Values: Non-Injury & Accommodation (132)

Values: Non-Injury (Ahimsa) & Accommodation (Kshanti) (132)

Summary:

Lesson 132 is Value 3 & 4. Living an alertful life to avoid hurt wherever possible. Accommodating people/circumstances.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 7.


Revision:

  • So far…
    • V1: amanitvam: Unrealistic expectations (How I should be treated). Demanding respect.
    • V2: adhambhitam: Inventing details that didn't take place.
    • V3: ahimsa: Living an alertful life, to avoid injury where possible.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 7:

CONTINUATION FROM Value 3: Ahimsa: Not hurting

  • Practicing ahimsa involves 3 topics: mental / speech / deeds
    1. Mental:
      • Not about controlling mind (what will you think 1 min from now?). But managing/mastering.
      • How to manage/master the mind?
        • See last weeks session.
        • Having nearby reminders when disempowering talk starts. EG: File on phone called “How to think when feeling angry/criticized/mistreated/etc?“.
        • Knowing subtle difference between mental states, like SORROW and DEPRESSION:
          • Sorrow: Let thought pass by.
          • Depression: Not taming the mind day-by-day. Hence it runs wild with distortions.
            • Why people enter depression?
              • Because of gradual past buildup. Thread of thoughts remained UNCONSCIOUSLY unattended for long time.
              • It has to be unconscious, because no one uses conscious free will to sustain unhappy thoughts.
            • That's why useless advising, “Don't be angry. Don't be sad. Be cheerful“. That's what they ALREADY want, but not successful so far.
        • Reason to master mind? If you're unhappy… others capture that indirectly, which reinforces one’s own miserable state.
    2. Speech (vācā):
      • Once thoughts are sorted… speech naturally improves.
      • Deva of speech is Agni. Because fire can either throw light or burn. Your choice.
      • Need to be DELIBERATE about 4 principles in speech:
        1. Satya vada: (Integrous)
          • What you think, remember or know… is what you say.
        2. Rtam vada: (Validated, Researched)
          • Separate facts from personal notions. Speak what you have studied, verified and ongoingly involved with.
          • What if have hard time discerning personal opinion from facts? Go to neutral/evolved person, who can give a neutral standpoint.
          • Keep emotion-charged topics to bare minimum in social situations: Channeled material, politics, religion, “Illuminati”, UFO's, conspiracies, Ghosts, one time mystical experiences, next incarnation of God.
        3. Priyam vada: (Pleasant)
          • Manners. Deliver it at right time. Don't use irresponsible direct language, else risk hurting people’s feelings.
          • EG of violation: We interpret ahimsa as not saying anything. But it's actually himsa, because keeps other person tense, and you're not being honest.
        4. Hitam vada: (Intentful)
          • Accommodating others opinion. Letting them have their voice, so a learning can take place.
            • I may be partial in rtam vadam, so I'm open to CONSIDERING alternative possibilities”.
            • Only other possibility is: Me vs. You. Black-White.
          • Before talking, ask, “Why am I having this conversation? What is my intent? What good will my talk do in overall wellbeing.”
          • Take on attitude of throwing light onto topics which you’re experienced with. This prevents one from giving out RANDOM opinions.
    3. Deeds/Actions (karmāṇi):
      • Use every opportunity to reflect into your emotional reactions.
      • Where does violence (bullying, anonymous posters, speech) come from?
        • Emotional thorns from past, demanding attention. While unaddressed, they translate to sudden inappropriate eruptions.
      • Unsure if action is wise? Ask:
        • If someone did THIS to me, would I distance myself from them, or come closer?
        • What would best-confident-educated-assertive-me do right now?
  • Total non-violence in 3 forms above is impossible.
    • EG: Pest control = himsa. Stepping on ant = himsa.
    • SOLUTION: Prayaścitta karma.
      • Involves contributing your time/energy/effort for some good cause. However little.
      • It lessens pāpa karmas.
      • Makes us more sensitive to environment (including inner environment).
  • Ahimsa is subject to MISINTERPRETATION. Example…
    1. Suppose you don't see context and see surgeon is cutting stomach. You'll interpret falsely.
    2. Why did Krishna encourage war? Because Kauravas were causing harm to society and normalizing deception.
    3. PERSONAL: (Towards oneself)
      1. I’m not going to stand up for myself, because that'll escalate things. This is fear… disguised as ahimsa.
        • EG: Pandavas attempting to maintain superficial harmony. By keeping quiet so situations don't escalate. It had opposite effect.
      2. Remaining a secretive-passive person. Unwilling to share.
        • Why do we resist being vulnerable? Think people won't accept me AFTER hearing THIS. In our mind, we convert this narrative into shame. This very act distances you from yourself.
        • Fact is: Willingness to be vulnerable reveals one’s discernment between ātmā and anātma.
      3. Without XYZ, it's impossible to survive. So we cut corners… then  justify as “I need to survive”.
        • EG: Some folks at airports and Tourists.
  • VEGETARIANISM IS AN EXPRESSION OF AHIMSA:
    • Vegetarianism isn't about health choices, but opportunity given to honour all living beings. Makes mind more sensitive.
    • Argument in book:
      • Can't compare your carnivore habit with animals, since animals don’t have weapons. While humans have an unfair advantage.
      • Then what about plants? Plants seem designed to give up their produce for supporting life. How seem-designed? They don’t explicitly scream in protest/struggle when picked.
  • SUMMARY OF AHIMSA:
    • Ahimsa is natural when understand interconnectedness with everything else.
    • Way to cultivate it is by thinking about implications of your actions towards environment.
    • Even if you do everything right, there's no guarantee others will follow you, since majority are operating in lower mindset. Don’t depend on others even noticing.
    • What is ahimsa? Living with alertness.

Value 5: Kṣānti: Accommodation (glad acceptance)

* Starts at: 58:06

  • What is kṣānti (accommodation)?
    • Do you let scorching sun burn you? Do you complain about it’s presence? No. You accommodate it’s IS-ness (within boundaries).
    • Accommodation is: Allowing other’s their space, in which they can find their identity.
    • Attitude of accommodation in:
      • Family: It’s most needed with people close to you. Not needed if living alone/away.
      • General: Since people are different, I chose to LEARN from differences, instead of wanting them to change.
    • What are boundaries in reference to accommodating people?
      • Staying within boundaries of CERTAIN thinking. (Otherwise thinking = complaining mode). For instance…
        • We come from different backgrounds/beliefs. Confrontation is inevitable.
        • You won’t be liked by everyone. And can’t like everyone equally.
      • Disallowing ongoing disrespect (non-accommodation) by others. Else (a) resentment (b) costs you peace.
  • Accommodating people possible IF keep in mind, everyone is subject to…
    • 3 Conditions:
      1. Denial
        • This means “I don’t know what don’t know“. Hence no possibility of pursuing change.
        • Example of NOT Accommodating:
          • Friend enthusiastically intro’s you to his/her friends. But none appreciate your skills. How to be accommodative towards them?
            1. Pretends I'm unaffected.
              • INTERNAL NON-ACCOMMODATION: This is being non-accommodating/accepting towards one's own discomfort of not being acknowledged by others. Thus one blocks one's own discomfort (internal factors).
            2. Create reason to justify their behaviour. EG: “They’re arrogant, lost in life.”
              • EXTERNAL NON-ACCOMMODATION: This is being non-accommodating/accepting towards others (external factors).
        • Kṣānti Solution:
          • Step 1: Acknowledge discomfort. > Mentally note > Trace cause, Reframe.
            • Prevents deceiving yourself that you’re evolved and they’re not.
          • Step 2: They don’t know everything, hence unable to value your profession.
      2. Want to change, but can't. OR is defiant with you (due to relationship).
        • Common in families. When you bring up a blindspot, they get defensive. When another brings it up, they're willing to listen. Are you like this?
      3. In process of change.
        • In this case, it's easy to discuss matters. Only assist if asked for suggestions.
    • If don't embrace 3 possibilities, then life = complaining.

— NEXT SESSION: We continue Value 4: Kshanti

 

Keywords: prayascitta, prayashcitta, ksanti, kshanti

 


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 29 June, 2021

 

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