Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 176

Chapter 15
82. The Way of Bhakti Is Not Different From the Way of Efforts

1. Brothers, in a way we have today reached the end of the Gita. In the Fifteenth Chapter, all the ideas put forward in the Gita reach their consummation. Chapters 16 and 17 are in the nature of appendices, and there is summing up in Chapter 18. Hence the Lord has termed this Fifteenth Chapter ‘a shastra’ (science). ‘अत्यंत गूढ हें शास्त्र निर्मळा तुज बोलिलों’ (‘O blameless one, I have told you this most secret shastra.’), says the Lord at the end of this Chapter. The Lord says so not because this is the concluding Chapter, but because the elaboration of the principles of life and the revelation of the spiritual wisdom is complete here. The essence of the Vedas is contained in this Chapter. The very function of the Vedas is to make man aware of the realm of spirituality. This has been done in this Chapter and it has therefore earned the title, ‘the essence of the Vedas.’ In the Thirteenth Chapter we saw that the Self should be separated from the body. In the Fourteenth Chapter we saw how efforts could be done in this regard. Rajas and tamas should be resolutely forsaken, sattva should be developed and attachment to it should be overcome. The fruit received because of it should be renounced. Efforts should be continued in this way. In the end, it was told that Self-realisation is indispensable for those efforts to be wholly successful. And Self-realisation is possible only through bhakti.

2. But the way of bhakti is not something different from the way of making efforts. To suggest this, the samsara has been compared, at the beginning of the Fifteenth Chapter, to a great tree. This tree has enormous branches that are nourished by the three gunas. It is said right at the beginning that this tree should be cut down with the axe of detachment and dispassion. It is clear that the ways and means described in the last Chapter have been mentioned here again. Rajas and tamas are to be destroyed and sattva nourished and developed. One is the destructive aspect and the other is the constructive one, but both of them belong to the same work, just as removing weeds and sowing seeds are two parts of the same job.


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