THE BHAGAVAD GITA

THE SIVANANDA TRANSLATION WITH COMMENTARY BY SWAMI VENKATESANANDA

The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God)

THE MONTH OF MAY

We are now dealing with an exciting part of the scripture. In this, Krishna hands us the key to the kingdom of eternal bliss.

When we enter the spiritual path of yoga, we should be prepared to face one enigma after another. Our reaction to environment and opportunity is largely determined by our own pre-conditioning (mainly brought forward from previous incarnations); but this is not absolute and we even have the privilege of wiping away the whole ugly picture of past vicious tendencies, if only we care to be awake, alert, see and recognize them and vigilantly exercise our free-will to eradicate them. While we depend very much on divine grace for our spiritual practice and progress, the Lord himself will continue to remain aloof and witness them. Here we are thrown upon our own resources, as it were; but, however much we try, the ultimate experience is God's gift which he will bestow upon us only when there is no egoistic receiver. We shall, of course, not know when this false ego has been totally negated; for then who is there to know? These are some of the enigmatic paradoxes we encounter on our march to God - but an intelligent understanding of the principles involved makes the pursuit a deeply interesting spiritual adventure.

In our spiritual practice, the guru will help and without him we may get lost. Fellow spiritual aspirants may help too. However, no one but your own pure (purified) mind can lead you towards God. That pure mind alone is your best friend. Even the guru's instructions must be assimilated and made your own. Otherwise, a lifeless imitation might result. Spoonfeeding by the guru will cripple the inner God-given faculties, producing dullness and spiritual suicide. You have to discover the great truth yourself.

Modern scientific knowledge is highly unscientific in this respect. It has a label for everything, including psychological expressions and experiences. This robs us of our greatest opportunity to know, intimately and immediately. The words "infinite," "eternal," "absolute" that we come across on a printed page create an illusion of understanding and knowledge within us, thereby preventing immediate and intimate knowledge of the real, inner meaning (not the dictionary meaning) of these words - the truth they indicate.

We might, of course, make use of all these crutches, but without feeling complacent enough to dispense with our own legs! Krishna very carefully warns us against such spiritual sloth and slavery.

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