Bhagavad Gita on Enlightenment

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  • 8/12/2019 Bhagavad Gita on Enlightenment





    Bhagavad Gita on EnlightenmentExtract from 18/2/97 and 29/10/99 Satsangs

    Om Shri Paramatmane Namaha

    Bhagavad Gita Chapter II, verse 69

    That which is night to all beings, in that state of Divine Knowledge and Supreme Bliss

    the God-realised Yogi keeps awake, and that (the ever-changing, transient worldly

    happiness) in which all beings keep awake, is night to the seer.

    The Lord gives this beautiful metaphor showing the difference in the states of un-

    realised and a realised person. The Lord says that a realised person remains awake in

    what appears as night to ignorant people who have not realised themselves. Then the

    state in which ordinary people keep awake is night to the realised person. What does

    this mean? It does not mean that the realised person does not sleep during the night

    and sleeps during the day! It means that what is written in brackets in the translation.

    Divine consciousness, bliss and happiness are completely unknown to ordinary

    people. To them they are like dark night! They know nothing of real happiness, divine

    consciousness or bliss, and, if someone talked to them about spirituality, they wouldstart yawning. It is very difficult for ordinary people to sit even for half an hour in

    Satsang. Just as we are unable to see anything during the night due to the darkness, so

    normal ignorant people, blinded by the attachments of the world, are unable to see

    anything in the field of spirituality. They are blind to divine consciousness, pure love,

    sense of duty, and all these higher elements of life. You can see it happening

    everywhere. Some seekers, who come here to my place, are told by their colleagues

    that they are wasting their time, since they could be earning more money working


    The one who has started evolving, begins to see glimpses of light in the darkness,

    but the perfect yogi, whom we are discussing here, who has realised God, seesnothing but the light of God everywhere. He only sees the existence of God, purity of

    love and consciousness, so this very world becomes the existence of Divinity itself.

    To a realised man the world appears as nothing but a manifestation of the Divine. To

    him it is not even a creation of God. God himself, remaining unmanifest, appears in

    manifested form as the physical world. What I am saying may be difficult for you to

    understand fully but you may be able to catch a glimpse.

    It is sufficient to say that the God is night to the ordinary man or woman since

    everything is invisible to them there. And where do ordinary people keep awake?

    They keep awake in the pleasures and enjoyments of the world. They are alert and

    always awake in visiting their friend of the opposite sex. They are so alert that they

    should not be even five minutes late! They are awake to go to a social occasion, wherethey may be able to develop a useful social relationship. They are awake to the

  • 8/12/2019 Bhagavad Gita on Enlightenment




    chances of getting promotion and earning more money. Thus the pleasures and

    enjoyments of the world are the areas where most worldly people keep awake, where

    as the God-realised man views them as nothing but ignorance and night. He sees no

    charm in them. He sees nothing in them but sorrow, frustration and misery.

    Thus the difference between an un-realised and a realised person is very great. It is

    altogether a different dimension of perception and understanding. The Lord meansthat everything changes after Self-realisation - all interpretations and reasoning itself.

    The Lord expressed the meaning metaphorically, by saying that whatever is day to

    ordinary people is night to the enlightened person and whatever is day to him (that is

    spiritual wisdom, Self-realisation and divine bliss) is night to them. They cannot see

    anything in that sphere which is as clear as day to the sage.

    Ordinary people keep awake in the enjoyments of the world and the pleasures of

    the senses. But this sphere of the pleasures of the senses has no attraction for the

    enlightened seer, therefore, he treats them as if he is asleep paying no attention to

    them. And to the ordinary beings of the world, knowledge of the Self, realisation of

    God and the fundamental questions of human life as to what is the purpose ofhuman existence all such questions do not exist. They sleep in such questions. To

    them all these questions have no meaning just like darkness. The enlightened one is

    always awake in what is darkness or night for the ordinary pleasure-hunting souls.

    In this verse the Lord has described the state of the enlightened or perfect seer. In

    Sanskrit the expression sarvabhutanammeans for all beings. Why has the Lord used

    this term? He has purposely used this term for all beings because only those human

    beings, in whom the search for the self has started, can be differentiated from all other

    beings. This is why he has used this term. In the term sarvabhutanam, human beings

    are also included but the samyami has not been included in sarvabhutanam. The

    samyami is not included in all beings. He is like an animal, who is not self-

    controlled and has no desire for permanent peace he who does not want to riseabove the temptations which are common to human beings and animals.

    Thepashyato munehis the enlightened seer. To the enlightened seer the attractions

    of the world do not exist he is permanently asleep towards them. The divine love

    and realisation of the self, which are darkness to ordinary people, to these elements

    the enlightened one is always awake. But what about the seeker?

    A seeker is one who has the traits of animality, yet wants to rise above them. A

    seeker is one who is not perfect who has not realised the self all attractions are

    present, but this much discrimination has develped in him that he has started knowing

    fully well that all these attractions of the world are worthless. Now there are two

    conflicting elements in the life of a seeker the attractions themselves and theknowledge that these attractions are worthless. Therefore on account of the existence

    of these two elements simultaneously, a state of conflict is bound to remain in the


    This verse relates to a perfect seer. But what should be done, when someone is not

    a realised person but is only a seeker. The answer to this question is that one should

    go on doing ones duty and remembering God. When there is no work, there should

    be remembrance of Gods name OM. Like that the seeker at a certain stage becomes

    detached. To him or her also what is day for the ordinary people starts becoming

    night, and in the ordinary peoples night (that is realisation of the self and divine

    love) the seeker starts having such a deep interest that he or she remains awake in thenight.

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    In the next verse (70) the Lord describes the state of a realised person in the world.

    This also is a very beautiful simile:

    Bhagavad Gita Chapter II, verse 70

    As the waters of different rivers enter the ocean, which, though full on all sides,remains undisturbed; likewise, he, in whom all enjoyments merge themselves

    without causing disturbance, attains peace; not he who hankers after such


    The description of a fully realised yogi is given here using the comparison of

    ocean. We should all understand that spiritual truth and spiritual states can never be

    properly described by any worldly analogy. It is simply not possible. Every worldly

    example will be imperfect, because spiritual realisation is of a completely different

    dimension. But even then an effort is made using illustrations from the world, so that

    seekers can obtain the maximum possible glimpse of the truth. In any case, in the fieldof spirituality, real wisdom is obtained only by experience and never by words. Words

    will never be able to describe what truth is. Truth is known only by experience of the

    self. But seekers have no means of understanding other than words. Therefore, with

    the help of words, an effort is made to push them in the right direction, so that some

    day they may be able to transcend the domain of words and have that inner

    experience, which happens beyond words.

    I have given this explanation to tell you that the purpose of using this simile of the

    ocean, is to illustrate as far as possible the state of a realised person. An ocean is

    always full and needs no more water. But, even though it is full, rivers are flowing

    into it the whole time. However, even then the ocean does not go into spate like rivers

    do. The ocean stays within its boundaries and maintains its limits. It is not perturbedby the incoming flow of water from the rivers. Many rivers flow into the ocean but the

    ocean is never in spate. In the same way, a fully-realised man lives in the world and

    the enjoyments of the world keep coming to him. He has contact with objects, but as

    the ocean remains undisturbed and unagitated and does not cross its limits even when

    water is added to it, so is the case of the realised person. All around him are the

    enjoyments of the world but no agitation or commotion is created in him by the

    existence of those objects. As the ocean is full of water, so the realised man is full of

    bliss and permanent peace. He needs nothing and yet he has enjoyments all around

    him. Objects still exist for him, but they fail to agitate him.

    Here one thing must be understood. Even after Self-realisation, the destiny part ofkarma remains to be finished. The destiny path remains in everybody's case. For every

    person who is born once on this Earth, destiny remains and no one can wipe it out.

    When someone takes their birth, the birth happens with destiny. What does it mean?

    When the person was born it was decided what would be the circumstances around

    him/her. Thus until the day of physical death, all the events are pre-decided even in

    the life of an enlightened person. This is very important to understand since many

    people have a wrong conception.

    What is the difference in the case of a realised man? The difference is that,

    although events relating to destiny will come in their time in the life of an enlightened

    person also, but they will not be able to make him happy or unhappy. They will not be

    able to create future destiny in his/her case. In the case of un-enlightened persons, the

    different events of life create certain impressions. Everybody reacts to the various

  • 8/12/2019 Bhagavad Gita on Enlightenment




    circumstances that occur and those reactions create impressions. These impressions

    are to become the destiny of the future. Thus destiny, that is the result of past karmas,

    exists for everybody including the enlightened one. The difference between the

    enlightened person and the un-enlightened person is that the un-enlightened one

    creates and accumulates inner impressions which form the destiny of the future. The

    enlightened person does not do this. He exhausts everything there and then.Along with that what happens, and this is the great beauty of it, is that others, who

    are involved in a situation of destiny pertaining to the enlightened person, are also

    elevated and purified because of the presence of the enlightened one. Thus the destiny

    path of an enlightened person also helps in the evolution of others.

    So as the ocean is not disturbed by the flow of water from many rivers, so the

    realised person is not disturbed or agitated by enjoyments of the world. All

    enjoyments come and merge in him.

    It is on account of realised persons inner state that their peace cannot be disturbed.

    People say that certain outside factors in their lives create disturbance. They are

    wrong. There are no exterior factors creating any disturbance, but it is in you that theseeds of disturbance are to be found. As long as these seeds are inside your

    subconscious, you will be disturbed by any exterior factor. You need only a pretext

    and any pretext is sufficient. You may say that your neighbour is unpleasant. You

    may say that your neighbour is pleasant but his dog is a nuisance. You may say that

    your flat is all right but it has too little accommodation. You will use all such pretexts.

    The point is that it is not the outside world that is creating problems for you but

    your inner state. When you reach the culmination on the path of spirituality, you

    realise that nothing at all in the whole universe can create agitation and restlessness in

    a God-realised person. All the factors that we complained about become fine and

    wonderful. This is what we have in this verse.


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