Gita Daily Readings

29th September
Chapter XIII: 31-32
Being without beginning and being devoid of qualities, the supreme self, imperishable, though dwelling in the body, Oh Arjuna, neither acts nor is tainted.

As the all-pervading ether is not tainted, because of its subtlety, so the self seated everywhere in the body is not tainted.

Commentary

The statement that the supreme self is devoid of qualities seems to suggest exclusiveness and a distinction between the self and (its) nature. This is not so. The difference lies in the viewpoint: a dark cloud hangs between earth and outer space. A man standing on earth says: “The sky is dark”; whereas a man flying above, in the sky, says: “The earth is dark.” The truth is, all of them are as they are. The cosmonaut flying aloft in outer space will not even notice the thick cloud covering our particular town. We see it because our vision is limited and circumscribed; his (and God's) vision is vast and unrestricted!

Smoke pouring out of a factory chimney taints that chimney with soot; but the sky remains untainted even after years of this sort of pollution. The chimney is gross and limited, hence it receives and keeps the taint. The sky is subtle and unlimited; no taint can stick to it.

From the empirical or individual standpoint, the qualities of nature exist in God; but from the absolute standpoint, the self is devoid of any quality. The yogi realizes the distinction between truth and viewpoint - truth being that which exists and viewpoint being the mental activity. Realizing this his mind and heart (the gross and limited) are totally surrendered to God (the subtle and infinite).

What a golden message of courage and hope! Your soul is ever free and pure. Let not the “past” depress you or dampen your spirit. Acquire the eye of wisdom and the ghost of sin and suffering will vanish. You are a sinner only so long as your own grossness and ignorant limitation make you believe yourself to be. Wake up! You are the ever-pure immortal self.

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