Home » Books » Lessons from The Bhagawad Gita: Am I a Seeker?

Lessons from The Bhagawad Gita: Am I a Seeker?

This week we discussed three verses from Karma Yoga that talked about what differentiates a Seeker.

My key takeaways from this week’s lesson:

sadrsam cestate svasyahprakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani , nigrahah kim karisyati

1)As I embark on this journey of understanding the lessons in the Bhagawad Gita, I constantly remind myself that just being knowledgeable about Karma Yoga does not make me a Karma yogi. I have to walk the path, abide by the teachings and apply what I have learnt to reach a state of sthitapragya (steady intellect). I know the journey is long and arduous. What matters is that I have begun the journey. Therefore I am a Seeker.

2) I understand and appreciate the fact that even though I may succeed in grasping the essence of the Gita, my natural instincts of thought, will still interfere in the way I view behave and deal with people. I have to consciously put to practice, the learning. I dare not call myself a Seeker, if I blame all my actions on my natural instincts of the mind.

3) Despite my conscious efforts of referencing the lessons from the Gita to go about my life, if I fail and continue to blame my nature for the way I deal with things, people and situations around me, then I will give myself time to evolve. I will accept that I am not ready for higher learning. I am reminded of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

4) I know and understand that I cannot choose to be a Seeker on a few days of the week or only when it suits me. I will consciously allow the teachings of the Gita to interfere with my nature and learn to channel my train of thought to be worthy of being called a Seeker.

indriyasyendriyasyarthe, raga-dvesau vyavasthitau
tayor na vasam agacchet, tau hy asya paripanthinau

5) The fact I like a certain person, food, or activity has nothing to do with how fabulous the person, the food or activity is. Similarly, my dislike of a person, food or activity has nothing to do with how terrible the person food or activity is.  Any attachment or aversion I feel is decided by how I have filed the information in my mind as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, how my mind perceives the external stimuli. My buddhi (intellect) is ultimately responsible for how I deal with external stimuli (person, food or activity)

6) As a Seeker, I am expected to be in control of my buddhi. When my buddhi is in control, then my natural instincts stop controlling how I perceive external stimuli and allows me to experience the stimuli without judging them as good or bad. As a Seeker, I have to learn to be less caught up in my own drama. I have to unlearn to be a happy victim of my life.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah, para-dharmat svanusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah, para-dharmo bhayavahah

7) I choose to be at peace with who I am instead of yearning to be like someone else. My personality (Svabhava) is the external manifestation of my predetermined inborn nature (Svadharma). Just to please someone, if I place a constraint on my natural inclinations and alter my personality to be someone else that I am naturally not, then the pretence only hurts and does not keep me happy in the long term.

8) My personality does not depend on where I was born or to whom, which religion I belong to or what caste. It largely is the result of my thoughts, shaped by my past. To be at peace with the choices I make, I should act according to my thoughts, however imperfect or flawed they are. I have to let my true nature make the choices and not force myself to follow the choices someone else makes for me – even though the alternate choices may be the right or a better choice. By doing that, I help purge my way of thinking, and that alone will let me adapt to a newer way of thought.

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One thought on “Lessons from The Bhagawad Gita: Am I a Seeker?

  1. Nice post. I like the selection, interpretation and summary.

    The ‘seeker’ concept is integral and has deep connections to our belief and faith.
    However, the passages can be read in many ways and the embedded message interpreted in multiple layers. Being a realist I disagree with some of the allegorical and sometimes conflicting references provided. This is not specific to your writing but my general opinion with such spiritual topics. Have always argued that conscious control defeats the ‘seeking’, instead the decision and passion ‘to seek’ will involuntarily drive and sustain one in the continuum. One will never be able to say I have ‘seeked’, it can never be a destination unless the destination is crystal, and unfortunately no text cuts it clear.

    Feel blessed to be able to question, contradict and interpret the Gita…. and therein lies the faiths greatness and enigma.

    Keep writing..Seriya?

    O-N-E

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