Now, this again is very important in the context of Arjuna’s questions. Sri Krishna asks him to fight and therefore to act. Therefore, the question is: does action necessarily implies some kind of bondage? So, here is Sri Krishna’s answer that “even if you act, you are free”.
How can one perform free action? mokṣa does not mean negation of action as very often it is understood by many people; mokṣa means to be like the supreme Lord who is akartāram kartāram api, (IV, 13) ‘who is the doer and yet the non–doer’, who acts and yet remains non attached by the action. It is that condition that the 14th chapter describes; it is called the condition of triguṇātīta.
The 14th chapter describes all the three Gunas, Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas, by means of which the soul gets bound to the Prakriti, Apara Prakriti, lower Prakriti and then by the performance of the three fold Yoga, (Karma, Jnana and Bhakti), you can rise from Apara Prakriti and enter into Para Prakriti and then you attain to mukti, the liberation, but the sādharmya mukti. The liberation which is so permanent that even when you act you do not get bound, so that in the very battle field…(not running away from the battlefield and going to Sannyasa), in the very battle field itself, you attain to Sannyasa and at the same time you become the real warrior and fight.
Now, this description raises some deeper questions. These deeper questions are answered in the 15th chapter. This whole question of bondage and liberation is one of the most subtle subjects in the entire world. There is no subject which is subtler than this subject “How does one get bound?” “How one does get liberated?”: sūkṣmati sūkṣma, ‘subtler than the subtle’.
And this cannot be fully understood unless you know the nature of the supreme Lord Himself and therefore the 15th chapter describes once again the supreme Lord which has been described already efficiently earlier also; from the 7th chapter to the 12th chapter is a detailed description of the supreme Lord. Even the 13th chapter repeats in brief, in different terms the nature of the supreme Lord. But the 15th chapter once again, in different terms speaks of supreme Lord as three fold, as Purusha, supreme Lord as Purusha who is three fold: the Akshara Purusha, Kshara Purusha and Purushottama. The supreme Lord is at once inactive, active and that which transcends both and embraces both at the same time: Purushottama.
It is only in the context of the supreme Nature of the Lord who is at once Akshara, Kshara and parama, paraḥ puruṣa, only in that context can we really understand the mystery of the soul, of its entry into the Apara Prakriti, its bondage into the Apara Prakriti, and the possibility of Its liberation. That is the importance of the 15th chapter.
In the rest of these chapters 16th, 17th and 18th we have a further elucidation of the nature: by nature we mean Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti. This is very necessary because when we begin to understand the process of development from lower to the higher, very important questions arise in our consciousness, in our process on the path. We come across what Sri Krishna calls Asuric saṁpatti and Devi saṁpatti, the demoniac powers and qualities and forces, and divine forces.
And we have to understand them so that we can distinguish between them very properly, we may not be snared by Asuric saṁpatti, that even when we enter into them, we recognise them and we know how to avoid them and how we can transcend into Devi Prakriti.
In this process we come across the pursuit of Dharma, therefore we have a good description of Dharma: in all process of development, Dharma is one of the most important concepts. Dharma is the law of development of life. So, when we make an ascent, there is a development. In this process of development there is a law which inevitably comes, therefore we have to recognise what is Dharma.
In this pursuit there is also the question of Shraddha, of faith. This idea of faith is very often misunderstood, we have dealt with this question earlier but we can repeat by saying that faith does not mean unquestionable belief as very often it is understood. Shraddha is un–proved conviction, (not belief), un–proved conviction which insists upon pursuit until it is proved and realised: that is Shraddha.
It is not merely an accepted unquestionable belief, it is of course un–proved therefore as yet not questioned, (not unquestionable), unquestioned as yet, it is not a belief, it is a conviction, and pursuit of this un–proved conviction to the extreme point where this conviction is proved and realised: that is the movement of Shraddha.
So, since there is a question of pursuit, moving from down to the highest level, we have got to understand the fundamental impulse: how do we at all move forward? Why all humanity moves forward? We are actually all blind moving in the world blindly and yet we are moving forward, it is because of Shraddha, un–proved conviction. Each one of us has one kind of un–proved conviction. If you go into your deepest being, we shall discover Shraddha in us by which we are really moving.