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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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).
- Consciousness is a Causeless Cause.
Explain what this means.
- 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?”