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)

Yoga of the knowledge of the
Renunciation of Action

4:1, 2: The Blessed One said: I instructed this immutable yoga systemto the sun god Vivasvan. He taught it to Manu and Manu taught it toIksvaku.
Thus through disciplic succession the royal sages understood thisknowledge, but with the passing of time the great yoga system was lostto this world, O chastiser of enemies.

4:3: Today that ancient yoga system is declared by Me unto you.Because you are My devotee and friend I will fully reveal this foremostof all mysteries.

4:4: Arjuna asked: You were born after Vivasvan; how am I to understand that in the beginning You thus instructed him?

4:5: The Blessed One said: Many, many births both you and I havepassed through. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O chastiserof enemies.

4:6: Although I am unborn, being the imperishable and supremeLord of all those who are born, I manifest and establish Myself withinnature by My illusory power.

4:7: Surely, whenever and at whatever time righteousnessdeclines, O descendant of Bharata, and there occurs a predominance ofunrighteousness, at that time I manifest Myself.

4:8: In order to deliver saintly people, to destroy the wickedand to firmly reestablish religious principles, I appear age after age.

4:9: Those who accurately know the nature of My birth and divineactivities, once the body is abandoned, are never born again but attainMe, O Arjuna.

4:10, 11: Freed from attachment, fear and anger, always absorbedin Me, taking refuge in Me, purified through the fires (or austerities)of knowledge, many have attained devotion to Me.
To those who betake themselves of Me in the manner mentioned I reward my path, but everyone follows Me in all ways, O Arjuna.

4:12: Desiring success in fruitive activities men in this worldperform sacrifices to the gods and quickly become successful in theirendeavors.

4:13: The fourfold caste system was created by Me in accordancewith the divisions of qualities and works. Of that system know Me to bethe author, even though I do nothing and am immutable.

4:14: Actions do not taint Me nor do I desire fruitive activities. One who thus desires Me is not bound by karmic reactions.

4:15: Knowing that the ancients, who also sought liberation,performed their actions in this way, you should follow their example andperform your activities.

:16: Even the great sages are deluded about what is action andwhat is inaction. I will explain action to you, knowing which you willbe liberated from all misfortune.

4:17: The nature of action should be discerned. One shouldunderstand wrong actions as well as inaction, for the path of action isobscure.

4:18: One who sees action in inaction and inaction in action isintelligent among beings. Such a soul is perfectly yoked [to the truth]in all activities.

4:19, 20: One whose endeavors are without desire and ulteriormotives, whose actions have been purified by the fires ofright-knowledge, such a person is called a pundit or learned person bythose who understand.
Abandoning all attachment to fruitive activities, he is alwayssatisfied, depending on none, ever engaged in activities, yet doingnothing.

4:21: Hoping for nothing, controlling the mind and self, the wiserenounce all material possessions. Their only actions are thosedemanded by the body. Thus no guilt is acquired.

4:22: Satisfied with whatever comes of its own accord, one isfree from all dualities and envy; is equipoised in success or failure,and although acting, remains unfettered.

4:23: One who is liberated and who is devoid of attachment, whosemind is established in knowledge and who sacrifices all actions, hasall reactions melt away.

4:24: Brahman is the oblation, Brahman is the clarified butter,Brahman is the fire of sacrifice. The offering is performed by Brahmanto reach Brahman through completely concentrated actions.

4:25 -30: Some yogis sacrifice to the devas while others performsacrifices into the fire of brahman, thus they also offer sacrifice.
Others offer the senses of hearing etc. into the fire of restraintwhile others offer sound vibrations and various objects of the sensesinto the fire of the senses.
Still others sacrifice all the functions of the senses and thebreath/energy of life into the fire of the yoga of self restraint. Suchsacrifice is sparked by knowledge.
Others sacrifice their possessions or offer the sacrifice ofausterities and thus observe yogic austerities. Others offer thesacrifice of Vedic study and the sacrifice of knowledge while stillothers become ascetics and take upon themselves rigid vows.
Yet others sacrifice the incoming breath into the outgoing breath andthe outgoing into the incoming, thus by restraining the movements of theoutgoing and incoming breaths they are intent on restricting the lifeair.
Others regulate eating by sacrificing the life air into the life air.All those who understand the goal of sacrifice have their sins burnt upin the fire of sacrifice.

4:31: Those who have tasted the nectar of such sacrifices go tothe Supreme. O best among the Kurus, this world is not eternal; for onewho does not sacrifice, how can the other be attained?

4:32: Thus there are many types of sacrifices promulgated inVedas. They are all born of actions conducted in the 'mouth of brahman.'Knowing them you will be liberated.

4:33: Superior to the sacrifice of material objects is thesacrifice of knowledge, O chastiser of the enemy [Arjuna] because allaction [karma] culminates in knowledge [jnana].

4:34, 35: To learn that knowledge prostrate before, submissivelyquestion and render service to those who know the truth and thoserealized saints will instruct you in knowledge.
[Realizing that knowledge] you will never again be deluded, O son ofPandu, but will see all living entities within yourself and in Me.

4:36: Even if you are the most sinful of all sinners, still by this boat of knowledge you will cross over the great sea of sin.

4:37: Just as a blazing fire reduces wood to ashes, O Arjuna, so too does the fire of knowledge reduce all activities to ashes.

4:38: Indeed, nothing comparable to pure knowledge exists here inthis world. One who is advanced in yoga finds this knowledge withinhimself in due time.

4:39: One who has faith and is determined to control the senses,achieves this knowledge. Having achieved it, such a soul very soonattains the highest peace.

4:40: Those who are devoid of knowledge and who doubt thescriptural conclusions perish. For one who is filled with doubts thereis no happiness in this world or the next.

4:41: One who has renounced fruitive activities by yoga, whosedoubts are cut asunder by knowledge, who has mastered the self, is notbound by actions, O Dhananjaya.

4:42: Therefore, cut off the ignorance which is abiding in yourheart with the sword of knowledge. Taking refuge in yoga, O descendantof Bharata, stand and fight [or do your duty].

Here Ends Chapter Four

Go to: Chapter Five.

Go to: Notes and References.

Go to: Cover Page.

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