Gita Daily Readings

11th October
Chapter XIV: 21-23
Arjuna said: What are the marks of him who has crossed over the three qualities, Oh Lord? What is his conduct and how does he go beyond these three qualities?

The blessed Lord said: Light, activity and delusion - when they are present, Oh Arjuna, he hates them not, nor does he long for them when they are absent.

He who, seated like one unconcerned, is not moved by the qualities, and who, knowing that the qualities are active, is self-centered and moves not (is a gunatita).

Commentary

Once again we should remember we cannot sail in paper boats. Krishna's approach is entirely scientific:

(i) First, there is the theoretical exposition of a principle.

(ii) Then there is the “model” - the exemplar - the illustration of that principle.

(iii) Then, practice - the model in real life, the application of the principle.

We can ennoble our lives only with the help of these three. Without the theory, we might misunderstand the example. We might interpret the theory in our own way, and reach nowhere near perfection. Without practical application we might make a business commodity of the principle and trade in the name of the example. It is only when all three are adopted in our own life, one following the other in the given order, that we reach the goal - and we shall, very soon.

The sage, yogi, samnyasi or gunatita (one who has gone beyond the gunas) is not a sour-faced embittered personality who does not sleep (because it is tamas), does not talk or smile (because it is rajas), and does not study, discuss, or even enjoy a meal (because it may be sattva); such an attitude is tantamount to committing suicide. It is negatively associating the self with the gunas. The wise seeker should be indifferent, but even then he is only “like one unconcerned” - he is a witness and therefore in a position to direct the gunas to a divine purpose, without foolishly and vainly trying to stifle their operation.

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