This article being the first in series of articles on Bhagwat Geeta, I found no better way than to start with Lord Ganesha.
Today, we begin our journey of Exploring the Reality by the means of this incredible poem — The Bhagwat Geeta. Beginning with the usual practice of performing the inception ritual —
|| Shree Ganeshaya Namaha ||
— “Submission and Devotion to the Ocean of Knowledge”
But why? Why do we always begin anything by submitting ourselves to Lord Ganesha — The Ocean of Knowledge?
Well, there is a reason for doing so.
But before going to the Reason, we must be mindful of the fact, that we have started with the question — ‘Why?’ and not with ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ It would be better if we just don’t simply over look this question — ‘Why?’
In order to arrive to the answer of our why-question we need to get through few abstract ideas first. They are —
- The Hypothesis of What-How-Why (click here)
- The Irony of Why
- Masculine and Feminine approaches in the Cosmos
Hypothesis of What How Why can be summarized as follows. There are only 3 categories of questions — What How and Why. Other questions are derivatives of ‘What’. Where — at ‘what’ place, When — at ‘what’ time, Who — what person, Which — what property. The first question is always ‘what’, the next question that follows is ‘How’. And only after getting the answers of ‘What’ and ‘How’, an individual starts questioning — ‘Why?’ And this ability to ask ‘why’ is the privilege of Being Human. No other animal asks this question why only humans do. This makes the Why-question so special.
But the irony of Why is, there has never been any Answer for this ultimate question — ‘Why?’ There are only ‘Reasons’ for it. A why-question is always addressed by a ‘Reason’ and over this Reason again a why-question could be raised! And this happens recursively. Why-questioning never stops. No matter what we do, we end up on a Reason and not Answer. But just like in Calculus theory, when a certain function tends to approach a certain point but never reaches to it, Limit of a function, likewise the Reasoning of Why-questions also approach towards a point but could not reach to it. That unachieved point is the point of that ultimate knowledge where no more Why questioning is required. Indian sages called it the ‘Brahma-Gyaan’. By gaining only this particular knowledge, the entire knowledge gets available to the person and the person is called — Enlightened, Buddha. (Read this article to understand in detail)And this answer of ‘why’ will be revealed to us at the end of Bhagwat Geeta.
But Why? Why does this Why-questioning always end up into a Reason and not the Answer? Because we deal with the Why-question by the Masculine Approach. What is masculine approach?
Masculine and Feminine approaches in the cosmos:
— According to Lord Shiva, this entire Cosmos is composed of 2 approaches. One is the approach of a Man and other is the approach of a Woman. Man and Woman are just symbolic. The way of a Man is the way of Force — attack, Violence, snatching, conquer. Masculine way is the way of grabbing the ‘material nature’. It is the way of ‘Ego’. The way of Woman is the way of Love — surrender, submission, devotion, dedication.
By Masculine approach you will be able to acquire that which is material, finite. But that which is immaterial, infinite cannot be acquired by the masculine way. It can only be acquired by the feminine way.
For example — if a Man gets attracted to a Woman and he tries to get her forcefully, he can grab her body, her body will get available to him, he can rape her, but he will never be able to experience her Love. He will never be able to win her soul. Her body which is material could be conquered by force, but her soul will remain untouched no matter how much force a man applies to conquer it. Its only when a man surrenders before a woman, he can experience her Love.
Science and Technology is the way of Masculinity. Because Science believes in dissection, ripping, tearing apart and analyzing and gaining the knowledge of the mechanism behind anything. Consider a flower. Ask a scientist ‘Why’ flower is beautiful? Measure its beauty. Scientist will cut and dissect the flower. A scientist will get to know all the parts with which a flower is made of. Sepal, Petal, Corolla.. A scientist will be able to do all the experiments and analysis to get to know all the elements which cause the flower to be colorful, pigments in it. But by the way of science, a scientist will never be able to experience and measure the beauty of flower. Science will conquer over all the material things of a flower but will fail to acquire the essence of it.
Consider a poem. Example of poem is important because what we are going to deal with is a poem of Bhagwat, song of Bhagwat. Science can breakdown a poem and can do analysis on it. Science can derive the components of a poem. Figures of it. Alliteration, Repetition, Antithesis, Hyperbole, Metaphor. But Science will never be able experience the meaning of it. Science will gather all the ‘Reasons’ for why but never the ‘Answer’. Only when a person dissolves himself/herself into a poem, he/she will be able to enjoy the juice of it.
Putting it All Together:
And here lies the Reason to our why-question. So, the ‘Namah’ or ‘Namaskar’ to the ‘Ocean of Knowledge’ is Symbolic that the way is Feminine, of submission, devotion, Bhakti. Not just this book but all the religious books of Indian origin start with a ‘Namaskar’. It is an indication that the way is Feminine. And those who have arrived at this Song of Bhagwat as a soldier to analyze and conquer it, will fail.
That is why Science and Logical Reasoning seems getting closer to that ‘unachieved point of why’ but always end up getting Reasons for ‘why’ instead of the Answer. Masculine approach can never achieve that Answer, but the Feminine approach does.
All those who have approached this document in order to ‘acquire’ the knowledge in it, make this ‘knowledge’ a ‘part of themselves’, who have approached towards it with the motive of strengthening their ‘Ego’, have failed, always! Even though it appears externally that they got the knowledge from this poem, but what they really got is all that is ‘Material’ in this poem — they have learnt this poem word by word, they know in which line what is written, in which chapter and which verse what is said by Krishna to Arjuna. And using these materialistic words they roam everywhere and tell others that — “I” know Bhagwat Geeta, this is what is written in so and so verse of so and so chapter. By this they enforce this idea that — “I” know it and others don’t, ask me not others. They have ‘Kanthasta’ all verses of it like a parrot. But such people are far away from the “Answer” contained in it. They will never be able to experience the Love and Knowledge of it.
So the correct way to approach Geeta is not to understand it (this poem is an advanced version of Allegory with endless meanings and interpretations), but the correct way is to Experience it in each and every part and aspect of Life.
So with the masculine approach, with the way of Ego, you will learn the words of Geeta. With the feminine approach, with the way of “Submission of your Ego” you will be able to Experience and Live under the aegis of the essence of Geeta.
Having said this, we can now begin the journey of exploring Bhagwat Geeta. But wait. You just discovered ‘What’ is to be done — Submission of ego. But the next question is ‘How?’ How will you do the Submission of your Ego. Like I said, only that person can go towards ‘Why’ who is satisfied with his questions of ‘What’ and ‘How’. And in our case, our understanding of ‘What’ part is also not complete. What is Ego first of all? Being self-centered? No, Ego is much more complex than we can ever imagine! We are far away from recognizing our own ego. And ‘how’ can we submit something which we also don’t know ‘what’ it is!
But no worries. Bhagwat has taken care of it for its readers. The First chapter of Bhagwat Geeta helps us identify — ‘What’ exactly is our Ego? And the Second chapter will give us the indication of what lies beyond Ego by telling us ‘How’ to do the submission of our Ego that we just identified. And after second chapter, there is the Infinite Stretch of Reality for us to be experienced.
With this in mind, lets begin the journey!