Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter IV: 40-42

April 17, 2018

™ajñaś cā ’śraddadhānaś ca saṁśayātmā vinaśyati
nā ’yaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ saṁśayātmanaḥ (IV-40)
™yogasaṁnyastakarmāṇaṁ jñānasaṁchinnasaṁśayaṁ
ātmavantaṁ na karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanaṁjaya (IV-41)
™tasmād ajñānasaṁbhūtaṁ hṛtsthaṁ jñānāsinā ’tmanaḥ
chittvai ’naṁ saṁśayaṁ yogam ātiṣṭho ’ttiṣṭha bhārata (IV-42)

IV/40. The ignorant, the faithless, the doubting self goes to
destruction; there is neither this world nor the other, nor
happiness for the doubting.

IV/41. He who has renounced actions by yoga, whose doubts
are rent asunder by knowledge and who is self-possessed –
actions do not bind him, O Arjuna.

IV/42. Therefore, with the sword of the knowledge cut asunder
the doubt of the self born of ignorance residing in thy heart and
take refuge in yoga. Arise, O Arjuna.

Swamiji's Commentary

      He whose time has not yet come is known by his faithlessness. He goes to ‘destruction’, not total annihilation, but destruction of this precious opportunity granted by the Lord. This human birth is the door to liberation. He who utilizes it for this great purpose is saved; he who does not, slams the door in his own face. He destroys, as it were, the raft that could have taken him across the ocean of saṁsāra.

      Doubt is a great destroyer. We are commanded by the Lord to question our preceptors. Towards the conclusion of the Gītā, Krishna further commands Arjuna to reflect over what he had told him. We should question the guru and then reflect over what he tells us; but with  faith,  not  with  a  doubting  intellect!  Questioning  and  doubting  are  two  very different  mental  actions.  Questioning  is  a  necessary  step  to  the  acquisition  of knowledge; doubting is refusal to listen, refusal to think, refusal to look within, refusal to understand. Under cover of doubt, the ego thrives – the ego manages not to doubt itself. The man whose heart is full of doubts has no peace, no happiness even in this world; he does nothing good which could earn him a better world hereafter. What a loss!

      Doubt must be slain by knowledge. The seeker must quickly begin the practice of yoga!


Thus in the upaidshad of the glorious Bhagavad Gitia
the science of the eternal, the scripture of yoga
the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna,
ends the fourth discource entitled:


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