Ch 18 Yoga of Single-pointed Surrender (Part 5)

This article is part 100 of 118 in the series Jīvana-dharma-yoga

The summary is this. Daiva is hidden, a secret. It comes suddenly and unexpectedly, and cannot be grasped by the logic of causality. The word in Saṃskṛta is “ākasmika” — kasmāt means from where — “akasmāt” means that one doesn’t know from where it came. It is not possible to determine the causes and effects of such an occurrence. Since daiva is not directly perceptible, we forget it. The blow of despondency, if it hits us, becomes tolerable if we keep daiva in our minds while performing karma. The sorrow of efforts gone futile becomes hard to bear if daiva is forgotten while performing a karma.

śarīra-vāṅ-manobhir-yat karma prārabhate naraḥ ।
nyāyyaṃ vā viparītaṃ vā pañcaite tasya hetavaḥ ॥

BG 18.15

“Whether the work started by a man is that of the body or that of the mind — whether it just or otherwise — the reason for its success or failure has to be looked for in the above five organs”.

Adhiṣṭhāna : Circumstance — we probably have made a mistake in gauging the pressure or the lack thereof, of a situation. Then the effort will go in vain.
Kartṛ : His enthusiasm and belief might wane. Arjuna is a great example.
Karaṇa : Friends and helpers might change. Duryodhana had believed in Śalya. Śalya forsook him when he became the charioteer for Karṇa. Karṇa had a divine weapon, but it did not come to him at the right time.
Upāya-ceṣṭā : In Macbeth’s story, the footsoldiers of the army cut trees down and hid themselves while walking to the enemy castle.  The enemies mistook the forest to be moving and ran away. In the history of Mysore, there is a story of a king who tied torches to the horns of oxen. The enemies mistook them for light-ghosts and ran away, scared. These are pṛthak-ceṣṭāh.

The above four belong to human power. Even if all of them are okay, everything will be futile if daiva does not cooperate.

sarvaṃ niṣphalitaṃ tadeva vidhinā daive bale durbale ॥ 

Why does daiva become adverse? The past karmas of all individuals who are engaged in the present karma might individually or collectively be adverse. Therefore, karma is perhaps not for one person alone. It follows that even the results of karma are not for an individual alone.

In a great karma, the fates of a thousand people might come together. In our tradition, it is customary for people who perform propitious karmas like going on pilgrimages or building temples to first collect alms from a few houses. Why is this? Among the people who give alms, there might be at least a few with puṇya in their account; the idea is that the work may finish without encountering any obstacles. There may be one kartā, and a thousand helpers and approvers. Even they have a share in the results of the karma. Thus, daiva is the result of collective karma.

kartā kārayitā caiva preraka-śca-anumodakaḥ ।
sukṛte duṣkṛte caiva catvāraḥ sama-bhāginaḥ ॥

(subhāṣita)

To protect the order and dharma of the universe, daiva might modify the results of the individual karmas — whether they are good or bad. Let us set daiva aside for a moment; it is not available for our examination and inquiry. Let us see the four parties that are in control of man. For a karma to be successful, all four of them should be favourable.

  1. Adhiṣṭhāna or the circumstance might be favorable in the beginning, but may become adverse later.
  2. The kartā himself may experience change of thought, or his energy might wane
  3. His karaṇas — or the ingredients/instruments may be spoiled
  4. Even if the above three are alright, there may be a mistake in his method.

Thus, the kartṛ is not the only reason for an effort to succeed or fail or yield adverse results. The other three companions of his — or one or two of the above parties may be the reason. Even if daiva is helpful, an effort may go in vain because of human errors.

tatraivaṃ sati kartāram ātmānaṃ kevalaṃ tu yaḥ ।
paśyaty-akṛta-buddhitvāt na sa paśyati durmatiḥ ॥

BG 18.16

“When the actual responsibility thus rests with so many people, one who thinks that he alone — the jīvātmā in him alone — is the kartṛ, is devoid of intellect. Such a fool cannot know the truth”.

Here there are two concepts :

  1. The kartā is not alone. There are other claimants along with him.
  2. “I” is also an aspect of a jīva and not just ātmā.

The ātmā that is present within a jīva is the same ātmā that is present in all jīvas. The energy of the ātmā is whole, never-changing and indivisible. One who has understood the omnipresence of the ātmā realises that the relationship between the kartā and karma is unimportant and only circumstantial, and therefore it is transcendental and impermanent.

Indeed, didn’t this topic appear in our discussion because of the question of dharma? If Duryodhana were dhārmic and had said “I will give whatever is entitled to you. You please take it and be happy” and acted accordingly, we would have completely missed the story of the Mahabharata. We would not have obtained the BhagavadGītā either. Therefore we have to praise Bhagavān for giving Duryodhana his evilery and scheming mind ! Duryodhana’s evil mind became the pretext in the scheme of daiva.
A jñānin understands that the state of jīva that has been obtained by the ātmā is not permanent and that the doership of the jīvi is not permanent.

yasya nāhaṃkṛto bhāvo buddhir-yasya na lipyate ।
hatvā’pi sa imān lokān na hanti na nibadhyate ॥

BG 18.17

“One who is not tainted by ego and does not think of himself as the doer, one whose intellect is not stained with concern for the results of a karma — even if such a man destroys all the worlds, he will not be a killer. It will not shackle him”.

This is the mark of a man who has progressed beyond dharma. We will see this adhidharma — going beyond dharma — later.

It is a crime when one person slays another. The same slaying done by a jñānin is not a crime. This is because other people act out of ego and selfishness. A jñānin does not have them. The objective of a jñānin is for all jīvas to obtain better states. Is it necessary to wipe out whole worlds to move all jīvas to a better state? Bhagavān is not saying that. To illustrate a principle, a figure of speech called utprekṣā is used. Idiomatic language cannot be understood by making sense of mere words. Only the intent should be grasped here.
It is impossible for a person who has understood the true nature of the ātmā to be a sinner. This is because he is not acting out of selfish desires or hatred for others. Even if he does something that is characteristic of an egoistic and mean person, that work will inherently not carry any evilery. Instead, it will be for the welfare and prosperity of the world only. The only desire that such a person carries is the welfare of all beings. Therefore, there is no possibility of pāpa in his dealings.

That is fine. While describing the five components of karma, it is said —

daivaṃ caivātra pañcamam ॥

BG 18.14

Daiva is mentioned here separately. Does not this special component called daiva have authority over the other four?  Cannot daiva fix or make favourable the adverse factors, if any, among adhiṣṭhāna, kartā, karaṇa, tantrasādhana — or make them adverse if they are favourable? Is daiva not omnipotent? The answer to that is below :

Daiva cannot rule over all human aspects of karma. A part of human endeavour does depend on divine blessings, but all of it does not. If all aspects of human effort are dependent on daiva, what is left for humans? How can he earn puṇya or pāpa? The responsibility of the doer comes to a naught in that case! A human has puṇya and pāpa. Once we say that he has puṇya and pāpa in his account, it is clear that he will have responsibilities and freedom as well. He has the authority to discern and act accordingly. A man will be concerned with puṇya and pāpa only if human effort is of importance in a karma. Thus, the kartṛ has some amount of freedom when it comes to dos and don’ts. There are authoritative statements in the Brahma-sutras, etc., that declare that man has freedom to examine his progress or decline through his intellect and work towards what he wants.

kartā śāstrārthavattvāt ॥

Brahmasūtra 2-3-33

What does śāstra say? It says that there is puṇya and there is pāpa;  it says that there are good and bad results;  it says that pleasure and pain are in accordance with dharma or adharma. Therefore, if the instruction about dharma and adharma has to be meaningful, man should have freedom and authority to understand both of them and rationally distinguish between them based on the situation. If that freedom is not given to man, he will not be responsible for dharma or adharma that happens through him.

To be continued...

The present series is a modern English translation of DVG’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award-winning work, Bhagavad-gītā-tātparya or Jīvana-dharma-yoga. The translators wish to express their thanks to Śatāvadhāni R Ganesh for his valuable feedback and to Hari Ravikumar for his astute edits.

Author(s)

About:

Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.

Translator(s)

About:

Engineer. Lapsed blogger. Abiding interest in Sanskrit, religion, and philosophy. A wannabe jack-of-all.

About:

Mother of two. Engineer. Worshiper of Indian music, poetry, and art.

Prekshaa Publications

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...

Yaugandharam

इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...

Vanitakavitotsavah

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Vaiphalyaphalam

इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।

Nipunapraghunakam

इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।

Bharavatarastavah

अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...

Bharatilochana

ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...

Vagarthavismayasvadah

“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...