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SELF-CONTROL Chapter Six Bhagavad Gita


SIX: SELF-CONTROL
“Lord Shri Krishna said: He who acts because it is his duty, not thinking of the consequences, is really spiritual and a true ascetic; and not he who merely observes rituals or who shuns all action.
O Arjuna! Renunciation is in fact what is called Right Action. No one can become spiritual who has not renounced all desire.

For the sage who seeks the heights of spiritual meditation, practice is the only method, and when he has attained them, he must maintain himself there by continual self-control.
When a man renounces even the thought of initiating action, when he is not interested in sense objects or any results which may flow from his acts, then in truth he understands spirituality.

Let him seek liberation by the help of his Highest Self, and let him never disgrace his own Self. For that Self is his only friend; yet it may also be his enemy.

To him who has conquered his lower nature by Its help, the Self is a friend, but to him who has not done so, It is an enemy. The Self of him who is self-controlled, and has attained peace is equally unmoved by heat or cold, pleasure or pain, honour or dishonour.

He who desires nothing but wisdom and spiritual insight, who has conquered his senses and who looks with the same eye upon a lump of earth, a stone or fine gold, is a real saint.

He looks impartially on all – lover, friend or foe; indifferent or hostile; alien or relative; virtuous or sinful.

Let the student of spirituality try unceasingly to concentrate his mind; Let him live in seclusion, absolutely alone, with mind and personality controlled, free from desire and without possessions.
Having chosen a holy place, let him sit in a firm posture on a seat, neither too high nor too low, and covered with a grass mat, a deer skin and a cloth.

Seated thus, his mind concentrated, its functions controlled and his senses governed, let him practise meditation for the purification of his lower nature.

Let him hold body, head and neck erect, motionless and steady; let him look fixedly at the tip of his nose, turning neither to the right nor to the left.
With peace in his heart and nor fear, observing the vow of celibacy, with mind controlled and fixed on Me, let the student lose himself in contemplation of Me.
Thus keeping his mind always in communion with Me, and with his thoughts subdued, he shall attain that Peace which is mine and which will lead him to liberation at last. Meditation is not for him who eats too much, not for him who eats not at all; not for him who is overmuch addicted to sleep, not for him who is always awake.

But for him who regulates his food and recreation, who is balanced in action, in sleep and in waking, it shall dispel all unhappiness. When the mind, completely controlled, is centered in the Self, and free from all earthly desires, then is the man truly spiritual.

The wise man who has conquered his mind and is absorbed in the Self is as a lamp which does not flicker, since it stands sheltered from every wind. There, where the whole nature is seen in the light of the Self, where the man abides within his Self and is satisfied there, its functions restrained by its union with the Divine, the mind finds rest.

When he enjoys the Bliss which passes sense, and which only the Pure Intellect can grasp, when he comes to rest within his own highest Self, never again will he stray from reality.

Finding That, he will realise that there is no possession so precious. And when once established here, no calamity can disturb him. This inner severance from the affliction of misery is spirituality. It should be practised with determination and with a heart which refuses to be depressed.
Renouncing every desire which imagination can conceive, controlling the senses at every point by the power of mind; Little by little, by the help of his reason controlled by fortitude, let him attain peace; and, fixing his mind on the Self, let him not think of any other thing.
When the volatile and wavering mind would wander, let him restrain it and bring it again to its allegiance to the Self.
Supreme Bliss is the lot of the sage, whose mind attains Peace, whose passions subside, who is without sin, and who becomes one with the Absolute.
Thus, free from sin, abiding always in the Eternal, the saint enjoys without effort the Bliss which flows from realisation of the Infinite. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye; He who sees Me in everything and everything in Me, him shall I never forsake, nor shall he lose Me.

The sage who realises the unity of life and who worships Me in all beings, lives in Me, whatever may be his lot. O Arjuna! He is the perfect saint who, taught by the likeness within himself, sees the same Self everywhere, whether the outer form be pleasurable or painful.

Arjuna said: I do not see how I can attain this state of equanimity which Thou has revealed, owing to the restlessness of my mind. My Lord! Verily, the mind is fickle and turbulent, obstinate and strong, yea extremely difficult as the wind to control.
Lord Shri Krishna replied: Doubtless, O Mighty One, the mind is fickle and exceedingly difficult to restrain, but, O Son of Kunti, with practice and renunciation it can be done.

It is not possible to attain Self-Realisation if a man does not know how to control himself; but for him who, striving by proper means, learns such control, it is possible. Arjuna asked: He who fails to control himself, whose mind falls from spiritual contemplation, who attains not perfection but retains his faith, what of him, my Lord?

Having failed in both, my Lord, is he without hope, like a riven cloud having no support, lost on the spiritual road? My Lord! Thou art worthy to solve this doubt once and for all; save Thyself there is no one competent to do so.

Lord Shri Krishna replied: My beloved child! There is no destruction for him, either in this world or in the next. No evil fate awaits him who treads the path of righteousness.
Having reached the worlds where the righteous dwell, and having remained there for many years, he who has slipped from the path of spirituality will be born again in the family of the pure, benevolent and prosperous.
Or, he may be born in the family of the wise sages, though a birth like this is, indeed, very difficult to obtain. Then the experience acquired in his former life will revive, and with its help he will strive for perfection more eagerly than before.

Unconsciously he will return to the practices of his old life; so that he who tries to realise spiritual consciousness is certainly superior to one who only talks of it.

Then after many lives, the student of spirituality, who earnestly strives, and whose sins are absolved, attains perfection and reaches the Supreme. The wise man is superior to the ascetic and to the scholar and to the man of action; therefore be thou a wise man, O Arjuna! I look upon him as the best of mystics who, full of faith, worshippeth Me and abideth in Me.”
Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme
Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the Prince Arjuna, stands the sixth chapter entitled: Self-Control.
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