Chapter XII: 10
|If thou art unable to practice even this abhyasa yoga, be thou intent on doing actions for my sake; even by doing actions for my sake, thou shalt attain perfection.|
This is a Bhagavad Gita characteristic. More than one's own best is not expected of anyone. Though it is possible to interpret these few verses as representing a ladder that ultimately leads the aspirant to union with God, Krishna makes the rung appear as the roof. Each step is the goal itself. Each span of the bridge is itself the other shore - an outstretched arm of the shore itself! This also avoids the pitfall of "assuming what the goal is" and then deluding oneself that one is there! The only "goal" we have is "the next step" we actually "see."
Sincerity is the only criterion, and a sincere expression of one's eagerness to realize God is all that is demanded of each aspirant. No maximum or minimum limit is set as the qualification for perfection. The best of your ability, the best of your knowledge and understanding is the best, according to your own light. The fruit of that best is beatitude.
This sincere eagerness will eagerly grasp the helping hand of God that descends as his grace and rush forward to his feet without arguing: "But, I thought that was all I had to do!" If, after doing one's best at that particular stage of evolution, God's grace illumines another rung, at the same time bestowing upon the aspirant the will and the power to rise to it, he will unquestioningly obey. However, there is no suggestion that such will be the case. Each spiritual practice must be done wholeheartedly. The requisite wholeheartedness will be absent if one has even the slightest awareness that it is only a "step" towards perfection.
If worldly values are too persistent to allow even a transient elevation to God as the stable value, then continue doing your work, but do it for his sake. The men and women of the various religious orders provide the best examples here; how diligently they do all that they do "for God's sake"!
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