Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 15

Shloka

Naadatte kasyachit paapam na chaiva sukritam vibhuh;
Ajnaanenaavritam jnaanam tena muhyanti jantavah.

Translation

The Lord accepts neither the demerit nor even the merit of any;
knowledge is enveloped by ignorance, thereby beings are deluded.

Interpretation

After talking about the nature and how it ultimately acts on different individuals, Lord Krishna in this sloka talks about the God and His nature. So in a way we are going to talk about nature’s nature in this sloka. Lord Krishna says that He neither accepts the merits of any person or the demerits of any person. It is because the merits in an individual is because of God and the demerits in an individual is also because of the God. He also says that knowledge of an individual is sometimes gets enveloped or covered by ignorance. So that is the main reason why people deviate from their path of wisdom and moksha.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There are two aspects that we need to understand in this sloka. First is that, God neither sees a merit or a demerit in an individual. We always tell younger people that if you go to temple regularly, pray to God everyday and celebrate all the festivals with dedication then God will feel happy and gives us what we want. Then why are not everyone who is doing all these not getting what they want? You also would have noticed that a atheist who doesn’t believe in God, also lives happily and sometimes more happily than the person who follows everything. Why is it so?

The answer is simple. You need not please God with your merits nor God sees your demerits and gets angry on you. That means he is not bothered by your merits or demerits, because they are only yours. God is much above all that and every thought process you are getting is the creation of God. So, will a thought giver choose between which thought is better? It is like asking a loving mother, which child she likes the most? This brings us to the second aspect of the sloka that knowledge getting covered by ignorance because of which people deviate from the path of goodness.

Knowledge is like light and ignorance is like a cloud. You cannot have a cloudless sky everyday, in the same way you cannot have a person who will not be covered by ignorance. Here the cloud of ignorance covers the knowledge which is like sun. Till the time a person is under the influence of ignorance his knowledge seeking process stops. The moment he comes out of that ignorance he will start gaining knowledge again which will take him nearer to God. This happens over the span of many births and that is how the path of moksha is charted by the Almighty!