Home Vedic Pedia Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4

Chapter 4

In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4,Lord Krishna talks about the good and bad aspects of life. If one identifies the atman, one can overcome the turbulence in life. He asks Arjuna to seek the Atman that his ancestors sought. He wants him to know what ought to be done, what ought not to be done and the inactive principle that supports all action. He also imparts knowledge on how to worship God by performing Yagya or Homam. “All yajnas end in wisdom and self realisation. The collateral benefit is worldly success and happiness. Thus, even if you want material prosperity you need to work in a spirit of sacrifice. Spiritual growth is impossible without it,” he points out. This chapter also mentions the qualities of a good student and an ideal guru and concludes as the Lord advises Arjuna not to get distracted by the attractions of the world which are anityam (temporary) and asukham (sorrowful).

Slogam 1:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.1

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

imaḿ vivasvate yogaḿ

proktavān aham avyayam

vivasvān manave prāha

manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt


The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan ...View More

Slogam 2:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.2

evaḿ paramparā-prāptam

imaḿ rājarṣayo viduḥ

sa kāleneha mahatā

yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa


This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the su...View More

Slogam 3:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.3

sa evāyaḿ mayā te ‘dya

yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ

bhakto ‘si me sakhā ceti

rahasyaḿ hy etad uttamam


That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can th...View More

Slogam 4:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.4

arjuna uvāca

aparaṁ bhavato janma

paraṁ janma vivasvataḥ

katham etad vijānīyāṁ

tvam ādau proktavān iti


Arjuna said: The sun-god Vivasvān is senior by birth to You. How am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?

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Slogam 5:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.5

sri-bhagavan uvaca

bahuni me vyatitani

janmani tava carjuna

tany aham´ veda sarvan?i

na tvam´ vettha parantapa


The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

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Slogam 6:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.6

ajo ’pi sann avyayatma

bhutanam isvaro ’pi san

prakritim svam adhisthaya

sambhavamy atma-mayaya


Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My ori...View More

Slogam 7:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.7

yadā yadā hi dharmasya

glānir bhavati bhārata

abhyutthānam adharmasya

tadātmānaḿ sṛjāmy aham


Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.

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Slogam 8:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.8

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāḿ

vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām


sambhavāmi yuge yuge


To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.

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Slogam 9:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.9

janma karma ca me divyam

evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ

tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma

naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna


One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but ...View More

Slogam 10:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.10


man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ

bahavo jñāna-tapasā

pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ


Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowle...View More

Slogam 11:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.11

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante

tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham

mama vartmānuvartante

manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ


As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.

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Slogam 12:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.12

kāńkṣantaḥ karmaṇāḿ siddhiḿ

yajanta iha devatāḥ

kṣipraḿ hi mānuṣe loke

siddhir bhavati karma-jā


Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from frui...View More

Slogam 13:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.13

catur-varn?yam´ maya sr?s?t?am´


tasya kartaram api mam´

viddhy akartaram avyayam


According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am...View More

Slogam 14:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.14

na māḿ karmāṇi limpanti

na me karma-phale spṛhā

iti māḿ yo ‘bhijānāti

karmabhir na sa badhyate


There is no work that affects Me; nor do I aspire for the fruits of action. One who understands this truth about Me also does not become entangled in th...View More

Slogam 15:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.15

evaḿ jñātvā kṛtaḿ karma

pūrvair api mumukṣubhiḥ

kuru karmaiva tasmāt tvaḿ

pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraḿ kṛtam


All the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding of My transcendental nature. Therefore you should perform your duty,...View More

Slogam 16:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.16

kiḿ karma kim akarmeti

kavayo ‘py atra mohitāḥ

tat te karma pravakṣyāmi

yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ‘śubhāt


Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which...View More

Slogam 17:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.17

karmaṇo hy api boddhavyaḿ

boddhavyaḿ ca vikarmaṇaḥ

akarmaṇaś ca boddhavyaḿ

gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ


The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inacti...View More

Slogam 18:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.18

karmaṇy akarma yaḥ paśyed

akarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ

sa buddhimān manuṣyeṣu

sa yuktaḥ kṛtsna-karma-kṛt


One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in ...View More

Slogam 19:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.19

yasya sarve samarambha?



tam ahu? pa??ita? budha?


One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every endeavor is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker for whom the reactions...View More

Slogam 20:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.20

tyaktvā karma-phalāsańgaḿ

nitya-tṛpto nirāśrayaḥ

karmaṇy abhipravṛtto ’pi

naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ


Abandoning all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied and independent, he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in a...View More

Slogam 21:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.21

nirāśīr yata-cittātmā


śārīraḿ kevalaḿ karma

kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam


Such a man of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled, gives up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions, and acts only...View More

Slogam 22:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.22

nirāśīr yata-cittātmā


śārīraḿ kevalaḿ karma

kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam


He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady in both success and failure, is nev...View More

Slogam 23:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.23

nirāśīr yata-cittātmā


śārīraḿ kevalaḿ karma

kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam


The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcenden...View More

Slogam 24:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.24

nirāśīr yata-cittātmā


śārīraḿ kevalaḿ karma

kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam


A person who is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness is sure to attain the spiritual kingdom because of his full contribution to spiritual activities, ...View More

Slogam 25:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.25

daivam evāpare yajñaḿ

yoginaḥ paryupāsate

brahmāgnāv apare yajñaḿ



Some yogis perfectly worship the demigods by offering different sacrifices to them, and some of them offer sacrifices in the fire of the Supreme Brahman.

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Slogam 26:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.26

śrotrādīnīndriyāṇy anye

saḿyamāgniṣu juhvati

śabdādīn viṣayān anya

indriyāgniṣu juhvati


Some [the unadulterated brahmacaris] sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of mental control, and others [the regulated householders] s...View More

Slogam 27:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.27


prāṇa-karmāṇi cāpare


juhvati jñāna-dīpite


Others, who are interested in achieving self-realization through control of the mind and senses, offer the functions of all the senses, and of the life brea...View More

Slogam 28:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.28

dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā

yoga-yajñās tathāpare

svādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca

yatayaḥ saḿśita-vratāḥ


Having accepted strict vows, some become enlightened by sacrificing their possessions, and others by performing severe austerities, by practicing...View More

Slogam 29:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.29

apāne juhvati prāṇaḿ

prāṇe ’pānaḿ tathāpare

prāṇāpāna-gatī ruddhvā


apare niyatāhārāḥ

prāṇān prāṇeṣu juhvati


Still others, who are inclined to the process of breath restraint to remain in trance, pra...View More

Slogam 30:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.30

sarve ’py ete yajña-vido



yānti brahma sanātanam


All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reactions, and, having tasted the nectar of the results of sacrific...View More

Slogam 31:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.31

nāyaḿ loko ’sty ayajñasya

kuto ’nyaḥ kuru-sattama


O best of the Kuru dynasty, without sacrifice one can never live happily on this planet or in this life: what then of the next?

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Slogam 32:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.32

evaḿ bahu-vidhā yajñā

vitatā brahmaṇo mukhe

karma-jān viddhi tān sarvān

evaḿ jñātvā vimokṣyase


All these different types of sacrifice are approved by the Vedas, and all of them are born of different types of work. Knowing them as such, you will ...View More

Slogam 33:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.33

śreyān dravya-mayād yajñāj

jñāna-yajñaḥ paran-tapa

sarvaḿ karmākhilaḿ pārtha

jñāne parisamāpyate


O chastiser of the enemy, the sacrifice performed in knowledge is better than the mere sacrifice of material possessions. After all, O son of Prith...View More

Slogam 34:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.34

tad viddhi praṇipātena

paripraśnena sevayā

upadekṣyanti te jñānaḿ

jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ


Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart ...View More

Slogam 35:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.35

yaj jñātvā na punar moham

evaḿ yāsyasi pāṇḍava

yena bhūtāny aśeṣāṇi

drakṣyasy ātmany atho mayi


Having obtained real knowledge from a self-realized soul, you will never fall again into such illusion, for by this knowledge you will see that al...View More

Slogam 36:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.36

api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ

sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛt-tamaḥ

sarvaḿ jñāna-plavenaiva

vṛjinaḿ santariṣyasi


Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cros...View More

Slogam 37:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.37

yathaidhāḿsi samiddho ’gnir

bhasma-sāt kurute ’rjuna

jñānāgniḥ sarva-karmāṇi

bhasma-sāt kurute tathā


As a blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.

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Slogam 38:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.38

na hi jñānena sadṛśaḿ

pavitram iha vidyate

tat svayaḿ yoga-saḿsiddhaḥ

kālenātmani vindati


In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become a...View More

Slogam 39:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.39

śraddhāvāḻ labhate jñānaḿ

tat-paraḥ saḿyatendriyaḥ

jñānaḿ labdhvā parāḿ śāntim



A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having...View More

Slogam 40:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.40

ajñaś cāśraddadhānaś ca

saḿśayātmā vinaśyati

nāyaḿ loko ’sti na paro

na sukhaḿ saḿśayātmanaḥ


But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there...View More

Slogam 41:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.41



ātmavantaḿ na karmāṇi

nibadhnanti dhanañ-jaya


One who acts in devotional service, renouncing the fruits of his actions, and whose doubts have been destroyed by transcendental knowledge, is situate...View More

Slogam 42:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4.42

tasmād ajñāna-sambhūtaḿ

hṛt-sthaḿ jñānāsinātmanaḥ

chittvainaḿ saḿśayaḿ yogam

ātiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhārata


Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yog...View More