The Theory Of Yoga Primacy: Yogeshwari Shrimadbhagwatgita
At the end of every chapter of Shrimadbhagwatgita (Gita), there is a mention of Gita Upanishad being Brahma Vidya (The Science of Brahman) and Yoga Shastra (The Science of Yoga). This actually means that Gita is analysis, theory and explanation of these two great sciences. Some hundred years ago, Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri had done a Yogic commentary on Gita, exclusively for his close disciples.
For general public, it is very difficult to understand the commentaries on Gita done by Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya. The difficult nature of Sanskrit as a language and complexity in syntax (over a period of time) has added to ignorance of many people to these commentaries. When Gnyaneshwari (A book written about 700 years ago) was written to bring this knowledge in native Marathi language (A language spoken in western parts of India), it was very popular. Another commentary written by Lokmanya Tilak (an Indian freedom fighter), called Gita Rahasya (secrets of Gita), was equally popular in intellectual circles. But that is also now 100 years old. A Yogi from Mathura, Mr. Shailendra Himmatbahadur Sharma, has described the Science of Yoga expounded in Gita for the benefit of everybody as well as knowledgeable intellectuals. It has been translated in to Marathi by Ms. Rashmi Jawlekar.
"Yogeshwari Shrimadbhagwatgita", as this book is called, has commentaries which are results of knowledge that descended through generations of Gurus, as well as ardent practice of Ancient science of Yoga. This is what Mr. Sharma has explained in the preface of the said book. The shlokas (couplets) of Gita have been explained in a step by step manner - first breaking it down in to phrases, then literal translation, followed by the commentary. Some shlokas (couplets) have been further analyzed after the commentary portion. The commentary might have descended from the age old knowledge through generations of Gurus, while the analysis seems to be author's own. Mr. Sharma has explained two very important stages of Sadhana - Untying the knot oftongue and opening the knot of heart. The capability to know the time of time that Mr. Sharma has and the relativity of time that physicists theorize, although they are different means but they point to same concept. Needless to say that Mr. Sharma is way ahead of physicists in this regard.
Gita has vedic philosophy as well as emphasis on Dhyanyoga, Bhaktiyoga and Karmayoga. Mr. Shailendra Sharma has researched Gita from the yogic point of view. In the course of this research, his analysis gives a few statements which are very thought provoking. Consider this - "Death is a medium, by which the great person who has awakened the immense consciousness of brain, goes beyond the death and himself becomes immense". Death has distinct mention in Gita and it has been rightly emphasized by Mr. Sharma. Those who live in the fear of death are cowards. But what to call those people who live just because death has not been unto them. Actually, death is certain for the one who is born. The one which rises, definitely sets; whatever blooms, falls and whatever is dark, shall be lighted - this is the basic law of nature. But those who are tired of searching beauty in life never realize the bondage between life and death since they break these two apart. Mr. Sharma says in anutshell - "How much Life loves death is realized when it is too late. Life runs for the whole lifetime - just to unite with Death. The true beauty is born in the moments of union of Life and Death." Who else but a Yogi can say this?
Seeing the universal form of Lord Vasudeva (explained in Chapter 11 of Gita) is a way of realizing the Almighty. But that sight makes one fearful instead of happy, inhibited instead of free and awful instead of easy. This is because it is very difficult for the mind to be onewith the universal one. The difference is always going to be there. That's why after this sight, Arjun is advised to "just be the means" in the chapter 11 of Gita. Arjun, of course, follows this advice. This universal sight destroys the false sense of pride towards the body. In the 55 verses of this Chapter (11), Mr. Sharma has explained the "universal sight of time consciousness and immensely effulgent Lord who stays beyond expression" in the terminology of Yoga system. This leaves the reader in awe of this great explanation. This narrative reminds me of an old sage called "Kal baba". While he was alive, he would always say - "Kal comes, Kal eats, Kal comes, here he comes" (Kal means the Lord, The Destroyer, The Black and The Time in Sanskrit). He did not have the false attachment towards the body. So much so that he did not have the perception of clothes. Mr. Sharma's analysis of Time Consciousness reminds us of such realized saint like "Kal baba", whose purpose of existence was oneness with the time consciousness. Mr. Sharma writes - "Such a great man who goes to thee shelter of Time Consciousness thus becoming a devotee of Time Consciousness, he does all the Karmas only for Time Consciousness ultimately leading to oneness with the effulgence of all effulgence - Time Consciousness".
Mr. Stephen Hawking, who was recently visiting India, had said in New Delhi that Black holes aren't Black. In Mumbai, he said that the matter that potentially forms a black hole is the seed of the Massively Astronomical Compact Halo Objects. He also said that zero gravity heavenly bodies merge in to black holes. The concept of divine effulgence and time consciousness that has been expounded in this book is a little more advanced than this and has been explained in a relatively simpler language that can be understood by common man. It is not an exaggeration to say that Cosmology has originated from the Gita. Chhandogya Upanishad (an ancient scripture in India) talks about the evolution of this universe from the space. In a fable, the above scripture as dictated by a guru was doubted by a disciple, who was then asked by the guru to bring a fruit of Banyan tree. After extracting the seed from that fruit, the guru explained that as this great Banyan tree has evolved from this tiny seed, so is this Universe evolved from this space or "nowhere". Stephen Hawking speaks the cosmological terminology, Gita tells it in the form of Lord Krishna, while Mr. Sharma explains this in Yoga terminology.
This commentary on Gita by Mr. Sharma starts with a small, but thought provoking poem-
"Holding this Yogic art to know Time,
How long shall I call alone
And who will listen?
Finding me almost limited in time,
Will somebody believe that
I'm saying something about Time itself."
This passage mirrors what Mr. Shailendra Sharma has to say. The new meaning of "Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh", after looking through the glass of modern knowledge, has also been explained in the beginning of the book. At the end of that passage, Mr. Sharma says - "After the time cycle of creation is over, only time shall remain."
Mr. Sharma is the fifth Guru in the lineage of Shri Lahiri Mahasay. That means Shri Lahiri Mahasay is Param-Param Guru of Mr. Sharma. This book is up to the lofty standards of this effulgent lineage. Ms. Rashmi Jawlekar has also translated it from Hindi to Marathi with great devotion. Even if someone does not know an iota of Yoga system, he will be greatly enlightened about the Time Consciousness perspective of Yoga system after reading this book. You mustread this book if you want to see Gita in a new light and if you want to understand Yoga system from the perspective of modern space time theory as well as Gita's reflection.
Yogeshwari Shrimadbhagwatgita: A Yogic Commentary
Original Hindi Version: Shailendra Sharma
Marathi Translation: Rashmi Jawlekar
Publisher: Siddha Siddhanta Yoga Academy, Mathura
Distribution: Rajhans Publisher, Pune
Pages: 287, Price: 100 Indian Rupees.