Summary from previous classes:
The teaching of Gītā starts from surrender of Arjuna to Lord Krsna, asking the way to remove his sorrow which is unavoidable from either to fight or not to fight the war. Similar situation also would happened in our life, might not be in such a difficult condition like what Arjuna had, but even in any given situation one might have certain emotional torment because of helplessness in facing the situation. We are helpless because of sense of incompetence which is caused by sense of limitation. We always want to fulfil ourselves because our nature is fullness. If our nature is limited, we will not struggle to release ourself from limitation, because something being our nature, we should be comfortable with it. In fact we are struggling the whole life for fulfilment, and even continuing to the next life (this is also another valid reason for having next life) for fulfilment of the self. If our nature is not limited, it can only be limitless, but how come we always experience limited?
Experience of limitation is there because there is mix-up between the real me - ātmā and non-me - anātmā. I am taking the limited body-mind-sense-complex to be me. My real nature is sat (existence) - cit (awareness) - ānanda (limitless). Being existence, there was only me before the creation, I am in the creation itself and I will be there after the resolution. Creation of this universe is not like what we commonly understood: there was a conscious entity who created this world by using another material outside of this entity. Just like a potter who creates pot out of clay. If it is so, where did he get the material for creation? If the material is created by another entity, or come from another material, then there will be no end to trace the absolute creator itself. Hence this method of creation that we commonly understood should be ruled out. Or if there was a material alone which evolved become everything, this theory is not acceptable, because a sentient being can't come from insentient material alone. Therefore the creation of this universe can only from un-manifest becomes manifest. Just like water manifest becomes waves, breakers, and foams. When a form of wave takes place, it is named as wave with the contain of water alone, and when the wave resolves, what left is water alone. Existence me never ceases to be, just like how I exist in waking, dream and deep-sleep states, and this existence is also being aware of throughout three states because I alone am the awareness which is existence. The same awareness which is the knowledge for all the names and forms to manifest in the creation.
Up to here is the summary.
When we are seeing cit as avisesajñānam - knowledge / awareness, as basis for the entire creation, we are not talking of another entity call cit, but it is me alone, the same awareness who is the basis for waking, dream and deep sleep states. Because of being in and through each and everything in this creation (all pervasive) just like water being pervasive in all waves, breakers, foams etc, I the awareness being the basis for all manifestations, pervasively presents in all of them, but not limited by any of them. Therefore I am also called ānanda. Ānanda actually means happiness, which is the experiential expression. Since in this transactional world, everything is based on experience, therefore the word ānanda - happiness is used to describe the limitless nature of the self. Our nature is limitless alone, because of taking myself subject to limitation, therefore I am not happy. This happened to Arjuna, no matter how Lord Krsna convinced him that nature of ātmā will never die and anātmā has perishing nature, he still couldn't own up this fact. Seeing Arjuna's unpreparedness to understand the knowledge of the self, Lord Krsna starting the lesson of karma-yoga, by sowing the seed of karma-yoga, which is balance mind.
sukhaduḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau |
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṃ pāpamavāpsyasi ||2.38||
Taking pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat to be the same,
prepare for battle. Thus, you will gain no sin.
Our entire life is governed by likes and dislikes. Life is good if we are doing what we like and life is sorrowful if we need to deal with what we don't like. But what kind of situation comes to me is not my choice. Therefore learn how to have balance mind while dealing with pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, is the seed of karma-yoga. How to go about to have a balance mind, later on will be explained.
A balance mind is needed for one to pursue the self knowledge, because with too much emotional ups and downs while facing likes and dislikes, how one can see the oneness that "I am the one who pervades everything including those l likes and dislike, especially dislike." Therefore by doing ones own duty, one will gain maturity of the mind and will not gain pāpa.
eṣā te'bhihitā sāṅ-khye buddhiryoge tvimāṃ śṛṇu |
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karmabandhaṃ prahāsyasi ||2.39||
This wisdom with reference to self-knowledge has so far been told to you. Now, Pārtha (Arjuna)! Listen also to the wisdom of yoga, endowed with which you will get rid of the bondage of action.
Saṅkhyā means the truth revealed in upanishad, which is ātmā / brahman. Buddhi here does not mean intellect, but knowledge. Saṅkhyā buddhi means knowledge of ātmā / self knowledge. Lord Krsna has taught the self knowledge to Arjuna, now he is going to teach the knowledge of yoga. The wisdom of yoga here means karma-yoga, which might sound to be another way to release Arjuna from sorrow. It is not so, because sorrow is caused by confusion between real me - sat and non-me - asat. Confusion only can be fixed by correct knowledge, therefore there is no other way to release us from this sorrow except self-knowledge.
But why is it said here, "one who endowed with this wisdom, will be released from the bondage of action?" It is a glorification, since karma-yoga is an attitude of how to perform karma - action for the sake of purification of the mind - antahkaranaśuddhi, and this clarity is needed for one to own-up the teaching of self-knowledge, hence it is an indirect means for moksa. Just like when I want to reach certain destination, which the only mean is train. But I still need to go through intermediate destination which is train station, before I reach my final destination. There is no self knowledge - jñāna possible without karma-yoga, and karma-yoga is not complete without jñāna. Therefore the entire Veda (karma-kanda and jñāna-kanda) has to be seen as one complete way of life.