Sri Krishna explains the spirit of renunciation and the state of Supreme Being in more detail. The Self, Atman, though the primeval cause of all actions, is not at all liable for either the merit or demerit accruing from them. Though the Self enlivens the actions of all beings, it is neither the actor nor the action nor is it responsible for the fruits of action. Those ignorant of this relationship remain deluded in the world. But he whose ignorance has been removed by knowledge of the Self reaches the Supreme state from where there is no return. Thereafter, he maintains a universal vision of oneness and evenness towards everything he comes across in the world. Having reached that eternal state he has forever transcended the cycle of birth and death.
The Lord advises that renunciation precedes meditation and realization. Sensual enjoyments arising out of external contacts have a diminishing value and they culminate in sorrow. The very sight of sense objects inflames desires in people. Then they lose control and succumb to the lure of the sense objects. The wise understand the ephemeral nature of contact-born enjoyments and prevent any desire from developing into an uncontrollable force of momentum. Instead of indulging in such temporary bouts of sensual pleasure they divert their attention and interest to the Self within. Thus they free themselves gradually from desires, subdue their mind and turn introvert. They begin to revel in the bliss of the Self. When the mind is subdued and relatively peaceful it becomes fit for meditation. This chapter concludes with a few procedural details for practicing meditation and realizing the ultimate Self in oneself.
THE ENLIGHTENED SELF
sarvakarmaani manasaa sannyasyaaste sukham vashee
navadwaare pure dehee naiva kurvan na kaarayan // 5.13 //
Mentally renouncing all actions and fully subduing his senses, the embodied soul dwells happily in the city of nine-gates, neither acting nor causing others (body and the senses) to act.
Sanyas is not a mere physical escapism but a mental withdrawal from things which have no real significance. It is a state of mind and not an external symbol. Therefore one who has brought all his sense cravings under perfect control and renounced all his egocentric and desire prompted actions comes to live in peace, joy and contentment in the city of nine gates. City of nine gates means the body which has nine apertures in its physical form viz. two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, the genital and the excretory outlet without which life cannot be sustained. The Self within this physical structure activates the instruments of action and perception governing the life of all of them though by itself it does not perform any actions. Krishna says that such an individual, always identifying with the Self, observes the activities around him unaffected, unattached and without any agitations. Hence he neither acts nor causes others to act.
All actions in life (Karma) can be categorized as under.
•Nitya Karma - Obligatory duties such as daily prayers.
•Naimittika Karma - Actions to be performed on special occasions such as on birth of a child.
•Kamya Karma - Works intended for securing special ends such as for curing illness etc.
•Nishiddha Karma - Actions forbidden by scriptures like stealing and other crimes.
The enlightened soul refrains from all these actions and lives only for the sake of exhausting the prarabdha karma which has caused his present body. He lives happily established in Self-Knowledge. Unlike the ignorant, he does not identify himself with the body which is termed here as the city of nine gates. He neither acts nor causes others to act means that he is totally free from consciousness of ‘I’ ‘me’ or ‘mine’ and is free from the idea of acting or causing action. After the exhaustion of prarabdha karma his soul merges in Brahman.
IDEAS OF ACTION, ACTOR ETC, ARE DUE TO MAYA
na kartritwam na karmaani lokasya srijati prabhuh
na karmaphala samyogam swabhaavas tu pravartate // 5.14 //
The Lord creates neither agency nor actions for the world, nor does He bring about the union with the fruits of actions; but it is nature that does all this.
This verse gives a general definition of the concept of God. But the principle stated here is not that described in the ritualistic portion of the Vedas but a description of the relationship between the Self and the not-Self, the Atman and the matter.
The Supreme Self (Prabhuh) neither creates any sense of agency nor does it initiate any action. It does not match every action with its corresponding fruit.
However when the Self functions through the equipments - physical, mental and causal bodies - It becomes a conditioned Self and gathers to itself all the egocentric attitudes of agency, action and fruits etc.
Thus the beneficiary of the fruits and the performer of actions in us is the ego and not the Atman or the Self. The Self becomes an actor performing all actions only when it gets conditioned by `Swabhava'- nature or the Divine Maya made up of the three Gunas. The Self comes under the control of maya and regards itself as acting and enjoying the fruits of action. As long as the Self remains identified with maya it is bound. But when it detaches itself from maya it becomes free. Thus such ideas as those of duty, work and the result belong to the relative world. They have no relevance from the standpoint of the Supreme Lord. It is the Prakriti or nature that does everything.