The Bhagavad Gita – From Grief to Peace
In the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita the pupil is led from grief to a vision of transcendent peace through a swift traversal of the essential points in the teaching.
At the start of the discourse we find the pupil in a situation where he is expected to go into battle with people he once knew as family and friends. In despair he declares his intention to give up this world of strife and conflict and take up the life of a spiritual recluse.
This is relevant to us because often the world appears to be full of injustice and futile conflict, and the first stirrings of spiritual longings in us may take the form of a feeling that we should withdraw from all this. The difficulty is that to withdraw from the world is a course of action that will be likely to have unforeseen consequences and there is no guarantee that it will be free of difficult choices. Also this course turns the spiritual life into a negative reaction against aspects of the world; it means we are basically trying to get away from things we do not like, and are relying on our minds for guidance. The life of spiritual enquiry is in fact an entirely positive enterprise, in pursuit of a vision in which everything is seen in its true perspective, and a fulfilment which is independent of circumstances. In pursuit of this objective we have to learn to see past the preferences and reactions of our workaday mind and to be guided by an altogether higher light.
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This article is from the Winter 2016 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.