In these ways, one comes to find heaven within—pleasure and contentment, the attainment of the Highest bliss of unification with God, and absolute freedom.
Now Krishna reiterates what he has already taught Arjuna in such a way as to clarify things simply. So you can see these three verses as a summing up of a huge mass of information that, if practiced, can take you the pinnacle of where you want to go—to the ‘Highest’.
BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 17-18
Accordingly, such a person finds pleasure in the self, and thus contented within the self, this person finds that there is nothing to be done.
‘Accordingly’: What is being said here is relevant to the previous verses.
‘Self’: Though it may be tempting to associate ‘self’ with the true Self, it is the human self (mānava) being referred to here. This verse tells us the outcome of the practice that has been presented throughout this chapter on Karma Yoga (Action Yoga), specifically those from verse nine to this one. These teachings show the way to contentment and independence at every level that so inspires the imagination of those seeking inner peace. From here, enlightenment takes care of itself.
Indeed, for this person there is no motivation for acting or not acting, and not of all beings is there any aim or expectation.
Having understood and practiced these teachings, one becomes satisfied and content, so there is nothing ‘to do’. This person finds nothing to be the ‘doer’ of—there is no motivation for doing anything. The sense of doership does not arise for this reason, not because of egotism, ignorance or laziness. This person is not constantly looking for company and checking out the nearest bar. Instead, he is probably at home meditating. He does not look to others for satisfaction, fulfillment or contentment, and does not expect it, or need it, from others.
Ego: ahańkāra, ‘I do’.
‘Expectation’: We discussed expectations earlier in Great Expectations and Accessing the Abundance of the Field. Might it be that this and the previous verses are suggesting a state in which subconscious expectations have no influence? If one reaches a state in which there is nothing to be done, how can expectations, conscious or subconscious, have any effect?
( saṃskāra – संस्कार )
Hidden expectations based on past events that determine personal tendencies and influence events to come. These samakaras, which are desire-based, have a way of running our lives.
There comes a time in one’s sadhana when one comes to experience complete apathy on a daily basis. There is nothing one is drawn to do. Nothing is of interest, even for a person who would ordinarily find something interesting in just about anything. Now, however, nothing really matters. And sometimes, it seems that something must be very wrong, that one must surely at least be interested in spiritual things, or spiritual people, or spiritual endeavors, or spiritual books. But no, there is nothing.
One tends to not even be all that interested in one’s own personal welfare, and spiritual practices continue as a matter of course, as things that ‘should’ be important are passed over in favor of it. The world seems like a merry-go-round that was once very interesting and exciting, but after so many rides, and having seen such amazing things that exist outside of normal experience (and merry-go-rounds), life is just another ride, and it is perfectly acceptable to just be. And practices continue on their own.
Coming this mid-week: Heaven Within, Conclusion
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),