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January - March 2022

Bhagavad Gita Chapter II Sloka 29-30 Swami Omkarananda

आ य व प य त क देन मा य व द त तथैव चा यः।
आ य व ैनम यः ृणो त ु वा येनं वेद न चैव क त्।।2.29।।

This sloka is atma jnana stuti (in praise of self-knowledge). The word ‘āścarya’ means rarity and wonder.

Everyone likes to see something novel. Little do people appreciate their old belongings. It is not surprising to see people being enamored by the new; Whereas it is a matter of wonder to see people cognizing the self – the atma with wonder when it is indeed not new to them. Still wonderous is the fact that many live without even knowing the nature of the self. They may be knowledgeable in many other walks of life but lack self-knowledge.

Sri Adi Sankaracharya says that only a qualified mature student taught by competent guru can imbibe this knowledge.

In Kathopanishad ( in a mantra resembling this Gita sloka) Yamadharmaraja says that not many wish to know about atma. Even if one desires to know, they may not get a good guru. And on hearing, not all understand, as one with an extroverted mind cannot grasp and retain this knowledge.

Pure consciousness is the real absolute self. Individuality is pseudo ‘I’ not the real self. Limited individuality is superimposed on unlimited pure consciousness. People are generally so used to objectifying everything that they make the mistake of trying to objectify the self. They look for some unique experiences. Some people try to close their eyes and see atma as something within. In real, we should understand that- Internal and external, God, the world, the jivas are in me, the Pure consciousness.