Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spiritually Rooted Existence

“When the mind runs after the wandering senses,
then it carries away one’s understanding,
as the wind carries away a ship on the waters.
Therefore the wisdom of him whose senses are withdrawn
from the objects of the senses stands firm” ......................Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 : 67, 68

"One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence." ......................Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 : 61

"This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." .......... Jeremiah 17: 5-8

The two spiritual traditions, Vedic and Hebraic, point to the same truth in two different languages.
The mind and its perceptions through the senses are equated to a rudderless ship adrift in the sea. The ship has lost control and cannot reach its destination. Its passage is at the mercy of the winds. When the mind is rooted in object oriented thoughts, a holistic and true understanding of our life and existence is denied. The primary substratum or ground of being from which objects and sensory perception are manifest is an unlimited field of universal consciousness which we cannot comprehend with our mind. This is the reason that Vyasa says that one's understanding is taken away when the mind operates in the sensory mode. Therefore wisdom can be obtained only when we withdraw from the senses.

Every moment of time our eyes are bombarded by billions of photons (light particles) and yet we filter out the majority of these photons and select only those which we want to map to our pre-selected concepts. The way to achieve this state of withdrawal requires another target and that is the supreme LORD Himself. This is laid out in LORD Krishna's saying in the verse 61 of the second chapter which is quoted above.

Jeremiah through the mouth of the LORD gives the same message. The strength of the flesh he talks about is the desires enjoyed or fulfilled through the senses which in turn fortifies the Ego. When one is operating in this mode he or she tends to be completely ignorant of the higher level of consciousness which is termed as turning away from the LORD. Instead of comparing such individual to a ship, the prophet refers to this individual to the bushes in the wasteland. A place of imminent death and desolation. But a man or woman who is focused on a higher level of consciousness is like a tree planted by the water which nourishes the tree and keeps it green and living both at the time of abundance as well as at the time of drought as the roots of this tree will run deep and draw water from the subterranean source. The water that is available at the observable or surface level is the same that is hidden beneath the ground. This is the apt symbolism of universal consciousness which is the root cause of all manifest objects as well the ground of being of all Cosmos not perceptible to the human mind.

The method of fixing our mind on the higher state of being or the meaning of fixing or trusting in the LORD can be understood as fixing our sight on the beauty of creation without desiring to possess it. Hearing the wisdom of the sages and spiritual adepts and deeply imbibing the esoteric content of scriptures. Smelling the scents of nature, those of flowers, the fragrance of the moist soil after the rain and tasting and ingesting satvic and natural food and touch every object of creation only with the objective of appreciating the wonder of creation without causing any harm.

All this can be summed up as living in perfect harmony with the natural order.

Let these three wonderful verses be our source of strength in our contemplative lives.

Love to you all.  


  1. The substratum and the beyond, that which is perpetually unknowable as being the source of the created Cosmos has been discussed with great clarity. The seen and the unseen, the humans living in fleshly desires and The Lord, not the subject of the flesh, is illustrated beautifully in the roots of a tree by the river that remains ever full with leaves and bears fruit even when there is drought, es very enlightening.
    Bhaskar Banerjee

  2. Thank you, Bhaskar, for your clear elucidation.