Possessor, possess thyself! (Gita Daily)

Published on Oct 05, 2013

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 02, Text 45

“I want more.” This urge often consumes us, largely due to our culture’s glamorization of possessions and possessors.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we work to get more, not one of our possessions will stay with us permanently.

Thankfully, we can direct the urge for possessions towards something that can be eternally ours — we ourselves, our eternal souls. The Bhagavad-gita (02.45) enjoins us to become atmavan: possessor of one’s soul. Phrased in today’s idiom, this call is: “I want myself.”

We may wonder: “When I am the soul, how can I be the possessor of the soul? The possessor and the possession have to be different, don’t they?”

Yes, they do. The verse uses atmavan in the sense of conscious awareness, not conceptual oneness. This is evident by looking at the word’s context — atmavan comes as the last word, the concluding call, after the verse has exhorted us to shed material consciousness. It asks us to not be bogged down by considerations of material provision-protection (yoga-kshema) or by worldly dualities (dvandva) or even by parts of scripture that highlight such considerations, for they are meant for the spiritually uninformed.

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