107 episodes

Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Warrior Arjun.

The Gita is Lord's guidance to humanity to be joyful and attain moksha (salvation) which is the ultimate freedom from all the polarities of the physical world. He shows many paths which can be adopted based on one's nature and conditioning. This podcast is an attempt to interpret the Gita using the context of present times.

Siva Prasad is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. This podcast is the result of understanding the Gita by observing self and lives of people for more than 25 years, being in public life.

Gita Acharan Siva Prasad

    • Religion & Spirituality

Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Warrior Arjun.

The Gita is Lord's guidance to humanity to be joyful and attain moksha (salvation) which is the ultimate freedom from all the polarities of the physical world. He shows many paths which can be adopted based on one's nature and conditioning. This podcast is an attempt to interpret the Gita using the context of present times.

Siva Prasad is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. This podcast is the result of understanding the Gita by observing self and lives of people for more than 25 years, being in public life.

    107. Meditation for Bliss

    107. Meditation for Bliss

    The pineal gland is a pea sized, pine cone shaped organ situated at the center of the brain, directly behind the middle of two eyebrows. Physiologically it produces neurotransmitters melatonin and serotonin that are responsible for the sleep cycles as well as moods, respectively. It is also known as the third eye as it contains photoreceptors like a normal eye.

    All cultures have described it in various ways as the seat of the soul; responsible for spiritual enlightenment; a sixth sense which sees beyond what the five senses can see; a symbol of spiritual awakening; a connection between the physical and spiritual world. In the Indian context, the space between the eyebrows is called Agya Chakra and represents the pineal gland.

    This background will help us understand Krishna's method to control senses and mind when he says, "Shutting out all thoughts of external enjoyment, with the gaze fixed on the space between the eye-brows, equalizing the flow of the incoming and outgoing breath in the nostrils, and thus controlling the senses, mind, and intellect, the sage who becomes free from desire and fear, always lives in freedom" (5.27-28). This is a method or technique given by the Lord to Arjun to help him control his senses, mind and intellect.

    Vigyaan Bhairav Tantra contains 112 such methods given by Lord Shiva and one such technique says, "Concentrate without thoughts on a point between the eyebrows. The Divine Energy breaks out and rises above to the crown of the head, immediately filling one completely with her ecstasy."

    Pain is an automatic tool to bring our attention to the injured areas and this helps us in survival. Similarly, it is bringing conscious attention to the area between the eyebrows to activate the pineal gland and this activation will fill us with internal ecstasy without the help of any senses.

    • 4 min
    106. Reins of Happiness.

    106. Reins of Happiness.

    Once, an invader on horseback from Central Asia had occupied Delhi and wanted to have a victory procession. An elephant was decorated and upon mounting it, he asked for the reins of the elephant. When told that it is controlled by a mahout, he jumped down and summoned his horse, saying that he never rides on something whose reins are not in his hands.

    Similarly, we need to introspect as to whether we hold the reins to our happiness and emotions or someone else. All of us think that we hold these reins, but the reality is that the reins are often with someone else. It could be a friend, someone in the family or workplace whose moods, words, opinions, praise and criticism make us happy or unhappy; a thing like food, drink or physical possession; a favorable or unfavorable situation; even our past or future.

    In this regard, Krishna says that he's a yogi who, at any time before liberation from the body, is able to master every impulse of lust (kaam) and anger (krodh). He is a happy human (5.23). Kaam is nothing but getting happiness from others and krodh is what happens to us when something doesn't go our way.

    Krishna further says that he who is happy within, who enjoys within, who is illumined by the inner light, such yogis are united with the Lord and are liberated from material existence (5.24). With sins obliterated, doubts removed, senses subjugated, the sages, contributing to the welfare of mankind, attain the bliss of brahman (absolute) (5.25).

    Service is about attaining awareness about self along with compassion towards others. Krishna indicates that one can help others once he knows how to help himself by mastering impulses of lust and anger but not by someone who is already a slave to them.

    • 3 min
    105. Eternal Happiness

    105. Eternal Happiness

    Krishna says that those established in brahman (absolute), having a firm understanding of divine knowledge and not hampered by delusion, neither rejoice in getting something pleasant nor grieve on experiencing the unpleasant (5.20). We label situations and people as pleasant and unpleasant and essentially, it's dropping labelling (2.50).

    Krishna repeatedly tells Arjun to come out of the moha (delusion) which arises out of wrong identification of what is ours and what is not. The biggest delusion we have is that we can attain happiness through our senses. On the other hand, Krishna gives a solution for unending happiness when he says that those who are not attached to external sense pleasures realize divine bliss in the self. Being united with God through Yoga, they experience unending happiness (5.21).

    Krishna cautions that the pleasures that arise from contact with the sense objects, though appearing as enjoyable to worldly-minded people, are verily a source of misery. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, so the wise do not delight in them (5.22).

    This is the continuation of what Krishna said at the very beginning of the Gita (2.14), "The meeting of the indriyas (senses) with the external objects causes polarities of pleasure and pain and we should learn to tolerate them, as they are 'anitya' or transient." This implies that in due course of time, both pleasure and pain would come to an end invariably. It's our experience that we feel pain when pleasures go away or when we get bored of them. Similarly, we experience pleasure when pain goes away. To overcome these, we resort to a temporary measure of regurgitating the pleasure moments or resort to a blame game. But the essence is to be aware of the impermanence of pleasures and pains while we go through them.

    • 3 min
    1. Start with Ahankaar

    1. Start with Ahankaar

    Bhagavad Gita is a 700 verse conversation between Lord Krishna and Warrior Arjun in the battle field of Kurukshetra.

    Just before the start of war, Arjun gets the feeling that war would kill many of his friends and relatives and argues that this is bad from many points of view.

    Arjuns dilemma eminates from his presumption that " I am doer" - Aham karta and is also known as Ahankaar. This Ahankaar keeps us telling that we are distinct, but reality is different. Though ego is usually given as meaning to Ahankaar, but ego can be taken as one of many manifestations of Ahankaar.

    The entire conversation is about this Ahankaar, be it directly or indirectly and Krishna gives various paths and milestones (yardsticks) to get rid of it.

    If we take Kurukshetra war as a metaphor, all of us enter into a situations, like Arjun did, in our daily lives be it in family, work place and interms of health, wealth, relationships etc. As long as one lives, these dilemmas are natural till Ahankaar is understood.

    Gita is about what we are and certainly not about what we know nor what we do. Like no amount of theory can let us ride a cycle nor swim, no amount of philosophy can help us unless we see life eye to eye and guiding principles of Gita would help us to reach the final destination -the inner self which is free of Ahankaar.

    From surface it appears that times have changed since Gita was given to Arjun by Lord Krishna. Certainly, there is lot of change brought by developments in science in the past couple of centuries, but in reality, from an evolution stand point of view, humans didn't evolve any further. The internal side of dilemma remains the same. Outer manifestations (trees) might look different, but inner part (roots) remain same

    • 3 min
    104. Attaining Impartiality

    104. Attaining Impartiality

    Krishna says that whose mind and intellect are established in 'that' (spirit) and whose sins have been dispelled by awareness reach a state of no return (5.17).

    Unaware living is like living in darkness, where we keep falling and hurting ourselves. The next level is like experiencing some flashes of light where one attains awareness for a moment but falls back into ignorance. The final stage is like having permanent light like sunlight where the awareness attains a critical level and one never returns from there. This state of no return is also referred to as moksha, the ultimate freedom. It's not 'my' freedom but freedom from 'me' as all suffering is because of 'me'.

    Samatva (equanimity) happens when one attains the state of no return and in this regard, Krishna says that the wise view a learned and cultured Brahamana, a cow, an elephant, and even a dog or dog eater as the same (5.18). Samatva is one of the foundational pillars of the Gita.

    Realizing self as the self in all beings (5.7) is at the core of Samatva. It's recognizing that others too have good like us and we too have negatives like others. The next level is the ability to see the apparent contradictions or differences as equal, like seeing an animal and an animal eater as the same. It's dropping hatred (5.3) and dislikes which are products of ignorance. It's applying the same justifications for our gains as well as losses. Samatva is just a feeling which comes through awareness. The karma that flows out of an imbalanced mind is bound to bring misery.

    Krishna assures that even here (in this world and at this moment), the dualities of manifested existence (birth/death) have been overcome by those of equal/impartial mindedness and will be established in Brahman (Absolute) who is faultless and impartial (5.19).

    • 4 min
    103. Roots of Virtue and Sin

    103. Roots of Virtue and Sin

    Krishna says that the Prabhu (Lord) creates neither doer-ship nor actions nor union with fruits of action for the world. The delusive cosmic nature is the originator of all these (5.14).

    The Lord is not a kartha (doer) but a Sristha (creator or creativity). There are two types of creations. One is like a potter who creates pottery and the creation (pot) gets separated from the creator for independent existence. Another is like a dancer who is creating dance but dance (creation) won't be there in the absence of the dancer. The Lord is like a dancer where the entire universe is dependent on him but he is not dependent on it. That's why dancing Shiva is depicted as Natraj and musician Krishna as Murari.

    The Lord can also be seen as a catalyst in a chemical reaction where the presence of a catalyst makes the chemical reaction happen. The catalyst itself doesn't undergo any change.

    Krishna further says that the all pervading takes no account of anyone's virtue or sin (punya or paap). Human beings are deluded because their knowledge is covered by moha (delusion or ignorance) (5.15). But in whom ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of self, in them wisdom reveals the Supreme like the illuminating Sun (5.16).

    The Lord is like a screen in a movie theatre where the screen has nothing to do with what is being projected on it while the audience goes through a flurry of emotions. These projections are nothing but shadows but we all get deeply involved which creates emotions and judgments having a long lasting impact. In this entire process, the screen is neutral and has nothing to do with our emotions.

    Krishna earlier (2.52) used moha-kalilam (darkness of delusion) in this context. Once we are out of this moha then awareness gets uncovered to shine like the Sun.

    • 3 min

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