Sunday, August 17, 2008
Understanding matter in details reveal that the primitive form of matter is nothing but ‘physical self’ only. This implies that a matter in this state is life-less, just assumes a visible physical form and in terms of the ancient Indian philosophy, it is completely under the influence of Tamah(ignorance) guna (mode) of nature.
The next stage is known as ‘vital self or ‘self of life’. This stage defines the living creatures of lower side of life cycle, up to animal level. Tamah guna is predominant while Rajah guna is experienced while we move up along the pyramid up to animal world.
Now, the most significant stage emerges. It’s known as living being with ‘Mental Self’. Particularly human being falls under this category. Although, now science says that even animals can think and they too have a mind. But human mind is different from other creatures. The human brain, which controls emotions etc, is much more developed than other animal brains. This alone highlights the difference between human being and animal. Also Sattva(Virtue) guna can be observed in creatures with “Mental Self”. This sattva guna makes all the difference between an animal and a human being.
Actually these three gunas are present in all the human beings in different proportions. Excess of one or two gunas specifically defines the character of a person. At the same time we must also remember that +ve and –ve aspects are always, in some proportion, present in all the creatures. So the devilish as well as virtue ness are the two extreme poles of human characters.
A little soul searching will reveal the animalistic attitude present in us. But the presence of sattva guna helps to control the effects of tamah and rajah guna. So it is clear that criminals have an excess of tamah and rajah guna as well as a minimum of sattva guna.
This also highlights that the God isn’t behind our acts directly but nature plays an important role with the 3 gunas to influence our mind and we helplessly act. These 3 gunas make the chain of karmic bondage around us. God allows nature to cast a net of 3 gunas on us so sustain the creation by the variation of these 3 gunas. Remember in equilibrium of these 3 gunas will cause annihilation.
If we are so helpless before these three gunas, how can we break the chain of karmic bondage?
Saturday, August 9, 2008
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I’ve mustered great courage to share my feelings on this very much controversial matter. I’m very much aware of the fact that I’m inversely comparable with the wisdom of the learned persons who attempted to address the topic. Still, let me to address this from a sinner’s point of view.
It’s a rather vast analysis which I’m dividing into parts, to make it simple for my readers as well as for me.
Recently, science has made some progress in analyzing some of the mysteries which were earlier considered to be under the domain of mystic philosophy only. Scientific theories unveiled before us 3 layers of reality. Interesting enough that only 1 of those 3 can be judged by our senses. That is known as 1st layer of reality, like what we can see, feel etc. 2nd and 3rd layer are beyond the capacity of our senses like gravitational forces and the fields of such invisible yet omni present forces. What is important to note that these omnipresent and invisible forces play significant role to maintain the universal laws with a great precision. This scientific theory establishes the fact that nature has its own armory to implement the universal laws to control the functioning of all matters (living and non living) in the universe.
This point needs to be noted down. I’ll use this point in my next post again to come near to conclusion.
Philosophy too speaks in the same way. Philosophers suggest that nature is the negative energy of the Lord. It’s the ‘SHE-power’ of HIM. This energy is directly responsible for all the things happening around the universe. Sattva, Rajah and Tamah are the three basic modes which nature employs in an asymmetric order to sustain the creation. An equilibrium state between these 3 modes will cause annihilation.
This point is another important point to note which I’ll use in my next post to check how we do make us a prisoner of natural consequences and blame the Lord for all the evils.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I wrote my last blog (who controls my karma?) on the basis on verse no 3.5. The main intention of that post was to mention that Nature played the role to implement a predefind action with the help of Sattva(Virtue), rajah(passion) and Tamah(ignorance). It implied that we were directly in touch with the nature, a part of Supreme Soul.
So, according to my understanding it is the nature which cast a direct influence on us. This fact has an implicit meaning to understand my next post.
An interesting point was raised by one of my readers (Mr Jayanta) that why Lord allowed crime and .....................
For a long time, the debate is on. I'm also thinking why really the Lord isn't taking any step to stop crime. After all no logic can justify a crime. Well, in my next post, i'll discuss my understanding on this point. Stay tuned. Thanks.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Some soul searching revealed that I'm not to be appreciated or criticized for any acts done by me. So who is to take credit/discredit?
Virtue, passion and ignorance – these 3 basic modes of the nature are behind all the activities done by me and by others.
I can remember three very important incidents in my life those defined my life style and philosophy. Ironically, I didn’t make any efforts to create those life shaping situations.
I don’t like to use the term ‘luck’ to explain those unwanted/unexpected turn of events. I realize that I was somehow forced to act in a predefined manner. I had no control over those significant events of my life. It just happened and I helplessly participated.
Real life experience gradually developes wisdom. This wisdom helps to understand that the nature is the source of those forces which are behind a particular situation while the pre defined path of my life is designed by none other than the Supreme Spirit.
Anyway, the fact is that whether we realize or not, we act even if apparently it seems that we are inactive. No one can escape from the net of energies woven around us by the nature.
So when everything is predefined by the Lord HIMSELF and those predefined orders are executed by the natural forces, how can we break the karmic bondage? ………………………………….
Friday, July 18, 2008
But it’s only in the Gita, where we find the reference of “act” or “karma” to play a vital role in shaping our next birth and in defining the karmic bondage. And surprisingly, the Gita very clearly declares that no one can survive without karma.
But why is it so? The Gita analyses life from a practical view point. All of us know that karma inflicts on us karmic bondage. And while defining karma, we make a mistake. The Gita rescues us. The Gita gives a proper and exhaustive definition of karma. The Lord says in the Gita that everything, necessary to survive, is karma. Just by abstaining from a particular act doesn’t mean that we have become "actless" and thereby going to break the karmic bondage.
The Gita teaches us that the concept of "actless" is nothing but a way to escape the reality. The reality is that we are, all the time, working and working with out taking a rest.
It was hard to me to grasp this idea initially. But when I go to sleep I feel my heart is talking to me, lungs are busy pulling pure air for my body to initiate necessary chemical reactions to keep the body alive. Although, as I slowly slip into sweet dreams, i feel that inside of my body, lot of things are happening. Also I helplessly realize that I have no control over these acts.
Oh ! this realization of not having control over my own body severely hit my ego. I felt like a puppet only. I kept on thinking and reading the Gita. Gradually …..
It opens a whole new window of knowledge for me. I remember that my mom unable to move her hand after a cerebral stroke. Yes, I understand truly we have no control over our own body. So how can I claim control over the act executed by this body?
This question really baffled me a lot and in the end taught me a good lesson - I have learned that I’m being controlled in absolute terms.
The purpose of this post is to share my realization that all of us are working hard to survive although we have no control over our activities.
This “no control” realization is important to understand the theory of Karma.
Then who and how the acts are being controlled? Please wait for my next post. Thanks.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The Lord Krishna declared that every one should perform his duty to justify one’s utility in the society. No one can stay without a work. Even breathing is a work. One can’t live without doing something, but one can learn to act without thinking about the outcome/result/reward of his activity.
The last part of the 2nd Chapter of the Gita says about the importance of performing one’s duty and more importantly performing it in a selfless manner.
The important point here is that The Lord suggested getting involved in action even if it was to maintain a family, HE wasn’t certainly advocating sainthood. But HE propagated to initiate an action keeping in mind that we were working for the Supreme Power, by the Supreme Power.
The Lord taught Arjuna about the Equanimity (unaffected by success or failure, pain or pleasure). It implies one should not bother about the outcome, but perform his duty sincerely and whole heartedly. Sincerity and commitment – these are important and in reality we have control over only these factors. But outcome of an activity is beyond our control. Action is our right, not the outcome.
Let not the fruits of action be one’s object, and not attached to inaction. Be active and dynamic; don’t seek any reward – this is in short The Lord’s teaching.
This mentality to work without thinking about the results of our works, if truly applied, will make us free from the good or bad effects of our activities.
To properly understand the implication of the selfless act, one needs to look at the concept in totality. This is one of the central themes of the Gita. After reading the whole book, now it seems to me that selfless act actually reflects our devotion.
A true devotion and love for HIM can build up a sense in our mind which leads us to believe that whatever we are doing, we are actually carrying out HIS order. By doing something we are showing our respect to HIM. We are grateful that the Lord has chosen us to work for HIM. This is a higher form of devotion unto The Lord.
In later Chapters in the Gita, HE said even to pray or perform any rituals only for devotion not for any material gains.We are working or doing a business to earn money. Is it a ‘selfless activity?’ Yes, provided we realize that we are actually not a DOER but an instrument. HE is the DOER. I’m, being HIS follower just doing HIS ordained duty.
This concept of ‘Selfless activity’ has really a vast implication in our lives which is explained in different ways in the Gita in later chapters.
Three important points are discussed in the Transcendental Knowledge (Chapter 2). These are :1. Eternality of the Soul/Spirit and temporary nature of all material objects. 2. To perform one’s duty with sincerity and commitment. 3. Not to be inactive but to be active in a selfless manner.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Lord Krishn was a friend, philosopher and guide to the Pandavs. HE helped Arjun and his brothers (Pandavs) whenever they faced a difficult situation. But never preached something like what he preached to Arjun in the battlefield.Arjun’s mind was overcast with confusion, uncontrolled passion, pride and ego. He wasn’t interested in mere suggestions, but looking forward to know the actual reality. So Arjun put himself at the mercy of Krishn and said that he (Arjun) was nothing but HIS earnest follower only. Once Arjun’s surrender was complete, The Lord unveiled the mystery of the universe before Arjun, a symbol of a true devotee and The Gita was created not only for Arjun alone but for all the human beings.
Surrendering to the Lord implies foregoing ignorance (pride and ego). Pride and ego create illusion which acts like a veil on a mirror. Just like we can’t see ourselves properly in a veiled mirror similarly illusion prevents us to look at our inner self properly.
The Lord told Arjun not to grieve for his relatives. He said to Arjun about the eternality of the SPIRIT.
The Lord said, "It is not that I or you, or all the kings present in the battlefield, did not exist in the past (i.e. all of them existed in the past), nor is it that we will ever cease to exist in the future.’’ (2/12)
The wise who knows that the body is mortal and the SPIRIT is immortal have nothing to complain about. After the death, physical body is only destroyed, but SPIRIT or SOUL can’t be destroyed.
People meet and depart in this world as two pieces of wood flowing down the river come together and then separate from each other. When the pieces of wood are separated, it doesn’t mean that they cease to exist.
The Self (or Atma) or SPIRIT or SOUL or consciousness is the source of life. SOUL can’t be perceived by our physical senses because SOUL is beyond the domain of the senses and all objects. The senses are intended only to understand physical objects.
"The SOUL is neither pierced by weapons, nor burnt by fire, nor made damp by water, nor dried up by wind.’’ (2/23).
"One who thinks that the SOUL is a slayer, and one who thinks the SOUL is slain both are ignorant because the SOUL neither slays nor is slain." (2.19).
The SOUL is neither involved nor affected by any external activities or forces. It implies that the SOUL is imperishable. Externalities are related to the physical matter, and these are changeable. Pleasure, pain, success and failure and such external forces don’t affect a SOUL. But the external sources of joys and sorrows are perishable. External sources of happiness ultimately turn into source of sadness because these are all mortal. But happiness, if can be enjoyed from the inner self, is sustainable. Internal source is imperishable.
The main theme is that the SPIRIT is eternal, not destroyable and unchangeable but the physical body and senses are subject to be changed and destroyed.
Realization of imperishable SOUL with respect to perishable body is known as transcendental knowledge or self knowledge.
Understanding the eternality of the SOUL and vulnerability of the physical matters is important to appreciate the true meaning of ’selfless action’.