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Gita - Chapter 3

			   CHAPTER 3 - Karma - yoga

Everyone must engage in some sort of activity in this material world.  But 
actions can either bind one to this world or liberate one from it.  This 
chapter explains that by acting for the pleasure of the Supreme, without 
selfish motives, one can be liberated from the law of karma (action and 
reaction) and attain transcendental knowledge of the self and the Supreme.
Arjuna inquired why Lord Krishna recommended fighting inspite of condemning 
fruitive work.  In answer, Lord Krishna elaborately explained karma-yoga, or 
work in Krishna consciousness.  There are two methods for self-realization.  
One method is the Sankhya-yoga, or the analytical study of the nature of 
spirit and matter, and is the subject matter for persons who are inclined to 
speculate and understand things by experimental knowledge and philosophy.  The 
other method is buddhi-yoga or work in Krishna consciousness by which one can 
be relieved from the bonds of action.  Of these two, the path of Krishna 
consciousness is better because it does not depend on purifying the senses by 
a philosophical process.  Krishna consciousness is itself the purifying 
process, and by the direct method of devotional service it is simultaneously 
easy and sublime.  Actually, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good 
work of Krishna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations 
dictated by illusory energy.  For self-realization, one can live a controlled 
life, as prescribed in the sastras, and continue carrying out his business 
without attachment, and in that way make progress. A sincere person who 
follows this method is far better situated than the one who makes a show of a 
yogi.  One cannot attain success by abruptly adopting the fourth order of life 
(sannyasa).  At the same time, one cannot even maintain one's physical body 
without work.  Lord Krishna, therefore, advised Arjuna to perform his 
prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. 

Any work done in this material world, whether good or evil, will be a cause of 
bondage.  Therefore, one has to work in Krishna consciousness to satisfy 
Krishna.  This practice will not only save one from the reaction of work, but 
also gradually elevate one to transcendental loving service of the Lord.  For 
example, one has to first offer the food prepared as a sacrifice to Krishna 
and then take it as Krishna prashad.  But if one eats the food for personal 
sense enjoyment, he verily eats only sin.  Everyone should depend on the 
production of vegetation for his food.  For this, he has to depend on field, 
and in turn on the rain from the sky.  Such rains are controlled by demigods, 
who are the servants of Lord Krishna.  Therefore, ultimately one has to 
satisfy the Lord by performing yajna (sacrifice).  The vedas state that by 
performance of yajnas, all activities become purified.   In the Age of Kali, 
the sankirtana-yajna (the chanting of the names of God - Hare Krishna Hare 
Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hara Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) is 
recommended  by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all man.  This can be 
performed by anyone in the world who accepts the principles of Krishna 

Without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter 
of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.  A Krishna 
conscious person engages in all kinds of activities, but is completely 
nonattached.  Lord Krishna and Arjuna, had no need to fight in the Battle of 
Kuruksetra, but they fought to teach people in general that violence is also 
necessary in a situation where good arguments fail.  From the Srimad-
Bhagavatam it is understood that Lord Krishna was performing all the religious 
duties at home and out of home, as required of a householder.  Although one 
who is situated in Krishna consciousness may not have any interest in the 
world, he still works to teach the public how to live and how to act.  As the 
ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may 
similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the 
right path.

One shoud dovetail his activities in devotional service to the Supreme 
Personality of Godhead, Krishna.  He therefore engages himself in the 
activities of Krishna consciousness and becomes naturally unattached to the 
activities of the material senses, which are all circumstantial and temporary.  
Consequently he is not disturbed by all kinds of material reactions, which he 
considers to be the mercy of the Lord.  Ignorant men think of the body as the 
self; they consider the formalities of religious rituals to be ends in 
themselves.  For them spiritual realization is a myth, and so they are not 
interested.  Therefore, an intelligent person has to sacrifice everything for 
the good will of the Supreme Lord, and at the same time discharge prescribed 
duties without claiming proprietorship.  One has to realize that nothing in 
the world belongs to any individual person, but that everything belongs to the 
Supreme Lord.  In the beginning of Krishna consciousness, one may not fully 
discharge the injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not resentful of 
this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and 
hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krishna c
onsciousness.  But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do 
not follow them have no hope of perfection of life.

As long as the material body is there, the necessities of the material body 
are allowed, but under rules and regulations.  The sense enjoyment spirit has 
been current a very long, long time, owing to material association.  Therefore, 
in spite of regulated sense enjoyment, there is every chance of falling down.  
Hence any attachment for regulated sense enjoyment must also be avoided by all 
means.  But attachment to Krishna consciousness detaches one from all kinds of 
sensory activities.  One should stick to his prescribed duties even up to 
death, rather than imitate another's prescribed duties.  For example, a 
brahmana,is nonviolent, whereas a ksatriya,is allowed to be violent.  As such, 
for a ksatriya it is better to be vanquished following the rules of violence 
than to imitate a brahmana who follows the principles of nonviolence.  
However, when one is fully situated in Krishna consciousness, he can perform 
anything and everything under the direction of a bonafide spiritual master.  
In that complete stage of Krishna consciousness, the ksatriya may act as a 
brahmana, or a brahmana may act as a ksatriya.  In that transcendental stage, 
the distinctions of the material world do not apply.but as long as one is on 
the material platform, he must perform his duties.  At the same time, he must 
have a full sense of Krishna consciousness.  Therefore it is better to perform 
our duty according to our nature in Krishna consciousness and not fall victim 
to our attractions and aversion.

When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal 
love for Krishna is transformed into lust.  Then again, when lust is 
unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and 
illusion continues the material existence.  Therefore, lust is the greatest 
enemy of the living entity.  In the human form of life, one can conquer the 
enemy, lust, by cultivation of Krishna consciousness under able guidance.  
Therefore the human form of life is a chance for the living entity to escape 
the entanglement of material existence.  Through lust sitting in the senses, 
the mind and the intelligence, the soul is covered.  Therefore, directly 
understanding the constitutional position of the soul is the solution of the 
whole problem.  One may not give up work and prescribed duties all of a 
sudden; but by gradually developing Krishna consciousness, one can be situated 
in a transcendental position without being influenced by the material senses 
and the mind--by steady intelligence directed toward one's pure identity.  
This is the sum total of this chapter.

This summary is taken from the book, "Bhagavad Gita As It Is", By His Divine
Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. If you need clarifications or 
detailed explanation of any point please do not hesitate to contact me.
My E-mail address: m9306021@whitetail.cse.rmit.edu.au
	      and  s936021@minyos.xx.rmit.edu.au

Yours in service of Lord Sri Krishna,
R Jayashri.

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