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Chapter 3: The way of action

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Life is a dream
Staff member
(The Lord explains to Arjuna that everyone has to do his duty. But if he does it without attachment to the results, he achieves his objective. He also explains that becoming slave to the senses and carrying out actions to satisfy them, is wrong.)

Arjuna asked:-

Hey God, if you feel that, wisdom is superior to action,
Why are you pushing me to do this savage war?

You seem to enchant my brain by your conflicting words,
Please tell me decisively that, by which I will get fame.

The Lord replied:-

Oh sinless one, in the times ancient, I had taught
Two distinct ways of paths to follow,
The path of wisdom for the discriminatory and
The path of action to those performers of action.

The being does not become, one bereft of action,
Just because he does not begin an action,
And by renunciation of everything,
He does not reach the divine perfect state.

None can remain for even for a fraction of time,
Without doing any action whatsoever,
For by fundamental laws of nature,
One is forced to indulge in some action or other.

He who claims control of the senses of action,
But mentally is a slave to the objects of these senses,
Is living in delusion and is a pretender

Oh Arjuna, on the other hand,
The one who controls his senses,
And is able to do action without attachment,
Excels and is deemed as great.

Because action at any time is better than inaction,
You continue to perform the action entrusted to you,
For in the state of inaction you may not,
Be able to even move your body.

Except a sacrificial worship of the ultimate,
All other actions carried out,
Are those which lead to a bondage,
And so Arjuna, do the duties in a proper manner,
Sacrificing it to god and without attachment.

During times of yore, Lord Brahma,
Created man along with sacrificial worship and told him,
"You would grow with sacrifices and multiply,
For this would give you all that you want."

Worship gods with sacrifice and let gods entertain you with this,
And you would gain great good by this mutual support.

Gods who are worshipped by sacrifices,
Would grant you all that you want,
And enjoying, what they have given to you,
Without giving them something, back to them is indeed a theft.

The saints who do sacrificial worship and live,
With whatever is left after the worship with them,
Do get rid of all the sins committed by them,
While those sinners who only cook for their eating only,
Do live eating always their sins.

All beings are born out of food,
All food is born out of rain,
All rain is born out of sacrifices,
And all sacrifices are born out of actions.

All actions are born out of Vedas,
All Vedas are born out of perennial God,
And so the Vedas which are spread everywhere,
Is based always on sacrificial worship.
Oh Arjuna, he who does not follow,
This rotating wheel of evolution,
Worships pleasures of sense organs,
And wastes his life in sin.
But that man who finds enjoyment in soul,
Gets contended with the soul,
And gets pleasures only from the soul,
Does not have any actions left to be done.
Such a one does not get anything by doing any action,
Nor does he lose anything by not doing it,
And he would not find anything to depend or desire,
In all things and in all events.
So perform all actions that should be done,
In a very proper way, without attachment,
For the man who does actions without attachment,
Attains a state of the supreme divine.
Don’t you know that great ones like Janaka?
Attained the top divine state by performing action,
Also you should become the one to do your duties.
For putting the world in right track and guide them.
Because ordinary people follow,
The actions done by great and special people,
And they also follow all their ideas,
Of what is considered as great.
Oh Arjuna, I do not have even an iota of work,
That I should do in all these three worlds,
Also there is nothing that I need to attain,
Or left to be attained, but still I always work.
Oh Arjuna, if I fail to keep myself busy,
Without rest by doing work, it is for sure,
Those men would follow me in all my ways.

If I do not do my work, this world,
Would totally perish and I would become,
Responsible for mixing of communities,
And consequent destruction of all people.

Oh Arjuna, the wise man should do his duties,
Without attachment for the sake of the upkeep of the world,
In a fashion similar to the ordinary people,
Who do their duties with attachment?

He should not create confusion,
Among the non wise and lead them,
By doing all his actions properly,
And make such people follow his path.

All actions in this world are done,
Due to innate property of nature,
And only the self centered one,
Who is ignorant thinks that he does it.

But, oh great warrior, he who knows,
The differentiation and function of the senses,
Would understand that these senses,
Would act through sense objects,
And would never get attached to them...

Those who are deceived by the natural instincts,
Think that they do the work and are responsible for it,
And the man who is completely wise,
Should not upset these ignorant souls.

Dedicate all the work you do to me,
And understanding that you are the soul,
Do actions without desire and attachment,
And undertake this war in the state of peace.

Those men who follow this advice of mine,
With sincerity devoid of jealousy,
Would be freed from the bondage of duties.

But those men who find fault with this advice of mine,
And do not follow it and get drowned in ignorance,
Would waste their life as they are not wise.

Even if a man is wise, he still would,
Follow the dictates of nature, for,
All our thoughts flow from innate nature,
And how can restraint help greatly?
In case of every organ of the senses,
Likes and dislikes are in built,
And so one should never be controlled by them,
For, definitely these are his great enemies.
Duties faultily done according to our innate nature are always better than,
Well and properly executed duties as done or taught by others,
For even death by doing our own duty is to be preferred,
As the travel in the path charted by others is dangerous.

Arjuna asked:-

Oh Lord of Vrushnis, then why are the men,
Being forced without willingness to do sinful actions?

The Lord replied:-

Please know as your enemies are your acts of passion,
Acts of fury, acts done for the sake of self,
Acts of great food consumption and,
Acts creating other greatly sinful actions.

Similar to fire being hidden by smoke,
The mirror being hidden because of dirt,
And the fetus is being hidden by womb,
Desire keeps wisdom in hiding.

The wisdom of man is hidden,
By the fire of his desire,
Which is his constant enemy?
And has the shape of passion,
And can never ever be satiated.

It is generally believed that desire,
Lives in the mind and sense organs,
And because of this, it hides wisdom,
And enchants the soul, which lives in the body.

Oh greatest among the Bharathas, please,
Keep under control your sense organs,
And then destroy this sinful passion, which,
Kills the knowledge and realization.

People say sense organs are great,
But Mind is greater than sense organs,
Wisdom is greater than the mind,
And that which is beyond wisdom is the soul.

Oh great warrior, thus understanding,
That which is beyond wisdom,
Controls the mind and the senses,
And by having a stable mind,
Destroy desire, which is but,
An enemy which can never be conquered..

Thus ends the third chapter of Bhagawad Gita,
Which is the essence of all Upanishads,
Which is the science of the eternal and yoga,
And the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna,
Which is called “The way of action...”
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