Bhagavad Gita teachings — Chapter 4: Free Yourself from Expectations

Whenever there is Decrease in Righteousness and Increase in Unrighteousness, God will Manifest

Although I am unborn and indestructible, yet I appear by virtue of my divine power (VERSE 6)

When there is decline in righteousness and increase in unrighteousness, I appear (VERSE 7)

To protect the virtuous and destroy the wicked, I appear age after age to establish dharma (VERSE 8)

Dharma is righteousness or duty

You Receive What You Desire

However people approach me, I respond to them in the same manner. People follow my path in all respects (VERSE 11)

Those desiring success in this world, worship deities and are quickly rewarded with results (VERSE 12)

Free Yourself From Expectations

They are wise whose every undertaking is without desire for worldly pleasures, and who have burnt the reactions of their actions in the fire of knowledge (VERSE 19)

Having given up attachment to consequences of their actions, they are forever content and do not seek gratification from their activities (VERSE 20)

Devoid of expectations, exercising control on their mind and body, without any sense of ownership, they acquire no sinful reactions even as their body performs actions (VERSE 21)

Content with whatever comes their way, tolerant of dualities, free from jealousy, steady in success and failure, they are free from Karmic reactions even as they do their duties (VERSE 22)

Karmic reactions are good or bad reactions to the actions that manifest in this life or the next

Perform each Action as an Offering to God

Free from worldly attachments, with knowledge seated in their intellect, they dedicate all their actions to God and attain Moksha (VERSE 23)

Moksha is when we are no longer reborn on this earth but reside with God

In a Yagna…They offer everything to Brahman (God) — the ladle, the offering, the fire and the act of offering itself. By being completely absorbed in God they become one with it (VERSE 24)

A Yagna is literally speaking, a ritual where the Yagman (person initiating the ritual) lights a fire and makes an offering to it while invoking deities or God in order to thank them or to seek their blessing

Some worship deities with material offerings while others offer themselves as an offering to Brahman (VERSE 25)

Brahman is the one supreme God with many forms including that of deities

Some offer their senses, while others offer objects of senses (VERSE 26)

Some offer the function of their senses and breath, while others offer their disciplined mind kindled with knowledge (VERSE 27)

Some offer wealth, or austerities or the eight-fold path of yoga. Others offer knowledge acquired through self-study or strict vows (VERSE 28)

The eight fold paths of Yoga are: Yama (Abstinence), Niyam (Observances), Asana (Postures), Pranayam (Breath Control), Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the Senses), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyan (Meditation), Samadhi (Absorption)

Some restrain their breadth and practice Pranayam. Others practice food restraint (VERSE 29)

Pranayam is breath control

Those who perform Yagna reach the Absolute Truth. While others are bereft of it in this life and the next (VERSE 31)

Yagna symbolically means the act of doing your duty with hope but without any expectation

Absolute Truth is God

God is in all Beings

Having gained this knowledge, you will see me in all living beings and see all of them in me (VERSE 35)

Have Faith

Those with deep faith, achieve divine knowledge by controlling their senses. Having this knowledge, they rapidly attain peace (VERSE 39)

Those with no faith and full of doubt, are not happy in this world or the next (VERSE 40)

Those who have renounced results of their actions and eliminated their doubts by knowledge, they are free from Karmic reactions (VERSE 41)

Activities cannot bind one who has renounced fruit of activities. Having established themselves in this path of action, they attain self-realization (VERSE 42)

TOTAL VERSES IN THIS CHAPTER: 42

This post is a sequel to the previous posts on Gita. Please refer to my previous posts starting from “In Reverence of Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction”

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, God, Divine Realization, Universal Consciousness, Shri Krishna — are all used interchangeably.

YAGNA

has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.

DHARMA

refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life.

KARMA

is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.

YOGA

The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individuals (soul) with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga which means only physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of yoga which includes various disciplines such as meditation, mode of conduct etc. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.

MOKSHA

is the liberation from the cycle of life and death.

REFERENCES:

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/

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