After Krishna explained
to Arjuna Sankhya-Yoga and Buddhi-Yoga, Arjuna asks him a relevant
question. He says, "I am confused. On the one hand you tell me that
using intellect is far superior to doing Karma without it. On the other
hand you are asking me to fight this war and do Karma. I don't see any
sense in it. If Karma as you say, results into bondage so that we have
to come back to this earth again and again, life after life, to reap the
fruits of our good or bad Karma, then why not abstain from doing any
Karma? This war is no good to anybody. It is a bad Karma. If we win, we
will get kingly pleasures, if we lose, we will go to heaven and enjoy
heavenly pleasures. When they are over, we have to come back to earth.
All this will be the result of this Karma. So why should I do it? Why
can't I use my intelligence and stay away from this war? Your Karma-Yoga
and Buddhi-yoga have confused me so much that I cannot think correctly.
So please tell me what is right for me to do."
Krishna, then, in
verses no. 3 to 35 has explained in detail about Karma-yoga. The first
basic rule is, in this "Karma-bhoomi" or this world, no one
can abstain from performing Karma, even for a second. If you do not
start any Karma i.e. if you refrain from taking any action, it does not
mean that you have got rid of yourself from Karma and, therefore, you
can be free or attain Moksha. Also, by renouncing a Karma you do not
reach the state of steady intellect.
The three "Gunas"
(attributes) of the "Prakruti" (God's power) are such that
they compel every human being to perform some Karma or other.
There are people who
refrain from taking physical action but keep on thinking about it in the
mind. Such a person is cheating himself. He is a real hypocrite. A
person with an immoral Vasana, rooted deep inside him, will entertain
bad thoughts. When he sees a woman who attracts him, his mind thinks of
having intimate relationship with her. He may not dare to approach her
with that intention, because he is married, or because she is a married
woman. He is afraid of his honour in society. Yet in his mind he may
have intimacy with her. He may derive sadistic pleasure of having
imaginary sex with her. All these thoughts amount to Karma. He has given
food to his Vasana. As a human being, he is supposed to ultimately get
rid of all Vasanas. But this man is nursing and cultivating this immoral
Vasana and performing Karma. Some other person may have good thoughts
like giving donations to some charitable institution, doing some good
for the school in his town; yet he may not be able to do so because of
many reasons. His good thoughts amount to Karma.
As said before,
physical action dies with the body. Mental action remains and goes with
the Atma, when the body dies. Since mind cannot be without thoughts,
Karma is performed continuously. External objects come in contact with
any of the five sense organs and supply food to the mind. Mind acts on
the instructions issued by Vasana in the form of desires and Karma takes
place. The difference in the Karma of different individuals is because
of the three Gunas viz; Satva (pious), Raja (boisterous), Tama (treacherous).
All these three are present in every living being. They dominate and
decide a person's behaviour. If "Satva" Guna is, at a given
time, on the top, your Karma (thought, speech, action) will be good.
"Raja" Guna makes you take action as it is responsible for
motion. "Tama" Guna, when high, makes you do bad things or
makes you lazy. In this way these Gunas compel one to perform Karma. (Detailed
explanation of these Gunas is given in chapter 14)
Hence one who has bad
thoughts in the mind but whose external behaviour is good, is a
hypocrite and he does bad Karma. If you do not like a person, you may
stop having any dealings with him or her. But for your sake do not think
ill of that person. Do not hurl abuses in your mind. Because you will be
harming yourself. By such thoughts you commit sin which will return to
you in the form of bad fruit in next life. There is no escape. On the
contrary, if you learn to forget and forgive and, even if you do not
wish to keep contact with that person, if you pray for him or her, you
will be doing a good Karma. You will get its reward, and if you cannot
do so, then the next best action you can take is to stop thinking of
that person completely.
Just as thinking bad,
yet doing nothing on physical level is not good, preventing the mind
from indulging in sense organs and taking action without attachment is
good. We have 10 sense organs, five of which are of knowledge viz.; eyes,
ears, nose, skin and tongue. When they come in contact with external
objects, they bring in knowledge about these objects. e.g. Eyes look out
and see a tree. Mind knows that there is a tree. The intellect knows
what tree it is. Then there are other five sense organs. They are called
organs of Karma because they take action. These are hands, feet, mouth
(speech), anus and genetic organ. Physical action is performed by these
Here we have two
To succumb to the senses of knowledge and mentally indulge in pleasing
them, yet refraining from taking physical action.
Be disinterested mentally in senses of knowledge and take physical
action by the senses of Karma, remaining mentally detached. This second
action is recommended. It is the better of the two. If you decide to sit
at one place and not to entertain any thoughts as well as not to take
any physical action, you will still need to do karma. Because your body
needs food to survive. You have to take some action to get it. You will
have to do some Karma. Hence, as you cannot abstain from Karma, it is
better to do it. You can do it in such a way that it gives you joy and
does not create bondage.
Arjuna was concerned
about Karmic bondage. So Krishna explained to him the two types of
Karma, the one which results into bondage to this world and the other
which takes you to the higher world, heaven.
Vedas talk very highly
about "Yagnya" which means sacrifice. This Karma does not bind
one to this world because, in it, everything is done for Gods and
demigods. When a Yagnya is being performed, some Mantras are chanted,
and food for the Gods is thrown in, in the holy fire. While giving this
food, you say in Sanskrit, "this is not mine, this is for the Sun
God" etc. You disclaim everything and hence the Karma is rated as a
high-quality Karma. Gods are pleased with you and you earn your place in
heaven, after your life on earth ends. There is a subtle point here,
which should be noted. One who performs a Yagnya in this way, wishes and
expects a place in heaven. He is attached to the Karma. At the end of
human life, such a person will go to heaven but not permanently. He will
have to return to earth when the time span of his residence in heaven
finishes. Every being must come to earth and be born a human, because it
is only as a human, he or she has the possibility of doing Karmas in
such a way that no bondage is created at all.
Krishna tells Arjuna to
perform the Yagnya without attachment, without wishing to go to heaven.
In this way there will be no bondage - not to earth, not to heaven. More
explanation, about various types of Yagnyas which a human being can
perform, is given in next chapter no . 4.
This Universe was
created by Brahmadev. There are three forms of the unknowable,
unmanifested energy which is known as God. This God manifested in three
forms. As Brahmadev, He creates, as Vishnu He preserves and maintains
while as Shankara He destroys. All three together mean God. So when
Brahmadev created the world, He told the humans to perform sacrifices,
so that Gods will be pleased and offer a place for them in heaven.
"You please demigods and they in turn will please you. In this way
you will be very happy. The best way to live is to offer food to
demigods first and then eat whatever is left behind. Those who do not
perform this sacrifice and eat without offering to demigods, commit
Krishna says, this
practice started by Brahmadev must be continued. There is a reason and
purpose in doing it. Yet one who has attained steady-intellect and one
who is happy with one's own self is freed from all bondages. He earns
his place beyond heaven, with God Himself.
But such persons are
rare. That is the reason, Arjuna asked Krishna to describe how a
steady-intellect person is. We commoners are certainly far away from
this state. We give in to sense pleasures, succumb to mind's vagaries,
let our intellect be mercilessly dragged by the mind. We have to do our
Karma. Yet in order to be free from bondage, we have to learn to have no
attachment to the Karma and its result.
In every society,
common people generally follow the examples set by their leaders.
Krishna asks Arjuna to set a good example by performing his Karma so
that all others in his generation and the next generations will emulate
his example. They will not even dream of running away from Karma.
Krishna, being an
incarnation, was not bound by His past Karma. There was nothing in the
whole Universe which He did not have, nor did He need or want anything (because
He Himself was and is everything). Yet when He took human form He did
not give up any Karma. He did not lead an ascetic life. He did not live
like a Sanyasi or a Sadhu. He lived like a common person in common
people, participated in their happiness and sorrow, mingled with them
and performed all Karmas which had to be done. Yet He did them without
attachment. If He were to act like a lazy bum and abstain from Karma,
all humans in Kaliyuga would do the same thing. He will be responsible
for their downfall.
In Kaliyuga, the life
span, as it is, is greatly reduced. Moreover, people in this Yuga are
governed by the Laws of Karma. They have to try and get out of this
cycle of birth-death-birth. And they have to do it while performing all
their Karma. Hence Krishna Himself, being God-incarnate, performed all
Wise people have to set
good example to others. They must practice living and performing Karma
without any attachment, so that people who are ignorant about the Laws
of Karma can also follow the example of these wise people and make good
use of the human life they have received. It is not an easy thing. There
are many people, in fact a great majority of them, who cannot and will
not give up their attachment to their Karma. Wise men should never try
to teach them otherwise. They will not mend their ways. It is only when
the wise people set an example by themselves behaving correctly, that
others will follow. In a flock of sheep, the shepherd trains only one
sheep. All others follow it. Great people must, therefore, not only
preach but set an example by their own behaviour to the masses.
I personally, get
baffled when I see wise people living as Sanyasis, tell others to do
their Karma. Most of these wise men and women often stress the
importance of giving up one's desires and devoting their lives to
Krishna. Krishna in the entire Gita, has never said that. He has
repeatedly stressed the importance of Karma; and we know that every
little Karma springs from a desire to do it. Krishna Himself lived in
comfort and luxury, yet He did not have any attachment to His glorious
life. As He has said, if we should emulate Him, we must, as family men,
do our Karma rightly, and learn to keep ourselves detached from it. We
should not even try to give up desires. It is when the non attachment
reaches the highest level, and intellect gets steadily fixed on the God
within, that the desires will start vanishing and the Vasanas will be
specifically said in verse no. 26 that wise people should set a good
example by their own behaviour and also create liking in the people to
perform all types of Karma. This is but natural because the root cause
of all Karma is the combination of three Gunas. They belong to the
astral body along with mind, intellect and ego. The soul is different
from them. While these Gunas are responsible for Karma, the soul or Atma
is just a witness and energy provider. Yet it is the ego which gets
attached to the Atma and makes us take the ownership of each karma. This
is the reason for Karmic bondage.
Ego is the link between
the gross physical body and the subtle astral body on one hand, and with
the Atma on the other. Hence ego does not die. It can be made to severe
its link with the gross body. It means taking the mind away from the
senses. Serving its link with the Atma means, developing non attachment
to all Karma. Who can break this link? There is only one entity. The
intellect, which is given to humans only, on this earth. All other
animals and creatures have instinct.
You are walking on a
street. You come near a tree on which several crows or sitting. There
are other people on the street as well. You pick up a stone and pretend
to throw it. The crows will fly away. Instinct guides them to take
action. People on the street will not run. Intellect tells them that you
may have picked up the stone for no particular reason. You are not going
to hit them.
This intellect is the
one which can break this ego-link. It is possible only when the
intellect remains steady, gazed on the God or energy within. So long as
this does not happen, we consciously believe that we are the Karta (the
doer) of our Karma.
It is essential to know
the relationship between the Gunas and the Karma. No Karma can take
place without being initiated and influenced by these Gunas. They are
present in every being, not only in humans. They are in the food we eat,
in the liquids we drink, in the air we breathe, in the trees and plants;
animals and birds. They are an important part of Prakruti. The Gunas in
you are attracted to the like Gunas in other beings. When we eat and
drink, the combination of three Gunas, in those items enter our body. e.g.
Milk and milk products have the maximum content of "Sattwa"
Guna while alcoholic drinks contain "Tama" Guna. Drinking lot
of alcohol increases the Tama Guna in us. We then tend to become more
lazy, lethargic, feel sleepy and get angry soon. If you are a constant
eater of milk products and other Sattwic food, your nature will be peace
loving, quiet and you will entertain pious thoughts. A drunkard, because
of the "Tama" guna in him will be attracted to parties where
alcohol is served. There, more "Tama" Guna will enter his
In this way Gunas
increase and decrease. They, become the cause of all Karma and the
difference in the quality and nature of two individuals Karma is because
of the difference in the composition of these Gunas in each of them. One
who clearly knows this and realizes that this is how each Karma takes
place, understands that he himself has nothing to do with the Karma.
This realization enables him to get detached. Those who do not know this,
take pride in their actions. If anything disturbs them, their ego gets
affected. Their intellect is not clear. It is muddled up, being under
the influence of senses and mind. It takes time for such people to know
the truth. It is not right for a person who has realized the truth, to
scofft at them or ridicule them or even try to educate them. The best
thing, under the circumstances is to set a good example by your own
behaviour. Others will learn slowly, each one with one's degree of
in karma doctrine
Krishna then said to
Arjuna in verse no. 30, "Surrender all your Karma believing and
realizing what I have told you so far, with full knowledge of yourself
and your separation from your Gunas, ego, and disown your Karma. Hold no
desire for fruit of your action, have no attachment and without being
lethargic give up this remorse and go, fight (do your Karma)."
This is what we have to
do in daily life. We have no external enemy to fight. Our enemy is
within. The one on whose support the enemy thrives is the ego. All we
have to do is to make correct use of the intellect, differentiate
between right and wrong, and select the right at any given time. Then
perform that Karma correctly, leaving the result to God and being
detached to it. This detachment does not mean indifferent attitude. Real
detachment brings out the joy in you and you feel happy doing your
Karma. It is expected of us that we have faith in the doctrine preached
above. Give up all sorts of meaningless and baseless ideas and thoughts.
Do not raise unnecessary doubts to show you are intellectually more
advanced than others. This attitude will not get you anywhere. But have
faith in what Krishna has said and perform all your Karma accordingly.
You will never regret.
Those who lack faith,
who raise doubts and, therefore, do not take to the right path are, in
fact, unintelligent persons and they lose the opportunity, presented to
them in this life, to shed their ignorance and make progress on the path
to better life and ultimate goal of Moksha.
Every being behaves
according to ones Prakruti - the three Gunas which are the deciding
factor in the nature and quality of Karma. Even a Dnyani also follows
the same path. Nobody escapes the influence of Gunas. Hence if one wants
to exercise control over the mind, one has to be disciplined in food
habits, the type of people one is associated with, the surrounding
atmosphere etc., to be able to suppress the "Tama" and the
"Raja" Guna and elevate the "Sattwa" Guna.
By the way, it is
interesting to note at this stage that "Tama" Guna represents
Dhrutarashtra tendency, "Raja" Guna stands for Duryodhana
tendency while "Sattwa" Guna is an example of Arjuna tendency.
The likes and dislikes
of each sense organ with respective sense objects is already fixed. One
should not get involved in their relations because they are the
stumbling blocks in self realization process. Sense organs will always
react favourably or unfavourably to their objects according to the likes
and dislikes. e.g. One person may like to eat meat. He will have a
liking to meat dishes while he will turn away from vegetarian dishes
when he sees both types of food are laid on a table. A person may like
pop songs but detest classical music. He will go to any pop concert and
be happy to have collection of this type of music in his house. He will
never go to a classical music programme and will not have any CDs or
tapes of classical music in his house.
A wise person must
realise that this like and dislike that he has, is a direct result of
the relation between his senses and the respective subjects. He should
not indulge himself in this relationship. Do not be influenced
completely by what you like. Do not detest totally what you don't like.
This like and dislike attitude belongs to your senses. It is not your
nature. You are beyond both likes and dislikes. You are Atma. You are
Joy, the Ananda. You do not need the senses for your real happiness. Let
the senses do their work. You try and learn to be aloof from them. If
someone invites you to a classical music programme and if you cannot
avoid attending it, its alright. Do not fret and fume in your seat.
Listen to it. You may not like it. So, what, there is no reason to
detest or hate it. If you go to a pop concert, you will enjoy it but
don't go overboard. That's not your nature. Learn to keep your mental
equipoise and be happy with yourself. When the senses dabble in their
objects happily or dejectedly, consider that they are your children
playing and simply watch the fun and enjoy. Do not get influenced by
your children's squirmishes and quarrels. It does not become you. Ask
yourself a Question, "Is this right at this time?" and you
will get the answer. Use your intellect effectively.
Krishna has said in
verse 35, everybody should follow his own Dharma, however difficult it
may be than the Dharma of another person. Your own Dharma is always
better and superior to you than that of another person. To die while
carrying out your own Dharma is better than to live performing other's.
It is dangerous.
The word "Dharma"
in this verse must be clearly understood. "Dharma" is
generally equated with religion. Hindu Dharma means Hindu religion and
so on. But it is not so. Religion is a set of ethical codes belonging to
one sect or community or caste. Hindus go to Mandir. They worship idols
and images. They believe in many demigods. Their practices are quite
different from those who follow code of ethics in Koran which is the
Holy Book of Islamic religion. Similary the practices followed by
Christians are different. They live according to their own religions.
The word Dharma means a
way of conducting oneself in carrying out one's profession or vocation.
A teacher must behave as a teacher. His duty
is to impart education and ensure that the students get
sufficient knowledge of the subjects they learn. At the end of their
learning time, they must be in a position to correctly answer any
questions they are asked on the subjects. The method which the teacher
may employ in carrying out his Dharma must be honourable and befitting
the profession. Two teachers may adopt two different ways. e.g. One may
make the students learn by heart, while other may insist on writing. One
may use charts and maps as aids, another may use computers, video
pictures etc. But the end result, which they have to achieve, will
remain the same. A person with good instructing ability and liking for
it can be a good teacher. Once he accepts being a teacher, that is he
A doctor's Dharma will
be different from that of a teacher. A teacher or a carpenter or a
police woman cannot be a good doctor unless he or she takes proper
education and gets experience to be a doctor.
your own dharma
One should follow one's
own Dharma because one has the opportunity therein to do good and right
jobs. Each and every Karma can be then done satisfactorily. Mistakes
committed unknowingly are pardoned. Every individual thus has a chance
to do a good Karma for himself or herself and also something good for
others, without thinking of the end result. Spiritual progress is
steadily achieved. Whereas trying to be somebody else and performing
duties of a Dharma (profession) which is not yours will always land you
in trouble. It is dangerous.
Hence the message is,
stick to your own profession, however low it may be. Do it well and do
not worry about what will happen, and never have any inferiority
complex. An office boy, whose duty is to
sweep floors and clean rooms, will be rated high if he does his
duties perfectly; whereas the office manager, if found doing wrong
things, misusing his position or taking advantage of his juniors or
misappropriating money, will be rated very low when the final judgement
is given by the laws of nature.
Now Arjuna asks a
clever question. He asks! Why, in society, people do wrong things and
commit sin, even if they do not wish to behave that way. A person
appears to be sinning against his own will. What makes him behave thus?"
Arjuna's question is
loaded with meaning. Even today we see honourable, respectable people
doing wrong things, as if by some unseen force. A sadhu flirts with
women, a teacher gambles and mixes with antisocial elements, an honest
person steals, a married woman elopes with another man. People lie for
small gains, commit murder in a fit of rage. The never want to behave
thus, yet they do. One day you hear that your friend, a perfectly honest
person, has committed fraud. You wonder how he could do such a thing.
Someday, in a fit of anger you severely bit your only son you love so
much. You repent later but the wrong act took place, as if by some force.
People stray away from their natural and normal behaviour. They act
differently, in a manner not acceptable and not in keeping with their
nature. The question is, Why?
is the cause
In the next six verses
nos. 37 to 42, Krishna has answered this question. The main culprit
behind all actions is Vasana which gives birth to desire. Every desire
has anger stored in it. They live together. It means that your desire
may not always be fulfilled. When it does not get satisfied, the anger
inside finds a way out. This happens in simple issues also.
You want to go on a
vacation. Your friend, who has contacts, promises you to get the tickets
at concessional rate. You depend upon him. After a few days, when you
ask about the tickets, he says " O! I am sorry. I forgot." Or
he may say," I could not do your work." You get angry. Then
you try on your own. But you are too late. Even full fare tickets are
sold out. You should have bought them early. Will you not become angry?
Of course, you have committed a great mistake first, when you asked
someone else to do your job for you, you have flouted a basic rule of
Karma. But that apart, the point at issue is that you get angry because
your desire is trampled.
You go to market to buy
something. The stock is over. You are upset, anger starts brewing. This
desire is born from "Raja" Guna. This Guna is always in motion.
Vasana uses him to create desires. Since every individual has Vasana and
is influenced by the three Gunas in performing any Karma, there is no
getting away from desires. Also, this Vasana is extremely gluttonous.
She devours everything and yet never gets satisfied. She is your arch
enemy in this world for she blocks all your efforts to be good.
"A" wants to
buy a piece of furniture. All his neighbours have good sofas, chairs
etc. He has an old, broken and torn sofa. Every time he has a visitor,
his desire to get a new sofa crops up strongly. Basically he lives in
style and comfort. That is Vasana which has germinated this desire for a
new sofa. Unfortunately he does not have enough money to get one. His
outgoings are heavy and income is meagre. He is always in debt. The
desire takes away his peace. One day he sees an opportunity to get easy
money. The cashier in his place of work has withdrawn money for office
work. He has left it in the chest drawer and without locking it, has
gone out for a while. Mr. "A" has seen this. All other workers
are busy. Nobody is near. He thinks of his sofa, sees the old one
mentally. He does not want to see it any more. All he needs is two
thousand rupees. There is the money, tens of thousands lying in the
chest drawer one metre away. What a golden opportunity! He has to act
immediately. Opportunity does not knock twice, he remembers. He takes
two steps to the side, makes sure nobody is watching him and opens the
drawer. Quietly he removes twenty brand new notes of hundred rupee each,
comes to his table and resumes work. Then he goes to the toilet and
hides the money in a place where nobody would look. He fears that when
the cashier finds that the cash is short, he might order a search of
Well, this Mr.
"A" loses peace, his pulse beats faster. He has done something
which he would never dream of doing. Why? It is his compelling desire
which, when not controlled but allowed to grow and grow, has grown to
such proportions that it made him do the wrong Karma? If he had asked
himself a question at that time, " Is this right what I am doing?"
he would have, in all probability, not committed the stealing Karma.
a pretty woman in the neighbourhood. They know each other. They stop and
talk for a few minutes when they meet each other sometimes. One day, Mr.
"B" goes for his evening walk. He takes the road passing by
her house. His hidden desire to see her makes him choose that road.
Fortunately for him she is standing in front of the house. He greets
her. She reciprocates. They exchange a few words. She invites him, very
naturally, to come in for a cup of tea. Mr. B wants nothing more. He
comes in. He notices that she is alone in the house. His desire to
romance with her kindles. The more powerful it grows, the more excited
he becomes. She is in the kitchen. He lets his mind run after the desire,
or you can say that the powerful force of his rekindled desire knocks
his mind completely. " When would he get another opportunity like
this? Why did she ask me in, when she is alone? Surely she must also
want me. I have to take the first step. She will be shy to act first. If
I don't, she may despise me." His desire creates such thoughts in
his mind. He gets up, walks into the kitchen and throwing his arms
around her from behind, holds her close to his heart.
Why does Mr.
"B" behave in this manner which is not befitting him? He is
not a bad or an immoral person. He is not a womaniser. He has excellent
and very healthy relationship with his wife whom he loves very much. His
act at this time is under the blind influence of his untamed desire. His
intellect has left him.
Hence, the desire is
the main cause of people behaving inexplicably, abnormally at times.
guna-cause of desire
Just as fire is covered
by smoke, a mirror is covered by dust or the embryo is covered by
the womb, so is the soul covered by this Vasana. This covering is
its bondage, and is of three forms resulting from the three Gunas.
"Raja" Guna is the cause of desires. We cannot see or know the
self (the soul) because of this covering. This is a permanent enemy of
mankind engaged in constant war with it. It is like a wild fire which
never gets appeased. The more it devours, the more it flares. This
"Raja" Guna , has covered the real knowledge of self which is
correctly called "Dnyana."
Inability to understand,
recognise and know this "Dnyana" is called Ignorance, the
cause of which is this "Raja" Guna. This Guna resides in sense
organs, mind and also in intellect. All these get excited by "Raja"
Guna and lose their identity. They forget that they derive power from
the one who is inside. They cannot, therefore, get self realization. All
they see is this outer covering which deludes the mind and the intellect
As this "Raja"
Guna is resident in the sense organs which are the first contact with
the external objects, it is essential to check the activities of these
organs first. They must be tamed. This destroyer of knowledge of the
self can be killed by cornering and attacking him at this level. When he
senses an object, activates the sense organs and passes on the
information to the mind, he becomes powerful; and when he reaches the
intellect and resides there with the mind, the object and the sense
organ, the damage is complete. He creates hyvoc. You cannot even reach
him there. So before this demon has the opportunity to reach
the inaccessible corners of the innermost fort, attack him. He
will not be so powerful when he resides in the Indriyas (the sense
In the previous
illustration, if Mr. "B" were to use his intellect and think,
" My mind thinks about having intimacy with that woman. I should
better avoid going her way," he could have killed the desire at
that instant. Removing the object from the nearness of the senses is the
Hence, always be in
contact with those objects which are not likely to flare up unwanted,
immoral, illegal desire. If you are given to drinking and you want to
get rid of this desire, avoid going to parties or friends who would
normally offer you drinks. Engage yourself in more domestic activities
with wife and children in your spare time. Think good of others. This is
to stop the "Raja" in mind from contemplating on drinking. But
first throw away all bottles from your house. Avoid everything which
will bring the subject of drinking in contact with eyes, ears, smell,
touch and taste. If you have a stealing tendency when you are alone,
make sure you don't visit anybody on your own. Always take somebody with
you. There are many ways to get rid of wrong and bad habits. The rule is
that attack the enemy at first level, when he is out in the open.
The situation of sense
organs, mind and intellect is such that first you encounter the senses,
then you have the mind inside, beyond the senses. Intellect is further
inside and Atma is beyond intellect. The inner you go, the stronger you
become. You are strong in your own house, is it not? Out on the open
road, you are vulnerable. Atma is all powerful, being in the innermost
quarters of this body. Beyond Atma is Parmatma, the source from which
the Atma gets His energy. Atma is a part of Parmatma. He appears
different and separated because He identifies himself with the body. On
one side of the Atma is your intellect, on the other side is Parmatma.
It is this intellect which, when becomes steady, makes the Atma free
from association with body and mind. What remains then is duality. Atma
and Parmatma. And when, after many lives, with the grace of God, this
difference vanishes, the Atma merges into Parmatma. The hitherto self
realization becomes God realization. More of it will come in subsequent
chapter. For the time being we have to understand that senses are weaker
than the mind. Mind is weaker than the intellect. Atma is a separate
entity which the intellect has to realize.
action is required
Therefore, in combating
lust, in controlling mind, the first point of attack must be the sense
organs. Keep them away from sense objects which are likely to cause you
trouble, snatch away your peace and throw you in the neatly woven net of
worries, anxieties, anger, hatred and lust.
If you want to live in
peace, if you wish to see yourself at the top of whatever profession you
are carrying out, if you want happiness and prosperity, if you care for
success in every endeavour you undertake, and finally if you wish to
attain Moksha, in this very life, then arm yourself with strong
determination, use your intellect and ask yourself the question,
"Is this right, what I am doing (thinking, speaking, acting)?"
There will be two answers, yes and no. Be honest with yourself, and if
the answer is no, stay away from the sense object. Take a different
route. Avoid contact with those objects which are not good for your
progress, both in material and spiritual life. On the contrary if the
answer is yes, then go for it, on your own. Do not depend upon others,
do not delay and do make a start and then follow it. You will never
Finally, in the last
43rd verse, Krishna says, Know that you, the Atma, are superior and
different from the intellect. Steady your intellect. Then, this "Raja"
Guna, though difficult to be caught, can be killed by you.
In this way, Krishna
has explained the "Karma" process and also why we do wrong
things when we do not wish to do so. We also now know what we have to do
to get ourselves out of misery. All we should do now is to pause,
reflect, read again, if necessary, and take action.
Because what we need now is ACTION.
This is Karma Yoga.