Gita Daily Readings

19th April
Chapter Five: 4-5
Children (fools), not the wise, speak of knowledge and the yoga of action, as though they are distinct and different. He who is truly established in one obtains the fruits of both.

That place which is reached by the men of knowledge is reached by the yogis. He perceives aright who has understood that knowledge and action are one.

Commentary

Why does man "renounce" objects of sense-enjoyments? When a scorpion falls into your lap, why do you throw it away? Because you fear it will sting you. The sting will give you pain and take away happiness - sense-pleasure, which you wish to enjoy! You value that pleasure and you credit the scorpion with the power to take it away. Similarly in the case of other objects; you super-impose on them a certain exaggerated value in relation to your own egoistic pleasure-instinct. So long as this valuation lasts, even their renunciation is of no value. For, the renunciation of pleasure is motivated by the desire for pleasure (euphemistically called supreme bliss or heaven).

Knowledge deflates this value. In the light of knowledge the man of wisdom perceives the whole universe (of which his body and mind are parts) as the body of God with the countless beings doing their duty as cells in it. Likewise, such a man's body and mind obey his will, unfettered by his self-arrogating ego.

Being established in this knowledge, he finds that the only factor to be renounced is ego and its private reactions (likes and dislikes): even this is not "renunciation," as the ego as an independent entity is non-existent - knowledge enables one to realize the unreal as unreal. God rules the wise man's body and mind which function according to his will. It cannot be otherwise. Knowledge of God gives knowledge of his will and this will is done by the yogi spontaneously. Knowledge and action are two sides of the same coin. To be established well in one is to practice both!

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