Monthly Archives: April 2013

Being and Suppressing

In the blog, ‘To Possess, To Become‘, I talked about the qualities and drivers of a Gathered Mind and  qualities and drivers of a Scattered Mind. It is the state of mind, I guess, that is the most complex hurdle to get past.

So, while thinking about desire driven actions and desire-less actions, an other question came to my mind,  ‘Does desire-less action mean suppressing desire? Likewise, not being unhappy, does it mean suppressing unhappiness; does being fearless mean suppressing fear, and does being free of anger mean suppressing anger?’

In the Gita, verse 2.56, Krishna says ‘He whose consciousness is unshaken by affliction and is not excited by good fortune; who no longer hungers for earthly affection and is without fear and anger; such a man qualifies to be considered a muni (sage) of steady discrimination‘.

One whose consciousness is unshaken, one is who is not excited, who does not clamor affection, one who is without fear and anger –  the key message here is not about SUPPRESSING but in BEING through those emotions, observing them as they occur, watching them as they occur and recognizing that they too will pass.

OSHO, says ‘We think others make us angry from time to time, but this is a misconception. When there is no anger within you, nobody in the world can make you angry. Others making us angry is just an excuse. When I place an empty bucket in a well, it fills up with water. But the well needs to be full of water for me to fill up my bucket. I cannot fill my bucket with water from a well that is dried up. Someone else’s insult at the most can function as an empty bucket, but there has to be anger within me, otherwise the bucket cannot be filled with anger. A person who does not understand his own condition, is never going to attain the ultimate state of consciousness. If right now we would be able to see our real condition, our reality, we could embark on a journey which leads us to our ultimate state, our ultimate nature.’

BEING able to WATCH, OBSERVE, RECOGNIZE, LET GO, NOT ENGAGE IN and NOT GET AFFECTED by these emotions is the essence of this verse, in the Gita.

Our BEING is the fact, everything else (misery, excitement, fear, anger, happiness..) is an interpretation of the mind.

BEING, enables PURE ACTION, everything else (outside of BEING) leads to DISTRESSED ACTION, as a result of a scattered mind.

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To Possess, To Become

The path of Spiritual development is to progress from desire driven actions to desire-less actions. I see this as making a shift in mindset from that of DOING to JUST BEING.

The question then that comes up is, ‘can there be action without desire?’.  Through the course of a day, if you watch, our actions are propelled by where our next desire leads us to. This is how, most of us have lived all all these years, and so it is difficult to comprehend a state that entails actions without a desire. This state is what our scriptures call ‘Nishkam Karma‘, performing actions as obligatory duty, without desire and expectations.

How can one get to such a state?

Vedanta says, a CALM MIND, a mind that is in GATHERED STATE, enables one to perform desire-less actions. A SCATTERED mind, on the other hand, creates mental agitation and distractions, leading to desire driven actions.

The next question then is ‘What are the reasons for a scattered mind?’ or ‘How can we get our minds to a GATHERED state?’.

This is where, we need to re-examine our belief in focusing onPossessing rather than Becoming.

The aspect of ‘Possessing’ is driven out of the EGO, it is the trait of the EGO that creates the illusion of possession. When we possess something we wanted, we are happy, and when we don’t  / are not able to, then we become unhappy. When we possesses and feel happy, our scriptures says even that is is not permanent, it is a fleeting sense of happiness because the moment I possess and feel happy about; the very next moment the mind shifts to the next desire and again goes through the happy / unhappy cycle.

This is where our scriptures draw our attention to. The sages want us to understand these endless cycles, that in turn create endless swing of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures. These create a scattered mind. Instead, when we fully comprehend this, we will become neutral to joys and when we become neutral to joys; we start becoming open to pains also, and are not shocked when we come across pain.

We learn to be centered, and take both pleasure and pain as they come recognizing that neither of them are permanent, that they are only transitory, and that neither are  going to remain permanently. When we get to this state, the mind is calm, centered, and not affected by the ups and downs, highs and lows. The mind remains united as one, and when one is in the oneness, all possessions of the world come automatically, without having to chase, and without the mental stress.

To Possess is to Doing; as To Become is to Being.

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