Gita Study: Class 33


Topics for today:

  1. Opening prayers and Gita Dhyanam
  2. Chapter 2 verse 48 continued

 Highlights of today’s class:

Verse 2.48 (continued from last class)

yogasthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya | siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga ucyate ||

Ability to interpret Dharma:

  • We saw that kausalam is the ability to interpret dharma and determine what to do and not to do in a given situation.
  • Dharma is of two types – samanya dharma and visesa dharma.
  • Samanya dharma is universal in nature. It is common sense dharma which is known to everyone without being taught. “What I don’t want done to me, that I must not do unto others. What I want to be done to me, that I must try to do to others.” – this forms the gist of common sense samanya or universal dharma.
  • Even samanya dharma needs to be interpreted depending on the situation. This interpreted dharma is referred to as visesa dharma.

Action in accordance to dharma vs raga-dvesha:

  • The essence of karma yoga is to perform actions in keeping with samanya and visesa dharmas. These dharmas should be the governing factors when exercising choice with reference to a given action. A karma yogi does not go by dictates of raga-dveshas alone.
  • A certain ‘processing’ has to happen when raga-dveshas arise in one’s mind prompting one to perform an action. Before converting such prompts into action, a check is done whether they are in keeping with dharma or not. If not, then they are curtailed at the thought level itself and not allowed to express as actions. When raga-dveshas are thus curtailed, they die a natural death as mere fancies. This is how kausalam plays a role in neutralizing strong raga-dveshas leading to antah-karana-suddhi.

Karma yoga is more than ethical living:

  • In the context of samatvam towards results of actions, we noted that mere pragmatic outlook is not karma yoga. Karma Yoga requires appreciation of Isvara as the karma-phala-daata and therefore karma yogi has samatvam and prasada-buddhi towards karma-phalas.
  • In the context of kausalam towards choice of actions to be performed, it is also important to note that mere ethical living is not karma yoga. Even here, karma yoga requires appreciation of Isvara as the author of the law of dharma and law of karma. By this appreciation, I worship that Lord by doing what is to be done by me at a given time and place.
  • We already saw that the entire creation along with its laws are not separate from Isvara. Isvara is the abhinna-nimitta-upadana karana of jagat. Therefore the law of dharma is also none other than Isvara.

om tat sat


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