The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
So the prakriti so-called, the matter to which reference has been made in the thirteenth chapter, is constituted of three forces – sattva, rajas, and tamas – which is the theme of the fourteenth chapter. The idea that the universe is a solid, material, brick-like substance is removed from our mind by the teaching that the whole universe is force. Here we have a corresponding philosophy of German philosopher Leibniz – the universe is made of force – and this is also of modern physics.
As we are told, all great men think alike, whether they are from the East or the West. When we reach the top of the mountain, we will see the same thing, whoever we are. So all these great men – Plato or whoever he is, they have reached an apex of perception of things, so they have the same explanation, finally, of the internal character of things. We have to overcome our subjection to the gunas of prakriti – this is a teaching towards the end of the fourteenth chapter. We are caught up by these forces, as it were, and we cannot easily understand how we are so caught.
The grip of these forces upon us is such that we have lost consciousness of the way in which this grip has been affected upon us. We have been totally brainwashed – until madness – so that we cannot know what has happened to us. When we are indoctrinated into a particular system of thinking, by hammering into our mind the same thought, again and again, we may forget our original thinking.
So the world has been effective in driving into our minds the falsity of an existence of an external, material, so-called universe; and we are indoctrinated into it – we think only in this manner. Thus it is that we are in a prison-house, imagining that we are in heaven. The teaching has been so very powerful that we have accepted it wholly – that this prison-house is the same as the heaven supreme. This body is delightful – it is made of gold and silver, it is perfumed, it is very delightful.
We decorate the body as if it is a deity. We look at our own face in the mirror as if there is nothing more beautiful than that – our own face is the most beautiful thing. We take care of it more endearingly than our own firstborn child, but it is the dirtiest of things – the most awful thing, if we go into the structure of it. It will stink if you don't take bath for a few days, it will deteriorate for other reasons, and we know its fate finally – such is the glory of this body which we are considering as a temple of our so-called ideal.
This is to say how far we have gone into erroneous notions about things; and even the fear of death is not a deterrent factor for us. We are not afraid of death, provided that we can taste the honey of this body. The Bhagavadgita goes far enough to remove this objection, this difficulty, this problem facing us and repeats again and again. There are repetitions of ideas many times, and these repetitions go to contribute to the effect they produce upon us, because a thing told once only is likely to be forgotten. So it is told again and again, hammered into our minds.
To be continued ...