Wednesday, April 22, 2009

II: 30

Chapter 2, Verse 30

“The Self that dwells in the body
Is indestructible, forever.
Therefore, do not mourn, Arjuna.”

Eckhard Tolle:

“When you step into the Now, you step out of the mind’s content. Thoughts don’t absorb all of your attention anymore. They don’t draw you in totally. Gaps arise between the thoughts… spaciousness, still awareness. You begin to realize how much vaster and deeper you are than your thoughts.

Most people confuse the Now with what happens in the Now, but that’s not what it is. The Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the space in which it happens. So do not confuse the content of this moment with the Now. The Now is deeper than any content that arises in it. The more you live in the Now, the more you sense the simple yet profound joy of Being.”

Srila Prabhupada:

“Krishna now concludes the section of instruction on the immutable spirit soul. In describing the immortal soul in various ways, Krishna establishes that the soul is immortal and the body is temporary. Therefore, Arjuna as a Kshatriya should not abandon duty out of fear that his relatives will die in the battle. On the authority of Krishna, Arjuna now understands that there is a soul different from the material body.”

[The other day I’m pedaling home from work (the rainy season is over so I’ve been cycling to and from work, ten miles each way) and come across a woman wandering. She jumps in front of me so I stop. It doesn’t take long to realize she’s drunk. I feel responsible for guiding her to safety. We walk along the highway together. She tells me, among other things, that she works for this roofing company. I try to keep myself between her and the highway as she’s unsteady and unpredictable in her movements, but she makes a game out of it and insists on being between me and the highway, so I move off into the grass, trying to coax her towards me and away from the traffic, with only limited success. We walk about a half a mile and then a pickup pulls off the road a little ways ahead. She says it’s her boss. He’s been out looking for her. We reach the pick-up and boss has to struggle with her to get her in the cab. Meanwhile, down the embankment and over the fence is a Target store and in the parking lot, the lawn maintenance crew has just finished cutting, edging, and blowing; they look up and see the drama next to the highway and think a kidnapping is in progress. So they get all agitated and I try to quiet them down from a distance…not easy, but at least they didn’t call the cops, or if they did, they didn’t get there till it was over. Finally, boss gets her into the cab and they drive off and I breathe a sigh. The whole time I was with her, we were on the edge of a huge disaster had she shambled out into traffic.

The teaching for me is that though I was sharply aware for that half hour or so about the disaster waiting to happen, the fact is that all of us are always on the edge. Be it through disease, accident, crime, war, starvation, natural disaster or fill-in-the-blank, humans all over the world, all of us, are so fragile…it can all be snatched away in a twinkling. So we need to be ready. I’ve pedaled a lot of miles in my life but what’s different since this experience with the wanderer is that I’m more aware now of the precariousness of it all. A careless driver reaching down for a CD or texting someone on the fly…a lack-of-attention drift over the white line marking the boundary between car traffic and bike traffic coinciding with an “unlucky” biker in the wrong spot at the wrong time…well, you get the idea.

What keeps me from being afraid is the inner conviction that luck has nothing to do with it. The Hindu sages say that we come into this life with a certain number of allotted breaths to take and when that number is up, our number is up whether we’re in the bathroom, on the highway or at the beach. There are many who would say that this kind of thinking is morbid preoccupation, but I think of it as being on friendly terms with death for when death becomes our friend what else is there to fear? Some might say being disabled or dying painfully for a couple for instances, but those are hypothetical situations and it serves no purpose to dwell on hypotheticals. Death is not a hypothetical.

As we get used to death’s presence…some think of it as over the left shoulder…we become more attuned to That which is deathless in us and around us, the Supreme Self, or however you want to label That which is beyond all labels.]


Krishna Jaya said...

"Were you to attain to
but a dewdrop
of the crystal waters
of divine knowledge,
you would realize
that true life
is not the life of the flesh
but the life of the spirit
for the life of the flesh
is common to both
humans and animals,
whereas the life of the spirit
is possessed by the pure in heart,
a life which knows no death,
an existence crowned
by immortality."

Baha'u'llah's Teachings on Spiritual Reality, p.3

DrDeb said...

Hi, just wanted to say that I really like your approach of taking passages from the Bhagavad Gita and applying them to other Teachings (e.g., Eckhart Tolle) as well as your own life. I have followed a similar path! Great blog.

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