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THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 12

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

NOTE: The following translation of the Sanskrit verses into English is obtained from Srimad Bhagavad Gita, SADHAKA SANJIVANI by Swami Ramsukhdas, published by Govind Bhawan Karyalaya, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, INDIA. For original comments please consult the above book. Abbreviated comments in color are provided by Vinaire.]

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Chapter 12

अर्जुनउवाच
एवंसततयुक्तायेभक्तास्त्वांपर्युपासते।
येचाप्यक्षरमव्यक्तंतेषांकेयोगवित्तमाः।।12.1।।

Arjuna said:
Those devotees who, ever steadfast, thus worship Thee (God with attributes) and those again who worship the Imperishable and the Unmanifested, which of them are better versed in Yoga? (XII-1)

श्रीभगवानुवाच
मय्यावेश्यमनोयेमांनित्ययुक्ताउपासते।
श्रद्धयापरयोपेतास्तेमेयुक्ततमामताः।।12.2।।

The Blessed Lord said:
Those who, fixing their mind on Me, worship Me ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, are the most perfect in Yoga in my opinion. (XII-2)

येत्वक्षरमनिर्देश्यमव्यक्तंपर्युपासते।
सर्वत्रगमचिन्त्यंचकूटस्थमचलंध्रुवम्।।12.3।।
संनियम्येन्द्रियग्रामंसर्वत्रसमबुद्धयः।
तेप्राप्नुवन्तिमामेवसर्वभूतहितेरताः।।12.4।।

But those who worship the Imperishable, the Undefinable, the Unmanifest, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchanging and the Immobile, the constant, by restraining all the senses, being even-minded everywhere, engrossed in the welfare of all beings, also come to Me. (XII-3, 4)

The difference between worshipping a God with attributes and a God without attributes is simply in the degree of abstraction of those attributes. The attributes are always there.

क्लेशोऽधिकतरस्तेषामव्यक्तासक्तचेतसाम्।
अव्यक्ताहिगतिर्दुःखंदेहवद्भिरवाप्यते।।12.5।।

The difficulty of those whose minds are attached to the Unmanifested is greater, for the goal of Unmanifested is hard to reach by the body conscious beings. (XII-5)

येतुसर्वाणिकर्माणिमयिसंन्यस्यमत्पराः।
अनन्येनैवयोगेनमांध्यायन्तउपासते।।12.6।।

But those who worship Me, surrendering all actions to Me, regarding Me as the supreme goal, meditating on Me, with single-minded devotion. (XII-6)

The goal through Unmanifested is more difficult because one is consciously tracing every connection from concrete to the ultimate abstraction quite overtly. On the other hand it is much simpler to just follow the discipline of natural laws (dharma), and let go of any anxiety and curiosity about things. In the latter approach, the connections sort themselves out in the background over time; though this may take a lot longer. The optimum approach may lie somewhere in between.

Please note that in SUBJECT CLEARING we use the first approach of consciously tracing every connection from concrete to the ultimate abstraction quite overtly. But while doing that we also make use of the second approach to speed up the process where much complexity exists.

तेषामहंसमुद्धर्तामृत्युसंसारसागरात्।
भवामिनचिरात्पार्थमय्यावेशितचेतसाम्।।12.7।।

To those whose mind is set on Me, I straight-way deliver from the ocean of death-bound existence, O Partha (Arjuna). (XII-7)

मय्येवमनआधत्स्वमयिबुद्धिंनिवेशय।
निवसिष्यसिमय्येवअतऊर्ध्वंनसंशयः।।12.8।।

Fix thy mind on Me alone, fix thy intellect on Me alone; thereafter thou shalt live in Me alone. There is no doubt about it. (XII-8)

अथचित्तंसमाधातुंनशक्नोषिमयिस्थिरम्।
अभ्यासयोगेनततोमामिच्छाप्तुंधनञ्जय।।12.9।।

If thou art unable to fix thy mind steadily on me, then seek to reach Me by the constant practice of concentration, O winner of wealth (Arjuna). (XII-9)

Freedom comes from the resolution of all anomalies. The best approach is to follow the discipline of natural laws (dharma), and simply let go of all anxieties. The anomalies will resolve themselves in the background over time. If you cannot do that just focus on the resolution of one anomaly at a time.

अभ्यासेऽप्यसमर्थोऽसिमत्कर्मपरमोभव।
मदर्थमपिकर्माणिकुर्वन्सिद्धिमवाप्स्यसि।।12.10।।

If you are unable to practice concentration, be thou intent on performing actions for Me; even by performing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection. (XII-10) 

अथैतदप्यशक्तोऽसिकर्तुंमद्योगमाश्रितः।
सर्वकर्मफलत्यागंततःकुरुयतात्मवान्।।12.11।।

If thou art unable to do even this then subduing your mind, senses and intellect etc., resorting to Yoga (equanimity) renounce the fruit of all actions. (XII-11)

श्रेयोहिज्ञानमभ्यासाज्ज्ञानाद्ध्यानंविशिष्यते।
ध्यानात्कर्मफलत्यागस्त्यागाच्छान्तिरनन्तरम्।।12.12।।

Better indeed is knowledge than the practice (of concentration); better than knowledge is meditation; better than meditation is the renunciation of the fruit of action; Supreme Peace immediately follows renunciation. (XII-12)

अद्वेष्टासर्वभूतानांमैत्रःकरुणएवच।
निर्ममोनिरहङ्कारःसमदुःखसुखःक्षमी।।12.13।।
सन्तुष्टःसततंयोगीयतात्मादृढनिश्चयः।
मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्योमद्भक्तःसमेप्रियः।।12.14।।

He who has no ill-will to any being, who is friendly and compassionate all, who is free from mineness and egoism, even-minded in pleasure and pain, forgiving, ever content, self-controlled, unshakable in determination, with mind and intellect dedicated to Me—the Yogi, My devotee, is dear to Me. (XII-13, 14)

यस्मान्नोद्विजतेलोकोलोकान्नोद्विजतेचयः।
हर्षामर्षभयोद्वेगैर्मुक्तोयःसचमेप्रियः।।12.15।।

He by whom the world is not agitated and who is not agitated by the world, and who is free from joy, anger (envy), fear and agitation, he is dear to Me. (XII-15)

अनपेक्षःशुचिर्दक्षउदासीनोगतव्यथः।
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागीयोमद्भक्तःसमेप्रियः।।12.16।।

He who has no expectation, is pure, skillful in action, unconcerned and untroubled, renouncing all initiative (in action), he, my devotee is dear to Me. (XII-16)

योनहृष्यतिनद्वेष्टिनशोचतिनकाङ्क्षति।
शुभाशुभपरित्यागीभक्ितमान्यःसमेप्रियः।।12.17।।

He who neither rejoices nor hates, neither grieves nor desires, and who has renounced good and evil, he who is thus devoted, is dear to Me. (XII-17)

समःशत्रौचमित्रेचतथामानापमानयोः।
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषुसमःसङ्गविवर्जितः।।12.18।।
तुल्यनिन्दास्तुतिर्मौनीसन्तुष्टोयेनकेनचित्।
अनिकेतःस्थिरमतिर्भक्ितमान्मेप्रियोनरः।।12.19।।

He who is alike to foe and friend, also in honor and dishonor, who is alike in cold and heat, in pleasures and pain, who is free from attachment, who holds blame and praise equal, who is thoughtful, content with any thing, who has no fixed abode and is firm in mind, that man full of devotion is dear to me. (XII-18, 19)

येतुधर्म्यामृतमिदंयथोक्तंपर्युपासते।
श्रद्दधानामत्परमाभक्तास्तेऽतीवमेप्रियाः।।12.20।।

Those who with faith, holding Me as their supreme goal, follow this nector of wisdom (law or doctrine), those devotees are exceedingly dear to Me. (XII-20)

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Durant 1926: The Ethical Solution

Reference: The Story of Philosophy 

This paper presents Chapter I, Section 9 from the book THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY by WILL DURANT. The contents are from the 1933 reprint of this book by TIME INCORPORATED by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, Inc.

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.

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IX. THE ETHICAL SOLUTION 

And now our political digression is ended, and we are ready at last to answer the question with which we began—What is justice? There are only three things worth while in this world—justice, beauty and truth; and perhaps none of them can be defined. Four hundred years after Plato a Roman procurator of Judea asked, helplessly, ”What is truth?”—and philosophers have not yet answered, nor told us what is beauty. But for justice Plato ventures a definition. “Justice,” he says, “is the having and doing what is one’s own.” (433). 

Plato says, “Justice is the having and doing what is one’s own.” What is one’s own, in total honesty, would simply be one’s inherent nature.

This has a disappointing sound; after so much delay we expected an infallible revelation. What does the definition mean? Simply that each man shall receive the equivalent of what he produces, and shall perform the function for which he is best fit. A just man is a man in just the right place, doing his best, and giving the full equivalent of what he receives. A society of just men would be therefore a highly harmonious and efficient group; for every element would be in its place, fulfilling its appropriate function like the pieces in a perfect orchestra. Justice in a society would be like that harmony of relationships whereby the planets are held together in their orderly (or, as Pythagoras would have said, their musical) movement. So organized, a society is fit for survival; and justice receives a kind of Darwinian sanction. Where men are out of their natural places, where the business man subordinates the statesman, or the soldier usurps the position of the king—there the coordination, of parts is destroyed, the joints decay, the society disintegrates and dissolves. Justice is effective coordination. 

Plato’s dream for justice requires that man be totally natural and without any aberrations.

And in the individual too, justice is effective coordination, the harmonious functioning of the elements in a man, each in its fit place and each making its cooperative contribution to behavior. Every individual is a cosmos or a chaos of desires, emotions and ideas; let these fall into harmony, and the individual survives and succeeds; let them lose their proper place and function, let emotion try to become the light of action as well as its heat (as in the fanatic), or let thought try to become the heat of action as well as its light, (as in the intellectual)—and disintegration of personality begins, failure advances like the inevitable night. Justice is a taxis ki cosmos—anorder and beauty—of the parts of the soul; it is to the soul as health is to the body. All evil is disharmony: between man and nature, or man and men, or man and himself.

It is true that that basis for justice, beauty and truth is harmony, continuity and consistency, but how does one achieve that?

So Plato replies to Thrasymachus and Callicles, and to all Nietzscheans forever: Justice is not mere strength, but harmonious strength—desires and men falling into that order which constitutes intelligence and organization; justice is not the right of the stronger, but the effective harmony of the whole. It is true that the individual who gets out of the place to which his nature and talents adapt him may for a time seize some profit and advantage; but an inescapable Nemesis pursues him—as Anaxagoras spoke of the Furies pursuing any planet that should wander out of its orbit; the terrible baton of the Nature of Things drives the refractory instrument back to its place and its pitch and its natural note. The Corsican lieutenant may try to rule Europe with a ceremonious despotism fitted better to an ancient monarchy than to a dynasty born overnight; but he ends on a prison-rock in the sea, ruefully recognizing that he is “the slave of the Nature of Things.” Injustice will out. 

According to Plato, justice is not the right of the stronger, but the effective harmony of the whole. Injustice will out. But this is theoretical and, generally, not practical.

There is nothing bizarrely new in this conception; and indeed we shall do well to suspect, in philosophy, any doctrine which plumes itself on novelty. Truth changes her garments frequently (like every seemly lady), but under the new habit she remains always the same. In morals we need not expect startling innovations: despite the interesting adventures of Sophists and Nietzscheans, all moral conceptions revolve about the good of the whole. Morality begins with association and interdependence and organization; life in society requires the concession of some part of the individual’s sovereignty to the common order; and ultimately the norm of conduct becomes the welfare of the group. Nature will have it so, and her judgment is always final; a group survives, in competition or conflict with another group, according to its unity and power, according to the ability of its members to cooperate for common ends. And what better cooperation could there be than that each should be doing that which he can do best? This is the goal of organization which every society must seek, if it would have life. Morality, said Jesus, is kindness to the weak; morality, said Nietzsche, is the bravery of the strong; morality, says Plato, is the effective harmony of the whole. Probably all three doctrines must be combined to find a perfect ethic; but can we doubt which of the elements is fundamental? 

The ethical solution depends on sorting out the aberrated nature of man. So we are back at square one. But at least we have “the effective harmony of the whole” as Plato’s idea of morality.

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The World of Atom (Part XIII)

Reference: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

THE WORLD OF ATOM by Boorse

PART XIII – NEW PARTICLES AND ATOMIC ACCELERATORS

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SUMMARY:

The last aspect of investigation into the electron was the discovery of positron. The target of investigation then became the nucleus. This required the production of high energy particles that could penetrate the nucleus. This led to the invention of cyclotron. The discovery of neutron also provided an effective “missile” that could penetrate the nucleus. Investigation required the understanding the very substance and the force that held it was held together.

POSTULATES:

  1. The substance is palpable, and that palpability comes from force.
  2. The substance exists as a continuum, but it has a spectrum of thickness (viscosity).
  3. When this substance flows with uniform thickness it has wave characteristics.
  4. When that thickness varies with sudden and extreme gradients it acquires particle characteristics.
  5. An isolated particle may be visualized as a discrete solid center surrounded by a continuum of gradually thinning substance swirling around it. This would be the picture of the hydrogen atom.
  6. Any interaction with the surrounding continuum of substance shall produce sharp gradients and appearance of a particle. Such a particle is the electron with no solid center.
  7. Electron can have many energy levels and the change in energy levels is accompanied by the emission or absorption of a photon. Such energy level can be negative, a change from which is accompanied by a positron (an antiparticle).
  8. Different energy levels could be occupied by other electrons making the atomic structure more rigid. This simply means multiple continua of slightly different thicknesses surrounding the nucleus.
  9. Multiple electrons hold their relative configuration by continually exchanging photons among them.
  10. The center of a particle (the solid nucleus) may acquire greater complexity through accumulation as in the case of a Deuteron.
  11. Here too we have many energy levels in the nucleus and they may or may not be occupied by nucleons.
  12. Multiple nucleons in the nucleus hold their relative configuration by continually exchanging pions among them.

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Chapter 72: The positive Electron – The First Particle of Antimatter – Carl D. Anderson (1905 – 1991)

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The Positive Electron. Dirac’s theory implies negative-energy states and the possibility of electrons emerging from these states along with anti-electrons (positrons). Dirac suggested that the chance of such pair being created would be small because it would require energy equivalent to at least twice the mass of electron. However enough energy is present in cosmic radiation to create such a pair as it passes through a sheet of matter. Carl Anderson’s discovery of such pair of particles in his cosmic ray photographs established the Dirac theory as one of the most reliable in physics. This has led to the concept of antimatter.

Chapter 73: The discovery of the Deuteron – Harold Clayton Urey (1893 – 1981)

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A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2 and its concentration. Fractional distillation of hydrogen to obtain a concentration of deuteron was accomplished by Harold Urey in 1932. This allowed the experimental investigation which resulted in the discovery of neutron soon afterwards.

Chapter 74: Discovery of the Neutron – James Chadwick (1891 – 1974)

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The Existence of a Neutron. Scientists faced great difficulty in accounting for the mass and charge of a nucleus in terms of the electron and proton only. Chadwick pictured the beryllium radiation as being not electromagnetic but rather as consisting of neutral particles with masses equal to the mass of the proton. He proved that these particles are highly penetrating because they have no charge and are thus not repelled by the electric fields surrounding nuclei. Neutron and proton are now considered as two different energy states of the same fundamental particle, the nucleon. 

Chapter 75: Fermi’s Contributions – Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954)

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Quanta of a Field as Particles. Fermi-Dirac statistics add the restriction that electrons influence one another in such a way as to pre-empt or exclude identical motion in the same volume element (Pauli’s exclusion principle). Fermi did this to account for degeneracy. This was soon used to explain the properties of metals and to solve all kinds of solid-state problems. Fermi showed how various atomic problems can be treated statistically, to give results that are fairly accurate. Fermi demonstrated the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation. He developed a complete theory of β-decay and β-emission from the nucleus. His neutron research finally culminated in the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on Dec 2, 1942.

Chapter 76: Artificial Nuclear Disintegration – John Cockcroft (1897 – 1967) and Ernest Walton (1903 – 1995)

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Experiments with High Velocity Positive Ions. Cockcroft and Walton were the first to construct an ion accelerator of sufficient energy to produce nuclear disintegrations.Gamow showed that α-particles, because of their wave nature, do indeed penetrate the Coulomb potential barrier at relatively low energies. Cockcroft became convinced that the wave properties of protons would allow them to enter light nuclei at low energies. Ernest Walton was then developing one of the first linear accelerators. Their collaboration in 1932 resulted in the first proton-induced artificial nuclear disintegration. The results showed that nuclei could be disrupted by particles of lower energy than previously supposed.

Chapter 77: The Electrostatic Generator – Robert Jemison Van De Graaff (1901 – 1967) 

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The Electrostatic Production of High Voltage for Nuclear Investigations. The Van de Graaff generator was developed as a particle accelerator for physics research; its high potential is used to accelerate subatomic particles to great speeds in an evacuated tube. It was the most powerful type of accelerator of the 1930s until the cyclotron was developed.

Chapter 78: The Cyclotron – Ernest O. Lawrence (1901 – 1958) and Milton S. Livingston (1905 – 1986)

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Production of High-Speed Ions. Lawrence introduced a new procedure: to accelerate ions to very high speeds in a series of steps, each of which would involve only a relatively small voltage. In a cyclotron, one must first have a magnetic field at right angles to the plane of the path of the ion and then an alternating electric field that changes its direction periodically in phase with motion of the ion.

Chapter 79: The Discovery of Induced Radioactivity – Jean F. Joliot (1900 – 1958) and Irene Curie Joliot (1897 – 1956)

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A New Type of Radioactivity. The Joliot-Curies showed in 1934 that when lighter elements, such as boron and aluminum, were bombarded with α-particles, the lighter elements continued to emit radiation even after the α−source was removed. They showed that this radiation consisted of positrons. The induced radioactivity appeared because an unstable nucleus had been created. This discovery set off similar research in physics laboratories around the world. 

Chapter 80: Prediction of the Meson – Hideki Yukawa (1907 – 1981)

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On the Interaction of Elementary Particles. Hideki Yukawa developed a quantum field theory of the nuclear forces. He quantized the nuclear force field in complete analogy with the electromagnetic radiation field. The interaction between two charged particles is described as arising from the mutual emission and absorption of photons. Yukawa postulated that a much heavier particle is emitted by the neutron and then absorbed by the proton that generates strong interactions between them and thus account for nuclear forces. Later pi mesons (pions) were discovered that have the property predicted by Yukawa.

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Regret and Responsibility

Reference: Course on Human Nature

Do this exercise whenever you feel overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility.

Preparation

  1. Be well-fed and well-rested as much as possible.
  2. Get your attention as much extroverted as possible by taking a walk and examining your environment.
  3. Select a peaceful environment for meditation where you would not be disturbed.
  4. Sit in a cross-legged position, or in a chair, as before.

The Meditation

  1. Close your eyes. Inhale and exhale gently, slowly.
  2. With each inhalation, mentally say to yourself: “I am responsible for the body.” The inhalation should last the whole duration of that thought.
  3. With each exhalation, mentally say to yourself: “I am responsible for the mind.” The exhalation should last the whole duration of that thought.
  4. Face the feeling of overwhelm and the situation that it is coming from. Do not resist.. 
  5. Face any regret about having done (or not done) something.
  6. Look at the problem you were trying to solve.
  7. Face whatever is difficult to look at. Do not resist.
  8. Look again at the problem that you have been trying to solve.
  9. Do not avoid, suppress or deny any feelings and/or sensations.
  10. Decide what you need to do in the present to fulfill your responsibility.
  11. Visualize yourself doing it.
  12. Repeat this for as long as the feeling of overwhelm last.

Notes

  1. Do not end this exercise until you are on top of the overwhelming feeling of responsibility.
  2. Return to the exercise regimen you are on.

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Fear and Anxiety

Reference: Course on Human Nature

Do this exercise whenever fear and anxiety are dominant. Please take all medical precautions.

Preparation

  1. Be well-fed and well-rested as much as possible.
  2. Get your attention as much extroverted as possible by taking a walk and examining your environment.
  3. Select a peaceful environment for meditation where you would not be disturbed.
  4. Sit either in cross-legged position or on a chair, as before.

The Meditation

  1. Close your eyes. Inhale and exhale gently, slowly.
  2. With each inhalation, mentally say to yourself: “I am not the body.” The inhalation should last the whole duration of that thought.
  3. With each exhalation, mentally say to yourself: “I am not even the mind.” The exhalation should last the whole duration of that thought.
  4. Face the feeling of fear and anxiety without resisting it. 
  5. Face the sensations being caused in your body by that fear and anxiety, without resisting them.
  6. Visualize yourself to be strong and capable.
  7. Visualize yourself skillfully handling the threatening situation that comes to your mind.
  8. Do not avoid, suppress or deny any feelings and/or sensations. Face them fully.
  9. Repeat this for as long as the fear and anxiety last.

Notes

  1. Do not end this exercise until you are on top of the fear, or anxiety, bothering you.
  2. Continue with the exercise regimen you are on.

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