THE YOGA OF WISDOM
Krishna declares that He is born from age to age. Whenever there is a prevalence of unrighteousness, God takes incarnation to raise humanity by His personal example. According to the desires of humanity He fulfils their needs with impartiality. Each person, according to his temperament, can perform duty without expectation of result and attain God-realization. One who has the knowledge of Brahman is called a Brahmana. Caste is not a family tradition or a birthright. It is very difficult to decide one's own duty. One must know what to do, what not to do and how to do. One who contemplates on the Supreme Self and performs actions with understanding for the good of the world, without selfish motive, without expectation of its result, the wise call him the knower of inaction in action, a sage. He never expects anything from the world and is happy always.
One who feels the presence of Brahman in every action will feel that Brahman is the actor, action and also result of action. This is called knowledge-sacrifice. Krishna details various forms of sacrifices such as study of scriptures, sense-control, breath-control, charity, etc. All these sacrifices involve the action of body, mind and senses. Sacrifice through knowledge, i.e., without expectation of result, is superior to action without knowledge. If these sacrifices are performed with knowledge (i.e. without motive), it will burn all sins, like fire turning the wood to ashes. This knowledge can be obtained through sincerity, purity of heart, service to God-realized (Brahmanishtha) guru with devotion, prolonged practice of karma yoga and sense-control. Real knowledge is the awareness of the Self or pure consciousness within. This will be experienced only after a protracted period of practice. One must have immense faith in God, belief in the preceptor, patience and devotion accompanied with a withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the world, with effort. Then alone will one have supreme peace. An ignorant person, due to lack of these characteristics, entertains doubts in himself as well as in others, and suffers here as well as hereafter. One who meditates with understanding, with actions renounced, nothing in the world can bind. Krishna asks Arjuna to do karma yoga through which all his ancestors achieved the supreme happiness that is the goal of human life.
Chapter 4 teaches that the Self is uninvolved or detached both in action and in inaction. In the cosmic state, the Almighty Lord stands apart as a witness during the creation of the universe, its preservation and destruction. In the individual the Self stands as a witness during waking, dreaming and deep sleep states. Even in the waking state, all the limbs of the body act without any expectation for their own sake. For example, the stomach digests food not for its sake, eyes perceive objects, legs walk, hands grasp, etc., to help the whole body. Thus the spirit of renunciation is a natural state at all levels. Whoever acts and lives with this awareness is a true performer of all actions and wise among men, not bound by actions.
This chapter is also called jnana yoga, abhyasa yoga and jnana-karma-sannyasa yoga, because it teaches humanity to remove all doubts about the Supreme Reality by the knowledge of Sankhya and to act in accordance with the teachings of karma yoga.