Following is an excerpt from an Audio Class on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 – Verse 13 to 16.
Krishna in this section speaks how the knowledge works in the material world and you should understand the relationship between the living entities, the material world as we see it and Krishna. So if you really want to have the control and balance in your life then you need to know the relationship between living entities, material nature and the super soul who is correcting all of us, that is Krishna. Our soul is trapped in our body and this body is a city where we’re trapped in this city. And we have no freedom but we can experience freedom and happiness in this city if we make friendship with one more person who is living in the city and that is the super soul Krishna. When the soul makes friendship with the super soul Krishna then they can feel freedom and liberation even though the soul is trapped in the city. The main point Krishna wants us to know is that you are not your body. For example, when you live in Mumbai, do you say ‘I’m Mumbai?’ No! You say ‘Amchi Mumbai’ (My Mumbai) and not Mi Mumbai” (I’m Mumbai). That means we live in the city Mumbai but we are not Mumbai, similarly you’re living in this body, you’re occupying the body but you’re not the body but you’re the soul. Everything in life especially in Krishna consciousness, has to be done with feelings, has to be done with awareness and consciousness then we will come to know that we’re not the body but we’re the soul. And simply by doing Bhakti you won’t come to know about this.
Chant ‘Hare Krishna’ with awareness and try to know who you are, look around the nature and appreciate the nature. Krishna said that we’re not the body but we’re the soul and we’re not actually doing anything but everything is being helplessly done by us. Krishna says that it’s not you who is controlling the body and controlling everything but it’s modes of material nature that is doing all this. Modes of material nature are nothing but goodness, passion and ignorance in this world. Like sometimes you feel good so there is an energy called Satva (goodness). And there is also an energy called passion where you feel lusty or angry, performing action and activity that is called Passion. There is also an energy called Ignorance like sleeping, madness, intoxication, darkness etc. So these energies are like ropes, they bind us and these modes are doing everything. We’re helplessly thrown in this ocean of material existence and the three modes in the form of waves are kicking us up, down, left, right and centre. Krishna is clearly saying that we’re the ones to be held responsible for everything bad happening to us because our ignorance is covering the real knowledge.
The point is that we have to change our desires, so Krishna consciousness is ‘Desire Management’. Change your desires and you will see your life changing completely and because of your desires you get a particular body. Once we desire, we’re helpless and we’re choreographed by the material nature but material nature is not the actual doer. It is Krishna who causes the activity to be done through the agency of material nature. In short Krishna is the Director. Because ultimately we cannot do anything as we cannot control the monsoon season of winter season or even death. It’s material nature who does it. So Krishna is trying to tell that you cannot avoid taking the responsibility of your own life and not to play the blame game. For example A small child has a desire to drive a car but he cannot drive and his father sits with him and drives the car but the child thinks that he is driving the car but he is not. Similarly here Material nature is driving your life and not you. The most important point here is that just because you take the responsibility of your life doesn’t make you are the controller of your life. You desire and the material nature will take over everything. You should not be proud of yourself when you do something big in life because Krishna is the fulfiller and at the same time if something goes wrong you cannot blame Krishna but take the responsibility.
If you read any management or self-help books, they teach the same thing that ‘you are responsible for what’s happening in your life and you have to manage your desires. When we understand this knowledge that we are not the doers then we take shelter of Krishna. After which we will be focused and detached from the matters. So the point is to change your desires and change your life. Unwanted things are there in all of our hearts and let us not cheat ourselves and say that we’re very pure. Let s admit it that our hearts are contaminated and this will away simply by being attentive to Krishna Katha. Be attentive and then introspection, both are needed and then Krishna who is our benefactor and friend who is already present in our heart will help us. Therefore we need to change our attitude and also have to be attentive, which means you have to work hard.