Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Friday, March 28, 2014

GITA Satsang - Chapter 2.47

Chapter 2.47

This is one of the most popular slokas of the Bagavadgita. Often quoted and re-iterated by almost all modern day gurus, it sometimes gives a feel for many that this one sloka gives the entire essence of the GITA. It surely brings out the essence of karma Yoga, describes the duty of an individual in a nut shell. But we must be clear with one aspect of the GITA. Many modern day gurus treat Gita as a book for personality development, for success in one’s career, for having more money and success in life. But my friends, GITA is not meant for material success, it is for atma Gyan, for getting delivered from repeated cycle of birth and death. It is to experience the bramhan and to be one with HIM, in HIM. So, let us not read of understand GITA from the point of getting money, fame, name. All this will be restricted to this birth alone. And we are not sure what will we be in our next birth. So, having known what is needed at this hour, let us invest in a long term FD of life, all our punyams and reap heavy interest in the form of enlightenment. This is the best investment we can make and NOW.

So, let us read the sloka and translation:
                                      karmany evadhikaras te 
                                     ma phalesu kadacana  |
                                     ma karma-phala-hetur bhur 
                                     ma te sango 'stv akarmani ||

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

What Krishna tells is that all of us have a “prescribed” duty to do and we must do them for the welfare of the society. The duty we do, must be done for the sake of doing and not in return for any favour. The favours will automatically follow.

A common doubt that is bound to arise in our minds is that how can we act without a goal in mind? How can one do duty without being result oriented? Where is the motivation, when there is no reward? Very true. We have to plan our actions, set our thought process to achieve the same. The end result must always be in our thought. And having known the end result, we have to work for it. We must not waste our time and energy in dwelling in the future – be it the joy of success or the fear of failure. We must neither crib about our past nor rejoice in the happiness it gave us. We have to live in the present. When we live in the present, we are thoughtless and this state is absolute bliss. Every moment of living in the present will give us more happiness. This feeling slowly becomes a habit. Our mind power will not be wasted in unnecessary thoughts and imaginations. The mind becomes more concentrated and powerful. Success is bound to follow in abundance.

Some say that the result of this act is already pre-determined. Why then act? This is a wrong attitude. In many places, I have seen a small post card which tells the essence of GITA. – Whatever must happen, will happen. Yes, this is true and this is also in accordance to our karma. W must not misunderstand that since the result of our effort is already known, we need not act. What we experience is a result of our karma but what we will experience in future, is in our hands. 
For example, assume I fail in an exam. The failure is due to my past karma. I may have failed due to lack of competitiveness, lack of preparation, medical reasons or some karma that I did in previous birth. But having failed, how I react to this failure, is in my hands. This further will accrue more Karma. I can react in many ways. I can take it as a challenge for my next trial, I can degrade myself, I can commit suicide etc etc. So, we must act and this act must be in a way that we get good karma. 

Then why GOD? Why is he present? When everything is in our hands, why is he there? First, GOD is a witness to all our actions. HE is the accountant of our karma and the judge to give us the fruit. He is impartial. However, if we completely surrender to HIM: “sharanagati” as we call it, then we don’t have to do any karma. HE WILL TAKE CARE. But, we have to take the first step and ABSOLUTELY surrender. This state will take us another 1000 births. Till then, let us keep doing Nishkaama karma.

So, all of us have to do our “prescribed” duty. It is important for us to understand as to what is this “prescribed”duty. Vedas and shastras have given mankind the best way to live life to its fullest and attain eternal bliss. But we seem to be shunning it and getting our lives more messy.

The division of people based on varnas is a wonderful way to divide work. This was done for the welfare of the society. The division was as thus: Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras. There is no high or low in any of the castes. Let us not indulge in low thinking and politicize the whole thing. 

Brahmins are regarded as the teachers. They have to do veda adyayanam, sandyavandanam and pray for the welfare of the world. Kshatriyas are the protectors of the world. Their duty is to have a health body and protect the citizens and country from external and internal conflicts. The third division are the vaishyas. They are agriculturists. They have to take care of mother earth in a way that she gives food to eat and water to drink. They are responsible for our health. And finally are the sudras. They are the dhobis, the carpenters, the tailors and all the other groups without whom the other three cannot live. Their duty is to help the other three classes perform their duty. By no means is one high or one low. If each one does their work in an orderly way, why would there be any conflict of high and low? 

We were all very happy and satisfied with our lives. A contented life, a respectable living was what we wanted and had. The British who ruled us divided us based on our caste. They identified the brilliance of the Brahmins and gave them respectable positions in society. Till then, the brahmana who was living his life for the society, started living for himself. That day was the beginning of the doom. When he started to do this, he broke his varna dharma. He started following the west in his practices. He left doing sandyavandanam, veda studies and other achaaras. Since he was regarded as a role model to all other varnas, the people of other varnas also followed him. They started to question that if the brahmana himself who is supposed to know bramha gyan has drifted apart, why not we. So, all people started to look upon towards the same kind of profession that gave them only money and luxury. Because of this, competition, greed, jealousy and hatred started to grow and spread.

Imagine, a marriage ceremony. We assign work to every member and each one carries it to the best of his ability. The marriage also is a suceess. But suppose, each member sees himself doing a small work or a work that doesn't befit his status, would it bring in peace? If the person who has to do flower decoration says that he will cook and not do his work, will the food be tasty. If the purohit who has to chant the mantras says that he would play the nadaswaram, will it sound melodious? Not at all. If each one of us does the duty that has been deputed to us, then the family is a happy one. This is the state we are in today. We are always comparing ourselves with someone who is more wealth and position. Due to this, there is a constant war within ourselves due to which anger and hatred grows.But, if the varna dharma is followed, then the society will be a happier one.

Further to the british, our selfish and greedy politicians divide people based on the caste. In purusha suktam which is a part of the vedas, it is said :

Brahmanasya Mukham aseed  |  Bahu rajanya krutha ||
Ooru tadasys yad vaisya  | Padbhyo sudro aajayatha ||

The brahmana came from the face of the Lord, The kshatriya from the shoulders, the vaishyas from the thighs and the sudras from the feet. So, each one of us have risen from an integral aprt of the Lord's body. All of us are pure and divine. Even the muslm kings could not divide us based on caste. The british succeeded. All the poison has been sown by the them which our politicians today are carrying forward.

Today, brahmanas do not want to do any kind of vedic studies. We are all lost in the material life of money and materialistic success. All the farmers are selling their lands for money and are migrating to the city for want of property and luxury. The kshatiryas do not want to be on the border of the country to protect us. They too want to enjoy city life. The sudras have started thinking that they are looked down upon and have changed their mindset. There is no one to help us lead a health and peaceful life.Who is truly happy today?  No one. Everywhere we see unhappiness, dis-satisfaction, greed, jealousy, selfishness and hatred. 

If we have to bring back the true satisfaction, we must follow our varna dharma atleast to some extent. Brahmins must atleast do sandyavandanam and learn a bit of Vedas so that it will be carried to our further generations.  A little of learning will surely pull them into that ocean. They will feel the divinity in them. They will be definitely encouraged to do more. All this must be done with the feeling of involvement. In the same way, kshatriyas must allow atleast one member of their family to national cause. Vaishyas must see that their varna dharma is protected and so also sudras. It is only then that we can have happiness and our country will be a central hub if spiritual and economic  progress.

I would encourage all of you to read “Voice of GOD”. This is a collection of talks given by the Kanchi Seer, the Living God, the walking GURU, Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal or maha perva as we lovingly call him. There are 7 volumes of the same. He talks at length about the various aspects of Hindusim. We will be spell bound at the vastness and depth of his knowledge. I am not the one suited to talk about him as I am an “atom of a drop” in the ocean of people who know him and have spoken about him. The above thoughts are assimilated largely based on his lectures in Volume 1 of “Voice of GOD”.

Long Live Sanathana Dharma
Sarve Janaah Sukhino Bhavantu


  1. I read the article - it is nice ( again another wonderful article )
    So, my observation was that - where did this caste or division of human beings come from - that one is a Kshatriya, or a brahman and so on.
    Is this not man-made. ( I understand that god created these various parts in the body that act as a warrior, a look out person and so on )
    But if these concepts were read by my ancestors - why did they divide themselves into superior and inferior categories.

    It is a big article and each time I read it - i reminisce it for a long time.
    One other observations - is if a child knows this that 'whatever should happen - will happen " then the child may very well study and fail and say it was bound to happen and sit tight. But I think - if I the child studied and very well until he/she can make a judicious decision that the child had covered all the areas of coverage and yet failed - then this statement can hold true.

    Keep them coming please.

  2. The varna division has been laid down by the vedas. But it has never distinguished people as a high or low in anyway. It is the british who divided sow the seeds of high and low, of discontent among people. and people also fell into their trap...

    The vedas and shastras as such divided people based on their occupation for the welfare of the society. All are the same in eyes of GOD. People divide and people fight because of our EGO

  3. When we say "whatever happens is already destined to happen", it happens because of our karma only. GOD has no role to play. So, we have to make children understand that we are responsible for our actions and no one else unless we do sharanagati.