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Spiritual progress

CHENNAI: The popular description of the Bhagavad Gita “All the Upanishads are the cows, Lord Krishna is the cowherd who milks the cow, Arjuna is the calf, those aspiring for salvation partake of the milk and the Supreme nectar known as the Bhagavad Gita is the milk”, confirms the fact that it contains the essence of the Upanishads.

Lord Krishna’s exposition of the higher truths of life make it clear that spiritual seekers are of various types and in different levels of spiritual attainment and that each individual can tread the path that is most appropriate and suitable, said Swami Mitrananda in a lecture. There is room for all — from the lowest to the highest (nearing spiritual salvation) in the spiritual ladder.

Vasanas are subtle impressions which the individual soul carries from previous births. At the intellectual level, these impressions are transformed into thoughts. These in turn undergo further transformation and become desires at the level of the mind. The desires manifest as actions at the physical level.

The body mind intellect complex is the unique feature of the human being and the mind naturally seeks the objects of the world. Physical action is compulsory for the human being and all actions bind the individual with their consequences. Moreover the individual is also subject to the three Gunas, namely Satva, Rajas and Tamas. It is shown that Tamas can be won over by Rajas and Rajas can be won over by Satva. But it is important to even transcend Satva and be beyond the Gunas (Gunatita).

What then is the way out for mankind thus caught in such a situation? Lord Krishna provides the solution as well. If the mind is brought under control, it will not hanker after worldly objects even while engaged in day to day activities. The most repeated instruction is the need to act but with the intention of surrendering the fruits of our actions to God. This state is attained only progressively and through practice (sadhana), when one engages in action but in a detached manner. The next stage is withdrawal from action when the mind is thus well disciplined. Arjuna is advised to act and fight the war since it is his duty.

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