How is peace gained?
Peace while one has much work and responsibility
What disturbs our peace?
How is peace gained?
Self-Knowledge brings eternal peace. The Self is itself peace.
shraddhAwAn labhate jnAnam tatparah samyatendriyah
jnAnam labdhwA parAm shAntim achirena adhigachchati ||4.39||
“The man who is full of faith, who is devoted to It , and who has subdued the senses, obtains (this) Knowledge; and having obtained Knowledge he goes to the Supreme Peace.”
Spiritual experience is the realisation of the Self to be the one great ruler within, who presides over all the activities within the body politic, who is the One at whose altar the perfection-seeking ego surrenders all its spiritual activities, as a tribute to Whom the seeker brings all his self-denial and asceticism.
‘KNOWING HIM TO BE NONE OTHER THAN KRISHNA, THE INDIVIDUAL REACHES THE GOAL OF PEACE, THE ETERNAL SANCTUM OF PERFECTION’.
In meditation, as one’s Knowledge shines free of all doubt, contrary thoughts and impurities, the Supreme Peace is attained by an individual.
The individual comes to experience an infinite peace which is ‘THE PEACE
THAT RESIDES IN HIM’. The Self is Peace Absolute (SANTAM) in as much as the processes of mental agitations, intellectual disturbances and physical excitements are not there in It since It is beyond these matter envelopments. ||2.1||
Peace while one has much work and responsibility
A high degree of peace is gained by Karmayoga by one who does not have Self-Knowledge, but performs his duty with nobility, detachment and spirit of offering everything to God.
yuktah karmaphalam tyaktwA shAntim Apnoti naishthikeem
ayuktah kAmakArena phale saktah nibadhyate ||5.12||
“The united one (the well-poised or the harmonised), having abandoned the fruit of action, attains of Eternal Peace; the non-united (the unsteady or the unbalanced), impelled by desire and attached to the fruit, is bound.”
Through right actions, undertaken without any self-dissipating anxiety for the fruits of those actions, a KARMA-YOGIN can reach an indescribable peace arising out of the sense of steadfastness within him. Peace is not a product manufactured by any economic condition or cooked up by any political setup; it cannot be ordered by constitution-making bodies or international assemblies. This is the mental condition in the bosom of the individual when his inner world is not agitated by any mad storms of disturbing thoughts. Peace is an unbroken sense of joy, and it is the fragrance of an integrated personality. That this can be brought about through selfless actions undertaken in a spirit of YAGNA, is the revolutionary theory given out here. When the worker is ‘ESTABLISHED IN HIS RENUNCIATION OF THE EGOISTIC SENSE OF AGENCY’, and when he has ‘RENOUNCED HIS EGOCENTRIC DESIRES FOR THE FRUITS OF HIS ACTIONS’, he soon becomes integrated and comes to experience the peace of steadfastness.
Not satisfied by this positive assertion, the Lord is trying to reemphasise this very same philosophical truth in a language of negation. He says that when one is NOT ESTABLISHED (AYUKTAH) in the renunciation of ‘agency’ and, because of his desires, gets himself tied down to some expected results for his actions, he gets himself bound and persecuted by the reactions of his own actions. Some medicines which, in small doses, can give a complete cure, can also spell death in larger doses–for example, the sleeping tablets. An instrument by which we can defend ourselves and our family can itself be the instrument for murdering all of us, ending in our own suicide. The instrument can bless us only when we are intelligent in our use of them.
In the same way, when we work in the outer field un-intelligently, instead of gaining more and more glow of satisfaction and joy within, we would be getting ourselves more and more bound and hurled down into bottomless darkness. The cause for this has been beautifully indicated by Sri Krishna. Due to desires for specific fruits, we get attached mentally to those wished-for patterns to be filled in future. This is compelling life to pattern itself to our will at a future moment. If a frog were to imitate a bull and grow to its size, it should end in a tragedy; a mortal finite mind ordering a pattern for the future period of time, is in no way better equipped than the frog that tries to expand to the size of a bull.
Keeping mind free from impure,negative thoughts, if one works, then, inspite of hard work, one gains great peace.
rAgadweshawiyuktaih tu wishayAn indriyaih charan
Atmawashyaih widheyAtmA prasAdam adhigachchati ||2.64||
“But the self-controlled man, moving among objects, with his sense under restraint and free from both attraction and repulsion, attains peace.”
He alone, who with perfect self-control goes through life among the infinite number of sense-objects, each impinging upon him and trying to bind him with its charm, and approaches them with neither love nor hatred, comes to enjoy peace. By running away from the sense-objects, nobody can assure himself an internal peace because the inner disturbance depends not upon the presence or the absence of the senseobjects in the outer world, but essentially upon the mind’s agitations for procuring the desirable object or for getting rid of the undesirable objects.
But a master of wisdom, with perfect self-control moves among the objects jects of the world with neither any love, nor any particular aversion against them, and on such a man the ineffectual sense-objects try but vainly to smile or grin at. Wherever I go, my shadow must play all round me according to the position of the light; but the shadow can neither entangle me in love nor destroy me in my hatred! The outer world of objects is able to whip man because man himself lends the power to the objects to beat him down!
Supposing there is a lunatic who is whipping himself and weeps in pain, his sorrows can be ended only when he is persuaded not to take the whip in his hand! He can be advised, even if he keeps the whip in his hand, not to swing his arms in the fashion in which he is doing at present! Similarly, here the mind wields the objects and gets itself beaten. It is told as an advice that an individual who lives in self-control will no longer lend his own life’s dynamism to the object to persecute him through his own sentimental aversions to or love for these objects.
When the lunatic is taught not to wield the whip and strike himself, he is immediately saved from the sorrows of the whip. Similarly here, when a mind is trained in these two aspects, (a) to live in self-control, and (b) to move among the sense- objects with neither attachment for nor aversion to them, the disturbances and agitations in the mind caused by the sense-attachments are all immediately brought under control. This condition of the mind is called tranquillity or peace(prasada). This is symbolically represented in the sweets distribution after every puja in all religions, which is also called among the Hindus as “prasad” or bhog, meaning, one who has during the ritual practised perfect self-control and God-contemplation comes to enjoy as a result of his action a tranquillity in the mind which is termed spiritual grace, or divine peace (Iswara prasada).
Here, as far as a Vedantin is concerned, prasada is the mental purification because that mind is considered as pure which has felt in it the least sense-disturbances. One who has learnt to live on the principle of self-control and has also trained himself to live among the sense-objects in a spirit of the least attachment to, or aversion for them, has the least disturbance because of the ineffectiveness of the senseobjects upon him. Thereby his mind automatically becomes more and more calm and tranquil, and is considered as pure(prasada) for purposes of spiritual life. ||2.2||
What disturbs our peace?
Personal attachments cloud our objectivity and our sense of dharma. Wrong actions and much heart-ache are the results.
tasmAt na arhAh wayam hantum dhArtarAshtrAn swabAndhawAn
swajanam hi katham hatwA sukhinah syAma mAdhawa ||1.37||
“Therefore, we should not kill the sons of Dhrithrashtra, our own relatives; for how can we be happy by killing our own people, O Madhava?”
By using ‘our-relatives’ and ‘our-own people’ Arjuna shows how his attachments make him agitated. The mind wandering into the ‘future’ through its hopes and into the ‘past’ through its egoistic memory saps an individual’s freshness. This denies peace to the individual.
mayi sarwAni karmAni sannyasya adhyAtmachetasA
nirAsheeh nirmamah bhootwA yudhyaswa wigatajwarah ||3.30||
“Renouncing all actions in Me, with the mind centred on the self, free from hope and egoism, free from (mental) fever, do you fight!”
If hope is the still-born child of the unborn-future, ego is the lingering memory of a dead-past. To revel in ego and hope is an attempt on our part to live either with the dead-moments of the past or with the unborn moments of the future. All the while, the tragedy is that we miss the present, the active dynamic present which is the only noble chance that is being given to us to create, to advance, to achieve and to enjoy. Krishna advises Arjuna, therefore, to act renouncing both hope and ego; and this is indeed a primary instruction on how to pour the best that is in us into the present, blockading all unintelligent and thoughtless dissipation of our inner-personality-energies.
The instruction is so exhaustive in vision and complete in its minutest instructions that the stanza under review should be a surprise even to the best of our modern psychologists. Even though the technique so far advised can, and does avoid all wastage of energy among the funeral pyres of the dead-moments and in the wombs of unborn Time, yet there is a chance of the man of action wasting his potentialities in the very present. This generally comes through our inborn nature to get ourselves unnecessarily overanxious over our present activities. This feverish anxiety is indicated here by the term fever(Jwara). Krishna advises that Arjuna should renounce all actions unto the Lord and, getting rid of both hope and selfishness, must fight, free from all mental fever. How complete is this technique will be self-evident now to all students of Geeta.
Desire and Anger which we support in ourselves cause immeasurable damage to inner peace.
kAmah eshah krodhah eshah rajogunasamudbhawah
mahAshanah mahApApmA widdhi enam iha wairinam ||3.37||
“It is desire, it is anger born of the “activity” all-devouring, all sinful: know this as the foe here (in this world).”
It is desire, it is wrath–The inner Satan in the individual bosom is named as desire. We have found earlier that desire is nothing other than our own spiritual ignorance expressing itself in our intellectual personality. This statement in the stanza is not to be understood as enumerating two different things. “Desire itself, under certain Circumstances, gains an expression as anger.” A constant agitation of the mind, expressing an uncontrollable impatience to gain something is called desire. Desire is generally towards something other than ourselves. In the clash of existence, beings and circumstances may appear
between ourselves and the “object of our desire”, when, our desireimpulses striking at the obstacle gain the ugly look of wrath.
Thus, whenever emotions for acquisition and possession of a given object flow incessantly towards the object, the bundle of thought so flowing is called desire, while the same emotions, when they get obstructed from reaching their desired objects and get refracted at an intermediate obstacle, are called anger. This “desire anger-emotion” is the very Satan in ourselves that compels us to compromise with our own intellectually known higher values of existence, and tempts us away to perpetrate sins. The greater the desire, the greater the power in the pull towards the sinful and the low. Once the desire has come to manifest itself in our intellect, it enshrouds the clearer wisdom in us.
Desire and anger, and their numberless children of sin and sorrow, must ever come to breed upon the marshy lands of our deluded intellect. To come under their sway is ignorance. To come to rule over them is wisdom. ||2.3||