Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, sloka 32

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Sloka 32


The various forms of sacrifice are spread out in the storehouse of the Vedas (which are the faces of Brahman). Know them all to be born of action. Thus knowing you will be liberated.


The first half of the Sloka states that all the above mentioned yajnas are not something new brought out by Krishna, the cowherd son of Vasudeva and Devaki but by Brahman. We should remember the fact that Krishna is the incarnation of the Parabrahman. All these are described in the Vedas which have originated from the Brahman. Hence the expression that the Vedas are the faces of Brahman.

As we know that the Vedas are spread out in three sections:
Karma kanda  –  action
Upasana kanda  –  meditation
Jnana kanda  –  knowledge.

The various yajnas are from the karma kanda section of the Vedas. The actions as we know are born of desires to achieve the desired objects. We have to learn the yajnas and conduct the same to achieve the Liberation. Actions have to be the means to the end and not an end in themselves. “Jnana” is the final step to the end result. Well planned and well executed actions should become only the means. Individual effort is essential for the performance of yajna. Inaction/inactivity is not the way for majority and is only for the selected few who have already climbed up the spiritual ladder. We must make use of the body, speech and mind to achieve the goal. Any individual who converts karma into yajna in its truest sense is fit for Liberation.

This is another reminder for Arjuna to fight the war of righteousness. He had a duty to fight the enemy in the spirit of “Yajna” and this chapter on Jnana is reiterating the truth to him. Through the medium of Arjuna, we are reminded to do all our karmas in the spirit of yajna. Arjuna expressed his ignorance about the right action but did so to the Supreme Lord himself and the Gita given by the Lord is to dispel this ignorance.

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