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Bhagwad Gita

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Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18  

Chapter 5


Arjuna asked: O Krishna, You praise the path of transcendental knowledge, and also the path of performance of selfless service (Karma-yoga). Tell me, definitely, which one is the better of the two paths.

Lord Krishna said: The path of Self-knowledge and the path of selfless service both lead to the supreme goal. But, of the two, the path of selfless service is superior to path of Self-knowledge, because it is easier to practice.

A person should be considered a true renunciant who has neither attachment nor aversionfor anything. One is easily liberated from Karmic bondage by becoming free from attachment and aversion.


The ignorant — not the wise — consider the path of Self-knowledge and the path of selfless service (Karma-yoga) as different from each other. The person, who has truly mastered one, gets the benefits of both.

Whatever goal a renunciant reaches, a Karma-yogi also reaches the same goal. Therefore, the one who sees the path of renunciation and the path of unselfish work as the same really sees.

But, true renunciation, O Arjuna, is difficult to attain without Karma-yoga. A sage equipped with Karma-yoga quickly attains Nirvana.

A Karma-yogi, whose mind is pure, whose mind and senses are under control, and who sees one and the same Spirit in all beings, is not bound by Karma though engaged in work.


The wise who knows the truth thinks: "I do nothing at all." In seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing; and speaking, giving, taking, as well as opening and closing the eyes, the wise believes that only the senses are operating upon their objects.


One who does all work as an offering to God — abandoning selfish attachment to results — remains untouched by Karmic reaction or sin as a lotus leaf never gets wet by water.

The Karma-yogis perform action ¾ without selfish attachment ¾ with their body, mind, intellect, and senses only for the purification of their mind and intellect.

A Karma-yogi attains Supreme Bliss by abandoning attachment to the fruits of work; while others, who are attached to the fruits of work, become bound by selfish work.


A person, who has completely renounced the fruits of all works, dwells happily in the City of Nine Gates, neither performing nor directing action.

The Lord neither creates the urge for action, nor the feeling of doership, nor the attachment to the results of action in people. The powers of material Nature do all these.

The Lord does not take the responsibility for the good or evil deeds of anybody. The veil of ignorance covers the Self-knowledge; thereby people become deluded and do evil deeds.

Transcendental knowledge destroys the ignorance of the Spirit and reveals the Supreme Being just as the sun reveals the beauty of objects of the world.

Persons, whose mind and intellect are totally merged in the Supreme Being, who are firmly devoted to the Supreme, who have God as their supreme goal and sole refuge, and whose impurities are destroyed by the knowledge of the self, do not take birth again.


An enlightened person — by perceiving God in all — looks at a learned person, an outcast, even a cow, an elephant, or a dog with an equal eye.

Everything has been accomplished in this very life by the one whose mind is set in equality. Such a person has realized the Supreme Being, because the Supreme Being is flawless and impartial.

One who neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant, nor grieves on obtaining the unpleasant, who has a steady mind, who is undeluded, and who is a knower of the Supreme Being, such a person eternally abides with the Supreme Being.

Such a person who is in union with the Supreme Being becomes unattached to external sensual pleasures by discovering the joy of the Self through contemplation, and enjoys transcendental bliss.

Sensual pleasures are verily the source of misery, and have a beginning and an end. Therefore the wise, O Arjuna, does not rejoice in sensual pleasures.

One who is able to withstand the impulse of lust and anger before death is a yogi, and a happy person.

One who finds happiness with the Supreme Being, who rejoices Supreme Being within, and who is illuminated by Self-knowledge; such a yogi attains Nirvana, and goes to the Supreme Being.

Seers, whose sins (or imperfections) are destroyed, whose doubts have been dispelled by Self-knowledge, whose minds are disciplined, and who are engaged in the welfare of all beings, attain the Supreme Being.

Those who are free from lust and anger, who have subdued the mind and senses, and who have known the Self, easily attain Nirvana.


A sage is verily liberated by renouncing all sense enjoyments, fixing the eyes and the mind at an imaginary black dot between the eye brows, equalizing the breath moving through the nostrils by using yogic techniques, keeping the senses, mind, and intellect under control, having salvation as the prime goal, and by becoming free from lust, anger, and fear.

My devotee attains peace by knowing the Supreme Being as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, as the great Lord of the entire universe, and as the friend of all beings.

Chapter 6....

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