The backbone of Krishna’s philosophy in the Geeta is balance and equipoise gained by stilling the mind. It sounds as impractical as saying “If the sea could be calm then the sky would be beautifully reflected!” Mind is thought flow, so how can it remain still for more than a moment? However, a dignified poise amidst all the challenges and turmoils of life seems worth achieving,but seems mere ideal philosophy, excellent, though impossible!
Arjun, a practical man of the world cannot digest this. He says “The mind is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding; I deem it difficult to control as the wind.” The mind’s nature is movement and change, hence, a manufacturer’s defect. Though he agrees that through meditation it can be stilled, but will not endure arrest for long, it is too powerful.
Krishna answers this practical man of action, this ruthless realist, Arjun, by first agreeing with him. But advises that through constant practice (Abhyaas) and renunciation and detachment (vairagya) the mind can be reigned in to a stillness. Continued practice brings perfection. Practice strengthens renunciation and that in turn deepens meditation. Most people wait for that accidental moment in life when vairagya will descend on them. Gurudev Chinmayanandaji declares that such an expectation is as ridiculous as waiting for the harvest of crops for which we never sowed the seeds. Vairagya dawns when you question your pursuits in life. When you consider your input in terms of emotional and physical effort and precious time spent, and then weigh the gain that life gave back in terms of any lasting happiness, generally a hollowness grins back at you! That is the dawn of vairagya that turns your attention to seek a permanent joy, a peace, a balance which you would never barter for the world’s petty toys.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi.