Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 50

Chapter 6
25. Aspiration For Redemption Of The Self

3. Therefore, never consider yourself a mundane ordinary being caught up in samsara, never raise a fence around you confining yourself to where you are. Do not say with despair, ‘What can I do? This body measuring three and a half cubits is all that I am.’ Do not remain in the prison of your own making and lead a beast-like existence. Gear up your spirit to move ahead, to rise higher and higher. ‘उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्।’ (‘Let a man raise himself by his own Self, let him not debase himself.’) Have confidence that you would certainly raise yourself to great heights. Do not weaken the power of your mind by thinking that you are a worthless worldly creature. Do not clip the wings of vision; let your vision be broad. Look at the skylark. Early in the morning, as the sun rises, the skylark sees the sun and boldly says, ‘I will soar high in the sky and reach the sun.’ That should be the spirit. Can the skylark ever reach the sun with its weak wings? But its imagination can certainly take it there. Our behaviour, however, is just the opposite. We cripple our imagination and erect a fence around us. We therefore do not rise even to the extent we can; not only that, we become the cause of our own downfall. By underestimating our strength, we lose whatever strength we have. When imagination is crippled, we are sure to fall; what else can happen? Therefore, we should always aspire to rise higher and higher. It is aspiration that ensures man’s progress in life. Do not, therefore, throttle it. Do not whine, ‘One should never leave the beaten track of worldly life and wander here and there.’ Do not insult your Self. A seeker can persevere in his course only if he has vision and confidence. That is the key to liberation. Do not think that dharma is only for the saints, and that one may go to them only to get a certificate from them that ‘under the given circumstances, what you are doing is right for you.’ Do not entertain such ideas and bind yourself. One cannot take a single step forward without high aspirations.

If you have this vision, this aspiration, this exalted spirit, then only the question of appropriate means arises; otherwise everything will reach a dead end. We saw that vikarma coupled with karma leads to the divine state of akarma. We dealt with the divine state of akarma and its types in the Fifth Chapter. From this Chapter onwards, various types of vikarma, the varieties of sadhana have been outlined. Before embarking on this exercise, the Gita exhorts us to have divine aspirations, to keep the mind free and wings strong, so that the jiva (the lower self) can become one with God, i.e., unite with the Supreme Self. Devotion, meditation, development of virtues, enquiry and analysis, discrimination between the Self and the not-Self—all these are different types of vikarma or spiritual discipline. This Chapter discusses the yoga of meditation.


References and Context