Gita Daily Readings

24th September
Chapter XIII: 24-25
Some, by meditation, behold the self in the self by the self, others by the yoga of knowledge, and others by the yoga of action.

Others also, not knowing thus, worship, having heard of it from others; they, too, cross beyond death, regarding what they have heard as the supreme refuge.

Commentary

The goal was described in the previous verses; now the paths are pointed out. There is variety in creation; the infinite can be viewed from infinite angles and approached in infinite ways. Temperament and tradition are the main guiding (not deciding) factors here. The waters of the ocean are the same, whatever be the name given to the ocean at different points on the globe.

The man of mystic temperament “beholds the self in the self by the self” in deep meditation. Note that Krishna cleverly avoids the subject-object experience in meditation and the “I see God” or “I see a brilliant light” type of psychic phenomenon so widely confused with meditation and raja yoga. "I" do not see the self, but the self itself sees the self in the self. Self-realization is merely seeing that what you and I previously regarded as the self, never existed!

Others, endowed with an intuitive temperament, may use reason to transcend itself, intellect to silence itself, and in the searchlight of their self-knowledge realize that the ego was never an entity. The whole universe shines as God and his nature.

Those of a dynamic temperament may reach the same goal by self-effacing, self-sacrificing and selfless service, feeling “God serves God.”

Even devotees of the Lord who humbly worship him as they have been taught by their ancestors and preceptors, will reach God. This is a gentle rebuke for so many yogis and intellectual giants who sigh with grief that these devotees, “ignorantly” worshipping God, are “lost souls” whom it is their duty to “save”! Leave them alone. The Lord whom they worship will look after them. Moreover, they must awaken themselves, save themselves. No one else can do it for them. They must find and go their own way.

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