A Song of Fortune
- A Classical Gîtâ -




To act - a master of intelligence

(1) Arjuna said: 'You say that it's better to go for the intelligence than to desire the result of a victory, oh spur of man. With that being so, why do you encourage me to engage in this ghastly confrontation, oh paragon of beauty? (2) Isn't speaking that equivocally not confusing the issue? Tell me which position to take, so that I can really benefit from what you're saying!'

Krishna said: 'Indeed, there are two positions one may take in this world, as I told you before oh faultless one. On the one hand, you may spiritually connect in the analytic mind, and on the other hand you may connect in being devoted to some kind of action. (4) A man will not attain the perfection when he, as a devoted person, simply tries to escape from the rest of his material duties, nor will he be free from actions and reactions when he, turning away from the world, connects for the insight only. (5) No one, not even for a moment, can exist without doing something. Whether one likes it or not, one is, depending the passion, the dullness or goodness one is in, always forced to act because of one's karma. (6) Sure enough you're faking it when you, restraining the senses, foster a sense-oriented mind. (7) But Arjuna, when you, regulating the senses mindfully, make a beginning with connecting the operating senses in detaching from the results of your labor, you are far better off. (8) In sum: even if it's just for the sake of your body, there's always work to do; so engage in your duty, for to engage is better than to do nothing. (9) But remember to do it as a sacrifice, otherwise you'll dance to the tune of the world; and so you will, thus proceeding oh son of Kuntî, get over all attachment.

Starting the universe with the generations and the sacrifices they have to make, the Creator, Lord Brahmâ, said to mankind: 'Prosper more and more, may this sacrifice bring you all you desire.' (11) If you please the people of God with your sacrifices, they will please you on their turn, and thus pleasing one another you'll attain the highest grace. (12) To please the representatives of God with sacrifices will bring you all you need, but he who enjoys life without being of sacrifice is surely a thief. (13) The ones devoted find relief eating from their sacrifices, but those impure profiteers who eat only to please their senses run into all kinds of trouble. (14) Our bodies grow on grains, grains are there from rains, and rains one finds in areas where one is conscientiously of sacrifice for producing the crops. (15) That duty is realized in the culture of knowledge, and the knowledge finds its regulation and order with religious austerities; and so, for that reason, you will always find the spirit that connects each and all in sacrifices .

Therefore it is so that he, who in his life fails to adopt the cyclic order of sacrifice as one finds in nature, in his catering to his senses is of a life full of trouble which is quite meaningless. (17) On the other hand the one who takes pleasure in the true and natural self, is someone who finds himself enlightened in self-realization; and such a one, who seeks the perfect of satisfaction within himself alone, knows no further obligations. (18) What he does or not does in the world as a matter of duty, he will never do in service of the world, nor will he think it useful to hide behind the back of other living beings in that. (19) And so a man rises above matters when he unattached, but constantly, is motivated to do his job as a matter of duty.

There are great examples of rulers in our family who managed perfectly, strictly keeping to their duty, and so should you as well consider it the proper way to be an example to others. (21) Whatever a respectable man does, will also by other people be done; what he does will be used by the whole world as an example to follow in his footsteps. (22) I myself, having no obligations in regard of the heavenly, the earth-bound or the underworld, am as well engaged, even though there's nothing in it for me. (23) You see, all the world would run into chaos when people like me would refrain from doing their job, oh son of Prithâ, it would lead to great confusion, and all the people in the world would come to naught. (24) Surely the path that I followed in failing to be engaged with care, would be followed by everyone in every respect. (25) Since the ignoramus does his work in attachment, oh descendant of Bharata, the man of learning must do so without attachment, with the wish to set the example for the common man. (26) At the same time, he shouldn't upset the man of ignorance who is attached to his karma; a man of learning should, attending to his duty, try to involve all in his work.

The individual soul bewildered by false ego - his identification with the body -, engages in all kinds of activities under the influence of the threefold of the modes of nature, and thus he considers himself the doer. (28) But as a knower of the supreme truth, oh man of grip, mindful of the difference between the two types of being engaged in the work of the senses and in the work for the senses, he is never that fixed. (29) Those who, bewildered by the modes of matter, are bent on serving those qualities have no clue being lax in self-realization; they shouldn't be agitated by the ones who know. (30) Instead, better do it in your forsaking the world all with me in mind, in the full knowledge of the soul that is being fed by a consciousness free from desire and greed; and thus being free from the material fever, engage in the fight. (31) All those who, faithful to these instructions, are ever of a practice as regular as nature, are human beings of belief and sharing who free from envy become free, even free from the bond of profit-minded work. (32) Those, however, who covetous after what others have, being envious, are not of such a regular practice to my instruction, are confused in every type of logic one may adhere to; know them to be lost without natural consciousness. (33) Even though a man of knowledge endeavors on his own, he is still subjected to material nature; so what's the point of turning away from it? (34) The senses, fixed in being directed to their objects, are of attachment and aversion; and these are emotions one should never be controlled by because they no doubt are one's stumbling blocks. (35) Dealing with these matters, it is far better to follow one's own course making mistakes than to be perfect in an estranged way; it is no doubt better to suffer loss following one's nature than to run into danger following a strange course.'

Arjuna said: 'What then is it that impels man to be wicked, even unwillingly, oh strength of a bull, as if he's forced to it?'

The fortunate one said: 'The lust and anger you have from your passion is the all-time wicked evil destroying the whole world; know that emotionality to be your greatest enemy out here. (38) One is covered by it like a fire is by smoke, a mirror by dust and an embryo by a womb. (39) Just like fire the knowing of the knower who is covered by this eternal enemy in the form of unregulated desires, is never satisfied, oh son of Kuntî. (40) This lust rules the senses, the mind and the intelligence, and thus the real knowledge is concealed and the one embodied is bewildered. (41) Therefore, to begin with, tie the senses down by proper regulation, oh best of the Kuru dynasty, and thus curb this drive of evil which is the destroyer of all knowledge and wisdom. (42) One says that the senses rank higher than their objects, that the mind is on top of them, and that the intelligence rules the mind, but you are the master of the intelligence. (43) Superior to the intelligence, knowing it all from steadying the mind deliberately oh man of grip, thus rule and conquer that so difficult to defeat enemy found in the form of lust.'

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