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BHAGAVAD GITA

BHAGAVAD GITA

KARMA YOGA-ACTION IN KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
5.1: ARJUNA SAID: O Krishna, first of all You ask me to renounce work, and then again You recommend work with devotion. Now will You kindly tell me definitely which of the two is more beneficial?
2: The Blessed Lord said: The renunciation of work and work in devotion are both good for liberation. But, of the two, work in devotional service is better than renunciation of works.
PURPORTFRUITIVE ACTIVITIES (seeking sense gratification) are causes for material bondage. As long as one is engaged in activities aimed at improving the standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to different types of bodies, thereby prolonging the material bondage perpetually. The Srimad Bhagwatam confirms this as follows: "People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this present body, which is full of miseries, is a result of one's fruitive activities in the past. Although this body is temporary, it is always giving one trouble in many ways. Therefore, to act for sense gratification is not good. One is considered to be a failure in life as long as he makes no inquiry about the nature of work for fruitive results, for as long as one is engrossed in the consciousness of sense gratification, one has to transmigrate from one body to another. Although the mind may be engrossed in fruitive activities and influenced by ignorance, one must develop a love for devotional service to Vasudeva. Only then can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage of material existence."
Therefore, jnana (or knowledge that one is not this material body but spirit soul) is not sufficient for liberation. One has to act in the status of spirit soul, otherwise there is no escape from material bondage. Action in Krishna consciousness is not, however, action on the fruitive platform. Activities performed in knowledge strengthen one's advancement in knowledge. Without Krishna consciousness, mere renunciation of fruitive activities does not actually purify the heart of a conditioned soul. As long as the heart is not purified, one has to work on the fruitive platform. But action in Krishna consciousness automatically helps one escape the result of fruitive action, so that one need not descend to the material platform. Therefore, action in Krishna consciousness is always superior to renunciation, which entails a risk of falling. Renunciation without Krishna consciousness is incomplete, as is confirmed by Srila Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu: "To achieve liberation, renunciation of things which are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though they are material, is called incomplete renunciation." Renunciation is complete when it is in the knowledge that everything in existence belongs to the Lord and that no one should claim proprietorship over anything. One should understand that, factually, nothing belongs to anyone. Then where is the question of renunciation? One who knows that everything is Krishna's property is always situated in renunciation. Since everything belongs to Krishna, everything should be employed in the service of Krishna. This perfect form of action in Krishna consciousness is far better than any amount of artificial renunciation.

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