In the Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna wonders how even the equanimity of men of wisdom and discrimination gets disturbed – so much so that they abandon the path of righteousness. Even hermits who live in seclusion far away from the hustle and bustle of a life full of distractions and challenges, feel inclined to give up the path of renunciation and revert to a life as householder. Arjuna wants to know from Krishna, the real nature of negative forces that torment the minds of human beings and brings about their downfall. In the Gita’s third chapter, verse 36-37, Krishna explains that desire and wrath are two negative forces which are devoid of compassion and are regarded as serpents in the storehouse of knowledge; lustful thoughts occupy their minds as a result of which their equanimity is disturbed. They represent the demonic forces which are strengthened by ignorance and are diametrically opposed to spiritual wisdom and the path of righteousness. These demonic forces have a voracious appetite; when pangs of hunger attack them they can easily gobble up the entire universe and still remain dissatisfied. Sant Jnaneshwar says that these demonic forces are so powerful that “they kill without weapons, bind without rope and strike down a wise man for a wager”. True knowledge Attainment of true knowledge is thus a task of gigantic proportions. Wisdom, howsoever pure it may be, is surrounded by negative forces; as a result, attainment of divine knowledge is rendered virtually very difficult, if not impossible. So, a person desirous of attaining supreme knowledge, should first–by using his power of discrimination and power of will- annihilate the negative forces of maya which are impediments on the spiritual path. In his commentary on the Gita, Swami Sivananda acknowledges the power of the senses, but says that even more powerful than the senses is the mind; the mind we know is subservient to the superior intelligence which cannot function independent of supreme wisdom, the ultimate Reality. So, the discriminating seeker takes refuge in supreme wisdom through spiritual techniques of yoga and meditation and, over a period of time, succeeds in bringing the mind under control. And once the mind is rendered pure, the home of all sinful actions is demolished. This, in turn, paves the way for the attainment of Self-realization-the ultimate goal of human life. Only connect Thus, the seeker who succeeds in getting connected with the vast, inner realms of Consciousness, beyond the mind and the senses, through deep meditation, is able to overcome the lower self, the ego, which is the root cause of the arising of desires. When the seeker abides in the state of equality consciousness, the lower forces of attraction and repulsion die a natural death. After having attained the state of supreme wisdom, that is, Self-realization, the seeker should make all possible efforts to ensure that he remains firmly anchored in that blessed state.
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