Meaning of the Shlok
In this sutra, Krishna is saying something very deep about the human psychology. Krishna is saying that Oh Arjuna, not just you, even the most intelligent of people fail to understand what exactly is deed and passivity. First and foremost you need to understand this – Arjuna is constantly trying to assert his intelligence by taking the support of the scriptures and Krishna is shattering Arjuna’s illusion of being an intelligent person. He is clearly telling him that you are not intelligent, because an intelligent person knows the difference between deed and passivity. And considering this, don’t think that the scriptures, which you have been quoting often, are also created by intelligent people. Actually, no one amongst them also knows the difference between deed and passivity. Hence, know for sure that these scriptures which you are relying on and trying to escape from doing your deed of fighting in the war, definitely cannot be the basis for you to decide whether you should or shouldn’t do your deed. And because your basis itself is wrong, not only are you deluded about the war but in fact are even enduring it unhappily.
Krishna is further saying – But to release your attachment and to free you from this misfortune, meaning sorrow, I will explain to you the essence of doing a deed. On understanding it, all your sorrows and illusions will be dispelled. Here, ‘duty-bound’ is a word which is worth understanding specifically. Krishna is saying that deed is one thing and its bondage is a completely different thing altogether. Deed is so pure that, from it, no feelings can manifest within; the root cause of all disturbance within is being bound to the deed. Meaning, attributes like sin-virtue or good-bad are not hidden in the deed, that is why a deed doesn’t give happiness or sorrow to a person. A human being endures all the sorrows and happiness owing to his bond with the deed. Hence, I shall give you the solution to be free from this bondage, so that you can gain freedom from the misfortune, that is, the sorrow which you are enduring. Because your present sorrow also doesn’t concern the war, but in fact all your worries are to do with the outcome of the war. This is nothing else but your ties with the deed of performing in the war, which right now has deeply confused you.
– Deep Trivedi
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