Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 30

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Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 30
Bhagavad Gita Chapter VI


The Holy One said,—'Regardless of fruit of action, he that performs the actions which should be performed, is a renouncer and devotee, and not one who discards the (sacrificial) fire, nor one that abstains from action.[1] That which has been called renunciation, know that, O son of Pandu, to be devotion, since nobody can be a devotee who has not renounced (all) resolves.[2] To the sage desirous of rising to devotion, action is said to be the means; and when he has risen to devotion, cessation of action is said to be the means. When one is no longer attached to the objects of the senses, nor to actions, and when one renounces all resolves, then is one said to have risen to devotion. One should raise (his) self by self; one should not degrade (his) self; for one's own self is one's friend, and one's own self is one's enemy.[3] To him (only) who has subjugated his self by his self is self a friend. But to him who has not subjugated his self, his self behaves inimically like an enemy. The soul of one who has subjugated his self and who is in the enjoyment of tranquillity, is steadily fixed (on itself) amid cold and heat, pleasure and pain, and also honour and dishonour.

That ascetic is said to be devoted whose mind is satisfied with knowledge and experience, who hath no affection, who hath subjugated his senses, and to whom a sod, a stone and gold are alike. He, who views equally well-wishers, friends, foes, strangers that are indifferent to him, those who take part with both sides, those who are objects of aversion, those who are related (to him), those who are good, and those who are wicked, is distinguished (above all others). A devotee should always fix his mind on contemplation, remaining in a secluded place alone, restraining both mind and body, without expectations (of any kind), and without concern (with anything).[4] Erecting his seat immovably on a clean spot, not too high nor too low, and spreading over it a piece of cloth, a deer-skin, or blades of Kusa grass, and there seated on that seat, with mind fixed on one object, and restraining the functions of the heart and the senses, one should practise contemplation for the purification of self. Holding body, head, and neck even, unmoved and steady, and casting his glance on the tip of his nose, and without looking about in any of the different directions, with mind in tranquillity, freed from fear, observant of the practices of Brahmacharins, restraining the mind, with heart fixed on me, the devotee should sit down, regarding me as the object of his attainment.


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References

  1. Renouncer and devotee Sannyasin and Yogin.
  2. Which spring from desire.
  3. Self in this sloka is explained by the commentators as mind. The mind, unless controlled, cannot lead to devotion.
  4. Chitta and atma are explained by the commentators as "mind and body."