Gita Daily Readings

18th MARCH
Chapter Three: 30
Renouncing all actions in me, with the mind centered in the self, free from hope and egoism, and from (mental) fever, do thou fight.

Commentary

The commandment to fight should not be taken literally! Arjuna was a warrior and his duty was to fight a righteous battle. In other words, it is a commandment that we should all do our duty, in the spirit of this verse.

"Renouncing all actions in me" (that is, God); the Sanskrit word is "nyasya" which is difficult to translate. It also means "placing all your actions in God," or in other words "feeling that all actions are done by God." The actions of a foolish man seem to have their roots in him, but the wise man knows that his actions spring from God.

He whose mind is wayward, swayed by the storms of desires and cravings, and whose mind is, therefore, not centered in his own self, thinks that he thinks, he sees, he works and he speaks. His actions are egoistic. He arrogates to himself the power to do, not to do and to undo, which in fact he does not possess!

His actions are naturally directed towards a selfish, base and worldly goal or hope. Hopeful of attaining the desired goal and at the same time afraid of not being able to reach it, this egoistic man is constantly torn by the two opposing forces of attraction and repulsion. This tension is referred to as mental fever here. The wise man is free from this tension or mental fever. He knows that God's will is done here; he is free from personal hopes. He is centered in the self or atman. He is free, peaceful and blissful.

But he is not self-centered in the sense of selfish - even if that is taken to mean he is interested in doing his duty. Self is not an object. It is the universal subject. The mind does not know it. Thought . . . and attention . . . and lastly awareness seek the self, the center, the subject. This is meditation. This is "mind centered in the self."

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