There are some who believe that knowing is enough
and call it gyan yoga
they spend all their life in trying to get there by knowing the ultimate
and some see gyan yoga separate from karma yoga.
The two, gyan yoga and karma are different on the surface but
There is no difference in the essence
And they both lead to the same ultimate place
This is how the wise ones see it and know it. //5:5//
Here Krishna goes one step further in order to make his point that there is no difference is different styles of living from a certain vantage point. Let us recap certain points already made in prior verses:
- Karma Sanyas - Life of renunciation
- Karma Yoga - Life of most of us with non attachment
- Sakam karma - Life of most of us who live a life driven by our desires.
It should also be understood that there are no strict boundaries between them. One day I may live like a karma yogi while the other day I may be completely working for my desires or the desire of my family. I may not be able to seperate myself from what is going on around me. In my mind it is all a journey and hopefully one day we shall reach there.
Krishna is talking from the view point of some one who is already there. He brings in the fourth type of person in the equation4.
4. Gyan yoga - life of knowing. This person believes that knowing is all you need. No effort is needed. No prayer, no worshipping, no meditation...there is no need for any of these to achieve the ultimate. The logic is flawless. When you know it; you know that there is nothing to know. When you reach there; you realized there is nowhere to go. You just knew what you have always had and you just reached where you have always been Having said that, my Guru Osho believes that "no body has ever reached there without an effort."
Buddha leaves his kingdom, does everything anyone tells him to do for several years, and then one day he gets there when he stops doing anything and everythin.
Krishna again makes the point that there is no difference between all these paths as far as where you get to is concerned. They all get to the same end. The inside never changes. You just discover the inside. The inside has always been the same. It will be the same whether you are a karma yogi, karma sanyasi, sakam karmi or a gyan yogi. One day you will know yourself and then you will realize that the paths you took were immaterial.
We may try to understand this way. I lived in India, let India to go to UK and then on to USA. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 2 years in the interim. I may go back to India or may end up in another country. Each country had and has its own opportunities and its own obstacles. It is not about me alone. It is the story of most of us. Even if you have not moved countries you most likely have moved to different villages and/or to different cities and towns. yet, I am the same person and you are just you. You and I do not change on the inside even if we change our locations. Much changes on the outside. We may wear different clothes depending on the custom or simply the weather. We may speak different languages. We may read different books. But, nothing really changes on the inside.
Nothing changes in where we reach once we reach there. We find out that we have always been there. That is what krishna is explaining to Arjun about. Krishna is talking from where Krishna is and where Arjun and us may reach one day. Soon, Krishna will come to where Arjun is and tell him how Arjun can get there.