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Matrix Trilogy & Bhagavad Gita


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I got this from another forum


I'm a big fan of the Matrix Trilogy. I watched the first movie, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions with a lot of enthusiasm, attentiveness, to catch probably, glimpses of the superb action sequences.

But I still missed a lot!

Over a social gathering at my place, attended by one of my dad's college mates, we were discussing the most debated topic of times, Religion. Nitty gritty details of the most popular religions being discussed and panted over.

Not surprisingly, Hinduism was discussed, and sometime during the end of the discussion a faint comment was passed, "you know that movie matrix is based on the Bhagavad Gita!".

It shook me a bit, I got somewhat troubled. But soon, excitement jostled it's way through my veins. I'm a staunch believer of detachment from religion, and for me, the closest religion which is not a religion, but a philosophy, is in fact Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita, a somewhat contradictory, but apparently scientific book is considered the epitome of Hinduism.

I've been reading since last night continuously about relations between the Matrix and the Gita, informing friends about this great news, most of them don't seem to care, but it certainly has sparked off my new year!

Now on with what I've found, and experienced after watching the third film over 8 times.

"To bend the spoon, you need to realize that there is no spoon. The spoon does not bend, you yourself bend."

The above line is from the first movie, at the house of the Oracle. The statement that the little boy makes, helps Neo in realizing that the spoon is an illusion, and the bending of the spoon is a deceptive trick!

In the first movie Morpheus tells Neo:

What if you were to wake up from a dream which was so

real that you found it difficult to differentiate

between the dream world, and the real world?

This is exactly what Maya is, a dream world.

The concept of Maya is what that boy is talking about. Maya is deceit, exists at many levels, and at one level it exists as an illusion. It is neither the truth, nor the reality, it is but a dream, from which one hasn't woken up yet. This world that we live in considered to be a dream that Lord Vishnu (one of the gods in the Hindu trinity, also the preserver) sees while sleeping. Maya is what shields us from knowing the Supreme Consciousness -- Bhraman.

Maya deceives the atman from seeing the truth, the "real" world, also described as Zion in the movie. The "independent" people in Zion i.e. Morpheus, Trinity, Neo, etc. plug into the Matrix (Maya, computer programme), and out of the Matrix, going back and forth into the real world and that of illusion. In explaining Maya, Sankara (ancient guy) very often refers to the example of the rope and the snake. As long as one mistakes a rope for a snake, he is frightened and reacts to the rope as if it were a real snake. When he realizes that what he sees is only a rope he laughs. Similarly, as long as one is engrossed in the ignorance of relative consciousness, the world is indeed quite "real". But when true knowledge dawns, one becomes aware that the world was a fake.

Morpheus after logging into the Matrix with Neo for the first time, says:

Your appearance now is what we call residual self image.

It is the mental projection...of your digital self

The above lines I believe directly refer to what is called Mithya, or imagination. This makes Neo realize that all that he sees is false, and only the Almighty is true.

There is another interesting dialogue, between the architect of the Matrix and Neo, where he tells Neo, that five "The One's" came before him, but they failed. Implying that he is the sixth one, also might mean that he is the sixth re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In Matrix Revolutions, Sati fits in to be the seventh re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The name Sati comes from the woman who lures (if that's an appropriate term to use), Lord Shiva, into the family ways of life. Before her, he used to roam in the wilderness. Sati means love and sacrifice.

That dialogue could also turn out to be something to do with the Yugas. In Hinduism it is believed, that the Maya is bound by space, time, and causality. The Yuga we currently live in, also depicted in the Matrix, is Kaliyuga. The seventh Yuga is that of the Satyuga. The Yuga of Truthfulness and Harmony, probably what Neo achieved, by ending the war, saving Zion (real world).

Also in the beginning of the first movie, Morpheus explains to Neo what the matrix is, or at least tries to. He says:

The Matrix is everywhere. It's all around us, even in this

very room. You can see it when you look out your window or

when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you

go to work, when you go to work, when you pay your taxes.

The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes,

to blind you from the truth.

In my opinion he is explaining the extent of Maya / Matrix. Lord Vishnu, of whose dream is the Maya / Matrix, has no bounds and exists everywhere. Vishnu in Hindi expands to, "Vishva Ke Har Anu Mein". It means, "In all the world's atoms, I exist".

The striking similarity between the Matrix and the Gita struck me in the Rescue mission of the first movie. The idea is that Gita is what Lord Krishna is telling Arjuna to do, who is reluctant to battle his own family in the epic Mahabharata. At this point of time, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, he must do his dharma (duty). He tells him that he has already slain all of them. So it is only right that he performs his duty, as the soul can neither conquer, nor be defeated, the Atman (soul) is the higher self not bound by space, time or casuality.

The philosophy is to do your dharma. For the warrior it is to battle, for the victim it is to die. Karma-Yuga is what I interpret the Mahabharata to be set in. It is destiny that drives one, which is made by your Karma.

Not surprisingly, Matrix Revolutions also touches upon this, very explicitly I might add, as the Indian Rama Kandra, meets Neo at Mobil Ave. (Limbo), and explains why he is taking the train to transport Sati. And then Neo asks if he believes in Karma to which the reply is a subtle explanation of cause and effect.

At the end of the trilogy, Neo attains Nirvana, he knows of Brahman - the Supreme Consciousness. He is in what I believe the Golden age of Satyuga.


Do a search for 'wikipedia slokas' on Google, and follow the first result! For your convenience, you can read it at Wikipedia's Matrix Revolution entry. However, let me also tell you that at the end of movie 3, revolutions, some techno music is playing, while you can hear the following Slokas in chorus:

Asatoma Sadgamaya

Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya

Mrithyor Maa Amrutham Gamaya

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

'Lead the world from wrong path to the right path,

from ignorance to knowledge,

from mortality to immortality and peace'

This has been one of the most interesting findings I have hacked on! It's been reported that Wachowski brothers were strongly influenced by Hinduism, especially the Gita. If you search about this topic, you'll find claims that Neo is in fact a re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu, or that the Architect is Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva is in fact Agent Smith, who is the balancer of the equation.

At one time all of this makes sense, but then again, who knows!

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Be aware that there is more than the very common ISCKON translation available. I'm not 100% certain but I'd imagine this translation is biased in places toward their own interpretations. I was speaking to a Hare Krishna 'priest' who was telling me that it is accepted as the best and used by most scholars, which, from what I've seen, isn't the case at all.

I've got Sergeant's which is a good one, published by SUNY press. There is also Bhagwad Gita with Adi Sankaracharya's commentary translated by one of the Advaita Ashram swamis. And now, thanks to Motilal in India, the Gita with Abhinavgupta's commentary. Happy reading!!!

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