III:21 Going for God, Conclusion

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSE 21

21
Whatever a great person does, thus do others. Whatever standard that person sets the world follows.

We are all familiar with this phenomenon. The rock star, the political leader, etc., cuts the fashion, and we follow the herd. It is that simple. It is what people do, and Krishna is calling Arjuna’s attention to this. With the knowledge he has been given, Arjuna is in a position to take people forward.

Arjuna is the greatest in the world at what he does (he is an archer and warrior) and is of royal birth. He is a great man, so whatever he does will not be missed. The public will be watching, and they will be inspired to act in the same way as he. If Arjuna persists at declining to do this Yoga, so will they. This is yet one more example of how our own forward movement is so important to the welfare of others.

On a Personal Note

On a smaller scale, one of the things I come across is the tendency of people to look at my own history with this sadhana (practices), and assume that they would have to go through the same hardships I have endured. They are overwhelmed by this, and thinking that I will expect the same of them, they become discouraged. Many walk away because of this, before they even have the opportunity to discover that I most certainly will not expect any such thing. On the contrary, having been down a hard road, I am in a position to save them from that very thing.

Also, some, those who are familiar with some of my imperfections, wonder why I would become involved in a sadhana that produces such troubles. But it is not the sadhana that is responsible for these difficulties, it is my own imperfections and my own karma. The sadhana is not to be blamed. I have stayed with it in spite of all this. Others may have a much easier go of it that I, yet they believe what they see instead of what I tell them.

Verses 20-21, Going for God in a Nutshell

Having adamantly persevered, perfection was attained by King Janaka, resulting in the holding together and protecting of the world. So you should also do this, for whatever a great person does, others will also do.

I am often awed at the challenges and difficulties people will put themselves through in order to be beautiful, to win fame, to win prizes for some talent or skill, or to get rich, yet are reluctant to do the same for the sake of going for God and regaining their natural state of joy, and by so doing, bringing this gift to others. I am astonished at this. How can such a thing be?

Coming this weekend:  How to Save the World

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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III:20 Going for God

Improve yourself and serve the world through progress—every step you take pulls every one of us with you. 

Lord Krishna continues giving Arjuna good reasons for going forward with Karma Yoga as represented by the battle of Kurukshetra-Dharmakshetra, by telling him the beneficial outcome for all, of persisting.

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSE 20

20
Having adamantly persevered, perfection was attained by King Janaka, thus holding together and protecting the world. You should do likewise.

Lord Krishna now resorts to historical reference to add authority to what he has taught Arjuna in the previous verses. He calls Arjuna’s attention to King Janaka, the ruler of a kingdom who succeeded in reaching perfection. He was known as “Videha Janaka”—Videha, not identified with the body, Janaka, progenitor (father).

“He tilled the soil with his own hands, and he was also the greatest of the knowers of Truth of his time…Strictly speaking it is almost impossible to work like that for the good of the world from the householder’s position. In the whole of Hindu scriptures there is the single instance of King Janaka in this respect. But you nowadays want to pose as Janakas in every home by begetting children year after year…” — Swami Vivakananda

Why is Lord Krishna bringing up King Janaka? Perhaps to point out to Arjuna, the previously mentioned requirements as having been accomplished by someone known to him and with whom he has a few things in common, such as notoriety, caste, expertise, and the similar responsibilities of protecting the people.

Though having to carry out the rulership of an entire kingdom, King Janaka was not identified with his body or desirous of worldly things. This is no small matter—“In the whole of Hindu scriptures there is the single instance of King Janaka in this respect”—and is why this Yoga was not generally practiced by those bound by the responsibilities of a householder.

The origin of this Yoga is the Indus Valley and the mountain foothills many thousands of years ago. It has been practiced, tried and tested over millennia by accomplished sages who have attained the perfection it promises. Who are we, the newbies of the western world, to think that we are exceptions to this?

Practitioners of this form of Karma Yoga who have reached perfection, have gotten there by divesting themselves of the worldly life and dedicating themselves solely to their spiritual practices. If you are thinking, or hoping, that you are an exception, I would caution you to contemplate the above.

Also, consider King Janaka: (1) an aristocrat with the responsibilities of a ruler, (2) with the duty to protect the people, (3) completely enlightened as to what and who he was, and (4) completely unattached to the things of this world. Look inside yourself and ask, “Do I fit this description? What would these circumstances demand of me, and could I carry them out and still succeed in this practice?”

King Janaka’s singular position in the annals of history as a householder achieving perfection, gives us some idea of the challenges one could expect to encounter (it’s difficult enough for a renunciate!), and why I say…

“Get your ducks in a row now,
in case you decide to take it all the way later.” 

Coming this mid-week:  Going for God, Conclusion

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Shaktipat Intensives
Practical Meditation