Srimad Bhagavad Gita, translated by Jagannatha Om Prakash (John of AllFaith)
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita

An Original Translation from the Sanskrit by Jagannatha Om Prakash aka John of AllFaith (© 1993)

Karma Yoga
Yoga of Action

3:1: Arjuna said: O Janardana (Krishna, Worshiped by men), O Keshava(Krishna, the Long Haired), why do You want to engage me in ghastlywarfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive action?

3:2: Due to Your apparently perplexing words, my intelligence isconfused; therefore please tell me decisively how I may attain thehighest.

3:3: The Glorious One said: In this world, as I have previouslyexplained O sinless one [Arjuna], there are two kinds of determinedyogis: the jnana-yogins who seek union through knowledge of thecategories of existence and those who employ the linking process ofaction.

3:4, 5: Neither through action or by abstinence from action doesone achieve the state of naiskarmyam [inaction-in-action], nor byrenunciation alone can one attain perfection.
Because no one, at any time, even for a moment, remains withoutperforming some action. All who are born of qualities of material natureare helplessly forced to act.

3:6, 7: One who controls the sense organs with the mind, yet ponders sense objects is known as a fool and a hypocrite
But one who, by virtue of the mind, begins to regulate the sensesthrough the sensory organs, O Arjuna, and to practice karma yoga withoutattachment is superior.

3:8, 9
Perform your obligatory actions. Indeed action is better than inactionbecause even your bodily maintenance would not be possible by inaction.
This world is bound by its actions to this end, but you, O child ofKunti, perform your actions for the sake of sacrifice and be liberatedfrom attachment.

3:10, 11: In olden times the deva of progeny, upon creating thegenerations, said, "By sacrifice you will propagate. This will be yourmilk cow of plenty."
By this the devas are supported and by this they will support you. Thismutual support is good and by it you will achieve the highest.

3:12: The devas will give you all desired objects when they arenourished by sacrifices, but one who enjoys without making offerings tothem is a thief.

3:13: The righteous who eat the remnants of sacrifice are freedfrom all kinds of sins, but those sinful people who cook for their ownsake eat only sin.

3:14, 15: Material bodies are born from foods. Food grains areproduced from rains. Rains come from the performance of sacrifice andsacrifice is born of action.
All actions arise from the Vedas. Know that Lord Brahma, who is directlymanifested from the all-pervading, Imperishable [God], has eternallyestablished the sacrifice of actions.

3:16: Thus set in action, one who does not adapt to this cycle inthis life, who lives in sin, satisfied only by the senses, such aperson, O child of Partha, lives in vain.

3:17, 18: One who delights in the Self, is satisfied in the Selfand is satiated in the Self, for such a one, there are no obligatoryactivities.
For such a one it is as if no actions are performed because there is nopurpose for actions being performed, nor does such a person seek meaningfrom the living entities.

3:19: Therefore, without attachment, always perform yourobligatory actions for by performing such activities without attachmentone attains the Highest.

3:20: Through action Janaka and others attained perfection.Likewise, for the protection of the world you ought to perform [yourrequisite] actions.

3:21: Whatever preeminent people do that alone sets the standard which others emulate.

3:22 -24: O child of Partha, there are no requisite actions forMe in all the three worlds, nor do I desire to obtain anything,nonetheless, even I engage in activities.
If at any time I ceased from engaging in actions, all people would follow My path, O child of Partha.
If I did not act these worlds would all be ruined. There would be casteconfusion and I, the Creator, would destroy all these living entities.

3:25: Just as the ignorant act due to their attachment tofruitive reactions, O descendent of Bharata, so too those who areknowledgeable should act, but without attachment, for the protection ofthe world.

3:26: Those who are knowledgeable should not cause theintelligence of the ignorant to be disturbed with regards theirattachment to actions, but rather should encourage them to yoke theirminds [to Me] and thus favorably engage in all activities.

3:27: All types of activities are being performed by the [three]gunas [qualities or aspects] of material nature, yet the living entity,who is deluded by false ego, thinks him/her self the doer.

3:28, 29: O mighty armed one, those who know the truth understandthe distribution of the qualities and actions and hence their sensesare not attached to sense objects.
Those who are deluded by the qualities of material nature and areattached to material activities, who are dull-witted and whose knowledgeis incomplete, should not be disturbed by those whose knowledge iscomplete.

3:30: Renounce all types of activities unto Me, in completeconsciousness of Me, free from desire or possessiveness. Being thusfree, fight [do your duty] without mental pain or anxiety.

3:31, 32: Those who practice My eternal doctrine with faith and who are devoid of envy are freed from all karmic reactions.
But those who are envious, who do not practice My doctrine, and whoseknowledge is deluded, know them to be ruined and devoid ofconsciousness.

3:33: All living entities follow their own natures, even thosewho have knowledge act according to material nature, so what canrepression accomplish?

3:34: Attachment and detachment of the senses for their objectsmust be regulated. One should not come under the domination of either ofthese as they are obstacles [to self-realization].

3:35: Better is one's own duty though poorly exercised, than thatof another, even if performed well. It is better to die performingone's own duty because to observe the duty another is filled with dread.

3:36: Arjuna asked: By what is one impelled, even withoutdesiring it, to sin? O descendant of Vrishni; it is as if one wereincited by force.

3:37: The Blessed One replied: It is desire and anger, which areborn of all-devouring passion. Know this to be the very sinful enemyhere in the material world.

3:38, 39: As fire is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror is coveredby dust and the embryo is enveloped by the womb, likewise is this[conditioned jivatman or individualized soul] enveloped by Its[desires].
[Thus conditioned] the wisdom of the wise is enveloped by the constantenemy, the forms of desire, O son of Kunti [Arjuna], as by an insatiablefire.

3:40, 41: The senses, the mind and the intellect are said to bethe seat [of all desires]. By these the knowledge of the embodied livingentities are covered and deluded.
Therefore, begin by regulating the senses, O best of the Bharatas, anddestroy this inauspiciousness which is the slayer of knowledge andunderstanding.

3:42: It is said that the senses are great, but superior to thesenses is the mind, superior to the mind is the intellect and the livingentity is superior even to the intellect.

3:43: Thus knowing yourself to be superior to the intellect,restrain yourself and destroy the formidable enemy of the forms ofdesire, O supremely armed one [Arjuna].

Here Ends Chapter Three

Go to: Chapter Four

Go to: Notes and References.

Go to: Cover Page.

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