ajnas casraddadhanas ca
nayam loko ‘sti na paro
na sukham samsayatmanah
But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.
After previously describing the qualifications of an aspirant for spiritual knowledge now Lord Krishna describes the characteristics of one who is unfit and not qualified for spiritual knowledge. One who is ignorant, of little faith, who does not follow instructions of the spiritual master and who doubts the teachings of the eternal Vedic scriptures, such a person has no chance for spiritual awakening and their human birth goes in vain. One who doubts is ruined in this life and will have little or no success in this world and such a person will have nothing in the next life because of not acquiring any merit in this life.
In practical life, a man of doubting nature behaves badly towards others, because he suspects their integrity and actions etc. He also cannot attain salvation, because it requires a determinate intellect and firm resolve. A man of doubting nature cannot resolve, whether he should chant the Lord’s name, study the scriptures, perform mundane actions or attain God-realization and so on. Because of his doubting nature, he cannot attain happiness or peace. Therefore, a seeker through discrimination and faith must get rid of a doubt. When a seeker, comes across two contradictory statements, it leads to scepticism. Such scepticism can be removed, either by discrimination or through a reverential study of scriptures, or by following the advice of saints and holy men. Thus, if a sceptic is lacking in knowledge, he should acquire knowledge and wisdom. If he is wanting in faith, he should endeavour to gain faith. It is, because without especially enhancing either of these two, his scepticism cannot be removed.
Without faith nothing can be achieved as for instance when you ask for directions to a place you have to have faith in the one who directs you. Similarly one who has no faith in scriptures or in the word of the saints will not acquire wisdom. A man who digs for water will get it only if he digs deep enough in one place and not if he tries in different places giving up each one after a little effort.
atmavantam na karmani
Therefore, one who has renounced the fruits of his action, whose doubts are destroyed by spiritual knowledge, and who is situated firmly in the self, is not bound by action, O conqueror of riches.
The dual paths of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities and jnana yoga or cultivation of Vedic knowledge are both concluded in this verse and the next. Actions do not bind one to material existence who is renounced. All actions offered or dedicated to the Supreme Lord are always renounced. Lord Krishna explains that the performance of karma yoga is the mode of action in the ways He indicated above. Dedication and renunciation means that actions are performed in jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge. When performed in this way the binding power of actions becomes neutralised. Also by this method any doubts concerning the soul are dispelled by knowledge. One whose mind is unassailable and unapproachable by any type of doubt, such a person has achieved an unshakeable certitude about the reality and eternality of the soul from the teachings received from the spiritual master.
chittvainam samsayam yogam
Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight.
Arjuna had a doubt how the cruel deed of fighting, would lead him to salvation. Moreover, he was in a dilemma, whether he should follow the Discipline of Action or that of Knowledge. So the Lord advises him, to remove his doubt, so that he may perform his duty scrupulously. A doubting soul, can, never perform his duty efficiently. All doubt should be completely uprooted from one’s heart and mind and follow the path that Lord Krishna has explained which is first and foremost to do one’s duty in life according to qualification. Following this path one will acquire the spiritual knowledge to cross over samsara the cycle of birth and death and attain liberation from material existence.
In the world, innumerable actions are performed, but we remain free from their bondage, because we have neither attachment nor aversion for them. It is because of attachment or aversion, that we are linked with actions. When we become free, from attachment and aversion i.e., get established in equanimity, we are not connected with actions and thus become free, from the bondage of actions.
When actions are performed for others and objects are regarded as others’ and for them, affinity for actions and objects is totally renounced and equanimity is automatically realized.