Once, a group of friends were travelling and they had to cross a wide river. They made a boat and crossed the river. They then decided to carry the heavy boat with them for the rest of their journey, thinking that it would be useful. As a result, their journey got derailed. Here the river is a pain polarity and the boat is an instrument to overcome the polarity.

Likewise, there are many instruments and rituals to give us relief from several pain polarities that we face in our daily lives. The Vedas (knowledge) describe many rituals to give relief from temporary pain polarities and many of these rituals are available and are being practiced to this day. It appears logical to turn to these rituals when we face difficulties in the areas of health, business, work and family.

Krishna tells (2.42-2.46) Arjuna not to get trapped by the words of the unwise who promise pleasure both in this life and the afterlife (heaven) by prescribing the outer meaning of the Vedas. He encourages him (2.45) to transcend the polarities (dwandwa-ateeth) and Gunas (Guna-ateeth or Nirgun) to become atmavaan (established in self). When one gets a big lake, he doesn't need a small ditch and similarly, for atmavaan the vedas are like that small ditch(2.46).

Just as wisdom lies in not encumbering ourselves with the burden of the boat on our onward journey, Krishna indicates about transcending the Vedas after understanding the futility of efforts in gaining pleasure and power.

At the very beginning, Krishna tells Arjun that (2.14) sense perception brings polarities and to bear with them as they are anitya (impermanent). His emphasis is to transcend them and learn to witness these transients. Krishna is in favour of authentic joy than synthesising happiness.

Source - Daily World


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