Sankara’s Presentation of the Bhagavad Gita Paths

Śaṅkara’s Presentation of the Gītā Paths Yoga means a method, and in the Gītā several times the Lord teaches two methods: the method of Action (karma-yoga), and the method of Knowledge (jñāna-yoga). Note that Knowledge too is a method, which is often called Renunciation, because that is its chief characteristic. In a few places, the Lord says that the Action path is better than, or easier than, the Knowledge path of renunciation. From these statements, it can be supposed that the paths are self-contained alternatives. It is tacitly assumed that the path of Action is for an extravert who feels alive only when acting. The path of Knowledge is then thought to be for an intellectual introvert who acts only reluctantly. In spite of his actual experience that he is the body, this withdrawn introvert is supposed to cherish a belief, or hope, that somehow he is not. The Gītā …

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