Gita series 60. Bhagavad Gita Chapter IV. Verses 40 – 42.

Having described the benefits of faith in the Brahman and having discussed about the benefits of attaining the highest knowledge, Krishna now reprimands the one who does not have faith and says “The one who is devoid of knowledge, dedication and faith does not gain spiritual knowledge and ultimately perishes. The one who is sceptical, neither attains this world nor the world beyond and never remains happy.” After having reprimanded the sceptical, Krishna continues to highlight the benefits of karma yoga. “The one who has surrendered the entire  benefits of karma yoga in favour of God and who does not foster any doubts because of his knowledge and keeps his mind under his control is not affected by his karmas. Therefore Arjuna, trounce all your doubts bobbed up out of ignorance with the sword of knowledge. Establish yourself in karma yoga and get ready for the battle.”

Having spoken at length about karma yoga and its benefits, Krishna reprimands those who are ignorant. For spiritual evolution, knowledge, commitment and faith are necessary. Knowledge here means the knowledge about the Spirit, the Brahman. Without understanding the Brahman, commitment and belief are of no use. By ignorant Krishna refers to the effect of maya. It is due to the effect of maya, one is afflicted with delusion that self (the gross body encompassing the soul) is different from the Self (the Brahman). Knowledge of the Brahman is the basic necessity for spirituality. If this knowledge is not attained, one continues to dwell in ritualistic worships thereby wasting major part of this human birth. Knowledge alone leads to spiritual quest. Only this quest had made Buddha to renounce. Katha Upanishad (I.iii.14) calls people thus “Oh Men! Arise, awake! Learn about Self from men of knowledge.” Second aspect of divinity is perseverance. Spirituality is a gradual process and the results are not attained immediately. One has to patiently wait for the day of his enlightenment. Body and mind have to undergo gradual transformation, which becomes possible only by practicing meditation. Meditation is not just relaxation. Relaxation of mind and body is the basic necessity for mediation. Meditation is a process that leads to perpetual colligation between the Creator and the created. Dedicated practice of meditation coupled with faith helps to achieve substantial progress in spirituality. Faith leads to positive affirmations, which in turn lead to production of positive energy. Because of this, everything turns positive for him. On the other hand, if one does not have faith, negative thoughts are generated leading to negative energies. Negative vibrations do not allow positive things to happen to him. When one faces only negative things in life, he becomes frustrated and happiness eludes him. Negative vibes induce him to perform evil actions, the results of which get embedded in his soul that manifest in subsequent births. Therefore, faith becomes an important factor in spirituality. Faith healing is based on this concept. The one who does not pursue spiritual path to realize his Creator is considered as a brain dead man. He continues to exist only physically.

Krishna, having reprimanded the ignorant now proceeds to explain further benefits of karma yoga. The one who surrenders the entire benefits arising out of his actions to the Brahman is not affected by karmic effects arising out of his actions. His soul does not get embedded with karmic afflictions. The effects of karmas are transferred to the soul, only if one has ego that takes credit for the fruits of actions. Surrendering the fruits of actions to the Brahman is not as simple as it is understood. Fruits of actions can be surrendered only by firm thought process. This happens only if one has acquired enough knowledge about the Brahman. This supreme knowledge clears all his spiritual doubts. When one makes substantial progress spiritually, he gets too many doubts many of them could be trivial. Guru’s necessity is required here. This kind of knowledge can be attained not by reading and understanding scriptures, but by internal exploration and looking within. Ultimately, the internal exploration alone can lead to Self-realization. If the mind is trained to explore within, it automatically disconnects itself from the extraneous matters. Now the mind comes under his control. When the mind is influenced by senses, it is not willing to obey his master, as it derives great pleasure in getting associated with the objects causing sensory attractions. Krishna concludes this chapter by saying that gaining knowledge is the only way to get rid of ignorance. Knowledge drives away all evil forces because knowledge enables the mind to discriminate between good and bad. Ignorance is to be destroyed with a sharp edged sword called knowledge. Doubts arise because of ignorance. Having explained in detail about the benefits of pursuing the karma yoga, Krishna asks Arjuna to follow the principles of karma yoga and take part in the battle.

Chapter IV concluded. The next chapter deals with yoga of action and knowledge called ‘karma-sanyasa-yoga’.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter IV. 35 - 39

Bhagavad Gita. CHPATER V. 1-3

E-Book - Bhagavad Gita - Chapters I and II