Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse
नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः ।
शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः ॥३-८॥
In Bhagavad Gita chapter 3
verse 8 Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to indulge in karma as ordained in scriptures. Lord Krishna extols virtues
of indulgence in karma compared to non-indulgence, renunciation! Arjuna was representing his kingdom in the
battle of Mahabharata. How could he refrain from indulgence in karma and act like a coward?
Indulging in karma was inherent in all living beings. Ever since a soul atman, the
spirit within started its cosmic journey... it was only through path of karma, the manifest physical form gradually
evolved. In absence of karma, all life in cosmos simply would become stagnant... decay and die! Unless one indulged
in karma, removal of dross impurities within our soul atman was just not possible!
The act of karma, laws of karma were ordained by God Almighty! It is karma that
facilitates movement of life from one manifestation to another, body after body! To believe in karma, one had to
believe in theory of reincarnation, rebirth! To cleanse itself of dross impurities within, a soul atman prompts the
manifest physical form to indulge in karma. The ingrained ego (Aham in Hinduism) helps karma in this
Mounted with ego (Aham in Hinduism) most human beings on mother earth indulged in karma all the
time! Karma becomes a hindrance only for travelers of spiritual path. When seekers of spirituality misunderstood,
misinterpreted scriptures, they hesitatingly indulged in karma. All wanted to avoid karma... so that related
attachments did not affect them. Indulgence in karma creates a vicious cycle of karma that bonds human beings even
Bhagavad Gita stipulates human beings indulging in karma to remove klesha (dross
impurities within) a soul atman, the consciousness within! One can free self from clutches of karma by indulgence
in karma alone. How? By indulging in positive karma, good karma all the time human beings finally succeed in
establishing total control over five senses and mind. When dross impurities within soul atman could only be removed
by act of karma, how could we stop indulgence in karma ever!
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in
plain simple words that unless he indulged in karma... he could not achieve his goal of life! Even for undertaking
spiritual journey... reaching God, our indulgence in karma was necessitated as ordained in scriptures! One could
not avoid karma by sitting idle. Every second thousands of thoughts flowed through our brain uninvoked. Every
single thought precipitated into an act of karma.
Karma does not relate to physical action alone. Whatever we think or do everything
precipitates into an act of karma! It has rightly been said... every human being at any given moment of time was
but sum total of all ones thoughts. Even if we do not feel acting... we had to indulge in karma for the sake of
body! For arranging food for the family, our indulgence in karma was ordained by God Almighty!
Idling away life as a religious mendicant carried no meaning! One just could not go
to places of pilgrimages like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Varanasi or Ayodhya just by abandoning the family. Life of a
Sadhu carried no meaning in spiritual world. We just could not become a bhikshuk (a roaming mendicant) and increase
burden on society. Every single human being had to enact ones part of karma. None could get free from clutches of
karma that way.
Many travelers of spiritual path were under a misnomer that self realization, God
realization could be achieved by blessings of a spiritual master! Such a phenomenon does not exist in spiritual
world. Unless we burnt our karma in totality, unless we negated our karma to zero... we could never reach stage of
enlightenment (kaivalya jnana). Every spiritual master can only act as a guide but the karma has to be performed by
the individual alone.
In case of Arjuna, Lord Krishna was acting only as a guide, a preceptor! To follow or not to
follow was the sole individual prerogative of Arjuna. Through his words of jnana wisdom Lord Krishna finally made
Arjuna see light of the day. Arjuna who was initially reluctant to fight the enemy that consisted of his maternal
grandfather Bhishma Pitamah, his revered teacher Guru Dronacharya, many relatives and friends... finally agreed to
indulge in his part of karma!
The entire jnana wisdom of Bhagavad Gita was directed towards only one aspect of
life, re-establishing of Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness) at all costs. Arjuna
had to agree to fight this Dharma yuddha (battle of Dharma), and to convince him on all aspects of life... the
sermon of Bhagavad Gita was given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. When Arjuna realized that shackles of karma can only
be cut by indulgence in karma, he agreed to fight Kauravas in battle of Mahabharata!
To stop evil, to stop people from indulgence in bad karma, negative karma... the
sermon of Bhagavad Gita acts as a balm. The teachings of Bhagavad Gita were universal. The teachings of Bhagavad
Gita were applicable to each and every human being living on mother earth! The sermon of Bhagavad Gita was not
limited by a particular religion, faith or belief! Any human being world over can indulge in Bhagavad Gita to
realize essence of life.
Unless one indulged in sermon of Bhagavad Gita... karma could never be negated to
zero! One single scripture, the sacred Bhagavad Gita was sufficient for human beings to reach stage of (kaivalya
jnana) and finally salvation moksha. When dross impurities within a soul atman, the consciousness within could only
be removed via path of jnana wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita... why not indulge in nishkama karma yoga to reach
end goal of life at the earliest.
Lord Krishna repeatedly emphasizes that abandoning karma was not a solution. In the face of
enemy one could never express cowardice. Arjuna was duty-bound to protect his countrymen from the onslaught of war.
In times of strife, tribulation it was paramount duty of Arjuna to lift arms and fight the enemy head-on. Through
his preaching Lord Krishna made Arjuna realize that the physical manifest body was but a temporary sojourn in the
entire lifespan of a soul atman. As we were only doing bidding of God Almighty all the time, our pious acts of
karma would never result in incurring sin.
Vijay Kumar "Atma Jnani"... The Man who Realized God in 1993! Send
Selected Books on Bhagavad Gita on Amazon.com
Bhagavad Gita Study
Circle: a meeting point for people from all walks of life interested in knowing
anything relating to spirituality, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and on a broad platform...
More on Gita Chapter 3 Verse 8 - bhagavad gita 3 8 can be found at :
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3
... Vijay Kumar - May 20,
Top of page