बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते |
तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् || 50||
buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛita-duṣhkṛite
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśhalam
buddhi-yuktaḥ—endowed with wisdom; jahāti—get rid of; iha—in this life; ubhe—both; sukṛita-duṣhkṛite—good and bad deeds; tasmāt—therefore; yogāya—for Yog; yujyasva—strive for; yogaḥ—yog is; karmasu kauśhalam—the art of working skillfully
The man of equanimity born of wisdom releases himself both from good and bad even in this life. Therefore strive for nishkama karma with an equal mind. Yoga is skill in action.
One who possesses equanimity born of wisdom:- It means a person who is endowed with the discrimination and determining intellect, and who therefore is capable of acting with an equal mind. Such a man is not tainted by good or bad, merit or demerit. Only the bound soul attached to the world is subject to the effect of his actions, good or bad. The wise man rises above these pairs of opposites.
Great men continue to do good work for the welfare of mankind, though they have nothing to gain for themselves by such work. The Lord encourages such good work in several places in the Gita.
The seeker should first stop evil and take to good works. Then he should learn to do good work without the desire for enjoying the fruits of his good work. Thus he would release himself from the bondage of Karma. It is in this sense that the Lord says that the man of a great mind is free from the effects of good and evil. Man attains the actionless state in nirvikalpa samadhi, when the bodily organs, the senses, and the mind remain perfectly still. At all other levels, he functions with his body, mind, and senses The wise man uses these intervals in doing good to humanity in every way he thinks fit. Their example should be followed by all seekers. They should train themselves to do good work selflessly, and this opens the path to perfection.
Skill in action: Dexterity in action is yoga. What is this dexterity? It is the capacity to remain detached and equal-minded while engaged in all forms of practical work in the world. Such dexterity is yoga. The present definition – yoga is dexterity in action – is used to cover the entire range of human action with evenness of mind as the determining condition.
Peace, composure, and freedom from Karmic bondage await those who work for a noble cause with a spirit of detachment and do not seek any personal reward or recognition. Such persons enjoy the joy of selfless service that ultimately leads them to the bliss of salvation. KarmaYoga purifies the mind and is a very powerful and easy spiritual discipline that one can practice while living and working in society. There is no religion better than selfless service. The fruits of vice and virtue grow only on the tree of selfishness, not on the tree of selfless service.
Generally, it is thought that one works harder when one is deeply interested in, or attached to, the fruits of work. Therefore, KarmaYoga or selfless service may not be very conducive to the material progress of the individual or society. This dilemma can be solved by developing a hobby of selfless service to a noble cause of one’s choice, never letting greed for the fruits dilute the purity of action. Dexterity or skillfulness in work lies in not getting bound by the bonds of one’s Karma or worldly duty.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
Our karma determines what we deserve and what we can assimilate. We are responsible for what we are; and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act. You will say, “What is the use of learning how to work? Everyone works in some way or other in this world.” But there is such a thing as frittering away our energies. With regard to karma-yoga, the Gita says that it is doing work with cleverness and as a science; by knowing how to work, one can obtain the greatest results.[Source]
Question: What is yoga?
Answer: Skill in action is yoga (i.e.) the capacity to act without attachment and with perfect equanimity.