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Worksheet 6


Which Path:

Knowledge or Action?


Self Inquiry—Relevance Check:

     (a) Using a percentage (1 to 100%), rate how applicable the below

          information is to your life now: _______%

     (b) Mark the 2 or 3 items below that you need to think more about.

     (c) Be ready to discuss your answers.



Krishna replies to Arjuna:

“Your question regarding which path is right for you is important…


___ 1) In the very beginning I laid out both spiritual paths: knowledge and action.  The path of knowledge for the more contemplative persons.  And the path of action for the more action-oriented ones.


___ 2) True knowledge in spirituality is knowing the Atma – the True Self Within.


___ 3) You can clarify and attain this knowledge through either non-action (contemplation) or action. Both paths lead to self-realization.


___ 4) You cannot attain the supreme goal of self-realization through merely shirking worldly activities, thinking that you are ‘renouncing’ worldly actions.


___ 5) You must act first! Mere refusal to act gets you nowhere.


___ 6) Even the supposedly passive ‘renunciate’ goal of acquiring knowledge cannot be gained without action.


___ 7) Inaction for even a moment is impossible. Eating, sleeping, breathing, the heartbeat, even subconscious mental activities are all actions.


___ 8) Everyone is helplessly driven to action by their own nature and by nature itself.


___ 9) Action exists throughout nature.  From the whirling atom up to the entire universe, all is movement, action.


___10) Sitting motionless, but ever thinking of worldly sense attractions is engaging in action. Assume otherwise and you delude yourself.


___11) Engage in action, do your work—but do it with full control of your mind and senses.


___12) Do work that contributes directly or indirectly to the higher good of humanity.


___13) One is obligated to work (to act) even to maintain the body—bathing, eating, sleeping, breathing.


___14) Do your obligated duties. Duty-bound action is far better than inaction.


___15) And do your worldly duties to the utmost extent of your human capacity for excellence.


___16) The person who works in the world without needing or expecting a reward is both a sanyasi (renunciate) and karma-yogi (person of selfless action). The one who merely refrains is neither.


___17) Nobody can unite with Brahman, the Godhead, without leaving desires behind and abandoning attachment to the fruits of actions.


___18) The two paths—desireless action (karma yoga) and renunciation (sanyasa)—may seem different, but they are the same.


Again, do your worldly duty but with no attachment

to it or desire for its fruit. Keep your mind always

on the Divine, make it as automatic as your heartbeat.” – Krishna




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