Wednesday, December 7, 2011



Ch.3.Karma Yoga

Gita  is unnecessarily branded as a religious Book by many people, especially in the West. It is a highly scientific work – telling us timeless, scientific truths about excellence in all aspects of human living. If we miss Gita, we miss a lot in life. There can be no doubts about it. 

Listening to the deeper meanings and implications of each verse from Great masters of Gita is of course the ideal way to study Gita. But, short of that, seeing some of its choicest quotes and dwelling on them internally is also a great experience.

Let us first see a few opinions of eminent persons on Gita itself :
  • "When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." -Mahatma Gandhi
  • "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." - Albert Einstein
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity." - Aldous Huxley
  • "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial." - Henry David Thoreau
  • "The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." - Herman Hesse
  • "I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We have seen a few Great quotes from Gita (Ch.2. Samkhya Yoga) earlier at the URL :
Here are some great quotes now from Chapter.3. Karma Yoga. As you can see, almost nothing here, relates to the life beyond. All quotes are – how to live on earth and achieve excellence therein.

Ø  None can remain actionless even for a moment. We are all driven into action by the three Gunas in our nature. Gita.Ch.3.5.
Ø  It is hypocrisy to control the external action alone, when the mind is full of the sensual objects – Gita.Ch.3.6
Ø  Excel in action - by controlling the senses through the mind first – Gita.Ch.3.7
Ø  Action is superior to inaction. Even the mere maintenance of the body is not possible for the one who is inactive.  Therefore engage in action – Gita.Ch.3.8
Ø  Selfless Actions (otherwise called as Yajna) free you from Attachment. Selfish Actions bind you (to themselves by habit forming & enslaving). Therefore, do perform selfless actions (Yajna) – Ch.3.9
Ø  Selfless Actions were created for man to prosper – and they shall fulfill man’s desires.-Ch.3-10
Ø  Take care of the Forces of Nature (Gods) through selfless Actions. In turn, they will take care of you – Gita. Ch.3.11
Ø  One who enjoys selfishly what is given by the Forces of Nature – without, in turn, taking care of them – is a thief –
Ø  Those who cook only for themselves eat Sin. But, those who cook for selfless purpose, are freed from all Sin. –Gita.Ch.3.13
Ø  Food produces all beings. Rain produces food. Selfless actions (Yajna) produce rain. Action (Karma) produces Selfless actions or Yajna. Action itself arises from Brahma (creator) and Brahma arises from the ever imperishable (or Veda). The creator himself is ever immersed in Yajna. – Gita.Ch.3.14&15
Ø  One who is totally centred in the self (Soul, Atman) is however, freed from all obligatory duties (which are for the body-mind complex). For him, there is nothing to acquire by actions and nothing to lose by inaction– Gita.Ch.3.17 & 18
Ø  The highest Goal of man is always achieved by doing selfless action (Yajna) – Gita.Ch.3.19
Ø  What a Great man does, others follow his example – Gita.Ch.3.21
Ø  Lord Krishna says –There is nothing that I am yet to do or yet to attain. Yet I too engage in action. If I do not do so – people will follow the path of inaction  on my example–
Ø  Wise act selflessly for the good of the world. But, Unwise act selfishly (with attachment) –
Ø  Wise man must act selflessly always – to induce others also do likewise – Gita.Ch.3.26
Ø  The three Gunas (of Sathva, Rajas and Tamas) in the nature ( outside and inside man) are responsible for all Action. Not knowing this, man assumes doer-ship on himself, due to
Ø  One who knows the Gunas and their correlation with actions well – remains unattached to them. But, he must not unsettle the immature man with this knowledge – & 29
Ø  All beings, including the wise and unwise, follow their respective nature in their actions – Gita.Ch.3.33
Ø  In normal course of nature, likes and dislikes for respective sense objects occur in all of us. These are our big enemies. We must not come under their slavery – Gita.Ch.3.34
Ø  We may not know our duty well. Yet it is better to perform our own duty – rather than attempt to do others’ prescribed duties.-Gita.Ch.3.35
Ø  Rajoguna in us - gives rise to the all-consuming qualities of Kaama (desire) and Krodha (anger) in us – and these are our biggest enemies –
Ø  Wisdom gets enveloped and covered by desire – even in wise men and therefore desire remains our constant enemy. - Gita. Ch.3.39
Ø  Desire sits in our senses, emotions and the intellect – and deludes even the wise man, by veiling his wisdom. –
Ø  Mastering Senses –is the key to destroying this destroyer of one’s wisdom – namely, Desire – Gita, Ch.3.41
Ø  Senses are superior to Body. Mind is superior to senses. Intellect is superior to mind. The real self (Atman) is superior to Intellect – Gita.Ch.3.42
Ø  This enemy in the form of desire is very difficult to conquer. It is possible only by first restraining the SELF (from desire)  by the SELF itself, as the self is superior to the Intellect too. – Gita. Ch.3.43 

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  1. What a Great man does, others follow his example – This quote has been derived by Drawin after his research. In his way it could be said as
    "based on Darwin’s principle of natural selection. The idea is
    that in any population of self-reproducing organisms, there will be variations in the genetic material and
    upbringing that different individuals have. These differences will mean that some individuals are better able
    than others to draw the right conclusions about the world around them and to act accordingly. These individuals
    will be more likely to survive and reproduce and so their pattern of behavior and thought will come to dominate." (From "Breif history of Time" by Hawkin.

  2. Darwin is right about this. But, the question that remains is - why are some persons better than others? What causes this genetic selection? One explanation India offers is - Past Karma. Past Karma offers one the tools with which we can work in our current birth. But, these tools need not limit our efforts totally. We can surmount that karma by our current efforts. When Lord Krishna says, "karmanyeva adhikaarasthe", he meansthat, for all current karma, you have full rights and full responsibility. You must choose. Your previous Birth's Karma has offered you only certain tools. Use them and go beyond them too. So, it is always a combination of genetics, upbringing and current effort (karma) in life for our success/failure. Happiness is again an independent aspect. You can be as happy as you want - independent of what tools your past karma gave you. A beggar can be happier than the King. These are the secrets of Life that Gita teaches from different angles.

    Thanks for your insightful comments.