Bhagavagd Gita - Session 3- Track 309

This question Sri Krishna will answer in the 3rd chapter. But at the moment He simply makes a statement which bombards Arjuna for the time being.

dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhiyogād dhanañjaya |
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ ||49|| (II)

“O Conqueror of Wealth! Karma is far inferior to the practice of Buddhiyoga, therefore, seeking refuge in the intellect perform selfless actions, because those who want to enjoy the fruits of actions are kṛpaṇāḥ, are pitiable”.

Sri Krishna does not stop here to expound why Karma is inferior to Knowledge, but He continues, because His main purpose here, is to emphasise ‘how while doing action you can be free’. And the one important thing is that you cannot be free unless you regard Karma to be inferior to Knowledge, and unless you do Buddhiyoga, and you make your Buddhi steady, then your Karma will become steady. So, He says:

buddhiyukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛtaduṣkṛte |
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam ||50|| (II)

He says:you become united with Buddhi and when you do that you will be able to give up the distinction between sukṛta and duṣkṛta, you will no more be bewildered by what is right action and what is wrong action. Therefore, unite yourself with Yoga and when you do Yoga, your Karma will become kauśalam”; and that, efficiency of action, as He rightly pointed out, that when you do real action by Yoga, your action becomes most effective. Do not therefore neglect to do work, do not therefore do work negligently, do not merely to do because of duty ‘I am doing it, I have to be here at 5 o’ clock, then I will go away’: that is only a sense of duty, but it is not kauśalam, it is not proficiency, it is not the complete perfection of action.

Let us delve upon this sentence very importantly because sukṛta-duṣkṛte ubhe jahātīha: “you will be able to abandon the right and the wrong”. This is a very difficult sentence; we have to go back to the question of Arjuna. When Arjuna started his argument, as to why he will not fight, the sting of the argument was: ‘I want to do the right action, I want to avoid the wrong action, and I find that if I fight it will be wrong action, therefore not fighting is for me the right action’: that was his conclusion. If you take the whole argument, the totality of the argument is only this: ‘if I fight, there will be a lot of evils, which will be produced; I want to avoid all the evil, I want to do the right thing, therefore I will not fight; that is the right action’.

Sri Krishna delves upon it and says: “you are distinguishing between the right action and the wrong action, but I am giving you the key by which even this question will not arise; you are troubled because you want to decide what is right, what is wrong! But I will give you the key by which, this question will not arise, jahātī; you will be able to abandon both the questions, what is right and what is wrong; if you do this, buddhi-yukto, if you really become completely concentrated in your Buddhi, and if you do the action perfectly well, then you will go beyond the question of what is right and what is wrong; what is good action, what is evil action”.

And this is true for everybody, just apply this: make your mind completely steady, you arrive at a samatvaṁ; you say: ‘whatever the result, I will be able to bear it, whatever the result, I am doing this action, whatever the result I will bear it’, but you do your action fully well, perfectly well; if you do it, then the action that you will do, will be independent of right and wrong. You are not doing a right action, you are not doing a wrong action, it will be “the action” which will be able to avoid the distinction between the right and the wrong: it is “the action”.

This is true of everybody, in any situation; when you have a doubt whether it is right or wrong, and you are very confused, then this is the one alchemy given by Sri Krishna. Take whatever action you are doing, you are not sure if it is right or wrong, but whatever the results of that action, you decide to take them absolutely freely, and you say that you will not be afflicted, same kṛtvā. But do the action perfectly well, without negligence, don’t do merely as a duty, but really do it thoroughly, then you will have no problem of right or wrong.