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Chapter VI

In 17 verses, from the 56th to the 72nd, Krishna described in the 2nd chapter the characteristics of the Sthithaprajna, and the excellence of that stage. Then, saying that He Himself had established Jnanayoga for the Sankhyas and Karmayoga for the Yogis as means of attaining liberation, He spoke of the importance of Karma.

Every one has to bow to the demands of nature and engage himself in Karma; it is inevitable. Therefore, Krishna said, "Do the Karthavya-Karmas, Karma that is your bounden duty. Being engaged in Karma is to be preferred to not being so engaged. If you desist from Karma, the task of living becomes difficult, nay, impossible.

"The Karmas that do not bind by consequence are those referred to as Yajna. All the rest are bondage-producing ones. Therefore, O Arjuna, give up all attachment and engage in acts, as if they are each a Yajna, sacrifice dedicated to the Lord." Krishna taught Arjuna the origins of Karma, the roots from where the urge to do Karma sprouts and grows; He taught them so clearly that Arjuna's heart was really moved and modified. "The Vedas emanated from God; Karmas emanated from the Vedas; from Karma originated Yajna, from Yajna, Rain; from Rain grew Food; from Food came all living beings. This is the cycle that has to be accepted and honoured.

"Consider this, O Arjuna, I have no need to do any Karma; no not anywhere in the three worlds. I am under no compulsion. Still I am ever engaged in Karma. Think of this. If I desist, the world will be no more. Have steady faith in the Atma; then dedicate all acts of yours to Me: with no desire for the fruit thereof, no egoism and no sense of possession or pride, engage in battle," said Krishna.

If the wheel of Creation is to move smooth, each one has to keep on doing Karma. Whoever he is, he cannot get round this obligation. Even he who has achieved the highest Jnana has to observe this rule. Eating and drinking, intake and release of breath - these too are Karmas. Who can exist without these acts?