|The first half of the Gita : a retrospect
1. Friends, we have completed the first half of the Gita. Before we proceed to the second, it is good to
look back. In the First Chapter it was made clear that the Gita aims
at destroying delusion and making us pursue svadharma. We saw in the Second Chapter the basic
principles of life, the way of action and the image of the sthitaprajna
(the steadfast seer). Karma, vikarma and akarma were described in the Third, Forth and
Fifth Chapters. Karma means the performance of svadharma; vikarma means the inward action
which is performed to support the outward action performed as svadharma.
When karma and vikarma become one, the mind and
heart are purified and cleansed, the cravings we have acquired weaken,
passions are stilled, feelings of difference vanish and then the state
of akarma is reached. This state of akarma, it has been said, is of two
kinds. In one, you feel though you work day and night, that you are not
working at all; in the other, though you work not at all, you work
unceasingly. Though these two kinds appear different, they are in their perfection one.
Though the names karma yoga and sannyasa are different, the truth at the heart of
both is the same. The state of akarma is the final stage, the ultimate goal. This state is called
"moksha". Thus in the first five Chapters the philosophy of life has been fully set out.
2. After this, from the Sixth Chapter
onwards, are described the more important methods of vikarma useful for
cleansing the mind from within and attaining the ideal state of akarma.