Share this page on following platforms.
Download Bhagwad Gita 4.19 Download BG 4.19 as Image

⮪ BG 4.18 Bhagwad Gita English BG 4.20⮫

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 19

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 4 श्लोक 19

यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः।
ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः।।4.19।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

4.19 The wise call him learned whose actions are all devoid of desires and their thougts, [Kama-sankalpa is variously translated as desires and purposes, plans and desires for results, hankering for desires, etc. But Sankarcarya shows sankalpa as the cause of kama. -Tr.] and whose actions have been burnt away by the fire of wisdom.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

4.19 He whose undertakings are all devoid of desires and (selfish) purposes and whose actions have been burnt by the fire of knowledge, him the wise call a sage.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.19. He, whose every exertion is devoid of intention for the desirable objects, and whose actions are burnt up by the fire of wisdom-him the wise call a man of learning.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

4.19 यस्य whose? सर्वे all? समारम्भाः undertakings? कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः devoid of desires and purposes? ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणम् whose actions have been burnt by the fire of knowledge? तम् him? आहुः call? पण्डितम् a sage? बुधाः the wise.Commentary A sage performs actions only with a view to set an example to the masses. Though he works? he does nothing as he has no selfish interests? as his actions are burnt by the fire of wisdom which consists in the realisaion of inaction in action? through the knowledge of the Self or BrahmaJnana. BrahmaJnana is a mighty spiritual fire which consumes the results of all kinds of actions (Karmas)? good and bad? and makes the enlightened sage ite free from the bonds of action. The sage who leads a life of perfect renunciation does only what is reired for the bare existence of his body. (Cf.III.19IV.10IV.37).

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

4.19 Budhah, the wise, the knowers of Brahman; ahuh, call; tam, him; panditam, learned, in the real sense; yasya, whose, of the one who perceives as stated above; samarambhah, actions-whatever are undertaken; are sarve, all; kama-sankalpa-varjitah, devoid of desires and the thoughts which are their (desires) causes (see 2.62)-i.e., (those actions) are performed as mere movements, without any selfish purpose: if they are performed by one (already) engaged in actions, then they are for preventing people from going astray, and if they are done by one who has withdrawn from actions, then they are merely for the maintenance of the body-; and jnanagni-dagdha-karmanam, whose actions have been burnt away by the fire of wisdom. Finding inaction etc. in action etc. is jnana, wisdom; that itself is agnih, fire. He whose actions, karma, described as good and bad, have been dagdhani, burnt away by that fire of wisdom, is jnana-agni-dagdha-karma. However, one who is a perceiver of inaction etc. [Perceiver of inaction etc.: He who knows the truth about action and inaction as explained before.-Tr.] is free from actions owing to the very fact of his seeing inaction etc. He is a monk, who acts merely for the purpose of maintaining the body. Being so, he does not engage in actions although he might have done so before the dawn of discrimination. He again who, having been engaged in actions under the influence of past tendencies, later on becomes endowed with the fullest Self-knowledge, he surely renounces (all) [Ast. adds this word sarva, all.-Tr.] actions along with their accessories as he does nnot find any purpose in activity. For some reason, if it becomes impossible to renounce actions and he, for the sake of preventing people from going astray, even remains engaged as before in actions-without attachment to those actions and their results because of the absence of any selfish purpose-, still he surely does nothing at all! His actions verily become inaction because of having been burnt away by the fire of wisdom. By way of pointing out this idea, the Lord says:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.19 Yasya etc. The actions, performed without intention for the desirable objects, - i.e., the fruits desired for - are burnt up by putting them into the fire of wisdom, the nature of which has been earlier described , and also is to be described in the seel.

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

4.19 In the case of an aspirant for release, all undertakings of actions in the form of obligatory, occasional and desiderative acts accomplished through the acisition of materials for their performance as also other works, are free from desire, i.e., are devoid of attachment to fruits. They are devoid of delusive identification. If the mind identifies the self with Prakrti and its Gunas, it is Sankalpa, i.e., delusive identification. Genuine Karma Yoga is free from such identification. Such identification is overcome through contemplation on the real nature of the self as different from Prakrti. Those who know the truth call him a sage, who acts in this way and whose previous Karmas are thery burnt up by the fire of knowledge of the real nature of the self generated along with his actions. He is a true Karma Yogin. Thus that knowledge is involved in true Karma Yoga, is established. Sri Krsna elaborates this point again:

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

This concept is further explained in five verses. One who completely engages in activity (samarambha) devoid of desires to attain objects of enjoyment performs actions consumed by the fire of knowledge, whether the actions are prescribed (karma) or forbidden (vikarma). Just as the qualified person sees karma as not leading to bondage, he also sees vikarma or forbidden action as not accruing bondage. This verse is in agreement with the previous verse (seeing inaction in action). Later it will be said: api ced asi papebhyah sarvebhyah papa-krt-tamah sarvarh jnana-plavenaiva vrjinarh santarisyasi yathaidhamsi samiddho ‘gnir bhasma-sat kurute ‘rjuna jnanagnih sarva-karmani bhasma-sat kurute tatha 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 cross over the ocean of miseries. As a blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities. BG 4.36-37

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The twofold dialectic based on scriptural evidence and inference respectively is one who sees inaction in action and is referred to by Lord Krishna in the previous verse. Those actions that are free from desire are known as samarambha or properly consummated. Actions are desired because of hankering for rewards and these actions are not properly consummated. One who is free from desire and hankering is considered to be intelligent and wise. This is because all actions of such a person turn into inaction by the fire of knowledge that is kindled within the purified mind that is free from all desires and hankerings. Another interpretation of this verse is that for one who is already properly situated in jnana yoga or the cultivation of knowledge and is free from desires to enjoy and hankerings for rewards; whatever action they perform is done as a matter of duty and to inspire others.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

In this verse and the next five verses Lord Krishna describes the nature of karma or prescribed Vedic activities. The knowledge that one is completely dependent upon the Supreme Lord and that the Supreme Lord alone is the actual performer of all actions guarantees that all reactions to actions are neutralised by the fire of wisdom.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The person performing karma or actions accrues reactions by attachment to desires and hankering for rewards. This is delusion as desires are imagined and fantasised before enactment. Thus it is merely a false idea or wrong notion of the mind. The fantasising alluded to here consists of the mentality which erroneously identifies the atma or soul with prakriti or material nature along with the three gunas being the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance and mistakenly conceives of them as all being one principle. But to that person seeking moksa or liberation all acts regular and occasional performed by them and necessitated by bodily maintenance are not subject to reactions being devoid of desire. Further exemption is guaranteed as the aspirant for moksa is not living in a world of imagination or fantasy because such a person performs every action while being cognisant of the eternal atma. Whoever performs karma in this manner while meditating on the atma is one of spiritual intelligence situated in atma tattva or soul realisation and all reactions to a myriad of past actions have been eradicated by the fire of knowledge. Thus Lord Krishna is praising the person who performs prescribed Vedic activities in atma tattva as being highly laudable. This is in sharp contrast to the karmi or one who performs actions for fruitive rewards being forced to accept reactions.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The person performing karma or actions accrues reactions by attachment to desires and hankering for rewards. This is delusion as desires are imagined and fantasised before enactment. Thus it is merely a false idea or wrong notion of the mind. The fantasising alluded to here consists of the mentality which erroneously identifies the atma or soul with prakriti or material nature along with the three gunas being the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance and mistakenly conceives of them as all being one principle. But to that person seeking moksa or liberation all acts regular and occasional performed by them and necessitated by bodily maintenance are not subject to reactions being devoid of desire. Further exemption is guaranteed as the aspirant for moksa is not living in a world of imagination or fantasy because such a person performs every action while being cognisant of the eternal atma. Whoever performs karma in this manner while meditating on the atma is one of spiritual intelligence situated in atma tattva or soul realisation and all reactions to a myriad of past actions have been eradicated by the fire of knowledge. Thus Lord Krishna is praising the person who performs prescribed Vedic activities in atma tattva as being highly laudable. This is in sharp contrast to the karmi or one who performs actions for fruitive rewards being forced to accept reactions.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 4.19

Yasya sarve samaarambhaah kaamasankalpa varjitaah; Jnaanaagni dagdhakarmaanam tam aahuh panditam budhaah.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 4.19

yasya—whose; sarve—every; samārambhāḥ—undertakings; kāma—desire for material pleasures; saṅkalpa—resolve; varjitāḥ—devoid of; jñāna—divine knowledge; agni—in the fire; dagdha—burnt; karmāṇam—actions; tam—him; āhuḥ—address; paṇḍitam—a sage; budhāḥ—the wise