Verse1: kartur agyaya prapyathe phalam. karma kim param? karma tat jadam.
kartur: The ordainer of results. God.
agyaya: as per His orders.
prapyathe phalam: The results are obtained.
karma : the actions
kim param : Are they supreme ? [Meaning is the law of karma the ultimate ? Who is the one who makes it happen then? ]
karma tat jadam: Actions are jadam, dead lifeless entities.
“Action is insentient. Action is not the ultimate reality so action per se has no ability to confer the fruit of action. Fruit of action occurs according to the whim of the ultimate reality which is usually called God.”
Bhagawan explains in the first verse itself why individual being performing the action is not the doer. So he is questioning the idea of doership in the first verse itself. If one understands the lie of doership the spiritual journey is over because without that lie of doership there is no existence to the thesis of ego. Ego is altered consciousness in which consciousness is mixed with adjuncts like body, thought process (manas), intellect, memory. There is superimposition of work done by adjuncts on consciousness because consciousness identifies with adjuncts and feels that adjuncts are “him”. He feels separate from rest of existence. Because he identifies with adjuncts which are intrinsically limited, action proceeding from such limited entity is limited. Limited action leads to incomplete experiencing of things and so there is perennial conf;ict and contradiction with this type of action and life becomes miserable. To solve this conflict ego uses thought which is the result of psychological memory. Thought in itself is limited and its action is also limited. So the problem is much more complicated. Thought has no role to play in psychological problems. Only “insight” sees the complete map of structure of problem through perception. The awareness of movement of thought in response to problem is self-inquiry. Perception of problem in its entirety is complete action which leaves no residue of non-understanding. This is called self knowledge which is essential for complete action. Life is action in relationship and if action is not proper there is going to be conflict, contradiction, misery in life. At present we are reacting with past memories to the challenge which is always new. This incomplete action and doer ship are born out of self ignorance, it is ignorance of movement of thought and mind mechanism and it leads to mechanical way of life because action according to idea, a concept is inaction. Self ignorance is insentient so all actions born out of concept of doership are insentient because they are done in unawareness. Adjunct performing the work is not the “doer” so the fruit of action is not in his hands. In the phenomenal reality Volition(Ichha Sakti),knowledge to perform the action(Jnana Sakti),energy to perform the action(Kriya Sakti) belongs to the ultimate reality but we superimpose those qualities on us resulting in doership(Kartrutva) and enjoyership(Bhoktrutva) anomalies. Action has no ability to confer the bliss which is not of this world. So action is not the ultimate reality.
When Sun shines the lotus blooms. Then who is responsible for this blooming. Blooming is happening occurring in the presence of Sun light. So neither the Sun nor the lotus are the doers of this happening. It is a natural law that lotus blooms in Sun light. It is in the nature of things. But mind tries to conceptualize natural events in it’s language and says either Sun is the doer or lotus is the doer. If we closely scrutinize this logic it will be found that there is no doer at all, things happen as naturally as they should be. Mind always tries to translate the things that which it does not know into it’s language of known by conceptualizing. Concept has no substance in it and reality asserts itself. Bhagawan is telling what is real in the sphere of action and the limitations of action in this first verse and the futility of doing actions thinking that they yield results according to their expectation and wish.