Chapter Three: 16
|He who does not follow here the wheel thus set revolving, who is of sinful life, rejoicing in the senses, he lives in vain, Oh Arjuna.|
The first principle of the Gita-way of life is introduced here.
The whole of creation is constructed on the law of reciprocal self-sacrificing service. Charity characterizes God's good world. Charity is not a good policy, or a privilege or even a meritorious act; it is the law of life!
Life is one and universal. It is the very nature of cosmic being - God. The recognition of this truth - that all are indivisibly though not visibly one - is love. The expression of this love is service, charity and reciprocity. Not in a condescending attitude, but . . . there is no choice!
Look at God's good world. Between the plant and the mineral, between the plant and the human, there is reciprocal service. What man gives out, including his outgoing breath full of carbon dioxide, is food for the plants. Whatever the plants give, including the oxygen that they "breathe out," is food for man. One is not doing charity to the plants by breathing out carbon dioxide! One will die if one refuses to do so. Neglect of charity is starving the soul.
No tree eats its own fruit. On the other hand, trees live and propagate themselves by giving off their fruits to man. Man cultivates them, not for their sake, but for the sake of the luscious fruits! He eats them and then plants the Seed, helping the plants to perpetuate themselves. Even so, charity will enable us to live well in society, grow and perpetuate the human race. He who rejoices in the pleasures of the senses, refusing to serve others, is like the tree eating its own fruits! It is sin. He destroys himself ultimately. He transgresses the law of God. He is a thief.
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