Article Index

Bhagavad Gita: Chapters 1 - 5

Chapter 1: Arjuna’s Dilemma

Dhritarashtra said; O Sanjaya, assembled in Kurukshetra the field of religious activity, what did my war-eager sons and the Pandus do? (1.01)

Sanjaya said: Seeing the battle formation of the Pandus army, King Duryodhana approached his teacher, Drona, and spoke these words: (1.02)1

O master, behold this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arranged in battle formation by your talented disciple, the son of Drupada. (1.03)2

There are many heroes and mighty archers equal to Bhima and Arjuna in war such as Yuyudhana and Virata: and the great chariot warrior, Drupada; (1.04)

Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the heroic King of Kashi; Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya the best among men. (1.05)

The valiant Ydhamanyu, the formidable Uttamauja, the son of Subhadraa, and the sons of Drayupadi; all of them are great chariot warriors. (1.06)

Also know, O best among the twice born, the distinguished ones on our side; I name the commanders of my army for your information. (1.07)

Yourself, Bhishma, Karna, and the victorious Kripa; Ashvatthama, Vikarna, and the son of Saumadatti. (1.08)

And many other heroes are ready to lay down their lives for me. They are armed with various weapons, and all are skilled in warfare. (1.09)

Our army is multitudinous, and commanded by Bhishma, but their army, marshalled by Bhima is meagre and therefore easy to conquer. (1.10)

Therefore all of you, occupying your respective positions on all fronts, protect Bhishma by all means. (1.11)

The mighty Bhishma, the elder of the Kuru dynasty, roared as a lion and blew his conch loudly bringing boldness to the heart of Duryodhana. (1.12) 3

After that, conches, kettledrums, cymbals, drums and trumpets were sounded together. The commotion was tremendous. (1.13)4

Then Lord Krishna and Arjuna, seated in a grand chariot yoked with white horses, blew their celestial conches. (1.14)

Krishna blew his conch Panchajanya; Arjuna blew his conch Devadatta; and Bhima, the doer of formidable deeds, blew (his) big conch, Paundra. (1.15)5

The son of Kunti, King Yudhishtira, blew (his conch) Anantavijaya, while Nakula and Sahadeva blew Sughosha and Manipushpaka conches, respectively. (1.16)

The King of Kashi, the mighty archer; Shikhandi 6 the great chariot warrior; Dhrsithadyumna,7 Virata, and the invincible Satyaki; (1.17)

King Drupada, and the sons of Draypadi; the mighty son of Subhadra; all of them blew their respective conches, O lord of the earth!(1.18)

The tumultuous uproar, resounding through earth and sky, tore the hearts of the Kauravas. (1.19)8

Seeing the sons of Dhritaraashtra standing; and the war about to begin; Arjuna, whose banner bore the emblem of Hanumana, took up his bow; and (1.20)

spoke these words to Lord Krishna; O Lord (Achyuta), please stop my chariot between the two armies until I behold those who stand here eager for battle and with whom I must engage in this act of war. (1.21)9

I wish to see those who are willing to serve the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra by assembling here to fight the battle. (1.22)10

Sanjaya said; O King, Lord Krishna, as requested by Arjuna (Gudakesa),11 placed the best of all the chariots in the midst of the two armies; (1.23)

facing Bhishma, Drona, and all other Kings; and said to Arjuna: Behold these assembled Kurus! (1.24)

There Arjuna saw his uncles, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, benefactors and comrades. (1.25)

Seeing fathers-in-law, all those kinsmen, and other dear ones standing in the ranks of the two armies, (1.26)

Arjuna, the son of Kunti,12 was overcome with great compassion and sorrowfully said: (1:27)

O Krishna13 seeing my kinsmen standing with a desire to fight, (1.28)

my limbs fail and my mouth becomes dry. My body quivers and my hairs stand on end. The bow Gandiva, slips from my hand and my skin burns intensely. (1.29)

My mind whirls, I am unable to stand steady and, O Krishna (Kesava),14 I see bad omens. (1.30)15

Arjuna’s Delusion

I see no use of killing my kinsmen in battle. I desire neither victory nor pleasure nor empire, (1:31)

O Krishna. What is the use of a kingdom, or enjoyment, or even life, O Krishna? (Govinda)16 (1.32)

Because all those, for whom we desire kingdom, enjoyments, and pleasures, are standing here for the battle, giving up their lives and wealth. (1.33)

Teachers, fathers, sons and grandfathers, uncles, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives. (1.34)

I do not wish to kill them, even they who are also about to kill, even for the sovereignty of the three worlds, let alone for this earthly kingdom, O Krishna (Madhusudana).17 (1.35-6)

O Lord Krishna (Janardana),18 what pleasure shall we find in killing the sons of Dhritaraashtra. How can we be happy after killing our kinsmen, O Krishna (Madhava)? (1.37)

Thought they, blinded by greed, do not see evil in the destruction of the family, or sin in being treacherous to friends. (1.38)

Why shouldn’t we, who clearly see evil in the destruction of the family, not think about turning away from this sin, O Krishna? (Janardana)(1.39)

With the decline of the family, the time-honoured family traditions are destroyed, and immorality prevails due to the destruction of family traditions. (1.40)19

And when immorality prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupted; when women are corrupted, caste mixture arises (1.41)

This brings the family and the slayers of the family to hell, because the spirits of their ancestors are degraded when deprived of ceremonial offerings of rice-ball and water. (1.42)20

The everlasting qualities of varna and family traditions of those who destroy their family are ruined by the sinful act of illegitimacy. (1.43)21

We have been told, O Krishna, that people whose family traditions are destroyed necessarily dwell in hell for a long time. (1.44)

Alas! We are ready to commit a great sin by perpetrating the slaying of kinsmen because of greed for the pleasures of a kingdom.(1.45)

It would be far better for me if the sons of Dhritarashtra should kill me with their weapons in battle while I am unarmed and unresisting. (1.46)

Sanjaya said: Having said this Arjuna sat down on the seat of the chariot with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow in the battle field and he cast aside his bow and arrow. (1.47)

Chapter 2: The Inner Doctrine

Spiritual courage

Sanjaya said: Lord Krishna spoke these words to Arjuna whose eyes were tearful and downcast, and who was overwhelmed with compassion and despair. (2.01)

The Lord said: How has the melancholy come to you at this juncture? This is not fit for an Aryan. It is disgraceful, and it does not lead one to heaven, O Arjuna. (2.02)22

Do not yield to cowardice, O Arjuna, because it does not befit you. Shake off this weakness of your heart and wake up, O conqueror of the enemy. (2.03)

Arjuna said: How shall I strike Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship, with arrows in battle, O Slayer of Madhu? (2.04)23

It would be better, indeed, to eat beggar’s bread in this world than to slay these noble souls, because, by killing them I would enjoy wealth and pleasures stained with their blood. (2.05) 24

Whether we should conquer them or not I do not know, which alternative, to be or to kill, is better for us, nor do we know whether we shall conquer them or they will conquer us. We should not even wish to live after killing the sons of Dhritarashtra who are standing in front of us. (2.06)

My heart is heavy laden with the weakness of pity, and mymind is confused about Dharma. I plead with you to tell me, but clearly, what is better for me. I am Your disciple. Teach me who has taken refuge in You. (2.07) 25

I do not perceive that gaining an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom on this earth, or even lordship over the gods will remove the sorrow that is drying up my senses. (2.08)

Then (Gudakesa) Arjuna said to (Govinda) 26Krishna: I shall not fight, and became silent. (2.09)

O King, Lord Krishna, as if smiling, spoke these words to the despondent Arjuna in the midst of the two armies. (2.10)

The Lord said: You grieve for those who should not be grieved for, but yet you speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.(2.11) 27

There was never a time when I, you, or these kings did not exist: nor shallwe ever cease to exist in the future.(2.12)

As spirit, the indweller in the body, experiences childhood, youth and an old age in the body during this life, similarly does it pass on to another body. The serene are not affected by this. (2.13) 28

The contacts of the senses with sensible objects give rise to the feelings of heat and cold, and pain and pleasure. They are transitory and impermanent. Therefore, learn to endure them, O Arjuna.(2.14) 29

Because the serene person, who is not afflicted by these feelings and is steady in pain and pleasure, becomes fit for immortality, O Arjuna.(2.15)

The unreal has no existence and the real never ceases to exist. The truth of these two is indeed certainly known by the seers of truth. (2.16)30

That which pervades all things, the Spirit, is indestructible. Nothing can destroy That which is above all description. (2.17)

However, the bodies which this eternal, indestructible and unfathomable spirit dwells in, are said to have an end. (2.18)

He who thinks of spirit as slayer and he who thinks of it as being killed are both ignorant.Spirit slays not and neither can It be killed. (2.19) 31

Thespirit is neither born nor does it die at any time, nor will cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The spirit is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. (2.20)

O Arjuna, how can a person who know that the spirit is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and imperishable, kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed?(2.21)

Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones, similarlyspirit acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies.(2.22)

Weapons do not cut this spirit, fire does not burn it, water does not make it wet, and the wind does not make it dry.(2.23)

This spirit cannot be cut, burned, wetted, or dried up. It is eternal, all pervading, unchanging, immovable, and primeval.(2.24)

The spirit is said to be unmanifest, unthinkable, and unchanging. Knowing this spirit as such you should not grieve.(2.25)

If you think that this body takes birth and dies perpetually, even then, O Arjuna, you should not grieve like this.(2.26)

Because death is certain for the one who is born, and birth is certain for the one who dies. Therefore, you should not mourn over the inevitable.(2.27)

All beings, O Arjuna, are unmanifest before birth and after death. They are manifest between the birth and the death only. What is there to grieve about?(2.28)

Some look upon this spirit as a wonder, another describes it as wonderful, and others hear of it as a marvel. Even after hearing about it no one actually knows it.(2.29)

O Arjuna, the spirit that dwells in the body of all beings is eternally indestructible. Therefore, you should not mourn for any body.(2.30)

Considering also your duty as a warrior you should not waver. Because there is nothing more salutary for a warrior than a righteous war.(2.31)

Only the fortunate warriors, O Arjuna, get such an opportunity for an unsought war that is like an open door to heaven.(2.32)

If you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.(2.33)

People will talk about your disgrace forever. To the honoured, honour is worse than death.(2.34)

The great warriors will think that you have retreated from the battle out of fear. Those who have greatly esteemed you will lose respect for you.(2.35)

Your enemies will speak many unmentionable words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful than this?(2.36)

You will go to heaven if killed, or you will enjoy the earth if victorious. Therefore, get up with a determination to fight, O Arjuna. (2.37)

Treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat alike,engage yourself in your duty. By doing your duty this way you will not incur sin.(2.38)

The ideal of Spirit-knowledge (Samkya yoga) has been imparted to you, O Arjuna. Now pay attention to the practice thereof, endowed with which you will free yourself from the bondage of Action.(2.39)

In this no effort is ever lost, and there is no harm in practising it. Even a little practice of this (dharma) discipline protects one from great fear. (2.40)32

 

Single-minded determination vs Ritual Piety

Those who are single-minded have only one thought (of Spirit-realisation), but the thoughts of the irresolute are endless and many-branched, O Arjuna. (2.41) 33

The unwise who delight in flowery words (ritual chanting and theology without understanding the inner meaning) and the ritualistic aspect of the Scriptures, O Arjuna, and say that nothing else is needed;(2.42)

they prescribe various and specific rites for the attainment of pleasure and power to those who are full of desires, and hold the attainment of heaven as the highest goal of life. Rebirth is the fruit of their actions. (2.43) 34

Single-minded determination35 (of Self- Realisation) is not formed in the minds of those who are attached to pleasure and power; and whose discernment is obscured by such ritualistic activities.(2.44)36

Essence of Yoga

The Scriptures deal with the three states or Gunas of mind. Being conscious of the reality of the self, you transcend the three Gunas, O Arjuna.Be free from dualities, be ever balanced and remain unconcerned with the thoughts of acquisition and preservation. (2.45)37

To the enlightened all Scripture are as useful as a tank of water when there is a flood everywhere (2.46)

You must seek and perform your respective duty only , but you have no control or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your motive.You should never be inactive. (2.47) 38

Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna, with your mind attached to the Lord,abandoning attachment to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure.The equanimity of mind is called yoga.(2.48)

Work done with selfish motives is inferior by far to the selfless service or Karma-yoga. Therefore take refuge in the evenness of mind, O Arjuna. Those who seek the fruits of their work are verily unhappy people.(2.49)

One fixed in equanimity of mind gets freedom from both vice and virtue in this life itself. Therefore, strive for yoga. Working to the best of ones ability (without getting attached to the fruits of work) is called yoga.(2.50) 39

Wise yogis, possessed with mental poise by renouncing the attachment to the fruits of work, are indeed freed from thebondage of rebirth and attain the blissful divine state.(2.51)

When your intellect transcends the veil of delusion, then you will become indifferent to what has been heard and what is to be heard (from the Scriptures).(2.52)40

When your intellect, that has been tossed about by the conflicting opinions, has become steady and firmly fixed in equilibrium, then you shall attain yoga.(2.53)

Arjuna said: O Krishna, what is the mark of a person steadfast in Wisdom,filled with ecstasy? How does a person steady in Wisdom speak. How does such a person sit and walk?(2.54) 41

The Lord said: when one is completely free from all desires of the mind and is satisfied in spirit by the (ecstasy of) Spirit, then one is called a person stable in Wisdom, O Arjuna.(2.55) 42

A person whose mind is un-perturbed by adversity, who does not crave happiness, and who is free from fondness, fear, and anger; such a person is called a sage of constant Wisdom.(2.56) 43

Those who are not attached to anything, who are neither elated by getting the good, or troubled by coming by evil, they are said to be poised in Wisdom.(2.57)44

When one can completely withdraw (or restrain) the senses from the sense objects as a tortoise withdraws its limbs (into the shell), then the Wisdom-flow (Prajna) of such a person is considered steady.45(2.58)

Thedesire for sensual pleasures fades away if one abstains from sense enjoyment, but the craving (for sense enjoyment) remains. The craving also disappears from the one who has seen (or intuits) the Supreme.(2.59) 46

Restless senses, O Arjuna, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person striving for perfection.(2.60)

Having brought the senses (desires) under control, one should fix one’s mind on the Spirit. One’s flow of Wisdom becomes steady whose senses are under control.(2.61)

One develops attachment to sense objects by thinking about sense objects. Desire for sense objects comes from attachment to sense objects, andanger comes from unfulfilled desires and expectancy.(2.62)

From anger arises delusion; from delusion come confused memory. By this confusion reasoning is destroyed; which is the cause of the fall of the devotee. (2.63) 47

A disciplined yogi, enjoying sense objects with senses that are under control and free from likes and dislikes, gains in tranquillity.(2.64) 48

All sorrows are destroyed upon attainment of tranquillity. The intellect of such a tranquil-minded person soon becomesanchored in equilibrium (2.65)

There is neither Spiritual knowledge or meditation in those whose mind are fickle. Without Spiritual knowledge there is no peace; and without peace there can be no happiness. (2.66)

The mind, when controlled by theraving senses, pushes away the flow of Wisdom as a storm pushes a boat on the sea away from its destination, the spiritual shore.(2.67) 49

Therefore, O Arjuna, one’s flow of Wisdom becomes steady whose senses are completely withdrawn from the objects.(2.68)

A yogi is aware of that (the spirit) about which others are unaware. A sage who is spiritually aware is not in touch with how others experience their self-deluded version of reality.(2.69).

One attains peace in whose mind all desires enter without creating any disturbance, as river waters enter the ocean without creating an imbalance.One who desires material objects is never peaceful.(2.70)

On who abandons all desires and becomes free from longing and the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘my’ attains peace.(2.71) 50

O Arjuna, this is the super-conscious state. Attaining this, one is no longer deluded. Gaining this state even at the end of one’s life, a person attains oneness with the Supreme.(2.72)

Chapter 3: The Secret of Work

Jnana Yoga and Cause & effect Yoga go hand in hand

Arjuna said: If You consider that transcendental knowledge is better than work then why do You want me to engage in this horrible action, O Krishna? (3.01)

You seem to confuse my mind by apparently conflicting words. Tell me, decisively, one thing by which I may attain the Supreme.(3.02) 51

The Lord said: In this world, O Arjuna, the twofold path was given by me in the beginning. The path of Spirit-knowledge (or Jnana Yoga) for the contemplative, and the path ofunselfish work (or Action-yoga) for the active. (3.03) 52

Human beings do not achieve the state of non-action simply by abstaining from action; and neither do they rise to perfection simply by renouncing all things. (3.04)

No one can remain inactive because the human state, being part of Nature, is driven to action. (3.05)

Thehypocrite is a deluded man who sits controlling the organs of action, but wandering in his mind on the objects of the senses. (3.06)

The one who excels, O Arjuna, is the one who restrains the mind from slavery by the senses, remains unattached, and directs the organs of action to work which advances on the Way. (3.07)

Perform yourobligatory duty (dharma), because action is indeed better than inaction. Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible by inaction.(3.08)

Service, the Milch-cow of the universe

Human beings are bound up by actions (or works) other than those done as Service. Therefore, O Arjuna, do your duty efficiently as a service to Me, free from attachment to the fruits of work. (3.09)53

Having created humankind in the beginning, the Creator said: By this (Service) you shall prosper and Service shall fulfil all your desires. (3.10)

Nourish the Energies with Service, and the Energies will nourish you. Thus nourishing one another you shall attain the Supreme goal. (3.11)54

The Energies, nourished by Service, will give you the desired objects. One who enjoys the gift of the Energies without offering them (anything in return) is, indeed, a thief. (3.12)55

The righteous who eat the remnants of Service are freed from all sins, butthe impious who cook food only for themselves (without sharing with others in charity) verily eat sin.(3.13) 56

The living beings are born from food, food is produced by rain, rain comes by performing Service. The Service is performed by doing Cause & effect.(3.14) 57

Karma is prescribed in the Scriptures. The Scriptures come from God. Thus the all pervading God is ever centred in Service.(3.15)

The one who does not help to keep the wheel of creation in motion by sacrificial duty, and who rejoices in sense pleasures only, that sinful person lives in vain, O Arjuna.(3.16)

The one who rejoices in the Self/Spirit only, who is satisfied with the Spirit, who is content in the Spirit alone, for such a (Spirit-realized) person there is no obligatory duty. (3.17)58

For such a person in this world there is no-thing to acquire by performing an action; and there is no loss by not performing an action; and such a person does not have to depend on any body for any thing. (3.18)

Therefore, constantly perform your obligatory duties without attachment to the results; for by doing duty without attachment human beings obtain the Supreme. (3.19) 59

King Janaka and others attained perfection (or Spirit/Spirit-realisation) byKarma-yoga alone. You should perform your duty (with the apathetic frame of mind) with a view to guide people and for the universal welfare.(3.20) 60

Because, whatever great people do, other follow. Whatever example they set up, the world follows. (3.21)

O Arjuna, there is nothing in the three worlds (earth, heaven, and the upper regions) that should be done by Me, nor is there anything un-obtained that I should obtain, yet I engage in action.(3.22)

Because, if I do not engage in action relentlessly, O Arjuna, people would follow My path in every way.(3.23) 61

These worlds would perish if I do not work, and it shall be the cause of confusion of species and matter and destruction of all the people.(3.24)

As the ignorant work, O Arjuna, with attachment (to the fruits of work), so the wise should work without attachment, for the welfare of society.(3.25)

The wise should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant who is attached to the fruits of work, but the enlightened one should inspire others by performing all work efficiently without attachment. (3.26)62

Annihilating the ego

All works are being done by the Gunas (or the energy and power) of Nature, but due to delusion of ego people assume themselves to be the doer. (3.27)

The one who knows the truth, O Arjuna, about the role of Gunas and action does not get attached to the work, knowing that it is the Gunas that work with their instruments, the organs of human beings.(3.28)

Those who are deluded by the Gunas of nature get attached to the functions of the Gunas.The wise should not disturb the mind of the ignorant whose knowledge is imperfect. (3.29)63

Dedicating all actions to Me, with your thoughts resting on the Spirit, free from desire, attachment, and mental grief, engage in battle. (3.30)

Those who always abide in this teaching of Mine, with faith and free from fuss, are freed from the bondage of Cause & Effect. (3.31)

But, those who criticize My teaching and do not practice it, consider them as ignorant of all knowledge, senseless, and ruined. (3.32)

All beings follow their nature. Even the wise act according to their own nature. What, then, is the value of sense restraint?(3.33) 64

Attachments and aversions of the senses for objects are natural. One should however not come under the control of these dualities, because they are two stumbling blocks, indeed, on one’s path of Spirit- realization. (3.34)

One’s own obligatory duty, even if performed inferior, is better than well performed obligatory duty but of another person. Death in carrying out one’s natural work is useful. Unnatural work produces fear. (3.35)65

About sin

Arjuna said: O Krishna, what impels one to commit sin as if unwillingly and forced against one’s will? (3.36) 66

The Lord said: It is passion and desire and anger born of vulgar nature. Desire is insatiable and is a great devil. Know this as the enemy. (3.37)

Passionate desire for all sensual and material pleasures, becomes anger when unfulfilled. As the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by the amnion, similarly the Spirit-knowledge gets obscured by Desire. (3.38)

O Arjuna, Wisdom gets covered by this insatiable fire of Desire, the eternal enemy of the wise. (3.39)

The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the seat of Desire. Desire, with the help of the senses, deludes a person by veiling Wisdom. (3.40)

Therefore, O Arjuna, by controlling the senses kill this devil (of material desire) that destroys knowledge and discrimination. (3.41)

The senses are said to be superior to the body, the mind is superior to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind, and spirit is superior to the intellect. (3.42)

Thus, knowing the spirit to be superior to the intellect, and controlling the mind by the intellect (that is purified by Wisdom), one must kill this mighty enemy of Desire, O Arjuna. (3.43) 67

Chapter 4: Way of Renunciation with Knowledge

The Lord said: I taught this imperishable science of right action, or Karma-yoga to King Vivasvan. Vivasvan taught it to Manu. Manu taught it to Ikshavaku. (4.01)68

Thus handed down in succession the royal sages knew this Karma-yoga. After a long time the science of this yoga was lost from this earth. (4.02)

Today I have described the same ancient science to you, because you are my sincere devotee and friend. This yoga is a supreme mystery indeed. (4.03)

Arjuna said: But You were born later, Vivasvan was born in ancient time. How am I to understand that You taught this yoga in the beginning? (4.04) 69

The Lord said: Both you and I have taken many births. I remember them all, O Arjuna, but you do not remember. (4.05)

Though I am eternal, imperishable, and the Lord of all beings; yet I voluntarily manifest by controlling My own material nature using My Yoga-Illusion.(4.06)70

Whenever there is a decline of Dharma and the rise of Adharma, O Arjuna; (4.07)

then I manifest Myself. I incarnate from time to time for protecting the good, for transforming the wicked, and for establishing Dharma, the world order. (4.08)71

The one who truly understands My transcendental birth and activities (of creation, maintenance, and dissolution), is not born again after leaving this body and attains My abode, O Arjuna. (4.09)

Freed from attachment, fear, and anger; fully absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, and purified by the fire of Spirit-knowledge, many have entered into my Being. (4.1 0) 72

With whatever motive people identify with Me, I reward them (or fulfill their desires) accordingly. People approach Me with different paths. (4.11)

Those who long for success in their work here (on earth) worship the gods. Success in work comes quickly in this human world. (4.12)

The four Varna or divisions of human society, based on aptitude and vocation, which is a different distribution of Gunas and karma, were created by God. Though God be the author of this system, one should know that God remains actionless and am eternal. (4.13)73

Works do not bind Me, because I have no desire for the fruits of work. The one who understands this truth is (also) not bound by Cause & effect. (4.14)

The ancient seekers of liberation also performed their duties with this understanding. Therefore, you should do your duty as the ancients did. (4.15)

Even the wise are confused about what is action and what is inaction. Therefore, I shall clearly explain what is action, knowing that one shall be liberated from the evil (of birth and death). (4.16)

The true nature of action is very difficult to understand. Therefore, one should know the nature of attached action, the nature of detached action, and also the nature of forbidden action. (4.17)

Attached action is selfish work that produces Karmic bondage, detached action is unselfish work that leads to Wisdom, and forbidden action is harmful to society. The one who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is a wise person. Such a person is a yogi and has accomplished everything. (4.18) 74

A person whose works are all free from selfish desires and motives, and whose Cause & effect is all burned up in the fire of Spirit-knowledge, is called a sage by the wise. (4.19)

Having abandoned attachment to the fruits of work, ever content, and dependent on no thing; though engaged in activity, one does nothing at all (and incurs no Karmic reaction) because the mind is desireless in this execution of duty. (4.20)

Free from desires, mind and senses under control, renouncing all proprietorship, doing mere bodily action one does not incur sin (or Karmic reaction). (4.21) 75

Content with whatever gain comes naturally by His will, unaffected by dualities, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure; though engaged in work such a person is not bound (by Cause & effect). (4.22)

Those who are devoid of attachment, whose mind is fixed in knowledge, who does work as a server of God (deacon), all Cause & effect of such liberated persons dissolves away. (4.23)

God is the sacrifice. God is the clarified oil. The oblation is poured by God into the fire of God. God shall be realized by the one who considers everything as (a manifestation or) an act of God. (4.24)76

Some yogis perform the Service of worship to gods alone, while others offer themselves as offering in the fire of God by performing the Service of Spirit-knowledge. (4.25) 77

Some offer their hearing and other senses as sacrifice in the fires of restraint, others offer sound and other objects of the senses (as sacrifice) in the fires of the senses. (4.26)

Others offer all the functions of the senses, and the functions of Prana energy as sacrifice in the fire of the yoga of self-restraint that is kindled by knowledge. (4.27) 78

Others offer their wealth, their humility, and their practise of yoga as sacrifice, while the ascetics with strict vows offer their study of scriptures and knowledge as sacrifice. (4.28) 79

Those who are engaged in yogic practice, reach thebreathless state by offering inhalation into exhalation and exhalation into inhalation as sacrifice. (4.29)80

Others restrict their diet and offer their inhalations as sacrifice into their inhalations. All these are the knowers of Service.(4.30)

Those who drink of the nectar produced by Service go to God Eternal. This world is not for the non-sacrificer how can the other world be. (4.31)81

Thus many types of sacrifice are described in the Scriptures. Know them all to be born from karma, the action of body, mind, and senses. Knowing this, you shall be liberated. (4.32)82

Knowledge is supreme

Knowledge-sacrifice is superior to any material sacrifice, O Arjuna. Because, all actions in their entirety culminate in knowledge. (4.33)

Acquire this transcendental knowledge by humble reverence, by sincere inquiry, Yajna service and byservice to a teacher. The wise who have realized the truth will teach you. (4.34) 83

Knowing that, O Arjuna, you shall not again get deluded like this. By this knowledge you shall behold the entire creation in your own self and in Me. (4.35)84

Even if one is the most sinful of all sinners, yet one shall cross over the ocean of sin by the raft of knowledge alone. (4.36) 85

As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, similarly, the fire of Spirit-knowledge reduces all karma to ashes, O Arjuna. (4.37) 86

Verily there is no purifier in this world like knowledge. One who becomes purified by yoga discovers this knowledge within (naturally) in course of time. (4.38)87

The one who has faith, and is devoted, and has mastery over the senses, gains this knowledge. Having gained this, one at once attains the supreme peace. (4.39)

But the ignorant, who has no faith and is full of doubt (about the Spirit), perishes. There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts. (4.40)

With work absolved in yoga, and doubt completely destroyed by knowledge, one who is Spirit-realized, O Arjuna, is not bound by actions. (4.41)

Therefore, be established in yoga and cut the ignorance-born doubt abiding in your heart by the sword of Spirit-knowledge, and get up to fight, O Arjuna. (4.42) 88

Chapter 5: Yoga of Renunciation

Arjuna said: O Krishna, You praise renunciation of action and also performance of unattached action. Tell me, definitely, which one is better of the two. (5.01)89

The Lord said: Renunciation of action and performance of action (free from attachment) both lead to freedom; of the two, performance of action is superior to renunciation of action. (5.02)

A person should be considered a true Sanyasin (or renunciant) who neither likes nor dislikes; free from the opposites. Becausefree from dualities O Arjuna, one is easily liberated from bondage. (5.03)

The ignorant, not the wise consider knowledge and performance of action as different from each other. The person who has truly mastered one, gets the benefits of both. (5.04)

Whatever goal the one yogi reaches, the other also reaches the same goal. One who sees the path of renunciation and the path of work as the same, really sees. (5.05)90

But renouncing action, O Arjuna, is difficult to attain without karma-yoga. A karma-yogi sage quickly attains God. (5.06)

A karma-yogi whose mind is pure, whose mind and senses are under control, and who sees one and the same Spirit in all beings, is not bound (by Cause & effect) though engaged in work. (5.07)

A renunciant of actions who knows the truth thinks, ‘I do no smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing; and (5.08)

speaking, giving, taking, opening and dosing the eyes, such a one believes that only the senses are operating upon their sense objects. (5.09)91

One who does all work as an offering to the Lord, abandoning attachment to the results, is as untouched by sin (or karmic reaction) as a lotus leaf is untouched by water. (5.10)

A yogi performs action by body, mind, intellect, and senses, without attachment (or ego), only for self-purification. (5.11) 92

Abandoning the fruit of work, a yogi attains peace born in steadfastness; while others, who are attached to the fruits of work, become bound by selfish work. (5.12)

A person who has subdued the senses and completely renounced (the fruits of) all works, dwells happily in the City of Nine Gates, neither performing nor directing action. (5.13) 93

The Supreme One neither creates the urge for action nor the feeling of doership nor the attachment to the results of action in people. All these are done by the (Gunas of) nature. (5.14)

God does not take note of good or evil deeds of anybody. The knowledge is covered by (the veil of) ignorance, thereby people are deluded. (5.15)94

But their knowledge, whose ignorance is destroyed by the Spirit-knowledge, reveals the Supreme like the sun. (5.16)

They, whose mind and intellect are absorbed in the Spirit, who remain firmly attached with the Spirit, who have Spirit as their supreme goal, whose sins (or impurities) have been destroyed by the knowledge, do not take birth again (5.17)

An enlightened person looks at a learned and humble Brahmana, an outcast, even a cow, an elephant, or a dog with an equal eye. (5.18) 95

Everything has been accomplished in this very life by those whose mind is set in equality. Such a person has realized God within because God flawless and impartial. (5.19)96

One who neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieves on obtaining the unpleasant, who is undeluded, who has a steady mind, and who is a knower of God; such a person abides in God. (5.20)

A person whosemind is unattached to sensual pleasures, who discovers the joy of the Spirit, and whose mind is in union with God through meditation, enjoys eternal bliss. (5.21)

Pleasures derived from the contact of senses with their objects (or the sensual pleasures) are verily the source of misery, and have a beginning and an end. The wise, O Arjuna, do not rejoice in sensual pleasures.(5.22)97

One who is able towithstand the impulse of lust and anger before death is a yogi, and a happy person. (5.23) 98

One who finds happiness within in the Spirit, who rejoices within, and who is illuminated by the Spirit-knowledge; such a yogi becomes one with God and attains divine beatitudes.(5.24)

Seers whose sins (or imperfections) are destroyed, whose doubts (dualities) have been dispelled by knowledge, whose disciplined minds are attached with the Spirit, and who are engaged in the welfare of all beings attain God. (5.25)

A Spirit-realized person who is free from lust and anger, and who has subdued the mind and senses easily attains divine beatitudes.(15.26)

Renouncing sense enjoyments; fixing the eyes and mind at the midbrows;equalizing the breath moving through the nostrils;(5.27)99

with senses, mind, and intellect under control; having liberation as the prime goal; free from lust, anger, and fear; such a sage is verily liberated. (5.28) 100

The one who knows Me as the Lord of Yanjas and ascetism, as the great Lord of all the worlds and as the friend of all beings, attains peace.(5.29) 101