Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 43

कामात्मानः स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम् ।
क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति ॥२-४३॥

Kamatmanaha svargapara Janmakarmaphalapradam
Kriyavisha bahulam Bhogaishvaryagatim prati   ॥ 2-43 ॥



Through Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 43 Lord Krishna further elaborates inherent deficiencies in system of Sakaam karma yogis. For a Sakaam karma Yogi, desire of fruits of karma performed was foremost. For them, there was nothing superior to gaining swarga (heaven). According to Sakaam karma yogis, sole objective of human life was reaching swarga (heaven). Beyond swarga, they did not conceive any other goal of human life. For all Sakaam karma yogis… desires were part of life! Reaching swarga (heaven), was the biggest Purushartha (goal of human life), the biggest Praptavya (attainable goal)!


The desire for fruits of karma was the biggest fallacy of a Sakaam karma Yogi. Why? Indulgence in Sakaam karma by human beings led to our soul atman rotating in vicious circle of birth and death. If we indulged in Sakaam karma, it leads to fructifying in next life. More the involvement, more complex the circle of life! The soul atman of a Sakaam karma Yogi manifests a body on mother earth. After death of human form based on residual balance of karma, the soul atman again manifests a body. Only if matching parents were not available on mother earth… the soul atman hibernated in swarga or naraka. In swarga, if the residual balance of karma was positive and naraka … if negative!


No sooner matching parents became available on mother earth, the hibernating soul atman immediately manifests a new body to start new cycle of life! This vicious circle of birth and death continues unabated. As permanent liberation can only be achieved by attaining moksha salvation in present life, for a Sakaam karma Yogi… such a concept did not exist! Rather, a Sakaam karma Yogi did not believe in this precept of life! For a Sakaam karma Yogi… going to swarga (heaven) was the highest goal of life. A Sakaam karma Yogi all the time hankers after fruits of karma performed.


Lord Krishna further says Sakaam karma yogis were always attracted towards best of yagna that offered prosperity, wealth! Such indulgences often result in more karma that was binding, causing a string of karma bandhan in present and next life! Indulgence in yagna never formed part of nishkama karma Yogi (one who offered fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time). As per Lord Krishna, indulgence in yagna of any kind was meaningless if one wanted to reach god in present life. Why? As every form of yagna was part of karma yoga, indulgence in yagna resulted in karma bandhan! To reach stage of moksha salvation, we had to negate process of karma bandhan forever.


Bondage of karma in present life always results in next life, afterlife! Lord Krishna admonishes Arjuna not to indulge in Sakaam karma yoga that was binding and long-lasting. On the contrary Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to indulge in nishkama karma yoga by offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time. Indulgence in nishkama karma yoga means Arjuna perceiving all in enemy camp merely as manifestations of God Almighty. It was only bondage of flesh that compelled Arjuna not to fight battle of dharma (righteousness) with his enemies that consist of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya.



The Explanation:

Contrary to what Sakaam karmis’ believed, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna… abode of swarga (heaven) was a temporary phase in life of a soul atman, the spirit within! As is normally believed by followers of Hinduism… after death of body, souls’ atmans remained in swarga only until they exhaust accumulated Punya karmas (collection of positive karmas) in their kitty. The moment these accumulated positive karmas exhausted, souls’ atmans again manifested a human body on mother earth. The pleasantries of swarga (heaven) were temporary whereas stage of moksha salvation was permanent! As per Krishna essence of life laid in reaching stage of moksha salvation than yearning for swarga (heaven) all the time.


Sakaam karma yogis had a misconception about swarga and moksha. They believe that after gaining moksha (Mukti) one returned back to material fold on mother earth. Whereas going to swarga (heaven) was permanent. This was not as per Bhartiya darshan, the sacred Hindu philosophy. Most believing in Bhartiya darshan accept stage of moksha salvation as ultimate goal of life. The belief of Sakaam karma yogis that after reaching stage of moksha (Mukti), souls atmans again manifest life forms after certain time period was an absolute misnomer, something no serious seeker of spirituality would ever accept. Moksha salvation in Bhartiya darshan must be viewed in a broader context as below:


Referring to this quote of Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.8 …

भिद्यते हृदयग्रन्थिश्छिद्यन्ते सर्वसंशयाः ।
क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन् दृष्टे परावरे ॥८॥

bhidyate hridaya-granthishchidyante sarva-samshayah ।
kshiyante chasya karmani tasmin drishte paravare ॥ (2.2.8)


Reaching stage of Tattva jnani announced ceasing of life for Jiva, the manifest physical human form! Moment human beings realized their true inner self… reached source of all things cosmic existing within heart, all workings of karma finally come to naught. In absence of karma, in absence of dross impurities within… the need for souls’ atmans to manifest another body now ceased to exist. All queries within finally come to roost. Human beings finally reach stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) forever.


By indulgence in path of nishkama karma yoga, traces of karma within finally come to an end forever. Our soul atman, the spirit within kept manifesting form after another only until one indulged in Sakaam karma yoga on mother earth. This perpetual motion of life continues unabated until one reaches stage of Mukti (moksha salvation) as detailed in scriptures of Hinduism. Any karma indulged by an enlightened one was not binding until one left mortal frame… reached stage of moksha salvation!


When human beings finally distinguished difference between Para and Apara Vidya… they reached the cosmic source… God Almighty himself (Brahman in Hinduism)! Para Vidya stood for knowledge of unknown, knowledge of unmanifest. Apara Vidya stood for knowledge of material world realizing which one never reached God Almighty in ones lifetime. This quote 2.2.8 of Mundaka Upanishad clearly confirms ephemerality of path of Sakaam karma yoga.


Referring to second-line in this quote of Bhagavad Gita 15.6 …

न तद्भासयते सूर्यो न शशाङ्को न पावकः ।
यद्गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम ॥१५-६॥

na tadabhasayate suryo na shashanko na pavakah
yadgatva na nivartante tadham paramam mama ॥15-6॥


Lord Krishna says in respect of moksha: after reaching which none returned to this material fold… that is my abode, my kingdom (termed Vaikuntha in Hinduism), a point of no return!


The misconception of Sakaam Karmis’ that even after reaching stage of Mukti (moksha) one again manifests life on mother earth was misconstrued. Such misconceptions not based on absolute truth do not lead one to God.


As teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita point towards hidden inner values of life… bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 43 merely confirms that human form, the physical manifest stage of life was temporary, ephemeral! To cut across cycle of life… ocean of Samsara (worldly life)… our indulgence in nishkama karma yoga and not Sakaam karma yoga was necessitated! As Sakaam karma was binding, resulting in repeat manifestation of life forms on mother earth… as a human being, it becomes our prime duty to adhere to dictates of Lord Krishna residing in our heart… our soul atman, the spirit within!


The longer we neglect this absolute truth of life… our manifesting form after another would continue unabated. The more our indulgence in material world, greater the manifestations! The sole purpose of indulgence in nishkama karma yoga was one and only one… negating karma to zero forever! Only then we as a soul atman, the spirit within could gain absolute purity forever! Negation of karma to zero means… need for our soul atman, the spirit within manifesting a new body now ceased to exist. Every soul atman, the spirit within manifests a new body after death of present body only if we had in our kitty a residual balance of karma from past manifestations.


The moment karma negates to zero… soul atman freed from cycle of birth and death forever reached stage of moksha salvation, moment human beings left mortal frame! The prime purpose of indulgence in teachings contained in Bhagavad Gita was indulgence in path of nishkama karma yoga (by offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time). Such a life was lived by JRD Tata (also known as jeh, man of steel) who all his life lived as a true trustee of God Almighty. In his entire life not for a moment JRD Tata ever thought the entire Tata Empire belonged to him. He knew his position in Tata Empire was only that of an instrument, doing bidding of God Almighty all the time!


One who truly understands concept of trusteeship… also understands the primary aim of Bhagavad Gita! Swami Vivekananda… the famous disciple saint of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was also a true karma Yogi like JRD Tata. All his life Swami Vivekananda lived for welfare of mankind. So much so that for welfare of his community, he refused Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa to go in search of God Almighty in his lifetime! Swami Vivekananda did not gain enlightenment in his lifetime, which he heartily left for next life! He point-blank told Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa that in present life he would work tirelessly for uplifting his community and nothing else.


His trip to America in 1893 was also for that purpose! He wanted to barter spirituality with money, wealth! His experiment with spirituality failed bitterly for God Almighty does not allow barter of spirituality with anything material. Swami Vivekananda returned from USA totally brokenhearted. At a ripe age of 39, he left his mortal frame in year 1902.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 30, 2014

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