Gita for Children – 2

….. Continued from Gita for Children – 1

One day, Pinocchio was very naughty and did not want to listen to his mother. So his mother scolded him and Pinocchio got upset and was very cross.

Can Pinocchio get cross with his skin or with his ears? Obviously not. Pinocchio will have to be provided with the mind to take care of his emotional needs.

Another day, Pinocchio was very helpful to his mother, and upon being praised by his mother, he was feeling happy and elated. The mind was feeling the emotion of happiness.The mind provides the emotional needs which produce joy and sorrow, happiness and unhappiness anger and peacefulness etc.The mind is also an equipment but it is not visible and therefore it is called subtle. The mind’s work is far more specialised and complex than that of the five organs of perception. In fact, without the mind, the organs of perception will become powerless to register the information or knowledge they gather.

And yet, there is still one more highly specialised equipment, without which Pinocchio will be greatly handicapped in life. To illustrate the point:

One day, Pinocchio was at school and the teacher was teaching maths to his class.The teacher wanted to test the pupils and asked them to spot an error.

On the black board the teacher had written 2 + 2 = 5. Many of the pupils raised their hands to point out to the teacher that two plus two makes four and not five.These pupils demonstrated the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

Now, for doing the job of distinguishing (discriminating) between the right and the wrong, Pinocchio will have to be provided with intellect. Intellect is also an equipment. It’s more subtler than the mind. The intellect will exercise the faculty of discrimination. It can be trained to tell the difference between what is Real and what is unreal. It can make out what is right and what is wrong in the spiritual and social fields connected with ethics, morality, justice, conduct or behaviour, speech etc.

Swami Chinmayanand referred to these equipments as B-M-I (body-mind-intellect). The big question is: If the five organs of perception attached to the body,plus the mind, plus the intellect are all equipments,then WHO AM I?

I am the Soul or the Atman also known as the Self. The body-mind intellect (B-M-I) equipments are attached to the body. The indwelling (embodied) Soul enables these equipments to function. Often the example of electricity is cited. Electricity is invisible but the effects of electricity are seen or felt as in an electric light bulb or a heater, an electric fan or a hot plate on an electric cooking stove. A radio or a television set is enabled to function when powered by electricity. Similarly the B-M-I equipments are powered by the Soul.

The body can remain functioning even when some of these equipments are damaged. The body can function without the power of vision in the eyes or the power of hearing in the ears. A person can be mentally deranged and can still be living. Another can be brain damaged, but still be alive. The presence of the indwelling Soul keeps it alive.

The indwelling Soul or the embodied Self is described in the Bhagavad Gita as being:

  • Eternal, indestructible, and immeasurable. (Gita, Ch.2. verse18.)
  • Unborn and inexhaustible (Gita, Ch.2 Verse 21).
  • Stable, immovable, ancient. (Gita Ch.2 verse 24.)
  • Unmanifested, unthinkable, unchangeable. (Gita Ch.2. verse 25.)
  • The Soul passes unchanged from the baby into childhood, from childhood to youth to middle age to old age.Thereafter the Soul passes unchanged from one body and enters into another body. -(Gita Ch.2, Verse 13.)
  • The embodied Self or the Soul is not killed when the physical body is killed.(Gita Ch.2. verse 20.)
  • Just as a man replaces worn out clothes and acquires new garments or clothes, in the same way the embodied Self separates from the worn out body and enters into another body which is new. (Gita Ch.2 verse 22.)
  • An eternal law taught in the Vedas is: That which has a beginning must have an end; the one who is born must die. Gita, Ch.2, verse 27 explains: It is an absolute certainty that the one who is born must die, and birth for the dead is also an absolute certainty.  Therefore, one should not grieve over what is unavoidable or inevitable.
  • The body is said to have an end (Gita Ch.2 verse 18.)

To be continued…….

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