VSF: The following passage in the Mahabharata resonates with my own inner struggles. Krishna is speaking to his friend Yudhishthira, the Pandava king who has just won the great internecine war that is the primary plot structure of the epic Mahabharata.
Yudhishthira is depressed, ‘afflicted in mind’ and mourning the losses on both sides those who have died in the terrible battles, ‘bereft of his relatives and kinsmen’. Krishna seeks to comfort his friend and urges him to prepare for the real battle – the one that will take place within Yudhishthira.
This is the very same ‘struggle’ that every human being must face as we move toward enlightenment and freedom.
The Mahabharata – Ashvamedhika Parva
Verse 4: All crookedness of the heart brings on destruction, and all rectitude leads to Brahman [the Oneness]. This and this only is the aim and object of all true wisdom. What can mental distraction do (to him).
Verse 5: Your deed [karma] has not yet been destroyed nor have your enemies been subjugated, for you do not yet know the enemies that live within your own body.
Verse 13: Therefore, O chief of Bharata’s race [Yudhishthira], you must now prepare to carry the struggle against your mind, and by dint of abstraction and the merit of your own Karma [his acts/deeds], you must reach the other side of the mysterious and unintelligible (mind).
Verse 14: In this war there will be no need for any weapons nor for friends or attendants. The battle, which is to be fought alone and single-handed, has now arrived for you.
Verse 15: And if defeated in this struggle, you shall find yourself in the most wretched condition, and, O son of Kunti [Yudishthira’s mother], knowing this, and acting accordingly, shall you attain success.
A few years ago I wrote an article that has been very popular, The Real Armageddon: Learning how to be Alone!
The process of Remembering is something you have to do alone. No one can do it for you. It is your return in complete solitude to the God-within you that reconnects you with the entire universe.
The individual personality-self, that God created to hold its infinite consciousness within the temporal illusory holographic matrix, is not so easily defeated. Often just as we think we have conquered everything, some bits of our old compulsions come forth and raise their hungry dragonheads! As Krishna says, we have to come to know and conquer “the enemies that live within your own body.”
The great masters, who have achieved enlightenment, say that in the end it is the Grace of God that will bring you Home.
The battle is to arrive at a state of being that resonates with the higher realms, with the Absolute, the One. Your own efforts will raise your consciousness to a frequency that will permit God’s Grace to intervene.
Loving God in all Its forms will enhance this process.
V. Susan Ferguson
The Mahabharata, Vol. IX, Sanskrit Text & English Translation; translated by M.N. Dutt; Parimal Publications, Delhi, India; 2004
My inserts are in brackets; the others are Mr. Dutt’s.