So, here there are three steps also: you start with action, the middle point is na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati nirdvandvo, then you arrive at the Knowledge of the Supreme, which also you get in the field of Jnana yoga. You arrive at the Knowledge of the Supreme, and then you arrive at the same conclusion that since the Divine is acting, you cannot give up the Divine, you are one with Him, therefore automatically you begin to act, and that is the culmination of Karma yoga. This being the case, He says:
ekam apy āsthitaḥ samyag ubhayor vindate phalam ||4|| (V)
Ultimate result of both is the same, both of them have the same culmination; in both the cases the Knowledge is superior to Action; in both the cases you have to arrive at the condition in which you are nirdvandvo na kāṅkṣati na dveṣṭi.
Now, therefore to make it very clear in the 5th verse, Sri Krishna says:
yat śāṁkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṁ tad yogair api gamyate |
“What you attain by the process of Knowledge at the end, is also obtained by the process of Karma yoga.”
ekaṁ śāṁkhyaṁ ca yogaṁ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||5|| (V)
“Therefore, one who sees that Karma yoga and Jnana yoga is the same, it is “he” who rightly perceives.”
This is the first part and definite part of the answer of Sri Krishna, in which what He speaks of is, you might say: ‘synthesis of Knowledge and Action’. The only difference between the process of Knowledge and process of Action is the starting point. You may emphasise more Knowledge in the starting point; you may emphasises more Action in the starting point. In the 2nd point you arrive at the same thing: the attitude is there of freedom from desire. The 3rd step is the same thing: you arrive at the Knowledge of the Supreme. In the 4th step, when you arrive at the supreme Knowledge, having seen that the Supreme Himself is acting, and you are one with Him, action automatically proceeds. Both of them arrive at a real synthesis of Action and Knowledge. That is why it is said that the first 6 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita give you the basis of the foundation of the synthesis of Knowledge and Action.
As yet, Bhakti is not brought in so much: that will come later on. That there is also to be a synthesis of Bhakti is only hinted, when sometimes He says: “matparaḥ, you become fully imbued with Me.” So, Bhakti element is only indicated in the first 6 chapters. This synthesis of Bhakti, of Jnana and Karma is very much emphasised in the chapter n°7 to 12: that is the main substance of the Bhagavad Gita in the chapters n°7 to 12, where it is said that, “Among all the Bhaktas the Jnani who is a Bhakta is best: one who knows Me and devotes himself to Me with full devotion, he is the real Bhakta.” That is the definition given there, and therefore, Jnana and Bhakti are both synthesised. But this synthesis obtained in the first 6 chapters between Jnana and Karma is continued. If you read the chapters n°7 to 12, the synthesis of Knowledge and Action is present. But the emphasis falls upon the synthesis of Knowledge with Bhakti. As a result of it, at the end of the 12th chapter you get a full synthesis of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti. In a sense therefore, nothing more remain to be said in the Bhagavad Gita, and yet there are six more chapters thereafter.
So, what is the purpose of these six chapters? That when you have synthesised all this, since the fulfilment is in action, what is the nature of fulfilment of an action? That is fully described. The synthesis of Knowledge, Action and Devotion of course is the basis and foundation. But since the fulfilment…Bhagavad Gita is both process of attainment of the culmination, and an exposition of the fulfilment. If it was only a question of attainment of the Divine, then it would be a different treatment. Bhagavad Gita is an exposition of the attainment of the Divine, and also the fulfilment of the Divine in life. And since Sri Krishna wants to explain to Arjuna the justification of the Action, which is the point of culmination of the fulfilment, until He comes to that point, the whole teaching remains incomplete. Therefore the last 6 chapters ultimately explain to Arjuna that having synthesised Knowledge, Action and Devotion, you arrive at the secret of the fulfilment of Action.