“When you move in the world of senses, free from attachment and aversion alike, there comes peace in which all sorrows end, and you live in the wisdom of the Self.”
Spiritual excellence comes from the readiness to embrace the true nature of the world as well as our personality.
In this session Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha guides us through the wisdom Krishna imparts Arjuna on how grief can also become an occasion for spiritual growth.
Grief has forever been the oppressor of mankind; Arjuna grieves at the prospect of having to kill his teacher Drona and grandfather Bhishma in the battle. This grief has engulfed him.
In order to set Arjuna’s constricted mind right and rescue it from grief, Krishna endows him with a wealth of wisdom and says, “You grieve for those who are not worthy of being grieved at, and yet speak the words of wisdom; the wise do not mourn the dead or the living”.
The Soul alone is the true identity of man and it never ceases to be. The body is ever perishable.
The Soul is eternal; is ever present. The fight in the battle is between mortal bodies. The Soul is immortal, is only one and same for all.
Arjuna’s sorrow was colossal and immeasurable; he was not able to contain it. But after listening to the spiritual wisdom from Krishna, he says, “My confusion is gone and clarity has dawned on me. I am prepared to fight not one (Mahabharata) war, but a score of them.”
As we try to understand this life lesson from Krishna to overcome grief, Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha puts it so persuasively and lucidly, “There are 7 billion people living on this planet, but in the history of humanity over 100 billion people have lived and died. Imagine, if all those 100 billion people were alive today, will there be a place on this planet for even ants to crawl?” The message I gathered here is that we should let the cycle of life go on as a wholesome expression and not be partial, we need to develop the right, even-minded attitude towards life.
To drive home this point, Swamiji questions, “When you put on a dress, are you the dress? You live in a house, are you the house? Similarly you live in a body, you move in a body, buy you are not the body. You are the Soul.”
To understand spiritual excellence we first need to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual dimension, the existence of the Soul.
In Chapter 3 Verse 42 of the Bhagavad Gita we understand the hierarchy of our existence.
इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: |
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: || 42||
indriyāṇi parāṇyāhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ
“The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the Soul”
Our mind alone produces happiness, the mind is the source of joy, joy is an emotion, it belongs to the mind, so if you want to be joyous, ask the mind to produce it and deliver it, that is what spiritual excellence means.
To sum up this wonderful session, Swamiji talks about embracing suffering in the same way one would embrace happiness, in a similar grandeur, he asks us to be magnificent in both happiness and sorrow as one does not and shall not exist without the other.
We end on an emphatic note with Swamiji uttering this powerful phrase to summarize his message.
“Become a magnificent performer, an exalted performer, a superlative performer, and also a magnificent enjoyer and sufferer”.