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The Bhagavad Gita
Chapter IIII - The Yoga of Knowledge

  1. Krishna said:
    I taught this imperishable Karma-yoga
    To (King) Vivasvaan.
    Vivasvaan taught it to Manu.
    Manu taught it to Ikshavaaku.

  2. Thus handed down in succession
    The royal sages knew this.
    After a long time the science of Karma-yoga
    Was lost from this earth.

  3. Today I have described
    The same ancient science to you,
    Because you are my sincere devotee and friend.
    Karma-yoga is a supreme secret indeed.

  4. Arjuna said:
    You were born later,
    But Vivasvaan was born in ancient time.
    How am I to understand
    That You taught this yoga in the beginning?

  5. Krishna said:
    Both you and I have taken many births.
    I remember them all, O Arjuna,
    But you do not remember.

  6. Though I am eternal, imperishable,
    And the Lord of all beings;
    Yet I manifest
    By controlling My own material nature
    Using My Yoga-Maya.

  7. Whenever there is a decline of Dharma
    And the rise of Adharma, O Arjuna,
    Then I manifest Myself.

  8. I incarnate from time to time for protecting the good,
    for transforming the wicked,
    and for establishing Dharma,
    the world order.

  9. The one who truly understands
    My transcendental birth and activities,
    Is not born again after leaving this body
    And attains My abode, O Arjuna.

  10. Freed from attachment, fear, and anger;
    Fully absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me,
    And purified by the fire of Self-knowledge,
    Many have attained Me.

  11. With whatever motive people worship Me,
    I reward them accordingly.
    People worship Me with different motives.

  12. Those who long for success
    In their work here worship the demigods.
    Success in work comes quickly
    In this human world.

  13. The four Varna or divisions of human society,
    Based on aptitude and vocation, were created by Me.
    Though I am the author of this system,
    One should know that I do nothing and I am eternal.

  14. Works do not bind Me,
    Because I have no desire for the fruits of work.
    The one who understands this truth is not bound by Karma.

  15. The ancient seekers of liberation
    Also performed their duties with this understanding.
    Therefore, you should do your duty as the ancients did.

  16. Even the wise are confused
    About what is action and what is inaction.
    Therefore, I shall clearly explain what is action,
    knowing that one shall be liberated from the evil.

  17. The true nature of action
    Is very difficult to understand.
    Therefore, one should know
    The nature of attached action,
    The nature of detached action,
    And also the nature of forbidden action.

  18. Attached action is selfish work
    That produces Karmic bondage,
    Detached action is unselfish work
    That leads to nirvana,
    And forbidden action is harmful to society.
    The one who sees inaction in action,
    and action in inaction, is a wise person.
    Such a person is a yogi and has accomplished everything.

  19. A person whose all works
    Are free from selfish desires and motives,
    And whose all Karma is burned up
    In the fire of Self-knowledge,
    Is called a sage by the wise.

  20. Having abandoned attachment
    To the fruits of work, ever content,
    And dependent on no one;
    Though engaged in activity,
    One does nothing at all.

  21. Free from desires,
    Mind and senses under control,
    Renouncing all proprietorship,
    Doing mere bodily action,
    One does not incur sin.

  22. Content with whatever gain
    Comes naturally by His will,
    unaffected by dualities, free from envy,
    Equanimous in success and failure;
    Though engaged in work
    Such a person is not bound.

  23. Those who are devoid of attachment,
    Whose mind is fixed in knowledge,
    Who does work as a Seva to the Lord,
    all Karma of such liberated persons dissolves away.

  24. Brahman is the oblation.
    Brahman is the clarified butter.
    The oblation is poured by Brahman into the fire of Brahman.
    Brahman shall be realized by the one who considers everything
    As an act of Brahman.

  25. Some yogis perform the Yajna
    Of worship to Devas alone,
    While others offer Yajna itself
    As offering in the fire of Brahman
    By performing the Yajna.

  26. Some offer their hearing and other senses
    In the fires of restraint,
    Others offer sound and other objects of the senses
    In the fires of the senses.

  27. Others offer all the functions of the senses,
    And the functions of Prana as sacrifice
    In the fire of the yoga of self-restraint
    That is kindled by knowledge.

  28. Others offer their wealth, their austerity,
    And their practice of yoga as sacrifice,
    While the ascetics with strict vows
    Offer their study of scriptures
    And knowledge as sacrifice.

  29. Those who are engaged in yogic practice,
    Reach the breathless state
    By offering inhalation into exhalation
    And exhalation into inhalation as sacrifice.

  30. Others restrict their diet
    And offer their inhalations as sacrifice
    Into their inhalations.
    All these are the knowers of sacrifice,
    And are purified by sacrifice.

  31. Those who perform Yajna
    Obtain the nectar (of knowledge)
    As a result of their sacrifice
    And attain eternal Brahman. O Arjuna,
    Even this world is not for the non-sacrificer,
    How can the other world be?

  32. Thus many types of sacrifice
    Are described in the Vedas.
    Know them all to be born from Karma
    Or the action of body, mind, and senses.
    Knowing this, you shall attain nirvana.

  33. The knowledge sacrifice is superior
    To any material sacrifice, O Arjuna.
    Because, all actions in their entirety
    Culminate in knowledge.

  34. Acquire this transcendental knowledge
    By humble reverence, by sincere inquiry, and by service.
    The wise who have realized the truth will teach you.

  35. Knowing that, O Arjuna,
    You shall not again get deluded like this.
    By this knowledge you shall behold the entire creation
    In your own Self/Lord, or in Brahman.

  36. Even if one is the most sinful of all sinners,
    yet one shall cross over the ocean of sin
    By the raft of knowledge alone.

  37. As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes,
    Similarly, the fire of Self-knowledge
    Reduces all Karma to ashes, O Arjuna.

  38. Verily there is no purifier
    In this world like knowledge.
    One who becomes purified by Karma-yoga
    Discovers this knowledge within
    In course of time.

  39. The one who has faith, and is sincere,
    And has mastery over the senses,
    Gains this knowledge.
    Having gained this,
    One at once attains the supreme peace.

  40. But the ignorant, who has no faith
    And is full of doubt, perishes.
    There is neither this world
    Nor the world beyond nor happiness
    For the one who doubts.

  41. Karma does not bind one
    Who has renounced work through Karma-yoga;
    Whose doubt is completely destroyed by knowledge;
    And who is Self-realized, O Arjuna.

  42. Therefore, resort to Karma-yoga
    And cut the ignorance-born doubt
    Abiding in your heart
    By the sword of Self-knowledge,
    And get up (to fight), O Arjuna.

This is the end of Chapter IV of the Bhagavad Gita
Entitled "Jnana-Yoga,"
Or "The Yoga of Knowledge"
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