It is said that in September 1945, when the Second World War was over, newspaper reporters wanted to know the reaction of Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (Guru Dev). The Hindi text of this discourse is included in a 1947 publication, 'Shri Shankaracharya Vaksudha', of which a transcript is included at foot of webpage, Here is a translation into English:-
'In truth then victory is really this; for the one who has
no risk of inner defeat. In truth, by the suppression only of outer
(usual) enemies no one can become permanently victorious; because from
those enemies there is no lasting suppression. True knowledge of
victory occurs then from obtaining control over internal enemies.
Really, only by the permanent subjugation of internal enemies is the
subjugation of the external enemy achieved; because the inner enemy
gives rise to the creation of the external enemies.
The internal enemies are kaama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (intoxification) and maatsarya (jealousy). This is really the shhaDarivarga, the group of six inner enemies which create any external enemies of the world; therefore if you wish to experience happiness and peace one must gain victory over all one's gross enemies, then you should cut off the place of birth of the six subtle enemies, kaama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (intoxification) and maatsarya (jealousy). Without gaining victory over the shhaDarivarga (group of six enemies) then you cannot completely irradicate the external enemies. This is fixed.
This is the proven experience of those who have gained victory over these internal subtle enemies, that if the birthplace of the external enemies becomes destroyed and all enemies have become eradicated then afterwards no enemies remain and in truth this is considered to be a real victory. For him the true and lasting store-house of happiness and peace is opened.
To be completely free from enemies, that country should be wholely settled in happiness and peace, and for that it is required that the creator of that region or the leader has gained victory over the aantarika shhaDarivarga (the group of six inner enemies), otherwise this is what really occurs that; 'of one's own accord one's life is destroyed' and 'of one's own accord one is choked'. The past history of many hundreds of years is a witness to this statement, that the chief leaders of the new countries did, by their own inner kaama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), etc, instigate the colouring of the earth blood red, many times. This is brutish. On whom the burden of running a kingdom befalls, he should acquire the special charactaristic of powerful insight. To have trust in a gust of agitation of the emotions, of kaama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), etc, is not a great wish or humane to the whole world.
Up to what extent can we suppress our outer enemies? We subdue one but are intimidated by another, this then is the suppression of an enemy but there is no sign of triumph. Whilst victory over the internal enemies is not obtained then this will remain the condition. Therefore, this much is necessary, that the leader of a country obtains triumph over his own inner aantarika shhaDarivarga (group of six inner enemies). Thus if the leader of society is really victorious, then they can successfully demonstrate the path of lasting happiness and peace for the country and the whole world.
It is not very difficult to obtain triumph over kaama (lust), krodha (anger) etc. But without understanding, people are habituated to presuming it is out of their reach. Mostly people have become resolved that only a mahaatmaa (a great soul) on the nivR^itti maargii (the path of renunciation) can attain triumph over the shhaDarivarga (six enemies); but this determination is really based in ignorance. The basis of the nivR^itti maargii (path of renunciation) then is giving up and severing all connections with the root cause of kaama (lust), krodha (anger) etc. So for him there is no question arising of victory or defeating anybody. It is assumed that a victor over the shhaDarivarga then is he who can engage continually in vyavahaara (daily business, employment etc.); but that on him desire and anger cannot accumulate and gain monopoly. So the enemy can constantly have the opportunity to make an attack; but that power to attack will not be strong enough; for this reason then he (the enemy) will surrender, as he is flawed and defeated. The continuous flow of daily business is no trouble in getting victory over shhaDarivarga (the six enemies).
The birthplace of all enemies of saMsaara (mundane existence) is the collecton of subtle enemies. The willingness for obtaining a victory by awakening physical preparation for battle and making the period of disquiet of life and death, is not necessary. For this only it is only necessary to become dispassionate and act with stong discernment.
One who is a samadarshii (one who is impartial, dispassionate) is one who is said to see very well - he who sees a thing for what it really is is said to be samadarshii. In the real form of a thing and in seeing it he makes no distinction, he is in a complete inner stae of harmony and remains fit. In his vision the perception of a thing is correct, that is to say there is no confusion. If saMsaara (mundane existence) is delusory then there is no change in the truth of that; and if the absolute is truth then he really accepts the truth. The falsehood of saMsaara (transitory existence) and the permanence of the aatmaa (soul) - when a man becomes strong then he becomes samadarshii (impartial, dispassionate). And, then he sees all things in their real form.
The meaning of the falsehood of saMsaara is this, that the nature is to change, become reversed, and to perish in an instant. No more learning is necessary for anybody to understand this - all are experiencing this, that everything in saMsaara is transient, has a tragic end - subtlest of the subtlest and grossest of the gross things are changed. This is apparent to every individual life that in front of us. How many individuals are born? How many are being destroyed? All this speech is not original and one day I also will no longer remain. If saMsaara is broken in an instant then it is not necessary to make a great effort to undestand this. Man is experiencing this day and night; but then again he is not considering it.
He who has once given careful thought to the perishability of saMsaara, in his own heart, he gains victory of the aantarika shhaDarivarga (the group of six internal enemies); because to that man, all the material world is instantly destructible, so that he cannot have lobha (greed) or moha (delusion) for anything; because he knows that what he has lobha (greed) and moha (delusion) for today, tomorrow is automatically changed; therefore lobha (greed) and moha (delusion) are to no purpose, in effect they are really connected to remorse and anxiety; therefore lobha (greed) and moha (delusion) are not to be grown in the inner self. The very seeds of these become destroyed and if there are no seeds of lobha (greed) and moha (delusion) then maatsarya (jealousy) also becomes destroyed. He is also without matsara (wrath). No jealousy of worldly glory and wealth remain, no arrogance or jealousy, then in him anger becomes perfectly destroyed. Thus man's narrow wishes become attached to those of God's, and with dutiful mind all business is accomplished. His behaviour is very naturally disciplined and in his worldly life he is like a lotus leaf, detached and pure. Thus by such dispassionate natural activity man is really triumphant over the shhaDarivarga (the six enemies) - In this way there are no outer enemies of man - he governs over all of nature alike - moreover, none becomes capable of destroying the reign of peace. So really the samadarshii (the impartial, dispassionate one) is the great conqueror, he can remain exhibiting the fruit of happiness and peace.
Let that be! Triumph over the aantarika shhaDarivarga (group of six internal enemies), that is the best and true victory, and for this great victory man should incline his efforts.'
translation - Paul Mason © 2009
Return to Guru Dev webpage