Comment: Whole of Gita in a way is kṣara and the akṣara, the entire universe is explained.
Absolutely, you have got exactly the right point.
In fact this is the most important verse, or you might say, one of the most important verses. And when we shall come to the 8th chapter, when Sri Krishna will say, “I will now tell you the full Knowledge, and more than full, so much that after knowing which, nothing more remains to be known”, then you will get the same proposition in a much more elaborate manner but the same idea is repeated in the 8th chapter.
The entire universe is as it were explained, and because of that whole Knowledge of the universe, you are able to do the action rightly, and what is to be done is done. You are then enabled to do action, and yet not to be bound by action. Action is burned, action is created, action is controlled, and whatever event you want to create is created, and yet you are free from action. Even when you create, you are still unaffected by anything that is created: you are still superior to action.
In fact that is what is said in 17th verse: that even when you act, and even when you do all this, at the same time if you are seated in the Self, then for you no action remains. You can make a tremendous revolution in the world, and people may hail you as the originator of all the revolution, but as far as you are concerned, you are seated in the Self quietly, and for you there is no action: that is because all action is offered already, and it is all burned. There is no action left for you. And that is the secret of freedom: to do action and yet to be free. This is the condition than when you are seated in your Self, and by self is not meant something that is your egoistic self, but the vastest like Varuna, Mitra, all this is satisfied, that Self, when you reach that point, then only you can create a real action. And then you can see that you are not the creator at all. All is created from the Prajapati, from the Supreme, therefore for you no action remains.
naiva tasya kṛtenārtho nākṛteneha kaścana |
na cāsya sarva-bhūteṣu kaścid artha-vyapāśrayaḥ ||18|| (III)
“For him, when he reaches that point, in this world he has no interest whatever to gain by the actions that he has done and seeks nothing to gain by the actions that he has not done, for he who delights in the Self, such an enlightened person does not depend on anything for any interest of his own.”
tasmād, therefore, asaktaḥ satataṁ kāryaṁ karma samācara |
asakto hy ācaran karma param āpnoti pūruṣaḥ ||19|| (III)
This idea of tasmād is very important. Having described all this again Sri Krishna says: “Therefore do the action, although you have gone above action, and there is nothing now for you to be done, even then you act”:
tasmād asaktaḥ satataṁ kāryaṁ karma samācara |
All the time you do action, but asaktaḥ, knowing that you are not the doer of action; asakto hyācaran, non-attached you do everything, when you do that, then you attain to the Supreme.
There are seven verses, which you might say, perhaps the most remarkable propositions of the Bhagavad Gita. These seven verses have been forgotten in a long history of India. They have been neglected, and that is why India has fallen to present condition of poverty and ignorance. But now you listen to these seven verses; we shall read out the seven verses, and concentrate on them. Sri Krishna says:
karmaṇaiva hi saṁsiddhim āsthitā janakādayaḥ |
loka-saṁgraham evāpi sampaśyan kartum arhasi ||20|| (III)
“Men like Janaka attain the Supreme by doing action alone…”
The importance of action is underlined: it is not by giving up action, when you reach that position that you are not doing any action, even then you act. That superiority over action, and yet continuing to act, that is underlined in these seven verses.
And here a very important concept is given “lokasaṁgraḥ”: this is the master idea of the Bhagavad Gita, lokasaṁgraḥ. When I have nothing to act for myself, when all that I need, all that is gone, all is burned away, then, what is the motive of action? There is no motive except to give yourself entirely: all that you have and what you are.
And give your entire Self to whom? To pūruṣaḥ, to the Supreme. This offering is done to the Supreme, and the Supreme is manifested in prajāḥ. This Supreme again throws Himself into all the beings. There is the sacrifice from our side to Purushottama, and Purushottama sacrifices Himself back into all the people, not in you alone, that is the important point: sarvaḥ prajāḥ. Everything in the world is created by the Supreme: therefore Supreme throws Himself into all. Therefore, when you have given up everything, and still you have to do action that action is for what? It is like Supreme Himself. Supreme Himself does everything for what? For sarvaḥ prajāḥ: for all the people. Therefore, Sri Krishna says, that when there is no other motive for action, when you don’t need to do anything at all, you still act, and that is for lokasaṁgraḥ: for all the people, so that people remain united.