Chapter 4

  1. The Blessed One said:
    I taught this Yoga to the Sun, Vivasvan, and he taught Manu, the father of humanity. Manu then taught it to King Ikshvaku.
  2. Thus, one after the other received this teaching, understood by Kings. But in time this knowledge of the great Yoga became scattered, defeater of your enemies.
  3. This very same ancientmost Yoga I am speaking to you today. You are my devotee, you are my friend also, thus this Mystery is transcendental.
  4. Arjuna said:
    You were born much later than the Sun, so how am I to understand that in the beginning of time you had taught him?
  5. The Blessed One said:
    I have had many births, and you as well Arjuna. I know them all, but you do not remember them, defeater of your enemies.
  6. Though I was unborn, my undiluted soul existed as the transcendental form of myself within the great Lord. Being in this state, it is my choice when I incarnate my soul into this world.
  7. Whenever and wherever true spirituality has become deteriorated, scion of Bharata, and there is a predominance of false religion, I will appear at that time.
  8. I will help the true students, and I will cause strife to the wrongdoers. I will remind people of the true way. I will appear age after age.
  9. Anyone who realizes the reality of my transcendental birth and actions will never take birth again in this form. Instead he too will connect to me, Arjuna.
  10. Free of attachment, fear, and anger, fully connected to me, in me, by awareness purified of many wrongdoings, he will obtain spiritual love with me.
  11. All who surrender unto me, them I surely reward. All men follow my path, son of Partha, in every respect.
  12. Desiring great power and success in their material actions, men make sacrifices to the spirits. Those who do so are certainly rewarded in their limited material ambitions.
  13. The four divisions of human society were created by me, so that any man would do the work best suited to his dominant element. Although you may realize me to be the father of this, you must also realize that I am the eternal, which is free of action.
  14. I am never affected by any actions, nor do I have any ambitions. Thus any who realizes me will never become attached to the Karma of actions.
  15. Thus, knowing that actions were done by past masters who indeed attained awakening, take action now, as the ancient ones did.
  16. Even the intelligent are deluded as to what is action and what is inaction. I will explain action to you, so that in being aware of this you will be free from misfortune.
  17. You must understand which action is right and which is wrong. You must understand when not to act, and when to enter action.
  18. When you can see non-doing in doing, and doing in non-doing, then you have gained awareness in the world. You will be in unity, even if you take all kinds of actions.
  19. One whose efforts are free of lust of result, who gives his actions as sacrifice to the divine, he will be called wise by the awakened ones.
  20. Having given up the lust of result, being satisfied without any false security, such a person will be in non-doing, even though he takes many actions.
  21. Focusing the mind and the soul, without lust of result, giving up all sense of possession, only working for what is needed to maintain the body and soul, one doing so will never go wrong.
  22. Fulfilled by the good things that come of their own accord, beyond duality, free of jealousy, equally steady in success or failure, one doing so may take action and remain free from reaction.
  23. One who is detached from the elements, who is free, whose wisdom is in awareness, who acts for the sake of gratitude, his work is entirely unified.
  24. Brahma is found in the sacrifice, and Brahma is found in the fire (where the sacrifice is performed). And Brahma is found in the one who makes the sacrifice. Brahma is certainly attainable to any whose actions are united with Brahma.
  25. Some worship the spirits through ritual, but mystics worship perfectly through the fire of Brahma, thus making sacrifice of sacrifice.
  26. Others practice restraint of the senses, offering their senses, like hearing, to the fire. But others offer the sound that is heard by the senses to the fire.
  27. Also, others control the actions of the senses, and the breath. But others practice the focusing of their soul to union; they offer their urge for awareness in the fire of sacrifice.
  28. Others sacrifice their possessions, their comforts, in the vows of the eightfold discipline. Others take the strict vow of sacrifice in wisdom, in the advancement of awareness.
  29. Others offer the ingoing and outgoing breath, or stopping the movement of the ingoing to the outgoing breath. Others are drawn to the trance of stopping all breath, or giving up food and offering the ingoing breath as sacrifice to the outgoing.
  30. All of these methods of sacrifice and what are understood as purification rituals may appear different. But those who gain some success in any of these do come closer to the eternal space of Brahma.
  31. For those who follow no practices there is nothing on this world or the other, best of the Kurus.
  32. Thus various kinds of practices have been spread by word of mouth from the priests. Learn of all of them, because awareness of one will lead to freedom.
  33. But greater than the sacrificing of material possessions is the offering of being aware, punisher of your enemies. Son of Partha, all actions reach their end in totality.
  34. Try to understand these things by approaching one who is wise, by humbly asking him, and providing service to him. He can initiate you into awareness, because he is aware and can see what is real.
  35. Son of Pandu, you shall gain freedom from ever being deluded again. You will see the great soul (Atman) that is in all things, or in other words that is in me.
  36. Even if you are the greatest sinner of all sinners, with the boat of awareness you will be able to go beyond all such sins and completely cross the ocean of suffering.
  37. Just as firewood in a blazing fire turns to ashes, Arjuna, in the fire of awareness all material Karma similarly turns to ashes.
  38. There is nothing that exists in this world that can be compared in holiness to awareness. He who gains experience in Yoga over time will enjoy the bliss of the soul.
  39. A dedicated man will gain awareness. He will be very drawn to it, and focus his senses in it. Having gained awareness in his senses, he very soon gains a deeper spiritual peace.
  40. For a fool who rebukes this path, with no dedication, or one who is filled with doubts and cannot trust, it will be very difficult for him to find happiness in this world or the other.
  41. One who renounces lust of result through yoga will cut down his doubts with the sword of awareness. When you are centered in your soul your actions will never bind you, o conqueror.
  42. Thus cut off your doubts with the weapon of the soul. They are born of ignorance, and cover your heart. Centered in yoga, scion of Bharata, stand and fight!