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Chapter 4

Chapter 4


This chapter is known as “Knowledge, Action and Renunciation Path”. Shree Paramhans Yoganand calls it “The Supreme Science Of Knowing God“. In Sanskrit it is called “Gyan, Karm and Sannyas Yog”.

In this chapter the Lord gives details of his previous births to Arjun. He explained that even though he was self-evolved without birth, he still keeps taking birth again in different times to destroy evil from Earth. 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 told Arjun that learned people know that although, seemingly they are taking action, and actually it is happening due to nature’s attributes. He asks Arjun to gain knowledge about action, inaction and opposite action from learned ones. That knowledge would ensure ultimate peace and union with God for Arjun.

God then elaborated ways to gain ultimate knowledge through desireless action and discipline.

Chapter 4.1

श्री भगवानुवाच
इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम्।
विवस्वान् मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत्।।4.1।।

I spoke about everlasting Yog to Sun myself,
It transpired to Ikshwaqu from Manu,
Who was told by the Sun himself.

Chapter 4.2

एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः।
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप।।4.2।।

Traditionally it was transferred to Rajashrees,
But in passage of time it was lost, O’ Destroyer of enemies.

Chapter 4.3

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम्।।4.3।।

Today I am telling you this sacred Yog mystery,
Because you are my dear friend and also, my devotee.

Chapter 4.4

अर्जुन उवाच
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः।
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति।।4.4।।

The Sun was born first and you later,
How do I comprehend that you told this to Sun earlier.

Chapter 4.5

श्री भगवानुवाच
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप।।4.5।।

O’ Arjun, many births you and me have undergone,
O’ Slayer of Foes, I remember all those, but you none.

Chapter 4.6

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय संभवाम्यात्ममायया।।4.6।।

Though I am unborn, changeless and Lord of all creatures,
Engulfed in my own cosmic nature,
Time and again my different form appears.

Chapter 4.7

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदाऽऽत्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।4.7।।

Whenever O’ Bharat, the Dharm is in decline,
And vices are above norms,
I then incarnate myself in different forms.

Chapter 4.8

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
पधर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे।।4.8।।

To protect the virtuous and to destroy the evil ones,
I reincarnate time and again to establish righteous semblance.

Chapter 4.9

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन।।4.9।।

The one who understands,
My divine appearances and actions clearly,
O’ Arjun, he reaches
Me forever and is not reborn certainly.

Chapter 4.10

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः।।4.10।।

Those who have discarded attachments, fear and anger,
They have gained wisdom and attained me forever.

Chapter 4.11

ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम्।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः।।4.11।।

O’ Parth, in whichever manner and the paths people worship me,
I appear in that manner for them, as all different paths only lead to me.

Chapter 4.12

काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः।
क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा।।4.12।।

Many worship different Gods to gain fruits of their actions,
They do achieve the desired results from their actions.

Chapter 4.13

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम्।।4.13।।

Though according to abilities of people,
I have graded them in categories four.
Yet, after doing the act of gradation I remain,
Unaffected and doer of any act no more.

Chapter 4.14

न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा।
इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते।।4.14।।

Neither am I bound by actions,
Nor do I have longings for fruit of actions.
One, who knows me as such, is free of all activity bonds.

Chapter 4.15

एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैरपि मुमुक्षुभिः।
कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात्त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम्।।4.15।।

For ages wise ones, in quest of salvation,
Have performed desireless actions.
You too follow them and continue doing dutiful actions.

Chapter 4.16

किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः।
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात्।।4.16।।

What is action and inaction, even the wise ones are not clear,
I will give you that knowledge, which will free you from all evil my Dear.

Chapter 4.17

कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः।
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः।।4.17।।

The meaning of action is very complex to know,
Also the opposite one must know,
In addition, what is inaction that too one must know.

Chapter 4.18

कर्मण्यकर्म यः पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म यः।
स बुद्धिमान् मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्नकर्मकृत्।।4.18।।

In action, who sees inaction,
And for whom inactivity is activity,
He is the learned one and the master of yogic activity.

Chapter 4.19

यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः।
ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः।।4.19।।

The one who indulges in all activities without any desire,
He is called wise, as his actions are purified by knowledge of fire.

Chapter 4.20

त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासङ्गं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रयः।
कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित्करोति सः।।4.20।।

Contended, Desireless of fruits of action, the wise one,
Though involved in activity, is not bound by any action.

Chapter 4.21

निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः।
जशारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम्।।4.21।।

One who does bodily actions, controlling
From heart and mind all desires,
Without ownership feeling of his belongings,
He remains free of all sins.

Chapter 4.22

यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः।
समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते।।4.22।।

Always happy in whatever he gets,
Remains devoid of any enmity and jealousy,
He treats both loss and gain equally.

Chapter 4.23

गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः।
यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते।।4.23।।

The one who is free from all desires,
And who is stable in knowledge divine,
His activities too become fully divine.

Chapter 4.24

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्महविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम्।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना।।4.24।।

In a Yadnya, where offerings and the process of offering itself,
Are spiritual, performer of such Yadnya,
Certainly reaches the divine destination himself.

Chapter 4.25

दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते।
ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति।।4.25।।

Many Yogees in Yadnya offer to God physical offerings.
Others offer their own ego and actions,
To the Supreme Spirit as spiritual offerings.

Chapter 4.26

श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्यन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति।
बशब्दादीन्विषयानन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति।।4.26।।

Some burn pleasures of five senses in the fire of restrain,
And some, by controlling desires balanced they remain.

Chapter 4.27

सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे।
आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते।।4.27।।

Some, lit up by inner knowledge, offer all body action
And life activities also, to the fire of restrain.

Chapter 4.28

द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे।
स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः।।4.28।।

Some perform Yadnya with Money, some with Yog and Prayer,
Some with hard penance and, some study the scriptures,
To gain divine knowledge, to become learned and wiser.

Chapter 4.29

अपाने जुह्वति प्राण प्राणेऽपानं तथाऽपरे।
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः।।4.29।।

Some control the breathing process of inhalation and exhalation,
Some control the diet and in Samadhi they remain.
Some hold the breath and offer to inner self, life giving Oxygen.

Chapter 4.30

अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति।
सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषाः।।4.30।।

All these practitioners perfectly know the Yadnya,
And by tasting residual nectar of Yadnya,
They get rid of their sins,
And achieve the everlasting and supreme existence.

Chapter 4.31

यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम्।
नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतो़ऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम।।4.31।।

O’ Son of Kuntee, without such sacrifice,
There is no happiness on Earth or in this life,
Then what can be said about the afterlife.

Chapter 4.32

एवं बहुविधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे।
कर्मजान्विद्धि तान्सर्वानेवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे।।4.32।।

The Vedas describe many such ceremonies spiritual,
But if you understand, that these happen only,
With proper action, then you will reach salvation real.

Chapter 4.33

श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते।।4.33।।

O’ Scorcher of enemy, the quest of knowledge is superior wisdom,
As all material rituals and actions are absorbed in this wisdom.

Chapter 4.34

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः।।4.34।।

By surrendering and asking advice politely,
From the wise and experienced ones,
You will get from them wisdom and proper guidance.

Chapter 4.35

यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव।
येन भूतान्यशेषेण द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि।।4.35।।

When such knowledge from them is available to thee,
You will not fall into delusion and ultimately be part of me.

Chapter 4.36

अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः।
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि।।4.36।।

Even if you are the sinner most amongst the committers of sins,
Yet by this wisdom you will be free of all sins.

Chapter 4.37

यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा।।4.37।।

Like the wood gets burnt in full blown fire,
Similarly all actions are burnt by this wisdom fire.

Chapter 4.38

न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते।
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति।।4.38।।

Wisdom alone and nothing else in this world is superior,
The ones who are successful in yog,
Realize this within one’s interior.

Chapter 4.39

श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः।
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति।।4.39।।

By controlling senses and by devotion,
Gaining this wisdom conclusively,
You will attain everlasting peace certainly.

Chapter 4.40

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति।
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः।।4.40।।

The doubt ridden and ignorant one perishes ultimately,
Neither does he get earthly happiness nor happiness cosmically.

Chapter 4.41

योगसंन्यस्तकर्माणं ज्ञानसंछिन्नसंशयम्।
आत्मवन्तं न कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय।।4.41।।

O’ Dhananjay, the one who has removed all doubts within him,
And has relinquished all activities with Yog,
Totally stable he becomes and no activity binds him.

Chapter 4.42

तस्मादज्ञानसंभूतं हृत्स्थं ज्ञानासिनाऽऽत्मनः।
छित्त्वैनं संशयं योगमातिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भारत।।4.42।।

Therefore O’ Bharat, take shelter in Yog,
And slash with sword of knowledge,
All the doubts generated by ignorance in your heart,
Now get ready and fight.

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