Wednesday, February 22, 2012

V: 25

Chapter 5, Verse 25

"All consumed
Are their imperfections.
Doubts dispelled,
Their souls rest
In harmony,
Their every action
Wed to the welfare
Of their fellows.
Such are the seers
Who abide in Brahm
And know Nirvana."

Swami Shivananda:

The sense of duty vanishes when they constantly rest in the non-dual Self. They are devoted to the welfare of all beings as they experience all beings as their own Self.

Father Bede Griffiths:

This state is one of universal compassion (Karuna).

Sri Aurobindo:

In these closing verses of chapter five, Nirvana can be understood to mean the extinction of the ego-self in the Self, that which is forever timeless, spaceless, unbound by the chain of cause and effect and the changes of the world-mutation, and forever at peace. Identification with the ego-self, the little person limited by the mind and the body, is dissolved. Those in this state become Brahm, unified in consciousness with the immutable divinity of the eternal Self which is immanent in their natural being.

Is this a going into some deep sleep of Samadhi away from all world-consciousness, or is Nirvana a state which can exist simultaneously with world-consciousness? This verse is quite clear and decisive on this matter. It presents a large extension of the idea of Nirvana. The self-mastery of the equal mind, beneficial love for all, and the final destruction of the doubt and obscurity of the ignorance which keeps us divided are the conditions of Nirvana which are laid down in these verses of the Gita.

Nirvana is clearly compatible with action in the world. The sages who possess it are conscious of and in intimate relation with the divine in the mutable universe. They are occupied with the good of all sentient beings. Far from renouncing the experiences of the Kshara [Prakriti], they have divinized them. The Kshara, the Gita tells us, is all existences, and doing universal good to all is a divine action amidst the mutability of Nature. This action in the world is not inconsistent with abiding in Brahm. It is rather its inevitable condition and outward result, because the universal consciousness in which the separative ego-consciousness is dissolved is not only within us. It is also within all these existences, present not only beyond and apart from happenings in the world, but pervading them and containing them at the same time.

Therefore, "Nirvana in the Brahm" must mean an extinction of the limited, separative consciousness, which divides and falsifies, brought into being on the surface of existence by the lower Maya of the three Gunas. Entry into Nirvana is a passage into this other true, unifying consciousness which is the very heart of existence, its whole, original, and eternal truth. Nirvana, when we merge into it, is not only within us, but all around, because this is not only the Brahm-consciousness which lives secret within us, but the Brahm-consciousness in which we live. By oneness with that Self, a steadfast oneness with all the universe becomes the very nature of our being and the root status of our active consciousness.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

When they become permanently estabished in Being, knowledge is complete and all doubts quite naturally are dissolved. Having risen above the selfishness of the egoic mind, abiding in bliss-consciousness and fully connected with the source of all energy, they move about compassionately in the world, doing good to all beings.

Srila Prabhupada:

When a person is actually in possession of the knowledge that Krishna is the fountainhead of everything, then when she acts in that spirit, she acts for everyone. This is the state of divine love.

Editor's Note: A local magazine which is published six times a year is now carrying my work on the Gita. In discussions with the publisher, it was decided that since I often tweak the commentaries with modified sentence structure and things of that nature, it would probably be better not to use quotation marks around the words of the masters who expound on Krishna's teachings. So I have dropped the quotations marks in this blog as well, indicating that sometimes there's some paraphrasing going on, but that the gist of the remarks belongs to the masters. The quotation marks in the text itself indicate that either Krishna or Arjuna is speaking.

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