Chapter – 5
Gita Saar – In chapter 5 Lord Krishna go deeper into the concept of Gyaan Yog and Karma yoga and He re-emphasizes to Arjuna that Karma yoga is better than Gyaan yoga because it is easier to practice and achieve. Lord Krishna says this after seeing Arjuna’s mental condition on the battlefield.
On hearing this, Arjuna mentioned his confusion to Lord Krishna. The cause of the confusion was that since both-karma yoga and Gyaan yoga were equally effective for reaching the final goal of liberation, then why was Lord Krishna advising to follow the path of Karma yoga and not that of Gyaan yoga? Arjuna believed that since the yoga of knowledge was a valid path, it would be easier to follow since in that path, unpleasant and painful actions could be avoided. Arjun confessed to Lord Krishna that the difference between the two paths was too subtle for him to understand. Arjuna further requested Lord Krishna to guide him about which path he would be truly beneficial for him since he himself was unable to differentiate between the two.
Lord Krishna replied that the path of knowledge does not imply that no action need be taken. It only meant that the action that was to be carried out should be as per ones righteous duty-as per Dharma, and that it should be attachment/ desire free. Without doing action, the path of knowledge could not be actualized. Without taking action, the doer-ship that needs to be renounced, while acting through the mind, body and senses cannot be renounced. The person, who takes action while meditating on the reality of God, is the one to achieve realization the fastest. The fact was that the pool of desires that engulfed Arjuna could not be resolved and sublimated without Arjuna taking appropriate action and that is why Lord Krishna suggested to Arjuna that the path of Karma yoga was the most suited for Arjuna. The real reason why Arjun wanted to take the path of knowledge and not of action was because he was looking for an escape from having to battle and kill his own kith and kin.
This is the problem that confronts most of us in our daily lives. Things we do and have to do cause us both grief and happiness. Most actions we take are double edged. The only way out is that if we act, not out of our selfish interest or our attachments but through Dharma. Then we are like representatives of God and we will never commit false, sinful or dishonest actions.
Arjuna’s problem was that his mind was not stable on any one course of action. He desired the worldly pleasures that he would get if he won the war but he was also fearful of the consequences of killing his own brethren, something that he would have to do, if he was to win the war. Thus Arjuna was conflicted.
Lord Krishna could easily understand the state of mind of Arjun. He could make out that Arjuna was being swayed by attachment, desire and fear. This is why, to stabilize his mental condition, Lord Krishna gave Arjuna his own example. He revealed to Arjuna that He was the Lord of the three worlds and there was no need for Him to perform any duties since whatever He wanted was available to Him simply by wishing for it. Inspite of this Lord Krishna was constantly engaged in taking actions as per His duty.
Lord Krishna further explained that most people believe that their individuality-the sense of “I”, is their body, mind and their wisdom. This is not true. The “I” that we can all feel, is actually the soul that resides in the physical body and which uses the mind and wisdom attached to this body. “I’” is actually a part of the indestructible soul of God.
Arjuna interjected Lord Krishna to say that his confusion persisted. Arjuna further said that Lord Krishna had said two things. One-that act but renounce the fruits of the action and two-that do your duty with your whole heart focused on God. Arjun asked-Which was the better way?
Lord Krishna replied that both ways were equally good but the better / easier way was doing the action as a representative of God and doing it on God’s remembrance only. This is called action with devotion to the Lord.
Lord Krishna further said that both ways of action are only superficially different but their achievement-Inner joy; inner knowledge; inner blessings and inner peace-they are the same. The basic point to be addressed is the sense of doer-ship. The sense of doer-ship is the cause of suffering and not the acts that we do. Once the being realizes this crucial fact, he gets free from the action-reaction paradigm.
Lord Krishna re-iterated that the way towards liberation was the surrender of the fruit of action and/ or acting as a representative of God rather than of oneself. This is possible when there is no attachment or personal desire associated with the act that is done. When the man who does the act, not take ownership, then neither the good, neither the evil fruit of that action accrue to the individual. Instead such a man becomes a repository of God’s trust, a beloved of God who is endlessly and eternally blessed. That blessing includes being visited by God and being able to see him face-to-face and to forever reside in God’s love.
For the man who cannot do this- that is, not remove the sense of doer-ship from his actions, that man is fated to take the burden of the results and to pay those burdens and debts. Such a man is endlessly trapped in the cycle of birth and death. He is born again and again and he undergoes death after death, in various species. In effect, he is trapped in the cycle of birth and death.
The person who understands this secret-of life, living and death, and who implements this in his daily living, that person leads a truly happy life.
Lord Krishna further said that man should avoid the undue influence of the senses because they are the first step in creating false attachments, desires and angers. By controlling and ignoring the senses, one can start walking on the path of yoga. Such people-the ones who have controlled their sense and who know that God is the only truth worth knowing, such people achieve peace happiness and joy in their lives.