The Light of the Enlightened – Bhagavad gita verses 2.67-2.72

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The Lord gives us a very striking example to bring home, in all its tragic vividness, the wasteful self-destruction of the life of one who lacks self-control.

    IndriyaaNaam hi charathaam yanmanO(a)nu vidheeyathae
    Thadasya harathi prajnaam vayurnavam ivambbasi - 2.67

    Verily, that mind, which follows the wandering sense organs, carries away the wisdom of that person, just as the wind (carries away) the boat on the waters.

    It is the nature of the mind to accept anything that promises happiness. This is not to the discredit of the mind, for its nature is to enjoy. If the senses draw the mind to the joys of their objects, this similarly is no discredit to the senses. They are like ready servants, waiting to serve the mind. As a ship is carried away by the wind, so is the mind
    completely carried away by the senses in the direction of the objects of the senses.

    The next verse advises control over the senses for safety's sake.

    Thasmadyasya mahabahO nigrhithani sarvas(h)a:
    IndriyaaNiindriyaarthaebhya:thasy prajna prathishtithaa 2.68

    Oh Arjuna ! Therefore the knowledge of that person, whose sense organs are completely withdrawn from the sense objects, becomes firm.

    This verse presents the conclusion of the last six verses. It gives the quintessence of the entire scheme of fulfilment in life, which is to channel the mind into more blissful regions of experience than sensory life. When the intellect is resolute, the senses lose their relationship to the objects.

    The following verse distinguishes between the fields of life of the enlightened and the ignorant.

    Yaa nis(h)aa sarva bhoothanam, hasyam jagarti samyami
    Yasyam jagrathi bhoothani, saa nis(h)aa pas(h)yaathO munae 2.69

    The sage is awake to that Self which is night for all beings. For the wise sage that (world of duality) is night to which all beings are awake.

    Here, the sage (samyami) is not a recluse, but rather a man of calm, far-seeing prudence and wisdom.
    The light in which the established intellect behaves is not perceived by the ignorant.
    The light in which the ignorant behaves is looked upon as darkness by the enlightened.

    The next verse shows very clearly that self-awareness of the realised is like an ocean, which will accept any stream of desires and will satisfy it without being affected.

    Apurnyam achalaprathishtam, samudramaapa; yadvat
    Tadvatkama yam pravis(h)anthi sarvae, sa shaanthimapnothi na kamakami 2.70

    Just as water enters into the ocean from all directions, but is yet unaffected, all sense objects enter the wise man. Such a person enjoys peace unlike one who desires sense objects.

    The ocean accepts the rivers as they come and denies no stream, rushing in; yet its status remains unaffected. Such is the state of eternal peace for the established intellect.

    The next verse gives the technique of maintaining such a permanent state of peace in the midst of activity.

    Vihaya Kaman ya: sarvan, pumamscharathi nisprhah
    NirmamO nirahankaara: sa s(h)aanthimathigachchathi 2.71

    Having given up all sense objects, that person who moves without desire and without the notion of "I" and "mine", enjoys peace.

    This verse, in its sum total, advises that all our suffering in the world is caused by our own egocentric misconception and consequent arrogance, characterised by our ever increasing desires.

    The devotion to knowledge is extolled as follows:

    Aesha brahmi sthithi: partha, nainaam prapya vimuhyathi
    Sthithvasyam anthakale(a)pi brahmanirvaaNam rachathi 2.72

    Oh Arjuna! This is called Brahma sthithi. Having attained this, a person never gets deluded. Being established in this, even at the time of death, he attains oneness with Brahman.

    On reaching the life of Brahma-sthithi, one lives the life of jivan-muktha (liberated while living), even at the fag-end of his journey. After death, he becomes one with Brahman called videha-mukthi.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    For the uninitiated, it will be difficult to comprehend that the physical light that illuminates our surroundings is no light at all. But for those who have perceived the spiritual light, the physical surroundings will be total darkness.

    Let us explore this in the parlance if ace photographers. They will always adjust the light settings in such a way that the object to be photographed will be under a bright arc lamp while the light on the surrounding areas will be dimmed. This enables the object to be photographed come in sharper focus. Seekers of spiritual light will also attach lesser and lesser importance to what the senses perceive. Unless our interest in what the senses perceive is effectively brought under control, the spiritual light will always remain elusive. The prayer of the Vedas, “Tamasso ma jyothir gamaya” relates to this spiritual exercise only. “Jyothi” is the term applied only to the spiritual light. “Tamasa” is not the physical darkness but refers to the darkness of the light as perceived by the senses.

    The first step towards perceiving the Divine Light is, as the photographers do, to reduce the luminosity of whatever our senses perceive and simultaneously intensify the search within for the Divine Light. If we keep at it, what may first appear as a faint and fading star, will gradually become increasingly brighter. As the French Theologian Fenelon says, “As the light grows, we see ourselves to be worse than we thought. We are amazed at our former blindness as we see, issuing from our heart, a whole swarm of shameful feelings, like filthy reptiles crawling from a hidden cave. But we must be neither amazed nor disturbed. We are not worse than we were; on the contrary, we are better. But while our faults diminish, the light we see them by waxes brighter, and we are filled with horror. So long as there is no sign of cure, we are unaware of the depth of our disease; we are in a state of blind presumption and hardness, the prey of self-delusion. While we go with the stream, we are unconscious of its rapid course; but when we begin to stem it ever so little, it makes itself felt.”


    Whenever a total solar eclipse occurs, the birds and beasts perceive it as the fall of dusk and start their homeward journey. But as humans, we understand this temporary darkness and pity the birds and beasts for their ignorance. Similarly, people who have experienced the Divine Light smile at our ignorance of perceiving the darkness or the ‘Maya’ of temporal light as the real and go after it with all our physical senses.
     
  3. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    The opening sentence itself is slightly saddening to read.. meaning would there ever be hope for mere mortals as I. You have outlined the nature of the mind so clearly. Yes it sways easily and also gets distracted in ease.
    Over and over again Krishna repeats the need to be resolute with thoughts fixed on God. Thereby being able to bring the mind around. To be like the ocean is probably a divine aim to have in which one remains unaffected by the inflow of sense objects.
    Following the path outlines its but natural for the mind to attain the Brahma Sthithi. Its similar to an example I read of the bird learning to die while alive. So to ones attachments to sense objects should die while one is alive so as to be able to experience Jivan Muktha. It is for this reason i feel one takes birth so as to experience this, which is probably unique to being born human.
    Thanks for writing on these great topics.
     
  4. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra and Cheeniya sir,
    Hats off to the two of you! If the translation of the Geetha verses by Chithra along with allegories is itself a treat to the soul Cheeniya sir's writing the "bashyam" for it is a value added bonanza ! I have no words to show how much I am enjoying reading it. It is like getting a discourse from Krishna Himself. I do hope this continues in the future too.
    Love,
    Malathi
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  5. mkthpavi

    mkthpavi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear C & C,

    Perhaps there is nothing more profoundly true but hard to digest than the realization that all that we are seeing or experiencing are temporary and if we dont get on with our quest for the Divine Enlightenment, these things are not going to give us any true happiness. Your posts reinforce this truth in a hard-hitting fashion :)

    When the mind is peaceful and balanced, no amount of distractions can distract it. Good things happen to good people and good people are those who are positive, cheerful and balanced. The more we keep asking God "Please give me this...please gvie me that...", instead of saying "Thank you God for everything. Please guide me with your Divine Light", the more we will end up longing for material things rather than being happy.

    I read somewhere - may be in 'Reader's Digest' - that one could start developing a balanced outlook in life by maintaining a 'gratefulness diary'. The writer of the article suggested that every night before sleeping, one should list and thank all those people who may have been nice / helpful knowingly or unknowingly. This might be a way to reduce stress and be able to relax. It occurs to me that by 'forcibly' guiding our thoughts towards positivity by adopting such ways, we are actually steering it towards the Divine.

    Thanks again for a Divine post.
    Love and regards
    Your IL disciple
    Pavithra
     
  6. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra,

    This topic about enlightenment is quite difficult a step to achieve for controlling the senses is a hard task by itself. As you have said, Our mind is always in a ready state to accept even a small disturbance created by the sense organs and give life to it. It is by practice that we keep our mind undisturbed by senses and reach is resolute phase. Your description about the life of enlightenment and ignorance was very well explained in the sage way. Its said that even god appears before people who keep their wisdom (eyes) open and not just the "eyes". In verse 2.70, you have given a beautiful explanation about how the ocean is undisturbed. Ocean is often compared with the lord, almighty. Though the water reaches from various places, it joins in single place" sangamam" - but the nature of ocean does not distinguish if its river water or sea water .It remains resolute. So for attaining enlightenment - Once needs self control, be undisturbed by the senses, be like a ocean - resolute mind and let all the ego - "I" and enjoy mental peace.

    Thanks Chithra for this Gita lesson.
     
  7. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sri,
    As usual beautiful Post explaining the Gita verses through examples. Reducing the focus on worldly things and searching for the inner light - well explained with the photographer's example. Its apt here to quote a recent song from a movie "Kalaimatum kandal Kadavul theriyadhu..". Only for people who see god through their inner eyes, he the lord is visible. For others, he remains a stone 6 foot tall. For getting that maturity and wisdom, we definitely need to focus on inner self and reduce our attraction on worldly pleasures. As you have said, after searching for inner self and attaining it, we should remain undisturbed about the present state. Human beings are bonded by temporary darkness - the solar eclipse state as you say. But once we realize that there is a way to find light, we should attempt to reach the light (wisdom).

    Thanks Sri,
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    The opening line, ruthlessly tells us:
    in our explosive days of youthful vigour we may not independently come to review the consequences of our excesses.Thrust by the impatience of passions and the surging base hungers, we just forge ahead into fields of easy pleasures and empty all our strength and abilities!
    A man who lacks self control reaches nowhere and achieves nothing in life.
    Sri Ramakrishna says:
    Blinkers have to be used in order to break a horse to the rein. Otherwise, it will not be tamed. Vulgar desires have to be done away with, in order to obtain the Divine. Purity of mind, complete sense-control, desirelessness - these divine qualities make one competent to gain Godhood.

    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pavi,
    Our longing for material things is not going to stop till the last day!
    But, the more the senses and the mind wander through worldly objects, the more our discrimination, spirituality and our Godliness are destroyed.
    Ceaseless vigilance and perseverance are necessary to keep all the senses firm.
    At some stage in life, our mind should be turned within to look into the Self.
    You write that we must learn to say
    "Thank you God for everything. Please guide me with your Divine Light",
    I would rather say
    Lord, Whatever situations you place me in, please give me the strength of mind to bear unpleasant ones as peacefully as the pleasant ones."
    I have my doubts about forcibly guiding our thoughts, Pavi! There is a tamil proverb that one was asked not to think of a monkey when eating a medicine. But thereafter thoughts of monkey & medicine became inseparable for him!!
    Any thought process which comes voluntarliy stays better & longer.
    Thaks again for a lovely reply.
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Aishu,
    Though all the rivers continue to empty themselves into the ocean, its magnitude ever remains the same.
    For the mind of a jnani, the senseations brought in by the sense-organs get themselves dissolved in the ocean of consciousness. The question of mind getting muddled does not arise.
    Sri Ramakrishna says:
    There are mountains, hills, dales, valleys and plains at the bottom of the ocean. But they are not discernible on the surface. Akin to it the Jnani in Samadhi experiences Infinite-existence-knowledge-bliss. Modifications such as I and mine get merged in that beattitude.
    Your understanding is correct, Aish!
    Love,
    Chithra.




     

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