Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 12: 17-19

September 11, 2020

™yo na hṛṣyati na dveṣṭi na śocati na kāṅkṣati
śubhāśubhaparityāgī bhaktimān yaḥ sa me priyaḥ (XII-17)
™samaḥ śatrau ca mitre ca tathā mānāpamānayoḥ
śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkheṣu samaḥ saṅgavivarjitaḥ  (XII-18)
™tulyanindāstutir maunī saṁtuṣṭo yena kenacit
aniketaḥ sthiramatir bhaktimān me priyo naraḥ (XII-19)

XII/17. He who neither rejoices nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires,
renouncing good and evil, and who is full of devotion,
is dear to me.

XII/18. He who is the same to foe and friend, and also in honor and
dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat and 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.

Swamiji's Commentary

      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 colored 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, honor and dishonor. 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.

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