Liberation from the bonds of Karma - Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.39

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    In verse 2.39, Krishna introduces the word Sankhya.

    Aeshaa thae(a)bhihithaa saankhyae, buddhiryogae thvimaam s(h)ruNu
    Buddhyaa yukthO yayaa paartha, karmabhandham prahaasyasi - 2.39

    This knowledge imparted to you till now, deals with Sankhya. Now you listen to this (following teaching) which deals with Yoga. Endowed with this wisdom, you will give up all the bonds of Karma, Oh Arjuna !

    Sankhya is one of the six systems of philosophy pertaining to Hinduism. In Gita, Krishna used that word to indicate self-knowledge. Sankhya and yoga are the theory and practice of religion. They do not come into conflict with each other but complement each other. As Atman is understood, life gets enriched.
    Yoga is living the life with abundance. By practising yoga, mind becomes more pure and clarity emerges with regard to the concept of atma. Thus jnana and yoga mutually aid.

    So Krishna goes on to explain how to harmonise atma and life.
    The person who sinned in the past
    And
    The person who suffers in the present
    are one and the same.
    In short, the past sinner is the present sufferer!

    According to our scriptures, this is the mind-intellect-equipment (sukshma sarira) in each of us.

    Why pursue karma yoga?
    The knowledge of karma yoga enables to destroy the bondage of karma.
    karmabhandham prahaasyasi

    Karma here means dharma-adharma, which means punya-papa, the good and the bad actions that alone bind the individual. So it is called the bondage of karma. But this bondage is destroyed by the knowledge made possible by karma-yoga.
    Knowledge destroys ignorance and with that, doesrship is destroyed, causing all karmas to fall apart.

    To achieve moksha (liberation) both karma yoga and jnana yoga are necessary. Both life-styles imply knowledge. First, to gain knowledge, we need a properly prepared mind and God's grace.

    Swami Chinmayananda's words are very relevant here:
    One who lives in perfect equanimity in all conditions must necessarily come to live in a realm of his own away from
    The pleasure and pain of intellect
    The sobs of success and failure of the mind
    The fears of loss and gain in the flesh.
    To the degree an individual detaches himself from his own body, mind and intellect, to that degree , his ego is dead and therefore, since the "sufferer" is no longer available, thjere cannot be any more "fruits of action" for him to suffer.
    Krishna next goes on to praise karma-yoga.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra,

    One gets to read about Karmayoga a lot. Yoga is often discussed quite lucidly by many. But Sankhya is something one does not hear much about.
    Hence, it was interesting to read that Sankhya and Yoga are theory and practice of religion and they complement each other.
    This verse weighs very heavy with the essence of Gita. I feel one should go through it with understanding and contemplation.
    Will have to read this again and again for the full significance to sink in.

    L, Kamla
     
  3. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Finally a topic I wanted to learn more about.. So Sankhya , is a word used to indicate self knowledge. And Sankhya and Yoga go hand in hand. And they complement each other. It is extremely interesting to note that the past sinner is the present sufferer. There Time does not exist. Knowledge destroys ignorance and with that doership is destroyed. I am writing so as to get clarity though it might sound repeating to you. If the "sufferer" does not exist, then fruits of action will not affect "sufferer" and then bondages from karma are destroyed.When the individual detaches himself from body the doer does not exist. Its like what Ramanar has said. In short the different yogas are preparing us for this at the body and mind level. Thanks Chithra
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,
    You are the early bird this time & I thank you very much.
    In Gita second chapter is called Sankhya yoga & only third chapter is the much talked about karma yoga. Hence this chapter deals with the abstract topic of self-knowedge which forms the theoritical basis for the practical karma yoga.
    You are right - this verse has to sink in fully, but don't worry as understanding will emerge gradually.
    I do hope Cheeniya will be able to help us here with his words of practical wisdom !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    Till krishna introduced the word Sankhya, I did not want to write about that name when we were discussing precisely the same!
    By Sankhya, we only understand the principles. To practise, we should turn to Yoga.
    Sankhya was given in four verses - 2.12 - 2.15.
    Next, Yoga will come in four verses - 2.45 - 2.48.
    These two grous of four verses each expound the essential wisdom of the Gita. We can even say, all other verses are simply an extension of them !
    Thus we see that sankhya & yoga are complementary.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  6. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra,
    Sankya -new topic.But ,made an interesting read as explained.I was struck with the line"Past sinner is the Present sufferer".When we are in trouble we always question god Why me? without realising that its the our karma and we need to go thru it.I was reading, re reading this to catch up with the essence.Truely chith, i was a bit upset today,but reading on karma yoga n sankya i am much clear on What i have earned for myself is the result of the karma.I'm at peace now.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Aish,
    At this juncture if you go through the threads
    The Law of Karma - Part 1
    The Law of Karma - Part 2
    you will understand better. The sentence
    Past sinner is present sufferer
    is strongly worded & hence I did not want to quote it then.
    We just have to tell ourselves that there is a perfect accounting system in the Universe for all our actions - be, they, omissions or commissions!
    There is no escaping it & that answers all questions starting with "Why, me".
    You will understand the concept very well.

    I hope you read the last thread. If you want to continue understanding Gita posts, you should not miss out on any for the sake of continuity. Please don't think, I am asking for FBs - no, no, not at all.
    Thanks, Aishu.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  8. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks for the links chithu, i will read it once i find time today to get a deeper understanding..I did read the last post on Gita, but due to time constrainst at work, i forgot to post a F.B.And knowing you very well for he past 1+ years, you dunt have to jusify abt the F.B stuff .Dunt i know my Chithra well???

     
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Let us take a more detailed view of Sankhya. Kapila, believed to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, is the founder of the Sankhya Philosophy. He clearly explains Sankhya at great length to his mother, Devahuti. The Sankhya Philosophy has inspired various philosophies including Sankara’s Advaitha.

    According to Sankhya, Purusha is the unmanifest state of the soul and is the equivalent of Paramathma or the Supreme God. Purusha is eternal and omnipresent. There is nothing in the world that is not embedded in Purusha. Purusha is without any characteristics. The manifest energy of Purusha is known as Prakriti. As a part of its Leela, the Purusha induces Prakriti to influence it. Under the influence of Prakriti, Purusha begins to take on Prakriti’s characteristics and this form is known as the Jivathma.

    The mind perceives the Jiv Atma as different from the Param Atma and gets deluded. Feelings of “I” and “Mine” enter the mind. The mind also begins to get involved with emotions of love, hate,. anger and desire and with the various human relations. As a result the individual feels happiness and unhappiness. Agyana engulfs him deeply.

    When Devahuti asks Kapila how humans could liberated from this Agyana. Kapila explains that the mind should not be attached to the material and emotional things that it had got attached to. However it is very difficult, if not impossible, for the human mind to exist in a state of non-attachment because Prakriti will sooner or later exert its influence. The solution is to attach the mind to the Supreme God so that it cannot get attached to anything else. Just as a glass that is already full of water cannot be filled with anything else.

    Devahuti questions Kapila again. The mind is attached to so many things. How can one suddenly erase these attachments and attach it to God? Kapila replies that there are many ways but they are not like a magic wand. The easiest and the quickest way is through devotion or “bhakti”. The way to inculcate bhakti is through the company of holy men. Listening to them recount tales of the incarnations of God and chanting hymns with them helps in detaching the mind from undesirable things. The devotee should dwell in a secluded and peaceful place and eat the minimum that is essential for survival. He or she should observe celibacy and should look to all humans without enmity and without attachment.

    Slowly the mind will be free from all material and emotional attachments and focus only on God. At that time the veil of disillusionment will disappear and the mind will recognize the Jivatma and Paramatma as one. At that time the devotee will be free of all desires, including desire of eternal salvation. But because he or she is attached to the Supreme God, the devotee will get freedom from the cycle of birth and death without desiring it.
    Sri
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    The author of sankhya-sutra is Kapila maharishi, as you have written.
    Sankhya is a discriminative presentation of what is real and what is unreal.Every step of the unfoldment is based on discrimination. For eg, the body (deha) is subject to death, whereas the one who dwells in the body (dehi) is not. This discrimination is presented because people usually think that when deha is destroyed, the dehi is also destroyed. When one is not mistaken for the other, there is discrimination & it is this knowledge that has been given with reference to the reality of the atma. Thus Krishna said
    "So far, whatever I have taught you is with reference to sankhya."
    Your last paragraph brings to my mind Paramacharyal & Bhagavan Ramana.
    Your contribution to this thread is very valuable, thanks.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     

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