Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) Chapter II - 48

February 11, 2019

™yogasthaḥ kuru karmᾱṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvᾱ dhanaṁjaya
siddhyasiddhyoḥ samo bhῡtvᾱ samatvaṁ yoga ucyate (II-48)

II/48. Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in yoga,
abandoning attachment and remaining balanced in success
and failure. Evenness of mind is called yoga.

Swamiji's Commentary

     Yoga is ‘union’. We should be in union with God. That is to be steadfast in yoga. It is not possible if we have attachment to ‘the world’ which includes the little self, its actions and motives. A simultaneous achievement of this two-fold yoga is conducive to a balanced state of mind; in Gurudev’s words, it is “Detach the mind from the world and attach it to the Lord.”

     Man, in his eagerness for the desired results of actions, is intensely attached to the actions themselves. ‘I do’ – and why? Because ‘I expect this to happen’. If this happens, it is success and ‘I am happy’. If that happens, it is failure and ‘I am unhappy’. Even if it is success and even if I am happy for the moment, it is in the shadow of a terribly oppressive fear that it may not last; and the success is eclipsed by fear of loss! Hence, man grieves all the time – in success and in failure. To the truly wise man, therefore, everyone in the world is in misery; the only difference is of degree.

     Happy is the man who has a balanced mind; balanced in success and failure. To him success is not success: it is duty discharged. To him failure is not failure: for even that is duty discharged. He has done what had to be done – the appropriate action – in the right spirit. That is one’s duty. Duty discharged is success. Therefore, in a way, it is perennial success, though that success does not belong to him, but to the Lord with whom he is united. God is the master: for his is ‘the kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever and ever’. Man shares them, for he is a cell in the great body of God, but if he is not in tune with God’s will, he degenerates and dies.

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