• Swami Purnananda

Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita 17th Chapter 14-16

The Bhagavad Gita17th Chapter 14-16 contains a wonderful treatise on tapas or self-culture that serves to strengthen the will.

The threefold discipline is of 1) physical, 2) speech and 3) mind. Again each section is broken down into a further three. The physical consists of worship, Feng Shui (cleanliness and simplicity) and behaviour in controlling lust and greed.

Physical Culture WCB – is :

1) Worship is really ideally an expression of gratitude and praise for Divine Grace that is evident as the fundamental elements of Nature and their modifications. Reverence shown to those who lead an exemplary life for others such as leaders, dedicated people and the wise. The worship can range from and include ritual, service and acts of compassion.

2) Cleanliness is both external and internal bodily cleanliness and simplicity is the practice of reducing one’s wants to basic needs and adopting a simple lifestyle.

3) Behaviour is the control of sexual and greedy thoughts and actions by discrimination and sublimation. That is to revalue bodies including one’s own as organic machines and reverentially and lovingly installing the Lord there instead. The result will be chastity and non-injury.

Speech Culture KPR – is :

1) Kind words that are truthful, yet cause no offense because they are considerate and loving

2) Positive, encouraging words that uplift others

3) Recited Inspirations derived from scriptures, that is the experience of the wise where we can derive practical and noble uplift.

Thought Culture – is :

1) Calm gentleness caused by contentment and thankfulness

2) Silence or stillness

3) Pure thoughts and feelings. That is the replacement of Rajas and Tamas with Sattwa

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