"The power to promote and reward, as also to demote and punish the individual and his fate in this world, lies within his mind, its thoughts and feelings. No external agency is necessary to bring this infallible fruition. As the growth and development of a seed, an embryo, or a cell designed and preserved by its own inner makeup, here too the causal forces for what one rightly deserves lurk within one’s own invisible bosom."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

In our Gita discussions in the evening, we were discussing and almost we completed Krishna’s exposition of Sankhya yoga. Now he is moving on to Karma yoga. But he doesn’t say it is karma yoga; he says it is yoga. “I have spoken to you about the wisdom that is applicable to Sankhya. Now I will tell you the wisdom applicable to yoga”.

Sankhya is one where the seeker gets away from worldly activities and involvements, seeks solitude and as a pursuit he takes up repeated introspection and contemplation on the Self leading to absorption. This was very clearly evident in the sixteen-year-old Rama. He was very dejected after the pilgrimage. When he came back and Vasishthadev came to know his dejection, he called him and Rama started speaking to Vasishtha about all the sufferings he had. Vasishtha started addressing his mind and also the suffering. And as they were progressing in their discussion half way through, Rama was so absorbed along with many others in the assembly that Vasishtha had to stop his narration. This is a very clear instance of how the path of wisdom acts independently and wholesomely on the seeker’s mind. Vasishtha did not ask him to take up any activity, religious or otherwise. He did not ask him even to meditate so to say. He went on engaging him in his conversation and the impact of the conversation was such that Rama remained absorbed. This is how the Sankhya yoga or the jñāna path works.

Now Arjuna was not one ripe for it. He had to fight the eighteen-day bloody Mahabharata war. The only way will be to apply the Sankhya principle to the life of activity and interaction. There he says:

दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय ।
बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ।।
dūreṇa hy-avaraṁ karma buddhi-yogād-dhanañ-jaya |
buddhau śaranam-anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.49)

This is also a verse which people will not easily understand nor try to understand. Krishna does not distinguish between religious and secular activities. He says that all are activities performed by the body and bodily organs; even mind and intelligence, all are activities. And whatever Krishna says is applicable to all the activities irrespective of which field they belong to and what kind they are of. He says, buddhi yoga, seek refuge under that. Mind you, Sri Krishna speaks about buddhi yoga inaugurating his discussion on karma yoga. So the karma if it has to be a yoga sādhanā, it is not that karma has to be changed. Karma will continue to be what it is - interaction between the senses and the sense objects. But the attitude orientation and objective while doing the activity will entirely be different. So he says normal activity is far inferior to buddhi yoga.

What is that buddhi yoga? Buddhi yoga is that practice where you are not affected by whatever outcome the karma produces. You will not have any preference or prejudice, any acceptance or rejection with regard to the outcomes of activities. Any activity must bring an outcome. You take up an activity for an outcome. When the activity is completed well, the outcome is sure to be had. Then why unnecessarily think about it? Do the right selection and pursue it properly. If for any reason the outcome becomes different, you should not be unduly upset.

So in the proper fruition and the improper fruition, the mind should not go on oscillating and become a brooding agent. By the application of your intelligence, try to keep the reactions of the mind lighter and uniform. This is a clear role for the intelligence to take up and pursue. It has nothing to do with karma. Karma will go on at the sensory level, interactional level but the mind that is constantly associated in the process creates havoc and the havoc is vishama, differences.

Buddhau śaranam-anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ. The people who always associate karma with the results and “Results alone we have from karma, nothing else”, they become miserly he says. They are not able to get the fullness from their active life. The fullness has to be generated by the mind. He also says that all the people in this world have been able to remain free only by the application of buddhi yoga, buddhi yoga, buddhi yoga. This is why I say, Karma becomes karma yoga not by virtue of karma but by virtue of the yoga buddhi with which you perform. So there also it is a culture of the intelligence at the intelligence level. That is why this Bhagavad Gita book becomes very very important. All the seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad Gita are only generating and instilling wisdom, wisdom and wisdom.

Every word is an idea. An idea is a constituent or a measure of knowledge. So all the verses only convey knowledge. The knowledge is conveyed either by print or by speech but it is conveyed to the intelligence and received by the intelligence. So the whole Bhagavad Gita is an intelligential interaction between the recipient and the exposer, exponent. Will you understand this point? If your karma does not produce happiness and joy for you, it is only because of your mind and intelligence. There is nothing wrong with the karma. Be anywhere and do whatever you have to and you can still be very happy and contented provided you apply your mind and intelligence in the proper manner. That is what he emphasizes.

I thought I would tell you this and when the evening classes begin, I will try to expatiate on this point very well. In the Sankhya as well as in the karma, the factor to be employed is the intelligence and the medium where the effect and gain have to be made is the mind. So it is a mento-intellectual process.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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