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Message to a Gyani PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

Na buddhibhedm janayed
agyanam karmasanginam
joshayet sarvakarmani
vidvan yuktah samacharan

The wise should never confuse a person
Who is sincerely doing karma
With his attachments and desires.
But, he, the centered wise one
Should always do his karma well
And without attachment
And encourage others to
Engage in similar karma all the way ||3:26||

Krishna does not classify karma into good or bad. He does not talk about right action and wrong action. Krishna does not give out any commandments. He simply is telling Arjuna to become a Gyani and then explains to him that a Gyani has to act in the same way as others act. There is no desire to drive the Gyani to do any karma. His motive is welfare of others. And this motivation also will drop and what will remain is pure compassion. Krishna’s whole emphasis is that a Gyani needs to be in the real world with real people and doing karma similar to them. Krishna does not want the Gyani to become, “holier than thou personality.”

This is so much in contrast to what we find in many of our current saints and preachers. Their whole existence depends on them being or becoming different than the crowd. Some mahatma does not eat salt, while another one does not walk after dusk. There is nothing wrong in what they are doing, but if the whole act is to make sure they can be different than others, then there is a problem. Krishna’s emphasis is on the inner quality and he wants Arjuna to be transformed into a different being yet stay the same person.

This shloka is directed to Arjuna after he becomes a Gyani. This is a unique shloka. It is easy to understand that Arjuna needed Krishna’s direction and advice. It is hard to understand that Buddha, Ramakrishna or Maharshi Raman need any advice from Krishna. What can be their problem? Krishna is concerned about what message they are going to give to the rest of the world. Krishna here is the Teacher of all teachers. He wants to make sure that Arjuna does not confuse the rest of the population with his new found knowing of a gyani.

Let us try to understand this. I was brought up in a village. I had a world of my own at that time. Every one in the village was a bhaiya, didi, chacha or some one that close. Many worked hard whereas there were several who were bums. There was intense politics too. There were fights and there were lawsuits. Now, I am out of the village. I have seen the world. I know that many of these people were and are poor from any standards. Their fights were and are mostly for petty reasons. They waste their lifetime saving on the lawsuits and sometimes they lose some family members to these fights. I go back to my village and see some of these people struggle to make 100 rupees. It was a good sum when I was growing up in the village. It is still a good sum for many there. It is only two dollars for me now.

If I go to the village and try to preach them that the value of 100 rupees is only two dollars and it is not worth much, what effect it will have. If I try to tell them that George Bush is trying to attack Iraq and you should learn about that, what will they understand? These are not really good examples, yet convey the nonsense value of what I will be telling a crowd that has different set of concerns and issues. My newfound knowledge and scope is meaningless to them. It will be far better if some of them could go to college, get educated and then see for themselves the futility of the pettiness in their lives.

There is something to learn from Krishna’s life. Krishna was born in a jail. The doors of the jail opened the moment he was born. This is a miracle and might have happened in that time and moment. But, this is also so significant because here came a birth that was free from the birth.

When a person is physically in jail, he does want to get out. He tries to behave so that he can get out of jail earlier than his term. Some try to escape out. Nobody has to tell a prisoner about the advantages of freedom. Just imagine that the prisoner did not know that he is in jail. He would not know what life is like outside jail. There is no reason for him to venture to get out of the jail. Why should he risk his life?

This is happening to all of us. We are in some sort of a jail except that we do not know about it. J Krishnamurti calls it conditioning. Arjuna is captive of his own emotions and so are most of us. A person like Krishna is never in jail. It is no wonder that the door of the jail opens as soon as he is born. It has a great symbolic value for all of us.

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