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.

  • 8/12/2019 Bhagavad Gita on Enlightenment




    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 t