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November 30, 2009, 08:08 AM
In the beginning of the 3rd and 18th chapters there is
repetition of doubt regarding SANYASA and KARMA and
Initially when I was studying, I thought in the 2nd chapter
itself there is sufficient clarification about SWADHARMA
and hence there is no need for further doubt and subsequent
explanation. I thought it to be redundant.
But the ideas of SANYASA, KARMA and TYAGA are
subtle and hence can be confusing when it comes to actual
This is because Gita perspective is expression of cosmic
consciusness. It encompasses the cosmos, society and the
individual consciousness and individuals. The processes of
transcending (SANYASA and TYAGA) and involving or
participating (KARMA), which are apparently
contradictory are basically complementary and uniquely
and excellently reconciled in Gita.
This becomes clearer as one keeps on practicing
These processes are related to blossoming and sustaining!
When one blossoms; the past form is given up and new
form is adopted, but the life processes within; go on in
continuity in a sustained manner. SANYASA is growth and
YOGA is the continued life!
It becomes clearer and clearer in an ongoing manner as one
keeps on studying and contemplating on Gita and
This highlights the previously discussed point of rising
above without hating or trapped by the physiological
characteristics in the nature, society and the body and
consciousness encompassing them.
This understanding or realization also resolves the
confusion about KAMYA KARMA, NITYA KARMA, and
NAIMITTIK KARMA and so on. It is clarified that giving
up KAMYA KARMA is SANYASA. This has different
implications in terms of external appearances, but the
purport is universal. Thus SANYASA would mean
renouncing the profitable activities, which are at variance
with the SWADHARMA. Thus at different stages of life
individual renounces certain activities starting right from
suckling of milk.
Similarly a brahmin (actually it is pronounced as
BRAHMANA) does not indulge in the activities of
KSHATRIYA (martial activities involved in protection and
safety of the society) or VAISHYA (trading) activities.
This is a kind of SANYASA.
Moreover, just as a ripened fruit drops from the tree and is
eaten by animals or man, in the same way, in old age the
individual renounces direct administrative involvement
while continuing with the essence of activities conducive to
individual and global blossoming.
TYAGA meant giving up the KARMA PHALA i.e. fruits,
gains or results of the activity. This is associated with the
word detachment, which does not convey the vital and
vibrant spirit of KARMAPHALA TYAGA. It does not
convey the innate meaning of implying growth and coming
out of; subjective or personal considerations, which nurture
individualistic forces manifesting in jealousy, envy, hatred,
arrogance, depression followed by rat race, petty
competitions, jealousy, other crimes and social
decomposition! TYAGA has a positive element of getting
rid of what is harmful or inappropriate, while being focused
on what is maximally benevolent!