Musings on the Bhagavad Gita 13: Know Yourself – 3

We are still the 7th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, as Krishna describes 4 Main Motives that bring us humanbeings to him. These are the triggers that can help us rise in consciousness. First of the triggers, the motives, is Distress. When we are in distress, when we feel totally helpless, utterly hopeless – there is a good chance that we rise in consciousness.

            Allow yourself to touch the bottom, the very bottom, so there is no way to go any lower. When that happens, by the very strength of hitting the bottom, you shall be bounced upward!

            Our modern motivators and psychologists may not understand this. They are busy infusing positive thoughts into the distressed. They may succeed in bringing some relief, that is momentary relief to the distressed, but nothing more than that.

            Without the flowers of consciousness blooming within, the distressed may fall into the same pit of hopelessness and helplessness in no time.

The Second Trigger is the Desire for Wealth, or for some meaning in life. The word for “wealth” in Sanskrit is Artha, which can also mean “meaning”.

            Dilapidated, when one’s self-esteem is at the lowest ebb, one may choose an easy way to make money by any means. Or, try to find a higher meaning, a higher purpose of life.

            Krishna is not against money-making. He is a king, he cannot demean money. He knows the true meaning of wealth, and how to spend it for the welfare of his subjects. No, he is not against money-making. He is simply warning us that money is not everything. Life cannot be meaningful just by adding money into it.

When a Pandemic Hits the World and people are made to stay at home for weeks, even for months – the have-nots are naturally affected. But, the haves are not spared too. Their stress level can rise to an unprecedented level.

            Those who live under delusion that money can buy them anything, suffer the most when the clouds of delusion disperse and they are face to face with the hard realities of life. 

            Interestingly, such disillusionment can actually become a trigger to push us upward. A disillusioned person can easily rise in consciousness. They can start looking for the true meaning of life. Alas, not many make use of the opportunity. They miss the chance. Such is the human folly, our folly.

The Third Trigger is the Desire for Knowledge. The seekers of knowledge can verily rise in consciousness. But, there is a catch there. “Let us not turn our heads into libraries”, warn the Masters.

            “An ounce of True Knowledge about our Self”, my Mater would always remind us, “is better than tons of mere bookish knowledge.” Even then, the Knowledge about our True Self can become stale and go waste if not put into practice.

The Fourth Trigger is the Desire for Wisdom. Krishna praises the people of wisdom as the true seekers. They have rightly understood the nature of all things. They neither belittle matter nor seek the same, for they know that the spirit pervades all.

            They identify themselves with the spirit and know that matter and all material things are just the shadows. It is as foolish to chase the shadows as becoming remorseful and try to shun them, to do with them.  As long as we have this material body, the shadows will always be there.

            Even in our subtle bodies upon physical death, the shadows will still be there in the form of past impressions, obsessions, and etcetera.

            So, it is about realizing the spirit and recognizing the nature of material shadows – this, then is the True Knowledge, the Wisdom that Krishna is referring to.

How do We Recognize a Man of Wisdom?

“Simple,” Krishna’s answer is devoid of unnecessary rhetoric. He does not use a flowery language. He is to the point, “‘all this is God’, sums up the wisdom of the wise. Yes, they are rare, but they are there, nay, here! Very much among us. They have acquired the True Knowledge of Being. They know the true nature of all things.”

            Devoid of such knowledge, the ignorant are always chasing the shadows. They may find some comfort in those shadows. Such comforts, however, are not long lasting. The Everlasting Bliss, the True Happiness is a Divine Gift bestowed upon those who have acquired the True Knowledge of Being, the Wise, the Men and Women of Wisdom.

Time and Again, Krishna Advises us to shift our consciousness from the manifest luring shadows – this material world – to the Unmanifest, the Truth, the Eternal Reality of those shadows.

            We are already living in this shadowy world, what is there to chase? Study, develop skills, pursue your career, get married, have babies, live comfortably – but don’t you ever believe in the bounties of this material world.

            Share your blessings with the underprivileged that is the best and wisest utilization of the blessings bestowed upon you. In any case, they are slipping out of your hands. You cannot hold them forever. So, share! And, share in full consciousness, with full awareness that the other does not exist. The other is as much a part and parcel of the Divine, as you are.

“The Divine is the Core Reality of all matter and all spirit. Work and fulfill all your duties with such awareness. Shun all dualities originating from a deluded perception of life, and, o Arjuna, even at the moment of physical death you will have no regrets… For, you shall know that you have played your role handsomely…”

            Thus, ends the seventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita with the assurance given by Krishna to Arjuna – his cousin, disciple, but, above all his friend…

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