( Very important slokam )
Srimad Bhagavad-Gita :
Chapter-4. ( Jnana-karma-sanyasa-yogam )
Slokam-37. ( As the blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities )
jnanagnih sarvakarmani bhasmasatkurute tatha.
samiddhah agniah = blazing fire;
edhamsi = burns firewood;
yatha bhasmasat kurute = just turns into ashes;
tatha jnanagnih Arjuna = similarly, Arjuna the fire of knowledge;
sarvakarmani = all reactions to material activities;
bhasmasat kurute = it so does into ashes.
Lord Krishna uses this illustration citing the complete eradication of all sins and their destruction to further emphasise the potency of spiritual knowledge.
To remove any doubt or misconceptions that might arise from the previous verse that sins may be crossed over but not absolved Lord Krishna gives the illustration that fire of spiritual knowledge as revealed in the Vedic scriptures burns to ashes all karmas or reactions to actions, with the exception of the prarabdha karma which was the karma by which one received their physical body.
One might wonder that just as crossing the ocean by boat does not destroy the ocean how is it that the boat of spiritual knowledge can destroy all one's sins. Lord Krishna states here that the boat of spiritual knowledge will destroy all reactions to actions both those leading to merit and those leading to demerit.
Perfect knowledge of self and Superself and of their relationship is compared herein to fire. This fire not only burns up all reactions to impious activities, but also all reactions to pious activities, turning them to ashes. There are many stages of reaction: reaction in the making, reaction fructifying, reaction already achieved, and reaction a priory. But knowledge of the constitutional position of the living entity burns everything to ashes. When one is in complete knowledge, all reactions, both a priori and a posteriori, are consumed. In the Vedas it is stated: "One overcomes both the pious and impious interactions of work."
To be continued ....