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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
The first verse in the twenty-eighth chapter of Ekādaśa skandham, the eleventh skandha of Srimad Bhagavatam is,
Just imagine, this is the first verse Krishna says in the twenty-eighth chapter and this is in a way the last chapter of the dialogue between Krishna and Uddhava. Just imagine how applicational, how interactional, how characteral and behavioral our spiritual philosophy is!
What did Arjuna ask in the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavat Gita? He said, “I would like to know the truth of sannyāsa and tyāga.” I don’t know whether you are imaginative enough. Where was Arjuna seated? In the midst of the bloody Kurukshetra war where 45 lakhs of people were to be killed by one another. Arjuna had to get up and fight the war. Right at that point, after having listened to Krishna for all the seventeen chapters, he is raising a question.
“I desire to know, I love to know the principle of sannyāsa and the principle of tyāga separately and distinctly.”
Why should Arjuna want to know sannyāsa and tyāga while fighting a war? Normally a war will be fought out of enmity, either to gain the other’s kingdom or to punish somebody. Sri Rama went to Sri Lanka and there he fought Ravana and killed him because it was a punishment for the wrong that he had done. Sri Rama did not want to annex Lanka to his Ayodhya. Certainly not! He installed Vibhīshaṇa and came away.
Generally a war will be fought either because of a wrong or because of a hatred or for gaining kingdom or for increasing one’s territory. Everything is an expression of the mind’s emotional need, either in resistance or in demand, either with greed or with hatred. This is the nature of the war. But Arjuna is wanting to know not any one of these. He wants to know what is sannyāsa and what is tyāga. Can you have an analysis of this enquiry? And this is the book which discusses spiritual knowledge, spiritual philosophy and yoga. It is one of the prasthāna trayam that we have. The book has got great importance, relevance and eternality.
Why I mention this? Any exposition of spirituality or spiritual wisdom has great relevance to our interactional life. Spirituality means getting away from the world. Spirituality means getting absorbed into oneself. Spirituality means samādhi mongering. This is what people think. But it’s not at all so. Samādhi is pursuing with a view to make you understand that there is a presence in the body different from the body and it is unaffected by everything. It is blissful, it is eternal, it is unshakeable, it is un-vibrant, to make you understand. This understanding should vitalize your life, enrich and empower your life.
Now here, in a different context Krishna is saying,
para-svabhāva-karmāṇi na praśaṁset na garhayet |
We have a habit of looking into others and finding fault with. There is hardly anyone who will not find fault with others. Krishna says that in the world a number of svabhāvās, natures will be there; characters, behaviors, interactions also. All are springing from one and the same source. If all the planets and heavenly bodies have come from the void space and from this earth we are born, what does it mean? Except in the human beings, there is nothing like love and hatred, passion and prejudice, greed and ambition. All these qualities as well as the benign and benevolent ones, they have sprung from the same source. When you look at ‘X’ and then say he is wrong, understand that your imputation that he is wrong does not rest with him. It goes to his parents, their parents, their parents, and ultimately the first parents and their source.
So behind every nature, every svabhāva are the invisible hands. If you are good, you are made good; if another is bad, he is made bad; in your having being good you have no special credit and in having being bad you don’t have to discredit him also. The sight of anything in this world should instantly lead you to the thought of the impersonal, impartial, absolute truth - God. Never blame anybody.
See in Delhi when I say this, none of you will accept but I have to say, I feel like saying. There is a gang rape being discussed and the whole society is agitated. They want that person, those people to be killed, hanged. Very good. That is only a punishmental step. What is a punishment? Preventing a criminal from doing his crime by physically restraining him. But he became a criminal because of a criminal tendency. This tendency springs from the mind. Do you have anything to do to deal with the criminal tendencies of people? Is punishment the way, is hanging the way? I do agree hanging maybe done. I have no objection. Okay. But by hanging a criminal, the criminal tendencies sprouting in the mind of people are not going to be eliminated. Why did he have this criminal tendency? He was born of a mother. Quite possibly, he also has a sister and youngsters, young women in his family. Yet something is there overpowering the mind making us do the crime. This is what Arjuna asked.
Propelled or instigated by what does one do an evil though he does not like to do it, he is overpowered by something and he does it? Why is that overpowering note infused, instilled, imbued in the human system? So I think anybody’s wrong when I look at it, I simply go to God behind their facet. Whatever I see in the world, I cannot stop at the good of anybody or a bad of anybody. I am writing and speaking. I always wonder, how do I speak, how do I write? I don’t know. But in speaking and writing, I find what - Godliness, Godliness, Godliness, bubbling, bubbling, giggling, giggling, giggling, rippling, rippling, rippling, emerging, emerging, raining! How can the words come? How can the thoughts come?
So Krishna says understand that this is the discipline and refinement of spirituality. Never blame anybody. Never praise anybody. Try to understand the truth behind both, above both and reach there. There you will find the ecstatic harmony, the enlightening comprehensiveness; the fullness and abundance that you look for, that psychological sufficiency and fullness you look for.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.