Wednesday, June 3, 2009

II: 38

Chapter 2, Verse 38

“Prepare for war
With peace in your soul.
Be in peace
In pleasure and pain,
In gain and loss,
In victory and defeat.
In this peace
There will be no wrong-doing.”

Mahatma Gandhi:

“Having declared the highest truth (in verses 11-30) to be the immortality of the eternal Atman and the fleeting nature of the mind/body, Krishna reminds Arjuna that a Kshatriya is not to flinch from a fight which comes unsought (31, 32). Then (33-37) he shows how the highest truth and the performance of duty incidentally coincide with expediency. In this verse, Krishna foreshadows the central teaching of the Gita.”

Sri Aurobindo:

“Krishna is saying, ‘Put away all egoism from you. Disregard joy and sorrow. Disregard gain and loss and all worldly results. Look only at the cause you must serve and the work you must achieve by divine command.’ Thus Arjuna’s plea of sorrow, his plea of recoil from the slaughter, his plea of the sense of sin, and his plea of the unhappy results of his action are all answered according to the highest knowledge and ethical ideal to which his race and age had attained.”

Paramahansa Yogananda:

“A basic principle of Yoga is that practicing mental equilibrium neutralizes the effects of delusion. This does not mean that Yogis go through life as automatons, but rather that they remain masters of contrary emotions, attractions and repulsions, longing and unwillingness. Devoted to God and committed to playing well their part in the cosmic drama, calm Yogis steeped in wisdom find their way to freedom in the ever-wakeful blessedness of spirit.

Evenminded people are like a mirror of discernment that presents the true nature of favorable and unfavorable events. Thus they hold themselves in readiness to act wisely and properly without being misled by emotional distortions. Resolutely and steadily they march on towards the goal of complete freedom. The premature joy of temporary success or the depression of temporary failure are not allowed to obstruct the path of progress.”

Eckhart Tolle:

“A simple but radical spiritual practice is to accept whatever arises in the Now…within and without. 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. The Now is deeper than any content that arises in it.”

[The Self, the Atman, the “whatever-you-want-to-call-the-uncallable” is deeper than whatever arises in the mind. This is why It’s so hard to talk about. We try, anyway, the object being to inspire each other to experience that place, which is no place. Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, begins his classic, The Tao Te Ching, by saying “The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao." He then goes on for eighty pages describing it, anyway.

ps. Have you seen the bumper sticker that goes, "Do not confuse the Dow with the Tao"?]

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