November 30, 2012

Geeta Saar, Immortal Wisdom

I’m in Kurukshetra. It’s warm and sunny. The visit took a long time coming. Someday, I used to tell myself every once in a while over the years gone by, I’ll walk the hallowed grounds and imagine the setting that defined the consciousness of a nation, and the centrality of life in a home my Mum shaped for us.

Accompanied by Sharmaji I walk slowly toward the chariot behind Brahma Sarovar in Thanesar. I can see the charioteer in the distance. I see Arjuna, his quiver of arrows. Krishna holds the reins as he turns his face toward Arjuna. Both are frozen in a moment that adorns countless living rooms around the country, including our own from as long back as I can remember. The four horses stand poised. The legacy of a civilisation stands poised.

This was the place, I tell myself as I turn around and take in the serenity, and the silence. It’s around here it happened. It’s from here I derive a part of my identity. And it’s here Geeta Saar still echoes with its import and insight, radiating outward from the very earth that blood once covered.

Stepping up to a board Haryana Tourism has put up, I trail my eyes along the familiar, letting the words sink in, stirred by their import, their significance, and the insight of the charioteer, Krishna.   

क्यों व्यर्थ चिंता करते हो?
किससे व्यर्थ डरते हो?
कौन तुम्हें मार सक्ता है?
अात्मा ना पैदा होती है, मरती है।

Why do you worry without cause?
Whom do you fear without reason?
Who can kill you?
The soul is neither born, nor does it die.


जो हुअा, वह अच्छा हुअा,
जो हो रहा है, वह अच्छा हो रहा है,
जो होगा, वह भी अच्छा ही होगा।
तुम भूत का पश्चाताप न करो।
भविष्य की चिन्ता न करो। वर्तमान चल रहा है।

Whatever happened, happened for the good;
whatever is happening, is happening for the good;
whatever will happen, will also happen for the good.
Do not have regrets for the past.
Do not worry for the future.
The present is happening.


तुम्हारा क्या गया, जो तुम रोते हो?
तुम क्या लाए थे, जो तुमने खो दिया?
तुमने क्या पैदा किया था, जो नाश हो गया?
तुम कुछ लेकर अाए, जो लिया यहीं से लिया।
जो दिया, यहीं पर दिया।
जो लिया, इसी (भगवान) से लिया।
जो दिया, इसी को दिया।
खाली हाथ अाए अौर खाली हाथ चले।
जो अाज तुम्हारा है, कल अौर किसी का था, परसों किसी अौर का होगा।
तुम इसे अपना समझ कर मग्न हो रहे हो।
बस यही प्रसन्नता तुम्हारे दु:खों का कारण है।

What did you lose that you cry about?
What did you bring with you, which you think you have lost?
What did you produce, which you think got destroyed?
You did not bring anything, whatever you have, you received from here.
Whatever you have given, you have given only here.
Whatever you took, you took from God. Whatever you gave, you gave to him.
You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed.
What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday, and 
will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow.
You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours.
It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.


परिवर्तन संसार का नियम है।
जिसे तुम मृत्यु समझते हो, वही तो जीवन है।
एक क्षण में तुम करोड़ों के स्वामी बन जाते हो, दूसरे ही क्षण में तुम दरिद्र हो जाते हो।
मेरा-तेरा, छोटा-बड़ा, अपना-पराया, मन से मिटा दो, फिर सब तुम्हारा है, तुम सबके हो।

Change is the law of the universe.
What you think of as death, is indeed life.
In one instance you can be a millionaire, and in the next instance you can be steeped in poverty.
Yours and mine, big and small - erase these ideas from your mind, then everything is yours and you belong to everyone.


यह शरीर तुम्हारा है, तुम शरीर के हो।
यह अग्नि, जल, वायु, पृथ्वी, अाकाश से बना है अौर इसी में मिल जायेगा।
परन्तु अात्मा स्थिर है - फिर तुम क्या हो?

This body is not yours, neither are you of the body. The body is made of fire, water, air, earth and ether, and will disappear into these elements. But the soul is permanent - so who are you?


Later, we drive on to where Gita Updesh (Updesh = Teaching) was given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the middle of the battlefield, just before the Kurukshetra War commenced.

Here, portions of the celestial song rung again in the shade of the tree. Here. Here. Hear. Hear.

Note: Neither the shlokas nor the translations are my constructs. Like his teachings, they are to be found everywhere you turn, everywhere you do not seek.


Riot Kitty said...

I've actually never read those passages...that is really profound, and actually just what I needed today. Thank you!

Anil P said...

Riot Kitty: Thank you.

These are a few verses from Bhagavad Gita.

The Gita is a collection of 700 verses containing the conversation between Arjuna, the Pandava Prince and Krishna, his charioteer on the eve of the Kurukshetra War thousands of years ago.

Arjuna is faced with deep misgivings on embarking on a fratricidal war, and is counselled by his charioteer, Krishna, on several philosophical aspects that are profound for their meaning, and insight.

The verses (in Hindi) included in my post above are among the more widely quoted from this ancient Sanskrit epic, Gita.

The Gita is a remarkable tome of philosophical insight, spiritual guidance, and wisdom. To Hindus, the Gita is no less than a book of scriptures, revered for its teachings.

Karen said...

Very profound and beautiful words of wisdom! Thank you. xx

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What an amazing place for history.

Daisy said...

Fascinating and moving post, Anil. I always learn something when I visit your blog. Your world is so different from mine, and yet, some things remain common to all.

Betsy Adams said...

Beautiful words to go with the photos... Very interesting post...That chariot is fabulous. THANKS for sharing.

Chandni said...

So glad to come across these wonderful words again. In the daily humdrum of life, one forgets one's nashvarta. Thank you :)

TexWisGirl said...

it is a beautiful sculpture.

An Iengar Chick... said...

I had goosebumps AP :)
" क्यों व्यर्थ चिंता करते हो?
किससे व्यर्थ डरते हो?
कौन तुम्हें मार सक्ता है?
अात्मा ना पैदा होती है, न मरती है। "

We still as humans fret and fume knowing there is not anything we can do about anything yeah

Susan Scheid said...

Beautiful post. I love the line "the present is happening."