Gita Daily Readings

29th November
Chapter XVIII: 15-16
Whatever action a man performs with his body, speech and mind - whether right or the reverse - these five are its causes.

Now, such being the case, verily he who - owing to untrained understanding -looks upon his self, which is isolated, as the agent, he of perverted intelligence sees not.

Commentary

The body, senses and the mind perform their duties with the energy invested in them by the divine nature of the Lord. The Lord's own consciousness (apparently looked upon as the various deities) presides over the senses and carries on the activities of the world. His energy, as the sun, the celestial body, illumines the objects of the world; his energy as the sun within, perceives the world through the medium of the eyes. The self is but a silent witness of all these diverse functions. This is one view. From this view the daivam of the previous verse refers to the deities presiding over the various sense-functions.

The supreme Lord (daivam) has willed this universe into existence and he himself dwells within each body inspiring the mind and the senses to function. "I" does nothing at all! "I do nothing, it is the Lord who does everything," feels the devotee of the Lord. This is another view.

Whichever be the attitude adopted, in accordance with one's own training and temperament, and one's own discovery, the 'I' is seen to be a shady impostor who belongs neither to the material side nor to the spiritual side of one's being.

A story is told of how a vagabond entered a village where a four-day wedding feast was in progress. Uninvited he entered the bride's house and received honor due to the members of the groom's party. He mingled with the latter pretending to belong to the bride's party. Then someone asked him: "Who are you?" At that he quietly slipped away. That is just what the ego does when confronted with the question, "Who is 'I'?" It is a mirage, a shadow, a robber seen in a dream. It is an uninvited guest, which can, however, cause a lot of havoc.

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