CHAPTER 4: JNANA YOGA (THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE)
As the name of this chapter, "The Trascendental knowledge", this contains the deep secret of soul and life, performing duty and the characteristics of an enlightened person.
First Ten Shlokas of this chapter contains the arguments of Arjuna by which he decided not to fight the war. He also had the wrong idea the life and its purpose.
To remove his ignorance, Bhagvan Shri Krishna first told Arjuna the secret of soul and described that soul being eternal never kill or gets killed (Shlokas 10-25). Bhagvan Shri Krishna then further described Arjuna that even if the Arjuna's logic is accepted(which is not correct) still one has to know that one who taken birth has to die and so one has no reason for grieve for something which is inevitable(Sh 26-27).
Shlokas 27-31 further describe how soul keeps its identity passing through different physical bodies.
Shlokas 32-53 describes how a person should not deviated from his inner natural instinct in performing duty. Ajuna being Kshastriya(soldier) has a natural duty to fight for the justice and that is is prime Karma. In Shlokas 47-53 Bhagvan Shri Krishna describes the secret of karma Yoga.
Shloka 54-72 contains the secret of enlighten person, the drawbacks of physical attachment and how to deal with them.
Shlokas 12-39 in other words is also described as Shankhya-Budhir Yoga. Ch4:Sh1
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Imam vivaswate yogam proktavaan aham avyayam;
Vivaswaan manave praaha manur ikshwaakave’braveet.
The Blessed Lord said:
Shri Bhagvavan(Shri Krishna) Said
I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan; Vivasan told it to Manu; Manu in turn told to Ikshvaku.
Evam paramparaa praaptam imam raajarshayo viduh;
Sa kaaleneha mahataa yogo nashtah parantapa.
This yoga moving in regular succession was passed to the Kshatriyas sages(warrior sages). But in due passage of time, it appears to be lost.
COMMENTARY: The royal sages were kings who at the same time possessed divine knowledge. They learnt this Yoga.
Sa evaayam mayaa te’dya yogah proktah puraatanah;
Bhakto’si me sakhaa cheti rahasyam hyetad uttamam.
That same ancient Yoga I have told to you today because you are my devotee as well as my friend as this Yoga is an ultimate secret.
Aparam bhavato janma param janma vivaswatah;
Katham etadvijaaneeyaam twam aadau proktavaan iti.
Your birth has took place recently and the birth of sun-god(Surya dev) vivasan took place in ancient time. So, How can I understand that You instructed this to him in the beginning?
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Bahooni me vyateetaani janmaani tava chaarjuna;
Taanyaham veda sarvaani na twam vettha parantapa.
The Blessed Lord said:
You and I have passed through many physical bodies(births). Difference is just that I can remember all of them, but you don’t know yours, O Surmounter of the enemy(Arjuna)!
Yada yada hi dharmashya glanirbhavati bharat,
Abhyuthanam adharmashya tadtmanam shrijamyaham.
O descendant of bharat(Arjuna)! Whenever there is a degradation of religion and righteousness and surge in irreligion and abundance of unrighteoussness, at that time, I manifest Myself.
Paritranaya sadhunam, Vinashaya cha tushkritam,
dharma santhapnarthaya, sambhavami yuge yuge.
For the protection of the pious, and the society, and to annihilate the wrongdoers,as well as to reestablish religion and righteousness, I manifest Myself, era after era.
Janma karma cha me divyam evam yo vetti tattwatah;
Tyaktwa deham punarjanma naiti maameti so’rjuna.
In this way, one who knows the secret of the transcendental nature of My birth and action, O Arjuna, that person, upon parting from body, do not take rebirth and attains Me.
Veetaraagabhayakrodhaa manmayaa maam upaashritaah;
Bahavo jnaana tapasaa pootaa madbhaavam aagataah.
Freed from attachment, fear and anger, fully absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by the knowledge and meditation, many have attained union with My Being.
Ye yathaa maam prapadyante taamstathaiva bhajaamyaham;
Mama vartmaanuvartante manushyaah paartha sarvashah.
All, who in whatever way worship me, I reward them accordingly as all men ultimately follow my path in all ways, O son of Partha(Arjuna)!
Kaangkshantah karmanaam siddhim yajanta iha devataah;
Kshipram hi maanushe loke siddhir bhavati karmajaa.
Those who long for success in action in this world worship deities, because success is quickly attained by men through action.
Chaaturvarnyam mayaa srishtam gunakarma vibhaagashah;
Tasya kartaaram api maam viddhyakartaaram avyayam.
O Arjuna! I have created the forthfold orders(Varnas) according to the modes of their nature. And although I am the creator, you know me as a non doer and eternal.
Na maam karmaani limpanti na me karmaphale sprihaa;
Iti maam yo’bhijaanaati karmabhir na sa badhyate.
As I do not get involved in the fruitful actions, I do not get entangled by its reactions. One who knows me does not get entangled in these fruitful actions.
Evam jnaatwaa kritam karma poorvair api mumukshubhih;
Kuru karmaiva tasmaat twam poorvaih poorvataram kritam.
In ancient times, the seekers of salvation (enlightened souls) have also acted upon devoid of rewards(without the attachment to results). So you also engage yourself in actions and perform your duty as ancients did in earlier times.
Kim karma kim akarmeti kavayo’pyatra mohitaah;
Tat te karma pravakshyaami yajjnaatwaa mokshyase’shubhaat.
What is action? What is inaction? As to this even the wise are confused. Therefore, I shall teach you the secret of action (the nature of action and inaction), by knowing which thou will be liberated from the misfortune.
Karmano hyapi boddhavyam boddhavyam cha vikarmanah;
Akarmanashcha boddhavyam gahanaa karmano gatih.
Nature of action is mysterious. So, one must know the truth about the actions, the forbidden actions and about the inaction.
Karmanyakarma yah pashyed akarmani cha karma yah;
Sa buddhimaan manushyeshu sa yuktah kritsnakarmakrit.
He is wise among men who see inaction in action, and action in inaction. He is yogi and he performs all his duties.
COMMENTARY: It is the idea of agency, the idea of “I am the doer” that binds man to worldliness. If this idea vanishes, action is no action at all. It does not bind one to worldliness. This is inaction in action. But if a man sits quietly, thinking of actions and that he is their doer, he is ever doing actions. This is referred to as action in inaction.
Yasya sarve samaarambhaah kaamasankalpa varjitaah;
Jnaanaagni dagdhakarmaanam tam aahuh panditam budhaah.
One whose all efforts for actions are free of intention of desires and free from any wish, whose actions are burnt in the fire of knowledge, is called wise by the learned.
Tyaktwaa karmaphalaasangam nityatripto niraashrayah;
Karmanyabhipravritto’pi naiva kinchit karoti sah.
Having abandoned attachment to the fruit of the action, ever content, depending on nothing, he does not do anything though engaged in activity.
Niraasheer yatachittaatmaa tyaktasarvaparigrahah;
Shaareeram kevalam karma kurvannaapnoti kilbisham.
Without hope and with the mind and the self controlled, having abandoned all greed, doing mere bodily action, he incurs no sin.
Yadricchaalaabhasantushto dwandwaateeto vimatsarah;
Samah siddhaavasiddhau cha kritwaapi na nibadhyate.
Content with what comes to him without effort, free from the pairs of opposites and envy, even-minded in success and failure, though acting, he is not bound.
Gatasangasya muktasya jnaanaavasthitachetasah;
Yajnaayaacharatah karma samagram pravileeyate.
To one who is devoid of attachment, who is liberated, whose mind is established in knowledge, who works for the sake of sacrifice (for the sake of God), the whole action is dissolved.
Brahmaarpanam brahmahavirbrahmaagnau brahmanaa hutam;
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam brahmakarmasamaadhinaa.
Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the melted butter (ghee); by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.
COMMENTARY: This is wisdom-sacrifice, wherein the idea of Brahman is substituted for the ideas of the instrument and other accessories of action, the idea of action itself and its results. By having such an idea the whole action melts away.
Daivam evaapare yajnam yoginah paryupaasate;
Brahmaagnaavapare yajnam yajnenaivopajuhwati.
Some Yogis perform sacrifice to the gods alone, while others (who have realised the Self) offer the Self as sacrifice by the Self in the fire of Brahman alone.
Shrotraadeeneendriyaanyanye samyamaagnishu juhwati;
Shabdaadeen vishayaananya indriyaagnishu juhwati.
Some again offer hearing and other senses as sacrifice in the fire of restraint; others offer sound and various objects of the senses as sacrifice in the fire of the senses.
Sarvaaneendriya karmaani praanakarmaani chaapare;
Aatmasamyamayogaagnau juhwati jnaanadeepite.
Others again sacrifice all the functions of the senses and those of the breath (vital energy or Prana) in the fire of the Yoga of self-restraint kindled by knowledge.
Dravyayajnaas tapoyajnaa yogayajnaastathaapare;
Swaadhyaayajnaana yajnaashcha yatayah samshitavrataah.
Some again offer wealth, austerity and Yoga as sacrifice, while the ascetics of self-restraint and rigid vows offer study of scriptures and knowledge as sacrifice.
Apaane juhwati praanam praane’paanam tathaa’pare;
Praanaapaana gatee ruddhwaa praanaayaamaparaayanaah.
Others offer as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming, and the incoming in the outgoing, restraining the courses of the outgoing and the incoming breaths, solely absorbed in the restraint of the breath.
COMMENTARY: Some Yogis practise inhalation, some practise exhalation, and some retention of breath. This is Pranayama.
Apare niyataahaaraah praanaan praaneshu juhwati;
Sarve’pyete yajnavido yajnakshapita kalmashaah.
Others who regulate their diet offer life-breaths in life-breaths; all these are knowers of sacrifice, whose sins are all destroyed by sacrifice.
Yajnashishtaamritabhujo yaanti brahma sanaatanam;
Naayam loko’styayajnasya kuto’nyah kurusattama.
Those who eat the remnants of the sacrifice, which are like nectar, go to the eternal Brahman. This world is not for the man who does not perform sacrifice; how then can he have the other, O Arjuna?
Evam bahuvidhaa yajnaa vitataa brahmano mukhe;
Karmajaan viddhi taan sarvaan evam jnaatwaa vimokshyase.
Thus, various kinds of sacrifices are spread out before Brahman (literally at the mouth or face of Brahman). Know them all as born of action, and knowing thus, thou shalt be liberated.
Shreyaan dravyamayaadyajnaaj jnaanayajnah parantapa;
Sarvam karmaakhilam paartha jnaane parisamaapyate.
Superior is wisdom-sacrifice to sacrifice with objects, O Parantapa! All actions in their
entirety, O Arjuna, culminate in knowledge!
Tadviddhi pranipaatena pariprashnena sevayaa;
Upadekshyanti te jnaanam jnaaninas tattwadarshinah.
Know that by long prostration, by question and by service, the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in (that) knowledge.
Yajjnaatwaa na punarmoham evam yaasyasi paandava;
Yena bhootaanyasheshena drakshyasyaatmanyatho mayi.
Knowing that, thou shalt not, O Arjuna, again become deluded like this; and by that thou shalt see all beings in thy Self and also in Me!
Api chedasi paapebhyah sarvebhyah paapakrittamah;
Sarvam jnaanaplavenaiva vrijinam santarishyasi.
Even if thou art the most sinful of all sinners, yet thou shalt verily cross all sins by the raft of knowledge.
COMMENTARY: One can overcome sin through Self-knowledge.
Yathaidhaamsi samiddho’gnir bhasmasaat kurute’rjuna;
Jnaanaagnih sarvakarmaani bhasmasaat kurute tathaa.
As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes!
Na hi jnaanena sadrisham pavitram iha vidyate;
Tat swayam yogasamsiddhah kaalenaatmani vindati.
Verily there is no purifier in this world like knowledge. He who is perfected in Yoga finds it in the Self in time.
Shraddhaavaan labhate jnaanam tatparah samyatendriyah;
Jnaanam labdhvaa paraam shaantim achirenaadhigacchati.
The man who is full of faith, who is devoted to it, and who has subdued all the senses, obtains (this) knowledge; and, having obtained the knowledge, he goes at once to the supreme peace.
Ajnashchaashraddhadhaanashcha samshayaatmaa vinashyati;
Naayam loko’sti na paro na sukham samshayaatmanah.
The ignorant, the faithless, the doubting self proceeds to destruction; there is neither this world nor the other nor happiness for the doubting.
Yogasannyasta karmaanam jnaanasamcchinnasamshayam;
Aatmavantam na karmaani nibadhnanti dhananjaya.
He who has renounced actions by Yoga, whose doubts are rent asunder by knowledge, and who is self-possessed,—actions do not bind him, O Arjuna!
Tasmaad ajnaanasambhootam hritstham jnaanaasinaatmanah;
Cchittwainam samshayam yogam aatishthottishtha bhaarata.
Therefore, with the sword of knowledge (of the Self) cut asunder the doubt of the self born of ignorance, residing in thy heart, and take refuge in Yoga; arise, O Arjuna!
Iti Srimad Bhagavadgeetaasoopanishatsu Brahmavidyaayaam
Yogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjunasamvaade
Jnaanavibhaagayogo Naama Chaturtho’dhyaayah
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the fourth discourse entitled.
“Shri Hari Om Tat Sat”