Chapter 5 – Action in Spiritual Knowledge

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Arjuna said, Krishna, After advising me to renounce action, you have then recommended selfless action. Please tell me clearly, which of the two is superior?

Lord Krishna said, The renunciation of action and selfless action are both beneficial. However, of the two, selfless action is superior.

Anyone who is free from attraction and repulsion is actually renounced even though they are performing action. If you are free from all dualities, you will easily achieve liberation from birth and death.

The wise do not consider the path of renunciation and the path of action as separate paths. Anyone who follows either of these paths will achieve the same result.

The goal achieved by renunciation can also be achieved by selfless action. Anyone who sees that the two paths are the same, sees the truth.

Without selfless action, merely renouncing activities does not bring happiness. The wise who engage in selfless action swiftly attain the spiritual realm.

Those who perform selfless action, control their mind and senses, and show compassion to all living beings, are not implicated by their actions.

Although people in spiritual consciousness perform the activities of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping and breathing; they realise only the material senses are engaging with their objects and they are not performing any action at all.

Carry out all your activities without attachment and selflessly offer all your actions to the Supreme Lord. Then karma will not touch you, as water does not touch the lotus leaf.

The wise abandon all attachment and act with their senses, body, mind and intelligence only to achieve self-purification.

If you give up attachment to the fruits of your actions and offer the results of all your activities to me, you will achieve constant peace. However, if you desire the fruits of your activities, your deeds will entangle you.

By mentally renouncing all actions and controlling their senses, the living beings can live happily within the material body.

The Supreme Lord does not create activities, the desire for the results of activities, or the passion to act. The illusion of the living being in accepting the body as the self causes all this.

The Supreme Lord does not accept anyone’s good or evil deeds. Ignorance shrouds the knowledge of the living beings because of their desire to enjoy the material world.

Although consciousness is their inherent nature, the living beings are deluded because they have accepted the material body as the self.

Those who are enlightened with spiritual knowledge dispel their ignorance and their knowledge reveals the supreme reality, as the sun illuminates everything in the daytime.

Thus, they think of me constantly, meditate on me alone and take complete shelter of me. Being engaged in this way they transcend the material world.

The enlightened souls perceive the spirit within all species of living beings, whether a saint, a cow, an elephant, a dog or an outcaste dog eater.

Anyone who has equal and impartial vision towards everything, and is free from attraction and repulsion has already conquered birth and death. Their perfect knowledge places them eternally in the spiritual reality, even though they are still present in this world.

Absorbed in the spiritual reality and endowed with steady intelligence, a knower of the divine is not overjoyed when they achieve something desirable or miserable when they obtain something undesirable.

Detaching the mind from external sense pleasures, the liberated soul enjoys the joy within. The self-realised enjoy endless joy because they are absorbed in the spiritual reality.

The pleasure which arises from the contact of the senses with their objects is transitory and a source of misery. The wise find no satisfaction there. If you can tolerate the impulses of the senses and restrain the forces of desire and anger, you can find happiness.

Those who experience the bliss of the self within achieve the spiritual reality and they achieve liberation from the material plane. Anyone who is free from doubt, self controlled and dedicated to the welfare of all living beings, achieves such liberation.

Those who are free from desire and anger and have achieved knowledge of the spiritual nature of the soul, are liberated whether they live or die.

Anyone who knows me as the supreme goal of all sacrifices, the Supreme Lord, the well-wisher and dear friend of all living entities, attains the bliss of their own internal spiritual identity.

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