Karma, Action & the Mind – What the Gita Says, Part 2

Karma, Action & the Mind – What the Gita Says, Part 2 July 1, 2018

This is a continuation on the last post on Karma in the Gita. In this part, Krishna looks at how karma can be dissolved.

Knowledge of the Unreality of Karma

Detachment of emotions from the self laid the stepping stone for the will power which means nothing more than the assertion of individuality. In that stage you were asked to reduce your Karma to the minimum and not to add to it by making fresh inroads into emotional experiences. You became detached and let us assume that your Karma was reduced to nil. As you have been told, this extinction of the entity Karma. Or in other words the consciousness of the unreality of it—does not mean anything other than the substitution of obligations to which the Self is subject at the time it obtains the knowledge.

Different from Divine Knowledge

Let me explain myself. The perception of the unreality of Karma is derived from detachment and experience and knowledge. This knowledge is not the Divine knowledge which is the realisation of the unreality of the Self himself and consequently of the realisation of the Great Divinity as the only Reality.

Knowledge of the Self

This knowledge which however the Self has obtained to preceive the falsity of the Karmic burden is the knowledge of the Self. By this means the self seeks not to discover that the Self is true and through that basis perceive that the Karma is false. The result of this awakening of the consciousness that Karma and the emotions are both untrue, on the Self, is the systematic conscious substitution of obligations which the Self, in its selfless endeavour to find the truth, discovers as lying hidden in a mass of falsehood which was once his Karma.

Karma as a Cistern

Now let me pause. Prior to this knowledge the Self had no volition. He was tossed hither and thither by the great forces of the Prakriti which as far as the Self is concerned had their origins in himself. The Karma could be compared to a great cistern with a big inlet of emotions and a small outlet which leads back hundred-fold into the inlet itself. I want you to think over this analogy as it is quite apt.

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