Bhagavad Gita Chapter IV verse 41

“yogasamnyastakarmanam jnanasamchinnasamsayam atmavantam na karmani nibadhnanti dhanamjaya”

 

“O Winner of Wealth (Arjuna), he who has relinquished work by yoga, and who has torn apart his doubts by wisdom, becomes poised in the Self; actions do not entangle him.”

 

In this verse of chapter 4 titled “The Supreme Science of Knowing God”, Lord Krishna is giving Arjuna examples of “knowing God” also known as reaching enlightenment.

 

The first is through yoga, or union of the soul.  There are eight limbs of yoga and all help to facilitate a meditative state which allows us to merge, or find union with, our soul or spirit.

 

The first two limbs give guidelines on how to interact with yourself and others.  These are the yamas, restraints, actions we should not perform, and that by adhering to allows a more harmonious state within ourselves and society. And the niymas, observances, these are internally focused practices which provide us with self discipline, commitment, self awareness, and an understanding of ourselves.  Together they provide a code of conduct for living with ourselves and among others.

 

Asana, physical postures and pranyama , rhythmic controlled breathing techniques, actively use the body and the breath to purify the body and center the mind.  Both of these limbs can also lead you into the other limbs of yoga which are, pratyahara, turning inward, dharna, unwavering concentration, and dhyana, meditation.

 

The verse states “he who has relinquished work by yoga”, the term work is used for actions.  If you are following the restraints and observances you do not question yourself as to what is the “right” action you know what actions to take as you go about your daily activities and duties.  And since you are able to engage these activities with focus and attention learned in pratyahara and dharna the mind is not performing these tasks, therefore  the activity can become a state of dhyana, or meditation.

 

The portion of the verse “and who has torn apart his doubts by wisdom” this is referring to Jnana.  Jnana is the process of devoting ones life to studying scriptures to obtain wisdom of the mind and soul.  Basically to understand ones spiritual center, and reach enlightenment.

 

The verse states that using these methods allows one to be “poised in the Self”, or live with the knowledge of our true selves not the chaotic mind or the world around us, but to find peace and contentment within ourselves.  If you are firm in these practices your mind will not wander and you will not have motives or selfish reasons form performing any actions.  You will not question why, but perform actions because they need to be performed and you know what to do, because you are centered and in union with spirit.