Faith

Factors behind action

In the eighteenth chapter of the Gita, the factors involved in the jivatma's actions are explained and analysed against the backdrop of God's overall control. A proper understanding of these matters is crucial for every individual so that one is able to review the extent of his role and responsibility in his daily activities, pointed out Asuri Sri Madhavachariar in a discourse.

The Lord explains that all actions in the world are possible owing to five factors. The body is the seat of all activity. The self in the body is the agent, the Kartha. The next factor is the Karmendriyas and the mind. The fourth factor is the vital breath, prana that sustains and pervades the body. The fifth factor is the Supreme Spirit dwelling in all these. Whatever action a man does, using his sarira, speech and mind, whether it is right or wrong, it is owing to these five factors. So, a jivatma cannot lay any claim as the sole agent for his actions.

Now, if the Lord is the fifth and hence also the primary cause of all activity, it may be asked if He is the cause of the bad deeds in people.

The answer lies in the fourth chapter when He explains the desireless nature of His work. As the Supreme Being, He is the cause of this universe of infinite variety, in terms of individual gunas and karma. He is the ruler of Prakriti, and who grants the respective sarira for each jiva and is also the karma phala data. He is the source of everything and pervades everything. He is the Kartha from this angle. But He is not subject to Prakriti which is dependent on Him. He is only a witness and always unattached and is not responsible for the acts, good or bad, of the jivatma. He is thus the non-doer, akartha from this angle.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:42:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/factors-behind-action/article36262746.ece

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