The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 7.

The Teachings of Bhagavadgita :

These questions are justifiable questions that may arise in the minds of every seeker. "What happens to this world when I reach God?" Even the most intelligent person cannot answer this question. Not even the best exponent will be able to express himself in answering this pose, "What happens to the world when you go to God? What happens to your bank balance?" It's a terror to hear that you lose it, and you will get nothing to eat, nothing to drink, and nothing to possess – 'pauper of the first water' when you enter the kingdom of God. This doubt may harass us, "Is it going to be like this?" Even sincere seekers feel many a time, "What am I supposed to do after reaching God? I go on looking at Him for eternity, by eating nothing, sleeping nowhere, and having nothing to do. What a drab kind of life!" This is also a very serious point that may arise even in the best of us, what to talk about novitiates, because the thing you call God is not so easy to understand. It is not supposed to be understood at all under the circumstances we are placed, rationally or psychologically.

Hence, now comes a very important conclusion. "Under these circumstances of a doubtful background of my very idea of taking to this path, I think I have to think thrice before taking a step in this direction. I shall do nothing; it is enough," said Arjuna and he threw his weapon down, giving up all effort whatsoever in the direction of doing what he was expected to do. Now the question arises: What is it that you are expected to do, which frightens you so much, as it frightened Arjuna? The battle that we speak of in the epic is only a metaphor; it is an insignia of the conditions of life as a whole. Every question is a battle; you have to face it in order to answer it. Every moment of our life there is a question before us: What am I to do, and in what manner have I to do, and for what purpose have I to do, etc.? There was a great thinker in the West who wrote a large thesis in answer to three questions: What can we know, what are we to do, and what can we hope for in this world? These are three questions before us, and the great thinker wrote three books in answer to these three questions. What can we know finally in this world, which also implies what we cannot know? What are we supposed to do here? What can we expect finally here in this world? These are philosophical questions – you may say spiritual questions – because what you have to do as a duty is connected with what you can know, and if your knowledge is tarnished by the error of a contamination of sense activity, to that extent your knowledge of what you have to do in this world also will be contaminated. Your idea of duty will be inadequate to the extent of your inadequacy of the understanding of life itself. So Arjuna did not know what he was supposed to do, as he had decided in a wrong manner not to do, since to do would mean a great suffering to himself as well as to others. To reach God, to enter the kingdom of heaven is a suffering to you in one way, and also is a suffering to others with whom you are related in this world; and you know very well why it is and why it should be so.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ...

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