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I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI XVII XVIII

Lord Vishnu

arjuna uvaca

sannyasasya maha-baho
tattvam icchami veditum
tyagasya ca hrsikesa
prthak kesi-nisudana

Arjuna said:

1. I desire to know severally, O mighty-armed, the truth of Sanyasa [one who has renounced the order of life], O Hrishikesa, as also of Tyaga [purpose of renunciation], O slayer of Kesi.

sri-bhagavan uvaca

kamyanam karmanam nyasam
sannyasam kavayo viduh
sarva-karma-phala-tyagam
prahus tyagam vicaksanah

The Blessed Lord said:

2. The renunciation of kamya karma [activities based on desire], the sages understand as Sanyasa [renounced order of life]; the wise declare the abandonment of the fruits of all works as Tyaga [renunciation].

tyajyam dosa-vad ity eke
karma prahur manisinah
yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam iti capare

3. Some sages declare that all action should be relinquished as evil, while others say that Yajna, [sacrifice] charity and austerity should not be relinquished [abandoned].

niscayam srnu me tatra
tyage bharata-sattama
tyago hi purusa-vyaghra
tri-vidhah samprakirtitah

4. Learn from Me the truth about this abandonment, O best of the Bharatas; abandonment, verily, O best of men, has been declared to be of three kinds.

yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
pavanani manisinam

5. Acts of Yajna [sacrifice], charity and austerity should not be given up, but should be performed; Yajna, gift and austerity are purifying to the wise.

etany api tu karmani
sangam tyaktva phalani ca
kartavyaniti me partha
niscitam matam uttamam

6. But even these actions should be performed giving up attachment and the fruits, O Partha; this is My certain and best belief.

niyatasya tu sannyasah
karmano nopapadyate
mohat tasya parityagas
tamasah parikirtitah

7. Verily, the abandonment of any obligatory duty is not proper; such abandonment out of ignorance is declared to be Tamasika.

duhkham ity eva yat karma
kaya-klesa-bhayat tyajyt
sa krtva rajasam tyagam
naiva tyaga-phalam labhet

8. He who from fear of bodily trouble abandons action, because it is painful, thus performing Rajasika abandonment, obtains not the fruit thereof.

karyam ity eva yat karma
niyatam kriyate 'rjuna
sangam tyaktva phalam caiva
sa tyagah sattviko matah

9. Whatever obligatory work is done, O Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done, abandoning attachment and also fruit, that abandonment is deemed to be Sattvika.

na dvesty akusalam karma
kusale nanusajjate
tyagi sattva-samavisto
medhavi chinna-samsayah

10. The relinquisher [intelligent renouncer] imbued with Sattva and a steady understanding and with his doubts dispelled, hates not a disagreeable work nor is he attached to an agreeable one.

na hi deha-bhrta sakyam
tyaktum karmany asesatah
yas tu karma-phala-tyagi
sa tyagity abhidhiyate

11. It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to renounce action entirely. But he who renounces the fruit of action is regarded as one who has renounced.

anistam istam misram ca
tri-vidham karmanah phalam
bhavaty atyaginam pretya
na tu sannyasinam kvacit

12. The threefold fruit of action - evil, good and mixed - accrues after death to one who does not relinquish but there is none ever for the one who renounces.

pancaitani maha-baho
karanani nibodha me
sankhye krtante proktani
siddhaye sarva-karmanam

13. Learn from Me, O mighty-armed, these five factors in the accomplishment of all actions, as taught in the Samkhya [Vedanta] which is the end of action.

adhisthanam tatha karta
karanam ca prthag-vidham
vividhas ca prthak cesta
daivam caivatra pancamam

14. The body, the agent, the various senses, the different functions of various sorts, and the presiding deity also, are the five factors of action.

sarira-van-manobhir yat
karma prarabhate narah
nyayyam va viparitam va
pancaite tasya hetavah

15. Whatever action a man performs with his body, speech or mind, whether right or wrong - these five are its causes.

tatraivam sati kartaram
atmanam kevalam tu yah
pasyaty akrta-buddhitvan
na sa pasyati durmatih

16. That being so, the man of perverse mind, who, on account of his imperfect understanding looks upon the Self, the Absolute, as the agent - he does not see at all.

yasya nahankrto bhavo
buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvapi sa imal lokan
na hanti na nibadhyate

17. He who is free from the notion of egoism and who's understanding is not tainted - though he kills these people, he kills not, nor is he bound.

jnanam jneyam parijnata
tri-vidha karma-codana
karanam karma karteti
tri-vidhah karma-sangrahah

18. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower form the threefold incitement to action; and the instrument, the object and the agent are the threefold constituents of action.

jnanam karma ca karta ca
tridhaiva guna-bhedatah
procyate guna-sankhyane
yathavac chrnu tany api

19. Knowledge, action and actor [performer of action] are declared in the science of Gunas to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction of Gunas; hear of them also as they are.

sarva-bhutesu yenaikam
bhavam avyayam iksate
avibhaktam vibhaktesu
taj jnanam viddhi sattvikam

20. The knowledge by which the one Imperishable Being is seen in all existences, undivided in the divided, know that that knowledge is Sattvika.

prthaktvena tu yaj jnanam
nana-bhavan prthag-vidhan
vetti sarvesu bhutesu
taj jnanam viddhi rajasam

21. But that knowledge by which one sees in all beings manifold entities of different kinds as varying from one another - know that that knowledge is Rajasika.

yat tu krtsna-vad ekasmin
karye saktam ahaitukam
atattvartha-vad alpam ca
tat tamasam udahrtam

22. And the knowledge that clings to one single effect as if it was the whole, and is without reason, without foundation in truth, and trivial - that knowledge is declared to be Tamasika.

niyatam sanga-rahitam
araga-dvesatah krtam
aphala-prepsuna karma
yat tat sattvikamn ucyate

23. An action, which is ordained, which is free from attachment, which is done without love or hatred by one, not desirous of the fruit, that action is declared to be Sattvika.

yat tu kamepsuna karma
sahankarena va punah
kriyate bahulayasam
tad rajasam udahrtam

24. But that action which is done by one craving for desires, or again with egoism, or with much effort that is declared to be Rajasika.

anubandham ksayam himsam
anapeksya ca paurusam
mohad arabhyate karma
yat tat tamasam ucyate

25. That action which is undertaken from delusion, without heed to the consequences, loss, injury and ability that is declared to be Tamasika.

mukta-sango 'naham-vadi
dhrty-utsaha-samanvitah
siddhy-asiddhyor nirvikarah.
karta sattvika ucyate

26. An agent who is free from attachment, non-egoistic, endued with firmness and zeal and unaffected by success or failure, is called Sattvika.

ragi karma-phala-prepsur
lubdho himsatmako 'sucih
harsa-sokanvitah karta
rajasah parikirtitah

27. Passionate, desiring to obtain the fruit of action, greedy, cruel, impure, moved by joy and sorrow - such an agent is said to be Rajasika.

ayuktah prakrtah stabdhah
satho naiskrtiko 'lasah
visadi dirgha-sutri ca
karta tamasa ucyate

28. Unsteady, vulgar, stubborn, deceitful, malicious, indolent, despondent, procrastinating - such an agent is called Tamasika.

buddher bhedam dhrtes caiva
gunatas tri-vidham srnu
procyamanam asesena
prthaktvena dhananjaya

29. Hear the threefold distinction of understanding and firmness, according to the Gunas, as I explain them exhaustively and severally, O Dhananjaya.

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca
karyakarye bhayabhaye
bandham moksam ca ya vetti
buddhih sa partha sattviki

30. The intellect, which knows the paths of work and renunciation, right and wrong action, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation - that intellect, O Partha, is Sattvika.

yaya dharmam adharmam ca
karyam cakaryam eva ca
ayathavat prajanati
buddhih sa partha rajasi

31. The intellect that makes a distorted grasp of dharma [religion] and adharma [irreligion], of what ought to be done, and what ought not to be done - that, O Partha, is Rajasika.

adharmam dharmam iti ya
manyate tamasavrta
sarvarthan viparitams ca
buddhih sa partha tamasi

32. That which, enveloped in darkness, regards adharma as dharma and views all things in a perverted way, that intellect, O Partha, is Tamasika.

dhrtya yaya dharayate
manah-pranendriya-kriyah
yogenavyabhicarinya
dhrtih sa partha sattviki

33. The unswerving determination by which, through yoga, the functions of the mind, the Prana [life] and the senses are regulated, that determination, O Partha, is Sattvika.

yaya tu dharma-kamarthan
dhrtya dharayate 'rjuna
prasangena phalakanksi
dhrtih sa partha rajasi

34. But the determination, O Arjuna, by which one holds fast to Dharma [religion], Kama [sense gratification] and Artha [economic development], desirous of the fruit of each from attachment, that determination, O Partha, is Rajasika.

yaya svapnam bhayam sokam
visadam madam eva ca
na vimuncati durmedha
dhrtih sa partha tamasi

35. That by which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief, despair and also conceit, that determination, O Partha, is Tamasika.

sukham tv idanim tri-vidham
srnu me bharatarsabha
abhyasad ramate yatra
duhkhantam ca nigacchati

36. And now hear from Me, O chief of the Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness. That in which a man comes to rejoice by long practice and in which he reaches the end of his sorrow.

yat tad agre visam iva
pariname 'mrtopamam
tat sukham sattvikam proktam
atma-buddhi-prasada-jam

37. That which is like poison at first, but like nectar at the end; that happiness is said to be Sattvika, born of the translucence of intellect due to Self-realization.

visayendriya-samyogad
yat tad agre 'mrtopamam
pariname visam iva
tat sukham rajasam smrtam

38. That happiness which arises from the contact of the senses and their objects and which like nectar at first but like poison at the end - it is held to be Rajasika.

yad agre canubandhe ca
sukham mohanam atmanah
nidralasya-pramadottham
tat tamasam udahrtam

39. That happiness which deludes the self both at the beginning and at the end and which arises from sleep, sloth [laziness] and illusion - that is declared to be Tamasika.

na tad asti prthivyam va
divi devesu va punah
sattvam prakrti-jair muktam
yad ebhih syat tribhir gunaih

40. There is no being on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas [demigods], that is liberated from the three Gunas, born of Prakriti [material nature].

brahmana-ksatriya-visam
sudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktani
svabhava-prabhavair gunaih

41. The duties of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O scorcher of foes, are distributed according to the Gunas born of their own nature.

samo damas tapah saucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam

42. Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, and also uprightness, knowledge, realization, and belief in a hereafter - these are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of their own nature.

sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
yuddhe capy apalayanam
danam isvara-bhavas ca
ksatram karma svabhava-jam

43. Heroism, vigor, determination, resourcefulness, not flying from battle, generosity and leadership are the duties of the Kshatriyas born of their own nature.

krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam
vaishya-karma svabhava-jam
paricaryatmakam karma
sudrasyapi svabhava-jam

44. Agriculture, cattle rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaisyas, born of their own nature; and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudras born of their own nature.

sve sve karmany abhiratah
samsiddhim labhate narah
sva-karma-niratah siddhim
yatha vindati tac chrnu

45. Devoted each to his own duty, man attains the highest perfection. How engaged in his own duty, he attains perfection, that do you hear.

yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah

46. He from whom is the evolution of all beings, by which all this is pervaded, worshipping Him with his own duty, man attains perfection.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
svabhava-niyatam karma
kurvan napnoti kilbisam

47. Better is one's own dharma, though imperfect, than the dharma of another well performed. He who does the duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin.

saha-jam karma kaunteya
sa-dosam api na tyajet
sarvarambha hi dosena
dhumenagnir ivavrtah

48. One should not abandon, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti], the duty to which one is born, though it is attended with evil; for all undertakings are enveloped by evil, as fire by smoke.

asakta-buddhih sarvatra
jitatma vigata-sprhah
naiskarmya-siddhim paramam
sannyasenadhigacchati

49. He whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has subdued his self, from whom desire has disappeared, he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action.

siddhim prapto yatha brahma
tathapnoti nibodha me
samasenaiva kaunteya
nistha jnanasya ya para

50. Learn from Me in brief, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti], how reaching such perfection, he attains to Brahman, that supreme consummation of knowledge.

buddhya visuddhaya yukto
dhrtyatmanam niyamya ca
sabdadin visayams tyaktva
raga-dvesau vyudasya ca

51. Endowed with pure understanding, restraining the self with determination, turning away form sound and other objects, and abandoning attraction and aversion;

vivikta-sevi laghv-asi
yata-vak-kaya-manasah
dhyana-yoga-paro nityam
vairagyam samupasritah

52. Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, endued with dispassion;

ahankaram balam darpam
kamam krodham parigraham
vimucya nirmamah santo
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

53. Having abandoned egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, enmity, property, free from the notion of "mine" and peaceful, he is fit for becoming Brahman.

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

54. Becoming Brahman, serene-minded, he neither grieves nor desires; the same to all beings, he obtains supreme devotion to Me.

bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
visate tad-anantaram

55. By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then having known Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.

sarva-karmany api sada
kurvano mad-vyapasrayah
mat-prasadad avapnoti
sasvatam padam avyayam

56. Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me, by My grace he reaches the eternal undecaying Abode.

cetasa sarva-karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
buddhi-yogam upasritya
mac-cittah satatam bhava

57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, having Me as the highest goal, resorting to Buddhi-yoga, do ever fix your mind on Me.

mac-cittah sarva-durgani
mat-prasadat tarisyasi
atha cet tvam ahankaran
na srosyasi vinanksyasi

58. Fixing your mind on Me, you will by My grace, overcome all obstacles; but if from egoism you will not hear Me, you will perish.

yad ahankaram asritya
na yotsya iti manyase
mithyaisa vyavasayas te
prakrtis tvam niyoksyati

59. If filled with egoism, you think, "I will not fight," vain is this, your resolve; your nature will compel you.

svabhava-jena kaunteya
nibaddhah svena karmana
kartum necchasi yan mohat
karisyasy avaso 'pi tat

60. Bound by your own karma born of your nature, that which from delusion you wish not to do, even that you shall do helplessly against your will, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti].

isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya

61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, and by His Maya [material energy] causes all beings to revolve as though mounted on a machine.

tam eva saranam gaccha
sarva-bhavena bharata
tat-prasadat param santim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam

62. Seek refuge in Him alone with all your heart, O Bharata. By His grace you will gain Supreme Peace and the Eternal Abode.

iti te jnanam akhyatam
guhyad guhyataram maya
vimrsyaitad asesena
yathecchasi tatha kuru

63. Thus have I declared wisdom more profound than all profundities to you. Reflect upon it fully and act as you choose.

sarva-guhyatamam bhuyah
srnu me paramam vacah
isto 'si me drdham iti
tato vaksyami te hitam

64. Listen again to My supreme word, the profoundest of all. You are My very dear friend and steadfast of heart; therefore I shall tell what is for your good.

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaishyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me

65. Fix your mind on Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me; prostrate before Me; so shall you come to Me. This is My pledge to you, for you are dear to Me.

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

66. Renounce all dharmas [religion] and take refuge in Me alone. I shall liberate you from all sins; grieve not.

idam te natapaskaya
nabhaktaya kadacana
na casusrusave vacyam
na ca mam yo 'bhyasuyati

67. This is never to be spoken by you to one who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaishyaty asamsayah

68. He, who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this immensely profound philosophy to My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me alone.

na ca tasman manusyesu
kascin me priya-krttamah
bhavita na ca me tasmad
anyah priyataro bhuvi

69. Nor is there any among men who renders dearer service to Me than he; nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.

adhyesyate ca ya imam
dharmyam samvadam avayoh
jnana-yajnena tenaham
istah syam iti me matih

70. And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by Jnana Yajna [intelligence]; such is My conviction.

sraddhavan anasuyas ca
srnuyad api yo narah
so 'pi muktah subhal lokan
prapnuyat punya-karmanam

71. And the man who hears this, full of faith and free from scoff - even he, liberated from evil, shall attain the auspicious regions of the righteous.

kaccid etac chrutam partha
tvayaikagrena cetasa
kaccid ajnana-sammohah
pranastas te dhananjaya

72. Has this been heard by you, O Partha, with an attentive mind? Has the delusion of your ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?

arjuna uvaca

nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat-prasadan mayacyuta
sthito 'mi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava

Arjuna said:

73. My delusion is destroyed. I have regained my memory through Your grace, O Achyuta [Krishna]. I am firm; I am free from doubt. I shall act according to Your word.

sanjaya uvaca

ity aham vasudevasya
parthasya ca mahatmanah
samvadam imam asrausam
adbhutam roma-harsanam

Sanjaya said:

74. Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Vasudeva and the high-souled Partha, causing my hair to stand on end.

vyasa-prasadac chrutavan
etad guhyam aham param
yogam yogesvarat krsnat
saksat kathayatah svayam

75. Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard the supreme and most profound yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself declaring it.

rajan samsmrtya samsmrtya
samvadam imam adbhutam
kesavarjunayoh punyam
hrsyami ca muhur muhuh

76. O king, as I recall again and again this wonderful and holy dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna I rejoice again and again.

tac ca samsmrtya samsmrtya
rupam aty-adbhutam hareh
vismayo me mahan rajan
hrsyami ca punah punah

77. And as often as I recall that most wondrous form of Hari, great is my astonishment, O king, and I rejoice again and again.

yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama

78. Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga [master of all mystics], wherever is Partha, the wielder of the bow, there are prosperity, victory, extraordinary power, and morality; such is my conviction [opinion].

In Sri Mahabharata consisting of a lakh of stanzas composed by Vyasa, in the section called Bhishma Parva, in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the knowledge of Brahman, the Supreme, the science of Yoga and the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, this is the eighteenth discourse designated:

THE YOGA OF LIBERATION BY RENUNCIATION

SRI KRISHNARPANAM

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