Wednesday, February 24, 2010

III: 6

Chapter 3, Verse 6

“Those who withdraw from actions,
But ponder their pleasures
Are deluding themselves
And spoiling their quest
For the deepest truth.”

Paramahansa Yogananda:

“To renounce worldly pleasures without forsaking them inwardly, just to impress others or to escape into a less taxing reclusive sanctuary…this is hypocritical. But to seek God in a positive, active way, even though there is still a struggle with unskillful desires…this is not hypocrisy but spiritual heroism.”

Sri Aurobindo:

“It is not our physical movements and activities alone which are meant by works, by Karma. Our mental existence as well is a great complex action; it is even the greater and more important part of the works of the un-resting energy…subjective cause and determinant of the physical. We have gained nothing if we repress the effect but retain the activity of the subjective cause.

Since the mind is the instrumental cause and since inaction is impossible, what is rational, necessary and correct is a controlled action of the subjective and objective organism.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

“The technique of mastering the senses does not consist of direct restraint. It lies, rather, in the field of the mind, in the sphere of mental activity. The gist of this verse is this: do not create strain by attempting directly to subdue the senses. The actual technique is given in the next verse.”

[At first glance, there might seem to be a contradiction between Sri Aurobindo’s “controlled action” and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s “the technique does not consist of direct restraint,” because “control” often connotes “restraint.” What Sri Aurobindo means by “control” will be revealed in the next verse, an attitude change in which we continue to act, no longer for ourselves, but for the sake of the higher power in the universe. This is consecrated action, and control is a part of the equation until we make the attitude steady and continuous; until then, we control our wayward minds by bringing them back, again and again, to this spirit of offering in those moments when we forget our divine heritage.]


Jessica said...


So to add to the phrase that Bhagavan Das says:

Stop, and start again "for divine love".

(Maybe this is pre-emptive though, without knowing the next verse?)

Anyway, I like the gist a whole lot.

Krishna Jaya said...

Namaste back!

BD's advice reminds me of Swami Shivananda who used to say over and over again to his students: "Detach (from the world) Attach (to the Lord) Detach Attach"

How to reconcile these apparent opposites?

When we make steady our awareness of God's omnipresence, the ego's propensity to gratify itself at the expense of others and the environment dries up.

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