Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) Chapter 17 Sloka 24-26

November 20, 2023

  1. ™tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yajñādānatapaḥkriyāḥ
    pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṁ brahmavādināṁ (XVII-24)
    ™tad ity anabhisaṁdhāya phalaṁ yajñatapaḥkriyāḥ
    dānakriyāś ca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣakāṅkṣibhiḥ (XVII-25)
    ™sadbhāve sādhubhāve ca sad ity etat prayujyate
    praśaste karmaṇi tathā sachabdaḥ pārtha yujyate (XVII-26)

    XVII/24. Therefore, with the utterance of Oṁ, are the acts of sacrifice,
    gift and austerity, as enjoined in the scriptures, always
    begun by the students of Brahman.

    XVII/25. Uttering tat without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice
    and austerity  and  the  various  acts  of  gift  performed
    by  the  seekers  of liberation.

    XVII/26. The word sat is used in the sense of reality and of goodness;
    and so also, O Arjuna, the word sat is used in the sense
    of an auspicious act.
Swamiji's Commentary

      There is really no difference between the implications of one of the three words and those of another. All three have the same meaning and significance. Oṁ tat sat can roughly be translated into ‘the infinite is that reality’. The orthodox Hindu may regard it as a great mantra and believe that the words themselves have spiritual, psychic and even magic power; but their real value is in the psychological effect of reminding ourselves of the infinite nature of the reality which is the substratum of all creation. It acts as a cleansing fire, purifying our heart of all impure, selfish motives and illumining the great reality within the inmost core of our being. My Master used this formula frequently even during his routine office work.

     The  mantra silences  the  ego  within  and  diverts  the  mind  from  ‘the  world’  to  God, making us realize that he is the omnipresent reality whom we are serving in all, to whom we are directing our sacrifice or gift. It has been said that this mantra has the power to transform all acts into holy ones; it is certain that one who keeps in mind the significance of the holy formula will never indulge any unholy action.

     It is good to cultivate the habit of thinking of God before, during and after the performance of every action. This formula, or any other such formula, will help us here, provided it does not become a mechanical, meaningless, repetition.

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