Chapter IX: 9-10
These acts do not bind me, Oh
Arjuna, sitting like one indifferent, unattached to those
Under me as supervisor, nature produces the moving and the unmoving; because of this, Oh Arjuna, the world revolves.
CommentaryWhen are we "bound"? When we are affected. The vital truth to be realized and always borne in mind is that nothing external really affects us, but that "we affect ourselves." Hence it is that Krishna warns us that we are our own friend or foe. No one can irritate us; we irritate ourselves. No one can insult us (beyond expressing their opinions about us); we interpret their opinions as insults. This affection is caused by attachment, itself born of ignorant identification of the self with the body and mind; so we are bound.
When we realize directly, not merely intellectually or intuitively, that whatever experience we may have is just our experience, and even so there are countless other experiences; that what we see is just one point of view and even so there are countless points of view, then instantly we will be loving, humble and enlightened. We realize we are just one small point of the cosmos and we learn to look at everything in the universe as part of this totality.
Here is a puzzle. I am your guest and we both go to the sea for a swim. I am attacked by a shark. The shark is happy. I yell with pain. You are worried. A few soft-hearted women weep. Others disdainfully turn their faces away. A photographer is busy taking the "picture of the year." Now, we know that God dwells in all. How does he feel about the incident?
He is unaffected, for the simple reason that he does not identify himself with any one of the actors in this drama. It does not mean that he is cruelly indifferent to the pains and sufferings of man; he is totally free from ignorance and false identification, and so is free from these pains and sufferings. Man, too, by identifying his self with God can thus free himself. This identification is not a mental activity but the identification of the reality - the homogeneity or unity in this universe (which is not obvious) - after the cessation of mental activity. That is the goal of yoga.
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