nehaabhikramanaashosti pratyavayo na vidyate |
svalpamapyasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat || 40 ||

Here, there is no loss of effort, nor is there any negative result. Even a little of this knowledge protects one from the most massive fear.

na : no
iha : here
abhikramanaasha : loss of effort
na : not
asti : happens
pratyavayaha : negative result
na vidyate : does not happen
svalpam : a little
api : also
asya : this
dharmasya : this knowledge
traayate : protects from
mahataha : massive
bhayaat : fear

As mentioned before, we are all set to embark upon the practical aspects of the Gita teaching.

Now, whenever we are about to begin a project, a few doubts or fears may arise in our minds. Two of the most common fears are (a) what will happen if I don’t follow the steps exactly? and (b) what will happen if I make a minor mistake and the whole thing backfires?

Consider a student who has left the comfort of his home to pursue higher studies abroad. Now, he usually has to learn how to cook since his mom is not around to cook anymore. If he tries to prepare a meal, it will usually come out wrong because the steps were not followed correctly. Or worse still, it may totally backfire and yield a negative result – he may burn the food which will set off a fire alarm.

Moreover, for most Indians who hold the Gita in high reverence, we may harbour a notion that any teaching of the Gita needs to be followed to the letter, like a priest who recited mantras at a puja. And if we don’t do this, we will incur sin.

Shri Krishna reassures Arjuna that the teaching of buddhi yoga is absolutely risk free. It will not result in “abhikrama-naasha” or error caused by not following the steps correctly. It will also not create “pratyavaha dosha”,  i.e. yielding a negative result.

Therefore, Shri Krishna informs us that there is absolutely no excuse for holding back in implementing these teachings due to fear of any sort. Even if we practice a little bit of this teaching, it protects us from the most massive fear – the fear of death.