śribhagavān uvāca, this is the answer from Sri Krishna:
prakāśaṁ ca pravṛttiṁ ca moham eva ca pāṇḍava |
na dveṣṭi sampravṛttāni na nivṛttāni kāṅkṣati ||22|| (XIV)
udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vicālyate |
guṇā vartanta ity eva yo ’vatiṣṭhati neṅgate ||23|| (XIV)
These two paragraphs are very important. He says; Prakasha (prakāśa) is Sattwa; Pravritti (pravṛtti) is Rajas; Moha (moha) is Tamas. Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, na dveṣṭi sampravṛttāni, the one who is liberated, one who goes above the Gunas, he does not get affected when they come: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are still not destroyed, when you just go above it, these three are still there. But whether they come or go the individual is not affected by these Gunas.
Question: He is talking of them coming or going within his own…,
…in his own complex. I go to sleep, I may be liberated, but I go to sleep with this Tamas. So, whether I sleep or I don’t sleep, it makes no difference to him, then you have gone above the Gunas but still the sleep comes to you.
So, many Yogis in this world attain to some kind of liberation from egoism, some kind of central egoism, but these three Gunas still pervade them. The action proceeds is like having a pen to write your poem; now, the poem that you want to write is an extraordinary poem, but supposing the pen by which you write is a defective pen, then even if your poem is extraordinary in writing there will be defect and if pen is the only instrument by which you can write then what will be the result? Your poem will not be absolutely perfect in expression because of the inadequacy of the pen.
Similarly even if you know the Divine, in expressing the Divine you have to use the nature, because nature is the active part and if Apara Prakriti is there, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas will be always there, so your action will be always tainted with Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. But when you go above the three Gunas the first condition will be that they will not affect you. You will not become bewildered by Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; normally when these three Gunas are there and we are not liberated, these three Gunas trouble you, you feel bound. Whether they come or they don’t come, they make a difference to you. But you have gone above, then you know that all actions at present are being conducted by Apara Prakriti and they do not give you any trouble: na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati. You neither abhor, nor you desire. You are reconciled to the bad pen, you might say, you allow your poem to be expressed as much as possible, you know that the pen is defective, you can’t help it, but you still write whatever you can.
Comment: It will not be the poem of the sage – imperfect.
Yes, it won’t be that perfect. Therefore, Sri Krishna says that you have to rise to a higher plan. Even in action, these Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas have to be transcended. Once you transcend, once you seat above, as He says in the next one, udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vicālyate, ‘one who is not disturbed by Gunas’, why? Because udāsīna-vad āsīno, because you are seated above. You are already entering into Para Prakriti, therefore all this does not disturbed you now.
Comment: May be you are indifferent to it.
…indifferent to it, you are not troubled; ‘indifferent’ is still a kind of a passive condition, but you are not really troubled: guṇā vartanta ity eva yo ’vatiṣṭhati neṅgate: he knows that the Gunas always work in their own way; he is not troubled. Imperfections come, but you know what is the nature of Apara Prakriti! How can you expect perfection there?
This is the condition of the freedom, the real freedom when you go above the Gunas.
Comment: And yet the lower Gunas are working through you,
…working in you as yet, as yet you have not come to the highest, this is only the beginning.
Then, come the highest stages of Para Prakriti. And this chapter prepares you for the highest one. The first condition is that normally in the psychology of a liberated individual, the individual soul lives with the Divine or lives in the same state as the Self of the Divine. In that condition there is either a joy, or love, or complete peace even in activity. But as soon as you come to action there is a difficulty for all the Yogis who are ‘Jnanis’ or ‘Bhaktas’, they have great difficulty when they come to action. In their inner being, they are absolutely seated with the Divine or they are one with the Divine, but the moment they act, it is Apara Prakriti which is acting.
So, your action can never be as it would be the divine action itself, divyam karma. Unless you have done Karmayoga, and risen from Apara Prakriti in action, and risen to Para Prakriti which is active, but it is a divine Prakriti in which there is a complete transformation of thought into knowledge, of emotion into the supreme divine Love and action into the normal desire and ordinary action into the divine action, and they are united together, until you have this Para Prakriti does not act.