Swamiji begins the talk by continuing to discuss Sri Krishna’s exposition on the characteristics of a Gunateeta—one who has transcended the Gunas.
Defining a Gunateeta, Swamiji says that a person 1) who understands that this whole world (including our body mind complex) is governed by the three Gunas, 2) who does not have a fictitious image of himself as the doer of all actions, 3) who has attained placidity of the mind wherein he is stable in the face of all dualities and 4) who is established in the 'Self' (his true identity)--such a person is a ‘Gunaateeta’.
He is a witness of the play of the Gunas in and around him but is not bound by them. He is stable, unaffected and unwavering. He is equally disposed towards the earth, stone and gold. He is not enamoured by gold. Such a person is also even-minded towards likes and dislikes, towards praise and criticism and will be impartial towards friends and foes. A Gunaateeta will be patient and stable in all circumstances.
Quoting instances from Lord Buddha's life and the life of Bhartihari, Swamiji shows how an even-minded disposition can be cultivated. Swamiji tells us that these above-mentioned characteristics must become the focus of our Sadhana.
Swamiji says that through this chapter Krishna is trying to take Arjuna to the Gunaateeta level so that he can face both Bhishma and Duryodhana with an evenness and perform his duty. He emphasizes that it is what all Sadhakas must imbibe too.
Shlokas Discussed: 14. 23 & 24
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.