Bhagavad Gita- Chap 18(Part-2) Moksha Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

krishigaurakshyavaanijyam vaishyakarma swabhaavajam
    paricharyaatmakam karma shoodrasyaapi swabhaavajam  // 18.44 //

Agriculture,  cattle rearing and trade are the duties of the vaishya class born of their own nature;  action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudra class born of their own  nature.

The  duties of Vaishyas and Sudras are stated in this verse.

Thus  the mental temperament of a man determines what class he belongs to and each  class has been given a set of duties to perform in the world. If a man does a  type of work for which he is not fit temperamentally, chaos follows.

Each  class of people mentioned here has to work with a spirit of dedication for  their own evolution and sense of fulfillment. When each one works according to  Vasanas in him and fully devotes himself to the prescribed duties, he develops  within himself and attains gradually the State of Perfection.

It  is not a question of identical opportunities but equal opportunities for all  men to rise to the highest station in social life, for men differ in their  powers. Each one should have the opportunity of achieving his human fullness,  the fruits of wisdom and virtue, according to his effort and condition.

The  Varna rules recognize  that different men contribute to the general good in different ways. Society is  a functional organization and all functions which are essential for the health  of society are to be regarded as socially equal. Individuals of varying  capacities are bound together in a living organic social system; the process is  not an attempt to achieve uniformity, which is impossible, but at an integrated  variety. All men are not equal in their capacities but all men are equally  necessary for society and their contributions from their different stations are  of equal value.

swe swe karmanyabhiratah samsiddhim labhate narah
    swakarmaniratah siddhim yathaa vindati tacchrinu //  18.45 //

Each  man, devoted to his own duty, attains perfection. How he attains perfection  while being engaged in his own duty, hear now.

Within  the power of our nature, we must live up fully to our duty. By thus working in  the field ordered by one's own vasanas, renouncing ego and its desires and with  a spirit of dedication and total surrender to the Infinite, mind's evolution  starts. How this is achieved is explained in the following verses.


yatah pravrittirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam
    swakarmanaa tamabhyarchya siddhim vindati maanavah  // 18.46 //

He  from whom all the beings have evolved and by whom all this is pervaded, by  worshipping Him through the performance of his own duty, man attains  perfection.

When  a man acts according to his Swabhava and Swadharma he can attain joy and relief  only when he learns to work and achieve in a spirit of total self-surrender.

From  whom all beings evolved and by whom all is pervaded: Body, mind and intellect  are by themselves inert. They can discharge their functions only if they are  prompted by Consciousness. To remember constantly that Consciousness - the  Atman - which makes the activities to happen through the body equipments is to  become a witness to all the agitations in life without getting agitated.

Work  becomes worship, by aligning the mind through the performance of activity, to  the consciousness of the Self. This change of attitude towards work removes  drudgery in work situations converting dreariness into meditation. Sri Krishna  says by so performing one's own duties one can attain the highest Perfection.  Apart from yielding the reward work itself becomes a fulfillment and the doer  becomes an integrated personality.

shreyaanswadharmo vigunah paradharmaat swanushthitaat
    swabhaavaniyatam karma kurvannaapnoti kilbisham // 18.47  //

Better  is one's own duty though imperfectly carried out than the duty of another well performed.  He who does the duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin.

This  theme was discussed in Ch.3.35 also. It is no use employing our minds in tasks  which are contrary to our nature. Every one has his place and everything has a  purpose in the scheme of things for each can do something which the others  cannot do so well. In each of us lies a principle of divine expression. It is  our real nature, Swabhava, finding partial expression in our various  activities. By following its guidance in our thought, aspiration and endeavor,  we progressively realize the intention of the Spirit for us.

sahajam karma kaunteya sadoshamapi na tyajet
    sarvaarambhaa hi doshena dhoomenaagnirivaavritaah  // 18.48 //

One  should not abandon, O Kaunteya, the duty suited to one's nature, though it may  be defective, for all undertakings are clouded by defects, as the fire by smoke.

The  factors that determine our actions are the temperaments and the environment  that bring forth new tendencies in us. Sri Krishna indicates that a spiritual  seeker must constantly strive to stand apart from the effects of environments  as the man is a master of his circumstances.

The  statement that all actions are clouded by defects as fire by the smoke means  that actions are always blended with `I am the doer sense' which creates new  vasanas and therefore they are full of defects. This defect is as much  unavoidable as the smoke in fire. As ventilation reduces the impact of the  smoke the more we concentrate on the Consciousness Divine, the less will be the  assertion of ego and egocentric desires in us and therefore the work we  undertake will be purified to that extent.


asaktabuddhih sarvatra jitaatmaa vigatasprihah
    naishkarmyasiddhim paramaam sannyaasenaadhigacchati  // 18.49 //

He  whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has subdued his self, from whom  desire has fled, he, by renunciation, attains the supreme state of freedom from  action.

The  Gita is not tired of repeating that restraint and freedom from desire are  essential to spiritual perfection. Attachments to objects, a sense of ego, are  the characteristics of our lower nature. If we are to rise to knowledge of our  true Self, we must conquer our lower nature with its ignorance and inertia, its  love of worldly possessions, etc.

The  state of actionlessness or transcending all work does not mean complete withdrawal  from all work. Such a question is not possible so long as we live in the body.  The Gita insists on inner renunciation. As the ego and nature are akin, the  liberated soul becoming Brahman, the Pure Self, described as silent, calm, and  inactive, acts in the world of Prakriti, knowing what the latter is.

The  highest state is here described, not positively as entering into The Lord but  negatively as freedom from Kama, Desire.

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