Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Live Happily the Gita Way
Professor V. Krishnamurthy

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Photo Professor V. Krishnamurthy

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This is therefore a seemingly endless play of the sentient Consciousness within and the insentient universe of matter outside through the medium of the BMI. This is the cit-jaDa-granthi (the Knot between the sentient and the insentient) that Ramana Maharishi talked about (Ref. Ch.4). The sentient Consciousness within, which is nothing but a spark of the parAshakti, is called PuruSha or Self. Everything else, including the interaction with other beings, is of course prakRRiti. This interplay of Self and prakRRiti is what constitutes our passage through life.

Now the Lord says: There are two Selves (PuruShas). (Ref. 1) (XV – 16).

They are kshhara-puruSha (the perishable Self) and akShara-puruSha (the imperishable Self). The perishable one is the familiar JIva. It is expressing itself through the BMI. But in so expressing itself, it invariably makes the mistake of thinking it is just BMI and nothing more. In other words, the perishable one commits the colossal error of identifying itself with the BMI. This colossal error is called ‘anAdi avidyA’ (Beginningless Ignorance). And here starts all the problems of life. All the pleasure and pain, ups and downs, light and darkness, good and bad, that the BMI suffers through, are mistakenly assumed by the perishable as its own experiences. Not only this. All the actions of the BMI are also appropriated by the perishable Self. Thus arises the common expressions: ‘I am the doer’ and ‘I am the experiencer’ . The perishable Self is involved in the actions of Nature. He reflects the varied workings of the guNas of prakRRiti. He is saguNa, personal. He associates himself with the doings of prakRRiti and thinks he is the doer. He identifies himself with the play of personality and clouds his self-knowledge with the ego-sense in PrakRRiti so that he thinks himself as the ego-doer of works. (Ref. 2) (III - 27) :

Some one pinches my body. It hurts. Who feels this hurt? I feel the hurt. Who is this I that is speaking? It is the perishable Self. Why does the perishable Self feel the hurt? Because it has identified itself with the BMI. Therefore it becomes the ‘bhoktA’ the experiencer.

Not only do I feel the hurt, but I flare up at the other person. Who is this I that is flaring up now? It is again the perishable Self. Why does the perishable Self flare up? Because it has identified itself with the BMI. As a consequence of this identification, it not only experiences the hurt, but falls into the trap of the gang of thirteen, particularly anger and ego and flares back. So it becomes the ‘kartA’ (doer).

What does the Lord say on this now? He says there are two Selves – perishable and imperishable. The imperishable is never hurt and can never be hurt, says He .
“This cannot be cut into pieces; this cannot be burnt; this cannot be tainted; this cannot be dried”. (Ref. 3) (II – 24)

So He says: “My dear Arjuna, You (the perishable Self / JIva) are wrongly identifying yourself with this BMI. Don’t do this. Identify yourself with the imperishable Self within you. Then there will be no hurt. Only Happiness.

This is the bottom line. This is the essential philosophical content of the entire teaching of the Gita. This is the message of all spiritual teaching. This is the grand recipe for Happiness.

Ref. 1 - dvAv-imau purushhau loke kshharaschA-kshhara eva ca /
ksharas-sarvANi bhUtAni kUTastho’kshara ucyate //( XV – 16)

Ref. 2 - prakRteH kriyamANAni guNaiH karmANi sarvashaH /
ahamkAra-vimUDhAtmA kartA’ham-iti manyate // (III – 27)

Ref. 3 - “acchedyoyam adAhyoyam akledyo’shoshhya eva ca” (II – 24)

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Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012