On Bhagavad Gita: Four paths to Liberation

Acharya Prashant
9 min readDec 25, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

ध्यानेनात्मनि पश्यन्ति केचिदात्मानमात्मना ।

अन्ये साङ् ख्येन योगेन कर्मयोगेन चापरे ।। 13.25 ।।

dhyānenātmani paśhyanti kechid ātmānam ātmanā

anye sānkhyena yogena karma-yogena chāpare

Some by meditation behold the Self in their own intelligence by the purified heart, others by the path of knowledge, others again by Karma Yoga.

~ Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 25

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अन्ये त्वेवमजानन्त: श्रुत्वान्येभ्य उपासते ।

तेऽपि चातितरन्त्येव मृत्युं श्रुतिपरायणा: ।। 13.26 ।।

anye tv evam ajānantaḥ śhrutvānyebhya upāsate

te ’pi chātitaranty eva mṛityuṁ śhruti-parāyaṇāḥ

Others again, not knowing thus, worship as they have heard from others. Even they go beyond death, regarding what they have heard as the Supreme Refuge.

~ Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 26

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Questioner (Q): Does Shri Krishna mean that those who are unaware of Dhyāna (meditation), Sāṃkhya, Karma too go across the Bhavasāgara (ocean of worldly life)? If so, why would one try to go to the level of Dhyāna, Sāṃkhya, Karma? What is the fate of the ones who are unaware of them?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It’s just that you will take a lot more time and a lot more effort and face a lot more difficulty, and that is why there is a particular order in which these four paths have been narrated.

Shri Krishna is saying here, “The best would be an inner, innate meditativeness; a meditativeness that…

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