Bhagavad Gita, ch. 10

Krsangi Dasi - November 21, 2004 7:51 pm

Dear devotees


We - Bhrigu, Jani, Guru-Nistha, Kamalaksa and I - had our tenth Bhagavad Gita meeting last week. It was a refreshing evening in the middle of a heavy week at work, and we also saw some photos from Bhrigu's recent trip to India.


Bhagavad Gita, chapter ten: Yoga of divine manifestation


Krishna begins chapter ten by describing himself in many ways. We were a bit puzzled with verse 5 where he states that he among other things fear, misery and infamy arise from him. We wondered how these seemingly negative things could have their origin in Krishna, but when looking at them more closely we realized that his different incarnations actually represent all these things: baby Krishna is afraid of Yasoda's punishment, Lord Caitanya is miserable in his apparent separation from Krishna and young Krishna is infamous for stealing butter and later on for his secret meetings with the gopis.


Guru Maharaja talks a lot about Vraja Krishna in his purports to the catur slokas of the Gita, which has upset some devotees who feel that Guru Maharaja shouldn't discuss things that Prabhupada didn't mention in his Gita purports. It's obviously not true: there wouldn't be any point in writing a commentary if the writer would only repeat things that have already been said by others. But we tried to look at it from a different angle and remind ourselves that there will also be others who explain the philosophy differently than Guru Maharaja does and we should have tolerance and respect for them, too.


Some philosophical concepts like the ones Guru Maharaja describes in his purports to the Catur slokas are quite hard to grasp for someone like Kamalaksa and I who haven't studied the scriptures as well or as much as we should have. Bhrigu pointed out that it's important that when we aspire to serve Krishna we also engage our intelligence in his service by studying the philosophy as much as we can.


Kamalaksa answered Bhrigu by telling that earlier on he though that he understood the basic philosophy pretty well and it was easy for him to explain what Krishna consciousness is all about, but the more he studies the more blurry the picture grows. He compared this to lying comfortably in a bath tub only to suddenly find himself in the midst of the Atlantic ocean. Bhrigu laughed and said that it's true that things get more complicated the more you study them, but Krishna consciousness should be an ongoing process in our lives and we should avoid stagnation in our spiritual lives.


I thought that the basics that we learn easily might actually be things that we've already learned in a previous life, and things get more difficult when we try to progress beyond that. But we must keep trying to go further in our search for pure bhakti, as the basics won't be enough to take us to Krishna.


Bhrigu then explained the different stages of bhakti, giving us a visual explanation of concepts such as raganuga and vaidhi bhakti. Everyone else was quite confused and decided that we should make some kind of a graphic presentation of them.


In verses 12-13 Arjuna mentions the sages Narada, Vyasa, Asita and Devala. Bhrigu wondered why the latter two were particularly mentioned, since they don't seem to be that prominent. But perhaps we just happen to not know so much about them.


In verses 19-42 Krishna describes how he's present everywhere in the material creation, for example "of heavenly bodies I am the moon". Bhrigu mentioned that the ideal for us would be to remember these verses so that every time we looked at the moon we would think of Krishna.


We didn't understand the "of calculators, I am time" in verse 30.


At the end of our meeting I triumphantly read out loud Guru Maharaja's purport to verse 34, where he mentions that qualities like intelligence are usually best expressed by women. Bhrigu tried to protest but I took this as a proof of my superior intelligence compared to everyone else present. I hope that they'll still show up for the next Gita meeting... I think that Bhrigu will; he liked verse 25 a lot.




Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 21, 2004 11:51 pm
We didn't understand the "of calculators, I am time" in verse 30.

kalah -- one who measures and sets a limit to everything.

kalayatam -- of subduers; BG 10.30

kalayatam -- of all masters; SB 3.29.38

kalayatam -- of subduers; SB 10.56.27

kalayatam -- of those who exert control; SB 11.16.10


Time is a perfect subduer, it conquers and sets limit to everything, it's maser of the matter -- no material thing lasts forever, everything is measured by time.