In this series of talks, Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha has taken up chapter 3, which is an exposition of the ever-relevant Karma Yoga.
After completing the chapter and giving a very lucid, concise interpretation of the important concepts presented in Bhagavad Gita and highlighting the Sadhana for a seeker, Swamiji takes up some important questions raised by the listeners.
What is Svabhava and Svadharma?
Quoting from the 8th chapter, Swamiji explains that the pristine identity, Atman, is same for all, pure and untainted by desire. But when the Self is expressed by the body mind complex, with inherent samskaras, it is different for all.
Svabhava is our nature. Arjuna was a kshatriya and his nature was that of an administrator and a warrior and not one of a monk.
Here Swamiji analyzes the 4 varnas divided on the basis of one’s natural aptitude.
Brahmana is one who pursues knowledge and has qualities of restraint, straight- forwardness and kindness. Kshatriya is one who has power, administrative skills and is joyous in giving. Vaishya is given to sharing, skilled in agriculture and trade and the Sudra is service-oriented.
Swamiji emphasizes that all of the 4 varnas are integral for the society. All the four categories can Realise the Self, pursuing their own path.
Religion and spirituality
Swamiji takes up a detailed explanation of religion and spirituality. In religion, one prays to an external God. Spirituality is looking for God within, by purifying the mind and intelligence.
Can a seeker do Shravana, Manana and Nididhyasana as a householder?
In reply to this question, Swamiji discusses the possible difficulties that could be faced in Nididhyasana.
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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.
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.