Ekagrata is not just a state of attentiveness; it is also a level of consciousnesses - ISKCON Kolkata

Ekagrata is not just a state of attentiveness; it is also a level of consciousnesses

The last verse spoken by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (18.72) contains the significant word ekagrata (one-pointed attention). In the verse, Krishna questions Arjuna: “Have you heard attentively? Has your illusion been dispelled?”

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The import is universal: if we hear the Gita attentively, we too can become free from misunderstandings.

Another import may be inferred from the word ekagrata, which in yogic terminology signifies an elevated level of consciousness. Yogic wisdom explains that our consciousness goes through various levels, which correspond with varying capacities of perception.

Mudha – the lowest level, wherein we are deluded, typifies the mode of ignorance.

Kshipta – the agitated level, which characterizes the mode of passion

Vikshipta – the distracted level wherein we are trying to concentrate, represents proximity to the mode of goodness

Ekagrata – the level wherein we are absorbed, signifies proximity to transcendence

Nirodha – the highest level, wherein all material thoughts cease and the consciousness becomes free from matter to relish transcendence.

Given that the Gita is essentially a yoga text, its use of ekagrata in its conclusion is significant. The usage suggests that hearing the Gita attentively can raise our consciousness to the ekagrata level. To raise it to nirodha, we need to apply and live the Gita’s message. Nonetheless, the journey towards that summit can be started and sustained just by attentive hearing. After all, the Gita is not just a philosophically illuminating book; it is also an empowering spiritual sound vibration, having emanated from the all-powerful, all-pure Absolute.

When we face pressing problems, we may feel that the Gita’s message is not relevant.  To counter such feelings, we can remember that clear consciousness is vital for problem-solving. Hearing the Gita can elevate our consciousness beyond problem-centered thinking to absorption in Krishna, thereby helping us find the best way ahead


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