Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 19

यस्य सर्वे समारम्भा: कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिता: |
ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहु: पण्डितं बुधा: || 19||

yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāma-saṅkalpa-varjitāḥ
jñānāgni-dagdha-karmāṇaṁ tam āhuḥ paṇḍitaṁ budhāḥ

yasyawhose; sarveevery; samārambhāḥundertakings; kāmadesire for material pleasures; saṅkalparesolve; varjitāḥdevoid of; jñānadivine knowledge; agniin the fire; dagdhaburnt; karmāṇamactions; tamhim; āhuḥaddress; paṇḍitama sage; budhāḥthe wise

yasya sarve samarambhah kama-sankalpa-varjitah
jnanagni-dagdha-karmanam tam ahuh panditam budhah


BG 4.19: The enlightened sages call those persons wise, whose every action is free from the desire for material pleasures and who have burnt the reactions of work in the fire of divine knowledge.


The soul, being a tiny part of God who is an ocean of bliss, naturally seeks bliss for itself. However, covered by the material energy, the soul mistakenly identifies itself with the material body. In this ignorance, it performs actions to attain bliss from the world of matter. Since these actions are motivated by the desire for sensual and mental enjoyment, they bind the soul in karmic reactions.

In contrast, when the soul is illumined with divine knowledge, it realizes that the bliss it seeks will be attained not from the objects of the senses, but in loving service to God. It then strives to perform every action for the pleasure of God. “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire, whatever you bestow as a gift, and whatever austerities you perform, O son of Kunti, do them as an offering to me.” (Bhagavad Gita 9.27) Since such an enlightened soul renounces selfish actions for material pleasures and dedicates all actions to God, the works performed produce no karmic reactions. They are said to be burnt in the fire of divine knowledge.

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