Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 49

Chapter 6
25. Aspiration For Redemption Of The Self

1. In the Fifth Chapter, we could conceive and visualize the highest possible flight of the human spirit. Karma, vikarma and akarma together complete sadhana. Karma is gross in nature. There should be full cooperation from the mind in the work done in the pursuit of swadharma. Vikarma is the work done to educate the mind for this purpose. It is a special kind of karma, a sort of subtle karma. Karma and vikarma, both are necessary. While doing them, ground is prepared for akarma. We have seen in the last Chapter that karma and sannyasa become one in the state of akarma. It has been restated at the beginning of this Chapter that karmayoga and sannyasa, although their standpoints appear different, are one and the same. Difference lies only in the way of looking at things. The Chapters that follow deal with the means to reach the state described in the Fifth Chapter.

2. Many people have a misconception that spirituality and spiritual texts like the Gita are meant only for ascetics. I once heard a gentleman commenting that he was ‘not an ascetic’, which implies that ascetics belong to a particular species of animals like horses, lions, bears, cows etc. and spirituality is meant only for them; others engaged in mundane affairs belong to a different category with thoughts and ways of their own! This distinction has led to a hiatus between ascetics and the worldly men. Lokmanya Tilak has drawn our attention to this in his ‘Gita-Rahasya’. I whole heartedly endorse Tilak’s view that the Gita is for ordinary people engaged in worldly life. In fact, the Gita is for the whole world. All the practices and means adopted in the course of the spiritual pursuit are meant to be followed by everyone. Spirituality, in fact, teaches how daily life can be purified, leading to contentment and peace of mind. The Gita is meant to teach us how worldly life can be purified. At whatever level you may be engaged in the world of practical affairs, the Gita comes to you. But it does not want you to remain there. Holding your hand, it will take you to the ultimate destination (Self-realisation). There is a famous saying that ‘If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain’. Mohammed is anxious to see that even an inert mountain receives his message. The mountain is inert; so Mohammed would not keep waiting for it to come to him. This is also true with the Gita. It will come to the lowliest of the low, to the poor and the weak and the ignorant, not to keep them in that state, but to grasp them by their hands and lift them up. Its only desire is that man should purify his daily life and reach the ultimate state, the final destination. In fact, this is the very aim and object of the Gita.


References and Context