We are seeing the 53rd sloka. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he will get atma sakshatkaram. That is matured understanding of atman. There is no difference in the atman in various bodies. Same Paramatman resides in all atman. When this state is achieved the person is detached and renounces all worldly desires. Such a person is the one who has a ripened Gyana yoga. He gets atma sakshatkaram. When we talk about this we feel weary and wonder whether we can reach that state. But Sri Krishna does not preach something, which we cannot practice. Why then we feel bewildered? Because such things have not been in our daily habits and customs. We have never cultivated a habit to look at our atman or to control our organs. We do not control and choose right food for the body and mind. Because we are not habituated, initially we find some obstacles. But slowly practicing these, they will become our habits. We will then know how sweet life is, if we practice what Sri Krishna told. Atma sakshatkaram is all souls are identical, happiness or sorrow does not affect and realizing Paramatman is residing in every atman. What a pleasure is to attain that enhanced level? Should we not make some efforts to reach that? Both the lecturer and the listeners have to struggle to understand and cross the ocean of knowledge Sri Krishna has imparted. We should firmly grasp His feet and believe that He will show us the way. With this faith in Him if we repeatedly study the 2nd Chapter, surely we can practice what He preached. Like a marathon runner not getting alarmed at the beginning itself of the distance to be covered, we have to strive to the extent possible. Karma yoga is practicing our daily routines like eating, sleeping, nithya anushtanam, cultivating lands, doing business, guarding our home land, etc. We are doing these already but with an attachment. Same actions we should do as devotion to God and to please God. This is a first step and difficult to do. We can list all our activities and review which are all pleasing to God and decide to do only those and discard those which will displease Him. After that, we should slowly remove our attachments to the activities, which are pleasing to God. We should also realize that the activities are not done by us but by Him. We have already seen that we cannot claim any activity as done by us, as five entities are involved- self, Paramatma, body, organs and the prana. So it is always a team work. If we do our routine work with a resolution that we will not do them for ordinary rewards and with total detachment, it is Karma yoga. Continuous practice of Karma yoga, reduces the impact of papa/punya. Because of papa only we suffer so many things in life like sickness, poverty, children’s problems and so many. So we have to get the impact of papa reduced. We are normally interested in rewards but we do not ponder over the ways to achieve. That is why Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to do his assigned duties with detachment and this will, as Karma yoga, yield results. He will get atma sakshatkaram. The lecturer should not lecture for fame or compensation but with a higher objective that Gita will be learnt by many and that would please God. Similarly the listeners should not listen to boast that they know Gita, but as an eye opener for practicing Karma yoga and pleasing God, thereby. This common objective of pleasing God for all of us in all works will make us practice Karma yoga. But if our objectives are all different we will be reborn. Karma yoga will reduce papa/punya and mind will get purified. All these we were doing with very little application of our intellect- that we are not doing these and not aspiring for ordinary rewards. We are yet to do meditation by controlling our organs. We have been doing our regular activities only. By continuous practice our minds get purified and we are then ready for meditation. We will have continuous thoughts on atman and our organs will get controlled. Happiness and sorrow would not affect us and we will see all as equal. This is Gyana yoga. Without interruption we will meditate on the atman. Even a half an hour such meditation will give us great benefits. But knowing the difficulty to practice Gyan yoga, Sri Krishna advises Arjuna in 3rd Chapter that he need not do Gyana yoga but by Karma yoga alone he can get atma sakshatkaram. But now Sri Krishna tells about Gyana yoga to laud its superiority. When He says that we need not practice very difficult Gyana yoga to reach Him, but continue our normal routines as Karma yoga, we have to understand His concern for us. In the 53rd sloka Sri Krishna tells how one is ready to practice Gyana yoga and get atma sakshatkaram. Arjuna is too eager to know more about such a person practicing Gyana yoga. What all he will do, what he will think- such questions rise before Arjuna and so he asks in the 54th sloka:
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim
"Arjuna said: O Krishna, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is firm in meditation? Such a steady minded person what does he speak, and what words will describe him? What does he think, and how does he act?"
sthithapragna – he who has resolute or firm conviction. Sri Krishna is going to reply this in the next four slokas.