Īśvara (God) is Endless Causes & Effects – and Dealing with Difficult Situations (21)
Isvara (God) is Endless Causes & Effects – and Dealing with Difficult Situations (21)

Summary:

Session 21 revisits why Bhagavad Gītā is applicable in today's age more then ever. Then we see how understanding of Īśvara's (God's) Cause-Effect relationship leads one to take responsible actions every moment… eventually leading to Freedom. Finally we share one method how to know what is the best action to take – despite NOT knowing what is the best action to take.

TOPICS COVERED:

  1. 3 ineffective ways people deal with situations: Escape, Change, Accept (Suffer).

    (i) Escape: Our natural and instinctive reaction is to escape from problems. ‘If I can avoid it, why not?’

    Arjuna wanted to run away from the battlefield rather than kill his beloved and revered ones.

    However, situations only worsen when we run away from them. Our non-acceptance only increases our fear.

    Getting drunk makes the world temporarily rosy, but a hangover added to the existing problem makes things seem worse the next day!

    (ii) Change: Since we feel that the situation causes the problem, we waste all our energy in trying to change the situation.

    But the situation itself keeps changing and we find ourselves constantly preoccupied with finding new solutions, all the time feeling inadequate, desperate and tense – as though we were pushed into a pool but not knowing how to swim, ever keep struggling to keep our head above water.

    (iii) Suffer: Go through the problem cursing and complaining.

    We blame our fate, God, the world – anyone we possibly can – for the suffering caused to us.

    Arjuna laments why he, the favourite of his elders, was fated to kill them. Such an attitude only intensifies the suffering, whereas the problem remains unresolved.

    None of these are effective means to face problems. In the Bhagavad-gītā we find that Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not allow Arjuna to escape or complain.

    He did not change the situation (paristhiti) even though as Lord of the Universe, He could have.

    Since the problem was created by the mind, Kṛṣṇa guided Arjuna with the right vision and attitude which transformed his thinking (manaḥ-sthiti).

    He could now see the situation clearly without tension, reaction and fear, and could take the right action.

    He performed his duty, and successfully faced the challenge before him. He fought the battle of life and won it.

  2. Īśvara is facilitator of Jīva's actions.

    Explain this means, in light of what you learned in the video?

    Give another example of your own demonstrating how your actions are facilitated by various Īśvara laws operating continuously?

  3. Jīva has control over Cause (Action). But NOT over Effects (Reactions).

    If Jīva has no control over type of Effects (Reactions) received from it's chosen Causes (Actions) – then how is Jīva supposed to be happy?


    Answer: By understanding world is too complex for the mind to grasp. Simply put, trying to control the effects is like trying to be God, which is actually arrogance. And one wil fail at miserably. Thus we apply Karma Yoga attitude: Doing the best you can – without concern of the fruits (effects) of your actions. And gladly accepting with gratitude any fruit returned (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, etc) – as a gift from Īśvara (prasād).

  4. Consciousness is a Causeless Cause.

    Explain what this means.

  5. Method of knowing what is right course of action – despite not knowing.

    Demonstrate one way how to know what is most appropriate action to take in any situation, anywhere, anytime, anyplace?


    Answer: Follow law of ahimsa. Law of non-injury. Ask: “Would I appreciate this kind of response being given to me?” . EG: “Would I appreciate being unacknowledged and ignored?“. If answer is “no“, then don't do it to another. Because another IS you. Hurt another, and you're hurting yourself simultaneously.

    More samples:Is my action upholding peace or taking away peace from this situation?” OR “Will this action, after being performed, cause me and another to feel GOOD about each other, OR feel small?”

25 Sept

3 Comments

  1. Robert Green on September 4, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Hi Andre.
    You said that “ Krishna is a symbol of intellect “ and you clearly explained why.
    Seems to obviously be correct.
    But then Yogananda emphasises time and again that Krishna is a symbol of soul or Christ Consciousness.
    Is there a conflict in this point of view, or is it just another way of talking about it?
    Does it change the meaning of the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna or is the meaning preserved?
    To clarify, if Krishna is a symbol of the discriminating intellect( which you have established) then the context of the conversation is in Mitya.
    If he is a symbol of the soul or Christ Consciousness, a symbol of the Self or Atman it moves the conversation to the level of Satya.
    Is this point valid, or meaningful, or am I just creating confusion through not understanding properly?

    Also, you have a very clear and detailed explanation of cause and effect.
    Can they be viewed as two sides of the one coin?
    That is, we artificially separate reality into linear time slices and so percieve events as sequential rather than as a unity since we are dependent on the senses and the organs of perception.
    The buddhists talk about an infinite chain of interdependent causal events.
    Science talks about the Big Bang and the Big Crunch and the possibility that this happens endlessly.
    In sacred scripture this series of events is sometimes referred to as the cosmic breath or cosmic heartbeat.
    A day and night of Brahma.
    Q.
    Is there a logical necessity for there to be a beginning, or is it a logical impossibility?
    Science tells us that time was only created after the Big Bang when the Universe became manifest because without space for objects to move through there is no reference point to create the concept of time.
    Hence space- time.
    But:
    If we accept that there are an endless series of Manvantaras- an endless series of manifestations of the Universe then doesn’t time still exist during Pralaya, the Night Of Brahma?
    There is a certain duration between manifestations that is measurable as time, yet there is no space, so it is not really space time at all.
    Leads me back to the question “ Did God have a beginning “?
    My mind has never been able to grasp the concept of an Uncaused cause.
    I know I have moved away from the practical to metaphysical speculation, but we were given this faculty too and I have spent roughly fifty years being plagued by these questions.
    Is there an answer, or am I just left with a metaphysical article of faith that I need to accept to make sense of the system?
    Archimedes one fixed point that he needs as a fulcrum to move the world.

    Another consequence of my probably misguided thinking.
    If reality is beginning less and endless,” an expression of eternity “ as you said, where does that leave the concept of meaning?
    It seems like the point is for our consciousness to evolve until we can escape manifestation.
    But if our true Self is in an Unmanifest state to begin with, why project into manifestation at all if the highest point of our evolution is to make our way back to a state we are already in?
    ( language fails me here. Even my own argument seems absurd, but I can’t see the flaw in the logic)!
    It seems like a zero sum game.
    I don’t see that there can be any evolution of the true Self.
    It’s not like I can take anything back with me from my experience as a Jiva- I can’t add anything to something that exists in a state without qualities.
    It seems there could only be meaning if God itself was evolving, but then it couldn’t already be the absolute.
    Checkmate 😧
    You can see that Roberts mind is besieged by questions.
    Would really appreciate some help to escape from the maze!

    • mm Andre V on September 5, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      ============
      You said that “ Krishna is a symbol of intellect “ and you clearly explained why.
      Seems to obviously be correct.
      But then Yogananda emphasises time and again that Krishna is a symbol of soul or Christ Consciousness.
      ============

      Later you’ll see that knowledge of self takes place in Buddhi (intellect capacity of mind). The only place where “I AM” is known is in buddhi.

      That’s how teaching takes place. We say one thing, only to refine it later hundreds of times throughout the course.

      Yes, we’ll even say Krishna is Īśvara. But much later!

      Vedanta has a teaching style.

      ============
      To clarify, if Krishna is a symbol of the discriminating intellect( which you have established) then the context of the conversation is in Mitya.
      If he is a symbol of the soul or Christ Consciousness, a symbol of the Self or Atman it moves the conversation to the level of Satya.
      Is this point valid, or meaningful, or am I just creating confusion through not understanding properly?
      ============

      Krishna is a clear mind speaking. Arjuna is one whose yet to be clear.

      Also we can’t say “Krishna is Consciousness”. That’s a simplistic statement. Consciousness has no attributes. It can’t speak.

      Hence Consciousness & intellect (speaking from clarity).

      Lasltly, I know Yogananda’s work. It’s not Advaita Vedanta, but language designed for Amercican’s in 1940’s (when they haven’t heard of any Indian words).

      That’s why Yogananda constantly integrated Vedanta and Christ, to relate to Americans. You need to consider this also. Same happened with Vivekananda, he had to simplify (dumb-ify) Vedanta for the skeptical niche market in 1950’s.

      ============
      Also, you have a very clear and detailed explanation of cause and effect.
      Can they be viewed as two sides of the one coin?
      ============

      Yes. Where there is effect, it also implies a new cause, which in turn produces a new effect.

      ============
      That is, we artificially separate reality into linear time slices and so percieve events as sequential rather than as a unity since we are dependent on the senses and the organs of perception.
      The buddhists talk about an infinite chain of interdependent causal events.
      ============

      No contradiction.

      Often mind thinks in linear fashion, thus asks impossible questions like: Which came first, seed or tree, son or father, chicken or egg?

      But there is no first. It’s beginingless series of cause-effects.

      ============
      Science talks about the Big Bang and the Big Crunch and the possibility that this happens endlessly.
      In sacred scripture this series of events is sometimes referred to as the cosmic breath or cosmic heartbeat.
      A day and night of Brahma.
      ============

      Beginingless manifestation/unmanifestation. Will be talked about in incredible details in CH7/8, including science.

      Yes, we’ll also cover 1 day of Brahmāji = 1000 catur yugās = 4.32 billions years. Etc.

      ============
      Science tells us that time was only created after the Big Bang when the Universe became manifest because without space for objects to move through there is no reference point to create the concept of time.
      Hence space- time.
      ============

      True. Once big bang comes, time/space/objects immediately come. This is called 1 day of brahmā. Discussed in CH7/8.

      ============
      Leads me back to the question “ Did God have a beginning “?
      My mind has never been able to grasp the concept of an Uncaused cause.
      I know I have moved away from the practical to metaphysical speculation, but we were given this faculty too and I have spent roughly fifty years being plagued by these questions.
      Is there an answer, or am I just left with a metaphysical article of faith that I need to accept to make sense of the system?
      Archimedes one fixed point that he needs as a fulcrum to move the world.
      ============

      Easiest thing to figure out when topic of māyā is brought up in CH7+.

      No beginning. Only manifest/unmanifest.

      When there is dissolution of universe, it simply went into unmanifest.

      EG: Where is tomorrow, from standpoint of today? Unmanifest. But from standpoint of tomorrow, it’ll be MANIFEST.

      Where is yesterday, from standpoint of today? It’s in unmanifest. But from standpoint of yesterday, it was MANIFEST.

      Same thing with God. A beginingless cycle of manifest/unmanifest.

      ============
      But if our true Self is in an Unmanifest state to begin with, why project into manifestation at all if the highest point of our evolution is to make our way back to a state we are already in?
      ( language fails me here. Even my own argument seems absurd, but I can’t see the flaw in the logic)!
      It seems like a zero sum game.
      I don’t see that there can be any evolution of the true Self.
      ============

      Self is neither manifest, nor unmanifest.

      Manifest/unmanifest belongs to mithyā.

      Hence there’s no evolution for self.

      It’s important to understand, liberation is NOT for the Self. It’s for the jīva.

      ============
      It’s not like I can take anything back with me from my experience as a Jiva- I can’t add anything to something that exists in a state without qualities.
      It seems there could only be meaning if God itself was evolving, but then it couldn’t already be the absolute.
      ============

      You’re 100 steps ahead Robert.

      Nature of God will be talked about in CH7+.

      Gita CH1-6: Talks about Jīva.
      Gita CH7-12: Talks about Īśvara.
      Gita CH13-18: Talks about Brahman.

  2. Robert Green on September 6, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Thank you so much Andre.
    I see clearly that I need to break the Vasana of asking questions and let my mind become quiet so I can absorb the process of the teachings.
    I noticed that Roberts mind immediately started creating questions even as I read your lucid answers.
    You won’t hear from me for at least ten talks Andre!
    Promise 🤓

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