18: Moksha Sanyasa Yoga Conclusion- The Perfection of Renunciation ” The Yoga of liberation through the path of Knowledge and Self-surrender”

Sreemadh Bhagavad Gita

The Glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of
the Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana

Parvati said “My dear husband, you have told me the glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, now kindly relate the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

Lord Shiva said; “Oh daughter of the Himalayas (Parvati), please listen to the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, which is higher than the Vedas and the giver of unlimited bliss. When it enters into one’s ears it destroys all material desires. For the pure devotee, it is divine nectar, it is Lord Vishnu’s very life and it is a solace to the hearts of Lord Indra and the demigods as well as the great yogis headed by Sanaka and Sananda.

One who recites it sends the messengers of Yamaraja far away. There is no other recitation, which can so quickly destroy all sin and free one from the threefold miseries of this world. Now listen with great devotion.

On the topmost peak of Mount Meru is Amaravati, which was built by Visvakarma. In [hat heavenly kingdom, Lord Indra along with his wife Saci is served by the demigods. One day while Lord Indra was sitting peacefully, he saw that one very beautiful person had arrived there, whom the servants of Lord Vishnu were serving. When. Lord Indra saw that beautiful young person; he immediately fell from his throne unto the ground. At that time those demigod who had been worshipping Indra picked up the crown that he was wearing and placed it on the head of that new beautiful person. After that, all the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets started to perform arati and sing wonderful songs to that new King Indra. The great rishis came there and offered their blessings and chanted Vedic mantras and the Gandharvas and Apsaras started to sing and dance joyfully. In this way, the new Indra, who had not performed the usual one hundred horse sacrifices, started to enjoy hundreds of different types of services rendered by the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets. When the old Indra saw this he became very surprised.

He started to think to himself, “This person here has never built wells or dug kunds or planted trees for the welfare of others, and when there were droughts, he did not provide grains in charity. He never performed any fire-sacrifices or great charities in the holy places. So how has he managed to attain my seat?” The old Indra, feeling greatly disturbed in his mind, left to the ocean of milk to pray to Lord Vishnu. When he managed to obtain darshan of Lord Vishnu, he asked Him “My dear Lord Vishnu, in the past I performed many sacrifices and other pious activities, for which I was installed as the Lord of heaven. But at this time another person has come there and taken my place as the king of heaven. This person in his life never performed any great, wonderful pious activities, nor had he performed any great Vedic sacrifices. So, how is it possible that he has managed to obtain my throne?”

At that time Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Indra, That great soul has performed the recitation daily of the Eighteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Everyday during his life, he recited five Shlokas from this Chapter, and because of that activity he has attained the results of all sorts of pious activities and yajnas and after enjoying for many years as the king of heaven, he will attain My personal abode. If you perform the same activity of reciting the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you can also attain My divine abode.”

After hearing Lord Vishnu’s words, Lord Indra took the form of a brahmana and went to the bank of the Godavari River, where he saw the town of Kalegrani, which is very sacred. At that place, the Supreme Lord in His form known as Kalesva, resides. Close to this town, on the bank of the Godavari river, one very pure brahmana was sitting, who was very merciful and had understood the topmost goal and secret of the Vedic literatures. Daily he would sit at that spot and recite Shlokas of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. When Lord Indra saw him he became very happy. He immediately fell at his lotus-feet and requested him to teach him the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After Lord Indra had practiced the recitation, of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita for sometime he managed to attain the topmost place of Vishnuloka. When he attained that place, he realized that the pleasure he had enjoyed as King Indra, along with the demigods, was nothing in comparison.

My dear Parvati, for this reason, the great sages, especially chant this Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita and by so doing very quickly attain the lotus-feet of Lord Vishnu.

Anyone who hears or studies this Gita Mahatmya very quickly destroys all sins, which he has accumulated. And that person, who remembers this discourse with great faith attains the results of all kinds of pious activities and great sacrifices, and after enjoying all worldly opulence, attains the abode of Lord Vishnu.

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18: Moksha Sanyasa Yoga Conclusion- The Perfection of Renunciation ” The Yoga of liberation through th path of Knowledge and Self-surrender”

Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 1

arjuna uvaca
sannyasasya maha-baho
tattvam icchami veditum
tyagasya ca hrsikesa
prthak kesi-nisudana

SYNONYMS

arjunah uvaca–Arjuna said; sannyasasya–renunciation; maha-baho–O mighty-armed one; tattvam–truth; icchami–I wish; veditum–to understand; tyagasya–of renunciation; ca–also; hrsikesa–O master of the senses; prthak–differently; kesi-nisudana–O killer of the Kesi demon.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said, O mighty-armed one, I wish to understand the purpose of renunciation [tyaga] and of the renounced order of life [sannyasa], O killer of the Kesi demon, Hrsikesa.

PURPORT

Actually the Bhagavad-gita is finished in seventeen chapters. The Eighteenth Chapter is a supplementary summarization of the topics discussed before. In every chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna stresses that devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal of life. This same point is summarized in the Eighteenth Chapter as the most confidential path of knowledge. In the first six chapters, stress was given to devotional service: yoginam api sarvesam…”Of all yogis or transcendentalists, one who always thinks of Me within himself is best.” In the next six chapters, pure devotional service and its nature and activity were discussed. In the third six chapters, knowledge, renunciation, the activities of material nature and transcendental nature, and devotional service were described. It was concluded that all acts should be performed in conjunction with the Supreme Lord, summarized by the words om tat sat, which indicate Visnu, the Supreme Person. In the third part of Bhagavad-gita, devotional service was established by the example of past acaryas and the Brahma-sutra, the Vedanta-sutra, which cites that devotional service is the ultimate purpose of life and nothing else. Certain impersonalists consider themselves monopolizers of the knowledge of Vedanta-sutra, but actually the Vedanta-sutra is meant for understanding devotional service, for the Lord Himself is the composer of the Vedanta-sutra, and He is its knower. That is described in the Fifteenth Chapter. In every scripture, every Veda, devotional service is the objective. That is explained in Bhagavad-gita.
As in the Second Chapter a synopsis of the whole subject matter was described, similarly, in the Eighteenth Chapter also the summary of all instruction is given. The purpose of life is indicated to be renunciation and attainment of the transcendental position above the three material modes of nature. Arjuna wants to clarify the two distinct subject matters ofBhagavad-gita, namely renunciation (tyaga) and the renounced order of life (sannyasa). Thus he is asking the meaning of these two words.

Two words used in this verse to address the Supreme Lord–Hrsikesa and Kesi-nisudana–are significant. Hrsikesa is Krsna, the master of all senses, who can always help us attain mental serenity. Arjuna requests Him to summarize everything in such a way that he can remain equipoised. Yet he has some doubts, and doubts are always compared to demons. He therefore addresses Krsna as Kesi-nisudana. Kesi was a most formidable demon who was killed by the Lord; now Arjuna is expecting Krsna to kill the demon of doubt.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 2

sri-bhagavan uvaca
kamyanam karmanam nyasam
sannyasam kavayo viduh
sarva-karma-phala-tyagam
prahus tyagam vicaksanah

SYNONYMS

sri-bhagavan uvaca–the Supreme Personality of Godhead said;kamyanam–with desire; karmanam–activities; nyasam–renunciation;sannyasam–renounced order of life; kavayah–the learned; viduh–know; sarva–of all; karma–activities; phala–of results; tyagam–renunciation; prahuh–call; tyagam–renunciation; vicaksanah–the experienced.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Lord said, To give up the results of all activities is called renunciation [tyaga] by the wise. And that state is called the renounced order of life [sannyasa] by great learned men.

PURPORT

The performance of activities for results has to be given up. This is the instruction of Bhagavad-gita. But activities leading to advanced spiritual knowledge are not to be given up. This will be made clear in the next verse. There are many prescriptions of methods for performing sacrifice for some particular purpose in the Vedic literatures. There are certain sacrifices to perform to attain a good son or to attain elevation to the higher planets, but sacrifices prompted by desires should be stopped. However, sacrifice for the purification of one’s heart or for advancement in the spiritual science should not be given up.

Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 3

tyajyam dosa-vad ity eke
karma prahur manisinah
yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam iti capare

SYNONYMS

tyajyam–must be given up; dosa-vat–as an evil; iti–thus; eke–one group; karma–work; prahuh–said; manisinah–of great thinkers;yajna–sacrifice; dana–charity; tapah–penance; karma–work; na–never; tyajyam–is to be given up; iti–thus; ca–certainly; apare–others.

TRANSLATION

Some learned men declare that all kinds of fruitive activities should be given up, but there are yet other sages who maintain that acts of sacrifice, charity and penance should never be abandoned.

PURPORT

There are many activities in the Vedic literatures which are subjects of contention. For instance, it is said that an animal can be killed in a sacrifice, yet some maintain animal killing is completely abominable. Although animal killing in a sacrifice is recommended in the Vedic literature, the animal is not considered to be killed. The sacrifice is to give a new life to the animal. Sometimes the animal is given a new animal life after being killed in the sacrifice, and sometimes the animal is promoted immediately to the human form of life. But there are different opinions among the sages. Some say that animal killing should always be avoided, and others say that for a specific sacrifice it is good. All these different opinions on sacrificial activity are now being clarified by the Lord Himself.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 4

niscayam srnu me tatra
tyage bharata-sattama
tyago hi purusa-vyaghra
tri-vidhah samprakirtitah

SYNONYMS

niscayam–certainty; srnu–hear; me–from Me; tatra–there; tyage–in the matter of renunciation; bharata-sat-tama–O best of the Bharatas;tyagah–renunciation; hi–certainly; purusa-vyaghra–O tiger among human beings; tri-vidhah–three kinds; samprakirtitah–is declared.

TRANSLATION

O best of the Bharatas, hear from Me now about renunciation. O tiger among men, there are three kinds of renunciation declared in the scriptures.

PURPORT

Although there are differences of opinion about renunciation, here the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, gives His judgment, which should be taken as final. After all, the Vedas are different laws given by the Lord. Here the Lord is personally present, and His word should be taken as final. The Lord says that the process of renunciation should be considered in terms of the modes of material nature in which they are performed.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 5

yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
pavanani manisinam

SYNONYMS

yajna–sacrifice; dana–charity; tapah–penance; karma–activities;na–never; tyajyam–to be given up; karyam–must be done; eva–certainly; tat–that; yajnah–sacrifice; danam–charity; tapah–penance;ca–also; eva–certainly; pavanani–purifying; manisinam–even of the great souls.

TRANSLATION

Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up but should be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great souls.

PURPORT

The yogis should perform acts for the advancement of human society. There are many purificatory processes for advancing a human being to spiritual life. The marriage ceremony, for example, is considered to be one of these sacrifices. It is called vivaha-yajna. Should a sannyasi, who is in the renounced order of life and who has given up his family relations, encourage the marriage ceremony? The Lord says here that any sacrifice which is meant for human welfare should never be given up. Vivaha-yajna, the marriage ceremony, is meant to regulate the human mind to become peaceful for spiritual advancement. For most men, this vivaha-yajna should be encouraged even by persons in the renounced order of life. Sannyasis should never associate with women, but that does not mean that one who is in the lower stages of life, a young man, should not accept a wife in the marriage ceremony. All prescribed sacrifices are meant for achieving the Supreme Lord. Therefore, in the lower stages, they should not be given up. Similarly, charity is for the purification of the heart. If charity is given to suitable persons, as described previously, it leads one to advanced spiritual life.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 6

etany api tu karmani
sangam tyaktva phalani ca
kartavyaniti me partha
niscitam matam uttamam

SYNONYMS

etani–all this; api–certainly; tu–must; karmani–activities; sangam–association; tyaktva–renouncing; phalani–results; ca–also; kartavyani–as duty; iti–thus; me–My; partha–O son of Prtha; niscitam–definite;matam–opinion; uttamam–the best.

TRANSLATION

All these activities should be performed without any expectation of result. They should be performed as a matter of duty, O son of Prtha. That is My final opinion.

PURPORT

Although all sacrifices are purifying, one should not expect any result by such performances. In other words, all sacrifices which are meant for material advancement in life should be given up, but sacrifices that purify one’s existence and elevate one to the spiritual plane should not be stopped. Everything that leads to Krsna consciousness must be encouraged. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also it is said that any activity which leads to devotional service to the Lord should be accepted. That is the highest criterion of religion. A devotee of the Lord should accept any kind of work, sacrifice or charity which will help him in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 7

niyatasya tu sannyasah
karmano nopapadyate
mohat tasya parityagas
tamasah parikirtitah

SYNONYMS

niyatasya–prescribed duties; tu–but; sannyasah–renunciation;karmanah–activities; na–never; upapadyate–is deserved; mohat–by illusion; tasya–of which; parityagah–renunciation; tamasah–in the mode of ignorance; parikirtitah–is declared.

TRANSLATION

Prescribed duties should never be renounced. If, by illusion, one gives up his prescribed duties, such renunciation is said to be in the mode of ignorance.

PURPORT

Work for material satisfaction must be given up, but activities which promote one to spiritual activity, like cooking for the Supreme Lord and offering the food to the Lord and then accepting the food, are recommended. It is said that a person in the renounced order of life should not cook for himself. Cooking for oneself is prohibited, but cooking for the Supreme Lord is not prohibited. Similarly, a sannyasi may perform a marriage ceremony to help his disciple in the advancement of Krsna consciousness. If one renounces such activities, it is to be understood that he is acting in the mode of darkness.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 8

duhkham ity eva yat karma
kaya-klesa-bhayat tyajet
sa krtva rajasam tyagam
naiva tyaga-phalam labhet

SYNONYMS

duhkham–unhappy; iti–thus; eva–certainly; yat–that which;karma–work; kaya–body; klesa–troublesome; bhayat–out of fear;tyajet–gives up; sah–that; krtva–after doing; rajasam–in the mode of passion; tyagam–renunciation; na eva–certainly not; tyaga–renounced;phalam–results; labhet–gain.

TRANSLATION

Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome, or out of fear, is said to be in the mode of passion. Such action never leads to the elevation of renunciation.

PURPORT

One who is in Krsna consciousness should not give up earning money out of fear that he is performing fruitive activities. If by working one can engage his money in Krsna consciousness, or if by rising early in the morning one can advance his transcendental Krsna consciousness, one should not desist out of fear or because such activities are considered troublesome. Such renunciation is in the mode of passion. The result of passionate work is always miserable. Even if a person renounces work in that spirit, he never gets the result of renunciation.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 9

karyam ity eva yat karma
niyatam kriyate ‘rjuna
sangam tyaktva phalam caiva
sa tyagah sattviko matah

SYNONYMS

karyam–must be done; iti–thus; eva–thus; yat–that which; karma–work; niyatam–prescribed; kriyate–performed; arjuna–O Arjuna;sangam–association; tyaktva–giving up; phalam–result; ca–also; eva–certainly; sah–that; tyagah–renunciation; sattvikah–in the mode of goodness; matah–in My opinion.

TRANSLATION

But he who performs his prescribed duty only because it ought to be done, and renounces all attachment to the fruit–his renunciation is of the nature of goodness, O Arjuna.

PURPORT

Prescribed duties must be performed with this mentality. One should act without attachment for the result; he should be disassociated from the modes of work. A man working in Krsna consciousness in a factory does not associate himself with the work of the factory, nor with the workers of the factory. He simply works for Krsna. And when he gives up the result for Krsna, he is acting transcendentally.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 10

na dvesty akusalam karma
kusale nanusajjate
tyagi sattva-samavisto
medhavi chinna-samsayah

SYNONYMS

na–never; dvesti–hates; akusalam–inauspicious; karma–work;kusale–in the auspicious; na–nor; anusajjate–becomes attached; tyagi–the renouncer; sattva–goodness; samavistah–absorbed in; medhavi–intelligent; chinna–cut up; samsayah–all doubts.

TRANSLATION

Those who are situated in the mode of goodness, who neither hate inauspicious work nor are attached to auspicious work, have no doubts about work.

PURPORT

It is said in Bhagavad-gita that one can never give up work at any time. Therefore he who works for Krsna and does not enjoy the fruitive results, who offers everything to Krsna, is actually a renouncer. There are many members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness who work very hard in their office or in the factory or some other place, and whatever they earn they give to the Society. Such highly elevated souls are actually sannyasis and are situated in the renounced order of life. It is clearly outlined here how to renounce the fruits of work and for what purpose fruits should be renounced.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 11

na hi deha-bhrta sakyam
tyaktum karmany asesatah
yas tu karma-phala-tyagi
sa tyagity abhidhiyate

SYNONYMS

na–never; hi–certainly; deha-bhrta–of the embodied; sakyam–possible; tyaktum–to renounce; karmani–activities of; asesatah–altogether; yah tu–anyone who; karma–work; phala–results; tyagi–renouncer; sah–he; tyagi–the renouncer; iti–thus; abhidhiyate–it is said.

TRANSLATION

It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. Therefore it is said that he who renounces the fruits of action is one who has truly renounced.

PURPORT

A person in Krsna consciousness acting in knowledge of his relationship with Krsna is always liberated. Therefore he does not have to enjoy or suffer the results of his acts after death.

Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 12

anistam istam misram ca
tri-vidham karmanah phalam
bhavaty atyaginam pretya
na tu sannyasinam kvacit

SYNONYMS

anistam–leading to hell; istam–leading to heaven; misram ca–or mixture; tri-vidham–three kinds; karmanah–work; phalam–result;bhavati–becomes; atyaginam–of the renouncer; pretya–after death; na tu–but not; sannyasinam–of the renounced order; kvacit–at any time.

TRANSLATION

For one who is not renounced, the threefold fruits of action–desirable, undesirable and mixed–accrue after death. But those who are in the renounced order of life have no such results to suffer or enjoy.

PURPORT

A person in Krsna consciousness or in the mode of goodness does not hate anyone or anything which troubles his body. He does work in the proper place and at the proper time without fearing the troublesome effects of his duty. Such a person situated in transcendence should be understood to be most intelligent and beyond all doubts in his activities.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 13-14

pancaitani maha-baho
karanani nibodha me
sankhye krtante proktani
siddhaye sarva-karmanam
adhisthanam tatha karta
karanam ca prthag-vidham
vividhas ca prthak cesta
daivam caivatra pancamam

SYNONYMS

panca–five; etani–all these; maha-baho–O mighty-armed one;karanani–cause; nibodha–just understand; me–from Me; sankhye–in the Vedas; krta-ante–after performance; proktani–said; siddhaye–perfection; sarva–all; karmanam–actuated. adhisthanam–place;tatha–also; karta–worker; karanam ca–and instruments; prthak-vidham–different kinds; vividhah ca–varieties; prthak–separately;cestah–endeavor; daivam–the Supreme; ca–also; eva–certainly; atra–here; pancamam–five.

TRANSLATION

O mighty-armed Arjuna, learn from Me of the five factors which bring about the accomplishment of all action. These are declared in sankhya philosophy to be the place of action, the performer, the senses, the endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul.

PURPORT

A question may be raised that since any activity performed must have some reaction, how is it that the person in Krsna consciousness does not suffer or enjoy the reactions of work? The Lord is citing Vedantaphilosophy to show how this is possible. He says that there are five causes for all activities, and for success in all activity, one should know these five causes. Sankhya means the stalk of knowledge, and Vedanta is the final stalk of knowledge accepted by all leading acaryas. Even Sankara accepts Vedanta-sutra as such. Therefore such authority should be consulted.
The ultimate will is invested in the Supersoul, as it is stated in the Gita,”sarvasya caham hrdi.” He is engaging everyone in certain activities. Acts done under His direction from within yield no reaction, either in this life or in the life after death.
The instruments of action are the senses, and by senses the soul acts in various ways, and for each and every action there is a different endeavor. But all one’s activities depend on the will of the Supersoul, who is seated within the heart as a friend. The Supreme Lord is the supercause. Under these circumstances, he who is acting in Krsna consciousness under the direction of the Supersoul situated within the heart is naturally not bound by any activity. Those in complete Krsna consciousness are not ultimately responsible for their actions. Everything is dependent on the supreme will, the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 15

sarira-van-manobhir yat
karma prarabhate narah
nyayyam va viparitam va
pancaite tasya hetavah

SYNONYMS

sarira–body; vak–speech; manobhih–by the mind; yat–anything;karma–work; prarabhate–begins; narah–a person; nyayyam–right;va–or; viparitam–the opposite; va–or; panca–five; ete–all these;tasya–its; hetavah–causes.

TRANSLATION

Whatever right or wrong action a man performs by body, mind or speech is caused by these five factors.

PURPORT

The words “right” and “wrong” are very significant in this verse. Right work is work done in terms of the prescribed directions in the scriptures, and wrong work is work done against the principles of the scriptural injunctions. But whatever is done requires these five factors for its complete performance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 16

tatraivam sati kartaram
atmanam kevalam tu yah
pasyaty akrta-buddhitvan
na sa pasyati durmatih

SYNONYMS

tatra–there; evam–certainly; sati–being; kartaram–of the worker;atmanam–the self; kevalam–only; tu–but; yah–anyone; pasyati–sees;akrta-buddhitvat–due to unintelligence; na–never; sah–he; pasyati–sees; durmatih–foolish.

TRANSLATION

Therefore one who thinks himself the only doer, not considering the five factors, is certainly not very intelligent and cannot see things as they are.

PURPORT

A foolish person cannot understand that the Supersoul is sitting as a friend within and conducting his actions. Although the material causes are the place, the worker, the endeavor and the senses, the final cause is the Supreme, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, one should see not only the four material causes, but the supreme efficient cause as well. One who does not see the Supreme thinks himself to be the instrument.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 17

yasya nahankrto bhavo
buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvapi sa imal lokan
na hanti na nibadhyate

SYNONYMS

yasya–of one who; na–never; ahankrtah–false ego; bhavah–nature; buddhih–intelligence; yasya–one who; na–never; lipyate–is attached; hatva api–even killing; sah–he; iman–this; lokan–world; na–never; hanti–kills; na–never; nibadhyate–becomes entangled.

TRANSLATION

One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, is not the slayer. Nor is he bound by his actions.

PURPORT

In this verse the Lord informs Arjuna that the desire not to fight arises from false ego. Arjuna thought himself to be the doer of action, but he did not consider the supreme sanction within and without. If one does not know that a supersanction is there, why should he act? But one who knows the instrument of work, himself as the worker, and the Supreme Lord as the supreme sanctioner, is perfect in doing everything. Such a person is never in illusion. Personal activity and responsibility arise from false ego and godlessness, or a lack of Krsna consciousness. Anyone who is acting in Krsna consciousness under the direction of the Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though killing, does not kill. Nor is he ever affected with the reaction of such killing. When a soldier kills under the command of a superior officer, he is not subject to be judged. But if a soldier kills on his own personal account, then he is certainly judged by a court of law.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 18

jnanam jneyam parijnata
tri-vidha karma-codana
karanam karma karteti
tri-vidhah karma-sangrahah

SYNONYMS

jnanam–knowledge; jneyam–objective; parijnata–the knower; tri-vidha–three kinds; karma–work; codana–impetus; karanam–the senses; karma–work; karta–the doer; iti–thus; tri-vidhah–three kinds;karma–work; sangrahah–accumulation.

TRANSLATION

Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower are the three factors which motivate action; the senses, the work and the doer comprise the threefold basis of action.

PURPORT

There are three kinds of impetus for daily work: knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower. The instruments of work, the work itself and the worker are called the constituents of work. Any work done by any human being has these elements. Before one acts, there is some impetus, which is called inspiration. Any solution arrived at before work is actualized is a subtle form of work. Then work takes the form of action. First one has to undergo the psychological processes of thinking, feeling and willing, and that is called impetus. Actually the faith to perform acts is called knowledge. The inspiration to work is the same if it comes from the scripture or from the instruction of the spiritual master. When the inspiration is there and the worker is there, then actual activity takes place by the help of the senses. The mind is the center of all senses, and the object is work itself. These are the different phases of work as described in Bhagavad-gita. The sum total of all activities is called accumulation of work.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 19

jnanam karma ca karta ca
tridhaiva guna-bhedatah
procyate guna-sankhyane
yathavac chrnu tany api

SYNONYMS

jnanam–knowledge; karma–work; ca–also; karta–worker; ca–also; tridha–three kinds; eva–certainly; guna-bhedatah–in terms of different modes of material nature; procyate–is said; guna-sankhyane–in terms of different modes; yatha-vat–as they act; srnu–hear; tani–all of them; api–also.

TRANSLATION

In accordance with the three modes of material nature, there are three kinds of knowledge, action, and performers of action. Listen as I describe them.

PURPORT

In the Fourteenth Chapter the three divisions of the modes of material nature were elaborately described. In that chapter it was said that the mode of goodness is illuminating, the mode of passion materialistic, and the mode of ignorance conducive to laziness and indolence. All the modes of material nature are binding; they are not sources of liberation. Even in the mode of goodness one is conditioned. In the Seventeenth Chapter, the different types of worship by different types of men in different modes of material nature were described. In this verse, the Lord wishes to speak about the different types of knowledge, workers, and work itself according to the three material modes.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 20

sarva-bhutesu yenaikam
bhavam avyayam iksate
avibhaktam vibhaktesu
taj jnanam viddhi sattvikam

SYNONYMS

sarva-bhutesu–in all living entities; yena–by whom; ekam–one;bhavam–situation; avyayam–imperishable; iksate–does see;avibhaktam–undivided; vibhaktesu–in the numberless divided; tat–that; jnanam–knowledge; viddhi–know; sattvikam–in the mode of goodness.

TRANSLATION

That knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all existences, undivided in the divided, is knowledge in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

A person who sees one spirit soul in every living being, whether a demigod, human being, animal, bird, beast, aquatic or plant, possesses knowledge in the mode of goodness. In all living entities, one spirit soul is there, although they have different bodies in terms of their previous work. As described in the Seventh Chapter, the manifestation of the living force in every body is due to the superior nature of the Supreme Lord. Thus to see that one superior nature, that living force, in every body is to see in the mode of goodness. That living energy is imperishable, although the bodies are perishable. The difference is perceived in terms of the body because there are many forms of material existence in conditional life; therefore they appear to be divided. Such impersonal knowledge finally leads to self-realization.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 21

prthaktvena tu yaj jnanam
nana-bhavan prthag-vidhan
vetti sarvesu bhutesu
taj jnanam viddhi rajasam

SYNONYMS

prthaktvena–because of division; tu–but; yat jnanam–which knowledge; nana-bhavan–multifarious situations; prthak-vidhan–differently; vetti–one who knows; sarvesu–in all; bhutesu–living entities;tat jnanam–that knowledge; viddhi–must be known; rajasam–in terms of passion.

TRANSLATION

That knowledge by which a different type of living entity is seen to be dwelling in different bodies is knowledge in the mode of passion.

PURPORT

The concept that the material body is the living entity and that with the destruction of the body the consciousness is also destroyed is called knowledge in the mode of passion. According to that knowledge, bodies differ from one another because of the development of different types of consciousness, otherwise there is no separate soul which manifests consciousness. The body is itself the soul, and there is no separate soul beyond this body. According to such knowledge, consciousness is temporary. Or else there are no individual souls, but there is an all-pervading soul, which is full of knowledge, and this body is a manifestation of temporary ignorance. Or beyond this body there is no special individual or supreme soul. All such conceptions are considered products of the mode of passion.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 22

yat tu krtsna-vad ekasmin
karye saktam ahaitukam
atattvartha-vad alpam ca
tat tamasam udahrtam

SYNONYMS

yat–that which; tu–but; krtsna-vat–all in all; ekasmin–in one;karye–work; saktam–attached; ahaitukam–without cause; atattva-artha-vat–without reality; alpam–very meager; ca–and; tat–that;tamasam–in the mode of darkness; udahrtam–is spoken.

TRANSLATION

And that knowledge by which one is attached to one kind of work as the all in all, without knowledge of the truth, and which is very meager, is said to be in the mode of darkness.

PURPORT

The “knowledge” of the common man is always in the mode of darkness or ignorance because every living entity in conditional life is born into the mode of ignorance. One who does not develop knowledge through the authorities or scriptural injunctions has knowledge that is limited to the body. He is not concerned about acting in terms of the directions of scripture. For him God is money, and knowledge means the satisfaction of bodily demands. Such knowledge has no connection with the Absolute Truth. It is more or less like the knowledge of the ordinary animals: the knowledge of eating, sleeping, defending and mating. Such knowledge is described here as the product of the mode of darkness. In other words, knowledge concerning the spirit soul beyond this body is called knowledge in the mode of goodness, and knowledge producing many theories and doctrines by dint of mundane logic and mental speculation is the product of the mode of passion, and knowledge concerned with only keeping the body comfortable is said to be in the mode of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 23

niyatam sanga-rahitam
araga-dvesatah krtam
aphala-prepsuna karma
yat tat sattvikam ucyate

SYNONYMS

niyatam–regulative; sanga-rahitam–without attachment; araga-dvesatah–without love or hatred; krtam–done; aphala-prepsuna–without fruitive result; karma–acts; yat–which; tat–that; sattvikam–in the mode of goodness; ucyate–is called.

TRANSLATION

As for actions, that action in accordance with duty, which is performed without attachment, without love or hate, by one who has renounced fruitive results, is called action in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

Regulated occupational duties, as prescribed in the scriptures in terms of the different orders and divisions of society, performed without attachment or proprietary rights and therefore without any love or hatred, and performed in Krsna consciousness for the satisfaction of the Supreme, without self-satisfaction or self-gratification, are called actions in the mode of goodness.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 24

yat tu kamepsuna karma
sahankarena va punah
kriyate bahulayasam
tad rajasam udahrtam

SYNONYMS

yat–that which; tu–but; kama-ipsuna–with fruitive result; karma–work; sa-ahankarena–with ego; va–or; punah–again; kriyate–performed; bahula-ayasam–with great labor; tat–that; rajasam–in the mode of passion; udahrtam–is said to be.

TRANSLATION

But action performed with great effort by one seeking to gratify his desires, and which is enacted from a sense of false ego, is called action in the mode of passion.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 25

anubandham ksayam himsam
anapeksya ca paurusam
mohad arabhyate karma
yat tat tamasam ucyate

SYNONYMS

anubandham–future bondage; ksayam–destruction; himsam–violence; anapeksya–without consideration of consequences; ca–also;paurusam–distressing to others; mohat–by illusion; arabhyate–begun;karma–work; yat–which; tat–that; tamasam–in the mode of ignorance; ucyate–is said to be.

TRANSLATION

And that action performed in ignorance and delusion without consideration of future bondage or consequences, which inflicts injury and is impractical, is said to be action in the mode of ignorance.

PURPORT

One has to give account of one’s actions to the state or to the agents of the Supreme Lord called the Yamadutas. Irresponsible work is distraction because it destroys the regulative principles of scriptural injunction. It is often based on violence and is distressing to other living entities. Such irresponsible work is carried out in the light of one’s personal experience. This is called illusion. And all such illusory work is a product of the mode of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 26

mukta-sango ‘naham-vadi
dhrty-utsaha-samanvitah
siddhy-asiddhyor nirvikarah
karta sattvika ucyate

SYNONYMS

mukta-sangah–liberated from all material association; anaham-vadi–without false ego; dhrti-utsaha–with great enthusiasm; samanvitah–qualified in that way; siddhi–perfection; asiddhyoh–failure; nirvikarah–without change; karta–worker; sattvikah–in the mode of goodness;ucyate–is said to be.

TRANSLATION

The worker who is free from all material attachments and false ego, who is enthusiastic and resolute and who is indifferent to success or failure, is a worker in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

A person in Krsna consciousness is always transcendental to the material modes of nature. He has no expectations for the result of the work entrusted to him because he is above false ego and pride. Still, he is always enthusiastic till the completion of such work. He does not worry about the distress undertaken; he is always enthusiastic. He does not care for success or failure; he is equal both in distress or happiness. Such a worker is situated in the mode of goodness.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 27

ragi karma-phala-prepsur
lubdho himsatmako ‘sucih
harsa-sokanvitah karta
rajasah parikirtitah

SYNONYMS

ragi–very much attached; karma-phala–to the fruit of the work;prepsuh–desiring; lubdhah–greedy; himsa-atmakah–and always envious; asucih–unclean; harsa-soka-anvitah–complicated, with joy and sorrow; karta–such a worker; rajasah–in the mode of passion;parikirtitah–is declared.

TRANSLATION

But that worker who is attached to the fruits of his labor and who passionately wants to enjoy them, who is greedy, envious and impure and moved by happiness and distress, is a worker in the mode of passion.

PURPORT

A person is too much attached to certain kind of work or to the result because he has too much attachment for materialism or hearth and home, wife and children. Such a person has no desire for higher elevation in life. He is simply concerned with making this world as materially comfortable as possible. He is generally very greedy, and he thinks that anything attained by him is permanent and never to be lost. Such a person is envious of others and prepared to do anything wrong for sense gratification. Therefore such a person is unclean, and he does not care whether his earning is pure or impure. He is very happy if his work is successful and very much distressed when his work is not successful. Such is a man in the mode of passion.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 28

ayuktah prakrtah stabdhah
satho naiskrtiko ‘lasah
visadi dirgha-sutri ca
karta tamasa ucyate

SYNONYMS

ayuktah–without reference to scriptural injunctions; prakrtah–materialistic; stabdhah–obstinate; sathah–deceitful; naiskrtikah–expert in insulting others; alasah–lazy; visadi–morose; dirgha-sutri–procrastinating; ca–also; karta–worker; tamasah–in the mode of ignorance; ucyate–is said to be.

TRANSLATION

And that worker who is always engaged in work against the injunction of the scripture, who is materialistic, obstinate, cheating and expert in insulting others, who is lazy, always morose and procrastinating, is a worker in the mode of ignorance.

PURPORT

In the scriptural injunctions we find what sort of work should be performed and what sort of work should not be performed. Those who do not care for those injunctions engage in work not to be done, and such persons are generally materialistic. They work according to the modes of nature, not according to the injunctions of the scripture. Such workers are not very gentle, and generally they are always cunning and expert in insulting others. They are very lazy; even though they have some duty, they do not do it properly, and they put it aside to be done later on. Therefore they appear to be morose. They procrastinate; anything which can be done in an hour they drag on for years. Such workers are situated in the mode of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 29

buddher bhedam dhrtes caiva
gunatas tri-vidham srnu
procyamanam asesena
prthaktvena dhananjaya

SYNONYMS

buddheh–of intelligence; bhedam–differences; dhrteh–of steadiness;ca–also; eva–certainly; gunatah–by the modes of material nature; tri-vidham–the three kinds of; srnu–just hear; procyamanam–as described by Me; asesena–in detail; prthaktvena–differently;dhananjaya–O winner of wealth.

TRANSLATION

Now, O winner of wealth, please listen as I tell you in detail of the three kinds of understanding and determination according to the three modes of nature.

PURPORT

Now after explaining knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower, in three different divisions according to the modes of material nature, the Lord is explaining the intelligence and determination of the worker in the same way.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 30

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca
karyakarye bhayabhaye
bandham moksam ca ya vetti
buddhih sa partha sattviki

SYNONYMS

pravrttim–deserving; ca–also; nivrttim–not deserving; ca–and;karya–work; akarye–reaction; bhaya–fearful; abhaye–fearlessness;bandham–obligation; moksam ca–and liberation; ya–that which; vetti–knows; buddhih–understanding; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha;sattviki–in the mode of goodness.

TRANSLATION

O son of Prtha, that understanding by which one knows what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, what is binding and what is liberating, that understanding is established in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

Actions which are performed in terms of the directions of the scriptures are called pravrtti, or actions that deserve to be performed, and actions which are not so directed are not to be performed. One who does not know the scriptural directions becomes entangled in the actions and reactions of work. Understanding which discriminates by intelligence is situated in the mode of goodness.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 31

yaya dharmam adharmam ca
karyam cakaryam eva ca
ayathavat prajanati
buddhih sa partha rajasi

SYNONYMS

yaya–by which; dharmam–principles of religion; adharmam–and irreligion; ca–and; karyam–work; ca–also; akaryam–what ought not to be done; eva–certainly; ca–also; ayatha-vat–not perfectly; prajanati–knows; buddhih–intelligence; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha; rajasi–in the mode of passion.

TRANSLATION

And that understanding which cannot distinguish between the religious way of life and the irreligious, between action that should be done and action that should not be done, that imperfect understanding, O son of Prtha, is in the mode of passion.

PURPORT

Intelligence in the mode of passion is always working perversely. It accepts religions which are not actually religions and rejects actual religion. All views and activities are misguided. Men of passionate intelligence understand a great soul to be a common man and accept a common man as a great soul. They think truth to be untruth and accept untruth as truth. In all activities they simply take the wrong path; therefore their intelligence is in the mode of passion.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 32

adharmam dharmam iti ya
manyate tamasavrta
sarvarthan viparitams ca
buddhih sa partha tamasi

SYNONYMS

adharmam–irreligion; dharmam–religion; iti–thus; ya–which;manyate–thinks; tamasa–by illusion; avrta–covered; sarva-arthan–all things; viparitan–the wrong direction; ca–also; buddhih–intelligence;sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha; tamasi–the mode of ignorance.

TRANSLATION

That understanding which considers irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion, under the spell of illusion and darkness, and strives always in the wrong direction, O Partha, is in the mode of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 33

dhrtya yaya dharayate
manah-pranendriya-kriyah
yogenavyabhicarinya
dhrtih sa partha sattviki

SYNONYMS

dhrtya–determination; yaya–by which; dharayate–is sustained;manah–mind; prana–life; indriya–senses; kriyah–activities; yogena–by yoga practice; avyabhicarinya–without any break; dhrtih–such determination; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha; sattviki–in the mode of goodness.

TRANSLATION

O son of Prtha, that determination which is unbreakable, which is sustained with steadfastness by yoga practice, and thus controls the mind, life, and the acts of the senses, is in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

Yoga is a means to understand the Supreme Soul. One who is steadily fixed in the Supreme Soul with determination, concentrating one’s mind, life and sensual activities on the Supreme, engages in Krsna consciousness. That sort of determination is in the mode of goodness. The wordavyabhicarinya is very significant, for it refers to persons who are engaged in Krsna consciousness and are never deviated by any other activity.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 34

yaya tu dharma-kamarthan
dhrtya dharayate ‘rjuna
prasangena phalakanksi
dhrtih sa partha rajasi

SYNONYMS

yaya–by which; tu–but; dharma-kama-arthan–for religiosity and economic development; dhrtya–by determination; dharayate–in such terms; arjuna–O Arjuna; prasangena–for that; phala-akanksi–desiring fruitive results; dhrtih–determination; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha;rajasi–in the mode of passion.

TRANSLATION

And that determination by which one holds fast to fruitive result in religion, economic development and sense gratification is of the nature of passion, O Arjuna.

PURPORT

Any person who is always desirous of fruitive results in religious or economic activities, whose only desire is sense gratification, and whose mind, life and senses are thus engaged, is in the mode of passion.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 35

yaya svapnam bhayam sokam
visadam madam eva ca
na vimuncati durmedha
dhrtih sa partha tamasi

SYNONYMS

yaya–by which; svapnam–dream; bhayam–fearfulness; sokam–lamentation; visadam–moroseness; madam–illusion; eva–certainly; ca–also; na–never; vimuncati–is liberated; durmedha–unintelligent; dhrtih–determination; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha; tamasi–in the mode of ignorance.

TRANSLATION

And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness, and illusion–such unintelligent determination is in the mode of darkness.

PURPORT

It should not be concluded that a person in the mode of goodness does not dream. Here dream means too much sleep. Dreaming is always present; either in the mode of goodness, passion or ignorance, dreaming is a natural occurrence. But those who cannot avoid oversleeping, who cannot avoid the pride of enjoying material objects and who are always dreaming of lording it over the material world, whose life, mind, and senses are thus engaged, are considered to be in the mode of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 36-37

sukham tv idanim tri-vidham
srnu me bharatarsabha
abhyasad ramate yatra
duhkhantam ca nigacchati
yat tad agre visam iva
pariname ‘mrtopamam
tat sukham sattvikam proktam
atma-buddhi-prasada-jam

SYNONYMS

sukham–happiness; tu–but; idanim–now; tri-vidham–three kinds;srnu–hear; me–from Me; bharata-rsabha–O best amongst the Bharatas; abhyasat–by practice; ramate–enjoyer; yatra–where;duhkha–distress; antam–end; ca–also; nigacchati–gains. yat–that which; tat–that; agre–in the beginning; visam iva–like poison;pariname–at the end; amrta–nectar; upamam–compared to; tat–that;sukham–happiness; sattvikam–in the mode of goodness; proktam–is said; atma–self; buddhi–intelligence; prasada-jam–satisfactory.

TRANSLATION

O best of the Bharatas, now please hear from Me about the three kinds of happiness which the conditioned soul enjoys, and by which he sometimes comes to the end of all distress. That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.

PURPORT

A conditioned soul tries to enjoy material happiness again and again. Thus he chews the chewed, but, sometimes, in the course of such enjoyment, he becomes relieved from material entanglement by association with a great soul. In other words, a conditioned soul is always engaged in some type of sense gratification, but when he understands by good association that it is only a repetition of the same thing, and he is awakened to his real Krsna consciousness, he is sometimes relieved from such repetitive so-called happiness.
In the pursuit of self-realization, one has to follow many rules and regulations to control the mind and the senses and to concentrate the mind on the self. All these procedures are very difficult, bitter like poison, but if one is successful in following the regulations and comes to the transcendental position, he begins to drink real nectar, and he enjoys life.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 38

visayendriya-samyogad
yat tad agre ‘mrtopamam
pariname visam iva
tat sukham rajasam smrtam

SYNONYMS

visaya–objects of the senses; indriya–senses; samyogat–combination; yat–which; tat–that; agre–in the beginning; amrta-upamam–just like nectar; pariname–at the end; visam iva–like poison;tat–that; sukham–happiness; rajasam–in the mode of passion;smrtam–is considered.

TRANSLATION

That happiness which is derived from contact of the senses with their objects and which appears like nectar at first but poison at the end is said to be of the nature of passion.

PURPORT

A young man and a young woman meet, and the senses drive the young man to see her, to touch her and to have sexual intercourse. In the beginning this may be very pleasing to the senses, but at the end, or after some time, it becomes just like poison. They are separated or there is divorce, there is lamentation, there is sorrow, etc. Such happiness is always in the mode of passion. Happiness derived from a combination of the senses and the sense objects is always a cause of distress and should be avoided by all means.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 39

yad agre canubandhe ca
sukham mohanam atmanah
nidralasya-pramadottham
tat tamasam udahrtam

SYNONYMS

yat–that which; agre–in the beginning; ca–also; anubandhe–by binding; ca–also; sukham–happiness; mohanam–illusion; atmanah–of the self; nidra–sleeping; alasya–laziness; pramada–illusion; uttham–produced of; tat–that; tamasam–in the mode of ignorance; udahrtam–is said to be.

TRANSLATION

And that happiness which is blind to self-realization, which is delusion from beginning to end and which arises from sleep, laziness and illusion is said to be of the nature of ignorance.

PURPORT

One who takes pleasure in laziness and in sleep is certainly in the mode of darkness, and one who has no idea how to act and how not to act is also in the mode of ignorance. For the person in the mode of ignorance, everything is illusion. There is no happiness either in the beginning or the end. For the person in the mode of passion there might be some kind of ephemeral happiness in the beginning and at the end distress, but for the person in the mode of ignorance there is only distress both in the beginning and at the end.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 40

na tad asti prthivyam va
divi devesu va punah
sattvam prakrti-jair muktam
yad ebhih syat tribhir gunaih

SYNONYMS

na–not; tat–that; asti–there is; prthivyam–within the universe; va–or; divi–in the higher planetary system; devesu–amongst the demigods;va–or; punah–again; sattvam–existence; prakrti-jaih–under the influence of material nature; muktam–liberated; yat–that; ebhih–by this;syat–so becomes; tribhih–by three; gunaih–modes of material nature.

TRANSLATION

There is no being existing, either here or among the demigods in the higher planetary systems, which is freed from the three modes of material nature.

PURPORT

The Lord here summarizes the total influence of the three modes of material nature all over the universe.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 41

brahmana-ksatriya-visam
sudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktani
svabhava-prabhavair gunaih

SYNONYMS

brahmana–the brahmanas; ksatriya–the ksatriyas; visam–thevaisyas; sudranam–the sudras; ca–and; parantapa–O subduer of the enemies; karmani–activities; pravibhaktani–are divided; svabhava–own nature; prabhavaih–born of; gunaih–by the modes of material nature.

TRANSLATION

Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are distinguished by their qualities of work, O chastiser of the enemy, in accordance with the modes of nature.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 42

samo damas tapah saucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam

SYNONYMS

samah–peacefulness; damah–self-control; tapah–austerity;saucam–purity; ksantih–tolerance; arjavam–honesty; eva–certainly;ca–and; jnanam–knowledge; vijnanam–wisdom; astikyam–religiousness; brahma–of a brahmana; karma–duty; svabhava-jam–born of his own nature.

TRANSLATION

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness–these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 43

sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
yuddhe capy apalayanam
danam isvara-bhavas ca
ksatram karma svabhava-jam

SYNONYMS

sauryam–heroism; tejah–power; dhrtih–determination; daksyam–resourcefulness; yuddhe–in battle; ca–and; api–also; apalayanam–not fleeing; danam–generosity; isvara–leadership; bhavah–nature; ca–and;ksatram–ksatriya; karma–duty; svabhava-jam–born of his own nature.

TRANSLATION

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the ksatriyas.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 44

krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam
vaisya-karma svabhava-jam
paricaryatmakam karma
sudrasyapi svabhava-jam

SYNONYMS

krsi–plowing; go–cows; raksya–protection; vanijyam–trade;vaisya–vaisya; karma–duty; svabhava-jam–born of his own nature;paricarya–service; atmakam–nature; karma–duty; sudrasya–of thesudra; api–also; svabhava-jam–born of his own nature.

TRANSLATION

Farming, cow protection and business are the qualities of work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 45

sve sve karmany abhiratah
samsiddhim labhate narah
sva-karma-niratah siddhim
yatha vindati tac chrnu

SYNONYMS

sve–own; sve–own; karmani–in work; abhiratah–following;samsiddhim–perfection; labhate–achieves; narah–a man; sva-karma–by his own duty; niratah–engaged; siddhim–perfection; yatha–as;vindati–attains; tat–that; srnu–listen.

TRANSLATION

By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 46

yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah

SYNONYMS

yatah–from whom; pravrttih–the emanation; bhutanam–of all living entities; yena–by whom; sarvam–all; idam–this; tatam–is pervaded;sva-karmana–in his own duties; tam–Him; abhyarcya–by worshiping;siddhim–perfection; vindati–achieves; manavah–a man.

TRANSLATION

By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, man can, in the performance of his own duty, attain perfection.

PURPORT

As stated in the Fifteenth Chapter, all living beings are fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. As such, the Supreme Lord is the beginning of all living entities. This is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra–janmady asya yatah. The Supreme Lord is therefore the beginning of life of every living entity. And the Supreme Lord, by His two energies, His external energy and internal energy, is all-pervading. Therefore one should worship the Supreme Lord with His energies. Generally the Vaisnava devotees worship the Supreme Lord with His internal energy. His external energy is a perverted reflection of the internal energy. The external energy is a background, but the Supreme Lord by the expansion of His plenary portion as Paramatma is situated everywhere. He is the Supersoul of all demigods, all human beings, all animals, everywhere. One should therefore know that as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord it is his duty to render service unto the Supreme. Everyone should be engaged in devotional service to the Lord in full Krsna consciousness. That is recommended in this verse.
Everyone should think that he is engaged in a particular type of occupation by Hrsikesa, the master of the senses. And, by the result of the work in which one is engaged, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, should be worshiped. If one thinks always in this way, in full Krsna consciousness, then, by the grace of the Lord, he becomes fully aware of everything. That is the perfection of life. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita,tesam aham samuddharta. The Supreme Lord Himself takes charge of delivering such a devotee. That is the highest perfection of life. In whatever occupation one may be engaged, if he serves the Supreme Lord, he will achieve the highest perfection.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 47

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
para-dharmat svanusthitat
svabhava-niyatam karma
kurvan napnoti kilbisam

SYNONYMS

sreyan–better; sva-dharmah–one’s own occupation; vigunah–imperfectly performed; para-dharmat–another’s occupation;suanusthitat–perfectly done; svabhava-niyatam–prescribed duties according to one’s nature; karma–work; kurvan–performing; na–never;apnoti–achieve; kilbisam–sinful reactions.

TRANSLATION

It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Prescribed duties, according to one’s nature, are never affected by sinful reactions.

PURPORT

One’s occupational duty is prescribed in Bhagavad-gita. As already discussed in previous verses, the duties of a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisyaand sudra are prescribed according to the particular modes of nature. One should not imitate another’s duty. A man who is by nature attracted to the kind of work done by sudras should not artificially claim himself to be abrahmana, although he may be born into a brahmana family. In this way one should work according to his own nature; no work is abominable, if performed in the service of the Supreme Lord. The occupational duty of abrahmana is certainly in the mode of goodness, but if a person is not by nature in the mode of goodness, he should not imitate the occupational duty of a brahmana. For a ksatriya, or administrator, there are so many abominable things; a ksatriya has to be violent to kill his enemies, and sometimes a ksatriya has to tell lies for the sake of diplomacy. Such violence and duplicity accompany political affairs, but a ksatriya is not supposed to give up his occupational duty and try to perform the duties of a brahmana.

One should act to satisfy the Supreme Lord. For example, Arjuna was a ksatriya. He was hesitating to fight the other party. But if such fighting is performed for the sake of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there need be no fear of degradation. In the business field also, sometimes a merchant has to tell so many lies to make a profit. If he does not do so, there can be no profit. Sometimes a merchant says, “Oh, my dear customer, for you I am making no profit,” but one should know that without profit the merchant cannot exist. Therefore it should be taken as a simple lie if a merchant says that he is not making a profit. But the merchant should not think that because he is engaged in an occupation in which the telling of lies is compulsory, he should give up his profession and pursue the profession of a brahmana. That is not recommended.

Whether one is aksatriya, a vaisya, or a sudra doesn’t matter, if he serves, by his work, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even brahmanas, who perform different types of sacrifice, sometimes must kill animals because sometimes animals are sacrificed in such ceremonies. Similarly, if a ksatriya engaged in his own occupation kills an enemy, there is no sin incurred. In the Third Chapter these matters have been clearly and elaborately explained; every man should work for the purpose of Yajna, or for Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anything done for personal sense gratification is a cause of bondage. The conclusion is that everyone should be engaged according to the particular mode of nature he has acquired, and he should decide to work only to serve the supreme cause of the Supreme Lord

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 48

saha-jam karma kaunteya
sa-dosam api na tyajet
sarvarambha hi dosena
dhumenagnir ivavrtah

SYNONYMS

saha-jam–born simultaneously; karma–work; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; sa-dosam–with fault; api–although; na–never; tyajet–to be given up; sarva-arambhah–any venture; hi–certainly; dosena–with fault;dhumena–with smoke; agnih–fire; iva–as; avrtah–covered.

TRANSLATION

Every endeavor is covered by some sort of fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work which is born of his nature, O son of Kunti, even if such work is full of fault.

PURPORT

In conditioned life, all work is contaminated by the material modes of nature. Even if one is a brahmana, he has to perform sacrifices in which animal killing is necessary. Similarly, a ksatriya, however pious he may be, has to fight enemies. He cannot avoid it. Similarly, a merchant, however pious he may be, must sometimes hide his profit to stay in business, or he may sometimes have to do business on the black market. These things are necessary; one cannot avoid them. Similarly, even though a man is a sudraserving a bad master, he has to carry out the order of the master, even though it should not be done. Despite these flaws, one should continue to carry out his prescribed duties, for they are born out of his own nature.
A very nice example is given herein. Although fire is pure, still there is smoke. Yet smoke does not make the fire impure. Even though there is smoke in the fire, fire is still considered to be the purest of all elements. If one prefers to give up the work of a ksatriya and take up the occupation of a brahmana, he is not assured that in the occupation of a brahmanathere are no unpleasant duties. One may then conclude that in the material world no one can be completely free from the contamination of material nature. This example of fire and smoke is very appropriate in this connection. When in wintertime one takes a stone from the fire, sometimes smoke disturbs the eyes and other parts of the body, but still one must make use of the fire despite disturbing conditions. Similarly, one should not give up his natural occupation because there are some disturbing elements. Rather, one should be determined to serve the Supreme Lord by his occupational duty in Krsna consciousness. That is the perfectional point. When a particular type of occupation is performed for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, all the defects in that particular occupation are purified. When the results of work are purified, when connected with devotional service, one becomes perfect in seeing the self within, and that is self-realization.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 49

asakta-buddhih sarvatra
jitatma vigata-sprhah
naiskarmya-siddhim paramam
sannyasenadhigacchati

SYNONYMS

asakta-buddhih–unattached intelligence; sarvatra–everywhere; jita-atma–control of the mind; vigata-sprhah–without material desires;naiskarmya-siddhim–perfection of non-reaction; paramam–supreme;sannyasena–by the renounced order of life; adhigacchati–attains.

TRANSLATION

One can obtain the results of renunciation simply by self-control and by becoming unattached to material things and disregarding material enjoyments. That is the highest perfectional stage of renunciation.

PURPORT

Real renunciation means that one should always think himself part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore he has no right to enjoy the results of his work. Since he is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, the results of his work must be enjoyed by the Supreme Lord. This is actually Krsna consciousness. The person acting in Krsna consciousness is really asannyasi, one in the renounced order of life. By such a mentality, one is satisfied because he is actually acting for the Supreme. Thus he is not attached to anything material; he becomes accustomed to not taking pleasure in anything beyond the transcendental happiness derived from the service of the Lord. A sannyasi is supposed to be free from the reactions of his past activities, but a person who is in Krsna consciousness automatically attains this perfection without even accepting the so-called order of renunciation. This state of mind is called yogarudha, or the perfectional stage of yoga, as confirmed in the Third Chapter: yas tv atma-ratir eva syat. One who is satisfied in himself has no fear of any kind of reaction from his activity.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 50

siddhim prapto yatha brahma
tathapnoti nibodha me
samasenaiva kaunteya
nistha jnanasya ya para

SYNONYMS

siddhim–perfection; praptah–achieving; yatha–as; brahma–the Supreme; tatha–so; apnoti–achieves; nibodha–try to understand; me–from Me; samasena–summarily; eva–certainly; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; nistha–stage; jnanasya–of knowledge; ya–which; para–transcendental.

TRANSLATION

O son of Kunti, learn from Me in brief how one can attain to the supreme perfectional stage, Brahman, by acting in the way I shall now summarize.

PURPORT

The Lord describes for Arjuna how one can achieve the highest perfectional stage simply by being engaged in his occupational duty, performing that duty for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One attains the supreme stage of Brahman simply by renouncing the result of his work for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. That is the process of self-realization. Actual perfection of knowledge is in attaining pure Krsna consciousness; that is described in the following verses.

Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 51-53

buddhya visuddhaya yukto
dhrtyatmanam niyamya ca
sabdadin visayams tyaktva
raga-dvesau vyudasya ca
vivikta-sevi laghv-asi
yata-vak-kaya-manasah
dhyana-yoga-paro nityam
vairagyam samupasritah
ahankaram balam darpam
kamam krodham parigraham
vimucya nirmamah santo
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

SYNONYMS

buddhya–by the intelligence; visuddhaya–fully purified; yuktah–such engagement; dhrtya–determination; atmanam–self; niyamya–regulated; ca–also; sabda-adin–the sense objects, such as sound, etc.;visayan–sense objects; tyaktva–giving up; raga–attachment; dvesau–hatred; vyudasya–having laid aside; ca–also; vivikta-sevi–living in a secluded place; laghu-asi–eating a small quantity; yata-vak–control of speech; kaya–body; manasah–control of the mind; dhyana-yoga-parah–always absorbed in trance; nityam–twenty-four hours a day;vairagyam–detachment; samupasritah–taken shelter of; ahankaram–false ego; balam–false strength; darpam–false pride; kamam–lust;krodham–anger; parigraham–acceptance of material things; vimucya–being delivered; nirmamah–without proprietorship; santah–peaceful;brahma-bhuyaya–to become self-realized; kalpate–is understood.

TRANSLATION

Being purified by his intelligence and controlling the mind with determination, giving up the objects of sense gratification, being freed from attachment and hatred, one who lives in a secluded place, who eats little and who controls the body and the tongue, and is always in trance and is detached, who is without false ego, false strength, false pride, lust, anger, and who does not accept material things, such a person is certainly elevated to the position of self-realization.

PURPORT

When one is purified by knowledge, he keeps himself in the mode of goodness. Thus one becomes the controller of the mind and is always in trance. Because he is not attached to the objects of sense gratification, he does not eat more than what he requires, and he controls the activities of his body and mind. He has no false ego because he does not accept the body as himself. Nor has he a desire to make the body fat and strong by accepting so many material things. Because he has no bodily concept of life, he is not falsely proud. He is satisfied with everything that is offered to him by the grace of the Lord, and he is never angry in the absence of sense gratification. Nor does he endeavor to acquire sense objects. Thus when he is completely free from false ego, he becomes nonattached to all material things, and that is the stage of self-realization of Brahman. That stage is called the brahma-bhuta stage. When one is free from the material conception of life, he becomes peaceful and cannot be agitated.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 54

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

SYNONYMS

brahma-bhutah–being one with the Absolute; prasanna-atma–fully joyful; na–never; socati–laments; na–never; kanksati–desires; samah–equally disposed; sarvesu–all; bhutesu–living entities; mat-bhaktim–My devotional service; labhate–gains; param–transcendental.

TRANSLATION

One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.

PURPORT

To the impersonalist, achieving the brahma-bhuta stage, becoming one with the Absolute, is the last word. But for the personalist, or pure devotee, one has to go still further to become engaged in pure devotional service. This means that one who is engaged in pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord is already in a state of liberation, called brahma-bhuta,oneness with the Absolute. Without being one with the Supreme, the Absolute, one cannot render service unto Him. In the absolute conception, there is no difference between the served and the servitor; yet the distinction is there, in a higher spiritual sense.

In the material concept of life, when one works for sense gratification, there is misery, but in the absolute world, when one is engaged in pure devotional service, there is no misery. The devotee in Krsna consciousness has nothing to lament or desire. Since God is full, a living entity who is engaged in God’s service, in Krsna consciousness, becomes also full in himself. He is just like a river cleansed of all dirty water. Because a pure devotee has no thought other than Krsna, he is naturally always joyful. He does not lament for any material loss or gain because he is full in the service of the Lord. He has no desire for material enjoyment because he knows that every living entity is a fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and therefore eternally a servant. He does not see, in the material world, someone as higher and someone as lower; higher and lower positions are ephemeral, and a devotee has nothing to do with ephemeral appearances or disappearances. For him stone and gold are of equal value. This is the brahma-bhuta stage, and this stage is attained very easily by the pure devotee. In that stage of existence, the idea of becoming one with the Supreme Brahman and annihilating one’s individuality becomes hellish, and the idea of attaining the heavenly kingdom becomes phantasmagoria, and the senses are like broken serpents’ teeth. As there is no fear of a serpent with broken teeth, so there is no fear from the senses when they are automatically controlled. The world is miserable for the materially infected person, but for a devotee the entire world is as good as Vaikuntha, or the spiritual sky. The highest personality in this material universe is no more significant than an ant for a devotee. Such a stage can be achieved by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, who preached pure devotional service in this age.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 55

bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
visate tad-anantaram

SYNONYMS

bhaktya–by pure devotional service; mam–Me; abhijanati–one can know; yavan–as much as; yah ca asmi–as I am; tattvatah–in truth;tatah–thereafter; mam–Me; tattvatah–by truth; jnatva–knowing;visate–enters; tat-anantaram–thereafter.

TRANSLATION

One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and His plenary portions cannot be understood by mental speculation nor by the nondevotees. If anyone wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has to take to pure devotional service under the guidance of a pure devotee. Otherwise, the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will always be hidden. It is already stated (naham prakasah) that He is not revealed to everyone. Everyone cannot understand God simply by erudite scholarship or mental speculation. Only one who is actually engaged in Krsna consciousness and devotional service can understand what Krsna is. University degrees are not helpful.
One who is fully conversant with the Krsna science becomes eligible to enter into the spiritual kingdom, the abode of Krsna. Becoming Brahman does not mean that one loses his identity. Devotional service is there, and as long as devotional service exists, there must be God, the devotee, and the process of devotional service. Such knowledge is never vanquished, even after liberation. Liberation involves getting free from the concept of material life; in spiritual life the same distinction is there, the same individuality is there, but in pure Krsna consciousness. One should not misunderstand that the word visate, “enters into Me,” supports the monist theory that one becomes homogeneous with the impersonal Brahman. No.Visate means that one can enter into the abode of the Supreme Lord in his’s individuality to engage in His association and render service unto Him. For instance, a green bird enters a green tree not to become one with the tree but to enjoy the fruits of the tree. Impersonalists generally give the example of a river flowing into the ocean and merging. This may be a source of happiness for the impersonalist, but the personalist keeps his personal individuality like an aquatic in the ocean. We find so many living entities within the ocean, if we go deep. Surface acquaintance with the ocean is not sufficient; one must have complete knowledge of the aquatics living in the ocean depths.
Because of his pure devotional service, a devotee can understand the transcendental qualities and the opulences of the Supreme Lord in truth. As it is stated in the Eleventh Chapter, only by devotional service can one understand. The same is confirmed here; one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by devotional service and enter into His kingdom.
After attainment of the brahma-bhuta stage of freedom from material conceptions, devotional service begins by one’s hearing about the Lord. When one hears about the Supreme Lord, automatically the brahma-bhuta stage develops, and material contamination–greediness and lust for sense enjoyment–disappears. As lust and desires disappear from the heart of a devotee, he becomes more attached to the service of the Lord, and by such attachment he becomes free from material contamination. In that state of life he can understand the Supreme Lord. This is the statement ofSrimad-Bhagavatam also. Also after liberation the process of bhakti or transcendental service continues. The Vedanta-sutra confirms this:aprayanat tatrapi hi drstam. This means that after liberation the process of devotional service continues. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, real devotional liberation is defined as the reinstatement of the living entity in his own identity, his own constitutional position. The constitutional position is already explained: every living entity is the part and parcel fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord. Therefore his constitutional position is to serve. After liberation, this service is never stopped. Actual liberation is getting free from misconceptions of life.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 56

sarva-karmany api sada
kurvano mad-vyapasrayah
mat-prasadad avapnoti
sasvatam padam avyayam

SYNONYMS

sarva–all; karmani–activities; api–although; sada–always;kurvanah–performing; mat–under My; vyapasrayah–protection; mat–My; prasadat–mercy; avapnoti–achieves; sasvatam–eternal; padam–abode; avyayam–imperishable.

TRANSLATION

Though engaged in all kinds of activities, My devotee, under My protection, reaches the eternal and imperishable abode by My grace.

PURPORT

The word mad-vyapasrayah means under the protection of the Supreme Lord. To be free from material contamination, a pure devotee acts under the direction of the Supreme Lord or His representative, the spiritual master. There is no time limitation for a pure devotee. He is always, twenty-four hours, one hundred percent engaged in activities under the direction of the Supreme Lord. To a devotee who is thus engaged in Krsna consciousness the Lord is very, very kind. In spite of all difficulties, he is eventually placed in the transcendental abode, or Krsnaloka. He is guaranteed entrance there; there is no doubt about it. In that supreme abode, there is no change; everything is eternal, imperishable and full of knowledge.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 57

cetasa sarva-karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
buddhi-yogam upasritya
mac-cittah satatam bhava

SYNONYMS

cetasa–by intelligence; sarva-karmani–all kinds of activities; mayi–unto Me; sannyasya–giving up; mat-parah–My protection; buddhi-yogam–devotional activities; upasritya–taking shelter of; mat-cittah–consciousness; satatam–twenty-four hours a day; bhava–just become.

TRANSLATION

In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me.

PURPORT

When one acts in Krsna consciousness, he does not act as the master of the world. Just like a servant, one should act fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. A servant has no individual independence. He acts only on the order of the master. A servant acting on behalf of the supreme master has no affection for profit and loss. He simply discharges his duty faithfully in terms of the order of the Lord. Now, one may argue that Arjuna was acting under the personal direction of Krsna, but, when Krsna is not present, how should one act? If one acts according to the direction of Krsna in this book, as well as under the guidance of the representative of Krsna, then the result will be the same. The Sanskrit word mat-parah is very important in this verse. It indicates that one has no goal in life save and except acting in Krsna consciousness just to satisfy Krsna. And, while working in that way, one should think of Krsna only: “I have been appointed to discharge this particular duty by Krsna.” While acting in such a way, one naturally has to think of Krsna. This is perfect Krsna consciousness. One should, however, note that, after doing something whimsically he should not offer the result to the Supreme Lord. That sort of duty is not in the devotional service of Krsna consciousness. One should act according to the order of Krsna. This is a very important point. That order of Krsna comes through disciplic succession from the bona fide spiritual master. Therefore the spiritual master’s order should be taken as the prime duty of life. If one gets a bona fide spiritual master and acts according to his direction, then his’s perfection of life in Krsna consciousness is guaranteed.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 58

mac-cittah sarva-durgani
mat-prasadat tarisyasi
atha cet tvam ahankaran
na srosyasi vinanksyasi

SYNONYMS

mat–My; cittah–consciousness; sarva–all; durgani–impediments;mat–My; prasadat–My mercy; tarisyasi–you will overcome; atha–therefore; cet–if; tvam–you; ahankarat–by false ego; na–not;srosyasi–do not hear; vinanksyasi–then lose yourself.

TRANSLATION

If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditional life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.

PURPORT

A person in full Krsna consciousness is not unduly anxious to execute the duties of his existence. The foolish cannot understand this great freedom from all anxiety. For one who acts in Krsna consciousness, Lord Krsna becomes the most intimate friend. He always looks after His friend’s comfort, and He gives Himself to His friend, who is so devotedly engaged working twenty-four hours a day to please the Lord. Therefore, no one should be carried away by the false ego of the bodily concept of life. One should not falsely think himself independent of the laws of material nature or free to act. He is already under strict material laws. But, as soon as he acts in Krsna consciousness, he is liberated, free from the material perplexities. One should note very carefully that one who is not active in Krsna consciousness is losing himself in the material whirlpool, in the ocean of birth and death. No conditioned soul actually knows what is to be done and what is not to be done, but a person who acts in Krsna consciousness is free to act because everything is prompted by Krsna from within and confirmed by the spiritual master.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 59

yad ahankaram asritya
na yotsya iti manyase
mithyaisa vyavasayas te
prakrtis tvam niyoksyati

SYNONYMS

yat–therefore; ahankaram–false ego; asritya–taking shelter; na–not; yotsye–shall fight; iti–thus; manyase–think; mithya esah–this is all false; vyavasayah te–your determination; prakrtih–material nature;tvam–you; niyoksyati–will engage you.

TRANSLATION

If you do not act according to My direction and do not fight, then you will be falsely directed. By your nature, you will have to be engaged in warfare.

PURPORT

Arjuna was a military man, and born of the nature of the ksatriya.Therefore his natural duty was to fight. But, due to false ego, he was fearing that by killing his teacher, grandfather and friends, there would be sinful reactions. Actually he was considering himself master of his actions, as if he were directing the good and bad results of such work. He forgot that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present there, instructing him to fight. That is the forgetfulness of the conditioned soul. The Supreme Personality gives directions as to what is good and what is bad, and one simply has to act in Krsna consciousness to attain the perfection of life. No one can ascertain his destiny as the Supreme Lord can; therefore the best course is to take direction from the Supreme Lord and act. No one should neglect the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or the order of the spiritual master who is the representative of God. One should act unhesitatingly to execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead–that will keep him safe under all circumstances.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 60

svabhava-jena kaunteya
nibaddhah svena karmana
kartum necchasi yan mohat
karisyasy avaso ‘pi tat

SYNONYMS

svabhava-jena–by one’s own nature; kaunteya–O son of Kunti;nibaddhah–conditioned; svena–by one’s own; karmana–activities;kartum–to do; na–not; icchasi–like; yat–that; mohat–by illusion;karisyasi–you will act; avasah–imperceptibly; api–even; tat–that.

TRANSLATION

Under illusion you are now declining to act according to My direction. But, compelled by your own nature, you will act all the same, O son of Kunti.

PURPORT

If one refuses to act under the direction of the Supreme Lord, then he is compelled to act by the modes in which he is situated. Everyone is under the spell of a particular combination of the modes of nature and is acting in that way. But anyone who voluntarily engages himself under the direction of the Supreme Lord becomes glorious.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 61

isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya

SYNONYMS

isvarah–the Supreme Lord; sarva-bhutanam–of all living entities;hrt-dese–in the location of the heart; arjuna–O Arjuna; tisthati–resides;bhramayan–causing to travel; sarva-bhutani–all living entities; yantra–machine; arudhani–being so placed; mayaya–under the spell of material energy.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

PURPORT

Arjuna was not the supreme knower, and his decision to fight or not to fight was confined to his limited discretion. Lord Krsna instructed that the individual is not all in all. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, or He Himself, Krsna, the localized Supersoul, sits in the heart directing the living being. After changing bodies, the living entity forgets his past deeds, but the Supersoul, as the knower of the past, present and future, remains the witness of all his activities. Therefore all the activities of living entities are directed by this Supersoul. The living entity gets what he deserves and is carried by the material body which is created in the material energy under the direction of the Supersoul. As soon as a living entity is placed in a particular type of body, he has to work under the spell of that bodily situation. A person seated in a high-speed motorcar goes faster than one seated in a slower car, though the living entities, the drivers, may be the same. Similarly, by the order of the Supreme Soul, material nature fashions a particular type of body to a particular type of living entity to work according to his past desires. The living entity is not independent. One should not think himself independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The individual is always under His control. Therefore his duty is to surrender, and that is the injunction of the next verse.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 62

tam eva saranam gaccha
sarva-bhavena bharata
tat-prasadat param santim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam

SYNONYMS

tam–unto Him; eva–certainly; saranam–surrender; gaccha–go;sarva-bhavena–in all respects; bharata–O son of Bharata; tat-prasadat–by His grace; param–transcendental; santim–in peace;sthanam–abode; prapsyasi–you will get; sasvatam–eternal.

TRANSLATION

O scion of Bharata, surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.

PURPORT

A living entity should therefore surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is situated in everyone’s heart, and that will relieve him from all kinds of miseries of this material existence. By such surrender, one will not only be released from all miseries in this life, but at the end he will reach the Supreme God. The transcendental world is described in the Vedic literature as tad visnoh paramam padam. Since all of creation is the kingdom of God, everything material is actually spiritual, but paramam padam specifically refers to the eternal abode, which is called the spiritual sky or Vaikuntha.
In the Fifteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita it is stated, “sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah.” The Lord is seated in everyone’s heart, so this recommendation that one should surrender unto the Supersoul sitting within means that one should surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Krsna has already been accepted by Arjuna as the Supreme. He was accepted in the Tenth Chapter as param brahma param dhama. Arjuna has accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the supreme abode of all living entities, not only because of his personal experience but also because of the evidence of great authorities like Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 63

iti te jnanam akhyatam
guhyad guhyataram maya
vimrsyaitad asesena
yathecchasi tatha kuru

SYNONYMS

iti–thus; te–unto you; jnanam–knowledge; akhyatam–described;guhyat–confidential; guhya-taram–still more confidential; maya–by Me; vimrsya–by deliberation; etat–that; asesena–fully; yatha–as you;icchasi–you like; tatha–that; kuru–perform.

TRANSLATION

Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.

PURPORT

The Lord has already explained to Arjuna the knowledge of brahma-bhuta. One who is in the brahma-bhuta condition is joyful; he never laments, nor does he desire anything. That is due to confidential knowledge. Krsna also discloses knowledge of the Supersoul. This is also Brahman knowledge, knowledge of Brahman, but it is superior.
Here Lord Krsna tells Arjuna that he can do as he chooses. God does not interfere with the little independence of the living entity. In Bhagavad-gita, the Lord has explained in all respects how one can elevate his living condition. The best advice imparted to Arjuna is to surrender unto the Supersoul seated within his heart. By right discrimination, one should agree to act according to the order of the Supersoul. That will help one become situated constantly in Krsna consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of human life. Arjuna is being directly ordered by the Personality of Godhead to fight. Surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in the best interest of the living entities. It is not for the interest of the Supreme. Before surrendering, one is free to deliberate on this subject as far as the intelligence goes; that is the best way to accept the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such instruction comes also through the spiritual master, the bona fide representative of Krsna

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 64

sarva-guhyatamam bhuyah
srnu me paramam vacah
isto ‘si me drdham iti
tato vaksyami te hitam

SYNONYMS

sarva-guhya-tamam–the most confidential of all; bhuyah–again;srnu–just hear; me–from Me; paramam–the supreme; vacah–instruction; istah asi–you are very dear to Me; me–of Me; drdham–very; iti–thus; tatah–therefore; vaksyami–I am speaking; te–for your;hitam–benefit.

TRANSLATION

Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.

PURPORT

The Lord has given Arjuna confidential knowledge of the Supersoul within everyone’s heart, and now He is giving the most confidential part of this knowledge: just surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the end of the Ninth Chapter He has said, “Just always think of Me.” The same instruction is repeated here to stress the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. This essence is not understood by a common man, but by one who is actually very dear to Krsna, a pure devotee of Krsna. This is the most important instruction in all Vedic literature. What Krsna is saying in this connection is the most essential part of knowledge, and it should be carried out not only by Arjuna but by all living entities.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 65

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me

SYNONYMS

mat-manah–thinking of Me; bhava–just become; mat-bhaktah–My devotee; mat-yaji–My worshiper; mam–unto Me; namaskuru–offer your obeisances; mam–unto Me; eva–certainly; esyasi–come;satyam–truly; te–to you; pratijane–I promise; priyah–dear; asi–you are; me–Mine.

TRANSLATION

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

PURPORT

The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krsna and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Krsna. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Krsna. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Krsna. And the Lord’s promise is that anyone who is in such pure Krsna consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Krsna, where he will be engaged in the association of Krsna face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Krsna. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Krsna and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krsna–the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krsna found in the Brahma-samhita and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Krsna. He should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multi-forms as Visnu, Narayana, Rama, Varaha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Krsna constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Krsna’s.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 66

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

SYNONYMS

sarva-dharman–all varieties of religion; parityajya–abandoning;mam–unto Me; ekam–only; saranam–surrender; vraja–go; aham–I;tvam–you; sarva–all; papebhyah–from sinful reactions; moksayisyami–deliver; ma–not; sucah–worry.

TRANSLATION

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

PURPORT

The Lord has described various kinds of knowledge, processes of religion, knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, knowledge of the Supersoul, knowledge of the different types of orders and statuses of social life, knowledge of the renounced order of life, knowledge of nonattachment, sense and mind control, meditation, etc. He has described in so many ways different types of religion. Now, in summarizingBhagavad-gita, the Lord says that Arjuna should give up all the processes that have been explained to him; he should simply surrender to Krsna. That surrender will save him from all kinds of sinful reactions, for the Lord personally promises to protect him.

In the Eighth Chapter it was said that only one who has become free from all sinful reactions can take to the worship of Lord Krsna. Thus one may think that unless he is free from all sinful reactions he cannot take to the surrendering process. To such doubts it is here said that even if one is not free from all sinful reactions, simply by the process of surrendering to Sri Krsna he is automatically freed. There is no need of strenuous effort to free oneself from sinful reactions. One should unhesitatingly accept Krsna as the supreme savior of all living entities. With faith and love, one should surrender unto Him.

According to the devotional process, one should simply accept such religious principles that will lead ultimately to the devotional service of the Lord. One may perform a particular occupational duty according to his position in the social order, but if by executing his duty one does not come to the point of Krsna consciousness, all his activities are in vain. Anything that does not lead to the perfectional stage of Krsna consciousness should be avoided. One should be confident that in all circumstances Krsna will protect him from all difficulties. There is no need of thinking how one should keep the body and soul together. Krsna will see to that. One should always think himself helpless and should consider Krsna the only basis for his progress in life. As soon as one seriously engages himself in devotional service to the Lord in full Krsna consciousness, at once he becomes freed from all contamination of material nature. There are different processes of religion and purificatory processes by cultivation of knowledge, meditation in the mystic yoga system, etc., but one who surrenders unto Krsna does not have to execute so many methods. That simple surrender unto Krsna will save him from unnecessarily wasting time. One can thus make all progress at once and be freed from all sinful reaction.

One should be attracted by the beautiful vision of Krsna. His name is Krsna because He is all-attractive. One who becomes attracted by the beautiful, all-powerful, omnipotent vision of Krsna is fortunate. There are different kinds of transcendentalists–some of them are attached to the impersonal Brahman vision, some of them are attracted by the Supersoul feature, etc., but one who is attracted to the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, above all, one who is attracted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Krsna Himself, is the most perfect transcendentalist. In other words, devotional service to Krsna, in full consciousness, is the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is the essence of the whole Bhagavad-gita. Karma-yogis, empiric philosophers, mystics, and devotees are all called transcendentalists, but one who is a pure devotee is the best of all. The particular words used here, ma sucah, “Don’t fear, don’t hesitate, don’t worry,” are very significant. One may be perplexed as to how one can give up all kinds of religious forms and simply surrender unto Krsna, but such worry is useless.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 67

idam te natapaskaya
nabhaktaya kadacana
na casusrusave vacyam
na ca mam yo ‘bhyasuyati

SYNONYMS

idam–this; te–you; na–never; atapaskaya–one who is not austere;na–never; abhaktaya–one who is not a devotee; kadacana–at any time; na–never; ca–also; asusrusave–one who is not engaged in devotional service; vacyam–to be spoken; na–never; ca–also; mam–unto Me; yah–anyone; abhyasuyati–envious.

TRANSLATION

This confidential knowledge may not be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me.

PURPORT

Persons who have not undergone the austerities of the religious process, who have never attempted devotional service in Krsna consciousness, who have not tended a pure devotee, and especially those who are conscious of Krsna as a historical personality or who are envious of the greatness of Krsna, should not be told this most confidential part of knowledge. It is, however, sometimes found that even demoniac persons who are envious of Krsna, worshiping Krsna in a different way, take to the profession of explaining Bhagavad-gita in a different way to make business, but anyone who desires actually to understand Krsna must avoid such commentaries on Bhagavad-gita. Actually the purpose ofBhagavad-gita is not understandable to those who are sensuous–even if one is not sensuous but is strictly following the disciplines enjoined in the Vedic scripture, if he is not a devotee, he also cannot understand Krsna. Even when one poses himself as a devotee of Krsna, but is not engaged in Krsna conscious activities, he also cannot understand Krsna. There are many persons who envy Krsna because He has explained in Bhagavad-gita that He is the Supreme and that nothing is above Him or equal to Him. There are many persons who are envious of Krsna. Such persons should not be told of Bhagavad-gita, for they cannot understand. There is no possibility of faithless persons’ understanding Bhagavad-gita and Krsna. Without understanding Krsna from the authority of a pure devotee, one should not try to comment upon Bhagavad-gita.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 68

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaisyaty asamsayah

SYNONYMS

yah–anyone; idam–this; paramam–most; guhyam–confidential;mat–Mine; bhaktesu–amongst devotees of; abhidhasyati–explains;bhaktim–devotional service; mayi–unto Me; param–transcendental;krtva–having done; mam–unto Me; eva–certainly; esyati–comes;asamsayah–without doubt.

TRANSLATION

For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.
PURPORT
Generally it is advised that Bhagavad-gita be discussed amongst the devotees only, for those who are not devotees will neither understand Krsna nor Bhagavad-gita. Those who do not accept Krsna as He is andBhagavad-gita as it is should not try to explain Bhagavad-gitawhimsically and become offenders. Bhagavad-gita should be explained to persons who are ready to accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is a subject matter for the devotees only and not for philosophical speculators. Anyone, however, who tries sincerely to presentBhagavad-gita as it is will advance in devotional activities and reach the pure devotional state of life. As a result of such pure devotion, he is sure to go back home, back to Godhead.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 69

na ca tasman manusyesu
kascin me priya-krttamah
bhavita na ca me tasmad
anyah priyataro bhuvi

SYNONYMS

na–never; ca–and; tasmat–therefore; manusyesu–among mankind;kascit–anyone; me–My; priya-krt-tamah–more dear; bhavita–will become; na–nor; ca–and; me–My; tasmat–than him; anyah–other;priya-tarah–dearer; bhuvi–in this world.

TRANSLATION
There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 70

adhyesyate ca ya imam
dharmyam samvadam avayoh
jnana-yajnena tenaham
istah syam iti me matih

SYNONYMS

adhyesyate–will study; ca–also; yah–he; imam–this; dharmyam–sacred; samvadam–conversation; avayoh–of ours; jnana–knowledge;yajnena–by sacrifice; tena–by him; aham–I; istah–worshiped; syam–shall be; iti–thus; me–My; matih–opinion.

TRANSLATION

And I declare that he who studies this sacred conversation worships Me by his intelligence.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 71

sraddhavan anasuyas ca
srnuyad api yo narah
so ‘pi muktah subhal lokan
prapnuyat punya-karmanam

SYNONYMS

sraddha-van–faithful; anasuyah ca–and not envious; srnuyat–does hear; api–certainly; yah–who; narah–a man; sah–he; api–also;muktah–being liberated; subhan–auspicious; lokan–planets;prapnuyat–attains; punya-karmanam–of the pious.

TRANSLATION

And one who listens with faith and without envy becomes free from sinful reactions and attains to the planets where the pious dwell.

PURPORT

In the 67th verse of this chapter, the Lord explicitly forbade the Gita’sbeing spoken to those who are envious of the Lord. In other words,Bhagavad-gita is for the devotees only, but it so happens that sometimes a devotee of the Lord will hold open class, and in that class all the students are not expected to be devotees. Why do such persons hold open class? It is explained here that although everyone is not a devotee, still there are many men who are not envious of Krsna. They have faith in Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If such persons hear from a bona fide devotee about the Lord, the result is that they become at once free from all sinful reactions and after that attain to the planetary system where all righteous persons are situated. Therefore simply by hearing Bhagavad-gita, even a person who does not try to be a pure devotee attains the result of righteous activities. Thus a pure devotee of the Lord gives everyone a chance to become free from all sinful reactions and to become a devotee of the Lord.
Generally those who are free from sinful reactions are righteous. Such persons very easily take to Krsna consciousness. The word punya-karmanam is very significant here. This refers to the performance of great sacrifice. Those who are righteous in performing devotional service but who are not pure can attain the planetary system of the polestar, or Dhruvaloka, where Dhruva Maharaja is presiding. He is a great devotee of the Lord, and he has a special planet which is called the polestar.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 72

kaccid etac chrutam partha
tvayaikagrena cetasa
kaccid ajnana-sammohah
pranastas te dhananjaya

SYNONYMS

kaccit–whether; etat–this; srutam–heard; partha–O son of Prtha;tvaya–by you; eka-agrena–with full attention; cetasa–by the mind;kaccit–whether; ajnana–ignorant; sammohah–illusion; pranastah–dispelled; te–of you; dhananjaya–O conqueror of wealth (Arjuna).

TRANSLATION

O conqueror of wealth, Arjuna, have you heard this attentively with your mind? And are your illusions and ignorance now dispelled?

PURPORT

The Lord was acting as the spiritual master of Arjuna. Therefore it was His duty to inquire from Arjuna whether he understood the wholeBhagavad-gita in its proper perspective. If not, the Lord was ready to re-explain any point, or the whole Bhagavad-gita if so required. Actually, anyone who hears Bhagavad-gita from a bona fide spiritual master like Krsna or His representative will find that all his ignorance is dispelled.Bhagavad-gita is not an ordinary book written by a poet or fiction writer; it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Any person, if he is fortunate enough to hear these teachings from Krsna or from His bona fide spiritual representative, is sure to become a liberated person and get out of the darkness of ignorance.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 73

arjuna uvaca
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat-prasadan mayacyuta
sthito ‘smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava

SYNONYMS

arjunah uvaca–Arjuna said; nastah–dispelled; mohah–illusion;smrtih–memory; labdha–regained; tvat-prasadat–by Your mercy;maya–by me; acyuta–O infallible Krsna; sthitah–situated; asmi–I am;gata–removed; sandehah–all doubts; karisye–I shall execute;vacanam–order; tava–Your.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said, My dear Krsna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy, and I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.

PURPORT

The constitutional position of a living entity, represented by Arjuna, is that he has to act according to the order of the Supreme Lord. He is meant for self-discipline. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that the actual position of the living entity is that of eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. Forgetting this principle, the living entity becomes conditioned by material nature, but in serving the Supreme Lord, he becomes the liberated servant of God. The living entity’s constitutional position is to be a servitor; he has to serve either the illusory maya or the Supreme Lord. If he serves the Supreme Lord, he is in his normal condition, but if he prefers to serve the illusory external energy, then certainly he will be in bondage. In illusion the living entity is serving in this material world. He is bound by his lust and desires, yet he thinks of himself as the master of the world. This is called illusion. When a person is liberated, his illusion is over, and he voluntarily surrenders unto the Supreme to act according to His desires. The last illusion, the last snare of maya to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion. Actually to become free from the illusory energy is to understand Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and agree to act according to His order.

The word moha is very important in this verse. Moha refers to that which is opposed to knowledge. Actually real knowledge is the understanding that every living being is eternally a servitor of the Lord, but instead of thinking oneself in that position, the living entity thinks that he is not a servant, that he is the master of this material world, for he wants to lord it over the material nature. That is his illusion. This illusion can be overcome by the mercy of the Lord or by the mercy of a pure devotee. When that illusion is over, one agrees to act in Krsna consciousness.

Krsna consciousness is acting according to Krsna’s order. A conditioned soul illusioned by the external energy of matter does not know that the Supreme Lord is the master who is full of knowledge and who is the proprietor of everything. Whatever He desires He can bestow upon His devotees; He is the friend of everyone, and He is especially inclined to His devotee. He is the controller of this material nature and of all living entities. He is also the controller of inexhaustible time, and He is full of all opulences and all potencies. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can even give Himself to the devotee. One who does not know Him is under the spell of illusion; he does not become a devotee, but a servitor of maya.Arjuna, however, after hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became free from all illusion. He could understand that Krsna was not only his friend, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he understood Krsna factually. So to study Bhagavad-gitais to understand Krsna factually. When a person is in full knowledge, he naturally surrenders to Krsna. When Arjuna understood that it was Krsna’s plan to reduce the unnecessary increase of population, he agreed to fight according to Krsna’s desire. He again took up his weapons–his arrows and bow–to fight under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 74

sanjaya uvaca
ity aham vasudevasya
parthasya ca mahatmanah
samvadam imam asrausam
adbhutam roma-harsanam

SYNONYMS

sanjayah uvaca–Sanjaya said; iti–thus; aham–I; vasudevasya–of Krsna; parthasya–of Arjuna; ca–also; maha-atmanah–two great souls;samvadam–discussing; imam–this; asrausam–heard; adbhutam–wonder; roma-harsanam–hair standing on end.

TRANSLATION

Sanjaya said: Thus have I heard the conversation of two great souls, Krsna and Arjuna. And so wonderful is that message that my hair is standing on end.

PURPORT

In the beginning of Bhagavad-gita, Dhrtarastra inquired from his secretary Sanjaya, “What happened in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra?” The entire study was related to the heart of Sanjaya by the grace of his spiritual master, Vyasa. He thus explained the theme of the battlefield. The conversation was wonderful because such an important conversation between two great souls never took place before and would not take place again. It is wonderful because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking about Himself and His energies to the living entity, Arjuna, a great devotee of the Lord. If we follow in the footsteps of Arjuna to understand Krsna, then our life will be happy and successful. Sanjaya realized this, and as he began to understand it, he related the conversation to Dhrtarastra. Now it is concluded that wherever there is Krsna and Arjuna, there is victory.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 75

vyasa-prasadac chrutavan
etad guhyam aham param
yogam yogesvarat krsnat
saksat kathayatah svayam

SYNONYMS

vyasa-prasadat–by the mercy of Vyasadeva; srutavan–heard; etat–this; guhyam–confidential; aham–I; param–the supreme; yogam–mysticism; yoga-isvarat–from the master of all mysticism; krsnat–from Krsna; saksat–directly; kathayatah–speaking; svayam–personally.

TRANSLATION

By the mercy of Vyasa, I have heard these most confidential talks directly from the master of all mysticism, Krsna, who was speaking personally to Arjuna.

PURPORT

Vyasa was the spiritual master of Sanjaya, and Sanjaya admits that it was by his mercy that he could understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that one has to understand Krsna not directly but through the medium of the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the transparent medium, although it is true that the experience is direct. This is the mystery of the disciplic succession. When the spiritual master is bona fide, then one can hear Bhagavad-gita directly, as Arjuna heard it. There are many mystics and yogis all over the world, but Krsna is the master of all yoga systems. Krsna’s instruction is explicitly stated in Bhagavad-gita–surrender unto Krsna. One who does so is the topmost yogi. This is confirmed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Yoginam api sarvesam.
Narada is the direct disciple of Krsna and the spiritual master of Vyasa. Therefore Vyasa is as bona fide as Arjuna because he comes in the disciplic succession, and Sanjaya is the direct disciple of Vyasa. Therefore by the grace of Vyasa, his senses were purified, and he could see and hear Krsna directly. One who directly hears Krsna can understand this confidential knowledge. If one does not come to the disciplic succession, he cannot hear Krsna; therefore his knowledge is always imperfect, at least as far as understanding Bhagavad-gita is concerned.
In Bhagavad-gita, all the yoga systems, karma-yoga, jnana-yogaand bhakti-yoga, are explained. Krsna is the master of all such mysticism. It is to be understood, however, that as Arjuna was fortunate enough to understand Krsna directly, similarly, by the grace of Vyasa, Sanjaya was also able to hear Krsna directly. Actually there is no difference between hearing directly from Krsna or hearing directly from Krsna via a bona fide spiritual master like Vyasa. The spiritual master is the representative of Vyasadeva also. According to the Vedic system, on the birthday of the spiritual master, the disciples conduct the ceremony called Vyasa-puja.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 76

rajan samsmrtya samsmrtya
samvadam imam adbhutam
kesavarjunayoh punyam
hrsyami ca muhur muhuh

SYNONYMS

rajan–O King; samsmrtya–remembering; samsmrtya–remembering; samvadam–message; imam–this; adbhutam–wonderful;kesava–Lord Krsna; arjunayoh–and Arjuna; punyam–pious; hrsyami–taking pleasure; ca–also; muhuh muhuh–always, repeatedly.

TRANSLATION

O King, as I repeatedly recall this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krsna and Arjuna, I take pleasure, being thrilled at every moment.

PURPORT

The understanding of Bhagavad-gita is so transcendental that anyone who becomes conversant with the topics of Arjuna and Krsna becomes righteous, and he cannot forget such talks. This is the transcendental position of spiritual life. In other words, one who hears the Gita from the right source, directly from Krsna, attains full Krsna consciousness. The result of Krsna consciousness is that one becomes increasingly enlightened, and he enjoys life with a thrill, not only for some time, but at every moment.
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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 77

tac ca samsmrtya samsmrtya
rupam aty-adbhutam hareh
vismayo me mahan rajan
hrsyami ca punah punah

SYNONYMS

tat–that; ca–also; samsmrtya–remembering; samsmrtya–remembering; rupam–form; ati–great; adbhutam–wonderful; hareh–of Lord Krsna; vismayah–wonder; me–my; mahan–great; rajan–O King; hrsyami–enjoying; ca–also; punah punah–repeatedly.

TRANSLATION

O King, when I remember the wonderful form of Lord Krsna, I am struck with even greater wonder, and I rejoice again and again.

PURPORT

It appears that Sanjaya also, by the grace of Vyasa, could see the universal form Krsna exhibited to Arjuna. It is, of course, said that Lord Krsna had never exhibited such a form before. It was exhibited to Arjuna only, yet some great devotees could also see the universal form of Krsna when it was shown to Arjuna, and Vyasa was one of them. He is one of the great devotees of the Lord, and he is considered to be a powerful incarnation of Krsna. Vyasa disclosed this to his disciple Sanjaya, who remembered that wonderful form of Krsna exhibited to Arjuna and enjoyed it repeatedly.

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Chapter 18. Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

TEXT 78

yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama

SYNONYMS

yatra–where; yoga-isvarah–the master of mysticism; krsnah–Lord Krsna; yatra–where; parthah–the son of Prtha; dhanuh-dharah–the carrier of the bow and arrow; tatra–there; srih–opulence; vijayah–victory; bhutih–exceptional power; dhruva–certain; nitih–morality;matih mama–is my opinion.

TRANSLATION

Wherever there is Krsna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.

PURPORT

The Bhagavad-gita began with an inquiry of Dhrtarastra. He was hopeful of the victory of his sons, assisted by great warriors like Bhisma, Drona and Karna. He was hopeful that the victory would be on his side. But, after describing the scene on the battlefield, Sanjaya told the King, “You are thinking of victory, but my opinion is that where Krsna and Arjuna are present, there will be all good fortune.” He directly confirmed that Dhrtarastra could not expect victory for his side. Victory was certain for the side of Arjuna because Krsna was there. Krsna’s acceptance of the post of charioteer for Arjuna was an exhibition of another opulence. Krsna is full of all opulences, and renunciation is one of them. There are many instances of such renunciation, for Krsna is also the master of renunciation.
The fight was actually between Duryodhana and Yudhisthira. Arjuna was fighting on behalf of his elder brother, Yudhisthira. Because Krsna and Arjuna were on the side of Yudhisthira, Yudhisthira’s victory was certain. The battle was to decide who would rule the world, and Sanjaya predicted that the power would be transferred to Yudhisthira. It is also predicted here that Yudhisthira, after gaining victory in this battle, would flourish more and more because he was not only righteous and pious, but he was a strict moralist. He never spoke a lie during his life.
There are many less intelligent persons who take Bhagavad-gita to be a discussion of topics between two friends in a battlefield. But such a book cannot be scripture. Some may protest that Krsna incited Arjuna to fight, which is immoral, but the reality of the situation is clearly stated:Bhagavad-gita is the supreme instruction in morality. The supreme instruction of morality is stated in the Ninth Chapter, in the thirty-fourth verse: man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. One must become a devotee of Krsna, and the essence of all religion is to surrender unto Krsna, as stated,Sarva-dharman. The instructions of Bhagavad-gita constitute the supreme process of religion and of morality. All other processes may be purifying and may lead to this process, but the last instruction of the Gita is the last word in all morality and religion: surrender unto Krsna. This is the verdict of the Eighteenth Chapter.

From Bhagavad-gita we can understand that to realize oneself by philosophical speculation and by meditation is one process, but to fully surrender unto Krsna is the highest perfection. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. The path of regulative principles according to the orders of social life and according to the different courses of religion may be a confidential path of knowledge in as far as the rituals of religion are confidential, but one is still involved with meditation and cultivation of knowledge. Surrender unto Krsna in devotional service in full Krsna consciousness is the most confidential instruction and is the essence of the Eighteenth Chapter.

Another feature of Bhagavad-gita is that the actual truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Absolute Truth is realized in three features–impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth means perfect knowledge of Krsna. If one understands Krsna, then all the departments of knowledge are part and parcel of that understanding. Krsna is transcendental, for He is always situated in His eternal internal potency. The living entities are manifested and are divided into two classes, eternally conditioned and eternally liberated. Such living entities are innumerable, and they are considered fundamental parts of Krsna. Material energy is manifested into twenty-four divisions. The creation is effected by eternal time, and it is created and dissolved by external energy. This manifestation of the cosmic world repeatedly becomes visible and invisible.

In Bhagavad-gita five principal subject matters have been discussed: the Supreme Personality of Godhead, material nature, the living entities, eternal time and all kinds of activities. All of these are dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. All conceptions of the Absolute Truth, namely, impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma, or any other transcendental conception, exist within the category of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although superficially the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity, material nature and time appear to be different, nothing is different from the Supreme. But the Supreme is always different from everything. Lord Caitanya’s philosophy is that of “inconceivably one and different.” This system of philosophy constitutes perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth.
The living entity in his original position is pure spirit. He is just like an atomic particle of the Supreme Spirit. The conditioned living entity, however, is the marginal energy of the Lord; he tends to be in contact with both the material energy and the spiritual energy. In other words, the living entity is situated between the two energies of the Lord, and because he belongs to the superior energy of the Lord, he has a particle of independence. By proper use of that independence he comes under the direct order of Krsna. Thus he attains his normal condition in the pleasure-giving potency.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eighteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of its Conclusion–the Perfection of Renunciation.

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