One must take up the spiritual journey as an adventure and enjoy the process. Adventures do have their challenges (that’s what makes them adventures), but with this spirit, challenges are exciting omens of excellent progress. One can then grow old with much contentment and many good stories.
Content with gain by chance, beyond duality, desireless, indifferent in success and failure, even though one has acted, one is not bound.
“Content with gain by chance”
This is a lovely way to describe ‘adventure’. Can you imagine a life where everything is known in advance and always in your comfort zone? This would be a good definition of ‘boredom’!
When you are not acting with will, purpose and intent as Krishna has directed, you don’t know how things will turn out. When you are not acting deliberately for the purpose of getting things to be a certain way (this describes the norm of daily life), the results of your actions are unpredictable, and adventure is afoot!
Two Ways to Truth
There are two ways to proceed in seeking the Truth: (1) You can try to prove the Truth to be as you believe it to be by trying to validate your belief, or (2) you can subject yourself to the Truth Itself and find out first hand what it is. Wouldn’t you prefer the latter?
The first way, the way of modern science and religion, is safer for the ego, but if your theory is wrong, you end up with nothing. If on the other hand you subject yourself to Truth/God, you will experience for yourself what That is. You won’t be able to prove it to anyone else, but you will know for yourself. This is one meaning of “self-knowledge”.
knowing Truth for yourself.
It is the second way that this verse is suggesting is the proper way to seek Truth: Surrender to Truth/God. It is a gamble, so you will have to cultivate some trust in what you are seeking to not let you down. It may be a gamble but it is the only way you will ever know through your own experience what is True and what is not. This is something any good explorer understands. He thrives on the adventure, as do I.
This can be taken generally or specifically. ‘Beyond duality’ might mean that one finally grows up, becomes mature and over the emotional age of two when everything is either right or wrong, black or white, all or nothing. Specifically it refers to the two opposing life energies in the body, prana and apana, becoming united (yoga) and functioning together as kundalini to step up the evolutionary process.
This may seem difficult, but it is a natural outcome of getting “beyond duality” as described above—with the advent of yoga (union), one is fulfilled so ‘desire’ naturally no longer exists.
“Indifferent in success or failure”
Indifference is an obvious characteristic of desirelessness. So, even though you may think it is impossible to be indifferent, that you must succeed, in a desireless state you won’t care one way or another about success or failure. This is learned through meditation.
In Surrender Meditation, when fulfillment arrives, you are desireless and therefore indifferent. Even though it may last for only a few minutes, because you now have this knowledge and have taken note of your experience for what it is, it continues to present itself, and grows exponentially.
To be content is to be satisfied, fulfilled. The three above — (1) beyond duality, (2) desireless and (3) indifferent in success and failure — are naturally present in contentment. So think of these three components as descriptors of contentment rather than as ‘shoulds’. This simplifies the verse thus:
“Content with gain by chance, even though one has acted, one is not bound.”
When you find yourself in a moment of contentment, have a look at the components of this state. Are you busy trying to figure something out? Is there a desire yanking your chain? Are you engaged in trying to achieve something? And so forth. I think you will find that contentment is void of these intruders.
If you can take a chance on God — submit yourself to God, surrender to God — even if only for an hour a day, you will come to understand these teachings for yourself, even though you may spend 23 of your 24 daily hours otherwise. How much better can it get?
Unattached, liberated, wisdom-consciousness established, action as sacrifice vanishes completely.
By adhering to the teachings of the previous verse you get to this one. You become unattached, free, and wise to the truth about action through your own personal experience.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
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