A few thoughts over Gita

First let me start by my own understanding of the Karma Siddhanta of Gita.

Bhagvad Gita preaches us to be machines.

Gita asks us to be non aligned to the fruits of our actions. It says that we have no rights over our results but only over our actions. I agree with this completely, as there might be other people who are more deserving than us. There are far too many players and factors involved in comprehending our worthiness. But Gita moves forward to the extent of saying that we should work desirelessly, i.e., there should not be even hope for any kind of result. It means that we should work merely as machines. The only difference would be our cognizance of right and wrong. But our sense of right and wrong develops through societal norms and personal experiences. Hence we are advised to be like the pre-programmed but adaptive machines.

Though I have my own apprehensions about this whole idea, I think this is on the lines similar to that of what Gita generally preaches. The major criticism of mechanisation is loss of human element, but probably that is exactly what is sought by the philosophers and preached by Gita – Nirvana or Moksha from worldly premises and atonement of Self with no mroe human connections as such. It talks about not being involved with worldly affairs and cut all human ties. Removing the human element from our lives, we are but mere machines!

 

Now let me come to my doubts.

1) The relationship between Karma and Karmafal

Gita asks us to get detached from the Karmafal or the results of our actions. But at the same time it also says that we should do the work as per our role in the society. Bothe these concepts are mutually contradictory.

Our role in the society is defined through three things – our ability, society’s expectations, and our environment. All the three factors depend on the outcomes of our actions. For instance, if I start writing, and for a moment let’s suppose that I am good at it, the society will expect me to write (who am I kidding!). But my being good at writing will only be known through the results of my writing. If I, or others are detached from results, neither my ability will be known, nor will anyone expect me to write. Thus, I might as well be composing music or cooking Kormas.

Our work is defined by our past results. By asking us to not get involved with them, Gita is pushing us towards mediocrity. Has Arjuna been detached from the results, he would never have been able to aim the bird’s eye. He would probably have been gambling and Yudhishthira would have trying not to kill Draupadi with his arrows.

So how are we to forfeit this relationship between Karma and Karmafal and still do the work most suitable to us with utmost sincerity?

2) Existence of God

The other issue that I have is with God. The scriptures suggest that God is the selfless entity without any qualities or attachments. If so is the case, how come we pray to Him expecting He will help us with our troubles? How come He is supposed to love us or even listen to us?

God, is such an entity exists, is to only create souls. He is not supposed to be even affectionate to them, let alone the bodies. Hence all the rituals, the praying, the believeing in God too, can’t be nothing more than a mere facade. This alternative purpose, as told by many, still holds some value. It is said that apart from spiritual aims, the rituals and prayers also aim a physical and psychological gain. It means that all of the religious pracitces originated for humankind’s benefit (not spiritual at all), by the intellectuals for the then ignorant masses.

Thus, I believe that everything that we do to please God has nothing to do with pleasing Him or getting a better afterlife. We are free to do whatever we want, only if we are ready to accept  the consequences. It does not matter if we sin and are able to save ourselves from the laws and our own guilt, for our soul will be absolved with it on death. The propaganda of God gettign angry is completely false, because he can’t, as per our own spiritual leaders. There is no judgement day. There is no judgement. But, is there a so called ‘judge’? Lets think!

3) What is God?

I think that God is just knowledge. Lets assume we were in perpetual darkness. The moment we would see light, we would find out that the darkness was because of the absence of light. Similarly, our ignorance is because of the absence of knowledge. This ignorance is waht makes us believe in God. I believe in Him because I am not able to comprehend a lot of things happening around me. My ignorance is what is causing God to exist and the moment I will gather the knowledge about the incomprehensibles, I will attain God.

Finally, I would suggest that our confusion should not be about God’s existence. Its futile. Our confusion should only be limited to understanding our surrounding events. Even that is probably impossible. But in my view, being clear about our confusion is the first step towards eliminating it.

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4 thoughts on “A few thoughts over Gita

  1. Interesting post Sudhanshu. But where does the Gita say that we should not have any desires? My understanding was that it says to not be ‘attached’ to the desires – to not have ‘aasakti’ for the desires.
    Can you point out which parts of the Gita led you to that conclusion?

    • Nikhil, you are partly right. It definitely talks about not being attached to, but not desires. It asks us not being attached to the the results of our actions. This is what is interpreted as having no desires of the Karmafal or being completely detached from it while doing our Karma.
      In the broader sense as well, I believe Gita is not pro-desire. Aasakti or ‘attachment’ originates from desires. You can not desire something and be detached from it.

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