Param Para: Answers to Questions on the Spiritual Path  
by Swami Amar Jyoti

Seeker: I’m concerned by my past behavior. I don’t want to fall into the same thing. Seeing and remembering the past behavior of sliding back all those years.

Swami Amar Jyoti: So you have reached the point of no return but you are not sure yet of going forward?

I know that I have to go forward.

Because there is no other choice?

There is no other choice.

Otherwise, if you could, you would avoid it?

No, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to fall into the same…

Let’s talk about what you are now. Be sure of what you want. Not out of compulsion. Not out of “no other choice.” Not out of “since I have started, let me finish it somehow.” Not because of what others will say, et cetera. See what you want: clearly, heartfelt, sincerely. A house divided against itself; that is what you are talking about. Your mind is divided. Your heart is divided. As Arjuna said on the battlefield: “Oh, Lord Krishna, tell me what shall I do?” And what did Krishna say? “Arjuna, you are blind with attachments and deluded.” He told him that attachment causes misery and shortens the perspective of reality. “Arjuna, you are called the scorcher of foes, the commander in chief, the greatest archer in the whole of India—such big titles! But you don’t even know what is going to happen tomorrow. Therefore, gather up your energy. Consolidate your thoughts and feelings. Make them one-pointed like an arrow on the target. There is no other choice but to go forward.”

There is joy in going straight. There may be fun in going crooked for some time but eventually you are lost. Krishna told Arjuna: “You are talking in a dream. Evil and righteousness are standing on opposite sides and you are still thinking—Which way to go? That is because you are deluded by attachments. As a kshatriya, a warrior, your duty is to protect dharma, righteousness. It is only because your kith and kin are on the evil side that you are not acting. Do not judge by the relationship; judge by the principle. God will be pleased with you. Do you want to take the path of dharma or the path of adharma, unrighteousness?”

Arjuna said, “I understand, Lord, but I am weak.” Krishna countered, “In a discussion where you know you cannot win, you say, ‘I am weak.’ Arjuna, you are deceiving yourself.” When we side even ideologically with adharma, we are weak. That was Arjuna’s condition. “There is no substance in your thinking,” Krishna told him. “That such a brave person, a bold person should be so weak is only because of your attachments and selfishness. You are simply an instrument. If you are victorious in the battlefield, you will rule the kingdom in righteousness. If you are killed, you will go to heaven because you have fulfilled your duty very well, for the Lord’s sake. If you show your back to the battlefield, not only will you be dishonored as a warrior but you will never have peace for as long as you live because you have not stood up to the ideal.” That is exactly the condition of every one of us. If we do not live righteously we cannot have peace. Dissipation, distraction, restlessness, disloyalty, faithlessness and shifting from one thing to another do not give us peace. Dharma saves us.

At one point Arjuna said, “I am ready to leave the battlefield and renounce.” Krishna replied, “You are saying this out of helplessness. It is not your genuine spirit of renunciation. It is not because you are dying for God Realization. This is fake renunciation. You have the right to leave but you will eventually know that you have failed, not only yourself but the cause of righteousness and the protection of others. The whole kingdom—those who are righteous—are depending upon you. They are pinning all their hopes on you as the greatest archer and the commander in chief of the army. Do you understand how much suffering you will cause with your failure to uphold dharma? Who will take that sin?”

The gist of Krishna’s message is: do not be deluded by weakness and attachments. Therefore, first decide what you want. Under the power of delusion we are hypnotized to see reality through the colorings and conceptions of our own mind. We peep through the cracks of those conceptions and see very little of reality. The Bhagavad Gita is devoted to this one topic: how to find freedom from self-imposed delusions that blind you to Reality. This self-hypnosis has to be shattered in order to awaken. Surrender to the Lord is the ultimate method, but even to come to that point of unconditional surrender and egolessness, Arjuna had to hear so much. Delusion, misconceptions, preconceptions, wishful thinking, blinding attachment, greed, vanity, egotism and illegitimate desires are like thick clouds that assume a certain reality that does not exist. The sole purpose of Satsang is how to bring you out of these delusions. Wisdom is not a thing to be given; by wisdom I mean consciousness. Wisdom is knowledge born within. The Sanskrit word is gyana, which means “to awaken.” Therefore to make the sun shine we have to remove the clouds.

Enlightenment is not for the helpless. It is for those who are devoted to the cause, for those who know the value of it. There is nothing higher than that. Realization does not happen by knowing much; it happens by knowing nothing. Open your eyes and ears. It is not so much what you read or think that makes you wiser. Whether you read a hundred books or one, take the essence out of it. What does it say? This one Satsang, what does it say? Take the central idea and meditate on that. Meditation is the last word, the secret of Realization. Try to unlearn what you have learned, what you have been believing: I know something. You really don’t know much. Once you understand this, the mysteries of creation will reveal to you.
Consciousness is for everyone; the Kingdom of God is in everyone. You cannot satisfy the Lord and the creation at the same time unless you first find the Lord. Nature is constantly changing, moving, shifting. If you are identified with nature you are bound to be distracted. Spirit is stable. Become anchored to That and realize your unity. Be one-pointed on your goal. Feel sure, nothing else matters.

© 2008 by Truth Consciousness. This Satsang is edited from the Wisdom Teachings of Swami Amar Jyoti, recorded live in Prescott, Arizona in 1982 titled: Divine Wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita (R-46), published in Light of Consciousness 20#3, Autumn 2008.