Chapter 4, Verse 33



श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप । सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ॥३३॥

Transliteration

śreyān dravya-mayād yajñāj jñāna-yajñaḥ parantapa sarvaḿ karmākhilaḿ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate

Word Meanings

śreyān — greater; dravya-mayāt — of material possessions; yajñāt — than the sacrifice; jñāna-yajñaḥ — sacrifice in knowledge; param-tapa — O chastiser of the enemy; sarvam — all; karma — activities; akhilam — in totality; pārtha — O son of Pṛthā; jñāne — in knowledge; parisamāpyate — end.

Translation

O subduer of enemies, sacrifice performed in knowledge is superior to any mechanical material sacrifice. After all, O Parth, all sacrifices of work culminate in knowledge.

Purport

The purpose of all sacrifices is to arrive at the status of complete knowledge, then to gain release from material miseries and, ultimately, to engage in loving transcendental service to the Supreme Lord (Kṛṣṇa consciousness). Nonetheless, there is a mystery about all these different activities of sacrifice, and one should know this mystery. Sacrifices sometimes take different forms according to the particular faith of the performer. When one’s faith reaches the stage of transcendental knowledge, the performer of sacrifices should be considered more advanced than those who simply sacrifice material possessions without such knowledge, for without attainment of knowledge, sacrifices remain on the material platform and bestow no spiritual benefit. Real knowledge culminates in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the highest stage of transcendental knowledge. Without the elevation of knowledge, sacrifices are simply material activities. When, however, they are elevated to the level of transcendental knowledge, all such activities enter onto the spiritual platform. Depending on differences in consciousness, sacrificial activities are sometimes called karma-kāṇḍa (fruitive activities) and sometimes jñāna-kāṇḍa (knowledge in the pursuit of truth). It is better when the end is knowledge.


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