3rd Chapter. Tritiyaa Adhyaya

 The karam yoga (philosophy of performance of action without any expectation of the fruit)

We very regularly keep on vacillating in our decisions in our life, on the issue of performing certain jobs or not undertaking such an endeavor. Such irresolution generally arises on account of our not being satisfied with the expected outcome of the job to be preformed.  The sense of indecisiveness may come to us as an expression of our own lack of self confidence and the inadequacy of our own strength of character. Such a state of affairs leads us into an indecisive emotional turmoil within our mind sets. We frequently will wish that someone could either predict the outcome of the work to be performed, as soothsayer to save us the confusion.  We wish that someone, some guide or the Guru, at best could guide us into   the decision making activity to help us come out of the situation of uncertainty. In case we fail to find either the soothsayer or we do not trust both the soothsayer and even the guide who is not trustworthy to ensure our expected outcome from the proposed action, we would rather abandon the work and be at peace in our mind. 

 Arjuna seems to have suffered from the similar  kind of confusion and indecision  in the third chapter, wherein he lays bare his emotional perplexity to lord Krishna, in reference to his doing the duty and fighting the war or should he  as the learned man having attained transcendental knowledge , excuse himself from the horrible war  and become free of the consequences  that may arise as a consequences of the war.

    In the third chapter,    the lord Krishna discusses about the performance of one’s duty as a mean to render a service for greater welfare- a service that is devoid of any kind of expectations or the strings attached to the performance done. The lord explains to Arjuna as to why it is essential to pay heed to one’s position in life and make sure that a person adheres to the specifics expected by the society, for the performance. The lord also forewarns that not paying attention to this   comportment of rules of the nature may result into much kind of negative consequences. The lord tells Arjuna, that while it is expected that a person taking birth as a human being  on   the earth will do his duty, without having attachment to any of the results, it will be blasphemy to not to perform one’s  duty , just because one is forbidden to have attachment  to  the results from the action undertaken. Such abandonment of the action cannot sustain because the nature’s course will make sure that the person who has abandoned the work will be forced to get back into the doing of the job, as had been planned for the person. Otherwsie the person will find it difficult to survive physically. Lord Krishna   tells Arjuna, that even though the   lord himself is the creator   of the universe yet he also does perform his duty for the larger universal welfare. Lord Krishna, had educated  Arjuna about the Gyan yoga  ( philosophy of attaining knowledge )and the karam yoga ( philosophy of performance without any expectation) in the previous two chapters , but Arjuna due to his limited understanding of the subject matter assumed  that God has given preference to  Gyan yoga( philosophy of attaining knowledge ) over karam yoga( philosophy of performing ones duty without any without any   attachment or expectation)  , and he questions as to why lord should ask him to do his duty   and fight this war, if he has attained the Gyan yoga  i.e., the transcendental knowledge .

The communication between the teacher and the disciple begins with a question raised by Arjuna,

“Jayaayasi chetakaramanasate   mataa budhdhijanaaradana

Tatakim karamaani ghore maam niyojayasi keshava” (1)

‘ hey keshava, if you believe that the acquisition of the transcendental knowledge is preferable over the act of doing one’s duty then why do you expect me to perform this horrible task of fighting this war “

“Vyaaminisharevaneva vaakyen budhdhim mohayaseev me

Tadekam vada nishchitataya yain shreyoahamaapanuyaam” (2)

“Your mystifying words seem to have confused me in my understanding of the path that I should take to.  Pray Tell me, decisively, a single path of action that I must adopt at this situation to attain   the Supreme truth.

Lokeasaminadawidha nishtha puraa proktaa mayaanagh

Gyaanyogen sankhyaanaam karamyogen yoginaam” (3)

Said lord Krishna to Arjuna, “O pure hearted Arjuna,   I have already explained to you about two kinds of devotion that the men of the world possess. Some of them attain their devotion to their God by way of gaining transcendental knowledge and some others achieve their devotion to the supreme by doing selfless work for the universal service and welfare   and by dedicating their work to the concept of karma”.

While the earlier devotees have been referred to as the sandkhye (sanyaasi) yogis, the latter followers have been mentioned as the karam yogis by Lord Krishna, as in his opinion both do their selfless duty to the lord in their own unique manner. The sandkhye yogi (sanyaasi) does it by attaining the transcendental knowledge of conquering peace and tranquility of mind by doing his duty as the task assigned and being performed by the God himself and the karam yogi does it by believing in karma and doing the selfless duty without having attachment   to any fruit or the result from the duty so performed. Both of the yogis ultimately assimilate into the supreme God and attain deliverance by way of doing their duty.

Says lord Krishna to Arjuna,

“Naa hi kashachitakashanmapi jaatu tishathatayakarmakrat

Kaarayate hayavasha karma sarva prakratijaiguranai” (5)

“It is doubtlessly true that no person can live without performing duty in any age at any moment of time because it is inherent in nature that a person is driven to action all the times by the natural force”.

It is true that every living- being has to perform some kind of work till one is alive. The inanimate only can say that they have no work but a man who does not have a work can simply be called as the one who has lost the very thread of life and has become dead. The human being can not abandon the work as the nature has it built into the very life system of the survival on the earth. The  regular and the healthy  functioning of the human body depends on the activity performed by the body and the mind in standard routine and if the functioning stops, the body and the brains will begin their decay and perish on account of inactivity. Hence lord tells Arjuna that human beings are meant to continuously carry out some action otherwise the ever energetic nature will ensure that the functioning of the body/mind happen constantly to prevent  decompose and death. Humans are expected to abandon the attachment to the   fruit (results and gains) from their (Karma) work, along with the vain thought that it is they who perform all actions. 

The lord continues,

“Karameindiriyaani sanyamaya yaa aaste mansaa samara

Indirayarthanavimoodhatamaa mithyachara sa uchayate” (6)

“A hypocrite dumb headed person who forcefully restraints all his senses and yet within his mind he continuously dwells upon the sensual objects, can simply be called a pretender. He can be called a man who indulges into the false conduct visibly but is different in actuality”.

The lord thereby means that it is not simply enough for a person to change the sensory habits alone and pretend that the person has become an ascetic by controlling the     senses by force. Such action to control the senses without purifying the heart and the mind will simply lead to a false satisfaction that one has become a yogi and hence one should have become closer to the universal truth of attaining deliverance from the mundane life’s objects. Such a person in God’s words is only a hypocrite and a pretender. The real abandonment must come from the heart and by changing the mind in such a rigorous control that it does not even think or imagine about the sensual objects and keeps itself free from all kind of delusions about the luxuries and pleasantries of physical and sensual  pleasures.

The lord now discusses about the true concept of selfless duty and the service  by making sure that a person does not hold any kind of personal interest in the action being undertaken and hence does not harbor any kind of expectations of the fruit and the results of the duty being performed . The lord praises such selfless persons, who do all kinds of work without any awareness and expectation, when he says,

“Yasativaindirayaani manasaa niyamyaarbhatearjuna

Karameindiriyaani karamyogamsakata sa vishishyate” (7)

“But o Arjuna! The person who controls the senses by his mind and intellect, and engages all the senses to perform selfless service as a duty without attachments for the fulfillment of larger universal welfare is considered a superior person”.

The lord now focuses on Arjuna and in a direct manner he advices him to undertake his duty as expected by the scriptures in order to fulfill his obligation for having been manifested into the physical body of a human being. The lord tells him,

“Niyatam kuru karam tavam karam jayaayo hayakaramana

Shareerayaatraapi cha Te na parasidhayedakaramana” (8)

“You must undertake the performance of your duty as ordained by the scriptures because doing one’s duty is preferable over not doing one’s work and you cannot sustain your physical living  , without doing any kind of work “. The lord continues,

“Yagayaarthatakaramanoanyatra lokoayam karambandhana

Tadarathm karam kaunteya mukatasadga samachar’ (9)

“In addition to the rituals specified for the worship of God, the humans involved in other general daily routine works are also bound together in many kinds of other functions. That’s why oh Arjuna! I advise you to perform your obligatory selfless duties   towards me   very sincerely without getting involved into the expectations from the duty performed   by you  so that you remain free from the bondage of expecting returns from the work done   and getting attached  to the consequences of the action taken by you  ”.

“Sahayagya prajaa sarashatavaa purovaach prajaapati

Anain parasavishayadhavamesh voasativashatakaamdhuka” (10)

“Prajapati Brahma had developed the yagya (selfless   devotional service to the creator) as a blessings to the   humans during the during ancient times and he had ordained that the performance of such a yagya of selfless   devotional service will lead them to deliverance, the same yagya should be undertaken by you to    propitiate lord Brahma and   this yagya when performed as a community task will lead to the   desired truth and welfare ‘‘.

“Devaann bhavayataanain devaa bhaavayantu va

Parasaparam bhaavayanta shareya paramvaaapasayath” (11)

The lord tells Arjuna, “you should propitiate the gods by the execution of this yagya (selfless   devotional service to the creator) of selfless service, and the gods will   bless you to prosper in your life   and by   way of   rendering selfless service to each other you will attain The Supreme Truth”

“Ishataanabhogaanahati vo devaa daasayante yagyabhaavitaa

Taidarataanapraayaibhayo yo bhudakte saten aiv cha “(12)

“the gods  propitiated by the selfless service performed by the  human beings    will keep on blessing the humans and give them all that they desire  but at the same time if any human being   does not share the blessing so received  from the gods  with others of his ilk and enjoys them all alone, the person  is indeed a thief”.

Partaking of the blessings from the celestial powers and then   sharing them with not so fortunate ones is the essence of all public living from the beginning of the life on the universe. Lord Krishna, tells Arjuna that those people who receive all the materialistic blessings from the gods need to share it with the others of the human  community and if they do not do so they are considered thieves and the blessing from the gods will never render the desired benevolence to the receiver. Modern times    tell of a similar story of disparity in common life where the haves and the have not’s have been growing apart for many ages. The definition of the sin and the deliverance from the transgression committed, as told by Lord Krishna need to be understood in   its right perspective, by all humans. The   unequal  distribution of   wealth between the rich nations and the poor nations, the poor  living conditions of the marginalized and the downtrodden, the disparities that exist between the haves and have nots, and the existence of the hunger and the plenty simultaneously in this world   can be ameliorated only if the humans understand and accept the lord’s message of sharing their good fortune received through the benevolence of God ,  and make it pertinent to see that  the abundance   is shared amongst all living beings. Man also has to share the    natural resources and the wealth so received as a blessing from the lord   with the, flora, and the fauna and the other animals living on the planet earth.

Lords Krishna now tells Arjuna,

“Yagyashishtaashina sanato muchayante saravkilbishai

Bhujajate te tavagham paapaa ye pachantyaatamakaarnaat” (13)

“The  righteous  persons  who  partake their food after everyone else has been fed are liberated from all kind of sins and those sinners who cook their food for satisfying their own hunger and the physical need,  without offering the same food to gods in yajna and or to the poor and the famished rightfully speaking  consume sins only” .

The lord here has mentioned about the age old tradition of   serving the guest, the needy and the hungry before taking care of the personal requirement of a person. On a larger canvas of social emotions this would also mean that all those people who indulge into the antisocial and anti humanity activities like hoarding of food, uncalled for profiteering etc., etc., indulge into sinning against God. All those persons can be counted amongst the sinners  who, in a society where millions go hungry are stocking foodstuff and other community wealth and are indulging into the exploitation of the natural resource at the cost of the welfare of the  animals,   forests, trees , water  and  other natural capital , flora and the fauna . Such people are the cause of causing grievous loss to the ecological equilibrium of the earth. The lord Krishna advocates the development, protection and the conservation of the natural resources. The man must   have respect for and understand the impact of all the natural wealth   that the mother nature has provided to the mankind for the perpetuation of   human as well as the life  of trees, rivers, oceans  animals, and the flora and the fauna  ,  on the earth.

Says lord Krishna,

“Annadabhawanti bhootaani parajanyaa danansambhava

Yagyadabhavati parajanayo yagya karamsamudabhava” (14)

“Karam brahamodabhavam vidhdhi brahamaakshar samudabhavam

Tasamaata savargatam braham nitayam yagye prtitishathatam” (15)

“All the living beings on this earth are born from food grains, the food grains are produced by the rain waters and rains on the earth happen on account of the   selfless sacrificial   duties performed by the   agriculture workers and other farmers. The community that performs its duty has been evolved out of the Vedas and the Vedas have been created by the Indestructible   Supreme God. It proves that the Supreme Being or God   is all-pervading and is ever present in selfless service”.

In this manner Lord Krishna wants to make it known to Arjuna that it is the human beings only who are responsible for the preservation ( or the destruction through misuse and  exploitation  ) of the natural resources on the earth. The yajna  ( rituals   performed   for the propitiation of the gods ) mentioned by the lord is about the protection of the great wealth provided by the mother  earth in the form of  forests  that provide  green covers,  the  water resources  that are essential for all life on the earth , the flora, the fauna and the other living beings, that constitute the population of the universe. All these   resources of the mother earth will survive and flourish only if human beings are careful and justified in sharing the natural resources of the mother earth with other living beings. Men kind should not unnecessarily exploit the scarce resources to the human advantage only, depriving and threatening the    survival of all others living- beings.

The lord Krishna, continues,

“O Partha! Evam paravartitam chakaram naanuvartayateeh ya

Aghaayurindriyaaraamo mogham partha sa jeevati” (16)

“ a person who does not maintain his conduct as per the laws of the nature  and does not fulfill his duty in maintaining  the wheel of the nature , by   performing the sacrificial duty  ( of sharing the blessing received by doing   of duty)  he lives only  in sinful pleasures of the senses”.

The lord maintains time and again that every person living on this earth has to abide by his station in life and do his or her duty as expected on that status and situation of life. All those persons who do not live their life as ordained by the laws of the universe  and do not contribute  for larger  universal welfare,  by way of sharing their blessing received from the natural world with others living beings on this earth, , such people rather do more damage to the  environmental conservation of the life .  People such as who simply enjoy their sensory pleasures on this earth and indulge into the destruction of the environmental  and ecological  balance of the earth do more indiscretion   and they live in perpetual sin.

Yasatvaatamaratiev sayaadata martpatashch manava

Aatamnyev cha santushatasaya kaarayam na vidhyate” (17)

“But the person who has attained deliverance and has  been   blessed by the  Supreme Being, and who is happy being into the service of the supreme truth  and who is  ever lost into the  Supreme Being alone, there cannot be any prescribed duty for such an enlightened person”.

“Naiva tasya kratenaartho naakuteneh kaschana

Na chasaya sarvabhuteshu kashchidarthavayapaasharaya” (18)

“Such an enlightened person does not have any reasons to perform and no basis to not to perform his duty. Such a person as has attained the enlightenment and have assimilated self with the Supreme Truth   does not have any grain   of any kind of self interest   amongst all living beings in the universe. Whatever such a person does will always be as ordained by the Supreme Truth, the God”.

Tasamaadasakta satatm karayam samachar

Askto hyaacharnkaram paramaapanoti purusham” (19)

“You should therefore perform your duty always without being concerned about the results and without having any expectation from the obligation so executed because a person who does his work without any expectations ultimately conquers the supreme truth”.

“Karamanaiva hi sansidhimaasathitaa janakaaday

Loksangarah sampashyankartumaharasi” (20)

The lord quotes the example of king Janaka

The knowledgeable King Janaka had   achieved the supreme realization of the supreme Truth by adopting the path of   duty without expectation and by performing the selfless service. You should also meet your obligations for the larger welfare of the people and it needs to be understood that you are meant to render this selfless service at the altar of the community wellbeing”.

Arjuna is being advised to become a role model to all others, of fulfilling the obligation towards the interest of larger public welfare because he had belonged to the same clan as the king Janaka had   been.   And Janaka had been one of his ancestors, hence the larger public propriety demand that you meet your family traditions and do what the ancestor had done. If king Janaka being a Kshatriyas could perform his social obligation, the kshatriyas genes that you have in your blood stream will demand that you should also act like a Kshatriya and fight this war. You should also set an example of keeping the public welfare as your prime responsibility and keep it above the safety of your kith and kin and hence fight this war.

“Yadhayadaacharati shareshathsatatadevotaro Jana

Sa yatapramaanam kurute lokasatadanuvartete” (21)

“It is an established   fact that all other men follow the characteristics recognized by a noble person. Whatever standards are set up by the dignified icon of the society, the community by and large accepts the same standards as yardsticks of the values established and hence they follow and emulate the same in their daily practices of living too”.

A leader knows that a mere deliver of a sermon sometimes is not sufficient enough to motivate the follower for   emulating the actions of the leader and hence the leader will establish the fact that he means what he talks by way of practical example. And this is what lord Krishna does to Arjuna when he says,

“Na me parthaasti kartavayam trishu lokeshu kinchan

Nanvaapatmavaaptavayam vrata aiv cha karamaani” (22)

“o Arjuna, there does not exist any task in the three world of heavens, earth and the world below that is expected of me  and nor does there  remain  anything unachieved by me that I should  make efforts to attain . Yet I engage myself in action and I perform”.

“Yadi hayaham na varteyam jaatu karamanaytandarit

Mam vatmaarnuvartante manushya partha sarvasha” (23)

“That is so because if I do not do my action carefully and continuously, it can lead to major disasters. All men on the earth follow the path set by me and hence if I do not   work, no one in the world will work’.

“Utaseedeyurime lokaa na kuryaam karam chedham

Sadkarasay cha kartaa sayaamoopahanyaamima prajaa” (24)

“If I do not perform my duties, all the planets in the orbit will get destroyed. I shall be found guilty of creating   confusion and disorder amongst all living beings, the demolisher of peace amongst all men and will be held responsible for the death of all humans”.

It is true that each element of the earth and the other planets of the solar system operate consistently, systematically and efficiently because the supreme truth works efficiently. The Sun in the sky rises without any fail and the other stars and the planetary systems revolve   around their specific axis within the time period  and the direction  specified by the law of nature , and  they all  remain constantly in the orbit without deviating from their path. The wind blows and the sea raors because the creator of all these systems works efficiently. God does not take any rest even for the fraction of a second. It is absolute unimaginable if the creator; the supreme power that runs the universe decides to relinquish the work for a fraction of an eyewink. The magnificent orbit system of the   planets in the universe will crash resulting into death and total destruction everywhere. The creator is telling Arjuna that when entire system of the universe functions efficiently, without expecting anything in return, it is expected of him that he too should perform his duty and should not have or harbor any attachment  for any kind of  fruit out of the action undertaken by  him

“Saktaa karamanayvidwaanso yathaa kurvanti bharata

Kuryadwidwamsatathasaktshchikirshulorkasadagaraham” (25)

“Hey Bharata! The unenlightened work by the attachment to the (fruits) from their action, the enlightened should also work without attachment to the fruit but for the entire society in a selfless manner for greater public good”.

Na budhdhibhedam janayedgyaanaam karamsandginaam

Joshyetasaravkarmaani vidwaanyukta samaacharan” (26)

  “The enlightened  person who have understood and attained the supreme truth, should not    endeavor to deviate the minds ,the focus  and the faith of  the ignorant men from the fruits of the actions performed by these men   by persuading them  to stop doing their work.  On the contrary he should do his work without expectations and attachment to the fruit, as prescribed by the scriptures and make the others who are not so enlightened do the work in the same unattached manner and eventually strive for the establishment of the supreme truth amongst everyone by leading every one by setting an example”.

Lord is advising Arjuna once again that his delivering sermon to someone else would be of no use if he himself does not believe in   doing the karma (dutiful selfless action) without attachment to the fruit. At the same time he should not dissuade others from the   performance of the work that they are already doing by focusing on the benefits to be received from the action undertaken by them.  In order to ensure that everyone gradually gets into the process of doing one’s work selflessly and for the welfare of universal good, Arjuna   who has attained illumination pertaining to the universal truth and the deliverance thereof, will have to establish the system of doing the work without having attachment  to the results, by himself leading everyone from the front and the steadily making every one do the same way , and in a way take them closer to the  attainment of the supreme God.

“Prakarate kriyamaanaani gunai karamaani sarvasha

Ahankarvimoodhatmaa kartaahamiti manayate” (27)

 “In truth all the   actions that a man performs are undertaken by mother nature, but out of ignorance and   false conceit a man feels that he is himself indulging into all these activities. Such ignorant fool due to his delusion and unawareness of the supreme truth thinks that he is the doer and all the actions are created by him”.

“Tatavavittu mahabaaho gunakaramvibhaagayo

Guna guneshu vartanta itee matvaa na sajjate” (28)

“But oh Mahabaaho (one who has long and strong arms), a person who has been enlightened about the supreme truth, understands that the   supreme nature    is active in getting the work done. Such an enlightened person does not resort to the gratification of the senses and he holds no attachment to the karma (duty bound action). He remains well aware of the fact that some external supreme power is instrumental in getting the work done through him and that he is only a medium and not the actual performer of the action “.

Prakartergunasammooddha sajjanate gunakaramsu

Taankratsnavido mandankratsanvinan vichaalyet” (29)

“All those unenlightened persons who get charmed by the supernatural power of the nature   (illusory charms –Moha and Maya) shows their attachment to the mystic influence and the actions undertaken by them, but the enlightened    and the wise who have understood about the supreme truth should not upset such people and should let them remain engrossed in the chimera of the illusive powers of the nature”.

The lord Krishna has been persuading Arjuna to   not to opt out of his duty which in fact he should accept as a bound commitment as a Kshatriyas.   It is kshatriya’s,   karma to perform his duty of fighting a war and protecting the truth and the weaker sections of the society.     The lord is telling Arjuna that he should not relinquish all weapons and armaments and excuse himself from this war of truth verses the evil. . The lord does it, by enlightening and educating him about the Gyan yoga, the karam yoga. Now he has also explained to him about the ignorant belief that it is only the nature that is supreme. Lord Krishna informs Arjuna that there exists another superpower that is the creator of the nature too and that,  this  superpower wishes  that Arjuna should get up and fight this war for the establishment of the truth and the righteousness.

Says Lord Krishna to Arjuna,

“Mayisarvaani karamaani sannayasya adhyaatamchetsaa

Niraashinirmarmo bhootvaa yudhayasav vigatajavara” (30)

“You should devote yourself mind and heart fully to me, the omniscient God, and dedicating all your actions to me spiritually you should do your duty now of fighting this war free of all desire, free from any kind of attachment and free from any kind of mental suffering”.

The lord continues,

“Ye me matmidam nitya manutishathanti manavaa

Shradhaavantoansooyanto muchayante teapi karamabhi” (31)

“All those believers who   are free from any kind of doubt on my prowess and those who are fully devoted to me   and have submitted to me with complete faith  without any deviation and practice  my teachings,  they  become free from the bondage of mundane karma (selfless duty )   and attain deliverance and the assimilation into the Universal Truth”.

Ye tavetadbhayasuyanto naanutishthanti me matam

Saravgyaanvimoodhanstaanividhi nashtaanachetas” (32)

“But all those ignorant and the unenlightened persons who do not practice all that I teach and who scoff at my teachings, you should understand that they are all ignorant fools who are deluded by the false knowledge and they are already doomed”.

“Sadarasham cheshtate savasayaa prakarategyaanarvaanapi

Prakartim yaanti bhootaani nigarah Kim karishayati” (33)

“All the living beings follow their instinctual nature and they all act as per their instinctual inherent behavior acquired from their nature. In such a situation it is not possible to understand as to how the restraining of the senses will be able to   render any kind of help to any one”.

The lord believes that the living beings acquire their way of behaving and living from their instinctual character which comes to them by way of their inheritance from the nature. An animal temperament will be inherent and dominant in the animals and a disposition of motherly love and affection and the fear and     fellow feeling for other humans is provided by the Mother Nature to the humans  so  that they can live in the family system and follow the rules and regulations of the society and the communes. A person who has achieved enlightenment can however by the control of his senses come out of the inherent characteristics inherited from the Mother Nature and behaves differently. Though lord Krishna   says that it could be a very difficult task to alter the behavioral characteristics and act differently from the natural personality inherited by being born into particular class and kind of living beings.

He however does discuss the way by which the instinctual behavior can be changed by men and they can achieve deliverance,

“Indirayasayendriyasaarthe raagdwesho vayavasathito

Tayoran vashmaagchchhetau hayasay paripanthinau “(34)

“   All the sense objects have attachments and aversions inherent in them. A man should never come under the control of    these two i.e., either the attachment or the aversion , as both of these are considered major stumbling blocks towards one’s path of attaining universal truth  of self realization  and thereby reach deliverance “.

The lord advises Arjuna that a man will always prefer to be in his comfort zone and operate with the comfortable ease in his life. Hence any such activities that do not fit into his idea of his comfort zone are abhorred by him and he will like to keep himself out of the activities that he does not like. Similarly he will develop attachments for all those activities and feelings that give him a sense of remaining within his comfort zone. The person similarly will show his happiness when he gets to do things that he likes and shows his remorse on the loss of all those things that he has developed fondness for. This way a person loses his self control   to either the attachments or to the aversions as the case may be and God advices that a person should maintain equanimity to keep himself free of any such avarice or detesting in order to retain his level-headedness and attain the supreme truth of self deliverance . 

Shreyansavdharmo viguna paradharmaatasavanushthitat

Savadharme nidhanam shreya pardharmo bhayavaha” (35)

‘ it is   better  for a   person to perform his own duty and responsibility as prescribed by the status and place in life  even though there must be some shortcomings  , rather than do someone else’s  duty howsoever perfect it must be . Death is   better acceptable while   fulfilling one’s own duty, doing someone else’s duty is always fraught with dangers ‘’.

The lord   does not refer to any particular religion but the status and the place in life have been considered by him to be the basis of the sacred expectation of the duty to be performed by Arjuna. He says that Arjuna being a Kshatriya should behave and act as a Kshatriya even though he may not be perfect into performing this act, rather than his behaving as someone who is not a Kshatriya. A Kshatriya can never back out of the war because it is his   pious and moral duty to protect the truth and the weaker sections of society. The lord avers that even if he may not be able to win the war he must fight and fulfill his responsibility as a Kshatriya. If he behaves like a non Kshatriya, that path could be loaded with more fears and dangers for him.

“´atha kain prayuktoayam paapam charati purusham

Anichchhnnapi vaarnney balaadiva niyojita” (36)

Arjuna who has been   paying attention to the sermon of the lord asks the lord about the reasons that impel a man to commit transgression and go against his own basic character. Arjuna   said to lord Krishna, “O Krishna,   then how is it that a man indulges   into committing a sin even though unwillingly and pray   you tell me as to what impels a person to commit indiscretion against his own wishes”.

 Arjuna has implored God to clarify this point because the lord Krishna has told him about the   person’s acting and doing as per the nature inherited by them by birth and at the same time he also told his dear disciple about the same men coming under the control and clutches of the senses unwillingly. Under such differing statements it was but natural for this query to arise in the mind of Arjuna. And hence he had asked lord Krishna to elucidate the same.

Say lord Krishna,

“Kaama eish krodha eish rajogunasamuddbhava

Mahaashano mahaapaapamaa viddhenmiha vairinama” (37)

“It is the lust   (kaama) born out of the passion that turns into the fury. This lust   is very avaricious   and it never gets satiated and it is a big sinner. You must look at this lust as the biggest enemy of the men in the world’.

 Intellect of many a great rulers, thinkers, and powerful warriors have been vitiated by the lustful desire, be it the desire for the power, pelf, or even the physical pleasures. The lord   advises Arjuna that the biggest enemy of the man is not the man himself but it is his lust and the desires that shroud his thinking and analyzing intellect. Man’s   senses of passion for the worldly pleasures at times becomes so powerful that his thinking and the logical senses become almost like slaves surrendering completely to the  fulfillment of the  passions . Men often hope to achieve deliverance but they cannot do so since their self-knowledge and the self realization cannot happen when they are blinded by the lustful desires.

Hence advises lord to Arjuna,

“Dhoomenaavirayate vahniyarthaadarsho malena cha

Yatholabenaavarto garbhasathaa tenedamaavaratam” (38)

“Just as the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror  is covered  by dust, and as an embryo   is always hidden  by  the womb; the same way the enlightenment  about the self  remains enclosed by the  insatiable lust”

“Aavaratam gyaanameten gyaanino nityavairinaa

Kaamrupen kaunteya dushpurenaanalen cha” (39)

“And hey Arjuna! The intellect of the wise has been enveloped   by the eternal insatiable fire of desire, which remains the   perpetual enemy of the prudent “

“Indriyaani mano biddhirasayaadhishthannamuchayate

Etaivirmohayatayesh gyaanamaavaratay dehinam” (40)

“The senses, the heart and the intellect are all said to be the abodes of lust. And this lustful desire envelops the true knowledge of the living entity and   it captivates   him”.

“Tasamaatavaminindriyanayaado niyamaya bharatsharbha

Paapmaanam prajahi hayonam gyaanvigyaannaashanam” (41)

” therefore I advise you o Arjuna, the best of the Bharatas  , that you should first exercise a complete control over your senses  and then kill the devil of lustful desire which is an annihilator of the  knowledge  and the scientific mindset that leads men to self knowledge and the self  realization of the universal truth”.

“Indiraayaani praanyaahurindiriyebhaya param mana

Manasastu paraa budhdhiryo budhdhe paratastu sa “(42)

“The senses have been defined as superior, powerful and sharper than the feeble body,   mind is greater than the sense,   greater than the mind is the intellect but the one who is greater and far superior to the intellect is the Supreme truth (the supreme soul)”.

The human body has been defined as the inferior, feeble and the dull object by Lord Krishna, but at the same time it has been shown as the abode of the soul which is powerful, sharper and the superior object. Therefore lord advises Arjuna, to destroy an object Kama (desire) which is only a feeble, and mediocre in comparison to the soul that abides in the human body and is superior to both the mind and the intellect.

Says lord Krishna,

“Evam budhdhe param budhdhwa sansatbhyaatmaanmaatmanaa

Jahi shatrum mahabaaho kamarupam duraasadam” (43)

“  o  Mahabaaho(powerful one with the mighty arms), Now that you know that you have realized that the soul is all powerful to  the material senses, mind and the intellect  you should control your mind by exercising your intellect and destroy the  mighty  lustful desire’ .

Lord Krishna, has been enlightening Arjuna, by the gradual process of logic and persuasion. He however does not wish him to fight this war till such time as his doubts, queries and the apprehensions are not settled and the realization of the universal truth being mightier than any other truth in life dawns on his favored disciple. The lord with great patience, like the holding of the fingers of a child’s curiosity takes Arjuna on a journey of self realization. 

Lord had begun by explaining to Arjuna the concept and the philosophy of the Karmayoga and the process of doing one’s    selfless duty for greater universal welfare without showing any attachment to the   work done. The abandonment of the   work is also not permitted because man’s physique by nature has been so created to work only.  The man must work because the universe and all its elements constantly work.   But many a times the sense of the men (indiriyaas) do not allow them to work because even if one sense falls victim to the element of lust and desire, all other indiriyaas   become weaker, not allowing man to get into self realization.  The senses need to be controlled by the intellect. The superiority of soul will be established only when the senses, the mind, and the intellect are not allowed being   subordinate to the   lustful desires of the feeble body and when  the lustful desires are killed  by a complete control over the mind and the intellect .