Gita Daily Readings

20th April
Chapter Five: 6-7
But renunciation, Oh Arjuna, is hard to attain without yoga. The yoga-harmonized sage quickly goes to Brahman.

He who is devoted to the path of action, whose mind is quite pure, who has conquered the self, who has controlled his senses and who realizes his self as the self in all beings - though acting, he is not tainted.

Commentary

This renunciation of egoism, private desires and hopes is impossible without the practice of yoga (which is described in the next two verses). It will be seen therefrom that the practice of this yoga involves dynamic living. Without this dynamism one might fall into the error of clinging to inflated, subtle, false values, after unwittingly renouncing the right values - even as a man who peels a banana sitting inside a railway compartment might throw the fruit out of the window and put the skin into his mouth!

The ever-watchful yogi acts in this world in the right spirit. He finds that life itself offers him countless opportunities of discovering his own hidden evils, of purifying his heart, of detecting the wiles of the cunning ego, of understanding the innumerable guises in which his own lower self might appear and lead him astray, and of piercing the veil of maya.

He who practices the yoga described in the next few verses will discover that the world, far from being a hindrance, is truly a great help in the practice of yoga. The Bhagavatam assures us that that is truly the purpose of the Lord's creation - to help the souls to evolve, to awaken and to lead them to enlightenment.

The yogi must realize that his self is the self of all; and how can he do that if he "renounces" the world and all activities? It is in the context of an active life in the world that the yogi discovers how the momentary experiencer (the ego) is turned into a permanent entity by a trick of memory (the me). This discovery is the ending of the ego, and the arising of the spirit of yoga.

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