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

Lord Vishnu

sri-bhagavan uvaca

imam vivasvate yogam
proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha
manur iksvakave 'bravit

The Blessed Lord said:

1. This imperishable yoga, I declared to the sun god, Vivasvat; Vivasvat taught it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu told it to Ikshvaku.

evam parampara-praptam
imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nastah parantapa

2. Thus transmitted in regular discipline succession the royal-sages understood it in that way. This yoga by long efflux of time decayed in this world, O scorcher of foes.

sa evayam maya te 'dya
yogah proktah puratanah
bhakto 'si me sakha ceti
rahasyam hy etad uttamam

3. The same ancient yoga has been today told to you by Me, for you are My devotee as well as friend; and this secret is supreme indeed.

arjuna uvaca

aparam bhavato janma
param janma vivasvatah
katham etad vijaniyam
tvam adau proktavan iti

Arjuna said:

4. Later was your birth, earlier the birth of Vivasvat; how then am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?

sri-bhagavan uvaca

bahuni me vyatitani
janmani tava carjuna
tany aham veda sarvani
na tvam vettha parantapa

The Blessed Lord said:

5. Many are the births taken by Me and you, O Arjuna. I know them all while you know not, O Parantapa [subduer of the enemy].

ajo 'pi sann avyayatma
bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya
sambhavamy atma-mayaya

6. Though I am unborn, imperishable and the Lord of beings, yet subjugating My Prakriti, I come into being by My own Maya.

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

7. Whenever there is decay of dharma and rise of adharma, then I embody Myself, O Bharata.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

8. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of dharma I am born millennium after millennium.

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

9. He who thus knows My divine birth and action in true light, having dropped the body, comes not to birth again, but comes unto Me, O Arjuna.

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

10. Freed from passion, fear and anger, filled with Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by penances in the fire of Knowledge, many have entered into My Being.

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah

11. In whatever way men identify with Me, in the same way do I carry out their desires; men pursue My path, O Partha, in all ways.

kanksantah karmanam siddhim
yajanta iha devatah
ksipram hi manuse loke
siddhir bhavati karma-ja

12. Longing for success in action on earth, they worship the gods; for quickly is success born of action in this world of man.

catur-varnyam maya srstam
guna-karma-vibhagasah
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam

13. I created the fourfold caste by the different distribution of Guna and karma. Though I be the author thereof, know Me to be the action less and changeless.

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

14. Nor do actions taint Me, nor is the fruit of action desired by Me. He who thus knows Me is not bound by actions.

evam jnatva krtam karma
purvair api mumuksubhih
kuru karmaiva tasmat tvam
purvaih purvataram krtam

15. Having known thus even the ancient seekers after freedom performed action; therefore you should perform action, as did the ancients in the olden times.

kim karma kim akarmeti
kavayo 'py atra mohitah
tat te karma pravaksyami
yaj jnatva moksyase 'subhat

16. Sages too are perplexed as to what is action, what inaction. Therefore I shall tell you what action is, by knowing which you shall be freed from misfortune.

karmano hy api boddhavyam
boddhavyam ca vikarmanah
akarmanas ca boddhavyam
gahana karmano gatih

17. It is needful to discriminate action, to discriminate forbidden action, and to discriminate inaction; inscrutable is the way of karma.

karmany akarma yah pasyed
akarmani ca karma yah
sa buddhiman manusyesu
sa yuktah krtsna-karma-krt

18. He who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, he is wise among men; he is a yogi and accomplisher of everything.

yasya sarve samarambhah
kama-sankalpa- varjitah
jnanagni-dagdha-karmanam
tam ahuh panditam budhah

19. Whose doings are all devoid of design and desire for results, and whose actions are all burnt by the fire of knowledge, him, the sages call wise.

tyaktva karma-phalasangam
nitya-trpto nirasrayah
karmany abhipravrtto 'pi
naiva kincit karoti sah

20. Having abandoned attachment to the fruits of action, ever content, depending on nothing, though engaged in karma, verily he does not do anything.

nirasir yata-cittatma
tyakta-sarva-parigrahah
sariram kevalam karma
kurvan napnoti kilbisam

21. Such a man of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled, having abandoned all possessions, aaand acts only for the bare necessities of life. Thus performing karma by the body alone, he incurs no sin.

yadrccha-labha-santusto
dvandvatito vimatsarah
samah siddhav asiddhau ca
krtvapi na nibadhyate

22. He is content with what he obtains which comes of is own accord, who is free from duality [the pairs of opposites], without envy, balanced in success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.

gata-sangasya muktasya
jnanavasthita-cetasah
yajnayacaratah karma
samagram praviliyate

23. Of one unattached, liberated, with mind absorbed in knowledge, performing work for Yajna alone, his entire karma melts away.

brahmarpanam brahma havir
brahmagnau brahmana hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyam
brahma-karma-samadhina

24. The oblation is Brahman, the clarified butter is Brahman, offered by Brahman in the fire or Brahman; unto Brahman verily he goes who cognizes Brahman alone in his action.

daivam evapare yajnam
yoginah paryupasate
brahmagnav apare yajnam
yajnenaivopajuhvati

25. Some yogis perform sacrifices to Devas alone, while others offer the self as sacrifice by the self verily in the fire of Brahman.

srotradinindriyany anye
samyamagnisu juhvati
sabdadin visayan anya
indriyagnisu juhvati

26. Some offer hearing and other senses as sacrifice in the fire of restraint, while others offer sound and other sense-objects as sacrifice in the fire of the senses.

sarvanindriya-karmani
prana-karmani capare
atma-samyama-yogagnau
juhvati jnana-dipite

27. Others again offer all the actions of the senses and the functions of the life-energy, as a sacrifice in the fire of self-control, kindled by knowledge.

dravya-yajnas tapo-yajna
yoga-yajnas tathapare
svadhyaya-jnana-yajnas ca
yatayah samsita-vratah

28. Yet others offer wealth, austerity and yoga as sacrifice, while still others, of self-denial and extreme vows, offer sacred study and knowledge as sacrifice.

apane juhvati pranam
prane 'panam tathapare
pranapana-gati ruddhva
pranayama-parayanah

29. Yet others offer as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming, and the incoming in the outgoing, restraining the flow of the outgoing and incoming breaths, solely absorbed in the regulation of the life-energy.

apare niyataharah
pranan pranesu juhvati
sarve 'py ete yajna-vido
yajna-ksapita-kalmasah

30. Still others of regulated food habit offer in the pranas the function thereof. All these are knower of Yajna, having their sins destroyed by Yajna.

yajna-sistamrta-bhujo
yanti brahma sanatanam
nayam loko 'sty ayajnasya
kuto 'nyah kuru-sattama

31. The eaters of the nectar, the remnant of Yajna goes to the Eternal Brahman. This world is not for the non-sacrificer, how then the other, O best of the Kurus?

evam bahu-vidha yajna
vitata brahmano mukhe
karma-jan viddhi tan sarvan
evam jnatva vimoksyase

32. Various Yajnas such as these are spread out in the storehouse of the Vedas. Know them all to be born of karma; and thus knowing you shall be free.

sreyan dravya-mayad yajnaj
jnana-yajnah parantapa
sarvam karmakhilam partha
jnane parisamapyate

33. Knowledge-sacrifice, O Scorcher of foes, is superior to wealth-sacrifice. All karma in its entirety, O Partha, culminates in knowledge.

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tatt va-darsinah

34. Seek that enlightenment by prostrating, by questions and by service; the wise, the seers into the Truth will instruct you in that knowledge.

yaj jnatva na punar moham
evam yasyasi pandava
yena bhutany asesani
draksyasy atmany atho mayi

35. Knowing this, O Pandava, you will not again fall into this confusion; by this you will see the whole of the creation in your self and in Me.

api ced asi papebhyah
sarvebhyah papa-krt-tamah
sarvam jnana-plavenaiva
vrjinam santarisyasi

36. Even if you were the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

yathaidhamsi samiddho 'gnir
bhasma-sat kurute 'rjuna
jnanagnih sarva-karmani
bhasma-sat kurute tatha

37. As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all karma to ashes.

na hi jnanena sadrsam
pavitram iha vidyate
tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah
kalenatmani vindati

38. Verily there is no purifier in this world like transcendental knowledge. He that is perfected in yoga realizes it in his own heart in due time.

sraddhaval labhate jnanam
tat-parah samyatendriyah
jnanam labdhva param santim
acirenadhigacchati

39. The man of sraddha [faith], the devoted, the master of his senses obtains knowledge. Having obtained knowledge he goes promptly to the Peace Supreme.

ajnas casraddadhanas ca
samsayatma vinasyati
nayam loko sti na paro
na sukham samsayatmanah

40. The ignorant, the man devoid of sraddha [faithless], the doubting self, goes to destruction. The doubting self has neither this world, nor the next, nor happiness.

yoga-sannyasta-karmanam
jnana-sanchinna-samsayam
atmavantam na karmani
nibadhnanti dhananjaya

41. With work absolved in yoga, and doubts rent asunder by knowledge, O Dhananjaya, actions do not bind him who is poised in the Self.

tasmad ajnana-sambhutam
hrt-stham jnanasinatmanah
chittvainam samsayam yogam
atisthottistha bharata

42. Therefore, severing with the sword of knowledge this ignorance-born doubt about the Self, dwelling in your heart, be established in yoga. Stand up, O Bharata.

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 fourth discourse designated.

THE YOGA OF RENUNCIATION OF ACTION IN KNOWLEDGE

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