Gita Daily Readings

26th November
Chapter XVIII: 9-10
Whatever obligatory action is done, Oh Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done, abandoning attachment and also the desire for reward, that renunciation is regarded as sattvika.

The man of renunciation, pervaded by purity, intelligent and with his doubts cut asunder, does not hate a disagreeable task nor is he attached to an agreeable one.

Commentary

The wise man abandons what ought to be abandoned - attachment and desire for reward. He may adopt what the popular mind regards as the "monastic life," if he feels that that is his obligatory action. But that is not because he is attached to his own ideas of holiness, or because he expects honor and worship. (We have already been told that these cravings are demoniacal.) His stable value is God. In him God is "awake," for the ego is in a comatose state. His life progresses smoothly because he sees that he does not determine his own destiny. With that enlightened understanding, what has to be done (God's will) is done without any thought of a reward or consequence. There is no egoistic pushing on his part.

A word of caution here: we are again facing the razor's edge! It is foolish to camouflage our own desire-prompted egoistic activities on the pretext that it is God's will that we should continue them. The manifestations of the ego, lust, anger and greed, attachment and desire for reward, must be abandoned. Non-abandonment of these will revive and maintain the ego.

This philosophy seems to be easy to understand and apply, but actually it is difficult for the simple reason that it elevates us so much, we are confused as to both direction and path. If there is the least impurity of heart, delusion or non-intelligence present, and if there is the least doubt alive in the heart, the ego will once again play havoc in the garb of self-surrender. Only God can guide us; we must ensure that we deserve his grace.

We should constantly and vigilantly look within for the reality. Then attachment and "possession" are realized to be unreal and are dropped by the mind. When this happens, one lives in God, one realizes God.

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