The Guide Within

The Sense of The Bhagavad Gītā

“The vision of a higher Godhead imparted to Arjuna was an inner vision of a divine amplitude of an endless eternal creation, contained in the “Womb and Form” of the highest Person, from whom Gods and Goddesses rose and in whom all are sustained in His cosmic play of forces”

If reason could judge everything according to visible, human standards, we might end up creating a marvellously looking world outside, an expression of a perfect ethical and moral temperament, which uses reason and other mind-measuring instruments as its indispensable aids in its search after some stable truth and law of social governance. But reason has an inherent defect of a self-limiting ideal, and it does not seek the truer and larger plenitudes of the Spirit, nor does it allow itself to be possessed by a greater intelligence of the Spirit and transformed of its essential, self-limiting nature into a limitless expression of a divine Intuition. And, even if reason becomes luminous and centred on an infallible sense of divine action, it may not be able to direct the lower nature to perfect action, if the heart of men remains weak emotionally or attached to the transient joys of life and its little sorrows. A reason satisfied of its moral shackles is nothing more than a progressive aberration of a stubborn, egoistic mentality.

Neither the infantile reason nor the emotional heart can seek perfection in action, and it is only by a higher or inner aid that these two can ascend into the nature of a higher Spirit. All spiritual action is primarily a movement of an inner Spirit, the hidden Deity in us all, who is also the Master of the universe, the one transcendent God with whom we can get into an intimate relationship and even dwell in His nature in an ineffable spiritual oneness, if we gave ourselves entirely to His infallible workings.

The defect of reason, especially that of its external counterpart, is that it seeks to act always out of a certain ethical proposition, seeks always to judge merit and outcome of things based on moral values, but when it comes to spiritual action, of which it has no idea, it still tries to execute the divine impulse to action by a heightened sense of ethics and morality and also, by gauging the circumstances and conditions in which such an action is to be carried out for the sake of the Divine. Arjuna wanted to retreat back from the filed of action, because the demand of Sri Krishna was too high a price to be paid in blood; according to him, it was a moral umbrage to seek the death of his own kin and mount his kingdom on the fallen structure of a bloody massacre.

While reason of man has its own woes, his heart is another difficulty which needs to be set right, if divine action were to be possible at all. The thinking intelligence, while it judges and tries to modify the divine action to suit the moral framework, the heart, on the other hand, raises emotional objections to it and creates a deep discord between the dynamic Spirit and the harmonious realisation of its will in the nature and movement of spiritual action in the terrestrial. Action at the higher mental plane is less hampered and more spontaneous, more receptive to the ideation of a higher divine Consciousness, but at the lower mental levels, it becomes less receptive to the higher impulsion, becomes a labour and a difficulty of a prodding mind, endowed with a recalcitrant vital and rigid physical.

While we may state with certainty of spiritual experience that all impulsion towards perfect action comes from the higher spiritual planes chiefly, yet we may find that the nurturing ground for the spiritual action and its perfect intensity of manifestation lies in the heart of the individual; it is where the formative impulse of the Spirit becomes an intense movement towards utter fulfilment in the external field, and if the human heart is impure and attached to lower impulsions, desires, preferences, liking and disliking etc., this divine action of the Spirit will not express itself there or with its brilliant certitude and native movement; in the unprepared nature, it will be impaired of its larger synthesis and constricted to the limitations of a quivering heart.

It is only a great Power within us which can build the spiritual foundation for a harmonious action out of a spiritual self-seeing, in which both the thinking intelligence and the heart are purified of their shortcomings and shown the high purpose of God and His will in the terrestrial world through a mysterious process of self-becoming of the ego-individual into a collective personality of the Divine, for he sees the whole creation in himself and yet, takes part in the individual action and fulfilment of the Divine. But the great, indecipherable Self within us cannot be subject to the scrutinies of reason or to the emotional dictates of the heart, for, to demand the Divine to follow the rules of our morality and ethical practices is to maim the possibilities of our higher evolution towards the illimitable heights of a greater Truth beyond the lower nature.

“He is the impetuous river of light, flowing into the lower mud; he is verily the fertile being of the Divine”

Evolution does not progress by the footprints of reason or intellectual thinking; it moves by a hidden movement of an aspiring being on the ground, a being of spontaneous action and fulfilment, but rather confined to the deepest crevices of our heart and from there he occasionally casts his influence on the lower members only to be rejected by them. The Psychic being is the evolving soul in man, and he is no longer a dwarf-infinity or of the size of the human thumb as the Veda has declared; he has assumed himself the nature of a divine being here to expedite the process of our rather slow evolution into a direct, boundless movement of a higher divine Consciousness. He is the impetuous river of light, flowing into the lower mud; he is verily the fertile being of the Divine. The Gita does not speak of the Psychic, but we assume that it is imperative to the present discussion and supremely relevant to the seeker after a higher Truth in the present hour of his search within for the divine Guide.

Sri Krishna sums up the process and method of surrender to the Divine within, but does not go into an occult explanation of the processes towards finding the Divine within oneself, nor were they needed for his purpose, for he was not speaking to an Yogin, but to a Kshatriya, whose knowledge of the matters of the Spirit is more scholarly, aided by a partial, inner experience than a living experience of the Yogin. Even for men well-versed with occult practices, it is exceedingly difficult to find the inner Presence, and they most likely do not find it, for their seeking is primarily a seeking for the possession of occult powers, with which they often dabble and dazzle others, but for the inner seeking or to find in oneself the divine Presence it is nothing more than a hindrance and only makes the human ego stronger and more unreceptive to the right impulse.

For the trained Yogin living in the deeper truth of his being, these siddhis are a natural movement of the Spirit and a consequence of his Yoga, and he sees behind them the supreme impulse of the Divine, guiding them towards their assigned roles here as elsewhere. So, it is not in these powers that we can find our guidance to perfect action, but rather behind the Psychic one finds the all-knowing divine Presence. The nature of the Psychic in its action is to act as a passport to our own Divinity within, to safely carry us beyond all dangers to the ineffable divine Presence, and to find it is a first, indispensable step towards finding the right sense behind each and every action.

The reader has to excuse the author for positing the sense of a self-evident spiritual truth, such as the presence of the Psychic in man, when we find no mention of it in the actual text of the Gita, but as I have emphasised already, to relevantly classify the different strata of the inner world and find in them the relevant truth for the common ground, on which the sense of a perfect divine action can be founded, because in truth, all conscious impulse to action arises out of a divine, dynamic Purusha within, the highest Ishwara in the individual, and whom the Avatar embodies in the battlefield.

“He dwells there stationed in the ever-growing intensity of the truth of that divine Form and so manifests the inmost will and action of that formidable Spirit upon the world and above”

The vision of a higher Godhead imparted to Arjuna was an inner vision of a divine amplitude of an endless eternal creation, contained in the “Womb and Form” of the highest Person, from whom Gods and Goddesses rose and in whom all are sustained in His cosmic play of forces; even the Asuras derive their strength and existence from Him and line up against Him in the battlefield, and this Arjuna sees out of a quivering mind with his nerves almost shattered by the intolerable intensity of the divine Form, and implores Him to show him the form of divine beauty instead. To the trained, occult eye of the Yogin, the form of the universal Divine signifies a decisive inner churning, the arrival of his soul to the culmination of a perfect perfection in his urge and impulsion, in the conduct of his being as well as the execution of action, and he dwells there “stationed in the ever-growing intensity of the truth of that divine Form and so manifests the inmost will and action of that formidable Spirit upon the world and above”.

The Guide of our Yoga shows us His highest form, when we have passed beyond all reasoning and lower passions and desires to effect an inward change in us so that we may find the purpose of our existence here as well as the purpose for which we must act, for action is the first rule of existence and, from amoeba to amphibian, from the inveterate plant to the swift animal, from the primitive humanoid to the modern man, everything acts willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously and moves towards a higher form of Nature in her process of self-ascent into the nature of a gnostic Spirit here in the evolution of consciousness.

The law of divine action follows the principle of an already involved Truth here in the evolution of consciousness, but in man this hidden Truth becomes more apparent through his senses, feelings, perceptions etc., but hardly cognisable in its essential light. Human action relies more on his sensory impulse backed by a vital instinct or a mental drive or both, seeks through it the gratification of his ego-personality, but it equally abhors the sombre touch of pain, while to pleasure it is all open and poses a welcome. The lower trinity of our being is prone to the duality of Nature and her extraordinary machinations; it is a dull, half-conscious cord of a hidden Life-principle, throbbing with somnambulist impulses and is rattled often by the hard touches of Nature and her unrelenting processes. Though endowed with a reasoning mind and intellectual light, the lower being of man is unable to rise into a higher Light or find in its depths the necessary Power to turn all its ordinary movements into a stable movement of the Spirit, free from the duality of lower experience, free from errors of lower consciousness and free indeed from all wrong and imperfect impulse to action. It is this self-determining Presence of the Divine which we have to find in ourselves; it is a Presence to which the Psychic in us has a natural access, and finding this evolutionary soul within our hearts is the first radical step to finding the all-immanent divine Presence in man, and indeed to finding a divine perfection in action, aided by the supreme divine Presence within.

End of part 6

The sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Introduction

The sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Sense of Nationalism

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Forms of Governance

The sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Vidya or Education

The sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Sign and Symbol of a Teacher

The sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Nature and Dynamics of Spiritual Action

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