GTA5

Finding the root cause of affliction

By BV Vaman Maharaj

Nowadays, we find the lack of discipline rampant in every sphere of human life, be it political, social, economic and even in education. It’s extremely difficult to proceed with constructive work when people are prone to indiscipline.

To fight against disruptive tendencies and indiscipline, a radical treatment of the mind is required. Here we feel the necessity of moral and spiritual values in the human life.

Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhav Goswami explains that there are two ways of treating diseases – pathological and symptomatic.

In pathological treatment, the root cause of the disease is ascertained first and then the remedy is prescribed. The process of symptomatic treatment may be easier, but it doesn’t have a lasting effect. It may give temporary relief, while treatment through the pathological process brings about permanent relief.

To determine the root cause of unrest, we ought to first determine the meaning of the self. Ignorance of our real Self is the cause of unrest, discord and anxiety. The real Self isn’t the physical tabernacle. It’s something other than the gross and subtle bodies.

We consider the body to be the person as long as we observe the consciousness in it. The moment the body is bereft of consciousness, it loses its personality. ‘I’ am ‘i’ when the conscious entity, that is, the entity that thinks, feel and wills is present in me, and ‘i’ am ‘not-I’, when it’s absent in me. Hence, the entity whose presence and absence makes me, ‘me’ and ‘not-me’ respectively, must be the person, the real ‘me’.

This conscious entity, soul, is designated as ‘Atman’ in Indic scriptures.

Atman is indestructible, it has no origin and no end. If we plunge deep into the matter, we can trace our existence to the Absolute Conscious principle, whom we call Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Fountain Source of innumerable conscious units.

The Absolute personality of Godhead is termed as ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ – He is All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-Bliss. We all are points of rays emanating from Him and as such one of His eternal coexisting potencies. We can’t live independently. We all are interconnected and coexisting, though retaining our own individual characteristics. Now, the differences among us all are unavoidable as we’re conscious units. There’s a problem to find a common ground and interest for the solution of these differences.

A sense of common interest can be fostered among individuals, if they learn that they’re interconnected, and are parts of one organic system; sons and daughters of one father.

It’s important that everyone realises that we all are interrelated. As Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains, forgetfulness of our eternal relation with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishn, is the root cause of all afflictions. This is the basic reason for the unrest in the minds of any individual, which disrupts the progress of the individual and society as a whole. This needs to be eradicated for everlasting peace.

The writer is in-charge, Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Chandigarh

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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