You Are Substantial – In Gita Verse 18.8 Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome or out of fear of bodily discomfort is said to have renounced in the mode of passion. Such action never leads to the elevation of renunciation.
Krishna is trying his best to guide us which cannot be taught. What he is saying is one who feels the burden of their responsibility of the objective world they will live in passion and for them renunciation never leads towards themselves. Understand, the basic purpose of renunciation is to turn towards yourself.
There is a beautiful parable: There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps that he was determined to get rid of both.
Remember: you are this man, this man exists in everybody. This is how you have been behaving. This is also your logic – flight from the shadow. This man was so much disturbed by the sight of his own shadow. Why? What is wrong in a shadow? Why should you be disturbed by a shadow? Because dreamers have said – you may have heard that dreamers have said – that gods have no shadows. When they walk no shadow is created. This man was disturbed because of these gods.
It is said that in heaven the sun rises, gods walk but they don’t have any shadows, they are transparent. But I tell you, this is just a dream.
Nowhere does anything exist, or can exist, without a shadow. If it is, then the shadow will be created; if it is not, only then can the shadow disappear.
To be means to create a shadow. Your anger, your sex, your greed – all are shadows. But remember, they are shadows; they are, in a sense, and still they are not. That is the meaning of a shadow, it is non-substantial. A shadow is just an absence. You stand, the sun’s rays fall on you; because of you, a few rays cannot pass. Then the figure is created, the figure of the shadow. It is just an absence. You obstruct the sun, that is why the shadow is created.
The shadow is not substantial, you are substantial. You are substantial, that is why the shadow is created. If you were like a ghost then there would be no shadow. And angels in heaven are nothing but ghosts, ghosts dreamed by you, by ideologists, men who create ideals. This man was disturbed because he has heard that you become a god only when the shadow disappears.
There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps that he was determined to get rid of both. What are your disturbances? If you go deep, you will find nothing but the sound of footsteps. Why are you so disturbed by the sound of your footsteps? You are substantial; there must be a little sound – one has to accept this.
But the man had heard the story that gods have no shadows, and when they walk no sound of footsteps is created. These gods can be nothing but dream objects: they exist just in the mind – to walk with no sound of footsteps can exist nowhere. Whenever something exists sound is created around it, footsteps, shadows. This is how things are; you cannot do anything, this is how nature is. If you try to do something you will go wrong; if you try to do something your whole life will be wasted and in the end you will feel you have not reached anywhere. The shadow remains, the footsteps make sounds, and death has knocked at the door.
Before death knocks, accept yourself – and then a miracle happens. That miracle is, when you accept yourself that means you don’t run away from yourself.
Right now, every one of you is running away from himself.
Krishna says even if you come to me, you come to me as part of your escape from yourself. That is why you cannot reach me; that is the gap. If you have come to me as an escape from yourself you cannot come to me, because my whole effort is to help you not to escape from yourself. Don’t try to escape from yourself. You cannot be anybody else; you have a definite destiny and individuality.
Just as your thumb makes a sign, a print, unique and individual – that type of thumb has never existed before, will never exist again, it belongs only to you, there will never be a second – the same is the case with your being also. You have a unique and individual being, incomparable. It has never been before, it will never be again; only you have it. Celebrate it! Something unique has happened to everyone; existence has given a unique gift to everyone, and you condemn it and you want something better! You try to be wiser than existence, you try to be wiser than Tao; then you go wrong.
The part can never be wiser than the whole, remember. And whatsoever the Whole is doing is the final thing, you cannot change it. You can make an effort and waste your life, but nothing will be achieved through it.
Krishna says turn towards yourself or be yourself and you will grow in consciousness and renounce non-essensial, non-substantial.Tags: You Are Substantial