Gita Daily Readings

31st December
Chapter
XVIII: 78
Wherever there is Krishna, the lord of yoga, wherever there is Arjuna, the archer, there are prosperity, victory, happiness and firm policy; such is my conviction.

Commentary

This simple verse has attained the high status of being regarded as "Gita in one verse," yet on the face of it, it does not seem to contain the least portion of the Gita's message! Moreover, the condition prerequisite is frighteningly impossible. Krishna and Arjuna lived thousands of years ago. May be, what Sanjaya said applied then - how does it help us now?

The answer is: look within. Let your whole soul become Arjuna, the seeker. Mentally repeat the famous verse in the second chapter: "Lord. I seek refuge at thy feet. I am thy disciple. Instruct me." But you should also be an archer-Arjuna! The Kathopanisad compares the self with the arrow, in relation to Brahman the absolute - the target. Om is the bow. String the bow by the utterance of Om. Fix the self to it, firmly. With intense concentration of mind, let the arrow (self) fly towards that supreme being who is the self of your self. Then you are the true archer - Arjuna.

When you seek God thus, you shall discover him within the innermost chambers of your being. He who is dark to the worldly man's eyes will shine as the light of lights for you, as if a thousand suns arose simultaneously. There within you, you will "see" both Krishna and Arjuna, once again, as they have always been - together, as one. This is self-realization; this is the goal of all human life; this is the truth which all the scriptures point out.

In self-realization alone is there true prosperity and victory, for so-called worldly prosperity is adversity only, leading you away from the goal. In self-realization alone is there ever-lasting happiness; all else is only non-happiness. In self-realization alone is there firm justice: only the sage of self-realization is established in truth. May you reach this goal in this very birth, nay "here and now," as our Master used to say.

Conclusion

This was a glimpse of the gospel of lord Krishna simple, direct, yet profound.  It is not one of pessimism or of escapism, but is full of robust common sense.  And if it sometimes seems to be puzzling, it is because common sense is so uncommon in the complex world of today.

You may be quite certain that one direction is east and the opposite west.  But if you move a little, you suddenly discover that east and west meet in you!  You are the divider, and from another point of view, you are the meeting point.  In fact, it is the mind that creates all this duality which multiplies into endless diversity, creating conflicts and confusion all the way through.

There is only oneness or cosmic unity.  There just cannot be two infinities or two omnipresences.  The origin of the perception of diversity is enshrouded in mystery (maya).  But Krishna boldly assumes responsibility for even that!  I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence, says he.

The manifest universe is the body of God and the supreme spirit is the indweller.  Even this distinction was made to suit human analogy and to satisfy the duality-ridden intellect.  We make an arbitrary distinction between our body and our spirit, which seems to be justified because at one stage (death) the spirit leaves the body.  This, obviously, does not apply to the Lord and his body, for he is eternal and infinite, and does not leave his body.

What a sublime vision!  What a world-uniting doctrine!  What a fountain of love!  What a soft blow to shatter all distinctions and differences!  What a divine cord of love to unite all mankind in oneness divinity!

Om Tat Sat

 

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