Sakthi Vikatan - 02 Sep, 2014


                        By Sēvāratṉā Doctor T.S. Narayanaswami, Images: Aras

Gita’s Tattva is Life’s Essence

As the tree remains hidden in the seed, inside man there remains a supernatural Sakthi in abundance. Knowing its existence, realizing it, and using it, all problems are manageable.  Failure can be chastened and defeated. We read in the previous chapters that by ascending the steps of victory, we can reach and touch the unreachable pinnacles.

தெய்வத்தான் ஆகாதெனினும் முயற்சிதன்
மெய்வருத்தக் கூலி தரும்’ -619 Tirukkural

Though there is a divine obstruction, reward according to physical endeavour will come to fruition. (Translation: Krishnaraj)

Valluvar says. Endeavour is the only way for success in life, as said by the wise and the Noblemen.

The basis for the power known as effort is self-confidence.  The wise man of principles, Socrates said, ‘If you trust yourself, the world will trust you; If you weighed yourself well and realized the truth about you, you can trust yourself.”

The great power hiding inside us is self-trust. Whatever you lose, do not lose your self-trust.

Mind shining inside the body is under the rule of intellect; Ātmā residing inside them activizes all three and is the hypostatic power. The relationship among them is human power guiding us through life.


Jñāṉis and the intellectuals say Ātma is the greatest power of the human existence. We know our body, our feelings and the power of the intellect. We do not know Ātmā and we never endeavor to know it. When we live merging the body, the mind and the intellect (Buddhi) with Ātmā, we can restrain our desires.  We are able to annihilate ego; we can grow human love; we can treat happiness and sorrow equally; we can forgive the crimes of others; we can live like a Yogi with satisfaction and self-control. Our life transforms into a delightful park. There is prevailing tranquillity. There is no higher state.

Bhagavan Krishna says in Bhagavadgita pursuing a path of peace and tranquillity and with such great guas.

Let me help you remember such Tattvas showing us the path of prosperous life.

Avoid Fear!

Fear is the only one that immerses life in sorrow:  Fear of death, fear of loss of wealth, and fear of ill-health. Life will be effulgent once we remove these fears.

Trust is Life!

The twin qualities causing sorrow are distrust and doubt.  Man living with doubt cannot enjoy happiness. He should trust himself, the sayings of wise men, ancestors, Sastras, and God. He should trust that good things will come his way.  Life is trust!

Remove desires!

Only when the waters of a lake are clear, we can see the lakebed.  Only when you remove the seaweed on the surface, you can see the bed. If only you know Āṉmā, you will know the tranquil path of life.

Work on hand is God!

When you have in mind success and failure while performing a task, you can only feel the burden of the work. If you consider your work as a good opportunity (to prove yourself), the work does not appear burdensome.  Working in good faith will appear as service to God. ‘Work on hand’ is God, said Bharathi.

Karma and the fruits

You have the right to work. The fruits accrued therein are not under your control.

Your Karma can reflect your good intent. Do not give up your Karma (work), if you do not get unexpected results. Continue with your Karma without a feeling of failure and sorrow.  The appropriate fruits will come seeking you.

The Lotus leaf in water

True renunciation is not social isolation, giving up the duties of the station in your life from fear of problems and claiming to search for Jñāṉa. It is cowardliness to relinquish one’s duties. To go in search of God while giving up your family and dependents, is not proper Dharma. Lotus leaf is in water. But the water does not stick to it. Likewise, not succumbing to desire and bondage, taking life’s challenges head-on, and serving with a sense of duty make a man great.

God in the role of a puppeteer

Have a deep abiding faith in the fact that ‘God is ever present with me, he guides me in the righteous path, and I live in his shadow without fear and worry. ‘Life is puppetry. God is the Puppeteer. I am only a puppet. He makes me perform. I perform.’  You must put your trust in that Tattva and live your life.

Mirror covered with dust

When the mirror is covered with dust, the images are unclear.  Likewise, a man with tainted soul and selfishness cannot know himself well. He meets with more of disappointments and failures than advancements. He might be an erudite scholar. He may be a rich man. He cannot be of use either to himself or others.

Ātmā is imperishable!

Body is perishable; Ātmā is imperishable. Strength may decline in a body; old age and disease may afflict the body; body-related pride and fame may disappear. But, Ātmā is imperishable, infinite, eternal and immutable. Knowing the truth that Ātmā looks after the body, we can live a life without fear.

The end

Krishna in the Gita lines

It was the beginning of the 11th century.  It was the time Krishna devotion spread all over the world by the efforts of Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu.  He came on a pilgrimage to Śrīraṅgam in Tamil Nadu on foot to spread the greatness of Nāma Saṅkīrtana.

Those days, there was a Vishnu Bhaktaha by name Gopala Bhattar in Śrīraṅgam. He was an erudite Sanskrit scholar.  It was his daily ritual to read Bhagavadgita verses from the book in the sanctum. He mixed up and mispronounced words and phrases in Sanskrit. He read phrases and verses out of sequence. The temple’s Bhattars and Battācriyārs were unhappy. They warned him of Bhagavad Apachāram (பகவத் அபசாரம் = Sacrilege to Bhagavan Krishna) by continuing to dish out words, phrases and verse salad. They begged him to stop forthwith or to go elsewhere and do his chanting.

Gopala Bhattar paid no heed to their imploring. “No one can block me from recitation in the sanctum as it is a Vaishnava’s privilege. Blocking me is sacrilege.”  There was no use arguing with him. Everybody gave up.  Gopala Bhattar’s error-prone recitation continued.

Elaborate preparations were underway to receive Mahāprabhu. Fearing Gopala Bhattar’s malapropism… would offend the esteemed visitor, they begged him to hold his malapropistic recitation in North Gate Tower entrance just one day when Mahāprabhu came to the temple. Gopala Bhattar agreed.

malapropism: the usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase; especially : the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context

  • "Jesus healing those leopards" is an example of malapropism. Leopards is meant to be pronounced as lepers.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived inside the temple with accompaniment of drums and the recitations of Vedas.  When he entered the Rajagopuram, Mahāprabhu was in ecstasy. He said, “Somewhere here there is recitation of Bhagavadgita. I have to be there immediately.” So saying, he jumped the crowd, ran fast, entered the temple and arrived at the North gate entrance. Hearing Gopala Bhattar’s recitation, Mahāprabhu was ecstatic. As Gopala Bhattar’s eyes were brimming with tears, so was the case with Mahāprabhu hearing the recitation.

Gopala Bhattar was ecstatic after he completed one chapter in Bhagavadgita and looked up Mahāprabhu standing before him.  Mahāprabhu, looking at Gopala Bhattar, said, “Swamy, you are a great Pandit. When you read the Gita lines, why is their malapropism?”  Gopala Bhattar said, “Prabhu, I am trying to commit to memory Gita Verses entirely. Every time I turn pages, Bhagavan Krishna only appears before my eyes and the letters are blurred and smudged.  Overwhelmed with emotion, Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Gopala Bhattar.

Mahāprabhu observed, “Whosoever sees Krishna in Gita’s words, phrases and lines, only he can realize the Gita’s Tattvas (Principles).”