The Psychological System of the Hindus
"The psychological system of the Hindus underlies every word of this poem. We cannot afford to ignore anything that is connected with the events of our lives." Mr. Judge proposes studying the Bhagavad-Gita by the light of the spiritual lamp, which the Spiritual Soul will feed and increase within us if we attend to it and diligently inquire after it.
—Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, pp. 2-5
"Western psychology in its classifications refers solely to mental states. The psychology of the Gita and the ancient sages, classifies the moral states, treating the mental states as mere effects produced by moral conditions."
—Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 197
This psychology is based on:
- Recognizing that the immortal Spirit is in every being, and in Man it is his Higher Self. The feelings, mind, body, habits and character are evidence of the evolutionary experience we have passed through as a form. The present sensitivity of our bodies and lower faculties reveals to our inquiry, the quality of our development, and our mastery of them.
- We, therefore are not the "body, and its faculties." We are an independent intelligence, a mind-soul, able to inquire into our vehicle, the body, and our faculties and senses, our feelings and our thoughts. Reincarnation of the mind-soul-Spirit, in successive bodies, occurs under the sway of the universal and impartial moral law, called Karma, which uniformly applies to all beings. The Cosmos, World, Man, or an atom are all evidence of the progressive growth of intelligence—of evolution.
- We, as mankind, have been endowed with the faculty of thinking, the mind-Soul. The sentiments, passions, desires and instinct pertain to the development of the lower nature. Superior to them is Mind. As a faculty it is midway between the physical form, the personal self, and the immortal Spiritual Individual (Atma-Buddhi-Manas). It—the independent mind faculty, is that which is seeking to become an immortal. The physical nature is the "plain of Kurukshetra," where the struggle for victory occurs. This struggle is universal. Every human, as a focus for his own struggle, faces it at some level, consciously or unconsciously.
- The Bhagavad-Gita is a record of the advice given by the Higher, spiritual Self, as Krishna, a perfected Man, draws on his study, experience, and achievement. And, this advice is given according to the questions which Arjuna (you and me, as minds) ask.
- To progress—as man who desires wisdom—attachment to desires, and therefore to anticipation of "hoped for results" of a selfish, personal, nature, is to be abandoned. They have no permanence and "perish" when our present form dies. Duties are defined as the necessary discharge of responsibilities. To be correctly performed, we have to acquire information and knowledge. To do this with care, and accurately, these have to be identified, understood, and then acted on. This should be the "growing tip" of our progress, and the focus of our attention.
- Man's faculties have all to be studied and developed so that this war-stage with passion and irrational emotion, may soon be concluded. When successful, this alters impulse and ignorance into compassion, altruism and wisdom. Our living consciousness (the lower mind) is calmed, impulse is controlled and set to rest. Understanding the temporary and illusory nature of passions and desires, we, as Minds, develop and acquire the serenity of contemplation. This has been described as "bliss"-ananda, or a release from identification with kama-passion, and avidya-delusion. Ignorance has been dispelled by the light of Wisdom. Knowledge is first to be acquired, then only can deeds be performed accurately as needed, and thus, finally, we assist in restoring harmony to the Universe. This produces a condition called Sat-chit-ananda, described on p. 99 of Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita. It is the embodiment of Krishna in a perfected personal instrument on this plane. Man is to make the Krishna within (his own Higher Self) operative, and ruler of his own personality. Once the personality is cleared of false notions, it becomes clear, and the inner light, no longer obstructed, radiates from such a Being, now self-transformed into a "Great Soul."