Om Namo Bagavathe Vasudevaaya
3rd Chapter – karmayogaḥ
कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन्।
इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचारः स उच्यते॥ ६॥
karmendriyāṇi saṁyamya ya āste manasā smaran |
indriyārthānvimūḍhātmā mithyācāraḥ sa ucyate || 6 ||
Meaning: The deluded ones, who restrain their organs of action but mentally dwell upon the sense enjoyment, are called hypocrites. (3.06)
कर्मेन्द्रियाणि = the five working sense organs; संयम्य = controlling; यः = anyone who; आस्ते = remains; मनसा = by the mind; स्मरन् = thinking of; इन्द्रियार्थान् = sense objects; विमूढ = foolish; आत्मा = soul; मिथ्याचारः = pretender; सः = he; उच्यते = is called.
Explanation: In our earlier posts we have seen about the sense organs. There are two types of sense organs and they are,
- Sense organs of Knowledge – Jnanendriya (Sabda – Sound; Sparsha – Touch; Roopa – Sight; Rasa – Taste; and Gandha – Smell)
- Sense organs of Action – Karmendriya (Vaak – Speech(Mouth) ; Paani – Lifting (Hands); Paada – Walking/Running (Legs); Paayu – Excretion ; Upastha – Procreation)
Sense organs of knowledge are the window to the world, through which all the sense objects of the world, enters one’s mind/intellect. Interacting with the sense objects gives experiences which are recorded in the mind (memory). Pleasurable experiences are remembered and they are sought after. With the knowledge provided by the Jnanendriyas about the sense objects, the mind instructs the Karmendriyas to perform action.
All of us have three powers inherently and they are i) the power to know (Jnana sakthi); ii) the power to desire (Iccha Sakthi); iii) the power to do (Kriya Sakthi)
The power to know is helped by the Jnanendriyas (sense organs of knowledge) and they take the world of objects to the analyzing faculty MIND (intellect & memory). After analysis the mind sends out instructions to the Karmendriyas (sense organs of action), which carry out the action.
Let us dwell on this a bit more. Suppose if we have developed a difference of opinion with someone and we have stopped communicating with them, we will be able to stop talking to them, avoid calling them, meeting them etc., This means we have controlled the sense organs of action (Karmendriyas). In that scenario, if we happen to bump into them somewhere, can we instruct the eyes not to see it, (you can turn your face, close your eyes etc.,). It is not possible. If you don’t turn your face, close your eyes, you can’t instruct the eyes not to see something, which is in front of the eyes. What is happening here is, that the Jnanendriyas are performing their job, but the mind is putting a control on the Karmendriyas. In that process, all the thinking happens in the mind but a strict order has gone to the Karmendriyas about not doing their action. How long can this sustain?
Now we will come to this shloka. The Lord tells exactly the same, he tells, anyone, who is mulling over it in his mind, even though he has controlled his sense organs of action (Karmendriyas), he is fit to be called as a hypocrite (mityacharah).
Mitya means falsehood, Acharah is discipline. Mityacharah is a person following a discipline based on falsehood, in other words hypocrite.
Why the Lord has to tell this, because, Inaction is nothing but lack of perceivable action. In other words, sense organs of action (Karmendriyas) are not performing action due to the control from the mind. Therefore, inaction of Karmendriyas can’t stop the action happening in the mind. This amounts to dealing with the sense object and performing action with it mentally. Outward claims of inaction will not stop one from thinking about it in the mind and this behavior is hypocritical. This is what the Lord says here and concludes the topic of inaction here. Bottom line he says, the following 3 points;
- Inaction doesn’t produce a result. Prerequisite for Jnana (Knowledge about one’s true nature) is Vairagya (Dispassion or clarity of mind). Vairagya is a result to be achieved. As it is a result to be achieved and action alone produces a result, action is inevitable.
- It is impossible to be inactive. Helplessly everyone will be active based on the three gunas which are inherent in everyone.
- Mere control of sense organs of action and appear to be inactive, without controlling the mind will not produce the desired result of vairagya (dispassion) for spiritual growth. One can be called as a hypocrite for this behavior.
We will round this discussion with a small anecdote. There were two friends, and they were walking together. One of them told that he is going to the temple and the other said that he will go to the bar for a drink. Both went to their places and the fellow who went to the temple, was thinking about the other fellow, and was concluding that how he would be enjoying etc., The person who went to the bar was thinking that why did he come to the bar, the other person has gone to the temple and is a such a devout person, and was ashamed of himself. After some time when both died, the Lord gave heaven to the fellow who went to the bar but was thinking about the temple and being remorseful for his behavior. The fellow who went to the temple got hell as he was thinking about the bar. This little anecdote shows the importance of the mind control, because it is essential for clarity of thought and to develop into an integrated personality.
Lord will now introduce the Karma Yoga in the next shloka and after that will analyse it from four angles.