Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter IV: 15

April 3, 2024

™evaṁ jñātvā kṛtaṁ karma pūrvair api mumukṣubhiḥ
kuru karmai ’va tasmāt tvaṁ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṁ kṛtaṁ (IV-15)

IV/15. Having known this, the ancient seekers after freedom also
performed action; therefore do thou also perform action, as did
the ancients in days of yore.

Swamiji's Commentary

This is the doctrine of total freedom of The Bhagavad Gītā. In the light of this doctrine, even ‘bounden duty’ is sublimated into joyous abandonment which is but a synonym of a free participation in the divine will. We seek not only freedom from external authority (and the consequent mental conditioning) but freedom from inner reaction to authority (which is an expression of vanity).

      Glimpses of this freedom are seen in ourselves during sleep and during deep meditation. The inner intelligence which had, during its unawakened states known as waking and dream, foolishly bound itself to the body and the mind, which are nothing more than the bricks and mortar of its residence, realizes upon awakening that pain and pleasure and so on, which it had to endure during those two states, were the necessary sequel of its wrong identification of itself with its residence.

      As in the human body, so also in the body of God called the universe. We are tiny cells in that body of God. His life pulsates in us as our immortal being. His power flows through us as will. His consciousness shines in us as intelligence. None of these is ‘ours’. Yet, if we but joyously offer our little self to the care of the great body, then even as a tiny copper wire becomes charged with formidable electric current on account of its passive contact, we too, shall share his life, power and consciousness.

      Not bound to anything in this world we shall still take part in all its activity as a witness, in choice-less awareness. Realizing that both egoistical action and egoistical withdrawal are forms of the false identification of the soul of our soul with the body and mind, we shall surrender ourselves to God’s will and live in this house of God, unaffected by its construction, alteration and demolition, freely moving in it and using it in accordance with the divine will, which is natural and appropriate action.

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