Be Simple – In Gita Verse 5.29 A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneﬁciary of all sacriﬁces and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
When Krishna says austerity, he means, “Be simple, don’t cultivate it”…because cultivated simplicity is not simplicity. How can a cultivated simplicity be simple? It is very complex; you have been trying, calculating, cultivating.
In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.61, blog I wrote regarding Masochists, who have converted austerity into self-torture.
Austerity cannot be practiced. You simply have to look at life and see that the more complicated you become, the less sensitive you become. And the less sensitive you are, the farther away from existence you are. The more sensitive you become, the closer and closer and closer you come. A day comes when you are sensitive to the very roots of your being; suddenly you are no longer there, you are just a sensibility, a sensitivity. You are no longer there, you are just an awareness. Everything is beautiful then, everything is alive; nothing is dead. Everything is conscious; nothing is alive, nothing is dead. Everything is conscious, nothing is unconscious.
With your sensitivity, the world changes. At the last moment, when the sensitivity reaches to its total, its ultimate climax, the world disappears; there is the divine. The divine is not to be found, really; sensitivity has to be found. Be sensitive so totally that nothing is left behind, no holding back; and suddenly, the divine is there. It has always been there; it is just that you were not sensitive.
Austerity is a simple life, a life of understanding. You need not move into a hut, you need not go naked. You can live simply in life, with understanding. Poverty will not help but understanding will. You can force poverty on yourself, you can become dirty, but that won’t help.
Become more sensitive, become more austere. And when I say become, I don’t mean practice, I mean understand. Try to see that whenever you are simple, things go beautifully. Whenever you are complex, things become problematic; you create more puzzles to be solved and everything becomes entwined, a mess.
Live a simple life of needs being fulfilled, with no mad desires. You need food, you need clothing, you need a shelter – finished. You need somebody to love; you need somebody to be loved by. Love, food, shelter – simple.
What is the trouble with man? The trouble is that he thinks that for enjoyment certain conditions have to be fulfilled first; this is the trouble. To enjoy life in fact no conditions are to be fulfilled; it is an unconditional invitation. But man thinks that certain conditions have to be fulfilled first; only then can he enjoy life. This is the complex mind.
The simple mind feels that one has to enjoy whatsoever is available. Enjoy it! No conditions are to be fulfilled. And the more you enjoy this moment, the more capable you become of enjoying the next. The capacity grows; the greater and greater it becomes, the higher and higher it goes – it is infinite. And when you come to the infinity of enjoyment, that is what God is. God is not a person sitting somewhere and waiting for you. By this time He will have got bored, waiting and waiting for you. He will have committed suicide if He had any sense…waiting for you.
God is not a person. He is not a goal, He is a way of enjoying life right here and now. God is the attitude of being blissful for no reason at all. You are miserable for no reason at all; that is the complex mind.
Krishna tells Arjuna that an austere man comes to know that happiness is the nature of life. You need not have any causes to be happy. You can simply be happy just because you are alive! Life is happiness, life is bliss; but this is possible only for an austere man. A man who accumulates things always thinks that because of these things he is going to be happy. Palaces, money, gadgets – he thinks that because of these things he is going to be happy. Riches are not the problem; the attitude of the man who tries to find riches is the problem. The attitude is: unless I have all these things, I cannot be happy. This man will always remain unhappy. An austere man comes to know that life is so simple that whatsoever he has, he can be happy. He need not postpone it for anything else.
Right now Arjuna you are thinking that if you run away from the war you will be happy. This is your desire and not need.
Austerity will mean then: come down to your needs.
Desires are mad, needs are natural. Food, shelter, love; bring your whole life energy down just to the level of needs, and you will be happy. And a happy man cannot be other than religious; and an unhappy man cannot be other than irreligious. He may pray, he may go to the temple and the mosque; that doesn’t matter. How can an unhappy man pray? His prayer will have a deep complaint in it, a grudge. It will be a deep grump. Prayer is gratitude, not complaint.
Krishna says so remember, Arjuna, the more you are possession oriented, the less happy you will be. The less happy you are, the farther away from the divine, from prayer, from gratitude you will be.
Be austere. Live with the necessary and forget about desires. They are fantasies in the mind, ripples in the lake. They only disturb you, they can never lead you to any contentment.