Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 1


संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि ।
यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ॥५-१॥



When Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to follow path of karma yoga to fight battle of Dharma (righteousness) against battle of adharma (lawlessness)… he gets confused! Arjuna says: O Krishna, initially you advised following path of renunciation of karma to reach God and now you advise indulging in path of karma yoga to reach God.


Which of the two was more beneficial O Krishna… please advice thus? Arjuna wanted to follow a strict regimen to reach God in his lifetime. Arjuna knew he had only one life to live… the present earthly span of 70 to 80 years! When Arjuna had a spiritual mentor like Lord Krishna, he did not want to spend time in hit and trial methods.


Before Arjuna could lift arms and fight war of Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness)… Arjuna wanted to be absolutely clear about laws of karma!


The Explanation:

Confused over various aspects of karma, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna thus: you advise practice of karma sanyasa (renunciation from act of karma) and you also advise path of indulgence in karma yoga. According to you O Lord Krishna, both paths of karma led to God Almighty. This confuses me and I pray to thee to finally suggest me which was the right path for me amongst the two. Arjuna believed in totality in Krishna. Inherently he knew well that no advice of Lord Krishna would ever go wrong but still unable to comprehend and reach final conclusions… Arjuna asks for clear advice from Lord Krishna.


Arjuna stood in the battle field facing his arch enemies… the Kauravas! In such a situation practicing karma sanyasa seemed difficult preposition. But if Lord Krishna said so… it must be right! Could one practice karma sanyasa while fighting war with the enemies! Yes, it was possible. How? Karma Sanyasa in laymen terms stood for renunciation of doer ship. When we subdued our ego (Aham in Hinduism) on the altar of God Almighty… it was easy to practice karma sanyasa. When everything belonged to God Almighty all the time… then in absence of our ego (Aham)… the karma indulged by us also belonged to God Almighty.


As we were never the doer of karma… whatever karma we indulged in, all was dedicated to God Almighty! But in the present materialistic age, in the present Kali yuga… dark age… metal age practicing karma sanyasa seemed out of date, almost impossible! Most human beings in present times had a bloated ego! To overpower ego… to subdue ego was no small task… prime reason why Lord Krishna says that in the present metal age… it was easier to practice karma yoga than karma sanyasa which necessitated subduing of our ego forever. Practice of karma sanyasa does not relate to physical manifest self alone but also inherent, latent mental faculties.


Total submission to God Almighty is what karma sanyasa demands! Total submission to God Almighty can only be exercised by one who succeeded in establishing control over five senses and mind. When we start realizing that we were never the doer of any karma at any stage of life… we start living life of a lost soul, one who failed to identify self in the vast cosmic game of life! Behaving like an instrument in hands of God Almighty… we the entire times do his bidding, for his sake! It is a god’s world… and for a karma sanyasi, all karma indulged was on his behalf!


Contrary to act of karma sanyasa… karma yoga involved indulgence in karma with an unattached attitude. Maintaining equanimity at every stage of life… a true Karma Yogi offered fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time. For a true karma Yogi… when everything in cosmos belonged to God Almighty, then karma indulged by one and fruits there of also belonged to God Almighty. In fighting the enemy… Arjuna would only perform his duty as a statesman representing his kingdom. When Arjuna would not be attached to karma performed… how he could be personally affected by that karma… surmised Lord Krishna!


In the present materialistic age, Dark Age… metal age advises Lord Krishna, karma yoga was easier to practice than karma sanyasa… something that meant mammoth hardships for the incumbent. Karma yoga in present times could be practiced by any. By offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time we can indulge in all affairs of life… no matter what! As per Lord Krishna… karma yoga in present times was superior to practice of karma sanyasa! By remaining engrossed in God Almighty all the time, one could easily remain indulged on path of karma yoga. Still, true karma yoga can only be practiced by one who had absolute faith in God Almighty. Those devoid of faith all the time ran after ephemeral riches of life that carried no meaning in spiritual world.


In Bhagavad Gita chapter 5 verse 1 Lord Krishna enumerates advantages of practicing karma yoga in the present scientific age. Here we can argue that sermon of Bhagavad Gita was delivered by Lord Krishna above 3600 years before now and does not relate to the present scientific age… the present Kali yuga, dark age… metal age! Lord Krishna came in Dwapar Yuga… in times of extreme tribulation when the situation was almost as ripe as today. In Dwapar Yuga came Lord Krishna (God manifest in human form)… an avatar of his era, a saviour… messiah! In present times of strife people await coming of Kalki avatar… the saviour, messiah of present times… one who shall annihilate evil forces of Kali Yuga and succeed in re-establishing Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness).


The preaching’s of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita are relevant today in equal measure as they were above 3600 years before! Without thinking twice Lord Krishna says… we must indulge in karma yoga to reach logical cosmic end of life.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – April 21, 2013

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