यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धनः ।
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्गः समाचर ॥३-९॥
Lord Krishna advises Arjuna that a seeker of spirituality who indulged in karma relating to yagna always remained free from bondages of karma. While indulging in yagna… we were all the time propitiating Agni God Surya Devta. Paying homage to God Almighty through yagnas was common during Vedic times! Every yagna had in its core Agni (fire) through which human beings sublimated their desires and wishes to gain purity in life.
In Vedic times Agni (fire) was considered sacrificial. Everything that was offered to God Almighty was sublimated through means of Agni (fire). To reach higher levels of spirituality… seekers indulged in yagna of various kinds. Karma yoga indulged for sake of yagna was never binding. When indulgence in yagna was directed towards propitiating different types of gods and goddesses… how could it increase klesha within a soul atman, the spirit within!
Through means of yagna… accomplished saints and sages of different era cleansed self of dross impurities within by oblation in Agni (fire) all their shortcomings of material world. This aspect of Agni (sacrificial fire) formed most crucial part of every yagna. Life in times of Vedas (Hinduism revelations) was still in its nascent stages. People learnt various aspect of spirituality slowly by hit and trial method. Sages who could understand gist of Vedas numbered few.
Lord Krishna further says… indulging in karma within an unattached attitude was the best way to reach God in present life! By offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time, indulging in nishkama karma yoga human beings finally succeeded in negating karma to zero! Lord Krishna advises not to indulge in karma… bad karma, negative karma that resulted in enhancing klesha (inherent bonding).
All acts of karma must always be directed towards reaching God Almighty. Karma that results in material bondages must be avoided at all costs. All acts of karma other than nishkama karma yoga never led one towards God Almighty. Lord Krishna says… we must never become inactive for fear of generating more klesha (bondages of material world). At times, our indulgence in karma was mandated by circumstances! Remaining a nonstarter on path of karma… we never achieved anything!
To establish control over five senses and mind… we had to indulge in karma that was never binding! The only way out was indulgence in good karma, positive karma all the time! Furthermore acting as a true trustee of God Almighty, offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time… human beings indulged in nishkama karma way of yoga that directly led to God Almighty! When our goal of life was reaching God, sense objects did not affect our thinking. By thinking good of all… we slowly established control over five senses and mind.
Karma was that inherent ingredient of cosmic system that facilitated movement of life from one manifestation to another, body after body! By indulging in good karma, positive karma all the time… we not only improved our present, but also future! Indulgence in good karma, positive karma means indulging in karma that was not binding, fruitive! Any karma that bore fruits was binding. By offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time… we absolved self of bondages of karma performed.
Working with an unattached attitude… we can indulge in karma all the time that was not binding! To cut across shackles of bondages of karma was not an easy task. Most human beings world over would never want to work if fruits of karma could not be enjoyed by them. Even for serious seekers of spirituality… abandoning fruits of karma performed was not an easy task! In a life spanning 57 years, I have yet to come across a person who was not interested in fruits of karma performed! We primarily indulged in karma for the sake of fruits thereof.
For travelers of spiritual path… negation of karma to zero was mandated by God Almighty! By indulging in karma with an unattached attitude we finally let go obsession towards fruits of karma performed. Indulging in karma that was not binding was essence of spiritual life. When our soul atman, the spirit within was the absolute master and controller of life on mother earth… working for the sake of ego (Ahamkara in Hinduism) carried no meaning in spiritual world. Anything related to ego (Aham) was binding.
As detailed in Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna… the journey of life in cosmic system always belonged to our soul atman, the consciousness within! The human form was but a temporary sojourn in the entire life cycle of a soul atman. When our soul atman, the spirit within was all the time governing… where was the difficulty in offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time! Human beings having a bloated ego never let go fruits of karma performed. Such human beings never travelled spiritual path. They preferred path of religion (path of rituals)!
For a serious seeker of spirituality, God Almighty was the only truth of life! As per doctrine of Maya (veil of illusion) propagated by Adi Shankaracharya… nothing except God Almighty existed in cosmos. When we were only an instrument in hands of God Almighty… there was no reason for our fear in offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time! The dross impurities exist in our soul atman, the spirit within and never the manifest physical human form! To cleanse dross impurities within, every soul atman manifests a maximum of 8.4 million bodies in its lifetime! Of these, last 1.1 million manifestations occurred in human form.
By assimilating pearls of wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita, by reading sacred scriptures we slowly realize… to negate karma to zero, fruits of karma performed have to be offered to God Almighty all the time. Our ego (Aham in Hinduism) carried no value in spiritual world. Moment we established absolute control over ego (Aham)… control over five senses and mind came gradually! By travelling path of nishkama karma yoga one finally succeeds in annihilating karma forever. For a purified soul atman… need to manifest another body now ceased to exist! A soul atman continued manifesting body after body as long as trace of dross impurities existed within!
The hidden subtle truth of life behind nishkama karma yoga was continuity of life in cosmic system! For sake of our soul atman, the consciousness within our indulgence in nishkama karma yoga was emphasized by Lord Krishna on Arjuna. Warrior Arjuna being a Jitendriya (one who succeeded in establishing control over five senses), Lord Krishna advised him to indulge in nishkama karma yoga with an unattached attitude. Only then karma would not be binding on Arjuna. Gradually Arjuna realized gravity of sayings of Lord Krishna. He agreed to fight his enemies Kauravas with an unattached attitude as if indulging in nishkama karma yoga!
During Vedic times… indulging in yagna was part of life. Indulging in yagna meant indulging in karma. If we were noncommittal on part of karma, then we would be relinquishing our duty towards conducting yagna. This would tantamount to sin. But in present times when yagna was not necessitated… remaining inactive does not dissolve karma of its own. If our goal of life was reaching God, we could not escape travelling path of nishkama karma yoga! Indulging in karma relating to yagna did not bear fruit still; we could not escape cycle of karma.
Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – May 20, 2013
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