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Sunday, 25 November 2012 23:52

Bhagavad-Gita 5:6 - Karma Yoga is easier

Written by  Krishna Bhatta e
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But true renunciation (Sa=ny|sa), O Arjuna, is difficult to attain without Karma-yoga. A sage equipped with Karma-yoga quickly attains Brahma. (See also 4.31, and 4.38) (5.06)

So, what is easy and what is not

Which one to follow and which one to not

They all lead to the same place, the same abode

How do you get to bring awareness in all your karma?(actions)

And How do you stay unattached

Krishna says that it is difficult

To know non attachment without

Getting into the midst of actions (karma yoga)

By living in the stream of karma

By being involved in the daily routines

I and you can get to know the reality of staying non attached

And staying focused in our endeavor of knowing the ultimate

The ultimate is achieved. //BG 5:6//

Krishna is back to where he started in verse 5:2, where he mentioned that karma yoga is superior because it is easier to follow. He has since talked about four types:

 - sakam karma - desire driven karma -attached karma 
 - karma yoga - karma without attachment 
 - karma sanyas - renunciation 
 - Gyan yoga - knowing is enough - no effort is needed 

Krishna brings in another concept of "non-doer ship" here. All the actions just happen out of you. The wind blows. River flows. Sun rises. Moon waxes and wanes. You live and you die. Actions happen out of you. You stay non attached. You are not the doer. And this being a non-doer is easier to practice if you are doing something.  we shall explore this further here by a comparative analysis

Karma Yoga: The first one above is a given. You work and you are attached. You know that you are attached. You can start watching yourself. And now you are sometimes attached and sometimes not. Sooner or later you can get to a point where you are not the doer. You stay non attached.

Karma Sanyas: Now, let us examine life of the third kind above. A renounced person also has attachments in the beginning. A person who renounces the world has to fight with two kind of attachments.


  1. He is still attached to the world he has renounced. He still wonders about what he is missing. He may still get involved in relationships that he is not supposed to. This may and sometimes leads to awkward situations if found out.
  2. This person leaves the world because of attachment to a higher world, the world of God, and or for the service of people in the world. Other normal people hold them in high regards and expect them to have different standards.

Krishna points out that a life of renunciation is not an easy life. It is harder to stay unattached given the fact that they have to deal with two kind of attachments. Moreover, they also have to deal with expectations and subtle ego that comes with their so called higher positions in the society.

Gyan Yoga: This is the forth one above and is suitable for only a small section of the population. It is the domain of the elite intellectual. They definitely know a lot, read a lot and are master logicians. Knowingly or unknowingly the become attached to their own knowledge bank. This knowledge becomes their hindrance. Knowing the Upanishads, knowing the Brahmasutras and knowing the Vedas becomes their barriers to progress. The barriers are so subtle. How can you drop all this knowledge that has taken so much work to gather.

The bigger question is, "why do ywe need to become non attached?" Why do we need to become a "non doer?"  we have addressed it before and shall continue to address in our future blogs.

Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2012 00:19
Krishna Bhatta e

Krishna Bhatta e

A practicing Urologist, Dr Bhatta developed his interest in Bhagavad-Gita from a very young age. He was exposed to the teachings of Gita from his father. He has a love for our scriptures including Upanishads and Vedas.


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