Gita Daily Readings

21st October
Chapter XV: 11
The yogis striving (for perfection) behold him dwelling in the self; but, the unrefined and unintelligent, even though striving, see him not.

Commentary

The outgoing tendency of the mind and the senses does not permit the ignorant man to turn his gaze within and behold the self. The Kathopanishad describes the supreme effort of the rare hero who averts his gaze from the objects of the senses in order to behold the self and thus attain immortality.

This introversion is exceedingly important, as otherwise total ignorance makes one mistake a rope for a snake, and suffer; or perceive silver in mother-of-pearl, and enjoy a phantom! It is an uphill task, like taking a river to its own source on the hilltop. This is not aversion to (in the sense of hatred towards) anything or anybody here, but an intelligent recognition of the source of all bliss, which is the self.

Once this introversion is truly achieved, life assumes a different meaning altogether. The yogi begins to see that the same self dwells in all. “Pleasure” loses its tantalizing attraction for him and its power to titillate. Cravings cease, because what is outside can be found within. When the mind is purified by right living, right thinking, right meditation, service and so on, it becomes transparent and instantly abolishes the fictitious distinction between the inside and the outside. The yogi seems to live in two worlds simultaneously, because to his enlightened vision, their boundaries vanish.

His is the extremely subtle middle path like the razor's edge, which the gross vision of the unrefined and unintelligent cannot behold. In him there is neither attraction nor repulsion whereas in the deluded there is always either craving or disgust.

Krishna's is the yoga of intelligence. No amount of idle striving or abstinence from activity will lead to an expansion of consciousness, but refinement of the intelligence and purity of heart lead to the realization of the atman (self).

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