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Why are divine souls revered

An erudite scholar, an illiterate lowly man, an animal, all are the same to this realised soul who looks upon all with compassion and respect.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 22:01 IST

In its concluding portion, the fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita speaks about the qualities of divine beings, those who have attained the ultimate goal of human existence, that of realising the presence of the supreme being in themselves and who have extricated themselves from all the knots of mundane earthly life.

The Gita says that men are always immersed in their material pursuits and so enamoured with them that they become benumbed to the presence of the divine in their selves. 

This is like a veil that hides the real divinity inside, like a cloud that covers the sun. Just as the sun reveals itself in all its splendour when the cloud passes, when this veil of ignorance is lifted through the awareness of the futility of dependence and addiction to material pleasures, then man moves a step closer towards a more meaningful existence.

"Material pleasures bring sorrow and trouble in their wake because they have a beginning and an end. When your desires are fulfilled, you exult, when they are not, you are downcast.

Anger and frustration follow. The wise ones do not run behind the mirage of sense pleasures and hence they are free from the enemies of desire and anger.

They neither rejoice when prosperity smiles on them nor bemoan when ill luck visits them. This mental equanimity, this Samabuddhi is the state of God or ‘Brahman’ realisation.

Nothing can disturb their inner poise and thus they are free from the sense of ego.  A nullified ego engenders humility. An erudite scholar, an illiterate lowly man, an animal, all are the same to this realised soul who looks upon all with compassion and respect.

Having conquered their senses, all mental impurities are washed away in this state of pure divine consciousness and as they continue to carry out their ordained duties on earth, despite being in the midst of all worldly pulls and distractions, they attain to the supreme state of divine union while still in the embodied state, immersed in the boundless ocean of bliss.

Nothing remains for them to do, but still, they work for the welfare of others, contributing in their own selfless way for the good of all, without any desire for rewards or recognitions."

Like, as Adi Shankara says in his Vivekachudamani, the spring season which brings joy and gaiety, unconsciously doing its duty. Thus the Gita shows the path for mankind.

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(Published 28 February 2024, 22:01 IST)

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