Five Verses From Bhagavad-gita That Provide Endless Bliss

[Krishna and Arjuna]“O King, as I repeatedly recall this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I take pleasure, being thrilled at every moment.” (Sanjaya, Bhagavad-gita, 18.76)

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राजन् संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य
संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम्
केशवार्जुनयोः पुण्यं
हृष्यामि च मुहुर् मुहुः

rājan saṁsmṛtya saṁsmṛtya
saṁvādam imam adbhutam
keśavārjunayoḥ puṇyaṁ
hṛṣyāmi ca muhur muhuḥ

The people promoting bhakti-yoga tend to repeat concepts and words. Especially in terms of praise, they will say that devotion to the Supreme Lord is blissful. They will describe the words of shastra as nectarean or nectar-like.

There is the famous reference to Prahlada Maharaja about chewing that which has already been chewed. This is easy to understand. It is a way to quickly get across the limitations in material living, material enjoyment, or anything with forgetfulness of God at the foundation.

श्रीप्रह्राद उवाच
मतिर्न कृष्णे परत: स्वतो वा
मिथोऽभिपद्येत गृहव्रतानाम् ।
अदान्तगोभिर्विशतां तमिस्रं
पुन: पुनश्चर्वितचर्वणानाम् ॥

śrī-prahrāda uvāca
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām

“Prahlada Maharaja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Krishna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.30)

Okay, so material life may not be that great. People are suffering. Of this there is no doubt. Wherever you turn, people are on some type of medication. The age-range for eligibility is getting wider and wider. Children in school get prescribed anti-depressants. Adults can’t go a few hours without popping a pill.

It is difficult to disagree with the truth of the widespread misery, but where is the evidence that bhakti-yoga is any different? A person seated on the area symbolic of Vyasadeva can say anything. We respect the position. We honor the sacrifice. We are intrigued by the dedication towards an alternative lifestyle.

But how is a person supposed to know that bhakti is actually nectar-like? Where is the evidence that someone actually feels better? If someone is reading Bhagavad-gita, for instance, is there a way to explain how or why they feel so great?

“Before Vyasadeva’s writing, the Vedic literature was simply heard, and the disciples would learn the mantras quickly by hearing and not by reading. Later on, Vyasadeva thought it wise to write down the Vedas, because in this age people are short-memoried and unable to remember all the instructions given by the spiritual master. Therefore, he left all the Vedic knowledge in book form, such as the Puranas, Vedanta, Mahabharata and Shrimad-Bhagavatam.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 5)

[Vyasadeva]We hear that people like Vyasadeva used to retain everything in memory. A lengthy Sanskrit work like Mahabharata did not have to be written down. People retaining such information could spin up a thrilling adventure at a moment’s notice. By remembering a single verse, they could feel bliss throughout the day.

1. The changing body

देहिनो ऽस्मिन् यथा देहे
कौमारं यौवनं जरा
तथा देहान्तर-प्राप्तिर्
धीरस् तत्र न मुह्यति

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)

“I will never forget the first time I read this verse. I may have incidentally come across it as a child, while others were reading out loud, but I have no memory of that experience. I specifically picked up Bhagavad-gita after there was a tragedy in the family, when I was an adult.

“This verse made me feel better instantly. It was like receiving immediate relief from the grief. Words on a page, of Sanskrit origin, no less, dulled the pain. Over the course of time, it would completely remove any extended lamentation relating to the issue of death.

“There is a negative side, of course. People think that I am dead inside. They think I am incapable of feeling emotion. In truth, it is just the opposite. I experience extended bliss in both knowing the truth and realizing the kindness of Shri Krishna in revealing that vital information at the time when it is most needed.”

2. Arjuna as anarya

श्री-भगवान् उवाच
कुतस् त्वा कश्मलम् इदं
विषमे समुपस्थितम्
अनार्य-जुष्टम् अस्वर्ग्यम्
अकीर्ति-करम् अर्जुन

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ
viṣame samupasthitam
anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam
akīrti-karam arjuna

“The Supreme Person [Bhagavan] said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.” (Bhagavad-gita, 2.2)

“After reading the opening series of verses from Bhagavad-gita, you can’t help but feel sympathy for Arjuna. His is like an opening statement in a courtroom. He is presenting the premise of the case. He has a specific conclusion in mind, but he respects the process. He allows ample time for rebuttal. He is open to having his mind changed.

“I can never forget the immediate response from Krishna. Instead of praising Arjuna for his compassion, there is chastisement. There is even some humor to the presentation. Krishna characterizes Arjuna’s thoughts as anarya.

“They indicated ignorance. People who don’t know the truth of life and death speak in such a way. It is like Arjuna is trying to score points from an adoring public. He wants to be respected by people who are completely ignorant as to the ways of the world, of what should be done and what should not be done.

“I experience bliss in repeatedly remembering this verse. I am amazed at how kind Krishna is. He is not afraid to chastise. He is not afraid to make fun of someone, to flip the argument on its head. The contrast is striking, and I feel so many people in life could benefit from a similar realignment in priorities.”

3. The air carrying aromas

शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्

śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti
vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt

“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)

“I love this verse because it explains the succession of existence in a way that is so easy to understand. We know the power of air. Only a fool would think they could obstruct air by hiding at home or by putting on a flimsy face covering.

“When it is allergy season, in the spring, there isn’t much relief from staying within the home. The suffering individual still sneezes. Their eyes are red and they feel as if nothing can stop the discomfort. This is due to the power of air, which takes substances from the flowers and trees outside and carries them into the home.

“The conceptions of life move forward in the same way. This explains why we see variety in natures for children. When someone says they feel as if they were born with a specific talent, it is because of this truth of life. No one is kinder than Krishna, for He makes the complex understandable.”

4. Janma and karma

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्
एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर् जन्म
नैति माम् एति सो ऽर्जुन

janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)

“We celebrate janma and karma for so many other people. That is the basis for praise. Janma is when they first appear in this world. Without janma, we would not know who they are. Janma indicates arrival.

Karma is the basis for the subsequent praise. People know someone based on their deeds. It could be a single deed, done at a critical moment, that is never forgotten. It could be a lifetime of pious behavior, benefitting everyone around them.

“The verse from Bhagavad-gita is special because it simplifies the life experience. Just remember the janma and karma for Shri Krishna. Understand how those two factors are Divine in nature. They are not ordinary.

“If you know this truth, you will not suffer rebirth. It’s as simple as that. Who can be more merciful than Krishna? He has provided us the simple formula for escaping the material world. We merely make a plan to convince ourselves of this truth about Krishna’s appearance and activities. Once we are convinced, it is not only easy to remember, but blissful, as well.”

5. Deliberate fully

इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातं
गुह्याद् गुह्यतरं मया
विमृश्यैतद् अशेषेण
यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु

iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ
guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā
vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa
yathecchasi tathā kuru

“Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.63)

“For some reason, this is a verse that I cannot forget. The juxtaposition to other religious systems is striking. Every entry into the contest, so to speak, has this concept of surrender. Be devoted to such and such and you will be saved. They are called the savior for this very reason.

“If you don’t surrender, you are doomed. Depending on which religion you follow, the length of that condemnation could extend to eternity. You supposedly only get one chance, and if you don’t choose wisely, you are forever out of luck.

“That line of thinking is not rooted in intelligence. The verse from Bhagavad-gita makes more sense. Krishna gives the best presentation to Arjuna. There is ample supporting evidence for the recommendation to follow dharma, to give up everything and accept the direction of Krishna.

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Nevertheless, there is always a choice. Arjuna has to make up his own mind. He should deliberate fully. He should be convinced of the position. That is how you know Krishna is for real. I hope to one day return the favor. He can deliberate fully to judge whether I am deserving of further causeless mercy, in determining where I end up in the future.”

In Closing:

Like blossoming desire tree,
From single fruit to free.

Endless bliss to flow,
Like Gita verses to know.

Spoken by Krishna who,
Hesitant soldier to.

Despite full truth to demonstrate,
Still the choice to deliberate.

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2 replies

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

  2. Those who teach Gita are very dear to Krishna as in Ch 18.Your efforts will be blessed and though U don’t seek reward or recognition,we pray Shri Krishna will cherish U.Hare Krishna

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