Gita Daily Readings

27th April
Chapter Five: 20-21
Resting in Brahman with steady intellect and undeluded, the knower of Brahman neither rejoiceth on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieveth on obtaining what is unpleasant.

With the self unattached to external contacts he finds happiness in the self. With the self-engaged in union with Brahman he attains to endless happiness.

Commentary

The knowledge outlined in the preceding verses is a double-edged sword. The clever, cunning and pleasure-seeking ego often uses it in pursuit of its own revelry in the darkness of ignorance. Hence, the ancient sages had wisely withheld this knowledge from the unclean hands of the undisciplined soul. Krishna, while throwing the gates of knowledge open to all, exposes "the other edge" of the sword clearly.

It is easy to say "God's will" or "I see God in all," when the mind and senses are pampered and the ego is inflated. It does not demand spiritual heroism to demonstrate brave equanimity when life is smooth and fortune is smiling. But, just as night follows day, their counterparts follow them. Then is the time to demonstrate true equilibrium of mind! If you can truly be indifferent to misfortune, dishonor, failure and pain, you are a yogi.

This is possible by a twofold sadhana:

1. Detach the mind from external contacts. Reduce the self to zero. In your own heart experience the bliss of God.

2. Expand. Know that the self is the all-pervading Brahman. Realize you are the all. Enjoy the perennial bliss.

In (1) the external disturbing elements do not even touch you. In (2) you identify yourself with them too; you are the robber and you are the robbed - you have only changed the lost object from one hand to the other! You will ever be happy.

However, unless this sadhana springs from, or is at least accompanied by self-knowledge, it will lead either to hypocrisy or, worse, to repression of emotion.

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