Is this an Awful World?
This follows the previous post, and represents the end of chapter 31 of canto 3
“This is so negative!” Devahūti would think. “Is the world really so negative?”
Kapila explained that the world is a mixture of positive and negative relativities. Here he had simply focused on how sleepless time punishes those who “sleep” by ignoring the need to fulfill their responsibilities, but as he had previously mentioned time also brings about relatively positive results for those who are “awake” to their duty, bringing them to heavenly paradisal realms of pleasure.
Kapila could see that his mother was still shaken by his previous vividly negative descriptions. “You need not be horrified by death,” he explained. “After all, it is only an uncoupling with one sensory network immediately prior to coupling with another. You need not be grieve over hellish punishments. After all, they purify living beings of selfishness. And you need be exhilarated for heavenly rewards. After all, they are fleeting.”
Almost exasperated, Devahūti would exclaim, “What am I supposed to do? Men and children and homes are ‘death traps’, hell awaits, heaven is fleeting, and the very body I exist within is nothing but a sensorial network I am temporarily coupled with! It seems that the best option is to do absolutely nothing and feel absolutely nothing for anyone or anything — but that is completely impossible!”
Kapila smiled empathetically and leaned affectionately towards his mother. “Direct your doing, feeling, and thinking towards understanding yourself as a pure living being!” He said.
“How can I do that,” she would cry, “when I exist in a world of hunter’s songs and death traps, with whom I must interact?”
Warmly, Kapila explained, “Mother, if you keep your inner thought focused on your true destination as a living being, then you will be able to move about this world of hunter’s songs and death traps without becoming allured and ensnared by the negativity of it all.”
Taking hope, she would ask, “How should I do that? How should I keep my inner thought focused on my true destination as a spirit soul?”
“By seeing the world in the right way!” Kapila said. “Not by running away from the world, but by seeing it correctly. Not by running away from a beautiful wife, handsome husband or loving child, but by seeing them all correctly.”
“What is the ‘correct’ way to see them?” She would ask.
“Look upon the world, but look upon it through the eyes of wisdom,” he explained. “Put your wisdom into practice! That is the proper way to deal with this potentially horrible world, and transform it into a truly positive experience. If you put your wisdom into practice you will become empowered with natural and effortless detachment from the world. This will enable you to interact with the physical, sensual realm in a disciplined, controlled way.”