True remorse and false

Pandith who spoke about the Geetha explained how it summarised the Upanishadhs. In fact, the people of Bhaarath can be said to be residing in Geetha Mahaal itself, whether they know it or not. The entrance to that Mahaal is through vishaadha (remorse), discovery of the tawdriness of sense pleasures and searching out for something more substantial and satisfying. The most satisfying prize is Purushoththamapraapthi — the attainment of the Lord, the Supremest Purusha. The purusha is “he who lives in the pura,” namely, the body, the physical body. He who lives in the universe which is His body He is the Supremest, the Purushoththama. A tiny ant creeping over the foot is cognised by your consciousness; that is to say, the purusha had consciousness filling the entire body: The Purushoththama has consciousness filling and activating the entire universe, which is His body: The individual tree is the purusha, the forest is the Purushoththama. The jeeva is the vyasthi, the samashti is God. For the purusha to become Purushoththama, the path is yoga, or jnaana won by action and devotion to God.

He said that there can be no vision of unity when the jeeva is scattered in five directions by the five senses which drag him. Really, it does not matter if a person has five rupee coins or the same amount in small change. All the five senses subserve the same Purusha. It is one family, under one master. The senses need not necessarily be inimical; they can be trained to co-operate in the saadhana. Why? Even intellect can become an enemy, if it promotes conceit and competitive exhibitionism.

The gods once imagined that they were able to get victory over the demons because of their own prowess. When they were celebrating the victory, a deity appeared before them and cast a blade of grass on the ground. It asked Agni to bum it; but it could not. It challenged Vaayu to lift it, but he could not. It provoked Varuna to wet it, but, in spite of his best efforts, he could not. Then when their pride had been pricked, the deity taught them the Brahma Vidhya (science of Brahman), which reveals the inner source of all strength. This is no ordinary story; Agni is the presiding deity of vaak (speech) and so it tells us that speech has to be humble, that it derives its power only from the basic Universal Principle. Vaayu is praana (the vital air); Indhra is buddhi (the intellect).

A person is judged by his conduct

After all, it is behaviour and practice that count. In the case of dharma and of saadhana, this is specially true. You judge a person by his conduct and character as revealed in his actions. No other witness or proof is needed. There were two women, living opposite each other in a bazaar; one had five cows and the other had just one. The richer woman was wasteful in habits, very extravagant and careless. So, she used to borrow milk from the woman with one cow, and the latter was helping her, in spite of the fact that she had a larger family. When she had thus borrowed about 50 seers of milk, the cow of the poorer woman died, and she went to the other woman and wanted her to return the milk loaned, at the rate of a seer per day. At this, she got wild and deposed in court that she had never borrowed any “Why should I, owning five cows, go to this woman with one cow for the loan of milk?” she asked. The magistrate was a shrewd man who sympathised with the woman whose cow had died. He knew how to get at the truth. He gave each of them five vessels full of water and asked them to wash their feet and come back to court. The five-cow woman poured all the five vessel-fuls in one stream on her feet and came in with all the dirt intact. The one-cow woman cleaned her feet by skillful use of one vessel-ful only and she left the other four vessels untouched. The act of washing the feet revealed their character and the magistrate had no hesitation in convicting the culprit. The one-cow woman must have saved and the five-cow woman must have wasted and been in perpetual want.

The two poison fangs of man

Arjuna’s vishaadha (dejection) is also a case of finely disguised egoism, which revealed a fault in his make-up. He was a dheera (hero) until he came on the battlefield and was transformed into a bheeru (a coward). It was all a case of I and Mine. “I will go to hell, I would rather beg. I will not fight my Guru, my uncle, my cousin, etc.” I and Mine are two poison fangs; they have to be removed to make man harmless. Once Naaradha told Brahma of a ridiculous situation in the world; those who are dying are weeping for those who have died! That was what Arjuna too was doing, but, this foolishness is clothed in the language of renunciation and charity. The question on the battlefield was not who was the kin of whom, but who was right and who was wrong. Fight for justice, fight for truth, fight for these, as a kshathriya (warrior) is in duty bound, and leave the result to the Dispenser of all.

Krishna told Arjuna, “I am surprised that you should weep so, for you are Gudakesha, the conqueror of sleep, of ignorance. You do not kill, don’t be so conceited as all that; nor do they die, ‘they’ have many more things to do, and the real ‘they’ are deathless. The sentence of death has been already pronounced on their bodies by Me and you have but to carry out My orders.”

You are only an instrument

Krishna made Arjuna aware of himself; so, the delusion that made him believe that he was a great bowman, a foe of Dhuryodhana, etc., disappeared from his consciousness; he came to know that he was but an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

You too must learn that lesson; for, otherwise there is no end to misery. Thamaso maa jyothirgamaya — “Lead me from darkness to light” — is the prayer. Egoism is thamas (darkness); sharanaagathi (surrender) is jyothi (light). There is an easy way to illumine the inner consciousness and the outer behaviour, with the light of God. Put the lamp of the name of the Lord, the illumining flame, on the tongue! That is the door-step; that light will drive out the darkness from both inside and outside. Have it ever burning, clear and bright. You will soon reach remarkable heights and enjoy happiness, the like of which you cannot get by sticking to the senses.