Verse 11

 

 

11. When Krsna says ‘Me’ He means Atman. The Self in Krsna is the same Self in all. It is the enabling factor that facilitates the perception of the senses, action of the body, feeling of the mind and thinking of the intellect. Atman is the very source of all activity.

People perform action according to their own nature for their own ends. A mahatma meditates in the Himalayas to reach God. A criminal engages in crime. A politician acts for power. Atman enables all activities. Hence all people tread My path. Just as gasoline empowers all movement of all cars. It supports good as well as bad driving.

You have a choice, indicated by Krsna’s posture. He holds a stick in one hand and makes the jnana mudra with the other. Jnana mudra is when the pointing finger dissociates from the other three fingers and touches the thumb. Krsna, the cowherd, would take the cattle out for grazing during the day and bring them back at sundown. This represents taking your senses to graze in the world for sensual enjoyment. The jnana mudra indicates the ego moving away from body, mind, intellect and surrendering to Atman. The thumb, being the most important finger, represents the Divine. You have the option of chasing after mere sensual pleasure or working towards your spiritual growth. Both are empowered by Atman.

Therefore, be careful in your choices. Think and opt for long term happiness and not just momentary, trifling joys.

 

 

Verse 12

 

 

12. Those who long for only success in the world, those with narrow vision, worship the devas gods. The word ‘god’ in plural means material, worldly goals. The ancient sages understood the difficulty of tearing your attention away from worldly attractions and placing it on Atman. So they divinized mundane pursuits as ‘gods’. Wealth was personified as goddess Lakshmi, knowledge as Saraswati, strength as Hanuman etc. Thus, a touch of the Divine was conferred on material goals. This helped focus the mind on the Divine.

The important words here are yajante sacrifice and karma action. You need to sacrifice your personal, selfish interests for the goal. You have to work hard. A tennis player cannot eat what he wants or sleep late if he wants to excel in his field. He has to restrict parties and other indulgences to hone his skills. He works long hours towards developing physical fitness, mental strength etc. for which he has to sacrifice many things. Only then can he hope to get to the top. So is it with a violinist, dancer, businessman or surgeon.

Then success comes quickly. Success in the material field comes easily. It is spiritual development that is the real challenge. To pull back your mind from the temptations of the world and integrate all desires under the all-consuming desire for God can take many janmas lives! This is why there was immense respect for spiritual masters.