6. The Meaning of Freed-Om
It seems to be important not only to live, but to understand the meaning of life.
Krsna very wisely skirts around the problem of the purpose of life.
He gives us an inkling into the meaning of life, but he does not really say "This is your duty".
What should be done is not so simple.
It cannot be laid down by yourself or others, as a sort of 'forever' rule, and therefore the understanding of the fundamentals of action of the source of action - which is knowledge - becomes tremendously important.
Krsna counters Arjuna's argument that 'war means killing, and therefore destruction of righteousness', by pointing out that 'that which you think is destruction is not destruction'.
But by saying: "I am doing this and therefore I will not do that", you are destroying something which should not be destroyed - the spirit of right understanding, or buddhi yoga.
The understander of the truth and the doer of the action, in our case, are complete and total strangers to each other.
Your understanding of the truth concerning life and the source of action is one thing, and the understanding from which action arises is quite another.
Therefore, there is this perpetual inner conflict, confusion, and disharmony within oneself, and therefore disharmony with the environment.
Here it is not a question of 'must I do this, or must I do something else?'
Explore the source of this action, which is buddhi, link that with clear understanding of what has to be done, and find out who is the doer of this action.
The unawakened intelligence has no ability to understand, but tremendous ability to misunderstand.
Our life is governed by mischief and misunderstanding, bound together.
If there is no misunderstanding, or if there is correct understanding of the truth, there is absolutely no loss in your life.
You are unaffected, whether your life is called gainful, a success or a failure.
In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm.
Even a little of this knowledge protects one from great fear. (2:40)
If you have understood this, it is gain for ever and ever.
You are freed from fear for all time to come, because from there on there is no loss.
What is the meaning of life?
To live.
Living means action, and this life of action can also be looked at from innumerable points of view, by numberless people.
You yourself can look at an action in a hundred thousand ways.
So, doing may have a thousand meanings.
But the only thing that it does not require is ambition, motivation.
Doing being in the present, that itself is the present from God.
Motivation implies linking this action with the thing called future - which does not exist!
If the present can be freed from an illusory future, it becomes the greatest present that you can give to the world, and to yourself.

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
1998 - 2017

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