यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन |
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ||४-३७||


yathaidhāṃsi samiddho.agnirbhasmasātkurute.arjuna .
jñānāgniḥ sarvakarmāṇi bhasmasātkurute tathā ||4-37||



4.37. Just as the fire, well inflamed, reduces the fuels to ashes, so also the fire of knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.

Shri Purohit Swami

4.37 As the kindled fire consumes the fuel, so, O Arjuna, in the flame of wisdom the embers of action are burnt to ashes.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

4.36-37 Api cet etc. Yatha etc. The idea is this : One should exert is such a way so that the fire of knowledge remains well fuelled with the knot of firmness of conviction born of practice.

Sri Ramanuja

4.37 The fire of knowledge concerning the real nature of the self reduces to ashes the collection of endless Karmas accumulated from beginningless times, just as a well-kindled fire reduces to ashes a bundle of firewood.

Sri Shankaracharya

4.37 O Arjuna, yatha, as; a samiddhah, blazing; agnih, fire, a well lighted fire; kurute, reduces; edhamsi, pieces of wood; bhasmasat, to ashes; tatha, similarly; jnanagnih, the fire of Knowledge-Knowledge itself being the fire; kurute, reduces; bhasmasat, to ashes; sarva-karmani, all actions, i.e. it renders them ineffective, for the fire of Knowledge itself cannot directly [Knowledge destroys ignorance, and thery the idea of agentship is eradicated. This in turn makes actions impossible.] burn actions to ashes, like pieces of wood. So, the idea implied is that full enlightenment is the cuase of making all actions impotent. From the force the context [If the body were to die just with the dawn of Knowledge, imparting of Knowledge by enlightened persons would be impossible, and thus there would be no teacher to transmit Knowledge!] it follows that, since the result of actions owing to which the present body has been born has already become effective, therefore it gets eshausted only through experiencing it. Hence, Knowledge reduces to ashes only all those actions that were done (in this life) prior to the rise of Knowledge and that have not become effective, as also those performed along with (i.e. after the dawn of) Knowledge, and those that were done in the many past lives. Since this is so, therefore,

Swami Adidevananda

4.37 Just as burning fire turns fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge turn all Karma to ashes.

Swami Gambirananda

4.37 O Arjuna, as a blazing fire reduces pieces of wood to ashes, similarly the fire of Knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.

Swami Sivananda

4.37 As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes.


Swami Sivananda

4.37 यथा as? एधांसि fuel? समिद्धः blazing? अग्निः fire? भस्मसात्कुरुते reduces to ashes? अर्जुन O Arjuna? ज्ञानाग्निः fire of knowledge? सर्वकर्माणि all actions? भस्मसात्कुरुते reduces to ashes? तथा so.Commentary Just as the sees that are roasted cannot germinate? so also the actions that are burnt by the fire of knowledge cannot bear fruits? i.e.? cannot bring man to this world again for the enjoyment of the fruits of his actions. This is reducing actions to ashes. The actions lose their potency as they are burnt by the fire of knowledge. When the knowledge of the Self dawns? all actions with their results are burnt by the fire of that knowledge just as fuel is burnt by the fire. When there is no agencymentality (the idea I do this)? when there is no desire for the fruits? action is no action at all. It has lost its potency. The fire of knowledge can burn all actions except the Prarabdha Karma? or the result of the past action which has brought this body into existence and which has thus already begun to bear fruits or produce effects.According to some philosophers even the Prarabdha Karma is destroyed by the fire of knowledge. Sri Sankara says in his AparokshanubhutiIn the passage his actions are destroyed when the Supreme is realised the Veda expressly speaks of actions (Karmas) in the plural? in order to signify the destruction of even the Prarabdha.There are three kinds of Karmas or reaction to or fructification of past actions (1) Prarabdha? so much of the past actions as has given rise to the present birth? (2) Sanchita? the balance of the past actions that will give rise to future births – the storehouse of accumulated actions? and (3) Agami or Kriyamana? acts being done in the present life. If by the knowledge of the Self only the Sanchita and Agami were destroyed and not Prarabdha? the dual number would have been used and not the plural. (Sanskrit grammar has singular? dual and plural numbers). (Cf.IV.1019)