Gita Daily Readings

6th February
Chapter II:39, 40
This, which has been taught to thee, is wisdom (buddhi) concerning sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning yoga, endowed with which, Oh Arjuna, thou shalt cast off the bonds of action.

In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm. Even a little of this knowledge protects one from great fear.

Commentary

There is a vital synthesis here. It is between action and knowledge. Philosophy carried in the brain is an intellectual burden. Life or action not guided by philosophy (in the sense of wisdom) or an altruistic outlook (which implies an unceasing investigation into truth) is blind. As Socrates said: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

We should learn to "be good" and "do good." The welfare of society depends upon our good actions - so we should "do good." Society does not bother even if our motive is bad and attitude commonplace. But our own good and our salvation depend upon our inner motives and attitude. Therefore, we should "be good." Knowledge and action must be integrated. Learning and life must blend.

The word "yoga" introduced here has a variety of meanings, as we shall see in due course. Yoga means "union" or "integration." Roughly: "integration of man and the transcendent being" is sankhya or inward knowledge, and "integration of man and the immanent Godhead, the universe" is buddhi yoga.

When we take this path of yoga, we are on the right road to salvation. Every step takes us nearer the goal and thus there is no loss of effort at all here. The knowledge and confidence that we are on the right path itself frees us from all fear. The very movement of investigation saves us from sorrow, and hence, fear. Fear arises only in the darkness known as ignorance.

Web Editor's Notes