Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge
sreyan dravya-mayad yajnaj
sarvam karmakhilam partha
śreyān—greater; dravyamayāt—than the sacrifice of material possessions; yajñāt—knowledge; jñāna-yajñaḥ—sacrifice in knowledge; parantapa—O chastiser of the enemy; sarvam—all; karma—activities; akhilam—in totality; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; jñāne—in knowledge; parisamāpyate—ends in.
O chastiser of the enemy, the sacrifice of knowledge is greater than the sacrifice of material possessions. O son of Pṛthā, after all, the sacrifice of work culminates in transcendental knowledge.
The purpose of all sacrifices is to arrive at the status of complete knowledge, then to gain release from material miseries, and, ultimately, to engage in loving transcendental service to the Supreme Lord (Kṛṣṇa consciousness). Nonetheless, there is a mystery about all these different activities of sacrifice, and one should know this mystery. Sacrifices sometimes take different forms according to the particular faith of the performer. When one's faith reaches the stage of transcendental knowledge, the performer of sacrifices should be considered more advanced than those who simply sacrifice material possessions without such knowledge, for without attainment of knowledge, sacrifices remain on the material platform and bestow no spiritual benefit. Real knowledge culminates in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the highest stage of transcendental knowledge. Without the elevation of knowledge, sacrifices are simply material activities. When, however, they are elevated to the level of transcendental knowledge, all such activities enter onto the spiritual platform. Depending on differences in consciousness, sacrificial activities are sometimes called karma-kāṇḍa, fruitive activities, and sometimes jñāna-kāṇḍa, knowledge in the pursuit of truth. It is better when the end is knowledge.