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3.36. What is Karma? Karma is the connection between the cause and the effect.

3.37. Cause is inert so it has no ability to automatically produce an effect. It is the karma that transforms the cause into effect.

3.38. Karma too is inert. So it attaches itself to a person, an Aatma so it can function. Thus a person and his karma are inseparable.

3.39. Each person/entity that has manifested in this universe inexorably keeps working until exhausted.

3.39a. Then death and disappearance results.

3.40. This entire universe is a huge machine with countless parts working feverishly, with some newly born and some ready to die.

3.41. From the smallest amoeba to the mammoth Brahma that includes animals, vegetation, humans, sun, moon, stars are all jeevas.

3.42. But everyone has only one role in this scheme of thing viz. to perform karma. So the entire universe is a gigantic karma machine!

3.43. Then again karma is inseparable with the aatma that is seen as born and dead – therefore called jeevatma – so universe is Aatma per se!

3.43a. We call this Bramhaanda as Paramaatma.

3.44. Because of karma that follows the jeeva, he comes back into the world with roles that can be seen as a promotion or a demotion.

3.45. Injunction or vidhis are enumerated in the Veda for each Varna and Ashrama adhering to which is considered Dharma.

3.46. Dhaarmic karma ensures one to avoid sin and earn puNya that in turn earns him sukham.

3.46a. Adharmic karma in turn brings to him dhukkam.

3.47. The fact remains that karma keeps pushing this jeeva back into this world again and again as a cog in the wheel.

3.48. शास्त्रस्य प्रवृत्तिनिवृत्तिविषयभूते द्वे बुद्धी भगवता निर्दिष्टे, साङ्‍ख्ये बुद्धिः योगे बुद्धिः इति च ।

3.49. What has been delineated above is called Pravrthi Lakshanam or Vedic law of works known as Yoga. Attachment forms the central part of it.

3.50. The Vedic law that deals with means of escaping from samsaara is known as Nivrthi Lakshanam or Samkhya. Detachment forms its central part.

3.51. इति कर्मैव कर्तव्यमुक्तवान् योगबुद्धिमाश्रित्य, न तत एव श्रेयःप्राप्तिम् उक्तवान् ।

3.52. In Gita 2.47 Bhagavan told Arjuna कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन । मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ ४७ ॥

3.53. “You have a right to work only but not to its fruit.”

3.54. Bhagavan exhorted Arjuna to perform work as a matter of duty depending on the intelligence of Yoga.

3.55. But he did not affirm that by doing so he will get the highest good viz. Liberation.

3.56. This did not enthuse Arjuna rather he was dejected at the prospect of painfully working without reward.

3.57. This should remind us of biblical 10 commandments that dictates obedience on pain of eternal damnation.

3.58. To assuage the misgiving Bhagavan introduced him the the discipline of the intelligence of Samkhya.

3.59. Samkhya is the direct cause of the highest good for a devotee and a seeker after liberation from eternal karma birth after birth.

3.60. Yet Krishna goaded on Arjuna to plunge into karma, the well-known source of numerous evils, yet not a means to liberation.

3.61. Thus Karma Yoga begins with a valid question by Arjuna in 3.1.


अर्जुन उवाच —

ज्यायसी चेत्कर्मणस्ते मता बुद्धिर्जनार्दन ।

तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव ॥ १ ॥ (3.1)

3.63. Arjuna said: O Krishna! If you think that knowledge is superior to work, then why do you bid me to undertake this fearful work of war?

3.64. Some people think that the doctrine of Bhagavat Gita is the synthesis of knowledge and work.

3.65. They do not agree that liberation is possible by knowledge alone. So they insist on observing vedic karmas first before pursuing knowledge.

3.66. If kaarmic rites prescribed in the Veda is asserted as not to be abandoned they do not explain why the Lord imparted Nivrithi dharma at all.

3.67. Then this synthesis advocates come up with the idea that the liberation through knowledge is applicable to all except the Grihasta the house-holder.

3.68. If all but the Grihasta could abandon smriti and sruti enjoined works, would those work too not fall on Grihasta who is forbidden from abandonment of works?

3.69. Would that not unduly burden the Grihasta? Can the Lord suggest such inequitable road to liberation?

3.70. In all Upanishads, Itihasas, Puranas and Yoga-texts renunciation of work has been laid down as obligatory on all seekers of liberation.

3.71.‘पुत्रैषणाया वित्तैषणायाश्च लोकैषणायाश्च व्युत्थायाथ भिक्षाचर्यं चरन्ति’ (बृ. उ. ३-५-१)

3.72. For eg. in B.U.3.5.1. it is said: “Overcoming the desire for sons, wealth, and worlds they take to life of mendicancy.”

3.73. ‘न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः’ (तै. ना. १२)

3.74. Mahanarayana Upanishad says: “Not by works, nor by progeny nor by wealth but by renunciation alone immortality can be achieved.

3.75. ‘ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेत्’ (जा. उ. ४) One should abandon from the station of bachelorhood itself. (Jaabala Upanishad)

3.76. So the idea of combination of work and knowledge cannot be advocated by the Lord as claimed by the synthesists.

3.77. Karmas are bound by causality. Every karma thus has an effect. But emancipation is not an effect. Seekers stand to gain nothing from work.

3.78. The argument that works have to be done to avoid sin of omission is futile for only non-renouncers may incur sin.

3.79. The renouncer has walked away from the pursuit of worldly gains unlike the non-renouncer whose avowed aim is to seek wealth & progeny.

3.80. No sin exists in the liberated and those in pursuit thru knowledge. Therefore a sin is a non-being there.

3.81. It is impossible to assume that a positive entity like sin of omission will spring from a state of non-existence.

3.82. ‘कथमसतः सज्जायेत’ (छा. उ. ६-२-२) Chandogya raises the question: “How can being arise from non-being?” (Ch.U 6.2.2.)

3.83. यदि विहिताकरणात् असम्भाव्यमपि प्रत्यवायं ब्रूयात् वेदः, तदा अनर्थकरः वेदः अप्रमाणमित्युक्तं स्यात् ; विहितस्य करणाकरणयोः दुःखमात्रफलत्वात् ।

3.84. If however the Veda were to assert the birth of inconceivable sin of omission from the non-performance of work 1/3

3.85. it would tantamount to assertion that the troublesome Veda is no source of valid knowledge. 2/3

3.86. Then the conclusion is that what Veda prescribes whether carried out or not is a source of pain only. 3/3

3.87. Such claim of systhesis would make our Veda a false doctrine and it is not acceptable.

3.88. So the plea for systhesis of knowledge and work is untenable.

3.89. Arjuna’s question “Why Krishna! do you bid me to do this dreadful work?” is not supposed to imply that the Lord meant a synthesis of work and renunciation, nor the Lord was willing to tell Arjuna not to practice knowledge, so superior to works.

3.90. Can a person therefore practice the contradictory disciplines of Gnana and Karma at one and the same time?

3.91. The reasonable way to put it is that the Lord has said the opposing disciplines of knowledge and work cannot be practiced simultaneously.

3.92. It would also go to show only different persons could practice the discipline of work and of knowledge as the result of the two are opposites.

3.93. Work leads to the world of samsara and knowledge leads to the liberation from it. So simultaneous practice of them is absurd.

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