Gita Saar – Chapter 4 of the Gita is the place from where Lord Krishna started to give Arjuna, divine knowledge. The divine knowledge relates to spiritual knowledge, knowledge of the nature of the soul, the soul’s relationship to God, the way to purify ones nature and to find one’s way to God. This knowledge can be gained and properly understood only by the person who can live a life that is free of attachment.
Lord Krishna further gave the following knowledge’s to Arjuna-The secret of re-incarnation; the path of karma yoga; the logic behind the Varna system of society; the nature of one’s duty and how to find out the true knowledge about anything. And last but not the least, Lord Krishna talked about the way to find eternal peace and joy.
Lord Krishna explained the yoga of karma in detail and gave knowledge on how to walk on the path of true karma yoga. This is the reason that Arjuna was finally able to come out of his mind induced confusion and fight the battle with a committed heart.
Lord Krishna clearly defined desire-free action as the only way to commit sacred action and that sacred action results in gaining the blessed vision of our father – God. This vision of the Lord is the only way for the individual soul to find eternal peace and joy. Unfortunately the average person does not know this or even desire this and as a result, most people are trapped in the cycle of birth and death by being born again and again in various species of animals.
That person who has committed all his actions to the feet of the divine by acting as an ambassador to the Lord and the one who has destroyed doubt from his mind, such a person can never be tied down to the cycle of birth and death by his own actions. Lord Krishna again extorts Arjuna to avoid being a person who debates fruitlessly and foolishly out of a sense of ego and doubt since such a person can never find peace and happiness in this life or even in the next.
To this statement Arjuna asks a counter question. He asks that since Lord Krishna is the fountain head of wisdom and also the fountain head of all desires and attachments, then why did he himself take birth in this world?
The Lord agreed that he had taken birth in this transitory world like any other living being, but it was not in the same manner or with the same compulsions as any other deluded soul. Most people take birth in this world due to their karmas in their previous lives but He Himself takes birth of his own accord and not due to the affects of any previous karmas (of which he has none) And also when the Lord takes birth, he does so out of his own power and by keeping Maya-nature-under his control. And the purpose of his birth is not to indulge in the world but to carry out specific tasks that are necessary such as appearing before certain people and carrying out certain actions for very specific purposes and intents.
The lord further said in the clearest words possible that He was always unborn, always undying and always unchanging and he was the Lord of all creatures. And he appeared in his own creation, by his own powers, keeping Maya-nature-firmly in his grip. And he did so whenever he observed that creation was about to wreck itself. The basic purpose was always to stabilize the world that was decaying into sin, chaos and anarchy and all right thinking people were in dire need of help. On such occasions, He, the Lord takes human form and comes down to the universe to set it back in balance.
To understand all this, the devotee must first become a disciple and only then can he gain the knowledge of this eternal truth.
After this Lord Krishna spoke to Arjuna about Yagya and the ritual of sacrifice.
The Lord explained to Arjuna that the man who does other worldly actions while doing Yagya apart from the scriptural indicated karmas, get tied down in the world. Therefore it is important for the seeking soul to abandon attachment based yagyas and do only desire free yagyas.
The Bhagwat Gita talks about 12 kinds of Yagyas-sacrifices. Through this man can get all the essential things that he may need in his life. But out of these 12 sacrifices, four are of major significance. 1. The sacrifice of material possessions; 2. Austerities related sacrifices 3. Yoga related sacrifices and 4. Sacrifices through the study of the sacred texts.
Out of these the 4th sacrifice-that of wisdom and through the study of the sacred texts is the most superior.
Lord Krishna further explained that not all people are qualified to preside over the ritual of sacrifices and the qualifications of a suitable person are as follows. 1. The one who has no attachment 2. The one who is not proud of his body and has no filial attachments and 3. The one whose attention is always focussed on the Lord of creation.
Lord Krishna then spoke at length about the relationship of the individual soul to God and advised Arjuna to find out this knowledge by going to meet the people who had this fundamental knowledge. He advised Arjuna that it was not easy to find such people and even when found they were loath to reveal this knowledge to the undeserving person. The seeker would have to suitably impress those people with his humbleness and desire to learn the true knowledge. Only when the seers are convinced of the sincerity of the devotee and that his questions are genuine and non pretentious, will they give answers and explanations to the questions of the devotee. Needless to say that the knowledge so gained opens the gateways of Godhead for the devotee.
Lord Krishna ended the fourth chapter by once again extorting Arjuna to end all his doubts and stand up and do his duty since that was the first step on the journey of self realization.