Most Inspiring Shlokas from 4th Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad Gita- Jnana Karma Sanyas Yoga


42 verses brilliantly adorn the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna explains to Arjuna in this chapter how to attain transcendental knowledge. In response to Arjuna's question regarding the root of all sinful behaviour, Krishna replies that lust is the only reason for it. As we move closer to the answer, Krishna explains that in order to easily control lust, one must first calm their minds through spiritual wisdom. The process to develop this spiritual intelligence is demonstrated in this chapter. Here are some of the most inspiring shlokas from the 4th chapter of Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

4th and 5th Shlokas

अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वत: |

कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति || 4 ||

Aparam bhavato janma param janma vivasvataḥ

katham etad vijaaniyaam tvam aadau proktavaan iti


Arjun said,” You were born much after Sun God. How am I to understand that in the beginning you instructed this science to him?”

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन |

तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप || 5 ||

bahuni me vyatitaani janmaani tava chaarjuna

taanyaham veda sarvaaṇi na tvam vettha parantapa


The Supreme Lord said,” Both you and I have had many births, O Arjun. You have forgotten them, while I remember them all.”


Arjuna was astonished when it was disclosed to him that Krishna had first recited this "Karmayoga science" to the Sun God and the Sun kept maintaining this practice in his pedigree. Krishna also depicted the legends of SuryaVansh. Arjuna could not hide and therefore voiced his curiosity that your (Krishna's) birth has only been of recent time, while that of the Sun has been since eternities. Therefore, Arjuna wished to know more about this.

Here, first of all, I would like to divulge briefly about Sun God and Karma Yoga and then shall move to Bhagawan Krishna's answer to pacify Arjuna.

  • According to puranic scripts, Sun was born very first of all in this universe. Thereafter the Sun has created everything else in this world.
  • Everyone gets knowledge by the grace of the Sun God only.
  • God had chosen the Sun foremost for discoursing science of ‘Karma Yoga’ because the Sun leads all kinds of activities in this universe.
  • Humans learn their duties from the sun.

Read: The teachings of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and its Sinificance

  • Karmayoga is an exceptional discipline for householders.
  • The Lord himself and Arjuna too have been the householders.
  • Thus, through Arjuna, it is just to preach to all the householders that one could realize God by following the 'Karmayoga’ even by living at home. One need not requires to move to the forest.

Krishna Pacifying Arjuna

Bhagawan disclosed to Arjuna that both of them were born on several occasions but of diverse natures during time immemorial. Krishna was aware of them whereas Arjuna was unaware. This statement of the lord proves that we, of whatever nature, always remain in the knowledge of God. He is watching us nonstop.

Why are we not familiar with our earlier births or past lives?

The reason is - the fascination for the worldly perishable objects like money, house, etc. in a person’s heart, his desire to have happiness from those objects- this is called 'Parigraha'. Due to parigraha, the realization of the present-day duties (what I am doing and what should be done) remain far away, let alone acquainting with so many past births.

If we relinquish this selfishness and greediness i.e. if we return to the state of 'Aparigraha', then we too could have the capability of knowing our past lives.

It is clear from this verse that when Krishna had conversed Gita with the Sun God millions of years ago, Arjuna was also present in one form or the other at that moment. Arjun, being a jiva, had been unable of evoking the events of past lives.

Here we also understand that as soon as the normal soul gets a new body, it forgets everything about its former body. However, Lord remembers all, because he does not alter his Sachchidananda status that is, the body and soul of God are just one and solitary.

7th and 8th Shlokas

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत |

अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || 7||

yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glaanir bhavati bhaarata

abhyutthaanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam srijaamyaham


Whenever there is a deterioration in Dharma (uprightness) and an escalation in Adharma (immorality), dear Arjun, at that time I descend on this universe.

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |

धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || 8 ||

paritraanaaya saadhunaam vinaashaaya cha dushkritaam

dharma-sansthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge


To protect the virtuous people, to destroy the wicked, and to restore the ideologies of dharma, to liberate the earth from the terror of the tyrants, I manifest on this earth for ages.


The very 1st point that hits the mind is:

1. How can one know that there has been a ‘deterioration or destruction in Dharma (uprightness) and an escalation in Adharma’ at a particular time? What is its form or character?


When there is

  • an increase in the atrocities by atheists, wicked, and tyrants, persons upon God-loving, upright, innocent, and weak people and
  • the unwarranted growth of the wickedness and sin-doers on one hand and too much dearth of virtues on the other hand

It’s the character of Adharma signaling its alarming growth.

2. What is the identity of a noble-hearted sage person?

  • God-loving, virtuous, upright, innocent, and people whose only aim is to help the needy, weak, and poor.
  • Those who preach and propagate Dharma and God in society.
  • This is the only mission of their life to help quash the unrighteousness and wickedness.

3. When and why does God incarnate on this earth?

Whenever the desertion of dharma and supremacy of wickedness thrive in the universe, people are involved only in harming others, whose nature is only to oppose God and dissent Vedas-Shastras, then God emerges willingly to destroy those types of people known as Asuras/demons or 'Dushkritam' and to protect the noble.

  • The rules of dharma and religion are well-entailed by the Vedas. If there is any blunder in adhering to those rules, a person becomes impious. Whenever these rules are spoilt by Asuras, God incarnates.
  • When sinful people don’t follow God’s envoys, i.e; sage-saints, instead start harassing them, then occurs scarcity of righteous people for propagating, and publishing the virtuous values in the society. Deterioration in Dharma escalates. At that stage, God incarnates.
  • Saints only assist to establish the religion and its virtues. They are not involved in destroying wicked, evil persons. God keeps this responsibility in his hands. Just like the compounder does only the first-aid to a patient, a crucial operation is performed by a specialist only.
  • Saints do their best to explain the benefits of virtuousness to all human beings. Still, if an evil person does not give up his wickedness, then to destroy them, God has to incarnate.
  • The imparting, and propagating of selfless devotion is the foundation of the religion. Religion never perishes, it only dwindles. God shelters the religion. Hence, to institute the everlasting religion, God incarnates.
  • Other reasons for Incarnation:
       i.) A curiosity may surface in our mind that when God is supreme and invincible, then is he not able to protect the saints, destroy the wicked and establish dharma without manifestation?

The answer is yes he can and even achieves those suitably. However, to provide some more benefits to mankind, God himself comes. In the Avatar, devotee can see, hear, touch, and talk with the Lord. People can salvage themselves by hearing, chanting, and meditating on the divine hobbies (Leela) of God in the future.

     ii.) God neither has got any duty nor any wish. He incarnates only for the benefit of the world from time to time. There is the kindness of God in protecting the sadhus, but at the same time, the same mercy also exists in finishing the wicked. By destroying them, God makes them sinless, and thus does their refinement.

4. It can also be speculated that when in the existing time there is so much decline of religion and too much upsurge of wickedness, then why does God not incarnate?

The answer:

Such a time has not yet arrived requiring the incarnation of God. Although this is Kali Yuga, even then the virtuous people are living in present conditions. In a country, where devotees, and saints live, such an increase in unrighteousness would be very difficult and therefore in that place, the religion remains more or less established.

In an era, god incarnates to fulfill a specifically crucial task. On occasions, he manifests himself and sometimes guides his genuine envoy.

According to Vedas, Kalachakra runs in 4 yugas. These are:
 Satyauga, Tretayuga, Dwaparayuga and Kaliyuga. At present Kali Yuga is going on. 

In the religious Puranas, a total of 24 incarnations of the Lord are to occur from Satayuga to Kaliyuga. Out of these 23 incarnations have already taken place and the last one i.e. Kalki avatar is yet to take place in Kali Yuga.

13th shloka

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश: |

तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ||13||

chaatur-varnyam mayaa srishtam guna-karma-vibhaagashaḥ

tasya kartaaram api maam viddhyakartaaram avyayam


Krishna says,” The four groups for livelihoods were conceived by me matching with people’s virtues and activities. Even though I am the architect of this organism, yet let me tell you that I am the non-doer but indisputable.”


Shri Krishna explains in this verse that for the smooth running of all societies, our ancient shastras have classified mankind into four categories of livelihoods according to their past virtues and karmas.

Keeping in mind the past actions and the three Gunassattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance), God created four varnas (castes)- Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra. There has not been the slightest disparity from God while creating this.

  • The Brahmins are those who have the supremacy of the Sattva guna. Their profession is teaching holy scripts and worshipping.
  • The Kshatriyas are those who dominate the Rajas guna blended with some quantity of Sattva. They are inclined toward the administration, management, and security of the country.
  • The Vaishyas are those who possess the virtues of agriculture, trade, and business.
  • The last one is the Shudras, who are supposed to possess the Tamas guna. They form the working class to serve the other three classes.

Although God is the creator of this scheme of the chaatur-varnyam, he is the non-doer; nor he belongs to any kind of varna. The god is impartial and is not accountable for their actions.

However, in this fast age of modern science, people of all four castes are engaged in each other's professions. Brahmins also do business and agriculture and are also found in the military and police service. Similarly, Kshatriya is also occupied in business and farming. We find few Vaishyas in Brahmin’s occupation and also in the military or police service.

39th Shloka

श्रद्धावान् लभते ज्ञानं तत्पर: संयतेन्द्रिय: |

ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ||39||

Shraddhaavaan labhate jnaanam tat-parah sanyatendriyah

jnaanam labdhvaa paraam shaantim achirenaadhigachchhati


Such a man whose faith is profound and innate, who has control over mind and senses, attains divine knowledge. Through such spiritual knowledge, he instantly attains supreme peace.


What is Shradha?

To have devotion and faith- in God, in great saints, in the religion, in the scriptures- is called 'Shradha'.

God is not far away from us. It is our thought that God is far away from us. Because of this thinking, we are unable to experience him even though he is everywhere, in everyone. Faith would be created simply by believing that 'God is present in everyone.

Surprisingly, the endlessly existent one (God) does not seem to be so dear, but the one who is changing (the world), is most loved. God is not a thing that could be created- it is self-enabled. A manufactured article could not be considered as ‘having been attained’ on receipt of it. That's why believing in the faith that ‘God has always been, is, and will always be present there- 'Nityasiddha', everlasting knowledge is attained.

God himself, through Gita, has proclaimed that “a person who has no faith in me and who has not attained me, continually roams in the birth-death cycle.” On the other hand, “a man who has full faith in me would attain supreme peace, and he will always be free from the birth-death cycle.”

Third chapter of Bhagavad Gita- Principles of Karmayoga

40th shloka

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति |

नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: ||40||

ajnash chaashraddadhaanash cha sanshayaatmaa vinashyati

naayam lokosti na paro na sukham sanshayaatmanah


But persons who possess neither faith nor knowledge, and who are doubting, suffer a downfall. For skeptical souls, there is no happiness either in this world or the next.


Krishna says that the following types of persons cannot attain everlasting peace at any birth:
  • who has no faith or devotion
  • who has no vision or knowledge and
  • who doubts God, the holy scriptures, great saints, and religion.

It is natural to have doubts. Doubt does not arise at all when one is unaware of a particular subject matter. Doubt always develops only in incomplete knowledge, due to ignorance.

Hence, a man should follow the doctrines of the sacred scriptures with devotion, to acquire knowledge. One who follows the teachings of the Gita in the same pattern as preached by Lord Krishna becomes free from all doubts and becomes a karma yogi.

Doubt arising is not harmful, rather not trying to clear one’s doubt is harmful. Then that doubt would become 'theory' in other words.

Doubt arises from hearing or reading or observing two different aspects of the same thing. Just as a traveler on the road should not see how many kilometers he has traversed, instead should be curious about how many km are still left. Similarly, a devotee should never judge how much knowledge he has gained. Instead, he should continue trying to realize the subject that he does not know well. The only blunder a person makes is that he becomes arrogant for whatever little he knows as a full scholar. This pride becomes a major cause of his downfall.

On the realization of God, the bonding with this materialistic world is entirely cut off and he becomes jitendriya, then there will be an immediate experience of supreme peace.

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