said: I wish to know the nature of renunciation and sacrifice, and
the difference between the two, O Lord Krishna.
OF RENUNCIATION AND SACRIFICE
Krishna said: The sages define renunciation as abstaining from all
work for personal profit. The wise define sacrifice as the sacrifice
of, and the freedom from, the selfish attachment to the fruits of
philosophers say that all work is full of faults and should be given
up, while others say that acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity
should not be abandoned.
Arjuna, listen to My conclusion about sacrifice. Sacrifice is said
to be of three types.
of service, charity, and austerity should not be abandoned, but
should be performed, because service, charity, and austerity are
the purifiers of the wise.
these obligatory works should be performed without attachment to
the fruits. This is My definite supreme advice, O Arjuna.
TYPES OF SACRIFICE
up one's duty is not proper. The abandonment of obligatory work
is due to delusion, and is declared to be in the mode of ignorance.
who abandons duty merely because it is difficult, or because of
fear of bodily trouble, does not get the benefits of sacrifice by
performing such a sacrifice in the mode of passion.
work performed as duty, renouncing selfish attachment to the fruit,
is alone regarded to be sacrifice in the mode of goodness, O Arjuna.
one who neither hates a disagreeable work, nor is attached to an
agreeable work, is considered a renunciant (Tyagi), imbued with
the mode of goodness, intelligent, and free from all doubts about
the Supreme Being.
beings cannot completely abstain from work. Therefore, the one who
completely renounces the selfish attachment to the fruits of all
works is considered a renunciant.
threefold fruit of works — desirable, undesirable, and mixed
¾ accrues after death to the one who is not a renunciant
(Tyagi), but never to a Tyagi.
CAUSES OF ANY ACTION
from Me, O Arjuna, the five causes, as described in the Sankhya
doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions. They are: The physical
body, the seat of Karma; the modes of material Nature, the doer;
the eleven organs of perception and action, the instruments; various
bioimpulses; and the fifth is the presiding deities of the eleven
action, whether right or wrong, one performs by thought, word, and
deed; these are its five causes.
the ignorant one who considers one’s body or the soul as the
sole agent due to imperfect knowledge does not understand.
one who is free from the notion of doership, and whose intellect
is not polluted by the desire to reap the fruit; even after slaying
these people, he or she neither slays nor is bound by the act of
subject, the object, and the knowledge of the object are the threefold
driving force to an action. The eleven organs; the act, and the
agent or the modes of material Nature are the three components of
TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE
action), and agent are said to be of three types according to Sankhya
doctrine. Hear duly about these also.
knowledge by which one sees a single immutable Reality in all beings
as undivided in the divided; such knowledge is in the mode of goodness.
knowledge by which one sees different realities of various types
among all beings as separate from one another; consider that knowledge
to be in the mode of passion.
irrational, baseless, and worthless knowledge by which one clings
to one single effect (such as the body) as if it is everything;
such knowledge is declared to be in the mode of darkness of ignorance
TYPES OF ACTION
obligatory duty performed without likes and dislikes, and without
selfish motives and attachment to enjoy the fruit, is said to be
in the mode of goodness.
performed with ego, with selfish motives, and with too much effort;
is declared to be in the mode of passion.
that is undertaken because of delusion; disregarding consequences,
loss, injury to others, as well as one’s own ability is said
to be in the mode of ignorance.
TYPES OF AGENT
agent who is free from attachment, is non-egotistic, endowed with
resolve and enthusiasm, and unperturbed in success or failure is
agent who is impassioned, attached to the fruits of their work,
greedy, violent, impure, and is affected by joy and sorrow is called
undisciplined, vulgar, stubborn, wicked, malicious, lazy, depressed,
and procrastinating agent is called ignorant.
TYPES OF INTELLECT
hear the threefold division of intellect and resolve, based on modes
of material Nature, as explained by Me fully and separately, O Arjuna.
Arjuna, the intellect by which one understands the path of work
and the path of renunciation, right and wrong action, fear and fearlessness,
bondage and liberation, that intellect is in the mode of goodness.
intellect by which one cannot distinguish between righteousness
(Dharma) and unrighteousness (Adharma), and right and wrong action;
that intellect is in the mode of passion, O Arjuna.
intellect ¾ when covered by ignorance ¾ accepts unrighteousness
(Adharma) as righteousness (Dharma), and thinks everything to be
that which it is not, is in the mode of ignorance, O Arjuna.
TYPES OF RESOLVE, AND THE FOUR GOALS OF HUMAN LIFE
resolve by which one manipulates the functions of the mind, Prana
(bioimpulses), and senses for God-realization only; that resolve
is in the mode of goodness, O Arjuna.
resolve by which a person, craving for the fruits of work, clings
to duty, accumulating wealth, and enjoyment with great attachment;
that resolve, O Arjuna, is in the mode of passion.
resolve by which a dull person does not give up sleep, fear, grief,
despair, and carelessness; that resolve is in the mode of ignorance,
TYPES OF PLEASURE
now hear from Me, O Arjuna, about the threefold pleasure. The pleasure
one enjoys from spiritual practice results in cessation of all sorrows.
pleasure that appears as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar
in the end, comes by the grace of Self-knowledge, and is in the
mode of goodness.
pleasures appear as nectar in the beginning, but become poison in
the end; such pleasures are in the mode of passion.
that confuses a person in the beginning and in the end; which comes
from sleep, laziness, and carelessness; such pleasure is said to
be in the mode of ignorance.
is no being, either on the earth or among the celestial controllers
in the heaven, who can remain free from these three modes of material
OF LABOR IS BASED ON ONE’S ABILITY
division of human labor is also based on the qualities inherent
in peoples’ nature or their make up.
who have serenity, self control, austerity, purity, patience, honesty,
transcendental knowledge, transcendental experience, and belief
in God are labeled as intellectuals (Braahmans).
having the qualities of heroism, vigor, firmness, dexterity, not
fleeing from battle, charity, and administrative skills are called
leaders or protectors (Kshatriyas).
who are good in cultivation, cattle rearing, business, trade, finance,
and industry are known as business men (Vaishyas). Those who are
very good in service and labor type work only are classed as workers
OF SALVATION THROUGH DUTY, DISCIPLINE, AND DEVOTION
can attain the highest perfection by devotion to one’s natural
work. Listen to Me how one attains perfection while engaged in one’s
attains perfection by worshipping the Supreme Being ¾ from
whom all beings originate, and by whom all this universe is pervaded
¾ through performance of one’s natural duty for Him.
inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work even
though well performed. One who does the work ordained by one’s
inherent nature, without any selfish motive, incurs no sin (or Karmic
natural work, even though defective, should not be abandoned; because
all undertakings are enveloped by defects as fire is covered by
smoke, O Arjuna.
person whose mind is always free from selfish attachment, who has
subdued the mind and senses, and who is free from desires attains
the supreme perfection of freedom from the bondage of Karma by renouncing
selfish attachment to the fruits of work.
from Me briefly, O Arjuna, how one who has attained such perfection,
or the freedom from the bondage of Karma, attains Supreme Being,
the goal of transcendental knowledge.
with purified intellect, subduing the mind with firm resolve, turning
away from sound and other objects of the senses, giving up likes
and dislikes; living in solitude, eating lightly, controlling the
mind, speech, and organs of action, ever absorbed in yoga of meditation,
taking refuge in detachment; and after relinquishing egotism, violence,
pride, lust, anger, and proprietorship; one becomes peaceful, free
from the notion of "I, me, and my", and fit for attaining
oneness with the Supreme Being.
in the Supreme Being, the serene one neither grieves nor desires;
becoming impartial to all beings, one obtains the highest devotional
love for God.
devotion one truly understands what and who I am in essence. Having
known Me in essence, one immediately merges with Me.
Karma-yogi devotee attains the eternal immutable abode by My grace
¾ even while doing all duties ¾ just by taking refuge
in Me (by surrendering all action to Me with loving devotion).
offer all actions to Me, set Me as your supreme goal, and completely
depend on Me. Always fix your mind on Me, and resort to Karma-yoga.
shall overcome all difficulties by My grace when your mind becomes
fixed on Me. But, if you do not listen to Me due to ego, you shall
due to ego you think: I shall not fight; this resolve of yours is
vain. Because your own nature will compel you to fight.
Arjuna, you are controlled by your own nature-born Karmic impressions.
Therefore, you shall do ¾ even against your will ¾
what you do not wish to do out of delusion.
BECOME THE PUPPETS OF OUR OWN FREEWILL
Supreme Lord — as the controller abiding in the inner psyche
of all beings — causes them to work out their Karma like a
puppet (of Karma created by the free will) mounted on a machine.
refuge in the Supreme Lord alone with loving devotion, O Arjuna.
By His grace you shall attain supreme peace and the Eternal Abode.
the knowledge that is more secret than the secret has been explained
to you by Me. After fully reflecting on this, do as you wish.
OF SURRENDER IS THE ULTIMATE PATH TO GOD
once again My most secret, supreme word. You are very dear to Me,
therefore, I shall tell this for your benefit.
your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, offer service to Me, bow down
to Me, and you shall certainly reach Me. I promise you because you
are My very dear friend.
aside all meritorious deeds and religious rituals, and just surrender
completely to My will with firm faith and loving devotion. I shall
liberate you from all sins, the bonds of Karma. Do not grieve.
knowledge should never be spoken by you to one who is devoid of
austerity, who is without devotion, who does not desire to listen,
or who speaks ill of Me.
HIGHEST SERVICE TO GOD, AND THE BEST CHARITY
one who shall propagate this supreme secret philosophy ¾
the transcendental knowledge of the Gita ¾ amongst My devotees,
shall be performing the highest devotional service to Me, and shall
certainly come to Me. No other person shall do a more pleasing service
to Me, and no one on the earth shall be more dear to Me.
OF THE GITA
promise the study of this sacred dialogue of ours will be equivalent
to worshipping Me with knowledge-sacrifice.
hears this sacred dialogue with faith and without cavil becomes
free from sin, and attains heaven ¾ the higher worlds of
those whose actions are pure and virtuous.
Arjuna, did you listen to this with single-minded attention? Has
your delusion born of ignorance been completely destroyed?
said: By Your grace my delusion is destroyed, I have gained Self-knowledge,
my confusion with regard to body and Spirit is dispelled and I shall
obey Your command.
said: Thus I heard this wonderful dialogue between Lord Krishna
and Arjuna, causing my hair to stand on end.
the grace of sage Vyasa, I heard this most secret and supreme yoga
directly from Krishna, the Lord of yoga, Himself speaking to Arjuna
before my very eyes of clairvoyance granted by sage Vyasa.
King, by repeated remembrance of this marvelous and sacred dialogue
between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, I am thrilled at every moment;
again and again, O King, that marvelous form of Krishna I am greatly
amazed and I rejoice over and over again.
TRANSCENDENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND ACTION ARE NEEDED FOR A BALANCED LIVING
there will be both Krishna, the Lord of yoga, or Dharma in the form
of the scriptures, and Arjuna with the weapons of duty and protection;
there will be everlasting prosperity, victory, happiness, and morality.
This is my conviction.