Gita series – part 26. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verses–53 – 54:
Krishna continues to address Arjuna “When your intelligence is afflicted by different Vedic revelations, become firmly united with the Supreme and at that time you attain the yoga” (verse 53). Vedic revelations mean different interpretations of the Brahman. The final destination being the same the route taken to reach the destination could be different. If we ask different persons about the routes to reach the destination, each of them will give their own routes. Likewise, different ways and means are advocated to reach the Brahman. Though Indian philosophy has different systems, ultimately they all lead to the Supreme Spirit or the Brahman. There are six known major systems of Indian philosophy. They are Sankhya system, yoga system, mimamsa system, vedanta system, vaisheshika system and nyaya system. All these systems advocate different methods that are unique to each of them. They advocate spiritual awakening by prescribing different practical guidelines. But philosophy has its own limitations. They can neither advocate nor formulate the highest level of Supreme Consciousness, beyond a certain level.
For example one may say that consciousness is God, another may say Truth is God, yet another may say love is God and there cannot be any limit to such interpretations. There are many Upanishads and all of them try to identify the Brahman in their own way, but none of them can pinpoint the Brahman as It is. The truth is that the Brahman is beyond all such complicated narrations. The simplest way to understand the Brahman is to identify Him within, the power of the Soul (not the soul) that makes us to function. Instead of locating Him within, we run from pillar to post, attend classes, watch videos, etc and visit all other places where we can never find Him (of course this is opposed to the omnipresent nature of the Brahman). This is what Krishna means by uniting with the Brahman and this phenomenon is known as yoga. The statement of Krishna also underlines the importance of having a single Guru while pursuing the spiritual path. ‘Firmly united with the Supreme’ means always remain with the thought of God, without any possibility of coming back to the mundane world. At this stage, whatever we do is on behalf of God and this stage is attained only when duality is made to perish. Now Arjuna again questions Krishna. “Keshava! What are the characteristics of a person who attained the state of ecstasy (samadhi), with fixed mind? How does this man speak, sit and walk” (verse 54)? Arjuna uses ‘sthita-prajnan’ a unique word for the first time. This word is often repeated subsequently.
The correct interpretation of this word would be ‘the person who established himself firmly with God-consciousness’, a stage where individual consciousness stands merged with universal consciousness. We can also interpret this stage where the individual soul stands merged with the Brahman. This is the stage of standalone consciousness transcending all the lower planes of awareness. This question arises out of Krishna’s reference to ‘firmly united with the Supreme’. Arjuna was curious to know the characteristics of such a person. Such God-consciousness man differs naturally from others. We function in this world by looking for God and the God-consciousness man functions on behalf of God while working for this world. This stage is called Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness. These blessed ones, always remain in divine ecstasy without shirking their worldly responsibilities. Krishna begins His description of these blessed ones in the next verse.