Category Archives: Religion


Reference: 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.]


Chapter 3 Summary

(1) All aspects of Yoga go hand in hand. Jnana yoga is not devoid of action and Karma yoga is not devoid of renunciation. Only the spheres of activity are different.

(2) Don’t just sit and think. Let actions flow naturally from well controlled thinking.

(3) Well-controlled thinking means all senses under control without any attachments or fixations.

(4) Perform your allotted duty. This includes maintaining your body properly.

(5) The nature provides us with everything to sustain ourselves; and we must do everything to sustain the nature back.

(6) Yajna (sacrifice) means the performance of duty in order to foster and nourish other people for their advancements.

(7) A person who is complete in himself is extroverted and does not need to act for any self-interests.

(8) Whatever such a person does, sets an example for others to follow. Therefore, such actions must be done to inspire others.

(9) Such actions actually flow out by the modes of nature. There is no doer. This is the universal principle.

(10) Natural actions have discriminative insight, which is free from desire, the sense of mine and mental strain. 

(11) Passions, which generate attachment and aversions, are impressed upon a  person’s senses corrupting his nature.

(12) This desire, motivated by the basic impulse, overpowers the knowledge and discernment of the wisest among man. 

(13) To conquer desire, you have to conquer yourself.  It is not easy, but it must be done in a manner that is free of strain.




Arjuna said:
If you think knowledge is superior to action, O Janardana (Krishna), why then do you urge me to do this savage deed, O Kesava (Krishna), (III-1).


With an apparently confused utterance you seem to bewilder my mind; therefore, tell me definitely the one principle by which I may attain the highest good or bliss, (III-2)


The blessed Lord said:
O sinless Arjuna, in this world a twofold path has been enunciated by Me before, the path of Knowledge for men of renunciation (Sankhya Yogi) and the path of Action for men of action (Karma Yogi), (III-3).


Not by non-performance of actions does a man attain actionlessness; nor by mere renunciation does he attain perfection, (III-4).

Both Jnana Yoga (path of Knowledge) and Karma Yoga (path of Action) overlap each other. Only the focus is different.


For no one can remain even for a moment without performing action; everyone is made to act hopelessly by the impulses born of nature, (III-5).


He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking of the sense objects in mind, he of deluded understanding is said to be a hypocrite, (III-6).


But he who controlling the senses of the mind, O Arjuna, engages in the path of action with all the organs of action and sense, without attachment is superior, (III-7)

Here we have the innate impulse that is manifested as energy. This energy has to be directed intelligently. It cannot be avoided, denied, resisted or suppressed. Because, if you do that, your attention will get fixated on it. You must direct it through intelligent action, which is performed without attachment.


Do thou perform thy allotted duty, for action is superior to inaction and even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for thee by inaction, (III-8).


The world is bound by actions other than those performed for the sake sacrifice. Therefore, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), perform action for that sake becoming free from all attachment, (III-9).

Only those actions do not bind you, which are performed as a sacrifice. Such actions are done without self-interest keeping the welfare of everybody and the environment in mind. This is the definition of “action without attachment”.


At the beginning of creation the Creator created mankind attended with sacrifice and said, “By this shall ye propagate; let this provide you all the necessary requisites for sacrifice, (III-10).


By this foster ye the gods and let the gods foster you; thus fostering each other you shall attain to the supreme good, (III-11).

Here we have the theory of EXCHANGE. The nature provides us with everything to sustain ourselves; and we must do everything to sustain the nature back. We have to take responsibility for our ecosystem. This includes other human beings as well. If we do not include the welfare of others in our actions we are not going to survive well.


Fostered by sacrifice the gods will give you all the necessary ingredients. He who enjoys these objects without utilizing them in the service of others, is verily a thief, (III-12).


The righteous who eat the remnants of the sacrifice are released from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food for their own sake verily eat sin, (III-13).

The Vedic ritual of yajna is symbolism for sacrifice, which means acting without self-interest keeping the welfare of everybody and the environment in mind. Those who do so are released from all sin. Those who act with self-interest only incur sin. These verses tell us what keeps one enmeshed in rebirth cycle. These are the actions motivated by self-interest and not done with the welfare of other aspect of life in mind. Here we have the broad morality that rises to the level of a universal principle.


From food creatures come into being; from rain food is produced; from sacrifices arises rain and sacrifice is born of action, (III-14).


Know thou that action has its origin in Brahma (the Veda) and Brahma springs from the imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading infinite (God) ever rests in sacrifice, (III-15).

Here we have a bit of science. The ecosystem maintains its balance in a large part by actions of Man. It is the natural impulse in Man to act without self-interest keeping the welfare of everybody and the environment in mind. Therefore, it is unnatural not to follow this impulse, and that has consequences.


He, who does not, in this world, follow the wheel thus set in motion, who is of sinful nature, sensual in his delight, live in vain, (III-16).


But for that man who rejoices only in the self, who is satisfied with the self and who is content in the self alone, verily there exists no work that needs to be done, (III-17).


For him there is no interest whatsoever in performance of an action, or its non-performance, nor does he depend on any creature for any interest of his. (III-18).

A person should be complete in oneself so that he does not have to depend on others emotionally or otherwise. Sinful nature is quite dependent, as it is introverted, acts for its own interests, and engaged in sensual delights for distraction. A person who is complete in himself is extroverted and does not need to act for himself.


Therefore, even without attachment, perform duty bound action efficiently that has to be done; for by performing action without attachment man attains the Supreme, (III-19).


It was by action alone that Janaka and others attained perfection. Thou shouldst perform selfless action also for the welfare of the world, (III-20).

It is your duty to act. Carry out your actions selflessly for the sake of the welfare of the world. 

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः। स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते।।3.21।।

Whatsoever a great man does, the same is done by others as well. Whatever standards he sets, the world follows the same, (III-21).

न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन। नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि।।3.22।।

There is nothing in the three worlds, O Arjuna, that should be done by Me, nor is there unattained that should be attained; yet I engage Myself in action, (III-22).

Even when you are not compelled to do anything, nor anything is left for you to attain, you must continue to act, because you may set standards for others to follow.


For were I not to act without ceasing, O Arjuna, people would be glad to do likewise, (III-23).


And if I were to refrain from action, the human race would be ruined; I should lead the world to chaos, and destruction would follow, (III-24).

Actions must be performed to evolve this world forward, else it would decline and perish.


As the ignorant men act from attachment to action, O Bharata (Arjuna), so should the wise act without attachment, wishing the welfare of the world, (III-25).


Let no wise man established in the self unsettle the minds of ignorant people who are attached to action; he should set others to act, himself performing his duties with devotion, (III-26).

Do not not perturb the minds of those, who are attached to action; instead inspire them with your non-attached actions.


All actions are performed in all cases by the modes of nature. He whose mind is deluded by egoism thinks, “I am the doer.” (III-27)

The environment, the mind and the body work together as a natural system to produce action. There is no “I” determining the actions. That “I” may be like a “center of mass” of an object, but it is theoretical and not real.


Having the true knowledge of the respective spheres of modes and actions, the great soul does not get attached with them, O mighty armed, by holding that it is modes which are moving among the modes. (III-28)

There are patterns within patterns and actions and reactions. This complicated procedure is performed naturally through associations in the data matrix of the mind. Only problem is that this data matrix may get corrupted by past karmas (violation of universal principles) and traumas.


Those who are deluded by the modes of nature remain attached to those modes and actions. The man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the minds of the ignorant who know only a little. (III-29)

The wise people should not distract the faith or conviction or belief of ignorant persons who are attached to the world. If they unsettle their minds they will give up actions and become victims of inertia. The wise ones should turn the minds of the ignorant by giving them gradual instructions on Karma Yoga (Yoga of selfless action) and its benefits.

मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि संन्यस्याध्यात्मचेतसा। निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः।।3.30।।

Surrendering all actions to Me, with the discriminative insight being free from desire, the sense of mine and mental strain, do your duty of waging the war. (III-30).

ये मे मतमिदं नित्यमनुतिष्ठन्ति मानवाः। श्रद्धावन्तोऽनसूयन्तो मुच्यन्ते तेऽपि कर्मभिः।।3.31।।

These men who constantly follow the teaching of Mine as declared in the previous verse with faith and without caviling, are also released from the bondage of actions. (III-31).

ये त्वेतदभ्यसूयन्तो नानुतिष्ठन्ति मे मतम्। सर्वज्ञानविमूढांस्तान्विद्धि नष्टानचेतसः।।3.32।।

But those who Carp at My teaching and do not follow it, deluded of all knowledge, and devoid of discrimination, know them to be doomed to destruction, (III-32)

These verses simply exhort a person to do his duty selflessly. The person should not allow his desire, the sense of mine, or mental agitation to interfere in the execution of his duty. These verses beseech the person to have faith in this teaching.


Even a wise man acts in accordance with his own nature. Beings follow their nature. What can restraint do? (III-33).


Attachment and aversion for the objects of the senses abide in the senses. Let no one come under their sway, for they are his waylayers (foes), (III-34).


Better is one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one’s own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear (is dangerous), (III-35)

Again, performing of one’s own duty is emphasized and not just any duty. In other words, a person should follow his own nature in what he must do, without letting his senses distract him.

अर्जुन उवाच:

Arjuna said:
But by what is a man impelled to commit a sin, as if by force, even against his will. O Varsneya (Krsna)? (III-36)

That is a very intelligent question because man is impelled to commit sin against his nature. There must be something that overpowers a person’s very nature.


The blessed Lord said:
It is desire, it is wrath, born of the mode of passion, all devouring and most sinful. Know this to be the enemy here. (III-37)

The flaw in man must go quite deep to overpower his nature. Therefore, desire in man is something very natural but, somehow, it gets corrupted and misdirected.


As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by placenta, so is this (knowledge) covered by that (desire). (III-38).


O Arjuna, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise (discerning soul) in the form of desire which is insatiable like fire. (III-39).

This desire, motivated by the basic impulse, overpowers the knowledge and discernment in man. This is an insatiable enemy that  even the wisest is faced with.

इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते। एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम्।।3.40।।

The senses, the mind and the intellect are said to be its seat. Veiling wisdom by these (senses, mind and intellect), it deludes the embodied (soul). (III-40).

तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ। पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम्।।3.41।।

Therefore, O best of Bharatas (Arjuna), controlling the senses first, slay this sinful destroyer of wisdom and realization. (III-41).

Desire precipitates through senses. Therefore, senses must be controlled first.


They say that the senses are greater (than the gross body); greater (excellent, powerful, illuminator, extensive and subtle) than the senses is the mind; greater than the mind is the intellect, but greater than the intellect is that (the desire). (III-42).


Thus knowing that desire is beyond intellect, subduing the self by the self, slay thou, O mighty-armed (Arjuna), the tough enemy in the form of desire which is hard to conquer. (III-43)

Desire is beyond the senses, mind and intellect. It is at the very heart of self. To conquer desire, self has to conquer itself. It is not easy, but it has to be done.


The Bhagavad Gita

Reference: Religion

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata. The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna.

A quick reference to translations of a verse of Gita from different sources may be obtained at



0. THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Introduction







20. Sanskrit Dictionary 1

21. Sanskrit Dictionary 2

22. Glossary of Spiritual Terms

23. Glossary for Bhagavad Gita


Glossary of Spiritual Terms

Reference: The Bhagavad Gita

The purpose of this Glossary is to express ancient Vedic knowledge using modern scientific language. The “translation” may not be exactly right at first, but, hopefully, it shall improve as better input is received.


The Vedas start with homage to Agni. Agni implies energy in all its forms. It is animated by an innate impulse. Energy is the basic substance of the universe. Everything physical, spiritual, real, imaginary, postulated or considered, is made of energy.

Assimilation mean absorbing incoming perception in the data matrix of the mind. This requires arranging new data in existing patterns, modifying the patterns and extending them where necessary, supplying the correct time stamp, and removing duplicate data elements. Assimilation resolves related discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies.

Ideally, new perceptions are continually assimilated. Assimilation does not take place when incoming perceptions are very distorted because of pain and confusion. The unassimilated perceptions get bunched up like a tumor in the mental matrix . They have only a few connections with rest of the matrix. See MIND, TRAUMA.

Atman is the innate impulse that animates a being. Atman carries samskaras (karmic impressions). When atman becomes embodied after birth, it is called jivatman. In jivatman the karmic impressions become activated and they influence the viewpoint, identity and behavior of the individual being. After death, the disembodied atman simply carries karmic impressions in a potential state. It has no individual identity or beingness (see The Bhagavad Gita, verse II:28). Life after life, karmic impressions come about and are also discharged. As net karmic impression become less, atman rises toward the state of paramatman (supreme atman). When net karmic impressions reduce to zero, the atman converges into the state of paramatman. Also see BRAHMA.

To “become one” is to know something so intimately that there is no distance left. For example, when you are expert in riding a bicycle, you have become one with that bicycle. You push pedals and apply brakes without putting attention on them. But you are fully aware of those actions, and you can change them whenever you want. To “become one with God” is to know the universal laws so well that you operate according to them without having attention on them. When one says, “the seer and scenery has become one,” it implies knowingness. See KNOWINGNESS.

A being is an energy form animated by an innate impulse.

Bhagavān literally means “fortunate”, “blessed”, and hence “illustrious”, “divine”, “venerable”, “holy”, etc. Please see Etymology and meaning.
“He who understands the creation and dissolution, the appearance and disappearance of beings, the wisdom and ignorance, should be called Bhagavān.” — Vishnu Purana, VI.5.78


Brahma is the innate impulse manifested as energy in the form of the whole universe.

In modern language one would say that the highest metaphysical reality is the innate impulse, which is the characteristic of all energy. This impulse, on a universal scale, is understood as Brahma (the universal viewpoint). But, on the scale of an entity, it is understood as Atman (the individual viewpoint). There is quite a distance from Atman (or Paramatman) to Brahma in terms of broadness of the viewpoint.

Consciousness is the level of awareness of the mind. The greater is the refinement of the data elements (and the relationships among them) from perception, the higher is the consciousness. Human consciousness is much higher than the consciousness in animals, because the data elements are much more refined with greater number of relationships among them. See MIND.

Gross Body

Jeevatma (embodied atman)

Dharma means, literally, “the Law of Being.”  It refers to the natural purpose of something. For example, the “Dharma” of the sun is to shine and give warmth.

The basic substance of the universe is energy, which is animated by an innate impulse. The innate impulse is evident in the propagation of light. Per the Law of conservation, energy is neither created nor destroyed. It only transitions from one form to another. Everything physical, spiritual, real, imaginary, postulated or considered is made of energy.

God is the experience of the innate impulse that underlies all energy.

The viewpoint, identity and individuality of jivatman (embodied atman)

ISHVARA (ईश्वर)
The composite word, Ishvara literally means “owner of best, beautiful”, “ruler of choices, blessings, boons”, or “chief of suitor, lover”. As a concept, Ishvara in ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, variously means God, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, lord, king or ruler, rich or wealthy man, god of love, deity Vishnu… [in Vedas,] the contextual meaning, however as the ancient Indian grammarian Pāṇini explains, is neither god nor supreme being. Please see Etymology.

It is how the universe appears to a person

State of freedom from all samskaras (karmic impressions)



One day of Brahma equal to 1000 Yugas, equal to 4320 million years. See Hindu units of time.


Knowingness is to know something so intimately that it has become part of you. For example, an expert has knowingness in his area of expertise. He knows his area so well that he can skillfully carry out the actions in that area without thinking. We associate absolute knowingness with God, but that is an ideal one holds. In reality, there is no absolute knowingness.

Maya consists of filters generated by karmic impressions that cloud one’s vision.

The mind is the organ of mental sense. In a normal functioning mind, the perceptions are received through the senses of touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell. These perceptions break down into fine data elements, which are then arranged in a matrix type structure. Experience is stored as patterns of relationships among these data elements. The duplication of data elements is minimized. New perception is assimilated by arranging them in existing patterns with the correct time stamp and removing duplicate data elements. The existing patterns are modified and extended as necessary. Also see ASSIMILATION.

A presence, which is free of assumptions, bias and fixed ideas


Reality and unreality are the opposite ends of the scale of Is-ness, where is-ness is the sense of reality of the person. His is-ness on this scale improves as his viewpoint broadens.

Sacrifice is surrendering one’s self-interests and devotedly working for the sake of the welfare of the world.

SAMĀDHI (समाधि)
Samādhi means concentration of the thoughts, profound or abstract meditation, intense contemplation of any particular object (so as to identify the contemplator with the object meditated upon); this is the eighth and last stage of yoga; with Buddhists samādhi is the fourth and last stage of dhyāna or intense abstract meditation. The deep sleep like state of samadhi is the period of assimilation in which you completely reset your system. But you don’t live in that state. Samadhi leads you toward the universal viewpoint. Being “established in God” would means being established in the universal viewpoint.

Karmic impressions brought about by one’s actions and their consequences

The bliss of pure thought energy

Self refers to viewpoint. Some use “self” (lower case) for the human viewpoint, and “SELF” (upper case) for the universal viewpoint.

Subject Clearing is the general technique employed to clear up the confusion of relationships among data elements in the matrix of the mind. As this is done on a continual basis, the underlying traumas, ultimately, come into view and blow apart. This handles the source of many problems the person is having. See MIND, ASSIMILATION, TRAUMA.

SURRENDER (in yoga)
Surrendering is “not avoiding, not denying, not resisting, and not suppressing.” It is experiencing fully what is there. You free yourself from an unwanted condition only by becoming fully aware of it. Suppressing is not the same thing as surrendering. If a person is suppressing bad habits to become good, he has not surrendered yet. After you have surrendered, only your basic nature is left. The basic nature operates according to the universal laws

Thought energy is the fundamental energy on which the spectrum of radiative energy and matter rest. The thought energy resides in the mind, which then transitions into physical energy of the body.

The traumas are like “tumors” in the data matrix of the mind. They are made up of painful perceptions that did not get assimilated. They have only a few connection with the data matrix. They get reactivated when perception comes through these few connections. These “traumas” have their own unhealthy patterns that are backed up by the force of mental pain. The continual reactivation of traumatic experiences then gradually infects and conditions the healthy parts of the mental matrix by forcefully imposing unhealthy patterns. These unhealthy patterns contain all the emotional baggage, phobias, fixed ideas, prejudices, biases, etc., that you encounter. The traumas are not easy to access because they are not assimilated into the mental matrix. Repairing infected circuits in the mental matrix may allow, ultimately, to uncover these traumas and blow them; at which point many deep rooted problems also resolve. See ASSIMILATION, MIND.

The universal viewpoint uses the whole universe as the context for its contemplation, and it is free of all impressions and filters. It is much broader than the human viewpoint. The “I” or “Me” used by Krishna refers to this universal viewpoint. It is the clearest expression of BRAHMA as the innate impulse that constitutes the fabric of the universe. PARAMATMAN, from this viewpoint, is manifested as all forms in the universe and not just the human form. Of course, the universal viewpoint is neither created or destroyed. Ultimate authority resides in universal principles, that are personified as Gods in Hinduism. The universal viewpoint is focused on the universal principles, which, also, are neither created or destroyed. Being “established in God or Self” means being established in the universal viewpoint.

Unreality manifests itself in the form of inconsistencies, disharmonies and discontinuities. You resolve these things and the unreality disappears. It does not continue. Only the reality continues.

Vidhata means “inherent principles of existence.” Duality is a natural consequence of these principles. Any imbalance straightens out by itself.

Viewpoint is the frame of reference that a person is using. It is made up of that person’s considerations.

Yajna means selfless action done for the welfare of the world. For example, Jnana yajna is performed to spread jnana for larger benefit of community. The ritual of yajna is a symbol for such action. See SACRIFICE.


Atman & Paramatman

Does the spider have an atman? There is some energy that is animating the spider. It is not as sophisticated as the energy which is animating the human body. But, in both cases, it is some kind of energy, which we may call atman. So, atman is not the same thing as some human identity, or any other identity.

The concept of atman is not the same as the idea of “soul” in Christianity or in other Semitic religions. All those ideas are based on the human identity one has been attached to while living. So he wants the same identity to continue after death as “soul”.

Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in man: self-protection and self-preservation. For self-protection man has created God, on whom he depends for his own protection, safety and security, just as a child depends on its parent. For self-preservation man has conceived the idea of an immortal Soul, which will live eternally. In his ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, man needs these two things to console himself. Hence he clings to them deeply and fanatically.

The objective view of PARAMATMAN and ATMAN is very different from the subjective view of God and Soul as described above because the psychological factors of self-protection and self-preservation are not there.

Bhakti Yoga starts out with the subjective view of God and Soul. On the other hand, Jnana Yoga seeks to obtain the objective view of PARAMATMAN and ATMAN directly.

The Law of Evolution

A person represents that part of the universe that is trying to evolve. We may think that an individual may not succeed in making a change beyond the conditioned change. But, by the grace of God, he may very well make a breakthrough.

You cannot just make an arbitrary change. Any change you make must continue the evolution that has taken place; it must be in harmony with what exists; and it must not generate an inconsistency. That is the law of evolution.

In other words, to reflect sanity, any postulate you make must be continuous, harmonious and consistent with the universe that exists.

You may postulate anything, but it may not necessarily be consistent with the environment around you. To make it consistent you’ll have to change the environment too, otherwise, you are simply conditioning your mind. It would be self-hypnotism, or MAYA as called in Hinduism.



Time represents what is persisting. And that, which is persisting, is either an actual evolution of knowledge or just a conditioned mind. In other words, you are either going up the Know-to-Mystery scale, or you are going down.

But Time is the simply the abstract notion of PERSISTENCE.


God & Universe

VEDAS say that everything has evolved from God, because God is not separate from the universe.

But Christianity gives God a human like beingness and says that God created this universe. In other words, Christianity postulates a separation between God and the universe. But that is an inconsistent postulate. God is not just an image or reflection of humanity. God is the entire universe.

God has always been the universe–then and now. God has been the evolving universe all along. We are part of God and spearheading this evolution.