SRIMAD BHAGAVAD-GITA: CHAPTER FOUR


(Jnana-yoga)
The Path of Knowledge

 

 

sri-bhagavan uvacha
imam vivasvate yogam, proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha, manur iksvakave 'bravit [1]

sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Lord said: aham–I; proktavan–imparted; imam–this; avyayam–imperishable; yogamyoga of knowledge (jnana-yoga) achieved by selfless action; vivasvate–to Surya, the Sun-god. vivasvan–Surya; praha–taught; manave–his son, Vaivasvata Manu; manuh–and Manu; abravit–related it; iksvakave–to his son, Iksvaku.

1 The Supreme Lord said: I imparted this imperishable yoga of knowledge, achieved by selfless action, to Surya, the presiding deity of the sun. Surya taught it to his son Vaivasvata Manu, who passed it on to his son Iksvaku.

evam parampara-praptam, imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata, yogo nastah parantapa [2]

evam–In this way; parampara-praptam–attained through disciplic succession; rajarsayah–the saintly kings; viduh–came to know; imam–this path. (he) parantapa–O Arjuna, subduer of the enemy; sah yogah–that yoga; nastah–has been lost; iha–at present; mahata kalena–after the passage of a long time.

2 O conqueror of the enemy, thus the saintly kings such as Nimi, Janaka, and others learned this yoga, which was passed down to them by disciplic succession. But in the course of time, this teaching has been lost.

sa evayam maya te 'dya, yogah proktah puratanah
bhakto 'si me sakha cheti, rahasyam hy etad uttamam [3]

(tvam)–You; asi–are; me–My; bhaktah sakha cha–devotee and friend. iti (hetoh)–For this reason; ayam sah eva–this very same; puratanah–ancient; yogah–yoga; proktah–is described; adya–today; maya–by Me; te–to you; hi–although; etat–this; uttamam rahasyam–is a great secret.

3 As you are my devotee and friend, I now reveal to you this supreme secret—the eternal yoga.

arjuna uvacha
aparam bhavato janma, param janma vivasvatah
katham etad vijaniyam, tvam adau proktavan iti [4]

arjunah uvacha–Arjuna said: bhavatah–Your; janma–birth; aparam–is in these times. vivasvatah–The Sun-god's; janma–birth; param–was long ago. (tasmat)–So; katham–how; (aham) vijaniyam–am I to understand; etat–that; adau–in ancient times; tvam–You; proktavan iti–had thus taught; (imam yogam)–this yoga?

4 Arjuna said: Vivasvan, the Sun-god, was born in ancient times, long before You were. Therefore, how am I to consider that You previously gave these teachings to him?

sri-bhagavan uvacha
bahuni me vyatitani, janmani tava charjuna
tany aham veda sarvani, na tvam vettha parantapa [5]

sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Supreme Lord said: (he) parantapa arjuna–O Arjuna, subduer of the enemy; bahuni–many; janmani–births; me tava cha–of Mine and yours; vyatitani–have passed. aham–I; veda–know; tani sarvani–all of them; tvam–(but) you; na vettha–do not know; (tani)–them.

5 The Supreme Lord said: O chastiser of the enemy, both you and I have passed through many births. I can remember all of them, whereas you, O Arjuna, cannot.

ajo 'pi sann avyayatma, bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya, sambhavamy atma-mayaya [6]

api–Although; san–being; ajah–birthless; avyaya-atma–of imperishable form; api–and although; san–being; isvarah–the Supreme Lord; bhutanam–of all beings; (aham)–I; adhisthaya–remaining; svam prakrtim–in My own divine nature of truth, auspiciousness, and beauty; sambhavami–appear in the world; atma-mayaya–by My potency, Yoga-maya.

6 Although My eternal form is transcendental to birth and death, and I am the Lord of all beings, I appear within the world in My divine nature, by My sweet will, extending My internal potency.

yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya, tadatmanam srjamy aham [7]

(he) bharata–O Arjuna; yada yada hi–whenever; glanih–a decline; dharmasya–of religion; (cha)–and; abhyutthanam–an uprising; adharmasya–of irreligion; bhavati–occurs; tada–then; aham srjami–I appear, seemingly like a being born in this world—I make My advent; atmanam–Myself.

7 O Bharata, whenever there is a decline of religion and an uprising of irreligion, I personally make My advent.

paritranaya sadhunam, vinasaya cha duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya, sambhavami yuge yuge [8]

paritranaya–For the deliverance; sadhunam–of saintly devotees; (tatha)–and; vinasaya–for the vanquishing; duskrtam–of miscreants; samsthapana-arthaya cha–and for firmly establishing; dharmadhyana (meditation), yajna (performance of sacrifice), paricharya (worship), and sankirtana (congregational chanting of the holy names) all centred on Me; (aham)–I; sambhavami–appear; yuge yuge–age after age.

8 I appear age after age to deliver the saintly devotees, vanquish the miscreants, and firmly establish true religion.

janma karma cha me divyam, evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma, naiti mam eti so 'rjuna [9]

(he) arjuna–O Arjuna; yah–one who; vetti–knows; evam–thus; tattvatah–the reality; me–of My; divyam–spontaneous, divine; janma karma cha–birth and activities; sah–he; tyaktva–upon giving up; deham–the body; na eti–does not accept; punah janma–rebirth. mam eti–He attains Me.

9 O Arjuna, one who comes to know thus the truth of My pastimes of divine birth and activities, does not undergo rebirth. After giving up this body, he attains Me. (My grace is revealed to him as My personal transcendental joyful potency, hladini-sakti. His heart is melted in divine love and he attains My eternal devotional service.)

vita-raga-bhaya-krodha, man-maya mam upasritah
bahavo jnana-tapasa, puta mad-bhavam agatah [10]

vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah–Free from mundane attachment, fear and anger; matmayah–wholeheartedly absorbed in services to Me; bahavah–many persons; mam upasritah–in My refuge; putah (santah)–being purified; jnana-tapasa–by knowledge and austerities in relation to My service; agatah–attained; mat-bhavam–My bhava—devotion for Me.

10 Free from attachment, fear, and anger, many persons have taken shelter in Me, absorbing their hearts in My services (hearing, chanting, and remembering). Purified by knowledge and the fire of ordeal in My service, they attained divine love for Me.

ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante, manusyah partha sarvasah [11]

yatha–Howsoever; ye–those who; prapadyante–surrender; mam–to Me; aham–I; tatha eva–accordingly; bhajami–reward; tan–them. (he) partha–O Arjuna; sarvasah manusyah–all types of men (on all paths); anuvartante–follow; mama vartma–My path.

11 Howsoever people surrender to Me, I accordingly reward them. Being the ultimate goal of all paths, I am the objective to be attained by all. O Partha, all men follow My various paths.

kanksantah karmanam siddhim, yajanta iha devatah
ksipram hi manuse loke, siddhir bhavati karmaja [12]

iha–In this world; kanksantah–persons who desire; siddhim–the fruition; karmanam–of worldly actions; yajante–worship; devatah–the demigods; hi–since; manuse loke–in the human plane; siddhih–the fruit (attainment of heaven, etc.); karma-ja–born of action; bhavati–appears; ksipram–very quickly.

12 Persons who desire the fruit of their actions worship the gods, since in the human plane, actions swiftly bear fruit.

chatur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam, viddhy akartaram avyayam [13]

chatuh-varnyam–The four social divisions or varnasbrahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra; srstam–are manifest; maya–by Me; guna-karma-vibhagasah–classified according to the modes of nature and corresponding activities (vide 18.41-44). kartaram api–Although I am the accomplisher; tasya–of that; viddhi–know; mam–Me; akartaram–to be the non-doer; avyayam–and unchangeable.

13 The four social divisions, classified according to the material modes of nature and corresponding activities, are made manifest by Me. Although I am the doer of this, know Me to be the non-doer and unchangable.

na mam karmani limpanti, na me karma-phale sprha
iti mam yo 'bhijanati, karmabhir na sa badhyate [14]

karmani–Actions; na limpanti–do not implicate or taint; mam–Me; (jivam iva)–like the living beings. na (asti)–There is no; sprha–desire; me–of Mine; karma-phale–for the fruits of action. yah–One who; iti–thus; mam abhijanati–knows Me in truth (as the Supreme Lord); sah–he; na badhyate–is not bound; karmabhih–by karma.

14 I am never implicated by action nor do I desire the fruits of action. One who knows Me thus (as the Supreme Lord, transcendental to worldly action) is never bound by action.

evam jnatva krtam karma, purvair api mumuksubhih
kuru karmaiva tasmat tvam, purvaih purvataram krtam [15]

jnatva–Knowing; evam–this; mumuksubhih api–the seekers of liberation; purvaih–of previous times; krtam–performed; karma–selfless action. tasmat–Therefore; tvam–you; eva–certainly; kuru–must adopt; karma–the path of selfless action; purvataram krtam–as done in the past; purvaih–by the ancient mahajanas, great saintly persons, like Janaka and others.

15 Knowing this basic principle, seekers of liberation in previous times renounced all fruitive work and performed their duties as a selfless offering to Me. Likewise, you should adopt this yoga of selfless action as did the great saintly persons of yore.

kim karma kim akarmeti, kavayo 'py atra mohitah
tat te karma pravaksyami, yaj jnatva moksyase 'subhat [16]

kim karma–What is action? kim akarma–what is inaction? iti atra–In this subject; kavayah api–even the learned; mohitah (bhavanti)–are baffled. (atah)–Therefore; pravaksyami–I shall describe; te–to you; tat karma–what is karma and akarma, action and inaction; yat jnatva–knowing which; moksyase–you will be liberated; asubhat–from inauspiciousness.

16 What is action? What is inaction? Even the learned have difficulty understanding this. Hence, I shall enlighten you in this matter, knowing which you will be liberated from inauspiciousness.

karmano hy api boddhavyam, boddhavyam cha vikarmanah
akarmanas cha boddhavyam gahana karmano gatih [17]

karmanah api boddhavyam–Action prescribed (by the Vedas) should be understood; cha–and; vikarmanah boddhavyam–action prohibited (by the Vedas) should be understood; cha–and; akarmanah boddhavyam–renunciation of action should be understood; hi–since; gatih–the true nature; karmanah–of action; gahana–is very difficult to comprehend.

17 The true nature of action is difficult to comprehend. One should understand prescribed action, prohibited action, and inaction.

karmany akarma yah pasyed, akarmani cha karma yah
sa buddhiman manusyesu, sa yuktah krtsna-karma-krt [18]

yah–One who; pasyet–sees; akarma–inaction; karmani–in action; cha–and; yah–who; (pasyet)–sees; karma–action; akarmani–in inaction; sah buddhiman–he is wise; manusyesu–among men. sah yuktah–He is a yogi; krtsna-karma-krt–a performer of all actions.

18 One who sees action within inaction, and inaction within action, is wise among men. He is a yogi and a performer of all actions.

yasya sarve samarambhah, kama-sankalpa-varjitah
jnanagni-dagdha-karmanam, tam ahuh panditam budhah [19]

yasya–One whose; sarve–every; samarambhah–undertaking; kama-sankalpa-varjitah–is without fruitive desire; jnana-agni-dagdha-karmanam–and who has burnt all actions in the fire of knowledge; budhah–the wise; ahuh tam–describe him as; panditam–learned.

19 One whose every action is without fruitive desire, and who burns all actions in the fire of knowledge, is described by the wise as learned.

tyaktva karma-phalasangam, nitya-trpto nirasrayah
karmany abhipravrtto 'pi, naiva kinchit karoti sah [20]

(yah)–One who; tyaktva–giving up; karma-phala-asangam–attachment to the fruits of action; nirasrayah–is free from mundane dependence; nitya-trptah–and content in the eternal bliss within; sah–he; abhipravrttah api–although fully engaged; karmani–in all kinds of activities; na karoti–does not do; kinchit eva–anything at all.

20 Such a person, giving up attachment to the fruits of action, fully content in the eternal bliss within and free from mundane dependence, though fully active, does nothing at all.

nirasir yata-chittatma, tyakta-sarva-parigrahah
sariram kevalam karma, kurvan napnoti kilbisam [21]

nirasih–Desireless; yata-chitta-atma–of controlled mind and body; tyakta-sarvapari-grahah–and a renouncer of all possessiveness and acquisition; (sah)–that person; na apnoti–does not incur; kilbisam–sin; kurvan (api)–although he performs; sariram karma–action for bodily sustenance; kevalam–only.

21 Desireless, controlling mind and body by the intelligence, and renouncing all possessiveness and acquisition, no sinful or pious reaction is incurred by such a person who may act to acquire mundane objects merely for his bodily sustenance.

yadrchchha-labha-santusto, dvandvatito vimatsarah
samah siddhav asiddhau cha, krtvapi na nibadhyate [22]

(janah)–A person; yadrchchha-labha-santustah–satisfied with whatever is readily available; dvandva-atitah–beyond dualities such as heat and cold, pleasure and pain, attraction and aversion; vimatsarah–devoid of envy; cha–and; samah–equipoised; siddhau-asiddhau–in the event of either success or failure of action; krtva api–though performing; (karma)–action; na nibadhyate–is not bound.

22 Content with whatever is readily available and unaffected by dualities (of pleasure and pain, attraction and aversion), such a person has no envy. He is equipoised, neither elated nor dejected in success or failure. Though active, he is not bound by any action.

gata-sangasya muktasya, jnanavasthita-chetasah
yajnayacharatah karma, samagram praviliyate [23]

gata-sangasya–For one who is free from attachment; muktasya–who is liberated; jnana-avasthita-chetasah–who is realized; karma acharatah–who performs action; yajnaya–for yajna, i.e. for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord; samagram–all; (karma)–action; praviliyate–is dissipated, i.e. it does not produce any reaction.

23 For one who is detached, enlightened and liberated, all his actions, performed in the spirit of sacrifice, are perfectly dissipated.

Commentary

The actions of one practising the yoga of selfless action do not lead to apurva as considered by the philosophers known as Karma-mimamsaka. According to their ethical yet atheistic ideology, the Karma-mimamsakas or mundane rationalists claim that pious actions produce an unseen, subtle potency known as apurva, which must fructify at the appropriate time after death. Their conception that this fruit can later be shared by others is meant to show the eternality of karma, or action, but it ignores the presence of the Supreme Autocrat.

So the statement of Sri Krishna, samagram praviliyate, "All actions are dissipated," ought not be misinterpreted to mean that the actions of liberated souls cause some such remote worldly consequence, or apurva. Rather, the Lord indicates that the actions offered to Him by the selfless karma-yogi do not cause any subsequent reaction to be either enjoyed or suffered by others in this mundane plane.

 

brahmarpanam brahma havir, brahmagnau brahmana hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyam, brahma-karma-samadhina [24]

arpanam (bhavati)–The sacrificial utensils such as sruk, sruva, or spoon, ladle, etc., are; brahma–Brahman; (arpyamanam) havih–the oblation of ghee, etc.; (bhavati)–is; brahma–Brahman; hutam–offered; brahma-agnau–into the sacrificial fire of Brahman; brahmana (havana karta)–by the brahmana offerer who is Brahman. brahma eva–Brahman, the Absolute; gantavyam–is attainable; tena brahma-karma-samadhina–by a person whose consciousness is absorbed in Brahman action.

24 The ladle is Brahman, the oblation is Brahman offered by Brahman into the fire of Brahman. One whose consciousness is fully absorbed in Brahman action certainly attains to Brahman, the Absolute.

daivam evapare yajnam, yoginah paryupasate
brahmagnav apare yajnam, yajnenaivopajuhvati [25]

apare–Other; yoginah–(karma-) yogis; paryupasate–worship; daivam yajnam eva–the demigods with sacrifice. apare–Other (jnana-) yogis; upajuhvati–offer; yajnam–the self (jivatma, as the element tvam, representing the ghee of sacrifice); brahma-agnau–to the fire of Brahman (or to the Supersoul, Paramatman, as the element tat, representing the sacrificial fire); yajnena eva–by vibrating the Pranava mantra, Om.

25 Some yogis offer sacrifices to the demigods, and others offer the self into the fire of Brahman by vibrating the Pranava mantra, Om.

srotradinindriyany anye, samyamagnisu juhvati
sabdadin visayan anya, indriyagnisu juhvati [26]

anye–Others (naistika or lifelong celibates); juhvati–offer; indriyani–the senses; srotra-adini–of hearing, etc.; samyama-agnisu–into the fires of self (mental) control. anye–Others (persons in sacred marriage); juhvati–offer; visayan–the sense objects; sabda-adin–sound, etc.; indriya-agnisu–into the fires of the senses.

26 Some offer their senses of hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling into the fires of self-control; yet others offer the sense objects of sound, touch, form, taste and smell into the fire of the senses.

sarvanindriya-karmani, prana-karmani chapare
atma-samyama-yogagnau, juhvati jnana-dipite [27]

apare–Others (meditating mystic yogis in realization of the pure self [tvam]); juhvati–offer; sarvani–all; indriya-karmani–the functions of the senses; cha–and; pranakarman i–the functions of the ten vital life-airs; atma-samyama-yoga-agnau–into the yogic fire of self-purification; jnana-dipite–ignited by knowledge.

27 Again, there are the yogis who offer all the functions of the senses and the life forces into the yogic fire of self-purification ignited by knowledge.

dravya-yajnas tapo-yajna, yoga-yajnas tathapare
svadhyaya-jnana-yajnas cha, yatayah samsita-vratah [28]

(kechit)–Some; dravya-yajnah–sacrifice material possessions or wealth; (kechit)–some; tapah-yajnah–perform sacrifice in the form of penance (such as Chandrayana, etc.); tathaapare–and others; yoga-yajnah–perform sacrifice in the form of the eightfold mystic yoga practice; (kechana)–and again some; svadhyaya-jnana-yajnah cha–perform 'knowledge sacrifice' in the form of singing and introspectively studying the Vedas. (ete sarve)–All these persons; yatayah–are diligent; samsita-vratah–performers of unshakeable vows.

28 Sincere in their practices and faithful to their vows, some persons sacrifice their possessions, some undergo strict penances as a sacrifice, some practise the eightfold mystic yoga as a sacrifice, and yet others perform 'knowledge sacrifice' by singing and introspectively studying the Vedas.

apane juhvati pranam, prane 'panam tathapare
pranapana-gati ruddhva, pranayama-parayanah
apare niyataharah, pranan pranesu juhvati [29]

apare–Others; juhvati apane pranam–bring the ascending air into union with the descending air while inhaling (puraka). tatha–Likewise; (juhvati)–they offer; prane apanam–the descending air into the ascending air while exhaling (rechaka); (cha)–and; ruddhva–stopping; prana-apana-gati–the flow of both prana and apana while retaining the breath (kumbhaka); pranayama-parayanah (bhavanti)–they arduously practise breath-control (pranayama). apare–Others; juhvati–offer; pranan–the senses; pranesu–into the life-airs, the prana-vayu; niyata-aharah–by reducing their intake of food.

29 Others practise breath-control. Closing the right nostril and inhaling through the left, they bring the ascending air into union with the descending; closing the left nostril and exhaling through the right, they similarly offer the descending air into the ascending; then closing both nostrils, they check both ascending and descending airs. Yet other practitioners of sense-control offer all the senses into the life-airs by reducing their food intake.

sarve 'py ete yajna-vido, yajna-ksayita-kalmasah
yajna-sistamrta-bhujo, yanti brahma sanatanam [30]

ete sarve api–All these persons; yajna-vidah–are knowers of sacrifice. yajna-ksayitakalmas ah–Purified of sin by the performance of sacrifice; yajna-sista-amrta-bhujah–they enjoy the nectarine remnants of sacrifice; yanti sanatanam–and reach the eternal; brahma–Brahman, Absolute Truth.

30 All these persons are knowers of sacrifice, purified by sacrifice. Enjoying the nectarine remnants of sacrifice, they attain to the eternal plane of the Absolute.

nayam loko 'sty ayajnasya, kuto 'nyah kuru-sattama [31]

(he) kuru-sattama–O Arjuna, best of the Kurus; ayam lokah (api)–even this world (or human plane of meagre pleasures); na asti–is denied; ayajnasya–a person who does not perform sacrifice. kutah (praptavyah)–How, then, will it be possible for him to attain; anyah (lokah)–the next world (or heaven)?

31 O Arjuna, foremost of the Kurus, without sacrifice one cannot attain fulfillment in this world, to say nothing of the next.

evam bahu-vidha yajna, vitata brahmano mukhe
karma-jan viddhi tan sarvan, evam jnatva vimoksyase [32]

evam–In this way; bahu-vidhah–many varieties of; yajnah–sacrifices; vitatah–have been elucidated; brahmanah mukhe–by the mouthpiece of the Vedas. (tvam)–You; viddhi–should know; tan sarvan–all those sacrifices; karma-jan–to be born of action, in thought, word and deed. jnatva–Knowing; evam–this; vimoksyase–you will be liberated from the bondage of action.

32 Thus many types of sacrifice are described in the Vedas and allied scriptures. Know that they are all accomplished through action (of thought, word and deed). Knowing this, you will be liberated from the bondage of action.

sreyan dravyamayad yajnaj jnana-yajnah parantapa
sarvam karmakhilam partha, jnane parisamapyate [33]

(he) parantapa partha–O Arjuna, subduer of the enemy; jnana-yajnah–'knowledgesacrifice'; sreyan–is better; yajnat–than sacrifice; dravya-mayat–of materials; (yatah)–since; sarvam–all; karma–action; akhilam–in its entirety, including its fruit; parisamapyate–has its consummation; jnane–in knowledge.

33 O Arjuna, subduer of the enemy, 'knowledge-sacrifice' is superior to the sacrifice of material objects, because the perfection of all action, including its fruit, has its culmination in knowledge.

tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah [34]

tat–Such knowledge; viddhi–should be known; pranipatena–by submission, obeisances; pariprasnena–by relevant inquiry; sevaya–and by sincere service. jnaninah–Those learned in the scriptures; tattva-darsinah–endowed with divine revelation of the Supreme Absolute Truth; upadeksyanti–will impart; jnanam–knowledge; te–to you.

34 You will be able to attain knowledge by satisfying the divine master with submission, relevant inquiry, and sincere service. The enlightened souls who are learned in scriptural knowledge and endowed with direct realization of the Supreme Absolute Truth will impart divine knowledge to you.

yaj jnatva na punar moham, evam yasyasi pandava
yena bhutany asesani, draksyasy atmany atho mayi [35]

(he) pandava–O Arjuna, son of Pandu; jnatva–knowing; yat (jnanam)–that knowledge; na yasyasi–you will not be subject to; evam–such; moham–illusion; punah–again. yena–By that knowledge; draksyasi–you will see; asesani bhutani–all species from highest to lowest; atmani–in the atma—in their spiritual nature; (prthak upadhitvena)–though appearing in the forms of their various material designations; atha–and; (draksyasi)–you will see them; mayi–in Me.

35 O Pandava, when you are enlightened by this knowledge of the reality, you will no longer be subject to your present illusion. You will see the one spiritual nature in all species of life, from highest to lowest, and that all are situated within Me.

api ched asi papebhyah, sarvebhyah papa-krttamah
sarvam jnana-plavenaiva, vrjinam santarisyasi [36]

api chet–Even if; asi–you are; papa-krttamah–the most sinful; sarvebhyah papebhyah–of all sinners; (tathapi)–nonetheless; santarisyasi eva–you will cross; sarvam vrjinam–all sins; jnana-plavena–by the boat of knowledge.

36 Even if you are the most sinful of all sinners, you will cross the ocean of sins by the boat of knowledge.

yathaidhamsi samiddho 'gnir, bhasmasat kurute 'rjuna
jnanagnih sarva-karmani, bhasmasat kurute tatha [37]

(he) arjuna–O Arjuna; yatha–as; samiddhah–blazing; agnih–fire; kurute–renders; edhamsi–firewood; bhasmasat–to ashes; tatha–similarly; jnana-agnih–the fire of knowledge; kurute–renders; sarva-karmani–all karma (worldly actions and reactions in this life); bhasmasat–to ashes.

37 As a blazing fire renders wood to ashes, O Arjuna, the fire of knowledge burns up all worldly actions.

na hi jnanena sadrsam, pavitram iha vidyate
tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah, kalenatmani vindati [38]

iha–In this world, or, of the aforementioned practices of austerity, etc.; (kim api) na hi vidyate–there is nothing; pavitram–(as) pure; jnanena sadrsam–as knowledge. yogasam siddhah–A person successful in (niskama karma) yoga; vindati–realizes; svayam–for himself; tat–that knowledge; atmani–within the heart; kalena–after (a long) time.

38 In this world, there is nothing as pure as knowledge. Eventually, a person who has achieved perfection in the yoga of selfless action naturally realizes this knowledge within his heart.

sraddhavan labhate jnanam, tat-parah samyatendriyah
jnanam labdhva param santim, achirenadhigachchati [39]

sraddhavan–The faithful (having faith in the Lord's words or the scriptures); tatparah–devoted; samyata-indriyah–sense-controlled person; labhate–attains; jnanam–knowledge. labdhva–Having attained; jnanam–enlightenment; achirena–quickly; adhigachhati–he attains; param santim–supreme peace (beyond the mundane).

39 It is the devoted, faithful and sense-controlled person who attains knowledge. Achieving enlightenment, such a person soon attains the supreme peace.

ajnas chasraddadhanas cha, samsayatma vinasyati
nayam loko 'sti na paro, na sukham samsayatmanah [40]

ajnah–The ignorant (like an animal); cha–and; asraddadhanah–faithless (confused by many interpretations despite scriptural knowledge); samsaya-atma cha–and doubting person (who doubts he will succeed despite having some faith); vinasyati–is ruined by misfortune. samsaya-atmanah–For the doubting person; na asti–there is no; sukham–happiness; na ayam lokah–either in this world; na (cha) parah–or the next.

40 The ignorant, faithless and doubting person is doomed to misfortune. For the doubting soul there can be happiness neither in this life nor the next.

yoga-sannyasta-karmanam, jnana-sanchhinna-samsayam
atmavantam na karmani, nibadhnanti dhananjaya [41]

(he) dhananjaya–O Dhananjaya; karmani–actions; na nibadhnanti–cannot bind; yoga-sannyasta-karmanam–one who has ceased all action in accordance with the path of sannyasa, abnegation, by practising niskama karma-yoga, the path of selfless action; jnana-sanchhinna-samsayam–and overcome all his doubts by the cultivation of divine knowledge (sambandha-jnana, knowledge of the eternal serving relationship of the individual soul with the Lord); atma-vantam–and who has realized the nature of the soul.

41 O Dhananjaya, renouncing all worldly actions by following the path of selfless action, one who severs all his doubts by knowledge and realizes his internal divine nature, can never be bound by action.

tasmad ajnana-sambhutam, hrt-stham jnanasinatmanah
chhittvainam samsayam yogam, atisthottistha bharata [42]

(he) bharata–O Arjuna; tasmat–therefore; chhittva–slashing; jnana-asina–by the sword of knowledge, sambandha-jnana; enam–these; samsayam–doubts; atmanah–of yours; hrt-stham–in your heart; ajnana-sambhutam–which are born of ignorance; atistha–take refuge in; yogamniskama karma-yoga—the yoga of selfless action; (cha)–and; uttistha–arise for battle.

42 Therefore, O Bharata, with the sword of knowledge slash to shreds all these doubts in your heart, which are born of ignorance. Take refuge in selfless action and arise for battle!

iti sri-mahabharate sata-sahasryam samhitayam vaiyasikyam
bhisma-parvani srimad-bhagavad-gitasupanisatsu brahmavidyayam
yoga-sastre sri-krsnarjuna-samvade
jnana-yogo nama chaturtho 'dhyayah [4]

End of Chapter Four

The Path of Knowledge

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.

 

 

 

⇐ 3: The Path of Action

5: The Path of Renunciation of Action ⇒

 

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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