Contemporary application and practices of Indian Psychology as taught by Lord Krishna in Geeta

Shivantika Sharad
University of Delhi

To follow a righteous and just path is much more important than reaching the goal, as the right path paves the way for a tradition by which truth is discovered. But an unjust path can only lead to the manipulation of truth. One cannot claim that one's path is right unless and until one has not left the indulgence and involvement in the results of the task at hand.Desires lead to a type of faintness and under its spell one loses the sight of the right path. The exploration of truth becomes the exploitation of truth. Truth is akin to something as pure as a drop of dew, even a slightest ray of sun is strong enough to make it invisible. Likewise the subtlities of truth cannot be attained by one who is afflicted by even a tinge of desire. Desires render ineligibility to the explorer of truth. This perennial problem and its solution have been discussed quite lucidly by Lord Krishna in Geeta. "Vardhaman" - or the one which grows - is supposed to be the basic nature of human being. This supposition means that there is a tendency on the part of our "atman" to propel us to incessantly grow and evolve. But this hardly happens. As we age we gain expertise in the art of manipulation, which might bring some worldly success but it most invariably impoverishes our truer inner self. So the gap between ourselves and our "Atman" widens and the mist in that gap becomes denser. The primary reason for this ever widening distance and increasing darkness is our situatedness in relationships-those relationships which are motivated by desire and wishes which keep increasing with age. It all begins with parents to siblings, to friends, to spouse, to children and so on... So the human being enmeshes itself into the whirlpool of relationships which are propelled by desires and his state is equivalent to that of a spider trapped in its self created web. In this way a human being instead of attaining the truthful and blissful state of being, ends up in a state which is much below than itself on the rungs of evolution. I would like to throw light on the teachings of Lord Krishna in Geeta as a way out of this process of self humiliation and self declination. For me even today these teachings hold as much relevance as they ever did in helping the process of self growth and exploring the inner world. I would also like to show similarities which echo in the teachings of other Indian schools of Psychology.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002