Monday, November 19, 2007


It is said that Sri Krishna has given the milk of Gita from the Cow Upanishad. We saw Arjuna's plight in the First Chapter. In the Second Chapter, we saw both Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. Third Chapter told us that Karma yoga will directly get us Atman sakshatkaram. Fourth Chapter told us how we should view the Karma, as Gyana. From today [16th November, 2007] we will see Chapter Five. It is a short Chapter but potent with meaning.
  • First Chapter was called Arjuna Vishada yogam
  • Second Chapter was Sankhya yogam. Sankhya means buddhi or intellect and with the help of intellect we understand atman and its qualities like eternity
  • Third Chapter was called Karma yogam as Karma yogam itself will directly fetch atman sakshatkaram.
  • Fourth Chapter is Gyana yogam as it detailed the greatness of the Gyana portion in Karma yoga.
  • Fifth Chapter is called Karma Sanyasa yogam
We are at the Ashtanga vimanam of Sri Koodalazhaga Perumal temple. It has three tiers, five peaks and eight branches. In the bottom tier, Sri Koodalazhaga Perumal graces in a seated posture. In the middle tier, the Lord graces in a standing pose as Sri Soorya Narayana. In the top most tier, He is Ksheerabdi Nathan, in a reclining pose. Going around this vimanam for a mandalam [48 days] is beneficial, is a belief here. It is one of the methods to perform Karma yoga. This temple was established in Kruth yug by Vishwakarma. The Lord here was worshiped by various persons in various yug and in Kali yug, He was worshiped by Perialwar. Just as the tiers raise one above the other, Sri Krishna also is raising our knowledge.

Before we go into the Fifth Chapter. we will see Gitartha sangraha by Acharya Alavandar.

karmayogasya saukarya shaighrayaM kaashcana tadvidhaaH .
brahmaj~naaprakaarashca pa~ncamaadhyaaya ucyate .. (9)

The Fifth Chapter is very easy to practice [saukarya]. It yields result quickly [shaighraya]. When we do the Karma yoga, we should do it with consciousness. It is called Karma sanyasam. It is also called akarthrutva anusandhanam. When we do a karma saying 'I am doing', it is kartrutva anusandhanam. But if we think 'I am not doing this karma ', then it is akartrutva anusandhanam. This is a very important view in this Chapter. Sanyasam means relinquishing. So, while we do the karma yoga, we should relinquish the feeling or thought, that we are doing it. Thus it is Karma sanyasam. The result of such Karma yoga is brahmajnana prakara. Brahma gyana means equality in outlook. Now we see all as different like that is a cow, she is a woman or it is a tree. But by practicing Karma yoga we look at all as the embodiment of Gyana. Then we see the atman only and not the body. Atman shows unity of all, while body shows the difference. By going towards atman, we tend to look at all as equal and no difference is apparent. So, Swami Alavandar says that the Fifth Chapter tells us four aspects of Karma yoga:
  1. Karma yoga is easy to practice
  2. Karma yoga yields result quickly
  3. Karma yoga should be performed without the feeling that it was done by 'me'
  4. Karma yoga thus practiced will make one to realize all as equal.
Though the easiness of Karma yoga was told in the Third Chapter, it is the quickness with which the result is obtained is emphasised in this Chapter. This is in addition to the advantages of Karma yoga detailed in the Third chapter, viz: it is habitual right from birth, it is required even by a Gyana yogi and can not slip.

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