Skip to main content

Gita : Ch-4. Slo-17.

Srimad Bhagavad-GIta :

Chapter-4. ( Jnana-karma-sanyasa-yogam )

Slokam-17. ( The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is. )

karmano  hyapi  boddhavyam  boddhavyam  ca  vikarmanah,

akarmanasca   boddhavyam  gahana  karmano  gatih.

karmanah  =  so  what  is  the  nature  of  true  karma;

boddhavyam  =  should  be  known  (understood);

vikarmanah  ca  =  also  about  forbidden  action  too;

boddhavyam  =  should  be  known  (understood);

akarmanah  api ca  =  the  nature  of  inaction  too;

boddhavyam  =  should  be  known  (understood);

hi  =  Why  because;

karmanah  gatih  =  the  secret  of  karmam;

gahana  =  is  very  difficult  to   understand.

The actual nature of karma or prescribed Vedic actions performed for attaining moksa or liberation from material existence should be understood. Actions which are nitya or regular and actions which are naimittika or occasional if done with any sense of enjoyment in mind or if they are done with the desire for material rewards should both be known to be vikarma or improper actions. The absence of action known as akarma which sometimes can be considered action as well should also be comprehended. Therefore the path of karma is not easily discernible for one seeking moksa. The reason why regular and occasional activities should be clearly assimilated for an aspirant for moksa is because the rewards for each are varied but one should look at them all with equipoise and realising that they all have one uniform purpose and that is the fulfilment of the goal which is the attainment of moksa. Without proper teaching and understanding of the Vedic scriptures one will not perceive this critical conclusion but this is the Vedic conception as revealed by Lord Krishna already and thus it is not necessary to expatiate upon the subject further here.

Moksa or liberation from the material existence will not be achieved by mere knowing of the dos and don'ts of action. Only by correct knowledge of the nature of actions can one achieve moksa. Factually this means without knowledge of the resplendent Supreme Lord and how all actions are ultimately performed in relation to Him, it will be impossible to ever be delivered from samsara or the repetitive cycle of birth and death. Realisation of the Supreme Lord Krishna as paramatma or the Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of every living being is the indispensable ingredient for moksa, how can there be success any other way. Karma is performing actions, akarma is the non-performance of actions and vikarma is performing improper actions, which are prohibited. Actions filled with desire and craving are vikarma and prohibited. Why are they prohibited? Because they create bondage for the living entity to material existence. Therefore the wise after reflecting and contemplating the intricacies of action in this light should perform actions accordingly. Such sagacious persons do not become deluded and deviate from this course during adverse situations even though it is deluding and bewildering for others.

Action is generally understood to be the activity of the body and senses while inaction is the opposite of this. How is it that those with discrimination and intelligence are bewildered by this? The true nature of action must be known as well as the real nature of inaction which includes the non-performance of prohibited actions. For the intricacies of action, sinful action and prohibited actions are mysterious and not generally known. The use in the genitive sense of the word karmano meaning actions infers the mysterious characteristics of the true nature of action, inaction and prohibited actions.

Actions also have originated from Lord Krishna so for this reason as well, one desirous of their best welfare should by all means become knowledgeable of Him. Since everything has ultimately emanated from the Will of the Supreme Lord, including even the energy behind every action it is superfluous not to accept Him completely but at least every being should understand His supreme position. Only by knowledge of Him can one tread the path that leads to moksa or liberation from the material existence.

A question may arise from the previous slokam that if bodily activities are action and the absence of bodily activities is inaction then how is it that even those possessing discrimination are deluded in this matter? To answer this question Lord Krishna reveals that there are some special considerations to understand about the true nature of activities prescribed in the Vedic scriptures as well as the real nature of non performance of actions along with the factual nature of prohibited actions which are forbidden. The intricacies of action and inaction are mysterious and hard to fathom and are not commonly known in the world. For example action implies inaction as well as prohibited actions. How this is to be understood is very mysterious and will be explained next.

To be continued  ...


Popular posts from this blog

Gita : Ch-10. Slo-12 & 13.

Srimad  Bhagavad-Gita :

Chapter-10. ( Vibhuthi-yogam)

Slokam-12 & 13.


arjuna uvaca :

param  brahma  param  dhama  pavitram  paramam  bhavan,

purusham  sasvatam  divyam  adidevamajam  vibhum.

arjuna uvaca :  arjuna  said;

param  brahma  param  dhama  =  supreme  brahmam  and  supreme  place  to  attain (sustenance );

paramam  pavitram  bhavan  =  supreme  and  purest  are  yourself;

tvam  sasvatam  divyam  purusham  =  you  are  the  divine  permanent purushan;

adi-devam-ajam  =  very  first  supreme  lord  and  unborn ( svayambhu );

vibhum  =  all  pervading,  ( said )  as;


ahustvamrshayah  sarve  devarshirnaradastatha,

asito  devalo  vyasah  svayam  caiva  bravishi me.

sarve  rshayah  =  all  rishi-s  and;

tatha  devarshih  naradah  =  also  deva  rishi  narada  and;

asitah  devalah  =  asitan  and  devala;

vyasah  ahu  =  and  vyasa  too  say;

svayam  eva  =  now  you  are  your  own;

me  bravishi  ca  =  also  explained,  ( the  above,  that  way said ) to  me.


Gita : Ch-13. Slo-13. Discussion-3.

Bhagavad-Gita :
Chapter-13. ( Kshetra-kshetrajna-vibhaga-yogam )

Slokam-13. ( I shall now explain the knowable, knowing which you will taste the eternal. This is beginningless, and it is subordinate to Me. It is called Brahmam, the spirit, and it lies beyond the cause and effect of this material world.)

jneyam  yat  tat  pravakshyami  yatjnatvamrtamasnute,

anadimat  param   brahma  na  sat  tannasaducyate.

jneyam  yat  =   (which )  the  one  which  is  to  be  known  ( knowledge );
yat  jnatva  =  ( if  )  that  one  is  known ( knowing  that  knowledge );
amrtam  asnute  =  results  in  gaining  amrtatvm;
tat  pravakshyami  =  that  I  will  tell ( teach )  you;
anadimat  param   brahma  =  that  is  the  beginningless   Para-brahmam  ( the Supreme  abode ) ;
tat  sat  na  asat  na  =  that  either  sat ( cause ) or  asat  ( effect );
ucyate  =  cannot  be  said ( called ).

Discussion -3.
The use of the term innermost self to refer to the brahman does not create any contradiction bec…

Gita : Ch-5. Slo-27 & 28.

(Very important slokam-s, Here Lord narrates the details of meditation)

Srimad Bhagavad-Gita:

Chapter-5. ( Karma-sanyasa-yogam )

Slokam-27 & 28. (  Shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the eyes and vision concentrated between the two eyebrows, suspending the inward and outward breaths within the nostrils—thus controlling the mind, senses and intelligence, the tranecendentalist becomes free from desire, fear and anger. One who is always in this state is certainly liberated.)


Sparsan    krtva    bahirbahyan     cakshuscaivantare     bhruvoh,

pranapanau    samau    krtva     nasabhyantaracarinau.

( 28 ).

Yatendriyamanobuddhiah    muniahmokshaparayanah,

vigatecchabhayakrodhah    yah    sada     mukta    eva    sah.


bahirbahyan     sparsan  =  unnecessary   external    sense     objects,    such    as    sound, etc.;

bahiah    krtva  =   do    not    allowing    to   enter    within,   by    determination,   setting   them    outside;

cakshuah    ca  =  keeping …