In order to understand transparently about what are the causes that effect righteous and unrighteous actions, we must learn about the five principles that Sankhya acknowledges as accomplishers of all action as per teachings of Bhagavad Gita.
Lord Krishn sings:
“Learn well from me, O the mighty-armed,
the five principles that Sankhya acknowledges
as accomplishers of all action.”
“In respect of this, there are the prime mover,
the several agents, the varied endeavours,
the sustaining power, and likewise the fifth means that is providence.”
The mind is the doer. Virtuous and evil inclinations are the agents. Performance of righteous action demands a predisposition to discernment, non-attachment, tranquility, self-restraint, sacrifice, and constant meditation. But lust, anger, infatuation, aversion, and avarice are the agents that effect unrighteous deeds. There are then the manifold efforts-the endless desires-and the means. That aspiration begins to be fulfilled which is supported by means. And last of all there is the fifth principle, providence or sanskar-the outcome of all that has happened to the Soul in the past. This is borne out by Lord Krishn.
“These are the five causes of whatever action
a man accomplishes with his mind, speech, and body,
either in accordance with or even in contravention of scripture.”
“Despite this, however he
who-out of his immature judgement-views the consummate,
detached Self as the doer is dull-minded and he sees not.”
As the Soul is identical with God, the pronouncement also implies that God does not act. Yogeshwar Krishn has stressed the point again and again. He said that God neither acts himself nor impels others to act, nor does he bring about even the association of actions. Then why do we say that everything is done by God?
It is only because our minds are clouded by delusion. We just say whatever comes to our mind. However, as Lord Krishn has affirmed, there are five causes of action. Yet the ignorant man, incapable of perceiving the reality, views the lone, Godlike Soul as the doer. He fails to realize that God does not perform any deed. Paradoxically, however, while saying all this, Lord Krishn also girds up his loins for Arjun and assures him that he has just to play the part of an instrument, for he (Krishn) is the real doer-arbiter.
What after all is the sage’s import?
In truth, there is a line of gravity that separates God from nature. So long as the seeker is within the boundaries of nature, of the three properties, God does not act. While abiding close by the worshiper, he is yet only an onlooker. But when the seeker gets hold of the cherished goal with firm intentness, God begins to regulate his inner life. The seeker then breaks free from the gravity of nature and enters the realm of God. God ever stands by such a seeker. But he acts only for a worshiper such as this. So let us always meditate on him.
Lord Krishn sings
“Though he may slay,
the man who is liberated from conceit
and whose mind is unsullied is neither a killer
nor bound by his action.”
Rather than granting licence to kill without any fear, the verse signifies that the truly liberated person acts as a mere instrument of the Supreme Spirit. A liberated person slays from the worldly point of view it’s evil traditions. In truth, however, one who dwells in constant awareness of God is of necessity disinclined to anything that is evil. Such a person is simply not tempted to destroy, for the world which tempts people to destroy no longer exists for him because of his total renunciation of the aggregate of all his deeds.
“Whereas the way of securing knowledge,
the worthwhile knowledge,
and the knower constitute the threefold inspiration to action,
the doer, the agents, and the action itself are the threefold
constituents of action.”
Arjun is told that the impetus to action is derived from all-knowing seers, the mode of acquiring knowledge, and the object that is worthy of being acquired. Lord Krishn has said earlier that he is the object worth knowing. The stimulus to action is derived only when there is a realized sage with perfect knowledge who can initiate the seeker into the way by which the desired knowledge can be obtained, and when the seeker’s eyes are fixed on his goal.
Similarly, the store of action begins to grow by the coming together of the doer-dedication of mind, agents such as wisdom, disinterest in the material world, repose, and self-restraint by which the action is accomplished, and awareness of the action.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~