THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 2

[Previous: THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 1]
[NOTE: The following translation of the Sanskrit verses into English is obtained from Srimad Bhagavad Gita, SADHAKA SANJIVANI by Swami Ramsukhdas, published by Govind Bhawan Karyalaya, Gita Press, GorakhpurINDIA. For original comments please consult the above book. Abbreviated comments are provided here by Vinaire.]

Chapter 1 summary:

Duryodhana mentioned the great warriors of the two armies but Dronacharya did not utter any word. So Duryodhana became sad. Then Bhisma blew his conch loudly to cheer Duryodhana. Hearing the sound of his conch, the conchs, drums and cow-horns etc., of the Kaurava-army and the Pandava-army blared forth. Afterwards (from the twentieth verse) the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna began.

Arjuna asked Lord Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies. The Lord, having placed the chariot between the two armies in front of Bhisma and Drona etc., asked Arjuna to behold those Kurus. Having seen his kinsmen Arjuna was filled with so much compassion and sadness that he put aside his bow and arrows, and sat on the seat of the chariot.

Second Chapter:

Sanjaya starts the second chapter in order to tell Dhritarashtra what Lord Krishna said to Arjuna when he was overwhelmed with grief.

.

Sanjaya said:

Madhusudana (He who destroyed the demon named Madhu, Krishna) addressed the following words to Arjuna who was overwhelmed with compassion and drowned in distress and whose eyes were clouded with tears of despondence. (II-1)

 .

The blessed Lord said:

Arjuna, how has this infatuation overtaken you at this odd hour? It is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven nor fame to you. (II-2)

O Partha (son of Prtha viz. Kunti), yield not to unmanliness. It does not befit you. Cast off this petty faint-heartedness and wake up, O vanquisher (scorcher) of foes. (II-3)

There existed suppression of the populace brought about by the injustice and cruelty rampant under the rule of the Kauravas. The Pandavas had resolved to fight that oppression. Now Lord Krishna finds Arjuna wavering from that resolve. He points that out as faint-hearedness due to infatuation of attachment.

.

Arjuna said:

O slayer of Madhu, O slayer of foes, how shall I fight Bhisma and Drona with arrows on the battlefield? Both of them are worthy of worship. (II-4)

It is better to live on alms in this world than to slay these noble elders, because after killing them we shall enjoy only blood-stained pleasures in the form of wealth and sense-enjoyment. (II-5)

We don’t know which is preferable for us to fight or not to fight, nor do we know whether we shall win or whether they will conquer us. The sons of Dhritarashtra, by killing whom we don’t even wish to live, are arrayed against us. (II-6)

My nature is weighed down with the vice of faint-heartedness and my mind is confused with regard to duty. I entreat you, tell me what is decidedly good for me. I am your disciple. Do instruct me who has taken refuge in you. (II-7)

Even on obtaining undisputed sovereignty and an affluent kingdom on this earth and Lordship over the gods, I don’t see any remedy that can remove the grief which is drying up my senses. (II-8)

.

Sanjaya said:

After addressing the lord of the senses thus, Arjuna, the conqueror of sleep, said to Him, “I’ll not fight,” and became silent. (II-9)

O Bharata (Dhritarashtra)! Sri Krishna, the lord of senses, as if smiling, addressed the following words to desponding Arjuna in the midst of the two armies. (II-10)

Lord Krishna understood immediately that the wavering of Arjuna came from his emotional attachment to some of his opponents in this conflict. This attachment deluded Arjuna from seeing how these same individuals were supporting the unjust and cruel rule of the Kauravas.

We all are familiar with situations in our lives where we have faced such internal conflicts that were intensely overwhelming to us. We have struggled and have desperately wished for a way out. The Bhagavad Gita addresses this dilemma.

.

The Blessed Lord said:

Arjuna, you grieve for those who should not be grieved for, yet speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. (II-11)

In fact there was never a time when I or you or these kings were non-existent. Nor is it a fact that we shall cease to be in the future. (II-12)

Just as boyhood, youth and old age are attributed to the soul through this body, even so it attains another body. The wise man does not get deluded about this. (II-13)

An out-of-box thinking is presented here. We are upset when there is a loss. Death seems to be the worst possible loss. But death is nothing more than a transition of name and form. The deeper reality is never destroyed. What is truly real does not cease to be relevant with the death of the body.

.

O son of Kunti, the sense-objects, which give rise to the feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc., are transitory and fleeting, therefore, Arjuna bear them patiently viz., remain unaffected by them or ignore them. (II-14)

O the best of men, the man to whom pain and pleasure are alike and who is not tormented by these sense-objects, becomes eligible for immortality. (II-15)

The unreal has no existence and the real never ceases to be; the truth of both has been perceived by the seers of Truth. (II-16)

Know that to be imperishable by which all this world is pervaded; for none can bring about the destruction of the indestructible. (II-17)

These bodies of the imperishable, indefinable and eternal soul are spoken of as perishable. Therefore, O Arjuna, fight. (II-18)

Both of them are ignorant, he who holds the soul as slayer and he who considers it as slain; for the soul neither slays nor is slain. (II-19)

The soul is neither born nor does it die; nor does it become on coming into being. It is unborn, eternal, constant and primeval. It is not killed even when the body is slain. (II-20)

How can a man who knows this soul to be imperishable, eternal and free from birth and decay, O Partha, slay any one or cause any one to be slain? (II-21)

As a man discarding worn-out clothes puts on new ones, so the embodied soul, casting off worn-out bodies enters into others which are new. (II-22)

Weapons can’t cut the soul, nor can fire burn it, water can’t drench it nor can wind make it dry. (II-23)

The soul is uncleavable, incombustible, and neither can be wetted nor dried. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, constant and everlasting. (II-24)

This soul is unmanifest, unthinkable and immutable. Therefore, knowing it as such, you should not grieve. (II-25)

O mighty armed, even if you regard this soul as constantly undergoing birth and death, even then you should not grieve. (II-26)

Death is certain of him who is born and rebirth is certain of him who is dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable. (II-27)

O Bharata (Arjuna), all beings were unmanifest before they were born and will become unmanifest again when they are dead; they are manifest only in the intermediate stage. What is the point then for lamentation? (II-28)

One perceives the soul as marvelous, another speaks of it as marvelous, another hears of it as marvelous, while none knows it only by hearing of it. (II-29)

O Bharata, this soul residing in the bodies of all can never be slain. Therefore you should not grieve for any being. (II-30)

Krishna exhorts Arjuna to put attention on what is truly real and relevent and ignore all else. Sense objects, such as bodies, are perishable. The feelings from them are transitory and fleeting. These things are not relevant. On the other hand, the essence that pervades these sense objects never ceases to be. It is neither the cause nor effect of these sense objects. It is neither born nor can it be destroyed. It is beyond the transitory manifestations.

Krishna advises not to get attached to the transitory manifestations of sense objects and grieve for their loss, but to be established in the truly relevant essence beyond them.

Here we have the most critical teaching of the Bhagava Gita. The word ATMAN is translated as “soul” but it should not be confused with the concept of soul in Semitic religions (Judism, Christianity and Islam). The soul in these religions is defined in personal terms. This is not the case with atman, which is a universal concept. Atman is the real essence whereas any personal characteristics are associated with the form. The form is transitory. It is important to understand what the real essence (atman) is.

.

Looking at your own duty as well you should not waver, for there is nothing more welcome to a man of the warrior class than a righteous war. (II-31)

Happy (lucky) indeed are the Kshatriyas (Man of the warrior class), O Partha, who get such an unsolicited opportunity for war, which is an open gateway to heaven. (II-32)

If you don’t wage such a righteous war, then by abandoning your duty and forfeiting your honor, you will incur sin. (II-33)

All creatures will ever recount your undying infamy, and infamy is surely worse than death for a man enjoying popular esteem. (II-34)

The great chariot-warriors who held you in high esteem, will hold you lightly, thinking that you have desisted from the war out of fear. (II-35)

Your enemies, disparaging your strength, will speak many unbecoming words. What can be more distressing than this? (II-36)

Slain in battle you will gain heaven, gaining victory you will enjoy sovereignty of the earth; therefore, arise, O son of Kunti, determined to fight. (II-37)

Treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage yourself in the battle. Thus fighting you will incur no sin. (II-38)

Krishna reminds Arjuna that he is a Kshatriya, whose purpose  is to fight a righteous war. If a Kshatriya fails in this duty for any reason, his friends and foes alike would despise him. A Kshatriya must carry out his duty without any thought of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat. That is the reality in this war. It is the most essential factor.

If we keep our attention on the reality of the situation that concerns us, and on the most essential factors therein, we shall then be able to overcome any seeming feeling of loss and wrongdoing.

.

O Partha (Arjuna), this attitude of mind has been presented to you from the point of view of Jnanayoga ( the Discipline of Knowledge); now hear the same as presented from the point of view of Karmayoga (The Discipline of Selfless-Action). Equipped with this state of mind, you will be able to shake off completely the shackles of Karma (action). (II-39)

In this path (of disinterested action) there is no loss of effort, nor is there any adverse result. Even a little practice of this discipline protects one from great fear (of birth and death). (II-40)

O Joy of the Kurus, in this blessed path, the intellect is determinate and one-pointed, whereas the intellect of the undecided (infirm) is scattered in many directions and is endlessly diverse. (II-41)

Arjuna, those who are obsessed with desires, who look upon heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing beyond heaven & pleasures, and who are devoted to the letter of the Vedas, are unwise. They utter flowery speech recommending many acts of various kinds for the attainment of pleasure and prosperity with rebirth as their fruit. (II-42, 43)

Those whose minds are carried away by such flowery speech, who are attracted towards pleasures and who are deeply attached to pleasure and prosperity, can’t attain the determinate intellect concentrated on God. (II-44)

Krishna then explains to Arjuna that any action carried out selflessly does not affect the person because there is no self complicit in the situation. Thus there is no adverse result. A person who lives life selflessly, and who is focused on what is essential has no fear of birth and death.

Those who are obsessed with desires, and who look at pleasure, prosperity and heaven as the only goals, are unwise. Their intellect is scattered in many directions and they can’t focus on what is essential.

Thinking in personal terms of self is subjectivity. Thinking in universal (selfless) terms is objectivity. One should always assess a situation and then act upon it objectively.

 .

O Arjuna, the Vedas deal with the three Gunas (Attributes) and their evolutes. Be free from those attributes, rise above the pair of opposites, remain balanced, be unconcerned about the supply of wants and preservation of what has been already attained and get established in the self. (II-45)

A Brahmana, who has obtained enlightenment, has the same use for all the Vedas as one has for a small reservoir of water in a place flooded with water on all sides. (II-46)

Your right is to perform your duty only, but never lay claim to its fruit. Let not the fruit of action be your object, nor let your attachment be to inaction. (II-47)

O Dhananjaya (the conqueror of wealth), perform actions (duties) being fixed in Yoga, renouncing attachment, having become even-minded in success and failure; equanimity (equilibrium) is called Yoga. (II-48)

O Dhananjaya, action with a selfish motive is far inferior to that performed with equanimity of mind. Seek refuge in this evenness of mind, for wretched are those who crave for fruit of action. (II-49)

Endowed with equanimity, one frees oneself in this life from good (virtue) and evil (vice) alike; therefore, devote yourself to this yoga of equanimity; skill of action lies in (the practice of this) Yoga. (II-50)

Wise men endowed with equanimity, renouncing the fruits of actions, freed from the shackles of births, attain the blissful supreme state. (II-51) 

When your intellect crosses the mire of delusion you will then gain indifference to what has been heard and what is yet to be heard (about this world and the next). (II-52)

When your intellect confused by hearing conflicting doctrines, has become immovable and firm (steady) in meditation (on God), you will then attain Self-Realization or union with God. (II-53)

There is more bold thinking presented here. Krishna declares that one needs to free oneself even from the wants of ‘spritual gains’ promised in the Vedas, the highest scriptures of the time. There should be no desire to preserve ‘merits’ attained by following Vedas.  Such ‘attainments’ reduce in significance completely after one has reached enlightenment.

What is most relevant is the performance of one’s duty. The results shall follow; but laying claim to any results, or making results to be one’s object, is not relevant. When actions are performed with this detachment, neither success nor failure concerns one. Such equilibrium in action is called Karma Yoga. With this yoga, one frees oneself from the pair of opposites, such as, good and evil, alike, and attains a blissful supreme state.

Thus, by focusing on the very essence that is relevant one attains freedom.

. 

Arjuna said:

O Kesava, what is the mark of the man of steadfast wisdom, established in God? How does the man of firm wisdom speak, how does he sit and how does he walk? (II-54)

The Blessed Lord said:

O Partha (Arjuna), when a man abandons all the desires visiting the mind, and is satisfied in the self by the self, he is said to be stable in wisdom. (II-55)

He whose mind remains unperturbed in sorrows, who does not crave for pleasures, and who is free from passions, fear and anger is called the sage of stable wisdom. (II-56)

He who is unattached everywhere, who is neither delighted at receiving good, nor dejected at receiving evil, is poised (stable) in wisdom. (II-57)

When like a tortoise, which draws in its limbs from all directions, he withdraws his senses from sense-objects, his wisdom becomes stable. (II-58)

Sense-objects cease for him who does not enjoy them with his senses, but the taste for them persists. This relish also disappears of the man of stable mind when he intuits the Supreme. (II-59)

To satisfy Arjuna’s curiosity, Krishna then expounds on what it is like being totally focused on that, which is most relevant. It is observing things as they really are, not just as they seem to be. This is objectivity.

.

The turbulent senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise man who is practicing self-control. (II-60)

Having controlled all the senses a striver should sit for meditation, devoting himself heart and soul to Me. For his wisdom (mind) is stable (constant) whose senses are under control. (II-61)

Brooding on the objects of senses, a man develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire; from desire (unfulfilled) ensues anger. From anger arises delusion; from delusion, confusion of memory; from confusion of memory, loss of reason; and from loss of reason (discrimination), he goes to complete ruin. (II-62, 63)

But the self-controlled Yogi (practicant or striver), while enjoying the sense-objects with the senses, which are controlled and free from attraction and aversion, attains placidity of mind. With the attainment of such placidity of mind, all his sorrows come to an end; and the intellect of such a person of tranquil mind soon becomes firmly established in God. (II- 64, 65)

He who has not controlled his mind and senses can have no determinate intellect; nor can such an undisciplined man have the sense of duty. The man without having the sense of duty can have no peace; and how can there be happiness for one lacking peace? (II-66)

Just as the wind carries away a ship on the water, the mind that yields to anyone of the wandering senses takes away the discrimination of man. (II-67)

Therefore, O mighty-armed, his intellect is stable, whose senses are completely restrained from their objects. (II-68)

That which is night to all beings, in that state (of Divine Knowledge and Supreme Bliss) the self-controlled person keeps awake. And that (the ever changing worldly happiness) in which all beings keep awake is night to the enlightened seer. (II-69)

As waters of different rivers enter the ocean, which though full, remains undisturbed, likewise the man in whom all enjoyments merge themselves, attains peace, not he who hankers after such enjoyments. (II-70)

He, who gives up all desires, and moves free from the sense of mine, egoism, and thirst for necessities of life, attains peace. (II-71)

O Partha, such is the state of the God-Realized soul. Having attained this state, he overcomes delusion. Being established in this state even at the death hour, he attains Brahmic Bliss (Identification with the Absolute State). (II-72)

Krishna then explains how one gets established in such wisdom in a stable manner. One sits in meditation and focuses on what is relevant, such as, breathing. There is no effort to control anything else, not even how one breathes. Then let those things that are irrelevant swirl around and settle down on their own accord.

It is putting attention on what is irrelevant, which leads one into ruin. A person established in wisdom realizes this. He is focused in the essentials, which are beyond any desire, sense of ego, or thirst for life. Thus, he overcomes delusion. He is completely at peace even at the hour of his death.

.

NOTES:

  1. The Hindu religion starts with an examination of life in search of the ultimate reality that underlies all existence.

  2. The Hindu religion does not start with a concept of God that is an overpowering, separate, entity or beingness that must be obeyed.

  3. Attachment to perishable sense objects, and the feelings one gets from them, prevents one from looking at what is relevant and essential.

  4. One must simply look at things and recognize them for what they are.

  5. One must simply focus on the essentials, and let the rest settle down on its own accord.

.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • larry  On August 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Beautiful. Much more could be said about this prose. But the silence that followings the reading of it, will take care of that, individually. I trust (& am sure).

  • vinaire  On December 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I really love this wisdom:

    “Krishna then explains how one gets established in such wisdom in a stable manner. One sits in meditation and focuses on what is relevant, such as, breathing. There is no effort to control anything else, not even how one breathes. Then let those things that are irrelevant swirl around and settle down on their own accord.

    It is putting attention on what is irrelevant, which leads one into ruin. A person established in wisdom realizes this. He is focused in the essentials, which are beyond any desire, sense of ego, or thirst for life. Thus, he overcomes delusion. He is completely at peace even at the hour of his death.”

    • Chris Thompson  On December 6, 2012 at 7:06 AM

      My success and any harmony does seem to come to me in this way.

      So then do we have another scale? One with mindfulness at one end and something like ambition at the other end?

  • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Here is note from my schoolmate RK DIXIT:

    “I have penned my understanding .You may correct. I went through your blog -in bits -I found it very interesting. I will keep reading and raising questions for clarification.”

    .

    Chapter 2 essentially defines the following –

    1-Soul is indestructible and can not be subdivided .It was in past ,it is in present and it shall continue in future .Enters from one body to another .

    2-Body is destructible .

    3-One is supposed to follow his swadharm –(his allotted duties ).As soon as one is born ,his swadharm is decided .Duty towards nation ,duty towards society ,duty towards family and duty towards mankind as such all are fixed as soon as one takes birth .

    In short one is supposed to follow his Dharm .The Body should be used in service of Dharm .One must distinguish between soul and body so as to perform his duties not fearing the loss of body since it is destructible any way and soul is not destructible by any means .

    Further Soul is part of supersoul –(atma and parmatma ).And soul should not identify itself with body but rather use it to connect it and merge with Parmatma.-great permanent blissful God –Parmanand How ? By performance of his allotted duties . But reigning of Body is rather difficult .So further it has been detailed how to control body .

    To achieve the above one is supposed reign in intellect ,mind and body -gynendriya and karmendriya .

    Various techniques are detailed to achieve the goal .
    ________________________________________________________

    Now my doubts are –

    1-How one can visualize that He is complete bliss –Parmanand ? Once you achieve the position of ultimate bliss will you be able to recognize it since you shall not have anything for comparison ? and no identity of your own .I will love to see and realize Almighty instead of getting merged with him .

    2-If soul is part of God ,why it behaves irrationally associating itself with body .

    3-Rightly pointed out that concept of God created after Universe was formed to answer lot of questions .One has to put full stop somewhere to flight of imagination .
    ________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________

    -I think our Rishis were very wise guys .To create peace, harmony ,love and affection for progress of mankind ,they devised beautiful theories to put full stop somewhere to flight of our imagination.

    -Theory of rebirth specially propounded to explain the disparities in the society .

    -Rishi Vayas was very smart .He said everything through God .Nobody can challenge .

    Ultimately let me say –I am great believer in GOD .

    .

    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Hi RK,

      I don’t think I can answer all your questions in one go, so I shall take one point at a time,

      (1) In my opinion, body and soul are not two separate systems.

      More accurately, physical and spiritual seem to be two different aspects of a larger system. Physical and spiritual are not independent of each other as considered in Christianity. The idea that God created the universe is very simplistic. It does not provide an accurate picture.

      To me “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seem to form a sort of spectrum. There are no hard lines that separate one aspect from another. Let me know what you think.

      More later.

      Vinay

      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        [From my schoolmate PRAVIN GUPTA]

        Hi Vinay and RK,

        A way to explain the concept is:

        Life has two components – ethereal (spirit) and temporal (material) .

        The ethereal component of the life is unchangeable by its very nature. (Anything which changes is liable to degrade).
        As a result, no transactions are possible in the ethereal component. So there can be no feelings or emotions, as
        that implies a change of state.

        Thus all transactions can only occur in the physical form, which can change, and thus is liable to degrade.
        Knowledge in our temporal arena also changes, while in the ethereal arena it is boundless and infinite, and does not change.
        So, once we leave our temporal life, we automatically become a part of the divine, which is unchangeable.

        As per the above, temporal and ethereal are two distinct states and do not form a continuum. However, temporal needs
        ethereal to exist, but not the other way around.

        Love
        Pravin

        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

          Pravin,

          How do you reconcile what you wrote with the following?

          “The Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.” ~ Buddha

          I call it the theory of relativity in the field of spirit. It seems to make the least amount of assumptions.

          Vinay

      • Chris Thompson  On April 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Vinaire: To me “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seem to form a sort of spectrum. There are no hard lines that separate one aspect from another. Let me know what you think.

        Chris: I think that’s some good looking.

    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      My statement that “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seems to form a sort of spectrum may have been confusing. Let me clarify it as follows:

      “Ice – water – water vapor” represent three different aspects of the same substance. This is a sort of spectrum or gradient scale. All three of these forms may co-exist.

      Similarly, “body – mind – soul” seem to represent three different aspects of some fundamental reality. This is also a sort of spectrum or gradient scale. All three of them may co-exist. Parmatman may represent a still higher aspect, and matter may represent a still lower aspect.

      Please do ask me questions if I am still not making sense.

      Thanks,
      Vinay

      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        [From my schoolmate SP Singh.]

        .
        Difficult to understand the comperision.

        Ice can be converted to water, water to water vapour, but body can not be converted to mind and mind can not be converted to soul.

        Some better way of explaning is called for.

        SPSingh

        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

          SP,

          To answer your question, the analogy is only in the way of “forms” and underlying “substance”.

          “H2O” has the forms of “ice – water – and water vapor”

          One may say the some fundamental reality has the forms of “body – mind – soul”.

          I do not think that body can be converted into mind, or mind can be converted to soul. So, that part of the analogy does not hold. I am sure that one can come up with a better analogy.

          Vinay

        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 6:48 PM

          SP,

          Maybe the following is a better analogy:

          “Volume – pressure – temperature” are three aspects of the gaseous state of matter. They appear to be independent of each other, but they are related.

          Similarly, “Body – mind – spirit” are three aspects of being. They appear to be independent of each other, but they are related.

          Vinay

        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:36 AM

          Nice surprise!

        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 5:24 AM

          I have very little knowledge of religion, but I think that GOD OR PARMATMAN and soul/atma is creation of we humans to explan the happenings which can not be explained otherwise.Else there will not be different GODs for different societies.

          SPSingh

          .

          SP,

          You spoke in the true IIT spirit. One must start with a fresh set of eyes to see what is truly there.

          In the area of religion there are lot of fixed ideas and most people think that that know all about religion. But the actual understanding exists only at very few places. Most religious rituals were initially designed to reach that understanding, but those rituals themselves have become compromised with ignorance.

          The two concepts most difficult to understand are Parmatman and Atman. They are very different from the concepts of God and soul in the western religions.

          You are right that humans have attached lot of significance to these two concepts. The Vedic process “neti, neti” leads one to the correct realization. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neti_neti.

          Vinay

        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 8:43 AM

          Vinaire: “The two concepts most difficult to understand are Parmatman and Atman. They are very different from the concepts of God and soul in the western religions.”

          Chris: We should be careful when concluding what is hard and what is easy to understand. Possibly “easy to understand” concepts yet hold more surprises?

    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      RK,

      In this Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is expounding on the nature of Atman. It needs to be understood from the the outset that Atman is incorrectly translated in English as soul. The two concepts are as different as a “doughnut hole” is different from “doughnut.”

      Let’s imagine a “doughnut” that is made up of considerations (thoughts, ideas, assumptions, expectations, suppositions, conjectures, speculations, etc.). Basically, we are looking at a “doughnut” made up of thought material. This is the concept of SOUL in western religions.

      Now let’s look at the “doughnut hole.” This hole is defined by the doughnut. If the doughnut is gone, the hole is gone too. But that hole has no substance. There is nothing there. This is the true concept of ATMAN in eastern religions. When there are no thoughts or considerations, there is no atman either, because, at that point, atman has merged with parmatman.

      Parmatman is Nothingness, which cannot be described because there is nothing there to describe. On the other hand, the God of western religions is something or someone, and the soul cannot merge into that God.

      Atman is manifested again when considerations come about. Where do the considerations come from is unknowable. We use the word “parmataman” as a place holder for the source. Whatever significance we attach to parmataman will be those that are generated by us.

      Now your interpretation of Bhagavad Gita’s Chapter 2 is that “Soul is indestructible and can not be subdivided. It was in past, it is in present and it shall continue in future. Enters from one body to another.” Do you understand why is that so? It is because atman is not made up of any substance… not even thought.

      .

      The above interpretation is consistent with Hinduism and Buddhism.

      Vinay

      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 5:27 AM

        Vinay, excellent way to explain it.

        Alok

        .

        Dear Vinay,
        You have explained it very well. Thanks

        R S Agarwal

  • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Here is another communication from my schoolmate RK DIXIT:

    “Dear Vinay ,Pravin and friends , Find attached here with my confused thinking .
    RKDIXIT”

    .

    Confused Mind – RKDIXIT 4/4/2013

    So many observation of life require some sort of plausible explanation .And our Rishis did a great job trying to put a theory .(Newton observed apple falling and put up a gravitational theory-like wise ).In fact in Hindu religion ,there is freedom to put up different theories –stir your mind ,agitate it ,do not agree to something till it is logically proved –open mind .Even Charvak Philosophy –eat ,drink and merry –nothing beyond this world –(drink Ghee even if you have to take loan-enjoy life ).The philosophy is accepted by few .They are also Hindus who do not believe in God .

    Some observations-

    1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

    2-What happens after death?

    3-What is it which comes out and makes us like fused bulbs?

    4-Why some suffer less and some more than others by way of illness?

    5-Why there is no equitable division of fruits of life?

    6-Some strongly feel that they did not get enough in return of their hard work. Why?

    7-Can we succeed in demystifying the mystery of existence of Universe?

    8-Nature and so many species –wonders unexplained?

    So on and so forth .

    Theories –
    1-Major assumption in all theories is establishing of GOD –supreme authority –otherwise there shall be no stopping of question –Who ultimately did it ?Buck has to stop somewhere. Arjun questions Krishan in Gita –How I should believe that YOU are God ?Krishan showed his Virat Swarup to convince him .It was quite scary .Arjun requested Krishan to come back to HIS original form which was easy to comprehend .You have to individually realize or believe what Arjun said .

    So many questions arise-picking holes in the theory .Why He has to play the game ?No specific reason .

    Anyway human mind has a limit to think .God has been conceived as unlimited ,infinite so here ends the discussion .

    2-Gita propounds Rebirth Theory . In fact it is already there in Upanishads –Only Gita tries to give a refresher course. There are again assumptions.

    Soul and Body separate identity .One is Continuous and other gets terminated .One can not be destroyed where as other is perishable .So if one can not be destroyed-the soul –it has to part of God who is only big non perishable thing in universe .But question remains why He plays the game of creating small small souls out of HIM .And then asking the soul to get detached from Body and try to catch hold of HIM –great hide and seek game .If soul is part of God ,it has to be pure .Why it gets involved in Maya Jal and gets corrupted ?No clear cut answer .

    3-Gita gives us theory of Reincarnation of God .So from time to time He gets into human form to take care of all evils of the World .To purify it .Here is a catch .First place why He allows things to go bad and out of hand and then comes for corrective action .Then why there is need for Him to come to this World –He can always operate remote control .

    4-Gita clearly says –You reap what you sow .God does not oversee all our activities .He is too busy .He has perfected automatic computerized system of reward and punishment .No questions asked. .

    Well ,I have drifted along in sea of confusion .

    Ultimately ,I want to at peace –Hari Om Tat Sat .

    RKDIXIT

    .

    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Hi RK,

      I am giving some clarifications. We can have a detailed discussion when you are back.

      Pravin

      .

      1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

      God has a definite purpose for the whole creation. Everything in His creation has a specific purpose. Hence, there is a difference to suit the purpose and fulfill its execution for each individual.

      2-What happens after death?

      Based on the completion of the assigned task given to each individual, he is assigned a new task or sent back to complete the unfinished task of the previous life.

      3-What is it which comes out and makes us like fused bulbs?

      Do not understand.

      4-Why some suffer less and some more than others by way of illness?

      What we call suffering are the obstacles that we need to cross for fulfilling the purpose. As the purpose is different so also the obstacles are different.

      5-Why there is no equitable division of fruits of life?

      What we call fruits are not the result of our actions alone. They are provided to us as tools for achieving the purpose. We are not supposed to enjoy the fruits but use them to achieve the purpose.

      6-Some strongly feel that they did not get enough in return of their hard work. Why?

      No one is allowed to judge. The only judge is the Supreme Being. The judgment is based on how much of the specified purpose one has fulfilled/achieved. God does not punish. He will send you again to complete the unfinished task.

    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Wow! RK!

      You have really unloaded yourself this time. Again, I shall take up only one small point for starters.

      Religion is there only because death is there. Religion seems to have started out as an explanation of the human condition that seemed to start with birth and end with death. Here is my current understanding.

      At death, the body disintegrates into its particles, and the identity that was the body is dissolved. Similarly, the observing and thinking part of the person (the living soul) also disintegrates into its particles (considerations), and the identity that was the person is also dissolved.

      However, the particles remain and they can recombine into another “body plus living soul” combination. There is infinity of such recombination.

      What are the ultimate laws underlying this disintegration and reintegration, I don’t know the details at the moment. But this seems to be going on forever like complex cycles of some eternal wave according to Hinduism.

      .

      As far as God is concerned, my understanding is as follows:

      The desire to know the unknowable produces visualization or thought. That thought manifests itself, and can be known. Thus, one seems to overcome one’s uneasiness about the unknowable to some degree; even though the unknowable still remains unknowable.

      Thus, one uses the term God for unknowable, and says,

      God is unknowable.

      This is fine; but then someone comes along and asserts, “God is a Being, and we are created in his image.” He then projects human attributes into God to a superlative degree. This action makes one feel more comfortable about unknowable; even though the unknowable still remains unknowable.

      “God is a personal being” is a speculative thought. The unknowable still remains unknowable.

      There is an intense desire to know how this universe came about. The universe is manifested alright, but how it got manifested is an unknowable that makes one uncomfortable. So another thought is produced, “God created the universe.”

      “God created the universe” is a speculative thought also. The unknowable still remains unknowable.

      These two thoughts form the basis of Semitic religions, such as, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions derived from them.

      A religion is essentially a system of thought created to help a society organize itself for extended survival. A belief in the two thoughts about God as above has produced a culture in the west that is quite different historically from the culture in the east.

      The Vedic religions of the east, such as, Hinduism and Buddhism do not entertain beliefs based on the two thoughts about God described above. The terms likeBrahman and Nirvana are used for the unknowable, they are not associated with the idea of a personal being.

      This essay simply points out that terms like YHVH, GOD, ALLAH, BRAMHAN, NIRVANA, etc., are labels for the unknowable. Some of these labels have further significances attached to them. These labels and significances are thoughts, which, by their very nature, are speculations about the unknowable. These thoughts become reality to those who believe in them.

      Attaching such significances to the unknowable and acting on them, unfortunately, has contributed to deadly conflicts in the past and also in the present. There is nothing wrong with the belief in YHVH, GOD, or ALLAH as long as we understand that the true significance underlying such belief is unknowable by its very nature.

      May the understanding of ”God as unknowable” help bring about cessation of conflicts around the world!

      That is my hope.
      .

      Vinay

      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        [From my old classmate NN Goyal]

        Very interesting dialogue, an eye opener for me

        N N Goyal

      • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        Vinaire: There is infinity of such recombination.

        Chris: And I think an infinity of expansion; infinity of potential processes and processing; and possibly an infinity of the raw material of space into which the states of matter can disburse.

    • Chris Thompson  On April 4, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      RKDIXIT: Theories – 1-Major assumption in all theories is establishing of GOD

      Chris: For me, there are many assumptions going on, including that there is any free will with which to establish God.

      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        The biggest assumptions are about the name and form of God.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM

          Vinaire: “The biggest assumptions are about the name and form of God.”

          Chris: I think the biggest assumptions assume that we “think up” these concepts. The concepts arrive out of an unknown.

        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:50 PM

          Ah! that unknown is a delicious bait!

          .

    • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      “So many questions arise-picking holes in the theory .Why He has to play the game ?No specific reason .”

      Chris: And so we have more assumptions, such as that there is a game being played. And if there is one, then who is playing, and what would be our part, correct?

    • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

      Chris: For these questions about inequality, fairness, etc., I find it a frustrating exercise to apply “will” to these results. I find peace toward randomity when studying simple mathematical rules such as described in NKS – NEW KIND OF SCIENCE.

      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        I agree. “Will” is the wrong concept to apply here. Randomness is more like it.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 5:43 PM

          Vinay: “. . . Randomness is more like it.”

          Chris: Next we have to be careful what we assume about randomness.

        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM

          Oh! yes. Be very careful. 🙂

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

          LOL! Not that kind of careful! — Mindful.

    • grannydeepsea  On September 12, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      Allow me to agitate with a poem. In it, God takes human form. I posted it on Marty’s site for someone who liked my Russian Voodoo Dolls poem. Then I saw this when I came to visit your blog. Have a lovely evening vinaire and rkdixit.

      For Scout144Infantry (the asteroid is too long)

      by GrannyDeepSea

      Two armies on a battlefield
      The field above in heaven
      Where Andromeda and Milky Way
      Are destined to collide
      One fine warrior called Ari
      By his questions Earthbound driven
      Leaves the millions of companions
      Firmly stationed by his side
      His star body still in heaven
      Krisna beckoning at his side
      From the war he must not hide.

      Ari felt good in the human form
      His body made for babies
      And for losers of the battle
      On the Kuruksetra field
      Why not bypass all the fighting
      Watching deaths of kindred starlights
      Why not stay here with the babies
      Blessed Krisna would not yield
      Get yourself back to the battle
      Where your fate is firmly sealed
      To the heavenly battlefield.

      Ari took the opportunity
      With Krisna there beside him
      To ask questions he had pondered
      In his alter ego state
      Since it rarely ever happens
      That He takes a human body
      Krisna looked at Ari face to face
      And started to relate
      All the answers to his questions
      Both preparing to debate
      Ari’s future heavenly fate.

      Krisna feeling somewhat trapped
      Inside the body He was fixed in
      Nevertheless took pause to ponder
      The sensations of His form
      Human bodies with their perks
      Provide a temporary respite
      From the oneness He’s so used to
      Separation’s not His norm
      Chatting here with good son Ari
      Feeling comfortably warm
      Human bodies have their charm.

      Ari begged again to know
      The reason why he was required
      To engage his friends in battle
      When he could be living here
      His superior mind could offer
      Precious insights to the babies
      Separated from the battle
      Thus protected from the fear
      And the consequence of warfare
      Krisna whispered in his ear
      You will bring the battle here.

      Krisna knew of all the problems
      That a star outside of body
      Living here upon a planet
      Could quite possibly engage
      Thus aware He stated firmly
      To the warrior soul residing
      In the body made for babies
      There beside Him in the cage
      Understanding the desire
      And His son’s ensuing rage
      At being ordered to the stage.

      Ari then began to question
      Krisna’s former whispered comment
      And the consequence of bringing battle
      To this hallowed place
      Disbelieving his companion
      Was against his better judgment
      Yet he couldn’t see how he
      Could thus ensnare the human race
      How could any join in battle
      In this garden of a place
      Krisna answered in His grace.

      You cannot yet comprehend
      The complications of existence
      Seeking only here the freedom
      You’re not used to as a star
      Life on Earth holds hidden battles
      Long left sleeping since creation
      To awaken those sad spirits
      Is like poking at a scar
      In the box they call Pandora
      Leave them resting as they are
      Ari, get back to your star.

      Twasn’t Ari who then opened up
      The scar left since creation
      There was someone there beside them
      Waking up because they came
      How could two such perfect beings
      Come to wallow here in Hades
      Thus awakening individuals
      I do not care to name
      We were sleeping here quite soundly
      Til the two of you here came
      Now you’ve got yourselves to blame.

      Krisna tingling all over
      In His body made for sensing
      Knew exactly whom they’d wakened
      And the price they’d have to pay
      From the war before creation
      Before Time was ever thought of
      From the Chaos that required Creation
      To keep it at bay
      They’d awakened ancient minions
      Krisna knew He’d have to stay
      Here remaining to this day.

      All the suffering and sadness
      That you witness all around you
      Every conflict ever thought
      To be decided by a war
      Has resulted from the time
      Big Brother Ari came from heaven
      Breaching long forgotten walls
      As if he’d opened up the door
      Of the box known as Pandora
      To this day his soul is sore
      Having instigated war.

      We can stop the current madness
      We do not have to accept it
      It’s not easy, but the things worth doing
      Very rarely are
      We can realize the problem
      Has resulted from a brother
      Who originally came here
      To escape the hell of war
      Let’s awaken to the God within
      And change the way we are
      Once again, we’ll mend the scar.

      • vinaire  On September 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

        Beautiful poem, Granny. Thank you so much.

  • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    From my schoolmate Hemendra Mathur:

    Hi Vinay,

    I am a little bit perplexed by your explanation.

    1. When there is not thought … etc. , do I take it to mean after death?
    2. If so and if after death Atman invariably merges with Paramatman then why do we worry about Re-birth and having to go thru this mortal life again and again. People go thru so much penance and tapas in order to get out of this cycle of birth and rebirth.

    Please tell me if I am completely out of tune with your thought process.

    Hemendra

    .

    Hemendra,

    How are you? Long time no see. Last I remember you is in Boston back in 1969-70.

    Those are good questions. The problem may be explained in terms of mental conditioning or attachment.

    There are always going to be thoughts. The only difference is whether one is identifying oneself with those thoughts or not. A person can be very rich and give two hoots about it. Another person can have a bloated ego because he has some wealth.

    So, the “doughnut” analogy has its limitations. “No thought” should be interpreted as “no mental conditioning” or “no attachment.” A person can live like the “doughnut” or the “doughnut hole,” while he or she is alive.

    After death, the body may disintegrate into atoms and molecules. At the same time the soul may disintegrate into bits and pieces of “programs” or “attachments.” One may refer to them as mental particles consisting of “programming” or “conditioning.” Re-birth involves coming together of physical and mental particles from previous bodies and souls to generate a new body and soul. The whole purpose of penance and tapas is to get rid of mental conditioning or attachments.

    No, you are not out of tune with my thought process at all. Your questions simply show that more exacting work needs to be done in this area.

    Vinay

  • vinaire  On April 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    This is a response to RK DIXIT:

    https://vinaire.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/the-bhagavad-gita-chapter-2/#comment-8611

    (1) The identity of soul is destructible, but the particles of soul does not seem to be. The particles of soul are made up of thoughts and conditioning.

    (2) The identity of body is destructible, but the particles of body does not seem to be. The particles of body are made up of atoms and molecules.

    (3) The fundamental DHARMA is detaching oneself from all conditioning factors and helping others detach themselves from conditioning factors too so they can live a healthy and happy life.

    (4) Beyond that, SWADHARMA is to play one’s role in the family, society, nation and the world. Swadharma is decided by ones physical and mental makeup.

    (5) The ultimate criterion seem to be health, happiness and harmony for all. This is achieved by spotting and resolving inconsistencies wherever they exist. This requires mindfulness.

    (6) One should simply do what one needs to do per the criterion above without expecting favorable results or fearing unfavorable consequences.

    (7) The ideas of soul/atman or God/parmatman are necessary only to sort out inconsistencies. Such ideas are no longer necessary when inconsistencies have been sorted out.

    ————————————————————————————————–
    Doubts:

    1-How one can visualize that He is complete bliss –Parmanand ? Once you achieve the position of ultimate bliss will you be able to recognize it since you shall not have anything for comparison ? and no identity of your own .I will love to see and realize Almighty instead of getting merged with him .

    In my opinion, Almighty is not something out there. It only exists in your vision and in the satisfaction that you achieve in resolving inconsistencies and carrying out your dharma to the best of your abilities.

    .

    2-If soul is part of God ,why it behaves irrationally associating itself with body .

    In my opinion, God is what we visualize as perfection. Soul is what we think of ourselves. These things are not separate from us. If there is irrationality then we need to understand and resolve it.

    .

    3-Rightly pointed out that concept of God created after Universe was formed to answer lot of questions .One has to put full stop somewhere to flight of imagination

    In my opinion, it is our conjecture that this universe was created. It is our conjecture that God created this universe. Resolution of mystery comes when we decide to see things as they are without speculations and conjectures.

    ————————————————————————————————–

    Knowledge is more important than the source of knowledge. The Rishis knew this and they have remained forever in the background. Knowledge is never absolute. There must always be progress.

    .

    • grannydeepsea  On September 13, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      Regarding Doubt 2:
      The soul that has a physical Heavenly Body takes a body to do a physical task. Those souls are ‘more experienced’ souls. They have been living in heaven for 15 billion years. They are like teenagers.

      The souls that lost their physical Heavenly Body when it crashed into this planet capable of sustaining life are much younger souls. We are like little fairy souls. We got trapped in a fairy circle and we can’t leave. We no longer have heavenly bodies – they fizzled in the atmosphere as we arrived.

      We climbed the ladder of evolution until we reached human. Now our brains are aware, questioning and able to conceive of a Creator. When does a child become old enough to notice that ‘Mother Earth’ is ill and needs attention? When are we old enough to realize that if Earth does need something done, we’re the only ones capable of doing it?

      So, most souls on Earth are very young. Then there are the humans that contain Star Souls – Stars that have living Heavenly Bodies made of plasma, with living Planets circling them as I write this. The came here to do a physical task, so they took human bodies – the aware beings.

      They should have done their task and left. But they got stuck here. In myths and legends, when you go to ‘the land of the dead’ you are forbidden to eat or drink something or there will be negative consequences.

      This is the land of the dead – the dead asteroids. This is our home. We are like little kids. We are by nature, good. But something went wrong on Earth.

      Turns out, this planet is harboring a gigantic sad/angry/tortured spirit that is supposed to be asleep. This being has a living dream going on and we are in it. This living dream is supposed to be keeping the gigantic spirit occupied AND learning, as it metamorphoses into a spirit compatible with heavenly existence.

      We have inadvertently awakened the gigantic spirit, and he is in a state of dramatizing tantrum. We breached his dream when we ate meat, thus allowing him physical access to our bodies. If our minds are not capable of resisting, we end up doing very evil things to one another. And very sadly, it is also true that those capable of resisting DOING evil tasks, are unaware that they are affected when they eat the meat, as well. They are apathetic to the suffering of those they should be helping.

      We should not be allowing human trafficking and pedophilia to destroy lives, and yet the practice is affecting millions of victims.

      We are in big trouble.

      I think it’s time we wake up Dad and get some input on how to handle these things.

      Would you also please read this post below – I posted it on Marty’s blog but got no comments. I feel it is of great importance and that these truths are currently being used against us.

      Thanks Vinaire 🙂

      I don’t think this is actually off topic because it has to do with what a standard of Scientology might look like. So many people are currently doing things they don’t want to do and they don’t know why. This not only explains why, but the cure is the same as in Dianetics. Just knowing it enables the cure. If anyone knows Kirsty Ally’s contact info, send her this link. She will never be fat again. It is set to read for free, just click preview.

      http://www.blurb.com/b/958269-dear-oprah-i-know-why-you-keep-gaining-it-all-back

      I am very interested in the reactive mind because I wrote this book before I read Dianetics.

      I used to weigh over 350 lbs. I was a yo-yo dieter. It’s almost always the case that when a yo-yo dieter loses the weight, they gain it all back, plus a little more. That was true for me, and I lost and gained over 100 lbs 3 times.

      I saw a talk show with several very fat women who all said the same thing – diets don’t work, because they always gained it all back plus more. Think about that for a second. Regaining over 100 lbs. Why didn’t any of us stop in the middle?

      I might be able to believe that my life was ‘empty’ and I was trying to ‘fill it with food’, but what about Oprah Winfrey and Kirsty Ally and Jessica Simpson and Janet Jackson? They don’t have empty lives, and they have the ability to check into a high priced spa, and yet, they always gain it all back, plus more.

      I knew this was something else. This is not a lack of will power, because I can fast for a month – my slender friends can’t fast for a day. My will power is very powerful. So it was not my lack of will power keeping me fat.

      One day when I was in the midst of regaining 100 lbs., yet again, I was looking at a donut. I actually felt like I was going to die if I didn’t eat that donut. Seriously! And that was the key that led to the truth. See, I don’t like the way I feel after I eat a donut. They taste alright, but they would leave me feeling heavy and tired. I preferred m&ms – by the pound per day – or a ½ gallon of ice cream at one sitting.

      I couldn’t go to my doctor and explain that I was going to die if I didn’t eat a donut, because I weighed over 200 lbs. So I began to meditate on this, and hit upon the question ‘is there anything that would die by not eating that donut?’ Viola! There are many animals that must gain weight every year or die. Bears and whales are seasonal weight gainers. That realization led to this question: How does a bear know that she has gained enough weight to make it through the winter? Answer: She refills all existing fat cells, then makes one new one. Then her body is free to stop gaining and she goes into hibernation mode.

      Trouble with this is, I’m not a bear. So, there must be something going on with my brain that confused me with a bear.

      So I hypothesized that stress was causing some part of my brain to make me regain every pound and make one new one. Trouble is, there are lots of stressed out people who are not fat. But wait – could their brains be making them do things they don’t want to do?

      So I looked around and noticed that other people were doing compulsive things. So, imagine that when we get stressed out, our brain does a ‘system check’ to see ‘what kind of animal we are’ and then causes us to ‘do things we don’t really want to do’ in order to SURVIVE THE STRESS OF WINTER OR OTHER STRESS.

      Sure enough, there are gatherers (aka hoarders) who keep buying things they don’t need. I call them squirrels.

      There are vacationers that are always planning their next vacation. I call them birds because they are migrating.

      There are runners often running to the point of injury. I call them herders because they run in packs.

      Then there are the scariest ones – the predators – the ‘big cats’. They must attack and kill to survive. These are the stressed out people hitting their spouses or children – and if they don’t have spouses or children, they will attack random strangers.

      As I continued to meditate and observe, I noticed that the fat kid in walmart is screaming for ice cream while the skinny kid in walmart is screaming for a toy and the poor kid in walmart is torturing his little sister.

      The theory seemed valid and these stress related compulsions appear to begin early in life.

      Then I learned something that proved my case. There is a part of our brain called the R Complex. It is the ‘reptilian brain’. It is called the reptilian brain, because it is the only brain the reptiles have. The human brain has evolved to be much more complex, but deep inside of our brain is the R Complex. It is in charge of survival – fight, flight or freeze.

      So, when we get stressed out, the R Complex takes over and makes us do things we wouldn’t rationally do – with the idea that it is enabling us to survive.

      This realization is all it took – now my weight is in my control, not in the control of my over-stressed R Complex. I weigh 152. Just knowing the truth enables me to not regain all the weight even when I do get stressed out. Even with my R Complex being in control of powerful brain chemicals to prompt me to eat, I’m able to say no way.

      I’m guessing the people at this particular website can see why I was so impressed by L Ron Hubbard’s book, right?

      The strangest part of all this is where I learned about the R Complex. It was at a sales training seminar that my work sent me to. It appears that the 1% know about the R Complex. They were training us to know that when a person picks up the phone, their R Complex is on ‘high alert’. In order for us to make a sale, we have to bring that person into another section of their brain. The way to do this is to make them remember something. Memories are supposedly not part of the R Complex. Once we get them to remember something, we are talking to the person, not their R Complex. There are a few more steps that lead to getting the credit card. But I felt quite sure that the R Complex was the culprit in charge of stress related compulsive behaviors including yo-yo dieting.

      And now, I’m wondering if the R Complex is the seat of the reactive mind and the engrams that Dianetics is concerned with.

      Because the R Complex is the first part of our brains that grow, I have a new theory I’m working on. See, I think that our personal thetan is with us from zygote until death. The reason Dianetics tech finds very early prenatal engrams is because our personal thetan begins acquiring knowledge at zygote. It stores those early thoughts in the only place available – the R Complex. As the brain continues to grow, it eventually gets its memory section and then our thetan can store memories there. But in the cases L Ron wrote about, where we are ‘unconscious’, those might be the times that our R Complex takes control and therefore, things get stored there, even though we have a memory section.

      I look forward to any and all opinions.

      Granny

      • vinaire  On September 13, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        (1) Soul always have a physical form. It is a conjecture that “soul takes a body.” There is no permanent “soul unit” that moves from body to body. There may be spiritual elements having the form of atoms and molecules, which disintegrate from a person upon death and then come together in new persons at birth.

        (2) There is no separate “physical Heavenly Body” that takes a body. It is just disintegrated elements coming together to form a body. You really have quite an imagination. 🙂

        (3) Is there a Creator, or is it just our projection backwards? Who or what created the Creator? Couldn’t thing just appear from non awareness into awareness?

        (4) Ill or well are just assignment of values to how inconsistent or consistent things are. See Inconsistency in KHTK.

        (5) ‘I’ or SELF is simply a combination of spiritual elements, just like an object is a combination of molecules.

        (6) Underlying all desires is the “desire to know.”

        .

        Regarding your post to Marty:

        (7) What SELF seems to be doing is simply a vector sum of all the motions it is composed of.

        (8) The cure lies in sorting out all the inconsistencies, one by one, for each SELF. (NOTE: An inconsistency is something that fixates or disperses one’s attention.)

        (9) The Reactive Mind is simply the sum total of all inconsistencies.

        (10) Looks like the inconsistency you have been struggling with has to do with body weight and its relationship to health. For the time being you seem to have your weight under control, and you are pleased about it. (By the way, I would love to see your before and after pictures if you are on Facebook.)

        (11) You seem to have found your explanation in the core of the Reactive Mind (R Complex to fight, flight or freeze), and realizing what it does. That is wonderful.

        (12) Your attention seem to be on understanding the R Complex more fully. This goes back to the fundamental “desire to know.”

        I shall be willing to get into discussion with you if you can adhere to mindfulness per The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness

        .

  • dasarathidasankannan  On December 14, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Dear Sir, I am Srinivasan Kannan from Bangalore. I seek your permission to use the picture depicting the verse in Gita “dEhinosmin yatha dEhE” for my book. please advise, thanks
    ‘s.kannans@gmail.com’

  • vinaire  On December 14, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    Dear Srinivasan, Most pictures used on this blog are picked from a Google search. Only few are mine. This particular picture is not mine. So you do not need my permission.

    .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: