Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 69, part 2

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 69


That which is night to all, in it the sage is awake. Where all beings are awake, that is the night for the sage who sees the Self.


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“Where all beings are awake that is the night for the sage who sees the Self”: This refers to the physical day light as compared to the spiritual day light for the sage.

Technically speaking majority of us are awake during day time. It is the time we are involved in various activities that bind us to the world around us. During the physical daytime, the sage is spiritually living in night because he is not attached to the world around him. He is totally immersed in the “Atman” and does not see the world around him. (living in night.)

There are some sages who spend their nights in meditation and sleep for few hours in the daytime. The second half of the sloka refers to these also.

There are some other realised souls, who have mastered the art of withdrawal from the physical world and are still awake during the daytime. They are said to be in the world but not truly living in the world. They are physically awake in daytime but spiritually sleeping in relation to the physical world.

Physically awake – spiritually ignorant: majority of us. Conditioned by the time of the day and immersed in worldly activities. Unaware of the Atman within and all around.

Physically sleeping but spiritually awake to the Atman within and all around: this is the way of living of the realised soul.

This does not mean that the yogi should remain awake at night and sleep during the day. He must learn the art of meditation with self-discipline and can still be part of the world and work for its welfare. This is the true picture of a “sthitaprajna.”

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