|The Science of Self Realization
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Does this mean that one must practice karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities all their life? Apprehending such a question Lord Krishna sets the parameters for it. Karma yoga leads to knowledge because performing Vedic activities purifies the mind. But once the mind has been purified one advances to yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Then one leaves karma yoga and becomes devoted to meditation, absorbed internally with no inclination for external activities which impedes and distracts introspection and reflection. This is said to be the means for spiritual knowledge to mature.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The time parameters of karma yoga or performance of prescribed Vedic activities is explained by Lord Krishna in this verse. For the person who seeks fulfilment in the performance of actions, the means to fulfilment is prescribed Vedic activities itself which gives bliss and leads to the final destination of moksa or liberation. It is seen that even those attaining moksa possess equanimity of mind as the resultant fruit. Equanimity is eliminating all things from the mind that are not related to Lord Krishna. Even while experiencing the prarabdha karmas or the consequential reactions from actions, the all comprehensive and conscious presence of equanimity is seen to manifest in some and weathering out the impact one remains fixed on activities pertaining to the Supreme Lord. It has therefore been stated that only those who have perceived the perception of the Supreme Lord experience supreme bliss and will their minds fixed in equanimity. But until the elimination of the prarabdha karmas has come those of superior spiritual intelligence will immerse themselves in sravanam or hearing and kirtanam or reciting the glories of the Supreme Lord Krishna's transcendental qualities and pastimes.
Now begins the summation.
The comprehensive path for attaining moksa is equanimity of mind. The compound word yoga-arudhasya are those whose continuous meditation bequeaths equanimity. Those of equanimity in mind meditate on the Supreme Lord Krishna or His authorised incarnations as given in the Vedic scriptures while performing all activities. Even from them prescribed Vedic activities must be performed with a totality of being according to individual ability. One's individual potency determines the ability to complete an activity or not. Those who are able to complete the activity are called qualified. Those who strive to complete the activity but are unable to complete it are called aspirants. One who is benevolent to all beings makes the Supreme Lord pleased and merciful to that one. Such qualified beings place the Supreme Lord Krishna or His Vedically authorised incarnations firmly in the center of their lives through there consciousness, meditation, words, deeds and every action. There is no contrary activity to this for them. By the performance of such action exclusively the Supreme Lord is elated with that person. Serenity, equanimity of mind, self control, austerity, restraint of the senses, rejection of the rewards of action and renunciation are required for aspirants while performing prescribed Vedic activities in their striving for moksa. But it is also seen that the qualified perform prescribed Vedic activities in devotion to the Supreme Lord even after attaining moksa. So following in their wake it is clear that no one is exempt from performing prescribed Vedic activities according to qualification before attaining moksa or after attaining it.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities is the explained by Lord Krishna as the means for ascending in spiritual knowledge and achieving renunciation in their quest for atma tattva or realisation of the soul. But once a person has actually achieved renunciation and is securely situated then the cessation of activities is the rule and meditation, introspection and reflection becomes the means for attaining atma tattva. Exactly when one is considered to be well established and securely situated in dhyana yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by meditation is next.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
If the previous verse is true then does one have to perform karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities until death? Lord Krishna clarifies this with the word aruruksoh meaning who aspires. If one is aspiring for atma tattva or realisation of the soul then karma yoga is merely a stepping stone until one is established in selfless actions without ego influence. Such actions soon lead to renunciation which culminates in dhyana yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by meditation. The purport is that an aspirant should perform prescribed Vedic activities until they are securely established in renunciation which initiates reflection and introspection, culminating in meditation which leads to the attainment of atma tattva.