Chapter 4 : Gyan-Karma-Sanyas Yog |
of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, said: I instructed this imperishable science
of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the
father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku.
science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and
the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the
succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be
ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me
to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore
understand the transcendental mystery of this science.
The sun-god Vivasvan is senior by birth to You. How am I to understand
that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?
of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember
all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!
am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I
am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium
in My original transcendental form.
wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata,
and a predominant rise of irreligion -- at that time I descend Myself.
the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the
principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.
One who knows
the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon
leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains
My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking
refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge
of Me -- and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.
As all surrender
unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects,
O son of Prtha.
Men in this
world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship
the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in
to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them,
the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am
the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer,
There is no
work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who
understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in the fruitive
reactions of work.
All the liberated
souls in ancient times acted with this understanding of My transcendental
nature. Therefore you should perform your duty, following in their footsteps.
Even the intelligent
are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now
I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which you shall be liberated
from all misfortune.
of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly
what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is.
One who sees
inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and
he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of
One is understood
to be in full knowledge whose every endeavor is devoid of desire for sense
gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker for whom the reactions
of work have been burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.
all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied and independent,
he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in all kinds of undertakings.
Such a man
of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled,
gives up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions, and acts only
for the bare necessities of life. Thus working, he is not affected by sinful
He who is
satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality
and does not envy, who is steady in both success and failure, is never
entangled, although performing actions.
The work of
a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully
situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.
A person who
is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness is sure to attain the spiritual
kingdom because of his full contribution to spiritual activities, in which
the consummation is absolute and that which is offered is of the same spiritual
perfectly worship the demigods by offering different sacrifices to them,
and some of them offer sacrifices in the fire of the Supreme Brahman.
unadulterated brahmacaris] sacrifice the hearing process and the senses
in the fire of mental control, and others [the regulated householders]
sacrifice the objects of the senses in the fire of the senses.
are interested in achieving self-realization through control of the mind
and senses, offer the functions of all the senses, and of the life breath,
as oblations into the fire of the controlled mind.
strict vows, some become enlightened by sacrificing their possessions,
and others by performing severe austerities, by practicing the yoga of
eightfold mysticism, or by studying the Vedas to advance in transcendental
who are inclined to the process of breath restraint to remain in trance,
practice by offering the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming,
and the incoming breath into the outgoing, and thus at last remain in trance,
stopping all breathing. Others, curtailing the eating process, offer the
outgoing breath into itself as a sacrifice.
performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful
reactions, and, having tasted the nectar of the results of sacrifices,
they advance toward the supreme eternal atmosphere.
O best of
the Kuru dynasty, without sacrifice one can never live happily on this
planet or in this life: what then of the next?
different types of sacrifice are approved by the Vedas, and all of them
are born of different types of work. Knowing them as such, you will become
of the enemy, the sacrifice performed in knowledge is better than the mere
sacrifice of material possessions. After all, O son of Prtha, all sacrifices
of work culminate in transcendental knowledge.
Just try to
learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively
and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge
unto you because they have seen the truth.
real knowledge from a self-realized soul, you will never fall again into
such illusion, for by this knowledge you will see that all living beings
are but part of the Supreme, or, in other words, that they are Mine.
Even if you
are considered to be 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.
As a blazing
fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn
to ashes all reactions to material activities.
In this world,
there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such
knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become
accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge
within himself in due course of time.
man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses
is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly
attains the supreme spiritual peace.
and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God
consciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness
neither in this world nor in the next.
One who acts
in devotional service, renouncing the fruits of his actions, and whose
doubts have been destroyed by transcendental knowledge, is situated factually
in the self. Thus he is not bound by the reactions of work, O conqueror
the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed
by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight.