Gita Daily Readings

11th MARCH
Chapter Three: 17-18
But for that man who rejoices only in the self, who is satisfied with the self and who is content in the self alone, verily there is nothing to do.

For him there is no importance whatever in what is done and what is not done, nor does he depend on any being for any object.

Commentary

As long as you yourself are dependent on others, so long as your happiness and well-being are dependent on the services of others, serve and be good. These two verses both have a philosophic import and offer practical advice.

Is this not a common failing of man? He expects others to serve him and work for him. He wants to enjoy all comforts himself at the expense of fellow men. He will cheat those dependent on him, but will moan and grumble if he himself is let down. Here is Krishna's sweet warning. As long as you expect others to serve you and to promote your prosperity, as long as your own happiness depends on what others do to you, take a deep interest in the happiness of others too. It is the re-statement of the golden rule: "Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you."

However, there is a state of being where the sage rests in the self. He is not obliged to do or not to do. But what is the self in which the sage rests? Self is awareness - the all, the indivisible - not the fragmented thought-born personality that we selfishly call the self. Self is "the choiceless awareness" in the words of Ramana Maharsi, "witness consciousness" of Gurudev Sivananda, and "observation without an observer" of Krishnaji. When it is veiled, another self (the ego) arises apparently, not really, and thinks (the mind) that it is dependent or independent of others. Awareness being self does not have a self to generate selfishness. The sage who rests in the self alone is unselfish! The entire universe is his body. He is like the sun: by his light he illumines all. He is one with all and thus does everything through everyone, though he might apparently be inactive; yet, he does nothing, though the body and mind might be busy, for the fragmented ego has vanished with the lifted veil.

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