The Bhagavad Gita — Chapter 3

Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda

The Path of Action — Karma Yoga

III:17-18
(17) But the individual who truly loves the soul and isfudy satisfied with the soul and finds utter contentment in the soul alone, for him no duty exists.

(18) Such a person has no purpose of gain in this world by performing actions', nor does he lose anything by their nonperformance. He is not dependent on anyone for anything.

III:25
O Arjuna, as the ignorant perform actions with attachment and hope of reward, so the wise should act with dispassionate nonattachment, to serve gladly as a guide for the multitudes. [—Commentary]

III:27
All action is universally engendered by the attributes (gunas) of primordial Nature (Prakriti). A man whose Self is deluded by egoity thinks, "I am the doer."

III:33-34
(33) Even the wise man acts according to the tendencies of his own nature. All living creatures go according to Nature; what can (superficial) suppression avail?

(34) Attachment and repulsion of the senses for their specific objects are Nature-ordained. Beware the influence of this duality. Verily, these two (psychological qualities) are one's enemies!

III:36-41
Arjuna said:
O Varshneya (Krishna), by what is man impelled, even against his will, to perform evil—compelled, it seems, by force? [—Commentary]

The Blessed Lord said:
Born of the activating attribute of Nature (rajo-guna), it is desire, it is anger, (that is the impelling force)—full of unappeasable craving and great evil: know this (two-sided passion) to be the foulest enemy here on earth. [—Commentary]

As fire is obscured by smoke, as a looking glass by dust, as an embryo is enveloped by the womb, so it (wisdom) is covered by this (desire). [—Commentary]

O Son of Kunti (Arjuna)! the constant enemy of wise men is the unslakable flame of desire, by which wisdom is concealed. [—Commentary]

The senses, mind, and intellect are said to be desire's formidable stronghold; through these, desire deludes the embodied soul by eclipsing its wisdom.

Therefore, O Best of the Bharata Dynasty (Arjuna)! first discipline the senses, then destroy desire, the sinful annihilator of wisdom and Self-realization. [—Commentary]

III:42
The senses are said to he superior (to the physical body); the mind is superior to the sense faculties; the intelligence is superior to the mind; but he (the Self) is superior to the intelligence.

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