Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Can a Doer be a Witness at the same time?

Can a Doer be a Witness at the same time?

If one is a doer, then one cannot be a witness. A witness cannot act, as s/he is a witness. In Gita, we are taught to be the witness. Laws of karma are for those who are doers. Hence to break free from the law of karma, one has to disassociate oneself with doership by being a witness of the karma that one does. Atman is a witness and bhagavAn in gItA BG 10.20 says 'aham AtmA ghuDhAkeSa' meaning, 'Oh Arjuna I am the Atman'. bhagavAn in gItA teaches us to be a sthita praGYa. In chapter 13, Atman is called as 'kshetraGYa', the knower of kshetra and is a witness to everything.

The law of karma is only for doer and not for non-doer (witness). bhagavAn in gITa BG 3.28 says ‘गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त … ।।3.28।।’ ‘guNA guNeShu vartante …’ which means guNa-s play among themselves.

guNa-s as senses move amidst the guNa-s as the sense-objects, and the GYAnI is is not attached, as he is the knower of guNa and karma vibhAga and is separate from gunas [by being their witness].

Guna-vibhaga means the products of Prakrti which consists of the three gunas.They are the five subtle elements, mind, intellect, ego, five sensory organs, five motor organs and five objects (sound etc.) of the senses.

Karma-vibhaga means the varieties of inter-actions among these.

The verse means:

He who knows the truth that the Self is entirely distinct from the three Gunas and actions does not become attached to the actions. He who knows the truth about the classification of the Gunas and their respective functions understands that the alities as sense organs move amidst the alities as sense objects. Therefore he is not attached to the actions. He knows? I am Akarta -- I am not the doer. (Cf.XIV.23).

In brief, Atman is the witness of everything that is happening and is separate from everything. Atman is akartA, the non-doer. Atman does not do anything.

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