Let your Self help you progress, not regress to infamy
Self is the best friend, but can be the worst enemy 6.5
Conquer your senses to have Self as friend
Succumb to your senses to have Self as foe 6.6
Senses controlled, Self is balanced in cold, pain and dishonor
As well as heat, pleasure and honor 6.7
Senses controlled and wise, one is balanced, to whom
A clod of earth, a stone and gold are all the same 6.8
One is free when one regards equally friends, relatives, righteous
Good hearted, bad hearted, foes and unrighteous 6.9
The Tao has much in common with the Gita.
A simplistic interpretation of Tao is harmony. It’s also the Cosmic integrity. It’s also the duality of Dvaita merging into the non duality of Advaita. It’s also the equanimity that Krishna describes here.
Krishna advises Arjuna and the rest of human kind to befriend the Self. Move within, He says, and be comfortable staying within. Only then will the Self befriend you.
Most of the time we are seeking out, with our senses on the prowl. In the Vedic tradition, the Mandukya Upanishad talks about the nineteen channels in our mind body spirit system. There are ten senses, 5 sensing and 5 acting, 5 energies of the breath that act upon these senses, and 4 mind controllers that supervise. These ten senses and sensory actions are on the periphery, forever feeding on what lies without. Shankara calls them ‘ahara’ or food. Moving away from these sense objects is the aim of the fifth limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, pratyahara, or avoiding feeding the senses.
When we move from the periphery seeking out, to the core seeking in, we discover the Self within. The Self is the inner intelligence, the inner divinity that links us to the non judgmental Cosmic Consciousness. There is no longer any perception of duality in this space, even though in temporal reality there always is.
This is the common problem we all face when confronting Shankara‘s concept of Advaita and maya. In very simple terms dvaita or duality or polarity or the distinction between good and bad, friend and foe, success and failure, is an illusion or maya. This is not because these distinctions in both the map of our minds and the territory of our lives is not real. It is very real in our mind and body map, but not so real in our spirit or Self map.
As we move within the Self and glimpse the ‘Reality’ of Cosmic Consciousness, the reality of the polarity of our daily lives becomes unreal and irrelevant.
This is true in our lives too, if only we care to look at it carefully, non judgmental and from a vantage objective stance. Every day we go through mood swings, from heights of joy to depths of depression; if not every day every month then. When we look back, what seemed so life threatening or life boosting then, seems a mere blip now. Often we don’t even remember the incidents which seemed to wreak havoc upon us. What was the big deal, you ask yourself.
You don’t need the passage of time to disengage in space and emotions. You can do it now, if you move within. Meditation is the vehicle to take you in. In the Self you have a sanctuary that keeps you in equanimity, always in contentment.