Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2 verse 50: He whose intellect unites with the Self castoff good and evil [actions] even here. Therefore, devote yourself to the practice of Karma Yoga; achieve skill in action.
To illustrate the difference between action and nonaction, Krishna addresses the full range of action from good to evil. 'Good' or right actions in accord with dharma support evolution; 'evil' or wrong actions in discord with dharma retard evolution (2.47). Through ‘good’ actions we prosper. Through ‘evil’ actions we suffer. All actions lie between outer bounds of good and evil, between consequences of prosperity and suffering. Nonactions — actions beyond the consequences of karma — lie outside the range of ‘good and evil’ in the field of all possibilities.
‘He whose intellect unites with the Self’ is established in Yoga (2.47, 2.48). Through the ego, the subtlest quality of intellect, we realize the ultimate Reality and Truth: we are unbounded inner contentment. [See 2.39 and 2.45 for discussions of intellect, ego and realizing Self.] We are Self, outside action, outside time, outside cause and effect, unbounded, untouchable and nonactive. Content. In the Self we live outside time, space and the whole range of actions ruled by the three Gunas (2.45).
‘Devote yourself to the practice of Karma Yoga.’ Let nonaction and all the possibilities of it flourish in your feelings, thoughts and actions. On the level of the Self cast away the bondage of karma: ‘Castoff good and evil [actions] even here.’ Perform spontaneous right actions which only support evolution (2.47). Live in the Self beyond the effects of your actions, live beyond karma.
‘Skill in action.’ In union, lower self unites with higher Self. United with it, active lower self bases itself in all possibilities of nonactive higher Self. Beyond dualities of loss and gain and the fear they engender (2.40), beyond the consequences of your actions, perform spontaneous, smooth and effective actions, perform right actions that achieve desired outcomes. This is ‘skill in action’: lower self based in higher Self, actions based in nonaction, action liberated from the bondage of karma, actions based in all possibilities of unbounded Self, actions that achieve results, actions that foster evolution.
copyright Keith R Parker 2021