Chapter 3 Verse 28-30

 

The wise are not attached to Karma.

तत्त्ववित्तु महाबाहो गुणकर्मविभागयोः ।
गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त इति मत्वा न सज्जते

tattavit tu mahabaho junakarmavibhagayoh
guna gunesu vartanta iti matva na sajjate

tu – whereas
mahabaho – O mighty armed (arjuna)
guna karma vibhagayoh – of the distinction between the body mind and sense complex and action
tattavit – knower of truth
gunah – senses, mind and organs of action
gunesu – in gunas
vartante – express themselves
it matva – knowing this
na sajjate – is not bound

Whereas, Arjuna the mighty armed! the knower of the truth of gunas and actions is not bound, knowing that the gunas express themselves in gunas.

In this verse, Krishna contrasts the gyani versus the agyani in the previous verse. The agyani takes the body, mind and senses to be the real and believes that he or she is doing action. Whereas, the gyani while doing the action, does not take the self to be the body, mind and senses. Even the gyani has an Ahankara as he or she does actions and does it with the physical body. But the person who is tattavit (also the person who is a viveki, mumukshu, atmavit) knows the truth of the gunas, the modification that is the body, mind and sense complex as well as the karmas and can distinguish between the two. They are merely instruments and are controlled by the gunas.

For instance, if you hold a rose in your hand, the eyes, skin and nose send different signals to the mind. The mind creates a holistic picture from all those signals – “this is a red rose” – and sends it to the intellect. The intellect analyzes that information and makes a decision – “buy this rose”, having consulted its memory of past experiences with roses. So the only physical action that we think is buy and we see it as we are paying money. But there are a number of activities that are performed prior by our senses and we don’t know how.

Another example is that of our digestive system. When we eat food, are we able to see how the food get digested? We don’t bother because we are not the doer of that process. Likewise, the gyani or tattva_vit here understands that all the actions are done due to the gunas which belong to prakruti and he himself or herself is not the doer. Though his body does the action, he knows that this body also belongs to the prakruti and he is not the body mind sense complex. He becomes a witness or saakshi and everything happens in that light of knowledge. So the karta and bhogta concept is not there in the gyani.

We cannot physically get detached from anyone. It is a cognitive shift and in our mind we need to understand that any attachment brings pain or pleasure which in turn brings phalam. If we understand that the gunas which are the product of Maya are making me do this while I am not the doer then the doer ship gets away with.

This topic is discussed again in Chapter, 13 and 14. Some important verses are given here which are in these chapters and they talk the same concept and we will see the in detail when we come to that chapter.

प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणि क्रियमाणानि सर्वशः ।
यः पश्यति तथात्मानमकर्तारं स पश्यति (Chapter 13)

The one who perceives that all works are done by the powers of material Nature truly understands, and thus does not consider oneself as the doer.

गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान् ।
जन्ममृत्युजरादुःखैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्नुते ॥ (Chapter 14)

When one rises above the three modes of material Nature that originate in the body, one attains immortality or salvation, and is freed from the pains of birth, old age, and death.