Daily Readings

The Song of God - September

enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - isbn 062007583 CYT, Cape Town, SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

September 1

dogma - am-god

12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:1 - Arjuna said : Those devotees who, ever steadfast, thus worship you and those also who worship the Imperishable and the Unmanifested, which of them are better versed in Yoga?
XII:2 - The Blessed Lord said : Those who, fixing their minds on Me, worship Me, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, these are the best in Yoga in my opinion.

Let us not forget that these two verses are a continuation of chapters ten and eleven, where we had a description of God's manifestations and the demonstration of their 'unity-in-diversity' and 'diversity-in-unity'- which is the meaning of the cosmic form.
Indian and other schools of thought differ about the right attitude.
Some say: God should be approached as nameless and formless - to give him form is false and heretical.
Others hold that God can only be approached through his manifestations.
Even J.Louis Orton in his book "Hypnotism Made Practical", asks "What do we know except through manifestation?"
The danger in this method is that the image of the manifestation may be contaminated by us transferring our own worldly defects, innate in our family, possessions and environment, to the image itself.
Thus, instead of helping us to overcome our egoism, this method may subtly feed it.
Much can be said for and against both points of view.
Krsna has his own method of dealing with a controversy! He asserts the truth, but has no dogma - our goal is to realise "I am God" and we can reach it only if we turn away from 'dogma' (the word when reversed reads 'am-god'!).
Therefore, he repeats what he had said at the conclusion of the previous chapter: "Whatever be your approach to me, remember that one-pointedness, steadfastness, and faith are essential, and you must merge yourself in me". (XII:5).

September 2


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:3 - Those who worship the imperishable, the indefinable, the unmanifested, the omnipresent, the unthinkable, the eternal and the immovable,
XII:4 - Having restrained all the senses, even-minded everywhere, intent on the welfare of all beings, verily they also come to Me.

The answer to Arjuna's question is highly interesting.
Deep meditation on the first five verses of the twelfth chapter will teach us the best way to handle controversial matters.
In the heat of controversy, we often forget the real issue!
Hence, Krsna reiterated the vital factor in verse 2.
He does not beg the question nor evade it completely; discussion, argumentation and even controversy are good!
Metaphysical 'friction' is like mechanical friction - it generates both energy and heat.
Energy is desirable and heat is undesirable.
Wisdom in argument acts like radiator water, enabling us to absorb energy and avoid heat!
One of the best ways to do so is to understand the opponent's viewpoint; there is some truth in all viewpoints.
In verses 3 and 4, Krsna concedes that even 'they who are devoted to the nameless and the formless being, come to me'.
By quietly slipping in the word 'eva' (only), he pricks the bubble of the 'superiority' of a particular path.
If the fundamentals enunciated in verse 2 are borne in mind, both paths lead to the same goal!
If your temperament leads you to the path of the unmanifest, nameless, formless being - by all means tread it 'it will lead you also to me only'.
But, please do not cheat yourself; make sure that you recognise God's omnipresence in all beings by serving them, and that you recognise the real impediments to all yoga (these being the wisdom-veiling power in the senses and the mind) by controlling them.
You can say God is transcendental, but you cannot say the min and senses are unsubstantial and ignore them.
Till one is well established in the realisation of the omnipresence of God, there can be no love.
There is merely a business transaction or contract ("I love you because...").
When one is truly in love, the heart expands.
The great devotees and yogis are devoted to the welfare of all beings.
In their actions and attitude to life, one perceives love.

September 3


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:5 - Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the Unmanifested, for the goal of the Unmanifested is very difficult for the embodied to reach.

Here, again, you will notice that there is no wholesale condemnation of another's different point of view.
The godman is sincerely eager to perceive and to understand the truth that underlies all viewpoints; this truth is common to all, and the defect, if any, belongs to human imperfection (which again is universal, isn't it?).
It is only a fool who considers that his viewpoint alone is correct.
A wise man knows that if another's argument appears defective to him, his argument may similarly appear defective to the other!
Accepting this premise, if we look for the common factors, we shall find them in plenty.
There are those, admits Krsna, whose temperament may qualify them for abstract meditation on the absolute.
We shall not forget here that even in their case, control of the mind and senses should be natural and effortless, and even they will be keenly devoted to the welfare of all beings.
They will not foolishly deny the existence of the manifold manifest beings on earth and lead a parasitical life.
They will first deny the validity of their own sense-impressions and the cravings of the mind, and thus deplete these of their soul distracting power.
The sincere spiritual aspirant who, wrongly feeling that the path of the nameless-formless meditation is superior, enters it, will find that the trouble there is greater than on the other path.
To remove a thorn with another thorn is easy; to blow it away with an electric fan may be possible, but more difficult!
An embodied being will find it easier to divert the senses from the world to a sense-comprehensible God and to wipe the world of names and forms from the mind by filling it with nameful-formful God.
If, however, you have risen above body-consciousness, you can tread the difficult road to God-realisation! Even then you will see and serve the one self in all beings.

September 4


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:6 - But to those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the supreme goal, meditating on me with single-minded Yoga, O Arjuna,
XII:7 - verily I become ere long the saviour out of the ocean of birth and death.

'Upasate' has been translated into 'worship' .
Literally, it means 'sitting near'.
The devotee always feels that God is close to him - the unseen, but mysteriously experienced presence, feebly comparable to the experience of the fragrance of a rose.
He constantly inhales the fragrance or aroma of holiness.
The fragrance emanates from a flower, and the flower has a name; the living presence is often attributed to a form, and the form given a name.
That is part of the ananya yoga described here, where the relationship between the omnipresent God, the devotee (and all other persons) is one of non-division.
The other part consists in single-minded devotion: in performing all actions for God's sake (which is really what the word 'samnyasya' in the text means), for he, not the work or its rewards, is our supreme goal.
The devotee is ever active yet never forgets God.
The catalyst that achieves these has already been described - it is 'seeing God in all'.
Most important for this are the spirit of enquiry and inner tranquillity of the mind.
The yogi here does not deny offhand the validity of sense-perceptions; he sees through them.
He does not shut his eyes to name and form, but he perceives their underlying substratum and essence and recognises that that essence has charmingly clothed itself in the name and form.
If God has chosen to appear to him in that mask or personality, he lovingly greets him in that form; taking care, of course, to greet God-in-the-form and not the form itself for its own sake.
This prevents him from slipping into the void or into lethargy.
In that love the truth is born, and with it, liberation and peace.
The yogi is released from the ocean of samsara.

September 5


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:8 - Fix your mind on me only, your intellect in Me; then you shalt no doubt live in Me alone hereafter.

Again and again, the spiritual aspirant tries to pour the infinite into the finite.
He meditates on God.
He enthrones him in the lotus of his heart.
All these practices are valuable aids to yoga, but in themselves they may become obstacles.
They may lead us into a kind of tamasa, self-satisfied state in which the ego, the problem, maker in our life, enters the field of religion or spirituality and projects experiences of visions and voices which delude the soul, producing illusions of spiritual evolution and preventing it from proceeding further.
Never make a method an end in itself.
Krsna tells us: "Collect your mind and enter it (nivesaya, in the text) into me".
Arjuna actually saw that he himself was in the cosmic form.
We are all in God.
When we practise meditation, it is profitable for us to feel not only that he is in us, but that we are in him, too.
Even when we are asked to meditate on the Lord seated in the heart, it is only as a means to rid us of the ego, the 'I'.
When God is enthroned in the heart, his infinity fills it, making it impossible for the ego to exist there; darkness cannot co-exist with light.
The formula of vedanta, 'I am Brahman' implies the same truth.
It is not as though the 'I' is God.
It is not as though that 'I' is to be pushed into Brahman.
We should realise that Brahman alone exists even now and that ignorance alone identifies him with the ego-consciousness.
The method (whichever be the path pursued) is firmly and calmly to assert (in the sense of 'perceive') the Lord's presence in us and everywhere.
Start with feeling his presence in the heart.
Let him then envelop you.
Let him envelop the whole universe.
Then forget that you are meditating on him.
He and he alone exists; not 'I' .
Is there any doubt that 'thou shalt live in him thereafter'?

September 6

scale of values

12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:9 - If you are unable to fix your mind steadily on Me, then by the Yoga of constant practice seek to reach Me, O Arjuna.

A great truth was expressed in a simple manner in the previous verse: 'If you place your mind and intellect in me, you will live in me'.
We live where our mind is; life is governed by our scale of values which in turn creates an inner world.
A greedy man of insatiable desires finds his millions insufficient to give him happiness.
A jealous minister of a great nation spends sleepless nights at the injustice that keeps him pinned to a position lower than the highest.
These frustrations are not the fault of the outer world such people live in (the world in which they occupy enviable positions), but of the inner world of all consuming desire.
One who is able to create a stable inner world of spiritual values will live for ever in God.
Your stable value must be remembrance of God, all the rest being added to your life as secondary adjuncts.
However, all are not privileged to enter this mansion of desirelessness and renunciation of false values.
It is for a microscopic minority.
The others are haunted by a perverse scale of values, their minds and intellects constantly wandering into the by-lanes of sense-enjoyment, material acquisition, and a competitive desire to have 'more than my neighbour'.
Krsna does not condemn them; he condemns none!
He has to reach out to them.
They have to be redeemed, to be saved from themselves.
In pleading tone, he says: "Please desire to attain me through abhyisa yoga."
Mahitma Gandhi felt that abhyisa yoga included all such practices as yoga asana, pranayama, concentration, meditation, etc.
The mind does wander; well, then, at least endeavour to contemplate the stable value of God several times a day.
Gradually the intervals between these periods of contemplation will diminish and eventually vanish.
Abhyasa yoga is like knocking at the door: 'Knock and it shall be opened unto you.'
Then it will be possible for you to enter and rest in God.

September 7


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:10 - If you are unable to practise even this Yoga of constant practice, be intent on doing actions for My sake; even by doing actions for My sake, you shall attain perfection.

This is a Bhagavad Gita characteristic.
More than one's own best is not expected of anyone.
Though it is possible to interpret these few verses as representing a ladder which ultimately leads the aspirant to union with God, Krsna makes the rung appear as the roof.
Each step is the goal itself.
Each span of the bridge is itself the other shore - an outstretched arm of the shore itself!
This also avoids the pitfall of 'assuming what the goal is' and then deluding oneself that one is there'!
The only 'goal' we have is 'the next step' we actually 'see'.
Sincerity is the only criterion, and a sincere expression of one's eagerness to realise God is all that is demanded of each aspirant.
No maximum or minimum limit is set as the qualification for perfection.
The best of your ability, the best of your knowledge and understanding is the best, according to your own light.
The fruit of that best is beatitude.
This sincere eagerness will eagerly grasp the helping hand of God that descends as his grace and rush forward to his feet without arguing: "But, I thought that was all I had to do!"
If, after doing one's best at that particular stage of evolution, God's grace illumines another rung, at the same time bestowing upon the aspirant the will and the power to rise to it, he will unquestioningly obey.
However, there is no suggestion that such will be the case.
Each spiritual practice must be done whole-heartedly.
The requisite whole-heartedness will be absent if one has even the slightest awareness that it is only a 'step' towards perfection.
If worldly values are too persistent to allow even a transient elevation to God as the stable value, then continue doing your work, but do it for his sake.
The men and women of the various religious orders provide the best examples here; how diligently they do all that they do 'for God's sake'!

September 8


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:11 - If you are unable to do even this, then, taking refuge in union with Me, renounce the fruits of all actions with the self controlled.
XII:12 - Better indeed is knowledge than practice of concentration; than knowledge meditation is better; than meditation the renunciation of the fruits of actions; peace immediately follows renunciation.

To maintain the mental attitude 'for the sake of God' needs a certain amount of devotion and inner vigilance.
However, if these are absent, then, too, such a person is not condemned.
The word 'then' in the text can be placed after 'me' - which now gives the verse an atheistic flavour.
In fact, Krsna does suggest here that it is possible for a man to be good and saintly without having the traditional 'faith in God', but the qualification 'self-controlled' suggests that he has transcended that state of faith, perhaps, and is established in an impersonal, involuntary (in the sense, natural) feeling of God's omnipresence which compels such goodness accompanied by self-control.
If the 'faithful' endeavour belonged to a past birth, it is possible for its details to be submerged revealing only the overall effect.
Even a superficial rendering of the first verse is a call to common sense.
'If you cannot do any of the above, then work without expectation of reward.'
Krsna does not say that you are to reject all rewards, but that you should not lean on the rewards.
As it is, we cannot (and certainly do not) always achieve what we want to.
A rival, a germ or a change of weather can frustrate all our efforts and ruin our ambitions.
So, why not be desireless, just doing our duty?
We may get nothing at all out of it, or we may get the world.
From here, the previous verse is just one automatic step forward.
Desirelessness creates a vacuum: "If I am not working for profit, then for what?" - which is filled by the answer: "For God's sake."
Yet, desirelessness or renunciation of reward itself will bestow on us 'the peace that passeth understanding'.

September 9


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:13 - He who hates no creature, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and egoism, who is balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving,
XII:14 - Ever content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, possessed of firm conviction, with mind and intellect dedicated to Me, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.

The eight concluding verses of this chapter are thrilling and superb.
They are called 'amrtastakam' the immortal eight.
Krsna, who has said that there was none dear or antagonistic to him, suddenly declares that there are some who are extremely dear to him!
Who they are and what their nature is, he describes in these eight verses.
We should remember:
(a) That God is not a worldly ruler with friends and enemies.
(b) That he who answers to these descriptions becomes receptive to God's divine, omnipresent love.
The pure heart receives and reflects this love, even as pure iron-filings rush to the magnet, while rusted ones do not; through no fault of the magnet itself.
(c) That whether we regard God as aloof and unconcerned with the world, or in his omniscience, as able to fulfil the delicate dual role of a witness and active participant in this world-play, he is never whimsical.
(d) That the characteristics mentioned in connection with the devotee are almost the same as those mentioned in connection with descriptions of the sthitaprajna (one who is unshakably established in superconsciousness) or guna-tita (one who has transcended the three qualities of nature), following jnana or karma yoga paths.
In fact, a close study of the Bhagavad Gita should convince us that these paths are but one path viewed from the aspirant's particular standpoint; even as descriptions of the universe and of God vary, depending upon the standpoint of the viewer.
(e) Since God is one's innermost reality, this God-love dispels the psychotic self-love and self-hate which distort man's vision and estimation of himself with consequent maladjustment in society.

September 10


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:15 - He by whom the world is not agitated and who cannot be agitated by the world, and who is freed from the agitation of joy, envy, fear and anxiety, he is dear to Me.
XII:16 - He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned, and untroubled, renouncing all undertakings or commencements, he who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me.

The modern world, in its mad rush for an immediate magic cure to our maladies, finds no time to seek the root of any problem.
Wars, revolutions, strikes and other socio political agitations, various international controls, birth control and tranquillisers - are all proof of our incompetence and unwillingness to look for the root of the problem.
Headaches, complexes and neuroses are symptoms, not diseases in themselves.
They warn us of the presence in, and around us of reactionary forces which violently disturb our inner equilibrium.
Population explosion is a sign of altered social and family values - where pleasure has usurped duty's place.
Strikes and so on, reveal that in commerce, profit rules and not a sense of duty to our fellow-men.
Wars and revolutions betray, again, that our scale of values has dangerously degenerated.
The devotee is not a revolutionary or a reactionary.
He does not indulge in disputations and proselytising missions.
The world often hero-worships such people, unjustifiably, for they are still worldly however exalted and useful that worldliness may be!
The true devotee realises that such agitation is unnecessary and is thus unaffected by the agitations of the world.
By precept and personal example he radiates truth without agitating anyone's heart.
He is a lover of peace; he is peace.
Thus he is free from wants and ever happy.
The flame of faith and love is kindled in his heart leaving no room for egoism, selfishness, hate, jealousy or fear.
By God's Grace, this seeker is gradually led to direct realisation of his cosmic presence.

September 11


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:17 - One who neither grasps pleasure or grief, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me.
XII:18 - He who is the same to foe and friend, and in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment,
XII:19 - He to whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything, homeless, of a steady mind, and full of devotion, that man is dear to Me.

When the tilt in the scale of values is corrected, the inner balance is restored.
It is then that one is able to see the situation outside as it is, not as it appeared to be through the coloured glass of personal desires, egoism and conditioning.
It is then that one is able to play his role efficiently, with a pure heart, free from anxiety.
This role may demand the seeker's dynamic participation in the external conflict between the forces of light and those of darkness.
It may lead him through alternate success and failure, honour and dishonour.
But since he has offered all his actions to God, and since his own ego does not commence any undertaking - which is always prompted and conducted by the Lord - he has surpassed good and evil.
He knows that what happens to him is God's will and calmly accepts it.
Do these verses make it appear as though the devotee is a dull and heartless walking corpse?
Certainly not!
His compassion keeps him busy in the service of all creatures.
But, he has entered his mind and intellect into God who created the world, sustains it and who thus works through him, his devotee.
The vital difference is that the devotee sees God where we see the world.
We work, while he worships his lord through all his work.
Humility, devotion, surrender and non-condemnation are the beautiful attitudes of a devotee of God, of a sincere seeker.

September 12


12 - The path of devotion - Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.

XII:20 - They verily who follow this immortal dharma as described above, endowed with faith, regarding me as their supreme goal, they, the devotees, are exceedingly dear to me.

'Dharmyamrtam' is translated into immortal dharma.
It is also immortalising dharma.
Krsna makes it plain at every opportunity that his is not a new doctrine or philosophy but a re-statement and reiteration of the eternal (not just the oldest, but also the ever-new) dharma.
It is dharma - the balance which sustains the universe and every living creature, the cohesive force that keeps us together.
It is not Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or Judaism in their restricted sense, but their very essence and soul.
It is eternal but capable of being re-interpreted and re-delivered from time to time.
Wood remains wood, but every human generation fashions some new gadget out of it, putting it to different uses.
Initially, man made houses, bridges and boats with wood.
When iron and concrete superceded wood in construction, it was used for paper.
Now man makes various garments from wood.
All these have two factors in common: wood and service to man.
Modern man, though he does not discard objects of nature (like wood), sneers at dharma, feeling it is out of date.
However, it is eternal and can and should still serve man, making his life happier and richer.
Just as there are factories and research laboratories to discover newer uses for old materials, there should be more spiritual research centres to re-discover this eternal dharma, this pattern of our existence, and suggest ways and means of applying it to the present-day world.
To the man-of-God these verses representing the eternal dharma are like a blue-print for perfection.
He builds his personality on their pattern - not by blindly copying, but by intelligently living.
He lives as if he were a great devotee of God, for that is his objective.
He grows in the characteristics mentioned in these verses and in course of time is established in them.
These eight verses are worth daily repetition, contemplating their meaning.

September 13

the field

13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:1 - Arjuna said : I wish to learn about Prakriti (matter) and the Purusa (soul), the Field and the Knower of the Field, the knowledge and that which ought to be known.
XIII:1 - The Blessed Lord said : This body, O Arjuna, is called the field; he who knows it, is called the Knower of the field by those who know of them, that is, by the sages.

If this chapter is regarded as a necessary follow-up to the eleventh chapter to amplify certain truths mentioned in it, and if, as many have done, we omit from our study Arjuna's question, then Krsna's statement that this body is called the field may be taken to refer to the cosmic body.
"You were wonderstruck by merely witnessing my cosmic body; even that is only the field, the material playground in which I carry out my divine play."
'This body' may also mean the individual body.
In fact, Indian philosophy insists on equating the microcosm with the macrocosm; the former is but the miniature of the latter.
There is a world within an atom; and the world itself may be an atom in something of greater magnitude!
Within this body, the field, as its all-pervading soul, resides the knower of the body - the soul.
It is an extremely subtle and powerful intelligence.
Thus, the field is a phenomenon which can be observed.
(This could be part of the personality.)
The entity which understands this, the observing intelligence, is the knower of the field.
Correct understanding of the field and its knower constitute wisdom.
Without this our whole life becomes a complete mess because we confuse the observed phenomenon with the observing intelligence.
With this confusion arises ignorance, fear, attachment and wrong action.
The field (body) is like a sports-field or swimming pool, in which the soul exercises itself to grow stronger, purer and to attain perfection.
One must not run away from it or sink, but swim.
Without the body, the soul cannot evolve; and by getting attached to it, the soul cannot evolve either!
Hence, a knowledge of both the body and the soul is essential.

September 14


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:2 - Also know Me as the Knower of the Field in all fields, O Arjuna; knowledge of both the Field and the Knower of the Field, is considered by Me to be the knowledge.
XIII:3 - What the Field is and of what nature, what its modifications are and whence it is, and also who the Knower is, and what his powers are, hear all that from Me in brief.
XIII:4 - Sages have sung in many ways, in various distinctive chants and also in the suggestive words indicative of the Absolute, and is presented with all reasoning as to cause and effect.

Please remember that God is the soul of all beings.
He is the sole reality, the cosmic consciousness which by virtue of its all-pervasiveness is the substratum for the individualised consciousness, too, though its true nature is veiled by ignorance.
Whether you take the whole universe as one entity, the macrocosm, and accept the Lord as the knower of this mighty field, or you believe that this universe is composed of millions upon millions of beings, each of them being an independent field, God is the knower of them (or it).
Knowledge of exclusively either (the field or its knower) is incomplete; knowledge of both is true knowledge.
As long as diversity is visible to our eyes and as long as the mind thinks in terms of diversity, it will be impossible for it to conceive of another reality; it cannot see what it sees as reality to be unreal.
Therefore, the reality can only be established by ceaseless investigation.
It is true that from the point of view of the absolute this diversity does not exist as diversity; that is not because the absolute is exclusive of 'all these' but because it includes and transcends them.
A knowledge of the absolute can be had, therefore, only by acquiring an integral knowledge of the matter and the spirit, and then transcending them by God's Grace.
Hence the Isavasya upanisad commands man to acquire a knowledge of both 'knowledge and ignorance'.
When he tries to understand matter, it is suddenly transformed into spirit and the veil is lifted.

September 15


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:5 - The great elements, individuality, intellect, and also the unmanifested Nature, the ten senses and the one, and the five objects of the senses,
XIII:6 - Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate (the body), fortitude and intelligence, all these are considered, in summary, to be the field of activities and its interactions.

The field is the object, and the knower is the subject.
Here we are given a description of the object.
Strange as it may seem, even egoism and the intellect are included in the list of objects!
Viewing the whole universe as the body of God, it is apparent that individualisation is inherent in that body.
When we realise this, a host of puzzling questions is banished.
Even this egoism is not a totally foreign commodity imported in ignorance, but it is inherent in the 'object' of God who is the subject.
However, in states of ignorance it assumes alarming proportions.
Again, since we (the ego) are ourselves objects, limited and veiled, occupying but a small part of the 'field', it is impossible for the little 'I' either to completely understand other 'objects', or to fully understand the subject of whom we are only allowed occasional glimpses.
Our waking and dreaming consciousness is filled with objects acting as subjects, such subjects acting as objects for others in their turn.
The object is thus a projection of the subject on to something else, another subject!
Hence, any scene is the object of the eye, the eye is the object of the nerves, the nerves of the brain, the brain of the intellect and the intellect of the ego-sense, which itself is the object of the self - the sole subject.
Even thoughts and emotions (desire and so on) are objects of the self or consciousness.
One who knows them thus has full control over them and does not identify with them.
When we are tempted to be certain about the source of our emotions and thoughts, whether happy or unhappy, we should remind ourselves that what is obvious may not be true.
Let us enquire into the emotion till we arrive at the reality that is hinted at.
It is the ego's ignorant identification of the knower with the field that gives rise to karma, sin and rebirth.
The wise man is free from this bondage.
The body is not his, yet it functions; the mind is not his, yet it thinks.
In his case there is instant harmony within, and great love.

September 16


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:7 - Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forgiveness, uprightness, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control;
XIII:8 - Indifference to the objects of the senses; absence of egoism; perception of the evil in birth, death, old age, sickness and pain;
XIII:9 - Non-attachment, non-identification with son, wife, home; constant even-mindedness on the attainment of the desirable and the undesirable,

Jnana or true wisdom is recognition that the silent and tranquil spectator enjoys the show.
It is common experience that our wisdom is overpowered by the heat generated by intense activity; yet, in calmer moments, all of us 'know' what we should have done!
Mental modifications are events that take place in our mind (brain).
The ego sense, the 'I' seated in the heart, need only watch those mental modifications without getting involved in them.
Then life would flow smoothly and our thoughts, words and deeds would be full of wisdom.
But the ego-sense has the age-old habit of identifying itself with these mental modifications.
For instance, when the body needs nourishment, we say: "I am hungry", and not "the body is hungry".
When the mind is confused, we say: "I am confused".
The 'I' jumps from the heart, into the whirlpool of thought-currents; this is e-motion (motion outwards).
Hence the ignorant man is subject to wrong emotions, which are the symptoms of ignorance.
However, wisdom must not be confused with intellectuality.
Jnana is knowing that the 'I' is a silent witness of the world, the senses and even the mental modifications and is not necessarily involved in them.
Can you be good and do good without intention?
If, in being or doing good, there is an intention or motivation, it is not goodness but something else.
Can the qualities mentioned in these verses be present in you?
If they can, you will behave like one who has this jnana or wisdom.

September 17


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:10 - Unswerving and unalloyed devotion to Me by Yoga, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people,
XIII:11 - Constancy in Self-knowledge, perception of the end of true knowledge - this is declared to be knowledge; everything what is opposed to it is ignorance.

Unswerving devotion to God is not possible without non-attachment to the world and non-identification of the self with son, wife, and so on - qualities mentioned in the previous verse.
Such attachment and identification are the products of ignorance.
There is really no 'attachment' anywhere in creation!
We came into this world alone and we shall go alone, leaving even the body behind.
All are independent, though ignorantly, we do not live that independent life here.
We develop 'sneha' (a word for friendship and also for glue!) which makes us cling to things unwisely.
Hence our suffering.
The fire of wisdom will make this glue melt so that we neither cling nor kick.
The capacity to live with or to part from one another is non-attachment; and this process is as simple as life entering and leaving the body.
This non-attachment, its counterpart - 'unswerving devotion to God' - and the other divine qualities mentioned in these five verses, are the chief characteristics of jnana or wisdom.
If they are not found in a man who is otherwise deemed 'wise', his wisdom is locked up within his intellect; and it is extremely difficult to teach that 'great wise man' once the lock has rusted!
The rust should be wiped out by the cultivation of the good qualities mentioned in these five verses.
Then the wisdom within will reveal itself.
Our Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, was very fond of these five verses.
If you cultivate these qualities, the source of all evil which is the mind and the ahamkara or ego-sense, will come into the open because their existence is threatened!
Gurudev used to say that this is the best way to purify the mind and conquer egoism.

September 18

paroksa and aparoksa

13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:12 - I will declare that which has to be known, knowing which one attains to immortality, the beginningless supreme Brahman, called neither being nor non-being.
XIII:13 - With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, It exists in the worlds, enveloping all.

Now Krsna describes the knower of the field, the subject.
One should know what this subject is.
Such knowledge is twofold: paroksa (indirect and intellectual) and aparoksa (direct and intuitive).
The former is knowledge by contact, via a medium (e.g., scripture, guru) and the latter is knowledge by identity.
It is immediate knowledge, without a medium, and arises from direct experience.
Such knowledge is real knowledge and puts an end to all doubt and uncertainty.
The power to reveal that immediate knowledge is vested only in God; only he really knows.
To him the whole universe and the power and the intelligence in it are 'objects' of his own 'thought' (if there be such) .
The ego and the individual intellect are themselves objects and products of ignorance.
Hence Krsna says: "I will declare that which has to be known" (first indirectly, from the lips of the guru - here Krsna himself), and "knowing which (i.e. having knowledge by identity) one attains to immortality".
That supreme subject of all can be described neither in positive nor negative terms.
As our Master often said: "To define Brahman is to deny Brahman."
The intellect can grasp and speech express only finite entities.
Yajnavalkya asks an extremely pertinent question in the Brhadiranyaka upanisad: "With what shall one know the knower'?"
Here, the Lord reveals the great truth: 'that' is omnipresent.
What you call the world is really God seeing through the eyes, ears, tongue, skin and so on.
What you call a thought or an idea is God conceived, grasped by thought.
So, there is nothing other than God here.
Such is his glory that he himself appears as all this diversity.
It all belongs to God, whether the immediately visible form be that of a saint or an ant.

September 19


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:14 - The supersoul is source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although he is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the gunas, and at the same time he is the master of all gunas.
XIII:15 - The Supreme Truth exists both internally and externally, in the moving and nonmoving. He is beyond the power of the material senses to see or to know. Although far away, he is also near to all.

These verses are not for discussion or rationalisation, but for meditation.
When you say: "I see that" (pointing to an object) you are really singing the glory of God!
The 'I' in you is God and he is in that object, too; and, the sight itself has been made possible by his power.
Yet, he is not limited or conditioned by the senses.
Because he is all-pervading, the soul of everything, he is not attached to anybody or anything.
This apparent diversity is nothing but the manifestation of God's power and glory.
Hence he supports them all in the sense that they do not and cannot exist but for him.
He is free; yet all our experiences are possible only because he is the consciousness in them.
God is all-pervading, but because he is extremely subtle, being the one homogeneous essence when all names and forms are reduced to their fundamental homogeneity, he is (intellectually) unknowable.
In other words, he is the supreme subject, and therefore can never be objectively perceived.
To those who realise him through intuitive knowledge, he is indeed near, for what can be nearer than our innermost self?
Yet the ignorant man relates to the world in a distorted way, pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain and unhappiness.
He is subject to endless misery and delusion, and in his state of ignorance God seems to be far away.
The Isavasya upanishad asks: "If one realises that the self (God) is all, how shall he ever experience grief or delusion?"
In that realisation (not mere intellectual knowledge), the world is seen as it is and there is no attachment, hate or fear.
With that vision the world and life are transformed into something very beautiful - you do not manipulate the world or try to revolutionise your life, yet everything flows.

September 20


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:16 - Although the supersoul appears to be divided, He is never divided. He is one. Although he is the maintainer of every living entity, it is to be understood that he devours and develops all.
XIII:17 - That, the Light of all lights, is beyond darkness; it is said to be knowledge, the Knowable and the goal of knowledge, seated in the hearts of all.

If the ultimate reality, the supreme subject or Brahman is dismissed as indescribable, teaching and consequently realisation would be rendered extremely difficult, and people undergoing varied experiences in this world, even if they see that all life is afire with sorrow, will not turn to God, but seek to quench that burning by resorting to remedies worse than disease.
Remember that half-knowledge has always been used as the ladder to ascend to full knowledge.
The mathematics teacher in a primary school is sure that a point is a point and a straight line is a straight line.
If he told his little students that a point is only a concept and cannot be described on paper and that a straight line will curve when drawn long enough, their confusion would make it impossible to teach them mathematics.
As Sri K.M. Sen says in his book on Hinduism: "Statements about Brahman, to be intelligible, must be empirical forms. The wise recognise these forms to be necessities of concrete thought, but fools take them to be real truth".
Thus definitions like creator, supporter, destroyer or redeemer, light, and 'seated in the hearts of all' are to be taken figuratively.
They are given to enable us to know that which is beyond the pale of rational knowledge.
Krsna does not want to get lost in the maze of descriptions of the indescribable and reminds us that he is undivided, omnipresent.
The previous verses (especially verse 12) might lead to a void; hence the hint here that God is beyond darkness, he is the light of lights.
He is the soul of all - human, sub-human, super-human, animate and inanimate.
He is the knower, known and knowledge.
However, all these are mere pointers.
Even so all teaching is a pointer; the guru's role, too, is to be a living pointer.
They remind us that there is some kind of mist hiding the truth within.
This truth is: God alone exists.

September 21


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:18 - Thus the Field as well as knowledge and the Knowable have been briefly stated. My devotee, knowing this, enters into My Being.
XIII:19 - Know you that matter and spirit are beginningless; know that their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.

The genius of Krsna has compressed into just a dozen verses an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge and deep wisdom.
Whole volumes can be written explaining each verse; but they would be hopelessly inadequate compared to deep meditation on each one.
But wait, there are some posers here!
Such meditation is possible only to 'my devotee' - God's devotee, not only the devotee of the God-form Krsna.
Without love, knowledge is hypocrisy, for true knowledge brings complete understanding and understanding engenders love.
On the other hand, love, even of God, without knowledge may perhaps lead us to superstition, not to God-realisation.
Ramanuja Acharya holds that knowledge is one of the most essential aids to God-love.
So if God's devotee attains this knowledge, what becomes of him?
He 'enters into my being' - he becomes one with God.
No true seeker after God is interested in the academic disputation about whether he retains his individuality or becomes God himself.
Perhaps we live in him as fish in the ocean - part of him and yet distinct.
What is significant, however, is the fact that such a devotee shares God's nature (mat-bhavam).
He sees the world as God sees it; he does God's will.
Hence, he does not remain inert and inactive, but joyously participates in the divine will.
He realises that God and his nature are eternal; not distinct and separate, but related like fire and heat.
The potentiality of manifestation is inherent in the spirit; and when this activates, nature becomes manifest, undergoes modifications and possesses qualities.
But the wise devotee knows that even in and through such manifestation God alone exists.

September 22


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:20 - Nature is said to be the cause of all material activities and effects; the spirit is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.
XIII:21 - The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature, due to his association with that material nature. This is the cause of his birth in an evil or good womb.

Krsna's genius is synthesis and here is a synthesis of subjective idealism and materialism.
There are those who say that the outside world is a projection of one's own mind; and others who assert that matter alone is real and that the spirit is the fermentation of matter.
Krsna points out that both spirit and matter exist though of course not as two but as God and his nature.
Our experiences of 'pleasant' and 'unpleasant' are merely subjective (to drink ice-water is pleasant in summer yet agonizing if the teeth are sensitive).
However, although butter and lime look alike, one is soothing and pleasant, the other caustic and irritating.
There is a mysterious power in lime which distinguishes it from butter.
That power is skakti or prakrti or (God's) nature.
The entire universe is vibrant with life, prakrti, and that nature functions.
The nature of water is to flow; the nature of fire is to burn.
Counterpart to this mysterious power is a mysterious consciousness in us which experiences that nature - purusa or the individual soul.
The two, prakrti and purusal seem to understand each other very well indeed.
Since purusa was the experiencer, some philosophers accorded this a superior status and regarded nature as inert.
Others saw that the qualities in nature were able to influence purusa and so declared that nature is para-shakti (supreme power) and purusa is powerless without her.
(You, the purusa, could not drink water and enjoy the sweetness of honey but for prakrti)
Let us then accept both, together!
For nature is God's nature - they are not two but one.
A clear understanding of this indivi(sible)duality frees us from confusion, likes and dislikes, craving and aversion the 'ought to be' and the 'ought not to be'.
Nature prevails in God's sight.

September 23


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:22 - Yet in this body there's another, a supernatural enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the supersoul.
XIII:23 - One who understands this philosophy concerning material nature, the living entity and the interaction of the modes of nature is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again, regardless of his present position.

It is good to have a clear idea of the two-in-one and their distinct functions, as that will enable us to undeludedly recognise their manifestations.
In that light of clarity we shall not, like king Canute, order the waves of ever-changing phenomena to stop; nor shall we get entangled in the web of these changes, regarding them as inevitable.
The supreme soul 'in this body' is called the jiva, though on account of ignorance, this jiva considers himself limited.
He is a 'spectator': and that is when he is happy.
He is the 'permitter': having the prerogative to say "Yes" or "No", and is not as helpless as he sometimes imagines himself to be.
Recognising this power of the soul, one is able to freely exercise his free-will.
The jiva is the 'supporter': it is sheer delusion which makes him feel dependent upon material phenomena.
Yet he is also the 'enjoyer', and because of the fact that he enjoys the material phenomena, he may come to feel that they are indispensable for his happiness.
Nevertheless he is the 'great lord and the supreme self', if only he wakes up from his slumber of ignorance!
He who knows this secret will neither resist nor cling to the world.
He will not blame the world, or himself for living in such a world.
He knows the depth of the ocean, but he also knows his own power to swim or float on its surface.
He does not get drowned.
Convinced of this, it does not matter what profession he is engaged in, he is a jnani (sage).
He is not born again for whatever may be his mode of living, such a yogi lives in God. (VI:31).

September 24

infinite ways

13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:24 - Some by meditation behold the Self in the Self, others by karma yoga, and others through working without fruitive desire.
XIII:25 - Again there are those who, although not conversant in giant knowledge, begin to worship the supreme person on hearing about him from others; because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.

The goal was described in the previous verses; now the paths are pointed out.
There is variety in creation; the infinite can be viewed from infinite angles and approached in infinite ways.
Temperament and tradition are the main guiding (not deciding) factors here.
The waters of the ocean are the same, whatever be the name given to the ocean at different points on the globe.
The man of mystic temperament 'beholds the self in the self by the self' in deep meditation.
Note that Krsna cleverly avoids the subject-object experience in meditation and the 'I see God' or 'I see a brilliant light' type of psychic phenomenon so widely confused with meditation and raja yoga.
'I' do not see the self, but the self itself sees the self in the self.
Self-realisation is merely seeing that what you and I previously regarded as the self, never existed!
Others, endowed with an intuitive temperament, may use reason to transcend itself, intellect to silence itself, and in the searchlight of their self-knowledge realise that the ego was never an entity.
The whole universe shines as God and his nature.
Those of a dynamic temperament may reach the same goal by self-effacing, self-sacrificing and selfless service, feeling 'God serves God'.
Even devotees of the Lord who humbly worship him as they have been taught by their ancestors and preceptors, will reach God.
This is a gentle rebuke for so many yogi and intellectual giants who sigh with grief that these devotees, 'ignorantly' worshipping God, are 'lost souls' whom it is their duty to 'save'!
Leave them alone.
The Lord whom they worship will look after them.
Moreover, they must awaken themselves, save themselves.
No-one else can do it for them.
They must find and go their own way.

September 25


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:26 - O Arjuna, whatever you see in existence, both living and not living, is only the combination of the field of activities and the Knower of the field.

Creation itself involves both the subject (knower) and the object (the field) .
Creation can be viewed from two standpoints.
'I think; therefore, I am' is true.
Though not in the Cartesian sense of a division.
For awareness or consciousness is consciousness's awareness of itself, which is the universe.
'I am, therefore, I think' is equally true.
For, in order to be able to project a thought, the thinker should exist and the thought (as well as the thought-subject) must also exist.
There is actually no conflict or contradiction between these two viewpoints; they are complementary to each other.
Here, again, it is obvious that the apparent contradiction springs from the fact that we regard matter and spirit as two eternally separate and distinct factors and, in accordance with our own bias, tend to exaggerate the importance of one over the other.
In fact, God exists because God is you!
God and his nature, subject and object, matter and spirit, the field and its knower - are in truth one and indivisible.
All beings that exist in the universe are the products of the perpetual union between the two (God and his nature).
Creation is never ex nihilo; God's nature has ever been his, and its manifestation has always been in a potential state - even when all beings return to the state of formless dissolution during the 'night of the creator'.
Once again, when consciousness (cit) actively engages itself in becoming aware of its own potentialities (shakti), the diverse beings are 'created'.
Hence the universe is but cit-shakti made manifest.
He who knows this lives in cosmic consciousness, and he realises that animate and inanimate objects pulsate with cosmic life and float in cosmic consciousness.

September 26


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:27 - One who sees the eternal Lord accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the supersoul is ever destroyed, actually sees.
XIII:28 - One who sees the supersoul in every living being and equal everywhere does not degrade himself by his mind. Thus he approaches the supernatural destination.

'Samam' has been translated 'equally'; but 'samely' would express it better.
'Equally' suggests quantitative similarity.
'Sameness' is much more than quantitative or qualitative similarity, for it expresses identity.
Some philosophers hold that this 'sameness' has in part been 'transformed' (parinama-vada) into the visible diversity; though they assert that the substratum of this diversity is the same.
The fundamental hydrogen atom has combined and re-combined to produce the various elements; but it is clear that this reversible process suggests that the 'reality' of matter is the simple hydrogen atom (if that is the ultimate material particle which cannot be further reduced).
Another view is that this diversification of the one, this complication of the simple, is only apparent, not real.
The 'sameness' has not actually been transformed into the diversity, but only appears to be so.
What exists is just one thing, like space.
There is infinite diversity that seems to exist in space merely because we think in terms of diversity.
The popular simile is that of the snake in the rope.
When in the darkness the rope appears to be a snake, the rope has not even in part been transformed into a snake.
Thus, according to this view, the combination of atoms (which scientists themselves declare are ever independent of one another) is an idea; and the fusion of several simple atoms into more complex atoms is similarly an idea.
Although a group of trees is called a forest, each tree is a tree and nothing more - 'forest' only being an idea in the mind.
The elements are thus only a mode of thought, the reality being the Lord (and his nature which is forever one with him).
Knowing this, one does not become egoistic.
The egoist 'destroys' (veils) the self by his little self (the ego) and thereby destroys his wisdom, peace and happiness.

September 27


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:29 - One who can see that all activities are performed by the body, which is created of material nature, and sees that the self does nothing, actually sees.

The cause of sin and suffering is the self-hypnosis of the purusa (the individual soul) in feeling that he is somehow involved in the world and particularly in the body; that it is he who sees, hears, tastes, grasps with the hands, walks and works; and that it is he who enjoys and suffers.
Suffering arises on account of isolation, and the purpose of yoga and all spiritual practice is to de-hypnotise the purusa, ultimately to lead him to the realisation that the reality alone is, and that the manifest universe, including himself, and all the changes that take place in it are but the expression of the qualities of God's nature - neither good nor evil, neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
All self-isolation is sin, because it is inevitable that when you consider yourself an entity totally different from another, you must enter into some relationship.
Then you begin to love one and hate another.
Out of that, sin and sorrow arise.
Death of a dear one is painful, but death of an enemy causes rejoicing in the heart!
An earthquake in mid-ocean or unpopulated territory, which throws up fresh land or fertilizes the existing land, is a welcome event; whereas when it affects objects of one's self-identification, it is a great evil.
One has to pass through the process of disentangling oneself from this web of illusory super-imposition of the not-self upon the self.
Hence, as a sort of de-hypnotising autosuggestion, the yogi is asked to assert and realise that his self does nothing at all, and that nature alone is ever active; thus making it look as though nature is an independent agent.
Once this dissociation has been achieved, it will be clear to the enlightened soul that even this duality is only apparent, and that in reality God alone exists, the universe is his nature and the changing phenomena occur on account of the qualities inherent in that nature.
Arriving at this wisdom, the enlightened one does not isolate himself and is ever happy, at one with nature.

September 28

parinama and vivarta-vada

13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:30 - When a man sees the whole variety of beings as resting in the One, and spreading forth from That alone, he then becomes Brahman.

Taken literally, this verse can give rise to all sorts of misconceptions.
The variety of beings does not rest in the one as, for instance, 'birds rest on a tree'.
If we adopt the 'actual transformation' (parinama-vada) of creation, (see verse 27 above), a more apt simile would be the fish in the ocean - born in the ocean, existing in it and dissolving in it - truly part of the ocean, but with a distinct personality.
It is possible to catch the fish and show that it is separate from the ocean only because ocean is not omnipresent.
Since God is omnipresent this paradox does not arise in him.
If, however, we adopt the second view that there is only an 'apparent transformation' (vivarta-vada) which is illusory, then this variety and the one bear the same relationship as the different oceans, seas and bays of the world bear to the one vast homogeneous mass of water that the ocean really is.
It is not as though the Indian ocean, the Atlantic ocean, the Pacific ocean, and so on, rest in the one ocean that encircles the world, but there is in truth only one ocean - the variety being a mere idea.
'All beings' includes one's self, too.
It needs no special emphasis that he who thus sees the one reality realises that even his own individuality is but an idea, for in truth only God exists.
He then becomes Brahman, in the same way as the Arabian sea becomes the ocean when the name and the limitation are removed.
Krsna, however, does not permit us a day-dreaming phantasm of oneness; that oneness is not exclusive of the diversity.
The obvious (the diversity), in a manner of speaking, clothes the unobvious (the oneness) which is the reality.
Nothing that is of value, of sense or of importance in our lives is obvious.
He who has realised that unobvious oneness knows that the variety spreads forth from that alone, and shares the dynamism of the diversity, while inwardly enjoying the peace of the one.

September 29


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:31 - Being without beginning and devoid of qualities, the Supreme Self, imperishable, though dwelling in the body, O Arjuna, neither acts nor is tainted.
XIII:32 - As the ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, so the Self seated everywhere in the body, is not tainted.

The statement that the supreme self is devoid of qualities seems to suggest exclusiveness and a distinction between the self and (its) nature.
This is not so.
The difference lies in the viewpoint: a dark cloud hangs between earth and outer space.
A man standing on earth says: "The sky is dark"; whereas a man flying above, in the sky, says: "The earth is dark".
The truth is, all of them are as they are.
The cosmonaut flying aloft in outer space will not even notice the thick cloud covering our particular town.
We see it because our vision is limited and circumscribed; his (and God's) vision is vast and unrestricted!
Smoke pouring out of a factory chimney taints that chimney with soot; but the sky remains untainted even after years of this sort of pollution.
The chimney is gross an limited, hence it receives and keeps the taint.
The sky is subtle and unlimited; no taint can stick to it.
From the empirical or individual standpoint, the qualities of nature exist in God; but from the absolute standpoint, the self is devoid of any quality.
The yogi realises the distinction between truth and viewpoint - truth being that which exists and viewpoint being the mental activity.
Realising this his mind and heart (the gross an limited) are totally surrendered to God (the subtle an infinite).
What a golden message of courage and hope!
Your Soul is ever free and pure.
Let not the 'past' depress you or dampen your spirit.
Acquire the eye of wisdom and the ghost of sin and suffering will vanish.
You are a sinner only so long as your own grossness and ignorant limitation make you believe yourself to be.
Wake up!
You are the ever-pure immortal self.

September 30


13 - The path of knowledge - Ksetra Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge of the Field and the Knower

XIII:33 - Just as the one sun illumines the whole world, so also the the Self illumines the whole Field, O Arjuna.
XIII:34 - They who, through the eye of knowledge, perceive the distinction between the Field and its Knower, and also the liberation from the Nature of being, they go to the Supreme.

The scientist tells us that the earth was part of the sun and broke away from it long ago.
Even today, the same sun sheds light and life on the whole of the earth.
Though apart, the earth is still 'part' of the sun (the solar system) enjoying the benefits of a close 'commonwealth' association.
In the same way, when consciousness remembered its own potentialities, the manifestation-potential was actualised into infinite combinations of atoms and molecules, giving rise to a variety of beings together called the 'ksetra' the field, the body of God.
This body is not inert and useless but is indwelt and illumined by the light of God whose power dances in every atom of existence, inviting us to realise him and thus go beyond sin and suffering.
The common man's vision is so gross that only the grossness of diversity is visible to him.
He is sense-limited, sense-bound and mind-enslaved.
It is necessary for him first to acquire subtlety of vision, delicacy of understanding and freedom from the bondage of ideological slavery, before he can arrive at cosmic consciousness.
Hence Krsna demands that the wise disciple should first acquire that sharpness of wisdom which will enable him to pare nature from God, by which process alone he can glimpse the universal substratum (God) and then proceed to liberate himself from the illusion of 'bhuta-prakrti' or elemental nature.
He discovers that he is not even part of the world, he is the world - if one point is removed from the circumference of a circle, there is no circle!
There is one solid mass of awareness which is able to respond to every situation in life as it arises.
We are all swimming in that ocean of awareness.
Thus the wise disciple will know the supreme and realise that he and he alone exists - one without a second.

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