Now Sri Krishna says…and this is how He starts, and I have said earlier: the first “dong” of Sri Krishna is very important when He answers. And what is the first ‘dong’? It is to point out to Arjuna that in his argument there is a lacuna. He speaks of everything: he speaks of his brethren; he speaks of justice; he speaks of slaughter; he speaks of kulakṣaya; he speaks of all kinds of consequences of bad actions, of sins etc. But he does not speak of one most important and that is of “that which is eternal”. He speaks the language of the paṇḍita,, but He says Pandits first speak of the Eternal, and in your statement there is no reference to the Eternal. So, the starting point of Sri Krishna’s answer is, that first you put your premises correctly: your premises are incomplete. If you bring the idea of the Eternal, which never is destroyed, then this itself will work as a kind of an ‘evaporator’: your whole fear of destruction, of killing will be evaporated when you know that there is ultimately a Reality which can never be destroyed. In other words, Sri Krishna’s answer starts by what is called a “pole–transference”.
You are at this level in which certain data alone are understood; at that level the data of the eternal Reality and its relationship with the world are not obtained. So, He says: “you be transferred on an upper level, become a real Pandit; you are speaking the language of paṇḍita,, but become the real paṇḍita,. And the real paṇḍita, is the one who raises himself to the higher level of consciousness where greater data are available”. This upward transference from where we are to the higher is the first step in the answer of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna does not say that, “you do action; that is my answer”. That is not His answer. “Do your duty, that is my answer”, no. First, answer is that, “Even though ultimately I will ask you to fight and to do action, but on the basis of an ‘upward transference’. The way, in which you want to act…I do not say you act now: in this present condition of consciousness you cannot act correctly; you act, but act in what way? By upward transference of your being: raise yourself from where you are and go upward.”
In other words, the very starting point of Sri Krishna’s teaching is “Knowledge”. He does not teach first action, but He first starts Knowledge, because unless you do that, the new source of action won’t be possible. That is why Arjuna is surprised that, “I really wanted Knowledge and you are now telling me to go to Knowledge, so, I was quite right, so, why do you throw me into this ghore karmaṇi. Why do yo u throw me into this action?”
So, Sri Krishna says: “there are two ways”. And then, Sri Krishna explains what is Buddhi yoga. The path of Knowledge is centred on Buddhi yoga. Why is “Jnana yoga” called Jnana yoga? Jnana yoga is a Yoga, which employs Knowledge as the instrument of lifting yourself from lower to the higher. At the lower level, you are ayuktaḥ, you are not united with the supreme Reality. If you want to be yukta, if you want to be a Yogi, then, you raise yourself up. But, by what means? In the Jnana yoga the means, which are given, are the means of Knowledge. And what is the highest instrument of Knowledge? Buddhi. Among all the instruments in us, the one instrument, which is nearest to Knowledge, is Buddhi. Therefore, since Jnana yoga employs instruments of Knowledge as the instrument to uplift yourself from lower of the higher, therefore Jnana yoga is called Jnana yoga.
Why Karma yoga is called Karma yoga? Because there also, there is a question of uplifting yourself from the lower to the higher, but the means that are involved is Karma. Karma is the method; therefore Karma yoga is called Karma. You use karma in such a way that Karma itself lifts you up, upwards.