Karma-yoga—Action in Krishna Consciousness

 - CHAPTER 5 -

Karma-yoga—Action in Kåñëa Consciousness


arjuna uväca

sannyäsaà karmaëäà kåñëa

punar yogaà ca çaàsasi

yac chreya etayor ekaà

tan me brühi su-niçcitam


arjunaù uväca—Arjuna said; sannyäsam—renunciation; karmaëäm—of all activities; kåñëa—O Kåñëa; punaù—again; yogam—devotional service; ca—also; çaàsasi—You are praising; yat—which; çreyaù—is more beneficial; etayoù—of these two; ekam—one; tat—that; me—unto me; brühi—please tell; su-niçcitam—definitely.


Arjuna said: O Kåñëa, first of all You ask me to renounce work, and then again You recommend work with devotion. Now will You kindly tell medefinitely which of the two is more beneficial?


In this Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gétä, the Lord says that work in devotional service is better than dry mental speculation. Devotional service is easier than the latter because, being transcendental in nature, it frees one from reaction. In the Second Chapter, preliminary knowledge of the soul and its entanglement in the material body were explained. How to get out of this material encagement bybuddhi-yoga, or devotional service, was also explained therein. In the Third Chapter, it was explained that a person who is situated on the platform of knowledge no longer has any duties to perform. And in the Fourth Chapter the Lord told Arjuna that all kinds of sacrificial work culminate in knowledge. However, at the end of the Fourth Chapter, the Lord advised Arjuna to wake up and fight, being situated in perfect knowledge. Therefore, by simultaneously stressing the importance of both work in devotion and inaction in knowledge, Kåñëa has perplexed Arjuna and confused his determination. Arjuna understands that renunciation in knowledge involves cessation of all kinds of work performed as sense activities. But if one performs work in devotional service, then how is work stopped? In other words, he thinks thatsannyäsa, or renunciation in knowledge, should be altogether free from all kinds of activity, because work and renunciation appear to him to be incompatible. He appears not to have understood that work in full knowledge is nonreactive and is therefore the same as inaction. He inquires, therefore, whether he should cease work altogether or work with full knowledge.


çré-bhagavän uväca

sannyäsaù karma-yogaç ca

niùçreyasa-karäv ubhau

tayos tu karma-sannyäsät

karma-yogo viçiñyate


çré-bhagavän uväca—the Personality of Godhead said; sannyäsaù—renunciation of work; karma-yogaù—work in devotion; ca—also; niùçreyasa-karau—leading to the path of liberation; ubhau—both; tayoù—of the two; tu—but; karma-sannyäsät—in comparison to the renunciation of fruitive work;karma-yogaù—work in devotion; viçiñyate—is better.


The Personality of Godhead replied: The renunciation of work and work in devotion are both good for liberation. But, of the two, work in devotional service is better than renunciation of work.


Fruitive activities (seeking sense gratification) are cause for material bondage. As long as one is engaged in activities aimed at improving the standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to different types of bodies, thereby continuing material bondage perpetually. Çrémad-Bhägavatam (5.5.4–6) confirms this as follows:

nünaà pramattaù kurute vikarma

yad indriya-prétaya äpåëoti

na sädhu manye yata ätmano ’yam

asann api kleça-da äsa dehaù

paräbhavas tävad abodha-jäto

yävan na jijïäsata ätma-tattvam

yävat kriyäs tävad idaà mano vai

karmätmakaà yena çaréra-bandhaù

evaà manaù karma-vaçaà prayuìkte

avidyayätmany upadhéyamäne

prétir na yävan mayi väsudeve

na mucyate deha-yogena tävat

“People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this present body, which is full of miseries, is a result of one’s fruitive activities in the past. Although this body is temporary, it is always giving one trouble in many ways. Therefore, to act for sense gratification is not good. One is considered to be a failure in life as long as he makes no inquiry about his real identity. As long as he does not know his real identity, he has to work for fruitive results for sense gratification, and as long as one is engrossed in the consciousness of sense gratification one has to transmigrate from one body to another. Although the mind may be engrossed in fruitive activities and influenced by ignorance, one must develop a love for devotional service to Väsudeva. Only then can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage of material existence.”

Therefore, jïäna (or knowledge that one is not this material body but spirit soul) is not sufficient for liberation. One has to act in the status of spirit soul, otherwise there is no escape from material bondage. Action in Kåñëa consciousness is not, however, action on the fruitive platform. Activities performed in full knowledge strengthen one’s advancement in real knowledge. Without Kåñëa consciousness, mere renunciation of fruitive activities does not actually purify the heart of a conditioned soul. As long as the heart is not purified, one has to work on the fruitive platform. But action in Kåñëa consciousness automatically helps one escape the result of fruitive action so that one need not descend to the material platform. Therefore action in Kåñëa consciousness is always superior to renunciation, which always entails a risk of falling. Renunciation without Kåñëa consciousness is incomplete, as is confirmed by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé in his Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.2.258): 

präpaïcikatayä buddhyä


mumukñubhiù parityägo

vairägyaà phalgu kathyate

“When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thinking them to be material, their renunciation is called incomplete.” Renunciation is complete when it is in the knowledge that everything in existence belongs to the Lord and that no one should claim proprietorship over anything. One should understand that, factually, nothing belongs to anyone. Then where is the question of renunciation? One who knows that everything is Kåñëa’s property is always situated in renunciation. Since everything belongs to Kåñëa, everything should be employed in the service of Kåñëa. This perfect form of action in Kåñëa consciousness is far better than any amount of artificial renunciation by a sannyäsé of the Mäyävädé school.


jïeyaù sa nitya-sannyäsé

yo na dveñöi na käìkñati

nirdvandvo hi mahä-bäho

sukhaà bandhät pramucyate


jïeyaù—should be known; saù—he; nitya—always;sannyäsé—renouncer; yaù—who; na—never; dveñöi—abhors; na—nor; käìkñati—desires; nirdvandvaù—free from all dualities; hi—certainly; mahä-bäho—O mighty-armed one; sukham—happily; bandhät—from bondage; pramucyate—is completely liberated.


One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is known to be always renounced. Such a person, free from all dualities, easily overcomesmaterial bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty-armed Arjuna.


One who is fully in Kåñëa consciousness is always a renouncer because he feels neither hatred nor desire for the results of his actions. Such a renouncer, dedicated to the transcendental loving service of the Lord, is fully qualified in knowledge because he knows his constitutional position in his relationship with Kåñëa. He knows fully well that Kåñëa is the whole and that he is part and parcel of Kåñëa. Such knowledge is perfect because it is qualitatively and quantitatively correct. The concept of oneness with Kåñëa is incorrect because the part cannot be equal to the whole. Knowledge that one is one in quality yet different in quantity is correct transcendental knowledge leading one to become full in himself, having nothing to aspire to or lament over. There is no duality in his mind because whatever he does, he does for Kåñëa. Being thus freed from the platform of dualities, he is liberated—even in this material world.


säìkhya-yogau påthag bäläù

pravadanti na paëòitäù

ekam apy ästhitaù samyag

ubhayor vindate phalam


säìkhya—analytical study of the material world;yogau—work in devotional service; påthak—different;bäläù—the less intelligent; pravadanti—say; na—never; paëòitäù—the learned; ekam—in one; api—even; ästhitaù—being situated; samyak—complete;ubhayoù—of both; vindate—enjoys; phalam—the result.


Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [Säìkhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these pathsachieves the results of both.


The aim of the analytical study of the material world is to find the soul of existence. The soul of the material world is Viñëu, or the Supersoul. Devotional service to the Lord entails service to the Supersoul. One process is to find the root of the tree, and the other is to water the root. The real student of Säìkhya philosophy finds the root of the material world, Viñëu, and then, in perfect knowledge, engages himself in the service of the Lord. Therefore, in essence, there is no difference between the two because the aim of both is Viñëu. Those who do not know the ultimate end say that the purposes of Säìkhya and karma-yoga are not the same, but one who is learned knows the unifying aim in these different processes.


yat säìkhyaiù präpyate sthänaà

tad yogair api gamyate

ekaà säìkhyaà ca yogaà ca

yaù paçyati sa paçyati


yat—what; säìkhyaiù—by means of Säìkhya philosophy; präpyate—is achieved; sthänam—place;tat—that; yogaiù—by devotional service; api—also; gamyate—one can attain; ekam—one; säìkhyam—analytical study; ca—and; yogam—action in devotion;ca—and; yaù—one who; paçyati—sees; saù—he; paçyati—actually sees.


One who knows that the position reached by means of analytical study can also be attained by devotional service, and who therefore sees analytical study and devotional service to be on the same level, sees things as they are.


The real purpose of philosophical research is to find the ultimate goal of life. Since the ultimate goal of life is self-realization, there is no difference between the conclusions reached by the two processes. By Säìkhya philosophical research one comes to the conclusion that a living entity is not a part and parcel of the material world but of the supreme spirit whole. Consequently, the spirit soul has nothing to do with the material world; his actions must be in some relation with the Supreme. When he acts in Kåñëa consciousness, he is actually in his constitutional position. In the first process, Säìkhya, one has to become detached from matter, and in the devotionalyoga process one has to attach himself to the work of Kåñëa consciousness. Factually, both processes are the same, although superficially one process appears to involve detachment and the other process appears to involve attachment. Detachment from matter and attachment to Kåñëa are one and the same. One who can see this sees things as they are.


sannyäsas tu mahä-bäho

duùkham äptum ayogataù

yoga-yukto munir brahma

na cireëädhigacchati


sannyäsaù—the renounced order of life; tu—but;mahä-bäho—O mighty-armed one; duùkham—distress; äptum—afflicts one with; ayogataù—without devotional service; yoga-yuktaù—one engaged in devotional service; muniù—a thinker; brahma—the Supreme; nacireëa—without delay; adhigacchati—attains.


Merely renouncing all activities yet not engaging in the devotional service of the Lord cannot make one happy. But a thoughtful person engaged in devotional service can achieve the Supreme without delay.


There are two classes of sannyäsés, or persons in the renounced order of life. The Mäyävädé sannyäsés are engaged in the study of Säìkhya philosophy, whereas the Vaiñëava sannyäsésare engaged in the study of Bhägavatam philosophy, which affords the proper commentary on theVedänta-sütras. The Mäyävädé sannyäsés also study the Vedänta-sütras, but use their own commentary, called Çäréraka-bhäñya, written by Çaìkaräcärya. The students of the Bhägavata school are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, according topäïcarätriké regulations, and therefore the Vaiñëavasannyäsés have multiple engagements in the transcendental service of the Lord. The Vaiñëavasannyäsés have nothing to do with material activities, and yet they perform various activities in their devotional service to the Lord. But the Mäyävädésannyäsés, engaged in the studies of Säìkhya and Vedänta and speculation, cannot relish the transcendental service of the Lord. Because their studies become very tedious, they sometimes become tired of Brahman speculation, and thus they take shelter of the Bhägavatam without proper understanding. Consequently their study of theÇrémad-Bhägavatam becomes troublesome. Dry speculations and impersonal interpretations by artificial means are all useless for the Mäyävädésannyäsés. The Vaiñëava sannyäsés, who are engaged in devotional service, are happy in the discharge of their transcendental duties, and they have the guarantee of ultimate entrance into the kingdom of God. The Mäyävädé sannyäsés sometimes fall down from the path of self-realization and again enter into material activities of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, which are nothing but material engagements. Therefore, the conclusion is that those who are engaged in Kåñëa conscious activities are better situated than the sannyäsés engaged in simple speculation about what is Brahman and what is not Brahman, although they too come to Kåñëa consciousness, after many births.


yoga-yukto viçuddhätmä

vijitätmä jitendriyaù


kurvann api na lipyate


yoga-yuktaù—engaged in devotional service;viçuddha-ätmä—a purified soul; vijita-ätmä—self-controlled; jita-indriyaù—having conquered the senses; sarva-bhüta—to all living entities; ätma-bhüta-ätmä—compassionate; kurvan api—although engaged in work; na—never; lipyate—is entangled.


One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.


One who is on the path of liberation by Kåñëa consciousness is very dear to every living being, and every living being is dear to him. This is due to his Kåñëa consciousness. Such a person cannot think of any living being as separate from Kåñëa, just as the leaves and branches of a tree are not separate from the tree. He knows very well that by pouring water on the root of the tree, the water will be distributed to all the leaves and branches, or by supplying food to the stomach, the energy is automatically distributed throughout the body. Because one who works in Kåñëa consciousness is servant to all, he is very dear to everyone. And because everyone is satisfied by his work, he is pure in consciousness. Because he is pure in consciousness, his mind is completely controlled. And because his mind is controlled, his senses are also controlled. Because his mind is always fixed on Kåñëa, there is no chance of his being deviated from Kåñëa. Nor is there a chance that he will engage his senses in matters other than the service of the Lord. He does not like to hear anything except topics relating to Kåñëa; he does not like to eat anything which is not offered to Kåñëa; and he does not wish to go anywhere if Kåñëa is not involved. Therefore, his senses are controlled. A man of controlled senses cannot be offensive to anyone. One may ask, “Why then was Arjuna offensive (in battle) to others? Wasn’t he in Kåñëa consciousness?” Arjuna was only superficially offensive because (as has already been explained in the Second Chapter) all the assembled persons on the battlefield would continue to live individually, as the soul cannot be slain. So, spiritually, no one was killed on the Battlefield of Kurukñetra. Only their dresses were changed by the order of Kåñëa, who was personally present. Therefore Arjuna, while fighting on the Battlefield of Kurukñetra, was not really fighting at all; he was simply carrying out the orders of Kåñëa in full Kåñëa consciousness. Such a person is never entangled in the reactions of work.


naiva kiïcit karométi

yukto manyeta tattva-vit

paçyaï çåëvan spåçaï jighrann

açnan gacchan svapan çvasan

pralapan visåjan gåhëann

unmiñan nimiñann api


vartanta iti dhärayan


na—never; eva—certainly; kiïcit—anything; karomi—I do; iti—thus; yuktaù—engaged in the divine consciousness; manyeta—thinks; tattva-vit—one who knows the truth; paçyan—seeing; çåëvan—hearing; spåçan—touching; jighran—smelling; açnan—eating;gacchan—going; svapan—dreaming; çvasan—breathing; pralapan—talking; visåjan—giving up; gåhëan—accepting; unmiñan—opening; nimiñan—closing; api—in spite of; indriyäëi—the senses;indriya-artheñu—in sense gratification; vartante—let them be so engaged; iti—thus; dhärayan—considering.


A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking,evacuating, receiving, or opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.


A person in Kåñëa consciousness is pure in his existence, and consequently he has nothing to do with any work which depends upon five immediate and remote causes: the doer, the work, the situation, the endeavor and fortune. This is because he is engaged in the loving transcendental service of Kåñëa. Although he appears to be acting with his body and senses, he is always conscious of his actual position, which is spiritual engagement. In material consciousness, the senses are engaged in sense gratification, but in Kåñëa consciousness the senses are engaged in the satisfaction of Kåñëa’s senses. Therefore, the Kåñëa conscious person is always free, even though he appears to be engaged in affairs of the senses. Activities such as seeing and hearing are actions of the senses meant for receiving knowledge, whereas moving, speaking, evacuating, etc., are actions of the senses meant for work. A Kåñëa conscious person is never affected by the actions of the senses. He cannot perform any act except in the service of the Lord because he knows that he is the eternal servitor of the Lord.


brahmaëy ädhäya karmäëi

saìgaà tyaktvä karoti yaù

lipyate na sa päpena

padma-patram ivämbhasä


brahmaëi—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ädhäya—resigning; karmäëi—all works;saìgam—attachment; tyaktvä—giving up; karoti—performs; yaù—who; lipyate—is affected; na—never;saù—he; päpena—by sin; padma-patram—a lotus leaf; iva—like; ambhasä—by the water.


One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf isuntouched by water.


Here brahmaëi means in Kåñëa consciousness. The material world is a sum total manifestation of the three modes of material nature, technically called the pradhäna. The Vedic hymns sarvaà hy etad brahma (Mäëòükya Upaniñad 2), tasmäd etad brahma näma-rüpam annaà ca jäyate (Muëòaka Upaniñad 1.2.10), and, in the Bhagavad-gétä (14.3),mama yonir mahad brahma indicate that everything in the material world is a manifestation of Brahman; and although the effects are differently manifested, they are nondifferent from the cause. In theÉçopaniñad it is said that everything is related to the Supreme Brahman, or Kåñëa, and thus everything belongs to Him only. One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Kåñëa, that He is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one’s material body, being a gift of the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Kåñëa consciousness. It is then beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the Gétä (3.30), mayi sarväëi karmäëi sannyasya: “Resign all works unto Me [Kåñëa].” The conclusion is that a person without Kåñëa consciousness acts according to the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Kåñëa consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of Kåñëa and should therefore be engaged in the service of Kåñëa.


käyena manasä buddhyä

kevalair indriyair api

yoginaù karma kurvanti

saìgaà tyaktvätma-çuddhaye


käyena—with the body; manasä—with the mind;buddhyä—with the intelligence; kevalaiù—purified; indriyaiù—with the senses; api—even; yoginaù—Kåñëa conscious persons; karma—actions; kurvanti—they perform; saìgam—attachment; tyaktvä—giving up; ätma—of the self; çuddhaye—for the purpose of purification.


The yogés, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.


When one acts in Kåñëa consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Kåñëa, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Kåñëa conscious person. Therefore purified activities, which are generally called sad-äcära, can be easily performed by acting in Kåñëa consciousness. Çré Rüpa Gosvämé in his Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.2.187) describes this as follows: 

éhä yasya harer däsye

karmaëä manasä girä

nikhiläsv apy avasthäsu

jévan-muktaù sa ucyate

“A person acting in Kåñëa consciousness (or, in other words, in the service of Kåñëa) with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities.” He has no false ego, for he does not believe that he is this material body, or that he possesses the body. He knows that he is not this body and that this body does not belong to him. He himself belongs to Kåñëa, and the body too belongs to Kåñëa. When he applies everything produced of the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth, etc.—whatever he may have within his possession—to Kåñëa’s service, he is at once dovetailed with Kåñëa. He is one with Kåñëa and is devoid of the false ego that leads one to believe that he is the body, etc. This is the perfect stage of Kåñëa consciousness.


yuktaù karma-phalaà tyaktvä

çäntim äpnoti naiñöhikém

ayuktaù käma-käreëa

phale sakto nibadhyate


yuktaù—one who is engaged in devotional service;karma-phalam—the results of all activities; tyaktvä—giving up; çäntim—perfect peace; äpnoti—achieves; naiñöhikém—unflinching; ayuktaù—one who is not in Kåñëa consciousness; käma-käreëa—for enjoying the result of work; phale—in the result; saktaù—attached;nibadhyate—becomes entangled.


The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.


The difference between a person in Kåñëa consciousness and a person in bodily consciousness is that the former is attached to Kåñëa whereas the latter is attached to the results of his activities. The person who is attached to Kåñëa and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person, and he has no anxiety over the results of his work. In theBhägavatam, the cause of anxiety over the result of an activity is explained as being one’s functioning in the conception of duality, that is, without knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Kåñëa is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. In Kåñëa consciousness, there is no duality. All that exists is a product of Kåñëa’s energy, and Kåñëa is all good. Therefore, activities in Kåñëa consciousness are on the absolute plane; they are transcendental and have no material effect. One is therefore filled with peace in Kåñëa consciousness. But one who is entangled in profit calculation for sense gratification cannot have that peace. This is the secret of Kåñëa consciousness—realization that there is no existence besides Kåñëa is the platform of peace and fearlessness.


sarva-karmäëi manasä

sannyasyäste sukhaà vaçé

nava-dväre pure dehé

naiva kurvan na kärayan


sarva—all; karmäëi—activities; manasä—by the mind;sannyasya—giving up; äste—remains; sukham—in happiness; vaçé—one who is controlled; nava-dväre—in the place where there are nine gates; pure—in the city; dehé—the embodied soul; na—never; eva—certainly; kurvan—doing anything; na—not; kärayan—causing to be done.


When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.


The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by its particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Kåñëa consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Kåñëa consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are mentioned as follows: 

nava-dväre pure dehé

haàso leläyate bahiù

vaçé sarvasya lokasya

sthävarasya carasya ca

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates [two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals]. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body.” (Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad 3.18)

Therefore, a Kåñëa conscious person is free from both the outer and inner activities of the material body.


na kartåtvaà na karmäëi

lokasya såjati prabhuù

na karma-phala-saàyogaà

svabhävas tu pravartate


na—never; kartåtvam—proprietorship; na—nor;karmäëi—activities; lokasya—of the people; såjati—creates; prabhuù—the master of the city of the body;na—nor; karma-phala—with the results of activities; saàyogam—connection; svabhävaù—the modes of material nature; tu—but; pravartate—act.


The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.


The living entity, as will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, is one of the energies or natures of the Supreme Lord but is distinct from matter, which is another nature—called inferior—of the Lord. Somehow the superior nature, the living entity, has been in contact with material nature since time immemorial. The temporary body or material dwelling place which he obtains is the cause of varieties of activities and their resultant reactions. Living in such a conditional atmosphere, one suffers the results of the activities of the body by identifying himself (in ignorance) with the body. It is ignorance acquired from time immemorial that is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the living entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free from the reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean, struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by transcendental Kåñëa consciousness. That alone will save him from all turmoil.


nädatte kasyacit päpaà

na caiva sukåtaà vibhuù

ajïänenävåtaà jïänaà

tena muhyanti jantavaù


na—never; ädatte—accepts; kasyacit—anyone’s;päpam—sin; na—nor; ca—also; eva—certainly; su-kåtam—pious activities; vibhuù—the Supreme Lord;ajïänena—by ignorance; ävåtam—covered; jïänam—knowledge; tena—by that; muhyanti—are bewildered; jantavaù—the living entities.


Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.


The Sanskrit word vibhu means the Supreme Lord who is full of unlimited knowledge, riches, strength, fame, beauty and renunciation. He is always satisfied in Himself, undisturbed by sinful or pious activities. He does not create a particular situation for any living entity, but the living entity, bewildered by ignorance, desires to be put into certain conditions of life, and thereby his chain of action and reaction begins. A living entity is, by superior nature, full of knowledge. Nevertheless, he is prone to be influenced by ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is omnipotent, but the living entity is not. The Lord is vibhu, or omniscient, but the living entity is aëu, or atomic. Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to desire by his free will. Such desire is fulfilled only by the omnipotent Lord. And so, when the living entity is bewildered in his desires, the Lord allows him to fulfill those desires, but the Lord is never responsible for the actions and reactions of the particular situation which may be desired. Being in a bewildered condition, therefore, the embodied soul identifies himself with the circumstantial material body and becomes subjected to the temporary misery and happiness of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramätmä, or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the individual soul, as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it. Desire is a subtle form of conditioning for the living entity. The Lord fulfills his desire as he deserves: Man proposes and God disposes. The individual is not, therefore, omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. The Lord, however, can fulfill all desires, and the Lord, being neutral to everyone, does not interfere with the desires of the minute independent living entities. However, when one desires Kåñëa, the Lord takes special care and encourages one to desire in such a way that one can attain to Him and be eternally happy. The Vedic hymns therefore declare, eña u hy eva sädhu karma kärayati taà yam ebhyo lokebhya unninéñate. eña u eväsädhu karma kärayati yam adho ninéñate: “The Lord engages the living entity in pious activities so that he may be elevated. The Lord engages him in impious activities so that he may go to hell.” (Kauñétaké Upaniñad 3.8) 

ajïo jantur anéço ’yam

ätmanaù sukha-duùkhayoù

éçvara-prerito gacchet

svargaà väçv abhram eva ca

“The living entity is completely dependent in his distress and happiness. By the will of the Supreme he can go to heaven or hell, as a cloud is driven by the air.” 

Therefore the embodied soul, by his immemorial desire to avoid Kåñëa consciousness, causes his own bewilderment. Consequently, although he is constitutionally eternal, blissful and cognizant, due to the littleness of his existence he forgets his constitutional position of service to the Lord and is thus entrapped by nescience. And, under the spell of ignorance, the living entity claims that the Lord is responsible for his conditional existence. The Vedänta-sütras (2.1.34) also confirm this. Vaiñamya-nairghåëye na säpekñatvät tathä hi darçayati: “The Lord neither hates nor likes anyone, though He appears to.”


jïänena tu tad ajïänaà

yeñäà näçitam ätmanaù

teñäm äditya-vaj jïänaà

prakäçayati tat param


jïänena—by knowledge; tu—but; tat—that; ajïänam—nescience; yeñäm—whose; näçitam—is destroyed;ätmanaù—of the living entity; teñäm—their; äditya-vat—like the rising sun; jïänam—knowledge; prakäçayati—discloses; tat param—Kåñëa consciousness.


When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.


Those who have forgotten Kåñëa must certainly be bewildered, but those who are in Kåñëa consciousness are not bewildered at all. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gétä, sarvaà jïäna-plavena, jïänägniù sarva-karmäëi and na hi jïänena sadåçam.Knowledge is always highly esteemed. And what is that knowledge? Perfect knowledge is achieved when one surrenders unto Kåñëa, as is said in the Seventh Chapter, 19th verse: bahünäà janmanäm ante jïänavän mäà prapadyate. After passing through many, many births, when one perfect in knowledge surrenders unto Kåñëa, or when one attains Kåñëa consciousness, then everything is revealed to him, as everything is revealed by the sun in the daytime. The living entity is bewildered in so many ways. For instance, when he unceremoniously thinks himself God, he actually falls into the last snare of nescience. If a living entity is God, then how can he become bewildered by nescience? Does God become bewildered by nescience? If so, then nescience, or Satan, is greater than God. Real knowledge can be obtained from a person who is in perfect Kåñëa consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Kåñëa consciousness is, for Kåñëa consciousness will certainly drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness. Even though a person may be in full knowledge that he is not this body but is transcendental to the body, he still may not be able to discriminate between the soul and the Supersoul. However, he can know everything well if he cares to take shelter of the perfect, bona fide Kåñëa conscious spiritual master. One can know God and one’s relationship with God only when one actually meets a representative of God. A representative of God never claims that he is God, although he is paid all the respect ordinarily paid to God because he has knowledge of God. One has to learn the distinction between God and the living entity. Lord Çré Kåñëa therefore stated in the Second Chapter (2.12) that every living being is individual and that the Lord also is individual. They were all individuals in the past, they are individuals at present, and they will continue to be individuals in the future, even after liberation. At night we see everything as one in the darkness, but in day, when the sun is up, we see everything in its real identity. Identity with individuality in spiritual life is real knowledge.


tad-buddhayas tad-ätmänas

tan-niñöhäs tat-paräyaëäù

gacchanty apunar-ävåttià



tat-buddhayaù—those whose intelligence is always in the Supreme; tat-ätmänaù—those whose minds are always in the Supreme; tat-niñöhäù—those whose faith is only meant for the Supreme; tat-paräyaëäù—who have completely taken shelter of Him; gacchanti—go; apunaù-ävåttim—to liberation; jïäna—by knowledge; nirdhüta—cleansed; kalmañäù—misgivings.


When one’s intelligence, mind, faith and refuge are all fixed in the Supreme, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings through complete knowledge and thus proceeds straight on the path of liberation.


The Supreme Transcendental Truth is Lord Kåñëa. The whole Bhagavad-gétä centers around the declaration that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the version of all Vedic literature. Para-tattvameans the Supreme Reality, who is understood by the knowers of the Supreme as Brahman, Paramätmä and Bhagavän. Bhagavän, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the last word in the Absolute. There is nothing more than that. The Lord says, mattaù parataraà nänyat kiïcid asti dhanaïjaya. Impersonal Brahman is also supported by Kåñëa: brahmaëo hi pratiñöhäham. Therefore in all ways Kåñëa is the Supreme Reality. One whose mind, intelligence, faith and refuge are always in Kåñëa, or, in other words, one who is fully in Kåñëa consciousness, is undoubtedly washed clean of all misgivings and is in perfect knowledge in everything concerning transcendence. A Kåñëa conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality (simultaneous identity and individuality) in Kåñëa, and, equipped with such transcendental knowledge, one can make steady progress on the path of liberation.



brähmaëe gavi hastini

çuni caiva çva-päke ca

paëòitäù sama-darçinaù


vidyä—with education; vinaya—and gentleness;sampanne—fully equipped; brähmaëe—in thebrähmaëa; gavi—in the cow; hastini—in the elephant; çuni—in the dog; ca—and; eva—certainly; çva-päke—in the dog-eater (the outcaste); ca—respectively;paëòitäù—those who are wise; sama-darçinaù—who see with equal vision.


The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brähmaëa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].


A Kåñëa conscious person does not make any distinction between species or castes. The brähmaëaand the outcaste may be different from the social point of view, or a dog, a cow, and an elephant may be different from the point of view of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramätmä, is present in everyone’s heart. Such an understanding of the Supreme is real knowledge. As far as the bodies are concerned in different castes or different species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramätmä regardless of the circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramätmä is present both in the outcaste and in thebrähmaëa, although the body of a brähmaëa and that of an outcaste are not the same. The bodies are material productions of different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the body are of the same spiritual quality. The similarity in the quality of the soul and the Supersoul, however, does not make them equal in quantity, for the individual soul is present only in that particular body whereas the Paramätmä is present in each and every body. A Kåñëa conscious person has full knowledge of this, and therefore he is truly learned and has equal vision. The similar characteristics of the soul and Supersoul are that they are both conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is conscious within the limited jurisdiction of the body whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without distinction.


ihaiva tair jitaù sargo

yeñäà sämye sthitaà manaù

nirdoñaà hi samaà brahma

tasmäd brahmaëi te sthitäù


iha—in this life; eva—certainly; taiù—by them; jitaù—conquered; sargaù—birth and death; yeñäm—whose;sämye—in equanimity; sthitam—situated; manaù—mind; nirdoñam—flawless; hi—certainly; samam—in equanimity; brahma—like the Supreme; tasmät—therefore; brahmaëi—in the Supreme; te—they;sthitäù—are situated.


Those whose minds are established in sameness and equanimity have already conquered the conditions of birth and death. They are flawless like Brahman, and thus they are already situated in Brahman.


Equanimity of mind, as mentioned above, is the sign of self-realization. Those who have actually attained to such a stage should be considered to have conquered material conditions, specifically birth and death. As long as one identifies with this body, he is considered a conditioned soul, but as soon as he is elevated to the stage of equanimity through realization of self, he is liberated from conditional life. In other words, he is no longer subject to take birth in the material world but can enter into the spiritual sky after his death. The Lord is flawless because He is without attraction or hatred. Similarly, when a living entity is without attraction or hatred, he also becomes flawless and eligible to enter into the spiritual sky. Such persons are to be considered already liberated, and their symptoms are described below.


na prahåñyet priyaà präpya

nodvijet präpya cäpriyam

sthira-buddhir asammüòho

brahma-vid brahmaëi sthitaù


na—never; prahåñyet—rejoices; priyam—the pleasant; präpya—achieving; na—does not; udvijet—become agitated; präpya—obtaining; ca—also; apriyam—the unpleasant; sthira-buddhiù—self-intelligent; asammüòhaù—unbewildered; brahma-vit—one who knows the Supreme perfectly; brahmaëi—in the transcendence; sthitaù—situated.


A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is already situated in transcendence.


The symptoms of the self-realized person are given herein. The first symptom is that he is not illusioned by the false identification of the body with his true self. He knows perfectly well that he is not this body, but is the fragmental portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is therefore not joyful in achieving something, nor does he lament in losing anything which is related to his body. This steadiness of mind is called sthira-buddhi, or self-intelligence. He is therefore never bewildered by mistaking the gross body for the soul, nor does he accept the body as permanent and disregard the existence of the soul. This knowledge elevates him to the station of knowing the complete science of the Absolute Truth, namely Brahman, Paramätmä and Bhagavän. He thus knows his constitutional position perfectly well, without falsely trying to become one with the Supreme in all respects. This is called Brahman realization, or self-realization. Such steady consciousness is called Kåñëa consciousness.


bähya-sparçeñv asaktätmä

vindaty ätmani yat sukham

sa brahma-yoga-yuktätmä

sukham akñayam açnute


bähya-sparçeñu—in external sense pleasure; asakta-ätmä—one who is not attached; vindati—enjoys;ätmani—in the self; yat—that which; sukham—happiness; saù—he; brahma-yoga—by concentration in Brahman; yukta-ätmä—self-connected; sukham—happiness; akñayam—unlimited; açnute—enjoys.


Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.


Çré Yämunäcärya, a great devotee in Kåñëa consciousness, said: 

yad-avadhi mama cetaù kåñëa-pädäravinde 

nava-nava-rasa-dhämany udyataà rantum äsét

tad-avadhi bata näré-saìgame smaryamäne

bhavati mukha-vikäraù suñöhu niñöhévanaà ca

“Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kåñëa, realizing ever-new pleasure in Him, whenever I think of sex pleasure I spit at the thought, and my lips curl with distaste.” A person inbrahma-yoga, or Kåñëa consciousness, is so absorbed in the loving service of the Lord that he loses his taste for material sense pleasure altogether. The highest pleasure in terms of matter is sex pleasure. The whole world is moving under its spell, and a materialist cannot work at all without this motivation. But a person engaged in Kåñëa consciousness can work with greater vigor without sex pleasure, which he avoids. That is the test in spiritual realization. Spiritual realization and sex pleasure go ill together. A Kåñëa conscious person is not attracted to any kind of sense pleasure, due to his being a liberated soul.


ye hi saàsparça-jä bhogä

duùkha-yonaya eva te

ädy-antavantaù kaunteya

na teñu ramate budhaù


ye—those; hi—certainly; saàsparça-jäù—by contact with the material senses; bhogäù—enjoyments;duùkha—distress; yonayaù—sources of; eva—certainly; te—they are; ädi—beginning; anta—end;vantaù—subject to; kaunteya—O son of Kunté; na—never; teñu—in those; ramate—takes delight; budhaù—the intelligent person.


An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunté, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.


Material sense pleasures are due to the contact of the material senses, which are all temporary because the body itself is temporary. A liberated soul is not interested in anything which is temporary. Knowing well the joys of transcendental pleasures, how can a liberated soul agree to enjoy false pleasure? In thePadma Puräëa it is said:

ramante yogino ’nante

satyänande cid-ätmani

iti räma-padenäsau

paraà brahmäbhidhéyate

“The mystics derive unlimited transcendental pleasures from the Absolute Truth, and therefore the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, is also known as Räma.”

In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam also (5.5.1) it is said: 

näyaà deho deha-bhäjäà nå-loke

kañöän kämän arhate viò-bhujäà ye

tapo divyaà putrakä yena sattvaà

çuddhyed yasmäd brahma-saukhyaà tv anantam

“My dear sons, there is no reason to labor very hard for sense pleasure while in this human form of life; such pleasures are available to the stool-eaters [hogs]. Rather, you should undergo penances in this life by which your existence will be purified, and as a result you will be able to enjoy unlimited transcendental bliss.”

Therefore, those who are true yogés or learned transcendentalists are not attracted by sense pleasures, which are the causes of continuous material existence. The more one is addicted to material pleasures, the more he is entrapped by material miseries.


çaknotéhaiva yaù soòhuà

präk çaréra-vimokñaëät

käma-krodhodbhavaà vegaà

sa yuktaù sa sukhé naraù


çaknoti—is able; iha eva—in the present body; yaù—one who; soòhum—to tolerate; präk—before; çaréra—the body; vimokñaëät—giving up; käma—desire;krodha—and anger; udbhavam—generated from;vegam—urges; saù—he; yuktaù—in trance; saù—he;sukhé—happy; naraù—human being.


Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.


If one wants to make steady progress on the path of self-realization, he must try to control the forces of the material senses. There are the forces of talk, forces of anger, forces of mind, forces of the stomach, forces of the genitals, and forces of the tongue. One who is able to control the forces of all these different senses, and the mind, is calledgosvämé, or svämé. Such gosvämés live strictly controlled lives, and forgo altogether the forces of the senses. Material desires, when unsatiated, generate anger, and thus the mind, eyes and chest become agitated. Therefore, one must practice to control them before one gives up this material body. One who can do this is understood to be self-realized and is thus happy in the state of self-realization. It is the duty of the transcendentalist to try strenuously to control desire and anger.


yo ’ntaù-sukho ’ntar-ärämas

tathäntar-jyotir eva yaù

sa yogé brahma-nirväëaà

brahma-bhüto ’dhigacchati


yaù—one who; antaù-sukhaù—happy from within;antaù-ärämaù—actively enjoying within; tathä—as well as; antaù-jyotiù—aiming within; eva—certainly;yaù—anyone; saù—he; yogé—a mystic; brahma-nirväëam—liberation in the Supreme; brahma-bhütaù—being self-realized; adhigacchati—attains.


One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.


Unless one is able to relish happiness from within, how can one retire from the external engagements meant for deriving superficial happiness? A liberated person enjoys happiness by factual experience. He can, therefore, sit silently at any place and enjoy the activities of life from within. Such a liberated person no longer desires external material happiness. This state is called brahma-bhüta, attaining which one is assured of going back to Godhead, back to home.


labhante brahma-nirväëam

åñayaù kñéëa-kalmañäù

chinna-dvaidhä yatätmänaù

sarva-bhüta-hite ratäù


labhante—achieve; brahma-nirväëam—liberation in the Supreme; åñayaù—those who are active within;kñéëa-kalmañäù—who are devoid of all sins; chinna—having torn off; dvaidhäù—duality; yata-ätmänaù—engaged in self-realization; sarva-bhüta—for all living entities; hite—in welfare work; ratäù—engaged.


Those who are beyond the dualities that arise from doubts, whose minds are engaged within, who are always busy working for the welfare of all living beings, and who are free from all sins achieve liberation in the Supreme.


Only a person who is fully in Kåñëa consciousness can be said to be engaged in welfare work for all living entities. When a person is actually in the knowledge that Kåñëa is the fountainhead of everything, then when he acts in that spirit he acts for everyone. The sufferings of humanity are due to forgetfulness of Kåñëa as the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor, and the supreme friend. Therefore, to act to revive this consciousness within the entire human society is the highest welfare work. One cannot be engaged in such first-class welfare work without being liberated in the Supreme. A Kåñëa conscious person has no doubt about the supremacy of Kåñëa. He has no doubt because he is completely freed from all sins. This is the state of divine love.

A person engaged only in ministering to the physical welfare of human society cannot factually help anyone. Temporary relief of the external body and the mind is not satisfactory. The real cause of one’s difficulties in the hard struggle for life may be found in one’s forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When a man is fully conscious of his relationship with Kåñëa, he is actually a liberated soul, although he may be in the material tabernacle.



yaténäà yata-cetasäm

abhito brahma-nirväëaà

vartate viditätmanäm


käma—from desires; krodha—and anger;vimuktänäm—of those who are liberated; yaténäm—of the saintly persons; yata-cetasäm—who have full control over the mind; abhitaù—assured in the near future; brahma-nirväëam—liberation in the Supreme;vartate—is there; vidita-ätmanäm—of those who are self-realized.


Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.


Of the saintly persons who are constantly engaged in striving toward salvation, one who is in Kåñëa consciousness is the best of all. The Bhägavatam(4.22.39) confirms this fact as follows:


karmäçayaà grathitam udgrathayanti santaù

tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo ’pi ruddha-

sroto-gaëäs tam araëaà bhaja väsudevam

“Just try to worship, in devotional service, Väsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even great sages are not able to control the forces of the senses as effectively as those who are engaged in transcendental bliss by serving the lotus feet of the Lord, uprooting the deep-grown desire for fruitive activities.”

In the conditioned soul the desire to enjoy the fruitive results of work is so deep rooted that it is very difficult even for the great sages to control such desires, despite great endeavors. A devotee of the Lord, constantly engaged in devotional service in Kåñëa consciousness, perfect in self-realization, very quickly attains liberation in the Supreme. Owing to his complete knowledge in self-realization, he always remains in trance. To cite an analogous example of this:



sväny apatyäni puñëanti

tathäham api padma-ja

“By vision, by meditation and by touch only do the fish, the tortoise and the birds maintain their offspring. Similarly do I also, O Padmaja!”

The fish brings up its offspring simply by looking at them. The tortoise brings up its offspring simply by meditation. The eggs of the tortoise are laid on land, and the tortoise meditates on the eggs while in the water. Similarly, the devotee in Kåñëa consciousness, although far away from the Lord’s abode, can elevate himself to that abode simply by thinking of Him constantly—by engagement in Kåñëa consciousness. He does not feel the pangs of material miseries; this state of life is called brahma-nirväëa, or the absence of material miseries due to being constantly immersed in the Supreme.

TEXTS 27–28

sparçän kåtvä bahir bähyäàç

cakñuç caiväntare bhruvoù

präëäpänau samau kåtvä



munir mokña-paräyaëaù


yaù sadä mukta eva saù


sparçän—sense objects, such as sound; kåtvä—keeping; bahiù—external; bähyän—unnecessary;cakñuù—eyes; ca—also; eva—certainly; antare—between; bhruvoù—the eyebrows; präëa-apänau—up-and down-moving air; samau—in suspension; kåtvä—keeping; näsa-abhyantara—within the nostrils;cäriëau—blowing; yata—controlled; indriya—senses;manaù—mind; buddhiù—intelligence; muniù—the transcendentalist; mokña—for liberation; paräyaëaù—being so destined; vigata—having discarded; icchä—wishes; bhaya—fear; krodhaù—anger; yaù—one who; sadä—always; muktaù—liberated; eva—certainly; saù—he is.


Shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the eyes and vision concentrated between the two eyebrows, suspending the inward and outwardbreaths within the nostrils, and thus controlling the mind, senses and intelligence, the transcendentalist aiming at liberation becomes free from desire, fear and anger. One who is always in this state is certainly liberated.


Being engaged in Kåñëa consciousness, one can immediately understand one’s spiritual identity, and then one can understand the Supreme Lord by means of devotional service. When one is well situated in devotional service, one comes to the transcendental position, qualified to feel the presence of the Lord in the sphere of one’s activity. This particular position is called liberation in the Supreme.

After explaining the above principles of liberation in the Supreme, the Lord gives instruction to Arjuna as to how one can come to that position by the practice of the mysticism or yoga known as añöäìga-yoga,which is divisible into an eightfold procedure calledyama, niyama, äsana, präëäyäma, pratyähära, dhäraëä, dhyäna and samädhi. In the Sixth Chapter the subject of yoga is explicitly detailed, and at the end of the Fifth it is only preliminarily explained. One has to drive out the sense objects such as sound, touch, form, taste and smell by the pratyähäraprocess in yoga, and then keep the vision of the eyes between the two eyebrows and concentrate on the tip of the nose with half-closed lids. There is no benefit in closing the eyes altogether, because then there is every chance of falling asleep. Nor is there benefit in opening the eyes completely, because then there is the hazard of being attracted by sense objects. The breathing movement is restrained within the nostrils by neutralizing the up-moving and down-moving air within the body. By practice of such yoga one is able to gain control over the senses, refrain from outward sense objects, and thus prepare oneself for liberation in the Supreme.

This yoga process helps one become free from all kinds of fear and anger and thus feel the presence of the Supersoul in the transcendental situation. In other words, Kåñëa consciousness is the easiest process of executing yoga principles. This will be thoroughly explained in the next chapter. A Kåñëa conscious person, however, being always engaged in devotional service, does not risk losing his senses to some other engagement. This is a better way of controlling the senses than by the añöäìga-yoga.


bhoktäraà yajïa-tapasäà


suhådaà sarva-bhütänäà

jïätvä mäà çäntim åcchati


bhoktäram—the beneficiary; yajïa—of sacrifices;tapasäm—and penances and austerities; sarva-loka—of all planets and the demigods thereof; mahä-éçvaram—the Supreme Lord; su-hådam—the benefactor; sarva—of all; bhütänäm—the living entities; jïätvä—thus knowing; mäm—Me (Lord Kåñëa); çäntim—relief from material pangs; åcchati—one achieves.


A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.


The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in this part of the Bhagavad-gétä.The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Kåñëa is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, Lord Çiva and Lord Brahmä. In the Vedas(Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad 6.7) the Supreme Lord is described as tam éçvaräëäà paramaà maheçvaraà.Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Kåñëa consciousness: Lord Kåñëa is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Kåñëa consciousness.

This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Kåñëa consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Kåñëa consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Kåñëa consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jïäna-yoga is a path leading to bhakti-yoga. Kåñëa consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one’s relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this consciousness is full knowledge of Kåñëa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part and parcel. He comes into contact with mäyä (illusion) due to the desire to lord it over mäyä, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Kåñëa consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything depends on one’s practical performance of duties in Kåñëa consciousness, which helps one control the senses in every respect and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And one who stands fast in Kåñëa consciousness, controlling the abovementioned passions, remains factually in the transcendental stage, or brahma-nirväëa. The eightfold yoga mysticism is automatically practiced in Kåñëa consciousness because the ultimate purpose is served. There is a gradual process of elevation in the practice of yama, niyama, äsana, präëäyäma, pratyähära, dhäraëä, dhyäna and samädhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Fifth Chapter of the Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä in the matter of Karma-yoga, or Action in Kåñëa Consciousness.





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