19. Glimpse of God-Love
The only person who is aware constantly that 'I exist' is yourself.
You do not know what that 'yourself' is, but you think it is the body or the personality.
So, even when you are not aware of your existence, 'I' exists, 'I' is the sole reality (more or less).
What is known as this 'I am' is not what you regard as 'me'.
'I am' is a fact of existence, but 'me' is nothing but a conglomeration of memory.
Where there is no memory, the 'me' does not exist, as in the case of the enlightened man.
Though his senses are very keen, he lives in this world as if he is blind, deaf and dumb.
His actions do not spring from memory.
Only when all memory has been suspended, does one have the sort of cosmic vision that is described in the eleventh chapter.
I know not the four quarters, nor do I find peace. Have mercy, O Lord of the gods, O abode of the universe. (11:25)
'I do not know which is east, which is west.'
Only the sense of 'I am' is there.
What is of consequence to the wise person is: how does this 'me' arise?
The beginning of conflict is the arising of the idea 'I am different from you'.
If you investigate this problem thoroughly, you realise that, once this dualistic idea has arisen, it seems to spread and envelop nearly everything, so that eventually you feel 'I am different, distinct and separate from the totality, from God, and God seems to exist only outside us'.
Therefore we fear God, feeling: 'God will punish me, God will reward me, God will deal with me.'
What arrogance!
If you have a cosmic vision, in that cosmic vision you find you are almost nothing.
You and I are totally non-existent as independent personalities.
How to reach this cosmic vision?
By not considering ourselves as something independent.
This must happen simultaneously at least at three levels.
That is what is called yoga, integration.
One: the I-me level.
Within each one of us, there seems to be some kind of an inner conflict between thinking, feeling and living.
When this inner conflict is there, your emotions lead you in one way, your mind leads you in another direction, and life is full of fear.
So, yoga is at first integration of these three: thought, emotion and life.
So, first there is the integration of 'I' and 'me'.
Secondly: there is the next integration: 'I' and 'you' - you meaning neighbour or anybody.
The third integration is of 'I' and 'he'- he meaning God or that.
Unless this integration is actually achieved, one does not have the cosmic vision, and unless one has the cosmic vision, one cannot have this total integration either.
So, the cosmic vision or integration arises simultaneously with the disintegration of the 'me'.
So, the penultimate step is not for 'me' to take.
Only he who practises total bhakti obtains this cosmic vision.
But, by single-minded devotion can I, of this form, be known and seen in reality and also entered into, O Arjuna. (11:54)
In the beginning, bhakti involves a sense of duality.
You are aware right now that you are independent of the totality, that when you are hungry, you are hungry, not another person.
This is where we start.
From there you look out and gradually begin to wonder...
'The Himalaya, the Ganga, the Agvattha tree, the images of God, a strong man, a beautiful face, a wealthy man, a prosperous person, a famous person - I did not create these - all that is somehow a manifestation of God.'
Then, slowly the faultfinding nature drops away, and when that goes, you begin to realise that there is something happening within you which is not the ego.
Then there is a recognition of the presence of God in and through your own faculties.
As this goes on, gradually you have a wonderful feeling, which is described in the twelfth chapter:
Those who, fixing their mind on me, worship me, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, these are the best in yoga in my opinion. (12:2)
Realise that it is impossible to isolate yourself from the omnipresence.
So, what do you do now?
"Push yourself into me" he says.
Gradually your awareness expands, and then you have a feeling that God is everywhere.
It is not 'he is in me', but 'I am in him' .
Then, whatever you see, whoever you see, is all God and God only.
To understand that, one has to live with a great master like Gurudev. and see how He handled this problem.
Gurudev could become angry - supreme love could also manifest annoyance.
Sage Vasistha calls such a person a mahatyagi, whose nature cannot be understood by the little human intelligence or intellect.
Having restrained all the senses, even-minded, everywhere intent on the welfare of all beings - verily they also come unto me only. (12:4)
What is the nature of that person who, as it were, has entered his consciousness in this cosmic being?
His senses are under control.
The 'me' has already been entered into God, so that he is virtuous without the need for a carrot and a stick, without threat or temptation, without fear.
He is unafraid, and yet he is pure.
Therefore this purity is natural.
This supreme devotee, or the bhakta, is totally involved in the welfare of all beings.
Can you be really and sincerely devoted to the welfare of all beings?
Is it possible for you even to conceive of a type of behaviour which is conducive to the welfare of all beings?
Go on doing whatever good you want to do, and as you keep on contemplating this, you realise that you cannot do this, only God can. Suddenly, one day, like a bolt from the blue, you realise that one thing can be done, and that is that any action that arises in the 'me' can be put away.
Any action that 'I' do must be partial.
The only time that you do not offend anybody at all, and perhaps you promote the welfare of all beings, is when you are fast asleep.
Why is it so?
Because you are totally unconscious of self or ego.
Is it possible to live such a life?
You can do all this, but as long as the body functions, there is a mind that is related to the body.
Awareness or consciousness, though cosmic, is somehow related to the body as long as it lasts, and that relation of the consciousness or awareness with the body is called mind.
So, as long as the body lasts, whatever be the state of the inner awakening (the awakening of the intelligence), it is still not out of the woods. The 'me' is still there.
You are still not out of this samsara.
When you are completely and totally dedicated to God, till the end of this physical existence or till the end of the personality, then it is up to God to grant you total freedom.
Till the end be careful - any time it is possible to slip.
Moksa is not your right, it is not the ego's prerogative, but is a blessing, a gift, a boon from God.
To knock is your job, to open is His.
One who is devoted to me thoughout his life in this warmer, him I liberate from samsara. (12:7)
Only that intelligence that understands this, is integrated, and totally in love with God.

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