Gita Daily Readings

19th December
Chapter XVIII: 56-57
Doing all actions always, taking refuge in me, by my grace he obtains the eternal indestructible state or abode.

Mentally renouncing all actions in me, having me as the highest goal, resorting to the yoga of discrimination, do thou ever fix thy mind on me.

Commentary

Egoistic action and selfishness are incompatible with this yoga. But not activity in itself. Our Master emphasized he who would aspire to become one with God will be as busy as God himself! More active than the worldly man, he will, unlike the worldly man, be utterly unselfish.

He who "takes refuge" in God naturally shares God's nature - his compassion for all creatures - even as he who takes refuge in a motor car, railway train, ship or airplane moves as fast as these vehicles. One does not have to run within the railway compartment and even so, the spiritual aspirant does not exercise his egoism to do his duty. His body and mind move within the Lord and as the Lord wills that they should.

In such complete self-surrender, he obtains the grace of the Lord. Once more Krishna reminds us that the goal is not to be reached by individual self-effort but only by the grace of God. The ego has no admission there; and if the ego is surrendered, who enters?

The aspirant's highest and only duty is again clearly stated in verse 57. The word "renouncing" is a poor equivalent for the word "samnyasya" in the text. How does one describe the "action" of flying in an airplane? You may say: "I flew to South Africa"; but what do you feel inside you? When you realize your error, how do you express the truth? That is samnyasya. Meditate upon this with keen discrimination. "I flew." "No, the plane flew me." "But I flew too." ... Silence! That is samnyasya.

The ego is absent in all yoga activity. But the ego has never been present, never been real. How did it appear to be, and, who asserts that it is absent now? Again, silence.

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