Bhagavagd Gita - Session 19- Track 1903

Now, on the basis of this, even the attitudes, which are required, both in the process of Sankhya and in the process of Yoga, are identical. What are those attitudes? And it is that, which is explained in the verse n°3:

jñeyaḥ sa nityasaṁnyāsī yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati |

nirdvandvo hi mahābāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramucyate ||3|| (V)

This is where Sri Krishna now declares very definitively: “You speak of renunciation of Action, but what is the real renunciation of Action? That which is renunciation of action is not merely becoming niṣkriya; it is not that you come out of the observance of keeping fire alive in your house; because that was also the meaning of Karma in that time. A Karmayogi or Karmi or karamkāṇḍi, is one who always takes care to see that the fire constantly burns in his house; niṣkriya, He says, to be niṣkriya is not the process, the essence of Jnana yoga. The essence of Jnana yoga is not that you cease to become one who does not keep care to keep fire in his house. What is the essence of it? yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati, ‘that’ is the real renunciation; not niṣkriyata, but one who does not become jealous: na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati, real renunciation is only this.

Whether you do action or you do not do action, the common point is only this: both in Karma yoga and in Jnana yoga, both of them have to arrive at this state of consciousness, na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati; he has no ambition, he does not desire, he does not have any jealousy; nirdvandvo, he is free from all dualities. It is ‘this’ condition, which you should consider to be sannyāsa, and if you take this meaning then, Karma yoga and Jnana yoga become equal because in both the cases this sannyāsa has to be obtained. The meaning by which sannyāsa means giving up action, and to arrive at niṣkriyata, and giving up the performance of duties by which fire is kept alive in your house, if this is what you mean by sannyāsa, that is not the real meaning of sannyāsa. The real sannyāsa is only this psychological attitude: na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati nirdvandvo.

If this is the meaning then, in the 4th verse Sri Krishna says:

śāṁkhyayogau pṛthagbālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ |

“That Sankhya and Yoga are different. That the path of Knowledge and the path of Action are different from each other, only bālāḥ pravadanti, only children speak of the difference”: they are not mature they do not understand.

ekam apy āsthitaḥ samyag ubhayor vindate phalam ||4|| (V)

“Actually speaking both are one: samyag,,/ identical. And in that sense when you realise it is one, then whether you follow what you call Jnana yoga or whether you follow Karma yoga, it is the same thing.”

The reason is that according to Sri Krishna there are two ways of approach, which differ in the starting point, but they don’t differ in the heart. Sankhya may start with emphasis on Knowledge. Karma yoga may start with an emphasis on Action. But even when you start with the process of Knowledge you have to arrive at a stage of consciousness in which na kāṅkṣati na dveṣṭi,,/ there you arrive at that stage of consciousness. If you start with Action, even there, in the middle of your movement, you must at this condition, na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati nirdvandvo, you do not desire, you do not arrive at any kind of jealousy, and become free from duality. So, the middle, the heart is the same.

Secondly, usually Jnana yoga emphasises knowledge; in the middle it has to get rid of desire, and all dualities; at the end it arrives at the highest Knowledge and many people think it is the end of Jnana yoga. According to Sri Krishna that is not the end of Jnana yoga. Even when you get the Knowledge, you do not yet get fulfilled: that fulfilment comes only when you are able to act. Therefore, Jnana yoga starts with Jnana, ends with Jnana, but not fully get fulfilled in Jnana: this is the concept of Sri Krishna of Jnana yoga in the Bhagavad Gita. There is a Jnana yoga in which you start with Knowledge, you get rid of desire and duality, end with Knowledge and that is the end of the matter.

According to Sri Krishna that is not the end of the matter. After having attained to that Knowledge, you gain a capacity by which you can fulfil that Knowledge. And why do you fulfil that Knowledge? Because when you realise that supreme Knowledge, you find that supreme Knowledge consists of the Knowledge of God as in action also. God Himself is acting: the whole world is a manifestation of God’s will. Once you know that God is in action, then how can you refrain from action? Wherever God is, there you should be. If God is in action how can you leave yourself and say let God doing and I am not in it? The identity with God implies that you are also with God in His action. Therefore you get fulfilled when you pursue the path of action. In other words, you start with Knowledge, you attain to the supreme Knowledge, but then in supreme knowledge you find that God Himself is active and therefore you become an agent of God, and therefore you get fulfilled in action.

Therefore there is a synthesis of Jnana with Karma, although you start with Jnana. In Karma yoga it is the same thing: you start with Karma, in the middle you give up all the na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati, you arrive at a stage: that is the middle point, both are common. Then you arrive after this to the Knowledge. This process leads you to the Knowledge: yajña, which is the process of all this Karma yoga arrives at the Knowledge, and in that Knowledge you find that Supreme is acting, and you are simply the agent of that action. So, you get fulfilled.