SRIMAD BHAGAVAD-GITA: CHAPTER THREE


(Karma-yoga)
The Path of Action

 

 

arjuna uvacha
jyayasi chet karmanas te, mata buddhir janardana
tat kim karmani ghore mam, niyojayasi kesava [1]

arjunah uvacha–Arjuna said: (he) janardana–O Janardana; (he) kesava–O Kesava; chet–if; te mata–it is Your opinion that; buddhih–wisdom; jyayasi–is superior; karmanah–to action; tat kim–why, then; niyojayasi mam–do You urge me to engage; ghore karmani–in the terrible action of warfare?

1 Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Kesava, if You consider wisdom superior to action, why, then, do you urge me to engage in the violence of warfare?

vyamisreneva vakyena, buddhim mohayasiva me
tad ekam vada nischitya, yena sreyo 'ham apnuyam [2]

mohayasi iva–You are bewildering; me–my; buddhim–intelligence; vakyena–by Your words; vyamisrena iva–by their ambiguous meanings, sometimes praising action and sometimes praising wisdom. tat–Therefore; nischitya–ascertaining; ekam–one; vada–please say; yena–that by which; aham–I; apnuyam–can obtain; sreyah–the highest benefit.

2 I am confused by Your words. They appear to be ambiguous, sometimes supporting action and sometimes supporting wisdom. So please tell me, which is the most beneficial path for me to take?

sri-bhagavan uvacha
loke 'smin dvi-vidha nistha, pura prokta mayanagha
jnana-yogena sankhyanam, karma-yogena yoginam [3]

sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Lord said: (he) anagha–O sinless Arjuna; asmin loke–in this world; dvi-vidha nistha–two ways; prokta–have been spoken of; maya–by Me; pura–in the previous chapter: (nistha sthapita)–the established practice; sankhyanam–of the realized; jnana-yogena–by the yoga of knowledge; (nistha sthapita)–and the established practice; yoginam–of those engaged in action in the world; karma-yogena–by the yoga of selfless action.

3 The Supreme Lord replied: O sinless one, I have described the two paths to be found in this world-the yoga of wisdom practised by the realized and the yoga of selfless action practised by those active in the world. (Both paths touch the beginnings of devotional practice since the ladder to the plane of devotion is one, while the practice is twofold according to the stage attained.)

na karmanam anarambhan, naiskarmyam puruso 'snute
na cha sannyasanad eva, siddhim samadhigachchhati [4]

purusah–A person; na asnute–cannot attain; naiskarmyam–to the state of spiritual consciousness beyond material activity; anarambhat–by refraining from; karmanam–(scripturally prescribed) actions; na samadhigachchhati–and he cannot attain; siddhim–fulfillment, perfection; sannyasanat eva cha–by renunciation alone.

4 One cannot attain freedom from action by refraining from action. Nor can one attain fulfillment by renunciation alone.

na hi kaschit ksanam api, jatu tisthaty akarmakrt
karyate hy avasah karma, sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih [5]

kaschit–One; na hi tisthati–cannot remain; jatu–at any time; akarma-krt–without engaging in activity; ksanam api–even for a moment. sarvah hi–Indeed, all living beings; avasah–are helplessly; karma karyate–engaged in activity; prakrti-jaih gunaih–by the modes or qualities born of material nature.

5 No one can refrain from activity for even a moment. Everyone is impelled to act by the modes of material nature. (Thus the person of impure consciousness should not disregard scripturally prescribed purificatory works.)

karmendriyani samyamya, ya aste manasa smaran
indriyarthan vimudhatma, mithyacharah sa uchyate [6]

yah–That person who; samyamya–having controlled; karma-indriyani–the senses of action—the hands, legs, etc. (see 13.6); smaran aste–remembers, dwells on; indriyaarthan–the sense objects; manasa–within his mind; sah–that person; uchyate–is known as; vimudha-atma–a fool; mithya-acharah–and a hypocrite.

6 One who externally restrains his hands, legs and other senses of action, but whose mind dwells on sense objects, is a fool. Know him to be a hypocrite.

yas tv indriyani manasa, niyamyarabhate 'rjuna
karmendriyaih karma-yogam, asaktah sa visisyate [7]

(he) arjuna–O Dhananjaya; yah tu–but he, who; niyamya–having stabilised; indriyani–the senses; manasa–by the mind; arabhate–engages in; karma-yogam–the yoga of action as directed by the scriptures; karma-indriyaih–utilizing the senses of action; asaktah–without any desire for the results; sah–that person; visisyate–is superior to such a hypocrite.

7 O Arjuna, superior is one who (though married) has stabilised his senses by the mind and engaged in the yoga of selfless action.

niyatam kuru karma tvam, karma jyayo hy akarmanah
sarira-yatrapi cha te, na prasiddhyed akarmanah [8]

tvam–You; kuru–perform; niyatam karma–prescribed duties; hi–since; karma–the performance of duty; jyayah–is superior; akarmanah–to renouncing duty. akarmanah cha–By becoming inactive; te sarira yatra api–even your bodily sustenance; na prasiddhyet–will not be accomplished.

8 Perform your prescribed duties, since to be active is better than idleness. Inactive persons cannot even maintain their existence. (By giving up fruitive action and performing your obligatory duties, your heart will be purified. Surpassing the plane of renunciation, you will attain pure devotion, transcendental to the mundane plane.)

yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra, loko 'yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya, mukta-sangah samachara [9]

(he) kaunteya–O Arjuna; ayam lokah–all the living beings of this world; karmabandhanah (bhavati)–come into bondage by their action; karmanah anyatra–other than action; yajna-arthat–as selfless duty offered to Lord Visnu. (atah)–Therefore; mukta-sangah (san)–being free from attachment; karma samachara–be fully active; tat-artham–for the purpose of such sacrifice, for Him.

9 Selfless duty performed as an offering to the Supreme Lord is called yajna, or sacrifice. O Arjuna, all action performed for any other purpose is the cause of bondage in this world of repeated birth and death. Therefore, remaining unattached to the fruits of action, perform all your duties in the spirit of such sacrifice. (Such selfless action is the way to begin devotional practice, gradually realize the presence of the Lord, and ultimately attain pure devotion transcendental to the modes of material nature [nirguna-bhakti]).

saha-yajnah prajah srstva, purovacha prajapatih
anena prasavisyadhvam, esa vo 'stv ista-kama-dhuk [10]

pura–At the universal manifestation; srstva–after manifesting; saha-yajnah prajah–the progeny of the world, with sacrifices for Lord Visnu; praja-patih–Lord Brahma; uvacha–said: prasavisyadhvam–"May your prosperity flourish; anena–by this religious practice. esah astu–May this sacrifice be; vah–your; ista-kama-dhuk–bestower of desired objects."

10 In the beginning, Lord Brahma manifested the progeny of the world, along with sacrifices. He instructed them thus: "Take shelter of this religious principle of sacrifice; prosper and flourish. May such sacrifice be the bestower of the things you desire."

devan bhavayatanena, te deva bhavayantu vah
parasparam bhavayantah, sreyah param avapsyatha [11]

anena–"By this yajna; (yujam)–you all; bhavayata–propitiate; devan–the demigods; te devah (api)–and the demigods being thus pleased; bhavayantu vah–may bestow upon you your desired fruits. (evam)–In this way; parasparam–mutually; bhavayantah–nourished; avapsyatha–you will obtain; param sreyah–the ultimate auspiciousness."

11 "Propitiate the gods by sacrifices, and may they satisfy you by bestowing your desired fruits. In this way, through mutual nourishment, you will be the gainers of great auspiciousness."

istan bhogan hi vo deva, dasyante yajna-bhavitah
tair dattan apradayaibhyo, yo bhunkte stena eva sah [12]

devah–The demigods (as limbs of My universal form); yajna-bhavitah (santah)–being pleased by sacrifices; dasyante–will bestow; vah–upon you; istan bhogan–desired enjoyable objects. hi–Therefore; yah–he who; bhunkte–enjoys; taih dattan–food provided by the demigods; (vrstyadi dvarena)–via the rain, etc.; apradaya–without making any offerings (of that food); (pancha-yajna-adhibhih)–by means of the five kinds of sacrifices, etc.; ebhyah–to those demigods, who are all under My shelter; sah–that person; stenah eva–is but a thief.

12 Propitiated by sacrifices, the gods (My worldly representatives) will bestow upon you all your desired enjoyable things. But one who enjoys what is given by the gods without offering it to them, is a thief.

yajna-sistasinah santo, muchyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa, ye pachanty atma-karanat [13]

santah–Virtuous persons; yajna-sista-asinah–who partake of the remnants of sacrifice to the demigods (universal administrators subordinate to the Lord); muchyante–are liberated; sarva-kilbisaih–from all sin (pancha-suna, five types of sin due to five kinds of violence to other living beings). ye tu–But those who; pachanti–cook; atmakaran at–for their own pleasure; te–those; papah–sinful persons; bhunjate–eat; (eva)–only; agham–sin.

13 By accepting sacrificial remnants of the universal gods,* virtuous persons are liberated from all sins arising from violence towards other living entities. But those who prepare food for their own pleasure partake only of sin.

*The remnants referred to here are not the same as the Krishna-prasada (food that has been offered to the Supreme Lord by His devotees). See 9.20-26.

annad bhavanti bhutani, parjanyad anna-sambhavah
yajnad bhavati parjanyo, yajnah karma-samudbhavah [14]

annat–From food (transformed into semen and blood); bhutani–(the physical bodies of) all living entities; bhavanti–are manifest. anna-sambhavah–Food is manifest; parjanyat–due to rainfall. parjanyah–Rainfall; bhavati–occurs; yajnat–due to yajna, sacrifice. yajnah–Sacrifice; karma-samudbhavah–is born of action.

14 The living beings' bodies are manifest from food, food is manifest due to rain, rainfall ensues from the performance of sacrifice, and action is the cause of sacrifice.

karma brahmodbhavam viddhi, brahmaksara-samudbhavam
tasmat sarva-gatam brahma, nityam yajne pratisthitam [15]

viddhi–Know that; karma–action; brahma-udbhavam–is born of the Vedas. brahma–The Vedas; aksara-samudbhavam–are born of Aksara, the Imperishable. tasmat–Therefore; sarva-gatam–the all-pervading; brahma–Supreme Lord; nityam pratisthitam–is always situated; yajne–within sacrifice.

15 Action is prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas originate in Aksara, the Imperishable. Therefore, the allpervading, imperishable Lord is ever present within the acts of sacrifice offered to Him.

evam pravartitam chakram, nanuvartayatiha yah
aghayur indriyaramo, mogham partha sa jivati [16]

(he) partha–O Arjuna; yah–one who; iha–in this life; na anuvartayati–does not follow; chakram–the cycle; evam pravartitam–thus established in the nature of cause and effect; (parama-purusena)–by the Supreme Personality; sah–he; jivati–lives; aghaayuh–a life of sin; indriya-aramah–enjoying the senses; mogham–in vain.

16 O Arjuna, one who does not respect this natural causal cycle leads a life of sin, enjoying the senses in vain.

yas tv atma-ratir eva syad, atma-trptas cha manavah
atmany eva cha santustas, tasya karyam na vidyate [17]

tu–But; yah manavah–that man who; syat–is; atma-ratih–internally ecstatic; atmatr ptah eva cha–internally satiated; cha–and; santustah–fully satisfied; atmani eva–in the self alone; tasya–his; karyam–duties; na vidyate–are none.

17 Yet there is no duty to fulfill for the realized person who delights within the self, being fully satisfied within. (His only worldly action or karma is as required for his subsistence.)

naiva tasya krtenartho, nakrteneha kaschana
na chasya sarva-bhutesu, kaschid artha-vyapasrayah [18]

iha–In this world; tasya–for that atmarama, one who delights in the self; arthah na eva–no piety is gained; krtena–by action; kaschana (anarthah) na–nor is any sin committed; akrtena–by inaction; sarva-bhutesu cha–and of all beings; kaschit na (bhavati)–no one is; asya artha-vyapasrayah–depended on by him for any purpose.

18 In the world, he neither gains by action, nor loses by inaction. He does not depend on any other being (from Lord Brahma down to the simplest life-form) for any purpose.

tasmad asaktah satatam, karyam karma samachara
asakto hy acharan karma, param apnoti purusah [19]

tasmat–Therefore; asaktah (san)–being unattached to the fruits of your actions; satatam–always; samachara–perfectly perform; karyam karma–prescribed duties; hi–since; karma acharan–by performing these duties; asaktah–without attachment; purusah–a person; apnoti–attains; param–liberation, param-bhakti—pure devotion.

19 So perform your prescribed duties without attachment. By selflessly executing one's duties a person attains liberation. (True liberation is the state of pure devotion, attained in the maturity of selfless action.)

karmanaiva hi samsiddhim, asthita janakadayah
loka-sangraham evapi, sampasyan kartum arhasi [20]

janaka-adayah–The learned, such as King Janaka and others; hi–certainly; asthitah–obtained; samsiddhim–success—devotion; karmana eva–by fulfilling their duties. arhasi–Be prepared; kartum–to do; (karma)–work; api–also; loka-sangraham sampasyan eva–in the consideration of the welfare of the people.

20 King Janaka and other learned personalities succeeded in attaining devotion through the execution of their prescribed duties. So it is fitting that you fulfill your duty in consideration of the welfare of the people.

yad yad acharati sresthas, tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute, lokas tad anuvartate [21]

yat yat–However; srestah–the great personality; acharati–conducts himself; itarah janah–other lesser men; (acharati)–will conduct themselves; tat tat eva–accordingly. yat–Whatever; sah–the great personality; kurute–accepts; pramanam–as the standard; lokah–ordinary men; tat anuvartate–follow that.

21 The masses follow the ways of great men, following the standards they set.

na me parthasti kartavyam, trisu lokesu kinchana
nanavaptam avaptavyam, varta eva cha karmani [22]

(he) partha–O Arjuna; trisu lokesu–in the three worlds; na asti–there is not; kinchana–any; kartavyam–duty to be done; me–for Me; (yatah)–since; na (asti kinchana)–there is nothing; anavaptam–unobtained; avaptavyam–or to be obtained; (mama)–for Me; (tathapi)–and yet; varte eva cha–I am engaged; karmani–in activity.

22 O Arjuna, I have no duty in the three worlds. I lack nothing, and there is nothing to be attained by Me; and yet, I, Myself, am active.

yadi hy aham na varteyam, jatu karmany atandritah
mama vartmanuvartante, manusyah partha sarvasah [23]

(he) partha–O Arjuna; yadi jatu–if ever; aham–I; na varteyam–do not engage; atandritah–attentively; karmani–in duties; (tarhi)–then; hi–certainly; manusyah–all men; anuvartante–will follow; mama–My; vartma–path; sarvasah–in all respects.

23 O Arjuna, if ever I do not engage attentively in duties, then all men, following My example, will give up their duties.

utsideyur ime loka, na kuryam karma ched aham
sankarasya cha karta syam, upahanyam imah prajah [24]

chet–If; aham–I; na kuryan–do not engage in; karma–duty; (tarhi)–then; ime lokah–the inhabitants of these worlds; utsideyuh–will be ruined; (karma tyaktva)–by renouncing their duty; cha–and; (aham)–I; syam–will be; karta–the maker; sankarasya–of varnasankara, or adulterated progeny; (evam aham eva)–and in this way, I alone; upahanyam–will cause the downfall; imah prajah–of these people.

24 If I do not engage in duty, the people of these worlds will renounce their duties and fall to ruination. Thus I will be responsible for their downfall, caused by adulterated progeny.

saktah karmany avidvamso, yatha kurvanti bharata
kuryad vidvams tathasaktas, chikirsur loka-sangraham [25]

(he) bharata–O Arjuna; yatha–just as; avidvamsah–the ignorant; karmani saktah–attached to work; kurvanti–perform; (karmani)–work; tatha–similarly; vidvan–the wise; asaktah (san)–being unattached; kuryat–should work; chikirsuh–wishing; lokasan graham–to guide the people.

25 O Arjuna, as ignorant persons work with attachment, the wise, too, must work, but without attachment, in order to guide the general people who exist in the plane of worldly action. (They differ not in their work but in their attitudes of attachment and detachment.)

na buddhi-bhedam janayed, ajnanam karma-sanginam
yojayet sarva-karmani, vidvan yuktah samacharan [26]

vidvan–The learned, the teacher of jnana-yoga; na janayet–must not create; ajnanam–among ignorant men; karma-sanginam–who are attached to work; buddhi-bhedam–the confusion to neglect duties and cultivate knowledge. (api tu)–Rather; yuktah (san)–remaining unattached; samacharan–fully executing; sarva-karmani–all duties; (ajnan) yojayet–they should encourage the ignorant in their duties.

26 The scripturally learned teacher should not create confusion in the minds of ignorant, attached men by apparently advocating the neglect of duty for the cultivation of knowledge. Rather, he should set the example of selflessness in fulfilling duties, thus encouraging the ignorant in the performance of their prescribed duties.

prakrteh kriyamanani, gunaih karmani sarvasah
ahankara-vimudhatma, kartaham iti manyate [27]

karmani–Actions; kriyamanani–are effected; sarvasah–in all ways; gunaih–(by the senses, impelled) by the modes; prakrteh–of material nature; (tu)–but; ahankaravimud ha-atma–one deluded by bodily ego; manyate iti–thinks thus; aham karta–"I am the doer."

27 All actions in the world are in every respect effected by the modes of material nature (which impell the senses). But a man deluded by bodily identification thinks, "I alone am accomplishing this work."

tattvavit tu maha-baho, guna-karma-vibhagayoh
guna gunesu vartanta, iti matva na sajjate [28]

tu–But; (he) maha-baho–O Arjuna, best of heroes; tattva-vit–one who is in knowledge; guna-karma-vibhagayoh–of the division of the modes of material nature (the three modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance), and action (the functional demigods, the senses and the sense objects); (sah)–he; matva–considering; iti–that; gunah–the modes (in the form of the senses of perception–ear, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose, activated by the demigods); vartante–are engaged; gunesu–within the modes (in the form of the sense objects of sound, touch, form, taste, and smell); na sajjate–is not attached to them, not absorbed in them.

28 However, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one who is in knowledge of the division of the modes of material nature and action, knows that the modes are engaging within the modes, and he is detached from them. (One who knows that the three modes activated by the demigods impell the engagement of the senses with their objects, knows himself to be independent of these elements, therefore he does not consider himself a doer.)

prakrter guna-sammudhah, sajjante guna-karmasu
tan akrtsna-vido mandan, krtsna-vin na vichalayet [29]

prakrteh-guna-sammudhah–Persons bewildered by the modes; sajjante–are absorbed; guna-karmasu–in the functions of the modes (the engagement of the senses with their objects). krtsna-vit–Those possessing knowledge; na vichalayet–should not agitate (by trying to induce them to accept knowledge of self and non-self); tan–those; akrtsnavidah–ignorant; mandan–unfortunate persons; (kintu gunavesa-nivartakam niskama karmaiva karayet)–but should rather engage them in selfless action which frees them from absorption in the modes of nature.

29 Persons bewildered by the modes of nature are absorbed in the functions of the modes (the engagement of the senses with their objects). Enlightened persons should not agitate such ignorant, unfortunate persons by trying to convince them of higher philosophical truths. (Rather, they should advise the conditioned souls to practise selfless action, which liberates them from absorption in the modes.)

mayi sarvani karmani, sannyasyadhyatma-chetasa
nirasir nirmamo bhutva, yudhyasva vigata-jvarah [30]

sannyasya–Completely surrendering; sarvani karmani–all activities; mayi–unto Me; adhyatma-chetasa–always conscious of the Spiritual Being; bhutva–being; nirasih–without fruitive desire; nirmamah–without possessiveness; vigata-jvarah (cha)–and without anguish; yudhyasva–fight.

30 Surrender all your activities to Me with this understanding: "All my actions are under the control of the indwelling Lord." In such consciousness, free from possessiveness and anguish, take recourse to battle (as your natural duty).

ye me matam idam nityam, anutisthanti manavah
sraddhavanto 'nasuyanto, muchyante te 'pi karmabhih [31]

ye manavah–Those men who; sraddhavantah–faithfully; anasuyantah–and unbegrudgingly; nityam–always; anutisthanti–execute; idam–this; me matam–teaching of Mine, of selfless action; te api–they too; muchyante–are liberated; karmabhih–from the bondage of karma, or action and reaction in the mundane plane.

31 Faithful, unbegrudging men who always practise My teaching, this yoga of selfless action, are liberated from the bondage of action, even though they engage in action.

ye tv etad abhyasuyanto, nanutisthanti me matam
sarva-jnana-vimudhams tan, viddhi nastan achetasah [32]

ye tu–But those who; abhyasuyantah–out of resentment; na anutisthanti–do not follow; etat me matam–that teaching of Mine; tan viddhi–know them to be; sarvaj nana-vimudhan–deprived of all knowledge; nastan–completely deviated from the goal of human life; achetasah–and bereft of good intelligence.

32 But the arrogant who resent My teaching are bereft of all knowledge. Know them to be lost in ignorance.

sadrsam chestate svasyah, prakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani, nigrahah kim karisyati [33]

jnanavan api–Even a knowledgable person; chestate–acts; sadrsam–according to; svasyah prakrteh–his nature. bhutani–Living beings; prakrtim yanti–follow their natures. kim karisyati–What will be the use of; nigrahah–repression; (tesam)–of them?

33 For even a knowledgable person tends to act according to his nature (mundane inclinations). The living beings' endeavours are dictated by their natures. What, then, can repression accomplish?

indriyasyendriyasyarthe, raga-dvesau vyavasthitau
tayor na vasam agachchhet, tau hy asya paripanthinau [34]

raga-dvesau–Attraction and aversion; indriyasya–of all the senses; vyavasthitau–exist; indriyasya-arthe–for their objects. (tathapi)–However; vasam na agachchhet–One must not be controlled; tayoh–by such attraction and aversion; hi–since; tau paripanthinau–they are an obstacle; asya–to the spiritual practitioner.

34 Although the senses are attracted to and repelled by the sense objects, one must not be controlled by these urges, for they are the greatest enemy of the candidate for self-realization.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah, para-dharmat svanusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah, para-dharmo bhayavahah [35]

sva-dharmah–One's own function; vigunah–tinged with faults; sreyan–is better; para-dharmat–than another's function; su-anusthitat–done well. nidhanam–Even death; sva-dharme–on one's own path of duty (according to one's appropriate position in the varnasrama or God-centred socio-religious system); sreyah–is better. paradharmah–Another's path of duty; bhaya-avahah–is dangerous.

35 Even if it is imperfect, it is better to do one's duty according to one's own nature, than to do another's well. Even death in the discharge of one's own duty is better, for to perform another's is dangerous.

Commentary

The eternal, superexcellent, natural function (dharma) of the soul is pure devotion for Adhoksaja, the transcendental Lord. Therefore, even if this function is somewhat imperfectly attempted by one with external malpractices, such an attempt will be superior to the 'good' practices within the material modes of nature and worldly chain of actions and habits foreign to the soul's nature. Even if death occurs during the cultivation of such pure devotion in proper saintly association, it is the bestower of the ultimate good; but in the name of good practices to ignorantly follow 'another's path'—anything other than devotion for the Lord (dvitiyabhinivesa)—is bhayavah, endangering to the spiritual progress of the soul.*

*bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo 'smrtih
tan mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma

"A person of fine intelligence will serve with single-minded devotion his Lord who is his teacher and dearmost friend. But those who have turned away from the Lord adopt the illusory ego of considering the perishable body to be the self, forgetting their true identities. Their consciousness absorbed in 'secondary pursuits', i.e., mundane objectives, they are always fearful on account of the body and its attachments." (Bhag. 11.2.37)]

arjuna uvacha
atha kena prayukto 'yam, papam charati purusah
anichchhann api varsneya, balad iva niyojitah [36]

arjunah uvacha–Arjuna said: atha–Now; (he) varsneya–O descendant of the Vrsni dynasty; kena prayuktah (san)–being incited by what; ayam purusah charati–does this living being commit; papam–sinful activities; anichchhan api–even unwillingly; niyojitah iva–as if engaged; balat–by force?

36 Arjuna inquired: O descendant of the Vrsnis, by what is the living being compelled to commit sinful activities, even unwillingly, as if by force?

 

sri-bhagavan uvacha
kama esa krodha esa, rajoguna-samudbhavah
maha-sano maha-papma, viddhy enam iha vairinam [37]

sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Supreme Lord said: esah kamah–It is this desire to enjoy the mundane; esah krodhah–transformed into anger. rajo-guna-samudbhavah–It arises from the mode of passion, and from that desire, blind anger is born. viddhi enam–Know such desire to be; maha-asanah–never satisfied; maha-papma–greatly wrathful; vairinam–and the worst enemy of the living being; iha–in this world.

37 The Supreme Lord replied: It is the desire to enjoy the mundane that induces a person to commit sin, and in different situations it produces anger. It is utterly insatiable, extremely malicious, and the worst enemy of the living being in this world.

dhumenavriyate vahnir, yathadarso malena cha
yatholbenavrto garbhas, tatha tenedam avrtam [38]

yatha–As; vahnih–fire; avriyate–is covered; dhumena–by smoke; yatha–as; adarsah–a mirror; (avriyate)–is covered; malena–by dust; (yatha) cha–and as; garbhah–the embryo; avrtah–is covered; ulbena–by the womb; tatha–similarly; idam–one's consciousness; avrtam–is covered; tena–by that desire.

38 As fire is thinly veiled by smoke, as a mirror is thickly covered with dust, and as the embryo remains completely enclosed within the womb, similarly, this desire covers the consciousness of the living being (in these three degrees of intensity, according to the modes of material nature—goodness, passion, and ignorance respectively).

avrtam jnanam etena, jnanino nitya-vairina
kama-rupena kaunteya, duspurenanalena cha [39]

(he) kaunteya–O Arjuna, son of Kunti; jnanam–discriminatory knowledge; avrtam–is covered; etena–by this; nitya-vairina–perpetual enemy; jnaninah–of even knowledgable persons; kama-rupena–in the form of desire; duspurena analena cha–which is like insatiable fire.

39 Knowledge is covered by desire, the constant enemy of the wise. It burns like an insatiable fire (never satisfied by offerings of butter).

indriyani mano buddhir, asyadhisthanam uchyate
etair vimohayaty esa, jnanam avrtya dehinam [40]

uchyate–It is said that; indriyani–the senses; manah buddhih–mind and intelligence; adhisthanam–are the seats; asya–of this enemy, desire. avrtya–Covering; jnanam–one's knowledge; etaih–via these seats; esah–this desire; vimohayati–deludes; dehinam–the embodied living being.

40 It is said that this enemy, desire, dwelling within the senses, mind, and intelligence, covers the perception of the embodied living being and deludes him.

tasmat tvam indriyany adau, niyamya bharatarsabha
papmanam prajahi hy enam, jnana-vijnana-nasanam [41]

(he) bharatarsabha–O Arjuna, noblest of the Bharatas; tvam–you; tasmat–therefore; adau–first; indriyani niyamya–bring the senses under control; hi–and completely; prajahi–destroy; enam–this desire; papmanam–which is the embodiment of sin; jnana-vijnana-nasanam–and the destroyer of both jnana, knowledge of the self and non-self as delineated in the scriptures, and vijnana, realization of such knowledge.

41 Therefore, O noblest of the Bharatas, control your senses and destroy this desire, the embodiment of sin, which destroys both knowledge and realization.

indriyani parany ahur, indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir, buddher yah paratas tu sah [42]

(panditah)–The wise; ahuh–say that; indriyani parani–the senses are superior; (visayebhyah)–to matter; manah–the mind; param–is superior; indriyebhyah–to the senses; buddhih–the intelligence or faculty of decision; para–is superior; manasah tu–to the mind, too; yah–and that which; paratah–is superior; buddheh tu–to even the intelligence; sah–is he–the jiva–the soul.

42 It is said by the wise that the senses are superior to matter, the mind is superior to the senses, and the intelligence is superior to the mind; and the soul is superior to even the intelligence.

evam buddheh param buddhva, samstabhyatmanam atmana
jahi satrum maha-baho, kama-rupam durasadam [43]

(he) maha-baho–O mighty Arjuna; evam–in this way; buddhva–discerning; buddheh param–the soul to be superior to the intelligence; samstabhya–by steadying; atmanam–the mind; atmana–by resolute intelligence—conviction; jahi–destroy; durasadam–the formidable; satrum–enemy; kama-rupam–in the form of desire.

43 O mighty Arjuna, knowing the soul to be superior to the intelligence, steady the mind with resolute intelligence and destroy the formidable enemy, desire.

iti sri-mahabharate sata-sahasryam samhitayam vaiyasikyam
bhisma-parvani srimad-bhagavad-gitasupanisatsu brahmavidyayam
yoga-sastre sri-krsnarjuna-samvade
karma-yogo nama trtiyo 'dhyayah [3]

End of Chapter Three

The Path of Action

from the conversation
of Sri Krishna and Arjuna
in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita Upanisad,
the Yoga Scripture of Transcendental Knowledge
in Bhisma Parva of Sri Mahabharata, the Holy Scripture
revealed by Srila Vyasadeva in a hundred thousand verses.

 

 

 

⇐ 2: The Constitution of the Soul

4: The Path of Knowledge ⇒

 

CONTENTS:

Mangalacharanam
Preface
Introduction
1 Observing the Armies
2 The Constitution of the Soul
3 The Path of Action
4 The Path of Knowledge
5 The Path of Renunciation of Action
6 The Path of Meditation
7 Knowledge and Realization of the Supreme
8 The Merciful Absolute
9 The Hidden Treasure of Devotion
10 The Divine Glories of the Lord
11 The Vision of the Universal Form
12 The Path of Devotion
13 Distinction Between Matter and Spirit
14 The Three Divisions of Material Nature
15 The Supreme Person
16 The Godly and Ungodly Natures
17 The Three Types of Faith
18 The Path of Liberation
The Glories of the Gita
The Glories of Srimad Bhagavad-gita from Sri Vaisnaviya-tantra-sara

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