Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Never was this a more important message. Yoga teaches us to take responsibility for our own actions and for our own relationships. If we want to see peace established in the world, then we need to establish it in our everyday lives. If we want to see more sensible and reasonable dialogue in world affairs and politics, then we must introduce it into our own lives. Every interaction with others can be kind, thoughtful and peaceful.
The new year always feels like a clean start. It is an opportunity to make resolutions and to make changes. Lets light a candle in our own corner of Mother Earth. If there is enough of us engaged with this idea, we can surely change the world!
Arjuna says, ‘By your grace, you have taught me the truth about the Atman. Your words are mystic and sublime. They have dispelled my ignorance. From you, whose eyes are like lotus flowers, I have learnt in detail of the origin and dissolution of creatures, and of your infinite glory. O Supreme Lord, you are as you describe yourself to be: I have no doubt of that. Nevertheless, I long to behold your divine form. if you find me worthy of that vision, then reveal to me, O Master of yogis, your changeless Atman’.
So, In Chapter 11, Krishna gives Arjuna divine sight, and bestows on him the extraordinary privilege of seeing him in all his glory. Arjuna declares, ‘Ah, my God, I see all gods within your body; each in his degree, the multitude of creatures; see Lord Brahma throned upon the lotus; see all the sages, and the holy serpents. Universal form, I see you without limits, infinite of arms, eyes, mouths and bellies – see, and find no end, midst or beginning.’
We ask so many questions, as we move through life, and the Bhagavad Gita answers them all. We can see and we can know, if we search in the right place. Gandhi was never seen without his copy of the Gita…
All classical yoga practice is based on The Eight Limbs of Yoga, compiled by Patanjali. We have been exploring this route to bliss.
The Bhagavad Gita is often referred to as the ‘bible’ of yoga practice. It is known as the Perennial Philosophy. Mahatma Gandhi was never seen without his Gita, and I would like to move on to an exploration of this great work.
The Mahabharata is said to be the longest poem in the world. In its original form, it consisted of 24,000 verses, and it grew to about 100,000. The Gita is part of that epic poem, and it is said that it was inserted after the Mahabharata had been completed.
The Bhagavad Gita is the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna on the battlefield. This work defines the true yogi as one who acts with detachment, not caring for gain, but who has perfect self-control and total equanimity. The true yogi sees good or God in all things. He walks in beauty.
The last of the YAMAS, the yoga ‘don’ts’ is APARIGRAHA, non-greed. Gandhi said,’There is enough for every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed’. We’ve seen so many changes in recent years. We’ve seen the financial institutions tumbling, and we’ve seen the richest nations in continuing financial trouble. Our planet cannot continue to meet our escalating demands. We must, in order to survive, address this huge subject of greed. All change begins with ourselves. To quote Gandhi again, the great soul said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Practising non-greed means buying enough food to feed the family, but not so much that it is wasted and thrown away. Practising non-greed means up-cycling. Practising non-greed means giving to charity, sharing your wealth. Examine this rule in your meditations. See where you can make healthy changes for you, for your family, for your community and for our world.