Quietude is quietude: devoid of activity. How can quietude be introduced in this movement of activity unless there is a principle of Purusha? This Purusha who is by nature very quiet, inactive, immobile, it can introduce a principle of quietude through only one instrument, powerfully, ─ that is Buddhi, because Buddhi is the one principle which discriminates. Through the principle of Buddhi you can discriminate the quiet Self, the Purusha, and the dynamic Prakriti. But Buddhi itself being in the clutch of all these manas, and ahaṁkāra, and indriya(s), and all the objects of indriya(s), the pañca mahābhūta(s)… even Buddhi is constantly running out of itself, instead of discriminating, it is clouded. By introducing the power of Purusha on Prakriti, on Buddhi, you can start as a process: some steadiness of Buddhi can be brought about by the power of Purusha.
This putting the pressure of Purusha by himself on Buddhi is called “yoga”, ─ starting point of Yoga. The quietude of the Purusha, being imprinted on Buddhi, so that Buddhi, which is running out all the time, becomes slowly steady, one-pointed: this is the starting point of Yoga. It is an effort by which the quietude of Purusha is attempted to be imprinted on Buddhi; and because Buddhi is a power of discrimination, it can receive the command of Purusha, discriminating it from the command of Prakriti. Therefore the instrument by which you can do your Yoga is Buddhi. And this Yoga gives you, when you make this Buddhi more and more steady, it gives first of all the realisation of the difference between the ‘Mobile’ and the ‘Immobile’, between the ‘Perishable’ and the ‘Imperishable’. And this is the starting point of Bhagavad Gita’s teaching: to make a distinction between the ‘Mobile’ and the ‘Immobile’, the ‘Perishable’ and the ‘Imperishable’.
And then is the 2nd part of the 2nd chapter where Sri Krishna says that, “I shall teach you the poise by which, even while doing action, you will still be free”. To distinguish between the ‘Mobility’ and ‘Immobility’, and arriving at ‘Immobility’, is one realisation, one liberation. But even while doing action, still you feel ‘Immobile’, that is “karmabandhaṁ prahāsyasi” (II, 39), that is: “Even while doing action, while performing actions, you will not be bound, you will still be different, distinguishable and capable of remaining quiet, even while engaged in action”.
The question is ‘How to become quiet even in action, so that you do not have to throw away the action’. The teaching of Sri Krishna is: “You fight!”, that is to say he is asked to fight, to do action: but action means normally going into Prakriti, into identification immediately, and all the trouble which Arjuna is riddled with, viṣāda(depression), so, how that viṣāda could go and yet how he could be in action, that was the real issue. Sri Krishna says, “I will teach you that by which you will be able to act and yet you will have no viṣāda, you will really be free”.
The other method is easy: ‘just come out of the action, renounce the action’. And according to Sankhya, there is no possibility of what Sri Krishna says. According to Sankhya: to be in action and yet to be free from action is not possible; that is the limitation of Sankhya. That is why you cannot say that teaching of Gita is Sankhya’s teaching. It takes into account Sankhya; it enunciates the whole Sankhya; it is aware of what Sankhya says, but answers that if you take only Sankhya, you can be liberated, if you want only liberation, fine!, then Sankhya is enough, but ‘I will tell you, you act and even while you act, you get the result of Sankhya, you still feel free’. This is the alchemy and this is the novelty of the teaching of the Gita, which was not available in Sankhya: according to Sankhya the moment you discriminate between Purusha and Prakriti, then what happens? Purusha withdraws; it disengages itself; it remembers itself; self-forgetfulness is gone; identification is gone; discrimination is complete; it knows it is different from Prakriti. And then surprisingly, because the glancing activity is over, Prakriti comes back to…It does not anymore catch the Purusha; it becomes quiet also. In an analogy it is said: “Prakriti is like a dancer who starts dancing only when the master wants her to dance and the moment the master feels disinterested in the dance, she stops dancing”.
Therefore, according to Sankhya: ‘Become disinterested in all these movements; detach yourself from everything and by Vairagya (vairāgya), complete disinterestedness from it, the moment you come out of it, you will be free’. That is the remedy of Sankhya. And although Sri Krishna admits that this is a right process, valid process…It does happen, if you really withdraw yourself, your consent, your intention to look at Prakriti and identifying yourself with it, you can become completely quiet, arrive at a complete quietude. All the riddles of the world, everything comes to a stop, you are free. But then do not expect that you will be acting at the same time and having this! By Sankhya alone you do not have that answer.
Therefore, there is another knowledge, which Sri Krishna says ‘The knowledge of Yoga’. The word is used by Sri Krishna in a very peculiar sense, which Sri Krishna defines in the 3rd chapter; not in the 2nd chapter, but in the 3rd Chapter, He says that, “By Yoga, I mean Karmayoga”: so, Sankhya is therefore the path of Knowledge. There is only discrimination by Buddhi, Buddhi which was caught by the three Gunas, but Buddhi which was hijacked as it were, by movement of ahaṁkāra, and manas, and indriya(s), that Buddhi becomes separated, discriminating, and knowing that there is a Purusha behind it, itself become steady. It becomes free from the clutches of the Ahankara, ego falls away, the movement, the driving force of three Gunas goes away, and the Purusha returns to a stage where there are no three Gunas at all, completely quiet and silent. That is the path of Knowledge: you know that there is a difference between the Purusha and Prakriti; all movements are Prakriti’s movements; Purusha is quiet and immobile; in ‘Immobility’ there is no viṣāda, no consequences, no problem, no bondage; you are absolutely free. This Knowledge, the attainment of this Knowledge is called Sankhya.
But by this process, you do not have the answer to the question of Arjuna when Sri Krishna says: “You must fight!” So, Sri Krishna says that, ‘The result of Sankhya can be obtained also by what I am telling you and much more. Therefore, if you have to choose between Sankhya and Yoga, I will tell you to choose Yoga, and not Sankhya. I do not deny the validity of Sankhya, but I will give you a preference to Yoga because you get through Yoga both the answers’.
This is what we shall do next time, the process of Yoga, the Buddhi applied to the movement of action, and then, even while in action, how do you get the result of Sankhya and much more than what Sankhya cannot give you?