[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.40

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Sun Apr 2 12:31:25 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

kRShNa further elucidates the importance of karma

nehAbhikramanAsho.asti pratyavAyo na vidyate.
svalpamapyasya dharmasya trAyate mahato bhayAt.. 2.40

in this (i.e. karma yoga), there is neither
destruction of the fruits of action (that have been
commenced) nor is any danger known to result (because
of it's performance). even a little (performance) of
this dharma (i.e. karma yoga) saves one from (the)
great fear (of samsAra).

in the previous verse, it was taught that one could
totally destroy karma bandha through the performance
of (karma) yoga. a 'relaxed' version of the previous
verse is given here. unlike the case of sannyAsa where
there are no rules of expiation for one who has fallen
from the vows of sannyAsa, in karma yoga, even a small
beginning is well worth it's start.

since the fruit of karma yoga is the purification of
the mind and not the acquisition of any external
object, there is no destruction of it's results. in
other words, while the objects that are acquired as a
fruit of karmAnuShThAna are themselves temporary, the
mental purity that is acquired as a result of niShkAma
karma cannot be destroyed.

when an action (nitya or kAmya karma) is performed
with a desire for it's results, all the nitty-gritty
details of the action and it's accessories have to be
taken care of for it to bear fruit. it is also
possible that an imperfect performance of certain
actions can lead to undesirable effects. on the other
hand, when actions are performed without any desire
for their results by dedicating the fruits of action
to Ishvara, there is no danger involved since the
notions of kartRtva (doership) and bhoktRtva
(enjoyership) are surrendered to Him. or, IshvarArpana
buddhi saves one from dangers due to any imperfection
in the performance of various actions since these get
nullified by IshvarAnugraha.

(the most important component of karma yoga is the
absence of desire for the fruits of action. even a
kAmya karma performed without a desire for it's fruits
will lead to chitta shuddhi. this chitta shuddhi is a
result of IshvarAnugraha.) 

since any form of affliction pertains either to the
body or to the mind and since karma yoga enjoins an
impartial treatment of pleasure and pain, heat and
cold, etc., even a little practice of karma yoga frees
one from the grips of shoka and moha. for this reason,
it is said to loosen the hold of saMsAra on us. the
last half of the verse can also be interpreted to mean
that the degree of mental purity that is acquired is
proportional to the degree of unselfishness present
when an action is performed.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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