Chapter 18 : Moksha Sannyaasa Yog (Part 1)| Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta Sanjay Ki Nazar Se

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This chapter is the final conclusion of Bhagwad Geeta, we can say just like the second chapter was its introduction or preamble so this concluding chapter is its review. This adhyay of Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta is the longest chapter comprising of 78 verses so we have divided it into two parts for convenience of understanding of the readers.

When we are able to finally comprehend “Who Am I? Then man is able to understand “Moksha” and also the supreme soul. When we finally begin to be aware of the answer to Who am I ? then we are also able to clearly witness our destiny and the labor we have to put in order to reach or fulfill our destiny.

It was marvelously explained by Shri Krishna in the previous chapters of Bhagwad Geeta that there are three types of personalities depending on their dispositions or “Gunas”. These can be classified as “Satvik”, the ” Rajasik” and the lazy and dull tendency which is ” Tamasik”. This Chapter discusses how these Gunas create disparity among individuals in their capability and aptitude to perform sacrifices, speaking qualities and also their knowledge capacity and wisdom, in their actions, resilience and internal cheerfulness. In this chapter, we will understand the ultimate meaning of Bhagwad Geeta. When we know our aim then we are propelled in the right direction. The ultimate objective has to determine if we want to understand the true meaning of life. So this chapter deals with knowing our definitive objective in life.

The most important aspect is the meaning of the following three words, repeated in the chapters previously.

  • “Satvikta”
  • “Rajsikta”
  • “Tamsikta”

Satvikta here refers to “Parmarth” what we do to achieve our objective. We all want to move towards Satvikta.

Our journey is moving towards a conclusion, are the final destination. We are made to understand that the total giving up all desire-provoked activities is “Sanyaas” while the renunciation while giving up of the fruits of actions is “Tyaag” or relinquishment.

What is “Moksha”, This means that we give up the attachment or “Moh” towards the fruit of our action this happens when we are staying away from our holy Bhagwad Geeta. When we go for the last rituals of a person, the cremation place is called as “Moksha Dwar”, this is because we mortal beings believe that “Moksha” or liberation can be obtained only after death. The truth, however, is contrary to the aforesaid; the truth is that we can attain liberation while living in this world of attachment. This just is determined whether one has obtained detachment from the worldly affairs.

This chapter of Bhagwad Geeta highlights the following five important aspects:

  1. Difference between “Sanyaas” and “Tyaag”?
  2. How many categories of “Tyaag” are existent?
  3. When does our “Karma” achieve “Siddhi” that is when is it that we are able to finally accomplish our work and objective?
  4. Types of Knowledge
  5. What is “Karma” and who is “Karta”?

 Bhagwad Geeta was created by Shri Krishna about five thousand years ago, however, with the passage of time, the true meaning of “Sanyaas” was lost. People started believing that giving up work or actions was Sanyaas.

Bhagwad Geeta very clearly expresses the “Varna Vyawastha” or caste system which shows what kind of work is attributed to whom. Shri Krishna explains clearly the duties of the people according to their caste. If a human being renounces the work then they can never achieve liberation.

“Tyaag” is superior to “Sanyaas”, the total giving up all desire-provoked activities is “Sanyaas” while the renunciation, while giving up of the fruits of actions and having “Nishkaam” bhaav, is “Tyaag” or relinquishment and doing it with “Anasakt” bhav. The two important words here are ” Nishkaam” and “Anasakt”.

“Nishkaam” makes the heart contented, when we give up expectations we are at ease. So when our mind and heart calm we are liberated and happy. “Anasakt” means not getting attached to the fruits of action, when we out of fear do not perform the duties then we are doomed towards downfall.

The action which is our duty according to nature is the effort put forth by us at present to attain its fruit which comes in the future. So, we can say that the fruit is a zenith or culmination in the future of the present action. When an action is prompted by desire then it may be the cause of anxiety and mental disturbances.

Hence renunciation is the objective to be reached through abandoning the apprehension for the pleasure of the fruits of actions. Both “Sannyas” and “Tyag” are actually the disciplines in our life activities. These terms, however, do not indicate that work can be ignored. Shri Krishna insists that we must always work. Shri Krishna tells us not to completely renounce our works but the adaptation of all works into “nishkaam karma”

Sometimes, it happens with all of us that we feel we are unable to complete our tasks or we were not able to accomplish whatever we wanted to do. Shri Krishna moves ahead and tells us that whatever action a man performs by his body, speech and mind, For a work to be complete whether it is correct or the reverse, there are five “Stambh” or causes to it.

Sri Krishna says that there are five aspects or “Stambh” of action or five divisions of work which are as follows:

1. The body which is the gateway for the entry and existence of the      worldly    stimuli

  2. The “Aatma”

  3. “Indriyan” which are the organs of perception.

 4. The organs of action or “Indriyo ki Kriya”

5. “Deviya” which is also the “Prarabdh”.This is the karma of past lives.

How are these related is a question which might befuzzles our minds? When we want to do some work, The Atma tells then the body begins to follow the work. “Indriya” also need to have “Chestha” ie desire to do the work. Last which is “Deviya” is the wish of God. Only when all the above five stated are in sync then the ultimate result can be obtained.

In the previous chapters we have studied about “Knowledge” or “Gyaan” but in the following verses Shri Krishna tells us that there are sub-types of knowledge also which are as follows:

  1. Satvik Gyaan
  2. Rajsik Gyaan
  3. Tamsik Gyaan

Satvik is one in which a person acquires the knowledge by considering all beings as one. There is no differentiation in the mind of such a person, he realizes that there is an underlying harmony in all things and they are a part of the universal soul which is God. Such a person shall never harm anyone.

Rajsik Gyaan is acquired by people who differentiate among people, they believe that different souls dwell in different people and they do not consider all a part of the universal God. On the other hand, the third category of people are those who are the lowest strata of knowledge seekers, they consider beings as just being as a body as a man or a woman. They cannot think beyond the acquisition of bodily pleasures.

What is “Satvik Karma” and who is “Satvik Karta”? Satvik Karma as previously discussed is a person who does work without thinking about the results of actions. Such a doer of the action is “Sthir Pragya” and is a Satvik Karta.

Rajasik karma or work is the kind of work which is propelled by desires which are in waiting for realization. Such people are self-centered and have a vainglorious attitude. They cannot think beyond “I”.

The Third kind of Karma or work is Tamsik work this kind of work is taken up without any regard for the penalty or its consequences. This might bring disaster and sorrow to all around in the world including the performer. They originate in an individual out of his wrong or “Tamsik” knowledge and misconception about the goal of life. These are undertaken by men of Tamasic knowledge.

This knowledge should be used by our beings to improve ourselves to become better human beings and not for judging and misjudging others.

These thoughts shall now be continued in the forthcoming chapter.

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