This blog is essentially 'sleeping'.

I've deleted or returned to draft 80% of the blog, gone are most, if not all, of the videos I posted of Pattabhi Jois, gone are most of the posts regarding my own practice as well as most of my practice videos in YouTube, other than those linked to my Vinyasa Yoga Practice Book).

Mostly I've just retained the 'Research' posts, those relating to Krishnamacharya in particular.

Blog Comments are turned off, there are no "members" of this blog .

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Ramaswami on the structure of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra

After yesterday's post on the 'original' Gita and Yoga sutra, where all trace of God/Ishvara was cut away from the texts as unnecessary, an intrusive interpolation, I thought it would be ....balanced to offer an argument for the Yoga sutra's as they are, with the God option included.
Here's Ramaswami, from his July 2010 Newsletter, with a relevant story ( you'll see why later) concerning Ganesha along with an outline of the structure of the Yoga Sutra as it is (now). I've also included some links and notes on Samkhya and the tatwas at the end.

'Ganesa. Lord Shiva with Goddess 
Parvati was in his heavenly abode called Kailasa (the Himalayas). An 
old devotee during a visit to Kailas, offered the Lord a delicious 
mango. The Lord then turned to His sons, the elder Gajamukha/Ganesa 
(the elephant headed) and the younger firebrand Sanmukha (one with six 
heads) and offered the mango to the one who would travel around the 
Universe quicker. Soon enough the younger Sanmukha mounted his peacock 
vahana (vehicle).  (In Indian mythology many gods have their vehicles, 
Lord Vishnu used a particular variety of the eagle family called 
Garuda; Saraswati, the goddess of learning glides around in her swan 
vehicle.)  Each Deva used a different vehicle as we use a Bentley or 
Chevy Impala.  Shanmukha had a head start, he was off to a good start 
on his “around the world in.a jiffy” adventure. He was sure that he 
would win the race. It was just impossible for obese Ganesa to crawl 
along on his mushika vahana or mouse vehicle. 

In Yoga Sutras the first  chapter is intended for the highest evolved yogis-- the Uttama  Adhikaris – the born yogis who could get into a samadhi state at the  drop of a hat. Here there are two types of Yogis, the nirishwara Samkhya oriented philosophers who do not find the need to accept God in the creation and running of the Universe, even though it is an orthodox philosophy subscribing to the authority of the vedas, and the yogis who accept God. Patanjali in his Yoga philosophy accepts the 25  tatwas (24 tatwa of the prakriti or Universe and one distinct tatwa, the purusha) but, adds the 26th tatwa Iswara or God to facilitate the  spiritual journey of some aspirants. That is why Yoga Philosophy is  also known as “seswara Samkhya” or Sankhya philosophy which includes  Iswara or God.) While one set of yogis have difficulty in accepting God in their equation there is considerable number who believe in God.

One interesting facet of Yoga is that it is Universal. It is for  everybody, believers and non-believers alike. So, in the first  chapter, Patanjali addresses the question of Chitta Vritti nirodha and
Kaivalya for both the groups. Those who follow the Samkhya path alone would practice dispassion towards the 24 tatwas  in four groups  (visesha avisesha lingamatra and alinga) because these 24 tatwas  are the non-self and ultimately reach the stage of kaivalya. But Patanjali  recommends another approach -- rather than muddling through the practice of vairagya on all these 24 tatwas, one may meditate upon the One Tatwa (eka tatwa), Iswara or God and attain Kaivalya or freedom.

People pray to God for a number things. Here Patanjali suggests  praying for spiritual Freedom or kailvalya. Madhava, who wrote a book  “Sarva Darsana Sangraha” or a “Concise elucidation of all  philosophies”, says  (following Sankara ) that the born Yogi who practices Iswarapranidhana using the Pranava mantra and also  contemplates on the import of the Mantra attains salvation easily, like Ganesa who worshiped the Lord and Sakti unlike Shanmukha who took the laborious and circuitous path going around the Universe.

The  implication is: those yogis who have faith in God may do well to use  that devotional fervour and make spiritual progress more easily. In fact my guru Sri Krishnamacharya in spite of his enormous yogic  practice was an ardent Bhakti yogi. Of course one should admit that if  someone has genuine difficulty in having faith in God that person may follow the step by step yoga approach of the Samkhyas.'

from Ramaswami's July 2010 Newsletter

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a relatively clear outline of Samkhya philosophy on Hindunet

and the section on the tattva's from the same page

The 25 tatwas or principles

'The entire universe is composed of the three primal principles (Puruṣa, Pradhāna and Vyakta) and their manifestations. In the manifest world, there are twenty five principles in all. The enumeration of twenty five principles has Śṛti-sammata or acceptance of Śṛti, from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.4.17).
The cosmic principles are explained in four groups. The primal nature, mahat (intelligence principle), ahaṃkāra (ego), five tanmātras (subtle attributes of the primal elements), eleven senses, five primal elements make twenty four principles. These are part of the world. Twenty fifth principle is Puruṣa, the eternal self. Including or excluding the Puruṣa, Sāṃkhya principles are usually mentioned as twenty four or twenty five.

Mūla Prakṛti or primal nature: She is eternal, has no source and is the source of the world.
Saptaka (mahat, ahaṃkāra and five tanmātras, making seven principles): Mahat is the intelligence principle. This is born from Prakṛti. Ahaṃkāra is the ego-sense. This emanates from Mahat. The five tanmātras emerge from Ahaṃkāra. Tanmātras are the subtle elements. These have source in the primal nature, and in turn are source for the primal elements.

Ṣodaśaka (the sixteen principles): The five primal elements of nature (earth, water, fire, air and sky) and eleven senses make the ṣodaśaka. Six jnanendriyas and five karmendriyas make eleven senses. They emanate from the tanmātras in sequence. Jnanendriyas are the five senses and mind. Karmendriyas are vāk (mouth or speech organ), pāṇi (hands), pādam (legs), upastha (reproductive organ) and pāyu (excretary organ).

Puruṣa/Cetana: All the twenty four principles are acetana or not eternally conscious. The eternal consciousness principle is the twenty fifth, the Puruṣa or the self.
In the sequence of transformation/evolution of the universe, Puruṣa is apariṇāmi or the one that never transforms. Primal nature is the primal transformation or manifestation that has no dissolution. She causes all the manifestation (abhivyakta) and transformation. The saptaka both have a source and dissolution, and are in turn source for the ṣodaśaka. Ṣodaśaka are the final transformations that are not source for anything'.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Gita Code : Phulgenda Sinha's 'The Gita as it was'

Phulgenda Sinha pretty much decimates the Bhagavad Gita, cutting it down from 700 verses to just 84.  Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is similarly culled, from the 195 verses we know and love to  83. The Samkhy Karika loses 13 verses.

Sinha writes of the Samkha

'These interpolations are so evident that they should have been noticed by the many scholars who have written on Samkhy philosophy. Most interestingly, these interpolations betray themselves when Samkhy-karika is referred to as the shasti-tantra ( the science of sixty verses). Our suspicions are immediately aroused seeing that there are 73 verses, 13 too many' p121

Attempting to identify the original versions of these texts is not new. It's not so much a question of IF verses have been interpolated but rather WHICH verses, HOW MANY and WHY.

Sinha claims that what distinguishes his approach is that he is considering these texts together, rather than in isolation and out of their historical context. He argues that the Yoga Sutra is based on Samkhya philosophy and so cuts away anything not in keeping with that philosophy. The Gita, in turn, is based on Samkhy and Yoga and gets cut accordingly.


The argument
'(i)     The basis of yoga as a discipline and as a system is known as Samkhya Darshan ( Samkhya philosophy).  This philosophy was established by Kapila, who lived about 700 B. C. 


(ii)     Though yoga was practiced during the period of Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilisation (generally dated 3000 B.C), we do not have any deciphered writing on Yoga from that period. The first known and comprehensively discussed book on the Yoga is Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, dated about 400 B.C. In yoga Sutra, Patanjali accepted everything taught by Kapila in his Samkhya Philosophy, and added more to make a comprehensive system for achieving a healthy, happy and creative life.


(iii)     Yoga reached it's highest and most glorious stage in the work of Vyasa in about 400 B.C. Vyasa wrote the Gita by incorporating all the basic theories and concepts of Kapila and Patanjali and by adding much original thought of his own. Thus by 400 B.C. India as a civilisation had produced a matchless philosophical work presented in the simple form of song, telling how dukha (sorrow) can be eliminated and how sukha (happiness) in life can be achieved. This philosophical work was the Gita.


(iv)     In the post vedic period, up to 800 A.D., the thinkers and writers of India were men of a rational outlook. They did not accept the idea of a single, almighty deity. A close study of all the available records indicates that theistic concepts were non-existent in India prior to about 800 A.D. 


(v)     In a surprising way, the thought pattern of India changed after 800 A.D. Monotheism made sudden inroads into India.' p. xvi

Conspiracy 
Now this is were the book at times sounds like a classic conspiracy theory novel.

Sinha argues that India became more exposed to monotheism through some Christian colonies, trade relations with Alexandria particularly in the south of India and in 711 A.D. the arrival of Islam in Sindh, one of the four provinces of present day Pakistan. 

However it was the revival of Brahmanism.  and the Brahmin acceptance of Monotheism that ultimately resulted in the rewriting of the Gita, Samkhy karika and Yoga Sutra.  

'Brhamins accepted monotheism and began interpreting the whole history of India, from Vedas to Upanishads, in a completely new way'. p 93

Shankaracharya, in particular, is named and shamed.

'Shankaracharya was the first Indian to openly accept, propagate and expound the concept of monotheism as a part of Hindu religion' p95

'India after 800 A.D. adopted quite a different outlook. the ideas proposed by writers and commentators were now mostly matters of belief and faith, coloured by religion, mysticism, and caste. Not Man but God was held to be supreme. Man could do only what was predestined by God. there was a Heaven and hell. man possessed a soul which did not die but was reincarnated according to past and present deeds. The brahmans were superior to all castes and the word brhamin was synonymous with Brahma ( one of the post-vedic gods) and all the divinities. Indian thought in this period bore certain resemblances to to the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.' p. xvi

The Consequences for yoga


'In answer to a question raised by Arjuna as to who are better versed in yoga. Krishna says: 


"Those who fix their mind on me, worship me, with highest faith are the best in yoga in my opinion" (XII,2)


"If you are unable to fix your mind on me, then seek to reach me by constant practice of Yoga, o Arjuna" (XII, 9)


" But, if you are unable to do even this, then, seek union with me and renounce the fruits of all actions while controlling your mind " (XII,11)


There is little wonder then that yoga could no longer remain a secular system. It could neither become popular with the masses not be taught in the academic institutions of India - until recently. Yoga became a system of practice mixed with religious, spiritual and cultic values, and it remained confined to ashrams (centres dedicated to religious values and practices). 


The cult of guruism developed. Those learning and practicing Yoga in the ashrams became disciples of the guru (master of the centre) and worked as devout followers of the cult. being cultic, it thrived on secrecy, mysticism, rituals, superstitions and devotion. yoga became sectarian." p 114

What Sinha is really concerned with is the future of India. He is basically arguing that India took a wrong turn around 800AD, from rationalism to spiritualism and that this is why India has, despite it's wealth of resources, lagged behind other societies and civilisations ever since. A rediscovery of India's rationalist roots he seems to believe will revitalise India.

This is a highly readable textual study, at times it reads like a novel with good guys and bad guys, conspiracies galore. It's almost an Indian Da Vinci code. It had me running to google and the library to try and check facts and sources. He wears his motives on his sleeve a little too much for my liking, but they are noble motives. I don't think I swallow half of his story but then you don't have to.

The only thing to decide is if the Gita and the Yoga Sutra changed dramatically to incorporate monotheism or not.

The book is out of print but there are some used copies floating around Amazon. Get a copy while you still can and decide for yourself.

Below are my earlier posts with Sinha's 'original' Yoga Sutra ( the text in the post are the same verses but from an online source, not Sinha's translation) as well as the verses that get left out.

The original Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

and here's the my earlier post on the Gita ( again not Sinha's translation).

The Original Gita. No Surrender! ( Updated with the original Gita? )

Of course if you do manage to eliminate spiritualism and mysticism from the Gita and Yoga Sutra your left with Samkhya, dualism. A case of out of the frying pan and back into the proverbial fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And one possible response 

*


UPDATE
So here it is, the supposed original Bhagavad Gita


Ch. I 28-34,37,40, 46-47.
Ch. II 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, 64-70.
Ch. III 1-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, 42-43.


Bhagavad gita, as it was?
Sinha's verses outlined above taken from the online edition HERE ( but remember this is not Sinha's own translation, still waiting for his book to arrive, this should give us a general idea however).

Chapter 1

 28.
Arjuna was overcome with great compassion 

And sorrowfully said: 

O Krishna, seeing my kinsmen standing

With a desire to fight,

 29. 

My limbs fail and my mouth becomes dry.
My body quivers 

And my hairs stand on end.

 30. 

The bow, Gaandeeva, slips from my hand
And my skin intensely burns. 

My head turns,
I am unable to stand steady 


 31. 

And, O Krishna,
I see bad omens. 

I see no use of killing my kinsmen in battle.

 32
I desire neither victory 

Nor pleasure nor kingdom,
O Krishna.
 What is the use of the kingdom,
Or enjoyment, or even life, O Krishna?

 33
Because all those, for whom we desire kingdom,
Enjoyments, and pleasures,
Are standing here for the battle,

Giving up their lives and wealth.

  34

Teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers,

Maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons,

Brothers-in-law, and other relatives.

 37.
Therefore, we should not kill our brothers,

The sons of Dhritaraashtra. 

How can we be happy 

After killing our kinsmen, O Krishna?

 40.
With the destruction of the family, 

The eternal family traditions are destroyed,

And immorality prevails 

Due to the destruction of family traditions.

 46.
It would be far better for me 

If the sons of Dhritaraashtra should kill me

With their weapons in battle 

While I am unarmed and unresisting.

 47.
Sanjaya said: 
Having said this in the battle field

And casting aside his bow and arrow, 

Arjuna sat down on the seat of the chariot

with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow.

Chapter II

 3.
Do not become a coward, O Arjuna,

Because it does not befit you. 

Shake off this weakness of your heart

And get up (for the battle), O Arjuna.

 11.
Krishna said: 
You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief,

And yet speak the words of wisdom.

The wise grieve neither

For the living nor for the dead.

 12. 

There was never a time when I, you,

Or these kings did not exist;
Nor shall we ever cease to exist in the future.

 13. 

Just as the Atma acquires a childhood body,
A youth body, and an old age body during this life,

Similarly Atma acquires another body after death.

The wise are not deluded by this.

 14.
The contacts of the senses with the sense objects

Give rise to the feelings of heat and cold,

And pain and pleasure.
They are transitory and impermanent.

Therefore, endure them, O Arjuna.

 15. 

Because the calm person,

Who is not afflicted by these feelings

And is steady in pain and pleasure,

Becomes fit for immortality, O Arjuna.

 16.
There is no nonexistence of the Sat 
And no existence of the Asat.

The reality of these two
Is indeed certainly seen by the seers of truth.

 17.
Know That, by which all this is pervaded,

To be indestructible.

No one can destroy the indestructible.

 18. 

Bodies of the eternal, imperishable,

And incomprehensible soul

Are said to be perishable.

Therefore, fight, O Arjuna.

 19. 

The one who thinks that Atma is a slayer,

And the one who thinks that Atma is slain,

Both are ignorant,

Because Atma neither slays nor is slain.

 20.    

The Atma is neither born

Nor does it die at any time,

nor having been it will cease to exist again.
I
t is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval.

The Atma is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

 21.    

O Arjuna, how can a person

Who knows that the Atma is indestructible, eternal,

Unborn, and imperishable,

kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed?

 22.   

Just as a person puts on new garments

After discarding the old ones,
Similarly Atma acquires new bodies

After casting away the old bodies.

 23. 

Weapons do not cut this Atma,

Fire does not burn it,

Water does not make it wet,

And the wind does not make it dry.

 24. 

This Atma cannot be cut, burned, wetted, or dried up.
It is eternal, all pervading,

Unchanging, immovable, and primeval.

 25. 

The Atma is said to be unmanifest,

Unthinkable, and unchanging.

Knowing this Atma as such you should not grieve.

 26. 

If you think that this (body) takes birth

And dies perpetually, even then, O Arjuna,

You should not grieve like this.

 27. 

Because, death is certain for the one who is born,

And birth is certain for the one who dies.

Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.

 28. 

All beings, O Arjuna, are unmanifest
Before birth and after death.
They are manifest between birth and death only.

What is there to grieve about?

 29.
Some look upon this Atma as a wonder,

Another describes it as wonderful,
And others hear of it as a wonder.

Even after hearing about it no one actually knows it.

 30 

O Arjuna, the Atma that dwells in the body of all (beings)

Is eternally indestructible.

Therefore, you should not mourn for any body.

 31.
Considering also your duty as a warrior

You should not waver.
Because there is nothing more auspicious

For a warrior than a righteous war.

 34.
People will talk about your disgrace forever. 

To the honored, dishonor is worse than death.

 35. 

The great warriors will think

That you have retreated from the battle out of fear.

Those who have greatly esteemed you

Will lose respect for you.

 36. 

Your enemies will speak many unmentionable words
And scorn your ability.

What could be more painful than this?

 39. 

The wisdom of Saamkhya

Has been imparted to you, O Arjuna.
Now listen to the wisdom of Karma-yoga

Endowed with which you will free yourself

From the bondage of Karma.

 40.
In Karma-yoga no effort is ever lost,

And there is no harm.

Even a little practice of this discipline
Protects one from great fear.

 41. 

Those who are resolute

Have only one thought (of Self-realization),

But the thoughts of the irresolute

Are endless and many-branched, O Arjuna.

 48
Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna,
With your mind attached to the Lord,
Abandoning (worry and) attachment to the results,
And remaining calm in both success and failure.
The equanimity of mind is called Karma-yoga.

 50
A Karma-yogi gets freedom
From both vice and virtue in this life itself.
Therefore, strive for Karma-yoga.
Working to the best of one's abilities
Without getting attached to the fruits of work
Is called (Nishkaama) Karma-yoga.

 53.
When your intellect,
That is confused by the conflicting opinions
And the ritualistic doctrine of the Vedas,
Shall stay steady and firm with the Self,
Then you shall attain Self-realization.

 56.
A person whose mind is unperturbed by sorrow,
Who does not crave pleasures, and who is free
From attachment, fear, and anger;
Such a person is called a sage of steady Prajna.

 57.
Those who are not attached to anything,
Who are neither elated by getting desired results
Nor troubled by undesired results,
Their Prajna is deemed steady.

 58.
When one can completely withdraw
The senses from the sense objects
As a tortoise withdraws its limbs,
Then the Prajna of such a person
Is considered steady.

 60.
Restless senses, O Arjuna,
Forcibly carry away the mind
Of even a wise person
Striving for perfection.

 64.
A disciplined person, enjoying sense objects
With senses that are under control
And free from likes and dislikes,
Attains tranquillity.

 65.
All sorrows are destroyed
Upon attainment of tranquillity.
The intellect of such a tranquil person
Soon becomes completely steady.

 66.
There is neither Self-knowledge nor Self-perception
To those whose senses are not under control.
Without Self-perception there is no peace;
And without peace there can be no happiness.

 67.
The mind, when controlled by the roving senses,
Steals away the Prajna as a storm takes away a boat
On the sea from its destination, the spiritual shore.

 68.
Therefore, O Arjuna,
One's Prajna becomes steady
Whose senses are completely withdrawn
From the sense objects.

 69.
A yogi is aware of the thing (or Atma)
About which others are unaware.
A sage who sees is unaware
Of the experience (of sense objects)
About which others are aware.

 70.
One attains peace in whose mind
All desires enter without creating any disturbance,
As river waters enter the full ocean
Without creating a disturbance.
One who desires material objects is never peaceful.

Chapter III

 1.
Arjuna said:
If You consider that transcendental knowledge
is better than work
Then why do You want me to engage
in this horrible war, O Krishna?

 2.
You seem to confuse my mind by apparently conflicting words.
Tell me, decisively, one thing by which I may attain the Supreme.

 3.
Krishna said:
In this world, O Arjuna, a twofold path of Sadhana has been stated by Me in the past.
The path of Self-knowledge (Jnana-yoga) for the contemplative,
And the path of unselfish work (Karma-yoga) for the active.

 4.
One does not attain freedom from the bondage of Karma
by merely abstaining from work.
No one attains perfection by merely giving up work.

 5.
Because no one can remain actionless even for a moment.
Everyone is driven to action, helplessly indeed,
by the Gunas of nature.

 6.
The deluded ones, who restrain their organs of action
but mentally dwell upon the sense enjoyment,
are called hypocrites.

 7.
The one who controls the senses by the mind and intellect,
and engages the organs of action to Nishkaama Karma-yoga,
is superior, O Arjuna.

 8.
Perform your obligatory duty,
because action is indeed better than inaction.
Even the maintenance of your body
would not be possible by inaction.

 9.
Human beings are bound by Karma
other than those done as Yajna (sacrifice).
Therefore, O Arjuna, do your duty efficiently
as a service or Seva to Me,
free from attachment to the fruits of work.

         16.
The one who does not help to keep the wheel of creation
in motion by sacrificial duty, and who rejoices in sense pleasures,
that sinful person lives in vain, O Arjuna.

  17.
The one who rejoices in the Self only,
who is satisfied with the Self,
who is content in the Self alone,
for such a (Self-realized) person there is no duty.

  18.
Such a person has no interest, whatsoever,
in what is done or what is not done.
A Self-realized person does not depend on anybody for anything.

  19.
Therefore, always perform your duty efficiently
and without attachment to the results,
because by doing work without attachment one attains the Supreme.

  20.
King Janaka and others attained perfection
by Karma-yoga alone.
You should perform your duty with a view to guide people
and for the universal welfare (of the society).

  21.
Because, whatever noble persons do, others follow.
Whatever standard they set up, the world follows.

  23.
Because, if I do not engage in action relentlessly,
O Arjuna, people would follow My path in every way.

  24.
These worlds would perish if I do not work,
and I shall be the cause of confusion and
destruction of all these people.

  25.
As the ignorant work, O Arjuna,
with attachment (to the fruits of work),
so the wise should work without attachment,
for the welfare of the society.

  26.
The wise should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant
who is attached to the fruits of work,
but the enlightened one should inspire others
by performing all works efficiently without attachment.

  27.
All works are being done by the Gunas of nature,
but due to delusion of ego
people assume themselves to be the doer.

  28.
The one who knows the truth, O Arjuna,
about the role of Guna and action
does not get attached to the work,
knowing that it is the Gunas that work
with their instruments, the organs.

  29.
Those who are deluded by the Gunas of nature
get attached to the works of the Gunas.
The wise should not disturb the mind of the ignorant
whose knowledge is imperfect.

  32.
But, those who carp at My teaching and do not practice it,
consider them as ignorant of all knowledge, senseless, and lost.

  33.
All beings follow their nature.
Even the wise act according to their own nature.
What, then, is the value of sense restraint?

  34.
Raga and Dvesha (or the attachments and aversions)
for the sense objects remain in the senses.
One should not come under the control of these two,
because they are two stumbling blocks, indeed,
on one's path of Self-realization.

  35.
One's inferior natural work is better
than superior unnatural work.
Death in carrying out one's natural work is useful.
Unnatural work produces too much stress.

  38.
Kama, the passionate desire
for all sensual and material pleasures,
becomes anger if it is unfulfilled. As the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by the amnion,
similarly the Self-knowledge gets obscured by Kama.

  39.
O Arjuna, Jnana gets covered by this insatiable fire of Kaama,
the eternal enemy of Jnani.

  40.
The senses, the mind, and the intellect
are said to be the seat of Kaama.
Kama, with the help of the senses,
deludes a person by veiling Jnana.

  42.
The senses are said to be superior,
the mind is superior to the senses,
the intellect is superior to the mind,
and Atma is superior to the intellect.

  43.
Thus, knowing the Atma to be superior to the intellect,
and controlling the mind by the intellect,
one must kill this mighty enemy, Kama, O Arjuna.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The 'original' Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (?)

Oh my, talk about rabbit holes.

If you saw yesterday's post I was discussing this book The Gita as It Was: Rediscovering the Original Bhagavadgita Book by Phulgenda Sinha; 1987 where Sinha argues that most of the Gita was added later and that the original consisted of only 84 verses. My copy is still on the way from Amazon but Maya found one online at Scribd HERE. Now at the end of yesterdays post I wrote

'Oh and it seems there's an original Yoga Sutras too, all that about Ishvara, 100 slokas or so.... yep you guessed it, they added that too.......perhaps'.


Well flicking through Sinha's book on Scribd, I came across the section where he discusses the sutras and get this, the 'original' Yoga Sutras supposedly consisted of only 83 verses ( yes yes, i know begs the question... a lot of them in fact). You can forget about  Chapter one, which is a bit of a bugger because that's the chapter I'm most comfortable chanting. Forget chapter four as well ( that's OK it's commonly thought to be a later addition) but also the first 27 verses of chapter 2.

Sinha is quoting J.W. Hauer book DER YOGA ( p238-239) in German. It's supposedly translated by G. J. Larson as Classical Samkhya see p150

OK, if you've spent any time in academia you know this goes on a lot. For every academic arguing that a couple of Shakespear's plays were written by Marlow you get another hundred arguing against it. Still, it's often interesting and keeps the pasty faced scholars off the streets.

Interestingly though it perhaps doesn't matter. Chapter one wasn't really for us anyway, it's talking about the born yoga who doesn't have to work at it. Chapter two that was for us mere mortals who have to work at it along with Chapter three on the good stuff. Best of all we can chant it in ten minutes and catch last orders.

Here it is below Translated by BonGiovanni from HERE just to give us an idea before we hit our own editions which I'll be doing right after practice.

The Original Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (?)


2.28 On the destruction of impurity by the sustained practice of the limbs of Union, the light of knowledge reveals the faculty of discrimination.


2.29 The eight limbs of Union are self-restraint in actions, fixed observance, posture, regulation of energy, mind-control in sense engagements, concentration, meditation, and realization.


2.30 Self-restraint in actions includes abstention from violence, from falsehoods, from stealing, from sexual engagements, and from acceptance of gifts.


2.31 These five willing abstentions are not limited by rank, place, time or circumstance and constitute the Great Vow.


2.32 The fixed observances are cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and persevering devotion to God.


2.33 When improper thoughts disturb the mind, there should be constant pondering over the opposites.


2.34 Improper thoughts and emotions such as those of violence- whether done, caused to be done, or even approved of- indeed, any thought originating in desire, anger or delusion, whether mild medium or intense- do all result in endless pain and misery. Overcome such distractions by pondering on the opposites.


2.35 When one is confirmed in non-violence, hostility ceases in his presence.


2.36 When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action become subservient to him.


2.37 All jewels approach him who is confirmed in honesty.


2.38 When one is confirmed in celibacy, spiritual vigor is gained.


2.39 When one is confirmed in non-possessiveness, the knowledge of the why and how of existence is attained.


2.40 From purity follows a withdrawal from enchantment over one's own body as well as a cessation of desire for physical contact with others.


2.41 As a result of contentment there is purity of mind, one-pointedness, control of the senses, and fitness for the vision of the self.


2.42 Supreme happiness is gained via contentment.


2.43 Through sanctification and the removal of impurities, there arise special powers in the body and senses.


2.44 By study comes communion with the Lord in the Form most admired.


2.45 Realization is experienced by making the Lord the motive of all actions.


2.46 The posture should be steady and comfortable.


2.47 In effortless relaxation, dwell mentally on the Endless with utter attention.


2.48 From that there is no disturbance from the dualities.


2.49 When that exists, control of incoming and outgoing energies is next.


2.50 It may be external, internal, or midway, regulated by time, place, or number, and of brief or long duration.


2.51 Energy-control which goes beyond the sphere of external and internal is the fourth level- the vital.


2.52 In this way, that which covers the light is destroyed.


2.53 Thus the mind becomes fit for concentration.


2.54 When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms.


2.55 In this way comes mastery over the senses.


End Part Two


Part Three
on Divine Powers
3.1 One-pointedness is steadfastness of the mind.


3.2 Unbroken continuation of that mental ability is meditation.


3.3 That same meditation when there is only consciousness of the object of meditation and not of the mind is realization.


3.4 The three appearing together are self-control.


3.5 By mastery comes wisdom.


3.6 The application of mastery is by stages.


3.7 The three are more efficacious than the restraints.


3.8 Even that is external to the seedless realization.


3.9 The significant aspect is the union of the mind with the moment of absorption, when the outgoing thought disappears and the absorptive experience appears.


3.10 From sublimation of this union comes the peaceful flow of unbroken unitive cognition.


3.11 The contemplative transformation of this is equalmindedness, witnessing the rise and destruction of distraction as well as one-pointedness itself.


3.12 The mind becomes one-pointed when the subsiding and rising thought-waves are exactly similar.


3.13 In this state, it passes beyond the changes of inherent characteristics, properties and the conditional modifications of object or sensory recognition.


3.14 The object is that which preserves the latent characteristic, the rising characteristic or the yet-to-be-named characteristic that establishes one entity as specific.


3.15 The succession of these changes in that entity is the cause of its modification.


3.16 By self-control over these three-fold changes (of property, character and condition), knowledge of the past and the future arises.


3.17 The sound of a word, the idea behind the word, and the object the idea signfies are often taken as being one thing and may be mistaken for one another. By self-control over their distinctions, understanding of all languages of all creatures arises.


3.18 By self-control on the perception of mental impressions, knowledge of previous lives arises.


3.19 By self-control on any mark of a body, the wisdom of the mind activating that body arises.


3.20 By self-control on the form of a body, by suspending perceptibility and separating effulgence therefrom, there arises invisibility and inaudibilty.


3.21 Action is of two kinds, dormant and fruitful. By self-control on such action, one portends the time of death.


3.22 By performing self-control on friendliness, the strength to grant joy arises.


3.23 By self-control over any kind of strength, such as that of the elephant, that very strength arises.


3.24 By self-control on the primal activator comes knowledge of the hidden, the subtle, and the distant.


3.25 By self-control on the Sun comes knowledge of spatial specificities.


3.26 By self-control on the Moon comes knowledge of the heavens.


3.27 By self-control on the Polestar arises knowledge of orbits.


3.28 By self-control on the navel arises knowledge of the constitution of the body.


3.29 By self-control on the pit of the throat one subdues hunger and thirst.


3.30 By self-control on the tube within the chest one acquires absolute steadiness.


3.31 By self-control on the light in the head one envisions perfected beings.


3.32 There is knowledge of everything from intuition.


3.33 Self-control on the heart brings knowledge of the mental entity.


3.34 Experience arises due to the inability of discerning the attributes of vitality from the indweller, even though they are indeed distinct from one another. Self-control brings true knowledge of the indweller by itself.


3.35 This spontaneous enlightenment results in intuitional perception of hearing, touching, seeing and smelling.


3.36 To the outward turned mind, the sensory organs are perfections, but are obstacles to realization.


3.37 When the bonds of the mind caused by action have been loosened, one may enter the body of another by knowledge of how the nerve-currents function.


3.38 By self-control of the nerve-currents utilising the lifebreath, one may levitate, walk on water, swamps, thorns, or the like.


3.39 By self-control over the maintenance of breath, one may radiate light.


3.40 By self-control on the relation of the ear to the ether one gains distant hearing.


3.41 By self-control over the relation of the body to the ether, and maintaining at the same time the thought of the lightness of cotton, one is able to pass through space.


3.42 By self-control on the mind when it is separated from the body- the state known as the Great Transcorporeal- all coverings are removed from the Light.


3.43 Mastery over the elements arises when their gross and subtle forms,as well as their essential characteristics, and the inherent attributes and experiences they produce, is examined in self-control.


3.44 Thereby one may become as tiny as an atom as well as having many other abilities, such as perfection of the body, and non-resistence to duty.


3.45 Perfection of the body consists in beauty, grace, strength and adamantine hardness.


3.46 By self-control on the changes that the sense-organs endure when contacting objects, and on the power of the sense of identity, and of the influence of the attributes, and the experience all these produce- one masters the senses.


3.47 From that come swiftness of mind, independence of perception, and mastery over primoridal matter.


3.48 To one who recognizes the distinctive relation between vitality and indweller comes omnipotence and omniscience.


3.49 Even for the destruction of the seed of bondage by desirelessness there comes absolute independence.


3.50 When invited by invisible beings one should be neither flattered nor satisfied, for there is yet a possibility of ignorance rising up.


3.51 By self-control over single moments and their succession there is wisdom born of discrimination.


3.52 From that there is recognition of two similars when that difference cannot be distinguished by class, characteristic or position.


3.53 Intuition, which is the entire discriminative knowledge, relates to all objects at all times, and is without succession.


3.54 Liberation is attained when there is equal purity between vitality and the indweller.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Perhaps just as interesting as what stays in is what gets discarded, forgetting about chapter four for now, here are the verses from Chapter one to verse 27 of Chapter Two. Any favourites?


1.1 Now, instruction in Union.


1.2. Union is restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind.


1.3. Then the seer dwells in his own nature.


1.4. Otherwise he is of the same form as the thought-streams.


1.5. The thought-streams are five-fold, painful and not painful.


1.6. Right knowledge, wrong knowledge, fancy, sleep and memory.


1.7. Right knowledge is inference, tradition and genuine cognition.


1.8. Wrong knowledge is false, illusory, erroneous beliefs or notions.


1.9. Fancy is following after word-knowledge empty of substance.


1.10. Deep sleep is the modification of the mind which has for its substratum nothingness.


1.11. Memory is not allowing mental impressions to escape.


1.12. These thought-streams are controlled by practice and non-attachment.


1.13. Practice is the effort to secure steadiness.


1.14. This practice becomes well-grounded when continued with reverent devotion and without interruption over a long period of time.


1.15. Desirelessness towards the seen and the unseen gives the consciousness of mastery.


1.16. This is signified by an indifference to the three attributes, due to knowledge of the Indweller.


1.17. Cognitive meditation is accompanied by reasoning, discrimination, bliss and the sense of 'I am.'


1.18. There is another meditation which is attained by the practice of alert mental suspension until only subtle impressions remain.


1.19. For those beings who are formless and for those beings who are merged in unitive consciousness, the world is the cause.


1.20. For others, clarity is preceded by faith, energy, memory and equalminded contemplation.


1.21. Equalminded contemplation is nearest to those whose desire is most ardent.


1.22. There is further distinction on account of the mild, moderate or intense means employed.


1.23. Or by surrender to God.


1.24. God is a particular yet universal indweller, untouched by afflictions, actions, impressions and their results.


1.25. In God, the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed.


1.26. Not being conditioned by time, God is the teacher of even the ancients.


1.27. God's voice is Om.


1.28. The repetition of Om should be made with an understanding of its meaning.


1.29. From that is gained introspection and also the disappearance of obstacles.


1.30. Disease, inertia, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, laziness, sensuality, mind-wandering, missing the point, instability- these distractions of the mind are the obstacles.


1.31. Pain, despair, nervousness, and disordered inspiration and expiration are co-existent with these obstacles.


1.32. For the prevention of the obstacles, one truth should be practiced constantly.


1.33. By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure.


1.34. Optionally, mental equanimity may be gained by the even expulsion and retention of energy.


1.35. Or activity of the higher senses causes mental steadiness.


1.36. Or the state of sorrowless Light.


1.37. Or the mind taking as an object of concentration those who are freed of compulsion.


1.38. Or depending on the knowledge of dreams and sleep.


1.39. Or by meditation as desired.


1.40. The mastery of one in Union extends from the finest atomic particle to the greatest infinity.


1.41. When the agitations of the mind are under control, the mind becomes like a transparent crystal and has the power of becoming whatever form is presented. knower, act of knowing, or what is known.


1.42. The argumentative condition is the confused mixing of the word, its right meaning, and knowledge.


1.43. When the memory is purified and the mind shines forth as the object alone, it is called non-argumentative.


1.44. In this way the meditative and the ultra-meditative having the subtle for their objects are also described.


1.45. The province of the subtle terminates with pure matter that has no pattern or distinguishing mark.


1.46. These constitute seeded contemplations.


1.47. On attaining the purity of the ultra-meditative state there is the pure flow of spiritual consciousness.


1.48. Therein is the faculty of supreme wisdom.


1.49. The wisdom obtained in the higher states of consciousness is different from that obtained by inference and testimony as it refers to particulars.


1.50. The habitual pattern of thought stands in the way of other impressions.


1.51. With the suppression of even that through the suspension of all modifications of the mind, contemplation without seed is attained.


End Part One.


Part Two
on Spiritual Disciplines
2.1 Austerity, the study of sacred texts, and the dedication of action to God constitute the discipline of Mystic Union.


2.2 This discipline is practised for the purpose of acquiring fixity of mind on the Lord, free from all impurities and agitations, or on One's Own Reality, and for attenuating the afflictions.


2.3 The five afflictions are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and the desire to cling to life.


2.4 Ignorance is the breeding place for all the others whether they are dormant or attenuated, partially overcome or fully operative.


2.5 Ignorance is taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, evil for good and non-self as self.


2.6 Egoism is the identification of the power that knows with the instruments of knowing.


2.7 Attachment is that magnetic pattern which clusters in pleasure and pulls one towards such experience.


2.8 Aversion is the magnetic pattern which clusters in misery and pushes one from such experience.


2.9 Flowing by its own energy, established even in the wise and in the foolish, is the unending desire for life.


2.10 These patterns when subtle may be removed by developing their contraries.


2.11 Their active afflictions are to be destroyed by meditation.


2.12 The impressions of works have their roots in afflictions and arise as experience in the present and the future births.


2.13 When the root exists, its fruition is birth, life and experience.


2.14 They have pleasure or pain as their fruit, according as their cause be virtue or vice.


2.15 All is misery to the wise because of the pains of change, anxiety, and purificatory acts.


2.16 The grief which has not yet come may be avoided.


2.17 The cause of the avoidable is the superimposition of the external world onto the unseen world.


2.18 The experienced world consists of the elements and the senses in play. It is of the nature of cognition, activity and rest, and is for the purpose of experience and realization.


2.19 The stages of the attributes effecting the experienced world are the specialized and the unspecialized, the differentiated and the undifferentiated.


2.20 The indweller is pure consciousness only, which though pure, sees through the mind and is identified by ego as being only the mind.


2.21 The very existence of the seen is for the sake of the seer.


2.22 Although Creation is discerned as not real for the one who has achieved the goal, it is yet real in that Creation remains the common experience to others.


2.23 The association of the seer with Creation is for the distinct recognition of the objective world, as well as for the recognition of the distinct nature of the seer.


2.24 The cause of the association is ignorance.


2.25 Liberation of the seer is the result of the dissassociation of the seer and the seen, with the disappearance of ignorance.


2.26 The continuous practice of discrimination is the means of attaining liberation.


2.27 Steady wisdom manifests in seven stages.

The Original Gita. No Surrender! ( Updated with the original Gita? )

"...there are many things in that poem (the Gita ) that my poor understanding cannot fathom. There are many things in it many things which are obvious interpolations. It is not a treasure chest. It is a mine which needs to be explored, which needs to be dug deep and from which diamonds have to be extracted after removing much foreign matter." Mohandas K. Gandhi, The Teachings of the Gita (1962)



I know I know, I keep coming back to this question of Surrender in yoga. Something just doesn't smell right, sets my old philosophers spidy sense a tingling, surrendering what, to what ( and that's without even starting on the preposition).

I could be completely wrong of course but for now I want to keep teasing it, picking away at it, testing it.

1-7 Pratyaksha anumana agamah pramanani

Right knowledge is that by which a thing is made clear to you. It is these three things: direct perception, inference and/or scriptures.

So my thinking went like this.

Surrender is currently associated with yoga but has this always been the case. Is it perhaps a modern preoccupation, an Ashtanga thing, something Jois stressed or perhaps Krishnamacharya.

No such luck, wherever I seemed to turn there was surrender, started to feel I might have been on dodgy ground.

Back it goes all the way to the Gita. The Gita..... ever thought there was something ....fishy about the Gita. Beautiful beautiful book but doesn't it also sound a little too .... familiar?

Apocrypha..... I kind of have this image of a  handful of scrolls turning up. 'The Book of Thomas' perhaps, Old suspicious Tom having a chat with Jesus who then reveals himself in all his glory.

Axial Age, not surprising.

OK. So surrender goes back to the Gita but what about before then, the Yoga Upanishads, the Veda's. Sometimes it appears sometimes not which makes me think it might have something to do with the preoccupations of the translator.

By the way, Juan Mascaro, the famous early translator of the Gita was supposedly much influenced by the King James version of the bible, all that praise him praise him we come across in his version, no wonder my spidy sense was set a tingling, for example ( from his penguin classic translation )

Offer all thy works to God, throw off selfish bonds, and do thy work. No sin can then stain thee, even as waters do not stain the leaf of the lotus. (p. 28; chapter 5: 10)


And do thy duty, even if it be humble, rather than another's, even if it be great. To die in one's duty is life: to live in another's is death. (p. 20. Ch. 3: 35)


and this on surrender from his introduction


All life is action, but every little finite action should be a surrender to the Infinite, even as breathing in seems to be receiving of the gift of life, and the breathing out a surrender into the infinite Life. Every little work in life, however humble, can become an act of creation and therefore a means of salvation, because in all true creation we reconcile the finite with the Infinite, hence the joy of creation. (from the introduction)


No wonder we're so fixated on surrender in yoga, lays it on pretty thick.

...there I paused.

Until this week when I heard a BBC Radio 4 'In our Time' show on the Gita itself. I've added a link but I'm not sure you can listen to it outside the UK. The format is a discussion with three scholars on a different topic each week. Last week was on The Minoans, the week before was on the poem In Memoriam, past shows have been on the Cogito, Custer, The anatomy of melancholy.... you get the idea. Anyway, in the show, right at the end Jessica Frazier who\s now my alma mata mentioned that the idea of Yoga had changed in different periods, at the time of the vedas, the Upanishads and ....the Gita.

So I'm not necessarily in denial or intricate avoidance it seems.... well I might be but there's a genuine discourse,  a debate, spidy sense feels a little justified.

This weekend I've been doing a little research, came across the Anugita, did you know, there's a second Gita, comes at the end of the Mahabharata.

I also came across reference to a book The Gita as It Was: Rediscovering the Original Bhagavadgita Book by Phulgenda Sinha; 1987. It's out of print but there are still used copies floating around Amazon, I have one on the way. ( turns out it's available on scribd HERE, Thanks Maya).

There's a discussion of it over at Indiadivine

'... According to Sinha the Gita is based upon the Karika of Kapila. On page 130, Phulgenda writes:


"The total number of versus of the original Gita is 84. The original begins with verse number 28 of the Bhagavadgita and ends with verse 43 in Chapter III. Thus, the content of the original Gita is found within the first three chapters of the extant Bhagavadgita. The remaining fifteen chapters (from Ch. IV to XVIII), containing 538 versus, have been interpolated.


...There are 162 verses in the first three chapters of the Bhagavadgita, of which 78 verses are additions and only 84 are original. 


... Sinha lists the sequence as: Chapter I, 28-34, 37, 40, 46, and 47. Chapter II, 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, and 64-70. Sinha says: "Verse 39 explains the difference between Samkhya and Yoga. Upon hearing the inspiring reply of Krishna, Arjuna raises the question in two verses (Ch. III, 1-2) about the superiority of knowledge or action. In answering Arjuna's question, Krishna explains the paramount importance of action in life and the means of performing one's dut, acheiving social justice, and setting an honorable precedent. the teaching of Krishna is based on Samkhya and Yoga and takes up 31 verses of Ch. III, 3-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, and 42-43".'

Here's a clearer layout in case you want to read for yourself, the Gita..... as it was.

Ch. I 28-34,37,40, 46-47.
Ch. II 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, 64-70.
Ch. III 1-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, 42-43.

Now what I find particularly interesting is that when you read the Gita in this way it seems to fit much more clearly with Ramaswami's alternative derivation of yoga as coming from yuja....

'... yoga can also be derived from the root yuja and mean samadhi or samadhana, "to put in place perfectly".... Thus yoga by this definition, would mean putting all mental energies in place, or harnessing mental energies without any dissipation. This definition is different from the earlier derivation of the word yoga from the root yujir, meaning "unity" (yujir yoga).
Based on this interpretation the yoga of Patanjali is a system of practices that lead to the total harnessing of mental energy without any dissipation whatsoever (nirodha "completely contained") One can note that it is not unity with a higher principle that is aimed for in this form of yoga, but rather the removal of all the distractions of the mind.... One system talks of unity the other of freedom'
Yoga for the Three stages of Life. Chapter III, What is yoga. p34-35 Srivatsa Ramaswami

Which was one of the reasons I went to study with him in the first place ( See this post ).

I should point out here that I have no idea of Ramaswami's thoughts on this, for all I know he's happy with the Gita as it is now rather than as it supposedly was and of course the academics are having a field day asserting and disputing the validity of what is or isn't the original Gita anyway.

And surrender has been wrapped up with yoga for a thousand years or more, so you can go along with that. My point though is that perhaps it doesn't necessarily have to be, Yoga got along quite nicely thank you very much without the concept of surrender, just as I seem to be.

Oh and it seems there's an original Yoga Sutras too, all that about Ishvara, 100 slokas or so.... yep you guessed it, they added that too.......perhaps.

NB trying to make up a version of how the Gita would read in this 'format' hope to post it tomorrow.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE
So here it is, the supposed original Bhagavad Gita


Ch. I 28-34,37,40, 46-47.
Ch. II 3, 11-31, 34-36, 39-41, 48, 50, 53, 56-58, 60, 64-70.
Ch. III 1-9, 16-21, 23-29, 32-35, 38-40, 42-43.



Bhagavad gita, as it was?
Sinha's verses outlined above taken from the online edition HERE ( but remember this is not Sinha's own translation, still waiting for his book to arrive, this should give us a general idea however).

Chapter 1
28.
Arjuna was overcome with great compassion 

And sorrowfully said: 

O Krishna, seeing my kinsmen standing

With a desire to fight, 

29.
My limbs fail and my mouth becomes dry. 
My body quivers 

And my hairs stand on end.

30.
The bow, Gaandeeva, slips from my hand 
And my skin intensely burns. 

My head turns, 
I am unable to stand steady 


31.
And, O Krishna, 
I see bad omens. 

I see no use of killing my kinsmen in battle. 

32
I desire neither victory 

Nor pleasure nor kingdom, 
O Krishna.
 What is the use of the kingdom, 
Or enjoyment, or even life, O Krishna? 

33
Because all those, for whom we desire kingdom, 
Enjoyments, and pleasures, 
Are standing here for the battle,
 
Giving up their lives and wealth. 

  34

Teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers,

Maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons,

Brothers-in-law, and other relatives. 

37. 
Therefore, we should not kill our brothers,
 
The sons of Dhritaraashtra. 

How can we be happy 

After killing our kinsmen, O Krishna?

40.  
With the destruction of the family, 

The eternal family traditions are destroyed,
 
And immorality prevails 

Due to the destruction of family traditions.

46.
It would be far better for me 

If the sons of Dhritaraashtra should kill me
 
With their weapons in battle 

While I am unarmed and unresisting.

47.  
Sanjaya said: 
Having said this in the battle field
 
And casting aside his bow and arrow, 

Arjuna sat down on the seat of the chariot

with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow.

Chapter II

3. 
Do not become a coward, O Arjuna,

Because it does not befit you. 

Shake off this weakness of your heart
 
And get up (for the battle), O Arjuna.

11.
Krishna said: 
You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief,

And yet speak the words of wisdom.

The wise grieve neither

For the living nor for the dead. 

12.
There was never a time when I, you,

Or these kings did not exist;
Nor shall we ever cease to exist in the future. 

13.
Just as the Atma acquires a childhood body,
A youth body, and an old age body during this life,

Similarly Atma acquires another body after death.

The wise are not deluded by this. 

14.
The contacts of the senses with the sense objects

Give rise to the feelings of heat and cold,

And pain and pleasure.
They are transitory and impermanent.

Therefore, endure them, O Arjuna. 

15.
Because the calm person,

Who is not afflicted by these feelings

And is steady in pain and pleasure,

Becomes fit for immortality, O Arjuna. 

16.
There is no nonexistence of the Sat 
And no existence of the Asat.

The reality of these two
Is indeed certainly seen by the seers of truth. 

17.
Know That, by which all this is pervaded,

To be indestructible.

No one can destroy the indestructible. 

18.
Bodies of the eternal, imperishable,

And incomprehensible soul

Are said to be perishable.

Therefore, fight, O Arjuna. 

19.
The one who thinks that Atma is a slayer,

And the one who thinks that Atma is slain,

Both are ignorant,

Because Atma neither slays nor is slain. 

20.   

The Atma is neither born

Nor does it die at any time,

nor having been it will cease to exist again.
I
t is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval.

The Atma is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. 

21.   

O Arjuna, how can a person

Who knows that the Atma is indestructible, eternal,

Unborn, and imperishable,

kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed? 

22.  

Just as a person puts on new garments

After discarding the old ones,
Similarly Atma acquires new bodies

After casting away the old bodies. 

23.
Weapons do not cut this Atma,

Fire does not burn it,

Water does not make it wet,

And the wind does not make it dry. 

24.
This Atma cannot be cut, burned, wetted, or dried up.
It is eternal, all pervading,

Unchanging, immovable, and primeval. 

25.
The Atma is said to be unmanifest,

Unthinkable, and unchanging.

Knowing this Atma as such you should not grieve. 

26.
If you think that this (body) takes birth

And dies perpetually, even then, O Arjuna,

You should not grieve like this. 

27.
Because, death is certain for the one who is born,

And birth is certain for the one who dies.

Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable. 

28.
All beings, O Arjuna, are unmanifest
Before birth and after death.
They are manifest between birth and death only.

What is there to grieve about? 

29.
Some look upon this Atma as a wonder,

Another describes it as wonderful,
And others hear of it as a wonder.

Even after hearing about it no one actually knows it. 

30
O Arjuna, the Atma that dwells in the body of all (beings)

Is eternally indestructible.

Therefore, you should not mourn for any body. 

31.
Considering also your duty as a warrior

You should not waver.
Because there is nothing more auspicious

For a warrior than a righteous war. 

34.
People will talk about your disgrace forever. 

To the honored, dishonor is worse than death. 

35.
The great warriors will think

That you have retreated from the battle out of fear.

Those who have greatly esteemed you

Will lose respect for you. 

36.
Your enemies will speak many unmentionable words
And scorn your ability.

What could be more painful than this?

39.
The wisdom of Saamkhya

Has been imparted to you, O Arjuna.
Now listen to the wisdom of Karma-yoga

Endowed with which you will free yourself

From the bondage of Karma. 

40.
In Karma-yoga no effort is ever lost,

And there is no harm.

Even a little practice of this discipline
Protects one from great fear. 

41.
Those who are resolute

Have only one thought (of Self-realization),

But the thoughts of the irresolute

Are endless and many-branched, O Arjuna.

48
Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna,
With your mind attached to the Lord,
Abandoning (worry and) attachment to the results,
And remaining calm in both success and failure.
The equanimity of mind is called Karma-yoga.

50
A Karma-yogi gets freedom
From both vice and virtue in this life itself.
Therefore, strive for Karma-yoga.
Working to the best of one's abilities
Without getting attached to the fruits of work
Is called (Nishkaama) Karma-yoga.

53.
When your intellect,
That is confused by the conflicting opinions
And the ritualistic doctrine of the Vedas,
Shall stay steady and firm with the Self,
Then you shall attain Self-realization.

56.
A person whose mind is unperturbed by sorrow,
Who does not crave pleasures, and who is free
From attachment, fear, and anger;
Such a person is called a sage of steady Prajna.

57.
Those who are not attached to anything,
Who are neither elated by getting desired results
Nor troubled by undesired results,
Their Prajna is deemed steady.

58.
When one can completely withdraw 
The senses from the sense objects
As a tortoise withdraws its limbs,
Then the Prajna of such a person
Is considered steady.

60.
Restless senses, O Arjuna,
Forcibly carry away the mind
Of even a wise person
Striving for perfection.

64.
A disciplined person, enjoying sense objects
With senses that are under control
And free from likes and dislikes,
Attains tranquillity.

65.
All sorrows are destroyed
Upon attainment of tranquillity.
The intellect of such a tranquil person
Soon becomes completely steady.

66.
There is neither Self-knowledge nor Self-perception
To those whose senses are not under control.
Without Self-perception there is no peace;
And without peace there can be no happiness.

67.
The mind, when controlled by the roving senses,
Steals away the Prajna as a storm takes away a boat
On the sea from its destination, the spiritual shore.

68.
Therefore, O Arjuna,
One's Prajna becomes steady
Whose senses are completely withdrawn
From the sense objects.

69.
A yogi is aware of the thing (or Atma) 
About which others are unaware.
A sage who sees is unaware
Of the experience (of sense objects)
About which others are aware.

70.
One attains peace in whose mind
All desires enter without creating any disturbance,
As river waters enter the full ocean
Without creating a disturbance.
One who desires material objects is never peaceful.

Chapter III

1.
Arjuna said:
If You consider that transcendental knowledge
is better than work 
Then why do You want me to engage
in this horrible war, O Krishna? 

2.
You seem to confuse my mind by apparently conflicting words.
Tell me, decisively, one thing by which I may attain the Supreme.

3.
Krishna said:
In this world, O Arjuna, a twofold path of Sadhana has been stated by Me in the past.
The path of Self-knowledge (Jnana-yoga) for the contemplative,
And the path of unselfish work (Karma-yoga) for the active. 

4.
One does not attain freedom from the bondage of Karma 
by merely abstaining from work.
No one attains perfection by merely giving up work. 

5.
Because no one can remain actionless even for a moment.
Everyone is driven to action, helplessly indeed,
by the Gunas of nature.

6.
The deluded ones, who restrain their organs of action
but mentally dwell upon the sense enjoyment,
are called hypocrites.

7.
The one who controls the senses by the mind and intellect,
and engages the organs of action to Nishkaama Karma-yoga,
is superior, O Arjuna.

8.
Perform your obligatory duty,
because action is indeed better than inaction.
Even the maintenance of your body 
would not be possible by inaction.

9.
Human beings are bound by Karma
other than those done as Yajna (sacrifice).
Therefore, O Arjuna, do your duty efficiently
as a service or Seva to Me,
free from attachment to the fruits of work.

         16.
The one who does not help to keep the wheel of creation
in motion by sacrificial duty, and who rejoices in sense pleasures,
that sinful person lives in vain, O Arjuna.

17.
The one who rejoices in the Self only,
who is satisfied with the Self,
who is content in the Self alone,
for such a (Self-realized) person there is no duty.

18.
Such a person has no interest, whatsoever,
in what is done or what is not done.
A Self-realized person does not depend on anybody for anything.

19.
Therefore, always perform your duty efficiently
and without attachment to the results,
because by doing work without attachment one attains the Supreme.

20.
King Janaka and others attained perfection
by Karma-yoga alone.
You should perform your duty with a view to guide people
and for the universal welfare (of the society).

21.
Because, whatever noble persons do, others follow.
Whatever standard they set up, the world follows.

23.
Because, if I do not engage in action relentlessly,
O Arjuna, people would follow My path in every way.

24.
These worlds would perish if I do not work,
and I shall be the cause of confusion and
destruction of all these people.

25.
As the ignorant work, O Arjuna,
with attachment (to the fruits of work),
so the wise should work without attachment,
for the welfare of the society.

26.
The wise should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant
who is attached to the fruits of work,
but the enlightened one should inspire others
by performing all works efficiently without attachment.

27.
All works are being done by the Gunas of nature,
but due to delusion of ego
people assume themselves to be the doer.

28.
The one who knows the truth, O Arjuna,
about the role of Guna and action
does not get attached to the work,
knowing that it is the Gunas that work
with their instruments, the organs.

29.
Those who are deluded by the Gunas of nature
get attached to the works of the Gunas.
The wise should not disturb the mind of the ignorant
whose knowledge is imperfect.

32.
But, those who carp at My teaching and do not practice it,
consider them as ignorant of all knowledge, senseless, and lost.

33.
All beings follow their nature.
Even the wise act according to their own nature.
What, then, is the value of sense restraint?

34.
Raga and Dvesha (or the attachments and aversions)
for the sense objects remain in the senses.
One should not come under the control of these two,
because they are two stumbling blocks, indeed,
on one's path of Self-realization.

35.
One's inferior natural work is better
than superior unnatural work.
Death in carrying out one's natural work is useful.
Unnatural work produces too much stress. 

38.
Kama, the passionate desire
for all sensual and material pleasures,
becomes anger if it is unfulfilled. As the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by the amnion,
similarly the Self-knowledge gets obscured by Kama.

39.
O Arjuna, Jnana gets covered by this insatiable fire of Kaama,
the eternal enemy of Jnani.

40.
The senses, the mind, and the intellect
are said to be the seat of Kaama.
Kama, with the help of the senses,
deludes a person by veiling Jnana.

42.
The senses are said to be superior,
the mind is superior to the senses,
the intellect is superior to the mind,
and Atma is superior to the intellect.

43.
Thus, knowing the Atma to be superior to the intellect,
and controlling the mind by the intellect,
one must kill this mighty enemy, Kama, O Arjuna.

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

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