How is peace gained?
- Peace while one has much work and responsibility
- What disturbs our peace?
Self-Knowledge brings eternal peace. The Self is itself peace.
shraddhAvAn labhate jnAnam tatparah samyatendriyah
jnAnam labdhvA parAm shAntim acirena adhigacchati ||4.39||
"The man who is full of faith, who is devoted to It , and who has subdued the
obtains (this) Knowledge; and having obtained Knowledge he goes to the
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
'KNOWING HIM TO BE NONE OTHER THAN KRISHNA, THE INDIVIDUAL REACHES THE GOAL OF
THE ETERNAL SANCTUM OF PERFECTION'.
In meditation, as one's Knowledge shines free of all doubt, contrary thoughts
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
excitements are not there in It since It is beyond these matter envelopments.
A high degree of peace is gained by Karmayoga by one who does not have
but performs his duty with nobility, detachment and spirit of
offering everything to God.
yuktah karmaphalam tyaktvA 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.
rAgadveshawiyuktaih tu vishayAn indriyaih charan
Atmavashyaih vidheyAtmA prasAdam adhigacchati ||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
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
tranquility 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 (Ishvara
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 sense-objects 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||
Personal attachments cloud our objectivity and our sense of dharma. Wrong
actions and much heart-ache are the results.
tasmAt na arhAh vayam hantum dhArtarAshtrAn svabAndhavAn
svajanam hi katham hatvA sukhinah syAma mAdhava ||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?" - (asks
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. Therefore, Krishna advises Arjuna
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 detail 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(Jvara).
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
Desire and Anger which we support in ourselves cause immeasurable damage to
kAmah eshah krodhah eshah rajogunasamudbhavah
mahAshanah mahApApmA viddhi enam iha vairinam ||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 desire
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 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.