Bagawat Geeta, Class 47


Greetings All,

Shloka # 28:

तत्त्ववित्तु महाबाहो गुणकर्मविभागयोः
गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त इति मत्वा सज्जते।।3.28।।

“O Hero! On the contrary, the knower of truth of the distinction between constituents of Prakrti and their operation does not attach himself to works knowing that constituents operate amidst constituents.”

Continuing his teaching of the Gita and refreshing our memory of last class Swami Paramarthananda said Sri Krishna is talking about the duties of a Gyani, who continues to be a grihastha and who continues to be in the society.  Since he is in society, he must be careful with respect to his lifestyle. He will still do things although he does not benefit from them. By performing Karma he is not benefited, nor is he affected by not performing them. Nevertheless, he has to perform Karma for society’s benefit.

Difference between Agyani’s action and Gyani’s action are: That one acts without happiness while other acts in happiness.  Gyani has discovered Atma and he is able to see Ahamkara as an insignificant and incidental I.  For Agyani, Ahamkara is very important. He feels Ahamkara’s ups and downs as his own.  In case of Gyani although he has recognized his higher Self he does not neglect Ahamkara. He just puts it in its place.

Ahmakara as the body-mind complex is called Prakriti Guna.

Shloka # 27 describes how an ignorant person identifies with Ahamkara and is enamored with it and suffers in the process. He is a Karta and Bhogta. Bhokta always enters a mess.  Having talked about an Agyani who is lost in the ahamkara, now in this verse, Sri Krishna talks about the Gyani who sees the ahamkara and gives it it’s importance, but not over-importance. So Gyani is one, who knows the truth about the guṇa and karma; guṇa means prakṛti guṇa; prakṛti guṇa means ahamkara; therefore guṇa karma means ahamkara and its actions. Gyani knows the truth about ahamkara and it’s actions. The truth is that ahamkara can never escape from action.

Ahamkara will have to be eternally active.

The Phalam’s of action can be painful. The Gyani lets Ahamkara have its own life. Ahamkara  as the Prakriti Guna (body-mind complex) is material in nature. The world is also Prakriti Guna ( a product of matter). The Ahamkara and world will eventually interact. This interaction produces pleasure and pain. One cannot escape them. People try to escape through drinks and drugs and get into even worse conditions. Gyani knows he has to interact with the world.

Even though he interacts with world, he is in Chaitanyam and as such is not affected. This is just as in a movie the characters do not affect the movie screen. Discover your higher self. Let Ahamkara interact with the world without affecting yourself. Gyani can observe Ahamkara objectively. Our problem is not death of body. I accept death of another body, but cannot accept my own body’s or near and dear ones body’s death. This is not objective. Vedanta is able to look at my own body objectively as well. Problem is not with God or World.

If nobody dies, consider all great –great- grand fathers who will be surviving. God had kept physical mortality correctly. We are not objective. Others may die, but I and mine should not, is our thinking.

In Tirupati when the Que is slow we curse, but when I am in front of God, why don’t I get enough time? We look at our body mind complex subjectively. Gyani looks at body mind complex everywhere objectively without criticism. He accepts every thing without resistance. This is Jivan Mukti. He remains detached.

Shloka # 29:

रकृतेर्गुणसम्मूढाः सज्जन्ते गुणकर्मसु
तानकृत्स्नविदो मन्दान्कृत्स्नविन्न विचालयेत्।।3.29।।

“Those who are deluded by Prakrti’s constituents cling to the works of these constituents. The knower of the whole ought not to destabilize the dull and partial knowers.”

Sri Krishna talks of Agyani.  Agyani does not have objectivity with respect to prakriti Guna or the body-mind-complex. They want two sets of laws. One for themselves and another for others.  And because of this delusion, they are totally immersed in guṇa karmasu.  So they are immersed in ahamkara and its activities. So

Immersed that they have no time to even ask the question, am-I this karta& bhokta?  That question does not come up because ahamkara keeps that person busy throughout his life; from boyhood, youth, adult and old age they are immersed in ahamkara without ever taking time to ask the question “Who am I?”  Ahamkara keeps them busy through out their life.

What can you do? What advice can a Gyani give to an Agyani? Sri Krishna says, never ask them to renounce Karma. While Karma phalam is bondage, it is still required to ripen the Ahamkara. Karma has negatives but it also has great positives. Fruit in it’s initial stages is when the skin is raw the skin won’t peel off. But once it ripens the skin comes off easily. That is why there are four Ashramas. They are like skin to ripen a person. Once he has gone through family life, he ripens. I had five theories of growing children. Now I have five children and no theories. Once Jivatma has ripened we will get detached from everything we are attached to.

In this shoka some meanings are:

Krishnavid: Total knowledge of Ahamkara and Atma. Akrishnavid means Agyani. They know Ahamkara but not Atma.

Manda means Agyan.

Gyani should not confuse Agyani by emphasizing Sanyasa. Unripe person taking Sanyasa is not good for him or for society. Encourage him to remain in duty. Once he ripens, attachments will naturally drop off. In this ripe state you will drop a lot of things and you will do it naturally. You will grow out of attachment.


Shloka # 30:

मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि संन्यस्याध्यात्मचेतसा
निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः।।3.30।।

“Surrendering all works to Me in a spiritual frame of mind that craves naught, and free from all sense of possessions, fight with unconcern.”

With the previous verse, Krishna’s advice to Gyani is over; which started from the

21st verse. Krishna’s first advice was to Agyanis and the second advice is to Gyanis. Agyanis have to do karma for Chitta Shuddhiḥ; Gyanis have to do karma for loka sangrahaḥ.

Gyani’s karma is not that of a Karma yogi. Agyani’s karma is that of a karma yogi. Gyani’s duty related topic has now concluded.

In Shloka # 30, Sri Krishna comes back to Karma Yoga . Shloka # 29 was for Gyani. Shloka # 30 is now for an Agyani. It sums up Karma Yoga.

Arjuna, either way you have to perform karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is a five-fold discipline.

They are:

  1. Adhyatma Chetasa: Viveka Budhi or right knowledge or discrimination. It is awareness that spiritual goal is primary goal of life.  The awareness that spiritual goal alone is the primary goal of life. My life is meaningful, purposeful, and valid, only if it is dedicated to the primary of spiritual knowledge or mokṣaḥ. ्Brihadaraṇya Upanishad says that only that person whose spends his life for self-knowledge, and dies after gaining self-knowledge, only that person deserves the title brahmaṇa; Goal is to be dedicated to Moksha. It does not mean Dharma, Artha, Kama should not be pursued. These four should not be an end in itself. Our primary effort should be towards Self Enquiry.
  1. Mayi sarvaṇi karmaṇi sannyasyadhyatmacetasa.  Sri Krishna says, offer all actions at my feet with Ishwara arpana budhi. Offer everything to me. Entire creation is manifestation of God. Anything, anywhere, you offer to God becomes worship. Convert work to worship. Naturally then I do my best. The actions must be wholehearted, sincere, done without grumbling and without grudging. Even the grossest of jobs, he does with love. So therefore the second condition is worship. Convert work into a worship.
  1. Nirashi: Being not concerned about results. Nirashi also means dropping kartr̥tva. Sri Krishna does not say that one should not plan for result. Every action is towards a result. He objects to worrying about it. He says plan, implement and leave rest to God. Planning is a deliberate action at a particular time. You can also change it. Worry is something that just happens. It is a reaction. Planning makes you efficient. Worry makes you inefficient. Both are for future. Vedanta does not criticize planning. It criticizes worrying.  Swamiji, I do not want to worry; but what to do, it is there in my mind, especially when I sit in meditation. Whether Bhagavan comes or not, worry always comes first. What should I do? Worry is because of our inability to face the future. It is born out of mental weakness. Worry is our unpreparedness to face the adverse situation that may come; therefore the only solution for worry is preparedness. I have made plans and hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. Therefore, Nirashiḥ here means preparedness for the future.
  1. Nirmamaha: Freedom from Mamakara. When success comes, I take all the credit. The moment failure happens you blame somebody else. So when your success comes, don’t take credit. It is due to many factors and many hidden variables. Because they are favorable, it was a success. This was due to Bhagawan. Bhagavan is all the hidden variables put together. Be grateful to God for success. Let humility be there.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy