Gita Daily Readings

22nd January
Chapter
II: 14, 15
The contacts of the senses with the objects, Oh Arjuna, which cause heat and cold, pleasure and pain, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent. Endure them bravely.

Surely, that hero whom these afflict not, Oh Arjuna, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality.

Commentary

The self that ceases to identify itself with the body and through it with the outside world is at peace within itself. He who imagines the self to be the body and the senses, undergoes the varied experiences of heat and cold, pain and pleasure, and so on, he does not enjoy tranquility because these experiences are impermanent, fleeting and momentary. Two distinct stages are described in these two verses. The first is titiksa or endurance. The second is sama or equanimity (balanced state of mind). The first involves psychological effort. The second is effortless and natural.

If you are walking in a forest on a cold morning and a monkey jumps on you and tears your shirt so that the cold wind blows on your bare back, you endure the cold, which you feel intensely. This is titiksa. At the same time, the cold wind is also blowing on your face. You are not even aware of it. This is sama or equanimity, in which the external condition fails to affect you in the least. The spiritual aspirant strives to practice endurance. He is a hero who has reached the second stage and to whom pain and pleasure are alike.

"The more you are able to identify yourself with the immortal, all-pervading self, the less will you be affected by the pairs of opposites."- Swami Sivananda.

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