Bagawat Geeta, Class 42


Greetings All,
Shloka # 15:
कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम्।

तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम्।।3.15।।

Know that this work is born of the Vedas, and that the Vedas are born of the imperishable Reality.  Therefore, the all-pervading Veda is eternally rooted in sacrificial work.

Continuing his teaching of the Gita and refreshing our memory of the last class, Swami Paramarthananda said, Sri Krishna was talking about the importance of Karma Yoga. He was looking at it from different angles such as Agya, Yagya, Chittashudhi, and now Dharma. Dharma is a way of life that maintains harmony of creation. Sri Krishna says everything in the universe is a cyclical  process. Giving follows receiving. If I only receive, the cycle is not complete and this results in a violation of the harmony. This violation is not good for society, our body, our psychology and our financials as well. If I take food only in and if I do not expend energy, again I am violating the harmony. Imagine a person who only eats.  There will be stagnation through fat accumulation,  increased cholesterol etc. The doctor will prescribe walking or jogging so that he expends energy and thus maintains harmony. This example can be expanded at all levels. The same can be said of knowledge. I should share the knowledge I receive. If you learn an art and do not share it with others they say you will become a Brahma Rakshasa. Whatever I take, I should give back.

It is the same at emotional level. Give love if you receive it. This is the cyclical process. If there is a stagnant pool and a river close by as well, most will choose the river. I should share money, energy, love etc. Each one of us must share. This will maintain harmony. We need to give, to maintain harmony. Giving is not natural.  Grabbing is natural. Whatever is free, we take. Shastra’s  need not teach us how to take; they need to teach us to give.

Among hundreds of people, you can find one courageous person. Among thousands of people you can find one true
scholar; among lakhs of people, you may find one good communicator. But, how about a true giver? In the entire creation, to find a true giver is difficult. They are rare. So, Karma Yogi’s are rare. So, Karma Yoga is all about giving. If I train myself to give, only then can I give up Ahamkara. I must give up Mamakara to become a Karma Yogi and give up Ahamkara to become a Gyana Yogi. God gave out Vedas. So, Vedas, given to us by God, taught us this life of sharing.

Shloka # 15 says Vedic teaching is all pervading.  Especially wherever Yagya is going on or Danam is going on the Vedic teaching predominates.

Shloka # 16:

एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः।

अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ सजीवति।।3.16।।

He who fails to conform to the cycle of functions thus established is, Arjuna! a sinner; he revels in the sphere of sense-life; he lives in vain.

Sri Krishna pointed out that while Karma yoga is giving oriented, Karma itself is taking oriented. The more a Karma Yogi gives, the more he feels he is a success.  However, a Karmi considers accumulation of wealth as a sign of great success. Karma Yogi is glorified as he gives away everything. The essence of Gita is found in reversing the word to read Tagi or Tyagi. All people who take in more and share less are great sinners.  One is a sensualist who is given to sensory pleasures.  Such a person lives in vain. Eating, drinking and procreating cannot be considered as great achievements. Having many children is also not a great achievement. All these actions, animals also perform very well. Real accomplishments are achieved in field of dharma and moksha. Life of a sensualist is a useless one. He does not contribute anything to society. Many animals are useful alive and even in death. Humans while living are useless and so are they even after death.  Life is useful only when I share and thus get Dharma and Moksha.

Shloka # 17:
यस्त्वात्मरतिरेव स्यादात्मतृप्तश्च मानवः।

आत्मन्येव च सन्तुष्टस्तस्य कार्यं न विद्यते।।3.17।।

For the man who delights solely in the Self, who is content with the Self, who finds satisfaction alone in the Self, there is no duty to perform.

In following two verses Sri Krishna talks of the benefits of Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is not an end in itself. It is
not an ultimate Sadhana. It cannot give us liberation or self-knowledge. Yet, at the same time, it is extremely important in beginning stages as it alone can give purity of mind. Karma Yoga will not lead to Moksha. After contributing to society and purifying the mind one has to go from Karma Yoga to Self-enquiry. Our problem now is self –ignorance, hence, we have to withdraw.

Follow karma yoga; purify the mind and grow out of karma yoga and go to the next stage of spiritual sadhana; it is like a child entering the womb of the mother and for nine months the child remains in the womb and then comes out.  If it stays in the womb longer, it becomes a problem for both mother and child.  In the same manner karma yoga is like the womb to purify the mind during Brahmacharya and Grihastha ashrama and later one goes to Vanaprastha and Sanyasa ashrama or grows out of activity.  After Karma Yoga or purification of mind one grows out
of activity and begins Nivrithi or withdrawal. He starts asking who am I? What is life? What is my nature? Why this human struggle? Then, in Gyana yoga via Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhyasanam discovers the real I. Discovery of complete Self is Gyana Yoga. Only then struggle of life will be over. Consider the example of Puri in oil. It runs around in oil until it fluffs up. Once the Puri is full blown it is Poornathvam. Gyana is incomplete without Karma yoga. Without Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga is not possible.

Sri Krishna now discusses the essence of Gyana Yoga.

Dayananda Saraswathi used to say:” Problem is you. Solution is you too.”

Changing things outside is not going to help. Everything is inside us. This intelligent person comes to self-enquiry. He then makes the pleasant discovery that whatever I am seeking, I am it. Security, peace, and all basic needs of life are all in me. What is his nature?  So, previously he was happy because of external conditions, after self-knowledge, he is happy, not because of external factors, he is happy because that is his very nature.  He has discovered himself as the infinite. Even people who are number # 1 in their field, if you ask them, even they will tell you they want to exceed even more. In self-knowledge this problem is not there anymore. He is self-sufficient. He is not dependent on outside sources.  There is no struggle. Whatever he does is out of fulfillment. Most of us act out of a need for fulfillment.

At present, I am incomplete. My action is not enjoyable. There is tension, there is anxiety, and this is Samsara.  Action out of fulfillment (poornathvam) is like bathroom singing or is also called Lela. For a Gyani everything is a Leela or action out of fulfillment.

Shloka # 18:

नैव तस्य कृतेनार्थो नाकृतेनेह कश्चन।

न चास्य सर्वभूतेषु कश्िचदर्थव्यपाश्रयः।।3.18।।

He has nothing to gain from work done or left undone. On no beings does he depend as regards any interests of his own.

Here Sri Krishna says Gyana Yogi is one who has found internal freedom. Physical freedom, we cannot totally
have. We need food, clothing, shelter etc. Physical freedom, one should not ask for. Accept external restrictions. However, we can have total psychological freedom. He does not depend on actions or in-actions. A workaholic can’t stop working. He is addicted to action; inaction is a nightmare for him. Others, they find excuses not to do anything. Gyani is neither addicted to action or inaction. He enjoys both. He expects no result from his action or inaction. He is independent of “people” also. Long life means I will see others die. It requires emotional independence. Some seniors are very dependent on their spouses. Gyani has no such dependence. He does not depend on anyone in creation.

Some people have pets and they depend on them. In fact one husband used to tell me in next birth I want to become my wife’s dog. Whenever my wife comes from the class, the first question she asks is: did you feed the dog; she never asks if I have eaten. Therefore, if not people, we are addicted to pets; something or other, we want to hold on to.

A Tamil saying is” Even dependence on God is dependence”.
World dependent is Samsari.
God dependent is Bhakti.
Self-dependent is a Gyani.

Therefore our progress is from world-dependence to God-dependence and from God-dependence to Self-dependence.

Shloka # 19:

तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर।

असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः।।3.19।।

Therefore, unattached, always do the work that has to be done; for doing work with detachment, man attains the Supreme.

Sri Krishna tells Arjuna “ Arjuna, you must have emotional independence. It can only happen by Self-discovery. Independence requires self-knowledge. Self-knowledge requires freedom from Raga and Dvesha (happiness or unhappiness with the external world).

Misunderstood I is source of unhappiness. Understood “I” is source of happiness. Until I recognize this there will be delusion. This delusion goes away through Karma Yoga.

The path is:

Karma Yoga:  Purification of mind

Gyana Yoga: Discover Self sufficiency and Be Free.

Sri Krishna says, Arjuna, start following Karma Yoga right now, by following your duty. Here Arjuna’s Karyam is to live in the present doing what he has to,  without anxiety of the future or brooding over the past. If you keep doing what you have to, with a healthy attitude, you will ultimately attain Moksha. So, Arjuna, go and fight, do your duty.

Take away from the class:
Swamiji reminded us, again and again, that the essence of Karma yoga is giving. All of us need to give more than
we take.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy