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The five cities in our inner world – Part 6

To educate one’s conscience, we could try the following: journaling, scriptures, reading wisdom books, nature walks, contemplation and prayers.

Scriptures help to develop our conscience

Robert Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ didn’t realize the dangerous consequences during the famous Trinity test where the first atomic bomb was detonated. He was a student of the ancient wisdom literature Bhagavad Gita. While he busied with his contributions to Quantum Mechanics, he also internally developed his conscience. When the bomb exploded, Oppenheimer exclaimed two verses from the Bhagavad Gita that echoed the theme of time destroying the worlds.

His study of the Gita had a profound effect on his Vijnanamaya Kosha. After the bombing of Nagasaki, his conscience pricked him; he felt he had ‘blood on his hands,’ and expressed his wish to see nuclear weapons banned.

Ironically, the one credited for developing nuclear weapons, then wrote, spoke, and travelled extensively to warn the danger of scientific inventions to humanity. His intense lobbying for international control of nuclear power and outspoken opinions on the dangers of arms race didn’t go well with the political bosses during the cold-war era. He was stripped of his position, and yet, he stood true to his conscience driven convictions.

In his biography, ‘Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer’, author Ray Monk writes about the influences of Bhagavad Gita in particular, and Hinduism in general, in the life of Oppenheimer. He even named his car as ‘Garuda’, the famous carrier of Lord Vishnu.  

For Oppenheimer, knowing and living the truth became more important than being politically correct or appeasing his masters- a symptom of an evolved wisdom body. The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself and live true to conscience. Oppenheimer succeeded in this endeavour that most of the people don’t even attempt.

Connect to serve better

The more we connect to our true selves we’ll develop our Vijnana maya Kosha, and the better we can contribute to others’ well-being. To leave a legacy, we need to earn inner wealth!

In a world where we live many identities, it’s not surprising to see men and women confused and unhappy. American novelist of the nineteenth century, Nathaniel Hawthorne expressed, “No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.” 

Now is the time to awaken; let’s develop our Vijanamaya Kosha and the Bliss body by self-examination and service. Let’s not shy away from taking care of our inner world. Remember the golden words of Ramana Maharshi, a renowned Hindu sage of the twentieth century, and recognized world-wide as an enlightened being, “Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

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