Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 125

Chapter 11
58. The Quintessence Of The Gita

14. I am not at all inclined to use my reason or intellect in analysing the description of that divine cosmic form; that would be a sacrilege. We should instead recite those holy verses again and again and purify ourselves. To analyse the cosmic form would be a monstrosity. It would be like following in the footsteps of the aghorpanthis who go to the cremation grounds and mutilate the corpses to gain occult powers. We should instead recite those holy verses that describe the Lord’s grand and infinite form, which has also been described as विश्वतश्चक्षुरुत विश्वतोमुखः विश्वतोबाहुरुत विश्वतस्पात्।[1] ’(‘The one whoseeyes are everywhere, whose mouths are everywhere, whose hands are everywhere, whose legs are everywhere...’) and make our mind sinless and pure.

15. In this description, there is only one point at which the mind begins to think. The Lord has said to Arjuna, “All these warriors are going to die. Be only an occasion, an instrument. I have already slain them.” These words keep ringing in the ears. When the idea that I should become His instrument arises in the mind, one begins to think. How to do it? How could I become the Lord’s flute? To become His flute, I shall have to become hollow; then only He can produce sweet tunes through me. I shall have to be free from all passions, vices and evil propensities. If I am fully stuffed with them, how can He play melodious tunes through me? I am stuffed with ego. I must purge myself of that and become hollow. But, in fact, it is preposterous of me to aspire to become His flute. Even if I wish to become the sandals on His feet, it is not easy. The sandals should be so soft that they do not pinch or otherwise cause any pain to His feet. So I would have to become soft. I would have to protect His feet from the thorns. I would have to cure and make myself firm and strong, yet supple and soft. It is not thus easy to become His sandals. If I want to become His weapon, I must not just be a lump of iron; I must sharpen myself through penance so that I could become a sword in His hands. This thought reverberates in my mind and I lose myself in it.

16. The Lord has Himself told, in the last verse of this Chapter, how to do it, how this can come about. Shankaracharya has, in his commentary on the Gita, called this verse ‘the quintessence of the Gita’—

मत्कर्मकृमत्परमो मदभक्तः संगवर्जितः
निवैंरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पांडव॥

He who is free from enmity to all creatures, who is ever engrossed in serving the world impartially without any expectations, who dedicates all his actions to the Lord, who is full of devotion, who forgives all and is detached and full of love, becomes an instrument of the Lord. This is the essence of the Gita’s teaching[2].


References and Context

  1. Rig Veda, Mandal 10
  2. 1.5.32