Mr. K. Mahatani asked in continuation of the above, “If we want to succeed in any enterprise in the world, we must give our whole mind and heart to it. Otherwise we cannot succeed. So it is rather impracticable to devote one’s mind both to God and worldly activity.”
Bhagavan: “If one keeps fixed in the Self, the activities will still go on and their success will not be affected. One should not have the idea that one is the doer. The activities will still go on. That force, by whatever name you may call it, which brought the body into existence will see to it that the activities which this body is meant to go through are brought about.”
Mr. Mahatani was still not quite satisfied and thereupon Bhagavan referred him to read an article on Renunciation which is found at the end of the Gita Press edition of Bhagavad Gita. This article mentions seven stages of Renunciation and Bhagavan said, “Let Mr. Mahatani see if anything in this article appeals to him”. I read out the whole article in the hall for the benefit of all, as Bhagavan desired. It is said there that one who has reached the seventh stage of renunciation will not feel even when his body is cut by a weapon or some other suffering is inflicted on him. When this portion was being read Bhagavan remembered the following poem.
(i.e., They won’t be afraid even if guileful enemies stab their chest or they are surrounded by fire or bitten by a cobra, All will be bliss for them). This is found in Ponnambala Swami’s commentary on Bhagavad Gita in Tamil stanzas, Chapter VI Verse 17 . Continuing this topic, I said, “It is true such things are said in the books. But we see that the jnani feels pain. Even one like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa felt pain when he had cancer of the throat and cried out, ‘Why has mother sent this pain to me’?”
Bhagavan: ” It may be like that in the beginning, due to long association or habit. But afterwards it will pass off.”
In this connection I must record that long ago, once when Bhagavan was suffering from some illness and I expressed concern, Bhagavan was pleased to explain to me that he felt the pain as in a dream and no more.