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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita Summary > Gita 05 Karma Sannyasa Yoga

Title: Chapter 5 Karma Sannyasa Yoga

User: Bhushan Nityananda dasa     Date: 2007-06-11 19:48:48


C H A P T E R   F I V E

Summarized & Narrated into Question Answer Form

Based on the Commentary of Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti

By Purnachandra dasa prabhu ACBSP

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by writing to Purnacandra dasa, Radha-Krishna Temple, 10 Soho Street, London W1, U.K.


Arjuna:  Should a person who has acquired knowledge work or not work?


First, You asked me to renounce work and then You recommended karma yoga which means working. Please tell me which is the best path to follow?




Krishna:  Both are beneficial but karma-yoga is better because if one in knowledge works, one's knowledge and realisation will deepen.  But a sannyasi who renounces work, and later finds that he's really not so detached, should remove the impurity in his heart through working.  How-ever, work is forbidden for sannyasis.  Therefore there could be difficulty on this path. But when one has knowledge, he will automatically renounce and become situated in detachment.  Therefore, because there is no risk on the path of work, karma-yoga is superior.




Arjuna:  But shouldn't one strive for sannyasa, renunciation and ultimately liberation?




Krishna:  One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his work is always renounced.  Such a pure-hearted worker is always a sannyasi.  By working he will attain realisation of the self.  You are Mahabaho --- one with mighty arms --- therefore, you will be able to conquer the city of liberation.  Intelligent people see no difference between the path of karma-yoga and jnana-yoga.  Their results are one and the same.  Only children consider them to be different.  One who knows that the position reached by jnana-yoga can also be attained by karma-yoga sees correctly.  However, merely renouncing activities yet not engaging in karma-yoga brings distress because to become a sannyasi, one's heart must be completely purified.




Arjuna:  Why distress?




Krishna:  Because the sannyasi has senses like all of us, and since he does not work, any little impurity becomes a problem.  But for the karma-yogi working is pleasurable.  The process of purifying the heart for a karma-yogi is working with the senses.  Sannyasa is difficult because one must give up the work of the senses.  Impurities in the heart will make sannyasa problematic but a karma-yogi achieves the supreme realisation without such difficulty.




Arjuna:  Please tell me more about the karma-yogi.




Krsna:  One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses is dear to everyone and everyone is dear to him.   Though always working, such a person is never entangled.  A person in divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, and eating, always knows within that he actually does nothing at all.  Because while speaking, or opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.  And even if a person has some false ego, as long as he performs his duty without attachment, he is still unaffected by sinful reactions as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.




The karma yogis, although detached, act with the body, the mind, the intelligence and even with the senses, but only for the purpose of purification.  They give up the fruits of their work and achieve peace in self realisation.  Such a yogi resides in the body as one resides in a city, but he does not think that he is the city. A living being who has developed knowledge knows that he is not the doer.  He performs actions but he does not think himself to be the doer.  He does not create activities nor does he order others to act, nor does he create the fruits of action.




Arjuna:  Then who is acting, if he is not?




Krishna:  The modes of material nature, Arjuna.




Arjuna:  But the material nature is controlled by the Lord.  Is He responsible for our actions?




Krishna:  No, the Supreme Lord does not assume anyone's sinful or pious activities, but the embodied beings become bewildered because of ignorance which covers their real knowledge.  However, when one is enlightened then that knowledge reveals everything as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.  When one's intelligence, mind, faith and refuge are all fixed in the Supreme, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings through complete knowledge and proceeds straight on the path of liberation.  At that point, such sages, by virtue of their true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater. Their minds are established in equanimity. Thus they have already conquered the conditions of birth and death.  They are flawless and impartial because they are situated in Brahman.




Arjuna:  How should such a person act, Krishna?




Krishna:  He should neither rejoice upon achieving something pleasant, nor lament upon obtaining something unpleasant. He must be self-intelligent, unbewildered, and know the science of God. Such a liberated person is not attracted to sense pleasures but is always in trance. He enjoys pleasure within because he concentrates on the Supreme.  He never takes part in the sources of misery which are due to contact with the material senses. He knows that such pleasures have a beginning and an end and so does not delight in them.




Arjuna:  How long must he tolerate the senses and their urges?




Krsna:  If he is able to tolerate sensual urges and control desires and anger untill giving up this body, he is successful and is happy in this world.  One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within, and whose aim is inwards, is actually the perfect mystic and he obtains the Supreme.  Those who are free from lust and anger, who have full control over the mind and are constantly endeavouring for perfection are assured of liberation in the very near future.




Arjuna:  How can one do it?




Krsna:  By shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the vision concentrated between the eyebrows, suspending the breaths and controlling the mind, a yogi can become free from desire, fear and anger.  One who is always in this state is certainly liberated.  But ultimately, Arjuna, those who know that I am the beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the friend of all beings, attain peace from all miseries.