O SANJAY, ASSEMBLED ON THE FIELD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE FIELD OF THE KURUS, AND EAGER TO FIGHT, WHAT DID MY SONS AND THE SONS OF PANDU DO?
Dhritarashtra is blind. However, longing or passionate desire never disappears because of the lack of sight. If Surdas had thought of Dhritarashtra, he would not have pierced his eyes.
Surdas pierced his eyes in the belief that the desire and longing would never crop up once sight was destroyed. But desire does not arise through eyes, it arises out of mind. Longing would never end even if one lost one's sense-organs.
This wonderful tale of the Gita begins with a blind man's curiosity. In fact, there would not be a single tale in this world if there were not blind men. All the tales and stories of this life begin with a blind man's curiosity. A man without sight also wants to see that which he cannot see; a deaf person wants to hear that which he cannot hear. Thus, even if all the sense-organs are lost, there is no end to desires hidden in the mind.
At the outset, I would like to remind you that Dhritarashtra is blind. Nevertheless, though miles away, his mind is curious; he is curious and troubled to know what is happening on the battlefield.
Remember that blind Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons; however, children born of a blind person can never have real vision, although they may have eyes. Those who are born of blind parents - and perhaps people generally are born of blind parents - may have outer eyes, but it is difficult for them to gain inner sight. Secondly, it is important to understand that the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra were acting blindly in every sense. They had outer eyes but not inner ones. One who is blind can only beget blindness, and yet, this father is curious to know, "What is happening...?"
Thirdly, one should note what Dhritarashtra is saying, "In that righteous land of the Kurus, men who have assembled to engage in the battle..." The land of righteousness ceases to exist the day people
come there to fight a war. Similarly, the day fighting becomes imperative in the field of religion the possibility of its survival also comes to an end. Thus, at one time it may have been a land of righteousness, but now it is not. Now people who are eager to kill each other have come together on that very field known as the land of righteousness - dharmakshetra.
This beginning is really strange. It is strange in the sense that then it would be difficult, for example, to imagine what must be happening in the lands of unrighteousness. Dhritarashtra is asking Sanjay, "What is happening in the land of righteousness? I want to know what my sons and their opponents, who are eager to fight, are doing."
Perhaps the land of righteousness has not been created yet on this earth; if it had, there would not be any possibility of war. When the possibility of war still exists, and when even a land of righteousness is turned into a battlefield, then how can we blame or criticize that which is unrighteous? The truth is that perhaps there have been less wars in the domains of unrighteousness as compared to the domains of righteousness or religion.
If we were to think in terms of war and bloodshed, then the lands of righteousness would look more like unrighteous lands than the actual lands of unrighteousness. One should understand the irony involved here - that up to now, wars have taken place in the field of righteousness. Do not think that he temples and mosques have become dens of war only today. Thousands of years ago, when it is generally believed that good people lived on the earth - and a wonderful person like Krishna was present - even then people had gathered to fight in he righteous land of the Kurus This very deep rooted thirst for war, this very deeply ingrained desire for destruction, this very deeply hidden animal in man remains with him even in the land of righteousness. This animal makes preparation for war even in the holy land. It is good to remember his; and also that there is a greater danger in fighting from behind the shield of religion because then it seems justified.
So, this religious scripture begins with the curiosity of the blind Dhritarashtra. All religious scriptures begin with a blind man's curiosity. In fact, religious scriptures will not be needed the day blind nen will disappear from this world. Thus, here, it is a blind man who is curious.
SANJAY, WHO IS THE REPORTER OF THE WAR TO DHRITARASHTRA, WHAT IS HIS ROLE IN THE GITA? DID SANJAY POSSESS POWERS OF CLAIRVOYANCE OR CLAIRAUDIENCE?
WHAT IS THE ORIGINAL SOURCE OF HIS MENTAL-POWER? COULD THIS POWER BE SELF- CREATED?
Doubts have been raised consistently regarding Sanjay, which is natural. From a very long distance Sanjay reports to Dhritarashtra what is happening in Kurukshetra.
Yoga has always believed that the eyes we see with are not the only eyes. Man also has other eyes which can see across the barriers of time and space. The doubt that arises in our minds is - how can Sanjay see across such a long distance? Is he omniscient? No. The first thing is that this clairvoyance is not really such a great power. It has nothing to do with being omniscient. It is a very small power, and any individual can cultivate it with a little effort. Sometimes it happens that as a result of some quirk in nature this power develops more easily in someone.
There is a person in America by the name of Ted Cereo. I would like to mention a couple of things about this man which will help in understanding Sanjay. Let us forget Sanjay for a while, because Sanjay is far removed in time from us. And no one knows from which unfortunate moment we began to take our ancient scriptures as imaginary.
Ted Cereo, who is alive in America, is able to see anything across a distance of thousands of miles.
Not only can he see, but his eyes can even capture the images seen by him. If asked to see what is taking place at this ground of Ahmedabad where we are having this discussion, Ted Cereo, sitting in New York, would remain with his eyes closed for five minutes. Upon opening his eyes, your photograph or picture can be seen in his eyes by others. The image in his eye can even be photographed by a camera. Thousands of such photographs have been taken, and the fact is that Ted Cereo's eyes can capture any picture from any distance. His eyes can not only see but can also capture the image. This incidence of Ted Cereo makes it clear that Sanjay is not omniscient; because Ted Cereo is a very ordinary man, he is not a self-realized person. Ted Cereo has no idea of soul. There is no saintliness in the life of this man, but he has a power by which he can see across long distances. It is of course a very special power.
Some days ago a Scandinavian man was thrown out of a car in an accident in which his head was injured. When he came to his senses in the hospital he could not believe what he was hearing - he heard someone singing. For a while he thought he was going crazy! In a day or two the whole matter became clear. There was a radio station within a ten-mile radius, and his ears were picking up the radio frequency. Later, his ears were thoroughly checked but nothing unusual was found.
However it was discovered that as a result of the blow received in the car accident, some hidden power of the ear had become active. He was put through an operation since there was no way the music in his ears could be turned on or turned off.
A couple of years ago a lady in England began to see stars m broad daylight. This was also the result of an accident. She fell from a roof and began to see stars in daytime. Stars are there of course during the day, they never disappear; it is simply that they are over-powered by the sunlight.
When the light is gone in the evening they are visible again. Our eyes could see stars in daytime if they could penetrate the sunlight. The eyes of that lady were also operated on.
I have mentioned all this to point out that eyes have hidden powers too which can make one see stars in daytime. Powers are also hidden in the ears through which one can receive sounds transmitted from a distant radio station. There are powers hidden in the eyes which can see across the limits of time and space. But these powers have not much to do with spirituality.
So it is not that Sanjay is some kind of spiritual man, although he is certainly a unique individual.
He is able to see what is going on far away on the battleground. And it is not that he had attained to any God or truth because of this power. On the contrary, it is quite possible that Sanjay may have met his end because of using this power.
This happens very often. Special powers generally lead people astray. That is why yoga has consistently maintained that whether it be common This happens very often. Special powers generally lead people astray. That is why yoga has consistently maintained that whether it be common physical powers, or whether it be psychic powers of the mind, one who gets entangled in these powers never reaches the truth.
What Sanjay could do, however, is possible. Recently, within the last one hundred years in the West, a great deal of work has happened in psychic research. Now no one has any reason to doubt Sanjay - not even on scientific grounds. Not only in a country such as America, which believes in religion, but even in Russia psychologists are admitting the endless powers inherent in man.
Recently, as a result of landing on the moon, Russian and American psychologists have been assigned a new job, because it is no longer possible to completely depend on machines. Particularly in the case where people are sent to travel in space, a terrible risk is involved. With a slight defect in the machinery we could lose them forever, and it would be impossible to trace these lost travelers.
We would never be able to locate them in infinite space, or know whether they are alive or dead. That is why the scientists of Russia and America are anxiously working in their laboratories to develop a substitute system which would enable one to see across a long distance, hear and send messages without the help of technology. It will not be very long before Russia and America both will have Sanjays - of course, we in India will not have any!
So, Sanjay is not necessarily a spiritual man. However, he does have a special power that we all possess and which can be developed.
Hearing this, Sanjay said: Then, the king Duryodhana having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up for the battle, approached Dronacharya his teacher and said these words:
O Teacher, behold this mighty army of Pandu's sons which the son of Drupada, Dhrishtadyumna, your own clever pupil, has drawn up strategically.
Here are brave warriors, great archers, those equal to Bheema and Arjuna - Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada the great fighter.
Also, Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the valiant king of Kashi; Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and the best among men - the king of the Shibis.
VALIANT YUDHAMANYU AND POWERFUL UTTAMAUJA, SUBHADRA'S SON ABHIMANYU, AS WELL AS ALL THE FIVE SONS OF DRAUPADI; ALL OF THEM ARE GREAT WARRIORS.
ALSO KNOW, O FOREMOST AMONG BRAHMINS, THE OUTSTANDING MEN ON OUR SIDE, THE LEADERS OF MY ARMY. I WILL MENTION THEM NOW FOR YOUR INFORMATION.
When the human mind is troubled by an inferiority complex, when the human mind considers itself inferior from within, then one always begins to talk by boasting about one's greatness. But, when there are no such inferior individuals, talk will always begin with the mention of other's greatness.
Here Duryodhana is telling Dronacharya which powerful warriors have assembled in the army of the Pandavas. That Duryodhana begins with this is highly symbolic. Generally, a talk under such circumstances does not begin with praise of the enemy - but here, Duryodhana begins his talk by identifying the heroes who have assembled in the enemy's army. This shows that whatever else Duryodhana may be, he is certainly not a man with an inferiority complex.
It is very interesting that even a good man, if affected by an inferiority complex, is worse than a bad man who is not affected by it. Only one who is confident of himself can begin by praising others.
This is the fundamental difference that has emerged within the past centuries. There were bad as well as good people before. It is not that today the number of bad people has increased and that of good people decreased - there are as many bad people today as there are good people. Then what is the difference?
Those who talk about religion spread the idea that in the old days people were good; now they have become bad. In my view this contention is fundamentally wrong. There have always been good and bad people - the difference between the two is not so superficial. rather, it is much deeper. Before, even a bad person was not affected by an inferiority complex, while today even a good person is troubled by an inferiority complex. Here lies the deep difference.
Today, even the best man is good only outwardly, inside even he is not sure of himself. Remember, if one has no confidence in himself, his goodness is not of a kind which can survive for long. It is merely skin-deep; a little scratch, and ugliness will appear on the surface. If a bad person is self- assured despite his being evil he can be changed, because a very crystalized quality of goodness lies at the base - the quality of self-assuredness.
I find it very significant that a bad person such as Duryodhana begins his talk in a good manner.
He mentions the good qualities of his opponents first, and then he describes the heroes in his own army.
FIRST YOURSELF, THEN BHEESHMA, KARNA, AND THE EVER VICTORIOUS IN BATTLE KRIPA; ASHWATTHAMA, VIKARNA, AND ALSO THE SON OF SOMADATTA, BHURISHRAVA.
Many other heroes, as well who are ready to lay down their lives for me. They are armed with various kinds of weapons, and are very well skilled in war.
Our army, in every way, is invincible and is guarded by Bheeshma, while theirs which is guarded by Bheema is easy enough for us to defeat.
THEREFORE, STANDING FIRM IN ALL THE FRONTS, EACH IN HIS RESPECTIVE PLACE, GUARD BHEESHMA ALONE EVERYONE OF YOU.
ON THE ONE HAND WE FIND THAT IN SHREEMAD BHAGAVADGITA THE TOTAL EMPHASIS IS ON ARJUNA, WHILE HERE DURYODHANA SAYS, "PANDAVAS' ARMY IS PROTECTED BY BHEEMA, AND THE KAURAVAS' BY BHEESHMA..." COULD IT BE THAT BY PITTING BHEEMA AGAINST BHEESHMA, DURYODHANA IS INDICATING THAT HE CONSIDERS BHEEMA AS HIS ONLY TRUE RIVAL?
This point needs to be looked into. The whole war is centered around Arjuna, but this is in hindsight - that is, after the war, at the conclusion of the war. Those who know the outcome of the war would say that Arjuna was pivotal throughout the war. But those who were standing at the threshold of war could never have perceived this.
For Duryodhana, the possibility of a real war rested upon Bheema. There were reasons for this.
Even Duryodhana could never have depended upon a nice person like Arjuna for engaging in a
war such as this. Duryodhana too has doubts in his mind regarding the steadiness of Arjuna.
Duryodhana has some deep, unconscious feeling that Arjuna might desert the battlefield. Thus his understanding seems to be that if this war should proceed at all, it will be because of Bheema alone.
People like Bheema who are less intelligent but more powerful can be depended upon for fighting a war.
Arjuna is intelligent; and where there is intelligence there is doubt, and where there is doubt there is conflict. Arjuna is rational; and where there is rationality, there lies the capability for thinking from a total perspective. With these qualities it is difficult for one to enter the dangerous state of war with closed eyes.
Duryodhana can depend upon Bheema to have a war. There is a deep similarity between them.
Both are of the same nature; deep down both have the same kind of thinking, both are the same type of person. Hence if Duryodhana saw Bheema as the central figure on the opposing side, he was absolutely right. Gita also proves later on that Arjuna is eager to desert. Arjuna appears as an escapist, which is highly possible with regard to a person like him. The war has proved tougher for Arjuna. For Arjuna, entering in war became possible only after he underwent a transformation. Only after attaining a new level of understanding could he agree to the war.
Bheema was prepared to fight at whatever level of being he was. He accepted war as naturally as did Duryodhana; hence, it is not coincidental that Duryodhana should see Bheema as the central figure. But this matter comes up at the beginning of the war, and Duryodhana does not know how the war is going to conclude, what the end will be - but we know.
Remember, often life does not end the way it begins. Very often it ends undecided; it is always invisible. Mostly what we think will occur does not occur, what we believe will happen does not happen. Life is an unknown journey. Hence, whatever is thought at the initial moments of life, or at the initial moments of any event, does not come true at the end. We can be involved in building our fate but we can never be the judge of it.
Duryodhana's idea was precisely that Bheema would be the central figure, and if Bheema had remained central, perhaps what Duryodhana said about being victorious would have come true.
That Duryodhana's viewpoint did not prove true, and an unexpected element came into the picture, is worth some thought.
Krishna had no idea that he would be able to bring Arjuna back into the war if he decided to desert.
We, too, never know that the unknown divine may also have a hand in making things happen in life.
Our calculations are about that which is visible. We never know that at some point the invisible might also penetrate, that the invisible might also enter in the midst of everything.
Here, in the midst of all, the invisible has entered in the form of Krishna, and consequently the whole story has taken a different turn. That which could have happened did not happen; and that which had the least possibility of happening took place. There can be no prediction of the arrival of the unknown. That is why the first-time reader of this tale cannot but be shocked when he finds Krishna drawing the escaping Arjuna back into the war - certainly the reader is shocked.
When Emerson read this tale for the first time, he closed the book; he was horrified. Because what Arjuna was saying there would be acceptable to all so-called religious people. The argument Arjuna
was making was exactly that of a so-called religious person. When Henry Thoreau came across this situation and found that Krishna was counseling Arjuna to enter into war, he too was horrified.
Henry Thoreau has written that he never believed, he did not have the slightest idea, that the story would take such a turn - Krishna counseling Arjuna to enter into war. Gandhi, too, faced the same difficulty, he was troubled because of the same reason.
But life never proceeds according to set principles. Life is a very wonderful thing. It never runs on railway tracks, rather it flows like a current of the river Ganges - its course is never predetermined.
And when God appears in the midst of all, he disturbs everything. Whatever was ready, whatever man had made, whatever man thought - everything turns upside down.
Duryodhana had never imagined that the divine would enter into war. Hence what he is saying is just an initial statement of the kind we all make in the early stages of our lives. Meanwhile, the unknown keeps intervening and the entire story changes. If we could see our lives in hindsight, we might say that whatever we intended went wrong. Where we expected success, we met failure; what we had our hearts set on was never attained. Happiness was expected by gaining something, which when we got it, led to sorrow; and that which we never dreamed of having, the mere glimpse of it burst open fountains of joy and happiness. Everything becomes topsy-turvy.
There are very few intelligent people in this world who would take into consideration the outcome first. We pay attention to the beginning first. If we could just take the end into consideration first, the story of life could be very different.
However, if Duryodhana should take into account the end first, there can never be the war.
Duryodhana can never take the end into consideration. He would take the end for granted. That is why he says over and over again that although the army is great on the other side, the final victory will be his - that his soldiers are eager to make him victorious even at the cost of their lives.
Even if we may apply our whole strength, the untruth can never be victorious - Duryodhana could not sense this certainty. And the truth, which initially might appear as losing, wins in the end. The untruth appears to be winning initially, but meets defeat in the end. Truth appears to lose in the beginning but becomes victorious in the end. But how can one possibly see the end from the start?
One who sees becomes religious. One who fails to see keeps on slipping, like Duryodhana, into a blind war.
ON THE ONE HAND THERE IS THE WILL OF THE UNKNOWN, AND ON THE OTHER THERE IS THE WILL OF THE INDIVIDUAL. SINCE THEY COME INTO CONFLICT, HOW WOULD AN INDIVIDUAL KNOW WHAT IS THE WILL OF THE UNKNOWN?
The question is: How can an individual know the will of the unknown? The individual is never able to know. But if the individual can let himself go, if he can erase his identity, he will know the will of the unknown immediately. Then he becomes one with the unknown. A drop cannot know what an ocean is like until it dissolves itself in the ocean. An individual can never know the will of God. As long as the individual maintains his separate identity, he can never know the unknown. But should he cease to exist as an individual separate from the divine, then only God's will remains. Because
then the individual's will remains no longer. Then the question of knowing the will of the unknown does not arise - the individual lives the way the unknown wants him to live. In this situation. the wish of the individual, his desire for any success, his longing for anything, his attitude of imposing any of his wishes upon existence remains no more, because the individual himself remains no more.
As long as the individual is conscious of himself the wish of the unknown can never be known . When the individual is no more, there remains no need to know the will of the unknown. Then whatever takes place the unknown makes happen; the individual becomes just an instrument. Throughout the Gita, Krishna counsels Arjuna precisely that he should leave himself in the hands of the unknown, that he should surrender himself to the unknown. Because those whom he thinks will die have already died through the hands of the unknown. Regarding those for whose death Arjuna feels responsible, he will not at all be responsible. Of course, if he keeps himself separate as an individual, he certainly will be responsible. But if he can let go himself and fight as an instrument, as a witness, then he will no longer be responsible.
If the individual can disappear in the universe, if he can surrender himself totally, if he can give up his ego, then the will of existence alone is fulfilled. It is being fulfilled even now; there is no way we can alter its fulfillment. But we will go on fighting, we will go on ruining ourselves, we will go on destroying ourselves in the hope of altering God's will.
I have been telling a small story about two little straws that are drifting in a flooded river. One straw, which is laying across the current and trying to hold back the flood, is screaming that he will not let the river go forward. Although the river is moving ahead and the straw is unable to control it, yet he goes on shouting that the river will be stopped. He is boasting aloud that whether he lives or dies, he will stop the river. But the straw is still drifting. Neither does the river listen to his voice, nor does she know that the straw is struggling against her. It is just a tiny little straw that the river is completely unaware of. It makes no difference to the river, but for the straw it is a matter of great consequence.
His life is in great difficulty. He is drifting, and will ultimately reach the same destination whether putting up a fight or not. However this moment in between, this period in between, will be one of pain, sorrow, conflict and anxiety for him.
The straw next to this one has let go himself. He is not laying across the river, he is laying straight- facing the direction of the river - and thinks that he is helping the river to flow. The river is completely unaware of him too. The straw thinks that since he is taking the river along with him to the ocean, she would eventually reach there. The river is totally unaware of his help also. To the river it makes no, difference, although for both straws it is a matter of great importance. The one who is taking the river along with him is in great joy, he is dancing in great delight. The one who is fighting against the river is in great pain; his dance is not a dance at all - it is a nightmare. It is nothing but a twisting of his limbs. He is in trouble, he is getting defeated, while the one who is flowing with the river is winning.
An individual is unable to do anything except that which is the will of existence. But he has the freedom to fight, and by fighting he has the freedom to cause himself anxiety.
Sartre has made a valuable statement: "Humanity is condemned to be free." Man is compelled, he is condemned, he is cursed to be free. However, man can use his freedom in two ways. He can pit his freedom against the will of existence and create a conflict. In this case his life will be full of sorrow, pain and anguish, and ultimately he will meet defeat.
Another individual can make his freedom an object of surrender to existence; this way his life will be filled with bliss, it will be a life of dance and song. At the end there will be nothing except victory for him. The straw which realizes he is cooperative with the river is bound to be victorious. There is no way he can be defeated. The one which is blocking the river is sure to meet defeat - there is no way he can win. So it is impossible to know the will of existence, but it is certainly possible to become one with existence. In that case, one's own will disappears and only the will of existence remains.
IN SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS THERE IS SOMETHING OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S OWN THAT IS INVESTED. IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE WILL OF EXISTENCE WORKS IN SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT.
Normally, it seems that the individual's will works in scientific discovery - this is what appears on the surface. It will not appear so if one looks at it deeply. You will be surprised to know that the experiences of great scientists with regard to science are quite different from the ideas created in colleges and universities.
For example, Madame Curie has written that once, for several days, she was bothered by a problem.
She tried to solve it but could not. She got tired and upset, she finally gave up on it. One night at two o'clock in the morning she decided to forget about the problem, and went to bed leaving the incomplete papers on the table. When Curie woke up in the morning she found to her surprise that the half-finished problem was completed. The doors were closed and no one had come into the room. Even if someone had entered the room, it was impossible that the problem which Madame Curie could not solve, someone else could have solved. After all, the woman was a Nobel prize winner. there were only servants in the house and it would have been a miracle if any one of them had solved it.
But there was no doubt that the problem had been solved. It had been left half-done, and the remaining half was completed. She checked all the doors and still found it hard to believe. She could not accept the idea that perhaps God might have come down from above. No God had come from above anyway. When she looked more closely, she found that the rest of the handwriting was hers. Then she started recalling that during the night she had a dream. She recalled waking up in the dream itself. She dreamed that she was solving the problem, that she woke up at night and solved the problem. After that, it became a regular practice with her that whenever she was unable to solve a problem she would place it under her pillow and go to sleep. During the night she would wake up and do it.
Throughout the day, Madama Curie remained as an individual. At night in sleep the ego disappears, the drop meets the ocean. The problem that our conscious mind is not able to solve is solved by the unconscious, which deep down is united with the supreme spirit.
Once, Archimedes could not solve a problem. He was in serious trouble because the emperor had commanded him to solve it. His entire reputation depended upon solving that one problem; but he was too tired. The emperor sent messages every day asking for a solution.
Someone had presented the emperor with a very precious ornament. But the emperor suspected that he was being cheated and that something else was mixed with the gold. The problem was to
find out, without destroying the ornament, whether or not some other metal was mixed in it. During those days means had not been developed to find this out. The ornament was a sizable one and its weight would have certainly increased if something else was mixed in it.
Archimedes got tired, he was troubled. One fine morning while he was laying naked in b'his bathtub, the problem was suddenly solved. He forgot everything and dashed out. For a moment he became unaware who he was; otherwise he would never have forgotten about his being naked. He came out on the street and began shouting, "Eureka! Eureka!" (I got it! I got it!) and ran toward the palace.
People took hold of him and questioned what he was doing - "Would you appear before the emperor completely naked?" He replied, "I did not realize what I was doing!"
The man who ran out naked on the street was not Archimedes. Archimedes could never have appeared naked on the street. It must have been that at that moment he had ceased to be an individual. The problem was not solved in this individual's conscious mind; rather it was solved at a level of consciousness where the individual had ceased to exist.
He was in the bathroom lying in the tub, relaxed. A moment of meditation occurred and penetrated deep inside, and the problem was solved. the problem he could not answer himself was solved by the tub. Could the tub really have solved it? Is it ever possible to solve a problem - by lying in water - which one could not solve otherwise? Does intelligence increase by lying in water? That which could not be solved with clothes on, could it be solved by being naked? No, something else had happened. For a short while Archimedes ceased to be an individual. For that brief period he became one with the existence.
If we read through the experiences of all the great scientists of the world, such as Einstein, Max Planck, Eddington, Edison, we find that they shared a common experience - whatever they came to know, in fact, they did not know. It always happens that when we really come to know something, that knowing takes place only when WE are not there. This is precisely what the sages of the UPANISHADS say, and the same is said by the sages of the VEDAS, by Mohammed and by Jesus.
When we say that the VEDAS are revealed, or not man-made, it does not mean that God appeared and wrote the book himself. There is no reason to say such ridiculous things. "Revealed" simply means that this occurrence, of putting the Vedic mantras into words, took place for the person at a moment when he himself was not present. At that very moment his "I" was not present. Thus whenever such an incident took place, when the word of an UPANISHAD was realized by someone, when the KORAN was realized by Mohammed, when the world of the BIBLE was realized by Jesus, at that moment "they" were not present.
The experiences of religion and science are not dissimilar. they can never be different, because if a truth is realized in science, its path of realization is the same as it is when one realizes the truths of religion. There is only one way of realizing the truth: when the individual is absent the truth is realized by God, who is ever present within us. An empty space occurs within us; the truth enters that empty space.
Anyone in this world - whether a musician, a painter, a poet or a scientist, a religious person or a mystic... in this world those who have received any ray of truth, have received it only when they
themselves were not present. Religion understood this long ago, and such religious experience is ten thousand years old. It is in these ten thousand years that the religious fakir, the religious saint, the religious yogi, experienced the absence of "I" - a thing very difficult to experience.
When for the first time something appears within you which has come from God, it becomes difficult to make a distinction whether it is yours or God's.. When it appears for the first time the mind is tempted to assert its claim over it; the ego too wants to assert its claim. However, gradually, when the assertions of both become transparent and you come to know that there appears to be no link or relationship between you and the truth, then the distance between you and truth becomes apparent.
Science is still very young - it is only two or three hundred years old, but within this time the scientist has become humble. Fifty years ago a scientist used to say, "We are the ones who discovered." He does not say this today. Now he says, "Everything seems beyond our reach." Today's scientist is speaking in the same language of mysticism as much as did the mystic in the past.
Just wait for a hundred years more and the scientist will speak exactly the same language which we find in the Upanishads. They will have to speak the very language that Buddha spoke; they will have to speak the same language that St. Augustine and St. Francis spoke. They will have to speak it, because as the experience of realizing truth becomes deeper, the experience of asserting oneself will become less and less. As the truth becomes manifest the ego dissolves, and some day it appears that whatever was known was because of God's grace. One comes to the understanding that: "It has descended upon me; I as such am not in it. And whatever I did not know, I am responsible because I was so incapable that I could not have known it."
So the presence of "I" is necessary only if un-truth is to be realized. Thus, the will of existence will never interfere in the discoveries of science. But whatever discoveries that have taken place so far are because of one's connection with the unknown, because of one's surrendering. In the future too, discoveries will take place only when one has surrendered. Except through the door of surrender, one has neither arrived at truth in the past, nor will one ever arrive in the future.
THIS STATEMENT OF YOURS THAT THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND IS ALWAYS UNITED WITH GOD CREATES DIFFICULTIES. JUNG EXPLAINED THIS LATER ON BY RELATING MYTHOLOGY WITH THE "COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS. BUT WHEN FREUD SAYS THAT THE UNCONSCIOUS IS ALSO CONNECTED WITH SATAN, THE PROBLEM BECOMES MORE ACUTE.
Freud does believe that our unconscious mind is not only connected with God but also with Satan.
Actually "God" and "Satan" are our words. When we do not like a thing, we say that it is connected with Satan; and when we like a certain thing, we say that it is connected with God.
What I am saying is simply that the unconscious mind is connected with the unknown. And to me the unknown is God, and as far as I am concerned, Satan is included in God - not separate from him. In fact, the mind tends to believe that what we dislike must have been done by Satan, and that which is not wrong or inconsistent must have been done by God. We have assumed ourselves as being at the center of life, and we believe that what we like is done by God - that God is serving us.
The thing we dislike is done by Satan - that Satan is being hostile to us, It is man's ego which has engaged not only Satan but also God in its service.
There is nothing except God. What we call satanic is simply our unacceptance. What we call "bad" is merely our unacceptance. If we could see deeply into what we call bad, we would find right away that good is always hidden in it. If we could go deeply into sorrow, we would find happiness hidden in it. If we could closely watch the curse, we would find a blessing hidden in it. Actually, good and bad are just two sides of a coin. I am not referring to the unknown as God in. the sense of his being opposite to Satan; I am calling that the unknown which is at the root of our lives, which is the very basis of existence . From this source of existence emerges Ravana as well as Rama. Darkness and light both emerge from this very source.
When we are frightened in the dark, the mind tends to believe that Satan must be the creator of darkness. Since we like the light, the mind tends to believe that God must be the creator of light.
But as such there is nothing wrong with darkness, nor is there anything good about light.
One who loves existence would find God as much in the darkness as he would find him in the light.
The truth of the matter is that due to fear we are never able to recognize the beauty of darkness. We are never able to appreciate the flavor, the mystery of darkness. Our fear is man-made. We have emerged from the caves, we have passed through the wild - where the darkness was dangerous, wild beasts would attack, night was frightening. That is why when fire appeared we accepted it as God - because the night became safe. We got rid of fear by lighting a fire. So in our experience, darkness has become associated with fear. In our hearts light is associated with fearlessness.
Nevertheless, the darkness has its own mystery, as the light has its own also.
Whatever significant happens in this life happens with the cooperation of darkness and light.
We sow a seed in darkness but the flower appears in the light. We sow a seed in darkness under the ground, the roots spread in the darkness under the ground, but the flowers blossom in the sky, in the light. Leave a seed in the light, the flower would never appear; bury a flower in the darkness, the seeds would never be created. A child is created in the deep darkness of the mother's womb where not a single ray of light reaches. Later, when it is developed, it appears in the light.
Thus, darkness and light are the basis for the same life-force. Division, polarity, in life are only man-made.
Freud says that the unconscious mind is joined with Satan. Freud was associated with Jewish thought. He was born in a Jewish family. Since childhood he had learned about the conflict between God and Satan. Jewish people have made a division: one belongs to Satan and the other belongs to God. Actually, it is a division of the human mind. So Freud thought that whenever bad things surface from the unconscious, Satan must be responsible for them.
No, there is nothing like Satan. If we do come across a Satan anywhere, then we are making a fundamental mistake. A religious person is incapable of seeing a Satan. There is nothing but God around us. And the unconscious - where the scientist finds the truth, or the religious person finds the truth - is a door to God. As we will go deeper into this, we will understand it clearly.
HEARING SUCH WORDS OF DURYODHANA, ADDRESSED TO DRONACHARYA, THE SENIOR AMONG THE KAURAVAS, THE MOST VALIANT GRANDSIRE BHEESHMA ROARED ALOUD LIKE A LION AND BLEW HIS CONCH IN ORDER TO CHEER HIM UP.
FOLLOWING THIS, CONCHES AND KETTLE DRUMS, TAMBORS, DRUMS AND HORNS WERE STRUCK ALL TOGETHER MAKING A TUMULTUOUS NOISE.
WHILE SEATED IN THEIR MAGNIFICENT CHARIOT, WHICH WAS YOKED TO WHITE HORSES, KRISHNA AND ARJUNA ALSO BLEW THEIR CELESTIAL CONCHES.
KRISHNA BLEW HIS PANCHAJANYA CONCH AND ARJUNA HIS DEVADATTA. BHEEMA, AS THE DOER OF TERRIFIC DEEDS AND A MAN OF ENORMOUS APPETITE, BLEW HIS MIGHTY CONCH PAUNDRA.
PRINCE YUDHISHTHIRA, THE SON OF KUNTI, BLEW HIS ANANTVIJAYA CONCH, AND NAKULA AND SAHADEVA BLEW THEIR SUGHOSHA AND MANIPUSHPAKA CONCHES RESPECTIVELY.
SINCE KRISHNA BLOWS HIS CONCH IN RETURN TO THE TERRIFYING SOUND OF BHEESHMA'S CONCH, COULD THE SOUNDING OF KRISHNA'S CONCH BE TAKEN AS A REACTION RATHER THAN AN INDEPENDENT ACTION? DOES THE BLOWING OF CONCHES BY KRISHNA AND ARJUNA, IN THIS CHAPTER OF THE GITA, MEAN ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE MAKING OF A PROCLAMATION?
The question has been raised: is Krishna's conch sound a reaction to Bheeshma's conch sound?
No, it is simply a response. The conch sound of Krishna is merely a rejoinder though not to war or fighting. The conch sound indicates only the acceptance of challenge. No matter who gives that challenge, no matter what its implications be, no matter where that challenge might lead - it is accepted. It would be useful to understand a little more the nature of this acceptance.
Life is a challenge every moment, and the one who does not accept it is dead even though alive.
Many people die even though alive.
Bernard Shaw used to say that actually people die quite early though they are buried much later.
Almost forty years pass between their death and their burial. The day a person stops accepting the challenge of life he is dead - as of that very moment. Life is accepting challenge every moment.
But this acceptance of challenge can be of two types: it can be with anger, and then it becomes a reaction; or the acceptance can be with great delight, pleasure and joy - then it becomes a response.
It should be noted that when Bheeshma blew his conch it is said that he did so with delight, and caused rejoicing among the other warriors. With his blowing of the conch great joy spread all around.
I his is acceptance - if in life one is faced with war, the war too is accepted. If life were to lead one into a war, that war also is accepted. Naturally, this action must be responded to. So consequently, Krishna and Pandavas blow their respective conches.
It is interesting that the first conch sound comes from the side of the Kauravas. Obviously the onus of starting the war is upon the Kauravas - Krishna is merely responding; his is a response from the side of the Pandavas. If there were to be a war then they are prepared to give a fitting reply - though as such they have no inclination for war. The Pandavas could have been the first to blow the conch; but they didn't. The Kauravas alone are responsible for dragging everyone into the war.
The beginning of this war is very symbolic. There is another thing to notice here, that it is Krishna who takes the lead in replying to the Kauravas. Since Bheeshma has initiated a challenge from the Kaurava side, it does not seem proper that Krishna be the one to reply to him. Such a reply was proper only for those warriors who are ready for war. Krishna's presence there is only as a charioteer. he is neither a soldier, nor has he come to fight. As far as he is concerned there is no question of fighting. Thus, it is the chief of the army on the side of the Pandavas who should have replied with his conch sound.
This is very significant - that the reply has been initiated through Krishna's conch-sound. It symbolizes that the Pandavas consider this was as nothing more than a responsibility laid upon them by God. They are ready for the call which has come from God. They are willing to fight only as instruments of God. Therefore, this rejoinder accepting war having been given through Krishna is appropriate.
It is better to meet defeat while fighting on the side of God than be victorious fighting against him.
Now for the Pandavas even defeat can also be a joy, because now the fight is no longer theirs . If it is to be, it is God's. So what Krishna has done is not a reaction, it is a response. There is no anger involved in it.
If Bheema had blown the conch, it would have been a reaction. If Bheema had given the reply, it would certainly have been in anger. Since the reply has come from Krishna, it is in the form of a joyous acceptance in the sense that "All right, let us have a fight. If life has brought us to a point where eventually war is going to follow, then we leave ourselves in the hands of the supreme God."
AND THE SUPERB ARCHER - THE KING OF KASHI, THE GREAT WARRIOR SHIKHANDI, DRISHTADUMNA AND VIRATA, AND THE INVINCIBLE SATYAKI, KIND DRUPADA AND ALL THE FIVE SONS OF DRAUPADI, AND THE STRONG-ARMED SON SUBHADRA; O LORD OF EARTH, EACH BLEW THEIR RESPECTIVE CONCHES.
RESOUNDING HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE TUMULTUOUS UPROAR RENT THE HEARTS OF DHRITARASHIRA'S SONS.
O KING, THEN ARJUNA, WHOSE BANNER BORE THE CREST OF HANUMAN, HAVING LOOKED AT THE SONS OF DHRITARASHTRA, AND WHILE THE WEAPONS WERE JUST ABOUT TO STRIKE, PICKED UP HIS BOW AND ADDRESSED THESE WORDS TO KRISHNA:
O LORD, PLACE MY CHARIOT BETWEEN THE TWO ARMIES SO THAT I MAY SEE CLEARLY THESE MEN STANDING HERE EAGER TO FIGHT, AND FIGURE OUT WHICH ARE THOSE THAT I MUST ENCOUNTER WITH IN THIS WAR.
Arjuna is beseeching Krishna to let him see the men with whom he has to fight. There are a few remaining things which we need to understand this morning, then we will continue this evening.
Let us examine first Arjuna's request to bring him to a place from which he can see with whom he is going to fight. This indicates the fact that for Arjuna this war is really a responsibility thrust upon him from outside - it is not a call from within. It is an obligation forced on him, it is not a desire from within. For Arjuna, this war is something he is compelled to do.
Arjuna is asking to see with whom he will be fighting, because for him the fight is inevitable. He wants to see those who have come so eagerly to participate in this war. One who is himself ready for war would not care to see whether the opponent is ready or not. One who is prepared for war is a blind man - he never sees the enemy, he projects the enemy. He does not want to see the enemy; in fact whoever he comes across is an enemy for him. He does not have to see the enemy, he creates enemies. He projects hostility. When the battle rages within, enemies crop up outside. Only when a war does not take place within, does one have to inquire as to who is anxious and eager to have a fight. S,o Arjuna asks Krishna to place his chariot at such a point where he can see those who have assembled and are eager to fight.
Secondly, it is the first rule of war that the enemy should be clearly identified. In all wars of life - whether taking place within or outside - identification of the enemy is the first rule of order. Only those win wars who have distinctly identified their enemy, who can clearly recognize their enemy.
Ordinarily, one who is eager to fight is never able to win; he is already so overwhelmed with his passion for war that it becomes difficult for him to recognize the enemy. His anxiety reaches such a point that it becomes difficult to recognize who he is fighting. If we do not know who we are fighting, then defeat is certain.
If one is to be victorious in time of war, more composure is needed than at any other moment. The state of being a witness required for a victory in time of war is greater than at any other moment.
Arjuna is saying, therefore, that now he would like to see as a witness those who have come to fight - he would like to make an observation. This needs to be understood.
Observation is at a minimum when you are angry. When you are in an angry state of mind you lose entirely your ability to observe; and the fact is that the ability to observe is never needed as much as it is when you are angry. The funny thing is that when observation takes place, anger is absent; and when anger is present, observation will not take place. Both cannot be present simultaneously.
If an angry person should become interested in observing, anger will disappear.
Arjuna is not angry here; that is why he is able to talk about observation. What he is saying is not out of anger. If is as if the war were just an extraneous matter for Arjuna. It is not affecting him anywhere; he simply wants to observe as a witness who is anxious to fight. This idea regarding observation is of great significance. Right observation is the first sutra for a person to follow when he goes to war - whether to face the inner enemies or the outer.
One should have a good look at those with whom the fight is going to be. If the fight is going to be against anger, then observe anger; if it is going to be against sex, then observe sex; and if it is to be against greed, then observe greed. Even if one has to have a fight outside, first take a good look at
whom the fight is going to be with. Who is he or she? A thorough observation of this kind is possible only when one has a capability of being a witness; otherwise it is impossible.
That is why the Gita is now about to begin. The stage is set. However, looking at this sutra it seems that even if nothing is known about what happens next in the Gita. one who understands the meaning of observation can very well say, merely on the basis of this sutra, that it would be very difficult for Arjuna to fight; that this man would not be able to fight, he would certainly have difficulties in fighting his enemy.
One who is interested in observation will find difficulty in fighting. He would not be able to fight if he sees; in order to fight one's eyes have to be closed. One has to go wild for fighting; there should not be any room for observation. Thus, even without further knowledge of the Gita, one who understands the principle of observation can say, in view of this sutra, that this man, Arjuna, is not dependable. This man will be of no use in war. He can easily withdraw himself from war because when he will see, he will find everything worthless. In a situation such as this, no matter who does the observation, he would find everything so futile that he would feel like getting away from it.
What Arjuna is saying is highly symbolic of his psychological state. In a way, in this sutra he is giving a very clear indication of his state of mind. He is not saying that he is anxious to fight. Neither he is saying, "O my charioteer, bring me to a place from where I can perfectly destroy my enemy." Arjuna is not saying this. What he is saying. rather, is, "Bring me to a place from where I can see who have come to fight and how eager they are to have this fight, so that I may observe them." This idea of observation itself shows that this man is of a thinking nature - and the one who is of this nature will always be in trouble.
Only those can fight a war who are either thoughtless like Bheema or Duryodhana, or those who are "thoughtless" like Krishna.
Thought is in between these two states. Thus, there are three things; thoughtlessness, which is a state preceding thought, where war takes place easily. There is really nothing to be done in order to enter war, one who is in this psychological fame of mind is in a state of war already. Even when he loves, that love turns into a war; it ultimately turns out as hatred. Even his friendship turns out to be merely a step toward hostility. After all, in order to have an enemy one first needs to make a friend. It is difficult to create enemies without making friends. So even when a thoughtless mind makes friends, in reality it reflects nothing but hostility; hence in such a state of mind war is natural.
The second stage consists of thought. Thought always tends to be wishy-washy; it is always wavering. Arjuna is in this second stage. He is saying here, "Let me observe. Let me first understand; then I shall enter into war." No one in this world can ever enter a war while being so thoughtful.
Krishna is in the third stage. It is a stage of no-thought. Thought is absent here too, but it is not a state of thoughtlessness. Thoughtlessness and no-thought seem to be alike; however there is a fundamental difference between the two. The man of no-thought is he who, having realized the worthlessness of thought, transcends it. Actually, thought shows the futility of everything - life, love, family, even wealth, the world and war also. If one should go on thinking, then at the end the thought even shows the futility of thinking; and at that point a person becomes thoughtless. Then, for one
achieving this state of no-thought, everything becomes as possible as it is for a thoughtless person - only the quality changes.
When someone attains saintliness by old age, he again becomes a child. However, the similarity between saintliness and childhood exists only on the surface. A saint's eyes also appear as innocent as those of a child, but in a child everything is still dormant, it is yet to come out.
Hence, a child is only like an unexploded volcano. Its innocence is superficial; underneath, everything is ready. The seeds are still germinating, they are still sprouting. Sex, anger, hostility - everything will surface in time. At this point everything is under preparation. A child is time-bound - he will mark time now, and explode later.
A saint has gone beyond this. All those seeds which were supposed to have sprouted within did so, became useless, and fell down. Now nothing remains inside; now the eyes have again become innocent. Again everything has become pure.
Someone asked Jesus who would be entitled to enter his kingdom of heaven. Jesus answered, "Those who are like children." Jesus did not say those who are children; because children cannot enter. He said those who are like children, meaning not those who are children. So one thing is certain, they will be entitled to enter who are not children but who are like children.
If children were to enter heaven then there would be no problem; every child would enter. No, children would not enter; only those who are like children, who have transcended, would enter. That is why there is a great similarity between an ignorant man and a man of supreme wisdom.
The man of supreme wisdom becomes as simple as an ignorant one; however, inside the simplicity of the ignorant, complexity is still hidden which can appear at any time. The wise man is one who has lost all his complexity. One who is thoughtless can think; he will think because the power of thinking remains latent in him. One who is "thoughtless" has transcended thought, he has entered into meditation, into the state of samadhi.
This problem will arise throughout the Gita as a result of the entire phenomenon of internal conflict.
Arjuna can enter into the war in two ways: either he becomes thoughtless, takes a step downward and stands where Duryodhana and Bheema are, or he rises to the point where Krishna is standing - he becomes a man of no-thought then also he can enter into the war. However, if Arjuna remains merely as he is, in the middle, engrossed in thought, then he will head toward the forest. He cannot go to war. He will run away, escape.