Bhagavad Gita English 18


The topics discussed in this chapter are:      





Karma yoga



Jnyana yoga











VERSE – 18: 01

Arjuna wishes to know the difference between sanyasa and tyagaअर्जुन उवाचसंन्यासस्य महाबाहो तत्त्वमिच्छामि वेदितुम् ।त्यागस्य च हृषीकेश पृथक्केशिनिषूदन ॥१८:१॥ 

saṁnyāsasya mahābāhō tattvamicchāmi vēditum |

tyāgasya ca hr̥ṣīkēśa pr̥thakkēśiniṣūdana ||18:1||

संन्यासस्य महाबाहो तत्वम् इच्छामि वेदितुम्

त्यागस्य च हृषीकेश पृथक्केशिनिषूदन  

संन्यासस्य- of the renunciation of action महाबाहो-O mighty armed Krishna तत्वम्-the truth इच्छामि- I wish वेदितुम्- to understand त्यागस्य-of renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of action च- and हृषीकेश-Krishna, the Lord of senses  पृथक्- severally केशिनिषूदन-the slayer of demon Keshi  (केशि निषूदन-killer of Keshi, the demon) 

Arjun said:

O mighty-armed Krishna, I wish to understand the nature of sanyāsa (renunciation of actions) and tyāga (renunciation of the desire for the fruits of actions). O Hrishikesha, I also wish to know the distinction between the two, O Keshinisudana.

In this section Krishna is concluding his teachings of 17 chapters of Bhagawad Gita. This is a summarization of his teachings. So, it appears as repetitions.

संन्यासस्य महाबाहो तत्वम् इच्छामि वेदितुम् –O mighty armed Krsihna! I wish to know distinctively the essential character of sanyasa (jnyanayoga). This has been elaborately discussed in chapter 5.

Swami Vivekananda says that the national ideal of India are tyaga and seva.

Arjuna uses three epithets to Krisha. They are:

Mahabaho: mighty armed one. This refers to long arms of Krishna

Keshinishudana: slayer of the demon Keshi who had the head of a horse. Krishna put his arms in the demon’s mouth. It grew so large as to kill the demon

Hrushikesha: Inner controller of all

त्यागस्य च हृषीकेश पृथक्केशिनिषूदन  – O Hrushikesha, Keshinishudhana! I want to know separately truth of sanyasa and tyaga.


VERSE – 18: 02

Giving up of desireful ations is called sanyasa and giving upof reward for all actions is called tyagaश्रीभगवानुवाचकाम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं संन्यासं कवयो विदुः ।सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं प्राहुस्त्यागं विचक्षणाः ॥१८:२॥ 

kāmyānāṁ karmaṇāṁ nyāsaṁ saṁnyāsaṁ kavayō viduḥ |

sarvakarmaphalatyāgaṁ prāhustyāgaṁ vicakṣaṇāḥ ||18:2||


काम्यानाम् कर्मणाम् न्यासम् संन्यासम् कवयः विदुः

सर्वकर्मफलत्यागम् प्राहुः त्यागम्  विचक्षणाः   

काम्यानाम्-desireful कर्मणाम्- of  actions न्यासम्-renunciation, giving up संन्यासम्-as renunciation of actions, sanyasa  कवयः- the learned विदुः- understand सर्वकर्मफलत्यागम्- relinquishing the fruit of all actions (सर्व- all कर्म फल-fruits of all actions)  प्राहुः-declare त्यागम्- as tyaga or abandonment  विचक्षणाः-  he wise 

Some wise people opine that tyaga or relinquishment of actions motivated by desire (काम्य कर्म)  as sanyasa. While others say that the tyaga or relinquishment of fruits all actions as tyaga.

काम्यानाम् कर्मणाम् न्यासम् संन्यासम् कवयः विदुः –The wise people understand that relinquishment of self-centred actions motivated by desire as sanyasa. Which are the actions motivated by desire? यज्ञ दान तपः कर्म sacrifice, charity, penance and worship are performed for some gains in this world or next. The gains are marriage, progeny, property, power, health, wealth and getting rid of undesirable and dangerous objects and situations and ailments. These are called काम्यानाम् कर्म or काम्य कर्म.

There are 5 types of karmas. They are नित्य, नैमित्तिक, काम्य, निषिद्ध  and  प्रायष्चित. Of these 5 types of karmas, a sanyasi is ordained to avoid kamya karma. That means he has to perform other 4 types of karmas. निषिद्ध  karma is ruled out by a sanyasi.

सर्वकर्मफलत्यागम् प्राहुः त्यागम्  विचक्षणाः – Giving up of fruits of all actions is called tyaga. While sanyasa refutes desire-promted actions (काम्यानाम् कर्म), tyaga abjures the fruit of actions (फलत्यागम् ). a tyagi is free to perform actions like

यज्ञ दान तपः कर्म sacrifice, charity, penance and worship just like a sanyasi. But he has to give up the fruit of action. But he is free to perform नित्य, नैमित्तिक, and  प्रायष्चित karmas without expecting rewards.

VERSE – 18: 03

Some maintain that all actions should be aoided whilst some others say yajnya dana and tapa should never be avoided.त्याज्यं दोषवदित्येके कर्म प्राहुर्मनीषिणः ।यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यमिति चापरे ॥१८:३॥

tyājyaṁ dōṣavadityēkē karma prāhurmanīṣiṇaḥ |

yajñadānatapaḥkarma na tyājyamiti cāparē ||18:3||

त्याज्यम् दोषवत् इति एके कर्म प्राहुः मनीषिणः

यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यम् इति च अपरे   

त्याज्यम्-should be given up  दोषवत्- as evil इति-thus  एके-some people कर्म- actions प्राहुः- declare मनीषिणः- philosophers यज्ञदानतपःकर्म-acts of sacrifice, charity and penance  (यज्ञ- sacrifice दान-charity तपः-penance कर्म-the activities) न-not  त्याज्यम्-should be abandoned  इति- thus च- and अपरे-   others

Some learned people declare that all kinds of actions should be given up as evil, while others maintain that acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should never be abandoned.

त्याज्यम् दोषवत् इति एके कर्म प्राहुः मनीषिणः

Some learned people declare that all kinds of actions should be given up as evil. The Lord reiterates in this shloka opinion of two tpes of intelligentia. The first one says that all unertakings are attended with blemishes and so, they should be  abandoned. Even nitya and naimittika karmas are also to be avoided because there is room for egoism. So, the actions become binding.


यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यम् इति च अपरे    while others maintain that acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should never be abandoned. These activities are not blemishful because they have no personal motive. They serve a purifying agent. In their opinion those actiites which are prescribed by he scripture should not be abandoned. A man seeking beatitude should shun only actions prohibited by shastras and are


VERSE – 18: 04

The Lord  declares his verdict about tyagaनिश्चयं शृणु मे तत्र त्यागे भरतसत्तम ।त्यागो हि पुरुषव्याघ्र त्रिविधः संप्रकीर्तितः ॥१८:४॥ 

niścayaṁ śr̥ṇu mē tatra tyāgē bharatasattama |

tyāgō hi puruṣavyāghra trividhaḥ saṁprakīrtitaḥ ||18:4||

निश्चयम् शृणु मे तत्र त्यागे भरतसत्तम

त्यागः हि पुरुषव्याघ्र त्रिविधः संप्रकीर्तितः

निश्चयम्-conclusion शृणु-hear में-from me तत्र-there त्यागे- about renunciation of desires of enjoying truth भरतसत्तम- best of the Bhararatas त्यागः- renunciation हि-indeed  पुरुषव्याघ्र-tiger among the men  त्रिविधः- of three types संप्रकीर्तितः- declared

Now hear my conclusion on the subject of renunciation, O tiger amongst men!  for renunciation has been declared to be of three kinds.

निश्चयम् शृणु मे तत्र त्यागे भरतसत्तम –of anyasa and tyaga, first hear my conclusion on the subject of tyaga, O Arjuna! Tyaga is of three kinds- sattva, rajas and tamas. In the opening verse of this chapter, Arjuna requested the lord to enlighten him on the subjects of sanyasa and Tyaga. The lord starts his discourse with the subject of Tyaga. निश्चयम् means conclusion, my verdict.

त्यागः हि पुरुषव्याघ्र त्रिविधः संप्रकीर्तितः – O tiger amongst men!  for renunciation has been declared to be of three kinds, sattva, rajas and tamas. Tyaga is very important for a sadhak. It is the basis of higher life. It is only by giving up lower desires and lower actions that one can reach the higher goal.

VERSE – 18: 05

Sacrifice, charity and penance should never be abandoned but always performedयज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यं कार्यमेव तत् ।यज्ञो दानं तपश्चैव पावनानि मनीषिणाम् ॥१८:५॥

yajñadānatapaḥkarma na tyājyaṁ kāryamēva tat |

yajñō dānaṁ tapaścaiva pāvanāni manīṣiṇām ||18:5||

यज्ञदानतपः कर्म न त्याज्यम् कार्यम् एव  तत्

यज्ञः दानम् तपः च एव पावनानि मनीषिणाम्   

यज्ञदानतपः- acts of sacrifice, charity and penance (यज्ञ- sacrifice दान- charity तपः- penance कर्म- activities) न- not त्याज्यम्- to be abandoned कार्यम्-एव-must be performed तत्- that यज्ञः- sacrifice दानम्- charity तपः- penance च-and एव- indeed पावनानि- purifying मनीषिणाम्-  to the wise 

Actions based upon sacrifice, charity, and penance should never be abandoned; they must certainly be performed. Indeed, acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance are purifying even for those who are wise.

यज्ञदानतपः कर्म न त्याज्यम् कार्यम् एव  तत् –Sacrifice, charity and penance should be performed with a disinterested spirit and never be abandoned.  Such acts are called karmayoga. These actions are not binding in result. They are liberating actions. They help us in our spiritual evolution.

Swami Muktananda compares such purifying actions to a caterpillar which weaves a coccon around it , lives in the coccon for about 10 to 45 days and transforms into a beautiful butterfly. These mandatory actions prescribed by the shastras help us in our spiritual evolution to become a beautiful realized master. So they should never be avoided.

यज्ञः दानम् तपः च एव पावनानि मनीषिणाम्  –  The acts of  sacrifice, charity, and penance are purifying even for those who are wise.

VERSE – 18: 06

These liberating  actions should be perfomed without attachment for its fruit and egoएतान्यपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलानि च ।कर्तव्यानीति मे पार्थ निश्चितं मतमुत्तमम् ॥१८:६॥ 

ētānyapi tu karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā phalāni ca |

kartavyānīti mē pārtha niścitaṁ matamuttamam ||18:6||

एतानि अपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गम् त्यक्त्वा फलानि च

कर्तव्यानि इति मे पार्थ निश्चितम् मतम् उत्तमम् 

एतानि- these अपि-and  तु-indeed कर्माणि- activities सङ्गम्- attachment त्यक्त्वा-by giving up फलानि-fruits च-and कर्तव्यानि- should be done as a duty इति- thus में- my पार्थ- Arjuna निश्चितम्-definite  मतम्-opinion उत्तमम्- supreme

These activities must be performed without attachment and expectation for rewards. This is my definite and supreme verdict, O Arjuna.

एतानि अपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गम् त्यक्त्वा फलानि च –These activities meaning performance of sacrifice, charity and penance should be done without attachment and hope for reward. सङ्गम् means attachment, not only to the action itself but also to its fruit. Sangam also indicates abandonment of ‘me’ and ‘my-ness’ This is karmayoga.

कर्तव्यानि इति मे पार्थ निश्चितम् मतम् उत्तमम् – Arjuna, this is my supreme conception of tyaga. In otherwords, in the Lord’s, opinion, one should perform his allotted duties without desire for enjoyment of its result and forsaking personal attachment to it as I am the doer and enjoyer. This is my considered verdict.

Swami Muktananda: –Acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should be done in the mood of devotion to the Supreme Lord. If that consciousness has not been attained, then they should verily be performed as a matter of duty, without desire for reward. A mother abandons her selfish joys to perform her duty to her offspring. She offers the milk in her breast to her baby and nourishes the baby. She does not lose by giving to the child, rather she fulfills her motherhood. Similarly, a cow grazes grass in the meadow all day long, but yields the milk in her udder to her calf. The cow does not become any less by performing its duty; on the other hand, people hold it in greater respect. Because these activities are performed selflessly, they are viewed as sacred. Shri Krishna states in this verse that the wise should perform auspicious and beneficial acts in the same attitude of selflessness. He now explains the three kinds of renunciation in the following three verses.

VERSE – 18: 07

The abandonment of prescribed duty amounts to tamasik tyagaनियतस्य तु संन्यासः कर्मणो नोपपद्यते ।मोहात्तस्य परित्यागस्तामसः परिकीर्तितः ॥१८:७॥ 

niyatasya tu saṁnyāsaḥ karmaṇō nōpapadyatē |

mōhāttasya parityāgastāmasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ ||18:7||

नियतस्य तु संन्यासः कर्मणः न उपपद्यते

मोहात् तस्य परित्यागः तामसः परिकीर्तितः  

नियतस्य-of prescribed duty तु-but संन्यासः- renunciation कर्मणः- actions न-not  उपपद्यते- to be performed मोहात्- by Inorance  तस्य-of that परित्यागः- renunciation तामसः- mode of tamas परिकीर्तितः- has been declared

The prescribed duties should never be renounced. Such deluded renunciation is said to be in the mode of tamas.

नियतस्य तु संन्यासः कर्मणः न उपपद्यते -The prescribed duties (नियत कर्म) should never be renounced. But however, prohibited acts (निशिद्ध कर्म ) and that are motivated by desire (काम्य कर्म ) should be abandoned. The niyata karma-s are sacrifice, charity, penance, study and teaching, warfare, governance of the people, agriculture, trade partaking of food etc. These duties should not be given up because it may cause chaos in the society. नियत कर्म includes नित्य नैमित्तिक कर्म which are approved by the shastra. The meaning of  Niyata karma should be understood as in नियतम् कुरु कर्मत्वम् mentioned in Gita chapter 3 verse 8. Its meaning  was explained as your duty as per your nature or swabhava.

By undertaking niyata karma the mind becomes pure, one gets emotional stability.

मोहात्तस्य परित्यागस्तामसः परिकीर्तितः

The tyaga of such duties erroneousy thinking that he is doing a noble act by such renunciation is a sin. The lord calls such action as induced by moha or delusion and they are tamasik in nature. The word moha has many meanings; ignorance, delusion, attachment and infatuation. Moha is of the nature of tamas. Tamas is ignorance or darkness. Darkness covers an object from our sight. Swami Raghaveshananda says: moha nasha is the same as moksha prapti. In the word Moksha मोक्ष, मो is moha and  क्ष is nasha or kshaya

VERSE – 18: 08

to give up a duty because it causes physical strain is rajasik nature. He wont get the reward of tyaga.दुःखमित्येव यत्कर्म कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् ।स कृत्वा राजसं त्यागं नैव त्यागफलं लभेत् ॥१८:८॥ 

duḥkhamityēva yatkarma kāyaklēśabhayāttyajēt |

sa kr̥tvā rājasaṁ tyāgaṁ naiva tyāgaphalaṁ labhēt ||18:8||

दुःखम् इति एव यत् कर्म कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् ।

सः कृत्वा राजसम्  त्यागम् न एव  त्यागफलम् लभेत् ॥१८:८॥

दुःखम्- painful इति- thus एव- indeed यत्- which कर्म- duty कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत्- for the fear of physical strain (काय- bodily क्लेश-discomfort भयात्- fear त्यजेत्-if given up) सः–he कृत्वा- having done राजसम्-rajasik  त्यागम्-renunciation न-not  एव- certainly त्यागफलम्-the fruit of renunciation लभेत्-  reaps


To give up a  prescribed duty because it is troublesome or cause bodily discomfort is renunciation in the mode of passion. Such renunciation is never beneficial or elevating.

दुःखम् इति एव यत् कर्म कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् – abandonment of

niyata karma because it causes bodily discomfort is in the mode of Rajas. In the performance of karma one may face many difficulties like collection of material, people, expense of money, forgo bodily comforts and face hardhip. To give up niyata karma-s in order to avoid exertion and discomfort to the body is in the mode of rajas.

People avoid going to temple, visiting holy places, because it causes discomfort or disturbace in their routine. One thinks, why should I do shirasa ashtanga namaskar? Is if not sufficient if I just press my hands together with a smile and bow down? People find It difficult to  give up the fruits of action and also to face  difficuties in its performance. Arjuna also had this attitude. His argument was waging war involves blood shed and killing of his teachers and blood relatives. So he watned to give up war.

सः कृत्वा राजसम्  त्यागम् न एव  त्यागफलम् लभेत् -Practising such rajasik tyaga one does not reap the fruit of renunciation namely freedom form shakles of karma and realization of God

VERSE – 18: 09

Now Krsihna defines sattvik tyaga कार्यमित्येव यत्कर्म नियतं क्रियतेऽर्जुन ।सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलं चैव स त्यागः सात्त्विको मतः ॥१८:९॥ 

kāryamityēva yatkarma niyataṁ kriyatē’rjuna |

saṅgaṁ tyaktvā phalaṁ caiva sa tyāgaḥ sāttvikō mataḥ ||18:9||

कार्यम् इति एव यत्  कर्म  नियतम्  क्रियते अर्जुन

सङ्गम्  त्यक्त्वा फलम् च एव सः त्यागः सात्त्विकः मतः   

कार्यम्-as a duty इति-thus  एव-indeed  यत्- which कर्म-action नियतम्-obligatory  क्रियते-is performed अर्जुन- Arjuna

सङ्गम्- attachment त्यक्त्वा- renouncing फलम्- fruit च-and एव- indeed सः-that  त्यागः-renunciation of desire for enjoying the fruit of action सात्त्विकः-in the mode of sattvika  मतः-  isconsidered   

A prescribed duty which is performed simply because it has to be performed, giving up ‘attachment and fruit’, that alone has been recognized as sattvik form of  renunciation


कार्यम् इति एव यत्  कर्म  नियतम्  क्रियते अर्जुन – A prescribed duty which is performed simply because it has to be

performed. There are three aspects.

1.The karma is prescribed by shastra.

  1. It should be performed as a duty
  2. There should be no expectation of reward and attachment to work

According to the lord, true renunciation lies not in giving up of obligatory action but in renunciation of desire and attachment for those actions.

सङ्गम्  त्यक्त्वा फलम् च एव सः त्यागः सात्त्विकः मतः    such an action which is performed without attachment and desire for reward is termed as sattvik action.

VERSE – 18: 10

Charactreristics of a sattvik tyagiन द्वेष्ट्यकुशलं कर्म कुशले नानुषज्जते ।त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टो मेधावी छिन्नसंशयः ॥१८:१०॥

na dvēṣṭyakuśalaṁ karma kuśalē nānuṣajjatē |

tyāgī sattvasamāviṣṭō mēdhāvī chinnasaṁśayaḥ ||18:10||

न द्वेष्टि अकुशलम् कर्म कुशले न अनुषज्जते

त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टः मेधावी छिन्नसंशयः  

न- neither द्वेष्टि- hates अकुशलम्- disagreeable कर्म- work कुशले- in agreeable न-nor अनुषज्जते- gets attached त्यागी- one who renounces desire for fruit of action सत्त्वसमाविष्टः- imbued with sattvik quality (सत्त्व-in the mode of sattva समाविष्टः-pervaded by purity) मेधावी- intelligent छिन्नसंशयः-one whose doubts have been resolved ( छिन्न-cut off  संशयः-doubts)  


The tyagi who neither avoids disagreeable work nor seeks work because it is agreeable is a person of true renunciation. He is endowed with the quality of Sattva;  is intelligent and has all his doubts resolved.


न द्वेष्टि अकुशलम् कर्म – one who does not hate disagreeable work. He is entirely free from likes and dislikes. He does not hate to perform a work because it is disagreeable or unfavourable to him. He performs it as a duty prescribed to him be  it akushala or kushala (agreeable or disagreeable). He has no attachment or aversion or desire for result  to the prescribed duty. So, he does  not get karmic debt by its


There is a story of Dharmavyadha in Mahabharata. He was a butcher by proesssion and at the same time a jnyani. A surgeon operates on the body which may be distressful to the patient. A judge passes an order to hang a criminal till death. All these are अकुशलम् कर्म.

One more example of akushala karma can be given. One does not  detest  Ekadashi fasting  or get elated at dwadashi feasting.

Swami raghavesshananda gives examples of satvika, rajasika and tamasika tyaga-s. On an election day, holiday is declared. If one wastes his time in watching TV or dining out, or over sleeping, avoidig the election, it is a tamasik tyaga .

A rajasik tyaga involves avoiding to go to election booth because of hot sun, or fear of long queue. If one goes to the voting centre and assesses who is the best canditdate and casts his vote as a duty without bothering  whether he wins or looses is a sattvik tyagi.

कुशले न अनुषज्जते –Nor does he get attached to doing agreeable action. The agreeable works are: sacrifice, charity,

penance, performed in a disinterested spirit. They wipe out a man’s accumulated sins from the prvious births and free him from the bondage of actions.

This verse speaks of a karma yogi or samatva rupi  buddhi yogi. It is a sattvika karma yoga capable of securing freedom from bondage of actions and attaining of supreme Brahman.

त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टः –the renunciant is endowed with the quality of sattva. Sattvik guna includes, observance of dharma, pity, love,  devotion and purity. Spiritual evolution is our journey from tamasik to rajasik and then to sattvik guna.

मेधावी छिन्नसंशयः – an intelligent man has all his  douts

resolved. संशयात्मा विनश्यति a doutful Thomas fails. Ramatirtha Swamiji said, “You may carry a bullet in your heart but not a doubt”

VERSE – 18: 11

Sattvik tyagi is same as  karmayogiन हि देहभृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्यशेषतः ।यस्तु कर्मफलत्यागी स त्यागीत्यभिधीयते ॥१८:११॥

na hi dēhabhr̥tā śakyaṁ tyaktuṁ karmāṇyaśēṣataḥ |

yastu karmaphalatyāgī sa tyāgītyabhidhīyatē ||18:11||

न हि देहभृता शक्यम् त्यक्तुम् कर्माणि अशेषतः

यः तु  कर्मफलत्यागी सः त्यागी इति अभिधीयते  

न-not हि- indeed देहभृता- by the embodied soul शक्यम्-possible त्यक्तुम्-to give up कर्माणि- activities अशेषतः- entirely

यः-who तु- but कर्मफलत्यागी-renounces the fruit of actions (कर्म-action फल-fruit त्यागी-one who renounces all desires of enjoyment of fruit of actions) सः-he त्यागी- renunciant इति -thus अभिधीयते- is said to be. 

For the embodied being, it is impossible to give up activities entirely. But one who relinquishes the fruits of his actions is said to be truly renounced.


न हि देहभृता शक्यम् त्यक्तुम् कर्माणि अशेषतः –No one can remain inactive without any action. Action is the hallmark of living being. The soul is called dehi because he lives in the gross and subtle bodies. देहभृत् means carrying a body, corporeal body (material physical body, not spiritual). So, देहभृता means one possessing a body. He has to perform nitya and naimittika karmas. The soul is living in the body and so, gets attached to grief and joy of the body. Such an ignorant man is called देहभृता or embodied. A wise man is not called dehabhruta.

Krishna says in chater 3 verse 8: शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः  Even maintenance of your body would not be possible through inaction. Breathing, eating, seeing, walking, sleeping, blood circulation, digesntion, heart beat are the functions of the body which cannot be stopped.

यः तु  कर्मफलत्यागी सः त्यागी इति अभिधीयते   But one who relinquishes the fruits of his actions is said to be truly a man of renunciation. In the first line it was mentioned that no one can relinquish all actions totally. But relinquishment is possible if one performs actions without desire and attachment. Desire is for the fruit of action. Attachment means ‘my’ ,’ mine’ , ownership and enjoyer-ship.

VERSE – 18: 12

A renunciant is immune to karmic bondaeअनिष्टमिष्टं मिश्रं च त्रिविधं कर्मणः फलम् ।भवत्यत्यागिनां प्रेत्य न तु संन्यासिनां क्वचित् ॥१८:१२॥

aniṣṭamiṣṭaṁ miśraṁ ca trividhaṁ karmaṇaḥ phalam |

bhavatyatyāgināṁ prētya na tu saṁnyāsināṁ kvacit ||18:12||

अनिष्टम् इष्टम् मिश्रम् च त्रिविधम् कर्मणः फलम्

भवति अत्यागिनाम् प्रेत्य न तु संन्यासिनाम्  क्वचित्  

अनिष्टम्-unpleasant इष्टम्-pleasant मिश्रम्- mixed च-and त्रिविधम्-three fold कर्मणः-of fruits फलम्- fruits, result

भवति- accrue अत्यागिनाम्- to a non-renuciant प्रेत्य- after death न- not तु- but संन्यासिनाम्- to a renunciant क्वचित्-  ever

The three-fold fruits of actions—pleasant, unpleasant, and mixed—accrue even after death to those who are attached to personal reward. But, for those who renounce the fruits of their actions, there are no such results  here or hereafter.

अनिष्टम् इष्टम् मिश्रम् च त्रिविधम् कर्मणः फलम् –The fruit of actions are of three types, pleasant, unpleasant and mixed. pleasant refers to rebirth in deva loka or world of deities. Unpleasant refers to rebirth in the womb of birds and beasts or transportation to he hell. Reward of mixed fruit indicates

rebirth in this world of humans.

भवति अत्यागिनाम् प्रेत्य न तु संन्यासिनाम्  क्वचित् – But, for those who renounce the fruits of their actions, there are no such results  here or hereafter. The three types of karmic bondage apply only to अत्यागिनाम्, the non-renunciants. But a sanyasi or a tyagi has immunity against karmic bondage. It is because he performs all actions without desire for the enjoyment of the fruit of action. He is a kramayogi (nishkama) or a sanyasi who has completely renounced the feeling of ‘my-ness’,

attachment and desire. So Krishna calls them as sanyasi and yogi in the opening verse of chapter 6.

अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः ।स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥६:१॥ 

One who performs the prescribed duty without seeking its fruit for personal enjoyment is both a sanyasi and a Karmayogi. One is no sanyasi merely because he has

renounced the sacred fire; just as one is no yogi because he has merely given up all activity.

कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः |
जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ||५१||

The wise men possessing equipoised mind renouncing the fruit of action, become freed from the shakles of birth, and

attain the state beyond sorrow.

 Such a sanyasi attains the supeme state beyond sorrow 

VERSE – 18: 13

The five fators necessary for competing an actionपञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे ।सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् ॥१८:१३॥ 

pañcaitāni mahābāhō kāraṇāni nibōdha mē |

sāṁkhyē kr̥tāntē prōktāni siddhayē sarvakarmaṇām ||18:13||

पञ्च ऎतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे

सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम्   

पञ्च-five ऎतानि-these महाबाहो-mighty armed Arjuna कारणानि-causes निबोध- learn में- from me सांख्ये-of the  sankhya कृतान्ते- for  the completion of all actions प्रोक्तानि- is declared सिद्धये-for the accomplishment सर्वकर्मणाम् –  of all actions

O Arjuna, now learn from me about the five contributing factors for the accomplishment of all actions according to the doctrine of Sānkhya, which explains how to stop the

reactions of karmas.


In the first 12 verses of 18th chapter, Krishna spoke about the first question of arjuna, What is sanyasa? He devided sanyasa into 3 sub groups of sattva, rajas and tamas. He conscluded that sattvik sanyasa is nothing but karmayoga,  a compulsory sadhana. The spiritual journey consists of karmayoga, which is the cause of purification of mind. He becomes qualified for practice of jyana yoga. And finally liberation.

In 13 to 17th verse Krishna discusses jnyana yoga. Jnyana yoga has been elaborately dealth with in 2nd chapter verses 12 to 25.  In 4th chapter verses 18 to 25, in 5th chapter 13th  to 31. Again in this 18th chapter Krishna is going to discuss a synopsis of Jyna yoga from verses 13 to 17.

पञ्च ऎतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे – now learn from me about the five factors that have been mentioned as requisites for the accomplishment of all actions. Krishna is now going to teach the five factors which contribute for the successful

accomplishment of an action.

सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् –  learn from me the doctrine of Sankhya and Vedanta which explain how to neutralize the karmic bondage of an action. Samkhya means analytical knowledge. The word is derived from the root ‘khya’ ख्य to know. sam is prefixed to it to make he word साङ्ख्य. सम्यक् ज्ञायते परमत्मा अनेन इति साङ्ख्य तत्वज्ञानम् – sankhya is the means of knowing God in reality. Swami Paramarthananda says:  कृतान्त refers to the branch of knowledge or jnyanayoga which tells us about the technique of neutralizing all bondages of actions.  क्रुत means karma or action अंत means termination, ending. कृत अंते (कृतांते) means end of karma Kanda. All these 5 factors are enumerated immediately after the ritualistic portion of vedas I.e. the  is vedantic portion. 

Actions are said to be performed by prakruti or nature and the self is as wholly non-doer but a witness. ‘Sankhya’ should not be confused with the  atheistic conception promoted by Kapila muni. Sankhya quoted here is a part of Upanishad-s.

VERSE – 18: 14

five mandatory factors for completion of a workअधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् ।विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् ॥१८:१४॥ 

adhiṣṭhānaṁ tathā kartā karaṇaṁ ca pr̥thagvidham |

vividhāśca pr̥thakcēṣṭā daivaṁ caivātra pañcamam ||18:14||

अधिष्ठानम् तथा कर्ता करणम् च पृथग्विधम्

विविधाः च पृथक् चेष्टाः दैवम् च एव अत्र पञ्चमम्   

अधिष्ठानम्- seat of action that is the body तथा-also कर्ता- the doer, the agent  करणम्- the organs, sense organs च- and पृथग्विधम्-of different kinds (प्रथक्-various विधम्-kinds) विविधाः-of various kinds च- and पृथक्-distinct चेष्टाः-efforts दैवम्-divine providence च- and एव- likewise अत्र-here पञ्चमम्-  the fifth 

The body or the seat of action, the doer or the agent, the various sense organs, the many kinds of efforts, and Divine Providence—these are the five factors of action.

अधिष्ठानम् तथा कर्ता करणम् च पृथग्विधम् – The body or the seat of action, the doer or the agent, the various sense organs,

अधिष्ठानम् -the seat, abode of activity, क्षेत्र  meaning body

कर्ता -agent, the doer stands for the soul जीव which is rooted in the matter. He says, “I am the doer”

पुरुष: सुखदु:खानां भोक्तृत्वे हेतुरुच्यते. He is deluded by egoism as enjoyer of good or bad.  

अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते . The soul being deluded by ego considers himself as the doer of action. || 3:27||

करणम्– the tools. 5 organs of action and 5 of perception. (10 external organs) and mind, intellect and ego (three internal organs or antahkarana अंतःकरण) The organs of perception can convey the availability of objects to the mind. The jiva enjoys it or rejects it if it is not favourable.

चेष्टाः-activities , efforts put in with Karanam for performance of an action. The jiva cannot do any activity without the body. The body being inert cannot be involved in any activity without Jiva.

दैवम्-divine providence.

विविधाः च पृथक् चेष्टाः दैवम् च एव अत्र पञ्चमम्    Different types of endeavour done with the help of Karanam करणम् (tools,

instruments 10 sense organs) and the fith factor is divine providence.

God is seated in the body of all beings. Some people seem to have a keen acumen to amass wealth, some become successful in their scientific research, in polytical field, or in warfare. All the tasks are done in the presence of the self and so he is called the 5th factor. 

VERSE – 18: 15

The five factors of an action are applicable for right or wrong actionsशरीरवाङ्‌मनोभिर्यत्कर्म प्रारभते नरः ।न्याय्यं वा विपरीतं वा पञ्चैते तस्य हेतवः ॥१८:१५॥ 

śarīravāṅ–manōbhiryatkarma prārabhatē naraḥ |

nyāyyaṁ vā viparītaṁ vā pañcaitē tasya hētavaḥ ||18:15||

शरीरवाङ्‌मनोभिः यत्  कर्म प्रारभते नरः

न्याय्यम्  वा विपरीतम्  वा पञ्चैः एते तस्य हेतवः  

शरीरवाङ्‌मनोभिः-with the mind, speech and body (शरीर-body वाक्-speech and मनोभिः-by the mind)  यत्-which कर्म-action प्रारभते- undertakes नरः-man न्याय्यम्-right, dharma वा-or विपरीतम्-improper, adharma वा- are पञ्चैः- the five एते- these तस्य-their हेतवः- contributory causes   

 Whatever action a man performs by his body, speech and mind whether right or wrong–these are the five contributory factors. 

शरीरवाङ्‌मनोभिः यत्  कर्म प्रारभते नरः– Whatever actions a man performs with his body कायिक, speech वाचिक and mind मानसिक.

न्याय्यम्  वा विपरीतम्  वा पञ्चैः एते तस्य हेतवः   Whether the actions are dharmik or adharmic are covered by these five factors. न्याय्यम्  वा विपरीतम्  वा the actions done may be virtuous or sinful, the five causes mentioned in the previous verse are responsible. Due to delusion,  the soul imagines that he is the agent of action and beneficiary of action. He forgets that there are four other contributory factors for the completing an action.

VERSE – 18: 16

Why the self is not the doer?तत्रैवं सति कर्तारमात्मानं केवलं तु यः ।पश्यत्यकृतबुद्धित्वान्न स पश्यति दुर्मतिः ॥१८:१६॥ 

tatraivaṁ sati kartāramātmānaṁ kēvalaṁ tu yaḥ |

paśyatyakr̥tabuddhitvānna sa paśyati durmatiḥ ||18:16||

तत्र एवम्  सति कर्तारम् आत्मानम् केवलम् तु यः

पश्यति अकृतबुद्धित्वात् न  सः पश्यति दुर्मतिः

तत्र एवम्  सति-this being the case, not withstanding this कर्तारम्- as the doer केवलम् आत्मानम्- the pure self soul,  तु-but  यः- who पश्यति- sees अकृतबुद्धित्वात्- owing to untrained intellect (अकृत- not trained, impure बुद्धित्वात्- intellect) न- not सः- he पश्यति- sees दुर्मतिः- man of perverted understanding

Not withstanding this, however, he who having an impure mind, regards the absolute taintless self as the doer, due to the lack of trained intellect,  cannot see things as they are. He has a distorted vision.


तत्र एवम्  सति कर्तारम् आत्मानम् केवलम् तु यः –This being the case, one who sees the pure self as the doer. “This being the case” refers to the previous verse where it was demonstrated that five factors are required for completion of a work. In spite of such awareness, a man of impure mind thinks the आत्मानम् केवलम् the  absolute, immutable and unattached self  as the doer. He cannot be a doer.

पश्यति अकृतबुद्धित्वात् न  सः पश्यति दुर्मतिः -A man of perverse understanding due to his untrained mind sees the self as the doer. Why he is called as a man of untrained mind? It is

because he has not purified his mind through association with holy men and study of scriptures and practices of spiritual disciplines. He has not understood that for performance of a work पञ्च ऎतानि कारणानि are necessary. दुर्मतिः means ignorant, a man of false opinion or notion. सुमतिः means a man of good understanding. सु (su) indicates good and  दु (du) indicates bad. So one does not name a child as Duryodhana. Sukha means happiness dukha means grief.

न  सः पश्यति  The man of wrong understanding does not

recognize that the self or the consciousness has no part in the performance of work. He is just a witness. It is the sharira or pancha kosha is the agent of action and beneficieary of action. The self is just a witness. All activities go on in his mere presence.

VERSE – 18: 17

He who acts  without a sense of ownership and beneficiary is absolved from karmic results  यस्य नाहंकृतो भावो बुद्धिर्यस्य न लिप्यते ।हत्वापि स इमाँल्लोकान्न हन्ति न निबध्यते ॥१८:१७॥ 

yasya nāhaṁkr̥tō bhāvō buddhiryasya na lipyatē |

hatvāpi sa imām̐llōkānna hanti na nibadhyatē ||18:17||

यस्य न अहंकृतः भावः बुद्धिः  यस्य न लिप्यते

हत्वा अपि सः इमान् लोकान्  न हन्ति न निबध्यते   

यस्य-in whose mind  न- not अहंकृतः भावः-the notion that “I am the doer” बुद्धिः- intellect यस्य- whose न- not लिप्यते- get smeared, attached हत्वा- by slaying अपि-also सः- he इमान्- all these लोकान्-worlds न-not हन्ति- kills न-not निबध्यते- is bound by sin

He who is free from the ego of being the doer, and whose intellect is unattached, though he may slay living beings, he  neither kills nor is bound by his actions.

यस्य न अहंकृतः भावः बुद्धिः  यस्य न लिप्यते –He who is free from sense of “I” or belonging to the action and its result. A sankhya yogi ceases to entertain feeling of ‘ mine-ness’, attachment to the actions or its fruits because he is convinced that all actions are done by the three gunas and the five factors पञ्चैः एते तस्य हेतवः.  He is completely detached but still puts his best for the pleasure of God.

Here Krishna is talking about a jnyani who has the conviction that the body and the self are different identities. the body is anatma made of pancha bhutas or pancha koshas and is therefore inert. But it is set into vibration or activities by the mere presence of self, Atma  or consciousness.

यस्य न लिप्यते the jnyanis mind is not tainted by the misconception of being the driver of action or beneficiary of result.

हत्वा अपि सः इमान् लोकान्  न हन्ति न निबध्यते   although the kills  these people he is exempt from its consequences. Krishna says इमान् लोकान्   these people, he must be pointing out at the army which is arraigned in fornt of him.  That means he is free from the karmik bondage of slaughter. It does not mean that a jnyani goes on killing everyone like a terrorist. It is like the petrol gas being not considered as an accomplice in a crime committed by the occupants of the car. The petroleum gas perorms its action as its duty. It has no sense of doership and enjoyership of the result.

Suppose you are driving a car on the left side of the road in allowed speed, and suddenly one man who is walking on the pavement comes on the road, and you pull over him. Are you responsible for killing him? You have a driving licence, and all documents of the car are in place. You have not committed a culpable homicide because you had no intention of killing him because कर्ता  अहम् कृतो भावः are missing.

The idea is that just as God, eventhough carrying on the functions of creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe, really speaking is not a doer in respect of these fuctions. The lord says: the actions are not attached to me

न माम् कर्माणि लिंपंति.

Shri Ramakrishna says, it is like removing one thorn by another. The thorn which has picked you is bad one. The thorn which you use to remove the prick is good one. Later both have to be thrown away.

Rahim Khankhana was a famous poet saint, during the Mughal period in Indian history. Although a Muslim by birth, he was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. When he would give alms in charity, he would lower his eyes. A sweet incident is related about this habit of his. It is said that Saint Tulsidas heard of Rahim’s style of giving alms, and asked him:

“Sir, where did you learn to give alms like this? Your hands are as high as your eyes are low.” Rahim replied beautifully and in all humbleness:

“The giver is someone else, giving day and night. But the world gives me the credit, and so I lower my eyes.” Understanding that we are not the sole cause responsible for our accomplishments frees us from the egoistic pride of doership.

VERSE – 18: 18

The drivers of an action and constituents of an action explainedज्ञानं ज्ञेयं परिज्ञाता त्रिविधा कर्मचोदना ।करणं कर्म कर्तेति त्रिविधः कर्मसंग्रहः ॥१८:१८॥ 

jñānaṁ jñēyaṁ parijñātā trividhā karmacōdanā |

karaṇaṁ karma kartēti trividhaḥ karmasaṁgrahaḥ ||18:18||

ज्ञानम् ज्ञेयम् परिज्ञाता त्रिविधा कर्मचोदना

करणम् कर्म कर्ता इति त्रिविधा कर्मसंग्रहः   

ज्ञानम्-knowledge  ज्ञेयम्- the object of knowledge, knowable परिज्ञाता- the knower, the subject  त्रिविधा-three factors कर्मचोदना-impetus  or cause for an  action करणम्- the instruments, organs  कर्म-the object कर्ता-the doer, the agent इति- thus त्रिविधाः-three fold कर्मसंग्रहः-  constituents of action, the basis of action assemblage of action


The Knower, the knowable, and knowledge — this is the threefold cause of action. The doer, the object or the act , and the instrument or organs — this is the threefold



Swami Paramarthananda says: There are only two sadhanas of human being that we do to purify the mind;  knowing and doing.  Knowing is jyana yoga and doing is karma yoga. Through out our life we are doing only these two things,

either learning or doing. Threfore The human activities can be broadly classified into two headings: the knowing process and doing process or  ज्ञान व्यवहाराः कर्म व्यवहाराः  


Whatever you do to understand that “ I am free from maya” come under the group of knowing. It is an intellectual exercise  of jnyana yoga. This includes, study and teaching of scriptures, listening to discourse either physically or electronic media, contemplation of what you have heard and its implementation is jnyana yoga.

In the 18th chapter verses 1 to 12 dealt with karma yoga and verses 13 to 17 dealt with Jnyana yoga. From verse 18 to 40 Krishna summerizes karma yoga and jnyana yoga again but in a different perspective. He groups the knowledge into 7 topics and each topic is dealt with three dimensions of sattva, rajas and tamas. The seven topics he takes up is ज्ञानम् knowledge कर्म action and कर्ता doer. He also takes up

बुद्धि intellect ध्रुति will power  and सुखम् happiness. Each of these subjects Krishna classifies into sattvika rajasika and tamasika. 

Knowledge is the precursor of all our Actions. When you know an object or a thing you develop राग द्वेष or likes and dislikes to it. This is the first stage  of knowing or जानाति. You will never like or dislike an unknown object. If you like the object or idea you will go after it or move towards it. It is called  प्रवृत्ति or inclination. If you do not like an object or idea you will go away from it. Such an attitude is called निवृत्ति.  

Your attitude to an object is driven by the knowledge of the object from which arises  राग द्वेष or likes and dislikes to the object. One hunded years back we had no knowledge of TV, Cinema, Fan, air conditioner and so many gadets that are common today. It is because we had no knowledge of them.

Threfore, the mechanism is जानाति, इछ्चते and यतते, knows, desires and goes after. The whole life is like that. That is why the corporates are spening so much money in advertiing their products in the media. The first thing is the consumer should be attracted to the product, get interested in it, decide to buy it and finally act upon it to close the deal. This is called AIDA attention, interest, decision and action.

The human activities can be broadly classified into two headings: the knowing process and doing process or  ज्ञान व्यवहाराः कर्म व्यवहाराः

All the purifying sadhanas like yajnya, dana, tapa, pilgrimage and puja are karmayoga. All actions done to educate us that “I am free, I am not para prakruti or the body” is called jnyana yoga.

Krishna tells us that ज्ञान व्यवहारः involves three facors of subject, object and instrument. कर्म व्यवहारः  also involves three factors of subject, object and instrument.

ज्ञानम् ज्ञेयम् परिज्ञाता त्रिविधा कर्मचोदना -Jynana the knowledge, jneyam the object of knowledge or the knowable, and jnyata or परिज्ञाता the knower or the subject  are the three factors that promote an action.  

With his faculty of mind one understands or knows the object which is called knowable or ज्ञेयम्. He understands the essential character of the object. In other words he gets ज्ञानम् or knowledge of the object. jñānam, jñēyam, parijñāta  is the triad of promoter of action कर्मचोदना

karma includes all material actions promted by desire and attachment. In this context jñānam generates desire and

action. It is the knowledge of everything in the world; except self-knowledge. We should not include self-knowledge here. All the other material knowledge, all the other āpara vidyā creates desires; whereas parā vidyā is not a creator of desire; on the other hand, it is the one which removes the desire

because I find that I am happy as I am.

let us take an example to understand the threesome. There is a cake in a container kept on a table. We want to know what is there in the container. So it becomes  ज्ञेयम् the knowable. When you open the lid of the container you come to know that it is a cake. You become परिज्ञाता or simply ज्ञाता the knower. By the faculty of your mind, you conclude that it is a cake by seeing it, touching it, smelling it and tasting it. Thus you get ज्ञानम् or knowledge of the object. Together these three are called jnyana triputi or triad of knowledge. This triad jointly induces an action.

Swami Muktananda says, “Knowledge” is the primary impetus for action; it provides understanding to the “knower” about the “object of knowledge.” This triad jointly induces action. For example, knowledge of the incentive to be paid by the employer motivates employees to work; The knowledge  of the discovery of gold in several parts of the world led to gold rush involving feverish migration by workers. Awareness of the importance of winning a medal in the Olympics motivates sportspersons to practice for years.

करणम् कर्म कर्ता इति त्रिविधाः कर्मसंग्रहः –The instrument, the object , and the doer are together called Karma triputi or threefold constituents of action. कर्ता The doer कर्म the object and करण the instrument is the threefold constituent of action It is called karma triputi or triad of action. They jointly promote an action.

To summarize, the drivers of an action कर्मचोदना are: ज्ञानम् ज्ञेयम् परिज्ञाता – Kowledge, the knowable, and knower.

कर्मसंग्रहः the constitunts of an action or the basis of an action are: kartā (doer), kāraṇa (the instrument of action), and  karma (the act itself).


VERSE – 18: 19

Knowledge, action and doer are of three kindsज्ञानं कर्म च कर्ता च त्रिधैव गुणभेदतः ।प्रोच्यते गुणसंख्याने यथावच्छृणु तान्यपि ॥१८:१९॥ 

jñānaṁ karma ca kartā ca tridhaiva guṇabhēdataḥ |

prōcyatē guṇasaṁkhyānē yathāvacchr̥ṇu tānyapi ||18:19||

ज्ञानम् कर्म च कर्ता च त्रिधा एव  गुणभेदतः

प्रोच्यते गुणसंख्याने यथावत् श्रुणु तानि अपि    

ज्ञानम्- knowledge कर्म-action च-and कर्ता-doer च-and त्रिधा-of thee kinds एव-certainly गुणभेदतः-according to their gunas or material modes प्रोच्यते- is declared गुणसंख्याने- in the branch of the knowledge which deals with gunas यथावत्-as they are श्रुणु-listen तानि- them अपि- also   

Knowledge, action, and the doer are declared to be of three kinds in the Sānkhya philosophy, distinguished according to the three modes of material nature. Listen, and I will explain their distinctions to you.


ज्ञानम् कर्म च कर्ता च त्रिधा एव  गुणभेदतः – ज्ञानम् Knowledge, कर्म

the action and कर्ता  the doer are of three kinds according to their nature or Gunas. कर्ता, the doer and (परिज्ञाता) the knower are not two separate entities. In verse 18, the first line discussed ज्ञानम् ज्ञेयम् परिज्ञाता त्रिविधा कर्मचोदना separately as the impetus for action. In the second line was mentioned करणम् कर्म कर्ता इति त्रिविधा कर्मसंग्रहः  as the basis for an action. That is why the Lord has omitted to discuss the knower separately.

In this verse the Lord has omitted to consider the knower or परिज्ञाता  of the first triad  कर्ता, the doer of the second triad because both are same.

प्रोच्यते गुणसंख्याने यथावत् श्रुणु तानि अपि – Their three-fold

nature has been mentioned in the science of gunas. Listen to them duly from me.

Swami Mukundanada says:

Tāmasic happiness is of the lowest kind and is foolishness from beginning to end. It throws the soul into the darkness of ignorance. And yet, since there is a tiny experience of pleasure in it, people get addicted to it. That is why cigarette smokers find it difficult to break their habit, even while knowing fully well it is harming them. They are unable to reject the happiness they get from the addiction. Shree Krishna states that such pleasures—derived from sleep, laziness, and negligence—are in the mode of ignorance.

VERSE – 18: 20

The charaaceeristc  of Sattvik knowledgeसर्वभूतेषु येनैकं भावमव्ययमीक्षते ।अविभक्तं विभक्तेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि सात्त्विकम् ॥१८:२०॥ 

sarvabhūtēṣu yēnaikaṁ bhāvamavyayamīkṣatē |

avibhaktaṁ vibhaktēṣu tajjñānaṁ viddhi sāttvikam ||18:20||

सर्वभूतेषु येन एकम् भावम् अव्ययम् ईक्षते

अविभक्तम् विभक्तेषु तत् ज्ञानम् विद्धि सात्त्विकम्   

सर्वभूतेषु- in all beings येन- by which एकम्- one भावम्-existence, consciousness   अव्ययम्- imperishable, indestructible  ईक्षते- sees अविभक्तम्-undevided  विभक्तेषु- in diversity तत्-that  ज्ञानम्-knowledge  विद्धि- understand सात्त्विकम्-  is in the mode of sattva  

Understand that knowledge to be sattvik by which a person sees one undivided imperishable reality within all diverse living beings.


Krishna takes up the first topic of knowledge, action and doer. He starts with Knowledge of jnyanam in this verse. What is that knowledge? It is how I look upon myself? As a Jiva or as a body? Based on my attitude  I am classified as tamasik, rajasik or sattvik

Swami Paramarthananda says: Self-knowledge has to grow in three levels: I am body level – level one; I am the mind – level two; I am the consciousness – level three. The first level is called tāmasa jñānam; the second level is rājasa jñānam; and the third and final is sātvika jñānam. Krishna is starting from the sātvik level. Now look at the slōkā.


सर्वभूतेषु येन एकम् भावम् ईक्षते –that knowledge by which  one perceives the imperishable divine existence in all beings. येन means by  which. This refers to the sankhya knowledge सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि which maintains that 5 factors are necessary for the culmination of a work. We see diversity in the world. The different animals, humans, beasts, snakes, birds, quadripedes, centipedes, lives in water, sky and land as different due to their names and forms. They are the containers and have different names and forms which keep on changing. But a realized man does not see the diversity but sees only the content or the infinite atman abiding in all beings.

एकम् भावम् अव्ययम् – भावम् means existence which is अव्ययम् or imperishable, nirvikāram  meaning without any change. The body and mind tend to change. asthi, jāyatē, vardhātē, vipariṇamatē, vipakṣīyate; vinaśyati. The mind also continuously changes, and when the body is growing old, the mind also becomes weaker..

अविभक्तम् विभक्तेषु तत् ज्ञानम् विद्धि सात्त्विकम्  sees  one imperishable realiy in the diverse beings. येन ज्ञानेन by Sankhya knowledge. अविभक्तम् विभक्तेषु unity in diversity. He sees one in many,  bodies are many and minds are many. The Gross bodies are many. The mind or the subtle bodies are many. But the consciousness is only one. The jiva in all bodies is the same. It is not many. Bulbs are many. filaments are many but the power is ony one.

Such a realization is called sattvika. The space in a pot is called pot space or घटाकाश. It is the same as the outside space or महाकाश. Similarly, the soul in all beings is the same as Brahman.

VERSE – 18: 21

The characteristic of rajasik knowledgeपृथक्त्वेन तु यज्ज्ञानं नानाभावान्पृथग्विधान् ।वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तज्ज्ञानं विद्धि राजसम् ॥१८:२१॥

pr̥thaktvēna tu yajjñānaṁ nānābhāvānpr̥thagvidhān |

vētti sarvēṣu bhūtēṣu tajjñānaṁ viddhi rājasam ||18:21||

पृथक्त्वेन तु यत् ज्ञानम्  नानाभावान् प्रथग्विधान्

वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तत् ज्ञानम्  विद्धि राजसम्  

पृथक्त्वेन-as different from one another तु-however यत्-which ज्ञानम्- knowledge नानाभावान्- manifold existences प्रथग्विधान्- of diverse kinds वेत्ति-considers सर्वेषु भूतेषु- in all living entities तत्- that ज्ञानम्- knowledge  विद्धि- know राजसम्- as rajasik 

That knowledge however is to be considered as rajasik by which one sees the manifold living entities in diverse bodies as separate individuals and unconnected.


पृथक्त्वेन तु यत् ज्ञानम्  नानाभावान् प्रथग्विधान् -that knowledge however, by which one cognizes many existeneses.

वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तत् ज्ञानम्  विद्धि राजसम्  Since the living beings have distinct shape and form and temperament unique to them, it must be concluded that necessarily they have different souls as well.  This belief is rajasik in nature.


VERSE – 18: 22

The charecteristics of tamasik knowledgeयत्तु कृत्स्नवदेकस्मिन्कार्ये सक्तमहैतुकम् ।अतत्त्वार्थवदल्पं च तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥१८:२२॥ 

yattu kr̥tsnavadēkasminkāryē saktamahaitukam |

atattvārthavadalpaṁ ca tattāmasamudāhr̥tam ||18:22||

यत् तु  कृत्स्नवत् एकस्मिन् कार्यॆ सक्तम् अहैतुकम्

अतत्त्वार्थवत् अल्पम् च तत् तामसम्  उदाहृतम्   

यत्-which तु-however कृत्स्नवत्-as if it were the whole  एकस्मिन्- one body कार्यॆ-which is an effect सक्तम्-attached अहैतुकम्- without reason, irrational अतत्त्वार्थवत्-without any real objective अल्पम्-narrow च- and तत्-that तामसम्-as tamasik उदाहृतम्- is declared

Again, that knowledge is said to be tamasik, which clings to one body as if it were the whole, and which is has no basis of reason  or truth.


यत् तु  कृत्स्नवत् एकस्मिन् कार्यॆ सक्तम् अहैतुकम् –That however, by which a man comes to regard his body, which is an evolute of matter, as his own self and stays attached to body consciousness. He identifies with the joy and grief of the body and destruction of the body as destruction of self. He does not know that the body and consciousness are different identities. This is no knowledge in the real term.  The lord calls such knowledge as अहैतुकम्- without reason , irrational

अतत्त्वार्थवत् अल्पम् च तत् तामसम्  उदाहृतम्    

अतत्त्वार्थवत्-without any real objective अल्पम्-narrow. The Lord  does not even use the word jnyanam or knowledge while describing tamasik type

VERSE – 18: 23

 Charecteristcs of a sattvik  karmaनियतं सङ्गरहितमरागद्वेषतः कृतम् ।अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत्तत्सात्त्विकमुच्यते ॥१८:२३॥ 

niyataṁ saṅgarahitamarāgadvēṣataḥ kr̥tam |

aphalaprēpsunā karma yattatsāttvikamucyatē ||18:23||

नियतम् सङ्गरहितम् अरागद्वेषतः कृतम्

अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत् तत् सात्विकम् उच्यते  

नियतम्-in accordance with scriptures सङ्गरहितम्-free from attachment and aversion अरागद्वेषतः-without love or hatred  कृतम्-done  अफलप्रेप्सुना-by one not desirous of fruit  कर्म-action यत्-which तत्-that सात्विकम्-as in the mode of sattvika उच्यते- is called

Action that is in accordance with the scriptures, which is free from attachment and aversion, and which is done without desire for rewards, is in the mode of sattva.

Swami Paramarthananda says:

Krishna summerized two principle sadhanas of Karma yoga and Jnyana yoga in verses 1 to 17 of 18th chapter. Now from 17he verse to 40 th verse he discusses 7 topics and and each topic into three categoies of sattvik, rajasik and tamasik vairieties.

In verses 20, 21 and 22 he talks about 3categoreis of jnyanam or spiritual knowledge. Of these 3, Tamasik knowledge is very natural knowledge to all men. They instinctively believe that “ I am the physical body”. This is the conclusion of materialistic people and also some philosophers like charvakas. In the verse he completed jnyanam and takes up karma in verse 23


नियतम् सङ्गरहितम् अरागद्वेषतः कृतम् –The कर्म  or actions that are ordained by scriptures, which  are  free from attachement and aversion, and performed without love or hatred. नियतम् कर्म means all obligatory duties that are prescribed by the scriptures for performance daily or on special occasions. This includes yajnya, dana, tapa, (sacrifice, charity and austerity) and all other noble acts done for the benefit of society. Those that are prohibited (निषिद्ध कर्म)  or desire oriented actions are not included  (काम्य कर्म) in niyata karma .

Since niyata karma also has phalam, he offers it to God. The yogi knows he  is not doing the action. It is done by gunas. It is like a puppet  show where the puppeter moves the strings to make the body of puppet move. The gunas move the body into action.

Raga dwesha oriented karmas are rajasik karmas.

अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत् तत् सात्विकम् उच्यते   The action done by a person who has no desire  is called sattvik in nature. The compound word अफलप्रेप्सुना stands for the unselfish man who has abandoned the sentiments of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ with regard to the actions and its enjoyments.

Which are the niyatam karma? This subject has been dealt with in detail in 3rd chapter. It isa also described in Tattiriya upanishat as आवहंती होम  āvahaṁtī hōma . This homa is practiced to get wealth. Here he is just recalling to our memory. They are inner growth oriented karmas.

Deva Yagna (worship of Devas)

Pitr Yagna (worship of one’s forefathers)

Bhuta Yagna (worship of ficve )

Manushya Yagna (worship of fellow humans)

Bramha Yagna (worship of knowledge)

This is the yajnya where I contribute for the welfare of the cosmos and help us in living in harmony.

VERSE – 18: 24

Characteristcs of Rajasik actionयत्तु कामेप्सुना कर्म साहंकारेण वा पुनः ।क्रियते बहुलायासं तद्राजसमुदाहृतम् ॥१८:२४॥ 

yattu kāmēpsunā karma sāhaṁkārēṇa vā punaḥ |

kriyatē bahulāyāsaṁ tadrājasamudāhr̥tam ||18:24||

यत् तु  कामेप्सुना कर्म सा अहंकारेण  वा पुनः

क्रियते बहुलायासम् तत् राजसम् उदाहृतम्  

यत्-which तु-however कामेप्सुना-prompted by selfish desire कर्म-action सा-with अहंकारेण-with egotism वा-or पुनः-again क्रियते-is performed बहुलायासम् –with much effort (बहुल- great, much आयासम्-effort) तत्-that  राजसम्-rajasik उदाहृतम्-is said to be

The action, however, that is prompted by selfish desire, performed  with egotism, and full of stress, is in the nature of rajas.


यत् तु  कामेप्सुना कर्म सा अहंकारेण  वा पुनः –The action performed by a desire centric person and with egotism . यत् तु means however. In the previous verse God spoke about an unselfish man  (अफलप्रेप्सुना) but in this verse the subject changes to a person who acts with an ulterior selfish motive (कामेप्सुना). His activity is not only self-centred but also done with egotism. He goes on craving for enjoyments of progeny, power, prestige, property and comforts in this world and next.  He has mine-ness and ”I” feeling in his activities.

सा अहंकारेण  -means performed with arrogance and ego. He brags about his actions and his achevements. He identifies himself with the body and the rewards of his action.

क्रियते बहुलायासम् तत् राजसम् उदाहृतम्   performed with stress and strain to body and mind. A sattvik yogi  has no body consciousness , and so, he has no sense of doership of action, His action  does not involve hardship and excess exertion. What he is doing is karma yoga. A rajasik man toils the whole day to secure the benefits.

Let us now consider what is the phala or reward of rajasik

ulterior motive centred karma. 

1.Rajasic action binds the embodied soul (jeeva) by action and its fruit (कर्मसङ्गेन देहिनम् निबध्नाति Gita 14:7)

  1. The fruit of rajasic guna is grief. रजसः तु फलम् दुःखम् 14:16

Due to the stress and strain of desire prompted action often done for show off has bad results on the body and mind. the mind becomes irritable, agitated and suspicious.

He becomes either reticent, or bad tempered. In the first case he supresses his internal qualm and puts up a show of smile on the face. In the second case he bosses over every one and finds that others are the cause of his misery. He cannot control the sizzling mind and tries to get some relief by alcohol and vices. The melancholy and overbearing attitude bears a mark on his health. His family and collegues also bear the brunt of his bad temper.

VERSE – 18: 25

Charactreristics of a tamasik actionअनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसामनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम् ।मोहादारभ्यते कर्म यत्तत्तामसमुच्यते ॥१८:२५॥ 

anubandhaṁ kṣayaṁ hiṁsāmanavēkṣya ca pauruṣam |

mōhādārabhyatē karma yattattāmasamucyatē ||18:25||

अनुबन्धम् क्षयम् हिंसाम् अनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम्

मोहात् आरभ्यते कर्म यत् तत् तामसम् उच्यते 

अनुबन्धम्-conseqences क्षयम्-loss to oneself हिंसाम्- injury to others अनवेक्ष्य-by disregarding च-and पौरुषम्-one’s own capacity मोहात्- through sheer ignorance आरभ्यते-is undertaken कर्म-acion  यत्- which तत्- that तामसम्- tamasika उच्यते- is spoken of

The action which is undertaken through sheer ignorance, disregarding the loss to oneself, injury to others and without thought to one’s ability is spoken of as tamasik.

अनुबन्धम् क्षयम् हिंसाम् अनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम् –disregarding the consequnces of loss to oneself, injury to others and without taking into account one’s ability. Before launching a new enterprize one should thoroughly examine the pros and cons  of his action. अनुबन्धम् means consequences.  क्षयम् loss to oneself in terms of input of action, money and time. हिंसाम् injury to others hardship to human beings, and to eco-system.

पौरुषम् अनवेक्ष्य – beyond his capacity. One should form an estimate of his physical and mental capacity, funds available, profit and loss rating etc. It is said stretch your leg according to your coverlet.

मोहात् आरभ्यते कर्म यत् तत् तामसम् उच्यते – The action which is undertaken through ignorance is called tamasik action. A tamasik action is that which does not take into account all these consideration but started headlong. Tamas is ignorance and lack of knowledge. Gita 14:17 says:

प्रमाद मोहौ तमसः भवतः अज्ञानम् एव च

-Heedlessness, delusion and ignorance breed  from tamas. Tamas veils intellect, blocking a man’s capacity to judge between right and wrong. A tamasik man is reborn in the womb of animals and insects or is condemned to hell. So a wise man should never be tamasik

VERSE – 18: 26

The charecteristics of a sattvik kartruमुक्तसङ्गोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वितः ।सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योर्निर्विकारः कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८:२६॥ 

muktasaṅgō’nahaṁvādī dhr̥tyutsāhasamanvitaḥ |

siddhyasiddhyōrnirvikāraḥ kartā sāttvika ucyatē ||18:26||

मुक्तसङ्गः  अनहंवादी धृति उत्साह समन्वितः 

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः निर्विकारः कर्ता सात्त्विकः उच्यते   

मुक्तसङ्गः-free from worldly attachment अनहंवादी- free from ego धृत्युत्साहसमन्वितः-endowed with firmness and enthusiasm (धृति-strong resolve उत्साह- zeal समन्वितः-endowed with) सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः-in success and failure (सिद्धि-success  असिध्योः-failure) निर्विकारः-unaffected कर्ता- a doer सात्त्विकः-of sattvik nature उच्यते- is said to be  

An agent is said to be in sattvik mode, when he or she is free from egotism and attachment, endowed with enthusiasm and determination, and equipoised in success and failure.

In the verses 26, 27, and 28 Krishna deals with three types of karta,  the Sattvik, rajasik and tamasik . He has already spoken about sattvika, rajasika and tamasika karma. Dependg upon the type of karma, he becomes appropriate karta.

मुक्तसङ्गः अनहंवादी धृति उत्साह समन्वितः – free from worldly attachment, egotism and endowed with determination and enthusiasm. सङ्गः is attachment, association with action and its fruit. A muktasanga is free from (mukta) attachment and connection with body and mind. So he does not entertain feelings of ‘my’ and ‘mine’. He has no desire to own the fruit of action in the form of power, progeny, prestige and property. Karma is useful only to purify the mind. Gradually the sadhaka becomes free fom karma and asakti.

न कमर्मणा  न प्रजया धनेन, त्यगनैके अमतृतत्व मानशुः Gradually, he drops his interest in engagement of karma like a student who drops the college after graduation. A karma yogi is not

attached to even service activities because he knows the

limitations of karma. One who is मुक्तसङ्गः and  अनहंवादी is a saatvik karta.

अनहंवादी is one who has no ego. Ego or ahankara  is an exaggerated self importance, conceipt. In Vedanta ego means  aham, ‘I’- ness or ‘my-ness’, projected by the mind rather than the real self. He ceases to identify himself with the mind, intellect, and the sense of  body and mind. He knows that these are other than self (anatma). He does not claim doership of any action.  

धृति उत्साह समन्वितः– endowed with determination, and

enthusiasm . A man who is endowed with firmness and zeal does not shirk his duty even when faced with heaviest odds.

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः निर्विकारः कर्ता सात्त्विकः उच्यते   He is not overwhelmed on completion of an action or feels miserable if there is some disruption in its comlepletion. A man of perfection being free from ‘I’- ness and ‘my-ness’ is not affected by the success or failure of his action. Nevertheless he continues to do the action to his best as offering to God. He is always balanced in his approach. This is called samatvam or equipoise. He involves in an enterprise because it is dear to God but not for his own benefit. To summerize, the qualitis of a sattvik karma are four- fold

  1. मुक्तसङ्गः
  2. अनहंवादी
  3. धृति उत्साह समन्वितः
  4. सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः निर्विकारः

The above four are the characteristics of a man of perfection or a sattvik man. A man who performs sattvika karma becomes a sattvik karta.

VERSE – 18: 27

Charecteristics of a rajasik karta

रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुर्लुब्धो हिंसात्मकोऽशुचिः ।

हर्षशोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः ॥१८:२७॥

rāgī karmaphalaprēpsurlubdhō hiṁsātmakō’śuciḥ |

harṣaśōkānvitaḥ kartā rājasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ ||18:27||

रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः लुब्धः हिंसात्मकः अशुचिः

हर्षशोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः  

रागी-passionate, attached to material growth  कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः-seeker of fruit of action (कर्मफल-fruit of action प्रेप्सुः-coveter) लुब्धः-greedy हिंसात्मकः- oppressive by nature अशुचिः -impure हर्षशोकान्वितः- affected by joy and sorrow (हर्ष-joy शोक- grief अन्वितः-endowed with) कर्ता-a doer राजसः-mode of rajas परिकीर्तितः-is spoken of

The doer who is full of attachment, seeks fruit of actions and is greedy, and who is oppressive by nature and of impure conduct and is afflicted by joy and sorrow is called Rajasika – Goyandka

रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः लुब्धः हिंसात्मकः अशुचिः -The doer who is craving for the fruits of his action, greedy and violent-natured and impure is called a rajasik doer. रागी is attached to material growth.  कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः values the external possessions more than internal assets- one who is after name, fame, possessions, power and property– all externals. He does not bother about his internal growth into a man of abundant peace and love. Paramarthananda says peace, security and happiness does not depend on what I have but on what am I. लुब्धः is a greedy person. He wants accumulate everything but shares nothing. हिंसात्मकः An inveterate greedy man wants to accumulate and hoard at any cost. He has no objection to resort to violence and harming others. अशुचिः means unclean. This has more to do with his attitude. He is doubtful, jealous , greedy short tempered and prone to harm others and society also. 

हर्षशोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः   The rajasik doer is

affected by joy and sorrow.  His mind is swayed by joy and grief, attraction and aversion to every action.

The above charecteristics are the marks of an action by a man of rajasik nature.  Such a person undergoes repeated death and birth and so one should always avoid rajasic action.

VERSE – 18: 28

Charecteristics of a tamasik manअयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठो नैष्कृतिकोऽलसः ।विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते ॥१८:२८॥ 

ayuktaḥ prākr̥taḥ stabdhaḥ śaṭhō naiṣkr̥tikō’lasaḥ |

viṣādī dīrghasūtrī ca kartā tāmasa ucyatē ||18:28||

अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठः नैष्कृतिकः आलसः

विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते   

अयुक्तः- lacking of self-control प्राकृतः-uncultured, vulgar स्तब्धः- obstinant शठः- cunning नैष्कृतिकः-robbing others of their livelihood, vile आलसः-slothful, lazy विषादी-unhappy and morose दीर्घसूत्री-procrastinating च-and  कर्ता-doer तामस-tamasika उच्यते-is said to be

A tamasik performer is one who is lacking in self-control, uncultured, stubborn, deceitful, malicious, slothful, despondent, and procrastinating.


अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठः नैष्कृतिकः आलसः – one who is lacking in self-control, uncultured, stubborn, deceitful, slothful

अयुक्तः -one who is not been able to control his mind and senses. The mind and senses are the masters and the jiva is servant. He is also lacking in faith and pity

प्राकृतः -uncultured. That means he has not received proper education, un- etiquette.

स्तब्धः-stubborn. A craftly swindler who contrives plan to

defraud others

शठः -deceitful.

नैष्कृतिकः– malicious, robbing others of their livelihood.

आलसः – lazy, slothful. He is a man lacking in zeal. His mind is ever inactive, he wants to do nothing. 

विषादी -despondent, dejected, depressed. He grieves for everything.  If he is not married he is unhappy, if he is married he is unhappy. Meloncholy, complaint, are his constant accomplices. The lord says:

चिन्तामपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिता: |

कामोपभोगपरमा एतावदिति निश्चिता: || 11||

 They are obsessed with endless anxieties that end only with death. Still, they maintain with complete assurance that gratification of desires and accumulation of wealth is the highest purpose of life.

दीर्घसूत्री -A man of sluggish habits, procrastinator. A file which has to cleared in one day, he takes one week. He does not attend to any work. He postpones everything. And whatever work he started, he leaves it incomplete. He is not timely in making the insurance payment, road tax or property tax. He misses all appointments.

कर्ता तामस उच्यते – Such a doer is called of tamasik nature. अधो गछ्चंति तामसाः a tamasik men fall down in the scale of evolution. They are reborn in sub-human species such as beasts and insects. Hence a man seeking beatitude should not fall into tamasik mode.

VERSE – 18: 29

 Three fold nature of intellect and firmness explained बुद्धेर्भेदं धृतेश्चैव गुणतस्त्रिविधं शृणु ।प्रोच्यमानमशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनंजय ॥१८:२९॥  

buddhērbhēdaṁ dhr̥tēścaiva guṇatastrividhaṁ śr̥ṇu |

prōcyamānamaśēṣēṇa pr̥thaktvēna dhanaṁjaya ||18:29||

बुद्धेः भेदम् धृतेः च एव गुणतः त्रिविधम् शृणु

प्रोच्यमानम् अशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनंजय    

बुद्धेः-of intellect भेदम्-distinctions धृतेः-of determination firmness च-and एव-certainly गुणतः-according to their gunas त्रिविधम्- three-fold शृणु- hear प्रोच्यमानम्- being told by me – अशेषेण-in detail  पृथक्त्वेन-distinctly धनंजय-  O conqueror of wealth  

Hear now, O Arjuna, the three-fold divisions of

intellect and determination,  as I describe them in detail.


We have so far studied three types of jnyana, karma, and karta. Now Krishna is going to discuss three types of buddhi or intellect and thee types of firmness.


बुद्धेः भेदम् धृतेः च एव गुणतः त्रिविधम् शृणु – hear from me three-fold divisions of intellect and determination. Mind (मनः) Buddhi, (बुद्धि ) and memory (स्मृति)  together is called  antahkarana (अन्तःकरण) or internal organ as against the 10 external organs

चंचलात्मकम् मनः निश्चयात्मिका बुद्धिः mind is wavering in nature, and buddhi is of determination.  Jnyana or knowledge is of three types as described in the verses 20, 21 and 22 of this chapter is a product of buddhi. Verse 18 mentions jnyana as one of the factors that motivate action कर्म चोदना. The same verse says buddhi is the chief karana (करणम् ) or tool or instrument of action. –Goyandka

Dhruti is the faculty of holding on to an idea or principle . It is a function of buddhi or intellect. Dhruti is also of three kinds.

प्रोच्यमानम् अशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनंजय –  Arjuna!, I am now going to explain to you in detail, separately the three fold nature of buddhi and dhruti

VERSE – 18:30

Characteristics of sattvik buddhiप्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये ।बन्धं मोक्षं च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी ॥१८:३०॥ 

pravr̥ttiṁ ca nivr̥ttiṁ ca kāryākāryē bhayābhayē |

bandhaṁ mōkṣaṁ ca yā vētti buddhiḥ sā pārtha sāttvikī ||18:30||

प्रवृत्तिम् च निवृत्तिम्  च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये

बन्धम् मोक्षम् च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सः पार्थ सात्त्विकी  

प्रवृत्तिम्-the path of right activity च-and निवृत्तिम्  -the path of renunciation च-and कार्याकार्ये- what ought to be done and what ought to be avoided (कार्य- proper action अकार्ये-improper action) भयाभये –fear and fearlessness (भय-fear अभये- without fear) बन्धम्- bondage मोक्षम्- liberation च-and या- which वेत्ति- understands बुद्धिः-intellect सा- that पार्थ-O Arjuna, the son of Pritha सात्त्विकी –  is in the nature of sattva.

The intellect is said to be in the nature of goodness, O Partha, when it understands what is proper action and what is improper action, what is duty and what is non-duty, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, what is binding and what is liberating.Swami Muktananda 

प्रवृत्तिम् च निवृत्तिम्  च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये –The intellect which knows what is proper action and what is improper action, what is duty and what is non-duty; what is to be feared and what is not to be feared.

The way to God realization is twofold. One is karma yoga and the other is sanyasa yoga.  A karmayogi performs all actions prescribed by the scriptures in a disinterested way. He gives up ownership of the work and its rewad. He knows that all actions are done by the gunas and he has no role in it.

Karya is the action to be performed because it is prescribed by the shastras or because it is good for the public and is not self centred. Akarya is nishedha (proscribed) karya and therefore has to be shunned always.

Fear is an emotion perceived by a threat. An irrational fear is called phobia.  The threat may be reral or imaginery. It is called bhaya. The absence of such a threat is called abhaya. By right knowledge one attains a state of fearlessness. This is an important step in spiritual sadhana.

बन्धम् मोक्षम् च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी  – The intellect which  knows what is binding and what is liberating is called sattvik mode. Bandha or binding action makes the jiva to go though birth and death. When all the evil and good karma-s are attenuated by karmayoga, bhakti yoga and jnyana yoga, the soul is liberated.  It attains moksha.

The second path is the path of renunciation. Here also the sanyasi has no ahankara. The  सर्व कर्म संन्यासी abandons all actions. He constantly remains in reflecting the vibhuti of God, hearing his praize, his kindlness etc.

बन्धाय विषयासक्तम् मुक्तम् निर्विषयम् स्मृतम्‌  When the mind is attached to objects it causes bondage and when it is free from objects it causes liberation. –Amruta bidnu Upanishad

बन्धम् मोक्षम् च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी – One who knows what ations are  binding and what are liberating is called a satvik buddhi.

VERSE – 18:31

Rajasik Buddhi explainedयया धर्ममधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यमेव च ।अयथावत्प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी ॥१८:३१॥ 

yayā dharmamadharmaṁ ca kāryaṁ cākāryamēva ca |

ayathāvatprajānāti buddhiḥ sā pārtha rājasī ||18:31||

यया धर्मम् अधर्मम् च कार्यम् च अकार्यम् एव च

अयथावत् प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी   

यया- by which धर्मम्- righeounss अधर्मम्-un-righteousness च- and कार्यम्-right conduct च-and अकार्यम्-wrong conduct एव-certainly च- also अयथावत्- not as they are प्रजानाति-perceives बुद्धिः-such a intelelct सा-that पार्थ- O Arjuna राजसी- is rajasik  

The intellect is considered in the mode of rajas when it is confused between righteousness and unrighteousness, and cannot distinguish between right and wrong conduct.

यया धर्मम् अधर्मम् च कार्यम् च अकार्यम् एव च –the intellect which is confused between right and wrong action, righteousness and un-righteousness is called rajasik.  To make a proper

decision about the choices available to you, one needs to have discrimination or viveka. Arjuna also suffered from this problem and could not decide whether it is better for him to participate in the battle or shun the conflict.

धर्मम्– All actions prescribd by the shastras. This includes

virtues like non-voilence, truth, tranquility, continence, subjugation of mind, study and teaching of scriptures, governanece, trade, commerce,  agriculture etc.

अधर्मम्– prohibited action, causing harm to a person or

society, polluting the nature etc

कार्यम्– Duty, actions to be performed mandatorily. nitya naimitika akamya karma. yagnya, tapas (नित्य नैमित्तिक अकाम्य कर्माणि यज्ञ तपस् उपवास)

अकार्यम् – Actions  that are to be shunned. false hood, injury, etc.

अयथावत् प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी –   The rājasic intellect becomes mixed due to personal attachments. At times it sees clearly, but when self-interest comes into play, it becomes tainted and confused. For example, there are people who are very competent in their profession, but childish in familial relationships. They succeed on the career front but become

utter failures on the home front because their attachment prevents them from proper perception and conduct. The rājasic intellect, colored by attachments and aversions, likes and dislikes is unable to discern the proper course of action. It becomes confused between the important and the trivial, the permanent and the transient, the valuable and the insignificant. -Swami Mukundananda

VERSE – 18:32

Characteristics of tamasik mindअधर्मं धर्ममिति या मन्यते तमसावृता ।सर्वार्थान्विपरीतांश्च बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी ॥१८:३२॥ 

adharmaṁ dharmamiti yā manyatē tamasāvr̥tā |

sarvārthānviparītāṁśca buddhiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī ||18:32||

अधर्मम् धर्मम् इति या मन्यते तमसा आवृता

सर्वार्थान् विपरीतान् च  बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी   

अधर्मम्-adharma धर्मम-as dharma इति- thus या-which मन्यते-imagines तमसा-by tamas आवृता-shrouded सर्वार्थान्-all things (सर्व- all अर्थान्-things) विपरीतान्-contrary च-and बुद्धिः-intellect  सा-that पार्थ-O Arjuna तामसी-as tamasik

That intellect which is shrouded in darkness, imagining adharma  to be dharma, and perceiving all things contrary to truth, is of the nature of tamas.   

अधर्मम् धर्मम् इति या मन्यते तमसा आवृता –That intellect which is wrapped in darkness and imagines adharma as dharma. It is a perverted intellect which regards denunciation of god, moral values, disrespect to Guru and elders , hypocracy, adultery, lying, oppressing others, usurping others property, troubling others as right action. They defend their action. They also denounce the virtues such as co-opertion, helping others in times of difficulty, straightforwardness, pity, kindlness, not harming others, truth, respect to elders and guru, partaking sattvika food as adharma.  

सर्वार्थान् विपरीतान् च  बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी    perceiving all things contrary to truth, is of the nature of tamas. The perverted intellect thinks the fleeting pleasures as permanent, this life is only for enjoyment and brought about by mutual sexual relationship and there is nothing more to it.

This type of intellect degrades the human soul in spiritual evolution. Therefore those who seek beatitude should never be swayd by tamasik approach.–Goyandka

VERSE – 18:33

The nature of sattvik will powerधृत्या यया धारयते मनःप्राणेन्द्रियक्रियाः ।योगेनाव्यभिचारिण्या धृतिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी ॥१८:३३॥  

dhr̥tyā yayā dhārayatē manaḥprāṇēndriyakriyāḥ |

yōgēnāvyabhicāriṇyā dhr̥tiḥ sā pārtha sāttvikī ||18:33||

धृत्या यया धारयते मनः प्राणेन्द्रियक्रियाः

योगेन अव्यभिचारिण्या धृतिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी   

धृत्या- by will power यया- which धारयते-controls मनः- of the mind प्राणेन्द्रियक्रियाः- functions of the mind, vital airs and senses (प्राण-life force इन्द्रिय-senses क्रियाः-activities) योगेन-through yoga  अव्यभिचारिण्या धृतिः-unwavering will power सा-that पार्थ- O Arjuna सात्त्विकी- is of the mode of sattva 

The will power that is developed through Yoga of meditation, and which sustains the activities of the mind, the vital airs, and the senses, is said to be in the mode of sattva.

धृत्या यया धारयते मनः प्राणेन्द्रियक्रियाः –the will power which controls the activities of the mind, vital airs and senses. Dhruti means firmness, fortitude. It is the courage of conviction by which one will not deviate from the goal, inspite of harships and failure. Thre are many courageous people. Some show it in the battlefield, some in mountenaring, in swimming across English channel etc. The dhruti mentioned here is the courage and firmness in attaining the spiritual goal of God realization. Such men do not succumb to worldy attractions and pleaure.

योगेन अव्यभिचारिण्या धृतिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी – Such a conviction is constant and does not change with time. The sattvika dhruti has only one object of God realization. It does not

deviate from its purpose and has no diverse motives. That is why the sattvika dhrti is called अव्यभिचारिणी or faithfull, steady.

VERSE – 18:34

The nature of tamasik will powerयया स्वप्नं भयं शोकं विषादं मदमेव च ।न विमुञ्चति दुर्मेधा धृतिः सा पार्थ तामसी ॥१८:३५॥ 

yayā svapnaṁ bhayaṁ śōkaṁ viṣādaṁ madamēva ca |

na vimuñcati durmēdhā dhr̥tiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī ||18:35||

यया स्वप्नम् भयम् शोकम् विषादम् मदम् एव च 

न विमुञ्चति दुर्मेधाः धृतिः सा पार्थ तामसी   

यया-by which स्वप्नम्- sleep भयम्-fear शोकम्-grief विषादम्-dejection, dispair मदम्- conceit, vanity  एव-indeed च- and

न- not विमुञ्चति-gives up दुर्मेधाः-an evil-minded person धृतिः- will power सा-that  पार्थ- Arjuna तामसी-  Tamasik in nature

The will power by which an evil-minded person refuses to abandon sleep, fear, grief, dejection, and  vanity  is said to be of Tamasik nature 

यया स्वप्नम् भयम् शोकम् विषादम् मदम् एव च  -The will power by which one clings to sleep, fear, grief, melencholy and vanity .

sleep means dark ignorance. Fear is the outcome of agitation of losing the beloved objets. When one’s physical and mental strength is down one becomes melancholic. The swollen head produced by wealth, possession, and sleaze is called

conceipt  (धनकनक कामिनी कांचन)

The confusion created by  स्वप्नम् भयम् शोकम् विषादम् मदम् , the product of Tamoguna. It also causes प्रमाद-carelessness, negligence  आलस्य-indolence laziness निद्रा-excessive sleep, drowsiness 

न विमुञ्चति दुर्मेधाः धृतिः सा पार्थ तामसी –   A tamasik man is more attached to sensual and carnal pleasure than dealings with spirituality. So, he clings to physical pleasure and does not abandon स्वप्नम् drowsiness, भयम् fear शोकम् grief विषादम् and melancholy

The Lord calles such a person as दुर्मेधाः a man of evil mind.

VERSE – 18:35

The nature of sattvik happynessसुखं त्विदानीं त्रिविधं शृणु मे भरतर्षभ ।अभ्यासाद्रमते यत्र दुःखान्तं च निगच्छति ॥१८:३६॥  

sukhaṁ tvidānīṁ trividhaṁ śr̥ṇu mē bharatarṣabha |

abhyāsādramatē yatra duḥkhāntaṁ ca nigacchati ||18:36||

सुखम् तु इदानीम्  त्रिविधम्  शृणु मे भरतर्षभ

अभ्यासात्  रमते  यत्र दुःखान्तम् च निगच्छति    

सुखम्-happiness तु-however इदानीम्-now त्रिविधम्-three-fold  शृणु-hear में-from me भरतर्षभ-O best among the bharatas (भरत- Among Bharata-s रिषभ-the best ) अभ्यासात्-by practice  रमते- rejoices यत्र-in which दुःखान्तम्- end of all suffering च- and निगच्छति –reaches

And now hear from me, O Arjuna, about the three kinds of happiness in which the embodied soul rejoices, and can even reach the end of sarrow.   

सुखम् तु इदानीम्  त्रिविधम्  शृणु मे भरतर्षभ Now hear from me, three types of joy . The Lord has classified so far jnayna, karma, karta, buddhi and dhruti into three classes of sattva, rajas and tamas.   Now he sets out to classify sukha or joy.            

The ultimate motive behind people’s actions is the search for happiness. Everyone desires to be happy, and through their actions they seek fulfillment, peace, and satisfaction. But since everyone’s actions differ in their constituent factors, the kind of happiness they derive out of their work is also different. Shri Krishna now goes on to explain the three categories of happiness.      –Swami Mukundananda     


अभ्यासात्  रमते  यत्र दुःखान्तम् च निगच्छति The pleasure  that one enjoys from spiritual practice results in the cessation of all sarrows.

VERSE – 18:37

The nature of sattvik happiness यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम् ।तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम् ॥१८:३७॥

yattadagrē viṣamiva pariṇāmē’mr̥tōpamam |

tatsukhaṁ sāttvikaṁ prōktamātmabuddhiprasādajam ||18:37||

यत्त् तत् अग्रे विषम् इव परिणामे अमृतोपमम्

तत् सुखम्  सात्त्विकम् प्रोक्तम् आत्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम् 

यत्त्-which  तत्-that  अग्रे-at first विषम्-poison इव-like परिणामे-eventually, in the long run अमृतोपमम्- like nectar तत्- that सुखम्- happiness सात्त्विकम्- in the mode of sattva प्रोक्तम्-is said to be  आत्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम् – knowledge generated by pure, constant practice in meditation (आत्म-self बुद्धि-nowledge प्रसादजम्-generated by)

The pleasure that appears as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar in the end, comes by the grace of Self-knowledge and is in the mode of Sattvika.


यत्त् तत् अग्रे विषम् इव परिणामे अमृतोपमम् – The pleasure that appears as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar in the end. The sattvik joy appears as poison in the beginning. Later you will find it as a nectar. When you are ill the doctor prescribes bitter medicine. When you start the practice of jnyana, vairagya, dhyana, and samadhi the mind gets distracted. One has face all these disturbances and hold the mind at one thought of God. Ultimately the mind becomes still like a water in a large pond and one experiences infinite joy like nectar.

तत् सुखम्  सात्त्विकम् प्रोक्तम् आत्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम्   that happiness which is obtained by the grace of self-knowlddge is called sattvik in nature. As a result of continued practice of meditation,  the sadhaka experiences unlimited joy which tastes like nectar to him. One who enjoys the sattvika ocean of nectar has no use of rajasika and tamasika joys. The river of material joy dries up quickly after the rains have stopped.





The Indian gooseberry (āmlā) is one of those super-foods that are very beneficial for health. It has the Vitamin C of more than 10 oranges. But children dislike it, since it has astringent-  bitter taste. Parents in North India encourage children to eat it, saying: āmle kā khāyā aur baḍoṅ kā kahā, bād meṅ patā chalatā hai, “The benefits of both these—eating of āmlā and the advice of the elders—are experienced in the future.” In the above verse, Shree Krishna says that happiness in the mode of goodness is of the same nature; it seems bitter in the short-run, but it tastes like nectar in the end.

VERSE – 18:38

The nature of rajasik happiness  विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगाद्यत्तदग्रेऽमृतोपमम् ।परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम् ॥१८:३८॥ 

viṣayēndriyasaṁyōgādyattadagrē’mr̥tōpamam |

pariṇāmē viṣamiva tatsukhaṁ rājasaṁ smr̥tam ||18:38||

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगात् यत् तत् अग्रे अमृतोपमम्

परिणामे विषम् इव तत् सुखम् राजसम् स्मृतम्   

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगात्- by the contact of the sense objects with the senses (विषय्-sense objects इन्द्रिय-the senses संयोगात्- from the contact) यत्-which तत्- that अग्रे-at first अमृतोपमम्- like nectar परिणामे-in the end  विषम् इव- like poison तत्-that सुखम्-happiness राजसम्- in the mode of rajas स्मृतम् – is said to be 

Happiness is said to be in the mode of rajas  when it is derived from the contact of the senses with their objects. Such happiness is like nectar at first but poison at the end.

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगात् यत् तत् अग्रे अमृतोपमम् –The joy derived from the contact of the mind and sense organs with the sense objects appears agreeable and pleasent in the beginning. विषय

-sense objects इन्द्रिय-the senses संयोगात्- by contact

Two paths Shreyas,  the beneficial spiritual path and Preyas, the pleasant path of sensual pleasure are the optios available to us. The wise choose the former while the ignorant chooses the latter. Sensual pleasures wear out the vigor of the senses and bring diseases in the end. Sensual pleasure is not the goal of precious human birth. Even heavenly enjoyment is temporary and ends in sorrow. The goal is self-realization.

परिणामे विषम् इव तत् सुखम् राजसम् स्मृतम्    The pleasure which appears like a poison in the end is called as rajasik pleasure. The enjoyment of rajasik pleasure is fraught with danger like poison. In the beginning it gives temporary

delight and gradually the pleasure wears out. Then one tries to extract more happinessour of the object  but his work

becomes futile. He can be compared to a moth which being attracted to the colour and form of a roadside electric lamp post dashes agaisnt it and in the end burns itself out. 

रजो रागात्मकम् विद्धि तृष्णा संग समुध्भवम् 14: 07 . Rajo  guna is of the nature of passion and borne out of desire and attachment. It binds the jiva with attachment to work and its result

VERSE – 18:39

the nature of tamasik happiness यदग्रे चानुबन्धे च सुखं मोहनमात्मनः ।निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥१८:३९॥ 

yadagrē cānubandhē ca sukhaṁ mōhanamātmanaḥ |

nidrālasyapramādōtthaṁ tattāmasamudāhr̥tam ||18:39||

यत् अग्रे च अनुबन्धे च सुखम् मोहनम् आत्मनः

निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थम् तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्  

यत्- which अग्रे- enjoyment from the beginning च-and अनुबन्धे-to the end च-and सुखम्-happiness मोहनम्-stupifies आत्मनः- the self निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थम्-derived from sleep, indolence, and obstinate error (निद्रा- sleep आलस्य- indolence प्रमाद-error उत्थम्-derived from) तत्-that happiness तामसम्-in the mode of ignorence उदाहृतम्-  is said to be


The Pleasure that stupefies the self in the beginning and in the end as a result of sleep, laziness, and carelessness, is in the mode of ignorance.

यत् अग्रे च अनुबन्धे च सुखम् मोहनम् आत्मनः –that happiness which stupefies the self in the beginning as well as in the end. The jiva feels delighted due to sleep, laziness and carelessness. During sleep, the function of the mind and sense organs are suspended. That is why it said as stuypifying. So, they are not able to perceive anything. The jiva identifies with the sleep and feels happy. Similarly, the sense of comfort one feels by giving up all exertions and when one remains lying in the bed is called delight by laziness. The persuit undertaken through attachment for the sake of diversion and foolish entertainment by neglecting the duty is called pramada.  Such a person does not know what is important and what is urgent.

निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थम् (निद्रा आलस्य प्रमाद उत्थम्) तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्  – The happiness derived from excessive sleep (निद्रोत्थम्), whiling away time (आलस्योत्थम्) and carelessness, not application of mindful action (प्रमादोत्थम्) is tamasik in nature

प्रमादमोहौ तमसो भवतोऽज्ञानमेव च ||14: 17||

negligence is the casue of error, confusion  ia in he mode of tamoguna. Hence a diligent seeker has to avoid tamoguna.

VERSE – 18:40

conclusion of the subject of three gunasन तदस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः ।सत्त्वं प्रकृतिजैर्मुक्तं यदेभिः स्यात्त्रिभिर्गुणैः ॥१८:४०॥ 

na tadasti pr̥thivyāṁ vā divi dēvēṣu vā punaḥ |

sattvaṁ prakr̥tijairmuktaṁ yadēbhiḥ syāttribhirguṇaiḥ ||18:40||

न तत् अस्ति पृथिव्याम् वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः

सत्त्वम्  प्रकृतिजैः मुक्तम् यत् एभिः स्यात् त्रिभिः गुणैः   

न-not तत्-that अस्ति- exists पृथिव्याम्-on earth वा- or दिवि- in higher celestial abodes देवेषु- amongst the ceslestial gods वा- or पुनः-again सत्त्वम्- being, existence प्रकृतिजैः-born of matrail nature  मुक्तम्- liberated यत्-that एभिः-rom the influence of these स्यात्-is त्रिभिः- three गुणैः- modes of material nature or gunas

There is no being, either on the earth or among the celestial controllers in the heaven, who can remain free from these three modes of material Nature.

न तत् अस्ति पृथिव्याम् वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः –There is no being on earth or in heaven or in the realm of gods. न तत् अस्ति there does not exist anywhere in the universe an object or a being which is free from the three gunas

सत्त्वम्  प्रकृतिजैः मुक्तम् यत् एभिः स्यात् त्रिभिः गुणैः –   Who can remain free from the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas which are the products of prakruti. सत्त्वम्  means being, existing. It denotes the totality of all living and non-living beings. They are all products of prakruti and therefore cannot be free from these three modes. Then a question arises what about those perfect souls who have risen above or transcended the gunas (गुणातीत) ? How can we say  न तत् अस्ति there is no being who is not part of the gunas. This puzzle can be resolved because, although the perfect soul is a part of the world , he being identical with God should not be counted with the prakruti

VERSE – 18:41

Distribution of duties among the castes according to their innate qualitiesब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परन्तप ।कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः ॥१८:४१॥ 

brāhmaṇakṣatriyaviśāṁ śūdrāṇāṁ ca parantapa |

karmāṇi pravibhaktāni svabhāvaprabhavairguṇaiḥ ||18:41||

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशाम् शूद्राणाम्  च परन्तप

कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैः गुणैः  

ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशाम्- of the Brahmana, kshatriya and shudras  (ब्राह्मण-of the priestly class क्षत्रिय-the warriors and administrative class विशाम्- mercantile and farming class) शूद्राणाम्- the worker class च- and परन्तप-Arjuna कर्माणि- duties or functions प्रविभक्तानि- have been devided स्वभावप्रभवैः-according to the inborn qualities (स्वभाव- प्रभवैः) गुणैः- and gunas   

The duties of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras—are distributed according to their qualities, in accordance with their guas (and not by birth).

VERSE – 18:42

Natual triats of a Brahminशमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥१८:४२॥ 

śamō damastapaḥ śaucaṁ kṣāntirārjavamēva ca |

jñānaṁ vijñānamāstikyaṁ brahmakarma svabhāvajam ||18:42||

शमः दमः तपः शौचम् क्षान्तिः आर्जवम् एव च 

ज्ञानम्  विज्ञानम् आस्तिक्यम्  ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम्   

शमः-tranquility  दमः-restraint तपः-austerity  शौचम्-purity क्षान्तिः-forgiveness आर्जवम्-intedgrity एव-certainly च-and   

ज्ञानम्-knowledge  विज्ञानम्-wisdom आस्तिक्यम्- belief in Vedas and Gods ब्रह्मकर्म- of the priestly class स्वभावजम्-intrinsic qualities   

Tranquility, restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, integrity, knowledge, wisdom, and belief in scriputures and gods—these are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins.

शमः दमः तपः शौचम् क्षान्तिः आर्जवम् एव च – control of mind and senses, austerity, purity forgiving the fault of others, and straightforwardness

शमः -control of mind, freeing it from all distractions and abandoning all thoughts of worldly objects

दमःsubduing senses  and withdrawing them from external objects and engaging in God realization

तपः -austerity. observing vows, nonviolence, avoiding luxuries and leading a simple life. Practice of forgoing food on special occasions,

शौचम् -purity external and internal. Both are mentioned in chapter 16. It consists of maintaining purity of body, mind and senses. Purity of body consists of keeping the body clean free from dirt. Purity of mind includes good thought,  by reading scriptures and keeping good company and not allowing impurity to creep in. In Gita chapter 16: 1 internal purity is discussed under the name सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः.

क्षान्तिः -Forebearence. It means forgiving the faults of others

आर्जवम् -straight- forwardness. It includes acting according to your thought and not perverting or distracting.

ज्ञानम्  विज्ञानम् आस्तिक्यम्  ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम्   

ज्ञानम् – knowledge of veda and Vedanta.

विज्ञानम् –direct subjective perception of reality of God

आस्तिक्यम्  -faith in vedas and god

ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् – are the natural duties of a Brahmin

VERSE – 18:43

Natural qualities of a kshatriyaशौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् ।दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् ॥१८:४३॥ 

śauryaṁ tējō dhr̥tirdākṣyaṁ yuddhē cāpyapalāyanam |

dānamīśvarabhāvaśca kṣātraṁ karma svabhāvajam ||18:43||

शौर्यम् तेजः धृतिः दाक्ष्यम् युद्धे च अपि अपलायनम्

दानम् ईश्वरभावः च क्षात्रम्  कर्म स्वभावजम्   

शौर्यम्-valour तेजः-strength धृतिः-fortitude, will power दाक्ष्यम्  युद्धे-skill in weaponary च-and  अपि- also अपलायनम्-not fleeing from battle दानम्- bestowing gifts ईश्वरभावः- lordliness , leadership qualities च-and  क्षात्रम्-of the warrior and administrative class  कर्म स्वभावजम्- born of one’s intrinsic qualities

Valor, strength, fortitude, skill in weaponry, resolve never to retreat from battle, large-heartedness in charity, and leadership abilities, these are the natural qualities of work for Kshatriyas.

VERSE – 18:44

Natural work of Vaishyas and shudrasकृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् ।परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम् ॥१८:४४॥ 

kr̥ṣigaurakṣyavāṇijyaṁ vaiśyakarma svabhāvajam |

paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdrasyāpi svabhāvajam ||18:44||

कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यम् वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम्

परिचर्यात्मकम् कर्म शूद्रस्य अपि  स्वभावजम्   

कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यम्-agriculture, raring of cows, and honest commerce  (कृषि-agriculture गौरक्ष्य-rearing of cows वाणिज्यम्- trading and commerce) वैश्यकर्म-natural work of vaishyas स्वभावजम्- innate nature परिचर्यात्मकम्-service of other castes (परिचर्य- serving through work आत्मकम्- natural कर्म- duty) शूद्रस्य-of shudra अपि-also स्वभावजम्- borne of one’s intrinsic qualities  

Agriculture, dairy farming, and commerce are the natural works for those with the qualities of Vaishyas. Serving through work is the natural duty for those with the qualities of Shudras.

VERSE – 18:45

How a person attains perfection by following one’s natural dutiesस्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः ।स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु ॥१८:४५॥ 

svē svē karmaṇyabhirataḥ saṁsiddhiṁ labhatē naraḥ |

svakarmanirataḥ siddhiṁ yathā vindati tacchr̥ṇu ||18:45||

स्वे स्वे कर्मणि अभिरतः संसिद्धिम्  लभते नरः

स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिम्- यथा विन्दति तत्  श्रुणु   

स्वे स्वे-in respective कर्मणि-natural duties अभिरतः- keenly devoted संसिद्धिम्- perfection लभते-achieves नरः-person स्वकर्मनिरतः-a person engaged in his natutal duty सिद्धिम्- perfection यथा-as to how विन्दति-attains तत्- that श्रुणु- hear from me  

By fulfilling their duties, born of their innate qualities,

human beings can attain perfection. Now hear from me how one can become perfect by discharging one’s prescribed duties.

स्वे स्वे कर्मणि अभिरतः संसिद्धिम्  लभते नरः –The men who

perform swa-dharma or their prescribed duties obtain

supreme perfection. A brahmana is ordained to confine to his dharma of study and teaching , subjugate his mind and senses and attain purity. The kshatriya has to sow his valour in guarding the border of his nation, proper governance, and giving git to the subjects. The duty of a vaishya is agriculture, raring of cattle and onest trade. A shudra has to indulge in service. This way every one attains blessedness.

स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिम्यथा विन्दति तत्  श्रुणु    A person engaged in his natural duties  attains blessedness.

VERSE – 18:46

 यतः प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः ॥१८:४६॥ 

yataḥ pravr̥ttirbhūtānāṁ yēna sarvamidaṁ tatam |

svakarmaṇā tamabhyarcya siddhiṁ vindati mānavaḥ ||18:46||

यतः प्रवृत्तिः भूतानाम् येन सर्वं इदम्  ततम्

स्वकर्मणा तम् अभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिम् विन्दति मानवः 

यतः-from whom प्रवृत्तिः-emanation. have come into being भूतानाम्- of all living entities येन-by whom सर्वं इदम्-all this  ततम्- is pervaded स्वकर्मणा-by one’s natural action तम्-him अभ्यर्च्य-by worshipping  सिद्धिम्-perfection विन्दति- obtains मानवः-  a man

By performing one’s natural occupation, one worships the Creator from whom all living entities have come into being, and by whom the whole universe is pervaded. By such performance of work, a person easily attains perfection.

यतः प्रवृत्तिः भूतानाम् येन सर्वं इदम्  ततम् – Frm the lord emanated all beings.  The world is pervaded by the lord. In other words, God alone has revealed himself in the form of this universe.That why he is called universal person.

स्वकर्मणा तम् अभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिम् विन्दति मानवः – One can attain the higher state of perfectness by worshiping him by following the appropriate occupation in acdordance to ones innate nature.  In this way his mind gets purifiedand make him eligible to start jnyana yoga.

VERSE – 18:47

A person will not incur a sin by following his innate occupationश्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् ।स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥१८:४७॥ 

śrēyānsvadharmō viguṇaḥ paradharmātsvanuṣṭhitāt |

svabhāvaniyataṁ karma kurvannāpnōti kilbiṣam ||18:47||

श्रेयान् स्वधर्मः विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात्

स्वभावनियतम् कर्म कुर्वन् न आप्नोति किल्बिषम्   

श्रेयान्-better स्वधर्मः-one’s own prescribed occupational duty विगुणः- imperfectly done परधर्मात्- than another dharma स्वनुष्ठितात्- well performed (सु-well अनुष्ठितात्-perfectly done)

स्वभावनियतम्  कर्म-duty ordained by his own nature कुर्वन्-performing न आप्नोति- does not incur किल्बिषम् –sin

It is better to do one’s own dharma, though devoid of merit, than the duy of another well performed; for performing the duty ordained by one’s own nature, a man does no incur sin.



श्रेयान् स्वधर्मः विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात् -Adherence to one’s own duty although devoid of merit is beneficial than following another’s duty which has beneficial results. The varnas of Brahmana, kshatriya and Vaishya have earmarked duties. A brahmana has to study vedas and perform sacrifices which are his swadharma. Similarly a kshatriya has to defend the counry from enemies, should govern the state nobly for the benefit of subjects The swadharma for a Vaishya is good trading  prctices, rare ther cows and do agriculture. The svadharma of a shudra is to help all the above varnas in their duties.

स्वभावनियतम् कर्म कुर्वन् न आप्नोति किल्बिषम्    Performing the duties according to ones own innate character will not bring any sin. The karmas become akarma and dddthe karmic bondge are absolved.

VERSE – 18:48

Abandoning of swadharma duty is prohibitedसहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् ।सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः ॥१८:४८॥ 

sahajaṁ karma kauntēya sadōṣamapi na tyajēt |

sarvārambhā hi dōṣēṇa dhūmēnāgnirivāvr̥tāḥ ||18:48||

सहजम् कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषम् अपि न त्यजेत्

सर्वारम्भाः हि दोषेण धूमेन अग्निः इव आवृताः  

सहजम्-borne of one’s nature कर्म- duty कौन्तेय-Arjuna, the son of kunti सदोषम्-with defects अपि-even न-not  त्यजेत्- abandoned सर्वारम्भाः-all undertakings हि-indeed दोषेण- with defects धूमेन- with smoke अग्निः-fire इव-just as आवृताःare clouded    

One should not abandon duties born of one’s nature, even if one sees defects in them, O son of Kunti. Indeed, all

endeavors are clouded by some defect, as fire is by smoke.


सहजम् कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषम् अपि न त्यजेत् -One should not abandon one’s swadharma althoug some defects may be found in it. All karmas are the product of prakruti ahd have three gunas and therefore come with some defects. So one should follow one’s own karma as if it has been allotted to him. It should be performed as a service to God and obain freedom.

सर्वारम्भाः हि दोषेण धूमेन अग्निः इव आवृताः – all karmas involve some amount of injury and defects like smoke envelops the fire.

What are the defects in the karmas?

  1. Farming involves some injury to animals and insects

2.Cutting of trees, cooking, warfare, painting, carpentry etc also have some grade of violence.

3.Boiling the water or string it in a  sump tank invlolves some grade of injury to animals and insects.

  1. Brooming and wiping involves some grade of injury

VERSE – 18:49

How one reaches the highest state of actionlessnessअसक्तबुद्धिः सर्वत्र जितात्मा विगतस्पृहः ।नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिं परमां संन्यासेनाधिगच्छति ॥१८:४९॥

asaktabuddhiḥ sarvatra jitātmā vigataspr̥haḥ |

naiṣkarmyasiddhiṁ paramāṁ saṁnyāsēnādhigacchati ||18:49||

असक्तबुद्धिः सर्वत्र जितात्मा विगतस्पृहः

नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिम् परमाम्  संन्यासेन अधिगच्छति   

असक्तबुद्धिः-he whose intellect is unattached  (असक्त-unattached  बुद्धिः-intellect) सर्वत्र-everywhere  जितात्मा-one who has mastered his mind विगतस्पृहः- free from dessires

नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिम्-state of acionless-ness (नैष्कर्म्य सिद्धिम् )  परमाम्-highest  संन्यासेन-by the practice of renunciation  अधिगच्छति-obtains   

He whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has mastered the mind, and is free from desires by the practice of renunciation, attains the highest perfection of freedom from action.

असक्तबुद्धिः सर्वत्र जितात्मा विगतस्पृहः – He whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has mastered the mind, and is free from desires by the practice of renunciation. Krishna says, a person desirous of obtaining spiritual awakening has three qualifications. These are:

असक्तबुद्धिः-Mind attached to property, position, power and progeny. The mind is also attached to body, mind and intellect and the work done by them and enjoyments brought by them.

जितात्मा – one who has neutralized the power of mind and senses. He has full control over the vagaries of the mind which has become free of thought waves and calm.

विगतस्पृहः– one whose thirst for enjoyment has become zero. He has no need for any worldly object.

He alone who is endowed with these three qualifications can attain true knowledge of God by the practice of sankhya yoga. 

परमाम्  नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिम् संन्यासेन अधिगच्छति    One who is endowed with these thee qualifiatons attains  freedom from action by the practice of renunciation, 

नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिम्- An highest state of  accomplishment where all karmas become akarma. All karmas bring in vasanas . But when the karma is performed without any selfish interest, and for the pleasure of God it becomes akarma or no karma. That is why it does not  accrue bondage.

संन्यासेन– by the practice of renunciation. The work is not given up but the craving for the reward is given up. Swamki Muktananda says, this state can be accomplished even in the din and bustle of the world. It is just like a stream flowing under a bridge. It flows from one side and exists from another side of the bridge. The bridge is neither recipient of

water not its distributor. It remains unaffected by the flow of water. Similarly, a yogi who has given up the craze for fruit of action remains unaffected by the stream of events. He puts in his best efforts to perform the action but leaves the result to God. He remains contented and undisturbed by the events.

संन्यासेन मुक्तिम् अधिगछ्चति A jnyani obtains emancipation by sanyasa or renunciation of selfish activities.

संन्यास: कर्मयोगश्च नि:श्रेयसकरावुभौ |

तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ||5: 2||

The Supreme Lord said: Both the path of karma sanyāsa (renunciation of actions) and karma yoga (working in devotion) lead to the supreme goal. But karma yoga is superior to karma sanyāsa.  Renunciation of action with the knowledge of the Self is decidedly superior to performance of action without such knowledge.

VERSE – 18:50

How one realizes Brahman by jnyanayoga after attaining actionlessnessसिद्धिं प्राप्तो यथा ब्रह्म तथाप्नोति निबोध मे ।समासेनैव कौन्तेय निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा ॥१८:५०॥ 

siddhiṁ prāptō yathā brahma tathāpnōti nibōdha mē |

samāsēnaiva kauntēya niṣṭhā jñānasya yā parā ||18:50||

सिद्धिं प्राप्तः यथा ब्रह्म तथा आप्नोति निबोध मे

समासेन एव कौन्तेय निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा   

सिद्धिं-perfection प्राप्तः-having attained यथा- how ब्रह्म-Brahman  तथा- also आप्नोति- attains निबोध-hear में-from me समासेन- briefly एव- indeed कौन्तेय-Arjuna, the son of Kunti निष्ठा- firmly fixed, culmination, perfection  ज्ञानस्य- of knowledge या-which  परा-  transcendental 

Hear from me briefly, O Arjuna, I shall explain how one, who has attained perfection (of cessation of actions), can also attain Brahman by being firmly fixed in the transcendental knowledge.


सिद्धिं प्राप्तः यथा ब्रह्म तथा आप्नोति निबोध मे In the previous verse it was explained how one can attain the state of  actionlessness (नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धिम्) by three-fold actions. That is, abandonment of attachment, thirst for enjoyment, and subduing the mind. The next stage is absorption of mind in Brahman.O  Kaunteya, hear from me in brief  how this process is practiced. The state of actionlessness or नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धि is the consummation of Jnyanayoga or the path of knowledge.


समासेन एव कौन्तेय निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा  – O Kaunteya, hear from me in brief how this process of absorption of the mind with Brahman is practiced. परा  निष्ठा meaning highest perfection is the same as नैष्कर्म्यसिद्धि. The process of attaining Brahman is explained in the next verse

VERSE – 18:51

Eligibility to attain Godhood as per jnynayogaबुद्ध्या विशुद्ध्या युक्तो धृत्यात्मानं नियम्य च ।शब्दादीन्विषयांस्त्यक्त्वा रागद्वेषौ व्युदस्य च ॥१८:५१॥ 

buddhyā viśuddhyā yuktō dhr̥tyātmānaṁ niyamya ca |

śabdādīnviṣayāṁstyaktvā rāgadvēṣau vyudasya ca ||18:51||

बुद्ध्या विशुद्ध्या युक्तः धृत्या आत्मानम् नियम्य च

शब्दादीन्  विषयान् त्यक्त्वा  रागद्वेषौ व्युदस्य च    

बुद्ध्या-by intellect विशुद्ध्या-purifed युक्तः- endowed woth धृत्या-by will power आत्मानम्-the mind नियम्य- restraining च- and शब्दादीन्- sound and other object of senses (शब्द-sound and आदीन्-other) विषयान्- objects त्यक्त्वा- abandoning रागद्वेषौ- attachment and aversion व्युदस्य-casting aside च- and   

One becomes fit to attain Brahman when he or she possesses a purified intellect and firmly restrains the senses, by abandoning sound and other objects of the senses, and casting aside attraction and aversion.


In this and next two verses, Lord Krishna again explains the intricacies of Jnyanayoga which is the last platform for attaining Brahman


बुद्ध्या विशुद्ध्या युक्तः धृत्या आत्मानम् नियम्य च -one who has pure intellect controls the mind and senses with his will power.  Pure intellect retains no traces of sin carried over from the previous lives. How the mind and senses is controlled is explained in the next line 

शब्दादीन्  विषयान् त्यक्त्वा  रागद्वेषौ व्युदस्य च    by abandoning sound and other objects of the senses, and casting aside

attraction and aversion. Each sense organ has a sense object which compels the mind to run after the worldy enjoyments.

शब्द स्पर्श रूप रस and गन्ध are the sense objects. Each of them sends out stimilii to to the respective senses about the nature of the source of joy available. The mind has memory of the enjoyment or aversion from its previous experience. It eggs on to the intellect about the source of enjoyment available at hand. It is the intellect which has to decide whether to yield to the temptation of enjoyment or refrain from it. धृत्या means by will power or firmness  of the intellect. The

sadhaka has to refrain from the temptation of the external source of joy. He has to decide that this joy is ephemeral and does not lead him to the spiritual goal.

VERSE – 18:52

Eligibility to attain Godhood as per jnynayoga- continuedविविक्तसेवी लघ्वाशी यतवाक्कायमानसः ।ध्यानयोगपरो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रितः ॥१८:५२॥

viviktasēvī laghvāśī yatavākkāyamānasaḥ |

dhyānayōgaparō nityaṁ vairāgyaṁ samupāśritaḥ ||18:52||

विविक्तसेवी- living in a lonely and undefiled place ( विविक्त-solitude सेवी-enjoyer) लघ्वाशी-partaking sattvika, light and regulated diet (लघु- light आशी-partaker) यतवाक्कायमानसः-one having controlled speech, body and mind (यत- won over वाक्-speech काय-body  मानसः-mind ) ध्यानयोगपरः– devoted to the yoga of meditation नित्यम्-always वैराग्यम्-dispassion समुपाश्रितः- having taken shelter in 

Such a person relishes solitude, eats lightly, controls his  body, mind, and speech, practices dispassion and is ever

engaged in meditation.

 विविक्तसेवी लघ्वाशी यतवाक्कायमानसः –Such a yogi who wants to attain emancipation loves to live in solitude. He chooses a place in the forest or a lonely temple where he can contemplate without any disturbance. He changes his life style choosing one which is conductive to his meditation. He partakes sattvik food in regulated quantity. Just a limited diet cannot bring about yoga. He has to indulge in limited speech that too only in respect of devine thoughts. Anger, jeolosy, and other unhealthy actions are abandoned. These practices help the yogi to avoid excess of sleep, and sloath. He becomes alert to the thought and actions about God. The mind does not get provocated but remains ever in a tranquil state.  ध्यानयोगपरो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रितः   He is devoted to the yoga of meditation. That means he holds his mind and intellect always in the thought of Brahman (आत्म विषय). The word nityam suggests that other practices such as mantra japa, karma yoga are not necessary for him. Finally dispassion is the key to all his practices. Viraga is the absence of passion orraqga.  Such a condition is called vairagyam. He has no craze or desire for anything concerning this world or the next.  

VERSE – 18:53

 Eligibility to attain Godhood as per jnynayoga- continued अहंकारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् ।विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ॥१८:५३॥ 

ahaṁkāraṁ balaṁ darpaṁ kāmaṁ krōdhaṁ parigraham |

vimucya nirmamaḥ śāntō brahmabhūyāya kalpatē ||18:53||

अहंकारम् बलम् दर्पम् कामम् क्रोधम् परिग्रहम्

विमुच्य निर्ममः शांतः ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते   

अहंकारम्-egotism बलम्-voilence दर्पम्- arrogance कामम्-desire क्रोधम्- anger परिग्रहम्- receiving anything, property , covetousness विमुच्य- giving up निर्ममः- devoid of the feeling of meum  शांतः- peaceful ब्रह्मभूयाय- union with Brahman कल्पते- becomes fit  

Freed from egotism, violence, arrogance, desire,  anger, covetousness,  and the notion of ‘mine, ’ the yogi becomes peaceful and qualified for oneness with Brahman


अहंकारम् बलम् दर्पम् कामम् क्रोधम् परिग्रहम् – Freed from egotism, violence, arrogance, desire,  anger, covetousness.

Ahankaram or egotism is identification of jiva with the body, senses and mind. It is due to this identification that a man arrogates for himself the actions done by the body, mind and intellect. Balam or violence refers to the audacity to bring others into one’s sway by coercion. Darpa or arrogance is the offencisive display of superiority or self-importance. The displayed objects are his heritage, family, power, riches, learning and strength. Kāmam is desire. It is the longing for obtaining the enjoyments in this world or next. Krodha is anger. It is the feeling of provocation or excitement aroused in the mind when someone acts against one’s will. Parigraha means

receiving anything for one’s own use. It also refers to hoarding of luxurious objects. If one shuns parigraha such an act is called अपरिग्रह.

विमुच्य निर्ममः शांतः ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते    freed from the notion of meum,  the yogi becomes peaceful and qualified for

 oneness with Brahman. Nirmama is freed from ‘my-ness. This is a very important ste in self-realization. The yogi completely renounces the feeling of me and mine in regard to his body, mind and intellect. For him the body is a stranger and does not belong to him. He also disowns his birth, nationality, and ceases to distinquish an object, activity or life as his own or alien. —Goyandka.

As a result of practice of thse divine qualities (chaper- 16) the yogi becomes eligible for absorption with Brahman and quickly becomes one with Brahman.

VERSE – 18:54

The culmination of Jnyanayoga is supreme devotionब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति ।समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिं लभते पराम् ॥१८:५४॥ 

brahmabhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śōcati na kāṅkṣati |

samaḥ sarvēṣu bhūtēṣu madbhaktiṁ labhatē parām ||18:54||

ब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति

समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिम् लभते पराम्   

ब्रह्मभूतः-the Sankhya yogi who has become one with Brahman प्रसन्नात्मा-cheerful in mind  न-not शोचति-grieves for any one न- not काङ्क्षति-craves for anything  समः-the same सर्वेषु-towards all  भूतेषु- beings मद्भक्तिम् -devotion to me लभते-obtains  पराम्- supreme  

A Sankhya yogi  situated in the identity with  transcendental Brahman,  becomes mentally cheerful, and neither grieves for any one nor craves for anything.  He is equitably disposed towards all beings, such a yogi attains supreme

devotion to me.


ब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति – A Sankhya yogi  situated in the identity with  transcendental Brahman,  becomes mentally cheerful, and neither grieves for any one nor craves for anything.  A sankhya yogi who has become one with Brahman is called  Brahmabhutah. By the constant practice of

śamādi  ṣaṭkasaṁpatti  शमादि  षट्कसंपत्ति , his mind becomes cool and serene, he ceases to exhibit unhealthy response to unfavourable situations. He ramians ever cheerful. The state of brahmabhūtaḥ is the same as “I am Brahman” अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि, or सोहम्.

समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिम् लभते पराम्  He is equitably disposed towards all beings, such a yogi attains supreme devotion to me. The sankhya yogi does not view any living being as other than himself, hence he ceases to differentiate one from another. He comes to develop the feeling of oneness towards all. –Goyandka.

The word madbhaktim (मद्भक्तिम्) or supreme devotion to me is the fruit of jnyanayoga , and it is the culmination of jnyana or knowledge and its realization. Such a yogi becomes one with Brahman. It is the same  state of yadgatvā na nivr̥ttantē (यद्गत्वा न निवर्तंते  and  brahmabhūyāya kalpatē  (ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते).  

VERSE – 18:55

The supreme devotion leads to  realization of truth and emanciationभक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः ।ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् ॥१८:५५॥

bhaktyā māmabhijānāti yāvānyaścāsmi tattvataḥ |

tatō māṁ tattvatō jñātvā viśatē tadanantaram ||18:55||

भक्त्या माम् अभिजानाति यावान् यः च अस्मि तत्त्वतः

ततः माम्  तत्त्वतः ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम्    

भक्त्या- through devotion माम्-me, the supreme spirit अभिजानाति-comes to know यावान्-of what magnitude यः च अस्मि- as I am तत्त्वतः- in reality ततः-then माम्-me तत्त्वतः-in reality ज्ञात्वा-having known विशते- enters तदनन्तरम्- thereafter   

Through devotion to me does one come to know me in reality, what and how great I am; and threby knowing me in essence, he forthwith enters into my being.


भक्त्या माम् अभिजानाति यावान् यः च अस्मि तत्त्वतः – Through devotion to me does one come to know me in reality, what and how great I am. In verse 50 the Lord explained that actionless- ness (नैष्कर्मसिद्धि) is the highest culmination of jnyanayoga. This is the point of convergence of different paths of realization namely jnyanayoga, bhakti yoga, karmayoga and dhyanayoga. At this pint it was pointed out in the previous verse that one attains highest devotion to me (मद्भक्तिम् लभते पराम्). This is the state of realization of truth. He comes to know the real character of God, his qualified formless aspect, and how he emerges with a form from the formelss aspect. He also realizes how God reverts to his formless aspect. The diversity of any kind ceases to exist in his mind Goyandka

ततः माम्  तत्त्वतः ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम्     and threby knowing me in essence, he forthwith enters into my being.

VERSE – 18:56

Attainment of salvation through detion and karmayogaसर्वकर्माण्यपि सदा कुर्वाणो मद्व्यपाश्रयः ।मत्प्रसादादवाप्नोति शाश्वतं पदमव्ययम् ॥१८:५६॥ 

sarvakarmāṇyapi sadā kurvāṇō madvyapāśrayaḥ |

matprasādādavāpnōti śāśvataṁ padamavyayam ||18:56||

सर्वकर्माणि अपि सदा कुर्वाणः मद्व्यपाश्रयः

मत्प्रसादात् अवाप्नोति शाश्वतम् पदम् अव्ययम्  

सर्वकर्माणि-all actions  अपि-though सदा-always कुर्वाणः- performing मद्व्यपाश्रयः- the karmayogi who has taken refuse in me (मत्-in me व्यपाश्रयः-taken refuse) मत्प्रसादात्- by my grace (मत्- by my प्रसादात्- grace) अवाप्नोति-attains शाश्वतम्- eternal पदम्- abode अव्ययम्-imperishable

My devotees though performing all kinds of actions, takes full refuge in me. By my grace, he attains the eternal and imperishable abode.

सर्वकर्माणि अपि सदा कुर्वाणः मद्व्यपाश्रयः – In the previous verse, Krishna explained that through bhakti the devotee enters into full awareness of him. Equipped with it, he sees everything in its connection with God. He sees his body, mind, and intellect as the energies of God; he sees his material possessions as the property of God. He sees all living beings as part and parcel of God.  In that divine consciousness, he does not give up work, rather he renounces the pride of being the doer and enjoyer of work. He sees all work as devotional service to the Supreme, and he depends upon him for its performance. – Swami Mukundananda

मत्प्रसादात् अवाप्नोति शाश्वतम् पदम् अव्ययम् – By my grace he enters the eternal imperishable state of God-hood which is truth-consciousness-bliss (सत् चित् आनन्द). Such a state is called padam or abode. This truth has been called by different names such as siddhi, samsiddhi, and para-bhakti.

VERSE – 18:57

Lend your mind to me and perform all activities in the spirit of Buddhiogaचेतसा सर्वकर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्परः ।बुद्धियोगमुपाश्रित्य मच्चित्तः सततं भव ॥१८:५७॥ 

cētasā sarvakarmāṇi mayi saṁnyasya matparaḥ |

buddhiyōgamupāśritya maccittaḥ satataṁ bhava ||18:57||

चेतसा सर्वकर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्परः

बुद्धियोगम् उपाश्रित्य मच्चित्तः सततम्  भव   

चेतसा- mentally सर्वकर्माणि- all activities मयि-in me संन्यस्य- dedicating मत्परः- having me as the supreme goal (मत्-me परः-goal) बुद्धियोगम्- yoga in the form of even-mindedness उपाश्रित्य-taking shelter मच्चित्तः- the mind constantly given to me, thinking of me (मत्-me चित्तः-mind) सततम्-always भव- be  

Mentally resigning all your activities to me and taking recourse to the yoga of even-mindedness, constantly give your mind to me 

चेतसा सर्वकर्माणि मयि संन्यस्य मत्परः –having me as your

supreme goal resign all your activities to me. Since all my personal and public activites are offered to the feet of God, I undertake all the activities as his service. Everything belongs to him and nothing belongs to me. As Mahatma Gandhi said, I am only a trustee to look after his possessions. So I have no cravings.  All actions are done at his behest, and to my best for his sake and under his guidance.

बुद्धियोगम् उपाश्रित्य मच्चित्तः सततम्  भव – Taking recourse to buddhi yoga constantly,  give your mind to me. Arjuna I do not neded to your wealth, power, possessions and kingdom. Just offer your mind to me. बुद्धियोग means yoga in the form of evern mindedness; the yoga of equinamity.  It is also called समत्व बुद्धियोग Sankhya yoga or Jnyanayoga. Here the sadhaka views failure or success, joy or grief, living or non-living beings, with equal mind. He has no attraction or revulsion, He has no preference or animosity. Whatever happens in the world is controlled by the will of God. मच्चित्तः your mind

irrivocaly lent to me. His mind is focussed on god during his all actions of eating, driking. walking. sleeping or awake.

VERSE – 18:58

Following the lords counsel leads to upliftment and disobeying him leads to downfallमच्चित्तः सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात्तरिष्यसि ।अथ चेत्त्वमहंकारान्न श्रोष्यसि विनङ्क्ष्यसि ॥१८:५८॥

maccittaḥ sarvadurgāṇi matprasādāttariṣyasi |

atha cēttvamahaṁkārānna śrōṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi ||18:58||

मच्चित्तः सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात् तरिष्यसि

अथ चेत् त्वम् अहंकारात् न श्रोष्यसि विनङ्क्ष्यसि   

मच्चित्तः- with your mind given to me (मत्-to me चित्तः-mind) सर्वदुर्गाणि-all obstacles  मत्प्रसादात्-by my grace  (मत्-my प्रसादात्-grace) तरिष्यसि – you shall overcome अथ-now चेत्-in case त्वम्-you अहंकारात्-due to ego न- not श्रोष्यसि- do not listen विनङ्क्ष्यसि- you will perish

If you remember me always, by my grace you will overcome all obstacles and difficulties. But if, due to pride, you do not listen to my advice, you will perish.


मच्चित्तः सर्वदुर्गाणि मत्प्रसादात् तरिष्यसि –With your mind given to mem you shall tide over all difficulties by my grace. In the previous verse the Lord said, perform all your activities in erms of jnyana yoga mentally resigning all your activities unto me. Continuing this theme, the Lord says by my grace you will cross all your trial and tribulations. You will be exempted from the great ordeal of birth and death and would attain me.

अथ चेत् त्वम् अहंकारात् न श्रोष्यसि विनङ्क्ष्यसि    But if, due to pride, you do not listen to my advice, you will perish. The Lord warns Arjuna that in case he does not listen to his

counsel he will be doomed that means it involves great risk.

VERSE – 18:59

 यदहंकारमाश्रित्य न योत्स्य इति मन्यसे ।मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस्ते प्रकृतिस्त्वां नियोक्ष्यति ॥१८:५९॥ 

yadahaṁkāramāśritya na yōtsya iti manyasē |

mithyaiṣa vyavasāyastē prakr̥tistvāṁ niyōkṣyati ||18:59||

यत् अहंकारम् आश्रित्य न योत्सॆ इति मन्यसे

मिथ्या एषः व्यवसायः ते प्रकृतिः त्वाम् नियोक्ष्यति   

यत्-if अहंकारम्-egotism आश्रित्य-taking shelter न- not योत्सॆ-I will not fight इति- thus मन्यसे-you think मिथ्या- is vain एषः-this व्यवसायः- resolve ते-your प्रकृतिः- material nature त्वाम्- you नियोक्ष्यति- will engage  

If, motivated by pride, you think, “I shall not fight,” your decision will be in vain. Your own material (Kshatriya) nature will compel you to fight.

यत् अहंकारम् आश्रित्य न योत्सॆ इति मन्यसे –In case due to your egotism you decide “ I will not to fight”.  Krishna knows Arjuna’s mind very well. A doctor knows the condition of the patient well.

मिथ्या एषः व्यवसायः ते प्रकृतिः त्वाम् नियोक्ष्यति    Your resolve not fight is futile. Any way the  war will start whether you join it or not. Then you will impulsively join the battle due to your innate nature of being a warrior.  When the tumultuous war cry starts alongwith the blare of war cry; drum and other instruments, the blowing of the conches, the sound made by  elephants and horses, the clinging of the swords you will be instinctively drawn to the battle without your realizing it.

There is a story of a war horse lying injured in a field. No amount of egging could make the horse stand up. Then one general paraded a small unit of infantry consisting of horses and elephants . Hearing their war cry, this horse which lay in a pit unable to stand up was charged with gusto and joined the infantry. This shows how one is drawn into an activity albeit his wish.  

VERSE – 18:60

one will be compelled to do an action according to his innate nature or gunaस्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा ।कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन्मोहात्करिष्यस्यवशोऽपि तत् ॥१८:६०॥ 

svabhāvajēna kauntēya nibaddhaḥ svēna karmaṇā |

kartuṁ nēcchasi yanmōhātkariṣyasyavaśō’pi tat ||18:60||

स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा

कर्तुम् न इच्छसि यत् मोहात् करिष्यसि  अवशः अपि तत्

स्वभावजेन- born of one’s material nature कौन्तेय-Arjuna, the son of Kunti निबद्धः-bound by स्वेन-by your own कर्मणा- past actions कर्तुम्-to do न- not इच्छसि- willing यत्- which मोहात्- out of delusion करिष्यसि- you will do  अवशः-helplessly अपि- een though तत्-that

O Arjuna, that action which out of delusion you do not wish to do, you will be driven to do it by your own inclination, born of your own material nature.

स्वभावजेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा –One is bound by duty borne out of his predisposition. Arjuna was a kshatriya and fighting is his natural duty.

कर्तुम् न इच्छसि यत् मोहात् करिष्यसि  अवशः अपि तत् –

If you do not wish to undertake you duty out of misplaced argument, still you will perforce be drawn into war because it is your immanent nature. Otherwise you will be caught in the mesh of attraction and aversion and continue to drift in the samsara of births and deaths. We have acquired our immanent nature over several lives The advise is act according to your prakruti and don’t go against it. Arjuna adduced illogical argument as to why he wants to refrain from war.  

VERSE – 18:61

The God resides in the heart of all and revolves them into cycle of birth and death according to their Karmic effectईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥१८:६१॥ 

īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ hr̥ddēśē’rjuna tiṣṭhati |

bhrāmayansarvabhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā ||18:61||

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानाम् हृद्देशे आर्जुन तिष्ठति

भ्रामयन् सर्वभूतानि  यन्त्रारूढानि मायया   

ईश्वरः-the supreme Lord, inner controller सर्वभूतानाम्- of all creatures हृद्देशे- in the hearts आर्जुन-Arjuna तिष्ठति- resides भ्रामयन्- causing to go round and round ( according to their respective karmas) सर्वभूतानि-all living beings   यन्त्रारूढानि- seated on the vehicle (of body) यन्त्र-machine अरूढानि-seated  मायया-  by his illusive power 

 The Supreme Lord dwells in the hearts of all living beings, O Arjuna. According to their karmas, he causes them to revolve by his illusive power of maya  as if seated on a machine made of matter.

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानाम् हृद्देशे आर्जुन तिष्ठति  The Supreme Lord dwells in the hearts of all living beings. In bhagawad Gita Krishna has repeatedly confirmes that he dwells in the heart of all beings.

सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो मत्तः स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च ।

वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् ॥15:15॥

I am seated in the hearts of all living beings, and from Me come memory, knowledge, as well as forgetfulness. I alone am to be known by all the Vedas, am the author of the Vedānta, and the knower of the meaning of the Vedas.

The lord is seated in the heart of all beings in the form of jiva or soul. He rules over and guides us in all activities. He energises the inert body like the steam engine is engergised by the steam and gets locomotion. The lord is like a puppeteer who pulls the strings from above and manipulates the pipette into action.


भ्रामयन् सर्वभूतानि  यन्त्रारूढानि मायया – He causes them to

revolve in the  cycle of birth and death of samsara. The lord figuratively compares the jiva or soul being seated on a vehicle. The motion of the vehicle lends motion to Jiva to ride the roller coaster of samsara. Although the jiva is immovable and actionless, since he identifies himself with the body and mind, the acitivity of the body is attributed to the soul due to ignorance. With the motion of the vehicle , the driver also gets into motion. How god stays in the heart of everyone? Like a driver of a vehicle as a यंत्रारूढ.

VERSE – 18:62

Surender to God and you will reach the etrnal Brahmanतमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत ।तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम् ॥१८:६२॥

tamēva śaraṇaṁ gaccha sarvabhāvēna bhārata |

tatprasādātparāṁ śāntiṁ sthānaṁ prāpsyasi śāśvatam ||18:62||

तम् एव शरणम् गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत

तत् प्रसादात् पराम्  शान्तिम्  स्थानम् प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्   

तम्-Him, God एव-alone शरणम् गच्छ-surender सर्वभावेन-whole heartedly  भारत-Arjuna, O descendent of Bharata तत् प्रसादात्-by his grace पराम्-supreme शान्तिम्- peace स्थानम्-the abode प्राप्स्यसि-you will attain शाश्वतम्- eternal

Surrender exclusively unto him with your whole being, O Bharata. By his grace, you will attain perfect peace and the eternal abode.

तम् एव शरणम् गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत -O Bharata, Surrender unto him with your whole being. तम् एव Him alone. This refers to the Almighty the all-supporting, all-pervading God who is seated in the hearts of all. शरणम् गच्छ-surender means offer your mind, intellect  and body to him. Your wealth, power are at his sevice. Goyandka says, “Recognizing him as your

supreme goal, and provider of safety, well being and security”. Offer all your activites and their outcome to him. Accept whatever you get as his prasada without any complaint.

तत् प्रसादात् पराम्  शान्तिम्  स्थानम् प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्  –  By his grace you will attain supreme peace and the eternal state. You will reach such a destination, having gone there there is no return. That why it is called शाश्वतम्   or eternal. All his sins, sorrows and bondage are washed away. He is filled with griefless joy, and realizes the eternal Brahman who is sat chit ananda.

VERSE – 18:63

Conclusion. Ponder over my teachings and take your own decision whether to join war or notइति ते ज्ञानमाख्यातं गुह्याद्‌गुह्यतरं मया ।विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु ॥१८:६३॥ 

iti tē jñānamākhyātaṁ guhyād–guhyataraṁ mayā

vimr̥śyaitadaśēṣēṇa yathēcchasi tathā kuru ||18:63||

इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातम् गुह्यात् गुह्यतरम्  मया

विमृश्य एतत् अशेषेण यथा  इच्छसि तथा कुरु   

इति-thus ते-to you ज्ञानम्-knowledge आख्यातम्- has been explained गुह्यात् गुह्यतरम- more secret than the secret iself मया- by me विमृश्य-pondering carefully एतत्- this esoteric wisdom अशेषेण-fully यथा- as इच्छसि-you wish तथा- so  कुरु- do  

 Thus, I have explained to you this knowledge that is more secret than all secrets. Ponder over it deeply, and then do as you wish.

इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातम् गुह्यात् गुह्यतरम् मया  Thus, I have explained to you this knowledge which is more secret than all secrets. The word ज्ञानम् or knowleddge explained by the Lord includes all the gospel expressed between verses Chaper 2:11 to chapter 18:62. He has explained his virtues, glory, truth and essential character. The lord calls this esoteric knowledge as Secret of the secrets because unless initiated one will not understand it. It requires a Guru to reveal it.

विमृश्य एतत् अशेषेण यथा  इच्छसि तथा कुरु  –  Ponder over it deeply, and then do as you wish. Please introspect over several disciplines taught by me, come to your own decision and act as you like. यथा  इच्छसि तथा कुरु  That means you decide whether to join the war or not.

VERSE – 18:64

The Lord confirms why he is revealing this secret knowledge to Arjuna

सर्वगुह्यतमं भूयः शृणु मे परमं वचः ।

इष्टोऽसि मे दृढमिति ततो वक्ष्यामि ते हितम् ॥१८:६४॥ 

sarvaguhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ śr̥ṇu mē paramaṁ vacaḥ |

iṣṭō’si mē dr̥ḍhamiti tatō vakṣyāmi tē hitam ||18:64||

सर्वगुह्यतमम् भूयः शृणु मे परमम् वचः

इष्टः असि मे दृढम् इति ततः वक्ष्यामि ते हितम्   

सर्वगुह्यतमम्- the most esoteric of all भूयः- again शृणु- hear में-from me परमम्-supreme वचः-instructions इष्टः-dear असि-you are to me में-to me दृढम्-exceedingly इति-thus  ततः-because वक्ष्यामि- I am speaking ते-for your  हितम्- benefit  

Hear again my supreme instruction, the most confidential of all knowledge. I am revealing this for your benefit because you are very dear to me.


सर्वगुह्यतमम् भूयः शृणु मे परमम् वचः – Hear again my supreme instruction, the most confidential of all knowledge. What is the secret of  which has been declared openly in a war front? Still it remains राजविद्या रज गुह्य योग, and  गुह्यतमम् because it cannot be understood without a Guru. So many books on Gita are available in all languages of the world, still the knowledge remains a secret. The Lord says, “My supreme words”. He has revealed in his gospel his own virtues, glory, greatness, the essential character of his divine power. GThe lord wants Arjuna to hear his mystery and divinity.

इष्टः असि मे दृढम् इति ततः वक्ष्यामि ते हितम् –   I am revealing my esoteric power for your benefit because you are very dear to me. Tbhe lord has given a choice to Arjuna, “I have given you proper knowledge and now you have to decide your action.

VERSE – 18:65

The Lord’s pledge that his devotees will get salvationमन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥१८:६५॥ 

manmanā bhava madbhaktō madyājī māṁ namaskuru |

māmēvaiṣyasi satyaṁ tē pratijānē priyō’si mē ||18:65||

मन्मनाः भव मद्भक्तः मद्याजी माम् नमस्कुरु

माम् एव एष्यसि सत्यम् ते प्रतिजाने प्रियः असि मे  

मन्मनाः-let your thought be about me भव-become मद्भक्तः- my devotee मद्याजी-my worshipper माम्-to me नमस्कुरु-offer obeisance माम् to me only- एव-certainly एष्यसि-you will come सत्यम्-truely ते- to you प्रतिजाने- I promise प्रियः-beloved असि-you are  में-to me

Always think of me, be devoted to me, worship me, and

offer obeisance to me. Doing so, you will certainly come to me. This is my pledge to you, for you are very dear to me.


मन्मनाः भव मद्भक्तः मद्याजी माम् नमस्कुरु – Always think of me, be devoted to me, worship me, and offer obeisance to me. This is a very important verse in Gita. It is the essence of the gospel of Krishna namely, jnyana yoga, karma yoga and bhakti yoga.

मन्मनाः भव let your mind be filled with my memory. This word indicates  jnyana yoga. It involves freedom from all types of unjust distinction and partiality. मद्भक्तः भवBecome my devotee. This word indicates bhakti yoga or the path of devotion. It involves freedom from egotism, ‘my-ness ‘and ‘mine-ness’ (यतवाक्कायमानसः) मद्याजी भव become my worshipper. This word indicates  Karma yoga or the path of right action. It involves freedom from attachment to karma, the rewards of karma and ownership of karma कर्म संग, कर्त्वत्व and भोक्त्रत्व.

This shloka is a repeat of Chapter 9:34

माम् नमस्कुरु– offer obeisance to me. This word is indicative of surrender. I surrender unto the Lord the साधन, साध्य and प्रयोजन. The lord is all powerful, wise, all pervading, the ruler and inner controller of all. I bend down my head in his honour.

माम् एव एष्यसि सत्यम् ते प्रतिजाने प्रियः असि मे   Doing so, you will certainly come to me. This is my pledge to you, for you are very dear to me.

VERSE – 18:66

lay aside all your dharma and surrender to me. I will free you from all sinsसर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥१८:६६॥

sarvadharmānparityajya māmēkaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja |

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarvapāpēbhyō mōkṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ ||18:66||

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य माम् एकम्  शरणम् व्रज

अहम् त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यः मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः  

sarvadharmānparityajya māmēkaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja |

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarvapāpēbhyō mōkṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ ||18:66||

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य माम् एकम्  शरणम् व्रज

अहम् त्वाम्  सर्वपापेभ्यः मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः  

सर्वधर्मान्-all dharmas परित्यज्य- abandoning माम्- unto me एकम्-only  शरणम्- take refuge व्रज-take अहम्-I त्वा-you  सर्वपापेभ्यः- all sins मोक्षयिष्यामि- shall liberate मा-do not शुचः- worry, fear 

Abandon all dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sins; do not fear.

In verse 65 and 66 of 18th chapter Loerd Krishna summarizes entire teaching of Gita. In verse 65 he summeriness karma yoga and verse 66 he summerizes jnyana yoga.

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य माम् एकम्  शरणम् व्रज –resigning all your dharmas unto me; the all powerful, all supporting Lord.  In his phrase the words, Dharma, and parityajya needs detailed examination. First line is jnyana yoga. Offer all your noble works unto me

Dharma: dharayati iti dharma.that which holds, the principal or law that holds the universe, the individual conduct in conformity with this principle. Dharma also means the essential function or  nature of a thing.

Swamy Chinmayananda has dealt with this subject exhaustively in his commentery on the verse. Every object  has two types of properties, essential and non-essential. A substance can remain without its non-essential characteristics. The

colour of the flame, the length and width of the toungues of the flame are its non-esential characters. This essential property of a substance is called its dharma. The essential property of water is its sapindity and flowing downwards. The dharma of a man is to do all righteous actions such as nitya and niyata karma, as enjoined by the shastras and avoid evil karmas.

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य abandoning all dharmas. Sarvadharman is the same as ‘sarvakarmani’ (Chapter 12:6). Parityajya means laying down all the duties in god. In verse 7 of this chapter, the lord says it is not justifiable to abandon one’s allotted duties. Such an action becomes tamasika character. Besides the Lord has commended to Arjuna at more than one places not to desist from fighting or tyaga of his duties but to participate in the war for the pleasure of God.

So sarvadharman parityajya should mean not abandoning all duties but laying down all duties in the lord. –Goyandka

माम् एकम्  शरणम् व्रज -Take refuge in me alone. This means that one has to surrender to God because he is the all-powerful, all-knowing, supreme goal, safest retreat, supporter, well wisher, and  friend. He constantly thinks of God when he  is awake or doing any activity social, commercial or spiritual. He is contented with what God has given to him and does not crave for more because god knows what is essential to him.

अहम् त्वा  सर्वपापेभ्यः मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः   I shall absolve you from all sins. Do not worry. The second line is the  reward of jnyana yoga,The Lord says here how he Is going to redeedm the Jiva from the roller coaster of samsara.

कर्मभिः मुच्यन्ते 3:31

म्रुत्यु संसार सगरात् समुर्धर्ता भवामि 12:7

मत्प्रसादात् सर्व दुर्गाणि तरिश्यसि 18:58

The Lord winds up the teaching of Gita by comforting Arjuna in the words मा शुचः do not worry. He commenced the teaching of Gita in chapter 2 verse 11 by the following words.

अशोचान् अन्वशोचस्त्वम् So, Gita is essentially a gospel  which teaches how to engage in work without worrying.

Swami Mukundanda

All along, Shree Krishna had been asking Arjun to do two things simultaneously—engage his mind in devotion, and engage his body in fulfilling his material duty as a warrior. He thus wanted Arjun not to give up his Kshatriya dharma, but to do devotion alongside with it. This is the principle of karm yog. Now, Shree Krishna reverses this teaching by saying that here is no need to fulfill even material dharma. Arjun can renounce all material duties and simply surrender to God. This is the principle of karm sanyās. Here, one may question that if we give up all our material dharmas will we not incur sin? Shree Krishna tells Arjun not to fear; he will absolve him from all sins, and liberate him from material existence.

To comprehend this instruction of Shree Krishna, we need to understand the term dharma. It comes from the root word dhṛi, which means dhāraṇ karane yogya, or “responsibilities, duties, thoughts, and actions that are appropriate for us.” There are actually two kinds of dharmas—material dharma and spiritual dharma. These two kinds of dharma are based upon two different understandings of the “self.” When we identify ourselves as the body, then our dharma is determined in accordance with our bodily designations, obligations, duties, and norms. Hence, serving the bodily parents, fulfilling the responsibilities to society, nation, etc. are all bodily dharma. This is also called apara dharma or material dharma. This includes the dharma as a Brahmin, Kshatriya, etc. However, when we identify ourselves as the soul, we have no material designations of varṇa (social class) and āśhram (status in life). The soul’s Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved, and resting place are all God. Hence our one and only dharma becomes loving devotional service to God. This is also called para dharma or spiritual dharma.

If one leaves the material dharma it is considered a sin due to dereliction of duty. But if one leaves material dharma and takes the shelter of spiritual dharma, it is not a sin. 

         In the Bhagavad Gita, Shree Krishna gave Arjun sequentially higher instructions. Initially, he instructed Arjun to do karm, i.e. his material dharma as a warrior (verse 2.31). But material dharma does not result in God-realization; it leads to the celestial abodes, and once the pious merits are depleted one has to come back. Hence, Shree Krishna next instructed Arjun to do karm yog, i.e. his material dharma with the body and spiritual dharma with the mind. He asked Arjun to fight the war with the body and remember God with the mind (verse 8.7). This instruction of karm yog forms the major portion of the Bhagavad Gita. Now in the very end, Shree Krishna instructs Arjun to practice karm sanyās, i.e. renounce all material dharma and simply adopt spiritual dharma, which is love for God. He should thus fight, not because it is his duty as a warrior, but because God wants him to do so.

But why did Shree Krishna not give this instruction to Arjun earlier? Why did he seem to clearly extol just the reverse in verse 5.2 when he stated karm yog superior as to karm sanyās? Lord Krishna clearly explains this in the next verse.

VERSE – 18:67

Men who are non-eligible to be imparted the Gita teachingइदं ते नातपस्काय नाभक्ताय कदाचन ।न चाशुश्रूषवे वाच्यं न च मां योऽभ्यसूयति ॥१८:६७॥  

idaṁ tē nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana |

na cāśuśrūṣavē vācyaṁ na ca māṁ yō’bhyasūyati ||18:67||

इदम् ते न अतपस्काय न अभक्ताय कदाचन

न च अशुश्रूषवे वाच्यम्  न च माम् यः अभ्यसूयति  

इदम्-this ते-by you न-neither अतपस्काय-to a man who lacks penance न-nor अभक्ताय- to one who is not devoted कदाचन-at any time न- not च-and अशुश्रूषवे-to one who is unwilling to hear वाच्यम्-should be imapted न-never च- and माम्- me यः- who अभ्यसूयति-  finds fault with

This gospel of Gita should never be imparted to a man who is not austere or to one who is wanting in devotion; not even to him who does not lend a willing ear. And in no case to one who finds fault with me.  

The lord says इदम् this gospel of Bhagawad Gita  starting from verse 11 of chapter 2 to verse 66 of chapter 18. The lord has explained the truth of his own glory, mystery and essential character.

Four disqualifications are mentioned in this verse.

  1. अतपस्काय -One who lacks austerity.
  2. अभक्ताय -unbeliever who has no faith in God.
  3. अशुश्रूषवे -one who is not intersted in listening to it.
  4. माम् यः अभ्यसूयति -one who cavils at the lord. One who paints lord’s virtues as a vice and and vilifies him.

A devotee who is free from all the above disqualifications becomes automatically eligible to receive the gospel of Gita.

Swami Muktananda:

It was explained in the previous verse that if one is situated in loving devotion to God, there is no sin in giving up the material duties. However, there is one problem with this instruction. If we have not yet become established in love for God, and we prematurely give up material duties, we will be neither here nor there. Thus, karma sanyās is only for those who are qualified for it. And what we are qualified for has to be determined by our Guru, who knows our capabilities and the stringency of the paths. If a student wishes to become a graduate, it will not do to directly go and attend the graduation ceremony. We will have to begin studies sequentially from grade one. Similarly, the vast majority of people are eligible for karma yog, and it would be a great folly for them to prematurely take karma sanyās. It is better to instruct them to fulfill their bodily dharma and practice devotion alongside. That is why, in this verse Shree Krishna says that this confidential teaching given by him is not for everyone. Before sharing it with others, we should check their

eligibility for this teaching.

This word of caution applies specifically for the confidential teachings of the previous verse, and in general, for the entire message of the Bhagavad Gita. If it is explained to someone who is envious of Krishna, that person may respond, “Krishna was very conceited. He kept asking Arjun to glorify him.” By misunderstanding the teachings, the faithless listener will be harmed by the divine message. The Padma Purāṇ also states:

aśhraddadhāne vimukhe ’py aśhṛiṇvati yaśh chopadeśhaḥ śhiva-nāmāparādhaḥ [v41]

“By giving transcendental instructions to those who are faithless and averse to God, we cause them to become offenders.” Hence, Shree Krishna describes the disqualifications for listeners in the above verse.

VERSE – 18:68

He who propagates this gospel also attains meय इमं परमं गुह्यं मद्भक्तेष्वभिधास्यति ।भक्तिं मयि परां कृत्वा मामेवैष्यत्यसंशयः ॥१८:६८॥

ya imaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ madbhaktēṣvabhidhāsyati |

bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kr̥tvā māmēvaiṣyatyasaṁśayaḥ ||18:68||

यः इमम् परम् गुह्यम् मद्भक्तेषु अभिधास्यति

भक्तिम्  मयि पराम् कृत्वा माम् एव ऎष्यति असंशयः   

यः-who इमम्-this meaning gospel of Gita परम्-most  गुह्यम्-confidential मद्भक्तेषु- among my devotees (मत्-my भक्तेषु-among devotees) अभिधास्यति- teaches भक्तिम्- love, devoion to God मयि- to me पराम्-most कृत्वा-doing माम्-me एव-certainly ऎष्यति-comes असंशयः- without doubt  

He, who teaches this most confidential knowledge amongst my devotees, perform the greatest act of love. They will come to me without doubt.


यः इमम् परम् गुह्यम् मद्भक्तेषु अभिधास्यति – He, who teaches this most confidential knowledge amongst my devotees, perform the greatest act of love. The word इमम् refers to this gospel of Gita. परम् गुह्यम् most sectret, the lord again reiterates that this knowledge is very confidential and should not be taught to thos who are not interested or those who fond fault with him. मद्भक्तेषु teaches to my devotees. A devotee of God immediately becomes eligible to receive the knowledge. The four disqualifictions mentioned in the previous verse become null and void. In that case this gospel canbe taught to any devotee without regard as mentioned in Chapter 9: 32) which says: All those who take refuge in me, whatever their birth, race, sex, or caste, even those whom society scorns, will attain the supreme destination.

भक्तिम्  मयि पराम् कृत्वा माम् एव ऎष्यति असंशयः -He who eaches this gospel among my devotees first attains  para bhakti or supreme love in me and then attain me.

Swami Muktananda says,” The opportunity to engage ourselves in devotion is a special blessing of God, but the opportunity to help others engage in devotion is an even bigger blessing, which attracts the special grace of God. Whenever we share something good with others, we benefit from it too. When we share whatever knowledge we have with others, our own knowledge increases as well. By often giving food to others, we never go hungry ourselves.

VERSE – 18:69

Dissemination of the Gospel of Gita is the dearest service to meन च तस्मान्मनुष्येषु कश्चिन्मे प्रियकृत्तमः ।भविता न च मे तस्मादन्यः प्रियतरो भुवि ॥१८:६९॥

na ca tasmānmanuṣyēṣu kaścinmē priyakr̥ttamaḥ |

bhavitā na ca mē tasmādanyaḥ priyatarō bhuvi ||18:69||

न च तस्मात् मनुष्येषु कश्चित् मे  प्रियकृत्तमः

भविता न च मे तस्मात् अन्यः प्रियतरः भुवि   

न-no च- and तस्मात्- than he मनुष्येषु-amonsgst the men कश्चित्- anyone में- to me प्रियकृत्तमः- dearer भविता- will be न- not च- and में- to me तस्मात्- than him अन्यः- another प्रियतरः- dearer भुवि-on this earth     

No human being does more loving service to me than he; nor shall there ever be anyone on this earth more dear to me.

न च तस्मात् मनुष्येषु कश्चित् मे  प्रियकृत्तमः –There is no other devotee dearer to me than the one who teaches the gospel of Gita  to others. Swami Muktananda writes:

“Amongst all the gifts we can give to others, the gift of spiritual knowledge is one of the highest, because it has the capacity to transform the recipient eternally. King Janak had asked his Guru, “The transcendental knowledge you have bestowed upon me is so precious that I feel deeply indebted to you. What can I give you in return?” Guru Ashtavakra replied, “There is nothing you can give that will release you from your debt. The knowledge I gave was divine and all that you possess is material. Worldly objects can never be a price for divine knowledge. But you can do one thing. If ever you find someone who is thirsty for this knowledge, share it with him.”

भविता न च मे तस्मात् अन्यः प्रियतरः भुवि    There will not be any one dearer to me in the entire globe than the devotee who disseminates the gospel of Gita to the loving public. There are other devotees who perform puja, sacrifice,  penance, give charity, nama japa, visiting temple and holy places. No doubt these are acts of  devotion leading to purity of mind and consolidation of faith in God. But the lord opines that  propagation of the Gospel of Gitais the holiest of holy serice.

Such a loveto devotee  is not limited to present life. This applies to future also.

VERSE – 18:70

Reward of studying Gitaअध्येष्यते च य इमं धर्म्यं संवादमावयोः ।ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेनाहमिष्टः स्यामिति मे मतिः ॥१८:७०॥

adhyēṣyatē ca ya imaṁ dharmyaṁ saṁvādamāvayōḥ |

jñānayajñēna tēnāhamiṣṭaḥ syāmiti mē matiḥ ||18:70||

अध्येष्यते च यः इमम्  धर्म्यम् संवादम् अवयोः

ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेन अहम् इष्टः स्याम् इति मे मतिः    

अध्येष्यते-will study च-and यः-who इमम्-this gospel of Gita  धर्म्यम्-sacred संवादम्-our dialogue अवयोः- of ours ज्ञानयज्ञेन-through sacrifice of knowledge तेन- by him अहम्-I इष्टः- worshipped स्याम्-shall be इति-thus में-my मतिः-opinion

And I proclaim that the study of the dialogue between us amounts to my worship through jnyana yajnya.


अध्येष्यते च यः इमम्  धर्म्यम् संवादम् अवयोः – and I proclaim that the study this dialogue between us. अध्येष्यते,  one who studies and contemplates its inner meaning, recites it daily, and applies it in his life, Adhyayana and adhyapana meaning study and teaching of Gita is a sacred work.  इमम्  धर्म्यम् this gospel of Gita has been delivered by the Lord himself. So it is holy and leads to salvation. अवयोः संवादम् , the dialogue between us. Again this refers to the Gita text.

ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेन अहम् इष्टः स्याम् इति मे मतिः    The recitation of Gita or the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, is tanatamount to my worship through the path of nowledge,.ज्ञानयज्ञ. Jnyana yajnya is the culmination of all sacrifices and is the best. Material sacrifice produces results in the form of property, prosperity, progeny, profit and power. But jnyana yajnya or wisdom -sacrifice does not produce any result. It removes the ignorance and illusion and reveals the state of liberation. Here is what Krsihan says in chapter 4.

श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप।

सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते।।4.33।।

VERSE – 18:71

Even a dovotee who listens to this gospel with reverencewill beliberated and attain the happy world of the piousश्रद्धावाननसूयश्च शृणुयादपि यो नरः ।सोऽपि मुक्तः शुभाँल्लोकान्प्राप्नुयात्पुण्यकर्मणाम् ॥१८:७१॥ 

śraddhāvānanasūyaśca śr̥ṇuyādapi yō naraḥ |

sō’pi muktaḥ śubhām̐llōkānprāpnuyātpuṇyakarmaṇām ||18:71||

श्रद्धावान् अनसूयः च शृणुयात् अपि यः नरः

सः अपि मुक्तः शुभान् लोकान् प्राप्नुयात् पुण्यकर्मणाम्   

श्रद्धावान्- faithful अनसूयः- without envy, without cavilling च-and शृणुयात्-listen the holy Gita अपि-also यः-who नरः- a person सः- he अपि- also मुक्तः-liberated, absolved of sins शुभान्-the auspicious लोकान्-worlds प्राप्नुयात्- attains पुण्यकर्मणाम्- of the pious  

Even he who only listens to this knowledge with faith and without envy will be liberated from sins and attain the auspicious worlds where the pious dwell.

श्रद्धावान् अनसूयः च शृणुयात् अपि यः नरः – Even he who only

 listens to this knowledge with faith and without envy will be liberated. Krishna has uttered many sovereign assurances in Gita. Her are some:

योगक्षेमम् वहाम्यहम्, न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति, सर्वस्य चाहम् हृदि सन्निविष्टः, मा  शुचः , न हि ज्ञानेन सद्रशम्

Not every one can understand the deep imports of the

dialogue of Shri Krishna and Arjuna. Here, Shri Krishna reassures that if such people merely hear with faith, they will also benefit. God is seated within them; he will note their sincere endeavor and reward them for it.

Swami Muktananda:  A story about a disciple of Jagadguru Shankaracharya, called Sananda, illustrates this point. He was illiterate and could not comprehend his Guru’s teaching as the other disciples could. But when Shankaracharya delivered the discourse, he would listen with rapt attention and great faith. One day, he was washing his Guru’s clothes on the other side of the river. It became time for the class, and the other disciples requested, “Guruji, please begin the class.” Shankaracharya replied, “Let us wait; Sananda is not here.” “But Guruji, he cannot understand anything,” the disciples urged. “That is true; still, he listens with great faith and so I do not wish to disappoint him,” said Shankaracharya.

Then, to show the power of faith, Shankaracharya called out, “Sananda! Please come here.” On hearing his Guru’s words, Sananda did not hesitate. He ran on water. The story goes that wherever he placed his feet, a lotus flower sprang up to support him. He crossed over to the other bank and offered obeisance to his Guru. At that time, a stuti (verses in praise) of the Guru emanated from his mouth in sophisticated Sanskrit. The other disciples were amazed to hear this. Since, lotus flowers had bloomed under his feet, his name became “Padmapada,” meaning “the one with lotus flowers under the feet.” He became one of the four main disciples of Shankaracharya, along with Sureshwaracharya, Hastamalaka, and Trotakacharya.

In the above verse, Shree Krishna assures Arjuna that even those who merely hear the sacred dialogue with great faith will gradually become purified.

सः अपि मुक्तः शुभान् लोकान् प्राप्नुयात् पुण्यकर्मणाम् – A man who hears the holy Gita with reverence and uncarping spirit will also be liberated and he will reach the happy world of the irtous.

VERSE – 18:72

Krishna wants to know  if Arjuna’s delusion has gone and he is now able to take a decision whether to join the war or notकच्चिदेतच्छ्रुतं पार्थ त्वयैकाग्रेण चेतसा ।कच्चिदज्ञानसंमोहः प्रनष्टस्ते धनंजय ॥१८:७२॥ 

kaccidētacchrutaṁ pārtha tvayaikāgrēṇa cētasā |

kaccidajñānasaṁmōhaḥ pranaṣṭastē dhanaṁjaya ||18:72||

कच्चित् एतत् श्रुतम् पार्थ त्वया एकाग्रेण चेतसा

कच्चित् अज्ञानसंमोहः प्रनष्टः ते धनंजय

कच्चित्- whether एतत्-this श्रुतम्-heard पार्थ- Arjuna त्वया- by you एकाग्रेण-by one-pointed चेतसा- mind कच्चित्- whether अज्ञानसंमोहः-delusion born of ignorance  (अज्ञान-ignorance संमोहः-delusion) प्रनष्टः-destroyed ते-your धनंजय-Arjuna, the conqueror of wealth

O Arjuna, have you heard me with a concentrated mind? Have your ignorance and delusion been destroyed?


कच्चित् एतत् श्रुतम् पार्थ त्वया एकाग्रेण चेतसा –O Arjuna did you hear my teaching with rapt attention? Krishna’s teaching of the gospel of Gita started from verse 11 of chapter 2 and continued upto verse 71 of chapter 18. Krishna wants to know if Arjuna’s mind which was not able to decide whether to fight the war or take role of a hermit living on arms is now able to take a suitable decision.

कच्चित् अज्ञानसंमोहः प्रनष्टः ते धनंजय – Have your ignorance and delusion been destroyed? If Arjuna’s answer was in negative Krishna had obviously planned to remove his ignorance by some other plan.

This is the last sentence spoken by the Lord Krishna in Gita.

VERSE – 18:73

I am free from all doubts and I shall do your biddingअर्जुन उवाचनष्टो मोहः स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादान्मयाच्युत ।स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देहः करिष्ये वचनं तव ॥१८:७३॥ 

arjuna uvāca

naṣṭō mōhaḥ smr̥tirlabdhā tvatprasādānmayācyuta |

sthitō’smi gatasandēhaḥ kariṣyē vacanaṁ tava ||18:73||

अर्जुन उवाच

नष्टः मोहः स्मृतिः लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादात् मया अच्युत

स्थितः अस्मि गतसन्देहः करिष्ये वचनम्  तव   

अर्जुन-Arjuna उवाच-said

नष्टः-dispelled मोहः- illusion स्मृतिः- memory, wisdom लब्धा- having regained त्वत्प्रसादात्- by your grace मया-by me अच्युत-the infalliable one, Krishna  स्थितः-situated  अस्मि-I am गतसन्देहः-free from doubts करिष्ये-I shall act वचनम्- instructions तव- your  

Arjuna Said: O infallible one, by your grace my illusion has dispelled, and I am situated in knowledge. I am now free from doubts, and I shall act according to your bidding.


नष्टः मोहः स्मृतिः लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादात् मया अच्युत –O infaliable one, my delusion is dispelled. I have regained my memory and wisdom. I shall do your bidding.

Arjuna answers to the question of Krishna in the previous verse. “कच्चित् अज्ञानसंमोहः प्रनष्टः ते धनंजय, Have your ignorance and delusion been destroyed?”. Now I know what is my duty and How should I discharge it.

With the disappearance of illusion born of ignorance, shines the light of knowledge. The memory of virtues, glory, divinity and essential character of the lord illumines his mind. Arjuna has now understood the immanent nature of God, his manifest and unmanifest charcter, and his absolute and relative nature.

त्वत् प्रसादात् by your grace. Arjuna has attained his purushartha or objct of life (पुरुशार्थ). He has no duty left for him. By your grace I understand the essential nature of God (आत्म तत्व). All the knots of my heart are released.


स्थितः अस्मि गतसन्देहः करिष्ये वचनम्  तव    I am now free from doubts, and I shall act according to your bidding. All the knots of my heart are released. All his doubts have been resolved and as a consequence he has understood the need to join the battle as a duty of kshatriya and without any personal motive. I shall follow your instructions.

VERSE – 18:74

Mysterious nature of   the dialogue between Krishna and Arjunaसंजय उवाचइत्यहं वासुदेवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मनः ।संवादमिममश्रौषमद्भुतं रोमहर्षणम् ॥१८:७४॥ 

saṁjaya uvāca

ityahaṁ vāsudēvasya pārthasya ca mahātmanaḥ |

saṁvādamimamaśrauṣamadbhutaṁ rōmaharṣaṇam ||18:74||

संजय उवाच

इति अहम् वासुदेवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मनः

संवादम् इमम् अश्रौषम् अद्भुतम् रोमहर्षणम्   

संजय-Sanjaya उवाच- said

इति-thus अहम्-I वासुदेवस्य-of Vasudeva पार्थस्य- and Partha च-also महात्मनः-the noble souls संवादम्- dialogue इमम्- this अश्रौषम्-have heard अद्भुतम्- wonderful रोमहर्षणम्- thrilling

Sanjaya said: Thus, have I heard this wonderful conversation between Shri Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, and Arjuna, the noble-hearted son of Pritha. So thrilling is the message that my hair is standing on end.  

इति अहम् वासुदेवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मनः – Thus, have I heard this wonderful conversation between Shri Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, and Arjuna, the noble-hearted son of Pritha. The word इति marks the conclusion of the gospel of Gita. Sanjaya Sanjaya has used the epithet वासुदेवस्य in this verse wisely. वासुदेवस्य means Krishna, the son of Vasudeva. Literary meaning of Vasudeva is all pervading spirit. He calls Arjuna as  महात्मनः the great -souled or noble hearted.  

संवादम् इमम् अश्रौषम् अद्भुतम् रोमहर्षणम्    This conversation is so thrilling that my hairs stand on end. Goyandka writes, “ ther dialoge between these two enables one to realize the integral divinity , the wonderful and transcendental virtues glory and supernatural powes of God. “

VERSE – 18:75

Sanjaya was thrilled by the conversation between Krishna and Arjunaव्यासप्रसादाच्छ्रुतवानेतद्गुह्यमहं परम् ।योगं योगेश्वरात्कृष्णात्साक्षात्कथयतः स्वयम् ॥१८:७५॥ 

vyāsaprasādācchrutavānētadguhyamahaṁ param |

yōgaṁ yōgēśvarātkr̥ṣṇātsākṣātkathayataḥ svayam ||18:75||

व्यासप्रसादात्  श्रुतवान् एतत् गुह्यम् अहम् परम्

योगम्  योगेश्वरात्  कृष्णात्   साक्षात् कथयतः स्वयम्   

व्यासप्रसादात्-by the grace of Veda vyasa श्रुतवान्-have heard एतत्- this गुह्यम्-secret अहम्-I परम्-supreme योगम्-yoga of wisdom योगेश्वरात्-from the Lord of yoga  कृष्णात्-from Krishna  साक्षात्-before my very eyes कथयतः-speaking  स्वयम्-himself   

By the grace of Veda Vyasa, I have heard this supreme and most secret Yoga from Shri Krishna the Lord of Yoga, himself.

In this verse Sanjaya reveals the value of hearing the rarest Gospel of Gita glorifies it.

Sanjaya expresses his gratitude to Vyasa by the words व्यासप्रसादात्-by the grace of Veda vyasa. Sitting as he was in the palace in Hastinapura, he could see, hear and feel the happenings in the war field of Kurukshetra. This mysterious phenomenon became possible due the grace of Vyasa Rushi who gave him the supernatural faculties of seeing, hearing and analysing the remote occurences in the battle field.

VERSE – 18:76

Sanjaya says he is transported into a state of ecstacyराजन्संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य संवादमिममद्भुतम् ।केशवार्जुनयोः पुण्यं हृष्यामि च मुहुर्मुहुः ॥१८:७६॥ 

rājansaṁsmr̥tya saṁsmr̥tya saṁvādamimamadbhutam |

kēśavārjunayōḥ puṇyaṁ hr̥ṣyāmi ca muhurmuhuḥ ||18:76||

राजन् संस्म्रुत्य संस्मृत्य संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम्

केशव अर्जुनयोः पुण्यम् हृष्यामि च मुहुर्मुहुः  

राजन्-O King संस्म्रुत्य संस्मृत्य-repeatedly recalling to my memory संवादम्-the dialogue इमम्-this अद्भुतम्-marvellous केशव- अर्जुनयोः- between Keshava and Arjuna पुण्यम्-meritorious हृष्यामि- I rejoice च- and मुहुर्मुहुः- again an again

O king, I remember again and again the marvellous and pious dialogue between Keshava and Arjuna and rejoice repeatedlyIn the previous verse Sanjaya extolled the glorification of the Gospel of Gita. In the present verse extols the cosmic body of the Lord. 

राजन् संस्म्रुत्य संस्मृत्य संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम् –O king, I repeatedly recall to my memory this great dialogue. This conversation reveals the  virtues, glory, divinity, truth, mystery and essential character of the lord in his manifest and unmanifest forms. This gospel encompasses the true nature of god and his glory. Sanjaya is so overwhelmed with this knowledge which he calls’ amazing’ अद्भुतम्

केशव अर्जुनयोः पुण्यम् हृष्यामि च मुहुर्मुहुः   I remember again and again the dialogue between Keshava and Arjuna and rejoice mysef. In this verse Sanjaya gives his reaction to the Gospel of Gita he has just seen from the battlefield. He remembers the teaching of Krishna and merged in its thought.

VERSE – 18:77

Sanjaya recollects the amazing cosmic form of the Lordतच्च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपमत्यद्भुतं हरेः ।विस्मयो मे महान् राजन्हृष्यामि च पुनः पुनः ॥१८:७७॥

tacca saṁsmr̥tya saṁsmr̥tya rūpamatyadbhutaṁ harēḥ |

vismayō mē mahān rājanhr̥ṣyāmi ca punaḥ punaḥ ||18:77||

तत् च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपम् अति अद्भुतम् हरेः

विस्मयः मे महान् राजन्  हृष्यामि च पुनः पुनः  

तत्-that च- and संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य- remembering repeatedly रूपम्- the cosmic form अति-most अद्भुतम्-wonderful, amazing हरेः- of Hari, the Lord Krishna विस्मयः-marvellous  में-I am with joy महान्- great राजन्- king हृष्यामि-thrilled with joy च-and पुनः पुनः- again and again

And remembering the most astonishing and wonderful cosmic form of Lord Krishna, great is my astonishment, and I am thrilled with joy over and over again.

तत् च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपम् अति अद्भुतम् हरेः – Sanjaya says,  he repeatedly remembers the most astonishing and wonderful cosmic form of Lord Krishna, and is greatly excited.

विस्मयः मे महान् राजन्  हृष्यामि च पुनः पुनः – I am thrilled with joy over and over again.

Swami Muktananda says: Arjuna was blessed with the vision of the cosmic form of the Lord, which is rarely seen even by the greatest yogis. Shri Krishna told him that he was showing him the universal form because Arjuna was his devotee and friend, and thus very dear to him. Sanjay also came to see that cosmic form because he was fortunate to be a part of the divine pastimes as the narrator. There are times when an unexpected grace comes our way. If we utilize it properly, we can progress rapidly in our sādhanā. Sanjay is repeatedly contemplating upon what he saw and flowing in the current of devotion.

VERSE – 18:78

 यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः ।तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ॥१८:७८॥ 

yatra yōgēśvaraḥ kr̥ṣṇō yatra pārthō dhanurdharaḥ |

tatra śrīrvijayō bhūtirdhruvā nītirmatirmama ||18:78||

यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णः यत्र पार्थः धनुर्धरः

तत्र श्रीः विजयः भूतिः ध्रुवा नीतिः मतिः मम  

यत्र- where योगेश्वरः-the lord of Yoga, कृष्णः- Shri Krishna यत्र- wherever पार्थः-Partha refers to Arjuna, the son ofPritha धनुर्धरः-the supreme archer तत्र- there श्रीः-opulence विजयः-victory भूतिः-glory ध्रुवा- unfailing नीतिः-righteousness मतिः मम- my opinin

Wherever there is Shri Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be unending opulence, victory, prosperity, and righteousness. Of this, I am certain.


यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णः यत्र पार्थः धनुर्धरः – Wherever there is Shri Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer. Sanjaya has used the epithet योगेश्वरः, the Lord of yogas and धनुर्धरःthe supreme archer. A sadhaka should bear the picture of Krishna preaching the gospel of Gita.

तत्र श्रीः विजयः भूतिः ध्रुवा नीतिः मतिः मम –  there will also certainly be unending opulence, victory, prosperity, and righteousness. Of this, I am certain. Sanjaya is suggesting to King Dhrutarashtra that victory is on the side of Pandavas and therefore he must prevail upon Duryodhana to broker peace with Pandavas. There can be only one verdict in this war—victory will always be on the side of God and his pure devotee, and so will goodness, supremacy, and abundance.


The Bhagavad Gita concludes with this verse delivering a deep pronouncement.

 ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रेश्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे मोक्षसंन्यासयोगो नामाष्टादशोऽध्यायः  

Aum Tat Sat

In the Upanishad of the holy Bhagavad Gita – the discourse of Lord Krishna to Arjuna, which in the scriptures of yoga and the science of God realization—this is the eighteenth chapter, called Moksha sanyasa yoga.

This Student’s notes of Bhagavadgita compiled by Vishnu Bapat is offered at the feet of my Guru Swami Chinmayananda.

Aum Tat Sat