02.45 – Possessor, possess thyself!
“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.
Why do we need to shed material consciousness?
Because it makes us spiritually unconscious. It makes us unaware of the treasure that is ours due to our eternal devotional connection with Krishna, our supremely wealthy parent. Just as a billionaire’s child obsessed with a movie starring a pauper feels poverty-stricken due to emotionally identifying with the pauper, so do we souls obsessed with material things feel that so many things are missing in our life.
What we are actually missing is the fulfilling enrichment inherent in loving service to Krishna. When we learn to possess ourselves, that is, to live in the awareness of our true identity as Krishna’s beloved children, that enrichment becomes ours eternally.
02.45 – The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.