Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IV: 20

Chapter 4, Verse 20

"Surrendering all thoughts of outcome,
Unperturbed and independent,
They do nothing at all,
Even when fully engaged in action."

Swami Shivananda:

"The same idea of inaction is repeated in order to produce a deep impression in the mind of the Yogi. Such people are ever satisfied and do not depend upon anything external to themselves, just as a person who has the favor of the king does not depend upon ministers or other government officials for anything."

Sri Aurobindo:

"Another sign of the divine worker is that which is central to the divine consciousness itself, a perfect inner joy and peace which depends upon nothing in the world for its continuance. It is innate. It is the very stuff of the soul's consciousness. It is the very nature of divine Being. The ordinary person depends upon outward things for happiness. Therefore, desire for these things grows. Things come to be measured in the balance of good fortune as against evil fortune. None of these things affect the ever-satisfied divine worker."

Leo Tolstoy (from "War and Peace"):

"Platon Karataev loved and lived on affectionate terms with every creature with whom he came into contact in life, and especially so with humanity...not with any particular person, but with those who happened to be before his eyes. He loved his dog, loved his comrades, loved the French, and he loved Pierre, who was his neighbor. But Pierre felt that in spite of Karataev's affectionate tenderness to him, he would not suffer a moment's grief at parting from him. And Pierre began to have the same feeling towards Karataev.

To all the other soldiers, Platon Karataev was the most ordinary soldier; they called him 'little hawk,' or Platosha; made good-humored jibes at his expense, and sent him to fetch things. But to Pierre, such as he appeared on that first unfathomable, rounded-off, and everlasting personification of the spirit of simplicity and he remained to him, forever.

Platon Karataev knew nothing by heart except his prayers. When he talked, he did not know on beginning a sentence how he was going to end it. When Pierre, struck sometimes by the force of his remarks, asked him to repeat what he had said, Platon could never recall what he had said the minute before. Every word and every action of his was the expression of a force uncomprehended by him, which was his life. But his life, as he looked at it, had no meaning as a separate life. It had meaning only as a part of the whole, of which he was at all times conscious. His words and actions flowed from him as smoothly, as inevitably, and as spontaneously, as the perfume rises from the flower."

[Another paradox:  Krishna says, “unperturbed and independent” in the verse, while Karataev, and all of those who practice this principle wholeheartedly, was at the same time merged in the Whole.  I think maybe what Krishna means by “independent” here is that quality of resting so steadily and uninterruptedly in the awareness of the Oneness that a person no longer depends on others for unmet needs because once this plateau of constant presence is reached, all needs become spontaneously met.  This is not the end of the road.  The road never ends, but it’s an important milestone nonetheless.]


Krishna Jaya said...

Sorry, all. Can't get the spacing to happen. Sigh.

Krishna Jaya said...


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