Arjuna is now curious and wants to know more. He asks Kṛṣṇa, ‘You are telling me all this, that is wonderful. You tell me that I must perform without expectations and attachment and that I must be complete in wisdom. I would like to live that way and move on the path of wisdom. Pray, tell me what kind of a person is this, the one who always stays in the steady space of completion—sthita prajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhi-sthasya keśava (2.54). How does he behave, walk and talk? Let me model myself on him.’
For the fifth time Arjuna expresses authentic interest in what Kṛṣṇa is saying. Arjuna has realized that whatever he said earlier had arisen from his confusion, his patterns. Arjuna is intelligent enough to know that he does not know.
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Once we choose to live based on responsibility, we know our real present needs and not futuristic wants. We rise into the present moment of completion.
The sheer brilliance of the wisdom of the Universal Master is reflected in these verses. Whenever I get a chance I refer to these verses to explain how one should lead one’s life.
Kṛṣṇa says many, many things in these few words. He says, ‘You have the right and responsibility to work. You have no responsibility or right to the results of that work. Do not focus on the result and make it either a pattern of greed to chase or fear to stay away from. Do what you have to do with a centered mind, a complete inner space without worrying about whether you will succeed or fail.’
mā karmaphala hetur bhur mā te saṅgo’stv akarmaṇi II 2.47 Continue reading →
In these verses from 2.31 to 2.38, Kṛṣṇa works on Arjuna at two levels. At one level He talks to Arjuna at the super conscious plane educating him on what the ultimate Truth is.
He talks to Arjuna about how the undying and indestructible spirit lives on. Here, Kṛṣṇa addresses Arjuna’s fears about killing his svajanam, his relatives, elders and teaches him that what he considers to be the end of life for these people is just one step in their journey.
It is not what you do that matters; it is who you are being that matters. It is your space that matters. Whether you are being complete or incomplete matters. Continue reading →
Even though it is written here in the past tense, I feel Kṛṣṇa should always be addressed in the present tense. He is still relevant, present to each of us today. We cannot say, ‘Kṛṣṇa was’ but ‘Kṛṣṇa is’, not ‘Kṛṣṇa said’ but ‘Kṛṣṇa says.’
Once again, having lamented about what he is being forced to do, and not wishing to do what he is expected to do, Arjuna, like a petulant child sits down saying, ‘Govinda, I am not going to fight, na yotsya iti govindam (2.9).’ It is as if Arjuna is waiting to be persuaded. He is seeking an explanation. Kṛṣṇa says to him gently and smilingly, ‘While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief – aśocyān anvāśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead – gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (2.11).’
The words that you use to enrich yourself, will only come out to enrich others.
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The river heads only towards the sea. It does not stagnate anywhere. A sannyasi heads only towards his goal of enlightenment. He knows no distractions. The river flows blissfully, whatever be the things thrown into it on its way. So many things are thrown into the river – flowers, twigs, food, animals, birds, dead bodies, etc. But the river flows, not bothering about anything. Similarly, a sannyasi moves blissfully, untouched by anything that comes his way. The current pulls the river over its obstacles, and it gurgles, with a constant music, moving towards the sea. The cosmic intelligence pulls the sannyasi over obstacles as he moves towards the ultimate goal. He knows not what obstacles are. For him, they are all stepping stones on the path to bliss. Continue reading →
We have two levels of consciousness and two levels of thoughts.
In the waking state you have ‘I’ consciousness and thoughts, conscious state, called jagrat in Sanskrit.
In dreams you have thoughts but no ‘I’ consciousness. The frequency of thoughts is more than the frequency of ‘I’ consciousness. That is why in the dream state, called swapna in Sanskrit, you cannot control your dreams. The dreams will happen as they want. But in the waking state, you can control your thoughts.
In deep sleep you have neither ‘I’ consciousness nor thoughts, unconscious state, called sushupti in Sanskrit.
There is a fourth state which you have never experienced, what I call intuition or meditation. In this state, you have ‘I’ consciousness but no thoughts. There is no term in the domain of psychology to describe this state. In Sanskrit this state is called turiya. This is what I call meditation or intuition or thoughtless awareness. This state is also called the state of samadhi. If you can experience this zone, this fourth state, you can experience the consciousness, what I call beyond intellect. It is the state where there is bliss or peace or intuition. Continue reading →
What do I mean by the word, ‘state of the leader’?
A true leader is a person who is ready to take responsibility consciously, who is ready to handle life consciously, who is not constantly dependent on the past or his memory. If you are dependent on your memory, if you are dependent on the past to take decisions, please be very clear, you will be a follower. You cannot be a leader. Responding spontaneously to situations is what I call responsibility. A responsible leader is a person who is able to respond spontaneously to situations, who is fresh and continuously keeps himself alive, who is not caught in the past.
Let us understand how the mind works – how we receive data, process it and make decisions.
For example, you are seeing something through your eye. Of course, you receive information through all the five senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch. Continue reading →
I always tell people, ‘Do not think you have a certain amount of energy and you will work according to that energy. No. Whatever work and responsibility you take up, the energy starts expressing accordingly. You will have energy according to the responsibilities which you take up. Whatever responsibility you take upon yourself, you will see that your inner space expands to that extent and energy flows through you!’ If you feel responsible for whatever is happening around you, you suddenly become a leader. You start transforming your life and others’ lives.
Responsibility is one of the ways to consciously grow.
You only need to do two things: trust that life is good and know that you can expand to the responsibilities that you take up. Another thing, when that expansion happens, just hold on and have patience during the transformation process. Patience during the transformation process is what I call tapas or penance. There is a beautiful phrase of the teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba : ‘Shraddha, Saburi’ – trust and patience. This is the essence of life. Continue reading →
Swami Vivekananda, the Eastern mystic, describes the motto for his mission as atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha – ‘For spiritual liberation as well as bringing good to humanity’. He implies that without taking up responsibility for the good of the world, you cannot talk of spiritual liberation.
A beautiful story:
In a place called Pandaripur in India, there was a boy who served his parents very lovingly and with great care. Bhagawan Sri Krishna took the form of Pandarinathar and came to see him. It was raining that day while the boy was attending to his parents. Krishna stood at the door of the boy’s house and asked to be allowed inside.
The boy asked Him to wait until he had finished attending to his parents. Krishna said that it was raining and slushy where He stood. So the boy actually threw a block of brick and asked Bhagawan Krishna to stand on it!
Even today in that region, Pandarinathar is worshipped standing on a brick-block! God Himself came down to see the consciousness and sense of responsibility of the boy. Continue reading →
When you take up responsibility, a cognitive shift happens in you. Your mental setup changes.
Many of us live life like slaves. For example, if you work eight hours in your office just following orders you will feel dull and tired. Instead, if you take up responsibility and initiative, that same eight hours will become much easier and more enjoyable. For example, take the case of a person who is running his own business and another person who is working for a company. The owner of the business has the full responsibility of his business, but the person who is working for some other company does not really feel the full responsibility. If he does not feel the responsibility, the whole job becomes like a burden on him. There is little or no self-motivation. He keeps looking at his watch to see if it is time to leave! For him, only the first of every month is sweet, since it is payday! In a month, he sacrifices twenty nine days of his life for one day of joy.
A sense of personal responsibility can help turn around any situation. A sense of personal responsibility can achieve great things. When you stand up with responsibility, you become a solid force. Until then, you remain a burden for yourself and for others. Continue reading →
With the intelligence gained about who we are and what we are doing here, comes the feeling of responsibility for others. We know then that we are not independent of others but interlinked to each other.
Some years back, there was an epidemic of tuberculosis in Tamil Nadu in South India. Finally, medicines were found and the epidemic was contained. The officials responsible for eradicating it proudly claimed that they were the ones responsible for curing it. But did they take up the responsibility for the fact that it was allowed to spread all over the town in the first place? No! They were actually responsible for allowing the tuberculosis to spread also, right? They should have prevented it to begin with and not just taken credit for managing the crisis!
Likewise, in our lives we claim responsibility for anything good that happens, but we don’t take responsibility for anything bad that happens. We take up responsibility with discrimination. Only if we take up responsibility for everything that happens in our lives will we start growing. When you start living with the attitude, ‘I am responsible,’ your whole life will change. Continue reading →
In life, because it is easy to place responsibility on others, you blindly follow other people’s directions instead of relying on your own intelligence. You say you are obedient, but you are actually shirking the responsibility of owning up to your actions. This is a dangerous and age old habit of following the rule book. It is dangerous because sometimes you are not even aware that you are missing responsibility and intelligence. You become a parrot, repeating the same thing for years together because someone told it to you. It is always easy to put the blame on the whole world for what happens in your life. But if you just look a little deeper, you can see how you are completely responsible for what is happening in your life! Because you do not live every moment with awareness and take responsibility for your words and actions, you do so many things unconsciously. Then, when the effects of these actions happen, you claim you don’t deserve the results! Acting out of your own intelligence is taking complete responsibility for what you do at all times.
For example, when you obey someone else you feel that you are being subservient to that person. But when you disobey that person, you feel guilty because a part of you feels that you should obey him or her but you are not obeying. The way out of this conflict is to follow your intelligence at that time with the clear understanding that you alone are responsible for your action. Then you will not hurt anyone including yourself. And you will be responding intelligently to the person you are disobeying as well. The answer depends on the person asking the question!
Moving with time, flowing with life, becoming a fluid process instead of being a solid ego is called intelligence
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