Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

17 – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 18 – by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha – The Way to Freedom

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In this talk, Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha ji talks about the three types of 'Sukha' or happiness based on the three gunas of prakriti as explained in the chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita.

Swamiji explains that happiness is the most important or perhaps the only pursuit of human life. He underlines the fact that 'sukha' or happiness in this material world by its very nature is interspersed with 'duhkha' or sorrow. He shows us the way to real and lasting happiness, as explained in the scriptures.

Swamiji differentiates between three types of sukha--sattvika sukha, which arises from our innermost soul, rajasa sukha which arises from material and sense gratification, and tamasa sukha which is born out of 'moha' or delusion. Sattvika sukha arises out of being anchored in our own Atma- which is peaceful, changeless, stable and joyful. Swamiji calls upon the seekers to cultivate sattvika buddhi - the ability to discriminate between the real and the perishable.

Swamiji highlights the importance of abhyasa (practice) and discipline in a seeker’s life to cultivate sattvika dhriti which will help him to get anchored in yoga buddhi and shed all preferences and prejudices. Quoting from Srimad Bhagavatam, he tells us that our sadhana lies in first replacing the rajasa and tamasa sukha with sattvika sukha. But the ultimate sadhana will be to not get bound by even the sattvika sukha. An attitude of surrender or refuge will help the seeker transcend the three gunas and reach the state of 'Ananda' and 'samatva' wherein one delights equally in joy and sorrow.

Shlokas Discussed: (18.36 to 40)

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