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Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

  • Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18

    Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

अर्जुन उवाच ।

संन्यासस्य महाबाहो तत्त्वमिच्छामि वेदितुम्।
त्यागस्य च हृषीकेश पृथक्केशिनिषूदन ॥

arjuna uvāca
sannyāsasya mahābāho tattvam-icchāmi veditum
tyāgasya ca hṛṣīkeśa pṛthak-keśi-niṣūdana – 18.1

Arjuna said: O mighty-armed (Krishna), the controller of senses, slayer of Keśī, I aspire to know the essence of sannyāsa (renunciation); equally so, of tyāga (relinquishment, abandonment) separately.

श्रीभगवानुवाच ।

काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं संन्यासं कवयो विदु: ।
सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं प्राहुस्त्यागं विचक्षणा: ॥

śrī bhagavān-uvāca
kāmyānāṃ karmaṇāṃ nyāsaṃ sannyāsaṃ kavayo vidu:
sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṃ prāhus-tyāgaṃ vicakṣaṇā: – 18.2

Lord Krishna said: Some wise people regard renunciation as the relinquishment of desire-motivated actions. Some discerning experts hold that tyāga consists in abandoning the results of all actions.

त्याज्यं दोषवदित्येके कर्म प्राहुर्मनीषिण: ।
यज्ञदानतप:कर्म न त्याज्यमिति चापरे ॥

tyājyaṃ doṣavad-ity-eke karma prāhur-manīṣiṇa:
yajña-dāna-tapa:-karma na tyājyam-iti cāpare – 18.3

“All actions are to be abandoned as evil,” say some thinkers. Again, some others hold that sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be forsaken at all.

निश्चयं श्रृणु मे तत्र त्यागे भरतसत्तम ।
त्यागो हि पुरुषव्याघ्र त्रिविध: संप्रकीर्तित: ॥

niścayaṃ śṛṇu me tatra tyāge bharata-sattama
tyāgo hi puruṣa-vyāghra trividha: samprakīrtita: – 18.4

O the best amongst Bharatas (Arjuna), listen to my considered view about relinquishment. Relinquishment, O brave (tiger) among men, is declared to be of three kinds.

यज्ञदानतप:कर्म न त्याज्यं कार्यमेव तत् ।
यज्ञो दानं तपश्चैव पावनानि मनीषिणाम् ॥

yajña-dāna-tapa:-karma na tyājyaṃ kāryam-eva tat
yajño dānaṃ tapaścaiva pāvanāni manīṣiṇām – 18.5

Yajña, dāna and tapas are not to be eschewed, abandoned. They are to be performed. For those given to the habit of introspection, yajña, dāna and tapas are purificatory.

एतान्यपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलानि च ।
कर्तव्यानीति मे पार्थ निश्चितं मतमुत्तमम् ॥

etāny-api tu karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā phalāni ca
kartavyānīti me pārtha niścitaṃ matam-uttamam – 18.6

Even these actions should be performed leaving delusional clinging and the desire for gain. This is my well-considered view, O Partha.

नियतस्य तु संन्यास: कर्मणो नोपपद्यते ।
मोहात्तस्य परित्यागस्तामस: परिकीर्तित: ॥

niyatasya tu sannyāsa: karmaṇo nopapadyate
mohāt-tasya parityāgas-tāmasa: parikīrtita: – 18.7

It is not proper to renounce a rightly guided and necessary action. Renouncing any such action due to delusion is widely considered as tāmasa-tyāga.

दु:खमित्येव यत्कर्म कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् ।
स कृत्वा राजसं त्यागं नैव त्यागफलं लभेत् ॥

du:kham-ity-eva yat-karma kāya-kleśa-bhayāt-tyajet
sa kṛtvā rājasaṃ tyāgaṃ naiva tyāga-phalaṃ labhet – 18.8

To abandon activities fearing that they will cause bodily strain and discomfort, is rājasa-tyāga, and by doing it one will not get the benefit of true relinquishment.

कार्यमित्येव यत्कर्म नियतं क्रियतेऽर्जुन ।
सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलं चैव स त्याग: सात्त्विको मत: ॥

kāryam-ity-eva yat-karma niyataṃ kriyate’rjuna
saṅgaṃ tyaktvā phalaṃ caiva sa tyāga: sāttviko mata: – 18.9

O Arjuna, when a properly regulated action is performed because it has to be done, abandoning saṅga (delusional clinging) and desire for gain, that renunciation is considered sāttvika.

न द्वेष्ट्यकुशलं कर्म कुशले नानुषज्जते ।
त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टो मेधावी छिन्नसंशय: ॥

na dveṣṭy-akuśalaṃ karma kuśale nānuṣajjate
tyāgī sattva-samāviṣṭo medhāvī chinna-saṃśaya: – 18.10

A relinquisher endowed with sāttvika qualities is wise and free of doubts. He neither dislikes unpleasant action, nor clings to the pleasant one.

न हि देहभृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्यशेषत: ।
यस्तु कर्मफलत्यागी स त्यागीत्यभिधीयते ॥

na hi deha-bhṛtā śakyaṃ tyaktuṃ karmāṇy-aśeṣata:
yas-tu karma-phala-tyāgī sa tyāgīty-abhidhīyate – 18.11

For the embodied one, it is not possible to relinquish activities in full. He who relinquishes the fruits of actions is considered a tyāgī.

अनिष्टमिष्टं मिश्रं च त्रिविधं कर्मण: फलम् ।
भवत्यत्यागिनां प्रेत्य न तु संन्यासिनां क्वचित् ॥

aniṣṭam-iṣṭaṃ miśraṃ ca trividhaṃ karmaṇa: phalam
bhavaty-atyāgināṃ pretya na tu sannyāsināṃ kvacit – 18.12

The result of an action is threefold: Desirable, undesirable and mixed. These accrue to the non-relinquishers, but never to the renunciates.

पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे ।
सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् ॥

pañcaitāni mahābāho kāraṇāni nibodha me
sāṅkhye kṛtānte proktāni siddhaye sarva-karmaṇām – 18.13

O mighty-armed (Arjuna), know from Me the five causes for the right fruition of all actions, as explained in Sāṅkhya or kṛtānta (the philosophy dealing with the knowledge that transcends all actions):

अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् ।
विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् ॥

adhiṣṭhānaṃ tathā kartā karaṇaṃ ca pṛthag-vidham
vividhāś-ca pṛthak-ceṣṭā daivaṃ caivātra pañcamam – 18.14

The body which is the seat, the actor (kartā), various instruments (senses), diverse efforts, and Providence – the fifth.

शरीरवाङ्मनोभिर्यत्कर्म प्रारभते नर: ।
न्याय्यं वा विपरीतं वा पञ्चैते तस्य हेतव: ॥

śarīra-vāṅ-manobhiryat-karma prārabhate nara:
nyāyyaṃ vā viparītaṃ vā pañcaite tasya hetava: – 18.15

Whatever action, proper or improper, the human undertakes by his body, speech and mind, these five are its causes.

तत्रैवं सति कर्तारमात्मानं केवलं तु य: ।
पश्यत्यकृतबुद्धित्वान्न स पश्यति दुर्मति: ॥

tatraivaṃ sati kartāram-ātmānaṃ kevalaṃ tu ya:
paśyaty-akṛta-buddhitvān-na sa paśyati durmati: – 18.16

That being so, due to impure and unrefined intelligence, he who views the pure impersonal Self as the doer, verily does not see at all. He is of perverted vision (mind).

यस्य नाहंकृतो भावो बुद्धिर्यस्य न लिप्यते ।
हत्वापि स इमाँल्लोकान्न हन्ति न निबध्यते ॥

yasya nāhaṅkṛto bhāvo buddhir-yasya na lipyate
hatvāpi sa imān-lokān-na hanti na nibadhyate – 18.17

He, who has outgrown the sense of doership (ego), and whose intelligence does not get tainted, even if he kills all these people, he does not verily kill, nor does he get bound (by his killing).

ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं परिज्ञाता त्रिविधा कर्मचोदना ।
करणं कर्म कर्तेति त्रिविध: कर्मसंग्रह: ॥

jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ parijñātā trividhā karma-codanā
karaṇaṃ karma karteti trividha: karma-saṅgraha: – 18.18

Knowledge, the object to be known, and the knower – threefold is the persuasion for action. Instrument of action, action (itself) and the actor – these three form the essence of activity.

ज्ञानं कर्म च कर्ता च त्रिधैव गुणभेदत: ।
प्रोच्यते गुणसंख्याने यथावच्छृणु तान्यपि ॥

jñānaṃ karma ca kartā ca tridhaiva guṇa-bhedata:
procyate guṇa-saṅkhyāne yathāvacchṛṇu tāny-api – 18.19

Knowledge, action and actor are threefold, based upon their guṇas, as discussed in the system classifying guṇas. Listen duly to those also.

सर्वभूतेषु येनैकं भावमव्ययमीक्षते ।
अविभक्तं विभक्तेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि सात्त्विकम् ॥

sarva-bhūteṣu yenaikaṃ bhāvam-avyayam-īkṣate
avibhaktaṃ vibhakteṣu tajjñānaṃ viddhi sāttvikam – 18.20

Know that knowledge to be sāttvika, by which one perceives the singular, imperishable and undivided Presence in all the manifold beings.

पृथक्त्वेन तु यज्ज्ञानं नानाभावान्पृथग्विधान् ।
वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि राजसम् ॥

pṛthaktvena tu yajjñānaṃ nānā-bhāvān-pṛthag-vidhān
vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu tajjñānaṃ viddhi rājasam – 18.21

Know that to be the rājasa knowledge, whereby one perceives separateness and plural attitudes and expressions in all beings.

यत्तु कृत्स्नवदेकस्मिन्कार्ये सक्तमहैतुकम् ।
अतत्त्वार्थवदल्पं च तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥

yat-tu kṛtsnavad-ekasmin-kārye saktam-ahaitukam
atattvārthavad-alpaṃ ca tat-tāmasam-udāhṛtam – 18.22

That knowledge, which clings to a single task or proposition as though it is everything, which is unreasonable and trivial having no basis on Truth, is said to be tāmasa.

नियतं सङ्गरहितमरागद्वेषत: कृतम् ।
अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत्तत्सात्त्विकमुच्यते ॥

niyataṃ saṅga-rahitam-arāga-dveṣata: kṛtam
aphala-prepsunā karma yat-tat-sāttvikam-ucyate – 18.23

An action which is duly regulated, performed without attachment, desire and hatred, and not motivated by results, is said to be sāttvika.

यत्तु कामेप्सुना कर्म साहङ्कारेण वा पुन: ।
क्रियते बहुलायासं तद्राजसमुदाहृतम् ॥

yat-tu kāmepsunā karma sāhaṅkāreṇa vā puna:
kriyate bahulāyāsaṃ tad-rājasam-udāhṛtam – 18.24

An action which is motivated by desire, or performed with pronounced ego and excessive strain (undue effort looking at the personal gain), is said to be rājasa in nature.

अनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसामनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम् ।
मोहादारभ्यते कर्म यत्तत्तामसमुच्यते ॥

anubandhaṃ kṣayaṃ hiṃsām-anavekṣya ca pauruṣam
mohād-ārabhyate karma yat-tat-tāmasam-ucyate – 18.25

An action undertaken from delusion, without considering the consequence, the waste of resources, the harm it may inflict, and disregarding one’s own capacity, is said to be tāmasa.

मुक्तसङ्गोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित: ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥

mukta-saṅgo’nahaṃvādī dhṛty-utsāha-samanvita:
siddhy-asiddhyor-nirvikāra: kartā sāttvika ucyate – 18.26

Free of delusional clinging (attachment) and ego, imbued with will (inner strength) and fervour, whoever remains unaffected by the success and failure of his effort, is said to be the sāttvika performer.

रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुर्लुब्धो हिंसात्मकोऽशुचि: ।
हर्षशोकान्वित: कर्ता राजस: परिकीर्तित: ॥

rāgī karma-phala-prepsurlubdho hiṃsātmako’śuci:
harṣa-śokānvita: kartā rājasa: parikīrtita: – 18.27

The one who is passionately desirous of the fruits of his action, greedy, and (hence) given to even violent and impure moves, swinging repeatedly between elation and depression, is called a rājasa performer.

अयुक्त: प्राकृत: स्तब्ध: शठो नैष्कृतिकोऽलस: ।
विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते ॥

ayukta: prākṛta: stabdha: śaṭho naiṣkṛtiko’lasa:
viṣādī dīrgha-sūtrī ca kartā tāmasa ucyate – 18.28

Immoderate, vulgar, obstinate, fraudulent, malicious, lazy, melancholic and procrastinating – these are the descriptions of a tāmasa kartā.

बुद्धेर्भेदं धृतेश्चैव गुणतस्त्रिविधं शृणु ।
प्रोच्यमानमशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनञ्जय ॥

buddher-bhedaṃ dhṛteścaiva guṇatas-trividhaṃ śṛṇu
procyamānam-aśeṣeṇa pṛthaktvena dhanañjaya – 18.29

O Dhananjaya, listen to what is going to be told unreservedly and severally, about the three-fold distinction caused by the guṇas in intelligence and will.

प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये ।
बन्धं मोक्षं च या वेत्ति बुद्धि: सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी ॥

pravṛttiṃ ca nivṛttiṃ ca kāryākārye bhayābhaye
bandhaṃ mokṣaṃ ca yā vetti buddhi: sā pārtha sāttvikī – 18.30

O Partha, that intelligence, which is able to distinguish between ‘involvemental action’ and ‘freedom from action’, what is ‘to be done’ and ‘not to be done’, what is ‘to be feared’ and wherein lies ‘fearlessness’, what is ‘bondage’ and where lies ‘liberation’, is sāttvika.

यया धर्ममधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यमेव च ।
अयथावत्प्रजानाति बुद्धि: सा पार्थ राजसी ॥

yayā dharmam-adharmaṃ ca kāryaṃ cākāryam-eva ca
ayathāvat-prajānāti buddhi: sā pārtha rājasī – 18.31

O Pārtha, that intelligence which wrongly understands the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’, what is ‘to be done’ and what is ‘not to be done’, is rājasa.

अधर्मं धर्ममिति या मन्यते तमसावृता ।
सर्वार्थान्विपरीतांश्च बुद्धि: सा पार्थ तामसी ॥

adharmaṃ dharmam-iti yā manyate tamasāvṛtā
sarvārthān-viparītāṃśca buddhi: sā pārtha tāmasī – 18.32

When under the shroud of delusion, the intelligence considers the ‘wrong’ as ‘right’, and perceives everything contrary to what it is, then that intelligence is tāmasa.

धृत्या यया धारयते मन:प्राणेन्द्रियक्रिया: ।
योगेनाव्यभिचारिण्या धृति: सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी ॥

dhṛtyā yayā dhārayate mana:-prāṇendriya-kriyā:
yogenāvyabhicāriṇyā dhṛti: sā pārtha sāttvikī – 18.33

The will and drive by which one holds the activities of the mind, life forces and senses in unswerving yoga, O Pārtha, is sāttvika dhṛti.

यया तु धर्मकामार्थान् धृत्या धारयतेऽर्जुन ।
प्रसङ्गेन फलाकाङ्क्षी धृति: सा पार्थ राजसी ॥

yayā tu dharma-kāmārthān dhṛtyā dhārayate’rjuna
prasaṅgena phalākāṅkṣī dhṛti: sā pārtha rājasī – 18.34

O Arjuna, the will by which one diligently pursues dharma, artha and kāma, but with strong delusional clinging and greed for results, is rājasa dhṛti.

यया स्वप्नं भयं शोकं विषादं मदमेव च ।
न विमुञ्चति दुर्मेधा धृति: सा पार्थ तामसी ॥

yayā svapnaṃ bhayaṃ śokaṃ viṣādaṃ madam-eva ca
na vimuñcati durmedhā dhṛti: sā pārtha tāmasī – 18.35

O Pārtha, the will due to which one, misguided and vicious, does not give up dream, fear, grief, despondency, pride and passion, is tāmasa.

सुखं त्विदानीं त्रिविधं श्रृणु मे भरतर्षभ ।
अभ्यासाद्रमते यत्र दु:खान्तं च निगच्छति ॥

sukhaṃ tvidānīṃ trividhaṃ śṛṇu me bharatarṣabha
abhyāsād-ramate yatra du:khāntaṃ ca nigacchati – 18.36

O chief of Bharatas (Arjuna), listen from me now the three kinds of happiness (sukha).

यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम् ।
तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम् ॥

yat-tad-agre viṣam-iva pariṇāme’mṛtopamam
tat-sukhaṃ sāttvikaṃ proktam-ātma-buddhi-prasādajam – 18.37

That happiness (sukha) is considered sāttvika, wherein one rejoices through spiritual practice and begets end of misery, which is like poison to start with, but like nectar in the end, which is born from the placidity of Self-knowledge.

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगाद्यत्तदग्रेऽमृतोपमम् ।
परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम् ॥

viṣayendriya-saṃyogād-yat-tad-agre’mṛtopamam
pariṇāme viṣam-iva tat-sukhaṃ rājasaṃ smṛtam – 18.38

The happiness born of contact between the senses and the objects, nectar-like to begin with, but like poison in the end, is held to be rājasa.

यदग्रे चानुबन्धे च सुखं मोहनमात्मन: ।
निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥

yad-agre cānubandhe ca sukhaṃ mohanam-ātmana:
nidrālasya-pramādotthaṃ tat-tāmasam-udāhṛtam – 18.39

The pleasure (sukha) that deludes one in the beginning as well as in the end, which is born of sleep, lethargy and inattention, is regarded as tāmasa.

न तदस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुन: ।
सत्त्वं प्रकृतिजैर्मुक्तं यदेभि: स्यात्त्रिभिर्गुणै: ॥

na tad-asti pṛthivyāṃ vā divi deveṣu vā puna:
sattvaṃ prakṛtijair-muktaṃ yad-ebhi: syāt-tribhir-guṇai: – 18.40

Either upon the earth or in the heaven and amongst gods, there is none who is not subjected to the workings of these three qualities (guṇas) born of Nature.

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परन्तप ।
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणै: ॥

brāhmaṇa-kṣatriya-viśāṃ śūdrāṇāṃ ca parantapa
karmāṇi pravibhaktāni svabhāva-prabhavair-guṇai: – 18.41

Activities of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are well divided on the basis of their qualities shaped by Nature’s guṇas.

शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥

śamo damas-tapa: śaucaṃ kṣāntirārjavam-eva ca
jñānaṃ vijñānam-āstikyaṃ brahma-karma svabhāvajam – 18.42

Mental discipline, sensory control, austerity, purity, forbearance, straightforwardness, knowledge, realization of the knowledge, and unflinching faith in the spiritual truth – these constitute the natural activities of a brāhmaṇa.

शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् ।
दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् ॥

śauryaṃ tejo dhṛtirdākṣyaṃ yuddhe cāpy-apalāyanam
dānam-īśvara-bhāvaśca kṣātraṃ karma svabhāvajam – 18.43

Valour, splendour, determination, skill, not running away from the battlefield, charity and lordship – these constitute the natural activities of a kshatriya.

कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् ।
परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम् ॥

kṛṣi-gau-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṃ vaiśya-karma svabhāvajam
paricaryātmakaṃ karma śūdrasyāpi svabhāvajam – 18.44

Agriculture, animal husbandry and trade – these form the natural activities of a vaiśya. Service to others is the natural pursuit of a śūdra.

स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरत: संसिद्धिं लभते नर: ।
स्वकर्मनिरत: सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु ॥

sve sve karmaṇy-abhirata: saṃsiddhiṃ labhate nara:
sva-karma-nirata: siddhiṃ yathā vindati tacchṛṇu – 18.45

Performing attentively one’s own activities, man attains spiritual fruition. Listen as to how one, engaged in his own duty, reaches perfection.

यत: प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।
स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानव: ॥

yata: pravṛttirbhūtānāṃ yena sarvam-idaṃ tatam
sva-karmaṇā tam-abhyarcya siddhiṃ vindati mānava: – 18.46

By devoutly offering one’s own action (and pursuit) to That (Source), from which all beings have emerged, and by which all this is pervaded, man attains perfection.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् ।
स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥

śreyān-svadharmo viguṇa: para-dharmāt-svanuṣṭhitāt
svabhāva-niyataṃ karma kurvan-nāpnoti kilbiṣam – 18.47

Better is one’s own pursuit as ordained by his dharma, even if imperfect, than the dharma or pursuit of another, though performed well. No sin is incurred by one who remains engaged in activity consonant with one’s own nature.

सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् ।
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृता: ॥

sahajaṃ karma kaunteya sadoṣam-api na tyajet
sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa dhūmenāgnir-ivāvṛtā: – 18.48

One should not abandon his own natural pursuit even if it has a taint of evil. All activities are indeed enveloped with evil, like fire with smoke.

असक्तबुद्धि: सर्वत्र जितात्मा विगतस्पृह: ।
नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिं परमां संन्यासेनाधिगच्छति ॥

asakta-buddhi: sarvatra jitātmā vigata-spṛha:
naiṣkarmya-siddhiṃ paramāṃ sannyāsenādhigacchati – 18.49

With dis-attached intelligence in all situations, one who is self-regulated and free of cravings, attains the supreme perfection of naishkarmya (non-doership) through sannyāsa (renunciation).

सिद्धिं प्राप्तो यथा ब्रह्म तथाप्नोति निबोध मे ।
समासेनैव कौन्तेय निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा ॥

siddhiṃ prāpto yathā brahma tathāpnoti nibodha me
samāsenaiva kaunteya niṣṭhā jñānasya yā parā – 18.50

Know from me in essence, O son of Kunti, how one, having gained the naishkarmya-siddhi, attains Brahman. This is the ultimate jñāna-niṣṭhā, the exclusive practice of spiritual wisdom.

बुद्ध्या विशुद्धया युक्तो धृत्यात्मानं नियम्य च ।
शब्दादीन् विषयांस्त्यक्त्वा रागद्वेषौ व्युदस्य च ॥

buddhyā viśuddhayā yukto dhṛtyātmānaṃ niyamya ca
śabdādīn viṣayāṃstyaktvā rāga-dveṣau vyudasya ca – 18.51

Integrated with pure intellect and regulating the mind with will; giving up sensory thrills like sound, etc., eschewing desire and dislike;

विविक्तसेवी लघ्वाशी यतवाक्कायमानस: ।
ध्यानयोगपरो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रित: ॥

viviktasevī laghvāśī yata-vāk-kāya-mānasa:
dhyāna-yogaparo nityaṃ vairāgyaṃ samupāśrita: – 18.52

being given to aloneness (not resorting to crowd); eating but little; regulating activities of speech, body and mind; constantly pursuing contemplation; taking refuge in dispassion;

अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् ।
विमुच्य निर्मम: शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ॥

ahaṅkāraṃ balaṃ darpaṃ kāmaṃ krodhaṃ parigraham
vimucya nirmama: śānto brahma-bhūyāya kalpate – 18.53

abandoning egotism, clout, arrogance, lust and rage (hatred); not accepting gifts; possessing nothing; and composed; – such a one is said to be fit to become Brahman.

ब्रह्मभूत: प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति ।
सम: सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिं लभते पराम् ॥

brahma-bhūta: prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati
sama: sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṃ labhate parām – 18.54

Having become Brahman, one is ever cheerful, does not grieve or crave for anything. Feeling equal towards all beings, he begets transcendental devotion to Me (the Supreme).

भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वत: ।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् ॥

bhaktyā mām-abhijānāti yāvān-yaścāsmi tattvata:
tato māṃ tattvato jñātvā viśate tad-anantaram – 18.55

By devotion he comes to know Me (the Supreme) – what and who I am, in essence. Knowing Me thus in essence, he next enters into the Supreme.

सर्वकर्माण्यपि सदा कुर्वाणो मद्व्यपाश्रय: ।
मत्प्रसादादवाप्नोति शाश्वतं पदमव्ययम् ॥

sarva-karmāṇy-api sadā kurvāṇo mad-vyapāśraya:
mat-prasādād-avāpnoti śāśvataṃ padam-avyayam – 18.56

By always doing all activities with wholesome reliance on Me (the Supreme), one attains by My grace, the eternal, imperishable Abode.

चेतसा सर्वकर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्पर: ।
बुद्धियोगमुपाश्रित्य मच्चित्त: सततं भव ॥

cetasā sarva-karmāṇi mayi sannyasya mat-para:
buddhi-yogam-upāśritya maccitta: satataṃ bhava – 18.57

Mentally renouncing all actions to Me (the Supreme), regarding Me as the Supreme, let your mind, resorting to buddhi-yoga (anchoring the intelligence in the inmost Reality), abide constantly in Me.

मच्चित्त: सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात्तरिष्यसि ।
अथ चेत्त्वमहङ्कारान्न श्रोष्यसि विनङ्क्ष्यसि ॥

maccitta: sarva-durgāṇi mat-prasādāt-tariṣyasi
atha cet-tvam-ahaṅkārān-na śroṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi – 18.58

With the mind resting on Me (the Supreme), you will surmount all hardships by My grace. But if egoistically you do not heed these words, you will be led to ruin.

यदहङ्कारमाश्रित्य न योत्स्य इति मन्यसे ।
मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस्ते प्रकृतिस्त्वां नियोक्ष्यति ॥

yad-ahaṅkāram-āśritya na yotsya iti manyase
mithyaiṣa vyavasāyaste prakṛtistvāṃ niyokṣyati – 18.59

Resorting to ego should you think ‘I will not fight’, your decision is in vain. For, Nature will compel you to fight.

स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्ध: स्वेन कर्मणा ।
कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत् ॥

svabhāvajena kaunteya nibaddha: svena karmaṇā
kartuṃ necchasi yanmohāt-kariṣyasy-avaśo’pi tat – 18.60

O Kunti’s son (Arjuna), that which you are unwilling to undertake due to delusion, you will still perform irresistibly, bound by karma born of your own nature.

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥

īśvara: sarva-bhūtānāṃ hṛd-deśe’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan-sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā – 18.61

O Arjuna, God dwells in the heart of all beings. Reigning there, by His inscrutable power (māyā), He makes everyone whirl around, as in a revolving machine (yantra-ārūḍha).

तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत ।
तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम् ॥

tam-eva śaraṇaṃ gaccha sarva-bhāvena bhārata
tat-prasādāt-parāṃ śāntiṃ sthānaṃ prāpsyasi śāśvatam – 18.62

Seek refuge under Him alone, with all your emotional notes (bhāvas). By His grace, you will attain supreme peacefulness as well as the eternal Abode.

इति ते ज्ञानमाख्यातं गुह्याद्गुह्यतरं मया ।
विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु ॥

iti te jñānam-ākhyātaṃ guhyād-guhyataraṃ mayā
vimṛśyaitad-aśeṣeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru – 18.63

Thus by me is imparted to you the Knowledge, which is a secret greater than all other secrets. Discreetly reflecting on this fully, act as you wish.

सर्वगुह्यतमं भूय: श्रृणु मे परमं वच: ।
इष्टोऽसि मे दृढमिति ततो वक्ष्यामि ते हितम् ॥

sarva-guhyatamaṃ bhūya: śṛṇu me paramaṃ vaca:
iṣṭo’si me dṛḍham-iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam – 18.64

Listen again to my supreme word, the most secret, which I shall explain for your good, as you are most dear to me.

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto madyājī māṃ namaskuru
mām-evaiṣyasi satyaṃ te pratijāne priyo’si me – 18.65

Be engrossed in My thoughts and devoted to Me (the Supreme); offer sacrifice to Me, and prostrate before Me. Then indeed will you attain Me. I swear upon this truth, as you are dear to Me.

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ॥

sarva-dharmān-parityajya mām-ekaṃ śaraṇaṃ vraja
ahaṃ tvā sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śuca: – 18.66

Abandoning all considerations of dharma (ethics and codes of life), take refuge in Me alone. I shall redeem you from all sins. Grieve not!

इदं ते नातपस्काय नाभक्ताय कदाचन ।
न चाशुश्रूषवे वाच्यं न च मां योऽभ्यसूयति ॥

idaṃ te nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana
na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṃ na ca māṃ yo’bhyasūyati – 18.67

This gospel is never to be instructed to one who is not austere, is not a devotee, does not want to listen to these words, or who envies Me (the Supreme).

य इमं परमं गुह्यं मद्भक्तेष्वभिधास्यति ।
भक्तिं मयि परां कृत्वा मामेवैष्यत्यसंशय: ॥

ya imaṃ paramaṃ guhyaṃ mad-bhakteṣvabhidhāsyati
bhaktiṃ mayi parāṃ kṛtvā mām-evaiṣyaty-asaṃśaya: – 18.68

He who exposes this most secret Truth among My devotees, cherishing supreme devotion to Me, reaches Me (the Supreme), no doubt.

न च तस्मान्मनुष्येषु कश्चिन्मे प्रियकृत्तम: ।
भविता न च मे तस्मादन्य: प्रियतरो भुवि ॥

na ca tasmān-manuṣyeṣu kaścin-me priya-kṛttama:
bhavitā na ca me tasmād-anya: priyataro bhuvi – 18.69

There is none among humans, who does something more dear to Me than what he (the exponent of the Gita) does. Nor will there be anyone on this earth dearer to Me.

अध्येष्यते च य इमं धर्म्यं संवादमावयो: ।
ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेनाहमिष्ट: स्यामिति मे मति: ॥

adhyeṣyate ca ya imaṃ dharmyaṃ saṃvādam-āvayo:
jñāna-yajñena tenāham-iṣṭa: syām-iti me mati: – 18.70

He who will study faithfully this dharmic (righteous) dialogue of ours, by him I shall be worshipped with the oblation (offering) of knowledge, Jñāna-yajña. This is My considered view.

श्रद्धावाननसूयश्च श्रृणुयादपि यो नर: ।
सोऽपि मुक्त: शुभाँल्लोकान्प्राप्नुयात्पुण्यकर्मणाम् ॥

śraddhāvān-anasūyaśca śṛṇuyād-api yo nara:
so’pi mukta: śubhān-lokān-prāpnuyāt-puṇya-karmaṇām – 18.71

Whosoever listens to this discourse with attention, and is free from envious distractions, also becomes liberated. He attains the auspicious worlds of the holy performers.

कच्चिदेतच्छ्रुतं पार्थ त्वयैकाग्रेण चेतसा ।
कच्चिदज्ञानसम्मोह: प्रनष्टस्ते धनञ्जय ॥

kaccid-etacchrutaṃ pārtha tvayaikāgreṇa cetasā
kaccid-ajñāna-sammoha: pranaṣṭas-te dhanañjaya – 18.72

Have you listened to this, O Pārtha, with unswerving mind? Has your delusion resulting from ignorance been completely removed, O Dhananjaya?

अर्जुन उवाच।

नष्टो मोह: स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादान्मयाच्युत ।
स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देह: करिष्ये वचनं तव ॥

arjuna uvāca
naṣṭo moha: smṛtir-labdhā tvat-prasādān-mayācyuta
sthito’smi gata-sandeha: kariṣye vacanaṃ tava – 18.73

Arjuna said: By your grace, O Krishna, my delusion is gone, memory (of my true identity) is regained; I stand with doubts dispelled. I shall do as you say.

सञ्जय उवाच।

इत्यहं वासुदेवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मन: ।
संवादमिममश्रौषमद्भुतं रोमहर्षणम् ॥

sañjaya uvāca
ity-ahaṃ vāsudevasya pārthasya ca mahātmana:
saṃvādam-imam-aśrauṣam-adbhutaṃ roma-harṣaṇam – 18.74

Sanjaya said: Thus have I listened to this wonderful dialogue between the great Soul Krishna and Partha, causing my hair to stand on end. By virtue of Vyāsa’s grace, I heard this most profound secret Yoga directly from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga (Yogeśvara), who himself narrated it.

व्यासप्रसादाच्छ्रुतवानेतद्गुह्यमहं परम् ।
योगं योगेश्वरात्कृष्णात्साक्षात्कथयत: स्वयम् ॥

vyāsa-prasādācchrutavān-etad-guhyam-ahaṃ param
yogaṃ yogeśvarāt-kṛṣṇāt-sākṣāt-kathayata: svayam – 18.75

Sanjaya said: Thus have I listened to this wonderful dialogue between the great Soul Krishna and Partha, causing my hair to stand on end. By virtue of Vyāsa’s grace, I heard this most profound secret Yoga directly from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga (Yogeśvara), who himself narrated it.

राजन्संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य संवादमिममद्भुतम् ।
केशवार्जुनयो: पुण्यं हृष्यामि च मुहुर्मुहु: ॥

rājan-saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya saṃvādam-imam-adbhutam
keśavārjunayo: puṇyaṃ hṛṣyāmi ca muhur-muhu: – 18.76

O King, recalling repeatedly this wonderful, sacred dialogue between Keśava (Krishna) and Arjuna, I am thrilled again and again.

तच्च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपमत्यद्भुतं हरे: ।
विस्मयो मे महान्राजन् हृष्यामि च पुन: पुन: ॥

tacca saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya rūpam-atyadbhutaṃ hare:
vismayo me mahān-rājan hṛṣyāmi ca puna: puna: – 18.77

O King, remembering again and again the extremely astonishing form of Lord Hari (Krishna), I am delighted again and again in great wonderment.

यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: ।
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥

yatra yogeśvara: kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanurdhara:
tatra śrīrvijayo bhūtirdhruvā nītirmatirmama – 18.78

Wherever is the Master Yogin Krishna, wherever stands Arjuna wielding the bow, there will reign prosperity, victory, glory and the ultimate righteousness. This is my firm conviction.

ओं तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे मोक्षसन्न्यासयोगो नाम अष्टादशोऽध्याय: ।

oṃ tat-sad-iti śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrīkṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde mokṣa-sannyāsa-yogo nāma aṣṭādaśo’dhyāya:

Om – the symbol of Brahman, tat – that singular Reality (Brahman), sat – the ever abiding presence (Brahman).

Thus ends the eighteenth chapter entitled Mokṣa-sannyāsa Yoga, during the Srikrishna-Arjuna dialogue in Śrīmad Bhagavad Gita, constituting Yoga-śāstra, which falls within Brahmavidya as presented in the Vedic Upanishads.

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

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