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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter IV The Yoga of Knowledge as well as the disciplines of Action and Knowledge

The Yoga of Knowledge as well as the disciplines of Action and Knowledge
The Yoga of Knowledge as well as the disciplines of Action and Knowledge

Śrī Bhagavān said: I revealed this immortal Yoga to Vivasvān; Vivasvān conveyed it to Manu; and Manu imparted it to Ikṣvāku. (1)

Thus transmitted in succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rājarṣis. Through long lapse of time, this Yoga got lost to the world. (2)

The same ancient Yoga, which is the supreme secret, has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend. (3)

Arjuna said: You are of recent origin, while the birth of Vivasvān dates back to remote antiquity. How, then am I to believe that You imparted this Yoga at the beginning of the creation? (4)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births; I remember them all; you do not remember, O chastiser of foes. (5)

Though birth-less and immortal and the Lord of all beings, I manifest Myself through My own Yogamaya, keeping My nature under control. (6)

Arjuna, whenever righteousness is on the decline, unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body Myself forth. (7)

For the protection of the virtuous, for the extirpation of evil-doers, and for establishing Dharma on a firm footing, I manifest Myself from age to age. (8)

Arjuna, My birth and activities are divine. He who knows this in reality is not reborn on leaving his body, but comes to Me. (9)

Completely rid of attachment, 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. (10)

Arjuna, however men seek Me, even so do I respond to them; for all men follow My path in every-way. (11)

In this world of human beings, men seeking the fruition of their activities, worship the gods; for success born of actions follows quickly. (12)

The four orders of society were created by Me, classifying them according to the Guṇas predominant in each and apportioning corresponding duties to them; though the originator of this creation, know Me, the Immortal Lord, to be a non-doer. (13)

Since I have no craving for the fruit of actions, actions do not taint Me. Even he who thus knows Me in reality is not bound by actions. (14)

Having known thus, action was performed even by the ancient seekers for liberation; therefore, do you also perform actions as have been performed by the ancients from antiquity. (15)

What is action and what is inaction? Even men of intelligence are puzzled over this question. Therefore, I shall expound to you the truth about action, knowing which you will be freed from its evil effects i.e., the shackles of karma. (16)

The truth about action must be known and the truth of inaction also must be known; even so, the truth about prohibited action must be known. For, mysterious are the ways of action. (17)

He who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is wise among men; he is a Yogi, who has performed all actions. (18)

Even the wise call him a sage, whose undertakings are all free from desire and Saṅkalpa and whose actions are burnt by the fire of wisdom. (19)

He, who, having totally given up attachment to actions and their fruit, no longer depends on anything in the world, and is ever content, does nothing at all, though fully engaged in action. (20)

Having subdued his mind and body, and having given up all objects of enjoyment, free from craving, he who performs sheer bodily action, does not incur sin. (21)

The Karmayogī, who is contented with whatever is got unsought, is free from jealousy and has transcended all pairs of opposites like joy and grief, and is balanced in success and failure, is not bound by his action. (22)

All his actions get dissolved entirely, who is free from attachment and has no identification with the body and free from the feeling of mine, whose mind is established in the knowledge of Self and who works merely for the sake of sacrifice. (23)

In the practice of seeing Brahma everywhere as a form of sacrifice, Brahma is the ladle; Brahma, again, is the oblation; Brahma is the fire, Brahma itself is the sacrificer and so Brahma itself constitutes the act of pouring the oblation into the fire. And finally, Brahma is the goal to be reached by him who is absorbed in Brahma as the act of such sacrifice. (24)

Other Yogīs duly offer sacrifice only in the form of worship to gods, while others perform sacrifice by offering the self by the Self itself in the fire of Brahma. (25)

Others offer as sacrifice their sense of hearing etc., into the fires of self-discipline. Other Yogīs, again, offer sound and other objects of perception into the fires of the senses. (26)

Other sacrifice all the functions of their senses and functions of the vital airs into the fire of Yoga in the shape of self-control, kindled by wisdom. (27)

Some perform sacrifice with material possessions; some offer sacrifice in the shape of austerities; others sacrifice through the practice of Yoga; while some striving souls, observing austere vows, perform sacrifice in the shape of wisdom through the study of sacred texts. (28)

Other Yogīs offer the act of exhalation into that of inhalation; even so, others the act of inhalation into that of exhalation. There are still others given to the practice of Prāṇāyāma, who, having regulated their diet and controlled the process of exhalation and inhalation both, pour their vital airs into the vital airs themselves. All these have their sins consumed away by sacrifice and understand the meaning of sacrificial worship. (29 - 30)

Arjuna, Yogīs who enjoy the nectar that has been left over after the performance of a sacrifice attain the eternal Brahma. To the man who does not offer sacrifice, even this world is not happy; how, then, can the other world be happy? (31)

Many such forms of sacrifice have been set forth in detail in the Vedas; know them all as involving the action of mind, senses and body. Thus, knowing the truth about them you shall be freed from the bondage of action. (32)

Arjuna, sacrifice through Knowledge, is superior to sacrifice performed with material things. For all actions without exception culminate in Knowledge, O son of Kuntī. (33)

Understand the true nature of that Knowledge by approaching seer of Truth. If you prostrate at their feet, render them service, and question them with an open and guileless heart, those wise seers of Truth will instruct you in that Knowledge. (34)

Arjuna, when you have achieved 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. (35)

Even if you were the most sinful of all sinners, this Knowledge alone would carry you, like a raft, across all your sins. (36)

For, as the blazing fire reduces the fuel to ashes, Arjuna, even so the fire of Knowledge turns all actions to ashes. (37)

In this world there is no purifier as great as Knowledge; he who has attained purity of heart through prolonged practice of Karmayoga, automatically sees the light to Truth in the self in course of time. (38)

He who has mastered his senses, is exclusively devoted to his practice and is full of faith, attains Knowledge; having had the revelation of Truth, he immediately attains supreme peace in the form of God-realization. (39)

He who lacks discrimination, is devoid of faith, and is at the same time possessed by doubt, is lost to the spiritual path. For the doubting soul there is neither this world nor the world beyond, nor even happiness. (40)

Arjuna, actions do not bind him who has dedicated all his actions to God according to the spirit of Karmayoga, whose doubts have been dispelled by wisdom and who is self-possessed. (41)

Therefore, Arjuna slashing to pieces, with the sword of knowledge, this doubt in your heart, born of ignorance, establish yourself in Karmayoga in the shape of even-mindedness, and stand up for the fight. (42)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter III Karmayogā, or the Yoga of Action

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter III Karmayogā, or the Yoga of Action
The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter III Karmayogā, or the Yoga of Action
 
Arjuna said: Kṛṣṇa, if You consider Knowledge as superior to Action, why then do You urge me to this dreadful action, Keśava! (1)

You are, as it were, puzzling my mind by these seemingly conflicting expressions; therefore, tell me the one definite discipline by which I may obtain the highest good. (2)

Śrī Bhagavān said: Arjuna, in this world two courses of Sādhanā have been enunciated by Me in the past. In the case of the Sāṅkhyayogī, the Sādhanā proceeds along the path of Knowledge; whereas in the case of the Karmayogī, it proceeds along the path of Action. (3)

Man does not attain freedom from action without entering upon action; nor does he reach perfection merely by ceasing to act. (4)

Surely, none can ever remain inactive even for a moment; for, everyone is helplessly driven to action by modes of Prakṛti. (5)

He who outwardly restraining the organs of sense and action, sits mentally dwelling on the objects of senses, that man of deluded intellect is called a hypocrite. (6)

On the other hand, he who controlling the organs of sense and action by the power of his will, and remaining unattached, undertakes the Yoga of selfless Action through those organs, Arjuna, he excels. (7)

Therefore, do you perform your allotted duty; for action is superior to inaction. Desisting from action, you cannot even maintain your body. (8)

Man is bound by his own actions except when it is performed for the sake of sacrifice. Therefore, Arjuna, do you efficiently perform your duty, free from attachment, for the sake of sacrifice alone. (9)

Having created mankind along with Yajña, at the beginning of creation, the creator, Brahmā, said to them, “You shall prosper by this; may this yield the enjoyments you seek. (10)

Foster the gods through this sacrifice, and let the gods foster you. Thus, each fostering the other selflessly, you will attain the highest good. (11)

Fostered by sacrifice, the gods will surely bestow on you unasked all the desired enjoyments. He who enjoys the gifts bestowed by them without offering their share to them, is undoubtedly a thief. (12)

The virtuous who partake of what is left over after sacrifice, are absolved of all sins. Those sinful ones who cook for the sake of nourishing their bodies alone, partake of sin only. (13)

All beings are evolved from food; production of food is dependent on rain; rain ensues from sacrifice, and sacrifice is rooted in prescribed action. Know that prescribed action has its origin in the Vedas, and the Vedas proceed from the Indestructible; hence the all-pervading Infinite is always present in sacrifice. (14 - 15)

Arjuna, he who does not follow the wheel of creation thus set going in this world i.e., does not perform his duties, lead a sinful and sensual life, he lives in vain. (16)

He, however, who takes delight in the Self alone and is gratified with the Self, and is contented in the Self, has no duty. (17)

In this world that great soul has nothing to gain by action nor by abstaining from action; nor has he selfish dependence of any kind on any creature. (18)

Therefore, go on effeciently doing your duty at all times without attachment. Doing work without attachment man attains the Supreme. (19)

It is through action without attachment alone that Janaka and other wise men reached perfection. Having in view the maintenance of the world order too, you should take to action. (20)

For, whatever a great man does, that very thing other men also do; whatever standard he sets up, the generality of men follow the same. (21)

Arjuna, there is no duty in all the three worlds for Me to perform, not is there anything worth attaining, unattained by Me; yet I continue to work. (22)

Should I not engage in action scrupulously at the time, great harm will come to the world; for, Arjuna, men follow My ways in all matters. (23)

If I ever cease to act, these worlds would perish; nay, I should prove to be the cause of confusion, and of the destruction of these people. (24)

Arjuna, as the unwise act with attachment, so should the wise man, with a view to maintain the world order, act without attachment. (25)

A wise man established in the Self should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant attached to action, but should get them to perform all their duties, duly performing his own duties. (26)

In fact all actions are being performed by the modes of Prakṛti. The fool, whose mind is deluded by egoism, thinks: "I am the doer." (27)

However, he who has true insight into the respective spheres of Gunas and their actions, holding that it is the Gunas that move among the Gunas, does not get attached to them, Arjuna. (28)

Those who are completely deluded by the Guṇas of Prakṛti remains attached to those Guṇas and actions; the man of perfect Knowledge should not unsettle the mind of those ignorants of imperfect knowledge. (29)

Therefore, dedicating all actions to Me with your mind fixed on Me, the Self of all, freed from desire and the feeling of meum and cured of mental agitation, fight. (30)

Even those men who, with an uncavilling and devout mind, always follow this teaching of Mine, are released from the bondage of all actions. (31)

But they, however, who, finding fault with this teaching of Mine, do not follow it, take those fools to be deluded in the manner of all knowledge as lost. (32)

All living creatures follow their tendencies; even the wise man acts according to the tendencies of his own nature. Of what use is restraint by force. (33)

Attraction and repulsion are rooted in all sense-objects. Man should never allow himself to be swayed by them, because they are the two principal enemies standing in the way of his redemption. (34)

One's own duty, though devoid of merit, is preferable to the duty of another well performed. Even death in the performance of one's own duty brings blessedness; another's duty is fraught with fear. (35)

Arjuna said: Now impelled by what, Kṛṣṇa, does this man commit sin even involuntarily, as though driven by force? (36)

Śrī Bhagavān said: It is desire begotten by the elements of Rajas, which appears as wrath; nay, it is insatiable and grossly wicked. Know this to be the enemy in the case. (37)

As fire is covered by smoke, mirror by dust, and embryo by the amnion, so is knowledge covered by desire. (38)

And, Arjuna, Knowledge stands covered by this eternal enemy of the wise, known as desire, which is insatiable like fire. (39)

The senses, the mind and the intellect are declared to be its seat; covering the knowledge through these, it deludes the embodied soul. (40)

Therefore, Arjuna, you must first control your senses, and then kill this evil thing which obstructs Jñāna and Vijñāna. (41)

The senses are said to be greater than the body; but greater than the senses is the mind. Greater than the mind is the intellect, and what is greater than the intellect is He, the Self. (42)

Thus, Arjuna, knowing the Self which is higher than the intellect and subduing the mind by reason, kill this enemy in the form of desire that is hard to overcome. (43)

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