Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 5 (Part-2) Karma Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Renunciation of Action

naadatte kasyachit paapam na chaiva  sukritam vibhuh
    ajnaanenaavritam jnaanam tena muhyanti  jantavah  // 5.15 //

Nor  does the all-pervading Spirit take on the merit or demerit of any. Knowledge is  enveloped in ignorance and hence beings get deluded.

The  Supreme who is all-pervading (Vibhu) and underlying in all of life’s activities  cannot be considered to take note of all the activities that are happening in  the finite world. From the point of view of the Infinite, the finite does not  exist.

When  the sun light passes through a plane glass it comes out clearly but if it  passes through a prism it emerges as seven colors which are part and parcel of  the same sun light. Similarly the Self passing through Knowledge emerges out as  the Self which is all-pervading. But when the same Self passes through  ignorance i.e. body, mind and intellect it gets itself split up into the  unending world of plurality.

As  there is neither day or night from the stand point of the sun, so there is  neither virtue nor vice from the standpoint of the Supreme whose nature is Existence-Knowledge  - Bliss absolute, Sat-Chit-Ananda. Through ignorance man separates  himself from the Lord and comes under the spell of ego. Thus he thinks of himself  as the agent of various works, good or evil and experiences pleasure and pain  accordingly. The law of Karma applies only to the embodied beings in the  relative world. When the aspirant becomes free from ignorance and realizes his  identity with the Lord, he goes beyond virtue and vice and is not affected by  the results of his actions.

Where  there is knowledge there is no place for ignorance and where there is ignorance  knowledge cannot exist. So the statement that knowledge is enveloped by  ignorance means that unveiling of truth is a process of removal of ignorance  and not creation of knowledge and therefore it is only a re-discovery.

jnaanena tu tadajnaanam yeshaam  naashitamaatmanah
    teshaam aadityavajjnaanam prakaashayati  tatparam  // 5.16 //

But  to those whose ignorance is destroyed by the Knowledge of the Self, that knowledge,  like the Sun, reveals the Supreme (Brahman).

In  the case of ordinary mortals the Self is screened of by ignorance or Avidya  whereas the man of realization is the one in whom the ignorance is removed by  Knowledge. Ignorance creates the egocentric concept which thrives in the body,  mind and intellect and is the root cause of all sufferings. When this ignorance  is destroyed by knowledge of the Self, the ego ends and the Self becomes  manifest just as the sun illuminates and reveals all the objects of the  physical universe when the clouds surrounding it move away.

Knowledge  is the very faculty of knowing. So when the ego re-discovers the Self it  becomes the Self. Therefore, the Self is awareness, consciousness or the Atman.


tadbuddhayas tadaatmaanas tannishthaas  tatparaayanaah
    gacchantyapunaraavrittim jnaana  nirdhoota kalmashaah  // 5.17 //

Fixing  their minds on Him, at one with Him, abiding in Him, realizing Him alone as the  Supreme Goal, they reach a state, from which there is no return, their sins  having been destroyed by their Knowledge.

They  fix their intellect on the Supreme Self.   They feel and realize their identity with the Self.  By constant meditation they get established  in the Self. The whole world of names and forms cease to exist for them. They  live in the Self alone.  They have the  Self alone as their goal.  They rejoice  in the Self alone. They are satisfied in the Self alone.  Such men never return to this world as their  sins or impurities (vasanas) are removed by knowledge.

The  import of this verse is that Self-Realization is the final experience in the  process of evolution whereby the Soul of an illumined person does not return to  the relative world to assume a physical body. He does not come again under the  sway of maya.


vidyaavinaya sampanne braahmane gavi  hastini
    shuni chaiva shvapaake cha panditaah  samadarshinah  // 5.18 //

The  wise see the same in all - whether it be a Brahmana endowed with learning and  humility, or a cow, or an elephant or a dog or an outcaste.

The  wise see divinities everywhere just like the ocean which does not make any  difference between one wave and the other. He finds no distinction in the world  of names and forms. The liberated sage has equal vision as he recognizes the  Self everywhere.

The  Self is not affected by any limiting factors as it is subtle, pure, formless  and attributeless just as the sun's rays fall on the river Ganga, on the ocean  and on the dirty canal and yet the sun's purity and splendor are not spoilt by  the quality of water on which its rays fall. The limiting adjuncts do not  affect the Supreme Self just as the outer space is not affected by the pot,  cloud etc. The Brahmin is Sattwic, the cow is Rajasic, the elephant, the dog  and the down trodden are Tamasic. But the wise see in all of them one  homogeneous immortal Self that is not affected by any of the three Gunas. This  is the quality of equal mindedness of the wise.

ihaiva tairjitah sargo yeshaam saamye  sthitam manah
    nirdosham hi samam brahma tasmaad  brahmani te sthitaah  // 5.19 //

Even  here (on earth) the created world is overcome by those whose mind is  established in unity. Brahman is flawless and the same in all. Therefore these  persons are indeed established in Brahman.

Created  or relative world means all bondages of birth, death etc. All possibilities of  bondage are destroyed when the mind attains perfect evenness which in other  words means becoming Brahman.

Perfection  is not an idealism that has to be realized in the heavens only after death. Contrary  to this vague expectation, Sri Krishna asserts that the relative existence of  bondage can be ended and the imperfect individual can be made to live in the  Consciousness of God and can come out of one's ego sense in this life itself,  in this very body and among the very same worldly objects.

The  method of achieving this goal is stated in the verse as the one whose mind  rests in evenness and gains the Divine tranquility.  Where the thought flow is arrested there the  mind ends.  Where the mind ends, which is  the instrument through which life expresses itself as ego, the sense of  separate existence also ends and the egocentric slavery of samsar ceases.  The ego, devoid of samsaric sorrows, rediscovers itself to be none other than  the Self Itself.

Such  persons who have conquered their minds and live in perfect harmony in all  conditions of life and its relationships are indeed aware of their identity with  Brahman who is even, ever-perfect and uncontaminated though indwelling in all  pure and impure bodies.

Brahman  is all pervading and homogeneous.   Everything happens in it and nothing happens to it. Thus the Truth is  changeless just as a river-bed remains motionless though water flowing on it is  ever changing. The substratum is changeless and remains the same but the  superimpositions and manifestations will change by their very nature. An  individual with his identification with body, mind and intellect is changing  factor but the Substratum, the Self, remains the same.

The  Lord says that a mortal who can maintain his equanimity under all conditions is  indeed the one who rests in Brahman i.e. aware of Brahman.

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