Wednesday, August 4, 2010

III: 29

Chapter 3, Verse 29

"Those who are deluded
By the properties of nature
Get attached to the actions
Of those properties.
The wise do not upset
The dull-witted
Who are unaware of them."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

"After committing a theft [or a murder], the unenlightened might use the following excuse: 'It was only the three Gunas acting on each other that did this act, while my Self was uninvolved.' They make an excuse of not having done anything. This is why Krishna states that the wise do not reveal the inner state of their minds to the ignorant who will sometimes twist it to their own purposes, with possibly disastrous consequences."

[This verse and commentary reminds me of my favorite Hitchcock movie, "Rope," in which two men plot and carry out a murder, because they think they are above the law of ordinary folks. They perverted Nietzche's concept of the Superman to justify their actions. They might as easily have seized on the idea that "everything is only the Gunas acting on the Gunas and we are not doing anything."

Do not give dogs what is holy and do not throw your pearls before swine,
Lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)]

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

"One day, when Gandhiji was observing his day of silence, someone asked him for a message. He wrote, 'My life is my message.' This is true for us also. We are always influencing those around us by our daily lives, and when we tread the spiritual path, we cannot help but win them over in the end."

Father Bede Griffiths:

" Many people think that when they are obeying the forces of nature, their instincts, appetites, desires, and ambitions, they are masters of their destiny. In actual fact, such people are simply being driven by the forces of the unconscious. The wise do not disturb the minds of the foolish. The Hindu ideal is that the wise do not go about trying to change others. They live their own lives in inner purity and do all their actions without attachment. They are thus living examples to others without disturbing them."

[Re Father Bede's comment, "Many people think actual fact...driven by the forces of the unconscious."

In his novel "Needful Things," Stephen King powerfully portrays the gambling mentality of one of his characters, vividly illustrating how unconsciously driven a person with this particular compulsion can be. The illustration can be applied to all sorts of obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

"The track was a place where people paid their money, took a ticket, and gave up their sanity for a little while. Keeton had seen too much insanity in his own family to feel comfortable with the attraction that the Lewiston Raceway held for him. It was a pit with greasy sides, a snare with hidden teeth, a loaded gun with the safety off. When he went, he was unable to leave until the last race of the evening had been run. Once, he made it almost all the way to the exit turnstile before something in the back of his mind, something powerful, enigmatic, and reptilian, had arisen, taken control, and turned his feet around. Keeton was terrified of fully waking that reptile. Better to let it sleep."

"Letting it sleep" means giving in to it, which reinforces the Samskara. "Do not resist what is" is a popular Mantra for attaining peace of mind, but in this case, its shadow is revealed, for in fact it is often resistance through effort bringing the response of God's grace which helps to first weaken and then scorch the Samskaras that keep us chained to Samsara.]

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