The Mahabharata - In a Nutshell
There are three great characters in the Mahabharata. All the other characters are just by-products of these three characters. Duryodhana, Arjuna, and Krishna are these three main and great characters. To me, Duryodhana represents the Unconscious. He is a metaphor for the Unconscious. Arjuna represents the Conscious. He is a metaphor for the Conscious. And Krishna represents the Supreme Conscious. He is a metaphor for the Supreme Conscious. He is representing the Supreme Consciousness. When the ray of the Supreme Consciousness passes through the prism of the mind, the prism of the mind manifests the Supreme Consciousness, as the Consciousness and the Unconsciousness.
To make things simple, let us understand this by way of an example. Let us suppose that the Unconsciousness is like darkness and the Consciousness is like the light. And the one that joins these two and still remains beyond is called the Supreme Consciousness. According to the psychologists the Unconsciousness is far far bigger than the Consciousness. The Consciousness is like a small candle light. And these two, the Consciousness and the Unconsciousness (the light and darkness in our example) are joined in a very mysterious way. Even though the darkness is very huge, no matter how big is its periphery and circumference, a small candle of light can disperse this darkness. And when the light goes off, the darkness comes back again. It appears as if there was no light ever. And we have to discover the light again from the very beginning. Therefore, darkness can be defined as the absence of light. And the light can be defined as the absence of darkness. When the light is present the darkness is absent. And they can never be present together. They can never go to the school together. Sometimes they behave as friends and sometimes they behave as enemies.
And probably, this is the reason that in the Rig Veda the first verse is on the praise of the Agni (the fire God). The fire is eulogised as a big form of God. The outer world was dark and gloomy and there was only a light of the celestial bodies. The light was not portable. It was not near, it was far away in the heavens. And some how the ancients have worked very hard to get this light in the form of Agni closer to the human world and not only that they have even made it portable. The outside world which was dark has now been illumined by this fire. It is true that it was a big form of God. Because after the discovery of Agni or fire many problems of the world which was in darkness have been greatly solved. And after Thomas Edison, who discovered the present day light, the Rig Veda has to be rewritten again, and the second verse should begin with eulogising this present day light. The present day light is nothing less than another big form of God. This is how the fire has travelled from basic fire to advanced light. A new industry came into existence after the discovery of fire. And a far bigger industrial revolution of the west has also come into existence after the discovery of the light. Nobody knows what light is in reality, but we have some loose definitions on light here and there. Light is a natural agent that stimulates our sight and makes things visible to us. This is only one of the definitions. Why am I saying like this? I am saying this because this could be true only when it comes to the physical world. And it is not true when it comes to the metaphysical world. When the sun light falls on an object, the object becomes visible. And when this light moves into our eyes and when the light of our eyes falls on an object before us, the object becomes visible to us. And the same is not true when it comes to the metaphysical world. The metaphysical world always remains invisible. When we observe the quantum world with the help of the light of our eyes, the quantum world remains invisible. And hence it remains mysterious. And we do not have much idea of the phenomenon happening there. And we can not say anything with absolute certainty. And we can only say in terms of probabilities and possibilities. Werner Heisenberg was at loss to know why the electrons are behaving like this in the quantum world. And later on he discovered that the electrons change their behaviour when the light of our eyes falls on them. Are the electrons conscious? The answer is, we don’t know. Because, if we say that the electrons are conscious then the very definition of consciousness also undergoes a change. And then there can not be anything like living things and nonliving things in the existence. All our definitions are loose. All our definitions are on the surface. All our definitions are on the outer. All our definitions are on the periphery and on the circumference. All our definitions are relative. And all our definitions die at the center of the whole thing.
According to science the light is a particle of energy that behaves as a particle and a wave. It has a dual behaviour and hence the latin word quantum to describe the same. And according to science nothing travels faster than light. As of now Albert Einstein has the last laugh. He said nothing travels faster than light. And it still remains undisputed. And this light, which is so powerful, also dies at the heart of a black hole. We have no idea really what happens at the center of a black hole. The gravity is so high that the light can not escape and can not return back. And hence it can not give us any information. This is the story of the outer light. This is the story of the objective light and the objective world. The only yardstick to measure the events of the objective world is the equation of the theory of relativity of Albert Einstein. And this equation also dies at the center of the black hole. And as of now we are not able to go beyond the black holes. It is as if the whole of physics has approached a dead-end. Michio Kaku is a brilliant theoretical scientist. He is also a string theorist. He tries to import the equation of the theory of relativity of Albert Einstein and applies it to the black hole. And when he solves the equation for the center of a black hole, he gets a series of zeroes and infinities. And the whole result appears to be meaningless. And he thinks that there is something terribly wrong with the equation of the theory of relativity of Albert Einstein. And this equation is not helping in taking us beyond the black holes. And the quantum equations are also not helping us in taking beyond the quantum world. And it seems that we have arrived at some kind of a dead-end in the physical world and the quantum world.
Is the light really objective? Is light really an object? Well, this could only be a half truth. The mystics have also been talking of an inner light. It seems the reality behaves even in a more mysterious way. It seems there is an outer light and also an inner light. It seems there is another higher duality of the inner light and outer light. All the scriptures, and all the Vedas and Upanishads have talked about the five senses. And it was only Krishna who talked about the sixth sense. We see and perceive the whole physical world only through our five senses. It appears to us that all our five senses (five karmendriyas and five jnanendriyas) are peeping out of the body. They are gathering information of the outside world while we are interacting with the outside world. Let us just look at one sense organ. Let us look at our eyes. They look like a lense. They are convexed out. The eyes are curving out and bulging out. And here the other half of the organ is missing. The inner and the concave part is missing.
I do a small experiment with my management students. I divide the whole team into two teams. And I show only the convex side of the lense to one team and only the concave side of the lense to the other team. And this I do with them separately. And then I ask them jointly as to what they have seen. They tell their perceptions. The perceptions of the two teams are different. And their perspectives are diagonally opposite. They do not meet and they oppose each other. The two teams do not agree and they disagree. Are they true in their perceptions? To each team their own perception is like a reality. To team A, the reality of team B is like a perception. And to team B, the reality of team A is like a perception. And both the teams are absolutely right because they have seen half of the reality. Now reverse the experiment with both the teams. Now show them the other half of the lense which was kept hidden from them in the first part of the experiment. Now both the teams have seen the other half also. Now you ask them jointly as to what have they seen. They simply laugh. Now there are no two perceptions. Now there is no duality. Now there are no two different perspectives. There is only one single reality to all of them. And there is no opposition. There is no conflict. There is no dispute. This is how the individuals and various teams in an organization can be aligned towards the common goal and objective of the organization. And all this part of the vision of the organization.
This is how Krishna says that there is a point of convergence. There is a common center to all the five senses. All these five senses meet and merge at a common point. And this common point is like the center of a circle. And all these five senses are emerging from there and moving out to the periphery of our being and taking us into the outer world. All these five senses interact with the outside world and create various perceptions. They give us various ideas. They create various notions. They make various concepts. And out of all these, perceptions, ideas, concepts, and thoughts a mind is created. The mind is like a huge database. It is like a big software. It stores and retrieves information and experiences. There is text, images, symbols, audios and videos. There can not be a far bigger software than the human mind. There can not be a far bigger computer than the human mind. We fear because there is a past experience of an accident or a death. In the past life or lives may be a snake might have bitten. I might had a fatal accident. A tiger might have eaten me. A king might have beheaded me. And all this information is there in the database. And all this past experience comes to me as an instinct in the present body. And this whole past comes to me as an instinct and becomes part of my DNA of the present body. And may in the future the biologists and neurobiologists will be able to figure this out. There are yogic methods to retrieve this information. And there is no point in all this. This is not of much help. The nature in its own wisdom does not allow us to know about our past. All our past is just a memory. Just think, what will happen to my biology and psychology if I come to know that my wife in my past life was my sister. And we have all the memory from the point of a Big Bang to till date. And this memory becomes active and passive. The more it becomes passive, it moves away from the active mind and we do not remember anything. And it is not in the interest of our innate wisdom to remember the past. It is of no use. The wisdom of the nature in all its ways is trying to bring us closer to the present. And the mind moves us into the past and the future like a pendulum clock. The pendulum clock nicely represents the mind. The mind can not stay in the present. And hence the biggest joys of life remain away from us. We are always living either in the past or in the future. We are either living in the memories or in the imaginations. And both these are of no much help. Because both these keep the present away from us. And only the present is blissful. If the past is responsible for the present, then with the same analogy the present will also be responsible for the future. Therefore, there is no point in brooding over the past and it is better to work with the present consciously. If the past is zero and infinity is the future, then here and here is the present. And if minus infinity is the past and plus infinity is the future, then zero is the present. This is how Shunya has a different meaning in the scriptures. It is symbolic of the present. And it is not a mathematical notation for zero.
In our above example, we can also represent the past as the Unconsciousness, the present as the Consciousness, and the future as the Supreme Consciousness. The present can evolve into the Supreme Consciousness only when we act with the Consciousness. We can also represent it this way. If the past is ignorance, then the future is knowledge and the present is wisdom. The ignorance is of the past. The knowledge is of the future. And the wisdom is of the present. This is like the time value of money. The money in the past has no value compared to the money in the present. And the money in the present has no value compared to the money in the future. The knowledge of the past has no value compared to the knowledge of the present. And the knowledge of the present has no value compared to the knowledge of the future. And it is only the wisdom which is not in time. It is not part of the past tense or the future tense. It just belongs to the pure present. It belongs to the timeless. And hence it is priceless. And wisdom has no utility except this. It is non-utilitarian. The ignorance is of an utility. The ignorant can be deceived. The ignorant can learn if he wishes to. The one who is knowledgeable can deceive the ignorant. The one who is knowledgeable can impart the knowledge to one who is willing to learn. All these possibilities are there. The wisdom is something that brings all this in the ever present. The wisdom is something that allows us to use the knowledge in the best way possible. It allows us to use the knowledge in the present in the best way possible. And it also allows us to create knowledge for the future. And this way wisdom makes the learning endless. The learning never stops. There is nothing like a goal. There is no dead-end on the path of knowledge and wisdom. And we have no other option but to evolve continuously with knowledge and wisdom. The wisdom makes knowledge as something dynamic. No matter we do what, the knowledge can never come closer to the wisdom. They can never meet. They can work co-jointly. The knowledge is part of the mind. And the wisdom is part of no-mind. The knowledge is part of the time and the wisdom is part of the timeless. We can only use our mind mindfully. This is the only possibility. If the mind becomes a subset of the no-mind, the journey becomes a joy. And if the no-mind becomes a subset of the mind, the journey becomes a dead-end. The mind then becomes a monkey. And the mind becomes a zombie. And the evolution can not move further. And it appears that Charles Darwin is right and it seems that we have evolved from the monkeys and are not able to go beyond and we have arrived at a dead-end.
Krishna says that there is a possibility of a convergence of the senses. There is a possibility of a confluence of these senses. There is a possibility of a unity. There is a possibility of a singularity. There is a possibility of a unification. And this path is inner. That is, the one that takes us to the center of our being. The one that takes us closer to our inner objects. And these inner objects are our thoughts and emotions. The world of the mind and the heart is something different. The thoughts are very small objects. The mind takes note of these thought objects. And the emotions are further smaller than the thoughts. The world of the heart is full of emotions. The heart makes note of these emotions. And the same emotions manifest in the mind as thoughts, and the same thoughts manifest through the body as actions. Emotions, thoughts and actions are not three different things. They are three different manifestations of the same thing. The thoughts look like particles. And the emotions look like waves. And the silence at the depth of the being looks like a field. The thoughts and emotions are interacting with this field in a similar way the bosons as particles are interacting with a boson field. The thoughts and emotions that interact fast are lighter because they gain less mass, and those which are lazy and interact slowly are very heavy because they gain more mass. The negative emotions and negative thoughts are very heavy. The positive emotions and positive thoughts are very light. They are massless. They appear as if they have no weight. And that is why we feel better when we are in a state of positive emotions and positive thoughts. The positive emotions and positive thoughts are very closer to the field of silence. And they can dissolve in no time in the field of silence. The grace of the silence is so much that they can not escape. And they have no other option but to get dissolved. This is how gravity behaves from large objects to small objects. This is how gravity moves from the objects to subject. In the world of the objects there is gravity and in the world of the subject there is only grace. The thoughts can not escape and just die out there. They just get dissolved there. The field of silence is like that of a black hole. The chattering mind simply becomes a silent mind. It becomes composed. It becomes centered. And this gives the experience of unification, singularity and oneness. The journey of the mind is over. It gives the experience of satisfaction and fulfillment. And the only thing that is left now is the Supreme Consciousness. It is in this state of oneness, unification and singularity the Supreme Consciousness is termed as Ekam, Advitium. The emotions, thoughts and actions have some forms. The silence is formless. It has no form. And in this state of silence we experience the one which is beyond the form and the formless. The Supreme Consciousness is that which is beyond all forms and the formless. It is transcendental.