Bhagavadgita

Chapter 4- Jnyana Yoga

Slokas with meanings in English

Sloka text in Devanagari, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, English

||om tat sat||

||om tat sat||

શ્રી ભગવાનુવાચ:
ઇમં વિવસ્વતે યોગં પ્રોક્તવાનહમવ્યયમ્ |
વિવસ્વાન્ મનવે પ્રાહ મનુઃ ઇક્ષ્વાકવે અબ્રવીત્ ||

"I imparted the imperishable Yoga to Vivaswan, Vivaswan taught this to Manu, and Manu transmitted this to Ikshwakus."
||om tat sat||
શ્રીકૃષ્ણપરબ્રહ્મને નમઃ
શ્રીમદ્ભગવદ્ગીત
જ્ઞાન યોગઃ
ચતુર્થોઽધ્યાયઃ

Bhagavadgita
Jnyana Yoga
Chapter 4
-

The first three chapters start with a question as part of first Sloka. In the first chapter it is Dhritarashtra's question. In the second and third chapters it is Arjuna's question followed by Krishna's discourse.

For the first time, the fourth chapter starts with "Sri Bhagavan uvaacha," meaning there by that it starts with Krishna's discourse right away. Earlier Krishna has given an elaborate discourse on Karma Yoga and Buddhi Yoga in chapter 3. Having said what all he wanted to say about the paths of liberation, Krishna puts a little more weight on Karma yoga for Arjuna. Highlighting the Karma Yoga, he says it is my philosophy "યે મે મતં ઇદમ્|".

As though to support his arguments, Krishna starts the fourth chapter detailing the antiquity of the Karma Yoga, which he already said was ancient origin.

શ્રી ભગવાનુવાચ:
ઇમં વિવસ્વતે યોગં પ્રોક્તવાનહમવ્યયમ્ |
વિવસ્વાન્ મનવે પ્રાહ મનુઃ ઇક્ષ્વાકવેઽબ્રવીત્ ||1||

સ|| અવ્યયં ઇમં યોગં અહં વિવસ્વતે પ્રોક્તવાન્ | વિવસ્વાન્ મનવે પ્રાહ | મનુઃ ઇક્ષ્વાકવે અબ્રવીત્ ||1||

||Sloka meanings||

અવ્યયં ઇમં યોગં - this undecaying Yoga
અહં વિવસ્વતે પ્રોક્તવાન્ - I taught to Surya
વિવસ્વાન્ મનવે પ્રાહ - Surya taught to Manu
મનુઃ ઇક્ષ્વાકવે અબ્રવીત્ - Manu taught to Ikshwaku

||Sloka summary||
Bhagavan Said:
" I taught this ancient Yoga to Surya. Surya taught to Manu
Manu taught to Ikshwaku." ||1||

Krishna already stated that "Karma yoga" was in practice from old times. "જનકાદયઃ...," meaning King Janaka and others, have obtained liberation through the practice of Karma yoga. To impress on Arjuna that this is not something he is preaching now, Krishna brings up the antiquity

Elaborating on the ancient nature of this Karma yoga, Krishna starts the discourse with the details of when the Karma yoga was taught first. Bhagavan first taught this to Sun and from Sun it was taught to others. There on it came down to others through the ages. But this has fallen into disuse and misuse.

||Sloka 2||

એવં પરમ્પરાપ્રાપ્તં ઇમં રાજર્ષયો વિદુઃ |
સ કાલેનેહ મહતા યોગો નષ્ઠઃ પરન્તપ || 2 ||

સ||હે પરન્તપ ! એવં પરંપરા પ્રાપ્તં ઇમં રાજર્ષયઃ વિદુઃ | મહતા કાલેન સ મહતા યોગઃ ઇહ નષ્ટઃ ||2||

||Sloka meanings||

હે પરન્તપ - o, scorcher of enemies
એવં પરંપરા પ્રાપ્તં - thus received through the ages
ઇમં રાજર્ષયઃ વિદુઃ - this yoga was known to the King seers
મહતા કાલેન સ યોગઃ- due to long lapse of time this Yoga
ઇહ નષ્ટઃ - now lost

||Sloka summary||

"O, Scorcher of enemies thus received through the ages,
this yoga was known to the King seers. Due to long lapse of time this Yoga now lost." ||2||

This has been handed down through successive generations. This was also known to King-seers. But due to long lapse of time this Yoga now lost.

Since this Yoga was known to King-seers earlier, Krishna seems to imply that Arjuna, who is of the lineage of kings, can also follow the Yoga. The reference to kings also echoes the thought that if kings who are busy with the complex daily issues of managing the kingdom can follow this yoga, then people as busy in these worldly ways can also follow this Yoga.

That yoga was lost, meant that people lost track of the purpose of this Yoga. Specifically about actions to be performed without focusing on fruits. That means that great practice was almost forgotten or fallen in disuse or misuse.

So Krishna teaches that Karma Yoga to his disciple Arjuna and through him to the world at large.

||Sloka 3||

સ એવાયં મયા તેઽદ્ય યોગઃ પ્રોક્તઃ પુરાતનઃ |
ભક્તોઽસિ મે સખાચેતિ રહસ્યં હ્યેતદુત્તમમ્ || 3 ||

સ|| (ત્વં) મે ભક્તઃ સખાચ અસિ ઇતિ પુરાતનઃ સઃ એવ અયં યોગઃ અદ્ય તે મયા પ્રોક્તઃ | ઉત્તમમ્ એતત્ યોગં રહસ્યં હિ ||3||

||Sloka meanings||

મે ભક્તઃ સખાચ અસિ ઇતિ- being my devotee and friend
પુરાતનઃ સઃ એવ અયં યોગઃ - this ancient Yoga
અદ્ય તે મયા પ્રોક્તઃ - now this has been taught by Me to you
ઉત્તમમ્ એતત્ યોગં રહસ્યં હિ - this yoga is most profound and mystery.

||Sloka summary||

"Being My devotee and friend, now this this ancient Yoga
has been taught by Me to you. This yoga is most profound and mystery." ||3||

The Karma yoga, that was taught now, was conceived in the very beginning. It was ancient and mysterious. It became a mystery because people forgot the original concept of doing actions without focusing or anticipating fruits. Hence Krishna through this discourse is reviving the same.
Hearing this, Arjuna has a doubt.
||Sloka 4||

અર્જુન ઉવાચ :
અપરં ભવતો જન્મ પરં જન્મ વિવસ્વતઃ|
કથમેતદ્વિજાનીયાં ત્વમાદૌ પ્રોક્તવાનિતિ || 4 ||

સ|| ભવતઃ જન્મ અપરં | વિવસ્વતઃ જન્મ પરમ્ | આદૌ ત્વં પ્રોક્તવાન્ ઇતિ એતત્ કથં વિજાનીયામ્ ||4||

||Sloka meanings||

વિવસ્વતઃ જન્મ પરમ્ - Vivasman's birth was much before
ભવતઃ જન્મ અપરં - your birth is recent
આદૌ ત્વં પ્રોક્તવાન્ ઇતિ - that you taught him in the beginning
એતત્ કથં વિજાનીયામ્ - how am I to understand this ?

||Sloka summary||

"Vivasman's birth was much before. Your birth is recent.
How am I to understand that you taught him in the beginning?". ||4||

Arjuna's doubt is simple. How is it possible for Krishna, who is living in the present and in front of him, to say that he taught this practice ages ago to Sun. Sun was there for all practical purposes much before Krishna, who was born to Devaki and Vasudeva in the middle of the night.

That would also be the thought of all those who are not aware of Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The doubt would persist that he is not a form of divinity (Eswara) and he may not be the all-knowing personality of Godhead. Arjuna's question was in a way to bring forth the reality of Krishna as the Bhagavan removing all ambiguity.

So Krishna responds to Arjuna's query.
||Sloka 5||

શ્રી ભગવાનુવાચ:
બહૂનિ મે વ્યતીતાનિ જન્માનિ તવ ચાર્જુન |
તાનયહં વેદ સર્વાણિ ન ત્વં વેત્થ પરન્તપ || 5 ||

સ|| હે અર્જુન ! મે તવ ચ જન્માનિ બહૂનિ વ્યતીતાનિ | તાનિ સર્વાણિ અહં વેદ | હે પરન્તપ ! ત્વં નવેત્થ ||5||

||Sloka meanings||

મે તવ ચ જન્માનિ બહૂનિ - I and you have many births
વ્યતીતાનિ- (they) have passed
તાનિ સર્વાણિ અહં વેદ - I know all of them
હે પરન્તપ ત્વં નવેત્થ - O Parantapa( Arjuna) , you do not know that

||Sloka summary||

"ઓ Arjuna, I and you have many births. They have passed. I know all of them
You do not know." ||5||

This is revelation from Krishna. Krishna for the first time says that he is "Bhagavan" in Mahabharata.

Krishna reveals the following.
(1) That he has several births, he knows all of them.
(2) Though, he is "without birth", and hence need not be born, he is born on his own inscrutable powers.
(3) So why is he born like that? Krishna elaborates that also.

All of this is revealed in the next three Slokas.
||Sloka 6||

અજોઽપિ સન્નવ્યયાત્મા ભૂતાનાં ઈશ્વરોઽપિ સન્ |
પ્રકૃતિં સ્વામધિષ્ટાય સંભવામ્યાત્મમાયયા|| 6 ||

સ|| (અહમ્) અજઃ અપિ સન્ અવ્યયાત્મા અપિ સન્ ભૂતાનામ્ ઈશ્વરઃ અપિ સન્ સ્વાં પ્રકૃતિં અધિષ્ઠાય આત્મ માયયા સંભવામિ || 6||

||શ્લોકાર્થમુલુ||

અજઃ અપિ સન્ - though without birth
અવ્યયાત્મા અપિ સન્ - undecaying by nature
ભૂતાનામ્ ઈશ્વરઃ અપિ સન્ - though ( being) the Lord of all beings
સ્વાં પ્રકૃતિં અધિષ્ઠાય - controlling My nature
આત્મ માયયા સંભવામિ - by my own Maya. I take birth

||Sloka summary||

"Though without birth, undecaying by nature, (being) the Lord of all beings,
controlling My nature, I take birth by my own Maya." ||6||

The Supreme being is without birth or death. But he takes birth again and again. That is by his own power, having controlled the nature. His birth is not related to the cycle of birth and death that plague this action filled world.

When is he born? Why is he born? These are questions that get answered in the next couple of Slokas.

||Sloka 7||

યદા યદા હિ ધર્મસ્ય ગ્લાનિર્ભવતિ ભારત |
અભ્યુત્થાનં અધર્મસ્ય તદાત્માનમ્ સૃજામ્યહમ્ || 7 ||

સ|| હે ભારત યદા યદા ધર્મસ્ય ગ્લાનિઃ અધર્મસ્ય અભ્યુત્થાનમ્ ભવતિ તદા આત્માનમ્ અહમ્ સૃજામિ ||7||

||શ્લોકાર્થમુલુ||

યદા યદા ધર્મસ્ય ગ્લાનિઃ - whenever righteousness is threatened
અધર્મસ્ય અભ્યુત્થાનમ્ ભવતિ - unrighteousness is rising
તદા આત્માનમ્ અહમ્ સૃજામિ - then I project Myself

|| Sloka summary||

"O Bharata, whenever righteousness is threatened, unrighteousness is rising, then I project Myself".

That means that the Supreme being takes birth whenever righteousness is threatened, and unrighteousness is rising, He is born of his own accord. We are not done with that explanation. Krishna continues.

||Sloka 8||

પરિત્રાણાય સાધૂનામ્ વિનાશાય ચ દુષ્કૃતામ્ |
ધર્મ સંસ્થાપનાર્થાય સંભવામિ યુગે યુગે || 8 ||

સ|| સાધૂનાં પરિત્રાણાય દુષ્કૃતાં વિનાશાય ચ ધર્મ સંસ્થાપનાર્થાય યુગે યુગે સંભવામિ ||8||

||શ્લોકાર્થમુલુ||

સાધૂનાં પરિત્રાણાય - to protect the virtuous
દુષ્કૃતાં વિનાશાય ચ - destroy those evil doers
ધર્મ સંસ્થાપનાર્થાય - to establish righteousness
યુગે યુગે સંભવામિ - I am born in every age

||Sloka summary ||

"I am born in every age to protect the virtuous, destroy the evil doers, and to establish righteousness." ||8||

So in response to Arjunas query of " How is it that you belonging to the present taught Sun some ages ago?", Krishna reveals that he is an ageless soul, without birth or death. But he does take birth of his own accord, to protect the virtuous, destroy the evil doers, and establish Dharma from time to time.

This is a revelation.

Till that moment Krishna was for all practical purposes the son of Devaki and Vasudeva with magical affection for the Pandavas while coming to their rescue in all difficulties. Though it is felt that he is the form of God, there was no thought that he is the "God". That gets revealed for the first time in Gita and Mahabharata.

||Sloka 9 ||

જન્મ કર્મ ચ મે દિવ્યં એવં યો વેત્તિ તત્ત્વતઃ |
ત્યક્ત્વા દેહં પુનર્જન્મ નૈતિ મામેતિ સોઽર્જુન || 9 ||

સ|| હે અર્જુના | યઃ એવં મે દિવ્યં જન્મ કર્મ તત્ત્વતઃ વેત્તિ સઃ દેહં ત્યક્ત્વા પુનઃ જન્મ ન એતિ | સઃ મામ્ એતિ ||9||

||શ્લોકાર્થમુલુ||

હે અર્જુના - o Arjuna
યઃ એવં વેત્તિ - whoever truly knows
મે દિવ્યં જન્મ કર્મ તત્ત્વતઃ - the true nature of my divine birth and actions
સઃ દેહં ત્યક્ત્વા પુનઃ જન્મ ન એતિ - that one casting off the body will not attain birth .
સઃ મામ્ એતિ - he attains Me

||Sloka summary ||

"O Arjuna, whoever truly knows the true nature of my divine birth and actions, that one casting off the body will not attain birth. He attains Me."||9||

The one who truly knows the true nature of the Supreme being's births and actions attains liberation. Knowing truly, is not by study of scriptures or hearing the scriptures, but by experiencing that nature by his own actions. That happens for the one who attains a mental equilibrium wherein he realizes the equality of every creature.

||Sloka 10||

વીતરાગ ભય ક્રોધા મન્મયા મામુપાશ્રિતાઃ |
બહવો જ્ઞાન તપસા પૂતા મદ્ભાવમાગતાઃ ||10 ||

સ|| વીતરાગ ભયક્રોથાઃ મન્મયાઃ મામ્ ઉપાશ્રિતાઃ બહવઃ જ્ઞાનતપસા પૂતાઃ મદ્ભાવમ્ આગતાઃ ||10||

||Sloka meanings||

વીતરાગ ભયક્રોથાઃ - those who are free of passion fear and anger
મન્મયાઃ - those who have their mind focused on Me
મામ્ ઉપાશ્રિતાઃ - those who have taken refuge in Me
બહવઃ જ્ઞાનતપસા પૂતાઃ - many who were purified by austerities of Knowledge
મદ્ભાવમ્ આગતાઃ - attained My state

||Sloka summary ||

"Those who are free of passion fear and anger, those who have their mind focused on Me, those who have taken refuge in Me, and many who were purified by austerities of Knowledge, attained My state." ||10||

Having revealed his true nature he says, that people who are free from attachment, fear and anger, people with their minds focused on Him and purified by knowledge, attain His form'.
It means that by means of penance, with mind focused on knowledge, one attains liberation.
What is that knowledge?
That is the knowledge of Self.
This path of knowing him and being absorbed in him is available for the few who followed the specified path.
What would happen to others? There is Krishna's answer in the next Sloka.

||Sloka 11||

યે યથા માં પ્રપદ્યન્તે તાં સ્તથૈવ ભજામ્યહમ્ |
મમવર્ત્માનુ વર્તન્તે મનુષ્યાઃ પાર્થ સર્વશઃ || 11 ||

સ|| હે પાર્થ ! યે યથા માં પ્રપદ્યંતે તાન્ તથા એવ અહં ભજામિ | મનુષ્યાઃ મમ વર્ત્મ સર્વશઃ અનુવર્તન્તે ||11||

||Sloka meanings||

યે યથા માં પ્રપદ્યંતે - whatever manner in which they adore Me
તાન્ તથા એવ અહં ભજામિ - favor them in that very manner
મનુષ્યાઃ મમ વર્ત્મ - human being follow My path
સર્વશઃ અનુવર્તન્તે - all the time follow Me

||Sloka summary ||

"Whatever manner in which they adore Me, I favor them in that very manner. Human beings follow My path.
all the time." ||11||

There is Krishna's answer.
- 'યે યથા માં પ્રપદ્યંતે'
- 'Whoever prays to me in whichever way',
the Bhagavan accepts those prayers and rewards them in the way they sought.

Kalidasa in his immortal Raghuvamsa says of human nature, "લોકો ભિન્નરુચિઃ","People have different tastes".
One may be performing 'Nishkama Karma' and desires to attain a state of equanimity and peace. Somebody else thinking he is doing the Nishkama karma may be praying for attaining 'fruitful happiness' or the heaven.

Krishna says 'Bhagavan accepts and rewards each and every one according to their wishes'.

Even when we are thinking that we are doing Nishkama karma we must be clear about the desire. That there can be no desire while doing Nishkama Karma is the knowledge. Without that knowledge and doing the Karma with the thoughts of how and in what form we will be shown grace by the Lord for the 'Nishkama Karma' we are performing, will only mean that our mind is ceaselessly at work. Thus it will not result in one attaining the desired tranquility which is the real source of peace. Although one may be doing Karma without any specific fruit, but if in the back of the mind the thought continues about what unexpected reward one may get, then too it is no longer Nishkama karma.

So the key is controlling the mind.
||Sloka 12||

કાંક્ષન્તઃ કર્મણાં સિદ્ધિં યજન્ત ઇહ દેવતાઃ |
ક્ષિપ્રં હિ માનુષે લોકે સિદ્ધિર્ભવતિ કર્મજા || 12||

સ|| કર્મણાં સિદ્ધિમ્ કાંક્ષતઃ ઇહ દેવતાઃ યજન્તે હિ , કર્મજા સિદ્ધિઃ માનુષે લોકે ક્ષિપ્રમ્ ભવતિ ||12||

||Sloka meanings||

કર્મણાં સિદ્ધિમ્ કાંક્ષતઃ - those longing for success of their actions
ઇહ દેવતાઃ યજન્તે હિ - they worship Gods here.
માનુષે લોકે - in this human world
કર્મજા સિદ્ધિઃ ક્ષિપ્રમ્ ભવતિ - success for actions happens very quickly

||Sloka summary ||

"Those longing for success of their actions, they worship Gods here. In this human world
success for actions happens very quickly." ||12||

This is also the specialty of the life as a human being. Only living on the earth one can attain a path for liberation. Even gods living in heaven, have to come down to earth to attain Moksha.

||Sloka 13||

ચાતુર્વર્ણ્યં મયા સૃષ્ટં ગુણકર્મ વિભાગશઃ |
તસ્ય કર્તારમપિ માં વિદ્ધ્યકર્તાર મવ્યયમ્ || 13 ||

સ|| ચાતુર્વર્ણ્યં ગુણકર્મ વિભાગશઃ મયા સૃષ્ઠં| તસ્ય કર્તારમપિ મામ્ અકર્તારં અવ્યયમ્ વિદ્ધિ ||13||

||Sloka meanings||

ગુણકર્મ વિભાગશઃ - following the division of actions based on Gunas
ચાતુર્વર્ણ્યં મયા સૃષ્ઠં - four castes have been created by Me.
તસ્ય કર્તારમપિ - though I was the creator of those
મામ્ અકર્તારં અવ્યયમ્ વિદ્ધિ - know Me as the non-creator and change-less

||Sloka summary ||

"Following the division of actions based on Gunas, four castes have been created by Me. Though I was the creator of those, know Me as the non-creator and changeless." ||13||

||Sloka 14||

નમાં કર્માણિ લિમ્પન્તિ નમે કર્મફલે સ્પૃહા |
ઇતિ માં યોઽભિજાનાતિ કર્મભિઃ ન સ બધ્યતે || 14 ||

સ|| મામ્ કર્માણિ ન લિંપન્તિ | મે કર્મફલે સ્પૃહા ન | ઇતિ મામ્ યઃ અભિજાનાતિ સઃ કર્મભિઃ ન બધ્યતે ||14||

||Sloka meanings||

મામ્ કર્માણિ ન લિંપન્તિ - the actions do not bind me
મે કર્મફલે સ્પૃહા ન - I have no hankering for fruits of the actions
ઇતિ મામ્ યઃ અભિજાનાતિ - thus, whoever knows Me
સઃ કર્મભિઃ ન બધ્યતે - they will not be bound by actions

||Sloka summary ||

"The actions do not bind me. I have no hankering for the fruits of the actions.
Thus, whoever knows Me they will not be bound by actions" ||14||

So controlling the mind, he who knows the Self knows that, 'the actions do not touch me', and that 'I do not have desire on the fruits of actions'. Such a one, free of actions and fruits, will be free from the bondage of Karma.

The thought, "નમે કર્માણિ લિંપન્તિ નમે કર્મ ફલ સ્પૃહા" is like a Taraka Mantra. The repeated saying of this, makes one's own thoughts stronger in that direction. One will loses the interest in the fruits of the actions. One would develop the belief and moves forward.

||Sloka 15||

એવં જ્ઞાત્વા કૃતં કર્મ પૂર્વૈરપિ મુમુક્ષુભિઃ |
કુરુ કર્મૈવ તસ્માત્વં પૂર્વૈઃ પૂર્વતરં કૃતમ્ ||15||

સ|| એવં જ્ઞાત્વા પૂર્વૈઃ મુમુક્ષુભિઃ અપિ કર્મ કૃતં | તસ્માત્ ત્વં પૂર્વૈઃ કૃતં પૂર્વતરમ્ કર્મ એવ કુરુ ||15||

||Sloka meanings||

એવં જ્ઞાત્વા - having known this
પૂર્વૈઃ મુમુક્ષુભિઃ અપિ કર્મ કૃતં - actions were performed by the seekers of the yore
તસ્માત્ પૂર્વૈઃ પૂર્વતરમ્ કૃતં - hence the actions done by those ancient ones
કર્મ એવ ત્વં કુરુ - you also undertake that action

||Sloka summary ||

"Having known this, actions were performed by the seekers of the yore.
Hence you also undertake that action the actions done by those ancient ones". ||15||

Here, Karma means Nishkama Karma. In the olden times, the seekers on the path of liberation performed Nishkama Karma and attained liberation. Krishna tells Arjuna to follow the path of ancient Seekers.

Here, instead of giving a direction to follow Nishkama Karma himself, Krishna tells Arjuna follow your predecessors'. The direct implication to many is that in case of any confusion about actions one should follow the predecessors.

Krishna realizing that there could be confusion on the word 'Karma', clarifies the same in the next three Slokas.

||Sloka 16||

કિં કર્મ કિમકર્મેતિ કવયોઽપ્યત્ર મોહિતાઃ |
તત્તે કર્મ પ્રવક્ષ્યામિ યજ્ઞાત્વા મોક્ષ્યસેઽશુભાત્|| 16||

સ|| કર્મ કિં અકર્મ કિં ઇતિ અત્ર કવયઃ અપિ મોહિતાઃ | યત્ જ્ઞાત્વા અશુભાત્ મોક્ષ્યસે તત્ કર્મ તે પ્રવક્ષ્યામિ ||16||

||Sloka meanings||

કર્મ કિં અકર્મ કિં ઇતિ - what is કર્મ ? what is અકર્મ?
અત્ર કવયઃ અપિ મોહિતાઃ - even the learned are confused in this matter.
યત્ જ્ઞાત્વા અશુભાત્ મોક્ષ્યસે - hearing which you will be free of confusion
તત્ કર્મ તે પ્રવક્ષ્યામિ - That action I will tell you know.

||Sloka summary ||

"What is કર્મ? what is અકર્મ? Even the learned are confused in this matter. Hearing which you will be free of confusion
that action, I will tell you know." ||17||

Karma has been mentioned in variety of contexts. Vedas are full of actions focused on results. There can definitely be confusion on the meaning of 'Karma'. Krishna is always using Karma in the context of Nishkama Karma. So here Krishna clarifies about Karma. Karma is about action to be done. Akarma is a state of not doing any action. These get elaborated in the next few Slokas.

||Sloka 17||

કર્મણોહ્યપિ બોદ્ધવ્યં બોદ્ધવ્યં ચ વિકર્મણઃ |
અકર્મણશ્ચ બોદ્ધવ્યં ગહના કર્મણો ગતિઃ || 17 ||

સ|| કર્મણઃ અપિ બોદ્ધવ્યં | વિકર્મણઃ બોદ્ધવ્યમ્| અકર્મણઃ ચ બોદ્ધવ્યમ્ |કર્મણઃ ગતિઃ ગહના હિ || 17||

||Sloka meanings||

કર્મણઃ અપિ બોદ્ધવ્યં - some thing is to be known about action
વિકર્મણઃ બોદ્ધવ્યમ્ - some thing is to be known about prohibited action too
અકર્મણઃ ચ બોદ્ધવ્યમ્ - something to be known about inaction
કર્મણઃ ગતિઃ ગહના હિ - the course of action is indeed profound

||Sloka summary ||

" Some thing is to be known about action
Some thing is to be known about prohibited action too.
Something to be known about inaction.
The course of action is indeed profound." ||17||

Here three topics have proposed. Action, prohibited action and inaction. It is important to know all the three. Unable to decipher the consequences, some may think that inaction as a better course of action, and thus pursue inaction. To ward off such confusion, Krishna is elaborating all the three again.

||Sloka 18||

કર્મણ્યકર્મ યઃ પશ્યેત્ અકર્મણિ ચ કર્મ યઃ|
સ બુદ્ધિમાન્ મનુષ્યેષુ સ યુક્તઃ કૃત્સ્નકર્મકૃત્ || 18||

સ|| કર્મણિ અકર્મ યઃ પશ્યેત્ અકર્મણિ ચ કર્મ યઃ પશ્યેત્ સઃ મનુષ્યેષુ બુદ્ધિમાન્ સઃ યુક્તઃ કૃત્સ્નકર્મકૃત્ ભવતિ |18||

||Sloka meanings||

કર્મણિ અકર્મ યઃ પશ્યેત્ - the one who can see inaction in action
અકર્મણિ ચ કર્મ યઃ પશ્યેત્ - one who can see action in inaction
સઃ મનુષ્યેષુ બુદ્ધિમાન્ - he is a wise one among men
સઃ યુક્તઃ - he is engaged in Yoga
કૃત્સ્નકર્મકૃત્ ભવતિ - he is the one performing all actions

||Sloka summary ||

"The one who can see inaction in action,
one who can see action in inaction,
He is a wise one among men, he is engaged in Yoga.
He is the one performing all actions." ||18||

The Karma is of two types. The 'Karma' that needs to be done (Niyata Karma) and the Karma that has been barred (Nishiddha Karma) which is spoken as 'vikarma'. Not doing any Karma is aKarma. The one who knows the difference between "Karma" 'vikarma' and 'aKarma' is the one who understands Karma and possess the knowledge of Karma.

Knowing the difference between the three, and yet being able to 'aKarma' in 'Karma' which is properly performed and seeing 'Karma in 'aKarma' which is improperly performed, is the one who is wise.

That wise man is deemed to have performed all actions.
That is the actions that needed to be done
That means he is primed for liberation.

So what is that 'aKarma' in 'Karma'?

Performing Nishkama karma one does not expect any fruits of such action by definition. So performing that Karma or action without ownership of that action is key.

What is meant by not having the ownership of that action?

It is common failing of all of us that when we perform the action, we see ourselves as the doer. Even to the extent of saying to ourself that because 'I' did it, it 'got' done. Discarding the Self in that action and also ascribing that action as the action done with God's grace is called as 'not having the ownership'.

Such action will result in no bondage.

That means though we did that 'karma', having ascribed that to the grace of God, it is as though we have not done any 'karma'. That 'karma' performed is like 'aKarma' only. That is seeing 'aKarma' in 'Karma'

Then what is 'Karma' in 'aKarma'?

If a person without changing his nature which is governed by Rajo, Tamo and Sattvic Gunas, by physically keeping control of the sense organs and then not doing any 'Karma' thinks he is doing no Karma or 'aKarma' hence no bondage. But because of the nature dominated by Tamo and Rajo Gunas his mind may not be under control. Though he is not physically doing any actions, his mind is elsewhere and doing its utmost travelling at speeds beyond light! Such a one though seemingly performing no 'aKarma' or no action is actually doing 'Karma' through his ceaseless mind!

The wise one thus sees through such 'karma' in 'aKarma' too!

Thus knowing the differences between 'Karma' 'aKarma' and 'vKarma' and if one is able to see 'aKarma' in 'Karma' and 'Karma' in 'aKarma,' then such a person who acts without desire, distills the action in the fire of Knowledge, and is known as 'Pandita. Such a one is free from bondage of action.

||Sloka 19||

યસ્ય સર્વે સમારમ્ભાઃ કામ સંકલ્પવર્જિતાઃ |
જ્ઞાનાગ્નિ દગ્ધકર્માણાં તમાહુઃ પણ્ડિતં બુધાઃ || 19 ||

સ|| યસ્ય સર્વે સમારમ્ભાઃ કામસંકલ્પ વર્જિતાઃ જ્ઞાનાગ્નિ દગ્ધકર્માણમ્ તં પંડિતં ઇતિ બુધાઃ આહુઃ||19||

||Sloka meanings||

યસ્ય સર્વે સમારમ્ભાઃ - the one whose actions are all
કામસંકલ્પ વર્જિતાઃ - free of intent for fruits
જ્ઞાનાગ્નિ દગ્ધકર્માણમ્ - whose actions are burnt away in the fire of knowledge
તં પંડિતં ઇતિ બુધાઃ આહુઃ - he is called as wise man by those who know

||Sloka summary ||

"Those who know call him wise, whose actions are all free of intent for fruits,
whose actions are burnt away in the fire of knowledge"." ||19||

Knowing the differences between action, prohibited action and inaction, then who is able to perform actions free of intent for fruits, whose actions are based on the knowledge of ordained action, prohibited action and inaction, such one is indeed a wise man.

||Sloka 20||

ત્યક્ત્વા કર્મ ફલાસઙ્ગં નિત્ય તૃપ્તો નિરાશ્રયઃ |
કર્મણ્યભિપ્રવૃતોઽપિ નૈવ કિંચિત્કરોતિ સઃ || 20||

સ|| ફલાસંગં ત્યક્ત્વા નિત્ય તૃપ્તઃ નિરાશ્રયઃ કર્મણિ અભિપ્રવૃત્તઃ સઃ કિંચિત્ ( કર્મ) ન કરોતિ એવ ||20||

||Sloka meanings||

ફલાસંગં ત્યક્ત્વા - having given up fruits of action
નિત્ય તૃપ્તઃ નિરાશ્રયઃ - being always satisfied, and free possessions
કર્મણિ અભિપ્રવૃત્તઃ - though engaged in actions
સઃ કિંચિત્ ( કર્મ) ન કરોતિ એવ - he is like having not performed any action
||Sloka summary ||

"Having given up fruits of action, being always satisfied, and free possessions,
though one is engaged in actions, he is like having not performed any action." ||20||

Here, three important characteristics have been told.
- giving up fruits of action
- being always satisfied,
- being free of possession or ownership

The one with these three characteristics is free from any taint of action performed, since he has given up on the fruits of action.
Since he is always satisfied, he has no concern of happiness or sorrow out of the actions performed.
Since he is free of possession or ownership, he is free from such concerns.
It is as though he has not performed any action even if he performs one.

|| Sloka 21||

નિરાશીર્યત ચિત્તાત્મા ત્યક્ત સર્વ પરિગ્રહઃ |
શારીરં કેવલં કર્મ કુર્વન્નાપ્નોતિ કિલ્બિષમ્|| 21 ||

સ|| નિરાશીઃ યતચિત્તાત્મા ત્યક્ત સર્વ પરિગ્રહઃ શારીરં કેવલં કર્મ કુર્વન્ કિલ્બિષમ્ ( પાપં) ન આપ્નોતિ ||21||

||Sloka meanings||

નિરાશીઃ યતચિત્તાત્મા - the one without craving, the one with his mind and body organs under his control
ત્યક્ત સર્વ પરિગ્રહઃ - one who has given up all possessions
શારીરં કેવલં કર્મ કુર્વન્ - though performing actions with his body
કિલ્બિષમ્ ( પાપં) ન આપ્નોતિ - does not incur sin

||Sloka summary ||

"The one without craving, the one with his mind and body organs under his control
one who has given up all possessions, though performing actions with his body does not incur sin." ||21||

Here also three characteristics are mentioned.
- one without craving,
- one whose mind and body organs are under control,
- who has renounced all possessions.
Such a person though involved in action, since he has no craving for the fruits, he remains unattached. Since his mind is under control the resulting actions do not give him sorrow or happiness. Since he renounced all possessions, the possibility of his acquiring possessions and bondages also vanishes. So he does not incur any sin.

Such a one, as above, may be doing action for welfare of the community then also in spite of that action he is free from bondage of that action. On the other hand such a one being already aware of Brahman is no longer concerned with action, but may be doing Karma for maintaining the body by accepting alms. Even then he still remains free of bondage of action.

||Sloka 22||

યદૃચ્ચાલાભસંતુષ્ઠો દ્વન્દ્વાતીતો વિમત્સરઃ |
સમઃ સિદ્ધાવસિદ્ધૌ ચ કૃત્વાપિ ન નિબધ્યતે || 22||

સ||યદૃચ્ચાલાભસંતુષ્ટઃ દ્વન્દ્વ અતીતઃ વિમત્સરઃ સિદ્ધૌ અસિદ્ધૌ ચ સમઃ કૃત્વા અપિ સઃ ન નિબધ્યતે ||22||

||Sloka meanings||

યદૃચ્ચાલાભસંતુષ્ટઃ - one who is happy with what is gained by chance
દ્વન્દ્વ અતીતઃ વિમત્સરઃ - one who is free of dualities and free of jealousy
સિદ્ધૌ અસિદ્ધૌ ચ સમઃ- one who is equipoised in success and failure
કૃત્વા અપિ સઃ ન નિબધ્યતે - even when he performs actions he is not bound by the same

||Sloka summary ||

"One who is happy with what is gained by chance,
one who is free of dualities and free of jealousy,
one who is equipoised in success and failure,
is not bound even when he performs actions." ||22||

Here, Krishna clarifies who is not bound by any actions he performs.
- One who is happy with what is gained by chance.
- One who is free of dualities and free of jealousy.
- One who is equipoised in success and failure.

Continuing the thread of that enlightened one, Krishna says the enlightened one is contented with what comes to him by chance, being free of the dualities of happiness and sorrow, being without jealousy, and not being concerned with favored results etc., and being able to maintain equanimity at all times. Thus he is not bound by the results of actions.

Such an enlightened one is free from Karma. He attains liberation.

||Sloka 23||

ગતસઙ્ગસ્ય મુક્તસ્ય જ્ઞાનાવસ્થિતચેતસઃ |
યજ્ઞાયાચરતઃ કર્મ સમગ્રં પ્રવિલીયતે || 23||

સ|| ગત સઙ્ગસ્ય મુક્તસ્ય જ્ઞાનાવસ્થિત ચેતસઃ યજ્ઞાય આચરતઃ કર્મ સમગ્રં પ્રવિલીયતે ||23||

||Sloka meanings||

ગત સઙ્ગસ્ય મુક્તસ્ય - one without attachments, one who is free from bondages
જ્ઞાનાવસ્થિત ચેતસઃ - one whose mind is steeped in knowledge
યજ્ઞાય આચરતઃ કર્મ - performs action of sacrifice (to please gods)
સમગ્રં પ્રવિલીયતે - that action is fully dissolved in the sacrificial act

||Sloka summary ||

"One without attachments, one who is free from bondages,
one whose mind is steeped in knowledge, performs action of sacrifice to please gods
that action is fully dissolved in the sacrificial act." ||23||

Here, Krishna is talking about one whose Karma gets dissipated, leaving him free.
One may wonder who is that man performing Karma, but free from Karma and how does his Karma dissipate making him attain liberation.

Krishna elaborates the characteristics of such a devotee.
- He is the one without attachment to anything,
- He is the one who is free, freed from the distortions of desire and anger,
- he is the one whose mind is absorbed in the knowledge of Self.

The Karma, which was done to please the Lord, by such a devotee is dissolved, keeping him free of bondage of Karma.

That Karma is dissolved because the devotee is free of attachment for that action. because he is free from distortions of desire and anger, and because with his mind absorbed in the knowledge of Self, he truly has no interest in the karma or its results.

That karma may be karma done to please the Lord or it may be Karma done for community welfare. But the result is same.

Krishna in this process has elaborated on the Sacrifice is nothing but actions done to please God.

Sacrifice is a primary act in Vedas. In Vedas it is defined as an action of great discipline. In the Sacrifice there are several important actors and actions. The one with the intent to perform the sacrifice, the four priests performing sacrifice, the sacrificial offering, the sacrificial fire into which offerings are placed, are all very important. The offering is placed in the sacrificial fire and is consumed by the fire. Fire is symbolically considered as the one carrying the offering to the gods on behalf of the one who initiated the sacrifice. The gods accept the sacrificial offering and in turn they please the performer of the sacrifice with his wishes. This is described in Vedas as a detailed process. The process must be adhered to very rigorously. If not performed properly the sacrifice may face inordinate difficulties. We have greatest of the Kings Dasaratha himself saying so, telling his ministers to take all care before undertaking the Sacrifice he is performing for being favored with children. Such sacrifices are indeed not in the realm of common people. Even putting together the material to perform sacrifice is difficult for a common man. In that context Krishna has redefined the Sacrifice as simply an act to please God. An act to please God by anybody without the need for the four priests to perform the sacrifice.

The key items of a Sacrifice being the offering, and the fire, Krishna redefines the offerings for the god and the symbolic fire into which the offerings go for fulfilment. Thus this is a new meaning for sacrifice, which is within the reach of everyone from a king to the layman. It is within the reach of men and women. The highly educated and the commoner, the rich and the poor, as well as those belonging to all the four castes.

The various types of sacrifices are detailed in the following Slokas.

||Sloka 24||

બ્રહ્માર્પણમ્ બ્રહ્મહવિઃ બ્રહ્મગ્નૌ બ્રહ્મણા હુતમ્ |
બ્રહ્મૈવ તેન ગન્તવ્યં બ્રહ્મકર્મસમાધિના || 24 ||

સ|| (યજ્ઞે) અર્પણં બ્રહ્મ | હવિઃ બ્રહ્મ | બ્રહ્મગ્નૌ બ્રહ્મણા હુતં બ્રહ્મ એવ | બ્રહ્મ કર્મ સમાધિના તેન ગન્તવ્યં બ્રહ્મ એવ ||24||

||Sloka meanings||

(યજ્ઞે) અર્પણં બ્રહ્મ - the ladle of offering is brahman
હવિઃ બ્રહ્મ - offering is Brahman
બ્રહ્મગ્નૌ - the fire is Brahman
બ્રહ્મણાહુતં બ્રહ્મ એવ - the act of offering too is Brahman
બ્રહ્મ કર્મ સમાધિના - the one who concentrates on the act of Brahman
તેન ગન્તવ્યં બ્રહ્મ એવ - the place to be reached by him too is Brahman

||Sloka summary ||

"The ladle of offering is Brahman. The offering is Brahman. The fire is Brahman.
The act of offering too is Brahman.
The one who concentrates on the act of Brahman and the place to be reached by him too is Brahman." ||24||

Everything in the act of sacrifice is imbued with Brahman. The one who performs sacrifice, with that feeling of Brahman everywhere, reaches the ultimate place of Brahman.

The one who is free from attachments, who is free from the distortions of desire and anger, whose mind is absorbed in the knowledge of Self is one who has realized Brahman. The act of such a one to please the God is itself a Sacrifice, though without the paraphernalia of a Sacrifice including arpanas, homa, or the materials for Homa, or a formal Karta or doer of the Homa.
He sees the instruments used in Sacrifice themselves as Brahman,
He sees the oblation poured into the fire as Brahman
He sees the fire as Brahman, and the one conducting the fire as Brahman,
The fruit obtained by such one is also Brahman.

The sacrifice of such a one, which is in essence an act to please the God, is called the sacrifice of Knowledge.
Here in this sacrifice of the knowledge seeker the doer, the act, the action of doing that all are seen as Brahman.

Thus Krishna defined the act of pleasing God by a realized soul as Sacrifice, more specifically as a Sacrifice of knowledge. Till then the act of 'Sacrifice' of 'Yagnya' is the most important act defined in the Vedas. All intricacies in performing the 'Sacrifice' are detailed in Brahmanas of Vedas. Such a sacrifice with all paraphernalia is beyond the reach of many. Here, Krishna defined a sacrifice devoid of all Vedic karma, free of rituals, free 'arpanas', free of 'ahuti', free of all processes. He called that Sacrifice, a Sacrifice of Knowledge. It is essentially a Sacrifice embedded in Knowledge.

While this "Sacrifice embedded in knowledge is free of Vedic rituals, it is still beyond all normal people. Even this is still available to only the most accomplished of the seekers of Brahman. So, as though to simplify the process of Sacrifice further, Krishna defines several other forms of worship to please God. Each of which is also another form of Sacrifice.

Krishna already stated that "Sacrifice' as acts to please God, with no links to fruits of that action. There are many ways to please the God. Krishna in this discourse details twelve of them.

||Sloka 25||

દૈવમેવાપરે યજ્ઞં યોગિનઃ પર્યુપાસતે |
બ્રહ્માગ્નાવપરે યજ્ઞં યજ્ઞેનૈવોપજુહ્વતિ || 25||

સ|| અપરે યોગિનઃ યજ્ઞં દૈવં પર્યુપાસતે |અપરે યજ્ઞેનૈવ યજ્ઞમ્ બ્રહ્મગ્નૌ ઉપજુહ્વતિ ||25||

||Sloka meanings||

અપરે યોગિનઃ - some Yogis
દૈવં યજ્ઞં એવ પર્યુપાસતે - offer sacrifice to gods alone
અપરે યજ્ઞેનૈવ યજ્ઞમ્ - others offer Self itself as Sacrifice
બ્રહ્મગ્નૌ ઉપજુહ્વતિ - in the fire of Brahman

||Sloka summary ||

"Some Yogis offer sacrifice to gods alone.
others offer Self itself as Sacrifice in the fire of Brahman." ||25||

Here two types of sacrifices have been defined.

First one is that some offer sacrifice to Gods. While saying some offer sacrifice to Gods, the sacrifice offered is the worship they conduct. The worship conducted is treated as the offering consumed in the devotion of the offering devotee.

The second one is Brahma Yajnya. This is about offering Self as the offering, consumed in the fire of knowledge of Brahman.

||Sloka 26||

શ્રોત્રાદીનીન્દ્રિયાણ્યન્યે સંયમાગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ |
શબ્દાદીન્વિષયાનન્ય ઇન્દ્રિયાગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ || 26||

સ|| અન્યે શ્રોત્રાદીનિ ઇન્દ્રિયાણિ સંયમ અગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ |અન્ય શબ્દાદીન્ વિષયાન્ ઇન્દ્રિયાગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ ||26||

||Sloka meanings||

અન્યે શ્રોત્રાદીનિ ઇન્દ્રિયાણિ - some offer ear and other organs
સંયમ અગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ - in the fire of self-control
અન્ય શબ્દાદીન્ વિષયાન્ - some others offer sense objects like sound
ઇન્દ્રિયાગ્નિષુ જુહ્વતિ - in the fire of senses

||Sloka summary ||

"Some offer ear and other organs in the fire of self-control.
Some others offer sense objects like sound in the fire of senses ". ||26||
.

Here two types of sacrifice are defined.

First is the offering of the sense organs. These sense organs are offered into a fire of restraint. The act of sense organs being restrained from objects, is the sacrifice. Thus the practice of restraint of organs itself is treated as a sacrifice.

For the Seekers of liberation, the restraint of organs is literally the first step.
Krishna made that restraint itself as a sacrifice.

The second Sacrifice defined is the restraint of sense objects.

The senses keep roaming about the sense objects. Realizing the defects in those objects, the desire for those objects is to be renounced. If not renounced the senses keep running towards them. If we do not renounce the desires, with the senses continuing their forays, the mind will have no peace. Only when the objects are renounced, one is able to achieve peace and stabilize his mind, leading to the knowledge of Self. So the practice of restraint of sense objects is also one more step in the process of liberation. This has been made into a sacrifice itself.

||Sloka 27||

સર્વાણીન્દ્રિયકર્માણિ પ્રાણકર્માણિ ચાપરે |
આત્મસંયમયોગાગ્નૌ જુહ્વતિ જ્ઞાનદીપિતે || 27 ||

સ|| અપરે સર્વાણિ ઇંદ્રિયકર્માણિ પ્રાણ કર્માણિ ચ જ્ઞાનદીપિતે આત્મ સંયમ અગ્નૌ જુહ્વતિ ||27||

||Sloka meanings||
અપરે સર્વાણિ ઇંદ્રિયકર્માણિ - all the activities of sense organs
પ્રાણ કર્માણિ ચ - as well as the activities of vital airs
જ્ઞાનદીપિતે- lighted by the fire of knowledge
આત્મ સંયમ અગ્નૌ જુહ્વતિ - offered in the fire of Self-control ||Sloka summary ||

"Some others offer all the activities of sense organs, as well as the activities of vital airs,
as the offerings in the fire of Self-control, lighted by the fire of knowledge." ||27||

Here, the sacrifice is the restraint of the mind.

The mind is like horses without control. The control of senses as well as sense objects is possible with the control of mind only. To bring the mind under control, the intellect which is in a higher plane, has to be used to bring mind under control. This control of mind is itself presented as a sacrifice.

||Sloka 28||

દ્રવ્ય યજ્ઞા તપો યજ્ઞા યોગ યજ્ઞાસ્તથાપરે |
સ્વાધ્યાય જ્ઞાનયજ્ઞશ્ચ યતયઃ સંશિતવ્રતાઃ || 28 ||

સ|| અપરે દ્રવ્ય યજ્ઞાઃ અપરે તપો યજ્ઞા અપરે યોગ યજ્ઞા તથા અપરે સ્વાધ્યાય જ્ઞાન યજ્ઞા | તે યતયઃ સંશિત વ્રતાઃ ||28||

||Sloka meanings||

અપરે દ્રવ્ય યજ્ઞાઃ - some others perform sacrifice of materials
અપરે તપો યજ્ઞા - some others sacrifice their penance
અપરે યોગ યજ્ઞા - some other sacrifice their Yoga
અપરે સ્વાધ્યાય જ્ઞાન યજ્ઞા - some others through study and through knowledge
તે યતયઃ - those diligent ones
સંશિત વ્રતાઃ - perform with severe discipline

||Sloka summary ||

"Some others perform sacrifice of materials. Some others sacrifice their penance.
Some other sacrifice their Yoga. Some others through acts of study and through knowledge as sacrifice.
Those diligent ones perform sacrifices with severe discipline". ||28||

Here four more sacrifices were mentioned.

Material sacrifice is the sacrifice of materials using their wealth.

Sacrifice of penance is performing penance as a form of Sacrifice.

Yoga sacrifice is people treat performing yoga with its sub-disciplines of Yama and Niyama as Sacrifice

Yoga of study and knowledge is the study of scriptures as a sacrifice.

Studying a scripture, as well as writing a scripture also qualify as sacrifices here.
One may take up any of these activities as a form of sacrifice.

||Sloka 29||

અપાને જુહ્વતિ પ્રાણં પ્રાણેઽપાનં તથાઽપરે |
પ્રાણાપાન ગતીરુદ્ધ્વા પ્રાણાયામપરાયણાઃ || 29 ||

સ|| પ્રાણાયામપરાયણાઃ અપરે પ્રાણાપાન ગતી રુદ્ધ્વા અપાને પ્રાણં તથા પ્રાણે અપાનમ્ જુહ્વતિ ||29||

||Sloka meanings||

પ્રાણાયામપરાયણાઃ અપરે - those who are well versed in the Pranayama
પ્રાણાપાન ગતી રુદ્ધ્વા - having controlled the paths of Prana and Apana
અપાને પ્રાણં તથા પ્રાણે અપાનમ્ જુહ્વતિ -sacrifice the Apana in the Prana, and Prana in the Apana
- .

||Sloka summary ||

"Those who are well versed in the Pranayama, having controlled the paths of Prana and Apana
sacrifice the Apana in the Prana, and Prana in the Apana." ||29||

Here, the practice of Pranayama is treated as a sacrifice.

||Sloka 30||

અપરે નિયતાહારઃ પ્રાણાન્ પ્રાણેષુ જુહ્વતિ |
સર્વેઽપ્યેતે યજ્ઞવિદો યજ્ઞક્ષપિત કલ્મષાઃ ||30||

સ|| અપરે નિયતાહારઃ પ્રાણાન્ પ્રાણેષુ જુહ્વતિ | એતે સર્વે અપિ યજ્ઞવિદઃ યજ્ઞ ક્ષપિત કલ્મષાઃ ||30||

||Sloka meanings||

અપરે નિયતાહારઃ - some with restraint on food
પ્રાણાન્ પ્રાણેષુ જુહ્વતિ - offer the vital airs in vital airs
એતે સર્વે અપિ યજ્ઞવિદઃ - All these people know the sacrifice
યજ્ઞ ક્ષપિત કલ્મષાઃ - they are the one with their sins destroyed by the sacrifices.

||Sloka summary ||

"Some with restraint on food offer the vital airs in vital airs. All these people know the sacrifices.
They are the one with their sins destroyed by the sacrifices." ||30||

In all these sacrifices, the one who is performing the sacrifice is noted as one who has firm conviction about the task one takes up. The performers of these sacrifices have their sins destroyed by the sacrifices.

Thus in this discourse Krishna detailed twelve types of Sacrifices which are summarized here.

1 Daiva Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on worshiping. It is simply worshipping God with intensity of purpose. That worship itself is treated as Yagnya.

2 Brahma Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on philosophic enquiry. Through enquiry and purification making the mind be absorbed in Brahman. This enquiry and pursuit of Brahman itself is the Yagnya.

3 Indriya Samyama Yajnya: A sacrifice focusing on the control of sensory organs. The control of sense organs is a first step to achieve liberation- Focusing on sense controls itself is a Yagnya or sacrifice.

4 Sabdadi Vishaya Nirodha Yajnya: A sacrifice focusing on not getting into worldly affairs. The sensory organs move about and get absorbed in various issues that are heard. Enquiry and rejection of the faulty issues so that the sensory organs are not diverted is the Yagnya. When the diversion of sensory organs on unrelated issues is stopped the mind acquires a tranquility and peace. Which leads to liberation.

5 Mano Nigraha Yajnya: A sacrifice focusing on control of mind. In the hierarchy of human faculties Sensory organs at a higher level than body. But the mind is at a higher level than sensory organs. Both the Indriya Samyama Yagnya controlling the sense organs and the Sabdaadi Vishaya nirodha Yagnya controlling the sensory organs dwelling on sundry issues requires the mind to control them. To control mind is the activity of Intellect which is at higher level. The practice of controlling mind itself is taken as activity and treated as a Yajnya.

6 Dravya Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on using one's wealth in charity is also a Yagnya.

7 Tapo Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on penance as an activity to get the control of sensory organs etc

8 Yoga Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on Yoga. This is the Ashtanga yoga as Yajnya.

9 Svadhyaa Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on self-study. Study of Vedas and Upanishads,

10 Gnyana Yajnya: A sacrifice focused on study, assimilation of Vedas and Upanishads as well as practicing the learnings.

11 Pranayama Yajnya: Practicing Pranayama as a Yagnya

12 Ahara Niyama Yajnya: Practicing tight dietary control as form of sacrifice.

It can be seen that all the twelve Yagnyas mentioned about requires consistent effort of some form with dedication.
Doing that with commitment and severity of purpose is their Yagnya or sacrifice.

This is a novel way of defining the Yajnya.

The Yagnyas defined in Vedas through Samhita and Brahmanas bear no resemblance to this description of Yajnya. Thus Krishna in this discourse has simplified the ritual of Yajnya requiring priests and following Vedic chants, which is way beyond a common man, to a process which is well within the means of an ordinary man with an intent.

People who take up these sacrifices have strong conviction about the sacrifices they offer.

||Sloka 31||

યજ્ઞશિષ્ટામૃત ભુજો યાન્તિ બ્રહ્મ સનાતનમ્|
નાયં લોકોઽસ્ત્યયજ્ઞસ્ય કુતોઽન્યઃકુરુસત્તમ || 31||

સ|| હે કુરુસત્તમ ! યજ્ઞશિષ્ઠા મૃતભુજઃ સનાતનમ્ બ્રહ્મ યાન્તિ | અયજ્ઞસ્ય અયં લોકઃ નાસ્તિ | અન્યઃ કુતઃ ||31||

||Sloka meanings||

યજ્ઞશિષ્ઠા મૃતભુજઃ - those who partake in the ambrosial remains of a sacrifice
સનાતનમ્ બ્રહ્મ યાન્તિ - attain eternal Brahman
અયજ્ઞસ્ય અયં લોકઃ નાસ્તિ - those who do not perform Sacrifice have no place in this world
અન્યઃ કુતઃ - where is another?

||Sloka summary ||'

"Those who partake in the ambrosial remains of a sacrifice attain eternal Brahman.
O best of Kurus, those who do not perform Sacrifice have no place in this world, where is another?" ||31||

'યજ્ઞશિષ્ઠાશિનઃ' means those who partake in the ambrosial remains of the Sacrifice. It is part of the process of Sacrifice in the original sense of a Sacrifice with sacrificial paraphernalia. In the context of Sacrifices defined by Krishna, the ambrosial remains of the sacrifice are nectar equivalent of peace. The one performing these sacrifices achieves peace. Those who do not perform such sacrifices does not attain the peace in this world. There is no question of attaining peace in the other world. That is the import of this Sloka.

||Sloka 32||

એવં બહુવિથા યજ્ઞા વિતતા બ્રહ્મણો મુખે |
કર્મજાન્ વિદ્ધિ તાન્ સર્વાન્ એવં જ્ઞાત્વા વિમોક્ષ્યસે || 32||

સ|| એવમ્ બહુવિથાઃ યજ્ઞાઃ બ્રહ્મણઃ મુખે વિતતાઃ | તાન્ સર્વાન્ કર્મજાન્ વિત્થિ |એવં જ્ઞાત્વા વિમોક્ષ્યસે ||32||

||Sloka meanings ||

એવમ્ બહુવિથાઃ યજ્ઞાઃ - thus various kinds of sacrifice
બ્રહ્મણઃ મુખે વિતતાઃ - have been elaborated in Vedas
તાન્ સર્વાન્ કર્મજાન્ વિત્થિ - know them all to be born of action
એવં જ્ઞાત્વા વિમોક્ષ્યસે - knowing thus you will be liberated

||Sloka summary ||

"Thus various kinds of sacrifice have been elaborated in Vedas. Know them all to be born of action.
Knowing thus you will be liberated." ||32||

Many sacrifices have been detailed in Vedas. They are all born of action, both physical, oral, and mental. Knowing the actions namely the ordained, prohibited and inactions, and performing sacrificial actions one attains Moksha.

||Sloka 33||

શ્રેયાન્ દ્રવ્યમયાદ્યજ્ઞા જ્ઞાનયજ્ઞઃ પરન્તપ |
સર્વં કર્માખિલં પાર્થ જ્ઞાને પરિસમાપ્યતે || 33||

સ|| હે પરન્તપ ! દ્રવ્યમયાત્ યજ્ઞાત્ જ્ઞાન યજ્ઞઃ શ્રેયાન્ | હે પાર્થ ! સર્વં કર્મ અખિલમ્ જ્ઞાને પરિસમાપ્યતે ||33||

||Sloka meanings||

જ્ઞાન યજ્ઞઃ શ્રેયાન્ - Sacrifice of Knowledge is better
દ્રવ્યમયાત્ યજ્ઞાત્ - than the material oriented Sacrifice
હે પાર્થ ! સર્વં કર્મ અખિલમ્ - O Partha , all actions in their totality
જ્ઞાને પરિસમાપ્યતે - culminate in Knowledge

||Sloka summary ||

"Sacrifice of Knowledge is better than the material-oriented Sacrifice.
O Partha, all actions in their totality culminate in Knowledge" ||33||

Having detailed many types of Sacrifices, Krishna sets aside Jnyana Yajnya as better than Dravya Yagnya.
The Jnyana Yajnya is the sacrifice based on study, assimilation, and practice of Upanishads. The Dravya Yagnya is the sacrifice based on using one's wealth for charity. The Jnyana Yagnya includes assimilation of knowledge of Upanishads. The assimilated knowledge is never destroyed and remains with the doer.

The Dravya Yagnya means being involved in charity and obtaining the delight of charity. With the delight itself as the ultimate result of charity and not pursuing any other fruit through that charity, one is indeed performing Nishkama karma. That leads to freeing up of mind and thereafter comes liberation. The action in Dravya Yagnya is the charity. In the action of charity, charity dissolves once it is completed, though delight remains with the doer.

In Jnyana Yagnya the action is acquisition of knowledge. The acquired knowledge remains with the one practicing the Jnyana Yagnya. That is the point Krishna is making.

If Jnyana Yagnya is better than how to acquire that Jnyana/knowledge? Krishna elaborates.

||Sloka 34||

તદ્વિદ્ધિ પ્રણિ પાતેન પરિપ્રશ્નેન સેવયા |
ઉપદેક્ષ્યન્તિ તે જ્ઞાનં જ્ઞાનિનઃ તત્ત્વ દર્શિનઃ || 34 ||

સ|| તત્ જ્ઞાનં પ્રણિપાતેન પરિપ્રશ્નેન સેવયા વિદ્ધિ | તત્ત્વ દર્શિનઃ જ્ઞાનિનઃ તે ઉપદેશ્યન્તિ ||34||

||Sloka meanings||

તત્ જ્ઞાનં વિદ્ધિ - know that knowledge
પ્રણિપાતેન - by prostrating
પરિપ્રશ્નેન- by asking searching questions
સેવયા વિદ્ધિ - by service
તત્ત્વ દર્શિનઃ - those who have known the truth
જ્ઞાનિનઃ તે ઉપદેશ્યન્તિ - the knowers will teach you

||Sloka summary ||

"Know that knowledge by prostrating, by asking searching questions, and by service.
the knowers, who have known the truth, will teach you."||34||

Krishna has a very simple answer for how one may acquire the knowledge.
- By seeking out a master and prostrating before him.
- By querying the Guru with respect.
- By performing services.

How to find a master, to whom we perform services?
Krishna answers that also. Masters are people of Knowledge and having the experience of Brahman

Who can acquire the knowledge from the Master?
- the ones who has the focus.
- the one who live in that purpose
- the one who conquered the sensory organs.

||Sloka 35||

યત્ જ્ઞાત્વા ન પુનર્મોહમેવં યાસ્યસિ પાણ્ડવ |
યેન ભૂતાન્યશેષેણ દ્રક્ષ્યસ્યાત્મન્યથો મયિ || 35||

સ|| હે પાણ્ડવ ! યત્ જ્ઞાત્વા પુનઃ એવમ્ મોહમ્ ન યાસ્યસિ યેન ભૂતાનિ અશેષેણ અત્મનિ અથો મયિ દ્રક્ષ્યસિ ( તત્ જ્ઞાનમ્ વિદ્ધિ !)

||Sloka meanings||

યત્ જ્ઞાત્વા પુનઃ - knowing which again
એવમ્ મોહમ્ ન યાસ્યસિ - you will not get into this delusion
યેન ભૂતાનિ અશેષેણ અત્મનિ - by which you can see all being in the Self
અથો મયિ દ્રક્ષ્યસિ - and also in Me
(Know such knowledge)

||Sloka summary ||

" O Pandava, know that by which again you will not get into this delusion, by which you can see all being in the Self
and also in Me." ||35||

Krishna is thus highlighting the greatness of knowledge.

||Sloka 36||

અપિ ચેદપિ પાપેભ્યઃ સર્વેભ્યઃ પાપકૃત્તમઃ |
સર્વં જ્ઞાનપ્લવેનૈવ વૃજિનં સંતરિષ્યસિ || 36||

સ|| સર્વેભ્યઃ પાપેભ્યઃ પાપકૃત્તમઃ અપિ ચેત્ અપિ સર્વં વૃજિનમ્ ( પાપમ્) જ્ઞાનપ્લવેનૈવ સંતરિષ્યસિ ||36||

||Sloka meanings||

સર્વેભ્યઃ પાપેભ્યઃ - among all sinners
પાપકૃત્તમઃ અપિ ચેત્ - even if (you are) the excessive perpetrator of sins
સર્વં વૃજિનમ્ ( પાપમ્) - all those sins
જ્ઞાનપ્લવેનૈવ સંતરિષ્યસિ - will cross over with the raft of knowledge

||Sloka summary ||

"Even if you are the excessive perpetrator of sins among all sinners,
you will cross over all those sins with the raft of knowledge." ||36||

This is the greatness of knowledge. Whatever sins one may have committed, the acquisition of knowledge takes one across the proverbial ocean of life.

||Sloka 37||

યથૈથાંસિ સમિદ્ધોઽગ્નિઃ ભસ્મસાત્કુરુતેઽર્જુન|
જ્ઞાનાગ્નિ સર્વકર્માણિ ભસ્મસાત્કુરુતે તથા || 37||

સ|| હે અર્જુના ! સમિદ્ધઃ અગ્નિઃ એથાંસિ યથા ભસ્મસાત્ તથા જ્ઞાનાગ્નિઃ સર્વકર્માણિ ભસ્મસાત્ કુરુતે ||37||

||Sloka meanings||

સમિદ્ધઃ અગ્નિઃ - ( just as) blazing fire
એથાંસિ યથા ભસ્મસાત્ - turns the piece of wood to ashes
તથા જ્ઞાનાગ્નિઃ - similarly the fire of knowledge
સર્વકર્માણિ ભસ્મસાત્ કુરુતે - consumes all actions

||Sloka summary ||

" Just as a blazing fire turns the piece of wood to ashes,
similarly the fire of knowledge consumes all actions." ||37||

Knowledge destroys all ignorance.

||Sloka 38||

ન હિ જ્ઞાનેન સદૃશં પવિત્રમિહ વિદ્યતે |
તત્ સ્વયં યોગસંસિદ્ધઃ કાલેનાત્મનિ વિંદતિ|| 38 ||

સ|| ઇહ જ્ઞાનેન સદૃશં પવિત્રં ન વિદ્યતે હિ | તત્ યોગસંસિદ્ધિઃ કાલેન આત્મનિ સ્વયમ્ વિંદતિ ||38||

||Sloka meanings||

જ્ઞાનેન સદૃશં પવિત્રં - (something) as purifying and equal to knowledge
ઇહ ન વિદ્યતે હિ - is not there in this world
તત્ કાલેનયોગસંસિદ્ધિઃ - The one who attained the Yoga after time
આત્મનિ સ્વયમ્ વિંદતિ - acquires the same in his own heart

||Sloka summary ||

"Nothing as purifying and equal to knowledge is there in this world.
The one who attained the Yoga after time acquires the same in his own heart" ||38||

Knowledge is Supreme. There is nothing else as pure as knowledge. Having acquired knowledge one enjoys the results in due course.

There are many things pure in the world. But there is nothing equal to knowledge. Knowledge is the purest element.

This knowledge is available only by own effort
Where does this knowledge arise?
It arises in the self.
What does this knowledge do?
It destroys the ignorance and doubts.

The relationship of knowledge and time is that one enjoys the results as time progresses.
Who can acquire the knowledge? Krishna clarifies again.

||Sloka 39||

શ્રદ્ધ્વાન્ લભતે જ્ઞાનં તત્પરઃ સંયતેન્દ્રિયઃ|
જ્ઞાનં લબ્ધ્વા પરાં શાન્તિં અચિરેણાધિગચ્છતિ|| 39 ||

સ|| શ્રદ્ધવાન્ તત્પરઃ સંયતેંદ્રિયઃ જ્ઞાનં લભતે |જ્ઞાનમ્ લબ્ધ્વા પરામ્ શાંતિમ્ અચિરેણ અધિગચ્ચતિ ||39||

||Sloka meanings||

શ્રદ્ધવાન્ તત્પરઃ સંયતેંદ્રિયઃ -
one with faith, one who is intent on That, the one who has controlled his sense organs
જ્ઞાનં લભતે - attains knowledge
જ્ઞાનં લબ્ધ્વા - Having acquired knowledge
પરાં શાન્તિં અચિરેણ અધિગચ્ચતિ - attains great peace very soon

||Sloka summary ||

"One with faith, one who is intent on That, the one who has controlled his sense organs attains knowledge.
Having acquired knowledge one attains great peace very soon." ||39||

||Sloka 40||

અજ્ઞશ્ચાશ્રદ્ધધાનશ્ચ સંશયાત્મા વિનશ્યતિ |
નાયં લોકોઽસ્તિ ન પરો ન સુખં સંશયાત્મનઃ ||40||

સ|| અજ્ઞશ્ચ અશ્રદ્ધધાનશ્ચ સંશયાત્મા વિનશ્યતિ |સંશયાત્મા અયં લોકઃ નાસ્તિ | પરં ન | સુખં અપિ નાસ્તિ ||40||

||Sloka meanings||

અજ્ઞશ્ચ અશ્રદ્ધધાનશ્ચ - ignorant and the one without faith
સંશયાત્મા વિનશ્યતિ - one with doubts will perish
સંશયાત્મા અયં લોકઃ નાસ્તિ - the one with doubts does not have this world
પરં ન - not the other world too
સુખં અપિ નાસ્તિ - happiness is also not there

||Sloka summary ||

"Ignorant one, the one without faith, and the one with doubts will perish. The one with doubts does not have this world, nor the other world too. Happiness is also not there." ||40||

||Sloka 41||

યોગસન્ન્યસ્તકર્માણાં જ્ઞાનસંછિન્નસંશયમ્ |
આત્મવંતં ન કર્માણિ નિબધ્નંતિ ધનંજય || 41 ||

સ|| હે ધનંજયા ! યોગસન્યસ્ત કર્માણમ્ જ્ઞાનસંચ્છિન્ન સંશયમ્ આત્મ વન્તં કર્માણિ ન નિબધ્નંતિ ||41||

||Sloka meanings||

યોગસન્યસ્ત કર્માણમ્ - one who renounced action through Yoga
જ્ઞાનસંચ્છિન્ન સંશયમ્ - one who demolished doubts with knowledge
આત્મ વન્તં - one who is vigilant
કર્માણિ ન નિબધ્નંતિ - actions do not bind him

||Sloka summary ||

"O Dhananjaya, actions do not bind one who renounced action through Yoga,
who demolished doubts with knowledge, and who is vigilant." ||41||

The import of all these Slokas is the supremacy of Jnyana.
Key points may be summarized here,
- Acquiring of knowledge results in the destruction of confusion
- Acquiring the knowledge, the one who acquires sees himself in all the other beings, and all other beings in himself and the Bhagavan
- Acquiring that knowledge, even if one was sinner before, one would be able to cross the ocean of ignorance and reach the other shore of witnessing Brahman.
- Acquiring that knowledge burns the bondage of action to ashes and make him free.

Krishna has a last word on Jnyana:

||Sloka 42||

તસ્માદજ્ઞાન સંભૂતં હૃત્થ્સં જ્ઞાનાસિનાત્મનઃ |
ચિત્વૈનં સંશયં યોગમાતિષ્ઠોત્તિષ્ઠ ભારત || 42||

સ|| હે ભારત ! તસ્માત્ આત્મનઃ હૃદ્ સ્થમ્ અજ્ઞાનસંભૂતમ્ એનં સંશયમ્ જ્ઞાનાસિના ચિત્વા યોગમ્ આતિષ્ઠ ||42||

||Sloka meanings||
તસ્માત્ એનં સંશયમ્ - hence this doubt
આત્મનઃ હૃદ્ સ્થમ્ - residing in your heart
અજ્ઞાનસંભૂતમ્ - born of ignorance
જ્ઞાનાસિના ચિત્વા - destroy with the sword of knowledge
યોગમ્ આતિષ્ઠ - arise and practice Yoga

||Sloak summary||

"O Bharata, hence destroy this doubt born of ignorance residing in your heart,
with the sword of knowledge. Arise and practice Yoga." ||42||

"Krishna is telling g Arjuna, that this doubt in your heart which is the result of ignorance, destroy that ignorance with the sword of knowledge. Use that tool to achieve Jnyana yoga, namely the tool of Nishkama karma. He urges Arjuna to arise and get going.

Thus Krishna proposes Jnyana as a sword to demolish ignorance.
That is the final word in Jnyana Yoga.

So what does the Jnyana Yoga tell us?

Man is involved in action from the time he gets up in the morning. If we ascribe every action as an offering to God then one is free from the bondage of action. All the sacrifices mentioned are within the realm of the individuals. We can pick up any one and pursue that as a single point of focus.

The Jnyana Yagnya is the best of all as stated by Krishna.

We should make efforts for acquiring that Jnyana.

|| ઓમ્ તત્ સત્ ||
"તસ્માદજ્ઞાન સંભૂતં હૃત્થ્સં જ્ઞાનાસિનાત્મનઃ |
ચિત્વૈનં સંશયં યોગમાતિષ્ઠોત્તિષ્ઠ ભારત ||"
"Therefore "O Bharata! take recourse to Yoga and rise up cutting asunder with the sword of knowledge this doubt in your heart arising from ignorance"

||om tat sat ||