Monthly Archives: November 2011

Karma Yoga

Below is an essay on the Third chapter of the Bhagvad Gita.


Arjuna is confused about which path to take. With the aid of previous conversations with the Lord, he now knows that the ultimate goal of life is Krishna consciousness but then why should he fight?

Bhagvan then tells about conditioned soul, why they were sent to this material world, what was their prescribed duty, how in time; in influence of the material world he forgot his duty and how he was pushed farther from Krishna consciousness.

Soul is always active and conditioned soul also has the material propensity. So the Lord sent them to this world to enjoy this materiality but in turn they were required to perform yajnas to satisfy the various demi gods. (and in turnVisnu) By being on this path they would gradually control their senses, mind,  intelligence and return to the path of self-realization.

However man by his forgetfulness forgot his true aim and worked only for self/sense gratification. He took everything from the Lord but in turn returned nothing. His love for Krisna changed to lust and that was the beginning of his degradation.

An ignorant works for sense gratification, A learned for Krisna. A Krisna conscious  person need not perform the prescribed duties (of performing yajnas but still does so, so that others can follow him. It’s known that common people always follow great men.

The ignorant in the beginning while doing the daily work should simultaneously engage themselves in yajnas. Slowly their intelligence  makes them detached from material nature and they gradually lead to Krisna consciousness.

Once they are on this path, their love for Krisna is rekindled and slowly they are freed from the results of their past sinful activities.

Thus Krisna says ‘Work as if you are working for ME, surrender tome, chant my name always, be detached and do not worry about results.When you strive on this path; your mind is strengthened, lust does not touch you and then you will be free from the bonds of Karma.

And so Arjuna should fight. As a Kshatriya his job is to fight for dharma, to protect the distressed and because HE says so, he should fight and not bother about the result.

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Arjuna’s Surrender

On the battlefield Arjuna is plagued with doubts, What he should do and what he shouldn’t. He knows as a Kshatriya, he has to fight but still the doubts don’t allow him to do what he is required to do.

->He is compassionate. How could he fight against his Gurus, how can he kill his own brothers?

-> Even if he proceeds and kills the opponent, will he be able to enjoy the victory, no he won’t? Will he be able to enjoy the kingdom that they win? No

-> The law of karma will effect him. Somehow or the other the bloodshed will get to him.

-> The sins committed ( of killing others) will not only affect him but also the entire family

-> He is still in confusion whether to fight or not to fight


And then he turns to the Lord and says, ‘You are my Guru, I surrender to you, please show me the way’.


And Krishna leads him to his path.


So many times we are bewildered, lost in circumstances and we break our heads trying to find our way out. When the simplest thing is to surrender to Him.  The one who rules the entire world, won’t he deliver us?

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In the Bhagvad Gita, Bhagvan tells repeatedly; Don’t worry, have faith, surrender to me and I will take care of all your needs.

And we in all our foolishness think that we are the ones doing everything and worry. Worry of the future, worry about well-being of us and our loved ones, worry, worry, worry.
We forget so conveniently that he is everywhere, looking at us, taking care of us.

In the third chapter, 30th shlok he says, do whatever you do as for me, leave all attachments, don’t think of results and surrender to me. It’s actually such a simple task. Do your best and leave everything to him, he will overlook the rest.


Years ago, fresh out of OT I had discovered that I had gone blind, that time I had surrendered to him, ‘DO whatever you wish to do, just give me enough strength to accept everything’, I had asked.
And he had given me back my eyesight, my life everything.


Surrender that is all that is needed.

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