Chapter 4, Verse 37

यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन । ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥३७॥


yathaidhāḿsi samiddho 'gnir bhasma-sāt kurute 'rjuna jñānāgniḥ sarva-karmāṇi bhasma-sāt kurute tathā

Word Meanings

yathā — just as; edhāṁsi — firewood; samiddhaḥ — blazing; agniḥ — fire; bhasma-sāt — ashes; kurute — turns; arjuna — O Arjuna; jñāna-agniḥ — the fire of knowledge; sarva-karmāṇi — all reactions to material activities; bhasma-sāt — to ashes; kurute — it turns; tathā — similarly.


As a kindled fire reduces wood to ashes, O Arjun, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions from material activities.


erfect knowledge of self and Superself and of their relationship is compared herein to fire. This fire not only burns up all reactions to impious activities, but also all reactions to pious activities, turning them to ashes. There are many stages of reaction: reaction in the making, reaction fructifying, reaction already achieved, and reaction a priori. But knowledge of the constitutional position of the living entity burns everything to ashes. When one is in complete knowledge, all reactions, both a priori and a posteriori, are consumed. In the Vedas (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.22) it is stated, ubhe uhaivaiṣa ete taraty amṛtaḥ sādhv-asādhūnī: “One overcomes both the pious and impious reactions of work.”