Bhagavad Gita

Introduction

Q.  What is the first thing that the Introduction expects the reader to acknowledge?

Ans.    The acceptance and importance of Guru, and all   the exalted members in the disciplic succession,   along with Krishna being the master & friend.

Q.  What is the analogy given of how one should  try to understand the spirit of Bhagavad Gita?

Ans. :    Just like if we want to take a particular medicine, then   we have to follow the directions written on the label.    We cannot take the medicine according to our own   whim or the direction of a friend.

Q.  Who is the speaker of the Bhagavad Gita?

Ans. :    Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead,   as confirmed by great acaryas like Sankaracary,   Ramnujacarya, Madhavacarya, Mimbarka Swami, Sri   Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and the Lord Himself..

Q.  The Bhagavad Gita being a system of Yoga, who was it first spoken to in disciplic succession?

Ans. The Bhagavad Gita was first spoken to the Sun God,   then Manu, then Iksvaku, in disciplic succession, one   speaker after another.  But in the course of time it   became lost and reestablished by Krishna to Arjuna on   the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.

Q.  In order to understand Bhagavad Gita, what qualities and position should one have?

Ans. Of the three classes of transcendentalists, namely the   jnani, yogi, and the bhakta, one has to take the position   of a student and devotee, with the qualities  of Arjuna..

Q.  What are the five different relationship a devotee can have with Krishna?

Ans. One may be a devotee in a passive state, One may be a   devotee in an active state, One may be a devotee as a   friend, One may be a devotee as a parent, One may be   a devotee as a conjugal lover.

Q.  In our present state of life, why is difficult to have a transcendental friendship as Arjuna had with Krishna?

Ans.   We have forgotten our eternal relationship with the   Lord, as one forgets his school friends as we grow up.

Q.  How can we revive this relationship?

Ans.   By the process of devotional service as one would by   calling or writing to their friends to keep in touch in the   form of a relationship.

Q.  Please define the following words:

PARAM BRAHMA?

ANS:  Abode of Everything

PAVITRAM?

ANS:  Pure

PURUSAM?

ANS:  Supreme Enjoyer

DIVYAM?

ANS:  Transcendental

ADI-DEVAM?

ANS:  The original Supreme Personality of Godhead

AJAM?

ANS:  Unborn

VIBHUM?

ANS:  The greatest

BASIC KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONS:

Q.  What was the name of Shri Krishna’s Chariot in Mahabharata?

ANS:  Shikhandi

Q. What are the names of the horses of Krishna Chariot?

ANS:  Shaibya, Sugreeva, Meghapushpa, and Balaahaka

Q. How long is one day of Brahma in our time? (BG – 8.17)

ANS:

A KALPA is a day of Brahma, which consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or Ages – Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga, Kali-yuga.

Satya-yuga – Characterized of virtue, wisdom, religion, and practically no ignorance, last’s 1,728,000 years

Treta-yuga – introduction of prostitution and ignorance, last’s 1,296,000 years

Dvapara-yuga – greater decline in virtue and religion, increasing prostitution and ignorance, lasting 864,000 years

Kali-yuga – in which we have already in for the last 500 years, lasting a total of 432,000 years.

In this age of Kali-yuga we will come to a point of termination and the Supreme Lord Himself will appear as the Kalki Avatara, vanquishing the demons, saving His devotees, and commencing another Satya-Yuga.

So, One day of Brahma is :

1,728,000 +1,296,000 + 864,000 + 432,000 x 1000 (day) x 2 (to account for night) = 8,640,000,000 years is equal to one day of Brahma – Kulpa.

Life of Brahma is equal to 8,640,000,000 (ONE DAY) x 365 (DAYS IN YEAR) = 315,360,000,000,000 years X 100 = 315 Trillion, 360 billion earth years which from the view point of eternity it is a brief lightning flash.

Therefore if 8,640,000,000 = to one day which = 86,400 seconds which includes day and night.

So, 3 seconds of Brahma is = to 31,536,000sec of Earth.

31,536,000 sec

60 (to get minutes) = 525,600 min

60 ( to get hours) = 8760 hours

24 (to get days) = 365 days

365 (to get years) =1year  Walla!

So, we know that Brahma stole the cowherd boys from Krishna for 3 sec, which on earth was equal to 1 year, and this proves the time frame, WOW! FANTASTIC.

Q.          If Krishna cannot even be known by personalities greater than Human Beings, how can human beings understand Lord Sri Krishna?

ANS:      First accept Sri Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and with that submissive spirit we can understand the Bhagavad Gita.

Q.          What is Bhagavad Gita?

ANS:      Is the essence of Vedic Knowledge, a system of Yoga – consisting of four essential components which awaken the mind to understand spirituality:  BEING, HEALING, THINKING, DOING, which are the four basic instincts humans have.  Yoga gets mixed up with postures which one exercises the bodily components which is just a portion of the whole, mostly accepted and practiced since we obtain some benefit from a physical existence.

BEING:  mediation, self reflection the ability to shut out the external forces, and go to the source of our own thoughts, called Raj yoga

HEALING:  Which is associated with love through relationship, which gives creation of harmony.  Understanding Love is the ultimate truth at the heart of Creation.  Through a relationship we can move progressively from attraction, infatuation, communion, passion, intimacy, detachment to ecstasy.  If someone cannot understand spirituality, ask them if they have experienced love?

SERVICE:  When you are performing service without selfish motive – which is referred to Karma Yoga.

INTELLECT:  intellect is using the mind to understand the laws of nature and how they work as described in the BG

Q.          What is the meaning of Asat?

ANS:      refers to that which does not exist, illusion.

Q.          Who does the Bhagavad Gita consider a proper student?

ANS:      Who begins to question why they are suffering or where they came from and where they shall go after death.

Q.          What are the five basic truth’s BG entails?

ANS:      The comprehension of:  SCIENCE OF GOD, JIVAS, ISVARA, PRAKRTI, KARMA.

JIVAS:  entities which are controlled

ISVARA:  the controller

PRAKRTI:  material nature and how it is controlled by time

KARMA:  one’s activities

Q.  Are Jivas part and parcel of the Lord?

ANS:  Yes, just like a drop of ocean water is also salty, and a particle of gold is   also Gold.

Q:  What is Material Nature?

Ans:  As explained in Gita as inferior Prakrti, Inferior nature.  A living entity is explained as the superior prakrti.

Q:  Is Prakrti the controller or controlled?

Ans:  Prakrti is always under controle by the Lord.  Prakrti is female as referred in Gita.

Q:  What are the three qualities of material nature?

Ans:    1.  Mode of Goodness

2.  Mode of Passion

3.  Mode of Ignorance

Q:  What two factors create Karma?

Ans:  It’s the combination of the three modes of nature and Time, which create the net result called Karma.  Thus in every field of life we enjoy the results of our work, or we suffer the results.

Q.  Please define the following words:

ISVARA?

ANS:  The Supreme Lord

JIVA?

ANS:  The Living Entity

PRAKRTI?

ANS:  Nature

KALA?

ANS:  Eternal time

KARMA?

ANS:  Activity

Q:    Of the above five, which one is not eternal and   why?

ANS:    Karma is not eternal since we can change the results of our Karma,   which is depend on the perfection of our knowledge.

Q:  Of Isvara, Jiva, & Prakrti,   which one’s has   consciousness?

Ans:  The living entities, being part and parcels of the Lord have conscious and both living entity and material nature are explained as prakrti, the energy of the Lord, but one of the two, Jiva is conscious.

Q:  If Isvara is the controller in everyone’s heart, then   why are we not guided back to Godhead?

Ans:    Because we forget what to do, make a decision based on imperfect knowledge, take action and get entangled into the actions and reactions of our own KARMA.

Q:  How can we avoid making incorrect decisions and   stop creating Karma binding us to the cycle of birth
and Death?

Ans: In Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Sanatana Gosvami has enumerated the basic principles of devotional service to be followed by the Vaisnavas. There are a total of sixty-four regulative principles. The first ten items, which are the primary regulative principles, are preliminary necessities for beginning the discharge of devotional service in regulative principle. If a neophyte devotee observes these principles from the beginning, he will quickly advance in Krsna consciousness. •Next are the ten secondary regulative principles, by which one can elevate himself to the platform of sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice. These twenty are followed by an additional forty-four activities. Out of these sixty-four items for discharging the regulative practice of devotional service, five are considered the most important: worshiping the Deity, hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, associating among the devotees, sankirtana, and living in Mathura.

10  Primary Regulative Principles:

1. Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master

2. Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.

3. Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion

4. Following in the footsteps of great acaryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master.

5. Inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Krsna consciousness.

6. Being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna (this means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Krsna, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept)

7. Residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrndavana

8. Accepting only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary.

9. Observing the fasting day on Ekadasi 10.Worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

Ten Secondary Regulative Principles:

1. One should rigidly give up the company of nondevotees.

2. One should not instruct a person who is not desirous of accepting devotional service.

3.  One should not be very enthusiastic about constructing costly temples or monsteries.

4. One should not try to read too many books, nor should one develop the idea of earning his livelihood by lecturing on or professionally reciting Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-Gita.

5. One should not be neglectful in ordinary dealings.

6. One should not be under the spell of lamentation in loss or jubliation in gain.

7. One should not disrespect the demigods.

8. One should not give unnecessary trouble to any living entity.

9. One should carefully avoid the various offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord or in worshiping the Deity in the temple.

10. One should be very intolerant toward the blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, or His Devotees.

Forty-four Other Activities:

1. One should decorate the body with tilaka, which is the sign of the Vaisnavas. (The idea is that as soon as a person sees these marks on the body of the Vaisnava, he will immediately remember Krsna.) Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.

2. In marking such tilaka, sometimes one may write Hare Krsna on the body.

3. One should accept flowers and garlands that have been offered to the Deity and the spiritual master and put them on one’s body.

4. One should learn to dance before the Deity.

5. One should learn to bow down immediately upon seeing the Deity or the spiritual master.

6. As soon as one visits a temple of Lord Krsna, one must stand up.

7. When the Deity is being borne for a stroll in the street, a devotee should immediately follow the procession.

8. A devotee must visit a Visnu temple at least once or twice every day, morning and evening.

9. One must circumambulate the temple building at least three times.

10. One must worship the Deity in the temple according to the regulative principles. (Offering arati and prasada, decorating the Deity, etc.)

11. One must render personal service to the Deities.

12. One must sing. One must perform sankirtana.

14.  One must chant.

15.  One must offer prayers.

16.  One must recite notable prayers.

17.  One must taste maha-prasada (food from the plate offered before the Deities).

18.  One must drink caranamrta (water from the bathing of the Deities, which is offered to guest).

19.  One must smell the incense and flowers offered to the Deity.

20.  One must touch the lotus feet of the Deity.

21.  One must see the Deity with great devotion.

22. One must offer arati (aratrika) at different times.

23. One must hear about the Lord and His pastimes from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and similar books.

24. One must pray to the Deity for His mercy.

25. One should remember the Deity.

26. One should meditate upon the Deity.

27. One should render some voluntary service.

28. One should think of the Lord as one’s friend.

29. One should offer everything to the Lord.

30. One should offer a favorite article (such as food or a garment). One should take all kinds of risks and perform all endeavors for Krsna’s benefit.

31.  One must chant.

32.  One must offer prayers.

33.  One must recite notable prayers.

34.  One must taste maha-prasada (food from the plate offered before the Deities).

35.  One must drink caranamrta (water from the bathing of the Deities, which is offered to guest).

36.  One must smell the incense and flowers offered to the Deity.

37.  One must touch the lotus feet of the Deity.

38.  One must see the Deity with great devotion.

39. One must offer arati (aratrika) at different times.

40. One must hear about the Lord and His pastimes from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and similar books.

41. One must pray to the Deity for His mercy.

42. One should meditate upon the Deity.

43. One should render some voluntary service.

44. One should think of the Lord as one’s friend.

Of the sixty-four items mentioned above, Lord Caitanya instructed that five are the most important due to the present conditions of civic life. They are as follows:

1.  “One should associate with the devotees. Association with devotees is made possible by hearing them attentively, by asking them relevant questions, by supplying them food and by accepting food from them, and by giving them charity and by accepting from them whatever they offer

2.  One should chant the holy name of the Lord in all circumstances. The chanting of the Lord’s name is an easy and inexpensive process of realization. One can chant any of the innumerable names of the Lord at any time. One should try to avoid offenses. There are ten offenses which one can commit while chanting the transcendental names, and these should be avoided as far as possible, but in any event, one should try to chant the holy names of the Lord at all times.

3.  One should hear the transcendental topics enunciated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. This hearing is made possible through platform lectures by bona fide devotees and by authorized translations of the Bhagavatam.

4.  One should make his home at Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krsna. Or one may make his home as good as Mathura by installing the Deity of the Lord to be worshiped by all members of the family after proper initiation from the spiritual master.

5.  One should worship the installed Deity with attention and devotion so that the whole atmosphere of one’s home becomes the replica of the Lord’s abode. This is made possible by the direction of the spiritual master who knows the transcendental art and can show the candidate the proper method.

•The above five items can be adopted by any man in any part of the world. Thus anyone can prepare himself for returning home, back to Godhead, by the simple method recognized by authorities such as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who specifically advented Himself to deliver the fallen souls of this age. •….The above-mentioned five items of devotional activities are so spiritually powerful that their performance by a devotee, even in the preliminary stage, can very quickly promote the sincere executor to the stage of bhava (the stage just prior to love of Godhead), or emotion on the spiritual plane, which is transcendental to mental and intellectual functions. A complete absorption in bhava, or love of God, makes one fit to be transferred to the spiritual sky just after leaving the material tabernacle. The perfection of love of God by a devotee actually situates him on the spiritual platform, even though he may still maintain a gross material body. He becomes like a red-hot iron which, when in contact with fire, actually ceases to be iron and acts like fire. These things are made possible by the Lord’s inscrutable and inconceivable energy, which material science has not the scope to calculate. One should therefore engage himself in devotional service with absolute faith, and to make his faith steadfast one should seek the association of the standard devotees of the Lord by personal association (if possible) or by thinking of them. This association will help one develop factual devotional service to the Lord, which will cause all material misgivings to disappear like a flash of lightning. All these different stages of spiritual realization will be personally felt by the candidate, and this will create in him a firm belief that he is making positive progress on the way to the spiritual sky. Then he will become sincerely attached to the Lord and His abode. Such is the gradual process of evolving love of God, which is the prime necessity for the human form of life.”

Q:  What is the link between Bhakti-yoga and   Purification?

Bhakti-yoga has nine principles:

1. SRAVANAM –  Listening

2. KIRTANAM –   Singing

3. SMARANAM –   Understanding

4. PADA-SEVANAM – Engaging oneself

5.ARCANAM –  Worshiping

6.VANDANAM –  Offering respectful   obeisance’s

7.DASYAM –  Everlasting servant of Krsna.

8.  SAKHYAM –  Well-wisher of Krsna

9.  ATMA-NIVEDANAM

– Offering Krsna body, mind, intelligence – everything

•The above principles are all in the mode of goodness, thus all the actions and reactions of one’s past and present can be changed through this purification process.  These are the nine purification process to obtain the highest level of Bhakti.

Q:    What is one of the primary reasons Bhagavad-gita was spoken?

ANS:    To liberate one from the bodily conception of life.  Meaning we need to learn to accept and abide by the rules and regulations outlined by the Lord so that we can purify our consciousness, by keeping Krishna in the center of our lives and use TIME in the most effective way, as if our life depended on it.

Q:    How can one free oneself from the three modes of nature?

ANS:    Karma is not eternal since we can change the results of our Karma,   which is depend on the perfection of our knowledge.

Q:    What is false ego?

ANS:    False ego arises when we are in a contaminated state, thinking that we are this body, rather then that we are spirit soul.  This is why BG was spoken to liberate one from the bodily conception of life.

Q:    What does pure consciousness mean?

ANS:    Pure consciousness means acting in accordance with the instructions of he Lord, as we take medication prescribed by a physician. Remember, do this as if your life depended on it.

Q:    What is consciousness?

ANS:    Consciousness should be understood that the Supreme Lord is both the creator and the enjoyer, and the living entity is only the cooperator, just like the hands and feet act to nourish the stomach, since it nourishes the whole body.  We have to guard against taking the position that I am the lord of all I survey, since this will bond us to this body, suffering (our own karmic actions) and bondage to this material world forcing us to appear birth after birth, sometimes as human sometimes an horse, ant, bird etc.  We should now that we are not guaranteed this human birth.

Q:    What is the meaning of Sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, and who spoke these words?

ANS:    The Brahma-samhita recited this words :

isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah

Anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam.

Translation:

“Govinda, Krsna, is the cause of all causes.

He is the primal cause, and He is the very form of eternity, knowledge and bliss”

Q:    Does Krishna have a form, or is he formless?

ANS:    People with less intelligence consider the Lord to me formless, which would mean that he is less than what we are since we have form.  As proclaimed by Braham-samhita, Bhagavad-Gita and many other literatures claiming Krishna to be the supreme personality of God Head.

Krishna has a form and is the complete whole having everything within our experience and beyond our experience, otherwise He cannot be complete.

Q:    What are the twenty-four elements of which this material universal world is comprised?

ANS:   5 – Gross material elements – water, fire, earth, air, ether

3 – Modes of nature – Mode of goodness, passion and ignorance

5 – Senses for acquiring knowledge – eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin

5 – Working senses – voice, legs, hands, anus and genitals

5 – Objects of the senses – smell, taste, form, touch, and sound

1 – Mind – Intelligence

Q: Why is the cow dung considered to be a purifying agent?

ANS:    1.  Since it is a Vedic injunction

2.  It has been proven by modern science that cow dung contains all antiseptic properties.

3.  According to Vedic injunction, the Cow’s body is home age to all 330,000,000 demigods

Q: Why should we accept the Vedic Knowledge?

ANS:    Since Vedic Knowledge is not a question of research, which is based on our imperfect knowledge and senses.

Q: What is perfect knowledge?

ANS:    Knowledge which has come down from the sources of all sources in disciplic succession beginning with the supreme spiritual master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual masters.

Q:  Words spoken by the Lord are called what?

ANS:    APAURUSEYA:  not infected by the four defects, namely;

1.  Mistake

2.  Illusion

3.  Cheating

4.  Imperfect senses

Q:  Why are humans not allowed to kill other animals and why is this a sin?

ANS:    6:17, AND 14.16  Both are stating very clearly “…There is no need for men to eat animals, because there is an ample supply of grain, vegetables, fruits, and milk.  Such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad-Gita.  Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance.  Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first offered to Krsna, will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things…“

Q: Are Jiva’s eternal, and if so what word is used to describe eternal?

ANS:    As discussed earlier, Jiva’s are eternal, only Karma is not.  This eternal relationship is referred to SANATANA.

Q: What is one major difference between this material world and Sanatana-dhama?

ANS:    The major difference is that on this material world we find that everything is temporary, were as in Sanatana-dhama, everything is eternal.  The Bhagavad-gita is teaching, and helping us to understand that this world in which we have made our TEMPORARY homes is not really our home at all, and we should seek to purify our activities by following the prescribed path by the Supreme Lord.

Q: Are the words Sanatana-dharma and Religion the same, or have the same net result?

ANS:    Since Religion conveys the idea of faith, and faith can be changed, the net result is not the same.  Sanatana-dharma refers to that activity which cannot be changed, – RENDERING SERVICE – and as stated by Sripada Ramnujaacarya, Sanatan-dharma refers to “that which has neither beginning nor end”.  Since Sanatana-dharma is the eternal function of the living entity – Jiva – meaning going back to Godhead, we all have to continue to take repeated Birth and Deaths over and over until we achieve this Plato.  The example given in BG page 16 in the last paragraph, is as follows’:

…“liquidity cannot be taken from water, nor can heat be taken from fire”, so we will possibly have to take hundreds of birth to achieve this goal of going back to our eternal home – Goloka Vrndavana. Since Lord Krishna declares that “I am the father of all” he awaits us all and descends to reclaim all of these fallen, conditioned souls to his abode.

Q: What does Krishna mean?

ANS:    Krishna means the highest pleasure.

Q:  Does the Bhagavad-gita approve the worship of different demigods?

ANS:    No, refer to Seventh Chapter, twentieth verse.  When we refer to Krishna giving the highest pleasure then why look any further, also knowing that He has claimed to be the father of all.  Worship of Demigods gives us temporary happiness to sustain and advance in this material world, but the more intelligent know that they need only worship the Supreme Lord, because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode.

This is the reason Lord Krishna discouraged His father Nanda Maharaja from worshiping the demigod Indra, because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod.

Q: What is brahmajyoti?

ANS:    Are the rays emanating from the Supreme Lord, which illuminate the spiritual sky and thus don’t depend on the sun, moon, stars, nor electricity or fire.