Ancient texts like Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and the Vedas suggest that there are two major paths to understanding one’s inner self. The first path is self assessment, a powerful tool for self discovery and introspection of one’s true nature. In ancient times, meditation was a form of self assessment. The second path is through our relationship with our surroundings—people,beings, and things.
BG chapter 13 explores the second path.
According to Shri Krishna, not everyone makes an effort to become self-actualised. Shri Krishna notes that “One in thousands seeks self actualization and only a few find it. (7.3).
It is not an easy task to focus on the inner self as our day to day life is too distracting. Besides, the natural tendency of not easily acknowledging our weaknesses, and correcting them. Along with acknowledging weaknesses, refining our strengths is also a rigorous task.
Why is it so important to understand the inner self? To be an impactful person, one must understand first who they are, their personality traits and true nature. After realisation of one’s inner self, utilising one’s strengths and values to overcome challenges in life.
Shri Krishna speaks of three fundamental kinds of human characteristics that is, Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.(7.12)
Sattvic is the character of peace and purity. The character of the wise and righteous ones who are close to supreme consciousness. (7.17)
Rajasic is the character of growth and movement.
Tamasic is the character of demons whose intellect is corrupt and who perform evil deeds.(7.15)
While Tamasic people are restricted by the interests of I,me and myself, the Sattvik people do selfless service. Sattvik people are able to look beyond the boundaries of I,me and myself and do great things in life.
Reunion with the Supreme
Krishna points out four types of people—the distressed, seekers of wealth and power, seekers of self actualization, and the seekers of the supreme consciousness. (7.16).
Our focus should be one building our character in the Sattvic manner.
Who shall we look up to for Liberation?
We usually look for external objects to find our liberation. We say that only if we did not have this or that confinement, we would be liberated. We think that if we had more power, freedom or money, we would be liberated.
Shri Krishna says that the Brahma, the supreme consciousness is what people should look up to. According to Shri Krishna, true liberation is not attainable by looking into externalities or external objects. The unification of Aatma (self) with the Brahma (supreme consciousness) is the ultimate liberation for an individual.
Realising the potential : Compassion, power and glory
“The supreme consciousness is the source of all qualities such as knowledge, wisdom, temperance, forgiveness, truthfulness, prudence, self-control, contentment, dedication, charity and recognition “(10:4,5). The bearer of these qualities is the inner self. In chapter 10, Shri Krishna further states, ” The compassion of the supreme consciousness destroys the darkness of ignorance” (10:11). Compassion makes our mind tos and their ideas.
When Savyasachi Arjun asks Krishna about the glory of supreme consciousness, Krishna describes the manifestation of the supreme consciousness that permeates through the worldly and worldly matters. It has no obligation. Everything that has glory and power is the manifestation of supreme consciousness”. (10:40-41)
Understanding the physical and psychological composition
The human body is made up of five essential elements— earth, water, fire, air, and space. (13.4).
Our psychological setup is connected to our senses and mind. What we perceive with our senses to our mind. Our intellect is the ability to rationalize things, objects, and events. We also have the ability to translate the messages from our mind and intellect into actions. Thus Awareness is very much needed because our environment surroundings and their effects create human conditions.
Krishna says “Human nature is made up of faith. A person becomes whatever he believes in with faith”.
We must with conviction make efforts to become Arjuna, and set our goal of achieving Krishna, the supreme consciousness.