Giving up knowledge and in knowledge is superior to giving up wealth
Giving up fruits of all actions leads to the ultimate knowledge 4.33
Obtain this ultimate knowledge in surrender, by service and by seeking
Those who have this knowledge will then guide you into it 4.34
Know this from the Wise and you will not be deluded
With this know that all living beings and you are in Me 4.35
Even if you are the worst sinner
You shall overcome all sins through this knowledge 4.36
As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes
Fire of knowledge reduces outcome of actions to nothing 4.37
Nothing purifies like the knowledge of the absolute
As the seeker evolves he realizes this in his heart in time 4.38
Being committed with faith in controlling senses, gain this knowledge
By gaining this knowledge realize the ultimate peace. 4.39
Uncommitted, without faith and therefore knowledge, one is destroyed
To such a person there is no bliss in this life or beyond 4.40
When results of action are sacrificed and doubts cleared with knowledge
Actions do not trouble the one who is centered in his Self 4.41
Stand up and fight Arjuna, armed with this knowledge
Destroy all your doubts with this knowledge and be centered 4.42
I acknowledge this picture from the Net.
Krishna ends this chapter, traditionally called Jnana Yoga or the Merger of Mind Body & Spirit through Knowledge, by exhorting Arjuna to give up expectations of his actions and center himself within his Self. Krishna tells Arjuna to fight, since that is his karma or duty by birth and upbringing as a Kshatriya warrior, without worrying about whether he would win or lose, without doubting about whether he was doing the right thing or not.
Controversial advice, even if God-given!
What about the impact on actions on the environment, today’s green people will ask! What about me, an enemy about to be killed by the greatest warrior on earth, would wail. How can Arjuna’s action be taken without concern about consequences? What can he not worry about the consequences? How can he wage war and kill people without caring? How can Krishna, the Divine, even advice him to do such a thing?
God is not about right and wrong. Nature is not about right and wrong. The Universe is not about right and wrong. Even animals and other non human living species are not about right and wrong.
Only humans, who consider themselves supremely intelligent, and therefore for the most part supremely inhuman, distinguish between what we consider right and wrong and are extremely proud of it. The trouble is that each of us has his and her own concept of what’s right and wrong, and within the seven billion people upon this earth today, on many issues there could be seven billion opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong.
There are natural laws that can lead us to what could be termed as universally valid truths. Love, compassion, forgiveness, service unto others, lack of greed and such other values can safely be termed as universally good value systems as they do not harm another and one self.
If you and I eschew greed and fear and focus on these universal values, we shall surely understand what to do and why. The consequences of such actions may not always be comfortable to us. How many of us have not suffered by telling the truth while telling a lie would have allowed us to be happier at that moment? Or being honest in a business deal or brave by standing up to a bully? Would we dare do any on these if we logically analyse the consequences of our actions?
Buddha said that all suffering originates with attachment. This attachment refers to the expectations we have of our actions. Once we let go of expectations of actions and attachment to these expectations, whatever we engage in will result well. As Buddha said elsewhere, it’s the journey that matters not the destination. Enjoy the journey and you’ll reach the right destination for you.
This is all we need to do in life to be happy.