7: The Imperative of Duty
V. 2, 4-7, 10
Renunciation of action
And performance of all action
Are two of ways available,
But better is Yoga of work.
Since inborn nature body-bound
Propels the self to ceaseless deeds,
Embodied ones should seek relief
Through deeds alone and not by poise.
The Samkhya composure is not
The soundless calm of work's abuse,
But transcendent inclusiveness
Of worker, work and goal of work.
Such tranquillity's timelessness
Is hard to reach by bodied souls,
Though Samkhya's aim and Yoga's reach
Do point to common achievement.
By one or other one can soar
To perfection universal;
In one expertness is the same
As expertness in other, too.
But Samkhya bereft of Yoga
Is not attainable at all;
For Yoga is self-restraining
And without it no Samkhya smiles.
Restraining self, self-conquered one,
Made pure by Yoga's unity,
Whose self has entered self of all,
Such one's doings are no doing.
Sin does not accrue to that soul
Who reposes on Brahman-All
All works, all thoughts and all feelings
In meditation's absorption.
To do one's duty has one right
But not to hanker for its fruit,
Neither result nor cessation
Of action is the Yoga way.
Equanimity in the midst
Of dual's role in human life,
Indeed, is Yoga well defined;
Is also adroitness in works.
By dint of understanding's strength
Who relinquish the fruits of deeds,
They freed from birth's and death's bondage
Attain the stainless, blissful state.
None can remain without action
Of some variety any time,
Since everyone is woven fast
To universal fabric's core.
This creation is God's action
Which cyclic, carries everything
With force of will of its impulse
Towards its purpose which is God.
Movement is deed even in thought;
Body and mind do all evolve
In perpetual restlessness
To reach the great repose in God.
To think objects while senses cease
Is no cessation of action;
The thought is deed, whether or not
The sense-organs move outwardly.
If mind is still while senses act,
It is no action of the self;
For consciousness of doing deeds
Is truly deeds, remember well.
Who can on earth survive and breathe
If all action ceases at once;
The psycho-physic's role in life
Will fall defeated when work fails.
Action does indeed bind the self
Except when done as sacrifice;
So work one must consecrated
Offered to Deity high above.
When beings came from Creator
He ordained all to sacrifice;
By sacrifice are worlds sustained
And by it everyone does live.
To share one's joy with another,
With transcendent divinity,
The Adhidaiva principle,
Is heart of all sacrifices.
Things exist through all other things,
All things are knit with all others,
So that the being of a thing
Is contribution by others.
Independent no one exists
As all are also all others,
Thus existence of anything
Is sacrifice by other things.
All is, then, sacrifice alone,
As Yajna known, the holy deed
By which one wholly does belong
To everyone and everything.
Selfishness, thus, is rooted out
From realm of justice and the law,
Rita and Satya, rule of Truth
Empirical and absolute.
When gods are worshipped,
They bestow Abundance and prosperity,
Since Adhidaiva rules ever
The subject as well as objects.
Endless are gods though God is One,
For Adhidaivas range beyond
One over other endlessly
Till all merge in the Absolute.
To grab and enjoy objects here
Independent of Deity's role
Is theft and offence done to Truth,
Since none owns things as property.
Cooperation is the law,
Dependence mutual is the rule;
The universe is as a Whole
A single family and house.
If God as All-Intelligence,
As soul in body operates,
Does not remain integrally
Creation would collapse and die.
Doing nothing, God does all things;
Thus is the regimentation
For all beings to march ahead
In progression through deedless deed.
The wise with knowledge is active
As unwise one's in ignorance
Do toil for creature comfort's sake;
The one is free, the other bound.
The wise does not disturb the faith
Of unknowing commonalty,
But leads the low to higher states
By education and kindness.
The lower is the lesser truth
And not untruth to be condemned;
Hence wise ones lead the lower ones
From lesser truths to higher truths.
The properties on properties
Impinge and cause all perception;
Knowing this one remains detached,
The foolish is involved in them.
Works melt in Universal Work,
This is the way to rise from work
To workless work by firm resort
In God-Vision that liberates.