Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chapter 2 Verse 21

Chapter 2, Verse 21

"Knowing it birthless,
Knowing it deathless,
Knowing it endless,
For ever unchanging,
Dream not you do
The deed of a killer,
Dream not the power
Is yours to command it."

Srila Prabhupada:

"Everything has its proper utility, and those who are situated in complete knowledge know how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility. Violence also has its utility and how to apply violence rests with the person in knowledge. When Krishna orders fighting, it must be concluded that violence is for supreme justice, and thus Arjuna should follow the instruction, knowing well that such violence, committed in the act of fighting for Krishna is not violence at all, because the soul cannot be killed. Surgical operations are not meant to kill patients but to cure them. Therefore, fighting to be executed by Arjuna at the instruction of Krishna is with full knowledge, so there is no possibility of sinful reaction."

Ram Dass:

"Your body, your mind, and your personality package are all just part of nature. It's all just lawful stuff running its course. Why get uptight about it? Let it flow in its lawful manifestation. Don't struggle so hard. Live your life more lightly. Don't get so trapped in your own melodrama. How we all love our own melodramas. We each have them. We each think we're somebody doing things, somebody thinking things, somebody wanting things.

'I've got to have sex tonight or I'll die.'
'I'm so lonely.'
'I can't meditate.'
'I'm so high.'

We all get so involved in our melodramas, so busy thinking we're the actors, so busy thinking we're doing it all…and it's really all just this lawful stuff running its course. In order to appreciate the lawfulness of the unfolding, we need a little perspective. Take a seed, and put it in a bit of earth. Put it on a windowsill, and watch it grow into a plant, into a flower. Observe it every day. Use it as a daily meditation exercise. See the way the whole process unfolds. Then turn the lens back on yourself. Watch yourself the same way you watched the seed growing. Watch your own life, your own actions, with that same kind of detachment and curiosity, until you can see the laws of nature working in you. You'll see what leads to anger, what leads to love, what leads to desire. Watch it all. Don't argue with it. Don't judge it. As you begin to develop that perspective, you'll find that your actions gradually come less and less out of attachment and more and more out of the simple, lawful flow of things."

[With this perspective, we become like the bird in the story in the Upanishads which is watching the other bird partake of the fruit. We become the witness of the action, just as the birthless, deathless, endless, unchanging Self forever remains unaffected by nature's unfolding. The trick is to become the witness without shutting out the feelings that emerge from the action. When we honor both, we find that the feelings come and go, while the witness lasts and lasts.]

Eckhart Tolle:

"The mind habitually occupies a state of 'not enough' and so is always greedy for more. When you identify with the mind chatter, you get bored and restless very easily. Boredom means the mind is hungry for more stimulus, and its hunger is not being satisfied. When you feel bored, you can satisfy the mind's hunger by picking up a magazine, making a phone call, switching on the TV, surfing the web, going shopping, or transferring the mental sense of lack and its need for more to the body and satisfy it briefly by ingesting food.

There is a productive alternative that helps to break the cycle. You can stay bored and restless and observe what it feels like to be in that state. As you bring awareness to the feeling, there is suddenly some space and stillness around it, a little at first, but as the sense of inner space is cultivated and grows, the feelings of boredom and restlessness will begin to diminish in intensity and significance. Even boredom and restlessness can teach you who you are and who you're not.

You come to find out that a 'bored person' and a 'restless person' are not who you are. Boredom and restlessness are simply conditioned energy movements within you. Neither are you an angry, sad, or fearful person. Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not 'yours.' They are conditions of the mind which all humans share. They come and they go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.

'I am bored.' Who knows this? 'I am angry, sad, afraid.' Who knows this? You are the knowing, not the condition that is known."

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