Though a great warrior, both learned and wise, Arjuna still fall prey to depression. Seeing his kith and kin arrayed before him in battle formation, he fell into a quandary and turned to bhagwan sri Krishna for advise on the best path to follow. Our spiritual journey is no different from that of Arjun’s. It begins with sorrow and ends in happiness and peace. It begins in darkness and take us towards light. In order to fulfill this The Bhagavad Geeta outlines the 5 steps follow.
Let us begin with what we have. God has given us a body, a mind, a life which is quite extra ordinary. Every new instrument we buy comes with a manual of instruction. This manual instructs us how to use it.
Similar is the case with our body, mind and intellect. Together they make up an extremely special instrument give to us by god. We are constantly engaged in some action, always trying to achieve something. At the end we find that every human being is looking for happiness and peace. Whatever be the actions, the ultimate goal is to attain happiness and peace. We earn study, marry, buy a house, maintain relations with people all to attain happiness and peace seem elude us. Negativities like sorrow, anger, or jealousy crop up in the mind Arjuna was no different.
The Bhagavad Geeta spelles out the reason for this and reveals the essence of the teaching in 5 steps. If followed, these lead us to that absolute happiness and peace.
1 . KARMA YOGA
The first step is right action or karma yoga. Lord Krishna wants us to take charge of our lives and self – reliant. We are advised to take charge of our sorrows, our faults and tears and not blame others for anything.
The path to happiness and peace can be likened to steps on a ladder. When we blame others for our unhappiness is due to the presence of the negativities of jealousy, anger, greed, delusion. Develop a sense of satisfaction ( santosh) . Objects of the world undoubtedly give us joy but they can not fulfill our greed. As we take the first steps we drop the carving and anger. We also take responsibility and do our duties. Do that which is right and follow the righteous path. This in a nutshell is the teaching of karmayoga.
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2 . UPASANA
The second step is upasana. Life should be a dedication to something other than oneself. Live for your family, for your community. Dedicate your life for some cause. We could decide to work for the poor, for the environment, for those who are sick or old, for the animals or for the country. Living for someone helps to purity the mind. Each of us must dedicating all our actions to the Lord.
The third step is to live life using our intellect ( Viveka ) and solve our problems with discrimination. This is the path of jnanayoga. It is wise to understand the difference between wrong and right and then follow the path of right and drop that which is wrong. Understand the difference punaya ( merit ) and paapa ( sin ). Then do only those actions which are meritorious and drop the rest. This is called viveka. We must determine to live with deep understanding, performing our duties and dropping that which is not necessary. How can we attain this wisdom?
This wisdom can be attained through satsang. Living with viveka and dedication, we gradually develop love for god and automatically attains happiness and peace.
4 . BHAKTI
The forth step on the ladder is the path of bhakti, or the path of love ( prem ). We may consider ourselves as devotee of the lord but does the lord consider us his devotees?
In the 12th chapter bhagwan describes, a bhakt or a devotee of the lord as one who does not dislike anyone, who is a friend to all remains equanimous in all situations speaks of the welfare of all, works for the salvation and happiness of all, remains peaceful in all circumstances, and remains the same whether praised or insulted, in gain or in loss, in victory or in defeat. Having mastered the art of mind you experience absolute happiness and peace.
5 . KSHMA
The last step on ladder is forgiveness the act of pardoning an offender. The lord commands us to repent of our sins and seek his forgiveness. He also commands us to forgive those who offend or hurt us.
when such a person regains consciousness of his body, the state in which he find himself, his vision and his way of dealing with the world changes completely you are a different person altogether.
These five steps in The Bhagavad Geeta it followed faithfully will help us to experience external happiness and peace.
( Manoj Kanak )