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Going to the opposite spectrum of this rule; fewer conditions mean less ego and more conscience. When you reach a stage where love only remains and the all the conditions like what you get in return and how to get it, disappear; your love becomes absolutely pure. It is difficult to give an example of pure love as most of us have percentages of ego which corrupts our love; I’ll still try to get as close as I can.
Suppose you’re a mother and your love for your son comes with no conditions or no expectations. All you care for is the love you have for him and there’s nothing more. The reason I’ve chosen a mother for this example is that a mother naturally has the highest chances of engaging in pure love with her children, compared to all other relationships. If you’re one such mother, you love your son from the first day and you keep doing so till the last day of your life. Whether your son obeys you or not; whether he brings profits to you or not; whether he cares for you or not; and all other such things don’t change your love for him and in fact, you never care for these things to start with.
All you know is that the love for your son comes naturally from within you and it never asks for anything in return. Hence you don’t put conditions on him though you may suggest certain things at times. It should be noted that suggesting or advising is not a condition unless it comes with the condition of being acted upon. For instance, if you tell your son that he should consider eating more vegetables as they’re good for health; and then you don’t bother whether he does so or not; it is not a condition and you’re simply doing your job.
However, if you tell him that he should consider eating more vegetables and then you start expecting him to act upon your advice; or you even keep repeating this advice in a forceful manner with the intention that this way; he’ll understand one day that you want him to eat more vegetables; it is a condition. This is because you’re trying to control his free will to eat or not eat vegetables; which means you’re imposing a condition on him.
On the other hand, if all you care for is to focus on your love for him; and you don’t care for any conditions or returns; this love is pure and it is not corrupted by your ego. It should be noted that conditions are required only in order to ensure certain specific results and they’re not needed otherwise. If such conditions are introduced in order to maintain collective harmony; they are introduced by the conscience and if the conditions of any type are imposed in order to get what you want or in order to get some benefit for yourself; they come from ego.
For instance, when law makers impose a condition that whoever kills someone except for some valid reasons mentioned under such law; shall be punished with life imprisonment or death; they don’t have any individual benefit in it and this condition is introduced to ensure collective well being. It means that even if one of these law makers kills someone, he may receive the same punishment. As this condition can harm him also, if he commits this crime; it means it has not come from ego and it has come from conscience. The basic identification of conditions coming from ego is that they’ll never intend loss to the one who introduces such conditions; if they’re fulfilled.
In easy words, for conditions coming from ego; the person creating those conditions is primary and the conditions become secondary or so to say; such conditions become the means or tools to facilitate him. On the other hand, for conditions coming from conscience, the conditions become primary and the person creating those conditions is found nowhere; as they have been created with the intention to benefit everyone and no one in particular.
It once again brings us back to the same rule; which says that for a person ruled by ego, the results are important whereas for a person ruled by conscience; the karma is important. The person ruled by ego is creating conditions to benefit from them and hence the result which means his benefits are important or primary; and the conditions are unimportant or secondary. On the other hand, the person ruled by conscience is creating conditions which are not meant to bring him any results and they’re meant to help maintain harmony.
It should be noted that even the person ruled by conscience may appear to be focused on results in some cases, like in this case; but there’s a big difference between both these types of people. For instance, even the law maker may appear to be fixed on the result that collective harmony must be maintained. However, kindly pay attention that there’s no individual benefit in it for him and in fact, he may suffer in future if he happens to kill someone under the attack from his ego. This law maker is simply trying to do his duty; which is to form laws which ensure harmony.
Hence he’s focused on the karma of forming law for collective harmony and not on the result, which means he’s not focused on whether such harmony is actually achieved or not. On the other hand, if a law maker proposes a law which appears to promote collective harmony but which in reality is being proposed so that he may benefit from it, as soon as it is formed; the ego may be involved significantly. For instance, if he proposes that farmers should be given free electricity in order to facilitate them, even when the farmers may be capable of affording paid electricity; and this law maker as well as many of his relatives own hundreds of acres of land where they do farming; this proposal is encouraged by ego.
This is because the farmers don’t really need free electricity. If the government chooses to give them free electricity; it will put more financial load on it due to which; it may have to levy more taxes on general public and that may disturb the harmony instead of promoting it. This is because in order to pass on unnecessary benefits to some people; a large number of people are being forced to pay more. Hence this is not a balanced act and the law maker may be proposing this law as he knows that he and his family members will benefit a lot; if this law is passed.
Accordingly; he may appear to be doing his duty which means he may appear to be guided by his conscience; he’s being controlled by his ego in reality; as he’s trying to cause unnecessary financial losses to a large number of people, in order to gain profits for himself. You see, how deep are the roots of ego within most of us? This is why it is the most difficult job in the world, to get rid of ego as you may have to get rid of your entire personality as well as your entire belief system; so that you may get rid of your ego.
Going back to the example, the choice given by Yudhishthir to the warriors of both sides is a neutral choice as it may result in his benefit or loss. It should be noted that if this war is won by his side, he will have one of the biggest empires of that time at his disposal. Hence the result of this war is not a small one and it is one of the biggest results anyone can choose to have or not. Accordingly, all his energy should ideally be focused on making sure that he wins and he gets this kingdom, if he’s ruled by ego. Add to this the fact that he as well as most wise men of that time was sure that his side was representing the truth, which means his side was right.
This gives him all the reasons to make sure that this war is won by his side because he’s fighting for the right or justice and his victory means that of right or justice. All these reasons are very good but they may only serve as excuses for his ego; if he forgets the basic rule which says to focus on the act of engaging in war and not to focus on the results. Since Yudhishthir is a man ruled by conscience; this is what he does and this is why he does so.
Conscience puts utmost importance to free will of each and every soul whereas ego tries to restrict it by imposing conditions on the others, in order to gain personal benefits. Being a man of conscience; Yudhishthir realizes that the fact that he feels or knows that he’s fighting on the right side doesn’t mean that each and everyone should think so; at least the people in his army at that point. As soon as he thinks that everyone should follow the truth that he follows; it becomes a condition and as you know; conditions for personal benefits are created by ego and not by conscience.
Hence he wants every warrior to find his own right or wrong; instead of being forced to act on the right or wrong decided by him or even by Duryodhana. It should be noted that the definition of right and wrong may be different for different people facing the same situation and everyone should have the right to express this definition the way he finds fit and stick to such definition, in order to do what he wants to do in the same situation.
Suppose a king has delivered a verdict to publically behead a person who’s found guilty of a murder; though he may be innocent but the king doesn’t know it. This means that the king has done his best to deliver justice and it was due to the circumstances that he delivered injustice; like there are solid evidences or proofs against him though they may be fabricated; and there’s nothing much to support his side. Hence he decides on merit that this person is guilty and he awards him the punishment that this crime calls for.
The public has gathered at the day of the punishment and the person who’s supposed to behead this person is ready with his weapon. Suppose a person who knows for sure that the convict is not guilty of engaging in this crime, requests the punisher that he should not behead the convict as he knows for sure that he’s not guilty of this crime. He even prays to the king that the convict is innocent and he should be freed; but the circumstances are such that he’s not able to prove the truth. As a result, both the king and the punisher reject his prayer and the convict is beheaded.
There are three people in this example; who are fighting for justice or right; and the definition of right is different for all of them. When it comes to the king, he’s done his best to deliver justice and this is what is right on his part. When it comes to the punisher, it is his duty to obey his king and this is what right means for him. Looking at the person who’s requesting to free the convict; it is right for him to make this request as he knows that the convict is innocent and accordingly; he should try his best to save him. You see, the right defined by the king is different from the right defined by the punisher and they’re both different from the right defined by the person who’s making this request.
It happens because of point of view; which means though a number of people may face the same situation; they may be assessing the situation from different angles and hence their points of view may be different; thereby making the definition of right or wrong different for them. For instance, if you’re standing face to face with your lover in an outdoor location and both of you are enjoying the beauty all around; as well as enjoying each other’s company; your truths or points of view may be different at different points in time. Suppose this location has hills and a lake in it.
Your angle gives you a vision of your lover plus some hills in the background along with some other things and hence this is your truth at this moment. Your lover’s angle gives her a vision of you as well as the lake behind you and hence this is her truth at this moment. Your true interpretation of beautiful in this case at this moment means your lover plus the hills whereas her true definition of beautiful in this case at this moment means you plus the lake. You see, you’re both calling this scene beautiful but your interpretations are different, depending on your points of view. Unless you see this view from her angle which means from her point of view; you simply can’t understand her interpretation of beauty in this case.
This is why it may not be wise to judge the right or wrong of other people and you should only judge your own right or wrong; because you’re standing at a point different than them and hence your vision sees different things compared to them or it sees things differently compared to how they see them. Since the judgments are based on what each one of you is seeing; they may become different as the variables affecting your judgments are different. Hence you should not try to judge anyone and you should try to judge yourself only, if a judgment is necessary to start with.
This is because when subjected to the other person’s point of view; you may surprisingly find the same thing true which the other person found in that situation. For instance, when facing hills in this example, you may say that the scene is beautiful because of hills and when facing lake, you may say the scene is beautiful because of the lake. None of these statements is false and they’re true from a specific point of view.
It is an interesting fact that if you’re a shopkeeper or a seller, the right thing for you is to sell your product for maximum profit whereas the right thing for the buyer is to buy your product as cheap as he can. When he tries to do so, his right becomes the opposite of your right because your purpose is to earn maximum profit and his purpose is to reduce your profit to minimum. Hence you may have some grudges against this buyer as his truth is the opposite of your truth; but wait till you read the next line.
When you go to another shop to buy something for yourself, his truth becomes your truth and your truth becomes your enemy as it now becomes the seller’s truth. As long as you’re a seller, higher price for a product is what you like and as soon as you become a buyer, lowest possible price for a product becomes your desire. Accordingly, you try to reduce the price as much as you can, when you go to another shop to buy a product. It means you’re doing the same thing that the person who purchased your product was doing in the same situation. Then why do you dislike him for reducing the price whereas you love yourself for doing the same?
The answer has already been explained in an earlier part of this book. You’re doing so because you’re a hypocrite as you’re not following the rule in its purest sense. For instance, we can define three rules for this situation and if you follow anyone of them in sense, you’re not a hypocrite. The first rule says that a buyer should try to reduce the price as much as he can. If you follow this rule; you should have no grudges against your customer as he was following this rule; and you also gain the right to bargain when you purchase something. Hence it is fair, if you follow this rule in sense. If you don’t do so, you’re a hypocrite.
The second rule says that the buyer should not bargain, though this rule may not look good to some people. If you follow this rule in sense, you lose the right to bargain when you try to purchase something though you can expect your customer to do the same. If you follow this rule in sense, even then you’re not a hypocrite. If you don’t follow this rule properly, you’re once again a hypocrite.
The third as well as the prevalent rule says that the buyer is allowed to try and reduce the price as much as he can and at the same time; the seller is allowed to earn as much profit as he can. This is the rule which is being followed nowadays. If you choose to follow this rule, you have the right to bargain when you try to purchase something but then your customer also has the same right. So why are you upset with him or judging him as he’s doing the same thing that you do in his situation. If you criticize him for doing what you do in his situation, you’re a hypocrite.
This is because you’re following only one rule; which is that no matter what the situation may be; only you’re entitled for maximum amount of profit when two or more people are competing and one of them is you. Hence when you’re a seller, you define bargaining as the worst thing; whereas you define it as the best thing when you become a buyer. In reality, both of them are fair and hence you should not have any grudges against the customer who’s bargaining with you.
Hence Yudhishthir knows that the truth he knows is his version of truth and a number of warriors may have different versions of truth; depending on their points of view. In fact, the truth of some of these warriors may be the opposite of his truth. Being a man ruled by conscience, he follows this rule in deepest sense that just as he has the right to stand by his truth; everyone else also has the same right; which is to find their own truth in this situation and stand by that truth. This is why he offers that if anyone wants to change sides, he’ll welcome them.
This is a high risk decision as even some of the best warriors of his side may choose to go to the opposite side; which may reduce the chances of his victory and he may even have to face defeat. However, victory or defeat is the result of this war and getting attached to result instead of focusing on karma is the mark of ego. Hence he ignores the result, though it is one of the best types of results anyone can achieve; and he focuses on his karma; which is to fight this far in the best possible manner. As all his focus shifts to the act of war, he becomes able to realize that everyone has a right to choose which side he wants to represent in this war and accordingly; he makes this announcement.
Even though the war needs to be won for justice; focusing on the result gets the ego involved and hence he chooses to focus on the act of war itself. As you fall in love with an act instead of falling in love with its result, it is natural for you to beautify that act as much as you can. This is what Yudhishthir is doing; beautifying the act of war, as much as he can. Only one warrior named Yuyutsu changes side, who is one of many brothers of Duryodhana; as his version of right is to fight from the side of Yudhishthir.
Conscience places great importance to free will and hence a man with high conscience hates imposing his will on others whereas this is the thing, ego loves doing. As already mentioned in an earlier part; ego can feed on your body, intellect and even on your heart. Many people think that since emotions come from heart and heart is generally related to beautiful feelings; emotions may not be as destructive as intellect. However, it may not be true in many cases and emotions can also do equal amount of damage, when they’re being fed on by the ego.
When it comes to heart and emotions, love is one of the best emotions it may generate. So let’s start with love. Suppose you love a girl and your heart is filled with beautiful emotions for her. You want to spend a lot of your free time in her company as you enjoy her company. It is fine till here but you may not know that as your emotions for this girl start gaining intensity, your ego may silently start feeding on them. It may start attaching itself to your lover through your emotions and it may even start controlling your emotions, which are related to this girl.
As time goes by and as you spend or invest more time in the company of your lover, the attachment of your ego to this girl as well as to the emotions related to this girl may become even stronger. You may remember this rule that more you invest time or effort in something or someone, more your ego gets attached to it. This is the stage where your problems may become significant though they may have started long back, as your ego was in the early stages of attaching to this girl. However, as they may not have been high in quantum, they may not have been noticeable.
When your ego significantly attaches to this girl, suppose your lover is going for a business meeting to a nearby town and she’s accompanied by a male colleague. If your ego is attached to this girl through your heart, you may feel uncomfortable about this whole incident. Your ego may start giving you a number of fears like, what if she develops liking for this colleague, what if the colleague tries to take undue advantage of her and many other such fears. Though your lover comes back on the same day, your ego may have given birth to a number of doubts.
The reason these fears are rising is because of the presence of ego as it hates losing anything it gets attached to. At the same time, it is always fearful of losing things or people it gets attached to. This is due to the reason that ego never plays fair, even in the fields like love which are dominated by heart and which should be the most fair among all the fields. As the ego doesn’t play fair, it knows that the other person may also not play fair because of his or her ego. It means when you tell your girlfriend that you love her truly; you don’t really mean it; though you may not know it consciously.
Your subconscious mind already has this information that your ego has corrupted your love for this girl and hence it is not pure. Since this is happening on the level of subconscious mind; you may not have conscious knowledge of this fact and you may believe that you purely love this girl, when you don’t. As you’re not telling the truth to your girlfriend when you say you love her; you simply can’t trust her deep down; when she tells you the same truth. It means when she tells you that she loves you; you know on subconscious level that her love for you may also be corrupted like your love.
This is due to the reason that in the deepest sense; you simply can’t imagine a feeling or experience that you’ve never gone through; though you may think you can. For instance, if you’ve never tried bungee jumping; you simply can’t imagine the feeling of thrill it can give you, in the deepest sense. Yes, you may compare this feeling to something else of the similar type that you may have done many times and through this comparison, you may try to get as close to this feeling as you can. However, you simply can’t have this exact feeling of bungee jumping until you actually have it; which means you try bungee jumping.
If you’ve never eaten a mango, you can’t feel or imagine its exact taste though you may try to get close through other fruits which taste like mango and you’ve eaten those fruits. Hence when a person who’s eaten a lot of mangos tells you that a mango tastes sweet, it’s pulpy and other attributes related to this fruit; you may start using the taste and texture of a number of fruits eaten by you so far; and you may try to build a mango in your imagination; which may have the sweetness of one fruit, the texture of another fruit and so on.
This is what your intellect does and this is what you may do in this situation. Hence you may build an imaginary taste of mango through your intellect and this taste may be different or much different from the real taste of a mango. However, due to the limitation of your intellect; you can only get this close to the taste of a mango and in order to know the exact taste of a mango; you have to eat it at least once. Therefore, you can’t imagine the exact taste or feeling of something; unless you’ve gone through it or done it at least once. If you eat mangos a number of times; you may now be able to imagine the exact taste of mango.
It happens in case of all other things related to all other spheres. You simply can’t imagine anything in its proper sense; until you’ve gone through it or you’ve had it. This is why experience is considered much better than theoretical knowledge. Verbal knowledge can only help you imagine something and such imagination may be different or much different from the real thing. Practical experience on the other hand, gives you the exact feeling of this thing as you’re living it instead of imagining it. Hence you can only imagine things through verbal knowledge whereas you know the exact truth of these things through experiences.
Coming back to the topic, since your heart is corrupted by your ego; you’ve never engaged in pure love and hence you simply can’t imagine how pure love operates. All you can do is to compare it to the closest thing you’ve done and then judge it on the basis of that experience. When it comes to the closest thing; it is the type of love that you engage in. Since this love is corrupted and at the same time; this corruption is hidden from your conscious knowledge as this is a subconscious type of corruption; the type of love that you practice is the most you can imagine and nothing more than that, in the deepest sense.
Let’s now look at the type of love you’re practicing; considering your love is corrupted by your ego. The first thing you wish deep down is to control your lover so that she may do things or she may behave as you want her to; as ego loves nothing more than control. Through experiences in a number of lives; your ego knows that its acts of control often make other people run away; and this information is also stored on your subconscious mind through such experiences. It means your ego has tried to controlled a number of people in this life as well as in your past lives and most of those people have eventually moved away from you; as no one wants to be controlled; just like you don’t want to be controlled.
Since a number of close people have moved away from you in this life as well as in your past lives; all this information is stored on your subconscious mind. It should be noted that ego necessarily pushes people away from you and there is no exception to this rule. Higher is your ego, more you attach to people and things, more you try to control them due to such attachment; and more you tend to push them away from you because no one wants to be controlled. This is because being controlled by the others goes against the basic rule of free will for every soul. Even if some people don’t know this rule consciously at certain times; they always know it subconsciously as this is the first rule of nature, related to the souls, and hence it is the first right of every soul to express itself freely.
As a result, when you try to control people or you try to restrict their freedom; they may start moving away from you. Some of them may consciously know that you’re trying to control them whereas some of them may know it only on subconscious level. Hence they may simply feel that you’re making them uncomfortable most of the time and they don’t feel comfortable in your company. The end result in both these cases is the same; which is the fact that these people move away from you.
As it keeps happening; your subconscious mind stores all these experiences. Since you don’t want your dear ones to move away from you as no one wants this to happen; there are only two options left for you. The first option is to stop controlling them so that they may not run away from you. However, this option needs conscious knowledge of your acts controlled by ego and it also requires you to bring your ego down to a tolerable level; if not kill it altogether. Since a number of such people are consciously not aware that people are running away from them due to their egos; they can’t move to the second step; which is to reduce ego which means to build more conscience.
Looking at the people who do realize that their loved ones move away from them due to the acts of control generated by their high egos; killing or reducing ego is not everyone’s cup of tea. As already mentioned; to get rid of ego is the most difficult job that a person or a soul faces and it becomes even more difficult in case of people who already have high egos. It means these people don’t have significant amount of conscience since high ego means low conscience and vice-versa; and hence their chances of getting rid of ego are far less than the people with relatively low ego and high conscience.
Since this option goes against your ego and you have high ego; it may create another option which is more likely to be the option you want. This option says that the reason your loved ones keep running away is that you are not able to control them in proper manner. It means that you’re either not able to control them enough to stop them from running away or you’re doing it in a way which makes it obvious to them that you want to control them.
Hence your ego may suggest you to change the ways you control your loved ones; so that you may control them more and at the same time; they may not know that your acts of love are acts of control in reality. This option looks good and as your ego is supporting you; the chances of success are high; at least according to you. Accordingly, you may choose this option and you may start controlling your loved ones even more and maybe in hidden ways; so that they may not run away. Your subconscious mind has all this information stored on it and it knows that when you say love; it means control.