Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter III: 22-24

March 14, 2018

na me pᾱrthᾱ ’sti kartavyaṁ triṣu lokeṣu kiṁcana
nᾱ ’navᾱptam avᾱptavyaṁ varta eva ca karmaṇi (III-22)
™yadi hy ahaṁ na varteyaṁ jᾱtu karmaṇy atandritaḥ
mama vartmᾱ ’nuvartante manuṣyᾱḥ pᾱrtha sarvaśaḥ (III-23)
™utsīdeyur ime lokᾱ na kuryᾱṁ karma ced ahaṁ
saṁkarasya ca kartᾱ syᾱm upahanyᾱm imᾱḥ prajᾱḥ (III-24)

III/22. There is nothing in the three worlds, O Arjuna, that
should be done by me, nor is there anything unattained that
should be attained. Yet I engage myself in action.

III/23. For, should I not engage myself in action, unwearied,
men would in every way follow my path, O Arjuna.

III/24. These worlds would perish if I did not perform action.
I would be the author of confusion of castes and destruction of
these beings.

Swamiji's Commentary

     God, when he incarnates himself here in this world, also engages himself in unwearied action. That is as it should be. Saints and sages are seen to engage themselves in unwearied action for the welfare of mankind. The unselfish man is more active than the selfish one. The former’s service is spontaneous, enthusiastic and zealous, free from procrastination and postponement which characterize the half-hearted service of the calculating man of lust and greed. The unselfish man has more time and energy to work because he has no worry about profit and loss.

     We have the glorious examples of saints before us, but we do not follow them. (Do we ever follow anyone’s good example?) Even in their lives we try to pick out only defects as excuses for our own indulgence. We discover human weaknesses in their personalities, and we turn our blind eye on the vital spiritual truths illustrated in their lives. It is the worst tragedy. We are the real losers. The moment we realize the emptiness and the sorrowfulness of our own pleasure-seeking life, we shall desist from evil, and without seeming to and without effort, follow the example of the good.

             “One should try to live for a hundred years, doing one’s duty”. — Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad.

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