Peace of Mind- A Road Map in the Bhagavad Gita


1. But the self-controlled man, moving amongst objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace.
2. In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.- Bhagavad Gita 2.64-65

Search for happiness: A Game of Musical Chairs
The outstanding feature of  worldly existence is that human life is always beset with duality or  contradictions like misery and happiness, rich and poor, love and hatred, joy  and sorrow, likes and dislikes, praise and censure, loss and gain, success and  failure and so on ad infinitum. The favorable events of life are desired  as “ever happening” and unfavorable ones are avoided as “never happening”. All  human activities in this world, therefore, revolve around reducing these  contradictions thereby hoping to lead a happier life.

To put it in another way, all  human beings strive for happiness i.e. the less happy ones try to find out ways  to become at least equal to those who are perceived to be happier, if not to go  beyond them. In this hunt for equality, they look forward to attain happiness  by attempting to fulfill their infinite desires and while doing so start facing  problems which lead them to disappointment, frustration and misery. The reasons  for this paradoxical situation are not far to seek.
1. Desires  like fire are insatiable; satisfaction of one desire generates another. Their  basic nature is to multiply like branches of a tree. While desires are many  their complete fulfillment is beyond one’s capacity. The result is misery all  around. We are so much entangled in the web of desires that there is hardly any  time to think about the world beyond our self-created  cocoons.
2. The idea  that one can become equal to another is not only deceptive but irrational. True  equality has never been and can never be on earth. According to one Upanishad, only  in the primal state there was a perfect balance when the One (Brahman) wanted  to become many and creation took place. Suppose all particles of matter are  held in equilibrium, there cannot be any momentum even as per science. Only  when there is some disturbance one particle rushes against the other and the thrust  take place. Perfect balance of all struggling forces in all the planes can  never be possible in this world. Hence absolute equality is mere wishful  thinking imbalance is the sign of life and its driving force. But due to  ignorance, man equates inequality to misery and runs after a mirage.
3. We assume things and situations based on a sense  of perceived reality. All living creatures are assumed to be a physical system  consisting of a bundle of the body, mind, intellect and the senses. We hardly  recognize or perceive the Soul or Self or Atman who is the indweller of the  physical system of the living beings.
4. Because of our identification with the body,  mind, intellect and sense equipment we fail to realize the impermanent nature of the objects of our identification as also the eternal nature of its indweller.  The result of this misplaced understanding (which is called ignorance or avidya  in Vedanta) is our erroneous view of life.
5. This aberration generates in us worldly attachment  and relationships which blur our vision of life and propel us to chase the  unreal leaving the Real at the roadside. In this rat-race after an illusion the  end is bound to be short, lived and miserable. Such an unawakened view of life  prevents us from understanding and accepting the basic laws of nature like when  there is birth there is bound to be death, when something goes up it will have  to come down etc. which will always  be  operative in all places and at all times. Our failure to negotiate with this  eternal realism is the root cause for all our false beliefs, false values,  false knowledge and false conduct leading to a life full of agony and despair. Hence  if we want to reach the correct destination of life we have to take the correct  road.

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