Text of the Bhagavagd Gita (Mother's Institute of Research) - Session 10: Jnana (15 December 1998)

Syntheses of Jnana, Karma and Phenomenal and Eternal

I will come back again to chapter no.2. As I have told you, the first six chapters are difficult chapters, and the argument in these six chapters is a winding argument. Therefore, in order to get a clear idea of the thread of the argument, it is necessary to go deeper into the actual śloka(s), verses.

The 2nd chapter is entitled “Sankhya Yoga”. The reason is that it discusses two yogas at the same time: the yoga, which is called “Sankhya”, and the yoga which is called “Yoga”. As Sri Krishna will explain later on, the “Sankhya Yoga” is “Jnana Yoga”, and “Yoga” is “Karma Yoga”. This chapter is devoted to Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga.

The instrument by which this yoga is to be accomplished is buddhi, the intelligent-will: intelligent-will applied in Jnanayoga and intelligent-will applied in Karmayoga. The instrument here is the same but the application is different. In Jnanayoga the intelligent-will is applied to the processes of knowledge. In Karmayoga, the intelligent-will is applied to the processes of action. As a result of this, there are two different results: in the Jnanayoga you attain knowledge, in Karmayoga you get perfection of action.

What is the knowledge that is gained by applying buddhi, intelligent-will, to the processes of knowledge? I am especially taking a few verses, which are very famous, some are not so famous but are very important. In order to get the mastery over the text, I shall refer to those important ones, verse 16 in second chapter, (2.16):

nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sata|

This sentence is one of the most famous sentences of the Bhagavad Gita. It lays down the basic knowledge that one has to attain, and which is indisputable. That is to say, even if you allow your mind to think most freely without any assumption, most undogmatically, then this is the statement, which will get automatically established. It is something, which you cannot refuse because to refuse it will be the refusal of intellect itself:

nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ|

“That which exists, exists, that which does not exist, does not exist.”

This is the basic very simple statement. That which exists can never become non-existent: that is the meaning of existence. That which really exists can never become non-existent. That which is really non-existent can never come into existence. This is the starting point of knowledge. You try to reject this proposition and you will see, you are obliged to establish this proposition.

I am only referring to that sentence, which is the most famous one, and which is most central. The knowledge that you gain by Jnanayoga is fundamentally this: that which exists, exists, that which does not exist, does not exist. Of that which exists, it can never have non-existence. That which does not exist, of that, that can never come about an existence.

This “existence”, in other words, is something different from “manifestation”. In manifestation, that which exists ‘now’ ceases to be tomorrow or thereafter, any moment. And that which manifests did not exist one minute ago, one second ago. Therefore, when you arrive at true Knowledge, you are able to make a distinction between the “existence”, and “manifestation” so that you become free from the arresting concentration in which you are involved in manifestation. All the time, we are engaged in manifestation where things are born and things die.

As Sri Aurobindo says that the movement of manifestation is so rapid that things seem to pass away even before we observe them. It is a fleeting movement of manifestation, and things come to manifest, and before you can even grasp, they are gone. Some new things have come up immediately.

What Sri Krishna wants to say is that, “If you want to deal with life properly, you should be able to come out of arrest of manifestation, and go back, or go behind and discover what really exists. And that which really exists can never cease to exist. And that which does not exist can never come into existence.”

If you apply this sentence to manifestation, you will find that that which did not exist, comes into existence; that which exists goes out of existence. Therefore, it means that that which manifests is not ‘really’ existent: it is something different. That is why manifestation is called phenomenon. That which exists is called essence: that which is essence always remains; essence can never die. The distinction between essence and phenomenon is what is called Sankhya knowledge: Sankhya knowledge is the knowledge of discrimination, distinction between essence and phenomenon. Normally we do not see anything that does not manifest: that means that we are arrested in a state, which is not the state of Knowledge.

There is a beautiful dialogue in Plato’s book called “Republic”. You know, “Republic” is supposed to be one of the greatest works of intellectual thought in the world. The climactic point of intellect is supposed to be reached in this book called “Republic”, where the main speaker is Socrates: it is a dialogue between Socrates and many others.

In this book one of the most important arguments is related to the question: “what is it that can be known”? And the ultimate answer that is given is: “you can know only what “is”. Can that which “is not”, be even an object of knowledge?” The object must be present to be known. How can that which “is not an object”, be ever known? Socrates’ answer to the question is: you can know only what “is”. That, which is not, is never an object of knowledge. Therefore the question of his knowledge does not even arise. The only thing that can be known is that which “is”. And then, Socrates points out that, that which is manifested, that which is present before us is: “is–is not”. It “is”, and it “is not”. That can never become an object of knowledge: that which “is”, and “is not”, can never become the object of Knowledge. He makes the distinction between what is called “knowledge” and “opinion”. Of that which “is” and “is not”, you can have an opinion about it, but you can never have the knowledge of it. In order to have the knowledge, you should have the Knowledge of the essence, which is always there, in spite of all manifestations.

This is the basic thesis of Plato, spoken through the mouth of Socrates’. In other words, according to Plato, “Reality is that which always, eternally “is”; that which is a phenomenon cannot really be known, but you can only have an opinion about it.”

He believes, and he points out that all so called “knowledge of the world”, about which we are constantly moving about here and there, ultimately ends only in opinion: human beings normally run their lives by opinions. And so long as they run by opinions, you never have the mastery over things. The mastery comes only when you can discover what “is”. The things of the world are neither beautiful nor ugly: there are mixtures. The Real knowledge is only the knowledge of Beauty, which forever “is”. The True knowledge is always about the Good, which always “is”. The Knowledge is always about the Truth, and Truth is that which “is” and forever. He makes the distinction between “Truth” and “facts”. Normally when we state any statement about facts, we say, “I have spoken the truth”; but facts are in a fleeting condition: they “are”— they “are not”.

According to Plato that which is present as a fact, you can never really know, because it is a fleeting fact; that which is now, and tomorrow or next moment, it is not there. In order to know, you must know what “is”.

This theory of Plato and this statement of the Bhagavad Gita are often compared with each other. There is even a theory that Plato learned a great deal of his own philosophy by discussing with Indians. It is said that Indians used to travel from India to Greece in early times, and surely Plato lived much after the Bhagavad Gita, much after Sri Krishna, historically. Therefore, it is said that the whole philosophy of “Republic”, which is supposed to be the pinnacle of human thought, is a commentary upon this sentence of the Bhagavad Gita.

That is why the importance of this little sentence, which says with such a tremendous surety:

nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ*|

“That which exists, exists; that which does not exists, does not exists.”

The one who is the wise one, one who is established in Knowledge makes a distinction between “existence” and “phenomenon”. The relevance of this sentence is in the Bhagavad Gita, the following: the entire argument of Arjuna was, “I shall not fight, because here is my grandfather, here is my teacher, and I am now supposed to kill them.” In other words the question was that, “they are now, and after I administer my battle weapons, they will be destroyed, they will not be anymore.” His whole argument was based upon this that “they which ‘are’ will not ‘be’.” And he was claiming in his argument that his whole thought was sublime, and supreme thought. In order to counteract this illusion about himself that he was speaking the language of the wisest, in order to tell Arjuna that you are speaking the word of wise, but you are not really wise. Because the wise people do not argue in the way in which you are arguing. That which “is” always remains; that which “is not”, will never come into existence. That which is now, and will disappear afterwards, is only a phenomenon. Therefore the wise people will have first of all, put down this sentence, not the sentence that you are speaking. They “are” and they will “not be”, this is not the way in which the wise people will start their argument. They will first state this, “That which exists, exists; that which does not, does not.”

This is the starting point of Sri Krishna’s argument, in order to demolish the illusion in which Arjuna was arguing. Arjuna had felt while arguing: na kāṅkṣe rājyaṁ na kāṅkṣe sukhāṁ, “I do not wish the kingdom, I do not wish the happiness”. This is the statement, which seems to be the statement of one whose reason is very high, and then he begins to argue that here are the people who “are” and who will “not be”.

Sri Krishna says that, “If you are speaking the language of the wise then I will first give you the first premise; you have no premise first of all”. In any argument, there must be a premise, then there must be a secondary statement, and by mixture of these two statements you come to the conclusion. In effect what Sri Krishna tells Arjuna is, “You have no starting point of argument; your starting argument is a minor proposition; there is no major premise, no major proposition.”

Sri Krishna supplies the major premise. He starts with the premise, “That which ‘is’, always ‘is’; that which ‘is not’, does not come into existence. That which ‘is’, can never go out of existence. Of non–existence there can be no existence. Of existence, there can be no non–existence. Start with this statement, now you argue; your conclusion will be quite different.” And ‘this’, He says, ‘is’ by Buddhi, if you apply your intellectual argumentation properly. Then you will discriminate between that which ‘is’ and that which ‘is not’, or all that which is a phenomenon which ‘is’, and which ‘is not’.

He said, “You are starting with that which ‘is’ and which will ‘not be’! But the wise people start their argument with the right statement: that which ‘is’ and which can never ‘go away’. Start with that statement; those who are wise, you are speaking the language of the wise, but you are not taking the premise of the wise; I am supplying you the premise of the wise.”

That is why the importance of this statement which is very simple; and intellectually it is supposed to be invincible, you cannot conquer it. As I told you, Plato is supposed to be the greatest thinker of the world and he came to the conclusion that, “That which is, “is”; that which “is not”, can never be. Therefore, that which manifests, and that which “is and is not”, you cannot know, you can only have an opinion about it. But which you can know is only that which is.” It is supposed to be, as it were, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, this statement of Plato, and this was a statement which was written long ago and therefore it is supposed to be the real starting point of thought.

No thought can even be sustained without a positive statement. If you put in logical terms: logic is concerned with the structure of the sentences; and structures of the sentences capture the reality: this is the meaning of logic. Whatever is real, if it is captured properly in your sentence, then your sentence is right. Whether the reality is captured or not, how do you determine? By looking at the way in which the sentence is structured.

You will find that every statement is a statement referring to what “is”: you take any amount of sentences in the world, ultimately by implication or by directly, even when you say, “Lion!”, you have not used the word “is”, but the very fact that you point out, “Lion!” is a demonstration of something that “exists”; even when you say, “it is not!”. Then the question is: what is it that it is not? The word “is not” can be understood only in the context of “is.” Therefore, logically it is impossible to escape one word and that is, “is.” Thought cannot have any birth even if there is no “is” in the world, and that which “is”, is what Sri Krishna says: “that which is, ‘is’; that which is not, ‘is not’.”

It looks very simple, but the entire philosophical structure depends upon this statement. And in fact, the whole argument of the Gita is based upon this. If you want to know the Truth, the Right and the wisest, which Arjuna was claiming to start with, Sri Krishna says that, “If you really want to be delivered from moha, from depression, then you must go to the very first major premise and that premise is called: “the premise of knowledge.” That premise of knowledge is arrived at by Buddhi, by intelligent-will, applied to the process of Knowledge. That is simply called, sāṅkhya. Sankhya is nothing but a process of discrimination. The word Sankhya comes from the word “sāṅkhya”: Sankhya is “enumeration”. And the basic enumeration is: that which “is” and that which “is not”. That is the basic enumeration in the world.

Comment: Do you mean Plato is inspired by this?

That is my personal belief. After studying both Indian thought and western thought, I have come to the conclusion that Socrates was the teacher of Plato, and Socrates used to teach and converse with a number of Indians who used to come to Greece. There is no doubt that there was a kind of intellectual commerce between India and Greece; not only commerce of goods, but also commerce of thought. That is why it is said that the teaching of the Gita, which is based upon Upanishads, was responsible for the highest thoughts that you find in Greek thought, and that is why it is possible to synthesise the East and the West.

Today we speak of the great divergence between East and West. But if you go to the depths you will find that it is very easy to bring East and West together. If you really know the Indian thought in its highest and western thought at its highest. Wherever there is a great opposition it is because we are not going to the depths of the matter; therefore there is a lot of opposition. When you go to the depths of the matter you find a real synthesis. This is the starting point.

I am not yet discussing the question of ‘manifestation’: “That which is and which is not.” “That which is” in manifestation is not “non–existent”, because that which is “non–existent” does not come even into existence. There is a distinction between “that which is”, “that which is not”, and “that which is — which is not”. And the battlefield is a strong example of “that which is — which–is–not.” It is something in which things happen so fast; the order of things immediately begins to change as soon as the battle starts. What is the status of that is also a very important subject matter of the Bhagavad Gita. But “that which is–which–is–not” can be understood properly only when you first establish yourself on “that which is” eternally present; then everything else will be understood properly.

Karma is action; and action is something, which is fleeting all the time. Therefore, action is always ‘phenomenal’: it is concerned with “that which is —which is not.” “That which is —which is not” can never be grasped, can never be conquered, can never be mastered unless you go to Sankhya. That is why Karmayoga can never be perfect unless there is Jnana yoga. Sankhya and Yoga must always be together; that is why the chapter itself is called Sankhya Yoga.

The secret of Action is in Knowledge, and that is why Sri Krishna tells Arjuna again and again: “Knowledge if far superior to Action; Buddhi is far more important than Action.” And this is what confuses Arjuna; his argument is that “If Knowledge is far superior to Action, then that means we settle in Knowledge: why do you throw me into this action? If Buddhi is far superior to Action, that way we settle in Buddhi and that means we settle in Jnana, why do you throw me into a ghora karma(3.1), terrible action, why do you enjoin me into it?”

Sri Krishna’s answer is that there is a kind of a hierarchy; the basic hierarchy starts with the first statement, which is “eternal existence”. If you are not settled into that, other intermediate stages can never be mastered. Action is never primary: if Action was primary Sri Krishna would have said that Action is far superior. And Sri Krishna says that, “Action is not far superior. What is superior is Knowledge. And if you say that I want Knowledge, I am congratulating you, you must be in Knowledge. Only you are speaking the words of the wise without being wise: that was the only objection I have. I have no objection to wisdom; but you were speaking the words of wisdom so I am setting you right. Words of wisdom starts with this statement: that which is, “is”, and you are constantly talking of “that which is — which is not”. Therefore, to contradict the statement, first of all start with the right proposition!”

The secret of Karmayoga, Jnanayoga and Bhaktiyoga can be properly understood if you really know what Reality is. The entire Bhagavad Gita ultimately rests on this: “Attain to the supreme Knowledge! When you will have attained to the supreme Knowledge then you will have mastery over action. And when there is mastery over action there is nothing but ‘Joy’. Where there is Joy there is no grief.” And Arjuna his whole state was a state of grief, and he says to Sri Krishna: “Please remove grief from me.” That is why Sri Krishna takes the argument of Arjuna, shows the inconsistency in the argument, shows the deficiencies in his propositions and says that “In these propositions, in which you are living, there is bound to be grief; the grief disappears where there is highest action; and highest action is possible only when there is highest Knowledge.”

This is the hierarchical relationship. Action is never supreme. What is supreme is Knowledge, and Knowledge is always about “that–which–is”. Therefore unless you are established in “that–which–is”, you can never be a master of action. You must be so established in your being that you can never perish, and you must see that nothing really perishes in the world. When you see “that–which–is”, according to Sri Krishna that is a real seeing. Even when things are fleeting, see the Eternal which is in the fleeting, then you will have really seen. So long only as you see only that which is fleeting you are not seeing; it is all running away. Only when you see that which is “stable” in movement, then only you have really seen. The Reality is sat, cit, ānanda.

In the Bhagavad Gita the word Sat–Chit–Ananda does not occur, but the entire idea of Sri Krishna is that the Supreme Reality, Purushottama, is stable, that which is always present; that this Reality is capable of manifestation. In other words there is a distinction between ‘the Stable, the Eternal’ and ‘the manifestation’. And ‘manifestation’ can be rightly grasped only when you have seen the ‘Stable’, when you can master the Stability. That is why the Bhagavad Gita constantly emphasises one word: sthira; sthitaprājña; samatvaṁ: ‘be absolutely stable’.

On the basis of sat, cit rests. The Reality “Sat–Chit– Ananda”, three words: Sat, Chit, and Ananda, but Chit is secondary, Ananda is tertiary. Primary is Sat. This is the relationship in ‘Reality’. Reality is complex and the complexity of Reality is that there is a primary and basic stuff that which “is” always and that never disappears: that is “Sat”. The Chit is an activity of two kinds: activity of Knowledge and activity of Will. That is why in India, Chit is always used as Chit–Shakti; activity of Knowledge and activity of Will.

Even between Knowledge and Will, there is an inter–relationship. Primary is Knowledge. Will is secondary. You can never have the Will without the basic stuff of Knowledge. Even ignorant people who do not have the Knowledge, if you examine their will, their will, will have been established on wrong knowledge; but knowledge is the basis. There is no will anywhere, which has not behind it some kind of a consciousness, some kind of knowledge. It may be wrong knowledge, false knowledge, erroneous knowledge, illusory knowledge, anything, but unless there is knowledge, there cannot be any will. That is the relationship between the two.

If you make something primary, which is not primary, everything will go topsy–turvy. That is why Sri Krishna puts all the things in the hierarchy. Karmayoga is always secondary; primary is Jnanayoga. Without Jnanayoga you cannot have true Karmayoga. And Ananda, which is the result of what is called Bhakti, devotion, is always tertiary, is always a crown. Bhakti is always a crown. Therefore, in the Bhagavad Gita, what is primary is Jnanayoga; what is crown is Bhakti; in the middle is Karmayoga. Even Karma yoga ends in a crown of Bhakti. Even Jnana ends; his crown ends into Bhakti. As Sri Krishna will tell us that the highest Bhakta is Jnani. One who has known, only he can really be the highest Bhakta.

That which is the crown is always the fundamental motivation. That which is the crown is not the foundation, but motivation. Foundation is always “Sat”. Therefore, Jnana is always the foundation. But motivation, when you really want the right motivation it can come only from Bhakti. Therefore, when you are a real Bhakta, then you become the most powerful warrior in the world, the most powerful actor in the world, when you are motivated. That is why it is said that if you really want unfailing motivation, that which never dies, that comes only from highest devotion; and that too a devotion which is irresistible.

Even in ordinary life, the highest motivation comes from love, which is simply for the sake of love, not for this or for that, then that becomes unfailing motivation. Even the ordinary love stories in the world are based on this fundamental point; whether it is ‘Leila – Majnu’ or any other kind of story, the fundamental motivation arises from love that can never fail; and there is no fleeting of that love, it is based upon “Sat”; it is based upon “Chit”, and it is motivated constantly by love that never fails. To put these relationships is the task of the whole of the Gita.

Very often we are baffled by statements of the Gita and we find that here Sri Krishna says that “Jnanayoga is supreme”, here He says, “Karmayoga is supreme”, here He say, “Bhaktiyoga is supreme”, but these words have to be understood in that inter–relationship.

Question: What do you mean by ‘motivation’ in this context?

Motivation is the fundamental reason for action; there is a distinction between ‘intention’ and ‘motive’: I intend to go to the library, but what is the motive? To read a book. If I have no motive to read the book, I may not have the intention to go to the library: ‘intention’ is always a kind of intermediary between ‘motive’ and the ‘action’. That which is behind intention is motive, and that which is fulfilled in action is the motive, not intention but the motive.

Therefore, if you ask anybody, how are you motivated? Intentions are many. I may be motivated to learn something: now that learning can come either by going to the library, or by contemplation, or by Satsanga, by somebody who knows, I meet him, and discuss with him and gain. These are all intentions: ‘I intend to go to the library’, ‘I intend to contemplate’, ‘I intend to sit with somebody’. But what is the motive? Motive is the gaining of knowledge, which is ultimately satisfied, and when it is satisfied, what is the conclusion? Ananda. The real joy.

Question: That is why love comes into it, that Ananda?

That is right. ‘Ananda’ and ‘Love’ are interchangeable. ‘Love’ is nothing but fundamentally a ‘joy of union’, but fundamentally all ‘love’ is ‘joy’: that is Ananda; love is a manifestation of Ananda.

Therefore, Sri Krishna says, “Bhakti is the highest”; highest from what point of view? It is the crown, and it is the motive. If you are considering the question of motive and the crown, Bhakti is the highest, but Bhakti for what? For the Supreme and Supreme is what? That which is the highest object of Knowledge. Therefore, what is the crown here, what is the base foundation, not the crown but foundation? Foundation is the Supreme. Love for the Supreme is the crown, is the highest, but what is the foundation? Foundation is Jnana. Therefore, Jnana is supreme; without that Jnana you cannot have that Bhakti either. Therefore, Sri Krishna says, “Only Jnani can become the supreme Bhakta.” The foundation is Jnana.

If you want to use the words at all, you should say that according to the Bhagavad Gita, Jnanayoga is foundational; Bhakti yoga is the crowning; and Karmayoga is intermediate. That which should be founded in Knowledge; that which should culminate in Bhakti and in the intermediate when you have both Knowledge and Devotion as the supports, that action is the highest. And that which is not manifesting in action is not supreme. Therefore if you want a manifestation, Karmayoga is the highest but in manifestation.

In manifestation one who simply sits quiet, is not in his right position. In action if he simply says, “Well, I will go on loving”, that is not the highest. In foundation, if he simply says, “I want to know, and therefore I am satisfied with Knowledge”, perfectly all right: that is foundational.

The question is: when you consider which is the highest, you should ask these three questions: is it connected with manifestation? If it is connected with manifestation, then Karmayoga is the highest. If it is connected with the crowning experience: Bhaktiyoga. That which is foundational: Jnanayoga. This is the inter–relationship of these three Yogas.

And, that is why Sri Krishna’s teaching is a synthetic teaching: put foundation at the right place, put crowning at the right place, and put action in the middle, in which the highest manifestation can come only by action. That is why Sri Krishna will say that, “Although Knowledge is greater than Action; action is greater than inaction.”

Very often when you are established in Knowledge, you become so quiet, that you cease to act. Therefore Sri Krishna says: “In manifestation if you simply cease to act, that is not correct, you must act.” In manifestation go on acting; even if you remain, if you think that you are quiet, you are breathing at least, which is an action. You cannot cease to act, therefore act rightly. And act rightly means, what is the right action? And action which is founded in Knowledge, and which is crowned in Bhakti, that is the right action. You applied the right propositions, right hierarchy, and you will get complete satisfaction from all the statements of the Bhagavad Gita.

Otherwise, people think that Bhagavad Gita contradicts itself at certain important places: He says, “Jnanayoga is the highest”, then He says, “Karmayoga is the highest”, then He says, “Bhaktiyoga is the highest”. But you must read carefully in what context what is the highest. In foundation, Action is not highest; in foundation Knowledge is the highest.

Therefore, since the foundation is to be made in the beginning, He starts with Sankhya and speaks of the highest Knowledge. He establishes the very basis of Knowledge first and even says that Knowledge is far superior to Action: it is perfectly correct there is nothing wrong about it at all, but action is far superior to inaction; and the crowning of action is Bhakti.

That is why also if you see the whole structure of the Bhagavad Gita, it can be divided into three parts: the first “six chapters”, the second “six chapters” and the last “six chapters”. In the first six chapters, there is the synthesis of Knowledge and Action on the basis of Knowledge as foundation and Karma is a manifestation of that Knowledge: that is how the two are reconciled. And the crowning which is Bhakti is stated very briefly; if you read the first six chapters there are only a few places where Bhakti is mentioned, but at a very crucial place.

If you read for example Chapter || the verse 61: In the first sentence you will find the word matparaḥ. There is the word matparaḥ: mat means Me. You do all your actions matparaḥ, devoted to Me. This is the only place in the 2nd chapter where Bhakti is indicated; otherwise the whole chapter is connected with Jnana and Karma. Very rarely you will find the reference to Bhakti in the first six chapters. It does not mean there is no place for Bhakti; it is reserved for a crowning position.

In the next six chapters, there is the synthesis of Knowledge and Love; and there you find plenty of Bhakti. Because that is the crowning movement, which is described there, where Knowledge and Action reach the crowning point in Bhakti. And that which is the crowning point becomes a real motivation of Action; therefore Action is the crowning movement of the crowning motivation. This is the main substance of the last 6 chapters.

When you are fully absorbed, founded in Knowledge, and when your motivation has reach the climax of Love, then what do you want to do? It must manifest in the highest Action. And what is the highest Action? The highest Action is to become one in every way with the highest. And what is the highest? Highest is always Satchitananda, it is that which never dies, and which is constantly motivated to act with Ananda.

That Ananda, which never dies, manifests constantly, incessantly; therefore the last six chapters Sri Krishna says: “Become like Me. In all your actions, in all your movements become like Me, Satchitananda.” Therefore the Action will be: “You will be like the Divine in every way”, sarvabhāvena, (that is a very important term in the Bhagavad Gita) sarvabhāvena, in very mode of your being, in every mode of feeling, in every mode of action sarvabhāvena.

The other word is sādharmya; “You attain to the very law of My being in action, as I am, so you become, completely identified”: that is the meaning of Love. The crowning of Love is to be like your beloved in every possible manner. And since the Divine is constantly stable, and constantly powerfully acting, your highest condition is what? To be constantly stable, and to be constantly dynamic.

In all these two states, the fundamental motive, the crowning thing is Ananda, in which there is no grief possible at all. Therefore, “Be like Me, therefore you will be free from grief, be like Me therefore you will not think of that which is not stable, you will constantly be founded in that which is stable and ‘Be like Me', therefore, like that you will be always acting. Act victoriously, without any grief and without losing your foundation.” That is the highest of which Sri Krishna will speak at the end.

But this is the starting point:

nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ*| (2.16)

Without this foundation there is no Bhagavad Gita.

Therefore, this is one of the most important fundamental sentences of the Bhagavad Gita.

Question: Asat that is perishable, that is body, and Sat is Atma which is Parmatma and that is permanent?

Answer: No, there is a distinction between ‘that–which–is’ and ‘that–which–is–not”’. The body is neither is nor...Asat here is “what–which–does–not–exist–at–all”, not even in body form. Here the distinction is very clear between ‘existence’ and ‘non–existence’. He has yet not spoken of ‘phenomenon’. He has only distinguished between “that–which–exists” and “that–which–does–not–exists”

Then he will speak of the body. The distinction between the eternal and the body is the substance of between this verse 16 (||) and verse 61(||); what is the relationship between that which “is”, and the body? Therefore in Verse 61 he speaks of the body, in what condition endriyāṇi saṁyamya, all the senses have to be controlled, and mat–paraḥ, āsīta mat–paraḥ, you become united with me, and become “my minded”: completely mat–paraḥ. There is still a lot to be learnt; but the first proposition is this. You might say, when Sri Krishna starts this argument, this is the first “dong”.

If you compare the Bhagavad Gita, with an orchestra of music: imagine a Beethoven is playing his musical piece, and there will be first, a tremendous one stroke, when hundred instruments will immediately burst into a sound, and go into quietude. This is “that” sentence. This the first “dong”, in which hundred vibrations are vibrating, powerfully; and all that Sri Krishna wants to say, is basically contained in this sentence. That is why the importance of this sentence, the first “dong” of the argument of the Bhagavad Gita. If this sentence is taken out of the Gita, the whole structure will be finished. That’s why I refer to this.

As a result of this statement, certain minor statements, which are expository. And these minor statements, if you come to the 20th verse…I am only taking those sentences, which are of great importance, and as a student of the Bhagavad Gita, you should have a good mastery, so that you are really entrenched in the Bhagavad Gita. I am taking those key sentences of the Bhagavad Gita. The 20th verse in this chapter is also extremely important; it is expository of that sentence:

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācit nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ |
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre*||2.20||

What does it mean? “The Self, (that–which–is–eternal, that–which–really–exists), is never born, nor does it ever die; having once born before, will It not be born in the future. The Self is unborn, eternal, imperishable and ageless. Though the body is slain, the Self is not killed.”

You can see the distinction He begins to make between the “that–which–is”, and the body: the body can be born, the body can be thrown out, the body can die. There is a distinction between “that–which–is”, and the body. Next one:

vedāvināśinaṁ nityaṁ ya enam ajam avyayam |
kathaṁ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kam ||2.21||

“O son of Pritha! If one knows that the Self is indestructible, immutable, unborn, eternal, how can a person kill anyone, or cause anyone to be killed?”

Your entire argument was: “I am going to kill Drona and Bhishma and Kripacharya and others”, but if you are really established in the Self, which always remains eternal, your basic argument vanishes. You will see death and the killing in a different light altogether, you will not argue, “I am killing”, or “he is killed”. This argument will not arise once you know this: there will be killing, there will be destruction, but you will have a different vision of it. You will find what the position of killing is or not killing in this world; then you will come to the right conclusion.

Comment: (Referring to ||, 16) What does Krishna mean by the “non–existent” because everything is as such that there is nothing?

That’s right. That is why “non–existent” is “non–existent”, unthinkable, you can’t even think of it.

Comment: Because you just clarified between the ‘phenomena’ and the ‘existent’, and the “non–existent” is just “non–existent” altogether?

Altogether: it is not a ‘phenomenon’. Phenomenon is a great proposition. What is a phenomenon? Does it exist? Does it not exist? What is a phenomenon? It is a very important question.

In fact all Karma Yoga is nothing but mastery over phenomenon. You cannot be a Karmayogi unless you have mastery over phenomenon. Mere mastery over the eternal is only Jnanayogi: therefore, many Jnanis are not powerful actors in the world. They have hold on the eternal; they don’t have the hold on the transient, on that which is a phenomenon. Therefore, Karmayogi is necessary. Merely being a Jnani, you cannot control the world. All that is foundation, you should start with it, but it is not enough.

A Purnajnani is not one who only knows the eternal: Purnajnani is one who knows both the eternal and the phenomenal. That is why when you come to the 7th chapter “Jnana” is fully expounded in chapters’ 7, 8, 9, 10. What is “Jnana”? And there, Sri Krishna will explain the relationship between the ‘eternal’ and the ‘phenomenal’. It is “there” that we come to know, Sri Krishna will say in the 7th chapter: “I will give you without remainder (aśeṣena)…when I will have told you this; nothing remains further to be known”. Here he doesn’t say this; here he is only making a foundational statement. In the 7th chapter when he will say to Arjuna what is full Jnana, jñāna vijñāne nasaḥ, not only jñāna: jñāna vijñāne nasaḥ: “I shall tell you Knowledge, with all the phenomenal knowledge: the knowledge of the eternal, and the knowledge of the phenomenal, having known which, nothing will remain more to be known.” Such a tremendous statement in the 7th chapter!

7th, 8th, 9th and 10th are great chapters of all that is to be known, and their inter–relationships. It is a beautiful fabric as it were, when you know that Knowledge, the beauty and the wonder of the universe, and the source of that beauty, and the culmination of that beauty becomes clear.

That is why in the 11th chapter is the Bhakti, the highest manifestation of the Divine, in which the Bhakti reaches its highest climax. When you see the Divine fully, as Muhammad says: “To see God and not to fall in love with Him is impossible”. In the 11th chapter, Sri Krishna manifests fully, and in that manifestation, all the doubts of Arjuna, all the arguments are melted, there is nothing but Bhakti, complete. It is then that Arjuna says, “I am at your feet, completely”.

The real Knowledge of the eternal and the phenomenal is a great secret! That is why Sri Krishna says, guhyatamaṁ jñānaṁ (9.1): “I will give the most secret Knowledge”. This statement in 16th, what we have read is only the foundational statement, you start with it then other things will follow.

Comment: 7th, 8th, 9th and 13th also.

No, the last 6 chapters describe how you, as an instrument, have to become like the Divine. And the Divine is Satchitananda: therefore, Knowledge, Action, and Devotion, all of them are there. In the last 6 chapters, are the supreme mysteries how “you” can become the Divine? In the 7th chapter, what is the supreme Divine is given; but how “you” can become the supreme divine, is given in the last 6 chapters. That is why the last 6 chapters are the culmination.

Therefore, kṣetra kṣetrajña, that whole knowledge, which is given there, as a result of which, how you yourself are the knower, how you yourself are the field, how you yourself can become all, and yet you remain individual. How you become completely stable, over–flowed with love and devotion, and you can act as victoriously, as masterfully as the Divine himself acts: madbhāva; sarvabhāvena, and sādharmyam. These are three keywords of the last 6 chapters, so that you can become completely divine, and in that state, whatever action flows from you, you will not be doing because you are no more …you, “you” do not remain “you”. You are yourself the supreme Divine. This instrument is not yours; it is supreme divine’s instrument, which is being used by the Supreme Himself. That is the basic teaching of the last 6 chapters.

Then, verse 24 (||), this is also one of the very famous verses of the Bhagavad Gita:

acchedyo ’yam adāhyo ’yam akledyo ’śoṣya eva ca |
nityaḥ sarva–gataḥ sthāṇur acalo ’yaṁ sanātanaḥ ||2.24||

sanātanaḥ, is eternal. This eternal Self is acchedyo, it can’t be pierced; ’yam adāhyo, it cannot be burnt; ’yam akledyo, it is something that cannot be touched; ’śoṣya, it can never be dried; nityaḥ it is always there; sarvagataḥ omnipresent; sthāṇur stable; acalo, immobile. This is the basic foundation: ‘Sankhya’, what is called Sankhya of the Gita is this: the knowledge of the foundation, as distinguished from all the rest.

Then, Ch ||, verse 29:

āścarya–vat paśyati kaścid enam āścarya–vad vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ |
āścarya–vac cainam anyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvāpy enaṁ veda na caiva kaścit ||2.29||

This eternal reality is so wonderful: “Some look upon the Self as a wonder, some talk about Him as a wonder, some hear about Him as a wonder, and yet having heard of Him, none are able to understand Him at all”. Such is the wonder of the Reality. In fact, this is the real state of the highest Knowledge.

I had once referred to you to a verse in the Rig Veda, in which there is a dialogue between Indra and Agastya. And there, Agastya is trying to reach the highest; he wants to know the highest, and then he complains to Indra and says: “O Indra you are my friend, why are you hurting me, why do you obstruct me”, Indra says: “You are my friend, you say you are my friend but you are not taking my help; you say you are my friend but you are only going straight to the highest. Look my dear friend, I know the highest, and my function in the world is only one function; all those who want to know the highest, I am sent as a messenger, so that I can take him there. And you don’t even think of me: so I am not obstructing you, I am the only one who can take you there”.

He says, “na nūnamasti no ṣvaḥ kastadveda yadadbhutam” [R.V. I.170]. He reveals what is that Reality, which is the highest: na nūnamasti no ṣvaḥ, It is not now, It will not be something that will be there after, in other words, That is eternal; kastadveda yadadbhutam, who knows it That which is adbhutam, is wonderful.

Having revealed to him, then Agastya realises that he must take the help of Indra. He says: “O Indra now you come, you with all your powers, you and your Maruts, everybody come here and take me to the Supreme”.

Such is the process of Knowledge, if you really want the supreme Knowledge, you must find one who knows the Supreme; and through the instrumentality of him, you will be really taken there. But even when you are taken there, the speciality of that knowledge is, it is so wonderful that you will constantly say: “O, I don’t understand!”, you go on looking, and looking indefinitely, infinitely, That which has no end, and every moment, will be a moment of wonder, adbhutam. Such is the nature of Reality.

If you really are in a good poetic state, and you look at the dawn, go on looking at the mystery and the marvel, you are seeing it and therefore you can’t say, “I don’t know I don’t know”, and yet every moment you confess you don’t understand. This mystery and wonder of the dawn you don’t understand: that is the highest state of Knowledge. That’s why Sri Krishna says, “When you really know it, it will be, āścaryavat”.

This is, you might say, one part of the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita: the Knowledge of the Eternal, which is Sankhya.

Sri Krishna says that, “All that I have told you is with regard to Knowledge. I shall tell you that which is in regard to Action; because you are in Action, my answer is not a complete answer, I have only given it the first premise, major premise, I will develop it and give you further.”

In Ch ||, verse n.39, the second part of the argument begins:

eṣā te ’bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhir yoge tvimāṁ śṛṇu |
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karma–bandhaṁ prahāsyasi ||2.39||

“I have told you the Buddhi applied in Sankhya, (that is in the path of Knowledge, and there you come to know the Eternal), the same Buddhi you apply in the field of Action, and when you apply that Buddhi in the field of Action, then, karma–bandhaṁ, even if you do action, you’ll be free from action.”

That is the mastery; that is the wonder of that field; here there is only wonder of seeing; but here the wonder will be that even when you act, you will not be acting; you will be free from action. Then only you will become free from grief. Therefore I will reveal to you such a thing, that, karma–bandhaṁ prahāsyasi. This is the starting point of the Karmayoga, but based, founded upon Knowledge.

Comment: I don’t understand properly, vyavasāyātmikā buddhi Verse 41.

Let us do ||, 41. Because this is the starting point of Karmayoga is this:

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru–nandana |
bahu–śākhā hy anantāś ca buddhayo ’vyavasāyinām ||2.41||

You understand intelligence, intelligent will. Those who do the action properly, rightly, freely, without any bondage at all, omnipotently, they will see the characteristics of Buddhi. That Buddhi will be completely established, un–flickering, unwavering, absolutely immobile: vyavasāyātmikā, means that which is engaged, concentrated.

The Buddhi has to be concentrated: without concentration there is no power to action. Just as Reality is foundational, that which is eternal, fixed, even so, your intelligence must be fixed in the Eternal. So long as your will is not fixed in the Eternal, there is no Karmayoga at all. Those who think Karmayoga can be done without Knowledge, according to the Gita, that is wrong. Karmayoga must be established in Jnanayoga, it is the foundation. When the Buddhi is absolutely engaged in the Eternal, then it becomes vyavasāyātmikā buddhi: Buddhi which is engaged. Otherwise, our intelligent will is a–vyavasāyākā: it is full of disengagement, it is scattered.

If you look at our psychology, our psychology is a scattered psychology, fretting psychology, moves here, then moves there, then flees to another, and then pursues still further, and there is no stability at all. The basis of Karmayoga is to attain to sthira buddhi: that intelligence is absolutely established. When the intelligence is not established it becomes bahuśākhā: multiple branching. This is what we are all the time caught in.

What is Karmayoga? Karma which is entangled into hundred and one, or thousand and one, or millions and millions of things in which we are capable of entangling ourselves, without knowing where we are, and how we are, and what for we are, we are simply engaged in one action after the other, and one action leads to another, and that leads to another, and we find ourselves suddenly into a terrible situation, as Arjuna was caught in, such a terrible situation. And then you say ‘I want to come out of it’, and then you cannot come out of it. This net is such a net that even if you want to come out of it, it is impossible.

The grief, you cannot tear it away saying: ‘Oh, now it is thrown out’. Even if you want to throw it away, you cannot throw it away, grief is such a powerful element in our normal condition of bahu–śākhā. Where the intelligence is not stable, grief is the only consequence, because Ananda is connected only with the Eternal. Unless you are entangled with the Eternal alone, then only Ananda will be there. In bahuśākhā, in the fleeting intelligence, you will never have: this is the starting point of Karmayoga that your intelligent will must be first of all founded in the Eternal. If it is not so, it is bahu–śākhā; and if it is multi–branched, you can never have peace; you can never be free out of it.

Then is one of the greatest sentences of the Bhagavad Gita, in ||, 47. As I told you, I am marking out only those sentences which are key sentences, and over which you should have a real mastery. Now when your intelligent will is fixed, then you will be a Karmayogi. But what are the starting points of that intelligent will being fixed, even while you act? Here Sri Krishna gives the knowledge as to how you can do that:

karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana |
mā karma–phala–hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi*||2.47||

This has been quoted very often, as the fundamental teaching of the Gita, as the highest teaching of the Gita; sure, this is not the highest teaching of the Gita: this is the starting point, foundational teaching. The highest teaching of the Gita is given in the 18th chapter, not here, this is the foundational statement. The culmination, the highest statement of the Karmayoga is in the 18th chapter that we will see later. But this is a starting point.

If you want to make your intelligent-will absolutely be fixed, then you do one thing. Your intelligent-will normally becomes multi–branched, because of one important constituent of your activity: the desire to clutch at the fruit of action and to enjoy it. This is the psychological truth that Sri Krishna expounds; that your intelligence becomes unstable. The main reason is that when you are acting, what happens to your psychology? Your attention is not on action: your attention is to clutch at the fruit as soon as possible, and to enjoy it.

If I can get Rs 5 lakhs today, by only this much effort, I am prepared to accept that, because my interest is not in action, my interest is getting 5 lakhs of rupees, that is the fruit I want to enjoy. As long as you are in this condition, your intelligent-will can never become stable. Sri Krishna says: “If you really want to make your intelligent-will to be fixed, then be engaged in action, and act in such a way that you do not want to clutch at the fruit of action.” It’s a very hard saying to the people, because normally we act only for the sake of the fruit of action, and Sri Krishna says: “You act, but do not desire to clutch at the results of the fruits of your action”. Therefore, normally people strive to give up all action, if this is all that is to be done. Why act at all, if fruits of action are not to be enjoyed, why act at all?

Therefore, Sri Krishna says, “To action alone thou has the right.” First of all realise that you have the right only to action, over fruit, even if you desire, you have no right. Very often you will find that you act for one thing, and something else comes out. You have no control, the world is so constituted, that even if you say, “I want this result, I want to do this”, you will find the result will be quite different. Or, if it is the same that you wanted, you find that “Oh! this is not what I really wanted.” Having got the result that you wanted, you find that it is there, in your hands. “Oh! But this is not what I wanted, I wanted something else!”

There is a story in one of the Brahmanas: there was a king called Harishchandra, and he had no child, so he said: “I must have a child at any cost”. He went round, asking for the secret of getting a child, and somebody told him, “If you pray to Varuna, you will get the child”. Why Varuna? Because Varuna is vast: the meaning of Varuna is ‘that which is vast’. In the ‘Vast’ everything is contained, therefore, you should go to the vast, anything that you want is available there, if you go to Varuna. He was told “Go to Varuna”, so he went to Varuna, and told him, “I want a child”. Varuna said: “Do not ask for it, because that is not what you are worthy of; you are not destined to have it”. But he said, “No, I want a child”, he said, “Alright, I’ll give you a child on one condition, that as soon as you get the child, you disclaim the child. I’ll give you a child, offer the child to me back: this is my child I give you back! On that condition I am prepared to give you the child”.

He was so desirous of the child, he said, “Yes, I don’t mind at all, I’ll give you back immediately, I must have the child”. Varuna was pleased, and gave him the child. When the child was born, Varuna came and said, “Now give me back”. He said, “But I have just begun to see my child; this is not all that I wanted, I really wanted to play with the child, I want to see him growing, give me some time so that I can really enjoy the child”. He said: “Alright, one year later I will come”. Again he came, again asked for the child, so he said: “No, I want to see him going to education; I really want to see further about what happens to him”. Varuna was very wise, he went on saying: “Alright, see for yourself what happens ultimately”. The child grew up, became sixteen, seventeen years old.

Then this child came to know, and told his father, “What right have you to give myself to Varuna? I am born, why should I be given away to Varuna?” He said: “But I have promised Varuna, I have got to give you back to Varuna.” He said, “I am not going to obey you”. He ran away from home. And then, he was told by some saints: “cara cara eva, go on moving, go on moving, when you go on moving, you will find the solution”. In this world, there is only one secret, “cara, cara eva”. As Sri Krishna says, “karma eva, your power is only action, go on acting, then, you will find a solution”. So he went on moving.

Then in a big dense forest he met somebody and said: “You know, there is one important secret about pleasing Varuna. Instead of you, if somebody else gives himself, that will be alright for Varuna, you don’t need to give yourself, find somebody who will take your place, and Varuna will be satisfied”. He was very happy that, ‘alright I am at least not to be finished, it will be somebody else.’ Who is it in the world, who is prepared to give himself to Varuna? He got in search of that person.

He met one individual who had three sons. Among the three sons, the eldest was the favourite one; the youngest was the dearest one, the middle one was not claimed so much either by father or mother. And that was a very wise boy: his name was Shunashepa. The father said: “I will give this son, provided I am given so much money.” This young man was a prince, he said, “It doesn’t matter”, he took him to his father and said: “Look there is a boy, only pay him this much, and I am free, you are free, we are all happy”. The king gave the money to the father of this boy.

The question was that this boy was taken to the sacrifice, where Varuna was to manifest to take him back. The question was: who will be the one who will sacrifice him? There was nobody available who will put him in the sacrifice. The father again said: “I will be prepared to do it.” But then, a greater Rishi appeared, his name was Vishwamitra. And Vishvamitra said: “I know the secret of giving, sacrificing everything. He will be sacrificed and yet he will be saved”. That was the knowledge that Vishwamitra possessed: “Sacrifice him and yet he remains”, because he had the Knowledge of the Eternal. He comes to Shunashepa, and Shunashepa is asked: “Look, you are going to be sacrificed, are you willing?” He said: “Yes, even in sacrifice, I remain.” That was the knowledge he gained from Vishwamitra. Then, when Varuna appeared, he cut off the three cords in which he was tied, and gave him immortality.

This is the story in Aitareya Brahmana. This is one of the famous stories of Brahmana literature. It is a symbolic story. Actually, Shunashepa stands for the soul, for the Self, which is always eternal. The cords, the three cords are the cords of the body, life and mind, in which you are tied up. The immortal soul is tied up in body, life, and mind. Once you know that you are eternal, the three cords are loosened, they no more bind you, and there is no death for you, you become immortal. Or, getting this desire to get a son is always riddled with the condition that afterwards you have to lose him.

This, human beings do not know. Human beings think that, “If I possess something, it will remain with me forever”. But that is never going to be. All the fruits of action are transitory. And you always want to clutch them, as if they are eternal possessions, but they are not eternal by nature.

That is why Sri Krishna says, “As far the fruits of action are concerned, you have to have a different attitude towards the fruits of action”. Not that you should have no fruits of action, every action is turned to a fruit of action, but let not the desire for fruit of action be a motive of action. Motive of action should be Ananda, not desire. You should arrive at a point where you become like Varuna, in which everything is present.

Where everything is present in you, the fruit that you are seeking is also present there. Having it, do you want to possess it now anymore that it is always there with you? When you act with the knowledge that whatever you want is already attained by you, then, what will be the motive of your action? Not, “a–karmanaḥ”, not “inaction”, but the manifestation of Ananda. When you have, in your consciousness, something that you already possess, then, the only thing that you can do is to give. Therefore, until you reach the point, where you don’t try to possess, but to give, when you reach that stage of giving, then, you are free from action. Then whether you give or not give, it doesn’t make any difference, you have everything in you: that is to become like the Divine.

That is the real secret of Karmayoga that to attain a state of consciousness in which you really know that there is nothing, which is not attained by you: what you are trying to achieve is already attained by you. And yet, do not have inaction. When you already possess everything, then that motive of possessing is no more there, then the motive is different. What is that motive? To give, to manifest what you already have, in which whether you manifest or not manifest make no difference to you: this is the real freedom. The real freedom of man’s action is: when you do action or you don’t do action makes no difference to you, and yet you act. That is the action of freedom.

Till that time you are bandhana; your real mukti comes, you are really free, when you reach a stage, when it makes no difference to you whether you act or do not act and yet you act. Not because of any compulsion, simply out of joy, joy of action. That is why Sri Krishna says, that you have a right only to action, not to the fruit of action. Therefore, for plucking at the fruit of action, do not be motivated by it; at the same time do not therefore enter into inaction. That is the real starting point of Karmayoga. Everything is not told here, this is only the starting point.

Comment: The example is so beautiful to understand this.

Ch ||, Verse 48

yoga–sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya |
siddhy–asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate ||2.48||

When you will have that consciousness, where you know that only to action you have a right, then what will happen, you will be yoga–sthaḥ, you will be sthira: yoga–sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi, then you do action being very stable; saṅgaṁ tyaktvā, having no desire; become equal to siddhy–asiddhy, whether it is achieved or not achieved become equal to it. When you attain to that stage, then you realise that you are karmayogi: samatvaṁ yoga ucyate.

This sentence is one of the most famous sentences of the Bhagavad Gita: samatvaṁ yoga ucyate. When you become completely equal minded, then you are said to be a Karmayogi. When you do action or don’t do any action, and yet you act, then there will be always samatvaṁ.

This sentence is based upon the next one:

dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi–yogād dhanañjaya |
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala–hetavaḥ ||2.49||

He says: jñāna buddhi, is much superior to karma, to action. Action is only subordinate, secondary activity. Primary is Buddhi and yoga, and Knowledge, therefore buddhau śaraṇam anviccha: go to the resort of buddhi, make your buddhi stable. Karma automatically will be free, once you do this.

He says karma is only secondary, buddhi is far superior to it; therefore, go to the resort of buddhi and then act. Those who are not stable in their buddhi, they are kṛpaṇāḥ phala–hetavaḥ. They become miserly seekers of phala–hetu, of the desire for the fruits: they are only misers; they are poor, miserable, pitiable people in this world, all the time trying to clutch at the fruits of action.

Next one, ||, 50:

buddhi–yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛta–duṣkṛte |
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam ||2.50||

When you are fully stable in intelligence, then right or wrong, both will be transcended; therefore you become fixed in yoga. And the normal tendency is that you become very negligent about action. When you have neither desire for this, nor desire for that, then, normally the human motivation becomes so weak, that even if you are asked to do something, we do like clerks today in the government. All actions are done leisurely, whether the file moves or does not move, does not matter at all; as a result there is no kauśalam: there is no proficiency in action. In order to avoid it, Sri Krishna says: “yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam”. Whether you are yogi or not will be known only when you do the action most proficiently. That is called Yogi.

We have three criteria for becoming a Karmayogi: the buddhi should be established in the permanent: stable. Secondly, you will be an equal minded siddhi–asiddhi. And thirdly, you will still be not negligent to work that will be proficient. When these three conditions are fulfilled, you have just started on the path of Karmayoga.

Question: Is there any relation between this samatvaṁ yoga and samatvaṁ yoga coming in 13th chapter?

Answer: No this is development, here samatvaṁ is only when you are just free from clutches of desire; that one is when you have seen the divine, full of love, that element of love is present in that samatvaṁ, much more enriched.