Bh Gita- Chapter 18(Pt-1) Moksha Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation


panchaitaani mahaabaaho kaaranaani nibodha me
    saankhye kritaante proktaani siddhaye sarva  karmanaam // 18.13 //

Learn  from Me, O mighty-armed Arjuna, these five factors, as declared in the Sankhya  doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions.

adhishthaanam tathaa kartaa karanam cha  prithagvidham
    vividhaashcha prithakcheshtaa daivam chaivaatra  panchamam / 18.14 /

(Body)  the seat  of action, (ego) the doer, the  various sense organs of perception ,the different functions of organs of  actions  and the presiding Deity also,  the fifth

shareeravaangmanobhiryat karma praarabhate narah
    nyaayyam vaa vipareetam vaa panchaite tasya hetavah  // 18.15 //

Whatever  action a man performs by his body, speech and mind, whether right or the  reverse, these five are its causes.

The  concept of work is analyzed in these verses. When it was told that action can  be done without egocentric desires and attachments to fruits the consequential  question is what constitutes action or work. Sri Krishna says that there are  five aspects of action or five-fold division of work which are already laid  down in the Sankhyan philosophy.

The  five components of action are  
•The body -Adhishthaanam -the gateway for the entrance and existence of stimuli  
•The ego -Karta- which seeks fulfillment of the action through the body  
•The organs of perception - Karanam - through which the inner personality comes into contact with the field of enjoyment and satisfaction  
•The organs of action and  
•the presiding deities of the organs of perception which make them work properly.

The  deities represent an unseen power other than the human factors. Each of the  sense organs is controlled by a reflection of Consciousness called Presiding  deity.

It  is this non-human factor that interferes and disposes of human effort. It is  the wise, all-seeing will that is at work in the world. In all human actions,  there is an unaccountable element which is commonly called luck, destiny, fate  or the force accumulated by the acts of one's past lives. It is called here daiva.

The  task of man is to drop a pebble in the ocean of time and he may not see the  ripple reach the other distant shore; he may plant the seed but he may not see  the harvest which lies in the hands higher than his own.

As  all the items listed above will have to function in a coordinated manner for  the accomplishment of any task undertaken, be it by the body, speech or mind or  whether they are right or wrong, they are called the causes of all actions.

tatraivam sati kartaaram aatmaanam kevalam tu yah
    pashyatyakritabuddhitwaan  na sa pashyati durmatih // 18.16 //

Such  being the case, the man of perverse mind who, owing to his untrained  understanding, looks upon the Pure Self as the doer, he does not see.

The  Self is always actionless. It is always the silent witness. But a man of  perverted understanding attributes agency to the pure Self as the doer because  of misapprehension of the facts. He equates the body with the Self because of  his lack of knowledge of the pure, actionless Self. Though he sees with his  physical eyes, he does not behold the one eternal essence which is the  substratum of everything.

yasya naahankrito bhaavo buddhiryasya na lipyate
    hatwaapi  sa imaam llokaan na hanti na nibadhyate // 18.17 //

He  who is free from the egoistic notion, whose understanding is not tainted (by  good or evil), though he slays these people, he slays not, nor is he bound (by  the action).

The  realm of matter is the field of activity and the life's sorrows and agitations  belong to it. Although the Spirit is independent of the field, because of Its  identification with the field It feels happy or unhappy according to the  condition of the field at any given moment. Similarly ego which is the result  of man's self projections and unhealthy contacts with the outside world is the  cause of man's sufferings. Therefore Sri Krishna says that those who have no  sense of egoism and whose intelligence is not vitiated by false values of  possession, acquisition etc. perform no action although they act.

The  statement `performing no action while acting' means that even while a man of  above mentioned temperament is acting in the world, such actions leave no  mental impressions (Vasanas) in him and he remains detached. An egoless man of  wisdom while working in any field is an expression of the Infinite Will and in  that attitude of surrender and dedication actions performed by him leave no  vasanas in him. Hence The Lord says `though he kills he does not kill'.

Thus  Arjuna is told that if he can act in the world without identifying with things  around him and does his duty in the consciousness of the Divine, even if he kills  his kith and kin, teachers etc. he would not be committing any crime and the  killings would not leave any murderous impressions in him.

In  a way we can say that the teachings of the Gita are concluded here. At the  beginning Sri Krishna stated the proposition: “The self slays not nor is slain”  (2.19) and gave the immutability of the Self as the reason (2.20). He also  briefly introduced the idea (2.21) that an enlightened person is not compelled  to engage in action and explained it in detail through the treatise. Now He  concludes His discourses by saying that “the wise man slays not nor is he  bound”.

The  essence of the teaching is this: A sannyasi is free from ego and identification  with the body. He renounces all actions because it is brought about by  ignorance of the true nature of the Self. Therefore the threefold fruit of  action – desirable, undesirable and mixed – does not affect him. It is only the  unenlightened man that is affected by it.

In  the following verses Sri Krishna explains why different people act differently  under different impulses and keep different basis for their actions. Each one  of these factors is divided under three categories of human nature viz. Sattvic,  Rajasic and Tamasic.


jnaanam jneyam parijnaataa trividhaa karmachodanaa
    karanam karma karteti trividhah karma sangrahah //  18.18 //

Knowledge,  the known (the object of knowledge) and the knower form the threefold incitement  to action; the instrument, the object and the agent form the threefold basis of  action.

The  threefold impulse that propels activity (Karma  Chodana) and also the basis of action (Karma  Sangraha) are explained here.

The  impulse to action is made up of Knowledge (Jnanam),  the Known (Jneyam) and the Knower (Parijnata). They indicate the  experience, the experienced and the experiencer respectively. No action is  possible without these three constituents. From the experiencer the impulse for  action comes out as a desire, from the experienced as a temptation and from the  experience as a memory of enjoyment.

The  basis of action comprises of the instruments of action in the form of organs of  perception, mind and understanding. The object of action is that which is  sought for and reached through action by the doer. The doer is in the form of  ego that sets the organs going.

Thus  an activity consists of 
•an agent having a desire 
•who maintains in his mind a clear picture of the end or the goal and  
•who possesses all the necessary instruments to act.

The  performance of an action, either to obtain or to avoid a thing, is possible  only when there is conjunction of these three; if any one of these items is  absent no activity can take place. All actions inhere in these three: the  instrument, the object and the doer; hence, they form the bases of action.

jnaanam karma cha kartaa cha tridhaiva gunabhedatah
    prochyate gunasankhyaane yathaavacchrinu taanyapi  // 18.19 //

Knowledge,  action and the doer (agent) are declared in the science of the Gunas to be of  three kinds, according to the distinction of the Gunas; hear them also duly.

Knowledge,  action and the actor or the doer fall under three categories because of  differences in the temperaments or Gunas in an individual at any given time.  These classifications are exhaustively discussed in the following verses.

Since  knowledge, action and the doer are characterized by the three Gunas, they fall  into the nature of Prakriti or Nature or Matter. They have no connection with  the Atman or the Self.

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