अपि चेदसि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पापकृत्तमः ।
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि ॥ ३६ ॥ (4.36)
4.1172. Even if you be the worst sinner among all sinners, you will still cross over all sin with the raft of knowledge alone.
4.1173. The words अपि 3even, and चेद् if, are really indeclineables meant for station the supposition of something that is impossible.
4.1174. This literal meaning of the first line of the verse is therefore, impossible for anyone to be only a sinner.
4.1175. Yet it is spoken of through an assumption for stating the result of Knowledge.
4.1176. Even if you be the पापकृत्तमः, the worst sinner, excessive perpetrator of sin; सर्वेभ्यः among all sinners;
4.1177. still, सन्तरिष्यसि you will cross over–YOU WILL, easily and without having to return, go beyond;
4.1178. सर्वम् all; वृजिनं sin, which being very difficult to cross over is comparable to an ocean;
4.1179. ज्ञान प्लवेन एव with the raft of knowledge alone–not through anything else–, making knowledge itself the raft.
4.1180. By the word वृजिन here are the intended deeds–in the form of धर्म and अधर्म–which lead to transmigration.
4.1181. Why? Because to the one aspiring for Liberation, virtue like vice is a source of evil.
4.1182. अपि चेत् असि पापेभ्यः पापकृद्भ्यः सर्वेभ्यः अतिशयेन पापकृत् पापकृत्तमः सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव ज्ञानमेव प्लवं कृत्वा वृजिनं वृजिनार्णवं पापसमुद्रं सन्तरिष्यसि ।
4.1183. Even if among all sinners, you are the worst, you will cross the sea of sins by means of this raft of knowledge alone. This knowledge is the raft. Even पुण्य is said to be a form of sin for the seeker of Liberation for पुण्य causes bondage and brings you back into samsara.
यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन ।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा ॥ ३७ ॥ (4.37)
4.1185. As a blazing fire reduces all fuel to ashes, so Arjuna! the fire of knowledge reduces all actions (कर्मा) to ashes.
4.1186. O Arjuna, यथा as; समिद्द: kindled; अग्नि: fire; भस्मसात्कुरुते reduces to ashes; येधांसि pieces of wood, fuel; तथा similarly;
4.1187. ज्ञानाग्निः the fire of knowledge; भस्मसात्कुरुते reduces to ashes;
4.1188. सर्वकर्माणि all actions–virtue and vice included (other than those that have begun to yield fruits);
4.1189. That is to say it destroys the actions by destroying their cause viz. ignorance.
4.1190. Mundakopanishad says:
भिद्यते हृदयग्रन्थिश्छिद्यन्ते सर्वसंशयाः ।
क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन्दृष्टे परावरे ॥
4.1191. When that Self, which is both high and low, is realized, the knots of his heart are cut, all doubts disappear and his karma are destroyed.
4.1192. ’तस्य तावदेव चिरं यावन्न विमोक्ष्येऽथ सम्पत्स्ये” (Chandogyopanishad)
4.1193. He has to wait only as long as he is unreleased; then he attains perfection.
4.1194. अतो यानि अप्रवृत्तफलानि ज्ञानोत्पत्तेः प्राक् कृतानि ज्ञानसहभावीनि च अतीतानेकजन्मकृतानि च तान्येव सर्वाणि भस्मसात् कुरुते ॥
4.1195. Hence only those works, which were done in countless prior lives before the dawn of knowledge, and which have not yet begun to bear fruits, as well as those which coexist with knowledge are burnt up.
न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते ।
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ॥ ३८ ॥ (4.38)
4.1197. Nothing exists here as purifying as the Knowledge. He that is perfected in Yoga realizes in his own heart in due time.
4.1198. हि indeed; न विद्यते there is nothing else; पवित्रम् purifying; इह here, either in the Veda or in common behaviour;
4.1199. सदृशं comparable; ज्ञानेन to knowledge; because whatever is different from Knowledge cannot dispel ignorance;
4.1200. and hence it has not the power of totally eradicating sin, as a result of which sin recurs due to the presence of its cause.
4.1201. But by Knowledge sin is eradicated, together with its root, through the destruction of ignorance.
4.1202. Hence there is nothing comparable to Knowledge.
4.1203. Why does not the Knowledge of the Self arise in all quickly?
4.1204. योगसंसिद्धः कालेन one who has become perfected after long time through Yoga, who has become purified,
4.1205. and attained the fitness through the above mentioned Yoga of Action;
4.1206. विन्दति acquires; तत् that Knowledge; स्वयं by oneself; आत्मनि in one’s own heart; The idea is:
4.1207. It is not that one who has got the fitness acquires that Knowledge existing in oneself as a gift from someone else, or
4.1208. that he acquires that knowledge of someone else, as his own.
4.1209. Only you can know yourself; Neither can you know the Self of another nor another can know the Self of you.