YouTube 1 hr, 19 min / video 153mb / audio 38mb  / pdf summary / pdf expanded

Living the Bhagavad Gita Way

2. The Mahatma or Saint (1 hour, 19 minutes)

The Mahatma or Saint

The Mahatma or Saint: A great soul – one who has risen above the normal, self-centered ways of living and lives in a universal way naturally. He may or may not have had God-realization as yet but the change in them is irreversible and these great ones are a shining light on the path for all. Today, the Bhagavad Gita tells us a little about the essential qualities of being, the different paths taken - so we too can grow into their likeness.

Here are the main topics of the video…

Bhagavata: A bhagavata is a devotee, something very easy to say and claim but this has a high bar according to the Bhagavad Gita. It is better to start with understanding what it means to be devoted or what devotion is. To be devoted to something is to be able and willing to give yourself completely to that thing. All things are in one place at one time but God is everywhere, all the time. So, the question of selectiveness does not come up as we are always in His presence whether we want to realize it and accept it or not. These verses throw light on this theme so we can rise from our normal concepts of limited and selected devotion to a flow that is continuous.

Stithaprana: A stithaprajna is one whose wisdom is steady. This means that what he knows is how he lives or what he knows is what lives life. Book knowledge is mere theory – words and fancy talk or writings flow from it. Real knowledge is from where life flows and its way of living itself, adds to its richness.

Yoga-Brashta: A yoga-brashta is one who has not reached the goal as yet in spite of his wholehearted efforts. There is something still lacking. These verses tell is that there is no loss in yoga and not walking the path is a far greater loss than the sum of all falls and sacrifices made on the path. To avoid falls and mistakes, four sound principles are offered.

Gunatita: A gunatita is one who has mastery over the gunas which are modes of the mind. The three gunas are: sattva, rajas and tamas. These verses tell us what these are and indications to know which of them is operating in us at the moment. This helps us adjust our program of life so we can transmute the lower for the higher and increase sattva which is conducive to spiritual life and practice.

Nature of Equal Vision: This is the most important mark of a yogi according to Krishna. Equal vision is not the smiling face one displays while the mind is working overtime – that is shrewdness and deception. Equal vision is to see all forms, though different as the indwelling presence of God and to be able to respond to all situations in the light of this wisdom. There are differences at one level but the essence of substratum is the same. When one comes to this realizes this by one’s direct experience – one is no longer tripped by inner promptings to even consider responses otherwise.

With best wishes,

Swami Suryadevananda