Darkness to Light Print E-mail

A room may be tastefully decorated with exquisite furniture and artefacts but if it is in darkness a person trying to negotiate his way across would find it a painful experience! Similarly the world is a beautiful place to live in. If you experience sorrow and despair it is only because of ignorance. All that is needed is a little knowledge. Knowledge of the nature of the world, the people that you interact with and your own personality. Then what is stressful becomes amusing. Just as there are laws governing the physical world around us there are laws that operate in the realm of thoughts. Understand the laws, abide by them and your life will become joyful, exciting, exhilarating. Swami Rama Tirtha said – your only duty is to be cheerful!


Grief and delusion come as a result of identification with the body, mind and intellect – the little self. When you look at things from a personal angle there is sorrow. View the same thing from a larger perspective and peace prevails.


In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna is reduced to tears. He looks at the situation from his individual point of view and is unable to function. He lays down his bow and arrow and refuses to fight. He surrenders to Krsna and says, “I am your disciple. Please teach me”. Arjuna is now ready for Krsna’s message.


Krsna smiles. He knows Arjuna is going through a temporary setback and is confident of dispelling his confusion. He does not comfort Arjuna. He speaks the Truth – uncompromising and forthright. This dries the tears and makes Arjuna take notice. It removes the grief and despair and prepares Arjuna for the philosophy that is to come.


Krsna’s opening words are – Arjuna, you speak words of wisdom but you mourn for those that should not be mourned for. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. Thus Krsna presents the highest knowledge – the indestructibility of the Soul.


Atman, the real you, never dies. Even the mind and intellect do not perish. All that happens at death is that you leave behind the body and environment that no longer meet with your needs and move to another body and circumstances that are more suited for the fulfilment of your desires. Just as a man gives up tattered clothes to don new ones.


Krsna says – Everything around us changes. One who is not troubled by these fluctuations and remains steady, equal to joy and sorrow, is fit for Immortality. The world is a roller coaster ride. It is in a constant churn. It is a mix of pairs of opposites and is unpredictable. In the midst of this cycle of birth and death it is your duty to act. For a ksatriya there is nothing more sacred than a righteous cause. You are fortunate to have such an opportunity that is a win-win situation. If victorious you will gain the vast kingdom. If you die you will attain heaven.


There is Perfection within you. All you have to do is get yourself out of the way – your worries and anxieties, fears and apprehensions. Focus on the action. Perform it wholeheartedly, with sincerity and dedication. Success will follow. Work well done is in itself joyous. Action consecrated to a higher ideal is worship. You evolve spiritually.


We are all warriors in the battle of life. Each one of us has obligations to perform. Do what you have to do, without attachment. Your right is to action only, not to its fruit. When you are free from attachment to action and anxiety for its fruit the mind is calm and intellect sharp and clear. The result is perfect action. Then the fruit of success, happiness and spiritual growth will come unsought. If you act thus you will be freed from the sorrow and bondage of birth and death. Then through meditation you will transcend the mass of delusion and move to the state of Godhood.