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SRI AUROBINDO

Bhagavad gita

Paraphrase

अथ चतुर्थोऽध्यायः (ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यासयोगः)

atha caturtho'dhyāyaḥ (jñānakarmasaṃnyāsayogaḥ)

4. The Yoga of Knowledge

The translation of the Gita presented here was compiled mainly from Sri Aurobindo's Essays on the Gita. It first appeared in The Message of the Gita, edited by Anilbaran Roy, in 1938. Sri Aurobindo approved this book for publication; however, he made it clear in one of his letters that the translations in the Essays were "more explanatory than textually precise or cast in a literary style". Many of them are paraphrases rather than strict translations. Sri Aurobindo also wrote that he did not wish extracts from the Essays "to go out as my translation of the Gita". This should be borne in mind by the reader as he mattes use of this translation, which has been provided as a bridge between the Gita and Sri Aurobindo's Essays.

 

4.01 श्रीभगवानुवाच:

इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम् ।

विवस्वान्मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत् ॥

śrībhagavānuvāca:

imaṃ vivasvate yogaṃ proktavānahamavyayam,

vivasvānmanave prāha manurikṣvākave'bravīt.

The Blessed Lord said: This imperishable Yoga I gave to Vivasvan (the Sun-God), Vivasvan gave it to Manu (the father of men), Manu gave it to Ikshvaku (head of the Solar line).

 

4.02 एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः ।

स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परंतप ॥

evaṃ paramparāprāptamimaṃ rājarṣayo viduḥ,

sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣṭaḥ paraṃtapa.

And so it came down from royal sage to royal sage till it was lost in the great lapse of Time, O Parantapa.

 

4.03 स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।

भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥

sa evāyaṃ mayā te'dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ,

bhakto'si me sakhā ceti rahasyaṃ hyetaduttamam.

This same ancient and original Yoga has been today declared to thee by Me, for thou art My devotee and My friend, this is the highest secret.

 

4.04 अर्जुन उवाच:

अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः ।

कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति ॥

arjuna uvāca:

aparaṃ bhavato janma paraṃ janma vivasvataḥ,

kathametadvijānīyāṃ tvamādau proktavāniti.

Arjuna said: The Sun-God was one of the firstborn of beings (ancestor of the solar dynasty) and Thou art only now born into the world: how am I to comprehend that Thou declaredst it to him in the beginning?

 

4.05 श्रीभगवानुवाच:

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।

तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परंतप ॥

śrībhagavānuvāca:

bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna,

tānyahaṃ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṃ vettha paraṃtapa.

The Blessed Lord said: Many are my lives that are past, and thine also, O Arjuna; all of them I know, but thou knowest not, O scourge of the foe.

 

4.06 अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन् ।

प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय संभवाम्यात्ममायया ॥

ajo'pi sannavyayātmā bhūtānāmīśvaro'pi san,

prakṛtiṃ svāmadhiṣṭhāya saṃbhavāmyātmamāyayā.

Though I am the unborn, though I am imperishable in my self-existence, though I am the Lord of all existences, yet I stand upon my own Nature and I come into birth by my self-Maya.

 

4.07 यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।

अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānirbhavati bhārata,

abhyutthānamadharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyaham.

Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth.

 

4.08 परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।

धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे ॥

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām,

dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge.

For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right, I am born from age to age.

 

4.09 जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ।

त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन ॥

janma karma ca me divyamevaṃ yo vetti tattvataḥ,

tyaktvā dehaṃ punarjanma naiti māmeti so'rjuna.

He who knoweth thus in its right principles my divine birth and my divine work, when he abandons his body, comes not to rebirth, he comes to Me, O Arjuna.

 

4.10 वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः ।

बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः ॥

vītarāgabhayakrodhā manmayā māmupāśritāḥ,

bahavo jñānatapasā pūtā madbhāvamāgatāḥ.

Delivered from liking and fear and wrath, full of me, taking refuge in me, many purified by austerity of knowledge have arrived at my nature of being (madbhavam, the divine nature of the Purushottama).

 

4.11 ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् ।

मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः ॥

ye yathā māṃ prapadyante tāṃstathaiva bhajāmyaham,

mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ.

As men approach Me, so I accept them to My love (bhajami); men follow in every way my path, O son of Pritha.

 

4.12 काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः ।

क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर्भवति कर्मजा ॥

kāňkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṃ siddhiṃ yajanta iha devatāḥ,

kṣipraṃ hi mānuṣe loke siddhirbhavati karmajā.

They who desire the fulfilment of their works on earth sacrifice to the gods (various forms and personalities of the one Godhead); because the fulfilment that is born of works (of works without knowledge) is very swift and easy in the human world.

 

4.13 चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।

तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥

cāturvarṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ,

tasya kartāramapi māṃ viddhyakartāramavyayam.

The fourfold order was created by Me according to the divisions of quality and active function. Know Me for the doer of this (the fourfold law of human workings) who am yet the imperishable non-doer.

 

4.14 न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा ।

इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते ॥

na māṃ karmāṇi limpanti na me karmaphale spṛhā,

iti māṃ yo'bhijānāti karmabhirna sa badhyate.

Works fix not themselves on Me, nor have I desire for the fruits of action; he who thus knoweth Me is not bound by works.

 

4.15 एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैरपि मुमुक्षुभिः ।

कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात्त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम् ॥

evaṃ j˝ātvā kṛtaṃ karma pūrvairapi mumukṣubhiḥ,

kuru karmaiva tasmāttvaṃ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṃ kṛtam.

So knowing was work done by the men of old who sought liberation; do therefore, thou also, work of that more ancient kind done by the ancients.

 

4.16 किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः ।

तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ॥

kiṃ karma kimakarmeti kavayo'pyatra mohitāḥ,

tatte karma pravakṣyāmi yajjñātvā mokṣyase'śubhāt.

What is action and what is inaction, as to this even the sages are perplexed and deluded. I will declare to thee that action by the knowledge of which thou shalt be released from all ills.

 

4.17 कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः ।

अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ॥

karmaṇo hyapi boddhavyaṃ boddhavyaṃ ca vikarmaṇaḥ,

akarmaṇaśca boddhavyaṃ gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ.

One has to understand about action as well as to understand about wrong action and about inaction one has to understand; thick and tangled is the way of works.

 

4.18 कर्मण्यकर्म यः पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म यः ।

स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् ॥

karmaṇyakarma yaḥ paśyedakarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ,

sa buddhimānmanuṣyeṣu sa yuktaḥ kṛtsnakarmakṛt.

He who in action can see inaction and can see action still continuing in cessation from works, is the man of true reason and discernment among men; he is in Yoga and a many-sided universal worker (for the good of the world, for God in the world).

 

4.19 यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसंकल्पवर्जिताः ।

ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः ॥

yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāmasaṅkalpavarjitāḥ,

jñānāgnidagdhakarmāṇaṃ tamāhuḥ paṇḍitaṃ budhāḥ.

Whose inceptions and undertakings are all free from the will of desire, whose works are burned up by the fire of knowledge, him the wise have called a sage.

 

4.20 त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासंगं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रयः ।

कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किंचित्करोति सः ॥

tyaktvā karmaphalāsaṅgaṃ nityatṛpto nirāśrayaḥ,

karmaṇyabhipravṛtto'pi naiva kiṃcitkaroti saḥ.

Having abandoned all attachment to the fruits of his works, ever satisfied without any kind of dependence, he does nothing though (through his nature) he engages in action.

 

4.21 निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः ।

शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥

nirāśīryatacittātmā tyaktasarvaparigrahaḥ,

śārīraṃ kevalaṃ karma kurvannāpnoti kilbiṣam.

He has no personal hopes, does not seize on things as his personal possessions; his heart and self are under perfect control; performing action by the body alone, he does not commit sin.

 

4.22 यदृच्छालाभसंतुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः ।

समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते ॥

yadṛcchālābhasaṃtuṣṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ,

samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate.

He who is satisfied with whatever gain comes to him, who has passed beyond the dualities, is jealous of none, is equal in failure and success, he is not bound even when he acts.

 

4.23 गतसंगस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः ।

यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते ॥

gatasaṅgasya muktasya j˝ānāvasthitacetasaḥ,

yajñāyācarataḥ karma samagraṃ pravilīyate.

When a man liberated, free from attachment, with his mind, heart and spirit firmly founded in self-knowledge, does works as sacrifice, all his work is dissolved.

 

4.24 ब्रह्म्ऽआर्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्-ब्रह्म्ऽआग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् ।

ब्रह्म्ऽऐव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्म-कर्म-समाधिना ॥

brahm'ārpaṇaṃ brahma havir-brahm'āgnau brahmaṇā hutam,

brahm'aiva tena gantavyaṃ brahma-karma-samādhinā.

Brahman is the giving, Brahman is the food-offering, by Brahman it is offered into the Brahman fire, Brahman is that which is to be attained by samadhi in Brahman-action.

 

4.25 दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते ।

ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति ॥

daivamevāpare yaj˝aṃ yoginaḥ paryupāsate,

brahmāgnāvapare yajñaṃ yajñenaivopajuhvati.

Some Yogins follow after the sacrifice which is of the gods; others offer the sacrifice by the sacrifice itself into the Brahman-fire.

 

4.26 श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्यन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति ।

शब्दादीन्विषयानन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति ॥

śrotrādīnīndriyāṇyanye saṃyamāgniṣu juhvati,

śabdādīnviṣayānanya indriyāgniṣu juhvati.

Some offer hearing and the other senses into the fires of control, others offer sound and the other objects of sense into the fires of sense.

 

4.27 सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे ।

आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ॥

sarvāṇīndriyakarmāṇi prāṇakarmāṇi cāpare,

ātmasaṃyamayogāgnau juhvati jñānadīpite.

And others offer all the actions of the sense and all the actions of the vital force into the fire of the Yoga of self-control kindled by knowledge.

 

4.28 द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे ।

स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः ॥

dravyayaj˝āstapoyaj˝ā yogayaj˝āstathāpare,

svādhyāyajñānayajñāśca yatayaḥ saṃśitavratāḥ.

The offering of the striver after perfection may be material and physical (dravyayajna, like that consecrated in worship by the devotee to his deity), or it may be the austerity of his self-discipline and energy of his soul directed to some high aim, tapo-yajna, or it may be some form of Yoga (like the Pranayama of the Raja-yogins and Hatha-yogins, or any other yoga-yajna), or it may be the offering of reading and knowledge.

 

4.29 अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।

प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ॥

apāne juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe'pānaṃ tathāpare,

prāṇāpānagatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāmaparāyaṇāḥ.

Others again who are devoted to controlling the breath, having restrained the Prana (the incoming breath) and Apana (the outgoing breath) pour as sacrifice Prana into Apana and Apana into Prana.

 

4.30 अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति ।

सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषाः ॥

apare niyatāhārāḥ prāṇānprāṇeṣu juhvati,

sarve'pyete yajñavido yajñakṣapitakalmaṣāḥ.

Others having regulated the food pour as sacrifice their life breaths into life-breaths. All these are knowers of sacrifice and by sacrifice have destroyed their sins.

 

4.31 यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।

नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ॥

yaj˝aśiṣṭāmṛtabhujo yānti brahma sanātanam,

nāyaṃ loko'styayajñasya kuto'nyaḥ kurusattama.

They who enjoy the nectar of immortality left over from the sacrifice attain to the eternal Brahman, this world is not for him who doeth not sacrifice, how then any other world?

 

4.32 एवं बहुविधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे ।

कर्मजान्विद्धि तान्सर्वानेवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे ॥

evaṃ bahuvidhā yaj˝ā vitatā brahmaṇo mukhe,

karmajānviddhi tānsarvānevaṃ jñātvā vimokṣyase.

Therefore all these and many other forms of sacrifice have been extended in the mouth of the Brahman (the mouth of that Fire which receives all offerings). Know thou that all these are born of work and so knowing thou shalt be free.

 

4.33 श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परंतप ।

सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ॥

śreyāndravyamayādyaj˝ājj˝ānayaj˝aḥ paraṃtapa,

sarvaṃ karmākhilaṃ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate.

The sacrifice of knowledge, O Parantapa, is greater than any material sacrifice. Knowledge is that in which all this action culminates (not any lower knowledge, but the highest self-knowledge and God-knowledge), O Partha!

 

4.34 तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया ।

उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ॥

tadviddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā,

upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninastattvadarśinaḥ.

Learn that by worshipping the feet of the teacher, by questioning and by service; the men of knowledge who have seen (not those who know merely by the intellect) the true principles of things, will instruct thee in knowledge.

 

4.35 यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव ।

येन भूतान्यशेषाणि द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि ॥

yajj˝ātvā na punarmohamevaṃ yāsyasi pāṇḍava,

yena bhūtānyaśeṣāṇi drakṣyasyātmanyatho mayi.

Possessing that knowledge thou shalt not fall again into the mind's ignorance, O Pandava; for by this, thou shalt see all existences without exception in the Self, then in Me.

 

4.36 अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः ।

सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं संतरिष्यसि ॥

api cedasi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpakṛttamaḥ,

sarvaṃ jñānaplavenaiva vṛjinaṃ saṃtariṣyasi.

Even if thou art the greatest doer of sin beyond all sinners, thou shalt cross over all the crookedness of evil in the ship of knowledge.

 

4.37 यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन ।

ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥

yathaidhāṃsi samiddho'gnirbhasmasātkurute'rjuna,

jñānāgniḥ sarvakarmāṇi bhasmasātkurute tathā.

As a fire kindled turns to ashes its fuel, O Arjuna, so the fire of knowledge turns all works to ashes.

 

4.38 न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते ।

तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ॥

na hi j˝ānena sadṛśaṃ pavitramiha vidyate,

tatsvayaṃ yogasaṃsiddhaḥ kālenātmani vindati.

There is nothing in the world equal in purity to knowledge, the man who is perfected by Yoga, finds it of himself in the self by the course of Time.

 

4.39 श्रद्धावां लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः ।

ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ॥

śraddhāvāṃ labhate j˝ānaṃ tatparaḥ saṃyatendriyaḥ,

jñānaṃ labdhvā parāṃ śāntimacireṇādhigacchati.

Who has faith, who has conquered and controlled the mind and senses, who has fixed his whole conscious being on the supreme Reality, he attains knowledge; and having attained knowledge he goes swiftly to the supreme Peace.

 

4.40 अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति ।

नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः ॥

aj˝aścāśraddadhānaśca saṃśayātmā vinaśyati,

nāyaṃ loko'sti na paro na sukhaṃ saṃśayātmanaḥ.

The ignorant who has not faith, the soul of doubt, goeth to perdition; neither this world, nor the supreme world nor any happiness is for the soul full of doubts.

 

4.41 योगसंन्यस्तकर्माणं ज्ञानसंछिन्नसंशयम् ।

आत्मवन्तं न कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनंजय ॥

yogasaṃnyastakarmāṇaṃ j˝ānasaṃchinnasaṃśayam,

ātmavantaṃ na karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanaṃjaya.

He who has destroyed all doubt by knowledge and has by Yoga given up all works and is in possession of the Self is not bound by his works. O Dhananjaya.

 

4.42 तस्मादज्ञानसंभूतं हृत्स्थं ज्ञानासिनात्मनः ।

छित्त्वैनं संशयं योगमातिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भारत ॥

tasmādaj˝ānasaṃbhūtaṃ hṛtsthaṃ j˝ānāsinātmanaḥ,

chittvainaṃ saṃśayaṃ yogamātiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhārata.

Therefore arise, O Bharata, and resort constantly to Yoga, having cut away with the sword of knowledge this perplexity born of ignorance.

 

ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद् भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु

ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे

ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यासयोगो नाम चतुर्थोऽध्यायः

oṃ tatsaditi śrīmad bhagavadgītāsūpaniṣatsu

brahmavidyāyāṃ yogaśāstre śrīkṛṣṇārjunasaṃvāde

jñānakarmasaṃnyāsayogo nāma caturtho'dhyāyaḥ