Question: What does it mean to say, “How do I think is more important than” what to think “?
Ans: Our mind is only a constant stream of thoughts, all day and all life. It is important to control the mind and guide the mind. Negative thinking encourages negative relationships, words and actions, discourages objectivity that leads to nervousness and paralysis.
Arjuna’s thoughts that he would kill his loved ones and gurus led him to feel sad, anxious, confused and question his own decision to fight, which led to him being unable to act. Like a warrior. Imagine if a surgeon panics before a patient operates. Emotional thinking raised by anger, guilt, fear and sorrow leads to paralyzing effect in one’s life. Therefore, it is important to learn ‘how to think’ than ‘what to think’.
In any situation, ask, “Here I am in this situation, what is the best thing I can do to get out of this and move on?” and take appropriate action to avoid self-pity, accuse others, and lose inner strength.
Question: Compare Arjuna’s ‘misunderstanding’ in today’s life.
Ans: We often see these ‘misplaced thoughts’ in practical life. This is everywhere, though common in the health care and financial sectors. We all know that prevention is better than cure. Health is not the fact. In today’s society, it is very common to go to bed late, wake up late, go empty stomach, and eat late lunch, causing a breakdown in the system. When a particular illness is identified, we try to follow the schedule, sleep on time and exercise, but can’t we do it sooner? This is an example of wrong thinking or misunderstanding. Same with the economy. When we are young, we spend all our health, energy and resources on collecting things and money, later when we are old, we spend all our money to save our health or have the fear of losing them or worrying about the ways to preserve them. This is another ‘wrong thought’.
Thinking before we act and do the right thing at the right time is critical in any situation.
Arjuna had these misplaced thoughts when he saw his enemies as his family instead of enemies and became confused.
Question: If ‘presence’ or ‘atma’ is the same in everything, what is the difference between humans and animals?
Ans: People are assigned the sixth sense, the ability to choose. Animals instinctively follow behavior. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor in Auschwitz, in his book, ‘Man’s Quest for Meaning’, says that while he was in concentration camp, he saw a couple walking around and sharing their last piece of bread with others. He says, “this confirms that everything can be taken from a man but the last of human liberties – to choose one’s attitude under any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.
“It’s not what happens to us that affects us, but how we react to what happens to us that affects us,” says Norman Vincent Peale. How true !!
How we perceive how we respond to any situation is our choice. Doing the right thing, not doing the wrong thing or doing nothing at all is our choice.
Surrendering this ‘ability to choose’ to the Lord is the highest of all surrender and completely dissolved ego. Arjuna finally surrendered to Lord Krishna and sought guidance.
Question: What are the consequences of the fear of failure that Arjuna experienced, and is it still true today?
Ans: Fear of failure hugs a person. There are no mistakes. When we do not get the desired result, we think it is a failure, but we have to learn how to detour as needed to reach the destination. It is wise to think through the situation, decide and intervene to the best of your ability.
Fear of failure is a self-esteem, emotional upheaval of the consequences of the action, at the time of action that causes numbness.
The consequences of our actions are not our choices. Just as a purposeful arrow or spoken word cannot be taken back when we let our emotions take over we become stressed, we are unable to think clearly, leading to fear, sadness and panic.
This was the situation Arjuna was in when he saw all the relatives on the other side of the aisle, though I decided to fight, I was taken over by the love, connection I had with those causing a total crash.
Q: What is the cause of one’s suffering?
Ans: Heat and cold, pain and joy will come to life .. These are known through the senses. Only humans have these five senses, ears, eyes, taste, touch, smell (shabda, sparsha, roopa, rasa, ghanda). Through the eyes we measure size and shape, through ears we understand the sound, and as human beings we can only hear a certain wavelength.
We experience this world through the senses. When in deep sleep, the senses are withdrawn and there is no experience through these senses.
In a waking state, if any sense is not working properly, this part of the world is completely black.
When our senses touch each of the objects we have an experience. Our eyes can see far objects such as stars in the sky physically millions of light years away, is a fantastic piece of equipment. But our ears can’t hear that far. Thunder is closer than stars. To smell it must be closer to the sound. Touching is only possible with physical contact, not otherwise. Taste must be inside us. By touching the cake you cannot experience it.
The world is the same, but the mind interprets differently.
Senses give perception, but the mind comments on perception. A dog sees the book, if it is edible, he eats or moves away, there is no disturbance in the mind ..
The senses help us to perceive objects and situations. The mind interprets by judging, comparing, evaluating good or bad through the lens of likes and dislikes. Based on our understanding of our lives and wisdom, our interpretation is different.
Heat and cold on the physical body level and pleasure and pain on the mind level. This is natural, whether we like it or not .. Saints too, but how they interpret makes the difference.
Suffering is due to our interpretation. For ex … I’m hurt because you did it or that.
The senses perceive as long as the object is connected. When I close my eyes, I don’t see, but my mind creates a picture from memory and I see it.
When you are in meditation and while you are living in the present, the object goes and the images also disappear. One does not have to carry the past.
Q: How does joy and pain arise?
Ans: Two monks went. The river was strong. They had to cross when there was a young woman who also wondered how she would cross. The young energetic monk lifted her and carried her to the opposite shore, and she walked away.
Then after ten minutes, the elderly monk said “you didn’t do the right thing. You touched a woman and carried her”.
The young monk replied, “yes, I lifted her and carried her, but I left her after crossing, but you still carry her in your mind.”
That is exactly what is happening in our lives. All of our experiences have a beginning and an end, but we continue to do an action repetition, enabling repeated suffering.
If we perform action repetition of pleasant situations, it creates connection, if we perform action repetition of sad situations, it creates deep sorrow. Either way, it is a chain that binds you.
Just experience them when they come and drop them, much like watching scenarios as you move in a train, don’t hold on to any one particular. You don’t turn your neck and keep looking back. Let it go !! Similarly, don’t look back, learn to live in the present with any situation in life.
Q: What is dead?
Ans: When a child goes from elementary school to higher education and far away. The parents may be sad but not sad. Because they know he / she is developing. Similarly, each body undergoes change and eventually descends.
Death is not painful, but a smooth transition. When a person dies, he is in the path of evolution as a child to teenager, youth to adult, to a senior. The body is constantly changing. The cells in the body keep dying every minute. The whole body changes every six years. So there is no pain in the birth of the body or the death of the body. But as we live in the body and identify with the body, we experience pain and joy, joy and sorrow as long as the senses come into contact with the world.
Question: Isn’t the world real? I interact, see, smell and experience it ..
Ans: The world is neither real nor real, but it is an appearance. Real has no existence. Unreal has no existence at all as the horn of a rabbit or a unicorn.
Like the mirror. Looks like water. It exists and is therefore not unreal. Pain & joy, success & failure, name & fame, world, wealth & position all these are appearances. Our experiences in the waking state are appearances called mithya.
The popular example is when you see a rope on the path at dusk, you think it is a snake that creates anxiety and fear in you, but the moment you realize that it is a rope, the snake disappears in your mind. But it still existed, created a feeling in you so you can’t call it unreal. It was an appearance, mithya.