This Week’s Quotation:
The mind of pure devotion—even here—
Casts equally aside good deeds and bad,
Passing above them. Unto pure devotion
Devote thyself: with perfect meditation
Comes perfect act, and the righthearted rise—
More certainly because they seek no gain—
Forth from the bands of the outer, step by step,
To highest seats of bliss. When thy firm soul
Hath shaken off those tangled oracles
Which ignorantly guide, then shall it soar
To high neglect of what’s denied or said,
This way or that, in doctrinal writ.
Troubled no longer by the priestly lore,
Safe shall it live, and sure; steadfastly bent
On meditation. This is Yog—and Peace.
~ Becoming a Sun p. 237
The Mind of Pure Devotion
I quote this passage from the Bhagavad-Gita in a mini-chapter of my book, “Something You Give.” It is of Krishna speaking to Arjuna.
To me, the words sing with clarity and passion. They speak to the truth that I know.
There are cultural differences that can obscure the truth within sacred scripture. These can relate to both space and time. Space is the place in the world today that is home to the culture where the scripture lives, and time is related to the culture that existed in the era when the scripture was written or translated. For me, and other Americans, this passage from the Bhagavad-Gita has both difficulties. And so it can seem foreign.
The Bible, which is central to Christian belief, can suffer from similar issues. It was translated into Elizabethan English 400 years ago. And it was written in ancient times in a culture very different from our own. When you read the stories in Genesis, you realize that these were semi-nomadic people, and it is as if you had stuck your head under their tent and listened in on the private life of the tribe.
And still, we can tune into the courageous devotion of the author of some sacred scripture from ancient times, including this passage. It sings to us of what it means to be a truly liberated human being—someone who is free to create and serve, and be themselves, and thus live a life of deep peace.
What does it mean to become a sun?
Every human being is already a sun on the inside—a being of intense love and light. The difference is that some people have the vision and courage to become a sun on the outside. This difference is our human destiny.