Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

03 – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 18 – by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha – Way to Freedom

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In this talk, Swamiji continues to analyze and explain the real meaning of Sannyasa (renunciation). He emphasizes that one cannot renounce the objective results of any action. Real renunciation is the renunciation of the egoistic identity. The small segregated ‘I’ gets fused into the universal identity.

Swamiji discusses the wholesome evaluation by Sri Krishna who says that Yajna, dana and tapas are never to be relinquished. These activities have the potential to purify the mind of the performer.

Discussing the traditional idea of yajna, Swamiji says that they were performed with an aspiration or desire for some worldly gains or other-worldly gains. But this concept of Yajna is no longer applicable in modern day life. Bhagavad Gita gives a new definition of Yajna saying that any action which is not motivated by desires is Yajna. Swamiji underlines the fact that by this re-evaluation the concept becomes applicable and universal. Every action if it is done as an offering to the universal Lord, does not create any bondage.

Dana (charity) and tapas (austerity) also purify a seeker, emphasizes Swamiji. By Dana, one cultivates an attitude of sacrifice, unselfishness and becomes freed of possessiveness. By Tapas one cultivates discipline. Swamiji says that normally our senses are outgoing and it robs us of our self-seatedness. Restraint helps us to win over our low tendencies and showers us with inner strength and peace.

Shlokas Discussed: (18.3 to 18.5)

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