(The Yoga of Liberation through Renunciation and Sacrifice)
1. Arjuna said: "O Mahabahu, O Hrishikesa, O slayer of Kesin,
fain would I know the truth
concerning renounced order of life 86
and renunciation 87
2. The Blessed Lord
said: "Some seers refer to Sannyasa as the renunciation of all
actions rooted in selfish desire while other Wise ones regard Tyaga
as the abandonment of the fruits of all action.
3. "Some Wise men declare that all actions necessarily contain a
certain measure of evil and must therefore be given up, while others
hold that acts of sacrifice, charities and austerities should not be
4. "Hear now My judgment concerning renunciation (Tyaga), O
Bharatasattama; for renunciation too, O Purushavyaghra, is of a
5. "Acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should NOT be given
up and must continue to be performed for all these activities are
capable of purifying even the wisest of men.
6. "However, these actions ought to be performed without any
attachment, and totally abandoning the fruits thereof; this, O
Partha, is My dictum.
7. "Verily, the abandonment of duties enjoined by the scriptures
is improper; such renunciation is born out of ignorance, and is
8. "He who abandons action, deeming it painful and for fear of
straining his limbs, will never reap the benefit of abandonment,
since such sacrifice so-called is Rajasik.
9. "But when a prescribed action is performed with sincerity, a
sense of duty and devotion, besides renouncing both attachment as
well as the fruits of action, then such an action is called
10. "The Wise man imbued with Sattva, whose doubts are fully
resolved, and who further has truly relinquished, neither shrinks
from action because it brings pain, nor courts it because it will
lead to pleasure.
11. "It is indeed impossible for an embodied person to renounce
action completely; but he who renounces the fruit of action can be
considered as having truly sacrificed 88
12. "Disagreeable, welcome and mixed - threefold is the fruit of
action that accrues after death to those who have not given up
attachment; but there is none whatsoever for the Sannyasi.
13."Learn now from Me, O Mahahahu, the five factors as taught in
philosophy, which are contributory to the accomplishment of
14. "The physical body, the doer, the senses, the effort and the
last of all, Destiny;
15. "These are the five contributory factors associated with all
actions, be they right or wrong, which a man performs with the mind,
or using the body, or through speech.
16. "Such being the case, the perverse and foolish one who,
through clouded reasoning regards the taintless Atman/Self
as the doer, neither understands nor sees.
17. "He who is free from egoism, whose intelligence is not
tainted, even though he slays these people, does not in fact kill,
and is not bound 89.
18. "The Knower, knowledge and the object of knowledge together
form the threefold impulse for action, and the doer, the action
itself and the instrument, are its threefold constituents.
19. "Depending upon the Gunas, knowledge, action and the doer are
each of three kinds; hear thou about these, as described in the
science of the Gunas.
20. "Know that knowledge to be Sattvik, whereby one sees only the
one Immutable Entity in all the beings of the Universe, that is, a
unity in diversity.
21. "Rajasik knowledge, on the other hand, makes one merely see
diversity in this manifold Universe.
22. "But that knowledge which, totally missing the essence,
clings without reason to one single superficial perception as though
it were everything, is nothing but Tamasik.
23. "Turning next to action, that action which is ordained by the
scriptures, which is performed without any attachment, without
desire or hate, and also without any yearning for the fruit, is
24. "But that action which is prompted by a craving for the fruit
as also by selfish and egoistic thought, and further is carried out
with great strain, is Rajasik.
25. "That action which is blindly undertaken regardless of one's
ability or without heed to the consequences, including loss and
injury, is declared to be Tamasik.
26. "Now to the doer; that doer is Sattvik, who is free from
attachment and ego, who is endowed with steadfastness and zeal, and
is unaffected both by success as well as failure.
27. "That doer is Rajasik, who is driven by the desire for the
fruit, is passionate, greedy, violent, impure in thought, and torn
between joy and sorrow.
28. "And that doer is Tamasik, who is not disciplined, vulgar,
stubborn, knavish, dishonest, indolent, despondent and
29. "Hear now, O Dhananjaya, as I explain the threefold nature of
the intelligence 87
, and of conviction 91
, based on the Gunas.
30. "That understanding, O Partha, is Sattvik which can
discriminate between action and inaction, which knows what ought to
be done and what ought not to be, which can see the difference
between fear and fearlessness, and between bondage and
31. "Partha, that understanding is Rajasik, which has a distorted
perception of righteousness 92
and unrighteousness 93
, as also what ought to be done and what ought not to be
32. "But that understanding, O Partha, which, enveloped in
darkness, manages to see Adharma in Dharma
and vice-versa, and in general promotes a perverse view of all
things is nothing but Tamasik.
33. "That conviction is Sattvik which, steadied through Yoga,
maintains an unbroken harmony between the activities of the mind,
the vital energies 94,
and the senses.
34. "Arjuna, that conviction is Rajasik, which immerses a person
in the desire for the fruit in all aspects of life, not only those
connected with the acquisition of wealth, worldly possessions and
worldly enjoyments, but even with virtuous living.
35. "And, O Partha, that conviction is Tamasik, which prevents a
person from shaking off his inertia besides promoting fear, anxiety,
lassitude, conceit and grief.
36. "Joy or pleasure also is similarly threefold, and hear now
from Me, O Bharatarishabha, about the happiness that comes out of
spiritual practice, and which puts an end to pain.
37. "That happiness is Sattvik, which to start with seems like
poison but becomes nectarine in the end; such happiness is born of
the serenity that results from Self-realization.
38. "That pleasure which at first seems nectarine because of the
play of the senses among their objects but which later turns to
poison, is Rajasik.
39. "And that so-called happiness derived from sloth, indolence,
inertia, lethargy and folly, which besides, is also perpetually
deluding, is said to be Tamasik.
40. "There is no being, either among men here on earth or among
the gods in heaven,
who is free from these three Gunas born of Prakriti.
41. "Parantapa, the duties of [the four castes], Brahman
as, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Sudras have been
apportioned consistent with their intrinsic nature 95
42. "Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness,
uprightness, wisdom in theory and practice, and faith in God
- from these flow the natural duties of the Brahmana.
43. "Valor, spiritedness, firmness, resourcefulness, courage in
battle, generosity and the capacity to rule, all these shape the
natural duties of the Kshatriya.
44. "Tilling the soil, cattle-rearing and trade are the natural
callings of the Vaishya, while service is the natural duty of the
45. "[Whatever be his caste], each man, by the sincere discharge
of duties consistent with his intrinsic nature, attains the highest
[spiritual] perfection. Hear now how perfection may be achieved by
such sincere adherence to one's natural duties.
46. "Indeed, the highest perfection may be attained simply by
dedicating to Him Who is all-pervasive and Who is the fountainhead
of all beings, all the actions which one performs as a part of one's
47. "Superior is one's own duty 96
though uninviting, than that of another better discharged; for
he who performs the duty ordained by his own nature, incurs no
48. "One should not abandon, O Kaunteya, the duty to which one is
born, imperfect or blemished though it might seem. Indeed, all
undertakings are beset with imperfections, as fire with smoke.
49. "He who has weaned himself away from attachments of all
kinds, who has perfect self-control, who is free from desire,
attains by renunciation, the Supreme State of freedom from
50. "Learn now from Me in brief, O Kaunteya, how having reached
this perfection one also attains Brahman,
the supreme consummation of Knowledge.
51. "Guided by pure reason, restraining the self with firm will,
turning away from sense objects, putting aside attachment and
52. "Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, restrained in
speech, body and mind subdued, ever absorbed in meditation,
anchored in dispassion;
53. "Devoid of violence, arrogance, lust and wrath, and having
shed egoism and all sense of 'mine', possessing nothing of his own,
he is fit to become one with Brahman.
54. "Absorbed in [the contemplation of] Brahman
and at peace with himself, he grieves not, nor desires; regarding
all beings equally, he achieves supreme devotion to Me.
55. "Through devotion he realizes who I am and how great I am;
and having known Me in truth
, he forthwith enters Me.
56. "Even whilst continually engaged in action, he who makes Me
his refuge reaches, by My Grace, the Eternal and Imperishable
57. "Surrendering with thy mind all actions on Me, make Me thy
goal; focus thy intelligence on Me and always think of Me.
58. "Fixing thy thought on Me, thou shall, by My Grace, overcome
all obstacles; but if, possessed by the sense of 'I', thou dost not
listen to Me, thou wilt perish.
59. "If filled with egoism thou thinkest 'I will not fight', vain
is thy resolve; [thy] nature will compel thee;
60. "Bound by your own karma, O Kaunteya, which is born of your
very nature, what through delusion thou thinkest thou wilt not do,
that very thing thou wilt do, even against thy will.
61. "O Arjuna, the Lord
dwells in the heart
of every being and by His delusive mystery 97
, whirls them all around as though mounted on a machine.
62. "In Him alone, O Bharata, whole heartedly
seek refuge; by His Grace, thou shalt gain eternal Peace and the
63. "The most mysterious of all mysteries have I thus revealed to
thee; ponder deeply on it and then do thou as thou wilt.
64. "Hear again My supreme word, the most mysterious of all; thou
art extremely dear to Me and therefore I shall tell what is good for
65. "Fix thy thought on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me and
prostrate before Me; so doing, thou shalt indeed come to Me - solemn
is My promise to thee, for thou art truly dear to Me.
66. ",Leave the variety of religions behind for taking total
refuge in Me and surrendering unconditionally to Me only; I will
deliver thou from all the consequences of sin, worry not.
67. "Reveal not this to one who knows no austerity, who is
lacking in devotion, who lends not a willing ear or who scoffs at
68. "He who with supreme devotion to Me spreads this gospel
amongst My devotees shall doubtless come to Me.
69. "There is none amongst men rendering service who is dearer to
Me than he; nor is there another on earth more beloved by Me than
70. "And whosoever shall study this sacred dialogue of ours, it
is tantamount to worshipping Me by the path of Knowledge - such is
71. "And the man who listens to this [dialogue], full of faith
and free from scorn - he too, liberated from evil, shall rise to the
happy worlds attained by the virtuous.
72. "O Partha! Hast thou listened to all this with an attentive
mind? Has thy delusion born of ignorance been destroyed, O
73. Arjuna replied: "By Thy Grace, O Achyuta, my delusion is
destroyed and my understanding has returned. I stand with my doubts
dispelled and I shall act according to Thy command."
74. Sanjaya said: Thus have I heard the wondrous and rapturous
dialogue between Vaasudeva and the noble-souled Partha, which caused
my hair to stand on end.
75. Through the benevolence of Vyasa have I heard this supreme
and most mysterious Yoga, direct from Krishna, the Lord
of Yoga Himself.
76. O King [Dhritarashtra]! The more I recall that wondrous and
sacred dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna, the more am I transported
77. As that most glorious form of Hari rises repeatedly in my
memory, my amazement knows no bounds, and I am filled with
78. Wherever there is Krishna, the Lord
of Yoga, and wherever there is Partha, the archer, there, be
assured, lie Victory, Prosperity, Glory and Justice. Such is my
Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads,
the Science of Brahman,
the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna,
ends the eighteenth chapter, entitled:
Here ends the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
OM. PEACE, PEACE! PEACE BE UNTO
OM TAT SAT.
88i.e., a Karma-Phala Tyagi.
89By the consequences of his actions.