Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 16

Shloka

Tadbuddhayas tadaatmaanas tannishthaas tatparaayanaah;
Gacchantyapunaraavrittim jnaana nirdhoota kalmashaah.

Translation

Their intellect absorbed in That, their self being That; established in That, with That as their supreme goal,
they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled by knowledge.

Interpretation

In this sloka Lord Krishna talks about the characteristics of a person who has come out of the clouds of ignorance and has embraced the knowledge. He explains step by step about the process of acquiring knowledge. The first step is that the intellect of a person should be dipped in knowledge. Here knowledge is referred to as “That”. The second step is the soul of a person should be equal to the knowledge. Third step is that he should have acquiring knowledge as his supreme goal. Once that is done the last step is when the person flows with the knowledge and doesn’t return to his older realms which he has left behind. That is when that person will have all his sins dispelled by that knowledge.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This sloka talks about how the sins of the person will be dispelled by the knowledge. When one acquires knowledge that makes him to come in touch with the realities that never existed before. Its not a simple process, it all starts with a person using his intellect to increase his knowledge. What is the difference between knowledge and intellect? Knowledge is information and intellect is the capacity to absorb and analyse the information. When a person has only knowledge but no intellect he will take that knowledge separately. Simple example is a person like APJ Abdul kalam got educated in a Govt school like millions of children but why he became one in a million kind of student? It is because of the intellect that he possess which he uses to assimilate the knowledge he got.

The next most important step is that the goal of a person should be knowledge and only acquiring knowledge. People acquire knowledge for money, for power and for recognition but how many of them acquire knowledge for the sake of knowledge. If a person does that he starts walking in a path that has only one direction and never turns back. The Abdul Kalam example holds good here also. He walked ahead only with the knowledge as his supreme goal and never bothered about recognition or money. Thus he was instrumental in building so many missiles for India as well as conduct a nuclear test which put us on top of the World. Thus knowledge alone can dispel you from all the sins and paves the way for acquiring salvation.