Gita Daily Readings

22nd April
Chapter Five: 10-11
He who does actions, offering them to Brahman, and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf is untainted by water.

The yogi, having abandoned attachment, perform actions only with the body, mind, intellect and even by the senses, for the purification of the self.

Commentary

The emphasis on "abandoning attachment" is worth meditating upon. Those two words are like a double-edged sword without even a handle - it is difficult to hold! Likewise it is difficult to realize this state of non-attachment. The man who says: "I am not attached to anything" is terribly attached to that estimation of himself! It is not "doing this" or "refraining from this" that is the criterion; for both may be born of "attachment"! No guidance whatsoever can be given here - the mind may get attached to the guidance, and mistake the description for the truth. Only the vigilant yogi knows what this means.

The yogi is ever mindful of the presence of God in himself (which he had mistaken for the "I") and the omnipresence of God in all beings. He endeavors to keep this awareness steady in his mind all the time. But the mind might play wonderful tricks with him, too. A pleasurable object or person might appear to be truly full of God; and the yogi might find his mind sticking to it (incidentally, the Sanskrit word for "friendship" is sneha which also means "glue"!). He has to retrieve his heart from it with skill but retain the right attitude to God's omnipresence. Again, the ego might assert itself and proclaim that God is the indwelling presence, especially manifest in the yogi's heart, goading him to keep away from this or that. The ego might speak in God's voice! The ego might spread a subtle net of self-importance in which the yogi might be caught. If, however, he is able to find the subtle middle path - without withholding himself and without getting attached - he will live in God, doing his will, never tainted by the sin of egoism. The second verse gives freedom of action not only to the body and the senses, but to the mind and the rational faculty. The ego? It has no permanent existence.

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