Gita Daily Readings

26th January
Chapter
II: 19, 20
Neither he who takes the self to be the slayer nor he who thinks the self is slain, knows. The self slays not, nor is the self slain.

 The self is not born, nor does the self ever die. After having been, the self again does not cease to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, the self is not killed when the body is killed.

Commentary

Krishna takes us here to the pinnacle of wisdom from where we have an indescribably glorious vision of the absolute, the one that has never undergone a change.

The self is unborn. There is no birth and death for the self. Cosmic consciousness looked at from an individual stand-point, so to say, is atma - (the self) - the sky that appears to us through the window as distinct from the sky-in-itself, which is Brahman. It is the narrowness of our focus that generates worries in us! A broader and deeper outlook will give us a magnificent view of what is and a realization of its changelessness.

Cosmic consciousness alone is, even as the sky alone is, undiminished by the clouds or walls that prevent our perception of it. It is avidya or ignorance that prevents our realization of cosmic consciousness. Ignorance is not a positive factor. It is a nothing. How can nothing bring about any change in the reality? How can ignorance affect it either? If we are all in a hall and suddenly the lights go off, it is true that we shall not be able to see one another. But, because the darkness descends upon us, we are not crushed nor are we in any way affected by it, and we are exactly as we were. God alone exists, totally unaffected by the apparent (because they are caused by ignorance) changes in this world and in our body and mind.

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