Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita 2:52-53

I would like to share my most favourite verse in the Bhagavad Gita..
This somehow sums up all that God has ever said to man....

"When thy mind leaves behind its dark forest of delusion,
Thou shalt go beyond the scriptures of times past and still to come.

When thy mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures,
Shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation,
Then the goal of Yoga is thine."

~The Bhagavad Gita
Verses 2:52-53

(Juan Mascaro translation- the one that I have)
The same Verses by another translator :-

"When your soul passes beyond delusion’s turbid quicksands,
Then will you learn disgust for what may yet be heard.
When your soul, by scripture once bewildered,
Stands motionless and still, immovable in ecstasy,
Then you will attain to sameness-and-indifference (yoga)."
R.C. Zaehner, The Bhagavad-Gita 2:52-53


Steve E said...

Juan Mascaro - For me, this is the better translation.

What comforting, peaceful, trusting words.

"...shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation..."

The Good life, the real life!

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

for me too...

that's the translation i have with me... that's the one i read... :)

Steve E said...

I am ordering the book today (on your recommendation.) Is it Buddha, Yoga, Islam, or...

I am catholic, but to me, my relationship is between God and myself, that's it. Another human can never tell me, nor ever understand how I 'know God'. The is personal MY opinion!

Steve E said...

Today I am ordering Mascaro trans. of The Bhagavad Gita. I looked it up and read a few excerpts. But...what is it? Obviously, you are Muslim. Is Yoga the same? Last January I took six-week course in Buddha--extremely interesting to me. (I go back to your quote, which first brought me here--grin!)

Anyway, I am not searching more than anyone else, just always wanting to learn.(Don't forget, at age 78, the learning timetable is limited--grin!)

But I am at peace, mashallah!

Do you suggest small pocket-sized? Because I like to keep with me also.
Take care!

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

i agree with you . . . A person who does not have any 'Personal Opinion' is really losing out on his right to have opinions.

:) you wudn be disappointed, at least i hope not.
And i didnt get your question. . . Are you asking me to which religion is the Gita related?
Well. It's Hinduism . . The religion of the majority in India.
Gita consists of the words that were spoken by Sri Krishna, who is considered to be an avatar of God by the Hindus, to Arjun . . A prince, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Steve E said...

I will bother you no more today--promise! mashallah...

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

alrite. . . I posted my reply before i read your next comment.

Giving you a little more info bout the Gita.
The story is basically 'the Mahabharat' . . It is a battle. A battle between 100 evil guys called the Kauravas and their army and 5 good guys called the Pandavas. (the third of whom is Arjuna)
The Kauravas and Pandavas are, however, cousins.

The battlefield is Kurukshetra in India.
Seeing his cousins (though evil) Arjuna wants to withdraw from the war. . . And THAT is when Sri Krishna, who was rode Arjuna's chariot in The Battle, speaks to Arjuna and tells him to rise up to the need and fight the evil.
While the Battle itself was a real battle, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna have a literal meaning PLUS a symbolic meaning to fight all evil.

I again didnt get your question. Is yoga the same . . as what?
Hinduism? Religion?

Depends on what religion means to you.
Yoga is, very simply put, yog . .i.e, the coming together . . .becoming one with something.
It is a very high state of mind and soul.
Take, for example, prayer. It is a part of religion. But, what is religion? ?
If religion to you means your relation with god and prayer is also your relation with god, obviously prayer is your religion. .
Same goes for yoga.

Yes, Buddhism also includes yoga. In fact, yoga is said to belong to Indian set of religions. . Including Jainism.

Yes, am Muslim.
And if you mean to ask if Yoga is a part of Islam as well. . Then . . No, yoga is not mentioned in Islam.

Just like you, i too have a personal relation with God :) i too love learning.
I was a Muslim. And i learnt, as a Muslim, that God is One.
And after learning THAT, i realized what it means to be a Muslim. And THEN i really became a Muslim.
Am talkin like an Alien now :p

wow! You are 78:-) Alhamdulillah! :) :) but trust me, for learning. . The time is less even at 23 :p

well. . . The one which i have is small enough. It all depends on the size of your pocket :) :p :p :p

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

i just read my reply. . I have skipped a line. . I have written that Mahabharata is the battle. Sorry, Mahabharata is an epic . . This part of the epic, is a battle. . .

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

you aren't bothering me :) and you are using mashaAllah everywhere :p :p

jau said...

Allahmdulilah , Very nice POst, and co incidentally this is my 5 th Blog post Read, and it so happens that 3 of them have been from u!! Lol,
as for the Query, Does Islam has any Yoga well, Very well logical reply abt Yoga being relations with God,
i am a Physical Therpist and understand What and How Yoga Helps the Body Physically , and If u See the Islamic way of Praying Namaaz , its even Better than doing Yoga, Studies Conclude Moderate aerobic Excerices are very Good for Health and Praying Namaz 5 times a Day doing the repetitive movements with clear peace of mind not only Helps Physically but Mentally as well,
Look at this very differentiating thing, You need to do Ablution before Praying, Allahmdulilah, there are so many benefits of Ablution, Does one do Nasal Irrigation 5 times?? No jus look at the cleanliness aspect of it, so very less cances of getting infected, Washing of hands , before u do Nasal Irrigation even preventing more to avoid Infection.. There are so many Benefits.. So if the need of Yoga is Physical Health u got it in Namaz, If ur need of Yoga is Spiritual Health, wat Better it could be by Praying Infront of lord, and reciting his own words from Quran ... May Allah Blesss us all.. Aameen

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

thanks for the comment.
I respect your views and agree to the 'cleanliness' aspect of it. But, i fear, i do not conform with most of what you have written with regard to the comparison of Namaz with Yoga.

The points you have mentioned have been told by many many many authors and TV channels that air Muslim stuff have shown many a Zakir Naik lectures on this topic. So, obviously a huge section of Muslims would tell what you wrote and i respect you guys for your intention.
But since i am talkin for myself, lemme say, I personally find this comparison to be degrading to both Namaz and Yoga.
It is very Dawah-centric.
And that too in a silly way.

First coming to Namaz, the very thot of equatin Namaz to any form of 'exercise' irks me big time.

It's almost like telling ppl a better bahana to read Namaz . You know, the kind of ppl who try to combine fasting in Ramzan and 'dieting'.
'ek teer do nishan' can definitely be a good 'outcome' of Namaz but when we PREACH that in the way Zakir Saab does, it's like diluting the intention behind Namaz.
Namaz is a 'conversation' with God. NOT a meditation.
When we read the Fatiha, we are actually 'saying' to Allah ki Allah Paak, saari tareef tumhare hi liye hai. Rabb ho tum pure aalam ke. Rehman ho, Raheem. Malik ho tum qiyamat ke roz ke. Hum tumhari ibadat karte hai aur tumse hi madad mangte hai. Hume sahi rah par chalao. Unki rah par jinse tum khush ho na ki unke jinpar tumhari narazgi hai.

And when we are saying THIS to Allah or asking Him to bless Mohammed S.A.W and his progeny as He had blessed Prophet Abraham A.S. and his progeny., THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.

Speaking to Allah.

I seriously wonder why and how can ppl compare the conversation with the Almighty with 'exercise'. We are the closest to Allah during sijdah, kehte hai. . . and at that time if i am concerned bout the position of my knee joint and ankle joint, am i really conversing with God?

One of my biggest difficulties in Islam has been attaining concentration during prayer. I keep wandering to the work that has to be done, the cat nibbling at something behind my back etc etc. If Namaz is an exercise, why am i even bothered bout the 'concentration'?

Repetitive movements of the Namaz can be a form of 'yoga' ppl say. If we know yoga or any form of exercise, we'd know how the position sense and stretch sense in performing those exercises are important. Definitely not possible in Namaz. In Namaz, we keep track of the VERSES. . . The body floats through the movements that we have been performing a minimum of twenty times, every single day of our lives. I also dont understand the cardio comparison of Namaz. Cardio, i think, is from cardiac. Th little cardio that i have done defines the word properly, it increases our cardiac function. Increases the pumping of the heart. The least form of cardio that i can manage without utter exhaustion is brisk walking. And that too leaves my heart Pumping real hard. Where is 'praying' if we are in a 'high' after a work out?

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...


If we say yoga is 'meditation' and then talk bout Namaz being meditation, again, how can a conversation be meditation as well? It's like now while i am talkin to you, i am 'meditating'. Namaz to me is a conversation. In fact, an obligatory conversation which we do to make our lives easier. Both here and in the hereafter. It is for 'gardens beneath which rivers flow'. It is for meeting Huzur S.A.W. at kausar.

My mummy has been praying since God knows when. She prayed standing when she was young. Then she prayed sitting on the floor. Now she prays sitting on a chair. In fact, her sijdahs are only half sijdahs. Had her intention behind prayin been even partly for exercise, wouldnt she be disappointed now ? And now that she can only sit on a chair and pray, what 'exercise' does the Namaz remain ? She prays to be heard by her God. She wants me to pray properly, pray on time coz God is Hearing. She SPEAKS to Allah and that is why Namaz is alive in her heart. Not coz of any 'yoga' in Namaz.

at times after namaz we find ourselves crying or smiling coz of the dua we made to Allah...

in Namaz, I, Almas, try to concentrate on speaking to Allah.
not on either 'meditating' or 'exercise'.

Now coming to Yoga.

I havent been a student of yoga, leave alone a master and since i have not even followed the Indian group of religions (that is the parent religion of yoga), i wouldnt consider myself in a stable position to really 'opine' on yoga.
still, based on the little i have read on the topic, helped by my fascination for the religion that is Hinduism, i can say that Yoga is beyond... WAY BEYOND exercise alone, meditation alone or even both exercise and meditation combined together.

yoga being used to keep ourselves fit and healthy and to lose weight is the monetary aspect of it... the commercialized side to the discipline that is yoga.
Yoga, keeps us fit...or attempts to keep us fit, beyond doubt, but is more than just that.

yoga is meditation, beyond doubt, but again, is more than just that.

yoga is CONTEMPLATION. yoga is 'BECOMING ONE'....literally....

Hinduism, like Islam, has many branches....and one of the philosophies in Hinduism (the one that is my favourite) is that of MONOISM... unlike the conventional Islamic MONOTHEISM....

Monoism preaches the existence of God and God alone. All that is, is God. Nothing else is.

based on this philosophy, 'Yoga' is the 'becoming one' with 'God' in that.. it is the realization of 'All that is, is God. Nothing else is.'

it is almost like the realization of "Aham Brahmasami".....

i think this is the Advaita Vedanta school of thought .... am not sure, i apologize.

but, i THINK it is the Advaita Vedanta...
ADVAITA meaning 'a' + 'dvaita'
no + second.
One single existence- God.

this concept is considered alien to Islam. The Salafi school of thought, in fact, calls it Kufr.The very first page of Dr. Bilal Philips' "Fundamentals of Islamic Studies" in its discussion of the Tawheed, refutes Monoism.

How then can a Salafi (*self proclaimed Salafis- I am against the branching of Islam)while reading the Namaz, be doing anything similar to 'yoga'????

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

The story of creation goes that Allah is a Noor and he wanted to share his beauty with a beloved and so he created the Noor Mohammedi S.A.W. ...out of HIS OWN NOOR.
and then everything that existed, exists and will exist was created out of this Noor Mohammedi S.A.W..
meaning we all have the Noor of Noor Mohammedi in us...and indirectly, the Noor of Allah.
this entire story of creation is not accepted in the literal sense by many Muslim authorities. (no wonder, Monoism is also not accepted. i cant see how someone who believes in THIS story of creation wud manage to disbelieve in Monoism)
however, the Sufi school of thought are pretty Monoistic in their beliefs.
(again, no wonder, that they are called kafirs by many 'other' branches of Islam).
The only single thing in Islam that I personally, very personally, think can be compared to Yoga is the Sufi whirling dance....

very different from the Yoga, definitely....
yet, the closest to yoga that Islam has 'officially' got to. This whirling signifies the Muslim mystics' dance of for the Supreme.. the Supreme that is .... and the only thing that is.

In his love for God, the Sufi annihilates himself... and all that remains is God.

otherwise, i find no comparison of any single 'sanctioned' and 'recognized' Muslim act to be akin to Yoga.

of course, we can always say that Yoga belongs to Allah... coz everything belongs to Allah. Every Prophet came with the message of Islam... any knowledge that ever came to man is from Allah.
in THAT way, Islam has yoga???? ok.. it does!

otherwise, in the Shariah of the Prophet Mohammed S.A.W, the last Prophet of Islam, (excluding the return of Jesus A.S. ofcourse), there is no YOGA.

There is Namaz, which is very very monotheistic.

Yoga, on the other hand can range from monotheism to monoism... depending on how far you can go in the 'yog'.

The Bhagawad Geeta mentions 'Yoga' in ways which I have not been able to understand fully. I need to study that in depth.

however, the verses in Bhagawad Gita do make it clear that Yoga is,like i told, beyond exercise, meditation or both.

There are many verses dealing wid yoga in the Gita, you can search it up.

I again write the two verses which I like the most in the Gita:-

"When thy mind leaves behind its dark forest of delusion, thou shalt go beyond the scriptures of times past and still to come.

When thy mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures, shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation, then the goal of 'YOGA' is thine."

P.S.- this is a lengthy comment coz this was one of the topics I had previously wanted to post about but had kept it for later....
i am using this comment as a post now....

we are free to differ in opinion, i hope.

JaLpArI - tHe MeRmAiD said...

i also apologize for freely using Hindi terms, i assumed you to be a Hind/Paki coz you used the subcontinental term 'Namaaz' instead of the Arabic 'Salaah'. sorry if i was totally wrong in the assumption.