The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 4.

The Teachings of Bhagavadgita :

When we take to the path of the spirit, tread the way of yoga or in the true sense of the term we become religious, we do not shrink, but expand; we do not lose, but gain; we do not become disassociated but get more and more associated in a vital, true manner. Religion has many a time, through the process of history, been described as a passage to the other world, so that this world has no connection with religion, yoga, spirituality, or even God Himself. This interpretation of the religious outlook as an 'other-worldly affair' has insinuated itself into the blood of people, to such an extent that it has not left us even till this moment. There is always a tendency to look up to the skies when we pray to God as disassociated from our brethren around us and unconnected with the footstool of the earth. Why we are made to think in this manner is a question which takes us to psychology, perhaps psychoanalysis. We are born and bred in an atmosphere which, perhaps, we carry through many lives that we have passed through; and in addition to the atmospheric influence of society, the type of life of the parents, the kind of education we are imparted – in addition to all these, we also carry certain impressions of previous lives when we are born into this world. All these put together, errors piled over errors, prevent us from freeing ourselves from this common notion that the creator is an extra-cosmic existence and therefore life – spiritual, religious, or of yoga – has also to be extra-cosmic. This error is to be rooted out, and the Bhagavadgita has no other purpose to achieve. It is a recipe, like a medical prescription, and it is not merely a holy book that you have simply to worship every day. You do not simply worship a medical prescription – it has to be taken into action for the purpose it is intended for.

The yoga of the Bhagavadgita is a complete prescription for the maladies of life. It is a total panacea that we are provided with by means of a vision which we can best describe as cosmic. The one who imparted this knowledge and the one who received this knowledge were en rapport with each other; and the Guru-disciple relationship is precisely this much. It is the capacity of the receiver to raise himself to the level of the height from which this knowledge descends, or oftentimes the other way around - the Guru may have to come down to the level of the receptive capacity of the disciple, as it becomes necessary in the process of teaching in schools and colleges. You cannot always be on a high pedestal and look down upon the student, because the student will receive nothing when you are speaking from a higher level. So, the relationship between Guru and disciple is a mysterious one. We cannot easily say whether the Guru comes down or the disciple goes up. It is a miracle that is taking place. The Guru is a miracle, the disciple also is a miracle, who is able to receive this knowledge, and the process of this communication also is a wonder. Ascaryavatpasyati kascidena-mascaryavadvadati tathaiva canyah - says the Bhagavadgita. It is all a miracle! All great things in the world are wonders. They are not equations that you can solve almost instantaneously by calculus. Anything that you try to know deeply and carry it to the logical limits of its understanding – anything of this sort will elude your grasp because all our endowments of grasping are empirical, sensory, and even what we call logical understanding is conditioned by sensory operations.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ...

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