Gita Daily Readings

May 26th
Chapter Six: 45
But the yogi who strives with diligence, purified of sins and perfected gradually through many births, reaches the highest goal.

Commentary

"Eternal damnation" is a childish idea. If it is found in some scriptures, it is used only as a figure of speech - a hyperbole. It is meant to "frighten" immature souls from the path of unrighteousness.

How can the good God damn us forever, having created us in his image? He, who is our father and mother, will never condemn us forever. If purgatory is a place of purification, hell is only a place of more intense purification. The difference is one of degree, not of essential nature - as the difference between a wash-basin and a bath-tub.

Our scriptures emphatically declare that God, having created us, has entered into us as the soul of our soul. The soul is nothing other than the image of God. He is the sole reality in us. Even if it were possible for God to condemn us forever, in effect he would be condemning himself - which is too absurd to deserve a second thought.

There is only one course open to the soul of man and that is redemption. We must be redeemed, and that is why the Lord sends us teachers, saints, saviors and his own incarnations time and again. If we assiduously follow their precepts, we shall reach the goal sooner.

After studying the Gita, put into practice a little of what you have learnt. In yoga, the light-switch for the next stage of the staircase is on the previous one, to which you first have to climb. Then the next stage becomes visible! You cannot see the final stage or goal now. Others have seen, described the levels and have also erected the stairway of yoga practice. Have faith. Follow their instructions diligently. You, too, will reach the highest goal.

"Blind faith" is blindness, not faith. Faith implies a glimpse and a longing for a vision. This faith (very different indeed from "religious faith") sustains spiritual efforts. Spiritual progress is "gradual" - this is a statement of fact, not a commandment to make it so slow!

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