Bhagavad Gita/Ethical Aspect of Krishna’s Teachings
Ethical Aspect of Krishna’s Teachings
Ethics consists of three components:
a) man’s attitude towards people, all other living beings, and towards the entire environment;
b) attitude towards God;
c) attitude towards one’s own Path to the Perfection.
Let me cite Krishna’s statements on each of these three parts of the ethical teachings.
On Attitude towards People, Other Living Beings,
and the Environment
Krishna suggests regarding everything existing in the universe as a Manifestation of God in the Aspect of the Absolute. Love for God in this Aspect implies our love for the Creation as for His integral Part:
7:8. I am the taste of water, O Kaunteya! I am the shining of the Moon and the light of the Sun, and Pranava, and Universal Knowledge, and the Cosmic Voice, and humanity in people!
7:9. I am the pure scent of earth and the warmth of fire! I am the life of all the living and exploits of spiritual warriors!
7:10. … I am the Consciousness of all who developed the consciousness, I am the splendor of all the beautiful!
7:11. I am the strength of the strong who is devoid of attachments and sexual passions. I am the sexual power in all beings that does not contradict dharma.
7:12. Know that sattva, rajas, and tamas originate from Me. But understand that they are in Me, not I am in them!
12:15. The one who does not injure people… is dear to Me.
16:2-3. … Compassion for living beings, … — the one of Divine nature possesses this quality.
17:15. Speech causing no dislike, … pleasant… — such is the asceticism of the speech.
17:16 … Amicability towards everyone, … — such is the asceticism of the mind.
6:9. The one who has developed oneself as a consciousness and advanced spiritually is well-disposed both to friends and to foes, to neutrals, to strangers, to the envious, to relatives, to the pious, and to the vicious.
On Attitude towards the Creator
11:54. … Only love can contemplate Me in My innermost Essence and merge with Me!
13:10-11. Steadfast and pure love for Me… — this is acknowledged as true…
9:27. Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice or offer, whichever feat you perform… — perform it as an offering to Me!
12:14. … Seeking Unity with Me, resolutely cognizing the Atman, having devoted the mind and consciousness to Me — such a loving Me disciple is dear to Me.
12:20. … All… for whom I am the Supreme Goal — … are dear to Me above all!
On Attitude towards One’s Own Path to Perfection
God suggests that we regard our lives as the opportunity to approach Perfection by making efforts on transformation of ourselves, as well as through active creative love-service to God, which is manifested as our service to people. These are corresponding statements of Krishna:
Fighting Coarse Negative Emotions and Worldly Cravings
12:13. The one who is not hostile to any living being, who is friendly and compassionate, … even-minded among joy and sorrow, all-forgiving,
12:14. ever content… — such a loving Me disciple is dear to Me.
12:15. The one who does not injure people…, who is free from anxiety, elation, anger, and fear — such one is dear to Me.
12:17. The one who neither… hates, (nor) grieves… is dear to Me.
5:23. The one who here, on the Earth, before liberation from the body, can resist the power of worldly attractions and anger — such one achieves harmony and becomes a happy person.
16:21. Threefold are the gates to hell where man perishes: lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, one has to renounce these three!
16:22. The one who has freed oneself from these three gates of the darkness makes one’s own good… and attains the Supreme Goal!
18:27. Excited, desirous for fruits of actions, greedy, envious, admiring oneself, dishonest, subjected to rejoice and sorrow — such a doer is called rajasic.
18:28. Arrogant, coarse, angry, obstinate, … somber… — such a doer is called tamasic.
By the way, sexuality as well as all other qualities of man can be differentiated according to the gunas. That is, the sexuality peculiar to the representatives of a certain guna has the nature of this guna. This knowledge may become the ground for self-analysis and self-improvement, and for understanding other people better. Only the sattvic sexuality is worthy of encouragement.
In the Bhagavad Gita, much is said about sattvic qualities: they are harmoniousness, calmness of the mind, subtlety of the consciousness, the ability to control one’s own emotions with refusal of coarse emotional manifestations, prevalence of the state of subtle and joyous love, absence of egocentrism and violence.
From the methodological standpoint, it is important that sattvic qualities can be developed only if the body is healthy and cleansed from coarse energies. To become sattvic, one needs, among other things, to exclude completely meat and fish from one’s diet.
Sattvic qualities can be steadfast only in those who have passed fully the stage of kshatrism, have developed vigor, personal power, high intellect, and have gained deep knowledge about the most important in life.
Fighting False Attachments
12:17. The one who does not fall in love (with people)… is dear to Me.
12:18-19. … Free from worldly attachments… such a person is dear to Me.
13:8-11. … Dispassion towards earthly objects…, absence of worldly attachments… — all this is acknowledged as true…
2:62. But if one comes back in the mind to the earthly objects, then inevitably an attachment to them arises. This attachment leads to the desire to possess these objects, and the impossibility to satisfy this desire produces anger.
16:1-3. … Generosity, … absence of greed… — the one of Divine nature possesses these qualities.
18:49. The one who, as a consciousness, is free and omnipresent, who has cognized the Atman, who has no worldly desires — such one attains through the Path of renunciation the Highest Perfection and the freedom from the fetters of the destiny!
Fighting Egoism, Egocentrism, and Ambitiousness, which Are Manifestations of the lower self
12:13. The one who is… without worldly attachments and egoism, even-minded among joy and sorrow, all-forgiving,
12:16. … who requires nothing from others… — … is dear to Me.
13:7-11. Humility,… simplicity,… absence of egoism… — all this is acknowledged as true…
16:4. … Haughtiness, pride… are the features of the one of demonic qualities.
12:18. Equal towards a friend and towards a foe, the same towards glorification and disgrace, in warmth and in cold, among joy and sorrow, free from worldly attachments,
12:19. regarding equally praise and blame, laconic, content with everything that happens, not attached to home, determined in decisions, full of love — such a person is dear to Me!
The problem of fighting false attachments, egoism, and egocentrism can be solved radically by:
— forming the right spiritual orientation (i.e. whole-hearted aspiration to the Creator),
— mastering the control over the indriyas, and
— direct elimination of the lower self in Nirodhi through the meditation total reciprocity. If this meditation is performed in the Holy Spirit, it results in the state of Nirvana in Brahman, performed in the eon of the Creator, it results in Mergence with the Creator.
Work with the indriyas is a component of the psychoenergetical work on self-development. It is feasible only for those who have mastered — on the stage of Raja Yoga — the methods of moving the consciousness from one chakra to another, developed all three dantians, and then — on the stage of Buddhi Yoga — brought to the perfect state both bubbles of perception.
Cultivating Positive Qualities in Oneself
12:19. … Determined in decisions, full of love — such a person is dear to Me!
2:14. The contact with matter produces feelings of heat and cold, of pleasure and pain. These feelings are transient: they come and go. Endure them with fortitude!
2:15. The one who is unmoved by them, … who remains sober and unfaltering in joy and in trouble — such one is able to attain Immortality.
4:33. Superior to all outer sacrifices is the sacrifice of wisdom… All actions… become perfect when they are performed by the wise!
4:34. Therefore, gain wisdom through devotion, inquiry, and service! Sages and clairvoyants, who perceived the essence of things, will impart this to you.
4:38. There is no purifier better than wisdom in this world! Through it, the one skilled in Yoga attains Enlightenment in the Atman…
4:39. The one full of faith gains wisdom. The one controlling the indriyas gains it too. Having achieved wisdom, they quickly attain the higher worlds.
11:54. Only love can behold Me thus!… Only love can contemplate Me in My innermost Essence and merge with Me!
14:26. The one who serves Me with steadfast love — having freed oneself from the three gunas — such one deserves to become Brahman.
5:25. The Nirvana in Brahman is attained by those rishis who … dedicate themselves to the good of all.