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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3  

Chapter - 3


Verse 1-5

Arjuna Uvaca

Jyayasi cet karmanas te
Mata buddhir janardana
Tat kim karmani ghore mam
niyojayasi kesava

Arjuna said: O Janardana, O Kesava, why do You want to engage me in this ghastly warfare, if You think that intelligence is better than fruitive work?

Vyamisreneva vakyena
Buddhim mohayasiva me
Tad ekam vada niscitya
Yena sreyo 'ham apnuyam

My intelligence is bewildered by Your equivocal instructions. Therefore, please tell me decisively which will be most beneficial for me.

Sri-Bhagavan Uvaca

Loke 'smin dvi-vidha nistha
Pura prokta mayanagha
Jnana-yogena sankhyanam
Karma-yogena yoginam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two classes of men who try to realize the self. Some are inclined to understand it by empirical, philosophical speculation, and others by devotional service.

Na karmanam anarambhan
Naiskarmyam puruso 'snute
Na ca sannyasanad eva
Siddhim samadhigacchati

Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.

Verses 5-8

Na hi kascit ksanam api
Jatu tisthaty akarma-krt
Karyate hy avasah karma
Sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih

Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

Karmendriyani samyamya
Ya aste manasa smaran
Indriyarthan vimudhatma
Mithyacarah sa ucyate

One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.

Yas tv indriyani manasa
Niyamyarabhate 'rjuna
Karmendriyaih karma-yogam
Asaktah sa visisyate

On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Krsna consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.

Niyatam kuru karma tvam
Karma jyayo hy akarmanah
Sarira-yatrapi ca te
Na prasiddhyed akarmanah

Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one's physical body without work.

Verses 9-12

Yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra
Loko 'yam karma-bandhanah
Tad-artham karma kaunteya
Mukta-sangah samacara

Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

Saha-yajnah prajah srstva
Purovaca prajapatih
Anena prasavisyadhvam
Esa vo 'stv ista-kama-dhuk

In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Visnu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you all desirable things."

Devan bhavayatanena
Te deva bhavayantu vah
Parasparam bhavayantah
Sreyah param avapsyatha

The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.

Istan bhogan hi vo deva
Dasyante yajna-bhavitah
Tair dattan apradayaibhyo
Yo bhunkte stena eva sah

In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in return, is certainly a thief

Verses 13-16

Yajna-sistasinah santo
Mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
Bhunjate te tv agham papa
Ye pacanty atma-karanat

The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin..

Annad bhavanti bhutani
Parjanyad anna-sambhavah
Yajnad bhavati parjanyo
Yajnah karma-samudbhavah

All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.

Karma brahmodbhavam viddhi
Tasmat sarva-gatam brahma
Nityam yajne pratisthitam

Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas are directly manifested from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice

Evam pravartitam cakram
Nanuvartayatiha yah
Aghayur indriyaramo
Mogham partha sa jivati

My dear Arjuna, a man who does not follow this prescribed Vedic system of sacrifice certainly leads a life of sin, for a person delighting only in the senses lives in vain.

Vereses 17-20

Yas tv atma-ratir eva syad
Atma-trptas ca manavah
Atmany eva ca santustas
Tasya karyam na vidyate

One who is, however, taking pleasure in the self, who is illuminated in the self, who rejoices in and is satisfied with the self only, fully satiated--for him there is no duty.

Naiva tasya krtenartho
Nakrteneha kascana na
Casya sarva-bhutesu
Kascid artha-vyapasrayah

A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other living being.

Tasmad asaktah satatam
Karyam karma samacara
Asakto hy acaran karma
Param apnoti purusah

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.

Karmanaiva hi samsiddhim
Asthita janakadayah
Loka-sangraham evapi
Sampasyan kartum arhasi

Even kings like Janaka and others attained the perfectional stage by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.

Vereses 21-24

Yad yad acarati sresthas
Tat tad evetaro janah
Sa yat pramanam kurute
Lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues..

Na me parthasti kartavyam
Trisu lokesu kincana
Nanavaptam avaptavyam
Varta eva ca karmani

O son of Prtha, there is no work prescribed for Me within all the three planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I need to obtain anything--and yet I am engaged in work.

Yadi hy aham na varteyam
Jatu karmany atandritah
Mama vartmanuvartante
Manusyah partha sarvasah

For, if I did not engage in work, O Partha, certainly all men would follow My path..

Utsideyur ime loka
Na kuryam karma ced aham
Sankarasya ca karta syam
Upahanyam imah prajah

If I should cease to work, then all these worlds would be put to ruination. I would also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all sentient beings.

Verses 25-28

Saktah karmany avidvamso
Yatha kurvanti bharata
Kuryad vidvams tathasaktas
Chikirsur loka-sangraham

As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, similarly the learned may also act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.

Na buddhi-bhedam janayed
Ajnanam karma-sanginam
Josayet sarva-karmani
Vidvan yuktah samacharan

Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action, they should not be encouraged to refrain from work, but to engage in work in the spirit of devotion.

Prakrteh kriyamanani
Gunaih karmani sarvasah
Kartaham iti manyate

The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.

Tattva-vit tu maha-baho
Guna guneshu vartanta
Iti matva na sajjate

One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.

Verses 29-32

Prakrter guna-sammudhah
Sajjante guna-karmasu
Tan akrtsna-vido mandan
Krtsna-vin na vicalayet

Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performers' lack of knowledge.

Mayi sarvani karmani
Nirasir nirmamo bhutva
Yudhyasva vigata-jvarah

Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with mind intent on Me, and without desire for gain and free from egoism and lethargy, fight.

Ye me matam idam nityam
Anutisthanti manavah
Sraddhavanto 'nasuyanto
Mucyante te 'pi karmabhih

One who executes his duties according to My injunctions and who follows this teaching faithfully, without envy, becomes free from the bondage of fruitive actions.

Ye tv etad abhyasuyanto
Nanutisthanti me matam
Sarva-jnana-vimudhams tan
Viddhi nastan achetasah

But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.

Verses 33-36

Sadrsam chestate svasyah
Prakrter jnanavan api
Prakrtim yanti bhutani
Nigrahah kim karisyati

Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?

Raga-dvesau vyavasthitau
Tayor na vasam agacchet
Tau hy asya paripanthinau

Attraction and repulsion for sense objects are felt by embodied beings, but one should not fall under the control of senses and sense objects because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.

Sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
Para-dharmat svanusthitat
Sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
Para-dharmo bhayavahah

It is far better to discharge one's prescribed duties, even though they may be faultily, than another's duties. Destruction in the course of performing one's own duty is better than engaging
in another's duties, for to follow another's path is dangerous.

Arjuna Uvaca

Atha kena prayukto 'yam
Papam charati purusah
Anicchann api varsneya
Balad iva niyojitah

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vrsni, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

Vereses 37-40

Sri-bhagavan uvacha
Kama esa krodha esa
Mahasano maha-papma
Viddhy enam iha vairinam

The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.

Dhumenavriyate vahnir
Yathadarso malena cha
Yatholbenavrto garbhas
Tatha tenedam avrtam

As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, similarly, the living entity is covered by different degrees of this lust.

Avrtam jnanam etena
Jnanino nitya-vairina
Kama-rupena kaunteya
Duspurenanalena cha

Thus, a man's pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.

Indriyani mano buddhir
Asyadhisthanam uchyate
Etair vimohayaty esa
Jnanam avrtya dehinam

The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust, which veils the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.

Verses 41-43

Tasmat tvam indriyany adau
Niyamya bharatarsabha
Papmanam prajahi hy
Enam jnana-vijnana-nasanam

Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization

Indriyani parany ahur
Indriyebhyah param manah
Manasas tu para buddhir
Yo buddheh paratas tu sah

The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.

Evam buddheh param buddhva
Samstabhyatmanam atmana
Jahi satrum maha-baho
Kama-rupam durasadam

Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material senses, mind and intelligence, one should control the lower self by the higher self and thus--by spiritual strength--conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.

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