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Definiteness Of Purpose Is The Sail That Reaches You To Your Destination Safely

  • Posted on September 13, 2015 at 1:32 pm

The word Dharma has many meanings if you look up the word in the Sanskrit dictionary. :)

It means one’s nature, religion, law, attributes, good works, conduct, etc. One of the many meanings for dharma is also ‘duty’.

Abandoning all dharma/duties does not mean that one should not perform their duties. As explained in the commentary given below one maybe confused as to what action to perform and which not to. As a general rule of thumb, we have been given a mind to think. And as Napoleon Hill has said,we must always have a ‘definiteness of purpose’ in life and choose actions that are beneficial to oneself and others. Otherwise, like a ship without a sail keeps drifting without actually reaching the destination, we also would be simply drifting in life. We should also have the ‘sail’ of an aim in life that keeps us mentally healthy and productive and helps us reach our destination safely. And that destination is to merge with the Lord.

https://journeygita.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/bhagavad-gita-verse-66-chapter-18/

It is said that this shloka 66 from Chapter 18 of the Bhagavad Gita, containing the sum and substance of the entire Gita, is the one “take home message” for any student who feels bewildered or overwhelmed with the teaching. There are four parts to the shloka. The first part instructs the seeker to abandon all of their duties. Let us look at this deeper meaning since we should not take it literally. This means that Shri Krishna wants the seeker to stop analyzing which actions they should stop performing, which actions should they continue pursuing and which new actions should they take up. They should simply stop worrying about all these questions.

So then, what should the seeker do? The second part of the shloka gives the answer – take refuge in Ishvara alone. All our thoughts, words, actions, feelings, everything should be dedicated towards Ishvara. By doing so, we will automatically arrive at the answers to our questions regarding what to do and what not to do. When we eat our food by first offering it to Ishvara, we will automatically stop eating food that is not appropriate. When we offer all of our actions to Ishvara, we will not perform any illegal or unethical actions. Everything will automatically fall into place.

What is the result of taking refuge in Ishvara? The third part of the shloka assures the seeker that they will be liberated from all of their paapa, their sins. Sins in this context refers to the bondage of actions caused by our ego. If we perform all actions in service to Ishvara, and accept any success or failure as a gift from Ishvara, we will never harbour any worry or anxiety about the past or future. We will simple continue to fill our time in relentless service to Ishvara. Ultimately, we will reach a stage where our mind is purified of all selfishness, leading to the fourth part of the shloka, complete freedom from sorrow.

Shri Krishna ends this shloka with the words “do not grieve”. It is said that with this shloka,  the core teaching of the Gita is complete, since the teaching was begun with a view to eliminate the cause of Arjuna’s sorrow, which is his ignorance of his true nature as the self.