Worship Īśvara in every action

Human being is endowed with freewill which determines our goal of life. Based on what we desired, Īśvara gives result of our karma (including prayer) accordingly through law of karma. Therefore desire for moksa need to be expressed and exercised through our action to make the attitude of devotion firm. Last verse we have seen worshipping Īśvara through prayer, next we are going to see how one worships Īśvara in every action of one's life.

yatkarosi yadaśnāsi yajjuhosi dadāsi yat |

yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva madarpanam ||9.27||

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever ritual you perform, whatever you give, whatever religious discipline you follow, Kaunteya (Arjuna)! please do it as an offering to me.

No matter what we do, may you do it as an offering to Īśvara - tat kurusva madarpanam. How do we offer our action to Īśvara? Do what is to be done follow one's roles in life and renounce the result of the action, either material or for ego gravitation. That is the attitude of karma-yoga. The very attitude of the action bring about the purification which leads one to moksa.

For the person who is living one's life in this manner, what will happen to him/her?

śubhāśubhaphalairevam moksyase karmabandhanaih |

sannyāsayogayuktātmā vimukto mām upaisyasi ||9.28||

In this way you will be released from the bondage of karma, which is in the form of desirable and undesirable results. Being one whose mind is endowed with renunciation and karma-yoga, you will come to Me liberated.

One will be released from the bondage of karma which have desirable and undesirable result - śubhāśubhaphalairevam moksyase karmabandhanaih. Karma produce two types of result, desirable and undesirable. These result are produced for the doer to experience. In order to experience them, one must have a body, mind, senses, etc, therefore a birth - janma is required. This is the cycle of samsara.

By performing all actions as a dedication to Īśvara, as it was explained, one's mind become endowed with yoga and sannyāsa - sannyāsayogayuktātmā. If one is having the mind of sannyāsa - renunciation, how does one still doing karma as described? Therefore the word yoga is there because of karma-yoga. One does all to be done karma, yet renounces the results of one's actions, therefore this karma-yogī is called sannyāsa. Everything is done as an offering to Īśvara and one is interested only in Īśvara, which is moksa itself. These kind of karma do not bind since they purify the mind, and through this pure mind, one gains moksa. This is the sequence/journey of a seeker of moksa, was described in verse 5.7:

yogayukto viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitendriya |

sarvabhūtatmabhūtātmā kurvannapi na lipyate ||

One whose mind is purified by being committed to a life of karma-yoga, who has mastered the body and the sense organs, and who know oneself to be the self in all beings, (such a person) is not affected even while doing (action).

yogayuktah - one who is endowed with the attitude of karma-yoga, becomes viśuddhātmā - one whose mind is pure, no longer in the hands of likes and dislikes. Therefore vijitātmā - one who has mastery over the body, and jitendriyah - who has mastery over the senses. In the course of time this person attains the self of all being - sarvabhūtatmabhūtātmā. In time one abides in self-knowledge and is released from the limitation on the body-mind-sense-complex. Even one performs actions, one is not bound by them - kurvannapi na lipyate. This sequence must be understood, otherwise we will think that karma-yoga is the main means for liberation.

(come back to verse 9.28)

Karma generally binds, but by doing the same karma with a change of attitude, it becomes the secondary means for liberation. The binding karma becomes non-binding.

vimukto mām upaisyasi - one will attain Īśvara, liberated. upaisyasi is future tense, therefore time is involved here. Knowledge doesn't take time, but removing obstructions does.

Next verse stated that Īśvara is not partial.

samo'ham sarvabhūtesu na me dvesyo'sti na priyah|

ye bhajanti tu mām bhaktyā mayi te tesu cāpyaham ||9.29||

I am the same in all beings. There is no one I dislike nor do I have a favourite. But those who seek Me with devotion exist in Me and I (exist) in them.

samo'ham sarvabhūtesu - I am the same in all beings. In all beings, Īśvara is the same because he is the ātmā of everyone. How can he has like and dislike to anyone, when everyone is him alone. But one who knows him, will gain him, because it is all according to the law of karma-phala, even grace itself is karma-phala. One has the freewill to earn Īśvara's grace for clarity of mind, then one owned up his/her existence in Īśvara and he exists in them - mayi te tesu cāpyaham. Pure ātmā is pointed out in this verse, which there is only one ātmā, where there is no devotee and no Īśvara division in reality. Lord Krsna was speaking with reference to satyam and mithyā earlier in verse 9.4 : matsthāni sarva bhūtāni na ca aham tesu avasthitah - all being are staying in me, but I am not based in them.

Lord Krsna continues to talk about the glory of devotion.

api cetsudurācāro bhajate mām ananyabhāk |

sādhureva sa mantavyah samyagvyavasito hi sah ||9.30||

Even if someone of highly improper conduct seeks Me without a sense of separation, he is to be considered a good person because he is one whose understanding is clear.

sudurācāro - one whose conduct is certainly bad, means one omits all the things that are to be done and does all the things that are not to be done. One is completely unmindful of other's happiness and welfare, and totally self-centred. Even though one's conduct has been like this, but when one starts to seeks Īśvara, commits oneself to the pursuit of self-knowledge without having other resort, he is considered to be a good person - sādhureva sa mantavyah, because he is one whose understanding is clear - samyagvyavasito hi sah. Why is this so? Because when one has proper understanding, one's improper conduct is not going to continue. Since improper conduct is born out of pressure of likes and dislike, feeling of limitation, and having the identification with body-mind-sense-complex, then all of these are no more there due to self-knowledge.

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