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Śrimad Bhagavad Gīta | Chapter 4

ŚRIMAD BHAGAVAD GĪTA
CHAPTER 4
THE WAY OF KNOWLEDGE


Chapter IV, verse ...

CHAPTERS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


The Lord Hari Himself praises the way of action
(Karma-Yoga) in order to reveal (the true nature of) the
manifestation and disappearance (of an Incarnation) and to
discriminate between the two entities, ‘That’ and ‘thou’ (of
the Vedic dictum, ‘That thou art’).

अथ चतुर्थोऽध्यायः । ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यासयोगः
atha caturtho' dhyāyaḥ | jñānakarmasaṃnyāsayogaḥ

Thus the Third Chapter | The Way of Knowledge.

1.

श्रीभगवानुवाच ।
इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम् ।
विवस्वान्मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत् ॥ ४- १ ॥

śrībhagavānuvāca:
imaṃ vivasvate yogaṃ proktavānahamavyayam |
vivasvānmanave prāha manurikṣvākave'bravīt ||

The Blessed Lord Said:
This eternal Yoga I taught to Vivaswat, Vivaswat
taught it to Manu and Manu taught it to Ikshvāku.

2.

एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः ।
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप ॥ ४- २ ॥

evaṃ paramparāprāptamimaṃ rājarṣayo viduḥ |
sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣṭaḥ paraṃtapa ||

This (Yoga), thus traditionally handed down, the royal
sages knew. Through the great lapse of time this Yoga is
lost in this world, O scorcher of foes.

3.

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ ४- ३ ॥

sa evāyaṃ mayā te'dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ |
bhakto'si me sakhā ceti rahasyaṃ hyetaduttamam ||

That very ancient Yoga has been taught by Me to you this day,
since you are My devotee and friend; for this is a supreme secret.

4.

अर्जुन उवाच ।
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः ।
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति ॥ ४- ४ ॥

arjuna uvāca:
aparaṃ bhavato janma paraṃ janma vivasvataḥ |
kathametadvijānīyāṃ tvamādau proktavāniti ||

Arjuna said:
Later is Your birth and Vivaswat’s birth earlier; how
am I to understand this, that You taught this (to him) at
the beginning?

5.

श्रीभगवानुवाच ।
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ४- ५ ॥

śrībhagavānuvāca:
bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna |
tānyahaṃ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṃ vettha paraṃtapa ||

The Blessed Lord Said:
Many lives have I passed through as also yourself; I know
them all, but you do not know them, O scorcher of foes.

6.

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन् ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥ ४- ६ ॥

ajo'pi sannavyayātmā bhūtānāmīśvaro'pi san |
prakṛtiṃ svāmadhiṣṭhāya saṃbhavāmyātmamāyayā ||

Though I am birthless, immutable and the Lord of
creatures, yet resorting to My Prakriti, I come into being
through My own inscrutable power (Māyā).

7.

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥ ४- ७ ॥

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata |
abhyutthānamadharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyaham ||

Whenever, O descendant of Bharata, righteousness
declines and unrighteousness prevails, I manifest Myself.

8.

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥ ४- ८ ॥

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām |
dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge ||

For the protection of the righteous and the destruction
of the wicked, - and for the establishment of religion,
I come into being from age to age.

9.

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ॥ ४- ९ ॥

janma karma ca me divyamevaṃ yo vetti tattvataḥ |
tyaktvā dehaṃ punarjanma naiti māmeti so'rjuna ||

He who thus knows truly My divine birth and work, is
no more born after death; he attains Me, O Arjuna.

10.

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः ।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ॥ ४- १० ॥

vītarāgabhayakrodhā manmayā māmupāśritāḥ |
bahavo jñānatapasā pūtā madbhāvamāgatāḥ ||

Free from attachment, fear and anger, with their minds
intent on Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by knowledge
and penance, many have attained My Being.

11.

ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् ।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ॥ ४- ११ ॥

ye yathā māṃ prapadyante tāṃstathaiva bhajāmyaham |
mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ ||

By whatsoever way men worship Me, even so do I
accept them; for, in all ways, O Pārtha, men walk in My path.

12.

काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः ।
क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ॥ ४- १२ ॥

kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṃ siddhiṃ yajanta iha devatāḥ |
kṣipraṃ hi mānuṣe loke siddhirbhavati karmajā ||

People seeking the fruit of actions worship the gods in this world;
for in this world of men the fruit of action comes quickly.

13.

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ ४- १३ ॥

cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ |
tasya kartāramapi māṃ viddhyakartāramavyayam ||

The four castes were created by Me according, to
differences in aptitudes and actions (of men). Though the
author of them, know Me the immutable as non-agent.

14.

न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा ।
इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते ॥ ४- १४ ॥

na māṃ karmāṇi limpanti na me karmaphale spṛhā |
iti māṃ yo'bhijānāti karmabhirna sa badhyate ||

Actions do not touch Me, nor have I any desire for their
fruit – he who knows Me thus, is not bound by actions.

15.

एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैरपि मुमुक्षुभिः ।
कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात्त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम् ॥ ४- १५ ॥

evaṃ jñātvā kṛtaṃ karma pūrvairapi mumukṣubhiḥ |
kuru karmaiva tasmāttvaṃ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṃ kṛtam ||

Thus knowing, even the ancient seekers of Liberation
performed work of yore.Therefore perform work alone
done by the ancients.

16.

किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः ।
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ॥ ४- १६ ॥

kiṃ karma kimakarmeti kavayo'pyatra mohitāḥ |
tatte karma pravakṣyāmi yajjñātvā mokṣyase'śubhāt ||

Even the wise are deluded as to what is action and what is
inaction. I shall expound to you that action knowing which
you will be free from all ills.

17.

कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः ।
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ॥ ४- १७ ॥

karmaṇo hyapi boddhavyaṃ boddhavyaṃ ca vikarmaṇaḥ |
akarmaṇaśca boddhavyaṃ gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ ||

There is (something) to know about prescribed action
and about action that is prohibited, as also about inaction;
the way of action is mysterious.

18.

कर्मण्यकर्म यः पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म यः ।
स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् ॥ ४- १८ ॥

karmaṇyakarma yaḥ paśyedakarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ |
sa buddhimānmanuṣyeṣu sa yuktaḥ kṛtsnakarmakṛt ||

He who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is
wise amongst men; he is poised and a performer of all actions.

19.

यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः ।
ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः ॥ ४- १९ ॥

yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāmasaṅkalpavarjitāḥ |
jñānāgnidagdhakarmāṇaṃ tamāhuḥ paṇḍitaṃ budhāḥ ||

He whose actions are all free from the hankering for
desires, whose actions have been burnt by the fire of
knowledge, him the wise call a sage.

20.

त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासङ्गं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रयः ।
कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित्करोति सः ॥ ४- २० ॥

tyaktvā karmaphalāsaṅgaṃ nityatṛpto nirāśrayaḥ |
karmaṇyabhipravṛtto'pi naiva kiṃcitkaroti saḥ ||

Renouncing the attachment for action, and its fruit,
ever contented, and without any refuge, he does not do
anything, even though engaged in action.

21.

निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः ।
शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥ ४- २१ ॥

nirāśīryatacittātmā tyaktasarvaparigrahaḥ |
śārīraṃ kevalaṃ karma kurvannāpnoti kilbiṣam ||

Bereft of desire, controlled in mind and body, with all
possessions relinquished and doing merely bodily action,
he does not get tainted.

22.

यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः ।
समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते ॥ ४- २२ ॥

yadṛcchālābhasaṃtuṣṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ |
samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate ||

Contented with what chance brings, transcending the
pair of opposites, free from jealousy, and unperturbed
in success and failure, he is not bound even though
performing actions.

23.

गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः ।
यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते ॥ ४- २३ ॥

gatasaṅgasya muktasya jñānāvasthitacetasaḥ |
yajñāyācarataḥ karma samagraṃ pravilīyate ||

He who is devoid of attachment, free, whose mind is
established in knowledge, and who does work as a
sacrifice (for the Lord) – his entire action melts away.

24.

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् ।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना ॥ ४- २४ ॥

brahm'ārpaṇaṃ brahma havir-brahm'āgnau brahmaṇā hutam |
brahm'aiva tena gantavyaṃ brahma-karma-samādhinā ||

The ladle is Brahman, the oblation is Brahman, it is
offered by Brahman in the fire, which is Brahman;
Brahman alone he attains who sees Brahman in action.

25.

दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते ।
ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति ॥ ४- २५ ॥

daivamevāpare yajñaṃ yoginaḥ paryupāsate |
brahmāgnāvapare yajñaṃ yajñenaivopajuhvati ||

Sacrifices to the gods alone other (Karma-Yogins) resort to.
(Still) others offer the sacrifice by way of a sacrifice
in the fire of Brahman alone.

26.

श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्यन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति ।
शब्दादीन्विषयानन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति ॥ ४- २६ ॥

śrotrādīnīndriyāṇyanye saṃyamāgniṣu juhvati |
śabdādīnviṣayānanya indriyāgniṣu juhvati ||

Others offer the ear and other senses as a sacrifice in the
fire of self-control; others, again, offer sound and other
objects of the senses in the fires of the senses.

27.

सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे ।
आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ॥ ४- २७ ॥

sarvāṇīndriyakarmāṇi prāṇakarmāṇi cāpare |
ātmasaṃyamayogāgnau juhvati jñānadīpite ||

Others offer the functions of all the organs and Prānas in
the fire of the Yoga of self-control lighted by knowledge.

28.

द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे ।
स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः ॥ ४- २८ ॥

dravyayajñāstapoyajñā yogayajñāstathāpare |
svādhyāyajñānayajñāśca yatayaḥ saṃśitavratāḥ ||

There are others who sacrifice through gifts, others (again)
who sacrifice through penance, and still others who
sacrifice through Yoga; while there are others, aspirants
of austere vows, who sacrifice through knowledge from
scriptural studies.

29.

अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ॥ ४- २९ ॥

apāne juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe'pānaṃ tathāpare |
prāṇāpānagatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāmaparāyaṇāḥ ||

(Still) others, devoted to the control of the vital force
(Prānāyāma), offer as a sacrifice the outgoing breath
(Prāna) in the incoming (Apāna), as also the incoming
breath in the outgoing, after restraining the activity of
the incoming and outgoing breath. Others again, who
regulate their food, offer as a sacrifice the functions of
the senses in the senses.

30.

अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति ।
सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषाः ॥ ४- ३० ॥

apare niyatāhārāḥ prāṇānprāṇeṣu juhvati |
sarve'pyete yajñavido yajñakṣapitakalmaṣāḥ ||

All these indeed are knowers of the sacrifices,
purified of their sins through sacrifices.

31.

यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।
नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ॥ ४- ३१ ॥

yajñaśiṣṭāmṛtabhujo yānti brahma sanātanam |
nāyaṃ loko'styayajñasya kuto'nyaḥ kurusattama ||

Eating of the ambrosial food after the sacrifice, they
attain the eternal Brahman. (Even) this world is not for
the non-sacrificing, much less the other, O best of the
Kurus (Arjuna).

32.

एवं बहुविधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे ।
कर्मजान्विद्धि तान्सर्वानेवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे ॥ ४- ३२ ॥

evaṃ bahuvidhā yajñā vitatā brahmaṇo mukhe |
karmajānviddhi tānsarvānevaṃ jñātvā vimokṣyase ||

Thus various sacrifices are prescribed by the Vedas. Know all
these to be born of action; knowing thus you will be free.

33.

श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप ।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ॥ ४- ३३ ॥

śreyāndravyamayādyajñājjñānayajñaḥ paraṃtapa |
sarvaṃ karmākhilaṃ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate ||

The sacrifice through knowledge is superior to sacrifices
performed with materials, O scorcher of foes; all actions in
their entirety, O Pārtha, are comprised in knowledge.

34.

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया ।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ॥ ४- ३४ ॥

tadviddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā |
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninastattvadarśinaḥ ||

Acquire that through prostration, inquiry and service.
The wise, who are knowers of the Truth will instruct
you in wisdom.

35.

यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव ।
येन भूतान्यशेषाणि द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि ॥ ४- ३५ ॥

yajjñātvā na punarmohamevaṃ yāsyasi pāṇḍava |
yena bhūtānyaśeṣāṇi drakṣyasyātmanyatho mayi ||

Acquiring which, O son of Pāndu, you will no more be
thus deluded; by which you will see all creatures in
yourself and then in Me.

36.

अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः ।
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि ॥ ४- ३६ ॥

api cedasi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpakṛttamaḥ |
sarvaṃ jñānaplavenaiva vṛjinaṃ saṃtariṣyasi ||

Even if you be the worst sinner amongst all sinners,
(yet) you will cross all sin by the boat of knowledge alone.

37.

यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन ।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥ ४- ३७ ॥

yathaidhāṃsi samiddho'gnirbhasmasātkurute'rjuna |
jñānāgniḥ sarvakarmāṇi bhasmasātkurute tathā ||

Even as a blazing fire burns the fuel to ashes, O Arjuna,
even so the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all actions.

38.

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते ।
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ॥ ४- ३८ ॥

na hi jñānena sadṛśaṃ pavitramiha vidyate |
tatsvayaṃ yogasaṃsiddhaḥ kālenātmani vindati ||

There is indeed nothing so purifying here as knowledge.
One perfected in Yoga attains that automatically in himself
in time.

39.

श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः ।
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ॥ ४- ३९ ॥

śraddhāvāṃ labhate jñānaṃ tatparaḥ saṃyatendriyaḥ |
jñānaṃ labdhvā parāṃ śāntimacireṇādhigacchati ||

The man of faith, zeal, and self-control attains knowledge;
having attained knowledge, he immediately attains
supreme Peace.

40.

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति ।
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः ॥ ४- ४० ॥

ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṃśayātmā vinaśyati |
nāyaṃ loko'sti na paro na sukhaṃ saṃśayātmanaḥ ||

He who is ignorant, wanting in faith, and of a doubting
mind is ruined; for the doubting man there is neither this
nor the other world, nor happiness.

41.

योगसंन्यस्तकर्माणं ज्ञानसञ्छिन्नसंशयम् ।
आत्मवन्तं न कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय ॥ ४- ४१ ॥

yogasaṃnyastakarmāṇaṃ jñānasaṃchinnasaṃśayam |
ātmavantaṃ na karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanaṃjaya ||

(But) he who has renounced (the fruit of) actions through
Yoga, whose doubts have been destroyed by knowledge,
and who is self-possessed, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna), is not
bound by actions.

42.

तस्मादज्ञानसम्भूतं हृत्स्थं ज्ञानासिनात्मनः ।
छित्त्वैनं संशयं योगमातिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भारत ॥ ४- ४२ ॥

tasmādajñānasaṃbhūtaṃ hṛtsthaṃ jñānāsinātmanaḥ |
chittvainaṃ saṃśayaṃ yogamātiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhārata ||

Therefore, O descendant of Bharata destroying this
doubt born of ignorance of the Self and seated in the
heart, with the sword of knowledge, take to Yoga and arise.

I bow to Sri Krishna, the destroyer of doubt, who has taught
the twofold faith of action and knowledge according to
differences in conditions etc. amongst men.

ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु
ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे
ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यासयोगो नाम चतुर्थोऽध्यायः ॥ ४ ॥

OM tatsaditi śrīmad bhagavadgītāsūpaniṣatsu
brahmavidyāyāṃ yogaśāstre śrīkṛṣṇārjunasaṃvāde
jñānakarmasaṃnyāsayogo nāma caturtho'dhyāyaḥ