Resources of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition

Talks on the Bhagavad Gita - 22

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The fifteenth chapter of the Gita talks about the eternal tree which is upside down. The roots are upward and the branches are downward. One who knows that mystery is the knower of the eternal tree, of the Vedas, of Brahman. Whatever we may see through our eyes is not reality. Reality is something else. We must see the reality behind what we see. 

The Truth is behind that truth which we think is the truth.

his inability to see reality is what makes us react in life. It makes all the hurdles and obstacles in our lives. Chapter 15 verse 5 is very important because it outlines the qualities of the saintly. We can learn from the qualities of a saintly person, from one who is titiksha. Titiksha means forbearance. It doesn't mean you tolerate and do not fight. Titiksha is that whatever your dharma tells you to do, you must act upon, but not to react. Titiksha makes us think 10 times before we react with a situation. It is a quality that makes you capable to do tapas, to do the practice of sadhana. 

A person who has not developed titiksha cannot realize the Self.

Whether you receive pain or pleasure, insult or praise, cold or heat - they all are related to the mind. One who has gone beyond those aspects of the mind is a knower of titiksha. If you are having a difficulty, look at yourself and see if you can bear it. Can you bear it with a positive mind, not with a negative approach? A positive mind means you do not change the state of your happiness, you do not criticize, curse, do not put yourself down, and do not change your mood. 

Titiksha is very much needed in one who wants to become a sadhaka, who wants to walk on the path of spirituality. The real test is titiksha. In a monastery there comes a time when they test you to see how much titiksha you have. They create a situation for you that will make you upset, that will create anger, that will make you want to leave the place and go somewhere else where they treat you very nice. The point is not a matter of how you are being treated. It is a matter of purifying oneself. Can you stay with the same state of mind under all types of conditions? When you are in comfort and it is nice, it is very easy to have that frame of mind. To have the same kind of mind where there is no such situation is the real test. That is known as titiksha.