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Topics - gangajal

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I am posting here some excerpts of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Tapasyananda's commentary on
Gita 18.64-66. I have replaced the term faith by sraddha since I do not believe sraddha is the same as faith.

GITA 18.64

Listen again to My supreme word, the profoundest of all spiritual teachings.
You are well beloved of Me; and so I shall tell you what is beneficial to

GITA 18.65

Let your mind be engrossed in Me. Be devoted to Me. Offer worship to Me. Be
resigned to Me. Beloved as you are of Me, I pledge in troth you shall come to
Me alone.

GITA 18.66

Abandoning dependence on all Dharmas come to Me as the only refuge. Grieve
not; I will deliver you from all sins.

Commentary by Swami Tapasyananda:

The essence of the Gita teaching is clinched in the verses 65 and 66. While
the Gita teaching has a place for the renunciation of all actions by aspirants
who have attained to purity of mind, its main thrust is to recommend the
renunciation not of works but of their fruits and the sense of agency. In
verse 66 an aspirant is asked to abandon all Dharma. Dharma is interpreted
by some schools of thought as Karmas. If by Karma is meant all Vedic ritualism
and ego-centered work for selfish gains, the equation of Dharma with Karma is
all right. But it cannot be of works done as pure acts of devotion and
service. For the immediate verse (18.65) says:"Let your mind be engrossed in
Me. Be devoted to Me. Offer worship to Me. Be resigned to Me" etc. So works
of the nature of Bhakti discipline should always be performed. .....

Even in the performance of these devotional activities, there is a form of
renunciation to be practised. There is a tendency among spiritual aspirants
to feel that they have done so much of Sadhana and nothing has happened or
that they are entitled to the Lord's grace because they have done so much
of spiritual practices. There is nothing so ... unspiritual as this kind of
mentality. The Infinite Being cannot be purchased for any price of limited
commodities. A true aspirant abandons the fruits of all his Sadhanas to Him.

The Lord's grace is bestowed according to His will; man's duty is only to
pray for it and wait in patience. He is to have the abiding sraddha that
"The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, revolving these by his
mysterious power Maya, as one would do objects mounted on a machine" (GITA
18.61). His are the fruits and His the agency. The surrender of the fruits and
the sense of agency in regard to all one's spiritual practices even, besides
the abandonment of all non-spiritual activities, is included in the idea of
giving up all Dharma. And with this attitude of mind, an aspirant must abide
in the sraddha that the Lord is his only support, his only redeemer, the only
determiner of his destiny.

According to Sri Madhusudana Sarasvati, this surrender takes three forms
determined by the maturity of Sadhana.

1. first, there is the attitude 'I am His', second is the attitude
"He is mine', and the third, there is the experience 'He is I'. Surrender
takes these three forms according to spiritual maturity.

In explanation of these, he quotes as an example of the first attitude:

"When the sense of difference subsides, I am, O Lord, They appendage, and not
You mine. It is the wave that belongs to the ocean and never the ocean to the

2. The second stage is represented by the attitude:
"Well Krishna, Thou art forcibly snatching Thyself away from me physically.
How strange! I shall only praise Thy valour if Thou art able to extricate
Thyself out of my heart also." Here the devotee's sense of 'myness' with
regard to the Lord is so great that he feels that He can never separate
Himself from him (the devotee).

3. The third and the highest stage of surrender is represented by the
realisation embodied in the verse addressed by Yama to his emissaries in the
"Do not approach those in whom has arisen the firm conviction that all that
exists is Vasudeva, the one Supreme Lord and Master of all, dwelling within
the heart." Here the 'I' has disappeared in the "He" and there is only He.

One who resorts to Him absolutely, He offers to deliver from all sins. Sins
must be understood in a comprehensive sense, namely the effects of all Karma,
present and past, good and bad, which lead to repeated births and deaths. Even
the effects of good Karmas can be called 'sin', as they also lead to repeated
births and deaths.
In other words, the Lord promises to bestow His grace, and
to light in one's heart the lamp of wisdom that removes the darkness of
Ignorance, which is the cause of all sin. Individual sins may be absolved by
atonements (prayascitta) but sins or sinful tendency can be effaced only by
Haritosanam - by securing the grace of the Lord.

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