Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 41

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

10. The Way of Knowledge: Jnana-marga

Man knows only a part of his being, his surface mentality. There is a good deal beneath the surface of which he has no knowledge though it has effects on his conduct. We are some-times completely overcome by emotions, instinctive and involuntary reactions that upset the rule of conscious reason. While the lunatic is completely overcome by them, many of us are also subject to their influence, though such conditions are temporary with normal individuals. Under the stress of strong emotions of love or of hatred, we say or do things which we regret afterwards when we regain control. Our language, "He is beside himself," "He forgot himself," "He is not himself," suggests the truth of the primitive view that the man who is overcome by a strong emotion is possessed by a devil or a spirit.[1] When strong emotions are aroused, we become increasingly suggestible and all sorts of wild ideas take possession of us. Normally the subconscious collaborates with the conscious and we do not even suspect its presence but if we get off the track of our original instinctive pattern, we realize the full force of the subconscious. Unless the individual has complete self-awareness, he cannot become master of his life. Besides, body, life and mind require to be integrated. As a selfconscious being, man is actually aware of the deeper discords in him. He generally resorts to working compromises and leads a precarious life.

But until a perfect harmony, an organic balance, of his many-sided possibilities is achieved, he is not fully master of himself. The process of integration is never completed, so long as he is subject to temptations as Arjuna was. A growing personality requires unceasing care and fostering. By developing purity of intention, passions directed towards mundane objects die, producing tranquillity of mind which in turn gives rise to the inward silence in which the soul begins to establish contact with the Eternal from which it is sundered, and experience the presence of the Indwelling God. In stillness which is the rest of the soul from earthly encounter, insight is born and man becomes what he is.


References and Context

  1. "Fascination, bewitchment, loss of soul, possession and so on are clearly phenomena of dissociation, repression and suppression of consciousness by unconscious contents." Jung: The Integration of the Personality. E.T. (1940) , p. I2