Lord Krishn insists that only that man who has made true renunciation or achieved yog who engages in the one action that is worthy of doing with absolutely no desire for any rewards.
No one becomes a sanyasi or a yogi by just desisting from the ordained action.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“The man who performs the ordained task
without desiring its fruits, rather than the one who just gives up
the sacred fire or action, is a sanyasi and a yogi.”
There are many kinds of work, but out of them the action which is fit to be undertaken and which is ordained is only one. And this one action is yagya which means “worship,” the one means for the attainment of God. The practice of it is action; and the man who does it is a sanyasi and a yogi.
If a man has just stopped lighting fire or tells himself complacently that he has no use for action because he possesses Self-knowledge, he is neither a sanyasi nor a doer of selfless action.
Lord Krishn further speaks about this:
“Remember, O Arjun, that yog (selfless action) is the same
as renunciation (knowledge), for no man can be a yogi
without a total rejection of desire.”
What we know as renunciation is also yog, for no man can be a yogi without giving up all his desires. In other words, sacrifice of desire is essential for men who have chosen either of the ways. Superficially it appears so easy, for all that we need to do in order to become a yogi-sanyasi is to claim that we are free from desire. But according to Lord Krishn it is by no means so.
“Whereas selfless action is the means
for the contemplative man who wishes to achieve yog,
a total absence of will is the means for one who has attained to it.”
Performance of action to achieve yog is the way for the reflective man who aspires to selfless action. But when repeated practice of the deed gradually brings one to the stage at which the final outcome of selfless action emerges, absence of all desire is the means. One is not rid of desire before this stage.
Lord Krishn sings:
“A man is said to have achieved yog
when he is unattached to both sensual pleasure and action.”
This is the stage when a man is not given to sensual pleasure, nor to action. When the culmination of yog is once reached, who is there beyond to strive and look for?
So there is no longer any need of even the prescribed task of worship and, therefore, of attachment to action. This is the point when attachments are completely broken. This is renunciation-(sanyas); and this is also achievement of yog. While a worshiper is still on his way and has not yet arrived at this point, there is nothing like renunciation.
Lord Krishn then speaks about the profit that accrues from the attainment of yog:
“Since the Soul enshrined in a man is his friend
as well as foe, it is binding on a man to lift himself
by his own effort rather than degrade himself.”
It is man’s duty to work for the salvation of his Soul. He must not tempt him to damnation, for the embodied Soul is both his friend and enemy. Let us now see, in Lord Krishn’s words, when the Self is a friend and when an adversary.
“The Self is a friend to the man
who has overcome his mind and senses,
but he is an enemy to one who has failed to do so.”
To the man who has vanquished his mind and senses, the Soul within is a friend, but to the man who has not subdued his mind and senses, he is an enemy.
Lord Krishn thus insists repeatedly that a man should redeem his Self by his own effort. He must not degrade him, because the Self is a friend. Besides him, besides the Self, there is neither any friend nor any enemy. It is so because, if a man has restrained his mind and senses, his Soul acts as a friend and brings him highest good. But, if a man’s mind and senses are not restrained, his Soul turns into an enemy that drags him to re-birth in lower forms of life and to endless misery.
Men are fond of saying, “I am Soul.” So there is nothing for us to worry about. We cite evidence from the Bhagavad Gita itself. Isn’t it said there, we ask, that weapons cannot pierce and fire cannot burn and wind cannot wither the Self?
He, the deathless, immutable and universal, is therefore me. Believing so, we pay little heed to the warning in Bhagavad Gita that this Soul within us can also descend to an inferior, degraded level. Fortunately, however, he can also be saved and elevated; and Lord Krishn has made known to Arjun the action which is worthy of being done and which leads the Soul to absolution. The following verse indicates the qualities of a benign, friendly Self.
“God is ever and inseparably present
in the serene heart of the Self-abiding man
who is unmoved by the contradictions of heat and cold,
happiness and sorrow, and fame and infame.”
God dwells inextricably in the heart of the man who rests in his own Self and reacts evenly to the dualities of nature such as heat and cold, pain and pleasure, and honour and humiliation. Perfect repose flows through one who has conquered the mind along with the senses.
This is the stage when the Soul is liberated.
Lord Krishn sings further:
“The yogi, whose mind is quenched
with knowledge-both divine and intuitive,
whose devotion is steady and constant,
who has conquered his senses well,
and who makes no distinction between objects ostensibly
as different as earth, rock, and gold, is said to have realized God.”
The yogi who has achieved this state is said to be endowed with yog. He has reached the crowning point of yog which Yogeshwar Krishn has already portrayed. Perception of God and the consequent enlightenment are knowledge. The worshiper is but grovelling in the mire of ignorance if there is even the slightest distance between him and the adored God and the desire to know him remains unfulfilled.
What is called “intuitive” knowledge (vigyan) here is knowledge of God’s functioning through things, acts, and relations (the manifest universe) which reveal how he is all-pervading, how he prompts, how he guides innumerable Souls simultaneously, and how he is knower of all times-past, present, and future.
He begins to guide from the very moment when he makes his advent in a heart as the revered one, but the worshiper is unable to know this at the initial stage.
It is only when he has reached the culmination of his contemplative exercise that he gains full awareness of God’s ways. This is vigyan. The heart of man who is accomplished in yog is satiated with this achievement combined with his knowledge of God and accurate insight.
Lord Krishn adds:
“That man is indeed superior who view all with an equal mind:
friends and foes, the antagonistic, indifferent, neutral or jealous,
kinsmen, and the righteous as well as sinners.”
After perception of god, a sage is both equal and even-minded. Lord Krishn says that sages who are blessed with knowledge regard with an impartial eye a Brahmin, an outcast, and animals so diverse as a cow, a dog, and an elephant. The verse under discussion complements what was said before.
That man is doubtlessly a man of excellence who looks equally at all kinds of people, from the highest to the lowest, from the most virtuous to the most wicked, and from the most loving to the most malicious, irrespective of their feelings for him. He looks at the course of Souls within them rather than at their external deeds.
The only difference he, therefore, sees between diverse beings is that while some have ascended to higher steps and gotten close to the state of purity, others have lagged behind and are still lingering on the lower steps.
All the same, he sees the capacity for salvation in all.
~ Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans ~
~ mrityunjayanand ~
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