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Chapter 4: The state of action, wisdom and renunciation

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Life is a dream
Staff member

(Here the path of action and the path of wisdom are compared. It is concluded that wisdom is like a boat which helps us to cross the ocean of sin.)

The Lord told:-
This imperishable yoga was taught by me to the Sun God,
He taught it to Manu his son, and Manu told it to Ikshuvaku.

Kingly sages inherited this knowledge,
Oh, tormentor of enemies, but this great knowledge,
Eventually disappeared from the world.

Since you are my friend as well as my devotee,
This old knowledge is being told by me to you today,
Even though this knowledge is a great secret.

Arjuna asked:-

How can I accept this in my mind?
When I know that you were born,
Much later than the sun god,
And you claim to have taught him this?

The Lord replied:-

Oh Arjuna, the tormentor of enemies,
I know that I and you have passed through,
Several births and deaths so far,
And also know, you do not know about it.

Though I am birth less and deathless,
And also the god of all the beings that are born,
I have full control on my innate nature,
And appear similar to this form, by use of illusion*.

* Word “illusion” is being used for “Maya”.

Oh Bharatha, whenever the righteousness suffers,
And wickedness raises its head,
Then I create myself by my own illusion,
And appear from time to time to save Dharma.

I come in to this world, myself from eons to eons,
For protecting the righteous,
And for destroying the wicked.,
And also to establish righteousness.

Oh Arjuna, he, who knows correctly,
The fact of my divine births and duties,
Would not have one more birth after his death,
But would come directly to me and attain me.

Many of those who do not have desire, fear and anger
Many of those who have become mine,
And many of those who have surrendered to me,
Become purified by the sacred flame of knowledge,
And eventually would come and attain me.

I bless my devotees in the way,
In which they choose to worship me,
And Oh Arjuna, in whichever way they choose,
It is my way in all respects entirely.

Desiring for good rapid results of action done,
In this world they worship the gods,
For in the man’s world the results,
Of action are received very rapidly.

I propounded the four fold differences in men
According to their inborn nature and choice of action,
Though I am the one who is the author,
Understand me as stable and the one who is not the doer.

He who knows that actions,
Do not get attached to me,
And that I do not have,
Any attachment towards results of actions,
Is never chained or tied by any action.

Understanding this great tenet,
Our forefathers who wanted salvation,
Did do several such actions,
And so carry out actions like those of your ancestors.

Even greatly wise people are befuddled,
In classifying action from inaction,
And I will tell you about that action,
This would make you free from bad things.

Lots have to be learned about actions that has to be done,
Lots have to be learned about action which should not be done,
Lots have to be learned about inaction,
And so it is difficult to charter the path of this differentiation.

That man indeed is greatly intelligent,
Who sees inaction in action?
And action in inaction,
And he being a greatly Wise man,
Would do all his actions with a peaceful mind.

That man whose actions are devoid,
Of sensory gratification and determination
Is the one in whom the fire of his wisdom,
Has burnt his actions and is declared as ‘learned’,
By those who have very great wisdom.

He forsakes interest in results of his actions,
And is always satisfied with his life,
And also does not depend on any one,
And is seen to indulge in concentrated action,
But is perceived as one who does not do anything.

He is without any desires and controls his mind and body,
He forsakes ownership of all assets and only does,
Those actions which are absolutely necessary ,
And never suffers any bad effects at any time.

He becomes happy with anything that he gets accidentally,
He is the one who has crossed the state of duality,
He is without jealousy, has same emotions towards victory and defeat,
And he does not get tied up by his action in spite of doing it.

He is always without attachment, free from everything,
And concentrates his mind on wisdom only,
And his actions done with the spirit of sacrifice,
Vanish because they are completely dissolved.

The act of sacrifice is God,
The material that is being sacrificed is God,
This material is being sacrificed in fire which is god,
This sacrifice that is being performed is by God,
And so the one who attains the Samadhi,
By performing actions, attains God.

“Brahman” is translated here as “God” though it has a wider and much fuller meaning.
‘Samadhi’ is the state in which one becomes one with God.

Some yogis perform sacrifices to please gods,
And others sacrifice their soul in the fire of ultimate God,
And conduct the sacrifices using ultimate God.

Here Brahman is translated as Ultimate God, to differentiate it from
The concept of Gods in the first line.

Yet others sacrifice their organs of hearing,
In the fire of self control and yet others,
Sacrifice their organs of speech,
In the fire of sense organs.

Others sacrifice activities of all sense organs,
And all activities of the soul,
In the fire of self control,
Burning them by the aid of the light of wisdom.

There are yet others, who sacrifice money,
Or penance or yoga or recitation of Vedas,
Others who take up austere vows,
With unflagging and unflinching devotion.

There are others, who sacrifice outgoing breath,
In the incoming breath or incoming breath,
In outgoing breath and others who,
Stop inhaling and exhaling and hold their breath.

Some others control their food and sacrifice,
Breath in to breath and all these people,
Who know what a sacrifice is,
Are purified by the methods adopted by them.

Oh great one among the kurus, those who eat,
The remnants of food offered in sacrifices attain,
The perennial godhead and there is no world,
For those who do not perform sacrifices.

There are several methods of sacrifices,
Spread before us by the great Vedas,
Please understand that they are a part of our actions,
And understanding this gets you freedom from chains of life.

Oh tormentor of enemies, understand that,
The sacrifices of wisdom is superior to those of wealth,
For, hey Arjuna, Wisdom fulfills the entire gamut of actions
And eventually ends up in the earning of divine knowledge.

Please learn and understand this,
With humility, with enquiry and with service,
From those wise men who have realized the truth,
Who will instruct you in this type of wisdom?

Oh Pandava, Once you understand this wisdom,
You would not be troubled by illusions of this sort,
And because of that you would see all beings ,
Of the world within me and within you.

Even if you are the greatest sinner possible,
Among all the sinners of the world,
You would cross all the sins of yours,
With the help of this boat of wisdom.

Similar to the fact that a raging fire,
Turns in to ashes all the wood that is on its way,
The fire of wisdom would turn,
All your actions in to ashes.

In this world there is no greater,
Purifier than the wisdom that one has,
And over time the one who learns yoga’s,
Becomes an ace and automatically gets it.
He who is in search of wisdom,
He who controls all his sense organs,
And he who learns everything with sincerity,
Attains the state of great wisdom,
And after attaining that state soon, he attains great peace.

He who is not wise, he who does not believe,
And he who always doubts everything.
Will eventually perish and
This world does not exist for them who doubts,
And also the other worlds and pleasure,
Does not exist for them forever.

Oh Arjuna, the one who destroys actions by yoga?
The one who breaks doubts using his wisdom,
And the one who stands self possessed,
Are not stopped by duties or actions.

And so cut this doubt about the soul,
Born out of ignorance with,
The sword of wisdom and,
Be stable in the state of yoga.

Thus ends the fourth chapter of Bhagwad Gita,
This is the essence of all Upanishads,
This is the science of the eternal and yoga,
And the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna,
Which is called “The state of action, wisdom and renunciation...”
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