Mahabharata Bhishma Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section XXIX
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter V)

"Arjuna said,--'Thou applaudest, O Krishna, the abandonment of actions, and again the application (to them). Tell me definitely which one of these two is superior.

"The Holy One said--'Both abandonment of actions and application to actions lead to emancipation. But of these, application to action is superior to abandonment. He should always be known to be an ascetic who hath no aversion nor desire. For, being free from pairs of opposites, O thou of mighty arms, he is easily released from the bonds (of action). Fools say, but not those that are wise, that Sankhya and Yoga are distinct. One who stayeth in even one (of the two) reapeth the fruit of both . Whatever seat is attained by those who profess the Sankhya system, that too is reached by those who profess the Yoga. He seeth truly who seeth Sankhya and Yoga as one.  But renunciation, O mighty-armed one, without devotion (to action), is difficult to attain. The ascetic who is engaged in devotion (by action) reacheth the Supreme Being without delay. He who is engaged in devotion (by action) and is of pure soul, who hath conquered his body and subdued his senses, and who indentifieth himself with all creatures, is not fettered though performing (action).  The man of devotion, who knoweth truth, thinking--I am doing nothing--When seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, excreting, taking, opening the eyelids or closing them; he regardeth that it is the senses that are engaged in the objects of senses.  He who renouncing attachment engageth in actions, resigning them to Brahma, is not touched by sin as the lotus-leaf (is not touched) by water.  Those who are devotees, casting off attachment, perform actions (attaining) purity of self, with the body, the mind, the understanding, and even the senses (free from desire). He who is possessed of devotion, renouncing the fruit of action, attaineth to the highest tranquillity. He, who is not possessed of devotion and is attached to the fruit of action, is fettered by action performed from desire. The self-restrained embodied (self), renouncing all actions by the mind, remains

at ease within the house of nine gates, neither acting himself nor causing (anything) to act.  The Lord is not the cause of the capacity for action, or of the actions of men, or of the connection of actions and (their) fruit. It is nature that engages (in action). The Lord receiveth no one's sin, nor also merit. By ignorance, knowledge is shrouded. It is for this that creatures are deluded. But of whomsoever that ignorance hath been destroyed by knowledge of self, that knowledge (which is) like the Sun discloseth the Supreme Being. Those whose mind is on Him, whose very soul is He, who abide in Him, and who have Him for their goal, depart never more to return, their sins being all destroyed by knowledge.  Those, who are wise cast an equal eye on a Brahmana endued with learning and modesty, on a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a chandala.  Even here has birth been conquered by them whose minds rest on equality; and since Brahma is faultless and equable, therefore, they (are said to) abide in Brahma.  He whose mind is steady, who is not deluded, who knows Brahma, and who rests in Brahma, doth not exult on obtaining anything that is agreeable, nor doth he grieve on obtaining that is disagreeable. He whose mind is not attached to external objects of sense, obtaineth that happiness which is in self; and by concentrating his mind on the contemplation of Brahma, he enjoyeth a happiness that is imperishable. The enjoyments born of the contact (of the senses with their objects) are productive of sorrow. He who is wise, O son of Kunti, never taketh pleasure in these that have a beginning and an end. That man whoever here, before the dissolution of the body, is able to endure the agitations resulting from desire and wrath, is fixed on contemplation, and is happy. He who findeth happiness within himself, (and) who sporteth within himself, he whose light (of knowledge) is deprived from within himself, is a devotee, and becoming one with Brahma attaineth to absorption into Brahma. Those saintly personages whose sins have been destroyed, whose doubts have been dispelled, who are self-restrained, and who are engaged in the good of all creatures, obtain absorption into Brahma. For these devotees who are freed from desire and wrath, whose minds are under control, and who have knowledge of self, absorption into Brahma exists both here and thereafter.  Excluding (from his mind) all external objects of sense, directing the visual glance between the brows, mingling (into one) the upward and the downward life-breaths and making them pass through the nostrils, the devotee, who has restrained the senses, the mind, and the understanding, being intent on emancipation, and who is freed from desire, fear, and

wrath, is emancipated, indeed. Knowing me to be enjoyer of all sacrifices and ascetic austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds, and friend of all creatures, such a one obtaineth tranquillity.'