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The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 11.

The Teachings of Bhagavadgita :

Subjectively, we are individuals looking at the world. We – not merely humans, everything that is capable of visualising the world as an external something – is a subject, even if it be subhuman or even superhuman. As this cosmical outward world is constituted in this manner described, the individual also is constituted in some way. The physical body of organic as well as inorganic beings is made up of the same five elements - earth, water, fire, air, and ether. But inside the body there are other things, deeper layers, internal and more pervasive, more ethereal – like electric energy you may say – than the physical body outside. We have the pranas inside. A prana is a vibratory motion of an energy which sustains us, and due to which we feel strength in our system. Internal to the pranas is the mind, which thinks. The senses – hearing, seeing, etc. – are intermediary operations between the prana and the mind. They are connecting links between the prana and the mind; they can be associated with the prana or associated with the mind as you like, or perhaps both. But internal to the mind is understanding or the intellect, the reason which does not merely think in an indeterminate manner but determinately decides, judges, understands, and comes to a conclusion; that is reason – intellect. These layers mentioned are called, in Sanskrit, the koshas. Kosha means a cover, an investiture, an encasement. The physical body is called annamaya kosha because it is actually made up of the stuff of food that is taken inside. The pranas are called the pranamaya kosha. Internally we have got the manomaya kosha or the mind, then the vijnanamaya kosha or the intellect. Then there is a fifth one which is a causal condition, you call sometimes the unconscious level in psychology. It is something more than what you call the unconscious in ordinary psychology – it is the repository of all the conditions necessary for further reincarnations, into which you descend in deep sleep. Beyond that is the Atman, the pure spirit which is illuminating everything, whose reflection it is that is enabling the intellect to understand. So this is the subjective side, we may say – the subjective world.

The operation of this subjective world through the instrument of the mind, the intellect, and the senses, in contact with the objective world described, is what we call human experience as far as we are concerned. All of our experiences, desirable or undesirable, are the outcome of a peculiar coming in contact of the subjective world with the objective world. The reason behind this contact, and the nature of this contact was not clear to the mind of Arjuna, and is not clear to the mind of any one of us. This knowledge is called samkhya – right understanding.

Next : 2. Samkhya – Right Understanding :

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ..

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All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : 2.1.1.g) -2.


The Scriptures :

1. The Srutis : g)-2

g ).The Vedangas-2.

Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.

Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

Nirukta is philology or etymology.

Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.

Kalpa is the method of ritual.

The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong to Kalpa.

The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa.

The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ....

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-4.5.



5. Ethical Codes In Hinduism :

Hindu ethics is superb. Hinduism lays great emphasis on ethical discipline.

Yama (self-restraint) and Niyama (religious observances or canons) are the foundations of Yoga and Vedanta.

Undeveloped persons cannot think for themselves.

Hence rules of conduct have been laid down by great sages or seers like Manu and Sage Yajnavalkya.

Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done.

Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures, thou oughtest to work in this world” (Ch. XVI-24).

The Smritis written by Yajnavalkya, Manu and other sages distinctly prescribe the rules of conduct.

As you have not got the power nor the time to think of the moral principles and rules given in the scriptures, you can get them from the sages and saints and follow them to the very letter.

Swami Sivananda
To be continued ..

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-3.15-4.3.


15. The Law of Spiritual Economics-4.2.

4. Use and Abuse of the Caste System -3.

At the present moment, the Varnasrama system exists in name only.

It has to be rebuilt properly.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, who have fallen from their ideals and who are not doing their respective duties, must do their respective duties properly.

They must be educated on right lines.

They must raise themselves to their original lofty level.

The sectarian spirit must die.

They should develop a new understanding heart of love and devotion, with a spirit of co-operation, sacrifice and service.

Next : 5. The Four Asramas

Swami Sivananda
      To be continued...