Proper Understanding of The Bhagavad Gita – part 117

Chapter 15 of the Bhaavad Gita is considered as the most vital chapter, connectingthe Creation and the Creator and the Supreme; the matter, energy and the spiritand the Supreme. In this chapter, Lord Krishna teaches about the known, the unknown and the Supreme; also the perishable, the imperishable and the Supreme Being.

The Blessed Lord speaks:

श्रीभगवानुवाच |
ऊर्ध्वमूलमध:शाखमश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम् |
छन्दांसि यस्य पर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित् || 1||

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha
ūrdhvamūlamadhaḥ śhākham aśhvatthaṁ prāhuravyayam
chhandānsi yasya parṇāni yas taṁ veda sa vedavit

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15, Verse 1

The learned Masters, describe this universe and illustrate it in comparison to Aswatha Tree (Peepal Tree), with its roots upwards and its branches downwards. Its leaves are the Vedas. Those who realize its significance are the real knower of the Vedas. The Aswastha tree is one of the biggest trees in India, both in height and dimension. Its leaves are perfectly heart-shaped. In summer, it sprinkles very fine moisture down. Many spiritual seekers, search out and sit under it for long hours of meditation. Like all trees, its roots are deep down in the earth and widespread. In this verse, the Creation and Creator are compared to this tree with its roots upward and above.

Supreme all-pervading God is its finest all-pervading roots. The Creator Brahma is the stem and main branches. The leaves represent the holy scriptures and the rituals and actions. This tree of Creation is deathless and perpetuates itself. Those who understand this know the link; the Supreme, the Creator, the Creation. They become wise and go beyond all sorrows. As this huge tree is supported and sustained by its roots, similarly God, the Supreme, is the support and life of the Creation.

अधश्चोर्ध्वं प्रसृतास्तस्य शाखा
गुणप्रवृद्धा विषयप्रवाला: |
अधश्च मूलान्यनुसन्ततानि
कर्मानुबन्धीनि मनुष्यलोके || 2||

adhaśh chordhvaṁ prasṛitās tasya śhākhā
guṇapravṛiddhā viṣhayapravālāḥ
adhaśh cha mūlāny anusantatāni
karmānu bandhīni manuṣhyaloke

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15, Verse 2

The eternal tree (Peepal, Aswatha) is nourished by the three Gunas and keeps growing. Its tender leaves and buds are the sense objects and their enjoyments. Its branches are spreading both upwards and downwards in the worlds of human beings. Its roots and branches and leaves and buds are the origins of all types of actions and the Laws of Karma binding the non-spiritual human beings. The Creation is run and managed and perpetuated by the Gunas, giving rise to Karmas, giving rise to Karma Bandhana, or bondage by Karmas. The Gunas work through the sense organs, sense-objects, sense enjoyment and, sensory experiences. In this verse, the Sansaar or Creation is compared to the famous Aswatha or Peepal tree and its roots, branches, leaves, and buds. Both have prolific growth, grandeur, awe-inspiring, and Self-perpetuation Power.

न रूपमस्येह तथोपलभ्यते
नान्तो न चादिर्न च सम्प्रतिष्ठा |
अश्वत्थमेनं सुविरूढमूल
मसङ्गशस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्वा || 3||
na rūpam asyeha tathopalabhyate
nānto na chādir na cha sampratiṣhṭhā
aśhvattham enaṁ su-virūḍha-mūlam
asaṅga-śhastreṇa dṛiḍhena chhittvā

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15, Verse 3

But in practical life, this form of the Creation, similar to a Peepul Tree, cannot be perceived as such. Neither its end nor its beginning can be appreciated. Its foundation and support system are too subtle to define. By the weapon of strong determination and non-attachment, its strong and deep roots should be cut asunder and totally severed. To rise above the ignorance fed relativity of Maayaa of the Creation, one needs a strong will, determination and egolessness and self-surrender to God’s grace. In this nothing is impossible. In the Upanishads also it is mentioned that a person lacking willpower, strong determination, vitality, and energy (Saattwik), cannot achieve God-Realization.

The world of the senses is so powerful and subtle that it cannot be appreciated by the mind, intellect and ego. The help of God, Gurus in addition to one’s sincere, relentless practice is necessary. The yoga scriptures declare, remember your Immortal, Eternal, InnerSelf, Brahmam, the Atman if you want to succeed in realizing the truth. In the process of practice, obstacles may come and go. Sometimes the path may be thorny and full of nails, slowing down the progress. Slow and steady wins the race. Never be discouraged. Keep going, ignoring obstacles, difficulties, and dangers. You are the All-Mighty, Deathless, Timeless, EternalSoul, Brahmam, direct manifestation of God. In these verses of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna draws your attention to this truth, shows you the way to the truth, encourages you, and Blesses you.

May God and the Great Masters, Bless, Guide, Protect and Inspire you.

With much love and humbleness,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji

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