Our Actions and Our Nature : Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta Series 5

Our Actions and Our Nature : Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta Series 5

This article, or rather  -series of thoughts – is based on The Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Chapter 15, verses 5-9 and Chapter 18 verses 56-60; while reading these, some realizations and thoughts came to my mind – on the nature of our interaction with the outside world, our responses, thoughts actions and reactions. Before I go ahead – let me document the first verse and its translation so that the base can be established for our introspection. This is taken from Swami Mukundanand Version; (a similar translation can be found in the Geeta Press Version):

 

निर्मानमोहा जितसङ्गदोषा
अध्यात्मनित्या विनिवृत्तकामा: |
द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ता: सुखदु:खसंज्ञै
र्गच्छन्त्यमूढा: पदमव्ययं तत् || 5||

 

Those who are free from vanity and delusion, who have overcome the evil of attachment, who dwell constantly in the self and God, who are freed from the desire to enjoy the senses, and are beyond the dualities of pleasure and pain, such liberated personalities attain my eternal abode.

 

     

 

THE OUTER LAYER OF OUR EXISTENCE

A human being exists at two or three levels, with the first being the outer layer, the one where our ego, ambitions, desires, relationships, possessions, education, etc dwell; this is the outer layer which normally drives our actions, and sadly – our thoughts as well. It is our ambition, desire to become the best that  drives us to excel, to work hard. It is our desire for comfort, as well as our ego that propels us to acquire ever-greater possessions. The best proof of this – the frequent posts where we tell the world of the new car etc – in other words, ego or desire or frequently both.  And if devoid of a deeper grounding, it is this plane of existence that causes us to give/take bribes, tell lies, hurt others, or commit crimes. Kam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahankar – these are the primary drivers of most of our actions – be it the social media argument, or the decisions we make on the job, or most other examples.

 

THE SECOND LAYER OF OUR EXISTENCE

This is the layer where Satgun, Rajogun and Tamogun interact. Let use leave the precise discussion of these three, and their entire parameters to another article – this is an article in itself, and needs a detailed treatment.To simplify – Satgun can be said to be goodness, Rajogun Passion and Tamogun Ignorance. For now, let us understand the impact of their interplay on our actions, for that is what this article is all about. Each person in this world has some mixture of all of the three; the one which is predominant is what determines the outcomes in the first layer. Please note that predominance of Satgun does not necessarily mean absence of Ego and Vanity; the presence of the other two – even in minor quantities, can fuel desire – or ego. For example – ego or pride in our knowledge, education, expertise – this is Rajasic in nature. If the Saatvic person has pride in his achievement in strengthening the Saatvic part of his or her existance, it is evidence of Rajogun! {For a deeper understanding of these 3 modes, I refer you to The Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Chapter 14. I will write on this – but at some later point in time, after my inner self dictates me to}

THE THIRD LAYER OF OUR EXISTENCE

I have refered to this earlier as well; when I had only a rough idea of its existence – in the article, the third layer of consciousness. Going deeper, this is the true you; the only you that should matter. The outermost layer is driven by momentary aspects like ego and vanity, maybe delusion and desire. Deeper levels are the 2nd one – where you realize the three core qualities that drive nature. It is when you begin to understand the interplay of these 3 qualities that, in my humble opinion, you quality or get ready for the 3rd level of existence. As the 3rd layer involves rising above the three material modes, the three gun or qualities of existence – that is, rising above ignorance, passion and even goodness – we first need to understand the force operating on our true selves.

 

Understanding which of these three predominates in us, and what is the balance helps us modulate as well as understand our responses. The reason is simple – the outermost layer is skin deep – consisting of strong but outer influences like Kaam Krodh Lobh Moh Ahankar; these are mostly reactive in nature. The moment you get a deeper anchor, you begin to understand yourself, and become more in control. If Rajogon dominates- we are driven by passion; for example – which helps bolden at least two of the above 5 factors that drive action.

 

यदहङ्कारमाश्रित्य योत्स्य इति मन्यसे |
मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस्ते प्रकृतिस्त्वां नियोक्ष्यति || 59||

If, motivated by pride, you think, “I shall not fight,” your decision will be in vain. Your own material (Kshatriya) nature will compel you to fight.

 

स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्ध: स्वेन कर्मणा |
कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत् || 60||

O Arjun, that action which out of delusion you do not wish to do, you will be driven to do it by your own inclination, born of your own material nature.

 

 

These past 2 or 3 verses drive home a very real lesson: the real vital necessity of understanding our true nature. By acting according to our nature, we get peace! Despite the losses and in spite of gains, we remain stable… As our  actions arise not out of ego, ahankar, desires; but out of our nature… Thus, if you abandon ego, kaam, krodh, moh  and lobh, you can then get close to and understand your nature … Start acting accordingly, planning to reduce impact of Tamogun, as well…

 

We feel more comfortable in our skins, in our physical existence – and begin to realize which of our desires are in line with our core nature – and which are not in line. Thus, a person residing in a particular nature can isolate those thoughts, desire etc that are not in with the core nature – as even if we try to go against our basic nature, we will not succeed, our nature will drive us to that path eventually, with a lot of stress, loss of time and wasted opportunities…. If you like my somewhat disconnected thoughts, and feel you get value – do stay connected as I document my spiritual journey in my writings…

Vishal Kale
Vishal Kale

Vishal Kale is a cross-functional business head leading 9 branches with expertise in setting up new products and processes across geographies. He is a passionate blogger -received the Indian Top Blogger badge for 3 years running now as well as a top-5 nominee in Blogadda Awards Win15. He is also an Associate Columnist with the Indian Economist, an unpaid position of freelance contribution, diversified work experience, combined with Business, Management and Economics. Book Reviewing helped him in Content Creation and enables him to add value in organizations as well as contribute in a variety of situations and challenges, and have an indepth knowledge of at least 3 industries. He writes on Sanaatan Dharm, Life Philosophy. He has a daily reading habit of Scriptures and his own self-introspection. He also reviews very select top Marathi movies.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: