Gita Daily Readings

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18th December
Chapter XVIII: 54,   55
Becoming Brahman, serene in the self, he neither grieves nor desires; the same to all beings, he obtains supreme devotion unto me.

By devotion he knows me in truth, what and why I am; then having known me in truth, he forthwith enters in the supreme.

Commentary

"The more one knows, the better one knows how little he knows." The fool is complacent; the sage is ever peaceful; but the sincere (sin-seer) seeker is acutely conscious of his own imperfection and so is dissatisfied. The closer to perfection he gets, the more magnified the defects appear. In a market-place even a major explosion is mild: in a sound-proof studio, the dropping of a pin sounds like thunder.

There is an ever-present danger in reading a textbook on yoga: one becomes intellectually conscious of a "goal" on the authority of the author of the text. This often tempts one to imagine having reached the goal or to despair of ever getting there!

To us even the yoga prescribed in verse 46 looks like the ultimate goal! The one who has reached it discovers that the goal is further on. The perfected seeker (verse 46) acquires fitness for becoming Brahman (51 to 53). Becoming Brahman is still a state of becoming, not being! He sees his own self in all and he realizes that the same God dwells in all beings, but still there is a subtle (and hence powerful) sense of individuality. There is no selfishness or vanity: there is no grief or desire. The mind is serene and the heart is filled with supreme devotion (para bhakti) to the Lord. ("Me" in the text is not a reference to the personalized Krishna, but to the impersonal omnipresence.) Inferior devotion leads one to the threshold of this state of "becoming Brahman" that generates supreme devotion, enabling the seeker to know (in the sense, realize) God by identity: "I am Brahman." There is just a trace of the "I" now; and by God's grace, the seeker forthwith enters the supreme. That is the supreme fulfillment of human life, the goal of all evolutionary process.

Do not mistake this for idle reverie! For...

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