यस्य सर्वे समारम्भा: कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिता: |
ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहु: पण्डितं बुधा: || 19||
yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāma-saṅkalpa-varjitāḥ
jñānāgni-dagdha-karmāṇaṁ tam āhuḥ paṇḍitaṁ budhāḥ
yasya—whose; sarve—every; samārambhāḥ—undertakings; kāma—desire for material pleasures; saṅkalpa—resolve; varjitāḥ—devoid of; jñāna—divine knowledge; agni—in the fire; dagdha—burnt; karmāṇam—actions; tam—him; āhuḥ—address; paṇḍitam—a sage; budhāḥ—the wise
He whose undertakings are all free from desire and volition, whose actions are burnt in the fire of knowledge, is called a sage by the wise.
From the spiritual point of view, a Pandit is one who has freed himself from desire and volition in performing all practical work in the world. Book-learning, intellectual gymnastics may dazzle the minds of the ignorant, but the all knowing Lord does not care for such barren learning, and the title Pandit is given only to the sage who can act without desire and egotism and whose actions are burnt in the fire of Self knowledge.
Free from desire and volition: ‘Kama’ means desire for enjoyment, `samkalpa’ means thought arising from egotism, which expresses itself in statements like “I will fight, I will acqure wealth and fame” and so on. Even thoughts like – “I will help mankind – I will do good to society” pertain to the ego and come under the category of `samkalpa’. The wise man works without such personal motive. He has understood the mystery of his real Self, and so when he acts, the action is thought of and executed by higher power than himself through the instrumentality of his vehicle (upadhi). He feels no personal responsibility at all. It is in this way that the greatest works are performed by rare men from time to time.
The doubt may arise whether any action is possible without `Samkalpa’. The Lord clears the doubt and emphatically declares that work is possible without ‘samkalpa’, in the sense that man acts like an instrument in the hands of a higher power than himself. The human agent is a visible agent of action (Nimithamatram), whereas the real power that does everything is the Lord Himself.
Whose actions are burnt in the fire of knowledge: The fire of Atmajnana burns up the whole heap of karma accumulated through several births, as soft cotton is burnt to ashes by a spark of fire. Such is the power of Self-Knowledge. The man who attains it is freed from the bondage of karma forever. There is no further birth and death for him. There is no going to this or that heaven. The endless peregrination from one world to another comes to an end. He remains established in the Self-state. It is towards this consummation that man is striving. Nishkamakarma purifies the mind, and when the mind is purified, that ideal of Self-realisation is obtained.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“[The seers call him wise] whose every attempt is free, without any desire for gain, without any selfishness.” Truth can never come to us as long as we are selfish.[Source]
We cannot remain without action for a moment. Act! But just as when your neighbour asks you, “Come and help me!” have you exactly the same idea when you are helping yourself? No more. Your body is of no more value than that of John. Don’t do anything more for your body than you do for John. That is religion. “He whose efforts are bereft of all desire and selfishness has burnt all this bondage of action with the fire of knowledge. He is wise.” Reading books cannot do that. The ass can be burdened with the whole library; that does not make him learned at all. What is the use of reading many books?[Source]
Question: Who is a pandit?
Answer: He whose actions are free from desire and egotism, whose actions are burnt up in the fire of knowledge, is a pandit.
Question: How should action be performed?
Answer: Without egotism and desire.
Question: By what is karma destroyed?
Answer: By Self-Knowledge.