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Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 53

Ahankaaram balam darpam kaamam krodham parigraham; Vimuchya nirmamah shaanto brahmabhooyaaya kalpate.
Having abandoned egoism, strength, arrogance, anger, desire, and covetousness, free from the notion of “mine” and peaceful,—he is fit for becoming Brahman.
Interpretation
This is the third and concluding part of the shloka that talks about the qualities that makes a person fit enough to be a Brahman. Lord talks about abandoning the egoism in a person and also the show of strength. He should be free from anger, arrogance and desire. He should rise above being covetousness, which is a quality where a person tends to eye things that belongs to others. He should also get rid of having possessiveness on things and should not look at anything as belonging to him and finally his mind should be peaceful at all times and should never lose the balance. Such kind of a person is fit enough for becoming Brahman says Lord Krishna. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
The last thing a sattwik person should have is “ownership” on anything. I say sattwik because, towards his journey towards Brahman, a person has to be sattwik by  nature. A sattwik person also sees everything with detachment and doesnt like to possess anything. But we still have the urges and ownership of things that we possess. When you think something is yours, then it means it doesnt belong to anyone else. This is a false notion and the ultimate truth is also that except God, no one else has any owneship on anything, nor he owns anything. You say that a gold ornament or diamond necklace is yours, you say that because you paid money to buy it and thus you think you own it.
But if you look deeper into it, neither Gold or diamond was created by us and these are the resources that exist in nature and something that exist in nature like air, water, soil etc things like gold, diamonds also belong to everyone. But human being captures these resources that are scarce or something that has demand and sells and makes money. When he is not the real owner, how can he sell it and how can anyone buy it? In the world of spirituality and Brahman there is nothing which is yours and everything belongs to everyone. Sharing both natural as well as man made resources increases your happiness and makes you feel good. So, never say that anything is yours, its everyone’s and sharing it can only bring you the true happiness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 52

Viviktasevee laghwaashee yatavaakkaayamaanasah; Dhyaanayogaparo nityam vairaagyam samupaashritah.

Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, with speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in concentration and meditation, taking refuge in dispassion;
Interpretation
Lord Krishna in this 2nd part of the three part shloka talks about some more qualities that a person exhibits after attaining perfection. He says that the an important quality of the person is he likes to live in solitude, which means avoiding people and places where people gather. He also eats very little compared to others of his age group. The person also keeps his body, mind and speech subdued, which means he talks less. The next quality that Lord describes here is that his is engaged in a continuous meditation and concentration by being totally dispassionate and unattached to any work he does.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
There are people who like crowds and there are people who live in solitude. We are not talking about introverts and extroverts here. An introvert always likes solitude and he doesnt feel comfortable in the company of many people and it is a part of a person’s personality. Am not talking about an introvert here. Am talking about an extrovert who likes to talk and communicate with people, experiencing a transformation and preferring solitude. As the knowledge and perfection in a person goes up he start to avoid people as much as he can and prefer to be in solitude. The main reason for this is, when you are alone then you can communicate much better with yourself than being in the company of others. 
It doesn’t mean that introverts communicate with themselves and are one step away from attaining Brahman. It is just that they communicate less than the average person and extroverts communicate more than the average person. But a spiritual person, starts talking to himself, and when he does that he stops communicating with the other people. When you want to meditate and concentrate you have to talk less and when you are in the state of stillness and inactivity you tend to eat less and less passionate about the things around you. This is how Lord explain the second set of characteristics of a person who is going to the state of Brahman. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyasa Yoga Verse 51

Buddhyaa vishuddhayaa yukto dhrityaatmaanam niyamya cha; Shabdaadeen vishayaanstyaktwaa raagadweshau vyudasya cha.

Endowed with a pure intellect, controlling the self by firmness, 
relinquishing sound and other objects and abandoning both hatred and attraction;
Interpretation
This is a three part shloka that talks about how a person becomes fit for the union with Brahman. In the first part Lord is talking about four qualities that are required for a person to attain Brahman. The first is that he should have pure intellect, which is knowledge that is of the supreme order. Second is he should be able to control himself by the firmness, which means he should never allow his senses to deviate. Third is he should relinquish sound and other objects of senses and finally Lord also talks about abandoning both the hatred and attraction.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When you ask a question to a learned person he gives an answer which is very different from an ordinary person. Like for example if you ask a person why sun rises only in the east and sets in the west, then an ordinary person will say that it is the rule of the nature and it happens that way only but a learned person says that since the spin of the earth is from west to east, we see sun moving from east to west. At the basic level both answers are right. Rule of the nature is earth rotates from west to east. Because earth rotates from west to east sun will appear to be moving from East to West. This is the difference between the knowledge levels of an ordinary person and a learned person.
An ordinary person leaves things that he cannot understand to God and says that it all happens because God had made it that way. Like the seasons that we experience. An ordinary person cannot explain why we have summer first in an year, followed by rainy season and finally winter. A learned person sees the tilt of the earth responsible for the seasons. This is something even a small child learns in school but 99% people dont remember them. A learned person because he sees meaning in everything he learns never forgets it. That in short is the basic difference between ordinary knowledge and pure knowledge. A person who is endowed with that pure knowledge also controls himself from doing wrong things and controls his senses and abandons the feeling of hatred and attraction is eligible for attaining Brahman says Lord Krishna. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 50

Siddhim praapto yathaa brahma tathaapnoti nibodha me; Samaasenaiva kaunteya nishthaa jnaanasya yaa paraa.
Learn from Me in brief, O Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.
Interpretation
In all the previous shlokas we were talking about perfection and the ways and means to attain perfection. Lord Krishna from this shloka starts to talk about the state of the person after he attains perfection. Lord tells Arjuna that perfection is not the end of everything and once a person attains perfection, there is still some more journey that he has to take. So, Lord says that once a person reaches the state of Brahman how he reaches Brahman, the supreme which is also called as the supreme state of knowledge. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
We know many things, but we practice just few of them. This statement more or less summarizes everything that you do in life. Suppose you were asked to write an essay on cow. That is a very easy topic to write on, but when you finish writing it, and after self evaluation you feel that you could have written a lot more. This is something which makes you feel that something which was perfect moments ago can be improved even more. Same is the case with the things you do, people you talk to and the situations that you respond to. The key here is the self evaluation. A person has to critically evaluate himself without any bias as to how he handled a situation or a person he would agree that he could have done a lot more with every effort.
Why is there always a gap between what we could do and what we end up doing, what we could say and what we end up saying? The answer is the noise. This noise is in the form of hesitation, ego, shyness, carelessness or anything which makes a person not give his 100%. We call that noise because it disturbs and deviates. But mind has the amazing ability to justify and rationalize all its actions. So, it comforts itself that the 100% is not the 100% and what he tried is actually the 100%. That is where we say dont be idealistic but be practical. In reality, when the real perfection is attained, then there is no gap between what is idealistic and what is practical. Practical is amount through which the noise deviated you from attaining what is idealistic. Let’s hear more from Lord Krishna on these, in the coming shlokas. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 48

Sahajam karma kaunteya sadoshamapi na tyajet; Sarvaarambhaa hi doshena dhoomenaagnirivaavritaah.

One should not abandon, O Arjuna, the duty to which one is born, though faulty; for, all undertakings are enveloped by evil, as fire by smoke!

Interpretation

In this shloka also Lord is continuing to talk about the importance of one’s dharma. He tells Arjuna that one should never abandon the duty to which one is born. Here it has to be understood that is not the family to which he is born which does that duty, but the duty for which the person is born that decides. Lord also says that he should never abandon it even though it is faulty in the eyes of everyone including himself. If he doesn’t listen to this and abandons his duty and takes up some other duty then whatever he does will be enveloped by bad karma just like how the smoke envelopes the fire. This is the analogy that the Lord gives to the person who takes up the duty which is not his.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What is a faulty duty? The first line itself says that one should not abandon the work of his own nature, even if it is faulty. What exactly does that mean? It’s the thought process with which we approach the work. No work in this world is perfect and every work will have some faults or the other. What Lord here means is that just because there is something wrong in the work that a person is doing he should not abandon it. The fault could be anything. There might be a mismatch of your values with the values of the management where you work, a person might have to tell some lies, there can be a lot of obstacles, misunderstandings while doing this work. Whatever they may be, a person should never leave the work of his nature.

Just because your outlook doesn’t match with the management outlook you should not leave that work. He might tell lies for the overall benefit of people, and those lies are worth 100 truths. So, ultimately, doing the work that one is meant to do is the only dharma that a person should follow. But a person might think, why is he in such a bad place? The answer is simple. There are lessons to be learnt and there are debts of your past karma to be repaid. The day they are done, God will shift you to another place.  Thus work is more important, not the place. These hostile situations created by God are like tests to us to see whether we can withstand or not.

If we breakdown and abandon that work and take up altogether new work, then it is considered to be a sin. Even if that work appears perfect to you,  you will not be able to do it for a long time. You will end up accumulating a lot of bad karma in the entire process and that is like smoke around a fire. It’s a common assumption that wherever there is a fire there is smoke. Likewise wherever a person abandons his dharma and embraces someone else’s dharma his actions or karmas will be bad and surround themselves around that work. Whenever you do a work which your soul doesn’t accept, then you don’t do it with full dedication and work without dedication only results in bad karma. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannys Yoga Verse 47

Shreyaanswadharmo vigunah paradharmaat swanushthitaat;
Swabhaavaniyatam karma kurvannaapnoti kilbisham.
Better is one’s own duty though destitute of merits, than the duty of another well performed. 
He who does the duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin.
Interpretation
This shloka underscores the importance of one’s own dharma compared to the others dharma or paradharma that we tend to do at times. Lord says that one should do his duties and should never be bothered about the imperfections. This is because according to the Lord an imperfect job done with so many mistakes or faults is much better than doing the other person’s dharma with great amount of perfection. The Lord goes on to say that everybody’s nature or his mindset will clearly tell him the kind of work that he should do and the person who just sticks to that is the person of perfection and he will not incur any sin. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
We have discussed about this in Chapter 3 which is “Karma Yoga” or Yoga of action. There we have learnt that doing one’s duty which is imperfect is also much better than doing other’s duty with perfection. This shloka takes the same thought further and tells us the importance of doing one’s own duty. At a higher level of spirituality, you know what is good for you. You feel an inherent happiness in that even though it might give you lot of problems and expose you to a plenty of challenging situations. Still a person has to stick on to the task that he is born to fulfill rather than run for doing things that others tell him to do or something which gives material benefit.
Soul cannot speak or hear. Its the senses which do that. Soul’s voice is silent and that voice gets activated when someone else says it and your senses pick it up. Your conscious mind will never get what your soul wants because soul cannot transmit the information. It has to be picked up by someone and say it and when your soul hears it, it feels good. Thus a person picks up what he should do. Just because he picked up that work, it doesn’t mean he wont face any problems. Problems are independent of the choices you make. When you make a right choice of dharma, you get an immense work satisfaction and internal happiness, irrespective of negative situations and problems. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 46

Yatah pravrittirbhootaanaam yena sarvamidam tatam; Swakarmanaa tamabhyarchya siddhim vindati maanavah.
He from whom all the beings have evolved and by whom all this is pervaded, worshipping Him with his own duty, man attains perfection.
Interpretation
This shloka needs to be understood with a slightly higher level of spirituality. Lord wants us to understand here that when you perform a duty which is according to your dharma it is similar to worshiping the God who has created us. Lord also says that this is the God from whom all the living beings have evolved. Not only that the God who created this universe is present in all the living beings. So, one has to understand that identifying and doing actions that is in line with his own dharma is similar to worshiping the God every moment. This is the way a person can attain perfection, says Lord Krishna. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
How do you know what is your swa-dharma? Ask your soul. God created all of us and every life is a gradual progression in spirituality of an individual. In childhood you might want be a pilot or you want to be in army. The decision is purely based on senses as at that age one can never understand the urges of the soul. It is the teenage when an individual is able to understand the urge of his soul. If he is tamasic then he will naturally progress towards menial jobs and as the Rajasic quality increases he tends to become a trader and a warrior. That Rajasic guna turns sattwik and he slowly starts to get into philosophy, religion, teaching etc. 
Thus when you talk to yourself in your teenage you will know what you want to be. A Tamasic person would want to enjoy and travel, Rajasic person might want to get into a leadership role and earn money, status and power and a sattwik person will always want to help people. This nature combined with the urges of soul makes a person choose his profession. Thus it becomes important for a person to follow the profession with a devotion that is equivalent to worshiping the God. That can only happen when the individual is 100% committed to his profession and that is the only way he attains perfection. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 45

Swe swe karmanyabhiratah samsiddhim labhate narah; Swakarmaniratah siddhim yathaa vindati tacchrinu.

Each man, devoted to his own duty, attains perfection. How he attains perfection while being engaged in his own duty, hear now.

Interpretation

After talking about the duties of the four varnas ie Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras, Lord is here talking about the concept of perfection. Lord says that every man has to perform some duty or the other at every moment of his life. As he is devoted to his own duty he starts to attain perfection in that. Lord here also refers to the concept of attaining perfection while he is engaged in his own duty. Thus the word perfection comes here two times, once while being devoted to his duty and the other while engaged in his duty. Then Lord tells Arjuna to listen carefully how this perfection can be attained.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The word one needs to focus is “own duty” or swa-dharma. What is this own duty, and how do we identify what our duty is? This is one question that Lord will answer in the coming shlokas. Not only that he is also going to talk about how a person needs to be devoted to his own duty. We see many people who when engaged in a particular activity they attain a high degree of mastery on it. I have heard story of how a kanchi sari was packed and stacked in a matchbox and sent to Queen Elizabeth. To weave a sari to fit into a matchbox is no ordinary skill and requires a very high degree of perfection. This perfection comes only through devotion and constantly doing that activity. So, let us wait what Lord says about swa-dharma and how it leads to perfection. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 44

Krishigaurakshyavaanijyam vaishyakarma swabhaavajam; Paricharyaatmakam karma shoodrasyaapi swabhaavajam.

Agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaishya (merchant class), born of their own nature; and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudra or servant class, born of their own nature.

Interpretation

After talking about the Brahmans and Kshatriyas who are possessed by Sattwik and Rajasic guna completely, this shloka is talking about the duties of Vaishyas and of shudras. First talking about Vaishyas, Lord says that the duties of vaishyas include agriculture and cattle rearing apart from trade. Vaishyas are engaged in the activities related to trade and both agriculture and dairy industry is in a way linked to trade. Then coming to shudras Lord says that those activities which are of a servant class, servant class here means activities which are aimed at only serving the society. Thus people who are born out of this nature are shudras.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

If Brahmanas are Sattwik and Kshatriyas are Rajasic, then what are Vaishyas and shudras and what is the difference between the Vaishyas and Shudras? Lord gives a clear cut differentiation which is Vaishyas have a mix of Rajasic and Tamasic nature while Shudras are complete of Tamasic nature. When an individual has a mix of both Rajasic and Tamasic qualities, he would want to work hard, lead and get into a powerful position, but because of the Tamasic nature in him, he also wants enjoyment and fulfilment of desires. That’s how he gets into trading activity, where he works very hard in his business to earn money and then he enjoys the same wealth. Enjoyment here is with alcohol, women and other materialistic pleasures.

When we look at Shudras, they have very little or no Rajasic qualities in them and they are completely dominated by Tamasic gunas which is enjoyment and ignorance. So, they do not work hard to acquire the knowledge or skill that is needed to become a sattwik or a rajasic person. That leaves him with jobs which are menial and that serve people of higher gunas. He makes pots and sells it to people, he weaves clothes and sells them to the people around. He can be a barber, he can be a tailor who stitches clothes. These are not businesses but only the sources of livelihood. People who work as clerks and other lower level cadre jobs also come under this category. This is primarily due to the absence of Rajasic qualities in them.