Gita Rahasya -Tilak 325

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


It would not have been sufficient to say to Arjuna that after the Realisation of the Brahman, it is just the same whether one performs or does not perform Action [1] on the ground that a man, whose Reason has become equable towards all created beings as a result of Knowledge, is not affected by the merit or demerit of any Action [2], since Reason is superior to Action in all the affairs of life. The definite injunction of the Blessed Lord to Arjuna was: "Fight"! ( yudhyasva!), [3]; and it would be necessary to adduce some cogent reasons in support of this firm advice rather than placing before him the indecisive advice that it was-; just the same whether he fought or did not fight after he had acquired Realisation. Nay, the doctrine of the Gita has come into existence only in order to explain why a wise man must perform a particular act, notwithstanding that he sees before his eyes the terrible consequences of it; and this is indeed the most important feature of the Gita. If it is true that a man is bound by Action, whereas, he gets salvation by Knowledge, why should the person, who has acquired Knowledge, at all perform Action? Though the doctrines, that destruction of Karma (karma-ksaya) does not mean Abandonment of Action, that Action is annihilated by its being performed after one has given up the hope for the Fruit of the Action, and that it is not possible to give up every kind of Action etc., are true, yet,

it does not thereby conclusively follow, that one should not give up as much of Action as one can; and logically thinking, such a conclusion does arise. Because, as has been stated in the Gita, in the same way as it is no more necessary to go to a well for water, when water is to be found in all directions, so also has a scient no more to depend on Action for anything, after he has acquired that Knowledge, which can he acquired by the performance of Action [4], Therefore, Arjuna has said to Sri Krsna in the commencement of the third chapter as follows: if in Your opinion the desireless or equable frame of mind is superior to Action, I shall make my Reason pure like that of a Sthitaprajua; why do You compel me to perform a terrible act like war" ? [5], In reply to this question, the Blessed Lord has said that no one can escape Action etc., and in that way justified the doctrine of Action . But, if philosophy has prescribed the two paths of Samkhya (Renunciation) and Energism (Karma-Yoga), it follows naturally that after the acquisition of Knowledge, a man may follow whichever path he considers better. Therefore, in the commencement of the fifth chapter, Arjuna has again said to the Blessed Lord that He should not mix up the two courses of life, but should explain to him (Arjuna) in a definite way which of the two was superior [6]; if, after the acquisition of Knowledge, it was just the same whether Action was performed or not performed, he would perform Action or not perform it as he liked ; but, if performing Action was the better course of the two, the Blessed Lord should tell him the reason why that was so, so that, he would act according to His directions.


References And Context

  1. (Gi. 3. 18)
  2. (Gi. 4. 20, 21)
  3. (Gi. 2. 18)
  4. (Gl. 2. 46)
  5. (Gl. 3. 1)
  6. (Gl, 5. 1)