Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
'Obligatory' (Niyatam) means 'concomitant' (iVyaptam); for action is concomitant with that which is conjoined with prakriti or the body. The contact with prakriti has arisen from beginningless subtle impressions (Vasanas). You must perform work, because the performance of action is easy and may not cause accidents by reason of its being obligatory. Action is superior to non-action, ie., even to the devotee of jnana. Devotion to jnana alone is indicated by the word 'non-action' (Akarma). Even in the case of one qualified for devotion to jnana, devotion to karma indeed is better because jnana-nishta is difficult to perform and liable to accidents; that too, If it has not been practised previously and as it does not come to one naturally. Subsequently it will be described how, one with the knowledge of the true nature of the self can carry on actions along with that knowledge. Moreover, because knowledge of the self too is included in karma yoga, this kind of yoga is superior.
This statement on the superiority of activity (karma yoga) over gnana yoga is valid even when there is competency for one to adopt jnana yoga. For, if you abandon all activities to qualify yourself for jnana yoga, then nourishment of the body, which is necessary even for jnana-nishtha, will not be possible. The body has to be necessarily sustained until the means are executed to the full. Performing 'great sacrifices' with the help of honestly earned wealth, the body has to be sustained by consuming the remainders left after such sacrifices. This is made clear from scriptural texts like, 'When the food is pure, the sattva (mind or inner organ) becomes pure; when the sattva is pure, then the remembrance (meditation) will be steady (Cha U., 7.26.2). Sri Krishna himself will declare : the sinful ones who cook food for their own sake eat sin (3.13)
Consequently even the sustenance of the body will not be possible in the case of one who practises jnana-nishtha, and does not act. Besides the understanding of the true nature of the self is incorporated in karma yoga, as it involves the contemplation of the self as being a non-agent. It is also in line with the nature of life (prakriti). Karma yoga, is for these reasons easier and it is free from danger of downfall. Therefore, you must perform karma yoga only. This is the purport of the verse.
If it is contended that any action such as earning money implies 'I-ness', 'My-ness' etc. and will therefore be disturbing to the senses, and that such a person devoted often to works will be in bondage through subtle impressions of his acts - Krishna replies in the next verse.