What we learn from Bhagwad Gita Chapter – 4

Continuing the dialog, Krishna explains to Arjun that whereas he remembers all the previous births; Arjun does not know about the same cycle of Death and Birth which continues and is endless.

He stresses the need for carrying out one’s duty without expecting the fruit of the work done by the individual. Often this is misunderstood. It is never that your efforts go waste. When you are performing your duty, the same is for a specific objective. Krishna advises that one should not be too concerned about the achievement of the objective. When you are performing a job you should be totally involved in your actions. You completely focus in the performance of your duty to ensure that you do it very well. It is not that you don’t have any right for the results. The emphasis is that in expectation of the results, your concern about the results will not enable you to focus whole-heartedly on your performance.

Further, Krisha explains that there are four classes of human beings created by him. These are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. These classes are created so that all work required by the Society can be carried out smoothly. Further these classes represent the attributes and the respective duties.

In fact Aldous Huxley in his novel ‘Brave New World’ similarly, created four types of people Alpha, Beta, Gama and Delta. The objective is that each section is thoroughly conversant and totally devoted to bring about excellence in performance.

Since Arjun is a Warrior from the Kshatriya class, he needs to perform his Duty in the best possible manner. Inaction is to be despised. Inaction should never be considered as performance of one’s duty without continuously considering the results. What is known and ‘Nishkam Karma’ actually means the performance of one’s duty without strings attached.

Thereafter Shri Krishna also explains that some people who are Yogik practitioners perform Yajna in the form of their worship to God. Others carry out the Havan. Still others perform Yajna by practicing self-control – they are able to control their senses. They also control their living functions and they go into deep meditation, which is a higher form of hibernation. So all these performers of Yajnas are in fact carving their future with very bright light. But for a Kshatriya, his Yajna happens to be fighting the battle for a just cause. This also becomes an example for others to follow. So finally the message is that Arjun should become a true Karama Yogi. He should destroy his suspicions and emotions. He should carry out the battle with all his mind considering it is as his sacred duty, to be performed by him with all his dedication. The learning from this chapter is as follows:

1)      That we should considered life in continuity. We should not be scared of that. Anyway it has to come to everyone who is born on this earth. It is interesting to note that the great technical guru of our times, Steeve Jobs gave the same message in a slightly different from. He said that after he came to know about his cancer his started leaving every day of his life as if it was the last day. So he would try to do his ever best day on each day.

2)      Classes of the human beings are defined according to their attributes decided by their tendencies. Finally the work that you’re really carrying out puts you in a particular class and not necessarily the birth.

3)      Regarding the Yajna and welfare activities Krishna says the spreading of knowledge is the highest form of Yajna. However performing your particular duty with devotion and without any expectation or without attachment to the fruit of the work is also a form of a Yajna which is highly commended.