Monday, June 4, 2007


Sri Krishna has given us the milk of Gita from the Upanishads cow. Arjuna is advised to do his karma of fighting in the battle. As a result he may get swarga and victory or defeat. But Arjuna should never aim for them but realize the atman’s true nature i.e. atma sakshatkaram, leading to realization of Paramatman and securing. Moksham. Arjuna’s intention should be only on this superior objective and not on any other inferior objectives. Arjuna is not the cause of the results of the battle. This does not mean he can remain inert and avoid the results. The action has to be performed by him only and he will reap the results. But he should not aspire for those results. Let us think why Sri Krishna is advising that we should not expect or desire for results. We should be clear first as to what we need in this world. If we frequently change our needs we can never reach the destination. Our objective should be that beyond which there is nothing else, that which will give us everlasting experience and that which will yield supreme feeling. The experience in this world indicates to us that happiness and sorrow are mixed. Therefore we have to elevate ourselves to higher planes and reach Paramatman for everlasting pleasure. This should be our objective. This is not small happiness. This will never be lost or decay. It is not going to end after some time. Once we have decided on this aim, all our actions should be targeted to reach this goal only. Any deviation in this will make us miss the objective. Any action for any other target will only waste our time and energy. This is what Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna. He should do his duty and that only is going to realize him the Paramatman. We have to perform duties prescribed for us. We have to do our duties. Follow the righteous path. Speak the truth. Be helpful to others. Do not malign others. Cultivate the real traits of atman. By doing all these we will follow the path shown by Sri Krishna and surely we will secure the results He indicated. We can do these acts like speaking truth only or following righteous path, for other benefits also. As an example digging to create a pond for the benefit of the society is a righteous act. By doing so one may get position or wealth. But if the same person can also think that by doing this act, he is going to make available water for many devotees in whom He resides and so this will please Paramatman and so He will receive him to His Domain. So a choice exists. We can perform a commendable act for smaller rewards like position or wealth, or for sublime rewards like pleasing the God. We should choose the latter. Here, Sri Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to fight to reach Moksham. Arjuna should have his aim as reaching the feet of the Lord and fight in the battle. Nuclear energy is there for both destruction and for improving life standards. Our aim should be only for the latter. So the same act if it can be done for superior goal, that act will enable us to reach Moksham. That is why Sri Krishna tells that Arjuna has right only for the duty- karmanyeva. Now, Arjuna enquires that if Sri Krishna is telling that he is not the cause for results of his action, then will not the normal concept of relation between cause and action be faulted? It appears that what Sri Krishna tells is against our daily observations. If a person hits a person and is produced in a court, he cannot escape punishment by saying that he was not responsible for the injury suffered by the other. So one can never runaway from the results of an action. If the battle is won, it will mean that Arjuna was responsible for that victory. If this is not accepted then it will result in a mindless act. Result and action have to be always together only. Then why Sri Krishna is advising the other way? Swami Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam and Swami Vedantha Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika explain these. In karmanyeva adhikara, the word adhikara indicates the thought ‘mine’ or ‘ I am doing’. Where this thought should be and where it should not be? When one is doing his duty he should have this thought that it is his duty and that he is doing his duty. So this right – adhikara- and the thought that right is being exercised should be there while performing one’s duty. But when a result is there he should not claim it as a right and be inert to the results. Sri Krishna therefore does not say that cause and action are not related. He only says that while doing a duty, one cannot claim one was responsible for the result. If in the battle Arjuna wins it is no doubt that Arjuna was responsible for that. But he should never think that he is responsible for the outcome. With the feeling that one is not responsible for the result, one should do a duty. This feeling is quite difficult to bring to practice. The advantages of such a feeling are brought out in the next sloka. We should perform our duty for superior goal and at the same time we should always remember that we are not responsible for the end results. If we are not responsible for the results of our action, why should we do any action? Why not remain inactive? Sri Krishna says that He never said that we are not responsible for the results, but commands that we should not perform our duty with the thought that we are responsible for the results. Arjuna asks what is wrong if he assumed or thought that he was responsible for the results? Sri Krishna counters Arjuna whether could he ever say that for any result of any action, he alone was responsible? For any action it is the teamwork, which gets results. In the Shastras it is said that for any action five entities are needed. They are Paramatma, Jeevatma, body, organs and Pranavayu [Oxygen]. Team effort of all these only can result in any action. When this is the position, how can anyone claim that he has done? So there is nothing wrong in assuming that he has not performed that action. Arjuna accepting this asks whether he, being one of the five, can assume at least 20% was his contribution? Sri Krishna denies this and says that in this Universe everything perform to His orders and so it would be better to say that He was responsible for all actions. If we analyze we can realize that one alone is not responsible for any action. One had to reach a place on a particular time. But due to variety of reasons one could not keep up that time. Reaching the place, one lists all the reasons for the delay. But next day the same person, if reaches the place punctually, claims that he ensured to reach the place on time. That is he does not cite all other reasons, which helped him to reach punctually, but claim his sole effort as the reason for this feat! So it is very clear that one alone cannot be responsible for any action.

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