Gita Daily Readings

29th January
Chapter
II:23-25
Weapons do not cut the self. Fire burns it not. Water wets it not. Wind dries it not.

This self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted, or dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, immovable and ancient.

This self is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing this to be such, thou shouldst not grieve.

Commentary

Expressions like "I am injured" or "I am burnt" are defective. Even so, "I am a bad man," etc. They betray a confusion of the self (to which the "I" points) and the body and mind which are subject to all these afflictions. Take the expression "I am sick." If it is true, then I cannot be made healthy! It is just like the expression "This is paper" - which cannot be made into a loaf of bread!

Injury, burning, evil nature, sickness, and so on, are superimpositions on the self which has nothing to do with these and hence is able to shake them off at will. Its essential nature as the immortal, eternal, all-pervading, stable and ancient self asserts itself.

Thus, even common expressions like "I am a man," if pursued as an inward inquiry will lead us to their logical conclusion, the self. "I" is really not "a man," for the "I" is really distinct from the "man-body." The "I" is beyond all these modifications. It is the subtle essence hidden in all bodies, one and immutable.

"That which is the subtle essence of all, in that all that exists has its being. That is the truth. That is the self. That thou art, Oh Svetaketu" - Chandogya Upanishad.

It is foolish to pretend that all this is true. Our Master pointed out the danger of assumed knowledge. "Wicked people catch fish in the Ganga and kill them, rationalizing their action with the lofty verse 'weapons do not cut the self'." Such perversion of truth will only make self-realization more remote.

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