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'I' as Inclusion (Gita Acharan 81)

By K Siva Prasad- 26 Sep 2021
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26.09.2021: In the Gita, both Arjun and Krishna use 'I' and 'ME', but the meaning and context of usage are different. Arjun’s 'I' refers to his physical body, possessions, feelings, and beliefs extending to his family, friends and relatives. Our situation is no different to that of Arjun. Essentially, we consider some things to be exclusively ours and the remaining to be not. When Krishna uses 'I' it is inclusive, assimilating all including different polarities and contradictions that we perceive through our limited senses. Krishna continues in the same vein elsewhere where he says, “I am death as well as birth”.

While Krishna is the ocean, we are but drops in the ocean with our own individuality, which is ahankaar . When a drop sheds its illusion of individuality and unites with the ocean, then it becomes the ocean. Krishna indicates this when he says that (4.9) the ‘realised’ come to him and will be free from the cycle of rebirth when they realise about my life and actions which are divyam (divine). Certainly, realisation means shedding of ahankaar and the ability to accept contradictions.

Krishna uses the word veet-raag , which is neither raag (attachment) nor viraag (aversion), but a third stage where raag and viraag are treated as equal when one experiences them. The same applies to bhay and krodh.

Krishna uses another word gyan-tapas. Tapas is nothing but a disciplined way of living and many of us practice it. Tapas done with agyan (ignorance), becomes an intense chase to seek sensory pleasures and material possessions. Krishna advises us to pursue gyan-tapas, which is aware of disciplined living.

He says that (4.10) sanctified by the asceticism of wisdom (gyana-tapas) , disengaged from attachment, fear and ire ( veet-raag, bhay and krodh ), engrossed and sheltered in me, many beings have attained my nature.

(Author K Siva Prasad is 1993 batch IAS officer, Punjab cadre)

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