14.13: Insanity is not compulsory
All of us have witnessed normal, sane people suddenly behaving abnormally, even insanely. We may have seen this happening to ourselves. For some people this abnormal, self-defeating behavior becomes so habitual that, though it threatens their career, relationships, finances, health and even life, they passively rationalize it by saying, “That’s my nature.”
Is it really?
No, declares Gita wisdom. All of us have as spiritual beings have an innate right to not just sanity, but also serenity and even felicity. The Bhagavad-gita (14.13) indicates that insane behavior (pramada) results from the predomination of the mode of ignorance in one’s mind. This accumulated mode of ignorance first sabotages our normal intelligence (aprakasha) and our normal behavioral pattern (apravrtti), and then impels us to act in self-destructive ways.
The mode of ignorance is the lowest and the basest of the three modes. So it represents the greatest perversion of our original nature. But this perversion, no matter how great, is never irreversible. All of us have the power to revert it back to its original pure nature. To effect this positive change, we need to consciously expose ourselves to places (e.g. temples), people (e.g. devotees), actions (e.g. chanting) and emotions (e.g. ecstasy in kirtans) that are surcharged with spirituality. These transcendental stimuli revoke the influences of ignorance and invoke our dormant spiritual tendencies. The more we practice the art of exposing ourselves to transcendental influences, the more our latent divinity awakens.
The ultimate transcendental influence – in fact, the source of all transcendental influences – is Krishna himself. When we expose ourselves to him internally by constantly thinking of him, then his presence in our consciousness protects us from all possible negative influences.
That constant Krishna-thought is our best inner security – and our ultimate ecstasy.
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