Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt13

Part 12

Part 14

6 Moksha
Preparation 6-1
Preparatory Action 6-1-2
6-1-2-9 Isvara-Arpan and Isvara-Prasada 9(26 to 29), 12(6 to 11), 18(57,62)
6-1-2-9-1: 9(26 to 29)
Though Sri Krishna has talked about both selfish devotion and selfless devotion, he wants to dwell more on the latter since it purifies the mind for spiritual progress. In the former, the devotee performs various rituals per scriptural injunctions for the fulfillment of varied desires. If there is a violation of injunctions, results may not fructify. It may even be counter-productive and harmful. On the other hand, selfless devotion has no rigid rules and regulations. 

The general rule is that higher the end, more rigorous is the procedure to get it. Selfless devotion is an exception. The goal is the God, the infinite. Yet, the procedure is simple. Single-minded devotion is the sole requirement. The God gladly accepts small offerings, e.g., a leaf, a flower or water given with a pure mind. A selfless bhakta is neither a crisis bhakta nor a pleasure driven bhakta. He is a seeker of God, on way to become a jnani bhakta. A selfless bhakta can follow a very simple method. i.e., to dedicate all actions to the God without asking for anything. It may be eating, charity, various austerities (silence, fasting) or any mundane action. It is an attitudinal change. It is powerful. Punya earned by selfless bhakti results in spiritual benefits either in the current life or next births. He takes birth in a cultured and spiritual family.

In intermediate stages of sadhana, papa is avoided and punya is cultivated. Gradually, even punya is avoided because it is a bondage like a golden chain. He becomes a qualified seeker of knowledge and consequent on Self-knowledge, he is liberated and merges with God, so to say. By implication, a selfish bhakta cannot reach God and be liberated. It does not mean that the God is partial. Sri Krishna clarifies in 9(29) that He is impartial and has no preferences. It all depends on the quality of bhakti. A person who worships Him with devotion as the only goal, He resides in him, and he is close to Him. The equation is straightforward. More the devotion is, less is the separation from the God. God is impartial. His grace is uniformly available to all but to get it one must be eligible.
6-1-2-9-2: 12(6 to 11) A seeker cannot become a jnani devotee directly. He must be a Sagun God devotee in intermediate stage. The sadhana is to constantly remember God while doing action. By fixing mind and intellect on God, one gets established in God. A devotee of cosmic form of God is special because he is committed to discover God’s true nature. God is the end, not a means. By practice, quality of meditation on cosmic form improves.

Isvara-Arpan- Bhava is described. When he does any action, he should think that it goes to the world which represents God in different forms, it is subject to laws of the universe including laws of karma. Dedication is a particular attitude that until I complete my action, I have got a choice of action and when it is completed, it has become part of the universe, cosmic form of God. The action is subject to universal laws administered by the Lord and accordingly results follow.

A devotee should be mentally prepared to accept the result as gift from the God. It is Isvara-Prasad- Bhava. If this is not possible as it requires meditation, a seeker can take a lower form of sadhana, i.e., to work for the God which means to dedicate all actions to the God as offering. If it is not possible, then a seeker may take up a still lower form of sadhana, i.e., to train the mind to engage in action without being attached to results. It purifies the mind and makes it fit for next higher spiritual discipline, i.e., dedicating all works to God. Constant practice enables the seeker to become a devotee of cosmic form of God.
6-1-2-9-3: 18(57 to 62) A devotee is advised to make God the supreme goal of life so that he does not forget Him. Then dedicate all actions to Him. Since he is dedicating actions to God, gradually he will get rid of unrighteous actions and do virtuous deeds. On one side, actions are offerings to the God, on other side, the results of actions are accepted as gifts from the God, whether likeable or unlikable. In this way he should takes refuge in God and by His grace he gest supreme peace.
6-1-2-10: Sanyas and Tyaga 18(1 to 12) 18th chapter begins with a question from Arjuna. It is surprising that after listening to teachings of 17 chapters, Arjuna manages to have a question. Sri Krishna has explained correctness of fighting war from all angles- philosophical, dharma, and worldly. Arjuna is still shaky and doubtful and thinks of sanyas. He asks Sri Krishna to explain sanyas and tyaga individually. Conventional sanyas is the last stage of life called sanyas ashrama in which a person who is old gives up everything and proceeds to forest to lead a monastic life and pursues meditation and knowledge. It is an elaborate ritualistic procedure.

As if knowing Arjuna’s state of mind and intention behind asking this question, Sri Krishna makes a departure from conventional sanyas. He first mentions different views. Sages consider sanyas as giving up all actions motivated by desire and some wise persons consider tyaga as giving up fruits of action. Some wise persons hold that all actions have a measure of evil and should be given up. Others think that actions in the form of sacrifice, austerity and charity should not be given up. These views are not of Sri Krishna for he presents a view different from above stated views at least partially. Even though renunciation is generally associated with possessions and relationship, it also includes giving up action. In fact, it is difficult to be without doing anything. In one sense, it is impossible because being idle is also a type of action. Moreover, for maintenance of body, one must perform action.

According to scriptures there are five types of karma: (1) Vihita karma or compulsory duties, (2) Kamya karma or sakama karma or optional activities, (3) Nisiddha karma or prohibited activities, (4) Prayaschitta karma- remedial action to neutralize a nisiddha karma (5) Naimithi karma- occasional duties according to situation. Some scholars say that (2) to (5) or at least (2) to (4) should be given up, retaining only (1) or at the most (1) and (5). (1) and (5) can be done for material benefit or spiritual growth. when I do my duty towards my children, expecting material benefits, it is materialistic motive. When done as duty without expecting anything, it gives inner growth and is spiritual.

In 18(4), Sri Krishna clarifies that there is no difference between sanyas and tyaga and they are of three types, sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sacrifice, charity, and austerity purify mind and should not be given up. They should be done without being attached to their fruits. Such actions are considered high. Actions with motive and prohibited actions should be given up, but obligatory actions should not be given up.

If obligatory duties are given up due to ignorance and delusion, such renunciation is tamasic. If they are given up because they are difficult, requires effort and may be painful, then such renunciation is rajasic. In contrast to rajasic and tamasic renunciation, sattvic renunciation is one in which one performs obligatory duties without being attached to fruits of action. Karma yoga is sattvic renunciation. A karma yogi is a renunciate as he is not attracted to favourable result of action nor is he repulsive to unfavourable result of action. He is firm in his neutral attitude. It is effortless, spontaneous. A karma yogi is aware that preservation of body requires action. Action cannot and need not be given up. Renunciation is effective and serves its purpose if attachment to fruit of action is given up. The notion of agreeable, disagreeable, and neutral fruits of action after death has relevance to a non- renunciate and a pseudo- renunciate. They have no relevance to a true renunciate.
Contd Pt14