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How does He walk the walk? PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

arjuna uvaca
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
samadhi-sthasya kesava
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim

Arjun speaks:
How does a centered person talk?
What is his language?
How does he sit and?
How does such a person walk? ||2:54||

The difference is obvious. Is it the same Arjuna whom we heard in the beginning part of Gita? His questions have a different flavor. He is no more talking of fear of death and he is no more talking about the sequels of war. The questions are more personal. He is curious. And so are we. We all want to know what Arjuna wants to know. Arjuna is now on a different track. And this is what Krishna wanted to do.

It is important to note that Arjuna’s thought process has changed. It is equally important to see how Krishna did this. Arjuna was confused because of his moha (deep rooted attachments). He did not want to and could not have even if he wanted to, fight with the Kauravas, in that state of being. Krishna is his saarathi (charioteer). Arjuna had specifically requested Krishna to come with him. It was wrong timing for Arjuna to behave this way. What could have happened to his brothers? What could have been the state of Draupadi? If it were you and I in Krishna’s position, we would have given a big lecture to Arjuna about all these. I would have been angry and upset myself. After all it was an insult to me as well. I came to help him at his request and he says he would not fight. How dare he? This happens because our minds carry a baggage. It is not empty. Krishna does not carry such baggage and therefore can see Arjuna’s problem clearly. Krishna does not take this common path. He takes the high road.

How does Krishna do it and how can we get there. Watchfulness is the key. Awareness to the activities of the mind is the highway. Old habits will always be there. Even if your mind is not empty try it a few times. You come home and find that your brother is upset for nothing. He is absolutely wrong. Normally you have the compulsion to point out that he is wrong. It is your duty. Forget your duty for a moment and just let him be. Shower your love on him; just your normal brotherly love. Your brother is expecting a different response than what he gets. There is no guarantee, but he does not know how to respond to your not so usual response. More than likely there will be no arguments.

Osho has talked on a Zen master Ta Hui:

“When old habits suddenly arise, don't use your mind to repress them. At just such a time, it's like a snowflake on a red-hot stove.

Somebody insults you -- you don't have to be angry, but suddenly you find anger arising. It is not an effort; it is just an old habit, an old reaction. Don't fight with it, don't try to smile and hide it. Just watch it, and it will come and it will go.... Like a snowflake on a red-hot stove.”

Old habits are hard to die. I had learned driving in India and when I came to England the hardest part was to unlearn my bad driving habits. Krishna is already there and is pulling Arjuna towards that state of existence. Arjuna is with him now. And, he wants to know more. He wants to know how a centered steady person behaves? We all want to know. Arjuna’s question is a universal one. I want to know how to know a sat Guru from the fake one. Sometimes the fake ones look more authentic.

Mind has to be used in real life. Krishna has to use his mind to communicate with Arjuna. A surgeon has to use his mind to operate. A centered person also talks, walks and eats his meals. So what is the difference? How can Arjuna tell the difference between a Krishna and an ordinary person? It is usually relatively easy to differentiate between a good person and a bad person. But it is not always that easy. Osama Bin Laden is a bad person for many, but is a hero for his fans.

It is, however, harder to differentiate between men with a controlled mind from those with an awakened mind. There are many sadhus and sanyasis who have perfect control of their mind and senses. They act out in public so well. But they are not there yet. On the surface they appear perfect. Inside, it is a different picture. An awakened person is peaceful inside. His mind has disappeared. The peace surrounding him outside is simply a reflection of his inner peace.

A controlled person is simply imitating. He is putting on a persona, a mask. And that is always a problem. Authenticity is lost. It is similar to trying to fit into a size 5 shoes that we like so much even though the actual feet size is 10. There will be a lot of torture, but the appearance is so nice. This is not only true for an individual, but also true for a nation. India for example is a secular nation and wants to stay that way. Mahatma Gandhi used (ahimsa) non-violence in the 1940s and India has to follow non-violence to the brink. India of today has to fit its image of ‘restrictive secularism and a flawed non-violence,’ no matter what the consequences are. I call the current Indian secularism restrictive because it is biased and I call the current concept of non-violence flawed because it allows violence against the self.

No, Krishna is not ready to follow ready-made paths. No awakened person will. He takes Arjuna’s mess as an opportunity to change Arjuna’s whole being. And it so happens that we have the same technology available through the words of Bhagavadgita. Let us continue our journey with Arjuna and get there one day.

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