Essence of Bhagavad Gita - Chapter-4


“Lord Shri Krishna said: This imperishable philosophy I taught to Viwaswana, the founder
of the Sun dynasty, Viwaswana gave it to Manu the lawgiver, and Manu to King
The Divine Kings knew it, for it was their tradition. Then, after a long time, at last it was
It is the same ancient Path that I have now revealed to thee, since thou are My devotee and
My friend. It is the supreme Secret.
Arjuna asked: My Lord! Viwaswana was born before Thee; how then canst Thou have
revealed it to him?
Lord Shri Krishna replied: I have been born again and again, from time to time; thou too,
O Arjuna! My births are known to Me, but thou knowest not thine.
I have no beginning. Though I am imperishable, as well as Lord of all that exists, yet by
My own will and power do I manifest Myself.
Whenever spirituality decays and materialism is rampant, then, O Arjuna, I reincarnate
To protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked and to establish the kingdom of God, I am
reborn from age to age.
He who realises the divine truth concerning My birth and life is not born again; and when
he leaves his body, he becomes one with Me.
Many have merged their existences in Mine, being freed from desire, fear and anger, filled
always with Me and purified by the illuminating flame of self-abnegation.
Howsoever men try to worship Me, so do I welcome them. By whatever path they travel,
it leads to Me at last.
Those who look for success, worship the Powers; and in this world their actions bear
immediate fruit.
The four divisions of society (the wise, the soldier, the merchant, the labourer) were
created by Me, according to the natural distribution of Qualities and instincts. I am the
author of them, though I Myself do no action, and am changeless.
My actions do not fetter Me, nor do I desire anything that they can bring. He who thus
realises Me is not enslaved by action.
In the light of wisdom, our ancestors, who sought deliverance, performed their acts. Act
thou also, as did our fathers of old.
What is action and what is inaction? It is a question which has bewildered the wise. But
I will declare unto thee the philosophy of action, and knowing it, thou shalt be free from

It is necessary to consider what is right action, what is wrong action, and what is inaction,
for mysterious is the law of action.
He who can see inaction in action, and action in inaction, is the wisest among men. He is a
saint, even though he still acts.
The wise call him a sage, for whatever he undertakes is free from the motive of desire, and
his deeds are purified by the fire of Wisdom.
Having surrendered all claim to the results of his actions, always contented and
independent, in reality he does nothing, even though he is apparently acting.
Expecting nothing, his mind and personality controlled, without greed, doing bodily
actions only; though he acts, yet he remains untainted.
Content with what comes to him without effort of his own, mounting above the pairs of
opposites, free from envy, his mind balanced both in success and failure; though he acts,
yet the consequences do not bind him.
He who is without attachment, free, his mind centered in wisdom, his actions, being done
as a sacrifice, leave no trace behind.
For him, the sacrifice itself is the Spirit; the Spirit and the oblation are one; it is the Spirit
Itself which is sacrificed in Its own fire, and the man even in action is united with God,
since while performing his act, his mind never ceases to be fixed on Him.
Some sages sacrifice to the Powers; others offer themselves on the alter of the Eternal.
Some sacrifice their physical senses in the fire of self-control; others offer up their contact
with external objects in the sacrificial fire of their senses.
Other again sacrifice their activities and their vitality in the Spiritual fire of selfabnegation,
kindled by wisdom.
And yet others offer as their sacrifice wealth, austerities and meditation. Monks wedded
to their vows renounce their scriptural learning and even their spiritual powers.
There are some who practise control of the Vital Energy and govern the subtle forces of
Prana and Apana, thereby sacrificing their Prana unto Apana, or their Apana unto Prana.
Others, controlling their diet, sacrifice their worldly life to the spiritual fire. All understand
the principal of sacrifice, and by its means their sins are washed away.
Tasting the nectar of immortality, as the reward of sacrifice, they reach the Eternal. This
world is not for those who refuse to sacrifice; much less the other world.
In this way other sacrifices too may be undergone for the Spirit’s sake. Know thou that
they all depend on action. Knowing this, thou shalt be free.
The sacrifice of wisdom is superior to any material sacrifice, for, O Arjuna, the climax of
action is always Realisation.

This shalt thou learn by prostrating thyself at the Master’s feet, by questioning Him and by
serving Him. The wise who have realised the Truth will teach thee wisdom.
Having known That, thou shalt never again be confounded; and, O Arjuna, by the power
of that wisdom, thou shalt see all these people as if they were thine own Self, and therefore
as Me.
Be thou the greatest of sinners, yet thou shalt cross over all sin by the ferryboat of wisdom.
As the kindled fire consumes the fuel, so, O Arjuna, in the flame of wisdom the embers of
action are burnt to ashes.
There is nothing in the world so purifying as wisdom; and he who is a perfect saint finds
that at last in his own Self.
He who is full of faith attains wisdom, and he too who can control his senses, having
attained that wisdom, he shall ere long attain Supreme Peace.
But the ignorant man, and he who has no faith, and the sceptic are lost. Neither in this
world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.
But the man who has renounced his action for meditation, who has cleft his doubt in twain
by the sword of wisdom, who remains always enthroned in his Self, is not bound by his
Therefore, cleaving asunder with the sword of wisdom the doubts of the heart, which
thine own ignorance has engendered, follow the Path of Wisdom and arise!”
Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme
Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the
Prince Arjuna, stands the fourth chapter entitled: Dnyana-Yoga or the Path of Wisdom.