Sri Krishna will explain latter on, this Karmayoga cannot be practised without Jnana yoga. The Karmayoga of the Gita is such a Karmayoga, it cannot be practised without Jnanayoga, and it cannot be practised without Bhaktiyoga. It is a complete synthesis: this yoga is a complete synthesis of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti. But the starting point is Karma. And here, there is no subordination of one element to the other as in the Yoga today. In the Yogic system of Patanjali, the overall emphasis falls upon only Jnana, on a particular process of Samadhi, or a process leading up to Samadhi. Whenever Sri Krishna uses the word ‘Yoga’ in the Bhagavad Gita, we have to understand it that whenever he uses the word ‘Yoga’, He means three fold process of Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, the starting point of which is Karma.
We can understand better, when He says that, “I have explained to you the process by which you can attain to liberation by the power of Sankhya, by Buddhi yoga, I shall tell you of Buddhiyoga when applied to action, that how while doing action, you can be liberated”.
In the 3rd chapter, Sri Krishna says very explicitly that there are two paths of liberation, either the path of Sankhya, or the path of Yoga, and the path of Sankhya is the path of Knowledge, and the path of Yoga is the path of Works. It is in this way that you might say, Sri Krishna synthesises ‘Sankhya’, ‘Yoga’ and ‘Vedanta’; and He synthesises the process of ‘Karma’, ‘Jnana’ and ‘Bhakti’. This is the background of introduction to the real content of Karmayoga, which we will take up next: this is only a kind of an introduction, because Bhagavad Gita’s main starting point is in ‘Karma’ because Arjuna has a question mark in regard to his action. He has come to a stage, where he is not able to find out what is the right thing to do. And Sri Krishna says that, “I will teach you something that even while doing action, you will really do the right action, and even while doing action, you will have no doubt at all about it, you will be free from all saṁśaya, all doubts, and you will be able to do the work and even while doing the work you will be free. This is the secret knowledge that I am going to give you”. This is the promise that Sri Krishna makes to Arjuna. What is that secret? What is that process is actually the subject matter of whole of the Gita. There are many other elements also, but this is the basic trend and the whole argument of the Bhagavad Gita rests upon this. We shall take up next time.