Baghawat Geeta Class 71, Chapter 5, Verses 7 to 10


Shloka # 7:

योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः
सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि लिप्यते।।5.7।।

Established in Yoga, his mind purified, his self and senses controlled, his Self becomes the Self of all living beings, he is not tainted though he works.

Greetings All,

Continuing his teachings of Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, in previous six shlokas Sri Krishna clarified Arjunas doubts about Grihasthashrama and Sanyasashrama, respectively. He says there is a choice between the two and that both ashramas are good. Sri Krishna himself prefers Grihasthashrama as he feels Sanayashrama poses some risks. He says it is a one-way street. Even Bhagavatham criticizes a Sanyasi who renounces his sanyasa later, as a vomit-eater. In Grihasthashrama this risk is lower. In this ashrama, one can take Sanyasam in grihasthashrama itself or go the separate route of Sanyasashrama.  This opportunity does not exist in Sanayasashrama; hence, Sri Krishna’s preference for Grihastashrama.

After this clarification, now Sri Krishna talks about Sadhanas. He says one has to go through the rituals of purification. Both ashramas prescribe purification rituals called ashrama dharmas.

Following one’s own ashrama dharma can purify everybody. After chitta shuddhi one then goes to Gyana Yoga.

This is the content of shloka # 7. Here, Sri Krishna is talking about Grihasthashrama, as he prefers this ashrama.  Yoga Yuktha here means Karma Yogi. Chapter # 3 talks of the factors that affect a Karma Yogi. The factors are:

  • He is one who gives priority to inner growth although he also knows value of material possessions.
  • He considers spiritual growth more important.
  • He thinks, what I am is more important than what I have.
  • His security depends on what I am and not what I have.
  • His happiness too depends on what I am and not what I have.
  • He dedicates his life to God.
  • All his actions are an offering to God and all his experiences he takes it as prasadam.

He is a Karma Yogi. This sadhana changes the personality of the individual. Vedanta measures by personality changes and not changes in possessions. The transformation is to become pure minded. What is this purity about? It is freedom from all unhealthy ways of thinking or from Kama, Krodha, Mada, and Moha. It is removal of Asuri sampathi and allowing Daiviha sampathi to come in.  He develops positive virtues and gives up negative ones.

In the words ,in the shloka,Vishud-Atma (pure minded) and Vijith atma , the word atma has two meanings. One means mind and the other the body. Vishudh atma means one who has purified his mind. Vijithatma means one who has mastered the sense organs. It is like damming a river. While damming the river saves water, if you do not channel it properly the water will flood. Therefore, it is important to store and direct the physical, mental, emotional and intellectual energies in a proper manner and this is called mastery over sense organs.

Therefore, one who has purified his mind and mastered his sense organs, he is now qualified for knowledge or he is Gyana Yogya. Purity of mind and mastery over organs is essential before Gyanam. Vedapoorva is Gyana Yogyatha and then comes Vedanta or Karma Kanda or Gyana Kanda.

Sarvabhutatma means the active person is converted to a quiet person or one transforms from an extrovert to an introvert. He says following are the stages of Gyana Yoga:

  • “I” am consciousness, different from the body. It is like the light is different from my hand. The light continues even after removal of the hand. It is independent of the body. Shloka 12-25 in chapter 2 describe them as well.
  • “I” the consciousness behind this body is the same behind every body. Just as the same light is in everything a book, a mike, me etc. It is the one indivisible, one formless light that is illuminating all forms. Thus, the one formless Consciousness is pervading every formed body.

So, the first stage is I-am-the-consciousness behind-my-body.

The second stage of knowledge is I-am-the-consciousness behind-every-body.

The third stage of Gyanam, Swamiji said, he will describe at a later time.

 Gyana Yogi is one who knows I am the Atma behind my body as well as all bodies (Sarvabhutatma). This is repeated in chapter 6 again. Because of this knowledge what benefit accrues to one? He obtains detachment from Dehabhimanam. I normally tend to see everything from point of my body. Thus, one thinks, I am son of so and so; I am so many years old; etc. Our entire life is based upon Dehabhimana. Now, after Gyanam, I see consciousness functioning but not the body. From this process, detachment from my Karma also comes or Karmabhimana also leaves me. Karmabhimana is body dependent.  Shankaracharya says our problems are based on two abhimanas. They are:

  • Identification with body
  • Identification with properties of the body.

Kurvanapi na Lipyathe means he does not identify with any action. Even in a fast car You are not the speeder. Here there is no ahamkara abhimana bhava or no Karma abhimana. One who identifies with the body becomes a karta and consequently becomes a bhokta as well.

Thus, Gyani is one who is able to objectify his own body as a part of creation. He looks at it just like another body. We are normally objective with respect to other bodies but not our own. This objectivity leads to Gods laws while subjectivity leads to resistance.

He accepts God’s laws of birth, growth, decay and death.

Shloka # 8 & 9:

नैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित्
पश्यन् श्रृणवन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्गच्छन्स्वपन् श्वसन्।।5.8।।

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन्।।5.9।।

Let the integrated sage who knows the truth think “ I work not at all” even when he sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, walks, sleeps, breathes, talks, evacuates, grasps, opens, and closes the eyes, knowing that the senses operate vis-à-vis their objects.

In these shlokas a wise person’s way of life is discussed. He is one who has gone through Karma Yoga and Gyana Yoga, He can be a Grihasta Gyani or a Sanyasi Gyani. He may be an active Gyani or a quiet Gyani. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi was a quiet Gyani, while Shankaracharya moved around the whole of India several times and did so much work. Yet, both were detached.

The real “I” does not do anything at all. It is an Akarta and as such an Abhokta. It does not perform any action. It is exactly like when the hand moves, the light does not move at all; the light appears to move; but it does not. Even while understanding he is an Akarta, he still allows body to function according to his designation in life. He functions according to needs of society. His motivation in life is love and compassion towards the ignorant society. This love is a natural part of Gyanam. Ignorance suppresses Love and compassion. When abhimana goes, natural love and compassion automatically express themselves. He helps the needy, the one requiring knowledge and thus allows the body mind complex to function according to the requirement without Dehabhimana. He does not have selfishness. In this state he is identified totally with creation. In this state, I am with God. All his actions are Dharmic.

The five Gyanendriyas of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling are allowed to function. The five Karmendriyas of breathing, talking, excreting, taking, opening and closing the eyes, breathing in and out and even sleeping (svapan, svasan, pralapan, visarjan, grhnan, unmisan nimisan) continue to function. The gyani functions just like a normal person. The only difference is that he has Gyanam. This, nevertheless, brings about a radical change in his attitude. This also changes his responses to situations. Citing the story of lottery winner, the Lottery Company wanted his doctor to convey his winning to him, as they were concerned he may not able to bear the shock. The doctor contacted him and asked him what he would do if he won five lac rupees in a lottery? The man relied, O great Doctor, you are the reason I am still alive and I really planned on leaving you half my lottery prize. The Doctor was so shocked by his comment that he died. For a Gyani

there is nothing called shock, even if it arrives, it does not take much time, for changing from “what !”, to so what?That is Gita; Gita is going “from what” to “so what”?

My body is made up of matter. Interaction of body is inevitable. One may consider staying away from the world for peace of mind. Sri Krishna asks how long can you escape the world? Your Prarabhdha Karma will make you act. Gyani acts knowing sense organs and objects will interact creating sensations. So, Gyani remembers this through all such interactions in an alert manner. He is a Yukta. “ I have a higher Self” in front of which the lower self is insignificant.

Shloka # 10:

रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः
लिप्यते पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा।।5.10।।

Reposing all works in Brahman, he operates without attachment; he is not stained by sin as a lotus is not by water

What happens to a Gyani was discussed in previous shlokas. He has discovered a higher “I” in front of the lower “I”. Citing an example, during freedom struggle many Indians were sent to Andamans. What made them put up with this severe punishment? They too had two I’s. The physical I suffered but the Indian I was predominant and therefore suffering was insignificant. You discover something far superior. Citing another example, Swamiji says, when we add water in salt and keep diluting it until salt is not felt at all. Gyanam does not give freedom from biological pain. Gyanam, however, frees you from the psychological pain. The “I” becomes insignificant. So, discovering the higher “I” is very important. Sri Krishna says, until you discover the higher “I” till then you should develop develop a love for God. Thus: From World Dependent>God Dependent>Self Dependent.

Here Sri Krishna comes back from Gyana yoga to karma yoga again. In Gyana yoga one is dependent on higher “I”, while in Karma Yoga one is dependent on God.

Until you discover your higher Self, stay in Saguna Brahman or Ishta Devata. I discover Bhakti and surrender to the Lord. I dedicate all actions to that lord. Kamya karma and Nish kamya karma , both are dedicated to God. In kamya karma, when you get results, accept them as prasadam.

Take Away:

  1. Gyani is one who is able to objectify his own body as a part of creation. He looks at it just like another body. We are normally objective with respect to other bodies but not our own.
  2. Our problems in life are based on two abhimanas. They are:
    1. Identification with body (Dehabhimana)
    2. Identification with properties of the body.
  3. The one formless Consciousness is pervading every formed body.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy