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Geeta Chapter 4 - The Way Of Renunciation of Action in Knowledge




The Lord said:

  1. I told this imperishable yoga to Vivasvat, Vivasvat told it to Manu; Manu told it to Iksvaku.

  2. Thus transmitted in succession from father to son, this yoga remained known to the Rajarsis. It has, however, long since disappeared from this world.

  3. The same ancient yoga has this day been imparted to you by me, because you are my devotee and friend and also because this is a supreme secret.

Arjuna said:

  1. How is it that you told this in the beginning? You were born later than Vivasvat.

Sri Bhagavan said:

  1. Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births, I remember them all; you do not remember.

  2. Though birth less and deathless, and the Lord of all beings, I manifest myself through My own Yogamaya (divine potency) keeping My nature under control.

  3. Arjuna, whenever there is a decline of righteousness, and rise of erosion of moral values, then I embody Myself.

  4. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being in every age.

  5. He who thus knows, in true light, My divine birth and action, leaving the body, is not born again: he attains to Me, O Arjuna.

  6. Free from passion, fear and anger, wholly absorbed in Me, depending on Me, and purified by the penance of wisdom, many have become one with Me even in the past.

  7. Arjuna, in whatever way man seeks Me; in the same way do I fulfill his desire. For all paths men follow lead to Me.

  8. Men invoke God longing for success in action, in this world, because success resulting from action is quickly obtained.

  9. The four orders of society were created by Me classifying them according to temperament dominant in each individual. Though I am the creator, I am the non-doer and changeless- is same in all.

  10. Since I have no desire for results of action, actions do not contaminate me. Also, he who knows self thus in reality, is not bound by action.

  11. Knowing thus, the ancient seekers of liberation also performed action. You therefore perform action like them.

  12. Even sages are confused, as to what is action and what is non-action. I shall therefore tell you what action is, by knowing which you will be freed from its bonding action.

  13. The truth about action and non-action must be known; also the truth about forbidden action must be known. For mysterious are the ways of action.

  14. He who sees non-action in action, and action in non-action is intelligent among men; he is a Yogi who has performed all action.

  15. Even the wise call him a sage, whose undertakings are free from planned desires and, and whose actions are burnt by the fire of knowledge.

  16. He who, having totally given up attachment to actions and their fruit, no longer depends on the world, and is ever satisfied, does nothing at all, though fully engaged in action.

  17. Having subdued his mind and body, and given up all objects of enjoyment, and free from craving he who performs sheer bodily action does not incur sin.

  18. Content with what comes to him without seeking, unaffected by the pairs of opposites, free from envy, even-minded in success and failure, though acting, he is not bound.

  19. Devoid of attachment, liberated, with mind established in knowledge, performing work with dedication (Yajna) alone, all his actions dissolve away.

  20. While performing Yajna he should see Brahma in every action by considering the process is Brahman, offering clarified butter is Brahman, offered by Brahman in the fire of Brahamn and the goal to be reached by him is Brahma.

  21. Some Yogis offer sacrifices to specific gods, while others offer the self as sacrifice by the self in the fire of Brahman alone.

  22. Some again offer hearing and other senses as sacrifice in the fire of self-discipline, while others offer sound and other sense-objects as sacrifice in the fire of the senses.

  23. Some again offer all the functions of senses and the functions of the vital energy, as sacrifice in the fire of self-discipline, kindled by knowledge.

  24. Some again offer wealth, austerity, and Yoga, as sacrifice. While others, offer self-restraint and rigid vows. Still others perform sacrifice in the form of study of the scriptures and knowledge.

  25. Yet some offer as sacrifice, the out going into the incoming breath, and the incoming into the outgoing, stopping the courses of the incoming and outgoing breaths, constantly practicing the regulation of the vital energy. While others who have regulated diet, offer in the pranas the functions thereof.

  26. All of these are knower of Yajna, having their sins consumed by Yajna, and eating of the nectar - the remnant of Yajna - they go to the Eternal Brahman.

  27. He who does not perform Yajna in any form is not fit for this world, how then could he hope to gain another, O best of the Kurus?

  28. Many such forms of sacrifice have been described in detail in the Vedas; them all they all involve the action of mind, senses and body. But knowing the truth about them you shall be freed from the bondage of action.

  29. Arjuna, out of all above Yajnas sacrifice through knowledge is superior to sacrifice performed with material things. For all actions without exception culminate in knowledge, O son of kunti.

  30. Humbly approach illuminated souls, question them, and serve to them to learn tht the true nature of knowledge.

  31. Arjuna, when you have reached enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no more. In the light of that knowledge you will see the entire creation first within your own self, and then in Me.

  32. Even though you were the most sinful, this knowledge alone would carry you, like a raft, across all your sin.

  33. For, as the blazing fire turns the fuel to ashes, Arjuna, even so the fire of knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.

  34. There is no purifier like knowledge in this world; he who has attained purity of heart through a long practice of yoga, eventually realizes that Self in his heart.

  35. The man who has faith and who is master of his senses attains knowledge. Having realized the truth, he immediately attains supreme peace.

  36. The ignorant the man without faith, doubting the self, goes to destruction. For the doubting man there is neither this world nor the world beyond, nor happiness.

  37. With work renounced by yoga, and doubts shred by knowledge, Arjuna, actions do not bind him who has dedicated all actions to the Self.

  38. Therefore cutting with sword of knowledge, this doubt about Self in your heart, which is born of ignorance, take refuse in yoga and arise.


End of chapter four, designated, The Way of Renunciation of Action in Knowledge.