Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah

Srimad Bhagavad Gita was delivered to remind Arjuna’s commitment to his dharma. Besides, it starts with the word “DharmaKshetreh”.

The title of this post is a part of a shloka and there are many interpretations of it. And the most popular should be the one which says Dharma protects the one who protects it and destroys the one who destroys it.

I am no expert but what I understand is that Dharma protects those who stay protected. Meaning you should perform your karma according to your dharma. I do not think Dharma or for that matter, GOD has any role in our protection or destruction and surely wouldn’t require protection from us either.

Okay please just tell me this. There are different types of dharma and how on earth would you know which is that Dharma that needs protection? It is much like the belief of few who lights a lamp only to present light to God. If God is light then why does he need your light? You light a lamp to remind yourself that you are to move towards the light from ignorance. If Dharma can destroy its destroyers then why does it need your protection?

Here we are unable to protect ourselves from our own thoughts. How are we supposed to be protecting something that we do not even apprehend?

So the questions that blatantly need our attention are:

How will we know what is our Dharma?
Is it the same for everybody?
Do I go with what others are supporting for?
Is it about changing the society?
If that was the case then why didn’t the world change even after it begot great leaders/thinkers?
Is Dharma the slayer or the protector or both or none?

Arjuna too had these questions and he consumed the whole of the first chapter ‘Arjuna vishada yogam’. Struck by grief, he was acting unlike him. Moreover, he was using dharma as an excuse and was simultaneously seeking advice. We should note that he was confused when he was talking about dharma. Confusion and Dharmic talk cannot go together.

When we are confused, we should find a way out, identify our dharma and only then should we make a decision. The key here is to protect yourself before protecting others or anything else. You should wear your oxygen mask if you wish to help your co-passengers.

So how do I protect myself?

Bhagavad Gita’s answer to this is to follow (your) Swa dharma. Although deep within we all are seeking happiness yet our ways of achieving them are different. Until we have a free flow of that we should act according to our innate nature.

Sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat svanusthitat
Sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah
 //ch 3, shlok 35

What is our swadharma then?

Gita in chapter 4, shlok 13 states that the whole of humanity is divided into 4 different divisions according to their Guna karma. Please do not read it wrong, these varnas or classes are not based on their sexes or birth or colour but are formed on the basis of their karmic baggage.

You can be a Brahmin by birth but deep inside you might be a Kshatriya or a Shudra. Gita is talking about that inner you. The whole of Gita is only addressing that Inner You. Just look at yourself, you might be earning a lot of money but do you drag yourself to work? Are you doing something that you love? Are you deriving any happiness by being somebody else?

That is why Gita is prompting its readers to dive in to understand their true self and act out of that. It is easier that way. So, therefore, find your dharma and let your actions be to purify your Self.

Image: Though this is from the Internet, I remember that is exactly how I was when I met my Teacher. When you meet with a huge blow and if you are receptive then the learning goes straight into your head. Always be thankful in adversity, it will teach you something that will remain with you for life 🙂

 

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Inessentials Rob The Mind

This post is an extension to my other post on how Mind tricks us into a state of mindlessness.

From then on, made a conscious effort to watch my thoughts- the thoughts that stole my concentration away from whatever I was doing. I was not always successful – it takes a lot of energy to process the things which have been to set to automation.

Only good thing that came out of this process is my understanding of some of the inessentials that I kept thinking. Or the ones that I taught my mind to be essentials by constantly thinking about them when not required. I mean, they are information but the only problem is that they were running unconsciously without me recalling it.

And my understanding about Mindlessness is to be a thought less state. We all experience that state in meditation or in deep sleep. But when the body is actively working the mind should be present there but unlike the body, it does multitask.

This is what I understand that we’re doing- programming it to slowly destroy us and then blaming it. We do not even know where is it localized and we are treating it. It can be numbed but it cannot be cured by medications alone. I think more than any kind of education, this is very important. We should know how to run it rightly. We are just doing it all wrong.

We should teach the kids. They haven’t yet accumulated all the trash that we have. We should teach them to employ mindfulness as an instrument to declutter.

Verses from Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

Chapter 2, verse 62 and Chapter 3, 40-42

Bhagavad Gita strongly recommends you to search the breeding grounds of desire. Desire enters us when we are attached to something. And attachment because of contemplation on sensory objects. We should remember that overthinking leads to a cycle of reactions.

 

 

Spirituality- Not Being A Dead Fish

My in laws and grandparents were home over the weekend. So, the day before they arrived, my mother said that she would help me to shop groceries so I could cook them lunch.

Accordingly, I shopped and made them a typical Tambrahm lunch. They stayed over the weekend and we had a good time.
My mother calls me the evening they left thinking they would be home. And, the conversation,…

Mom: Why did they leave so early? Did you not insist on them staying over?
Me: I did. But Thatha said he would be more comfortable there. We had a good time but it was both exciting and tiring at the same time. So, I am going to crash soon. I’ll talk to you later.
Mom: Wait. Did you make use of the things we bought?
Me: Yes, I did. They loved the food and Thatha said it was delicious. Full marks and happy.
Mom: Oh…is the happiness to do with the full marks? Sumi, I don’t have to remind you that your actions should never be to create an impression. (Expected and a standard question from my mother :-p )
Me: Yes Maa. That is what they said.

We spoke for some more time before I was reminded of the work waiting to be finished. I wished her a good night’s sleep and hung up the phone.

My Mother cautions me all the time because she thinks I over indulge in things more than what is required. Was not an easy child. The reason I documented the conversation is to point out that our spiritual outlooks are different. And, that is okay.

I do not think anyone can teach us how to manage our head. Because only we know what kind of demons we created. There is no moral code. And, we shouldn’t live like a dead fish in the name of spirituality. A dead one can experience nothing. Just being mindful of what is coming our way and how we take it is the first step towards it.

Also, do not override something that happens in your head. I think we should not tell people not to feel certain emotions or question them unnecessarily. It doesn’t matter; it is just another one among the other fleeting emotions or feelings. We complicate things by brooding over passing thoughts.

If something needs your attention, give it. Unnecessary ones will fall out with time and I do not think we need to be worried. Feel it and leave it. It is happening in the head.

Spirituality is about finding our way out of what we think we aren’t. All the things that we see, read or listen about spirituality should only be a guide and not a rule until it comes to our experience.

According to me, if you aren’t the roles you are playing then you should be something else. And, only you could find your way out. Be grateful and thankful to those who help you find yourself but tread your path.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this. I respect Bhagavad Gita and I look at it as my Teacher for guidance but I am not obsessed nor would I identify with it.

Identification is Our Mental Problem. From identification flow our likes and dislikes. We become rigid. All we have to do is to keep learning from our mistakes and experiences. Even if it means, learning to unlearn.

Tinnaga Vetagi Telusukontinayya Ninnegani Madinenna Jalanorula
After inner soul searching, I now see that YOU are in everything.

That is all we need to do..some soul searching 🙂

Credit: Written by Tyagaraja, in Carnatic composition by Mahesh Raghavan, love it..

Image: Internet