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Bhagavadgeeta Verse 3.4

न कर्मणां अनारम्भात् नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषः अश्नुतॆ ।
न च संन्यसनात् ऎव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति ॥ ३.४ ॥

ನ ಕರ್ಮಣಾಂ ಅನಾರಂಭಾತ್ ನೈಷ್ಕರ್ಮ್ಯಂ ಪುರುಷಃ ಅಶ್ನುತೇ |
ನ ಚ ಸಂನ್ಯಸನಾತ್ ಏವ ಸಿದ್ಧಿಂ ಸಮಧಿಗಚ್ಛತಿ || ೩.೪ ||

na karmaNAM anAraMbhAt naiShkarmyaM puruShaH ashnutE |
na cha saMnyasanAt Eva siddhiM samadhigacChati || 3.4 ||

It cannot be that from the omission of duties the person attains release called Naishkarmya; nor by mere renunciation does he attain the accomplishment

In the first statement above, the word “purusha” means one who passes through bodies. If inaction alone could grant him moksha, it would mean that at some stage when he gets a body unfit for any activity he should get moksha after the decay of that body. Then it would be difficult to account for the present life.

The word “naishkarmya” has been used to indicate that moksha is unattainable by means of action prompted by desires.

The second statement means that by omission of duties the person cannot attain that which is to be reached by relinquishing actions attended with motives.

Hereby Sri Krishna means that “your view that inaction leads to release because the root of samsara would be thereby cut, cannot be maintained”

No one attains liberation by mere non-commencement of work nor does he attain redemption by mere asceticism.

This is another reason why one should engage in his own duty – as explained in “na karmanâ” shlôka.

“karmanâm” – by not performing war,

“nishkarmam” – action performed without expectation.

By not performing without expectation. By not performing war one will not obtain liberation (Môksha) which is obtained by performing action without expectation for results. Why? because Jîva is of the nature of Purusha (one who passes through bodies). By nature jîvas body is non-physical (not sthûla) and is minute (sûkshma). If one can get liberated by just not performing action, then all the trees and plants should get liberated.

In this long and old cycle of transmigration at the least everybody would have got such a body (of tree) at the least once. So every one would have got liberated and it is not possible for the present world to exist. Therefore inaction is not the means to liberation. It is wrong to say that by non performing action one will get rid of all the results of action and in-turn will get liberated. How is it that one will get rid of the results of action by not performing action in this life when they have performed action in their past life? It is not possible to say by experiencing these results. A person in one life commits action whose results last for many lives. By reduction of these results one will obtain human form. Again he performs action which results in many births. Thus it becomes impossible to escape from the cycle of transmigration.

In Brahma purâna it is told –

“A man or women who lives for more than 14 years usually performs action which at least results in more than 10 births. As this universe exist for ever even the results of action exist for ever. How can one get liberated without knowledge of the God?”

If we assume that this universe comes into being just by fluke, then results of action are not present. So it not not possible for Jîva to get bound to transmigration. One can over come the results of action by performing action without expectation. It is further clarified in “anishtamishtam” -shlôka. (Bhagavad Gita 18:12)

In Manu smrti it is told that action performed without expectation results in Môksha –

“Action performed with transcendental knowledge without expectation for results is called ‘nirvrutta karma’. One who engages in performing such nivrutta karma attain Môksha.”

If some one argues “just like performing action without expectation results in no attachment, doing no action also gives same effect’ – it is denied by saying “na cha sanyasanâdêva”. i.e one will not attain redemption by mere asceticism. Sanyâsa is not inaction. It is doing action without expectation of results. It is clarified further in – “kâmyanâm karmanâm” shlôka (Bhagavad Gita 18:2). By performing action without expectation heart gets purified. This intern results in transcendent knowledge and Môksha.

It is told in Bhâgavatam –

“Action performed with pure mind gives rise to detachment in heart.”

Having detachment towards material world is transcendent knowledge. It is told in Bhâgavatam (5-11-3) –

“One who does not realize that pleasure experienced by married people is of lower category just like dream will not get transcendental knowledge by studying Vêdas”

One should perform action not with expectation of results but for the sake of doing right action. Not performing action is not a means to attain Môksha. (Not performing right action arises not from disinterest but from selfishness.)

Sanyâsâshrama is to concentrate on Lord and to obtain love of Lord. It is usually not possible for householder to concentrate mind on God. He will have other interests. Without concentrated mind it is not possible to obtain transcendental knowledge.

Sruti states the same fact –

“nâshânto nâ samâhitaha” – Kathopanishad (2-23).

“One who does not have transcendental knowledge and concentrated mind will not be able to obtain God”.

God gets more pleased by Sanyâsâshrama.

“I like the fourth âshrama – Sanyâsa the most” – Nârâyana ashtâkshara kalpa.

Those who have eligibility will be able to concentrate the mind even in gruhastâshrama, engaged in action. They are most dear to God. It is told –

“Demigods and Kings of past generation, even though were engaged in performing great activities, their mind was not distracted from Lord. Lord Hari is very much pleased by such activities.”

– Padma purâna.

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