karma-jam buddhi-yukta hi
phalam tyaktva manisinah
padam gacchanty anamayam
The wise, engaged in devotional service, take refuge in the Lord, and free themselves from the cycle of birth and death by renouncing the fruits of action in the material world. In this way they can attain that state beyond all miseries.
Those with spiritual intelligence, who relinquish all desires for the results of all actions, perform in righteousness activities as an offering unto the Supreme Lord are blessed with self-realisation. And being released from the bondage of birth and death they being liberated attain the eternal and everlasting spiritual worlds of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Those who perform activities as a matter of duty, free from conceptions of gain and loss, unconcerned about the resultant rewards are assuredly delivered from the bondage of birth and death in the material existence and are liberated to the spiritual realms.
An action even without the desire for its fruit will bring about fruit. No one can dispense with its fruit. Suppose a farmer sows seed without a selfish motive, will he not get results? In the same way if a person works in a detached spirit, he will get its fruit. Therefore, renunciation of fruit means, renunciation of manifest and latent desires for fruit and attachment for fruit. All people are free and capable of renouncing such desires. Wise people endowed with equanimity attain the state, which is free from any kind of blemish. This state has been called eternal state.
yada te moha-kalilam
tada gantasi nirvedam
srotavyasya srutasya ca
When your intellect crosses over the mire of delusion then you will get detachment from both what is heard and what is to be heard.
With genuine concern one may ask: When will I be able to attain that eternal and everlasting spiritual world? An important question but first one must successfully circumnavigate the maze of delusion in the material existence. When one has factually rejected the conception of identifying oneself as the physical body then one will by navigating oneself out of the maze of delusion successfully escape the net of illusion which is likened to a bottomless abyss. From this understanding one will attain indifference towards the activities that are heard about or that will be heard about. The desire to inquire about temporal things will cease as it will be perceived that only existing temporarily they are not worth pursuing.
Acute discrimination between the real and the unreal makes one indifferent to the unreal world, and a keen desire for selfless service for the welfare of others, enables one to renounce the desire for one’s own pleasures. In the same way as when a disciple for his preceptor, a son for parents, a servant for his master develop a wish for providing all sorts of comforts to them, then their desire for comfort goes away automatically.
It is the ignorance of one’s real nature that creates the identification with the body mind and intellect and he is deluded into believing the sense experiences as real and gets affected by the joy and sorrow through them. When the intellect is cleared of this delusion through knowledge one gets detachment from the sense experience which is indicated by ‘Srotavya’ and ‘Sruta’. This means what is heard and what is to be heard which includes the seen and unseen and likewise all sense experiences, that were already experienced and that to be experienced.
yada sthasyati niscala
samadhav acala buddhis
tada yogam avapsyasi
When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then you will have attained the divine consciousness.
Arjuna was in a fix, whether he should perform his duty as a Kshatriya or he should avoid the slaughter of his kith and kin. If he protected his family, he would shirk his duty. If he performed his duty of fighting, then the family would not be protected. So he was bewildered. Therefore Lord Krishna persuades Arjuna to keep the intellect firm in case of scriptural opinions and steady in regarding God-realization; First of all, an aspirant is unable to make up his mind whether to have honest and sincere dealings with the worldly people, or to attain God. Then he decides that he has to render selfless service to the world. Having taken this decision, he starts showing indifference and dispassion to the worldly pleasures. Then in the spiritual path he comes across different opinions of the scriptures. So it becomes difficult for him to decide, which opinion he should follow. In that case by good company or faith etc., he is either able to take the decision or he surrenders himself to God. Then by God’s grace his intellect becomes firm. Secondly, in all the scriptures and religions, God, soul and the world, have been described in different forms and ways.
If a person has the only aim of salvation and has no selfish motive by having affinity for wealth-property and family-relatives etc., then he crosses the worldly delusion. If he does not want to gain bookish knowledge (rot-learning) by studying the scriptures but has the only aim to realize the self, he crosses the scriptural delusion, it means that a seeker should neither be enamoured by the worldly delusion nor by the scriptural (philosophical) differences of opinions viz., he should not insist on any sect or religion. Thus he becomes eligible for ‘Yoga’, salvation or devotion. Besides this there is no need of any special eligibility (qualification).
When the mind gets free from delusion which is the cause of joy and sorrow by wrong identification of oneself with the body there is no more confusion of conflicting thoughts and the intellect comes to rest, steady, and with no distractions, in the absolute reality and one attains Samadhi, realization.
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim
Arjuna said: What are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in Transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?
What is it that which defines the ‘sthita-prajnah’ or the adept fixed with spiritual intelligence who is immersed in transcendent consciousness? What are the characteristics to be recognised by such a one so situated in this state of mind? How does he speak and how does he act? Due to possessing what characteristics is one called a person of steady wisdom and how does such a person of steady wisdom conduct themselves? This is the meaning which is meant to be conveyed here.
It is like asking how the best sales person talks, walks and behave? In every organization there are some outstanding performers, be it in research, manufacturing, sales or support. If you are aspiring to emulate that performance it is best to study that person’s behaviour and way of working so that copying the same you may be able to replicate his success. Arjuna is showing his keenness to be a “sthita prajnah’ and hence asking such a question.
prajahati yada kaman
sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tustah
O Partha (Arjuna), when a man discards all his desires visiting the mind, and is self-satisfied in own self, he is said to be stable, in wisdom.
Actually a man is always steady in wisdom, but when he accepts his desires, because of unsteady mind, he does not realize his stableness in wisdom. When he abandons his desires viz., accepts the non-existence of desires, he realizes his stability in wisdom. A seeker has to make effort to concentrate his mind, but by renouncing desires he does not have to do so, instead he attains this stage, in a spontaneous manner.
Swami Chinmayananda used to give an equation for happiness as follows:
Number of desires fulfilled
____________________ = the quotient of happiness.
Number of desires entertained
When the denominator becomes zero the value of the quotient is infinity. So it follows that only the absence of desire will result in infinite happiness. This can be verified through experience. Generally one’s childhood is always remembered as the happiest part of our lives except for some unfortunate beings. If we analyse as to why it was so, we could see that in our childhood we had very few simple desires which were mostly fulfilled. As we grow older we multiply our desires so fast that it becomes impossible to satisfy all of them even during the whole span of life.