THE GUNAS: DEVELOPING THEM AND GOING BEYOND THEM
81. The Concluding Point: Self-Realisation And Refuge In Bhakti
27. Now, to conclude, one last point. Even if you have imbibed sattva, vanquished your ego and given up attachment to the fruit of actions, you shall continue to be vulnerable to the onslaught of rajas and tamas from time to time, so long as you are saddled with the body. You may for a while think that you have conquered rajas and tamas, but they will return again and again with a vengeance. You must, therefore, be ever alert. As the sea-waves rush in and make inroads into the land, the waves of rajas and tamas dash against the mind and make inroads into it. They should never be allowed to do so. Vigilance should not slacken even for a moment. And it must also be borne in mind that danger continues to lurk in the background despite all the vigilance so long as there is no Self-knowledge, no Self-realisation. You must, therefore, attain Self-realisation at all costs.
28. This is not possible through mere vigilance. Then how could Selfknowledge be attained? Will constant practice be sufficient? No. There is only one way, and that is bhakti with all the earnestness and love. You may conquer rajas and tamas, become steadfast in sattva and make renunciation of the fruit a habit, but still this is not enough to attain Self-knowledge; and there is no redemption without Self-knowledge. The grace of the Lord is essential for this purpose. Through loving devotion, we should make ourselves worthy of it. I see no other way. Arjuna asks the same question at the end of this Chapter and the Lord answers, “Be devoted to Me with mind absolutely one-pointed and without any desire for reward. Serve Me. He who serves Me thus can cross the maya. Otherwise this mysterious maya is hard to cross.” This is the easy method of bhakti. This is the only way.
References and Context