still change course.

This is the mentality of an external person who tries to change the lines of fate with great effort. Drona, who embodies the divine principle here, feels so embedded in the world law in the Dharma, suspended in what will happen, that he could not call himself up to aggression. The freedom of the living being should not be gambled away in the changes in the outer, which are already established, but is just the path into the middle, to which the Gita wants to encourage every soul. From that serenity, it's just a thin dividing line to neglect. It takes mental alertness to distinguish the two.

1.4

Here in this army there are many heroic archers who are equal to Bhima and Arjuna in battle - great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada.

1.5

There are also other great, heroic and powerful fighters present, such as Dhristaketu, Cekitana, the brave king of Kashi, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Saibya

1.6

There stand the mighty Yudhamanyu, the extremely mighty Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu), and the sons of Draupadi. All of these warriors are truly great charioteers.

Duryodhana enumerated all the fighters of the army of the Pandavas in order to arouse fighting rage in Drona, so that he might fight with zeal. Then a second thought occurred to him, namely that Drona actually preferred the Pandavas and could become partisan if he thought about them too long. That's why he quickly changes his perspective back to his own army.

1.7

O best of the Brahmanas, for your information I would also like to tell you who are the most powerful leaders of my armed forces.

1.8

These are personalities like yourself, Bhisma, Karna, Kripa, Asvatthama, Vikarna, and the son of Somadatta, who are all always victorious in battle.

1.9

And many other heroes are ready to sacrifice their lives for me. They are all armed with a variety of weapons and are all skilled in military science.

The word tyaktva-jivitah means that they have actually already given up their bodies. Sarasvati devi inspired Duryodhana to foresee the destruction of his own army.

Krishna says the same thing again a little later (11:33).

1.10

Our strength, under Bhisma's leadership, is limited. Whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully guarded by Bhima, is immeasurable.

The reason for this is that Bhisma has so much affection for the Pandavas and therefore is not motivated to fight.

1.11

Please move into the key strategic positions and protect Bhisma in every way.

1.12

Bhisma, the great heroic ancestor of the Kuru dynasty, blew his conch horn on it. It boomed like the roar of a lion and filled Duryodhana with joy.

1.13

Then the horns and timpani, the cymbals, drums and trumpets were suddenly intoned so that there was a tremendous noise.

This underlines the enthusiastic readiness to fight that is mentioned in verse 1.1. Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya what his sons and Pandu's sons would be doing on the battlefield. So far he has been describing his sons and now he goes on to describe the Pandavas

1.14

Then Krishna and Arjuna, who were standing in a large chariot drawn by white horses, also let their heavenly conch horns ring.

Actually, as on the part of the Kauravas, the military leader should also begin to blow the conch horn. But Krishna is always the leader, even if he is only the charioteer of Arjuna. One of Krishna's names is “Acyuta”, “always the same”.

Sometimes people need to stand up and give themselves value by moving up to a higher post or making a career. As a charioteer, Krishna is naturally the center of everything.