Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Bhagvad Gita–Chapter 18–Final Words

gita-135Arjuna asks Lord  SriKrishna : “What is the difference between renunciation and the renounced order of life." And Lord SriKrishna replies thus: Giving up activities that are based on material desire is called the renounced order of life (Sanyaasa) and giving up results of material activity is called renunciation (Tyaaga) Renunciation is of three kinds. sacrifice, charity and austerity. And they are not to be given up. However, these actions should be performed without attachment to results. They should be performed as  duty. And that is my opinion. One must never abandon duties prescribed to him/her. Anyone who gives  up his activities because of illusion, then he/she is in a mode of ignorance. One who gives up because of physical inconvenience is in the mode of passion. One who performs his/her duty with a sense of obligation renouncing all attachment for it and its results is said to be in a mode of goodness.

Those who have not renounced,  face the tree fruits of their actions after death – evil, good and mixed. But those who have renounced have no results to suffer or enjoy. According to Vedanta, there are five causes for the achievement of all action. They are the place of action (body), the performer, the various senses, the different endeavors and the Supersoul. Any action that a man performs by mind, body or speech is a result of these five factors. Therefore, without considering the five factors, a person cannot become a doer. A person liberated from false ego and whose intelligence is not bound, he/she is not bound by action.  What motivates action is – the senses, the object and the agent.  According to the three modes of nature (gunas) there are three kinds of knowledge, action and the doer.

There are also different kinds of intellect and determination as per the three modes of nature. There are three kinds of happiness that conditioned souls enjoy, depending on their modes. (rajasic, tamasic or sattvic) The duties of various people (Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishnavas, Shudras) are categorized according to the material modes that arise from their nature. By properly performing one’s duty, everyone attains perfection. One can attain perfection by worshipping God, who is the source of all beings. It is better to perform one's duty , even imperfectly, than to perform somebody else’s duty. By performing one’s duty, as prescribed by his nature, one does not incur sin.

All work is mired by some defects, like there is smoke where there is fire. A person can attain the supreme state of freedom from karma by self-control, detachment and disregard for material pleasures by practicing renunciation. By disciplining  oneself through intelligence, by controlling the mind with determination, controlling one’s speech, body and mind, being detached, by forsaking egotism, force, arrogance, lust, anger and possessions, one is fit for Brahman realization. One who has realized Brahman, is content, neither hankers nor laments, who is impartial towards all, attains transcendental devotion to me. Only through such devotion, one can understand me as the Godhead.

Surrender unto me in all activities and endeavors. Under my protection and power, always think of me. If you fix your thoughts on me, instead of egotism, you will conquer all your problems. God resides in the hearts of all beings, directing their wanderings by the magical power of Maya, on which they are seated, like a machine. Surrender to me completely and you will attain absolute peace and eternal abode.

I have explained to you the knowledge that is most confidential. Meditate on it. I have said what is the best for you. Fix your mind on me. Be my devotee. Sacrifice for me. Offer obeisance to me. In this way you will surely come to me. I promise you this because you are my dear friend. Take exclusive refuge in me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. This should never be explained to people who do not wish to hear it. One who explains these secrets to my devotees engages in the highest devotion to me. He/She will undoubtedly come to me. No one in this world will be dearer to me than my devotee. It is my belief that whoever studies this sacred dialogue of ours worships me through his/her intellect. Even one who merely listens to this conversation with faith, devoid of envy, will attain the auspicious worlds.

So Arjuna, has your ignorance and delusion been removed?

Arjuna with folded hands, told the Lord that it has.

Sanjaya who was witnessing all this says that the amazing form of Lord SriKrishna is wonderful and a delight to remember.

Always …


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