Dharma

The term dharma is one of the most intractable terms in Hindu theology. Derived from the root dhar (Dhri) to uphold, sustain or support, the term Dharma denotes that which holds together the different aspects and qualities of an object into a whole. Ordinarily, the term Dharma has been translated as a religious code, as righteousness, as a system of morality, as duty, as charity etc., but the original sanskrit term has an individual personality of its own, which is not captured by any one of these renderings. The best rendering of this term dharma that I have met with so far, is "the Law of being", meaning "that which makes a thing or being what it is." For example, it is the Dharma of the fire to burn, of the sun to shine, etc.

#Dharanat Dharmam Ithyahu Dharmena Vidratah Prajah#

Dharma means, therefore, not merely righteousness or goodness but it indicates the essential nature of anything without which it cannot retain its independent existence. For example, a cold dark sun is impossible, as heat and light are the dharmas of the sun. Similarly, if we are to live as truly dynamic men in the world, we can only do so by being faithful to our true nature,and the Geetaa explains `to me my Dharma.'

The essential factor in man is the Divine Consciousness. All actions, thoughts and ideas entertained by him which are not opposed to his essential Divine Nature constitute his Dharma. All actions and thoughts that hasten the evolution of man to rediscover his essential Divine Nature are considered righteous action (Dharma), while all activities of the mind and intellect that take him away from his true Divine Nature and make him behave like an animal and degrade him in this evolutionary status, are called unrighteous behaviour (A-dharma).

||dharma||


Immortality

In the early Upanishads the supreme achievement has been indicated by the term Immortality, meaning, `deathlessness' (amritattvam), although it may be interesting to note that in the later Upanishads the same has come to be indicated by the term `birthlessness'.

When the Transcendental Truth or the Eternal Perfection has been indicated by the term Immortality, it is not used in its limited sense of `deathlessness' of the body. Here the term `death' not only indicated the destruction of the physical embodiment but also includes and incorporates within its embrace of significance the entire range of finite experience, where, in each one of them, there is an extinction-experience. No experience gained through either the body, or the mind, or the intellect is permanent. In other words, each experience is born to live with us for a short period and then to die away in us.

These chain of finite experience stretch out in front of us as the paths of sorrow and pain in our life. The term Immortality, used by the Rishis to indicate the supermanhood' envisages how the individual ego walking the thorny path of finite sorrows gets itself transcended to the Infinite experience of the eternal and the permanent.

||immortality||


Unknowable-Incomprehensible

Qualifying the eternal as unknowable is not in any sense to indicate that the Supreme is `unknown'. The term 'unknowable' is only meant to express here that it is not knowable through the usual organs of perception. The senseorgans are the instruments through which Consciousness beams out and, in Its awareness, objects get illumined. These instruments of cognition, whether they be sense-organs, or the mind, or the intellect, in themselves are inert and can have their knowledge of perception only when they are dynamised by the conscious spark of life. As such, these organs cannot make the very Consciousness an object of their apprehension. Therefore in terms of our most common source of knowledge-direct perception- the Sastra says here that the Supreme is `unknowable', It being self-determined (swatahsiddha).

||unknowable-incomprehensible||


Dwandwas

Pairs-of-opposites are the experiences in our life of joy and sorrow, health and disease, success and failure, heat and cold, etc. Each one of them can be experienced and unknown only with reference to, and as a contrast with, its opposite. Therefore, the term pairs-of-opposites(dwandwas) envisages in its all- comprehensive meaning all the experience of man in life.

||dwandwas||


Yoga

The term Yoga has been used in the context of the evenness of mind through work, and in the very same stanza, before it concludes, we get an exhaustive definition too of the term Yoga as used here. `Evenness of mind', tranquillity for mental composure in all pairs-of- opposites, is defined here as Yoga. Defined thus, the term Yoga, as used here, indicates a special condition of the mind in which it comes to a neutral equilibrium in all the ebb and flow of life's tides. The instructions in the stanza advise us that desireless action can be performed only when one gets completely established in Yoga, where the term means, precisely what Vyasa defines it to mean here.

||yoga||


Buddhi Yoga

Here the term used, `Buddhi Yoga' has tickled some commentators to discover in it a specific Yoga advised by the Geeta. I personally think that it is too much of a laboured theory. Buddhi, as defined in the Upanishad, is a determining factor in the inner equipment. Nischayatmika is intellect; samsayatmika is mind. Thus, when thoughts are in a state of flux and agitated, it is called the mind, and when it is single pointed, calm and serene in its own determination, it is the intellect. Thus Buddhi Yoga becomes `established in the devotion to intellect.' Steady in your conviction, your mind perfectly under the control of your better discriminative intellect, to live as a master of your inner and outer work is called Buddi Yoga.

||Buddhi Yoga||


Buddhi yuktah

One who is established in evenness of temper-through his perfect withdrawal from the realm of sentiments and emotions and who is established in his resolute intellect, gets himself transported from the arena of both good and bad, merit and demerit. The conception of good and bad is essentially of the mind, and the reactions of merit and demerit are left on the mental composition in the form of vasanas or samskaras. One who is not identifying with the stormy area of the mind is not thrown up or sunk down in the ruts of vasanas. This idea is explained here by the term Buddhi yuktah.

||Buddhi yuktah||


Deva

We have to interpret the term Deva as the very presiding deity in any field of activity.who blesses the worker in that field with his profit. The Deity that blesses the worker in a field of activity can be nothing other than "the productive potential" in that given field. When we apply in any situation our true and sincere work the effort and sacrifice so made, as it were, invoke the 'productive potential' in that situation, and it comes to manifest and bless the worker. This becomes obviously clear when we try to understand what we mean in the modern world when we say Mother India or the Britannica. In thus symbolising the might of a nation we mean in our discussions the "productive potential" of that country in all its spheres of activities.

It is obvious that the productivity that is dormant in any situation can be invoked only by man's sincere efforts. This potential which generally lies dormant everywhere is the Deva to be cherished by the worker through the Yajna activities and, certainly, it is sure that the Deva will manifest in turn to cherish or to bless the worker.

||deva||


Swadharma & Para-dharma

Swadharma is not the caste duties which accrue to an individual due to the sheer accident of birth. In its right import here, it should be only the type of Vasanas that one discovers in oneself in one's own mind. To act according to one's own taste, inborn and natural, is the only known method of living in peace and joy, in success and satisfaction. To act against the grain of one's own Vasanas would be acting in terms of Para-dharma; and how much this is fraught with fear is very well known.

||swadharma & para-dharma||


Veda

The word Veda is derived from the root vid to know; Veda, therefore, means `Knowledge'. The `Knowledge' of the divinity lurking in man and the technique by which it can be brought out to full manifestation are the theme of the veda text books, and the truth of this theme is eternal.

Just as we can say that electricity is eternal inasmuch as there was electricity even before a scientist discovered it, and inasmuch as electrical energy will not be exhausted because of our forgetfulness of its existence, so too the divine nature of man is not destroyed because of our nonacceptance of it.

||Veda||


Yagna

With Geeta the Vedic Yagna has become a self-dedicated activity performed in a spirit of service to many. All actions, performed without an ego and not motivated by one's ego-centric desires, are to fall under the category of Yagna.

||yagna||


Lok-seva

A true prophet--not an assumed one laboriously keeping to himself the unnatural pose of an unrealised perfection--is one who lives himself consumed in an ever-reviving fire of love. He ceaselessly strives to bring out 'himself' from the rubbish that is veiling his own Self in all other forms around and about. This is indicated by the term 'ENGAGED IN THE GOOD OF ALL BEINGS'. LOKA-SEVA becomes his recreation,his self-appointed engagement. His body, mind, and intellect are offered as oblations into the sacred fires of activity an, while remaining at rest within himself, the saint lives on in the unbroken consciousness of the Divine, the Eternal.

||lok-seva||


Tapas

'TAPAS' means all self-denial and practices of self-control which the ego undertakes in order to integrate and revive its own capacities to seek its real identity with the Eternal.

||tapas||


Sankalpa

Man cannot remain ordinarily without imagining constantly in his exuberant fancy. And, in his imagination, he invariably tries to pull down the beautiful veil thrown over the face of the future. Ripping open this veil over the Unknown, everyone of us, on all occasions in our imaginations, fix for ourselves a goal to be fulfilled by us in the near future. Having fixed up the temporary goal, our mind plans and creates a method of achieving that hazy goal. But ere we execute our plans and enter into the field of effort to carve out success for ourselves, the never-tiring and everactive power of imagination in us would have already wiped clean the earlier-fixed goal for achievement and rewritten a modified destination to be gained in the future.

Again, by the time we prepare ourselves mentally and start executing our ideas in our life, our mischievous fancy would have already wiped clean the distant goal. Thus, each time the goal remains only so long as we have not started our pilgrimage to it; and the moment we start the pilgrimage, the goal fades away from our vision!

In short, when we have got a goal, we have not started acting, and the moment we start the strife, we seem to have no goal to reach. The subtle force in our inner composition, which unconsciously creates this lunatic temperament in us, is called the unbridled SANKALPA SAKTI.

||sankalpa||


Yogarudha

He who has gained a complete mastery over his mind is one who has not only withdrawn himself from all sense-contacts and activities in the outer world, but has also dried up all the SANKALPA disturbances, in his own mind. Such an individual is, at the moment of meditation, in that inwardstate which is described here as YOGARUDHA.

||yogarudha||


Gyana-Vigyana

The knowledge gained through study is indicated here by the term GYANA, and the first-hand experience gained by the seeker of the Self in himself is called the knowledge of direct perception, which is termed here, in the Geeta vocabulary, as VIGYANA.

||gyana-vigyana||


Kootastha

KOOTASTHA(Unchanging, Immutable): This is the term used for the Eternal Self. Its expressiveness becomes apparent when we understand that the term 'KOOTA' means in Sanskrit the 'anvil'. The anvil is that upon which the blacksmith places his red-hot iron bits and hammers them into the required shapes. In spite of the hammerings, nothing happens to the anvil, as the anvil resists all modifications and changes, but allows all other things to get changed while in contact with it. Thus, the term 'KOOTASTHA' means that which 'remains anvil-like', and though itself suffers no change, it makes others change.

||kootastha||


Brahmacharya

BRAHMACHARYA is not only the control of the sex-impulses but is also the practice of self-control in all avenues of sense-impulses and sense-satisfactions. BRAHMACHARYA as such is a term that can be dissolved to mean 'wandering in BRAHMAVICHAR'. To engage our mind in the contemplation of the Self, the Supreme Reality, is the saving factor that can really help us in withdrawing the mind from external objects.The human mind must have one field or another to engage itself in. Unless it is given some inner field to meditate upon, it will not be in a position to retire from its extrovert pre-occupations. This is the secret behind all success in 'total-celibacy'. The successful Yogin need not be gazed at as a rare phenomenon in nature, for his success can be the success of all, only if they know how to establish themselves in this inward self-control. It is because people are ignorant of the positive methods to be practised for a continuous and successful negation and complete rejection of the charms of sense-organs, that they invariably fail in their endeavour.

BRAHMACHARYA, in its aspect of sense-withdrawal, lends a larger share of physical quietitude. Therefore, when by the above process the intellect, mind, and body are all controlled and brought to the maximum amount of peace and quietitude, the 'way of life' pursued by the seeker provides for him a large saving in the mental energy which would have been otherwise spent away in sheer dissipation.

This newly discovered and fully availed strength makes the mind stronger and stronger, so that the seeker experiences in himself a growing capacity to withdraw his wandering mind into himself and to fix his entire thoughts 'in the contemplation of Me, the Self'.

||brahmacharya||


Krishna

'Krishna', a word that comes from the root KRISH, meaning, 'to scrape'. The term Krishna is applicable to the Self because, on realisation of the True, the delusory threats of the mind and the consequent dreamy VASANAS will all be scraped from our cognition.

||Krishna||


Sraddha

The term SRADDHA is not some maddening superstition which encourages a blind faith. The inspired devotion that springs up in a bosom, from among its solid intellectual convictions gained through a true appreciation, is the mighty power called faith 'that can move mountains' and 'bring the very heavens to the earth'.

It is not built upon the misty vapours of emotionalism, but upon the solid beams of intellectual understanding and perfect awareness of the logic of thought behind the theory. Sankara defines Sraddha as the "moulding of the life and living, on the basis of right intellectual comprehension of what the scripture indicates and the teachers explain". It is the enduring faith that lifts us to realms beyond the reach of the mind and intellect, and helps to carve out of the mortal and the finite, the Immortal and the Infinite.

||sraddha||

Bhajan

In the Vedantic textbooks, BHAJAN is the attempt of the ego to pour out itself in an act of devoted dedication towards the Principle of Reality whereby it successfully invokes the experience that lies beyond the noisy shores of the mindintellect. One who does this invocation (BHAJAN) of the Self, and naturally gets himself merged in that awakening, is declared by the teacher in the Geeta as belonging to the highest type of meditation.

||bhajan||


Jagat

In philosophy, the term Jagat means not only the world of objects perceived by us through our sense-organs, but it includes in its concept, the world experienced through and interpreted by the mind and intellect also. Thus the worldof-objects, the world-of-feelings, and the world-of-ideas that we experience, together, in their totality, constitute the Jagat.

Jagat means "all the fields of experiences which man has, as a physical body, as a psychological being and as an intellectual entity". This would mean that the Jagat is the sum-total of the world perceived by my senses, plus the world of my emotions and sentiments, plus the world of my ideas and ideologies. The entire field ( Jagati-iti-Jagat: that which is ever changing is Jagat. So it embraces the entire Universe of things and beings conditioned by time and space.) that is comprehended by the sense organs, the mind and the intellect, is to be understood in its totality as Jagat. In short, this term conveniently embraces, in its meaning and import, the entire "realm of objects".

||jagat||


Maya

The term Maya, as used in Vedantic literature, is nothing other than the different impulses under which the mind and intellect of the living kingdom act.

||maya||


Brahman

The term Brahman indicates the one changeless and imperishable subjective Essence behind the phenomenal world. It becomes the Self, the Conscious Principle which illumines the body, mind and intellect, during all their pilgrimages from birth to death through the infinite varieties of their vicissitudes.

||Brahman||


Bhakti

"Bhakti" is not to be understood in its cheap connotation, which it has come to gather in its direct translation as `devotion'. Self-less love, seeking a fulfilment in itself, when directed towards the divine with firm faith and an allout belief, is called Bhakti. Love itself means identifying with the object of love in such a way that the joys and sorrows of the beloved become equally poignant joys and sorrows of the lover. In short, the lovers become one with their beloveds, both in their physical and emotional lives. Therefore, Sankara describes Bhakti as "the identification of the ego with its Real Nature".

||bhakti||


Prana

Prana is the term used in the Science of Vedanta to indicate "all the different expressions of life's vitality, through the various instruments and organs of the body'. Life expressing itself as the various functions in a living physical body is called the Prana.

||prana||


Creation

The act of `creation' is only the production of a name and form, with some specific qualities, out of a raw-material in which the same name, form, and qualities are already existing in an unmanifest condition.

"CREATION IS BUT A CRYSTALLISATION OF THE UNMANIFEST DORMANT NAMES, FORMS, AND QUALITIES, INTO THEIR MANIFEST FORMS OF EXISTENCE".

||creation||


Death

The world of names and forms is finite and ever changing. At every moment, every object is living through a process of change, and each change is death to the previous state of existence of the object. Thus, the term "death" used by Krishna in his phrase "FRAUGHT WITH DEATH" is to be understood in this liberal meaning of the term. In short, courters of the finite, reach the tragic realms of constant death.

||death||


Upasana

The term 'Upasana' means "worship". Through worship we invoke the deity, meaning "the profit potential in any given field" (The Yajna spirit in which the actions are to be undertaken, as explained in Chapter IV) and the prefix Pari to this familiar term 'Upasana', indicates a total-effort in which no stone is left unturned for carving out one's victories in one's field of endeavour.

||upasana||


Yoga kshema

The terms 'Yoga' and 'Kshema' defined as "the power to gain (Yoga), and the power to guard (Kshema)" respectively, by Sankara in his commentary,("Yogah apraaptasya-praapanam, Kshemah tad-rakshanam". Sankara-"Yoga" means procuring what is not procured, and "Kshema" means protecting what is already procured)

||yoga, kshema||


Pitri

Accepting the term 'Pitri' as denoting the 'ancestors', 'votaries of ancestors' would mean 'persons who are enthusiastically alive to the cultural purity and tradition of their ancients, and who are striving to live up to those ideals'.

||pitri||


Purified

The mind becomes more and more PURIFIED-the term being used in its scriptural sense.(Less vasanas, less agitations, and a mind with least thought-agitations in it is called a purified mind-it has more single-pointed steadiness in meditation.) A purified mind has more concentration and single-pointedness.

||purified||


Sudra

Mental attitudes of "slumber and slothfulness" are indicated by the term "Sudra" . When we have understood that these terms, familiar in that age, are borrowed by Krishna to indicate special types of mind-intellect-equipments, we have understood rightly.

||Sudra||


Lord

The Self being the same everywhere, the Atman that rules my world is the Atman that rules the worlds of all individuals. The entire universe is the sum total of the worlds of experience of each individual, and evidently, the 'ruler' that governs the entire Universe must necessarily be the Absolute Self Itself. The term 'the Lord of the worlds' is to be rightly understood thus. The Lord is not a "tyrant over life" or "a Sultan of the skies", or an "Autocrat who rules over our world". The Self is the Lord of our experiences, just as the Sun, in the same fashion, is the Lord of our daytime world.

Lord may be understood as the "Law" behind the world-ofplurality and all the happenings therein.

||Lord||


Vibhuti, yoga

"He, who in reality knows these two, My Vibhuti and My Yoga", gets established in the realisation of the Supreme. We find that the terms Vibhuti and Yoga, which appear in this stanza, are invariably translated as "Manifold manifestations of beings" (Vibhuti) and "My power" (Yoga).

In effect, although these translations are true, they are not efficient enough to convey the subtle and the brilliant connection between the statement and what has been indicated in the previous stanza. Macrocosmic projection of a created Universe, through the intervention of the "Seven Seers", is the Absolute's own Vibhuti, while the microcosmic experience of a limited world, through the intervention of the mindborn "Four Ancient Kumaras", is the Divine Yoga of the Self in each one of us.

||vibhuti, yoga||


Matchittah

Once the intellect is soaked with a convincing realisation that the Essence behind the God-principle (Iswara) and the individual ego (Jiva) is one and the same, whatever feelings may arise in the mind or whatever thoughts may arise in the intellect, it is not very difficult for the Truth-seeker to remain constantly aware of the Conscious Principle behind them all and this constant "awareness of the Self" is indicated here by the term 'Matchittah'.

||matchittah||


Purusha

In the Sankhyan philosophy, the Spark-of-life in each individual is called the Purusha, in Whose presence, the matter- envelopments constituting Prakriti, become vitalised.

||purusha||


Purushottam

Here Krishna is addressed as 'Purushottama' meaning "the Self of all selves, the One-without-a-second". In the Geeta, the term Purushottam is sometimes used as the 'most glorious of men' and sometimes in the purely technical usage as the "Supreme Self".

||Purushottam||


Siddha

Siddha in Sanskrit indicates one who has "achieved the Goal (Sadhya)" and therefore, it means the "Perfected One".

||siddha||


Muni

The term Muni need not bring into our mind the traditional picture supplied by illiterate painters of an aged, silverhaired, almost naked fakir, generally roaming about where others will not dare to enter, eating a strange diet, a strange creature of the forests, rather than a decent normal man of the town. Muni is a term in Sanskrit derived from the word Manana which is the "art of reflection". (Mananaseelavan-munih. A Muni is one capable of penetrating reflections upon the deep significance in the scriptural declarations.) The term Muni, therefore, only means a thinker.

||muni||


Hiranyagarbha

The restful state of the TOTAL-mind-intellect, and therefore, of all the vasanas in all of us in their condition of rest, would be the TOTAL-pralaya and, at that time the whole Universe merges back to become the "seed". This is an illuminating example of the poetic way of expression used by all our ancient seers. This pregnant condition of the potential energy, which, after a time and under suitable circumstances, will emerge to express itself, is termed by the brilliant seers of Upanishads as the Stateof-Hiranyagarbha. To translate this marvellous term as the "Golden Egg" is one of the blasphemies unconsciously committed by the Western translators who have thereby outraged the beauty of our scriptures. "The womb of all things and beings", is all that is indicated by the term, Hiranyagarbha.

||Hiranyagarbha||


Divine-eye

There are very many critics who try to explain this "Divineeye" through fantastic suppositions and ridiculous theories. Such commentators are certainly men not much educated in the style of the Hindu scriptures, the UPANISHADS. Expressly and tacitly, all through the Upanishads, it is repeatedly explained that the subtler cannot be brought within the scope and compass of the instruments-of-perception given to man. The external sense organs can play freely only in the outer world-of- objects,. Even when we ordinarily " see an idea " it is not done with our outer pair of eyes. The intellectual comprehension is meant here by the term " seeing" and the capacity of the intellect to comprehend is the `Divine-eye'.

||Divine-eye||


Vairagya

This does not mean running away from the objects-of-the world. Living in the midst of these objects, to switch off our mental pre-occupations with them; living amidst the objects detachedly and not getting shackled by them--this is meant here by the term Vairagya.

||vairagya||


Guna

The term guna, used in the dialectics of the Geeta, indicates not the 'properties' of a material but the 'attitude' with which the mind functions. The psychological being in everyone of us comes under the influence of three different "climatic conditions" prevalent in our bosom. These three are called the gunas: Unactivity (Sattwa), Activity (Rajas) and Inactivity (Tamas). The term guna also means 'rope', by which, the spiritual beauty of life in us is tied down to the inert and insentient matter-vestures.

||guna||


Heart

HEART, in philosophy, means, "mind which has been trained to entertain constantly the positive qualities of love tolerance, mercy, charity, kindness and the like". The Infinite 'DWELLS IN THE HEART' means, though He is present everywhere, the Lord is most conspicuously self-evident, during meditation, in the HEART of the meditator.

||heart||


Sin

'Sin' means an act, a feeling, or a thought, which, having been perpetrated, entertained, or thought of, comes back after a time to agitate our bosom with its insulting taunts and helpless regrets. In short, SIN is the resultant of the past that comes to demean our self-estimate and creates in us a lot of mental storm and consequent dissipation. One who has thus an inner personality which carries disturbing memories of undignified acts and cruel schemes, has indeed, a bosom that is ever agitated and restless. Such a mindintellect-equipment cannot consistently apply itself to any serious and deep investigation into the subtle realm of the Pure Awareness that lies beyond the frontiers of the intellect. Therefore, the term 'sinless' in the context here only means "O STEADY-MINDED, ALERT AND VIGILANT STUDENT".

||sin||


Adroha (non-hatred)

The term here should mean more than "ABSENCE OF HATRED". Just as an individual will never have, even in his dream, any idea of injuring himself, a true seeker, in his recognition of the Oneness in all living creatures, must come to feel that to injure anyone is to injure himself.

||adroha (non-hatred)||


Sastra

The term Sastra need not necessarily be understood as a bundle of ritualistic injunctions, strictly followed and sacredly insisted upon by the fanatic orthodox. The textbooks discussing the Theory-of-Truth (Brahma-Vidya) and the technique of self-perfection (Yoga) are called Sastras, while other subsidiary books which explain and throw light upon the Sastras are called Prakarana texts; the latter explain the categories in the Science of Vedanta. Since the Geeta is a philosophical poem, exhaustively explaining the theory and practice of God-realisation, IT IS CONSIDERED AS A Sastra.

||sastra||

Yajna

The term Yajna has been earlier defined to include all selfless co-operative endeavours of every individual in a society, undertaken to bring forth to manifestation of the latent wealth and prosperity that are in that community. Therefore, all acts done by an individual during his life in a spirit of selfless dedication to the general well-being can come under this term.

||yajna||


Attachment

The term `attachment' in the Geeta has a peculiar flavour and, throughout its length, this term has been used to indicate the spirit in which an ego-centric personality will come to work in any field of activity while fulfilling his own egocentric desires. Thus, ego and its desires are the component parts of attachments. When an ego strives to fulfil its own burning desires, it comes to live in a certain relationship with the world of things and objects around. This wrong relationship is called `attachment'.

||attachment||


Dhriti (firm resolution)

The term dhrti means `fortitude'--the subtle faculty in man that makes him strive continuously towards a determined goal. When obstacles come on his way, it is his faculty of dhrti that discovers for him more and more courage and enthusiasm to face them all and to continue striving towards the same determined goal. This persevering tendency to push oneself on to the work until one reaches the halls of success, unmindful of the obstacles that one might meet with on the path, is called dhrti.

||dhriti (firm resolution)||


Utsaha

Utsaha means untiring self-application with a dynamic enthusiasm on the path of achievement while pursuing success.

||utsaha||


Dhrti (fortitude)

Dhrti is that power within ourselves by which we consistently see thepicture of a goal that we want to achieve; and while striving towards it, dhrti discovers for us the necessary consistency of purpose to pursue the path, in spite of all the mounting obstacles that rise on the way. Dhrti paints the idea, maintains it constantly in our vision, makes us steadily strive towards it, and when obstacles come, dhrti mobilises secret powers within ourselves to face them all courageously, heroically, and steadily.

||dhrti (fortitude)||


Prasada

The term prasada is very often misunderstood in our ritualistic language. The peace and tranquillity, the joy and expansion that the mind and intellect come to experience as a result of their discipline and contemplation are the true prasada. The joy arising out of spiritual practices provided by the integration of the inner nature is called prasada.

||prasada||


Guhyam

This (guhyam) is a term that went into much misuse and abuse in India in our recent past. The term was misconstrued to mean that the spiritual knowledge, which is the core of our culture, is a great secret to be carefully preserved and jealously guarded against anybody else coming to learn it. This view of the orthodox has no sanction in the scriptures if we read them with the same large-heartedness of the rishis who gave them to us. No doubt, there are persons who have neither the intellectual vision nor the mental steadiness, nor the physical discipline to understand correctly this great Truth in all its subtle implications and, therefore, this is kept away from them lest they should come to harm themselves by falsely living a misunderstood philosophy.

||guhyam||


Gyana Yagna

In a Yagna, Lord Fire is invoked in the sacrificial altar, and into it are offered oblations by the devotees. From this analogy the term gyana yagna has been originally coined and used in the Geeta. Study of the scriptures and regular contemplation upon their deep significance kindle the `fire of knowledge' in us, and into this the intelligent seeker offers as his oblation his own false values and negative tendencies. This is the significance of the metaphorical phrase gyana yagna.

||gyana yagna||



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