What You See is Temptation
From challenge-to-challenge, the verses of the Bhagwad Gita have functioned as match sticks that open the self to understand the wisdom of the lesson being taught by The Universe. Whether I have read the Bhagwad Gita, verse-by-verse, or randomly opened a page and read the verse glaring at me, it has always led me to a deeper understanding of the situation that challenges me. I thank my father, for showing me the way by introducing this text to me.
I have refrained from reading the interpretations by the varied authors and Masters. Instead, what I have with me is the Translated Bhagwat Gita, in which the verses are simply translated, and not interpreted. I allow the breath to interpret to me, in accordance to what is required to emerge from the challenge victoriously.
This is not to say that I consider myself superior to any of the interpreters of the divine song, it is just that my relationship with the words of Krishna to Arjuna is based in innocence and spontaneity. I feel that I am Arjuna, being guided by my Krishna, when in the battlefield of a situation or challenge.
We are all here fighting our battles against the Kauravas. Our life is our Kurukshetra. The 100 Kauravas are the 100 thoughts that bombard the mind, intellect, ego, forcing the triad to side the brothers, just as Bhishma Pitama, Dronacharya, and Karna fought for Duryodhana.
The breath reveals to me that Bhishma Pitama is the ego, who believes his vow is the most important, and therefore fights against the Pandavas, even though in his heart he knows that he is on the wrong side of battle’s line. Isn’t that the nature of the ego. If it decides it is inferior, then it is and it casts the self in a cloud of inferiority. If it decides it is superior, then no other is right in front of it. It only considers its own conviction, or vow made to itself.
Duryodhana, the Guru – the intellect. He taught loyalty to his students. He knew the Pandavas well, and adored his favourite student – Arjuna. Yet, trapped by his knowing of right and wrong, rather than feeling between the two, chose to offer his allegiance to the Kauravas – the thoughts that inundate the self. The intellect remains confined with the teachings of right and wrong. It only believes what it is taught, and then considers what it teaches and advocates to others as the truth, rather than allowing creativity, spontaneity and innocence to guide the way.
Then comes Karna, the mind – embroiled and afflicted by conflict and confusion. Born to a mother who abandoned him, and adopted by Duryodana, who respected him for his skill and talent. Karna, the sixth brother of the Pandavas, never got what he truly felt, or rather knew he deserved. Born into royalty, yet brought up by a charioteer. He had an inborn affinity towards the royal games, especially archery; yet he had to be his talents and passion lying low. While he chose loyalty to Duryondhana, yet he panged for love and approval from his mother and his Pandava brothers.
Such is the nature of the mind, immersed in conflicts and confusion, pining, longing. It is dwells in the pain of the situation, and follows the path that pleases it. The mind is so powerful that it cannot be conquered till it is disarmed, with no scope to escape!
While the mind, intellect and ego, owe allegiance to the bombardment of thoughts; one cannot undermine the role of sight, with its companions – olfactory, taste, hearing and touch. Actually, sight is Duryodhana; for what he sees is what he believes. He lacks depth and therefore foresight, and therefore he believes what he sees are right is the only right way of doing things. He believes the thoughts that show him his truth and then commands the allegiance of Bhishma Pitama, Dronacharya and Karna. The other senses follow him, as he begins the journey to gratification. All believe what he says, and so also we always believe what our eyes show us.
Yet, there are three more senses beyond the five gross senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
The more subtler two senses are the vestibular system and the proprioception. The vestibular system is, “the perception of our body in relation to gravity, movement and balance.” Examples of this include awareness of movement, even though standing still in an elevator moving either upwards or downwards, or then the basic awareness of lying down on a bed or sitting up on a chair. Proprioception is “the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.” Examples of this include, being able to applaud even when the eyes are shut, or then writing with a pen using the correct amount of pressure, or ability to navigate through passages of varying width.
The subtlest of the senses is the sixth sense being intuitiveness, where depth and understanding happens. What the eyes show, or the nostrils smell, or the skin feels, or the tongue tastes, or the ears hear; none of this can manoeuvre the eight sense. It is beyond gratification of the senses, and uses awareness to drive the self. Intuitiveness is the language of the breath. It is communicate through feelings experienced subtly in the body. It is the subtle sensation that gently nudge the self into awareness. It is the vibrations that excite spontaneity to action. It is the silence that hums the tunes of faith. It is the Krishna, who guides Arjuna. It is the soul that is the charioteer of life.
Tempting is that which the eyes see! This is probably the base line of marketing and advertising. I could imagine every advertising Guru yell at their team, “Show them what excites their sight to trigger their other four senses, and it’s a successful campaign!” Oh yes! You see it and you hunger for it. I definitely do not agree with the adage, “Don’t judge a book by the cover.” Well, its is the cover, with its title, synopsis, reviews that attract me too the book. Then, it is what I read that determines how good or bad it is. So, once the purchase is made, how does it matter, since you brought it judging the cover. Well, this is my honest perspective on the adage where my life is concerned.
Attraction is only skin deep, which means you only get attracted to what you see, smell, hear, taste or touch. Beyond attraction is affection, which develops when the senses have absorbed what satisfy them, and then allow the stay to continue, and compatibility to build. Compatibility builds beyond the senses and the triad’s interference.
Greed, wants, desires, are all fuelled by all that we see. No wonder, whenever we go to the supermarket, even with a shopping list, the husband and I pick a lot more that we see, and return home with far more than we actually need. It’s all about temptations triggered by sight.
Blessed are we who can experience life through appropriately functioning senses, yet cursed are we who allow the mind, intellect and ego threesome run amok being driven by the temptations of the senses.
Aging of the body is a natural process. Yet, we battle it because of what we see around us. The beautiful skin, the luscious hair, the 26 in waist line, the young and effervescent, the surfboard abs, all of it reminds us of how old we get. But, if you look inwards an embrace how with age you mature, how the lines reflect experience, you will experience the grace within, which then reflects itself when you look into the mirror.
Duryodhana will wage a battle to control that which in actuality is not his. The eye will call your attention to that which you do not have and then generate the want.
I recall how when I got my first few menstrual cycles, I would count the years to the end of the cycles. When I began the journey towards the end of the cycles, the raging hormones kept punching my insides, while the eyes showed me the young around, and the mind, intellect, ego fought on the same side, against the body’s natural rhythm, I would given in and allow depression to take over. I pushed myself at the gym, I wanted to go back to the years gone by.
A plunge within brought wisdom that said, “age is a number, maturity is a transition. The body’s age is numbered, and with wear and tear it is roughened, maintain it well, maintain it healthy, adorn it, ornate it with grace, and yet allow yourself to celebrate every lesson and every experience. Don’t let the temptations that make your sight go weak and bring turbulence to the troika. Instead settle in the grace that flows within, and listen to the breath for awareness, and even when the hormonal storms try to rock your boat, you’ll recover, aware that this too shall pass.”