Gita Daily Readings

16th MARCH
Chapter Three: 26
Let no wise man unsettle the mind of ignorant people who are attached to action; he should engage them in all actions, himself fulfilling the actions with devotion.

Commentary

This is the basis and the sanction for all the different cults and religions in the world. They are all one in their aim and they lead all men to the same goal, but people differ in their temperaments. Their beliefs will be in accordance with their temperaments.

Proselytization has always meant demoralization! Once a man's faith is drastically disturbed, it is nearly always difficult for him to find stable ground to stand on. Once a man is told that what he and his forefathers firmly and devoutly believed is myth and nonsense, it is well-nigh impossible to make him believe entirely and whole-heartedly in what is dished out to him by the proselytizer. He may accept it as a temporary expedient, but the slightest provocation is enough to uproot the new belief!

Krishna does not encourage even premature revelation of what he considers as the ultimate truth. Even if we find that our brothers are ignorant of it, even if we find them engaging themselves in what appears to us to be fruitless activity or misguided spiritual effort, our duty is not to shake their faith but to fulfill it. This is a more delicate operation than brain or heart surgery - neither the organ itself nor any part of the healthy tissue should be affected in the least. Extreme care is called for to ensure that the fundamental faith is not disturbed. Even harmless superstitions are allowed.

However, in God's good time, the man himself will realize the fictitiousness of false beliefs, and when he is mature and "awake," he will drop all beliefs (cf. 11:52,53). It is then that faith arises in him. Faith is not a "religious denomination" or "belief" but it is the reflection of God in the heart of the godly. It is, as it were, the penultimate stage to God-realization or self-knowledge.

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