Gita Daily Readings
Today is the Maha-Samadhi Anniversary of
Sri Swami Venkatesananda Maharaj -
twenty-three years ago ... today on  ... December 1982
Om. Om. Om.  

2nd December
Chapter
XVIII: 20-22
That by which one sees the one indestructible reality in all beings, not separate in all the separate beings - know thou that knowledge to be sattvika.

But that knowledge which sees in all beings various entities of distinct kinds as different from one another - know thou that knowledge to be rajasa.

But that which clings to one single effect as if it were the whole, without reason, without foundation in truth, and trivial - that is declared to be tamasa.

Commentary

This doctrine can be applied to religion, speculative philosophy, sociology, human relations and ethics generally. One can meditate upon these three verses and derive a wealth of meaning and inspiration from them.

Since the ultimate reality is one, the wise man, the sattvika person sees the one reality in all; the perception of the all being the inevitable consequence of the perceiver's limitation as the individual. The eyes have neither microscopic nor telescopic vision and cannot, therefore, perceive the grand unity. Even if that were possible, there would still exist the distinction between the perceiver and the perceived "unity." The sattvika knower, however, intuitively feels the unity that underlies the diversity.

Rajasa knowledge confers on this diversity not an apparent but a real existence. It enables us to realize that there are others, other paths and so on, and leads us to a "live and let live" policy.

Tamasa knowledge does not recognize any but its own point of view. It is the "frog in the well." It is dogmatic. It is a wonder that people who call themselves knowledgeable assert that there is only one viewpoint! Have they actually ascertained that there are no others? How can one assert that his religion or concept of God alone is true, till he knows how many religions there are (which is of course impossible)? Everyone's viewpoint is valid, but especially valid for himself. We should recognize the validity of others' viewpoints and ultimately the one that runs through all.

Web Editor's Notes

 

Swamiji: How did the mind ever become aware of the outside material world? Through the body, through the avenues of the body. I am able to see you because of the eyes. I am able to hear you because of my ears.  When these have stopped functioning there is no apprehension of the external material world. Thatís quite simple, isnít it?

You and I know that it is possible to build a world of our own in sleep Ė the faculty is still there Ė donít call it mind, we donít know what it is all about.  We go only on things you and I are clearly aware of. You are not clearly aware of the thing called mind, but you are clearly aware of the thing called body, and how it is sustained Ė how it builds itself, does the repair work, elimination and all the rest of it. You are aware of that, so go on with that.

This body may not need another 58 years to disintegrate, but it will still take some time. If it is not burnt, buried or thrown to the dogs it will take some time because decomposition needs some time. A composition needs some time and decomposition needs some time; and then slowly it disintegrates. But nothing comes and nothing goes Ė that means the faculty that is associated with this fellow called Swami Venkatesananda which was able to dream up the whole of itself within itself. Now that the body has gone, the contact with the external world of matter is also gone. (External means external to the skin.) So the world does not exist, but not quite ....

Just as, when he was in this body, he was able to go to sleep and dream (ďgo to sleepĒ means disconnect the senses from apprehending the world of matter outside) and then create a dream world of his own; in exactly the same way, at that point too (of death), now that the world has been disconnected by the cessation of the functioning of the senses, this Venkatesananda starts dreaming. And that becomes a new world! In that world that fellow functions. For how long? What is time, what is space?

So, nothing has come, nothing has gone.

In this space, whatever is called Swami Venkatesananda sits and talks to you: and then the body stops breathing, thatís all. But nothing leaves. Nothing comes and nothing goes, right?

Death does not come from somewhere, and life doesnít go from here. Nothing leaves the body. Nothing comes into the body. The body disintegrates, decomposes, because thatís the normal thing to do. Itís doing that even now. Since itís not able to get any nutrition from outside, thereís no building up anymore, so there is a breaking down.

Question:  The mind is breaking down too?

Swamiji: It doesnít seem to. Thereís no breaking down at all for the mind. But you donít even know what the mind is. Go step by step, if you jump even two steps, you miss out.

This thing called Swami Venkatesananda sits and talks to you. But if I donít eat for the next few days, the building powers of the body are slackened, correct? And since the body ceases even to breathe, the building process comes to a complete standstill. Since neither the building nor coherent force (which keeps the limbs together, cells together, molecules together) are functioning, they begin to fall apart. Itís the most sensible thing to do! But nothing has gone, and nothing has come in.

This must be repeated as a formula every half a minute Ė nothing goes out and nothing comes in. And what is is, and what stays stays. And what stays is now unrelated to the outside material world.

The divine presence, being everywhere, is in you, in me, in all the infinite creatures, flowing everywhere. Therefore, there is inevitable interaction. When the interaction is one of love, the result is happiness; if it is one of attachment, the result may be frustration; if that interaction is one of hate, jealousy, fear, the feedback is one of unhappiness. That is what we mean when we say, ďThe world is a mirror that reflects us.Ē If you look at the world with love, it reflects happiness towards you. If you look at the world with hate, it reflects unhappiness towards you. 

- excerpted from the Dec 2nd and 3rd of  Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Volume 2)