Bhagavad Gita Teachings -Chapter 18: Be True to Yourself

Bhagavad Gita Teachings -Chapter 18: Be True to Yourself

The last chapter……In Conclusion….

Actions such as yagna, charity and penance should always be performed. These acts are cleansing even for the learned (Verse 5)

Yagna is action without expectation

These acts must be performed as duty, with no desire and attachment to their results (Verse 6)

It is not possible for living beings to renounce all actions completely. But if they renounce results of their actions, they are truly renounced (Verse 11)

Those unable to renounce, the results of their actions, be they agreable, disagreable, or mixed, these results manifest even after their death. For others who are truly renounced, no results accumulate in this life or next (Verse 12)

Those whose intellect is unattached, who have conquered their mind, who are free from desire, they are truly renounced (Verse 49)


Those who perform all actions as duties, renouncing attachment to results of those actions, are in Mode of Goodness (Verse 9)

Those who renounce their duties out of sadness, trouble, fear or physical malaise, are in Mode of Passion (Verse 8)

Those who give up all their duties and actions, are in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 7)


Those who see an indivisible eternal entity within all diverse beings, their knowledge is in Mode of Goodness (Verse 20)

Those who see different entities in each of the diverse beings, and view them as separate and apart from each other, their knowledge is in Mode of Passion (Verse 21)

Those who consider a single action to be a complete end in itself when it is only a small part of the whole, this knowledge based on limited reason and limited truth, is in Mode of Ignorance (VERSE 22)


Action that is consistently free from repulsion and attraction, and is done without desire for results, is in Mode of Goodness (Verse 23)

Action performed tirelessly to fulfill a self-serving desire, and done with conceit, is in Mode of Passion (Verse 24)

Action done without regard to consequences, loss, injury or one’s ability, is in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 25)


Those without worldly attachment and arrogance, who are resolute, zealous, and same in triumph and loss, are in Mode of Goodness (Verse 26)

Those who crave results from their action, are greedy, envious, vicious, possess lowly thoughts, and are affected by happiness and distress, are in Mode of Passion (Verse 27)

Those who are uncontrollable, offensive, obstinate, cunning, dishonest, lazy, negative, and procrastinating, are in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 28)


 Those who do not hate the unpleasant or chase the pleasant, are firm in their understanding and intellect, are in Mode of Goodness (Verse 10)

Intellect that differentiates between correct action and incorrect action, duty and non-duty, fearfulness and fearlessness, what liberates and what binds, is in Mode of Goodness (Verse 30)

Intellect that is perplexed about what is right conduct and what is wrong conduct, what is morality and what is immorality, is in Mode of Passion (Verse 31)

Intellect that considers right to be wrong, and always looks at things opposite to what they actually are, is in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 32)


Determination that is firm when sustaining activities of mind, breath and senses, is in Mode of Goodness (Verse 33)

Determination driven by attachment and desire for rewards, pleasure and wealth, when performing duty, is in Mode of Passion (Verse 34)

Determination that is marred by dreaming, fearing, sorrow, hopelessness and vanity, is in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 35)


Happiness that is intellectually rooted in self-knowledge, which at first is like poison and ends up being nectar, is in Mode of Goodness (Verse 37

Happiness attained from sense gratification, which at first is like nectar but ends up being poison, is in Mode of Passion (Verse 38)

Happiness derived from sleep, lethargy and carelessness, is in Mode of Ignorance (Verse 39)

Be True To Your Inherent Nature

Those who engage in duties that arise from their inherent qualities, achieve success (Verse 45)

Those who perform their duty that is in line with their inborn qualities are in actuality worshipping God. They attain success (Verse 46)

It is better to perform one’s duty with fault than do another’s with excellence. By doing one’s natural duty, one does not incur bad karma (Verse 47)

Bad Karma is unfortunate results arising from action

One should not give up duty that is born of innate nature, even if one sees flaws in them. All undertakings are veiled with imperfections, like a smoke shrouding the fire (Verse 48)

An Ideal Devotee

Having purified intellect,

Controlling the mind with determination,

Giving up attachment to senses and objects of senses,

Free from attraction and repulsion,

Enjoying solitude,

Eating less,

Controlling speech, mind and body,

Practicing meditation,

Practicing detachment,


Without arrogance, violence, conceit, desire, anger, greed,

And without material affection

– these are qualities of an ideal devotee (Verse 51, 52, 53)

In Conclusion

 By loving devotion, one comes to know me as I am in truth. Having known my truth, they enter my abode (Verse 55)

By dedicating all their actions to me, by my grace, they attain my immortal, everlasting abode  (Verse 56)

Intentionally dedicate your every activity to me. Have me as your supreme goal. Surrender your intellect to me and always be consciously thinking of me (Verse 57)

By remembering me at all times, you will conquer all hurdles (Verse 58)

Always remember me, be devoted to me, worship me, and revere me. By so doing, you will come to me (Verse 65)

Total Verses in this Chapter: 78

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, God, Divine Realization, Universal ConsciousnessShri Krishna – are all used interchangeably.


has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.


refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life. 


is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.


The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.


is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

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