Gita Daily Readings

May 4th
Chapter Six: 3-4
For a sage who wishes to attain to yoga, action is said to be the means. For the same sage who has attained to yoga, quiescence is said to be the means.

When a man is not attached to the sense-objects or to actions, having renounced all wishes or schemes, then he is said to have attained to yoga.

Commentary

Indeed, there are stages in the seeker's life when he should be involved in certain external practices and there are stages when he becomes engaged in internal practices. In the highest stages, however, the sage is completely quiescent, at rest in the self, which is cosmic consciousness.

Until the state that is known as yoga is reached, one should not renounce external practices, for premature renunciation would prevent progress. This is true even of worldly objects and duties. It is more sensible and wiser to cultivate the proper attitude to them and to establish in oneself the correct scale of values, so that the objects drop away, their values deflated, and the "duties" are seen in their true light as the ego's excuse to cling to the world. The ego does not initiate action. Action comes from somewhere else. Correct scale of values, the correct sense of proportion is itself samnyasa, usually translated as "renunciation." Physically pushing the world away might only drive it deeper within oneself, psychologically.

Yet this should not be interpreted to mean undue emphasis on action. A stage comes in the life of every seeker when the external and later the internal action is no longer necessary; then, resting in the peace of the self, he realizes that that is both the doer of all actions and the witness of all passing phenomena! This is not a state to be presumed; it has its own criteria - complete non-attachment and the absence of selfish desires and worldly (and heavenly!) dreams and schemes, which are inwardly and actually "seen" as haunting phantoms. At that stage a false sense of duty or the need for demonstrative practices drop away unnoticed.

Web Editor's Notes

Copyright 1997
Commercial use of all content without permission is prohibited.