Bhagavad Gita Lessons
Lesson 1: Karma Yoga is the stepping stone
Session: 051 – 052
In life, the pairs of opposites (Gain and Loss, Pleasure and Pain, Prosperity and Poverty, Fame and Blame, Love and Hate, Victory and Defeat, Health and Ill health) are unavoidable. They are called dualities of life because one does not exist without the other.
Example: Hot and cold define each other. If one does not exist, the other will not have any meaning.
Thus, the pairs of opposites are two ends of the same stick. It is not possible to avoid one completely. If we do not use our intelligence to its full potential, we will remain bound to the effect of the oscillation between these pairs of opposites. We will enjoy the positive swing and suffer the negative swing.
Most of us are using our intelligence to correct the external world so that the positive swing is maximized and the negative swing is eliminated. This is an impossible task. We can only raise the level of comforts and standard of living by correcting the environment. It is not possible to control the environment in such a way that we never face an unpleasant situation.
Example: Buying a Benz car may make the travel comfortable but will not solve the problem of traffic jam.
Therefore, it is essential that we use our intelligence to become wise so that we do not suffer at all in our life. This is possible only if we gain self-knowledge. Gaining self-knowledge is an easy process but the preparation to gain knowledge may be a lengthy process.
Example: It may take only a few minutes to perform a cataract operation. However, the patient may have to wait for many months until the cataract reaches a stage when it is ready for surgical removal.
Similarly, intelligent people may get self-knowledge in a comparatively short duration. However, not all intelligent people are eligible to receive the knowledge because their mind may not be mature enough, just as in the above example the operation could be done only when the conditions are ripe. Karma Yoga prepares the mind and makes it mature enough to receive self-knowledge.
Karma Yoga does not involve any new actions on our part. We need to do the very same actions to fulfill the responsibilities of the various roles assumed by us. Whatever work we do is called Karma. To convert Karma into Karma Yoga, all we need to do is to change our attitude with which we do our work.
Karma is a part of material pursuit. We want to be happy all the time and we think name, fame, wealth, power, position and such material goals will give us this happiness. Any action done with this attitude is mere karma.
Karma Yoga is a part of spiritual pursuit. We want to be happy all the time and we know that gaining self-knowledge is the only way in which we get eternal happiness. We are involved in action so that our mind will become mature enough to gain self-knowledge. Any action done with this attitude is Karma Yoga.
If we are to perform our actions without this shift in our attitude, what we do is called Karma and not Karma Yoga. All our Karmas bind us to this world. This means we will continue to be prone to more suffering.
This is obvious from our experience. When we start a new business, we do not have much attachment to the business. As time goes by, if we do only Karma and not Karma Yoga, we will end up with lots of attachment. The alternating gains and losses in the business will determine the state of our mind.
We will be happy when the going is good and suffer when the business is not doing so well. Even when the business is faring extremely well, our happiness is not complete nor do we ever reach a level of perfect fulfillment. There is always anxiety that the business should continue to do well and invariably we plan to expand our business. This will involve certain fear in our mind. Opening a new factory is undoubtedly a sign of prosperity but it does not make us feel complete. We will have to wait until the operations in the new factory exceed our expectations. That stage never comes because even if the factory were to do exceedingly well, we would be looking forward to further growth in the business.
Moreover, in the process of our business growth we would have developed many competitors and would have sought the attention of various regulatory authorities. This will bring its own set of anxieties.
Thus, Karma binds us. Karma Yoga on the other hand, liberates us. We would like to be happy all the time without ever facing the negative emotions. Avoidance of suffering is the basic feature of Joyful Living.
The destination is Joyful Living. Self-knowledge is only the vehicle to reach the destination. Karma Yoga is the stepping-stone to get on to the vehicle. Karma Yoga gives us the required mental maturity to receive the self-knowledge.
Only those people who have understood that the nature of the world is to bind us to suffering are qualified to perform Karma Yoga. Others will enjoy life assuming that the whole life will pass without any change. They are not qualified to attempt Karma Yoga, since they do not know that suffering is inevitable in life.
Arjuna has qualified to become a student, since he is facing the worst crisis of his life. He is actively seeking a solution to end all his sufferings, and therefore Lord Krishna begins his teaching on Karma Yoga in the verses 38 and 39.
Teaching 14: Karma binds and Karma Yoga liberates
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
Verses: 38 – 39
2.38 Fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat--and, by so doing, you shall never suffer.
2.39 Thus far I have declared to you the knowledge of Atman. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga whereby one works without the focus on immediate result. Oh Arjuna, when you act with this knowledge of yoga, you can free yourself from the bondage of action.
Lesson 2: Advantages of Karma Yoga
Session: 053 – 054
All of us are involved in some action or the other all the time. We do not have a choice in doing action. However, we can either do them as mere Karma or perform Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is superior to Karma as described in the following table.
Doing Karma (Material pursuit)
1. You may succeed or fail (Leading to Happiness or Sorrow)
2. Your efforts may be wasted (You may not get promotion or may incur loss in the business)
3. You might commit mistakes since you are under pressure to achieve a specific set of results.
4. Mistakes will affect the results
5. You will not be happy even if you succeed. (Because the results will never be enough)
6. External Factors (on which you do not have full control) will influence your work / results.
7. Even if you get benefit, it will be in small parts and most of the time mixed with pain. (Promotion means more money and more work!)
8. It will be boring to work for the benefit of others
9. By the end of the day, you will be mentally tired. You will hate to get back to work on Monday morning.
10. You need vacation or break from the work.
11. You need to sharpen your skill to do the work because you may not be in the right job.
12. Can reach only the first and second level of happiness
Doing Karma Yoga (Spiritual pursuit)
1. You will always succeed (Leading to Joyful Living)
2. Your efforts will never be wasted. (You will gain mental maturity corresponding to your efforts)
3. You will not have tension or work pressure and therefore the chance of committing mistakes are less.
4. Mistakes will help you progress faster since your goal is not the immediate results.
5. With success or failure, you will always be happy.
6. You will have absolute control over how you respond to the external events. All external factors can only contribute to your better performance and never affect you.
7. Benefit is everlasting happiness which is not mixed with any pain
8. It will be interesting to work for one’s own progress
9. You will be mentally fresh when you return from work. You will look forward to Monday to get back to work.
10. You will enjoy work so much that you will be glad to go to work all the time.(If you take vacation it will be for the sake of family/ friends)
11. Since you will enjoy your work, your capabilities will increase without any specific efforts.
12. Can attain all three levels of requirements for happiness, namely
Level 1 (Body): Comforts/ Sense pleasures
Level 2 (Mind): Values/ Belief/ Art/ Job Satisfaction
Level 3 (Intelligence): Philosophy/ Quest for Truth
There will always be a fear in the mind while doing Karma since one is concerned about the results. No one does any action without a specific purpose and therefore there is a possibility that the set purpose may not be achieved. This fear will make one ineffective in performing work.
However, since a Karma Yogi will meet his purpose of mental maturity whether the result of the action is a success or failure, there will be no tension or fear while performing work.
Karma Yoga will give benefit (mental maturity) corresponding to the level of work performed. However, Karma may give benefit (success) only if it is done completely.
Teaching 15: Work for correcting the mind not for correcting the world
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
2.40 In this path of yoga there is no failure. There are no adverse results. Even a little advancement on this path can protect one from the suffering of the world.
Lesson 3: Superiority of the Karma Yogi
A Karma Yogi is a person, who performs action with the right attitude. He is aware that he is doing all the action for the single purpose of making his mind mature enough to receive self-knowledge so that he can live joyfully.
A Karma Yogi is highly focused on his work. He is not worried about the possibilities of failure or success. He puts his best efforts, with complete concentration. He does not do any action for the sake of doing it. Nor he does action to satisfy anyone.
Example: A sales proposal is prepared by a Karma Yogi with an objective of making it ‘the best’. He does not think about the outcome.
His focus is not to ensure that a sale is made. He neither wants to please his boss nor the customer with his proposal. His only aim is to put up the best-ever sales proposal. The proposal should cover everything that is expected and it should be perfect. A Karma Yogi works with complete dedication to bring up the best proposal within the agreed time limitation. Earning an increment, getting an incentive, aiming for the best sales-man award, scoring high on customer feedback and such results do not have any influence on the mind of the Karma Yogi while preparing the proposal. For some reason, if his boss decides not to submit this proposal to the customer, it will not cause any frustration in the mind of a Karma Yogi even if he had worked on the proposal staying late at work.
A Karma Yogi is highly focused on the work at hand and the intention is merely to do the best. There is no expectation that his work be certified as the best work. A good artist performs with such dedication. If we ask an artist, what he or she was thinking while performing, the answer will be ‘nothing’. They do not even think that they are doing a job. Such is the focus on the work.
People have varied purposes while doing any action. The question ‘why are you doing this action?’ invariably brings answers that vary person to person or from time to time. A Karma Yogi will have only one answer. ‘I do this action so that my mind becomes mature enough to comprehend self-knowledge’.
For a Karma Yogi, the goal and the means will never change. His goal is Joyful Living and his means is Karma Yoga. He is determined to remain focused on his chosen path until he reaches the destination of Joyful Living.
A Karma Yogi reaches his goal much faster than others do because he is focused on his goals and means.
Example: A person digs a well a few feet deep. If he does not reach water (expected result), he starts digging in another place.
It is not possible to reach the destination if one keeps changing his path this way. Those who are not following Karma Yoga will have multiple goals and they will keep shifting their priorities depending on what they think is right.
Example: A person works hard in the office and neglects her family. When the relationship at the home front is strained, she quits her job and dedicates her time for the family.
This is like a person trying to get water by digging the ground a few feet deep at many places. A Karma Yogi never shifts his attention. He has one goal. Whatever action he is performing, he does to the best of his ability, with the view of attaining mental maturity.
Example: There is only one correct answer to a math problem. There are infinite wrong answers to the same problem.
Similarly, there is only one correct way to do the work, which is doing it as Karma Yoga. The only goal for everyone is Joyful Living. A Karma Yogi knows this and others do not.
Teaching 16: Joyful Living should be the only goal of all human beings.
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
2.41 Those who are on this path of yoga are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. Oh Arjuna, the intelligence of those who are without this clarity is many-branched and endless.
Lesson 4: Why do people do mere Karma?
Although the superiority of Karma Yoga is revealed in the Gita, people do mere Karma because of two reasons. The majority of them are not intelligent enough to understand the message in the Gita. Those who have the required level of intelligence may not think that this message is important to them.
Mind has four modes namely Intelligence, Mind, Ego and Memory. Only for those whose intelligence is more powerful than the will be able to do Karma Yoga. Others, since their mind is more powerful, they will work for immediate material results.
Mind receives the inputs from the sense organs and it drives the action organs towards getting more pleasure from the external world. If the mind overrules the intelligence, it will direct the action organs towards what the person likes rather than what is good for the person.
Example: A diabetic eats sweets against the advice of the doctor. This means his intelligence is weaker than his mind. The Intelligence knows very clearly that eating sweets is not good for the body. However, the mind overpowers intelligence and indulges in what it likes and not what is good.
It is essential that the intelligence gains control over mind. This can happen in three ways.
One: To get more knowledge. This will strengthen the intelligence.
Two: To abstain from sense pleasures for a specific duration. This will weaken the mind and release it from the control of sense organs.
Example: Abstaining food during the month of Ramadan is an exercise to bring mind under the control of intelligence.
Three: To perform regular exercises to train the mind to obey the intelligence.
Example: We need to fix a set of daily tasks based on what is good for us (Example: Regular physical exercises) and carry out the task even if there were distractions from the mind pulling us towards sense pleasures.
If people do not practice these three steps, their mind will always keep oscillating between various goals. Such people will keep changing their goals and means continuously and as a result, will not progress. The Intelligence should strongly control the mind, towards the single goal of Joyful Living.
We need to depend on the Vedas and the Gita to know the purpose of living. Due to varied interpretations of the Holy Scriptures (in multiple religions), our intelligence does not gain the essence. As a result, the mind continues to run after sense pleasures offered by various sense objects of the world. It is like being cheated by ornamental flowers of a tree, which does not yield any fruits.
Thus, most people are carried away by the power of sense objects. The world is full of varieties of objects that feed the five senses with sense pleasures. People continue to be attracted by worldly pleasures, and as a result, they are prone to suffering as well.
Only when they see the limitation of worldly pleasures in giving lasting happiness and understand the superiority of the knowledge revealed in the Gita will they see the possibility of ending suffering totally.
The message revealed in the Gita will continue to be a secret to a majority of the people for this reason.
Teaching 17: Material pursuit should lead to spiritual pursuit
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
Verses: 42 – 44
2.42-43 Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various materialistic activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.
2.44 In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination to be on the path of yoga does not take place.
Lesson 5: Five steps to attain focused mind
Session: 057 – 058
The initial parts of the Vedas prescribe Active Dharma, which is essential for the human kind to rise above the level of living like animals. However, it keeps them within the spectrum of material pursuit. Material pursuit will never lead them to fulfillment.
Those who are intelligent will soon realize the limitations of material pursuit and start looking beyond it. For such people Vedanta prescribes Passive Dharma and guides them in spiritual pursuit.
To graduate from Active Dharma and to progress into Passive Dharma, one has to do Karma Yoga. To do Karma Yoga, the mind should be focused on the destination (Joyful Living) and the path (Self-Knowledge). The minds that oscillate between multiple destinations (Professional growth or Family bonding or friendship) and multiple paths (earning money or trying to become famous or gaining power) cannot adhere to the strict prescription of Karma Yoga.
It is not possible for everyone to attain the mental focus that is required to commence Karma Yoga.
Example: In a school, the final year exam could be attempted only by those who have finished 12 years of study. A student in the eighth grade cannot attempt or hope to pass the final exam. However, he is not condemned to remain in the school forever. He has to do well in the eighth grade exam and then move on to ninth. In due course, he will also pass the final exam.
Similarly, depending on the level of intelligence, people have to cross five different steps to reach the eligibility to do Karma Yoga.
Step 1: Understanding the importance of sense objects
Those who live without any aim in life should get motivated to work hard and gain material comforts. One should not be satisfied with eating – sleeping and live a passive life. Importance of achieving material success should be understood and one should start working towards it.
In this step, people are expected to feed the physical body well and indulge in sense pleasures.
This is the lowest level and there are many people in this step. They need to cross at least two more steps before reaching the level of listening to the Gita.
Step 2: Limiting the necessity of sense objects
When one crosses the first step, he is likely to go at full speed in acquiring material comforts. In the second step, people should start limiting the urge to acquire more. Once money starts coming in, one will start investing and multiplying it as much as possible. This will become the prime occupation.
To progress to the next level, the aspirant should limit his personal requirements.
In this step, people should limit the indulgence in the physical and sense pleasures and should move on to seek mental satisfaction.
Step 3: Understanding the importance of knowledge
After crossing the first two steps, one should move on to gain more knowledge in the area of philosophy and religion. Up to the previous step, he would have gained knowledge and skill relating to his profession. In this step, one should gain higher level of level of intelligence to question the nature of life, world and God.
One should read, listen and discuss to gain knowledge that is beyond the routine professional knowledge that is required to do well in the profession.
Step 4: Understanding the dualistic nature of the world
The world will always oscillate between the pairs of opposites, namely, Gain and Loss, Pleasure and Pain, Prosperity and Poverty, Fame and Blame, Love and Hate, Friendship and Enmity, Victory and Defeat, Health and Ill health. By definition, all human beings are subject to this swing and there are no exceptions.
This is true at the macro level and at the micro level.
At the macro level, it is impossible to bring about a world, which is free of war, hunger, famine and such social evils.
At the micro level, our life will always cyclically bring about pleasure and pain. Everyday we will encounter situations of varying degree of pleasure and pain. Every year will present varying situations. The whole life comprises of pairs of opposites. For example, in youth, we have better health and in old age we suffer from poor health. Just as birth and death are two sides of the same coin, the pairs of opposites are always connected.
We need to understand that it is impossible to change the world or our personal life to ensure that we encounter only the positive situations. The negative situations cannot be avoided.
This understanding is crucial for commencing Karma Yoga. If we do not have this understanding, we might continue to spend our effort to control the word and not commence Karma Yoga.
Step 5: Understanding the limitation of the sense objects
All of us want to live happily all the time and avoid suffering completely. There is no exception to this universal desire. However, most of us are not clear about how this Joyful Living, which is the ultimate goal in life, could be fulfilled.
Material pursuit means trying to be happy by earning money, wealth, name, fame, award, reward, people, property, position, power, status, comforts and companionship. Activities like praying to god and following religious rituals FOR earning money, wealth, name, fame, etc are also material pursuit.
Spiritual pursuit means trying to be happy through the practice of Bhakthi Yoga which includes Karma Yoga, Upasana Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
Most of us wrongly assume that the material pursuit is for the youth to live successfully in this world and spiritual pursuit is for the old to take care of life after death. This wrong assumption is due to insufficient exposure to the Holy Scriptures.
We need to understand that the spiritual pursuit alone can take us to our goal of happiness and the material pursuit is just a stepping-stone. It is impossible for material pursuit to give us everlasting happiness.
Example: Eating Ice Cream might give us pleasure, which is temporary in nature. It cannot give eternal fulfillment.
Nothing in the universe can give us eternal contentment.
Teaching 18: Spiritual pursuit ALONE can lead us to Joyful Living
There are three ways one can realize this truth.
One: By working hard in life, one can earn all the benefits of material pursuit. Eventually one will realize that he is chasing a mirage and the material pursuit will never lead to the ultimate goal of Joyful Living.
Two: By observing other people or studying the history, it can be seen that every possible goal is already accomplished by some. However, those who have accomplished what we want to achieve in life have not yet reached the destination. Therefore, it is not possible for us to gain Joyful Living even if we reach our goal.
Three: A great tragedy strikes us (as it happened to Arjuna) and then we realize the futility of prosperity. No material accomplishment can help us avoid that tragedy and then we turn our attention to spiritual accomplishment.
It does not matter which of the three ways helps us to see the limitation of the material pursuit. We must see it clearly. If we do not, we will attempt to do Karma Yoga as yet another means to our (material) goal. Karma Yoga is the stepping stone to gain self-knowledge which will enable us to reach our goal of Joyful Living. If we do not understand this statement, then we will not have the steady and focused mind to do Karma Yoga.
When a person crosses these five steps, he will gain the mental focus that is required to commence Karma Yoga.
Karma Yoga will promote one from Active Dharma to Passive Dharma. Passive Dharma does not mean he will be less active.
Example: After completing the school, one enters the university. The number of hours, one spends in the classroom, listening lectures may come down. However, one is expected to work much harder in the university than in the high school.
Similarly, one who enters Passive Dharma will be working harder than the one who is still in the phase of Active Dharma. Passive Dharma will lead one to Joyful Living. After attaining the goal of Passive Dharma, one will become independent.
Teaching 19: Vedas are irrelevant for those who know how to live joyfully
For those who know how to live joyfully there are no more rules and regulations. There is no need to work more or less. One can enjoy life all the time. Since Vedas have served their purpose, one will no longer require them. One will move beyond Active Dharma and Passive Dharma.
Example: In a place where tap water is available in plenty, no one will use the well.
Similarly, after entering the phase of Joyful Living (by completing Passive Dharma) one will not use Active Dharma or Passive Dharma since they have served the purpose and he has reached the destination.
Destination is a place where there is no need to travel any further. There is nothing more to do or learn. Karma Yoga will lead one to this destination.
Lord Krishna shows this destination and asks Arjuna to act and do Karma Yoga so that he can also reach this destination.
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
Verses: 45 – 46
2.45 The Vedas mainly deal with the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, Oh Arjuna. Transcend all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties of acquisition and preservation and be established in the Atman.
2.46 For a wise person, the benefit he can gain from Vedas is same as the benefit a small pond can give when there is flood everywhere.
Lesson 6: Definition of Karma
Session: 059 – 064
Action (Karma) includes any of the following done intentionally.
Speaking/ Listening/ Talking
Doing any physical action
And intentionally abstaining from not doing any of the above action
Involuntary actions are not included in the definition of ‘action’. Following are not considered as action: Sleeping, dreaming, sneezing, coughing etc.
Nature of actions
Actions can be good, bad, or neutral.
Good Actions are those actions that result in measurable benefit to others and will include the following:
Kindness to all the living beings
Respect to nature including all inanimate objects
Showing due respect to elders, being hospitable to guests
Helping neighbors, colleagues and all human beings
Feeding the poor, providing shelter and clothing to the needy
Helping students to pursue their education
Cleanliness and purity in all actions
Thoughtful consideration for all beings and things
Kindness, friendliness and compassion to all living beings
(In short Good Actions include everything that you would appreciate in another person’s behavior towards you.)
Bad Actions are those actions that harm or hurt others and will include the following:
Stealing and misappropriation
Violence and killing
Harming others through lying and untruthfulness
Violating the private space of others
Amassing wealth and being greedy, cheating and exploiting others
Not respecting elders in the society
(In short how an individual expects others not to behave are called Bad Actions)
Neutral actions are those, which do not affect other living beings either way.
Classification of Activities:
A set of actions constitute Activities and they are classified as Professional, Service, Personal and Social Activities.
Professional activities are those, which are done for the sake of earning money, name, fame, people, power, position, prosperity, property, money, wealth, status, comforts, rewards and awards and include all the salaried jobs, business, commercial activities, sports, arts and science.
Service activities include social service, community work, donation/ gifts to a good cause, environmental protection and animal welfare activities.
Personal activities include eating, taking bath, work out in a gym, reading, writing, watching television, playing solitaire, solving puzzles etc. that are done alone.
Social Activities include partying, going out to movie with others, gossiping with friends, visiting a relative, playing games that involve more than one person and any action that involves people and companionship.
Visible and invisible results of our activities
Visible results are those results, which can be linked to the skill, capability, hard work, effort and such spent on doing the action.
Activities Example of visible results
Professional: Salary, professional fee, Normal profit/loss
Service: Achievement of the service objective
Personal: Grades in the exam, fit body, relaxed mind
Social: Relationship/ friendship, family bonding
These results are called visible results because they arise directly from the specified activities and the reasons for getting the results can easily be identified.
Invisible results are the results, which cannot be linked to any known reasons. Although such results also accrue due to the actions done, one cannot establish the quantum of results or when will they fructify as results.
Activities Example of invisible results
Professional: Promotion, Award, disproportionate profit/ loss
Service: Hurdles to the service/ unsolicited support
Social: Pleasant surprises/ unwarranted misunderstanding
Note: There is no example given for Personal Activities since they are generally done without the involvement of others and therefore are neutral in nature.
These results are called as invisible results because they are cumulative in nature and cannot be linked to any specific actions. One will not be able to pinpoint the exact reasons for such results.
Nature of actions determine favorable or unfavorable results
The nature of actions, whether they are good or bad, determines whether the invisible results are favorable or unfavorable.
Although Good Actions and Bad Actions will bring about corresponding favorable or unfavorable results in just measure, the quantum and time lag are beyond human comprehension. We do not have information on how much of the result has accrued from past action and how much of the result is deferred for fructification in future.
Invisible results do not always reach us soon after the completion of the action. There will be a time lag (sometime extended beyond one lifetime) between the action and the result. Since we will not be able to link such results with any specific activity, they are called invisible results. Nevertheless, all invisible results arise out of our past action only.
Activity based learning
We learn from our activities. Whatever actions we do, in addition to the visible and invisible results that accrue our intelligence including the skill and capability to do the action also increases. It does not matter whether an activity is fully completed or not. Action always increases our intelligence.
How well an activity is done determines the growth in the intelligence level. Practice leads to perfection. If an activity is done half-heartedly, the growth in the level of intelligence will be marginal. More involvement will enable faster growth in the level of intelligence.
One of the basic but unspecified goals of all human beings is to gain more intelligence. This is achieved as an indirect advantage of performing various actions.
In addition to intelligence, we also gain mental maturity by being involved in various actions. Intelligence refers to our ability to find everlasting happiness. Mental maturity refers to our ability to comprehend that it is not possible everlasting happiness through material pursuit.
People will invariably have the feeling of inadequacy in all their actions and have a sense of incompleteness with respect to all the results of their actions. Slowly, they will get enough mental maturity to see the limitations of all the actions to lead us to our destination of Joyful Living.
Often our best efforts may not get the desired results. But sometime without much effort from our side things will turn out to be good. When such weird instances are observed, the mental maturity increases.
Link between Action and Results
No one else is responsible for our status. We are what we are because of what we have done in the past. Every action yields corresponding and proportionate results depending on
(a) how well an action is carried out and
(b) whether such action is good or bad.
The action determines the visible results and the nature of action (Good or Bad) determines the invisible results. A set of twelve such laws of karma (discussed below) govern the link between action and results. Fortunately, these laws cannot be violated. It is fortunate because it gives complete freedom to us to determine our future. Even gods do not have power to change the course of our life. Luck or chance factors are ruled out. We alone are responsible for our life.
Although the result will invariably follow the action, the information on the quantum of results and when they are due is beyond human comprehension. This is also a good aspect of the law because only then we will take recourse to Holy Scriptures. If we can directly see proportional results accruing immediately on completion of the action, we will be functioning like a machine forever. Now, due to our inability to establish the link between the action and the results through science, we search for solutions in the Holy Scriptures. Our search will lead us to Joyful Living ultimately. If we can understand the link between actions and results, there is no need for God or for the Holy Scriptures.
Thus, the direct link between Action and Results is made slightly complicated with some part of them being invisible. This complication has pushed the link (between action and result) beyond our individual capability to understand and we need to seek the guidance of spiritual masters to get clarity.
Teaching 20: Twelve Laws of Karma govern Action and Results
The Laws of Karma govern all our actions, results of the actions and the link between actions and results. These laws are universal and fundamental. They do not change from person-to-person or from time-to-time or from place-to-place.
Law 1: For every action, there will be proportionate and appropriate results.
For every action that we do, we will invariably get the results of the action. There is no such thing as wasted efforts under the Laws of Karma. Even if there were no visible results, one will get the proportionate and appropriate results as invisible portion. Just as a calf will find its mother among thousands of cows, the results of the past actions will find the doer invariably and yield the result. Thus one is sure to enjoy the positive and negative results of his actions.
Besides for every action will invariably results in increased intelligence.
Law 2: Every result accrues out of our past actions.
According to the Laws of Karma, there is no luck, coincidence or chance in life. All the results accrue out of our own past actions.
Example: An unknown distant relative died and left a huge fortune to Mr.A. Mr. A has suddenly become rich. This result is due to the past good actions of Mr. A done either in this birth or in any of the previous births.
Similarly, if an innocent passerby gets shot in an isolated incident, it is due to his past bad deeds. He cannot blame anyone else for his injury.
No one can cause harm to us needlessly. Our life is determined by our own past actions.
Law 3: Results of the action may be visible or invisible.
Visible results are due to the action done through words and physical action and the invisible results are due to the underlying motivation for action.
Example: A accidentally kills B. If A is a burglar trying to rob B and in the process accidentally kills B, then A will accrue bad results. On the other hand, if A is a doctor trying to save the life of B through an operation, which inadvertently ends in the death of B, then A will accrue good results.
Thus, although ‘killing’ happens in both the cases, the accrued results will be different.
The proportion of visible and invisible results is fixed but unknown.
Law 4: Some part of the results will always be invisible.
All our actions have some effect or other on the environment which includes living beings like plants, animals and human beings. It is not possible to do any actions that are only good and not bad to anyone. For example in the process of cooking many micro organisms are killed. Similarly, an act of killing a gangster may benefit many. Therefore, it is not possible to avoid invisible results completely. Favorable and unfavorable invisible results will always follow all our actions.
Law 5: Invisible results do not accrue in two cases.
Case 1: While doing Karma Yoga, the invisible results will not accrue. Instead, the person doing Karma Yoga will gain mental maturity.
Example: Lord Krishna says that Arjuna should fight neither for regaining the kingdom nor for taking revenge. His focus is not the result of his action. He should fight because it is his duty to fight. This is karma yoga and if he fights in this manner he will not accrue any unfavorable invisible results which will otherwise accrue due to killing of living beings in a war.
Victory and defeat will mean the same to Arjuna if he fights with this attitude. As a result, his mental maturity will increase so that he can understand the teaching on Atman. He will not accrue any invisible results because he did the karma as karma yoga.
Karma will bind us to action and karma yoga will take us to the path of liberation.
Thus, karma yoga will yield mental maturity and make us eligible to receive self-knowledge. Gaining self-knowledge will lead us to Joyful Living.
Case 2: After reaching the destination of Joyful Living, we will know that we are neither the doer of the actions nor the enjoyer of the results. Our ego will be completely gone. In this state, whatever actions we do will not have any invisible results.
Law 6: We have a right ONLY with respect to doing an action.
We have complete right with respect to doing an action or abstaining from an action or respond in various ways.
Example: A beggar is begging for alms. We may give some money or we may not give money. We also have a choice on how we do the action. We can abuse and give money or politely refuse giving any money. We can also ignore the beggar altogether.
Thus, we have complete freedom on how we use our mind, speech and physical action.
Law 7: We do not have ANY RIGHTS with respect to the results of the action.
Although every action will bring about proportionate and appropriate results in line with the first law of karma, we have no control on when we will get the results. The quantum and timing of the result is beyond human comprehension. We have no option but to accept whatever results we get.
Example: One who works hard and sincerely may not get the promotion. While another, who is incapable and corrupt may be promoted.
It is impossible to identify factors that contribute to success. We need to accept the fact that it is beyond human comprehension to know how to obtain a desired result. We can only do our best and hope that the desired results will accrue. There is no way anyone can assure that if we do this we will get that. The connection between action and results is not obvious.
Law 8: We cannot change the past actions.
Once an action is done, it is out of our hands. We cannot amend it except through further action.
Example: After clicking on the ‘SEND’ button in the email, it cannot be modified, edited or recalled. We can always send another email but it will be another action. We need to face the consequence of clicking the ‘send’ button and we do not have any control on the result.
It is not possible to erase our past actions without a trace.
Example: We steal an object from another person. We realize it is wrong and return the object without the knowledge of anyone.
We will suffer for the wrong action and get the benefit of the right action separately. The second action does not cancel the first action.
Law 9: We could have done the action little better.
There is always scope for improvement. It is impossible to attain perfection in any field of action. Therefore, we will always have a feeling that we could have done a little better.
Example: An industrial output comes from various inputs. It will always be possible to increase the productivity either by reducing the input cost/ time/ efforts or by increasing the output value/ quantum/quality.
Better products are coming into the market all the time and there will be continuous improvements in quality and reductions in costs.
Law 10: The result of any action could be little better.
There is always a scope for obtaining a better result. It is impossible to attain the best result.
Everyone will feel this way all the time because it there is always the desire for more. It is not possible for any human being to reach the pinnacle with respect to name, fame, power, position etc. It is always possible to be better.
Example: It will be nice to own a mansion on the moon.
Law 11: No one should give up action.
As long as it is in our nature to be involved in action, one should continue to perform action. It will do more harm if one gives up action before gaining mental maturity.
Active Dharma has to be practiced until one gains mental maturity. After that stage, one can move on to Passive Dharma by abstaining from action relating to material pursuit.
One should not give up action because one feels lazy or because it is convenient.
Law 12: All actions should be in line with Dharma
It does not matter whether we are in the sphere of material pursuit or spiritual pursuit. We should never violate Dharma. All our actions should be in accordance with the prescription of the Vedas.
If our actions contradict Dharma, then we are traveling in the wrong direction. It is not possible to reach our destination of happiness if we do not stop all such wrong actions. Only actions in line with Dharma will take us towards our goal.
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
2.47 You have a choice over action alone; never over the results. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never stop doing your duty.
Lesson 7: Definition of Karma Yoga
Session: 065 – 068
Karma Yoga involves our understanding of (1) Action, (2) Attitude with which the action is done and (3) Results of the actions.
(1) Karma Yoga – Based on actions
It is not possible to do Karma Yoga without being involved in professional or service activities. Therefore, it is not suitable for people who are old and have retired from active work.
Actions are always treated either as Karma or as Karma Yoga. It is not possible to do some action, which can be treated as Karma and as Karma Yoga at the same time.
Knowledge on the destination and the path is essential for doing Karma Yoga. Since most people in the world do not have this knowledge, what they do is mere Karma and not Karma Yoga.
(2) Karma Yoga – Based on the attitude with which action is done
The universe is designed in such a way that there is continuous action. Therefore, as a part of the world, we are also bound to action all the time. However, the attitude with which we do the actions determines whether we are doing mere Karma or Karma Yoga.
If we are focused on the immediate results of the action, we are doing Karma.
If we are focused on gaining mental maturity, to make it ready for receiving Self-Knowledge, then we are doing Karma Yoga.
Thus, doing any activity can be termed as either Karma or Karma Yoga depending on the attitude with which the action is done. It is not possible for an external observer to find out whether a person is doing Karma Yoga or not.
Example: Giving a donation for a good cause may be a Karma (and not Karma Yoga) if the attitude is to gain name and fame. Doing a business for profit could be Karma Yoga if there is no materialism in the attitude.
An outsider will not know the intention and therefore, cannot classify the action as Karma or Karma Yoga.
Karma Yoga includes Karma and Karma does not include Karma Yoga.
How to develop the right attitude?
Attitude always depends on our knowledge. Our attitude towards a person or an object depends on our knowledge about that person or that object.
Example: A asks B to be friendly with C. The knowledge about C will determine the attitude. If B thinks C is a good, kindhearted person then B will have friendly attitude and not otherwise.
We do not have a choice with respect to the attitude. Suppose, B thinks C is a wicked person, it is not possible to develop a friendly attitude.
Similarly, we can develop the right attitude to do the work only if we have the right knowledge with respect to the link between action and results. Since we do not have the right knowledge, most of us are doing Karma and not Karma Yoga. As and when we learn the right knowledge, we will automatically have the right attitude while doing any action and it will become Karma Yoga.
Knowledge of the Twelve Laws of Karma and the Six Principles of Karma Yoga (discussed below) will give us the right attitude to do Karma as Karma yoga.
Two types of actions
We do actions to fulfill either (a) our duties or (b) our desires. Duty oriented actions are mandatory and desire oriented actions are optional.
We play many roles in our life, and each role comes with its own set of duties.
Example: It is the duty of a father to bring up the children well.
Everyone inherently knows his duties. If one does not do his duty, there will invariably be a guilty feeling and after completing the duty one feels relaxed. These feelings indicate that one is aware of his duties.
The quantum of activity, done out of desire can vary according to each person’s desires. It is normal to have many desires in the initial stages and as a result do many activities in fulfilling those desires. As one progresses and becomes successful in material pursuit, generally around the age of 35, one will start seeing the limitation of material pursuit. As a result, the number of desires may come down. Until one reaches such mental maturity, it is not recommended to have lesser number of desires.
Duties may be imposed or voluntarily taken up. After completing the education, one generally takes up a job or starts a business venture. There may or may not be a necessity for earning money. One may be forced to take up a job due to the external circumstances or it is undertaken voluntarily to fulfill personal desires. In either case, it is called duty. Just because there is no compulsion to earn money, it cannot be said that the job is not a duty. It is not a duty until one takes it up. After taking it up, it becomes a duty.
(a) Converting the activities done to fulfill our duties as Karma Yoga
While working we have an option to do the activities as Karma or do them as Karma Yoga.
Teaching 21: Six Principles convert Karma into Karma Yoga
The very same activities are converted as Karma Yoga by ensuring that the following principles are fulfilled.
Principle 1: Removal of likes and dislikes while doing duties
Karma cannot be converted as Karma Yoga, if one does it with likes and dislikes.
Example: A programmer likes to do his work since he was assigned to work on a prestigious project. This will lead to attachment to the work and if he is transferred to a different project, he will be upset. It is his duty to do programming and it should not matter to him what project is allotted to him. His likes and dislikes should have no role to play while doing his duties.
One should have equanimity with respect to how the work is performed.
Principle 2: Doing work as worship
All the activities done to fulfill one’s duty have to be dedicated to God. One should be aware that he is doing his duty because it is God’s wish. As a result, one should do it with the best of his effort.
Principle 3: Acceptance of the result as a gift from God
It is essential to treat success and failure equally while performing one’s duty. One should not be overwhelmed by success or affected by failure.
Example: On completion of the operation, whether the patient survives or dies on the operation table is decided by God, and the result should have no impact on the doctor. Of course, the doctor performs the operation for the patient to survive, and if he does survive, it is the will of God and not due to the efforts of the doctor.
Principle 4: Performance of duty with sincerity and dedication
Unless one does his duty to the best of his ability, it is not possible to meet the previous condition.
Example: A patient dies after an operation and the doctor is aware that there was negligence on his part. In this case, it is not possible for the doctor to feel that it was the will of God. He will have the guilty feeling of not doing his work properly.
Principle 5: Work should not be influenced by the result
One can take clues from the results for improving performance. Other than this, there should be no other impact. One should continue to do the work to the best of one’s ability whether the result is a success or failure.
Example: While writing a program, the programmer gets the news that his previous program won the appreciation of the client or the client has rejected the program. This news should not affect the current work in any way.
One should have equanimity with respect to the acceptance of results.
Principle 6: Rights and Duties are not to be linked.
A right of one person is a duty of another, and mostly the reverse is true too.
Example: The duties of parents are the rights of children. The children also have a set of duties, which are the rights of parents.
Normally most people do their duties with the expectation that others will do their duties.
Example: I do not pay taxes to the government because it is corrupt.
We assume it is our right to expect the others to perform their return duties so that we are benefited. This attitude must go. It is the duty of the employee to do the work well as long one is in the job, whether or not the employer pays the salary.
It is the responsibility of God to ensure that appropriate results are given. It is wrong to expect fellow human beings to do their duties sincerely.
Example: If we find a wallet, it is our duty to return it to the owner. If on receiving it, the owner does not thank us, we get upset. We should not expect anything, including gratitude, in return for doing our duty.
It is not our duty to teach others to do their duties. God will take care of that. We should renounce all our rights and keep doing only the duties.
(b) Converting activities done out of desire into Karma Yoga.
Not only duties, even activities can be converted into Karma Yoga. Activities that we undertake to fulfill our personal desires can be done as Karma Yoga.
Example: Prior to eating food, we should thank God for giving us the food.
It is very difficult to renounce the thought that we have a right to eat the food because we worked for it. Every morsel of food that we eat is given by God out of his mercy. It is not a reimbursement for doing our duty. We should maintain this attitude in all our activities.
Even when people take alcohol, they should first offer it to God and then consume it. This will slowly help them to come out of the bad habit.
(3) Karma Yoga – Based on the results of the actions
Karma will bring positive/negative visible/invisible results and not mental maturity.
Karma Yoga will bring mental maturity in addition to visible results.
Thus, we can do all our actions as Karma Yoga if we change the attitude with which we do the work. A change in the attitude is possible only as the result of knowledge. Mere ritualistic behavior is not Karma Yoga although it may help us progress towards Karma Yoga.
One should gain proper knowledge about the link between action and results for converting Karma into Karma Yoga. If a person knows that the food on the dining table has not come out of the results of his actions, he is doing Karma Yoga.
Teaching 22: You do not have any choice on the results of your action
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
2.48 Oh Arjuna! Abiding in yoga, perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.
Lesson 8: Inferiority of Karma
Animals and other living beings do not do any Karma. According to the definition, Karma includes only intentional actions. Animals are driven by intuition. It cannot be said that a tiger does Karma of killing a deer. It will kill only when it is hungry and when it is hungry it has no choice but to hunt. It cannot decide to fast for a day. Thus, ‘willing’ is the prerogative of human kind and only willful actions are called Karma.
While all human beings are capable of doing Karma, only those who are smart, graduate to the next level of doing Karma as Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga will give the benefit of doing Karma in addition to leading us to Joyful Living. However, this additional benefit of doing Karma Yoga is not immediately visible and therefore, many do not attempt the same.
Example: In our materialistic world, people need a reason even to smile.
Focusing on the result of every action is the first step and we should not remain in the first step. We should attempt to convert Karma into Karma Yoga.
The popular notion that one who works hard is a Karma Yogi is not correct. One who works smarter is a real Karma Yogi. Working smart involves understanding the nature of work.
In addition to knowing the Twelve Laws of Karma and the Six Principles of Karma Yoga, we should know the link between thought and action.
Teaching 23: Thought leads to Action and Action leads to thoughts
We are aware that all our actions are caused by thoughts.
Example: A building existed as a thought in the mind of an architect prior to the construction.
We also need to learn that action is the seed for our thoughts as detailed below:
We develop a sense of attachment to any action that we do repeatedly. The more often we do an action, the stronger is our liking for the action. Stronger liking leads us to repeat the action.
Example: A prisoner who spends a long time in a prison is ‘institutionalized’.
This means having lived in a prison, he will be more comfortable inside the prison than living freely in the outside the world. Similarly, we find it difficult to stop doing any action that we are accustomed to do.
Breaking the cycle of thought-action-thought
The key to break the cycle of thought-action-thought is to do the work without any attachment. If we are not attached to the results of the action then it will not bind us anymore. We can be more objective in our work and therefore the chances of getting better results are brighter. In addition, since we function without attachment (Karma Yoga), our mind will gain the maturity that is required to receive self-knowledge. Once we become steady in self-knowledge, life will become Joyful.
Mental maturity means rising above likes and dislikes. As a result, it is possible to deal with the oscillation between the pairs of opposites. It is a smart move to appoint a street-smart burglar as a security guard! Similarly, the only cause of development of likes and dislikes is Karma. By converting Karma into Karma Yoga, the very same actions are used to free ourselves from the bondage of likes and dislikes.
Expectation is the cause of all our misery. When we stop expecting anything from anyone, life becomes more pleasant. It is not that we do not get anything if we do not have any expectations.
Expectation has no role in determining what we get or do not get. It is wrongly assumed that all achievements are possible only due to high expectation. This is not true and can be verified from personal experience.
If we stop having any expectations, our progress in life is not affected and at the same time, we are protected from any disappointment.
We should do our duty perfectly, without any expectation. If we do not think about the results, there will not be any fear of exam. Therefore, our performance in the exam will not be adversely affected.
Karma Yoga tells us to do our duty as a service to God and leave the responsibility of giving results to God. God is responsible for giving the appropriate results of our action and we need to have complete trust in God.
Therefore, we must do work without having any expectation. This gives the immediate result of relieving us from any tension. Every action we do has the potential to hurt us. Karma Yoga acts as shock absorber and protects us from the possibility of getting hurt.
Thus, Karma Yoga involves doing all work as a service to God and accepting all results as a gift from God.
Teaching 24: Convert Karma as Karma Yoga to gain Self-Knowledge
Lord Krishna thus describes the art of doing work as Karma Yoga and its superiority in the verses 49 and 50.
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
Verses: 49 – 50
2.49 Oh Arjuna, Action with motive is indeed far inferior. Have the right attitude in doing your duty. Only those who are less intelligent are motivated by the result.
2.50 A man with proper attitude towards work gets rids of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore, strive for yoga, Oh Arjuna, which is superior action.
Unit 06: Complete recovery – Joyful Living
Number of Sessions: 10
(071 – 080)
Number of Lessons: 2
(31 – 32)
Versus: 2.51 – 2.72
On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(a) Gain clarity on the path and the destination of life
(b) See how his life will be after reaching the destination
1. What are the six stages in the only path to Joyful Living?
2. List the summary of the path in ten steps.
3. Describe a Joyous Person.
Lesson 1: Overview of the path and destination
Session: 071 – 074
Karma Yoga is the stepping-stone to Joyful Living. There is only one destination in life for all human beings. It is to live life joyfully. To achieve this destination there is only one path.
The overview of this path: Karma Yoga to Self-knowledge to Joyful Living
Depending on the level of intelligence, which varies from person to person, one commences the journey from different points of the only path and ultimately reaches the destination of Joyful Living.
Stage 1: Living life like animals without any ambition
It is suggested that they follow various rituals suggested in the initial parts of the Vedas and offer prayers to their gods.
Stage 2: Doing Karma in material pursuit to achieve varied goals in life like earning money, wealth, name, fame, award, reward, people, property, position, power, status, comforts and companionship.
In addition to the above, they should follow the tradition with respect to religious and spiritual practices.
Stage 3: Attaining mental focus by completing the five steps as detailed in an earlier lesson.
Stage 4: Doing Karma Yoga by doing karma with the right attitude and earning mental maturity (Karma Yoga is described in the earlier lessons. More details on this will be discussed in the next chapter.)
Stage 5: Gaining Self-Knowledge through spiritual pursuit involving three steps namely Inquiry, Introspection and Inner Transformation
This will be discussed in detail in a later chapter.
Stage 6: Attaining Joyful Living after gaining steady self-knowledge
Life will be joyful without any negative emotions. Knowledge gives freedom. There are no dos and don’ts to follow. Since the destination has been reached, there is nowhere to go. Whatever one does or wherever one lives, one will have non-diminishing happiness, everlasting security and undisturbed peace.
Depending on which stage one is, it may take one or more lifetimes to reach the destination of this final stage.
Progress from Stage 1 to 3
For Stages 1 to 3 the progression is natural. A person moves from one stage to the next, as long as one follows his Dharma. No additional effort is required. By virtue of spending time and effort in the first two stages, the required mental focus will also be gained.
Progress to Stage 4 (Karma Yoga)
One will need the guidance of a spiritual master to graduate to this stage because one has to gain the required knowledge to commence Karma Yoga.
Progress to Stage 5 (Self-Knowledge)
Human intelligence is endowed with the power to discriminate between real/ false and good/bad. This natural power will start becoming less effective due to unwanted accrual caused by likes/dislikes.
Example: A brass article will lose its shine due to passage of time. One has to take effort to polish it and bring it back to its original luster.
Similarly, while passing through Stage 2 (Material pursuit) we are involved in many actions. These actions are done with desire for name, fame, money, wealth etc. In the process, we lose the innocence of the tribal people and accumulate many likes and dislikes. These will become our preferences and shape our personality. Such preferences will determine our thought pattern and influence the nature and intensity of the next set of actions. Thus, being caught in continuous action, we develop strong attachments. These attachments afflict our intelligence. As discussed earlier, our intelligence will be deluded and as a result, we will see the false as real and bad as good.
By doing Karma Yoga, we slowly remove the accumulated blemishes and allow intelligence to regain its original power of discrimination. Then we start seeing the impermanency of the world and the limitation of material pursuit. We are under the impression that material pursuit will give us happiness. After doing Karma Yoga for a length of time, our discriminatory power will show us the destination (Joyful Living) and the means (Karma Yoga and Self-Knowledge) clearly. After gaining this mental maturity, by doing Karma Yoga, we progress to the next level of Gaining Self-knowledge.
We do not cease doing actions when we are ready for receiving Self-Knowledge. Rather, in addition to our current actions, we devote time for understanding Vedanta. Previously, we had no time because we thought all our time and effort was required for material pursuit. When we know the importance of Self-Knowledge, automatically we will be able to allocate time for gaining the same.
Progress to Stage 6 (Joyful Living):
We need to follow Passive Dharma prescribed by Vedanta and gain Self-Knowledge to move on to this final stage of Joyful Living. Self-Knowledge is gained in three steps, Inquiry, Introspection and Inner Transformation.
One will have to consistently and systematically study Vedanta for a length of time under the guidance of a competent teacher who is available for clarification of the doubts on one-to-one basis. This is an essential requirement to gain self-knowledge.
Thus, we reach the final stage of Joyful Living by crossing all the previous stages. At this stage, we are as convinced about our real nature, just as an ignorant man is convinced that he is the body- mind complex.
Teaching 25: Self-Knowledge results in Joyful Living
Summary of the path
1. Human beings are involved in many actions.
2. This increases likes and dislikes leading to attachment.
3. Attachment cripples the mind by deluding intelligence.
4. Delusion leads us see the false as real.
5. Karma Yoga removes delusion and intelligence regains its clarity.
6. With this clarity, we can see the limitation of material pursuit.
7. Then there will be a deep desire to know the source of everlasting happiness.
8. We will then be ready for gaining Self-Knowledge.
9. After completing the systematic Inquiry, Introspection and Inner Transformation, we get sound knowledge on the absolute reality.
10. This will enable us to reach the destination of Joyful Living, and one can enjoy life all the time.
Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution
Verses: 51 – 53
2.51 The wise free themselves from the cycle of birth and death by renouncing the results of action. In this way, they can attain that state beyond all miseries.
2.52 When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.
2.53 When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the self-knowledge, you will attain the yoga.