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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1995
by Swami Krishnananda

33. Contradictory Pulls

(Darshan given on November 28th, 1995.)

A visitor: You have said that we are a muddle of two contradictory pulls. One says that we should take a stand for a position, and that it should be right to demand it. But the other pull says that anything that happens is right, and we should take no position. How do we know?

Swamiji: You cannot take that position. You cannot say that everything that happens is right, as long as you are sitting in a wrong position. You yourself are not sitting in a right position, and therefore that statement is irrelevant to your personal life.

Visitor: How can we be sitting in a right position?

Swamiji: You cannot, unless you abolish your personality and become one with the Supreme Being. Until that time, this statement is irrelevant. It is not true that everything is all right. Something is wrong also. Your separation from the Ultimate Reality makes everything positive and negative at the same time. Who told you that everything is all right? Such a thing cannot be a correct statement in the world of contradictions. In the world always something is wrong, something is right.

Visitor: But we are in no position to take any stand because we do not know what is wrong, what is right.

Swamiji: Anything that does not harm you or harm anybody else, and anything that is for the welfare of yourself and everybody else, that can be regarded as right. Neither you should be harmed, nor somebody else should be harmed. It requires proper common sense. You must apply common sense. Neither you should be harmed, nor anybody else.

Visitor: But it could be apparent, and in the long run the result may be different.

Swamiji: You must use your common sense for that purpose. You can know the consequence of your actions by the discretion that you are adopting. Nobody is so foolish as not to know the consequence of an action. Everyone who is having a little common sense will know what happens when something is done. That you can judge by your discretionary powers. The consequence of an action is to some extent clear to any person who can exercise one's mind.

Visitor: But we are also surrounded by other minds.

Swamiji: Let them be. Do you want to be alone in the world without anybody else outside?

Visitor: Can't be.

Swamiji: Then what is the use of complaining?

Visitor: Then how could we, living as we are, be in the right position in the world?

Swamiji: I told you already. Whatever steps you take should not produce any adverse consequence, and whatever consequence follows from any steps that you take will be known by the application of your reason. I don't think anybody is totally bereft of reason. They can understand what is the consequence of anything. Anyone who is a little educated will know what happens when something is done. Even animals know that.

Your question is general and vague. It is not practical and to the point. All questions should be practical and to the point. Why are you asking philosophical questions which are general in their nature? You should say what your problem is. Why should you generalise?

Another visitor: My close relation has passed away.

Swamiji: You should not go on crying about a person who has passed away. By that, you are not doing any good to that person. A negative reaction you are creating. You have got an attachment to that person. See, you are pulling its soul down to your own level. It has removed the body and gone somewhere else in order to take another birth, and why are you preventing it by pulling it down with your thought power? It is because people still feel that it is their property – my son, my daughter, my husband, my wife. When it has departed, it has proven that it is not yours. You have a wrong notion that it was yours, whereas the departure is proof that it is not yours, and instead of enlightening yourself to the fact, you are brooding over the same thing again and again, which is not proper. You should not think about them. Pray to God and become strong. Read the Bhagavata, and you will become strong. It will be good for your family, and it will be good for you also.

Another visitor: I am an actor in the theatre. In myself I witness my thoughts and emotions, and then afterwards I again fall into involvement with my feelings and with my thoughts, and so on. I change. Sometimes I witness, and at other times I am again involved in emotions.

Swamiji: You should never get emotionally involved with anything. You must be intellectual, philosophical, a scientific witness. A philosophical, scientific witness does not get emotionally involved in anything because if you are emotionally involved, you yourself become an actor. You are not a witness. And if you would like to become an actor by participating in the performance, if you think it is a good thing, then do it. But if it is not a good thing for you, don't see the performance at all. Why are you seeing it?

Actually, I will tell you one thing. When you see an actor performing, you necessarily get involved in it. Everyone who sees that will get emotionally involved unless one is highly intellectual and only scientific. But if you have feelings, you will naturally feel, which is another way of involvement. Then don't see anything. Keep quiet. Why are you witnessing it?

You yourself are an actor. Now, who will witness you when you are acting? Somebody witnesses you, and they may like it or they may not like it, so it is a natural occurrence. It is something natural. There is nothing abnormal about it, and you cannot consider it as a problem. Drama is an art, and every art has some emotional aspect in it. The only question is, whether you are benefited by it or you are harmed by it.

There are tragedies and comedies, for instance. When you witness a tragedy, you pass through some peculiar process in your mind while you are witnessing it. It looks as if you yourself are passing through that tragedy. When you see a play by Shakespeare – Hamlet or Othello or King Lear, or whatever it is – they are all tragedies. When you see actors performing these plays, you will feel that you yourself are Hamlet or the king involved there, etc.

Aristotle was a great philosopher of art and of theatrical science also. He said that when you feel disturbed in your mind by seeing a tragic performance, you are passing through some particular phase of your own life which is hidden inside you, but this art of the performance brings it outside, and so you are completely cured of that disease, of that tragic feeling which is already in you, but you are not manifesting it outside in daily life because in daily life you cannot manifest tragic feelings. So you go to a theatre and see it, and internally you pass through that stage. He says in one way it is a good thing because that tragedy, which is also potentially present in your mind, brought it out, and so afterwards you will not once again have the trouble. It is like a vaccination. A vaccination means a little disease is introduced into your body so that the real disease may not come. You don't want to pass through a tragedy in your life, but you can see somebody else passing through it, and then you psychologically actually experience that tragedy so that you will not have a real tragedy in your life. The emotions wipe out all these possibilities. So this is a little bit of psychology behind theatrical performance. I cannot talk more now. Whatever I said is sufficient for you.