Gita Daily Readings

16th December
Chapter
XVIII:   50, 51
Learn from me in brief, Oh Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.

Endowed with a pure intellect, controlling the self by firmness, relinquishing sound and other objects and abandoning attraction and hatred,

Commentary

What does the one who wants to realize God abandon? Not any particular occupation or form of life. There is no purpose in jumping from frying pan to fire. When someone approached Ramana Maharshi for permission to take samnyas, the latter significantly remarked: "So long you have identified yourself with a householder's life and status, and now you wish to identify yourself with a swami's life and status. What is the use? Remove all such identifications by self-realization."

Indian history and legend contain countless illustrations of this vital truth: God-realization does not depend upon learning or upon particular professions or accidents of birth, but solely upon self-discipline which is elaborated upon in the three verses,51 to 53.

One should have an extremely pure intellect ("vishuddha" in the text does not mean merely "pure," but exceptionally pure). Only that exceptionally pure intellect (the perfect mirror) will be able to reflect the true glory of the self.

The self must be controlled. We can effectively do that only by making the self obey the dictates of the divine within and not by acceding to the (self's) demands. It is the self that clamors for recognition; the will of the divine will naturally and inevitably assert itself. The latter requires no special effort or endeavor. The former involves self-aggrandizement, with love of those who promote it and hatred of those who thwart it - these are the factors to be abandoned.

How does one's birth or the expression of God-given innate talent hamper this self-discipline?

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