sanyāsas to mahābāho
dukḥam āptum ayogataḥ,
yogayukto munir brahma
[5.6]:”But, O the mighty-armed, renunciation is well nigh impossible to achieve without selfless action, but the one whose mind is set on God is soon united with him.”
The giving up of all that we have is most painful without selfless action. It is indeed impossible if selfless action has not been initiated at all. Therefore, the sage who reflects on the identical God, and whose mind and senses are stilled, soon attains to that God by the performance of selfless action.
It is but evident that selfless action has also to be practiced on the Way Knowledge, because the requisite action for both the ways is the same. This is the act of yagya, which precisely means “worship.” The difference between the two ways is only a matter of the worshipper’s attitude.
Whereas one devotes himself to the deed after a thorough appraisal of his own ability and with self-dependence, the other-the doer of selfless action-engages in the task with total reliance upon the adored God. So, whereas the former is like a student who studies for an examination privately, the other is like one who is enrolled in a school or college. Both of them have an accomplished teacher to master the same course, take the same test, and even the certificate to be awarded to them is the same. Only their attitudes to their task are different.
Sometime back, saying that passion and anger are formidable enemies,Sri Krishn urged Arjun to kill them. Arjun found it most painful.
Sri Krishn thereupon told him that beyond the body there are the senses, beyond the senses there is the mind, beyond the mind there is the intellect, and beyond all these there is the Self, the power at whose behest he is driven to all his actions.To act with a clear understanding of one’s own strength and with dependence on one’s own ability is the Way of Knowledge.
Sri Krishn prompted Arjun to concentrate his mind on him and fight, dedicating all his actions to him and in total freedom from attachment and grief. To perform a deed with a sense of surrender to the worshipped God is the Way of Selfless Action. So the action in the two ways is the same and so is the final outcome.
Stressing the same,Sri Krishn now says that the achievement of renunciation, of the ultimate cessation of good as well as evil actions, is impossible without selfless action. There is no way by which we may sit idly, just telling ourselves: “I am God, pure and wise. For me there is no action and no bondage. Even if I may appear as participating in evil, it is really only my senses functioning according to their nature.” There is no such hypocrisy in Sri Krishn’s words.
Even he, the Yogeshwar, cannot, without the required action, bestow the ultimate state upon a beloved friend like Arjun. If he were able to do this, there would be no need for the Geeta. Action has to be accomplished. The stage of renunciation can be achieved only through action and the one who does it soon realizes God. Sri Krishn now speaks about the characteristic marks of the man who is blessed with selfless action.
kurvann api na lipyate ||5.7||
[5.7]:”The doer, who is in perfect control of his body through a conquest of his senses, pure at heart and singlemindedly devoted to the God of all beings, is untainted by action even though he is engaged in it.”
That man is possessed of yog, of selfless action, who has conquered the body, whose senses are subdued, whose thoughts and feelings are spotlessly clean, and who has realized his identity with God, the Spirit of all beings. He remains unblemished even though he is involved in action, because his deeds are aimed at garnering seeds of the highest good for those who lag behind. He is untainted because he dwells in the essence that is God, the fountain head of the vitality of all beings. There is nothing for him hereafter for which he should quest. At the same time, there can be no attachment to what he has left behind, because they have all paled into insignificance. So he is not engulfed by his deeds.
Thus we have here a picture of the ultimate stage of the worshipper who has achieved selfless action.Sri Krishn explains again why this man, blessed with yog, remains unattached to action.
nai’va kincit karomī ti
yukto manyeta tattvavit,
paśyañ śṛṇvan spṛśañ jighrann
aśnan gacchan svapañ śvasan ||5.8||
pralapan visṛjan gṛhṇann
unmiṣan nimiṣann api,
vartanta iti dhārayan ||5.9||
[5.8/5.9]:”The man who perceives, in whatever he is doing, whether hearing, touching smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, giving up or seizing, and opening or closing his eyes, that only his senses are acting according to their properties and that he himself is a non-doer, is indeed the one with true knowledge.”
It is a belief, or rather experience, of the man to whom God is visibly present that he does absolutely nothing. Rather than being a mere fancy, it is a firm conviction he has arrived at through the performance of action. After having known this he cannot but believe that whatever he appears to be doing is really the operation of his senses according to their natural properties.
And, when there is nothing higher than God whom he has apprehended, what greater joy can he aspire to have by touching any other object or being? Had there been something better beyond, there must have been attachment? But after the attainment of God there is no further goal to strive for. And neither is there anything left behind for him to renounce. So the man endowed with attainment is unimmersed in action.
brahmaṇy ādhāya karmāṇi
sangam tyaktva karoti yah,
lipyate na sa pāpena
padmapattram ivā’mbhasā ||5.10||
[5.10]:”The man who acts, dedicating all his actions to God and abandoning all attachment, is untouched by sin as a lotus leaf is untouched by water.”
The lotus grows in mud, but its leaf floats above the water. Ripples pass over it night and day, but if you look at the leaf it is always dry. Not a drop of water clings to it.So the lotus growing in mud and water is yet unsullied by them.
Just so, the man, all of whose actions are merged into God (this dissolution occurs only with perception, not before), and who acts with total detachment because there is nothing beyond to be desired, is unaffected by action. Yet he is busy with the performance of action for the guidance and good of the ones who are behind him.
[As expounded by most revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans]
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