of both. That place which is reached by the Sankhyas or the Jnanis is reached by the (Karma) Yogis. He sees who sees knowledge and the performance of action (Karma Yoga) as one. But renunciation, O mighty-armed Arjuna, is hard to attain without Yoga; the
The liberated sage always remains as a witness of the activities of the senses as he identifies himself with the Self. He who performs actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water. Yogis, having abandoned attachment, perform actions only by the body, mind, intellect and also by the senses, for the purification of the self. The united one (the well poised or the harmonised), having abandoned the fruit of action, attains to the eternal peace; the non-united only (the unsteady or the unbalanced), impelled by desire and attached to the fruit, is bound. Mentally renouncing all actions and self-controlled, the embodied one rests happily in the nine-gated city, neither acting nor causing others (body and senses) to act. Neither agency nor actions does the Lord create for the world, nor union with the fruits of actions; it is Nature that acts. The Lord accepts neither the demerit nor even the merit of any; knowledge is enveloped by ignorance, thereby beings are deluded. But, to those whose ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the Self, like the sun, knowledge reveals the Supreme (Brahman). Their intellect absorbed in That, their self being That; established in That, with That as their supreme goal, they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled by knowledge. Sages look with an equal eye on a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility, on a cow, on an elephant, and even on a dog and an outcaste. Even here (in this world) birth (everything) is overcome by those whose minds rest in
equality; Brahman is spotless indeed and equal; therefore, they are established in Brahman. Resting in Brahman, with steady intellect, undeluded, the knower of Brahman neither rejoiceth on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieveth on obtaining what is unpleasant. With the self unattached to the external contacts he discovers happiness in the Self; with the self engaged in the meditation of Brahman he attains to the endless happiness. The enjoyments that are born of contacts are generators of pain only, for they have a beginning and an end, O Arjuna! The wise do not rejoice in them. He who is able, while still here in this world to withstand, before the liberation from the body, the impulse born of desire and anger—he is a Yogi, he is a happy man. He who is ever happy within, who rejoices within, who is illumined within, such a Yogi attains absolute freedom or Moksha, himself becoming Brahman. The sages obtain absolute freedom or Moksha—they whose sins have been destroyed, whose dualities (perception of dualities or experience of the pairs of opposites) are torn asunder, who are self-controlled, and intent on the welfare of all beings. Absolute freedom (or Brahmic bliss) exists on all sides for those self-controlled ascetics who are free from desire and anger, who have controlled their thoughts and who have realised the Self. Shutting out (all) external contacts and fixing the gaze between the eyebrows, equalising
The Blessed Lord said:
“Behold, O Teacher, this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, thy wise disciple!
Seeing these, my kinsmen, O Krishna, arrayed, eager to fight, My limbs fail and my mouth is parched up, my body quivers and my hairs stand on end!
The (bow) “Gandiva” slips from my hand and my skin burns all over; I am unable even to stand, my mind is reeling, as it were.
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita,the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the first discourse entitled:
As the Gita contains subtle and profound teachings, you should study it under a qualified
teacher, one who is established in the Absolute. Only when studied with great and intense faith,
single-minded devotion and purity, will the truths contained therein be revealed unto you like a fruit
on the palm of your hand. Good commentaries written by realized sages will also be of immense
help to you.
Worldly-minded individuals, however intellectual they may be, cannot grasp the essential
teachings of the Gita. They enter into unnecessary discussions and useless debates. They cavil and
carp at the teachings. Such ignorant people say: “There is no intimate connection between the
verses. They are thrown in a disorderly manner. There is a great deal of repetition.” If they study the
book with reverence and faith under a qualified teacher all their doubts would vanish. They will
realize that there is a close connection between the verses in all the chapters. Repetitions in the Gita
and the Upanishads are useful repetitions. They are best calculated to create a deep and indelible
impression in the mind of the aspirant.
Lord Krishna speaks from different levels of consciousness. In the Gita the word
“Avyaktam” sometimes refers to primordial Nature and sometimes to the Absolute Para Brahman
also. Therefore, the help of a teacher is necessary if you wish to know the right significance of the
In the Kathopanishad the term “brick” is used to denote the gods. In the Hatha Yogic texts it
is stated: “At the junction of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga there is a young virgin”. The esoteric
meaning of this is that there is the Sushumna Nadi between the Ida and the Pingala. So, without the
help of a Guru, you will not be able to understand the proper meaning of the verses of the Gita. You
will be like the man who brought a horse to one who asked for saindava while taking food. The
word saindava means salt as well as horse!
Essence of the Gita
The Gita again and again emphasis’s that one should cultivate an attitude of non-attachment
or detachment. It urges repeatedly that an individual should live in the world like water on a lotus
leaf. “He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by
sin as a lotus leaf by water”—V.10.
Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is
born of Sattwa. The former is a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of
ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with
it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is
just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not
stumbling-blocks but steppingstones to success.
Try to dwell always in your own Self. Abide in your centre. Think of the Self constantly.
Then all attachments will die automatically. Attachment to the Lord is a potent antidote to
annihilate all worldly attachments. He who has no attachments can really love others, for his love is
pure and divine. “Therefore, without attachment do thou always perform action which should be
done; for, by performing action without attachment man reaches the Supreme”