Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 108

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

Karma Yoga or the Method of Work

The path is one whole including different phases. Cp. "Such are the two modes of life, both of which are supported by the Vedas the one is the activistic path; the other that of renunciation.[1] The two modes of life are of equal value The teacher points out that jnana or wisdom is not incompatible with karma or action. S. admits that work is compatible with enlightenment. Work is adopted not as a means to the gaining of wisdom but as an example to the ordinary people. In the work of the en-lightened as in that of the teacher of the Gild, the self-sense and expectation of reward are absent.[2]

4. na karmanam anarambhan naiskarrnyam puruso 'snute
na ca samnyasanad eva siddhim samadhigacchati

(4) Not by abstention from work does a man attain freedom from action; nor by mere renunciation does he attain to his perfection.
Naiskarmya is the state where one is unaffected by work. The natural law is that we are bound by the results of our actions. Every action has its natural reaction and so is a source of bondage committing the soul to the world of becoming and preventing
its union with the Supreme through the transcendence of the world. What is demanded is not renunciation of works, but
renunciation of selfish desire.


References and Context

  1. ava imav atha panthanau yasmin vedan pratisthitith pratirttilaksano dharmaz niorttis ca vibhasitah.M.B.,santiparva, 240, 6.
  2. Abhinavagupta quotes this kriyarahitam jnanam na jnanarahita kriyajnunakriyavinispannah aceryah pa upataha.5.B.G., II, II.