You need to understand that Kṛṣṇa is just thirty-two years old when He makes this statement! Physically His body is only thirty-two years old. But He says, ‘I gave this imperishable knowledge to Sūrya, the Sun god – imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (4.1).’ Of course, this is very difficult to understand! With logic, you cannot understand this statement. With ordinary logic, which you use in your daily life, you cannot make any meaning out of this statement. In the next statement He says: ‘The supreme science, this yoga as it was, appears to have been lost in course of time.’
These two verses should be understood clearly. The first thing is that the truth is not new. It is eternal; neither new nor old. Eternal means it is there forever. It never becomes old. It was never new. Eternal means that which is beyond time and space. When you are in completion, anything you create stands for eternity. It is immortal and eternal. Otherwise there is no reason why Hinduism should be still alive. The invaders and fanatics brutally attacked and assaulted anything in front of their eyes, killing millions of people and destroying temples of Bhārat (India). They invaded and ruled India, not for one generation but for hundreds of years, yet how is it that Hinduism is still left alive, flourishing and expanding? Because it was created out of the eternal space of completion.
See, for a religion or any civilization to be alive, three things are important.
- First, the knowledge and the science of lifestyle, Upaniṣad – what is birth, what is death, why life, what is the purpose of life – the answer to all questions of living and leaving.
- Second, the buildings – architecture and arts.
- And third, the language. All these three are made out of the magnetic field of completion in sanātana-dharma.
That is why these three things can never be destroyed, no matter how much anyone tries.
The architectural wonders and monuments created out of completion, and the linguistic monument and wonder, Saṃskṛitaṁ born out of completion, these can never be destroyed. Just like the wonders of the world, if you analyze the linguistic wonders of the world, Saṃskṛitaṁ, the devabhāśā, language of Divine, will be the first and only linguistic wonder of the world.
Understand, the word Saṃskrit means well done, refined, perfect. The vedic tradition is such a powerful, refined system that no matter how much anyone tries to manipulate, morph or misrepresent it, it gets backfired! The system is so foolproof, so evolved to perfection; that is why we say Saṃskṛitaṁ means refined. And the great science of lifestyle is the Upaniṣads. All three are created out of the magnetic field of completion. That is why nothing could destroy or kill it.
This yoga is imperishable as Kṛṣṇa declares, avyayam. Anything created out of the space of completion stands forever, stands eternally. Completion is eternal, Nitya. Only the things described and created based on time can be said to be new or old. Anything new will become old one day. Anything old was new at one time. Eternal means it is beyond the new and the old. It has been there from time immemorial. Here, this yoga, the science of Enlightenment is eternal or Nitya.
The science of Karma Yogaḥ that we learned in chapter three, the same yoga is going to be explained further in chapter four, Jñana-karma-sannyāsa Yogaḥ. I gave the first glimpse of this in the previous chapter. The first thing that needs to be understood is the first glimpse. If you allow those words to penetrate you, then straightaway those words can give you the first glimpse of Enlightenment. They can lead you to the first step of ultimate liberation.
Understanding the purposelessness of life will wash away all its incompletions, stresses, pressures and burdens from your being, whether they are physical or mental. You are liberated in that same moment. You are in the space of completion that very moment. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t give you any technique that works over lengthy periods of time. Some techniques work over long periods of time, which you will have to practice forever. Your son or your daughter may get the result!
Kṛṣṇa says, ‘Now, here or nowhere!’ Either have the result now and here, or nowhere. All His techniques straightaway give you the experience. If you can allow that one idea of purposelessness, the beauty of purposelessness, into your inner space, that very moment the breeze of Enlightenment enters your heart. That very moment, the healing of your being starts. Healing of bhāva roga, emotional diseases and healing of saṁsāra roga, the disease of birth and death, start.
Five thousand years ago, Kṛṣṇa said, ‘I gave this science to Sūrya, the Sun god and the Sun god instructed Manu. The Sun god is Vivasvān. Vivasvān instructed Manu, the father of mankind. Manu passed this wisdom on to Ikṣvāku.’ Here, Kṛṣṇa gives the succession, the lineage through disciples, the Master-disciple lineage. ‘In course of time, the science of yoga was lost, sa kāleneha mahatāyogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa’, He says.
When you know God has got the śakti (power) to give whatever you want, your religion starts. When you understand he also has the buddhi (intelligence) as to when to give you what, then you enter into spirituality!
Understand why this yoga of completion was lost. When a disciple is not in the space of completion, if he is not completely ready to listen, naturally the technique becomes a ritual. Understand, there is only one difference between technique and ritual. When it is done with integrity and authenticity, even an ordinary ritual becomes a great meditation technique that leads you to Enlightenment. When it is done without any integrity, as a routine, then even a meditation technique becomes a ritual. ‘In course of time, the science was lost.’ Kṛṣṇa uses a beautiful phrase, ‘the supreme science was taught by Me, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ and the supreme science was received through lineage, evam paramparā prāptam.’ You don’t lose that supreme science in just one generation. In course of time, even a single unenlightened disciple is enough to destroy the whole science.
The problem is, your Master creates a big movement and you succeed him without the necessary qualifications. People who simply ascend the throne only because they are the successor are the most dangerous people. They have everything except Enlightenment. One who creates a spiritual movement, creates it only out of the energy of Enriching with Enlightenment, from his love and compassion. For the person who succeeds the founder, the whole movement is a gift. When you get somebody’s throne as a successor without the energy of responsibility, you will be filled with ego. You will create damage. You carry just the book and not the knowledge. Responsibility is the energy in which your life flowers and blooms. First learn to think with these four tattvas as reality. That is why our Vedic Masters always transmitted and mirrored the truths through the oral tradition of disciple succession from the enlightened Master to the disciple. The disciple sits in Upaniṣad at the feet of the Master.
Upaniṣad means sitting with the Master. Upaniṣad is nothing but a Master who gets into a space and lets the disciples sit around and mirror his neuron activity in their brains. Upaniṣad is the best way to transmit the experiential expression of the great tattvas. This is how Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa transmits the science of Bhagavad Gītā to the Sun god, Vivasvān and now to Arjuna.
Understand: If you are not enlightened, you can easily get carried away by anything that you see! The truth or the spirit of anything can be easily lost. If you want to destroy any law, all you need to do is just follow it to the letter and miss the spirit. That is why time and again our Upaniṣads insist upon going to a living enlightened Master. All our books are only manuals. Vedas are the only books that are courageous enough to declare that they cannot give you Enlightenment. If you want the ultimate experience, you have to go to a living enlightened Master. What do all medical books say in the end? Consult your family doctor! All these things are only manuals. You can’t take medicines just by reading a medical book or from a person who is not a doctor.
In India, compounders, the doctors’ assistants, are the ones who prepare the medicines. In course of time these compounders learn that for a headache you are meant to take a yellow tablet, for stomach pain, the green tablet, and so on. It is very dangerous. Taking medicines from compounders and learning from unenlightened masters are one and the same. A compounder, at the most, harms your physical body. But an unenlightened master can misguide, destroy you life after life. This is because the whole context is lost if you have missed even a single crucial point.
Here Kṛṣṇa says,
evam paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ I
sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa II 4.2
One important thing, He says, ‘rājarṣayo viduḥ,’ meaning, this science is given to kingly saints, not to just any saint.
If you have listened to the previous chapter, Karma Yogaḥ you would know that the science He taught is Quantum Spirituality, which gives you both the material and spiritual world. That is why He says, ‘the science is given to kingly saints.’ Had it been only for ordinary saints, he would have emphasized only on the inner world, the inner space. Had it been only for kings, he would have emphasized on the outer world and wealth. The science is delivered to the kings, enlightened masters; enlightened masters who are kings. Only they can preserve the science as it is. Be very clear, only an enlightened person who is a king or a king who is an enlightened person can know the totality of spirituality. Only a rich man who has enjoyed material wealth can understand the meaning and relevance of spirituality. Poor men who have not seen the outer world wealth can only go and beg in front of God. They can never understand the ultimate spirituality.
I have a story for you:
At the entrance of a temple, a beggar was always stretching out one hand asking for alms, begging.
One day, people saw that his both hands were stretched out for begging!
They asked him, ‘What happened? Today, you have suddenly stretched both your hands! Until now you were stretching only one hand! Why?’
He said, ‘I have started one more branch!’
You may have any number of branches. It may look like easy money. But you will never become a millionaire by begging! If you work with the ‘beggar mentality’ you will never be successful until the end, you will never be complete!
Only a person who has seen the outer world thoroughly realizes its emptiness. Only he can enter the inner world. If you still have hope in the outer world, you cannot experience the ultimate spirituality. Only a king can be utterly frustrated. Only a king can enter into enlightenment, because he knows there is nothing in the outer space that can fulfill him. He has seen everything; all possible comforts, enjoyments and pleasures. If somebody who has not experienced depression of success enters spirituality, he will stand in front of God and beg, ‘God give me this, give me that.’ He may be a religious person, but never a spiritual person. There is a huge difference between a religious person and a spiritual person. When you know God has got the śakti (power) to give whatever you want, your religion starts. When you understand he also has the buddhi (intelligence) as to when to give you what, then you enter into spirituality!
We all believe God has the power to give us what we want, but we don’t trust that he has also got the intelligence to give it at the right time! That is why we beg and beg! Only a person who trusts that God has the power and the intelligence, can enter spirituality, trusting implicitly that He knows when to give and what to give. Listen. I am not here to judge that one is lower and the other is higher. No! If you can’t pray to God, where else will you go? You have to pray to Him only. But the teaching of religion has to start with the science of restful awareness, by helping human beings create the right space inside. The concept of prayer should come next.
Spirituality is the ultimate luxury. I always say that only a person who carries the space of completion, who understands the purposelessness of life can heal himself and others. Only he can be a real spiritual being. Here, Kṛṣṇa uses the words ‘rājarṣi, kingly saint’. Only a person who has authentically lived aligning the inner space and the outer space, can experience the truth of the totality. Of course, when a person who is not authentic enough to realize this truth enters into the system, he corrupts it. Inauthenticity is the corruption that can happen in your soul. Don’t allow this corruption to happen to consciousness.
source: chapter 2, Bhagavadgita Decoded verses, 4.1 – 4.3