Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 1

अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः ।
स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥६-१॥



In Bhagavad Gita chapter 6 verse 1 Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: a seeker of spirituality who indulges in karma yoga with an unattached attitude travels the right path. Just by abandoning karma, remaining inactive one could not become a true Karma Yogi. Seekers who never hankered after fruits of karma performed were true Karma Yogi indeed.


Indulging in karma that led to God Almighty was travelling right spiritual path. A true sanyasi (renunciate) always indulged in requisite karma necessitated to reach God! Lord Krishna repeatedly tells Arjuna that there was never a shortcut path to God Almighty. One had to indulge in karma… no matter what!


A true sanyasi (renunciate) always indulged in karma with a feeling of desirelessness, non-attachment! When we were not attached to karma performed, the resultant karmic action could never bind one. Our karma must always be so that it never results in increasing klesha (inherent dross impurities within)! True sanyasi is not one who abandons family life and takes refuge in deep dense jungles (forests) for contemplation on God Almighty.


As per Lord Krishna… one who forgoes sacrifices was not a true sanyasi! Abandonment of sacrificial fire (Agni) carried no meaning as a true sanyasi, seeker of God is supposed to burn all desires, attachments in the pyre of Agni. Also one who detached self from karma (remaining inactive) did not truthfully follow path of yoga. The path of karma yoga demands our indulgence in day-to-day activities of life even while meditating on God Almighty.


The Explanation:

To bring out Arjuna from slumber of inaction, Lord Krishna states that non-indulgence in karma was never an excuse to avoid fruits of karma. Even for a sanyasi (renunciate) indulging in action, karma… day-to-day activities of life was an absolute must! When a sanyasi (renunciate) could not abandon karma… how could Arjuna, the chieftain of Pandava army think of becoming inactive in the battlefield while facing the enemy head-on.


Lord Krishna says… karma was inherent in all living beings! Until last trace of dross impurities remained within a soul atman, the consciousness within… the physical manifest form continued indulging in karma. Negation of karma by a sanyasi (renunciate) can only be exercised when one engaged in karma wholeheartedly. Only by indulgence in karma could a seeker of spirituality finally reach stage of zero karma, become an enlightened one… a bodhi, a Jina!


Through path of karma yoga alone one could never reach God. Even while practicing path of nishkama karma yoga… one had to indulge in path of jnana yoga (absolute wisdom) to reach God. Offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time, working with an unattached attitude was how a sanyasi, Karma Yogi conducted self in day-to-day affairs of life.


Abandoning karma in totality was never a solution. By remaining inactive… a spiritual traveler never gained anything in life. Just as by forsaking sacrifices… one need not become a sanyasi. To reach God in present life… one had to burn all passions, desires in the pyre of Agni (sacrificial fire) that burnt within. Physical sacrifices in present times carried no meaning.


True sacrifice was always conducted from within. By abandoning all desires, wishes, passions to indulge in vice… one removed all traces of klesha (inherent impurities) from our soul atman, the spirit within! Burning of desires, passions can only be carried out by indulgence in karma yoga of the highest order. By practicing patience, persistence and perseverance of the highest order… one finally succeeded in overcoming desires and passions forever.


Practice of forgiveness was necessitated to overcome all types of desires and passions! Unless we could forgive one, unless we were compassionate… unless we saw God in all living beings, we could never travel path of pure spirituality sincerely and diligently. Path of spirituality demands our indulgence in nishkama karma yoga all the time. When everything in cosmos belonged to God Almighty… karma, fruits of karma performed also belonged to God Almighty!


Lord Krishna tells Arjuna not to lose hope! In the face of the enemy… prepare yourself to fight a battle of Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness). Human beings who ran after fruits of karma performed could never understand what spirituality was all about. The spiritual journey can only be undertaken by one… who can live with an unattached attitude all the time!


Lord Krishna advises Arjuna that in lifting arms… his personal karma was not getting affected. Arjuna had to fight the enemy for the sake of his countrymen, for the sake of saving lives of millions of innocent people. By doing so… even if some papa karma (wrongdoing) was indulged by Arjuna… it would still not amount to sinning! To save lives of millions of people… death of a few if warranted becomes inevitable.


Lord Krishna admonished Arjuna not become a coward in the face of enemy even though his enemy consisted of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah, his revered teacher guru Dronacharya, his close cousins, relatives and friends! Lord Krishna advises Arjuna, when the enemy… the Kaurava clan was bent on using deceit and wrongful means, he could never remain aloof from their wrongdoings (acts of adharma)!


Fighting our beloved for sake of maintaining Dharma (righteousness) is what karma yoga all about!


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – April 24, 2013

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