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Meaning Of Bhagavad Gita Chapter XII – Verse 17

He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, and who has renounced good and evil – he who is thus full of devotion is dear to Me. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter XII – Verse 17).

He does not rejoice on attaining what is desirable. He does not fret on being burdened with the undesirable. He does not grieve on having to part with a beloved object. He does not desire the unattained. But we must understand that when it is said he does not rejoice on attaining what is desirable, it does not mean the indifference of an inert object, or the callousness of an ungrateful person.

The meaning is not that he remains miserable, dull and indifferent under all these conditions. No, it means that he is always in the state of ananda. He enjoys constant bliss. Peace and contentment are his constant condition. His mind does not get blown over with a little good fortune and then sink in despair when something disagreeable happens.

He is always calm and peaceful and happy. And even should there be a little disturbance of the surface mind, that disturbance does not penetrate deeply; it does not affect the real consciousness, the inner being of the man. His anger is surface anger; his sorrow is surface sorrow. Inwardly such a man is at perfect peace. He may watch the play of his surface mind, he may even make a show of being affected, but the real man is not touched. He may hiss, as Sri Ramakrishna used to say, but he never hurts. There is no venom, no spite, and no malice in his anger. For in reality he does not care. He only keeps up a little semblance of harshness in self-protection, to prevent the evil of the world from entering into his soul and to be delivered from the foolishness of man.