Martial Art – In Gita Verse 4.17 The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is.
Krishna is saying that it’s very difficult to understand the complexity of existence and act. When to act how to act, when restrict ourselves from act, what is inaction.
First start from Inaction. When we are self-unconscious at that time we are not taking any initiative to act, is called inaction but when we become fully self-conscious we respond to the present moment, this is also inaction, we transcended our non-initiative to respond.
During the journey from self-unconsciousness to self-consciousness we could not understand when and how to act. In Buddhism and Taoist they practice Martial Art. They practice Martial Art to defend. Once you learn this art then in your journey from Self-unconsciousness to Self-consciousness you will give hint when to act and when not to act. Your action will follow the awareness of act to defend.
Practice of martial arts may not seem at first to be a particularly Taoist pursuit – after all martial means ‘war like’ and these skills are used to injure others. However, there is actually no contradiction – Taoist martial artists learn to defend themselves, not to attack others. At the same time they develop suppleness, fitness and timing. Success in the martial arts requires discipline, self-control and perseverance, thus they are also spiritual and mental activities.
The primary unifying aspect of the East Asian martial arts, which sets them apart from other martial arts, is the influence of Taoism and Zen Buddhism. This influence has resulted in a strong emphasis on the mental and spiritual state of the practitioner, a state in which the rationalizing and calculating functions of the mind are suspended so that the mind and body can react immediately as a unit, reflecting the changing situation around the combatant. When this state is perfected, the everyday experience of the dualism of subject and object vanishes. Since this mental and physical state is also central to Taoism and Zen, and must be experienced to be grasped, many of their adherents practice the martial arts as a part of their philosophical and spiritual training. Conversely, numerous practitioners of the martial arts take up the practice of these philosophies.
Through the Martial Art practice by spiritual seeker defend themselves means their focus is not on others, but on themselves. They practice Martial art to bring the awareness in their action. They have found by practicing this silence arises in them. They become silent. As in their action no aggressiveness their thoughts disappear. No-mind is found in very relaxed manner.
Unless you are relaxed you cannot be in no-mind. No-mind simply means that you have stopped judging, fighting with mind. You started watching the mind.
Mind is one of the most beautiful mechanisms. Science has not yet been able to create anything parallel to mind. Mind still remains the masterpiece, so complicated, so tremendously powerful, with so many potentialities. Watch it! Enjoy it!
Watch the subtle nuances of the mind, the sudden turns, the beautiful turns, the sudden jumps and leaps; the games that mind goes on playing; the dreams that it weaves—the imagination, the memory; the thousand and one projections that it creates. Watch! Standing there, aloof, distant, not involved, by and by you will start feeling… The deeper your watchfulness becomes, the deeper your awareness becomes, and gaps start arising, intervals. One thought goes and another has not come, and there is a gap. One cloud has passed, another is coming and there is a gap.
In those gaps, for the first time you will have glimpses of no-mind, you will have the taste of no-mind—call it the taste of Zen, or Tao, or Yoga. In those small intervals, suddenly the sky is clear and the sun is shining. Suddenly the world is full of mystery, because all barriers are dropped; the screen on your eyes is no more there. You see clearly, you see penetratingly. The whole existence becomes transparent.
We are fortunate to understand Krishna from various practices. Be in gratitude towards all the practices and you will understand yourself in a very simple way.
Krishna through Gita guiding us how to be with ourselves in the middle of the world.