Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chapter 2 Verse 15

Chapter 2, Verse 15

“Those with a serene spirit
Accept pleasure and pain
With an even mind,
And remain unmoved by either.
They are worthy of immortality."

Father Bede Griffiths:

"In the Upanishads there is a parable about two birds perched on the limb of a tree. One eats of the fruit, becoming involved. The other watches, remaining detached. The human being is body, individual soul, and spirit. The soul stands between the body and spirit. Normally, the soul is pulled towards the body, matter, and the senses, towards this world of change and impermanence, becoming immersed in it and losing its way. Repentance, Metanoia in Greek, is about the soul turning back with a new attitude and dedication to the realization of spirit within. Then the soul becomes focused on the power within, and with that focus comes mastery of the manifested world of hard, cold reality. The senses do not go away, but they simply lose their power to make us hanker after attractive sense-objects and be repelled by unpleasant ones. The point is to discover how to be free of this grasping and avoiding, and to awaken to the living power of spirit."

Srila Prabhupada:

"The Upanishads compare the soul and the Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Krishna) is simply watching His friend. Though they are the same in quality [‘bird-ness’], one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. Krishna is the witnessing bird, and Arjuna is the eating bird.

The Jiva soul struggles very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as it agrees to accept the other bird as the supreme spiritual Arjuna agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto Krishna for instruction...the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentation. Arjuna has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, Krishna, and is understanding the Bhagavad Gita from him. And thus, hearing from Krishna, he can understand the supreme glories of the Lord and be free from suffering."

Ram Dass:"The ego is the program that runs personality, the body, and interactions with others on the physical plane. The ego only becomes destructive when a person identifies the ego as her or his whole being. That brings tremendous suffering, because the ego is full of desires the fulfillment of which will never bring lasting happiness.

We must be willing to look at everything, our own suffering as well as the suffering around us, without averting our gaze, allowing it to be in the present moment. Rather than closing ourselves to fear, we learn to open to it, to sit with it, allowing it to arise and pass in its own time. You will find that the moment you enter the witness state, the boundaries of the ego become loosened, and fear begins to change. You will begin to see what you fear from a different point of view. Fear of dying? 'Oh yeah, haven't seen you for a while. Come on in and have some tea. Tell me what's been happening.' Each time you can do this, you'll get a little closer to being able to look at your fears and say, 'Ah, so.'"

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