Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji conducted a six days GITA GYANA YAGNA at Hariom Mandir, Lucknow from 5th to 10th Mar 2017. On 11th a HOLI MILAN program organized there, in which Bhajans, QnA and Holi Milan was organized. Finally was the Bhandara organized for all devotees at the Mandir by the Mandir authorities.
The subject matter of the twin discourse series were Gita Chapter 8 (6.30-8.00 PM) and Mundaka Upanishad 1-2 (7.30-9.00 AM). Sh Shekhar & Smt Asha Khanna, President of the VM Lucknow, did the Vyasa Peetha Pooja on the first day and then one of our oldest members Sh Govil welcomed everyone.
In the 8th chapter of Gita we first saw the seven questions of Arjuna, and then an elaborate discussion on the last question, which was ‘How do we assure awareness of God when we are about to die?’. Bhagwan said that our last thoughts reveal the direction which we shall take after our death. He however indicated that we should be aware that during our last moments we lose the capacity to manipulate our thoughts and rather it is our most predominant thoughts which shall manifest, so obviously what we need to do is to choose our love much before and try to retain its awareness in & through all our activities. The trick lies in this alone. Mam anusmar yudhya cha. One need to put both his mind & buddhi nicely into that love. So obviously lot of satsang is called for and we need to know the ‘nature’ of God etc. and then develop value, respect & love for it. With such a deep conviction & love we shall be aware of that alone and this alone will lead us to that realm. He then talked about three kinds of death. One, we know our truth and merge in Brahman right here. In this there is no going anywhere. Two, we have done lot of karma & upasana and then are lead very respectfully by devatas to Brahma loka, where we shall stay till Brahmaji completes his full tenure. This is also called as Krama Mukti. Lastly, there is that death wherein our motivation continues to be worldly pleasures & comforts, and not complete devotion & surrender to God. In such cases the person does attain realms of divine comforts & pleasures in swarg loka etc, and then has to return back to appropriate body & birth. The reference of these two kinds of death is just to desist ourselves in these path, and rather aim for the kaivalya mukti here only.
In the morning session of Mundaka Upanishad, the section pertained to Apara Vidya. Angira Rishi told his disciple Shaunak that the various Karma – Yagnas etc as revealed in the Vedas were all right. Tad etat satyam. One should believe in the efficacy & validity of these packages. Taking one example – of Agnihotra Yagna, he told what all is involved in doing one yagna properly. It is not about just one karma, but involves awareness of various occasions and also values. One full package of such karma, if done properly, helps us to wake up nicely, integrate our faculties and intensify our devotion. So they do have a positive role to play not only to fulfill our cherished dreams but also make our inner faculties much finer & better. As our minds become more sattwic, we get blessed with better capacity to think deeper, and then finally also realize that no karma can ever give us lasting karma-phala’s. All fruits of actions are momentary. We do elaborate karma’s diligently, and all for just a moment of joy, so the very economics of spending our time & energy reveal to us that this dos not seem to be an intelligent proposition, and there should be something better & lasting. This is a big realization. However, lest we get dejected by the karma itself, we are suggested that one should not hurry to ‘leave karma’ or resort to action-less dull life. Karma needs to continue, but with a difference. When karma is done just out of self-centered motivation, then it makes us dull, but when the same karma’s are done with magnanimity for the welfare & betterment of others, then it has a different effect on our minds. It makes our minds sharper, subtle & more intelligent. Such karma which is motivated by love, purify our minds and prepares us for deeper deliberations into our inner recesses. Not only the world is blessed by such people, but they also become better people, so it is this turn which we should take.
Betterment of our minds is the highest achievement of karma’s. Just as a stone can sharpen a knife, so also the challenging world can make our mind more awakened & sharper. Having got blessed with such a mind & intellect, the next part of our journey is the journey into the unknown, and for that we need guidance of an enlightened teacher, so that chapter suggests that we should go to a right teacher, who is Shrotriya & Brahma-Nishtha. Approach him humbly and request him for further guidance. The journey beyond is not by karma but by gyana alone. There is something to know rather than something to do. So keeping aside all fascination & habit of doing karma, one should rather discover a quiet & thoughtful mind – the mind of a sanyasi. Sanyasi is one who uses his energy to know things deeper rather than to change something by his karma’s. In karma there is a subtle arrogance that we already know that which is the right & the highest, and just require concerted efforts to achieve it; while a sanyasi has humility that I still need to know something deeper & fundamental. Those who think that they already know shall obviously not be disposed to know anything further while those who know that they still need to know various fundamental things, get disposed for further exploration & meditation. They alone are the ideal students of self-knowledge. Finally the chapter closes with suggestion to the enlightened masters that they should bless the young aspirants with their knowledge and assure the continued flow of the river of knowledge.
This time Poojya Guruji kept one day for Q&A, bhajans and also Holi-Milan. It was a lovely program. Finally the Hariom Mandir authorities kept a Bhandara for everyone.