Srimad Bhagavad Gita - Sri Sankaracharya's Commentary – Chapter 2 – Part -10

Bhagavad Gita

English Translation of
Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary
Swami Gambhirananda



चतुर्थोऽध्याय: ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यासयोग

निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः ।
शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ॥४-२१॥

यदृच्छालाभसंतुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः ।
समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते ॥४-२२॥

गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतसः ।
यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते ॥४-२३॥

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् ।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना ॥४-२४॥

दैवमेवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते ।
ब्रह्माग्नावपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति ॥४-२५॥

श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्यन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति ।
शब्दादीन्विषयानन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति ॥४-२६॥

सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे ।
आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ॥४-२७॥

द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे ।
स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः ॥४-२८॥

अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ॥४-२९॥

अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति ।
सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषाः ॥४-३०॥

यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।
नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ॥४-३१॥

एवं बहुविधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे ।
कर्मजान्विद्धि तान्सर्वानेवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे ॥४-३२॥

श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप ।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ॥४-३३॥

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया ।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ॥४-३४॥

यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव ।
येन भूतान्यशेषेण द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि ॥४-३५॥

4.21 One who is without solicitation, who has the
mind and organs under control, (and) is totally

without possessions, he incurs no sin by
performing actions merely for the (maintenance of
the) body.

4.21 Nirasih, one who is without solicitation-one
from whom asisah [Asih is a kind of desire that can
be classed under prayer. (Some translate it as
desire, hope.-Tr.)], solicitations, have departed;
yata-citta-atma, who has the mind and organs
under control-one by whom have been controlled
(yatau) both the internal organ (citta) and the
external aggregate of body and organs (atma);
(and) is tyakta-sarva-parigrahah, [ Parigraha:
receiving, accepting, possessions, belongings.-
V.S.A] totally without possessions- one by whom
have been renounced (tyaktah) all (sarvah)
possessions (parigrahah); na apnoti, he does not
incur; kilbisam, sin, in the form of evil as also
rigtheousness-to one aspiring for Liberation, even
righteousness is surely an evil because it brings
bondage-; [Here Ast. adds tasmat tabhyam mukto
bhavati samsarat mukto bhavati ityarthah,
therefore, he becomes free from both of them, i.e.
he becomes liberated from transmigration.-Tr.]

kurvan, by performing; karma, actions; kevalam,
merely; sariram, for the purpose of maintaining the
body-without the idea of agenship even with
regard to these (actions). Further, in the expression,
'kevalam sariram karma', do the words sariram
karma mean 'actions done by the body' or 'actions
merely for the purpose of maintaining the body?
Again, what does it matter if by (the words)
sariram karma is meant 'actions done by the body'
or 'actions merely for the purpose of maintaning
the body? The answer is: If by sariram karma is
meant actions done by the body, then it will
amount to a contradiction [Contradiction of the
scriptures.] when the Lord says, 'one does not
incur sin by doing with his body any action meant
for seen or unseen purposes, even though it be
prohibited.' Even if the Lord were to say that 'one
does not incur sin by doing with his body some
scripturally sanctioned action intended to secure a
seen or an unseen end', then there arises the
contingency of His denying something (some evil)
that has not come into being! (Further,) from the
specification, sariram karma kurvan (by doing
actions with the body), and from the use of the
word kevala (only), it will amount to saying that
one incurs sin by performing actions, called
righteous and unrighteous, which can be

accomplished with the mind and speech and which
come within the purview of injunction and
prohibition. Even there, the statement that one
incurs sin by performing enjoined actions through
the mind and speech will involve a contradiction;
even in the case of doing what is prohibited, it will
amount to a mere purposeless restatement of a
known fact. On the other hand, when the sense
conveyed by sariram karma is taken as acctions
merely for the purpose of maintaining the body,
then the implication will be that he does not do any
other work as can be accomplished physically,
orally, or mentally, which are known from
injunctions and prohibitions (of the scriptures) and
which have in view seen or unseen results; while
he appears to people to be working with those very
body (speech) etc. merely for the purpose of
maintaining the body, yet he does not incur sin by
merely making movements of the body etc.,
because from the use of the word kevala, (merely)
it follows that he is devoid of the sense of
agentship implicit in the idea, 'I do.' Since there is
no possibility of a person who has reached such a
state incurring evil as suggest by the word sin,
therefore he does not become subject to the evil of
transmigration. That is to say, he certainly becomes
free without any obstacle since he has all his

actions burnt away by the fire of wisdom. This
verse is only a reiteration of the result of full
illumination stated earlier. It becomes faultless by
accepting the interpretation of sariram karma thus.
In the case of the monk who has renounced all
possessions, since owning food etc. meant for the
bare sustenance of the body is absent, therefore it
becomes imperative to beg for alms etc. for the
upkeep of the body. Under this circumstance, by
way of pointing out the means of obtaining food
etc. for the maintenance of the body of a monk as
permitted by the text, 'What comes unasked for,
without forethought and spontaneously...'
[Unasked for: what comes before the monk gets
ready for going out for alms; without forethought:
alms that are not given with abuses, and have not
fallen on the ground, but collected from five or
seven houses without any plan; spontaneously:
alms brought to one spontaneously by devoted
people.] (Bo. Sm. 21. 8. 12) etc., the Lord says:
4.22 Remaining satisfied with what comes unasked
for, having transcended the dualities, being free
from spite, and equipoised under success and
failure, he is not bound even by performing

4.22 Yadrccha-labha-santustah, remaining satisfied
with what comes unasked for-yadrccha-labha
means coming to possess something without
having prayed for it; feeling contented with that-.
Dvandva-atitah,having transcended the dualitiesone
is said to be beyond dualities when his mind is
not distressed even when afflicted by such
opposites as heat and cold, etc.-. Vimatsarah, being
free from spite, from the idea of enmity; and
samah, equipoised; siddhau ca asiddhau, is success
and failure, with regard to things that come
unasked for-. The monk who is such, who is
equipoised, not delighted or sorrowful in getting
or not getting food etc. for the sustenance of the
body, who sees inaction etc. in action etc., who is
ever poised in the realization of the Self as It is,
who, with regard to the activities accomplished by
the body etc. in the course of going about for alms
etc. for the bare maintenance of the body, is ever
clearly conscious of the fact, 'I certainly do not
anything; the organs act on the objects of the
organs' (see 5.8; 3.28), he, realizing the absence of
agentship in the Self, certainly does not do any
actions like going about for alms etc. But when,

abserving similarly with common human
behaviour, agentship is attributed to him by
ordinary poeple, then he (apparently) becomes an
agent with regard to such actions as moving about
for alms etc. However, from the standpoint of his
own realization which has arisen from the valid
means of knowledge presented in the scriptures, he
is surely not an agent. He, to whom is thus
ascribed agentship by others, na nibadhyate, is not
bound; api, even; krtva, by performing such
actions as moving about for alms merely for the
maintenance of the body, because action which is a
source of bondage has been burnt away along with
its cause by the fire of wisdom. Thus, this is only a
restatement of what has been said earilier. When a
person who has already started works becomes
endowed with the realization of the identity of the
Self with the actionless Brahman, then it follows
that in the case of that man, who has experienced
the absence of agentship, actions and purposes in
the Self, actions become relinquished. But if this
becomes impossible for some reason and he
continues to be engaged in those acitons as before,
still he certainly does not do anything. This
absence of action has been shown in the verse,
'Having given up attachment to the results of

action...' (20). Of that very person with regard to
whom has been shown the absence of aciton-
4.23 Of the liberated person who has got rid of
attachment, whose mind is fixed in Knowledge,
actions undertaken for a sacrifice get totally

4.23 Muktasya, of the liberated person who has
become relieved of such bondages as righteousness
and unrighteousness, etc.; gatasangasya, who has
got rid of attachment, who has become detached
from everything; jnana-avasthita-cetasah, whose
mind is fixed in Knowledge only; his karma,
actions; acaratah, undertaken; yajnaya, for a
sacrifice, to accomplish a sacrifice [A.G. takes yajna
to mean Visnu. So, yajnaya will mean 'for Visnu'.
Sankaracarya also interprets this word similarly in
3.9.-Tr.]; praviliyate, gets destroyed; samagram,
totally-saha (together) agrena (with its
consequence, result). This is the meaning. For what
reason, again, does an action that is underway get
destroyed totally without producing its result?
This is being answered: Because,

4.24 The ladle is Brahman [Some translate as
'Brahman is the ladle...,' etc.-Tr.], the oblations is
Brahman, the offering is poured by Brahman in the
fire of Brahman. Brahman alone is to be reached by
him who has concentration on Brahman as the
objective [As an object to be known and attained.
(Some translate brahma-karma-samadhina as, 'by
him who sees Brahman in action'.)

4.24 Brahma-arpanam, the ladle is Brahman: The
knower of Brahman perceives the instrument with
which he offers oblation in the fire as Brahman
Itself. He perceives it as not existing separately
from the Self, as one sees the non-existence of
silver in nacre. In this sense it is that Brahman Itself
is the ladle-just as what appears as silver is only
narcre. (The two words brahma and arpanam are
not parts of a compound word, samasa.) The
meaning is that, to a knower of Brahman, what is
perceived in the world as ladle is Brahman Itself.
Similarly, brahma-havih, the oblations is Brahman:
To him, what is seen as oblations is nothing but
Brahman. In the same way, brahma-agnau, (-this is

a compound word-) in the fire of Brahman: The fire
into which oblation is hutam, poured; brahmana,
by Brahman, by the agent, is Brahman Itself. The
meaning is that Brahman Itself is the agent (of the
offering). That he makes the offering-the act of
offering-, that is also Brahman. And the result that
is gantavyam, to be reached by him; that also is
brahma eva, surely Brahman. Brahma-karmasamadhina,
by him who has concentration on
Brahman as the objective: Brahman Itself is the
objective (karma); he who has concentration
(samadhi) on That is brahma-karma-samdhih. The
goal to be reached by him is Brahman alone. Thus,
even the action undertaken by one who desires to
prevent mankind from going astray is in reality
inaction, for it has been sublated by the realization
of Brahman. This being so, in the case of the monk
from whom aciton has dropped off, who has
renounced all activity, viewing his Knowledge as a
(kind of) sacrifice, too, becomes all the more
justifiable from the point of view of praising full
realization. That is, whatever is well known as
ladle etc. in the context of a sacrifice, all that, in the
context of the Self, is Brahman Itself to one who has
realized the supreme Truth. If not so, then, since all
in Brahman, it would have been uselesss to
specifically mention ladle etc. as Brahman.

Therefore, all actions cease to exist for the man of
realization who knows that Brahman Itself is all
this. And this follows also from the absence (in
him) of the idea of accessories. [See note on p.211.-
Tr.] For the act called 'sacarifice' is not seen to exist
without being in association with the idea of
accessories. All such acts as Agnihotra etc. are
associated with the ideas of such accessories as
making an offering etc. to the particular gods who
are revealed in the scriptures, and with the idea of
agentship as also desire for results. But they are not
found bereft of the ideas of such distinctions as
exist among action, accessories and results, or
unassociated with the ideas of agentship hankering
for results. This (apparent) (activity of the man of
Knowledge), however, stands dissociated from the
ideas of differences among the accessories like
ladle etc., actions and results, which get destroyed
by the Knowledge of Brahman. Hence, it is inaction
to be sure. And thus has it been shown in, 'He who
finds inaction in action' (18), 'he really does not do
anything even though engaged in action' (20), 'the
organs act on the objects of the organs' (3.28),
'Remaining absorbed in the Self, the knower of
Reality should think, "I certainly do not do
anything"' (5.8), etc. While pointing out thus, the
Lord demolishes in various places the ideas of

differences among actions, accessories and results.
And it is also seen in the case of rites such as
Agnihotra undertaken for results (kamya), that the
Agnihotra etc. cease to be (kamya) rites undertaken
for selfish motives when the desire for their results
is destroyed. Similarly, it is seen that actions done
intentionally and unintentionally yeild different
results. So, here as well, in the case of one who has
his ideas of distinctions among accessories like
ladle etc., actions and results eliminated by the
knowledge of Brahman, even activites which are
merely external movements amount to inaction.
Hence it was said, 'gets totally destroyed.' Here
some say: That which is Brahman is the ladle etc. It
is surely Brahman Itself which exists in the five
forms [Asscessories that can be indicated by the
five grammatical case-ending, viz Nominative,
Objective, Instrumental, Dative and Locative. (As
for instance, the sacrificer, oblation, ladle,
sacrificial fire, and Brahman.-Tr.) of accessories
such as the ladle etc. and it is Itself which
undertakes actions. There the ideas of ladle etc. are
not eradicated, but the idea of Brahman is
attributed to the ladle etc. as one does the ideas of
Visnu etc. to images etc., or as one does the idea of
Brahman ot name etc. Reply: True, this could have
been so as well if the context were not meant for

the praise of jnanayajna (Knowledge considered as
a sacrifice). Here, however, after presenting full
realization as expressed by the word jnana-yajna,
and the varieties of rites as referred to by the word
yajna (sacrifice), Knowledge has been praised by
the Lord in, 'Jnana-yajna (Knowledge considered
as a sacrifice) is greater than sacrifices requiring
materials' (33). And in the present context, this
statement, 'the ladle is Brahman' etc., is capable of
presenting Knowledge as a sacrifice; otherwise,
since Brahman is everything, it will be purposeless
to speak specially only of ladle etc. as Brahman.
But those who maintain that one has to
superimpose the idea of Brahman on the ladle etc.,
like superimposing the idea of Visnu and others on
images etc. and of Brahman on name etc., for them
the knowledge of Brahma stated (in the verse)
cannot be the intended subject-matter dealt with
here, because according to them ladle etc. are the
(primary) objects of knowledge (in the context of
the present verse). Besides, knowledge in the form
of superimposition of an idea cannot lead to
Liberation as its result; and what is said here is,
'Brahman alone in to be realized by him'. Also, it is
inconsistent to maintain that the result of
Liberation can be achieved without full realization.
And it goes against the context-the context being of

full realization. This is supported by the fact that
(the subject of ) full realization is introduced in the
verse, 'He who finds inaction in action,' and at the
end (of this chapter) the conclusion pertains to that
very subject-matter. The chapter comes to a close
by eulozing full realization itself in, 'Jnana-yajna
(Knowledge considered as a sacrifice) is greater
than sacrifices requiring materials', 'Achieving
Knowledge, one...attains supreme Peace,' (39) etc.
That being so, it is unjustifiable to suddenly say out
of context that one has to superimpose the idea of
Brahman on the ladle etc. like the superimposition
of the idea of Visnu on images. Therefore this verse
bears the meaing just as it has been already
explained. As to that, after having presented
Knowledge as a sacrifice, other sacrifices also are
being mentioned now in, the verses beginning
with, '(Other yogis undertake) sacrifice to gods
alone,' etc., for eulogizing that Knowledge:
4.25 Other yogis undertake sacrifice to gods alone,
Others offer the Self, as a sacrifice by the Self itself,
in the fire of Brahman.

4.25 Apare, other; yoginah, yogis, ritualists; pariupasate,
undertake; yajnam, sacrifice; daivam, to
gods; eva, alone. A sacrifice by which the gods are
adored is daiva-yajna; they perform only that. This
is the meaning. Brahma-agnau, in the fire of
Brahman: By the word brahman is meant That
which is referred to in such sentences as, 'Brahman
is Truth, knowledge and infinite' (Tai. 2.1),
'Knowledge, Bliss, Brahman' (Br. 3.9.28), 'the
Brahman that is immediate and direct-the self that
is within all' (Br.3.4.1), which is devoid of all
worldly characteristiscs like hunger etc. and which
is beyond all particular qualifications-as stated in,
'Not this, not this' (Br.4.4.22). That which is
Brahman is the fire. [Brahman is called fire
because, as reflected in wisdom, It burns away
everything, i.e. ignorance, or because everything
merges into It during dissolution (pralaya).] And it
is spoken of as Brahmagni with a view to referring
to It as that into which the offering is made. In that
fire of Brahman, apare, others, other knowers of
Brahman; upa-juhvati, offer; yajnam, the Self,
which is referred to by the word yajna (sacrifice), it,
having, been presented as a synonym of the Self;-
that Self, which is a sacrifice, which is reality is
verily the supreme Brahman, which is associated
with such limiting adjuncts as the intellect etc.,

which is associated with all the qualities of the
limiting adjuncts superimposed on it, and which is
the oblation, (they offer) yajnena, by the Self itself
as described above. The offering (of the Self) in that
(Brahman) is nothing but the realization of that Self
which is assoicated with the limiting adjuncts to be
the supreme Brahman which is free from adjuncts.
The monks, steadfast in the realization of the
identity of Brahman and the Self, make that
offering. This is the meaning. Beginning with, 'The
ladle is Brahman' etc., this sacrifice characterized as
full realization is being included among such
sacrifices as daiva-yajna etc. with a view to
eulogizing it in the verses beginning with, 'O
destroyer of enemies, jnana-yajna is greater than
the sacrifices involving (sacrificial) materials'.

4.26 Others offer the organs, viz ear etc., in the fires
of self-control. Others offer the objects, viz sound
etc., in the fires of the organs.

4.26 Anye, others, other yogis; juhvati, offer;
indriyani, the organs; viz srotradini, car etc.;
samyama-agnisu, in the fires of self-control. The

plural (in fires) is used because self-control is
possible in respect of each of the organs. Selfcontrol
itself is the fire. In that they make the
offering, i.e. they practise control of the organs.
anye, others; juhvati, offer; visayan, the objects;
sabdadin, viz sound etc.; indriyagnisu, in the fires
of the organs. The organs themselves are the fires.
They make offerings in those fires with the organs
of hearing etc. They consider the perception of
objects not prohibited by the scriputures to be a
4.27 Others offer all the activities of the organs and
the activities of the vital force into the fire of the
yoga of sel-control which has been lighted by

4.27 Further, apare, others; juhvati, offer, i.e.
merge; sarvani, all; indriya-karmani, the activities
of the organs; and also the prana-karmani,
activities of the vital force- prana means the air in
the body; they offer its activities such as
contraction, expansion, etc; atma-samyama yogaagnau,
into the fire of the yoga of self-control201
withdrawal (samyama) [Samyama consists of
concentration, meditation, and Self-absorption. The
idea conveyed by the verse is that by stopping all
activities, they concentrate the mind on the Self.]
into the Self (atma) is self-control (atma-samyama);
that itself is the fire of yoga (yoga-agni); (they
offer) into that fire; jnana-dipite, which has been
lighted by Knowledge, made to blaze up by
discriminating knowledge, as if lighted up by oil.
4.28 Similarly, others are performers of sacrifices
through wealth, through austerity, through yoga,
and through study and knowledge; others are
ascetics with severe vows.

4.28 Tatha, similarly; apare, others; are dravyayajnah,
perfomers of sacrifices through wealththose
sacrificers who spend wealth (dravya) in
holy places under the idea of performing sacrifices;
tapo-yajnah, performers of sacrifices through
austerity, men of austerity, to whom austerity is a
sacrifice; [This is according to Ast.-Tr.] yogayajnah,
performers of sacrifice through yoga-those to
whom the yoga consisting in the control of the vital

forces, withdrawal of the organs, etc., is a sacrifice;
and svadhyaya-jnana-yajnah, performers of
sacrifices through study and knowledge.
Sacrificers through study are those to whom the
study of Rg-veda etc. accroding to rules is a
sacrifice. And sacrificers through knowledge are
those to whom proper understanding of the
meaing of the scriptures is a sacrifice. Others are
yatayah, ascetics, who are deligent; samsita-vratah,
in following severe vows. Those whose vows
(vratah) have been fully sharpened (samsita), made
very rigid, are samsita-vratah. [Six kinds of
sacrifices have been enumerated in this verse.]
4.29 Constantly practising control of the vital forces
by stopping the movements of the outgoing and
the incoming breaths, some offer as a sacrifice the
outgoing breath in the incoming breath; while still
others, the incoming breath in the outgoing breath.

4.29 Pranayama-parayanah, constantly practising
control of the vital forces-i.e. they practise a form of
pranayama called Kumbhaka (stopping the breath

either inside or outside) ['Three sorts of motion of
Pranayama (control of the vital forces) are, one by
which we draw the breath in, another by which we
throw it out, and the third action is when the
breath is held in the lungs or stopped from
entering the lungs.'-C.W., Vol.I, 1962, p. 267. Thus,
there are two kinds of Kumbhaka-internal and
external.]-; prana-apana-gati ruddhva, by stopping
the movements of the outgoing and the incoming
breaths-the outgoing of breath (exhalation)
through the mouth and the nostrils is the
movement of the Prana; as opposed to that, the
movement of Apana is the going down (of breath)
(inhalation); these constitute the prana-apana-gati,
movements of Prana and Apana; by stopping
these; some juhvati, offer as a sacrifice; pranam, the
outgoing breath, which is the function of Prana;
apane, in the incoming breath, which is the
function of Apana-i.e. they practised a form of
pranayama called Puraka ('filling in'); while tatha
apare, still others; offer apanam, the incoming
breath; prane, in the outgoing breath, i.e. they
practise a form of pranayama called Recaka
('emptying out'). [Constantly practising control of
the vital, forces, they perform Kumbhaka after
Recaka and Puraka.]

4.30 Others, having their food regulated, offer the
vital forces in the vital forces. All of them are
knowers of the sacrifice and have their sins
destroyed by sacrifice.

4.30 Besides, apare, others; niyata-aharah, having
their food regulated; juhvati, offer; pranan, the
vital forces, the different kinds of vital forces;
pranesu, in the vital forces themselves. Whichever
function of the vital forces is brought under
control, in it they offer the other functions. These
latter become, as it were, merged in the former.
Sarve api, all; of ete, them; yajna-vidah, are
knowers of the sacrifice; and yajna-ksapitakamasah,
have their sins destroyed by the
sacrifices as mentioned above. After accomplishing
the above-mentioned sacrifices,
4.31 Those who partake of the nectar left over after
a sacrifice, reach the eternal Brahman. This world
ceases to exist for one who does not perform

sacrifices. What to speak of the other (world), O
best among the Kurus (Arjuna)!

4.31 Yajna-sista-amrta-bhujah, those who partake
of the nectar left over after a sacrifice, i.e. those
who, after performing the sacrifices described
above, eat, during the leisure after the sacrifice, the
food called nectar, as prescribed by the injunctions;
yanti, reach; sanatanam brahma, the eternal
Brahman. For the sake of consistency (with the
Upanisads) it is understood that if they (the
sacrificers) are seekers of liberation, (then they
reach Brahman) in due course of time. [The
Upanisads describe the different stages through
which those who do good deeds and practise
meditation have to pass before reaching the
qualified Brahman after death. For liberation there
is need also of purification of the heart, Thus, they
reach Brahman by stages, and not immediately
after death. (See Ch. 8.5 and subsequent portion;
also, Br. 4.3.35 to 4.4.25, etc.)] Even ayam lokah,
this world, common to all beings; na asti, ceases to
exist; ayajnasya, for one who does not perform
sacrifices, for him who does not have to his credit

even a single one of the above sacrifices. Kutah
anyah, what to speak of the other world which can
be achieved through special disciplines;
kurusattama, O best among the Kurus!
4.32 Thus, various kinds of sacrifices lie spread at
the mouth of the Vedas. Know them all to be born
of action. Knowing thus, you will become

4.32 Evam, thus; bahu-vidha yajnah, various kinds
of sacrifices as described; vitatah, lie spread;
mukhe, at the mouth, at the door; brahmanah, of
the Vedas. Those which are known through the
Vedas- as for instance, 'We offer the vital force into
speech', etc.-are said to be vitatah, spread,
elaborated; mukhe, at the mouth; brahmanah, of
the Vedas. Viddhi, know; tan, them; sarvan, all; to
be karmajan, born of action, accoplished through
the activities of body, speech and mind, but not
born of the Self. For the Self is actionless. Hence,
jnatva, knowing; evam, thus; vimoksyase, you will
become liberated from evil. By knowing thus-
'These are not my actions; I am actionless and

detached'-You will be freed from worldly bondage
as a result of this full enlightenment. This is the
purport. Through the verse beginning with, 'The
ladle is Brahman' etc., complete Illumination has
been represented as a sacrifice. And sacrifices of
various kinds have been taught. With the help of
[Some translate this as: As compared with...-Tr.]
those (sacrifices) that are meant for accomplishing
desireable human ends, Knowledge (considered as
a sacrifice) is being extolled: How?
4.33 O destroyer of enemies, Knowledge
considered as a sacrifice is greater than sacrifices
requiring materials. O son of Prtha, all actions in
their totality culminate in Knowledge.

4.33 O destroyer of enemies, jnana-yajnah,
Knowledge considered as a sacrifice; is sreyan,
greater; dravyamayat yajnat, than sacrifices
requiring materials [Including study of the Vedas,
etc. also.] For, a sacrifice performed with materials
is an originator of results, [Worldly prosperity,
attaining heaven, etc.], but Knowledge considered
as a sacrifice is not productive of results. [It only

reveals the state of Liberation that is an achieved
fact. (According to Advaitism, Liberation consists
in the removal of ignorance by Illumination.
Nothing new is produced thereby.-Tr.)]. Hence it is
greater, more praiseworthy. How? Because,
sarvam, all; karma-akhilam, actions in their
totality, without exception; O son of Prtha,
parisamapyate, culminate, get merged (attain their
consummation); jnane, in Knowledge, which is a
means to Liberation and is comparable to 'a flood
all around' (cf.2.46). This is the idea, which accords
with the Upanisadic text, 'As when the (face of a
die) bearing the number 4, called Krta, wins, the
other inferior (numbers on the die-faces) get
included in it, so whatever good actions are
performed by beings, all that gets merged in this
one (Raikva). (So it happens) to anyone who knows
what he (Raikva) knew' (Ch. 4.1.4). In that case, by
what means is this highly estimable Knowledge
acquired? The answer is being given:
4.34 Know that through prostration, inquiry and
service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth
will impart the Knowledge to you.

4.34 Viddhi, know; tat, that, the process by which It
is acquired; by approaching teachers pranipatena,
through prostration, by lying fully streched on the
ground with face downward, with prolonged
salutation; pariprasnena, through inquiry, as to
how bondage and Liberation come, and what are
Knowledge and ignorance; and sevaya, through
the service of the guru. (Know it) through these
and other (disciplines) [Other disciplines such as
control of the mind, body, etc. Sankaracarya's own
words in the Commentary are evamadina, after
which Ast. puts a full stop, and agreeing with this,
A.G. says that the word viddhi (know) is to be
connected with evamadina. Hence this translation.
Alternatively, those words have to be taken with
prasrayena. Then the meaning will be, 'Being
pleased with such and other forms of humility...'-
Tr.]. Being pleased with humility, jnaninah, the
wise ones, the teachers; tattva-darsinah, who have
realized the Truth; upadeksyanti, will impart, will
tell; te, you; jnanam, the Knowledge as described
above. Although people may be wise, some of
them are apt to know Truth just as it is, while
others may not be so. Hence the qualification, 'who
have realized the Truth'. The considered view of
the Lord is that Knowledge imparted by those who

have full enlightenment becomes effective, not any
other. That being so, the next verse also becomes
4.35 Knowing which, O Pandava (Arjuna), you will
not come under delusion again in this way, and
through which you will see all beings without
exception in the Self and also in Me.

4.35 Jnatva, knowing; yat, which-by acquiring
which Knowledge imparted by them; O Pandava,
na vasyasi, you will not come under; moham,
delusion; punah, again; evam, in this way, in the
way you have come under delusion now. Besides,
yena, through which Knowledge; draksyasi, you
will see directly; bhutani, all beings; asesena,
without exception, counting from Brahma down to
a clump of grass; atmani, in the Self, in the
innermost Self, thus-'These beings exist in me' ; and
atha, also; see that these are mayi. in Me, in
Vasudeva, the supreme Lord. The purport is, 'You
will realize the identity of the individual Self and
God, which is well known in the Upanisads.'
Moreover, the greatness of this Knowledge is:

Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to the lotus feet of Bhagawan Sri Krishna Paramathma ji, Parama Hamsa Parivrajaka Paramacharya Sri Adi Sankara Bhagavad Pada ji and  H H Sri Swamy Gambhirananda ji for this devotional collection)

(The Blog  is reverently for all the seekers of truth, lovers of wisdom and   to share the Hindu Dharma with others on the spiritual path and also this is purely  a non-commercial blog) 


शङ्करचार्य अष्टोत्तरसहस्रनामावलिः

श्रीमत् शङ्करचार्य अष्टोत्तरसहस्रनामावलिः .. ॐ गाढध्वान्तनिमज्जनप्रमुषितप्रज्ञानेत्रं परम् नष्टप्रायमपास्तसर्वकरणं श्वासावशेषं जनम् . द्राक्कारुण्यवशात्प्रबोधयति यो बोधांशुभिः प्राम्शुभिः सोऽयं शङ्करदेशिकेन्द्रसविताऽस्माकं परं दैवतम् ..
अद्वैतेन्दुकलावतम्सरुचिरो विज्ञानगङ्गाधरो हस्ताब्जाधृत दण्ड खण्ड परशू रुद्राक्षभूषोज्वलः . काषायामलकृत्तिवाससुभगः सम्सारमृत्युञ्जयो द्वैताख्योग्रहलाहलाशनपटुः श्रीशङ्करः पातु नः ..
गुरवे सर्वलोकानां भिषजे भवरोगिणाम् . निधये सर्वविद्यानां दक्षिणामूर्तये नमः ..
जयतु जयतु नित्यं शङ्कराचार्यवर्यो जयतु जयतु तस्याद्वैतविद्यानवद्या . जयतु जयतु लोके तच्चरित्रं पवित्रं जयतु जयतु भक्तिस्तत्पदाब्जे जनानाम् ..
ॐ श्री श्रीमत्कैलासनिलयाय नमः . ॐ पार्वतीप्राणवल्लभाय नमः . ॐ ब्रह्मादिसुरसम्पूज्या