This post is going to be a little different from what I usually write here, but by the end of it you might think I am back to my usual. So if you get there, thank you for bearing with me.
“Mayi sarvani karmani samnyasyādhyātmacetasā;
Nirāśirnirmamo bhūtvā yudhyasava vigatajvarah.”
Renouncing all actions into Me, with the mind centered on the Self, free from hope and egoism (Ownership), free from (mental) fever, (you) do fight.
This is taken from the Holy Geeta, chapter 3 Karma Yoga, verse 30.
This brilliant passage is spoken by lord Krishna to his worshipper/friend/student Arjuna.
A closer study of the import of these two lines will make us understand clearly that, in this stanza, Krishna is hinting at the greater psychological truth of life. Krishna advises Arjuna to act renouncing both Hope and Ego; and this is indeed a primary instruction on how to pour the best that is in us into the ‘present’, blockading all unintelligent and thoughtless dissipation of our inner personality-energies, in the ‘Past’and the ‘Future’.
He further says to renounce all action unto the Lord and, getting rid of both Hope and Selfishness, must fight, free from all mental fever. How complete this technique is will be evident now to all students of Geeta.
The term ‘fight’is to be understood here ‘as our individual fight with circumstances, in the silent battle of life’. Thus, the advice is not for Arjuna alone, but to them all men who would like to live fully and intelligently.
And this makes more sense to me when right in the next stanza He says, without caviling, and with only faith in heart, one must live. For one can neither understand fully, nor come to gain the blessings of the way of life, by deep study and noisy discussions. It can be understood and experienced only by living it.
Time again, I have been told that thinking, will not help much, that trying to understand all the concepts of life is only a vain effort. But despite my agreement with them, I fail to accustom myself to these thoughts. The result of which is a PhD in overthinking and a certain sense of guilt and restlessness, and a tinge of permanent anxiety of un-knowingness. I have been told again and again, that to not think much of past and present, and only to live. But it took me more than a decade, and a number of people telling me so, a 100 different experiences and a second reading of this Holy scripture, to finally let myself understand that I can never understand everything (Just the way I can never travel almost every part of the world, or just the way that I can never ever read all the books in the world!!). It was this time, that when I read it, my brains finally, tried accepting this simple fact, it was this time that I felt, that Krishna was speaking to me, (Hypothetically, don’t worry I haven’t turned all too religious overnight and started hallucinating about Gods in front of me) finally making my dumb ass realize that I am not right, that I need to stop doing certain things to myself which are only hurting me more.
Now, that I have come to accept it, I am going to start trying to succumb to it; that is my attempts will be to not think much, about the past and-or the future. I will try and leave my ego and all kinds of hope behind, in an attempt of living a life without selfishness, and one full of faith. This does not mean I renounce my Karma, no, it only signifies how I will go about it; that is without my Ego and Hope but full of faith.
This is how I perceive these stanzas, and I am pretty sure, I still don’t get the inner meaning of them, or the depth of what He was trying to say. All the same I will keep up with my efforts of not understanding anymore, but only living my life, doing my Karma, because I sure ain’t getting younger!!
I have used the commentary and the English translation of the verse from the Geeta, written by Swami Chinmayananda.