The Essence of Bhagavad Gita's Philosophy

The Essence of Bhagavad Gita's Philosophy

What profound wisdom does Lord Krishna impart to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita? Does He assert that liberation hinges solely on realizing one's true nature, or does He posit that actions also play a direct role in liberation?

Lord Krishna unequivocally declares that the Atman is untainted by bodily activities and devoid of action, stating, “Having no origin and bereft of qualities, this imperishable Atman, though dwelling in the body, neither acts nor is tainted.”

So, what is the true nature of action?

According to the Lord, it is the gunas of nature that perform all activity. The one clouded by egoism perceives, ''I am the doer.'' From this, it becomes evident that the Atman is actionless and untainted. If such is the case, can this Atman genuinely suffer bondage? The Lord's teachings make sense if bondage is unreal and a product of ignorance. He asserts, “He sees truly who sees that all actions are done by nature alone and that the Atman is actionless.”

Does divine grace lead to liberation?

Krishna affirms that seeking refuge in Him alone allows one to transcend Maya. However, he clarifies that this liberation is bestowed through knowledge. “Out of mere compassion for them I, dwelling in their mind, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by means of the luminous lamp of wisdom.” Knowledge, therefore, becomes the conduit to liberation.

The Lord consistently emphasizes that actions are a means for those yet to attain realization. For the realized, there is only 'abidance' in Atman. He explains, “For the holy man who tries to attain yoga, action is said to be the means. For the same man when he has attained yoga, quietude is said to be the means.”

Krishna underscores the inevitability of the end for all that begins, challenging the idea that real liberation results from action. He asserts that action's role lies in purifying the mind, stating, “Sacrifice, gift, and austerity are the purifiers of the wise.”

Regarding the multiplicity of Atmans and their connection with the Supreme, the Lord's words suggest a singular Atman, seeing the same everywhere and abiding in all beings. The Lord himself declares, “O Gudakesa, I am the Atman seated in the hearts of all beings” and “Understand Me to be the Kshetrajna (individual Self).”

Source: Multifaceted Jivanmukta

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