ಲೋಕೇಸ್ಮಿನ್ ದ್ವಿವಿಧಾ ನಿಷ್ಠಾ ಪುರಾ ಪ್ರೋಕ್ತಾ ಮಯಾನಘ ।
ಜ್ಞಾನಯೋಗೇನ ಸಾಂಖ್ಯಾನಾಂ ಕರ್ಮಯೋಗೇನ ಯೋಗಿನಾಮ್ ॥೩॥
lokesmin dvividhā niṣṭhā purā proktā mayānagha |
jñānayogena sāṃkhyānāṃ karmayogena yoginām ||3||
Gist of the sloka:
Lord Krishna says: O Anagha, I had previously explained two paths leading to mukthi. For Gynani’s they chose knowledge predominant path and those who like karmas [actions] (karma pradhanigalu] chose karma predominant path.
After having described both the paths, Lord Krishna gives detailed explanation of the path of karma [karma yoga] here. The word ‘nishta’ means the determined path leading to mukthi. There are two types of seekers. Sankhya’s, who chose the path of gyana. Yogi are those who chose the path of karmas.
At the superficial level, it appears as though that Arjuna being form the kshatriya class, action is his predominant trait. It could be the reason that Lord Krishna is asking him to fight the war. In fact, Arjuna was one of the foremost Gynani at that time and a very knowledgeable person. The question then is, why fight the war?
The scriptures clearly tell that to reach mukthi/moksha there is only one path and that is through acquisition of right knowledge. Karma is therefore supplemental to knowledge. Those karmas [actions] which does not help in enhancing the right knowledge are not karmas at all. They are mere actions.
Whatever actions/karmas we do, including for example spending the entire day in chanting the name of God is not real karma unless it was accompanied with right knowledge. Therefore, there is no two paths - only knowledge path or only karma path. One requires the another.
In the chandogya Upanishad, the verse is as follows: Whatever you do, do after fully understanding it. That action accompanied with its knowledge, gives correct result. If not, it’s a wasted action.
One should fully know the reason for doing a particular action, what is the result of such action, how to do it etc., Without knowledge such an action is waste. Lord Krishna, here is describing two paths – knowledge predominant path like Sanakadi rishis and karma predominant path like King Janaka.