Abhinav Khare deep dives into the fourth chapter of Bhagvad Geeta where Krishna believes that every path that leads to God includes karma
Krishna tells Arjun that he will be revealing to him something which is considered to be an ancient teaching. Krishna taught this wisdom to the Gods in the past, but over the years, the knowledge got diluted and somehow has remained lost in the pages of time. When Arjun asks why this knowledge is lost, he answers that he was born innumerable times and is thus eternal. He sometimes chooses to come down to earth when he sees the righteousness faltering and there is widespread chaos around the world. The purpose of his present incarnation is to help Arjun understand the purpose of his own actions. Krishna then explains that God is in one’s actions and that in this present context, God is both the actor and the action. Worship has many ways like meditation, study of scripture, etc, yet these are just subsets of the main path of right action. Wisdom comes from performing the right action which makes it imperative for us to have a wise teacher as our guide.
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत |
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || - Shlok 7
Whenever the world walks away from the path of dharma and righteousness towards adharma and unrighteousness, it is then that I manifest myself on earth
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || - Shlok 8
To protect dharma, to erase wickedness, and to re-establish the principles of dharma, I will always come down to earth.
This chapter familiarises us with the concept of sacrifice. The term sacrifice as defined by the Hindu scriptures, especially the Vedic scriptures has a nuanced definition. Originally, it meant only rituals and food and water offerings around a sacred fire, but later the definition broadened to imply holy rituals. In Sanskrit, sacrifice is called yajna which sometimes means sacrifice and sometimes it just means worship. Both however imply the same idea, i.e., the right karma which is a person’s experience with wisdom and truth.
Though Krishna mentions that there are numerous ways to reach God, he emphasises on only one for Arjun, that is the path of karma yog. In fact, Krishna goes on to explain that all other paths are an offset to the primary path of karma. Krishna believes that every path that leads to God includes karma and the path of karma will always be there regardless.
Krishna often argues that the pursuit of knowledge starts with sacrificing ego and delusion. Knowledge begins when a person has advanced himself by sacrificing his vices. Thus, what Krishna tries to advocate is basically an understanding of the world and its existence. It is seeing the truth beyond illusion and ego, and rising above it all.
About Abhinav Khare:
Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News and hosts a daily show Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare. He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He lives in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. He is a hands-on Tech Startup professional with an entrepreneurial DNA. He is passionate about policy, technology, economy and the synergy of them all. An avid traveller himself, he has already ticked over 42 countries and hundred cities around the globe.
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Last Updated Oct 7, 2019, 7:31 PM IST