adapted by Nisha Vyas
(from “Gandhi the Man” by Eknath Easwaran)
April / May 1992
It is one thing to translate the Gita into another language and quite a different thing to translate it into daily living. The first is an intellectual exercise on the surface, no matter how much talent and education be involved. The latter reaches into the deepest of consciousness and leads to a complete change in character and conduct.
The second chapter of Bhagvad Gita ends with a description of the highest state of consciousness a human being can attain.
“When your love is deep enough”, says Krishna to Arjun, “every selfish attachment falls away and takes with it all frustration, insecurity and despair”
Arjun then questions: “How can I recognize such a person? What marks the man who lives always in wisdom and is completely self-confident? Tell me how he behaves and conducts himself when under attack?”
He lives in wisdom,
Who sees himself in all and all in him,
Whose love for the lord of love has consumed
Every selfish desire and sense-craving
Tormenting the heart. Not agitated
By grief, not hankering after pleasure,
He lives free from lust and fear and anger.
Fettered no more by selfish attachments,
He is not elated by good fortune
Nor depressed by bad. Such is the seer ….
When you keep thinking about sense-objects
Attachment comes. Attachment breeds desire,
The lust of possession which when thwarted,
Burns to anger. Anger clouds the judgement
And robs of the power to learn from past
Mistakes. Lost is the discriminitive
Faculty, and your life is utter waste.
But when you move amidst the world of sense
>From both attachment and aversion freed,
There comes the peace in which all sorrows end,
And you live in the wisdom of the self.
The disunited mind is far from wise,
How can it meditate? How be at peace?
When you know no peace, how can you know joy?
When you let your mind follow the siren
Call of the senses, they carry away
Your better judgement as a cyclone drives
A boat off the charted course to its doom…
He is forever free who has broken
Out of the ego-cage of I and MINE
To be united with the lord of love
This is the supreme state. Attain thou this
And pass from death to immortality.
For more than fifty years Mahatama Gandhi meditated on those words morning and night and devoted all his effort to translating them into his daily life.