Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 (Part-4) Saankhya Yogah- Yoga Of Knowledge


buddhiyukto  jahaateeha ubhe sukrita dushkrite
    tasmaad  yogaaya yujyaswa yogah karmasu kaushalam // 2.50 //

Endowed  with evenness of mind, one casts off in this very life both good and evil deeds.   Therefore, devote yourself to Yoga (of equanimity); skill in action lies  in the practice of this Yoga.

A  person, endowed with equanimity becomes free from virtue and vice. In such a  state while living in the world, he detaches himself from the trappings of the  world and remains untouched by virtue and sin. Virtue and vice accrue to a  person when he identifies himself with the body, the unreal. If he does not so  identify himself, virtue and vice have no effect on him.

Therefore,  Krishna says ‘devote yourself to the yoga of equanimity’ i.e. remain  continuously even-minded through realization of God. If a man performs his  duties, maintaining this evenness, then his mind rests on God all the while.  Work that otherwise enslaves, becomes a means to freedom when performed with  evenness of mind. Work becomes worship. Skill in action, therefore, lies in the  practice of this equanimity (of yoga) in success and failure. It should be  noted that here Krishna does not define Yoga as skill in action but explains  the importance of Yoga (equanimity) in action. Otherwise, the action of a thief  carried out skillfully also can come within the meaning of the Yoga which will  be obviously ridiculous.


karmajam  buddhiyuktaa hi phalam tyaktwaa maneeshinah
    janmabandha  vinirmuktaah padam gacchantyanaamayam // 2.51 //

The  wise, possessed of equanimity, having abandoned the fruits of their actions and  being freed from the fetters of birth, attain the state that is beyond all evil  (reaches the blissful supreme state).

Clinging  to the fruits of actions creates vasanas to exhaust which one has to get into  the cycle of births and deaths.  If  actions are performed as a dedication to the God in fulfillment of his purpose,  without desire for the fruits, one is released from the bonds of birth and  death and attains bliss. Birth and death is called bondage because it is the  result of action in a previous life.

The  wise i.e those who know the art of true living undertake all work with evenness  of mind (renouncement of ego) and abandoning the anxiety for the fruits of  their actions (renouncement of ego-motivated desires). Thereby, they have no  occasion to enter into the cycle of birth and death as there are no vasanas  left in them for fulfillment.

Such  an entity who is called a Karma Yogin will attain bliss i.e. the state which is  beyond all evils. As knowledge is superior to action, the implication is that  selfless actions purify the mind and prepare the individual for higher  meditations through which he ultimately discovers himself as the Self which  lies beyond all blemish. This is also called as Buddhi Yoga.


yadaa  te mohakalilam buddhir vyatitarishyati
    tadaa  gantaasi nirvedam shrotavyasya shrutasya cha // 2.52 //

When  your mind crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then you shall achieve  indifference regarding things already heard and things yet to be heard (about  enjoyments of this world or the next).

Delusion  is the non-discrimination between the Self and the non-Self or ego and it turns  the mind towards the sense objects. This is the state which favors egoism in  this body and attachment for the body, family, kinsmen and objects. When the  man gets entangled in this slough of delusion, he is perplexed and therefore  cannot think properly.

When  the intellect crosses over this delusion and attains purity of mind one  develops disgust and indifference regarding things heard (enjoyed) and those  yet to be heard (to be enjoyed in future). The things known and yet to be known  being finite in nature are considered futile. The means to achieve this goal  are by discrimination between the real and the unreal and selfless service.

The  words `things heard and yet to be heard' mean all the sense-organs oriented  experiences already undergone and those that are yet to be experienced.  Logically when the intellect becomes purer, it loses all its infatuation, fascination  and attraction for the sense experiences that it had before and that may arise in  future.

A  question may arise how long this process of attaining freedom will take? The  answer is that it is not a question of time. Freedom refers to the experience  which can be attained at any moment, the only condition being the  desirelessness of the aspirant or absence of attachment to objects attained or  attainable.


shrutivipratipannaa  te yadaa sthaasyati nishchalaa
    samaadhaavachalaa  buddhistadaa yogam avaapsyasi // 2.53 //

When  your mind, now perplexed by what you have heard, stands firm and steady in the  Self, then you will have attained Yoga or Self-Realization.

The  mind gets agitated due to the continuous stimuli it receives from the external  world through the sense organs. When an individual in spite of such  disturbances and agitations of the mind does not lose his cool, inner serenity  and equipoise, and remains concentrated in the knowledge of the Self, he is considered  as having attained Yoga or Samadhi or Self Realization (God-Consciousness).

Samadhi  is not the loss of consciousness but the highest kind of consciousness wherein  the object with which the mind is in communion is the Divine Self which is the  result of the discrimination between the Self and the Non-Self, the Real and  the Unreal.

We  must act with equanimity which is more important than the action itself. The  question is not what shall we do but how shall we do and with what spirit shall  we do? While Karma implies action, Buddhi implies how to act. Buddhiyoga is the  method by which we go beyond Vedic Ritualsim and do our duty without any  attachment for the results of our actions.

Sri  Krishna's advice made so far reduces the dejection in Arjuna and induces him to  seek clarifications from Him as to what are the characteristics of the man who  has attained wisdom through Samadhi. This is dealt with in next chapter.

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