Gita Series 64: Bhagavad Gita Chapter V: Verses 14-17

"Brahman does not decide the doership, doings or connection to fruits of actions of men. It is only the personal nature of men alone that decides. The omnipresent Brahman does not acquire either sins or virtues of men. Knowledge sheathed by ignorance victimizes men with delusion. Those who set aside this ignorance by acquiring true knowledge that shines like the sun thereby unveiling the Brahman. Those whose mind and intellect are totally absorbed in the Brahman and perpetually remain united with Him, become one with Him. Their sins are wiped out with the supreme knowledge and they reach the state of no return."

God does not predispose any actions of the humanity. Hence God is not the cause for fruits of actions. It is only the ignorance of men that make them perform actions by claiming the ownership and end results of all actions. The resultant factor of all actions is either good or bad. For performing good actions virtues accrue and for evil actions, sins accrue. Such accruals do not go to God. For every action, there is always a reaction by way of karmic affliction, which fundamentally decides the nature of a person. Karmic afflictions accrue only if one takes credit for actions out of egotism. This is called ignorance which is also known as maya. A man can use his free will effectively, only if he is not influenced by maya. Maya makes a person susceptible to instinctive and impulsive actions, making him to undergo pains and sufferings. Knowledge is the only source that provides capacity to discriminate truth from illusion. If a man acquires the supreme knowledge, he will not differentiate between A and B. Money and power do not cause any impression on him. For him, God alone prevails in everybody and he sees only God everywhere. He gets penetrating x-ray eyes that do not look at the sheaths covering the Atman. He looks straight into the Atman within hence perishable external appearances do not bother him. On the contrary, an ignorant man not knowing that he is responsible for his own miseries shifts the blame to God. Instead of correcting his nature he continues with the route of escapism by taking shelter under the deluge of fate. Fate is nothing but an another term for karma. Linga purana (I.64.111) also says “man is the partaker of fruits of his own actions.” Maya continues to bind that man with incapacity to discriminate. Knowledge is like a shining sun. Sun dispels darkness and knowledge dispels ignorance. Hence a comparison is drawn between sun and knowledge. Krishna says that the supreme knowledge is capable of eradicating all types of sins thereby ending his process of rebirth.

It is important to note that acquiring divine knowledge alone does not cause cessation of rebirths. Acquiring divine knowledge itself is a tedious process. One could have read hundreds of scriptures or could have listened to great discourses. These are only tools in acquiring divine knowledge that describe the ways and means to know the Brahman. To avoid rebirth, the foremost factor is that one should not have any karmic afflictions. Sanchita karmas (the sum total of karmic account) have to be experienced under any circumstances, as the Lord does not transgress His own laws. When realization takes place, further karmas cease to accrue, as the knowledge makes him to realize that he is not responsible for any of his actions. As long as one is concerned with the fruits of actions, karmas continue to accrue. Supreme knowledge unfolds through one’s consciousness and makes him to stay united with the Brahman perpetually. In such a stage, he is fully aware that he should not claim credit for any of his actions. When such realization happens, further karmas cease to accrue. His personal nature undergoes distinct change for the better. After exhausting all his sanchita karmas, he merges with the Brahman not to be reborn again. His knowledge is the single factor that makes him not to be born again.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter V. 8-13

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter V. 18-21

E-Book - Bhagavad Gita - Chapters I and II