Following is an excerpt from an Audio Class on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 – Verse 2-9.
Chapter 3 is one of the most practical chapter for those who are not in the renounce order as Krishna tells about how to follow the Karma Yoga and this part helps us understand that one does not have to follow a complete renounced life for following Krishna Consciousness process.
Arjun states that he is confused whether he should fight or not fight as per following the path of Buddhi Yoga. So he ask Krishna to clarify. Krishna makes it very clear that depending on your external situation, one cannot become renounces or one cannot become detached. To practice renunciation, one does not have to wear saffron, and also it doesn’t mean, one who is wearing saffron is detached.
Krishna start with defining there are 2 classes of people who are trying to realise the “Self”. First, one who renounce everything and understand Krishna deeply. And second who is doing active devotional service. And the fact is that both are spiritualist. However, simply by giving up thing, one doesn’t become self-realised. Some people say that you would avoid Karma if you don’t do any work, however, the nature of Karma is you are bound to get it, whether you work or not. So simply taking renunciation won’t give you perfection.
Further Krishna say, everyone in the material work are forced to act helplessly to the mode they have acquired. So if you stop doing some thing, your mind would be still thinking in that direction. So the clarity is that one is helpless and has to act to one inherit nature.
Now Krishna also tell people who per-maturely take renunciation, externally they can show they are renounced but their mind is thinking about enjoying sense object whole day and hence call these people Nitya Chari or pretenders. In the next verse, Krishna comparing against these pretenders who just show external show of renunciation but their mind is thinking about sense gratification, Krishna says that people who have accept and following their duties and are sincerely trying to overcome attachment are far more superior.
The essence of all above set of instruction is one cannot renunciation without proper training, without proper knowledge and without proper purification of the heart. It cannot be denied that we all have enjoyment mentality and that is why when one is following one’s duty in the society, they are practicing to change those enjoyment mentality into service mentality and that is Karma Yoga. This process includes where 2 people get married to live together and create a family and perform their responsibility toward their family and when the right age come, they would give up sense gratification and would follow the path of complete devotional service.
Finally, Krishna is telling that one has to work, one cannot avoid working. However, Arjuna is not fearful of work and nor is he avoiding work, but he is fearing that if he works, he would get reaction. If he work and work more, he would get entangled, his attachment would increase, so he is confused on where one needs to cross the line. Krishna now differentiate between the different types of Karma and they are
Akarma – Whatever activity you do in the mode of sacrifice and offering to Krishna is Akarma. You don’t get any reaction to Akarma.
Vikaram – Whatever activity you do in the mode of sense gratification and enjoyment for one own self.
Karma Yoga is – we do all our daily activity, we are practicing moving, managing and maintaining our family life while keeping Krishna in the center and following Krishna Consciousness and by following this we would be purifying our desire.
The conclusion is we need to be humble and we would be happy when we surround our life around Krishna.