The Autumn Song of Gita

Sujatha R
7 min readDec 19, 2019

The graceful fall of the autumn leaves.. The Karma Yogi.. Principle of Limits.. Nature at work.. Gita quotes with illustrations from Nature.

It is that time of the year when there is a palette of red all around. The gentle shower of the leaves .. The spectacular deepening of the colours. The graceful fall of the autumn leaf.. The peaceful end promising a new beginning..

I always had wondered.. How did the trees in a lane match their colours? They all are greenish orange one day and suddenly change to yellow the next day. And gradually become bare at the same time..

And comes Spring. From the vast emptiness they all sprout the first flower around the same time. How did they sense the time of the year?

In a case of serendipity, In a Gita lecture at a nearby temple I found answer to this phenomenon.

The play of Nature.. Everything in this world has a finite limit. The transformations begins after that.

Our stomach, bladders, lungs and kidneys too have a volume capacity that they can handle. There is a limit to which we can eat and drink.

In the cold winters, there is excess of water in the roots and less of evaporation transpiration in the leaf.. It can no longer hold water any more.. It ripens like a fruit and finally weakens and gracefully is liberated from the tree.

Gita has so many vibrant illustrations through Nature. A poetic attempt to connect a few verses to Nature and Pictures. Some of the interpretations are my extensions as not standard.

1. The Graceful fall of the Autumn Leaf

Learn to forbear these fleeting moments. Like winter and summers, happiness and sadness comes and goes.

matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah
agamapayino ‘nityas
tams titiksasva bharata 2.14

For all that is born, there is end, and for all that ends, there is a beginning.

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur-dhruvam janma mrtasya ca 2.27

Just like we put on new garments when old ones go useless, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the dead ones.

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
navani grhnati naro ‘parani
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
anyani samyati navani dehi 2.24

Redwood Forest

Who is the stable sage Sthithapragya? How does he look like, What does he speak, How does he go about?

sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
samadhi-sthasya kesava
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim 2.54

He who finds happiness in self by self is Sthitha Pragya Sage

atmany evatmana tustah
sthita-prajnas tadocyate 2.55

welcome

A small tip. When overwhelmed by senses, just shut them.. Like a tortoise retracting its limbs in the shelter of its shell.. You are soon reestablished.

yada samharate cayam
kurmo ‘nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas
tasya prajna pratisthita 2.58

River pouring into Pacific Ocean at BigSur
Stream joining Pacific Ocean @ BigSur

In the vastness of the stable ocean, may the senses gently flow and settle in..

And not cause any torrent of burning desire.

apuryamanam acala-pratistham
samudram apah pravisanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravisanti sarve
sa santim apnoti na kama-kami 2.70

Situated in self-control, he is no longer bewildered. At the time of his end, he achieves the ultimate Brahma Nirvaana.

esa brahmi sthitih partha
nainam prapya vimuhyati
sthitvasyam anta-kale ‘pi
brahma-nirvanam rcchati 2.72

~ THE GRACEFUL END OF THE AUTUMN LEAF ~

2. In yesteryears, Life as an eternal Karma Yogi

The Entangled World

Banyan Tree@K.V.DRDO

Like the inverted banyan tree in its vastness.. hosting nature, senses, society, attachments, entanglements and worries.

Cut them sunder with the axe of determination !

urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham
asvattham prahur avyayam 15.1

asvattham enam su-virudha-mulam
asanga-sastrena drdhena chittva 15.3

The Focussed Intellect

crystal ball like flower in focus

The resolute and the focussed mind is crystal clear and homogeneous.. Unlike the many branched intelligence of the irresolute..

vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
buddhayo ‘vyavasayinam 2.41

Too much information like the flooding well can be futile

yavan artha udapane
sarvatah samplutodake 2.46

Detachment from Results

You have a right to perform your duty, but not to determine or cling the results. Never resort to inaction either!

karmany evadhikaras te
ma phalesu kadacana
ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
ma te sango ‘stv akarmani 2.47

Bring out your Best !

Hot Spring @ YellowStone

A man latched to his discretion sees beyond good and bad actions. Such union and Yoga brings our the skillfulness, dexterity and the best in one’s work.

buddhi-yukto jahatiha
ubhe sukrta-duskrte
tasmad yogaya yujyasva
yogah karmasu kausalam 2.50

Untouched like the Lotus Leaf

Interestingly, lotus leaf and many other leaves have the hydrophobic property of repelling water due to their nano-structures. This feature is being exploited in the material design research.

He who performs his action without attachment.. is unassociated by the kind of work.. Just like a lotus leaf liberated and untouched by the muddy waters.

brahmany adhaya karmani
sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena
padma-patram ivambhasa 5.10

3. The Secrets of Nature

Creator’s Diversity

I have created the diversity based on the attributes. Though I am the creator, know that I am not the doer.

catur-varnyam maya srstam
guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam 4.13

Action in Inaction

Stages of blooming (Bottom to Top)

Not a moment passes by without any activity. It is the very element of Nature. Even in what seems eternally dormant, there is underlying activity!

na hi kascit ksanam api
jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
karyate hy avasah karma
sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih 3.5

The Macro Cycle of Give and Take

Rice fields @ Bali

In this cosmic cycle of give and take..

Living beings subsist on food which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by the sacrifice and Yagna of the plants.

annad bhavanti bhutani
parjanyad anna-sambhavah
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
yajnah karma-samudbhavah 3.14

The Alchemy of Elements

YellowStone Canyon

Everything in Nature is Alchemy of Attributes. And every being follows it nature.

prakrteh kriyamanani
gunaih karmani sarvasah 3.27

It is the innate attribute of water to be fluid and flowing. When there are obstacles, the river changes its path. When there is end of surface, there is a waterfall.

When there is sunlight, the water droplets cause a brilliant rainbow. When the river keeps flowing, there is weathering of the canyon.

Even a Knowledgeable man acts according to his nature. Why to suppress one’s true nature and swa-dharma?

sadrsam cestate svasyah
prakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani
nigrahah kim karisyati 3.33

It is better to flow in one’s inner calling and nature however difficult the path may be. Than to follow another’s path.. as the other path it is not free from fear.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
para-dharmo bhayavahah 3.35

One cannot hoard the river and prevent its Nature of flowing. It is better for river to be a river instead of being air and diffusing everywhere.

Spoonful of Honey

In this path there is no loss or adverse reaction.. Even a little bit of trodding on this path can protect one from the dangerous fear.

nehabhikrama-naso ‘sti
pratyavayo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato bhayat 2.40

om tat sat iti

srimad bhagavadgeetaasu

upanishatsu

brahma vidyaayaam

yogashaastre

sri krishnaarjuna samvaade

Om.. That eternal truth it is..

From the Bhagavad Gita arising the core message of Upanishads, Eternal Sciences and Yoga Shastras..

The conversations between Krishna and Arjuna

--

--

Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns