Gita Daily Readings

May 29th
Chapter Seven: 3
Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those successful strivers, only one perchance knows me in essence.

Commentary

Humanity can be likened to a pyramid, broad at its base and becoming progressively narrower as we ascend to the top. The world is full of souls who have risen just one step above the animal, still not secure in their foothold even there! Yet, they too, shall reach the goal in God's good time, even though they are full of instinctual behavior and are interested only in their own survival. They are animals in human disguise and are laborers who toil for mere selfish ends. A few more births of experience chisel them into better human shape and they are elevated to the rank of workers, promoting their own welfare with one hand and the welfare of others with the other. Experience soon teaches them the futility of such work and they begin to question: "What is the purpose of all this?" They seek an answer, becoming seekers. This fire of quest burns furiously in their heart, consuming the animal nature, selfishness, and self-seeking. It also sheds a beam of light on their path to God-realization. In that light, in course of time, they see the truth and become sages. The world is full of laborers, few workers, fewer seekers and still fewer and rarer, sages.

The striving seeker will eventually become a sage, perhaps now or a million years hence. In the words of the Bible: "Many are called, few are chosen." Nobody knows what determines this, but this doctrine of grace must be understood correctly. Only he who has completely surrendered himself to the divine becomes eligible for grace. Not one who is satisfied merely with intellectual understanding, but he whose heart is receptive to spiritual truths.

Yet, he who has truly surrendered himself to God does not know it. This total surrender is not for the ego to determine; only God can determine it. Hardly one of the sages, the perfected ones, knows God in essence! Why? Because on attaining perfection they merge in him. In that state of complete integration God reveals himself, but only to a few. It is they who return to the world as God's gift of himself, to guide us as our masters.

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