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A Study of the Bhagavadgita

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Chapter 7: The Entry of the Absolute into the Relative (Continued)

It is buddhi, reason, that tells you of the higher aspirations that are embedded in you. The ambassador of God, as it were, is working through the reason of your personality. An ambassador is a link between two governments. He communicates the messages of his government to the other government that he is connected with. He brings about a rapprochement and a kind of harmonious relationship between two governments. That is the reason why embassies are established in the world. Reason is a kind of ambassador between God and the world of creation. Because of the position it occupies as an ambassador of God, the reason also tells you that you are above this world and cannot be satisfied with anything in this world. The reason says it is incumbent on you to control the sense organs so that you may become a Super-person and not be under the subjection of the sense organs. But it is also situated in a world of sensation and mentation. It is a relationship with two governments, as I mentioned to you the world of senses and the world of divinity. So while the mind is conscious of the impetuosity of the sense organs, the reason gives you the additional strength to actually work on this consciousness of it being necessary to control the sense organs, because while it is aware of the modus operandi that you have used in the control of the sense organs, it also has the power descending on it from the higher order of things. With the power of divinity which is scintillating in it, it can charge upon the sense organs through the mind and bring their strength down to a mellowed condition.

Yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ: There is something above the intellect or the reason, which is the central universality of power. And because of it being possible for you to connect your reason with the universal centrality, you will be able to succeed in your spiritual practice. If reason is absent, you will be like an animal with a merely instinctive mind controlled by the sense organs. Yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ: The Atma-shakti, which is above the buddhi, or the intellect, should guide you here. You will be asking, “How it is done? The Atman-consciousness is not in me, my intellect is oscillating, my mind is very indecisive, and my senses are very powerful. What is the process?”

The details will be told to you in the Sixth Chapter. You have to find some time to think over these issues. It is a serious matter that is before you. Every day in your life you have to be seated alone for some time, and then close your eyes. “What is it that I have gathered, after all?” Then collect your thoughts. Stop the breathing for a second and work upon this concept of your involvement in the whole cosmos, in this sacrificial participation of your personality in the context of God’s creation, as mentioned in your not being a person but a Super-person, really speaking. “I am foolhardy to think that I am an individual by myself. Every moment of time I am controlled by something which is above me. My breath is moving, my limbs are operating, my mind is thinking and I am living in this world because of the operation of something which is not me, but which is above me. I am something more than what I am.”

Let this consciousness be driven into you. You are something much more than what you look like, much more than what you are, and much more than what you see with your eyes outside in the world. You are not what you are, and you are not what you see with the eyes. You are something above both what you see and what you are. Let this be the object of your meditation.

Evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvā: Thus, knowing that which is above your reason; saṁstabhyātmānam ātmanā: restraining yourself by yourself, restraining your lower self by the higher self of the adhideva consciousness, restraining your so-called ego individuality from its usual sensory operations by the action upon it by the adhideva, which you are really. This is the meaning of saṁstabhyātmānam ātmanā: restraining yourself by yourself. There are two yourselves: the lower yourself and the higher yourself. The lower yourself is what you look like, this Mr., this Mrs. But the higher yourself is the adhideva, which is really what you are, and not what you appear to be. Jahi śatruṁ: this enemy which is impeding your progress, which is desire and anger. Kāmarūpaṁ: Oh powerful hero, destroy this desire. Who is the evil in this world? If there is evil at all, where is this evil? There is no other evil in this world. “Thus, compose yourself and be blessed, O Arjuna,” says Bhagavan Sri Krishna towards the end of this Third Chapter.

The more you study, the more you hear, the more difficulties will arise in the mind. Still you have doubts: “All that you have said is wonderful. We will try our best to do this, but we are weaklings. We do not know if we will really succeed in achieving this goal in this life.” Doubts are our traitors, says the poet. If there is a traitor in this world, doubt is the traitor. You always condemn yourself and say, “I am useless. I am not for it.” Who told you that you are not for it? How does this idea that you are unfit arise in your mind? Perhaps you are fit. Why are you saying you have difficulties? You have studied well, everything is clear to you, all things are ready at your fingertips. You will stand first. Even if there is a chance you will stand second, why should you, in the beginning itself, assume you are unfit? Nobody is inferior in this world. Even a mouse can save a lion under special circumstances. You are not as poor as you look. Still you have doubts. Again and again these dacoits of the sense organs will attack you and tell you, “Useless fellow, get up!”

It was Buddha who had the same experiences of this kind. The great master was meditating on the possibility of attaining nirvana, and something came and told him, “Get up from this work.” All kinds of things were told to him: “This world is not so bad as you are imagining. What is wrong with this world? You have a beautiful palace. Have you not lived cosily? Your subjects are pleading to have your grace. All the gold and silver is with you. Also, you have a long life, which is a blessing. Here is the beauty, here is the grandeur, here is the taste. Do you think the world is bitter always? There is also honey. Don’t you think the world is beautiful and it can grant you what you want? Is it so bad? Read human history. Great masters worked for erecting empires. How gloriously they lived! If you don’t listen to this advice, beware! I will thrash you and break your head.”

And something else came and told Buddha, “Useless man, get up.” There was a hailstorm and big demon-like faces arose and told him, “Now you are on the last day of your life. Useless man, get up from this place. What are you thinking? All this world is wonderful. You have a wrong notion. You have an illusory perception that there is something beyond this. There is no ‘beyond’. This is everything. You are a foolish man. Get up!” Buddha would not listen to that advice either. Then it said, “You are a master already. You have already attained what you want to attain. Get up! Work for the world.” There are people who sometimes think they have already attained the goal, and the only thing left is to serve and uplift humanity, and bring heaven to the earth. This is also a temptation.

All these stages one has to pass through. Difficulties of this kind will harass you and you will say, “I don’t know. I can’t understand all these things. I am drooping. Twenty years of meditation have brought nothing.”

The Fourth Chapter begins with a great consolation to you. God is not so blind as not to understand your predicament. Your complaints are known to Him. Omniscience is the nature of God. Everything is known. Even the movement of a cat in a the jungle, God knows. If a leaf moves, God is aware of it. Does He not know your difficulties? He incarnates Himself as a redemptive God at every crucial moment, if only your heart is for Him.

Again the point comes: to the extent you are united with this adhideva prapancha, or the Supreme Transcendant Principle, if you cling to it honestly, the adhideva is your support. Go on surrendering yourself to it, and it will communicate your message to the higher cause. Instantaneous action will take place. God incarnating Himself is actually the descent of a higher measure of force of divinity to the level in which you are, to the level in which the crisis has arisen; and timeless being the nature of God, instantaneous also is His action. God does not come tomorrow, because there is no time for God. He does not take time to travel because He is not in space. Infinite power from a spaceless existence will act timelessly, instantaneously, at every crucial moment.

Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (Gita 4.7); paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām, dharmasaṁsthāpanārthāya saṁbhavāmi yuge yuge (Gita 4.8). These two verses are a glorious, consoling message coming from God Himself to frail man who is crying from moment to moment in the wilderness of his mortal existence. You are always under the protection of an all-seeing eye. That you are suffering and nobody knows that you are suffering is not a fact. That you are not wanting to take advantage of the fact that somebody is looking to you and is willing to support you is your difficulty. The assertion of your individuality by means of egoism takes possession of you again and again in the form of a doubt whether God will come or not. “I have never seen God, and He has never come and helped anybody up to this time. I have never seen Him helping, so how do I know that he will help me? After fifteen days of crying, He has not come. How do I know that on the sixteenth day he will come?” These doubts will harass you.

He may sometimes take sixteen days to come on account of the inner obstructions created by your own tamasic karmas that may perhaps be working, but even tamasic karmas can be destroyed by the power of God. He can destroy even karmas. He can dissolve the parliament of the cosmos if He does not want any government. He doesn’t always have to stick to a parliamentary ordinance. Though He does that mostly, He can also dissolve it in one second. If your love of God is so intense, He can directly catch hold of you and protect you, but not through parliamentary or legal operations. If this faith, which is bhakti, knowledge and devotion combined, is predominant in you, there is a powerful sattva action. Immediate action will take place.

But our attachment to this body and our consideration of an external relationship with human affairs, our mortal entanglements, are so intense that often this kind of faith cannot arise in us. Only when we are sinking in the sea, sometimes this faith arises. “I have lost everything. I am not able to stand. Even the ground is shaking.” When everything is gone and nothing will come, if that threat of even a moment’s survival takes possession of you, you will feel God, the real God.

Otherwise, in ordinary circumstances, this faith is shaken by the fact that you seem to be involved in certain realities of life. The realities of life should desert you completely. Nobody should want you. You are an unwanted person in the world, crucified. At that time, God will come. “Oh, you want to crucify me? I am not wanted in this world.” All your love for things vanishes in one second. All your consideration for that which is externally oriented goes. Neither your family wants you, nor the world wants you. Such conditions are not uncommon in the history of humanity. Read human history. Who wants you, finally? Your adjustment with the whims and fancies of other people somehow or other makes you feel that you are wanted by others. Do not make that adjustment, and see what happens to you. You will be thrown into the ocean in one second. This is the world. Humankind is made in this way; everything is made in this way.

But why do you invite such conditions that you should be crucified by humanity? Doctors need not fall sick in order to understand the sickness of a patient. Their wisdom will tell them what kind of predicament it is. So you need not be turned out of this world by force. Honourably you can go from this world by understanding what the world is made of. “It is good to quit while the quitting is good,” as they say. Why should you be thrown out?

This circumstance of your being basically involved in the higher purpose of life will bring the faith that is necessary for invoking God’s presence in you, and God shall manifest Himself. Infinite are the avataras of God, as infinite as the rays of the Sun. Numberless are the occasions when God manifests Himself, and in numberless ways and methods of action. It does not mean that always the same kind of form will be sent. It is not that He will come always as Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Christ, etc. God can manifest Himself as a remedial force under conditions which are historically, geographically, socially, psychologically specific. When it is necessary, God can come as an incarnation of whirlwind, tornado, epidemic, war, cataclysm. Or He may come as a blessing of heightened power in particular nations. He may bring a redeeming force and help to a personality. He can make you even materially wealthy. Everything is possible for Him.

As critical conditions in life are manifold in their nature, it is not that everyone has the same kind of problem. It does not mean throughout history we have only one kind of difficulty in humanity. Manifold and endless are the peculiarities of the problems of existence, and endless also are the ways of His incarnation. Any form, any way, any method can be adopted by this Supreme Being, according to the circumstance of the case. What is the nature of the difficulty? The counterpart of it will be the nature of the incarnation.

Whenever a difficult situation arises between the subject and the object, we may say the world and the individual have a critical clash of purposes and it is difficult to solve it humanly a superhuman force descends. Actually, human problems cannot be solved by mere human beings. No man can solve another man’s problem because, after all, he is also a man like the other person. The possibility of solving human problems arises only if there is a person or a group of people who are not simply human beings, but somebody more than that. You require a Super-leader to render real help to people. All great leaders were Super-persons. It is not just a Tom, Dick and Harry saying, “I will come and save humanity.” No Tom can do that, because every Tom is like every other Tom. Great masters, leaders, geniuses, statesmen who have worked wonders in the nations of the world were not ordinary human individuals. They were Super-individuals to some extent.

This Super-personality is the way in which God manifests Himself in political conditions, in social circumstances, in educational fields, even in spiritual life visions which are very consoling and satisfying, and experiences which will thrill you. In deep meditation you can also be regarded as a kind of incarnation of God.

Thus, these two verses which say something briefly about the manner of the coming of God into the world of people is an explanation of the entry of the Absolute into the relative, the Universal acting in the particulars, the cosmic in action every moment of time, just as the whole organism of the body acts if there is a little ache in the toe. Wherever there is an ache or pain or difficulty felt in the limbs of the body, the whole anabolic activity, the constructive forces, act suddenly; there is a war taking place, as it were, between these intruding monsters who create pain in the body and the powers that are constructive and cause its survival. In a similar manner, instantaneous action is taking place in all things in the world because the whole universe is a single organism animated by a single intelligence.