We are to see a very important 35th sloka today [29th August,2007].
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunahpara-dharmat sv-anusthitatsva-dharme nidhanam sreyahpara-dharmo bhayavahah
"It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than Gyan yoga perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in Gyana yoga, for to follow that path is dangerous."
Sri Krishna clears another doubt in Arjuna. In the last sloka, He said that the Gyana yoga path is full of impediments such as likes and dislikes which he can not win over and so Arjuna should take the Karma yoga path, with which he is accustomed over many births. But Karma yoga also has many difficulties to tide over and only when we go in that path we will, know the difficulties. In fact for the ordinary persons like us, neither Gyana yoga nor Karma yoga is easy to practice. But for this we have to wait till the 18th Chapter 66th sloka, when Sri Krishna is going to tell us the easiest path to attain salvation. We may think why not tell this now itself and why waste so much time and effort? With the "I" feeling so much in us we have to understand that we have to cast away that "I" by knowing all the difficulties and have unfaltering faith in Sri Krishna to surrender and believe in His words. This will come only if we systematically understand the process and our inability. Sri Krishna asks what difficulties Arjuna anticipated in Karma yoga. In Gyana yoga actions are less. But in Karma yoga activities are plenty and so committing mistakes and incompletion are possible. For example, shastras say eat only after bath. But in today's fast world one has to reach office early from a distant place one lives. So, many persons feel they could take bath in the evening. This is violation of shatras. This will fetch papa. We have heard the story of Raja Harischandra and the insurmountable difficulties he faced. He incurred all these because when he was a king, while washing his feet he did not wash properly and so papa surrounded him and he faced all the difficulties. So these are disadvantages in Karma yoga. All rituals will have deficiencies and incompleteness and so they will affect the Karma yoga. Now Sri Krishna clarifies. Svadharma = One's self faith of Karma yoga, [because we are accustomed to Karma, Sri Krishna calls Karma yoga as svadharma and the unaccustomed faith of Gyana yoga as para dharma or alien faith] vigunah= even if done incomplete or with deficiencies, sreyan =is better than, sva anushtitat= fully practiced, para dharmat= Gyana yoga. That is, an incomplete and faulty Karma yoga is superior to a fully practiced Gyana yoga. Now Arjuna asks another question. Even if Karma yoga is superior, will not partial and deficient Karma yoga yield no results? Jyotish homam if not done properly and incompletely, will not yield swarga or heaven. Similarly other rituals. How then Sri Krishna tells that Karma yoga with all defects could yield atman sakshatkaram? Sri Krishna replies that those karmas like Jyotish homam etc. are all for inferior rewards and so will not yield desired results if not done properly. Whereas Karma yoga is for atman sakshatkaram and is advocated by the Lord Himself. This is the great advantage in Karma yoga. Even while doing that if the person expires, it would continue to yield results for the soul in the next birth. So the effort is never wasted and rewards are assured. This is because Karma yoga is based on the vasanai inherent in every living being in every birth. Karmas like Jyotish homam are done by studying texts and so are not natural to us. Sva dharme = while practicing Karma yoga, nidhanam= if death occurs, sreyah = is superior. Then the question comes if that be, why not follow Gyana yoga and even if death occurs Gyana yoga could be continued in the next birth? Sri Krishna tells that para dharmao= Gyana yoga, bhayavaha = will cause danger. Gyana yoga is not our nature and is not following the vasanai. The danger is that the senses will not get controlled as that is against nature.