Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 5, sloka 13, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 13

SARVA KARMANI MANASA SANYASTASTE’ SUKHAM VASHEE
NAVADWARE’ PURE’ DEHI NAIVA KURVAN NA KARAYAN.

Mentally renouncing all actions and self-controlled, the embodied rests happily
in the nine-gated city neither acting nor causing others to act.

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This sloka refers to two beings.
The embodied (Dehee) and the Jiva.
What is the embodied doing and what should the jiva do is explained in here.
The jiva is conducting actions pertained to the life on earth and the embodied
remains as a witness for the actions of the jiva.

Sarva karmani: all actions
Manasa sanyasaste: mentally renouncing
It means that all actions that are to be performed should be carried out without
the sense of “I” ness in them.
It applies to both the voluntary and involuntary actions.

As a matter of fact the involuntary actions like breathing, circulation,
digestion etc do not have any sense of “ego”. All of us live peacefully in
relation to such actions. Technically speaking, those involuntary actions carry
on by themselves. We do not say “I am breathing”, “my heart is beating” etc.

But on the contrary we have a great sense of ego in most of our voluntary
actions.
We are told that just like we conduct involuntary actions for the maintenance of
our body, we should learn the art of performing all voluntary actions.

No one can shut himself in totally from the world outside. There should be
contact with the world. There is a lot to learn from nature and from the life
around. For this we need the senses, the mind and the sense organs. What we need
to know is how to make use of them and how to keep them in check.

Vashee: This is the most important word we have to understand in this verse. It
means “self-controlled.” The jiva/individual must learn the art of self-control.

What should be controlled is the next question one may ask.
We have two basic instruments:
The senses that bring in the impulses
And
The mind that analyses the impulses, stores them and dwells on them at its own
discretion and uses the organs of actions to fulfil its needs.
We have to control both the senses and the mind. By controlling the mind we
should be able to control the organs of action.
Unless we learn to control these two perfectly we will not experience the
“Peace.”

*** will be continued ***

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Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath
at “snath@btinternet.com“.
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