Gita Daily Readings

26th December
Chapter
XVIII: 66
Abandoning all dharmas, take refuge in me alone. I will liberate thee from all sins; grieve not.

Commentary

"Dharma" here can be interpreted variously. Let us look at it in two ways:

(1) Narrow, sectarian and organized religion is often confused with dharma. To an extent it is true that organized religion supports the masses thus shielding them from degradation: it unites and keeps them together. But when foolishly clung to, it strangulates the very people whom it kept together. "Abandonment of all dharmas," however, does not mean that we should egoistically and deludedly give them up, but we should not cling to them as if they were an end in themselves, as if they were the truth. The various "religions" were created by man, not by God; they were born after God and man. They can help man find God but should never be substituted for God.

(2) The inherent nature of the body, mind, etc. is often designated as their dharma. Its abandonment implies a vigilant non-identification of the divine with the functions of the body, mind, etc.

This renunciation, however, is not possible unless we are rooted in God and we take refuge in him. Taking refuge in him itself is freedom from all sin and sorrow. In him there is no sin and no sorrow, even as in the sun there is no darkness.

God is bliss. Bliss is not something he possesses and which he therefore gives us in answer to our prayer. Even the happiness we derive from prayer is merely the fruit of contact with him. We should surrender ourselves to him, to bliss. As long as our ego separates us from him, so long shall we continue to be unhappy. All the gross and the subtle manifestations of this ego (selfishness, love of the individualized existence, private desires, one's own philosophy, sectarianism, bigotry, a superiority complex, an air of holiness) should be vigilantly avoided so that nothing stands between us and him. Then this very world becomes the playground of the spirit, and everything connected with it (whether it was previously called pleasure, pain, happiness or sorrow) is instantly transformed into bliss - the play of God.

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