Saturday, September 29, 2007

Story 47 – Story of Destroying Indra’s pride – 05

Krishna continued:

Karma alone is the Guru. Karma alone is the Ishwara. Therefore it is this Karma that a person has to worship.


As we saw in the previous day that Karma alone is that which governs life in the world, here Krishna is telling that Karma is the Guru as well as Ishwara.

Though these words are meant to indirectly invoke anger in Indra, yet these are words of truth from the empirical viewpoint. The world that we are in, the life in the world is governed by karma or actions. The law of karma is the law that Newton copied and modernized as the third law which states “each action has an equal and opposite reaction”. The law of Karma is that any action has an equivalent fruit or phala. As is the karma so the phala. At the empirical level when a person is in ignorance, he desires for perfection. This desire is then transformed into actions. When a person does actions, he learns out of those actions. Thus every action that a person does is a Guru in one way or the other. Some actions show us that there will be bad fruit gained from it and thereby that we should refrain from doing such actions. Other actions show us that they will lead us to purification of mind thereby to eternal bliss or moksha. These actions thereby tell us that we should be doing more of such actions at all times.

By this categorization, we have two actions – sakaama karma and nishkaama karma. Actions which are performed by desiring something is called sakaama karma. Actions that are performed without any desire but just seeking purification of the mind is nishkaama karma. Nishkaama karma helps in purification of the mind thereby to realization through apprehension of the knowledge that “I am Brahman”. Sakaama karma leads to more and more desires in turn leading to more and more actions. This chain of action and enjoyment (or desire) goes on until a person purifies the mind through nishkaama karma, gains jnaana thereby removing ignorance (the seed of all actions) completely.

In this way, actions thereby are the Guru that guide us towards realization by purifying the mind when performed in a nishkaama way. It is for this reason that Krishna says that Karma alone is the Guru that leads us from ajnaana and to realization through jnaana.

Karma alone is the Ishwara. Ishwara is one who controls activities in the world. Everything in the world is controlled by the law of karma. As is the action, so the fruits enjoyed by a person. Thus everything in the world or the world itself is controlled by actions. Therefore Krishna says that Karma alone is the Ishwara.

We worship one who controls things in the world (termed as Ishwara) because then we can change the fruits that we want thereby taking us to realization from bondage. Since Karma is the Ishwara therefore Karma is the Lord that a person has to worship through performance of nishkaama karma more and more & avoiding sakaama karma.

We will continue in the next day.

Let us all have devotion and surrender to the Lord of Krishna thereby killing the snake of Kaliya and making the water pure (symbolizing realization of our own nature of Self thereby rejoicing in eternal bliss).

Krishna continued:

Ishwara will follow one’s karma. Whatever life depends primarily on, setting that aside and seeking something else is like wife ignoring the husband and seeking another man. That will never be fruitful.


In the previous day we learned that Ishwara is one’s own Guru and karma. Hence the real Ishwara is karma. But if we accept an Ishwara different from one’s karma then such an Ishwara will have to follow one’s karma. Such an Ishwara has no precedence over one’s karma but he follows one’s karma. Therefore Ishwara doesn’t have any control over one’s actions but merely bestows the fruits of one’s actions even as judge bestows rulings based on arguments. Even as the judge doesn’t have any control over judgement similarly Ishwara has no control over bestowing of fruits.

Krishna here makes a beautiful point of seeking out what is basically needed for life rather than seeking everything else. If we go to a modern HR person he/she would tell us that our lives have two types of goal – short term goal which keeps on changing and the long term goal which is our permanent goal of what we want to become in life. We have to go behind our long term goal as that is what we want. Unlike this, Vedanta says that the long term goal of all people is eternal bliss or ever lasting happiness alone. As long as we don’t seek this eternal goal, we will not be getting peace, contentment and satisfaction which we yearn sincerely for and are ready to pay any price for. When our goal is achieved by doing actions properly, we have to sincerely do actions. This is because our actions control our life which means that our life depends on our actions. If we try to ignore our actions then it would not be fruitful as we will not be getting the fruits that we desire. It is not only that we will not be getting the fruits that we desire; we will be lead in the wrong direction thereby forfeiting basic things as well in life. Krishna gives a beautiful analogy to prove this point.

A woman has a handsome and loving husband. Yet she searches for happiness in another lover thereby starting off an affair with another man. The woman not only forfeits her peace and happiness which she gets from her husband but she is also calling for trouble in the form of loss of peace due to this illicit affair. Similarly a person who rather than seeking actions which control his life goes after worshipping of various Gods, he is forfeiting his life as well as calling for trouble.

Thus Krishna is here beautifully telling us that we can never get rid of actions and hence should do our actions as an offering to the ultimate reality of Lord rather than worshipping Gods. It doesn’t matter as to what actions we do; but it matters as to whether we are doing actions with the right attitude of offering it to the ultimate reality of Lord.

Krishna himself would be explaining as to what a person should do in order to seek that which life depends on in the next parts of this story. We will see that in the next day.

Let us all cease to be the doer of actions so that we are a mere witness to all activities thereby ever rejoicing in bliss which is our very nature of the ultimate reality of Lord.

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