Truth Amid Chaos – Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4

Hello I am Sri Jana and I am honored to share this amazing epic with you. The Bhagavad Gita is the story of a battle in the 3D matrix of the mind. It is an ancient foundation of Hindu philosophy that describes the laws of Nature and outlines a path to ascension for all humans.  This chapter is about transcendental knowledge. 

In Chapter 4, the Gita begins to challenge our 21st Century thinking. Earlier chapters are straight forward and general . So you might think it’s good enough to get by. However, now from this point on through Chapter 18 the Gita lessons become more refined, in that they pinpoint every single one of our modern misconceptions about a true path to ascension. Just listen to it like it’s a story.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, Gods ruled the Earth, and all learning took place in the form of stories and sacred verses, that people memorized and passed down with each generation. As the Gita opens, the warrior prince Arjuna and his chariot driver the God Krishna, gaze over a vast battlefield as he prepares to wage war on his entire family. The virtuous Pandava brothers must vanquish their evil Kaurava cousins. Thousands of warriors from both sides stand poised to fight to the death. The hero Arjuna is torn between duty to fight a righteous battle, versus the horror of killing the people he loves. Arjuna refuses to fight. Krishna reveals the secrets of knowledge, how to carry out actions in a higher frame of mind in which he will not incur sin. Ultimately Arjuna accepts his destiny to fight the righteous war, he and his brothers win, and they all ascend to the heavenly realms. 

The Gita reveals the Laws of Nature that have always been and always will be. They are none other than the Laws of Science, Religion, Life and death, Good vs. Evil. These Laws are One and can never be divided. We’re doing our best to translate from Sanskrit, the sacred language of the Gods, its sounds and utterances designed to uplift and teach into English, our favorite mongrel language of everyday life.

In Chapter 4, Krishna explains the sacred chain of essential teachings passes from one era to another directly from its original source, Almighty God. These teachings hold the Truths of Nature. But whenever the chain breaks, if the lineage of Truth is broken or the Laws of Nature are forgotten, and the people suffer, God personally comes to Earth. He comes with the purpose of upholding what is right, to deliver the devoted souls, to annihilate the criminals, and to re-establish the Scientific principles of Nature. It’s interesting that he comes whenever “righteousness falters / and chaos threatens to prevail”, like a crack in the foundation of reality, which pretty well describes our world situation to a “T”.

We all desire greater levels of happiness and satisfaction. Hindu mythology assumes 14 realms, levels of awareness. These views of Heaven and Hell are particularly relevant to me now because we see these qualities rise and fall in ourselves, and in people around us. The 7 Higher realms start with the earthly realm, moving up to lighter realms of air, thought, and spirit, and finally up to purest Godly realms of infinite Joy and Love. The 7 Hellish realms start descending with desire for pleasure and avoiding pain, emotions like anger, passion, and going down down down into much deeper levels of fear, vast wealth, the abode of evil, and total illusion, where you are trapped forever. It is important during your life on earth, to try to move upward, not fall downward, to balance your worldly duties with your ultimate goal of Moksha or spiritual freedom. That means your lessons here are finished, and you finally merge in union with God, ending the cycle of death and rebirth. 

The transcendental knowledge and the secret to freedom is to do actions without emotional attachment to the results, and to work as an offering in service to God. Then you are working not for your own gain, but selflessly for the benefit of all, thereby untying the knots of Karma. There are many appropriate forms of work, ritual, or offerings as sacrifice, they are all good. This transcendental knowledge is the most powerful tool. 

God says: “Why would you want to die over and over again many times? Why do you want to suffer the same questions over and over again? Why focus on temporary happiness when you can have permanent happiness with me enjoying this loving exchange eternally forever?

God will never push it down your throat, he inspires you with love and devotion to soften your heart to help you to win in the battle of the skeptical, doubting mind. He says: “If you surrender to serve me, I will reciprocate with you to that degree. The greater your love and service, the more he is there for you. He says I live right there in your heart because without me you could never function. Your intelligence and senses would be blind without my super intelligence guiding your inner soul. He says, “those who fully understand my power are free from desire, fear, and anger. Being fully absorbed in me they do not have to take birth again, but join me in my eternal abode.”

However, these are not modern Western concepts. The idea of surrendering yourself to a God is uncomfortable to many. Let’s take a look at that. What would it feel like to surrender yourself to God? To offer all your actions as a sacrifice to a higher force of Good? Does it feel like melting? Like losing control? Is it frighting to lose the illusion of power over your own life? But of course, we never had that power anyway. What exactly are we giving up to dissolve into God? 

Well, the idea of melting away is quite frightening. Is that like dying? However, in many ways we do that every day. What about my goals, my thoughts? What is the root of my existence? What pillars hold me? When all is in chaos around me, what can I rely on? In modern times, skepticism is considered a sign of intelligence, of discernment, independent thinking. Sometimes that is true. But the Gita says that skepticism and doubt are your worst enemy. Think of an Olympic athlete, the least bit of skepticism or doubt can mean the difference between success and failure. This is true in every endeavor. For some, it is their love for God, that sustains them, and that is all they need. When you are rooted in God, then God, not YOU, is the creator, the doer of the actions, God is the action itself, and the receiver all at the same time. Think about it. Think well, as the future of our world hangs on this question.

Chapter 4 outlines the principles of essential Action, Non-Action, and Wrong-Action. Essential or right actions are done to maintain the harmony and wellbeing of society and all creation. God says you should never be fixated on the results of your actions, or even think you are the doer. Any event has more to do with the laws of physics, destiny, velocity, intention, karma, momentum, critical mass,  power, and timing. These are the complex energetic factors that rule the cosmos far more than human action. 

God says that one who lives by this Transcendental Knowledge,  can discriminate between proper actions and wrong actions. He acts from a serenity and not swayed by his emotions. This sets him free from the bonds Karma from his Actions. With this, you escape the trap of desiring fame or money, and your mind is stable in union with God. By doing your work as an offering, a sacrifice, you are freed from all karma that would otherwise be incurred if you act out of anger or desire for gain.

The Gita says you can look for a proper teacher to answer your questions rather than speculate or be confused. When you notice doubts arise in your mind out of ignorance, you should slash them with the powerful weapon of knowledge. Then Krishna tells Arjuna again to stand up and fight! 

A few words to know: Yogamaya is the power of original creation, the power by which God says he exists.

Yoga means discipline. It’s not a New Age concept. It is a careful pursuit of an inner path of personal refinement and ascension. Not movement. Krishna calls Arjuna serval names, such as Parantapa, scorcher of foes, son of Pritha, his legendary queen mother, and Parth, meaning devoted student.

As you hear me read the verses I invite you to ponder these questions.

Questions:

  1. How can one discern the difference between appropriate actions and wrong actions? 
  2. What does “God” mean for you? 
  3. What does it mean, and how does it feel to surrender your life in service to God? 
  4. What are the rewards of devoting your life in service to a higher force of Truth?
  5. What are your favorite quotes from Chapter 4 to remember for life lessons? 
  6. What parallel events in the modern world illustrate these concepts? 

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