asked: If You consider that acquiring transcendental knowledge is
better than working, then why do You want me to engage in this horrible
war, O Krishna? You seem to confuse my mind by apparently conflicting
words. Tell me, decisively, one thing by which I may attain the
Krishna said: In this world I have stated a twofold path of spiritual
discipline in the past. The path of Self-knowledge for the contemplative
ones, and the path of unselfish work (Seva, Karma-yoga) for all
does not attain freedom from the bondage of Karma by merely abstaining
from work. No one attains perfection by merely giving up work, because
no one can remain actionless even for a moment. Everyone is driven
to action ¾ helplessly indeed ¾ by the forces of Nature.
who restrains the senses but mentally dwells upon the sense objects,
is called a pretender.
ONE SHOULD SERVE OTHERS
one who controls the senses by the trained and purified mind and
intellect, and engages the organs of action to selfless service
is considered superior.
your obligatory duty, because working is indeed better than sitting
idle. Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible without
other than those done as a selfless service (Seva) binds human beings.
Therefore, becoming free from selfish attachment to the fruits of
work, do your duty efficiently as a service to Me.
HELP EACH OTHER IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF THE CREATOR
the beginning the creator created human beings together with selfless
service (Seva, sacrifice) and said: By serving each other you shall
prosper and the sacrificial service shall fulfill all your desires.
the celestial controllers with selfless service, and they will nourish
you. Thus nourishing one another you shall attain the Supreme goal.
celestial controllers, served by selfless service, will give you
all desired objects. One who enjoys the gift of celestial controllers
without sharing with others is, indeed, a thief.
righteous who eat after feeding others are freed from all sins,
but the impious who cook food only for themselves ¾ without
first offering to God, or sharing with others ¾ verily eat
living beings are born from food grains, grains are produced by
sacrificial work or duty performed by farmers and other field workers.
Duty is prescribed in the scriptures. Scriptures (such as the Vedas,
the Holy Bible, the Holy Koran) come from the Supreme Being. Thus
the all-pervading Supreme Being or God is ever present in selfless
one who does not help to keep the wheel of creation in motion by
sacrificial duty (Seva), and rejoices sense pleasures, that sinful
person lives in vain.
one who rejoices the Supreme Being, who is delighted with the Supreme
Being, and who is content with the Supreme Being alone, for such
a Self-realized person there is no duty. Such a person has no interest,
whatsoever, in what is done or what is not done. A Self-realized
person does not depend on anybody, except God, for anything.
SHOULD SET AN EXAMPLE
perform your duty efficiently and without any selfish attachment
to the results, because by doing work without attachment one attains
Janaka and others attained perfection of Self-realization by selfless
service (Karma-yoga) alone. You should also perform your duty with
a view to guide people, and for the welfare of the society.
whatever noble persons do, others follow. Whatever standard they
set up, the world follows.
Arjuna, there is nothing in the three worlds — heaven, earth,
and the lower regions — that should be done by Me, nor there
is anything unobtained that I should obtain, yet I engage in action.
if I do not engage in action relentlessly, O Arjuna, people would
follow My path in everyway. These worlds would perish if I do not
work, and I shall be the cause of confusion and destruction of all
SHOULD THE WISE DO TO
the ignorant work with attachment to the fruits of work, so the
wise should work without attachment, for the welfare of the society.
wise should not unsettle the mind of the ignorant ones who are attached
to the fruits of work, but the enlightened one should inspire others
by performing all works efficiently without selfish attachment.
WORKS ARE THE WORKS OF NATURE
forces of Nature do all works. But due to delusion of ignorance
people assume themselves to be the doer.
one who knows the truth about the role of the forces of Nature in
getting work done does not become attached to the work. Such a person
knows that it is the forces of Nature that get their work done by
using our organs as their instruments.
those who are deluded by the illusive power (Maya) of Nature become
attached to the works done by the forces of Nature. The wise should
not disturb the mind of the ignorant whose knowledge is imperfect.
your duty dedicating all works to God in a spiritual frame of mind
free from desire, attachment, and mental grief.
who always practice this teaching of Mine ¾ with faith and
are free from cavil ¾ become free from the bondage of Karma.
But those who carp at this teaching and do not practice it, consider
them ignorant, senseless, and lost.
beings follow their nature. Even the wise act according to their
own nature. What, then, is the value of sense restraint?
MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCKS ON THE PATH OF PERFECTION
and aversions for the sense objects remain in the senses. One should
not come under the control of these two, because they are two major
stumbling blocks, indeed, on one’s path of Self-realization.
inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work. Death
in carrying out one’s natural work is useful. Unnatural work
produces too much stress.
IS THE ORIGIN OF SIN
said: O Krishna, what impels one to commit sin as if unwillingly
and forced against one’s will?
Krishna said: It is the lust born out of passion that becomes anger
when unfulfilled. Lust is insatiable and is a great devil. Know
this as the enemy.
the fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo
by the amnion; similarly, Self-knowledge gets covered by different
degrees of this insatiable lust, the eternal enemy of the wise.
senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the abode of
lust; with these it deludes a person by veiling the Self-knowledge.
O Arjuna, by controlling the senses first, kill this devil of material
desire that destroys Self-knowledge and Self-realization.
TO CONTROL LUST
senses are said to be superior to the body, the mind is superior
to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind, transcendental
knowledge is superior to the intellect, and the Self is superior
to transcendental knowledge.
knowing the Self to be superior to the intellect, and controlling
the mind by the intellect that is purified by spiritual practices,
one must kill this mighty enemy, lust, O Arjuna.