|| Shree Hari ||
|| 2-49 ||
doorena hy avaram karma, buddhi-yogaad dhananjaya
buddhau saranam anviccha, kripanaah phala-hetavah || 49 ||
“O Dhanamjaya (Arjuna), action performed with a selfish motive is far inferior to that performed with equanimity of mind (Budhi-Yoga). Seek refuge in this evenness of mind (Samtaa), wretched are those who crave for the fruits of action.”
The ordinary action motivated by result is far inferior to the one performed with the equanimity of mind, the two states cannot be compared. The reason for that is that the action has a beginning and an end (perishable) while Yoga stays the same at all times (imperishable). Therefore, one should take refuge in Karma Yoga only and not in the ordinary action. Yoga cannot be attained through actions rather it can be attained through performing actions while servering all relationship with the action and the fruits of actions. Performing actions ordinarily gives rise to birth and death and performing action with the attitude of Yoga is liberating.
From “Gita Prabodhani” in Hindi, page 50-51 by Swami
Chapter 2, Verse 49 is as follows;
DooreNa = by far
Hi = indeed
Avaram = inferior
Karma = action
Buddhi – Yogaat = in comparison with wisdom
Dhananjaya = O Winner of wealth! / O Arjuna!
Buddhau = in wisdom
SharaNam = refuge
Anvichchha = seek
KrupaNaaH = wretched
Phala – hetavaaH = seekers after fruits
O Arjuna, mere action is far inferior to the one performed with the equanimity of mind, therefore take refuge in the evenness of the mind i.e. the intelligence. Indeed pitiful or wretched are those, who seek for the fruits of their action.
The entire world is involved in a day to day transaction of `Lena Aur Dena’ i.e. to initiate an action provided there are either tangible or intangible returns. It is treated as if an unbreakable pair of action and reaction.
What is expected from a Yogi is very nicely illustrated in a doha / verse of Santa Kabir which is, “Hame Na Kucha Lenaa Na Denaa, Hame Sirf Magan Rahenaa” i.e. I am not involved in any transaction of `give and take’ as I am already engrossed in the Self.
The majority performs any action as wage-earners and as a result makes themselves wretched ones. There are very few who initiate action with the sense of service as a bounden duty and sacrifice, while expecting nothing in return. They assume the role of a giver and do not participate in `the operation grab’ that goes on unabated otherwise.
There are many examples of such relentless givers in the nature. The Sun offers light and heat that is crucial to the very survival and maintenance of the entire living beings on the Earth. Rivers like Ganges and Nile offer water and in turn convert their banks into fertile fields where three crops can be drawn in a year. All such actions are without expectations of any returns in cash or kind.
In essence, as the more water is drawn from a well, more fresh water is supplied by underground water currents; similarly the more a Sadhak acts with the unwavering faith in one’s obligatory duties, the more he grows in the establishment of Yoga i.e. one-ness with the Self.
Though the word `BuddhiH’ means intellect, `Buddhi-Yoga’ in this verse refers to the Nishkaama Karma-Yoga i.e. the self-less action. It is the novel concept of practice of action in conjunction with the guidance of the intellect. The idea is that the intellect always raises the bar of excellence and therefore `Chanchala Mana’ i.e. fickle mind becomes `Chala’ i.e. the mind surrenders to the increasing higher goals and accelerates all self-less actions towards the ultimate goal of the Self-realisation.
Self-centered and desire-ridden actions drive people to mental agony and misery. Therefore, wretched are those who merely seek sensual pleasures, acquisition of objects of endless desires and enjoyment of the fruits of actions. However, this is equivalent to the insatiable fire, which consumes everything and the end result is destruction everywhere.
Unselfish work that is performed in the spirit of dedication and devoid of ego is the secret recipe of exhausting all individual unfulfilled residual desires, which are stumbling blocks in the ascent of a man to a Yogi.
Therefore, Lord Krishna’s advice to Arjuna is, “Let your mind be perfectly under the control and direction of the intellect and instead of seeking `Sukha and Shaantee’ i.e. satisfaction and peace in the external world; try to turn inwards and take refuge in the knowledge of the Self, which already resides within your own heart.”