2). Ishavasya Upanishad – Path of Action (Karma yoga)

कुर्वन्न् एवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेच्छतं समाः ।
एवं त्वयि नान्यथेतोऽस्ति न कर्म लिप्यते नरे ॥ २ ॥

kurvann eveha karmāṇi jijīviṣecchataṃ samāḥ |
evaṃ tvayi nānyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare || 2 ||

Always performing karma here, one should desire to live, for a hundred years. So long as you seek to live as human being no other (path) exists (where) activity does not taint you.
Kurvanneva= always performing. iha =(here) karmāni = prescribed Vedic duties. jijīviṣet =one should desire to live. śatam samah=one hundred years. evam= in this manner. in regard to you), nare i.e. when you live content to be a human being. itaḥ i.e., from this present course of performing duties, different course, na asti =does not exist without coming under the influence of activities (evil actions) which taint you.

Q2-1) What is the essence of Ishavasya Upanishad second sloka.

Second sloka of Ishavasya Upanishad  is path of action – karma yoga marga. This sloka is a teaching of path of karma yoga – path of action. First sloka was path of jnana – jnana yoga.  Each person wants to attain peace – inner tranquility.  While living in the world action is inevitable for anybody.  Action, inaction and un-action are the possibilities  for living in the world.  A person  can attain a state of inner tranquility through Jnana yoga as outlined in first sloka in a state of un-action.

For people who are action oriented the second sloka applies. They need to perform prescribed duties as per veda.

Q2-2). What are prescribed Vedic duties ?

Each person has to live life in dharmic way performing prescribed duties as per his varna and ashrama.  The duties are nitya karma, naimittika karma.Every human is born with certain debts to be fulfilled during the course of his/her life. These debts are deva runa (divine debt), Rishi runa (debt to sages), pitr runa (parental debt), manushya runa (debt to fellow human beings ) and bhuta runa ( debt to all living beings).

These debts (runas)  are repaid through five acts of service called yagnas – deva yagna, pitr yagna, bhuta yagna, manushya yagna and rishi yagna.

It is possible that these debts are a sub set of prarabdha karma; therefore some or all of them may be obligatory for a person to fulfill. These debts are fulfilled by the following karma.
Nitya karma – Obligatory duties based on Varna and Ashrama
Naimittika karma – Duties based on occasions.
Nishiddha karma  – Forbidden actions.
Prayaschitta karma – Actions to destroy sins.
Kamya karma – actions for fulfilment of desire.
Upasana. – Meditation ( With form and without form – Saguna and nirguna)

A person should make dharma as way of living.  Dharma involves performance of five yagnas. Dharmic way of life purifies the mind.  Purified mind develops discrimination and dispassion preparing oneself for wisdom – path of jnana yoga.

There is no other way for a human being to live  without attracting  fruits of action ( karma phala). One should aspire to live like this for hundred years.

Q2-3). How is performance of action related to  Isha – Lord ?

      Ishwara – Lord is responsible for creation-sustenance-destruction-bondage-liberation in the universe (sristhi-shtithi-samhara-bandha-moksha). Ishwara is supreme intelligence operating in the universe. Ishwara manifests as order in the universe. The entire universe is operating in a very orderly fashion. There  is cosmic order. There is order at the biological level – everything happens in a very orderly fashion – there is order in conception-birth-growth-disease-death.  Karma is ordained by Ishwara for upliftment of human beings. Karma is order at psychological level . What you so you will reap. By performing duties as prescribed by Ishwara in the form of vedas, one can live without effects of karma.

      Shri Ramana Maharshi says – Ishwararpitam necchaya kritam – actions done as offering to Ishwara without any desire leads to liberation ( moksha).

The word  “evam” in the sloka means understanding the all pervasive nature of Ishwara, one should perform actions.


Q2-4). What is the relationship  between path of Jnana and path of karma ?

Jnana  yoga is superior path. Path of karma will eventually lead to jnana yoga.  One who has desire for performing action should take up the path of karma yoga.

A person without  self knowledge is selfish in nature. His actions are selfish. Selfish actions and results of action (karma phala) binds the person to cycle of birth and death.  However a person desiring for freedom from bondage of karma, acts without selfish motives – unselfish act. Dedicating all his actions to Isha and not getting attached to fruits of action, such a person leads unselfish life.  With  SELF knowledge, he realizes he is SELF of all – Brahman. He becomes free from egoistic self. All his actions are self-less Actions.



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