The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 13.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :

Thus, Arjuna was confounded, as any one of us can be. In this adventure of spiritual life, which is metaphorically presented before us in the form of the Mahabharata, we are likely to be faced with certain doubts and difficulties. While in the earlier stages it may appear that the whole sky is very clear, when you move onwards you'll find that heavy, thick clouds are hanging above your heads, and there is darkness in the front. This is the darkness of the spiritual aspiration. The first chapter of the Bhagavadgita is a chapter of sorrow of the seeker – Arjuna Vishada Yoga. It is the weeping of the seeking individual. However, you will be surprised to note that the colophon or the concluding line of the first chapter is designated Arjuna Vishada Yoga. It is a yoga, and not merely a weeping after a bereavement or a loss. A crying and a weeping, despondency and a melancholy mood cannot be called yoga in any sense of the term. A confounding of the mind is not yoga; but the Bhagavadgita ends with this term 'yoga' even in regard to the first chapter, which is nothing but the weeping of Arjuna and a presentation of various kinds of doubts and difficulties which seem to harass his mind. Why is it called yoga? Why is such a sanctified name attached to this melancholy chapter, the first one in the Bhagavadgita? This is something which is important for us to understand. You know medical men give vaccination to prevent you from having an illness, and you are in a state of temporary illness after the vaccination. If you are given an anti-illness injection, that injection itself will produce a sort of illness. Notwithstanding the fact that the inoculation or the vaccination produces a sort of sure temperature or illness in your body, it has to be considered a process of cure and it is not to be considered an illness really in the true sense of the term – otherwise, you would have had a real illness which would have been more devastating.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ...

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