Quiet Your Mind to Reach Your True Self
Based on article by Swami Tejomayananda
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is initially in a dilemma about going to war with his relatives. Krishna advises him not to grieve about the past or be afraid of the future. You may ask why one should bereave the death of a dear one. Krishna explains that the self is immortal. Our body may perish sooner or later, but the self or atman is eternal, as it is imperishable. The vedas pinpoint that we are essentially the soul, therefore there is no need to grieve about anything.
Soul Changes Bodies
When we die, our soul just changes bodies. Our body may undergo changes during its lifetime, but not our immortal self. We attach ourselves to our body and mind, because of illusion and delusion. But, the wise ones are not deluded by change. In our daily life, we let ourselves get affected by events and people. Besides, such factors as cold, heat, thirst and hunger also affect us.
Krishna tells Arjuna that our senses perceive objects which are prone to birth and death. Therefore, we react to pleasure and pain, heat and cold, etc, which begin and end, and are thus impermanent. Krishna advises Arjuna to bravely endure these ever-changing phenomena. Attaching ourselves to our sense organs makes us experience joy or sorrow. For instance, a cool breeze during a hot day gives us great joy. Such experiences come and go. Instead of complaining about bad experiences, we should strive to endure them bravely.
Accept Life Cheerfully
We need not merely endure all that we cannot cure. More positively, we can cheerfully accept all the factors we cannot change. If we are in an unfavorable situation, we should accept it calmly as everything is impermanent. This too shall pass! For instance, if there is a power cut on a hot day, we should try not to get over-worked about it, but accept the situation gracefully.
The Self-Realized Person
Krishna says that a self-realized person is not agitated by events, and keeps his/her cool in pleasure and pain. Such understanding endurance can take us close to our innate true self. Lack of endurance, restlessness and agitation indicate identification with the mortal coil and monkey mind. Such identification with changing phenomena takes us further from our innate true self, which is beyond mind and body. So, to get closer to our immortal self, we should try to keep our minds quiet and calm.