Series 3, Chapter 3 - Gita Translation - Karmayoga
1. Arjuna said: If thou holdest the intelligence to be greater than works, O Janardana, why then dost thou, O Keshava, appoint me to a terrible work?
2. Thou seemest to bewilder my intelligence with a confused and mingled speech; tell me then decisively that one thing by which I may attain to my soul's weal.
3. The Blessed Lord said: In this world twofold is the self-application of the soul (by which it enters into the Brahmic condition), as I before said, O sinless one: that of the Sankhyas by the Yoga of knowledge, that of the Yogins by the Yoga of works.
4. Not by abstention from works does a man enjoy actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation (of works) does he attain to his perfection (to siddhi, the accomplishment of the aims of his self-discipline by Yoga).
5. For none stands even for a moment not doing work, everyone is made to do action helplessly by the modes born of Prakriti.
6. Who controls the organs of action, but continues in his mind to remember and dwell upon the objects of sense, such a man has bewildered himself with false notions of self-discipline.
7. He who controlling the senses by the mind, O Arjuna, without attachment engages with the organs of action in Yoga of action, he excels.
8. Do thou do controlled action. For action is greater than inaction; even the maintenance of thy physical life cannot be effected without action.
9. By doing works otherwise than for sacrifice, this world of men is in bondage to works; for sacrifice practise works, O son of Kunti, becoming free from all attachment.
10. With sacrifice the Lord of creatures of old created creatures and said: By this shall you bring forth (fruits or offspring), let this be your milker of desires.
11. Foster by this the gods and let the gods foster you; fostering each other, you shall attain to the supreme good.
12. Fostered by sacrifice the gods shall give you desired enjoyments: who enjoys their given enjoyments and has not given to them, he is a thief.
13. The good who eat what is left from the sacrifice, are released from all sin; but evil are they and enjoy sin who cook (the food) for their own sake.
14-15. From food creatures come into being, from rain is the birth of food, from sacrifice comes into being the rain, sacrifice is born of work; work know to be born of Brahman, Brahman is born of the Immutable; therefore is the all-pervading Brahman established in the sacrifice.
16. He who follows not here the wheel thus set in movement, evil is his being, sensual is his delight, in vain, O Partha, that man lives.
17. But the man whose delight is in the Self and who is satisfied with the enjoyment of the Self and in the Self he is content, for him there exists no work that needs to be done.
18. He has no object here to be gained by action done and none to be gained by action undone; he has no dependence on all these existences for any object to be gained.
19. Therefore without attachment perform ever the work that is to be done (done for the sake of the world, lokasangraha, as is made clear immediately afterward); for by doing work without attachment man attains to the highest.
20. It was even by works that Janaka and the rest attained to perfection. Thou shouldst do works regarding also the holding together of the peoples.
21. Whatsoever the Best doeth, that the lower kind of man puts into practice; the standard he creates, the people follow.
22. O Son of Pritha, I have no work that I need to do in all the three worlds, I have nothing that I have not gained and have yet to gain, and I abide verily in the paths of action (varta eva cha karmani, - eva implying, I abide in it and do not leave it as the sannyasin thinks himself bound to abandon works).
23-24. For if I did not abide sleeplessly in the paths of action, men follow in every way my path, these peoples would sink to destruction if I did not work and I should be the creator of confusion and slay these creatures.
25. As those who know not act with attachment to the action, he who knows should act without attachment, having for his motive to hold together the peoples.
26. He should not create a division of their understanding in the ignorant who are attached to their works, he should set them to all actions, doing them himself with knowledge and in Yoga.
27. While the actions are being entirely done by the modes of Nature, he whose self is bewildered by egoism thinks that it is his "I" which is doing them.
28. But one, O mighty-armed, who knows the true principles of the divisions of the modes and of works, realises that it is the modes which are acting and reacting on each other and is not caught in them by attachment.
29. Those who are bewildered by the modes, not knowers of the whole, let not the knower of the whole disturb in their mental standpoint.
30. Giving up thy works to Me, with thy consciousness founded in the Self, free from desire and egoism, fight delivered from the fever of thy soul.
31-32. Who, having faith and not trusting to the critical intelligence, constantly follow this teaching of mine, they too are released from (the bondage of) works. But those who find fault with my teaching and act not thereon, know them to be of unripe mind, bewildered in all knowledge and fated to be destroyed.
33. All existences follow their nature and what shall coercing it avail? Even the man of knowledge acts according to his own nature.
34. In the object of this or that sense, liking and disliking are set in ambush; fall not into their power, for they are the besetters of the soul in its path.
35. Better is one's own law of works, swadharma, though in itself faulty than an alien law well wrought out; death in one's own law of being is better, perilous is it to follow an alien law.
36. Arjuna said: But (if there is no fault in following our Nature) what is this in us that drives a man to sin, as if by force, even against his own struggling will, O Varshneya?
37. The Lord said: This is desire and its companion wrath, children of rajas, all-devouring, all-polluting, know thou this as the soul's great enemy (which has to be slain).
38. As a fire is covered over by smoke, as a mirror by dust, as an embryo is wrapped by the amnion, so this (knowledge) is enveloped by it.
39. Enveloped is knowledge, O Kaunteya, by this eternal enemy of knowledge in the form of desire which is an insatiable fire.
40. The senses, mind and intellect are its seat; enveloping knowledge by these it bewilders the embodied soul.
41. Therefore, O Best of the Bharatas, controlling first the senses, do thou slay this thing of sin destructive of knowledge (in order to live in the calm, clear, luminous truth of the Spirit).
42. Supreme, they say, (beyond their objects) are the senses, supreme over the senses the mind, supreme over the mind the intelligent will: that which is supreme over the intelligent will, is he (the Purusha).
43. Thus awakening by the understandings to the Highest which is beyond even the discerning mind, putting force on the self by the self to make it firm and still, slay thou, O mighty-armed, this enemy in the form of desire, who is so hard to assail.
Series1 Chapter1 - Series 1 - Our Demand and Need from the Gita
Series1 Chapter2 - Series 1 - The Divine Teacher
Series1 Chapter3 - Series 1 - The Human Disciple
Series1 Chapter4 - Series 1 - The Core of the Teaching
Series1 Chapter5 - Series 1 - Kurukshetra
Series1 Chapter6 - Series 1 - Man and the Battle of Life
Series1 Chapter7 - Series 1 - The Creed of the Aryan Fighter
Series1 Chapter8 - Series 1 - Sankhya and Yoga
Series1 Chapter9 - Series 1 - Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta
Series1 Chapter10 - Series 1 - The Yoga of the Intelligent Will
Series1 Chapter11 - Series 1 - Works and Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter12 - Series 1 - The Significance of Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter13 - Series 1 - The Lord of the Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter14 - Series 1 - The Principle of Divine Works
Series1 Chapter15 - Series 1 - The Possibility and Purpose of Avatarhood
Series1 Chapter16 - Series 1 - The Process of Avatarhood
Series1 Chapter17 - Series 1 - The Divine Birth and Divine Works
Series1 Chapter18 - Series 1 - The Divine Worker
Series1 Chapter19 - Series 1 - Equality
Series1 Chapter20 - Series 1 - Equality and Knowledge
Series1 Chapter21 - Series 1 - The Determinism of Nature
Series1 Chapter22 - Series 1 - Beyond the Modes of Nature
Series1 Chapter23 - Series 1 - Nirvana and Works in the World
Series1 Chapter24 - Series 1 - The Gist of the Karmayoga
Series2 Chapter1 - Series 2 - The Two Natures
Series2 Chapter2 - Series 2 - The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge
Series2 Chapter3 - Series 2 - The Supreme Divine
Series2 Chapter4 - Series 2 - The Secret of Secrets
Series2 Chapter5 - Series 2 - The Divine Truth and Way
Series2 Chapter6 - Series 2 - Works, Devotion and Knowledge
Series2 Chapter7 - Series 2 - The Supreme Word of the Gita
Series2 Chapter8 - Series 2 - God in Power of Becoming
Series2 Chapter9 - Series 2 - The Theory of the Vibhuti
Series2 Chapter10 - Series 2 - The Vision of the World-Spirit - Time the Destroyer
Series2 Chapter11 - Series 2 - The Vision of the World-Spirit - The Double Aspect
Series2 Chapter12 - Series 2 - The Way and the Bhakta
Series2 Chapter13 - Series 2 - The Field and its Knower
Series2 Chapter14 - Series 2 - Above the Gunas
Series2 Chapter15 - Series 2 - The Three Purushas
Series2 Chapter16 - Series 2 - The Fullness of Spiritual Action
Series2 Chapter17 - Series 2 - Deva and Asura
Series2 Chapter18 - Series 2 - The Gunas, Faith and Works
Series2 Chapter19 - Series 2 - The Gunas, Mind and Works
Series2 Chapter20 - Series 2 - Swabhava and Swadharma
Series2 Chapter21 - Series 2 - Towards the Supreme Secret
Series2 Chapter22 - Series 2 - The Supreme Secret
Series2 Chapter23 - Series 2 - The Core of the Gita's Meaning
Series2 Chapter24 - Series 2 - The Message of the Gita
Series3 Chapter1 - Gita Translation - The Dejection of Arjuna
Series3 Chapter2 - Gita Translation - Sankhyayoga
Series3 Chapter3 - Gita Translation - Karmayoga
Series3 Chapter4 - Gita Translation - Towards The Yoga of Knowledge
Series3 Chapter5 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of Renunciation
Series3 Chapter6 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of The Supreme Spirit
Series3 Chapter7 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of Knowledge
Series3 Chapter8 - Gita Translation - The Immutable Brahman
Series3 Chapter9 - Gita Translation - The King-Knowledge or The King-Secret
Series3 Chapter10 - Gita Translation - God in Power of Becoming
Series3 Chapter11 - Gita Translation - The Vision of The World-Spirit
Series3 Chapter12 - Gita Translation - Bhaktiyoga
Series3 Chapter13 - Gita Translation - The Field and Its Knower
Series3 Chapter14 - Gita Translation - The Three Gunas
Series3 Chapter15 - Gita Translation - The Supreme Divine
Series3 Chapter16 - Gita Translation - Deva and Asura
Series3 Chapter17 - Gita Translation - Faith and The Three Gunas
Series3 Chapter18 - Gita Translation - Renunciation and Moksha