The first chapter is Arjuna Vishada Yoga. It begins with the sorrow of Arjuna. This is a very very important thing to understand. Unless sorrow in some form comes about, one will not turn around and try to find the truth behind the appearances. One would remain satisfied with the little lollipops that have been offered. Suck them and sit all one’s life. But the supreme reality does not want this to happen and therefore sorrow comes. When sorrow comes, one doesn’t run away from sorrow.
Two children found a bag containing twelve marbles. They argued over how to divide the toys and finally went to see Nasrudin. When asked to settle their disagreement, Nasrudin asked whether the children wanted him to divide the marbles as a human would or as God would.
The children replied, “We want it to be fair. Divide the marbles as God would.”
So, Nasrudin counted out the marbles and gave three to one child and nine to the other.
Khoja has been looking for a parking place for twenty minutes already. He turns around, he waits, he drives a bit further, but finds nothing. He has an important business meeting and he’s going to be late, but nothing, no parking space. Filled with despair he raises his eyes up to the sky and says: “My God, if you get me a parking space in five minutes, I promise to you that I’ll pray daily two times for the rest of my life…”
And suddenly – O miracle! – right next to him a car drives away leaving an ideal parking spot. So Khoja turns his eyes to the sky and says:”God, stop searching, I found one!”
There is an ancient sloka which is chanted before starting various activities. Sahanavavatu – we have chanted it many times, it is interesting to learning meaning of it – sahanaubhunattu sahaviryam karavavivahe. Tejas vinavaditam astu, maa vidveshavahai. Which means, both the teacher and the one who is listening – are as important. May both of us be protected. May both of us be nourished. May both our vitalities increase. May our ‘tejas’ – the fire of understanding – increase. Then the last sentence is very very important. Let us not fight among each other. Let us not quarrel with each other. Because we are not trying to argue or prove our point. What we are trying to do is sit together and try to understand a problem. Which are two different things. That is a dialog.
Supposing that the mind is made up of thoughts and thoughts are always vibrating, moving. Sometimes up. Sometimes down. Constantly in motion. That movement of thought or the waves of thoughts are known as vrittis. The stopping of the vrittis – That complete stopping of the movement of the vrittis, is considered to be yoga. Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha.
Praying is a beautiful psychological exercise where you deep down want to come out of the circumstances which are limiting your progress and not finding that the mind with its present conditioned capacity can do it, are trying to appeal to the higher mind to bring about a breakthrough so that you can reach what normally cannot be reached, that is prayer.
Therefore the importance of bhajans, kirtan (devotional songs), going to places where other people are worshipped, going on pilgrimages, all lead you to the stimulation of the emotional centers of your minds for opening of the centers which you can experience.