Gita Daily Readings

20th December
Chapter XVIII: 58
Fixing thy mind on me, thou shalt by my grace, overcome all obstacles; but if from egoism thou wilt not hear me, thou shalt perish.

Commentary

The word "maccittah" in the text is one of Krishna's favorites. The translation "fixing thy mind on me," is rather weak. It is not like fixing a stamp on an envelope, but more like fixing a pot of water over a fire - the water is converted into vapor which shares with the fire its energy and heat. A closer similarity is coal thrown into fire: it becomes fire - it is fire now. However, no comparison is valid, because the duality thus presumed is not there in reality. When the devotee's mind is thus fixed on God, he no longer remains a man but becomes a divinity, sharing the Lord's power and glory.

But he must not test or measure that power or that glory. The yogi, being tempted to test his psychic power, loses contact with God.

Psychic powers, mental distractions and physical ailments are all regarded as obstacles on the spiritual path. If the seeker remains "fixed" in his devotion to God, calmly and patiently awaiting the descent of his grace, that grace itself will remove all the obstacles for the seeker and enable him to realize God. What form this grace takes, one cannot say. Our Master used to say that God removes the pleasure-centers of those whom he wants to bless. If wealth, wife and children are the obstacles, God will remove them. If psychic powers are the obstacles, his grace will take them away. Whatever stands in between God and the seeker, his grace will remove, if the seeker sincerely and perseveringly applies himself to yoga.

"Thou shalt perish" is only a dramatic juxtaposition of ideas. If you are truly devoted to the infinite and if you have discovered that whatever be your pursuit and whatever blessings you derive from your life, they all come from the one infinite being, then your heart is wedded to the infinite and you merge in the infinite. If you are devoted to egoism, you will waste this precious life.

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