CHENNAI: Knowledge of the Supreme Brahman is not to be attained through learning or scholarship alone. The Upanishads and the Vedas repeatedly reinforce the transcendental nature of this Supreme Truth. In a lecture on the Bhagavad Gita, Sri B. Ramachandra Sarma drew attention to the magnificent manner in which Lord Krishna describes the Supreme Self to Arjuna and further reveals His transcendental form in all its fullness and effulgence to highlight His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. This is to enable all spiritual aspirants to make the required insightful leap to comprehend the truths that Upanishads reveal.

Among the incarnations of the Lord, Krishna Avatar is noted for its attractiveness and it affords unique experiences of the divine in infinite ways to many people.

The Lord chose to be born in the clan of Yadavas and in the prison but His purpose was to untie the bonds of Karma of the Jivatmas. So He taught the truths of the Upanishads through the Bhagavad Gita, and showed the paths of Karma, Bhakti and Jnana that can enable one to strive for salvation. All of us are caught in the grip of Maya that is manifest as Prakriti. To progress in the spiritual path, one has to transcend the nature and Gunas and learn to be above the binding effects of these. Karma and desire are inseparable. These two will involve the beings in action, leading to further Karma and bondage. The way out is to renounce the fruits of Karma. This means that one has to act in a dispassionate manner and not expect any selfish gains from the acts one performs. This focus on one’s attitude to work, people and possessions can engender the spirit of detachment and discrimination, that are the hallmarks of devotion.

The path is not easy and the Lord speaks of Bhakti as crucial as it includes the essence of Jnana and Karma yogas. Bhakti provides the props to know the Lord. One illuminates the other in the process, for devotion grows with knowledge of the Lord, and knowledge of the Lord kindles Bhakti in the consciousness of the individual. One has to make the best use of the opportunity that human birth affords and strive for salvation.