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9. Doubtless Living
The fourth chapter closes with a most inspiring verse which could liberate you once for all:
Therefore, with the sword of the knowledge (of the self ), cut asunder the doubt of the self born of ignorance, residing in thy heart, and take refuge in yoga. Arise, O Arjuna. (4:42)
This is the supreme perfection of life.
You have to act.
Life means action, activity.
But that action must be flavoured with insight, with an enlightened vision which does not create a division (or, which does not have a division), in which insight is action, life.
Activity is life; and jnana - insight - reveals this truth, and therefore instantly frees action from desire and aversion: 'I do not like to do this'; 'I love to do this'.
In both cases your jnana is veiled; there is no insight.
If the awareness or understanding is constantly looking for the source of action without pretending to know what it is, it is possible to discover that action does not depend upon ambition.
Ambition is totally unnecessary for action.
Action happens, without ambition and without inhibition.
In the light of this understanding there is no doubt, no hesitation.
This is perhaps one of the main characteristics of enlightenment, which is confirmed by what Arjuna says at the end of the Bhagavad Gita:
All my doubts have vanished, my delusion is gone. I can see clearly that 'I' is not necessary for living. (18:73)
There is a very clear understanding or knowledge, 'I am not doing any of this'.
'I' is not necessary for this action, and therefore all these factors which are based on the 'I', on the ego - 'I like this, I do not like this', etc. - are totally unnecessary for life and action.
The very awareness of the source of action frees you instantly from likes and dislikes, because right there you see, without any doubt whatsoever, that your own private attractions and aversions have nothing to do with action.
In this insight (jnana), there is a clear unmistakable awareness which precludes all doubt and hesitation.
Everyone has an insight, but in some cases it is dirty.
It is not that the fool is devoid of insight, intelligence, but the medium is dirty.
So, the light that shines through seems to be dirty too.
The yogi also performs the same actions as you do, but only his body, mind, buddhi and senses are functioning.
What is not functioning is the perpetuating 'I'.
The experiencer, or the performer of actions arises and dies instantly.
The repetitive function is so fast that you think there is a continuity and install a thing called 'ego', as if it is a continuing factor.
It is an experiencer that arises with each experience and collapses instantly.
The illustration of the spark at the end of a rope is usually given.
When it is twirled, it creates the idea of a continuing circle, whereas what exists is nothing but one little spark.
So, what is absent here, is a continuing self-existent reality called the ego, which is very much alive in the stupid man, and totally absent in the enlightened yogi.
Why is there this action at all?
Krsna says in the sixth chapter:
Practise yoga for the purification of the self. (6:12)
There is energy in the body, there is restlessness in the mind - the mind is restlessness.
In order to work out that restlessness, we are to be active.
In order to purify the senses, the body, the mind, there is some sort of action, some sort of activity.
Action is nature's way of purifying itself.
That means that no action has any futuristic intention.
An action is there because ... there is neither appointment nor consequent disappointment.
Life flows without any difficulty whatsoever.
God's own nature keeps the entire universe vibrating, scintillating, but in that there is neither an action nor an actor.
The ego is seen to be non-existent, and therefore there is great peace within.
There is a non-movement of consciousness which co-exists with infinite movement, where the infinite diversity is realised at the same time, without the infinite militating against the diversity.
There is samam, the sort of sameness which is not the antithesis of dividedness.
Here and now you are free - not tomorrow, or after you die, but here and now.

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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