Bhagavagd Gita - Session 3- Track 304

We can anticipate something of the answer, so that our own mind becomes quiet at this moment. Because this is a very important question: if Knowledge is superior to Action, then why should there be Karmayoga at all? Why not Jnanayoga alone? This is one of the issues of the Bhagavad Gita, if Knowledge is superior to Action, then why the process of Karmayoga at all? Let us all do Jnana yoga! We must first of all remember that Sri Krishna does not say that Karmayoga is inferior to Buddhiyoga. We must see very clearly, He says, “Karma, Action is inferior to Buddhiyoga”, but He does not say that “Karmayoga is inferior to Buddhiyoga”. But when you listen to the statements, perhaps you may not understand the distinction: Karma is inferior to Knowledge, but Karmayoga is not inferior to Knowledge, or to Yoga of Knowledge.

Secondly, Karmayoga itself becomes powerful only when you know that in the hierarchy of forces of Knowledge, Action, and Devotion…because there are only three forces in the world. If you analyse the psychology of a human being, you find there are only three tendencies in human being: cognitive, conative, affective. If you read any book on psychology, you will find that psychology all over the world agree that human tendencies are three fold: cognitive, conative, affective. ‘Cognitive’ is the tendency to know; ‘conative’ is the tendency to act; ‘affective’ is the tendency to feel. In the totality of the whole psychology of human being these are the only three powers. In these three powers there is a relationship. What is the relationship? Cognition is always superior to affection and conation. Conation is always inferior to cognition. Affection is both the crown of cognition and conation and also the inspiring force of the highest knowledge and the highest action.

This is a very important statement, so let us dwell upon it, because the entire relationship of Jnana yoga, Karmayoga and Bhaktiyoga, the synthesis of which is the whole teaching of the Bhagavad Gita rest upon this interrelationship between these three tendencies.

We must know that the aim of the Bhagavad Gita is to resolve the problem of life: the problem that Arjuna raises is an incidental question, because Arjuna is a symbolic of the problems that life confronts with everybody in the world. You might say it is a typical example of every human being: at a certain time the problem of life confronts you, in the way it confronted Arjuna. Therefore, the answer to the question that Arjuna raises, cannot be answered, cannot be given on a very whimsical ground, which is something incidental, or casual. It has to be answered on some very fundamental truth. The most serious problem of life can be resolved only when you know the fundamental truth of life. The answer that could ultimately satisfy Arjuna could be a Yogic answer.

This word ‘Yogic answer’ again has to be defined: what is Yogic answer? There are many kinds of answers: there are pragmatic answers, practical answers; there are theoretical answers; there are intellectual answers; there are answers, which are temporary; there are answers, which create further questions; there are final answers, full answers, durable answers. The full answers, durable answers, final answers are what may called ‘Yogic answers’. In the ultimate analysis, at the bottom of everything, if you really want to resolve any problem, Sri Krishna says, “You go to the most fundamental things, try to get highest possible knowledge, survey the whole realm of knowledge, and then ask your question in the context of the realm of knowledge, total realm of knowledge, and then derive the answer out of it; it will be the truest answer, final answer, lasting answer.”

The question that Arjuna had put was such a question, that neither pragmatic answer, nor theoretical answer, nor intellectual answer, nor philosophical answer, nor any temporary answer would have satisfied him. That is why Sri Krishna is obliged to give him an answer, which is a ‘yogic answer’, and He says that, “Your question is such, that it can be answered only if you go the most depth of everything”.