10: The One Supreme Absolute Alone Is : 3.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita  :

Yamas, niyama, asana, pranyama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana are the graduated techniques prescribed for those who cannot at one stroke attain this union with the All. But we are not in a position to concentrate our minds even in this manner; it is very difficult for us. Even for a few hours of the day this type of concentration is hard, due to the power of the sense organs – the desires, the passions, the grief, the frustrations, and the many troubles to which a man is heir. Then what can be done? 

(Gita: 12.10). 

Abhyasepyasamarthosi     matkarmaparamo    bhava, 

madarthamapi    karmani    kurvan    siddhimavapsyasi.    

Here I am trying to follow the reading of Madhusudana Saraswati who seems to be more generous in his understanding, because it is hard to make out the true implications of these statements of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The very shrewd interpretation given by Madhusudana Saraswati is that here in this third verse the teacher seems to suggest that if this application of our will in the way of direct concentration becomes difficult for us for any reason, we should engage ourselves in service in His name – that is service of God through devotion to Him, maybe in the form of worship. Sravanam, kirtanam, visnoh smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sraksham atma-nivedanam – these are the ways of devotion. See God in all, serve God in humanity, feel His presence in everything, worship Him in all visible objects, mankind or otherwise. 

This is the large manifestation of the Creator in the form of this universe. Through the bhavas of bhakti or the various methods of devotion, resort to this daily practice of doing such things as are pleasing to Him. Madartham api karm??i kurvan siddhim av?psyasi: All our actions be for My sake. That means to say, one is always keeping in mind the vision of the presence of God, even when one is performing one's daily routine. All the routines or duties of a devotee or a bhakta are worships of God in one way or the other, whether it is worship in a temple or atithi satkara in the house. However, the instruction in this verse and that which follows in the succeeding one seem to meet at one point, and we cannot easily demarcate the meaning conveyed by this third verse and the fourth one, because what is called karma-yoga , action performed as yoga, is somehow inseparable from action performed in the name of God.

To be continued   ....

Swami Krishnananda

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