na vedayajnyaadhyayanairna danairna cha kriyaabhirna tapobhirugraihi |
evamroopaha shakya aham nruloke drishtum tvadanyena kurupraveera || 48 ||

 
Not through Vedic studies, rituals, charity, actions nor severe penance can I be seen in this form in the human world by anyone than yourself, O foremost of the Kurus.
 
na : not
vedayajnyaadhyayanaihi : rituals and study of Vedas
na : not
danaihi : charity
na : not
cha : and
kriyaabhihi : with actions
na : not
tapobhihi : with penance
ugraihi : severe
evam : this
roopaha : form
shakyaha : possible
aham : I
nruloke : human world
drishtum : seen
tvadanyena : anyone but you
kurupraveera : foremost among the Kurus
 
Shri Krishna taught the Gita to Arjuna during a time when most people confused the means with the end with regards to all things spiritual. We see this during our lifetime in the present day. To understand this, let us look at our pre-sleep rituals. We make the bed, we turn off the light, we lie down and close our eyes. Some of us read a book or listen to music afterwards. We know, however, that these are mere aids to encouraging sleep. If our body isn’t ready to sleep, none of these aids will work.
 
Similarly, Shri Krishna says that moksha or liberation cannot be attained simply by studying the scriptures, or by performing elaborate rituals, charity or severe penance. All these prescriptions are helpful in purifying our mind, in purging it of selfishness and individuality. When our mind is immaculate through the disciplined observance of these presceptions, it becomes fit to receive knowledge about the eternal essence through a qualified teacher. That is the only way by which we will realize the true nature of Ishvara and the eternal essence.
 
In most cases, we see people ardently take up different techniques of worship, penance, study and so on, but tend to get so attached to those techniques that they lose sight of the real goal which is liberation. They go so far as to claim the efficacy of one technique versus the other. Also, the eternal essence is our true nature and beyond the realm of action, as we saw in the second chapter. Nothing eternal can arise from action, as action always creates impermanent effects. Nothing that we create, or that nature has created, is eternal. Even the earth that outlives all of us will one day be destroyed. Therefore, Shri Krishna congratulates Arjuna by reminding him that it was only due to compassion that Arjuna could behold the universal form.

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