The Self is constant, eternal, unmanifest, changeless, and indestructible. When once this Soul has been known and one is joyous, contented, and absorbed in him, what else is there beyond to search for? And what shall we gain by any further seeking?
For such a selfless man there is no harm in forsaking action, because he no longer has the mind on which impieties can make an impression. He is not the least concerned with beings of the external world or with any of the layer upon layer of inner aspirations.
When he has grasped the very highest, what use has he for anything else?
Lord Krishn sings in Chapter Three of Bhagavad Gita:
“Such a man has neither anything to gain from action
nor anything to lose from inaction,
and he has no interest in any being or any object.”
Previously there was, but now there is for such a man neither any profit in doing- nor any loss in the absence of doing. He ceases to have any selfish relationship with any being.
Lord Krishn adds further:
“So always do what is right for you
to do in the spirit of selflessness,
for in doing his duty the selfless man attains to God.”
In order to achieve this state, Arjun ought to be disinterested and do well what is fit for him to do, for a selfless man realizes God only through selfless action. The action which is worthy of doing is the same as the ordained action.
“Since sages such as Janak had also attained
to the ultimate realization by action,
and keeping in mind, the preservation of the God made order,
it is incumbent upon you to act.”
Janak here does not mean the King of Mithila. “Janak” is an epithet of father-the giver of life. Yog, the way by which the individual Soul may be united with the Supreme Spirit and thus secure absolution, is janak, for it brings out and manifests the embodied Soul.
All those who are endowed with yog are sages like Janak. Many such great men possessing true wisdom have also achieved the final bliss through action aimed at the ultimate attainment.
“Ultimate” stands for realization of the essence that the Supreme Spirit represents. All great saints, such as Janak, have attained to the state of ultimate realization through performance of the action which is yagya. But after attainment they act with the welfare of the world in view. They work for the betterment of mankind. So Arjun, too, is worthy of being a true leader of the people after attainment.
Sri Krishn had said that there was neither any gain in action nor any loss in inaction for a great Soul after he has reached the state of realization. Yet, however, keeping in mind the interest of the world and the preservation of its order, he continues to acquit himself well of his prescribed duty. The reason for this is explained in the following verse.
“Although, O Parth, there is no task
in all the three worlds which I have to do,
and neither is there any worthwhile object
which I have not achieved,
I am yet engaged in action.”
Like other sages of attainment, Lord Krishn has also nothing remaining to do. He said a little earlier that sages have no duty to perform to other beings. Similarly, in all the three worlds he has nothing to do and there is not even the least desirable object that he does not have. And yet he is earnestly engaged in action.
Lord Krishn adds:
“For should I not be diligent
in the performance of my task, O Parth,
other men will follow my example in every way.”
If he is not careful about the due performance of his assigned task, other men will also behave like him. Does it mean that even emulating Sri Krishn (God) may be an error? By his own admission, he will set a bad example if he does not act.
Lord Krishn sings:
“If I do not perform my action well,
the whole world will perish
and I shall be the cause of varnsankar
and so a destroyer of mankind.”
If he does not acquit himself of his task with caution, not only will all the worlds stray, but he will also bring about varnsankar and so the destruction of all mankind. If the enlightened, accomplished sage is not cautiously engaged in meditation, society will be corrupted by imitating his example. There is no loss to the sage if he does not act because he has realized the ultimate goal by successful completion of his act of worship. But that is not true of others who have perhaps not yet even set foot on the path of this spiritual exercise. So great Souls labour for the edification and guidance of those who lag behind.
Lord Krishn is doing the same. The implication is clear that Lord Krishn, too, was a sage-a true yogi. He works just as other sages do for the good of the world.
The mind is very unstable. It desires everything except worshipful meditation. If sages who have realized God do not act, by their example people behind them will also give up action.
Common people will have an excuse for licence if they find that the saint does not meditate, indulges in minor vices, and participates in cheap gossip. Disillusioned, they will withdraw from worship and fall into impiety. That explains why Lord Krishn says that if he does not do his appointed duty, all mankind will fall from grace and he will be the cause of varnsankar.
It is in this sense that a sage is the cause of destruction of mankind if he does not induce others to act while he is himself earnestly engaged in his prescribed task.
Realization of the indestructible God, the root from which everything is born, is life, whereas to be engrossed in the innumerable objects of nature and stray from the divine path is death. So that sage who does not induce other men to walk along the path of action is a destroyer-verily a murderer, of humanity.
He is a destroyer of mankind if he does not check the frittering away of minds and senses, and compel other men to keep to the right path. He is then an embodiment of violence.
True nonviolence is cultivating one’s own Self and, simultaneously, also urging others to spiritual discipline and growth.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~