Gita Series 53. Chapter IV 13 – 15
“Taking into consideration attributes and karmas, I created four socio-religious divisions in the society. Though I am the creator of such divisions, know me as immutable and not the cause for such divisions. I have no desire in the fruits of karmas. Karmas do not afflict me. The one who knows my nature thus, is not implicated by karmas. Knowing this, the wise during the ancient period, sought after liberation and performed their karmas. Therefore, following the footsteps of your ancestors, perform your actions dutifully.”
The division of humanity is based on socio-religious factors. The cause for such factors is one’s karmas and attributes (gunas). A portion of the accumulated karmas unfold during the present birth. At the time of birth the three gunas satvic, rajas and tamas are found in equal proportions. When karmas start unfolding fully, one of these gunas predominantly prevails. Therefore one’s karma and attributes decide the quality of a person. Though Krishna is the cause for such divisions, He does not become responsible for the quality of such divisions. Brahman is only a witness and does not partake in actions. He is the cause in his capacity as the Brahman, the Creator. He does not become responsible for such divisions because it is one’s thoughts and actions alone determine the attribute of that person. Unfortunately, these divisions are now being classified as castes and creeds that is determined by hereditary, which is against the will of the Divine. Divine is the cause of creation and surely is not the cause for the quality of His creations. Quality of creation is determined only by the self. Each of the divisions has certain duties to perform. One division is assigned with the job of providing knowledge about the Brahman that ultimately leads to enlightenment. The second division belongs to the class of warriors. Third division belongs to the business community and the fourth division belongs to the class of labourers. One division alone cannot survive without the support of the other three and therefore these divisions are highly interdependent. A labourer can move to the first division by acquiring knowledge and a man from the first division can also come to the fourth division by lack of knowledge. Ultimately one’s quality of knowledge determines his attributes. When one is imparted with sufficient knowledge, he will not like to do evil actions as the knowledge acquired by him would have taught him about the consequences of evil actions. Thus Creation alone is God made and one’s attribute is manmade.
The Brahman has no desires and no karma can ever affect Him. Desires and karmas are associated with materialistic world and not with the eternity. Creation is a process that was set rolling by the Brahman with several checks and counter checks, balances and counter balances. For example the presence of a soul alone cannot cause a creation. The soul has to depend upon prakriti and the elements such as akash, air, fire, water and nature to manifest as a living species. Such a living being cannot grow in whatever way it likes. Its actions are determined by its karmas. The very fact that the Brahman is immutable is an authentic proof that karmas do not affect Him. What Krishna talks here is about His nirguna form or the Brahman without attributes. The Brahman without attributes can only be realized and not be seen. He can be realized in the form of self-illuminating light within. Attempts to know Him elsewhere do not yield any tangible results. There are certain men who seek final liberation. Even the desire for such liberation arises out of ego since ‘I seek liberation’ includes ‘I’ the ego factor. What Krishna says is that one has to perform his karmas dutifully and the final liberation will follow. ‘Sought after liberation’ means discharging duties without the end results of actions in mind. Only those persons who are interested in final salvation will not attach significance to the fruits of karmas and at the same time they never shirk their responsibilities. Therefore, Krishna asks Arjuna to perform his prescribed karmas (fighting his enemies) without any desire on the fruits of his actions. Possibly we can conclude by saying that even during Krishna’s period, the true seekers of divinity had started dwindling leading to Krishna avatar.