The sage who has known God and merged into Him is a person of attainment.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“That equal-minded man dwells in God
who is neither delighted by what others love
nor offended by what others scorn, who is free from doubt,
and who has perceived Him.”
Such a sage transcends feelings of love and hatred. He does not go wild with joy when he gets something which is cherished and admired by others. In the same way, he is also not repelled by what others find distasteful. With such a constant mind, free from doubt, and endowed with knowledge of the divine Self, he always dwells in God.
Lord Krishn adds:
“That man becomes one with God
and enjoys eternal bliss who is single-mindedly dedicated to him
and whose heart is free from desire for worldly joys.”
The man who has renounced desire for the pleasure of objects of the external world attains to the felicity of God. His Self is united with God and the resulting happiness is therefore eternal. But this happiness comes only to him who is unattached to pleasures.
Lord Krishn sings:
“Since the pleasures arising from the association of senses
with their objects are a cause of grief and are transitory,
O son of Kunti, men of wisdom do not desire them.”
Not only the skin, but all senses feel the sensation of touch contact. Seeing is the touch of the eye as hearing is the touch of the ear. Although seeming pleasant to experience, all the enjoyment arising form these contacts of senses with their objects only leads to miserable births. Moreover, these sensual gratifications are also transient and destructible. So Arjun is told that men of knowledge are not entangled in them. Lord Krishn then enlightens him on the evil that is embodied by attachment to these pleasures.
“That man in this world is a true and blessed yogi who,
even before the death of his mortal body,
acquires the ability to withstand the onslaughts of passion and anger,
and conquers them for ever.”
He is the real man (nara=na+raman)-one who is not given to physical dalliance. Even while he is living in the mortal body, he is capable of facing the fierce urges of passion and anger, and of destroying them. He has achieved selfless action in the world and he is happy. He has won the happiness of identity with God in which there is no grief. According to divine ordinance, this happiness is acquired in this mortal, worldly life itself and not after the death of the physical body. This is what Sant Kabir intends to convey when he counsels his disciples to place their hope in this life.
The assurance that salvation comes after death is false and given only by unworthy and selfish teachers. Lord Krishn also says that the man who succeeds in overcoming his passion and anger in this life itself is the doer of selfless action in this world, and he is blessed with everlasting happiness. Passion and anger, attraction and repulsion, desire for the touching of objects by the senses, are our mortal enemies whom we have to vanquish and destroy.
Lord Krishn again dwells upon the nature of the doer of selfless action in next verse.
“The man who knows his Self
and whose happiness and peace lie within merges into God,
and he attains to the final beatitude that lies in him.”
The man, who is joyous within, at peace within, and illumined within by his perception of the Self and the identical Universal Spirit, is a realized sage who is united with God and who attains to his ineffable state.
In other words, there is first destruction of perversions-alien impulses such as attachment and aversion, then the emergence of perception, and finally submersion in the all-pervading ocean of final beatitude.
Lord Krishn sings further:
“They attain to the eternal peace of God
whose sins have been destroyed by perception
and whose doubts are resolved,
and who are single-mindedly concerned with the good of all beings.”
He is a man of attainment whose sins have been dispelled by his vision of God, whose doubts have been done away with, and who is wholeheartedly devoted to the service of all mankind. Only a man of this elevated state can help others, for how can he who is fallen in a ditch himself help others to get out?
So compassion appears as a natural attribute of realized sages and they, with their spiritual perception and conquest of the senses, realize the peace that comes with the final dissolution in God.
“Men who are free from passion and wrath,
who have conquered their mind,
and who have had a direct perception of God,
see the all-tranquil Supreme Self wherever they look.”
Lord Krishn thus repeatedly stresses the distinctive features of the character and life of doers of selfless action in order to motivate and encourage Arjun and, through him, all his other disciples. The question is now almost resolved.
To conclude his argument, however, Lord Krishn reverts to the necessity of contemplating the incoming and outgoing breath for the realization of this sage’s state. He has told us of offering pran to apan, of sacrificing apan to pran, and of the regulation of both the life winds while giving his account of the process of yagya. The same subject is taken up again.
Lord Krishn sings:
“That sage is liberated for ever
who shuts out of his mind all objects of sensual pleasure,
keeps his eyes centered between the two brows,
regulates his pran and apan,
conquers his senses, mind and intellect,
and whose mind is fixed on salvation.”
Lord Krishn reminds Arjun of the vital need of excluding from the mind all thoughts of external objects as well as of keeping eyes fixed steadily between the two brows. Keeping eyes between the brows does not simply mean concentrating them at something. It is rather that while the worshiper is sitting erect, his eyes should be pointed ahead in a straight line from the midpoint between the brows; they should not wander about restlessly and look right and left.
Keeping the eyes aligned with the ridge of the nose-we must be careful that we do not start watching the nose-and balancing pran against apan and keeping the eyes steadily fixed all the while, we should direct the vision of mind, the Soul, to the breath and let him watch it: when does the breath go in, how long is it held-if it is held in for only half a second, we should not try to prolong it by force, and how long does it stay out? It is hardly necessary to say that the name in the breath will ring audibly. Thus when the vision of mind learns to concentrate steadily on the inhaled and exhaled breath, breathing will gradually become constant, firm, and balanced.
There will be then neither generation of inner desires nor assaults on the mind and heart by desires from external sources. Thoughts of external pleasure have already been shut out; now there will not even arise inner desires. Contemplation then stands steady and straight like a stream of oil. A stream of oil does not descend like water, drop by drop; it comes down in a constant, unbroken line.
Similar to this is the motion of the breath of a sage of attainment. So the man, who has balanced his pran and apan, conquered his senses, mind and intellect, freed himself from desire, and fear and anger, perfected contemplative discipline, and taken refuge in salvation, is ever-liberated.
Sri Krishn finally discourses upon where this sage goes after liberation and what he achieves.
“Knowing the truth that it is I
who enjoy the offerings of yagya and penances,
that I am God of all the worlds,
and that l am the selfless benefactor of all beings,
he attains to final tranquillity.”
This liberated man, who knows that Lord Krishn-God of the gods of all worlds-is the recipient and enjoyer of the offerings of all yagya and penances, and that he is the selfless well-wisher of all beings-knowing all this he achieves the ultimate repose.
Lord Krishn says that he is the enjoyer of the worshiper’s yagya of inhaled and exhaled breath as well as of austerities. He is the one in whom yagya and penances are at last dissolved and so their doer comes to Him, the ultimate serenity that results from the completion of yagya. The worshiper, liberated from desire by selfless action, knows Lord Krishn and realizes him as soon as he is blessed with this knowledge.
This is named peace; and the one who achieves it becomes like God of gods just as Lord Krishn is.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~