The instruments have to be trained in such a manner that at the right time, the right action proceeds. It is like a good writer who does not keep a good fountain pen, and when he stars writing there is no ink in it, or the nib is very weak, and cannot take the flow. A Karmayogin is one who keeps all his instruments in perfect order. If he is an orator he keeps his throat perfectly well; his language perfectly articulate; his sense of emphasis falling at the right point, at the right moment, in the right manner: these are his instruments, and his instruments must be perfected. All the exercises he has to do, so when the Divine finds in him the instrument, the instrument must be perfect.
This is for us the most difficult part of Karmayoga. As compared to this process, the other two are simpler, although they are also sufficiently difficult, but this is the most difficult. They are so many instruments, so many elements in us. In fact, this aspect is dealt with by in the Gita in the last six chapters of the Gita. The last six chapters of the Gita are not sufficiently understood even by great–learned people, as what is the significance of these last six chapters.
In the last six chapters Sri Krishna says in detail what are the instruments of action; what are the three Gunas, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, which are moving in action; what are the different kinds of the states of mind, in Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; what are the different kinds of efforts in Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; what are the kinds of śraddhā, the faith, again in Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; what is tapasyā again in Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; what is dāna in again Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; what is yajña in Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas.
He describes in detail so that the whole instrumentality, all the elements in the instruments are analysed very briefly. You might almost say, “What is this repetition all the time?” In everything Sri Krishna says, “Sattwa is this, Rajas is this, Tamas is this.” Because in every aspect our instrument should be so perfected! You must know that this is Tamas, this is Rajas, this is Sattwa; and then you can know that even Sattwa is not the highest. And Sri Krishna speaks of triguṇātīta: you should be able to go beyond the three Gunas. It is only when you perfect your Sattwa consciousness that you can go beyond; and then in that state, your instruments are so perfected that the Divine will, will go straight like a shot without any obstruction.
These last six chapters therefore culminate. In fact this whole thing cannot be obtained unless Jnana, Karma, Bhakti, all are united. But united for what purpose? For the sake of action. The whole emphasis in the Bhagavad Gita is: ‘action is better than inaction’, and you should never allow inaction: that is the basic emphasis. Therefore, when you unite Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, whatever their respective boons and their results, all of them have to be utilised, so that ultimately the Divine’s will manifests.
The one sentence that Sri Krishna had told Arjuna in the beginning: “Why are you gripped by this depression? Stand up and fight.” This is the basic proposition. But fight divinely, stand up like a divine warrior, not like a feeble coward individual who wants to run away, and whose mind is confused, who is egoistic, calculating this, calculating that: not like that. Be a warrior but a divine warrior, and fight vigorously like an instrument, such an instrument that you don’t fight at all, it is the Divine who fights; it is the Divine who shoots, not you. This is the perfection.
Karmayoga, we can conclude again, has three aspects: the object is to be able to manifest the divine action. The instrument is the Will, but since this Karmayoga is an integral Yoga, the Will is combined with Knowledge and Emotion, but with a greater emphasis upon will. And the method is: first, purification of the will, concentration of the will, renunciation of the right type: this is the minimum.
In the second stage, the knowledge of what is the karma, akarma, vikarma, then, endurance, by which a true equality is achieved in enduring everything. Secondly, knowledge of eventology: that is ‘in all events, there is a divine will’: that knowledge, so that you become equal by luminous knowledge, you know! It is not merely ‘Shraddha’ or ‘Trust’, that everything are in the hands of God, you really know. And then, resign: you are able to go to the chamber of God, offer everything, and say to the Divine, “You act!” And really you do not act; or even if you act, you say to the Divine, “I am only acting because I am obliged to act, it is my habit, but please give me failure if it is not according to Your will, give success, if it is Your will, or do something else, which I am not even thinking of: all is welcome if it comes from You.” This is the second process, middle process.
And the highest process is: perfection of all the instruments, in such a manner that ultimately you are able to transcend even the Sattwa in every movement; every fibre of the being; and ultimately the Divine’s will can manifest, triguṇātīta. The action of the Divine is neither Sattwic, nor Rajasic, nor Tamasic. The Divine action is another quality altogether: it is saccidānanda. There is neither Sattwa, nor Rajas, nor Tamas, it is Satchitananda. There is a pure being, pure consciousness, pure will, pure delight. It is that action that should be able to manifest itself through you. This is the highest Karmayoga as given in the Gita.
I am speaking out all this in greater length because the trend of the argument even while doing the second chapter, you should know towards what the whole argument is moving. Therefore I brought even the last six chapters even at this stage. So that we know that ultimately Sri Krishna is preparing Arjuna for that culmination. It is little by little, because Sri Krishna is a good teacher who does not pour everything at one stage, but little by little He reveals, so that he is prepared for the final secret.