What is Righteousness
Who would you choose as a greater superhero — Batman or Superman? Majority voted for Batman because you cannot become Superman but you can become Batman. Batman doesn’t have an inherent special power but he thinks and acts in a heroic way. The character Bruce Wayne has everything in life i.e. pleasure, possession, and position but knows there is more to life than that. He goes exploring and finds who he really is and as Batman he serves community, society and humanity.
Similarly Prince Arjuna has all but he doesn’t feel he has all. He has the doubts (Moha/Confusion) and seeks Lord Krishna’s help and guidance. PAQ is Prince Arjuna’s questions and Bhagavan Krishna’s answers. It is NOT an external text but is our mind/our question and our doubts. Living the Gita is to be practiced every day and most importantly reflected on.
Question 1: What is Peace
Reflection: How can you shift your attitude toward your responsibility; from what you can gain to what you can give. Each of us is a piece and life is a puzzle. Your responsibilities are all pieces in this grand puzzle. Fulfillment comes when the puzzle is complete. Peace is fulfillment of our responsibilities. Be steady in whatever you do. No complaining, criticizing, crying as they make us unsteady.
Question 2: What is Sin
Reflection: What are the ways one tries to escape responsibilities? We procrastinate. We tend to do the least important tasks first. When we engage in less important tasks first; there is a weight on our mind of the important tasks which are yet to be done. This weight keeps increasing causing anxiety, stress. So Prioritize!
Prince Arjuna’s Question 3: What is Righteousness
Chapter 1, Verse 37: ‘Therefore, we shall not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives; for how can we be happy by killing our own people, O Madhava?’
Prince Arjuna laments on how he can kill his relatives which is a sense of doership. His perspective is on killing when he should be focused on stopping the Kauravas who are killing. Prince Arjuna is using his eyes and seeing them as relatives rather than using his intellect and seeing them as terrorists. If you do not stop harm (external or internal) you are an accomplice and encourage the act. We feel there is more pleasure in escapism than embracing it. Prince Arjuna thinks about escaping his responsibility and asks Bhagavan Krishan about it.
Bhagavan Krishna’s Answer: Chapter 2, Verse 32:
‘Happy indeed are the KSHATRIYAS, O Partha, who are called to fight in such a battle, that comes of itself as an open door to heaven’
Why does anything happen to us? We do not know why things happen to us but we experienced them and carried on. So, keep going with the flow!
Bhagavan Krishna is sharing that for everyone who embraces what is happening to them right now, the door to heaven is open for us. Bhagvan Krishna is emphasizing that by embracing our responsibilities that are righteous, our mind will be quiet and we will feel heaven. Everything happens to us for our evolution. Every experience we go through, every responsibility is actually our gate to heaven — to quietude of mind! The fight is to establish dharma. In the world there is a rise in adharma. So the responsible people need to be more responsible. Being who we are is reestablishing that balance. Think about who you are and your responsibilities.
Question 1: How do you manage conflicting responsibilities?
If responsibilities lead to heaven, being irresponsible leads to hell. So what if you follow one responsibility and pulled to another, there is a mix of both?
- Choose the responsibility that encourages maximum happiness for maximum people for maximum time. Put it into the decision making process. If one is focused on responsibility towards Divinity, humanity, society, community and family is included in it already.
- One will be kicked hardest by those who you want to help most. This is the nature of dvaita (duality) where people kick. This happens in Twoness. In Oneness it doesn’t matter and someone’s comment, ignoring you, talking about you. You don’t let it affect you. Best example is Bhagavan Rama who has perpetual conflicting responsibilities.
Question 2: Is it right to wait to be asked for help rather than offering/jumping in to help? If someone didn’t ask for help should you help them?
Answer: Those who served humanity and society the most did so without being asked. They felt the need of humanity and society like Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Sivananda did so. They were kicked down but they got up because they felt the need of the people. Proactive vs reactive towards service.
Question 3: My definition of righteousness is different from someone else’s. How do you know your responsibility, especially in conflicting responsibilities?
- Associate with those who are wise. The wsie is tuned in to the maximum to Divinity, Humanity, Society, Community. Whatever they did we need to follow suit.
- The more one engages in getting to know themselves through scriptures, the more you know who you are and what to do.
Question 4: When I get in a conflict, stressful situation with kids. How do you handle it?
- Purpose of life is to be quiet and happy and not to be externally perfect. Take it easy more, especially with others but have higher expectations of ourself. We should tell kids but in a kind, comfortable way.
- As we get in seeing everyone all the time. Pick and choose your battles and let go on the lighter ones and focus on the moral ones.
To Do: Address the questions and reflections in advance before class.
Reflection on RAW from 9/24: Whenever your mind is agitated, drink water. If that doesn’t work, then wash your hands . We put so much effort into tending to our external self because we are extroverts. We need to put the same amount of effort to our internal self — purifying our mind through reading, writing and reflection. If you can, you will be in heaven
Raw for 10/1: Identify 3 engagements/activities that you are doing that you know to be wrong. You are knowingly doing this and know that it is wrong.