Gita series - 45. Bhagavad Gita Chapter III. 33 – 35:
All living beings act according to their nature. The jnani (wise man) also acts according to his nature. Then what is the purpose of quelling? Likes and dislikes are obscured in all the sensory objects. One should not get entangled into the vicious adversities of these two, as they cause impediment s while progressing in the path of realisation. It is better to act as per one’s own nature irrespective of any inadequacy, than following the path of others though it may remain superior. It is better to die by following up on one’s own nature than by engaging the path of others that cause fear. Every living being acts according to its inherent nature. For example, activities of an elephant are different from that of a rat. Their inherent qualities cannot be changed, even by application of force. Inherent quality is determined by the law of Nature and the individual quality is decided by the law of karma. The inequalities amongst men, is due to the law of karma. A man is born to carry out certain duties in this world. Nothing can change the activities of mankind as they are decided by the law of Nature. A jnani (wise man), though a realised man has to follow the law of Nature as long he exists in human form.
He is also bound by the adversities of senses such as likes and dislikes as the entire living beings act due to the sensory influences. There is no purpose of exercising external influence to control the effects of sensory perceptions, as the law of Nature is bound to defeat any such move. But, the law of karma can make a person immune to perceptions. The law karma is a powerful force to reckon with as the karmic account is built over several births and the influences (vasana) of the earlier births are adhered, to cast significant effects during this birth. Even in the case of jnani, he has to undergo the effects of karma. But the difference between a jnani and an ordinary man is that jnani is aware that he is not responsible for his actions, whereas an ordinary man is influenced by ego takes credit for his actions, thereby accumulating further karmas. It must be remembered that both good karmas and bad karmas cause rebirths.
The difference between the two is that the one with good karmas does not suffer and the one with bad karmas undergoes sufferings and miseries. But none of them merge with the Brahman. The merger with the Brahman bechances only if one is able to surrender the effects of all his actions to the Brahman. In the case of a jnani, he is not concerned about his pleasure and pain, as they are one and the same for him. He acts according the prescribed sastras or righteousness, thereby sets an example for others to follow. Krishna calls likes and dislikes as the impediments to one’s spiritual quest. It is better to follow the laid down principles of righteous path that is to be followed with determination irrespective of the impediments. While pursuing any good cause, there are bound to be impediments. Fearing for these impediments, one should not stop his spiritual pursuits. This concept can be further explained. Let us take the example of a jnani and an ordinary man.
A jnani does not involve with rituals like pujas, visiting temples, etc as he always stands connected to the Brahman. By taking him as an example, the ordinary man should not refrain from performing prescribed rituals, as the ordinary man can develop his cosmic connection only by performing such rituals. The jnani always remains with the Brahman, though he physically remains in this world. Therefore, irrespective of the inadequacies in these rituals, everyone should follow the well laid down principles. In Sanskrit, this is known as ‘swadharma’ and ‘paradharma’. Swadharma means one’s own righteousness and paradharma means the righteousness of others. It is better to die by following one’s prescribed dharmas than following the righteousness of others. This could be superior to his swadharma, but not meant for him and hence causes unfounded fear. Unfounded fear stimulates death like situation thereby making it impossible for him to perform the prescribed duties.