Gita series 55. Bhagavad Gita Chapter IV.19 – 21

“The one whose acts are devoid of desires and determinations and whose entire karmas are burnt in the fire of supreme knowledge, that great man is declared as a learned man even by the wise. The one, who has no interest in karmas and its fruits, devoid of worldly attachments and always remains satisfied in Paramatma, does not get himself involved in any actions, though he sincerely discharges his duties. The one winning over his body comprising of mind and senses, by detaching himself from sensory objects and functions merely to nourish his body is not affected by sins.”

Every man is born with certain responsibilities based on his karmic account. A school teacher is born for the purpose of educating children. He joins a school as a primary teacher with an ambition to become the head of the school. The teacher has aspirations to advance professionally in order to make a better living. Though his aspiration is not wrong, still it is called desire. He works towards the goal of getting promotions. If the same school teacher takes up the job of teaching with the sole purpose of educating children without aspiring for promotions, he is then called a man without desires and determinations. In the second situation, promotion will be thrust on him for his outstanding performance. Performance of the teacher in the second situation is bound to be better as he has the sole aim of educating children that is devoid of any personal gains. He discharges his karmas without any interest on the fruits of his karmas. He follows the principle of ‘work is worship’. The teacher in the second situation could be considered as incompetent by common men, but is considered as knowledgeable by learned men. The perceptions of wise and ignorant are totally different. What is considered as good by the learned, appear bad for the ignorant. The cause for difference in perception is the quality of knowledge. That is why knowledge is considered as the most essential component for God realisation. When one makes spiritual progress, he needs higher forms of knowledge to sustain his progress. Only the highest form of knowledge can lead to Self-realisation. The highest form of knowledge can be explained in a nutshell as the knowledge devoid of duality (duality - considering God and man as different. If this is considered, the question of realising the Self in self does not arise), ego and attachments. Highest form of knowledge is compared to fire and the one who attains such knowledge his karmas are offered as oblations and are burnt in the fire of knowledge thus making his soul merge with the Brahman. When karmic account ceases to exist, soul is not reborn. A person who is devoid of self-interest automatically works towards universal love. Considering that ‘Love is God’ he stands united with Divine and functions as His representative. He does not differ from God in any way, as God is the embodiment of Love that is pure, eternal and devoid of selfishness. When one remains in such a situation which means that he stands connected (not united. Union is the merger of the self with the Self) to the Divine.

Krishna describes further qualities of that man. Such a selfless person is able to win over his bodily afflictions. Body consists of mind and senses. The former is subtle and latter is gross. Though mind is subtle in nature, its effect on the senses is powerful. Mind and senses are interdependent and like the company of each other. If these are controlled (they need not be eliminated), the progress in spirituality happens at a faster pace. Such a person may appear to be inactive and lethargic. In reality his individual consciousness stays attuned with Supreme Consciousness, overflowing with love. This overflow is reflected in the form of energy that can be felt and realized in all the places around him. Most of these men can be identified from their energy level and not from their actions. Having born in this earth, it is important that one should nourish his physical body as the body covers the Brahman within. None has the right to punish his body on his own. If such a man remains inactive but continues to nourish his body, it is not considered as a sin. He nourishes his body only for the sake of God within, with no desires attached and un-stricken by senses. That man is considered as a man of knowledge even by the wise men. Wise men are those who are Self-realized but to continue to live due to the balance in their karmic accounts.

Further readings:

Bhagavad Gita - Chapter IV. 16 - 18

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter IV. 22 -25.