Volume 13 - Issue 12
December 2015
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QUIZ ON GITA VAHINI - 9

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

Part 01 || Part 02 || Part 03 || Part 04 || Part 05 || Part 06 || Part 07 || Part 08

 

In 1964-65, amidst touring the length and breadth of Andhra Pradesh and establishing the ashram in Brindavan, Bangalore, Bhagawan continued to take the pen and out came the glorious Stream of Divine Gospel – the Gita Vahini.

“The Gita is a text for spiritual practitioners, for it emphasises Sadhana, and spiritual attitudes, more than anything else. Every chapter lays down means and methods of reaching the goal of peace and harmony.... The Gita is as a boat, which takes man across from the self-imposed state of bondage to the freedom which is his nature. He is taken from darkness to light, from lustrelessness to splendour,” Swami wrote in his first article in this series which was published in Sanathana Sarathi, the ashram's magazine.

When it was compiled later into a book by Prof. Kasturi, in his introductory piece he urged all devotees to 'listen to these words with as much care and concentration as Arjuna had, even in the turmoil of a battle field, so that we too will declare when the book nears its final pages, "My delusion is dissolved; I have become aware of my reality, which is God."'

The Parthasarathi of yore in the present age as Sai Sanathana Sarathi retold the essence of the Gita in a manner and in the language best suited for the modern man. “This Gita Vahini is the same stream, refreshing and re-vitalising, brought by the same divine restorer to revivify man caught in the mesh of modern dialectics, in the pride of modern science, in the cynical scorn of modern superficiality. The teaching here set forth will comfort, console, and confer strength and faith,” Prof. Kasturi writes.

We in Radio Sai think that in this year of Bhagawan's 90th Birthday it would be an apt sadhana for all of us to revisit this timeless Song Celestial as directly told by the Timeless One Himself. This will definitely help us to find more peace within ourselves and in the world around us. Thus we have a Quiz on Gita Vahini which will continue as a serial through this year published on the website on the second week of every month. Do use this opportunity to dwell on the illuminating ideas that this sacred scripture grants to us so candidly and convincingly.

01. In Chapter 1 of the Gita Vahini, Swami lays down the foundation of how to approach the Gita:

“To understand the meaning of the Gita, a reverential approach is necessary. You must take up its study in an attitude of submission and expectancy. For, the Gita is the “milk” of the Upanishads, drawn by the cowherd Krishna with the help of Arjuna, “the calf”, for all the “dull-witted” to drink and draw sustenance from.

“Some argue that the Gita as a sacred poem was created later than the Mahabharatha, of which it is a part; but whatever may be said of the composition of the Gita, there is no doubt that the principles and teachings of the Gita are ancient, nay, dateless.

“In the first three verses of the fourth chapter, reference is made to the Lord instructing the Gita first to Surya (Sun God) and later to Manu (first law-giver), and also to the fact that from Manu it reached King Ikshvaku and thence to others in succession! So, the Gita is beyond the category of time and cannot be assigned to a particular point of time, past or present.”

Swami reiterates: “Really speaking, people have come into this field of activity (karma-kshetra) only to engage themselves in activity, not to ______________ of such activity. That is the teaching of the Gita, its fundamental lesson.”

02. In Chapter 1 of the Gita Vahini, Swami continues by making us aware of the benefits of learning lessons from the Gita:

“The real meaning of the Gita is not grasped by all. Reputed scholars and writers, although gifted with rare intelligence, have failed to unravel the mystery of its message.”

Swami also promises: “When It alone is seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and touched, then one becomes undoubtedly a part of _______________ and lives in Him and with Him.”

03. In Chapter 3 of the Gita Vahini, Swami puts forth a thought-provoking question:

“For whom was the Gita spoken? Milk is not taken from the udder for the sake of the cow, for cows do not drink their own milk. Arjuna, the calf, has had his fill; Krishna is ever-content and needs nothing, not to mention milk! For whose sake was it that the Upanishads were milked by Krishna to get this Gita? Krishna says it is for the people who have intelligence that is moderated by goodness, intelligence that is controlled by virtue.

“And what of the place where the teaching was given? Between two opposing armies! Therein lies the great significance of the Gita. On one side, the forces of virtue (dharma); on the other, the forces of vice (a-dharma). On one side, the good; on the other, the bad. Between these two pulls, the individual, unable to decide which course to adopt, weeps in despair. And the Lord speaks the Gita to all such and grants them light and courage. Do not think that the distress of Arjuna was just his problem and no more. It is a universal human problem.

“For Arjuna sought from Krishna not the pleasing, worldly glory (preyas) of power, status and wealth but the lasting glory of full joy (sreyas). He said, 'Wealth is available for human effort; it can be won by human activity. Why should I crave from You what I can win by my own endeavour? I am not so foolish as that. Grant me the lasting glory of joy that is beyond the reach of my effort. That glory is not the fruit of action (karma), it is the fruit of grace!'”

Swami emphasizes on the rewards of learning the lessons from the Gita: “The Lord has laid down four commands: a 'do' and three 'don’ts'. The first insists on the _________________; the rest require the avoidance of weakness.”

04. In Chapter 18 of the Gita Vahini, Swami expresses disappointment about how so many learned scholars insult the sacred book:

“Even today, many learned people who go about discoursing on the Gita and doing propaganda for it do not observe its principles in practice. They are engaged in simply expounding to the world the valueless rind, the textual meaning, the sense of the words, and nothing more. Trying to spread the Gita without actually practicing it, is tantamount to ruining the cause and insulting the sacred book.”

In Chapter 19, Swami elaborates more on how the Gita preachers deceive themselves: “Speakers who are out to spread the Gita have multiplied nowadays and, as a consequence, there are a variety of interpretations, most of them far removed from the genuine one. These have clouded the true significance of the genuine text.

“Interpretations follow the nature and character of the exponent. Once one forms an opinion, one tries to buttress it with appropriate arguments and prove others wrong. The opinion is then repeated parrot-like on every occasion; no attempt is made to practice the Gita and make it part of one’s actual life. Such people pretend to be great Gita preachers and go about heavy with the burden of credentials and titles. They ruin themselves by this deception and undermine the trust placed on the Gita.”

Swami stresses: “Each word of God is for _____________________, not for scattering into the ears of people to reap fame.”


05. In Chapter 18 of the Gita Vahini, Swami shares how many improperly worship the Gita. Further,

in Chapter 19, Swami elaborates on how to properly honour the Gita: “The teachings of the Gita don’t get the respect that the book gets. Thousands of people, when they see the sacred books - the Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavatha, Bharatha, etc. - bow their heads, press them to their eyes, place them on their heads, keep them on a special seat in the shrine, and reverentially place a few flowers on them. They sit with closed eyes and, with tear drops rolling down their cheeks, fall prostrate before the books and rise very much satisfied with themselves! All that reverence is for the stack of paper, not for the contents of the books or the subjects they deal with.

“The head must carry not the weight of the paper but the message explained thereon. Attach value not to the book but to the subject; revere not the volume but the matter expounded therein. Install it not on the altar but in the heart. For it is only then that the authority of the Gita will be honoured steadily, at all times. The mind won’t be cleansed of egotism or like evils by all this outward reverence, learning by rote, offering worship in shrine rooms, holding the head, pressing on the eyes, etc. Let the message enter the heart; put it into practice and taste the joy that comes from it. That’s the way to honour the Gita.

Swami explains in a sweet and simple manner: “The Gita is a tasty dish, full of the sweet ingredients of devotion, wisdom, action (karma), and ___________________. Eat it; drink it.”


06. In Chapter 18 of the Gita Vahini, Swami expresses His disappointment in lack of reverence of the holy Gita by the teachers:

“If indeed the teachers had reverence for the words of the Lord, the contents of the book, they would have striven to put them into practice, right? But they do not strive, they have no iota of experience. If they had the experience, none of them would barter the spread of that experience for money. They would yearn only for Grace.

“Today, not even one in a million among the Gita preachers (those talking about their mission of spreading the Gita) has the yearning for the Grace of the Lord. No; if they had that yearning, they would have no thought of income or money.”

In Chapter 19, Swami elaborates more on it: “Those who go about expounding the Gita with the object of earning money are thereby keeping God afar. They may give various justifications for their behaviour, no doubt; but no one who has real faith in the Gita or who is a real adherent of its teaching can accept their explanations.

Swami teaches what their real focus should be: “The Gita is spoken in order to foster dharma, not valued possessions (danam); it serves to promote _______________, not 'goodsness'.


07. In Chapter 19 of the Gita Vahini, Swami elaborates more on making sure the Gita is not misused:

“The Gita has to be used thus for self-realization; that is the holy task for which it is designed. It is a great wrong to misuse it. All attempts to use it for fame and fortune, for titles and display, are but symptoms of egotism; they are acts of sacrilege. The fragrance (gandha) must be extracted from this book (grantha); that is the test of scholarship. The fragrance is the essence of the book. Do not, on the other hand, transform the brain (masthaka) into a book (pusthaka).

“See God in the stone; do not change God into a stone. That is the desirable vision. The stone must be visualized as divine, suffused with God, which it really is. This vision is the precious gift that God has given the people of this land. Pearls do not float on the waves of the ocean, so dive deep into the silent caverns at the bottom if you yearn for them. The people of this land have sought for God in this manner for ages.”

Stressing on the importance of building faith in the Gita, Swami says: “...The spread of spiritual knowledge by people who have actually experienced the joy of spiritual discipline and success in and through it has become very necessary...All must cultivate faith in the Gita and take it as ________________ of the Lord.”


08. In Chapter 19 of the Gita Vahini, Swami warns us about preachers who act contrary to the message of the Gita:

“Some boast that they have the entire Gita on the tip of their tongue, that they can roll out, on the spot, any verse from the Gita that you want to hear, given only the chapter and number. Or, they can quote chapter and number for any phrase or word you give. I am inclined to laugh when such scholarship is exhibited. Poor tongue, that it should carry so much on its tip, without any of it being absorbed in actual life! A gramophone record can repeat as well as they can, and with equal benefit to itself.

“Practicing one verse certainly yields more benefit than learning all the verses by rote and retaining them in memory. Arjuna proved every word of Krishna true, by practicing it. His _________________ won him the grace of Krishna.”


09. In the final Chapter 27 of the Gita Vahini, Swami explains:

“Just as the healthy glow of the body is hidden from sight by the clothes that cover it, so also the individual soul obscured by egotism (ahamkara) is not able to reveal the splendour of the true knowledge of Brahman (Brahma-thathwa), which is its treasured possession. For egotism is at the root of all evil, all defects, all deficiencies. It is born in desire (kama). Be free from egotism.

“The state of desirelessness is really the state of egolessness. And what is liberation (moksha) except liberation from bondage to the ego? You deserve liberation when you break away from the bond of desire.

“People engage themselves, by and large, in activities prompted only by the desire to benefit from the results. They withdraw from acts that bring no benefit. But the Gita condemns both attitudes. For whether consequences follow or not, one cannot escape the obligation to be active. People cannot completely give up activity. How then can they avoid being caught up in the mesh of consequences? The Gita teaches giving up all attachment to the fruit of action as the greatest spiritual discipline designed for this purpose.

Swami then also teaches us one of the greatest lesson of the Gita: “..If the act is dedicated to the Lord, neither will affect the doer. By that sacrament of dedication, the deed is transmuted into a higher order and made divine, holy, sacred. On the other hand, acts performed under the inspiration of the ego will be fraught with _______________.”


10. In the final Chapter 27 of the Gita Vahini, Swami validates on the achievement of victory for true knowledge-seekers of the Gita:

“Although you know that there is nothing for you to acquire, for you have placed complete trust in the Lord and live only as an offering to the Lord, still, like Janaka and others, you have to engage in activity for the well-being of the world. The soul immanent in every being is not distinct from the Atma or soul that is in you. So, be eager to promote the well-being of all beings. Perform all acts enjoined by the scriptures for this sake, in the spirit of dedication, with no eye on the fruits thereof. This is true renunciation of the fruit of action (nish-kama-karma).

“Understand the Gita well and, observing its injunctions, establish yourselves in the attitude of renunciation of the fruit of action. Do all duties as acts of worship, offerings to God. That is the sole task. Leave the rest to Him: the fruit, the consequence, the result. Then, you receive the grace of Hari and your life on earth is sanctified and becomes worthwhile.

“...The Mansion of Gita is the mansion of truth and dharma, erected on the soil of India for the benefit of the world. Study it with faith and devotion. Experience the curative and restorative effects of its teachings by actual practice. For people who do this, the Atma, so full of the spring of sweetness and bliss (Atma-rama), will be ever-present as a reality. The Lord will shower His favours on such people in a trice.

“Pray to the Lord, who has all the fourteen worlds in Him, and you can certainly become master of the eight treasures that give happiness here below and, what is even more desirable, liberation (kaivalya), which is the fountain of eternal bliss, eternal truth, and eternal wisdom.”

Swami reassures: “Yearn for Him, suffer anguish for Him; then there is no need to yearn for _____________. If that is done with no second thought, He will destroy all sin.”



 

 

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- Heart2Heart Team

 
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