Monthly Archives: August 2012



Arjuna, faced with adversity and war, speaks of all possible reasons to avoid taking decisive action. He calls upon every probable emotional explanation, supported by faulty logic, and driven by fear, to eschew the path of the establishment of dharma. Arjuna’s arguments heap perjury upon perjury in the guise of righteousness.

Lord Krishna, identifying himself with the Supreme God, begins the process of resurrection. He gently leads the disturbed Arjuna. He speaks of the atman, and of pleasure and pain; He speaks of life, and of death; He speaks of the body as mere material equipment, and of the mind in its proclivity to delude. Before Arjuna can once again slip into a different comfort zone the Lord throws this statement . . .

ya nisha sarva-bhutanam
tasyam jagrati samyami
yasyam jagrati bhutani
sa nisha pasyato muneh

That which is night to all beings, in that is awake the self controlled one.
That which is seen as awakening by most, is perceived as darkness by the sages.

Nisha: Night, Darkness, signifying lack of awareness.

Samyami: The Self controlled one, with the intellect firmly in charge of his emotions and desires.

Yasyam Jagriti Bhutani: When many are awake – signifying ‘many’ as distinct from the ‘samyami.’

Nisha pashyato muneh: Seen as night by the sages.

A self controlled sage, as opposed to most ordinary people, perceives the same situation differently.

We spend a life time trying to figure out our spiritual advancement; treatises are written on it.

Yet in this befuddling statement, in two lines, the lord presents the benchmark par excellence of spiritual growth.

The power of the intellect in maintaining strict control over any emotion.

Fearlessness and Joy, focused dynamism, and conviction emerges when the intellect exercises suzerainty over emotional force. That in turn creates what can be called emotional efficiency. The intellect can prevent an unnecessary dissipation of emotional power.

He who lives by this verse is a Stithapragnya.  An embodiment of equanimity and decisive, dynamic action.

Consider the loftiness, the dare and ambition of this statement. In that which is night to all beings the samyami  is awake. That when emotions run amok the intellect seizes control.

Consider the possibility of this facet within the reach of an individual.


Series on Verses From The Bhagvad-Gita

yada yada hi dharmasya 
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamyaham

paritranaya sadhunam 
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge


This is one of the most reassuring verses in the holy Gita. There are four parts to it; the statement of a situation, the manifestation of a solution, the reinforcement and reestablishment of order, and the cycle of imbalance and balance.

The averments in the Bhagavad-Gita work across the gross and the subtle, across the microcosm and the macrocosm, across the sukshma and the viraat, across nations and the individual. Yatha pinde thatha bramhande – As is the microcosm so is the cosmos.

The supreme lord, the enlivening principle, is neither on the side of good nor on the side of evil. He is not an object of any philosophy or religion; He is the subject of all thought, belief and action. The universe is maintained on the principles of balance of forces that allow for a smooth passage of all dynamic activity. This is true for our body, true for our family and society; this is true of the universe. Balance between good and evil, life and death, disease and health, calm and storm; balance between all forces of nature in the cosmos.

The universe and the entire fabric of space, time and being, are always balanced in totality. The Supreme Lord, Brahman, is the keeper of laws that ensure this balance.

The verse begins thus: As and when this order, this dharma, is in jeopardy, and imbalance predominates -indicating the predominance of disorder over order – of adharma over dharma . . . It continues: “Then I appear,” declares the Supreme Lord. ‘I give myself form,’ indicates the appearance of a solution.

Most importantly missed by many,  it does not stop there and continues: To support the maintenance of balance, to destroy the usurpers, I establish order and dharma, indicating resolution, reinstatement and reinstallation.

The omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal lord works through atom into infinity, through the ephemeral into the eternal, His all pervading magnificence and luminance is unstoppable. His writ runs large and when he begins the process of establishing dharma, it is certain that dharma will be established and those in his way will either toe the line or be destroyed.

The manifestation of the Supreme Brahman appear as cosmic and earthly phenomenon across the universe and across cultures and geographies, as a warrior, as a  messiah, as a sage, a revolutionary or in smaller measures as a powerful figure in families and communities or as the singular will to change in an individual

Regardless, when this process of reestablishment of dharma begins there will be churning and the eventual restoration of balance. That which tunes itself to this, ‘will of the Supreme Lord,’ will be restored and rejuvenated, and that which is in the way of this restoration will perish.
Finally yuge yuge: time and again, time after time. Imbalance will appear and balance will


always be restored. Maintaining balance is in line with the will of the Supreme Lord. Imbalance and entropy is in the nature of existence. The cycle goes on and on.



*Brahman is not to be confused with Brahmā, or Brahmin.