Gita Daily Readings

17th December
Chapter
XVIII: 52-53
Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, with speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, taking refuge in dispassion,

Having abandoned egoism, (a show of) strength, arrogance, desire, anger and covetousness, free from the notion of "mine," and peaceful - he is fit for becoming Brahman.

Commentary

The three verses, 51 to 53, may indicate what we should do after establishing ourselves in the perfection mentioned earlier! They may also be construed to indicate the symptomology of perfection itself: perfection and "becoming Brahman" being two sides of the same coin.

The practice of "seeing God in all" and serving and loving all as the manifestation of the supreme reality, which was described in previous verses, is an essential preliminary and auxiliary to what is taught in these verses. The seeker who shuns the world will only drive it into his subconscious and revive it in solitude. His world-hatred may appear to be a qualification for retiring into seclusion. If he is sincere, however, he will soon discover that isolation is a function of thought, it is not a feat, and therefore he has no control over himself, and his speech, body and mind are not subdued but suppressed.

Again, to be "always engaged in meditation" demands the use of mighty intelligence. Whereas this is easy for the man who has perfected himself by the method of worshipping God with every action, it is impossible for others. Any forced egoistic attempt towards this end will only dig the pit of tamas from which it is extremely difficult to rescue oneself!

Our Master insisted that the seeker should intelligently combine a number of spiritual practices to prevent this. In all cases, one should be honest with oneself, never yielding to hypocrisy and showiness. All this may take a lifetime, but then the reward is well worth the effort. If yoga is made extremely unpleasant, the mind will revolt; if it is made too pleasant, it will be caught. The middle path alone is good.

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