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Recognition of a different kind PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

yasya sarve sam|rambh|+ k|masa=kalpa varjit|+
j@|n|gni dagdha karm|[a= tam |hu+ pa[#ita= budh|+

One whose desires (kaamana) and will power (sankalp) have dropped by being roasted in the fire of Self-knowledge is called a sage by the wise. (4.19)


Knowing of the subtleties of
The movements of karma
Is liberating from the bondage thereof
Such a person does karma
Which is devoid of any determination (sankalpa)
And is non-attached completely
This person is recognized as an expert (pundit)
Even by the centered wise one.
(An action devoid of sankalpa
And that of attachment
Still is an efficient karma;
More so than the usual one) ||4:19||

Krishna knows the truth. Desires can take us so far, but cannot take us to real happiness. I have mentioned before that desires (kaamana) is not like a cricket ball that we can just drop. It is more like a burning charcoal. Once it comes in our hand it drops by itself. The hand burns the moment a hot charcoal touches our hand and the hand drops the hot charcoal even before we know what has happened. Once we know the truth about desires, it drops by itself.

This is what is described in the shloka as “gyanani dagdha karmanam.” Knowing has this quality. The knowing for Krishna is always experiential. It is not just a bookish knowledge. It is knowing of fire as fire; the fire that burns, the fire that cooks and the fire that purifies. It is not knowing about fire; it is knowing fire as it applies to our lives.

A person who has known desire and will power closely also understands the need for its dropping. This person can see it clearly that desires and will power have limitations. They have a role in life. A lot of success can be attributed to desires and the associated will power. But, at a later stage the same desires can become bondage. Progress further can then become inhibited. Happiness then becomes impossible.

This clarity is what Krishna refers to as Gyana (knowing) here. A person who has achieved this clarity is called to be pundit by Krishna. Krishna brings out an interesting point here. Such a person is recognized as Pundit even by the budhas (wise ones). This person may not get awards. He or she may not win medals. But, this person is recognized by the awakened ones.

It is important to pay attention to this kind of recognition. We normally work for getting ahead in our life based on our award system. Arjun went to competition and won Draupadi. Ram went to another competition and won Sita. Many train for four years to get to Olympics. There are judges who judge who should receive awards. These judges are well accomplished people. Aishwarya Rai and Shushmita Sen work hard to get their beauty pageant awards. This is our award system which is based on our competition system. Desire and will power are needed to win these awards. Krishna will see nothing wrong in it.

An award has been won. Ambition which is a glorified desire has been fulfilled. Hard work has paid off. Will power has helped me get there. Am I happy or have I fallen in to the perpetual trap? I start looking inside myself. Now I find that desires are never fulfilled. I have now set myself another goal. This new goal is based on new desires. I want now to go into the film industry and become successful there. These are good goals and good desires. These desires also bring restlessness along with them. I can’t sleep well. I want to maintain my figure. I can afford but my will power stops me from eating what I want to. There is a conflict between my two desires. I want to stay thin to maintain my figure. I also want to eat so called good food. This conflict of desires brings me restlessness. I am not happy.

What is the way? What is Krishna’s answer? The introspection has brought me to the point where I can see clearly the drawbacks of desires and will power. Once this knowing sets in, the desires drop. Once the desires drop there is no need for the will power. I still maintain the figure and I still keep the charm. There is no conflict. The intrinsic driving force takes over the control. Krishna is there inside us to guide. We just do not see him because of the covering layer of desires. Once the desires drop and the will power is gone, this inner drive or power is manifest.

Nothing may change outside. Arjun was ready for war before Gita. He got muddled and confused. His confusion was gone by the end of Gita. Clarity has set in. He is ready to fight again. Nothing has changed outside. But, everything has changed inside. It is a different Arjuna. Krishna is the wise one. He recognizes this new Arjun but we still have to find out. This is the best kind of recognition that anyone may ever get. Maharshi Raman, Guru Govind singh or Maharshi Aurobindo do not look for recognition by the Government. They are not waiting or preparing for a Noble prize. The wise ones know and recognize their true worth. Krishna knew what Arjun has become. Let us all follow this path.

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