Gita Daily Readings

22nd February
Chapter II:62-63
When a man thinks of the objects, attachment for them arises. From attachment desire is born. From desire anger arises. From anger comes delusion. From delusion loss of memory. From loss of memory the destruction of discrimination. From destruction of discrimination, he perishes.

Commentary

This is somewhat parallel in construction to Arjuna's words in Chapter 1, verses 40-42. What are the "steps to destruction" (anartha-parampara)? Arjuna had traced it from war to the destruction of traditional religion. Here, lord Krishna points out that the trigger of self-destruction is within oneself. It is the very act of thinking! Self-willed and desire-motivated thinking leads man away from his own self. Going away from his own center, the self, he roams on the periphery of worldly life, and, like a rudderless ship on the stormy uncharted sea, wanders aimlessly, helplessly and hopelessly, till he "destroys himself." What can be more self-destructive than to miss the goal of human life, which is self-realization or to be established in the self?

Dhyana or contemplation is the channel by which the mind goes towards construction (integration or self-realization) or destruction. When it thinks of the worldly objects, it takes the path to destruction. This thinking is an important idea. It can be positive or negative. The man who dislikes wine is thinking about it as much as the man who likes it! Failure to appreciate this thwarts the well-intentioned efforts of ascetics. Thought itself must be dropped, not by the suppression of thought - which is done by another thought - but by becoming aware of its root and source, which is the 'I' thought! The self is right "next" to this. Inquiring into the self or God is meditation. "Meditation" must be of God and this is possible if our stable value is God and only God, which implies the dropping away of every conditioning - for God is the unconditioned.

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