Chapter 4: Approaching the ultimate truth
Lord Krishna continues to say, “I taught the benefits of Karma Yoga (doing an action) to the Sun God and he passed it on to his son Manu, who inturn conveyed it to his son Ikswaku. Thus the word was spread over generations, but ultimately lost in time. Hence I taught you the ultimate secret today as you are my friend and a true devotee.”
Arjuna questions Lord Krishna that how he could have taught this to Sun God as Sun God was born even before Lord Krishna came into existence. For that, Krishna replied that he has born many number of times and so was Arjuna, which only Lord Krishna is aware of.
He says, “Though I dont have birth or death, I have born out of my own internal potential. I’m born whenever there is a downfall of justice and an uprising of injustice, to protect the innocents and destroy the wicked. Those who understands this and also who were able to refrain themselves from passion, attachments, fear and anger, can avoid a rebirth after their death and come to me. Any one, irrespective of religion, caste and creed, can seek to attain me. Most people pray the demigods instead of Lord Krishna because, most people pray only for wealth, marriage, etc. which can be easily provided by the demigods. But, if they are in need of liberation or moksha, they need to follow a difficult path through self restrainment and attain Lord Krishna. Hence, they choose the easy way. I have created four classes of people based on their nature and actions.
Sattva – The Brahmans who have good control over their righteousness and who can spiritually guide everyone.
Ksatriyas – The royal warriors who protect the good and fight the evil based on righteousness/justice.
Vaishya – The people who are mostly into farming and trading
Sutra – The people whose sole purpose is to serve the other three classes.
Though I have created these classes I’m impartial and people go into these classes only based on their actions in each life.
I don’t expect results from my actions and the sages who were my devotees followed the same. So, even you should follow that.
There are a lot of confusions in differentiating what is action and what is not. I’ll explain it to clarify you from choosing the wrong one. A person is wise if he is able to find an inaction in an action and an action in an inaction. For example, a person fights in a war, which is an action, but he understands that Lord is the one who is making it happen and not himself and that is an inaction. Thus he finds an inaction in an action. Similarly, a person sits idle and that is an inaction, but he is actually praying inside which is an action. Thus he finds an action in an inaction. A person is considered as complete only if he is able to appreciate them both. Any person who does an action without any attachments to it is considered as a sage by the wise.
There are many ways of sacrificing or giving offerings. Few people sacrifice to demigods to get their desired outcome for an action. They are called Karma Yogis. Few called Gnana Yogis sacrifice ghee and fruits to the fire with holy chants and find happiness over that. Brahmacharis have a self control over their senses and that is their offering to their sense which they consider as fire. Others offer even the sense of hearing, seeing, breathing, etc., to the fire of self-purification and keep their senses in control. Others who could not practice self control offer food and charity and help the needy. Some perform strict fasting. Few read through the Vedas and live their life based on that. Few others never break any vows. Few offer their inhaling breath to the exhaling breath and exhaling breath to incoming breath and have good breath control. Some reduce their intake of food and regulate their diet. All these people offer all their actions and thereby atoning their sins and attaining the Supreme Lord. One who doesn’t sacrifice in any form, should not think about heaven when he is even unfit to live in this world. The various types of offerings has been mentioned in Vedic scripts and everything has been an outcome of an action. All these information can be learnt from people who have achieved self-realisation and they will instruct you and take you to the path of wisdom. Once you gain this knowledge, you will no longer confuse yourself that everyone actually die. You will start seeing the soul in each person and find them identical to yours and in further deeper realisation you will notice that all the souls are actually part of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Once you start following this spiritual path, you will be relieved of any sins in your past. A person who has complete faith, focus and control over his senses attains peace of mind. The ignorant people will remain to suffer worldly pains and find no happiness.”
And, thereby, Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna to destroy his doubts and ignorance and get prepared for the battle with the help of self-realisation.
This is the summary of Chapter 4 of Bhagavad Gita.
Have a great day! 🙂