--> Skip to main content

Bhagavad Gita Chapter IX Verse 21

Having enjoyed the vast celestial sphere, at the exhaustion of the merit (of their good deeds) they again enter into the mortal world; thus abiding by the injunctions of the three (Vedas), with the craving for objects of desire, they (constantly) come and go. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 verse 21)

These devotees follow the karma-kanda of the Vedas, the ritualistic part. They do not understand the jnana-kanda, the part of the Vedas that deals with mukti, or freedom. They think that mukti, or nirvana, must mean annihilation and that they do not desire. They wish to enjoy the good things of this earth and the still better things of heaven. And they are willing to abide by the injunctions of the scriptures to get their desires fulfilled. It is their desires that stand in their way to freedom. They do not believe in the efficacy of renunciation. But ‘Everything in this life is fraught with fear. It is renunciation alone that makes one fearless.’ And again the Upanishad declares, ‘Not by wealth, not by progeny, but by renunciation the goal is reached.’ True renunciation means filling our life with God. Worldly things will then retreat as a result of that steady devotion to Him. We cannot renounce until we have something to renounce for. Renunciation really means an exchange of the worldly life for spiritual life, taking God and giving up the world, or, better still, replacing the material vision of life with the spiritual vision. It is very difficult to be unattached, to love God more than the world. Still if only we knew how the Lord cares for His devotees — they are very dear to Him; He looks after them with tender care.