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Krishna’s Secret: Where I disagree with Devdutt Pattanaik?

You can watch his video. Everything is fine as a social message. Everything is fine as a moral message. To, me he misunderstood Krishna’s secret. Devdutt says that the thoughts are formless. They are Nirgun and it is very difficult to catch hold of them. And we can catch the thoughts only at the level of the Karma (action). This is where I totally disagree with him. Spirituality is a very subtlest thing.


Here is my take. The whole creation is in a relative perspective and even our Upanishads speak of existence and non-existence as relative perspectives. Thoughts are intangible compared to actions. Actions are outer expressions of the thoughts. So, actions are more visible in comparison to the thoughts. But that does not mean thoughts are formless and can be recognized as Nirguna. No. That is not true. Thoughts are objects. They are also like the matter. Even science recognizes thoughts as objects. “It has been estimated by experts that the average brain has anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of them are believed to be negative (Source: Psychology Today)”. Just imagine how powerful the thoughts are. And what will happen to us if we act upon all the 70% of the negative thoughts? What will happen to us if all the 70% of the negative thoughts are converted into actions? Our lives will become miserable. We will be living in a hell. In criminology the judicial system looks into what is called the ‘mens rea’ (the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused). So the intention behind the action is very important and the source of that intention is the thought. And the source of that thought is an emotion.

Our actions, thoughts, and emotions are not three different things. They are three aspects of the same reality. Action is gross, thought is subtle, and an emotion is subtler. It may be too late if we are able to catch hold of our emotions at the level of the actions (Karmas). For example, I see my friend after a long time. A positive feeling arises in my heart, it immediately takes the form of a positive thought in my mind, and I immediately transform that positive thought into a positive action and I shake hands with him and hug him with a laughter on my face. This is a positive action. And the same could also be true in a negative sense. For example, I see my enemy who has hurt me in the past. A negative feeling arises in my heart, it immediately triggers a negative thought in my mind, and without even thinking a bit I gave it a form of a negative action, and slap on his face. This is a negative action. Now, it will be too late to catch hold of the same at the level of my action. Whatever best I could do, I must do it at the level of negative emotion (before it triggers into my mind as a negative thought).


Krishna's secret
Posted by Devdutt Pattanaik on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Negative emotions are heavier than positive emotions. Positive thoughts are heavier than positive emotions. Negative thoughts are heavier than positive thoughts. We feel better and lighter when we are with positive thoughts. And we feel heavier when we are with negative thoughts. And we feel very lighter when we are in a silent state of the mind. Let us take an example of an ocean. Just think of a very silent ocean. The waves are very still and are almost not moving. This is like the silent state of the mind. This is a very beautiful state. This is a blissful state. And think of a state when the waves are moving and colliding with some speed. A boatman does not require much efforts. Just a little push the boat moves on its own. And the boatman can easily give a direction to his journey. Let us compare this situation with the state of positive thoughts. Now think of an ocean with turbulent waves. It is the most dangerous and a challenging situation. The boatman has to do lot of efforts to survive and reach the shore with safety. The boat may get capsized because of the turbulent waves in the ocean. Let us compare this situation with the state of negative thoughts. This is the situation of our minds. Then what to do? We have to develop the capability of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a powerful technique. It transforms the negative emotions into positive emotions, the positive emotions into positive actions. And the positive actions into Sattvic Karmas. And eventually the Sattvic Karmas into Nishkam Karma Yoga. According to Krishna, a Nishkam Karmayogi is one who performs the Sattvic Karmas without the fruits of those Karmas. Mindfulness changes the nature of the emotions, thoughts, and actions. This is the power of Mindfulness. The sooner we catch hold of them the better it is. It is better to catch hold of our actions at the level of emotions and thoughts. And it may be too late to catch hold of them at the level of the actions. And we all know every action (positive or negative) has a consequence (positive or negative). Our thoughts make up our mind. And our mind make up our personality. And our personality is either Tamasic, Rajasic, and Sattvic.

We have learnt in science that opposite bodies attract, and opposite poles attract. But the same is not true when it comes to thoughts, minds, and philosophies. Only two similar thoughts, minds and philosophies attract. Only two negative thoughts, minds, and philosophies attract. Only two positive thoughts, minds, and philosophies attract. We always try to stay away from negative people. And we always try to come closer to positive and loving people. This is how science and spirituality differ in some ways. What is true in science need not be true in spirituality.

This is Krishna’s secret if we call it a secret. And why it’s a secret? Because Krishna was living with that kind of normal and natural life and he unfolded his philosophy in the battlefield of Kurukshetra in the form of Geeta only when his dearest friend Arjuna asked him the existential questions of life and death.


My Comments on his Post:

(1) He says thoughts have no form (they are Nirgun). This is where he is totally wrong. Thoughts have forms. Thoughts are objects. Even according to the science, thoughts are objects. They are subtle objects and not like stones. And when they take the form of an action they have the potential to become gross objects. Negative thoughts are heavier than positive thoughts. Positive thoughts are lighter and hence we feel nice with positive thoughts. Silence is even more lighter than the positive and negative thoughts. And in the silent state of the mind we may have the glimpse of the divine. And only the divine is formless, and rest all objects have forms. Only the formless is Nirguna. It is without any attributes. It is that Brahman.

(2) Every relationship is for the benefit of the two in that relationship. It is mutual. Only a win-win relationship sustains. Neither win-lose works nor lose-win works. Every relationship is for the mutual benefit of two involved in that relationship. And through that relationship we have the endless possibilities of fulfilling all our needs - physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual. This is the beauty of a relationship.

(3) Shiva and Shakti appear as forms. They complement each other to reach to the formless Ekalinga. This is the advantage of a relationship. This is a Tantra :)
Emotions, thoughts, and actions are three manifestations of the same reality. Actions are gross, thoughts are subtle, and emotions are subtler. It may be too late to catch hold of the emotions at the level of actions. We say catch them young. We say nip in the bud. The same is true with our actions. All actions (positive or negative) have consequences (positive or negative). Positive thoughts are heavier than positive emotions. Positive thoughts are lighter than negative thoughts. Mindfulness is a powerful technique that transforms the negative into the positive. According to Krishna, a Nishkam Karmayogi is one who performs the Sattvic Karmas without the fruits of those Karmas. This is Krishna’s secret which he unfolded to his friend Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

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