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Bhagavagd Gita - Session 3- Track 303

As I told you earlier there are two ways of liberation: one is to attain to immobility and cease to work; the other one is while doing work, you can still become liberated, provided this condition is fulfilled. You attain equality with regard to the fruits of action and still if you can do the action, then you are free, even while doing action.

Now is a very important statement, and which ultimately shakes Arjuna as a result of which the whole of the third chapter is triggered of. When we will come to the 3rd chapter we will find that Arjuna starts by asking a question, which is related to this statement.What is that?

dūreṇa hyavaraṁ karma buddhiyogāddhanañjaya |
buddhau śaraṇamanviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ ||49|| (II)

He says that “Buddhiyoga is much superior to action, therefore take resort to Buddhi”, to the intelligent will. “Those who seek after the desires, they are really pitiable”, kṛpaṇāḥ: those who desire for fruits of action, they are like beggars, they want certain things, and they stand in the line of begging, they kṛpaṇāḥ phala–hetavaḥ. Those who have desires of phala, (of the fruits), they are kṛpaṇāḥ, they are misers, they are absolutely pitiable people, but “you, take resort to intelligent will, and this intelligent will is superior to action”. In fact, naturally Arjuna says in the 3rd chapter, he says, “O Sri Krishna, if Buddhi is superior to action, then why don’t you tell me to go to only intelligence and give up action altogether”? If this is superior, if Buddhi is superior then why do you ask me to do action, and that too, ghoraṁ karma, this kind of Karma? If you just see the 3rd chapter, the very first sentence, where Arjuna says:

jyāyasī cetkarmaṇaste matā buddhirjanārdana |
tatkiṁ karmaṇi ghore māṁ niyojayasikeśava ||1|| (III)

jyāyasī cet; jyāyasī, means ‘much more desirable’; karmaṇa, more desirable ‘than Karma’; if Buddhi is much more important, much more preferable to action, then, tat kiṁ karmaṇi ghore māṁ niyojayasi keśava, “O Keshava why do you ‘niyojayasi’, why do you enjoin me”, ‘māṁ’, means ‘me’, māṁ niyojayasi , why do you enjoin me; kiṁ karmaṇi ghore, you are enjoining me into this ghore karma, into this horrible action.

This question is related to this sentence, which Sri Krishna puts here. And therefore, this is a very important statement in the argument of the Gita. We must remember that Sri Krishna speaks like a good teacher who expounds the problems in a very regular and in the same time in a very winding manner. A good teacher does not explain everything in such a way that logically everything is said at once. That is because the student, his mind is limited, and his concentration is upon a limited field. If immediately everything is told then his mind is not able to understand it. Therefore, the answer if given, which immediately satisfy that particular question in the mind, but since it is not the whole of the teaching certain threads will come out: those threads are on which the student will ask further questions, and the teacher expects questions because he knows that he has not expounded the whole thing. Some questions are bound to come up, and yet he makes the statement deliberately so that the questions do come up, prepare the student to ask further questions so that a greater knowledge can be given.

While saying first of all that, ‘you give up the fruits of action, do not do any action for the sake of the fruits of action’, yet he says, ‘yet you continue to act’; how do you act? ‘yoga–sthaḥ’. By settling yourself into Yoga you do the action. What is settling into Yoga? ‘samatvaṃ’. You attain to a state where you do not have ‘siddhy–asiddhy’, whether you succeed or you fail, in both the conditions you will remain equal: with this state of mind, you act.

Having said all this now is the bombardment: this action is much inferior to knowledge: this action is inferior to knowledge. And that is why Arjuna’s mind is deflected, and he expounds his own deflection in the 3rd chapter; as soon as he gets the chance to asking the question, he raises the question starting from here, because Sri Krishna Himself says that dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi–yogād dhanañjaya (II, 49); mere action is inferior,( avaraṁ means inferior), to Buddhiyoga, to Buddhi, to Knowledge; buddhau śaraṇam anviccha, “therefore resorts to Buddhi; kṛpaṇāḥ phala–hetavaḥ, those who are full of desire, they are like pitiable people”.