This talk series was delivered by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha in Jamshedpur. In these talks, Swamiji makes an in-depth study of each verse in this chapter.
Swamiji gives a brief introduction to the message of Bhagavad Gita. He speaks about ‘Interactional Sadhana’ and how one can attain placidity of mind in the midst of one’s performance of duties.
As a prelude to Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita, Swamiji reinforces key takeaways from the earlier chapters, specifically 13th chapter (Kshetra kshetrajna vibhaaga yoga) and 14th chapter (Gunatraya vibhaaga yoga).
Giving a brief recap of the 13th chapter, Swamiji discusses the Kshetra and Kshetrajna and says that the Kshetrajna is the same in all bodies. He also enumerates the 20 qualities which need to be acquired by a seeker of knowledge. One can live life being aware of his status as the Universal Kshetrajna and see everything as a play of consciousness.
The 14th chapter describes the Guna combinations-the Sattva (light, knowledge), Rajas (fragmentation, activity) and Tamas (inattention, ignorance). Everyone has all three in different proportions and that determines the mental and intellectual nature of each individual. The chapter is a guide for our spiritual journey. It shows how one can increase Sattva and ultimately transcend that also.
Finally, Swamiji enters chapter 15 which begins with the description of the inverted Ashwattha tree. Its roots are upward and the branches are both above and below. It is changeful, yet always there and it represents the universe. Discussing this cryptic and subtle verse, Swamiji brings clarity to our minds.
Shlokas discussed: (15.1)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.