The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God)


A novel method for self-realization is suggested by the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita. Other methods had been suggested before him. There were those who wanted us to close our eyes to the world, go into seclusion and by a process of introverted mental gaze, perceive the light of the self within. Others insisted on our doing our duties and serving humanity with the sole intention of self-purification, but refused to discuss the next step.

Krishna is a genius. He discloses that the very duties and the service that we are compelled to perform daily, contain in themselves, not only agents to purify us but to reveal (unveil) God for us to see! But how?

We should see the world, but not as the world; we should see it as the manifestation of God, his power, his glory. In other words, this is as if we were sitting in the cinema with wide open eyes and not only seeing the moving figures, but the screen on which they are projected. Try it!

The essence of this method is to be able to perceive the substratum (God) even though looking at the name and form. When you look at a wise man, you immediately remember that the wisdom in him is God. You learn to abstract that from the name and form (and other such factors), perceive that alone to the exclusion of everything else and realize that it is the manifestation of God.

This demands rigorous preliminary discipline and training; the training was prescribed and described in chapter six. Modern Zen Buddhism, too, leads its adherent along this royal road to self-realization. First you see the tree; then you see the void; and then again you see the tree! But the second time, though the tree is the same, you are quite different and your inner vision is enlightened. That is the difference between the layman and a sage - the latter is enlightened. May you shine as an enlightened sage!

July 2004 Readings