Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter VI: 3-4

May 4, 2021

rurukṣor muner yogaṁ karma kāraṇam ucyate
yogārūḍhasya tasyai ’va śamaḥ kāraṇam ucyate (VI-3)
™yadā hi ne ’ndriyārtheṣu na karmasv anuṣajjate
sarvasaṁkalpasaṁnyāsī yogārūḍhas tado ’cyate (VI-4)

VI/3. For a sage who wishes to attain to yoga, action is
said to be the means. For the same sage who has attained
to yoga, quiescence is said to be the means.

VI/4. When a man is not attached to the sense-objects or to
actions, having renounced all wishes or schemes, then he is
said to have attained to yoga.

Swamiji's Commentary

      Indeed,  there  are  stages  in  the  seeker’s  life  when  he  should  be  involved  in  certain external practices and there are stages when he becomes engaged in internal practices. In the highest stages, however, the sage is completely quiescent, at rest in the self which is cosmic consciousness.

      Until the state which is known as yoga is reached, one should not renounce external practices, for premature renunciation would prevent progress. This is true even of worldly objects and duties. It is more sensible and wiser to cultivate the proper attitude to them and to establish in oneself the correct scale of values, so that the objects drop away, their values deflated, and the ‘duties’ are seen in their true Light as the ego’s excuse to cling to the world. The ego does not initiate action. Action comes from somewhere  else.  Correct  scale  of  values,  the  correct  sense  of  proportion  is  itself ‘saṁnyᾱsa’,  usually  translated  as  ‘renunciation’.  Physically  pushing  the  world  away might only drive it deeper within oneself, psychologically.

      Yet this should not be interpreted to mean undue emphasis on action. A stage comes in the life of every seeker when the external and later the internal action is no longer necessary; then, resting in the peace of the self he realizes that that is both the doer of all actions and the witness of all passing phenomena! This is not a state to be presumed; it has its own criteria – complete non-attachment and the absence of selfish desires and worldly (and heavenly!) dreams and schemes, which are inwardly and actually ‘seen’ as haunting phantoms. At that stage a false sense of duty or the need for demonstrative practices drop away unnoticed.

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