Gita Daily Readings

28th November
Chapter XVIII: 13-14
Learn from me, Oh mighty-armed Arjuna, these five causes as declared in the sankhya system for the accomplishment of all actions:

The seat (body), the doer, the various senses, the different functions of various sorts, and the presiding deity also - the fifth.

Commentary

Look at it from any point of view you like; you cannot escape the conclusion that the self is not the doer or the enjoyer. However, the doubter says: "But, I do feel the pain" or "But how can anything be done if I don't want to do it?" That "but" is a dangerous conjunction, which muffles the voice of truth and amplifies the ego's alluring and deluding whisper. Here Krishna flashes the light of truth on the truth. As he said to Arjuna, so he says to every man:

"You say you will fight or you will not fight. You want to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. You feel that that choice alone will determine whether you go to heaven or hell after death, whether you will have an auspicious or inauspicious birth. All these hinge upon a central fallacy: the feeling that you are the doer! Now listen to my analysis.

"There are the five factors that enter the accomplishment of all actions: the body, which obviously seems to do and to enjoy, is of course the first. In that body itself we see the various subtle sense-organs which, to some extent, seem to be distinct from it. The sense organs of knowledge and of action are coordinated and they function - this is the third factor. Then we have the gods who preside over these functions (this may also refer to the jiva or individualized self, or to the light in which the senses function - 'deva' means light). Finally, there is a mysterious principle of egoism, ignorance and delusion which identifies the functions and activities of all these with the self which is the silent witness, thus creating the idea of doership."

If you look within, you suddenly discover that all your experiences are made possible by the intelligence that functions in you. That intelligence is not yours, it is a fragment of the cosmic consciousness. The ego, which arose with those experiences is also part of that consciousness; it, itself, does not exist.

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