Chapter Four: 19-20
|He whose undertakings are all devoid of desires and selfish purposes
and whose actions have been burnt by the fire of knowledge - him the wise call a sage.
Having abandoned attachment to the fruits of actions, ever content, depending on nothing, he does not do anything though engaged in activity.
The ever-vibrant universe is rooted in the supremely quiescent Brahman (absolute reality) who is supreme peace itself. The ever active body is indwelt by the self, which is the peace that passeth understanding. Beneath the turbulent surface, the ocean itself is calm. Fragmentation is conflict, wholeness (holiness) is peace.
Activity is the nature of form, quiescence is the nature of the spirit. Ignorant superimposition of the characteristics of the form on the spirit is the root-cause of endless suffering. He who regards the quiescent spirit as the doer of actions paradoxically endeavors to restrain the form (body and mind) from their natural activity! Such a man is full of tensions. He thinks he knows what to do and what not to do; he is full of desires and schemes. Desires and schemes are the generators of tension. He does not know what he is. Only self-knowledge removes selfishness. Hence Gurudev Sivananda emphasized: "Be good, do good," in that order.
The cell that is ignorant of the body entertains selfish desires and has its own private schemes. When the fire of the knowledge that we are all cells in the body of God burns this ignorance, then contentment born of total self-surrender to the will of God arises. Selfishness, egoism and their retinue of evil disappear, even as the ghosts of the dreamer's dream vanish on his waking.
A man who is awake in this knowledge is not idle, he is a true channel for the flow of God's will. The actions of such a man are movements in cosmic consciousness, without cause, without goal, without dependency, and without the idea "I do this."
Web Editor's Notes
The Venkatesa Gita Daily Readings
The Song of God: The Bhagavad Gita
Translation by Swami Sivananda and Commentary by Swami Venkatesananda
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