Gita Rahasya -Tilak 398

Srimad Bhagavadgita-Rahasya OR Karma-Yoga-Sastra -Bal Gangadhar Tilak


sarvesam yah suhrn nityam sarvesam ca hite ratah I

karmana manasa vaca sa dharmam veda jajale II [1][2]

That school of thought according to which nothing remains to be done by way of duty after a man has acquired the Knowledge of the Brahman and his mind has become extremely equable and desireless, and according to which a Jnanin should, on that account, give up entirely the painful and insipid activities of a transient worldly life with an apathetic frame of mind, can never think that the Karma-Yoga, or the mode of life appropriate to the state of a householder, is a science which deserves consideration. They admit that before a man takes Samnyasa, his Mind must have been purified and Know- ledge acquired ; and they, therefore, admit that one must lead one's worldly life in a way which will purify the Mind and make it sattvika. But, if one believes that leading the worldly life till death is foolish, and considers it to be the highest duty of everyone in this life to renounce the world (take Samnyasa) as early as possible, Karma-Yoga has no in- dependent importance; and the scholars, who belong to the School of Renunciation, do not trouble to deal with the question of the doable and the not-doable in the state of a householder, beyond, concisely and when occasion arises, considering how one should lead one's worldly life, and advising that one should go up the ladder of the four states of life (asrama) described by Manu and other philosophers and reach as quickly as possible the last step of that ladder, namely, of Samnyasa. That is why Srimat Samkaracarya, who was the principal protagonist of the Path of Renuncia tion in the Kaliyuga, has is his commentary on the Gita either belittled the statements in the Gita advising Energism, or considered them to be merely laudatory, and drawn the ultimate conclusion of the Gita that the whole of it has supported the doctrine of the Abandonment of Action (karma- samnyasa) ; or why other commentators have, consistently with their own doctrines, stated the import of the Gita to be that the Blessed Lord advised Arjuna on the battle-field to follow only the renunciatory paths of Release, namely, the path of pure Devotion, or the Patanjala-Yoga.

There is no doubt that the Knowledge of the Absolute Self included in the Path of Renunciation is faultless; and that the equability of Reason, or the desireless state of mind produced by it, is acceptable to and admitted by the Gita. Nevertheless, the opinion of the Samnyasa school, that one must entirely abandon Action in order to obtain Release is not acceptable to the Gita ; and I have shown in detail in the last chapter that the most important doctrine laid down by the Gita is, that the Jnanin must, even after the acquisition of Knowledge, perform all the activities of life, with the help of the feeling of indifference to the world and the equability of mind, which results from the Realisation of the Brahman.


References And Context

  1. "That man, who, by his actions, by his mind, and by his speech is continually engrossed in the welfare of others, and who is always a friend of others, he alone, Jajali, may be said to have understood what Morality (dharma) is ".
  2. Mahabharata, Santi. 261. 9.

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