Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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

The Song Divine (The Bhagavadgītā) Chapter IV 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)