He who knows me as his own divine Self,
As the Operator in him, breaks through
The belief he is the body, and is
Not born separate again. Such a one
Is united with me, O Arjuna.
Delivered from selfish attachment, fear
And anger, filled with Me, surrendering
Themselves to me, purified in the fire
Of my Being, many have reached the
State of Unity in me.
As people approach me, so I receive
Them. All paths lead to me, O Arjuna.
Composed between the 5th and 2nd century BC, The Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord) is Hinduism’s best known scripture. The Gita is presented as a dialogue between Sri Krishna, a divine incarnation, and his friend and disciple, Arjuna, a warrior prince who is trying to live a spiritual life in the midst of worldly conflicts.
When I read this excerpt this morning I was reminded of the current conflicts raging in our troubled world. The Middle East and civil war in Iraq, the Palestinians and Israelis, the Ukraine. Many of these wars are fought in the name of religion, us against them, each claiming the only road up the divine mountain.
The belief in exclusivity or specialness is just another aspect of our egos that fear extinction, if not by physical death, then by return into the One. This belief in separation is the original sin, the apple which closed the gates to Eden. To think that we are or can be separate from our Source is the real meaning of suffering.
As the Gita says, we are not in charge, the Operator is in charge. We do not have a life, we are Life. There are many paths up the mountain and who is to say that one is better than another when God himself does not make that distinction.