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Continued from the previous issue….

34. ‘Let us examine your problem a bit deeper. You say that Bhishma is your grandfather. That is true but don’t forget that the relationship is purely one of the body. Next, even though Bhishma is your grandfather, he has lined up with the forces of evil. In fact, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the wicked Kauravas. Now tell Me; what should be your duty? Can you walk away claiming that Bhisma is your grandpa or should you stand up to the forces of evil and defeat them in battle?’

35. ‘The answer is clear, is it not? Arjuna, in life duty must always be performed, without any trace whatsoever of attachment or selfishness. In practical terms, you must discharge your duty without a) being bothered about the outcome, and b) expecting a reward. That really is what Atma Dharma is all about. Only a selfish person would worry about success, rewards, etc. That attitude is not correct. Duty for duty’s sake is the proper attitude.’

36. ‘Arjuna, there are two words that people often use – rights and responsibility. In the olden days, people always worried about responsibility and duty but these days people mostly talk about their rights. They constantly say, “I have a right to do this, I have a right to do that,” and so on. Let Me make one thing very clear. Man has a right only to duty and nothing else!’

37. Arjuna asks, ‘Krishna, you make Atma Dharma sound so simple. If it is as simple as all that how come in this wide world there is hardly anyone who is truly following Atma Dharma?’

38. Krishna answers, ‘That is because people get easily deluded by the senses and the Mind. These two in unholy collusion prevent a person from looking deep within himself and communing with the Heart.’

39. ‘Once a person gets cutoff from the Indweller, his outlook and vision become purely external. The outside world is full of what is called the pair of opposites like joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure, and so on.’

40. ‘A person immersed in the external world is easily overwhelmed by six terrible enemies that are deadlier than the deadliest serpents. These enemies are: Kama meaning desires, Krodha meaning anger, Lobha meaning greed, Moha meaning attachment, Mada meaning pride, and Matsarya meaning jealousy. To these you may add to more namely, Ahamkara meaning ego and Mamakara meaning the “mine” feeling.’

41. ‘Arjuna, take it from Me, unless you keep out these enemies and have full control of yourself, you cannot fight your external enemies, as you have to do shortly.’

42. ‘Do you want to know why these internal enemies have to be vanquished first? Simple; you would agree that when you have to deal with a crisis, you have to remain cool, wouldn’t you?’

43. ‘Now what exactly does remaining cool mean? It means that you should not be disturbed or be bothered by what is happening around you. It is only when you are cool that you can think clearly. And unless you can think clearly you cannot really handle a crisis properly. Agree?’

44. ‘A good leader must not lose his cool. This characteristic does not come easily, unless one makes a conscious effort to practice detachment. One who is detached is automatically unaffected by success and failure, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. There is one word that describes such an attitude – equanimity.’

45. ‘Arjuna, equanimity is necessary not only for a so-called leader but for everyone. In a family, the father is a leader. So, equanimity is needed for the father. What about the children? They had better start copying their father and learn to get into that groove from an early age! Above all, equanimity it is that helps the seeker to rise above the world, rise above the pairs of opposites, and go towards God.’

46. ‘In life, you don’t see much of equanimity. Why? Because the internal enemies make sure that you are not strong enough to practice equanimity – that is why! Take your own case; you want to run away from duty. Why? Because of attachment. Arjuna, the feeling of “mine” and “thine” is one of the many weaknesses that one must overcome.’

47. ‘Never forget that perfection in duty is possible only when there is equanimity. And duty performed with perfection would please God very much. You too would feel very happy about having pleased God. This kind of happiness is unique, and it is called Bliss.’

48. ‘Arjuna, what people normally call pleasure, joy, happiness, etc., are all connected with experiences of the sense organs and the Mind. This joy can never be re-experienced through recall. Such happiness is always transient. By contrast, the happiness that you get by pleasing God is an experience of the Heart; it goes beyond the senses and the Mind. That is why the joy of this experience can be recalled and relived any number of times. Every time you recall, you will experience Bliss in all its freshness.’

49. ‘Equanimity does not come easily, and requires a lot of practice in regulating the senses and the Mind. It may not be easy but with determination, it can be achieved. Patience and perseverance alone lead to Purity!’

50. ‘Arjuna, you must be brave and courageous not only in the worldly sense but also in a spiritual sense. A spiritually brave man is one who is ready to give up even his life for being true to his Conscience. He is not afraid of anything or anybody, including death. Internal enemies that I mentioned earlier shudder to come near such a man. What I mean is that you must be strong and courageous inside before starting to fight battles outside.’

51. ‘If the internal enemies gain the upper hand and begin to dominate you, then there will be nothing but pure disaster. Take anger for example. Anger can blind reason. You may be the smartest man on earth, but when blind fury gets hold of you, you can become dumber than the greatest fool. Fury blunts discrimination, and when that happens, judgement falters badly; next step, total ruin. This has happened time and again, innumerable number of times. But people don’t want to learn from the bitter experience of others. Don’t you make that mistake.’

52. ‘To put it all briefly, follow your Conscience for your Conscience is your true Master. Then you can easily face the devil, fight him, and finish him off!’

To be continued…

  Volume3 Issue1 Jan 2005         Optimized for Netscape and Firefox. Best viewed in Internet Explorer - 1024 x 768 resolution.