Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 13: 29

September 27, 2021

™™prakṛtyai ’va ca karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśaḥ
yaḥ paśyati tathā ’tmānam akartāraṁ sa paśyati (XIII-29)

™XIII/29. He sees, who sees that all actions are performed
by nature alone and that the self is actionless.

Swamiji's Commentary

     The cause of sin and suffering is the self-hypnosis of the puruṣa (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-hypnotize the puruṣa, ultimately to lead him to the realization 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-hypnotizing auto- suggestion, the yogi is asked to assert and realize 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 to 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.

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