Monasticism and Liberation – Chapter 18 – Slokas 18.01 – 18.78

Arjuna said, “sannyasasya maha-baho
tattvam icchami veditum
tyagasya ca hrsikesa
prthak kesi-nisudana – O mighty-armed Hrsikesa, O slayer of Kesi, I want to know the truth about sannyāsa as also about tyāga.”

 

The Blessed Lord said, “kamyanam karmanam nyasam
sannyasam kavayo viduh
sarva-karma-phala-tyagam
prahus tyagam vicaksanah – The learned ones know sannyāsa to be the giving up of actions with a desire of reward. The adepts call the abandonment of the results of all works as tyāga.

 

tyajyam dosa-vad ity eke
karma prahur manisinah
yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam iti capare – Some learned persons say that action, beset with evil as it is, should be given up, and others say that the practice of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be given up.

 

niscayam srnu me tatra
tyage bharata-sattama
tyago hi purusa-vyaghra
tri-vidhah samprakirtitah – O the most excellent among the descendants of Bharata, hear from Me the firm conclusion regarding that tyāga. For, O greatest among men, tyāga has been clearly declared to be of three kinds.

 

yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
pavanani manisinam – The practice of sacrifice, charity and austerity is not to be abandoned; it is surely to be undertaken. Sacrifice, charity and austerity are verily the purifiers of the wise.

 

etany api tu karmani
sangam tyaktva phalani ca
kartavyaniti me partha
niscitam matam uttamam – But even these actions have to be undertaken by renouncing attachment and by giving up their results. This is My firm and best conclusion, O Pārtha.

 

niyatasya tu sannyasah
karmano nopapadyate
mohat tasya parityagas
tamasah parikirtitah – The abandoning of daily obligatory acts is not justifiable. Giving up that through delusion is declared to be based on tamas.

 

duhkham ity eva yat karma
kaya-klesa-bhayat tyajet
sa krtva rajasam tyagam
naiva tyaga-phalam labhet – Whatever action one may relinquish merely as being painful, from fear of physical suffering, he, having resorted to renunciation based on rajas, will surely not acquire the fruits of renunciation.

 

karyam ity eva yat karma
niyatam kriyate ‘rjuna
sangam tyaktva phalam caiva
sa tyagah sattviko matah – Whatever obligatory duty is performed just because it is a bounden duty, O Arjuna, by giving up attachment and the result as well, that renunciation is considered to be based on sattva.

 

na dvesty akusalam karma
kusale nanusajjate
tyagi sattva-samavisto
medhavi chinna-samsayah – The man of renunciation who has become imbued with sattva, who is wise and freed from doubts, does not hate unbefitting action, nor does he become attached to befitting activity.

 

na hi deha-bhrta sakyam
tyaktum karmany asesatah
yas tu karma-phala-tyagi
sa tyagity abhidhiyate – Since it is not possible for one who holds on to a body to give up actions entirely, therefore he, on the other hand, who renounces results of actions is called a man of renunciation.

 

anistam istam misram ca
tri-vidham karmanah phalam
bhavaty atyaginam pretya
na tu sannyasinam kvacit – The threefold results of actions – the undesirable, the desirable and the mixed accrues after death to those who do not resort to renunciation, but never to those who resort to monasticism.

 

pancaitani maha-baho
karanani nibodha me
sankhye krtante proktani
siddhaye sarva-karmanam – O mighty-armed one, learn from Me these five factors for the accomplishment of all actions which have been spoken of in sānkhye in which actions terminate.

 

adhisthanam tatha karta
karanam ca prthag-vidham
vividhas ca prthak cesta
daivam caivatra pancamam – The locus being the body as also the agent, the different kinds of organs, the many distinct activities and the divine here is the fifth.

 

sarira-van-manobhir yat
karma prarabhate narah
nyayyam va viparitam va
pancaite tasya hetavah – Whatever action a man performs with the body, speech and mind be it just or its reverse and opposite, of it these five are the causes.

 

tatraivam sati kartaram
atmanam kevalam tu yah
pasyaty akrta-buddhitvan
na sa pasyati durmatih – This being the case, anyone who perceives the absolute Self as the agent owing to the imperfection of his intellect, that man does not perceive properly and has a perverse intellect.

 

yasya nahankrto bhavo
buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvapi sa imal lokan
na hanti na nibadhyate – He who has not the feeling of egoism, whose intellect is not tainted, he does not kill, nor does he become bound – even by killing these creatures

 

jnanam jneyam parijnata
tri-vidha karma-codana
karanam karma karteti
tri-vidhah karma-sangrahah – Knowledge, the object of the Knowledge and the Knower this is the threefold inducement to action. The comprehension of actions comes under three heads – the instrument, the object and the subject.

 

jnanam karma ca karta ca
tridhaiva guna-bhedatah
procyate guna-sankhyane
yathavac chrnu tany api – Knowledge, action and agent are stated in the teaching about the gunas to be only of three kinds according to the differences of the gunas. Hear about them also as they are.

 

sarva-bhutesu yenaikam
bhavam avyayam iksate
avibhaktam vibhaktesu
taj jnanam viddhi sattvikam – Know THAT Knowledge to be originating from sattva through which one sees a single undecaying undivided Entity in all the diversified things.

 

But know that knowledge to be originating from rajas which, amidst all things, apprehends the different entities of various kinds as distinct.

 

But that knowledge is said to be born of tamas which is confined to one form as though it were all, which is irrational, not concerned with truth and trivial.

 

niyatam sanga-rahitam
araga-dvesatah krtam
aphala-prepsuna karma
yat tat sattvikam ucyate – The daily obligatory action which is performed without attachment without likes or dislikes by one who does not hanker for rewards, that is said to be born of sattva.

 

But that action is said to be born of rajas which is done by one desirous of results or by one who is egotistic, and which is highly strenuous.

 

That action is said to be born of tamas which is undertaken out of delusion, and without consideration of its consequence, loss, harm and ability.

 

mukta-sango ‘naham-vadi
dhrty-utsaha-samanvitah
siddhy-asiddhyor nirvikarah
karta sattvika ucyate – The agent who is free from attachment not egotistic, endowed with fortitude and diligence and unperturbed by success and failure is said to be possessed of sattva. 

 

The agent who has attachment, who is desirous of the results of actions, covetous, cruel by nature, unclean and subject to joy and sorrow is declared to be possessed of rajas.

 

The agent who is unsteady, naive, unbending, deceitful, wicked, lazy, morose and procrastinating is said to be possessed of tamas.

 

buddher bhedam dhrtes caiva
gunatas tri-vidham srnu
procyamanam asesena
prthaktvena dhananjaya – O Dhananjaya, listen to the classification of the intellect as also of fortitude, which is threefold according to the gunas, while it is being stated elaborately and severally.

 

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca
karyakarye bhayabhaye
bandham moksam ca ya vetti
buddhih sa partha sattviki – O Parthā, that intellect is born of sattva which understands action and withdrawal, duty and what is not duty, the source of fear and fearlessness and bondage and freedom.

 

O Parthā, that intellect is born of rajas with which one wrongly understands virtue and vice as also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.

 

O Parthā, that intellect is born of tamas which, being covered by darkness, considers vice as virtue and verily perceives all things contrary to what they are.

 

dhrtya yaya dharayate
manah-pranendriya-kriyah
yogenavyabhicarinya
dhrtih sa partha sattviki – O Parthā, the firmness that is unfailing through concentration, with which one restrains the mind, vital forces and the organs, that firmness is born of sattva.

 

But O Parthā, the firmness with which one holds on to righteousness, covetable things and wealth, being desirous of their fruits as the occasion for each rises, that firmness is born of rajas.

 

That firmness is considered to be born of tamas due to which a person with a corrupt intellect does not give up sleep, fear, sorrow, despondency as also sensuality.

 

sukham tv idanim tri-vidham
srnu me bharatarsabha
abhyasad ramate yatra
duhkhantam ca nigacchati – Now hear from Me, O scion of the Bharata dynasty, as regards the three kinds of of joy: That in which one delights owing to habitand certainly attains the cessation of sorrows.

 

yat tad agre visam iva
pariname ‘mrtopamam
tat sukham sattvikam proktam
atma-buddhi-prasada-jam – That which is like poison in the beginning but comparable to nectar in the end and which arises from the purity of one’s intellect, that joy is spoken of as born of sattva.

 

That joy is referred to as born of rajas which arising from the contact of the organs and their objects, is like nectar in the beginning, but like poison at the end.

 

That joy is said to be born of tamas which both in the beginning and in the sequel, is delusive to oneself and arises from sleep, laziness and inadvertence.

 

na tad asti prthivyam va
divi devesu va punah
sattvam prakrti-jair muktam
yad ebhih syat tribhir gunaih – There is no such entity in the world or, again among the gods in heaven, which can be free from these three gunas born of Nature.

 

brahmana-ksatriya-visam
sudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktani
svabhava-prabhavair gunaih – O scorcher of enemies, the duties of the Brāhmanas, the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas, as also of the Sudras have been fully classified according to the gunas born from Nature.

 

samo damas tapah saucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam – The natural duties of the Brāhmanas are the control of the internal and external organs, austerity, purity, forgiveness, straightforwardness, knowledge as also wisdom and faith.

 

The natural duties of the Ksatriyas are heroism, boldness, fortitude, capability and also not retreating from battle, generosity and lordliness.

 

The natural duties of the Vaishyas are agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade. Of the Sudras, too, the natural duty is in the form of service.

 

sve sve karmany abhiratah
samsiddhim labhate narah
sva-karma-niratah siddhim
yatha vindati tac chrnu – Being devoted to his own duty, man attains complete success. Hear that as to how one devoted to his own duty achieves success.

 

yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah – A human being achieves success by adoring through his own duties Him from whom is the origin of creatures by whom is all this pervaded.

 

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
svabhava-niyatam karma
kurvan napnoti kilbisam – One’s own duty though defective, is superior to another’s duty well performed. By performing a duty as dictated by one’s own nature, one does not incur sin.

 

saha-jam karma kaunteya
sa-dosam api na tyajet
sarvarambha hi dosena
dhumenagnir ivavrtah – O son of Kunti, one should not give up the duty to which one is born, even though it be faulty. For all undertakings are surrounded with evil, as fire is with smoke.

 

asakta-buddhih sarvatra
jitatma vigata-sprhah
naiskarmya-siddhim paramam
sannyasenadhigacchati – He whose intellect remains unattached to everything, who has conquered his internal organs and is desireless, attains through monasticism the supreme perfection consisting in the state of one free from duties.

 

siddhim prapto yatha brahma
tathapnoti nibodha me
samasenaiva kaunteya
nistha jnanasya ya para – Understand for certain from Me, in brief indeed, O son of Kunti, that process by which one who has achieved success attains Brahman, which is the supreme consummation of Knowledge.

 

buddhya visuddhaya yukto
dhrtyatmanam niyamya ca
sabdadin visayams tyaktva
raga-dvesau vyudasya ca – Being endowed with a pure intellect, and controlling oneself with fortitude rejecting the objects beginning from sound, and eliminating attachment and hatred.

 

vivikta-sevi laghv-asi
yata-vak-kaya-manasah
dhyana-yoga-paro nityam
vairagyam samupasritah – One who resorts to solitude, eats sparingly, has speech, body and mind under control, to whom meditation and concentration are ever the highest duty, and who is possessed of dispassion.

 

ahankaram balam darpam
kamam krodham parigraham
vimucya nirmamah santo
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate – That person having discarded egotism, force, pride, desire, anger and superfluous possessions, free from the idea of possession, and serene, is fit for becoming Brahman.

 

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param – One who has become Brahman and has attained the blissful Self does not grieve or desire. Becoming the same towards all beings, he attains supreme devotion to Me.

 

bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
visate tad-anantaram – Through devotion he knows Me in reality, as to what and who I am. Then, having known Me in truth, he enters into Me immediately after that Knowledge.

 

sarva-karmany api sada
kurvano mad-vyapasrayah
mat-prasadad avapnoti
sasvatam padam avyayam – Ever engaging even in all actions, one to whom I am the refuge, attains the eternal, immutable State through My grace.

 

cetasa sarva-karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
buddhi-yogam upasritya
mac-cittah satatam bhava – Mentally surrendering all actions to Me and accepting Me as the supreme, have your mind fixed on Me by resorting to the concentration of your intellect.

 

mac-cittah sarva-durgani
mat-prasadat tarisyasi
atha cet tvam ahankaran
na srosyasi vinanksyasi – Having your mind fixed on Me, you will cross over all difficulties through My grace. If, one the other hand, you do not listen out of egotism, you will get destroyed.

 

yad ahankaram asritya
na yotsya iti manyase
mithyaisa vyavasayas te
prakrtis tvam niyoksyati – That you think ‘I shall not fight’, by relying on egotism, vain is this determination of yours. Your nature will impel you!

 

svabhava-jena kaunteya
nibaddhah svena karmana
kartum necchasi yan mohat
karisyasy avaso ‘pi tat – Being bound by your own born of nature, O son of Kunti, you, being helpless, will verily do that which you do not wish to do owing to indiscrimination.

 

isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya – O Arjuna, the Lord resides in the region of the heart of all creatures, revolving through Māyā all the creatures as though mounted on a machine!

 

tam eva saranam gaccha
sarva-bhavena bharata
tat-prasadat param santim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam – Take refuge in Him alone with your whole being, O scion of the Bharata dynasty. Through His grace you will attain the Supreme Peace and the eternal Abode.

 

iti te jnanam akhyatam
guhyad guhyataram maya
vimrsyaitad asesena
yathecchasi tatha kuru – To you has been imparted by Me this knowledge which is more secret than any secret. Pondering over this as a whole, do as you like.

 

sarva-guhyatamam bhuyah
srnu me paramam vacah
isto ‘si me drdham iti
tato vaksyami te hitam – Listen again to My highest utterance which is the profoundest of all. Since you are ever dear to Me, therefore I shall speak what is beneficial to you.

 

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me – Have your mind fixed on Me, be My devotee, be a sacrificer to Me and bow down to Me. Thus, you will come to Me alone. This truth do I promise to you. For you are dear to Me.

 

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah – Abandoning all forms of rites and duties, take refuge in Me alone. I shall free you from all sins. Therefore, do not grieve.

 

idam te natapaskaya
nabhaktaya kadacana
na casusrusave vacyam
na ca mam yo ‘bhyasuyati – This that I have taught you should not ever be taught to one who is devoid of austerities and to one who is not a devotee; also, neither to one who does not render service, nor as well to one who cavils at Me.

 

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaisyaty asamsayah – He who, entertaining supreme devotion to Me will speak of this highest secret to My devotees will without doubt reach Me alone.

 

na ca tasman manusyesu
kascin me priya-krttamah
bhavita na ca me tasmad
anyah priyataro bhuvi – And as compared with him, none else among human beings is the best accomplisher of what is dear to Me. Moreover, nor will there be anyone else in the world dearer to Me than he.

 

adhyesyate ca ya imam
dharmyam samvadam avayoh
jnana-yajnena tenaham
istah syam iti me matih – And he who will study this sacred conversation between us two, which is conducive to virtue, by him I shall be adored through the Sacrifice in the form of Knowledge. This is My judgement.

 

sraddhavan anasuyas ca
srnuyad api yo narah
so ‘pi muktah subhal lokan
prapnuyat punya-karmanam – Any man who, being reverential and free from cavilling, might even hear this, he too, becoming free, shall attain the blessed worlds of those who perform virtuous deeds.

 

kaccid etac chrutam partha
tvayaikagrena cetasa
kaccid ajnana-sammohah
pranastas te dhananjaya – O Pārtha, has this been listened to by you with a one-pointed mind? O Dhananjaya, has your delusion caused by ignorance been destroyed?”

 

Arjuna said, “nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat-prasadan mayacyuta
sthito ‘smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava – O Acyuta, my delusion has been destroyed, and memory has been regained by me through Your grace. I stand with my doubt removed; I shall follow Your instruction.”

 

Sanjaya said, “ity aham vasudevasya
parthasya ca mahatmanah
samvadam imam asrausam
adbhutam roma-harsanam – I thus heard this conversation of Vāsudeva and of the great-souled Pārtha, which is unique and makes one’s hair stand on end.

 

vyasa-prasadac chrutavan
etad guhyam aham param
yogam yogesvarat krsnat
saksat kathayatah svayam – Through the favour and grace of Vyāsa I heard this secret concerning the supreme Yoga from Krsna, the Lord of Yogas, while He Himself was actually speaking!

 

rajan samsmrtya samsmrtya
samvadam imam adbhutam
kesavarjunayoh punyam
hrsyami ca muhur muhuh – And, O King, while repeatedly remembering this unique sacred dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice –every moment.

 

tac ca samsmrtya samsmrtya
rupam aty-adbhutam hareh
vismayo me mahan rajan
hrsyami ca punah punah – O King, repeatedly recollecting that greatly extraordinary form of Hari, I am struck with wonder. And I rejoice again and again.

 

yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama – Where there is Krsna, the Lord of yogas, and where there is Pārtha, the wielder of the bow, there are fortune, victory, prosperity and unfailing prudence. Such is my conviction.”

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