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Chapter 3

Chapter 3


This chapter is called “Path of Action” (Karm-Yog in Sanskrit).

Arjun asked the God that if Knowledge was superior than Action, why then he was being asked to act and fight? He expressed his confusion about which path was better -- the Knowledge Path or The Path of Action.

The God explained that both paths reached to God only. But the one who has renounced the world too has to perform actions required by nature. Everyone was bound by nature’s attributes. He further clarified that action performed without greed for fruit is pure and such action itself is equal to sacrifice. Such sacrifice pleases the Gods and they bestow necessary fruits to the doer. Beings survive on food, rains felicitate food production and rains happen due to action with sacrifice. Action must be performed as duty and not for gain of fruit. While performing action one must remain satisfied within inner self. Such performer of action is called ‘ unconcerned.’

Action happens due to Nature’s attributes but the egoistic person thinks that he is the doer. Attributing action and the result of action to God, releases one from bondage of birth and death. One should follow path of own natural instincts without worrying about other seemingly better paths.

God further explained that desires were the cause of arrogance and anger which forces one to act irrationally and therefore one must control desires. Senses are good if controlled, mind is better than senses, intellect is superior to mind and the God is superior to intellect. Knowing this control your desires and be at peace.

Chapter 3.1

अर्जुन उवाच
ज्यायसी चेत्कर्मणस्ते मता बुद्धिर्जनार्दन।
तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव।।3.1।।

O’ Janardan, you say knowledge of self-realization is better than action,
Tell me why you, put me through this activity then.

Chapter 3.2

व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे।
तदेकं वद निश्िचत्य येन श्रेयोऽहमाप्नुयाम्।।3.2।।

Conflicting ideas you give to confuse me,
Please let me know which one is better for me.

Chapter 3.3

श्री भगवानुवाच
लोकेऽस्मिन्द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ।
ज्ञानयोगेन सांख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम्।।3.3।।

Earlier I told ways two, O’ Sinless one,
One path of self-realization by knowledge and other of action.

Chapter 3.4

न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते।
न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति।।3.4।।

Nonactivity is not to be attained by avoiding action,
By forsaking work no one gets perfection.

Chapter 3.5

न हि कश्िचत्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत्।
कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः।।3.5।।

Without work can stay no one,
Nature forces to work, each and every one.

Chapter 3.6

कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन्।
इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचारः स उच्यते।।3.6।।

The one who restrains the sensory organs strongly,
But still keeps thinking about desires is hypocrite certainly.

Chapter 3.7

यस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन।
कर्मेन्द्रियैः कर्मयोगमसक्तः स विशिष्यते।।3.7।।

However the one who controls all senses physically and mentally,
Is considered steady in action and is really worthy.

Chapter 3.8

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः।
शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः।।3.8।।

Obligatory actions must be performed by everyone,
Even simple body routine is not possible without action.

Chapter 3.9

यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धनः।
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसंगः समाचर।।3.9।।

Worldly people are bound by activities, other than Yadnya,
O’Son of Kuntee, you continue work without desire,
And perform duties, as if they are part of Yadnya.

Chapter 3.10

सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः।
अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक्।।3.10।।

Lord Brahma in the beginning,
Created mankind and Yadnya together.
He said perform Yadnya, it will like Kamdhenu,
Fulfill all your wishes and make you flourish better.

Chapter 3.11

देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ।।3.11।।

You, perform Yadnya, satisfy and protect Gods,
Then take care of you too they would,
So together protect each other
And achieve supreme good.

Chapter 3.12

इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविताः।
तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः।।3.12।।

Pleased by Yadnya Gods will grant wishes to you,
But it would be an act of a thief to get it without giving their due.

Chapter 3.13

दयज्ञशिष्टाशिनः सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्वकिल्बिषैः।
भुञ्जते ते त्वघं पापा ये पचन्त्यात्मकारणात्।।3.13।।

Those who eat residual food of fire offerings, are freed from sins,
Cooking food only for self, is feasting on sins.

Chapter 3.14

अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः।
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः।।3.14।।

Creatures survive on food; food is created by rain,
Rains come due to Yadnya and Yadnya is performed by action.

Chapter 3.15

कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम्।
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम्।।3.15।।

This divine activity has come into being from Brahma,
The all-pervading spirit is present in Yadnya.

Chapter 3.16

एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः।
अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति।।3.16।।

O’ Parth, the men who do not follow this wheel rotation,
And remain engulfed in senses, live in vain.

Chapter 3.17

यस्त्वात्मरतिरेव स्यादात्मतृप्तश्च मानवः।
आत्मन्येव च सन्तुष्टस्तस्य कार्यं न विद्यते।।3.17।।

But the one who is contended and satisfied in the spirit of soul,
For him no activity is needed at all.

Chapter 3.18

नैव तस्य कृतेनार्थो नाकृतेनेह कश्चन।
न चास्य सर्वभूतेषु कश्िचदर्थव्यपाश्रयः।।3.18।।

For him serve no purpose, both action and inaction,
He is neither interested in, nor dependent on any one.

Chapter 3.19

तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर।
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः।।3.19।।

Therefore, do your duty without any attachment,
Such action will take you to ultimate salvation.

Chapter 3.20

कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः।
लोकसंग्रहमेवापि संपश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि।।3.20।।

King Janak and others like him followed path of duty,
And reached divine perfection.
You also, set good example to many,
By constantly doing the right action.

Chapter 3.21

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते।।3.21।।

Whatever the great people do, others also do,
Whatever examples they set, all emulate those too.

Chapter 3.22

न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन।
नानवाप्तमवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि।।3.22।।

There is nothing and anything that I have to do or gain,
And reached divine perfection.
Yet in three worlds, duty bound I remain.

Chapter 3.23

यदि ह्यहं न वर्तेयं जातु कर्मण्यतन्द्रितः।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः।।3.23।।

If I sincerely do not perform any action,
People certainly will follow my inaction.

Chapter 3.24

उत्सीदेयुरिमे लोका न कुर्यां कर्म चेदहम्।
सङ्करस्य च कर्ता स्यामुपहन्यामिमाः प्रजाः।।3.24।।

Universe will be destroyed if I remain without action,
And I would be the cause of such destruction.

Chapter 3.25

सक्ताः कर्मण्यविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत।

O, Bharat, like many people perform,
Action in hope of some award.
Similarly the wise ones should perform,
To guide others, action without greed of any award.

Chapter 3.26

न बुद्धिभेदं जनयेदज्ञानां कर्मसङ्गिनाम्।
जोषयेत्सर्वकर्माणि विद्वान् युक्तः समाचरन्।।3.26।।

They do not criticize the ones, who work for rewards,
Instead they keep working desireless and inspire others.

Chapter 3.27

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः।
अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताऽहमिति मन्यते।।3.27।।

All actions in universe happen due to attributes of Nature,
But the foolish ones think in their arrogant fervor,
That these actions happen because of their own venture.

Chapter 3.28

तत्त्ववित्तु महाबाहो गुणकर्मविभागयोः।
गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त इति मत्वा न सज्जते।।3.28।।

The one who knows that,
He is separate from action due to nature’s attributes,
O’ Mighty armed Arjun, away he keeps,
From interaction of actions and attributes.

Chapter 3.29

प्रकृतेर्गुणसम्मूढाः सज्जन्ते गुणकर्मसु।
तानकृत्स्नविदो मन्दान्कृत्स्नविन्न विचालयेत्।।3.29।।

The ignorant ones are involved in and attracted to
Game of attributes and actions.
Learned and wise should,
Disturb them not as they are ignorant ones.

Chapter 3.30

मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि संन्यस्याध्यात्मचेतसा।
निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः।।3.30।।

Surrender to me, all your activities without desire or attachment,
Then with full conscious concentration,
And without any worry get into fighting action.

Chapter 3.31

ये मे मतमिदं नित्यमनुतिष्ठन्ति मानवाः।
श्रद्धावन्तोऽनसूयन्तो मुच्यन्ते तेऽपि कर्मभिः।।3.31।।

The ones who constantly and devotedly, without any doubt,
Follow my teachings, they get free from all activities no doubt.

Chapter 3.32

ये त्वेतदभ्यसूयन्तो नानुतिष्ठन्ति मे मतम्।
सर्वज्ञानविमूढांस्तान्विद्धि नष्टानचेतसः।।3.32।।

But those who do not follow my precepts,
Consider them as ignorant, doomed and devoid of all learnings.

Chapter 3.33

सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्याः प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि।
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रहः किं करिष्यति।।3.33।।

The self-realized ones, on their path they prevail,
Similarly all living ones follow nature’s path.

Chapter 3.34

इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ।
तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ।।3.34।।

Attachments and revulsion to desires are natural,
Be aware of their influences as they are enemies real.

Chapter 3.35

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात्।
पस्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः।।3.35।।

Better to follow own path of duty even if imperfect,
But following someone else’s path is full of danger in fact.

Chapter 3.36

अर्जुन उवाच
अथ केन प्रयुक्तोऽयं पापं चरति पूरुषः।
अनिच्छन्नपि वार्ष्णेय बलादिव नियोजितः।।3.36।।

O’ Varshneya, what instigates men to sin,
Without own will as if forced to commit sin.

Chapter 3.37

श्री भगवानुवाच
काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भवः।
महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम्।।3.37।।

It happens due to human nature,
Its tendencies of desire and anger together,
These are sinful, insatiable and foulest enemy, you consider.

Chapter 3.38

धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर्यथाऽऽदर्शो मलेन च।
यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस्तथा तेनेदमावृतम्।।3.38।।

Like the fire is covered with smoke and mirror with dust,
Also as the fetus is covered with womb,
So is the wisdom covered with desire and lust.

Chapter 3.39

आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा।
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च।।3.39।।

Desires act like insatiable fire,
O’ Parth, these are enemies of wise
And cover his wisdom like mire.

Chapter 3.40

इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते।
एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम्।।3.40।।

Desires reside in Senses, mind, and intellect,
Creating delusion overwhelming,
Even in the minds of wise and great.

Chapter 3.41

तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ।
पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम्।।3.41।।

Therefore first win over the senses, then desires,
O’ Bharat, they are wisdom and Knowledge destroyers.

Chapter 3.42

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः।।3.42।।

As compared to body, superior are senses,
So is mind over the senses.
Superior to the mind is intellect,
Yet the inner self is supreme the most.

Chapter 3.43

एवं बुद्धेः परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना।
जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम्।।3.43।।

O’ Great Arjun, thus knowing that Soul is superior to intelligence,
Control yourself and kill the enemies in form of indulgence and desires.

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