ye me matam idam nityam anutiṣṭhanti mānavāḥ,
śraddhāvanto’nasūyanto mucyante te’pi karmabhiḥ (3.31)
3.31:”Unquestioning and devoted men who always act according to this precept of mine are liberated from action.”
Freed from illusion and possessed of feelings of adoration and self Surrender, men who always act in conformity with Sri Krishn’s precept that “one should fight” are also liberated from all action. This assurance of Yogeshwar Krishn is for all of humanity. His doctrine is that one should make war. It may appear from this that this teaching is for warmongers. Fortunately there was the setup of a universal war before Arjun. But, when we are confronted by no such prospect why do we seek resolution in the Geeta or why do we so adamantly insist that the means of liberation from action is available only to fighters of a war?
Truth is quite the contrary. The war, of the Geeta is that of the heart-the innermost Self. This is the war between matter and spirit, knowledge and ignorance, Dharmkshetr and Kurukshetr. The more we try to check our thought by meditation, the more the unrighteous impulses emerge as enemies and launch a terrible attack.
Vanquishing their demoniacal powers and restraint of thought are at the very centre of this war of the divine song. The one who is rid of illusion and engages in the war with faith, is perfectly liberated from the bondage of action, and of birth and death.
ye tv etad abhyasūyanto nā’nutiṣṭhanti me matam, sarvajñānavimūḍhāms tān viddhi naṣṭān acetasaḥ (3.32)
3.32 :“Know that skeptical men, who do not act in keeping with this precept of mine because they are devoid of knowledge and discrimination, are doomed to misery.”
Deluded men, drunk with attachment and lacking in discrimination, who do not follow the teaching of Sri Krishn, or who, in other words, do not wage war in a state of meditation in which there is complete self-surrender as well as freedom from desire, self-interest, and grief, are deprived of the ultimate bliss.
sadṛśam ceṣṭate svasyāḥ prakṛter jñānavān api,
prakṛtim yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kim kariṣyati (3.33)
3.33 :“Since all beings are constrained to act in conformity with their natural disposition and the wise man also strives accordingly, of what avail can violence (with nature) be?”
All beings are dominated by their governing property and act under its compulsion. The sage who is blessed with perception also makes his efforts in accordance with his nature. Ordinary men abide in their actions and the wise in their Self.
Everyone acts according to the inescapable demands of his nature. This is a self-evident and incontrovertible truth. It is for this reason that, according to Sri Krishn, men do not follow his teaching even though they know it. Unable to overcome desire, self-interest, and sorrow, or, in other words, attachment and aversion, they fail to act in the prescribed way.
indiyasaye’ndriyasyā’rthe rāgadveṣau vyavasthitau,
tayorna vaśamāgacchettau hyasya paripanthinau (3.34)
3.34:“Do not be ruled by attachment and aversion, because both of them are the great enemies that obstruct you on the way to good.”
Attraction and repulsion lie within the senses and their pleasures. One should not be dominated by them because they are formidable enemies on the way that leads to good and liberation from action; they ravish the seeker’s worshipful attitude.
When the enemy is within, why should one fight an external war? The enemy is in league with the senses and their objects-within the mind.So the war of the Bhagavad Gita is an internal war. The human heart is the field on which there are marshalled the divine and devilish impulses – the forces of knowledge and ignorance, the two aspects of illusion.
To overcome these negative forces, to destroy the devilish by fostering divine impulses, is real war. But when the unrighteous forces are annihilated, the utility of righteous impulses also comes to an end.
After the Self is united with God, pious impulses too are dissolved and merge with him. To overcome nature thus is a war that can be fought only in a state of contemplation. Destruction of feelings of attachment and aversion takes time. Many seekers, therefore, forsake meditation and suddenly take to imitating some accomplished sage.
śreyān svadharmo viguṇaḥ paradharmāt svanuṣṭhitāt,
svadharme nidhanam śreyaḥ pradharmo bhayāvahah (3.35)
3.35 :“Although inferior (in merit), one’s own dharm is the best and even meeting with death in it brings good, whereas a dharm other than one’s own, though well observed, generates only fear.”
There is a seeker who has been engaged in worship for ten years and there is another who is being initiated into the process only today. It is but natural that the two cannot be equal. The novice will be destroyed if he imitates the experienced worshipper. It is for this reason that Sri Krishn says that, even though deficient in quality, one’s own dharm is better than another man’s well-observed dharm.
The ability to engage in action that arises from one’s nature is one’s dharm. So dying in the observance of one’s own dharm is truly fortunate. After the Soul assumes a new body, he will resume his journey from the same point of spiritual attainment at which he had stopped in his last physical life. The Soul does not die. A change of clothing does not change the mind and its thoughts.
To masquerade as men who have gone ahead of him will cause the seeker only more fear. Fear is a quality of nature, not of God. The pall of nature is thickened when there is imitation.There is abundance of cheap imitation on the “spiritual” path.Imitation does not help when we tread on the spiritual path. The seeker has to practise his own dharm.
What is this one’s own dharm (swadharm)? In Chapter 2, Sri Krishn had named it and told Arjun that even with his own dharm in view it was his duty to wage war. There was no more blessed a way for a Kshatriya. From the point of view of his innate property, the inherent dharm, Arjun was declared a Kshatriya.
Sri Krishn told Arjun that for the Brahmin, truly devout men possessed with knowledge of Supreme Spirit, instruction in the Ved was like taking a bather to a mere puddle. But Arjun was urged to learn the Ved and grow into a Brahmin. In other words inherent dharm is subject to change. However, really significant point is that the inherent dharm is the most conducive to one’s well-being. But this does not mean that Arjun should imitate a Brahmin, and dress and look like him.
The same path of action has been divided by the sage into four parts: the lowest, medium, good, and excellent.Sri Krishn has named the seekers treading on these paths respectively Shudr, Vaishya, Kshatriya, and Brahmin.
Action begins at the level of the lowest, but in the course of his spiritual quest the same seeker can evolve into a Brahmin. Further than this, when he is united with God, there remains neither Brahmin, nor Kshatriya, nor Vaishya, nor Shudr, but only pure intelligence, the eternal and changeless Supreme Spirit. He then transcends all these classes.Sri Krishn says that he has created four classes. But, as it was pointed out earlier, the classification was on the basis of action rather than according to birth. But what is that action which forms its basis? Is it what is usually done in and for the world?Sri Krishn contradicts this and speaks of ordained task or action.
As we have seen, this ordained action is the process called yagya, in which one breath is offered as sacrifice to another and all the senses are restrained, all of which is in a true sense the practice of yog and meditation. The special exercise which takes one to the adored God is meditation. Varn are a division of this act of meditation itself into four categories. A man should begin his quest at the level of his natural ability. This is the inherent dharm.
If the seeker imitates those who are superior to and ahead of him, he will be only burdened with fear. He will not be destroyed completely, for in the spiritual enterprise the seed is indestructible. But he will be overwhelmed by terror and impoverished under the burden of material world. If a student of primary level sits in graduate classes, he cannot become a graduate although for sure he will forget even his alphabet.
[As expounded by most revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans]
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