Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 40

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Greetings from Dr. Nath and Dasha on the auspicious day of Deepavali, along with this prayer:

ASATO MAA SADGAMAYA
TAMASO MAA JYOTIRGAMAYA
MRITYORMA AMRITANGAMAYA
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

Please lead me from untruth to truth
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from death to immortality
OM Peace Peace Peace

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Sloka 40

NEHABHIKRAMANASO’STI PRATYAVAYO NA VIDYATE
SWALPAMASYA DHARMASYA TRAYATE MAHATO BHAYAAT

There is no loss of effort in this karma yoga. Even if it is stopped in the middle, no harm is produced. Even a little of this knowledge, even a little practice of this yoga, protects man from great fear.

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The experts say that some of the words in the slokas have a deeper intellectual meaning to them. Understanding such words helps one to learn the sacred text more clearly.

The two words we must understand in this sloka are: “iha” and “asya dharmasya”.
“IHA”: it means “in this.”
“Asya Dharmasya”: it means “of this principle dharma.”

Both the words refer to the word “Karma Yoga” referred to in the previous sloka. There we analysed that the Lord meant “Karma Yoga” as the art of “correct action” which comes from learning the theory of Atman first. Only actions that follow after “samkhya” (complete knowledge of the Atman) will guarantee the results mentioned in this sloka.

Such of those actions that one conducts after obtaining the theoretical knowledge of the Atman first will protect the individual. It is like saying, “go to the school, the college and complete the educational requirements. Get the degree/qualification for a particular profession and use that knowledge in the field of work you pursue.”

We must not forget that the sacred text is all about “Moksha” and “Liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.” Lord’s promise is concerning this “Moksha.”

Every individual who makes an attempt in understanding about the “Atman”, one’s true identity as the “Atman” (Divinity within) will find the benefit of such understanding in course of time. We must have faith in the principle of “every action has a result and we will experience the result in this birth or future births.” Faith in the scripture which is on the principle of “rebirths till one attains absolute purity” will help in understanding the sacred text.

The sincere attempt in understanding about the “Atman residing in all forms of life” will in course of time, may be in this birth or several births later, will confer “Liberation.” The Lord promises, “There is no loss of effort.” One should not feel that what good he has done is of waste if he does not get the positive results which he/she can experience in this birth. For many, it is not just experiencing in this birth, but the desire to experience immediately on completion of the work.

The beneficial results of such practice will come at the time decided by the Lord and we must have strong and unswerving faith in it.

Finally, the Lord says, “Protects from great fear.” What is the great fear?

Fear of inability to continue the sadhana for whatever reason, (death and parting from the near and dear ones) is the great fear of most of us.

Learning about the true identity of “the divine Atman” will vanish such fear. The true spiritual seeker will then take up the practice with joy and keenness and nothing in this world will distract him/her from such practice. This is true “Karma Yoga.”

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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