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(The Philosophical Part)






Arjuna is now confused and asks Shri Krishna that first he told him to give up actions and now he was insisting on actions. (5:2). Which of the two paths is better? (5:6)


Shri Krishna says, "Both Karmasanyasa (renouncing actions) and Karmayoga (performing actions without desire for fruits) lead to liberation. But it would appear that Karmyoga is clearer and easier to follow for big and small. If one thinks carefully, it would be clear that by this path the fruits of Karmasanyasa are also gained automatically. I shall now tell you the qualities of a sanyasi and then you will realise that both paths are same. (5:14-18).


A sanyasi does not grieve about his gains losses and does not crave for what he has not received. His mind is steady as a mountain. He does not at all have feelings in his mind about "me" and "mine". Such a person is forever a renunciate (sanyasi). In this state of his mind he is dissociated from the consequences of the fruits of actions and he is ever happy. Such a person does not have to leave his home, family and possessions to become a sanyasi because in his mind he is already dissociated from desires. (5:19-22). He whose intellect is free from desires does not get caught in the bindings of the actions. A person attains the qualities of a sanyasi or renunciate only when desires are given up. Therefore Karmasanyasa (renouncing actions) and Karmayoga (performing actions without desire for fruits) are same. (5:23-25). Only ignorant persons think that the two (i.e. Jnyanayoga of the Sankhyas and Karmayoga) are different but those who have experienced Self know that they are not different. (5:26-28). One who follows the Yoga path attains very soon the bliss of the Brahman but one who cannot succeed in it wastes his efforts and cannot be a real renunciate (5:32-33).


A person who has kept his mind free of delusion and by purifying it with the help of Guru's mantra merged it in the Self becomes the Self. (5:34). A person who has become consciousness (Brahman) itself after getting rid of the desires pervades the expanse of the three worlds through the form of the Self even being at one place. (5:36). For such a person, language like "This is done by me" or " I want to do this" becomes redundant and he remains a non-doer in spite of his actions. Because such a person, even though his outward behaviour and his bodily functions are normal, is not even conscious of his body then how can he have the ego about his actions? (5:37-38).

When we think about the Almighty God we see that the all-pervading God is apparently a non-doer but he creates this expanse of the three worlds and if you call him a doer, he does not get involved with the deeds. He raises populations of creatures from the five elements and he is in all but he belongs to none. In fact He is not even aware about the creation and destruction of the world. (5:76-79). (See note at the end of the Chapter). He assumes form by taking birth but his formlessness is not affected. Therefore to say that He creates, maintains and destroys is rooted in ignorance. (5:81-82).

When this ignorance is totally destroyed then delusion goes and non-doing nature of God becomes clear. Once a person is convinced in his mind that God is a non-doer then the fundamental idea that "He is not different from me" is naturally established. Once this sense has arisen in the mind then he does not see himself different from anything in the three worlds and considers the world to be as liberated as he is. (5:83-85). Such persons have a sense of equability towards everything in this world. (5:88). Such men of Knowledge do not notice differences between different creatures. (5:93-95). Listen now to the characteristics of the person who possesses this sense of equability. (5:102).


One who is not affected by the success or failure (or gains and losses) of his actions is a person with sense of equability. He is the Brahman personified. (5:103-104). Due to he limitless internal bliss of the Self he is not attracted towards the external worldly pleasures. (5:105-106). It is only those who have not experienced this internal bliss that are attracted towards the impermanent worldly pleasures. (5:110). The pleasures of the sense-objects are actually miseries from beginning to the end but ignorant people cannot do without them. (5:120). It is these people who are addicted to the sense pleasures that have given the appearance of truth to this worldly delusion of Maya. (5:126).

Persons who have totally controlled passions are not at all aware of the sorrows born out of sense-pleasures. (5:129). They are internally filled with bliss. But their way of enjoying that bliss is unusual. They are not aware that they are the enjoyers, because they are in a state of egolessness and oneness with the Supreme. (5:131-133). This Bliss of the Self is the best, indestructible and limitless. Only the desireless persons are worthy of it. (5:146) If you ask how these persons reached this stage while still living, it is because first they give up the pleasures with dispassion and meditate concentrating at the point in between the eyebrows, with their eyes turned backwards while controlling the breath (Pranayama). (5:151-153). Thus their mind turns inwards and through the state of samadhi they take the life-force and the mind upwards towards the experience of Brahman. When mind dissolves, all desires and ego also dissolve. Therefore he who experiences the bliss becomes one with Brahman while still living. (5:155-157).


Note to Chapter 5:

Five elements or Principles: (5:76-79). Indian philosophy postulates the world to be made of five principles or elements. Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky or Space. When seen from the modern physical point of view, the first three are the three states of matter namely solid, liquid and gaseous states. The fourth represents the energy while the fifth is the space. This is as per the understanding of the thinkers at the beginning of human civilisation Modern science has found more than 100 elements, about 92 of them occurring naturally. But this does not change the basic arguments.

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Last update: 04.04.04