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CHAPTER 18 (Part 2)
RELEASE THROUGH RENUNCIATION
THIS CHAPTER IS THE PINNACLE
Dnyaneshwar Maharaj says. "This eighteenth chapter is like the pinnacle of a temple. Once one sees it from a distance then one knows that the goal is near and it gives a feeling that one has actually met the deity inside. Similarly the eighteenth chapter brings the whole essence of the Gita in view. (18:31-32). This eighteenth chapter reviews entire the Gita from beginning to the end." (18:43).
Rajas actions Now I shall tell you about Rajas actions. A person doing Rajas actions does not speak properly with his parents but like a fool shows respect to everybody else in the world. (18:595). He does not get up from his seat to perform the essential routine and incidental actions but when it comes to actions of pleasure and lust he does not spare any efforts. (18:597-598). Such a Rajas doer labours a lot keeping in view the future fruits of his efforts but feels that he has not laboured enough. With desire of fruits in mind he does many actions as prescribed and systematically and after he has done them announces to the world about them distributing tokens of gift to establish that he is religious. Then his mind is filled with so much ego that he stops respecting his parents. Whatever actions he does with ego and desire of fruits in mind he does without sparing any efforts. (18:601-606). Such people like labours. They do this labours with the attraction of the pleasures in heaven. The action which is thus laborious and done with desire of fruits is Rajas action. (18:608-610).
Tamas action Now listen to the characteristics of Tamas action. That which is the dark dungeon of slander and which is the successful culmination of the birth of prohibited actions and sin is Tamas action. (18:611). Just as drawing a line on water does not result in anything similarly the fruits of such action cannot be seen and the action is wasted. (18:612,615) The action done by toiling the valuable body and spending wealth destroys the happiness of the world. (18:616). Tamas action not only destroys everything belonging to the doer and injuring his body but it injures others as well. (18:619). The Tamas doer does actions without thinking about his own capability. While doing that action, due to indiscretion and ego, he sets upon for the work without bothering about his own capability, propriety of the occasion, and whether he will gain anything by it. (18:621-623). He proceeds without thinking of the past and future, without distinguishing between right and wrong ways and does not distinguish between proper and improper or whether a particular thing belongs to himself or to others. Thus, I have explained to you how action has become of three types due to the differences in the three attributes. (18:625-627).
Due to the three types of actions the doer also becomes of three types. Now I shall describe to you a Sattvic doer first. (18:628-630).
Sattvic doer A Sattvic doer performs his routine and incidental acts but they should not be called fruitless. These acts never go waste because Arjuna, how can fruit itself beget fruits. He does many acts with respect but he does not keep ego of being the doer. In order to do acts worthy of offering to God he selects proper time and place and decides with the help of the Shastras which acts should be done. Combining the organs and the inclination he binds himself with a set of rules without letting his mind waver towards the fruits. He takes care throughout his life to develop excellent courage in order to succeed in the control of the organs.. And while doing his duties driven only by the love for Self-realisation, he does not bother about physical happiness. While doing these duties he loses sleep, does not feel hungry and his body is away from sense pleasures. His enthusiasm for doing his duties increases. Because of the intrinsic liking for the Self he treats even his life as insignificant. Will he, who is in love with his soul, feel sorry if his body has to labour? As the desire for sense-pleasures vanish and physical tendencies vane his joy in performing duties doubles. Even if performance of his duties is interrupted he does not feel sorry for it neither does he feel he has won a victory if he has finished his duty successfully. He in whom such qualities are found should really be called Sattvic doer. (18:632-648).
Rajas doer Now the sign by which a Rajas doer may be recognised is that he is full of worldly desires. (18:649). He is the meeting place for all the desires and failings in the world. He starts with acts which give fruits easily and he will not even leave a paisa from whatever profits he can get from it for which he will sacrifice even is life. He is ready to swallow other people's property while guarding his own. (18:651-654). He uses all his faculties to give trouble to others and without bothering about their welfare he works for his own gains. He does not let thoughts of distaste arise in his mind for any type of work even if he has no ability to complete it. He is poor in keeping sanctity. If he succeeds in any task he mocks at the world in the surge of happiness and if he is unsuccessful then stricken with grief he denounces it. A person who does actions thus is a Rajas doer. (18:655-661).
Tamas doer After this I shall now tell about the Tamas doer who is like a repository of evil deeds. (18:662). Just as strong poison does not know its own power of destruction, he is inclined to do evil deeds which can destroy others and while doing it he is not aware of what he is doing. There is no relation between his acts and his intentions. This Tamas doer surpasses a madman. He lives by enjoying the pleasures of the organs. His behaviour is unrestrained and being controlled by nature he does not know what is proper or improper. He swells by the satisfaction of his own evil acts. And under the influence of pride he does not bow even before God. He is always deceitful about enjoying the sense pleasures. His behaviour is stealthy and his looks are like a prostitute taking away other man's possessions. In other words his whole body is made up of falsehoods and his life is like a gambler’s den. His life should be considered as home of a selfish robber. Therefore nobody should get involved in him. He gets enraged when he sees good deeds of others. (18:664-675). The good deeds of others turn into bad deeds by his involvement. He considers good qualities of others as bad qualities and he turns nectar into poison. When some good deed which can make the worldly life bear good fruits and give a better position in the after-world comes to his lot it is most certain that he would be sleeping at that time. But when it comes to doing evil deeds the sleep goes away immediately. (18:677-681). When it is the time to do beneficial deeds he feels lethargic, and contrarily when evil deeds are to be done the lethargy is under his control. He burns with jealousy when he sees the advancement of others. He remains jealous throughout his life. And he starts labours of fulfilment of desires which will last him for aeons. He does worry about matters beyond this world but is not able to gain even a blade of grass. Such a person who is definitely a pile of sin may be considered as a Tamas doer. Thus I have explained to you three kinds of acts, doer and knowledge. (18:683-689).
THREE TYPES OF INTELLECT
Now the intellect which, covered by delusion and embellished by doubt moves in the realm of improper knowledge and is the mirror through which an individual sees himself is also of three types. Arjuna, is there anything in this world which has not been turned into three types by the three attributes? What is there in this visible world which is not of three types? Therefore the intellect has also become of three types due to the three attributes. Fortitude is also similarly divided. Out of these two I shall explain to you about the three divisions of intellect first. (18:690-695).
Superior, medium and inferior ways There are three types of ways, superior, medium and inferior, for every creature in this world to follow. These three ways are respectively known as not doing prescribed acts, doing fruit motivated acts, and doing forbidden acts. Because of these the creature develops fear for this world.
Superior way Therefore doing the prescribed routine acts according to one's right, is the superior way. The same should be practised keeping in view the attainment of Self-realisation. Thus practised, the doing of the prescribed routine acts frees one from the fear of this world and facilitates liberation. A wise person who acts in this manner becomes free from the fear of this world and by this behaviour set himself on the path of liberation. The intellect which by keeping trust in the prescribed routine deeds decides on the behaviour of the individual guarantees liberation. Therefore why one should not base one's renunciation on the foundation of the inclination to act and engage oneself in actions? (18:696-704).
Sattvic intellect Doing the prescribed routine deeds definitely leads to liberation. The intellect which has the inclination towards doing the prescribed routine deeds and which knows which deeds are not proper, the intellect which does not turn towards fruit-motivated deeds that create fear of the world and towards forbidden deeds which should not be done and which entangles one in birth-death cycles (18:707-710), the intellect which is definitely afraid when it notices a forbidden action. The intellect which knows that forbidden action binds one to birth and death cycles and fearing it keeps away from it, the intellect which after carefully considering actions and non-actions and measuring them with the scale of inclination to work and renunciation understands which deed is good and which is evil, is the Sattvic intellect. (18:713-717).
Rajas intellect The intellect which does deeds without understanding which is a good deed conforming with the code of Dharma and which is an evil deed against Dharma (18:720), missing the latter only by good luck, the intellect which considers both kinds of deeds as alike, the intellect which does not know how to choose between proper and improper deeds is Rajas intellect. (18:722-723).
Tamas intellect The intellect which considers all religious deeds as sinful and real things as false, which interprets the meaning of the Shastras in reverse manner and considers good qualities as bad, which considers matters agreeable to the Shrutis (Vedas) as perverse, should be called Tamas intellect. How can such intellect which is like a dark night be proper for religious deeds? (18:726-729).
THREE TYPES OF FORTITUDE
Thus I have explained to you the three divisions of intellect. Now, when the intellect decides do perform a deed, then the fortitude which supports it is also of three types. I shall tell you about the three types of fortitude also. (18:730-732).
Sattvic fortitude When the Sattvic fortitude is created, the activities of the mind, the life-force and the organs stop. Then the association of the ten organs with the sense-objects breaks and they enter the womb of the mind (i.e. instead of turning towards sense objects they turn inwards towards the mind). Since both the upper and the lower pathways of the life force are blocked it brings together its nine aspects and goes to the Sushumna Nadi. Since mind is freed of will and doubt it is exposed and the intellect rests quietly in its rear. Thus, the peerless fortitude which by stopping the activities of the mind, life-force and the organs imprisons them to the confines of meditation and keeps them so without getting lured by them, until they are handed over to our emperor the Supreme Soul, is the Sattvic fortitude. (18:737-744).
Rajas fortitude The individual who, by occupying the body gets engrossed in the worldly affairs and those of heaven by means of righteous living, earning and family life attains his ambitions on the basis of the Rajas fortitude. That fortitude with which he puts in efforts making certain that they would give four times as many gains is called Rajas fortitude. (18:745-748).
Tamas fortitude Now I shall tell you the characteristics of Tamas fortitude. This fortitude is made up of all mean qualities. Why should it be called a quality when it is inferior and mean? The word has been used in the case of Tama attribute without thinking. It shelters lethargy and just as unhappiness does not leave the support of sin similarly sleep never leaves him. Since he loves his body and wealth, fear does not leave him. Just as sin of an ungrateful person is not mitigated, similarly because of his friendship with everything and everybody grief resides in him perpetually. Because he has tied himself to dissatisfaction, sorrow makes friendship with him. Discontent does not leave him until death. And because of the attraction for youth, wealth and lust grow within him arrogance also resides in him. He is always afflicted with fear, the enemy of the whole world. Just as Death does not forget the body similarly in a Tamas individual, arrogance is continual. The fortitude which has clutched the five failings of sleep etc. should be considered as Tamas fortitude. (18:749-762).
Intellect decides about three kinds of actions and three kinds of fortitude takes the actions to completion. Even if one can see the path clearly after sunrise, individual has to walk on the path by his own feet but for that walking also fortitude that is determination of mind is necessary. Thus I have told you about three types of fortitude and the three types of action which are completed due to it. The fruit one gets from the action is called happiness. That is also of three types according to the nature of the action. I shall explain to you how this happiness in the form of fruit becomes of three types due to the three attributes. (18:763-768).
THREE TYPES OF HAPPINESS
When a little happiness is gained, then proceeding in the same manner it grows until the sorrow of the state of being in a body vanishes, that happiness is the bliss of the Self. That bliss of the Self also has become of three types. I shall tell you the characteristics of each of them. (18:776-777).
Sattvic bliss In order to achieve that bliss of the Self one has to suffer the pains of observing the self-restraints, rules etc. in the beginning itself. When the strong detachment which swallows all the likes and dislikes develops it uproots the binding (liking) to the heaven and the world. The weakness of intellect etc. gets severely mutilated while listening to strict discretion and while observing strict austerities. Surge of the vital airs Prana and Apana are required to be swallowed through the Sushumna Nadi and all these efforts are required to be made in the beginning itself. (18:781-784). The organs suffer and feel as if it is the end of the aeon while leaving the sense objects but with detachment these pains are to be faced with courage. Thus by suffering the pains in the beginning itself they achieve the highest kind of bliss. (18:787-788). After the detachment gets matured by the knowledge of the Self, all sorrows originating in ignorance including the detachment vanishes. Intellect becomes one with the Soul and the mine of non-duality automatically opens up for it. In this way, the bliss which is rooted in detachment and ends in the peace of the Self-realisation may be called Sattvic bliss. (18:791-793).
Rajas happiness When the sense-objects and organs come in contact the Rajas bliss overflows. (18:794). This happiness which is fattens the individuals is like the company of a confidence trickster or the behaviour of a prostitute which appears to be pleasant in the beginning but is harmful in the end. It exhausts the stock of happiness fast, destroys life and drains the wealth of merit. All the sense pleasures which were enjoyed earlier look like a dream and it only remains to suffer sorrow. Thus in this life this happiness results in calamities and in the after-life also it gives fruits like poison. Those who pamper their sense organs by sacrificing the righteous ways of living and celebrating the pleasure orgies, strengthen the sins which lead them to hell. The worldly pleasures thus lead to ruin in the after-world. Worldly happiness which is sweet in the beginning but leads to a bitter end is Rajas happiness. Do not even let it touch you. (18:797-805).
Tamas happiness That pleasure which is obtained from drinking the undrinkable, eating the uneatable, or in the company of a woman of loose morals, or by ruining others, snatching other people’s wealth, or by listening to the praise by others, that which proliferates by lethargy or sleep and in the beginning and end of which one misses the road to progress because of delusion, may be considered as Tamas happiness. I am not going into its details because it is impossible. Thus I have clarified how by the divisions of the action the resulting happiness has also become of three types. (18:806-810).
No escape from attributes There is nothing in this world apart from the doer, deed and the fruit thereof. The three attributes are woven in this triad. Therefore keep in mind that there is no object on this earth or in heaven which is not bound by the attributes of nature. (18:811-813). No creature has escaped from the arrangement of the attributes in this world. Therefore all objects in this world are made up of these three attributes. It is these attributes which have turned one god into three (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh). It is because of these three attributes that the three worlds (heaven, earth and nether) were created and the four castes and their duties have become different. (18:815-817)
DUTIES OF FOUR CASTES
The four castes At the top of the four caste system are the brahmins. The next two, kshatriyas and the vaishyas are of the same level as brahmins because they are entitled to perform Vedic rites. The fourth caste of Shudras does not have the right to Vedas therefore its sustenance is dependent upon the first three castes. Since it comes in close contact with the three castes brahmin etc., it has been counted as the fourth caste. Because of their contacts with the twice born, Shrutis included Shudras also in the caste system. Thus the caste system divides people into four types. I shall tell you what the duties of the four castes are and the nature of the duties. By virtue of these duties these four castes escape from the clutches of the birth and death cycle and attain God. These duties are assigned to the four castes according to the three attributes of nature. (18:818-825).
Attributes and castes In this system the Sattva attribute has entered equally in brahmins and kshatriyas. Raja attribute mixed with the Sattva attribute has entered the vaishyas while the Tama attribute mixed with the Raja attribute has entered the shudras. Thus the mankind which is basically one has been divided into four types b the three attributes. Shastras clarify the duties which are separated due to the attributes. Now listen to which duties are proper for each caste. (18:828-832).
The nine qualities of a brahmin Controlling the bodily tendencies and desires the intellect meets the Self in solitude like a wife embracing her husband in private. This peaceful nature of the intellect is called "Shama" or serenity and all actions (fit for brahmins) start from it. That which restrains the external organs by showing them the fear of the scriptural rules and does not let them turn towards unrighteousness is called "Dama" or restraint and is a helpmate to "Shama" It is the second quality of the action. Ever thinking about God is called "Tapas" or austerity and is the third quality of the action. This action has two types of purity or "Shouchya", the internal purity of the mind with pure emotions and the external purity of the body with good deeds. This is the fourth quality of this type of action. To tolerate all pains like the earth does is called "Kshama" or forbearance which is the fifth quality and is sweet like the "Panchama" tone (equivalent to "G" scale). To behave in a straightforward manner with an individual who is against you is the sixth quality called uprightness. Understanding that behaving as prescribed in the scriptures leads to God-realisation is Knowledge and is the seventh quality of action. Steadfast unification of the intellect with the Supreme person by means of the power of knowledge of the Shastras or by meditation after the mind is purified is called wisdom (Vidnyan) and is the eighth quality. And accepting what is prescribed by the Shastras is the the same as the belief in God (Astykia) which is the ninth quality of action and the action which has this quality is the true action. Thus the action in which these nine qualities i.e. serenity etc. are faultlessly present .is the natural duty of a brahmin. (18:845-851). This string of nine jewels of the nine qualities is an ornament of a brahmin and he is never without it. (18:854).
Seven qualities of a KshatriyaNow I shall tell you what is proper action for a kshatriya. (18:855). Just as a lion does not seek anybody's company while going hunting similarly he is strong and exhibits inborn bravery without external support. This bravery is the first and best of the qualities of a kshatriya. (18:856-857). To astonish the world by one's strength and qualities and not getting disturbed under any circumstances is the second notable quality exhibited by kshatriyas known as martiallustre. Courage or fortitude is his third quality by means of which his mind and intellect do not experience fear even if heavens come down. (18:859-861). Overcoming the emotional effects (joy, sorrow, fear etc.) resulting from many calamities and guiding the intellect to pass through them and get favourable results is the fourth quality of a kshatriya called dexterity (alertness). Extreme fightingspirit is his fifth quality. He faces the enemy and avoids retreat from the enemy. This fifth quality is superior among all the qualities just as devotion is among the four worldly obligations of a person. (18:863-867). Giving limitlessly in charity as per people's wishes and needs is the sixth quality of a kshatriya called generosity. (18:869-870). To protect and foster the subjects with love and to receive their services is the sense of Godly duty (King is considered as representative of God). The storehouse of all power is this sense of being God's representative which should be reflected in the behaviour of a kshatriya and is the seventh quality which is the king among the qualities. A kshatriya is adorned by these seven qualities. (18:871-873). The action which becomes sacrosanct by these seven qualities is the natural action of a kshatriya. (18:878).
Duties of a Vaishya Now I shall tell you about actions which are proper for a vaishya. (18:879). To make a lot of profit from farm, seeds and ploughs, in short, to live by farming, maintaining cattle, or buying goods cheaply and selling them at higher price are the natural actions of a vaishya. (18:880-882).
Duty of a Shudra The three castes vaishya, kshatriya an brahmin are termed as dwija or twice born. To serve them is only the true prescribed duty of a shudra. There is no duty for shudras other than serving the twice born. Thus I have told you about the actions proper for the four castes. (18:883-884).
Duties to be done as per caste entitlement Just as joining the river is proper for rainwater and joining the ocean proper for the river, similarly it is proper for a person to do whatever actions fall to his lot as per the rules of the four caste system. One should resolve firmly to do the natural actions as prescribed in the Shastras. One's duties and entitlement as per one's caste should be understood from the Shastras. (18:886-889, 891). A person who does actions in this manner but laying stress on doing them gladly with body and mind without lethargy and without desire for fruits of the actions does them exactly as prescribed by the Shastras and reaches the gates on this side of liberation (i.e. detachment) because he does not allow himself to be tainted neither by not doing the prescribed deeds nor by doing the prohibited ones. He is therefore not affected by the ills of the worldly affairs. He considers actions with desire like shackles of sandalwood and does not even look at them. And because he gives up the fruits of the other actions namely the routine actions and thus nullifies them he reaches the boundary of liberation. In this way he avoids the traps of sin and merit in this world and stands at the gates of liberation in the form of detachment. (18:893-894, 896-900).
IMPORTANCE OF DETACHMENT
The detachment which is the limit of all fortunes and giver of knowledge for attaining liberation and which is the endpoint of the labours of the path of action is the guarantee for liberation and is the fruit of the tree of merit. The bee that is the seeker sits on the flower of detachment. That detachment is the dawn signifying that the sun of Self realisation is about to rise. (18:901-903).Thus by observing the rules of prescribed actions he becomes entitled to liberation. Arjuna, performing this prescribed action is my one and only call and is the highest kind of service to Me who is the Soul of everything. (18:905-906).
Prescribed duties puts burden on God The faithful wife exchanges pleasures with her husband in all sorts of ways and the very same is her tapas or a child has no means of life support except of its mother therefore its righteous action is to serve her. (18:907-908). One should not abandon one's prescribed duties. When the prescribed duties are performed it puts an obligation on God. It is His desire that everybody should do appropriate duties prescribed for him. Therefore when these duties are done one doubtlessly attains God. (18:910-911). Not to default on behaving as desired by Him is the highest service to Him. Doing anything other than this in purely business. Therefore when prescribed duty is performed it does not amount to action. It amounts to obeying the commands of God from whom the five principles came into existence. That God wraps up the rags of ignorance to make puppet dolls of individuals and makes them play with the strings made of ego with the strands of three attributes. God has pervaded the universe from inside as well as outside like the light from a lamp and when He is worshipped with the flowers of good deeds he is pleased. Therefore the Soul who is pleased with the worship gives him the prasad of detachment. In that state of detachment the attention is concentrated on God and he dislikes the entire world like a vomit and all the pleasures in the world also appear to him like sorrows. Even before achieving the final success he achieves oneness with God by his total attention to Him and becomes worthy of Self-realisation. Therefore, he who observes austerities for achieving liberation should practice own Dharma with deep faith. (18:913-922).
FOLLOW OWN DHARMA
Arjuna, though own Dharma is difficult to observe one should keep in mind what fruits one would gain from it. (18:923). If we start disliking our own Dharma because it is difficult then shall we not miss the bliss of liberation? (18:926). Even if our mother is a hunchback, her love on which we survive is not hunchbacked. (18:927). Even if ghee has better qualities than water can fish live in ghee? What is poison to the world is like nectar to the organisms living in it. Therefore, even though it is difficult to observe everyone should do only what is prescribed for him and which will liberate him from the worldly troubles. To adopt other people's behaviour because they appear good is like walking on your head instead of by your feet. Therefore Arjuna, is it not necessary to make a rule that one should practice one's own Dharma and avoid others? As long as there is no Self-realisation actions are going to be there and doing any action will always be difficult in the beginning. (18:929-935).
When every action has its difficulties then why should we blame our own Dharma for them. (18:936). If doing even those actions which we like involves labours then how can we say that actions prescribed by Shastras are difficult. (18:945). Is there any fruit other that sorrow when one accumulates sins by labouring one's organs and spending time of our life? Therefore one should practice only one's own natural Dharma because it will mitigate your labours and fetch you liberation, the highest among the four obligations of man. (18:948-949). Then God, pleased by the great worship of observation of one's own Dharma destroys the Tama and Raja attributes from the mind and directs one's eagerness towards Sattva attribute resulting into the conviction that this earth and heaven are like poison. The person then achieves the detachment of the type implied by the word "Sansiddha" used earlier (in the Gita Shloka No 45) to explain the meaning of detachment. I shall now tell about how he becomes a seeker once this state of detachment is mastered and what he gains by it. (18:952-955).
BECOMING A SEEKER
Such a person is not caught in the web of worldly things like the body etc. His love for the world becomes dulled. He does not consider his sons, wealth and family as his even if they go by his wishes. Then his intellect scalded by the sense pleasures reverses into seclusion (become introspect). His conscience does not break the vow of not turning towards external objects. Then that seeker grips his mind in the grip of oneness with God and turns its interest towards Soul. At that time his desire for worldly and beyond the world subjects vanishes. Therefore if mind is controlled then desire also vanishes. Thus the illusions about the realness of the world vanishes and he comes to the state of true knowledge (of the Self). His past karmas are nullified by going through the process of enjoying or suffering for them and new karma is not created because the ego of being the doer of the actions has already vanished. This state is called "Karma-samya-dasha" or the state of null karmas. When this state of null karmas is attained he meets his Guru automatically. (18:956-966). Once he meets his Guru, his actions and his responsibility as doer stops. (18:968). The ignorance of the seeker then is destroyed by the blessings of the true Guru. (18:970).
State of actionlessness Once the ignorance gets destroyed then the triad of actions, the doer and the act of doing vanishes and karma is abandoned automatically. Thus when the visible world is wiped away by destroying the ignorance which is the root cause of all actions then the seeker realises that what he was endeavouring to know is he himself. (18:971-973). When ignorance goes, it takes with it the knowledge, and what remains is the actionless consciousness. Therefore that state of pure knowledge is called non-doing (or actionlessness). He then remains in the state of his original form. The state of complete actionlessness is the Siddhi of actionlessness and is naturally the most superior among the Siddhis. (18:977-980). There is nothing more to be gained beyond the state of actionlessness. (18:983). This state is attained by the blessings of a true Guru. (18:984). Who can say that a person whose inclination has become steady in the Self by the destruction of duality after listening, due to his good fortune, to the advice of his true Guru has any action remaining to be done? Without doubt, such a person has nothing left to be done. (18:987-990). But everybody cannot reach that state. What a person who has not been able yet to reach the state of Self-realisation should do is explained in the following. (18:991).
Getting ready to meet his Guru That seeker should first burn the Raja and Tama attributes along with desire and prohibited actions in the fire of prescribed actions using the fuel of actions. (i.e. burn prohibited actions as well as the two attributes.) Also he should see that the desire about children, wealth and heaven should be under his complete control. The organs which were exposed to various sense pleasures should be controlled (Pratyahar or control of organs). And acting as prescribed by the own Dharma and making the offering of their fruits to God, attain a steady state of detachment. Means should be obtained by which knowledge would grow and Self-realisation would be attained. After being so prepared if one meets his true Guru and he gives advice on Self Realisation without reservations (18:991-997), then in time he will receive the fruits. (18:999).
When one achieves detachment and also meets True Guru and discrimination takes root in the mind, then the mind, using that discrimination, decides that Brahman alone is real and all other worldly things are an illusion. But the state of oneness with the all-pervading and supreme Brahman, where the path to liberation ends, in which the Knowledge by which the three states (wakefulness, dream and sleep) dissolve itself dissolves, where the oneness of unification vanishes and not even a trace of bliss of the Self remains but which still remains as a remainder even when nothing remains, is achieved only step by step in due time. (18:1001-1006). The lamp of thoughts is lighted by the oil of detachment and he gets the treasure of the Self. The essence of the steps by which as seeker who has become permanently worthy of enjoying this treasure of the Self achieves Self-realisation is the what I shall tell you now. (18:1008-1010).
STEPS TO SELF-REALISATION
That seeker reaches the banks of holy waters of discrimination by the path shown by the Guru and washes the dirt from his intellect. Then that intellect becomes pure and reaches its original state and abandoning the conflict between happiness and sorrow gets engrossed in contemplation of the Self. He eliminates, by means of controlling the organs, the five pleasure subjects to which the organs had given importance leaving the life of knowledge. Then he sets the now pure organs made introspective to the path of yoga on the strength of his courage. Similarly if he has to enjoy or suffer the fruits of the karmas of past lives he does not long for those fruits. In this way giving up liking for beneficial subjects and dislike for harmful subjects he lives alone in a cave forested hills where there is no disturbance from people and only company he has there are his own organs. His pastime is to control the mind and the organs, his speech is silence. He does not know how much time passes in the contemplation of the mantra given by his Guru. And while eating he does not bother about three things namely to become strong, to satisfy is hunger or to satisfy his taste buds. The satisfaction he gets by eating little has no measure. The body will die if hunger is not satisfied therefore he eats just enough to sustain life and that too in quantities which will not make him sleepy or lethargic. His body touches the ground only when he prostrates before the deity for worship otherwise he does not lie on ground thoughtlessly. He moves his limbs only for survival of the body for getting food. In this way he keeps his mind and organs under control. (18:1011-1029).
He does not permit his tendencies reach the threshold of mind then where is the question of expressing them in words? Concurring the body, speech, mind and external organs, he masters meditation. He constantly guards the steady interest in the Self-realisation awakened in him by the Mantra given by his true Guru. The customary way of meditation is to meditate in such a way that the meditation and the subject on which he meditates become one. For this one has to meditate until meditation, meditator and the subject of meditation become one therefore the seeker with his attention on attaining Self-realisation resorts to the practice of yoga. By pressing the joint midway between the anus and the genitals and thus contracting the anus, he practices the three postures namely, the Mula Bandha posture (the knot at the root or base), the Jalandhar Bandha and the Odhiyana Bandha (knots, see 6:192-200) and unites the pranas thus awakening his Kundalini. Clearing the path of the Sushumna nerve, he brakes through all the Chakras from Muladhar to Adnya and then releasing the shower of nectar from the Sahasrar or the thousand petalled lotus at the top of the head, he brings the stream of nectar down to the Muladhar Chakra. Then he makes an offering of his mind and the pranas to the consciousness active in the Adnyachakra. While this power of Kundalini is being activated he continues in the background his practice of meditation. In order that the practice of yoga and meditation should continue uninterrupted, he has already attained detachment which accompanies him right from the beginning until he attains the final unification with the Self. (18:1030-1043). If detachment is present in a seeker of liberation until his tendencies dissolve in the Self then how can impediments come in his spiritual path? Therefore that fortunate person becomes worthy of knowledge of the self by practising yoga with detachment. Protected by the armour of detachment he rides the horse of Rajayoga, and holding the sword of meditation fast in the grip of discrimination, he cuts through all difficulties big and small and marches in the dark battlefield of the world and wins the liberation. (18:1045-1049).
Enemies to be conquered
First enemy- Body ego Now, the first among the enemies in the form of failings who have come to stop him in this battle and whom he has beaten is the ego of the body (I am the body feeling). This ego of the body does not leave you after death nor does it allow you to live properly after you take birth, he traps you and keeps you languished in the stockade of the skeleton. But that brave seeker captures the fort of the body which is the shelter to this ego.
Second enemy- Strength And strength is the second enemy he subdues. This enemy that is strength quadruples itself at the mention of sense-pleasures and the entire world is threatened by it leading it to the state of death. It is thus a basin of the poisons of the sense-pleasures and king of all failings. But how can it tolerate the blow of the sword of meditation? (18:1050-1054).
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