Essays on the Gita

Track Running Track 605

Only when you have developed ultimately some kind of harmony then you can have human beings who are all–rounded. But even at that level you cannot integrate them, you require a further development: the psychic development, spiritual development, because Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas and rationality, ethicality and aesthetics are really reconciled in the psychic and the spiritual. So when the personality becomes more and more psychic and more and more spiritual, you become more and more integrated. You cannot really have integration without  psychic and the spiritual, that is the necessity of it. It is not as if you develop a psychic being as a kind of a luxury; it is not something like an option given to you that you may develop, you may not develop, if you like you may develop it. But at a certain stage of development it becomes a necessity, you cannot reconcile them.

Let us take the example of Hamlet once again. What is that combination in the characteristics of Hamlet? It is a characteristic of a philosophic mind, which has a very high dose of moral tendency, a philosophic mind which has a high amount of turn towards ethicality. Aesthetics is very little, in his personality but these two elements are quite developed. A philosophic mind actually he was a student of philosophy, in his university he was doing philosophy: a philosophy student, one who is turned toward philosophical thinking, but turned towards the 'Good'. Now this personality suddenly comes across an experience, where his thinking is shocked; his moral sense is shocked; it is a double shock to his thought and to his ethical sense; then these two are blocked and he doesn’t know how to overcome this conflict. If he was a complete thinker, he would have withdrawn completely into solitude or quietude and would have thought over the problem that he was facing in a very patient manner. If he was only a philosophic mind then this would have happened. But he was not merely  philosophic. The profound question that he asked for example, "To be or not to be, that is the question" is representative of a philosophic mind. But the fact is that he is not able to think either very deeply; he raises the question but he does not have the patience to think out the question. Why? Because he immediately wants to do something; he wants to act and act rightly. If he were just a Rajasic personality, he would have murdered his mother and uncle immediately, if he was only that, he would not even have questioned whether he was right or wrong. But he was not sure, first of all whether `to be or not to be', that was the first question, and what was the truth about it. He was not really sure that really whether his mother was a conspirator in the murder of his father; he was not sure whether his uncle was a partner to this conspiracy. He was not sure and he said, "If I am not sure how can I do something wrong?" Now it is there that he was blocked, the whole tragedy arises from this fact.

If he was not a philosophic mind, if you are simply like Macbeth...Macbeth had no philosophic mind, Macbeth does not typify a philosophic mind, he typifies only a man of morality, a man of action, not even a Sattwic man, he was actually a vital man, but with some tinge of morality and of ethicality. So he was a faithful man to begin with, but when the ambition is injected into him, he becomes subject to the vital impulse. If he were a philosophic mind, or something much more than that, Macbeth tragedy would not have arisen. Because of his ethical sense of good and an ambition put together, there was a battle in his life: a tendency towards ambition to be fulfilled, and a tendency to do the good thing, do the right thing. That entire tragedy is a result of these two tensions and ultimately he does it and once he does it, he does not mind at all the boundaries of morality. He goes on the whole spree of killing thereafter; the vital being altogether takes him over. That shows that he is a typical human being, who is slightly reasoned to the level of ethicality, but still subject to the temptations of the vital being to such an extent that ultimately the ambition can overpower him and make him do the terrible action of killing the very man of whom he was a faithful servant. And then the result and tragedy takes place. So when these different aspects of the personality begin to develop in a certain manner and not yet fully reconciled, then the result is that in the transitional period a crisis arises.7.08

If Arjuna were a very rounded personality in which rationality, ethicality, aesthetics, spiritual, higher domains, all had been conquered, the crisis would not have arisen at all. It is because his philosophic mind was at a lower level, because his ethical mind was at a higher level, but that higher level of ethicality was not at the top of it, and this also is to be noted. Arjuna was a practical, pragmatic, emotional, ethical man, these were his special characteristics of Arjuna, but ethical, not guided by philosophical thought.

Socrates, for example, was at once ethical and philosophical. He had thought over the problem of the good and the evil leisurely on a long canvas as it were, he had walked the path of thought on `Good and Evil'. And that is why when he was charged, he did not come to a crisis. When Socrates was brought before the tribunal and Mellitus began to put questions to him, he was not at all ruffled; he knew what was good, he knew that he had come to the conclusion that this is the Good and known the whole path of philosophical thought as a result of which he had concluded of what was right and a good thing. And he took even the imprisonment knowingly, consciously, without a crisis. He went to the prison, began to discuss with his disciples as if nothing had happened, and he was talking philosophy, teaching philosophy even in his prison room. Even when the jailer came and said, "I will give you a secret passage to go out of the jail" he said, "No". He was sure it would be wrong to do it. There was no doubt in his mind. It is not as if he considered for a day and said, "Ultimately I came to the conclusion now that I do not want to escape from here". There was no crisis at all. And ultimately he `faced', even when the poison was given, the hemlock was given him to drink, he took it very lightly and said, "After some time you just go on seeing my limbs one after the other and when you come to the heart and you find it is cold, then you will realise that my heart has stopped and I have gone." This is the simplicity with which the whole thing happened without crisis. It is because his philosophic nature and his ethical nature were very developed, so there was no conflict on that account.

We use cookies in this webiste to support its technical features, analyze its performance and enhance your user experience. To find out more please read our privacy policy.