Madras.ary .HINTS ON THE STUDY OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA ji'OU1' 0• Lectures tleliretred at the Thsrtiet It.1 the Theosophical Soc.'! at Ad. INDIA HOUSE 1925 . I)el'e'rnherr'. PUBLISHING MADRAS.jet. 1905 BY ANNIE BESANT ru-« Edition.t1er.' IfJ25 THEOSOPHICAL ADYAR. Anni.yar.


(~()NTENT8 LECTURE PAGE • • I. IV. II. III.8 Y oga ~h~stra . The Great 1Jnveiling . • • • 1 • • • • • • • • Methods of Yoga and Bhakti • Discrimination and Saer ifice • 32 58 9() .•-\.

tr: Edition: 1:'-106 I POR / ~J~h .-« ru-» EdiUv": Second Editif.r.

so that out of that music some from same and note may echo in the hearts that are gathered here. of the Bha[Java{~-Gitfi. more strongly than it is possible for anyone of you to feel. of its vast complexity. To speak of the Gitt. is to speak of the history of the. thoughts. may breathe the all-cornpelling music in the heart of speaker hearers alike.~"'IR8T LEUTU RE BRo'rHERS: In trying to speak to you on four successive mornings on the matter. and actions which makes up the evolution of humanity. world. but over all lands. I feel. And all that one can pray in taking up a task so far beyond one's powers is that that flute. all nations with one voice acclaim. whose music compelled melody even the very stones that heard it. to breathe over the lives that spring from those hearts something of the spirit embodied in the Gn« words. that music has gon~.. and in ever y . Not only in its own native land. Iny utter inadequacy for the task. of the web of desires. How great is the Song of the Lord. for the book is not simply the story of the teaching of Arjuna by Shrl Kr~hl)a-it is far more than that.

which is the outer reflection of docs not teach us by precept after precept. . both worthy of the profoundest But one. "fight. shows itself. Nature. and complex as the world is the Glta..2 country THE BHAGAVAD-Gi'fA. speaking of the by which He who necessity is embodied in all beings. exercising pedagogue.of the Divine study. and yet with a continual refrain. and would fain understand it. and so. much difficulty. speaking now of one method and then of a method apparently opposed. has awakened some echo in receptive hearts . by words easy to understand . way learn. where the method of teaching is of the Divine Teacher and not that of the there is much confusion. Deity. flying apparently from one subject to another. and almost vexation . spoken in these modern for the way . you notice that in the that Glta. complex and even confusing. pedagogue. as man in textbooks his memory his life. finds it-as indeed did the first hearerdifficult. days the study is a difficult Teacher is not the God does not teach written rather for a boy to than unfolding of the human teaches. from time to time. sometimes seeming to give counsel along one line· and then counsel of the along life that another." the life was loosened from many a form. And yet. can understand the complexity of the Gita can understand likewise the complexity of the world in which the Author of the Gita is the upholding and the sustaining life. many a one who reads it.

after that discourse. Ah no I It is not so. 1). but. therefore tell me with certainty the one way by which I may reach bliss" (iii.THE GREAT UNVEILING 3 in the heart and even on the lips of the learner. How often comes out the bitter. suppliant to Thee. it is the disciple who is not able to see by it. :Bow from the divine lips. reproachful cry for teaching clear. beautiful. words: "I ask Thee which may be the better-that tell me decisively. after two long discourses have been spoken. 2). during the earlier lessons. I am Thy disciple. You must recall shloka after shloka in which the confusion of Arjuna shows itself. to understand. in musical beauty. Again the Teacher speaks. Shloka after shloka. defini te and unmistakable. what the result on the mind of the listener? "With these perplexing words Thou only confusest my understanding.1 . the ideal disciple. does the pupil bitterly complain to the Teacher that he cannot understand. and the light is not given. 7). full of profoundest wisdom . and yet He cannot make him understand. It is not the Master who refuses the light. And the answer? A long discourse. sometimes in pleading. crying aloud for light to his Master. teach me" (ii. How strange 1 Here is Shrl Kr~hl}a teaching Arjuna. and again. How often. Here is the ideal pupil. eloquent. the same desperate cry: "Of the two which one is the better P That tell me conclusively" (v. For the . sometimes in almost petulant.

one letter. with Divine Those brothers. worse than stones. To understand the G1tlt you must live it. /pupil is needed as well as the teacher. in floods overpowering-wave after wave sweeps over us. until you live it in life. the pupil is eager for light.THE BHAGAV An-OITA . nay. but can the ocean empty itself into a tiny pail? What we see is the grudging. and the to him consists only of that which he assimilates. But of the Divine Wisdom you cannot learn one syllable. slowly the great meaning will dawn upon your . nay. You can learn all the outer things that man can teach by outer teaching. the receptive / mind as well as the wisdom that flows from the divine lips. Now this is the first great lesson of the Gita. praying for wisdom. Nay it comes. though even there the power of tho pupil must condition the instruction illumination the mind receives. and. as it almost seems to us. if it fall on ears that are deaf. as you 'learn to live it. if it fall on eyes that are blind to its radiance ~ Of what avail the melody of the most exquisite v1t}ll. lies with us and not who teach. and cannot hear? The difficulty. That the pupil must make himself. hut we are dull and bliud and senseless as the stones. ()f I ! what avail the white splendour of the SUIl. on the part of the 'I'oacher . They pour out floods or Iny Wisdom. longing for knowledge. and it does not come. for they answer to the melody of the flute. . and we answer not. and not only repeat it with the lips.

the man who reads.aiJ. fruit. fruit of knowledge is not the reading of the eye but the reading of the life. some of our Sha.THE GREA'f UNVEUJING 5 the living is intelligence. little quarter quarter be the we did and read. which read. and he reaps so much of the Each true reading marks a stage of human marks a point in human progrr. that mani- Now in this Bhagat. a quarter of a. is the profound unveiling of the mysteries And so. the fruit. It is of the words. and reads it in such a manner that it becomes part of his life. or a of the whole book itself.stras that if you read so much. evolution. and the man who sees. half a shloka. First the historical. a of the shloka. heart. in it. some will for the individual take up the Gitii and read it through. and the method of the connection it is well to understand. Gitft has found man has truly read it. but after all there is nothing. it is taught in Well. and say: "It is very beautiful. shloka. and know that in that man that embodiment. so that all around him may also read it in his life. such and such win Aye. not the mere repetition indwelling Spirit. distinct and yet closely connected the one with the other. it is the Inighty incarnate • in our hearts. . fests the fruit. accomplished possible only as. and the reading bears but hut you may say. a shloka.-Git(i there are two quite obvious meanings. but the reading that brings the fruits.s8." And others will and read. not know before. step by step.

and history is also the story of the evolution of a W orldLogos. those huge and bloody battles. surely they are all simple allegory. Indian~ as well as Europeans are apt to shrink from tho idea of historical truths being conveyed in much of the sacred literature. are repeated in the life-story of each individual JlvAtlnA. those enormous periods. seen from the true standpoint. The • . they are not history. is the perennial meaning. reflections of the larger history. . those long reigns of Kings. History. THE BHAGA VAD-Gi'l'A. who will rule over some world-system of the That is history. the salient points of which. repeated over and over again in each individual.6 Now. that which comes home to the hearts of you and me. as it is sometimes called. is the plan of the ruling Logos for the evolution of a future Logos. But what is history. and what is allegory? History is the working out of the plan of the Logos. and therefore full of profoundest interest and full of profoundest inner meaning. . His plan. specially in modern days when western thought is so much swaying and colouring the eastern mind. His scheme for evolving humanity . And when we say allegory we only mean a smaller history. a lesser history. meaning. that which is called the allegory. future. and is really thesame in miniature. manifested on all planes and visible to us on the physical. each individual embodied Spirit. the life-story of an evolving Logos in the working out of the plan of the ruling Logos.

can trace in their own unfolding the mighty unfolding of the· system in which a future Logos Himself is the Jlv~tnl!l. that saw in the little lives of men reflections of the greater Life that has the Universe for its expression. and he who understands either understands the twain. Nor should you wonder. for His hody.and that ruling Logos is the Supreme Self.THE GREAT UNVEILING 7 with the In the one. Logos Ishvara lives in His world. None. inasmuch as the history of the evolving individual is but a poor faint copy of the evolving of the future Logos. and you must have steadily and clearly in mind . for something of the richness of the treasure will thus escape us. now and again. therefore in the Scriptures there is ever what we call a double tneaningthat history which shews a greater Self evolving. and inasmuch as the lesser is the reflection of the greater. can read the pages of history with eyes that see. and the inner of allegorical the lesser meaning selves. with the Jlvl\tma. in that unfolding picture. no dream of the forefathers. no fancy of the ignorant generations of far-off antiquity. But. glimpses of things that. on a . in the other He lives in the individual and its vehicles man. nor be perplexed. are the one Life and the one Lord. save the wise.that it is no superstition of the ancients. when you catch. none. ill both. future and the world for His body. that We tells of the unfolding cannot afford to lose either meaning. save the wise.

smaller scale. He who thus reads the G7. and then it is the Great Unveiling.ta in human history can stand unshaken amid the crash of breaking wor Ids. that makes you understand the meaning and the purpose of human history. this morning. as an allegory. and that a myth is a cloudy something of a far-off individual. When you see the likeness. the reality. and to show how the Gita as history is the Great Unveiling. in yourselves. it is the minute that is the reflection of the Illighty. the story of individuals.-Gita. learn that what you call myth is the truth. in reading the Blta. with eyes that sec. and thus enables you to scan. individual And you can also read it for your own helping and encouraging and enlightening. are familiar instead of thinking in your own evolving. and that what you call history. . for it was that which removed the delusion of Arjuna and . to take these two meanings as our special study. And so. as is the modern fancy. the Inighty unfoJding of tho Supreme Life which causes the shaping of a Universe.qat'aq. the story of the unfolding Spirit withAnd I purpose. you can take it as history. learn that it is not the great that is moulded by the small . is' only a poor faint copy of that unfolding. which grows out of the history exaggerated and enlarged. and in race after race. the drawing away of the veil that covers the real scheme which history works out on the physical plane. the panoralna of the great unfolding of events in nation after nation.THE BHAGA VAD-GiTA .

u And then. as we shall see.THE ORE.{i'rata: mind is IUY "I From aID tho Teacher. may. And thus we luay learn to understand its meaning for ourselves in our own little cycle of human growth. was the preparation for the India of the present. He comes as the Logos of the system. 80 also is that true' which is elsewhere written in the MaJuihll. turning from that vaster plane. to seek its mean- ing as it touches the individual unfolding of the Spirit. " descends" is when we think of the Supreme as though far-off. when truly He is the all-pervasive Life in which we live. Lower Manas. we shall see what that has of teaching for U8.\T UNVEILING 9 • made him able to do his duty at Kurukshetra. true. to the outer eye only is it a coming down and descending-and such an AvatAra is Shrl Krshna." that standpoint see Shrl Kn~hl}a as the J agatgnru. what that means for us of individual illumination. the Logos of a in some physical form at some great crisis of evolution. Now. so that He as man. The AvatAra descends -unveils Himself would be a truer phrase. in human form. veiling Himself outwardly power. for just as history is true. so is allegory As the history. an Avata. the World-Guru. and Arjuna as the mind. and the preparation for the India of the future. shape the course of history with mighty as no lesser force might avail to . appearing Ishvara.ra is the world-system. taught by the Teacher. and the we shall pupil.

lnachan~lra had ruled over the land as the model of the Divine Kingship that guides. embracing the heights and depths of human thought. The great Ksha. it had again grown up. shapes. shape it. Into that India the new manifestation carne. had been proclaimed through the lips of the .10 l'RE BHAGAV AD-GITA . Avata.lna of the axe.strong and vigorous. the world-model. as the Ishvara of -our system : A vajara. But the Avat. Let us take the historical drama. Itft. the setting of the . It had there served as the model. tho Logos of the Spirit. the Self of whom the individual Spirit is a portion-an amsha. A religion. That was its function. Others had come.ra ParashurAma. a world-embracing religion.ra. and teaches an infant . this first offshoot of the great Aryan Race had settled in the northern parts of India. the Supreme Self. In that past of her story. Shrl lta. . of prosperity. then. able to teach the philosopher and the metaphysician in his secluded is also the lshvara of the human Spirit. as the lshvara of the human Spirit. and as we Ree Him in these two presentments.great teaching. That day had passed. the light shines out and we begin to mnderstand. for a nation. and many a conflict had taken place. also. feebler to rule and guide. I ndia had passed through a long cycle of greatness. .ttriya caste had been cut down almost to the root by the Avata.civilisation. able to teach the ryot in his field.

'lIRE GREAT UNVEILING 11 ~~hi8 of this first offshoot of the Race. an economic and social order. It had done its work. Fitness. and build them into their own civilisations. the stages of life. Right Order. wrought out the change. but also a polity. the successive Ashramas. in the individual life. thus marvellously planned. and grew weaker and weaker. in the long life of the individual. was now to come to the sacred Eastern Land. The word spoken out by that ancient model was the word I)harma-Duty. and .each caste-life of the embodied JlvAtlnA reproduced in its main principles. India. diviner: more wonderful. Thus perfectly thought out. was in the far-off future-which to . grander. it deteriorated. Gradually. like all things human. planned by the wisdom of a Manu. Another function. from which the younger nations of the world might take what parts they could. the Ashramas through which a man passed between birth and death. this infant civilisation was given to the Race as a world-model. in building up for the world a model. but also the shaping of the individual life on the wisest lines-the successive Varnas. that had been a world-model of ordered duty in her divinelymoulded people. and it was to prepare it for that function that Shrl Kr~hQ8. Not only -a religion. ruled at first by that MaQu Himself. to show what might be done where Wisdoln ruled and Love inspired. Not only a religion and a polity. were marked in the castes.

without tears. for the time. unswerving. No hands less wise and less loving than those of an Avatrt. enwrap Himself. will. and then. All His work. this race. into which He throws His matchless power. eyes was not distant.ra might start the Indian nation on the path. and by drinking to the very dregs the bitter cup of humiliation . No nation save by treading valley of the shadow of death. He may. tears of the yery heart. see her discrowned. changeless.12 His divine to the eternal THE BHAGA V AD-Gl'l'l . His And this dominatescarefullyHe never as you will see if you read His life-story dominates policy right through. more like to drops of blood? And yet. with her triple crown of spiritual know ledge. looking arou nd to-day. is guided by this far-sighted. for that Shrl Kr~hl}a came-to make it possible. and of prosperity unbounded. of intellectual power. He wills to shape this land. and see her Empress of the worlds of spirit and of mind. for what is distance Deity to whom past and future are but one present ?-to serve not as world-model but that luay the is the key to the later come to such high office as World-Saviour. The changeless will is there. . Who can look back to her as she existed in the splendour of her past. He never changes. the bitter path of humiliation this and of suffering. swerves. . to be a World-Saviour. and to make it inevitable. What does the shaping mean ? It means first humiliation after humiliation. in whatever veil of mAya. events.

Made manifest on earth to slay mankind 1 Not one of all these warriors Escapeth The hour death" had (xi. and modern India was born. the IsIA1D of the sword not of the pen. still more cruel the humiliation. inevitable. and his armies rolled back again to Greece. from Mongolia. steel. The forehead with the triple crown was cast down into the dust. the hard wall of the Lord of I . the swords of the Kshajranged for strife triyas shivered against each other in fratricidal strife. this.riya He slew them by their own sharp swords.. Alexander came. The struggle for a kingdom resulted in the dissolution of two kingdoms. holding the fiercest form of the faith of Islam. made it caste. The bodies of the Kshatp-iyas were left corpses on the plain of Kurukshetra. struck . laying desolate the world.. the mighty Lord of all. wrought of the swords of her Kshatt. 32). rolled over her and strove to overwhelm the faith of the Hin~ii people. when wave after wave of the northern Asian nations. and the Mughal throne was set up on the very site where . so that the destroying waves of invasion might sweep over her time after time.ove on Kurukshetra • which broke to-day into He pieces destiny possible we see. enriched with eastern thought. Still bitterer the passion.THE GREAT UNVEILING 13 made that vorv v nay. for He had conic as time of doom : " 'I'ime am I. from Turkestan. and swept over the northern lands.

and left in India some new thought. it fertilised the land. were strong enough to stem the flood. it did not really destroy it. you will see that as each wave of conquest swept over the land. derided and scorned. however heroic. Later still. Yudhishthira had reigned. Her embankments were gone. the waves of the ocean of invasion swept from coast to coast and submerged the whole. you have told only half the story of a World-Saviour.14 THE BHAGAVAD-GYTX . unblinded by the tears provoked by that story of the humiliation and the passion. some treasure to enrich her everg'rowing thought. her robes of beauty the spoil of the contemptuous soldiery. A destructive flood it seemed. as inevitably as day follows night. No warriors or armaments. she has hung there. And each wave. one European nation after another played with the dice of war and commerce for the ruling of India. of the crucifixion and the wounding. A fertilising flood it was known to be looked at from the inner side. some fresh idea. And if yon look with clear-eyed vision. on rolling back. Lifted high upon her cross of pain. these many hundred years. But when you have told of the humiliation and the passion. for after the passion comes the resurrection. It was the hour of her passion. jeered at and mocked. . dying. carried back with it something wherewith to fertilise its own land. of her crucifixion among the nations. when you looked at it from the outer side of invasion. like the Nile that floods Egypt 80 that.. .

and out of seeming evil. But herein lies for us another lesson :. how tactful His suggestions. the World-Saviour might arise glorious on the morning of resurrection. nay when all else had failed. instead of the light being shed on one nation only. and how with His matchless eloquence. with unswerving hands He guides His chosen through the valley of misery and the hell of humiliation. He brings unceasing good. for we observe that in carrying out the end. And because He loves. in order that He might I .THE GREAT UNVEILING 15· all the land seems drowned. in order that. even a partial unveiling of His form as Ishvara. and with unchanging will steadfastly carried out. purified by suffering and enriched by the experience gathered from InallY nations who carne to' mingle with her own. Shrl Kr~hl}a went to the Court of the King Dhrjurashtra. to shed new light over the whole world. how mild His words. before the battle-day dawned. Such was the meaning of the CODling of Shrl Kr~hl}a. how against his obstinacy matched His patience.ra guide the world. but on that flood the crops of the coming season depend. and is wise as well as loving. and against his mad folly His own sweet wisdom. For does not the Avata. He never forgot or failed to use the means which Itight Order demanded at the time. His golden tongue. and such the work that the Avatara saw before Him. He pleaded there for peace? You remember how He called Duryodhana. Do you remember how.

and was resolute to hring it about.. and that the success could not work itself out corr ectlv and . such endeavourings to bring about things which would have frustrated His own mission. that right action ought always to be performed.. . though He knew that war was inevitable and Himself willed that war. He knew that right action is not wrought by the wise for the immediate and apparent fruit of action. energies. as success may be counted by you and me. and He well knew that all those efforts of His were forces. He knew the secret of all action. necessary to bring about the . directed to noble ends. Such striving after the unattainable. So many efforts for peace. that efforts. stri ve to he uttermost to carry conviction to the hearts opposed to Him and bent on fatal war. He knew in His divino wisdom that the value of effort docs not lie in the immediate success.16 THE BHAGAVAD-GITX . if one of those efforts were lacking. and yet He knew that war was inevitable. But how necessary. How strange that seems to our purblind when eyes. none the less He knew that duty must be performed. perfectly. those efforts would fail in the purpORe of the moment. For although and how wise He knew that we begin to sec. even though inevitable failure waits to meet it. and it was His duty as patriot and as statesman to strive for peace with every effort and with every human power He possessed. but are an ever-accumulating future force. are never lost. if one of those struggles were not made.

and the white wings of peace will brood over a world at rest. the bird's-eye view having been taken. felt his heart fail him. when the day of battle dawned. relatives arrayed under hostile banners. Bhishma. when.H« worked. he would . reward for the slaying of a the loved ones? Would the crown sit soft upon the brow when the heart was broken? Nay. seated in the white-horsed chariot. as well it might. and so He strove. his old teachers. frustrated as they seemed to be at the time by the wilfulness of Duryodhana. and. confused as to <)harma. those efforts are part of the energies that are making for peace universal in the future. nay.THE GREAT UNVEILING 17 ultimate result in what is still to us the far-off futuro. when the need for the lessons of war will be over. Arjuna. And so . the shadow of the corning day. with true prevision. as this battle raged. What ought he to do? V"l s kingship sufficient. Friends on either side. in the empty Court. conqueror 2 he saw the heavy burden of misery awaiting as well as conquered. what heart would not fail in such a conflict of duty? There must be a battle within the heart to be fought out before the battle of Kurukshepra. Those efforts for peace made by 8hrt Kr~hl}a. with the Charioteer divine beside him. anti the rest. Now to the story. he was ill at case. ranged against him and guiding the enemy's arrns . Drona. despondent.

18 THE BRAGA VAD-GIT. that He understood he was engaged in a work which meant ruin for he knew. that India. "my Gurus how shall I slay? Better to cat the beggar's crust as exile. then. caste- confusion vision. a blinded only it did not see far enough. His words from the standpoint of a limited vision were truly "words of wisdom" (ii. My very food would taste of blood" (ii. Is it not true that dharma has deeayed? ] s it not true that we have now complete caste-confusion ? What has become of the <)harlna of caste? It has vanished. than to slay these Gurus high-luinded. that shadow descended in its obscurity and darkened his loving heart. .1. as Arjuna feared it would. 11). 4. his ideas of the gradual decay of dharma. distinctly. his ideas of caste-confusion. the wisdom of' the unilhiminated mind. which would inevitably follow the slaughter on Kurukshetra. these relatives beloved. History has justified them. here. were all correct. And his whole argum(\nt was a reasonable argument. his forebodings have proved true. the mightier India which of the ruin was the India was to be born of the birth-throes . seek in vain for the faces of his beloved kinsmen. . His vision was not. 5). though he could not see beyond of the moment. of worldly wisdom. He saw with true prevision that which was coming on the land. (Jharma has decaved . He saw the is immediate future clearly . theplayfellows of the dear childish days. right} y. "How shall I kill these?" he cried.

As youth. you remember how they met after that great tournament where Arjuna won Draupadt. Arjuna had been living with Shrt Kr~hQa since he was a youth. ignoble. What wonder that what marvel? How could we expect much as he was. Stand up. preparing him for the great part that in the struggle he was to play. Shake off this infamous. "7hy that strong rebuke? Because the plan. been round His There was a plan to chosen friend. be worked out. of an the struggle? Why then was he so sharply rebuked? If his prophecy were true. 2.THE GREAT UNVEILING 19 it should be so. if dharma was going to fade away. in which Arjnna was an actor. to . 3). for all these years. heaven-closing. Arjuna.'lhl}a had. the marvellous influence. and to see what was to be temporary the misery? result-the How could we expect him to see true result. wise in dim mists of the born out of this beyond his ken. heartedness. and was His dearest friend. on the field. o Arjuna? not Yield not to impotence. to pierce through the future. of Shrl Kr!. the scheme. if his prevision were correct. of lshvara must be carried out. how the influence. You remember stood as conqu eror how they grew up side by side. by those who are His agents in the work. and' castes would become confused. 0 Partha ! It paltry faint- doth befit thee. at whatever cost for the moment. why did these words of rebuke fall from the divine lips? "Whence hath this dejection befallen thee in this perilous strait. Parantapa " (ii.

He was under a delusion. amid the crash of a falling system. no resistance of his might avail to make it different from what it was. Those who understand the necessary progression of events.20 THE BHAGAVAD-GiTI . None the less is it true that in the crash of systems whose work is over. confused. perplexed. So that Arjuna had to do his duty. nothing that Arjuna could do would alter it. form the bridge over which the ignorant may walk in safety. which his eyeH were blind. it is well that it should bn shattered into pieces. he could not see. and shall continue to buil d in days to come. He was to understand that forms lose life. those who steadfastly perform the ~harma of the older forms into which they wer~ born. that only when the Spirit shapes for itself new forms can the larger unfolding take place. and that great plan that had to be worked out was changeless. . although they know them to be dying. and that when the work of the form is over. but that the Spirit dieth never. those who know that forms must break when the new forms are ready for birth. until the new are ready. He who hesitates to destroy the form when its work is done knows not the power of the Life that is the builder. it is those who perform the Sahajan Dharma+-the inborn duty-who serve as the bridge from the old order to the new. no matter what the . into a new system prepared by the Spirit that ever renews the life and builds new forms.

that V yAsa was called in. chosen friend of Shrt Krshna. whether Arjuna willed it. who bore not child to her own lord but to VyAsa. the fisherman's daughter. thus born. and so it is declared as to the great scheme: "The Lord dwelleth in the hearts of all beings. by His illusive Power causing all beings to revolve as . who were born of Knntt and MacJrl by the touch of Dcvas. And of these children. there was the mingling of strange and divers currents in the veins of this Arjuna. PIlI}du had 80 acted that he too was not the father of his so-called sons. or whether h(~willed it not. strangely enough. chosen tool for the work of transition. and From the grandmother. that his great-grandnJother was a fisher-maiden married to a King. the man who was chosen for this great duty-to be the bridge to the new order-was one in whose own family this very same fact of caste-confusion was very definitely manifested. For you will remember. if yon think back over the story of Arjuna. Thus alike from the great-grandlnother. 0 Arjuna. and . But I said that it was necessary that the divine plan of evolution should be carried out. no matter what the result. in order to raise up children to be the heirs of the monarch who was dead. and. On which facts the thoughtful luay fitly ponder. that that King's sons died childless. and from the mother. who was overshadowed by Devas.THE GREAT UNVEILING 21 outcome might be.

h a duty upon him which he was bound to discharge causes by virtue of the he had set going in the past. no power of change. The scheme oould not be changed for Arjuna's feelings. to no purpose thy determination. though mounted on a potter's wheel" (xviii.22 THE BHAGAVAD-GYTI . nor the vision that pierces the future to be taught to see aright by blinded eyes. which from delusion thou desirest not to do. I will not fight'. the hour had struck. 32). 61). Tho scheme is there. and this Shrl Kr~h te lls him in clear. The time " Time am I . 59.. that . 60). . with his past dharma behind him forcing him on. 0 son of Kuntt. wit. (xi. mounted on the potter's wheel. no hand may then avail to stay it . now and here present. even that helplessly thou shalt perform" (xviii. the scheme was not to be altered because Arjuna's heart might be broken in the carrying was ripe. the t inre for action had arrived. is turning the wheel of history. the time for thought was past. wisdom is not to be corrected by ignorance. Nay. t}a plain words: "Entrenched in egoism. thou thinkest. What does that mean? It means that in the great crisis of a nation's fate when the Lord. chosen by him in his past. . bound bv thine own duty~ born of thine own nature. that those who have chosen the leading parts by countless choices . there is no choice. nature will constrain thee. and it was too late to hesitate. he had not even the power to refuse to play his part. of it out.

the mighty inborn created by his past would carry him. against his present power heart. and that the Ksha ttriya blood which ran in the veins of Arjuna. told you in a few sentences. The plan of Ishvara indeed would be carried out. the opportunity is given you to co-operate. and helplessly he would fight. forced ill indeed would it be if. 58). The great plan you cannot change. "I will not fight.THE GREAT UNVEIJJING 23 in their them past. of the moment's feeling. the Lord mounted by the minute power of But for Arjuna. a force of karma behind which in their present bodies. the potter's wheel revolving would not there could not be checked Arjuna on Kurukshetra. helplessly into the struggle. are unable to resist." "If from egoism thou wilt not listen. But if he fought in that way. but. There is God's purpose and man's co-operation. of the against his present nature will. constrained by his own past. would carry him a wa y even again~t his present wish. have generated they. entrenched in that egoism stop. thou shalt be destroyed utterly" (xviii. if driven by your past to co-operation and resisting in the present by egoism. he still persisted. the power also of physical heredity from generations behind him who had done Kshattriya duty face to face with the Ioo. evil was it for him. by thinking yourself the actor instead of yielding yourself as a tool in the great Dramatiat's . into the midst of an opposing army. despite his present self.

. even while you are forced into outer obedience to the plan. their living Lord. It is as though He said: "I have in reality slain them. you shall be utterly destroyed. these obstructive objects must be swept away. They now form obstacles. He knows now that Shrt Kr~hl}a is Time-Tilne made manifest to destroy these peoples. They Bing themselves into My mouth (xi. The plan shall be triumphant. the tool. I will not do my duty. 33). for the good of all humanity. the sword. " therefore fight". 'and liberate these o. Thus to Arjuna was made the Great Unveiling. Contribute then to the great task. and slaying only means their liberation. He understands now what history means. 26-29). but the egoism in which you took refuge shall destroy you. I will not perform my task" . hindrances. and his attitude to the outer world is changed. "Therefore fight. for your present choice is then to fail in your duty. they come to Me. and the inner choice determines the future as the past choice the present. the outward cause" (xi. and the part in it of the individual selves who have made themselves worthy to co-operate with the mighty Lord. and their bodies perish that their true life may grow. you say: "I will not fight. their liberator. in spite of the unwilling performance. then." Just because the time has come when.24 THE BHAGAVA:p-G'i'fl hand. Death is their friend. '" Be thou. Dying. He realises the unchanging plan. and is not their foe.

then in every struggle we can throw ourselves on the right side. he throws himself joyfully at His feet to do according to His word. for the ·Warrior who really fights is doing all. my doubts have fled away." And 80 in all history. He had learnt the place of the plan and the place of the actor. their relations the one to the other. without fear. and fight without doubt. therefore fight. the meaning of the Life behind the veil and of the little lives on this side. of the Allloving. no longer he thought of personal ties. because the scheme is sure. of personal attachments. I have gained knowledge through Thy grace." "I will fight. Listen to his last words: "Destroyed is Iny delusion. seeing that. He realised that it was not he at all who wrought. and. by the shortest possible road. who works ever for the best. He had learnt what history means. no longer he thought of friends or enemies. Because I am 'I'ime. I am firm.THE GREAT UNVEILING 25 who are living Spirits. 0 Immutable One. while the obstructing bodies fall. their co-operation. without illusion. if we can learn the spirit of the Great Unveiling. because the end is certain. I will do according to Thy word" (xviii. he realises the one Lord who moves all. 73). and we are but the cells in . "Destroyed is my delusion. In the wonder of that world-unveiling teaching. save as the tool of the All-wise. if only we can see aright in the history around us as in the history of Arjuna on Kurukshejra ." Arjuna understood.

Necessary. nor that beyond. the lesson of the allegory? Conflict. lesson. nor happiness. apply it to the struggles of the nations that go on round you at the present moment. but you see the principle underlying the whole. between the Lower Manas. "Therefore fight '" is the constant refrain. and becomes a habitual atmosphere. The clearing away of illusion is necessary. I have no time to work it out more fully. . is there for the doubting self" (iv.. That is the historical lesson. with our wills harmonised into unity with His. and all things are very well planned. " The .26 THE BHAGAVAD-G"iTl .. and what is the other . Doubt saps virility. the most fatal enOlny of action. . the passional nature. Understand in order that you may act. and Kama. it breaks the healthy link between thought and action when it is undnly prolonged. headed by Duryodhana. the mind unfolding. and you will see everywhere the great Ava tdra guiding. That is the unveiling of history. in order that activity may not be paralysed by doubt. absolutely neces~ary. doubting self goeth to destruction. sym bolised by Arjuna. vampirises the mind. and are working towards a foreseen end. symbolised by the relatives. Look through the veil to the reality behind it. as a stage to knowledge. His body. Arjuna stands there as the Lower Manas. doubt. embodying all the ties of the past. nor this world. unilluminated. evidently. 40).

between the two always swaying backwards and forwards. is there for the doubting self. For the paralysing doubt prevents you from gaining the lessons which experience alone can teach you. but this argument also is admirable. First. always puzzled as to what was really the best. sees all the arguments on the other side and wants to begin over again to go through the whole. then to tho other. first to one side. questioning. this argument is very good. who. nor happiness. the moment a question is decided. We have here a type of Manas unilluminated.THE GREAT UNVEILING 27 doubtful. The urging to decisiveness comes out strongly in the words of the Teacher. always asking questiona. The hesitation comes out strongly in all the arguments of Arjuna. So much this way. . not understanding the answer. It is the exaggeration of the virtue of caution and prudence. and to that mind the Teacher spoke the words of wisdom just quoted: " Nor this world. first moving this way then the other. The stages through which Arjuna has to go we can recognise in our own experience. in his youth. nor that beyond. and when answered. than ever hesitate to act at all. makes no progress. the exaggeration of a virtue which becomes a vice. wavering. unsure of itself.' A self that is ever doubting and cannot make up his mind. and thus learn how to do better action in the future. Better act and make a blunder. but just as much on the other side.

to which the heart is drawn. but is confused with all the attractions around.ion of natural impulses. Then comes the vision of the Supreme. to follow it seems to slay all the joys of life. repellent. of doubt . a lad of the Court. the truth seems dry. Then comes the time of struggle belonging to the intermediate stages. And in the early days of evolution thus it is with humanity. is unsatisfying . wisely and necessarily subject. the mind pursues its course without much thought and without hesitation or doubt. Then comes the time of struggle. life itself. and by that exertion unfold its powers. confused as to which path is the better. because Manas is not yet ready to see the truth. Under the tutelage of the elders. when it is seen that the gratificat. nay. that the gratification of KAma brings misery as well as happiness. is subject to the elders of the household in all ear lier stages of his growth . and the answer only bewilders. and exert itself. The mind cries to the teacher for help. of misery. the mind is confused as to <Jharlna. there is no struggle. when it is seen that disappointments and frustrations tread on the heels of gratified desires. of KAlna. the time of warfare. and a longing arises to understand. and following without hesitation the impulses born of natural appetite and pleasures.28 THE BHAGA V A:p-Gl1-'A Arjuna. that which alone takes away the taste for the pleasures yielded . hard. for by suoh subjection alone can mind be induced to overcome its inertia.



by the objects around us; only when the Supreme is seen, when the fuller life SUffUSC8 the lesser, does the attractiveness of the life of the senses depart (ii, 59). Then Manas arises triumphant, illuminated, with the light of the Self, clear, radiant, decided; the delusion is destroyed, tho warrior is the conqueror over his foes, Parantapa, This is, in truth, the path of the warrior soul; this is, in truth, the way along which the warrior soul must go. Friends on both sides; for when, on the Kurukshetra of the soul, begins the battle which is to bring final victory, Illumination, union with the Supreme, never arc all the friends that grow out of the ties of tho past found on one side; friends are on both sides, warring the one against the other. There press in conflicting claims, conflicting duties, conflicting obligations of every sort; it is not enough to wish to do the right; it. is easy to act when yon know: the difficulty is to see the road amid the din and dust of the battle, and to have the sight keen enough to pierce the clouds and to see where the path of duty lies. Friends on both sides-how shall they be renounced? Nay, more than friends must the warrior soul find among his opponents. Teachers, Gurus, those to whom in the past the warrior had looked for help, for guidance-Bhlshma and Drona, types of those who help and guide and teach. The elders are against him; the friends and relations,






they also are against him; and those that are lesser also, the younger, criticising, ignorantly blaming and despising; the warrior soul has to stand alone, as Arjuna stood in the empty space between the armies. Alone, and yet not alone, for the Teacher was beside him, the divine Charioteer was there; the Self, awaiting recognition. Into the battle he must plunge alone; by his strong right arm, by his own unflinching will, by his own unwavering courage, that battIe must be fought to the bitter end. He feels himself isolated to the very uttermost power of isolation. And in that isolation, that loneliness, it is that he must find the Self. There, in the midst of the struggle, when he is alone, when all are against him, the glory of the Self shines forth upon him, and he knows verily that he is not alone; in spite of the wounds, the blood from which was blinding him, in spite of the dinted armour, the soiled garments, and the broken weapons, the warrior soul has stood undaunted to the end, knowing' not that the shield of his Teacher had been over him in the moment of the worst peril, knowing not that when there came against him the one missile that .no human strength could meet, his Teacher had turned it against His own bosom, and it had changed into a garland on the neck of the Charioteer. He knew not of the invisible buckler that had turned aside thestream of fire, which the Lord alone could face; be knew not, thought not, dreamed not, that the Royal




how should he 'The Self withsoul; that is


veiled in the Charioteer,

was shielding him ;

for had he felt that out must vanish,

in the struggle,

have learned to trust the Self within? before That is the experience of' every warrior

the Self within is realised,

the experience that everyone must pass through as he treads the path that leads to the Supreme; only in that



of desolation


Arjuna, turn

or any other, find -the Self.

Fear you not,

then, who would be warriors, aside; when youngers undaunted, You may that and, Self heart, for they make despise, many

when friends blame and equals scorn; go on

fear you not even when elders condemn, when blunders, unflinching, for the Self is within you. for the Self is emand remember those on very


belong to the body; suffering grosser more which manifest,

are of the body, not of the Spirit within, the the follows Go Blatter is burned up, and the fighting,


mistakes, struggling, you


full of courage, too shall dawn

with brave and undaunted the Self in His majesty,

and, at the end of your battle on Kurukshepra, shall be your delusion also, and you shall


see your Lord as He is.

8~ra. . as Yoga Sha.E In dealing with in so brief a 8pac~ it is necessary to sha 11be dealt with thoughts. that will lead us to a consideration of what is meant by yoga. its binding nature. the method of escape from its bonds by yoga. we shall have to ask what means are there within our reach by which yoga may be attained? But that latter part I shall leave for to-morrow and the next day. carefully select the points which to bring out of the book its central its main instructions. and into which. and to-day we shall deal only with the points I have just mentioned: the Gitlt. its binding force.SECOND BROTHERR: LECTUR. later on. the various details may be fitted in orderly fashion. what is meant by the yogt : and. and RO giVH a synthetic whole. as a Y oga which may remain in the mind. the nature of activity. a Scripture of Yoga. Under this will come the question of activity. To-day the part of the subject that I propose to lay before you is the nature of the Gila in its essence. a book 80 complicated as the Glt(i" of time as we have at our disposal. activity. by your own study.

The speaker is the Yogeshvara. and we read. U nless we can learn yoga from this volume. the nature of yoga.t (x. 0 Y ogt ? " that the Divine Form is revealed-a most significant fact as to the true meaning of yoga. and thus the prayer of the disciple to the Lord 3 . when all has been told. and therefore. this Scripture of Yoga is given by the Lord of Yoga Himself. "How may I know Thee. how he who listened to the whole dialogue says: "By the favour of VyAsa I listened to this secret and suprclne yoga. towards the close.ou». he is harmonissd by unfaltering yoga . from the Lord of Yoga. 7). Now. That is the thing he is seeking in order that hesitation and illusion may be cleared away. it will. So that we have here the teaching of yoga by Him who is Y ogeshvara. speaking before mine eyes" (xviii. 75). have failed in its purposH. " He who knows in essence that sovereignty and yoga of Mine. 18). As Yogi he is thinking of Him. Kr~hQa Himself. in its very essence. the Lord of Yoga. and it is in answer to the question: "How IDay 1 know Thee. the character of the yog1. a Yoga Shsstra. for us.33 the method of liberation by yoga. First of all let us realise very definitely that the Bhaqavad. 0 Yogi?" (x. 17) is the cry of Arjuna. is that which it is called at the end of each of the Adhyayas. And we find also that Arjuna puts forward the prayer in detail: "Tell me again of Thy yoga" (x. as we shall see a little later on.

20). It is that which in the G~ta we should learn. explaining the constitution of the worlds. or the teaching of yoga. . expounding the nature of the One and the Manifold. the unborn. into battling. the perpetual. the undying. to force him. if need be. again sounds out the refrain: "Therefore at all times think upon Me only. and the constant. the bidding Or it rna y be the teaching of of the disciple . and fight " (viii." It matters not what the line of argument may have been. and the argument is continually interspersed with the constant refrain: "Therefore fight. at the end of the philosophy. between two armies which are just going to engage in battle. as recounted within the covers of the Glta.34 THE BH AGAVA D-GI'l'A . devotion. 7). But how does this yoga. explaining the One Life that pervades everything. after that exposition:" Therefore fight " ( surrender all . that is the very essence of the G~ta. of Yoga is that he may realise the inner meaning of yoga. has but one motive : to give Arjuna heart and courage. to drive him into action. It may have been an argument exposing the nature of the Jlv~tnln. The whole object of everything said and done. that Hight of missiles is about to begin" despondency seizes on the heart of the heroic Arjuna. 18). It tnay have been a long philosophical argulnent. consort with what is the object of the Gita on the very face of it? }1'or you remember that the speaker and the pupil are standing in the midst. It is just as "the (i.

and very unexpected. 73). there is the urging to action of the most violent kind. the perfect yogi is to be trained. Fight I" (xi. 30). when He bids Arjuna: "Merge thy mind in Me. and he plunges into the fray. as though in fighting were embodied. 34:." rings out on th~ astonished ear.) And at the very there that Y ogeshvara appears in all the plenitude of His power and His magnificence. . 72. sacrifice to Me. Yoga is going to' be taught. . When the vision of the Divine Form is given: "Destroy them fearlessly. caused by unwisdorn. as we may say. this naturally seems . at every break of the argument and change of the subject. been destroyed?" (xviii. 38) is the command of the Lord of Yoga. the refrain: "Therefore fight. be My devotee. "Gird thee for the battle" (ii. Now. How could you have activity more active than the activity in the battle-fie1d of heroes ? Yet it is there that yoga is to be mastered.AS YOGA SHIs'. Everywhere in this Scripture of Yoga. Now that is very curious at first sight. engage in battle" (iii. 65.. it. the very quintessence of activity. and " with thy thoughts resting on the supreme Self . the din of it. the whirl of it.!'RA 35 actions to his Lord." still the recurring idea sounds out in the question: "Has thy delusion. the turmoil of it. and. the rush of it.) And the result of the whole is Arjuna's resolution to fight: "I will do according to Thy word" (xviii.

and most strange of all. in modern India. and the higher lesson of "action in inaction" (iv. . strange. there is an intermediate stage where action has become distasteful. under the sacred sky of India. great activity and the practice of yoga by no means go hand in hand. the Supreme. unless he Iive in some recess of the mighty Himalayas. and therefore worldly. working. as belonging to the world. that yoga means seclusion. Nay. I have here seen it put forward that no man can be a yogi. I have here seen men who claim to speak for Hindfl orthodoxy. as a rule. and to the modern mind in India. unless he live far apart from men in cave or jungle or desert. But the Lord of Yoga Himself sees yoga in a very different light from that which I have just described: "He that performeth such action as is . labouring.36 THE BHAGAVAD-G"jrl'A. and it is a fact-the reason for which • we shall see later-that in the course of evolution. between the activity born of desire for objects of the world and that noble and ceaseless activity which arises only out of the longing to co-operate with lshvara. I have heard it said that no man can be a YOgi who is in the midst of activity. inaction. Such apparently is the idea of many a modern Indian. silence. to the modern mind. 18) has not yet been learned by the pupil. perchance. who claim to defend it against the teaching of the Theosophist. or other mountain range. For. endeavouring to help all good things that are in the world.

as taught by the Lord of Yoga. That human evolution. he is a YOgI" (vi.stage in human progress. He goes even further than that. he is an ascetic. He veils Himself in these objects by ml1yA. activity.S'. We shall see presently that there is nothing in the whole world in which the Lord of the World is not embodied. Ishvara Himself is hidden within every object. the Creator of the world is the embodiment of Kriys. and He declares: " Yoga is skill in action" (ii. directed by right thought and right desire. from sitting in tho cave or jungle isolated from men. The world is full of desirable objects. in It is a. all else leads up to that. Brahms represents KriyB. yoga seems to have connoted something very very different from the modern idea of secluding yourself from men.AS Y OG A RHA. Man is here in the world for activity.. . filled by lshvara Himself with objects that awaken desire. that has its part. So that in the mind of the Lord of Yoga. and by this He awakens desire in these portions of Himself that He has placed here to grow from the divine seed into the divine Lord. 50). And this vast array of desirable things is placed in the world by Ishvara Himself. But yoga. its alluring power. giving to each object its attractive charm. has its place.fRA 37 duty. 1). and there is no object in being in the physical universe at all except for the development of right activity. independently of the fruit of action. Desire is awakened. is something different from that. the suprelne yoga. aronsed.

that we see in the men of the world around us. And if desire had not a part to play in human evolution. we find that thought is stimulated by desire and that all the vigorous thought-activities. stimulated. impelled by desire. had it been left to us to arrange-there must be some meaning in the presence of these objects which arouse desire. not only arouses attraction and repulsion in us. and thought is awakened within the Jlva. in order that these difficulties maybe either overclirn be d or evaded. and action comes after desire and after thought. Desire and thought make the motive and the guiding powers of ac tion. then should we have been born into a world which was a desert. but also they arouse thought in US. Unless lshvara has planned His universe very much amiss-and we often imagine in our wisdom that we could have planned it better. urged. for difficulties are placed between us and the objects of our desire. and the presence of these pain-giving objects also. That is a point on which. some meaning in these difficulties in appropriating them that make the exertion of· thought inevitable. where there was nothing to allure. are thought-activities motived by desire. strengthened. inevitable result.38 THE BHAGAVAD-GJTX . And as we trace the course of human evolution.tmd. by the presence of all these objects of desire. . But the presence of these pleasure-giving objects. for a . and is their natural. where there was no object to attract.

because as He tells us : " Action is superior to inaction" (iii. sacrifice ariseth out of action. everything that makes a world. you will come to realise that the whole thing is arranged in order that activity may. There is the chain of life. the tremendous force of the argument that lies therein. rain proceedeth from sacrifice. we pause that we may realise it. All depends upon action: "From food creatures become. from rain is the production of food. And thus thinking. stimulated and goaded into action. Know thou that from Brahma action groweth" (iii. the whole reproduction of beings. all that depends upon activity. food from rain. else the meaning of the on« will inevitably escape U8. But in order to understand the full scope of it.AS YOGA SH. yon must think over it step by step. Hence man is coaxed and allured.a upon action? The reason comes out very strongly when we turn to the third Adhyaya. sacrifice from action.!'RA 39 moment. action from Jshvara=-the whole life of the world. 14.S. 8). So that . rain from sacrifice.A. Creatures from food. detail after detail. 15). a manvanjara in contradistinction to a aroused. and we must keep that thought firmly in mind. where He speaks so much of action. the AdhyAya called "The Yoga of Action". until you learn the world as Yogcshvara has planned it. is born of action. Why is it that so much stress is laid by Shrl Kr~hJ}. and not as man fancies or imagines it ought to be.

. 25. serenity. 26).hl}a. "For the same Sage.40 THE BHAGAVAD-GITA. action is called the means" (vi. so that this teaching of the value of action goes on from step to step. let him render all action attractive" (iii." But does serenity mean inaction? On the contrary. The action of Ishvara Himself. But you say: "Finish the shloka. For it is declared: "As the ignorant act from attachment to action. 0 Bharata. 3). instead of as being the way thereto. and we find it said of the serene Sage: "Acting in harmony with Me. who is seeking yoga. desiring the welfare of the world. action cannot be quite so despicable a thing as the modern Indian is sometimes inclined to think. For is it not written that "For a Sage. but" as I just quoted. let him render all action attractive" (iii. when he is enthroned in yoga. so should the wise act without attachment. action. we read a little further. . instead of as its means. The reason why activity is necessary is given us very fully in this same Chapter.. and when they began to look ou action as a hindrance to spiritual life. serenity is called the means. Let no wise man unsettle the mind of ignorant people attached to action." He says as Shn Kre." Certainly. And it may be that we should rightly date the beginning of the decadence of India from the time when people lost sight of the right proportion between action and inaction. "acting in harmony with Me. on what does it rest? "There is nothing. 26) . serene action.

I ' should be the author of confusion of castes. it may be. 0 Partha. Right activity is co-operation with lshvara. if passivity be needful. as an enemy of man. in the course of the world's history. For if I mingled not ever in action. influenced by western thinking. Yon look on death as something sad and terrible. then to strike away the bodies ulay be the co-operation demanded. and to that all training. acting in harmony with the Will that works most wisely for tho supremest good. as a foe. men all around would follow My path. with the Logos of the universe. in truth. Yon think of death. inevitably. nor anything unattained that might be attained. If the time has come. Whatever may happen to be the duty of the moment. all effort. passivity. and should destroy these creatures" (iii. have to be rescued from the downward path by striking away the body. if fighting happens to be the business of the time. going along the path that is leading them downwards.AS YOGA SHAS'fRA 41 "in the three worlds. all right activity. when large numbers of men. that should be done by Me. that is the highest path. that is to be done. 0 son of PrthA. . These worlds would fall into ruin. unwearied. yet I mingle in action. is the root of. There. hopelessly distorted. must tend-co-operation with the divine Will. 22-24). fighting. in order that the living Spirit may shape for itself a better body ready for higher ends. if I did not perform action.

what more gracious messenger can love itself send him than death. of liberation. may be able also to bear to see it. is the lesson of the GitlL. therefore. when looked at from the other. it is he who opens the door of the prison-house. noble in many of his impulses" splendid in his courage. for many a one who may fall on the field of battle. and right activity is acting in harmony with the divine . death is the friend and not the foe of man. And when a man like Duryodhana. And. loving his people and intent on their welfare. when a man like that is going what we call hopelessly wrong. we. and the word of command comes: "Therefore fight. And if the heart of God can bear to see the suffering. Nay. not well thought out. and opposing the divine Will. 0 Arjuna. and be willing to co-operate with Him. then fighting is co-operation with Ishvara. but death has other aspects than that of man's foe. is a message of mercy. if wisdom and love declare that fighting is necessary for progress at the moment. And often death." Right activity. you begin to understand that even war. . is seen as the very gate·way of birth into life. my brothers. then. which looked at from one side is terrible. that strikes ~way the blundering body and unveils the eye of the Spirit? And when you realise that. who are so much more selfish. of rescue.42 THE BHAGAVAD-GiTA . where the Spirit within is chafing at the harriers imposed by a past not well lived. with all its horrors.

good. and that only. and perfect devotion. It may· be true. "'Vithout attachment. whatever our deeds may be. real paths.AS YOGA SBASTRA 43 Will. good action binds quite as much. the man who is acting in the right way. and they all lead up to. not for desire for movement. Now comes a great difficulty in the midst of all this teaching. this right activity. then. That is the only true definition of right activity. and it is true. What. We tie ourselves up. not from attachment to any object. the KariA. True. This thought seems to have surged up in Arjuna's mind when he was listening to this glorification of activity. or indifferent. is right activity. 19). the man who is perfectly devoted. that the JfiAnl. but. that all these men are working along real mArgas. Man is bound by action. or to any results of activity. devoted and active can carryon right activity. 9). Action forges bonds between us and the things to which the action is directed. towards the Supreme. and perfect unattachment to the fruits of action. and seeing this difficulty the Teacher declares: "The world is bound by action" (iii. wholly in harmony with the Wil1 that works for universal good. and only those who are wise. That. constantly perform action which is duty" (iii. not for fruit. is the difficulty? Because man is bound by action. the man who is perfectly wise. It is not only evil action that binds. bad. the Bhakta. For right activity perfect wisdom is needed. . and blend in.

. and the fruit of good action is happiness. He tells us also that "Man winneth Dot freedom from action by abstaining from activity" (iii. we are to throw ourselves into the life of the world. to be busy. " The world is bound by action. the Lord goes very much further than merely to say that man is bound by action. Can that be the outcome of the teaching of the Lord of Yoga ? No. in what kind of place are we? How is this problem to be solved? We are to be active. Here we have the first door of escape shut against us. that fain would soar. to work. No wonder that Arjuna was confused. as He goes on from one step to another in His argument. By inaction you cannot attain . 4). That is not the whole. The fruit of evil action is sorrow. The problem becomes more and more tangled as we go on. We do not get rid of action by remaining inactive: "N or by mere renunciation doth he rise to perfection" (iii. for not content with telling us that man is bound by action. by these continual bonds of activity which tie him down. . 4). He seems to make things a little hopeless for us." Then. binding the wings of the Spirit. and to work for the welfare of mankind. but good and evil actions equally bind the man. It is quite true that man is bound by action Nay. and all the time we are winding round our limbs chains that fetter. the fruit is different. The Teacher presses it still further and further. to make action attracti ve to others.44 THE BHAGA V An-Gi'!'l .

Shrt ~~ht. A gleam of light comes through the darkness. and I stopped when I read that " the "The world is bound bound being. he is told he cannot abstain from action. for helplessly is everyone driven to action by the qualities can embodied born of nature" (iii. When he acts. If action is performed as sacrifice. What a tangle of contradictions we seem to have got ourselves into. man verily reacheth the Supreme" (iii. be is told that action binds him. then it loses its binding power. Are we always of births and deaths? bound by bonds that activity? liberation to remain bound to this wheel Are we always to be slaves. Nay. 19). we have forged by our own Is there no freedom for man? Is there no for him? Is he always to be a hopelessly bonds that are born of further. that is shut out: "Nor can anyone. enslaved by the action? Nay. " for the sake of sacrifice. 9). unless performed for the sake of sacrifice" (iii.AS YOGA SHXSTRA 45 Even freedom. by action. As He says again indeed in another passage: " Nor beings completely relinquish action " (xviii. 5). remain really actionless. Kr~hl}a says . "By performing action without attachment. but you cannot really even be inactive. he is told even something· more. the lesson goes in the middle of the shloka world is bound by action". When he wishes to be free." if it is offered as sacrifice. even for an instant. What then is an unfortunate man to do? He is told he is not to be inactive. 11) .

nor is bound" (xviii. as did our forefathers in the olden time . 20). And again even something more: "Janaka and others.4:6 THE BHAGAVAD-G1T. in itself. "He who is free from the egoistic notion. performing action by the body alone. . he is not doing anything. having abandoned all greed.A . therefore do thou also perform action. 17). indeed. nor. but is. he slayeth not. with some of the modern teachings. free from the pairs of opposites. . . Whose works are all free from the moulding of desire. his mind and self controlled. our forefathers. ever seeking liberation. still something more than that. whose Reason is not affected. with reiteration: " Having thus known. though he slay these peoples. even while performing all action. Then there is some kind of action which not only does not bind. him the wise have called a Sage. and action in inaction. Hoping for naught. nowhere seeking refuge. very strongly. Having abandoned attachment to the fruit of action. he is wise among men. always content. with some which are regarded as authoritative." He says. be doth not commit sin. performed action. . as we well know. " attained to perfection by action" (iii. whose actions are burned up by the fire of wisdom. without envy. a means of liberation-again a thought which is not in harmony. And yet it is put very emphatically. Content with whatsoever he obtaineth without effort. he is harmonious. He who seeth inaction in action. although doing actions.

These apparent contradictions only merge into harmony when yoga is understood. with his thoughts established in wisdom. What then is yoga. There. Do not confuse yourself. How is this to be done? By yoga. there the teaching of the Lord of Yoga. By yoga. how to combine activity and freedom. 15. defines it. 18-23). that is the lesson we are now to learn. go. Of one with attachment dead. and that "how" is yoga.tii.ta ? It is better to take it first in the words of the G~tlt itself. and therefore we naturally ask: What is yoga? Who is the yogI? By what means is yoga to be obtained? We receive the revelation of what is yoga from the teaching of the very Lord of Yoga Himself. these are the lessons of the G. There in two words is the answer. harmonious.AS YOGA SHAS'rRA 47 balanced in success and failure. all action melts away" (iv. How action lnay be done and yet no bonds thereby be made. In no way else can it be done. according to the G. for the moment. for the moment. is the secret of the binding and the loosening. how to turn that which normall y binds into the very means of attaining liberation. then. how to make action a way to liberation. his works sacrifices. though acting he is not bound. Let your ordinary thoughts. How to do it.tii.. and we will define yoga as the G. with any ideas of yoga that you may have . how to act and not be bound.

in that sovereign yoga. movable and immovable. This is the ar~m:. its essence. What is it? "Behold. standing in one in the body of the God of Gods" (xi. he cannot reach yoga. divided into manifold parts. ~ A'Tif~. kingly knowledge. That. everything leads up to that. In the vision of the Divine Form. in shloka after .. "My Yoga. 8). It is its heart.. This is the qur q." He says. with aught else thou desirest to see. 2). or the very self. Nothing less. the Yoga of the Self (xi.:r:. to-day. 1). . The eleventh Adhyaya is the very heart of the Gita.48 THE BHAGA VAD-G"iTA " . to the words of the Lord of Yoga: "Here." "There PAl}dava beheld the whole universe. Listen. 7. 47). the inmost heart of yoga. He who has no idea of the meaning of that Adhyaya. kingly secret. rather. 1. behold the whole universe. This is the ~T~~r. and leads away from that. And in the Giea. But verily thou art not able to behold Me with these thine eyes. the one great liberating truth is told. its essence.kesha. that is yoga. Behold My sovereign Yoga" (xi. the divine eye I give unto thee. ~~. the whole universe standing in one in the divine Body. That is the supreme yogathe vision of the union of the many seen in the One.. standing in one in My body. previously caught up. wisdom and knowledge combined (ix. 13). the supreme Word (x. in which everything is included. 0 Guda. is the supreme word and the highest secret: the many established in the One.

this is insisted upon with reiteration ever reiterated.AS YOGA 8HAS'fRA 49 shloka. All the practices that lead to yoga. but also in so-called evil. all evol yes from Me. or be able to misunderstand it. have only this for result. if only the Self might be a little more in the good man than in tho bad. and also the end of all beings" (x. "I. and thus in Me" (iv. 29). that being "harmonised by yoga. " Not 80. all beings in th e Self. very. the beautiful. making no exceptions. so that no man may seek to escape it. not only the good. I am the beginning. and the harmonious. yoga is not for you. unperishing within the perishing-he who thus seeth. the supreme Lord. strongly." If only we might have a little more of the Self in the saint than in the sinner. "All evolves from Me "(x. seated in the hearts of all beings . "Seated equally in all beings." says the very Self Himself. "By this thou wilt see all beings without exception in the Self. which make a man harmonised by yoga. How strange that sounds to some ears. If you cannot see that. am the Self. in so-called good.kesha. And even then. the middle. 28. lest perchance the teaching might seem too strange. you are not ready for it. everywhere he seeth the same" (vi. Q Gu\la. 8). he seeth the Self abiding in all beings. in spite 4 . 35). It is put very. 20). and exception should. the happy. he seethe Seeing indeed everywhere the same Lord equally dwelling (xiii. 29). in all. "Everywhere the same.

The slothful natures too. that Self who dwells in each. are all from Me. with infinite patience while the wheels of the vehicle learn their right place in the scheme of things. in egoism. harmonious. 12). by our ignorance. for he is entrenched be so entrenched for the time. where it might be misunderstood or misconstrued. by our own passion. understanding at last the unity of all things. our folly. He declares : "The natures that are. we rna y transcend good as well as evil. While all things are dangerous to the ignorant. active. and not the One. that he is the actor. nothing is dangerous to the wise. some people say. The unity is not seen in the lower stages. slothful (~r~CIiT (~r aTi{~) these know as from Me" (vii. A hard doctrine. You cannot put the slothful apart on one side and say: The Self is not in you. and not unity. waiting . of the Lord. A dangerous doctrine. he made. We make things good or bad in relation to ourselves. He declares. other people say.50 THE BHAGAVAD-GITA . There is no eRcape. they see the manifold. they Body see the many. . All is part of the Supremo. in the nature of things. They see separateness. but not the standing in the one Each of them is sure that he is Right and well that he should himself and no one else. There is 110 good and no evil in essence. and we are here in order that. and rest finally in the Supreme. for only thus will be learned the lessons that are necessary for the manifestation of the Self in him. of all.

for I am all. 15). and in the mind also. and rivers. "The deluded do not perceive Him when He departoth or stayeth or enjoyeth. The ninth and . wisdom and memory. One thing after another He declares to be Himself: I am this. • enshrined. He enjoyeth the objects of the senses" (xv. then. and trees. the taste and the smell. 7). He enjoyeth the objects of the senses". the eye." when he takes it. Not only. I am that. transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit. . the wisdom-eyed . when He taketh a body " and when He abandoneth it . U-nflinchingly He declares once more. that" when the Lord taketh a body. the other. with that continual insistence of His. "When the Lord acquireth a body. " A portion of Mine own Self. Not many people nowadays would dare to say that great word. veiled in matter" (xv. draweth round itself the senses." it is written. "in the ear. for those who are wise enough to read and to understand: "I am seated in the hearts of all. swayed by the qualities. hut also the absence of wisdom and the absence of memory. and mountains. 8.tcnth Adhyayus of the Gitrt are spent in nothing but in leading Arjuna up to the vision of the Supreme.AS YOGA ~HA8'fRA 51 The great Lord of Yoga does not fear to put the truth. of which the mind is the sixth. I am all ~~his. I am. the Lord Himself. and animals. and their absence" (xv. 9). and from Me memory and wisdom. the touch.

as He is culled (xi.34). that after all. lives it. 39). the many seen in One. 0 Bharata " (xiii. So that these who torment even the outer body. Such the declaration over and over again in this Yoga Sh§. 6). The yogi is the man who." and declares of them: "Unintelligent. as to the man who is the yogI in the eyes ot the Lord of Yoga. seated in the inner body. . lest people should still think. "And whatsoever is the seed of all beings. that may exist bereft of Me" (x. The unity of all things. "As the one sun illumineth the whole earth. 36). and the origin of all to come" (x. and all-devouring Death am I. He declares: "I also am everlasting Time. He speaks of " men who perform severe austerities unenjoined by the Scriptures. "I am the galnbling of the cheat. (7). realising the unity. 10). Who then is the yOgi? He is the man who.52 THE BHAGAVAn-GITI . lives it. and the splendour of splendid things am I" (x. so the Lord of the Field ilhimineth the whole Field.stra. Such is yoga. Rising into higher and higher flights of allembracing Self-hood. moving or unmoving. 5. realising the Unity. He and he alone is the yogi. perceive" (xv. 0 Arjuna. . and Me also. 33. that am I. torment the Lord Himself who is seated within. tormenting the aggregated elements forming the body. something might be left outside Him. of yoga's very Self revealed. No one who does not . Nay. 34). know these demoniacal in their resolves" (xvii. nor is there aught.

the man who has reached . of the man which makes the yogi. in the Again we recall that phrase: full sense of the term. Shrt Kr~hl}a idea of a yogt: a YOgi is one who is yogI. It is not the outside garb YOgi. 1). unity is stable amid effects. (vi. seeth equality in everything. whether pleasant or painful. 32). be is considered a perfect yogi" (vi. independent] y of the fruit of action". . • he is an ascetic.A~ YOGA SHASTRA 53 thus realise and live it can be called a yogi. 48) . about tho yogi is of a not a man who wanders with the cloth but" he that perforrneth such action as is duty. not he that is without fire and without rites" (vi. 50). With care and elaboration works out this in the sixth AdhyAya. N ow the man who is the typical yogI is described in varied repetitions. He feels no attraction the senses. 4). or for actions" and renounces the making of plans: "When a man Feeleth no attachment either for objects of sense or for actions.. "He that performeth such action as is d uty . It is declared: only the skilful changing "Equilibrium is called yoga" he who sees the permanent in outer activities: (ii. and his characteristics arc clearly defined. He declares it is: "He who through the likeness of the Self. renouncing the formative yoga" will. then. He is of the various transitory " Yoga is skill in action" for the objects of (ii. he is a yogi. 0 Arjuna. 'Vhen he is said to be enthroned in He could define the perfect that perfection of unity which means triumph.

but what in your and your thoughts you are. since the Self behind all temperaments is one. . it is the attitude with which you face the it is not what you do. it is that which whether you be a yogI or not. and the Karta is he who follows the path of action. the three paths. the Tapasvt. world. greater than the men who are treading one or the other or the third of these three paths that lead to complete yoga. . The perfect yogI is greater than the men on anyone of the separated paths. each according to a temperament. to-morrow r next day. and the Kartll. to some extent. The yogI is greater than the men of action" (vi. the path of wisdom. He has . 46). in perfect equilibrium. The JiiAnl is he who follows the path of wisdom. the path of devotion and the path of activity. contained in the sixth Adhya.56 activities. the paths which are thought to be three but which blend into one. the Bhakta or Tapasvl is he who follows the path of devotion. trace these paths. for he sums up their separate characteristics all within himself. when He summed up this portion of His teaching on yoga. and is none in particular because he is all together. You know that three are spoken of. greater than the JiHlnl. he is thought to be greater than even the wise. feelings determines THE BHAGAVAD-Gi'1'1. But what did Shrl Kr~hl}a say of these men.ya? He said: "The yogI is greater than the ascetics. shall and the On three paths they travel who seek yoga.

46). or devoted or active. active and devoted. right desire. "Therefore become thou a yogt. . he has summed them up in himself. and having thus become perfectly wise. 0 Arjuna " (vi. he is greater than the predominantly wise.AS YOGA SHASl'RA 57 learned right thinking. and right activity.

I think. Hence we find him putting that celebrated question. are carried on. stable thing centre. that it consisted of the unity. N ow as this difficult equilibrium. to his unfortunate self. stable on the activities terribly in the realising and well-equilibrated rock of the unity. as though this were special some peculiarity of his own. by each individual aspirant. of the the nature. thing. and this and for to-morrow We noticed. and that is our special subject for to-day also. that we considered yesterday of yoga.THIRD LECTURE BROTHERS: You will remember the essence. the apparent impossibility of remaining quiet in the midst of the whir 1. it is no wonder that disciple Arjuna was this fact of one of the very first questions that arose in the eager mind of the listening the difficulty of attaining such a centre. How is yoga to be attained? so that it was a very The yogt stands from that all his is a in studying its essence. But I spoke also of the means of reaching yoga as one of the subjects Gita. to reach. which is repeated. which made the path for him than for any of his fellows more difficult .

34). Yoga is hard to attain. Each one of us knows it to be true that the mind is difficult to bend. strong and difficult to bend. and He gives two words which are to guide the aspirant: constant practice and dispassion. and that running . the more vigorous appears the mind in its restless plunging. 35. no possibility of equilibrium. and the more we try to restrain it. I deem it as hard to curb as the wind" (vi. That is the constantly reiterated answer of the Teacher of Yoga to this experience of the disciple constantly repeated. 0 Kr~hl)a . but it may be curbed by constant practice and by dispassion. The answer comes promptly: '" Without doubt. 0 Madhusu<)ana. yet the Lord of Yoga declares that it is possible to attain equanimity. because for thousands upon thousands and thousands of years the mind has been running out in every direction. the mind is hard to curb and restless. owing to restlessness. 26). methinks. by a self that is uncontrolled. let him bring it under the control of the Self" (vi. reining it in. for the mind is verily restless. I see not a stable foundation for it. but by the Self-controlled it is attainable by properly directed energy" (vi. 0 mighty-armed. 33. so often. hard to restrain. and without that. 36).METHODS OF YOGA 59 "This yoga which Thou hast declared to be by equanimity. and naturally so. it is impetuous. You Inay remember a previous shloka in which He had said: "As often as the wavering and unsteady mind gocth forth. That is " constant practice" .

But just because it is according to the law. necossary to carry the man on to a stage whence he can begin to work for equanimity. then there would be no certainty of success.60 THE BHAGAVAD-GI'fA. Where the mind is in a low stage of development. over and over again with untiring patience. sleeping. that unconquerable perseverance with which year after year. the reining of it in and placing it within the Self. out of the mind is the mark of its development up to a certain stage. for you might constantly rein it in without result. he will make the same experiment until the ultimate result is certain. that same magnificent patience is demanded from the would-be scientist in yoga. No progress is possible except by the going out of the mind. within the man. If it were not according to the Jaw. save when driven outwards by some potent physical craving. Now the means for attaining this are not exactly the same . that is the first step. Let the would-be yogI copy the magnificent patience which in the West is the characteristic of the scientist. and habit builds character. it is certain. but as it is the law that practice makes habit. for yoga is verily a science and must be followed according to the law. and this will become the fixed stability of character . Constant practice then. you may be sure that constant practice will gradually lead to the habit of equanimity. and this restless activity of the mind is necessary for evolution. and no doubts remain. . it rests indifferent. with endless perseverance.

how perfectly is each adapted to its special end. and hence we find Shrl Krt'hl)a speaking of different methods. he travels. thou shalt come unto Me" (ix. and we shall find. as they are often called. not dividing them very sharply the one from the other. There is the Yoga of Discrimination-the yoga of know ledge: "I give the yoga of discrimination by which they come unto Me" (x. and how. very rapidly sometimes from the one to the other. he reaches the same goal. passing. 28).METHODS OF YOGA 61 for every man. 10). There is the Yoga of Sacrifice-the yoga of action: "That of yoga by action. the means are entitled yoga as also the end. the man finds that all the three have been acquired by him. as was said with respect to the SAmkhya and the Yoga paths-only " Children. in fact. There is the Yoga of Ronunciation-e-the renunciation of desire: "harlnonised by the yoga of renunciation. These three are definitely named. 3). speak of the SQmkhya and the Yoga as different. yoga. the very next of the other. he who is . reaching that special end. in a secondary sense. so that it needs a very careful study and a very clear insight in order that you Inay understand the direction given. Only children. The three chief means of. not Sages. yoga are also called. and that along whichever of these three paths. or paths to. as we examine them. and put each in its proper place. These are the three means. One shloka perhaps speaks of the one. of the yogis" (iii.

and these two primary paths are necessarily trodden by all mankind in the long course of evolution. composed of two arcs. of which may be used the phrase of Shrl Kr~ht}a : "These are thought to be the world's everlasting paths. On the Pravrtti MArga the man is born again and again. the well-known Pravrtti and Nivrtti Mnrgas. not the sense in which Ho used the words. the path of forthgoing and the path of return. on the . he is coming home. 4). 26). The wise know the three paths to be one. placed upon each may differ. . duly established in one obtaineth the fruits of both" (v. First. although the label. by the other he who returneth again" (viii.62 THE BHAGAV AD-GITA . H. though home may yet lie far ahead. since a man may be on the Nivrtti MArga for many lives. P. the descending and the ascending. and returneth no more. of course. ere he treads the final stage of it. brought to birth by desire. and is not literally true of the Pravrtti and Nivrtti MBrgas. every human being is travelling along one or other of these two paths. by the one he goeth who returneth not. but on it he is no longer going out. and born into the place suitable for the fulfil- ment of his desires. of which Shrt Kr~hQa is speaking. Blavatsky has laid continual stress on this "descent of the Spirit into Matter. for reasons that we shall see in a moment. This is." and the subsequent ascent. consider the cycle of evolution. and each birth forges new links in the lengthening chain which binds him.

blinded. and its functions shew increasing specialisation. touch. and constantly endeavours to appropriate matter and to hold it for using. the massive acute. by the use of these organs. the path of return. On the Pravrtt. At last satiety begins to replace craving. They are useless. and slowly.METHODS OF YOGA 63 Nivrtti MArga the man is born for the payment of the debts incurred by his past. it gradually appropriates more and more intelligently. sensations afford materials for cognitions. consciousness is dominated. becomes sight. and shape out organs for their own fuller expression. The man enters definitely on the Nivrtti MArga. taste. the functions become more clearly marked. smell. All this is necessary for its sovereignty over matter. . and each birth breaks some link of the shortening chain which binds him. and all the instructions in the GliA are for the consciousness on that path. consciousness begins to turn inward. the cloudy becomes defined. the vague "sensing" of the external world. by matter. as it becomes more familiar with its surroundings.i MArga. and exercises more and more its selective powers. with many relapses into forthgoing. these functions slowly manipulate matter. and a decreasing interest in the Not-Self permits the growth of an increasing interest in the Self. in the earlier stages. and thus it treads the path of forthgoing. hearing. and consciousness unfolds. through experiences in matter it differentiates its own capacities.

JfiAnam. in which dominates one of the three aspects of consciousness. JnAnam and Ichohha-s-the three aspects. action. how when SaguT)a Brahman is spoken of. . On each of these arcs. at this stage of evolution. or gUQa.64 THE BHAGAVAD-GITl. These two arcs of the circle of evolution give us the first main division of mankind into two great classes. will with rhythm. those who are differentiating themselves and those who are unifying themselves. we J This is not the place to give a long explanation of the . to the Theosophioal . mobility and inertia. or functions of conseiousness. and Tamas-e-wisdom. these qualities. The first includes the vast. This line of thought carries us into that region of triplicity which is marked in our universe. reflected in human consciousness. . are Kriya. as given in the popular phraseology.' If instead of studying consciousness. These are. inappropriate. each distinguished by its temperament. consists only of the few. the second. By the word u temperament" I mean a type including an indefinite number of varieties.. why" of the transpoaitiona of the members of the triplets. those who are going forth and those who are returning. accompanied by its corresponding quality of matter. He is declared to be Sachchidananda . You know how everywhere the triple nature of consciousness is recognised. three sub-classes are seen.. the overwhelming majority. Rajas. KriyA and Ichehha with Sattva. even harmful. as you well know. for one who is still on the path of forthgoing.

Rajas. and one tAmasic. and bodies. and Tamas. and we speak of them as corresponding to the three gUl}. There is no atom of Prakr ti which has not present in it always the three gUl}aS. But when you think of combinations. only temporarily hidden by its predominance. inseparable and inseparate. Everywhere we see that triplicity. for every atom contains the three equally. J !. S\/R Reflectionin matter-nplidhi.METHODH OF YOGA 65 study the upAdhis. and wherever one function is specially seen. thus holding a secondary place.\~rodllction in human coD8cionsne88-Jivatma. for unity underlies the triplicity.asof Prakrti-Sattva.. the letters are the initials of the quaLities: A cDs I Manifestation of Logoi. ever connected with it. T 5 . the same triplicity presents itself. it must be remembered that the other two are present. but we see more than triplicity and must recognise that more as well. and one rAjasic. You cannot say that one atom is sAttvic. when you think of molecules. then by the relative arrangement of the atoms. tissues. or the relative student the following diagram will suffice. organs.

so that you may call the combination by the name of one of the three. The oneness must never be forgotten. and can be called out by appropriate stimuli. You all know that the magnet has positive and negative poles. . and where the dominant note is tAmasic. where the nature is said to be sa.66 THE BHAGAVAD-GC'l'A. May I.ttvic. and where the rAjasic dominates. for a moment. using the analogy of the magnet. But you must never forget. there the sa. Is it then that all the positive magnetism is at one end and all the negative at the . and are capable of being evoked.ttvic and rajasic are also pre sent. there the rAjasic and ta. you must not be deluded by the triplicity. A Ithough for the moment less prominent. Nowhere do we get in the manifold a thing which is absolutely pure. everything is al ways mixed. and that along the central part of the magnet very little magnetism shows. they are none the less there. .rnasic. that rAjasic and tllmasic elements are also present therein. put it in a materialistic way. arrangement of the molecules. and hence in manifestation there is multiplicity. and say: the combination is sdttvic.masic elements are also prescnt. when you speak of the combination as sAttvic. so that it scarcely attracts or repels in the middle. all is present everywhere. and can be similarly stimulated into activity. or ta. there are also the sllttvic and the iAmasic. one quality may stand out dominantly. but there is partial manifestation. r!jasic.

but in the middle. as in the seed are infolded all the possibilities of the tree that will grow therefrom. And very beautiful are the analogies in nature that you may see. the positive electricity is as it were outside. circling round and round the molecules. has within himself all possibilities of Divinity. one or the other dominating in the way that I indicated. the negative electricity is outside. or rather nnfoldment. although not manifested. the JivAtlnA. while at each pole there is an uncounteraeted current. at the positive pole. all together are infolded. but they are folded inwards.rows downward. but only a transitory appearance produced by arrangement of currents. hence at each pole a magnetic current naturally appears. Similarly the three aspects of consciousness are present in every individual. that fragment of the Self. are present within. for you may take a seed and.other pole. cutting it carefully. the positive and the negative currents so run as to counteract each other. and there is none in the middle ? Not at all . and thus appears the variety which we think to be separation. the . and at the . according to an explanatory hypothesis. may see folded within it the three parts of the plant that shall be-the root that g. Coming along the Pravrtti Mdrga. always the current is there. but which is not really separation at all. the three aspects of consciousness are called out into vivid growth.METHODS OF YOGA 67 other.

by their collisions and separations may bring about the evolution of form and the unfolding of jlVa. is repeated over and over again in the physical reflection. in all other cases of embryonic growth. that way of nature. as the result of the labour of the We find then that the world is crowded with objects. Stones and trees. or aspects. that enters upon the Pravrtti MArga. the plant in miniature is there. dominated by the seed of life which has come from Ishvara. of consciousness present. the world exists. the leaves that spread upon either side. in turn.tmlls unfolding within it. and every detail of the world is planned with nicest care and finest wisdom. attracting and repelling each other. every object. of folding together within that which has to be unfolded in the course of evolution. the three functions. and so. full glory.tmic powers. and itself receives a stimulus from others. Thus we have here in each Jlva.tlnA. . to be brought into functional activity. stem that grows upward. animals and men. It exists only for the sake of the Jlva. in order that these divine powers may be drawn out of their embryonic condition and manifested in their . cJevas . and all have to be made active. In order that that filay be.68 THE BHAGAVAD-~Tl . for the unfolding of the Self within all. universe. to be manifested. is a stimulus to the evolution of others. in order that those objects. a wonderful microcosm of the future macrocosm of the tree.

strengthened and unfolded. the world is filled with desirable and repulsive objects. the great type of Prakrji. IchchhA is the change within consciousness. a continual interaction. Ichchha must be called out by the presence of desirable objects on every side. by which this aspect of consciousness shall be stimulated. it is not yet Jf1Anam in the higher sense. a perpetual mutual Inodelling and influencing. so that. they are all affecting each other and being affected by each other. is the one in whose hands lies the treasure of desirable things. The giver of the objects of desire. and on that the progress of the unfolding depends. the tendency to impel towards the objects of desire.METHODS OF YOGA 69 and asuras. that Desire is the servant. going out after them. the devotee of Wisdom. and JiiAnam is that which mirrors within itself the . it is still in its lower manifestation. In order to awaken that aspect of consciousness that is called Ichchha. the power to affect the external world. And lastly. there must be evolved also the Kriyl aspect. activity. But the aspect also of JfiQnaln must be called out. Consort of ViRhl}u. That will be stimulated into activity by the cravings of desire. and its mighty energy within consciousness may be awakened. Forget not that Lakshml is the Consort of Vishnu. Shrl Lakshmt. by the longing for desirable objects. it may gradually become potent. And in all its earlier unfoldings it will not be the lord of desires but their servant.

coma.rga. is Durga said to change with Her attitude. and all three are wanted that consciousness may become perfectly manifest.>-Gi'f1 objects. when it has been unfolded to its full power. equilibrium. There desire is very good. and all the strength which has been gained in the lower world changes its direction and goes forth' towards the Supreme. the higher is peace. becoming the higher by changing its attitude. Fundamentally each remains the same. the lower Tamas is sloth. to seize. to grasp. is Mahl\Qeva. without desire. turned towards Him. There are the higher and the lower poles of matter. lethargy. stability. turned away from Her Lord. have a lower and Ii higher.1ata. She is one with Him. no progress. the inertia of matter corresponds with the absolu te quietness. the peace. Moreover. Without desire. and KriyA is that which goes forth to obtain. She is Prakrti . Interesting to notice that Ichchha bas as its special correlation in the world of matter the TAmaRa gUQR. each of these has two aspects-a higher and a lower. but the manifestation of each changes according to the direction of the path. in the l)evi-Bhaga'I. of th~ Supreme. The gUI}QS. like the aspects of consciousness. belonging respectively to the Pravrtti and the Nivrtti MArgas. in . Pause then for a mornent on the Pravrt.ti Ma.70 THE BHAGAVAJ. Thus. quiescence. In the higher a perfect stability. And we shall see presently that the change consists in the lower.

there is no hope of its realising the nature of that manifold. Not too soon must that lower aspect of desire be renounced. desire awakens.METHODS OF YOGA 71 the lower a moveless inertia. that separates. that divides. a stage of . The man of the world. In the forthgoing path that inertia has to be overcome. the idea of difference. and 80 in science. if too soon it be renounced. science is. the more thoroughly does it begin to understand. sltould he full of desires. The more perfectly that aspect of consciousness discriminates. takes on the form of Vijlla. the 'fAmasa quality reasserts itself and lethargy takes the place of activity. which is wisdom. which is the expression of this lower aspect of Ji'iAnam. discriminative knowledge. And so also with the other aspects of consciousness. and overcomes sloth. above all. separates. For. and classifies. the worldly man in the full sense of the term. and it is overcome by arousing in consciousness attraction to and repulsion from desirable and repellent objects. and then the idea of classification.nam. and passionate longing conquers the obstacle placed in its way by the inertia of matter. and until this function of consciousness has mirrored the manifold. progress is stopped. If too soon it be given up. The know ledge of the separated must precede the knowledge of the One. and of its seeing through the manifold to the Unity that underlies. It is well that the aspect of JooAnam. the lower pole of tTnAnam.

from joy to sorrow. and the idea of colour could not arise. you cannot know the One. activity. Hence this scientific stage. were it not for its other aspect. One colour only would be no colour. and in that the possibility of transcending both. Only when the differences of colour appear is the colour-sense evolved. that presently will come. for only by the change from pleasure to pain. only when there is the movement of wind. rushing here and there in continual hurry and continual turmoil. the worry -it all means growth. . making the mind restless. you are not conscious there is air. Kriya. making desire restless. The third aspect of consciousness. is one which must be worked through on the Pravrtti MArga. suffering. Happiness could not be felt.72 THE BHAGAVAD-GITI . and the more perfectly it is developed. If you are surrounded by moveless air. do you evolve the knowledge of either. the more ready will consciousness be for the great change of direction. Oneness makes no impression upon the consciousness until difference has aroused the consciousness into awareness of that which is not itself. the whirl. and making the body restless. The rush. that also must be brought out. unification. Time enough to begin to . do you know that you are surrounded by the ocean of the atmosphere. It is all very good. Until you know the different. for you would see nothing else. this lower pole of JftAnam. stimulated in every direction.

and though the bullock-drawn carts which bring and throw down the bricks are not very beautiful and attractive. has to run so great of walking. but everything in its place and its order. for the building of the bricks into the form of some beautiful edifice. labours of the fitness has he for the strenuous . If you want to build a house. what The man who goes to sleep every moment. that sweep him away and carry him off. the man whose body is full of activity.METHODS OF YOGA 73 to regulate. regulate. The man who is bursting with desires. greater the hope for the man. if it wants to move. classifying. I don't say that such a man is attractive for those who see only the outer side of the qualities. and we will come to the other side in a moment. for there is nothing to control. quick and restless. the man in whom something is unfolded. and in whom therefore there is something upon which to work. is the necessity for motion. observing and tabulating. making inductions and deductions. instead which. examining. the Now. that is the DIan you can make something of in the future. when you have got something until the energy is there. they are all necessary for the work of the architect. you first want bricks. but he is the man with possibilities. the stronger the manifestation of the aspects and the qualities. I know that that is not the way in which the subject is generally put. no useful control is possible. the man whose mind is very active.

and although his object be a very poor one.74 higher path? designed all THE BHAGA VAD-GiT. right to hold . . Believe me. a new tendency . that seeks not rest from labour. by these the consciousness is unfolded. when the object is changed from an ignoble to a nohle one. by these the organisation is shaped. it is out of the very men who have trodden the Pravrtti MBrga so eagerly that those who are to tread the Nivrtti MBrga first will be found. which are needed for the future purposes of the J lvAtmA. will make the world. the man who has piled the destruction up millions upon millions of coins by of countless homes. right to appropriate. . if it were not the best way to the goal. Kr~hl}a speaks of men who is worship for the sake of reward. all these are the valuable efforts of consciousness on the Pravrtti MArga. Even if you take one of the most unlovely products of modern civilisation. that man has developed an activity that knows not weariness. It is right to grasp. for Love and Wisdom guide the Universe. yet in pursuing it he has developed qualities which. We find that Shrt of him a mighty power in But now let us see how the change is brought about. Ishvara would not have this turmoil. that man has developed concentration of mind. by the impoverish- ment of countless families. you find that that man has developed power of will. by these the bodies are developed.A. by these the vehicles are fabricated.

so often mentioned. lordship. activity is stimulated by the <)harma of accumulating the objects of desire. dominated by Ichchha. activity is stimulated by the <Jharma of splendour. In the Kshattriya. dominated by Jiinnam. and prescribe many and various ceremonies for the attainment of pleasure and lordship" (ii. not as we fancy that they ought to be. yet we can only take men as they are. In the Vaishya. performed under the stimulus of desire to enjoy sovereignty. It is said. In a Brahmaua. the desire for the joys of heaven. the men in each are moved by desire. sovereignty. at the stage we are considering. These are the ceremonies.METHODS OF YOGA 75 implanted in the human soul by this worship. pleasure. it is said: "The knowers of the three-the three Vec)as-the . dominated by KriyA. hand in hand with the performance of duty. with heaven for goal. in which state lordship and pleasure are legitimate. and the desire is shaped by the special aspect of consciousness as dominant in each. power. and lead to birth as a Kshattriya. The three twice-born castes. 43). respectively symbolise one special type of nature. In each. activity is motived by desire. activity is stimulated by the desire for Svarga. they offer birth as the fruit of action. Of the Brahmans. in the second AdhyAya: "With desire for self. and for this worship is enjoined in the exoteric cult. and though we may not think that worship for the sake of reward is a very lofty thing.

And so a Vaishya is bidden also to sacrifice some of his wealth. . Desire is the motive. so that the very longing for success may serve . eat in heaven the divine feasts of the Shining Ones" (ix. there the object is lifted into a more distant and subtler realm. it is the feast of the Devas. forces upon him some self-denial. 12). which trains him. until at last they satiate him. in this world of men. and sacrifice of them Sacrifice must be offered. and he is taught to make sacrifice to the Devas. for in brief space verily. the purified from sin. of him it is said: "They who long after success in action on earth sacrifice to the Shining Ones. Soma-drinkers. And so also there is the typical Vaishya. 20). and thus on him is imposed a partial curb. For physical pleasure and lordship and sovereignty. desire for physical objects must be curbed. pray of Me the way to heaven. must take place. who desires sUCCeSs in action. but where that motives one dominated by the Jfillnam aspect. a Kshattriya must make sacrifice and perform ceremonies. ascending to the holy world of the Ruler of the Shining Ones. worshipping Me with sacrifice. they. See how in worship thus offered there lies hidden the beginning of a change. desire for the personal self.76 THE BHAGAVAD-OITA . while he enjoys lordship and sovereignty. success is born of action" (iv. in order that the subtler pleasures may be enjoyed. the joys of the world of the Shining Ones. may in order that success in action be his.

unfolding within. The object is kept as a stimulus as long as it is wanted. but is slowly curbed. the man who is toiling to win some great success gains it. How wise it all is. that the man may become strong. and finds his castle of success is only a prison. Let all the desires grow and flourish. There is no hurry. empty. frustrations come. and as this goes on life after life. restrained. but begin to curb them by the principle of cerelnony and sacrifice. the self at last grows running. sorrows come. wide lordship instead of smaller powers. still let them have their proper stimulus. still let them strive towards their goal. joys of heaven instead of those of earth. brought under control. and has his heart laid desolate. the man who is grasping at powers grasps them. made empty.METHODS OF YOGA 77 as a subtle means of disuniting him from the very desire which is his stimulus. there is plenty of time. a little weary of this constant outward and in that period of weariness everything seems transient. by the principle of sacrifice. heart-sick disappointments come. realises that all these objects are not enough to satisfy him. he has enjoyed until he is satiated with and the taste for objects is encouraged. he has studied until the burden of know ledge . and finds them burdensome. Thus gradually the Jlva. sapless. the man who is longing for knowledge gains it. great wealth instead of narrow means. he has tasted until he is sick of taste.

desire. Lchchha. and at this turning point. which realises the separateness of all outer objects. The self grows weary of this repeated experience. VijilAnam. it is not the real Vair~gya. "Even relish-for the objects of tho sensestnrneth away from him after the Supreme is seen" (ii.78 THE BHAGAVA~-Gl+. and endless detail. a subtle change goes on within the consciousness. and in that moment. the lower pole of which is KAma. and from seeking the lower pole it slowly turns and begins to rise up to the higher. Each still keeps its characteristic quality but by the change in the direction in which it is travelling. Each of the three aspects simply changes its object. 59). KriyFl. which is the fruit of know ledge. that is the turning point. which is the higher pole. the lower pole. this characteristic quality assumes its higher character and is gradually transformed. unknown reaches. standing at the junction of the two paths Pravrtti and Nivrtti -at that turning-point in the long journey. but a passing Vairngya. manifests at its higher. which is the fruit of disgust. in the change of the direction of the whole consciousness. becomes desire for the Self. the wisdom that knows the One. and in that weariness. the Supreme. becomes JiHlnam. Bhakpi. and . instead of manifesting at its lower pole as activity for objects.x becomes wearisome. stretch infinitely beyond. a momentary dispassion grows out of weariness. weariness overpowers the pilgrim soul.

for the . these the higher poles of the three aspects of consciousness. but between the real and the unreal. and still on the Nivrtti Mnrga we see the three paths within the one. its binding quality melts away. 25). others by the SrLmkhyayoga. the transitory and the eternal. and according to the dominant temperament will be the path which there is chosen. We ." i." i. each with its own appropriate yoga.JfiAnam.. we have Yajna-these are the higher manifestations. "and others by the Yoga of Action. on the Nivrtti MArga the three have changed their names but not their quality. the practice of which is the treading of the special path. and we have Bhakti. sacrifice. KriyA aspect. They have come to ' the place where the means of yoga are to be taken up and practised.e.. we have . there is the Yoga of Renunciation. We have to study the three aspects as they are seen on the Nivrtti MArga. in the way of Bhakji .e. and 80 we find Shrl Kr~hlJa saying that at this stage "Some by meditation behold the Self in the self by the Self. . the. when all action is done as sacrifice. as we saw yesterday. by the way of Yajna (xiii. and each has its own appropriate yoga: for the Ichchha aspect.JiHlnam aspect there is the Yoga of Discrimination-not now between object and object.BHAK..!'I 79 becomes Yajna.. Now all is changed. and for the third.." i. by the way of Ji'iAnam. we have the Yoga of Sacrifice. Thus.e.

the enemy in the form of desire. how empty will life be when . And so again the Lord says in His wisdom: "Affection and aversion for the objects of sense abide in the senses. desire. We now at once meet the teaching so familiar to you all as regards desire. and see how the man who is of this temperament must guide himself if he would tread Nivrtti MArga. his enemies that have to be slain? They have been his friends. as it were by force constrained?" (iii. his relatives. his companions during the all youth. what was the answer? "It is desire. the lower aspect of Ichehha. reluctantly indeed. 0 mightyarmed. asked him: "Dragged on by what does a man commit sin. On this path of Renunciation. 0 Varshneya. it is wrath. difficult to overcome" (iii. on the Nivrtti MArga. let none come under the dominion of these two. 43). and look on them as his foes. that which is the guide of the aspirant. 34). But what is the man to do? He has been developing these things along. all-consuming. 36). Hence He says to His pupil: "Slay thou. 37). know thou this as our foe here on earth" (iii. how then is he to change.80 THE BHAGA VA1)-Gi'fA. all-polluting. they are obstructors of the path" (iii. shall take up first the path belonging to the aspect of Ichchha. '\Then Arjuna. turning to his Teacher. the Yoga of Renunciation. becomes the great enemy of man. begotten by the quality of mobility. affection and aversion have been his motive powers.

And this for a very simple reason. realising the futility of constant enjoyment followed by suffering. this he can do. Because in every object of desire is hidden a fragment of the Self. How shall he fight? The first step is a step of forcible abstention from the gratification of desire. 22) .0 r The first step is forcibly to hold himself back by the mind From the objects of desire. "As a tortoise draws in on all sides its limbs. realising that all contact-born delights are verily wombs of pain (v.BHAK'fI 81 they are slain. he withdraws his senses from the objects of sense" (ii.~realising that the pleasure which at first is nectar later becomes poison (xviii. (2). the Self within the object withdraws that object and neutralises its alluring influence. the objects of the senses gradually turn away (ii. And so it is said that from the abstemious dweller in the body. for "greater than the senses is the lnind" (iii. which allures another fragment. what shall he 0. recognising all this. awaking therein desire for union. 38). arrayed again~t him. Thus may the objects 6 . 58). and deliberately rejects the husk. on the Kurukshetra of the soul they are his foes. The man. 59). but when that fragrnent of the Self begins to desire union with the Self and not with the outer husk. who lives within the objects of the senses. thus the rejection of the object by the Ulan is answered by the withdrawal of the alluring object by the Lord.

and then comes the regular practice of the Yoga of Renunciation: "That . slain by the Bhakti. and have no longer force of allurement to draw the many away. desire is changed into will. (vi. 21). a mightier attraction has been felt. Out of that forcible abstention. a vision of the Supreme. then relish desire dies. it is being guided from inside. . conquered by the upon the abstemious itself turneth away. With the vision of the Supreme. that of the Self unveiled. the Object of devotion. there comes to the abstemious dweller in the body. which is the perfection of that temperament which bas sought all desirable objects. whereas before . Then the second step is taken.the Self was veiled within the husk of the desirable object. " away from an The man is only His desires are longing again to plunge into sense-delights. all lower objects lose their attracting power. of the supreme delight beyond the senses When the vision of the Supreme dawns dweller in the body. that overmastering desire takes awa y all taste for the fleeting objects of the moment. but. mightier desire.82 THE BHAGAVAD-GfTA . refused be truly said to "turn abstemious dweller in the body " . out of that turning away from the objects of desire. with iron hands he holds them back. for " relish" remains. holding himself back by force.. who becomes the Object of desire. in the midst of these frustrated longings. and instead of being drawn from outside.

. becomes out of focus. The Yoga of Renunciation confused with it-the two has many points in common with the Yoga of Sacrifice. 2. is the Yoga of Renunciation. "Harmoniscd by the Yoga of Renunciation.." says the I. or for actions. "thou shalt come unto Me . Yet there is a difference which marks out the one from the other. Partha. 28). Bhakpi. and is very often in fact are so often interblended in the teaching. Pandava .. and it becomes an easy path when' once the Supreme is seen. desire fixed on that one object. 4). 55). and the glimpses of that give to life its savour. ord. "Sages have known as-renunciation the renouncing of works with desire " (xviii. 2). tha t it is easier to take them together than apart. all else loses its power. Happiness is found o alone in the one Object.BHAK1'I 83 which is called renunciation know thou that as yoga.. as it were. He" abandoneth. the . is not clearly seen. the Yoga of Renunciation. for in the first. then he is said to be enthroned in yoga" (vi. devotion. Then he" goeth to peace" . you have as motive power the love for the Supreme. renouncing the formative will. all the desires of the heart.. and is satisfied in the Self by the Self" (ii. (ix. Giving up desire is renunciation. nor doth anyone become a yogi with the formative will unrenounced. and. When a man feeleth no attachment either for the objects of o sense.Bhakti MArga. and is not cared for.

Now in order that the path of devotion may be trodden. but remem ber that it is only a passing phase in the midst of pleasure. the Karma M~rga.84 THE BHAGAV A D-GiT. (ii. 64). and the best way is the daily effort to train himself to become gradually indifferent to" pleasure or to pain. but to turn your desire to the Suprenle. action done as sacrifice. Do not try to be at once completely indifferent. 38). On the other hand in the Yoga of Sacrifice. do not nllow yourself to enjoy it to the full. a man must make up his mind to abandon the gratification of the desires that spring up within his heart. only two and keep the Dlemory of pleasure in the pain. and they succeed each other as . neither of them is permanent. consciousness dominated by Ichchha. Thus is it possible to take " as equal and pain" (ii. both of them are transient. which is the characteristic of the Karma Milrga. Blend them together in Remember that the one and the other are sides of the same aspect of the Self. but when a pleasure comes. Keep the memory of pain in the midst of pleasure.l . the change is not in the direction of desire. the aspect of IchchhA. It is sacrifice. what is changed is the motive of action. but in the spirit in which action is done. do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the suffering. midst of pleasure thought. for you are no longer wishing to develop the power of desire for objects. When a suffering comes. . consciousness dominated hy Kriya.

try to recognise the elements of pain in pleasure. you take it. as one aspect of the Self. At one moment the man is very elated. imperrnanent . but when the pleasurable is present. neither rejoiceth on obtaining what is pleasant. 20).BHAKTI 85 and going continually: do night and day. corning "The contacts cold and heat. for there are tremendous risings and faIlings in the nature whose temperament is dominated by the aspect of desire. giving pleasure and pain. you long not for it. 22). " The knower of the Eternal • • . Next. Mingle them in thought and life. aud when the painful is present you take it. balanced in the surge of pleasure and in the surge of pain. they COOle and go. 14). 0 son of Kunjt. nor sorroweth on obtaining what is unpleasant" (v. in so blending try to see the elements of pleasure in pain. at the next moment he is correspondingly depressed-very. after the foe of desire has partly been slain-or rather transmuted. nor long for what is perishable. You have to learn how to remain . until you no longer shrink from what is painful. and if pain is absent you do not desire it (xiv. 0 Bharata " (ii. See them together. and learn to blend thorn in your daily life. but if the pleasurable is absent. until either becomes equally attractive with the other. very glad over . endure them bravely. of matter. it must be remembered that 00 this path of devotion there are two chief dangers that touch the man.

he stops also the extreme depression. while he himself stands steadily on the unchanging rock of devotion to the Lord." Hence arises the phrase that you find in many books of devotion. He must gradually let the waves of pleasure and pain play round him. and is seeking pleasure even on the path of Renunciation. firmly based upon the rock. he does not cease to feel them. but he ceases to be so strongly affected by them as to lose his balance. the devotee "must naked follow .. he should at times bv weariness and weakness sink . "who are willing to serve God for naught. . "How few there are. growing for a while out of the desires and realising a longing for the Supreme. then neither the waves of pleasure nor the waves of pain can sweep him off his feet. That is one lesson for the Bhakta . . He must stop the ex~reme elation.86 THE BHAGAVAD-GI'l'. that a man must be naked to tread this path. and with the stopping of that elation. very." said a great Christian Saint. as it is said in The 1mitation of Chri8t. for the feeling is necessary for work in the future. as we may sec in the history of all great devotees. back into the lower desires he had thought he had renounced. • The other chief danger that threatens him. a pleasure. and imagine that he is longing for the Supreme when he is really longing for the satisfaction of desire. is the danger lest.A. He must reach the middle point. very sorry over a pain.

34). ever harmonious. that he may avoid it: "IJet him Hit. "Merge thy mind in Me. He must guard himself rigidly and carefully. and in the Kalki Avajara. in the shape of an allegory to the devotee. else the body filay betray him in a critical moment. "On Me fix thy mind. He must look for nothing. let him not think of anything" (vi. It is a warning. And so it is written. aspiring after Me" (vi. 1). 14). and must be sure that the body is his slave. 22). 22). The same idea comes out in some of the stories of Shrl Kr~hl}a. be devoted t~ Me. the highest Spirit. 0 Partha. be My devotee.BHAK1'! 87 the naked Jesus". sacrifice to Me" (xviii. Such . How often is the phrase repeated: "He who thinketh upon Me. 14). thinking of no other. and he may fall for a while from the path. as in the taking away of the garments of the GOplS. with his naked hands. It is to those. 65). " He. where He most fight weaponless. to beware how he enters on that path of loftiest emotion while still the garments of the lower emotions cling round his limbs. prostrate thyself before Me " (ix. to those. not thinking ever of another" (viii. "who worship Me alone. may be reached by unswerving devotion to Him alone" (viii. sacrifice to Me . "With the mind clinging to Me" (vii. 25). .for the lower emotions are a snare to the man who is treading the path of emotion purified and sublime. " Having made the mind abide in the Self. I bring full security" (ix.

To the man who is perfectly devoted inevitably will wisdom come and to him also right activity. ever harmonious. In the heart of such a devotee wisdom springs up in process of time. and he thinks things to be wrong because he is repelled by them. his thoughts are coloured by desire. worshipping in love. because of attractions and repulsions around him .88 THE BHAGAVAD-GITI . he sees everything through the coloured atmosphere with which desire because encircles him. Naturally wisdom must como where there is perfect devotion. is the Bhakti MArga. and only when all this colouring of desire has been destroyed. 39). for what should be his will in action save the will of the Lord he loves? He unites himself in thought with the Object of his devotion. can the clear white light of the wisdom of the Self shine through to the man. He thinks things to be right he longs for them. confused. Man is blinded in his thought. by which they come unto Me" (x. all that he does is not done by him but by his Lord through him. . for what is it that blinds wisdom P It is desire. I give the yoga of discrimination. It is an unselfish and perfect devotion to the Lord. and he is . 10). "The man who is full of faith obtaineth wisdom" (iv. where the appropriate yoga is that of Renunciation. undistorted and undimmed. as the one centre of love and of service. " To these. motive the hope for union with the Lord as the one for all that is done.

l to the world. To such a man all else becomes indifferent. a man who looks on all the qualities as moving. 19). is dear to Me" (xii. with the heart purified from all desire. . 49)." " taking equally praise and reproach. My devotee. and because the power of the Lord flows through him as through a ehann. 15. opened to the Supreme. himself moveless.BHAK'fI 89 only tho channel whereby the pownr of the Lord flows down to the world of action. expert. and he has no further concern with it in any way. Of a man who is equal in pleasure and in pain. That is the message to the devotee. COIne unto Me alone for sholter" (xviii. for the devotee is a channel for his Lord. "he. unconscious of desire or repulsion. he is ever fixed in meditation. silent. his Lord through him performs all action that is duty. 66). 2). wholly content with what cometh" (xii. Such is the man who is a true devotee: "He from whom the world doth not shrink away~ who doth not shrink away from the world. there flow down floods of blessing to the world of men. 16. untroubled. in his heart thinking only of Him. "He goeth by renunciation to the suprmne perfection of freedom from obligation" (xviii. of such a man it is written: he is "best in yoga" (xii. passionless. united to the heart of the Lord." who" is pure. 16). and through that heart. he need no longer think of what men call duties: "Abandoning all duties. he may abandon duty because he has no desire. And he abandons duty. because.

the desire for objects is changed into desire for the Supreme. difficult for those who have not studied deeply . You will remember that. I took up a special preliminary path suitable for the Ichchha aspect of consciousness. the Yoga of Discrimination. connected with the KriyA aspect. to take it simply a1S an outline. connected with the Ji'iAnam aspect of consciousness. into which the details must be fitted by your own study and by your own living. however imperfectly for lack of time. after sketching the aspects of the paths of forthgoing and return. the Yoga of Discrimination. I must ask you in following my hasty sketch of these. yoga. and this leads a man to the perfection of yoga. for especially. and we find that in that aspect which manifests in the lower world as desire. To-Jay we have to consider the remaining two forms of preliminary. and the Yoga of Sacrifice. belonging to the two aspects of consciousness which I left untouched yesterday . is the first part of our subject. perhaps.FOURTH BROTHERS: LECTURE We have to deal to-day. devotion. with the two other forms of preliminary yoga.

this is the form which leads to the ultimate yoga. and yet these senses have been hitherto his avenues of knowledge. 68). whose senses are all completely restrained from the objects of sense. 0 mighty-armed. of him the understanding is well-poised " (ii. Now with regard to this aspect. for to him. for whose senses are mastered. 60. there is one great danger that assails the would-be Sage. or knowledge. 61). but even one sense is a source of danger: '" Such of the roving senses as the mind yieldeth to. or wisdom. just as the gale hurries away a ship upon the waters. above all others perhaps. of him the understanding is well-poised" (ii. I his supreme goal.IH 8CRIMIN ATION 91 the constitution and nature of man. the excited senses of even a wise man. that hurr ies away the understanding. 67. and he must strive to thoroughly control these before anything of the nature of even the preliminary yoga becomes possible for him. Having restrained them all. he should sit harmonised. impetuously carry away his mind. the cognitive. Of desire . the senses are the avenues of danger. Therefore. And so we find Shri Kr~hQa declaring as regards this path for the man who would become wise: "0 son of Kun tl. though he be striving. And in order to show that not the senses in general only. to union with the Supreme. the aspect of wisdom. And yet for those in whom the ~Ji1dnam. aspect is predominant.

.92 THE BHAGAVAD-G1Tl . they reveal its object. destructive of wisdom and knowledge" (iii.l-Git(l. 11). 0 best of the Bhara [as. that these words: "Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for. and the particular sounds which are given as the mantra-btjum give to the mantra its peculiar. I t varies with individuals." are the Bljam of the Gitu. 41). its special. Now it is said in the introduction to the practice of the Gitfi. 40. The opening of the great teaching of the Yoga of Discrimine tion is the first note which is struck in the Bhaga'lJal. KarAQinyAsa. word or sentence to be pronounced at the beginning of a mantra. out of these seed-sounds that precede the repetition of the mantra. or seed. . "Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for. You know the force of that word Bijam. mastering first the senses. in order to bring about a desired effect. which is called (ilia. do thou slay this thing of sin. the mind and the Reason are said to be its seat . Seed. so that a general mantra becomes specialised by giving to it a certain bijam. Therefore. In that bijam is the very essence of the whole mantra. The DIantra-fruit grows. They are its essence. A bijam is a sound. force. yet speakest words of wisdom" (ii.l. they . These words: "Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for. . "the senses. for the individual." are said to be the btjam of the mantra of the Gitt.

for Arjuna's argulnent had been an eminently reasonable argument. He begins. the path of the true Ji'Hlnl. (}~ta is wrapped His objection to the slayin~ of his kindred was perfectly natural. why is it that the wise do not grieve either for the living or for the dead? The answer to that lies in the teaching of wisdom. you remember." said the 'reacher. All that is real can never cease to be. "This Dweller in the body of everyone is . his feeling that royalty was too dearly purchased by slaughter was quite a laudable feeling. "Thou speakest words of wisdom. as I pointed out to you the other day. The whole of the give to it its special significance. as the plant in the seed. up in these. Yet the Teacher said: "Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for.DISCRIMINATION 93 ." Now." But why? "The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. shlokas which rapidly sketch by those marvellous out the reason for not grieving which is to be expounded in the remaining teaching of the WisdoIn. his shrinking from shedding torrents of blood was a thing that should be praised in any· thoughtful and compassionate man. and that which can lose being has never really had it at all (ii. the teaching which is scattered throughout this discourse of the Lord of Wisdom. They arc also the opening of the teaching of the Yoga of Discrimination. The dead should not he grieved for because there is no such thing as dying. 16).

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer: Get 4 months of Scribd and The New York Times for just $1.87 per week!

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times