Wisdom: The Key to Spiritual Work

We shouldn’t be distracted by the many different forms sacrifice can take. We should focus on the essence of all forms of sacrifice: wisdom.

“The most important part of sacrifice is the wisdom with which it is done, not its external form. The whole point of the external form of a sacrifice is to inspire wisdom.” [4.33]

Now Arjuna would ask, “What is the best way to acquire wisdom?”

So Krishna explains…

“Comprehend wisdom by respecting wise people who see the truth. They will impart wisdom to you when you attentively inquire from all angles.” [34]

Arjuna wants to know, “What will I see when I gain wisdom from those who see the truth?”

So Krishna explains…

“When you get that wisdom, you will never again fall into confusion. You will see all the countless living beings within yourself, and yourself within me.” [35]

All living things are equal, for they are all rays of the energy of Krishna. This true wisdom allows us to see that all living things are just as important as our own self; and that all of us are important and significant due to our relationship with Krishna.

Arjuna doubts, “But what if I am very wicked, having killed so many people – can even I attain such spiritual vision?”

So Krishna explains…

“This wisdom is like a boat that will carry even the heaviest of the heinously wicked across the ocean of misery. The fire of this wisdom burns all karma to ash, just as a raging fire consumes dry wood. There is certainly nothing in this world as purifying as wisdom! Follow the yoga of sacrifice to its final end and you will eventually enjoy this wisdom within your own soul.” [36-38]

Arjuna will ask, “Who is qualified to follow this yoga to its perfection?”

So Krishna explains…

“Those who put their hearts into it attain true wisdom. Making it more important than anything else, they curtail all other endeavors.  When they attain wisdom, they very quickly attain the supreme peace.” [39]

Arjuna will ask, “What would disqualify me from attaining it?”

So Krishna explains…

“Fools who have no conviction in the value of this wisdom are ruined by their own doubts. Such confused souls find no happiness here or hereafter. But a person who cuts through the bondage of doubts with knowledge can follow to perfection this yoga of renouncing selfish action. Karma cannot bind him, Arjuna, for he is situated in his soul.” [40-41]

Before Arjuna can say or express anything else, Krishna tries to give him a rousing order:

“Therefore grasp the weapon of wisdom in your soul’s hands and slice through the doubts born of ignorance that have crowded your heart! On the strength of this yoga, arise and stand firm, Arjuna!” [42]

This brings the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad Gītā to a close.


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