The Wisdom Of The Gita, Bhagavatam And The Vedas – 5

The Srimad Bhagavatam says:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate

Those who know that Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge, expressed as the impersonal ultimate reality, as the supreme guide within the heart of all beings, and finally as the Personality of Godhead.According to this idea, in the beginning one could realise the all-pervading impersonal aspect of the Supreme. Then one can realize the Supreme within one’s heart and finally realise Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like one can know the sun as the sunshine, the sun orb and the sun-god, one can know God as the impersonal force, the God that exists in each one’e heart and the transcendent Supreme Personality, Krishna.

The Vedic view is that from lifetime to lifetime we can spiritually progress, accruing a kind of “spiritual credit” that never diminishes but we can add to. When we live in the mode of “goodness”, not violating the laws of nature, living in harmony with them, purifying our life so that we act beneficially, uplifting ourselves and others, then, the Bhagavad Gita says, we can be freed from duality and illusion and so progress with determination in reviving our relationship with the Supreme.

Both the lowest of fools and the person transcendental to all intelligence enjoy happiness, whereas persons between them suffer the material pangs: Srimad Bhagavatam. Until we go beyond material intelligence and attain a direct experience of the Supreme, an experience that now seems beyond our reach, we will still have to contend with the troubles and perplexities of the material world.

The Srimad Bhagavatam says that in the present age, the heads of state will be hardly better than plunderers. By taxes, bribes, embezzlement and fraud, by collusive manipulation of the banks and the markets, and ultimately by armed force, networks of politicians will loot, and the head of politicians will be but a leader of thieves. In this age, the Bhagavatam says, law and justice will stand only with those who wield power.

All living beings live on food grains: Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita. With food you can live, without it you can die – simple as that. And so the plowed field is the basic unit of prosperity.

In the Vedic society, the duty of the farmer was to care for the land and for such valuable animals such as the cows and the bulls. Krishna himself was a cowherd and is known as Govinda( source of pleasure for the cows) and Gopala ( the cows’ protector). A greedy and grossly ignorant society poisons Mother Earth with chemicals and slaughters the mother cow. How can such a society ever expect happiness and peace?

The Bhagavatam says: The miser is never satisfied. Ever thoroughly disturbed are the thoughts of those who grasp at the unreal. The word unreal here means that which is only temporary-home, family, job, bank balance, even your body.

The gift of maya, of illusion, of bewilderment is the gift awarded to one who wants to enjoy at the cost of losing the power to see what is what. Maya – literally, that which is not – is the energy divinely empowered by God to give us what we may want but what doesn’t exist: rather than be part of the whole, of the Supreme and serve Him, we want to be the whole, the Supreme. We want to lord over our small world but it can never happen as this world never lasts and is full of miseries. We can only enjoy under a spell of illusion, by which we can live in a dream of happiness and imagine it will go on and on. Maya has the power to cloud and cover our vision so that even though we see, we don’t see. It does this through the three modes of goodness, passion and ignorance.

As in one lifetime an embodied living being, in the body in which it lives, passes from childhood to youth to old age, so at the time of death, the Bhagavad Gita says, the living being  passes on to another lifetime, in another body altogether. And by the law of cause and effect, what we do in the present life brings on what happens to us in the next. And so our present life, too, is a consequence of what we did in our previous lives.

The results of one’s karma are arranged not directly by God but by nature’s laws, both the obvious and the subtle. God is the ultimate cause, the cause of all causes. So nature acts under His direction. God has “nothing to do” since he delegates all his work to his energies. He can get involved and intervene directly, but usually He does not.

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