Hello and welcome to episode 74 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the greatest superstition in this world.

Today’s question comes from Rushme and Rushme says “even when I was a child I was fascinated by spirituality. I always get worried when science says that religion is just superstition. Is this true”?

There are wonderful people in both religion and science but sometimes there are also crooks and nuts on both sides. We are taught that religion is only one thing: realisation. There were some great men of science, like Albert Einstein who did great work but did not over step their mark like some do nowadays.

Superstition is bound to creep up on the practice of religion. When so many people believe in something this is bound to come up. It’s just a part of it. Those whose intentions are good will know what they are thinking and they will be on the right path.

Body mind and intellect

Vivekananda himself was asked this question and he replied by saying that when you talk of things such as superstition all that he could do was argue to prove them wrong. The greatest superstition in this world is for one to think that they are the body, they are the mind and they are the intellect. This is the greatest superstition. It is a foolish way to think. They are not the body, they are not the mind and they are not the intellect.

Everything is “I”.  I am doing this, I am going here. Everything is held up in the body, mind and intellect. This thinking, which is embedded in us all our lives is the greatest superstition. From childhood we are taught that there is a thought, action and then an event. This drives everything. All the great ones say that this is really wrong.

Cannot choose

Krishna says that you cannot choose a thought.  You can only be detached from the thought. A thought is an effect. We have always been taught that is a cause but this is not true. It is an effect. You cannot choose it, only be detached from it.


Krishna says the cause of all thoughts is the gunas: sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. They are foes which create the body, mind and intellect. I will give you an example. Let’s say everyone in the world was given a computer with internet connection. There are billions of websites from CNN to sports and entertainment. So Imagine you are approaching the computer you will be told that you can surf any websites that you choose. Every one of the 7 billion people will choose differently.

The force

What is the force behind their choice? What is the force that pushes someone to sports, entertainment, violence or something else? You feel you have a choice but Krishna says you don’t. There is an unseen force that is guiding you. Any action is a moment and that moment is caused by a force. That force is the gunas. Your emotions will decide what site you visit. If you are angry you will be inclined to look at violence. If you are happy you might seek out comedy or entertainment. The thoughts on the surface of your mind will determine what you look at.

The gunas will push those thoughts to the surface. According to the timeline Krishna says when you approach the computer you will be driven by this force of sattvic, rajasic and tamasic thoughts. These thoughts are then converted to the action of surfing those sites.

We spoke about this in a previous episode. All of our thoughts are nothing but thoughts that are at the surface. There are a billion thoughts but we cannot access them all at the same time so only 3 or 4 make it to the surface at any one time. Whatever you are thinking, these are what are at the surface at that time.


How does that thought come to the surface? It comes because of the gunas. It is then that you act and an event happens. All of these things will happen because of the script and the gunas. It is these that will push that thought to the surface for you to act on. The source of all these thoughts is the gunas.

We should not look at things as a thought, action and event. This is using the body, mind and intellect. We need to look at things as a force that pushes us. That is the difference. Traditionally we are taught about actions and events but this is wrong. We need to start teaching people about the real reason behind their actions. That their actions are driven by the force of the gunas.

Krishna says “The sage neither hates light, action, delusion when they appear nor seek them when they disappear. Seated as if indifferent he is not disturbed by constituents. He stills not, is of steadfast resolve holding that constituents alone prevail.”


If someone is not doing well in a job or at school they tend to blame their own thoughts and actions but this is so wrong. If you cannot realise the real reason behind the problem then you will never be able to solve it. To solve this problem you need to realise that these actions are because of the force of the gunas.

A frame

Remember that our body is just a frame or even better, think of it as a box. Inside that box is the gunas and that is what will influence you. The gunas is the influence and they come from the consciousness. They do not have beginning or an end. The consciousness is our real nature and the gunas is what makes us work.

Krishna says “works on all sides are done by the constituents of Prakarti. He who is deluded thinks I am the agent” All works are produced because of the gunas. Eating, sleeping, working and all other acts are because of the gunas. You are never the agent, the agent is your gunas and it can become trapped in the body mind and intellect. We are bound by the gunas so we need to draw it in and dissolve it in the consciousness. Our job is not to manifest thoughts, but to renounce the gunas. When you do this you become the ocean and the ocean is always detached from the waves. The ocean produces these waves of thoughts but it also remains detached from them.

Krishna says “with the senses controlled, the mind controlled, with evenness of mind perform work.” Think of your day and how hard it is to control certain forces like the force of attraction. You cannot force yourself to be attracted to someone nor can you suddenly stop being attracted to someone. It is not our choice and we are not in control of it. The same goes for the other forces such as anger and power.

We cannot change our minds or the minds of others we should just be focusing on renouncing the gunas. Imagine a state of mind where the waves no longer disturb the ocean. It would be such bliss. You would be full or light, joy and appendage because you will be radiating the consciousness.

This superstition is only an illusion that comes from the gunas. Renounce it and you will be happy.

I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.

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