Wednesday, January 20, 2010

III: 1

CHAPTER THREE

KARMA YOGA

THE YOGA OF SERVICE

Verse 1

Arjuna says,

“But, Krishna, if you consider
Knowledge of the Self
Superior to any sort of action,
Why are you telling me
To do these terrible deeds?

Sri Aurobindo:

“Krishna has been teaching the withdrawal of the will from the normal temperament of the sense-seeking lower mind with its ignorance to the desireless, calm unity and serenity of poise in the Self. So much Arjuna has understood. There is no room here for works, since works belong to the ignorance. Action seems to be the very opposite of knowledge. Its seed is desire and its fruit is bondage. This is the orthodox philosophical doctrine. And yet Krishna insists upon works as part of the Yoga, so that there seems to be in this teaching a radical inconsistency. Arjuna faces a task that seems wholly inconsistent with serenity and the motionless peace of the Self-delighted soul…a work terrible and monstrous, a bloody strife, a giant massacre. Arjuna complains that he has been given a confusing teaching, not the clear, strenuously single road by which the human intelligence can move straight and vigorously towards the supreme good.”

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Dear Krishan & Lalita,

How does the Gita distinguish selfless work from overwork? Seems to be a common behavioral samskara in American culture.

Namaste & blog on,
Prema Jess

Krishna Jaya said...

I don't have a ready Gita reference but will be looking for one and will let you know when I come across an appropriate verse or commentary. In the meantime, my take: we overwork when we forget that our body/mind is a temple of God. This forgetting is caused by ego investment in results. When we become instruments of the higher power, we will get enough rest and consequently function optimally.

Jessica said...

Thanks Krishna! Your take on it suits me fine.

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