We will now begin by taking up the section in the Bhagavad-Gita that was read every evening at Gandhi's prayer meetings, a section called by many "The Self-Governed Sage". The Gita is a dialog between Arjuna, representing from one point of view mankind, and Krishna, representing from one point of view Divinity within. Below is the first half of Krishna's answer to Arjuna's question.  We look at the other half in the last week of the month.

ARJUNA:

"What, O Kesava, is the description of that wise and devoted man who is fixed in contemplation and confirmed in spiritual knowledge? What may such a sage declare? Where may he dwell? Does he move and act like other men?"

KRISHNA:

"A man is said to be confirmed in spiritual knowledge when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself is happy and content in the Self through the Self. His mind is undisturbed in adversity; he is happy and contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a man is called a Muni. When in every condition he receives each event, whether favorable or unfavorable,with an equal mind which neither likes nor dislikes, his wisdom is established, and, having met good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one nor is cast down by the other. He is confirmed in spiritual knowledge, when, like the tortoise, he can draw in all his senses and restrain them from their wonted purposes. The hungry man loseth sight of every other object but the gratification of his appetite, and when he is become acquainted with the Supreme, he loseth all taste for objects of whatever kind. The tumultuous senses and organs hurry away by force the heart even of the wise man who striveth after perfection. Let a man, restraining all these, remain in devotion at rest in me, his true self; for he who hath his senses and organs in control possesses spiritual knowledge."

Chapter 2 p.18-19 Judge edition

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Thanks Gerry, this is a very interesting and thoughtful sloka in the Gita. 

There is a sloka in the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad [2.2.3] that reminds me of the quoted passage from Gita, it reads as follows;



"Seize as the bow, the great weapon of the Upanisads

Fix the arrow, sharpened through meditation,

stretch it (the bow), through the mind directed

on the existence of Brahm, and hit O dear one, 

the imperishable as the target."



Perhaps in the selected quotes from the Gita, could it be that Krishna is explaining to Arjuna the effects of external, (or perhaps internal as well) "calamities" or sense objects that shakes, distracts, or modifies the mind? What then does this tell us about our senses and perceptive reality? 

After all the characteristics that Krishna lists about the Muni, a question comes to mind; is this a practice that occurs in many lifetimes of subjecting these feeling, or does it happen through a  realization?

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Is it not the case that realization of any kind is the result of long effort?  Perhaps it only seems sudden from the standpoint of one unaware of the hidden history.

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Yes just like a great musician or a great athlete to reach a realization of any magnitude would require a long effort one would assume.  What accomplishments in life of any significance come from chance or accident or luck?  Why would it be different in the most sacred of all realms, the spiritual?

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The idea of external events being "calamities" to distract the mind is a very interesting one.  It reminds one of the chittavrittis or mental modifications that come in the first pada of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

One idea that comes from your observation and from the passage itself is the elevated level of detachment from the world that would be required to remain calm despite any external event, good or bad, painful or pleasurable, subtle or dramatic.

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Right, detachment is a very interesting subject brought up in the quote.  It seem to be, the more an individual identifies with something; an emotion, a ritual, a practice, or even higher spiritual study, it is still identification- a mode of modification- that is "not-Self."  

As found in Sri Sankaracharya, "Crest-Jewel of Wisdom;"
"Through a man's imagination being full of the world,
Through his imagination being full of the ritual law, 
through his imagination being full of the body,
wisdom, truly is not born in him."

I suppose, if anything, detachment seems to be the focus to achieve a stilled, calm, and steady mind, an avenue, if it were, for proper discernment/discrimination.  So then, is the sage, guru, muni, or samnyasin attached to their preferred philosophy?  Or do they view it, the held philosophy, as temporary and an impermanent reflection of Truth?

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What do you believe is the nature of realization?  Is it a natural process or are you referring to something like the grace of God?

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Tamiko, this is an interesting subject, realization.  When we look towards the Gita, we are reading the dialogue between Krishna, and Arjuna, which could translate to a conversation that an individual [Arjuna] holds with his Higher self [Krishna].  Is there a separation between the Higher and lower selves?  Are they actually distinct beings?

Understanding this, we come to find that Arjuna is being directed by Himself.  He, Arjuna, is already an awakened and realized being, however, he needs to "align the tumblers" in order for his lower nature to align itself to its spiritual counterpart- Krishna. 

The sun still shines on a cloudy day, weather we see it or not.. 

If we can use this analogy; what do those clouds symbolize in this analogy?  What keeps us from seeing clearly?  We all come to these ideas from different angles.  Some intellectually and others emotionally or intuitively.  But there is still so much work to do after the "realization".  Action is always needed to dissipate the clouds that we have in fact created.  It is Karma.  Because of the initial realization, we then begin the steep climb, searching the long and difficult conditions of our personality or lower self.  Grace could be a break in the cloud that is lighting our way.

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"The sun still shines on a cloudy day, weather we see it or not.. "

Such a great comment, thanks Kristan.

The clouds of course in this analogy are ourselves, our personal egos.  Insight, or grace, as you say, is the break in the cloud.  How does that break in the clouds happen?  Great interest, great attention, a sincere impulse to know the only truth would help do the job I suppose.  This, in a nutshell, is our task - namely, wanting to see the sun, not the clouds.

Another thought came to mind about the 'sun and cloud' analogy, which is..

That what we call 'occult' (hidden), is only that which we've hid from ourselves.  There's really nothing occult about truth, other than what we ourselves have caused in order to hide from it.       

 

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This description reminds one of the unbreakable tranquility of the Buddha.  It is difficult to imagine the state of mind necessary for such equanimity.

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How does the Sage make him or herself invulnerable to anxiety, fear and anger? Which I suppose is another way of saying tranquil.

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Is it by overcoming the fear of death? By realizing our eternal nature. This realization I believe will slowly come when someone is getting closer to the divine.

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Myrtia, I think you mentioned something very valuable and important.  Death is held to be a very mysterious and special moment, perhaps even, a moment of pure realization for the few. This is what initiated my decision to become involved in Hospice more or less.  Do you think by understanding what dies, being able to observe, and experience the experience of death, one must come to recognize what is True?  What is always present?
Some say that this can also be experienced through lucid dreaming. 

I'd say by "controlling," or perhaps observing Manas would be of practically.  It is said when manas is active, 'evil' arises, however in the sushupti state where manas is absent, or inactive 'evil' is not to be found. I suppose this all really leads to is the practice of heightening awareness.  Constantly breaking the bonds of identification to things temporary. 

It is a very difficult practice, as I buried by dog of 14 years the night before last, I was painfully reminded of how deep attachment and personality is rooted, and how quick we "forget" or lose grip on what is permanent and everlasting.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Myrtia Daskalaki on November 26, 2013 at 6:51am
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Kristan, your question has troubled me. Also, I don't know what manas are. Can you please clarify? The question is how can man understand the concept of death, when he is not fully aware of the reincarnation cycle and his past lives? As we perceive the universe in dyadic form, we can understand the concept of death by understanding the concept of life. If you visualize and become close to an Ascented Master there is something that resonates and responds to their Light. By getting closer to an Ascented Master queriously you understand your eternal form as well. (My answers are more practical-intuitional than academic, I don't know if I'm right or not)

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 26, 2013 at 10:27am
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Manas  (it is not a plural word, it is a Sanskrit term meaning the Mind Principle) is part of the sevenfold classification of human nature taught in theosophy. It is very much to be recommended for the student to become familiar with it since so much of the philosophy revolves around it.

Looking at things in an "intuitional" way is not a bad thing at all and in fact we ought to give more importance to what comes to us in the form of intuitions.  But it is very important to remember the admonition of the Great Teachers you point to.  They recommend that no idea or truth can be fully accepted until it is proven true from three standpoints  1. intuition, 2. reason and 3.experience.  All three are needed.  We have to test and verify less we fall into any one of the traps that lead to problems.

Once we have an intuition we have to reason it out, give it a conceptual framework. This is why Krishna advocates study of the philosophy he is giving to Arjuna as so crucial to the spiritual maturation process.

“Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility; the wise who see the truth will communicate it unto thee, and knowing which thou shalt never again fall into error, O son of Bharata.”

If we don't it is apt to be lost in translation and misinterpreted.  Gandhi and the man who killed Gandhi both appealed to intuition.  Gandhi reasoned out his intuitions and put them into action.  His killer acted on what he thought was an intuition.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 26, 2013 at 10:07am
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I don't think Manas (mind) when active means "evil arises".  This is a misunderstanding of manas in my view.  Manas is the thinking principle and it can be the servant of desire or servant of Buddhi or call it the Light.  So it depends on where it is focused.  Controlling the mind could be thought of as the culture of concentration as Mr. Judge puts it.  We become what we dwell upon.  You might be referring to the  problems of the monkey mind, that jumps from desire to desire, object to object and here  you would be right, trouble brews here.  But it is best not to characterize the entire principle of Manas this way because it only refers to its lower aspects so to speak.  We will get into this further in our study of the Gita as we move along.

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on November 26, 2013 at 1:21pm
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Myrtia, I used death as an example, to illustrate the idea that those who have become spiritually aware, the muni or the sage,  do not view death as the end all.  It has been said that they are fully aware and conscious during the process of the death of the body, not the death of consciousness- which is the eternal- which is what the sage has ultimately merged with. I am sorry to create the confusion.

Yes, to make this clearer we can take a look at Judges Culture of Concentration, as Gerry point out.  Evil, I used in the widest sense (perhaps it wasn't the best word to use), regarding any deviation from a point of concentration, monkey mind is a good analogy. Perhaps I should have made manas more clearly distinguished as kama-manas.  Again, as Gerry has pointed out; only if manas isn't joined with buddhic principle, it has been said that manas (mind) gravitates towards lower manas (kama manas). 

On another note; Could we relate this particular stanza from the Gita under discussion, to what is said in the first 6 slokas of Book III in Patanjali's aphorisms?  There is a word, "sanyama" which has no literal English translation, so it becomes a little intuitive.  It is not meaning "restraint," and it has been said that "perfect concentration" conveys the idea a little clearer.  Could we say that "Sanyama"  is what Krishna is describing in the stanza?

Permalink Reply by Peter on November 18, 2013 at 6:47am
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From the above description of the Sage, by Krishna, we can understand why it is said that the state of the Sage is the practice of the student.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 21, 2013 at 11:22am
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What a wonderful point.  Three human maladies are mentioned in the text: anxiety, fear and anger.

So to follow Peter's point, the student must "practice"  calmness, fearlessness and good will. It is interesting to note that whatever we are doing from moment to moment, day to day is in a sense a "practice" in the sense that we are reinforcing a habit of some sort and apt to act or feel  this way again.  It takes an act of will to practice something new and demanding. It requires an effort to break out of old habits and patterns. So establishing a "practice" is essential.

Permalink Reply by Di Kaylor on November 21, 2013 at 1:23pm
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I love the comments so far, especially the related references.  I wasn't sure where best to insert a few thoughts I had.  Many ideas started converging for me.  But in response to your mention of "anxiety, fear and anger," I'd suggest the antidote lies in developing patience (as well as other practices of detachment and steadfastness). 

At this point in the Gita (cited above), Arjuna is beginning to explore this path of the student or disciple of the spiritual sage, but has not committed to it.  So this description sets up the what, where, and how of that path:

First (what), Krishna establishes that knowing oneself is foremost to this path and that it is the connection to the “true self in me.”

Second (where) is the realm of fearlessness in the world: the tortoise can represent many things, including the world (on its back).  In Chinese mythology, I believe the tortoise can represent a warrior that cannot be crushed.

Third (how) is the disciplined mind.

When I was studying the six paramitas, I related fearlessness and the disciplined mind to the virtue of patience because patience is required to achieve those other practices and remain in actively engaged in spiritual development.  From various references, I used the tortoise to symbolize both living in the world using a disciplined mind to overcome anger, anxiety and doubt.  Only through patience could one achieve a calm, fearless mind that can work through the conflicts. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on November 18, 2013 at 2:49pm
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This post is from The Key to Theosophy group and is relevant to the Bhagavad Gita so I've put a copy here at Gerry's suggestion:

The notion of Manas detaching itself from the Kama principle (desire/passions) and aligning itself with Buddhi-Manas repeatedly comes up in our study of the the seven principles.   I wondered whether looking at it from the perspective of Hinduism might give a bit more context or at least another angle from which to understand the progression that the lower manas is required to make from ‘lower’ to ‘higher’.

  According to Hinduism that which is sought in a fundamental way by all beings is referred to aspuruṣārtha.  There are four fundamental aims (puruṣārthas) these being artha, kāma, dharma andmoksha

Artha -   refers to anything sought with the aim to bring us security whether it be physical, emotional, economical, societal etc.

Kāma -  refers to that which is sought with the aim of bringing us pleasure, whether it be physical (e.g. eating, exercise, sex), emotional (e.g. In relationships), intellectual  (e.g. intellectual games, pursuits and even study).  Kama also includes the higher or aesthetic pleasures, in fact anything from a eating a piece of chocolate to to watching the beauty of a sunrise or the starry heavens.

Dharma - a word of many meanings, but as one of the puruṣārthas it refers to the aim of living according to law and order so as to benefit society.  While performing our dharma may bring happiness and joy as a by product, it is neither artha or kama.  It normally has religious and societal connotations.  This is similar to the ethical nature and virtues of one performing civic duties as seen in Platonism. From a theosophical viewpoint we might see it as the aim to live in accordance with universal law and harmony so as to benefit all beings.  It therefore means ‘doing one’s duty’ in the deepest sense that we might understand it.  The teaching of the Bhagavad Gita takes place on ‘the field of dharma’  where Arjuna faces his adversaries (inner and outer) in battle.

In one sense the whole teaching of the Bhagavat Gita given by Krishna is in response to Arjuna’s question, ‘what is my duty?’    Krishna also states that whenever there is a decline of dharma in the word he incarnates himself, “For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of dharma, I am born in every age.” (Ch.4: 7 & 8)  Dharma, or our duty, is therefore connected with the knowledge of the highest universal truths revealed to humanity.

Moksha - stands for Liberation, Freedom. But of course the question is ‘freedom from what?’  In general it refers to freedom from the ignorance and desire associated with causes of suffering and the endless cycle of reincarnation. However, moksha is interpreted differently by the different traditions within Hinduism, e.g. bhakti, yoga, karma, and jnana.   Theosophy proposes that the aim of liberation for oneself alone is a form of spiritual selfishness.  Liberation or Enlightenment for the benefit of others alone is the highest goal - thus linking Moksha and Dharma intimately together.    In a way, Moksha transcends the other three puruṣārthas for, paradoxically, here we are required to be free even of the desire to be free and liberated.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on November 22, 2013 at 7:57am
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There is simply nothing that the Self-Governed Sage wants or needs.  He is a self-contained being united with the universal principle within him symbolized by Krishna.  He is content.  In the Dhammapada we have the expression "Contentment is the greatest wealth."

Permalink Reply by Ryan Hauck on November 22, 2013 at 8:01am
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When studying the Gita (and Upanishads), there is a great deal of focus on bringing control to the desires of the mind and body.

I need to find the source, but I believe it was in a Rosicrucian text that spoke of the Mind and Body being co-created by the presence of the Soul/Spirit. The presence of the soul creates a body externally, and a mind (mental body or environment) internally.

So what nature do these two vehicles have? And what qualities of spirit are being expressed through the mind and body that must be brought under control?

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 22, 2013 at 11:12am
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Grimm, this is a very big subject because we are talking about the 7fold constitution of man here.

I am not aware of the Mind/Body co-created idea but I think we could turn to the Secret Doctrine for guidance on this.  The SD study group will open up again after the Solstice.

Are you asking what are the functions of the Mind and Body??  I must not be understanding you because the question seems insufferably vague and general.  Or is the question how do we control the Mind and Body?  Your assistance please.

Permalink Reply by Sharisse on November 22, 2013 at 12:04pm
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Hi Gerry,

I came across this again the other day and it seems to go well with what you and Grimm are saying, I hope it helps. :)

"The passions and desires are not produced by the body, but, on the contrary, the body is caused to be by the former. It is desire and passion which caused us to be born, and will bring us to birth again and again in this body or in some other.* It is by passion and desire we are made to evolve through the mansions of death called lives on earth. It was by the arising of desire in the unknown first cause, the one absolute existence, that the whole collection of worlds was manifested, and by means of the influence of desire in the now manifested world is the latter kept in existence."

[*In The Theosophical Forum, June, 1894, page 12, Judge corrected this to: "in some body on this earth or another globe."]

Ocean of Theosophy WQJ chapter 6

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on November 22, 2013 at 8:04am
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"When in every condition he receives each event, whether favorable or unfavorable,with an equal mind which neither likes nor dislikes, his wisdom is established, and, having met good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one nor is cast down by the other."  In the face of atrocity to our fellow human beings, how might this be different than cold indifference?

Permalink Reply by Myrtia Daskalaki on November 24, 2013 at 12:12pm
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In this stage of consciousness the Sage does not cease to act or feel. Being connected with the Divine from this higher center He acts. We have to develop empathy, not sympathy. In Greek language at least, these words hold different meanings. While in empathy you understand other people's pain and sufferings in sympathy you make it yours. Being calm and enveloped in Divine Love this feeling is shared with everyone. This is an intuitional answer sorry.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 24, 2013 at 1:28pm
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It does not matter what kind of answer it is .... because of whatever kind it is a good one.

What do you think of the second half of the Self-Governed Sage being covered in the next discussion?

Permalink Reply by Don Petros on November 22, 2013 at 11:13am
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Di says: "I'd suggest the antidote lies in developing patience (as well as other practices of detachment and steadfastness)."

Thanks, Di. That's certainly something that hits home. I try to examine the nature of patience, and see it as something that might be underestimated, misunderstood, or not considered - at least in my own circumstance. I often remain impatient, yet agree that patience is so important.

Can you say what patience means to you - perhaps as it relates to understanding oneself?
Permalink Reply by Di Kaylor on November 22, 2013 at 4:23pm
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Thanks for asking, Don. The more I study patience, however, the further I have to go to learn about it and learn to practice it.  Really.  But here's my thinking around it:

My father was a mason, and he often enough said “Time, patience and perseverance will enable us to accomplish all things.”  By definition, patience implies a calm sense of self, regardless of perceived difficulties.  It’s at the core of virtues, following generosity of spirit and ethical harmony, to me.  You need these basic virtues to cope with the practice of all other virtues.

As I began to study the paramitas, I read how compassion requires patience.  It endures, cutting the strings of sorrow, fortifying us against destructive emotions, especially anger.  In application, early in life, my mother had taught me that my response to difficulties (and difficult people) depended more on my overall attitude and philosophies, more than anything it said about others.  I didn't think of patience then, but over time, I clearly relate to being patient if you want change something.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is cited as saying “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will be powerless to vex your mind.”

To change things in this world, to act in the real world with wisdom, the sage has to function clearly and with discipline, without letting that tear dry on his/her cheek (as in the Voice of the Silence):

"Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.

Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer's eye.

But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.

These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal."

 

Permalink Reply by Sharisse on November 22, 2013 at 11:52am
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When I read this chapter in The Gita (which wasn't too long ago), it became a huge reality check, from my perspective. Just the amount of difference between a ‘normal’ being (for lack of better words) and a Higher being. Not so much in the sense of personal desires and materialism, but in the very fact of being a parent. It might not look like a huge difference on paper to be able to have the spiritual knowledge of a Sage, yet to obtain that separation from the senses in my little part of the corner here, is just like seeing the difference between us and an ant, sure it sounds easy, but the discipline it takes is not so easy. In the very heart of adversity my main fears is the health and overall well being of my child, I can forgo myself, for the most part without too much problem, however, it’s my child I cannot forgo. The one thing I am not sure how to let go of and know (have that faith), that he will be okay and my motherly protectiveness is unfounded. The anxiety, fear and anger that comes with being a parent over our children might not allow me to obtain that level (or even getting to the beginning of it) of Sageyness in this life, and that is okay because I can still be a warrior for the voiceless. Knowing we are still one with Kesh helps me see that my duty now is not of myself.

When my child is at stake, I don't think I can be objective, as much as I could try. It will always be subjective and tumultuous. It seems the only way to even be able to restrain from anything would be inwardly, right now. It might look like a minute detail, but the reality of it, in my view, is a big difference.

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on November 22, 2013 at 1:28pm
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This is wonderful Sharisse. I think we can all recognize that where the real power of the Gita lies, is in its actual application in our everyday lives. Krishna is sharing insights with us that can act as sure-fire guides (not in the sense of rules to be followed in X or Y situation, but in the sense of a full-scale approach to life that differs from what most of us are accustomed to).

I think the parallels between the situation of being a parent and the situation Arjuna finds himself in are many. After all, isn't Arjuna kind of a "parent" to a whole realm of people? He's their leader, their guardian. And as Krishna reminds him, he has a duty to perform in that role. So too does a parent have a duty to their child. So when you say that "The one thing I am not sure how to let go of and know (have that faith), that he will be okay and my motherly protectiveness is unfounded," I would say that "letting go" doesn't necessarily make the motherly protectiveness unfounded. That protection is part of your duty to your child, just as Arjuna has a duty to protect the people of his kingdom. And when Krishna tells him not to get caught up in the results, but still to obey his duty, he's not telling Arjuna that his duty of protection of his people is unfounded: he's actually telling him that it's imperative to his role in the world in that incarnation.

I think this all leads us to a kind of "middle way", which we see clearly in Buddha's teachings: we all have our duty (our dharma) to perform, and the fulfillment of our life is the performance of that duty, but we don't have control over the results. Your child is his own self with his own character and will, and it is your duty as mother (in my view) to help him grow, nourish him, protect him while he needs protection, etc., but in the end the control over who and what he will become is out of your hands (and perhaps that is the part to be "let go" of?). So, to my view, a parent needs to be "attached" in a certain sense: they need to be attached to the well-being of their child, but they can be detached from the results of what providing that well-being might lead to (which must be left up to karma, and to the dharma of the child).

Permalink Reply by Di Kaylor on November 22, 2013 at 4:42pm
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Well reasoned.  My friend once said that she once thought her duty to her child was to love him, when really her duty was to raise him to well functioning adult and citizen. She didn't love him less, she just saw her parental "job" differently. 

Using that unqualified "motherly protectiveness" can help teach us about compassion for others.  And it can be a tough example, when you see your immediate response is far from it. Once I had to trust my dear dog to a stranger, when I was unable to protect him.  And suddenly I saw I could lose all my polite comradery and literally threaten someone if my anything unfortunate were to happen.  At the time I thought, Where did that come from?  Now I wonder how I could learn to love others as fiercely.  Spiritual warriors have a fierce nature, don't they?  Parents are the first to teach us the power of loving care.  Didn't Buddha say to treat everyone as your own dear mother?

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on November 22, 2013 at 1:31pm
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"His mind is undisturbed in adversity..."

What does it mean for a mind to be "undisturbed"?

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 22, 2013 at 2:41pm
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Interesting question.

It seems that what we learn here in the Gita leads us to believe that the consciousness of the Sage is centered in the Light, centered in the heart of Life, centered in the Real and in the Eternal.  This focus goes unbroken, undeterred, uninterrupted, "undisturbed" despite any activity in the world.  Hence one of the qualities of the Sage we often hear about is the abiding calmness and serenity factor.  Of course this can be play acted by the imitator so the real test is when things go "badly", are we then thrown off balance? And what makes us lose the focus? the connection?

This continuity of consciousness is undisturbed in the sage, it is unbroken.  The average person has a hard enough time keeping their mind focused on the task at hand for more than a few contiguous moments.  What would it be like to be undisturbed entirely in that connection to the Light?  We can only imagine. Most of us are cut off from Light except for small glimmerings.  But the very exercise of trying to imagine the state of mind of the Yogi, the Muni, is a therapeutic one. It prepares the mind and heart for the spiritual muscle needed to maintain the connection.  This is why Gandhi made it a daily exercise to contemplate the portrait of the Self-Governed Sage every day I believe.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 26, 2013 at 9:59am
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This undisturbed, serenity factor has been tested in the most severe way with the Dalai Lama. He has witnessed and lived through some of the most horrible circumstances in memory with the hellish treatment of his people at the hands of the Chinese.  Yet despite these events he has maintained his commitment to principle, his good will towards the Chinese, and has been undeterred in his efforts to secure autonomy and peace for Tibetans.  He has been through the fire you might say.

Permalink Reply by Don Petros on November 26, 2013 at 11:37am
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Di, thanks a lot for the reply. You say:

"patience..(is) at the core of virtues, following generosity of spirit and ethical harmony, to me. You need these basic virtues to cope with the practice of all other virtues."

I think you're right. I think this condition of mind called 'patience' may be hastily glossed over too often, and understimated as to what it really is. I think patience takes a very faithful condition of mind - one that trusts in the order of things. It would be a mind that doesn't need to insert or assert itself and can wait for the 'karmic script' (love that phrase) to unfold. I hope to have such a mind. It takes quite an effort.. It must be a very good thing for us to have patience.