Daily Satsanga
with Swami Krishnananda

July (from The Spiritual Import of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita)

1. Children are Like an Orb

The search for truth by seekers on the spiritual path is a veritable epic, which is the subject of the poetic vision in the Mahabharata. The whole universe is portrayed by the masterly pen of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. Everything looks like milk and honey in this world when we are babies, children—we are all friends. Children belonging even to inimical groups in the neighbourhood do not realise that they belong to such factions of society. Even if the parents know the difference, the children do not. The children of one family may play with the children of another family, while the two families may be bitter opponents. The babies may not know this. Likewise is the condition of the soul in its incipient, immature, credulous waking. The spiritual bankruptcy and the material comforts combined together makes one feel that there is the glorious light of the sun shining everywhere during the day and the full moonlight at night, and there is nothing wanting in this world. The emotions and the periods of understanding and revolutions are all in the form of an orb, where there may be a little bit of gold, a little bit of iron—the one cannot be distinguished from the other. Children, in their psychological make-up, are like an orb—their components are not easily distinguishable.

2. There is Practically a Rising of the Ego in the Child

The embittered feelings manifest themselves into concrete forms when the child grows into an adult, and there is psychological tension. Slowly, as age advances, we become more and more unhappy in life. The jubilance and buoyancy of spirit that we had when we were small children playing in the neighbourhood or playground—that joy slowly diminishes. We become contemplatives with sunken eyes and a glaring look, and a concentrated mind into the nature of our future. We begin to exert in a particular direction, while exertion was not known when we were small babies—we were spontaneous. Spontaneity of expression gives place to particularised exertion when age advances. We become more and more marked in our individual consciousness, whereas it is diminished in the baby. There is practically a rising of the ego in the child. It sprouts up into a hardened form when age advances into youth, and even earlier. These two principles are present in the individual; they are present in human society; they are present in the cosmos. The Puranas, particularly, embark upon an expatiation of the war that takes place between the Devasand Asuras, in a cosmic sense.

3. The Puranas are Right, the Psychologists also are Right

Often people say the Devas and the Asuras described in the Puranas are allegories of psychological functions in individuals. These are all artificial, modernised interpretations, under the impression that reality is confined to one section of life alone. We cannot say that there is no cosmic counterpart of the individual psyche. The Puranas are right; the psychologists also are right. It is true that there is a Ganga flowing in us in the form of the sushumna nadi, and there are the Yamuna and the Saraswati in the form of the ida and pingala. There is no gainsaying; it is perfectly true. But there is also an outward Ganga; we cannot deny it. The world outside and the world inside are two faces of the single composite structure of reality. So the battle between the Devas and the Asuras takes place in every realm and every phase of life. It takes place in the heavens, it takes place in the cosmos, it takes place in society, and it takes place within ourselves. The Mahabharata is not merely a depiction of a human series of events that happened some centuries back—though it is also that.

4. We have Something Inside Us and Something Outside Us

The Pandavas and the Kauravas are especially interesting today in pinpointing the subject of the conflict of the spiritual seeker. The Pandavas and the Kauravas are inside us, yes, as well as outside. The sadhaka begins to feel the presence of these twofold forces as he slowly begins to grow in the outlook of his life. There is a feeling of division of personality, as mostly psychologists call it, split personality. We have something inside us and something outside us. We cannot reconcile between these two aspects of our outlook. There is an impulse from within us which contradicts the regulations of life and the rules of society in the atmosphere in which we live, but there is a great significance far deeper in this interesting phenomenon. The opposition is between the individual and reality, as psychoanalysts usually call it. Psychoanalysis has a doctrine which always makes out that psychic tension or psychotic conditions of any kind are due to a conflict between the individual structure of the psyche and the reality outside.

5. Life is a Mystery, and it is not Mathematics

In Uttarkashi you cannot get your stomach filled. You have to come back to Rishikesh with a hungry stomach. You say, “Thank God, goodbye to Uttarkashi.” You come back. People have tried; they cannot live there, because human nature is a very complex structure. You cannot simply tabulate it into pigeon holes. It is an ununderstandable, impossible organism, and cannot be easily handled. You cannot stay either in Uttarkashi or in Hollywood. Either place would be a failure due to the miraculous dissidence that is within us, as miraculous as we ourselves are, because it has an element of the mystery of the cosmos. And so one cannot teach it in a mathematical or scientific manner, or purely in the light of logic. It is a mystery. Life is a mystery, and it is not mathematics. It is not an equation. We cannot say that this plus that is equal to that—that is not possible in spiritual sadhana. It is a very difficult task. It is an art rather than a science, we may say. Well, coming to the point, this difficulty that the spiritual seeker faces, as he advances on the path, is similar to the difficulties of the Pandavas.

6. The War between the Subject and the Object

The external forces, the objective forces, are the Kauravas. The forces that are subjective may be likened to the Pandavas. So the Mahabharata is a war between the subject and the object. Now, what this object is, is also very difficult to explain. It may be a pencil; it may be a wristwatch; it may be one single item in this world that we may call an object. It may be one human being who may be in the position of an object. It may be a whole family, it may be an entire community, and it may be the whole human setup, the entire mankind or the whole physical universe—it is an object in front of us. The irreconcilability between the subjective attitude of consciousness with its objective structure is the preparation for the Mahabharata battle. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to give a very homely example. Fire can burn ghee, as everyone knows. If we pour ghee over fire, the ghee will be no more. It is simply burned to nothing; it simply becomes vaporised. Yes, it is true, fire has the power to burn ghee and destroy it completely. But, says Sri Ramakrishna, if we pour one quintal of ghee over one spark of fire, what will happen to that fire? Though it is true, in principle, that fire can burn ghee, that one spark of the fire will be extinguished by the quintal of ghee that we poured.

7. Truth Triumphs not Always

The seekers are not safe even at the gate of heaven, as John Bunyan put it in his Pilgrim’s Progress. There is a possibility of there being a hole leading to hell even at the entrance to heaven. A big gate leads straight to heaven and we are just there, standing. But there is a pit, like a manhole, and we fall in. And where do we go? Into Yama’s abode. Well, it is strange that there is a hole there, just at the entrance to heaven. This is possible, says John Bunyan, and says everyone. The idea is that the boat can sink even near the other shore—not necessarily in the middle. The point is that we have to be very cautious about the powers of the world. The world is not a petty cat or a mouse in front of us, and we should not be under the impression that we are great yogis who can simply tie the whole world with our fingers. It is not so. We are not Krishnas, blessing Arjuna with one hand. We are babies, spiritually. And the baby Pandavas were not an equal match to the terror of the Kauravas, who had the tactics of the time, who could counterblast the little aspirations of the spirit which were about to blossom in the hearts of the Pandavas. Goodness does not always succeed in the earlier stages. Truth triumphs not always.

8. Om is the Cosmic Vibration

Om is more a vibration than a sound. There is a difference between sound and vibration, just as energy is not the same as sound, because while energy can manifest itself as sound, it can also manifest itself as something else, such as colour, taste, smell, etc. Just as electric energy can manifest itself as locomotion, as heat, as light, etc., the various configurations in the form of bodies or things in this world are expressions locally of this universal vibration which is the cosmic impulse to create, the creativity or the will of God that is identified with a cosmic energy. Om is the symbol of this comic force. From a single point it expands itself into the dimension of this universe in space and time, and from being merely an impersonal, unthinkable, supernatural power, energy or vibration, it becomes visible, tangible, sensible, thinkable and reasonable when it manifests itself as this gross universe and our own bodies. So the chant of Om is not merely a word, but also an effort of the mind in the dissolution of the personality in the causes thereof.

9. No One Escapes the Ups and Downs of Life

The power of sadhana does not gain adequate confidence until divine powers collaborate with it, and God Himself seems to be at the back of the seeker of God. We have been noting a great epic symbol in the Mahabharata, wherein we are given the narration of the adventure of the spirit in its struggle for ultimate freedom. The wilderness of the forest life that the Pandavas had to undergo is a great lesson to the spiritual seeker. No one can escape the ups and downs of life, the vicissitudes of time through which the ancient sages and saints have passed; everyone seems to have the duty to tread the same path. We have to walk the same path, and the path is laid before us with all its intricacies, with all its problems and difficulties, as well as its own facilities. We seem to be lost to ourselves and lost to the whole world, with no ray of hope before us, at least to our waking consciousness. When the Pandavas were in the forest, they did not know what would happen in the future. It was just oblivion and gloom which hung heavy like dark clouds upon them. The strength of the Pandavas was not equal to the task.

10. God Helps Us in His Own Way

God helps us, it is true, but He helps us in His own way—not in the way we would expect Him to work. There is a logic of His own, which is not always expressed in terms of human logic. Sri Krishna was there, alive, even when the Pandavas were tortured, almost, in the forest, but we do not hear much about his movements during this period of twelve years. There was, however, a mention of his casual visit to the Pandavas, where he expresses in a few words his wrath, his intense anger against what had happened. “Well, I am sorry that I was not present. I would not have allowed this to have happened if I had been present.” That was all he could say, and that was all he did say. Well, his associates were more stirred up in their feelings than could be discovered from the words of Krishna Himself. They spoke in loud terms and swore, as it were, to take active steps in the direction of the redress of the sorrows of the Pandavas at once, without even consulting Yudhishthira. But Krishna intervened and said, “No. A gift that is given is not as palatable as one’s own earning. The Pandavas will not accept gifts given by us—they would like to take it by themselves. We may help them, but this is not the time.” Many a time we feel as if we have been lost and have been forsaken totally.

11. The Mind is Addicted to Sense-experience

This spirit that is implanted in us suffers for union with the spirit outside, the Absolute. There is its critical moment. It is as if we were going to embrace the ocean. This experience has been compared in many ways to merging into fire, tying a wild elephant with silken threads, swallowing fire, etc. The problem arises on account of the peculiar nature of the mind. The mind is addicted to sense experience. It is accustomed to the enjoyment of objects, and it is now attempting to rise above all contacts and reach the state of that yoga which great masters have called asparsha yoga—the yoga of non-contact. It is not a union of something with something else; that would be another contact. It is a contact of no contact. It is difficult to encounter because of a sorrow of the spirit, deeper than the sorrow of the feelings, which even a saintly genius has to experience. The deeper we go, the greater is our sorrow, because the subtle layers of our personality are more sensitive to experience than our outer, grosser vestures. We know very well that the suffering of the mind is more agonising than the suffering of the body. We may bear a little sorrow of the body, but we cannot bear sorrow of the mind—that is more intolerable.

12. How Could There be Sorrow for the Spirit?

There is such a thing called the sorrow of the spirit, though it may look like an anomaly. How could there be sorrow for the spirit? Yes, there is some kind of situation in which our deeper self finds itself in its search for the Absolute. These are all interesting stages that are in mystical theology and the yoga of the advent of the spirit. Some of the songs and poems of the Vaishnava saints of the south, the Alvars, particularly the Nawars, and some of the rapturous expressions of the leading Shaivite saints, will be enough examples to us of the inexpressible and intricate spiritual processes through which the seeker has to pass. We are accustomed merely to a little japa, a little study of the Gita that we chant and repeat by rote every day like a machine, and we feel that our work is over, that we have done our sadhana. The deeper spirit has to be touched, and it has to be dug out like an imbedded illness. When it is pulled out there is a reaction, and the reaction is a spiritual experience by itself, through which Arjuna had to pass. A little of it is given to us in the first chapter and the earlier portions of the second chapter of the Bhagavadgita.

13. We are Mortals and Immortals at the Same Time

The jiva principle within us has the double characteristic of mortality and immortality. We are mortals and immortals at the same time. It is the mortal element in us that causes sorrow when it comes in contact with the immortal urge that seeks its own expression in its own manner. There is a tremendous friction, as it were, taking place between the subjective feelings and the objective cosmos. No one can know the strength of the universe. The mind cannot imagine it, and we are trying to overstep it. We can stretch our imagination and try to bring to our memories what could be the magnitude of this task. We as individuals, as we appear to be, are girding up our loins to face the powers of the whole universe—a single Arujna facing the entire Kaurava forces, as it were. Yes, Arjuna had the strength, and also he had no strength. If Arjuna stood alone, he could be blown off in one day by a man like Bhishma. Well, Duryodhana pleaded every day before Bhishma and cried aloud, “Grandsire, you are alive, and even when you are alive, thousands and thousands of our kith and kin are being massacred. How can you see it with your eyes?”

14. There Seems to be a Ray of Light on the Horizon

Before the Universal takes possession of us, it burnishes us and cleanses us completely. This process of cleansing is the mystical death of the individual spirit. There it does not know what happens to it. That is the wilderness; that is the dark night of the soul; that is the suffering, and that is where we do not know whether we will attain anything or not. We weep silently, but nobody is going to listen to our wails. But the day dawns, the sun shines and there seems to be a ray of light on the horizon. That is towards the end of the Virata Parva of the Mahabharata. After untold suffering for years, which the human mind cannot usually stomach, a peculiar upsurge of fortune miraculously seems to operate in favour of the suffering spirit, and unasked help comes from all sides. In the earlier stages, it appeared that nothing would come even if we asked. We had to cry alone in the forest, and nobody would listen to our cry. Now the tables have turned and help seems to be pouring in from all directions, unrequested.

15. It is not Easy for Us to Love God Wholly

The decision is taken by God Himself—man cannot take the decision. And Sri Krishna took up the lead in this path of what decision is to be taken finally. Is the universe as an object to be retained, even in a subtle form, or is it to be abolished altogether? Is it to be absorbed totally? And do we have to see to the deathbed of the entire objective existence, or is it necessary to strike a lesser note and come to an agreement with factors which are far below this level of extreme expectation? Yudhishthira was wavering, and could not come to a conclusion; and we too are wavering. It is not easy for us to love God wholly, because that would mean the acceptance of the necessity to dissolve the whole world itself in the existence of God, and one would not easily be prepared for this ordeal. “It is true that Krishna is my saviour and my friend, philosopher and guide, but Duryodhana is my brother-in-law and my cousin—how can I deal a blow to him? Bhishma is my grandsire and Drona is my Guru. My own blood flows through the veins of these that seem to be harnessed against me in the arena of battle.” So there is a double game that the spirit plays.

16. Everyone Loves a Simple Innocent Child

In the journey of spiritual practice, there are many halting places on the way. It is not a direct flight without any stop in between. At the very inception of this endeavour known as spiritual sadhana, there is an upheaval of the powers of aspiration, an innocent longing for God and a confidence that one would reach God—perhaps the same kind of confidence that a child has in catching the moon. The innocence and the credulity do not permit the acceptance of the difficulties involved in this pursuit. There is simplicity, sincerity and honesty coupled with ignorance, and this is practically the circumstance of every spiritual seeker. There is a humble innocence, very praiseworthy, but it is also attended with ignorance of the problems on the path and the difficulties of attaining God. The innocence of childhood is simplicity incarnate. Everyone loves a simple, innocent child, and everyone is happy about a simple, innocent seeker of truth. The Pandavas—we are studying certain implications of the Mahabharata—were innocent children playing with their own cousins, the Kauravas, and they would never have dreamt, even with the farthest stretch of their imaginations, of the forthcoming catastrophes in the life to come.

17. What I Like Need Not be Your Liking

In the process of evolution there is a transfiguration of the structure of individuality. The individuality transforms itself in the process of evolution, and simultaneously with this transformation, the notions, the ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, pleasure and pain also change. What is pleasant today need not be pleasant even to me, myself, tomorrow on account of the change of my attitude to things, due to a shift of emphasis in the process of evolution. This is commonplace and does not require much commentary. Hence, we should not be under the erroneous notion that a jubilant feeling within us is a sign of spiritual vision, since our jubilation is somehow or other connected with the nature of our own personality. The likes and dislikes of the mind of an individual are reactions set up by the structure of the mind of that individual. The structure of the mind is responsible for the particular type of satisfaction that it feels, and the particular type of dissatisfaction also, which follows automatically from this structure. So what I like need not be your liking, it follows, because of the simple fact that minds are not made in the same manner.

18. A Dependent Success Cannot be Called a Success

The life of a saint is a mystic Mahabharata itself. Every sage or saint has passed through all the stages of the Mahabharata conflict. No one lived as a great saint without passing through untold hardships, and no one ever left this world with the feeling that it is all milk and honey flowing. The truth of the world becomes evident to the eyes that are about to close to this world; the untutored mind takes it for what it is not. Hence, the glory of the royal coronation and success ended in untold grief, because of a negative aspect that was hidden in the joy of the coronation. There was something lacking. It was a glory that was bestowed upon Yudhishthira by the power of people, like the ascent of a person to the throne of a ministry by the raising of hands of the vast public. But the hands can drop down tomorrow; they need not always be standing erect. There is always an unpredictable uncertainty about mob psychology, and therefore a dependent success cannot be called a success. If I have become great due to your goodness, that would not be real greatness, because your goodness can be withdrawn. If the greatness is at the mercy of another’s opinion or power, it falls.

19. Individual Strength is No Strength

People cannot help us, because people are like us. Everyone is made of the same character, a chip off the same block, as they say, and so the help that we receive from people of our own type will be as fallible and unreliable as the passing clouds in the sky. The realities of life started to stare glaringly at the faces of the Pandavas, and they began to realise that there is a gap between the hopes of the mind and the joys that it had experienced earlier. It is not always the playful innocent joy of a child that will pursue us throughout our life. The pains of life are hidden like knives under the armpits of thieves, and they are unleashed at the opportune moment. Every dog has his day, as they say; everything has its own time. Individual strength is no strength; our efforts cannot be regarded as ultimately adequate to the task. We have observed that the world is too vast for us. It is mighty enough—it is all-mighty, we may say. Who can touch the stars, the sun and the moon with the fingers of one’s hand? The strength is inexorable; the law is very precise and unrelenting upon people, like the law of gravitation which has no pity for any person.

20. The World is the Face of God

In the Ramayana, Tulsidas gives a beautiful description of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana walking, with Sita in the middle, and gives the image by saying that Sita was there as maya between brahma and jiva. Likewise, there is this world before us, which we are likely to unintelligently ignore in our enthusiastic aspiration for God. The world is the face of God; it is the fingers of the hands of God Himself moving, and the so-called appearance of the world is rooted in the reality of the Absolute. There is a very unfortunate aftermath of this interesting analysis, namely, we ourselves are a part of this appearance; and to put on the unwarranted status of the reality in ourselves, while we are looked at as appearance, would be to disregard the law that operates in the realm in which we are placed. Appearance is, after all, an appearance of reality—it is not an appearance of nothing. If it had been nothing, the appearance itself would not be there. Inasmuch as the appearance is of reality, it borrows the sense of reality. The snake is in the rope, yes, but we must know that the rope is not absent. Though the way in which the rope is seen may be an erroneous perception, the fact of the rope being there cannot be ignored—that is the reason why the snake is seen at all.

21. The Person who Renounces the World is a Part of the World

Religions often have made the mistake of a transcendent ascent of the religious spirit, overcoming the laws of the world, facing God in the high heavens and preaching a renunciation of the things of the world to the extreme point, the breaking point we may say, until it would be not tolerated by the laws of the world. The person who renounces the world is a part of the world—we forget that, and there lies the mistake. The suffering of the seeker is due to a mistaken notion of himself in relation to the world outside. He has not yet become a part of God, though he is aspiring to be such, and the hands of God work through the forms of the world—that cannot be forgotten. Just as the power of the president or the prime minister may work through a small official, and we cannot ignore this official merely by saying that we are not concerned with him in any manner inasmuch as we are somehow or other placed in an atmosphere over which he has jurisdiction, the world has jurisdiction over our individuality. The world is made up of several grades of density, to which we have already made reference. There are the various lokas—Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Suvarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka And Satyaloka. The ascent of the spirit is through the ascent of these various densities of manifestation, the lokas; and we are in the physical realm, not in other realms.

22. Conformity to Reality is Dharma

Conformity to reality is dharma, and anything opposed to it is adharma. The principle of reality is what determines the nature of dharma or virtue, goodness or righteousness, or rectitude in action, conduct, behaviour, thought and feeling. So a person who does not have a correct idea of what reality is cannot be really virtuous or righteous. Our social forms of goodness and virtue, rectitude and legality are relative to the conditions in which we are placed, and inasmuch as they have no reference to the ultimate reality of things, we have to go on changing our colours like chameleons from day to day. But there can be harmony between the relative forms of dharma and the ultimate form of it. Our daily conduct may vary according to the needs of the hour. Seasons, social circumstances, the state of one’s health and various other requirements of the time may demand a relative expression of conformity, all which has to be in harmony, finally, with a principle motive which cannot change.

23. Our Essential Nature is not Grief

The turmoil in the mind of Arjuna, described in the first chapter of the Bhagavadgita, is attributed by Bhagavan Sri Krishna to an absence of correct understanding. Every sorrow which sinks the heart is regarded, in the light of higher thinking, as a consequence of inadequate knowledge. Man is not born to suffer; it is joy that is his birthright. It is hammered into our minds again and again that our essential nature is not grief, and therefore to manifest grief cannot be the manifestation of our essential nature. Sorrow is not our birthright; it does not belong to our true substance. What we are really made of is not capable of being affected by sorrow of any kind. There is a deep quintessence in the heart of every person which defies contamination by sorrow of every type. Hence, the great point made out by Bhagavan Sri Krishna is that the sorrow of Arjuna is unbecoming of the knowledge that would be expected of a person of his kind. What is this knowledge that we are lacking, whose absence is the source of our sorrows? Whatever be the nature of sorrow, it is just sorrow—a kind of agony that the individual feels.

24. The Absolute is All-pervading

The Absolute Almighty pervades every nook and corner of the universe. Every nook and cranny is permeated by the presence of the Supreme Being. The consciousness of the presence of the Almighty inseparably in every little thing in the whole of creation is the ultimate constitutional dharma. It is the central constitution of the cosmos, and all local and provincial laws follow from it. Political laws, social laws, family laws, personal laws, physical laws, psychological laws, and what not—all these are expressions according to the requirement of the particular state of affairs of that eternal deciding factor which is the presence of one common Being everywhere, equally, unanimously, perpetually in everything. The presence of God is defined here as an invisible presence, an unmanifested existence—avyakta-murtina. It is not a gross, visible, sensory presence.

25. The Supreme Being is All-pervading

Inasmuch as the Supreme Being is above every dualistic concept, inasmuch as He is present unanimously and uniformly everywhere, He has to be impervious to the ken of the senses. The senses are outer expressions in space and time in terms of objects which are hard and concrete, and therefore, to the senses, the Creator of the cosmos is invisible. It is not that He is invisible under every condition; under the conditions in which we are living today God is invisible, just as high voltage and high frequency light waves may be invisible to the condition under which our eyes operate at present. So, the imperceptibility of God’s Being is not a negation of the possibility of experience of God’s Being. It is a description of the inadequacy of sense power in respect of God experience.

26. Only the Cosmic Mind can Know All Things Correctly

It is difficult therefore to know anything unless we know everything. To know anything completely would mean to know everything completely. Only the cosmic mind can know all things correctly, and its judgment alone can be called correct. “So Arjuna, your statements are based on your notion that you are a human being belonging to a class and category, an individual among many others, separate entirely from the objective world—which is not true.” Hence, a transvaluation of values becomes necessary. The individual has to rise up to the occasion, and the occasion is the recognition of the involvement of the very judge himself in the circumstance of judgment. Well, if this is the truth, what is the duty of the individual under this condition? One cannot act, one cannot move, one cannot even think perhaps, if it is to be accepted that the thinker is inseparable from that which is thought. The answer of Sri Krishna is, “It is not like that. This again is an individual’s judgment, that in that condition no action is possible.” We are imagining that in a cosmic state of things one would be inert, and no activity of any kind would be possible.

27. Karma Yoga of the Gita is Divine Action

There is a transcendental type of activity which the human mind in its present state cannot understand, and that is the significance behind the great gospel of the karma yoga of the Gita. Karma yoga can be said to be a transcendental action. It is not my action or your action; it is not activity in a commercial sense. It is an activity which is commensurate with the law of the cosmos. It is, again, an activity which is based on samkhya buddhi—we have not to forget this point. The enlightenment of the samkhya, to which we made reference earlier, is the basis of this action called ‘yoga’ in the Bhagavadgita. The karma yoga of the Gita is therefore divine action, in one sense. It is not human action, because the human sense of values gets overcome, transcended in the visualisation of the involvement of the seer in the seen universe. Every thought becomes a kind of universal interpretation of things, and every action becomes a universal action. That action is divine action, and universal action is God acting—the two are not separate—and this action cannot produce reaction. Therefore there is no bondage in performing this kind of action.

28. You have to Resort to a Higher Power

The senses are controlled and directed by the mind, and the mind works according to the understanding of the intellect. The one is higher than the other. Higher than the senses is the mind, and higher than the mind is the intellect. So by the power of the mind, the senses can be restrained. But how can the mind have the power to control the senses, when the intellect passes judgment that such-and-such thing is the proper thing? So the intellect has to be approached, and it has to put a check upon the mind itself; and, sympathetically, the mind puts a check on the senses. But the problem arises—how will the intellect permit this process? It is the intellect that creates this mistake, and yet it is said that the intellect itself should restrain the mind, and the mind has to control the senses. The intellect sees a division between itself and the world outside. It is the creator of logic of every kind, and therefore it sees a gulf between itself and things outside. How will it permit the control of the senses by the mind? Therefore, the great Teacher of the Gita says: “You have to resort to a higher power.”

29. The Wholeness of Reality is Beyond the Mind

The scientific adventures and rational philosophies of humanity are incompetent to fathom the depths and the mysteries of the cosmos, because the wholeness of reality is not capable of being contained in the finitude of human understanding, or in anything finite, for the matter of that. There is nothing in this world that is capable of being an instrument in the knowledge of God. Hence, the world is called a relative world. There is nothing absolute here, because the Absolute is only One, while the relative parts can be many. While the entire relative world is contained in God and the relative is in the Absolute, the Absolute is not in the relative, because there is a distracted differentiation of particulars in the world of relativity; and in this distractedness of finitude, the Infinite cannot be wholly present.

30. A Human Being Always Stands Outside the World

Bhagavan Sri Krishna was there as a super-personal individual, the one who could think in a different way altogether, far different from the way in which all human beings can think. He was a total Man, ‘M’ capital, the true ‘son of Man’, in biblical words, who could think as all human beings and yet go beyond the ken of human knowledge. The structure of the world is not the object of ordinary human perception. This is the theme of the third chapter of the Gita. The world is made in such a way that it cannot be comprehended by the apparatus of human understanding, and therefore to pass judgment on the consequences that follow from the actions of man in the field of this world would be to go off on a tangent and would not serve the purpose. It would not touch even the border of reality. The nature of the world conditions the effects of human action, as it conditions the effects of any action, for that matter. Every event is inwardly connected to the organic structure of the cosmos; and this structure of the cosmos being the determinant of the rightness or the wrongness of any procedure, a human being who always stands outside the world, regarding the world as an object of the senses, would be a bad judge of the circumstances of life.

31. God Never Withdraws His Grace

God manifests Himself at all times, and this manifestation is a perpetual process. Divine grace is like the flood of a river or the flow of the oceanic waves that never cease. God never withdraws His grace; He is an unconditional Giver. There is a perpetual flow of charity from the benign hands of the Almighty, and His charity is not merely material. He is not giving something out of Himself—He is giving Himself. The charity that comes from God is not a charity of objects, as is the case with the charity of people—it is a sacrifice of Himself that He makes. A self-abandonment is performed by the great Almighty in the incarnation that He takes, in the blessings that He gives, and in the grace that He bestows. So there is a great solace for all of us in the midst of the turmoil of life, in the sorrows of our days and the grief through which we are passing every moment of time. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata, abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjmyaham. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam, dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (Gita 4.7-8) is an eternal gospel. This one gospel is enough to keep us rejoicing day and night, completely forgetful of all the apparent sorrows of life.