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Three steps to decisiveness PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

Satsangatve nissangatvam
Nissangatvey nirmohatvam
nirmohatvey nischaltattvam
nischaltattvey jeevanmuktih.

|| Bhaj Govindam (9)||


We have already discussed two of the four steps to samadhi before. The first is non-attachment and is the beginning. The key to attachment is thoughts and the key to non-attachment is awareness to these thoughts. Once we get identified with the thought process, the attachment begins. Detachment also begins with thoughts; it is a sort of reverse attachment. Becoming a witness to the thoughts, doing what Buddha calls and Goenka teaches today as Vipassana, leads by and by to non-attachment. There are several such techniques and can be grouped in one word as meditation. Shankaracharya calls any such technique that leads to non-attachment as satsang.

Attachment and detachment both lead to moha (call it deep attachment or call it desire complex). The person gets intoxicated with this moha. We are all walking around with a little anger, a little hatred, a little jealousy and a little frustration. It is our usual state of being. On the surface we may look calm but the anger is simmering underneath waiting to erupt. All it needs a stimulus. We all need varying degree of stimulus and are more than ready to explode. Most of the times the explosion or eruption is not in our control. It just happens. Being aware of these states about us is the starting point of moving towards dropping of the moha (desire-complex). It happens slowly. By and by it is not difficult to realize that the problem is inside us and not outside in the stimulus. I am not angry because my secretary did not do what I said, I am angry because anger is inside me. This does not mean that I will worship the secretary. If the secretary does not do what is in her job description, appropriate action will need to be taken, but anger will not have a place in that decision-making.

When we are under the effect of moha, our intellect is divided. The intellect or buddhi is pulled apart in different directions by different self-interest desires. The son wants one thing, the daughter another and the wife has her own expectations. And I have to meet all of those at the same time. It is like a session in the Indian Parliament. Many times the session has to be halted and postponed, because one desire makes so much noise.

Shankara here says that once the moha is dropped then one gets to nischaltattva. This is what Krishna calls ek-buddhi. The person who reaches this state has also been termed sthitapragya or yogi by Krishna. And as far as I can see this part of Krishna or Shankara has not been fully comprehended. If these aspects were understood then no body would have ever called eastern thinking as negative.

We usually skip this step number three in our spiritual understanding. Once moha is dropped we jump to the last step of jeevan mukti or samaadhi. In my mind we have just become free of intoxication. We just have come out of an intensive treatment of our alcohol problem. The conditioning has just been shaken off. Now we have to for the first time enjoy life as a free person. And such a person for the first time can be decisive. He has reached to this ek-buddhi (because there is no similar word in English, I have used the word decisiveness or sometimes the word clarity). Then there is no fight between right and wrong or good and bad. Right and wrong or good and bad are all relative. Krishna, Buddha or Shankara do not do anything because it is right or wrong. They are not eager for a seal of approval from the majority. But they all have done karma. They have all used their intellect (buddhi). And whatever karma they do or did is always right for the existence. It may not have been good for Duryodhana, but it was right for the sake of Dharma. Krishna did not do it for Arjuna or Pandavas, he did it in the interest of whole existence. If there is no personal interest, interest of whole existence becomes your interest.

In fact it is not possible to take a wrong decision when you have no personal desires or interest. It is almost impossible to understand how we can live without any interest or desires. It is like living with a group of alcoholics. If everyone is drunk and life continues, it will be impossible to imagine a life without alcohol. Anyone who will try to live without alcohol will have severe alcohol withdrawal. And the argument will build up as to why put someone through such a torture. Human rights questions will crop up. But we all know that it is better to lead a life without the addiction of alcohol. Similarly, a life without the intoxication of desire complex is better, but we cannot comprehend it because it is not in our immediate grasp.

Life can and will continue without desires and interests. And this is a life of divine properties. For the first time intellect is not divided. The person has centered. No stimulus can disturb the flame. Karma flows spontaneously from such a person and buddhi (intellect) co-operates fully and is always undivided. Clarity ensues. It is so wonderful to be there. You can not only witness the coolness in yourself, but you can clearly see how someone is making his whole being suffer in anger or hatred. Have you ever really noticed others or yourself how your whole being is taken over by anger or hatred and the whole body starts shaking. The face gets all twisted up. Is it all worth it? If you would like to get to this nischaltattvam, start from the first step and that is, “satsangatvey nissangatvam.” And before you know it, by and by, you will get to this third stop, “nirmohatvey nischal-tattvam.” We shall examine the fourth step in our next columns.

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