XXXIII - Page 336 Home | Index | Previous | Next

A Pure Heart is Free of Attachment and Illusion

In this way, Krishna urged Arjuna to free himself from the attachments and illusions that were confounding him. Krishna said, "Arjuna, you yourself must purify your heart and remove the veil of ignorance that is beclouding you. Take to the path of righteous action, work for the welfare of the world and dedicate every act to me, your very self, residing in your heart."

There is no royal road for human life leading to spiritual awakening other than through karma yoga, through the path of sacred action. You will be able to enter the path of devotion only after you have laid a firm foundation through good actions. And only after you have purified your feelings and developed your devotion will you be able to enter the path of wisdom and proceed on to the highest level of God-realization. It is in the arena of action that you lay the groundwork for reaching up to the loftiest regions of the spirit, or plunging yourself down to the lowest depths of sorrow. Your good or bad circumstances are inextricably linked with your actions.

As part of your activities, you may perform the various scripturally-prescribed sacrifices and ceremonial rituals. But, as previously mentioned, these can take you only up to heaven. Krishna informed Arjuna that there was a state which was far beyond and far more sacred than heaven. "Do not consider heaven as a permanent place,"

Krishna said. "When you have exhausted your merits you will have to leave heaven and return to earth. Heaven is only a temporary camp; you will not be able to reside there permanently. Perhaps you think that in heaven you will be able to enjoy so many bodily and mental pleasures. But, in truth, the pleasures you get there are only a little greater than those you get here on earth. There is a state which is far, far beyond; far more sacred. That state may be reached by identifying yourself with God, by associating yourself with the atma, by merging your small individual self with your highest eternal self. In order to attain this state you will have to become totally desireless and selfless; you will have to perform all your actions without expecting any fruits from them."