श्रीभगवानुवाच |
लोकेऽस्मिन् द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ |
ज्ञानयोगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम् ||३-३||


śrībhagavānuvāca .
loke.asmina dvividhā niṣṭhā purā proktā mayānagha .
jñānayogena sāṅkhyānāṃ karmayogena yoginām ||3-3||



3.3. The Bhagavat said The two-fold path in this world-[the one] with Yoga of knowledge for men of reflection [and the other] with Yoga of action for men of Yoga-has been declared to be one by Me formerly, O sinless one !

Shri Purohit Swami

3.3 Lord Shri Krishna replied: In this world, as I have said, there is a twofold path, O Sinless One! There is the Path of Wisdom for those who meditate, and the Path of Action for those who work.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.3 Loke etc. In the world, this twofold path is well known. Knowledge is important for men of reflection and action for men of Yoga. But that path has been declared by Me to be only one. For, the Consciousness consists predominantly of knowledg and action. This is the idea here. For this [the Lord continues] -

Sri Ramanuja

3.3 The Lord said You have not properly understood what I taught you before. In this world, full of people with varying degrees of alifications, I have taught in the days of yore two ways, that of knowledge (Jnana Yoga) and that of works, according to the alifications of aspirants. There is no contradiction in this. It is not possible for all people of the world in whom the desire for release has arisen, to become capable immediately for the practice of Jnana Yoga. But he who performs the worship of the Supreme Person without desire for fruits and thery gets completely rid of inner impurities and keeps his senses unagitated - he becomes competent for the path of knowledge.

That all activities are for performing the worship of the Supreme Person will be taught in the Gita verse, ‘He from `whom the activities of all beings arise and by whom all this is pervaded - by worshipping Him with his duty man reaches perfection’ (18.46). Earlier also performance of activities without any attachment to the fruits is enjoined by the verse beginning with. ‘You have the right to work alone ৷৷.’ (2.47). Next for those whose intellect has been redeemed by this kind of discipline, is enjoined Jnana Yoga by the words, ‘When a man renounces all the desires ৷৷.’ (2.55).

Conseently, firm devotion to Jnana Yoga is taught only to the Sankhyas, i.e., those persons who are competent to follow the discipline of the knowledge of the self, and Karma Yoga to Yogins, i.e., to those competent for the path of work. Sankhya means Buddhi and those who are endowed with the Buddhi (intellectual or mental disposition) having only the self for its object, are Sankhyans. Therefore those who are not fit for this are alified for Karma Yoga. Those who are possessed of Buddhi which is agitated by objects of the senses, are the persons alified for Karma Yoga, whereas those whose Buddhi is not thus agitated, are alified for Jnana Yoga. Therefore nothing contradictory and confusing is taught.

It is said in the next stanza that Jnana Yoga is difficult to practise all at once, even when the desire for release arises in any worldy person:

Sri Shankaracharya

3.3 Anagha, O unblemished one, O sinless one; [This word of address suggests that Arjuna is alified to receive the Lord’s instruction.] dvividha, two kinds of ; nistha, steadfastness, persistence in what is undertaken; asmin loke, in this world, for the people of the three castes who are alified for following the scriptures; prokta, were spoken of; maya, by Me, the omniscient God, who had revealed for them the traditional teachings of the Vedas, which are the means of securing prosperity and the highest Goal; pura, in the days of yore, in the beginning the creation, after having brought into being the creatures. Now then, which is that steadfastness of two kinds? In answer the Lord says: The steadfastness jnanayogena, through the Yoga of Knowledge-Knowledge itself being the Yoga [Here jnana, Knowledge, refers to the knowledge of the supreme Reality, and Yoga is used in the derivative sense of ’that (Knowledge) through which one gets united with Brahman’.]-; had been stated sankhyanam, for the men of realization-those possessed of the Knowledge arising from the discrimination with regard to the Self and the not-Self, those who have espoused monasticism from the stage of Celibacy; itself, those to whom the entity presented by the Vedantic knowledge has become fully ascertained (see Mu. 3.2.6)-,the monks who are known as the parama-hamsas, those who are established in Brahman alone. And the steadfastness karma-yogena, through the Yoga of Action-action itself being the Yoga [Yoga here means ’that through which one gets united with, comes to have, prosperity’, i.e. such actions as go by the name of righteousness and are prescribed by the scriptures.] had been stated yoginam, for the yogis, the men of action (rites and duties). This is the idea. Again, had it been intended or stated or if it will be stated in the Gita by the Lord-and if it has also been so stated in the Vedas-that Knowledge and action are to be practised in combination by one and the same person for attaining the same human Goal, why then should He here tell His dear supplicant Arjuna, that steadfastness in either Knowledge or action is to be practised only by different persons who are respectively alified? If, on the other hand, it be supposed that the Lord’s idea is, ‘After hearing about both Knowledge and action, Arjuna will himself practise them (in combination); but, to others, I shall speak of them as being meant to be pursued by different persons’, then the Lord would be imagined to be unreliable, being possessed of likes and dislikes! And that is untenable. So, from no point of view whatsoever can there be a combination of Knowledge and action. And what has been said by Arjuna regarding superiority of Wisdom over action, that stands confirmed for not having been refuted; and (it also stands confirmed) that steadfastness in Knowledge is suitable for being practised by monks alone. And from the statement that they (Knowledge and action) are to be followed by different persons, it is understood that this has the Lord’s approval. Noticing that Arjuna had become dejected under the impression, ‘You are urging me to that very action which is a source of bondage’, and was thinking thus, ‘I shall not undertake action’, the Lord said, ‘Na karmanam anarambhat, not by abstaining from action,’ etc. Or:-When steadfastness in Knowledge and steadfastness in action become incapable of being pursued simultaneously by one and the same person owing to mutual contradiction, then, since it may be concluded that they become the cause of attaining the human Goal independently of each other, therefore, in order to show-that the steadfastness in action is a means to the human Goal, not independently, but by virtue of being instrumental in securing steadfastness in Knowledge; and that, on the other hand, steadfastness in Knowledge, having come into being through the means of steadfastness in action, leads to the human Goal independently without anticipating anything else-,the Lord said:

Swami Adidevananda

3.3 The Lord said In this world a two-fold way was of yore laid down by Me, O sinless one: by Jnana Yoga for the Sankhyas and by Karma Yoga for the Yogins.

Swami Gambirananda

3.3 The Blessed Lord said O unblemished one, two kinds of steadfastness in this world were spoken of by Me in the days of yore-through the Yoga of Knowledge for the men of realization; through the Yoga of Action for the yogis.

Swami Sivananda

3.3 The Blessed Lord said In this world there is a twofold path, as I said before, O sinless one; the path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of action of the Yogins.


Swami Sivananda

3.3 लोके in world? अस्मिन् in this? द्विविधा twofold? निष्ठा path? पुरा previously? प्रोक्ता said? मया by Me? अनघ O sinless one? ज्ञानयोगेन by the path of knowledge? सांख्यानाम् of the Sankhyas? कर्मयोगेन by the path of action? योगिनाम् of the Yogins.Commentary The path of knowledge of the Sankhyas (Jnana Yoga) was described by Lord Krishna in chapter II? verses 11 to 38 the path of action (Karma Yoga) from 40 to 53.Pura Prokta may also mean In the beginning of creation the twofold path was given by Me to this world.Those who are endowed with the four means and who have sharp? subtle intellect and bold understanding are fit for Jnana Yoga. Those who have a tendency or inclination for wok are fit for Karma Yoga. (The four means are discrimination? dispassion? sixfold virutes? and longing for liberation. The sixfold virtues are control of the mind? control of the senses? fortitude (endurance)? turning away from the objects of the world? faith and tranillity.)It is not possible for a man to practise the two Yogas simultaneously. Karma Yoga is a means to an end. It purifies the heart and prepares the aspirant for the reception of knowledge. The Karma Yogi should take up Jnana Yoga as soon as his heart is purified. Jnana Yoga takes the aspirant directly to the goal without any extraneous help. (Cf.V.5).