Insanity is not compulsory
All of us have witnessed normal sane people suddenly behaving abnormally, even insanely. We may have seen this happening to ourselves. For some people, this abnormal self-defeating behavior becomes so habitual that, though it threatens their career, relationships, finances, health and even life, they passively rationalize it by saying, “That’s just the way I am; that’s my nature.”
Is it really? Is insanity compulsory?
No, declares Gita wisdom. All of us are souls who are originally characterized by not just sanity, but also serenity and even felicity. The Bhagavad-gita (14.13) indicates that insane behavior (pramada) results from the predomination of the mode of ignorance in our mind. This accumulated mode of ignorance first sabotages our normal intelligence (aprakasha), then distorts our normal behavioral pattern (apravrtti), and finally impels us to self-destructive actions.
Among the three modes, the mode of ignorance is the lowest and the basest. That’s why it perverts our original nature the most. Thankfully, this perversion, no matter how detrimental, is never irreversible. All of us have the power to reclaim our original pure nature. For this return to purity, we need to consciously expose ourselves to places (e.g. temples), people (e.g. devotees), actions (e.g. chanting) and emotions (e.g. ecstasy in kirtans) that are surcharged with spirituality. These transcendental stimuli revoke the influences of ignorance and invoke our dormant spiritual tendencies. The more we practice the art of exposing ourselves to transcendental influences, the more we become situated in our spiritual nature.
The ultimate transcendental influence – in fact, the source of all transcendental influences – is Krishna himself. When we expose ourselves to him internally by constantly thinking of him, then his presence in our consciousness protects us from all possible negative influences. Constant thought of Krishna is our best inner security and is eventually the source of the supreme everlasting ecstasy.
“When there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, O son of Kuru, darkness, inertia, madness and illusion are manifested.”