8. Who are You?
We all have had ideas concerning life.
And, like the fox which has a great deal of ideas about how to escape, you will find in times of need that those ideas are utterly useless.
Ideas are incapable of action.
The eyes are open, a form is seen.
At one point it is called the seer, at the other point it is called the seen.
Seeing is in the middle.
Seeing alone is reality.
When confronted by brilliant light, the eyes close.
An idea arises 'Ah, that's terrible'.
That idea is not part of the reality; it is like the image in the mirror - you can neither say it is real nor unreal.
Ideas are both real and unreal; real in the sense that the stuff they are made of is real, unreal in the sense that they are non-functional.
An experiencing arises and, along with the experiencing, there is a polarisation - at one end is the idea-of-the-experiencer, and at the other end there is the idea-of-experience.
Both of them are momentary.
The experiences come and go in the flow of this river called life.
What is it that seeks to perpetuate itself as if it is an existential fact?
The experiencer.
Love and hate are born, and along with them fear is also born, of this self-perpetuating experiencer.
These are born when the momentary experiencer, arising with an experience, seeks to immortalize itself.
That is what you call the ego, the jiva, and so on.
They say that the senses are superior.
Superior to the senses is the mind.
Superior to the mind is the intellect.
One who is superior even to the intellect is that. (3:42)
There is a sort of hierarchy within you: the senses function at the behest of the mind, the mind functions at the behest of an intelligence that determines this is right, this is wrong; this is good, this is bad, etc. , on the basis of past experience.
The experiencer, instead of dying with the death of each experience, somehow perpetuates itself.
Who is it? Find out.
Beyond all this is that.
Beyond the buddhi is that.
When 'that' is realised, life goes on because it is not yours.
The senses will continue to function in this world - hunger will arise, thirst will arise, food will be eaten, water drunk - but an unnatural attraction called 'love' or an unnatural repulsion called 'hate' will become extinct.
Krsna said: I taught this yoga to the sun.
If you want an illustration of what I have been talking about, look at the sun. (4:1)
Can you live like the sun, shine without intending to do so, scorch without intending to do so?
Instead of following the trend of this beautiful discourse, in response, Arjuna asks a totally irrelevant question:
You were born only recently. The sun must have been there for millions of years.
How can you say that you taught this yoga to the sun? (4:4)
Krsna utilises that opportunity to declare another truth:
You and I were born many times. You do not know it, I know it. (4:5)
(You are trapped in action, in thought, in idea - and I am not.)
That is the only difference between man and God.
Man does not know, not because he is condemned to unknowing, but he loves this unknowing.
He does not bother to know what is unknowingness.
He who thus knows in true light, my divine birth and action - having abandoned the body, is not born again. He comes to me, O Arjuna. (4:9)
Freed from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in me, taking refuge in me, purified by the fire of knowledge - many have attained to my being. (4:10)
If you also awaken yourself and gain this knowledge, you will be like God.
It is only in the Bhagavad Gita that this expression occurs quite a few times.
The devotee, the jnani, the yogi 'who does this, enters into my nature'.
Fantastic statement! You can enter into the very nature of God.
It is perhaps not even difficult to gain this knowledge.
And when that knowledge arises the ignorant idea that you entertain of yourself disappears.

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
1998 - 2017

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