Gita Daily Readings

21st November
Chapter XVII: 27-28
Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and gift, is also called "sat"; and also action in connection with these (or for the sake of the supreme) is called "sat."

Whatever is sacrificed, given or performed, and whatever austerity is practiced without faith, it is called "asat," Oh Arjuna. It is naught here or hereafter (after death).

Commentary

The discussion on faith is thus beautifully wound up. Adherence to the scripture is good. It presupposes faith in the scripture and in God. In the absence of a scripture it is permissible to pursue one's own nature, with faith in oneself. Here it is good to bear in mind the threefold classification. Whereas sattva is “close to the sat or truth,” tamas is also a quality of nature; even the tamasa man is not damned for ever.

Since "sat" is the inner reality, remembrance of it helps us draw closer to it, thus increasing sattva. This is the purpose of repetition of mantras. Constant remembrance of God enables us to become godly: sattvika. “Remembrance” here is not an act of memory, for it relates to the reality that has to be discovered from moment to moment; we should remember to discover it!

Not only meditating upon the word "sat," but also upon its significance as the unchanging reality, will enable us to imitate that changelessness in our own life and actions. This results in steadfastness - a quality that is the exact opposite of the diabolical fickleness of the hypocrite. Steadfastness is the indication and the test of inner faith.

If there is no faith, however, the action is useless. It is good to remind ourselves repeatedly, that selfless action is not soulless action, and that the desireless man is not a robot, mechanically responding to stimuli in a preset routine fashion. He knows that action is nature's way of purifying itself, and thus life flows with no difficulty whatsoever. 

Krishna's Gita is the very opposite of the gospel of inert and stupid activity. It is unselfish but supreme dynamism. Only the small ego stifles life; yoga is joyous participation in the divine will.

OM TAT SAT

Thus in the Upanishad of the glorious Bhagavad Gita,
the science of the eternal, the scripture of yoga,
the dialogue between sri Krishna and Arjuna,
ends the seventeenth discourse entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE DIVlSION OF THREEFOLD FAITH

Web Editor's Notes